Links for 5/9/19

In the category "great news," Dave Chappelle will be receiving this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Chappelle is, hands down, one of the funniest comedians to be sure, but also one of the most incisive. His portrayal of Clayton Bigsby, a blind KKK leader who does not know he is himself black, is one of the most brilliant treatments of race ever: [Editor's note: The following link contains language that may be offensive to some viewers]

Also at the Post, Dana Milbank floats the idea of paying reparations to … Donald Trump, but only if he retires from office. My only edit would be to note that Oliver Cromwell was eventually beheaded, but he died of natural causes and the abuse was heaped on his corpse two years later, so I would not hold him up as an example of someone who "suffered."

At America, Fr. Lou Cameli on celibacy, examined on its own merits with lucidity and faith. Too many on the left have tried to suggest that ending celibacy is a cure for the sex abuse crisis, just as those on the right suggest that ridding the church of gay clergy is the cure. The three issues are distinct, and it is refreshing to see celibacy seen here not as some pie-in-the-sky act of an heroic priesthood, but as a way of being in the world that gives concrete witness to the Gospels.

At New York Magazine, Renato Maria Martino has distanced himself from Steve Bannon and his Dignitatis Humanae Institute. This is important because, heretofore, Martino had been a patron of the organization.

Alex Cora, the manager of the Boston Red Sox, is going to skip the team's visit to the White House today. Cora is a Puerto Rican and has been very involved in raising money to help rebuild the island that Trump takes special delight in abusing. Many of Cora's players are skipping the trip also. I do not look to athletes or actors for political advice, but we can all commend Cora for taking a principled stand.

At the Working Class Perspectives blog, John Russo looks at the class issues, and need for real empathy, when promoting environmental policies like the Green New Deal. If the Democrats get this right, they can become a majority party for a generation. If they don't, they will help reelect Donald Trump with all the negative consequences for the environment his reelection would portend.

While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez garners all the attention, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, might prove the greater force in Congress. Politico has the story. Whatever the needs of her district, her strong commitment to abortion rights prevents her from being a model for a more centrist Democratic Party: Back in February I called attention to the work of Lee Drutman that indicates the route to long-term majority status is to be liberal on economic issues and moderate on social ones.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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