This week, I took two days off so my husband and I could take a quick trip up to Napa for a bucket-list dinner of a lifetime. It was also the first time flying with my 5-month-old baby. Everything went about as well as you could possibly expect: We had enough time, we got through security without any hitches, the baby was well-behaved. And despite all of that, it was difficult and exhausting. This is all to say that: Under the best possible circumstances, traveling simply for pleasure and privilege, taking care of my child was incredibly stressful.
I can’t even begin to fathom what it’s like traveling in a situation flipped on its head, in which you’re on the move because you have to be, and when every possible circumstance is lined up against you. That’s the situation so many people arriving at the U.S. border are in — terrified, panicked, unsure of the safety of the people they had to leave behind.
I don’t really have anything insightful to say about the White House policy of separating children from their families that hasn’t already been said. I’m a new mom, and I feel seething, white hot rage every time I think about someone’s child being taken from them. But you certainly don’t have to be a parent to feel that way, just a human. In addition to being cruel and failing to deter people from entering the country, I’m wary the policy has been vetted as lawful, or that much thought went in to how it would actually work. Stories this week about agents being forbidden from hugging or comforting distraught, even suicidal children, are only the cherry on this immoral, inhumane sundae.
As horrifying as this policy is to think about, the only thing worse is not thinking about it. So keep reading stories like this one by Maya Srikrishnan in which a father learns his young daughter, who’s spent virtually every minute of her young life with him, was shipped across the country to New York, a place he’s never heard of. Keep looking at pictures like this one. Keep calling out lies about the origins of this policy. Keep staring it in the face.
As Dahlia Lithwick wrote this week, fight every urge your body and mind have to become numb to this:
There isn’t a lot we can control in the present time, but as any good counselor will tell you, we can absolutely control how we react to what’s going on around us. And this is the scene in the movie where even though you want to fall asleep in the snowdrift, you need to get up and walk around. If you decide to stop swimming and just drift for a while, you’re apt to wake up in a land you don’t recognize. Because “going numb” is the gateway drug to acceptance.
What VOSD Learned This Week
Sweetwater officials determined that a Chula Vista High teacher had engaged in “severe and pervasive” harassment against several students. The exit deal they struck with the teacher included paying him to stay home, and withholding information about the investigation from future employers.
We’re still on the “will they ever solve this” merry-go-round for two perpetual San Diego issues, the Convention Center expansion and short-term vacation rentals.
Proponents of a measure to fund a Convention Center expansion, plus homelessness services and road repairs, are trying to push proponents of a separate measure to fund affordable housing to stand down. They fear there’s not enough voter support to push both plans across the finish line in November.
And we finally got a look this week at the latest plan to regulate short-term vacation rentals. After sitting on the sidelines of the debate, Mayor Kevin Faulconer offered his own plan this time around.
Backers of an effort to reform the county election process just hit a big setback.
One of the big reasons charter schools exist is to be tiny education laboratories that explore new ways to run schools and teach kids. But one of the most successful charters in town has flipped things around and is trying out a much more traditional approach: a teachers’ union.
The latest entry in “Pot is legal in California but … ”: Imperial Beach was set to OK regulations for marijuana businesses, but now the plan’s in limbo thanks to a group that doesn’t think marijuana should be legal at all.
Last week, Kinsee Morlan highlighted how Arts District Liberty Station – which sits on city-owned land – is run with little input from artists or the public. This week, she pulled out another result of the NTC Foundation’s leadership: The lion’s share of the artists there are white and affluent.
What I’m Reading
- This makes me feel very happy, and very old: How “Can’t Hardly Wait” became a cult teen classic. (The Ringer)
- Facebook’s new screening system for political ads is instead ensnaring legitimate political reporting. (ProPublica)
- This is a useful guide to which policies and conditions at the border are new, and which aren’t. (Buzzfeed)
- An Obama speechwriter got to tackle his dream speech: remarks for his favorite team’s Stanley Cup victory. It’s as joyful as you might expect.
- My friend Laura McGann bravely wrote about a prominent reporter who crossed a line with her and other women. Then she was a victim of a smear campaign. (Jezebel)
Line of the Week
My most memorable heckler … “Who cares? The whole world is on fire.” …
Guilty pleasure: “Let’s not forget over 4,600 people have died in Puerto Rico.”
– Amy Poehler, refusing to play along with a lighthearted Hollywood Reporter questionnaire.