Commentary

COMMENTARY
Celebrate Black History Month with USA flag motif

High schoolers need exposure to ideas in African American studies

BY: - February 2, 2023

As Black History Month begins, our education governor’s Education Department says it’s reviewing an advanced placement course in African American studies that’s being tried out in two Arkansas schools as part of a pilot program in 60 high schools nationwide. The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking questions of the nonprofit that […]

COMMENTARY
State Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro), at right, talks with Sen. Ricky Hill (R-Cabot) during a break in a November 2022 meeting. (Photo courtesy of Arkansas Senate)

The assault on diversity, equity and inclusion continues

BY: - February 1, 2023

Arkansas’ Republican overlords continued their assault on affirmative action and the very basis of righting past wrongs with the passage of Senate Bill 71 in committee on Tuesday. In doublespeak that George Orwell would have recognized, SB 71 sponsor Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) characterized the legislation as anti-discriminatory because its stated intention is “to prohibit […]

COMMENTARY
Visitors at the Birkenau Museum view the many faces of the men, women and children who died at the Auschwitz II – death camp. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Still close to home

BY: - January 27, 2023

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Arkansas Advocate occasionally publishes commentary from other sources, including other members of the States Newsroom network. This column from the Arizona Mirror reflects on the importance of educating younger generations about the Holocaust.) On Jan. 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz camp complex in occupied Poland. What the Soviet liberators found […]

COMMENTARY
ACLU Executive Director Holly Dickson speaks against Senate Bill 43. At left is bill sponsor Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch). (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas’ would-be religious tyrants gather steam with ‘culture-war’ bills

BY: - January 23, 2023

I grew up Catholic in a deeply Catholic region of Louisiana. I don’t think I met any non-Catholics until after second grade. Imagine my surprise when I realized that not only were there Christians who worshiped differently from me but believed in a totally different Jesus. Imagine my consternation when I learned that some Christians […]

COMMENTARY
Abortion rights supporters march in Denver in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court opinion that indicates justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, May 7, 2022. The court overturned Roe v Wade in June 2022. (Photo by Kevin Mohatt for Colorado Newsline)

Fifty years later, our lives still at risk

BY: - January 22, 2023

Fifty years ago, a very different U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. Radical right-wing extremists control the Supreme Court and serve in elective office. We have fewer freedoms than we did a generation ago. We suffer, and women die because of it. When the Supreme Court ruled last June to strip away our rights […]

COMMENTARY
American civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) delivers his "I have a dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, Aug. 28, 1963. (Photo by Washington Bureau/Getty Images)

How the distortion of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s words enables more, not less, racial division

BY: - January 17, 2023

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is just the latest conservative lawmaker to misuse the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to judge a person on character and not race. In the protracted battle to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, Roy, a Republican, nominated a Black man, Byron Donalds, […]

COMMENTARY
Spectators wave at parade participants during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in downtown Little Rock Monday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2023. (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate/01/16/2023)

In more ways than one, Dr. King taught us to speak up for the oppressed

BY: - January 16, 2023

The speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be cited throughout this day meant to honor his memory and legacy – and for good reason. As one of the world’s most influential orators of the 20th century, he brought truth to power with his words, time and again. Equally deserving of praise is King’s […]

COMMENTARY
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers a speech to a crowd of approximately 7,000 people on May 17, 1967, at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza in Berkeley, California. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Martin Luther King ‘reigns as a man who saw tomorrow’ on ‘relentless tokenism’

BY: - January 16, 2023

Republished from the Kansas Reflector — which, through its opinion section, works to amplify the voices of people who are affected by public policies or excluded from public debate. Some historians mark the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder as the end of the civil rights movement. Over an arc of 14 years — from […]

COMMENTARY

Time is running out to get ACA health coverage; Jan. 15 is deadline

BY: - January 11, 2023

If you don’t have health insurance — or just want to explore your options — go to healthcare.gov on or before Jan. 15 to get covered with affordable health insurance now. Having and keeping good quality affordable health care is personal for me. The Affordable Care Act saved my life. In 2017, I walked into […]

COMMENTARY

The ‘education governor’ and the threat to public schools

BY: - January 11, 2023

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ two inauguration day speeches and slew of executive orders she issued contained a lot of references to GOP red-meat issues: from an alleged “crime wave plaguing our cities” to supposedly creeping big government from Washington.  I’m going to focus on the big one: so-called education reform. To reform something is to […]

COMMENTARY
U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) receives the gavel from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) after McCarthy was elected Speaker on Jan. 7, 2023 after four days of voting and 15 ballots. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What does the speaker of the House do?

BY: - January 8, 2023

Second in the line of presidential succession after the vice president, the speaker of the House occupies a central role in our national government. But what is it that a speaker actually does? Most people think the speakership is a party office. It’s not. The speaker is selected by the full House membership, though the […]

COMMENTARY

The Ghost of an Idea: A reflection on Charles Dickens and the history and meaning of the season

BY: - December 24, 2022

Since the stone age, winter festivals have bestowed their warming glow of fire and light and bountiful feast in nearly every culture of human civilization drudging through the cold, dark, biting months surrounding the solstice. Using the stars and sun as a guide for monitoring the seasons, humans through history sowed their crops, stocked food […]