Monday, April 19, 2021

CoViD-19: Vaccines For All 16+ | Getting A Vaccine Has "Never Been Easier" | Planned Parenthood Disavows Racist Founder | Gun Violence: So Much For Now More Than Ever | Photos: San Diego Zoo |

I know most people wake up during that thing called 'morning', but usually that's when I'm going to bed, so when I'm asleep early on a Sunday and up early on a Monday, it feels worth noting. That led to a very productive-ish day, and by the time I finished watching all of the things (Jen Psaki, COVID-19 Response Team, closing arguments of the Chauvin trial, Todd Gloria at Froggy Park talking about homelessness) and by the time we'd finished lunch, Darren and I went to the San Diego Zoo while Nova did her piano. I'm having a hard time adjusting to Daylight Saving Time/Spring sun so shooting photos has been challenging but it's still fun trying. The above picture is full of horrible glare and shot with my phone, but I had some special bonding with this turtle that I'd never before seen in one of the aviaries. His nose looks like two little straws. It's tempting to reach in and touch him, but I didn't want to pollute his water with my sunscreen and hand sanitizer permanently embedded on my hands. And you're just not really supposed to touch any of the animals. 

News has been pretty intense. I understand that jurisdictions have to be prepared for all possibilities on the Chauvin trial, but the way the media covers it as "bracing for violence" is infuriating not only because we all knew about January 6th and there was no such coverage, and that resulted in a fucking insurrection, but because the assumption that he could be found not guilty on any of the counts...well it's just impossible to think he could get off, yet we know from all of history that he could. 

There is good news locally. I would expect that the County is going to continue to do no-appointment vaccinations this weekend, and now monoclonal antibody treatments are available in South Bay in addition to the one at Palomar health in Escondido, and they're free. So if someone you know tests positive who may be high risk, they can get treatment to avoid more severe illness. There's a lot of stuff worth reading today, so links are after the jump. Stay safe out there. 
Source: Statista

A Message From Planned Parenthood. Edited for clarity.:

We need to talk about Margaret Sanger.

For as long as I've been involved with Planned Parenthood, our founder Margaret Sanger's legacy on race has been under scrutiny. Was she, or was she not, racist?

Over the years, we've answered every question but that one. We've defended her as an avenger of bodily autonomy but unfortunately "a product of her time." But now, as we're being called upon to grapple with our 100-year history, we can no longer afford to reconcile Margaret Sanger's legacy: We must reckon with it.

In this reckoning, Planned Parenthood is naming and owning the harm that Sanger caused to generations of people with disabilities and Black, Latino, Asian American, and Indigenous people. For example:

  • when she spoke to the women's auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan at a rally in New Jersey to generate support for birth control.
  • when she endorsed the Supreme Court's decision in Buck v. Bell, which allowed states to forcibly sterilize people deemed "unfit" without their consent.
  • when the first human trials of the birth control pill, her passion project, were conducted in Puerto Rico on women who did not know they were an experiment, or that they might experience potentially dangerous side effects.

We don't know what was in Sanger's heart, and we don't need to, to condemn and disavow her harmful choices. Reckoning doesn't mean answering a yes or no question about whether she was racist. Reckoning is understanding her legacy and its impact. Reckoning is the work that comes next.

Re-assessing Sanger's history doesn't take away from her feminist fight. But her feminist fight wasn't enough. When you engage with people who believe in white supremacy, by default, you are devaluing and dehumanizing people of color.

And sometimes Planned Parenthood has repeated Sanger's mistakes. By centering women, and centering whiteness, we've contributed to America's harm for Black women and other women of color. And when we narrowly focus on "women's health," we have excluded trans and nonbinary people.

When we do that, we're failing our mission to care for the communities we serve. We owe it to them to show up differently to fight the dehumanization we are seeing right now. The dehumanization of victims of police violence like Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and too many others. The dehumanization of transgender kids whose health care and rights are being denied in states across the country. The dehumanization that comes when groups of people are not seen or valued as equals.

Long after we've reckoned with Sanger, we must continue to interrogate every structure and process and examine how racial hierarchy continues to operate.

We will no longer make excuses or apologize for Margaret Sanger's actions. We are committed to confronting white supremacy in our own organization and across the movement for reproductive freedom. This work has already begun at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, through its Reviving Radical initiative.

Margaret Sanger harmed generations with her beliefs. Planned Parenthood has a chance to heal those harms and build a better future in our second century. I'm so grateful to you, Rosemary, for growing and evolving with us and continuing to stand by our side as we go forward.

Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

San Diego Zoo Photo:

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