Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

The acceleration of White House/Trump news has whiplash effects. I haven’t posted this many articles about Trump/ impeachment/ democracy, etc, ever in one week. However, this week it seemed necessary to do so. The Washington Post has been doing a fabulous job with their reporting lately. The first article lists and defines the last 6 news-worthy Trump events that occurred overnight,,,as this column was filed. There are lots of arguments occurring in social media around the debate of whether we’re better off as a country with Trump or with Pence or Ryan. I’ve included articles that cover several perspectives. See what you think.

My last column went live on Mother’s Day, and since then a few meaningful articles have been published related to Mother’s Day topics. I have a piece on Mother’s Day in an ICE Detention Center, racism in the birth industry, a story of self induced abortion that led to death, and a mother’s plight with her own contradictions trying to raise a feminist son.

The New Yorker published a story back in March that I just saw, in which the writer discusses how many Native Americans were murdered in the earlier part of the 20th century after oil was discovered on their reservation. The older account is an important backdrop for recent pieces we’ve posted on missing Native women in Canada and the US.

A powerful piece written by a student discusses why some graduates turned their backs on DeVos during the recent Bethune-Cookman University Commencement Speech. Other pieces this week cover immigration, gender issues, California’s newest laws on stealthing, and why diversity is necessary in any meeting on urban planning. So if you missed any of these stories, please Read On! Your comments are always welcome.

  1. For any president, one of these headlines would be very bad news. For President Trump, they all came in a span of 12 hours
“The White House’s Absolutely Brutal Night, In 6 Headlines”/ by Aaron Blake/ The Washington Post/ May 18, 2017


2. Historically, impeachment articles have focused on broad violations of constitutional duty and specific discrete acts like clashing with Congress over Reconstruction, commanding the Watergate break-in, or testimonial perjury. In Trump’s case, there is ample evidence for both the more general violations and the more specific abuses, much of them admitted by the president through his own indelicate tweets (including admissions Tuesday morning regarding the passing of classified information to the Russians).
“Articles of Impeachment for Donald J. Trump”/ by Phillip Carter/ Slate / May 16, 2017


3. Keep him in office. Politically, Trump is the goose that’s laying a treasure trove of golden eggs. Let him spend four years making such a toxic wreck of the Republican Party that disgusted voters won’t want to get anywhere near the GOP for a decade. Let him finish the job that George W. Bush started and turn the party into a smoldering ruin at last.
“Don’t Impeach: The Liberal Case for Not Removing Trump”/ by Cliston Brown/ Observer/ May 16, 2017


4. Confidence is good, up to a point. Now here is someone who thinks juggling hand-painted Fabergé eggs will impress you. Not because he is so supremely confident in his ability to juggle, but because he literally doesn’t know what they are. That they’re breakable. Only your house is in the egg. You are in the egg. Everything you care about is in the egg.
“The President is not a Child. He’s Something Worse”/ by Alexandra Petri/ The Washington Post/ May 17, 2017


5. Another wrote of her son becoming feverish during the five days they spent in the hielera. And several letter writers complained of having their children taken away from them. One woman wrote that she asked a female guard to see her twin daughters who had been taken from her. “She said no and slammed the door in my face,” she wrote. “They wouldn’t let me see them even for a minute. I didn’t know if they were getting food.”
“Mother’s Day in an ICE Detention Center”/ by Sharon Lerner/ The Intercept/ May 14, 2017


6. Within a day, they might be dead. Within two, their bodies unrecognizable. Within weeks, they could be bones, spread out by animals across an entire mile. The desert is a weapon.


“The Hunted/ by Debbie Weingarten/ Guernica/ May 15, 2017


7. The pervasive whiteness of the birth industry leads to culturally incompetent care that fuels the negative outcomes that women of color face both directly and indirectly. Low levels of cultural awareness lead to stereotyping and assumptions that fail to consider Black, Latina, Asian American, Arab American and Indigenous women’s unique circumstances and perpetuate ineffective methods of care. As a result, white values and experiences have interpenetrated the birth world and further isolated women of color.
“Motherhood and Marginalization: The Oppressive History of the Birth Industry”/ by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez/ truth-out/ May 14, 2017


8. Instead, we were asked to sit quietly as DeVos—the same secretary of education who erased our country’s history of systemic racism by claiming that historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) were “pioneers of school choice”—received an honorary degree. We were asked to sit quietly when our very own school lauded her for “building bridges and bridging gaps,” when only days earlier her administration had suggested that the basis for HBCU funding was unconstitutional. We were asked to sit quietly while she looked down at rows of young black graduating students and, quoting from our school motto, instructed us to “depart to serve.”
“When I Turned My Back on Betsy DeVos During Graduation”/ by Tyler Durrant/ The Nation/ May 16, 2017


9. Toughening repercussions for rape and sex crimes was at the center of legislative debate last year after the notorious sex assault cases of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner and comedian Bill Cosby. The stealthing bill follows another proposal by Garcia to expand the legal definition of rape that became law this year.
“California Lawmaker Proposes Making ‘Stealthing’ a Form of Rape Under State Law”/ by Jazmine Ulloa/ Los Angeles Times/ May 15, 2017


10. But when I imagine her these are the things I think about: of how provisional and precarious early pregnancy feels, even when welcomed with more joy than fear; of how everything during that time narrows in toward the dark knot at your center, the turning point of your whole future; and of desperation, the kind that manifests not in panic but in a calm practicality. Of how plain the way forward can feel in those moments when other options have evaporated.
“My Grandmother’s Desperate Choice”/ by Kate Daloz/ New Yorker/ May 14, 2017


11. One line of argument that tries to further segregate transgender people is that they are not “real” women or men because they do not have the exact same experiences as most cisgender people. This is dangerous in the sense that it invalidates the lived experiences of a threatened minority group, while othering them and opening the door for “separate but equal” legal marginalization. It’s also wrong on a number of levels.
“Seven Facts About Gender You Should Know”/ by Brynn Tannehill/ Huffington Post/ May 5, 2017


12. In the early twentieth century, the members of the Osage Nation became the richest people per capita in the world, after oil was discovered under their reservation, in Oklahoma. Then they began to be mysteriously murdered off. In 1923, after the death toll reached more than two dozen, the case was taken up by the Bureau of Investigation, then an obscure branch of the Justice Department, which was later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The Marked Woman”/ by David Grann/ New Yorker/ March 1, 2017


13. I want Mosley to embrace all that makes him unique: his Jewish and Catholic family, his Polish, Russian, Filipino, and Italian roots. I want him to not take for granted the hardships (on both sides of his immigrant family) of coming to America and building a new life. I also want him to know our contemporary struggles, the oppression of minorities and women that still exist in this generation—Mosley’s generation. I want to teach him about bodies, boundaries, and consent.
“Raising a Feminist Son”/ by Joelyn Suarez/ The Rumpus/ May 14, 2017


14. It’s not an easy task diversifying the urban design and planning process—but it’s absolutely essential that we do. The places we live shape our lives in both trivial and profound ways; the power to shape those places is central to self-determination, growth and power. As the visionary urban planner Jane Jacobs wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”


“Urban Planning Can’t Happen Without Black People in the Room—Yet it Does”/ by Charles D. Ellison/ The Root/ May 17, 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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