Your week in review, in haiku.
“You look fetching in
that ostrich jacket.” Yeti
poured the wine and smiled.
Trillion dollar fruit:
Two Steves, one garage, and the
rest of the whole world.
Outside looking in:
our enduring shame.
erased, Flint struggles on, and
King James leads the way.
As the world burns a
cleansing fire, the scorched earth
rids herself of us.
Wishing you a breakthrough weekend.
|R/GA gets a new diversity and inclusion director|
|Carl Desir, the former vice president of talent initiatives from the 4As, is now global agency R/GA’s first diversity and inclusion director. According to this interview with The Drum’s Bennett Bennett, Desir has a full green light to reconfigure the agency’s inclusion practices and draw a tight line to their business outputs. “That’s exciting because when you know that there are so many different things R/GA does. Let’s say you come up with an idea for like a mentoring match algorithm thing and it actually gets pushed out to the rest of the world through one of our R/GA divisions,” he says. Desir has extensive talent pipeline experience and plans on making resource groups a priority. “Our LGBTQ network has linked what they do to actual business results, which is just amazing,” he says.|
|Wordpress debuts a diverse stock photo library. And it’s free!|
|Wordpress users, just check your Media Library and select “Free Photo Library” and you’ll find thousands of images that they promise reflect a “wide array of experiences.” The images mainly come from the Women of Color in Tech Stock Photos library (WoCinTec) which added their photos to Pexels, the current WordPress stock photo provider. The alliance seems to be a hit: In the month since the WoCinTech images became available, there have been 70,000 downloads and 28 million page views. “Our mission was always twofold: Disrupt stock images and further representation of women/non-binary people in technology by making the photos accessible to all creators,” says Christina Morillo, a WoCinTech co-founder.|
|What Mark Zuckerberg needs to know about hate speech|
|This is the big theme behind most of the Zuckerberg opinion-making these days; the incredible true story of a ragtag band of coders who wanted to make the world a more open place, and instead opened a Pandora’s box of propaganda and hate. “They have weaponized social media. They have weaponized the First Amendment. They have weaponized civic discourse. And they have weaponized, most of all, politics,” says Kara Swisher, in her latest New York Times op-ed. Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and author of a book about Facebook tells Pacific Standard that there is no fixing it. (Really!) “This problem [of hate speech online]—and that’s too light a word—reveals that social media was a bad idea in the first place,” he says. If you give everyone a platform then try to stay neutral, bad stuff gets in. “If we want social media as it’s been imagined and constructed, we have to live with this garbage.”|
|New York Times|
|A Smith College student was eating her lunch when an employee called the police|
|As these stories mount up, it’s becoming clear that no collective remedy is forthcoming. A “rising sophomore” was taking a break from her teaching assistant job by eating her lunch in a common room when an employee called the police to report “someone who seemed out of place.” The person, still unnamed, reported her as a suspicious black male. “I am blown away at the fact that I cannot even sit down and eat lunch peacefully,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I did nothing wrong, I wasn’t making any noise or bothering anyone. All I did was be black.” Smith is known for its interest in inclusion; earlier this year, their office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity announced plans to expand its existing anti-bias training.|
The Woke Leader
|More about ‘white fragility’|
|As sociologist Robin DiAngelo’s new book, White Fragility, continues to yield rich, cringe-worthy conversations about how hard it is to talk about race, it’s worth noting that DiAngelo reserves her most pointed observations to the white liberals (like herself) who exempt themselves from criticism, and struggle to understand how they exist within racist systems. “I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color.” It’s not just the unexamined complicity, she says, it’s the effort they go to to signal their work. “To the degree that white progressives think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived.” I’m halfway through the book now; while there are no surprises for anyone who has participated in a structured “conversation” about race, there is real value in understanding how deeply held this resistance is.|
|Franklin, Charlie Brown’s first black friend, turns 50|
|It was the dog days of summer, a few months after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and a month after Bobby Kennedy was murdered, when Charlie Brown lost a beach ball. Franklin found it, then the two hung out and built a sand castle together. That was it. But, it was a big deal for 6-year-old Robb Armstrong, a black kid determined to become a cartoonist. “1968 is a very vivid year for me,” he tells NPR. Franklin was not without controversy, however. To some, the bland, largely benign character was the definition of black respectability and failed to deliver the quirks of other, more fleshed out members of the gang. It worked for the time, says Armstrong, who went on to create the blockbuster black-themed come strip Jump Start. “I think Schulz played it smartly,” said Armstrong. “He was always very thoughtful into how he treated his characters.”|
|A poignant essay on being a Korean adoptee returning to the “motherland”|
|Rachel Rostad moved back to Korea as an adult, one part English teacher from the Midwest, another part identity shapeshifter looking to sort herself out. “Korean and American were two outfits I chose between, depending on the occasion and whatever would make me most familiar to my audience, whether that meant downplaying my whiteness with fellow people of color, or downplaying my Koreanness with my white extended family,” she writes. But returning to Korea meant that she necessarily confronted a new version of otherness. Her coping mechanism was hiking the steeply verdant hills of the Korean peninsula. Her spoken Korean wasn’t good enough to have other solo adventures, and she wasn’t foreign enough to be attractive to welcoming Korean families. “Being Korean but being unable to actually be Korean makes me feel like I’m wearing yellowface,” she says.|