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May 2015

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What I’m Reading: May 17, 2015

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Protesting Police Brutality

– “Most everything the media reported about the Baltimore protests has skirted the line between the highly sensationalistic and the libelous. Every headline and photo has focused on property damage, allegedly done by those protesting for Freddie Gray. Played down or ignored is the Baltimore I saw: a place where more than 2,000 people—including families and children—marched resolutely while helicopters and visible surveillance drones flew overhead.” Camden Yards and the Baltimore Protests for Freddie Gray (via @EdgeofSports)

– “When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con.” Nonviolence as Compliance (h/t @YApplebaum)

Racism

– “When states pass “Stand Your Ground” laws, they aren’t passing them so that black men can defend themselves against white men who threaten their lives. When the NRA talks about families needing to defend themselves against gang violence, they aren’t talking to the people of color most likely to be impacted by gang violence. When cities develop “stop and frisk” policies, they aren’t developing them in hopes of reducing violent crime in white men. These are all built on the same violent narrative used to lynch black people in the past. Only now, instead of saying “brute” or “savage” they say thug.” Thug Is Not The New N Word . It’s Worse Than That (via @IjeomaOluo)

Transphobia

– “Just days before her death, the online harrassment she had been subjected to for months took a more direct form. Commenters mocked her suicidal comments, saying “jumping off a bridge isn’t rocket science.” The last note from a commenter, simply said “Good Riddance”, to which she replied: “Yeah pretty much.”” Online Troll Urges Game Developer Rachel Bryk To Commit Suicide (h/t @amaditalks)

State-Sanctioned Killing

– “Although the Supreme Court has twice ruled that states may not execute someone who is insane, 54 of the 100 executions studied involved prisoners who showed symptoms of severe mental illness, including six cases of schizophrenia, three of bipolar disorder, and eight of PTSD. Six had tried to kill themselves at least once.” 87 Reasons to Rethink the Death Penalty (via @MotherJones)

– ““The jurors who ultimately decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s fate will begin their task with a shared bias — their willingness to consider capital punishment,” wrote Joan Vennochi in an editorial for the Boston Globe.
In that regard, the jurors are not particularly representative of Boston’s populace. Capital punishment is deeply unpopular in that city and in Massachusetts, which has no death penalty for state crimes.” Jurors In The Boston Bombing Case Had To Agree To Consider The Death Penalty Before Being Selected (via @ThinkProgress)

Misogyny

– “It’s easy to label something as unprofessional, which is no doubt why so many were quick to pile on this girl. It’s harder to pinpoint what “professional” means exactly or why we see “professional” and “unprofessional” as we do.” The Sexist Formula for Dressing “Professionally” As A Woman That I Learned Running a Website That Crowdsources First Impressions of LinkedIn Photos (h/t @theredgirl)

– “Misogynists might be the first people to dismiss complaints about representation with time-honored comments like “she’s ‘just’ a character” or “it’s ‘just’ a movie/book/video game,” but by admitting they’re threatened by Charlize Theron and Emilia Clarke’s bad-assery, Clarey and his commenters are also agreeing that the media we consume and the stories we tell are hugely important.” Incredibly Peeved Men’s Rights Activists Call for Boycott of Mad Max, Are Unintentionally Hilarious (h/t @LadySnarksalot) [ed. note: HA HA]

– “Among the pieces of sexist advice doled out to staff: Women council members are “less likely to read agenda information” and instead ask a lot of questions (an observation Allen derived from dealing with his 11-year-old daughter), and have an aversion to dealing with numbers and the budget. Citing Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, women act on emotion, while men act on facts, and women want to communicate more than men, speakers claimed.” Council Members Slam Sexist Speaker (via @AustinChronicle)

– “When a young Virginia teen was kicked out of her prom last year, for example, it was because fathers at the dance felt her dress was causing “impure thoughts.” (Modest proposal: How about disgusting dads stop ogling teenagers?) Like Miller-Wigfall in Pennsylvania, the young woman felt she was targeted because of her body type. “I am so tired of people who abuse their power to make women feel violated and ashamed because she has an ass, or has breasts, or has long legs,” she wrote on her sister’s blog at the time.” The only thing shameful about ‘revealing’ prom dresses are adults who obsess over them (via @JessicaValenti)

Child Abuse

– “An adoptive parent of the girl alleged that the Easons, living in Illinois at the time, presented themselves as a loving, stable family, dedicated to the well-being of children in their care, according to the affidavit. As part of the custody transfer, the Easons promised the parents to provide proof that social workers had signed off on the suitability of their home, but never did, the affidavit said.” ‘Re-homing’ couple exposed by Reuters is indicted on kidnap charges

Religion

– “As a rising cohort of highly unaffiliated Millennials reaches adulthood, the median age of unaffiliated adults has dropped to 36, down from 38 in 2007 and far lower than the general (adult) population’s median age of 46.4.” More Americans Ditching Organized Religion (via @MotherJones)

Education

– “We are a group of seven artists who made the decision to attend USC Roski School of Art and Design’s MFA program based on the faculty, curriculum, program structure, and funding packages. We are a group of seven artists who have been forced by the school’s dismantling of each of these elements to dissolve our MFA candidacies. In short, due to the university’s unethical treatment of its students, we, the entire incoming class of 2014, are dropping out of school and dropping back into our expanded communities at large.” Entire USC First-Year MFA Class is Dropping Out (h/t @iJesseWilliams)

A Little Joy

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