Category: Progressives

Senator J. William Fulbright Was a Complicated Contradiction in Ideals

Senator J. William Fulbright Was a Complicated Contradiction in Ideals

FAYETTEVILLE- Slavery is America's original sin, and ever since 1776, race has consequentially been the most divisive issue in the nation. As one might expect, even the greatest of American heroes have found themselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to issues of race.

The late Senator J. William Fulbright is no exception. His legacy is one just as complicated as those belonging to the slave-owning founding fathers. He was every bit as paradoxical as Thomas Jefferson, an individual who coined the phrase "all men are created equal" while also having a slave as his mistress.

This past weekend, as a Fulbright alumnus, I attended the Fulbright Program's conference "Building Bridges Through Exchange" at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. During the event, I led a world cafe (audio here) on the current state of journalism.

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The Patriotic Dissenter is Proud to Announce His New Book for Sale!

The Patriotic Dissenter is Proud to Announce His New Book for Sale!
The Blogger here at The Patriotic Dissenter has authored a new book! No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry You can get it on Amazon right here in paperback! And in E-book format as well! In “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets” Paul M.... Read more »

Martellus Bennett Believes Athletes Still Fear Speaking Out on Issues (Exclusive)

Martellus Bennett Believes Athletes Still Fear Speaking Out on Issues (Exclusive)
While it's pretty clear now that Colin Kaepernick isn't coming back to the National Football League, the powerful impact that he made will be long-lasting. His decision to take a knee during the national anthem, as a gesture of protest against brutality and systemic racism within law enforcement, may ultimately pave the way for more football players to eventually speak out on the issues of the day while still active in their playing careers. Former Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, in town this past week to do a public reading of his new children's book "Dear Black Boy," doesn't believe that day is here yet though. "No, that fear is still there," Bennett responded when we put this question to him during our exclusive conversation at Open Books, a literacy non-profit in the west loop...
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Hesburgh is the Kind of Figure we Badly Need in these Deeply Divisive Times

Hesburgh is the Kind of Figure we Badly Need in these Deeply Divisive Times

Current Mayor Pete Buttigieg isn't the first un-classifiable nationally relevant political figure to live and work in South Bend, Indiana. "Hesburgh," a new documentary opening at the Music Box Theatre on Saturday, chronicles the life of long-time president of the University of Notre Dame and America's most well-known priest—Rev. Theodore Hesburgh.

Colloquially known as "Father Ted," Hesburgh was a lot like "Mayor Pete," a South Bend political figure driven by faith, ideals and a motivation to do what is right above what is currently politically viable. Both men are/were complex, and that's what makes them interesting.

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Legalized Sports Gambling Could Help State Debts Says Rep Mike Zalewski

Legalized Sports Gambling Could Help State Debts Says Rep Mike Zalewski

Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee Chairman Mike Zalewksi, State Representative for the 23rd district, is spearheading the initiatives to get sports gambling legalized in the state. If it all works out and goes according to plan, with no unforeseen hurdles along the way, legal sports gaming could be here by the next Super Bowl

Zalewski is working with state Rep. Bob Rita to lead House discussions on this issue. The process began at the same time that March Madness/the NCAA Tournament, one of the biggest and most lucrative sports wagering events of the calendar, began.

We had a telephone exclusive with Zalewski, and you can hear that conversation below:

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Boston Red Sox Show Financial Support for Anti-Bullying Campaign

Boston Red Sox Show Financial Support for Anti-Bullying Campaign
When it comes to social justice, the Boston Red Sox are a franchise with a very troubled history. They even had to rename the street adjacent to their home stadium of Fenway Park, because it had honored a former team owner who resisted efforts to integrate baseball back in the 1950s. Racist incidents involving their fan base in recent years have been well documented. However, last week saw the Boston Red Sox position themselves on the right side of history. And there's no better time than the World Series to get a positive message out there, as more eyeballs will be upon the club...
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Chicago Bears Convey Progress on the Field, and Towards Social Justice

Chicago Bears Convey Progress on the Field, and Towards Social Justice
This September, the Chicago Bears are achieving progress both on and off the field. The Monsters of the Midway are first in the standings of their respective division, with a very favorable opportunity to move to a surprising 3-1 start on Sunday. In terms of standing for betterment of the community, Chicago is also first, as they became the initial NFL team to maximize the NFL’s new social justice initiative. The team announced last week that the organization will commit $500,000 toward social justice initiatives in the city of Chicago, with a focus on education and community police relations....

Patriotism is Getting Hijacked by the MAGA Scoundrels

Patriotism is Getting Hijacked by the MAGA Scoundrels
“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” - Samuel Johnson, 1775 While historians are unsure what the exact context was of Johnson's quote was, and who his verbal dagger was pointed towards, the idea holds true more today than ever. In 2018 America, patriotism is being hijacked by those who want to use the flag as a cover over their racism, hatred and bigotry. They chant slogans like #AmericaFirst #MAGA (Make America Great Again) and #BuildThatWall...

Angry About School Shootings? Join the Race Against Gun Violence

Angry About School Shootings? Join the Race Against Gun Violence
After the Parkland, Florida massacre on St. Valentine’s Day, we saw a true sea change in America regarding the issue of gun violence. Our nation became very activated, and the message conveyed was loud and clear- we as citizens WANT REAL COMMON SENSE GUN LAWS NOW! Unfortunately, Congress in Washington D.C. did not listen to act, and between the Parkland massacre and the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting last week, the federal government still didn’t move on what is truly the biggest public health crisis facing our country. It’s clear that the only way real policy change regarding gun violence comes is at the polls, and that’s still six months away...
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Real Time with Bill Maher: Worst Season Ever?

Real Time with Bill Maher: Worst Season Ever?
There is a whole lot to like about the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher, and this season has certainly had plenty of exceptional moments. When the series is on point, it can truly be a joy to watch. However, when it’s off the mark, it can just be a brutal train wreck that offends every fiber of your being. Real Time, at its core is about the writers. That’s what it makes it so hit or miss, the writing is so much more important than the interview guests, the panel or even Maher himself. Real Time is off this week, and maybe that’s a good thing, perhaps they can regroup and recover, because this season has been the worst in recent memory...