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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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