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June 12, 2020

Summarizing a mountain’s worth of stories, current events,
creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol

#sh*tkidssay

4: What are they doing?
Me: They're protesting, little man.
4: Why?
Me: Because some people are awful and aren't nice to people with a different color of skin.
4: So those people are awful like the smell of poop?
That boy already gets it.

-- A Bearer Of Dad News, @HomeWithPeanut

weekly survival tip

Sometimes you just need to get outside for a stroll. If this ode to walking doesn’t convince you, not sure what will.

trail talk

Last week we brought you some reading about the idea of defunding the police. Writ large, such a policy change is about reforming police departments and the act of policing. One city in this country has already taken on that challenge in a big way: Camden, New Jersey, a place where at one point the murder rate equaled that of Honduras. But then, in 2013, the City Council abolished the police department and set about building a new one under county control. It was a controversial move, for sure, and what happened in Camden has proven to be a “rare—and complicated—success story.” Statistically speaking the numbers look good: rates of excessive force have dropped, as have homicides, and new incentives, training and leadership changed the understanding in the department of what defined a “good cop.” But, getting to that point has cost some, too. Union contracts were tossed out leaving officers with lower pay and fewer benefits and some advocates believe the reforms have not been extensive enough. Among their critiques are the need for more diversity on the force and more transparency. Still, the city’s experience can be a good example for other advocates and leaders keen to transform and improve policing in their communities.

Today’s newsletter also falls on a day of particular importance for this country, although it is one that has not always gotten the recognition it deserves. Today, June 19, is Juneteenth, a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. Some call it our nation’s “second Independence Day.” Yet it was until 1980 that Texas became the first state to make the date a state holiday. Now nearly every state does and there is a push for federal recognition as well. Some companies , such as Twitter, Square, Nike and at least 117 other for-profit and non-profit organizations, are also now honoring the day as a paid holiday for employees.

trail magic

There is a bicycle boom going on, which may not come as a big surprise, especially given our ever-increasing traffic woes, rapidly warming planet and the global crises engulfing it. But what’s even more interesting is the central role bikes have played over decades, and continue to play now, in protest movements around the world. That is precisely what this New Yorker story explores – the history and politics of bicycles in protests. Because, as the writer says, “transportation issues are social-justice issues.” In fact, he goes on to suggest that Black Lives Matter is actually “a moral crusade about freedom of movement and who is at liberty to go where.” And in that struggle, the bicycle has become central.

trail treasures

Father’s day is here (or nearly). And, if gift-giving is your way to mark the occasion, we think our adult beanies are the best deal around, so be sure to check those out. If you also have a reader on your hands, you can always add a book to the bundle. This list of notable titles by Black authors would then be a useful, relevant, place to start.

If you’re leaning towards the DIY approach, then our very own Everleigh has you covered. In case you missed her Pro Tips video last week, here it is again. This time she’s got some fun crafts to make for dad full of sparkle and spirit. Maybe a little too much sparkle??? Wait. No. There’s no such thing. There’s never too much sparkle.

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