Category Archives: Voices

To the Makers of Lovecraft Country Regarding the Murder of a Two-Spirit Arawak Femme Person by a Queer Black Man

by Neve Kamilah Mazique-Ricardi


Since it first premiered in August, Lovecraft Country has incorporated itself into my sacred Sunday routine. From jump, the Black-centered fantasy horror adventure series has hit the ground, or the cosmos, running. Lovecraft Country is fun, sexy, scary, campy, tragic, terrifying, and wonderful, everything I want fantasy horror to be. To its credit, it manages to show some of the horrors faced by an ancestrally magical and nerdy Black family on the South Side of Chicago, and throughout the East Coast, in Jim Crow Era America. Namely, Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), a young veteran returned home from the Korean War to find his father has gone missing and was last seen somewhere around Salem, Massachusetts, and his close friend from high school Leticia “Leti” Lewis (Jurnee Smollett), a light-skinned, adventurous photographer and bohemian, and each of their immediate relatives. Naturally, the types of horror faced by this family are both related to anti-Black racism and racist white magic. 

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Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home with KCLS: Life Goes On

by Maggie Block


At the beginning of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald teamed up to offer book recommendations to help readers get through the shutdown. While there may be more opportunities to get out and about now, many of us continue to spend more time at home, and could still use some great reading material to consume during the reopening process. 

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OPINION: My Community-Led $100 Million Plan for BIPOC Communities

Note: In a Sept 25 story, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office told The Seattle Times that $100 million for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities would not come from new revenue and specifically not from a business tax recently passed by the City Council. Durkan’s office later retracted that to the Times, describing the mayor’s budget as too complicated to answer unequivocally whether new revenue would be used for the $100 million.

by Jenny A. Durkan


We are living in unprecedented times: a pandemic, an economic crisis, and a civil rights reckoning ignited by the murder of George Floyd. All have shown the undeniable and devastating impacts that systemic racial inequities have had on Black and Brown communities for generations. The disparities are reflected across all systems, including housing, access to wealth, education, policing, the criminal legal system and health care. 

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OPINION: ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions?’ Legally, it’s Nonsense — but That Wasn’t the Point at All

by Geov Parrish 


Seattle made national news Monday in a way nobody could have anticipated: A formal memo from U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, purporting to lay out a legal rationale for withholding federal money from cities whose Black Lives Matter protests have grabbed Donald Trump’s attention — meaning they’ve been covered, luridly, on FOX News. Barr’s memo was a response to a memo early this month from Trump, who first used the “anarchist jurisdiction” terminology then, probably unaware that the phrase itself is an oxymoron. By definition, anarchists don’t have government jurisdictions.

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I Became a Judge Because of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Bobbe Bridge (former Washington Supreme Court Justice)


As I write, millions — maybe billions — of words have been dedicated in print and orally to the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the law professor; the lawyer for the ACLU winning landmark rulings at the United States Supreme Court; the federal District Court Judge; the Supreme Court Justice; the Notorious RBG. She became an iconic figure in her later years, an idol in a black robe and lace collars — collars that were carefully selected (like her own words) to signal her meaning.

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OPINION: No Justice for Breonna, Only “Justification”

by M. Anthony Davis


Former Louisville detective Brett Hankison, one of the officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor, was charged today with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The other involved officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were not charged with any crimes.

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Heather Griffin on Why White Parents Shouldn’t Be Threatened by Ethnic Studies

by Ari Robin McKenna

This is the fourth in a series of articles featuring the words of local ethnic studies educators who are doing work to address systemic racism in our classrooms. To read the first, on Amanda Hubbard, click here. To read the second, on Bruce Jackson, click here. To read the third, on Shraddha Shirude, click here. To read the series intro, click here.


Editor’s Note: The following article includes a discussion on the racist attitudes some teachers harbor towards BIPOC students. This content might be disturbing, so we encourage everyone to prepare themselves emotionally before proceeding. If you believe that the reading will be traumatizing for you, we suggest you forego it.

If ethnic studies were to become an integral part of Seattle’s K–12 public education system, as Heather Griffin hopes, it could result in a profound shift away from systemic racism, led by youth, towards a more equitable future for this city. But for this to happen — sooner rather than later — Heather knows many of Seattle Public Schools’ white parents will have to reckon with their doubts, reason through their concerns, and reach for an understanding of the deeper fears they may be gripped by but hesitate to give voice to. Heather Griffin knows, because she has.

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OPINION: Thoughts on RBG’s passing and a New Era of Queer Mutual Aid by a Trans and Jewish Millennial

by Mirit Markowitz Santos


Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Erev Rosh Hashana. For all the non-Jews reading this, that is the evening of the first night of the Jewish New Year, a kick-off holiday to a time of great reflection that ends with another important holiday, Yom Kippur. When I heard that Ruth had passed away, I felt many things, as did the rest of the nation. I felt sad, I felt grief that it happened before the election (although I am not sure that would have mattered, I am sad to admit). But mostly, I felt a sincere hope that she passed peacefully coupled with an anxiety that perhaps she did not. This latter emotion was the most pronounced — to have an elder in my community potentially not die peacefully because we were hanging all our progressive hopes and dreams on her surviving, despite her multiple struggles with various cancers during the era of Trump, well … that’s not good. 

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“We Did Everything We Could”: Community Organizations Fear A Census Undercount

by Luna Reyna


As a child, I can recall two groups of strangers coming to our door: census workers and religious groups. My Latinx family of 7 never opened the door for either. The fear and lack of trust in government-affiliated institutions has always been tangible, and rightly so, in many marginalized communities. This fear has contributed to federally-underfunded schools, hospitals, public transportation, and even Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the past. All federal funding is guided and allocated through the findings of the decennial census.   

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OPINION: The Limits of Reform—No Justice for James and Jerome Taafulisia

by Xing Hey


Many years ago, I sat dejected as a judge sentenced me to life in prison for crimes committed as a 15 year old. At the time, I felt as if the world was falling away and I was hanging on without a parachute or a place for a soft landing. The arms of somebody that would catch and hold me couldn’t be found. I never felt so alone as I did in that moment. Aside from three random strangers, the packed courtroom on that day was there to encourage the punishment of a criminalized teenage me. When the punishment was officially announced, the satisfaction of the audience in that room was eerie. I still feel the chills from that day years ago today.  

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