Welcome to Issue 12.5 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
It’s been a year of a week. Today, the world is different from how it was last Friday. My mom, who took me to the protest of Amadou Diallo’s murder in 1999, when I was four, told me that this is nothing like anything she’d ever seen before.
I hope she’s right. I hope that this, really, is the end of ‘back to normal’ thinking that has been so pervasive and so ignorant of the horrors that normal brings, specifically for Black Americans.
I also hope that you all, every one of you, has been taking action this week in whatever way is safe (as in physically, emotionally, not as in protecting white fragility, for white folks). I hope you’ve been inundated with toolkits, resources, conversations in your community and with strangers.
Before I hand it over to our friends for advice, music, and Goss, I want to close out this week with a couple of things. One is “I Cover Cops as an Investigative Reporter. Here Are Five Ways You Can Start Holding Your Department Accountable,” an article about how to use widely available resources to investigate police conduct. It’s a good stopgap plan and a great companion to this graphic, which shows how policies positively and negatively affect police violence.
I say the first article is a stopgap measure because it assumes that we the people will allow police departments to continue existing in their current form, which I hope and believe is not the case. And the graphic is here as a resource and also as an amendment to yesterday’s mention of 8 Can’t Wait, which is a list of measures that exist in the frame of police reform, rather than abolition. There’s been some criticism flying around the internet about 8 Can’t Wait, but my understanding is that said criticism is a result of the framing of reform vs abolition, and not about the actual data behind the recommendations. No matter what, we need to defund and disarm this state-sanctioned mafia.
Also, the author of the article is from Asbury Park, home to Bruce Springsteen, who wrote the song American Skin (41 Shots), in honor of Amadou Diallo.
Caro's Advice Corner
The only advice I have this week is: DO THE WORK. There are truly no excuses to figure out how to get involved in the movement and fight for Black lives and against police brutality. There are actions everyone can take, whether it’s getting out on the streets and protesting, or calling on your local government to defund the police, to continuing to put pressure on the Louisville police department to bring on charges to the officers responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor.
I am calling on all of you to make a commitment to racial justice, not JUST when a Black person is horrifically killed before our very own eyes. Not JUST when it's too late. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery...they should all be with us today, but they are not, because we have failed them. We cannot let this happen again, which is why I am asking all of you to become lifelong racial justice allies with me.
Here are a couple of things you can do:
If you are able to without putting your health at risk, attend the Rally and Vigil for Breonna Taylor tonight in Dudley Square Plaza at 5:30pm.
Join in on BLM’s week of action, these are today’s actions.
Boston folks, take a look at this whack budget that the city of Boston proposed for 2021….if this angers you as much as it angers me, here are some sample email templates to write to your City Council representatives and local gov.
Finally, if you are able to DONATE. With the help of some amazing colleagues, I have put together an Anti-Racist actions and resources guide, which includes various groups you can donate to right now.
Y’all, this is absolutely not the time to stand idle. We need to collectively take action and move the course of this country. Are you with me?
En solidaridad, Caro
!~! DJ M0RO’s low-key Music Show !~!
After manually lifting my self-imposed app timer on instagram four days in a row, I started to notice a pattern. *sigh.* Well, I do it for the amazing gems I find. Like, these sure-to-make-you-feel-something beauties I pickled just for you, party people:
First our friend and youthful hope @keedronbryant who puts the most resonant voice behind the reasonable plea “I just want to live.” Listen up. Got it? Virtual playground time! @DemJointz added a second layer that builds it up, and @ghanaianbluesman got it to the next level, officially making this play on loop until I’m singing along and requiring you listen up too. The internet done good this week.
@mnek wrote the best anthems for quarantine and I cant stop jamming on them. Yes he tells us to stay our ass indoors, and yes you should because #coronavirus is scary. Absolutely take care of yourself and your fam, isolate and rest. But if you’re able, get out in the streets and stay six feet away from your neighbors in your community, as we march for justice and Black lives. The real virus is white supremacy anyway. Then add the rest of his infectious tunes to your self-care recovery playlist.
Speaking of, my fav @wowtashawow wrote another lullaby called but there’s still the moon and it will sooth your heart and mend your soul. Keep staying strong and sharing music that’ll score the revolution <3
today’s ~Music Show~ brought to you by acab energy and music that fuels an uprising.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
I am a fan of Duchess Meghan Markle, if for the very superficial reason that she has brought true glamor and fashion to the British Royal Family (BRF). I have no beef with Duchess Kate Middleton, but homegirl isn’t the most exciting when it comes to the sartorial – it’s almost always heavy dress coats or uninspired day looks.
Plus, having seen how Meghan was treated by the BRF and the UK media these last few years, I’ve become somewhat quietly protective of her? Marrying into the BRITISH Royal Family as a Black woman was not easy and she has been one of the most visible targets of racist abuse in the world. As recently as last week, the UK media were still trying to implicate her in the Tatler story that quickly became a PR debacle for the Cambridges. So is it any surprise that the Daily Mail, one of the UK’s vilest tabloids and one of Meghan’s most relentless bullies, tried to stir shit up by running an article on Meghan’s silence on Black Lives Matter?
But it didn’t work because Meghan made a video for her high school’s graduation, where she directly talks about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Philando Castile and Tamir Rice. She spoke about Black Lives Matter. And as a royal who is expected to steer clear of politics, this is pretty important! And hopefully blows over some into the ears of some people in the BRF who keep smearing and bullying her.
Today is Friday. It also happens to be what would have been Breonna Taylor’s birthday had she not been so violently and senselessly killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky several weeks ago. Her murderers are still free. In honor, in celebration, and in remembrance of Breonna’s birthday, here is a toolkit that you can use to take action and fight for her justice.
Happy birthday, Breonna Taylor. Everyday, but especially today, we will say your name.