Current Liberation Movements

History 2310 – Liberation Movements Today & Their Opposite

Directions: Complete the reading listed below. Then type out your answers to the questions. You should submit your answers to Canvass and be prepared to discuss your answers to these questions in class on the day they are due.

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For this assignment, consider two intertwined features of contemporary American politics and culture: the ongoing and broadening push for greater rights and representation by minority groups and/or certain out-groups AND a politically rightest counter-reaction. We see this playing out regularly in the many tensions of our formal left-right political dialogue and in our broader culture. Memories of the past play a particularly important role in this ongoing and unfolding struggle. ON the one hand, the current push for expanding rights and an embrace of intersectionality owes a clear debt to past efforts of the civil rights and liberation movements of the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. ON the other hand, the desire on the right to “make America great again” is a siren call to return to a very different past than the one which celebrates the great achievements of civil rights icons and street rebels of an earlier era.

For this assignment, do the following:
1) chose a contemporary movement and/or issue that is connected to the past liberation struggles we have examined (from the New Women of the 1920s, to the mainstream civil rights movement, to the liberatory action of the sixties and early seventies). OR, alternatively, chose a current right-leaning or right-wing movement that expresses discontent with the push for greater inclusion of minority groups as full civil, political, and cultural equals in the broader American polity.

2) next, locate a current news story that addresses this topic. This can be a straightforward news piece or an opinion article.

3) Write a brief paragraph, summarizing the article and issue, making sure to ALSO detailing how this particular moment is tied to an examination of our past liberation struggles.

4) Finally, assess who, how, and why certain contemporary groups oppose this action, issue, or contemporary movement.

Below is a list of possible movements, topics, issues you might examine:

(left-leaning movements)

#BlackLivesMatter movement
#MeToo
Athletes taking a knee during national anthems
Efforts for marriage equality and broader civil rights for the LGBTQ community
Prisoner rights movements (including prison abolition)
The progressive prosecutor movement
United We Dream (supporting DACA)
Protesting the separation of immigrant families at the southern border of the US
Social Democrats (like Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez)
Race and representation in the media (especially Hollywood)
Moms Demand Action
Global Climate Change (A Green New Deal)

(Right-leaning & right-wing movements)

Patriot Movement (or Patriot Militia Movement) sovereign citizen movement
Proud Boys, Unite the Right
Incel Movement
League of the South
One Million Moms
Efforts to end abortion – overturn legal protections and end access to clinics
MAGA (Make America Great Again)

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