The Plessy Next Door

Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/travelho/">Carnaval King 08</a>

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The wireless networks that pop up when I open my computer in the Northwest Carrolton neighborhood (which I just found out has its own blog) I’m staying in are way more interesting than the names at home in San Francisco. Specifically: plessy. Turns out my temporary next-door neighbors are relatives of, yes, that Plessy, the plaintiff in Plessy vs. Ferguson. Turns out, also, that one day one of these Plessys ran into Phoebe Ferguson (yes! Great-great-granddaughter of that Ferguson!), and they decided to start a foundation and now they give talks about reconciliation together. Bonus Plessy trivia: One of the Plessy descendants was featured as Playmate of the Month in an issue of Playboy several years ago, and if you befriend my neighbors, they’ll show you a copy. (For more [and way more important] details about Plessy vs. Ferguson, I recommend Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.)

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THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

At least we hope they will, because that’s our approach to raising the $350,000 in online donations we need right now—during our high-stakes December fundraising push.

It’s the most important month of the year for our fundraising, with upward of 15 percent of our annual online total coming in during the final week—and there’s a lot to say about why Mother Jones’ journalism, and thus hitting that big number, matters tremendously right now.

But you told us fundraising is annoying—with the gimmicks, overwrought tone, manipulative language, and sheer volume of urgent URGENT URGENT!!! content we’re all bombarded with. It sure can be.

So we’re going to try making this as un-annoying as possible. In “Let the Facts Speak for Themselves” we give it our best shot, answering three questions that most any fundraising should try to speak to: Why us, why now, why does it matter?

The upshot? Mother Jones does journalism you don’t find elsewhere: in-depth, time-intensive, ahead-of-the-curve reporting on underreported beats. We operate on razor-thin margins in an unfathomably hard news business, and can’t afford to come up short on these online goals. And given everything, reporting like ours is vital right now.

If you can afford to part with a few bucks, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones with a much-needed year-end donation. And please do it now, while you’re thinking about it—with fewer people paying attention to the news like you are, we need everyone with us to get there.

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