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Amiyah Scott, Charleena Lyles, and Kofi Siriboe

June 21, 2017

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Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.

1. Days of Deportation: Sixty scenes of immigration enforcement in the age of Trump
Seth Freed Wessler in Slate: “The Columbia Journalism School’s Global Migration Project has been working to build a database of Trump-era immigration enforcement, scouring public sources from news reports to federal court filings. The team then selected a single event for every day in a 60-day period and distilled each into a short scene. The 60 days begin on Feb. 20, when DHS issued a pair of memos outlining how it would enforce Trump’s hardline stance on immigration: by broadening the definition of ‘priorities for removal,’ hiring thousands more agents, deputizing local police to aid in arrests, loosening criteria for deportation, and more. The targets include people like Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, a Los Angeles father who had just dropped his 12-year-old daughter off at school when an ICE patrol detained him. (One of Avelica-Gonzalez’s other daughters—he has four, all born in the U.S.—caught the detention on video and can be heard crying behind the camera.) They include the four Denver women who dropped domestic violence cases out of fear that ICE agents might detain them at the courthouse, or the 11 farm workers who were pulled from the buses delivering them to work and detained by immigration agents. They include people who were simply trying to visit the U.S.—the Nigerian software engineer, for example, who was forced to prove his credentials by taking a garbled ‘test.’ They include immigrants who died while jailed in private detention centers.”

2. Episode 4: Amiyah Scott – Never Before With Janet Mock
On her podcast Never Before, Janet Mock interviews Amiyah Scott. Scott: “What I realized is that if my sister could be murdered, shot ten times in New Orleans, that I could. […] They took my sister, they took my peace of mind; my hometown doesn’t feel the same anymore. Though Chyna was loved and her name was spoken, how many of our sisters have we lost? […] I’m scared sometimes when I’m out, and I happen to be one of the lucky ones, so to speak. So I can only imagine how some of my sisters feel, how trans women feel, how young trans youth feel growing up. How do you deal with that, knowing that at any moment someone who has hate in their heart for no reason can take my life? I would hope for their safety. […] And from there I would hope for their happiness. […] My fight is for respect. I want nothing more than normal, basic human rights. Why are we begging for basic human rights?”

3. Why Nabra’s Death Feels Terrifyingly Close To Muslim Women Of Color
Carol Kuruvilla for Huffington Post: “Margari Aziza Hill, director of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), told HuffPost that she felt it was too early in the investigation to speculate about why Hassenen was killed, but said that the crime brought up the feelings of fear and vulnerability that plague the American Muslim community, and specifically American Muslim women. ‘What I do know is that Muslim women are often the target of Islamophobic attacks,’ Hill said. ‘To be a visible religious minority and person of color and a woman adds layers of vulnerability to power-based violence or hate-based violence.'”

4. Fatal Police Shooting of Seattle Woman Raises Mental Health Questions
Matthew Haag in the New York Times: “Ms. Williams said her sister’s mental health was fine until about a year ago, when her four children were reported to child protective services for neglect. For the past year, Ms. Lyles had been fighting to prove to a judge that her children were in good care, her sister said, and that they were only at risk because of an abusive ex-boyfriend who is the father of her two youngest children. In May 2016, the ex-boyfriend confronted her at her apartment and hit her, according to police records. Two weeks later, as she was trying to escape him, he bashed in her car windows as she was trying to drive away, according to the police and the family. The shattered windows sent glass falling on her children, which led child protective services to open a case because of concerns about their safety.”

5. What Kofi Siriboe Knows
Mankaprr Conteh for ELLE.com: “While he says working with seasoned performers as a young actor can be ‘overwhelming,’ he knows he can lay his uncertainties and insecurities at their feet and leave feeling motivated, but not forced, to overcome them. ‘To me, that’s acceptance that the world doesn’t often give a Black man. We’re told to know. We’re supposed to be macho, we’re supposed to be confident,’ says Siriboe. Ever conscious of what’s happening around him, this past Easter, Siriboe organized a dinner for upwards of 250 homeless New Orleanians under the Pontchartrain Expressway, a known encampment. He enlisted Queen Sugar caterers, actors, producers, and directors as volunteers. Homelessness among women in New Orleans increased 12 percent between 2011 and 2014, according to a Tulane University report on the status of women in the city—which makes it a feminist issue. ‘I imagine a world where men deliberately, specifically, and unapologetically create a space for women to be all that they naturally are, not all that we want them to be,’ he says.”