Recommentunde - 23 Apr 2021
Baratunde in the desert last week getting away from all the noise.
A BRIEF STATEMENT
I’m not writing much about the Chauvin verdict or any thing to do with police murdering Black people or White Americans murdering BIPOC Americans. You’ll find plenty of that below. Instead, I want to briefly share with you a respite from all this pain because that’s what I got to experience last week.
Last week I was off the grid almost entirely as we shot the first episode of America Outdoors, the PBS show I’m hosting. I was in Death Valley, which is where the photo above comes from, and I got to reconnect with the land and the sky and the dust, so much dust.
As an extra bit of joy, I couldn’t listen to podcasts but I had downloaded a book which paired nicely with a desert environment: Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. So. Dang. Good! I’m mad at myself for taking so long to read them.
This was my farthest trip from home since COVID landed and I thought I might lose it a little bit, but I rather enjoyed the space. The show is going to be great, but don’t wait to see it on TV next Spring. Take yourself outside ASAP. Step away from the screen (not while reading this email). Inhale deeply and feel your connection to the world beyond your walls.
WHAT’S UP WITH ME
The night of the Chauvin guilty verdict, I joined Dr. Jason Johnson on Brian Williams for two segments. It was a rare moment to share the screen with another Black person, and we didn’t say the same things. Imagine that! Here’s the first half, and second half
And I recorded this five minute video moments after the verdict for NowThis.
But I haven’t only spent time commenting on police killing Black people, I promise! We continue dropping more season two for How To Citizen. The most recent two episodes begin to explore business and real estate models that help undo the historic racism which set us on such a broken path. Listen in for real, uplifting stories and actions you can take in our time with Sam Polk of Everytable and Noni Session of the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative.
LINKS I’VE CLICKED FOR YOU
There’s a big push to work on the systems that uphold systemic racism, and this one is about the money. Majority Action organized a letter and ad demanding asset managers do more. Yes, I signed on .
Key quote: This is a to-the-point piece that simply explains “the GOP is “running out” of non-college-educated Whites,” and White evangelicals are shrinking as a share of the electorate, so the GOP is catering to this minority group which is kind of interesting given the Fox News whining about how the Democrats are beholden to minorities.
A fun and important piece of writing by my friend Sara Benincasa about how Venmo makes transactions public by default. Defaults matter, y’all!
Good, practical piece by Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff on how we get to the next step of creating an actual system of public safety in the United States.
Well this is an important story! Our many systems aren’t just built on racism but also sexism which partially explains why we have bothered to learn so little about women’s bodies. Shoutout to “The Vajenda” newsletter for a) amazing branding and b) great content. For bonus points, read this NYT piece which goes further into our purposeful ignorance.
This video is fake. It’s part of Deep Reckonings — a series of explicitly-marked deepfake videos that imagine morally courageous versions of Alex Jones, Mark Zuckerberg, and other public figures. The artist Stephanie Lepp leads the project. Here, an imaginary Jones grapples with his spread of deceitful conspiracy theories on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
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