We here at the Political Junkie are working tirelessly to bring you new, original reporting and analysis. In the meantime, enjoy our newest feature, where we (by which I mostly mean me, Elise) round up a list of the interesting, provocative, and compelling stories we’ve been reading from around the web.
On Trayvon Martin
New Video of George Zimmerman at the Police Station
“He doesn’t look like someone who’s had their head bashed into the concrete. But perhaps I’m missing something.”
“I’m far from the first to notice the similarities between the way people talk about Martin and the way they talk about rape victims, whose clothes and histories are often subject to scrutiny no matter how cut-and-dried the case seems. Like a rape victim, Martin’s past is being excavated for evidence that he might have provoked the harm done to him.”
“If you are “good” the gangs and the violence and the racism won’t get you. You will be safe. You will live to see 25. You will have a great life. Opportunity will abound for you. We will be proud of you. The community will be proud of you. You will be Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and life will be beautiful if you just want it enough.
Just be “good.” Be good, Trayvon Martin. Stay in school. Listen to your parents. And you’ll be safe.
But that’s a lie. No one came make you safe. No one can save you for that day some sick person just decides you’re the bad guy because you’re black and carrying a bottle of ice tea and some Skittles and he self-appointed himself neighborhood watch and some black teenage boys aren’t good, therefore ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT GOOD. And you are a black person. And you’re a boy. And you had on a “hooded sweatshirt.” So, you’re dead now.
Sorry. You didn’t follow the rules. It wasn’t good enough to be “good.””
On the Economy
“They’re out of control, yet they’ll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard.”
Guess What Mitt Romney’s Funny Wisconsin Story Is About? (You Win If You Guessed “Firing People.”)
“Does the man have any anecdote or analogy that doesn’t involve firing people? It’s like a nervous tic: When the pressure is on Mitt Romney, he’s sure to blurt out a reference to laying off mass quantities of workers.”
On Kony 2012
The White Savior Industrial Complex
“People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.”
Occupy the Internet: Protests Give Rise to DIY Data Networks
“Inspired by the upheaval in the Middle East, Young and his team went about constructing drones that transmit Wi-Fi signals.
“Our project is able to swarm into formation, broadcast its pirate network, and then disperse, escaping detection, only to reform elsewhere,” he wrote to me from London, where he is based. “At a larger scale you can imagine these systems crossing back and forth across nation borders, occupying international airspace so that it is more difficult for particular jurisdictions to legislate against them. The more slippery and fluid the infrastructure is, the more difficult it is to close it down.”’
“If I were going to describe the perfect contraceptive, it would go something like this: no babies, no latex, no daily pill to remember, no hormones to interfere with mood or sex drive, no negative health effects whatsoever, and 100 percent effectiveness. The funny thing is, something like that currently exists.”
On Reproductive Rights
“The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen.
“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.”