Once Shot For Advocating For Girls' Education, Malala Is Going To Oxford

Malala Yousafzai is congratulated after collecting her ‘A’ level exam results at Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham, England.

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Malala Yousafzai, was only 15 when she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for the education of girls. Now, she’s been accepted to Oxford, one of the world’s elite universities.

Malala tweeted, “So excited to go to Oxford!!!”. She also congratulated other students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who received news Thursday about their university futures.

So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students – the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead! pic.twitter.com/miIwK6fNSf

— Malala (@Malala) August 17, 2017

At Oxford Malala will study philosophy, politics and economics.

Gaining a place at an elite university is just the latest of Malala Yousafzai’s achievements. She’s also the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She was co-laureate in 2014 with Kailish Satyarthi, an advocate for the rights of children in India. The Nobel committee cited their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

A little more than a month ago, Malala posted this on her last day of secondary school. “I enjoyed my school years and I am excited for my future. But I can’t help thinking of the millions of girls around the world who won’t complete their education. I was almost one of those girls.”

Malala’s story is compelling. She was born in Pakistan and spent her childhood in the Swat Valley. Her father, an educator, was determined she would go to school. But in 2007 Taliban militants took control of Swat and banned the education of girls. It was then that Malala began blogging for the BBC about life under Taliban domination.

When the Pakistan Army finally weakened the Taliban’s hold in 2011, Malala returned to school and began publicly advocating for girls’ education. While going home from classes one day in 2012, a masked-gunman boarded Malala’s school bus, asked for her by name, and shot her in the head, neck and shoulders. She survived, but was flown in critical condition to London for treatment. After multiple surgeries, she relocated with her family to Birmingham, England.

Following news of Malala’s acceptance to Oxford, her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai expressed his gratitude in a tweet: “We are grateful to Allah,” he wrote, and thanked all “who support @Malala 4 the grand cause of education.”

My heart is full of gratitude. We are grateful to Allah & thank u 2 al those who support @Malala 4 the grand cause of education @MalalaFundhttps://t.co/Cgro6vpPXV

— Ziauddin Yousafzai (@ZiauddinY) August 17, 2017

Malala and her father established Malala Fund in 2013, an organisation dedicated to giving all girls access to education.

In a speech before the United Nations on her 16th birthday, Malala urged other young women to take action. “If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now and not wait for anyone else.”

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Faces Of NPR: Daniel Zwerdling

NPR Investigations Unit Correspondent Daniel Zwerdling poses for the Faces of NPR portrait at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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The Basics

Name: Daniel Zwerdling

Twitter Handle: @dzwerdling

Job Title: Correspondent, Investigations Unit

Where You’re From: Silver Spring, Maryland

An Inside Look

You’re a Correspondent in the Investigations Unit at NPR. What does that mean?

It means that my big bosses at NPR give my colleagues and me the support and time we need to identify social problems that affect lots of people – hundreds or thousands or potentially millions of people — and then to investigate why the public officials or corporate executives responsible for fixing those problems aren’t doing their jobs. We usually interview scores of people for a single story, track down hundreds or thousands of pages of documents, and end up with hours and hours (and more hours) of audio interviews. Finally, each one of us writes and produces both an audio story, or series of stories, for NPR’s shows and web pieces for NPR.org.

Investigative reporting must be so much easier than doing a daily beat, because you often get months and months to do a single story – right?

Wrong. I’ve done both – and investigative reporting is just as hard, just in a different way. Daily reporters have to crash to meet their deadline, but then the story’s on and it’s over – they can go home and let go. The longer our investigative projects take, the more anxious and insecure we feel that the story won’t pan out, or we’ll make a mistake and get slammed, or the story won’t get much attention, and so our listeners might think, “So what took you so long?” I’ve asked other investigative reporters, and most of them acknowledge it can be emotionally exhausting.

How did you get started here?

I’d been writing freelance investigative pieces for magazines and newspapers, often about environmental issues, and NPR’s news director asked me, kind of out of the blue, if I’d come and launch an environmental beat. I said, “Thanks — but no thanks, I don’t want to give up my independence.” NPR’s intrepid John Ydstie, who was then producer of Morning Edition, took me for a picnic lunch at DuPont Circle and tried to change my mind. Then the executive producer of All Things Considered, a persuasive guy named Chris Koch, took me to lunch at a fancy restaurant (which was a shrewder tactic than a lawn picnic). Chris said, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if you came to NPR and tried it out for a year?” “I won’t like it.” “OK,” he said, so you’ll go back to doing what you’ve already been doing for years. And everything will stay the same. But what’s the best thing that could happen if you try out NPR?” I said, “I might like it.” Chris stared at me without talking. “Ok,” I told him, “I’ll give it a year.” That was in 1980.

Emily Sullivan/NPR

Lesson: Grab new opportunities when you can!

What’s your favorite #NPRLife moment?

Traveling new places and getting to spend hours meeting and interviewing people. What a gift to have people let you into their intimate lives. And Tiny Desk Concerts. What a gift to get up from your desk, walk up a flight of steps and hear fabulous, creative musicians serenade you.

What are some interesting things you’ve worked on?

Emily Sullivan/NPR

Every story has stirred me in some way. Trekking across the desert in Chad during the crippling drought of 1985. Meeting women and girls who walked all day just to find a few buckets of water. Telling the story in 1990 of young girls who got kidnapped and sold into slavery in Pakistan — and then got put in prison, because when they told police that their owners raped them every day, they acknowledged they had sex out of wedlock. Getting to know hard-working immigrants in the mid 2000’s who were terrorized and injured by vicious attack dogs in U.S. jails, just because sadistic guards felt they could do what they want with immigrants. Meeting combat soldiers and their spouses, for years now, who can’t fathom why their government isn’t helping them — yet they keep struggling against the odds and fighting for justice.

What’s on your desk?

Photos of my grandkids, my wife, growing piles of stuff, and souvenirs that colleagues have brought me from their travels.

Favorite Tiny Desk?

Yusuf/Cat Stevens. If only we could all age so gracefully. I told him that I sobbed when I heard his then-new song, “Wild World,” in 1970, because I had just broken up with a college girlfriend. He said, “That’s why I wrote it – it had just happened to me.”

Favorite places in Washington D.C.?

I always slow down when I’m walking or driving down 7th Street across the National Mall. First I gaze at the Capitol, then at the Washington Monument. And then I often get teary, thinking of the history behind them, and what they symbolize to people around the world. I also worry whether they’ll still mean that much 10 or 20 years from now.

First thing you do when you get to the office?

Answer emails. Straighten one messy pile. Then boil water and go through my zen ritual of making drip coffee from locally roasted beans.

What are you inspired by right now?

Our colleagues who’ve been creating podcasts – they’re venturing into new(ish) territory and trying something new.

Our colleagues at Code Switch: America needs to pay more attention to this amazing unit. They’re talking about issues you rarely hear or see in mainstream media.

What do you love about public radio?

The amazing, compelling, thoughtful voices – of the thousands and thousands of people we interview, and also of my colleagues who interview them.

Emily Sullivan/NPR

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Spotify Removes Racist Music In Response To Charlottesville

Virginia State Police on August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, one day after a “Unite the Right” rally ended in violence and one dead.

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Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from its platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement that caused chaos in Charlottesville.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database, but says “material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.”

Tidal, the streaming service owned by Jay-Z, seems to be following suit. Two “hate bands” NPR found on Tuesday had been removed as of Thursday morning.

The swift rebuke of racist content wasn’t limited to listening platforms. Country music website Wide Open Country took the unorthodox step of publishing an editorial directed at any racist readers, after a roundup of country musician reactions to Charlottesville drew polarizing criticism on social media.

Matt Alpert, the website’s managing editor, wrote, “I want to make something very clear to everyone who follows us and reads this site:Wide Open Country vehemently opposes any form of racism. We stand firmly against any type of hatred, bigotry, and especially any Nazi scum.”

“I felt compelled to say something,” Alpert told NPR. “With this particular thing that happened in Charlottesville, we wanted to be clear about how we felt about that and where we stand. Seeing those comments, and seeing them rise to the top [of the post] … it felt like we needed to say something.”

Writing on Facebook yesterday, country music royalty Rosanne Cash took aim at a “self-proclaimed neo-Nazi” wearing a t-shirt with Johnny Cash’s face on it. “We were sickened by the association,” she wrote, going on to point out that her father’s “pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics.”

Facebook took steps this week to make it harder for racist fans to share photos like the one featuring Johnny Cash. The social network drew its own line in the sand this week, removing the profile pages of Christopher Cantwell, a fascist activist who promotes overthrowing the U.S. government, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. Cantwell was profiled by Vice while in Charlottesville, who says on video that “we’re not non-violent, we’ll f****** kill these people if we have to.”

Facebook’s terms prohibit posting content it classifies as “hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” The dominance of Facebook’s platform, as the world learned last year, helped to legitimize voices like Cantwell’s through proximity to more legitimate news sources within people’s feeds, a problem it says it is working to fix.

The existence of racist music on music platforms isn’t a new phenomenon. Nearly three years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out to Apple and the iTunes Store that they were selling, and thereby profiting from, openly racist, neo-fascist musicians, like the hardcore band Skrewdriver.

In a memo to his staff yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced his company would donate $2 million and double its employees’ donations to human rights groups through Sept. 30. “As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.”

Examples of tech’s circling of the wagons in the midst of a racist storm of philosophical shrapnel abound. But the connection between Wide Open Country and Spotify is clear — both are saying, unwaveringly: We don’t want you here.

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Spotify Removes Racist Music In Response To Charlottesville

Virginia State Police on August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, one day after a “Unite the Right” rally ended in violence and one dead.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Spotify and other streaming services have begun removing white supremacist content from its platforms, as websites and musicians alike scramble to distance themselves from the white nationalist movement that caused chaos in Charlottesville.

In a statement on Wednesday, Spotify blamed the labels and distributors that supply music to its database, but says “material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us. Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.”

Tidal, the streaming service owned by Jay-Z, seems to be following suit. Two “hate bands” NPR found on Tuesday had been removed as of Thursday morning.

The swift rebuke of racist content wasn’t limited to listening platforms. Country music website Wide Open Country took the unorthodox step of publishing an editorial directed at any racist readers, after a roundup of country musician reactions to Charlottesville drew polarizing criticism on social media.

Matt Alpert, the website’s managing editor, wrote, “I want to make something very clear to everyone who follows us and reads this site:Wide Open Country vehemently opposes any form of racism. We stand firmly against any type of hatred, bigotry, and especially any Nazi scum.”

“I felt compelled to say something,” Alpert told NPR. “With this particular thing that happened in Charlottesville, we wanted to be clear about how we felt about that and where we stand. Seeing those comments, and seeing them rise to the top [of the post] … it felt like we needed to say something.”

Writing on Facebook yesterday, country music royalty Rosanne Cash took aim at a “self-proclaimed neo-Nazi” wearing a t-shirt with Johnny Cash’s face on it. “We were sickened by the association,” she wrote, going on to point out that her father’s “pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics.”

Facebook took steps this week to make it harder for racist fans to share photos like the one featuring Johnny Cash. The social network drew its own line in the sand this week, removing the profile pages of Christopher Cantwell, a fascist activist who promotes overthrowing the U.S. government, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. Cantwell was profiled by Vice while in Charlottesville, who says on video that “we’re not non-violent, we’ll f****** kill these people if we have to.”

Facebook’s terms prohibit posting content it classifies as “hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” The dominance of Facebook’s platform, as the world learned last year, helped to legitimize voices like Cantwell’s through proximity to more legitimate news sources within people’s feeds, a problem it says it is working to fix.

The existence of racist music on music platforms isn’t a new phenomenon. Nearly three years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out to Apple and the iTunes Store that they were selling, and thereby profiting from, openly racist, neo-fascist musicians, like the hardcore band Skrewdriver.

In a memo to his staff yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced his company would donate $2 million and double its employees’ donations to human rights groups through Sept. 30. “As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.”

Examples of tech’s circling of the wagons in the midst of a racist storm of philosophical shrapnel abound. But the connection between Wide Open Country and Spotify is clear — both are saying, unwaveringly: We don’t want you here.

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'Patti Cake$' i$ $weet But $light

L to R: Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay) and Patti (Danielle Macdonald) on the road to success in Patti Cake$.

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Andrew Boyle /Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The production notes for Patti Cake$ describe the movie’s heroine as “plain and plus-sized.” Plus-sized she may be, but neither Patti Dombrowski, an aspiring rapper in her twenties, nor Danielle Macdonald, the gifted non-rapper who plays her, is plain in any sense unless your definition of beauty begins and ends with Angelina Jolie. The Australian actress, who by the way has expressive green eyes, a fetchingly unruly tangle of blonde curls and a relaxed ease in her own skin, was the best thing about Amy Berg’s nerveless 2015 thriller, Every Secret Thing, in which she played an acerbic piece of teenaged work. And she’s easily the best thing about Patti Cake$, a sweet, conventional dramedy gussied up in the grit of New Jersey rap.

We meet Patti tending bar, sweeping floors, and fielding an overload of other adult burdens in a working class suburb of New Jersey. Her mother Barb, played with slatternly brio by cabaret artist and comedian Bridget Everett, is a former rocker who sings like an angel but is drowning in bitterness and booze, and she’s too jealous and dismissive of Patti’s chosen medium to be of any use. The deck is fully stacked against Patti, or Killa P as she means to call herself when she finally breaks into the mostly male, mostly black, mostly inhospitable rap scene whose incumbents — including a nasty specimen she has a crush on — see nothing wrong in calling her Dumbo.

Team Patti, alas, is cobbled together from a bunch of crudely constructed counter-intuitive types who rarely flesh out into plausible humans. The great Cathy Moriarty surely deserves better than Patti’s unconditionally supportive but ailing Nana, who’s little more than a visual gag in a slightly skewed wig, bellowing ballsy epithets from a wheelchair. The same goes for Patti’s producing partner Jheri, a Southeast-Asian R&B singer and drugstore employee amiably mugged by non-pro actor Siddharth Dhananjay. Not for nothing does Patti, on a disconsolate but mythic wander through thorny woods, stumble on a cabin cluttered with the creative projects of Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), a shy and alienated scion of much wealthier suburbia who styles himself an anarchist and, it turns out, makes music too.

Director Geremy Jasper, a music video producer, keeps sidetracking us into fantasy sequences meant to signal Patti’s dreams of upward mobility and a more glittering life than the crushingly mundane world she’s marooned in by class and bad luck. They’re fine, but the director’s strongest impulses are solidly realist, in the loving, rough and ready sense of place he shows for the hometown which he, too, dreamed of escaping and which now feeds his imagination.

For all its jittery attitude and outsider milieu, though, the movie is too bent on pleasing crowds to cohere into a point of view. Indeed the most transgressive thing about Patti Cake$ is the whiteness of its heroine in a black world. While the bit parts are manned by local rappers, this is a story more about gender than it is about race, and Jasper ventures only a little way out on a ledge with that. When all seems lost for Patti, help comes from a black female rapper who has known rejection herself. And such is Macdonald’s range — all the way from vulnerable to mouthy to indomitable (she’s pretty good with Jasper’s feminist rap lyrics too) — that she rises above type to make us wish both Patti, and the versatile actor who plays her, the success they both deserve.

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'California Typewriter': A Love-Letter To The Carriage-Return Lever

Tom Hanks, one of the interviewees featured in California Typewriter, has over 250 typewriters in his personal collection.

Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

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Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

The typewriter is a marvelous invention, because with proper care, a single unit can last decades. And if you’re still using one now, it would have to: since the mass adoption of personal computers in the 1980s, let’s just say the ink on these once-inescapable household items has run dry. The brilliant mechanics, the elegance of pressing a key and leaving an instant, permanent imprint on the page, became obsolete the minute humankind invented the “delete” key.

But the very impracticality of using a typewriter in the modern era seems to be exactly what has endeared it to a small but fanatical community of writers and collectors, who praise its tactile pleasures and note the imperfections help to preserve the user’s original, pre-spellchecked thoughts. Good news for punch-the-keys loyalists who live in the Bay Area: There’s a place for you and your fellow old souls to commiserate. California Typewriter in Berkeley may not be able to patch over the void in the human soul that the computers have carved out, but the shop can repair that oft-abused spacebar on your 1963 Smith Corona.

California Typewriter,Doug Nichol’s new documentary of the same name, takes us inside this lonely shop, where we meet soft-spoken proprietor Herb Permillion and his longtime repairman employee Ken Alexander. Their plain shelves are lined with typewriters of all eras, and folks love to stop by to enter this time capsule — though not enough folks to keep Permillion from musing about selling the place. But the film quickly feeds the paper, as it were, for a larger meditation on the magic of these physical word processors and a solemn reflection on what gets lost along the forward march of technology. It wouldn’t be quite right to call this a eulogy, since the movie is as stubborn as its subjects about making space in the modern world for the humble little typewriter. Yet death and decline is certainly on Nichol’s mind. How could it not be, when tomorrow’s tech — the very same tech that drove out the typewriters in the first place — has taken over the very region where this lone analog holdout resides?

Fittingly for a movie about the written (well, typed, anyway) word, California Typewriter has a literary, essayistic quality. Nichol’s background is in music videos and band documentaries, and he links crisply conceived sequences that mimic the synchronized commotion of an actual typewriter. Opening sequences restage Royal Road Test, a 1967 art project in which Edward Ruscha chucked his machine out the window of a speeding Buick, with the feeling of a dime-store noir that might have been banged out on one of those things. Nichol also follows an uber-collector, the proudly geeky Martin Howard, on a whimsical journey to the site of the first-ever typewriter in Milwaukee. (There’s a single plaque to commemorate, but the spot itself has met an ignoble fate as a parking lot.)

The first experts on the typewriter were women, since they were required to master the skill to fill secretarial roles. So it’s curious and maybe a little too revealing that almost all the subjects in California Typewriter are men: a sign about who’s willing to take the credit for something only once it begins fading into the rearview mirror of history. At least Nichol wrangles an impressive and broad range of enthusiasts, including America’s Dad, Tom Hanks, whose philia is so great he often gives away typewriters from his 200-plus collection to friends. And John Mayer, who rambles a while about how computers inhibit the creative process before checking his phone mid-interview. The late, great Sam Shepard also makes an appearance, admiring the handiwork of his Hermes model from Switzerland.

We also get the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, which pushes the frequently cited “musicality” of the tool to its fullest logical extent, and Jeremy Mayer, a sculptor whose pieces are composed entirely of typewriter parts. Mayer takes the machines apart, or scours flea markets for scraps, to make his figurines, which are frequently shaped like sensual females à la Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. He weathers sizeable criticism from the typewriter community for destroying the limited number of devices left in the world, but defends his art by claiming what he creates is better than seeing a typewriter sit unused on a shelf for decades.

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'Dave Made A Maze,' But Dave Forgot A Script

A Corrugated Community: Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) and Dave (Nick Thune) in the Kubrick Corridor — an attraction of Dave’s Maze.

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Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

The wildly inventive Dave Made a Maze creates a fantastic universe on a tiny budget, using mostly cardboard. Yet although it’s a scrappy indie, the movie has something in common with many platinum-plated CGI blockbusters: The visuals are as strong as the script is feeble.

The title character might be an aspiring musician, a frustrated artist, or just a guy who doesn’t know what he should be doing, But 30-going-on-11 Dave (Nick Thune) has found something to fill his time while his more grown-up girlfriend is out of town. When Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) returns home, she finds that Dave has filled the living room with a cardboard fort.

It’s pretty big as corrugated-paper edifices go, and even larger to someone who’s looking from the inside out. When Annie asks Dave when he’s coming out, he says he can’t. “I’m lost,” he admits.

For reasons that can’t be explained, Dave has filled the maze-like citadel with booby traps. He insists that Annie shouldn’t enter, but how can she not? By the time she begins the rescue mission, however, almost a dozen other curiosity-seekers are in tow. Most important to what passes for a plot are Dave’s flippant pal Gordon (Adam Busch) and a three-man documentary crew led by Harry (James Urbaniak), whose approach is definitely not cinema verite.

Director and co-writer Bill Watterson (not the Calvin & Hobbes creator) and production designers John Sumner and Trisha Gum relied heavily on the Cardboard Institute of Technology. The San Francisco artist collective employed 30,000 square feet of paperboard to construct a series of chambers and passageways. These include a house of cards, a keyboard corridor whose black keys are portals, and a temple of doom that’s guarded by origami creatures. Some of the spaces — including a chute, a screening room, and a large “lady part” — are alchemical.

To give the characters something to do in this recycling-bin wonderland, Watterson and co-scripter Steven Sears turn principally to two genres. First, Dave Made a Maze is a lampoon of documentary filmmaking, with Harry as essentially the same character as the one Albert Brooks wrote and played in 1979’s prescient Real Life. Second, it’s a horror flick.

Since most contemporary horror movies are self-parodies, the humorous possibilities are exceptionally limited. The principal joke is that most of the gore is made of paper or fabric. The major villain is a classical allusion, but that doesn’t class up the joint.

Fans of outsider art and cinematic design should find much to enjoy in Dave Made a Maze. But even at a mere 80 minutes, the movie often seems to be stalling.

Watterson shares something with his protagonist: He doesn’t know why the maze exists. Although he conceived a cardboard universe, the director fails to link it to the current vogue for home delivery. (No Amazon logos are visible on the boxes.) Watterson also doesn’t do much with the other elephant in the room, Dave and Annie’s relationship. In a story full of metamorphoses, their rut-stuck romance doesn’t really change.

Ultimately, all the filmmakers can offer in way of explanation is a Hollywood in-joke. The maze, Dave offers, is “a passion project.”

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'We're Not Them' — Condemning Charlottesville And Condoning White Resentment

White supremacists descended on Charlottesville to protest the pending removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park.

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Julia Rendleman/AP

As we struggled this week to make sense of what happened in Charlottesville, some big questions bubbled up:

What lessons does history teach about white resentment in the United States? How is the experience of other countries and other times — like Germany — relevant? How are those in power reacting to President’s Trump’s shifting response?

We reached out to Carol Anderson and Jamelle Bouie for our podcast this week. Anderson is a professor of African-American studies at Emory University and the author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth Of Our Racial Divide. Bouie is the chief political correspondent for Slate. He’s a graduate of the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville. Here’s an edited version of our conversation:

What was your reaction to the events in Charlottesville?

CAROL ANDERSON: Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised by the violence because white supremacy requires violence. What I was absolutely heartened by were the group of students from UVA who, although surrounded by torch-bearing white supremacists hollering at them, stood tall and stood firm, and all of those who came out and protested because they want the America that is the one we talk about, the one we aspire to be. Not this devolving mess that has always been broiling underneath. But Trump really brought it out.

JAMELLE BOUIE: I was not surprised at the fact that there were fights and clashes and skirmishes between the protesters. And the interesting thing about living [in Charlottesville] is that everyone knew the rally was happening. So you could even feel in the air as it approached, the kind of nervousness about the potential for violence. There was a rally from the Klan in July. And even though there were only about 50 Klansmen, and they were dwarfed by the number of demonstrators, even then you could sort of sense the potential for violence if there were any more Klansmen there. But I was shocked by the use of a car to attack protesters, counter-demonstrators. And I was — to a degree, still am — a bit shell-shocked by the fact that someone was killed.

People are comparing the events in Charlottesville to the rise of Nazi Germany. Carol, do we have to reach as far back as Germany in the 1930s to find examples of what we saw in Charlottesville?

ANDERSON: Oh, no, not at all. I thought of the images coming out of Charlottesville this weekend, and it reminded me of Little Rock in 1957, when nine black honor students went to integrate Central High three years after the Browndecision, and the mob came out in force to stop nine black children from getting an education. The other thing that struck me and gave me a sense of Birmingham during the Freedom Rides, which is when African-Americans and whites were riding interstate buses — when they got to Birmingham and they stepped off of the bus, they looked around, and then whites attacked — just started beating.

Or when I think about Birmingham blowing up – there are these leitmotifs that keep echoing through in America. And so we call them Nazis. And the reason why it’s easy to say Nazis is because we don’t feel complicit in that evil. That makes it much, so much harder than when we talk about these folks who love the Confederacy. And so we’ve gone to calling them Nazis or to strip the reality of who they are out of that language by calling them alt-right, when what we really mean [is] they were white supremacist.

Can you talk about what you think white nationalists, like the ones in Charlottesville, expect to accomplish in 2017?

ANDERSON: To me, what they want to accomplish — I mean, and you heard it from David Duke when he said that here in Charlottesville, we’re filling Trump’s promise. When he talked about, ‘make America great again,’ what they really meant was make America white again. And I’m putting an asterisk by that because what that really means is to create a society where the resources of the society funnel into a whites-only space, but that it is propped up and supported by a vast labor pool without rights.

What role do white nationalists play in feeding and aiding those goals?

ANDERSON: Oh, they are absolutely essential to it. When Trump began his campaign saying that Mexicans are rapists and criminals, he was sending the signal to those white nationalist that it was now their day, that they could begin to act and to say the things that they felt had been forbidden for so long because of the change and the norms brought about by the Civil Rights Movement.

BOUIE: They also serve the purpose of distancing people from the everyday, more policy based instances of racism and racial discrimination. So, in the wake of Charlottesville, you’ve seen Republican officeholders, excepting the president, condemn the white supremacists in Charlottesville, condemn the violence, explicitly label the white supremacists as white supremacists. But these lawmakers who did this, whether it’s Orrin Hatch of Utah or Marco Rubio of Florida or Cory Gardner of Colorado, none of them have spoken up against voter suppression regimes in Republican states.

And what the white nationalists sort of do is, they provide a way for more mainstream figures to say, well, we’re not them, therefore we reject racism and then kind of quietly accept a policy regime that entrenches racial inequality, that effectively denies the rights of citizenship to millions of Americans.

Aleli May Vuelta of the Code Switch team contributed to this report.

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'That's Good,' Philippine President Says, As Drug Raids Kill Unprecedented Numbers

Relatives of an alleged drug dealer killed during a police anti-drug operation react upon seeing his body in Manila on Thursday. Police in the Philippine capital shot dead more than two dozen drug suspects in another round of anti-drug raids, authorities said, as they followed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for dozens of deaths a day.

Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

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Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

At least 58 people were killed by police in the Philippines this week in two raids — the first and deadliest of which was celebrated by President Rodrigo Duterte as a successful part of his brutal war on drugs.

On Tuesday, a raid in the province of Bulacon left 32 people dead, The Associated Press reports. It was the highest single-day death toll of Duterte’s crackdown on the drug trade. More than 100 accused drug offenders were arrested in the province, the news service says.

On Wednesday and into Thursday, operations in the capital city of Manila killed 26 more people.

In total, there were 84 police operations in the two areas, most carried out by plainclothes officers, Reuters reports. Police say that those killed or arrested were selling drugs, and that the people who were killed “fought back,” Reuters says.

Duterte’s war on drugs was already deadly: Thousands of people have died in the streets, either killed by police or brought down in apparent vigilante killings. The extrajudicial killings have been widely criticized by international groups, but Duterte’s support among the Filipino people remains strong.

This week was unusually bloody even compared to the carnage of the last year.

The raid in Bulacan was the deadliest known single operation in the campaign.

“That’s good,” Duterte said on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “If we can only kill 32 every day, then maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”

The president signaled his satisfaction again on Thursday, Reuters reports.

“If the police and the military get into trouble in connection with the performance of duty, you can expect, I really won’t agree for you to be jailed,” Duterte told police.

And he threatened any police personally involved in the drug trade with death.

“You policemen who are into drugs … the bounty I’m offering for your head is 2 million [$40,000], no questions asked. I will not ask who killed you,” Duterte said, according to Reuters.

Last month, a police raid killed a mayor whom Duterte had previously included on a list of targeted suspects.

Michael Sullivan reported for NPR on the scope, and popularity, of Duterte’s War on Drugs in June:

“Duterte ran for president promising a brutal, bloody war on drugs. And he’s delivered.

“More than 7,000 alleged drug suspects have died in extrajudicial killings, in encounters with police or gunned down in so-called vigilante killings. The killings have drawn widespread international condemnation, with Human Rights Watch describing Duterte’s first year in power as a “human rights calamity.

“But here’s the thing: Duterte is actually more popular now than when he was elected.

“A year ago, he won the presidency with just under 40 percent of the vote. Today, according to the latest opinion polls, his approval rating is between 75 percent and 80 percent. …

” ‘He’s like a father for every Filipino,” says Daniel Bernardo, 31, a political science Ph.D. student. “I believe in his integrity. Of course, you can’t say he’s perfect. He has flaws. But he’s a game-changer, not a traditional politician.” …

” ‘I don’t even consider them extrajudicial killings,” Bernardo says. “It’s a moral killing, in a way. It’s like a pest in your house. If you see a cockroach or a mosquito, you’d kill it. For me, if you’re a drug user, a drug seller, you’re a sickness in society. You need to disappear.’ “

Human rights activist Jose Manuel Diokno told Sullivan that many of the killings are unrecorded, and he believes the numbers may be even higher than 7,000 dead — somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000.

That was as of late June. Raids and vigilante killings have continued throughout July and August, and the raids this week represent an as-yet unexplained step-up in coordination police actions, Reuters reports.

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