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political violence


  • Must the Capitol Riots be Included in the Legacy of American Dissent?

    by Ralph Young

    Teachers of history might feel a disconnect between praising American traditions of dissent and condemning the Capitol riots. They shouldn't. Historical evaluation of the grievances of dissenters, whatever their methods, finds real grievances, not lies, at the root of dissent.


  • January 6, 2021: A Day of Populist Transgression

    by Robert A. Schneider

    The Capitol riot included a small core of actors bent on destruction, with many more along for the ride reveling in a moment of transgression. In this way, it was a microcosm of the Trumpian movement that, now unleashed, will be difficult to contain.



  • The 150-Year-Old Ku Klux Klan Act Being Used Against Trump In Capitol Attack

    Ulysses S. Grant championed legislation to apply the power of the federal government against armed conspiracies to prevent the exercise of the vote. A Mississippi Congressman is now suing Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani under a provision of the law that allows victims to file civil lawsuits against conspirators.


  • Political Violence: Still as American as Cherry Pie

    by Alan J. Singer

    SNCC leader H. Rap Brown declared that violence was "American as cherry pie" in 1967. Though his remarks were scorned then, he was correct, and no movement for justice can succeed without acknowledging it.   



  • Will Insurrection Lead to Terrorism?

    by Martha Crenshaw

    An expert on terrorism and political violence looks to other examples of insurrection to ask what the hardcore extremists at the center of the Capitol riots are likely to do next. Such groups and the recruits they gained on January 6 are likely to become more isolated, but more extreme, and have access to guns unlike any other extremists in the world.



  • Movie at the Ellipse: A Study in Fascist Propaganda

    by Jason Stanley

    Not enough attention has been paid to the video shown to spectators at Donald Trump's January 6th "Save America" rally. A close look shows it to be a work of propaganda firmly in the tradition of fascism. 



  • The Case for a Third Reconstruction

    by Manisha Sinha

    During their brief hold on power, so-called "Radical Republicans" used their power to build multiracial democracy in the South and punish white supremacist terrorism. We face the same challenges today and must learn from and complete the work begun in Reconstruction and renewed by the modern Civil Rights movement.



  • January 6: Not Who We Are?

    Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson discusses the Capitol riots, arguing that violence has long been a part of the battle for political legitimacy and authority in America. 



  • Only Accountability Will Allow the U.S. to Move Forward

    by Mitch Landrieu

    Full accountability for the Capitol Riot is essential lest white supremacists and other extremists take the lesson that their actions are accepted and permitted. The white supremacist massacres of the post-Reconstruction period show that moving on without accountability is impossible. 


  • Democracy, Violence, and the Legacy of the American Revolution

    by David W. Houpt

    Although many of the Capitol rioters claimed to defend the Constitution, their actions reflect ideas derived from the Revolutionary period that the people have the right to resist tyranny by force. The Constitution sought to check that impulse by establishing a representative republic and a cultural bargain to live by the results of elections, but the two ideas have never been resolved.



  • When the Threat of Political Violence Is Real

    by Joanne B. Freeman

    Republican calls for unity refuse to claim responsibility and in some cases level the threat of further violence to bully colleagues out of holding Trump and his allies accountable for the Capitol riots of January 6. This is reminiscent of the climate of threat and violence in Congress in the 19th century ahead of the Civil War.



  • What Americans Across the Political Spectrum Got Wrong About the Attempted Insurrection

    by Corrie Decker and Elisabeth McMahon

    American reactions to the Capitol insurrection made implicit and explicit comparisons to the developing world, reflecting the way that American exceptionalism has grown out of the Enlightenment's hierarchical and racist ranking of civilizations with Europe (and America) on top and Africa at the bottom. 



  • The Persistence of Hate In American Politics

    After Charlottesville, the historian Joan Wallach Scott wanted to find out how societies face up to their past—and why some fail. Aryeh Neier reviews Scott's comparative history of the Nuremberg Trials, the South African Truth and Reconciliation effort, and the debate over reparations to African Americans for slavery and Jim Crow. 



  • Out of the Barrel of a Gun

    The resurgent militia movement and renewed attention to the threat of political violence compels a reckoning with the vast number of firearms in America and with the political significance of guns. 



  • Reflections On An Imploding Empire

    by Russell Rickford

    Progressive dissidents must meet the moment of Biden's inauguration by not settling for what liberal politicians offer on economic justice, human rights, environment, labor, and health. 



  • My Sister Was Disappeared 43 Years Ago

    A writer became the legally-designated recipient of his sister's remains after she was killed by Argentina's military dictatorship during the nation's Dirty War. The experience led him to confront how a society suppresses the knowledge of political violence.