Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist at The American Prospect, and editor of Clarion, the newspaper of Professional Staff Congress-CUNY, a New York City labor union. The views expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

Donald Trump: Evidence of Our Degeneracy

With his lies about black people and the people of Jersey City, the question is why so many Americans want to believe him.

(Photo: AP/Willis Glassgow)
(Photo: AP/Willis Glassgow) GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on November 24. Just a few days before, a black civil-rights protester was beaten by Trump supporters during a rally. W hen my grandfather’s grandparents arrived on the shores of Jersey City, having fled famine in Ireland, the city was joined in an epic battle waged against the immigrants by a nativist party nicknamed the Know-Nothings. The Irish were not to be trusted, the Know-Nothings said, especially because of their strange religion—Roman Catholicism. Cast as an army of infiltration sent into America by the pope, the Irish were, for a time, barred from employment in the police force and other government offices through the connivance of Know-Nothing state legislators, who conferred a new charter on the city, which was later struck down by the New Jersey Supreme Court. It’s difficult to imagine today the discrimination faced by the starving Irish at the time of their mass...

Is Ben Carson's Campaign About to Implode?

(Photo: AP/John Locher)
(Photo: AP/John Locher) GOP candidate Ben Carson speaks at a news conference on November 15 in Nevada. A remarkable thing happened to a leading Republican presidential candidate in the pages of the The New York Times on Tuesday: People described as top advisers to Ben Carson, the celebrated neurosurgeon, told reporter Trip Gabriel that when it comes to foreign policy, Carson just doesn’t get it. And worse than that, he doesn’t seem to be able to grasp the nuances of situations as described to him. From the Times : “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security said in an interview. (Leave aside, for the moment, what it says about Carson’s judgment that one of his top foreign policy advisers was convicted—and later pardoned—of lying to Congress in the Reagan administration’s Iran-Contra scandal.) Adding insult injury was commentator...

Rubio's Plan: Keep the Poor out of Higher Education

(Photo: AP/Morry Gash)
(Photo: AP/Morry Gash) Marco Rubio during the November 10 GOP presidential debate T he political media’s fact-checking machines are whirring, spitting out statistical refutations of an assertion made during Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate by Marco Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, that “welders make more money than philosophers.” Laudable though those verification efforts be, they miss the greater outrage inherent in Rubio’s riff, the subtext of which was this: Hey, working-class people, you’re born to do dirty and dangerous work, so don’t even think of going to college. Because America doesn’t need you there. Rubio’s big moment came when answering a question about whether he supports raising the minimum wage—on the very same day that low-wage workers across America launched protests demanding a $15-an-hour floor. Rubio’s answer was to call for more people to go into vocational education programs because those jobs are where the real money is—and, to save America...

The Bathroom Bogeyman Rules in the Home of the Brave

(Photo: AP/Pat Sullivan)
(Photo: AP/Pat Sullivan) A man holds a sign urging people to vote against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The ordinance protected people from discirimination based on characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation, race, and religion, but was overturned by Houston voters on Tuesday. T here are moments in the home of the brave when it seems there is no greater fear than that of the public restroom. On Tuesday night in Texas, the bathroom bogeyman poured the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Houstonians down the drain. At issue was a nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city council in May 2014 written to protect people from all manner of discrimination—in housing, employment, public access—on the basis of some 15 “characteristics,” including religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. It was on that last one that anti-gay leaders pounced. “The voters clearly understand that this proposition was never about equality—that is already the law...

Who's Behind Friedrichs?

(Photo: Tim Sackton/Flickr)
(Photo: Tim Sackton/Flickr) A version of this article originally ran in the October 2015 edition of Clarion . A s the current term of the U.S. Supreme Court opens this autumn, looming on the docket is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case designed to decimate public-sector unions. While it may not come to that—even the most knowledgeable Court-watchers are unsure how the justices will rule—the stakes are high. A decision is expected before the term ends in June. The case was, in effect, invited by Justice Samuel Alito, who penned the majority opinion in Harris v. Quinn , a 2014 case in which the court ruled against the union representing home-care workers in Illinois. In Harris , as Harold Meyerson wrote here , Alito devoted half of his opinion to considering the constitutionality of public-sector unions’ right to collect “fair share” fees from those who have opted out of union membership. These fees cover the worker’s share of the resources the union spent on...