Voters in Kansas this week provided a stunning victory for the pro-choice movement in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. By a margin of nearly 20 percentage points, voters in the otherwise conservative state overwhelmingly rejected a GOP-led effort to strike the right to choose an abortion from the state’s constitution.

This week in OtherWords, Mitchell Zimmerman argues that whatever their personal feelings about abortion, voters are catching on to the extremism of the modern anti-abortion agenda and rejecting it wholesale. Will voters in the rest of the country follow their lead?

Also this week, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Briana Shelton review a fascinating new study on the economic prospects of Black Americans whose recent ancestors made the “Great Migration” from the Jim Crow South to the industrial North.

“While there might have been an initial increase in opportunity,” they write, “many African American grandchildren and great grandchildren of these migrants are financially struggling today.” They argue that until the country makes a serious reckoning with race — and a deeper investment in the safety net for everyone — the racial wealth gap will remain as wide as the distance “between Detroit and Mississippi.”

Finally, this week I report some sad news: Bill Collins, the former Norwalk, Connecticut mayor who founded the service that became OtherWords, has died in a car crash at the age of 87. Bill led a remarkable life and it’s an honor to carry on his work. You can read a bit about Bill’s life, and the history of our service, here.

New This Week…

Anti-Abortion Extremism Is Scaring Voters. It Should. | Mitchell Zimmerman
As conservative Kansas just showed, most voters simply don’t want politicians making personal medical decisions for them.

The Great Migration Failed to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide. What’s Next? | Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Briana Shelton
Real and lasting economic opportunities for Black families will come only through a serious national reckoning on race.

Remembering Bill Collins | Peter Certo
The OtherWords founder was a small-city mayor who traveled the world, an Army veteran who hated war, and above all a devoted citizen

Merrick Garland Hears No Evil | Khalil Bendib
Has the attorney general tuned into the January 6 hearings?

In Case You Missed It…

Climate Change Threatens the Most Iconic U.S. Landscapes | Farrah Hassen
Joshua trees are disappearing, glaciers are melting, wetlands are flooding. Can the threat to our parks — and the wonder they inspire — lead to action?

It’s Time to Crack Down on Excessive CEO Pay | Sarah Anderson
The pay gap between workers and CEOs at America’s largest low-wage employers is now 670 to 1. That’s obscene.

Like Bad Science Fiction: The Growing Danger of Anti-Abortion Extremism | Mitchell Zimmerman
Contraceptives banned. Miscarriages prosecuted. Pregnant people under surveillance. Is this the future Americans want?

The Far Right Hates ‘Woke’ Society Because They Want One That’s Asleep | Jim Hightower
Florida governor and rising GOP star Ron DeSantis has made a favorite hobby of censoring speech and thought.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org.

OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to OtherWords.org. To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.