In the News

A year ago this week, a white man named Garry from North Carolina called C-SPAN to talk to a black guest about his racial prejudices. He confessed that he feared black people and wondered aloud how he might change. The guest, Heather McGhee, the president of Demos, a progressive public policy organization that advocates for equality, listened thoughtfully, nodding slowly.

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“Class has always been racially determined in this country,” Heather McGhee, president of the left-leaning public policy group Demos, told me. “In a country where you can have a credo of equality and social mobility and the ability of any man to rise as far as his talents and drive can take him, that has always had to be put in relative terms.” [...]

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The share of student loan borrowers who entered repayment owing $20,000 or more doubled — from 20% to 40% — between 2002 and 2014, according to a report published Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. What’s more, the share of borrowers entering repayment with $50,000 or more in debt tripled during the same period, the CFPB report found, jumping from 5% to 16%.

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After 9/11, George W. Bush turned immigration into a national security issue. He created the ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, folding them both into the Department of Homeland Security. It was based “on the myth that our country would be more safe if we cracked down on immigration,” Katherine Culliton-González, a senior counsel for the left-leaning think tank Demos, told the New Republic. “ICE became part of this national security agency.”

The groups have stepped up their game, and more recently have targeted counties and states known to play crucial roles in elections. They also began attracting the attention of major voting rights groups like Demos and the League of Women Voters, which sought to intervene in the lawsuits and help the elections officials put up more of a fight.

Two years ago, 54 percent of Republicans told Pew colleges had a positive impact on the direction of the country, according to that survey. That fell to 43 percent last year and 36 percent this year. Democrats, meanwhile, have gradually become more positive about higher education, with 72 percent this year viewing higher ed as having a positive effect, up from 65 percent in 2010.

Even so, observers on both the left and the right said the Education Next findings are interesting but not necessarily surprising.

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Back in February of 2016, Ian Haney-López and Heather McGhee urged Bernie Sanders to adopt this style of argument as a means to improve his standing with voters of color in the Democratic primary.

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Back in February of 2016, Ian Haney-López and Heather McGhee urged Bernie Sanders to adopt this style of argument as a means to improve his standing with voters of color in the Democratic primary.

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I’ve met a lot of white people who believe that black students get so much financial aid and scholarships that they don’t have to pay for college. [...]

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But the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an African-American trade union group, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, and Larry Harmon, a man who was purged from the rolls, are suing the state over the law.