Obama speaks out, Jim Jordan refuses to testify, and Ahmaud Arbery: Top premium columns

·5 min read

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1. Former President Barack Obama: We need to follow John Lewis' example and fight for our democracy

By Barack Obama

"Meanwhile, state legislators in 49 states have introduced more than 400 bills designed to suppress votes. Some of these bills we’ve seen before: legislation that would discourage voters, including racial minorities, low-income voters and young people from casting a ballot. Others aim to treat certain polling locations differently, creating one set of rules for voters living in cities and another set for people living in more conservative, rural areas."

2. My brother's death left me a tangled ball of love and anger. Grieving doesn't get easier.

By Michael J. Stern

"After Lee’s death, I joined a siblings’ grief group. Some brothers and sisters died from a split-second tragedy, some from a protracted illness. But all of my fellow grievers seemed to have uncomplicated loving relationships with their siblings. I envy them. There was never a shortage of love between me and my brother, but our relationship was twisted with the complexities that came from my effort to save him from himself, and his effort to live his own life."

3. Nurses get spit on, kicked, assaulted. Stop hurting us. We are here to help you.

By Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider and nurse Sarah Warren

"And it’s not just happening in the United States. One study catalogued more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities around the world last year, many of which were specifically related to COVID-19. In 2020, the World Medical Association declared that violence against health personnel is an international emergency that requires urgent action."

Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network
Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network

4. Jan. 6 investigation: Rep. Jim Jordan said he has nothing to hide. Why won't he testify?

By Paul Brandus

"The man who wanted to investigate every alleged wrongdoing of the Obama and now Biden administrations says he won’t cooperate with the attack on our most cherished symbol of democracy and the wounding of some 140 police officers (wasn't President Donald Trump always saying he was a law-and-order guy?) because “the American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts."

5.Finding my family's history in Brunswick, Georgia, where Ahmaud Arbery was murdered

By Suzette Hackney

"Arbery's death was devastating for the community, for my family, for me. His smile is seared into my psyche. The pain of his loss continues to punch me in the gut. The idea that he was hunted and killed like an animal keeps me awake sometimes. It's not the first time a Black man has been slaughtered, of course. But coming face-to-face with those in his community – a place I used to visit during the summer as a naive child – caused great heartache."

6. Facebook may not like conservatives but the social media giant sure seems to help them

By David Mastio

"It is hard to argue that Meta/Facebook is not a liberal company. Of $8 million in political donations connected to the company in 2020, 88.5% went to Democrats. As a result, conservatives will be suspicious, regardless of the intent behind Facebook's content moderation decisions."

Marc Murphy, UA TODAY Network
Marc Murphy, UA TODAY Network

7. Our kids' mental health is suffering. And America's schools aren't ready to help.

By Autumn Cabell

"Suicide rates among Black children below age 13 have been increasing rapidly, the advisory states. Black children are nearly twice as likely to die by suicide than white children. And socioeconomically disadvantaged children and adolescents are two to three times more likely to develop mental health conditions than peers with higher socioeconomic status, according to the advisory."

8. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Our mental health is no joke.

By Steven Petrow

"This is just the latest poll to report on the deepening mental health crisis in this country, which has seen a rise in depression, anxiety, stress, addiction and other disorders in the course of the pandemic. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults – nearly 52 million of us – live with a diagnosed mental illness, which leaves me to wonder how much higher the real number is."

Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network
Andy Marlette, USA TODAY Network

9. COVID test: Can Americans get our act together to build a better country for our children?

By Timothy Swarens

"Before they were 30 years old, my parents had suffered through the devastating consequences of the two most gruesome wars the world has known, a pandemic that killed almost 3% of the world's population, and an economic catastrophe that shaped how they would manage everything from leftover food to spare change for the rest of their lives. I've thought often in the past two pandemic years about what my mother and father endured as children and young adults. It hasn't diminished the frustration, or occasional fear, I've felt as COVID-19 leaves family and friends isolated and sick. But it has put what we've experienced into perspective."

10. 'Pandemic means trauma': That's especially true for the worried heroes who teach our children

By Connie Schultz

"We are lashing out, and teachers, in particular, are easy marks. Tensions are increasing between parents and administrators who want children in school and teachers who worry about their own safety, and the well-being of their students. This is not to disparage parents who are on their last nerve. ... I have never seen our kids so stressed."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Censorship, mental health, COVID-19 and Barack Obama: Top columns

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