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April 2018

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What I’m Reading – 22 April 2018

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UK Immigration Policy Horror

“When Gretel arrived at Tilbury Docks in East London, aged 24, all those years ago, she had a Jamaican ­passport with a stamp inside giving her indefinite leave to remain. But that document was stolen in a 2006 burglary at her house in Lambeth. She applied for a new one and her daughter Pauline ­Blackwood immediately filed a police report. The authorities told Gretel she would not be given a UK passport and if she left Britain she would need to apply for a visa on her new Jamaican passport.” “I’m heartbroken I can’t rejoin my children in Britain”: Windrush gran blocked from UK after living here for 59 years (by Christopher Bucktin for The Mirror)

“There were angry exchanges at Prime Ministers Questions yesterday as the Labour Leader called Theresa May’s government “both callous and incompetent” after it emerged that Brits who had lived for generations in the UK faced being wrongly deported to Commonwealth countries, the evidence for when the Windrush generation had arrived in the UK having been destroyed by the Home Office.” Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy compared to ‘Nazi Germany’ by her own ministers (by Ben Gelblum for The London Economic)

“If you are angry about the treatment of the Windrush generation it is important to understand that this anger cannot be selective, if there are to be no more violations. There is no cross-party, cross-media support for a different type of immigration policy victim than the Windrush scandal has managed to muster. Not for those who are illegally detained, those on hunger strike in protest against poor conditions. Not for those whose illnesses were treated as lies and to which they later succumbed. Not for the sexually exploited and not for the children separated from their parents. Not even for those British subjects separated from their families by unreasonably high income visa requirements.” It’s not just Windrush. Theresa May has created hostility to all immigrants (by Nesrine Malik for The Guardian)

“Robinson was told that he did not have the correct paperwork to get into the UK, even though he had lived, worked and paid taxes there his whole life. The grandfather of three was forced to say goodbye to his relatives at the departure gate. “I felt like someone had just punched me in the head. ‘What do you mean, I cannot come back?’ I thought. The next day it really hit me that I was not with my family,” he says. He says he ended up staying in Jamaica for 21 months, stranded and living in one-room bedsits and cheap hostels.” Windrush generation tell of holidays that led to exile and heartbreak (by Sarah Marsh, Haroon Siddique and Caroline Bannock for The Guardian)

Racism

“Nelson recalled asking the manager to use the bathroom after he and Robinson arrived at the Starbucks. He said she told him no because he hadn’t ordered anything. Nelson sat down at a table with Robinson — his friend since the fourth grade — and waited for Yaffe, who is white. That’s when the manager came over and asked if they were ordering anything, they said, and phoned the cops when the pair told her they were waiting to meet someone.” Starbucks manager called the cops on black men two minutes after they arrived for business meeting (by Terence Cullen for New York Daily News)

““And where are you from?” asked the prince. “Manchester, UK,” I said. “Well, you don’t look like it!” he said, and laughed. He was then ushered on to the next person. Although I have experienced such off-the-cuff, supposedly humorous, comments before, I was stunned by the gaffe. Prince Charles was endorsed by the Queen, in her opening speech to the heads of government, to be the future head of the Commonwealth: it’s her “sincere wish” that he become so. That the mooted next leader of an organisation that represents one-third of the people on the planet commented that I, a brown woman, did not look as if I was from a city in the UK is shocking.” Dear Prince Charles, do you think my brown skin makes me unBritish? (by Anita Sethi for The Guardian)

Sexual Assault

“Richard, a student and linebacker on the football team at SUNY Cortland in upstate New York, went to a house party on Long Island in July 2017 with his friends from high school while he was home from school for the summer. As he was getting ready to leave, Richard heard noises coming from the bathroom — the sounds, he said, of a woman’s cry. “I didn’t know what was going on,” Richard told BuzzFeed News. “I just knew something what up.” Using his shoulder, Richard said he and one of his friends pushed open the door and saw a man standing behind a young woman with his hand on her neck, attempting to assault her. The woman was crying and bleeding from the mouth, Richard said.” This College Junior Was Shot Twice After Stopping An Attempted Sexual Assault (by Mary Ann Georgantopoulos for BuzzFeed News)

“The House bill, which received support from across the aisle, came after a half-dozen lawmakers were forced to either resign or retire last fall in light of sexual harassment allegations, would require lawmakers to pay for harassment or discrimination claims out of their own pocket, instead of using taxpayer-funded settlements. The legislation would also mandate transparent reporting of previous harassment payouts and eliminates the requirement for Hill employees to seek counseling and mediation prior to pursuing a claim.” Male GOP senators balk at new rules requiring them to pay their own sexual harassment settlements (by Rebekah Entralgo for Think Progress)

“Towards the end of the two-hour hearing, following emotional testimonies from the survivors, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the ranking member of the subcommittee, asked all four if they thought that sexual abuse was ongoing in their respective sports. A few responded that they were certain it was: not only are the current policies still insufficient from both a response and prevention standpoint, but, as Farrell said, “I think the majority of athletes and coaches are wonderful people, but every child molester would love to be a coach.”” Survivors stun senators with testimony on prevalence of sexual abuse in sports (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“Despite all of that, this year’s Coachella experience was also full of moments I never saw on Instagram: being repeatedly violated by strangers. In the three days I was at Coachella, I only spent a total of 10 hours at the actual festival, where I watched numerous performances and interviewed festivalgoers about their experience with sexual assault and harassment for Teen Vogue. During the 10 hours I was reporting on this story, I was groped 22 times.” Sexual Harassment Was Rampant at Coachella 2018 (by Vera Papisova for Teen Vogue)

“At Penn State, sorority women are 50 percent more likely than other female students to be sexually assaulted, and fraternity men are 62 percent more likely to commit a sexual assault than other male students, according to the university’s most recent Sexual Assault Campus Climate survey. Erin Farley, programming coordinator at Penn State’s Gender Equity Center, said 1 in 4 women and 1 in 16 men say they’ve been sexually assaulted at Penn State, according to the anonymous survey.” ‘Like sharks looking for minnows’: Sexual assault is a problem in Penn State’s Greek culture (by Sarah Rafacz for The Centre Daily)

Transphobia

“The 30th anniversary of the anti-gay legislation known as section 28 is a useful moment to pause and examine the parallels between the trans and gay movements: not only are the struggles analogous in that they were both designed to improve the legal rights of a minority group; the responses they provoked have been at times eerily similar.” Today’s anti-trans rhetoric looks a lot like old-school homophobia (by Shon Faye for The Guardian)

Housing

“A report, Housing for the Many, accuses ministers of stretching the term affordable to breaking point to include homes let at up to 80% of market rents – more than £1,500 a month in some areas – and homes for sale up to £450,000. “It has become a deliberately malleable phrase, used to cover up a shift in government policy towards increasingly expensive and insecure homes,” it says. The Labour leader and John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, set out the party’s plans to link affordability to people’s incomes on tenures including social rent, living rent and low-cost ownership, in the 40-page green paper, to be launched on Thursday.” Labour would rip up definition of affordable housing, Corbyn says (by Heather Stewart for The Guardian)

Corporate Malfeasance

“According to the New Food Economy, Amazon ranks high on the list of employers with massive numbers of employees enrolled in SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps). In Ohio, around one in 10 Amazon employees uses SNAP; in Pennsylvania, about one in nine. In Arizona, nearly one in three Amazon employees is enrolled in the food stamp program.” A large number of Amazon workers rely on food stamps for assistance (by Luke Barnes for Think Progress)

“Owen and Demetric, father and son, allege in the lawsuit that Demetric’s supervisors hurled racist statements like, “All you f***ing n***ers,” Bloomberg reported. Owen told Bloomberg that the racist statements made him feel helpless. “It made me feel like I was less than a man,” Owen Diaz said. “I couldn’t do anything.” Owen and Demetric were contractors at Tesla who worked with firms West Valley Staffing Group and Citistaff Solutions. They are suing all three firms who have denied the allegations, Bloomberg reported.” Former Tesla Contractors File Discrimination Lawsuit Against The Company Claiming Racial Bias and Harassment (by Kimberley Richards for Blavity)

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