Dispatches from the Culture Wars – Bad Taste in the Mouth edition

Reebok drops rapper after date-rape lyrics; Justin Bieber thinks Anne Frank would have been a fan; Trayvon Martin targets used for shooting practice; Mattel won’t make Black Barbie party supplies; Robot warriors coming soon; Indians leave the rez for unhappy city life; Americans still love libraries; Asians shouldn’t start to eat like Americans; The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism: Discuss!

Shot, Then Shut Out

Rebecca Burns
In These Times
The cascade of trauma center closures around the country epitomizes the challenges to combating healthcare inequities in a for-profit system. In the absence of federal or state regulations mandating the availability of trauma care, hospitals in high poverty areas have found that simply closing their trauma units improves their bottom line.

Chicago Teachers Speak Out Against School Closings - CTU President Karen Lewis Statement on CPS School Closings

CTU Communications
Chicago Teachers Union
Closing 50 of our neighborhood schools is outrageous and no society that claims to care anything about its children can sit back and allow this to happen to them. There is no way people of conscience will stand by and allow these people to shut down nearly a third of our school district without putting up a fight. Most of these campuses are in the Black community. Since 2001 88% of students impacted by CPS School Actions are African-American. And this is by design.

New York's Police Union Worked With the NYPD to Set Arrest and Summons Quotas

Ross Tuttle
The Nation
Audio obtained by The Nation confirms an instance of New York City's police union cooperating with the NYPD in setting arrest quotas for the department's officers. Critics of quotas say the practice has played a direct role in increasing the number of stop-and-frisk encounters since Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to office.

"A Racial Entitlement" - The Right to Vote

Benjamin Jealous; Joan Walsh
"It no longer surprises me when extremist state legislators try to restrict our voting rights. I don't like it and we fight against it, but I'm no longer surprised by it." "What surprises and outrages me is that yesterday a Supreme Court Justice said that the protection of the right to vote is a 'perpetuation of racial entitlement.'" Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP