Most people know Jasper, TX, as the town where a black man named James Byrd was tied to a pickup truck and dragged to his death by three white men in 1998. The photography of Alonzo Jordan, who was something of a local institution, captures the quieter, happier moments of black life in the tiny town.
Gabriel Arana on the mutability of marriage — and his own pending nuptials. “During a meeting with a wedding planner at a hotel we scouted, the planner stopped us at the door of the ceremony space. “Before we go in, you should know that the space has just been redecorated; we’re still making changes,” she said as she held the double-leaf door handles. She opened the door, and at the end of the narrow hall hung a 10-foot-tall painting of a bride. We chuckled. “My biggest problem with it is actually that it’s ugly,” my partner said.”
Fixing our nation’s sorry public defender system. ” Most of [one defender's] clients are undereducated black men — some dropped out of school in junior high — and a dysfunctional public-defense system arguably exacerbates racial injustice. But the issue is a hard sell. ‘There’s not much of a national uproar to try to help people that are thrown into the criminal-justice system and branded criminals.’”
Why military spending remains untouchable. “The duopoly of American politics no longer allows for a principled anti-interventionist position. Both parties are war parties. They differ mainly in the rationale they devise to argue for interventionism. The Republicans tout liberty; the Democrats emphasize human rights. The results tend to be the same: a penchant for activism that sustains a never-ending demand for high levels of military outlays.”
And Mother Jones has a helpful explainer on the unrest in Egypt.