The Crisis Is Real, But We Have a Secret Weapon

Last Sunday, I wrote an op-ed on the COVID-19 crisis for the local newspaper in my childhood hometown, the Hazleton Standard-Speaker:

I’m writing from Los Angeles, where a Navy hospital ship is docked in the port, helping to treat the overwhelming surge of coronavirus patients flooding our health care system. I never thought I’d see such a day, but it’s here. And it’s a warning that we ignore at our peril.

The crisis is real. As of today, over 15,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. That’s five times the death toll on 9/11. In the coming weeks, millions will get the virus. We will lose more Americans than we did in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam combined.

But there is good news. Here in LA, the growth rate is starting to slow. In Italy where it was the worst, it is slowing significantly. In east Asia where it all began, the peak is far behind them, and the economy is starting to bounce back. If we can slow the growth rate across the United States, we can save hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of lives.

I believe we can do it. But it’s going to require an unexpected weapon: compassion.

You can read the rest on the Standard-Speaker website if you have a subscription or if you want to buy a one-day subscription for $1.

The Dream of a New Home: Where Immigrants Live and What It Says About Us

Audiences are a moving target.

It’s time, once again, to catch up with the shifting platforms for public debate. And so, I’ve begun writing Twitter threads.

If you’re not a Twitter person, never fear: I will post my threads here as well.

First up is a meditation on what it means to assimilate into a new land, written a few weeks ago to celebrate Thanksgiving:

Continue reading “The Dream of a New Home: Where Immigrants Live and What It Says About Us”

Our American Discourse, Ep. 2: Migrant Entrepreneurs

Immigrants exist between two worlds: their country of origin and their new home. In this nexus lies unique challenges—and opportunities. The immigrant communities who maintain bonds with their origin, or “diasporas,” can bring what they have learned back with them. They can transform developing nations and spur economic growth with their entrepreneurship. They can bridge the divide between the prosperous and the poor—and inspire lasting change.

In this episode, we explore these transformative individuals with Jennifer Brinkerhoff.

Professor Brinkerhoff is Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the George Washington University, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Special Initiatives in the Elliott School of International Affairs. In her international development research, consulting, and teaching, she has worked with the Africa Diaspora Policy Centre, the Asia Development Bank, the MacArthur Foundation, the Migration Policy Institute, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nordic Africa Institute, the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. State Department, and the World Bank. She has recently been named a Fellow of the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration.

Listen to the individual episodes of the Our American Discourse above by clicking on the orange play arrow, or subscribe at iTunesSoundcloud, or Google Play.

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“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey HicksJonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey Hedden.

Listen to Me Discuss Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Immigration, and More!

Earlier this week, I was a guest on The Adam Thompson Show, a political talk show on KKRP 1610 AM radio. We covered the events of the day: Ferguson, the “chokehold” verdict (which had just been announced an hour before we taped the show), President Obama’s executive actions, and even Ebola and ISIS. It’s a jam-packed show, and my segment begins around the 12-minute mark:

You can also download it on iTunes!

Quote of the Day: Mike Huckabee

We’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie, you have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant, you can’t sit out there with everyone else.

And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment, and you have to just say, “I probably would, too. If fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder, had it been me.”

— Mike Huckabee