Sunday, July 21, 2013

Links for the week ending 21 July 2013

Reactions to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin dominated the news this week. At The Nation, Aura Bogado's immediate response is summed up by the headline, "White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman." At Colorlines, Bogado writes about the science behind implicit racial bias, "But when race is declared a salient issue, white jurors aren’t negatively influenced by the race of a defendant. In other words, talking about the possibility of prejudice helps individuals inhibit their racial biases."

 At Colorlines, Jamilah King compiles photos from protests around the nation.

"When George Zimmerman told Sean Hannity that it was God’s will that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, he was diving right into what most good conservative Christians in America think right now." At Religion Dispatches, Anthea Butler makes the argument that American Christians worship a racist god. (Via Tressie McMillan Cottom.)

 "'Ok, but maybe next year we can move to Paris.'" At MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry describes walking her daughter through processing the news of Zimmerman's acquittal.

 "The chopping down of a young man in his prime--the offense against masculinity--has always been considered more valuable than kidnappings and rapes, murders, sterilizations and wrongful convictions of women of color, by people of all ethnic backgrounds. It has become clear that the civil rights paradigm is simply unsuitable for those of us interested in liberty and justice for all." Very smart essay by Marissa Jackson at For Harriet arguing that the lack of attention paid to structural oppression of black women calls out for a human rights social-justice frame to address the outrages of racism and inequality. (Via Sarah McCarry.) For more about Marissa Alexander's case, here is Farah Stockman at The Boston Globe on "Florida's unjust gun laws." 

 "Black Twitter’s power makes perfect sense — as long as you don’t consider black Twitterers to be some mysterious 'other' group." At Buzzfeed, Shani O. Hilton writes about the organizing power of Black Twitter, and how it scuttled a Zimmerman juror's proposed book deal.  

 "Though it seems as if Jahar had found a mission, his embrace of Islam also may have been driven by something more basic: a need to belong. 'Look, he was totally abandoned,' says Payack, who believes that the divorce of his parents and their subsequent move back to Russia was pivotal, as was the loss of the safety net he had at Rindge." A terribly sad profile of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnev, by Janet Reitman at Rolling Stone. (For a nuanced take on the controversy about the cover — which means that I myself cannot buy a copy of Rolling Stone at any of the nearest outlets —see Caitlin Fitz Gerald's excellent essay at Medium, "The Art of Provocation," which I found via Liliana Segura.)

 "'You take a kid who has already demonstrated that he’s not being successful in conventional school, and then you impose on him the duty that he’s going to self-study, to me that just seems insane,' said Tim McKinley, a former FBI agent who is now an attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), a legal aid group." Susan Ferriss at The Center for Public Integrity on California "community schools" for troubled youths, which have left thousands of students — mostly black and Latino — with less than five hours of instructional time per week. (Via Melissa del Bosque.) 

 "'We used to have just two or three overdose calls a week,' said Terry Walsh, Portland’s deputy fire chief, who oversees emergency medical services. 'Now we’re seeing two, three, four a day.'" That's Portland, ME, you guys: population just over 66,000. Katherine Q. Seelye for The New York Times on steeply rising heroin use in northern New England. (Via Jim Roberts.) 

"Unlike every other person in opposition politics during the Putin era, Navalny understood that Putin was not Russia’s main problem. Rather, the problem was the post-Soviet culture of greed, fear and cynicism that Putin encouraged and exploited." The New Republic's Julia Ioffe on the importance of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose conviction this week of corruption in a politically motivated show trial sparked protests in Russia. 

"Perhaps most striking, 93 percent of pandoraviruses' 2,500 genes cannot be traced back to any known lineage in nature. In other words, they are completely alien to us." Time to tell my kid that his 6th-grade biology lessons on the three domains of life may suddenly be out of date. By Christine Dell'Amore at National Geographic. (Via @pourmecoffee.) 

"An analysis of 352 front-page stories from the Times in January and February 2013, we found that Times reporters quoted 3.4 times as many male sources as female sources. Excellent research by UNLV students on further gender disparity at The New York Times. By Alexi Layton and Alicia Shepard at Poynter. 

"We would sit around a table in a Midtown office with a generous view, and we’d each give our prepared pitch–Peru; Mexico; Alexander Graham Bell; Henry Ford and square dancing; Braddock, PA. And then the listener would sit back, digest, and say,: 'So, this is a story about a young girl…'" Vela magazine founder Sarah Menkedick complicates and makes more interesting the debate about how well women are represented in "serious" journalism, regardless of the publication outlet. (Via Pagan Kennedy.) 

Finally, this two part report from Istanbul from the inimitable Elif Batuman at The New Yorker.