IMMIGRATION NATION Premieres on Netflix

Quoting from Vanity Fair’s Don’t Look Away from Immigration Nation, HWD Daily, 3 August 2020:

  • Few docuseries are as urgent and infuriating as Immigration Nation, which premieres on Netflix today. Filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau gained rare access to ICE agents and detention facilities, following officers, bureaucrats, and asylum-seekers through our broken system. “Most of the time,” Sonia Saraiya writes, “what emerges is a system increasingly designed to maximize the immigrants’ suffering.” Particularly under the current administration, “it seems that the immigration process has been changed primarily to make immigration as difficult and painful as possible. Donald Trump cannot, on his own, outlaw immigration. But he can cruelly disappoint those who dare to hope that the U.S. could be their home. It’s striking that these apparent undesirables are mostly guilty only of believing they could belong in America; they’re being punished for believing in a dream.”

Watch, and stay safe.

 

 

Sunday Read: wsj, Tuesday, 28 July 2020, p. A3

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Eric Murfitt, controller of Mercantile Portland, a downtown clothing retailer who “said he supports the fight for racial justice” but “blames Portland’s leaders for letting the protesters go too far and holds federal agents responsible for turning them into martyrs” told wsj: “They’ve gotten a lot of sympathy from a lot of people . . . None of that . . . should have gotten sympathy.”

Justin King, owner of Rooks Barbershop, whose “windows were broken three times at his downtown store” and “regularly participates in demonstrations,” said it happened “while I was out getting tear-gassed. It was pretty frustrating.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is “a sixth-generation Oregonian” struggling to straddle the line between police reform and ceding control to the only black member of the Portland City Commission.

Oh by the way:

“Last week . . . the city council in Washington D.C. . . . approved a . . . roughly 3% cut to the police budget” (which, in self’s humble opinion, seems pretty WEE, given all the weeks of protest)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

We Who Live in the Real World

from The Economist, 25 July 2020, p. 17:

  • New confirmed infections are surpassing their previous peaks in mid-April, sometimes exceeding 70,000 per day. The unemployment rate in June was 11.1%, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects it to decline only modestly to 8.4% in 2021. The “v-shaped recovery” that America had hoped for seems out of reach. About 18m are still unemployed, compared with 6m before the recession. Surveys from the Census Bureau show that 16% of adults who owe rent or mortgage payments missed them last month, and 11% report that they do not have enough to eat at least some of the time (compared with 8.8% in early March). Eviction notices, many filed by landlords who are also struggling, have begun to pile up.

Portland a ‘Test Case’ for Feds: USA Today

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Critics said the president is testing out heavy-handed enforcement in Portland, a largely white city known as one of the most progressive in the nation, before moving on to more diverse cities. They also accused the president of creating more conflict amid national protests over racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans.


“They have done this paramilitary (stuff) to immigrant communities with ICE … and now they’re seemingly testing it out in Portland,” he said. “I think this is their first attempt to roll it out on a major American city and on white people. I think they thought they were going to get away with it. And we are not going to let them get away with it.”

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965

March 7, 1965: the March on  Selma

John Lewis, in light coat, on the ground

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Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Thank you for your service, sir.

America After George Floyd

As self told one young man on Twitter: This is your moment. Better not waste it.

I won’t, he said.

(In his very next tweet he called Joe Biden an “Andrew Jackson Democrat” and she was so confused but didn’t have time to figure out what he meant so she blocked him)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Front Page, Today’s WSJ (Thurs, 9 July 2020)

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Trump is ordering schools to open, but doesn’t tell us HOW we’re supposed to open to reduce the risk to children and their teachers.

Instead — GIMME A BREAK — he picks a fight with the CDC?

Our Supposed Secretary of Education is 100% behind POTUS about schools opening and is also 100% not having a clue how. (“Just open.”)

This is a travesty.

So angry right now.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Legacy of George Floyd (The Economist, 13 June 2020)

George Floyd was not famous. He was killed not in the capital of the United States, but on a street corner in its 46th-largest city. Yet in death he has suddenly become the keystone of a movement that has seized all of America. Still more remarkably, he has inspired protests abroad, from Brazil to Indonesia, and France to Australia. His legacy is the rich promise of social reform. It is too precious to waste.

3rd Monday in June 2020: Still Reading The Uninhabitable Earth

Self is reading fast as none of the arguments are new.

  • “We think of climate change as slow, but it is unnervingly fast.” — p. 198

There is a big, big elephant in the room, which is the impact of Greta Thunberg, who is never mentioned. (She shows up, finally, on p. 257)

  • “Any number of dead is a tragedy, but more than 10,000 die each day, globally, from the small–particulate pollution produced by burning carbon.” — p. 203

Never in a million years, at the time this book was published (2019) could anyone have imagined that a pandemic and the need to find a vaccine would soon eclipse climate change in urgency.


Back from picking up prescriptions (which always require a doctor’s visit: $162). She catches a Gavin Newsom presser. He’s addressing the ongoing need for masks. This morning, self asked the doctor if he had a test. He did, but it cost $150. He reassured her that all of the patients he’d tested had tested negative.

“Do they all live in the area?” she asked.

“Some of them,” he said.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

PRAIRIE SCHOONER NEWSLETTER, 5 June 2020: The African Poetry Book Fund

We are in awe of the protesters and inspired by their bravery. We’ve seen many countless scenes unfold, protesters putting their bodies on the line in an effort to fight back against the systems of oppression that killed George Floyd. The systems of oppression that have taken so many innocent lives. An evil and malignant force that, if left unchecked, will continue to kill and kill and kill. The people who are fighting back must be supported, they must be celebrated, and they must be empowered. This country and this world must transform, and at this moment it is the protesters who are leading the way.

Prairie Schooner is nearly ninety-five years old, and we exist as part of a land-grant institution with its own sordid history of racism and cruelty. There is no doubt that PS has failed many, many times to offer equal opportunities to Black writers and writers of color. The African Poetry Book Fund originated in response to the lack of publishers engaging seriously with contemporary African poetry. We have worked to amplify the voices of African poets living on the continent and African poets living in diaspora, including African poets living in America. The Black experience is not monolithic or singular, and the Black experience in America is uniquely informed by the wretched particulars of America’s historic and continuing racisms. We are a literary organization, and we are committed to fighting against oppression and for liberation. We lay ourselves down for scrutiny, to be tested, to be challenged to do everything we can to not be complicit in the systemic racism and inequity that lies at the heart of these events. We will examine every area of our operations and our efforts to scrupulously erase any vestiges of racism that may exist. This is no small pledge. We are in solidarity with those mourning the death of George Floyd and committed to doing everything to resist the forces that have led to this moment and the many moments to come.

Read more on Prairie Schooner’s website.

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