by Abaki Beck
Sunday Suggestions & Connections is a weekly feature pairing recent news stories with related social justice readings or resources and ideas to take action.
A U.S. Senate report released this week found that more than a dozen Central American refugee children were placed with traffickers by the Department of Health and Human Services. This occurred because HHS slowly fazed out their background checks when moving children from shelters to private homes. Since 2011, more than 125,000 Central American children and refugees were stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border, many of them refugees. This report came out just after fears over violent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) home raids have increased in communities across the country. Most people detained from the ICE raids have been Central American women and children fleeing violence. In fact, the U.S. has deported more immigrants under Obama’s presidency than any previous administration. As we learn more about (or experience) the stories of violence and trauma that many immigrants and refugees to the U.S. face, it is equally important to learn about the particular political origins of these violences.
Here are some resources to learn about this particular crisis:
Here are some suggested readings, which cover the issue on a broader scale:
“the other door, it’s floods of tears with consolation enclosed” from Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination by Avery Gordon (chapter about state-sponsored terror in Argentina)
Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley (about Colombia and Mexico)
War and corruption is a violence that creates extreme trauma, but also leads to resistance. This week, longtime White House protester Concepcion Picciotto passed away. For the last thirty five years, she has staged a vigil in front of the White House supporting nuclear proliferation and peace. Her outpost in front of a park near the White House included hand painted signs that had slogans such as: “Ban All Nuclear Weapons or Have a Nice Doomsday.” Throughout the years, she has faced arrests and threats by police. She has also said that she was never acknowledged by the White House - though she is perhaps their oldest neighbor. Volunteers have filled shifts to allow her to take breaks. Read more about her life and the vigil on her website here. Concepcion reminds us that the power of resistance is not just in bringing attention to an issue - but long term commitment to your cause.
Below, find some resources for organizers:
As we celebrate death, we also celebrate life: Angela Davis turned 73 this week. Angela Davis is a revolutionary feminist and anti-racist academic and activist. She first gained national attention in the 1960s a leader of the Communist Party USA and ties to the Black Panther Party. Because of her involvement with the Communist Party, then-governor Ronald Reagan asked that she be barred from working as a professor at any university in California in 1969. Much of her work has focused on the prison industrial complex.
Below, find pdfs to some of her work from throughout her prolific career.
Radical simply means "grasping things at the root.” - Angela Y. Davis
Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful Sunday