Democratic Left

(Re)viewing Wonder Woman

By Peg Stobel

WonderWoman_Feature_Image_465w.jpg
The author poses with a Wonder Woman action figure.

I never read a Wonder Woman comic nor saw the 1970s TV show, but as a feminist and a historian I was intrigued by the very idea of Jill Lepore's The Secret History of Wonder Woman –even before it won the New York Historical Society's American History Book Prize. Those not prepared to read all 297 pages of the book can read the New Yorker excerpt or find the main points in the 16-page color insert that features panels from initial 1941 sketches to Wonder Woman's appearance on the cover of the first regular issue of Ms. magazine in July 1972. (Casual readers can ignore the 109 pages of sources, notes, indices.) Like Superman (1938) and Batman (1939), Wonder Woman (1941), never out of print, helped launch the Golden Age of comic books.

Read more
1 reaction

From Black Messiah to Black Lives Matter

Andrew Wilkes links the prophetic vision of Martin Luther King with the modern testimony of D'Angelo's latest album,”Black Messiah,”  to outline steps forward for the civil rights movement. - Ed.

 

protest3.jpg

Professor Cornel West (C) along with clergy members and other demonstrators protest for the shooting of Michael Brown as they march to the Ferguson Police Station. Credit: Joshua Lott/AFP /Getty Images 


We want more than effective civilian review boards of police, more than body cameras, more than implicit bias training for local law enforcement. All of those things are necessary, but we also need the patient, persistent construction of equity. Our system of values in this country needs to change, and that will require more than a single policy measure.

Ferguson has served as a signature example of just how much moral work will be involved in building a better country.

To continue reading, click here

 

 

Add your reaction

Memories of Michael Harrington, Part 2

Mike_Harrington-by_Gretchen_Donart001_copy.jpg
Photo Credit: Gretchen Donart

We continue our recognition of Michael Harrington’s contributions with recollections from several of our comrades who worked with him.

By Deborah Meier

I can and often do picture Mike in so many of the settings of my life.

When he first came to our collective attention in the Young Socialist League, I was, I recall, like many others, somewhat suspicious.  What was this attractive, Midwestern Christian (Catholic!) doing joining our organization of socialist youth at a time when the left was disappearing in American life?  Little did we know what was around the corner (the '60s) and how important Michael Harrington would be. He helped shape national policy on poverty, and he also helped us break out of our "sectarian" enclave.  He made our socialist politics seem less alien, potentially compatible with mainstream American politics if we had the patience of "long distance runners."   He saw opportunities where we were too accustomed to see just the villainy of our enemies, and a system designed to place power further and further from the hands of ordinary people. 

 

Read more
Add your reaction

Memories of Michael Harrington

Michael_Harrington_from_Maria.jpg
Harrington speaking at a DSOC event (Gretchen Donart)

We continue our recognition of Michael Harrington’s contributions with recollections from several of our comrades who worked with him.

By Jack Clark

A mistake I'm glad I made led directly to my getting to know Mike Harrington well.

In 1969, I joined the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL), the youth group of the Socialist Party (SP) which Mike chaired. YPSL opposed the self-defeating antics of some elements of the student left. My mistake consisted in thinking that YPSL shared basic goals of the student left, such as ending the war in Vietnam. Soon enough I was caught up in a faction fight within YPSL and the SP over the war and a range of related issues. Mike was the leader of our faction, the Coalition Caucus in the SP. By late 1972 I had moved to New York City to become organizer for the Coalition Caucus. I threw myself into the Labor for McGovern campaign, organized other young socialists to join picket lines for UFW boycotts and organized to maximize our caucus’s strength at the Dec. 1972 SP convention.

Read more
Add your reaction

Remembering Michael Harrington

harringtonlarge_from_Herb.jpg
Michael Harrington (Bob Adelman)

Michael Harrington was one of the U.S.’s leading socialists and a founder of Democratic Socialists of America. On the anniversary of his birthday, we pause to recognize his contributions.

By Maurice Isserman

In a lifetime of political engagement, Michael Harrington must have given ten thousand speeches, and of those, probably a thousand in New York City, where he had made his home since his arrival in 1949, age 21.  He gave his final speech in the city 40 years later, in May 1989.  Suffering from the cancer of the esophagus that would end his life in less than three months, he spoke that day to reporters and editors from the city’s union press.  

Dinah Leventhal, a 22-year-old activist, was in attendance.  She was about to take on the job of youth organizer for Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the socialist group that Harrington helped found and led, and welcomed the chance to speak with him for a few minutes afterward. Mike reminisced about his own days as a young socialist organizer in the 1950s.  “He said,” she recalled, that “he had felt an incredible degree of freedom and learned so much in those years"

Read more
1 reaction

Senator Sanders : The Bankers v Greece

Greece6.jpg
 (greeknewsagenda / Flickr)

“The people of Greece and the anti-austerity party, Syriza, they elected to lead them are struggling to rebuild their economy so that ordinary people there can live with a shred of dignity and security,” Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote in an op-ed first published by The Guardian. With an existing aid agreement due to expire on Friday, Sanders wrote that “powerful international interests are putting the pro-growth, pro-worker experiment in progressive democracy currently underway in grave danger.

“The new Greek government needs support in establishing pro-growth policies which create jobs, expand their economy and enable them to pay down their debts. Demanding that creditors are paid before any of that is allowed to happen may come at a very heavy price for more than just the people of Greece,” the senator concluded.

Read Sanders’ op-ed in The Guardian

Read more
Add your reaction

The U.S. Immigration Battle Intensifies

 ap971610016668_spip-4e770.jpg
Central American migrants ride a freight train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Ixtepec, Mexico. (AP/Eduardo Verdugo)

As expected, a Republican judge, Andrew Hanen of Texas, on the night of Feb. 1, temporarily blocked the first of several programs President Obama announced in November to offer work permits and a three-year reprieve from deportation to more than four million immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and who have no criminal record. The decision is temporary and was immediately appealed by the Obama Administration. It will probably be overturned. All are urged to continue to prepare for their application. The temporary decision has no effect on DACA applications. For updates go to the SEIU site: http://iAmerica.org -- Editors

By David Bacon

In an escalating dispute with President Barack Obama, Republican members of the United States House of Representatives have passed a bill which will cut any funding to the Department of Homeland Security for suspending the deportation of undocumented people.

In December the President ordered the department, beginning this spring, to defer the deportation of undocumented immigrants with U.S.-born children (who are thus U.S. citizens).

A previous Obama order suspended the deportation of young people without documents, brought to the U.S. as children.

The Republican bill would rescind both orders.

Read more
Add your reaction

Selma: Civil Rights and Strategies for the Future

We_March_With_Selma_cph.3c35695.jpg
Wikimedia

By Douglas Williams

Dallas County Election Clerk: What is the preamble to the United States Constitution?

Annie Lee Cooper: (recites part of the preamble)


Dallas County Election Clerk: How many county judges are there in Alabama?


Annie Lee Cooper: 67.


Dallas County Election Clerk: Name them.

And with that, any hope Annie Lee Cooper might have had that she would be able to cast a ballot in the 1964 elections vanished with the sound of a rejection stamp being mercilessly smashed against her voter registration application. This was the cruelty of a system of tests, taxes, and turpitude that kept Black voters across the old Confederacy from having any kind of say in what the Framers meant to be a democracy. It is the story of my grandmother, Dorothy Marie Boone-Anderson, who had to guess how many jelly beans were in a jar before officials in Nansemond County, Virginia would allow her to cast a ballot.

It is also the powerful beginning to the best major-studio movie any socialist will see this year.

Read more
Add your reaction
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    41  42  Next →

Upcoming Events

DSA Webinar: Turning Members into Leaders

March 07, 2015 · 15 rsvps
Webinar, RSVP required for sign in information

Do you feel like you are doing most of the work for your group? Is it hard to keep new people involved or get them to take responsibility? Learn how to mentor new leaders and make sure they have all the information and tools they need to succeed.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

NOTE: This training is at 3:00pm Eastern (2:00pm Central, 1:00pm Mountain, noon Pacific). Please RSVP.

Instructor:

  • Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy.

In Leadership Development you will learn:

The proven steps to developing the leadership skills and commitment of more members:

  • identifying potential leaders
  • recognizing what each one brings to the group
  • asking people to volunteer
  • giving them specific tasks
  • supporting them in their efforts
  • creating opportunities for new leadership
  • following up.

Training Details

  • Workshops are free for any DSA member in good standing.
  • If you have a computer with microphone, speakers and good internet access, you can join via internet for free.
  • If you think you can't do it by computer, contact Theresa Alt talt@igc.org.
  • You can participate in every workshop, since each one builds on the previous ones, or just attend once in a while.
  • Workshops will generally be on a Saturday each month from 3:00-4:30pm Eastern Time.
  • Participation requires that you register at least 36 hours in advance.
Share