To Move Forward

Mariame Kaba: Everything Worthwhile is Done With Other People (Eve L. Ewing)

I believe that when we are in relationship with each other, we influence each other. What matters to me, as the unit of interest, is relationships.

And how much hubris must we have to think that us individual persons are going to have all the answers for generations worth of harm built by multi-millions of people?

What It Really Says

The Quiet Harm of #TransformationTuesday (YrFatFriend)

It is impossible to celebrate what’s changed without deriding what came before it. The contrast of a body like mine is necessary to celebrate a body like his. My body, forever presumed a before, is a necessary counterpoint, a categorical failure that defines the lauded success of thinness.

It tells me that while you may intellectually agree with the politics of body positivity and fat acceptance, you keep them at arm’s length, still clinging to your hatred of your own body, and your desperate hope that being a different size will make you a different person.

By Another Name

43% of White Students Harvard Admits of Legacies, Athletes, or Kids of Donors (Jordan Weissmann)

Either way, most of them likely wouldn’t have been accepted without these connections. With a bit of fancy modeling, Arcidiacono and his team conclude that if you took away the admissions advantages, only 26 percent of the white athletes, legacies, dean’s listers, and faculty children Harvard admitted between 2009 and 2014 would still make the cut based on, say, their grades. At most, the white legacy/dean’s list/faculty kid group would have an acceptance rate of about 14 percent.

Belief over Science

Scientists Now Think that Being Overweight Can Protect Your Health (Harriet Brown)

Being overweight is now believed to help protect patients with an increasingly long list of medical problems, including pneumonia, burns, stroke, cancer, hypertension, and heart disease. Researchers who have tried to show that the paradox is based on faulty data or reasoning have largely come up short.

We don’t know as much as we would like about the complex relationship between weight and health. We don’t know for sure what the obesity paradox means and how to interpret it. Why does it inspire so much pushback?

Maybe the real paradox here lies in our assumptions about what constitutes normal weight.

Except Not…

The “Cancel Culture” Con (Osita Nwanevu)

Yet it seems at least possible that tweets are just tweets—that as difficult as criticism in the social media age may be to contend with at times, it bears no meaningful resemblance to genocides, excommunications, executions, assassinations, political imprisonments, and official bans past. Perhaps we should choose instead to understand cancel culture as something much more mundane: ordinary public disfavor voiced by ordinary people across new platforms.

The critics of cancel culture are plainly threatened not by a new and uniquely powerful kind of public criticism but by a new set of critics: young progressives, including many minorities and women who, largely through social media, have obtained a seat at the table where matters of justice and etiquette are debated and are banging it loudly to make up for lost time.

Good Information Goes a Long Way

Grown Woman Theology (Brittney Cooper)

White privilege works by making the advantages white people have invisible while making the supposedly “poor” choices of people of color hypervisible.

Also, what does it mean when our theological systems impede our access to a healthy and robust set of spiritual and political practices — practices that should give us life?