Articles by: Rebecca Gordon

Campaigning on Planet A

Campaigning on Planet A

“Look, folks, the air quality is in the red zone today. The EPA says that means people with lung or heart issues should avoid prolonged activity outdoors.” That was J.R. de Vera, one of two directors of UNITE-HERE!’s independent expenditure campaign to elect Biden and Harris in Reno, Nevada. UNITE-HERE! is a union representing 300,000 workers in the hospitality industry — that[Read More…]

by October 20, 2020 World
Why Does Essential Work Pay So Little… And Cost So Much?

Why Does Essential Work Pay So Little… And Cost So Much?

In two weeks, my partner and I were supposed to leave San Francisco for Reno, Nevada, where we’d be spending the next three months focused on the 2020 presidential election. As we did in 2018, we’d be working with UNITE-HERE, the hospitality industry union, only this time on the campaign to drive Donald Trump from office. Now, however, we’re not so sure[Read More…]

by July 24, 2020 World
The Sudden Descent of the United States

The Sudden Descent of the United States

 You know that feeling when you trip on the street and instantly sense that you’re about to crash hard and there’s no way to prevent it? As gravity has its way with you, all you can do is watch yourself going down. Yeah, that feeling. I had it the other day on my way to a Black Lives Matter demonstration when I[Read More…]

by July 1, 2020 World
 On Being Addicted to Trump and His Press Conferences

 On Being Addicted to Trump and His Press Conferences

My partner and I have been fighting about politics since we met in 1965. I was 13. She was 18 and my summer camp counselor. (It was another 14 years before we became a couple.) We spent that first summer arguing about the Vietnam War. I was convinced that the U.S. never should have gotten involved there. Though she agreed,[Read More…]

by April 20, 2020 World
 The Future May Be Female But the Pandemic Is Patriarchal

 The Future May Be Female But the Pandemic Is Patriarchal

Before I found myself “sheltering in place,” this article was to be about women’s actions around the world to mark March 8th, International Women’s Day. From Pakistan to Chile, women in their millions filled the streets, demanding that we be able to control our bodies and our lives. Women came out in Iraq and Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Peru, the Philippines and Malaysia. In some[Read More…]

by March 31, 2020 Patriarchy
 “The Right to Do Whatever I Want as President”

 “The Right to Do Whatever I Want as President”

On February 5th, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In other words, Trump’s pre-election boast that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters” proved something more than high-flown hyperbole. (To be fair, he did lose one Republican “voter” in the Senate[Read More…]

by February 19, 2020 World
One Cheer for the Deep State

One Cheer for the Deep State

This seems like a strange moment to be writing about “the deep state” with the country entering a new phase of open and obvious aboveground chaos and instability. Just as we had gotten used to the fact that the president is, in effect, under congressional indictment, just as we had settled into a more or less stable stalemate over when (and if) the[Read More…]

by January 15, 2020 World
Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough- But Trump Has Done Much Worse

Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough- But Trump Has Done Much Worse

Recently a friend who follows the news a bit less obsessively than I do said, “I thought George W. Bush was bad, but it seems like Donald Trump is even worse. What do you think?” “Well,” I replied, “in terms of causing death and destruction, I suspect Bush still has the edge.” In fact, the U.S.-led forever wars begun under the[Read More…]

by October 16, 2019 World
How the U.S. Created the Central American Immigration Crisis

How the U.S. Created the Central American Immigration Crisis

 It’s hard to believe that more than four years have passed since the police shot Amílcar Pérez-López a few blocks from my house in San Francisco’s Mission District. He was an immigrant, 20 years old, and his remittances were the sole support for his mother and siblings in Guatemala. On February 26, 2015, two undercover police officers shot him six times[Read More…]

by August 15, 2019 Human Rights
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed

I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed

The Personal Is Still Political – And It’s Planetary, Too I have never said this publicly before, but in December 1974 I had an abortion. I was 22 years old, living in a cold, dark house in Portland, Oregon, spending my days huddled in front of a wood stove trying to finish my undergraduate senior thesis. I did not want[Read More…]

by July 15, 2019 Patriarchy
Clemency for the Lowly –  Free Passes for the Mighty 

Clemency for the Lowly –  Free Passes for the Mighty 

Memorial Day has come and gone and President Trump did not issue his pardons after all. There was substantial evidence that he was planning to use the yearly moment honoring the country’s war dead to grant executive clemency to several U.S. soldiers and at least one military contractor. All have been accused, and one already convicted, of crimes in the never-ending war on[Read More…]

by June 7, 2019 World
Of Autocrats and Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa | Rebecca Gordon

Of Autocrats and Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa | Rebecca Gordon

“Al-Shebab,” said my student Jerry early in the fall 2010 semester. “We’re calling our small group al-Shebab. It means ‘The Youth.’” From his name alone, I wouldn’t have guessed his background, but he was proud of his family’s Egyptian roots and had convinced his classmates to give their group an Arabic name. As usually happens when the semester ends and[Read More…]

by May 3, 2019 World
John Bolton and Mike Pompeo Defy the International Criminal Court

John Bolton and Mike Pompeo Defy the International Criminal Court

  Events just fly by in the ever-accelerating rush of Trump Time, so it’s easy enough to miss important ones in the chaos. Paul Manafort is sentenced twice and indicted a third time! Whoosh! Gone! The Senate agrees with the House that the United States should stop supporting Saudi Arabia in Yemen (and Mitch McConnell calls this attempt to extricate the country from cooperation in[Read More…]

by March 26, 2019 World
Where Will the National Guard Be Sent in 2019?

Where Will the National Guard Be Sent in 2019?

  The Uses of a Well-Regulated Militia by an Unregulated President A young friend is seriously considering joining her state’s National Guard. She’s a world-class athlete, but also a working-class woman from a rural background competing in a rich person’s sport. Between seasons, she works for a local farm and auctioneer to put together the money for equipment and travel.[Read More…]

by February 11, 2019 Imperialism
When All the World’s a War…  And All the Men and Women Merely Soldiers 

When All the World’s a War…  And All the Men and Women Merely Soldiers 

  Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been fighting a “war on terror.” Real soldiers have been deployed to distant lands; real cluster bombs and white phosphorus have been used; real cruise missiles have been launched; the first MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, has been dropped; and real cities have been reduced to rubble. In revenge[Read More…]

by August 16, 2017 Imperialism
The Forgotten War In Yemen  

The Forgotten War In Yemen  

The long national nightmare that was the 2016 presidential election is finally over. Now, we’re facing a worse terror: the reality of a Trump presidency. Donald Trump has already promised to nominate a segregationist attorney general, a national security adviser who is a raging Islamophobe, a secretary of education who doesn’t believe in public schools, and a secretary of defense whose sobriquet is “Mad Dog.” How[Read More…]

by December 12, 2016 World
What Does It Mean When War Hawks Say, “Never Trump”? 

What Does It Mean When War Hawks Say, “Never Trump”? 

It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happening more and more frequently. The most recent example: we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men — and a few women — who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush.[Read More…]

by August 22, 2016 Imperialism
The Trojan Drone: An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised As Technological Advance 

The Trojan Drone: An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised As Technological Advance 

Think of it as the Trojan Drone, the ultimate techno-weapon of American warfare in these years, a single remotely operated plane sent to take out a single key figure. It’s a shiny video game for grown ups — a Mortal Kombator Call of Duty where the animated enemies bleed real blood. Just like the giant wooden horse the Greeks convinced the Trojans to[Read More…]

by July 18, 2016 Imperialism