—Samuel Adler-Bell focuses on labor, mass incarceration and literature.
"How We Read a NYTimes Piece on Drone Strikes in Yemen," by Ryan Goodman and Sarah Knuckey. Just Security, April 23, 2014.
On April 21, The New York Times reported that a US drone strike in Yemen had killed more than three dozen people. The following day, Sarah Knuckey and Ryan Goodman—both NYU law professors and experts on drone policy and humanitarian law—posted this line-by-line annotation of the Times piece, providing the absent context for the story's revelations. Embedded within the bland officialese parroted by the Times, their footnotes reveal a deeply troubling story about the shifting and contested landscape of US drone policy and identify the insidious lacunae in mainstream reporting on the drone program.
—Dustin Christensen focuses on Latin American politics and sports.
“#Weareallmonkeys: Can a picture of a banana fight racism?” by Jude Wanga. The Independent, April 29, 2014.
This past week, European soccer saw a large, Internet-based movement to challenge racism in stadiums. It was all started when a banana—the hackneyed weapon of choice for racists at European soccer matches—was thrown at Barcelona player Dani Alves. Without missing a beat, Alves picked up the banana and ate it while simultaneously taking a corner kick, sparking a Twitter/Instagram/Facebook phenomenon: #Weareallmonkeys. Players, politicians and fans began posting pictures of themselves eating bananas, saying #NoToRacism and insisting that "hey, we are all primates!" However, freelance journalist Jude Wanga is uncomfortable with the movement. For starters, many of those posting pictures are white fans and politicians who will never be called monkeys by anyone. Furthermore, the involvement of players like Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who was previously banned for racially abusing a black player, highlights the shortcomings of what Wanga calls "a beautiful but flawed gesture" of solidarity. There are far better ways to solve soccer's racism: imposing fines on guilty clubs, forcing teams to play to empty stadiums, deducting points from teams or simply funding efforts to combat racism. Currently, England's Premier League gives a mere pittance to its antiracism group Kick It Out—0.000018 of its £5.5 billion pound broadcast rights. Rhetoric and humorous photos, while fun, are not enough.
—Cecilia D’Anastasio focuses on ethics, feminism, press freedom and tech.