The extent to which great historic figures are stained by their participation in the racist codes of their age is hugely complicated. Yet why should an African American child in the 21st century have to learn in a school named for a Founding Father who owned their ancestors? And why shouldn’t White Americans, who have never faced the impediments of their Black neighbors, consider the context of their own forefathers’ accomplishments?
Pulling down statues can’t change what happened. And digging up the past is treacherous because no one knows where it will end. Reexamining history is painful and requires nuanced public debate — but is impeded by social media rants, mob scenes and politicians’ attempts to demagogue history for their own gain.
‘Change it to avoid embarrassment’
She firmly declined, but the professor pursued his request, explaining that her name sounded like “F*** Boy” to his ear. “If I lived in Vietnam and my name in your language sounded like Eat a D***, I would change it to avoid embarrassment,” he said. He later told The New York Times that his first email was “a mistake.” “The second email is very offensive, and if I had waited eight hours, I would’ve written something very different,” he added.
The new normal
You may not be able to vacation on the Mediterranean anytime soon, but as some Americans rail against masks and social distancing rules, Italy offers a vision of the future from afar. According to Italian photographer Federico Floriani, life is mostly back to normal in Milan, capital of the coronavirus-hit Lombardy region — though it’s a far cry from the kind of normal that we’d all like to return to.
Businesses are open and restaurants humming, but if you want to enter a supermarket, shop for clothes or board a train at the city’s cathedral-like Milano Centrale terminal, you’ll have to submit to a fever check. “It’s different (from before the coronavirus struck) — the feeling of being under surveillance,” Floriani says. “The other day, I took the train from Milan to Treviso and they check you — they check your temperature at the train station. It feels like they’re looking at you all the time.”
The city’s sacred aperitivo is back, too, but the famously abundant spreads of stuzzichini — finger foods like fried green olives and stuffed pumpkin flowers — that typically accompany an early evening cocktail on the terrace in Milan are no longer. “When they bring food, it’s all packaged, whereas we used to have buffet,” says Floriani. “Everything is more organized than before because everything has to be under control and nobody wants to take any risks.”
“Work wise, if you go to a (photo) set, you still need to get your temperature checked. You have to wear a mask, and you have to declare that you don’t have Covid-19,” he adds. “It’s summer, so I don’t like wearing a mask but I do it.” But the meticulous precautions are just a “facade” that many Italians only pretend to go along with, he adds.
“You can divide people into two or three categories: the ones who are still really afraid of people, so they’re still in a kind of quarantine and avoid going into public places and being close to others. Then there’s somebody like me, who does almost everything but I’m not going to have beers or aperitivo. I’m just seeing close friends,” he says.
“And then there are — perhaps half of all people — who don’t give a f***. For them, life is really back to normal.”
‘Our border has never been more secure’
As CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez reports, Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall and overhaul immigration is taking on renewed urgency as the November election approaches. One day after announcing that he would keep limits on visas for both skilled workers and asylum seekers, Trump’s administration billed his trip to the border as a celebration of the completion of 200 miles of new wall system.
But the 200 miles are only a portion of the administration’s goal to build 450 miles by the end of this year. Of those, roughly 3 miles have been constructed in areas where no barriers previously existed. The majority of miles replaced old, outdated designs with an enhanced system, according to US Customs and Border Protection.