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The mass shooter in Atlanta embodied the flawed logic that racial stereotypes reflect fact-based truths

Activists outside Gold Spa following Tuesday night’s shooting, where three women were gunned down, on March 18, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Our nation is mourning the recent attacks on the Asian American community. On Tuesday, a man murdered eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors. This comes amidst the global pandemic where anti-Asian hate speech and violence are on the rise.

As we watch the coverage of this tragedy, many of us are privy to the absurdity of racism in America. This absurdity was even articulated by the man who carried out the killings. The…


How I Got Radicalized

She was a Mormon homemaker who just wanted to take part in the market economy. Then it all came crashing down.

An illustration of a Beanie Baby with a star print and the U.S. flag on its chest. Behind the beanie baby is a generic stock market image.
An illustration of a Beanie Baby with a star print and the U.S. flag on its chest. Behind the beanie baby is a generic stock market image.
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Welcome to How I Got Radicalized, a series from GEN that tells the story of a cultural moment that made you drastically rethink how society works.

We laughed about the Beanie Babies. There were hundreds of them, piled onto shelves in my little sisters’ bedroom. The shelves were high up, but there were just a few Beanies truly off-limits, the Princess Diana bear, a platypus, Weenie the dachshund. The rare babies had plastic covers over their tags. Princess Diana Bear was supposed to stay in a plastic case, but was often found lollygagging with the commoners. My siblings and I…


We can no longer trust our nation’s infrastructure to keep our families safe, happy, and healthy

Photo: Apexphotos/Getty Images

Last Wednesday, the snow started to fall thick and fast in Denver, Colorado. My kids went to bed hoping for a snow day. They’ve spent most of their childhood in California, and sometimes we had smoke days there. These days were ominous and choking, ash fell from the sky and got stuck in our eyelashes. But snow days? Snow days are sleds and snowmen. My daughter heard that if she wore her pajamas to bed inside out on a snowy night, she’d wake up to a snow day. That night, we all went to bed wearing our pajamas inside out.


If forced proximity has you drained, you’re not alone

Photo: Francesco Carta fotografo / Getty

On a typical weekday morning a year ago, my husband would wake before dawn to try to get ahead of the morning commute, my son would sneak in a few minutes of Minecraft before hastily getting ready for school, and my daughter would be finishing homework at the breakfast table while lobbying for a ride to avoid the dreaded school bus. …


The conservative shock jock is dead, but the toxic style of politics he fostered will be with us for decades

Rush Limbaugh after being awarded the Medal of Freedom by first lady Melania Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan /AFP/Getty Images

I grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh. This was not by choice, mind you. My father, a distributor who serviced grocery stores all across East Texas and Louisiana, kept the dial fixed on conservative talk radio whenever he was in the car. Half his job was driving, so on any given day he probably spent between four and six hours listening to this stuff in transit. I often went with him on these trips, so I got a hefty dose of it as well.

Limbaugh’s fans were called “dittoheads” because when they called in, they usually began their comments with…


During a pandemic, it takes a celebrity village to raise a child

Photo: Westend61/Getty

My 9-year-old daughter is having a hard time. It’s the kind of hard time most kids have at her age, made worse by the pandemic. Sometimes people call her quirky. This makes her nervous. She wants to be normal. When I tell her there’s no such thing as “normal” she scoffs. She just wants to unobtrusively line up with the girlhood formulated by Disney tween sitcoms and the common consent of an apathetic society. When she’s at school, she bends her mind and spirit in half, frustrated that each corner of herself doesn’t meet the others. She’s pretending to no…


Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio are for bringing children into this world, but against helping them survive it

Photo: Drew Angerer/Stringer/Getty Images

On Thursday, Senator Mitt Romney proposed the Family Security Act, a monthly cash benefit for children. The proposal, tucked inside the Biden administration’s pending $1.9 trillion stimulus package, is pretty simple: It eliminates the child tax credit, a government assistance program for income earners. The tax credit would be replaced with cash. Parents receive payments based on each child’s age — infants and children up to five years old get a $350 monthly payment; children ages six to 17 get $250 a month. …


Our senses are starved. They lie dormant, waiting for the reopening.

Photo: Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

It is nearly a year now, though time no longer passes with any structure. Each day is the same, weekends bleed into weeks, days into months, the seasons blur into each other.

There are three categories of people in lockdown: couples without children, couples with children, and single people. The couples without children have learned languages, watched box sets, and made sourdough bread. They’ve gone for long walks, played board games, argued, and made love. The couples with children have been running exclusive boarding schools: being parents, teachers, playmates, nannies, and cooks. The single people have been trapped in a…


AOC and Katie Porter share the hard-earned ‘gift’ for noticing what others can’t yet see

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This week, I opened my phone and watched Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tell a story that managed to be both shocking and familiar. The congresswoman is an unusual individual, and her hour-long Instagram Live broadcast regarding the attempted coup at the Capitol was extraordinary. It was also horribly, painfully, and sadly ordinary.

Given her celebrity status and the seemingly endless cheers and jeers sent her way from all corners of the internet, it’s easy to forget that Ocasio-Cortez is also an actual human. She is not simply an amalgamation of some strangers’ hopes, dreams, and nightmares. She occupies an unprecedented place…


The GameStop stock play finds accountability in a system that has none

Photo by Johannes Eisele / AFP via Getty Images

For the past few days GameStop, the beleaguered retailer that’s seen its share price skyrocket under the influence of a Reddit mob attempting the mother of all short squeezes, has dominated the text group I have with a handful of high school friends. Not usually a crew for deep-dives into finance, we’re suddenly following every twist of the saga. I suspect we’re not alone. …

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