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raceAhead: Remembering the Capital Gazette Victims

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.

 

1.

New American

nightmare: under your desk while

the shooter reloads

 

2.

The call for civil

discourse, drowned out by the cries

of distant children

 

3.

Kennedy packs up.

Mueller heats up. Trump tweets up.

Sanders punches down.

 

4.

Drake: “Been hiding the

world from my son!” (and working

out some legal stuff…)

 

5.

Geoffrey on LinkedIn:

“I used to be a Toys R

Us Kid,” wiping tears.

 

Have a restful and lyrical Independence Day week! RaceAhead is going out for a long walk and will be back Monday, July 9. We are grateful for all of you.

On Point

Separating migrant children from their families is unacceptableI didn’t know the origin of the phrase “cruel and unusual” as it relates to the U.S. legal system. Now that I do, it no longer feels like a subjective benchmark for punishment. For this, I thank Clifton Leaf; as both my boss and an opinion writer, he’s made an indelible impression with this essay. “[T]earing families apart and incarcerating children for the offense of crossing a border illegally in search of a better life is a punishment both cruel and unusual. It is a punishment wildly disproportionate to the offense.” He digs deeply into Tuesday’s order from the Southern District of California for the federal government to protect the due process of the migrant children currently separated from their parents. It’s a situation both legally murky yet morally clear, “much like the ethical zone where “cruel and unusual” lives as well—a place where the differences between right and wrong are separated not by legal lines but rather by our human instinct for fairness,” he writes. Please share.Fortune

Google: Stay nice or get lost
Google released new guidelines this week that require employees to be “nicer” to each other or face disciplinary action ranging from warnings to demotions or dismissals. There have been enough ugly noises coming from the company to indicate that the culture is an issue, particularly on its internal message boards. Last year, engineer James Damore was fired after he posted an argument that women were less biologically capable of STEM work, a heated argument which led to online harassment and subsequent lawsuits. In some ways, the new guidelines sound like basic rules for a decent road: “Avoid blanket statements about groups or categories of people. Trolling, name-calling, and ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated.”
Business Insider

A new database for television writers of color seeks to address the “pipeline” problem
Christy Haubegger has been the head of CAA’s multicultural business development since 2005, and is the organizer of the agency’s invite-only Amplify conference, which brings multicultural experts together to whip the entertainment industry into shape. It’s not just talk. This year, Haubegger has launched the Amplify Database, a searchable directory of more than 800 television writers of color. To be included, the writers have to be part of a union and have at least one TV writing credit in the last five years. Access will be free to industry bigwigs after they register. The database joins two others in existence, including one for a broad array of underrepresented talent chaired by founding Fugee Prakazrel Samuel Michel, called The Media Stakeholders Directory.
Vanity Fair

Puerto Rico wants statehood by 2021
Puerto Rico’s representative in the House, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón introduced a bill this week that would make the territory a state “no later than January 1, 2021.”  It’s her second attempt. The Resident Commissioner has no voting rights except in committees, but has the full support of Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló.”The fight for Puerto Rico’s Equality is one of civil rights,” he said in a release. The Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2018 proposes a bipartisan task force of nine House members to help with what would be a difficult transition: The island is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria and a longstanding financial crisis. So far the bill has bipartisan support and currently 37 co-sponsors — a majority of whom are Republican.
CNN

The Woke Leader

Remembering the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting
The obituaries that follow these horrific mass shooting events never fail to elicit a poignant reaction: Oh, I could have been friends with this person. The five journalists who were murdered by a gunman with a grievance are no exception. And yet, they are. Killed for serving their local community and doing their jobs, while under siege from a nation prepared to tolerate both an assault on their profession, and the conditions that allow a man with a long history of harassment, violent behavior and public threats to spiral down into a lethal moment. You can contribute to a GoFundMe to assist their families here, and if you feel so moved, subscribe to the Capital Gazette here.
Baltimore Sun

Selling Las Vegas
The video is really a short movie about a lesbian couple who return to Las Vegas where they first met and do what all couples at certain stages do, reminisce about their romantic past and fret about their uncertain future. But for one member of the pair, the future seems only filled with barriers. The video is part of the “Only Vegas Moments” campaign, sponsored by the  Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). But given all the assaults on LGBTQ rights, says travel writer Lois Alter Mark, it’s “a game-changing commercial that couldn’t have come at a better time.” Click here for Mark’s Q&A with series creators Cathy Tull, CMO of the LVCVA, and Billy Vassiliadis, CEO of R&R Partners about the importance of marketing to LGBTQ travelers, and below for the commercial. Bring tissues.
YouTube

Two takes on barbecue
With barbecue season in full swing, food historian and chef Michael Twitty explains in delightful detail how the origin of the technique is a richly nuanced amalgam of traditions from many lands. “If anything, both in etymology and culinary technique, barbecue is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased from the modern story of American barbecue,” he says. “[T]he word barbecue also has roots in West Africa among the Hausa, who used the term ‘babbake’ to describe a complex of words referring to grilling, toasting, building a large fire, singeing hair or feathers and cooking food over a long period of time over an extravagant fire.” Then, click here for a new twist on an old custom, and watch geologists use actual molten lava to grill up some steaks. Don’t say I never gave you nothing.
The Guardian

Quote

Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.
Frederick Douglass