The Marshall Project is a fantastic nonprofit journalism organization that focuses on criminal justice.
You may recall a year ago, or so, I posted another TMP- co-produced piece, "An Unbelievable Story Rape," that it did with ProPublica. Netflix turned that story into a series that is worth watching, as well.
TMP has another masterpiece that is the best thing I've read this week, this one written by staff writer Eli Hager.
In this feature, which is also deftly put together in the digital format, Hager is able to weave the story of an individual family whose matriarch is murder into the complicated fabric of the patchwork quilt that is justice in America.
It includes searing details and successfully attempts to put the audience in the minds of so many different people -- criminals, victims, politicians. This is the perfect example of using anecdotes from personal accounts to paint the bigger picture.
I hope my students read it.
What a year 2020 has been -- and we are only half way through it.
The year began with the impeachment proceedings of Donald Trump. The U.S. attacked Iran. Coronavirus began in China, then Europe and finally hit the U.S. with a blow that knocked out the economy and sent us home from school and work. A record number of Americans -- tens of millions -- became unemployed. More than 100,000 American died of Covid-19 as Trump claimed victory over the virus. The nation's doors were kicked open, perhaps prematurely, with the bang of massive protests necessitated by continued police brutality against black men. (I'd be doing a disservice, here, to ignore that that brutality did not happen in a vacuum. Racism is inherent in this nation as further evidenced in the grisly murder of Ahmaud Armery, a young black man out for a job when he was hunted down by armed men in a pickup truck.) The protests got ugly in Minneapolis, Seattle and, namely, D.C. when Trump had Park Police fire tear gas into a peaceful crowd so he could stage a photo op in front of a church.
Here we are, almost halfway through an election year. I fear it will only get uglier and scarier.
This story from Columbia Journalism Review looks at life in death in the last six months.
I'm sad today. Incredibly sad.
I'm sad because I have come to believe modern American society has resigned itself to racist horrors, faux meritocracy and rampant corruption as "good enough."
Another wave of police murdering black citizens has crashed upon us. A corrupt government filled with grifting ignoramuses who ascended to important positions for no other reason than their wealth is pillaging its citizenry. And, with 41 million Americans unemployed, institutions that are designed to serve - like higher education and journalism - are checking their bottom line and throwing more citizens to the pile.
I sit in a place of relative privilege. That is not lost on me. But, I ache for my black friends, hurt for friends who have been and will continue to be laid off. And I continue to be scared over the seismic gap between those who have and those do not, as well as the disappearance of compromise, empathy and selflessness.
The best thing I've read this week is a Twitter thread from Jessica Clarendon, who is the wife of an African-American WNBA player, Layshia Clarendon.
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.