‘Norms Are Being Challenged All the Time’: Joanne Freeman on Civility and the History of Congressional Brawls

A famous act of political violence is often used to illustrate the utter collapse of civic norms in the run-up to the Civil War: the caning of Charles Sumner by his fellow congressman, Preston Brooks of South Carolina, on the floor of the Senate.

It turns out, though, that this was just one of dozens of incidents of violence in Congress in the period between 1930 and the first shots fired at Fort Sumter, ranging from physical menacing to threats to brawls to duels—including one that killed an elected representative. This phenomenon, which has been little-understood thanks in no small part to the euphemism-laden legislative records of the era, has been rediscovered in The Field of Blood, a fascinating and upsettingly timely new book by Joanne B. Freeman. A professor of history at Yale, one of the world’s leading experts on Alexander Hamilton, and co-host of the podcast Backstory, she’s studied political violence for decades.

via ‘Norms Are Being Challenged All the Time’: Joanne Freeman on Civility and the History of Congressional Brawls

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Federal inspectors find nooses, “serious violations” at ICE facility

Federal inspectors conducted an unannounced visit of an immigration detention center in southern California and found “serious violations” throughout the facility, where guards improperly placed adult inmates in disciplinary segregation and ignored more than a dozen “nooses” fashioned out of bedsheets.

The report, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, also showed that medical staff at the Adelanto, Calif., facility disregarded federal regulations governing the treatment of inmates by doing only cursory checks of inmates and making them wait months, sometimes years, to receive basic dental care, leading to tooth loss and “unnecessary extractions.”

via Federal inspectors find nooses, “serious violations” at ICE facility

The 2019 Women’s March Will Take Place in January

Break out your poster board from wherever you… store your poster board… because the National Women’s March is BACK, baby. Or, at least, it will be back in January 2019, per organizers.

The New York Times reports that the third annual National Women’s March will take place on January 19 of next year, with planned actions in cities across the nation and world. The main march will take place in Washington D.C., though organizers say they’re still hammering out the route and other permit-related details.

via The 2019 Women’s March Will Take Place in January

Brett Kavanaugh, Sexual Assault, the Threat to ‘Every Man’

“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh said on Monday in what has now been his second statement denying sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee but senators remain divided over whether to postpone voting on Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee or let Thursday’s vote carry on as scheduled. Trump himself seems committed to Kavanaugh’s nomination. When asked on Monday if Kavanaugh offered to resign, Trump responded: “What a ridiculous question.”

via Brett Kavanaugh, Sexual Assault, the Threat to ‘Every Man’

‘Sexist, unsafe’ world experienced by young girls – BBC News

An “alarmingly high” number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK.
The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone.
More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said.
But girls are responding more robustly than before and were also more likely to call themselves feminists, it said.
The research, the tenth over as many years, found more girls claim to understand what feminism means, with almost half saying they are feminists – up from a third in 2013.
One young woman, from the 11 to 16-year-old age group, told researchers a feminist was “a person who strongly believes in gender equality and that everyone no matter their background should be treated equally.”

via ‘Sexist, unsafe’ world experienced by young girls – BBC News

Jeff Sessions Considering Indefinite Detention of Asylum Seekers

Jeff Sessions, a racist bloodhound, is considering indefinite detention of people who cross the U.S. border seeking asylum.

Over the past several months, Sessions has instructed judges to deny victims of domestic and gang-violence asylum, and now he is reportedly considering to deny bond hearings to asylum seekers, even if they have passed the credible fear interview. This means that anyone seeking safe haven in the U.S. could be detained indefinitely.

A decision set by a case called Matter of X-K, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) allows asylum seekers to be released on bond if they pass a “credible fear” interview, in which officials assess whether the asylum seeker is at risk of persecution in their home country. Sessions is reportedly trying to find a way to overturn the BIA’s decision.

via Jeff Sessions Considering Indefinite Detention of Asylum Seekers

Fatness, Race, and Food Policies in America 

The piece is fantastic; communicating the everyday inhumanities experienced by fat people. The list is long and depressing: bullying in childhood and beyond (cruelty as young as three, the article reveals), partnering with a person you’re not attracted to just to feel desired, being fired or unable to progress in a career or company, having a doctor celebrate your eating disorder as a means to lose weight, the internal struggle to separate self-worth from size, hiding eating behaviors from co-workers and loved ones, and so on.

We’ve known for years that bias against the overweight prevents us from seeking necessary medical attention, as well as misdiagnoses. It ultimately, unfortunately, leads to a near total distrust in doctors—unless, of course, you are equipped to find a fat-positive provider, one that recognizes the failure of the BMI-based system (which is a luxury afforded to the wealthy). The latter point brings about a question of intersectional fat-positivity: both in socioeconomic privilege and in racial discrimination.

via Fatness, Race, and Food Policies in America 

UK Denies Windrush Generation Members Citizenship

Some immigrants known as the Windrush generation, who have been living in the UK for decades, are now being denied citizenship because they lack the proper documentation proving they lived in the UK before 1973.

Seventy years ago, when the UK was recovering from World War II, Britain put out ads in Caribbean countries under its control, hoping to attract people to help rebuild the country. In 1948, 492 West Indians—as British subjects—boarded the vessel Empire Windrush, attracted by a promise of more stable work. They ushered in the Windrush generation—a generation of black and brown people from British Commonwealth nations that were invited to come work in the UK until 1971, only to face harassment, bullying, and racism when they arrived. According to Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, there are an estimated 500,000 people in the Windrush generation.

via UK Denies Windrush Generation Members Citizenship

Artist Sarah Lucas on Her New Museum Retrospective

Having only known her as the cool, confrontational artist in photos, I suspected Lucas, 55, would be tough in person. But when I meet her at the New Museum where she’s currently installing over 150 works for her first ever U.S. retrospective open September 26, Au Naturel, she is cool as a cucumber, albeit frazzled by the installation (she’s currently figuring out the best placement for a set of gigantic concrete boots in the museum’s lobby.) Just last week, she invited a group of women (and men in drag or dressed as giant phalluses) to the New Museum to help her create One Thousand Eggs: For Women, in which women throw precisely 1,000 eggs at a wall to create a gooey, yellow painting. “Women, we’ve got eggs, but they’re limited,” she tells me over lunch. “It’s a different thing to be a bloke… your seed isn’t limited. You can produce more and more of it, you can spill any amount of it around, if you’re just having a wank, and it doesn’t cut off.”

via Artist Sarah Lucas on Her New Museum Retrospective

Criminal Justice Reform Is on the Midterm Ballot | American Civil Liberties Union

This mass incarceration crisis wasn’t created by crime rates but by politics and racism. History shows us that mass incarceration went up when crime rates were low and went up when crime rates were high. It is the result of deliberate choices made by elected officials around the country, Democrats and Republicans alike, to lock up more people.

via Criminal Justice Reform Is on the Midterm Ballot | American Civil Liberties Union