Against ‘Protest Fatigue’

I noticed after we had parted that my friend and I spent our conversation on Monday speaking in hushed tones, that we each ran through our own internal post-election checklist with the other before we proceeded; mine went something like: I know my friend is on my side but I haven’t seen anything on her Facebook feed recently, so when she asks “How are you?” answer her with generalities and let her be specific first.

We hugged hello. “How are you doing?” she asked. I replied with the specifically general (or generally specific), “Today?” and a weak shrug.

She spoke first. “I haven’t talked with you since the election? How are you holding up?” She confessed that she has felt overwhelmed since Inauguration Day. I confessed to the same sensation. “The worst appears to be coming to pass and it looks like they are trying to make it happen faster than anyone seemed prepared for,” I added.
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Raif Badawi, Week 3

For the third week in a row, Raif Badawi, a writer in Saudi Arabia, was not whipped fifty times yesterday as part of his public punishment for insulting his nation’s official religion in his blog. No one is breathing a sigh of relief that this counts as sparing him, or that he is about to be freed.

Last week, when I wrote about this ongoing story (“An Update about Raif Badawi“), I quoted one speaker from an article in the Guardian and gave the partial identification given in the article as the complete identification of the speaker. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is indeed a Jordanian prince in the Hashemite dynasty, the same family that the current King of Jordan is the head of. Perhaps more importantly, Prince Zeid is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and has been since September. It is not the Guardian’s mistake that I did not do all of my reading. It is my error.
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