The Lavin Weekly: Taking the High Road, Democracy vs. Math, The Last “Ism,” Afghanistan Strategy, & "Islam’s Mosh Pit"
In this Lavin Weekly, Jelani Cobb argues for the high road; Emily Bazelon reveals how voters’ rights are being violated; Ashton Applewhite continues the fight to end ageism, MJ Hegar asks what victory looks like in Afghanistan, and we get an excerpt from Parvez Sharma’s upcoming book.
1. “Trump is waiting for a Reichstag fire...no one should be providing him with matches.”
Jelani Cobb points out that Antifa—a group that employs violence to fight fascism—provides the exact imagery that Trump needs to nourish hate, propaganda, and lies. This New Yorker article is Cobb’s call to exercise intelligent self-defence; to honour the big picture; to remember Michelle Obama’s words, “when they go low, we go high.”
2. “Politicians are picking the voters, instead of the other way around.”
In her latest feature for the New York Times, Emily Bazelon explores how sophisticated computer modelling has taken gerrymandering—manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency—to new extremes. “It violates voters’ rights to be treated equally.”
3. “The minute you start to see ageism, you see it everywhere. The first and toughest challenge though, is to see it in ourselves.”
Ashton Applewhite is on a mission to end, what she calls, “the last acceptable prejudice.” Ageism is everywhere, perpetrated by everyone, and yet we’ll all be checking that “over 65” box one day. “Aging is living,” Applewhite says in this candid, funny, enlightening interview on Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller.
4. “What does victory in Afghanistan look like?”
Author and purple-heart-decorated veteran MJ Hegar talks to NPR about Trump’s announcement to stay in Afghanistan. “We need to consider the worldwide environment,” she says. “The things that we can do as a country and what our administration can do to try to create an environment in which terrorism does not thrive.”
5. “In a sense it was Islam’s mosh pit.”
In Saudi Arabia, filming is forbidden and homosexuality is punishable by death. Fearless filmmaker Parvez Sharma is gay and recording his Hajj—the pilgrimage to Mecca every able-bodied Muslim is meant to go on at least once in their lifetime. Read this captivating excerpt from his book A Sinner in Mecca on The Daily Beast.
To find out more about Jelani Cobb, Emily Bazelon, Ashton Applewhite, MJ Hegar or Parvez Sharma, or any other speaker, contact The Lavin Agency today.