Anna Clark

Anna Clark is a writer and journalist living in Detroit. She maintains the literary and social justice website, Isak.

Recent Articles

Komen Foundation Races for the Cuts

The breast-cancer awareness group caves to anti-choice groups and pulls its funds from Planned Parenthood.

AP Photo/Ricardo Thomas
Since its founding in 1982, the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure has developed a massive network of breast cancer survivors and advocates, made its Race for the Cure ubiquitous, and has grown enough to call itself “the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.” Over the years, the group has committed at least $1.2 billion to breast cancer research, advocacy, and services. At the same time, Planned Parenthood, has become one of the largest providers of breast cancer screenings in the nation, particularly for low-income women and women without insurance. In the past five years, more than four million breast exams were performed in Planned Parenthood clinics, along with more than 70,000 mammogram referrals. With a common cause of keeping women healthy, the two iconic organizations partnered together to make breast cancer screenings and education programs affordable. But that association came to an abrupt end Tuesday, when it was...

Death, Interrupted

AP Photo/Rick Bowner
Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon put a moratorium on executions in his state last week, and he didn't mince words about why. At a November 22 press conference, he called the death penalty broken, unfair, and a "perversion of justice" and said he will urge legislators to consider reforms during their 2013 session. His move halts the execution of Gary Haugen, a man convicted of two murders and scheduled to die December 6. “I am convinced we can find a better solution that keeps society safe, supports the victims of crime and their families, and reflects Oregon values,” Kitzhaber said. “I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer.” The governor is hardly alone. His decision is the latest step in the accelerating movement to abolish capital punishment in the U.S. through state-by-state moratoriums and voter initiatives. As several states across the country take concrete action to ban the death penalty, activists and political leaders are unabashedly...

Penn State Rallies for Victims

AP Photo
Why does the Penn State community cheer for Joe Paterno? We’ve seen nearly a week’s worth of rallying in support of the legendary football coach after a grand jury indictment made plain that Paterno enabled his longtime assistant’s sexual abuse of children. While the university’s Board of Trustees almost certainly gave Paterno the opportunity to resign immediately, he opted instead to announce his retirement at the end of the season (three regular games and a postseason away). This forced the board’s hand, leading it to fire the coach, along with university president Graham Spanier, Wednesday night. Student rallying turned feverish, and the night ended with rocks and bottles thrown, a lamppost dismantled, and a news van overturned. All of this to protest the firing of someone who could have intervened in the pattern of abuse of young boys by Jerry Sandusky—and did not. The shouts of Penn Staters protesting Paterno’s firing Wednesday night prompted the rest of the nation to look on in...

Pull Over for the Emergency Manager

A challenge to Michigan's anti-democratic law may bypass the courts.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Michigan governor Rick Snyder answers media questions after appointing Roy Roberts the emergency manager of the Detroit school district.
A challenge to a Michigan law that runs roughshod over democracy may now leap-frog the courts. Michigan's emergency-manager law, enacted this spring, gives state appointees unprecedented power over local governments and school districts, including the power to strip elected officials of their authority and to amend and discard union contracts. Poor communities, then, are subject to an unelected person's near-total authority on how they should manage their affairs, creating an exception to democratic systems of checks-and-balances and nullifying the effect of citizen voting. It is unsurprising that communities assigned emergency managers are largely African-American. The Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice in Detroit challenged the new law in circuit court in June, but Governor Rick Snyder asked this month for the case to be fast-tracked to the state's Supreme Court -- which leans strongly conservative -- bypassing the circuit- and appeals-court process. Snyder's push...

The Kickoff

Will excitement over women's soccer carry over to the American league?

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner) Alex Morgan, center, is celebrated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the final match between Japan and the United States.
The game isn't over. The fierce match between Japan and the U.S. for the Women's World Cup ended Sunday with a win for Japan, but the women are still throwing up impressive numbers. A sold-out crowd in Frankfurt watched Japan win 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 score in regulation, and about 13.46 million viewers watched on ESPN3, making it the second most viewed daytime telecast in cable history. It's also the highest-rated soccer telecast on ESPN ever, men's or women's. Excluding NFL games, the women's final was the fifth most-watched telecast of any sport on the sports channel, with only the 2011 college bowl games ahead of it. Online, 548,000 visitors to streamed the game, which is the most ever for a women's sport. Fans weren't just watching; they were talking about the game. Twitter announced that the women's final broke a new record for a trending topic with 7,196 Tweets per second worldwide. Not bad for a national team that got barely a whisper of serious media...