July 2020 Monthly Signal Boost

Monthly What?

Podcasts

Organizing Ideas Podcast: Episode 20 with Jessica Schomberg Jessica Schomberg talks about her book, other readings she’s learned from, how workplace improvements for disabled folks will lead to better workplaces for everyone, about relationships and solidarity in library work. It’s a really engaging listen!

The Latino Card: Episode — Mask-ulinity Talking about different approaches people are taking to social distancing. Discusses ?Tommy Simmons? article at the Idaho Press, which talks about psychology of adhering to government guidelines. How wearing a mask is a signal to the world that COVID19 is a problem & we need to work together on addressing it. Masculinity and admitting vulnerability.

The Better Bozo: Episode 6 I wasn’t sure about listening to this whole episode for the first few minutes, since it sounded a little too much like listening in on a sporpsball conversation or general talk radio. But it ended up featuring a fascinating discussion about how privileged white guys can get better at asking themselves “who benefits by me staying silent at this moment?”, as well as how to apply organizing principles to help forward collective liberation. One portion that seems particularly relevant to library work is when the guest, Abraham Lateiner of Freedom Beyond!, mentions that it’s important to be attuned to both the macro and micro levels in a situation, as well as the tension between two poles. (Apparently polarity work is an organizing tool?) The main polarized tension he discusses is between challenge and affirmation.

He uses the example of how America has praised individual freedoms for so long that it’s become incredibly difficult to champion equitable outcomes. As I’m typing this, I can’t help but wonder what an ALA Office of Intellectual Responsibility would look like, or even an ALA Office of Intellectual Equity.

Articles

“Starting Points” by Andrew Cooper was written for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s Turning Wheel magazine in 1993, on the second anniversary of the beating of Rodney King. Cooper explains, “The question is not whether or not a community is ‘racist’—the question is how this racism operates.” He also quotes a psychiatrist’s explanation that “in the human realm, the law of survival is not kill or be killed; it is define or be defined.”

I was living in Riverside and in high school for the King verdict and the uprisings, all of which were very much huge local news. Witnessing such a wanton failure of the legal system to produce justice profoundly influenced my understanding of our legal, social, economic, representational, and other systems. This article encapsulates a lot about those systems into a surprisingly few words. As we still seek to improve upon these current systems, it’s an article well worth your time.