In case you missed it: mapmaking as empire-building, QBs protesting police impunity, and tacos on every corner…
If borders matter, then so do maps. Did you know that Palestine is not labeled on Google Maps? Read more on the importance of mapmaking in territorial and cultural conflicts.
The California legislature voted this week to give California farmworkers overtime pay for any work over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. Let’s hope Governor Brown signs the bill into law.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem before a football game in protest of the oppression of people of color in the U.S. It’s inspiring when athletes actually use their power for good, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s defense of Kaepernick is worth a read. We stand [sit?] by Kaepernick’s decision. More info from SI and Jacobin on Kaepernick’s protest.
Trump met with Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s president, this week. While we already wonder why Pena Nieto would take a risk like that with his already embarrassing approval ratings, more disturbing was Trump’s immigration speech from the same day. This NPR fact check sets Trump straight. Now if only he actually cared about facts.
And finally, this.
In case you were wondering, here’s what might happen if there really were #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner. (Aside from everyone gaining 15 pounds and being 15% happier.)
What happened in the world this week? Read on for the FARC treaty, the beginning of the end (maybe) of private prisons, the lead emissions-crime rate link, border vigilantes, and more dirt on Trump (can’t help myself).
After half a century of guerrilla warfare, the Colombian government and FARC have negotiated a peace accord.
To no one’s great surprise, Donald Trump was probably discriminating in housing since he got his start in real estate.
The Department of Justice announced it will stop using private prisons. What will this actually mean? Find out more here.
When I first heard this theory about the link between crime rates and lead emissions from gasoline, I thought it sounded insane. But then I read this and it’s not as unbelievable as it sounds. Not brand new, but HIGHLY worth reading.
Vigilantes policing the border suggest disturbing similarities to slave catchers who caught and disciplined escaped slaves a few centuries ago. More on this in the weeks to come…
This was a terrible week in the world. Hundreds died in a bombing in Baghdad. Back-to-back police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. And then 5 cops in Texas were shot and killed.
Here are some numbers about guns and racism.
A friend wrote this about what white (or white-passing) people should do after murders like those of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and it helped me process and think: What To Do When It’s Not All About You. I also recommend the article she links to.
Also on the subject, if you didn’t watch Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech for the BET Humanitarian Award, you really should.
That’s all I’ve got this week other than my reflection from Friday, here.
It’s Independence Day and although I have enough of critiques of the U.S. to more than fill this blog, I still appreciate the chance to take a day to watch some fireworks, eat a hot dog and celebrate the summertime. Coming right up: what’s in the news and what I’m thinking about this week.
The horror: get out and vote or this Boston Globe fake cover page imagining a Trump-run USA might become reality.
A feminist reflection on gender and sports by Deandre Levy, a Detroit Lions linebacker. Refreshing and pointed!!
If you want to read a long, wonky article about U.S. v. Texas (the Supreme Court case on DAPA) and what it means, here you go courtesy of the Atlantic.
Protest in the digital age: Syrian refugees listed their campsite on Airbnb.
#OaxacaResiste: In case you missed it, here’s a Democracy Now interview with a member of the Oaxacan teacher’s strike that started after 9 teachers were killed in a police crackdown in the southern Mexican state.
Food for thought from the past week.
What’s wrong with liberalism, and what’s right with socialism? Here’s one explanation. This article makes a compelling argument about why we should really value free speech.
Did you hear about the Panama Papers?!? The release of these documents implicates world leaders and other rich and powerful people offshore tax avoidance. This piece explains the sketchy operations of offshore companies in real estate. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that this is happening, but it’s still so disappointing. Wealth is not disconnected from poverty. The more the extremely wealthy hold on to and conceal their money, the more income inequality increases, to the detriment of everyone else.
Latin America and the presidential race: This weekend, Residente of awesome Puerto Rican rap group Calle 13 gave a speech at a Bernie Sanders rally that called out U.S. colonialism in Latin America. It’s worth watching. Whether or not you agree with this speech and/or Bernie Sanders, it’s really important that issues of Latin American sovereignty get raised and heard in this country, given our oversized influence on the region.
Voting rights: The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the principle of equal representation.
Here’s a short piece about what it’s like to visit the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pope Francis doing more good things. Yes, it is possible for members of all the world’s religions to come together in mutual respect and understanding, and thank you, Pope Francis, for standing up and saying so.
News and other fun stuff you might have missed this week.
Did you know that the only surviving script written in Shakespeare’s actual handwriting is about welcoming migrants? Read more here and watch Ian McKellen perform the monologue–it’s inspiring. While it’s depressing to think that some people are as prejudiced against migrants today as they were 500 years ago, it’s also beautiful to realize that whenever injustice and prejudice has arisen in history, there have also always been people who stood up for justice and compassion. La lucha sigue.
Last week, prisoners in Alabama’s Holman Prison rose up against terrible conditions including abuse and overcrowding. This uprising did not receive much mainstream media coverage, but read about it here. The prisoners also released a list of six demands, including releasing prisoners who are eligible for parole and repeal of Habitual Offenders laws (three strikes laws).
Unsurprisingly, a report released on Monday by a task force investigating corruption and abuses within the Border Patrol found that Customs and Border Protection has done extremely little to solve these problems. Read more about the report or look at the report itself.
This rundown of major immigration legislation from 1965 until now is a useful tool to understand current immigration policy in the U.S.
“How Sports Gave Me Swagger,” by director Gina Prince-Bythewood, talks about the value of playing sports for young women. This was published several months ago, but I just found it and it really struck a chord. I grew up taking dance classes, but only got into sports and working out in college, and that type of body-pumping exercise really does make me feel empowered. Lately I’ve taken up kickboxing, and let me tell you, I really DO feel more amazing and confident like I could walk into a meeting room and punch the lights out of all the CEOs trying to steal the back wages of their underpaid contract workers. Or whatever. Ladies, be powerful. Worth a read.
Aaaand Obama has just landed in Cuba, so keep a lookout for news on that front!
What’s going on in the world this week? Here are a few links that caught my attention:
Is the Democratic Party headed for an implosion as disastrous as the Republican one? Read here.
This open letter by Professor Roksana Badruddoja to students in her Race & Ethnicity course explains white privilege and why white people should be aware of it and let it make us uncomfortable.
In terrible immigration news of the week, the U.S. keeps mistakenly deporting its own citizens. File under: racialization of citizenship.
Here’s a video about the work of awesome musician (and friend) La Muna, who recently released an entire album of songs inspired by the voyages of migrants she met on the U.S.-Mexico border (also check out the album here).
Central America is becoming an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, and this piece explains what’s going on.
A few links that caught my attention this week:
On the appropriation of reggaeton. Reggaeton has a huge place in my heart, and I got my start listening to Daddy Yankee. This piece reflects on the way reggaeton beats are now being used (or appropriated) in mainstream American music.
On the hope and faith of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Last summer, I spent four months working with deported and in-transit migrants at Kino Border Initiative soup kitchen in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. It’s difficult to capture everything that experience taught me, but here, Father Sean Carroll captures some of what most inspired me, the hope and faith that migrants carry with them no matter what they’ve been through. Worth reading.
On Central Americans and asylum. This in-depth piece explains why, even though many Central Americans migrate to America fleeing violence, it’s so hard for them to gain refugee status.
On closing Guantanamo Detention Center. Obama finally releases plans to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, to mixed reactions. Yet closing the prison does not resolve the problem of indefinitely holding prisoners who have not even been charged with a crime.
Pope Francis’s tour of Mexico was a couple weeks ago now, but it’s worth remembering. (He called out Donald Trump! Thank you!) Here are 5 key moments from his trip in case you missed it.
Casa Marj started out as a food blog, but I have long envisioned it as a magazine with political and lifestyle posts too. In my casa, political commentary and food go together like peanut butter and bananas. (Really well.)
So, here are a few of the links that stood out to me this week.
The sanctuary movement is coming back to Los Angeles, reports the LA Times! This is great. This is a movement where churches shelter undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. In case you didn’t know, Rosa Robles Loreto recently took sanctuary in a Tucson for over a year to avoid deportation and was able to leave without being deported in December 2015. See here and here for more on Rosa’s case
In case you missed it: Is Hillary Clinton the candidate she is because women politicians have much stricter standards to live up to than men? This piece (ok, rant) which went viral this week makes some great points on the double standards that women in politics face. Or, why Bernie is allowed to be unkempt while Hillary has to be buttoned-up.
On the other hand, is Hillary simply the “embodiment of corporate feminism” that tramples over the rights of many women who don’t fit the white, upper-class Feminist model? Women politicians may face much stricter expectations than men, but does that really excuse gutting welfare and expanding mass incarceration?
This essay about a “F*ck Off Fund” is a great read, especially for young women starting their independent lives, such as myself.
And here is Marc Anthony talking about Latino pride and why Donald Trump needs to go. (OK, aside from totally agreeing with what he’s saying, maybe I just put this here because I am going through a Marc Anthony phase. You will too once you listen to this song, oldie but GREAT.)