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Author: YES!

COVID-19 Mutual Aid: Confronting coronavirus conditions with community instead of consternation

As the coronavirus spreads anxiety and panic across the globe, people are finding ways to share information and support each other. Citing the “collective solidarity” of friends and family in China and Hong Kong who have been affected by the coronavirus, a Seattle group formed an online community to coordinate resources and provide support to those most vulnerable to the infection. It is called Covid19mutualaid, an Instagram account where “regular folks, especially folks of color, immigrants, people with disabilities” can share information and find community. “There has been a lot of collective storytelling in China and Hong Kong, and...

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The Color Line: Asian Americans face racial complexities over identity

Borrowing from W. E. B. Du Bois’ color-line metaphor, some racial justice activists have asked whether Asian Americans are “left or right of the color line.” How we answer these questions holds important implications for movements around racial justice and equity. These are also questions that we have both confronted as womxn who are a second-generation queer Punjabi American and a second-generation Hong Konger American. Are Asian Americans White? No, Asian Americans are not white. It’s true that certain socioeconomic and demographic measures, such as aggregate income and education levels, suggest that on average Asian Americans are among the...

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The Root of Violence: How White Supremacy stokes resentment between minority communities

The narrative promoted by White Supremacy has historically fed animosity between Black people and Jewish people, and it remains the driving source for hate and violence in the nation. Two recent attacks against the Jewish community in the New York City area have come at the hands of people of color, specifically Black Americans. Trained as we are to think in terms of White supremacy and White nationalism when it comes to anti-Semitism, these attacks by people of color on Jews might seem surprising. Indeed, they have left some media outlets and pundits speechless on the topic of race...

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Code-Switching: A performance expression that helps many blacks survive in mainstream white culture

The voice that sprung from my throat was unfamiliar as I introduced myself to a classroom of White students. Its tone was high-pitched and enthusiastic — a far cry from my naturally soft raspiness. It wasn’t the first time I was unsettled by being the sole Black person in a room, but these moments had a profound effect on me. Without thought, I’d shifted my demeanor and speech. My thoughts were calculated, quickened, and in search of the “right” things to say. The words poured from my mouth pointed and stiff. I enunciated each consonant and vowel, and stressed...

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Make Room! Make Room! The impact of overpopulation on our environment

Many people are asking if overpopulation will break the planet, a fear compounded by the lack of attention given to the issue by elected officials. Panicked discussions of the climate crisis on this stressed planet are often bolstered by background debate on how fast the Earth’s population is growing, and questions of how many people the planet can support. To be sure, a sevenfold increase of the world population over two centuries has stressed the planet to its breaking point. But the problem is not strictly the number of people. It is how people are behaving. A close look...

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A Two-Front Assault on Women: The relationship between abortion bans and easy access to guns

Abortions and guns. Few issues are as polarizing or have so completely dominated the national discourse in recent years. Across the country, states have passed hundreds of measures to either curb or expand access to both. In certain states, conservative lawmakers—mostly men—are busy restricting access to abortion for women, with an eye toward eventually overturning Roe v. Wade. Missouri is a textbook example of a Republican-controlled state on both: hostile toward abortion access and lax toward guns. It is one of nine states where lawmakers voted to ban abortion this year. Missouri’s ban, which prohibits the procedure after eight...

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