“If today, the last few months, or the Trump administration is all you’ve got, it sure looks bleak. But when I think about me, when I think about my family… people used to own me. White people used to own bodies like mine. And when I look at what my community has done to change that [and] what my community has taught this world about justice and about humanity, in the face of abysmal inhumanities, well, I’ve got to tell you, that alters the calculus of hope. And it gives me hope…
“There’s an obstacle in front of us. We’ve seen these before. Might be a bit terrifying, might be a bit unusual, might be a bit new, but onward we go. We have broken every chain this society has tried to throw around our necks. They don’t stop trying. We will break them again…
“I’m a child of blackness. Blackness was not meant to survive, and we have survived. And we have thrived. And we’ve given this world more genius than we have ever received.”
Your weekly songspiration!
1. The fight for immigrant rights continues: A federal judge ruled that Jeff Sessions can’t block sanctuary cities from receiving federal funding; California passed a “sanctuary state” bill which bans law enforcement from working with ICE in most cases; and the Teamsters Joint Council 16 has become a sanctuary union, citing the deportation of a member as a “wakeup call.”
2. The military will allow transgender troops to re-enlist and continue receiving medical care. (This may change if Trump’s ban goes into effect, but this bipartisan bill, which would block the ban entirely, is gaining momentum.)
3. After the cop who killed Anthony Lamar Smith was acquitted, thousands of peopleshowed up in solidarity with Smith and his family—and continued showing up for several days. And the only synagogue in St. Louis gave shelter, food, and water to protesters escaping police violence.
6. After the University of Virginia’s president unfairly criticized Black Lives Matter protesters, we’re pleased to see the school stepping up to help pay medical bills for people injured by white supremacists.
7. College Park, Maryland granted undocumented immigrants and other non-citizens voting rights in local elections. ✅
8. We missed this when it happened, but Oregon recently passed a new law allowing judges to stop people at risk of shooting themselves or others from accessing guns. (Thanks, Jess!)
9. New York’s governor signed an executive order prohibiting police from asking about people’s immigration status in most cases.
10. While the Emmys could have done without this stupid bit, the awards show made history in some wonderful ways. Riz Ahmed became the first South Asian—and first Muslim—man to win an acting Emmy. His acceptance speech said it all:
“What we’re starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories and to tell them in a way that’s authentic. And I think awareness is the first step to real change.”
Women also dominated the awards: These three delivered one of the best moments of the night; Reed Morano became the first woman to win a drama series directing Emmy in 22 years; and Lena Waithe made history as the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing.
And since we’re on the topic of great stories and great women, we have to give a huge shoutout to Battle of the Sexes, which opens in theaters today. Billie Jean King’s victoryagainst Bobby Riggs was a game changer for women’s athletics and the women’s movement. #RunDontWalkToTheTheater
It feels like Groundhog Day over here as we call our senators yet again to tell them to trash the latest rotten egg of a healthcare bill the GOP has cooked up. We have one final chance to throw it in the garbage—hopefully for good this time. Call your senators, use this Indivisible tool to call voters in red states and ask them to call their senators, show up at a rally, and if you’re a doctor, check out the #HouseCallsCampaign. Remember: We’ve stopped these awful bills before and can stop this one, too. Do it for Dudley.
Onward we go.
P.S. Creativity creates connection—your brain on art.
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