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The Reckoning Will Be Incomplete Without Black Women and Girls (Tamara Winfrey-Harris)
Even though there is now a nationwide outcry against systemic racism and its by-products—the over-policing, incarceration, brutalization, and murder of black people—the discussion and activism almost always center men and boys. By minimizing the trials of black women and girls, the country will miss the full picture of devastation that the American police state imposes on African Americans.
America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress (Bryan Lee Jr.)
For nearly every injustice in the world, there is an architecture that has been planned and designed to perpetuate it.
Rebellion is a response to a prolonged dehumanization of a people unwilling to be participants in their own demise; it is often the soft power of the built environment that provides the preconditions for that dehumanization and the atrocities that follow.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind (Rachel Kushner)
Abolition means not just the closing of prisons but the presence, instead, of vital systems of support that many communities lack. Instead of asking how, in a future without prisons, we will deal with so-called violent people, abolitionists ask how we resolve inequalities and get people the resources they need long before the hypothetical moment when, as Gilmore puts it, they “mess up.”
For Gilmore, to “never forget” means you don’t solve a problem with state violence or with personal violence. Instead, you change the conditions under which violence prevailed. Among liberals, a kind of quasi-Christian idea about empathy circulates, the idea that we have to find a way to care about the people who’ve done bad. To Gilmore this is unconvincing. When she encountered the kids in Fresno who hassled her about prison abolition, she did not ask them to empathize with the people who might hurt them, or had. She instead asked them why, as individuals, and as a society, we believe that the way to solve a problem is by “killing it.” She was asking if punishment is logical, and if it works. She let the kids find their own way to answer.
Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police (Mariame Kaba)
When people, especially white people, consider a world without the police, they envision a society as violent as our current one, merely without law enforcement — and they shudder. As a society, we have been so indoctrinated with the idea that we solve problems by policing and caging people that many cannot imagine anything other than prisons and the police as solutions to violence and harm.
Eugenics Isn’t Going to Get Us Out of This Mess (Sarah Jones)
They’re asking [willing death] of your grandparents, and of your neighbor with cancer; they ask it of me and of you, too, if your body is flawed or simply unlucky. The views…are eugenics. They separate human life into categories. In one box, there are people worth saving. In the other, there are people we ought to let die. Believing this makes them eugenicists. What they contemplate is not quite mass murder, but a sort of planned, negligent homicide….Let nature take its course. The fit will survive the cull.
[The] obsession with market forces was not about human flourishing, productivity, and abundance, but about something else. Supply-side economics gave them a way to intellectualize their own amorality. Markets care nothing for ethics. They aren’t governed by justice and they don’t feel mercy.
What today’s eugenicists are unwilling to admit is that there is one, less deadly way to rescue the economy from this pandemic. It’s redistribution, not just of resources but of power. The government will have to massively expand its tiny welfare state, and grant workers rights they do not currently have. It has the financial capacity to do so, but the project would force it to reconsider its priorities.
How the Pandemic Will End (Ed Yong)
Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared.
It’s likely, then, that the new coronavirus will be a lingering part of American life for at least a year, if not much longer. If the current round of social-distancing measures works, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy.
Veterans of past epidemics have long warned that American society is trapped in a cycle of panic and neglect. After every crisis—anthrax, SARS, flu, Ebola—attention is paid and investments are made. But after short periods of peacetime, memories fade and budgets dwindle. This trend transcends red and blue administrations. When a new normal sets in, the abnormal once again becomes unimaginable. But there is reason to think that COVID-19 might be a disaster that leads to more radical and lasting change.
A Public Health Doctor and Head of Corrections Agree (Brie Williams, Leann Bertsch)
Because COVID-19 is highly transmissible, including by asymptomatic carriers, the thousands of people each day who leave their homes, enter a correctional facility and interact in close proximity with colleagues and incarcerated people in these often overcrowded, chaotic environments are at considerable risk of transmitting the virus back to their families and into their communities when they return home.
Why Celebrities are Losing Their Minds (Clarkisha Kent)
There are so many ways I could sum up this interesting phenomenon I’ve observed since “social distancing” has taken hold. But if I were to give it a definition, I’d call it the act of a celebrity doing completely nonsensical things that do not meet the immediate and/or material needs that a crisis like a pandemic calls for. And this is never to help. No. This is merely to gain the attention that has been deprived of them due to the crisis.
While we, the plebeians, deal in the currency of physical money, celebrities deal in the currency of attention. Attention is their “money” and it’s the economy they bow down to. This is because attention—or the amount of it—is converted directly into power, money, and bourgeoisie-level access. And the goal is to amass as much of it as they can and as quickly as they can.
How to Talk about the Coronavirus (Liz Neeley)
These steps will help you improve, and check the quality of, your own knowledge, as well as enhance your credibility when you try to communicate it. Inviting your audiences to explore a topic with you and equipping them with the tools to interrogate the process respect their agency and autonomy. Science communication should be about service, not self-importance.
Why We Should All Wear Masks (Sui Huang)
Intuition suggests that even an imperfect mask may offer some protection, that is at least in the range of the recommended separation by more than 6 feet in social interactions or washing hands or not touching your face — all recommendation based on mechanistic plausibility without strong epidemiological support.