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raceAhead: Voter Suppression Worries In The News

October 12, 2018, 2:13 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review in haiku.



Feel like a man in

a red hat: As the rains come,

children in cages.



Kanye, White House star!

Really, says Common, Jay-Z

and Kendrick Lamar



Michael roared, Jamal

slain, Melania bullied?

Brett swears, Eric kicks.



“Maybe some people

just shouldn’t tweet,” muses the

SEC, the world.



We have ten years left

to cool things down. Then Mother

moves on without us.


Have safe and inspiring weekend.

On Point

Supreme Court makes it harder for tribal residents to voteThe decision has real consequences for North Dakota’s Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is facing a tough reelection bid, particularly after her vote against confirming now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But it has bigger consequences for thousands of registered voters now denied access to the polls. On Tuesday, SCOTUS upheld a lower court ruling that required North Dakota voters to present proof of residential address to vote. The problem is that the USPS only provides post office boxes to tribal members. The 2017 voter ID law has been challenged by Native residents saying it makes it disproportionately harder for them to vote; if similar laws are enacted, then it’s possible that other tribal members will face similar barriers. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was sworn in on Monday, did not partake in the decision, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented.Mother Jones

A new survey shows Asian American voters are engaged and ready to vote
A new survey from Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and AAPI Data with 1,316 registered Asian American voters shows that they are engaged in the issues and “enthusiastic” about voting this year. The wildly diverse Asian American “community” is significantly under-surveyed as voters, so the results were fascinating. Some highlights: While Vietnamese voters lean Republican, Asian Americans overall are leaning Democratic in House and Senate races; 66% favor affirmative action programs designed to help African Americans,women, and other minorities get better access to higher education; 64% of Asian Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented citizens.

Charges of voter suppression in Georgia
With the deadline to register to vote rapidly approaching in Georgia, persistent voting issues are resurrecting some ugly specters of familiar voter suppression efforts. Many registered voters have found themselves unexpectedly missing from the polls, now, some 53,000 applications from people who have attempted to re-register are on hold via order from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office. According to an investigation by the Associated Press the voters on the list are predominantly black. It’s complicated: Kemp, who is in charge of elections and voter registration in the state is also the Republican candidate for governor. His Democratic opponent is former state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who would become the first-ever black female governor of a state if elected. Click through for the whole mess.

A year after #MeToo a new bill is introduced to address harassment in STEM
Science, and worse, academia has a significant problem—data shows that some 58% of women in academia report experiencing sexual harassment. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) introduced the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act, designed to better understand harassment in STEM workforce, including students, instructors and trainees. Many STEM organizations are recipients of federal money, and they need to get on board, says Johnson. “This behavior undermines career advancement for women in critical STEM fields, and many women report leaving promising careers in academic research due to sexual harassment,” she says. Johnson is the Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
CongresswomanEddie Bernice Johnson

The Woke Leader

Jemele Hill in the Atlantic: Black men in the age of Kavanaugh
Hill makes her Atlantic debut with a sharply drawn piece exploring the concern many black men felt for the plight of once-embattled SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. After a town hall meeting with 100 black men in Baltimore took an odd turn—the men expressed sympathy for him, she acknowledged a difficult truth. Black men have a long history in this country of being denied due process and being accused of crimes they didn’t commit. “If anyone has the right to complain about unproven allegations or cry #HimToo, it’s black men,” she explains, bringing receipts. And she resurrects the story of Brian Banks, a once-promising USC football player who was derailed by a false allegation of rape. But the circumstances of the two men, one powerful, one not, told a different story.
The Atlantic

When a white savior fails to save
This extraordinary long read from ProPublica is a deep dive into a situation wrenching on its own, but also reveals other systemic problems within the global aid community. It’s the story of Katie Meyler, a charismatic young woman who built a charity and school called More than Me (MTM) which sought to save Liberian girls from poverty and sexual exploitation through education. Her evangelical zeal and Instagram-ready appeal won her grants, followers, donors, and made her one of Time’s Persons of The Year in 2014 for her work fighting Ebola. But behind the scenes at MTM, the girls she sought to save had been the victim of a known rapist employed by the school. And then there are the complications of poverty, where people will overlook terrible things for even the smallest possible hope.

Nike welcomes a new professional athlete
If you want to ugly cry at your desk for reasons unrelated to politics, climate change, racism or systemic poverty, then Nike is at your service. Justin Gallegos, a runner with cerebral palsy, has been training hard lately, trying to break a personal best. But when he finished a recent race, Nike was waiting for him with a surprise. Bring tissues.
Sports Illustrated


Today I asked my 18-year-old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Then I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all "the others" …Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on—for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go. I then wondered than have I spoken up? 
Serena Williams