YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

  • Undercover “Muslim”: My Hidden Islamic Heritage

    by Noah Nelson

    Nabra Hassanen, 17, was killed after exiting a mosque in June, 2017.
    When I first read the reports of the death of Nabra Hassanen, the teen girl who was beaten to death while leaving a mosque, I cried. Seventeen years old, bright and alive, she’d been chased, hit over the head with a metal bat, dragged into a car, and then thrown into a pond. Her violent death replayed in my mind’s eye. I didn’t sleep well.  I kept thinking to myself, “That girl could have easily been one of my friends.”
    Nabra Hassanen was my same age. We were both raised Muslim. And given a different path, her fate could have been mine.

    I may not look like it, but I am half-Turkish. When I was younger, I attended a private Muslim school which doubled as a mosque for the local Muslim population. We wore hijab during prayer time, and had lessons in Arabic. Over the years, I became more and more disconnected to not only Islam but all organized religion. Today, I have only a cultural connection to Islam. I do not currently identify as Muslim or wear hijab. But because of my past, I keep company with the Muslims who attend my school. A large portion of my friends and family members follow Islam. And several of them look just like Nabra.
    When people see me today — a light-skinned white teen with no hijab — they assume that I am Christian. I often find myself in a position of feeling as if I am a spy, privy to hearing the racist and Islamophobic things other people say. For instance, there was a moment this past year where a boy in my class made a “joke” in front of me about Muslims being “dirty, dumb terrorists.” He spoke with such a tone of camaraderie, as if that’s how all of us think about Muslims.
    When I confronted him — revealing that an entire side of the family is Muslim, that many of my friends are Muslim, and that I still follow aspects of Islam — he panicked. He stuttered out phrases like, “You’re not that kind of Muslim!” and, “I wasn’t talking about you!”
    The truth is, when the ignorant are faced with those they speak ill of, they have no valid way of justifying the hurtful things they say. When these people don’t get corrected in their inaccurate understandings of Muslims, it keeps the door open for violence to occur. I suspect that the man arrested for Nabra Hassanen’s murder, Darwin A. Martinez Torres, was much like the boy in my class: misguided and willing to be swayed by the huge amount of anti-Islamic rhetoric that exists in the media today.
    The way I handle people, like the boy in my class, is simple. I do my best to argue in a way that is more informative than angry. But I also juggle my own emotional response to that sort of speech by implementing humor.
    My friends and I who hold connection to Islam try to make the blow of our current political climate into an self-effacing jokes. My Palestinian friend and I call each other “terrorist” in the hallways, but we also pay attention to every shift in the political net of America. We cry out Allah Hu Ekber as we send in essays we’ve been working on for hours, but we also donate time and energy into helping Syrian Refugees. We joke about “dirty Arabs,” but we also discuss things like Chapel Hill, the pig heads left on the steps of mosques, and the people like Nabra.
    The way we joke among ourselves does not give non-Muslims permission to take Islamophobia lightly. It’s a way for people who face stigma and fear to try to take control of our lives. We laugh so that we do not cry.
    It’s hard to be so completely defined by society based on one aspect of who we are. In Nabra’s case, it’s like no one wants to think how she was more than a Muslim body. She was a person. She had thoughts and plans. At 17, she would have been thinking about college. As the eldest daughter, her parents were likely beginning to realize that they would have to let her go, not to death, but to adulthood.
    Nabra was a representative of so many people in the U.S., not just young Muslims. And yet, even in death, she is seen only as the scarf she wore and not for what lied beneath it: a brain and a life and most of all a future. If you want to remember this, say her name. And not only her name but Deah Barakat’s, Razan Muhammad Abu-Salha’s, and Yusor Muhammad Abu-Salha’s. Say Waqar Hassan’s name and Vasudev Patel’s. Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein’s and Nazma Khanem’s, and the countless others we brush under the rug as to keep the blame off the shoulder of this country.
    And though I cry at Nabra’s death, I am not doing so because her loss is a shock. As terrible as it is to say,this loss is just further proof that young Muslim-Americans are not safe in this country. No one wants to to talk about how Nabra’s story is reflected in the experiences of many young Muslim women in America. We need to acknowledge that young Muslim men and women –people in our lives and schools and communities — have been put in a position of always needing to watch their back. And that is simply not okay.

  • “Now They Love Me For Me”: One Teen’s Coming Out Story

    by Teresa Chin

    I always knew, ever since elementary school, that something was different about me. That was when I got my first crush on another boy. He was one of my best friends at the time. Recently, I found out that he stopped being my friend because he had a “funny feeling” about me. He told one of my other friends that he thought that I was gay.
    Well, surprise, he was right.
    Ever since I was little, my relatives have seen me as one of the more feminine guys in my family. But growing up, I tried as hard as I could to hide who I was from them.
    My attraction to males grew stronger as I got older and I didn’t know what was going on. In seventh grade, I started secretly identifying as bisexual. But everything changed in freshman year, when I realized for sure that I was only attracted to guys, not girls. That summer I had my first boyfriend. The only person in my family that I trusted enough to tell was my sister. My boyfriend and I broke up at the beginning of the school year.
    Around the same time, my dad found out about my sexual orientation. He found an old journal of mine where I wrote about liking men. Afterwards, he asked me if he had done something wrong in his parenting — as if my sexual orientation were a choice. To me, his reaction was very heartbreaking. Even though he didn’t kick me out of the house, it was like he was telling me, “I don’t’ love this part of you. I only love you because you’re my son.”
    I came out to the rest of my family a few months later. It was my big birthday idea to tell them that I was gay. I was very scared because a lot of people in my family that are close to me don’t support LGBT people at all.
    That day, I was very nervous. I didn’t say anything the whole night because I was so anxious. For most of the party, I stayed quiet. Then, when a group of my family members was about to leave, I exclaimed, “I have something I need to tell you guys”.
    Everyone turned to look at me. I sat back on the couch and held my sister’s hand so tightly it hurt. In that moment, I was ready to die. Finally, I worked up the courage, and the words escaped my mouth. “I’m gay,” I said. The room filled with silence and surprised looks. And then, my family spoke.
    “OK,” they said.
    I was shocked. It was no big deal to them! I had worked myself up for nothing.
    It was a scary process, but now that I’m out to my family, I feel free knowing they love me for me. Even though we may have our hiccups about the topic I’m still accepted.
    Coming out required me to first love myself, and then to believe that someone out there and would love me back. Now I know that being gay or bi or whatever is not a problem, and there is nothing wrong with people like me just because we love the way we do.

  • Hiring a Media Cloud Contract Software Engineer

    by rahulb

    Online media is in a state of flux. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, so-called fake news - these are all recent developments that have radically altered the landscape of news and information online.  We call this the "networked public sphere", and the Media Cloud project was created to track and understand it.  Come help us build data-centric tools for academic internet researchers and human rights activists that let them investigate coverage and conversations online about topics they care about.
    The Media Cloud project is seeking a contract software engineer to help us build tools that facilitate research about the role of online media in civic discourse.  We are an open source project producing research about the networked public sphere, and helping others do their own research about online media.  We make available to the public our existing archive of more than 550 million stories, adding more than 40,000 new stories daily.
    The contract software engineer will work on our server architecture, which collects, processes, and makes these stories available via an API.  They will work under senior engineers to plan, design, build, maintain, and run all levels of the project's platform. This includes back-end tools that collect and archive the data, researcher tools that enable analysis of that data, and occasional contributions to front end tools that expose the data and analysis to the public. Buzzwords - big data, quantitative text analysis, machine learning, etc.
    Media Cloud is a joint project between the Center for Civic Media at MIT and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The position will be a 6-month contract position based at the Center for Civic Media (at the MIT Media Lab), but the engineer will work closely with members of the team from both centers.  The project is funded by human rights foundations. We produce both the open platform and research that helps our funders make decisions about how best to influence online civic conversations about democracy, activism, and health. This is a grant-funded contract position that we hope to extend, or turn into a staff position.
    We are a diverse project of researchers and technologists who love to wrestle with hard questions about online media by using a combination of social, computer, and data sciences.  The ideal candidate will work well with all members of the team, from senior faculty to junior developers, and will thrive in an academic atmosphere that privileges constant questioning and validation at all levels of the platform and of our research products.  Experience building text-based big data systems, or working as a data scientist, is helpful, as is experience working on projects investigating online media.
    Minimum Qualifications:
    B.A. degree, preferably in computer science or data science related field;
    at least two years experience working as a software engineer;
    programming fluency – Python required, Perl and Javascript are helpful;
    demonstrated ability to design, build, test, and deploy robust code;
    demonstrated ability to iterate quickly through prototypes;
    demonstrated ability to use data to validate architectural decisions using data.
    interest in working on issues related to democracy, gender, race, health, and globalization.
    Helpful Skills:
    passion for solving difficult engineering and data problems;
    experience writing, maintaining, and optimizing SQL queries against large databases;
    experience implementing and maintaining a production ETL pipeline;
    experience scaling platforms to handle large data sets;
    experience writing web crawlers;
    experience working with PostgreSQL and Solr / Lucene in Ubuntu environments;
    knowledge and interest in social sciences;
    work with senior engineers to establish technical vision for project;
    contribute to, and follow, a technical roadmap to meet research needs and complete grant deliverables;
    collaborate with other developers, designers, and system administrators in implementing technical roadmap;
    communicate project status internally and externally to our community of users;
    maintain, upgrade, and build systems within large, existing codebase to collect, archive, and analyze content from online media;
    writing code to scale systems to handle ever expanding data requirements.
    Much of our substantive work focuses on issues of gender, race, and globalization.  We strongly encourage women, people of color, and people of any sexual identity to apply.
    The job is based in Cambridge, MA, but much of our team is distributed around the world.  We are open to alternative working arrangements that include part time residence in Cambridge.
    Apply by sending a cover letter, resume, and link to your GitHub profile to jobs@mediacloud.org

  • A Teen Refugee In Oakland: “I Have No More Nightmares, No More Tears”

    by Teresa Chin

    I am a refugee from Burma. I’ve lived in the United States since 2011. When my family and I arrived here, we didn’t have healthcare. We didn’t have education systems and life was really hard. I saw myself as a victim stuck in a room with no door. Then, after six years the opportunity came for us to fill out immigration papers. That is when everything changed: new place, new world, and new life. Now I thank God that I was brought here.
    My parents were born in Burma. They grew up in a place called Karen State. Karen State is a beautiful place. We lived in a forest and in a village. In Karen State you can live free and wild. You can have good a time living in the forest. You can just go hunt animals without permission because it is your place. When you need food to eat you can go hunt. We have a lot of river water that you can just jump into and catch fish or frogs. The country was very calm and nice. Before we lived peacefully as a happy family but now we are running for our lives.
    The problem is that my country is too beautiful a place. Burma has been in a state of constant civil war since independence in 1948. Powerful elements within the Burman ethnic group, which is about 60 percent of the population feels that they should control the country’s culture, land, and money. The fighting got really bad in 1995 leading to generations of families fleeing Burma. My family ran away in 2002 because of the war that took place and we wanted to find a better place to live.
    We took five airplanes to get to the United States and it was hard because we didn’t know anything about the U.S. We were tired after getting here. I was so surprised because when I looked around everything was shining and so beautiful and now I love living here.
    My dad works really hard to support our family because he is the only one who works and he doesn’t have time to go school, but my mom is going to school to learn English. And I think she tries really hard to be successful so she can earn an education and one day she will have a better job than my dad.
    Now that my family has immigration papers, I have no more nightmares and no more tears. My life transformed from the worst to the best. I started my new life in Oakland, California with no friends and no money. I got my butt kicked on the first day of school. Not thinking I would succeed, students laughed at me like I was a comedian when I tried to say something they don’t understand. My mom used to tell me, you always have to be humble. No matter who you are, no matter where you go. After working really hard, I’m thankful. I feel big and successful.
    I want to tell this story because refugee people live a different life and have different struggles. Life can take you anywhere but you have to believe that everything will be the best for you. There will be no rainbow without rain. My family is poor, but we don’t worry about how poor we are because we’re blessed and we can make it through each day. Thank you, mom and dad, for never giving up.

  • Gardner Comments on Harvard’s Rescission of Admission

    by Howard Gardner

    In early June 2017, Harvard College rescinded the admission of at least 10 students who would have been members of the Class of 2021 in response to extremely offensive memes that these individuals had shared in a Facebook group.
    Harvard’s actions prompted controversy; while some believed it was appropriate to punish the students, others saw the move as a potentially dangerous form of censorship of free speech.
    In an article in The Boston Globe in which members of the Harvard community provided commentary, Howard Gardner stated that he hoped these young people had learned a lesson and that admission to Harvard is a privilege that comes with community standards.
    Read the full article here, and we have printed below Gardner’s full statement on the issue.
    As I understand it, Harvard’s decision is definitive. It is harsh, but I support the decision as reported. We certainly know that people of all ages will say terrible things, and now those messages can be widely distributed—no way to stop it.
    In any community, we need to observe certain standards if that community is to thrive. Admission to Harvard College is a great privilege. I assume that, when admitted, students were told that admission could be rescinded for disreputable actions, and that is an apt description of what they have done.
    The students have learned a lesson that they will never forget, and I hope it will make them better persons in the future.
    No doubt present and future Harvard college students will also have learned lessons.
    I don’t agree that these are issues of free speech. Prospective students are not being prosecuted. They are simply being prevented from joining a community which in my opinion they have forfeited their right to join.
    There is lots of evidence that being featured and “liked” is very important for users of social media, and one way to do this is to be outlandish and attract attention among your peer group.
    Also, whenever a social medium becomes widely used by older persons, younger persons move to a new and less frequented mediums. In this case, students did not resort to a new platform but instead, as I understand it, created a more private and more exclusive group, kind of a Facebook “final club,” to use the Harvard lingo. I guess now they can still have their final club, but it won’t bear the Veritas shield.
    -Howard Gardner

  • Civic Media Co-Design Studio 2017: By Any Media Necessary

    by Mariel Garcia Montes

    This semester, the Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio was focused on youth media and gentrification. For this version of the course, we wanted to develop media projects that respond to the current political, cultural, economic, and environmental crisis with youth-led visions of a more just and creative future. We partnered with ZUMIX and The Urbano Project, two youth arts and media organizations in the Boston area, and NuVu Studio, an innovation school for middle and high school students in Cambridge. 
    Co-Design Studio students, ages 11 to 26, gathered weekly at the Center for Civic Media to work on media projects to challenge narratives from a youth perspective, while discussing topics central to design justice, gentrification and transformative media organizing. The Studio made visits to NuVu, The Urbano Project, ZUMIX and other sites, and had visits from Evan Henshaw-Plath, Lawrence Barriner II from MIT CoLab, Marisa Jahn from StudioREV, Jose Gomez-Marquez from the MIT Little Devices Lab, Jorge Caraballo Cordovez from East Boston Nuestra Casa, and Mike Leyba and Homefries from Fair Economy and City Life/Vida Urbana. You can see the class syllabus here.
    These are the resulting projects:
    Open Book/Libro Abierto - atelier/co

    Open Book/Libro Abierto is designed to be a versatile platform for community members to share their stories. The print medium allows users to interact with the book in a tactile way, physically making their mark on the story of their community. The book presents handwritten and printed words along with photos of community members, and offers viewers access to audio interviews via QR links. Our goal is to create a hackable book that invites viewers to share their stories and start conversations, responding in whatever medium they choose. The book will be exhibited in Urbano’s Nomadic Sculpture, where visitors will be able to read the stories and respond by writing directly in the book. We hope to foster productive and honest conversations about what displacement and community mean to the people of Egleston Square, both physically written in the book as well as verbally during and after the exhibition.
    Here are the links to Open Book/Libro Abierto's project, final presentation slides, and to the case study.
    East Boston Voices - Peas in a Podcast

    "East Boston Voices" is a podcast special centered around events of gentrification and displacement in East Boston. The mission of Peas in a Podcast is to unveil the hidden stories of the neighborhood to the greater Boston community, hopefully instigating change among East Boston’s residents. Each member of the group interviewed someone in the community who’s dealing with the effects of gentrification and displacement directly, compiling their stories and presenting their contents to the audience with added data and thought-provoking questions.
    Here are the links to Peas in a Podcast's episodes, final presentation slides, and to the case study.

    Displacement of residents is a growing problem in many communities in the Boston area. However, this crisis in the making remains mostly unknown, partially owing to the fact that those impacted are often low-income immigrants whose primary language is one other than English. To counter both the lack of attention as well as the anti-immigrant sentiment that buoys displacement, Homesticker proposes an interactive mobile installation that allows residents of neighborhoods to label locations that they consider to be their homes, giving a face to the victims of displacement and also demonstrating the problem’s magnitude.
    Here are the links to to Homesticker's final presentation slides, and to the case study.

    Rainbow is a public installation that tells the stories of about Cambridge residents and their history with the area. The goal of the project to highlight important issues mainly gentrification in and around Central Square. Using audio recordings and photography, this installation will help the voices of people who live in the area to be heard and shed light on how universities and businesses are changing Central Square and making the low-income life increasingly difficult.
    Here are the links to Rainbow's final presentation slides, and to the case study.

  • I’m Not Here For Your Microaggressions

    by Maya Cueva

    I often get praised for my intelligence. Even though that sounds like a compliment, sometimes the implication is: you’re smart…for a black girl.
    One day, in the car with my mom, she told me, “It’s not always a compliment if someone says you’re articulate.”
    “What do you mean?” I asked.
    “If you were white, people would assume that you’re smart,” she said, keeping her eyes on the road. After that we sat in an uncomfortable silence.
    My parents and I are pretty close, but until that conversation, we hadn’t talked about how people might judge me by the color of my skin.
    Since then, I’ve started noticing microaggressions everywhere. Like employees following me around a store, or people moving their purses when I sit next to them.
    In the 7th grade, a classmate asked me, “Why do you look black, but act white?”
    In the moment, I shrugged my shoulders. But on the inside I was embarrassed and aggravated. I realize that, while it’s hard to speak up, that just means people will keep stereotyping people like me.
    So the next time someone asks me that, I’ll be sure to have a better comeback.

  • “This Is Not Normal”: Seventh Graders March To End Gun Violence In Brooklyn

    by Noah Nelson

    Kayla Attz, holds a sign that reads, “Words don’t hurt, bullets do!” Students designed signs for the march in their Digital Media class as a part of the anti-gun violence curriculum. Image: Sayre Quevedo
    Once again gun violence is front and center in America’s political awareness.
    While the debate rages on about what–if anything–can or should be done about the waves of mass shootings and other types gun violence, students at Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, took to the streets last week in a show of their commitment to address the issue.
    On Friday, June 9th, seventh graders from Launch marched from their school to a rally at Restoration Plaza amphitheater, where the student body president kicked off a series of speakers from the school and community, in partnership with the Save Our Streets (SOS) Crown Heights organization.
    Here are some images from the event:
    Thierry Elliot and fellows students march with Dequann Stanley, Violence Interrupter Supervisor at Save Our Streets (SOS), an organization in Brooklyn that has charged itself with “interrupting” gun violence through counseling and mediation. Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio
    Viviana Lima, 13, is a student at Launch. For her, the anti-gun violence unit was particularly emotional. “My cousin died last year. They shot him. He was trying to block the bullet and he died.” But, Lima says, it felt good to march with other students to try and end the violence that took her cousin’s life. Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio
    David Gaskin, is the Program Manager and Lead Manager at SOS. SOS works hand-in-hand with Launch Charter School on a daily basis, assisting students and making sure they make it home safely. “In the beginning [the students] thought gun violence was normal. They believed it was normal to hear shootings on a nightly basis. They believed it was normal for people to solve conflicts with a gun. They believed it was normal to walk by candles that were lit for someone killed in that location. This was us saying, this is not normal. This is what a community without gun violence looks like.” Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio
    Aissatou Diallo (center), flanked by fellow students, Roshawana Sinclair (left) and Courteney St. Hilaire (right), raises her fist in the air as students march down Fulton street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Diallo and Sinclair are both eighth graders who took the anti-gun violence unit last year and participated in this year’s march. Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio
    Ashtown Valews, 14, a student at Launch, has also experienced gun violence. He has family members who have been shot–some who lived and others who didn’t. He says he’ll continue to spread the message of the class, even after it’s finished. Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio
    Lindsay Herz is a Special Educator at Launch, teaching science and social studies for seventh graders. Along with co-teacher, Shamikah Kenlock, Herz helped with organizing and logistics for the rally. “It was really the students who did the most important planning in preparing for this. Many of them were speakers at the event. They led the march. They were chant leaders. They designed the signs. Every single student at the event today had a role.” Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio
    Two students stand on the stage of Restoration Plaza Amphitheater in Crown Heights. One delivers his “call to action,” an essay on how to solve the problem of gun violence. He wrote the essay as a part of his social studies class. Image: Sayre Quevedo/Youth Radio

  • Should San Francisco Pride Be A Party Or A Protest? I Say, Both

    by Teresa Chin

    The first and only time aI went to San Francisco Pride, I found it deeply disappointing. I was in high school. it felt like I had stepped into a big outdoor nightclub for drunk teenagers and twenty-somethings. Everywhere I looked, there was another big corporate logo trying to get my money with bright pink and rainbow graphics.
    Especially in California, I had expected Pride to be fun, meaningful and welcoming. Instead it felt like a booze-soaked, glitter-covered, outdoor version of the house parties I spent my adolescence trying to avoid (only with more stuff to buy and slightly fewer straight people).
    Afterwards, I remember riding the train home with my partner at the time and feeling like something had been missing. I wondered, what was the point of Pride supposed to be?
    Pride organizers across the state are struggling with that same question. This year, instead of the usual Pride parade celebration, cities like Los Angeles and San Jose opted to host “resistance marches” to protest President Trump’s policies. These marches aimed to tackle anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, as well as intersectional issues, like racial justice and affordable housing. But other cities, including San Francisco, are taking a more politically neutral approach.
    Despite the city’s once-liberal reputation, San Francisco Pride organizers recently announced that they would not host a formal resistance march this year. They’re concerned the shift in messaging would compromise Pride’s positive atmosphere, and that companies who usually sponsor Pride, but aren’t willing to appear partisan, would pull out of the festivities. As a compromise, San Francisco’s parade will be led a “Resistance Contingent.” But many local activists have expressed disappointment, pointing out that sponsors shouldn’t get to dictate Pride’s messaging in the first place.
    The whole argument brings me back to my first Pride parade. Should Pride be a party, or a protest? These days, I don’t think we have to choose.
    I agree my community needs a joyful celebration that embraces queerness. But Pride has been so far removed from its original historical context that many seem to have forgotten why the celebration is significant.
    The truth is, LGBTQ+ identities are (and always have been) politicized, and being out and proud is (and always has been) a political act. There’s no way to avoid that. When so many powerful forces are trying to marginalize us, it’s inherently radical that we combat our internalized oppression with positivity.
    The first Pride parade commemorated the anniversary of Stonewall, a 1969 riot against the police and their raids on clubs and bars that were frequented by queer and trans people. At that time, queerness was criminalized. If I had been alive then, I would be risking jail time for public homosexuality or dressing as “another gender”, just by being queer. Only through direct action and political organizing did LGBTQ+ people achieve the legal protections that we enjoy today.
    Being able to celebrate rather than mourn, rage, and protest at Pride is a privilege that queer leaders have worked hard to win. If we take it for granted, it will disappear, because the battle for queer liberation isn’t over. Those who can’t accept this fact shouldn’t be celebrating the victories of that fight.
    Social progress is not a function of time. Let’s not forget, as one of his first actions upon reaching office, President Trump scoured every reference to LGBTQ+ people from the White House’s website. Trump’s cabinet is full of people who oppose queer rights, and he supports the proposed First Amendment Defense Act, which if signed into law, would give businesses and individuals the right to deny services to LGBTQ+ people based on their religious beliefs. As of this article, the only thing that the president has done to acknowledge Pride month was to speak in support of religious freedom at an event hosted by The Faith And Freedom Coalition, which opposes same-sex marriage.
    The threat to queer civil rights is bigger than any administration or political party. Murders of LGBTQ+ people in the United States hit a record high in 2016, not including the shooting at Pulse that killed 49 people a year ago. Trump’s presidency is indicative of a large scale cultural shift at the expense of the marginalized. His words and his policies have only fed that shift. Shouldn’t we pay attention, and do something about it?
    Pride is about love and hope. It’s also about liberation and fighting back against subjugation. It cannot and should not be one without the other.
    If we all just want to party hard and trust that others will solve our problems, we risk losing everything we’ve accomplished to regressive, reactionary politicians. Remembering our history and empowering ourselves is more important than getting wasted and protecting the business interests of sponsors. We, as queers, as allies, and as the Bay Area, know that when anger and love join hands, mountains move.
    Gay Pride provides the perfect opportunity to show this to the world, and San Francisco ought to embrace it.

  • Check Yourself: 3 Ways NOT To React To The Congressional Baseball Shooting

    by Teresa Chin

    Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) was injured when a gunman opened fire on a baseball practice for Republican Congressmen on June 14, in Alexandria, Virginia. Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.
    Early this morning, a gunman in Alexandria, Virginia, opened fire on a baseball practice for Republican congressmen, injuring several people, including Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. The suspect, James T. Hodgkinson, was shot by Capitol police and has reportedly died of his injuries.
    The story is still developing, which means there’s still a lot of speculation out there as to what happened and why. Also, it’s related to partisan politics, which means there are plenty of excuses for people to say awful things that they might regret later.
    Given those considerations, we’ve put together a very short list of suggestions of to remind you of what NOT to do:

    Don’t just skim headlines — read the damn articles.
    Don’t just use this as an excuse to blame all Republicans/Democrats/etc.
    Don’t forget what’s going on in the rest of the nation/world.

    For more tips about how to be a responsible consumer of breaking news, we like On The Media’s online handbook.