SPRING 2014 / VOLUME III ISSUE 2
Surviving the Maze Keeping the campus in charge of sexual assault response By Jordana Rosenfeld
The Machismo Paradox
Latin America’s struggles with feminism and patriarchy By Nikhil Kumar
Featuring interviews with:
Former Chilean president
“Freeway” Rick Ross Former drug kingpin
“The Ultimate Korean/Japanese Comfort Food”
Open daily, 9am - 10pm
161 Benefit Street Providence, RI
Executive Board EDITORS-IN-CHIEF MINTAKA ANGELL & BENJAMIN KOATZ CHIEF OF STAFF KATRINA MACHADO ASSOCIATE CHIEF OF STAFF MEGHAN HOLLOWAY SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR L AUREN SUKIN INTERVIEWS DIRECTOR HENRY KNIGHT MEDIA DIRECTOR MARIA PAZ ALMENARA ONLINE DIRECTOR CARTER JOHNSON BUSINESS & MARKETING DIRECTOR ELENA SALTZMAN L AYOUT DIRECTOR LIZ STUDLICK
SURVIVING THE MAZE Keeping the campus in charge of sexual assault response Jordana Rosenfeld THE MACHISMO PARADOX Latin America’s struggles with feminism and patriarchy Nikhil Kumar
Editorial SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR L AUREN SUKIN NATIONAL MANAGING EDITOR ALEX LLOYD GEORGE GLOBAL MANAGING EDITOR MARINA GATTAS DO NASCIMENTO ASSOCIATE EDITORS NAZ AKYOL, SADHANA BAL A, MATTEO CAVELIER RICCARDI, EDWARD CLIFFORD, ARIADNE ELLSWORTH, NOAH FITZGEREL, EZRA KAGAN, KATHERINE LONG, CARLY WEST & BEN WOFFORD
Copy Editorial CHIEF COPY EDITORS NAZ AKYOL & ELI MOT YCKA COPY EDITORS DAVID CHY, KATHERINE FALKOFF, ZACHARY FREDMAN, ERIN IYIGUN, STELL A KIM, NIKHIL KUMAR, SHEHROSE MIAN, ASHLYN MOONEY, THOMAS NATH, SACHIN PENDSE, EDLE ASTRUP TSCHUDI & ELBERT WANG
INTERVIEWS DIRECTOR HENRY KNIGHT ASSISTANT INTERVIEWS DIRECTOR OMAR BEN HALIM INTERVIEWS ASSOCIATES MICHAEL CHERNIN, LIAM DEAN-JOHNSON, ANNETTE LOPEZ, SABIN RAY, SAMUEL RUBINSTEIN, SARAH SACHS & ROBYN SUNDLEE
MEDIA DIRECTOR MARIA PAZ ALMENARA MEDIA TECHNICAL DIRECTOR ALIF IBRAHIM CONTENT CREATORS RUBA ALERYANI, TERESA CEBRIÁN ARANDA, WILL DAVIS, EUGENIA LULO & EMMA MURRAY
ONLINE DIRECTOR CARTER JOHNSON ASSOCIATE ONLINE DIRECTOR NEIL SINGH WEBMASTER TANAY PADHI ASSOCIATE WEBMASTER SHREYA SRINIVAS CHANNEL MANAGERS LENA BARSKY, MEG SULLIVAN & FRANCIS TORRES
FEATURED COLUMNISTS LENA BARSKY, SARA ERKAL, PAUL A MARTINEZ GUTIERREZ, MATTHEW MCCABE, NIKHITA MENDIS, GRAHAM SHERIDAN, MEG SULLIVAN & FRANCIS TORRES
STAFF WRITER MANAGING EDITOR MIGUEL PIMENTEL ASSOCIATE STAFF WRITER MANAGING EDITORS MATTEO CAVELIER RICCARDI & NOAH FITZGEREL STAFF WRITERS ARIADNE ELLSWORTH, HASSAN HAMADE, EZRA KAGAN, JAMES KONSKY, EMMA MOORE, LUKE O’CONNELL, JOAQUIM SALLES, BRENNA SCULLY, EDLE ASTRUP TSCHUDI & CARLY WEST
Business & Marketing BUSINESS & MARKETING DIRECTOR ELENA SALTZMAN ASSOCIATE SALES DIRECTOR GRAHAM ROTENBERG FINANCE COORDINATOR ALEXANDRA GARCIA BUSINESS & SALES ASSOCIATES MARLEY RAFSON & STEPHEN STAHR MARKETING & OUTREACH ASSOCIATES ISABEL DIAWARA, EBONY MCCASKILL, PERL A MONTAS, OLIVIA PINCINCE & ALLIE VALICENTI
THE MAGAZINE IN NUMBERS
CUFFING TURKEY’S COURTS Ian Tarr PULLING THE PLUG: EUTHANASIA IN BELGIUM Nikhita Mendis I SURVIVED OBAMACARE Matthew McCabe LIVING WITHOUT LIGHTS James Konsky
“Free speech is no longer fighting
a losing battle in India; it seems to
have lost all will to fight.”
10 12 14 20
THE JOURNALIST ADJOURNED Asher Woodbury MAKE IT RAIN Lauren Sukin WHO TEACHES THE TEACHERS? Meghan Holloway TRAGEDY OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS Ryan Lessing THERE ARE NO FREE CHANCES, MRS. CLINTON. Ben Wofford
“Why has the party that prides itself on skepticism suddenly decided that it’s so ready to prematurely elevate a single candidate?”
Layout & Art
BPR MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: PROVIDENCE’S IMMIGRANTOWNED BUSINESSES
24 30 33 34 36
PULPED FICTION Devika Girish THE FAILURE OF FREE MARKET FÚTBOL Ezra Kagan TUNING THE CONSTITUTION Hassan Hamade EVOLUTION Alexandra Garcia THE ROOT AND THE SOLUTION Olivia Conetta
L AYOUT DIRECTOR LIZ STUDLICK ASSOCIATE L AYOUT DIRECTOR BEN BERKE CHIEF GRAPHIC DESIGNER ANISA HOLMES DESIGN ASSOCIATES MYLES GURULE, MARLENA MORSHEAD, EMILY REIF & ANDREW STEARNS
ART DIRECTOR ANISA HOLMES STAFF ARTISTS RACHEL HABERSTROH, GOYO KWON, JULIA L ADICS, KATRINA MACHADO, EMILY REIF & OLIVIA WATSON DISPATCHES JULIA L ADICS COVER ARTIST MARIA PAZ ALMENARA
37 38 40 41 42
TIM GUNN “FREEWAY” RICK ROSS RICARDO L AGOS AMY KREMER MAGGIE HASSAN
THE MAGAZINE IN NUMBERS
BOLIVIAN INFLATION PEAKED AT IN THE SUMMER OF 1985.
GARCIA p.34 OUT OF EVERY 100 RAPES, 40 ARE REPORTED, 10 LEAD TO AN ARREST, 8 ARE PROSECUTED, 4 LEAD TO A FELONY CONVICTION, AND 3 OF THOSE RAPISTS WILL SPEND EVEN A DAY IN PRISON.
ROSENFELD p.16 APPROXIMATELY 1 IN 5 AMERICAN WOMEN EXPERIENCES SEXUAL ASSAULT DURING HER COLLEGE CAREER.
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW MAGAZINE IN NUMBERS
IS THE RANK INDIA HOLDS FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OUT OF 179 COUNTRIES.
IN 2012, ONLY OF AMERICAN PARENTS HELD A “GREAT DEAL OF CONFIDENCE” IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
THE UNITED STATES RANKED
HOLLOWAY p.12 KUMAR p.26 THE PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN IN NICARAGUA’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY INCREASED FROM 18.5% TO 40% IN ONLY 5 YEARS.
th IN WATCHDOG ORGANIZATION FREEDOM HOUSE’S 2013 FREEDOM ON THE NET INDEX.
ONE TROPICAL STORM
IN 2006, AN ESTIMATED 3 OUT OF 4 JUDGES IN NEW YORK’S APPROXIMATELY 1,250 SMALL-CLAIMS COURTS WERE NOT LAWYERS.
HAS AN ENERGY EQUAL TO
OF THE KIND DROPPED ON HIROSHIMA.
KAGAN p.30 BARCELONA FOOTBALLER LIONEL MESSI WAS RECENTLY CHARGED WITH EVADING €4.2 MILLION IN BACK TAXES, AND SPANISH FOOTBALL CLUBS OWE AN ESTIMATED €690 MILLION IN BACK TAXES.
DISPATCHES CUFFING TURKEY’S COURTS IAN TARR
for Erdogan, given his own poll numbers. With this in mind, he may now be emboldened to continue his quest for retribution and enhanced political power. Even considering recent negative opinion polls — who were alarmingly willing to forgive bribery and graft while buying into Erdogan’s anti-Gulenist attack on the courts — might not restrain him. As a freshly bolstered Erdogan ramps up to run for president later this year, he will likely try, in the words of a New York Times editorial, to “crush anyone or anything who crosses him” — a strategy that almost certainly guarantees more dangerous political polarization and instability in Turkey.” In a highly divided nation in which Islamists and secularists have continuously vied for power, increased partisanship certainly means volatility. Turkey’s judiciary has so far been an equalizer: While historically guaranteeing religious freedoms, even against the will of some of the country’s Muslim majority, the court has also fought secular corruption. In 2012, this trend continued as hundreds of military officers — generally considered defenders of Turkey’s secularism — were successfully convicted of plotting a coup that would have been the fifth in the country’s recent history. This conviction, although on the surface seemed to indicate that the courts are properly functioning, law-abiding government institutions, had an underlying political motive: It has been linked to the administration’s efforts to undermine the Republican People’s Party. According to some, such actions come from the government’s urge to strike at the political and military opposition to state power rather than an urge to fight corruption. This pairs well with the prime minister’s efforts to weaken judicial independence, and shows that if the courts do not stick to their guns, they will run the risk of becoming another tool in his power struggle, rather than a safeguard against it. Regardless of whether Gulenists are actually disloyal to the Turkish state, or whether soldiers loyal to the administration’s enemies are corrupt, Erdogan is trying to tighten his grip on power through political jockeying that doesn’t belong in the courts. Although Turkey’s highest judicial body, the Constitutional Court, has successfully challenged Erdogan’s Twitter
DISPATCHES BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not endeared himself to his more liberal, reform-minded constituents. Last summer, thousands of protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule. The prime minister’s detractors have not had to look far. Under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey holds the ignominious honor of being the world’s leading “jailer of journalists.” Alongside his Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan has promoted religious education and restricted alcohol consumption. Just last month, bribery investigations implicated the prime minister’s cabinet members, political allies, cronies and even his son in an expansive corruption scandal. This, in part, spurred Erdogan’s attempts to strip away Turkey’s judicial independence through proposed legislation that would give him heightened control over the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. By endeavoring to undertake such a naked power grab, Erdogan dramatically lurched away from the country’s liberal-democratic principles. On December 17, 2013, Turkish police detained dozens of members of Erdogan’s administration on charges of bribery and money laundering. The prime minister went on the offensive, swiftly sacking hundreds of police officers in retaliation. Shortly afterwards, the government removed several prosecutors related to the case and dropped the arrest warrants of many of the individuals caught by the investigation — including Erdogan’s son. Erdogan explained away the allegations of corruption the same way he explained his judicial power grab: by asserting that Turkey and his regime were being undermined by the Gulenists, a religious order with whose founder Erdogan has had a falling out. The government has justified
this investigation-turned-purge by citing the need to excise a duplicitous and subversive “parallel state” of malicious Gulenist infiltrators. When President Abdullah Gul signed the aforementioned AKP-sponsored legislation, essentially a bid to cripple the entire judicial branch of government, Turkey’s judiciary became another stepping stone in Erdogan’s long-running attempt at consolidating power. While Erdogan has publicly rejected this interpretation of events, a growing number of Turks are becoming tired of his inadequate explanations. Erdogan’s approval rating now sits at 43.5 percent — down from 59.1 percent the previous year — and his party suffers more, with approval ratings hovering around only 30 percent. Even the European Union has chimed in, condemning the prime minister’s partisan dismissal of judges. It seems that the suspicious timing of the attempted judicial reforms has left few convinced of a Gulenist conspiracy. A recent development in Erdogan’s growing crackdown — restricted Twitter access that began March 20 — lends these suspicions even more credibility. And when a court overturned the Twitter ban, Erdogan did not take the criticism lightly, calling for the ruling to be corrected. The prime minister’s increasingly authoritarian stance “mean[s] Turkey is...regressing,” according to Cengiz Aktar of the Istanbul Policy Forum. These recent developments show the height of Turkey’s slide into internal conflict. Despite the judiciary’s stabs at resistance, Erdogan’s ever-growing despotism could be gaining momentum. The recent transgressions against judicial autonomy have only deepened tensions between the AKP’s two opponents: the Gulenists and the Republican People’s Party. This tension disinclined a triumphant Erdogan from showing any generosity towards his competitors after provincial elections in March, when the AKP had a stronger-than-expected showing. Erdogan’s victory speech consisted of making thinly veiled threats and condemning his political opponents as “traitors” and “terrorists.” This is a dramatic reversal for a man who, in 2003, extolled the need for a “pluralistic and participatory democracy.” The AKP’s electoral success, despite its low results in public opinion polls, is a promising situation
From our featured columnists at BrownPoliticalReview.org
ban and has struck down Erdogan’s more egregious attempts to keep judges and prosecutors in his back pocket, the prime minister has set alarming precedents by attacking judicial independence. These two victories for the courts are little consolation given recent events. As long as Erdogan keeps seeing enemies within the government and continues to cover up corruption with swipes at judicial independence, Turkey will be in jeopardy. If last year’s protesters ever had a reason to return to the streets, this is it. u
PULLING THE PLUG: EUTHANASIA IN BELGIUM
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW DISPATCHES
On January 13, Belgium legalized euthanasia for children, regardless of age. The legislation is aimed at relieving terminally ill minors who are nearing death and are experiencing “constant and unbearable suffering.” Historically, the Low Countries have led the way in progressive social policies, such as the legalization of euthanasia for adults, which occurred in 2002 in both the Netherlands and Belgium. While the right to euthanasia in the Netherlands only extends to children over the age of 12, Belgium has taken an extra step and provided children of all ages with autonomy over their own lives. This has spurred strong emotional debate and backlash. Opponents ranging from conservative religious leaders to Belgian pediatricians have contended that modern medicine is sufficient to alleviate suffering and that providing euthanasia as an option in these cases is unnecessary. The law has come under international scrutiny as well; a column in the German daily Die Welt proclaimed that “Belgium has allowed the killing on demand of terminally ill children and has headed for ethical abyss.” The law does include measures to help ensure that these ethical decisions are made thoughtfully and, above all, voluntarily. These caveats include: the patient must be conscious of his or her decision and understand the meaning of euthanasia; the request must be approved by the child’s parents and medical team; the illness must
be terminal; and the patient must be in grave pain with no available treatment to alleviate distress. However, these stipulations are broad and thereby subject to interpretation by third parties. The first caveat, to “understand the meaning of euthanasia,” leaves significant loopholes in the policy, as the meaning of euthanasia is highly subjective and can easily be distorted by both doctors and parents. Sonja Develter, a nurse specializing in end-of-life care for children, told CNN that providing children with a choice may influence them to opt for euthanasia in order to alleviate the burden on their families. If the family is solely responsible for the decision, however, they may be more hesitant to euthanize their child. By stating that patients must be conscious of their decisions, the first caveat places a large amount of responsibility on children who are enduring a great amount of suffering. This may obscure their longterm decision-making skills due to the intensity of their short-term pain. Additionally, excessive use of euthanasia may discourage medical professionals from developing new medication for the terminally ill, limiting the alternatives for those who might consider euthanasia down the line. This is particularly worrisome when a young patient may have a chance of survival, but relinquishes it due to extreme suffering or discomfort. Last month, American publishing executive Steve Forbes wrote, “[The West is] on the malignantly slippery slope to becoming a society like that envisioned by Nazi Germany, one in which ‘undesirables’ are disposed of like used tissue.” Belgium’s stance on euthanasia for children could perpetuate this danger, making death a convenience as opposed to a last resort. However, much of this foreign criticism was met with surprise from the local Belgian media. According to the Belgian daily De Morgen, Belgium’s citizens have advanced “to being ethically progressive leaders” since the country’s founding in 1830. The fact that the newspaper said it was “quite proud” of such a stance indicates a subtle competition between Belgium and its fellow liberal Low Country neighbors regarding socially progressive policies. The chief editor of De Standaard, one of Belgium’s largest daily newspapers, stated that he is “annoyed at hearing ‘you’ll kill the children’ in the foreign media,” because Belgium’s decision is a “very different debate on a very different level.” Belgians are
typically unafraid of speaking out against contentious government policies, yet the decision regarding euthanasia has not sparked widespread domestic debate. According to Reuters, the implication of new highway tolls has incited more public response than the new euthanasia policy. Several of those backing the law are mothers who have seen their children dying of terminal illnesses and lacked the ability to mitigate their pain. Take the case of Ella-Louise van Roy, a 10-month-old baby from Schilde, Belgium, who suffered from Krabbe disease, a rare and terminal genetic mutation that destroys the nervous system. Before the current law, Ella-Louise would not have qualified for euthanasia. Her mother, Linda, watched as her baby gradually passed away under palliative sedation. Philippe Mahoux, a Belgian Socialist Party senator, argued that granting euthanasia for children is an “act of humanity that allows the doctor to take the most humane course of action for his patient.” Mahoux addressed the debate of whether sick children are able to make such drastic decisions by stating that “suffering from a terminal illness endows young people with a maturity sometimes lacking in many adults.” Although this argument is not universally ap-
plicable and may not extend to very young children (who are still conscious of their decision and to some extent understand the meaning of it, putting them in accordance with the law’s first caveat), it is certainly more humane to prevent inevitable suffering in certain instances. But the child is also giving up the possibility of recovery due to new pharmaceutical innovations that may be developed during their lifespan. In some cases, that potential is so slight that it may not be worth the agony. As such, assigning arbitrary age limits undermines the efficacy of euthanasia altogether. Although Europe is generally perceived to be more socially liberal than the United States, only the Netherlands, Swit-
zerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Albania have legalized euthanasia in any form. Germany has recently begun considering the option, while several other European nations remain opposed to the morally contentious policy. Belgium’s stance on euthanasia takes its social liberalism to a new extreme, placing an unparalleled level of trust in the nation’s citizens and medical institutions. Such an approach can either encourage responsible moral autonomy or allow for the premature end of sensitive lives. It is the Belgian government’s responsibility to educate patients on the nature of euthanasia and to cultivate an informed youth that is able to make independent moral decisions. u
I SURVIVED OBAMACARE MATTHEW MCCABE
kind of person Obama envisioned when he signed the Medicaid expansion, and I bet the fact that I get Medicaid must drive some Republicans crazy. But means-testing, used to determine eligibility for care, is difficult to do, especially when based solely on income. Expanding an entitlement usually means that more people who probably don’t deserve that entitlement will get it — but so will a greater number of people who actually need it. Obamacare also has more options for individual insurance. Okay, technically BCBSRI is the only insurer besides the Medicaid insurers (Neighborhood Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare). But with the online healthcare exchange, it’s easier to see which plans you’re eligible for and to compare prices of these plans. The Rhode Island exchange itself is pretty good. While I’m still miffed that there wasn’t better communication about my eligibility, HealthSource RI was very reliable and easy to navigate. Compared to the debacle of the national website, it seemed largely glitch-free. What is my verdict on Obamacare? It does some good things, and it will continue to get better at doing them. Some reforms, such as not allowing insurance companies to discriminate based on preexisting conditions, are here to stay — and that’s a good thing. But more fundamental reform is needed. If there’s one thing that the Supreme Court case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. — in which an employer refused to provide contraception coverage in employee health plans — demonstrates, it’s that letting employers dictate the terms of health insurance coverage is ludicrous. The tie between employment and health insurance needs to be broken. Honestly, I’m not sure exactly what other reforms the healthcare system needs, but I am certain that there are many that I, as someone who is neither a medical sector professional nor a professional policy maker, am unaware of. A friend in medical school once told me that healthcare should either be publicly provided or be a truly competitive market. Most other countries give the public sector a more active role in healthcare. However, a more competitive market could potentially force consumers to confront the true cost of medical care and make more informed choices, driving down aggregate healthcare spending. I can personally attest that Obamacare nudged us from an unacceptable status quo towards a more reasonable system, but nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. u
DISPATCHES BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
Over 8 million people have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), exceeding the White House’s enrollment goal for the end of March. However, this number isn’t indicative of the real impact of the healthcare program; many of these people already had insurance, and this figure doesn’t include those who are newly eligible for Medicaid. But in an environment where the media’s narrative reigns supreme, hitting the goal is certainly good news for President Barack Obama’s administration. I have had some firsthand experience with Obamacare — and it’s been mixed. After starting graduate school in 2012, I was able to go back on my parents’ insurance for a year thanks to the ACA. When that opportunity expired, the Obamacare insurance exchanges were still a year away, so I had to buy my own individual insurance. My only option was Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI). BCBSRI offered subsidies to low-income customers, which I qualified for as a graduate student with limited income, so I signed myself up for one of their plans. When Rhode Island’s exchange, HealthSource RI, went online, I was naturally curious. Insurance eligibility and subsidies are based on estimated yearly income, which is difficult for a student to measure.
My current income is almost nothing, although I (hopefully) will be making more after graduation. I entered my income level as a student and was told that the exchange would have to verify my information. In the meantime, I was informed that BCBSRI would discontinue the plan that I had, but it would continue to subsidize those ineligible for subsidies under Obamacare. Based on my most recent tax return, I qualified for BCBSRI’s subsidy, so I decided to stick with the company, though I had to choose a different plan. I ended up paying $20 more per month for insurance, and for a plan I didn’t like as much — my old plan covered one dental cleaning a year, while my new one did not. The story does not end there. I was told in February of this year that I had been automatically enrolled in the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. The exchange had finally verified my current income without ever informing me by email or phone. I was eligible for free insurance under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Despite being relatively happy with BCBSRI and concerned about the quality of insurance under Medicaid, I decided to cancel my BCBSRI insurance and enroll in Medicaid. Here are some takeaways from my experience. Obamacare can be confusing. Because my insurance is only a stopgap, and because I have access to some health services through Brown University, I didn’t spend a lot of time researching my options. Still, I think of myself as a fairly savvy consumer, and this process was confusing for me at times. For instance, it took me a while to figure out that the Neighborhood Health Plan was actually Medicaid. I’ve had other friends tell me that they didn’t realize that the visible rates on the exchange included tax credits, and they would have to pay more upfront before receiving a bigger refund at tax time. I also wasn’t able to keep the plan I liked. This is a fair criticism by Republicans — I was going to pay more for a plan that I wasn’t as happy with before qualifying for Medicaid. Despite this, my view is colored by my overall inclination to support Obamacare and my ability to afford health insurance. However, I’d like to think that I’m not alone in putting aside my annoyance in light of the laudable aims of Obamacare. Plan-switching aside, the system is also hard to means-test. I’m not sure that I’m the
LIVING WITHOUT LIGHTS
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW DISPATCHES
The permanently emblazoned image of poverty is a toddler in some faraway place, his tattered clothes soiled by the filth in which he sits, imploring you to help with a sad look in his big, beautiful eyes. NGOs and charity organizations have perfected poverty porn, or the exploitation of portraits of the poor, for their fight in the longest-standing human conflict: the global war on poverty. Governments, private companies and individuals have spent trillions of dollars on these campaigns, yet poverty remains the most unfortunate reality of the modern world. Though efforts to resolve the issue often revolve around food aid or healthcare, the true building block of development is access to adequate energy. Over 3.5 billion people, nearly half of the world’s population, experience energy poverty, defined as the lack of access to sufficient, reliable sources of energy that are necessary to provide even the most basic human needs. “Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” said World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte at the 2014 Vienna Energy Forum. “It is energy that lights the lamp that lets you do your homework, that keeps the heat on in a hospital, that lights the small businesses where most people work. Without energy, there is no economic growth, there is no dynamism and there is no opportunity.” In addition to impeding economic progress, energy poverty contributes to a global health crisis. For 40 percent of the world’s population, simply cooking food or heating homes is far more threatening to health than poor sanitation, water quality or smog. Traditional cookstoves, for example, are usually fueled by wood or animal dung, which release toxic smoke when burned. Traditional heating and cooking practices kill as many as four million people each year due to respiratory illness, most of whom are women and children. This total is more than the amount of deaths caused by malaria (1.2 million) and HIV/AIDS (1.5 million) combined. Powering homes with modern energy sources rather than tradi-
tional ones would prevent these deaths. The United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL), founded in 2011, has set forth three objectives in its campaign against energy poverty: providing universal access to modern energy sources, improving energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the world market. Progress has been made on each of these fronts, but in the quest embodied in the UN Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty by 2015, the UN is going to fall short. Its insistence on renewable energy sources is partially responsible for these shortcomings. Wind power has grown annually at an average rate of 25 percent and solar power by 11.4 percent worldwide since 1990. Although renewable energy projects are by no means a failed effort, they still meet less than 1 percent of global energy consumption needs. Needless to say, SE4ALL’s objective to double the share of renewable energy in global energy consumption will hardly make a dent in eradicating energy poverty. Numerous advocacy groups have rec-
ognized the importance of electricity in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals. These goals place a premium on introducing electricity to impoverished areas as quickly as possible, but the focus on renewables is not the way to do so. Instead, the most viable system is one driven largely by coal. South Africa’s coal-based system is an exemplar of success; from 1990 to 2011, Johannesburg invested heavily in coal, to the point where it accounted for 90 percent of all new energy sources. During that period, access to electricity more than doubled, from being accessible to 30 percent of the population in 1990 to 75 percent by 2011. During that same time, GDP tripled, per capita income rose and illiteracy decreased dramatically. With a stable energy system
in place — and access to it available for millions of the formerly energy poor — the South African government can now begin to take steps to mitigate the environmental impact of its actions. Coal as a primary fuel source is a proven impetus for growth and development, but it is often criticized as a pollutant. However, while wind and solar power are heralded for being near-zero emitters of carbon dioxide, their tiny share of total global energy production makes their effect on curbing emissions minuscule. As alternative fuel sources like these become increasingly viable due to technological improvements, fossil fuels will undoubtedly be replaced, and the impact of alternative energy can grow. Given the current state of renewable energy technology, though, this shift is still decades away. For now, the most effective method may be the improvement of coal combustion efficiency and the implementation of clean coal technologies. Increasing the efficiency of coal-fired power plants by as little as 5 percent would reduce carbon dioxide output by 8 percent — a return on investment that is both immediate and influential. The development of clean coal technologies has been incredible thus far. In the United States, advanced clean coal technologies have reduced emissions by 89 percent since 1970, even while coal use nearly tripled and GDP doubled in that same period. If environmentalists are serious about reducing humans’ impact on the environment, then fossil fuels should no longer be seen as a public enemy. Quite possibly, the answer to ending world poverty and creating a cleaner natural world lies in coal. Devotion to renewables as the power source to alleviate energy poverty is ultimately an injustice to the impoverished. Renewables are neither powerful nor reliable enough — at least with the technology available today — to be the solution, whereas coal-fired power plants have the capacity to provide affordable, efficient and reliable energy that would lift millions out of poverty. World leaders have been patient as renewable technology slowly becomes more practical and economically viable, but patience is a luxury the poor do not have. The emphasis on developing renewable energy technology is irresponsible, shifting the focus from improving the lives of those in poverty to combating climate change. Energy poverty is a humanitarian crisis that affects billions at this very moment, and our first priority should be to alleviate it. u
THE JOURNALIST ADJOURNED Justice can’t be blind if we are blind to justice. STORY BY ASHER WOODBURY / ART BY ANISA HOLMES
are an integral part of ensuring that justice is carried out on a day-to-day basis. America’s imperfect judicial system often calls for such policing. However, the police have abandoned their posts as judicial journalism has declined. Covering courts has traditionally been the responsibility of local newspapers, but as circulation and advertising revenues continue to wane, many organizations have been forced to cut staff or close down altogether. Concurrently, many Americans have switched to online news, leaving newspapers straining to keep up with payment models that fit the 21st century. These factors have fundamentally undermined court reporting. The Providence Journal, for example, no longer has the resources to publish a daily log of arrests, while larger newspapers don’t have the manpower or will to report on small-town crime nationwide. Without local newspapers reporting on the courts, discoveries like those made by Glaberson will vanish from the journalistic stage. Their replacement — online reporting — isn’t always a reliable source of facts. ProPublica, an organization dedicated to revealing abuses of power to the public through active reporting, puts it this way: “We face a situation in which sources of opinion are proliferating, but sources of facts on which those opinions are based are shrinking.” Nevertheless, court reporting contin-
ues to play an essential — if diminished — role in the overall reform of the national justice system. Glaberson’s journalism certainly mattered to the woman who, according to the bias of the Malone judge, deserved a regular pounding. And some reporters are working to bring judicial journalism back. Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, announced in early February that he would leave the paper to head the Marshall Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing in-depth investigative reporting on US courts. The organization, which will launch in mid-2014, promises to instigate judicial reform by providing reliable, publicized and well-funded information on America’s failing judicial system. Institutions like the Marshall Project are principally designed to mimic the job of traditional court reporting: to ensure that the system functions properly or blow the whistle until it does. But against the backdrop of investigative journalism’s decline, these institutions are facing a hard sell. Unless public demand for increased judicial accountability can drive support — and money — towards more such efforts, the Marshall Project and court journalists nationwide might be left with little more than empty pockets and broken whistles. u ASHER WOODBURY ‘17 IS A POTENTIAL PHYSICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CONCENTRATOR.
NATIONAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
just follow my own common sense,” a justice of 13 years told reporter William Glaberson of The New York Times, “and to hell with the law.” This justice is emblematic of many in New York’s approximately 1,250 town and village courts that Glaberson investigated in 2006. His sleuthing turned up a number of appalling stories. For example, a woman in Malone, NY tried to secure “an order of protection against her husband,” and although police confirmed that her husband had “choked her, kicked her in the stomach and threatened to kill her,” the judge denied the request. To explain his decision, the judge, who had only a high school diploma, told the court clerk that “every woman needs a good pounding every now and then.” Glaberson reported the story seeking to expose the inner workings and problems of smallclaims courts like the one in Malone. The implications of these courts, however, are far from small; they retain the power to give jail time, even while operating with little state oversight. This remains true despite the fact that, as the New York Times piece revealed, “nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many...have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles.” Over time, little has changed. In April 2013, Glaberson published another article — the culmination of two years of investigative reporting on the Bronx justice system. His simple finding: “Bronx courts are failing.” Judges arrived at court late. Defendants were brought even later. Some cases stayed in limbo for years before reaching trial. Meanwhile, Bronx prosecutors’ conviction rate was less than 50 percent. Bronx residents depended on Glaberson, because of his journalistic credentials, to uncover those flaws in the system, and as the Malone court shows, the Bronx doesn’t have the only system in need of an exposé. It falls on court reporters like Glaberson, who have a far-reaching platform inaccessible to victims of injustice or even local activists, to put the abuses of these courts on the national stage. Due to the accountability that reporting provides, journalists
MAKE IT RAIN On clouds and conspiracy theories STORY BY LAUREN SUKIN / ART BY OLIVIA WATSON
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW NATIONAL
hile a recent Gallup poll showed that 50 percent of the public prioritizes environmental issues over economic growth, only 24 percent identify it as a critical policy area. This indicates that although the public highly values the environment, it doesn’t approach the issue in a political sense so much as a cultural one. Much of today’s widespread environmentalism seems increasingly passive and employed on the individual or communal level — perhaps due to repeated setbacks on the political stage. After all, the intense debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, the struggles within the EPA to develop better pollution rules, and the repeated failures to pass carbon taxes and cap-and-trade programs may have tempered the enthusiasm and resolve of the environmental movement. These unsuccessful maneuvers indicate the American public’s waning belief in the government’s ability to be proactive in the environmental realm. What’s needed now is an intervention. Lately that intervention has manifested in a new and especially powerful tool for environmentalists: geoengineering, or the deliberate alteration of environmental processes. Perhaps “new” is a misnomer. While geoengineering has experienced a resurgence — it’s currently being used in California to combat drought — the strategy has actually been implemented for decades. Cloud seeding, the most common geoengineering technique, is the attempt to influence the amount or type of precipitation through the atmospheric dispersion of substances. It originated in the 1830s, when James “Storm King” Espy, believing that the smoke would stimulate rain, suggested that the US government burn down forests. A century later, showmen in the West launched rockets containing catalysts into the clouds to induce artificial precipitation. The practice reached its peak in the Depression-era Dust Bowl, and while it would sometimes produce rain, it didn’t stave off drought. Though cloud seeding was born from economic desperation, it came to unexpected prominence as a military technique.
During the Cold War, the US military became increasingly interested in the wartime opportunities that geoengineering provided. That research came to fruition during the Vietnam War; in order to limit the movement of North Vietnamese forces, the military dropped silver iodide flares — thought to cause rainfall — over enemy territory. The project, dubbed “Operation Popeye,” was meant to slow the efforts of the Vietnamese army to move men and supplies during the dry season. Instead, the effect of the cloud seeding fell on civilians and likely caused the catastrophic floods and typhoons in North Vietnam that devastated much of the country’s harvest in 1971. These unintended consequences of geoengineering demonstrate two key principles. First, weather modification can be successful, but dangerous. Co-opting the environment — whether through dams or silver iodide dispersion systems — is always risky. Second, militarized weather modification constitutes a total war strategy, as the attacks affect both military and civilian figures. This reveals something unique about weather modification: It can seem benign when wrapped up in environmentalist packaging, but even brief military experimentation reveals the ominous depth of geoengineering’s effects. In light of this troubling reality, the United Nations created the 1977 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, a declaration with 48 signatories — including the United States — that bans weaponized or hostile use of environmental modification. Regardless, the US military continued to pursue domination of weather modification techniques well after the convention; in the late 1990s, the US Air Force Academy produced a paper entitled, “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025.” The report, often referred to as Air Force 2025, details a series of futuristic systems that the military could develop in order to control weather patterns as a strategic asset. The Cold War may have been the beginning, but Air Force 2025 ensured that interest in weather modi-
fication did not end with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Cyclic storms on demand or Zeus-like thunderbolts dropped from drones may not be realistic, but it’s easy to see why the military had experiments to that effect in mind. As Air Force 2025 points out, “A tropical storm has an energy equal to 10,000 one-megaton bombs.” The bomb dropped on Hiroshima released only 0.016 megatons of energy. However, no storms-ondemand will be cycling through anytime soon, as the report’s team largely failed to spark a weather modification revolution, and the technology needed remains far in the future. But some of the paper’s goals, at least for hyper-accurate weather monitoring, are nearing completion, and the success of the military in this field indicates a sustained strategic interest in the environment as an asset. The radar communications technology credited with a major role in the 1991 Gulf War, for example, has its roots in weather radar research. And it’s the military’s environmental monitoring technologies that produce the nighttime
GEOENGINEERING DEMANDS ATTENTION FROM A PUBLIC CONTENT WITH LEAVING ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM TO ECOTOURISM AND ORGANIC YOGURT BARS.
LAUREN SUKIN ‘16 IS A POLITICAL SCIENCE AND LITERARY ARTS CONCENTRATOR AND THE SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR AT BPR.
NATIONAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
satellite imagery critical to US efforts to aid recuperation from natural disasters. But weather monitoring isn’t without its skeptics, who view it as a conspiratorial cover-up or a next step towards governmental weather control. In March, approximately 17,000 activists in Australia turned up to protest the country’s current government. Among those was an odd constituency with an imaginative message: America was controlling Australia’s weather. The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is a project that government officials have repeatedly said is designed for weather monitoring, but many have suspected it of being for weather control. HAARP is also reportedly part of US radio communications and surveillance projects. Because of its secretive nature, it has been accused of everything from disabling satellites to mind control, the Gulf War Syndrome and the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. This kind of paranoia about weather
manipulation demonstrates the pervasiveness of today’s skepticism towards government involvement in environmental issues. While there is much to admire about environmental noninterventionism’s focus on local and private solutions, the conspiracy theorists at the movement’s fringes have negatively influenced attitudes towards geoengineering. DARPA probably isn’t using HAARP for mind control, but with the political nonstarter of conspiracy theory attached to it and other weather monitoring and control programs, there is now a distinct lack of pressure from the public for politicians to seriously consider even the mildest of geoengineering solutions. In short, the suspicion and distrust of a few have been a constant barrier to useful research and even-handed experiments in the environmental field. As fantastical as some geoengineering plans sound, many come from a place of scientific rigor and could provide major environmental benefits if taken seriously. Take Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Crutzen’s idea to shoot sulfate aerosols, which have a demonstrated atmospheric cooling effect, into the stratosphere in order to block sunlight and combat climate change. Although Crutzen’s editorial surfaced in 2006, the fundamental idea for weather modification as a climate change combatant is old news. In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson received a report titled, “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment,” which suggested research into the possibility of initiating climatic effects to counterbalance the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Yet it has only been in the past decade that these possibilities have been more fully explored. Since then, a larger body of academic work has demonstrated the long-term feasibility of Crutzen’s plans. The key phrase here is long-term feasibility; there is no clear consensus among scientists — or politicians — on the viability of current geoengineering technologies, or on which proposals may be the best and most cost-effective. Crutzen’s work is no exception, especially given the difficulty of aerosol delivery and distribution.
Geoengineering’s problems also bring with them the probability of dissent. Gauging consent among those affected will be difficult. Efforts like space reflection mirrors or stratospheric aerosol release can’t be localized, raising questions about whether any one country has the right to use these technologies, as well as questions about who would bear their cost. Smaller projects that would circumvent the ownership debate have their own problems. When California’s cloud seeding recently came to light, controversy followed, despite the fact that the state had just experienced one of the driest years in its history. Artificially induced rainfall effectively “steals” rain from surrounding areas and, if normalized, would cause a redistribution of rainfall between locations. As such, a complex debate about water rights surrounds the practice. Conspiracy theories aside, there are scientifically rigorous critiques, which portray geoengineering as just another BandAid — albeit a big one. Modification is simply an adaptation strategy for dealing with environmental concerns, and while it would likely be effective in mitigating the impact of, say, climate change, it doesn’t tackle the source. As Dr. James Lovelock, a prominent environmental scholar, observed, “Consider what might happen if we start by using a stratospheric aerosol to ameliorate global heating; even if it succeeds, it would not be long before we face the additional problem of ocean acidification. This would need another medicine, and so on. We could find ourselves in a Kafka-like world from which there is no escape.” This is not a trifling problem for the practice of geoengineering. Then again, neither is climate change a problem to be trifled with. It demands attention, and ultimately pressure, from a public that is content with leaving environmental activism in the realm of ecotourism and organic yogurt bars. After all, climate change is already Kafka-esque; it’s estimated to create 50 million environmental refugees by 2020. Consideration of geoengineering is especially prudent given that the ideal solution to global warming — one that would tackle the source of the problem — has so far proved impossible to find. It is time to approach this global issue both creatively and persuasively. Weather modification, though more salve than cure, may prove to be just what the doctor ordered. u
WHO TEACHES THE TEACHERS? A new set of training wheels STORY BY MEGHAN HOLLOWAY / ART BY EMILY REIF
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW NATIONAL
n November 8, 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Higher Education Act (HEA) into law. A key legislative pillar of his Great Society agenda, the HEA has since become a cornerstone of federal education policy. The law was originally intended to be reshaped and reauthorized every few years in order to reflect the changing priorities of American society. After its expiration in 2013, the bill now sits at one of these crossroads. The HEA establishes several student loan initiatives, including Federal Stafford Loans and the Federal Pell Grant Program. It also requires the collection of some student demographic data and sets up the structures for federal university funding. In short, if you’ve ever taken out a student loan or even just enrolled in a college class, then you have felt the effects of the HEA. But what is often forgotten amidst the high-profile debates surrounding this bill is the imperfect but critical role the Act plays in supporting, financing and regulating a teacher’s initial training. With the bill’s potential reauthorization comes a chance to extend this support to long-term training: ensuring teachers improve — and stay — in the classroom. Title II of the HEA is instrumental in these efforts. While there isn’t a strong
consensus on how teacher training programs should function, Title II provides funding and support for a wide variety of programs. The majority of teachers take one of two routes: the consecutive model, in which teachers secure an undergraduate degree and then obtain a teaching or other graduate degree; or the concurrent model, in which an undergraduate degree and teacher certification are obtained simultaneously. As teacher training programs in the United States have proliferated, a significant minority of them have experimented with these two standard models to produce alternate pathways, such as Teach for America’s fast-tracked training and immersive experience program, referred to as the community-based teacher education model. The HEA’s specific focus on pre-licensure teacher training programs overemphasizes the effect that any such program can have on educators’ abilities before their first day of school. Even with research funds and regulatory policies attempting to advance teacher training, no program has dramatically outshone its peers in producing high-quality teachers. First-year teachers certified by traditional college teacher preparation programs are generally as ef-
fective as first-year teachers certified by alternative pathways. This lack of distinction indicates that the quality of the training program is not a central determinant of a teacher’s future success — or failure. If policymakers, then, hope to improve the quality of the teaching force, they will have to pay more attention to relatively unaddressed factors. Most educators’ improvements come from lessons learned during their start in the classroom, because in those initial years teachers acquire the skills that make them successful. The first year of teaching finds educators at their least effective. Value-added measures — metrics that compare the growth in a teacher’s class test scores to the average growth of a teacher’s district or state — have shown that teacher effectiveness improves dramatically during the first three years of teaching. Therefore, it is during those initial years that novice teachers should receive additional instruction and support. This is especially crucial for two reasons. First, the learning curve for teachers quickly begins to flatten after those first few years. Second, those years are when a large portion of teachers drop out — an unfortunate problem in a system already hobbled by a lack of good teach-
ers. In short, it’s less the quality of teachers’ degrees and more their first three years of experience that act as good indicators of future teaching ability. In its most recent manifestation, Title II allowed for the use of federal funds to ensure that all teacher training programs report on student demographics, program curricula and the ability of their graduates to pass state licensure exams. The HEA then directs the states to use that information to identify low-performing teacher training programs. Essentially, states develop report cards on the programs. By giving stakeholders the information necessary to delineate between successful and problematic teacher training programs, the HEA attempts to ensure that teachers are more capable in the classroom. So far, teacher instruction programs barely pass. This is despite the fact that in 2010, only 37 of over 1,400 teacher training programs nationwide had been designated as low performers. Over half of the states have failed to identify even one low-performing program in the last decade. But while the scarcity of low-scoring programs might suggest that the American educational system is functioning well — or at least that teachers are performing adequately — this is not the case. According to the Program for International Student Assessment test, an exam given to 15-yearolds around the world, the United States recently placed 30th in the world for mathematics and 20th for English. And according to a 2012 Gallup poll, only 29 percent of parents in the United States had a “great
deal of confidence” in public schools’ ability to educate their children. If teacher training programs are supposed to staff schools with good teachers, they currently deserve more condemnation than commendation. Moving forward, political capital should be used for what has been shown to work: programs that foster teachers’ development in their first three years. Already in place are local programs that successfully embody this paradigm. Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) experimented with this principle by instituting a transparent teacher evaluation model. In-
school districts, approximately 10,000 of the best-performing instructors leave their districts each year. Training high-caliber teachers is difficult, and a grossly underperforming public school system cannot afford to lose its most adept employees. To make matters worse, untested educators often fill the places of outgoing, experienced ones. Combating the high rate of teacher turnover means that the HEA and other government legislation’s attempts to locate exceptional training programs must not only center on the ability, but also the longevity, of the teachers these programs produce. Cincinnati, Boston and Tennessee have created systems that are in a class of their own. Their curricula share a commitment to developing teachers’ skills post-licensure and keeping the most capable teachers in the classrooms where their expertise is most needed. The first few years on the job serve as a distinguishing time in teachers’ careers for an additional reason: It is during this period that the profession observes simultaneously a great improvement and a deep depletion of its members. If quality teachers are to be retained, this period deserves to be a focal point of those efforts. The renewal of the Act is an opportunity to amend and improve it. The most recent reauthorization of the HEA was in 2008; the major change was a requirement that institutions of higher-level education post price calculators on their websites in order to help students contextualize student aid programs. Hopefully this time around, the changes to the HEA will strike at the provisions designed to advance and sustain teaching throughout the United States. While reforming teacher training can feel at times like nails on a chalkboard, a reimagined HEA will go a long way towards dulling the noise. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has already jumped on the upcoming reauthorization, offering 61 recommendations that focus on promoting access to higher education and improving aid options. But as the HEA is reconsidered, politicians must prioritize training efforts as well. It is high time that they table their outdated focus on pre-licensure training programs and broaden the scope for scrutinizing teacher training to include everything from the time they are students to the years they spend standing in front of their own. u MEGHAN HOLLOWAY ‘16 IS A HEALTH AND HUMAN BIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS CONCENTRATOR AND ASSOCIATE CHIEF OF STAFF AT BPR.
NATIONAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
IN EACH OF THE UNITED STATES’ 50 LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS, APPROXIMATELY 10,000 OF THE BESTPERFORMING INSTRUCTORS LEAVE THEIR DISTRICTS EACH YEAR.
stead of providing a single, annual and numeric grade that offers very little guidance on improvement, CPS combined classroom observations with value-added scores to produce a measure that specified areas for improvement at multiple junctures throughout the year. By focusing on growth over time, the program improves the effectiveness of teachers post-licensure. The Boston Teacher Residency program also typifies the kind of focus needed to improve educators’ performance. Run by the school district, the program is modeled on medical residency programs. Teachers accepted into the program complete academic coursework in the field of teaching while working with a mentor to hone their skills. Tennessee’s Department of Education is also testing teacher-to-teacher mentoring. The department created a program in which more proficient teachers coach peers in their weakest areas, in order for schools to actively boost their academic progress. In addition to helping novice teachers continue to develop their prowess, the program also fosters a supportive environment in Tennessee’s public schools — a factor crucial to attracting and keeping successful educators in the system. Any expanded definition of teacher training that includes the first three years of a teacher’s career should be accompanied by better — and sustained — accountability mechanisms. Tennessee’s Department of Education gets a gold star for championing these efforts as well. In a separate program, the state embarked on a new initiative to merge the records of its teachers over time to bolster accountability for schools and training programs. By linking teachers’ efficacy and value-added measures through the state’s evaluation program, Tennessee is tracking the experiences that lead to the development of its best employees. Instead of focusing governmental resources entirely on better preparing teachers for their initial entry to the classroom, Tennessee’s approach should be replicated on the national stage as a longer process that also encompasses the experiences of teachers on the job. Keeping good teachers in classrooms constitutes a major problem for the public school system and, as a result, has consistently sat at the epicenter of teacher training programs. However, it should also function as a key plank in the evaluation processes of those initiatives. The profession has a higher rate of exit to entry than most others. In each of the United States’ 50 largest
TRAGEDY OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS Media giants’ old response to new technology STORY BY RYAN LESSING / ART BY OLIVIA WATSON
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW NATIONAL
n April 22, the Supreme Court heard arguments for a case that will decide the future of creative content. The case, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. v. Aereo, Inc., pitted a start-up against America’s media powerhouses. The start-up, a company called Aereo, allows subscribers to watch and record broadcast TV over the Internet. The stakes of the case are high, although what exactly is at stake depends on whom you ask. The plaintiffs, a group that includes all four major US broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX), contend that Aereo threatens the “basic right of every copyright holder to determine if, when, and how to make its copyrighted work available to the public” and could endanger the future of free broadcast television. However, from the perspective of Aereo’s supporters, the public’s ability to consume media how and when it wants to is in jeopardy. Media’s fundamental intangibility means that complex understandings of intellectual property — delineated by the courts — will determine the future of these businesses. Aereo first launched in New York in February 2012 and has since quickly expanded to 10 cities, with plans to expand further across the country. Subscribers pay $8 per month to receive live network TV streamed over the Internet, as well as 20 hours of DVR storage on the company’s servers. The service’s novelty is in how it provides this content: When customers connect, they are temporarily assigned a tiny, personal TV antenna located inside a nearby Aereo facility. Only one user is connected to any one antenna at a given time. This arrangement is exceptionally inefficient — it requires thousands of small antennas when just one large one would do — but it allows Aereo to cleverly outwit media regulations. Copyright law draws a distinction between “public” performances and “private” ones; if you buy a DVD, you can watch it privately all you want, but if you want to put it up on a big screen and invite the whole town, you need permission from
the studio that owns the rights. This is the crux of the suit: Does Aereo constitute one big, illegal public performance, like a town movie night, or do the separate antennas mean that Aereo is merely facilitating thousands of individual private performances? Aereo’s technology may be new, but the conflict is not. The rivalry between intellectual property and technological innovation is timeless; every new medium, from tape recorders to VCRs to DVRs, has provoked debate about how the rights of content creators should be reconciled with those of consumers. One thing, however, has remained constant: the media companies’ unceasing fight to keep a firm grip on content and its consumption. For as long as people have been creating art, others have been copying it; bootleg copies of Shakespeare were widely circulated in the 16th century. But that, like copying throughout most of history, was a relatively time-consuming and difficult affair. In the middle of the 20th century, this changed rapidly. A series of technological developments, beginning with cassette tapes in the 1960s and continuing with VHS in the 1970s, suddenly allowed anyone to record, copy and rewatch content at their leisure. These innovations greatly improved flexibility for consumers, but also presented a threat to the recording and motion picture industries, which feared a decline in sales. By the 1980s, Hollywood had taken this fight to the courts. In the landmark 1984 case Sony Corporation of America et al. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., et al., the Court considered the legality of home tape recording. Sony had just released a VCR that allowed home users to easily record movies and television programs onto Betamax tapes. A group of film companies filed a suit arguing that by manufacturing a device that allowed consumers to record copyrighted content, Sony itself was guilty of copyright infringement and therefore liable for the actions of its customers. The Court ruled in favor of Sony by a vote of five to four. Writing for the majority, Jus-
tice John Paul Stevens gave two important reasons for the legality of the VCRs. First, just because a device can be used to infringe copyright does not make the device illegal, as long as it isn’t the only thing the device can do — otherwise, the same case could be made for prohibiting video cameras because of their potential to film movie screens. Second, time-shifting the viewing of a TV show by recording it at home and watching it later is legal fair use, even without authorization from the broadcaster. The ruling paved the way for the ubiquity of VHS and cemented the right to record programs in one’s own home. It is also a reminder of just how far-reaching the Court’s influence can be — and that the ability to enjoy many of the media services we take for granted is often not owed to engineers, but to lawyers. Equally important to the Sony ruling, however, was television’s transition to the age of cable. Before the 1970s, TV was always broadcast freely. Anyone with an antenna could tune in, and programming was funded solely through advertising. The advent of cable was a revolution. It allowed for hundreds of channels to be transmitted directly into the home and was also excludable — access to the cable signal could be restricted to paying subscribers. Cable grew quickly, but because over-air broadcasts have long been the main way millions of Americans watch television, cable companies took these freely available channels and retransmitted them over their cable systems. The networks, wanting a cut of lucrative cable profits, cried foul, arguing that retransmission constituted a “public performance” prohibited under copyright law. The blood feud only ended when Congress stepped in; the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1992 expanded the definition of a public performance to allow networks to charge fees to cable providers in exchange for their content. In the years since, these lucrative fees, which totaled $2.4 billion in 2012, have become an integral part of the
networks’ revenue streams. The final piece of the puzzle was yet another court case, this time about a novel type of DVR built by the company Cablevision. In 2006, the company unveiled a new DVR system that stored recordings in the cloud on Cablevision’s servers instead of on the DVR itself. As with Aereo, separate copies were stored for each user. In Cartoon Network, LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc. (a case commonly referred to as “Cablevision”), a group of networks sued, alleging copyright infringement. On appeal, the Second Circuit (which covers Vermont, Connecticut and New York) ruled in favor of Cablevision, saying that if each transmission was made from a distinct copy, and only one person was capable of receiving that transmission, then each of those performances was a private, not public, performance — and thus permitted under the Copyright Act. Aereo’s future hinges on the Cablevision precedent. After being sued by the networks, Aereo was initially exonerated in 2013, when the Second Circuit interpreted the Cablevision ruling in favor of Aereo. After the networks indicated their intent to continue to file suits in each new region where Aereo expanded, the company took
the spread of homemade cassette mixtapes — through massive advertising campaigns with slogans like “Home Taping is Killing Music.” The project failed, and more than one billion cassette tapes were sold by 1989. The main legacy of the project now lies in the sarcastic cassette-and-crossbones logo of the popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. Cassette tapes did not kill music. Similarly, VHS and Betamax did not destroy the movie industry and DVRs have not ruined television. If anything threatens the entertainment industry’s survival, it is its inability to adapt to changing times. The Court’s decision will be especially important in the context of a broader revolution where the Internet fundamentally alters entertainment consumption. New technologies promise new opportunities for consumers and content creators alike, but the survival of content creators requires an approach to copyright law that fosters creative development. Only the Supreme Court can guarantee the vitality of media innovations. Overturning Cablevision would have dangerous effects, especially on the burgeoning cloud computing industry, worth $47.4 billion in 2013. Based on the interpretation of public performance that the networks prefer, Dropbox, for exam-
ple, could become an unauthorized public performer — simply because multiple users have uploaded the same song or video to their account, even if each of these users has an individual right to do so. The Court has two options: continue support of broad rights for consumers to enjoy content the way they choose or extend lifelines to an industry whose profit model depends on extracting rents and clinging to old ideas. The courts were wise to adapt in cases like Sony and Cablevision. By transmitting content freely over the air, broadcasters give up a certain degree of control in exchange for access to a broader audience. Decades of copyright law have established an individual’s right to connect an antenna, watch television and record that same content to watch later. These rights can ultimately benefit everyone: Content creators can attract more viewers, and consumers get to enjoy that content at their leisure. In the short term, Aereo’s existence may be damaging to major networks’ current business models. But Aereo, and innovations like it, will usher in a world of possibilities for consumers everywhere — if the Supreme Court permits. u RYAN LESSING ‘17 IS AN APPLIED MATHECONOMICS CONCENTRATOR.
CASSETTE TAPES DID NOT KILL MUSIC. DVRS HAVE NOT RUINED TELEVISION. IF ANYTHING THREATENS THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY’S SURVIVAL, IT IS ITS INABILITY TO ADAPT TO CHANGING TIMES.
NATIONAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
the unusual step of supporting its opponents’ petition to the Supreme Court, seeking a definitive judgment. The networks’ fear of Aereo is understandable. In recent years, the networks have become increasingly reliant on retransmission fees to supplement their advertising revenues. Aereo’s ability to avoid fees may harm its negotiating stance with cable operators and could even lead some operators to use Aereo’s precedent by voiding fees altogether. At the core of the networks’ argument is the idea that by aggregating all of the antennas in one place and allowing customers to connect to them conveniently over the Internet, Aereo has fundamentally changed the equation. Considering past arguments from media industries, this one sounds like a broken record. In the 1980s, the British Phonographic Industry fought back against a new technological crisis —
SURVIVING THE MAZE Keeping the campus in charge of sexual assault response
Story by Jordana Rosenfeld Art by Anisa Holmes This article contains a discussion of sexual assault, which may be triggering for some readers.
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW FEATURE
magine a young female-identified student at Brown. She might be someone you know, or she might be someone you’ve never met before. Her name is Rebecca. Last weekend, Rebecca went to a party on campus. When she returned that night, she heard a knock on her door. It was a male-identified student who lives in her unit. She let him in and they talked for a short time. Then things began to get uncomfortable. He moved over to sit next to her on her bed and started touching her. She told him that she wanted to go to sleep. She said she wasn’t interested in him like that. He would not go away or take his hands off her. She tried to push him away, but he became more and more forceful. That night, he raped her. Ever since then, it’s been a struggle for Rebecca just to function. She feels anxious and ashamed. Every morning, she tries to drag herself out of bed to get to class, but she’s battling a fear that
she’ll run into her assailant somewhere on campus — in the hallway, as she’s coming out of the bathroom, in line at the Ratty or studying at the Rock. Each time she sees him, she’s flooded with fear and flashes back to the assault. Each time her friends talk about him, she is reminded of the trauma she went through at his hands, and she wants to run back to her room. But Rebecca knows that, even there, she is not safe. He lives on her floor. He assaulted her in that room. The narrative above is fictitious, but it is based on the real experiences of many students both on campus and across the country. Brown should be a place where all students are physically, mentally and emotionally safe to develop as individuals and scholars. But for too many students, Brown is a place where they will be sexually assaulted. Approximately one in five American women experiences sexual assault during her college career. Put in terms of life at Brown, that statistic indicates that out of the 782 women in the Class of 2017, 156 will be survivors of rape — and countless
more of sexual harassment. While statistics are harder to compile on the sexual assault of men, they further add to these numbers. The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses has recently attracted renewed national attention. Some cite the serious nature of sexual assault, and the alleged incompetence of campus disciplinary systems, to argue that campus sexual assault should be addressed like any other violent crime: through the criminal justice system. However, this push to outsource sexual assault reports to the courts is insensitive to the varied needs of survivors. Instead, we should renew our efforts to strengthen campus-based response systems. Before delving into deeper discussion, it’s important to understand the definitions of these terms, although legal definitions vary across states and are still in flux. Sexual assault is generally considered any sexual contact without consent, while rape is specifically contingent on penetration with any body part or object. Several relevant pieces of legislation bear on the fight to eradicate campus sexual
The cry for more law enforcement involvement in investigating reports of sexual assault is not unique to RAINN. On January 16, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced a bill that would require colleges and universities in California to forward all reports of violent crimes, including sexual assault, to law enforcement officials. After hearing complaints from survivors and activists that the law would discourage survivors from reporting their assaults, Gatto later amended the bill to allow students to request that their report not be forwarded to local law enforcement. Nonetheless, it is clear that influential antiviolence advocates have qualms about colleges’ responses to sexual assault. They are right to be concerned, but to abandon the campus disciplinary process entirely simply exacerbates the problem at hand. First and foremost, a concern for the survivor’s well-being and personal desires must be basic to a discussion of addressing reports of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a loss of control for the survivor. It violates several of the most fundamental human rights: bodily autonomy and physical safety. It is therefore crucial that any system through which sexual assault is investigated or prosecuted prioritizes the survivor’s comfort as well as his or her mental, emotional and physical safety. Sexual assault response systems must recognize that survivors do not constitute a monolithic group and respond to their trauma in different ways. For a variety of reasons, not all survivors of sexual assault want to report their assaults — much less press charges. Those preferences must be respected, and a campus disciplinary process that requires police involvement in any way without accounting for the preferences of survivors is ignorant of their needs and safety.
hough RAINN concedes that there are valid concerns about the American justice system, it underplays their impact. The organization does admit that its recommendation for increased law enforcement involvement in investigating campus sexual assault “raises legitimate concerns that must be thoughtfully addressed, such as how to handle victims’ desire to remain anonymous or to decline prosecution,” and the same report briefly mentions the already strained resources of American courts. However, RAINN ignores several serious flaws in the justice system as it pertains to reporting sexual assaults. These complicate the assertion that
Statistically, out of the 782 women in the Class of 2017, 156 will be survivors of rape — and countless more of sexual harassment. campus sexual assault should be primarily handled through the justice system. Chief among these flaws is the issue of rape kit processing, or lack thereof. Not every survivor who reports their assault to the police intends to press charges against their assailant, but for those who do, collecting a rape kit is usually necessary. In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, a forensic medical exam can be performed at a hospital by medical professionals trained to work with sexual assault survivors. The exam produces a rape kit, which consists of evidence collected from every part of a survivor’s body. This is an attempt to preserve as much of the attacker’s DNA as possible within 72 hours of the incident. Such exams usually take three to four hours and can be traumatic and invasive processes that survivors have reported can make them feel as though their body is being treated like a crime scene. Besides the fact that survivors may be pressured by police to undergo forensic medical exams or told that they must do so in order for the state to pay for emergency medical care and sexually transmitted infection testing, once the rape kit is collected, nothing may come of the whole grueling and unpleasant process. In the United States, there are currently about 400,000 untested rape kits uselessly gathering dust in police warehouses. However, tested rape kits often lead to attackers’ arrests. In New York City alone, the arrest rate for rape cases jumped from 40 to 70 percent after the state processed its 17,000-kit backlog in 2001. The harrowing scope of the national rape kit backlog attests to both the lack of resources that state and federal governments allocate to sexual assault investigations, and to the relative lack of gravity with which these cases are handled in the justice system. This backlog takes on a new significance when one considers the estimate that only between 5 and 36 percent of rapes are ever reported to law enforcement officials. This low percentage
FEATURE BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
assault. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires schools to combat sexual aggression by supporting survivors and ensuring that all students have equal access to education. Experiencing sexual assault can be a serious obstacle to a student’s education, and therefore the crime represents a civil rights violation. Title IX requires that federally funded schools establish a way to deal with reports of sexual assault and take immediate action to remove all barriers to reporting sexual misconduct. It also requires that schools not only support and protect the reporting student, but also employ a Title IX coordinator to ensure the school’s compliance. Title IX, in tandem with the 1990 Clery Act — which compels schools that receive federal aid to publish an Annual Campus Security Report detailing crime statistics for the past three years, campus crime prevention strategies and the procedures to be followed in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault reports — requires universities to take an active role in sexual assault prevention. The sexual assault legislation currently on the books is important, but insufficient. In January, to bolster the federal response to this issue, President Barack Obama convened the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, a panel of government officials tasked with framing the federal government’s role in eradicating campus sexual assault. The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest organization against sexual violence, recently issued a set of recommendations to the task force. The main thrust of its report articulated the necessity that campuses “formaliz[e] the role and responsibility of law enforcement in the response to on-campus sexual violence” while deemphasizing or eliminating the role of schools’ internal disciplinary boards in adjudicating sexual assault allegations. RAINN encouraged the federal government to work with colleges and universities to “treat allegations of sexual assault as they would murder and other violent felonies,” asserting that “the crime of rape just does not fit the capabilities of [internal] boards.” RAINN, in seeking to alleviate a complicated and sensitive crisis, advocated what amounts to a one-size-fits-all solution. Given RAINN’s prominence in combating sexual assault on a national scale, and its influence on the conversation surrounding that fight, its support for putative solutions is especially troubling.
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW FEATURE
shows that the justice system has problems beyond its inability to process evidence. A contributing factor to many survivors’ decisions not to report their rape, as well as further evidence that the justice system is not sufficiently attentive to survivors’ needs, is the widespread mistreatment of the survivors who do so. Because of law enforcement officials’ generally insufficient sexual assault and trauma training, many police officers are not inclined to believe survivors when they report rape or other types of sexual assault. Often, police officers misinterpret behaviors indicating trauma — such as difficulty recalling the attack, trouble retelling events in chronological order or displays of seemingly incongruous emotions — as ones that indicate a false report instead of a legitimate response to an attack. The assumption that survivors are lying influences some police officers to doubt, dismiss or seek to disprove reports of rape, despite the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women’s estimate that a mere 2 to 8 percent of reported rapes are falsified — hardly enough to assume that any or even most women who come to report sexual assault are lying or confused. This is especially problematic given that the experience of talking to the police itself can cause survivors to feel like they are reliving their assault. Sometimes they even face condescension or harassment from police officers. Many of these shortcomings are not only indicative of a lackluster justice system, but also of a wider rape culture at work in our society. Rape culture, a term coined by feminists in the 1970s, refers to the theory that we live in a society that gives rapists implicit, and sometimes explicit, permission to assault people. Everyday examples of rape culture include moments in which we joke about, ignore or trivialize rape. Pledges of Yale’s Phi chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon chanting, “no means yes” and “yes means anal” in 2010 was a manifestation of rape culture. Moments in which we blame survivors for their assault represent rape culture. This tweet written in response to the 2013 Steubenville rape trial, “Has anyone considered that the girl might just be a slut? Surely if she hadn’t consented, nothing would have happened...” embodies rape culture. Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of this mindset is that it’s pervasive, even within the justice system and campus disciplinary processes. Moreover, rape culture normalizes other types of sexual harassment, such as catcalling and the dissemi-
nation of derogatory images. Rape culture is analogous to air pollution: It profoundly affects us even if we barely notice its presence. When a survivor does decide to face an invasive forensic medical examination and skeptical police officers in order to press charges, odds are still slim that the case will go to trial, much less end in conviction or jail time. RAINN reports that out of every 100 rapes, 40 are reported, 10 lead to an arrest, eight are prosecuted, four lead to a felony conviction and only three of those attackers will spend even a day in prison. This speaks to the difficulty of prosecuting rape cases. Often, if the survivor had a forensic medical exam and the rape kit was processed in a timely manner, the prosecution can prove that the defendant had sexual contact with the survivor. However, when it comes to proving whether that contact was consensual, arguments may devolve into the survivor’s word against the defendant’s. This process can often re-victimize survivors as they are forced to rehash their assault in front of a defense that may seek to discredit their testimonies by blaming them or making excuses for the defendant. Finally, none of this article’s previous discussions even begin to touch on the experiences of male-identified or LGBTQ survivors, survivors of color, survivors who were assaulted by women or survivors who claim more than one marginalized identity. The justice system is removed neither from rape culture nor other societal systems of oppression. As such, it is not always a safe space for people from marginalized groups. That fact alone is enough to deter many survivors from reporting their assaults. The justice system appears either utterly overwhelmed by or willfully negligent towards the pathetic fraction of rape reports, suggesting that it is far from a superior alternative to campus disciplinary processes. It is very likely that colleges and universities are better able to serve the needs of survivors’ varied identities than the justice system, which is often complicit or active in oppressing marginalized groups.
hile campus disciplinary systems are often imperfect and lack resources, and while many schools in the US are not yet fully Title IX compliant, college and university systems are smaller and more personal than the justice system. Simply put, they are easier to change. Improving campus disciplinary procedures to the point that they can ef-
fectively address sexual assault does not involve state legislation or a constitutional amendment. Given the ubiquity of rape culture, effecting such change is a challenging process, but steps towards it can be regular and immediate. When a student at Brown files a report of sexual misconduct — a term that includes sexual assault and sexual harassment — the report sets off a chain of events. Emma Hall ‘16, a student who has been through the hearing process, described the report as “a written statement from the complainant depicting what happened and in what way it’s a violation of the Code of Conduct.” After that report is filed, the Office of Student Life launches an investigation. The respondent (the alleged assailant) is notified that a complaint has been filed and he or she is instructed to prepare a statement and gather witnesses. Both students are assigned an advisor to guide them through the process and advocate on their behalf. If the offense is one that might warrant separation from the University, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life convenes a hearing with the Student Conduct Board (SCB), though there is no assumption of guilt until after the hearings. SCB hearings are adjudicated by a three-person panel: a student, a faculty member and a dean. All hearings are closed and confidential. They consist of opening and closing statements from the complainant and respondent, statements from witnesses and questions from the panel. The panel deliberates in private, then issues a recommendation to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life. After no more than five days, the dean notifies the involved parties of the decision, who can appeal to the Vice President. The Vice President can then review the decision and affirm, reverse or modify the punishment recommended. That decision is final. Punishments range from parent or guardian notification to expulsion. Hall says her experience reporting sexual assault through Brown’s disciplinary process was positive. After she was assaulted in November 2012, she found support from Bita Shooshani, Brown’s coordinator of sexual assault prevention and advocacy, and Dean Yolanda Castillo, the associate dean of student conduct. Ultimately, she was successful in her attempt to get some time away from her assailant. He was suspended from campus for two years, which, Hall notes, is longer than the typical suspension for sexual misconduct. As a result, Hall knows her case is a rare one. “I think
Complainant files Code of Conduct violation with either Office of Student Life (OSL) or Brown Department of Public Safety.
After hearing, SCB deliberates and then notifies Senior Associate Dean.
OSL launches investigation and notifies respondent of complaint.
Both complainant and respondent are instructed to seek guidance from an advisor. Respondent must also gather witnesses.
Student Conduct Board (SCB) hearing is scheduled to determine guilt and related consequences.
of the changes they favor involve helping Brown comply with Title IX’s requirement that the school remove all possible barriers to reporting sexual misconduct. Jaeger says he interprets that to include a responsibility for Brown to make reporting and pursuing a sexual assault case “as nondisruptive to the student’s life as possible.” Jaeger elaborates, “It’s really not fair for a student who reports sexual assault to then have to switch their class schedule around or change their room or be displaced in their social networks” in order to avoid their assailant. “Brown has no formal policy on that, now,” he notes, which he believes “represents a lack of commitment to mitigating the impact [of the reporting process] on the reporter.” There are concrete steps the University could take towards developing formal policies; Brown could do well, for example, to formalize its commitment to first asking the respondent to change their schedule or living arrangements after a report is filed, rather than shifting the burden to the alleged victim. Both Hall and Jaeger note that Brown has a better sexual assault policy than most of its peer institutions. However, as Hall put it, “Our better-than-them sucks. I think it’s important to keep it in perspective that just because we’re better than other schools doesn’t mean we’re okay.” Jaeger concurs, saying, “It really doesn’t matter how well we compare to other schools, because [sexual assault is] still happening, and people [who commit sexual assault] are still walking
free, and that’s a problem.” While Barsky and Jaeger face a challenging fight to see their proposals come to fruition, they have a greater chance of success by working within the college campus — where students can hold administrators accountable — than they would by confronting the vast, opaque and seemingly unyielding leviathan that is the criminal justice system. College sexual assault response systems are imperfect and produce inconsistent results. But given the inadequate state of the justice system, college campuses must be the ones to spearhead efforts to eradicate sexual assault. Although perhaps well-intentioned, RAINN’s proposal of outsourcing the process of addressing sexual assault to a flawed justice system would not only be insensitive to survivors’ needs, but would also exacerbate the existing issues facing the response process. The fact remains: Each college has its own social, political and bureaucratic culture. Improvements to the college response process will have to be made piecemeal, as any wholesale reform ignores the reality that each college exhibits a unique set of obstacles. But it is on these campuses, despite their imperfections, that the voices of survivors and advocates can ring the loudest, and that the necessary changes to sexual assault response systems can be made the swiftest. u JORDANA ROSENFELD ‘17 IS AN URBAN STUDIES CONCENTRATOR.
FEATURE BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
a lot of it was luck of the draw. I had a very understanding panel,” she says. Additionally, she had a plethora of tangible evidence to present at the hearing — something few other survivors have. Hall also notes that she was sober during the assault and that this fact worked in her favor — though sobriety should not matter when it comes to believing survivors of sexual assault. There is more that Brown can do to be supportive of her and other sexual assault survivors, Hall maintains, although she expressed gratitude for the two years away from her assailant. Speaking of her assailant, she said, “Right now, for instance, they’re telling me that they’re not allowed to let me know what his registration status is, so I don’t know if he’s choosing to transfer or come back.” She advocates that Brown suspend respondents found guilty of sexual assault until the person they assaulted graduates. This would be a bold move for the University, but it has the potential to provide relief and safety for many students. Hall is not the only student with ideas about how to change the way Brown handles sexual assault reports. Brown’s Student Code of Conduct is coming up for review in 2014, and that presents an ideal opportunity to improve the campus response to sexual violence. Eager to seize that moment, Lena Barsky ‘14, a column manager at BPR, and Harpo Jaeger ‘14.5 convened a task force of interested students to promote positive, survivor-centered change. Some
Dean notifies involved parties, who can appeal to the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services.
THERE ARE NO FREE CHANCES, MRS. CLINTON. The question shouldn’t be: “Are we ready?” but “Is she?” STORY BY BEN WOFFORD / ART BY KATRINA MACHADO
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW NATIONAL
oday, Terry McAuliffe is the consummate political power broker: millionaire, fundraiser, influence peddler and now governor. But for one night in January 2008, McAuliffe had the single worst job in modern politics — informing the Clintons that they were about to lose. At the time, McAuliffe was the chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and then, as now, Senator Clinton had spent the previous year skiing down the comfortable slopes of certainty towards the presidential prize awaiting her below. Yet despite the trappings of sure victory — millions spent in Iowa, support from Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, her husband’s deployment across the state — Clinton had utterly failed to apprehend the seismic rumblings of Senator Barack Obama’s grassroots support. An incredulous McAuliffe had to emerge from the boiler room with a staggering ream of turnout data that would launch Clinton into a frantic nightmare to outrace an Obama-triggered avalanche. It’s hard to imagine how a single moment could embody the essence of a chaotic and bloody six-month-long campaign. Yet the moment that Clinton lost Iowa is just that. The story is detailed neatly in John Heileman and Mark Halperin’s account of the 2008 election, “Game Change.” When McAuliffe entered the room, we’re told, Bill engaged him: “Hey Mac, how you doing?” The account continues: “‘How we doing?’ McAuliffe asked, taken aback...‘We’re gonna get our ass kicked.’ ‘What?’ Clinton exclaimed, jumping to his feet, calling out, ‘Hillary!’ Hillary emerged from the bedroom. McAuliffe filled her in...she was going to finish third, slightly shy of Edwards and a long way behind Obama. McAuliffe’s words landed like a roundhouse right on the Clintons’ collective jaw. On the eve of the caucuses, the people the Clintons trusted most had assured them [Iowa] would pay off...
Watching her bitter and befuddled reaction, her staggering lack of calm or command, one of her senior-most lieutenants thought for the first time: This woman shouldn’t be president.” Losing is the ultimate test of fortitude, and Clinton had never lost a political contest before Iowa. Suddenly faced with the prospect of a loss for the first time, Clinton was forced to react quickly under pressure — like a president must. Rather than presidential patience, however, history has documented a campaign that began a steady, methodical unraveling. Negative campaigning. Financial mismanagement. Managerial chaos and staff factionalism. The inability to control Bill on the trail. These images, only six years old, of a deeply dysfunctional Clinton campaign seem to have been scrubbed from the collective liberal mind. Now, “Ready for Hillary” labels dot the country — the emblem of the Super PAC designed to ward off potential challengers and lay the groundwork for another “inevitable” Clinton victory. Even for a name as storied and a political organization as deep as Clinton’s, it’s hard to believe that her presumptive candidacy has attracted little skepticism from the left, if for nothing other than the enthused political amnesia it requires. Clinton is not a great campaigner. She’s not particularly liberal. And she’s not that experienced. If she were, there would be no political necessity to ward off potential challengers, as Ready for Hillary seeks to accomplish. Why, then, has the party that prides itself on skepticism of power — at the clear expense of a strong primary, vigorous debate and an honest appraisal of the Democrats’ 2016 candidates — suddenly decided that it’s so ready to prematurely elevate a single candidate?
ould Hillary Clinton make a good president? Maybe. She created the Global Hunger and Food Security program. She played a lead-
ing role in the bipartisan passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her coalition-building prowess propelled her to the head of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. But what’s unnerving about the case of Clinton isn’t her theoretical tenure in the Oval Office so much as the
condition that would underlie it: the growing precedent of a liberal establishment more interested in succession to the throne than rule by the people. It could likely be the liberal zeal for Clinton that is the very thing that costs her the presidency all over again. The 2008 scene in Des Moines could happen again next January if Clinton is again unprepared for the possibility of losses or unwilling to accept more losses with patience. In asking questions about Clin-
But we also know something else about Clinton, a well-worn point, but one to which progressives enthusiastic and ready for Hillary would have to turn a blind eye: Clinton’s record as a liberal is decidedly mixed. First among equals is her vote to authorize the Iraq War — perhaps the least progressive foreign policy of recent decades — for which she may never apologize. Her milieu is decisively conservative on issues of corporate finance and regulation: “Her best friends, her intellectual brain trust [on economics], all come out of that world,” an aide to Clinton told The New Republic. You don’t become a senator or secretary of state by being an envelope-pusher and a reformist. Throughout her tenure in the public eye, Clinton has been neither, with one notable exception. Those who know her claim that the catastrophe of healthcare reform in 1993 played a funda-
floor at campaign headquarters. Clinton grew increasingly irritable — understandably, since nothing is more grueling than a national campaign. Yet, according to her campaign staff, her antipathy seemed especially piqued with the advent of each new loss. Assessing a candidate’s ability to cope with the relentless pressure and incessant schedule of a campaign is a basic prerequisite for any candidate, as it was in 2008 and should again be in 2016 for Clinton.
mental role in strengthening her neorealist approach to politics. It’s difficult to reconcile America’s onetime healthcare warrior with the senator who voted to make flag burning a crime 13 years later. In a different setting, the nearly legendary maneuvering might be admirable — but it doesn’t square with her boosters’ preferred image of Hillary as a get-it-done force of nature, an image that liberals have bought wholesale. These criticisms may be old news, but Clin-
ton has plenty of new questions to answer. She is reported to share the views of her husband, who suggested President Obama would be “a total fool” not to intervene in Syria — hardly a view in sync with the reality of war-weary Americans. The epochal debate now gripping the country over the legitimacy of the security state could also easily ensnare a Clinton candidacy. After all, Senator Clinton not once, but twice, authorized the PATRIOT Act — the legal source of the NSA’s domestic spying. Clinton’s murky bona fides gravitate around her greatest myth: the fallacy that she is so supremely qualified that she warrants a path to the Democratic nomination without challengers. Commentators enthuse that Clinton would be the most qualified candidate to reach the presidency since Nixon. The observation says far less about Clinton than the power fetish of Washington, where experience, talent and mystique are merely the sum of titles on one’s resume. President Obama launched a successful counterargument against this notion in the face of Mitt Romney’s managerial “success” story in 2012 and Clinton’s “3 am phone call” advertising campaign in 2008. For liberals, the philosophy later paid off. In 2010, President Obama was faced with a situation similar to the one Secretary Clinton had grappled with nearly two decades earlier — a hard and treacherous road to passing healthcare reform. Unlike Clinton, however, who as head of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform did not succeed in enacting change, a comparably inexperienced Obama was able to maneuver his plan through staunch opposition. The young president’s success was validation that experience is made meaningful more by the ability to react to difficult or volatile situations than by the length of one’s list of titles and stories. It’s easy to forget how Obama, a senator for only three years, defended against Clinton’s experience argument by repeatedly pointing out the true paucity of her senatorial record. Her coalition-building reputation notwithstanding, Clinton’s voting record was a full-time maintenance operation and her stances timid at best. In eight years, a time frame in which the Senate passed over 5,000 bills, Clinton sponsored only three that became law: one to rename a highway, one to rename a post office and one to commission a historic landmark. One thing seems clear. With flag burning, Iraq and the PATRIOT Act on her resume, Hillary Clinton’s primary achievement in
NATIONAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
ton, the purpose is less to raise doubts than to follow through on a process that might make her a better candidate and make us better voters. We should start with what we do know about Clinton: She needs to work on her campaigning skills. After Iowa, the picture of the Clinton campaign only gets bleaker. Frequently, as Heileman and Halperin’s “Game Change” details, no one knew who was in charge. Clinton cast this confusion herself when she apparently fired campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, but nominally retained her on staff. Clinton routinely hung up without warning on conference calls that she deemed unnecessary. By Nevada, morale had sunk so low that senior staff began quitting publicly. “Fuck you and the whole fucking cabal!” one such staffer screamed, standing on a chair so that his voice could project across the busy office
the Senate was probably her own transformation — from the right wing’s bête noire of 1999 to the sanitized and centrist politician we see today. Again, there are far worse things, but the gap between the imaginary liberal senator and the real, not-so-liberal one is wide. Since then, maybe the most impressive chapter in Clinton’s public life has been her time at the State Department. But even Secretary Clinton’s portfolio of achievements there looks increasingly vulnerable to critique. Her two major initiatives now ring hollow: the evaporating “Pivot to Asia,” largely unwound by her successor and the “Reset with Russia,” now reversed by Crimea. Secretary Kerry has arguably accomplished more in one year than Clinton did in four as he gaffed his way to reducing Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, reached a landmark agreement with Iran and jump-
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW NATIONAL
CLINTON IS NOT A GREAT CAMPAIGNER. SHE’S NOT PARTICULARLY LIBERAL. AND SHE’S NOT THAT EXPERIENCED. IF SHE WERE, THERE WOULD BE NO POLITICAL NECESSITY TO WARD OFF POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS, AS READY FOR HILLARY SEEKS TO ACCOMPLISH.
started (however ill-fated) peace talks between Israel and Palestine. That may say more about Clinton than Kerry. At critical moments in Obama’s first term, such as the unexpected decision to intervene in Libya, firsthand accounts depict Obama, not Clinton, as the creative instigator, while Kerry has been portrayed with more autonomy. Kerry transplanted his senatorial activism to the State Department, while Clinton did the same with her minimalism. There’s a reason that, in 2015, Clinton will hold the longest record for being in the national public eye: Her reserved nature has allowed her to occupy positions of high visibility while avoiding the implications of scandal. Even the Secret Service drugs-and-prostitution affair and Benghazi are now only light stains.
nother anecdote from “Game Change,” in another primary contest and in another hotel room, reveals one of the strongest arguments for a competitive primary. It takes place in Nashua, NH, as the Obamas learn that they have been handed an unexpected loss. It
was longtime friend and aide Valerie Jarrett who had to walk the plank and inform the Obamas of their grim loss. Their entire strategy had hinged on the momentum from Iowa catapulting Obama to the nomination, and the entire election was now in doubt. Rumors had spread about Clinton’s hotel meltdown in Des Moines, and Jarrett clearly feared the McAuliffe treatment: “Jarrett found the Obamas swallowing hard to choke down the bitter pill. ‘What on earth am I going to say to make this okay?’ she thought. But before Jarrett had a chance to open her mouth, Barack put one hand on her shoulder and said, ‘This is going to be a good thing. You’ll see.’ Michelle was steelier, less reassuring. ‘This is going to be a test,’ she said. ‘It’s going to be a test to see if they’re really with us or not.’” Heileman and Halperin’s account does more than just capture Obama’s resilience. It typifies why the Democratic Party needs a primary. To understand the counterpart election night stories in Iowa and New Hampshire is to understand the reason for Ready for Hillary: For better or for worse, the Super PAC is designed to ensure that political history does not repeat itself. A Hillary campaign may not be able to survive another bout of staff resignations and steely-eyed brooding from Clinton. Then again, it won’t have to if there’s no competition. That brings to light a fundamental, philosophical divide that requires two starkly different interpretations of the 2008 primary. Are primaries good for their candidates? The answer could easily be no: See Mitt Romney’s cyclical pummeling in 2012, offering up binders full of blunders along the way. The cost of primary campaigns has grown, increasing the risk of financial disadvantage in the general election. It wasn’t for nothing that, in 2008, Rush Limbaugh encouraged Republicans to vote in Democratic elections to prolong the primary, announcing, “We need Barack Obama bloodied up.” But there’s one circle this theory just can’t square. It assumes that the candidate whom a primary would “harm” really is the best candidate after all. Romney and Clinton’s implosions were no one’s fault but their own. The notion that a primary is something to be circumvented requires presumptuousness on the part of the candidate, or at least the candidate’s backers, that runs completely counter to the
democratic principles behind primaries, which were originally put in place to prevent candidates from being picked in the proverbial smoke-filled room. After Ann Romney scoffed, “It’s our turn now,” when speaking of her husband’s imminent nomination, liberals rightly skewered her entitlement-of-the-elite mentality. It’s hard to see what’s materially different about the assumptive spirit behind Ready for Hillary. Has Clinton learned from the catastrophic experience of 2008? Only a moderately challenging primary can tell. Running a campaign can be more difficult than running the State Department — at least for Clinton, who failed at one and debatably succeeded at the other. In a primary, seething press pools and angry donors replace eager dignitaries. Whether she can run a smooth campaign will be a stern and necessary test that will better her candidacy and, possibly, her presidency. Even if Ready for Hillary succeeds in suppressing potential primary opponents, the political vulnerabilities it will obscure won’t disappear for long. Iraq, Syria, the PATRIOT Act, Russia and the question of her ability for grace under campaign pressure still remain. They are simply waiting to be reignited by an agile and unforgiving Republican opponent who will view the election not as a procession, but as a street brawl. In the most enduring irony, it’s impossible to miss the source from which her supporters derive Clinton’s most flattering images: a fighter who squares up to political adversaries; a pragmatic consensus builder in Congress; a fundraising behemoth not too righteous for the indignities of politics. Six years into the constant diminishing of expectations that represents the Obama era, it’s no wonder that liberals have eagerly transposed their dashed hopes for Obama onto the promise of Clinton’s candidacy. But the presumptiveness adds a spark of real danger to the selective memory of liberals. In all their nostalgia for the dynastic ‘90s and their pervasive optimism for a first female president, supporters and sticker-sporters could be setting an uncontested Clinton up for another loss — maybe this time at the expense of the White House for the party altogether. And unlike the political resurrections of Clinton’s past, this time it would be a loss that liberals will find difficult to undo. u BEN WOFFORD ‘14 IS A HISTORY CONCENTRATOR AND AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR AT BPR.
BPR Media Spotlight: Providence’s Immigrant-Owned Businesses PHOTOGRAPHY BY EUGENIA LULO AND EMMA MURRAY
Chutema, left, arrived in the United States in 1976. Having witnessed the brutalities of the Vietnam War, he secured refugee status and fled his native Cambodia. Since opening his restaurant, Angkor, in 2007, he has been its sole owner and chef. This photo essay explores the stories of four immigrant business owners in Providence. In a country with changing attitudes towards immigration and a city where 13.5 percent of the population is foreign-born, these individuals illustrate the growing contributions of the immigrant community to American society and embody the American dream through their commitment to the pursuit of a better life. See the full photo essay at brownpoliticalreview.org.
MEDIA SPOTLIGHT BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
“We didn’t come here because we wanted to, we came here because we were dying.”
PULPED FICTION India’s culture of censorship STORY BY DEVIKA GIRISH / ART BY ANISA HOLMES
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW GLOBAL
ine days after the publication of Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” in 1988, India banned the importation and sale of the book. Four months later, in February 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini issued his infamous fatwa against Rushdie for the book’s allegedly anti-Islamic tones. A violent backlash against Rushdie and his supporters erupted worldwide, but Penguin Group, the book’s publisher, refused to withdraw the book except in countries where legal bans were imposed. A couple of months ago, in the same week as the 25th anniversary of the ayatollah’s fatwa against Rushdie, Penguin India seemed to disregard its historical commitment to freedom of expression when it announced that it would withdraw all copies of Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus: An Alternative History” from Indian bookstores. This was the outcome of an out-of-court settlement that concluded a four-year-long battle between the publishing house and a conservative Hindu civil advocacy group. The plaintiffs claimed that the book outraged “the sentiments of Hindus all over the world.” The turnaround in Penguin’s attitude is representative of an alarmingly regressive development in India’s attitude towards freedom of expression. Free speech is no longer fighting a losing battle in India; it seems to have lost all will to fight. After experiencing years of political crackdowns on free speech, unassertive judicial action exacerbated by ambiguous laws and the lack of a broad-based campaign against censorship, India seems to have internalized undemocratic norms. The brouhaha over Doniger’s book is hardly new: India has a long history of imposing bans on controversial works of art and literature. However, the significance of the Doniger case lies in the absence of an official ban. Penguin’s preemptive withdrawal of the book — even before the case was resolved in court — suggests a disturbing conclusion: Explicit politico-legal censorship in India is being replaced by an even
more pernicious tendency to self-censor. “The Hindus” was the third such book to be pulped by established publishing houses in out-of-court settlements since December. The other two were also withdrawn in response to legal threats by offended private and corporate entities. For decades, critics have decried the susceptibility of free speech to political manipulation in India. In blatant attempts to pander to vote banks, political parties are known to raise frivolous and uninformed objections to literature and art under the guise of protecting the sentiments of certain communities. When the government banned “The Satanic Verses,” the Indian National Congress Party was accused of attempting to appease the Muslim vote bank. The withdrawal of “The Hindus,” though not directly precipitated by any political action, was publicly celebrated by leaders of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party as a victory for the Hindu nationalist agenda — one of the foundations of its 2014 electoral campaign. Nevertheless, vote bank politics is somewhat inevitable in the functioning of a competitive, multiparty democracy like India. The contest for votes may tempt parties to resort to demagogic tactics, but the positive offshoot is that social groups have a platform to voice their concerns in exchange for votes. Politically motivated censorship in the country is still problematic, but India’s judicial system, which is supposed to override undemocratic populist demands, is more culpable than India’s political institutions in the slow stifling of free speech. Ambiguity characterizes the legal provisions that regulate freedom of expression. The civil advocacy group that called for a ban on “The Hindus” filed criminal suits against Penguin under Section 295a of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalizes acts that “outrage religious sentiments” of any community. Section 295a is one of many laws in the IPC that, through vague and imprecise wording, criminalize the ex-
pression of any opinions that “wound religious feelings of any person” or “promote enmity between classes.” In an open letter to the public explaining the seemingly premature withdrawal of its book, Penguin protested that such laws make it difficult for any publisher in India “to uphold international standards of freedom of expression without deliberately placing themselves outside the law.” In fact, the subjectivity of these laws has even resulted in the prosecution of cases that involve no mention of religion. For instance, in 2011, two young women were arrested in Mumbai under Section 295a for Facebook posts critical of the city’s shutdown after the death of regional politician Bal Thackeray. Most of these laws are relics of the colonial era and
WHEN A GROUP OF YOUNG WRITERS TRIED TO EXPRESS DISSATISFACTION WITH CENSORSHIP BY READING FROM “THE SATANIC VERSES” ON STAGE, THEY WERE ASKED TO IMMEDIATELY FLEE THE COUNTRY IN ORDER TO AVOID BODILY HARM.
are perceived by many as outdated and a threat to modern India’s commitment to democratic values. Defamation laws in India are also afflicted by a similar use of broad language. The IPC criminalizes defamation as punishable with up to two years of imprisonment. A few weeks before the withdrawal of “The Hindus” by Penguin, Bloomsbury India agreed in a similar out-of-court settlement to withdraw all copies of “The Descent of Air India” — an insider account of the decline of the state-owned airline. A court battle was launched after Praful Patel, the former aviation minister of India, filed a criminal defamation suit against the publishing house. Many have pointed out that although the book discusses Patel’s extensive role in the downfall of Air India, all its claims are backed by hard evidence, and had Bloomsbury pursued the case further, then the court might have decided in its favor. However, considering the ease with which influential litigants have managed to obtain court injunctions against books on the grounds of defamation in recent years, it is easy to see why Bloomsbury chose not to take its chances. Broad language, especially in laws that impose reasonable limits on fundamental rights, would not be problematic if judicial systems gave these laws nuanced and carefully considered interpretations. However, the Indian judiciary fails here; lower courts across the country interpret these laws inconsistently, doling out injunctions without scrutinizing the fine print that narrows their scope. For example, in cases dealing with the censorship of opinions that “[hurt]
religious sentiments,” proof that the offensive statements were made with malicious intent, and that the offended party was not driven by political motives, is required. These caveats are frequently ignored by lower courts, which are quick to ban even works written for purely academic purposes. A telling example is that of “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo,” an objective, well-researched work about an Indian spiritual leader by American scholar Peter Heehs. Ardent devotees of Aurobindo took offense at Heehs’ expressed skepticism of Aurobindo’s supposed supernatural powers and filed cases under Section 295a of the IPC, as well as a defamation suit, in a regional high court. The court responded by staying the book’s publication. Fortunately, the Supreme Court of India has been far more proactive in defending free speech against ill-conceived litigation and has occasionally overturned bans imposed by lower courts. However, appeals can take years or even decades to wind through the interminable delays and tortuous processes of the Indian judicial system. These inefficiencies stifle media and press freedom by encouraging a culture of self-censorship. If powerful publishers like Penguin and Bloomsbury did not think fighting for free speech in courts was worth their time and money, then the prospects for small-time journalists, artists and authors, who have much fewer resources and less political capital at hand, are exceedingly bleak. While the repression of free speech by Indian institutions through litigation and bans encourages self-censorship among the
DEVIKA GIRISH ‘17 IS A POTENTIAL MODERN CULTURE AND MEDIA CONCENTRATOR.
GLOBAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
country’s press forces, the passivity of these institutions in defending free speech from attacks by radical groups reinforces another brand of unofficial censorship — one imposed through the sheer threat of mob violence. The Indian state has always struggled with the fine balancing act of maintaining national harmony while also preserving the independent identities of the diverse communities it governs. By repeatedly giving legitimacy to groups that brandish the “hurt sentiments” argument every time a contrarian opinion is voiced, it has reinforced deep-seated sectarian attitudes. Encouraged by the weakness of law and order in the country, civil society groups manage to silence creative voices by intimidation, vandalism and physical harassment. These crude tactics were seen in full force during the 2012 Jaipur Literature Festival. Fundamentalist Muslim groups threatened to incite violent protests if Rushdie, invited to speak at the event, was allowed to take the stage. Rushdie was forced to cancel his visit to the festival, as well as a virtual interview from London arranged as an alternative, after a mob of Muslim activists gathered at the festival venue and threatened to disrupt the proceedings. When a group of young writers tried to express dissatisfaction with the situation by reading from “The Satanic Verses” on stage, they were asked to immediately flee the country in order to avoid bodily harm. Penguin also mentioned the need to protect its employees against threats and harassment as one of the central reasons behind its withdrawal of “The Hindus,” highlighting the dangers of enabling radical elements in civil society to enforce censorship through bullying and violence. What India needs is an organized movement large enough to influence political attitudes towards the defense of free speech. However, such a broad movement would be difficult to orchestrate because the crusade against censorship is led largely by the small, urban, English-speaking elite that invokes lofty democratic ideals in its arguments. The overwhelming majority of Indians, many of whom lack formal education, are unable to meaningfully access these conversations. Unless Indian civil society can unite in a populist effort to challenge the status quo, censorship in the country may escalate beyond the occasional book ban to the full-blown suppression of political dissent. u
The Machismo Paradox Latin America’s struggles with feminism and patriarchy Written by Nikhil Kumar / Art by Emily Reif
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW FEATURE
resident Michelle Bachelet marked her second inauguration last month wearing the country’s traditional red, white and blue presidential sash in a ceremony outside the Chile Congress building. Her first term spanned from 2006 to 2010, during which she enjoyed massive public approval. In announcing her second presidential run in March of last year, she promised that she would lead “the first government of the new political and social majority” and “build a more inclusive Chile.” Bachelet’s political success in recent years has been nothing short of extraordinary, especially given that women in Chile only gained the unrestricted right to vote in national elections in 1949. Similar progress has been made throughout Latin America, with women now occupying seats in parliaments and presidential palaces across the region. But in spite of these strides, violence against women and economic disparity between genders remain exceptionally high, leaving much room for progress in the Latin American quest for gender equality. In this light, Bachelet’s promise of a more inclusive Chile may prescribe much-needed regional change. In 2005, Bachelet was the first woman to win a Chilean presidential election. In
her victory speech, she remarked, “Who would have said...15 years ago, that a woman would be elected president?” Since that watershed moment, four women, including Bachelet, have won five presidential elections in Latin America. Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected in 2007 and again in 2011; Dilma Rousseff assumed the Brazilian presidency in 2010; Laura Chinchilla Miranda of Costa Rica became president in 2010; and Bachelet was re-elected in 2013. Although Chinchilla will step down this spring, all of these women are in power today. The total population of their countries is upwards of 250 million — meaning that they collectively represent nearly half of Latin America. This is truly an unprecedented situation for the continent, and it puts each of these leaders in a unique position to effect change in the struggle for women’s rights. In that fight, these chief executives will have many powerful female allies in Latin American legislatures. Between 2006 and 2011, the proportion of women in Nicaragua’s National Assembly increased from 18.5 to nearly 40 percent — a clear indication of the progress women have made in politics. In Latin America as a whole, women occupy more than a quarter of the
total parliamentary seats. This renders the region second only to Scandinavia, which is governed by parliaments that are 42 percent female on average. Given that the world average is 19.5 percent, Latin America has emerged as a clear global leader on this front, putting it in a prime position to promote gender equality. The victories of women in Latin American politics have been years in the making, born from the long history of women’s parties and coalitions before them. After World War I, Pan-American feminism took hold in the region, thanks to landmark figures like Paulina Luisi of Uruguay and Bertha Lutz of Brazil. These leaders took charge of the global fight for women’s suffrage, and through organized advocacy, women gained the right to vote in eight Latin American countries between 1932 and 1945. These women also played a critical role in the recognition of women’s rights during the creation of the United Nations; Bertha Lutz’s efforts led to the founding of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which remains in existence today. The following decade saw 10 other countries in the Western Hemisphere achieve women’s suffrage. Without the efforts of Latin American feminists in the first half of the 20th
century, it’s unlikely that any woman in the region — let alone four of them — would be president and unlikely that Latin America would be a global leader in female parliamentary representation. The legacy of Lutz and other early 20th century advocates has been proudly carried on: In 2012, Rousseff received the Bertha Lutz Award from the Brazilian Congress for her advocacy of gender equality.
A recent survey of Brazilian men and women found that 65 percent of the population believes that women wearing revealing clothes deserve to be raped. than a dozen countries in the region. There is a great deal of variability in these laws, in terms of both the percentage they require (ranging from 20 to 50 percent) and the degree to which they are enforced. There is also variability in how the quotas are implemented: Some quota regulations contain loopholes that make them ineffective, while others have proven immensely vital to the promotion of female politicians. In some countries, party efforts to attract women voters have led to quota systems despite a lack of central government policies. The historic success of female politicians in the 2011 Nicaraguan elections, in which women ultimately won more than 50 percent of the majority party’s seats, was helped by a 30 percent voluntary quota enforced by the party. But quotas do not always help; some countries’ quota rules allow parties to put women on their ballots in such a way that they have little or no chance of actually winning a seat in government. Overall, the quota system has proven to be effective in quickly offsetting male-dominated
platforms where women used to be largely overlooked. These four leaders also came to power at ideal times, benefiting from strong support for their parties in other parts of government. Bachelet’s New Majority coalition, for example, has a comfortable majority in both the lower house and the Senate. This should facilitate the implementation of her agenda for more socioeconomic equality in Chile. In 2011, Kirchner’s Justicialist Party cemented its control of the legislature, prompting The Economist to predict at the time that, “[f]or the next two years at least [she] should be able to govern virtually unfettered.” Rousseff and her Workers’ Party have likewise managed to garner strong support in Brazil despite slow economic growth throughout much of her tenure. Like Bachelet and Kirchner, Rousseff began her term alongside a congressional sweep by her party and its coalition. After weathering large-scale street protests last year, Rousseff remains the strong favorite in opinion polls for the next presidential election, to be held in October. As a result of their popular support, these female leaders have the potential not only to advance causes of wide appeal, but also to push forward more contestable policies on social and economic inequality, such as divorce and abortion rights.
nd yet progress for women outside of the electoral sphere is far less forthcoming. UN studies estimate that close to one in two women will become a victim of violence over the course of her lifetime in certain parts of Latin America. In Brazil alone, 29 percent of women report domestic abuse in a single year. In addition to widespread sexual violence, Latin America has an exceptionally high concentration of femicide, the killing of women on the basis of their gender. The region is home to 10 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide — including five of the top 10. The Central American country El Salvador tops the list with 12 femicides for every 100,000 women. Brazil occupies the 20th spot, with more than four femicides per 100,000 women. The advent of female Latin American leaders has failed to resolve the underlying sexism that contributes to these issues. The position of women in the economic hierarchy of Latin America has proven especially problematic. Granted, significant progress has recently been made in this domain, with 70 million women joining the
FEATURE BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
lthough the gains women have made in recent years are substantial, they have not been grassroots, fast-paced, or easy to achieve. Instead, contradictory heritages of feminism and patriarchy have determined the paths of Presidents Bachelet, Rousseff, Kirchner and Chinchilla. In all six of the presidential elections they have won, these four women have received clear mandates from their countries. In her most recent election last December, Bachelet trounced her opponent — Evelyn Matthei — with 62 percent of the vote. In her 2011 victory, Kirchner received 54 percent in the first round of voting, which was the best performance and biggest margin in that round since 1983. The wide margins of victory that these leaders have enjoyed are suggestive of a strong willingness — and even eagerness — on the part of Latin American voters to elect a woman. But these promising results carry with them several hidden truths. Each of the four female presidents currently in power had strong ties to the men who preceded them, suggesting that their rise to power — however groundbreaking — still relied on support from the male establishment. Bachelet served as health minister and then defense minister under Chilean President Ricardo Lagos Escobar (interviewed on page 40), who enjoyed widespread popularity. Rousseff began working with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2000, and later served as his first energy minister and chief of staff before being named his successor. When Lula stepped down as president, his approval rating was above 80 percent and he drew immense support from the poor northeastern part of the country. Before 2010, Rousseff had never run for elected office. She would not have won without the support of poorer voters, which — in light of her middle-class, educated background — might have been impossible without Lula’s blessing. Chinchilla was the vice president under Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sánchez, who later endorsed her during her presidential can-
didacy. And Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was the wife of former President Néstor Kirchner. She succeeded his administration in 2007 after being elected to the presidency. Néstor’s death in 2010 contributed to Kirchner’s already soaring popularity prior to her reelection in 2011; in her acceptance speech, Kirchner said that Néstor was “the founder of this victory.” While any politician benefits from the endorsements of popular public figures, the necessity of male support for these politicians exhibits the enduring patriarchal structure of Latin American society. Similarly, the rise of women to parliaments in Latin America has been made possible mostly through significant institutional efforts. In 1991, Argentina implemented a quota requiring that a minimum of 30 percent of legislative candidates be women. Today, similar quotas exist in more
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW FEATURE
workforce in the last 20 years. Furthermore, the burgeoning incomes of these women have reduced extreme poverty by 30 percent. But such statistics can be misleading, as women are often confined to low-paying jobs in the service sector while men work in high-tech, construction and other skilled industries. As a result of this inequitable distribution of jobs, there is a marked gender gap in incomes. In Chile, for example, men earn an average of $1,172 per month, while women earn $811. And corporate executives across the region are still overwhelmingly male. As Marta Lagos, director of the polling company Latinobarómetro, said to The New York Times: “Men are generally fine with women in positions of political power as long as they retain economic power.” In this sense, the gains of women in government should not stop us from questioning the lack of gender parity that remains in other aspects of life, including the workforce. Neither have these four women, who enjoy remarkable success at the highest levels of government, been immune to the pressures of their traditionally machismo-infused societies. Machismo is a Latin American cultural analog to patriarchy: It refers to a set of hyper-masculine characteristics and their value in traditional Latin American society. It has slowed progress in changing public opinion on a number of women’s rights issues. The fight for divorce rights, for example, has had mixed success because of widespread societal reluctance. However, Bachelet’s identity as a single mother has greatly expanded the expectations of what a woman in Chile is capable of achieving. She has arguably done more than any of her fellow presidents to further the cause of women’s rights by creating pensions for housewives, legalizing alimony payments for divorced women and serving
After Bachelet approved a law calling for emergency contraception in staterun hospitals in 2006, Catholic leaders called her administration a “totalitarian regime.”
as the inaugural director of UN Women, an entity dedicated to gender equality, after her first presidential term. Bachelet’s work to improve the lives of divorced women is highly significant in light of the fact that Chile only legalized divorce in 2004. Brazil legalized divorce in 1977, but the Rousseff administration made the process significantly easier in 2011, near the beginning of the president’s term. In 2012, she also issued a decree aimed at increasing women’s property rights in divorce cases. Rousseff herself has been divorced twice, something that can be looked upon with scorn in the world’s largest Catholic country. Indeed, Rousseff has often scuffled with powerful Catholic (and, more recently, evangelical) leaders who question her commitment to traditional values. Abortion, an even more contentious topic, has created a complex dilemma for female leaders as they navigate the stances of traditionally powerful institutions like the Catholic Church. The issue has been particularly problematic for Bachelet. Chile is one of seven Latin American countries that retain complete bans on abortion; hundreds of women have been imprisoned
there on suspicion of attempting to terminate their pregnancies. Bachelet supports the practice’s legalization for medical emergencies and rapes, but even members of her own coalition have objected to this stance. The Catholic Church, one of the most vehement opponents of pro-abortion legislation, continues to be highly influential in Chilean society. After Bachelet approved a law calling for emergency contraception in state-run hospitals in 2006, Catholic leaders called her administration a “totalitarian regime.” Last August, President Rousseff signed a bill into law requiring public hospitals to provide emergency care to victims of sexual violence, defined in this case to include “all forms of rape.” Although the bill represented a significant step towards abortion rights, its wording was altered to ensure that it did not encourage abortions. Bachelet and Rousseff have utilized their positions to make some progress in the fight for women’s reproductive rights, but change remains slow. A recent survey of Brazilian men and women found that 65 percent of the population believes that women wearing revealing clothes deserve to be raped. On the other hand, Argentina’s Kirchner and Costa Rica’s Chinchilla have been outspoken about their opposition to abortion. Abortion is prohibited in Argentina except in cases of rape or threat to life. Nevertheless, illegal procedures are far from uncommon: About 500,000 clandestine abortions occur in the country each year, and the procedures can carry the risk of hospitalization. Similarly, Costa Rica only allows abortions if the life of the mother is endangered, and doctors often do not perform them even in these cases in order to avoid prosecution. The presidents of both countries have distanced themselves from women’s rights organizations as well,
presumably for their political interests as much as for their personal beliefs. Indeed, it is apparent that the election of female politicians does not ensure that women’s reproductive rights will be on the agenda, let alone become law.
Both Kirchner and Chinchilla have been outspoken about their opposition to abortion. They have distanced themselves from women’s rights organizations as much for political interests as personal beliefs.
characteristically intense public scrutiny, especially from the media. Although the media is unapologetically conservative, and as a result has been unsupportive of both Lula and Rousseff, Lula admits that Rousseff ’s lack of friends in the media industry is especially disconcerting. In early 2013, even when she enjoyed immense popularity among the Brazilian people, no major news agency supported her; Lula remarked that “the prejudice against her is because she is a woman and because of the fact that it wasn’t foreseen in the minds of the Brazilian elite that a woman could occupy the political spaces which have been, until yesterday, occupied by men.” In many ways, women in Latin America continue to be marginalized by their machismo-driven society. Even the four women who have worked fearlessly to become presidents of their respective countries are often stymied by those who wish to preserve the traditional gender imbalance. Yet the progress of the past several decades, begun by feminist pioneers and continued by Michelle Bachelet, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Laura Chinchilla, is dramatic, and today Latin America remains a leader in female political participation. Although a great deal of work must still be done if Latin America is ever to see true gender equality, today’s female presidents have taken some strides towards that goal, and the symbolic value of female political leaders has been helpful for recent advances. As the United States continues to wonder if it will ever elect a female president, Latin America serves as a reminder that elevating a woman to the highest office in the land isn’t the hard part — it’s what comes next. u
NIKHIL KUMAR ‘17 IS A POTENTIAL ECONOMICS AND FRENCH CONCENTRATOR AND A COPY EDITOR AT BPR.
FEATURE BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
t may even be unrealistic to think that the Latin American public is open to equal treatment of men and women in government, or even that the greater trend of empowering women in politics will continue in the near future. Early in her term as president, Rousseff faced many doubts from the public that she would be able to live up to the legacy of her predecessor, Lula. In a moment of frustration in November, Rousseff tweeted that Brazil is still a “sexist and prejudiced” country. And after naming an equal number of men and women to her cabinet in 2006, Bachelet was forced to remove some women because Chileans took to the streets in protest. Since Kirchner’s reelection in 2011, her personal approval rating has dropped precipitously from 70 to roughly 35 percent. In addition, her coalition won less than 30 percent of the vote in the legislative elections last August, erasing the strong mandate she had earned in the previous election cycle. The lack of confidence in Kirchner’s ability to govern can be seen as the result of waning public sympathy for the death of her husband Néstor, alongside growing impatience with her inability to improve the country’s economy. Many politicians see sinking approval ratings over their time in office, but this shift in opinion calls Kirchner’s landslide victory in 2011 into question, suggesting that it was an indicator more of Argentina’s emotional state over the loss of a former president than of the country’s belief in its female president. Kirchner’s loss of public support has made it increasingly hard for
her to implement policies. The state of President Chinchilla’s administration is even more dire than that of Kirchner’s. Chinchilla has become the most unpopular Costa Rican president in more than 20 years, with 60 percent of citizens disapproving and just 9 percent approving of her performance. Even former President Arias, whose endorsement was instrumental in Chinchilla’s election in 2010, has since strongly criticized her ability to govern. Female politicians in Latin America have faced an especially high degree of scrutiny. Between 2006 and 2011, the proportion of women in the Peruvian Congress fell from 29.2 to 21.5 percent. This drop was due in large part to a series of corruption scandals involving female members of Congress, which struck a blow to the public’s trust in female politicians. The public subsequently voted out many of the women involved. It is important to note, however, that corruption in Peru — including among male politicians — is common overall. Throughout her tenure, President Rousseff has also dealt with un-
THE FAILURE OF FREE MARKET FÚTBOL America is socialist — and so can EU. STORY BY EZRA KAGAN / ART BY BEN BERKE
he two largest sports events of the year come with much fanfare: The NFL’s Super Bowl is famous for multi-million dollar advertisements and garish halftime shows, and the UEFA Champions League Final, which showcases the best soccer clubs from across Europe, garnered 360 million viewers last year to watch the winner be handed a 24-pound silver vase. But the two organizations that hide behind these displays couldn’t be more different. Underlying international soccer’s pomp and circumstance is a thorny nest of issues: tax hikes and exemptions, unchecked labor migration and unsustainable spending. The global marketplace for soccer stars, where teams fight each other tooth and nail in increasingly high-stakes
bidding wars for the best players, leaves many teams in the red, season after season. These issues impact both on-field events and national economic equity in ways few soccer fans even realize. But on the American side of the pond, things look rosier. Here, the NFL has a monopoly on the football market and executives regularly rake in enormous tax-exempt salaries. Strangely, the NFL’s relative success can be attributed to many of the same labor and fiscal policies that, when present elsewhere in the world, red-blooded Americans love to hate: salary caps, regulations on labor mobility and redistribution of wealth. The economics of American football taste distinctly foreign. Some European soccer teams are falling victim to rising income taxes and an
SHARING THE FANS
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW GLOBAL
A Gini coefficient is a measure of wealth inequality typically used to compare countries. A coefficient of 0 indicates perfect equality within a system while a coefficient of 1 indicates perfect inequality. Calculations courtesy of FiveThirtyEight.org.
A high proportion of Barclays Premier League fans support a small proportion of elite teams. This earns the league a Gini coefficient similar to an estimate of wealth inequality in Haiti (0.59) or Sierra Leone (0.63).
The National Football League spreads its fans relatively evenly across its 32 teams. This earns the league a Gini coefficient similar to an estimate of wealth inequality in Sweden (0.26) or Finland (0.27).
unregulated labor market. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in France’s top soccer division, Ligue 1. Under President François Hollande, tax rates on incomes over €1 million jumped to 75 percent last April. The response from club owners and players was severe. The new tax hike applies to about 120 players — many of whom help give French soccer a face on the international market — and the league estimates that the tax could cost teams about €45 million. In protest, clubs and players threatened to strike. After finding insufficient public support, the strike was postponed, although the league’s office still struck a gloomy tone in a press statement: “With these crazy labor costs, France will lose its best players, our clubs will see their competitiveness in Europe decline and the government will lose its best taxpayers.” This may be hyperbole on the part of the league, but France’s situation has begun to look frightful. French teams lost about €100 million in the 2012 season, representing an increase of about €15 million from the previous year’s deficit, which had climbed to about €120 million by 2010. In that season, 8 out of 20 Ligue 1 teams posted losses. Before the tax, French teams had been working to cure their financial ills without compromising the quality of soccer. When the tax arrived, clubs feared it would become much harder to continue to attract the best players. The problem that French teams face — players leaving to find higher salaries — is born of international competition. In international soccer, teams can actually buy the rights to a player’s contract from their competitors in what is called the transfer market. This contrasts with other sports like basketball and American football, where players can move only if their contracts expire or if another team will trade players in exchange. The transfer market encourages player mobility for the same reason cash is superior to a barter system: Money facilitates deals, in this case between sports
ably international soccer’s greatest player, was charged by Spanish authorities with evading about €4.2 million in taxes. Some see Spain’s pursuit of Messi as a shot across the bow for Spanish clubs that collectively owe about €690 million in back taxes to the government. Much of this can probably be attributed to the deep financial woes facing Spain today. Even though soccer players usually retain their popularity in the face of such concerns, disenchantment with the status quo has put them at the center of rising public outrage. The trend holds across borders. English and Scottish authorities have also displayed impatience for domestic clubs’ tax evasion. All of these problems combined — audits, rising player salaries and drops in profits for many teams — underline the main financial problem facing international soccer today: a lack of sustainability. In recent years, owners have invested billions to compensate for huge spending binges in the transfer market. The trend began with oil tycoon Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea FC. Since Abramovich became the team’s owner in 2003, Chelsea has posted losses of at least £50 million, or even double that, in every year but one. Meanwhile, Chelsea has become one of the best teams in the world. Following Abramovich’s lead, other wealthy investors have bought teams and spent huge sums hoping to ascend the ranks of European soccer. Although revenues have skyrocketed for most top clubs, many are experiencing huge losses. Even the teams who manage to turn a profit are often already mired in serious debt from previous losses. The influence of big money has created a new mantra in soccer: lose money or lose games. Increasingly unsustainable spending threatens to concentrate talent in a few leagues. Teams like Chelsea are still reaping massive revenues; if their owners can hold out long enough, then they will eventually secure a stranglehold on the soccer market. What will emerge is a small group of elite teams from different leagues possessing almost hegemonic domination. The dwindling of talent in smaller local-pride teams is pernicious, and outsourcing can both destroy local morale and be culturally devastating. UEFA, the European soccer association, is attempting to blunt these issues with a new initiative called “Financial Fair Play (FFP),” which would punish teams that operate with unsustainable finances. Teams in the red could face fines or even suspen-
sion from the transfer market. So far, implementation has been tepid at best. UEFA has identified 76 clubs, about a third of the European competition, to be investigated for breaching FFP rules, but the association has yet to level any serious punishments. Perhaps FFP will bring spending back down to earth, but even so, the uneven concentration of talent might continue. Even in the German Bundesliga, which The New York Times called “the best-run league in the world,” a similar pattern has emerged. Though teams in Germany’s top division had overall profits of about €55 million in the 2013 season, FC Bayern Munich — the best-funded team in the league — claimed the championship title more than a month before the season’s end. The German league’s financial health, which commentators have attributed to reliable ticket sales and a particularly fruitful relationship with
IT APPEARS THAT, AS THE NFL BENEFITS FROM A REDISTRIBUTIVE MINDSET, IT SIMULTANEOUSLY REAPS BENEFITS FROM AMERICA’ UNWILLINGNESS TO TAKE A MORE EUROPEAN TAX APPROACH TOWARDS THE WEALTHY. advertisers, isn’t enough to sustain competition. The NFL, with a relatively spotless record, could teach international soccer teams a lesson. Unlike its counterparts in Europe, every NFL team has made a profit in the last few years. Moreover, the league has seen teams like the 2012 Indianapolis Colts quickly go from the bottom of the standings to Super Bowl champions. The most important difference is that the NFL is a monopoly and has no genuine competition from leagues with different operating guidelines — a luxury that European soccer leagues don’t share. And much of the NFL’s success can be attributed to a line of thinking more common in Europe than in the United States: the redistribution of wealth. To ensure that no team has a significant economic advantage over the others, the NFL allocates its profits from the national office to individual teams much more equally than its European counterparts. Moreover, the league has a spending cap, meaning that all teams must keep their spending below a certain level. If the league’s left-leaning vibe wasn’t strong enough already, the worst-performing teams also get first access to the best rising college players through the draft. NFL
GLOBAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
clubs. In the realm of professional soccer, the accessibility of other markets makes the labor supply much more elastic. But more importantly, an international market allows players to command greater salaries from their teams, as illustrated in the case of oft-maligned Russian midfielder Andrei Arshavin. In 2009, Arshavin secured a transfer deal to Arsenal FC, a London-based club. But as the deal neared completion, England raised its tax rates on the wealthy in response to the recent global recession. Arshavin, who had been unaware that his tax rate would jump from 13 percent in Russia to roughly 50 percent in England, demanded that Arsenal almost double his agreed-upon salary. Though the club and player eventually came to an agreement, Arshavin is far from the only player who has reacted to changing fiscal policy. This sort of open competition for wages has driven up player salaries dramatically, and some leagues have taken advantage of their countries’ low taxes to attract players. The most famous example of this is Spain’s “Beckham Law”: a flat tax for foreign residents that many believe precipitated David Beckham’s move from England to Spain. While millionaire Spaniards were made to pay a tax rate of about 50 percent, Beckham and other multimillionaires got away with a 24 percent flat rate on income earned in Spain, excluding money earned abroad. The trend in Spain favors rosters filled with the names of superstars from across the globe — Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, for example — at the expense of local players. In 2010, a study called “Taxation and Migration of International Superstars” analyzed the effects of tax laws on the transfer market. The study was the first of its kind and showed that countries with lower tax rates are much more likely to attract top-level players. In fact, as rates go down, leagues see a significant displacement effect as foreign talent increasingly replaces domestic players. This was particularly true in the Spanish League, where the number of top-quality foreign players increased by almost 50 percent after the Beckham Law. As tax rates in Spain have dropped for soccer stars, the league has ascended in stature compared to its English and French counterparts. However, it looks as if the tax holiday is over for many European soccer teams and celebrities. Recently, Lionel Messi, argu-
FOOTBALL’S BIGGEST LOSERS Barclays Premier League
National Football League
-$56 million MANCHESTER CITY FC
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW GLOBAL
teams are therefore virtually unable to concentrate talent, season after season, the way European teams do. Teams can still establish dynasties through good management, but there is much greater upward mobility for struggling franchises. Recently, renowned statistician Nate Silver’s website FiveThirtyEight performed a study of fandom and financial inequality in sports leagues. Silver found that five teams in the English Premier League account for about 70 percent of media attention. Then Silver and co. calculated a Gini coefficient — the measure of wealth inequality in countries — for individual sports leagues. The NFL boasts a Gini coefficient of 0.25; in terms of equality, the NFL is the Finland of sports leagues, which is to say that it is extremely equal. On the other hand, the English Barclays Premier League’s Gini coefficient is about 0.60, comparable to the amount of inequality that exists in, say, Haiti or Sierra Leone. This is certainly not to say that the NFL’s success has come entirely from its own policies — the league has also benefited from a few tax laws. While individual teams still pay taxes on salaries and other operating factors, the NFL central office, which distributes the money, has recently
Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are three of 76 European soccer clubs under investigation by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play task force. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions were the only NFL team not to turn a profit. The dollar amounts are net annual losses for 2013.
come under fire for its tax-exempt status. The NFL saves hundreds of millions every year because of its status as a trade union operator. For this reason, the NFL office can avoid paying taxes on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s $44 million salary and on other parts of its $9 billion operating budget. The NFL has responded to newfound questioning of its status with a significant lobbying effort against a tax reform proposal and other impending changes. It appears that, as the NFL benefits from a redistributive mindset, it simultaneously reaps benefits from America’s unwillingness to take a more European tax approach towards the wealthy. So what can European leagues learn from the NFL? Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible for UEFA to solve most of the problems that its member leagues face. If leagues could lobby their sovereign governments to create tax loopholes in order to attract players, this might be beneficial in the short run. However, it would inevitably create a race towards the bottom in which countries would lower their tax rates to the point where millionaire players got off scot-free. The NFL’s strength is its powerful central authority, and as long as there is an in-
ternational, interconnected soccer market, UEFA needs to lay down the law. For this reason, the nascent FFP deal is a step in the right direction. As long as some teams can throw the money of their oil-magnate backers at the best players, poorer teams will struggle to compete. If UEFA could create an international system of redistribution so that leagues couldn’t benefit by stealing talent from their competitors, that too would stop the increased funneling of players towards the top teams in England, Spain and Germany. What’s certain is that fair play is a necessity on the field as well as off of it — a line that could have been uttered by any European democratic socialist leader from the past half-century. Indeed, the irony of the situation is one that extends far beyond football. European leagues are in a position to look towards the United States for a successful model of centralized regulation and redistribution in a free market. Meanwhile, one can’t help but wonder if fans realize how much the NFL represents, in many ways, an antithesis and a response to much of American political thought. u EZRA KAGAN ‘17 IS A POTENTIAL POLITICAL SCIENCE CONCENTRATOR AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND STAFF WRITER AT BPR.
TUNING THE CONSTITUTION Human rights protections under Islamic secularism STORY BY HASSAN HAMADE / ART BY GOYO KWON
lthough it recently snowed in Cairo for the first time in over 112 years, an Arab spring may still be blooming, with the new Tunisian Constitution as its centerpiece. The Tunisian National Constituent Assembly (NCA) ratified a new constitution almost unanimously in January — one which Secretary of State John Kerry hailed as “a model for the rest of the Arab world.” The newly-minted constitution’s passage is a product of cooperation among divergent political parties. After the 2011 ousting of dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the Islamist party Ennahda won the general election and subsequently assumed governance of Tunisia. But earlier this year, the party stepped down to form a neutral interim government tasked with creating a constitution that would be more inclusive of various liberal and secularist minority groups. Ennahda has historically been a staunch opponent of more extremist Islamic groups such as the Salafists, who responded to the proposed Constitution with increased terrorist attacks throughout the country, aimed at delegitimizing the democratic process. The new Constitution nevertheless attempts to incorporate Western democratic
women’s choice in abortion debates. The power of these religious protections is made stronger by the fact that the first article of the new Constitution proclaims Islam the state religion. Although Article VI protects against charges of apostasy — much to the dislike of Salafists — many potential limits on individual religious freedom still exist. The NCA has distinguished between advocating for Shariah law and declaring Islam the state religion, a clear sign of compromise that contains the possibility of misinterpretation or misuse. Yet it has upsides. Since 98 percent of the Tunisian population is Muslim, recognizing Islam as the formal state religion stimulates national and cultural unity, while the Constitution’s rights-oriented clauses still benefit secular constituencies. The document’s mollifying language, then, effectively makes Tunisia a secular country with an Islamic face — a liberal, if unconventional, compromise. The conciliatory process also has its benefits: These clauses were created to protect interests, not to serve as legal tools for oppression. And continued cooperation does seem viable. Ennahda has clearly demonstrated its willingness to compromise, since its head — Sheikh Rachid al-Ghannouchi — stated that he will not follow the zero-sum, winner-take-all strategy that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has espoused. The greatest mistake of the 1959 Tunisian Constitution was that, while seemingly liberal, it was written to please the ideological leanings of the elite. The document was doomed to fail and the country fated for renewed dictatorship because the Constitution was imposed without compromise or public consideration. While the new Constitution includes some clauses that hint at the potential for illiberal rule — especially if courts choose to so interpret its statutes — it nevertheless holds fundamental liberal principles at its core. It is now a developing Tunisian consensus on religion that will determine the Constitution’s interpretation. u HASSAN HAMADE ‘16 IS A MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES CONCENTRATOR AND A STAFF WRITER AT BPR.
GLOBAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
norms and procedures, including balance of power, independence of the judiciary and freedom of expression. It notably includes over two dozen safeguard articles in defense of human rights, collectively guaranteeing gender equality, protection against discrimination and protection from cruel and unusual punishment — all notable advances from the previous regime. But for all of the Constitution’s commendable accomplishments, President of the NCA Mustapha Ben Jaafar points out that “it is not a perfect document, but the product of an agreement.” Indeed, the 146 articles that outline governance and protocols include many concessionary articles and potential loopholes, which could later pose serious legal problems. Rhetoric exists within the Constitution’s protection of rights that could prove problematic for the young democracy. Various provisions attempt to integrate both religious freedom and religious authority in civil society: Article VI, for example, protects the individual’s “freedom and belief and conscience” while simultaneously defending the “sacred” from attacks. This is a precarious balance. Protection of what is collectively deemed sacred often comes at the price of freedom of expression, and vice versa. Sacredness is not an objective or quantifiable concept, which allows the legal potential to grant disproportional agency to certain minorities preferred by the government. This principle can also obstruct women’s freedom of self-determination, for it could easily be reinterpreted to mean the protection of traditional gender roles. Neither are religious protections the only enumerated rights that could eventually undercut women’s freedoms. Article VII makes family the nucleus of society, which could be used to make divorce excessively difficult in Tunisia, while Article XXI states that the “right to life is sacred,” which could play out poorly for
EVOLUTION How Evo Morales made an Andean country an asset STORY BY ALEXANDRA GARCIA
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW GLOBAL
he recent protests by Argentina’s unions against inflation and crime barely scratch the surface of public discontent with Latin America’s declining economies. The region’s weakening finances have led to a 50 percent price increase for consumer goods in Venezuela, a 25 percent inflation rate in Argentina and a $4 billion deficit in Brazil — the biggest deficit in its history. But there is a dark horse bucking the trend: Bolivia, which grew at the astonishing rate of 6.5 percent last year. The country’s turbulent economic history makes its current success highly unexpected. In the past 30 years, Bolivia has struggled to recover from hyperinflation, which peaked at 24,000 percent, instilling widespread panic throughout the population. At the time, the inflation rate increased by 1 percent every 10 minutes. Some refer to the 1980s as Latin America’s “lost decade,” because most nations were experiencing financial downturns. Bolivia’s particular misery was the region’s worst case, compounded by the country’s limited opportunities for recovery: Bolivia is landlocked, and its inability to support a fishing industry and overreliance on agriculture led it to fall behind the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The country’s industrialization was further hampered by inadequate access to schooling and employment for its indigenous peoples, which constitute 62 percent of the state’s population. For decades, these factors have made it extremely difficult for the country to advance. But recently, Bolivia has achieved newfound stability and growth. This is largely due to the revolutionary — and controversial — policies introduced by Bolivia’s charismatic president, Evo Morales. A former coca-growers’ unionist and activist, as well as the country’s first indigenous leader, Morales helped his party, the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), gain two-thirds of the seats in Congress in the 2006 elections. While many have opposed the administration’s leftist tendencies, Morales’ election elicited bold transitions for Bolivia’s economic policies. The Bolivian president has set the ambitious goal of completely eradicating extreme poverty in the country by the year 2025. This has been
an especially onerous task for the administration considering that a quarter of the population, which is largely rural, lives on less than two dollars a day. Morales continues to enact socialist economic policies, lending to increased dissent among the wealthier elite classes as well as the more conservative members of the international community. But his policies — the nationalization of certain industries, conditional transfer payments to low-income families and pro-labor initiatives — have helped turn the country’s fortunes around. One of Morales’ first presidential actions was to nationalize Bolivia’s oil and natural gas reserves. Currently, Bolivia has about 10 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves of natural gas, the fifth-largest amount on the continent. Natural gas accounts for over 6 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Venezuela and Argentina, major regional energy producers that have also nationalized energy companies in the past, sit just ahead of Bolivia in terms of natural gas production. Bolivia’s shift towards nationalization may have been risky, since it has given some foreign investors fundamental doubts about the security of their Bolivian investments. But on a political level, it demonstrates how Morales has adopted his own unique spin on the leftist policies that dot Latin America’s present and history. Unlike his leftist contemporaries, Morales did not seize any foreign assets, nor did he replace foreign companies as he implemented his nationalization policies. The administration also required less demanding terms than governments like Venezuela’s, since it actually allowed companies to keep most of their autonomy post-nationalization. In the cases of Mexico’s Petróleos Mexicanos, Brazil’s Petrobras and Venezuela’s Petróleos de Venezuela SA, politicians shut their doors completely to foreigners. But to balance the interests of foreign investors and Bolivian nationalists, Morales decided to take the more measured step and increase taxes on production in order to maintain direct oversight of foreign investors attempting to develop the nation’s natural resources. Overall, the strategy has been a suc-
cess; since nationalization in 2006, the hydrocarbon sector, Bolivia’s biggest exporter, has contributed $16 billion in revenue to the government. Bolivia has been able to achieve this primarily by meeting the high demands for natural gas from its neighbors, especially Brazil and Argentina. The policies’ accomplishments are rooted in Morales’ signature brand of politics: a complex leftist political stance heavily influenced by his devotion to communitarianism and Andean values. Nationalization has exacerbated the hesitancy of foreign investment. But that problem really originates in the 2009 implementation of the new constitution, which gives the government primary control over the economy — and provides the legal basis for Morales’ nationalization platform. Foreign investment, along with job creation, has been deterred by constitutional legal ambiguities regarding hydrocarbon and mining laws and the Bolivian commerce code. Skepticism about investment resurfaced when Indian company Jindal Steel and Power reclaimed its $2.1 billion investment for an iron ore deposit after the Bolivian government failed to deliver the promised volume. With Jindal setting the stage for other possible asset withdrawals, there are heightened concerns about Bolivia’s long-term economic gains and stability. In the short run, however, Bolivia’s export industry, especially in the energy sector, is in high demand and has hugely contributed to the nation’s positive economic growth. Despite tenuous foreign investment, the administration has been able to keep inflation steady, evading a repeat of the nightmare of 1985. Most impressively, Bolivia has overcome China as the nation with the highest ratio of international reserves to GDP, at 50 percent. It has done so in part by directing its central bank to buy foreign currency and local gold, allowing it to issue global bonds for the first time in over a century; the last time they attempted such a feat was in the 1920s. Moreover, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services has boosted Bolivia’s credit rating, which has made the country’s bonds more internationally appealing and reaffirmed Bolivia’s rising status.
In fact, Bolivia’s recent economic successes are what led to its 2010 transition from a low-income country to a medium-income one in the World Bank’s rankings. The World Bank Director for Central America, Latin America and Caribbean Felipe Jaramillio praised the nation’s “exemplary and very positive” management of fiscal and monetary policy, while concurrently advocating for the strengthening of the “investment climate” in the country. This advice reflects the divide Bolivia is edging towards: Nationalization policies and leftist economics have been a boon, but they risk isolating international investors, even as the country’s economics solidify. Bolivia must achieve a fine balance in order to ensure long-run stability. Besides economic policies, Morales has also implemented various positive social and urban development projects. Since coming into office, Morales has decreased the poverty rate by 26 percent through increased public spending on health care, education and small businesses. The government also provides conditional cash payments to families to ensure that their children attend school and to pregnant women in order to provide them with adequate health care. These measures have combined to strike at economic inequality;
MORALES’ NATIONALIZATION POLICIES DEMONSTRATE HOW HE HAS ADOPTED A UNIQUE SPIN ON THE LEFTISM THAT DOTS LATIN AMERICA’S HISTORY.
in 2011, the richest 10 percent of the population had 36 times more income than the poorest 10 percent, a drastic improvement from about 15 years ago, when the ratio was 96 to 1. This decrease in economic inequality has had a real impact on the social inequalities that plague many of Bolivia’s disadvantaged communities. Although this decrease has boosted Morales’ popularity with some constituencies, there is still much discontent among the population. With a large and growing amount of foreign reserves, many people believe that the government should be doing even more to mitigate the poverty that half of the Bolivian population still experiences. This has not been aided by Bolivia’s expulsion of institutions committed to poverty reduction. For example, Morales removed the United States Agency for International Development last year on claims that it was intervening in political affairs and conspiring against the Bolivian government. While some Bolivians are still favorable towards the United States and its endeavors in foreign aid, the actions taken by Morales reflect the leftist sentiment sweeping many countries in Latin America. Like his progressive corollaries, Morales is particularly weary of US power abroad, especially after Secretary of State John Kerry referred to South America as “America’s backyard” — to which not only Morales took great offense. Bolivia’s offer to Edward Snowden for asylum back in July 2013 highlights this tension. In sum, these events demonstrate an alignment
with other Latin American countries, like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, that have also eschewed US influence. While this tactic has proven useful in many countries as a piece of unifying nationalistic rhetoric, Morales’ radical economic program and heavy-handed statesmanship have not earned him unanimous support, and his position is still somewhat precarious. As the 2014 presidential elections approach, Morales’ reelection hangs over the political climate. Part of the tension arises from a loophole that allows Morales to run for a third consecutive term. While the Constitution states that presidents can only be in office for two terms, Bolivia’s Constitutional Court decided that Morales’ first presidential term should not count, because it occurred before the new Constitution was created. This caused further discontent among the middle- and high-income classes. Nevertheless, 41 percent of the population said that they would reelect him in 2014 — a high enough percentage in a country that uses a proportional representation system for its elections. But “high enough” reveals a critical truth about Morales: Although his economic successes and strong political ties to powerful constituencies like Bolivia’s indigenous population have given him a base level of popularity, his signature brand of practical populism still has political limits. u ALEXANDRA GARCIA ‘16 IS AN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND ECONOMICS CONCENTRATOR AND A SALES ASSOCIATE AT BPR.
GLOBAL BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHY BY RANDAL SHEPPARD, EDITED
THE ROOT AND THE SOLUTION One world, one Internet, one nation STORY BY OLIVIA CONETTA / ART BY EMILY REIF
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW GLOBAL
he Internet was born in the United States as a project of the US Department of Defense and has always enjoyed a close relationship with its parent country. But recently, the United States has begun handing over one of the key functions of Internet governance — control of the Internet’s central directory — to an international body. This shift may seem just. After all, the Internet is a global piece of infrastructure. However, this devolution of control could have unsavory ramifications for online freedom worldwide, especially if the new structure is not transparent. For now, the California-based nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages an integral directory called the root zone. In essence, it’s the database containing all the names and addresses of the Internet’s top-level domains (TLDs). TLDs are what come after the dot in a domain name: “.org” or “.com” are common examples, but TLDs can also be country-specific, like Italy’s “.it,” or even profession-based, such as the rarely used “.plumbing” ending. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a branch of the US Department of Commerce, contracts ICANN to maintain and distribute these TLDs and to decide whether to create new ones. Because of the global implications of this task, ICANN has long utilized the advice of international stakeholders in its decision-making process. Their advice will soon become institutionalized decision-making power. In March, NTIA announced intentions to transition control of root zone functions to an international, multistakeholder structure by 2015 — giving increased power to many of ICANN’s current advisors. Both the NTIA and ICANN understood their relationship to be temporary, but some speculate that the National Security Agency (NSA) scandals prematurely ended it. The scope and severity of the scandals fed pre-existing international concerns. Fearing that the United States
would use its control of Internet structures nefariously, several countries called for a transition to multilateral control. But the reality is that, despite the NSA’s questionable actions, the United States protects free speech online. The United States ranked fourth in watchdog organization Freedom House’s 2013 Freedom on the Net index. The US government’s administration over the Internet has been relatively noninterventionist, allowing for the web to become what John Dvorak, a technology columnist at PC Magazine, has called “essentially a free speech zone.”
Devolving authority to an international body may threaten that, especially considering the fate of former experiments in global Internet governance. The UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an agency that coordinates the development of global telecommunications networks. The ITU came under fire in 2012 for its secretive world conference, where the group’s nearly 200 member states considered applying international telephone payment models to the Internet. The model threatened the Internet’s existence as a free space by encouraging popular sites to charge users for access. Due to the public outcry over leaked portions of the amendment, the proposal ultimately failed. The ITU’s desire to model Internet regulation on older telecommunications
systems, and the agency’s lack of transparency, are troubling. These problems foretell what could face an internationally controlled Internet. The structure of the ITU, with both government and nongovernment stakeholders from across the globe, is uncomfortably similar to the proposed multistakeholder system that will soon control the root zone. The transition away from American jurisdiction indicates an uncertain future for an open Internet. Not everybody scored highly in Freedom House’s survey — Russia and China, which will be two of the strongest voices in the multistakeholder system, ranked 41st and 58th out of 60, respectively. Control of the root zone also presents unsettling possibilities for abuse. In 2011, despite resistance, ICANN approved the adult “.xxx” TLD, but there was enough backlash from puritanical states like Saudi Arabia and family-friendly corporations like Disney (unenthusiastic about the need to defensively buy Disney.xxx) to stymie efforts for seven years. If China can vote to ban sites like Tibet.com, or if Russia can claim regulatory control over all website names that use the Cyrillic alphabet, then some level of Internet censorship may be inevitable in the new system. With the root zone under the control of NTIA and ICANN, these worries would continue to be negligible. ICANN’s current motto — “One World, One Internet” — has been best served with one nation at the helm. But if root zone control must be transitioned, the multistakeholder regime also must resist the whims of powerful stakeholders by continuing to preserve openness and freedom. The new system could do so, while avoiding the mistakes of the ITU, by creating a transparent platform with institutionalized mechanisms to process nonmember opinions. Such a system at least has a hope of preserving the unity promised in ICANN’s motto. u OLIVIA CONETTA ‘14 IS A PUBLIC POLICY AND ECONOMICS CONCENTRATOR.
TIM GUNN Tim Gunn is a fashion consultant and television personality, and was the chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design from 2000 to 2007. He regularly appears on the popular TV show “Project Runway” and writes for Politico. INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL CHERNIN Some argue that the time and money political groups use to secure celebrity endorsements would be better spent hiring professional lobbyists attuned to the nuances of government. What are your thoughts on the impact of celebrity gay rights activists on the legislative process? I have a slightly different take on it, which has more to do with attracting an audience for the cause than having it be more potent to a legislative body. I certainly don’t believe that my participation in the American Civil Liberties Union’s gay marriage campaign has any kind of impact on the legislature, but I hope it piques the interest of people out there, because they do know who I am, or who Macklemore is, or whoever it might be...But I think we’re talking about an entirely different dimension of purpose, and that is to stimulate some curiosity and to hopefully get people to buy into the cause. On the question of sexuality in the United States, your book, “Gunn’s Golden Rules,” argues that a strong division of gender roles is pervasive and dangerous. What are some of the dangers implicit in this division? Most men in this nation are afraid to show any sign of what they perceive to be weakness. My father was a macho, football-watching FBI agent. The testosterone level doesn’t get much higher than that. I believed, once I matured into a teen, that he was a closet case. He was so homophobic that I thought, “He doth protest too much.” I think there’s this whole culture of masculinity that revolves around these identifying elements that are stereotypes. They’re so easily defined, and if you stray from them, it’s problematic. Why do men feel so threatened?
You worked as a professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, then as Assistant Director of Admissions at Parsons The New School for Design, then finally as Parsons’ Associate Dean. Given your experience, in what ways has your involvement in fashion academia impacted your outlook on the industry? I will tell you this — and it’s a rallying cry that I let out when I was at Parsons. The rallying cry was about how fashion is a serious academic discipline. I’ll also tell you that when I took over the fashion department at Parsons, I was truly horrified with what was there. I thought, “This is not a fashion department, this is a dressmaking school.” That is not what I’m here for. I’m here to bring some serious, robust content to this study. Fashion happens in a context that is social, economic, historical and political. Good designers are barometric gauges of their society
The ethical fashion movement has gained traction in recent years. You’re on the front lines. Have you noticed any shift in the industry towards conscientious manufacturing and labor practices, and is this something that you’ve encountered? Speaking from my Liz Claiborne days, we became very concerned with the labor practices [in China] and eventually moved out altogether...If I had my way, everything would be sourced and manufactured in the United States. But the American consumer is not going to pay more money, which is required if we engage with these initiatives. I’m all in favor of ethical practices, and I’d like to think that the whole world’s going to change, but I don’t think that’s the case...The UN and other international bodies need to instill more severe penalties for destroying our globe. You worked on the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which failed to pass in the House of Representatives. In 2012, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) proposed a new bill, the Innovative Design Protection Act, which extends a three-year term of protection for original articles of apparel. Do you think that this new act does enough? Schumer was the strongest advocate for the Design Piracy bill. My view is that something is better than nothing, so I’m in favor of his new initiative. Regarding piracy and the public’s view: Contextually, we’re the only industrialized nation that doesn’t have a design piracy act. I have a theory about this as well. It stems from the fact that, until World War II, we were a nation of pirates. All we did was copy the Paris collections. We sent people there to see the shows, spy and make drawings, and the collections were brought back here and manufactured. There was a disincentive to have piracy laws. So when the couture houses closed before World War II, we were suddenly faced with the challenge of creative innovation, and it completely changed the industry. The whole culture of shopping in this nation is so bizarre. We have been trained to believe that we shouldn’t pay full retail for everything. Everything is on sale...I think knockoffs undermine the value of the real thing. And I’m not an advocate of expensive things...I have a Timex watch. It doesn’t look like a Cartier watch, and I don’t want it to.
INTERVIEWS BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
Do you think that the fashion industry has helped dispel this gender binary or promote it? I think that the fashion industry has a negative impact. The pervasive idea is that if you’re a man in the fashion industry, you’re gay until proven otherwise. And of course, there are lots of men who aren’t. But people make certain assumptions.
and culture...The other thing is that fashion is the last design discipline to actually have academic texts and historical analysis. This is also underscored by how museums have treated fashion. At the [Cooper-Hewitt] National Design Museum in New York City, there was a mandate up until recently that they’re not permitted to collect clothes. Textiles, but no clothing. It didn’t “belong there.” How can anyone say that? When we look at the history of culture and civilization, how do we see it? From the environments in which people lived and the clothing that people wore. And it’s fascinating history. I wrote a fashion history book two and a half years ago. I learned so much — it was like going back to graduate school.
“FREEWAY” RICK ROSS “Freeway” Rick Ross is a reformed drug kingpin who was released from jail in 2009. At the height of his operations in the 1980s, he grossed $2.5 billion per year. He is now heavily involved in promoting literacy, reforming drug laws and rebuilding the communities damaged by crack cocaine. INTERVIEW BY HENRY KNIGHT You built an elaborate drug operation spanning more than 40 cities. Why? I believe that I got into drugs to escape poverty. I was poor and illiterate, and I wanted a piece of the American dream. I wanted more out of life than what I was getting, and I saw drugs as an avenue of getting there.
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW INTERVIEWS
How were you initially introduced to the drug scene in Los Angeles? I believe what first planted the seed was the movie “Super Fly.” That is the first time that I ever recognized drugs, and it was the first time that I wanted to be a drug dealer. I didn’t know what a drug dealer was. When the [movie’s main character] snuck all of his money out from the cops, he told them that if they did anything to him, he would kill their whole families and that he was the one with the upper hand and they only thought they had the upper hand. It was the first time in my life that I’d ever seen a black man not only beat white guys, but also beat the cops at the same time. You found a black man who was super sharp and on top of his game. Everything I wanted for myself, I saw in that character.
You sold crack cocaine to gangs in LA that spent some of their profits to arm themselves with guns. What is the role of drug dealers in tracking the impact of their product after it leaves their hands? I’m sure that guys who gangbang would take some of that money and buy weapons. But I don’t believe that gangbangers went out and sold drugs to buy guns and fight other gangs. That’s not the case. I believe they sold drugs to get out of poverty. They wanted nice cars, nice clothes and they wanted to be successful. It was the first time I ever saw Crips and Bloods [two of the largest gangs in LA] cooperating — selling drugs. I would see Crips on Bloods’ streets and vice versa, all with the intention of earning some money. Some have held you personally accountable for the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic in LA. What degree of responsibility do you bear? Do you regret the impact you had on your community, and would you change anything in retrospect? Absolutely, I had a significant effect on it. I played a major role in the spread of crack cocaine, the marketing of crack cocaine, the glamorization of crack cocaine. But it’s hard to say that it was totally my fault. My judge in Cincinnati told me, “Mr. Ross, I know that the prosecutor and the media and the DEA all want to blame you for this problem, but I sentenced my first drug dealer the year you were born, so I know you’re not the cause. This is a problem we’ve had since before you were born.” So when he
summed it up like that, it gave me a different perspective. I was beating myself down about being a drug dealer. After hearing him put it in those terms, I understood that the drug problem has been here for hundreds of years. Do you think that anybody could have filled that role? Anybody. It was a trap that I happened to fall into. Do you believe that you were driven into the role of drug kingpin innocently? Absolutely. And I believe that the way hip-hop is being used today is almost criminal. For guys to glorify selling drugs the way that they do and tell our young kids that they can go out and sell drugs and parlay it into a record career where they can go sit in the White House is a farce. I believe that our young people are being misled through these channels. These big record executives from Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and Universal are sitting back and getting fat while young black and brown kids go to prison for doing the same thing that they allow these guys to get on the radio and brag about. Before you were caught and convicted, did you realize the risk inherent in what you were doing, both for yourself and for your customers? I didn’t understand that you could go to jail for the rest of your life for selling cocaine. I thought life sentences were for murderers. I didn’t know that you could get a life sentence for supplying something to someone who asked you for it. So I was totally taken aback. I didn’t know that the people that I was introducing to cocaine were going to be punished the way that some of them got punished. That’s one of the reasons why I’m trying to change these laws, so that some of those people that I felt were innocent can get justice. I introduced a guy named Young Tommy to cocaine when he was about 15 years old. He went to prison when he was 22 years old. They gave him a life sentence and it was his first time ever going to jail. They gave him a life sentence because he made over $4 million dollars and he had five people working for him. I think that it’s unjust to keep a guy like that in jail for 28 years. I just think that it’s ludicrous not to have some type of mechanism in place whereby nonviolent offenders can adjudicate themselves and say, “I passed this level of courses to prove that I’m no longer a threat to society.” That’s the reason they give for locking you up — you’re a threat. What did it mean on a day-to-day basis to be a drug kingpin in LA in the 1980s and 1990s? Power, respect and the ability to get whatever you want when you want it. It was just fun. It’s absolutely fun to walk around and
have people respect you. When Michael Jackson did “Thriller,” I was in the park one day, and a girl came up to me and said, “Man, the only people they talk about around here are Michael Jackson and you.” It was pretty flattering to be considered in the same light as the King of Pop in my area. What attracted you to drug dealing? Money and power and glamour. The women, the cars — the Cadillac with the big grill on it — the condo, the mink coats, everything that stood for success, as a drug dealer he had it...You are a mayor. You are a governor. But of a different society. You get to do what you want to do, just like any mayor. You can park your car anywhere. You get the best women. You go to restaurants and eat for free. It was like being a rock star. Like being Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. It was just pure freedom, everything I was looking for. I desperately wanted freedom. Who do you hold responsible for introducing crack cocaine into predominantly black neighborhoods in LA? Everybody who was involved bears some of the responsibility, including the neighbors who never sold drugs but saw people selling drugs and never did anything about it. They should have figured out a way to stop it, or assist the people who were doing it or talk to people in ways that would convince them that they could do something else. It’s a societal problem. The way they want to fight it is totally wrong. They want to lock up the drug dealer, who could be anybody. If you had a magic wand today, and you had one wish — to wipe out all the drug dealers, take them all off the streets and put them in jail, no trial, everybody who sold drugs would automatically be convicted. You know what’s going to happen? There are going to be new ones. Why? Because the drug users are going to create them. Drug users made me. They taught me. I didn’t know how to work a scale; I didn’t know what a gram was. Drug users taught me the business. They’re going to teach it to the next guy, because they want a good drug dealer, one they can trust, one that’s not going to rob them, one that’s not going to cheat them out of their money, one that’s not going to sell them fake dope. That was me. They’re going to find another one because they’re going to be looking for that guy every single day until they find him.
Is that why your story is so powerful? That’s why I’m so powerful.
So you believe that it’s a trap established by the system, which traps you further once you are ensnared by it? I don’t know if the system even knows. I don’t know if the politicians see it. It’s unconscious. In order to see it, you have to come down. You need to get out of the White House, leave your congressional office; you have to go on skid row. And I don’t know if they can stand to be on skid row. I don’t know if they can stand the smell of piss and human excrement on the street. I don’t know if they can do it. I don’t know if they can stand to be around people who don’t talk properly or who don’t have a high school diploma. I don’t know if they can go around kids — like [those at] the school I’m teaching at, where one kid is a Blood and one is a Crip, and they’re all smoking cigarettes and weed and eating candy and drinking soda pop and talking the street talk. I don’t know if they can do that. You can’t see it if you can’t go there. You can’t see it from the White House. You can’t read it in the newspapers. I read an article the other day about Jay-Z. He was on the front cover of Vanity Fair. His story sounds like a newspaper article, not like a guy who was in the streets, who lived out here with these people. These are humans, just like us. But they’re from a different place and life has beaten them down. How do you combat those elitist perceptions of poor communities as lazy and dangerous? I try to give people a look at myself, because I am a product of that community. I come from there, from South Central. If they get to know me, then they get to know a little bit about that society, and they can see that it’s safe for them to go there. A lot of people think that anytime you go there you might get robbed. But it’s not like that. Not all of them are robbers or drug dealers; some are. You have to learn the environment to figure out which ones are and which ones are not, and not just lump everyone together and say collectively that all these people are bad. When I was down there last time, running a sandwich [shop], a couple guys came up to me and asked to help me sell my t-shirts and make some money. Some of them do want to make money, but they just don’t have the opportunities to do that. You mentioned that you dropped out of high school and relinquished your dream to pursue a college tennis scholarship because of illiteracy, right? If I had been literate, I wouldn’t have sold drugs. I just wanted a job. I would have worked at McDonald’s. And I would have put the same effort into the fries and mopping the floor that I would have put into drugs. I’m the kind of person that always wants to do a job the best I can. I don’t believe in half-doing jobs.
INTERVIEWS BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
Until the United States enacts meaningful reform to its drug laws and finds solutions to these societal problems, what would you say to a child in a circumstance similar to yours? We can’t really just say it to them. It’s more than lip service. You have to show action. You have to show these people you really care about them, because if you don’t, they think you’re just shitting them like everyone else is. They hear so much bullshit that they don’t know what’s real and what isn’t anymore. When they see the actions, that’s what they respect, and that’s what they’ll listen to and pay attention to. I go out and be with them, walk with them, talk with them and I show them: This is what you have to do, and this is how you get results.
Is your goal to use that power not only to leverage legal change, but also to convey to kids in these communities that drug dealing isn’t their only option? It’s not an option at all. It’s really a trap under the guise of opportunity. You know how in football, guys throw defenses, and the defense throws you a look, but the look is not really what it is — it’s only made to fool you. It’s the same thing with drugs. The drug is only an illusion to draw you in, so they can trick you and grab you and hold you.
RICARDO LAGOS Ricardo Lagos Escobar served as the President of Chile from 2000 to 2006 as head of the Party for Democracy. He currently teaches political and economic development at Brown. INTERVIEW BY SABIN RAY & HENRY KNIGHT
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW INTERVIEWS
As a relatively minor contributor to global emissions, what can Latin America do in the global effort to mitigate climate change? First, two countries are responsible for 40 percent of world emissions today. The United States was first and China was second. Now it’s the other way around. The big problem is quite simple. For the US, the Kyoto Protocol [puts on more onerous restrictions than it would on China]. And the US Congress has said that if you don’t have China at the table, nothing will be approved. That was in 1998. I was appointed in 2007 as a special envoy [on climate change to UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon]. That year, I was invited to go to Congress, and they told me exactly the same thing. You need those two countries. Otherwise, it’s not going to work. Neither can solve the problem, but the rest of us cannot solve the problem without both of them. As for Latin America — if we are able to speak with one voice, if we are able to agree on one policy, then we may be able to produce some impact.
What measures do Latin American countries currently take to address climate change? I’ve always thought that Latin America is a special case. At the world level, deforestation is responsible for about 20 percent of total greenhouse emissions. In Latin America, it’s 49 percent, mainly because of the Amazonians. [Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva] once told me, “What can I say to a person living in the Amazon jungle, who decided to cut down a tree in order to have warm food?” Before 2009 and Copenhagen, [the government] used to pay [people] to plant trees. But what if the government pays you not to cut down the tree? Then President Lula can get a gas stove for that person in order for them to have warm food. This is one of the areas where Latin America may produce an impact. Latin American countries are a little different now — you can call us “middle-income” countries given our per capita income, or “emerging.” Maybe it is possible, then, to agree on a voluntary basis to reduce emissions by the year 2025. If Latin America could speak with a unified voice, could it lead a global dialogue? That’s a little ambitious. I once thought that role would be played by Europe in Copenhagen, because Europe had the “20s” plan: reduce emissions by 20 percent, increase renewable energy by 20 percent and improve energy efficiency by 20 percent. I think that Latin America is capable of pursuing concrete steps — like making a reduction in deforestation by 50 percent. Do the presidencies of Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina testify to the growing role of women in Latin American politics, and is machismo declining? When Madame Bachelet was elected in 2006, there was no discussion about whether a woman could lead the country. Why? Because two [female] members of my cabinet were the presi-
dential hopefuls...In my first cabinet, I planned to have at least one third of my cabinet be women. And when I reshuffled my cabinet, I decided to appoint [Bachelet] minister of defense — the first woman to have that job in Latin America. It’s possible to have a woman minister of education or health. But...foreign affairs? Defense? No, no, no, that’s for a man. So you open opportunities. Could that model be replicated in the United States and elsewhere? [Electing] an African-American president was probably much more difficult. The first thing that I learned in this country was in the Raleigh-Durham airport. I went to the restroom: colored man, white man. What am I? I think that I am white. So I went to a white restroom. But that was in an airport. [In] the last election you had to make a breakthrough with the Democratic Party. You serve on the Socialist International Commission for a Sustainable World Society. How do you see the debate between socialist democracy and market liberalism unfolding in the coming decades? Consumers, by definition, are different depending on the size of their pockets. It’s essential that each of us has just one vote, and the only way to do that is to have citizens shape society, not consumers. Second, there is a very interesting paradigm emerging. During the 20th century, there was an assumption that as per capita income grew, you could solve more socioeconomic problems. Therefore, growth was such an important word. Of course, that’s not correct. Once you are above the $20,000 threshold, the correlation between per capita income growth and improving socioeconomic indicators no longer works. What is the real explanation for the difference in socioeconomic indicators after the $20,000 per capita income? It’s not the size of the income, but the distribution. That explains why New Zealand has much better socioeconomic indicators than the United States. You helped orchestrate the famous plebiscite campaign that forced the Pinochet dictatorship to resign in 1988. How has Chilean democracy advanced since? In how many countries can you say that the chief of the secret police is in jail? Because I was able to abrogate the death penalty in my term, he is in jail for the next 400 years. In how many countries has it been possible to write a government report on political torture? And in how many countries has the government been able to produce some indemnity for those [wronged] by political torture? In a democracy, you have to keep moving the frontiers of what is possible. Normally, when you are elected president, people think history begins with you. Big mistake. You have to build upon what they did before you. Human beings always have dreams. And dreams are like the horizon line. When you see the horizon line over a beautiful landscape on the ocean, you try to go there, and the horizon keeps moving.
AMY KREMER Amy Kremer was the chair of the Tea Party Express, a national group that supports the Tea Party movement and has been recognized as “one of the movement’s most successful players” by The New York Times. Kremer recently resigned to work on the senatorial campaign for Mark Bevin in the May 20 Kentucky GOP primary. Kremer conducted this interview as the chair of the TPE. INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL CHERNIN Could you talk about what the Tea Party Express is and what your role in it entails? The Tea Party Express is a federal political action committee (PAC), and it’s one of the original organizations that got involved in the Tea Party movement in 2009. We were the first PAC to actually engage in the election process. The first race we got involved in was Scott Brown’s [2010 special election] in Massachusetts. Beyond Brown’s campaign, the biggest thing we’re known for are our bus tours — we’ve done eight national bus tours and a number of smaller tours in Texas, Florida and Wisconsin. We also did the first-ever Tea Party presidential debate in partnership with CNN. I was never involved in politics before. I was just a mom who was fed up with what was going on in Washington. It was during the  election cycle that I started blogging on social media. I connected with these other activists across the country, and we started the modern day Tea Party movement.
How has the Tea Party been able to convey its message? Is there anything you need to improve on regarding your outreach strategy? The Republicans are horrible at conveying messages. This is one of my big issues. If you listen to Democrats, they pull on heartstrings and emotions, and they produce stories that people relate to. Republicans stand up there and talk about policy facts and figures. You can’t engage anyone that way. We have to reach people and tell stories so they can relate to us. What do the Democrats do? They talk about people in their districts or families. I didn’t support the comprehensive immigration plan, but the one thing I will say is that when Marco Rubio was on the Senate floor
You’ve said in the past that the Tea Party is all about fiscal issues. But government spending in many instances is inextricably linked to social issues, whether it’s federal spending for needle exchange programs, welfare policy or funding for abortion. How do you separate these fiscal issues from their social origins? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if the government is spending money on abortion or the Department of Defense. If the money is not there to spend, we don’t have it. We want the government to live within its means. We really need to push representatives to have a balanced budget. It’s kind of the same thing with earmarks. It’s not that I’m opposed to earmarks — if the money is there and it goes through the proper voting channels, and it gets through the committee, I have no problem with it. It’s when earmarks stuck in a 2,500-page bill that nobody knows about are used to get a member of Congress to vote a certain way. Then we have a problem. We’re not all going to agree on all social issues, so why not stick to what most of us can agree on — that Washington can live within its means. The social issues will take care of themselves. People can work on that on a local and state level. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual conference for conservative activists, took place in March. One of the seminars during the conference was a discussion called “Can Libertarians and Social Conservatives Get Along?” What are your thoughts on this? I think that one of the bigger questions is: “How do you win without youth voters?” These kids are libertarians for the most part. They don’t care — they just want the government out of their lives. I’ve taken my daughter to events that are supposed to be centered on fiscal issues, and if someone gets up and starts talking about gay marriage and abortion, you lose [the youth]; they leave. That’s not what they’re interested in. They’re more concerned with getting jobs. But at the same time, you can’t win without the voter base of social conservatives...How do we move forward with both libertarians and social conservatives? I don’t have the answer.
INTERVIEWS BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW
The movement has many different organizational bodies. You have the Tea Party Express, the Tea Party Nation, the Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and others. How do they interact with each other? Do they compete for the national spotlight? The Tea Party Express and the Tea Party Patriots do not interact at all. We’re of the mindset that we just have to go out and get it done. If people don’t want to work with you, then you work around them. The Tea Party Express is on a mission to elect fiscal conservatives, so that’s what we’re focused on. If anybody can contribute to that effort, the more the merrier. I’d say that Wisconsin was a good example of everyone getting involved in the recall. The Tea Party Patriots was doing its [own] thing, but the Tea Party Nation was with us, the Tea Party Express. There are groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Madison Project that don’t have the words “Tea Party” in their name, but they’re considered part of the movement. So I think that we all work together, but like Reagan said, you get a lot more accomplished if you don’t care who gets the credit — I think a lot of us see things that way.
talking about immigration the day of the vote and told the story of his parents and family, I started to cry. That’s what we have to be better at. We also have to be better at tapping into pop culture. Barack Obama is a rock star. He’s a pop culture icon, and he goes on Ellen and Jay Leno. As technology develops and digital media becomes a bigger part of our lives, these shows are relevant, and there’s a reason they have such high ratings. If we’re going to reach kids and young adults who can relate to reality shows and similar types of media, we have to figure out a way to break into that. I believe we’re missing that vote.
MAGGIE HASSAN Maggie Hassan is the current Democratic Governor of New Hampshire and a Brown alumna. She is a staunch advocate for the rights of the disabled.
INTERVIEW BY HENRY KNIGHT
BROWN POLITICAL REVIEW INTERVIEWS
In your recent State of the State address you said, “In contrast to the dysfunction in our nation’s capital, in New Hampshire we’ve worked together to support middle-class families and to help innovative businesses thrive and grow our economy.” As governor, how have you promoted a functional political climate? We are focused on leading the country in innovative economic growth. With that in mind, it’s been really important to engage with people in our state, which is not hard to do. One of the things that we talked about in the panel over Brown’s 250th celebration opening weekend was the town meeting culture of New Hampshire and other New England and Northeastern states. What that allows you to do is focus on the fact that people solve problems together all the time in their personal and professional lives. If you take that example from the people you represent, with the attitude that, first and foremost, your job is to solve a problem, it allows you to focus not on partisan differences, but on what the task at hand is. It’s also important to acknowledge that you’re going to have disagreements and debates. That’s how you develop good ideas. One of the things that you have to encourage and foster is the sense that you can argue, but that after the argument, you’re going to come together and still work on the problem.
Why do you identify as a Democrat? What strong associations do you have with the Democratic Party and its vision? The core principle that defines us as Americans is the idea that everybody counts. I think that the Democratic Party has kept that as its core principle in a lot of different ways over the course of its history. It doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, and it doesn’t mean that I’ve always agreed with my party on every issue, but it does mean that I identify with the importance of having a strong middle class and giving every person an opportunity to succeed regardless of the circumstances. Ultimately, the story of our country is that when we bring people in from the margins and include them in our community, we all get stronger. I would add that it’s been important to Democrats to understand that personal liberty and self-determination have been critical to economic growth. How has your experience as a parent impacted the way you govern? My husband Tom and I have two children, Ben and Meg. Ben is 25. He’s a very smart and funny graduate of our local public school system. He also happens to have very severe physical disabilities. He has cerebral palsy, so he can’t speak or use his hands or walk. His experience as an integrated member of our community was an early reminder to me of the importance of the progress we’ve made over generations in this country. A generation or two before Ben was born, it was likely he would have been placed in an institution and considered uneducable and
would have been vulnerable to whatever arbitrary injustices that people in institutions experience. Instead, he went off to public school at age three. We wheeled him onto a wheelchair lift that took him onto a bus, and he was educated in his hometown… That has been a touchstone for me. I went into elected politics because I had done advocacy work for Ben and our family, and [Ben’s experience] has been an important reminder to me of the fact that everyone should have an equal opportunity. I think that there are certain barriers that can exist, and you don’t always understand what the barriers are until you engage with people and include them. It’s that process of inclusion that helps you understand how you can provide opportunity. As governor, how have you tried to confront those barriers? In the last five years, we were just pulling out of a very bad recession that challenged state government — and all government. One of the areas where we really slipped was our mental health system in New Hampshire. We put together a 10-year mental health plan in 2008, but finding the resources to support that plan over the five years that followed was really difficult. We had a growing problem of long waiting lists in our hospital emergency rooms for acute care. So we found a way to reinvest $24 million into our mental health system in the bipartisan budget that we passed, and we just settled a lawsuit with the federal government where we’ve agreed to build an integrated, community-based mental health system that I think can lead the country. The stigma associated with mental illness impedes the improvement of our mental healthcare system. As the chief executive of New Hampshire, how do you pitch your ideas to your constituency? The importance of fundamental fairness and opportunity runs across every issue we deal with. [On mental health issues,] we go back to the notion that unleashing every person’s talent and energy is really important for our economy. With mental health and substance abuse, people know the drain that those issues can represent, because [those people] have friends or family or employees who struggle with them. When you talk about the Affordable Care Act providing substance abuse and mental health treatment as a benefit, you really see people’s faces light up in every single sector because they understand that if people can get healthy, there’s a potential for more talent and energy to build a more innovative economy. It can sometimes depend on the issue, but it’s always about reminding people that we have thrived in the United States and in the Granite State because of our willingness and our expectation that every person will contribute fully. We’re supposed to do hard things, so sometimes providing that opportunity can be a challenge, but once we do so, it redounds to the benefit of us all.
GEOFF’S Superlative Sandwiches
Aristocrat Bobbi Riggs Monster Lisa Harvati S-O Bonnie & Clyde The Geoff Doonesbury Tame-Me-Amy Patrick Lynch Rachel Celina Godzilla Susan Farmer
Reuben The Diamond R.J. Heim Doug White Patrick Kennedy Groucho Dick Lupo Rick “The Mailman” The Kiss Kevorkian Rocky Bab’s Delight Providence Monthly
Buy 2 Sandwiches for the Price of 1 Every Tuesday!
try our famous sandwich
163 Benefit Street, Providence ◆ Open Daily from 11am - 10pm
Brown Political Review
Subscribe today and we’ll put a magazine in your campus mailbox for free! Parents and alumni can subscribe for a small fee (about $5 per issue) to help support our growing student organization!
If you buy an annual subscription plan, you will receive a complimentary copy of our special 250th Anniversary Edition! Check out our latest issue, more articles and multimedia content at our website: brownpoliticalreview.org.
Visit this link to subscribe : http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org/subscribe-2/
traditional korean barbeque
JJA M PO N G
We do takeout!
try our STONE POT BIBIMBAP
SOBAN KOREAN EATERY PANCAKE
(401) 751-1234 272 Thayer St Providence, RI 02906
S O O N D U BU
HOURS: 11am - 10pm Mon-Sun 11AM-10PM
with complimentary sidebar