Outside Reading — Tomorrow They Say Is Independence Day edition

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Birth Pangs: One Nation, Many Truths by Jennifer Schuessler

Jennifer Schuessler looks forward and back to different Fourth of July celebrations, both the bicentennial of 1976 and the upcoming semiquincentennial arriving in five years. What the article is really about is the way U.S. history gets shaped and reexamined, and is sometimes grotesquely perverted to protect a toxic fairy tale of pervasive nobility among the ruling class throughout the nation’s history. That last crime against truth has been a particular preoccupation of the Grand Old Party, who have now spent decades formally cultivating and exploiting bigotry and are delighted to seethe with outrage at a shared understanding of the past being expanded to include anyone other than Great White Men. This article is published by The New York Times.

These Restaurants Were Approved for Federal Aid. White Restaurateurs Just Hijacked It. by Gaby Del Valle

So we come again to the tantrums of the unjustifiably aggrieved. Just like the group of white farmers deceived into thinking their reflexive bigotry is a mark of patriotism and bankrolled to launch a lawsuit to halt an attempt to redress generations of inequity in the field of agriculture, a few bitter fools were allowed to use the courts to throw flaky sea salt into the gears of a program meant to help ailing restaurants. As Gaby Del Valle reports, the judge who ruled in the case didn’t only halt a policy that allowed restaurants owned by women, veterans, and people from historically marginalized communities first access to a new pot of money meant to get businesses back up and running after the devastating effects of the global pandemic. The judge put the already-approved dispersement of funds on hold and ordered the government to proceed with handing out payments to other applicants, effectively restoring the prejudicial privilege of white men that the program was structured to counterbalance in the first place. The bringers of the lawsuit are despicable, and the judge that exacerbated their cruelty isn’t much better. This article is published by Eater.

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Trees Save Lives. Yet Cities Aren’t Saving Trees. by Catrin Einhorn

A fascinating article in The New York Times covers all the ways have trees in urban environments is a unmistakable public good. The piece is also about the broader social failings, including widespread public ignorance of what trees provide beyond a nice thing to look at in the midst of paved landscapes, that hamper city’s abilities to introduce and maintain enough greenery to make a significant difference. Catrin Einhorn delivering exceptional reporting and writing.

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