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Morning Brief: Tone Policing, The GOP Split, And Postponed Vaccinations

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Heavy clouds are seen above downtown Los Angeles on Thanksgiving day, November 28, 2019. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Feb. 22.

Our Racism 101 series solicits questions from our audience — awkward, tough-to-ask, even silly questions — that they've perhaps wanted to ask people unlike themselves, but have been too shy, embarrassed or afraid to.

In this week’s installment, participants Donna Simone Johnson and Carene Mekertichyan talk tone policing; what it means to them, where they see it occur in their lives, and how it affects them.

Mekertichyan notes that tone policing can happen anywhere, at any time — even in unexpected spaces.

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“Even on the smaller scale, it's when you're in a room and you're having conversation, and people call you aggressive or they say like, ‘Mmm, could we maybe ... let's think about how we word things,’” Mekertichyan said. “And it’s in those feminist spaces where it's like, ‘Well, let's just focus on all women.’ … There might not even be anything that's specifically ‘wrong’ with, quote-unquote, your tone. It's just that they don't even necessarily want to hear the content that you're sharing.”

Johnson adds that tone policing can frequently serve to silence a critical conversation, and be used as a tool of oppression.

“There's a huge difference between speaking from a passionate place or energetic place or your own emotions and experiences, and being mean or cruel,” she said. “I'm saying [these things] because it hurts. I don't want to be having this conversation. I don't want to be sitting here trying to convince you of the value of my life. I don't want to spend my Saturday outside holding up a sign, and my arms hurt … if you stop me of that in order to make yourself more comfortable, isn't that just contributing to the systems and power to oppress?”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.


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What Else You Need To Know Today


Before You Go … TV Pilot Club Presents: ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

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(Aesthetics of Crisis via Flickr and Christian Haugen Vis Flickr)

Our new event series brings nostalgia TV superfans together to hash out the highs and lows of some all-time classic premiere episodes. Hosted by LAist Arts and Entertainment reporter Mike Roe, TV Pilot Club takes a deep dive into these small-screen treasures, and answers your questions live.

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On March 9, we're heading to Bel-Air. The Fresh Prince moved in with his auntie and uncle in 1990 and burst onto the scene with one of the most iconic theme songs in sitcom history. Rewatch the pilot episode before the event (available on several streaming services) and get ready to talk all about how Will Smith became a star, whether you're hyped for NBC's upcoming reboot, and all things fresh.


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