Tag: Racism

The Enduring Fiction of Affordable Housing

In October of 2018, Leslie Hernandez stood in the hallway of her building, an olive-green stucco and concrete complex in Los Angeles’s Chinatown, trying to communicate with her neighbor Benson Lai, an elder in his early 60s and a monolingual Cantonese speaker. She held up an official notice of a rent increase, which had been given to tenants throughout the building, and tore it in half. Then she took the pieces and tore those too.

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My Life Sewing T-Shirts for 26 Cents an Hour

At 5 a.m., I’m awoken by the bell and roll over to turn on my light so the corrections officer can see that I’m alive. After the C.O. finishes the morning count, I start getting ready for work. My cell opens around 6:40 a.m., and I make my way up a steep set of stairs to the mess hall for a breakfast that consists of lukewarm, lumpy oatmeal and toast. Then it’s out the main building to the warehouse to start my day at the tailor shop.

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Why America Loves the Death Penalty

On the evening of February 16, 1961, 19-year-old Wilbert Rideau found himself at a loose end. He’d missed the bus after finishing work in his hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and couldn’t get a ride home with friends until later that night. Dawdling around bus stops alone was dangerous for a Black man. He decided, on a whim, to rob a local bank. “When would an opportunity like this occur again?” he wrote in his 2010 memoir, In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance.

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