Happy Thursday! Thank you for your overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to The Highlighter’s rebranding. Also, credit goes to loyal subscriber Peter, who created the nameplate. This digest is flourishing because of the support and curiosity of its readers. ( Here’s my announcement of The Highlighter
Happy Thursday! Thank you for your overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to The Highlighter’s rebranding. Also, credit goes to loyal subscriber Peter, who created the nameplate. This digest is flourishing because of the support and curiosity of its readers. (Here’s my announcement of The Highlighter over at Iserotope.)
This week’s issue is all about building your background knowledge. The articles are meaty, informative, sometimes disturbing, and always important. The lead story, “The Graffiti Kids,” which tells the story of the conflict in Syria, may take you an hour to read, but it’s entirely worth the commitment. Two articles this week (“4chan,” “Love Lives in Whitefish”) help us understand our country’s shift toward (or solidification of) unabashed white supremacy. Finally, read about reading — specifically, how poor communities have drastically low access to books, which hamper children’s reading skills and academic opportunities. Please enjoy!
Naief Abazid was 14 years old when he spray painted the message, “It’s your turn, Dr. Bashar al-Assad,” on the wall of his school in Daraa, Syria. He was soon arrested and tortured, which prompted protests against the Syrian leader. Six years later, Naief’s country is still in the middle of a civil war, millions of refugees have fled, and the world has gotten meaner and scarier.
This short history of 4chan, an online bulletin board, will make you feel sick to your stomach. You’ll learn how 4chan got started, how it popularized memes, and how it members — a self-described group of losers living in their mothers’ basements — gave rise to Anonymous, Gamergate, Milo Yiannopoulos, Pepe the Frog, and Donald Trump, “the loser who won.”
One important reason that many young people do not read is that they lack access to good books. This study looked at six neighborhoods in Washington D.C., Detroit, and Los Angeles, concluding that poor neighborhoods have fewer print materials available to purchase, which means there are fewer books in the home, which lowers children’s reading skills and academic performance. Not studied here: E-books.
Our country is a big place, and our racists don’t believe they’re racists. They say they just want to live far away (with their guns) from “the drama” of people who do not look like them. This piece is about Whitefish, Montana, where white supremacist Richard Spencer (#67) lives, and where its residents recently fought back against the town’s neo-Nazi trolls.
Congratulations, you made it through The Highlighter #81! If you’d like to respond to an article, press r to reply and let me know your thoughts. Or press f to forward this issue to a friend. Maybe they’ll subscribe! (Word of mouth is always best.) Also, please welcome new subscribers Mark, Marna, James, Linda, Claire, I., Morenike, and Omar! The digest’s community is growing quickly! Have a great week, and see you next Thursday at 9:10 am.