Author's Note: This Week's 5 is a weekly collection of stories designed to provide insight into how racism works and serve as an easily accessible resource for people trying to have nuanced discussions about these issues. For more explanation on how This Week's 5 works and descriptions of each of the categories, click here.
Never underestimate how low some will stoop to target Black people. Consider the case of former Georgia police officer Sherry Hall. For some reason that still remains unknown, Hall caught a bullet in her bulletproof vest. Instead of telling the truth, she went with the white supremacist favorite of blaming a large, fictional Black man. This led to a countywide manhunt and an innocent Black man who happened to fit the description being taken in for questioning. There is a happy ending though. In her efforts to avoid prison time, Hall refused a plea deal that would’ve landed her a 5-year sentence. Instead, she got 15. Read more from the Root.
Since the Trump Administration announced its zero tolerance policy for immigrants crossing the border, the number of detained migrant children has increased fivefold, according to the New York Times. At facilities like the tent city in Tornillo, Texas, these children have little access to legal representation, sleep lined up in groups of 20 in bunks, and don’t receive any required education. To make matters worse, sponsors, who are often undocumented themselves, are discouraged from claiming children because of fear of being arrested. In fact, according to the report, an ICE official even confirmed that of the dozens of sponsors they’ve arrested, over 70 percent didn’t have a prior criminal record. Read more from the New York Times.
Critical Race Theory
Halloween is the cultural appropriation Super Bowl. There is perhaps no better example than the pervasiveness of “sexy” Native American costumes. These costumes are insidious on a variety of levels. First, they reduce the idea of Native women to sexualized caricatures, where white women can enjoy playing dress up with all the traits society fetishizes about Native women while dismissing the reality that they face extremely high rates of sexual assault, largely by non-Native men. These costumes also further the damage of racist Native American mascots, which send the message to young indigenous people especially that they are only seen through the lens of stereotypes. Lastly, because these costumes are inspired by real Native American religious clothing, they send the message that white people can dress up as indigenous people all they want while there are actual rules that prevent Natives from wearing their religious clothes in school and workplace settings. Read more from Vox.
The Civil Rights era and the aftermath that reverberated throughout the 70s was a time of unprecedented empowerment for many communities. One of the movements that arose from the time was the Chicanx movement. “Chicano” became a popular identifier for Mexican Americans in the 60s as a way of distancing themselves from being seen through a white supremacist lens. This movement raised national consciousness with student walkouts, farmworker mobilization campaigns, and the creation of a variety of institutions to specifically serve Mexican American interests. Like many movements of the time, these efforts were far from perfect, with women and LGBTQ people often getting marginalized in the conversation. These divisions have also shaped the rise of intersectional feminism of today by showing marginalized people how we limit ourselves when we don’t fight for everyone in our communities. Read more from Teen Vogue.