Archives de catégorie : Current Issues

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN de Pashtana Durrani

The remarkable memoir of Pashtana Durrani, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, who has pursued her passion for educating the “disappearing girls” of the remote, contested rural tribal regions amidst all the turmoil, violence and oppression that has enveloped her country – and her family – over a generation

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN
by Pashtana Durrani
with Tamara Bralo
‎ Kensington, TBD 2023
(via The Martell agency)

Pashtana Durrani was the first recipient of a grant from Malala’s Fund, and the founder of Learn NGO, an organization that was ruthlessly targeted by the Taliban. She conceived and developed a brilliant program for getting educational materials directly into the hands of girls and young women in the form of solar-powered tablets preloaded with lessons for grades K-12.
Pashtana escaped from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover and will soon be in the U.S., with a two-year residency at Smith College to continue her critical work for girls’ education. Malala wrote one of two letters to the U.S. government to petition for Pashatana’s safe evacuation to the U.S. Pashtana is a highly sought-after expert in the on-going international advocacy struggles, a figure of hope and promise for all those determined not to cede ground in the battle for women’s education and autonomy in Afghanistan and beyond. To get an idea of her passionate engagement and resilience in the face of despair, please watch this clip of an interview the weekend after the fall of Kandahar, which was her base, on UK’s Channel 4 (the same day she was also interviewed by CNN, BBC, NBC, ABC, the
LA Times and Washington Post):

The New York Times has reached out to her twice to write an op-ed, which she will be doing shortly. For quite some time Pashtana has been a go-to person for almost every major media outlet. Her work has been recognized by Amnesty International and the UN.
Just as Malala proved, the young women of Afghanistan – and the world – will be the fiercest, most effective fighters in this just cause and Pashtana is one of their most determined and articulate voices. She has been working on educating young women since she was 7 years old (turning down a full scholarship to Cambridge, so she could so she wouldn’t be cut off from her girls for several years was an inspired, albeit shocking, decision). Her story and her students’ stories are heartbreaking and inspirational and offer essential lessons about the realities of the world beyond our borders and how meaningful lives can be led amidst stunning adversity. And the critical issues regarding the (non)education of women in Afghanistan and across the globe are not going away soon. We will never be able to shed too much light on this brutal situation.

The co-writer on the project, Tamara Bralo, is an award-winning journalist who worked for BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera English, and spent years covering war zones around the world, including Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

YOU SOUND LIKE A WHITE GIRL de Julissa Arce

Bestselling author Julissa Arce brings readers a powerful polemic against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America. Instead, she calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that make us Americans.

YOU SOUND LIKE A WHITE GIRL:
The Case for Rejecting Assimilation
by Julissa Arce
‎ Flatiron Books/St. Martin’s Press, March 2022

You sound like a white girl.” These were the words spoken to Julissa by a high school crush as she struggled to find her place in America. As a brown immigrant from Mexico, assimilation had been demanded of her since the moment she set foot in San Antonio, Texas, in 1994. She’d spent so much time getting rid of her accent so no one could tell English was her second language that in that moment she felt those words―you sound like a white girl?―were a compliment. As a child, she didn’t yet understand that assimilating to “American” culture really meant imitating “white” America―that sounding like a white girl was a racist idea meant to tame her, change her, and make her small. She ran the race, completing each stage, but never quite fit in, until she stopped running altogether.
In this dual polemic and manifesto, Julissa dives into and tears apart the lie that assimilation leads to belonging. She combs through history and her own story to break down this myth, arguing that assimilation is a moving finish line designed to keep Black and brown Americans and immigrants chasing racist American ideals. She talks about the Lie of Success, the Lie of Legality, the Lie of Whiteness, and the Lie of English―each promising that if you obtain these things, you will reach acceptance and won’t be an outsider anymore. Julissa deftly argues that these demands leave her and those like her in a purgatory―neither able to secure the power and belonging within whiteness nor find it in the community and cultures whiteness demands immigrants and people of color leave behind.
In YOU SOUND LIKE A WHITE GIRL, Julissa offers a bold new promise: Belonging only comes through celebrating yourself, your history, your culture, and everything that makes you uniquely you. Only in turning away from the white gaze can we truly make America beautiful. An America where difference is celebrated, heritage is shared and embraced, and belonging is for everyone. Through unearthing veiled history and reclaiming her own identity, Julissa shows us how to do this.

Julissa Arce is a nationally recognized author, sought-after speaker, producer, and social changemaker. She is the best-selling author of My (Underground) American Dream and Someone Like Me. Arce is a Crooked media contributor and a frequent writer for TIME Magazine, and has provided political commentary across numerous TV networks including NBC News, Bloomberg TV, CNN, and MSNBC. She is the cofounder of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students regardless of their immigration status. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

ORT OHNE WIEDERKEHR de Mihrigul Tursun & Andrea Claudia Hoffmann

The first book worldwide by a survivor of the Chinese concentration camps.

ORT OHNE WIEDERKEHR
(A Place of No Return)
by Mihrigul Tursun & Andrea Claudia Hoffmann
Heyne/ Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, February 2022

Human rights organisations and governments speak of a crime against humanity, a « cultural genocide ». Mihrigul Tursun has repeatedly been a victim of Chinese efforts to totally assimilate the Uyghur minority. She experienced the so-called « re-education camps » in their indescribable cruelty, the physical and psychological violence, first hand. In a way that remains unexplained to this day, her young son died while she was imprisoned. Today, despite the threat that has not disappeared even in exile, she has the courage to speak openly about what she experienced and to describe from her own experience what the Uyghur minority in China has to endure. A significant eyewitness account that brings the reader closer to the people behind the news from China.

Uyghur Mihrigul Tursun, born in 1989, was imprisoned several times in the Chinese « re-education camps » of Xinjiang. During her detention, one of her sons died in Chinese custody under unexplained circumstances. On 28 November 2018, Mihrigul Tursun gave her harrowing testimony before the US Congress (Congressional-Executive Commission on China). She described the inhumane conditions and torture methods in the camps. In December 2018, Tursun was awarded the Citizen Power Award.
Andrea C. Hoffmann works in the political editorial department of the news magazine Focus and teaches at various German universities. Her books have been translated into 17 languages worldwide.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Mihrigul_Tursun.jpg

WOKE RACISM de John McWhorter

Acclaimed linguist, New York Times bestseller and award-winning writer John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric, and offers a roadmap to justice that actually will help, not hurt, Black America.

WOKE RACISM
by John McWhorter
Portfolio, October 2021
(Writers House)

Americans of good will on both the left and the right are secretly asking themselves the same question: how has the conversation on race in America gone so crazy? We’re told to read books and listen to music by people of color but that wearing certain clothes is “appropriation.” We hear that being white automatically gives you privilege and that being Black makes you a victim. We want to speak up but fear we’ll be seen as unwoke, or worse, labeled a racist. According to John McWhorter, the problem is that a well-meaning but pernicious form of antiracism has become, not a progressive ideology, but a religion—and one that’s illogical, unreachable, and unintentionally neoracist.
In WOKE RACISM, McWhorter reveals the workings of this new religion, from the original sin of “white privilege” and the weaponization of cancel culture to ban heretics, to the evangelical fervor of the “woke mob.” He shows how this religion that claims to “dismantle racist structures” is actually harming his fellow Black Americans by infantilizing Black people, setting Black students up for failure, and passing policies that disproportionately damage Black communities. The new religion might be called “antiracism,” but it features a racial essentialism that’s barely distinguishable from racist arguments of the past.

John McWorther was recently on Real Time with Bill Maher and eloquently describes his point of view:

John H. McWhorter teaches linguistics, American studies, and music history at Columbia University. He is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and host of Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast. McWhorter is the author of twenty books, including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English.

THE ANATOMY OF ANXIETY de Tobias Rose-Stockwell

A guide to understanding the underlying machinery and technology that controls our society, our ability to communicate with one another, to discern friends from foes, and to maintain a functional democracy.

THE ANATOMY OF ANXIETY:
Why Rational People Become Righteous, Scared and Angry on Social Media—and What This Means for Democracy
by Tobias Rose-Stockwell
Hachette US, 2022

There is a noticeable shift that has occurred in the last two decades. The prevalence of hate speech online. The turn toward authoritarianism and populism across the western world. The rise of extremist groups on both the left and the right. Every day, it seems, we’re hearing more angry voices and fearful opinions, we’re seeing more threats and frightening news, and we’re reacting faster and less rationally.
The cause is hidden in plain sight: for the first time, almost all of the information we consume as a species is being controlled and curated by algorithms designed to capture our emotional attention. It is the wide-cast net of social media that is propelled by tech, has been exploited by all of us, and which has been allowed to steadily replace our newspapers, emergency communication systems, town halls, churches, and more.
THE ANATOMY OF ANXIETY is a book about how to navigate a world that has been thoroughly disrupted by technology. It is a primer for explaining the underlying machinery that has come to controls us and a compass to help guide people toward reflection rather than reaction. The culmination of 15 years of research and inquiry, this book will give readers a language with which to comprehend what is happening to society, and offer new mental models for how to manage our time, our technology, and our attention, as well as big-picture recommendations for the way forward, how to redesign these platforms, and methods for fixing this broken system before it “fixes” us. Informed by the author’s experiences working in Silicon Valley, advising top news organizations, and spearheading humanitarian efforts in countries where democracy has failed, this book is
The Righteous Mind meets Factfulness for the smart phone era.

Tobias Rose-Stockwell is a designer, writer and technologist based in NYC, where he consults on ethics, strategy, and design for a wide range of companies. He studies technology’s influence on moral emotions, media, and civil consensus, and is currently writing a book about these issues, and what they mean for the future of liberal democracies. His work has been featured on the BBC, Quartz, Good Magazine, NPR and in The Atlantic.