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.
Overt: Some might argue this is no big deal because the plan was thwarted, but the fact that people are out here trying to hire white supremacist hitmen to lynch their Black neighbors says a lot about how pervasive the white supremacist problem really is. Read more from The Root.
Institutional: The cruelty on display by the Department of Justice towards immigrants only seems to get more intense by the day. Recently, Attorney General and longtime civil rights obstacle Jeff Sessions announced a zero tolerance policy that will give Immigration Customs Enforcement officers even more power to split up immigrant families at the US border. Read more from the Associated Press.
Critical Race Theory: Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino's latest music video "This is America" has inspired a lot of discussion about the Black experience in America through its layered imagery and provocative storytelling. One of the most widespread discussions centers around what writer Tre Johnson deems the Faustian bargain, or deal with the devil, that Black people make by living in America. In the video, this is depicted by Glover dancing both to entertain and survive while chaos directly targeting his people happens simultaneously in the background. Read more from Rolling Stone.
History: Sometimes troubling people invite fun trips down memory lane on themselves. With the news of the NRA naming Oliver North as its next president, it would be irresponsible not to revisit the Iran-Contra Scandal, which North was at the center of. In addition to illegally selling arms to Iran to support Contra rebels in Nicaragua attempting to overthrow their socialist regime, the scandal was also notable because the CIA got caught assisting drug traffickers who were using their profits to also support the Contras. Where did those drugs, specifically cocaine, go, you ask? As a Senate sub committee led by former presidential candidate John Kerry found out, traffickers pumped those drugs into largely low-income Black and Brown communities, not-so-coincidentally, during the height of the crack epidemic. Read more from Mother Jones.
The Fragility Breaker: White supremacy weaponizes everything. Even the tears of self-proclaimed allies are often used to silence people of color in the name of protecting white comfort. Read more from The Guardian.