In many tech companies, George Floyd’s death in May last year marked the beginning of vert conversation around racial justice into the workspace. The politically correct neutrality that had whitewashed workplace conversations on politics and current events gave way. Many executives took the lead to introduce this conversation and thereby freed the rank-and-file to talk openly about these political issues, like systemic racism and police brutality, as well workplace issues, like microaggressions and unconscious bias. Race and racial justice became germane topics of conversation in many workplaces overnight. And beyond dialogue and education, companies also began to update HR practices…


On Saturday night, Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot suppressed a genuine democratic expression against police brutality with more police brutality. With no major demonstrations in the Chicago’s Loop in the days before, Saturday was the first day the city gathered en masse to demonstrate against the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis under the Black Lives Matter banner. Within 8 hours of its humble beginnings in Federal Plaza, though, Mayor Lightfoot ordered the entire city shut down in a cloud of tear gas and spray of rubber bullets. The decision to shut down CTA and declare curfew on a moment’s…


As the protests against the police murder of George Floyd escalated into the weekend of May 30th, the media coverage has predictably been of mixed quality. Appalling headlines, such as this one by the Minneapolis Star Tribune show one appalling side of journalistic coverage — engaging in race baiting headlines to generate clicks & to further a segment of public opinion that wants to see the protesters as rabid, hysterical animals.

Other takes have been more progressive and fair, stating plainly the political stakes of black communities which are not represented by either the Democratic or Republican parties — and…


There has already been much written about the way COVID distorts our ability to make sense of the social world. Between macro ideas being bandied of a global narrative collapse buttressed by the micro realizations we inevitably have in which we are confronted by the limits of our own subjectivity in understanding the current world (e.g. the difficulty a non-parent has in empathizing with a parent working during the stay-at-home orders; or the impossibility of white-color salaried employees understanding the work / unemployment / quit calculus for wage employees working at fast food joints; etc.) …


If the last few decades were characterized by acquiescence, trust in institutions, and subconscious belief that the elite deserved their success — this decade has been one in which all of that has been spun on its head. Episodes like MeToo, the Panama Papers, & the Snowden leaks are characteristic of the dizzying acceleration of transparency applied to powerful institutions and elite society over the last few years. …


Over the last few years, everything in the Democratic Party has revolved around Trump. He, or rather an animus towards him, is the fiery mass around which the various wings of the party revolve. Electability is a word not far from any conversation about the candidates: if the party cannot dethrone Trump next year, the primary is all for nothing. But it is also a time of immense urgency — corporations have captured our government subordinating the will of the people, the economy has ossified to work only on behalf of those at the top, and Global Warming threatens everything…

Knapp

Tech worker, tech culture critic, labor organizer.

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