Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekend Reading: This History Lesson Edition

This week, there is a lot of discussion in the feminist twittersphere (or that should probably be twitterspheres- I think there are several overlapping spheres). I am going to ignore it. I just don't have the energy to do it justice and would probably make a hash of any discussion I tried to write. Also, I'm not sure yet what I think of it all. If you have missed it and want to find out about it, google "feminist twitter toxicity" but don't say I didn't warn you about the giant rabbit hole you are about to fall down.

Instead, I want to post a few links about a sad and shameful event in American history that many of you probably don't know about- it took place in my home state, and I only barely heard about it in my history classes.

This month is the 150th anniversary of the Navajo Long Walk.

This NPR story reminded me of the anniversary.

I Googled a bit for more stories... and found almost nothing.

Here is a story from the founder of a Navajo Word of the Day website describing why he wants to retrace the route of the Long Walk. Sadly, it looks like the website is in search of new contributors, because its founder was diagnosed with cancer last fall. He is still active on his Facebook site, and a recent post indicates that his chemo course has completed and seems to have gone well.

And that is all I found, other than some pages about the Bosque Redondo monument at Fort Sumner.

On an only somewhat related note: @Tressiemc shared a link to a story about an early semiconductor chip factory built near Shiprock, New Mexico, which employed Navajo women.

Also, now would be a good time to change the names of our sports teams so that they do not insult Native Americans.

Honestly, go read about the Long Walk, or the Trail of Tears, or any number of other shameful things, and ask yourself: is the history of your sports team really that important? And is it really that tied to the name? They are asking us to change these names. Honoring this request seems like the very least we can do.


Apropos of none of this, but because I like to end my links posts with a smile, here is my favorite tweet of the week:

(xkcd had a pretty good poke at computer scientists, too.)


  1. I fell down that rabbit hole earlier in the week. I manage to not see that stuff most of the time. I'm sure I experience it...but mostly I just don't notice it - partly my personality (I try to give people the benefit of the doubt in almost all circumstances and am very slow to take offence), but probably mostly luck. Getting this peek at what everyone else is going through on a daily basis...the sheer amount of energy that is a bit frightening. It is making me incredibly grateful to all the men in my life - starting with my father who encouraged me and helped me with math, my husband who is awesome and thinks I'm brilliant (and loves that I'm smart), to my thesis advisor who has never once made me feel inadequate because of my gender, and who even encouraged me to take a longer mat leave than I was planning. Things are changing slowly, but I truly believe that the world is changing. There are people out there who are fighting against it, but we're getting there. We're recognizing, slowly, that people are people regardless of gender, skin colour, sexual orientation.

    Now I think I'm going to go read Dr. Seuss's Sneetches story to my daughter...

  2. Jessica10:24 PM

    Very Good..


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