Bharat’s Pocket Scraps Sep 29

US of A Edition

This is a series of articles that are US and US racism heavy. Canada has similar racism problems, just a reminder.

Flint’s lead-poisoned water had a ‘horrifyingly large’ effect on fetal deaths, study finds

The fertility rate in Flint, Mich., dropped precipitously after the city decided to switch to lead-poisoned Flint River water in 2014, according to a new working paper.

That lead is toxic at low levels has been known for centuries (and forgotten, and relearned). But, Flint is not a failure of knowledge, it’s the commission of public health injustice fuelled by racism.

Read Flint’s lead-poisoned water had a ‘horrifyingly large’ effect on fetal deaths, study finds

A Guide for Writing About Muslim Americans for the Struggling White Male Reporter Who Doesn’t Want Anyone to Know Muslims Make Him Nervous

Start with a character and an image. Since you like to give feminist literature to the women in your life (as your Instagram followers well know, #FeminismIsForMeToo), double down on that by making her a woman. Be sure to humanize your character by describing her many quirks.

Ha ha!!!

Read A Guide for Writing About Muslim Americans for the Struggling White Male Reporter Who Doesn’t Want Anyone to Know Muslims Make Him Nervous

Football really is America’s religion. That’s what made the NFL protests so powerful.

For participants and spectators alike, sport culture is quite religion-like. As professor and theologian Randall Balmer put it in an article for Sojourners“the sports stadium has replaced the church sanctuary as the dominant arena of piety at the turn of the 21st century, especially for American men.” And that makes the decision of athletes to protest during the “sacred” time of the game, rather than off the field, all the more powerful.

Yes! I visited the temple of sport well after I lost my god-based religion. I used to get the shivers of belonging to something “bigger than myself” when I used to go to Carolina basketball games, this article is very on point.

Read Football really is America’s religion. That’s what made the NFL protests so powerful.

What every American needs to know about Puerto Rico’s hurricane disaster

3.4 million US citizens live in Puerto Rico, and they are entitled to the same government response as any state. But half of Americans don’t even know that.

Puerto Rico is what happens in the US if you’re not a state with white people in it.

Read What every American needs to know about Puerto Rico’s hurricane disaster

On a related note…

Most countries have given up their colonies. Why hasn’t America?

But being forgotten is not the worst of their problems. They are trapped in a state of third-class citizenship, unable to access full democratic rights because politicians have long favored the military’s freedom of operation over protecting the freedoms of certain U.S. citizens.

Read Most countries have given up their colonies. Why hasn’t America? 

Public libraries are becoming the new social safety net

Library staff members regularly navigate complaints from housed patrons while trying to support their homeless patrons to find safe shelter during the day, sleep in safety, and enjoy the space of the library. One librarian proudly told me that she routinely offers a regular homeless patron a cup of tea to help him stay awake and warm in the library. Another librarian in Surrey discussed how she supports patrons who are fleeing domestic violence, and accessing shelters, detox centres, and local food banks.

Libraries are the best commons we have, whether it’s for books and movies, or for all the other services they provide, yet they’re not adequately funded or supported. My vision for a 21st library is that of a community shared use and resource space that lends out book as well :)

Read Public libraries are becoming the new social safety net

SHORTCUTS – The Wab Kinew Situation

Indigenous writer and activist turned politician Wab Kinew scored a historic victory last weekend by decisively winning the leadership of the Manitoba NDP. Only days before the election, however, allegations of domestic assault surfaced. A former partner of Kinew filed charges in 2003.

So, I was not really aware of what was happening with Wab Kinew and the charges of domestic violence against him other than one very incomplete news article. So, I went to my go to source for in-depth Canadian reporting, Canadaland, and this podcast was helpful. Everyone involved in this story (except Tara Hart, the victim of course) comes across poorly, from Wab Kinew denying the charges, to the supporters of Steve Ashton, Wab Kinew’s opponent in the NDP race, who leaked the story to the press without Tara Hart’s consent, hence revictimizing her, to the people who call her a liar now. Just awful. I presume Wab Kinew is a better person now than in his 20s, but his refusal to acknowledge what appear to be credible charges does not bode well for him, or his NDP leadership position.

Read SHORTCUTS – The Wab Kinew Situation

Is Health Care a Right?

Is health care a right? The United States remains the only developed country in the world unable to come to agreement on an answer. Earlier this year, I was visiting Athens, Ohio, the town in the Appalachian foothills where I grew up.

More American “exceptionalism, detailed in typical Atul Gawande, or as I call him, a better version of myself :)

Read Is Health Care a Right?

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