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The consequences of presidential ‘illegitimacy’

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | January 21, 2017

When civil rights icon Representative John Lewis said he would not attend the inaugural because he did not consider Donald Trump a “legitimate” president, it ignited a firestorm of controversy. Trump predictably responded with a tweet attacking Lewis’s character rather than Russian hacking and some 60 of the congressman’s colleagues joined him in the boycott. … Continue reading »

The epistemic Wild West

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | December 28, 2016

“Post-truth (/ˌpəʊs(t)ˈtruːθ/) adj.: Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.  2016 Word of the Year, Oxford Dictionaries “Are you real?” “Well, if you can’t tell, does it matter?” Westworld, Season 1 Episode 2: “Chestnut” I do not remember a year … Continue reading »

Radical for each other right now

Savala N. Trepczynski, director, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice | December 16, 2016

If certain things about President-elect Trump remain unclear — policy positions, his taxes, his ultimate vision — one thing is certain: he has peeled back the worn-out bandage on America’s most infected wounds and summoned some of humanity’s darkest impulses. How we respond to his presence may, indeed, determine not just who we include when … Continue reading »

California: America’s egalitarian and inclusive refuge? Not so fast

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | December 14, 2016

The great state of California is known for many things: its sublime national parks, stunning beaches, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, world-class public universities and dominant professional sports teams. And as the greater portion of the “left coast,” California enjoys a reputation for inclusive politics and liberal attitudes. It was the home of the anti-war movement … Continue reading »

Democrats, stop kicking yourselves

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | December 12, 2016

Since November 9, it has become a platitude, especially among Democrats, that their party suffered a “stunning defeat.” They did no such thing. The fact that Trump won an electoral college plurality, while Clinton is ahead by nearly 3 million in the popular vote, merely suggests that the Electoral College isn’t working any more, if … Continue reading »

Radical hope in difficult times

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor |

Difficult times Whether we like it or not, we are the new minority, knocked off our blocks, trounced, but not — at least not yet — silenced. Nicolas Kristof (New York Times, December 11 2016) described universities echoing with “primal howls of discontent.” and classes cancelled so that students could weep about their fears of  … Continue reading »

Stop blaming ‘populism’ for everything

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | December 11, 2016

The word “populism” is being used to explain almost every trend or event of 2016, including Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as America’s next President, and shifts in French, German, Italian, Dutch and Austrian politics. The term “populism” has been used interchangeably with “right-wing politics” and “nationalism.” Now the magazine Foreign Affairs is blaming autocratization on … Continue reading »

Resistance and the rebirth of inclusion

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | November 28, 2016

  My, our, disagreement with Trump is in fact rooted in his support for oppression against people that he and his supporters see as other, and against their denial for their humanity and their right to exist. According to systems scholar and political scientist Scott E. Page, diversity of experience and views can be a … Continue reading »

No church in the wild: the politics of the sanctuary campus

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | November 23, 2016

“Lies on the lips of a priest/Thanksgiving disguised as a feast”   — Jay-Z and Kanye West, No Church in The Wild (from Watch the Throne) It has been two weeks since the election that saw Donald Trump elected president of the United States. And here at Berkeley, I and many undocumented scholars and activists … Continue reading »

Building a Western Union

Chris Kutz, professor of law | November 18, 2016

The voters of the West Coast spoke unequivocally on November 8th, giving Hillary Clinton 60% of the vote, with 7.5 million votes, to Donald Trump’s 4.5 million, or 35%. These voters had good reasons. A Trump presidency endangers a range of policies common to California, Oregon, and Washington. These three states are committed to ensuring … Continue reading »

Is empathy a luxury in the age of Trump?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | November 15, 2016

The election of Barack Obama marked the emergence of the Tea Party, a radical right-wing movement that challenged the Republican establishment and ultimately fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Where did the Tea Party come from? That’s the question renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild set out to explore in her new book, Strangers in Their Own … Continue reading »

Undocumented and Unafraid: Accomplices Needed

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | November 14, 2016

“And it is so easy to look away, to live with the fruits of our history and to ignore the great evil done in all of our names. But you and I have never truly had that luxury. I think you know.”— Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me. The aftermath of the election has … Continue reading »

Into the wasteland

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor |

The day after the election, Kroeber Hall was as silent and as desolate as a tomb. It felt like there had been an unanticipated and sudden death in the family but in this instance the family is our divided nation. We were stunned. It is far too early for normalization and reconciliation. First we, the non-elected elite … Continue reading »

Deciphering election polling, from algorithms and youth votes to the Electoral College

Laura Stoker, professor of political science | November 10, 2016

The outcome of the 2016 general election in the United States was momentous and surprising. Yet some commentaries seem to suggest that means we need to rethink our basic understandings of voters and elections. I disagree, albeit gently, with that kind of hyperbole. Here’s why. Let’s not exaggerate As in 2000, it appears the winner … Continue reading »

Season of the demagogue

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | November 8, 2016

Americans head to the polls today in what is likely the most important and consequential election in more than a generation, and certainly the most fraught since 1968, which followed the assassinations of Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon B. Johnson’s unexpected decision not to run for re-election. The 2016 presidential campaign has … Continue reading »

Talking with boys about Donald Trump and sexual assault

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | November 4, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has bragged about laying his hands on women without their permission, and numerous women have come forward to claim that he assaulted them. In the past and throughout the campaign, he has used raw and disrespectful language to describe women, including his opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. When confronted about … Continue reading »

The real election hack fear

Betsy Cooper, Executive Director, UC Berkeley Center for Long-term Cybersecurity | November 3, 2016

By Steven Weber, faculty director of the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and a professor, School of Information and political science, and Betsy Cooper: If you are expecting to feel relief from a long and tortuous election season on the morning of November 9, don’t. Expect instead to hear about a possible cyberattack on American democracy. … Continue reading »

The Donald and the Duce

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | November 2, 2016

More than any time in over 50 years, Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign has provoked a serious discussion of the threat of fascism at the level of presidential politics. Martin O’Malley twice called Trump a fascist from the stage of the Democratic Party’s primary presidential debates. Conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat began considering the … Continue reading »