Recommentunde: Tipping Point | 3 Aug 2020

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The Recommentunde Newsletter

Sent on 28 July 2020 Edition

Hi you,

It’s me.

We made it through another week. Thanks to the Obamas for giving us a powerful eulogy of John Lewis and a new podcast. Thanks to Beyonce for giving us more royalty. Thanks to the raccoons in my backyard for giving my wifi cameras something to capture, and thanks to SpaceX and NASA for bringing our astronauts back to Earth, though if I were them I would have asked for a late checkout from the International Space Station. The situation on Earth is.. unstable.

I’m doing ok, and I hope you are too. I got a message recently from a friend overseas who has always had the option, and exercised it, to live outside of the US. But this friend is actively interested in working in the U.S. government in a Biden administration.

That presupposes a Biden administration, but if I’m channeling my inner Game of Thrones Varys character, then this whisper is a source of intel. For a skeptical non-American with options to feel the possibility of renewal and be interested in joining that renewal says to me, we are at a tipping point. We just have to push in the right direction. So, help register people to vote.

Ignore the demon sperm, and let’s stay focused on the bigger possibilities here. Yes, in my Thursday IG show I addressed the matter of demon sperm, but I’ve already mentioned it too much here, and I won’t say it again!

Next on How To Citizen with Baratunde

You’re invited to join this week’s taping of How To Citizen with Baratunde in which we will reimagine public safety. We’ve heard the calls to “defund the police,” but what could that actually look like? Register here.

Two people who’ve spent their professional careers trying to answer this question will join me: Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity; and Zach Norris, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and author of We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities.

This taping will run like a live show you would attend in person (remember those kinds of events??). Come prepared to watch the monologue and interview, turn on your camera, and engage with each other, the guests, and me! Plus we’ll have an after-show hang where we just get to kick it together. Space is limited because I’m not made of Zoom credits, so register and then actually show up!

Now for your regularly-scheduled content:

In honor of those killed by hate and very very stupid, lax, gun laws. Check out this post by @cjactionfund.

Richard Cabral honors those lives lost in the El Paso Massacre

YouTube Video

It’s been one year since a white supremacist traveled 650 miles to El Paso and killed 23 people in order to stop the “Hispanic invasion” and kill “as many Mexicans as possible.” Follow #ForTheLoveOfELPaso on IG and Twitter for more.

Dr. Osterholm: Americans will be living with the coronavirus for decades

Interview with my epidemiological crush on MarketWatch

This is sobering and important. No happy talk. Just realness. There are no “waves,” and a vaccine will have little near term impact. Adjust your expectations. Also pairs nicely with Osterholm’s podcast: Episode 18: Preparing for the Fall

To fight covid-19, Congress has to reward state cooperation

Op-Ed in The Washington Post

Danielle Allen, head of the Safra Center at Harvard, has been trying to save this failed state of a nation from the beginning of this pandemic. Here she is with more brilliant, achievable ideas likely to be ignored by those in power. I’m so tired of this. Wild idea: Biden should name her his VP!

chill beats to quarantine to - YouTube

Video music playlist by Will Smith

Yep, he did this for us.

A Brief History of ‘Karen’ - The New York Times

Article in the New York Times

Fascinating linguistic and cultural history of this term. Dane Cook gets some credit!

Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back

Epic story in the New York Times

This is a long read. A mixture of rage, hope, resolve, and action. This is what it looks like when people reclaim their power. It’s messy, and it’s redemptive, and it never ends.

David Lynch is Posting Daily Weather Reports to YouTube During Quarantine

Joyful weirdness in Thrillist

I was late to Twin Peaks by a few decades, but that odd journey is one of my favorites. Now I love getting my weather from David Lynch every morning. Thanks, pandemic!

L.A. County deputy alleges ‘Executioner’ gang dominates Compton sheriff station

Article in Los Angeles Times

When you give men a bunch of guns, power, and no accountability, this is what happens. Maybe we should unleash the anti-gang task force on the police departments of the nation.

For The First Time In O Magazine’s History, Oprah Winfrey Didn’t Appear On The Cover — Breonna Taylor Did

Article in Blavity News

What you can do: join up with Color of Change’s efforts on this matter and more. You can text, give money, make calls, learn. Check out Until Justice Is Real.

James Baldwin Discusses Racism

Archive from The Dick Cavett Show on YouTube

Happy Birthday, Mr. Baldwin. This country didn’t deserve you.


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Peace and Love.