This is Issue 69.2 of Digestable, your thrice-weekly mouthful of things happening in the world.
Today’s news, fermented:
So on, so forth.
One of the things that most consistently gives me hope about a future beyond extractive capitalism and white supremacy is the idea that our species has a long history of divining new ways to govern ourselves.
I’ve written about the Downtown Crenshaw Rising (DCR) project before—it’s an effort led by a deeply rooted Black community in LA to purchase a mall and turn it into stores, housing, and event spaces “grounded in the principles of community-wealth building, matched with a neighborhood stabilization fund and featuring community ownership at every stage.”
This project is visionary, and developers in LA are afraid; this community-led effort could undermine their goals to gentrify and displace. Although DCR raised and offered a staggering $115 million dollars—a higher bid than a competitor from traditional real estate—DWS, a branch of Deutsche Bank, has refused to sell to them.
Instead, DWS has elected to sell to Higgins, “a development firm with a troubling history of giving campaign donations before City Hall approval, sued for violating tenant rights and sued for violating civil rights.”
So, there are two more days to prevent the sale. According to folks on the DCR team, here are some things you can do:
Sign up for daily action alerts for the next couple of days
And if you’ve got journalist connections in NYC, LA, or nationally, reply to this email and let me know.
Recently, my sweet mama (author of Work from Home for Justice) told me about a shirt she saw, that said “the earth is a co-op.” We talked about how nice this statement is—thinking about the whole world as a cooperative effort is probably the nicest re-frame of “the globalized economy.”
I’ve never been to LA, and honestly have no interest in going, but a precedent-setting project like DCR is inspiring no matter where you are. The earth is a co-op.
One of its members:
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
On this beautiful Wednesday morning, I want all my readers to send love to Simone Biles, stat!
The greatest gymnast of all time announced her withdrawal from the gymnastics team all-around final yesterday, due to what was initially believed to be an injury but was later confirmed to be due to "mental health issues." She withdrew after competing in her first rotation -- the vault -- and her participation in the individual all-around finals is still undecided, although I did see reports earlier today that she has decided not to compete.
Anyway, I've seen a lot of crusty, mostly male, mostly white people calling Simone "spoiled" and "ungrateful" for withdrawing from the Olympics, the same way they chided Naomi Osaka for her decision to preserve her mental health over some sporting event several months ago. To which I say: Sir, your ankles are rolling with every extra grocery bag you add to your arm on the way to your car in the Market Basket parking lot. You do not have the pedigree, the qualifications, or the wherewithal to comment on Simone Biles' decision any more than you have the credibility to comment on your local little league's friendly matches. Entirely sit this one out. Even Michael Phelps, fellow white male, can understand the intense amount of pressure Simone is facing. So the rest of you better keep it cute and keep it moving.
Simone is 24 years old. She has been an athlete her entire life and one of, if not the best to ever compete and perform in her sport for many, many years now. The pressure she had on her coming into the games was monumental. Not competing in one Olympics doesn't change that at all! If anything, she's showing us that athletes -- even the greatest ones -- are human beings too. They deserve rest, grace, and space. I'm glad Simone and Naomi are setting boundaries (with themselves and the world!) by putting their health and well-being first.