Science is The Foundation of The Walls We Build

“Science, at its best, also espouses such cosmopolitan ideals. That data is neutral, and science is apolitical, makes for an alluring narrative. By clinging to it, the scientist appears assured, almost noble, rising above the messy and the mundane by sheer force of intellect.

But reality does not conform to such convenient self-delusion. Pretending to be above and beyond politics is by itself a political position; in adopting it, one has aligned with the state and sided with the powerful…

…A scientist can journey to the end of Earth and the edge of time, but never leave the narrow corridors of prejudice…

…In the eyes of the settler, the border is no man’s land; the natives are part of the wilderness, waiting to be claimed. From charting night skies to splitting the atom, the advancement of science at both ends of the physical scale accompany a story of exploitation and conquest. The applications of science guard the border, capturing bodies and confining the imagination. To realize science’s liberatory potential, the work must start with reimagining the architecture of society, where walls are no more…

…Diversity threatens absolute power. What deviates from the center must be destroyed…

…We all inhabit an unjust system and make our compromises in order to live. When confronted with our complicity, the instinctive response is to deny and look away. This is why the border and the frontier have such strong holds on our collective consciousness. Both come in various forms. The prison, as Angela Davis and Gina Dent explained, is also a border. As long as the criminal, the foreigner, the other, are kept behind walls, we can hold on to the world as we know it and recognize our place in it.”

-Yangyang Cheng, “The edge of our existence: A particle physicist examines the architecture of society.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. December 7, 2020.

District Attorney Krasner Statement on Trump Administration Actions Targeting Cities

“Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office. At trial, they will face a Philadelphia jury.”

—Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney, “District Attorney Krasner Statement on Trump Administration Actions Targeting Cities.” Justice Wire. July 20, 2020.

The obvious solution to federal law enforcement operating locally without any clear legal and oversight is to put them in jail.

Same Lake, Unequal Rates

“Lake Michigan water rates have been surging throughout the Chicago region in recent years, squeezing low-income residents and leaving them with little, if any, recourse, a Tribune analysis shows…

…And the financial pain falls disproportionately on majority-African-American communities, where residents’ median water bill is 20 percent higher for the same amount of water than residents pay in predominantly white communities, the Tribune’s examination revealed.”

—Ted Gregory, Cecilia Reyes, Patrick M. O’Connell and Angela Caputo, “Same Lake, Unequal Rates.” The Chicago Tribune. October 25, 2017.

American Prison Writing Archive

The American Prison Writing Archive is “the largest collection to date of non-fiction writing by currently incarcerated Americans writing about their experience inside…

…[The] goal [of the archive] is to replace speculation on and misrepresentation of prisons and imprisoned people with first-person witness by those on the receiving end of American criminal justice. No single essay can tell us all that we need to know. But a mass-scale, national archive of writing by incarcerated people can begin to strip away widely circulated myths and replace them with some sense of the true human costs of the current legal order. By soliciting, preserving, digitizing and disseminating the work of imprisoned people, we hope to ground national debate on mass incarceration in the lived experience of those who know jails and prisons best.”