The week that started 1st June 2020

Hey fellow black folks, I love you. 💕💞💕

A call to rest. A call to action. Universal income. Social distancing. Trees.

Rest. Please remember to rest.

Listened to a talk by Lama Rod Owens from the retreat I was on last year. Really needed that. Been meaning to do that for a long time. Exactly the reminder that I needed to rest. There’s a version of this talk on Soundcloud.

Here’s a short read that Lama Rod shares when there’s yet another black death. I found it really helpful. A Loving Kindness Meditation for Victims of Abuse

There is rest for the weary.

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Anti-racist action

For everyone else, if this is your first time actively learning about racism, look for ‘racism 101’, there are loads of resources.

If you’ve done a significant amount of learning about racism and anti-blackness already, look up the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw on intersectionality, look up terms like ‘implicit bias’, ‘dismantling white supremacy’, ‘defund the police’, ‘abolish prisons’, ‘transformative justice’.

If you’re a non-black person of colour, who hasn’t already learned a lot about anti-blackness, look that up.

No links. I’m not your teacher. Do your own work.

Universal income

Wow, apparently even Zuckerberg supports universal income. Wonders never cease.

So, this has been a subject close to my heart for a while. Sitting at home reading about the Windrush, Irish struggles for independence and current party politics in the UK (especially at the local level in places I live or want to live), I decided to do some research. And, unsurprisingly in retrospect, there’s a resurgence in universal income discussion and support lately. (Note: I don’t call it ‘basic’ income, because I don’t think it ought to be basic, although that would be a decent start.)

Did you know that Kenya, Iran, and Alaska have universal basic income programmes? Kenya is experimenting with it, and I’m keen to learn about the results. More info: Everywhere basic income has been tried, in one map, by Sigal Samuel, an excellent article.

Universal income in the UK

the “precariat” has suddenly expanded to denote a potentially universal condition.

everyone expressing anxiety and uncertainty, thereby joining the millions of people who experienced those things long before the outbreak began.

… if you are going to enable people to care for their family, friends and neighbours and involve themselves in their community, many of them will need the freedom to do the kind of work that currently brings no financial reward. Which brings us back to a basic income – and a question that, whatever people’s doubts, needs to be asked with a real urgency. If unprecedented times demand drastic answers, isn’t this where we should begin?

Why universal basic income could help us fight the next wave of economic shocks, by John Harris, published by The Guardian, May 2020

John Harris’s promotion of a UBI appears to have one key flaw symptomatic of the radical politics that has spawned the concept: it is not universal. It is more properly called national basic income. A universal application of NBIs (ie beyond where it has been invented – rich countries) cannot claim to be radical. NBIs would vary immensely across the world, thereby consolidating the unequal exchange embedded in trade. The promoters of NBIs under the guise of UBI will likely be drinking coffee and tea that is easily afforded because of the low wages paid to workers in poorer countries. Advertisement And of course, they can buy more toys for their children at Christmas courtesy of poorly paid Chinese labour. So the UBI is a plan to help poor people in rich countries without regard to poor people in poor countries. Can radical ever be national?

Peter Taylor Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear in Readers’s responses to John Harris’ article

More UK resources on universal income

Reflecting on relaxing of social distancing

Zeba Khan, an immunocompromised woman in Texas, told Vox she’s frustrated with Americans’ rush to end social distancing. “Other people’s aversion to boredom can kill me,” she said. “I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think that’s right. And it certainly is selfish. And it’s disappointing that people only take the disease as seriously as it affects them personally.” […]

Dina Elshinnawi, a video producer at Vice who has lupus, recently wrote a piece titled “I’m Immunocompromised and Freaking Out About the World Reopening.” She’s been having nightmares […]

Elshinnawi, who envisions having to stay at home until a vaccine is available, added that it’s hard to hear her friends “brag about what they’ll get to do when this is over. I know telling them I resent that won’t make me feel any better.”

Her words highlight the fact that there is, and will continue to be, a fundamental unfairness in how the pandemic unfolds. Whichever way you cut it, the most vulnerable in our population will suffer longer. […]

We don’t have to wait for a vaccine if we want to get the most vulnerable people out of isolation sooner. There are two other major avenues we can pursue, and researchers are hard at work on both of them: tests and treatments.

Older and immunocompromised people don’t deserve to be second-class citizens

It’s okay to be doing okay during the pandemic: Stop feeling guilty. Start being useful by Sigal Samuel

die Bäume (trees in German)

Continuing practising trees in German.

Book: Plants in Myth, Legend, Magic, and Lore
Present for myself for continuing my nature writing endeavours and levelling up my reflective journalling
This is how you know your friends know you: Got this in the post 🙂


Thoroughly enjoyed the Scotviz meetup, which I attended for the first time this week. Well organised, great teaching, lots of practice and FUN! Definitely going back and highly recommend.