Letters and Politics – July 22, 2019

Letters and Politics

A look at burning political issues and debates and their historical context within the US and worldwide, hosted by Mitch Jeserich.

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Eugenics is the science of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population. Early supporters of eugenics believed people inherited mental illness, criminal tendencies and even poverty, and that these conditions … Continued


Letters and Politics

Theory of Poverty and the Illegal Changes to the Asylum Process and Regulations

The Trump administration moved to dramatically limit Central American migrants’ ability to seek asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico, an escalation of the president’s push to stem the flood of border crossers that are severely straining the U.S. immigration system. Under the rule published online on Monday, with limited exceptions, migrants who pass through … Continued


After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation under a system of legislation that it called apartheid. The apartheid system made laws forced the different racial groups to live separately and develop separately, and grossly unequally. It tried to stop all … Continued


States with conservative governments are moving quickly in bringing bills to restrict when a woman can have an abortion. Currently there are about 20 cases concerning abortion restrictions in courts across the country and about 300 bills throughout the state legislatures with similar restrictions. Bringing all these cases to the Supreme Court is part of … Continued


The Farabundo Marti Liberation Front was formed when five politically different organizations joined forces to overthrow the Salvadoran military government. This was preceded by 50 years of military dictatorship supported by the U.S. government and the national oligarchy that kept a vast majority of Salvadoreans in extreme poverty and squalid working and living conditions. The … Continued


Denis Diderot was an 18th-century French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédia along with Jean le Rond d’Alembert. He was an important member of the Age of Enlightenment, who claims the Encyclopédia as its crowning achievement. Diderot used his influence in society to … Continued