Did the Zillow icon become a rainbow flag on your phone?

Part of a screen capture from my guiltiest secret (i.e., that I own an iPhone (my excuse: the camera and hardware/software behind the camera)):

Was this change to the rainbow flag because software robots at Zillow were reading my blog and Facebook posts (none since February) and learned about my passion for everything LGBTQIA+? Or did everyone else with Zillow on an iPhone get pushed this update as well? (And what about users within the Android Free State? Do you now support Pride via your icons?)

Separately, here’s part of a LinkedIn profile after the user’s current and former employers swelled with Pride:


  • Profiles in Corporate Courage (would Zillow join Apple, Google, P&G, Mercedes, and Microsoft in limiting their advocacy of LGBTQIA+ in countries where LGBTQIA+ sex acts are illegal?)
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Medical School 2020, Year 3, Week 16 (Inpatient Gyn)

Gynecology rotation starts at 7:30 am in the outpatient surgery center. The chief texted the previous night to skip hospital rounds and just meet the team at the outpatient surgery center for the first 8:00 am case (this is an inpatient week, but if there are no scheduled surgeries at the hospital we go with an attending to the outpatient center). I appreciate the extra sleep! Our first patient is a 27-year-old who had an unfortunate uterine perforation after IUD placement by a Planned Parenthood Nurse Practitioner. “I think it was her first IUD placement. Looking back, she was so nervous.” After a brief physical, we have about 30 minutes before the OR is ready.

Did it hurt getting the IUD placed? “It hurt so bad, but they told me that’s expected. Over the next week, the intense pain got better, but I just kept having these sharp lightning bolts of pain once or twice a day.” She saw an Ob/Gyn for a regular check up three months later who ordered an abdominal x-ray that showed a “T”-shaped device in the right upper quadrant. 

The 70-year-old attending arrives. She meets the patient and confirms the consent is signed. I grab gloves for the attending, the intern and myself. We perform a laparoscopic removal of the IUD. It was lodged in the omentum requiring three port placements (three holes in the belly). Throughout the entire procedure, the 60-year-old anesthesiologist, a former dentist, tried to convince me that anesthesia is the best route. “Hospitalists are miserable,” he began. “They have 80 patients, they work 12-hour shifts. It’s not good for the patient, but it’s the way medicine has gone. In anesthesia, we have only one patient at a time, and we are done after you leave the office. And the physiology is just awesome.”

As the OR is prepared by the nurse, surgical tech, and OR tech,s for the next case, we head to post-op to talk to our recovering patient. After a brief conversation with the patient and her mother, we head to the nurse’s station where the intern is instructed to prescribe 10 OxyContin 5 mg. “It’s crazy how much opioid pills we still give out. Epic defaults to 30 pills for a prescription,” says the attending. “I still have dozens of narco left over from my breast cancer surgery. Everyone is talking about the opioid problem and how doctors created this monster, perhaps, but I still blame the government. They started to adjust reimbursement rates based on patient-reported pain scales. No wonder the ED gave out Oxy like candy.”

Before our next procedure (hysteroscopy, camera through the cervix into the uterus to look for, and possibly biopsy, cancerous polyps), I chat with the attending about the future of Ob/Gyn: “Ob/Gyn was a beautiful field because it combines surgery with long-term patient relationships. I am the primary care provider for a lot of my patients. We’re succumbing to the specialization tsunami. I’ve been grandfathered in, but most hospitals require you to choose a track: gynecology or obstetrics.” She continued, “The days of having clinic in the morning with two afternoons of gyn surgeries alternating with a week of obstetrics are ending. Administration is chipping away at the scope of practice for every field.”

After a total of three procedures, I leave the outpatient OR at noon to attend lectures at the hospital on urinary incontinence by a “UroGyn” (Urogynecologist, 4-year OB/Gyn residency followed by 3-year fellowship). 

The next day starts with hospital rounds before surgery at 6:30 am in the main hospital OR. We have two laparoscopic fibroid removals and a hysterectomy scheduled. Dr. McSteamy is the attending. He is a 37-year-old whose recent marriage occasioned despair among the residents (all female, except for one gay guy, a junior resident, who shared their grief). The chief, now four years out of medical school, struggles with basic laparoscopic techniques, incorrectly locating the ureters, a critical item given the risk of damage during the procedure. She also has a six-month-old at home, which might explain some of her deficiencies, but her parents have moved here to assist the software engineer husband in taking care of the baby. She is trying to find a job next year as a general practitioner in a smaller hospital setting. 

During the second hysterectomy, the junior resident gets a page for two ED admits. He and I step out to evaluate a 24-year-old bartender with a three-day history of excruciating labial pain. She had a similar episode several years ago. Her right labia majora is swollen, erythematous (reddened), and extremely painful when she walks or moves. As I prepare to present the findings to Dr. McSteamy, I look up management of Bartholin abscess in my trusted Comprehensive Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynecology by Zheng, a $30 book that fits into a scrubs pocket. The bartholin glands, located at 4 and 8 o’clock in the vaginal introitus, secrete lubricating fluid through a small duct. Some women develop a blockage in the duct leading to an enlarging cyst that becomes infected. Once McSteamy is out of surgery, we head down as a team to examine the patient. We then gather supplies (numbing medication, Wort catheter, scalpel, iodine prep) to drain the abscess. Before we go in, the ED attending asks if the resident has performed one of these. No. Dr. McSteamy then describes the procedure. The ED attending also wants to watch as she has never seen one performed. We transfer the patient into an ED procedure room with stirrups. The resident injects lidocaine in the 3 cm labial abscess and she cries out in pain. After 5 minutes, the resident makes a small incision in the labia, which results in screams and “sorry, sorry.” He then slips a 3 mm-diameter drainage catheter into the abscess. She is supposed to leave this in for 2-4 weeks, but the attending admits that most will fall out within a week. If this happens again she might consider getting a bartholin gland excision or marsupialization surgery (turns the gland inside-out) to maintain duct patency

Friday morning: round on two post-op patients and then am sent off to study before a mandatory class meeting at 1:00 pm. Nervous Nancy is in the student lounge watching Grey’s Anatomy on her phone. She is on outpatient Ob/Gyn week and was told not to bother driving to the clinic today. “Whenever I get nervous before exams, I instinctively watch Grey’s Anatomy. My excuse is I might learn something from it while calming my nerves by binge-watching.” We talk about her experience on Obstetrics. “I sometimes think, screw I am going to have a baby even though I am vastly irresponsible and underprepared. Look at these moms. Then I remember that they are terrible people.” I recount my experience with the G9P8 having the ninth baby. When asked why she keeps having babies, she responds: “Well all my children are in foster care so I need to have another one to actually keep one.” Nervous Nancy laughs, and says, “I’ve seen those too. Maybe your children are in foster care because you are a crack addict.”

We head over to the school for confessions of a medical student. We were instructed to prepare by writing a two-paragraph anonymous confession from this year. We are divided into 10-person groups, each led by a physician who shuffles them and hands them out for presentation: 

  1. Dear patient, I know everything about you. I know your STD history, I know you have had more children than reported to your husband, and I know your mother died from colon cancer. But as I walk through the door I realized I forgot your name. Unnamed patient, I am sorry.
  2. We were so rushed one day on rounding that we didn’t not explain to a patient why we were performing a digital rectal exam. I felt we violated his dignity. We were trying to rule out colon cancer.
  3. I resent when doctors say “we have it so much easier than you did”. They don’t understand the stresses we are under from residency competitiveness and financial costs.
  4. It is such a relief to see bad doctors practicing. The imperfection reminds me that I don’t have to be perfect to become a doctor. Being a doctor is human, and humans are imperfect. Some are even bad at their job.
  5. I learn more from watching bad doctors make mistakes than from good doctors.
  6. We had a patient whose biopsy was delayed because of another patient requiring a more urgent read. We joked how annoying he was. He started to yell that he was going to sue the hospital so the team disliked him even more for him being so difficult. He started to have delirium. When I went in alone to check on him in the morning he was clam and present. He confided in me: “I don’t care about myself, my wife is not strong enough to handle another day of not knowing.” The wife broke down in the room. He then got delirious and started asking philosophical questions, “Where are you going?”, “Are you content?”, “What happens next?” It gave me chills.
  7. I can never do pediatrics. An anti-vaxxer mom and her three kids came to the pediatric clinic for a first visit after getting thrown out by their prior pediciatrian. The kids asked me why they can’t go to normal school instead of being homeschooled. It was terrifying seeing a crazy woman make decisions that will impact these kids’ lives with no one to stop her.
  8. We don’t do much good in the hospital or in medicine. So much waste, discharging patients for them to come back in a week. We just use all this expensive technology that prolongs a miserable life. The best care I’ve seen so far was when a surgeon decided to not operate and recommended comfort care.
  9. I kept telling my team that a patient had a certain diagnosis, albeit atypical presentation. They kept saying how it could never be that, and made fun of me. After a few days and it turned out I was right, but they never acknowledged what I had told them. In my evaluation they mentioned only trivial stuff: on time, attentive, knows patients.
  10. I feel disillusioned. Despite all this training I feel worthless and unable to manage any real problems my friends and family ask me about. Barbara Freiderson helped me: “The negative screams at you, but the positive only whispers.”

Nervous Nancy: “I just feel like I am always in the way. That no one is grateful for us, and the people that actually care for the patient would have it easier without us present.” The physician leader asks, “Do any of you wish you were invisible?” Every student grinned, and nodded. Gigolo Giorgio, who sports a beer belly after gaining several pounds on psychiatry, comments: “I think you mean we all want to be flatter against the wall.”

Statistics for the week… Study: 10 hours. Sleep: 6 hours/night; Fun: 1 night. Halloween celebration. Gigolo Giorgio hosts a pregame before the class Halloween party downtown. We reminisce about our rotation experiences. Buff Brad and his girlfriend dress up as Gamora and Warlock from Guardians of the Galaxy, Adrenaline Andrew and his girlfriend win first prize with homemade jellyfish costumes out of Christmas lights and clear umbrellas. Classmates are downing shots and beer. Once we arrive at the rented out bar’s upstairs room, students dance Top 25 Pop hits while a line grows at the private bar for $5 mixed drinks. Gigolo Giorgio jokes: “[Put-Together Pete] is on his 24-hour night shift for surgery, we should all get blackout and visit him in the ED.”

The rest of the book: http://fifthchance.com/MedicalSchool2020

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The 18-year-old chooses a primary care physician

A local 18-year-old, raised on a steady diet of social justice messages delivered by unionized employees at the public school he has attended, asked his mom for help in choosing a primary care physician now that he has aged out of pediatrics.

Perhaps he didn’t absorb what the school was trying to teach. He told his mother that he didn’t want a female physician or a doctor of color because “they get into medical school easier.”

As it happens, mom is a cisgender female physician of color (Chinese-American, which is “of color” by today’s standards).

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Greeks and Danes don’t want to get rich through low-skill immigration

“As Greece installs ‘sound cannons’ on border, Denmark passes law allowing asylum seekers to be sent overseas” (Washington Post):

A law passed by Denmark’s Parliament on Thursday allows asylum seekers to be sent outside Europe to await the review of their applications.

In Greece, high-tech “sound cannons” are being used to deter migrants from crossing into the European Union from Turkey.

The sound cannons are part of a larger strategy to create a high-tech barrier that will prevent migrants from entering Greece in hopes of seeking asylum. Artificial intelligence will be used to analyze potentially suspicious movement captured by long-range cameras, and the country is also experimenting with using the technology to conduct lie detector tests during interviews with asylum seekers, according to the AP.

In Denmark, attempts to discourage migration have taken on a different form: A law that passed Thursday means asylum seekers can be sent to another country outside Europe while they wait for their cases to be reviewed.

“If you apply for asylum in Denmark, you know that you will be sent back to a country outside Europe, and therefore we hope that people will stop seeking asylum in Denmark,” Rasmus Stoklund, a spokesman for the Danish government, told broadcaster DR, according to Reuters.

Although it’s not yet clear what countries will take in refugees under such an arrangement, Denmark and Rwanda recently signed a memorandum of understanding that has led to speculation that migrants will probably be relocated to Africa.

Denmark, one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, has increasingly taken a hard-line stance on migration in recent years. The Danish Refugee Council said in a statement that sending refugees to a third country was analogous to Australia’s much-criticized policy of housing asylum seekers in offshore camps, and warned that the model has meant that migrants face “physical assault, slow asylum proceedings, lack of access to health care and lack of access to legal assistance.”

From joebiden.com:

Immigration is essential to who we are as a nation, our core values, and our aspirations for our future. … Trump’s policies are also bad for our economy. For generations, immigrants have fortified our most valuable competitive advantage–our spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Research suggests that “the total annual contribution of foreign-born workers is roughly $2 trillion.” Key sectors of the U.S. economy, from agriculture to technology, rely on immigration. Working-age immigrants keep our economy growing, our communities thriving, and country moving forward.

Coming the above two… Greeks and Danes don’t want to be rich. From Denmark, 2019 (“send them back”):

Americans, it seems, also are averse to becoming rich, even those who have faith in wealth-via-low-skill-migration. “U.S. Aid to Central America Hasn’t Slowed Migration. Can Kamala Harris?” (New York Times, June 6):

As vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr. led an enormous push to deter people from crossing into the United States by devoting hundreds of millions of dollars to Central America, hoping to make the region more tolerable for the poor — so that fewer would abandon it. Now, as President Biden, he is doubling down on that strategy once again and assigning his own vice president, Kamala Harris, the prickly challenge of carrying out his plan to commit $4 billion in a remarkably similar approach as she travels to the region Sunday. “When I was vice president, I focused on providing the help needed to address these root causes of migration,” Mr. Biden said in a recent speech to Congress. “It helped keep people in their own countries instead of being forced to leave. Our plan worked.” But the numbers tell a different story. After years of the United States flooding Central America with aid, migration from the region soared in 2019 and is on the upswing once more.

Here in Guatemala, which has received more than $1.6 billion in American aid over the last decade, poverty rates have risen, malnutrition has become a national crisis, corruption is unbridled and the country is sending more unaccompanied children to the United States than anywhere else in the world.

One, called the Rural Value Chains Project, spent part of its $20 million in American aid building outhouses for potato farmers — many of which were quickly abandoned or torn apart for scrap metal.

Uncle Joe wouldn’t lie to us (unlike you know who!). Thus, since every person from Guatemala who arrives in the U.S. makes us richer, happier (“our core values”), and more hopeful (“our aspirations for the future”), it is odd that we would want to spend $1.6 billion of our hard-earned wages to discourage Guatemalans from coming here.


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How can Starbucks be thriving without any indoor sit-down space?

“Starbucks sales miss estimates, shares drop despite rosier forecast” (Reuters, April 27, 2021):

U.S. sales returned to pre-pandemic levels, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said during a call with analysts.

How is this possible? If Mx. Johnson was talking about sales in the first quarter of 2021, that’s a time period when all Starbucks had closed down indoor dining, when the weather in most of the U.S. was uncomfortably cold for sitting outside, and when many American downtown offices were still vacant. How can his/her/zir/their company be selling just as much coffee as when people had the option to come in, share the bathroom with the local homeless, and sit down with the SUV-driving single moms?

If indoor dining turns out to be worthless, from a business point of view, how could Starbucks not have figured that out years ago and thereby saved itself a ton of cost? They would never have gotten into the bathroom dispute that forced “Starbucks Closes More Than 8,000 Stores Today For Racial Bias Training” (NPR) because they wouldn’t have had public restrooms.

I guess one answer is that the U.S. has changed. Customers used to demand and pay for the indoor dining space, but now they don’t want it nor are they willing to pay for it.

I’m kind of amazed that Starbucks is popular in its take-out-only configuration. So many Americans are sitting at home all day. Why do 15 minutes of driving to get coffee that takes 5 minutes to brew at home? If you’re on a long car trip, wouldn’t it make more sense to stop at McDonald’s where the dining room is open so that you can go in and use the bathroom?

Also, I wonder if this kind of business transformation will result in further fragmentation of American society. Due to its outrageous prices relative to quality, Starbucks had a somewhat upscale clientele. Nonetheless, it was a place where one might see a wider variety of people than one would see by driving in a private car from point to point. If Americans don’t see each other in common spaces, how will we know what our fellow residents of this stolen land are like?

November 2019, Hangzhou:

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Pride Month reading for children

Featured in the “Children’s Books” category of the New York Times recently… “This Coming-of-Age Novel Features a Girl on the Cusp of Manhood”:

Bug lives with her mother in rural Vermont. She’s 11, that terrible cusp of an age, right when everything is about to change. It’s the summer before middle school starts, and Bug’s best friend, Moira, has become a lot more interested in makeup, hoping to fit in. Bug has other concerns, especially the recent death of her beloved Uncle Roderick. A former drag queen in New York, Roderick was such a force of life that he may, in fact, be literally haunting Bug after his death. This is a very clever metaphor indeed, because Bug is haunted. When Moira talks winsomely of becoming a new person in middle school — “You don’t have to change, but don’t you want to?” — Bug remains troubled that what she sees in the mirror never matches how she sees herself. “A lot of books have a moral,” she tells us, “some lesson about how you have to stay true to who you are. … But those books never tell you how to figure out what your self is.”

I am being particular about pronoun use here because Bug uses “she” throughout the story until the moment of self-discovery — and then he doesn’t. “Too Bright to See” is the story of what it’s like to realize the gender you were assigned at birth is not the one you actually are. Lukoff — a transgender man himself — tells the story with such truth, such purity, such remarkable emotional clarity that you may be moved to tears by Bug’s triumph in the end.

This book is a gentle, glowing wonder, full of love and understanding, full of everything any of us would wish for our children. It will almost certainly be banned in many places, but your child almost certainly needs to read it.

The book review includes an education on current American politics:

Now here is a beautiful little book that carries a great, great weight on its shoulders. … Around the country, legislatures are suddenly busy enacting a variety of laws against transgender boys and girls, including one denying them medical treatment to transition before they’re 18. … When I say lives will be saved because of this book, I only wish it were hyperbole.

Based on the sample available at Amazon, Bug lives with a “single mom”:

Uncle Roderick’s room is at the top of the stairs. Mom’s is at the end of the hall.

Biology 101 interferes with procreation plans:

One of Uncle Roderick’s ex-boyfriends is across the room, down from Portland. … He was nice, but had wanted kids, and my uncle decided that I was enough kid for him, so they broke up but stayed friends.

(The book is set in Vermont, so if the ex-boyfriend were a biological female and had access to Clomid, he could have produced the kids that he wanted and harvested child support from Uncle Roderick under Vermont family law.)

I have no doubt that this will be a read-aloud hit with our kindergartener (this person, whose gender ID we will not assume, has already asked for an explanation of what the rainbow flags mean).

Separately, here’s what’s at the top of the HBO Max for my viewing pleasure:

How about Amazon Prime?

You might say “Of course these companies are putting LGBTQIA+ stories at the top of your feed because of your viewing history.” Yet, in fact, nearly all of the content that we stream is G-rated kids’ stuff. On the rare occasions when I’m able to watch a movie for grown-ups, it will be one without romance or sex of any kind.

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Shopping in Concord, Massachusetts: Bring your Mask

“In consideration of the health and safety of our employees and guests who have not been fully vaccinated, Masks are Required AT ALL TIMES Inside the Cheese Shop.”

Vaccinations have been widely available for two months here in Maskachusetts. There will always be those who aren’t vaccinated, however, either because they #DenyScience, have an unusual medical situation, are infants (though maybe the vaccine can be given right as a baby is coming out?), etc. Therefore, doesn’t this sign translate to “masks now, masks tomorrow, masks forever”?

#AbundanceOfCaution was the general rule for the shopping district. Although the governor’s 69 orders no longer require masks, the merchants have stepped in with their own unconditional mask requirements:

The ultimate expression of caution is to close the retail store altogether:

All photos from June 8.

A few sights on the way to/from this shopping experience… a group of preschool children, age 2 and 3, marching outdoors in masks. It was 93 degrees out. A neighbor with a zoning-minimum 2-acre lot (welcome the undocumented so long as they can afford a $1 million vacant lot on which to build a $1 million structure) riding a lawnmower… in a surgical mask.

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Nobody wants to work, tinted window edition

I was chatting with a guy who runs an automotive tint film service with three employees. “I can’t hire anyone right now,” he says. What would someone expect to earn? “A high school graduate will make about $60,000 in the first year and $100,000 per year after three years,” he replied.

(Note that, at least with a family of 4, a household earning $100,000 per year is eligible for welfare (subsidized housing, subsidized health insurance) here in Massachusetts. So, technically, $100,000 per year is a poverty wage.)

Why does he need to hire people? If high school grads work their way up to $100,000 per year don’t they stay at the job indefinitely? “After a year or two,” he replied, “they lose their initiative. They don’t want to work on weekends. They don’t want to get up early. They don’t want to drive a long distance to a customer. They don’t have the commitment of a business owner. It was bad before the $600/week and now it is terrible.”

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Nobody wants to work, coastal North Carolina edition

If you’re a devoted reader you might recall 20-hour Bonanza flight over the North Pole, in which I discuss a plan to fly to Beaufort, North Carolina with some sea turtles.

The good news for those who #FollowScience, in which the latest edition is that the vaccinated need not wear masks, is that nobody down there was wearing a mask. Not at the airport (contrary to Uncle Joe’s orders?), not government workers at a state park, not museum workers, not restaurant workers, not retail store clerks, not shoppers in retail stores, etc.

The better news for those who like to relax is that, apparently, nobody in North Carolina feels compelled to toil at a soul-destroying job. Restaurants are closed on certain days and/or telling customers to keep in mind that they’re short-staffed. A sampling:

A few days before Pride Month officially began, but the Turner Street Market sandwich shop is already “Proud to Celebrate Diversity”:

How is a sign like this supposed to work at a counter-serve sandwich shop? How would an employee be able to tell what kind of sexual activity is of interest to a customer ordering a sandwich? Is it for situations where a customer says “I need an extra shot of espresso because I was in a four-way last night with three partners with three different gender IDs and all of the sex really wore me out”?

As long as we’re talking about nominally sexual relationships…. “Marriage is a Workshop where the husband works and the wife shops”:

(Thanks to North Carolina family law, this division of labor can be extended indefinitely even after one spouse decides to terminate the marriage.)

How about identity politics, which we are told is new? This sign about the “first Jewish member of N.C. legislature, 1808”, in front of a waterfront house, dates from 2012:

(Zillow says that his descendants won’t be able to live here unless each one has roughly $2 million to spend on a house.)

How about the turtles, you might reasonably ask… We picked them up from KGHG (Marshfield, MA) in a NOAA-supervised operation at 7 am. The fuel stop was at climate change activist Bill Gates’s Signature Flight Support in Atlantic City (amazing hospitality from Stacy Suazo, the general manager). The corporate overlords enforce a moderate degree of coronapanic here. In case the CDC is wrong about COVID-19 not being spread via surface contamination, a sign on the fridge that formerly held water bottles for customers to grab with their filthy virus-covered paws:

Once we arrived at Beaufort (KMRH), the turtles were rushed into a waiting van and we drove 20 minutes to Fort Macon State Park. In Florida, it is illegal for ordinary folks to touch sea turtles. In North Carolina, however, we were able to get some training from the experts and then carry our passengers from a ranger’s pickup truck into the surf.

(Note my passion for all things LGBTQIA+: the T-shirt is from Tony Packo’s, the stated favorite restaurant of M*A*S*H’s Corporal Maxwell Klinger, who was seeking to be discharged from the Army as a consequence of gender dysphoria (evidenced by Corporal Klinger’s wearing of dresses).)

Some more images from the beach:


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Jew-hatred in the Boston suburbs (school administrators of color to the rescue)

A parent at the Lincoln-Sudbury (Maskachusetts) high school received the following email:

Dear LS Students. Families, and Staff,

It is with profound dismay and disappointment that this past Friday a student reported seeing a swastika scraped into the back of a seat. Today administrators are addressing students in each of the classes who meet in that classroom about what was found to seek additional information and to offer support. Any students feeling in need of counsel due to this incident are encouraged to reach out to their counselors and/or Associate Principal.

It is without question that our society and schools should and can be free of hate symbols of any kind. LS stands for caring and cooperative relationships, respect for human differences and the importance of community. For this to happen when we have only recently been experiencing such joy at the opportunity to be back in school in person on the eve of a memorial day remembering those who died while acting in the service of our country adds greater salt to the wound.

For all who are feeling pained by this incident, be assured that we are way better than this incident might suggest. I have seen it in the many acts of caring and kindness extended toward each other and on the behalf of those needing aid. We stand together in support of the religious freedom of all our students, families and staff to be absent of bias, harassment, and hate.

In deep regard,

Bella Wong

A student who is upset at seeing a symbol of racial hatred will be comforted by talking to a likely white school administrator who made the affirmative decision to work in a nearly all-white town. (Mx. Wong him/her/zir/theirself previously chose to work in the all-white town of Wellesley, MA.)

What about the school bureaucrat herself? From diverseharvard.org:

Please state your views on affirmative action and race-conscious admissions.

As a person of color I cannot help but have thought about this throughout my life.

What does a “person of color” look like?

(from MetroWest Daily News, 2013)

Meanwhile, just to our south… “Elementary school project about Hitler causes controversy in New Jersey town” (ABC):

Maugham Elementary School in Tenafly says it is now investigating after teachers allowed a student to write a biography glorifying Adolf Hitler. … The assignment included that student dressing up as Hitler as well. “It’s appalling, it should’ve been stopped the minute this girl [c]ame to school,” resident Shimon Avrahami said.

A strong female (“girl”) taking the role of the 1938 TIME Man of the Year is not cause for celebration on the grounds of escaping gender norms?

From the 5-year-old’s kindergarten operation:

Celebrating Pride Month

Please join us in recognizing and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community! As beautifully stated by our neighbors LexPride, “Every year we celebrate Pride month in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York. Led by transgender women of color, the Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. It helped energize the ongoing pursuit of equality.

While we celebrate with festivities, Pride month is also a time to recognize the impact that LGBTQIA+ people have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. We honor members of the community who have been lost to HIV/AIDS and hate crimes. And we fight against oppression to make a better world for all.”

LexPride is run by the righteous of Lexington, Maskachusetts, previously featured in Our faith calls us to affirm Black Lives Matter…

Circling back to Lincoln-Sudbury, a follow-up email from Cara Endyke Doran, LS School Committee Chairperson:

It is with profound disappointment that I confirm there was an anti-Semitic symbol found in one of our classrooms. The School Committee was briefed and the LS administration is investigating the incident. The administration has sent a statement to our families and students acknowledging the incident and underscoring that this behavior will not be tolerated. Our associate principals addressed the incident with students affirming our promise to combat intolerance.

At Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, we stand against discrimination and hate in all its forms. We celebrate the dignity of all individuals in our community and are committed to advancing equity and inclusion. Respecting human differences is one of our core values. L-S is “a place that values diversity in style and substance. Human difference includes all forms of diversity, such as racial, ethnic, religious, familial, economic, and sexual orientation. In addition, L-S honors differences of opinion and differences in learning styles.”

Due to open meeting laws, we must discuss this issue in an open forum. We will be addressing this incident during our upcoming school committee meeting.

Economic diversity is good, but an apartment building where people can live without paying $20,000 per year in property tax is bad.

And then another email from Bella Wong, the “person of color”:

I am writing to follow up on my message earlier this week about the discovery of a swastika in school. An investigation has been completed which included interviewing all students seated in the vicinity of where the swastika was found. Most students interviewed did not see the marking and none had any knowledge of how the swastika was created. The only students who saw the marking was the one who reported seeing it and the ones that student told what had been seen. We commend the student who initially saw it and recognized the need to report it immediately to a teacher.

Administrators tried to recreate what it would have taken to create the marking and found that it could not have been done without being observed if in class. Due to COVID restrictions students do not have free access to classroom space when not scheduled to be in that space. It is therefore entirely possible the marking was created at a much earlier time and only discovered at this time. If anyone has other information that could be helpful to determine how the marking was created please let an Associate Principal or myself know. … I reiterate that hate symbols in school are unacceptable. Thank you to all our students who responded promptly to our request to be interviewed. Thank you to Chief Nix, Town Manager Hayes, and religious and secular community members for your outreach and offers of assistance.

A stated LS core value is to respect human differences. I would like to say that at LS we also stand for the celebration of human differences. Differences enirches [sic] our lives, it inspires where sameness dulls. … To our students, families, and staff I have the utmost faith in all of you and all of us to be able to improve upon our interactions with one another in order for all voices and persuasions to be more freely and respectfully expressed.

I wonder how this “person of color” feels about hearing from “all voices and persuasions” regarding politics? Would it enrich Mx. Wong’s life to hear from someone who says “all lives matter” or that he/she/ze/they thought that Donald Trump was a better choice for president than Joe Biden?

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