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Internal moderation in movement politics fails to achieve goals

For almost four years now, I have been a member of Northfield’s chapter of ISAIAH, a progressive faith-based community organizing group that seeks to build power across Minnesota. Many in the community are likely familiar with the name ISAIAH, it being one of the most prominent political organizations in the…

Coping with stagnation in the time of coronavirus

Our popular culture’s most famous image of writer’s block comes to us from Stephen King by way of Stanley Kubrick: Jack Nicholson-as-Jack Torrance’s tense, disheveled frame hunched over the void of an unfed typewriter, the words repeating over reams of pulp, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull…

Coronavirus coverage ignores US’ structural flaws

This is not yet another coronavirus thinkpiece. I promise. Well, it is, and it isn’t. The Carletonian’s Editor-in-Chief, Katy Gilbertson ’20, reached out to me about writing a political article for my column this week, bemoaning the noticeable drop in political coverage since Washingtonian Sam Kwait-Spitzer ’21 was kicked upstairs…

Making the most of education beyond Carleton

In that fateful email to Carleton students, faculty, staff, and parents last month, President Poskanzer suggested that Carleton is “not just a physical place centered on the Bald Spot; it is also a culture and spirit that transcends campus boundaries and physical proximity.” I found much to value in the…

Reflections from summer research at a funeral home

The following text derives from a lecture I gave at the end of last summer. After working at a Jewish funeral home, designing a map of Jewish places in San Francisco, I spoke before a group of interns and staff at Jewish Bay Area nonprofits sharing my experience. These reflections…

The enemy is hero worship, not “cancel culture”

Recent discussions about Kobe Bryant’s death have brought back to the forefront of my mind an issue I’ve spent a lot of time questioning—but not in the way most news media have spun it. I don’t really care about Bryant as a person. Maybe that’s because I’ve never been a…

Carleton must expand diversity requirements

Carleton, like any self-respecting Liberal Arts college, pays lip service to diversity. That is true inside the classroom as well as outside it. I remember that when I was applying to colleges, Carleton, again like peer institutions, made a big deal of describing its distribution requirements for graduation. They guarantee,…

Publication gatekeeping

Freedom of ideas doesn’t mean what it should mean. At Carleton and other peer institutions, most of them liberal, liberal arts colleges (and I mean “liberal” in the literal sense, valuing liberty), people all the way from administrators to students center the importance of sharing ideas. This is noble in…