Sunday Reads: Just BecausePosted: September 1, 2013
Hello newsjunkies. I’m still battling a sore throat and fever this morning, so this will be a straightforward link dump. I’m going to start with a couple Texas items that are of interest in a more uplifting way than one is wont to think about our state, unlike the Bush tornadoes and textbook chaos we’ve unleashed on the body politic in recent years.
First up, check out CNN’s interview with my mayor, Annise Parker, on turning Texas blue (Video).
Next, via MD Anderson here in Houston– Texas tanning bed law: A melanoma survivor’s take.
I’m not going to excerpt on these, so click over and give those two a look if you have a chance.
Now for a labor read in advance of tomorrow, with a feminist angle…
Via the Daily Beast, Unequal America — Feminism’s Sticky Fast-Food Floor:
This week, in New York City, the paradoxical economic conditions of working women collided in spectacular form. On the one hand, the Wall Street financial world mourned the death of Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and, eventually, the first American woman to have a net worth of $1 billion that she earned, rather than inherited. But on the other hand, as Siebert was toasted by the town’s economic elites, Nathalia Sepulveda went to work in the Bronx, where she earns just $7.25 an hour at McDonald’s.
If Siebert illustrates how a few women have managed to crack the glass ceiling and achieve great wealth and power and even the appearance of parity, whether in business or in politics or elsewhere, Nathalia Sepulveda illustrates the sticky floor that confronts the vast majority of working women in America, especially women of color, who struggle to make basic ends meet.
It’s a reflective piece that puts a woman of color’s face on statistics such as the following:
But such is the landscape of low-wage jobs in America today, which proliferate not because our economy is universally dire but because it is unequal. Research by Northeastern University has shown that 88 percent of the economic-recovery gains following the 2008 crash went to corporate profits. Just 1 percent went to wages.
That translates as follows in the life of Nathalia:
Sepulveda struggles to get assigned as many shifts per week as possible, but even if she had the chance to work 40 hours per week (a rarity), that would at most equal $15,080 per year. In other words, the CEO of McDonald’s makes 580 times more than Nathalia Sepulveda. But no one can seriously think he works 580 times harder than Sepulveda or any of the other workers who serve customers, flip burgers, and clean restrooms at McDonald’s across the country and the world. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Skinner working 100 times harder than Sepulveda. Or even 10 times harder.
Personally, I think Sepulveda probably works harder than Skinner. Anyhow, click over and give the entire thing a read.
Moving along, here’s a headline which reads like it’s from The Onion, even though it’s not — Senator Accidentally Shoots Teacher With Rubber Bullet:
A state senator who is advocating for arming teachers in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, accidentally shot a teacher with a rubber bullet during a training course, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
Arkansas Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R) recently participated in “active shooter” training and mistakenly shot a teacher who was confronting a so-called bad guy. The experience gave Hutchinson “some pause” but failed to shake his confidence in the plan.
The unshakeable confidence of idiocracy.
In more serious news (though I would argue the above actually is serious and disturbing), I just stumbled on the following youtube which looks very interesting. I plan to watch it later today and thought I would share. Structural Racism Persists 50 Years After Washington March:
Bruce A. Dixon has a provocative read over at Black Agenda Report that seems like it might make a good companion piece after viewing the video — Dr. King Was A Man, “The Dreamer” Is A Zombie:
When King was murdered, civil uprisings occurred in scores of US cities, and the establishment myth makers made a second 180 degree turn. While the smoke rose from burning cities you heard the first references to Dr. King not as a champion of economic justice, not as a moral voice against militarism and empire, not the fighter for a guaranteed minimum income for all, but as “The Dreamer.” Media figures began instructing us on “Dr. King’s Dream” – something nobody ever heard of before – as the reference point for our past struggle, our present predicament and our future agenda. Thus, as Gary Younge points out in his recent book, a new Dr. King was constructed
This new Dr. King didn’t call into question poverty. But he did have a dream. This new Dr. King stopped wondering, as the living King once did, why people pay water bills in a world that’s two-thirds water. But still, he had a dream. This new Dr. King never again mentioned the right of black workers to form unions and negotiate for their dignity and livelihoods. But this new guy, he had a dream.
The Dreamer as we know him today bears little resemblance to the man who was murdered in 1968. The Dreamer was constructed out of whole cloth by the same powerful media institutions which built King up in 1965 and 66, which denounced and slandered him 67 and 68, and made him a useful saint after his death. King never lived to be forty, so the Dreamer has already lived longer than the man, and for the powerful, has been far more useful. It’s no mistake that a single speech in 1963 commemorated this week, was chosen by the establishment to represent the man’s life work, and to negate it.
Well, I guess I should end with a happier link since I’ve given you enough depressing ones!
Here ya go, h/t Still4Hill — via ThoughtCatalog, 33 Badass Hillary Clinton Quotes That Prove Why She Should Be Our First Female President. Though, I have to say, I think I could come up with a better list. LOL. I just may have to do that in a separate post when I’m feeling better.
Alright Sky Dancers, your turn. Let’s hear what’s on your blogger list this Sunday in the comments.