So, recently there has been a ton of great content on FtB, and you may very well have missed some of it. I’m here to make sure it doesn’t stay missed.
First, I had intended to schedule this for later so that my Newsweek post could remain my top article for a little longer. If you missed that, please do read it here.
But now let’s get to the good stuff, the stuff I’ve been waiting to share. First, YEMMYnisting‘s Yemisi Ilesanmi has a post up telling us that it’s “Time to get uncomfortable” that coincides with themes of recent BLM actions and speeches. “Denial of racism is itself a racist act,” she tells us:
When as a white person, you become annoyed whenever we speak about racism, you are being dismissive of our reality. When you say to us, “but we are nice to you, why do you keep talking about racism”, you need to understand that trying to silence us is an act of microaggression.
…understand that this is not about making you feel guilty for being white. It is not necessarily about you; we are not after your guilt. We are opening your eyes to our experiences which you might not be aware of because it does not affect you. It is about creating awareness and demanding change.
Let’s quit hearing, “It’s not about you,” and concluding, “well, I guess I don’t have to listen, then.” Go read Ilesanmi’s piece.
Next up? Abe Drayton at Oceanoxia departs from his usual (and excellent) fare to bring us a piece on Capitalism’s anti-democratic nature pushing the United States further and further along the path of bringing its war on foreign democracies and foreign anti-capitalist activists home.
We’ve reached a point at which global capitalism is not only working against democracy in the current and former colonies of the various imperial societies, but also against efforts to create or maintain democracy at home, particularly in the United States right now. This is situation is fertile soil for fascism, which tends not to threaten established systems of power,
Go read that one, too. And while we’re at it, Drayton recommended the video The Philosophy of Antifa by Ollie Thorn at Philosophy Tube. I’ll second that recommendation.
Shall we finish? Iris, who, full disclosure, generously promoted my own writing on Portland, caught a story out of Oregon that I am embarrassed not to have caught first: that of Sayara Rees.
Rees is a younger teen who has been imprisoned on 2 counts of Attempted Homicide in the first and 1 count of Attempted Assault. What could she have possibly done at 13 for the court to imprison her at 14 for 11 full years – the maximum possible for a juvenile under Oregon law?
It turns out that Rees has a serious psychiatric disability and was on medication, but when seeing a doctor other than her normal one, she was taken off her medications cold turkey. Please note that it is, in fact, contrary to medical practice to stop taking the drug this way rather than tapering the dose. Known side effects of sudden cessation include psychosis.
Well, sure enough, Rees mental health deteriorated, and in the middle of the night, with no one else awake, she got some gasoline and splashed it on the living room rug. She never lit it on fire. No one was harmed. It’s difficult or impossible to even know what she might have been thinking in her delusional state, much less whether she knew in that moment that what she was doing was wrong. (Her after the fact descriptions of her thinking in that moment are not reliable.) But that was enough for for the 91% white Coos County to put this young, Black teen in jail for attempted murder. Oh, did I not mention that Rees is part of the 0.3% of Coos County that is Black? Oops, should have given you that information earlier.
Obviously I’m going to miss a ton if I don’t just link you to Iris’ work, which will, of course, make you rage. (Gods of Swollen Ankles, just the details about the District Attorney’s son are enough to make you scream!) But don’t worry! Iris has you covered with links to the petition that helps you do something about this.
ETA: I just got an e-mail from Ish Ishmael @Ishland on Insta with a photo that Ish took of me when I was down at the Portland protests. Their IG account has a bunch of interesting images, not all by Ish, obviously (I mean, there’s satellite imagery in there, so unless they’re an astronaut…) but as a curator, Ish seems to have a great eye. Go check them out, if you’re so inclined. The photo of me, though, you can view right here: