#150: The Road to Asylum
Last week’s issue about trans kids sparked a lot of discussion. Thank you. Several of you offered an opportunity to talk. Others shared feelings of ignorance or not-knowing-enough. I hope this week’s lead article — about a trans woman from El Salvador who seeks asylum in the United States — continues the conversation. Please feel free to reach out with your thoughts. I appreciate you, loyal readers, for being in reading community with me.
Trans women in the Americas are disowned by their families, sexually assaulted, threatened with extermination by gangs, and denied jobs, educational opportunities, and health care. As a result, the average life expectancy of trans women is 30 to 35 years. This article is about Marfil Estrella, who was born in El Salvador, and her journey to gain asylum in the United States. (24 min)
This article got me mad. Willie Brown Middle School in San Francisco opened in 2015 to great fanfare, then had a rocky first year. Instead of responsibly reporting on the school’s challenges, Daniel Duane wrote this atrocious and racist hatchet job. You can’t escape the first two paragraphs unscathed. The problem is that Mr. Duane doesn’t realize what he’s done: confirming to his white readers why Black and Brown children can’t have nice things. (21 min)
Loyal subscriber Michele won a Highlighter pillow, the grand prize at HHH #6. Loyal subscriber Laura (right) is jealous. (So is the bouncer in the back.)
Infant mortality among Black babies in the United States is two times the rate of white babies. Previous articles (#108, #139) have examined the reasons for the gap, including how racism leads to chronic stress among Black women. This piece explores efforts to improve outcomes for Black babies, including the Best Babies Zone and the Black Infant Health Program. (27 min)
Want to know where all the bees are? In February, at least, most of them are in California’s Central Valley, where two-thirds of all commercial American bees are pollinating almonds. Also in the Central Valley in February? Ukrainian bee thieves who steal hives in the dark of night. You’ll want to read this apiarist thriller! (15 min)
Thank you for reading The Highlighter #150! Tell me what you thought by using the thumbs below. Also, let’s welcome new subscriber Meaghan! If you like The Highlighter, please send the archives to a friend and encourage them to join. On the other hand, if you’re not a big fan, please unsubscribe. I’ll see you back here next Thursday at 9:10 am. Have a great week!
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