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Failures | Diets

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Ida B. Wells vs. Frances Willard: Getting to the truth of a failure to fight racial injustice
Leslie Harris and Lori Osborne, March 11, 2019, The Chicago Sun-Times

The failure of the early Women’s Movement to incorporate black voices was glaringly obvious in the clash between two Chicago-area titans of women’s history: Ida B. Wells and Frances Willard.

Under Willard’s leadership, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union increasingly became an advocate for broad social as well as political change. However, in 1894 and 1895, Willard and anti-lynching activist Wells fought a war of words in the international press that leaders of today’s movements for equality would do well to bear in mind.

Frustrated that white reformers such as Willard failed to stand with her against the terrible violence being perpetrated by lynch mobs against blacks in the South, Wells publicly called Willard to account. She convinced an English newspaper to reprint a previously published interview in whic…

Where we live makes a difference

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Over one in ten households in the U.S. spends more than half their income on housing costs – a financial burden that is associated with increased food insecurity, child poverty and a greater proportion of people in fair or poor health – according to new research conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
The annual collaboration, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, analyzes the factors that influence health, such as structural factors, access to and quality of health care, and personal health behaviors, as well as health outcomes for almost every county in the nation. This year’s analysis, which examines both location and race, has a particular emphasis on housing. The research reveals that in the most segregated counties nearly one in four black households spends more than half their income on housing, compared with one in 10 white households.


Here are some of the key findings:
On average, rates of “seve…

American schools can’t figure out how to teach kids about slavery

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American schools can’t figure out how to teach kids about slavery
P.R. Lockhart,  March 13, 2019, Vox.com



A white teacher at an affluent New York private school has been accused of holding a mock slave auction for her students in which white fifth-graders pretended to bid on their black peers.

Yes, seriously. This is a real news story. In 2019. From just last week, in fact. And it’s merely the latest in a long line of high-profile controversies revolving around poorly conceived lessons about slavery in American schools.

The latest story comes from the Chapel School in Bronxville, New York, a private school in an affluent, predominantly white neighborhood north of Manhattan. According to New York’s PIX11 news, fifth-grade teacher Rebecca Antinozzi allegedly had her black students leave the classroom and, according to one student, pretended “to put imaginary chains along our necks and wrists, and shackles on our ankles.”

The teacher then led the students back into the classro…

More Bullshit about Indians and Slaves and Guns

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Can’t someone just be honest about the Founders? They were racist, misogynist, greedy, elitist bastards. We should stop caring what they thought. Let’s talk about whether the felon dispossession law is fair as a matter of public policy now, not whether those dead white guys thought it was a good idea. And BTW, if we do that, we leave judges out of that conversation.
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The Netherlands: Untold Tales

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Analyzing the Past and Decolonizing the Future The Netherlands was one of the most belligerent European colonial empires. Driven by commerce and spread over four continents, their imperial ambitions changed the lives and cultures of millions of people from Indonesia to the Caribbean. In this series artists and arts practitioners share their thoughts on how to deal with the legacies of that empire, in the Netherlands and beyond.

Afterlives of Slavery addresses the Netherlands’ colonial past and its lingering presence, taking the local audience as a focal point. A major aspiration of the exposition is to call immediate attention to the country’s colonial violence and its role in the transatlantic slave trade. However, the conditions of production, the grid format, the limited scope of the material selected, the choice of a video that promises non-threatening education, and the almost complete absence of works by artists of color born in the Netherlands or in the former colonies s…

Ugly American Tradition

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Policing black Americans is a long-standing, and ugly, American tradition
Vanessa Holden and Edward E. Baptist, March 6, 2019, The Washington Post



In recent years, news cycle after news cycle has focused on Americans, many of them white, who took it upon themselves to police their black neighbors. A white Yale graduate student called campus police officers to report a black student sleeping in a common room. A white golf course proprietor called the police on a group of black women because, apparently, playing a round too slowly is a crime. Twelve-year-old Reggie Fields was reported to the police for mowing a lawn. Stephanie Sebby-Strempel ultimately pleaded guilty to third-degree assault after harassing an African American teenager who dared to go swimming while black. And on Feb. 26, 2012, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood vigilante, killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.

These incidents are not historically unusual. What’s new is the outcome, at least in some…

The Shadow of White Slavery

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Yale Podcast

More reading:
Nell Painter. History of White People (New York: Norton, 2010). https://www.amazon.com/History-White-People-Irvin-Painter/dp/0393339742

The Embrace

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Artist Hank Willis Thomas' and MASS Design Group's "The Embrace," a bronze-finish sculpture of two pairs of giant arms embracing each other, has been chosen to honor Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. on the Boston Common. Thomas is an acclaimed conceptual artist focused on issues of history and identity. He said the 22-foot-high proposed sculpture was inspired by an iconic photo of the Kings embracing after King Jr. had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The photo, he said, looks almost as if Coretta is supporting Martin's weight. READ

Increasing women’s economic equality would reduce poverty for everyone

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Gender inequality in the economy costs women in developing countries $9 trillion a year – a sum which would not only give new spending power to women and benefit their families and communities, but would also provide a massive boost to the economy as a whole.
Countries with higher levels of gender equality tend to have higher income levels, and evidence from a number of regions and countries shows closing the gap leads to reduction in poverty.
In Latin America for instance, an increase in the number of women in paid work between 2000 and 2010 accounted for around 30 percent of the overall reduction in poverty and income inequality.
Supporting women to have access to quality and decent work and improve their livelihoods is therefore vital for fulfilling women’s rights, reducing poverty and attaining broader development goals.
Women’s economic empowerment is a key part of achieving this. We need a human economy that works for women and men alike, and for everyone, not …

Our Beloved Kin

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Bancroft Prize for History Is Awarded to 2 Scholars
Jennifer Schuessler, March 7, 2019, The New York Times

A mammoth biography of Frederick Douglass and a new study of the 17th-century colonial American conflict known as King Philip’s War have won this year’s Bancroft Prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the field of American history.

David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom, published by Simon and Schuster, was cited for offering “a definitive portrait” of the 19th-century former slave, abolitionist, writer and orator “in all his fullness and imperfection, his intellectual gifts and emotional needs.”

Lisa Brooks’s Our Beloved Kin, published by Yale University Press, was praised for how it “imaginatively illuminates submerged indigenous histories,” drawing readers into “a complex world of tensions, alliances and betrayals” that fueled the conflict between Native Americans in New England and European colonists and their Indian al…

sexism is the primal, or first, form of oppression in humanity

Sexism is a form of oppression and domination. As author Octavia Butler put it, "Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other 'isms' that cause so much suffering in the world."

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Little Man Little Man

White Fragility