Articles by: Liz Theoharis

The Poor at the Crossroads

The Poor at the Crossroads

The 54th anniversary of the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., just passed. Dr. King was shot down while organizing low-wage sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. At that time, he was building the Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to organize America’s poor into a force to be reckoned with. In his opposition to the Vietnam War and his promotion of a campaign[Read More…]

by 22/04/2022 Comments are Disabled World
Poverty is the Sin, Not Poor People

Poverty is the Sin, Not Poor People

As if killing the Child Tax Credit, blocking voting rights, gutting key climate legislation, and refusing living wages wasn’t enough, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is now promoting legislation that further punishes the poor and marginalized. Along with Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, he’s introduced the PIPES Act, which undercuts key harm-reduction funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. It arrives with a[Read More…]

by 28/02/2022 1 comment World
The Rise of White Christian Nationalism in USA

The Rise of White Christian Nationalism in USA

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu The world lost a great moral leader this Christmas when Archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away at the age[Read More…]

by 12/01/2022 Comments are Disabled World
The Politics of the Poor in an America on Edge

The Politics of the Poor in an America on Edge

When President Biden first unveiled the Build Back Better agenda, it appeared that this country was on the path to a new war on poverty. In April, he told Congress that “trickle-down economics have never worked” and that it was time to build the economy “from the bottom-up.” This came after the first reconciliation bill of the pandemic included the child tax[Read More…]

by 08/11/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Making Sense of the Eviction Crisis

Making Sense of the Eviction Crisis

The Land of the Free, Where So Many of the Brave Are Homeless. Resisting Evictions Amid a Pandemic Over the past weeks, multiple crises have merged: a crisis of democracy with the most significant attack on voting rights since Reconstruction; a climate crisis with lives and livelihoods upended in the Gulf Coast and the Northeast by extreme weather events and in the West by[Read More…]

by 16/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Generations of Struggle – Lessons on Defending Democracy

Generations of Struggle – Lessons on Defending Democracy

My father, Athan G. Theoharis, passed away on July 3rd. A leading expert on the FBI, he was responsible for exposing the bureau’s widespread abuses of power. He was a loyal husband, dedicated father, scholar, civil libertarian, and voting-rights advocate with an indefatigable commitment to defending democracy. He schooled his children (and anyone who would listen, including scholars, journalists, and activists from a[Read More…]

by 10/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Photo courtesy of PIX11 News

Mother’s Day Tears

One hundred and fifty years ago, in the bloody wake of the Civil War, the abolitionist Julia Ward Howe issued a “Mother’s Day Proclamation.” The world, she wrote, could no longer bear such terrible violence and death. She called on women across the country to “rise up through the ashes and devastation” and come together in the cause of peace.[Read More…]

by 13/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
“The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World”

“The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World”

Fifty-four years ago, standing at the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York City, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his now-famous “Beyond Vietnam” sermon. For the first time in public, he expressed in vehement terms his opposition to the American war in Vietnam. He saw clearly that a foreign policy defined by aggression hurt the poor and dispossessed across the[Read More…]

by 05/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Imperialism
The Lessons of Suffering in a Covid-19 World

The Lessons of Suffering in a Covid-19 World

In June 1990, future South African President Nelson Mandela addressed a joint session of Congress only months after being released from 27 years in a South African apartheid prison. He reminded the political leadership of the United States that “to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation[Read More…]

by 17/02/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Why Martin Luther King Day Should Matter

Why Martin Luther King Day Should Matter

2020 will go down as the deadliest year in American history, significantly due to the devastation delivered by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, count in nearly two trillion dollars in damage from climate events (many caused by, or heightened by, intensifying global warming), a surge of incidents of police violence inflicted on Black and Native peoples, and millions more Americans joining the ranks of the poor even as[Read More…]

by 18/01/2021 1 comment World
 Pandemic Lessons for the Rest of Us Or Vaccine Thinking Applied to All of American Life

 Pandemic Lessons for the Rest of Us Or Vaccine Thinking Applied to All of American Life

Martin Luther King, Jr., offered this all-too-relevant comment on his moment in his 1967 speech “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?”: “The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to[Read More…]

by 14/12/2020 Comments are Disabled World
The Other America

The Other America

The New Politics of the Poor in Joe Biden’s (and Mitch McConnell’s) USA In the two weeks since Election 2020, the country has oscillated between joy and anger, hope and dread in an era of polarization sharpened by the forces of racism, nativism, and hate. Still, truth be told, though the divisive tone of this moment may only be sharpening,[Read More…]

by 17/11/2020 Comments are Disabled World
 The Rise of Christian Nationalism in America

 The Rise of Christian Nationalism in America

On August 26th, during the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence closed out his acceptance speech with a biblical sleight of hand. Speaking before a crowd at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, he exclaimed, “Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire.”[Read More…]

by 28/09/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Which America Will Be Ours After the Pandemic?

Which America Will Be Ours After the Pandemic?

In the summer of 1995, when I was 18, I started visiting Tent City, a temporary encampment in an abandoned lot in northeast Philadelphia. About 40 families had taken up residence in tents, shacks, and other makeshift structures. Among them were people of various races, ages, and sexual orientations, all homeless and fighting for the right to live. Tent City was set up[Read More…]

by 05/06/2020 Comments are Disabled World
 Inequality and the Coronavirus

 Inequality and the Coronavirus

My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt’s temperature every night because she shared[Read More…]

by 22/04/2020 Comments are Disabled World