Another rough year. And at Splinter—where the mission is to highlight injustices and amplify underrepresented voices—we had our work cut out for us, and we’re really proud of the great pieces our writers and editors produced. Below, a selection of the best.


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The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World’s Face

If you want to understand intra-GOP warfare, the decision-making process of our president, the implosion of the Republican healthcare plan, and the rest of the politics of the Trump era, you don’t need to know about Russian espionage tactics, the state of the white working class, or even the beliefs of the “alt-right.” You pretty much just need to be in semi-regular contact with a white, reasonably comfortable, male retiree. Read more.



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The Best Prison Journalism Is Straight Out of San Quentin

“We’re not just in here stabbing each other. We’re not raping each other. The majority of us are just regular guys doing regular stuff, waiting for the opportunity to get out of here.” Read more.


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I Am the World’s First Abortion Refugee

In 2011, María Teresa Rivera was arrested in El Salvador. She was accused of having an abortion and sentenced to 40 years in prison on the charge of “aggravated homicide.” Rivera claims she had a miscarriage and did not even know she was pregnant. Read more.


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Why Working Women With Migraines Suffer in Silence

Migraine was historically seen as a mental condition, “a character flaw, a weakness, typically associated with women.” Read more.



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Forget Bernie Bros: Meet the Young People of Color Leading the Country’s Socialist Revolution

Erasing people of color from the narrative is deeply ahistoric at best and intellectually dishonest at worst. Read more.


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Meet the Woke Misogynist

I usually stretch a Tinder chat over days or even weeks, warily circling a guy to make sure he seems like a decent human. But on that sticky summer night, Bob* put me at ease right away. He was in an open relationship, just like me. He talked frankly and respectfully about sex. He said he was a “giver.” Read more.


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How Many People Have to Die, Resign, or Go to Jail Before a Good Person Is President?

Should Trump be removed from office, the president of the United States will no longer be a deeply bigoted dummy whose political instincts appear to be limited to self-aggrandizement and spite. Instead, the president of the United States will be a deeply bigoted zealot whose political instincts appear to be limited to a draconian interpretation of his Christian faith and a scorched earth approach to the social safety net. Read more.



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‘I Didn’t Want to Be One of Those People. I Was. I Am.’

I interviewed the man who assaulted me when I was 17. Read more.


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She Was an Ultraconservative Texas Christian. Then Kai Was Born and Everything Changed.

Kai’s own classroom, like all kindergarten classrooms at her school, has a single-occupancy, unisex bathroom for everyone to use. But when Kai goes to the cafeteria, library or gym, she isn’t allowed to use the regular girls’ restrooms, thanks to a confusing workaround the school district came up with last spring. Read more.



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For Women Who Just Want to Bone, May We Suggest Craigslist

The media’s attitude towards Casual Encounters has always been either skeptical or luridly confessional. Read more.



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Graphic Essay: Betsy DeVos’ ‘School Choice’ Movement Isn’t Social Justice. It’s a Return to Segregation.

Meet Antoine. He’s a Hurricane Katrina survivor, and was a student in the “reformed” New Orleans school district lauded as a model of “school choice,” which Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to enshrine as federal policy. Antoine is the face of “school choice” … a face which DeVos would rather you not see. Read more.



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The Tragic Story of a Texas Teen and the Marines Who Killed Him for No Reason

Hernandez had been fatally shot two days prior in a tragic incident that not only rocked the 100-small community of Redford, where he was born and raised, but also made national headlines. Read more.



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I Hung Out With Juggalos and Trump Voters and Saw Our Weird and Bad Future

One of the kids in clown makeup carries a sign: “2017 is weird and bad.” Well said. Read more.


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America Is Violent

Violence isn’t a collection of pinpoints on a map. It’s the map itself. Read more.


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A Weekend of Nazi Dress-Up Fun in the Heart of Trump Country

I didn’t come to the vendor area at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s World War II re-enactment weekend for the Nazi memorabilia. I came to see why thousands of people flock to an active airfield in Reading, Pennsylvania once a year to either re-live, or watch other people re-live, life across a world in chaos in 1943. Read more.


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‘I Am a Girl Now,’ Sage Smith Wrote. Then She Went Missing.

On the late afternoon of November 20, 2012, just a few weeks shy of her 20th birthday, Sage Smith stepped out of the neon pink-walled apartment in Charlottesville, Virginia, she shared with two friends. After a tough and tumbling childhood, things finally seemed to be falling into place: She had moved out of her grandmother’s house, was taking classes, had just reconciled with her dad. And she had just started openly identifying as a transgender woman. Read more.


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It Was Never Going to Be a Normal Protest. They Came Ready to Fight.

By 1:30pm on Saturday, the “Unite the Right” rally had ended and there was a sense that white supremacy had lost. People were cheering, dancing, chanting “Charlottesville we got your back, we got your back, we got your back.” The thousands in the streets, representing different factions of the left, united and marched to celebrate withstanding hours of tear gas and pepper spray. The racists had retreated, we thought. Read more.



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After Charlottesville, Pick a Side

You don’t have to love everything your side does, but you have to choose. Read more.


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Graphic Essay: What the Civil Rights Movement Can Teach Us About Surviving Trump 


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Hillary Clinton Will Never Understand What Happened

“Was I doomed from the start?” Hillary Clinton wonders toward the end of What Happened, her new book about her failed 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton never quite admits it in so many words, but she probably was. Read more.


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Slate’s Biggest Enemies Are Donald Trump and Its Staff Trying to Unionize

Slate has been a solidly liberal voice online for the past two decades. So when its staff decided to form a union earlier this year, they didn’t expect a drawn-out labor fight. Yet Slate management has put up stiff resistance to the effort for months, using rhetoric that anyone familiar with attempts to weaken organized labor will recognize. Read more.


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Welcome to an American City Where the Government Barely Exists

Crime, blight, and poverty are all entangled in this mess, both cause and consequence of a gutted school system, absence of streetlights, and an inability to provide anything beyond the most basic services. Read more.


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What Can the U.S. Learn About Universal Healthcare From the NHS?

When the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) is brought up in American health reform debates, it’s often to highlight the worst stories, a cautionary tale about the horrors of “government healthcare”: long wait times, poor conditions, hospital closures like those affecting my hometown. That puts advocates for single payer in a tricky position. Read more.



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The Florida Migrant Town That FEMA Forgot

Climate change affects everyone, but in the immediate aftermath of “natural” disasters and extreme weather, the poorest among us suffer the most. The majority of Immokalee residents are undocumented immigrants, living lost in translation and disconnected from a greater federal or state government that should be protecting them. Read more.


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Every Member of Congress Who Took Money From the NRA and Tweeted ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ to Las Vegas

In lieu of any substantive gun control, what do America’s senators and congresspeople have to offer? Read more.


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The Way We Talk About Puerto Rico Is Bullshit

Puerto Rico is a colony. Read more.



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The First Step to Recovery Is Admitting You’re a Racist

“Denial is one of the more common expressions,” of addiction to supremacy, the pamphlet said. And while not everyone here is a self-described privilege junkie, they say they’re trying like hell to cure a national disease. Read more.



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This Was Always Going to Hurt

It can be very easy to write off a man you don’t know if he’s hurt a woman; it can be very hard to know what to do with the men close to you. Read more.


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Don’t Let Female Creators Be Collateral Damage When Male Abusers Go Down

It’s a bizarre, painful thing for your career to be the collateral damage of someone else’s wrongful acts. Read more.


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Justice for Ivanka’s Chinese Nanny, XiXi

Consistently left out of the Arabella-Trump-Xi diplomacy narrative is XiXi, Arabella’s Chinese nanny who taught her how to speak Mandarin. Read more.


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The Complicated Racial Legacy Of MTV’s Cult Classic Clone High

It was almost unheard of to have an Indian character who sounded and acted American and that felt groundbreaking. Unfortunately, India did not see it the same way. Read more.


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The Old Man Who Calls Border Patrol on Immigrants, and the Teen Girl Who Asked Him Why

You can find him at the gas station. He goes there every day and stays almost all day long. He drinks coffee and waits for the immigrants to ask him for some help: money or food. They think he is going to help them because he has a Mexican flag along with his American one, on his maroon Ford truck. But instead, he calls the Border Patrol on his cellphone. Read more.