By Rick Ayers | Medium
A book review of Ronald Kitchen’s memoir, My Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row (written with Thai Jones and Logan McBride). 2018. Chicago Review Press.
Ronald Kitchen’s memoir, My Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row, proceeds with the relentless rhythm of a horror story. You know what you’re getting into from the beginning — you expect a range of jolts and shocks along the way — and yet there’s an unanticipated surprise in Kitchen’s descent into the dungeons and catacombs of our vast prison system: the real horror is all of us. The peculiarly American gulag rides along on our willful blindness, manufactured ignorance, and passive participation.
https://youtu.be/KNKbGFoYC1Q “Race Today: A Symposium on Race in America” brought a group of the nation’s most respected intellectuals on race, racial theory and racial inequality together to consider the troubling state of black life in America today. What are the broader structural factors that shape race today? How do these factors work on the ground and institutionally and what are the consequences? What are the ideas about race, and racial identities that enable the normalcy of stark racial differences today? In particular, what role do key ideas such as “colorblindness” and “post race” play in shaping perception and outcomes? What can be done to challenge ideological and structural impediments to a racially egalitarian society?
By Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture Contributing Editor
I have just returned to the US from a week in Trinidad, my mother’s home country. While I enjoyed getting reacquainted with the place where I had spent the first few years of my life, I was happy to come home to the US. As my children and I got off the airplane in Houston, we walked behind a pair of Texan men, who had incidentally stayed in the same hotel as us in Trinidad. They were part of a large group of oil men who had come to do some work on the island. As we approached the customs hall, there were airport workers who were ushering us, US citizens, to the kiosks which would get us through much quicker than people who were not citizens.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi1TjE13S3s In this moving TEDxPortland Talk, Ben discusses what it means to be an immigrant and the importance around policy and awareness of who we are letting in and why. Ben Huh is the founder and CEO of the Cheezburger Network. He’s been credited with pioneering Internet culture as entertainment, crowd sourcing and mainstreaming Internet memes. His media company includes more than 50 online humor sites, receives 400 million page views monthly, has spawned two New York Times Best Sellers and inspired a TV series. He’s a cofounder of Circa, an online journalism start-up reimagining the way we consume news. Huh holds a BSJ from Northwestern University and lives in Seattle with his wife, Emily.
By: Patricia Valoy | Contributing Editor for Science and Social Justice
Last year I quit my job, lost my steady source of income, lost my health insurance, and learned I was pregnant all in the course of 2 weeks. I am college educated, a professional, 30 years old, and with a wealth of resources at my disposal from many years of feminist activism, yet I found myself terrified of what lay ahead of me, and wondering how I got myself in such a situation. I could no longer go to the ob-gyn who had been my doctor for 10 years, and the only local doctor that accepted Medicaid (the only health insurance I could get without any income) was severely overworked and lacked the most basic of equipment. My first two appointments I waited for over 4 hours, and on one occasion the sonogram machine was not working. I grew up poor in New York City and very familiar with the severe lack of health infrastructure that affects the most vulnerable, but the thought of not having adequate health care during my first pregnancy terrified me.
An excerpt from As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation, AK Press, released June 5, 2018
By William C. Anderson and Zoe Samudzi
Any truly liberatory politics must speak to the unique needs and vulnerability of Black women and girls, particularly Black queer and transgender women and girls. There are ongoing murders of Black trans women across the country (and trans women around the world) because women’s safety is a non-priority of the state and because patriarchal gender structures are ultimately grounded in transmisogyny. Black women are also being hunted, but this hunting season (unlike the open season on Black men) is grossly under-addressed because of the frequent de-gendering of antiracist politics, the invisibilization of Black women through diversity language like “women and people of color” that overlooks the intersections of race and gender, the erasure of Black women within “women of color,” and understandings of how state violence against Black people focuses on the humiliation and emasculation and almost sole targeting of cisgender black men. A politics of self-defense cannot ignore the intersections of white supremacist state violence and its manifestations of intra-communal violence against Black women (trans and cis), as well as multiply marginalized members of Black communities more widely.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNYljy2J7PU This documentary explores the history of residential segregation in Chicago and how it has shaped the city today. The racial segregation of the city has flown under the radar even when the racial distribution of the city has not changed much over the years. The discrimination and segregation of blacks in Chicago have been going on since the Jow Crow laws that were terrorizing the South. The migration of the blacks to Chicago forced them into a small section of the city, The Black Belt. There have been firebombing, racially constricted covenants, and city policies that have kept black people out of white neighborhoods. This pushed the black migrants into over-crowded and over-priced neighborhoods on the South Side. The race tensions led to the race riots in 1919. In 1948, the Supreme Court declared racial covenants unenforceable. Although, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) still wished for racial…
“A multidisciplinary investigation into the nature, motivations, consequences, and legal/public policy implications of racial/ethnic discrimination in housing and related markets (mortgage, insurance) in US metropolitan areas.” The course will explore the following questions regarding racial/ethnic discrimination in housing and related markets (“discrimination” hereafter): What constitutes illegal discrimination? How does one know when it is occurring? What motivates those who discriminate? How often does discrimination occur? What are the individual and societal consequences of discrimination? What are the strengths and weaknesses of various legal and public policy strategies for ending discrimination? Though discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity will be the primary focus of the course, other fair housing topics will be presented. Dr. George Galster View syllabus
By Devon Terrell
I heard the stories
I seen the pictures
of these monoliths
erected out the ash
of the depression
hanging like wind chimes in the sky
amongst the Goliath
there was David
This course focuses on the suffering and traumas associated with the African experience in America inclusive of the periods of capture, transport, enslavement, emancipation leading up to current times. Multigenerational patterns of adaptive behaviors passed along through generations will be explored with an emphasis on assessment and interventions using evidence based, culture specific, and social justice models. The course will provide practical tools that will inform practice and empower individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities throughout the change process. Dr. Joy Degruy Portland State University View Syllabus