Sheryl Sandberg isn't the only one who's "leaning in" at others' expense—as blogger tressiemc characterizes her this week. The French won't stop colonizing Africa; the Brazilian government won't stop plowing over the environment (and indigenous rights); and debt collectors are putting employee data up for sale. Meanwhile, in this week's article roundup from Nation interns, Marx's ghost lives on.
— Alleen Brown focuses on education.
“Opening Up, Students Transform a Vicious Circle,” by Patricia Leigh Brown. The New York Times, April 4, 2013.
Patricia Leigh Brown profiles a restorative justice program in Oakland, which, like similar programs in Chicago, Denver, Portland and Minneapolis, gives struggling students an alternative to violence and their schools an alternative to punitive discipline. In the Oakland program, students work through issues in talking circles, discussing what led to problematic behavior and how they can make amends. In the wake of post-Newtown demands to install more police in schools, several publications have printed stories about such programs.
— James Cersonsky focuses on labor and education.
“Lean In Litmus Test: Is This For Women Who Can Cry At Work?” by Tressie McMillan Cottom. tressiemc.com, April 1, 2013.
“‘Lean In’ sounds like it was written for women who can cry at work…. Crying at work is a euphemism for the myriad ways in which black women are sanctioned for demonstrating behavior from which white women benefit…. Sandberg doesn’t have to attend to things I care about like race, class, inequality and capitalism…. Privilege is about never having to critically engage the realities of others…. In effect, respecting Sandberg’s agency requires I stifle my own.” For people who think about labor, especially people who can cry at work (and the myriad male equivalents of crying at work), this is a must-read. It’s also a must-read for those who, like Sheryl Sandberg (and tressiemc), assert agency through writing.
— Catherine Defontaine focuses on war, security and peace-related issues, African and French politics, peacekeeping and the link between conflicts and natural resources.
“Old Wine in New Bottles? Justifying France’s Military Intervention in Mali,” by Benedikt Erforth and George Deffner. Think Africa Press, March 18, 2013.
In less than two years, France has intervened three times in Africa: in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi, in the Ivory Coast to help arrest former president Laurent Gbagbo and now in Mali to fight terrorists and Islamists and guarantee the security of West Africa and Europe. However, despite its official rhetoric, the French government has failed to avoid accusations of neocolonialism and to relinquish its outmoded Françafrique system. Indeed, critics suggest that France’s intervention is motivated by its economic and strategic interests in the region and its ambitions to keep its status as an important player on the international level.