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Going For The Gold


It’s time for the 2020 Tokyo Games!!!! (pay no attention to the COVID behind the curtain). Opening Ceremony is today. And to start off the the festivities, the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee fired the director of the opening ceremony on Thursday because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998. Next up, the International Olympic Committee will now include protests from athletes after they excluded images of players from five women’s soccer teams kneeling in support of racial justice. Meanwhile there are eight Black women who are first time Olympians. Their events: marathon, softball (2), skateboarding, gymnastics, wrestling (2), and basketball. 

We Wear Short Shorts

“Athletes on the Norwegian women’s beach handball team are being punished for wearing shorts rather than bikini bottoms during a recent game, with the European Handball Federation leveling fines over “a case of improper clothing.”  The federation’s disciplinary commission imposed a fine of 150 euros per player (around $175) on the 10-member squad. In a joint statement with the International Handball Federation, the officials said that “all efforts will be taken in order to further promote the sport. This includes the ideal presentation of the sport and, by that, includes the outfit of the players.”  The Norwegian team said the bikini bottoms aren’t practical in a sport that constantly sees players diving into the sand. Some have also said the requirements are simply degrading to women. The International Handball Federation’s rules and regulations require men to wear shorts that fall no longer than 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) above their knees. But the rules for women are more specific, and revealing: 

“Female athletes must wear bikini bottoms … with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg,” the rules state. “The side width must be of a maximum of 10 centimeters.” 

NPR: A Women’s Beach Handball Team Is Fined For Not Wanting To Wear Bikini Bottoms  I mean this in the most disrespectful way: Screw you! Why are bikini bottoms the “ideal presentation” for women.  Especially when it is clear the women actually playing don’t want it and the men wear shorts; they’re not required to wear speedos. Im still trying to workout how exactly does not having their ass out compromise  the sport?  Any help with this question is appreciated. 

Construction Dysfunction

“It happens like this: A noose is left at a construction site or office, somewhere it can easily be found. Usually, by a Black employee. Police are called, complaints filed and vows made to find the culprit. Then, nothing. The cycle played out repeatedly this spring at the site of a future Amazon warehouse in Connecticut, where the state’s governor decried the discovery of eight nooses in five weeks as “racist provocation of the worst type.” Yet it’s a form of harassment that occurs with unsettling frequency in the construction industry: More than four dozen nooses have been reported at 40 building sites and offices across the United States and Canada since 2015, a Washington Post analysis of news reports and court documents has found.”

“The incidents reviewed by The Post involved at least 55 nooses and spanned 17 states, plus the District and Toronto, and several marquee projects: a Merck vaccine facility in North Carolina; campus expansions at Princeton and Johns Hopkins; a luxury shopping center in New Jersey; Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters; and a Facebook data center in Iowa. In some cases, multiple nooses were found at the same site. In at least three instances, a noose was literally looped around a worker’s neck, while others were drawn on safety signs or used to hang dolls depicting Black people. Some incidents occurred on historically significant days, such as Juneteenth or the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech. Penalties for displaying a noose vary by state but max out at five years in prison.” 

“The U.S. construction industry is worth more than $1.5 trillion. Of the sector’s nearly 10.8 million workers, just 647,000 are Black, federal data show, a reflection of a steady decline that began during the Great Recession. While the sector is predominantly White — including 96 percent of all company owners — nearly a third of its workforce is Latino, a demographic category that refers to ethnicity, not race. Latino workers also are frequent targets of slurs and other harassment, but generally fare better than Black workers in terms of opportunity and advancement.” Washington Post: Dozens of nooses have shown up on U.S. construction sites. The culprits rarely face consequences.  You know what I wish? I wish Black people could just go to work and work. But that never seems to be the case. There are already very few if any other Black people working on the sites then they have to deal with arguably one of the most objectively racist symbols. The biggest issue is that these crimes usually go unsolved. If these people were fired and prosecuted, I think there would be a decrease in incidents. But I won’t hold my breath on this one.

The Party You Should Have Missed

“A Southern California couple are facing manslaughter charges in connection with a deadly wildfire last September that prosecutors say was sparked by a smoke bomb during a gender reveal. The El Dorado Fire, which began at a park in Yucaipa, Calif., killed a firefighter and injured two other firefighters while burning more than 22,000 acres across San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. A grand jury indicted the couple, Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez, on one count each of involuntary manslaughter, San Bernardino County’s district attorney, Jason Anderson, said at a news conference. They also face three felony counts of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury, four felony counts of recklessly causing a fire to inhabited structures and 22 misdemeanor counts. About half of wildfires in the Western United States are caused by people — from downed power lines, discarded cigarettes, untended campfires — while the other half are started by lightning.”  New York Times: A couple face manslaughter charges after a wildfire started during a gender reveal party. This is all around sad because of course the couple didn’t want to start a forest fire. They were just being hella extra using pyrotechnics. Which, yes is dumb but they definitely didn’t expect all this. But then a firefighter died. It does make me wonder though if half the wildfires are started by people, do they all get prosecuted?

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