The Monday Politics Thread Hates Mondays

Why they’re not saying Ma’Khia Bryant’s name

Bryant’s death has become a debate that questions a child’s actions — and worthiness to live — instead of another example of the racism of policing and the institution’s failure to provide wholesome support, care, and safety for the communities it serves. The insistence that Reardon had no other option than to take Bryant’s life to save others— though he risked everyone’s life in the process — displays the lack of consideration and value that society places on the lives of Black girls and women.


We Still Don’t Know Who the Coronavirus’s Victims Were

To reflect on the racial pandemic of the past year is to reflect on the ravages of multiple viruses, all mutating from the original American virus: racism. People of color—already forced into the shadows of society—were infected, hospitalized, impoverished, and killed at the highest rates by COVID-19. All the while, they received the fewest medical and economic protections—prolonging, deepening, and spreading their suffering.

The groups of people who suffered the most from COVID-19 in the United States did so almost completely out of the view of data. We could barely see them. Dead before death. Tracking the spread of the coronavirus among the incarcerated, the undocumented, and the unhoused did not seem to matter, just as their lives did not seem to matter. The invisible in life becoming the invisible in death remained the American way.

By the end of last April, dozens of states had started reporting racial data that revealed COVID-19 was infecting and killing Black, Latino, and Native Americans at higher rates than white people. For roughly a year now, we have been aware of the pandemic’s racial disparities. We have been given a crash course on the distinction between equality and equity—on when we need equality, on where we need equity.

The Atlantic

Mitt Romney booed and called ‘traitor’ at Utah Republican convention

Mitt Romney was loudly booed at the Utah Republican party convention on Saturday – and called a “traitor” and a “communist” as he tried to speak.

“Aren’t you embarrassed?” the Salt Lake City Tribune reported the Utah senator asking the crowd of 2,100 delegates at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. “I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues.”

Romney was the sole Republican to vote to impeach Donald Trump twice – for seeking political dirt on opponents from Ukraine and for inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, before which Trump told supporters to “fight like hell” in support of his lie that the presidential election was stolen by Joe Biden.

Six other Republican senators voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment.

“You can boo all you like,” Romney told a crowd the Tribune said spat insults “like so many poison darts”.

“I’ve been a Republican all my life. My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.”

The Guardian

2020 census winners and losers paint a muddled future for the parties

The U.S. population has been moving south and west for 50 years. That used to sound like good news for the Republican Party, but now it’s … complicated.

NBC News

Indian scientists’ warnings about coronavirus went ignored amid surge: report

A warning from a forum of scientists about a new variant of COVID-19 spreading around India went ignored amid a surge of cases, some of the scientists told Reuters.

The forum, called the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium (INSACOG), warned health officials in early March of a more contagious variant of the virus called B. 771, and that cases could surge again.

Ajay Parida, a member of ISACOG, told Reuters that the panel knew of the variant as early as February.

ISACOG was set up in late December by a top official who reported directly to to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Reuters.

Despite the warning, the government did not seek major restrictions to stop the spread, and instead allowed large crowds to attend religious festivals and political rallies.

The Hill

Political clash erupts in El Salvador as Congress votes out judges

Lawmakers aligned with Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele voted on Saturday to remove all of the top judges on the country’s supreme court, which the opposition and a range of international critics slammed as a dangerous power grab.

But just minutes after the vote, the judges responded with a ruling that the congressional vote was unconstitutional, setting up a clash of the country’s top powers.


‘A tough call’: Biden considering mandatory Covid vaccines for U.S. troops

President Joe Biden said he has not ruled out requiring all U.S. troops to get the coronavirus vaccine after the shots win final clearance from federal regulators, but cautioned that such a decision would be a “tough call.”

“I don’t know. I’m going to leave that to the military,” Biden told NBC News’ Craig Melvin in an interview that aired Friday, in response to a question on whether he would mandate the vaccine for U.S. service members once it is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“I’m not saying I won’t. I think you’re going to see more and more of them getting it,” Biden said. “And I think it’s going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to have to get it in the military, because you’re in such close proximity with other military personnel — whether you’re in a quarters, where you’re all sleeping, or whether you’re out in maneuvers.”


Why so many people are skipping their second Covid shot — and why they shouldn’t

When the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that almost 8% of the millions who have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine hadn’t returned to get the second shot they need, it raised concerns that the country might not be able reach herd immunity.But health experts say what’s most surprising is how low that number is, and that it points to the need to inform people about the importance of that second shot for their own protection and that of others in a pandemic — and to let them know that it’s not too late to get it. Two of the vaccines in use in the United States -— the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines — require that people get a second dose to get the maximum protection the vaccines can provide.

It’s not unusual for people to forgo a required second shot of a vaccine, health experts say. The skip rate for the second shot of the vaccine that prevents shingles, for example, was about 26% among Medicare beneficiaries, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

“I am concerned about each individual who is not coming back for a second shot of course, but I actually would have thought that there would be a higher rate of people not coming back,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst. “Based on what we know from other vaccines, there is a drop off for a whole number of reasons.”


Elliot Page to Sit Down With Oprah: Coming Out “Really Felt Imperative” Given Backlash Against Trans Youth

After appearing on the cover of Time magazine last month, Elliot Page is continuing to use his voice and celebrity to speak out in support of trans youth. The Umbrella Academy star sat down for a broad-ranging interview with Oprah, which will air later this week, discussing his personal journey and the urgency he feels to embrace candor as a means of advocacy.

“In this time we’re in right now, and especially with this horrible backlash we’re seeing toward trans people, and particularly trans youth, it really felt imperative” to open up about his identity and experience, Page tells Oprah in an exclusive preview clip for Vanity Fair. The full interview will stream on Apple+ Friday, April 30.

“It felt important and selfish for myself and my own wellbeing, and my mental health,” to come out and live truthfully, Page tells Oprah in the clip. “Also with this platform I have, the privilege that I have, and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I faced in my life, let alone what so many other people are facing. It absolutely felt just crucial and important for me to share that.”

Teen Vogue

Philly Museum Apologizes for Keeping Bones of a Black Child Killed in MOVE Bombing Raid for More Than 30 Years

The University of Pennsylvania has issued an apology after it was discovered that one of its museums stored remains of a MOVE bombing victim for more than 30 years.

According to the Washington Post, city officials wanted to determine if the remains belonged to Katricia “Tree” Africa, a 14-year-old killed in the bombing. They were not able to do so. The university then gave them to Alan Mann, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania, to see if he could come to a determination.

He could not.

So instead of getting the bones to the family, the university shelved them and shuttled them between academics and used them in videos for an online college course. News of this disgusting act came out in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed and a story in Billy Penn, a local news outlet. The articles reopened long-standing wounds in Philly. The act of police violence was one of the most egregious in the city’s history.

The Root

W. Va. governor unable to cite one example to justify trans athlete ban

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill Wednesday banning transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender.

On Friday, when pressed by MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle to provide an example of a trans child “trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage” at a school in the state, Justice, a Republican, said he couldn’t.

“I don’t have that experience exactly to myself right now,” Justice said. When she pressed him harder, he said, “I can’t really tell you one, but I can tell you this, Stephanie: I’m a coach. I coach a girls’ basketball team, and I can tell you that we all know what an absolute advantage boys would have playing against girls.”

Ruhle responded, “But sir, you have no examples of this happening.” She added, “Why would you take your time to do this? Let’s talk about other things that I can give you examples of in your state. According to U.S. News & World Report, West Virginia ranks 45th in education, 47th in health care, 48th on the economy and 50th in infrastructure. If you cannot name one single example for me of a child doing this, why would you make this a priority? I just named four things that would seem to me like a much bigger priority.”

Justice said the bill wasn’t a priority for him — it was just sent to his desk.

NBC News

Former ICE detainee interrupts President Biden’s speech — here’s her story

President Joe Biden was interrupted during a Georgia rally on Thursday by protesters urging him to close ICE jails.

In an exclusive interview with Newsy, one of the protesters, a transgender woman from Mexico who spent 13 months in ICE detention, says now is the time for a change.

“We want accountability. We went to support you, we went to support our two senators from Georgia. This is time to bring back to the community,” says Estrella Sanchez.

President Biden responded to Sanchez and her fellow activists on stage.

“There should be no private prisons, period. None, period. That’s what they’re talking about: private detention centers. They should not exist. And we are working to close all of them,” he said. 

The president then told the hecklers to give him five days. He later clarified to reporters he was “teasing” the activists about the timeframe. 


How Ableism Can Manifest in Fandom—and How to End It

The first time I saw someone use the word “delulu” in my corner of stan Twitter fandom, I thought nothing of it. Even with the context — essentially roasting someone for talking about their headcanon for a Korean idol — I didn’t make the connection between the cutesy word and what it was slang for. That “delulu” was short for “delusional” didn’t pop into my mind until I saw people reacting to it. I realized what I was missing in that moment.

At this point across fandoms, we largely recognize that framing fandom as only for “crazy fangirls” is harmful and incorrect. We push back at outside writers who insist upon the phrase, because it’s a narrative that is ableist and misogynistic, and on top of that, erases the presence of people who aren’t women in fandom. However, it’s important that we all work on looking critically about how we handle ableism within fandom as well.

Teen Vogue

Florida passes bill prohibiting social media companies from banning politicians

The Florida House and Senate voted this week to pass legislation that would prohibit social media companies from banning politicians.

Fines for social media companies that try to ban politicians from their platforms could add up to $250,000 a day for statewide politicians and $25,000 a day for other elected officials, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The bill, which still allows for politicians to be suspended for two weeks and for individual posts to be taken down if they violate the company’s policies, is now headed to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Hill