Julianne Malveaux

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Counting the Cost

Is there no decency?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, our 45th president once promised that he would be “so presidential that it will be boring.” If only. Instead, he has managed to irk even his Republican allies by wallowing in the muck of name-calling, yet again, belittling a woman for her looks. Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, “45” tweeted, was still “bleeding from her facelift” when he saw her during the New Year’s holiday. He also disparaged Brzezinski’s intelligence and poked fun at her co-host Joe Scarborough. Dozens of Republicans, including leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), have scolded the president on his language in the June 29 tweets. Some have used terms like “civility” and “decency” to distance themselves from his comments.

Counting the Cost

On courtesy—Race, gender and the 45 defensive

Courtesy flew out of the window in Washington parlance a long time ago. The minute a deranged congressman stood up and hollered, “you lie” at a sitting president (this was South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson yelling at former President Barack Obama), we knew that courtesy had taken a vacation.

Counting the Cost

‘Devoid’ at Bethune Cookman University: We must be the Resistance

I could not be more proud of the students at Bethune Cookman University than if I had raised them myself. Responding to the university’s very late selection of Betsy DeVos (hereafter referred to as DeVoid, as she is devoid of good sense, history, literacy, and even courtesy) for the spring commencement speaker, graduating seniors chose to turn their back on a woman who described HBCUs as “pioneers of school choice.” Their repudiation of her very right to be present was well coordinated.

Counting the Cost

Who’s afraid of a shrill conservative?

The shrill conservative Ann Coulter has made headlines because the University of California Berkeley, wouldn’t let her speak at the end of April. Invited by college Republicans, her appearance threatened to incite violence, as activists on the left and on the right prepared to either protest or support her appearance.

Counting the Cost

From factor to failure: What Black leaders can learn from the O’Reilly debacle

Former Fox News channel anchor Bill O’Reilly, the man whose lofty ratings were responsible for the growth of the network, is no longer on the air. Revelations that $13 million had been paid, either by O’Reilly or the network, to women who said they had been sexually harassed repelled millions, some of whom protested outside Fox headquarters and took to the airwaves with their complaints. But it is unlikely that protests or complaints moved Fox to separate themselves from O’Reilly. Instead, it is most likely that the network severed ties with O’Reilly, because advertisers did not want to be associated with a program anchored by a man who seemed to find nothing wrong with sexual harassment.

Counting the Cost

I won’t be silenced by the solar industry

The solar industry wants me to be quiet. I wonder why? As a journalist and political commentator, who covers issues important to the African American community and other marginalized communities, I have taken on powerful forces over the years. I have provided a voice for underrepresented communities and engaged both the private and public sector, and I always strive to be accurate and respectful. After all, how can I demand civility and fairness from others, if I don’t practice it myself?

Counting the Cost

The March unemployment report offers mixed news

Our 45th president has had no trouble claiming the good employment news reported for January and February of this year. In those jobs reports, released on the first Friday of the month, we saw unemployment rates of 4.8 and 4.7 percent. In both of those months, more than 200,000 jobs were created. Forty-five crowed that this data showed how successful his presidency had been, even though he had barely kept his seat in the Oval Office warm, and even though he had done nothing, from a policy perspective, to stake his claim on progress that could only have come from the economic recovery engineered by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Counting the Cost

Trump’s budget cuts hurt the same people that voted for him

If you happened to have voted for the man who now occupies the White House, you may be feeling bamboozled, right about now. The man who said that he wanted to take care of the little people, those who were forgotten by the elites, now wants to cut programs that affect these working-class people, ranging from Legal Aid to Meals on Wheels to housing assistance to job training. He would cut the Environmental Protection Agency by more than 31 percent, leaving more than 3000 workers in the cold. Many of his other budget provisions will call for federal reductions-in-force (RIFs), and these chaotic RIFs may cause instability in some government agencies, since workers can appeal their RIF, or bump other workers out of their jobs.

Counting the Cost

Secret Service and the Trumps—hypocrisy and hubris

The “budget lite” that our 45th president submitted is described as a “budget blueprint to make America Great Again.” Submitted in the third week of March, it trumpets draconian cuts in many federal programs, eliminating some that provide important services, including the African Development Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Inter-American Foundation, the US Trade and Development Agency, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and many others. The cuts are so unfathomable, and so extremely severe, that even some of 45’s allies are biting back.

Counting the Cost

An attack on education

The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act is generating headlines, and the attempt to investigate our 45th president’s Russia connections is of high importance. The specious claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, too, has generated interest, largely because it is unprecedented for one president to accuse another of a felony, and because 45 has absolutely no proof that President Obama has done any such thing. While President Obama, with a multimillion dollar book deal tucked into his pocket, is living his life like its golden, 45 has indulged in several public tantrums, with episodic moments of calm. Too many of us have been riveted to the drama, while there is a more quiet revolution happening in Congress, with the approval of the White House.

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