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Search tags: Don\'t-ask-me-about-current-events
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review 2020-06-12 21:59
I WAS TOLD TO COME ALONE: MY JOURNEY BEHIND THE LINES OF JIHAD by Souad Mekhennet
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad - Souad Mekhennet

Souad Mekhennet, a German born to parents of Moroccan and Turkish descent, becomes a journalist and goes into the Middle East where Americans often cannot easily go.  I found this book so interesting.  Ms. Mekhennet shows us the other side of the story as she works independently for the New York Times, Washington Post, Der Spiegel, and others.  She asks the questions that need asking and does not shy away from pressing her point when she does not receive an answer.  I liked her strength and the sense of humor that comes through.  She is in a tough profession.  She astonishes the people she goes to write of with her knowledge of the area and language.  She is not to be taken lightly.  She keeps going after the story until she gets it even if she has to do it from afar when her life is threatened.  This book makes me think of what we don't hear in the U.S. about what is really going on and how we respond to the events.  It also makes me think that we overstep too often.  An enlightening and fascinating read. 

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review 2019-07-05 17:23
Read this as well (or watch it)
Notes from the Field - Anna Deavere Smith

I was lucky enough to see Ms. Smith performed this when she was workshopping it in Philadelphia. If you have not seen the HBO film or a live performance, I struggle recommend that you do.

Ms. Smith’s Notes from the Field is part of her series of plays that she bases on interviews or archived footage. In this case, the focus is on the school to prison pipeline. Her characters (and I use that term extremely loosely, every character is real person. You have not lived until you see Ms. Smith act James Baldwin) include students, activists, community leaders, and teachers. The collections between each person’s monologue is clear but not articulated.

In part the focus is on violent behavior in students and the results of the largely institutional violent reaction to black and brown bodies. Hence the inclusion of a young girl who was arrested for simply filming a deputy throw down a classmate. The focus isn’t on the sexuality of young teenage girls, an issue that gets media play. It is focused on violence and how it effects all youth. Both girls and boys. But it is violence and treatment that is allowed by society which makes the play all the more damning.

Notes from the Field show use what a total lack of compassion does to a society

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review 2019-02-06 04:29
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE by Ijeoma Oluo
So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
This is not a book you can walk away from.  It is a book that you will read many times and get different information from it.  The first time you read to see what she has to say.  The second time to understand what she says.  Then you buy it and re-read it over the years to see how it impacts you or see how you can use it to better understand race and racism and how to better your behaviors and thoughts on race and racism.
 
I can understand some of what she says.  Other things I can't because I have not experienced it nor lived with those who have.  At times I got mad.  Other times I just got sad as she relates her experiences.  I appreciate that it feels like she is a friend just talking to us on the porch.  She does not preach but she gets her point across--sometimes through plain speaking, other times through humor.  I never felt like I wanted to walk away from this talk.  I wanted to learn--not sure how much I did.  Time and re-readings will tell.
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review 2018-09-26 22:24
THE NEW JIM CROW: MASS INCARCERATION IN THE AGE OF COLORBLINDNESS by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander

I knew this would be a hard read and I was right.  I learned so much in this book.  I am appalled that this discrimination is going on.  I did not know how completely a felony conviction takes over a person's life and how much it ruins that life.  This book opened my eyes to the abuses that go on today.  I do not know how we can go about correcting the wrongs of mass incarceration but changes do need to happen.  This is one book everyone should and must read.

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review 2017-08-12 22:47
LISTEN, LIBERAL OR WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE PARTY OF THE PEOPLE by Thomas Frank
Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? - Thomas Frank

Starting with the Carter administration this is a look at how the Democratic party pulled away from its working class base and turned toward the people with money.  It gives a history of the change and the affect it had on the middle class and politics up through today.  I got mad as I read it and had to put it down several times.  I understood what was said.  Mr. Frank kept it simple and, at times, humor poked through.  I wish I would have been more politically aware when I was younger and understood what was happening and how it would impact me and my world.  Worth the read!

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