On Griner and Collins: My Piece At The Atlantic

[cross-posted from Power Forward, my blog on sports and culture]

A Screen shot of my post at The Atlantic

I wrote a piece for The Atlantic today comparing Brittney Griner‘s “coming out” and Jason Collins‘: The WNBA Can Teach Male Athletes About Coming Out and Being Allies.

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Why Isn’t There More Media Coverage Of The West Explosion?

I have a link of roundup of coverage of West over the last week. At the top is a list of victims as well as how to help.


On Wednesday of last week, between the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday afternoon and the violent police chase for the Tsarnaev brothersthrough Watertown, Massachusetts on Thursday evening, a fertilizer plant explosion happened in the central Texas town of West.

Background from a piece I wrote at Austinist (updated with correct numbers of the dead):

Just before 8:00pm last Wednesday evening, a fertilizer plant in the small central Texas community of West exploded. It had been burning for at least 20 minutes and volunteer firefighters from the town were on site trying to put out the blaze. Suddenly hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate combusted, creating such a massive explosion that people heard the blast 50 miles away. The explosion left a 22-foot-deep crater at the site. It tore through neighboring buildings, demolishing an apartment complex and a nursing home, and destroying 150 homes in only a few seconds of time. In a town of 2800, roughly 8% of the entire population was either injured or killed with 15 people dying (12 of them first responders) and nearly 200 injured.

The wreckage of a fertilizer plant burns after an explosion at the plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas early April 18, 2013. It is still on fire.

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The West, Texas Memorial: This Picture

Fire fighters from West Texas are in two lines, walking down a road lined with spectators and American flags. The carry the helmets of those who have fallen in their hands, on person per helmet. They are dressed in blue, formal attire uniforms complete with black caps.

Caption on the photo: The West Fire Department has arrived outside the Ferrell Center in Waco for #WestTx memorial service.

See #WestMemorial for more.

Something close to 8% of ALL West, Texas residents were either injured or killed in the explosion. EIGHT PERCENT.

14 died, over 200 injured in a town of 2800.

Holy shit.

For more on the West, Texas explosion, see this link roundup.

Link Roundup For West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion (UPDATED)

Donations for the Victims of the West Explosion via Point West Bank.

How you can help West, Texas (KVUE)

Help Guide for West Texas (Waco Tribune)

West, TX Disaster Response FAQs from the American Red Cross.

Governor of Texas’ Information Page on how to help West, Texas.

Places to Donate:

@SongsForWest / http://noisetrade.com/songsforwest/songsforwest: A compilation album of more than 40 songs intended to raise support for relief efforts in West, TX.

[NOTE: Thank you to @JanieBT for sending me lots of these links]

The remains of an apartment building next to the site of the fertilizer plant that exploded. There is literally debris all over. A car is heavily damaged.

West, Texas after the explosion of its fertilizer plant

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AUSTIN: “Courageous Conversation” on Institutional Racism, SAT April 20, 9am – 3pm

Staff from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will lead a workshop on race and institutionalized racism on Saturday.

Why are African Americans and Hispanics over-represented in Texas prisons, juvenile facilities, and foster care systems? In this informal, interactive discussion, led by Joyce James and staff from the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities (CEDD), participants will analyze the problems and examine potential solutions.

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Boston Marathon: The Good

Green Building at MIT last night, displaying a U.S. Flag. The tall, rectangular building has its windows lit up different colors to represent the US flag. The stars are in the upper left and flag is facing down towards the ground. The building faces Boston.

Green Building at MIT last night, displaying a U.S. Flag. It faces Boston. Image via Twitter.

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The Boston Marathon: How to Help and Some Links

Green Building at MIT last night, displaying a U.S. Flag. The tall, rectangular building has its windows lit up different colors to represent the US flag. The stars are in the upper left and flag is facing down towards the ground. The building faces Boston.

Green Building at MIT last night, displaying a U.S. Flag. It faces Boston. Image via Twitter.

At her Tumblr, Mikki Kendall (@karnythia) has compiled a list of places in Boston where you can donate to help with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

Racialicious also has some information.

USA Today’s information page on helping.

UPDATE at 5:37EDT: 

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Information about Boston Marathon Explosions and Their Aftermath

**I am NO LONGER doing live updates**

Phone Numbers:

  • If events trigger you due to past trauma, make a FREE call to the Disaster Distress Line 1-800-985-5990
  • Trying to locate people: 617-635-4500
  • Eyewitnesses: 1-800-494-TIPS

Useful Sites:


UPDATE (6:40EDT):

Hug the people you love. Tell them that you love them.


UPDATE (6:28EDT):

Tweet with hashtag #tweetfromthebeat if you have video or images from sites of the explosions.

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