Published at Time, October 2014.
It’s hard to break into theNew York Times obituaries section, but apparently being the first U.S. Ebola patient to die will do the trick. Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted Ebola by helping an infected pregnant woman into a taxi, is dead. For perspective, though: According to the CDC’s most recent count, 3,439 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, and only a handful of cases are being treated outside the hot zone in Africa.
Read more at Time.
Published at Bitch Magazine, July 2014.
It was a strange choice for a summer blockbuster. A weepy film about a girl dying of thyroid cancer who meets her boyfriend in a support group and then travels to Amsterdam so she can meet the author she idolizes before experiencing the ultimate heartbreak. The film’s distributor handed out tissues at advance screenings, counting on audiences to break down even if they included some of the most hardened and jaded film fans. Without a single explosion, spy versus spy showdown, or car chase, the opening box office of The Fault in Our Stars was $48 million, handily beating the latest Tom Cruise flick.
Read more at Bitch Magazine.
Published at The Daily Dot, July 2014.
Is Teach for America (TFA) a neo-liberal disaster contributing to the utter destruction of U.S. public schools, or is it an innovative program providing new opportunities to children growing up in underprivileged communities? Can the students of the Internet age help fix education? It’s one of the most controversial education reform initiatives in the United States, with passionate advocates on both sides of this question. As the 2014-2015 school year approaches, TFA graduates are completing their training and getting into classrooms, and this debate is becoming even more acute.
Read more at The Daily Dot.
Published at xoJane, April 2014.
What happened in Oklahoma on Tuesday night was disgusting. Watching it unfold was horrifying and shameful, and it reminded me of why I am so ferociously against the death penalty. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, it’s wrong, and it’s a fundamental human rights violation. Worldwide, 51 percent of countries have already stopped using it, and we’re in the company of human rights trailblazers like Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
Read more at xoJane.
Published at Truthout, December 2013.
Research on the effects of long-term unemployment benefits on the economy shows that for every dollar the government pays out, the economy benefits to the tune of $1.60. As people on benefits spend them on food and other supplies, they stimulate their local economies, engage local businesses and keep their communities economically functional. Without these benefit funds in the economy next year, already depressed and struggling communities could face even more problems, leading to a spread of economic depression including a surge in the unemployment rate as companies are forced to let people go. Thus, the refusal to extend benefits could have a long-term ripple effect with seriously negative outcomes.
Read more at Truthout.
Published at The Guardian, June 2013.
It’s raining here, softly but firmly, and Wendy Davis is filibustering in Texas.
She’s speaking in a low, quiet voice in the other tab, talking about admitting privileges, standing quietly as Senators raise points of order, resuming her flood of speech flawlessly when the floor is returned to her. Her voice is calm and clear, measured, thoughtful, as she explains a subsection of SB5. My Twitter is flooded with commentary on Davis, on SB5, on reproductive rights. The Texas Senate is filled with people in orange, most of them women, coming out in droves to support the right to choose; to refuse the restrictions on abortion services embedded in SB5, the attempt to deprive them of access to basic medical services.
Read more at The Guardian.
Published at ThinkProgress, April 2013.
This Friday, House Republican Tim Murphy is holding a hearing on whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) “helps or hinders patient care and public safety” in the context of mentally ill patients. The hearing, a followup to his hearing last month in which he reiterated false claims about mental illness and violence, will notably not include a single mentally ill witness. Why not? Because, according to Tim Murphy, mentally ill people are not “competent” to testify about how a relaxation of HIPAA rules would affect their own lives.
Read more at ThinkProgress.
Published at CCRF, March 2013.
As we think about reproductive freedoms this week, we must consider all their permutations, and the importance of a world in which the right to parent is protected just as fiercely as the right not to parent, or to choose to wait to become a parent. Disabled people need the full force and support of the reproductive rights movement, and so do their children; freedom for some is justice for none, and no loving, competent parent should have to live in daily fear that her child will be taken from her simply because of who she is, how she lives her life, the fact that she lives interdependently rather than independently.
Read more at CCRF.
Published at The Guardian, October 2012.
The gradual commodification of breast cancer reflected a failure of the movement, in that it wasn’t able to adapt quickly enough to fight the commercialisation of breast cancer awareness. Now, groups like Breast Cancer Action are having to fight cancer on two fronts: battling for patients, as well as fighting the rise of pinkification.
Read more at The Guardian.
Published at AlterNet, August 2012.
Increasingly, young people in America are getting caught in the collision of “zero tolerance” laws and growing concerns about school safety – and paying an irrationally high price for it. A series of school shootings and threats in the 1990s, including the Columbine massacre in 1999, radically changed the concept of “school safety” in the United States, and as administrators and law enforcement officers determined that campuses were no longer safe places, a new, more militarized approach to monitoring schools began to take hold. It may be hard to recall but this wasn’t always so; 40 years ago, it was sometimes difficult to get police to arrive on campus at all. Now, they are everywhere.
Read more at AlterNet.