Our biweekly lists lay out notable issues in the news and tell you what you can do about them.
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Hello Teens Resisters!
We hope that the end of school and the promise of summer has lifted all of your moods as much as it has lifted ours. A lot of stuff has happened these past few weeks (as always), and hopefully these few key points will make you feel a little less overwhelmed and enable you to take some sort of manageable but still powerful action :))
URGENT: Last week, we released a list regarding the atrocious new practice of separating immigrant children from their families at the US border, even when the family enters at a legal checkpoint. If you haven’t yet done so, please read the list and do the actions at the bottom. It is very important. Click here.
what weNt down
NFL National Anthem Policy
Recently, the National Football League (NFL) decided to try to stop players from kneeling and locking arms during the traditional pre-game national anthem in a show of protest against the ceaseless profiling and brutality that African-Americans face at the hands of the police. This movement, which originated with Colin Kaepernick in 2016, caused widespread controversy and debate last year––some saw the players’ actions as their right to free speech, while others called it out as disrespect. The organization has said that every single player must stand during the anthem (although players are given the option of remaining in the locker room) and that any player who defies the mandate will subject their team to a fine.
Many athletes have said that they will protest during the anthem regardless, and team owners have said they are ready to pay any fines necessary. Coaches and fans have also already expressed support and respect for these player’s decisions.
The NFL’s attempt to stifle this debate may end up backfiring. Four Democratic congresspeople recently sent a letter to the football team the Bears, who supported and played a role in legitimizing the new policy, criticizing the NFL’s decision sharply and defending the players’ freedom of speech. President Trump, on the other hand, just disinvited the Eagles from visiting the White House after some players declined to come because of his continuous criticism of players who choose to kneel (in his classic egotistical, undemocratic fashion).
So, what can you do to make sure that these players get the free speech rights they deserve and are able to keep protesting injustice in America without unfair consequences?
Good News!! (And how to make sure it keeps on coming!)
Good News #1: On Tuesday, May 29th, ABC cancelled 1990s show Roseanne (which had just been renewed for its eleventh season) in response to a racist comment that the star of the show, Roseanne Barr, made on Twitter. In the tweet, the actress compared Valerie Jarrett, Barack Obama’s senior advisor, to an ape and to the Muslim Brotherhood: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” ABC’s president described this comment as, “abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values.” The network’s decision to cancel this show is very significant in that it shows that this type of mindset is unacceptable and that the modern world will not tolerate racism like this.
Good News #2: On Friday, May 25th, Ireland voted to repeal their 8th amendment, which determined that the termination of a pregnancy was unlawful and thus punishable by law. Abortion in Ireland was punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. This new repeal to the 8th amendment is a huge step forward for women’s rights in Ireland. It will decriminalize abortion in the country and will allow any woman who is less than twelve weeks pregnant to have an abortion. Although Ireland has a long way to go in terms of giving women the rights they deserve, at least they are moving in the right direction.
In the U.S., on the other hand, abortion and women’s rights are still being controlled by politicians. President Trump recently revived the global gag rule, which takes away federal funding from clinics across the world who provide abortions. Additionally, last month, the Trump administration offered a new rule that would prevent doctors from receiving Title X federal funding if they referred any patients to abortion providers.
So, what can you do?
Estimated Death Rate in Puerto Rico
As has been discussed by Teens Resist numerous times in past lists, the inhabitants of Puerto Rico are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. The storm ravaged the island, leveling 70,000 homes, leaving 3.3 million people without power or water, destroying the healthcare system, and doing infinitely more damage. A recently publicized new report, however, estimates the death toll in Puerto Rico as 70 times larger than the official one, a statistic that sheds light on just how much the United States government has neglected this American disaster. A recently published opinions piece by the New York Times Editorial Board characterized the response as “slow and inadequate,” and the failure of the government to at the very least collect accurate data on how extensive the storm’s effects actually were demonstrates condescension and perpetuates the idea that Puerto Ricans are not “real” Americans.
So, what can you do to make sure that Puerto Rico gets the help it needs and deserves?
And, finally, the quintessential puppy vid:
These lists include featured organizations, scripts, numbers, news updates and inspirational activists.