Adam Serwer

MLK, Pariah

Dave Weigel makes a point no one should ever forget:

GOP Candidates Pledge To Abolish Marriage Equality In D.C.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has joined the other two top-tier Republican presidential candidates, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, in signing the National Organization for Marriage's Pledge to "appoint a presidential commission to investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters," support an anti-marriage-equality amendment to the Constitution, and overturn same-sex marriage in the District so it can be put to a citywide referendum in defiance of local human-rights laws.

Alleged Oregon Arsonist On "Secret Muslims" And "Christian Warriors"

The indictment of Cody Crawford, who allegedly attempted to burn down a mosque in Oregon, is notable for a few reasons beyond the fact of the alleged crime itself. Crawford is alleged to have targeted the mosque in part because he recognized Mohamud Osman Mohamud, who was caught and charged in an FBI sting plot to bomb a Portland Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony, as one of the congregants.

Crawford seems to be the second instance we've seen of an alleged act of anti-Muslim terrorism being perpetrated on ideological grounds. As noted yesterday, Crawford told an officer while being arrested that "you look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too." But the indictment offers more details:

Unpossible: Racism Against Latinos In Arizona

That's the basic conclusion of a challenge to the Voting Rights Act by the state of Arizona, which is seeking to overturn the law as unconstitutional. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act mandates that certain jurisdictions with a history of racial problems have their election changes subject to "preclearance" by the Justice Department.

You Can't Believe Your Eyes

Eyewitness misidentification is a leading factor in wrongful convictions -- according to the Innocence Project, more than 75 percent of DNA exonerations involved cases of eyewitness misidentification. In what the Innocence Project called a landmark ruling earlier this week, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart J. Rabner wrote a long opinion holding that the legal standards for admissibility of eyewitness evidence should be modified.


Ghadafi loves Condi.

Five years later, the Jena Six move on.

Nomination oversights may be Obama's biggest sin.

Feminists against fun?

Wrenching Experiences

A few days ago National Review published a silly piece by Tevi Troy criticizing President Obama's vacation reading list because it was light on Jonah Goldberg books. He seemed to think this argument from Mickey Kaus, that Obama's reading list was "heavy on the wrenching stories of immigrant experiences, something the President already knows quite a bit about," was clever enough to be worth quoting.


Alyssa Rosenberg has some further thoughts on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character archetype:

A Dance With Dragons And The Return To Fantasy

So this is going to be a massively spoiler-heavy post, so those of you who haven't read A Dance With Dragons yet or are fans of the TV series Game of Thrones and don't want some major things to be revealed should stop. Reading. Now.

Oregon Man Charged With Setting Fire To A Mosque

The Civil Rights Division has announced that it's charging an Oregon man with allegedly setting a mosque in Corvallis on fire. The larger context here is that the mosque was attended by Mohamud Osman Mohamud, the 19-year old who was arrested in a plot to bomb a Portland Christmas tree that was in actuality a sting set up by the FBI. In response to a fake terror plot that was never going to take place, someone decided it was time to execute a real one. 

West On Black Intellectuals And Liberal Magazines

My profile of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley's Poverty Tour will be in the print edition of next month's print edition Prospect, but I was having a conversation with Jamelle yesterday that reminded me of a portion of the interview with West I thought was interesting but didn't make it into the final piece. 

No Victory Laps On Libya Plz

Just saying:

What comes after Gaddafi’s fall is much more important, and much more uncertain. Now it should be said that Obama’s strategy means that one of the key factors in the emergence of suicide terrorism — a foreign occupying military, typically of a different religious background than the occupied — isn’t present in Libya. But because Gaddafi essentially built Libyan society around himself, the rebels will have to start almost from scratch in constructing a new Libya. And it’s far from a safe bet that the one that will emerge will be the kind of democratic, pluralistic state that would be ideal.

The Problem With "Post-Blackness"

I'm sympathetic to the emotional roots of Touré's conception of "post-blackness" and I find the concept kind of ridiculous. Not just because whiteness, rather than blackness, has historically been the more exclusive ethnic identity but because even Touré writes stuff like this: