Help For Afghan Women Was Needed Before Taliban Takeover

In the short week since Kabul fell to the Taliban, the U.S. corporate media — and those who uncritically buy into it — are once again beating the drum that calls upon Western heroes to save Afghan women from Islamist extremism. While a New York Times headline reads, “Desperate Afghan Women Wait for U.S. Protection,” CNN sensationalizes the issue with shocking stories of the Taliban killing women. As these media stories trickled down into daily life, a teacher in my neighborhood texted me asking where she can donate funds to help Afghan women.  Feminist groups are teaching people how to “save Afghan women.” To be sure, the Taliban are exceptionally violent when it comes to gender justice and women’s rights and fundraising could indeed be helpful. Yet more than ever before, our society must shift the focus of our apparently “feminist” concerns. Where have these concerned voices been for the past two decades while the U.S. empire has been bombing Afghan women and devastating their lives?

The Warehouse Archipelago

As many as four million workers labor in clusters of warehouses scattered across the United States. Many are mislabeled as ‘temps’; all are poorly paid, and on-the-job injuries are high. In the article “The Warehouse Archipelago”, John Lippert and Stephen Franklin investigate the current state of staffing in the warehouse industry. Part One of the Chicago Reporter series published every Monday provides insights into the plight of workers suffering from “wage theft, discrimination, and unhealthy and hazardous conditions.”

Every six seconds, the sorting machine would spit out bags of candy as Rebecca Wells waited, robot-like. The workers

She had to grab the bags, weighing up to nine pounds, stuff them into shipping boxes, and then feed the boxes into a taping machine.

CPS Rift Continues Over In-Person Learning

Chicago Public Schools students are scheduled to return to in-person learning at the end of the month. But Norma Noriega said some Black and Brown kids won’t return despite a requirement for most students to learn at school five days a week this year. For some parents, the risk of sending their children to school won’t be worth taking as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the city, said Noriega, who teaches sixth grade math at Stevenson Elementary School in the Scottsdale neighborhood..  The virus also continues to disproportionately affect communities of color. “Brown and Black children already come into this world endangered to some extent, so there are going to be parents who aren’t going to risk their children’s lives,” she said. “They’re not going to risk the lives of the other children in their household.

Varying Factors Fuel Vaccine Reluctance

Chris, a 23-year-old Auburn Gresham resident, said it’s because many people around his age are less likely to take precautions against the virus than older adults. That includes wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings at bars and music festivals. “We go outside. Our generation is trying to live in the moment,” said Chris, who didn’t want to give his last name. For him, that means going downtown on weekends and socializing over drinks and music at bars often packed with maskless faces.

Latinos In Need Turn To Paid Clinical Trials

His rent at a modest bedroom in a trailer park was due. Roberto, 43, had just emigrated to Miami from Cuba and lacked a safety net. Then, an immigrant friend recommended that he take part in a paid clinical trial and mentioned she had been making thousands of dollars through constant participation. The trials had become a well-paid “job,” she said. Roberto said he saw “a light.” It was 2013.

CPD Will Get More Support On Mental Health Calls

Police responding to citizens’ mental health episodes without the benefit of a trained professional will soon be just an afterthought when the city launches a pilot program next month. In 13 Chicago neighborhoods, certified mental health specialists will accompany police responding to calls regarding someone undergoing a crisis. Mental health workers and even some police officers have long maintained law enforcement isn’t always equipped to handle someone going through a mental lapse, regardless of the severity. The pilot program will send teams consisting of a paramedic, police officer and mental health crisis intervention professional and is set to begin in August. Communities on the  West Side, North Side and South Side have been identified. 

The program, Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE), was announced in June at Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Violence Prevention and Reduction committee meeting.  The targeted communities include; Auburn Gresham, Chatham, Chicago Lawn, East Garfield Park, Gage Park, Humboldt Park, Lakeview, North Center, Uptown, West Garfield Park, West Elsdon, West Englewood and West Lawn.

Muslim Holiday Is About Sharing And Caring For The Needy

On July 20, millions of Muslims across the U.S. celebrated Eid Al Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice, commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s faithfulness to God after being tested with the unfulfilled command to sacrifice his son. In Chicago, the Arab American Muslim families I know celebrated with feasts, prayers, and giving. They shared and distributed food with those in need. They visited cemeteries to share the celebration in the memory of departed loved ones. They drove across town or to nearby states like Michigan to celebrate with their extended family.

U.S Continues To Colonize

For centuries, Black and Indigenous writers have established loud and clear the great paradox of the Fourth of July: the U.S.’ purported democracy was founded on slavery and genocide. We must also remember that since July 4, 1776, the U.S. has not only continued its settler-colonial project and its containment of Black people within U.S. borders, but it has also expanded its colonial aspirations across the globe. One only needs to recall that the turn of the 20th century “independence” entailed the colonization of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, and Hawaii. In recent years, from police killings of Black people to the deportation machine’s caging of children, it is more clear than ever that the idea that “all men are created equal” was meant only for some, not for all. Perhaps this explains why protesting U.S. state violence has been as much of a part of the Fourth of July as the fireworks and the cookouts all along — from Congolese Therese Patricia Okomou who scaled the Statue of Liberty to protest family separations in 2018 and continues to demand “Abolish ICE” to the 2020 protests against police violence or those who blocked the highway leading up to Mount Rushmore, reminding the world that this land, the Black Hills, belongs to the Lakota Sioux.

It’s Time That a Latino Led CPS

As it did with the health care system and economy, COVID-19 exacerbated the deep disparities in education by race and ethnicity that existed across the country’s public school system underscoring the importance of prioritizing equitable access to learning. In Chicago, school districts were overwhelmed and unequipped with the chaos of mass school closures and shifting to remote learning. Hispanic-Latino students who make up the largest student body in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) were hardest hit by the disruption. For Hispanic-Latino students and other disenfranchised communities, educators who share their lived experiences could have made a big impact on CPS policy changes that chastised low-income students lacking basic technology, access to live instruction, and safe quiet spaces to learn. Now, with the appointment of José Torres as the interim CPS chief replacing CEO Janice Jackson, there’s an opportunity to make representation in leadership reflect the diversity in classrooms.

“CPS is primarily made up of Latino students,” Ald.