Things to read while you bang your head against the wall


I was visiting Pam’s House Blend, where Pam published a bunch of freerepublic quotations concerning Jerry Falwell’s revelation that housing and employment are not “special” rights. One of them so completely boggled my mind that I think my mouth fell open, as the old song says, like a country pond: “…Gays want privileges like blacks and women have been granted. I’ve always wanted to ask one of these special rights people for just one example of how they were treated unfairly.”

Of course, there isn’t enough paper, enough bandwidth, enough breath to provide all of the ways that gays, people of color, and women (and I can add several more to that list) have been treated unfairly. The cateogories alone are legion: economics, due process, sexual expression, privacy, bodily safety, freedom from fear, housing, employment, health care, social acceptance, education, free speech, safety of property, etc.

So if anyone is up to it and wants to find a way to communicate with this person who has been living in a two-foot hole in the ground in an island off of Mars, please get in touch with him or her to talk about what happened when you were stopped for driving while black, denied a job when you were the most qualified candidate, called obscene names, followed by the department store detective, denied a promotion when you were the one who obviously should get it, beaten up on your way home, told to take this Xanax and not worry your pretty little head about it, called a boy when you were an adult man of color, called a girl when you were an adult woman, told you shouldn’t teach children, denied the right to marry, barred from the hospital room of your lifelong partner, dragged down the road behind a truck, told by your co-worker that you should always wear those sweaters that make your breasts look so nice, had a cross burned in your yard, told you couldn’t play ball, told you were a bitch because you exercised your assigned authority, raped by your dinner date, charged more interest for a loan than everybody else, not allowed to play golf and tennis though you could afford the club dues, abandoned by your peers in the locker room, sent hate mail, not allowed to adopt children, judged for your looks rather than your contribution to the project, put in prison for something you didn’t do, not allowed to fill your medical prescription, falsely named a sex offender, not considered competent because you weren’t a male, called a slut because you enjoy sex, charged more than other people for drinks in a bar, sexually assaulted–but hey–can’t you take a joke?, not considered competent because you weren’t white, executed for a crime you didn’t commit, told that the government controls your body, not allowed to take your date to the school dance, overlooked because you would be taking a job away from a man, denied all parental rights, prescribed toxic substances once you could no longer breed, spoken to as though you were a child, always described by your color, pistol-whipped and tied to a fence…

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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