raceAhead: Anti-Semitism on the Rise

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.



Blessed and praised; adored.

Glorified and sanctified.

May He create peace.



Googlers walk; Apple

disappoints;Yeezy Yexits,

markets take a breath.



Jacob’s mom has got

it going on: Surefire

family business?



Answering rocks with

bullets; preparing the tents.

We are torn apart.



A grateful nation,

a sacred duty to vote.

President Oprah



Wishing you a weekend filled with comfort and peace.

On Point

Political event canceled after “kill all Jews” was scrawled inside a historic synagogueThe event was hosted by “Broad City” star Ilana Glazer at the Union Temple in Brooklyn Heights in New York, but it was hastily canceled after slurs were found scrawled inside and “kill all Jews” was painted on the door. “She didn’t feel comfortable ushering 200 people into the enclosed space; potential sitting ducks,” one attendee posted on Facebook. The event was part of Glazer’s The Generator Series, in which she interviews activists and politicians. It was the second such act of vandalism in Brooklyn Heights this week.New York Post

What can be learned from Charleston and Pittsburgh?
Jelani Cobb reported from both Charleston, SC and Pittsburgh, PA and notes the terrible similarities between the two horrific mass murders. “The architects of these atrocities are white men whose fury was amplified in the echo chamber of the Internet,” he writes. “Notably, both shooters conceived of their actions as a form of self-defense.” But the pain they inflicted on the communities were similar too, both of which lost individuals who would have ordinarily helped them to grieve and heal. But Cobb explores the paradox of the President himself, the masculine hero who stated, “I alone can fix” America, and yet is not responsible for the kindling he’s assembled. “The biggest indictment of the moral calibration in Trump’s Presidency is found in the sheer frequency by which he is absolved by his most ardent supporters.”
The New Yorker

Andrew Ng: Basic income could offset AI-created job losses
Andrew Ng was a deep learning trailblazer at Baidu and Google, and is now at two AI-startups in Palo Alto, Calif. In this informative Q&A with the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything column, he focused on the inevitability of AI – “AI is a general purpose technology similar to the internet and electricity—applicable to a lot of industries” — but lingered on the potential of the technology to increase inequality through job loss. “We need to make sure that wealth we create [through AI] is distributed in a fair and equitable way,” he says. “Ethics to me isn’t about making sure your robot doesn’t turn evil. It’s about really thinking through, what is the society we’re building?”
Wall Street Journal

The starving Yemeni girl who became the face of the country’s famine has died
Her name was Amal Hussain, and she was just seven years old. But her wrenching portrait published in The New York Times last week awakened many readers to the terrible human cost of the Saudi-led war in Yemen. There are more than 1.8 million starving kids in Yemen; despite a promised cease fire, there is little hope for immediate relief. Hussain died in a makeshift refugee camp four miles from a hospital.
New York Times


The Woke Leader

Remembering Ntozake Shange
I was waiting for writer Rebecca Carroll to post about the extraordinary Shange, the writer and poet who died earlier this week. She’d interviewed Shange as an up-and-coming journalist in the early 90s, and the writer imprinted on Carroll in ways that she did many black women. “As any young black woman who has read For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf will tell you, the stories and voices and experiences in this book go far beyond representation, as integral and clarifying as that aspect of it is,” she begins. But the two remained in touch, enjoying the kind of late-night phone calls that ground and uplift both participants. She recalls her favorite quote from Shange: “I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive. I can only change how they live, not how they think.” 
The Nation

Thank you, business travelers and other wandering souls
New research suggests that the high volume of international travel may actually be serving to lower the risk of a global pandemic. Many pandemics like the 1918 flu happen because a basic pathogen evolves into a more dangerous strain. But contrary to the conventional wisdom that people spread disease, all the moving around may be a good thing. “Frequent travel between subpopulations can lead to widespread immunity to the high virulence strain, driven by exposure to the low virulence strain,” say researchers from Oxford and Tel Aviv University. “As a result, major epidemics of the high virulence strain are less likely, and can potentially be smaller, with more connected subpopulations.” Get out there and spread the immunity, people.

Pharrell is happy again and you will be too
The singer and producer sent a cease and desist letter to the Trump camp, unhappy with the president’s use of the song “Happy” at a campaign rally just hours after the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. But this video of Georgia Congressman John Lewis clearly feeling like a room without a roof was enough to make Pharrell’s day. And probably yours too.
CBS News


I believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe that we have an obligation to condemn speech that is racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, or hateful. Regardless of the race of the speaker, I won’t be a party to it. The means by which we struggle must be consistent with the ends we seek, and this includes the words we use to pursue those ends.
Congressman John Lewis

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