There’s a new federal holiday in town, Juneteenth, and if certain states have their way, it will be illegal to teach about it. So… progress??
You gotta love the contradictions in these United States.
Republican state legislatures are competing with each other for who can copy and paste poorly-written legislation the fastest, clamoring to avert their eyes and cover their ears from simply teaching the truth about the nation’s history.
The idea that we can’t teach history that makes white students feel bad is laughable. You think generations of Black people felt good about being cast solely as slaves and victims? You think women felt good about being absent altogether? I’m glad to see teachers pushing back against this intentional effort at miseducation.
As I mentioned in a talk to some journalists this week, “To truly love someone, you must strive to truly know them. If you only want to know the parts of them that make you feel good, that isn’t love. There are people who claim to love the United States but are afraid to truly know the United States. They don’t want to hear the painful truths about our history alongside the happy truths. They want to cherry-pick a history that makes them feel good about themselves. That is not love. That is not patriotism. That is fear, selfishness, and cowardice.”
Let’s be brave enough and believe in America enough to speak the truth about America.
For my Baratunde Insiders (the paid subscribers), I’ve shared some special sneak peeks from the making of my PBS show, America Outdoors. I’ll continue to let folks in deeper to that process and others so sign up if you haven’t already.
And I was recently on the podcast, More Than That with Gia Peppers, and we had a blast talking about Juneteenth and so much more. At times we felt like we were in church making a joyful noise.
Tune in Saturday the 19th of June for Juneteenth Unityfest where I play a small part.
Finally, we closed out season two of How To Citizen with my friend and model citizen, Hari Kondabolu!
Opal Lee’s Juneteenth Vision Is Becoming Reality
(New York Times)
There’s lessons for everyone in this article. So much respect for the determination of this woman!
Spending by Americans in the top 20 percent has finally rebounded. It’s re-shaping the economy
(The Washington Post)
Money quote: “The dominance of the top 20 percent helps explain a defining trend of America’s economic recoveries: Growth in spending returns to full steam far faster than jobs.” This article is reminding me of something Astra Taylor shared with me on the How To Citizen podcast: being a fully “private” person, interested only in oneself or one’s family, is bad for democracy. It frays connections to the whole.
Why the CEO-Worker Pay Gap Is Wider Than Ever
(New York Magazine/Pivot Podcast)
I really love the Pivot podcast, and found myself applauding in the middle of the street during my walk as I heard Scott Galloway go OFF on CEO compensation. This is a transcript of that exchange.
What We Learned About Amazon’s Warehouse Workers
(The New York Times)
Amazon’s number one value is “customer obsessions.” The company has used this mantra to drive some pretty badass innovations but also bad policies as other stakeholders affected by its actions are harmed in the name of pleasing customers. One such group: employees. Maybe “obsession” of any kind is no way to live a healthy life or run a healthy business.
Let’s end the reading list on this long read about the nature of neighborhoods, how they ebb and flow in a natural cycle, and how highway construction interrupted that process in Dallas.
I will never get enough of these brothers just hanging out and smiling together.