This is not the apocalypse you were looking for

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The right, of course, has never had a monopoly on catastrophist fever dreams. The idea of a cleansing armageddon that instantly erases all the awkward parts of modernity, all the weary years of work and compromise between where we are and where we’d like to be, is universal, and universally childish. I’ve spent far too much time listening to drunk hipsters with retro-Soviet facial hair tell me there’s no point in feminism or anti-racism, because all of that will be fixed after the giant, bloody workers’ revolution that is absolutely on the way, so really it doesn’t matter how we treat each other in the present. You can hear the same gleeful anticipation in the rhetoric of “dark-green” eco-fundamentalist groups, which right now are outpacing religious extremists in their rush to claim the coronavirus as nature’s revenge on humanity. If you are really so keen to be punished, there are websites for that. If you find yourself eager to see the whole species punished, that’s not a fetish, that’s fascism.

This is not the apocalypse you were looking for, Laurie Penny in WIRED

Ellen More

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James IV arrived in Edinburgh, and came to Holyrood Palace by 18 November, where on 22 November he rewarded a man who had brought animals with 20 gold crowns, these animals had been with the African women, the “More lasses”, at Inverkeithing. They included a Portuguese horse with a red tail, and a civet or “must cat”. On 26 November he gave the woman who brought the “More lasses” from Fife 4 shillings. On 27 November James IV ordered that two suspected plague victims, who had been excluded from Dunfermline town, should have 14 shillings.

Ellen More, Wikipedia

It's very hard to tear down a bridge

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I remember his aide, Sid Shapiro, who I spent a lot of time getting to talk to me, he finally talked to me. And he had this quote that I’ve never forgotten. He said Moses didn’t want poor people, particularly poor people of color, to use Jones Beach, so they had legislation passed forbidding the use of buses on parkways.

Then he had this quote, and I can still hear him saying it to me. “Legislation can always be changed. It’s very hard to tear down a bridge once it’s up.” So he built 180 or 170 bridges too low for buses.

We used Jones Beach a lot, because I used to work the night shift for the first couple of years, so I’d sleep til 12 and then we’d go down and spend a lot of afternoons at the beach. It never occurred to me that there weren’t any black people at the beach.

So Ina and I went to the main parking lot, that huge 10,000-car lot. We stood there with steno pads, and we had three columns: Whites, Blacks, Others. And I still remember that first column — there were a few Others, and almost no Blacks. The Whites would go on to the next page. I said, God, this is what Robert Moses did. This is how you can shape a metropolis for generations.

Robert Caro Wonders What New York Is Going To Become , Christopher Robbins in Gothamist via Kottke

How South Asian corner shop culture helped the UK survive Covid-19

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Sultan, Priyesh and Asiyah have symbiotic relationships with their local communities, but their accounts of running a corner shop are still prefaced by the institutional racism that runs through Britain’s history. In the 1970s and 1980s, South Asian factory workers in the UK began to lose their jobs after the decline of traditional labour-intensive industries.

The simultaneous expansion of supermarket chains postwar meant that provincial grocery stores were likely to close, unless they were part of groups like Spar or Londis. Members from these conglomerates purchased smaller village stores from wholesalers. More often than not, your local corner shop will be headed by a Londis brand as opposed to being independently-owned.

How South Asian corner shop culture helped the UK survive Covid-19, Sana Noor Haq in Gal-Dem

British Slave Businesses

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The history of Greene King gives a glimpse into some of these entanglements. Benjamin Greene started off as an apprentice to the leading brewing firm Whitbread in London, and would go on to inherit estates in the island of St Kitts, becoming one of many absentee slave owners living off their Caribbean property. Once emancipation happened he was one of the 4,000 people in Britain (20% of whom were women) who received compensation. His share was £4,000 – £270,000 in today’s money – for 1,396 enslaved men and women in St Kitts and Montserrat.

In 1836, he established a leading London merchant house dealing in colonial goods and shipping. His son Benjamin Buck Greene, who spent time in St Kitts and was a successful planter, married the daughter of a prosperous merchant trader in Mauritius and set up a partnership with him. Greene gained recognition as a respectable entrepreneur and philanthropist, and was appointed governor of the Bank of England in 1873. Meanwhile the brewery flourished under the management of Benjamin’s third son Edward Greene, and the Caribbean estates continued to be profitable up to the 1840s.

There are British businesses built on slavery. This is how we make amends, Catherine Hall in The Guardian

Pay discrimination at Pinterest

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Ozoma asked her manager to address her level, but she says she was initially told that her current compensation package was the best the company could do. After months of trying to get her level changed, Ozoma finally hired a lawyer, who began to argue that she should have been hired at a level six, two rungs above the level four at which she was being paid. Once her lawyer got involved and began advocating for additional compensation, stock options, and back pay, Ozoma was told she didn’t have enough years of experience—a criteria that does not appear on the level chart, which Fast Company has confirmed. Ozoma describes the difference in compensation between these levels as “exponential,” especially because much of the pay package comes in the form of stock options—which quickly became very valuable when Pinterest IPOed in April 2019. In July 2019, she filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), alleging pay discrimination based on sex and race.

Discrimination charges at Pinterest reveal a hidden Silicon Valley hiring problem, Katharine Schwab in Fast Company

Thandie Newton Profile

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What I am evidence of is: You can dismiss a Black person. If you’re a young Black girl and you get raped, in the film business, no one’s going to fucking care. You can tell whoever the fuck you want, and they’ll call it an affair. Until people start taking this seriously, I can’t fully heal. There are so many problems to feeling disenfranchised. But I keep finding myself alone. There is now an appetite for listening to women, but there’s women and then, right at the bottom of the pile, is women of color. So careful what you do, everybody, because you might find yourself fucking over a little brown girl at the beginning of a career, when no one knows who she is and no one gives a fuck. She might turn out to be Thandie Newton winning Emmys.

Thandie Newton Is Finally Ready To Speak Her Mind, E. Alex Jung in Vulture

Michaela The Destroyer

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Coel recalls one clarifying moment when she spoke with a senior-level development executive at Netflix and asked if she could retain at least 5 percent of her rights. There was just silence on the phone, she says. “And she said, ‘It’s not how we do things here. Nobody does that, it’s not a big deal.’ I said, If it’s not a big deal, then I’d really like to have 5 percent of my rights.' Silence. She bargained down to 2 percent, one percent, and finally 0.5 percent. The woman said she’d have to run it up the chain. Then she paused and said, Michaela? I just want you to know I’m really proud of you. You’re doing the right thing. And she hung up.”

Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You' Will Tear You Apart, E. Alex Jung