ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



December 2017



What I’m Reading: December 17, 2017

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Horrific Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Action

“Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden terms at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden terms are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.” CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity (by Lena H. Sun and Juliet Eilperin for Washington Post)

“According to a tally by columnist John Archibald, eight of the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters saw their driver’s license offices closed. “Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one,” Archibald wrote. Archibald also noted that many of the counties where offices were closed also leaned Democrat.” Alabama Demands Voter ID–Then Closes Driver’s License Offices In Black Counties (by Tierney Sneed for TPM)


“When I read that chapter and later as I sat in class, I was appalled by the lack of historical context provided about how these “disorders” have been used to justify the oppression of People of Color, queer folks, trans and gender non-conforming individuals, immigrants, and those who are disabled. At the very least, there should have been a discussion about how these diagnoses still contribute to the disproportionate criminalization of Black children and their unfair expulsions from academic institutions. We were being taught as medical students to pathologize behaviors that are expressed in marginalized communities in response to unfair systems of oppression and yet we did not have the time to talk about how such a practice perpetuates injustices and ill-health. When I named the concerns I had about the erasure of anti-black racism present in the disorders and also in the lecture itself, my attempt to center such a discussion in class was seen instead as disruptive. Like those “argumentative, snotty, difficult, challenging, pain in the ass children” with ODD who passed through this professor’s practice, I needed to be put in my place.” The Silence Here is Deafening – And It Kills (by Ohenewaa Nkrumah for South Sound Emerald)


“Entrenched poverty will be made far worse by policies being proposed by the Trump Administration, warned Philip Alston in a statement after a two-week fact-finding mission to California, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico. “The American Dream is rapidly becoming the American Illusion, as the United States now has the lowest rate of social mobility of any of the rich countries,” said the independent human rights expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to look at poverty and human rights in countries around the world.” “American Dream is rapidly becoming American Illusion,” warns UN rights expert on poverty


“The book — which has been endorsed by Jon Stewart, who called it an “honest and illuminating love letter to Gus,” described by Kirkus Reviews as “a heartfelt ‘slice of life’ tale,” and even praised as “unique, moving, and entertaining” by Bustle writer Stephanie Topacio Long — became the center of an internet firestorm earlier this week, when the #BoycottToSiri hashtag began circulating on Twitter. The hashtag was started by Amythest Shaber, an autistic YouTuber and spurred by #ActuallyAutistic users who believe the book recklessly releases details of Gus’s life to complete strangers (Newman discusses his personal details and medical history) and maligns the autistic community in general. In certain scenes, she describes her son as “Batsh*t Crazy Kid” and “mutant.” Throughout the book, she also references the work of known eugenicists Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding, and writes that she does not believe her son should have children of his own.” Why I Believe ‘To Siri With Love’ By Judith Newman Is A Book That Does Incredible Damage To The Autistic Community (by Kaelan Rhywiol for Bustle)

Sexual Assault

“In recent interviews, four women spoke on the record about a pattern of violent sexual behavior by Mr. Simmons, disclosing incidents from 1988 to 2014. Three of the women say that he raped them. In each case, numerous friends and associates said they were told of the incidents at the time. The women said they were inspired to come forward in the aftermath of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, as victims’ stories have been newly elevated and more often believed.” Music Mogul Russell Simmons Is Accused of Rape by 3 Women (by Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik for New York Times)

Something Good

“But it’s been clear, too, that there is a shift under way, of undeniable changes that are altering power structures in Hollywood, in the media landscape, in politics, and beyond (and hopefully, they’ll stick). We have black women to thank for #MeToo and for the election of Doug Jones in Alabama. We have Muslims like Mahershala Ali and Riz Ahmed to thank for their representation of their religion and their culture at a time when the American president is tweeting Islamophobic crap on the regular. There is an increase in the visibility of Latina women in films like Logan, Cars 3, and Coco. And the trailers for Black Panther, which takes place in the never-colonized African country of Wakanda, have cemented it, without any doubt, as one of the must-see movies of 2018 and quite possibly the most anticipated Marvel movie yet.”  Black Excellence, Brown Pride, and the Pop Culture Gifts People of Color Gave the World in 2017 (by Roxane Hadadi for Pajiba)

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