Chlece Neal’s client was a 14-year-old father seeking a shared custody agreement with his infant’s 16-year-old mother. The 8th grader wasn’t eligible for assistance from Legal Aid because his family’s annual income exceeded 125% of the federal poverty line, about $30k a year for a family of four. However, traditional law firms start billing at $250 to $300 an hour, many times what he could afford.

He wasn’t alone. Each year millions face challenges financing legal services. Unlike the criminal justice system, people aren’t entitled to representation in US civil courts, even though the consequences are often equally dire —…

Day 1: Monkeys!

I’m awake in my cabin in the Amazon rainforest at 6:00am. The relentless downpour on our tin roof on top of the high humidity and excitement of being here has me up before dawn. So much happened yesterday that I know if I don’t write it down now I’ll forget. This article is a journal of sorts documenting some of what I did, saw, ate, and learned while living in a jungle wildlife refuge for a week.

The Democratic Party is too powerful. In the last century it has always selected one of the two candidates voters can choose for president. However, voters don’t directly elect the Democratic nominee. They vote for one of 3,768 delegates who, at the Democratic National Convention, cast a vote alongside another 764 superdelegates — Democratic Party insiders such as activists and officials (some elected) who are free to support whichever candidate they like.

This primary system would be fairer if there were many competing parties. However, since there are — and will likely only ever betwo parties under our…

Voting rights march for progress, photo credit Lauren Shiplett / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In a 1995 interview for his book Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama, then a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, called for a society based on collectivism and the common good. He argued not just for the Democratic Party’s popular policies of the day but also a type of government, a vision for America, that transcends parties and harkens back to the broader notion of Western democracy, ‘small d’ democracy, wherein there’s a distinct separation of powers between the branches of government, human and civil rights guarantee freedom for everyone, and, most importantly, free and fair elections…

There’s a semantic argument replaying across the country in dive bars and over Thanksgiving dinner tables wherein a perceived more woke minority attempts to convince a white person they cannot experience racism because racism is defined as a historically disempowered group being discriminated against based on their race and the white race has never been historically disempowered. …

I like to play and watch video games online. For years now, I’ve followed the Twitch stream of one of my favorite gamers, a white man whom I would watch play online for hours because he was arguably the best in the world at a game I enjoy.

Every day he or the few players on his stream that afternoon would casually use terms like ‘gay,’ ‘fairy,’ ‘faggot,’ and ‘nigga’ as joking insults or commentary. For months I overlooked these — as many blacks, queers, and others often do to participate in this space — until I finally grew annoyed…

Don McKinnon

Software Engineer and aspiring fantasy writer living in Brooklyn

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