Here’s your week in review, in haiku
One stable genius,
extremely calm, so calm. It’s
A matter of deep
regret, three times a failure:
Brexit, stage (far) right.
Screams from a raging
China clears it’s throat.
coming to a bill near you:
The latest Stamp Act
At some point we all
learn that we have not dated
Have a memory-filled long weekend! RaceAhead returns, tan, rested, and ready on May 28.
|Philadelphia District Attorney wants Meek Mill to get a new trial|
|The legally beleaguered rapper is finally getting a break after the Philadelphia D.A.’s office issued new documents in favor of giving Mill getting a new trial with a new, unbiased judge. Judge Genece Brinkley,has been accused multiple times of discriminating against Mill, who sentenced the rapper to prison for a “technical violation” of his probation. His original incarceration in state prison ended in April 2018. Meek’s lawyer, Jordan Siev, said in a statement that this action “marks the first time the DA has publicly outlined in writing that it supports Judge Brinkley’s recusal based on her ‘appearance of partiality’ and ‘public perception of unfairness and bias.”|
|Sometimes other things happen on Capitol Hill|
|Rapper T.I. and radio host Charlamagne tha God were among the bold-faced names who attended a Congressional Black Caucus meeting on “opportunity zones,” this week. Opportunity zones are an under-discussed part of last year’s tax overhaul bill that’s designed to spur investment in low-income communities; Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) hosted the forum which invited participants from numerous industries. “Spent my day with a few good men, discussing quite a few good things,” Charlamgane posted on Instagram. David Gross, the late Nipsey Hussle’s business partner was there representing as well.|
|Allegations of racism levelled at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston|
|The alleged incident came after students from a Dorchester charter school visited the museum. The principal of the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy complained that one museum employee told students “no food, no drink, and no watermelon,” and a separate visitor told one female student that she should pay attention so she could avoid ending up as a stripper. When asked about the allegations, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told reporters,“We can’t have institutions in our city, in our state, in our country, being disrespectful like that. It’s just uncalled for.” Allegedly.|
|I wonder if a more diverse workforce could have seen this coming|
|Most AI assistants have voices that sound like young women, and are often used to do helpful things, like check traffic and weather, track lists and tasks, and play music or tell jokes. They’re also programmed to be polite and laugh off any abuse or inappropriate requests. Accommodating! A new United Nations report finds that this gendered presentation reinforces harmful stereotypes that women are “docile, eager-to-please helpers without any agency, always on hand to help their masters.” While a “Black Mirror”-tinged world where AI assistants don’t take any crap from anyone sounds appealing somehow, a better solution might be to make AI bots with genderless voices and personalities. The report also found that women are 25% less likely to have basic digital skills than men and are only a fourth as likely to know how to program computers.|
|MIT Technology Review|
|Reclaiming a nearly lost language|
|Long before Europeans arrived in North America, the Ye Iswa lived along the banks of the Catawba River, along what would now be the border between North and South Carolina. Their name means “people of the river.” The tribe is now known as Catawba, but their language, from which their original name is derived, is nearly lost. The last fluent speaker died in 1964. DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren, a young member of the tribe has been given a grant to launch the Catawba Language Project, and hopes to use modern technology to bring the language back. “I’m creating a learning app for the language and bringing Catawba words into material culture for the tribe,” he told NBC. But he also hopes the project will address an immediate emergency, the epidemic of suicide in Native communities. “Study after study has found that in Native communities, having a sense of culture is one of the best preventions of suicide.”|
|The time that Isamu Noguchi visited a Japanese internment camp to be helpful and was then forced to stay|
|INoguchi was already a well-known and highly sought-after sculptor and designer, working on large scale public projects like one in NYC’s Rockefeller Center, and sculpting portraits of the Hollywood elite. But when a Bureau of Indian Affairs official suggested the Los Angeles born artist set up an art center at the newly constructed Poston War Relocation Center, he agreed. It was only after he arrived that he realized that he too, was under suspicion, and the authorities would not let him leave. A fascinating profile of a profoundly optimistic and resilient spirt, who thrived despite the deep and bitter racism of his time. A must read. .|
|New Yorker|Aidan Taylor assisted in the preparation of today’s summaries.