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Michelle and Barack Obama at an inauguration ball in January 2009
Photograph: Gary Hershorn/Reuters/Corbis
A Promised Land by Barack Obama review – an impressive but incomplete memoir


Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP
US minority voters and the future of the Republican party


Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images
Gary Younge on minority voters and the future of the Republican party
Rashly Filling the Void
He is the product of a dislocated society. He is a dispossessed and disinherited man; he is all of this, and he lives amid the greatest possible plenty on earth and he is looking and feeling for a way out. Whether he’ll follow some gaudy, hysterical leader who’ll promise rashly to fill the void in him, or whether he’ll come to an understanding with the millions of his fellow workers…depends upon the future drift of events in America.The “drift of events in America” over the last eighty years has led us to this place. A “gaudy, hysterical leader [promising] rashly to fill the void”—the precariousness of this particular moment is clear. It extends beyond the familiar electoral frontiers of economic inequality, foreign policy, reproductive rights, and the standard fissures of race and xenophobia to the fundamental future for American democracy itself. At other times, this might be understood as catastrophizing; this time, the catastrophe is actually upon us. The violations of what once passed for democratic norms—encouraging political violence, disabling the electoral infrastructure, refusing to respect the result—are not a threat but a reality.Fascism arrives as your friend.It will restore your honour,make you feel proud…remind you of how great you once were. Granting the emotional state, the tensity, the fear, the hate, the impatience, the sense of exclusion, the ache for violent action, the emotional and cultural hunger, Bigger Thomas, conditioned as his organism is, will not become an ardent, or even a lukewarm, supporter of the status quo.

 State troopers beat civil rights protesters in Selma, Alabama on 7 March 1965. Photograph: Unknown/AP
Counted out: Trump's desperate fight to stop the minority vote
In March 1965, ABC interrupted a showing of its Sunday-night movie – Judgment at Nuremberg, a courtroom drama about Nazi war crimes – to show shocking footage from Selma, Alabama, where mostly Black protesters were being beaten bloody by mounted police with billy clubs as they tried to cross Edmund Pettus bridge into the city, demanding the right to vote.
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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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