I don’t know what to wear to lunch at Le Bernardin with my brother next month.
Yeah, I hate me, too.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) has told Latinos, in particular, that she is counting on them to help Baltimore gain 10,000 families within a decade. As a first step, she signed an order in March prohibiting police and social agencies from asking anyone about immigration status — and in the order, she explicitly asked federal immigration authorities to tell anyone they arrest that they are not agents of the city.
Baltimore joins an increasing number of U.S. cities, most of them manufacturing behemoths fallen on hard times, that are courting immigrants to reverse half a century of population loss.” —
Baltimore puts out welcome mat for immigrants, hoping to stop population decline [Washington Post]
There is a guy of Filipino descent who works in our office and the other day this exchange happened between he and our director…
D: How do you say that in your language?
D: No I mean in your native language.
D: Over in the Philippines?
Him: Yes. Salad.
Shit. You. Not.
Also, I decided to use the magic of Google Translate to translate this into Tagalog (aka “my” “native” “language”):
D: Paano sabihin mo na sa iyong wika?
Sa kanya: Salad.
D: Hindi ibig sabihin ko sa iyong sariling wika.
Sa kanya: Salad.
D: Sa Pilipinas?
Sa kanya: Oo. Salad.
Tae. Iyo. Hindi.
Revealingly, this joke did just as well two days earlier at a straight bar in the East Village. There were small changes, like specifying at Rockbar that an accent was from someone straight, but the sets were remarkably similar. This consistency is its own argument: Just as some stand-up comics have achieved mass appeal with highly specific ethnic or racial points of view, a polished set from a gay perspective could do the same. The response was equally loud in both rooms.” —Gay Male Comics Await the Spotlight - NYTimes.com
The scene likely includes being dropped off by at least one parent who sticks around long enough to help you set up your room, unpack, hug you tightly and tell you you’re loved, maybe they shed a tear or two before traveling back to your childhood home. The same home you probably returned to for Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring, and Summer break.
Now imagine how you’d feel if you didn’t have that, or where you’d go when the dorms close during the many breaks that take place during an academic year. These kids, even the ones who show hope and promise are alone, with no lifeline, and it’s heartbreaking.
Now, a psychotherapist in private practice, I work mostly through an attachment and neuroscientific lens. As human beings, we’re wired for connection - our survival depends on it as does our sense of self and emotional health. The relational trauma of going through life alone and unwanted is emotionally damaging, but it’s not without hope.
We’re resilient creatures and with the right resources, therapeutic help, and awareness, these kids do stand a chance; but first, as a society, we have to give a damn. In this moment, it’s my issue. My hope is that it will become your issue as well and that eventually kids who age out of the foster care system and are propelled in to adulthood have a soft place to land.” —That’s My Issue: Foster Care - WNYC
Jefferson has something of a point when he writes that “we as a nation care less when it’s Chicagoans dying in their neighborhoods instead of Batman fans in a movie theater,” but it sort of depends on what you mean by caring. The Aurora shooting may get more column inches and air time, but mass shootings haven’t been as intensively studied, over time, as homicide in Chicago has—our city has been one of the most intensively studied in the country over the past century, and its ongoing crime problem has generated reams of academic and journalistic work, from Robert Sampson and Andrew Papachristos to Alex Kotlowitz and Steve Bogira. Just because it’s not on CNN every day doesn’t mean we don’t know a lot about “wherever and why-ever and whomever is doing these shootings,” and the problem’s historical origins. Bogira sums it up:
“Let’s remember how things got this way, in Chicago and a host of other northern cities. Policies throughout the first seven decades of the 20th Century—some governmental, some commercial—hemmed blacks in geographically. So did the bombing and burning of the homes of blacks who tried moving into white neighborhoods, and the shooting and stoning of these intruders. Racial segregation combined perfectly with racial discrimination in hiring and schooling to create vast areas of concentrated poverty—most notably in housing projects, but in other black neighborhoods as well. In areas of concentrated poverty, children are far more likely to grow up with one parent or no parent, neglected and abused, amid alcoholism and drug addiction. If you want children to become violent in their teens and early 20s, these are the right ingredients. Merely having more police around to catch them in the act is like throwing thimblefuls of water on a house fire.”
It’s not just homicide, as journalists like Bogira and researchers like Sampson have written many, many times: it’s also public health outcomes more generally. The hell of it is that a lot of people do care, even if their extensive work doesn’t always break through to public consciousness—and when someone with a big audience ignores it, it’s kind of a shame.” —