The Roundup Top Ten for July 31, 2020


A Brief History of Dangerous Others

by Richard Kreitner and Rick Perlstein

Wielding the outside agitator trope has always, at bottom, been a way of putting dissidents in their place. The allegation is not even necessarily meant to be believed. It is simply a cover story, intended to shield from responsibility not only the authorities implicated in crimes or abuses of power, but also society as a whole. 


Africa's Medieval Golden Age

by François-Xavier Fauvelle

During the Middle Ages, while Europe fought, traded, explored and evolved, Africa was a continent in darkness, 'without history' – or so the traditional western narrative runs. In fact, as François-Xavier Fauvelle reveals, it was a shining period in which great African cultures flourished.



The Border Patrol’s Brute Power in Portland is the Norm at the Border

by Karl Jacoby

What’s happening in Oregon reflects the long history of unprecedented police powers granted to federal border agents over what has become a far more expansive border zone than most Americans realize. 



Tom Cotton Wants To Save American History. But He Gets It All Wrong.

by Malinda Maynor Lowery

Senator Cotton’s remarks and his proposal to revise history obscure the violence, death and displacement that slavery caused in both Black and Indigenous communities.



Congresswomen Of Color Have Always Fought Back Against Sexism

by Dana Frank

When he called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “crazy” and “out of her mind” because he didn’t like her politics, Ted Yoho was harking back to Edgar Berman’s narrative that a political woman who dares to speak up is constitutionally insane.



The Death of Hannah Fizer

by Adam Rothman and Barbara J. Fields

Those seeking genuine democracy must fight like hell to convince white Americans that what is good for black people is also good for them: Reining in murderous police, investing in schools rather than prisons, and providing universal healthcare.



Why "White" Should be Capitalized, Too

by Nell Irvin Painter

Capitalizing "White" makes clear that whiteness is not simply the default American status, but a racial identity that has formed in relation to others. 



How Trump Politicized Schools Reopening, Regardless of Safety

by Diane Ravitch

Amid this uncertainty and anxiety, President Trump has decided that the reopening of schools is essential to his prospects for reelection.



Colonialism Made the Modern World. Let’s Remake It.

by Adom Getachew

What is “decolonization?” What the word means and what it requires have been contested for a century.



On Sex with Demons

by Eleanor Janega

"The idea of having sex with demons or the devil... has a long and proud history. A concern about sleep sex demons traces at least as far back as Mesopotamian myth where we see the hero Gilgamesh’s father recorded on the Sumerian King List as Lilu, a demon who targets sleeping women, in 2400 BC."


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