Anthro Volume 3 Issue 1

Page 1

A YEAR OF PROTEST Looking back on 2020

Volume 3 Issue 1



December 2020 Volume 3 Issue 1


Mission Statement The ultimate goal of Anthro Magazine, Paly’s social activism publication, is to create a platform and forum for students to express their opinions and voices. Social activism is bringing issues into the spotlight to spread awareness and create change in society. On this platform, we will promote unity, diversity, and respect. As a publication, we aim to be inclusive but do not tolerate hate speech or the targeting of individuals. We hope to highlight issues that we see in our community, create a safe place to discuss these issues, and to make sure that student voices are heard.

From the Editors It’s indisputable that this year has been one for the books. Consumed by a pandemic, nationwide lockdowns, and a seemingly endless number of days and months, uncertainty has become the new normal. We often can’t believe we are living through such impactful events as student journalists. While the pandemic continues to affect all aspects of life, distance learning is one of the biggest changes impacting students. In “PAUSD Back to School,” Karlene and Tyler report on high schooler’s perspectives on reopening, focusing on students’ creation of a petition against the hybrid plan presented by the PAUSD school board. The highly anticipated presidential election of this year brought even more discourse to the political landscape. As a social activism publication, we felt compelled to dedicate a portion of our issue to covering political events from this year, in our “Election Section.” Encapsulating the true spirit of student voices, Anna and Jacquelyn shared the stories of Paly students’ election involvement in “Voting for the first time – during a pandemic.” Here, students voice their thoughts on voter suppression, and the importance of expressing your voice through your vote. We are feeling so lucky to be sending home our publication, a semester of work neatly organized into one 32-page magazine. We realize that for many, this is your first time reading Anthro Magazine. We are part of Palo Alto High School’s Magazine Incubator, a class of 16 students and three publications working across a variety of platforms. Apart from Anthro, KPLY, the podcast team, and Ink, the newly established literary magazine, can be found within the Incubator class. Thank you for taking the time to read our magazine. Wishing everyone a safe and positive winter and new year.

– Josephine Andersen and Juliana Griswold

On the Cover In “A year of protest” on page 8, Design Editor Corie Jiang compiles photos by Paly student journliasts to encapsualte the emotion and tension of this past year. Social Media Manager Michaela Seah creates a collage of some photos they took of a Black Lives Matter protest, highlighting a “Black Lives Matter” sign captured. Cover by Michaela Seah.


December 2020

Editors-in-Chief Josephine Andersen Juliana Griswold Managing Editor Jacquelyn Lai Digital Managing Editor Gwyneth Wong Features Editor Karlene Salas Design Editor Corie Jiang Copy Editor Gwyneth Wong Graphic Designer Palina Kuzmina Business Manager Tyler Wang Social Media Manager Michaela Seah Staff Writers Anna Hickey Erin Kim Owen Longstreth Jonan Pho Olga Muys William Rumelhart Adviser Paul Kandell Connect with us @anthro.magazine @anthro_magazine


In this Issue


4. Incubator Spotlight 6. Walk a mile in my shoes 8. A year of protest

10. Politl-Egg 12. Cost of individuality 14. Protesting in age of COVID 16. School Reopening 20. Drawn Together


ELECTION SECTION 23. A few steps forward 24. Voting for the first time – during a pandemic 26. Barrett on the bench 28. Phony Progressivness 30. Detention and Deportation 31. Malone looks forward



Publication Policy Anthro, a social activism magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High School magazine incubator class, is a designated limited open forum for student expression and discussion of issue of concern to its readership. Anthro has distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost.

Letters to the Editors The staff welcomes letters to the editors that reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, potential libel, invasion of privacy and obsenity. Send all letters to or to 50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301.

Advertising The staff publishes advertisements with signed contracts providing they are not deemed by the staff inappropriate for the magazine’s audience. For more information about advertising with Anthro, please email us at anthromagazine.paly@gmail. com or through our adviser at 650-329-3837 for more information.

Printing & Distribution Anthro is printed by Folger Graphics in Hayward, California. The Paly Parent Teacher Association mails Anthro to every student’s home. All Anthro work is available at



alo Alto High School’s Incubator Journalism class currently holds three publications: Anthro Magazine , KPLY and Ink. Anthro Magazine complied short descriptions of the work that KPLY and Ink have published this year to give a taste of what our class has been doing. We encourage you to check these publications out from their respective links.




Subcultures: Cottagecore by Michaela Seah and Olga Muys Subculture is a new series from KPLY radio and Anthro Magazine, focusing on the deeper history, meanings, and issues with today’s popular internet niches. In the first of two episodes, Olga and Michaela take a deep dive into the frilly, flowery world of the cottagecore aesthetic, revealing its origins, and the reasons behind the aesthetic’s recent rise to prominence.

“Who wouldn’t want to move away to a peaceful grassland paradise entirely separated from the hellscape of the modern industrialized world, from the pandemic, from the stresses of the future?”

Step Left: On Voting by Michaela Seah

Host Michaela Seah sits down with various leftists to discuss current events and leftwing politics. In our most recent episode we focus on the question of voting in light of the recent election. Is it worth it?


December 2020

“There’s so many versions of corruption which should be considered illegal but they’re not. It’s something that we allow within our [electoral system].”



ABC Radio: Flavors of Youth by Michaela Seah and Jonan Pho

ABC Radio is a show about Asian media hosted by two Asian American teens. As students and diaspora, they hope to bring a unique perspective into the world of asian based movies, music, and more! In the first episode, Seah and Pho take a deep dive into the Chinese and Japanese animated short film, Flavors of Youth. Available on Netflix.

“Flavors of youth is different, because instead of focusing on mythology or classic Chinese literature, it’s more based off the everyday lives of Chinese people, which is kinda rare.”

Leftist Theory: by Owen Longstreth


On the first episode of Left Theory, Owen Longstreth talks about Anarchism and offers commentary on the “Conquest of Bread” by Peter Kropotkin and “On Anarchism” by Noam Chomsky. Left Theory is a podcast that focuses on the ideas and the theory behind leftism.

Anti-Fascism On episode two of Left Theory, Owen Longstreth goes in-depth on Antifascism in preparation for the turmoil ahead of the 2020 election. The podcast goes into the past, present and future of Antifascism and the main text discussed during this episode is Antifa: the Antifascist Handbook by Mark Bray.

“The fact is, many times Anarchism does not involve rioting.”

“Over the course of the Trump Administration, the term Antifa has made its way into the American vocabulary, especially as videos of clashes between antifascists, white supremacists, and police officers have been broadcast on TV.”


Editors-in-Chief: Erin Kim and William Rumelhart

The central mission of Ink is to create a space for emerging student writers at Palo Alto High School to share their work with others. We believe reading others’ writing and sharing writing with others is vital to the writerly experience. Ink seeks to provide inspiration and opportunity for both readers and writers.

FIRST EDITION OUT NOW Email for information and to ask about submitting content.


Walk a mile in

How the pandemic aggravated the foster care system

not the child’s guardians, and even families at risk of their kids being sent into foster care. They provide weekly support groups, tutoring for youth, and respite care, where the organization takes care of the youth for a night or two to give the have a floral print suit- family a break. case that I have kept under Judy Holmes, director of family sermy bed and carried through vices of Help One Child in Los Altos, different homes” said a Palo works closely with children and famiAlto High School student, who goes by lies impacted by the foster care system, the name @_fostertoivy_ on Instagram. whether they are a foster family, a kinship Though she may seem like any other stu- family, or parents who are at risk of losing dent, she has a childhood not many others their custody rights. “Whether they need share: she’s been in the foster care system volunteers, information, or resources, I’m for more than five years. kind of their go-to person,” Holmes said. Foster to Ivy says the suitcase was her San Francisco Court Appointed mother’s when she imSpecial Advocates migrated from South recruits and trains “Every time I had to India. “This piece volunteers who prorepresents how I have move, I was only given a vide advocacy for lacked stability and week of notice to pack foster youth. CASA had to live my life from organizations are a suitcase,” Foster to and prepare for the widespread, but this Ivy said in a message to transition.” one is specific to the Anthro Magazine. — Foster to Ivy Bay Area. According to the SFCASA focusCongressional Coalition on Adoption es on finding the interests of the youth Institute, on any given day, over 437,000 and helping them pursue their individual young people are living in the US foster passions, providing them with informacare system, and the number has been tion and resources about their rights as rising. More than 69,000 of these youth foster youth. The organization also folive in institutions, group homes, and oth- cuses on providing the youth with access er environments instead of with a family. to necessary mental and physical health To better understand the inner work- care. ings of the foster care system and its inThe interim executive director of SFteractions with the online education and CASA, Paul Knudsen, said that SFCASA social constraints of the pandemic, An- provides “very extensive training on evthro magazine interviewed two different erything from youth development to culorganizations that help foster youth. tural humility,” and “the special rights of youth in foster care, particularly around education” for the volunteers. Operations pre-Covid “We had 17 staff, serving 313 youth,” Help One Child is a Bay Area church-based organization that provides Knudsen said. They were able to serve so resources to all types of families involved many foster youth because of their volin the foster care system. Help One Child unteers. “Our volunteers do all the direct assists families with foster youth, adopt- service so actually as staff we rarely see the ed youth, families where the parents are youth or their families.



December 2020

Adapting to the pandemic

Nearly everything in the world has been forced to change as a result of the pandemic, and the foster care system is no exception. Due to the pandemic, Help One Child has to operate remotely. Although Holmes used to work closely with foster families and youth, now “It’s usually over the phone,” she said. However, Holmes said if necessary, she would conduct home visits to families herself. “If we do have a family in need, I would actually go out and do a home visit with the family to meet them, meet the kids, and see if the kids have high needs or not to match them with the right volunteer.” Holmes said that Help One Child is developing a respite program because they found a lot of families are needing some time off for a night or two from parenting during Covid. “Every kid that comes into foster care has trauma because they have been removed from their biological parent or parents.” According to Holmes, Help One Child had to hire contractors and parttime workers because they needed more help transitioning to working remotely. Because Help One Child does not receive any government funding, it relies mostly on donations from private individuals, churches, and private grants. “We could never run our programs without our volunteers,” Holmes said. “We only have two or three full-time workers, and we work with hundreds of families in different counties in the Bay Area.” Although receiving enough funding might be an issue for Help One Child because it is not government sourced, SFCASA does receive government funding. Regardless, SFCASA was not equipped to deal with different challenges that the pandemic brought. Knudsen said the biggest struggle the foster care system is facing during quar-

my shoes

antine was that homes were not prepared for the youth being at home 24/7 since many foster parents have jobs outside of their homes. “The system just wasn’t set up to handle the current situation. Even in the summer, there used to be camps and other opportunities for youth so they wouldn’t be home 24/7 and none of that existed this year.” Foster to Ivy, who receives assistance from CASA, said “Covid lockdown has made it more difficult for me to access support from my CASA court advocate, social worker, and academic coach.” SFCASA volunteers also had to adapt in order to help foster youth. “Our volunteers have had to find creative ways to stay in touch with youth, and if they are younger youth, that can be a problem,” Knudsen said. He said that normally, volunteers need to build relationships with youth by working together for a few years. However, especially during the pandemic, establishing that connection can be especially challenging.


her fourth school in four years, Foster to Ivy said that switching schools frequently makes it difficult for her to perform at her full potential. “In my time in high school so far, I have been to eight foster homes and four schools,” Foster to Ivy said in the caption to her first Instagram post. “Every time I had to move, I was only given a week of notice to pack and prepare for the transition. It didn’t matter what the reason was. … It was never my fault.” In order to help with the educational gap, Help One Child offers tutoring for foster youth. “Since volunteers can’t come in person anymore, we’re doing a lot of virtual tutoring. Now that school has started, volunteers have risen. There are a lot more volunteers involved because a lot more kids need virtual tutors.”

Though the school has always been difficult for Foster to Ivy due to her multiple placement changes, this does not stop her from pursuing her educational goals. Her Instagram name, Foster to Ivy, refers to her dream of going to an Ivy league school for graduate school — not an undergraduate college. “I want to stress this because Paly has a reputation for being extremely competitive when it comes to the college admissions process and I do not want to contribute to this stress nor do I want my intentions to be misinterpreted.” “My dream is to become a judge and work with troubled youth who may have fallen down the wrong path.” Foster to Ivy said, “Not of their own wrongdoing but because of multiple external factors.”

Importance of education

In addition to dealing with struggles from their pasts, foster youth must grapple with current challenges. Today, one of the biggest challenges involves education. According to the National Foster Youth Institution, children in foster care are far more likely to change schools during the school year, to be in special education classes, and to not receive passing grades than their counterparts. High school dropout rates are three times higher for foster youth compared to other low-income children and only about half graduate from high school. With Paly being


Text and design by CORIE JIANG




was quite a year for activists. Starting in February with the murder of Breonna Taylor, the emotion evoked by her death soon evolved into the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement. Continuing to build up to the presidential election, one major event after another rocked the country. Through it all, the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread lockdowns and a recession. Anthro and the other Palo Alto High School publications have kept busy documenting these events. To encapsulate the passion of the student community, we walk through a year of local protests with photos taken by Paly student journalists. Photo by JENNA TETZLAFF



December 2020







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December 2020

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Cost of individuality Text by GWYNETH WONG

Examining the COVID-19 protests as an Asian American

According to the University of Years. It is the celebration of the new California San Francisco, a mask is a year on the traditional Chinese calensource control for the virus, meaning dar. On this day, people who are marthat the mask prevents the spread of ried give unmarried people red enveCOVID-19. It reduces the amount of lopes filled with money for good fortune. pathogens flying out into the open when But before I can receive a red envelope, hen health officials a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. When I must wish my elders a happy new year, highly suggested wearing somebody wears thank them for the masks and when mask a mask, according “I’m an Asian American, money, and give them mandates later were put to Dean Blumberg, a hug. Or else, I am in place, I thought most Americans were chief of pediatric an Asian living in Ameriseen as rude and an going to comply. But, when I watched infectious diseases can culture, and because ungrateful child. the daily news, I thought to myself at UC Davis ChilThese values play “Oh, what are these people protesting?” dren’s Hospital, of COVID-19, I have a big role in h o w What, they are protesting … masks? the risk of infec- realized differences bewell a country Numerous news sources such as tion decreases by tween Western and Asian handles the Forbes have reported protests against 65%. Therefore, pandemic. mask mandates starting in mid-July. In because it can cut culture.” It was not a pictures and videos, protestors can be down the infection surprise to seen lining the streets, maskless, while rate drastically, it is imperative every- me that a College of London holding signs that spell out their frus- body wears one when in public — cloth survey taken in late June retration. Some say in bold colors, “My or medical grade. ported 83% of the Hong Kong body my choice,” mocking the wellI’m an Asian American, an Asian population compared to 59% known pro-choice slogan, and “Masks living in American culture, and because of Americans always wore a are muzzles.” The participants, people of COVID-19, I have realized differenc- mask when outside the house. who choose not to wear a mask, ignore es between Western and Asian culture. I think it is safe to conclude local mandates and science, arguing that Over many summers visiting various most people in Asia abidthe government is Asian countries in- ed and wore a mask out of robbing them of “The participants, people cluding Japan, China, concern for others and to the freedom they who choose not to wear Hong Kong, Singa- curb the virus. But, to my have always been pore, I have noticed astonishment, the Amera mask, ignore local man- that when in public ican people seemed to promised. No matter dates and science, arguing areas, the people are behave differently. how many videos generally very conThis lack of that the government is I watch of people cerned for others’ human decency is protesting mask robbing them of the freewell-being. For exam- frustrating. The first regulations, I will dom they have always ple, I noticed in the three words of the never understand hotel I was at, when American Constitution how some Amer- been promised.” a staff member was are “We the people,” and icans can protest sick, they wore gloves for good reason. Giving power putting a piece of cloth with two elastics and a mask. I thought that was very re- to the people, I believe, is fundaover their mouth and nose. spectful. mental to our democracy, and has When the pandemic began, counLike most who live in these Asian allowed the U.S to dominate worldtries in Asia quickly buckled down. countries, I have been brought up with wide. Since this country was built South Korea is an example of a nation these values — respect and mindfulness on the ideals of freedom, indepenthat was able to handle the situation in for others — which I believe are empha- dence and individuality, these idea timely manner, with an abundance of sized in Asian culture. als have contributed to citizens’ detesting, contact tracing, an improved One example of this application sire to disregard certain government health care system, and strict mask man- of values in personal life occurs during orders, even if they are beneficial for dates. the annual celebration of Chinese New the well-being of the public.



December 2020


Although I have not seen protests like these in the Bay Area, I have seen some choosing to haphazardly comply in my personal life. Walking around my Palo Alto neighborhood, some people choose to not wear a mask at all or some wear a mask below their nose or dangling off one ear. My mom, who is a medical professional, is aware of the importance of masks, and has a strict protocol

at her office, which includes letting only one patient into the office at a time and mandating the patient wear a mask at all times except during the procedure. All staff need to wear an N-95 mask and a surgical mask on top at all times as well. She believes heavy sanitation and

masks are important to keep COVID-19 out of her office. “Masks save lives, they protect us,� she says. This heavy sanitation seen in her work environment is due to her having spent the majority of her life in China and Vietnam. Maintaining sanitation in her personal and worl life is a big part of how she is able to be mindful of others. Americans should take note of Asian values of the collective well-being of the whole population, even if they come at the cost of American individuality.



Socially distant protesting Innovative ways students protest amidst a pandemic


und the USPS,” “Save our postal service,” and “Louis Dejoy brings us woe” were just some of the signs displayed at a USPS protest in Palo Alto in late August. People of all ages gathered together in front of the downtown post office, scrambling to find ways to attract attention from passing bystanders. Then, in came something unexpected: a giant blue inflatable dragon dressed up as a mailman, with mail-in hand and a mask, of course. As he arrived, everyone’s eyes followed the life-sized blue object. An inflatable dragon lured people who initially were not interested to join the crowd and discover what the protest was all about. Many plans were disrupted because of the pandemic. But, in some ways, participating in a protest was one of the most normal experiences we have had. People gathered with their signs in solidarity. Cars honked. People with megaphones made speeches. However, on closer inspection, the scene was not the same as one might imagine. People were wearing masks to protect from Coronavirus and they weren’t congregating like sardines.


December 2020

It’s obvious the protesters were aware of tain View High School, started the the CDC social distancing guidelines. @Live4TheEarth Instagram account, There was no group chanting for fear of providing sustainable living resources and spreading droplets. And then there was advocating for environmental issues. the dragon. In her junior year, Icasiano took the All around the world, people are AP Environmental Science class at her bringing their own versions of the inflat- high school but did not feel satisfied leavable dragon to their protests. From New ing without doing something with her York to Singapore, newfound knowlpeople have clapped “My first post was [about] edge. from their windows Around the how to be sustainable and balconies to same time that the show support for es- during this time because Black Live Matsential workers. ters movement was there’s honestly so much As a result of taking off, Icasiano the rising concern waste being created bebecame inspired by over the transmission cause of this virus.” other creators who of the Coronavirus, — Aliya Icasiano, senior were posting informany are turning to mation that many social media for alternative forms of pro- did not learn in school and was compelled test that do not require in-person contact. to start her own account. Social media has made it easier to start “My first post was [about] how to up or get involved in an organization. An- be sustainable during this time because thro found three students engaged in such there’s honestly so much waste being creprojects. Here are their stories. ated because of this virus,” Icasiano said. The instagram account is completeLive 4 The Earth ly run by Icasiano. She recognizes enviAliya Icasiano, a senior at Moun- ronmental sustainability problems in her

everyday life, writes a note in her Notes app on her phone, and later delves into the issue by conducting research. She creates a post by doodling on her iPad, so the information is more enjoyable to read and digest. “I like it because it [the post creating process] forces me to keep educating myself,” Icasiano said. Icasiano also reposts other creators on the Instagram platform that advocate for environmental sustainability. Icasiano realizes the difficulties of being 100 percent sustainable, but she urges that if everyone contributes in even the smallest ways, a large impact can be made. Live 4 The Earth has since garnered over 1000 followers since its inception.

CUPCAKES FOR A CAUSE. Senior Winter Pickett sold cupcakes for her business, Baking for Justice. All of the their proceeds went towards supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.The cupcakes shown are one of her specialties called the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake. “My primary duty is to bake and package all orders, handle email communications, and oversee deliveries,” Pickett said. Photo by Winter Pickett.

Baking for Justice BFJ website, managed their finances, and to those who were purged from the voter In mid-June, Winter Pickett, Halo put all of their incoming orders into their registry and notified them to reregister. Lynch, and Sabrina Chan, seniors at Palo system. Lynch was the delivery driver and ROV provides students a chance to help Alto High School, ensured that custom- with voter turnout and voter suppression. thought of the idea “I still wanted to contribute ers received their orSeah started when her debate coach of selling cupcakes to the movement but in a ders in a timely and presented her with an opportunity to help to support the Black professional manner. with post-carding as part of ROV. Lives Matter move- COVID safe manner for Pickett said that She started post-carding in late ment. myself and my team.” her team encoun- April, encouraging her friends to get inThey call their — Winter Pickett, senior tered a large amount volved. “Once I started post-carding, the effort “Baking for of trial and error, word spread, and [had] grown to over 50 Justice” a cupcake-selling business deliv- but she’s glad to have had this experience people and reached the 20,000 postcard ering to Palo Alto and Menlo Park with and to have learned from it. Baking for mark,” Seah said. 100% of their proceeds going towards do- Justice managed to raise $4600 for the ROV provided their volunteers with nations to the BLM movement. BLM Movement, Pickett said. On Sept. postcards, addresses, and information to “Our activism originated from the 15, BFJ reported to their Instagram that write. Seah explained that the organizafact that COVID made it difficult to at- they raised $4804 in total and donated tion looks at individuals who have been tend in-person protests and rallies for $1500 to each organization (Bail Project, purged of the registry, so that she and othBLM,” Pickett said. DREAM, Act Blue). er volunteers can write to them and notify According to Pickett, she is in the “Personally, I learned that trying them to register. high-risk category for contracting the vi- to make an impact takes persistence,” Instead of being deterred by the rus so has been unable to attend protests. Pickett said. Baking challenges that the Many other students who are at a higher For Justice has since pandemic presented, “Even during such a dark risk for contracting coronavirus may share closed and is not curSeah said that the her same desire to help out but don’t have rently operational as time, so many of us were pandemic encourthe ability to do so by attending in-person of Sept. 16. aged her to be more able to rise up and work protests. involved in activism. “I still wanted to contribute to the Reclaim Our Vote towards something bigger.” “Even during — Johannah Seah, sophomore such a dark time, movement but in a COVID safe manner Prior to the for myself and my team,” Pickett said. recent presidenso many of us were The BFJ team consisted of Pickett, tial election, many people did what they able to rise up and work towards someLynch, and Chan. Pickett was the found- could to motivate others to vote despite thing bigger,” Seah said. er and baker of the business. the circumstances of the pandemic. “I learned so much more about votHer job was to bake and package all While working with the organization er suppression and voting barriers, how orders, manage email communications, Reclaim Our Vote, Johannah Seah, a people are fighting it, and about resilience and oversee deliveries. Chan was the op- sophomore at Palo Alto High School, sent and the impact of people who are paserations manager and she updated the postcards all over the country to reach out sionate and willing to make a difference.”


School Reopening:

Student activists add their voice



December 2020


five-hour meeting was As the opposition for the secondary run, only for us to be ig- school reopening continued throughout nored,” junior Sarah the night, students started to take action. Chung said. Chung and Bhatia, along with five other After a lengthy Nov. 10 board meet- juniors, created a petition against the plan ing filled with angry public comments, the that stated, “We believe that the current Palo Alto Board of Education approved a benefits of the proposed reopening plan, pandemic reopening proposal that was a most notably the ability to return to the “half-baked plan meant to ‘tick the box’ classroom, are heavily outweighed by the of returning,” according to junior Kabir harms of the student population, their Bhatia. families, and staff.” It was a moment that called for acBhatia said that they made the petion against a plan that tition after the Nov. 10 would put the com- “As the night went school board meeting. munity in harm’s way, “When asked what the on, it became Chung and Bhatia said. overarching goal for the The two started a pe- clearer and clearhybrid learning plan tition that ultimately er that this was a was, the district seemed would garner almost unable to grasp the 700 signatures. and- half-baked plan question,” Bhatia said. Chung emailed the meant to ‘tick the “Why wouldn’t we try Palo Alto High School to go back? It’s better, administration to ex- box’ of returning” right? They don’t unpress her opposition to – Kabir Bhatia, junior derstand that their plan the plan, receiving a reis worse for students.” sponse she described as Junior Colleen “dismissive.” . Wang said that the petition first started out Together, these two actions crystal- as an open letter with statistics concerning ized a student response that although the virus, but as more of her classmates ultimately proving unnecessary — when read it and talked about it, she realized Santa Clara County moved to the Purple that they all had ideas that should be addTier all talk of shifting a hybrid schedule ed to the open letter. “After revising, we for second semester ended — demon- decided to start a petition to promote this strated the voice of the school’s student open letter as well to make sure PAUSD community. can listen to us instead of ignoring us,” she said. Activist Perspectives Junior Matthew Cao, another one The board plan would have separat- of the petition makers, said the district ed the hybrid students into cohorts. In should be more cautious and avoid addition, high school students who decid- taking unnecessary risks. “Covid-19 ed to choose the hybrid learning option is absolutely not a joke and it seemed would have only had Social Studies and that the board needed a formalized English classes in-person. and organized reminder of why the During the meeting, numerous par- community is outraged at the plan.” ents, teachers and students expressed their Chung agreed with the arguthoughts on the plan. A majority of those ments made against hybrid schedwho spoke out expressed disappointment uling due to rising Covid cases in and worry about reopening. the county. “Although petitions “It will destroy relationships with teachers because it changes everyone’s schedule,” one speaker said. “Teachers are distraught that they don’t have a say in any of this,” another said. “How will this help anybody?” a student said.

were going around at that time for a demand to shut down school because of so many concerns such as cases rising up in our city, Don Austin said that school will continue and didn’t shut it down until the final warning and issue by the California governor,” Chung said. “I felt like publicizing a document filled with sources, ranging from CNN to Inside Edition, analysis such as statistics and interviews, and electronic signatures signed directly from one’s device would bring more stress into our demand for reconsideration of this Hybrid System,” Chung said. Reopening Concerns Paly senior Daniela Rodriguez argued that having only Social Studies and English classes available in-person will not help students who need to learn in a faceto-face setting. “Personally, math, electives and science classes seem to be classes that are more important,” Rodriguez said. “Many science classes include labs, elective classes include auto and photography, and math classes due to its density and questions that arise.” Teachers activated too Since English and Social studies teachers would have to return to school if they were chosen for the hybrid schedule, they would


have to create new lesson plans for their hybrid classes. “It is likely that I will need to significantly redo the hybrid curriculum and create new assignments, just as I redid the curriculum this past summer to adapt to our distance model,” Paly English teacher Mimi Park said. “Lifting the current distance curriculum and applying it to hybrid wouldn’t be as effective in mind as the modes of learning are so different.” A first grade PAUSD teacher says because of the hybrid schedules she has had to do more preparation and planning for her classes. “It almost feels like we now have to prepare work for two classes, you have your live class where you’re preparing for, you’re teaching and now you

have to prepare the same lesson but in the Schoology format,” she said. More work would have been expected from the English and Social Studies teachers if there was more support behind the hybrid learning plan. However, English and Social Studies teachers are not the only ones who would have been affected by the reopening plan. Students would have had to adapt to a change in their schedule to accommodate cohorts. An excerpt from an open letter from the Palo Alto Educators Association says, “To open for hybrid in-person instruction, almost all of the students will need to be reassigned to new teachers, and many teachers will be displaced,” regardless of if a student chooses hybrid or distance.

Younger kids, teachers back in the classroom “We were just pushed into it. But once it happened, we learned how to deal with it.”

– First Grade Teacher



December 2020

“Our teachers have worked tirelessly to transform their teaching practice into a distance approach, and it is working for the vast majority of our students. There is nothing that we would like more than for things to go back to ‘normal.’ Unfortunately, this cannot happen until we have this virus under control, and it no longer poses a substantial threat to the health and safety of our PAUSD community. We need to stay vigilant and not let our guard down a minute too soon.” Online vs. In-Person Classes Although some are frustrated and scared to return to in-person school, some students are struggling with online learning and want to return.

“It was the best day ever!” said Gabby, Mindey Haase’s third grade daughter. It was Oct. 12, and Gabby had just returned home from her first day back at school in person in six months. She wasn’t alone in her excitement. Many younger students were happy to be back. Their parents and teachers were too, albeit with some trepidation. For Haase and kindergarten grandparent Kate Chesley, dealing with online school has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Keeping students engaged in their school work is already tough, but trying to keep younger children’s attention on the screen when they are in a home setting is even more difficult. “During this time that we’ve been at home has not really been great for her academically,” Haase said. “She went from a child that was al-

Rodriguez said it’s difficult to concentrate on her classes when other family members are also on their own Zoom meetings. “School has become a huge hassle with social distance schooling,” she said. “School has become lifeless, monotonous, and repetitive. Looking at a screen for more than eight hours on end has brought a toll on my eye sight. I found out a few months ago that my vision is worsening.” For junior Nolan You, interacting with his peers is something he misses. “I feel that I am lacking the social interaction that I would get from chatting with people that I don’t know, or people that I am familiar with to chat with but probably wouldn’t actively reach out to them.” Some students just prefer online learning. “Online school has been going pretty well for me and my brothers,” senior Audrey Chu said. “For me, the pros really do outweigh the cons just because I get much more control over my time. Since I’m a senior, college apps demand a lot of time, which I have been getting due to online school.” Logistics of Reopening The district’s history with the pandemic — including an incident at Escon-

dido Elementary School — is an import- back into the red tier for at least 14 conant part of what students and teachers secutive days. have been concerned about. Still, for middle schools, the district Sometime in October, according to a is exploring options to return in March, source Anthro spoke with, a student from according to a Dec. 4 update from Austin. Escondido tested positive for Covid-19. A Principal Brent Kline indicated that parent informed the school that their child he will respond to the change by expandwas exposed to a posiing PAUSD+, a protive case so the student gram which works to was tested. The school “School has become help students affected quickly sent students lifeless, monotonous, by the pandemic, to of the exposed child’s support the 10 percent and repetitive” cohort into quarantine of students who chose and had the whole co- – Daniela Rodriguez, senior to do hybrid. “I plan hort and teacher tested. to continue to improve The child’s test our learning model and came back positive, the source said, but look for new opportunities for our stuthe other students and teacher tested neg- dents to connect with each other and their ative. All of the parents of the school were teachers,” Kline said. informed about the incident via email. This new plan seems to appease “Luckily there weren’t any other infec- those who opposed the hybrid plan. “I tions,” Escondido parent Mindey Haase, think this is the best possible option right said. “Sounds like the masks and social now,” Bhatia said. “It won’t be perfect, distancing worked.” but expanding PAUSD+ would support On Nov. 16, Superintendent Don struggling students without disrupting the Austin emailed staff and families re- learning environment we have already garding Santa Clara County moving two built. I thank the district for their reconlevels — to the Purple Tier—without no- sideration in this matter, and hopefully we tice. This sudden change meant that high can take this time to come up with a betschool would not be allowed to reopen ter plan for a wider return to school when until Santa Clara County had moved it becomes safer.”

ways sitting in the front row and always really engaged to a child that would do anything she could to get off Zoom.” Chesley said because this was her granddaughter’s first year of school, she had to be present with her for her classes. “The teachers were great,” Chesley said. “They did a great job with the kids, but five-year-old children have short attention spans and are easily frustrated. Remote learning doesn’t really work for [kindergarteners] no matter how gifted the teacher is.” Some people were worried that elementary school students would not be able to understand the scope of the pandemic enough to go back to school safely. However, a first grade teacher from the district said that kids are smarter than some believe. “The kids are good about

wearing their mask,” the first grade teacher said. “They’re under that expectation that they have to wear it. That’s not an issue.” When the teacher heard she had to teach classes in-person, she was nervous because they were to start during flu season. “We were just pushed into it,” she said. “But once it happened, we learned how to deal with it.” Since hybrid learning prohibits close collaboration with their peers, the teachers said it is hard to have fun while learning. “It doesn’t when it’s not how we normally would be, because when the kids are here, we feed off their energy,” she said. “We are try-

ing to make it as much fun and as engaging as possible for them and let them know how much we care about them. It’s a challenge for them but I don’t even know if they realize how hard it is for us.”



Drawn Children’s cartoons adds more LGBTQ+ representation


“We were still under this notion, another ‘unwritten rule,’ that we would not be allowed to depict that in our show.” — Bryan Konietzko


December 2020

hink about a character you looked up to as a kid. You watch them interact and grow, and you start to connect to them. How similar do you think they would be to you, or you to them? Up until a half dozen years ago, gay characters in children’s media didn’t exist. While it’s much more normalized now, show creators were prohibited from showing characters of the same-sex showing any signs of a romantic relationship, whether it be marriage, kissing, or even holding hands. This all changed with the Nickelodeon show “Legend of Korra,” which in 2014 featured two same-sex characters, Korra and Assami, falling in love and holding hands at the end of the series. “The more Korra and Asami’s relationship progressed, the more the idea of a romance between them organically blossomed for us,” wrote “Legend of Korra” co-creator Bryan Konietzko on his Tumblr in December 2014, three days after the final episode of the popular Nickelodeon show aired. “However, we were still under this notion, another ‘unwritten rule,’ that we would not be allowed to depict that in our show.” Because Korra and Asami are both female characters, their relationship was the first official LGBTQ+ relationship in children’s media and show creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino expected strong pushback from Nickelodeon. However, the network, while limiting what could be shown, supported the

Together decision. “Was it a slam-dunk victory for queer representation?” wrote Konietzko. “I think it falls short of that, but hopefully it is a somewhat significant inching forward.” The inclusion of positive LGBTQ+ representation in children’s cartoons and media has been complicated at best. In the early 2010s, show creators such as Rebecca Sugar, creator of “Steven Universe” on Cartoon Network, were explicitly told they could not include representation, as it would be risky and cause issues worldwide. With “Steven Universe,” Sugar worked with Cartoon Network to push the boundaries of what could be shown in kids media. Early on, the show prominently featured strong female characters, such as lesbian characters Ruby and Sapphire. After first being introduced in 2014, they later got married in an episode released in 2018. “Around 2012 and by 2014 when we actually introduced Garnet’s components, the characters of Ruby and Sapphire, the studio started to understand what we were doing,” Sugar said in an interview with Paper in August. “They told us point-blank, ‘you can’t have these characters be in a romantic relationship,’ but at that point Garnet was so established that audiences could instantly understand what the relationship was.” Despite such setbacks, show creators have continued to push for better representation in their stories since then, and the landscape of children’s media has

regards to how LGBTQ+ representation changed drastically. “There is a demand now for different is treated. He recognizes how cartoons perspectives, for more diverse stories and have gotten to the point where represencharacters, and for us to use our platform tation can happen normally, without fear to make a better world for kids,” of cancellation. Other more recent cartoons can be Sugar said in an interview with much more open with their representatiThe Verge in 2017. Show creators such as on. “Craig of the Creek” from CarSugar understand the value that their plat- toon Network has also casually included form has and tried to LGBTQ+ characters. This show is targeuse it as a way to open ted towards a younger audience, allowing the eyes of the next children to become aware of the different generation. As Ko- kinds of people in the world. “I see a lot more confidence and opennietzko wrote before, proper LGBTQ+ re- ness amongst the LGBTQ community presentation has felt like today, and I believe the media played no a taboo subject, as networks small part in spreading that acceptance were able to cancel shows on and encouraging the newer generations,” said Angel Lorenzana, a storyboard artist a whim. “Back when I made GF for Craig of the Creek. Lorenzana is agender and gay, and as Disney FORBADE me from any explia storyboard artist, has worked on stories cit LGBTQ+ rep,” tweeted Alex Hirsch about his show “Gravity Falls,” referred with few limitations, realizing the effect to as GF, which aired from 2012 to 2016. cartoons can have on the next generation. “I didn’t have the tools to understand “In 2012 the Disney censor note on this image would have been: ‘inappro- that I was gay or agender when I was priate for channel, please revise, call to younger, so I want to provide that for kids of the future,” Lodiscuss’ (to avoid a renzana said. paper trail).” Hir- “I didn’t have the tools to Kids watch carsch tweeted this understand that I was gay or toons for entertainafter the release of an episode of “The agender when I was younger, ment, however they Owl House,” a re- so I want to provide that for can also carry powerful messages and cent Disney cartoon ideas. who’s main cha- kids of the future.” — Angel Lorenzana The stories they racters are bisexual tell are full of bright and lesbian teens. In the episode, the two characters dan- colors and exciting characters with fance together in a prom setting, also revea- tastical elements, which is perfect for tealing that one had wanted to ask the other ching children about the world around to dance but could not build up the cou- them. “I have no direct way of knowing if rage to. Hirsch, having worked on his own car- my work is having that effect on anyone,” toon with Disney before as well as voicing Lorenzana said. “What drives me to keep characters on The Owl House, has seen working is the hope that I’ve inspired and how much the industry has changed in enlightened someone out there.”


ELECTION 2020 With all the political turmoil in 2020, as well as the election of Joe Biden, the Anthro staff provides a glimpse into the perspectives of the Palo Alto and Paly community. In this section you will find a variety of our political and election centered stories from this past semester. Happy reading and may the fight for a better world continue.

A few steps forward


Voting for the first time – during a pandemic


Barrett on the bench


Phony Progressivness


Detention and Deportation


Malone looks forward



December 2020


A few steps forward

Election takeaways: Progress was made, but more turmoil still lies ahead


n Saturday Nov. 7, I biked over to Town and Country Shopping Center to join a crowd celebrating the presidential election results. People wearing Biden-Harris T-shirts waved American flags and honked the horns of their fancy cars. Mixed in with them were people holding signs in support of Medicare for All, some of whom I recognized from racial justice protests the past summer. That crowd tells a lot about what the future holds, as well as some big takeaways from the election. Joe Biden won with a diverse coalition of voters who were both progressive and moderate. It is safe to say that for a lot of people — myself included — this election was about defeating Trump and little else. Our nation still has a lot of unresolved issues and remains deeply divided. The Democratic Party is increasingly splitting between the moderate and progressive factions. And on top of this, the Republican Party still is a force to be reckoned with. Ultimately, my big takeaway from this election is that we have taken a big step forward but we still have a long way to go. Our country is still deeply divided and has many systemic problems that need to be addressed. Now that Trump is gone, the ideologically diverse coalition is probably not going to stay together. I know that on the horizon, lie a lot of intense arguments with moderates about the Biden-Harris administration. On issues ranging from criminal justice to law enforcement, moderates and progressives may agree in the abstract about what needs to change, but there is heavy disagreement

over policy. I remember watching Bernie cans have gained 10 seats in the House Sanders and Joe Biden stand on the same of Representatives, including candidates stage in March of this year and what I saw who believe the Q-Anon conspiracy theduring that final debate was two very dif- ory. On top of this, the GOP might still ferent visions for the the nation. control the Senate depending on runoff Healthcare is an issue where this races in Georgia. split is most apparent. As a progressive, As U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Corit deeply troubles me that Biden does tez explained in an interview with the New not endorse a sinYork Times, “We gle-payer system, “We aren’t in a free fall to aren’t in a free fall especially during a hell anymore.” to hell anymore.” pandemic and in – U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez But there was not the aftermath of an across-the-board one of the worst recessions in the history concept that people voted for. For moderof this country. ates, it was a return to Neoliberalism. For And a lot of other elected officials many progressives in congressional races, both incumbent and newly-elected agree it was Leftism. And at times it was just a with my concerns. Progressives won big statement against the borderline Fascist this November with people like Jamaal rhetoric we have come to expect from the Bowen and Cori Bush joining the ranks GOP. of the progressive wing of the party. Later that night, after the celebraIt also should be said that while Biden tion at Town and Country, I watched has won, the Far-right Republican Party President-Elect Biden speak to the counstill exists. Seventy-Four million people try. What I saw was a president who has voted for Trump, to fix a nation that has been broken by and Republi- President Trump and COVID-19. When Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, my hope is that he will work with the progressives who got him to the White House and start mending this broken country one problem at a time.



Voting for the first time — during a pandemic Text by ANNA HICKEY and JACQUELYN LAI

Students’ election involvement, opinions on voter suppression


s the nation moves through the lame duct session between the end of the Trump Administration and President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, some newly minted 18-year-olds at Palo Alto High School reflect on casting the first ballots of their lives and their eagerness for their generation to take the reins of American politics. “Ever since Trump’s election in 2016, and my awareness of the fact that I’ll be able to vote in the 2020 election, I’ve felt motivated to vote,” said Andie Tetzlaff, senior at Palo Alto High School. Tetzlaff turned 18 in September and is one of many students who have recently become eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election. According to the United States Census Bureau, there was a 46.1 percent voter turnout for 18- to 29-year-olds in the 2016 Presidential election. For many of the new voters, casting absentee ballots was a common experience. Tetzlaff said her whole family requested absentee ballots prior to submitting their votes to avoid the long lines at the in person polling stations. Another senior, Mia Baldonado, also voted by absentee ballot. On Oct. 23, she dropped it off at a ballot box at Rinconada Library. Baldonado said she chose to vote by absentee ballot because it limited the amount of contact with other people and let her vote on her own time. “It was super exciting to vote for the first time and the process was pretty simple,” Baldonado said. Senior Sophie Kadifa said she also

decided to vote by mail because of the simplicity and the timeliness of the process. “I was able to vote early,” Kadifa said. “I was also able to talk to my family members about different propositions and had time to deliberate what I wanted to vote for.” Kadifa explained that the League of Women Voters gave a presentation to her Economics class which included helpful resources that voters could refer to and explained how to vote. Senior Alex Washburn chose to vote in person. “I was super excited to go through the whole experience of a voting center and since there were no lines, it was not a hassle,” Washburn said. “The polling station was run extremely well and I was in and out of there pretty quickly.” Some voters felt that voting in person would put their safety at risk, but Washburn felt safe through the process. “The poll workers were doing a really good job making sure everything was running smoothly and safely with respect to the virus,” Washburn said. Whether young people are eligible to vote or not, they have found ways to draw out eligible voters and get involved in the voting process. Senior Jonathan Sneh said that his older brothers and his parents filled out absentee ballots and dropped them off at Rinconada Library. Sneh said his family usually votes on Election Day, but this year they dropped their ballots off in on of the ballot boxes instead because they want to limit their contact with other peo-



December 2020

ple due to COVID-19. “I was even planning on being a poll worker, but decided against it because of my asthma,” Sneh said. Although he is ineligible to vote, Sneh has encouraged others to vote through his involvement in a student-led organization called Vote16 PA. “I am a part of Vote16 PA and we hosted events about civic engagement and voting on local issues,” Sneh said. “I helped moderate a youth town hall in order to get people talking about local issues.” Senior Adora Zheng volunteered as a poll worker this election. On Nov. 2, she spent the day at the Mitchell Park Library

BALLOT DROP-OFF. Senior Mia Baldonado stands by a ballot drop box at Rinconada Library after she submitted her ballot. “It was super exciting to vote for the first time and the process was pretty simple,” Baldonado said. Photo by Michelle Baldonado.

I VOTED. Senior Sophie Kadifa, 18, and her sister, Charlotte Kadifa, 20, hold up their completed and sealed absentee ballots in a selfie. Both young voters opted to use absentee ballots for safety and simplicity. “The experience was very straightforward and easy to navigate,” Sophie Kadifa said. Photo by Sophie Kadifa. Vote Center as a greeter, where she assist- death situation, given the Trump Admin- ty and integrity of each ballot, and she ed people in the voting process to make it istration’s policies and values.” pointed out that voters who were dropas intuitive and smooth as possible. Baldonado said she does not believe ping off ballots put them into the ballot “I’m not old enough to vote yet, but that mail-in is a source of voter fraud. boxes themselves. I still wanted to do “It [mail-in vot“A ballot never leaves the voter’s what I could to make “There is no method by ing] makes it easier sight, from the time it’s sealed to the an impact and help for voters to turn time it’s transferred into the locked ballot which a poll worker can make the election out,” Baldonado box,” Zheng said. “There is no method more democratic,” tamper with a sealed said. “You can also by which a poll worker can tamper with a Zheng said. track your ballot, so sealed ballot.” ballot.” Whether people In the past, the Trump Administra— Adora Zheng, senior you’d be able to see if decide to vote in perit went missing or if tion has set a precedent against supportson or by absentee, something happened ing minority groups, like the LGBT comthere has been some disagreement during to your ballot.” munity. Tetzlaff shared how this attitude this election about whether absentee balTetzlaff doesn’t agree with Trump’s impacted her feelings about voting. lots are secure. statement either and expressed her dis“As a queer woman in 2020, it’s imAt many of President Trump’s rallies taste for the president spreading misinfor- portant to vote for a president who cares and at the presidential debates, the pres- mation. for me and my valident has insisted that mail-in voting is a “Knowing that ues, and will work tosource of voter fraud and will have a large Donald Trump has a “I know that every vote wards building a safer impact on the results of the 2020 presi- huge background on counts, and you bet mine America for all, not dential election. not telling the truth just straight, cisgenwill be in there.” Because of the president’s assertion and lying,” Tetzlaff der, rich white men,” — Andie Tetzlaff, senior Tetzlaff said. that mail-in ballots are a source of voter said. “ I know that he fraud, voter suppression is a big concern is just trying to scare Tetzlaff believes for many voters. voters. I think he is pathetic and cowardly that voting is a critical function of our de“I’m really hoping that voter sup- for trying to spread fake news to the gen- mocracy and urged her family and friends pression is not as big of an issue for this eral public.” to vote. election because of its tremendous value According to Zheng, a core principle “I know that every vote counts, and for depicting our future,” Tetzlaff said. throughout her training prior to working you bet mine will be in there,” Tetzlaff “This election for some, could be a life or at the polls was maintaining the securi- said.



December 2020

n o t t e h r c r n a e B eb th



Paly community concerned over new justice confirmation


he doesn’t deserve to be the fifth woman on the Supreme Court,” says Palo Alto High School sophomore Maya Mukherjee speaking on the recent confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Although Barrett refused to answer questions about healthcare, climate change and abortion during her confirmation hearings, her past writings as a circuit court judge and professor at Notre Dame Law School have raised concerns for many in the largely liberal Paly community.

they’ll have to get their own or get it the enormous issue that will face generathrough work, which again, will put more tions to come. burdens on jobs,” Bloom said. “For her to say that in her hearing Two million young adults have bene- only foreshadows the fact that she will be fited from the key provision in the ACA ignorant in the future,” Berghout said. that allows young adults to remain on Mukherjee expressed concerns about their parent’s health insurance until age how a conservative majority on the Su26, so, depending on what the ruling in preme Court, cemented by Barrett’s conthe case is, the result firmation, could imcould directly affect “Ruth Bader Ginsberg pact efforts to address current Paly students climate change. going to college in a made a lot of progress “[Although] she few years. didn’t really answer for women; she [ACB] And then there the question, she is will undo all of it.” are other people who pretty conservative,” could lose access to — Maya Mukherjee, sophomore Mukherjee said. “If Healthcare medical care. six people on the In the past, Barrett has been openly “Abolishing the Affordable Care Act Supreme Court think that it [climate critical of the Affordable Care Act, the would hurt so many young people who change] is not a huge deal, that is defilandmark healthcare legislation signed don’t have the means to purchase private nitely a problem.” into law in 2010 by President Barack health insurance,” Paly junior Phoebe Obama. Berghout said. “I really think that there’s Abortion On Nov. 10, the Supreme Court heard [going to be] a point in my life where I The issue of abortion has perhaps a case challenging the constitutionality of might depend on public health insurance been most controversial for Barrett. She the individual mandate, a core part of and the ACA.” has expressed anti-abortion views in the the law that requires all Americans to Mukherjee shares these concerns. past, signing her name on an advertisehave health insurance or pay a fine. “College is already super expensive ment that called for the landmark aborThe hearing concluded with five Su- and it would be hard for college stu- tion law Roe v. Wade to be overturned. preme Court Justices dents to have to pay Berghout expressed dismay with Barseemingly against refor health insurance on rett’s pro-life views. “Abolishing the Afford- top of everything else,” moving the Affordable “It’s frustrating to be told that the govCare Act. Chief Justice able Care Act would Mukherjee said. ernment doesn’t think you should have John G. Roberts Jr. and hurt so many young control over your own body,” Berghout Justice Brett M. KaClimate Change said. vanaugh were the two people who don’t have In addition to Mukherjee also worried about Barconservative judges the means to purchase healthcare, Barrett’s rett’s impact on women’s rights. who sided against the views on climate “Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a lot of private health insurTrump administration change have raised progress for women; she [ACB] will undo and the Republican ance.” concerns among Paly all of it,” Mukherjee said. Party. It was less clear students. Bloom was also concerned about the — Phoebe Berghout, junior which side Justice BarDuring her confir- speed and timing of Barrett’s confirmarett supported. mation, in response to tion. Paly History and Economics teacher a question about her views on climate “The idea of having a nominee run Eric Bloom described the likely conse- change, Barrett said, “I have read things. through so quickly: I think it’s disingenuquences of eliminating the ACA. I’m not a scientist. I would not say I have ous to the interests of the nation,” Bloom “There’s going to be a bunch of peo- firm views on it.” said. “And to have a Supreme Court ple who will lose their insurance or lose To Berghout, Barrett’s answer is frus- nominee confirmed so close to a national their parent’s insurance, which means trating and shows her lack of insight into election: I think it’s reckless.”


Text/art/design by MICHAELA SEAH


How Palo Alto’s politics fail to adhere to progressive values


alo Alto is cul-de-sacs and bicycles. It’s “Biden 2020” lawn signs and farmers’ markets. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have always been told that I lived in a “liberal bubble,” lucky to be protected by “coexist” bumper stickers and vegan options at the school cafeteria. Within my four years at Palo Alto High School, I have seen multiple articles from Verde, C-mag, and The Campanile that talk about this “liberal bubble,” and how Palo Alto is so radically left-wing that right-wingers are allegedly oppressed, as ridiculous as that sounds. This notion is not completely false. According to Oxford languages, Liberalism is a belief that generally supports civil rights and the free market, and is often associated with the Democratic Party, which Palo Altans and the greater California overwhelmingly support, according to the official election results. However, there is a misconception that just because Palo Alto votes blue that it upholds progressive values of equality and justice. Although subtle, Palo Alto participates in the oppression of marginalized groups all the same. Policing ABC7 News found that in 2018 Black people were 13 times more likely to be arrested than White people in Palo Alto. Just last fall, the FBI opened an investigation into the Palo Alto Police Department over the department’s alleged long-standing pattern of violence against unarmed citizens. All while the Palo Alto City Council and mayor claim to


December 2020

support Black Lives Matter while only providing bare minimum reforms such as bias training, banning chokeholds and leaving shooting to the last resort, as reported by Palo Alto Online, and refusing to reallocate police funds. These reforms are proven to be unsubstantial without further actions, and while better than nothing, they are merely crumbs. The Guardian found that in Democrat majority cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle and New York, cities that have made the exact same reforms as Palo Alto, have been ineffective in preventing the violent and wrongful murders of Eric Garner, Charleena Lyles or Ryan Twyman. All victims of the officers who were practicing reforms that were supposed to save them. Contrary to popular belief, there is no conclusive evidence that bias training reduces prejudice. Not too far from us, San Jose, where the police department has practiced implicit bias training for years, had an incident where a Black activist who personally knew the chief and other officers was shot in the groin with a rubber bullet after trying to de-escalate a confrontation between police and protesters. “[These reforms] don’t get at the root causes and root foundations of what policing is in our country,” Pastor Bruce ReyesChow, head pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, Bay Area housing activist and prison abolitionist said. “Police were formed out of slave-catching units, that was their primary role in early America. That carries on through understanding of what it means to be a police officer. … Police

departments are founded on racist ideologies,” Reyes-Chow such letter sent since August. While there is lots of groaning said. from council members who claim the demand is “impossible,” “Why would the percentage of Black folks that are pulled this sentiment does not seem to be shared when it comes to over, arrested in Palo Alto, go any lower, unless we really chal- not-so-affordable housing. lenged the police department and our public officials to think The Stanford Daily reported earlier this year that the city deeply about anti-racist practices in our government and our has built 421 units of higher-income housing since 2015. Conpolice department. … If we don’t take steps to change it, we’re trast that to the measly 43 units of low-income housing built just gonna reinforce it. We’re basically saying ‘Yeah, it’s wrong,’ since 2015, only 6% of what was mandated by the AGAB plan. performatively. But, we really don’t think it’s wrong and we’re “I think Palo Alto, in some ways, likes to be this exclusive, not going to change anything.” provincial, kind of space,” Reyes-Chow said. To attack the core issue is to support defunding the police “What does it really mean if we want to build more housand reallocating those funds to education, housing, mental ing? Well, it means we’re going to have to give up some corrihealth and community. This will help us move toward true dors that we feel like have this untouchable image in order to crime prevention without the racist, violent institution of po- bring in more housing,” Reyes-Chow said. licing. “You can’t just say you want more housing and then not “I think people’s first idea about abolition is that it is going be willing to shift and change what things may look like. And to turn into the purge, right?” Reyes-Chow said. that’s a very conservative value, right? To keep things the way “And that’s a lack of imagination, and that’s an unwilling- they are and then talk about wanting to change.” ness to challenge the status quo and the ways we do things What Now? now. The first thing we jumped to is why this wouldn’t work as The truth is that Palo Alto’s “progressiveness” and liberopposed to how we could do this differently,” Reyes-Chow said. alism, in general, is a contradiction. The city can either care “Palo Alto is not a policed community like other places are. about marginalized communities as they claim or they can conWe could actually try some things if our public officials would tinue to be full of hot air. They cannot do both. Defund the be open to the possibility of something police. Support affordable housing. Or “There have to be continued that could be much better.” continue to be hypocritical. Housing Yet despite its flaws, Palo Alto is protests and public action, beAffordable housing in the Bay Area not completely hopeless. Just this Noand especially Palo Alto has been an cause that’s the only way that vember, the council finally voted to issue for a long time, being a space of you can get people into realizopen Foothills Park to non-residents, great job opportunity with nowhere albeit from tremendous pressure from for the employees to live. According to ing, ‘Oh, we have to do somethe NAACP, the ACLU, and countless a recent study by The National Low thing,’” residents, as reported by the Mercury Income Housing Coalition, in pricey – Pastor Bruce Reyes-Chow News. It’s clear that with enough prescounties such as Santa Clara County, sure, even Palo Alto’s most signature the average minimum wage worker would need to work four symbol of elitism can be destroyed. full-time jobs to make rent, let alone have enough left for food The burden of change, however, is not entirely on the city. and family expenses, a 5% rise from 2019. The election may be over, but change does solely come from Widespread unemployment due to the pandemic makes the ballot box. matters worse. Another study by San Jose-based nonprofit If you are able, donate or volunteer for local mutual aid, Healing Grove Health Center estimates that nearly 15,000 which is a community-based way to exchange resources as a households in Santa Clara county are in danger of homeless- form of solidarity. ness when eviction protections expire in February. While Palo Getting involved is as easy as visiting the Bay Area Mutual Alto bans residential evictions during the pandemic, they still Aid Wiki, where you can donate resources to the community have yet to freeze or enact rent control. and provide support for strikes, protests, and tenet organizaThe crisis has gotten to the point where the state has at- tions. tempted to intervene. The Mercury News has reported that “There have to be continued protests and public action, bein a recent plan, the Association of Bay Area Governments, cause that’s the only way that you can get people into realizing, a regional planning agency of elected officials funded by the ‘Oh, we have to do something,’” Reyes-Chow said. Department of Housing and Community Development, has Change is a collective effort, not an individual one. demanded that Palo Alto grow by 36% over an 8-year span, the It is essential to keep protesting, keep fighting, and keep highest of any other city in Santa Clara County. This would helping one another to demand what Palo Alto says it is: a city mean about 10,000 new housing units, over half which will be that is willing to stand up to oppression. below-market-rate. “The more we can do that,” Reyes-Chow said, “the more The plan has been met with resistance from the Palo Alto we push our public servants to make policy that will hopefulCity Council, which voted six-to-one in a meeting in Novem- ly begin to turn the tide of how our municipalities actually ber to send a letter of protest to ABAG, this being the fifth function.”


Text and design by OWEN LONGSTRETH

In Episode 2 of “Immigration Nation,” handcuffs and chains lie on the tarmac as immigrants are loaded onto a plane to be deported. “In my career, I have second guessed a lot of things,” says Christian, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who processes deportation orders. “There are some cases where, yeah you know immediately it can be morally wrong or objectionable, but in the grand scheme of things, as harsh as it may sound, the government didn’t hire me for my moral views.” (Photo: Reel Peak Films)

Detention and Deportation New documentary shows realities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement


arly in the morning, Brian, an agent with the New York City field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is driving down the highway when his boss tells him over the phone, “I don’t care what you do, but bring at least two people in.” This is a story that repeats itself over and over again on the Netflix documentary series “Immigration Nation” released Aug. 3. Directed by Christina Clusiau and Saul Shwarz, founders of Reel Peak Films, an Emmy award-winning production company focused on making journalistic documentaries, “Immigration Nation” is one of few detailed looks into Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Trump Administration. Oliver Merino, who works for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, told Anthro on Oct. 5 that for many people not already connected to immigration issues, the film is a “wake-up call,” adding that the way ICE agents behave throughout the documentary “hasn’t been shown publicly in this type of way.” The recurring theme of the docu-


December 2020

mentary is simple: the footage speaks for itself. Agents detain and deport people over the episodes, which show the many aspects of ICE, from the arrests and deportations to immigration courts.

The film alternates between the raw emotion and information, as lawyers, activists and ICE employees who explain the policies. While the main focus of the documentary is on ICE, in later episodes the filmmakers touch on other aspects of the United States immigration system. In particular, the final episode, “Prevention Through Deterrence,” shifts the focus towards Customs and Border Patrol and the policy for which the episode is named, where barriers along the US-Mexico border force migrants to travel across miles of hostile desert leading to many deaths and disappearances. While the film does not editorialize the behavior of the federal government, the optics of the agencies on camera is

not great. Agents lie about who they are, deport parents and separate children. While some agents relish their work, the rest simply say that they are just following the law. The documentary has interviews throughout with ICE agents, undocumented immigrants and activists, but there is no narration and most of the screen time is devoted to footage of immigration authorities doing their job. Despite this, “Immigration Nation” is a powerful example of the problems with the US immigration system. The film alternates between the raw emotion — such as when parents are reunited with their children after being seperated at the border — and information, as lawyers, activists and ICE employees who explain the policies. “Immigration Nation” tells real, human stories about an agency that is often shrouded in secrecy. We are left with a deep understanding of the issues surrounding immigration policy in the US and the way that the Trump administration has systematically harmed both migrants and refugees.


Malone looks forward

After the results of the City Council race ended with a loss for progressive candidates, Anthro sat down with former candidate Raven Malone to get her insight on the election results, and next steps for Palo Alto’s progressive future. Were you surprised by the election results? How do you think it reflects Palo Alto’s interests and what our community thinks is important?

What are your plans to further the like progressive agenda in Palo Alto without that position of power granted by a seat on city council?

“I was very shocked, actually, at the election results. I just expected Palo Alto to be a little more progressive. ... I know there was a lot of fear mongering going around with the Palo Alto city council race, and I think that thought also contributed to the results that we saw. … Right now in the middle of a pandemic, people are terrified of losing anything. So of course, if you tell someone that if you vote for these candidates, you’ll lose XYZ, I mean, you may be wrong, but they don’t want to risk being right. I think that that contributed to what we saw.”

“Right now I’m deciding on what organizations I want to be a part of as far as politics. I’m planning to run again in two years, and I’m planning on staying active and push that political, progressive agenda. … There’s still a lot of work that you can do when you’re not on city council.”

You were an advocate for youth voices during your campaign. Why do you think this is important and how did this play into your campaign? “The youth are literally the future generations and when we make decisions in government, a lot of the time you don’t really start to get the benefit of those decisions until years down the road. It’s important that we keep in mind who will be affected more than we will and what kind of society we want to even leave behind for the future generation. ... Everyone should take that into consideration when it comes to government. You shouldn’t be making decisions for yourself, you should be making decisions for the younger people who really don’t get a say but get hugely impacted by the decisions that we make.”

You’re relatively new to this community. Coming in, how does that make you feel that voters in this community did not go towards a more progressive candidate and did not go with the democratic party’s recommendation? “It was really shocking. I will say that this race was very eye opening when it comes to Palo Alto. It was a little disappointing to be honest, but there are still people who want change, who want Palo Alto to be more progressive. So we still have to keep fighting for those people.” What actions can those who believe in your agenda take to help? “Just get more involved, pay a lot more attention, and do what you can to back people who you support. ... I think that everyone should [be involved in politics] in some way, whether you’re joining a political organization, whether you’re just becoming a part of a campaign, whether you’re running yourself, everyone should be involved in politics on every level. That’s the only way that we can really make sure that we’re able to go to a more progressive future.”

Is there hope for a progressive Palo Alto in the future? How do you think this will be accomplished and what are your thoughts on that? “I don’t know if Palo Alto will ever be really progressive because there are always people who are more conservative who speak the loudest. ... The more progressive people usually show up for presidential elections, but not elections that aren’t on presidential election years. ... Progressive people have to start showing up for what to create some change. Right now in Palo Alto as we’ve seen, it’s not really the progressive center. ... This year was also a little different because everyone was so focused on the presidential election. Not a lot of people put as much energy in the city council election as they usually do. … Historically every time something should happen or even does get approved that is moderately progressive, it gets overturned.”

– Raven Malone, activist and former City Concil candidate


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