Quiet in Syria: A 10-day cease-fire is set to go into effect on Monday evening, after a weekend of intensified bombing from government forces on rebel-held cities. The truce, brokered last week by Russia and the U.S., will allow much-needed humanitarian aid to be delivered to the besieged city of Aleppo. But as President Bashar al-Assad vows to “retake every area from the terrorists,” it’s not clear how long the cease-fire will last.
“When people choose a wealth manager … they have to pick someone they want to know everything about them: about Mother’s lesbian affairs, Brother’s drug addiction, the spurned lovers bursting into the room.” —a wealth manager based in London
“My teachers could have looked at me when I was a kid and said, ‘Here’s an African American, Latino kid; family in crisis; going to a New York City public school—what chances does he have?’” —John King Jr., the U.S. Secretary of Education
My reaction to O. J. Simpson’s arrest for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman was atypical. It was 1994. I was a young black man attending a historically black university in the majority-black city of Washington, D.C., with zero sympathy for Simpson, zero understanding of the sympathy he elicited from my people, and zero appreciation for the defense team’s claim that Simpson had been targeted because he was black.
Keep reading here, as Coates reexamines his own reaction to the case and reflects on what Simpson and his acquittal have meant to black Americans.
What Do You Know?
1. In 2010, undocumented immigrants paid $_______________ in taxes to the Social Security system—nearly all of it for benefits that they will never receive.
My other main memory of 2001 was that the Feds tried to cancel Halloween. Fear, you know. People in masks roaming around.
I went out after dark and met one couple coming out of a restaurant, both of them wearing the smallest of Mardi Gras masks. We exchanged knowing smiles, then went our ways.
Reaching Lafayette Square, I saw, in the light of a street lamp in front of the White House, a group of costumed Rollerbladers gliding back and forth. Later, as I walked up Connecticut Ave to the metro, I looked around and saw them gliding up the street, a snake of colorful reflective costumes and masks, through the green lights, then away.
Washingtonians don’t give up Halloween easily.
Read more here, as well as further reflections from readers on where they were on 9/11.
On this day in 1846, Elizabeth Barrett eloped with her fellow poet Robert Browning. As Harriet Waters Preston recounted in our June 1899 issue:
They met at the parish church of St. Marylebone (of all unromantic places!), and were united, after all, by the Anglican rite; the bride accomplishing her final evasion about a week later, by gliding out of the Wimpole Street house … while the stage father and the sympathetic but trembling sisters were at dinner. Husband and wife took the boat, that night, from Southhampton to Havre; three weeks later, in memory of Petrarch and Laura, he had carried her in his arms up the valley of the Sorgue to the fountain of Vancluse; and before the end of November they were settled in Pisa for their first Italian winter.