10 Sep 2017
- If you read one article this week, it should be Nikole Hannah-Jones’s ‘The Resegregation of Jefferson County‘ in the New York Times Magazine’s latest Education Issue. Hannah-Jones discusses the history of segregation in school systems post Brown v. Board of Education and its mutated and empowered modern form: “In Jefferson County, like in any other racially mixed metropolitan area in the country, the names of towns and neighborhoods can serve as code, a way of referencing race without being explicit. Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Trussville and their schools were heavily white. Center Point, Pleasant Grove and the others listed next to the girl all had large black populations — some had shifted from majority white to majority black.” That the current U.S. Secretary of Education pushes, in the name freedom of choice, for a less public, more private, less egalitarian, more divided educational system makes the read even more urgent.
- Jeannie Suk Gersen of Harvard Law School and the New Yorker writes on Betsy DeVos’s policy regarding Title IX of the United States Education Amendments: “The idea that an adjudicatory process should be fair to both sides is about as basic as any facet of American law can be, even when it is articulated by an individual who is noncommittal on the basic educational rights of L.G.B.T.Q. students and students with disabilities, and who believes that guns belong in schools to protect against grizzly bears. But in these times, especially following the equivocal statements made by President Trump on the violence in Charlottesville, the very concept of “both sides” may approach moral peril (to say nothing of the fact that Trump himself has boasted of sexual assault).” For this, DeVos may deserve praise. Amy Davidson Sorkin’s article on the Utah nurse who was arrested for protecting a patient’s right to privacy is another New Yorker article well worth reading: “The backup [Jeff] Payne got makes the whole story worse, suggesting, as it does, that this is not a matter of one rogue cop but a structural problem. Indeed, it suggests a need to examine, on many levels, the intersection of the health and criminal-justice systems.”
- The Rebel Strikes Back against Trump’s rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Sixteen attorneys general “filed suit in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, claiming that Mr. Trump had improperly upended [DACA].” What will come of the suit is unclear. On a different note but on the same page, the New York Times interviewed Paul Ryan on tax reform, DACA, and other issues.
- Mary Jo Bang in the Paris Review Daily on the Bauhaus photographer Lucia Moholy and photography: “A photograph is said to “read,” meaning the viewer makes meaning from what is seen inside the photographic frame, somewhat like the way we make meaning from a page of text. Of course, text is not an image, but only patterned marks that represent speech sounds the eye strings together for the brain to then translate into morphemes that have meaning. Looking at a photographic image is more like taking in a gesture. The retina accepts and interprets not in the speech center but elsewhere. We attempt to match the image to what we know about the world, the way we match a hand waving to the idea of coming (hello) or going (goodbye), although gestures, by definition, involve motion and still photographs capture only a slice of the implied motion.”
- And finally, David Salle on the Rei Kawakubo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum: “Without always understanding what I was looking at, I was gripped by the kind of melancholy that seems to accompany the toughest, most searching and demanding levels of beauty.“