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Vox Sentences: Action against the “murderous operation” in Myanmar

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A plan that would disenfranchise black voters in Georgia quickly fails; lawmakers across Asia call for an investigation into the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.

Attempted disenfranchisement in the “Black Belt”

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • An election board in Georgia rejected a consultant’s plan to shut down seven of nine polling places in a predominantly black county in a vote that took less than 60 seconds. [NPR / Johnny Kauffman]
  • Though consultant Mike Malone claimed the consolidation was an effort to save money, the Randolph County Board of Elections stated that their decision was “protecting the right to vote.” [AP / Brinley Hineman]
  • Malone, who was hired by the county, argued that the seven polling sites violated standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act and that the county didn’t have the funds or resources available to fix them by November. [HuffPost / Sam Levine]
  • Critics believe Malone’s plan was a part of a scheme (under the direction of Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp) “to disenfranchise African Americans and minority voters.” Kemp, however, said the board “did the right thing.” [CNN / Victor Blackwell, Devon M. Sayers, and Pamela Kirkland]
  • The American Civil Liberties Union agreed. The organization said that the closures would “virtually guarantee lower voter turnout in a Black Belt county” and that the “timing of [the] proposal is also suspicious” in a letter threatening to sue Randolph County. [ACLU Georgia / Sean J. Young]
  • The announcement also galvanized civil and voting rights activists, who launched a campaign (including rallies and petitions) to stop the closure. [USA Today / Deborah Barfield Berry]
  • While the closures obviously would have affected local elections, they also, more importantly, would have shaped the gubernatorial race. Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams has a chance of becoming Georgia’s first black governor (and the country’s first black female governor) come November, and many anticipate black voter turnout will increase. [Mother Jones / Pema Levy]
  • Nevertheless, the fight for voting rights and enfranchisement for minorities (and, in particular, black people) does not end here. [NYT / Richard Fausset]

Officials seek justice for the “textbook ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya

  • Members of parliament across various Southeast Asian countries are taking action against Myanmar for its systematic oppression and genocide of the Rohingya minority a day before the first anniversary of the crisis. [Guardian / Hannah Ellis-Petersen]
  • 132 MPs from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Timor-Leste have called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into Myanmar’s “murderous operation in Rakhine State.” [South China Morning Post]
  • The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights released a statement on Friday declaring that those responsible “must be held to account” and brought “to justice for atrocity crimes.” [APRH]
  • More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State to neighboring countries since the end of August 2017, after the military began a campaign that the United Nations has called a “textbook ethnic cleansing.” The 960,000 currently living in Bangladesh have brought with them “stories of extreme violence, burned villages, murders and rape.” [Al Jazeera / Sorin Furcoi]
  • Myanmar has also forcibly held at least 120,000 Rohingya (and possibly more) in internal camps since 2012. Conditions in these camps are abysmal: The Rohingya live in constant fear, are not allowed to practice their faith, and are barred from receiving humanitarian aid. [Quartz / Cresa Pugh]
  • Those who remain refugees in neighboring countries would “rather die than go back.” [NPR / Jason Beaubien]


  • The family of Mollie Tibbets, the 20-year-old college student from Iowa who was murdered this month, is now speaking out against racism and bigotry in Mollie’s honor as President Donald Trump co-opts and politicizes her death to advocate for stricter immigration policy. [Jezebel / Ashley Reese]
  • Dril (Twitter’s favorite incomprehensible troll) has published a 420-page book titled Dril Official “Mr. Ten Years” Anniversary Collection. [The Verge / Bijan Stephen]
  • In a rare interview, musician Sia revealed that she uses pictures of her actual face (as opposed to her trademark feature-obscuring bobbed wig) when she goes on dating apps. As a bonus, she’s easily able to hide in plain sight. [Rolling Stone / Hillel Aron]
  • You + Sundry is growing in popularity as a pop-up hair parlor geared toward members of the LGBTQ+ community, who often feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in mainstream hair salons that encourage conformity and passing. [Racked / baniamor]


“What on earth is so deeply rooted about politeness that this guy’s feelings somehow ended up seeming more important than my own? Why are women so often forced to feel more concerned for our attackers than for ourselves?” [Reina Gattuso on pushing through pressure to remain polite and servile in the wake of abuse, oppression, and marginalization / Feministing]

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