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The Roundup Top Ten for July 7, 2023

SCOTUS's Affirmative Action Decision Caps a Decades-Long Backlash

by Jerome Karabel

A scholar of university admissions says that the decision will be a "monumental setback for racial justice" that is rooted in myths about the policy that have surfaced through decades of opposition to affirmative action. 

After Brown v. Board, Segregationists also Attacked "Woke" Businesses

by Lawrence B. Glickman

When two TV networks decided in 1956 to no longer air racist lyrics to popular songs by Stephen Foster and other minstrelsy holdovers, some southern segregationists took the move as an attack on the very foundations of civilization. 

Macron's Statements on Police Killing Show France has Far to Go in Acknowledging Racism

by Crystal M. Fleming

Histories of official violence against nonwhite citizens confound the nation's official policy of universalism; President Macron's description of riots as "inexplicable" shows that official colorblindness won't help the French move toward justice. 

Why We are Still Debating Birthright Citizenship

by Martha S. Jones

Opposition to birthright citizenship has, historically and today, reflected opposition to the idea of equal membership in the political community of the nation and has been inextricable from the idea that white Americans should be privileged citizens, argues the leading historian of the subject. 

The Pendulum of Queer History

by Samuel Huneke

As the Republican Party embraces aggressive transphobia as a political wedge issue, there is historical reason to believe that the strategy will provoke organizing, reform, or even revolution for queer liberation. 

University of California is Cracking Down on Workers and Dissent

by Rafael Jaime

The arrest of three UC labor activists on vandalism charges related to chalking a sidewalk with pro-labor slogans show that the university will throw its commitment to free speech out the window when it comes to playing hardball with graduate workers, says one grad union leader. 

History Shows Debt Relief is All-American

by Chloe Thurston and Emily Zackin

Throughout American history state legislatures have passed debt relief over the objections of creditors and the courts, responding to the economic needs of the citizenry and defying the idea that indebtedness was a personal failing. 

July 4 Was Once a Day of Protest by the Enslaved

by Matt Clavin

The public declarations of freedom and political equality that accompanied Independence Day were a prompt for protest, escape, and rebellion for the enslaved. 

John Roberts's Tragedy is of His Own Making

by Jeff Shesol

John Roberts has the power to arrest the Court's slide into disrepute, extremism, and trollishness. He's chosen not to use it. 

The Declaration of Independence Sealed a Shotgun Wedding

by Eli Merritt

If the founding is to inspire us today, it should be for the way that the journey from the Declaration to the Constitution reflected the ability to overcome bitter and pervasive division.