We need to talk about how we talk about the black bloc

Ever since I checked social media after medicking the Inauguration Day protests in DC, I’ve been seeing bad, frustrating takes on the black bloc. For the uninitiated, a black bloc is a group of protesters who wear all black, including bandannas or other masks, to anonymize themselves, and usually move as a group or set […]

Hitting people is not “soft”: Reporting and police tactics

I became infuriated, during the RNC, when someone showed me this NPR piece referring to what the police were doing there, particularly the tactic of hitting people with bikes, as “soft force tactics.” The first time the police did this, I was nearly knocked to the ground, as the person in front of me was […]

What’s going on with all these campus ideological battles?

A note: I am aware that freedom of speech as described under the First Amendment only applies to the government. I’m talking more in this post about norms of academic freedom and campuses as a place where ideas are exchanged. Though sometimes, at public colleges and universities, the latter overlaps with the former.

I’ve been […]

How we talk about Jews and the Iran deal

Discuss the Iran deal and Democratic senators who have been hedging for too long, or come out against the deal, and someone brings up Jews. I’m not talking about the irritating right-leaning Jewish publications that can usually be counted on to pretend like their hawkishness is representative of the community (though I’ve seen plenty of […]

That safe-space room was actually well-done, please stop mocking it now

I’m not going to go deeply into the now-famous Shulevitz op-ed in the New York Times about how students are “hiding from scary ideas” and trying to “self-infantilize,” though I have many thoughts on it. I want to pull out a small bit of it and explain why the mockery of what’s described in that […]