“I’m trying to figure out how insulated one has to be from the wider world to be shocked! shocked! that racism is pervasive in American culture, and among American teens. Those wide-eyed tweets about Rue’s death being less sad because she’s black clearly come straight from the brains of adolescents (nearly all of them white, presumably) who have bathed in subtly and overtly racist culture since birth, absorbed far too much of it, and not yet learned to second-guess or even censor themselves when they parrot its tenets. They’re surprising only if you haven’t noticed that when real people of color are killed, there’s always an immediate attempt to justify or downplay the deaths. Art imitates life; reactions to art likewise imitate life.”—An article at Publisher’s Weekly on fans’ racist reactions to learning that Rue is black. The article also gives a shout-out to Racebending.com (via racebending)
He’ll point a shaking finger to the Kinneret, tracing the Jordan Mountains north to the mouth of the Jordan River, and back across the water to the Sapir pumping station. “To understand Israel you must understand the water,” he’ll say. “Everything green that you see in this…
Proud to be the editor on this article. Emily is an insanely talented writer, and this post is fantastic.
The root of liberal is the word “liberate.” Some people are simply liberators; it’s in their blood. The root of conservative is “conserve.” Some people are conservers; it’s just who they are.
Any healthy society will make room for both kinds of people. We need liberators who say “yes” before the rest of us are ready to, thereby helping us tear down the fences which bar the way to a just society. We need conservers who say “wait a minute” and force us to think about our history and our actions before we make a mess out of things by chasing progress for the sake of progress.
These are admittedly vague platitudes that everybody will interpret through the lens of their own political positions, and then weigh the countervailing statements contained therein accordingly. But it helps sometimes to remember that the impulse towards progress, and the impulse towards preservation of existing, reliable orders, are both real things and worth considering in equal measure. Progress achieved too hastily can lead to unintended consequences. Yet old orders must sometimes give way as society develops and old, reliable hierarchies cease to be touchstones of stability, but rather becomes beacons of oppression. To quote Oliver Wendell Holmes:
It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past.
Both impulses serve us well. Knowing which fences we ought to keep or tear down, of course, is the essence of political discourse; a dialectic that will exist as long as humans breathe.
“Trayvon’s blackness wasn’t something he could hide, so it wouldn’t have mattered whether he’d worn a hoodie or a t-shirt that fateful night. It mattered that he was black, and it mattered that the person who shot him had a vendetta out for black men before Trayvon ever set foot in the neighborhood. It matters that in 2012, there are more black men in prison today than those who were enslaved in 1850. It matters that blacks, in particular black men, are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and underrepresented in colleges. It matters that the black unemployment rate is nearly double that of unemployment for the general population. It matters that blacks are less likely to be screened, diagnosed, and treated for preventable diseases, less likely to own homes, less likely to receive research grants, and more likely to retire in poverty than their white counterparts. It matters that blacks are less likely than whites to abuse drugs, but more likely to be convicted of drug crimes. None of these statistics are due to a genetic predisposition to violence, poor health and underachievement, instead as a direct result of the disenfranchisement of blacks that has occurred in this country for more than 200 years at the hands of slavery, Jim Crow Laws, discrimination, and the institutionalized racism in our schools, banks, businesses, courts, and prisons that has torn apart our families and fractured our community. Just like Trayvon Martin, race mattered for Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Emmett Till, and hundreds more we will never know the name of who died because of their skin color”—
Ohh Michelle, after reading your profile. I want to camp out in my hobbit ears with you and collectively change our names to Kristin and Michelle Baggins. Hope your trip was fruitful to BZ and that we cross paths again. KFS
THE BAGGINSES. This is a sound plan. And then we’ll hitchhike across the galaxy together. (See? Crossing streams all the time!)
I had an AWESOME time in Belize! I’m sure we’ll get to hang out again soon. Once I’m in NYC, Maine won’t be too far at all. :)
That’s not photoshop; that’s an actual cloud hovering inside an actual room. Artist Berndnaut Smilde merges art and science to create small man-made clouds that exist — albeit for just a moment — indoors.