Between North Korea and Charlottesville and everything else happening, it's hard not to feel like everything is burning down. But until the world actually ends, it's better to proceed as if it will keep on turning, so have some linkspam.
- Many people have been bothered by the fact that the ACLU went to bat for the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last weekend, when the town tried to revoke the permit they'd already granted. I give a monthly donation to the ACLU, and I was fully aware that they do things like this when I made that decision, so I'm not upset -- it's exactly what I expect from them, and they do enough good work otherwise that I chose to support them anyway. Still, I think it's time for them to re-evaluate whether or not it's possible for a white supremacist gathering to be considered a "peaceful assembly" -- and the ACLU branches based in California broke with the national organization on this point today. Is it time to switch my monthly donation to the ACLU of Northern CA instead? It's time to think about it, anyway.
- The city of Baltimore took down all of its Confederate monuments yesterday, quietly and in the middle of the night. Alec McGillis wrote a great article on their removal, including lots of history and context about race and racism in the city.
- A fed-up citizen in Arizona -- who is a registered Republican, although not a Trump supporter -- turned Phoenix's Confederate monument into a participation trophy. On the other side of the country, activists in Durham, North Carolina, staged an "I am Spartacus" moment by turning themselves in en masse for tearing down a Confederate statue there. Whatever else happens, it feels like the momentum on the issue of Confederate symbols in public spaces has really sped up. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see most or all of them gone by the end of the year.
- Wondering why there even is a Confederate monument in Arizona, which wasn't a separate US territory until partway through the Civil War, much less part of the Confederacy? Because these monuments were mainly built to support Jim Crow laws and frighten civil rights activists. They have nothing to do with memorializing Confederate soldiers and everything to do with enforcing white supremacy. I didn't know this history myself until relatively recently, and I'm glad it's becoming more common knowledge.
- Tired of endless articles on the state of the white working class? Mother Jones went to talk to working class people of color.
- More on voter suppression, this time Ohio purging its voter rolls, and the Justice Department backing them up. I really wish the Democrats would get louder about this issue.
- A couple on urban planning and housing, which is not something I talk about much but still a topic of great interest to me. (And also broadly relevant to the other issues at hand -- look up redlining sometime.) First, Gary Kamiya on the small city of Brisbane's reluctance to approve a large housing project and why other Bay Area cities ought not to be pointing fingers. Second, Alyssa Walker asks why the conversation around urban neighborhoods and gentrification is driven by white men.
- In other news, Harper's Magazine published excerpts from the jury selection transcripts for the trial of evil pharmaceutical bro and all-around asshole Martin Shkreli, and they are a thing of beauty. I have no idea how the lawyers waded through all that to get a jury of 12 mostly-impartial members, but I salute them. (Shkreli was found guilty on several counts of securities fraud unrelated to the price-gouging issue.)