White-washing history – Rosa Parks did not give up her seat on the bus because she was “too tired” to move to the back. She was tired of giving in. Her activism did not start on a bus in 1955. It started in the 1930’s when she started working to change the criminal justice system that was not “blind,” continued in the 1930’s when wanted to register to vote, into the 1950’s when she refused to move to the back of the bus and continued until her death in 2005.
She tried to register to vote three times between 1943 and 1945. She was told no the first time, failed a test designed to keep Black voters off the rolls the second time and finally was allowed to register the third time – after the registrar saw her write down the questions and her answers for possible court action. She still had to pay a poll tax. “Voting rights were the foundation of Parks’s political training,” as historian Martha S. Jones writes in Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. She also fought for justice in cases of sexual violence, spearheading the NAACP’s investigation into the rape of Recy Taylor, a 24-year old mother and sharecropper from Abbeville, AL, who was attacked by six white men. She fought for justice for Black boys and men who were accused of rapes they did not forget. And that iconic photo of her being booked into jail? That was not the day she stayed in the front of the bus, but a several months later when she was re-arrested as one of the leaders of the “bus boycott.” (Time, New York Historical Society, New York Times)
Sexual violence, torture, forced sterilization in Uighur camps – The U.S. has called China’s treatment of the Uighurs a genocide, and “crimes against humanity.” Yesterday, the BBC published a detailed report from women who have escaped and it’s pretty horrific. While it’s difficult to get first-hand accounts, the BBC was able to talk to several former detainees and a former guard. They shared detailed accounts of mass rape, sexual abuse and sexual torture. Adrian Zenz, a leading expert on China’s policies in Xinjiang, told the BBC that the testimony gathered for this story was “some of the most horrendous evidence I have seen since the atrocity began”. One of the survivors, who has made it to the States, said “They say people are released, but in my opinion everyone who leaves the camps is finished.” And that, she said, was the plan. The surveillance, the internment, the indoctrination, the dehumanisation, the sterilisation, the torture, the rape. “Their goal is to destroy everyone,” she said. “And everybody knows it.” (BBC)
Blake Moore responds to being called spineless on national TV – Lee Davidson writes about Rep. Blake Moore’s first national TV appearance on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program. The first caller from Price, Utah, told him to get a backbone. He responded by saying “I get the frustrations…We’ve got to rise above it. There’s so much negativity being spewed back and forth that we have to have folks that are willing to rise above it, focus on productivity, focus [on] what’s best for folks.” He added later, “Politicians need to be always focused on what first binds us and then we build from there.” Way to de-escalate, Rep. Moore. (SL Trib)
And, to shift away from some of the heaviness of the news, have you seen Hogle Zoo’s baby zebra??
A ZEBRA NAMED ZION: Utah’s @HogleZoo named their newest baby Zebra “Zion”? Both for the Utah connection (Zion National Park) and because it means “highest point,” a reference to the altitude at which these zebras live in South Africa https://t.co/dAbfn0iv1y
— KSL 5 TV (@KSL5TV) February 3, 2021