It’s been a week of difficult news. This week in OtherWords, our authors do their best to help make sense of it.

In the wake of the racist mass murder in Buffalo, Juan Cole explains the (literal) Nazi, anti-American origins of the “Great Replacement” theory espoused by the shooter — and by prominent Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson. How, he wonders, did an overtly anti-American conspiracy theory became a rallying cry for the American far right?

Meanwhile, as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 officially surpasses the 1 million mark, we’ve updated Karen Dolan’s op-ed explainer on how poverty and inequality have driven that number to once unthinkable heights.

Also this week, Farrah Hassen reflects on the surprising revelation that the immigration agency ICE has spied on most Americans — including, probably, you. Lindsay Owens and Hebah Kassem offer a bold plan to fight high gas prices and climate change at once. And Julie Hollar explains how the Senate can help foster more democracy in media and telecommunications.

Finally, Jim Hightower says more Supreme Court leaks would be a good thing. And in the wake of Israel’s killing of a Palestinian American journalist, cartoonist Khalil Bendib illustrates the embarrassment of the ongoing U.S. support for Israel’s military.

New This Week…

Tucker Carlson’s ‘Great Replacement’ Theory Comes from an Anti-American Nazi | Juan Cole
Why has the American far right adopted an anti-American conspiracy theory as its rallying cry?

A Pandemic of the Poor | Karen Dolan
As we mark 1 million COVID-19 deaths, Americans in poorer counties have died at double the rate of wealthier counties.

ICE Probably Spied on You | Farrah Hassen
A new investigation reveals the immigration agency has collected data on most Americans. It’s the latest case in a worrying trend.

It’s Time to Stop Profiteering at the Pump | Lindsay Owens and Hebah Kassem
High gas prices, climate change, and the war in Ukraine share a common cause.

If You Watch TV or Use the Internet, You Want a Functional FCC | Julie Hollar
Right now, the agency is deadlocked — which is just peachy for the corporations it regulates. Here’s how to unblock it.

Lift the Supreme Court’s Veil of Secrecy | Jim Hightower
These nine individuals make decisions that affect every American. Why should they get to do it secretly?

Below the Belt | Khalil Bendib
In the wake of Israel’s killing of a Palestinian American journalist, ongoing U.S. funding for the Israeli military should be an embarrassment.

In Case You Missed It…

An Ugly New Era for “States’ Rights” | Peter Certo
The Supreme Court is giving extreme new powers to increasingly autocratic state governments. That’s not democracy.

The GOP’s ‘Pro-Life’ Victory Will Mean More Dead Mothers | Mitchell Zimmerman
Anti-choice states already have the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Soon, those who survive could face execution.

Politicians: Stop Passing the Buck to Young People | Tracey L. Rogers
If we’re going to shape the future, they need to do their part to protect our democracy today.

Nothing Is More Personal Than the Right to Control Your Own Body | Olivia Alperstein
Roe doesn’t just protect abortion rights. It’s the keystone that keeps politicians out of the most intimate aspects of our lives.

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Peter Certo

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

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