My holiday break is coming to an end and it was good to be back in Charlottesville for a spell. I had the chance to spend time with family and friends and rang in the new year with @socialistdogmom’s adorable antifascist dachshunds. I’m heading off on some travels, which includes a trip to Berlin to bring some things out to my flat there, before heading out to my next assignment. Much of the week was spent socializing, traveling, and relaxing so this recap is perhaps a bit lite.
I’ve decided this year that to try writing brief weekly summaries about what I’m doing, reading, working on, etc. The purpose of these posts is just to get myself into a bit of a rhythm of writing and spending more thoughtful time doing things that are meaningful to me. I’ll try to publish these on Saturdays, but that will be modulated by my work/travel/energy levels.
This piece by the fantastic Kim Kelly looks into what antifascist activism looks like behind the scenes. Kim reached out to me for comment for this a while back, and I was happy that she was able to include my comments on the work being done by the parents and community members in Albemarle Co, Virginia, working with the Hate-Free Schools Coalition to remove the hateful symbols of the Confederacy from our public schools. The piece gives due respect to the amount of research and analysis that gets done in the movement.
Talia Lavin breaks down what she found relevant about BlacKkKlansman in the cultural moment we live in. This movie has a lot of meaning to me, because its dramatic ending scene starts with the August 11 torch march and the August 12 car attack, two critical events in my life. My feelings on the movie are mixed: on the one hand, I think that this media is important and I think it’s necessary to share these messages and reinforce the fact that hate hasn’t gone away; on the other, Spike Lee is profiting off of the trauma of my community and me. Lee did not ask or receive permission from the students and community members that were in the film. And troublingly, they censor the faces of the torch marchers but not the activists opposing them. This is disturbing and dehumanizing.
An excellent take by Andrea González-Ramírez, a Latina woman, on how AOC is exposing deep-rooted fears in conservative minds after an attempt to smear her backfired in an epic way. This bit succinctly summarizes the political moment we could be in if we commit ourselves to it:
At its root, the pushback is related to how the right is largely terrified of the shifting demographics in the country. Ocasio-Cortez, a young Latina from a working class background, has become an avatar for those anxieties, particularly because she defeated one of the most powerful old, white men in the House and she hasn’t shied away from speaking her truth.
This upcoming week will mostly be re-settling into a routine. I’ve got a bunch of work to do on this blog and on First Vigil. I have about 6 or 7 cases to add that I’ve already researched, and some tooling to write to make it easier to contribute. I’m hoping to get some reading done on my flights and do some work studying German.
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes