Imagine NBA players playing for themselves – on Team Lebron, Team Durant or even Team Breonna Taylor

On Aug. 26, 2020, the NBA players made a clear statement. They were in control and the decision to play, or not to, was theirs and theirs alone. When the Milwaukee Bucks decided that they weren’t going to play a Postseason Game 5, expecting to forfeit, they told the world that their values and the needs of their community took precedence over the...

Why plans by Austin and other cities to reimagine public safety don’t literally intend to ‘Defund the Police’

The Austin City Council’s recent decision to reduce the police department’s budget by about 5 percent represents an opening salvo in national efforts to reimagine public safety in the wake of the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent protests that have gripped the nation since. Efforts to transform the criminal justice system have grown since the Black Lives...

How to make America radical again (and how to remember that in fact it always has been)

In this wide-ranging conversation, Urbānitūs Associate Editor Robert Brehm and Professor Harvey J. Kaye thumb through the pages of Take Hold of Our History: Make America Radical Again. The book, a collection of Kaye’s speeches and essays, is author and historian Kaye’s manifesto to remember, redeem, and embrace the American radical story from the nation’s founding to the Emancipation Proclamation, the New Deal...

Texas Gov. Abbott’s “Back the Blue” pledge to seize Austin’s police department is a return to Jim Crow

In March 1956 the elected leaders of the Southern states pledged to defend school segregation, despite civil rights pressures and Supreme Court rulings demanding racial reforms. The authors of the “Southern Manifesto” pressured elected officials to sign on to its Jim Crow rhetoric, promising to mobilize angry mobs of White voters against anyone who defied. Nineteen U.S. senators and 82 members of the...

Back to school: An education system riven by failure, inequity and injustice revealed by COVID-19

What follows below, synthesized and condensed, are brief, one-minute clips of the arguments made by a broad spectrum of panelists from an online discussion recorded Sept. 4. Also, we include here brief, edited text summaries of the insights offered by our eight panelists and our moderator, Dr. Richard J. Reddick of the University of Texas at Austin. As Austin, and...

Beyond the pandemic, look for Austin’s creative energy to rival the ‘Roaring Twenties’ of a century ago

Not so fast, argues the head of iconic Austin City Limits to those who fear the pandemic will sweep away both the city’s claim as the world’s live music capital and the artists who make it happen. Yes, the pain that has shuttered venues, cancelled festivals and devastated incomes of artists and so many others in Austin’s creative economy is...

America’s zero-sum, tooth-and-nail political battlescape in the microcosm of Wisconsin

Review: The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, by Katherine J. Cramer, 2016, 281 pp., University of Chicago Press With just over sixty days between now and the most consequential election of our lives, there is no shortage of commentary on the fact that the decision will not really be made at the...

Remembering the day 57 years ago when the unfinished work of building a new world began

The 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, the most heralded civil rights demonstration in American history, takes place against the backdrop of police and white vigilante violence against Black people. The police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, August 23 has catalyzed nationwide protests calling for the reimagining of public safety in...

How COVID-19 has robbed children of pediatric visits, parents of child care and students of social interaction

Healthy moms, healthy dads, a healthy birth and having a strong, healthy foundation in the earliest years of life are essential for children’s long term success. As a state and nation we were failing the youngest even before COVID-19. But now, the pandemic has thrown these challenges into high relief, argues Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children, a statewide advocacy group.

1,006/133

The border of Mexico is exactly 1,006 miles away from the hospital where I was born. Which means that had I been born, say, 1,007 miles to the south my destiny would be aligned under very different stars.