Courtney Martin

Courtney E. Martin is a Prospect senior correspondent. She is the author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists (Beacon Press). You can read more about her work at

Recent Articles

Reflections on Obama-Era Patriotism

Loving your country does not mean waving a flag and singing the anthem. True patriotism comes in the form of genuine, once-and-for-all integration.

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

President's Day is an opportunity to bore children with that old story about George Washington and the cherry tree (entirely fabricated by Mason Locke Weems, a turn-of-the-century Deepak Chopra, by the way), save on the new car you've been eyeing (must we always link patriotism with spending?), and most important, reflect on the deeper meaning of being American.

The Big Business of Family Detention

It's not just alleged terrorists who are suffering from our inhumane treatment of detainees. It's also children.

When President Barack Obama made it his first act in office to shut down Guantánamo Bay prison, he effectively ended one shameful chapter in our country's embarrassingly large book of human-rights abuses. It was not so much redemption as a reminder that this country has a long, long way to go when it comes to detention, due process, and the Geneva Convention. It's not just alleged terrorists that are suffering from our inhumane treatment. It's also children.

What Tomorrow Really Means

It is not the end of war, racism, or politics as usual. But it is a chance to reaffirm our commitment to making this country a more ethical, more equal place.

Tomorrow will be historic, thrilling, profound. As Barack Obama takes the stage for his inauguration as our 44th president, the nation will hold its collective breath. Many will cry in utter relief. Some will dance on the Washington Mall, joyful where they once marched in rage. The country will be better.

But it will not be healed. First, for what tomorrow is not

Deadly Medicine for Youth Violence

New efforts at dating-violence prevention are based on the same old gender stereotypes. No wonder they're not working.

Within days of one another, two of the nation's top newspapers -- The Boston Globe and The New York Times -- published stories on youth violence. Titled, respectively, "Girl Power" (seriously Boston Globe?) and "A Rise in Efforts to Stop Abuse in Youth Dating," both reported that the rise in dating violence against young women and violence among young men rages on.

America's New Year's Resolution: A Return to Integrity

As we prepare to usher in a new year and a new administration, let's all pledge to rediscover our moral way in this country.

As I read coverage of the unpublished 513-page account of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq, a wave of sad recognition washed over me. The narrative thread of how a $100 billion effort to "save" Iraq became a giant save-your-own-ass bureaucracy was one that I had seen repeatedly in the news recently. A depressingly familiar story.