Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

America’s Teenage Girls Are Not Okay by Derek Thompson: “Some psychologists point to social media, whereas others blame school shootings; others chalk it up to changes in parenting. Climate-change activists say it’s climate change. Atlantic writers like me blather on about the decline of physical-world interactions. These explanations aren’t equally valid, and some of them might be purely wrong. But the sheer number of theories reflects the complexity of mental-health challenges and suggests that, perhaps, nobody knows for sure what’s going on.”

Childbirth Is Deadlier for Black Families Even When They’re Rich, Expansive Study Finds by NY Times: “In the United States, the richest mothers and their newborns are the most likely to survive the year after childbirth — except when the family is Black, according to a groundbreaking new study of two million California births. The richest Black mothers and their babies are twice as likely to die as the richest white mothers and their babies.”

The Self-Destructive Effects of Progressive Sadness by David Brooks: “Trying to pass legislation grounds your thought in reality and can lead to real change. But when you treat politics as an emotional display, you end up making yourself and everybody else feel afflicted and powerless.”

Stop policing Black religious expression by Shannon Wimp Schmidt: “When Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the January 2 Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, it felt like watching a nightmare. I could vividly imagine the fear and anxiety that must have been present for everyone who knew and cared for him. And I did the only thing I felt I could. I began to pray. I wasn’t the only African American with this response. Across the nation, Black people sent their support and prayers to his family and friends. We saw a man suffering with no ability to physically help him, so we prayed. At the same time, a different response began to emerge from many white allies in those same spaces. Many began to criticize the impulse to send thoughts and prayers, citing instead a need for Black people to call the NFL to account for racism and lack of care for its players. The common refrain was that thoughts and prayers will not affect change—and don’t Black folks want change? Even though this reaction is well-intentioned, it is an example of how Black religious expression is policed in American culture.”

There can be no real peace in Ukraine without justice by Oleksandra Matviichuk: “The war in Ukraine is a war about values. This could not be clearer. Russia is striving to convince the world that democracy, rule of law and human rights don’t matter. Russia aims to prove that the only thing that matters is force — that a state with a powerful military and nuclear weapons can impose its desires on the world and modify internationally recognized borders. In this regard, this is not just a war between two states. It’s a war between two systems: authoritarianism and democracy.”

Joe Biden is mad about hidden fees and you should be, too by Emily Stewart: “President Joe Biden knows America’s fees-riddled economy can feel frustrating, deceptive, and, of course, expensive. And so, to channel some Elizabeth Warren here, he’s got a plan for that: He’s calling for a Junk Fee Prevention Act in an effort to ax hidden fees and take aim at the ways consumers are nickeled and dimed by corporations.”

California bill would eventually ban all tobacco sales by the AP: “Some California lawmakers want to eventually ban all tobacco sales in the nation’s most populous state, filing legislation to make it illegal to sell cigarettes and other products to anyone born after Jan. 1, 2007.”

What Republican Parents Really Want by Patrick Brown: “The path forward for Republicans is to listen to parents, particularly those without a college degree who have too often been left out of such discussions, and respond with tangible policy solutions.”

‘Staggering’ and ‘sobering’: More than 80% of US maternal deaths are preventable, CDC study shows by Nada Hassanein: “More than 80%, or roughly 4 in 5 maternal deaths in a two-year period, were due to preventable causes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found. The analysis of 2017 to 2019 pregnancy-related deaths, which disproportionately occur among women of color, including Black and Indigenous, are based on figures from maternal mortality review committees.”

Biden’s budget plan would boost childcare funding by billions of dollars by Andrea Shalal: “U.S. President Joe Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget plan would boost federal funding for childcare and early childhood education by billions of dollars, ensuring free preschool for all of the country’s 4 million 4-year-olds, the White House said.”

A View of American History That Leads to One Conclusion by George Packer: “The new fatalism has its own historical causes, and they’re not hard to see: the failures of the War on Terror and the neoliberal economy, stubborn inequality, the disappointments of the Obama presidency, videos of police brutality, global warming, the rise of Donald Trump. There is no shortage of evidence to justify a dark interpretation of American history. But what’s striking is how eagerly the new fatalism crosses from empiricism into metaphysics. In search of original facts, historians and journalists go digging where the ugliest facts are buried, and what begins in research ends in dogma. They aren’t just looking to fill in gaps of knowledge, or going where the historical evidence leads them. Instead they replace one myth with another one, as powerful and even attractive in its way as the naive story of July 4, 1776, being the fountain of liberty and equality for all. Disillusionment is as appealing to some temperaments as wishful thinking is to others.”