Thursday Blogaround

14 05 2009

As always, there is a lot of interesting reading out there on the feminist and progressive blogosphere.

Who is going to replace Justice David Souter?

“Women dominate list for top court”:

President Obama is considering a list of more than six contenders for the Supreme Court that is dominated by women and Hispanics, one that includes judges and leaders from his administration who have never donned a judicial robe.

Monica at Transgriot weighs in and aptly points out:

Since the founding of the United States, there have been 118 people who have served as Supreme Court justices. Out of the 17 Supreme Court chief justices, all 17 have been white males.

In terms of the 188 past and present supreme court justices, only two, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor have been women. Only two have been non-white, African-Americans Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas*.

Jill shares her thoughts on RH Reality Check:

The general consensus that Obama’s choice is going to be a woman is not a bad gamble, since women make up more than half of the American public, one-third of all lawyers and thirty percent of lower federal court judges, but occupy only one seat on the current Supreme Court. Troublingly, though, there have been murmurings that this will be Obama’s “woman nomination,” and the “racial nomination” will be next – as if women can’t be both women and of color, and as if the nominees will be little more than tokens.

Thoughts on Gentrification:

In “Your Money or Your Life: A Lesson on the Front Stoop,” author Douglas Rushkoff writes of the time he was mugged in his own neighborhood and the following stream of thoughts he had.

“Saying ‘Hi’ in Bed-Stuy” has more on social interactions among residents in gentrified spaces. The author writes:

In my twenty interviews, one wish came through stronger than friendliness. People want diverse neighborhoods, including different races, ages, and sexual orientations, with an array of careers, representing different socioeconomic classes. Brooklyn native Tyrone Harris said, “The diversity in the neighborhood is so good, that we can learn about the whole world in just one neighborhood, because we have Chinese, African American, Latino, and White. We have everything here. Puerto Rican, Spanish—you name it, we got it. But the thing is, are we using our assets? Or are we just sitting back saying, ‘We don’t like this or we don’t like that.’ See, it’s easy to complain, but the question is: What do you want to do?”

A look at our education system -

We are teaching kids to otherize:

American high school students learn that people around the world with dark skin are violent, dirty, and poorly dressed.

No wonder American kids grow up to be American adults whose voting habits reflect the view that American foreign policy should be paternalistic.

Students with special needs need additional care and need to be accommodated, but are their needs really met? Read more about “Special Education Funding, or Lack Thereof, Hurting School Districts”.

Feministe has a piece about the Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that trains young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and increasing border violence:

It will probably shock no one to learn that the kids are being trained to focus on Mexicans and people in “Middle Eastern dress.”

The degree to which young people in this country are brought up to accept extreme policing and social control is deeply disturbing. The ACLU has done some great work on the school-to-prison pipeline, which they describe as “a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” The children who are funneled from schools into prisons are largely low-income and of color. On the other hand, we have children who are targeted by the Explorer Scouts being trained to police, often forcefully. It’s a recipe for another generation of incarceration, social and economic devastation in policed communities, and violence.

Sigh.


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