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raceAhead: A White Supremacist Victory, Lupita Nyong’o on Harvey Weinstein, Feeding Philando’s Kids

October 20, 2017, 3:19 PM UTC

Your week in review, in haiku



Trump tweets, Kelly fronts,

Myeshia gently weeps. Her

tender broken heart.



Meanwhile, back at the

Cool Auntie Club, Rep. Wilson

sips tea with Maxine.



A trans centerfold —

who cannot read it in the

bathroom of her choice?



Countdown til Jemele

is back at “the mike,” the talk

of the industry.



Wish list: One damn mule,

forty acres, two hundred

eighty characters.


Have a peaceful and fulfilling weekend.

On Point

Richard Spencer's victory in FloridaSmug white supremacist, and tiki-torching troublemaker Richard Spencer made good on his promise to speak at the University of Florida yesterday. His stunt triggered a flood of protesters, a declaration of a state of emergency, and a $600,000 spend on extra security. And yes, another Nazi was punched in the face, though one was hugged as well. The disruption to the UF community was profound, though a local brewery offered free beer in exchange for tickets to leave seats empty. The University's president urged students not to attend the speech. "I stand with those who reject and condemn Spencer's vile and despicable message," he said on Twitter.CBS News

Lupita Nyong’o on Harvey Weinstein
Lupita Nyong’o has written a lengthy op-ed, detailing numerous attempts by Harvey Weinstein to sexually coerce her, ply her with alcohol and threaten her career. At the time the alleged harassment began, she was a student at the Yale School of Drama. The encounters are complicated and confusing and help highlight the cognitive dissonance of being manipulated by a powerful person who may hold the keys to your uncertain future. Nyong’o seems largely unscathed by the encounters but she highlights the systemic nature of harassment, which silences victims and gives space to enablers. “What I am most interested in now is combating the shame we go through that keeps us isolated and allows for harm to continue to be done.”
Washington Post

Understanding the FBI and “Black Identity Extremism”
Andrew Cohen, a fellow at The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law and busy legal analyst, has written an essay that helps explain and contextualize the FBI’s leaked report identifying a new “Black Identity Extremist” movement, in which “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will likely serve as justifications for such violence.” Cohen is not having it. “[T]here is no 'BIE movement,' but in the fertile mind of those within the Trump administration who want you to believe there is some sinister black force out there bent on attacking police officers,” he says. Instead, there is a long history of surveillance and intimidation of black citizens, which “goes beyond legitimate law enforcement into paranoia, racism, and political expediency.”
Brennan Center Blog

A community rallies for the kids Philando Castile loved
A fund set up to help in Philando Castile’s name has raised enough money to retire the school lunch debts for low-income students across St. Paul, Minn. for the year. The Philando Feeds The Children Fund, which was started by a local community college professor far exceeded its $5,000 goal and is climbing closer to $100,000. Some 900 students started the year with lunch accounts in arrears, and that number climbs throughout the year. Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 2016; in response, a local autobody shop is fixing taillight and license plate bulbs for free. “A defective bulb should never be a reason to be murdered,” said the mechanic.
Splinter News

The Woke Leader

Survivors of acid attacks walk the runways in London
Eight survivors, mostly women,  participated in the Survivors Runway show, which was created by the U.K. charity ActionAid. Click through for their horrific stories — many of the victims were attacked either as children or by former spouses or relatives. "I like to break the social stigma that's attached to acid survivors," one survivor said. "There is inner beauty too. Your face or body may be burnt but not your mind.” But don't miss the gorgeous fashion, created by designer and former model Bibi Russell. The amateur models started out nervously but ended their star turns in triumph.

Fighting sexual assault as a slave
DeNeen L. Brown reminds us of an important legal case that took place in Missouri, in 1855. Young Celia, an enslaved nineteen-year-old, had been enduring years of sexual assaults at the hands of Robert Newsom, the Missouri widower in his 70’s who had purchased Celia when she was 14. She’d already been forced to bear two of Newsom’s children and had warned him that the nighttime rapes had to stop. After killing Newsom during an attack, Celia claimed self-defense, which was allowed for women under Missouri law at the time. But was Celia a woman under the law? The State of Missouri vs. Celia, a Slave, tested the notion of whether enslaved people had the same rights as other humans. While the twists and turns are truly cinematic, the ultimate ending is predictably tragic.
Washington Post

When your language is the enemy
Growing up in the 1950s in Marfa, Tex. meant segregated schools for Latinx kids. Spanish was their first language. But Maggie Marquez and Jessi Silva remember one day when their language was banned for good. In this poignant StoryCorps audio account, the two recalled the day when their elementary school teacher asked them to write down on a piece of paper, 'I will not speak Spanish in school.' The papers were put into a box and buried in a ceremony the teacher called the “burial of Mr. Spanish." When Marquez protested, she was hit with a paddle. For their families, however, things weren’t so simple.


Life contracts and death is expected, / As in season of autumn. / The soldier falls. / He does not become a three-days personage. / Imposing his separation, / Calling for pomp. / Death is absolute and without memorial, / As in a season of autumn, / When the wind stops, / When the wind stops and, over the heavens, / The clouds go, nevertheless, / In their direction.
—Wallace Stevens