Please read Stacia L. Brown on “the racial prism”:
This is hard, this divided attention. But it isn’t just an emotional and intellectual focus divided by half. This is no mere doubled consciousness. Race in this country, with each successive generation, with every historical echo, and for all our technological advancement, has become a prism. This new racial prism — this 24-hour access to every horrible, three-dimensional detail of black trauma, requires constant, multiplicitous division. I can anticipate occasional euphoria, but I will always do so with the understanding that injustice will disrupt my joy. That is its own kind of violence, a forced splintering of identity, intellect, and emotion.
Here, in New Haven, where I want to enjoy an undisturbed experience of enrichment and networking, I find my thoughts drifting to the black folks I’ve seen on the streets and in service jobs. It’s hard not to devote concern and curiosity to what seems an obvious and stark class distinction between Yalies (white, black, and brown) and black New Haven residents (or transients or commuting workers)….
Even here, in the space of the briefest of days, here, where praise and promise are plentiful, ironies cannot be sloughed. Grief cannot be shed. I can’t escape the maladies in McKinney. I can’t pass Yale School of Law without wondering if Kalief Browder’s name will ever be uttered in a classroom there. And I know that I wouldn’t want to.
Over at Code Switch, Gene Demby wrote about the history of segregated swimming pools:
Campaigns by civil rights groups like the NAACP to integrate public pools often turned very, very ugly. “Groups for and against segregation threw rocks and tomatoes at one another, swung bats and fists, and even stabbed and shot at each other,” Wiltse wrote.
Even after Brown v. Board of Education ostensibly desegregated America’s schools in 1955, a federal judge sided with Baltimore’s pro-segregation argument that pools “were more sensitive than schools.” (That decision was later overturned.)
But what happened in Baltimore next was instructive for what would happen more broadly throughout the country: White folks stopped using public swimming facilities altogether, instead opting to join private swimming clubs or for pools in their backyards.
“I have listened to people talk negatively about autism since I was diagnosed and, as a result, I learned to hate myself and think I was a monster for causing so much hardship. I can’t let others continue living under these common misconceptions about autism.”
Sarah Jones on how TLC’s religious fundamentalism-as-kitsch hurts women:
I am all right, until I read Jim Bob Duggar’s words. I am all right until I listen to a “submissive wife” boast that she never contradicts her husband, even when he’s wrong.
I am all right until my secular peers turn both of them into memes.
And I know that TLC is banking on precisely that tendency. 19 Kids is one of the most profitable shows it’s ever produced, and that’s not just because it resonates with social conservatives. People watch it, and shows like it, because what they see makes them feel better about themselves. Channel executives don’t care whether the Duggars are your heroes or your jesters; they profit either way.
By packaging fundamentalism as kitsch, TLC invites you to laugh at the very people it’s turned into millionaires. That exploitation makes them money, but it also obscures what fundamentalism is really like in practice. It has to: The reality isn’t entertaining.
I’ve got absolutely nothing against Martin Sheen, but he is really Not My Matthew Cuthbert? I don’t know, let’s talk through this please.
“Justad is fundraising on Kickstarter for her short film, Creased, about an Asian-American high school girl, Kayla, who is seriously weighing whether or not she should get double-eyelid surgery. …
In Creased, Justad follows one 18-year-old girl ‘because it’s a very delicate time. You’re very image-based. She’s about to go to college, she’s about to reinvent herself, and this is something that’s been bothering her. She’s been teased. What I try to do in this script is present a lot of different sides. I kind of offer it up to the audience to make their own decision. Because I’m not interested in placing blame; I’m more interested in the reasons surrounding whether or not to go through the surgery.'”
Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Astrophysicist. Author. Dream-Killer.
While adoption can make a person’s history hard or even impossible to find, it can never truly erase it. I’m in the process of reclaiming a name that hasn’t been mine since I was two months old. Part of me really doesn’t want to go into a long explanation or make a huge deal about it. But The Toast is my online home, and I do want to offer you guys some kind of explanation, even if it’s only a brief and imperfect one. It’s an enormous privilege to know my history, to be able to claim this link to it. I’m very grateful for that, and for your support.
Nicole Chung is the Managing Editor of The Toast.