"What alternatives are there when the system fails? It should be clear by now, that despite centuries of being disappointed by the system, African-Americans believe in the value and potential of this democracy more than even white people do. We shed our lives for it; sacrifice our dignity to it; and internalize our anger in the face of it." At Salon, Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper writes, "White supremacy, meet black rage."
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.
"Don’t just shake your head and say “so sad." Don’t just turn your profile picture black. Vote, give, act. Have uncomfortable conversations. Challenge your privilege every day - I will do the same. Don’t be quiet. Keep your eyes open. Don’t let injustice slide - no matter how “small" it seems. I shouldn’t have to ask like this, but I will. Help me. Help us. Be a true ally." A short, moving personal essay from blogger Ijeoma Oluo. (Via Rachel Hartman.)
"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.
"Hunger strike figures had steadily risen to participation by 106 of the captives, according to the prison’s Navy medical staff. Then on Thursday, the military reported the first two quit the strike. More quit during the weekend." Carol Rosenberg reporting Monday for the Miami Herald on the Guantánamo hunger strike.
"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.)
"Official statistics from the 2009 National Center for Education Statistics analysis say women make up 51 percent of all adjunct faculty, but a smaller survey conducted by the adjunct group Coalition on the Academic Workforce, which asked faculty directly about their employment status, put the proportion of female adjunct faculty at 61 percent. By way of comparison, the American Association of University Professors estimates that full-time tenured faculty are 59 percent male." Kay Steiger at The Nation on attempts to unionize a disproportionately female contingent work force in academia.
"But the idea that Detroit will march shiny and new out of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is unrealistic. Bankruptcy is only a tool intended to fix the problems of the past, and there is no precedent for the scale of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy that is being attempted here." Micheline Maynard at Forbes on what to look at during Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings. (Via Lizzie O'Leary.)
"'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.)
"Because, in Texas and Ohio and all these states, if they really wanted to prevent abortions, they would make long-acting, reversible contraception free. Study after study after study shows that when women have access to long-acting contraception like IUDs, and when they don’t have financial or access barriers, their risk of abortion just plummets." Dr. Jen Gunter being interviewed by Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing Boing.
"Texas officials have declined to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace, a major provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. So private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1." Shefali Luthra at The New York Times reminding us that states like Texas have a pretty incomprehensible idea of what it might actually mean to be pro-life.
"The group wore rainbow armbands and carried a sign: 'We Do: Full Equality Under The Law.' Members walked in silence as they rounded the corner on Main Street, passing a jewelry store, a tanning salon, the office of the tax collector, when a man in his 60s popped out and shouted, 'They can’t just walk down our streets like that!'" From Tracy Jan at The Boston Globe, a report from the first skirmishes in the battle for marriage equality in Mississippi. (Via Martine Powers.)
"But because of how the government responded to Snowden, those who are willing to take on the big fight now have a model for how to do it, how to iterate based on what they learned watching Snowden. The U.S. government, far from deterring future whistleblowers, has just incentivized a new generation of them by acting like a megalomaniac." danah boyd at Medium making an interesting case for why the publicity accruing to the person of Edward Snowden may help advance civil disobedience against the surveillance state.
"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.
"He wanted to use nontraditional metrics to gain an edge, like DePodesta did for the Oakland Athletics in Moneyball and is trying to repeat in his current job with the New York Mets. Only so far, Lampert’s experiment resembles a different book: The Hunger Games." Gleeful exposé by Mina Kimes at Businessweek at the outcomes of the attempt to run the Sears behemoth according to the principles of Ayn Rand. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)
"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.
"What we're, in effect, doing is training children to see that women and girls are less important than men and boys. We're training them to perceive that women take up only 17 percent of the space in the world." Geena Davis talking to Jackie Lyden at NPR on the dearth of female faces at the movies. (Via @saltypepper.)
"This is the emotion of the women’s story. It does not move. It does not satiate. It does not provoke tears or laughter, or even good clean fear. Maybe it titillates, but ultimately, it is intended to worry. The women’s story sidles up to you at a party and asks in the honeyed voice of a false friend whether you or other women like you might be doing sex or love or motherhood (the top tasks of the woman) slightly wrong." I know we sorta covered this topic back in the mommyblogging days of yore, but Anna North at Salon does a fine job of extending the conversation to cover a broader range of the lifespan of, you know, well-educated white women. (Via Dana Goldstein.)
"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.)