See what I did there? I told you right up front that today we’re doing the politico cha-cha. No sidling in sideways, just throw it out there and see what sticks. Truth in advertising, baby.

Which means if you’re reading this you’re either a) an American knee deep in the midterm countdown, b) politically inclined in general, or c) related to me and feel an obligation to read. (I see you, momH.)

North Carolina

Faith leaders call for congregations to ‘nix all six’ constitutional amendments: The Progressive Pulse, 11/1/18

“Faith leaders from across the state gathered Thursday for a press conference announcing that the General Baptist State Convention — the largest association of Black churches — adopted a resolution to encourage congregations to vote against the six amendments.

The amendments are a proposed cap on state income tax, a photo identification requirement for voting, a hunting and fishing measure, a legislative appointment process for judicial vacancies, a reorganization of the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement and a victim’s right proposal. Lawmakers have not disclosed how each of those measures would work if approved by the public but plan to sort out the details in a lame-duck session if enacted.”


Georgia election fight shows that black voter suppression, a southern tradition, still flourishes: PBS News Hour, 10/28/18

“Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp has been sued for suppressing minority votes after an Associated Press investigation revealed a month before November’s midterm election that his office has not approved 53,000 voter registrations – most of them filed by African-Americans.

Kemp, who is running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, says his actions comply with a 2017 state law that requires voter registration information to match exactly with data from the Department of Motor Vehicles or Social Security Administration.

The law disproportionately affects black and Latino voters, say the civil rights groups who brought the lawsuit.

As a scholar of African-American history, I recognize an old story in this new electoral controversy.”


Save Us, Texas. Beto O’Rourke offers hope in dark times.: Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times, 10/1/18

“On Saturday night, at the end of a hideous week in American politics, there was an unfamiliar feeling in Austin, Tex.: hope. More than 50,000 people streamed into a city park to hear music legend Willie Nelson perform at a rally with Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic congressman from El Paso who is running a strikingly competitive race against oleaginous ghoul Ted Cruz. Many were young — Nelson’s set started after 10 p.m. — wearing Beto T-shirts and waving Beto flags. Nearby, a packed restaurant advertised “Beto beer.” In the air was that slightly delirious energy you feel when a political campaign becomes a movement.”

Haven’t followed the Beto phenomenon? Check out this clip where he speaks on the murder of Botham Jean.


Meet Ayanna Pressley, the Democrat who could become Massachusetts’ first black Congresswoman: Abigail Hess, CNBC make it, 9/5/18

“The upset victory surprised many. When she learned that she had won her race, Pressley herself was taken aback…

After the news set in, Pressley stepped onto a stage in Dorchester to give her victory speech. “It is time to show Washington D.C., both my fellow Democrats, who I hope will stand with us, and the Republicans who stand in our way, and to everyone in the Seventh Congressional District, that change isn’t waiting any longer,” she said to a crowd of her supporters. “We are going to rise. Change is coming and the future belongs to all of us.” “

New York

Ocasio-Cortez Challenges Donald Trump, Media on ‘White Supremacist’ versus ‘Terrorist’ Labels: Benjamin Fearnow, Newsweek, 10/29/18

“[Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] has repeatedly challenged the talking points of both President Donald Trump and established members of the Democratic Party. But her recent move to refocus her efforts on white supremacist violence rather than “undocumented immigrants” prompted vicious right-wing criticism. Using her social media platforms with hundreds of thousands of followers, Ocasio-Cortez compared how Trump supporters and Americans at large would treat Saturday’s deadly synagogue shooting had it been conducted by Islamic terrorists rather than a white supremacist. 

“Imagine if it was ISIS that sent bombs to US officials, started shooting in grocery stores, and invading places of worship. How do you think this administration would respond? & why is the response so different when those same terrorist acts are committed by white supremacists?” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Sunday.”


‘It’s Our Time’: Meet 18 Candidates Leading the Historic Rise of Black Women Running for Office in Alabama: Jamia Wilson, Glamour, 5/24/18

“Before Black Panther celebrated the all-­female freedom fighters of Wakanda, real-life black women formed their own type of special-forces unit in Alabama. When a whopping 98 percent of African American women voters united behind Doug Jones, they were able to elect him as the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years. They didn’t just defeat Roy Moore; they rocked the political status quo.

They have no intention of stopping there.”