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Homecare Workers, Black Girls’ Innocence, and Running for Office

July 5, 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. Senate Health Bill Would Kill Essential Homecare Jobs
Elly Kugler and Marzena Zukowska for Inequality.org: “Currently, most homecare workers subsist on poverty wages of under $12,000 a year, and as a result, have a turnover rate of up to 60 percent a year. As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country, home care has the potential to provide good, stable jobs with wages that are high enough to support working families. However, the Senate bill sucks Medicaid’s resources dry, limiting any possibility for raising worker wages and locking this majority woman-of-color workforce into perpetual poverty wages.”

2. Black Girls Viewed As Less Innocent Than White Girls, Georgetown Law Research Finds
“A groundbreaking study released today by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality finds that adults view black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers, especially in the age range of 5-14. The study, detailed in the new report, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, is the first of its kind to focus on girls, and builds on previous research on adult perceptions of black boys. That includes a 2014 study led by Phillip Goff that found that, beginning at age 10, black boys are more likely to be viewed as older and guilty of suspected crimes than white peers…Biases revealed by the study may shed new light on why black girls are consistently disciplined more harshly than white girls. The report authors point out that educators, school-based police officers and officials across the juvenile justice system often have significant discretion in their decision making, including for minor, subjective infractions such as dress code violations, disobedience and disruptive behavior.”

3. Here’s What Happens When A Brown, Queer Woman Runs For Office In The South
Jenny Block interviews Liliana Bakhtiari for Huffington Post. Bakhtiari: “As a brown, queer woman, by just existing in this political climate, I will be pushing the definition of diversity in politics forward. When I was a kid, it would have changed my world to see a woman like me in a role of power. I might have jumped into the political arena even sooner. Beyond diversity, I am hoping to put some humanity back into politics. I want to put the spotlight on local policy and strengthening local communities, making local government not only more accessible, but also more transparent. The more voices we have involved on the local level, the better our city will be. We cannot build on a single narrative.”

4. Immigrant women fear deportation under Trump if they report domestic abuse, advocates say
Manya Brachear Pashamn for Chicago Tribune: “While there is no cap on Violence Against Women Act petitions, and women who successfully petition can apply for work permits, couples must have been legally married and the abusive spouse must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. If the couple only lived together, only had children or entered only a religious marriage, domestic violence victims are not eligible for relief under the act, which Congress will review again next year. That can be a problem for some Muslims whose religious marriages aren’t recognized in the U.S., said Aisha Rahman, executive director of Karamah, a national group of Muslim women and legal experts who train other lawyers on balancing American and Islamic law and provide referrals to women in search of legal counsel. Rahman and other advocates also point to a clause in Trump’s executive order — which calls for barring refugees from six Muslim-majority countries — that has further isolated some victims of domestic violence. The order, which is tied up in court, directs the Department of Homeland Security to track so-called honor killings committed by foreign nationals in the U.S. Muslims say the practice, which refers to the murders of women who shame their families with some form of sexual impropriety, is not justified by their faith. Victims’ advocates say highlighting honor killings in the executive order contributes to anti-Islamic sentiment and makes some Muslim victims of domestic violence more afraid to come forward.”

5. Charleena Lyles was the second pregnant black woman killed by police this spring
Zak Cheney Rice for Mic.com:  “Black motherhood has been a centerpiece of these debates. Mothers of slain black boys and men have long been among the most outspoken advocates for police reform and accountability, with groups like the Mothers of the Movement — a cadre that includes Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner — even gracing the stage at the Democratic National Convention in July. But as the deaths of Lyles and Woods clearly indicate, black mothers — and mothers to be — are also at risk of being killed by police. And the tragedy of their deaths is singular in that they were also laboring to bring black children into the world at the same time officers shot them.”