5 bites of politics: Feb 4

To understand:

This interview and article from Robinson Meyer is super interesting, with the director of Snopes (the online myth-busting site) about the rise of fake news targeted to people on the left. I think a good reminder is that if something causes a very strong emotional response in you, or a big “aha, I knew I it! My worst fears are confirmed!” maybe that should be a cue to be more skeptical than usual. Not mentioned, but it reminded me of two cases where I have been taken in, although I’m not sure I shared. The Detroit man whose mom died because of Trump’s order lied. She actually died earlier in the week. The NYU student who was beaten on the subway was not. Perhaps not exactly fake news, more hoaxes, but I thought these were good examples where I should have been more skeptical, but wasn’t.

To inspire

I am a member of the NAACP, and I get their regular emails. Their leadership has been protesting and doing civil disobedience in opposition to Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be Attorney General. For some reason I was inspired by this picture from their recent email. It feels like a good change to celebrate resistance in the form of these mugshots, and I love the combination of seriousness and steadfastness with a kind of excitement at being engaged in a worthy struggle.






To laugh

At some point you have to chuckle at the absurdity. When Trump, and even Sean Spicer seemed to not know who Frederick Douglass was, or that he was dead, many on twitter mocked this. The Yale University Press, who hosts the Frederick Douglass papers, joined in the fun. Gotta love university presses.

To give

Today I’d urge you to support a free press and support quality journalism. I think it is good to support both national and local. So, subscribe to your local paper. We get the Hanover Herald-Progress. At the national level, I recommend ProPublica (both as a great place to get good and careful investigative journalism, and an excellent non-profit to support).

To do

The Islamic Center of Richmond is hosting a “Standing Together” event on Sunday at 3. More info on their facebook page. You can also send a notecard.

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