SPLASH! News: Whitelash Victims, Homeownership Inequality, Googles Water Grab, and More

Dive Into the News For May 9, 2017

Kiran Opal


The Great American Whitelash Claims New Victims Every Day

the Guardian – Lingering in the deepest corners of our national soul is the idea that this is and will always be a white nation. And we pay for this idea with our blood

Our times are exceedingly dark. No matter what pundits or politicians – even so-called progressives ones – may say, racism remains a central feature of this society, and this fact isn’t simply about the victimization of black people.

Consider Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old freshman from the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, who is now dead. A policeman shot him in the head with a rifle and offered an account of the circumstances that was contradicted by video evidence. He now faces murder charges. Jordan’s family grieves in public for the loss of their child. It is an old, haunting ritual in this country.

A few days after Edwards was killed, the justice department announced that it would not charge the police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling at point-blank range in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 5 July 2016. They were responding to a report that a man had threatened someone outside a convenience store. Sterling fit the description. The video shows two officers on top of him as he lay on the ground, when one yells, “He’s got a gun.” Louisiana is a concealed carry state. It didn’t matter. They shot him several times. And we saw it.


Kamala Harris on Republican Health Care Remarks: “What the fuck is that?”

Mic – If you were stunned by Republican Rep. Paul Labrador’s recent assertion that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care,” you’re not alone.

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris was also angered by the claim — and didn’t hold back as she took Labrador and the GOP to task during an appearance on the Pod Save America podcast.
“You might as well say, ‘People don’t starve because they don’t have food,'” Harris said on the podcast, which is run by former members of President Barack Obama’s staff. “What the fuck is that? What are you saying? How can you say that?”

Republicans rushed the American Health Care Act — their answer to the Affordable Care Act — through the House Thursday despite some GOP representatives freely admitting they hadn’t read the bill. It now heads to the Senate, where it’s path forward is full of uncertainty.


How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality

NYT – The son of a minister, Ohene Asare grew up poor. His family immigrated from Ghana when he was 8 and settled down in West Bridgewater, Mass., a town 30 miles south of Boston, where he was one of the few black students at the local public school. “It was us and this Jewish family,” Asare remembered. “It was a field day.” His white classmates bullied him, sometimes using racial slurs. His father transferred Asare when he was 14 to Milton Academy, which awarded Asare a scholarship that covered tuition and board. His parents still had to take out loans worth about $20,000 for his living expenses. But the academy set Asare up for future success. He and his wife, Régine Jean-Charles, whom he got to know at Milton, are in their late 30s. She is a tenured professor of romance languages and literature at Boston College, and Asare is a founder of Aesara, a consulting and technology company.

Two years ago, the couple bought a new home. Set on a half-acre lot that backs up to conservation land in Milton, Mass., the 2,350-square-foot split-level has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open-concept kitchen and dining area, a finished basement, hardwood floors and beautiful touches throughout, like the Tennessee marble fireplace and hearth. It cost $665,000. “This is the nicest house I’ve ever lived in,” Asare told me.


Pentagon Releases Military Photographer’s Stunning Photo of Her Last Moments

PBS – Military combat photographers will tell you that part of the job involves accepting that their next step may be the last.

This image is the last photo military photographer Specialist Hilda I. Clayton ever took. While photographing a live-fire training exercise, a mortar tube exploded, killing Clayton and the four Afghan National Army soldiers with her. The Pentagon released the photo in “Military Review” last week.

Clayton died, camera in hand, on June 2, 2013, in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. She is one of more than 2,200 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan since the United States invaded in 2001, according to the Pentagon.
As a visual information specialist in the 55th Signal Company, Clayton photographed military missions and history. The military used her photos to gain a more complete understanding of how ground operations played out.

The picture sat in a file for nearly four years before one of Clayton’s fellow soldiers stationed in Afghanistan brought it to managing editor William Darley of the “Military Review.” Darley said after he deliberated with Clayton’s family and husband, all parties decided it would be a fitting tribute to her work and sacrifice.


Google Moves In and Wants to Pump 1.5 Million Gallons of Water Per Day

NPR – When three sacred staples of the South weren’t safe from the cloudy, salty water in his town, Clay Duffie knew there was a problem.

“It’d kill your azaleas if you irrigated with it; your grits would come out in a big clump, instead of creamy like they should,” Duffie said.

Even the sweet tea.

“Your tea would come out all cloudy,” Duffie said. “Oh man, it was bad news.”

Duffie, the general manager of Mount Pleasant Waterworks, said before his agency outside Charleston began purifying the water in the early 1990s, the water was also soft; you’d come out of the shower and still feel dirty, he recalled.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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An Open Letter to White Liberals

SPLASH! News: Whitelash Victims, Homeownership Inequality, Googles Water Grab, and More