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Essay

When San Francisco Tried to Be the World’s 'Queer Sanctuary' for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

In the 2010s, the Bay Area Worked to Resettle LGBTQ People Fleeing Persecution—but Then Policies Changed

by Tom Shepard

Early one morning in 2012, Subhi Nahas woke up in a hospital bed near Idlib, Syria. The bright, boyishly handsome 22-year-old couldn’t remember how he’d gotten there. The day before, his father had slammed Nahas’s head into the kitchen counter so hard that he had to be carried to the emergency room.
 Around this time, a militia group called the Nusra Front, with ties to al-Qaida, had formed near Nahas’s town. He had heard rumors that they’d kidnapped and killed several gay men.
 Nahas, who had near perfect grades in his third year of college, stopped going to school, fearful that his soft voice and gentle gestures might reveal what he’d kept secret his whole life. Since the war’s ...

Essay

How the ‘Authentic Politics’ of Hannah Arendt Speak to 2020s Biggest Problems

The 20th-Century Philosopher and Theorist’s Writing Is Made for a Time of Pandemic and Protest

by Ned O’Gorman

Hannah Arendt was one of the greatest political theorists of the 20th century. Arendt, who was Jewish, was born in Germany in 1906. She fled the Nazis in 1933 and ended up in the United States, where she devoted her new life to writing trenchant analyses of all things political—from totalitarianism to political revolution to war. A few years ago, I began writing a book about her thinking in response to the political partisanship, vitriol, and downright demagoguery of our age. I also wanted to introduce Arendt, who died in 1975, to new readers, and to defend what she called “authentic politics”—as she wrote, “different people getting along with each other in the full force of their power”—before those fed up with politics, or only interested in using it for their own personal gain. For Arendt ...

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