The Tokyo Olympics, now underway, are the second games to include a team composed entirely of refugees.

This week in OtherWords, Phyllis Bennis celebrates the Olympic Refugee Team as extraordinary individuals who’ve overcome huge obstacles not just to become world-class athletes, but to survive. But with the world’s displaced people now numbering over 82 million, are we accepting mass displacement as the world’s new normal?

Drivers of that displacement include climate change, repression, and poverty. This week, Shea Leibow explains why doing something about climate is going to require doing something about repression. And Robert P. Alvarez makes a compelling case for investing in good, sustainable jobs for poor rural communities here in the U.S. — instead of just warehousing prisoners there.

Also this week, Jill Richardson offers more thoughts on bridging the divide about teaching the history of racism in schools. Jim Hightower skewers the “space cowboy” delusions of Jeff Bezos. And Khalil Bendib illustrates the ongoing problem of Facebook.

Hope you enjoy these! I’ll be visiting family next week so we may run some retreads then.

New This Week…

The Triumph and Tragedy of the Olympic Refugee Team | Phyllis Bennis
It’s beautiful that there’s an Olympic team for 82 million displaced people. But have we accepted mass displacement as the new normal?

To Save the Planet, We Need to Demilitarize Police | Shea Leibow
Even with climate disasters all around us, nonviolent environmental demonstrations face fierce police repression. Why?

Rural Towns Deserve Better Than Prison Jobs | Robert P. Alvarez
Rural prison towns need jobs. There are better ones than guarding people in cages.

Dial Down the Panic Over ‘Critical Race Theory’ | Jill Richardson
Wildly inaccurate accusations are flying all over the place right now. Don’t get sucked in — do this instead.

Jeff ‘Space Cowboy’ Bezos | Jim Hightower
Space flights used to achieve scientific purpose. Now they’re a rich man’s carnival ride.

The Forked Tongues of Facebook | Khalil Bendib
Misinformation still runs rampant on the monopolistic platform.

In Case You Missed It….

Preventing An American Pinochet | Jill Richardson
If you believe violence instead of voting is justified, I implore you to at least consider the alternative viewpoint.

Corporations Should Pay Their Fair Share for Human Needs | Justin Campos
Corporations pay lower taxes than ever. A modest corporate tax hike would be transformative.

The Jobs Bill Must Protect DACA Holders | Sonali Kolhatkar
Republicans are still attacking undocumented young people — including health care workers. Here’s how to protect them for good.

The Mom and Pop Tax Break | Domenica Ghanem
This month, millions of U.S. parents will get direct deposits in their bank accounts. There’s no catch.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Peter Certo

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

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

(Note: Images credited to Getty or Shutterstock are not covered by our Creative Commons license. Please license these separately if you wish to use them.)