In the past few months, U.S. businesses have been on a silencing spree. Hundreds of U.S. employers across a wide range of industries have told workers not to share information about Covid-19 cases or even raise concerns about the virus, or have retaliated against workers for doing those things, according to workplace complaints filed with the NLRB and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In one of the creepiest yet most revealing Twitter threads ever to be posted on the platform, a teacher recently fretted out loud that virtual classes might allow parents to hear him brainwashing their kids. Matthew R. Kay, an educator and author of a book on “how to lead meaningful race conversations in the classroom,” worried that “conservative parents” would be able to interfere with the “messy work” of indoctrinating children into critical race theory, gender theory, and other left-wing dogmas.
Here’s the entire thread, which has since been set to private:
So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?
How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of “what happens here stays here” to help this?
While conversation about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that “helicopter/snowplow” parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality. And while “conservative” parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?
It’s important to note that while some teachers responded to Kay’s comments with the appropriate level of horror and disgust, many others chimed in to share their own strategies for brainwashing during a pandemic. One teacher said she’d also been “thinking about” the problem Kay described, and had decided that she’d ask students about their preferred pronouns via survey — though she still worries that “caregivers” might see it and learn something about their children that they weren’t supposed to know.
Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility.
The truth, according to the home, is far worse: 21 dead, most transported to hospitals before they succumbed.
“It was a cascading effect,” administrator Emil Fuzayov recalled. “One after the other.”
New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.
That statistic could add thousands to the state’s official care home death toll of just over 6,600. But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire.
“Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship.”Robert A. Heinlein
In the odd inner workings of Congress, there’s something called a “legislative hold.” It gives any individual senator the power to stop a nominee or a bill— put a hold on them. The idea is to encourage negotiations between those for and against. But sometimes the Senator making the hold keeps his name secret. Senator Chuck Grassley tells why he’s been trying for a decade to stop the secrecy.
Sen. Grassley: So why do you put a hold on? Lot of times, people put a hold on because they want to negotiate something, or they want to use it as a lever to get something else. So I use holds, but I’ve always put a statement in the record of why I’m putting a hold on an individual nominee or a bill. So people know who it is, come and talk to Chuck Grassley and I’ll tell you what the problems is I’ve got. And you can negotiate then, whatever you want to negotiate.
In the nearly two months that police and protesters have faced off on Portland streets, numerous incidents (including Brown’s beating) have been captured on video and raised questions about police tactics. The lawsuit the ACLU filed on behalf of Brown and other journalists and observers—demanding that cops keep their hands off—now winds its way through federal court.
Meanwhile, Kessler says scrutiny is more difficult since June 6, when the Portland Police Bureau initiated its new policy allowing officers to cover the name tags traditionally visible on their uniforms and instead identify themselves with only a tag or piece of tape with an internal personnel number written on it.