The Internet is Exploding: 10 Must-Read Articles This Week 8/13/23 🔥

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Glitch x Glitch: Painter Taha Heydari

A lot happened on the internet this week. Highlights: The Sweet Tea Party, Noname, Tory Lanez, Liz Cambage, medical racism, Hawaii, Lil Tay, Montana, and Clarence Thomas.


What I’m Reading: The Montgomery melee shows that Black Twitter isn’t going anywhere

Last Saturday, August 5, 2023, became a great moment in American history when a fight broke out between white boaters and Black bystanders in Alabama. The viral brawl “took place at Montgomery’s Riverfront Park on Saturday, started after a pontoon boat blocked the Harriott II riverboat from docking for nearly 45 minutes, authorities said. In the video, you can see the riverboat’s co-captain, Damien Pickett, explaining to several men that they needed to move their boat.” 

After a few minutes, one of the white men attacked the Black worker, before the others joined. Then, “several white men jump into the fray and begin punching the dock worker, who falls over. An unidentified man in a Nike shirt can be seen running over to try and de-escalate the chaos.” 

In several videos, a young Black man from the Harriott II is seen swimming across the wharf to also assist the worker. The situation “appeared to have settled down somewhat. The dock worker was up, the white men were separated from him, and he was walking away.” But, when the Harriott II docked, the “fight spill[ed] over onto the dock, where everyone gets involved. Punches fly between boaters, bystanders, and Harriott II employees — men and women.” The infamous folding chair came out, and everyone got their lick in.

The timeline rejoiced seeing Black people come together to rightfully defend the worker. From the video, it is evident that the white attackers would have seriously injured, if not killed, him had no one intervened. 

Adding to the historical significance of the fight, Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the 1619 Project, has noted that “where that boat was docked is literally where they’d March enslaved Africans from the steamboat to the town center to be sold.”

The investigation is ongoing, but thus far “Three white men have been charged with misdemeanor assault: Richard Robins, 48; Alan Todd, 23; and Zachary Shipman, 25.” Authorities have also asked “Reggie Gray, the 42-year-old Black man wielding the infamous folding chair,” to turn himself in for questioning. 


Twitter: History being made 💀

Honestly, I’ve been watching memes from the brawl all week and I am not tired of them. Here are a few more. And, importantly, lots of commentary. 


Spotify: ‘Sundial’ by Noname

Noname released her first project in five years, and it is the perfect capstone to summer. ‘Sundial’ is buttery, rich, and radial. Upon first listen, I was so immersed in the sonic experience that I hardly had time to listen to the lyrics. Critical as ever, Alphonse Pierre beautifully describes the “driving force” behind the projects in his Pitchfork review as “sometimes the only way to work through the bullshit is to point at your close friends and ask, ‘Do you all see this, too, or am I bugging?’ Their confirmations stop you from feeling like you’re on a different planet from everyone else.” I have a lot of driving to do in the next few weeks, and I’m glad I’ll have ‘Sundial’ to listen to.


Legal Affairs and Trials Meghann Cuniff: Judge sentences Tory Lanez to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion

Rapper Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the foot on Tuesday. The lengthy two-day hearing was filled with testimonials, and “Lanez’s lawyers also submitted 76 character reference letters from friends, family and other supporters. The writers include singer Iggy Azalea, a police chief and a state representative from Missouri, and a doctor who treated Lanez for hair loss.” 

In a written statement by Megan read in court, she said “he not only shot me, he made a mockery of my trauma. He tried to position himself as a victim and set out to destroy my character and my soul,” and that she “[has] not experienced a single day of peace” since the 2020 incident. 


YouTube: Liz Cambage Addresses Allegations of Comments Made to Nigerian Team, Sparks Exit | Taylor Rooks X

Liz Cambage is one of the most dominant figures in women’s basketball, and she is also very controversial. In this exclusive interview, the Australian player addresses the “allegations she used a racial slur towards the Nigerian team, why she isn’t in the WNBA, her Sparks exit and who can break her scoring record.” This interview—along with the recording of the incident with the Nigerian team that has since been leaked—provides a lot of clarity on how Cambage garnered her reputation. 

While you can’t hear everything that was said in the scrimmage, the video does show Cambage being unnecessarily aggressive and violent, and a member of the Australian team confirmed the allegations that Cambage used a slur. This interview, in and of itself, also has moments with Cambage contradicts herself, in one instances she claims “I don’t lie, I have nothing to lie” about,  in terms of the incident with the Nigerian team, and then states that, “I was lying, I was really lying” about her relationship with the WNBA team, the LA Sparks. 


CNN: Georgia mother who alleges baby was decapitated during delivery files lawsuit

This is one of the most devastating stories I have seen lately. Jessica Ross filed a lawsuit against Southern Regional Medical Center claiming the hospital “attempted to conceal the manner of death of the baby.” Ross initially tried the deliver vaginally, however “‘the baby did not properly descend due to shoulder dystocia,’ a condition when a baby’s shoulders become stuck in the vaginal canal, the lawsuit says.” 

The suit claims the doctor “failed to practice according to medical standards,” and “‘grossly’ and ‘negligently applied excessive traction’ on the head and neck of the baby and ‘failed to do a Cesarean section in a timely and proper manner, resulting in Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr.’s decapitation and death.’” 

Ross went into labor on July 9th, and an autopsy has still yet to be released. My heart goes out to Ross, her family, and all pregnant people who have experienced medical racism. 


YouTube: Native Hawaiian Activist Kaniela Ing on Fires, Colonialism & Banyan Tree

Hawaii is on fire. Immense wildfires have burned across Maui, destroying “nearly all buildings in the historic section of Lahaina, which once served as the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” These fires are “now being described as the worst natural disaster in Hawaii’s history [and were] created by conditions such as dry vegetation, hurricane-level winds, and developers redirecting water and building over wetlands, which are directly related to the climate crisis.” Amy Goodman speaks to native Hawaiian and activist Kanaka Maoli about the devastating fires, their impact on indigenous Hawaiian communities, and what we can do going forward. 



I had no clue who Lil Tay was until this week. On Wednesday, the social media personality’s Instagram account was reportedly hacked—making false statements that she was dead. In a statement to TMZ, Tay said, “It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours. All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess.” Like Ashley Ray,  “[I] went from knowing nothing about this lil girl to finding out there might be a conspiracy where her parents are faking her death to finding out she was slinging around the n word at 9.” I am glad she is safe, but I do not care to learn any more about her. 


The Atlantic: The Anti-California

I do not think Annie Lowery has ever talked to anyone from Montana. One of my friends is from the state, and almost all of our conversations touch upon housing—both nationally and the places in which we live. This article is totally contrary to my friend’s experience, and the experience of many Montana residents who are facing housing insecurity and reads as propaganda for the state’s Governor Greg Gianforte. 

While Lowery suggests the state “performed a miracle” and “did something—and maybe enough—to fix its housing crisis,” people are being forced to flee Montana because they can no longer choose to live there. 

While Montana is an area where this is happening in an acute manner right now, as people increasingly can’t afford to live in major coastal cities and more to smaller cities and rural areas in the interior, the housing and cost of living crises will continue and impact the people already living in those areas. 


ProPublica: Clarence Thomas’ 38 Vacations: The Other Billionaires Who Have Treated the Supreme Court Justice to Luxury Travel

The public campaign against Clarence Thomas continues, and this week ProPublica published an article looking into the other billionaires, besides Harlan Crow, who have lavishly furnished the justice’s life. This investigation found “at least 38 destination vacations, including a previously unreported voyage on a yacht around the Bahamas; 26 private jet flights, plus an additional eight by helicopter; a dozen VIP passes to professional and college sporting events, typically perched in the skybox; two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica; and one standing invitation to an uber-exclusive golf club overlooking the Atlantic coast.” 

I am never shocked when any of these things come out about Thomas, but I am curious about how much more these investigations will find.

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