From the article: “Those worries are easy to understand. In the year before King’s death, he faced intense isolation owing to his strident criticisms of the Vietnam War and the Democratic Party, his heated debates with black nationalists, and his headlong quest to mobilize the nation’s poor against economic injustice. Abandoned by allies, fearing his death was near, King could only lament that his critics “have never really known me, my commitment, or my calling.”
Fifty years after his death, we are perhaps subject to the same indictment. As we grasp for a proper accounting of King’s intellectual, ethical, and political bequest, commemoration may present a greater obstacle to an honest reckoning with his legacy than disfavor did in the case of Du Bois. There are costs to canonization.”
ESSENTIAL #2: “KAMALA HARRIS JOINS DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL FIELD” ASTEAD HERNDON, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “Senator Kamala Harris, the California Democrat and barrier-breaking prosecutor who became the second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, declared her candidacy for president on Monday, joining an increasingly crowded and diverse field in what promises to be a wide-open nomination process.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “TRUMP PROPOSES DEAL ON IMMIGRATION, PELOSI CALLS SHUTDOWN OFFER A ‘NON-STARTER’” GRACE SEGERS, CBS NEWS
From the article: “The deal Mr. Trump laid out included $800 million in immediate humanitarian aid, $805 million for improved drug detection technology at legal ports of entry, hiring 2,750 new border agents and 75 new immigration judge teams to reduce court backlogs -- all of which Democrats support. The deal also includes new system to allow Central American minors to apply for asylum in their home countries.
However, it still contained the $5.7 billion demand for the wall, which he said would not be a "concrete barrier from sea to shining sea," but would instead be "steel barriers." He said that a wall would be built along 230 miles of the border.
He also said that he would extend protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for three years, as well as an extension of the legal status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. Mr. Trump announced that he planned to hold weekly bipartisan meetings at the White House to discuss immigration reform.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “THE FIGHT OVER MEN IS SHAPING OUR POLITICAL FUTURE” THOMAS EDSALL, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “The current era has been marked by a continuous series of challenges to once indisputable truths about sex and gender. Ubiquitous contraception, for one thing, has altered the fundamentals of reproductive roles. The alteration of these fundamentals has been followed by a series of transformations and dislocations — women’s rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, transgender rights, new forms of family formation and dissolution, and vastly altered patterns of fertility. Challenges to core understandings of masculinity — and femininity — are inescapable.
The immensity of these upheavals should not be underestimated. That people are seeking political solutions to rapid societal changes is no surprise. That these solutions erupt in political conflict is also inevitable. For some, new horizons in matters of sexuality and sexual identity offer opportunity; for others, discomfort and fear predominate. These responses are increasingly sorting themselves into partisan affiliation, sometimes uncomfortably. And as I said at the outset, they have become an integral element of contemporary political conflict, which means that an ultimate resolution is light years away.”