It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.
‘Don’t Forget the White Women!’: Members Say Racism Ran Rampant at NOW (from The Daily Beast): “She was about to move on to the most relevant part of her stump speech—how NOW could help do all this—when she was interrupted by a white woman in the audience.
“White women, too!” the woman yelled.
“And then yeah, don’t forget the white women,” Weeks replied evenly.
“Just the women with the pussies!” another woman called out, in what seemed to be a reference to trans women. In video obtained by The Daily Beast, you can hear an audience member groan.”
The Terrorist Cops of America (from The Rude Pundit): “A dozen officers for disorderly conduct isn’t policing. It’s terrorism. There was no attempt to de-escalate, no attempt to reason, no attempt to do anything but enforce the will of representatives of the state on the bodies of black people. And watch the cops when they’re doing this shit. They are gleeful. They love it. They get off on it. They want us to fear them.
This is what we get after years of the militarization of police forces in training and equipment. It’s a transformation of policing that is rooted in racism, since the biggest expansion of this militarization happened because of the crack epidemic and the paranoia over gangs. And because of 9/11, which the reaction to was also rooted in, you know, racism. But one factor that is often left out here is this change in policing was made in large part because of the madness of the National Rifle Association in assuring that citizens would be armed with bigger and deadlier and more guns.”
The American Nightmare (from The Atlantic): “A nightmare is essentially a horror story of danger, but it is not wholly a horror story. Black people experience joy, love, peace, safety. But as in any horror story, those unforgettable moments of toil, terror, and trauma have made danger essential to the black experience in racist America. What one black American experiences, many black Americans experience. Black Americans are constantly stepping into the toil and terror and trauma of other black Americans. Black Americans are constantly stepping into the souls of the dead. Because they know: They could have been them; they are them. Because they know it is dangerous to be black in America, because racist Americans see blacks as dangerous.”
Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here’s Why. (from ProPublica): “In the South, police once did the dirty work of enforcing the racial caste system. The Ku Klux Klan and law enforcement were often indistinguishable. Black-and-white photographs of the era memorialize the way Southern police sicced German shepherds on civil rights protesters and peeled the skin off black children with the force of water hoses. Lawmen were also involved or implicated in untold numbers of beatings, killings and disappearances of black Southerners who forgot their place.”
How Tear Gas Works: A Rundown of the Chemicals Used on Crowds (from Scientific American): “Jordt has studied tear gas for over a decade, but he doesn’t think tear gas is the best term for the weapon. First, he says as a technical point, they’re not gases; they’re powders that billow into the air as a fine mist. “I think of tear gas as a pain gas,” he says. “Because it directly activates pain-sensing receptors.” Weapons like sarin gas cause muscle paralysis that can lead to suffocation. These are designed to kill, while tear gas’ purpose is to repel crowds through maximum misery. Specifically, all tear gas agents activate one of two pain receptors, TRPA1 or TRPV1, and can be classified into two broad categories based on which of those receptors they activate.”
The Story Has Gotten Away from Us (from Columbia Journalism Review): “For the most part, journalism has decided that the coronavirus and the killing of George Floyd, a forty-six-year-old Black man, in Minneapolis, are two distinct stories. That’s fiction. Floyd’s murder, under the knees of a white police officer—and the demonstrations in response—occurred as part of a cascade of events. There is the history of systemic racism in America, police brutality, and protest. There is the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and its economic effects. Floyd had worked as a security guard, alternately at a Salvation Army and a club called Conga Latin Bistro, which closed amid the mass shutdown of bars and restaurants. On Memorial Day, he walked into a corner store for a pack of cigarettes; he was arrested for trying to pay with a fake twenty-dollar bill. His punishment was death. An autopsy report later showed that Floyd had been infected by the coronavirus before he was killed. His last words were the same as those of so many Black Americans: “I can’t breathe.””
How to Reframe the Civil War in the Classroom (from Blue Book Diaries): “Whenever we teach the Civil War, even implicitly, as a conflict between two distinct geographic regions, each with its own government, its own presumed-white population, and its own military, which fought a basically white war, we are teaching the basic pattern of pro-Confederate thought. Those false assumptions all lead students to the false conclusion that the Civil War is what happened when the North tried to impose its will on the white South.
Growing up white in Texas, where my town’s war memorial was a stone monument to our honored Confederate dead, I certainly absorbed that pattern of thought without always realizing it. That is the experience that drives my efforts to avoid reinforcing that paradigm in my own classrooms.”
In reactions to Roger Goodell’s mea culpa, most seized on what he didn’t say (from CNN): “But it was what went unsaid that people online seized upon.
One name: Colin Kaepernick.”
“I DON’T WANT TO SHOOT YOU, BROTHER” (from ProPublica): “The woman hung up. The dispatcher called her back, but no one answered.
Stephen Mader, a 25-year-old rookie officer with the Weirton Police Department, got the radio call from dispatch. It was 2:53.”
What public health experts want critics to know about why they support the protests (from Vox): “I’ve talked to several public health experts who support the protests — both black and white — asking them what they wish people like Vance could accept.
Here’s what they say: Protesters are more afraid of doing nothing in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing than the pandemic. And centuries of systemic racism, lifetimes of discrimination, and years of watching black people die needlessly drive those fears.”
How the GI Bill’s Promise Was Denied to a Million Black WWII Veterans (from History.com): “The Burnetts weren’t the only black Americans for whom the promise of the GI Bill turned out to be an illusion. Though the bill helped white Americans prosper and accumulate wealth in the postwar years, it didn’t deliver on that promise for veterans of color. In fact, the wide disparity in the bill’s implementation ended up helping drive growing gaps in wealth, education and civil rights between white and black Americans.”
Law Enforcement Seized Masks Meant To Protect Anti-Racist Protesters From COVID-19 (from The Huffington Post–the masks have been returned, but it took this to get them back. Think about it.): “The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) spent tens of thousands of dollars on the masks they had planned to send all over the country. The first four boxes, each containing 500 masks, were mailed from Oakland, California, and were destined for Washington, St. Louis, New York City and Minneapolis, where on May 25 a white police officer killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed Black man, setting off a wave of protests across the country.
But the items never left the state. The U.S. Postal Service tracking numbers for the packages indicate they were “Seized by Law Enforcement” and urge the mailer to “contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for further information.””
FOR TRUMP, THERE IS NO POLICING WITHOUT VIOLENCE (from The Appeal): “This president has long expressed a peculiar appreciation for authoritarian power and physical force. He is famously intolerant of anything over which he cannot exert control and incapable of viewing dissenters—even protesters challenging a shameful legacy of state-sanctioned racist violence—as anything other than enemies to crush underfoot. While the country tries to grapple with police brutality, perhaps more meaningfully than ever before, its chief executive is a man who openly and unapologetically endorses it.”
The Christians Who Loved Trump’s Stunt (from The Atlantic): “But, of course, sacredness has never been a concern of Trump’s. He didn’t open the Bible he was brandishing for the cameras, because he had no use for its text. He didn’t go inside the church he was using as a backdrop, because he had no interest in a sermon.
To Trump, the Bible and the church are not symbols of faith; they are weapons of culture war. And to many of his Christian supporters watching at home, the pandering wasn’t an act of inauthenticity; it was a sign of allegiance—and shared dominance.”
My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest (from Yes! Magazine): “OK, Jason, there’s more, but I’m exhausted. And my kids need dinner. Remembering and reliving many of these moments has been a strain and a drain (and, again, this ain’t even the half or the worst of it). But I hope my experiences shed some light for you on how institutional and personal racism have affected the entire life of a friend of yours to whom you’ve only been respectful and kind. I hope what I’ve shared makes you realize it’s not just strangers, but people you know and care for who have suffered and are suffering because we are excluded from the privilege you have not to be judged, questioned, or assaulted in any way because of your race.”
That’s all for now. But I’ll have more next week, if you’re interested, so stop by again. Until then, have a great weekend, stay safe, and happy reading!