"The White Man in That Photo" | Riccardo Gazzaniga
"Back in the change-resisting, whitewashed Australia he was treated like an outsider, his family outcasted, and work impossible to find. For a time he worked as a gym teacher, continuing to struggle against inequalities as a trade unionist and occasionally working in a butcher shop. An injury caused Norman to contract gangrene which led to issues with depression and alcoholism.
As John Carlos said, 'If we were getting beat up, Peter was facing an entire country and suffering alone.' For years Norman had only one chance to save himself: he was invited to condemn his co-athletes, John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s gesture in exchange for a pardon from the system that ostracized him.
A pardon that would have allowed him to find a stable job through the Australian Olympic Committee and be part of the organization of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Norman never gave in and never condemned the choice of the two Americans."
Why This?: It's a powerful story of a man who decided to stand for racial justice and spent the rest of his life paying for it.
"Why Must We Hate the Things Teen Girls Love?" | Laura Moss
"'There's an underlying assumption that teen girls are not in control of their emotions or interests and become overly excited or upset for no reason,' she said. 'When the reality is that teen girls are often very intentional about what they're interested in and aware of the social influences behind those media products, and they deliberately use excitement and passion as the foundation for community-building and empathetic development.'"
Why This?: Everyone knows I love boy bands and YA novels and getting all dolled up for a selfie, but I wasn't always so open about my girly pursuits. In middle school, my friends loved Hanson, but would refer to them as Third Eye Blind when boys were around so that they wouldn't be judged. This article is an excellent primer on why it's harmful for girls to consider their interests as less valuable then the serious pursuits of their male counterparts.
"Things I Have Yelled at My Television, Which Cannot Hear Me, While Watching 'Miss Fisher's Mysteries' During My Convalescence" | Mallory Ortberg
"JACK YOUR FACE IS ON OCTAGON OF CHEEKBONES AND SORROW!"
Why This?: Because Mallory Ortberg's thoughts are all of our thoughts on this.
"It's Not About Mental Illness: The Big Lie That Always Follows Mass Shootings by White Males" | Arthur Chu
"That’s as deliberately obtuse as reading the Facebook rants of a man who rambled on at great length about how much he hated religion and in particular hated Islam and deciding that the explanation for his murdering a Muslim family is that he must’ve just 'gone crazy' over a parking dispute.
Now we’ve got a man who wore symbols of solidarity with apartheid regimes, a man who lived in a culture surrounded by deadly weapons who, like many others, received a gift of a deadly weapon as a rite of passage into manhood.
He straight-up told his victims, before shooting them, that he was doing it to defend 'our country' from black people 'taking over.' He told a woman that he was intentionally sparing her life so she could tell people what he did.
There is no reasonable interpretation of his actions that don’t make this a textbook act of terrorism against black Americans as a community.
And yet almost immediately we’ve heard the same, tired refrain of 'The real issue is mental illness.'"
Why This?: The inimitable Arthur Chu explains why bigotry toward and scapegoating of mentally ill people is a cop-out to avoid dealing with the real ideologies behind acts of domestic terrorism. Even when faced with manifestos and confessions detailing their reasoning, we brush them off as mentally ill, as if the illness created the toxic ideology. If it's just crazies being crazy, we can keep insisting there's just nothing we can do.
"'The Raven Symone' by Edgar Allen No" | Lauren Duca
Song of the Week:
This little rediscovery from 2011, "La Seine" by Vanessa Paradis and M, is magical. Many thanks to Michelle for bringing it to my attention.