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‘In America, the gap between rich and poor and black and white is growing.’ Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans being arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 9 July 2016.
Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters
The right is emboldened, yes. But it’s not in the ascendancy
When there’s a cloud this large and foreboding no lining, silver or otherwise, will suffice. This was a year in which vulgarity, divisiveness and exclusion won – a triumph for dystopian visions of race, nation and ethnicity. Those thought dangerous and marginal are now not only mainstream, they have power. Immigrants and minorities are fearful, bigots are emboldened, discourse is coarsened. Progressive alternatives, while available, have yet to find a coherent electoral voice. You can polish this turd of a year all you like – it won’t stop it stinking to high heaven.


Guardian staff hit the phones.
Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian
'Oh, hello: I was hoping you'd be Owen Jones'
As seasonal rituals go, the annual Guardian Christmas charity telethon is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. Journalists staff the phones, surrounded by mince pies, mulled wine and nibbles, and readers call in with their contributions.
Obama supporters cheer while watching the returns prior to his election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)
The Deferred Dream of Barack Obama
When Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina primary in 2008, the crowds chanted, “Race doesn’t matter!” Seven years later, Obama was back in the state singing “Amazing Grace” after a white supremacist, Dylann Roof, walked into a church and shot nine black people dead, hoping, he had said, to ignite a race war. A few months earlier, Michael Slager, a white policeman in Charleston, fatally shot Walter Scott, a black man, in the back after he’d been stopped for having a broken taillight. Slager was recently tried before a jury of 11 whites and one African American; one white juror held out against a verdict of guilty, and a mistrial was declared.

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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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