Promise is a company that aims to reduce the population of people detained while awaiting trial because they cannot post bail (what Australians call being on remand). There are currently 450,000 people in the US in this category. Through a variety of technical tools, from tracking devices to intelligent calendars, Promise would allow the state to keep tabs on these people, but without the need to keep them in jail.
The Mexican dream went something like this: Talia’s dad is dead, and what’s less like a dead dad than Pina Coladas on the beach, maybe some Mayan ruins, some of the less morbid ones. It was supposed to be just me and Maggie but we needed to get her out of it, her shredded family, the eulogies suggested by every park and school and supermarket. The whole city full of so sorry with Talia in the middle, sitting cross-legged on the kitchen bench among the funeral programs and the flowers, gorging herself on cheeses sent by the sympathetic.
In the summer days of 2010, Linh squatted in the back of the kitchen and pressed her bare back to the stone sink. Customers stopped coming in and even the ice melted in their tubs of sweet drinks in the fridge. At the end of the days, cubes of grass jelly shrivelled, growing wrinkled layers of film on their sides and Linh had to throw it all into the bushes at the back of the cafe.
If settlers are to see a treaty substantively address injustice, power, and inequality, we need to listen to Aboriginal people, especially to Aboriginal women, whose views, anger and pain are routinely silenced by nationalist discourses. We need to ensure that the state moves beyond the symbolic politics of recognition.
The woman I knew best, of course, was my own mother. I could see my hips, legs and breasts becoming hers, and I heard her every self-abasement as my own. She’d take up walking regimes, or cut out bread for a month, and then on weeknights I’d come into the kitchen to find she’d caved and drunk an entire bottle of white wine. It was a cliche, a stock-standard Electra complex, but there was no way in hell I was going to become her.