High Fashion and "Class Appropriation": How Much is Too Much?

While shopping in Boston over fall break, I stepped into The Frye Company and wandered around the high-end footwear store looking at various men’s boots. Stopping at a pair labeled “Prison Boot,” I could not help noticing the price. They were $378.00. I put them back and continued browsing. The next pair I found was called “The Union Worker Boot”—priced at $298.00. The irony was not lost on me. There is little chance that Frye sells these boots to their namesakes. It markets them to a wealthy clientele.

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Why So Many Brazilians Support the Far-Right Candidate

I neither support nor condone many of Jair Bolsonaro’s views, especially those related to homosexuals, people of color, minorities, and women. I believe that Brazil’s ethnic diversity and national pride in its rich cultural heritage define us as a nation. I also believe, however,  that over the past few years it has become a completely different country. After moving to Rio de Janeiro in 2013, I witnessed first-hand the rapid decline in Brazil’s economy. Facing its longest recession in history, the economy suffered eight consecutive quarters of shrinkage. The combination of economic decline, a fearful spike in crime -- with a record-high homicide count of 63,880 people in 2017 -- and corrupt politicians makes it safe to say that Brazil is in a crisis. For these reasons, Brazilian citizens are looking for a last resort, someone to change the country’s course. Many, including myself, believe that right-wing populist candidate Jair Bolsonaro is our only hope.

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Henry Ossawa Tanner and Gateway, Tangier

As the age-old adage goes, “Every painter paints himself.” Countless artists including Michelangelo, Raphael, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and even Lucien Freud have revealed as much. If painters paint themselves, then paintings say something of real consequence about their biographies.

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Extreme Speech and the American Civil Liberties Union

The alt-right and white nationalist rallies of August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia brought about a period of reflection and self-examination for much of the nation. The citizens of Charlottesville were faced with the ugly aftertaste of brawls and a fatal vehicular attack. Politicians were faced with the need to address a president who seemed unable to unequivocally condemn white nationalist protesters. Americans were confronted with an ugly ideology, emboldened, rearing its head in public. But one of the biggest episodes of soul-searching, and one of the most overlooked, happened within the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Where to Begin: Thoughts on a Publication Going Forward

My goals as Editor-in-Chief of the Alexander Hamilton Institute’s student-run publication Enquiry are to nurture student authors and to publish exceptional writing on political, economic, and cultural issues from differing voices. I want staff writers and guest writers from “paleo to progressive” to describe the world from a perspective that is uncommon, significant, well reasoned, and profound. Their power will come from their ability to look at important issues cogently and dispassionately, relying not only on current modes of thinking, but also on their unique views. At Enquiry, as our mission statement attests, “you will find no shouting matches, no sloganeering. The goal is to elevate the discussion, not to end it. Here, no debates are over and settled, and no ideas are safe from criticism.” We take all who want to enter the realm of ideas and conversation as welcome guests. 

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A Dynamic Conversation Between Rices

In last week’s “Common Ground” dialogue, Condoleezza Rice and Susan Rice disagreed on relations with Iran, but both said their parents instilled the need to be twice as good as everyone else in order to succeed. There was no comparison between the Common Ground event last fall, featuring Karl Rove and David Axelrod, and this one. The international affairs experts were not afraid to speak their minds, and that dynamic made their discussion interesting and engaging.

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