Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.
Count it as yet another thing wrong with Kansas, where schools teach kids Adam and Eve rode the dinosaurs and it's safer to be a gang member than an abortion provider. Last week, lawmakers in the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives set off outrage across the country by passing a law that would not only make it legal for private businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgender people; it would also permit state employees—long obliged by our legal tradition to serve all customers on equal terms—to deny LGBT people basic services as long as they are motivated by "sincerely held religious beliefs." Narrow exemptions for religious and religiously-affiliated institutions have increasingly become a standard part of gay-marriage bills as more and more states begin to enact equal marriage legislatively instead of in response to a court ruling. But the Kansas law goes far beyond such targeted exemptions by sanctioning anti-gay discrimination in nearly every arena of public life. Get in a car accident? You'd better hope the triage nurse at the public hospital's not a Rush Limbaugh fan.
The immigration debate has given rise to a host of new words and phrases: "self-deportation," "operational control," "Dreamers." The latest: "legal status," the enigmatic term Republicans have recently used to describe their approach to dealing with the population of unauthorized immigrants living in the country. (As opposed to "illegal status"?) Given its capacity to persuade and express power, all political language is fraught, of course. But this is especially true of the immigration debate, where fiercely held views have given rise to a tendentious lexicon rife with euphemism and loaded language. This is perhaps no surprise given the (dreamy) ideology behind the idea of citizenship, the lore of American self-improvement, and the conflation of immigration with national security since September 11. But it's made the immigration debate a bit impenetrable for the casual observer. Here's your guide to decoding it all.
Backed by billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Edward Snowden confidant and NSA antagonist Glenn Greenwald launched his superblog The Intercept today with a bang: new revelations about the National Security Agency's (NSA) role in targeted drone strikes.
Latinos have the power to revolutionize American politics. But first they have to vote.
Ever since a wave of mass migration from Latin America began to transform the country’s demographic landscape in the 1970s, political analysts have spoken about the “sleeping giant” of the Latino vote. Every election season, like a spectator staring through binoculars on safari, someone jumps to exclaim that the beast is rousing, prompting others to claim that, yes, they spotted it, too.
He was the poster boy for the movement to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Now what?
Midway between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Newseum Residences is one of those glass-and-steel high-rises that feels more like a hotel than an apartment building. The floor in the lobby always looks as if it’s just been polished, the frosted glass wiped down. The building’s ten inhabited floors are near identical. Each has a long, windowless hallway with 13 or 14 doors, their numbers etched on brushed-steel plates.