When we are taking about racism, and anti-black racism in the United States, we have to remember that under slavery black lives were considered only a fraction of a human life, so the prevailing way of valuing lives assumed that some lives mattered more, were more human, more worthy, more deserving of life and freedom, where freedom meant minimally the freedom to move and thrive without being subjected to coercive force. But when and where did black lives ever really get free of coercive force? One reason the chant "Black Lives Matter" is so important is that it states the obvious but the obvious has not yet been historically realized. So it is a statement of outrage and a demand for equality, for the right to live free of constraint, but also a chant that links the history of slavery, of debt peonage, segregation, and a prison system geared toward the containment, neutralization and degradation of black lives, but also a police system that more and more easily and often can take away a black life in a flash all because some officer perceives a threat.George Yancy interviews Judith Butler for NYT: What's Wrong With 'All Lives Matter'? [more inside]
After years of debates, notoriously contentious public meetings, and the looming specter of a civil rights lawsuit, a federal mediation agreement between the Town of Hamden and the City of New Haven, Connecticut resulted in the removal of a 10-foot chain-link fence that separated New Haven's West Rock public housing projects from Hamden's Woodin Street neighborhood for nearly half a century. NYT's Benjamin Mueller reports: In Connecticut, Breaking a Barrier Between a Suburb and Public Housing. [more inside]
The New York Times presents an interactive map of America's population separated by race, income, and education, according to census data from 2005 to 2009. One dot for every 50 people. (Previously) [more inside]
A Year at War: One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
New York's hidden world of ethnic pharmacopoeia [nyt reg req] Always cherished Witch Hazel, but these are true eye openers: " Dr. Chase Nerve and Blood Tonic, with liver concentrate: for simple anemia and associated symptoms such as that tired feeling-nervousness-lack of appetite ; S.S.S. Tonic, iron and 12 percent alcohol, and Canadian Healing Oil, turpentine, oil of tar and creosote: universal liniment for strains and sprains; Safi the Blood Purifier : for skin diseases such as acne vulgaris, boils, skin rashes, blemishes, urticaria, checks nose bleeding, cures constipation, corrects indigestion, improves complexion , and helps you stay slim and smart... [btw] This isn't the 19th century, this is New York, 2002. " One years supply of Safi now on its way.
Great article on Paul O'Neill on yesterday's NYT Magazine (requires registration) O'Neill has been taking a hammering in the media and on Wall Street. There has been O' Neill Death Watches too. But I have always admired what he achieved in Alcoa. And now finally an article that does justice to him .....
Bush's Mideast Charade (NYT link)