Political conspiracies like QAnon will never end

Conspiracies will never end… and neither will the racial disparities in the COVID era, evidently. Sigh. With the weekend upon us, it’s time to get back some Control.

But first, here’s your Q-infected week in review, in Haiku.

I do not know if
we will ever find out who
“Q” is, but I do

know this much: He will
definitely get a book
and three movie deal!

Right? Such mastery
of narrative and suspense
and real time drama. 

Come out, come out Q-
ever you are! Show us your
face, tell us your name.

It seems so silly!
Why wreck democracy if
you do not cash in?

Wishing you a fanciful yet conspiracy-free weekend.

Ellen McGirt

On point

Speaking of “Q”… why isn’t there a higher price paid by people who spread clearly baseless conspiracies? My colleague, Danielle Abril, digs into the epidemic of problematic misinformation that has fueled discord, discontent, and violence. Expect more of the same, she says. “Experts predict that several of these theories will enjoy unusually long lifespans into the new year. They also believe that growing amplification of conspiracy theories by partisan media outlets, social media algorithms, and politicians will continue.”

New York City’s COVID vaccine roll-out is problematic Early data shows show an alarming disparity by race. While white residents make up more than half the people who got the vaccine, they make up about a third of the NYC population. Latinx residents, 29% of the population received 15% of the vaccines, whereas only 11% of Black residents, who make up 25% of the city’s population, have been vaccinated.

Riz Ahmed is pretty intense and I’m here for it The groundbreaking actor, rapper, and inclusion champion talks about his work in Amazon’s critically acclaimed feature, “Sound of Metal”. He is a self-described over-thinker with situational insomnia. “It’s when you release control that the interesting things happen,” Ahmed explains. “That’s when your subconscious will start speaking in tongues, when you can’t articulate the words yourself, when your body has an intelligence and wisdom that you hand the reins over to. Creativity is more physical than we realize.” The man is on point: Here is his speech on the importance of diversity in media, delivered to the U.K. Parliament in 2017. “People are looking for the message that they belong, that they are part of something, that they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, their experience, they are valued,” he says. “They want to feel represented. In that task we have failed.”
New York Times

On Background

Janet Jackson’s “Control” turns 35 It was a groundbreaking album for her and her many fans, as this wonderful essay makes clear. Written for the album’s 30th birthday, its fundamental truths remain. The album was great music, of course. But, “at some point you listened to the lyrics. Really listened,” says Gerrick D. Kennedy in the Los Angeles Times. “The words were impossible to ignore, by design of Jackson’s aggressive assertion of independence in the song’s introduction.” It helped a generation of women reframe the power dynamic in their relationships. What have you done for me lately?
Los Angeles Times

What Cicely Tyson meant Soraya Nadia McDonald has a definitive take on Tyson, who died Jan. 28 at 96 years old. Her long life meant that she bore witness to some of the most important cultural moments of the modern age—she was born two years before educator Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week, now Month. “She came of age in a time in which the existence of Black history had to first be asserted and then declared worthy of attention and rigor,” says McDonald. Her analysis of the deeply embedded racism survived by Tyson’s generation will take your breath away, and offers insightful context for the trailblazers like Tyson who embodied Black dignity and grace. “The ability to simply be was hard-won. Such social formalities were a way of guarding something that couldn’t be taken for granted.”
The Undefeated


raceAhead is edited FOR THE LAST TIME!! by Aric Jenkins.

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