Written by: Sara Kugler
Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.
1. “No Sanctuary in Charleston”
Patricia Williams Lesane: “I saw a post about a shooting at Emanuel A.M.E., a historic black church in downtown Charleston that is a stone’s throw from my office at the College of Charleston. I made my son turn from his show to the news coverage. We stayed up and discussed what had happened. I prayed that I didn’t know anyone who had died, but I did. Today Charleston, nicknamed the Holy City, is in mourning. We are still dealing with last month’s shooting of an unarmed black man in a northern suburb, and in the hours since this latest shooting, many of us in the African-American community were left asking: Is there any sanctuary left?”
2. “For Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, shooting is another painful chapter in rich history”
“This historic congregation, the oldest of its kind in the South… was founded by worshipers fleeing racism and burned to the ground for its connection with a thwarted slave revolt. For years, its meetings were conducted in secret to evade laws that banned all-black services. It was jolted by an earthquake in 1886. Civil rights luminaries spoke from its pulpit and led marches from its steps. For nearly 200 years it had been the site of struggle, resistance and change.”
3. “Why doesn’t South Carolina have a hate crime law, given its past?”
“South Carolina is one of only five states in the nation that doesn’t have a hate crime law on its books … Although there are federal hate crime laws on the books, having a state law allows a state to issue harsher sentences if a local crime is committed that was motivated on the basis of a protected class … But, the federal hate crime statute has only been around for about five years.”
4. “Ella Taught Me: Shattering the Myth of the Leaderless Movement”
Barbara Ransby on ?#BlackLivesMatter?, movement building, and group-centered leadership: “Those who romanticize the concept of leaderless movements often misleadingly deploy Ella Baker’s words, ‘Strong people don’t need [a] strong leader.’ Baker delivered this message in various iterations over her 50-year career working in the trenches of racial-justice struggles, but what she meant was specific and contextual. She was calling for people to disinvest from the notion of the messianic, charismatic leader who promises political salvation in exchange for deference. Baker also did not mean that movements would naturally emerge without collective analysis, serious strategizing, organizing, mobilizing and consensus-building.”
5. “Oregon Becomes 5th State To Pass Bill Of Rights For Domestic Workers”
On Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown signed the Oregon Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law. The bill “includes provisions for overtime pay, periods of rest, paid personal time and protection against harassment.” Domestic workers were “intentionally excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act as a concession to Southern politicians in the early 1900s,” an exclusion that was “mirrored on the state level.” New York, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are the only other states with a domestic workers’ bill of rights.
6. “Haitian Workers Facing Deportation by Dominican Neighbors”
“Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are facing deportation from the Dominican Republic … Undocumented workers in the Dominican Republic had until Wednesday to register their presence in the country, in the hope of being allowed to stay. … There are an estimated 524,000 foreign-born migrant workers in the country — about 90 percent of whom are Haitian.”
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