"A path more narrow than a fold out cot."

Archive for the month “August, 2014”

The President and Political Narratives

Jonathan Gray’s take on Pres. Obama’s failure to use bully-pulpit to change discourse around Ferguson, MO.


President Obama held a press conference yesterday to address the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Ferguson.


Like many watching and commenting in real time on twitter, I found Obama’s comments on the situation in Ferguson lacking. Ezra Klein attempted to illustrate the source of our frustration: the incredibly polarized political landscape that prevents this president from ‘reaching across the aisle’ and ‘healing the nation.’ Citing Gallup polls and other data, Klein asserts that it is simply beyond this president’s power to bridge not just the divide that colors the way that we respond to racialized policing, but any partisan issue.

Still, while he accurately captures the forces that limit the president’s ability to ‘bridge the deep divides in American politics,’ Klein’s analysis ignores another choice that President Obama might have made: to challenge the rhetoric around policing, the logics that produce victims like Mike Brown.

President Kennedy did something…

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Forthcoming Book: Ada Ferrer’s “Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution”

Repeating Islands

untitledFreedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution, by Ada Ferrer (New York University), links the historical trajectories of the Haitian Revolution and the rise of Cuban slave society. This new title is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press (December 2014).

Description: During the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, arguably the most radical revolution of the modern world, slaves and former slaves succeeded in ending slavery and establishing an independent state. Yet on the Spanish island of Cuba barely fifty miles distant, the events in Haiti helped usher in the antithesis of revolutionary emancipation. When Cuban planters and authorities saw the devastation of the neighboring colony, they rushed to fill the void left in the world market for sugar, to buttress the institutions of slavery and colonial rule, and to prevent ‘another Haiti’ from happening in their own territory.

Freedom’s Mirror follows the reverberations of the Haitian Revolution…

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