#393: An interview with Emily Bazelon, author of “Why is Affirmative Action in Peril?”
Please join our discussion on Sunday, May 21, 2:00 - 3:30 pm PT
Dear Loyal Readers,
Thank you for being here! I have four things for you this week, so let’s get right to it.
1️⃣ Article Club
This month we’ve been focusing on “Why is Affirmative Action in Peril?” by Emily Bazelon. It’s a piece I highly recommend that you read. Here’s why:
The Supreme Court will likely strike down affirmative action next month
This article expertly explains why
Ms. Bazelon — staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, senior research fellow at Yale Law School, and co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest — knows how to write and knows what she’s talking about
Instead of focusing on the current politics of the Court, Ms. Bazelon takes us back in time, helping us understand the history of affirmative action through a close study of the Bakke decision and the legal strategy of attorney Archibald Cox — which won the case but ultimately left affirmative action vulnerable.
I hope you’ll sign up to discuss the article on Sunday, May 21, 2:00 - 3:30 pm PT on Zoom. Article Clubbers are kind and thoughtful and welcoming. Our conversations are always in small, intimate, facilitated groups. Reach out if you have questions or if you want to participate in the conversation but are secretly shy or nervous.
2️⃣ My interview with Ms. Bazelon
I can’t stop thinking about how much fun it was to chat with Ms. Bazelon. She was a total pro: generous, thoughtful, and deeply knowledgeable. (My friends have told me to stop gushing.) We talked about a number of topics, including:
how Mr. Cox cobbled together a victory by wooing a segregationist justice
how the justices have wildly different interpretations of the 14th Amendment
how white people have a very short amount of patience for thinking about the harms of race discrimination
There is a fundamental American tension between prizing individual achievement and promoting the collective spirit of the nation’s egalitarian promise, between the call to be colorblind and the call not to be blind to racism.
I hope you take a listen! (You can click the player at the top or subscribe to The Highlighter Article Club on your favorite podcast player.)
3️⃣ Article Club author Eli Saslow wins another Pulitzer Prize
When I spoke with Eli Saslow last November about “An American Education,” I asked him how it felt to win a Pulitzer Prize. He shared his complex feelings: both that he was “hugely gratified” for the acknowledgment but also “a little conflicted” given that he writes about people’s worst moments and our country’s deepest problems.
I appreciated the thoughtfulness of that answer, and I have continued recommending Mr. Saslow’s work to my colleagues. For those reasons and more, I was delighted to hear that he won yet another Pulitzer Prize this week. Here’s a clip:
Congratulations, Mr. Saslow! You are further evidence proving my bold claim — that writers who participate in Article Club go on to win Pulitzers. My other evidence? Mitchell S. Jackson. (Sadly, I can’t take credit for Kathryn Schulz or Stephanie McCrummen; they won their Pulitzers beforehand.)
4️⃣ Meet other thoughtful readers at HHH on June 1
Highlighter Happy Hour has been one of the most joyful ways for us to gather, connect, and celebrate our reading community. We’re heading into the 20th HHH! Can you believe it?
We’ll be meeting up at Room 389 in Oakland on June 1 beginning at 5:30.
If you live or work not too far from Oakland, it’d be great to see you there. If you get a free ticket, you’ll get a prize at the door. And just in case you’re nervous: Yes, we do chat about the articles — but only sometimes, and usually just tangentially.
Thank you for reading this week’s issue and for listening to the interview. Hope you liked it. 😀
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📬 Invite your friends to subscribe. Know someone who’s kind, thoughtful, and loves to read? I’d love it if you encouraged them to subscribe. Word of mouth is by far the best way to strengthen our reading community. Thank you for spreading the word.
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