Adele M. Stan

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

Recent Articles

Benedict v. Islam

Was the pontiff's visit to Ground Zero a gambit in the Catholic Church's contest with Islam for the soul of the developing world?

It was a moving scene; a solitary, elderly, white-robed figure, kneeling in prayer on a brilliant yellow carpet amid the remains of what were once two of the world's tallest buildings. With that hole in the New York City skyline still an aching wound in the American psyche, we might be forgiven for thinking that the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Ground Zero was all about us. As firefighters, cops and families of the fallen exchanged words with the pontiff, many kissing his ring, it was tempting to believe that his visit was intended only to soothe the grieving. Although the pope's Ground Zero vigil played well to a grateful American public, his intended audience was likely far beyond America's shores. Indeed, in much of the developing world -- especially in Africa -- Christianity is locked in a fierce battle with Islam for the souls of converts. (Africa is home to 150 million of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.) Meanwhile, the churches of Europe stand empty , and this pope has shown...

RICHARDSON ON OBAMA: YES, HE CAN.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has, at long last, endorsed one of the Democratic contenders for the party's presidential nomination, and that choice is Barack Obama . As a former political appointee of Bill Clinton (served as energy secretary and, later, U.N. ambassador), it's interesting that Richardson chose to endorse Obama before the convention. According to Richardson's e-mailed endorsement statement (received via the Bilerico Project ), he did so partly because of the speech Obama delivered about race earlier this week: Earlier this week, Senator Barack Obama gave an historic speech. that addressed the issue of race with the eloquence, sincerity, and optimism we have come to expect of him... As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants--specifically Hispanics--by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I...

ONCE WE TAKE BACK AMERICA, THEN WHAT?

This year's Take Back America (TBA) conference, which concluded yesterday, had a distinctly different feel to it than in years past. Last year, of course, there was the thrill of having each of the major Democratic presidential contenders come to woo the conference-goers. The timing of this year's confab was presumably based on the notion that a nominee would have been apparent by now, and held to account by TBA's progressive attendees. Best-laid plans notwithstanding, another difference this time -- one quite heartening, if not exactly bracing -- was the emphasis on structural dynamics and governance. (Aren't you excited?) At a panel on the 2008 electoral map, Matt Stoller of OpenLeft.com spoke of the use of primary challenges to Democratic incumbents, such as that recently won by Maryland's Donna Edwards against incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Wynn , in order to take the existing structure and turn it more progressive. (When I told Stoller that he's the progressives' Richard Viguerie , he...

THE TWO-FER.

I know a lady, a close relative, shall we say, who has a few things in common with Geraldine Ferraro -- generation, ethnic experience, outer-borough accent. After Barack Obama , in his grand national debut, addressed the Democratic National Convention in 2004, she sent me an indignant e-mail, asking why everybody talked about him as this black star of the Democratic Party, when he was just as much white as he was black. In other words, she wanted to claim him, too (and perhaps claim his intellectual gifts as his mother's legacy). Watching Obama (on TV) deliver today what I believe to be the most important address on race since Martin Luther King 's "I Have a Dream" speech, my sense of the uniqueness of Obama's candidacy was further distilled. The resentment of my kin notwithstanding, she had a point: Obama is as much white as he is black, and that matters in ways she may not have contemplated. For instance, his cross-cultural experience gave him a window on the ways in which white...

IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, GERRY.

Does anybody in Hillary Clinton 's campaign care about the future of the Democratic Party? That's what I'd like to know. I spent yesterday arguing that while Geraldine Ferraro 's comments about the role Barack Obama 's race played in his propulsion into the presidential race may have some grounding in fact (his personal story providing a powerful campaign narrative), they were grossly unhelpful. After Team Obama responded, condemning the remarks as an attempt to reduce the candidate to little more than his race -- a charge also grounded in fact -- you would think Ferraro might graciously step back from her original remarks, say she hadn't meant them the way they came out, or whatever. But, no, instead she made it clear that she meant every word exactly as it was heard, with every drop of racial resentment the consumer may have tasted. Here's what she told the New York Times : “Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist,” she said. “I will not be...

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