resources: week 2 reading

Inspired by Hyperallergic’s Weekend Required Reading, this list with excerpts is of reading that I’ve found helpful in the past week. The links are live, but I’ve also made .pdfs of everything:

How it Feels
Preparing For The End Of Obamacare

Joel Walker, 30, of Dayton, Ohio, began to fix his rotting teeth after he got health care coverage for the first time in ten years under a Medicaid expansion. He’s waiting now to be fitted for dentures. “It should be the first time in — wow — a decade that I’ll be able to smile with a mouthful of teeth,” Walker said.

Walker, who is also taking medication for a heart condition, said he has felt as though he was “inside a steel cage of depression” since the election, worrying what will happen if he loses access to his dentist, cardiologist, or the medicine he’s dependent on if the ACA is repealed. He voted for Hillary Clinton, but for the first time in 28 years, his county, Montgomery, flipped Republican. “To put it bluntly, I felt a little betrayed,” Walker said.

Trump Will Have Access To Personal Info Of “Dreamers” For Deportation Efforts

A former high-ranking federal immigration official told BuzzFeed News that despite promises by the Obama administration to not use the information — including fingerprints, addresses, and employment records — for deportation purposes, there is nothing stopping Trump from doing so.

“As a matter of law, there are no restrictions on the Trump administration from using that information however they please,” said John Sandweg, former acting director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and previous acting general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

That doesn’t bode well for the so-called “Dreamers” fretting over whether Trump will move in another direction.

“It’s really problematic, it makes me really fearful for my safety,” said Miriam Meza, a recipient of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and student at Brown University. “It not only potentially endangers me, but my family as well.”


Things to Keep in Mind
Government Employees On Trump: “Everything. Is. Fucked.”

There’s a disconnect, though, over how dangerous the Trump administration can be. Many career attorneys at my agency think about how it will be bad, but understand that it won’t really impact their day to day lives, so there’s more acceptance. Noneducated staffers who are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck seem to have a better grasp of what terrible things could be lying in wait.

The best advice I can give to my fellow federal employees is to stay; we owe our fellow citizens a functioning government. And hysterically leaving before Trump lobs his first bomb will make his second, third, and tenth bombs seem that much more normal. If you are going to resign in moral outrage, do it at the most powerful moment, which is not now.

Letter to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker

I write to urge the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to thoroughly investigate the recent wave of press-reported hate crimes occurring throughout our nation. I request that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI each respond to me in writing by December 14, 2016, detailing your plans to combat the rising number of hate crimes occurring nationwide

I am deeply troubled by the latest findings in the FBI’s 2015 Hate Crimes Statistics report that show a spike in the hate crimes against Muslim Americans, and recent news stories that have detailed numerous hateful acts since Election Day targeting certain minority populations in the United States, namely Jews, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, and LGBT people.


Things to Remember
Two State Abortion Laws are a Preview of What’s to Come

Earlier this week, Indiana State Representative Curt Nisly said that he would introduce a legislation that would outlaw all abortions in the state.

The “Protection at Conception” legislation, as Nisly is calling it, would make all abortions a prosecutable crime. The Indianapolis Star reports that the bill would allow the state to prosecute anyone who participated in the procedure. “You would treat the death of an unborn child like you would any other human being,” Nisly told the newspaper.

The Star suggests that the legislation, while clearly unconstitutional, is the result of anti-choice advocates feeling emboldened by the election of Donald Trump. While on the campaign trail, Trump said that women who have abortions should be “punished,” though he later softened that language. For all of his disinterest in abortion during the campaign, Trump has promised to appoint anti-choice judges. In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, the President-Elect said that he would appoint a Supreme Court justice committed to the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

Why the Art World Must Not Normalize Donald Trump’s Presidency

It is not the duty of private citizens (or anyone, actually) to automatically line up behind someone who has scapegoated the most vulnerable people in the country and threatened peaceful protesters and his political opponent with violence in order to win — exhibiting the unmistakable qualities of fascism. Participation in US democracy has its mechanical dimensions (voting and accepting the results, living within legal parameters), but also its fluid dimensions, where the checks and balances of government must be further checked by an awake population that is ready to respond by ceasing business as usual and organizing resistance to bigotry and violence if needed. From time to time throughout history, it has been needed.


Where to Turn
Letter from Birmingham Jail

Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth…


Hi. I’m a customer / fan of your brand. Unfortunately I’ll no longer be able to shop there because you do business with the Trump family. If you were to no longer do so I would consider returning as a customer. Please communicate my feedback to store management. // (Optional: I have shopped at your store/brand for X years. I will be shopping at (name your local store or closest shopping competitor) until these products are no longer available for sale.” // Here’s what I said to a rep who said “Well, we don’t carry Donald’s products”: Because Ivanka campaigned passionately for Donald, now has an official role on his presidential transition team, and has been meeting with heads of state inappropriately, I feel her brand has been permanently politicized.

(It took me a lot longer to put this together than I anticipated, so I missed the ‘report’. My first L.)