—Hélène Barthélemy focuses on the criminal justice system, activism and culture.
“Gruesome Tales Surface of Israeli Massacres Against Families in Gaza Neighborhood,” by Max Blumenthal. AlterNet. August 17, 2014.
The coverage of Gaza in the past month has for the first time truly become humanized, ceding more place to Palestinian voices and to reporting. The tragedy of one family drowns out another, and given the intensity and depth of the current massacre, so many disastrous events fall off the map: Max Blumenthal's article is a very moving description of what is happening in Gaza before and after the missiles start falling. It gives a sense of Israel's targeting, of the destruction of the infrastructure as well as that of lives, of the sense of panic before and during attacks, and the loss after them – but also, movingly, of small acts of solidarity which tie people together.
—Summer Concepcion focuses on race, gender and criminal justice.
"Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net in San Antonio," by Jenny Gold. NPR. August 19, 2014.
The idea of "smart justice"—diverting individuals with mental illness into treatment rather than jail—is evident in San Antonio with its six-person mental health squad. Through answering emergency calls where mental illness may be an issue, the unit acts more like a group of social workers than law enforcers. As a result, the jails aren't overcrowded and the city and county have saved $50 million over the past five years. It seems like San Antonio figured out what should have been common sense all along: having the dignity to take the needs of individuals with mental illness seriously.
—Erin Corbett focuses on national security and reproductive rights.
“Why don’t we hear about women victims of state violence?,” by Verónica Bayetti Flores. Feministing. August 14, 2014
In this piece, Bayetti Flores asks a very important question. And as you may have guessed from the headline, she questions why we have heard very little about cases of police violence against women and LGBTQ individuals. She talks about how we use social media to communicate with one another, and she explains how we bring with us to these discussions our internalized racism, our anti-black bias, we bring misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. She talks of how we calculate innocence and worth and how those most at risk of state violence don’t make the cut. They are sex workers, they are black, they are Latina, they are trans women, they are immigrants, they are queer, “or, God forbid more than one of those at once.” So why are we not also outraged about the deaths, the beating, the sexual violence against these women? And why do more people not know who they are?