Still I Rise – Poem by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in


the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

on this day … 2/15 U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before SCOTUS

World1758 – Mustard was advertised for the first time in America.

1764 – The city of St. Louis was established.

1799 – Printed ballots were authorized for use in elections in the state of Pennsylvania.

1842 – Adhesive postage stamps were used for the first time by the City Dispatch Post (Office) in New York City.

1879 – U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1898 – The USS Maine sank when it exploded in Havana Harbor for unknown reasons. More than 260 crew members were killed.

1900 – The British threaten to use natives in their war with the Boers.

1903 – Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants, introduced the first teddy bear in America.

1932 – George Burns and Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on “The Guy Lombardo Show” on CBS radio.

1933 – U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assination attempt in Miami. Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak was killed in the attack.

1942 – During World War II, Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.

1943 – “My True Story” was heard for the first time on ABC radio.

1946 – Edith Houghton, at age 33, was signed as a baseball scout by the Philadelphia Phillies becoming the first female scout in the major leagues.

1953 – The first American to win the women’s world figure skating championship was 17-year-old Tenley Albright.

1961 – A Boeing 707 crashed in Belgium killing 73 people.

1962 – CBS-TV bought the exclusive rights to college football games from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for a figure of $10,200,000.

1965 – Canada displayed its new red and white maple leaf flag. The flag was to replace the old Red Ensign standard.

1982 – During a storm, the Ocean Ranger, a drilling rig, sank off the coast of Newfoundland. 84 men were killed.

1985 – The Center for Disease Control reported that more than half of all nine-year-olds in the U.S. showed no sign of tooth decay.

1989 – After nine years of intervention, the Soviet Union announced that the remainder of its troops had left Afghanistan.

1991 – The leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland signed the Visegard agreement, in which they pledged to cooperate in transforming thier countties to free-market economies.

1995 – The FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick and charged him with cracking security in some of the nation’s most protected computers. He served five years in jail.

2002 – U.S. President George W. Bush approved Nevada’s Yucca Mountain as a site for long-term disposal of radioactive nuclear waste.

Stephen Miller: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know …

Stephen Miller, Donald Trump aide, Trump inauguration day speech, Donald Trump speechwriter

Stephen Miller (left) at Trump Tower on November 11, 2016. (Getty)

Stephen Miller was the senior policy adviser for the Donald Trump campaign and has been named Senior Adviser to the President. Miller also co-wrote Trump’s inauguration address with Steve Bannon and has continued to be a key player in the Trump administration. On January 29, as protests across the nation erupted in response to Trump’s immigration executive order, Miller was one of the Trump advisers dispatched to defend the policy.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough even suggested that Miller was behind the chaos the immigration order created. Indeed, a White House official told CNN that Miller spent months putting the immigration order together, secretly working closely with Steve Bannon. Miller told CBS New that the order will “make sure that people entering our country truly love and support the United States of America.”

A longtime adviser for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Miller was often seen on the campaign trail as a “warm-up act” for Trump. He also wrote Trump’s speech for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The 31-year-old Miller is a California native and a Duke University graduate.

Here’s a look at Miller’s life and career.

1. Miller Wrote ‘Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School’ in 2002

Stephen Miller, Stephen Miller Trump adviser, Trump adviser

Stephen Miller at a May 2016 Trump rally in Anaheim. (Getty)

Everything about Miller’s background suggests that he would be a lifelong Democrat. He grew up in Santa Monica, California and both of his parents are Democrats. However, his political viewpoints were influenced by Guns, Crime, and Freedom by National Rifle Association CEO Watne LaPierre, Politico reports.

While at Santa Monica High School, he reached out to conservative radio host Larry Elder to appear on his show to complain about his high school. In 2002, he already showed signs of how he would easily fit into the Trump team by writing an op-ed in a local Santa Monica newspaper called “Political Correctness Out of Control.” The essay was filled with complaints about his high school.

Miller wrote:

That is why scarcely a student at my school covered their heart when the national anthem was played in the September 11th memorial, but instead of finding error in that, our school found error in our attack on Afghanistan. The school newspaper condemned our military response. Administrators, worried students might become patriotic, were also quick to preach non-violence. Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School.

If you feel, like me, that political correctness has crossed the line, call the school or the district. Ask them to leave their liberal agendas at the front gate. Enough politics, it’s time for common sense.

Even after graduating from Santa Monica High, he continued complaining about the school. In a 2005 op-ed for Front Page Magazine, Miller accused the Left of creating the “false reality of institutional racism” at Santa Monica High School and called it “a center of political indoctrination.” He specifically targeted school board member Oscar De La Torre.

In 2005, Miller wrote:

Assimilation is anathema to leftists like De Le Torre because the resulting unity would eliminate the need for their policies and programs. To a disturbing extent, this indoctrination has been successful. I have spoken with a number of minority students during my time at SamoHi who claimed that they thought of themselves as Mexican, or Honduran, or Guatemalan first, and American second.

Miller was also influenced by David Horowitz, the founder of Students for Academic Freedom, according to a Politico profile of Miller. They first met when Miller was a teenager and he invited Horowitz to talk at his high school. When Miller invited him to speak at Duke and when he thought Duke wasn’t giving Horowtiz’s talk enough support, he claimed that Horowitz was banned from speaking there. But the talk happened and was broadcast on C-SPAN.

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2. Miller Accused Maya Angelou of ‘Racial Paranoia’ & Called Duke University ‘Obsessed With Multiculturalism (a.k.a. Segregation)’

Stephen Miller, Trump aides, Trump advisers, Trump inauguration speech writer

Trump Deputy campaign manager David Bossie, Communications Director Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller at Mar-a-Lago on December 19, 2016. (Getty)

During his time at Duke University, Miller published bi-weekly columns in the Due Chronicle, in which he makes his political leanings crystal clear. In a September 2005 column, for example, he accused Duke of lacking in “diversity of thought” and called it a “Leftist University.” He specifically criticized Duke for inviting Maya Angelou to speak to incoming freshman each year.

“Now, whether you share her racial paranoia or not, the point remains that she is a leftist, yet she is invited to give the orientation speech every single year,” Miller wrote. “Has the administration ever heard of balance? Why not invite someone with another perspective from time to time?”

In the same column, he equated multiculturalism with segregation. “The administration is so obsessed with multiculturalism (a.k.a. segregation) that they deem it necessary to include in freshman orientation a separate luncheon for black students,” he wrote.

In a November 2005 column called “Sorry Feminists,” Miller blamed the gender pay gap on women, writing that they work less and take more lower-paying jobs.

“The pay gap gets a lot smaller when you account for the fact that women work about only 85 percent as many hours as men and are responsible for only 10 percent of all overtime worked,” Miller wrote. “Women also choose lower-paying professions. Educated women are far more likely than educated men to go into service fields such as teaching and social working-admirable professions but ones that don’t pay nearly as well as careers in business.”

In a column from November 2006, Miller criticized Duke for requiring “every student engage in cross-cultural inquiry to graduate, yet there is no requirement to learn about America or larger Western civilization.” He wrote in the same column, “We must come to the defense of our heritage. And for us, that fight begins right here, on our campus.”

A Duke alum told Politico that Miller didn’t write these columns just to spark controversies. He did it to build a personal brand for his professional career. “He was very businesslike about it,” the alum told Politico.

“Part of his standing out was he put a moral tone on every issue he touched on,” John Burness, who worked in Duke’s public relations while Miller was there, told Politico. “If you did not agree with him, there was something immoral about you. He defined the term sanctimonious.”

Miller told Politico that the goal of his columns was to be “a voice of justice and reason” on a campus “where many professors had radical beliefs and engaged in outrageous behavior.”

White nationalist Richard Spencer told the Daily Beast that he was a “mentor” to Miller while they were both at Duke.

“I spent a lot of time with him at Duke… I hope I expanded his thinking… but I think he probably would be where he is today without me as well,” Spencer told the Daily Beast, adding that he thinks Miller is an “American nationalist.” However, Spencer doesn’t think Miller is a “white nationalist” and “would never be alt-tight.”

Spencer told the Daily Beast that he hasn’t been in contact with Miller for the past five years.

“I definitely knew that he was going to make something of himself. And I’m not surprised that he’s a public figure,” Spencer told the Daily Beast. “I think the Duke lacrosse case proved that. He came out swinging when that controversy went down, and he was really adept at the media.”

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3. Miller First Gained National Attention for Defending the Duke Lacrosse Players Accused of Rape

Miller first gained national attention for his staunch support of the four white Duke Lacrosse players who were accused of raping a black woman in March 2006. A week after the accusation was first reported, lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign and the rest of the team’s 2006 season was cancelled. But in April 2007, future North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who was then the state’s Attorney General, dropped all the charges.

Miller began to feel vindicated as Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong’s case began to fall apart.

“The more information that surfaces the more apparent it becomes to fair-minded observers that our lacrosse team was railroaded and that three of our fellow students are being put on trial not because of evidence but because of a DA’s incompetence and malice,” Miller wrote in an August 2006 column for the Duke Chronicle. “Sadly, many in the community have shown that they are not fair minded but would rather hunt for witches than search for justice.”

Miller wrote that Nifong, who was later disbarred, was “propelled by the chants and screams of the Duke-and-Durham-Left who sprang into action as soon as it became clear that the alleged victim’s story could be used to propagate their destructive black-versus-white worldview.”

As The Chronicle notes, Miller’s support for the players earned him spots on The O’Reilly Factor and The Nancy Grace Show.

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4. Miller Helped Jeff Sessions Defeat the Gang of Eight’s Immigration Reform Bill in 2013

Stephen Miller, Trump aides, Trump advisers, Trump inauguration speech writer

Stephen Miller at Trump Tower on December 14, 2016. (Getty)

After graduating from Duke in 2007 with a degree in political science, Miller stayed on the East Coast and moved to Washington, first working as press secretary to Representatives Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg. In 2009, he began working with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who Trump has nominated for Attorney General.

Now that he could have a hand in shaping policy, Miller took the opportunity. He was Sessions’ communication director when the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill was moving through Congress and helped his boss kill it after it passed the Senate. The House never voted on the bill.

According to Nevada News and Views, Miller was behind a column that reminded Republicans what the “Gang of Eight” bill did. “It provided illegal immigrants with welfare, entitlements, lifetime work authorization, chain migration and every other benefit under the sun (even as sponsors pledged the exact opposite),” Miller wrote in one of his 10 points.

In a March 2016 interview with Newsmax, Miller said the Gang of Eight, which included four Republicans, paved the way for Trump’s success.

“Much of this discontent really began growing profoundly in 2013 when eight senators got together and what did they do? They defied the will of every single GOP voter,” Miller told Newsmax. “[They tried to] push through the biggest amnesty bill in history. It’s interesting to be diagnosing bitter discontent when you’re one of those eight senators.”

When Trump announced that Miller was joining his campaign, Ann Coulter tweeted, “I’m in heaven!”

Headlines from the Front lines — February 2017

Launching ABB’s Federal Watch
On January 21, ABB staff joined hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, and Nashville, TN, to send a clear message of unity in defense of our core values. In Nashville, post-march, we lead a teach-in focused on the legal rights of Tennessee women and caregivers, particularly low-wage workers and other marginalized groups, and how those rights might be threatened or bolstered in the future. As part of our response to the new Administration, we have launched a Federal Watch blog series where we will respond to developments in Washington, D.C. that seek to roll back women’s rights, workers’ rights, and threaten our core values of fairness and economic security for all families. Check out our latest on the nomination of Senator Sessions to lead the Department of Justice. We are committed to defending federal laws and policies that have opened doors to opportunity for millions as we continue to push for more family-friendly reforms at the state and local level.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Efforts Push Ahead
Despite the dramatic shifts in Washington, D.C., we continue to push ahead to advance paid leave at the state and local level. In December, the District of Columbia passed a paid family and medical leave law, which will provide private sector workers there with wage replacement for up to eight weeks to bond with a new child, up to six weeks to care for a loved one with a serious health condition, and up to two weeks for the worker’s own serious health condition. In New York, where paid family leave will go into effect in January 2018, we are employing roundtable discussions among health professionals, workers advocates, and veterans groups, among others, to educate the public about the new law and gather feedback for effective implementation. Our first fact sheet for New Yorkers looking to take paid family leave is now available on our website in English and en Espanol. We anticipate a busy year as we work with allies in more than eight other states on paid leave legislation that will be introduced in 2017. Stay tuned!
Empowering Women in the South
On January 27th, we presented a successful community public education event, “Women in the Workplace: Know Your Rights!” This event, held in Nashville, TN, was coordinated with our partners at the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor. It included an introduction to the status of working women in the South as well as presentations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division. Elizabeth Gedmark, Director of the Southern Office of A Better Balance, presented on pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. Speakers particularly focused on the rights of vulnerable populations, such as undocumented workers. The event drew a diverse and engaged crowd, and provided an opportunity to learn, to ask questions, and to network and make personal connections.
Voices from the Clinic
“I’ve been working at my job for two years. I told my employer I was pregnant and his response to me was that I have to resign my job if I’m going full term with my pregnancy and I was given 48 hours to let him know my decision. I cried cause I didn’t want to lose my job so I started to research the laws of pregnancy in the workplace and I found a pamphlet on the A Better Balance website that was really helpful. I called the number on the pamphlet, explained my situation and that was the best decision I ever made. I was represented by ABB, I get to keep my job, I got a workplace accommodation, and I kept my work hours. Help was there every step of the way — it’s like I was never in this alone. Now I feel confident and more comfortable than ever in my workplace.”
— Saana
A Better Balance