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A Global Climate Strike Begins: raceAhead

September 20, 2019, 6:04 PM UTC

Here’s your week in review, in haiku.

How old were you when
you learned that blackface is wrong,
lying is bad, and

making promises
that you shouldn’t makes trouble?
How old will you be

When you see your last
bird, or succumb to the kind 
of storms that now swarm

like roaches in an
ever-warming sea? How old 
will your children be

when they learn how their
parents had to hide who they
were just to survive?

Have a storm-free and righteous weekend.

On Point

Are your kids going on climate strike? Students all over the world, including from some of the countries most immediately vulnerable to the effects of climate change, are taking to the streets starting today to demand that governments eradicate fossil fuels and move climate change mitigation to the top of every to-do list. If you’re not sold on reasons to support the movement, opinion writer Bill McKibben offers a list that might persuade you. "Strike because half the children in New Delhi have irreversible lung damage simply from breathing the air," is one. "Strike because the UN estimates unchecked climate change could create a billion refugees this century." And finally, "Strike because every generation faces some great crisis, and this is ours." More about the climate strike movement here.
The Guardian

Trump Administration threatens to curtail federal funds to a Middle East studies program The program, run jointly by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, has been advised by the U.S. Education Department to revise their curriculum by September 22, or risk losing federal grant money. The complaint says the program unfairly establishes "ideological priorities," and promotes "the positive aspects of Islam," but not Christianity or Judaism. The letter was triggered by a complaint by North Carolina Rep. George Holding, who said that a conference presented by the program called "Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities," included "severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric," and featured a rapper who used anti-Semitic lyrics.
Associated Press

HUD Secretary Ben Carson makes derogatory comments about transgender people, angering his staff The secretary’s visit to the San Francisco office of his Housing and Urban Development agency went poorly yesterday, after he made a comment fretting about "big, hairy men" trying to infiltrate women’s homeless shelters, in a reference to trans women. He also said that society no longer seemed able to tell the difference between men and women. His comments shocked the fifty-some staffers in attendance and prompted one woman to walk out. He’s said similar things in the past. As a reminder, he recently introduced a proposal that would allow federally funded shelters to discriminate based on religion and compel transgender women to use dorms and bathrooms specified for men.
Washington Post

Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, testifies before Congress Carr was there to ask lawmakers to support the Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, a 2015 bill that would outlaw chokeholds under federal civil rights law, and which is set to be reintroduced to Congress later this year. To do that, she told the story, in detail, of her son’s death after he was placed in an illegal chokehold for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. "Five years ago, my beloved son Eric was murdered by people who were supposed to serve and protect," Carr said in front of the House Judiciary Committee. "All the officers who were on the scene need to stand accountable for his death that day."


On Background

Disney’s live action Aladdin film really tried hard Lest we forget how challenging it is to de-colonialize the "classic" stories that people love to black up their skin to tell, this in-depth analysis of Disney’s recent live-action remake of their 1992 animated Aladdin does the struggle justice. "Although the original movie was a critically acclaimed masterpiece," notes Aja Romano, "it was also dripping in Orientalism and harmful racist depictions of Arab culture." How did director Guy Ritchie do? Hard to say, given that the origin of the Aladdin tale itself is unclear but, yadda yadda yadda, it appears to have been largely written by an 18th century French writer with a bigoted view of Asia. Tough starting point! "The story’s exoticism—a xenophobic view of other cultures, or people from those cultures, as being somehow strange, unfathomable, or alien—is entrenched in that framing." Come for the film review, stay for the really interesting history of Aladdin, Orientalism, and colonial oppression.

Curriculum based on The 1619 Project is added to the Chicago Public Schools Free physical copies of the New York Times’s The 1619 Project, and supplemental curricular resources created by the Pulitzer Center, are being made available to every public high school in Chicago. It’s an important addition to what the system is able to offer, says Janice K. Jackson, EdD, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools. "As educators, we are always looking for new tools and strategies to help students contextualize the world around them so they may one day become informed and effective citizens," she wrote in a recent blog post. "In order for our students to engage with the issues of today, it is essential that they have an honest accounting of our country’s past."
Chicago Public Schools

How to be a whistleblower and survive online Leigh Honeywell is a technologist with ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology team, but she has a longtime interest in helping people who have been targeted online. She’s also been a sexual misconduct whistleblower, so she knows how frightening the idea of online retribution can be. But there are things people who are afraid of incurring the wrath of trolls can do to protect themselves from hacking, phishing, doxing before they go public with their stories. The advice is tailored to people with #MeToo workplace harassment issues, but the advice works for any individual who is worried about becoming a whistleblower.


Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.

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"Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics? I don’t know. I may have to go for the Hispanics, to be honest with you. We got a lot of Hispanics.”

Donald Trump, speaking to CNN contributor Steve Cortes at a voter rally