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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Saturday 19th August 2017

Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet


Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photo: AFP

The New Uniform of White Supremacy, by Cam Wolf, GQ

“A weekend that exposed the seams and rot of American life in so many other ways revealed this, too: That the work of white supremacy is no longer performed by cloak-and-dagger vigilantes. It's done in broad daylight. And it's done by people (mostly young, white men) wearing the most all-American clothes they can imagine: polos and khakis. The uniform of white hate is now average, mundane, the stuff of everyday American life. It is haunting.”

Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America, by Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

There were blatantly racist incidents at U.V.A. shortly before I arrived and while I was there: two of the richest frats had “blackface incidents” in 2002; the next year, a black woman running for student office was attacked near the Rotunda by a white man who reportedly said, “No one wants a nigger to be president.” In 2006, a local establishment instituted a dress code with the intended effect of keeping black people out of the bar. But these things were played down as impolite and anomalous, with the same sort of “This is not us” language that’s circulating today. Charlottesville was a beautiful town full of good white people who believed in political progress, and if people of color could just hold tight and respect that, we wouldn’t have to make anyone uncomfortable. Everything would be just fine.

Taylor Swift's Groping Trial Testimony Was Brave, Inspiring, and a Seriously Risky Move for Anyone Else, by Anne Branigin, Splinter

“But not just “any woman” can’t take on the burdens of going to trial—the financial cost, the attention, the time—and certainly not for a $1 payout. “Any woman” doesn’t just so happen to have a photo taken at the exact moment of her alleged assault (the incident took place during a press event). And if this had been a typical criminal or civil trial, “any woman” would have been putting her credibility on the line by delivering sharp, rehearsed retorts from the dais.”

How Women In The KKK Were Instrumental To Its Rise, by Linda Gordon, Buzzfeed

“As WKKK spokeswoman, Barr frequently broadcast feminist messages. Her reform work had long been oriented toward women, and she campaigned to have a woman added to the Indianapolis police force — a typical Progressive Era cause, motivated by the belief that women were less corrupt and harder on moral offenses than men. She once publicly reprimanded a police officer for uncouth remarks. Her speeches honored women's suffrage and urged women to make active use of their new political citizenship.”

Down the Breitbart Hole, by Wil S. Hylton, The New York Times

“Maybe it’s hard to remember anymore what you thought of Breitbart two years ago, but if you were like most people, you didn’t think about Breitbart at all. The average voter had no idea the site existed, and by the time its stories slipped into the mainline arteries of public discourse, most people were already hearing more about Breitbart than they would ever hear from Breitbart. Take a quick survey of your friends and see how many visited Breitbart last week or can name two articles that appeared on the site in the past three months. Then ask the same people what they think of Breitbart’s influence on the election, and watch how loud the room becomes. It’s startling the way the word ‘‘Breitbart’’ has become iconographic, referring not really to the website or the company but to an amorphous mass of revanchist opinions for which Breitbart receives credit or blame”

Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country, by Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker

“Assange listened, sipping orange juice. Just before the meeting, he had told me that he had no interest in turning WikiLeaks into a journalistic operation—that the idea of journalism made him want to reach for a gun. “We come not to save journalism but to destroy it,” he said. “Doesn’t deserve to live. Too debased. Has to be ground down into ashes before a new structure can be formed. The basic asymmetric information between writer and reader just encourages lying.”’

The Fallout From Sportswriting's Filthiest Fuck-Up, by Jeff Pearlman, Deadspin

“Writes DeLeonibus in the eleventh paragraph: “Watson started last year as a defensive player. He works very hard and has good speed.” Yawn. Writes DeLeonibus in the twelfth paragraph: “Dixon sucks donkey dicks and doesn’t wipe the shit off before practice. We like to keep him at the sweeper position so his sperm breath will stop people from penetrating to the goal. Speaking of penetrating, he prefers tall, red-headed guys. Told me to tell Kris he said ‘hello.’” Wait. What? What?”

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