Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is

Recent Articles

An Artist Responds to Trump’s Cratering of America: A Q&A With Esteban Whiteside

In stark paintings and intense, vibrant collages, Whiteside confronts what Donald Trump has wrought and how the long arc of oppression in the American experience oozes into the lives of people of color every day.

P resident Trump has hijacked America’s collective consciousness, fraying the bonds holding a volatile, multicultural nation together. There are as many daily outrages from him as there are hours in the day—and increasingly he utters some of the most nauseous paeans to white supremacy ever delivered by an American president. When the president gets into Esteban Whiteside’s head, powerful and devastating images from the catalog of Trump’s travesties emerge. Whiteside’s works also reach back deep into the African American experience, retrieving shards of slavery, Jim Crow, and police brutality to hurtle them straight at the viewer. There is no middle ground in these challenging tableaux. They force audiences into the tightest chambers of racism where most of the exits are blocked. Such is the power of Whiteside’s subject matter that his work captured the attention of filmmaker Spike Lee, himself a provocateur of the highest order, who featured three...


As The Baltimore Sun wrote, it’s better to have a few rats than to be one.

Edwin Remsberg/VWPics/AP Images
Representative Elijah Cummings and Baltimore are the latest collateral damage in Donald Trump’s scorched-earth re-election campaign. The president of the United States, ignorant of the rat traps scattered around the White House and the 78 health violations at Mar-a-Lago, over the weekend repeatedly demonized Charm City, birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner, as a “rat and rodent infested mess.” A man unfit to serve as president of the United States remains at the top of the Grand Old Party’s presidential ticket, as Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Mick Mulvaney, and Rick Scott, who position themselves as honorable men , shake hands with the devil in their quest for permanent Republican power. This president’s tenure may just be the greatest travesty ever visited upon this country, a travesty that could go on for years if Americans continue to ignore that the United States is flirting with disaster. Trump’s use of Baltimore’s dysfunction is...

Trump Feeds on Hatred. Four Members of Congress Clap Back.

The president stokes race-baiting and potentially worse in service of his re-election campaign. Democrats must continue to call out these distractions and his epic failure to address the real concerns of average Americans.

On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, the United States House of Representatives voted along party lines to condemn President Donald Trump for his racist tweets that urged four members of Congress—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan—to go back to where they came from. This historic vote is a turning point (there have been only four similar congressional votes outside of impeachment) but one that, for the moment, offers little vindication for Democrats. The United States has entered a dangerous new period of instability conjured up by the president and his far-right wing enablers. The pernicious narratives that Trump constructs when a black, brown, or beige person is so bold as to exercise his or her First Amendment rights provides the fuel for campaign rallies like the one Trump held in Greenville, North Carolina, the day after the vote. The problem with all the “...

Trump Uses Supporters as Props on the Environment

Trump’s latest campaign ploy recruits ordinary people to sing his environmental praises.

Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA/AP Images
President Trump unleashed so many distortions during Monday’s so-called “environmental leadership” remarks that the White House propaganda machine makes Orwell’s Ministry of Truth look like the Library of Congress. Trump proclaimed that the United States is number one in “access to clean water.” (It’s tied for the top spot with 9 other countries.). He said that the administration is a good steward of public lands. (It has reduced the size of two Utah national moments and continues to threaten the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with oil drilling). He claimed the Paris Climate Accord is “unfair, ineffective, and very, very expensive” (Trump has mischaracterized the agreement on numerous occasions). It was, as Rebecca Leber of Mother Jones described it , “a rare and strange speech.” Climate change has no place in the president’s lexicon, so those words never passed his lips in remarks about the environment. But the...

Boston’s Transportation Crisis: A Q&A with Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu

After recent subway derailments, Wu has taken up the banner that state political leaders have dropped, sounding the alarm that Massachusetts officials must develop comprehensive solutions to the beleaguered transit system before it’s too late.

screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png N ew York City responded to its “summer of hell” with congestion pricing that will steer hundreds of millions of dollars to the city’s subways. Washington’s Metro launched a mammoth capital repair program after a spate of electrical fires, and its member jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, ceased endless dithering to agree on new annual funding contributions . These crises forced municipal and state leaders to swap out the toxic incrementalism that passed for action with real strategies to solve mobility crises that affect millions of people, riders and drivers alike. And then there’s Boston. The Homeric ineptitude of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the country’s fifth-largest transit system, is the stuff of legend. Financial crises and service-shuttering snowstorms have led to important management reforms. But abysmal service, especially the daily delays and...