While major news networks have struggled to figure out the right way to cover the Trump administration, political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullshit.
I was thinking the other day, I don’t really watch much TV news. Ok I don’t watch any live TV anyway but News would be very low in that tiny percentage.
However I do watch a lot of Comedy news from last week tonight, the daily show, realtime with bill maher, etc. That backed with reading news from credible news sites makes up most of my news. News sources which take a longer view on things, rather than whats happening right now.
The nonsense from our politicians is alarming and theres only a certain amount I can personally take. The only way to cope is to laugh at how stupid the whole system is and not breath in too much of it.
I guess because of this I sleep pretty well at night (especially with my new hours) I certainly don’t do the doom scroll thing, worrying about what I saw on the news.
John Carlos and Tommie Smith made headlines across the world when they raised the black power salute on the podium after winning in the 1968 Olympics. That protest brought them death threats, and they were expelled from the games.
I learned today about the incredible story of Freedom house ambulance service thanks to 99 percent invisible. Generally the story goes that back in the 70’s in Pittsburgh, if you call for help in getting to a hospital, a hurst driver or the police would throw you in the back and take you to hospital.
A man called Peter Safar from Europe, proposed that together they could train lay people to be medical professionals and start providing ER quality treatment right away, before the patient arrived at the hospital.
After designing advanced ambulances and putting people through a intense 300-hour course. They had their first comprehensively trained first responders. They were all black people and operated in black parts of Pittsburgh where taxi driver, hurst drivers and the police were not reliable or wanted to go.
Its was a massive success and became the start of the profession we know as paramedics.
Freedom House’s five ambulances were running nearly 6,000 calls a year. And not only were they getting to the patients faster than the police, but they were also providing demonstrably better care. At a city council meeting, Safar presented data showing that as many as 1,200 people a year had been dying needlessly while in the care of other emergency services. Freedom House paramedics, by contrast, had saved 200 lives in the first year alone. Doctors and medical directors from around the country flocked to Pittsburgh. Freedom House medics were invited to conferences as far away as Germany. Everyone wanted to see what they were doing and learn how they could copy it.
But in spite of its growing fame, Freedom House would eventually become a victim of its own success. Other neighborhoods were wondering why this predominantly Black community was receiving better care than theirs.
How Centuries of Black Strength Created a Blueprint for Economic Recovery – Black communities have for centuries harboured a spirit of support and mutual aid. It’s time the rest of the country followed their lead. However In the monologue there is something oddly similar to the Freedom House story.
Economic success in Black communities inevitably leads to white jealousy, which in turn inspires more oppression, pogroms, and murder.
And there you have it… How many other stories from the past have this same pattern. How many of these stories are happening today?
This is something which really got me thinking. All that white marble really has changed the way we think about the past. The lack of colour I always thought was a cost and material thing but to know it was originally there but removed is … lets say almost sinister?
Seeing all that white marble does have an effect on the way we see the past.
I have talked about the system of racism over the last few weeks, but I didn’t even think about this aspect. (although its an American view, I wouldn’t be surprised if similar policies existed in the UK)
In US news and current events today, Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law author, continues his lifelong mission to debunk the myth of de facto segregation and explain how modern day segregation is enforced by US law and policy. Insidious tactics like redlining have contributed to modern day segregation, and it leads to modern school segregation, modern housing segregation and housing discrimination, and so much more. De jure discrimination didn’t end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, it simply became more insidious and baked into the housing, lending and education systems that have prevented Black Americans from earning and keeping wealth. Modern segregation is no less immoral and unjust than explicit segregation, and the entire system needs an overhaul if we are ever to reach true equality and assert that Black lives matter.
Its good but what we really need is a collaborative database like airtable, of all the pledges of support.
The best I have found is this slide deck from Lexie Pérez, Julian Cole, Stephanie Vitacca and Davis Ballard.
As protests and unrest have taken over the U.S. and other parts of the world – brands rushed to speak out and align themselves with anti-racism.
We’ve gathered 100 + examples of brands responding to the Black Lives Matter movement. We’ve highlighted their responses, their actions and some reactions.
Its huge with about 130 companies covered from Fashion, Retail Luxury, Technology, Sports & Fitness, Finance, Food & Restaurants, Entertainment & Media, B2B, Gaming, Advertising, Agencies, and Beauty & Health.
There’s some really shocking insights in there including these
Odd one because Disney pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP. You would have thought Marvel would echo this?
Now this lack of action was a surprise….!
This reaction was not!
Sure there must be some way to turn this great store of information into something we can use to keep the companies accountable in 3/6/12/18 months time? The data is there and I’m sure the authors won’t mind if its used for accountability…
Ian thinks: Taiwan mainly avoided the Covid19 lockdown. Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, shares how tools/techniques like crowdsourcing, a transparent supplies system and the use of humor on social media have resulted in less than 500 confirmed cases.
Ian thinks: There’s a lot debate over the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Each case is different but I found this economist video had all the points nicely wrapped up in short video. Lots to think about as the world starts to open again.
Heck when I was working in Starbucks (yes it happened believe it or not) there was a older white woman who came every day to read the free paper and rearrange her baggage, using the toilet and all while pouring free milk for herself. Did we ever call the police? Nope, never!
Huugo Boateng was taking part in a charity bike ride with his father along the River Lea in north London when he says he was grabbed from his bike by a plainclothes police officer, threatened with a stun gun and fell face first into thorny bushes.
The 13-year-old told the Observer: “I’d turned around to see if my dad had caught up behind me, and suddenly this man came out of nowhere. He was crazy angry and shouting. I got scared because I thought he might be mugging me or trying to give me corona so I ran, but there was nowhere to go but in the bushes.”
While he was down on the ground, the teenager says the officer pointed a Taser at him and threatened to shoot. The officer then arrested Huugo and put him in handcuffs. Further down the towpath, his father, Andrew, 43, was told to get on his knees and put his hands behind his back. Andrew was also handcuffed. The two were detained, suspected to have been involved in a stabbing in the area.
The most ironic thing about the whole incident is…
The family were visited by a community officer later that evening. “Huugo didn’t want them to come in so they stayed on the doorstep and asked if we were OK,” said Andrew, who works at City University. He is also active in local projects including coaching a youth football team and volunteering for the outreach programme Kickoff@3 , which is co-run by a black Metropolitan police officer, Michael Wallace.
“I couldn’t vouch for a more humble and more dedicated member of the community,” said Wallace. “The irony is that Kickoff@3 is about building good relationships with youth and the police, and Andy is instrumental in helping with that programme. The bike ride he was doing was organised by us – we were raising money for a homeless charity and a domestic violence one.”
A couple of things confirmed to me this time we may see some changes. The question is will there be enough change?
White middle class people protesting in white middle class spaces
I was surprised last Wednesday afternoon, riding through Cholton in Manchester the amount of white people actively protesting on the side of road sides with #blacklivesmatter signs. It was deeply humbling to see people even giving the black power salute and taking a knee.
Its never been a black only problem, and I have a lot of time for protests in places which don’t make the press.
Its being taken more seriously and the white fragility which held it back is being pushed a side for the better of society and the future.
The deconstruction of systematic racism block by block
Trevor looks at how depictions of police in film and TV can skew public perception of cops and glorify officers who break laws and use violence unnecessarily on the job
Its incredible the long history of the rouge police people who get the job done with violence, pressure and intimidation. We have gotten so numb to it that we just can’t/don’t connect whats happening in cases like the central park 5 and the excessive force in the cop dramas.
The deconstruction of these cultural programming is so important in the take down of systematic racism.