Politics & Society

LGBT

How Jews Brought America to the Tipping Point on Marriage Equality: Lessons for the Next Social Justice Issues

The story of Jews’ contributions to the campaign for marriage equality offers valuable lessons for how to break through public resistance on other issues that Jewish groups are now addressing, including economic justice initiatives like paid sick leave, rights for domestic workers, and raising the minimum wage.
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Politics & Society

Accounting for Egyptians’ Exuberance for Violence

It was very hard to come to grips with the fact that on the third anniversary of the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution, tens of thousands of Egyptians were chanting nationalist slogans while waving photos, placards, banners and posters of General Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, exhibiting a kind of hero worship and cult of personality that was unimaginable in the Mubarak era.
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Nonviolent Activism

Nelson Mandela: A Jewish Perspective

Jews love and loved Nelson Mandela. He inspired us with his insistence that the old regime of apartheid would crumble more quickly and fully when faced with revolutionary love and compassion than when faced with anger and violence. Mandela also challenged us to think deeply about whether the current situation in Israel/Palestine reflects the ethic of compassion that is so central to Judaism.
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Film

The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality)

To put the Kennedy assassination in a historical perspective that is both spiritual and political, we here reprint Peter Gabel’s brilliant article on the subject, “The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality),” originally published in Tikkun in March/April 1992 in response to the original release of Stone’s film.
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Race

Identity Politics and Spiritual Politics: Our Dance of Connection and Separation

After years of apparent stability, white people may wake up in a neighborhood or country that feels unfamiliar and in which they are a “minority.” Then the question sneaks in: what does it mean to be American now?
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Activism

The Original Rainbow Coalition: An Example of Universal Identity Politics

Are identity and class-based politics necessarily at odds? Jakobi Williams answers with a resounding no, recalling a historic period when identity and class-based politics were dynamically entwined: the moment when the original Rainbow Coalition came into being. Set up by the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, the Rainbow Coalition offers an inspiring example of how identity politics can result in cross-class and interracial solidarity, rather than a fragmentation of the Left.
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Gender & Sexuality

Gay Men in the Locker Room of the World – Big Whoop

NBA player Jason Collins is the first active player in the four major U.S. sports to declare himself gay since Glenn Burke in the 1970s. For a nation that remains contemptuous of nonconforming notions of masculinity, the Collins event is not a question of tolerance for gays, but of masculine identity itself: can a man who falls in love with other men be integrated into the American ideal of manhood?
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Spiritual Politics

Sikh Ethics and Political Engagement

Built into Sikh tradition is a firm ethic of adhering to a truthful and just process—the idea that the ends do not justify the means. As a result, simply stating that attacks upon Sikhs in a post-9/11 context are “mistaken” or “misdirected” because they should be directed toward another group, Muslims, is an untenable deflection. Instead, American Sikhs walk a thin rhetorical line between declaring what we are—a group that aims to elevate the consciousness of all people to appreciate our common divinity—and declaring what we are not in order to avoid the short-term consequences of popular confusion.
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Race

Shifting U.S. Demographics Demand New Cross-Racial Coalitions

Obama won by appealing to a broad swath of voters—the young, ethnically diverse, and non-affluent—who typically aren’t a part of the traditional political calculus. But he failed to garner much support among older, whiter Americans. If our political fights pit one group, one generation, or one race against all the multicultural “others,” then we all will surely lose.
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Environment

It’s Not Just Child’s Play: Nature’s Powerful Effect on Children’s Well-Being

Let us not forget our deep and intrinsic connection to the natural world—a bond that can motivate, sustain, and inform all our efforts. Nurturing children’s connection to nature is one crucial step in our multifaceted struggle to save the planet, and in turn the solace of the natural world can also become a lifeline for many children.
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Politics & Society

Why Identity Group Work Strengthens Our Capacity for All Liberation Work

There is value for leaders in being deeply rooted in their own primary identity group while at the same time learning how to be a fierce ally for all groups.
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Gender & Sexuality

Once Out of Nature: Life Beyond the Gender Binary

To truly include transgender people within Abrahamic religious traditions, we have to shatter the idol of the gender binary and face the truth that trans people embody—the truth that the gender binary represents neither the nature of nature, nor the nature of humanity, nor the nature of God.
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Global Capitalism

Revolutionary Suicide: Risking Everything to Transform Society and Live Fully

We need to commit revolutionary suicide. By this I mean not the killing of our bodies but the destruction of our attachments to security, status, wealth, and power. These attachments prevent us from becoming spiritually and politically alive. They prevent us from changing the violent structure of the society in which we live. When Huey Percy Newton, the cofounder of the Black Panther Party, called us to “revolutionary suicide,” it appears that he was making the same appeal as Jesus of Nazareth, who admonished, “Those who seek to save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives for the sake of [the planet] will save them.” Essentially, both movement founders are saying the same thing. Salvation is not an individual matter.
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Politics & Society

Race, Class, and the Neoliberal Scourge

Neoliberalism, the broad set of ideas positing the market and market-centered values as the ultimate “civilizing” agent at home and abroad, has now structured our society for forty years. Ever since it began its gradual ascendance in 1973, we have experienced a marked increase in income inequality, witnessed the slow death of the labor union movement, and keenly felt a growing sense of anxiety. The task of the American Left has never been simpler and clearer—it’s to reconstitute the very idea of the public, in the hope that this reconstitution will generate a large-scale movement against neoliberalism.
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Politics & Society

Resisting Post-Oppression Narratives

Class exploitation and racial discrimination has diminished in popularity as an explanation for our society’s continuing social inequalities. In its stead, a “post-oppression” ideology and rhetoric has developed, which leaves “distortions” (such as race-based disparities) to the market alone to resolve.
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