Some US Health Officials Lament a Coronavirus Crisis That Didn’t Need to Happen (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “Containment would have required coordinated mobilization of federal and state resources to acquire or manufacture enough personal protective equipment and testing supplies to avoid shortages if at all possible. It would have required outfitting a nation of long understaffed and underfunded health departments. It would have required a cohesive public messaging campaign strong enough to unify to a divided nation behind the common cause of eradicating the virus before hundreds of thousands could die from it.”
When Proof Is Not Enough (Chris C.)
From FiveThirtyEight: “By nearly every statistical measurement possible, from housing to incarceration to wealth to land ownership, Black Americans are disproportionately disadvantaged. But the grand ritual of collecting and reporting this data has not improved the situation. American history is lined with innumerable instances of what scholar Saidiya Hartman bemoans as ‘the demand that this suffering be materialized and evidenced by the display of the tortured body or endless recitations of the ghastly and the terrible,’ only for very little to change.”
How I Became an Abolitionist (Chris)
The author writes, “People often ask me, ‘What will we do with murderers and rapists?’ Which ones? The police kill more than a thousand people every year, and assault hundreds of thousands more. After excessive force, sexual misconduct is the second-most-common complaint against cops. Many people are afraid to call the police when they suffer these harms, because they fear that the police will hurt them. Thousands of rape survivors refuse to call the police, worried about not being believed or about being re-assaulted, or concerned that their rape kit would sit unexamined for years. In three major cities, less than 4 percent of calls to the police are for ‘violent crimes.’ Currently, police departments are getting worse at solving murders and frequently arrest and force confessions out of the wrong people.”
Why Neil Gorsuch Keeps Joining the Liberals to Affirm Tribal Rights (Dana)
The author writes, “Alone among the court’s conservatives, the justice has a distaste for the ‘old and familiar story’ of the U.S. government breaking its promises to tribes. Whatever the flaws of his broader jurisprudence, Gorsuch recognizes his court’s responsibility to enforce treaty rights that the government finds inconvenient today. ‘It is,’ as he wrote, ‘the least we can do.’”
You Don’t Mean Culture War (Russ)
The author writes, “Use of the term ‘culture war’ has steadily increased over the last 30 years, and its vagueness offers journalists cover for failing to explicate the details of a situation. Journalism, contextualized by history and power dynamics, can and does exist. It’s just a matter of whether or not journalists want to write for the people consistently marginalized by American institutions or audiences more divorced from the palpable harms of systemic racism and erasure. You cannot lump all voices into a two-sided conflict without erasing distinct voices and moral imperatives. The phrase allows for a lazy description of the day’s events.”
Why Your Organs Might Reach 100 Even If You Don’t (Mili)
From the BBC: “Research shows that the complex mix of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that determine how quickly our bodies age does not affect all our organs in equal measure. So, while we may have the youthful appearance of a 38-year-old, our kidneys might have the shrivelled appearance of one from a 61-year-old, as one study in adults found. Equally we could have all the wrinkles and hair loss of an 80-year-old, but still have the beating heart of a 40-year-old.”
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