Hillary Clinton's call for accountability

So, Hillary Clinton gave a speech (transcript here) at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and it was kinda a big deal. Riffing on Bernie's emphasis on Wall Street, Hillary remarked that there’s a lot more going on in our country that we should be concerned about. Using the crisis in Flint as a launching-point for talking about larger issues of structural inequality, she enumerated many ways in which racism is still a problem in today's society. For many white Americans, it’s tempting to believe that bigotry is largely behind us, she said. But more than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind.

I’d be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers. I’ve made my own mistakes. I’ve walked my own journey. But I believe with all my heart we can and must do better. … So I’m proposing a comprehensive new commitment to equity and opportunity for African American communities. Hillary outlined a few steps of her plan for fighting racism in the US, and remarked that her plan was too extensive to meniton in full (she put the rest on her website). She then spoke out against white politicians deciding the agenda for political debate and taking minority votes for granted: If we’re serious about our commitment to the poor, to those who need some help, including African Americans, if we continue to ask black people to vote for us, we cannot minimize the realities of the lives they lead or take their concerns for granted.

She ended the speech with a single request: Hold me accountable.

That's big. In a response to the speech published on THOSE PEOPLE, Dominique Matti noted that Hillary's record is not exactly clean. As First Lady under a presidency which signed into law many questionable acts impacting both racial minorities and queer lives, Hillary held a position of power and visibility which often failed to speak out meaningfully against important legislation. And while the circumstances surrounding these events are complex, asking for accountability is an important first step to making amends.

It is especially significant regarding the history of her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. On two separate occasions, #BlackLivesMatter activists have interrupted Bernie, attempting to hold him accountable for a lack of commitment to issues of racial justice—and his response (and that of his followers) has been less than satisfactory. You can hear Jose Antonio Vargas give his thoughts on the first disruption in an interview here, and Jay Smooth responding to common reactions from supporters after the second, below.

Jay Smooth, On #BlackLivesMatter and Defending Bernie Sanders

In a piece for MTV titled The White Candidate's Burden, Jamil Smith chronicles the relationship black voters and white candidates have had in this past election, praising Hillary and condemning Bernie for their willingness to challenge whiteness in their pursuit of justice. [Sanders] certainly has the rhetoric down, demonstrating the fluency of someone who’s been reading about black death in the last few years… But he isn’t challenging white voters sufficiently to be part of the solution, he remarks. And although Hillary is far from perfect, it seems Clinton at least grasps that she has progress to make.


Apple; the Republican Party; "Confederate Heritage"

Apple continues its battle against the federal government to help the Justice Department break into its iPhones, arguing that the government's attempt to coerce a US company into doing its bidding is unprecedented. Meanwhile, the company has rejected a plan to accelerate minority recruitment into the company, stating that the measure would be too restrictive, and that they are already working on diversity in other ways.

The New York Times took a look behind-the-scenes at the Republican Party's struggle to deflate the bubble of power surrounding Donald Trump, and their fears should he make the nomination. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump’s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, the Times reports.

On , Phil Bryant, governor of Mississippi, defended his proclamtion of April as Confederate Heritage Month. While designating the month as a time to gain insight from our mistakes and successes, the proclamation makes no mention of what those mistakes and successes might be, and as Mississippi is the only remaining State in the Union to feature the Confederate emblem in its state flag, the chances of the month being an educational moment are slim. And while the Mississippi proclamation has made recent news, it is important to recognize that the commemoration is nothing new for many Southern states.


#Pokemon20; This Unruly Mess I've Made

marked the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon game franchise, and the Company celebrated it by announcing its next generation of games: Pokémon Sun and Moon. Several other Pokémon releases have occurred or are scheduled for , including Pokkén Tournament, Pokémon GO, and re-releases of the original Red, Blue, and Yellow versions.

Announce trailer for Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon

, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released their new album, This Unruly Mess I've Made. The album ends with “White Privilege II”, a self-reflective solo track from critiquing the appropriative nature of his music, the depoliticization of hip-hop in popular discourse, and his failure to properly leverage his privilege to give a voice to others. The track comes with its own website and statement by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis LLC, pledging support for black-led organizing and anti-racist education and discourse.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, White Privilege II ft. Jamila Woods

Carbon tax; newspaper re-naming

The first student government in the US to do so, on the Associated Students of Whitman College passed an internal carbon tax, to go into effect in the fall. The money will be allocated out of travel funds, and will be put into the Green Fund to finance sustainability initiatives on campus. Information published by ASWC marks the tax's primary goal as promoting education and recognition of travel emmissions, and you can read more about the legislation on their blog.

As I mentioned in last week's 📰, Whitman's student newspaper, The Pioneer, recently announced that it was changing its name. The first round of reactions to the name change have made their way into publication, with letters of support from IPECC and faculty and notes of criticism from columnist Olivia Gilbert. A focus group for discussing the change will be held on .


#BlackLivesMatter and being a movement

In a recent piece published to Medium, Patrisse Marie Cullors-Brignac argues against her own positioning as co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, remarking that We didn't start a movement. We started a network. In the piece, Patrisse speaks out both against the depiction of the #BlackLivesMatter organization as a movement which begins and ends with its founders, and the culture of hostility that has sprung up in online spaces when discussing racial justice. The piece joins an earlier one by alicia garza, calling out the public tendency to depict the organization as a movement only addressing the needs of black men, and not, as alicia puts it, all Black lives.

📻 Mix:

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blu stori
01 The Town | Macklemore
02 16 Years | Phantogram
03 Kanye ft. sirenxx | The Chainsmokers
04 Still Life | Laura Welsh
05 Where Do We Go | LION BABE
06 Blank Space | Taylor Swift
07 Not Today | Andra Day
08 White Iverson | Post Malone
09 Chantoyant (Beauty Bass) | MADE IN HEIGHTS
10 The Art of Peer Pressure | Kendrick Lamar
11 Your Loves Whore | Wolf Alice
12 Shake It Out | Florence + the Machine
13 Walk On By | Noosa
14 I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) ft. Young Thug & Popcaan | Jamie xx
15 Well Traveled | Janet Jackson