Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

It’s impossible to rate which current issues are the most despicable, but surely the forced evacuations at Standing Rock and the deportation of undocumented immigrants rank among the top. Some reports have stated this week that all deportees, whether originally from Mexico or not, will be forced to relocate to Mexico regardless. In Texas, an undocumented woman reported to have been hospitalized with a brain tumor was arrested, her hands and ankles bound, and taken to a deportation center. Hundreds of police and militarized ‘guns for hire’ forced Native Peoples from their peaceful, prayerful protest at Standing Rock. Arrests were made upon those unwilling to leave the site. Outcries from social media have stated, “This is not us.” However, in her seminal 2004 New York Times article “Regarding the Torture of Others,” Susan Sontag precisely pointed out that we, American citizens, could not separate ourselves from the actions at Abu Ghraib. We ARE Abu Ghraib. And like it or not, we have to face the truth that as a whole, we American citizens ARE emblematic of Immigrant Deportations and we ARE reflected in the militant stance against Standing Rock. As Alexis Pauline Gumbs states in her creative and informative essay published at Bitch Media, if we don’t face our history, it will be impossible to improve our current cultural dilemma.

I’ve also included articles this week that focus on the complicit actions of many Americans in the face of violence against people of color; bell hooks’ ideas on the necessity of a new Feminist vision; and the many different faces of the disabled community. Roxane Gay offers her own wisdom in a recent article from Brooklyn Magazine and Naseem Jamnia relates her connection between feminism and the Sufi order. So, if you missed any of these stories this week, READ ON. Your comments are always welcome.

  1. I don’t want to go to the store, to church — they are looking everywhere, and they know where to find us,” said Meli, who asked that her last name not be used out of fear of getting caught. “They could be waiting for us anywhere. Any corner, any block.”

“Immigrants Hide, Fearing Capture on ‘Any Corner’”/ by Vivian Yee/ New York Times/ February 22, 2017.

2. Perhaps most importantly, Tyson considers all the ways in which an American populace was complicit in its acceptance of violence against black people—and then considers all the ways in which it is still complicit in the deaths of people of color today

“How the Blood of Emmett Till Still Stains America Today”/ by Vann R. Newkirk II/ The Atlantic/ February 16, 2017.

3. People have less time, less energy, and fewer resources to participate in civic life when they lack reliable access to food and shelter, when they are overworked and scrambling to stay afloat, when they have been burdened with immense debt by the cost of an education or housing or health care, when they have been criminalized, marginalized, terrorized.

“Tyranny of the Minority”/ by Rebecca Solnit/ Harpers/ February 23, 2017.

4. And it may be that we will have to come together in ways that Lorde never imagined, but without facing and reclaiming our history, we won’t have what we need to overcome this new and recurring fascist moment. It’s a birthday party called “face our history,” even and especially the parts that scare us, that we may transform fear into creativity, love, and action.

“Audre Lorde’s ABC’s of Fighting Fascism/It’s Time For All of Us to Face our History”/ by Alexis Pauline Gumbs/ BitchMedia/ February 17, 2017.

5. There’s more than just one kind of disability. So it’s not just about ramps or accessible bathrooms, it’s about sign language interpreters and Braille for reading materials and sensory materials (like headphones) for people with ASDs. And to successfully institute that, they’re gonna have to get rid of what they think disability looks like.

“Be the Change: Six Disabled Activists on Why the Resistance Must Be Accessible”/ by Carrie/ Autostraddle/ February 13, 2017.

6. In the history of colonization, they’ve always given us two options: Give up our land or go to jail. Give up our rights or go to jail,” one woman says in the video. “And now, give up our water or go to jail. We are not criminals.”

“Women of Standing Rock Make A Powerful Plea Before Evacuation”/ by Elyse Wanshel/ The Huffington Post/ February 21, 2017.

7. I think that we have to restore feminism as a political movement. The challenge to patriarchy is political, and not a lifestyle or identity. It’s as if we have to return to very basic education for critical consciousness, around what visionary feminist politics really is about.

“bell hooks on the State of Feminism And How to Move Forward Under Trump: BUST Interview”/ by Lux Alptraum/ Bust/ February 15, 2017.

8. It’s where I’m from,” Gay says of the Midwest. “It’s definitely taught me about isolation and loneliness, and that informs a lot of who I am.” Many of the stories in Difficult Women are set there, and her characters cannot “be categorized by a simple term like flyover country.” Plus, Gay points out, “there aren’t a lot of people writing about blackness in the Midwest.”

“The Rise of Roxane Gay”/ by Molly McArdle/ Brooklyn/ February 22, 2017.

9. As an intersectional feminist, I believe it is my duty to believe that there are others who have been oppressed for things outside of their control. They, too, deserve their voices, and it is only through understanding a person’s differences that we are able to understand how we are also similar.

“I’m an Intersectional Feminist Because of My Sufi Faith”/ by Naseem Jamnia/ Ravishly/ February 20, 2017.



Joyce Hayden left her university teaching job two years ago in order to pursue her own artistic work. An assemblage artist, painter, and writer, Joyce is currently in the process of acquiring an agent to represent her memoir, The Out of Body Girl, which describes her 8 year relationship with a charismatic gambler and the dangerous road that eventually led to her freedom. Her chapbook of poems, Lost Handprint, is forthcoming from Dandelion Review. A freelance editor and writing coach, Joyce’s writing services and a selection of her artwork can be found at her website Joyce is available for commission art work, including celebration shrines for loved ones and pets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *