Blockbuster of an issue this week for Extras #48: Thank you, loyal subscribers, for taking on the challenge! The first two articles — one about how our private prisons foster heinous conditions, the other about how our cities overlook rape by the thousands — are incredible and deserve your clo
Blockbuster of an issue this week for Extras #48: Thank you, loyal subscribers, for taking on the challenge! The first two articles — one about how our private prisons foster heinous conditions, the other about how our cities overlook rape by the thousands — are incredible and deserve your close attention. Then there’s a rainbow to break up the seriousness, after which things get (at least a little bit) lighter, with an interview of Ta-Nehisi Coates (actually, nope, still serious) and a primer on the latest trends in dating. Please enjoy these articles, and please check out the note on the bottom!
You’ve surely read articles about bad conditions at prisons, but you haven’t read this. In this 30,000-word exposé (yes, please reserve an hour or two), Shane Bauer goes undercover as a guard at a private prison in Louisiana. For four months, Mr. Bauer witnesses firsthand and reports on the grim reality that prisoners and guards face. When profit is the primary motive, the goal is to reduce costs, which means $9/hour for guards and few opportunities for prisoners. As a result, violence and barbarity follow.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of rapes — particularly in cities, particularly when the survivors are poor women of color — go unprosecuted, totally forgotten, because rape kits, which include DNA evidence, are left untested. This is the heroic story of Ardelia Ali, a woman who was raped when she was 18, who was not afraid to come forward, and Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, who was also raped as a young woman, who fought to ensure that every single one of the 11,431 rape kits that were lying around Detroit got tested. Their work led to the conviction, 20 years later, of Ms. Ali’s attacker. Their courage unfortunately could not erase the hundreds of rapes and murders, often by men committing multiple crimes each, caused by decades of negligence.
Everyone knows about Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me and “The Case for Reparations.” (If you haven’t read his book and his article, I highly recommend both.) Here’s his latest interview, where Mr. Coates talks about writing, James Baldwin, Cornel West, the presidential election, his French, and white people, as always. He concludes with a hope that in the future, he’ll do less talking and let his work speak for itself. (Mr. Coates does a lot of interviews.)
You know about ghosting, right, when the person you’re interested in all of a sudden stops responding, even though you thought he or she was into you (or was even dating you)? Well, that’s passé. More advanced than ghosting is “benching.” It’s very real. Has it happened to you?
Before you go: Iserotope Extras subscribers are a pretty great group. Don’t you think so? I think so. Therefore: Let’s make a space to build this community, to share ideas, and to talk about these articles. Are you in? If so, please introduce yourself (1 short paragraph will suffice) at the Iserotope Extras Forum! (Don’t worry, it's not FB this time.) Let’s get to know each other!