It’s time once again–albeit rather late due to yours truly not feeling well–for news and views that you can peruse. It’s Weekly Reader time!
The Cruelty Is the Point (from the Atlantic): “Even those who believe that Ford fabricated her account, or was mistaken in its details, can see that the president’s mocking of her testimony renders all sexual-assault survivors collateral damage. Anyone afraid of coming forward, afraid that she would not be believed, can now look to the president to see her fears realized. Once malice is embraced as a virtue, it is impossible to contain.”
When Big Polluters Come To Small Towns, Black Residents Lose Out (from the Huffington Post): “In Uniontown, residents say the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has not helped. The department rescinded its civil rights complaint policy in June in the face of a lawsuit from some state residents. That means the state now has no process for reviewing complaints that environmental problems are disproportionately impacting people of color. The department said it cannot comment on the process because litigation is ongoing, but the EPA in July said it will investigate ADEM’s civil rights policies.”
The rape culture of the 1980s, explained by Sixteen Candles (from Vox): “But if there’s one thing we can take away from the popular culture of the 1980s, when the alleged events took place, it’s that a sexual assault at that time might not have been immediately clear as what it was, for participants and observers alike. Some of the most popular comedies of the ’80s are filled with supposedly hilarious sequences that portray what in 2018 would be unambiguously considered date rape.
As long as everybody involved is acquainted with each other, these movies tend to treat those rapes as harmless hijinks. They don’t really count. They’re funny — even in movies as sweet and romantic as Sixteen Candles.”
The New Smear Against Transgender Men (from Slate): “We’ve learned that no matter how young trans girls are, they’re never too young or too vulnerable for the anti-trans camp to portray them as dangerous and predatory, too much of a risk to cis girls to be treated with dignity and respect. Now, it seems, no matter how old transgender men are—remember, Littman’s study included an adult of 27 years old!—we’re not old enough to make health decisions for ourselves, or know our own minds. This creepy suggestion of susceptibility to peer influence in trans boys suggests that trans men must not be allowed to access medical treatment for gender dysphoria and that any act of advocacy on behalf of trans youth has the power to poison young minds, turning weak-willed girls into trans boys.”
The Sex Abuse of Deaf Orphans in Pope Francis’ Backyard (from the Daily Beast–Caution! This is a disturbing read, so tread with care!): “Giuseppe is one of 67 young boys who have been named in court documents and were allegedly abused by more than two dozen priests and brothers at the Provolo Institute, according to Verona prosecutors who have been investigating the allegations for nearly a decade and who plan to bring it to trial later this year.
One of the most notorious alleged offenders was Father Nicola Corradi, now 83, who was moved to South America in the mid-1980s after Giuseppe and others’ abuse claims came to light. Rather than handing him over to secular authorities or asking the mother church in Rome to defrock him, the bishop transferred him to the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina. Several other priests accused of abuse in Verona were also transferred to the sister school in Argentina, but have since passed away.”
ARE EVANGELICAL ADOPTION AGENCIES STEALING CHILDREN? (from Dame Magazine): “Despite a June 26 court order to reunite all separated parents and children within 30 days, many families have yet to be reunited, and there is plenty of reason to worry that some may never be. Just this weekend, the New York Times has reported that hundreds of migrant children have been taken from shelters across the country from Kansas to New York in the dead of night, and bussed to a barren tent city in Western Texas. The Trump administration itself now admits that as many as 463 parents may have been deported without their children. And there’s yet another devastating consequence at play: Children of asylum seekers are at risk of being adopted by American families, leaving little legal recourse for their parents.”
Why Conservative Women Are Ok with Harassment (from Harper’s Bazaar): “If you genuinely think that all men attempt to rape women in high school, the correct response is to be incandescent with rage, or at least fearful for all young women’s safety. It is not to shrug and say, “that’s how it is.” That would be like seeing a plague destroy your community and saying, “well, plagues will be plagues.””
Men Are Defending Brett Kavanaugh Because They’re Afraid (from Vice): “This argument smells of fear. If expressions of male violence that were once justified as “boys will be boys” are no longer permissible, it will mark a major cultural shift, one which many men are not prepared for.”
OBAMA’S RESISTANCE TO INVESTIGATING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ALLOWED BRETT KAVANAUGH TO SKATE ONTO THE SUPREME COURT (from the Intercept): “At least 100,000 documents relating to Kavanaugh’s involvement in developing policy during his time as associate counsel to the president from 2001 to 2003, and his time as staff secretary from 2003 to 2006, have been withheld by the Trump administration, citing executive privilege. But the National Archives revealed, in response to a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, that there are hundreds of emails in the separate, 300,000 document cache that the agency is reviewing for publication. “The communication to EPIC revealed that Kavanaugh sent 11 e-mails to John Yoo, the architect of warrantless wiretapping; 227 e-mails about ‘surveillance’ programs and the ‘Patriot Act;’ and 119 e-mails concerning ‘CAPPS II’ (passenger profiling), ‘Fusion Centers’ (government surveillance centers), and the Privacy Act,” EPIC said in a statement announcing the revelation.”
Christian nationalism, explained through one pro-Trump propaganda film (from Vox): “Everything about The Trump Prophecy — from its subject matter, to the way it’s shot, to the little details scattered through the movie’s (often interminable) scenes of domestic life — is designed not just to legitimize Donald Trump as a evangelical-approved president but to promulgate an even more wide-ranging — and dangerous — idea.
The Trump Prophecy doesn’t just want you to believe that God approves of Donald Trump. It wants you to believe that submission to (conservative) political authority and submission to God are one and the same. In the film’s theology, resisting the authority of a sitting president — or, at least, this sitting president — is conflated with resisting God himself.”
And that wraps it up for this week. Drop by again next week–hopefully at a much, much earlier time!–for even more interesting links to browse. Until then, happy reading!