Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life — but no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we’re pleased to introduce our weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.
🗑 The good news is Alabama voters have a chance to re-racist the state constitution. The bad news is…
If you live in the state known as “the Heart of Dixie,” you might understandably suspect that not everything is equality and rainbows in Alabama’s constitution, and you’d be right: school segregation, poll taxes, and laws against interracial marriage are all still in there. Good news, then, that Birmingham-area state Rep. Merika Coleman has introduced an amendment focused on removing “racist language” from the document; come November, voters will have a change to pass Amendment 4, thereby kicking the document back to legislators to bring up to date. But, see, here’s the thing: Alabama’s constitution has been amended 950 times over the years without changing these parts. This isn’t even the first time a specific amendment along these lines has been proposed; a similar one was rejected by voters in 2012. (And it’s not like things have gotten all that better since then!) So hats off to you, Rep. Coleman, for doing the right thing — we’ll reserve our congratulations to the people until whenever they figure things out. (WTVY)
🗑 O Canada, what the hell is wrong with your teenagers?
At just over 90,000 residents, the Ontario town of Pickering isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, but given that it’s right next door to Toronto, we’d expect that it has at least some of its neighbor’s progressive mojo. Not so much, maybe. A Black student at a local Catholic high school dedicated his senior year yearbook photo caption to his late grandmother, only to have what was actually published read a little bit differently. What began as “RIP Grandma. Thank you for guiding me through my four years of high school” became — and we can’t believe we’re actually typing this — “RIP Harambe dooga booga.” The first part of that, if you were somehow not on this planet in 2016, refers to a gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo who was shot by a staff member and became immortalized in both regular and racist memes; the second part… well, we’re too angry to even explain it. Fix your fucking kids, Canada. (The Star)
🗑 That thing we just said about Canada? Applies to Pennsylvania adults, too
If you’ve ever driven through Western Pennsylvania and gotten too far off the main highways, you might understand where the nickname “Pennsyltucky” came from. And now so does the state’s second lady. Over the weekend, Gisele Barreto Fetterman — who is married to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman — went grocery shopping near their home outside Pittsburgh, only to be accosted by a troll who followed her through the store, saying “there’s that n****r that Fetterman married.” (Barreto Fetterman was born in Brazil.) The confrontation continued outside, where Barreto Fetterman managed to record part of it and post it to Twitter. Rather than give in to our lesser demons and talk about the other woman’s appearance and lack of teeth, we’ll try to put a positive spin on the dispiriting encounter and say: Hey, good job wearing a mask for at least part of the time you were spitting virulent hate! (The Washington Post)