CDC relaxes a key guideline
With large-scale vaccination drives causing infection rates to drop in California, the state allowed for students in K-12 campuses to now sit three feet apart in classrooms. It’s still up to district officials to implement the new rule. Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner plans to stick with the six feet rule, while San Francisco officials are opting for four feet. All school heads are racing to reopen their respective institutions in April.
A refusal to call Asian American hate by its name
Georgia’s authorities claimed that Robert Aaron Long’s shootings at Asian massage parlors last week stemmed from “sex addiction” and not racism. In addition to the six victims of Asian descent, a white man and a white woman were also killed. But this claim proves to be simplistic and ignores the fetishizing of Asians in white supremacy. The idea of Asians as a source of sexual gratification is intrinsically linked with racism, othering, and exoticizing.
The justification comes at a time when officials are already under fire for making excuses for domestic terrorism. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker even said that Long had “a bad day” that prompted him to kill. The attack peaked in a year-long series of racist attacks against Asian Americans. The racial group unfairly became the scapegoat for the spread of COVID-19, but these hate crimes have long been a part of their treatment in the U.S.
Ending the war in Afghanistan
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Sunday to figure out the end of a 20-year-old war with the Taliban, while still holding on to security measures. Austin’s visit comes ahead of the May 1 deadline issued by the militant group to remove all 2,500 U.S. troops set in the region according to an agreement signed with them last year. Tensions are mounting as the Taliban wrestled even more power from the Afghan government and have vowed to restore Islamic rule in the region.
Overseas fans banned from Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics
Overseas spectators will not be allowed to attend the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, officials announced on Saturday. The global events were postponed because of the pandemic. The Tokyo government and both the Olympic and the Paralympic committees made the executive decision to ban international travelers from the games. 1 million tickets were sold to these fans and over four times the same to domestic fans. Japan will have to bear the financial loss but AP Sports journalist Stephen Wade touted this to be a small loss for an economy with “five or six trillion dollars GDP/GNP.” Wade even reported that about 70% of Japanese fans did not want overseas visitors to attend given the pandemic.
The Magic School Bus recast faces backlash
The Magic School Bus, the beloved 1990s animated series that introduced children to science in a new way, made the rounds on Twitter three years after news of its reboot. But not all is well. Die-hard fans of the show criticized its “corporate” animation style. Most of their ire was directed at the reconception of some iconic characters. Ms. Fizzle, for example, will no longer be the lead. Her character will be replaced by her sister Fiona, who is portrayed as the younger, more stereotypically attractive counterpart. Some of the darker-skinned kids from the original show appear too, but with visibly lighter skin.
LA Goth club closes amidst sexual abuse claims
Cloak & Dagger, the Goth club and mainstay of Los Angeles nightlife, shuttered permanently on Saturday amidst sexual abuse claims. Party-goers vied for invitations from the members-only Hollywood nightclub that built its image on sexual and queer liberation. The main accused is actor Thomas Middleditch, best known for his role as Richard Hendricks on the HBO series Silicon Valley. Middleditch repeatedly groped and harassed women who attended the club. Moreover, founders Adam Bravin and Michael Patterson shrugged off these complaints when informed by their staff. The need to preserve the “cult-like” status and secrecy of Cloak & Dagger harbored survivor silence for a long time.