Featured Writing

Biden represents the best and worst of his generation

The mythos of Joe Biden is built around the advice given by parents of a certain age. "Hard work will get you ahead": Biden overcame his childhood stutter by practicing speaking in front of the mirror. He received a scholarship and worked during law school to later become one of the youngest US senators at age 30. "You need to commit and follow through": Biden served in the Senate for more than 35 years. "Chin up, be resilient": When his first wife and daughter died in a horrific accident, Biden famously commuted from Delaware to Washington every day in order to spend time with his sons.

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Obama's 'circular firing squad' remarks may not persuade 2020 Democrats - CNN

In Berlin, the city famous for once dividing itself in two with a wall, former President Barack Obama tackled the issue of division in politics and his worries for the Democratic Party's future: "Among progressives in the United States ... is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, 'Uh, I'm sorry, this is how it's going to be.'" Obama argued, at an Obama Foundation event on Saturday, that party infighting usually leads to the weakening of a movement by "creating what's called a 'circular firing squad' where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues."

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This Is What's Missing From The Elite School Admissions Conversation Right Now - Bustle

Life is more clear-cut when you believe in testing. You either make the grade or you don’t, and that’s all that’s needed to keep a meritocracy going. I bought into that theory when I went to Stuyvesant, the elite New York City public high school where entrance is determined entirely by the score you get on one test. Reflecting on the makeup of my graduating class of some 900 teens, the fact there were only a handful of black and Latinx students and a near majority of Asian American students validated the stereotypes many Americans have of who is talented and intelligent. Standardized testing plays into those stereotypes, and that's where those tests fail us. Read More

Trump's Strongman Aspirations - CNN 

The last time someone used the Oval Office to execute a personal vendetta, it was dubbed the Saturday Night Massacre.

No one actually died in the scandal over Richard Nixon's firing of the special prosecutor looking into the Watergate recordings, but the blow to our concept of American democracy was devastating. Nixon's behavior challenged our sense of self as a nation committed to the rule of law, shook our belief in political leaders, and tarnished the global image of the United States as a model democracy. Read More

Birthing My Half-Black, Half-Pakistani, Full-Muslim Son in the Era of Trump - The Root

I went into labor 30 minutes after Donald Trump’s election night speech. I have the worries that any new mother would have about raising a child in the era of Trump, where ugliness is out in the open and civility no longer exists. 

My son was born pink. Not mocha, like his daddy. I really wanted to birth a mini version of my husband so that I could project all the love and hugs I feel for the stoic man onto his son. Read More

Why Ivanka Trump's New Role Is Actually A Problem - Refinery 29

I used to be a fan of Ivanka Trump. In a town where the masses live in loose fitting, dark-colored suits, I chose to wear pumps by her label when running between meetings across federal agencies in D.C. I appreciated Ivanka’s combination of clean style, savvy marketing, and business acumen. And during the course of a bitter campaign, I came to respect the trust her tycoon father placed in her. Read More

Travel Warning: Beware U.S. Gun Violence and Police - Huffington Post

We landed in Honduras with trepidation and curiosity about the murder capital of the world. San Pedro Sula offered us a quick, cheap vacation combining eco-tourism with the chance to swim with the  elusive whale shark. But family members, even my boss at the State Department, all questioned our judgment. My own organization had recently issued the U.S. government’s 12 paragraph travel warning about Honduras being a place where “criminals operate with a high degree of impunity” and “kidnappings and extortion are common.” Read More