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Our America

Not My Type

- By Ward Schumaker

In 2016, after a woman accused him of putting his hand up her skirt while on an airplane, Trump told supporters at a campaign event, “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.”

The crowd laughed. 

More than two dozen women have accused the president of sexual misconduct and one, E. Jean Carroll, has taken him to court. Carroll alleges that in the mid-nineties Trump threw her up against a wall in a fitting room in Bergdorf Goodman and raped her....

Our America

Conversation Theory

- By Jim Hicks

Hello, Michiganders. It’s been almost four years now since I last checked in, though I’ve often wondered how you’re doing. I do come back for visits, once in a blue moon, but that’s no excuse for not calling or writing. Given everything that’s happened this year, and with the election just days away, I suspect that most of you aren’t sleeping all that well. I know I’m not. The way I see it, it could still go either way, and I’m not talking about the election. I’m thinking about the country.

So, here’s my two cents. There are some things we can do, and other things we should remember, if we don’t want a total meltdown. First off, can...

Our America

No One Likes a Bully

- By Ward Schumaker

In 1991, during the confirmation hearing of William Barr as George H. W. Bush’s Attorney General, a lawyer named Jimmy Lohman published a piece in an obscure periodical, the Florida Flambeau. Lohman had been a classmate of Barr in high school and again later, at Columbia, and he remembered Barr well: “Billy was my very own high school tormentor.....a classic bully...a porky ninth grader who had a vicious fixation on my little Jewish ‘commie’ ass...he lived to make me miserable.” Barr had brothers who were much like him, writes Lohman, and together they picketed the school’s fund-raising Junior Carnival “because the proceeds were going to the NAACP.” At Columbia, Barr “teamed up with New York City riot police to attack anti-war...

Our America

Going Postal

- By Ward Schumaker

In 1968 I was living a half block from San Francisco’s Haight Street, I’d just lost my job, and though I didn’t consider myself a hippie, I was stoned twenty-four hours a day. My speech and the condition of my eyes made that obvious, so how was I going to support myself? Simple: go to Post Office. If you could pass the exam, no matter how you looked or acted, they had to hire you. To deal with folks like me, the administration had decided if you were visibly using drugs or an alcoholic, or exhibited mental problems, you’d be sent to work at the Fleet Post Office, the unit servicing the US war on Viet Nam. The workplace filled up with long-haired guys wearing funny glasses, girls who couldn’t stop twirling in circles, and people who talked to phantoms and...

Our America

Journey to the Border Wall

- By Sarah A. Leavitt and Marla R. Miller

Photo: The Rio Grande Valley from Mount Cristo Rey, alongside the "GoFundMe" border wall.

Almost immediately after landing at the airport, we changed all of our plans. We had a long list of museums to see and people to talk to as we embarked on our borderlands journey to West Texas, but almost as soon as we deplaned all of that seemed wrong. We were here to see the wall, and we should start by seeing the wall.

We hoped to experience, for a minute, what it was like to live in the shadow of the border wall. We wanted to feel the surveillance and think about how to translate some of that feeling into accessible content for college students and museum visitors at our respective jobs. And we had to start...

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