It is still a pandemic. We do still need to be inside when we can, social distancing at all times, and wearing masks when we're out and about. Especially when we're protesting injustice. Which is the best reason to be out.
Here's volume 2 of your social justice quarantine kit. Three essays, three books, three tv shows, three movies, three twitter follows, three recipes, three unsolicited opinions.
The day I met James Baldwin at Harvard by Anne Bailey | "I almost never tell this story. In fact, in thirty years, I have told it only once in a private setting. I think, in my mind, I decided that since it all ended well –– that perhaps it was not such a bad day after all. But it was."
Why the small protests in small towns matter by Anne Helen Petersen | Featuring Riverton Wyoming: “As Indigenous people, we wanted to stand in solidarity with Black Lives,” Lott told [Petersen]. “We put it on in Riverton, because of its older white conservative population and its prejudice toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.”
Teenagers join pantheon of Nashville youth who harnessed peaceful protests to urge change | Wherein five teenage girls turned out tens of thousands in Nashville with a simple goal of changing America. (The piece isn't any great shakes. But, c'mon, any time we can celebrate teenage girls for the absolute fearlessness that is inherent to their very beings, we absolutely should.)
Books | We are here to suggest that we all need to read more books by women of color.
Yamiche Alcindor, pre-order Don't Forget, her forthcoming memoir | Haven't started following her on twitter? Check out a few of her exchanges with the President here (a little compilation) and here.
TV Shows | Leaving it at two this week, and you should take the next hour to watch both.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | We Cannot Stay Silent about George Floyd "You don't just get to own the country's excellence, you have to own its failures. That is the deal...We think we're not part of the story, but we were at the scene of the crime...That's why the full picture matters. It doesn't happen in a vacuum, it happens in a system."
The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah | George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper "Fundamentally, when you boil it down, society is a contract. It is a contract we sign as human beings amongst each other ... And then, some members of that society, namely black American people, watch time and time again how the contract they have signed with society is not being honored by the society that has forced them to sign it."
Movies | Fer fucks sake, please tell us you are not among the folks trying to understand racial injustice by making The Help the most watched movie on Netflix. Here are three recommendations from Karen Attiah (one of last week's twitter follows):
We've barely been cooking. There's a lot of more pressing stuff to do right now. But, as a general rule, you should probably eat on the regular. And if eating regular meals continues to be an option for you, please remember that it is a privilege that a lot of folks around Wyoming don't have right now. Nick Reynolds wrote about where things stand in terms of food insecurity around the state.
We have made lots of grilled cheese this week: Two slices of whatever bread you have on hand. Whatever cheese you have on hand in an amount that satisfies your preferred level of cheesiness. Butter the bread. Slap it all in a hot pan (butter side out, cheese side in). Melt the cheese, brown both sides, slice (we like diagonal quarters), serve. So that's two.
Also, cereal. Open box, pour into bowl, add milk (or don't: fist fulls of dry honey nut cheerios are pretty tasty), add fruit if you have it. Eat. On to the next thing.
Our local Wyoming leadership appears to be out of touch with the people of our state. Even as more than 700 locals in Casper took to the streets Friday night to protest—peacefully—systemic injustice and to call for change, elected officials were still pretending that, somehow, these are still outsiders. They couldn't possibly be Wyomingites. Or constituents. We all know that 700 votes is the full vote count in many races around our state. And we sure as shit know that 700 votes one way or another swings any and all Wyoming races. So we want to make sure that those of you who are in the street—those who dream that this state can be different, that it can work for all of its citizens—we want all of you who are working for change to make sure to vote.
One more time for the people in the back: VOTE. Register to vote. Help other people register to vote. Make a plan with those people about holding each other accountable to get to the polls. If you have any questions about voting, about requesting an absentee ballot so you can vote by mail, or if you have any challenges registering or know someone who is having said troubles: Equality State Policy Center has your back. Dial them up or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put Micah 6:8 on repeat: Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?