#138: A Betrayal
Hi Loyal Subscribers! Today’s issue is my favorite so far this year. It’s big and serious. It’s about betrayal and redemption. It’s about how our past is our present. And it’s about how our beliefs limit us. All told, there are 2 ¼ hours of deep reading, listening, and watching. (You might have to take today off. 😀)
Henry is a 17-year-old student at Brentwood High School on Long Island. Two years ago, he escaped MS-13 in El Salvador and entered the United States legally via asylum, only to face intense pressure to rejoin the gang, because membership in MS-13 is for life. Henry wants out for life. He faces a decision. Does he snitch on his peers to gain FBI protection in return? Listen to this excerpt by loyal subscriber Shyanna, then dive into the article to find out what happens next. (33 min)
This is a big-hearted article about the Arlee Warriors, who live on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation and dominate their opponents on the court. For star player Phillip Malatare and his teammates, basketball offers their community a two-hour respite from alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, and the intergenerational trauma resulting from colonization. (37 min)
Bacon, who belongs to loyal subscribers Nick and Tina, enjoys his third appearance (#80, #102) in The Highlighter. He is an early favorite for Animal of the Year.
White people lynched more than 4,400 Black people in our country from 1877 to 1950. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opens April 26 in Montgomery, is dedicated to those Black lives and to the legacy of racial terror. In this disturbing video, Oprah Winfrey interviews Bryan Stevenson (#54), founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, about the memorial. (14 min)
“Accountability is nearly always a stranger to cops who kill,” writes Jamil Smith. “We need more permanent reminders of victims like Stephon Clark that last longer than a news cycle.” Mr. Smith contends that police killings are modern lynchings. The rate of police killings — more than 300 people have been killed by police so far this year — is staggering. (10 min)
If you care about school desegregation in Oakland, join me at this event next Thursday. Good news: I have a free ticket (thank you, Ron!) for one lucky subscriber. Let me know today if you’re interested, and I’ll choose the raffle winner tomorrow!
Taylorsville is a quaint Southern town in the foothills of North Carolina. It’s the home of 2,100 Baptists and a major furniture company, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, whose founders are gay. The 660 workers at MGBW love their wages and perks, and “think the world of” their bosses as businesspeople. But they don’t approve of their “homosexual lifestyle” and do not want it “pushed down” their throats. It doesn’t help that Mr. Gold’s Faith in America fights against religious bigotry and that the local high school has a new gay-straight alliance. The residents of Taylorsville are frustrated and feeling righteous — but not enough to take a stand and quit their job at the factory. (31 min)
Do you remember binging on Serial? Does the mention of the podcast cue the music in your head? Yep, me too. A California teacher replaces books with transcripts of Serial and student interest soars. But does that count as reading? Want to hear more about reading education? Check out our podcast or my Instagram this month! (15 min)
Why do you subscribe to The Highlighter? I’d love to hear from you. What makes you open this email week after week? Reply to this email, call me at (415) 886-7475, or tell me in person tonight at HHH #5!
That’s all for this week! Did you read every article, listen to every podcast, and watch every video? Hope so. Please tell me if you did — and what you thought about today’s issue. Feel free to use the thumbs below, too. Let’s welcome new subscribers Alice, Craig, Gary, and Molly. Hope you like The Highlighter! Keep getting the word out, and I’ll see you back here next Thursday at 9:10 am. Have a great week.
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