Bad drought and dead trout tragedy foreseeable and avoidable

BY: - June 25, 2021

Well, here we are. The brown trout are disappearing from Montana’s fabled streams and rivers and all of Montana’s coldwater fisheries may soon follow. Unfortunately, it takes a crisis before our politicians and agencies decide to do what’s necessary instead of what’s politically expedient. So now our streams will be shut down, fish will die, […]

State’s high court may have gotten the law right and history wrong

BY: - June 24, 2021

If there’s a cancer in politics in today, it’s that we’ve forgotten something that used to be taken for granted and went without saying: Reasonable, intelligent people with integrity can come to different conclusions about the same subject without the disagreement being evidence of some conspiracy or moral flaw. By default, the other side — […]

The myth of the absent Black father

BY: - June 23, 2021

I am Black. I am a father. I love my children like nobody’s business.  I will not be invisible. I make this simple declaration because, even though involved Black fathers are the norm in the lives of Black children, we are dogged by a defamatory narrative about our supposed absenteeism. Are there Black fathers not […]

Black churches can lead the way on voting rights

BY: and - June 22, 2021

We suspected it for years, and now we know it: Jim Crow was never dead. You might even say he was too mean to die. We know this because in too many places, the forces of racism are raging as laws aimed squarely at suppressing the votes of Black and brown Americans pass in state […]

Arizona’s new gas-chamber push illustrates barbaric practice

BY: - June 21, 2021

With straps fastening his body to a gurney, Joseph Wood coughed and snorted as he gasped for breath. Wood’s execution was supposed to take 10 minutes and require one injection. Instead, he tried and failed more than 600 times to acquire air over the course of about two hours. He was injected over 15 times […]

Mike Mansfield, the Saturday Night Massacre and rubber chicken in Boise

BY: - June 20, 2021

When the United States Senate recently failed to end a Republican filibuster and consider creation of an independent commission to investigate the details of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, it was just the latest example of how profound partisanship frequently paralyzes even the most reasonable – and broadly supported – […]

Montana’s opportunity to have more power

BY: - June 19, 2021

Broadband connectivity is about power. Some have it – some don’t. Montana is ranked almost dead last in the country for broadband coverage. Due to that dismal statistic, some state legislators began a discussion in January to create a broadband fund to build out fiber into rural areas of the state. One initial concept would […]

White Americans can handle the truth about the nation’s history

BY: - June 18, 2021

When Europeans first came to the Americas in the middle of the last millennium, scholars estimate that there were roughly 60 million indigenous people here. And while the actions and motivations of those who immigrated to this hemisphere obviously ran the gamut, there is simply no denying that the impact on the native population was […]

The voters can speak just fine for themselves, Mr. Knudsen

BY: - June 17, 2021

In a rather extraordinary interview with the Montana Free Press, state Attorney General Austin Knudsen said that he wasn’t elected to please the Helena legal elites. That makes me question whether he’s ever been to Helena. “I guess I’m more concerned about what the voters of Montana think than, you know, a handful of former […]

A plan to end poverty in the United States

BY: - June 16, 2021

Amidst partisan haggling about President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal, the Poor People’s Campaign and several lawmakers recently outlined a comprehensive moral vision for the nation. They believe it’s not only possible to end poverty in this country, but morally necessary.   “It’s unforgivable that 250,000 people die every year in this country from poverty and inequality,” said […]

Of the people, by the people and for the people: Montana’s 1972 Constitutional Convention

BY: - June 15, 2021

Ten, twelve? How many lawsuits challenging laws passed during the 2021 legislative session will emerge? The Republican majority’s behavior during the session exemplified extreme partisanship, disregard for citizen input and little appreciation of Montana’s Constitution. Perhaps a history lesson would be helpful to understand the significance of our state Constitution and why their assault on […]

Many Asian Americans are struggling — invisibly

BY: - June 14, 2021

Like many low-wage restaurant workers, Su Hua Mei and her husband lost their jobs last spring as the pandemic took hold.   With a toddler to care for, it’s been a harrowing time for this immigrant couple from China. They speak little English and only finished high school. They’re at risk of eviction and their unemployment benefits may run […]