Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

We heard some great slogans this week: “I’m a Strong Black Woman and I Can’t be Intimidated!” AND “Resist. Insist. Persist. Enlist.” The first, a statement of power made by Maxine Water, in response to a racist and disrespectful comment by Bill O’Reilly; the second, a Hillary Clinton quote from her speech at The Professional Businesswomen of California Conference in San Francisco. Both leaders are standing tall, focused on the issues at hand, focused on change.

On the other hand, I was very excited to watch Dave Chappelle’s recent performance on NETFLIX. However, and yes I am taking this out of context, but I don’t believe that changes anything, Chappelle’s slogan doesn’t come off so well. In the comedy special, while discussing Bill Cosby, Chappelle remarked: “And he saves more than he rapes; and he only rapes to save.” Many comics and others believe that there are no topics that are off limits. I disagree. I believe whether it’s comedy or otherwise, any discourse that includes joking or shaming or minimizing or blaming victims of rape or abuse only serves to perpetuate the issue. I believe it continues to give permission to those who cannot distinguish nuance. Take a look at the article below published in The Establishment and decide for yourself.

On a temporary positive note, Trump”care” failed to pass this week. While the fight for affordable healthcare in the US is far from over, at the moment there’s still hope for some other options. Please take a look at the articles below that cover issues of immigration, Native American land rights, our missing DC girls, and the lack of LGBTQ on the 2020 Census. In a powerful Longreads essay, Minda Honey chronicles her trip in a National Park attempting to find peace and quiet and a break from all the whiteness of a recent MFA program. Don’t miss what she discovers and experiences on her journey. If you missed any of these stories, please READ ON!! Your comments are always welcome.

  1. The relative lack of coverage also helps perpetuate the myth that black and brown girls aren’t victimized. And when these cases are covered, it’s not uncommon for news outlets to incorporate one or more common stereotypes about black and Latinx girls (that they’re angry, promiscuous, lawbreaking, etc.).

“Here Are Some Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About D.C.’s Missing Teens”/ by Julia Craven/ Huffington Post/ March 24, 2017


2. “And he saves way more than he rapes, and he only rapes to save. But he does rape.”
“Dave Chappelle: Your Homophobic, Transphobic, Misogynistic Rants Aren’t Funny”/ by Sharon Lee/ The Establishment/ March 28, 2017.


3. My anti-establishment hippie host said it was obvious it was just about the money because I hadn’t said anything to her in the moment. She expected that a Black person she’d just offended to accuse her of racism in her own home in the middle of the woods at night with no cellphone reception and nowhere else to go. When you’re white, that is a totally reasonable expectation.
“Woman of Color in Wide Open Spaces”/ by Minda Honey/ Longreads/ March 29, 2017


4. “We didn’t think about what success would look like,” Ms. Stark said. “We just thought about changing the life of one family.”
“Canadians Adopted Refugee Families for a Year. Then Came ‘Month 13’ ”/ by Jodi Kantor and Catrin Einhorn/ New York Times/ March 25, 2017


5. This is about equality, and recognizing the needs and presence of particular sub-populations within the main one. This is about signaling to LGBT people that they count culturally, as well as statistically.
“This is Why the Erasing of LGBT Americans on the 2020 Census Matters”/ by Tim Teeman/ The Daily Beast/ March 29, 2017


6. “The racial wealth divide is how the past shows up in the present,” Chuck Collins tells The Nation. “We have a deep legacy of wealth inequality that undermines the whole idea that we have a meritocracy—that there’s an equal playing field.”
“The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today”/ by Joshua Holland/ The Nation/ August 8, 2016.


7. Even fossil fuel giant Exxonmobil has chimed in to recommend the US stay on course with the Paris agreement, calling it “an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change” in a letter to Trump last week.
“ ‘Climate Change is Real’: Companies Challenge Trump’s Reversal of Policy”/ by Jamiles Lartey/ The Guardian/ March 29, 2017


8. Don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are. Do what you do. And let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country.”
“Congresswoman Maxine Waters: ‘I’m a Strong Black Woman, and I Cannot Be Intimidated’”/ by Lakin Starling/ Fader/ March 29, 2017


9. “Resist, insist, persist, enlist.”
“Hillary Clinton: ‘There is No Place I’d Rather Be Than Here with You, Other Than the White House’”/ by Aimee Lutkin/ The Slot/ March 29, 2017


10. In a major victory for American Indian land rights, a federal judge on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, ordered Enable Midstream Partners and its affiliates to remove a natural gas pipeline from 38 American Indian land owners’ property near Anadarko, Oklahoma. A tract of the land is part of the Kiowa Tribes of Oklahoma.
“Federal Judge Rules in Favor of American Indian Plaintiffs: Natural Gas Line Ordered Removed From Land”/ by Levi Rickert/ Native News Online/ March 28, 2017


11. And if something goes awry with your contraception, there’s Plan B for that, which Planned Parenthood can help provide. If you can’t see how accessibility to Plan B affects your life, then you probably also can’t see how climate change affects your life. But that’s an argument for another day.
“To Men Who Think They Don’t Need Planned Parenthood”/ by Alexandra Spychalsky/ Bustle/ March 27, 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.

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