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Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is an associate editor at Talking Points Memo. She formerly worked at Raw Story, Washingtonian magazine, the Center for American Progress and The American Prospect. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, Jezebel, AlterNet and others. She graduated from the University of Minnesota. Contact her at kay@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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Nichole Perkins writes about the life of Maya Angelou: "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings may have been styled after slave narratives, but it was unique in its storytelling because Angelou wasn’t trying to uplift all Black people. She didn’t write for a white audience in order to gain its empathy."

Today's Cafe piece from David Shorr on the lazy critique that both sides are to blame is a must-read: "because the 'plague on both houses' complaint has stayed such a popular flavor of critique, we have to keep reminding ourselves of the facts."

Ed Kilgore weighs in on the messy Mississippi Senate primary between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R) and tea party upstart state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R): "But with the radicalization of the conservative movement and the Republican Party that has intensified during the Obama presidency, the perceived value of Cochran’s Grandee position has steadily declined, and he’s in real danger of being seen as that most hated figure, a Scalawag."

Conor P. Williams takes a look at California's "Parent Trigger" law, which allows parents who sign a petition to make dramatic changes to a school. Though this can be a force for evil, Williams takes a look at a case in which it seems to have been used for a force for good.

Earlier this week Rep. Ted Yoho's (R-FL) 2012 comments surfaced. "I’ve had some radical ideas about voting and it’s probably not a good time to tell them, but you used to have to be a property owner to vote," he told a cheering audience.

Alexander Keyssar, Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard University and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network, weighed in on the multitude of reasons why Yoho (pictured, right) is just plain wrong:

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In the debate around the possibility of including "trigger warnings" on content in college courses, it's worth reading the words of Jade E. Davis over at Cafe, who teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill:

There was a day in a course where we were discussing race, media, popular culture, and educational attainment. There were black students in the classroom. I was at the front of the class, and in the middle of class discussion, a student said, “Well, all the black students are here because of affirmative action.”

Never mind that we were at one of the best public universities in the country, a school that can pick and choose who they admit from a group of top candidates across ethnicities. The assumption was still that those students — and even I — did not belong in the classroom space. There was no warning. The trigger was pulled. This is the experience the New York Times piece missed.

There is still an experience of race, of poverty, of out of place-ness for so many students that come up in classes all the time without any warning.

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