Happy Thanksgiving, loyal subscribers! Welcome to The Highlighter #120 and to the holiday season. Thank you very much for your readership. This week, I’ve chosen articles about discriminatory policing, deluded white voters, the depths of loneliness, and detecting Alzheimer’s Disease. Please enjoy!
New Subscriber Contest Update: Another 13 people joined this week, thanks to your word of mouth! There was a 3-way tie for this week’s winner: Kiera, Erik, and Abby P. Congratulations! We have just two weeks left, so get out there and encourage your friends, colleagues, and family to subscribe to The Highlighter. We can reach our goal of 100 new subscribers before Dec. 7!
Highlighter Happy Hour #3 will be at Dalva in San Francisco on Thursday, Dec. 7, beginning at 5:30 pm. Come meet other curious, caring close readers and chat about the articles! Check out the Events page for more info and how you can get your ticket.
A few years ago, Jacksonville experienced a high rate of pedestrian fatalities. In order to fix the problem, the city decided to give tickets to jaywalkers, rather than to speedy drivers. But police officers didn’t end up targeting unsafe intersections where accidents had occurred. Instead, they gave citations disproportionately to Black people in Black neighborhoods. Until the case of Devonte Shipman, which cast a light on the discriminatory practice, thousands of African Americans had to endure the racist “stop and frisk of the South.” ⏳⏳
In this outstanding article, Adam Serwer continues the conversation where Ta-Nehisi Coates (#109) left off: that the election of Donald Trump was “less a story of working-class revolt than a story of white backlash.” Mr. Serwer argues that white people of all economic backgrounds vote for racist people and discriminatory policies, then delude themselves into thinking otherwise. Evidence: David Duke, Alexander Stephens, George Wallace, our president. Thank you to loyal subscribers Laura and Niki for alerting me to this article. ⏳⏳⏳
For many people, the holiday season exacerbates feelings of despair and loneliness. This article explains the negative effects of social isolation, particularly on men. Given that friendships fade after we turn 25, and given that many (gay and straight) men eschew vulnerability and intimacy with other men, it is no surprise that loneliness has reached an almost epidemic status. ⏳⏳
My high school history teacher Rodger Halstead once asked, “Would you want to know the date of your death?” The question pushed us to think about how we wanted to live our lives. I was reminded of that question while reading this article on blood tests that will soon be available to predict our likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s Disease. If you had access to such a test, would you take it? Would you want to learn your fate? ⏳
This Week’s Podcast: We all know that The Highlighter likes science, and this week, not one but two science teachers enriched our show. Jonathan Wright and Philippe Vanier chatted about last week’s lead article, “Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?” They also discussed how teaching science in Salt Lake City is very different from teaching science in the Bay Area. Please enjoy the episode, tell your friends, and subscribe! (The podcast, with its seven five-star ratings, is becoming a force.)
You’ve reached the end of the 120th issue of The Highlighter! Let me know your thoughts below by giving this issue a thumbs-up or -down. Also, please welcome our new subscribers: Avi, Philippe, Justin, Jamie, Angela, Amanda, Luc, Ruth, Shannon, David, Carla, Jenn, Linda, and Nancy! Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you again next Thursday at 9:10 am.