Today, March 23, marks the 153th anniversary of the 1868 legislation that established the University of California, also known as Charter Day. The following provides a reflection on the intent of that legislation and its initial organizational principles that remain relevant today for one of the largest and most prestigious multi-campus public universities in the … Continue reading »
Secretary Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna) is the first Indigenous woman confirmed as Secretary of a federal agency. She will the lead of the Department of the Interior (DOI). This historic day calls for a recognition of the resiliency, survivance, and fortitude Indigenous communities have led with since 1492. Secretary Haaland’s swearing in is important … Continue reading »
Berkeley journalism professor Mark Danner gives his first-person perspective of what he witnessed in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, when pro-Trump supporters sieged the U.S. Capitol building to deter the election certification of Joe Biden.
There’s no way to know whether damage to U.S. democracy will be permanent.
There may not be an immediate solution to America’s broken political system. Yet, there are reasons to be hopeful and optimistic about the future of the United States, given its strong democratic institutions and the primacy of the rule of law. In a national emergency like this, the foundations of the social contract are likely to prevail, but U.S. democratic institutions will survive only if the congressional leadership and the new administration prepare their constituencies for a pluralist and multi-racial society.
Learning from the mistakes of both ends of the ideological spectrum, the left needs to infuse the pragmatically built mass movement with militancy and autonomy as it is being built. Anti-fascism cannot be a beginning point for sustainable mass organization, but the mass organization of the future must be militantly anti-fascist.
The nature of the American right was ill-understood during the Trump regime. The word “fascist” frequently circulated in liberal and left-wing circles. Yet, the only potential fascist was ousted from the White House before the Trump administration turned one. Now, the risk is forgetting that we still live under conditions favorable to right-wing extremism. The … Continue reading »
The insurrectionists tore through the Capitol occupying the chair of the vice-president, taking over offices and rifling through papers. Some took souvenirs and brought the family with them. I tried to imagine what would have happened if the Million Man March had done the same thing.
The existence of vulnerabilities is not evidence that any particular election outcome is wrong, but the big-picture lesson from 2020 is that ensuring an accurate result is not enough. Elections also have to be able to prove to a skeptical public that the result really was accurate.
America wants to return to a reassuring normal, but Biden can’t allow it. Complacency would be deadly. He has to both calm the waters and stir the pot.
Most of Trump’s regressive policies can be reversed or altered. The portrayal of science and academic research as “fake news,” and the effort to discredit public institutions, including federal science agencies that are supposed to be non-political, will have a much longer and more problematic impact.
For those of us at Berkeley, I recognize we are on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the Ohlone people. This month and day are important to increasing our collective community awareness and inclusiveness. But celebrating a heritage month is not reconciliation and reparation. 2020 demands more of us.
The Latino vote is complex, but we should not expect it to be otherwise. Latinos are a large, growing and dynamic demographic; they have different needs and experiences, and they shouldn’t be ignored or written off as a “bloc.”
A new report released today by the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley, School of Law, answers five important questions about the use of electronic monitoring of youth in the California juvenile justice system. This report, which I co-authored along with my former student Amisha Gandhi (Law ’20), is a follow … Continue reading »
The president can bluster and protest all he wants, but like it or not, the Constitution and federal law establish a clear timeline of how electoral votes are processed, and when the new president takes office. Here’s how that process normally plays out, how Trump might try to undermine it, and why he is unlikely to succeed.
During Black History Month in February of 2001, the radical turned conservative activist David Horowitz offered the campus newspapers of some 50 elite universities (including Berkeley) an advertisement entitled “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks Is a Bad Idea for Blacks—and Racist Too.” Reason Eight was labeled “Reparations to African Americans Have Already Been Paid” … Continue reading »
As the latest long national nightmare slithers inexorably to its end, it is time to consider a few familiar stories that may provide much needed wisdom. Rumpelstiltskin, Samson, and a modern story.
It’s over. Donald Trump is history For millions of Americans, it’s a time for celebration and relief. Trump’s cruelty, vindictiveness, non-stop lies, corruption, rejection of science, chaotic incompetence and gross narcissism brought out the worst in America. He tested the limits of American decency and democracy. He is the closest we have come to a … Continue reading »
In the days, weeks, and years ahead, we have much work to do. In our college, this work is particularly acute because geography is destiny, and our destiny is density. Red states and blue states? Fuggedaboutit! Elections in the United States are increasingly about our cities and the communities that enliven them.
I’m more frightened for my country than I’ve ever been. Another four years of Donald Trump would be devastating. Nonetheless, I suspect Biden will win.