Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

On Wednesday June 14, a UPS worker in San Francisco killed three co-workers and himself. Hours earlier, a man in Washington DC began shooting at Republicans in a Congressional baseball practice. The DC shooter had a record of family violence. I haven’t yet heard whether this is true in the UPS incident. An article I’ve included this week from Time magazine discusses the connection between domestic violence and mass shooters. While the author claims there is no conclusive research published on the correlation, it is certainly time that we take this possibility much more seriously. It’s vital that we actively fund investigation into the apparent link between these crimes. Like rape, domestic violence has become normalized in our culture. We’re on the road to accepting mass shootings as part of everyday culture as well. The statistics that are available regarding the relationship between misogyny, “toxic masculinity”, white male entitlement and violence in the public arena suggest that without any intervention or modification in cultural norms and gun laws, the future holds little possibility of reduction in family violence or domestic terrorism.

In other stories this week, Google has created a new website devoted to awareness of national terrorism and race. The focus of the site is on the history of lynching in the US. Roxane Gay and Congresswoman Harris are in the news this week. Gay called out her interviewers in Australia regarding fat shaming, and Harris was continually silenced by other members of Congress during her questioning of Sessions, and Comey was treated as a sexual harassment victim during his hearings.

In some positive news, Standing Rock has won a substantial battle, UC Irvine is noted as a haven for Latino students, a Trans candidate has risen above three other Democrats in the Virginia House Primary, and Tracy K. Smith has become the latest U S Poet Laureate. Smith plans to reach out to disenfranchised citizens who may not see themselves reflected in today’s poetry. The Establishment has a powerful interview with four Indigenous women who speak of resilience, intersectional feminism and the erasure of Indigenous voices in social justice conversations. So for these stories and more, in case you missed them, please Read On! Your comments are always welcome.


  1.  Both hearing exchanges have prompted women to discuss aloud and online how Harris’s experiences with her fellow senators are only highlighting the treatment average women, especially women of color, experience every day.
“As a Prosecutor, Kamala Harris’s Doggedness was Praised. As a Senator, She’s Deemed ‘Hysterical’”/ by Katie Mettler/ The Washington Post/ June 14, 2017


2. Fat people are considered inherently unhealthy, lazy, and sometimes unintelligent. So while Freedman claims that her podcast was only adding to the conversation about size, wondering whether or not Gay would fit into an elevator or would be able to walk to an interview hinges on the perception of her body as one that doesn’t belong.
“What That Roxane Gay Controversy Says About Taking Up Space As A Fat Woman”/ by Kasandra Brabaw/ Refinery29/ June 13, 2017


3. Roem today bested three other Democrats, and in November she will face Republican Bob Marshall, who has represented the district for 25 years and is known as “Bigot Bob” and “Sideshow Bob” for his extreme anti-LGBT stances and other far-right positions.
“Trans Candidate Wins Virginia House Primary, Makes History”/ by Trudy Ring/ The Advocate/ June 13, 2017


4. After slavery was formally abolished, lynching emerged as a vicious tool of racial control to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights. More than 4,000 African Americans were lynched across twenty states between 1877 and 1950.
“’Lynching in America’ Site Launched by Google to Confront the ‘Legacy of Racial Terror’”/ by Monique Judge/ The Root/ June 14, 2017


5. I witnessed stories of resilience and adaptability. And failure too. The things that you aspire to, the American dream. Then you realize that in your country you were better off for many different reasons. Maybe you didn’t have the best comforts but you had more of a communal way of living, a society more civically engaged or free healthcare and education, basic human rights.
“Aurora De Armendi: Where Is the Center of the Ocean?”/ by Meaghan Winter/ Guernica/ June 5, 2017


6. On a superficial level, Pulse Nightclub was just another club. Its walls were a mishmash of patterns — from lush red curves that mimicked the movements of the undulating crowd, to a sparkly black. But those walls were special because they delineated a safe space — spaces where its members not only feel welcome, but also see reflections of themselves in the crowd.
“Faces of Healing, One Year After the PULSE Nightclub Massacre”/ by May-Ying Lam and Cassi Alexandra/ The Washington Post/ June 9, 2017


7. “I would love to go to places where people might be struggling, where people might wonder if there are voices out there for them,” she added.
“Tracy K. Smith is America’s New Poet Laureate”/ by Carla Herreria/ Huffington Post/ June 14, 2017


8. I’ve learned by heart only one verse from the Aeneid: “Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem”—the only hope for the vanquished is to have no hope at all. To me this explains why human nature under threat will gamble, despite the highest possible risk, in order to free itself. So long as they stay on those floating air chambers, these lives—bagged up and thrown into the sea—don’t have the luxury of hope: even hope represents a failure to resist. To survive they need keep their obstinacy alone intact.
“Saving Lives at Sea: On Board a Migrant Rescue Ship in the Mediterranean”/ by Erri De Luca/ LitHub/ June 6, 2017


9. James Boasberg, who sits on D.C. district court, said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to perform an adequate study of the pipeline’s environmental consequences when it first approved its construction. In a 91-page decision, the judge cited the Corps’ study of “the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice” as particularly deficient, and he ordered it to prepare a new report on its risks.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Claim ‘Victory and Vindication’ in Court”/ by Robinson Meyer/ The Atlantic/ June 14, 2017


10. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) then put into place the final familiar piece of this narrative, suggesting that Comey should have quit if he thought Trump acted inappropriately — indeed, that a failure to quit was evidence of Trump’s innocence. Blunt said, “[Y]ou took as a direction from the president something you thought was serious and troublesome but continued to show up for work the next day?”
“Why Didn’t he Quit — or Fight Back? Senators Treated Comey like a Sexual Harassment Victim”/ by Corrine McConnaughy/ VOX/ June 10, 2017


11. Heteropatriarchy provides a never-ending series of violent barriers and misconceptions for Indigenous peoples to wade through. I notice Indigenous women and Two Spirit/Queer folks don’t let these barriers and misconceptions stop us. We lovingly detonate these with every breath.
“These Indigenous Feminists Are Ready To Lovingly Detonate The Patriarchy”/ by Abaki Beck/ The Establishment/ June 14, 2017


12. The involuntary manslaughter charge stems from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia, that spread in the city following its switch in water source. According to the indictment, Lyon knew about the outbreak but failed to alert the public. The disease killed 12 people and sickened more than 70 in 2014 and 2015, according to MLive.
“Michigan Health Chief Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter In Flint Water Crisis”/ by Rick Pluta and Amita Kelly/ NPR/ June 14, 2017


13. Stephanie Gonzalez, 22, discovered her “family” as she calls it, at the Student Outreach and Retention Center, where she was able to find friends, leadership opportunities and food — peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that eased hunger pains since she could not afford a campus meal plan. She was hired by the center to develop mentorship programs and trained peer advisers to help students through such hardships as homesickness, breakups and academic struggles.
“UC Irvine’s Rare Distinction: It’s an Elite Research University that’s a Haven for Latinos”/ by Teresa Watanabe/ Los Angeles Times/ June 15, 2017


14. Experts say there is no comprehensive research on the shared characteristics of mass shooters. But some who have studied the people who commit mass attacks in the U.S. see a linkage in the propensity for violence. “It’s related to this idea of toxic masculinity,” says April Violi, an associate professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University who studies domestic violence, homicide and firearms. “Domestic violence can be a harbinger of greater violence to come.”
“Why So Many Mass Shooters Have Domestic Violence in Their Past”/ by Charlotte Alter/ Time/ June 24, 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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