About 2,000 prisoners in American correctional facilities give birth each year. The issue of shackling pregnant inmates during and after labor raises a broader concern about excessively punitive aspects of prison culture.
- Democratic and Republican politicians alike have pushed for anti-shackling legislation.
- Doctors have called shackling a threat to the health of both mother and child.
- Criminologists have deemed it unnecessary; as it appears that no unshackled pregnant inmate has ever escaped during labor.
Quoting and Photo Source: “In Labor, in Chains” by Audrey Quinn
See also: “Shackled During Childbirth” by Sadhbh Walshe
“Childbirth in Chains” by Colleen Mastony
“Should a Woman Be Shackled While Giving Birth? Most States Think So.” by Cristina Costantini
“Bill To Stop The Shackling Of Pregnant Inmates Introduced By D.C. Lawmaker” by Arin Greenwood
The perp walk is a common custom of American law enforcement, the practice of taking an arrested suspect through a public place at some point after the arrest, creating an opportunity for the media to take pictures.
In 2011, the image of Dominique Strauss-Kahn being led by handcuffs by a team of law enforcement officers added to the international firestorm of how questionable the practice is. At the time, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not mince words: “If you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime”.
Many would say that law enforcement agencies use perp walks for their own PR. For the officers, there is the prestige of escorting newsworthy (alleged) perpetrators. The most infamous perp walk was of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. He was shot by Jack Ruby as he was being perp walked through a parking garage.
A 100 foot-stretch of sidewalk in the city of Chongqing claims to be the first street for mobile phone addicts in China. People with eyes fixed on their screens have their own specially painted lane.
Mobile phone users follow white arrows painted on one side of the sidewalk. No need to lift heads from the glued gaze at devices; the arrows direct underfoot. Could the idea (and the very spray-painted stencils) have been copied almost exactly from a program on the National Geographic channel earlier this year?
Mobile phone addiction is rampant in China, as it is worldwide. One recent survey by zhaopin.com, a recruitment site, suggested that 80 per cent of the 10,000 white collar workers it polled admitted “severe addiction” to their phones.
Philadelphia officials drafted a safety campaign aimed at pedestrians who look at their devices instead of where they’re going. “One of the messages will certainly be ‘pick your head up’ — I want to say ‘nitwit,’ but I probably shouldn’t call them names,” said Rina Cutler, deputy mayor for transportation and public utilities.
As an April Fool’s Day joke with a serious message, Philadelphia officials taped off an “e-lane” for distracted pedestrians on a sidewalk outside downtown office buildings.
Some didn’t get that it was a joke.
“The sad part is we had people who, once they realized we were going to take the e-lane away, got mad because they thought it was really helpful to not have people get in their way while they were walking and texting,” Cutler said.
Walking and texting challenge us to pay attention simultaneously to two different activities. As with driving and texting, the dangers are real. But walking is more physically demanding than driving, requiring coordination on many levels.
Researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia found these effects of peripatetic texting:
- There is a distortion of gait and walking form, which even unintentionally, causes a more upright, rigid body position.
- Gait patterns change; texters take shorter steps at slower pace.
- With an unchanging head position, eyes on the screen and chins bent toward chests, their neck and lower back joints have less range of motion.
- When arms stop swinging loosely and are bent and locked into place, there are mechanical constraints on the upper body and midsection.
- As pelvic joints stiffen, their leg motions become jerkier.
- Walking a straight line is difficult; texters’ feet veer to the side with almost every step.
In summary: texters walk ‘like robots’. This research suggests that their bodies and brains have prioritized the texting over the natural movements in walking. Little wonder that poles and other pedestrians get in the way.
Adapted from “The Art of Texting While Walking” by Gretchen Reynolds.
‘WalkNText’ – iPhone/Android App
Product Description (from its producer):
“Smart walk and text gives you the advantage of texting while you are walking. Through transparent screen you can see what is ahead of you and you can avoid stumbling and falling. In this application, you can send SMS and receive SMS .The whole application works is transparent, so you can use this application while you are walking.”
Product Review (from a fan):
“Now you can finally become the master of your own domain and confidently walk and text (simultaneously) whenever, wherever you want… It’s perfect for people like me who trip over their own two feet on a regular basis. ….If you don’t want to eat the concrete while you are walking… get the WalkNText app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android smartphone.
I’ve compared this app to similar ones, and it’s the best one of its kind for many reasons. First of all, it has a transparent keyboard which allows for a much larger viewing space (if you don’t want the transparent keyboard, with one click, you can switch back to the built in keyboard). So whatever your style is; you can truly type and walk without being nervous at all.”
A young man talking on a cellphone meanders along the edge of a lonely train platform at night. Suddenly he stumbles, loses his balance and pitches over the side, landing head first on the tracks. Fortunately, no trains were approaching that Philadelphia-area station at that moment. The man recovered his balance and climbed out of danger. Security cameras captured the whole incident and the images were sent to The Associated Press. The risks of distracted walking are getting everyone’s attention.
Hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treat an increasing number of injured pedestrians. The cases include:
- a 24-year-old woman who walked into a telephone pole while texting
- a 28-year-old man who was walking along a road when he fell into a ditch while talking on a cellphone
- a 12-year-old boy who was looking at a video game when he was clipped by a pickup truck as he crossed the street
- a 53-year-old woman who fell off a curb while texting and lacerated her face
- a 67-year-old man walking along the side of a road was hit a by a bicyclist who was talking on a cellphone as he rode
1. “The Shoemaker”, Watercolor Painting by Jacob Lawrence (1945)
While the work of Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) was never oriented to overt political polemics, his painting explored—and called attention to—the most significant social issues in his community. “The Shoemaker” marks the beginning of what would become a potent subject in his work throughout the rest of his life: the representation of manual labor by African Americans.
The shoemaker’s heroic scale dwarfs the tiny shoes aligned on the workbench and hung on the walls, and overwhelms the miniature-sized room in which he works. The whole scene is organized in a flat pattern of angular elements, all in saturated color. The cobbler’s geometric, exaggerated shoulder line signals both strength and concentration of purpose. His gigantic hands—oversized even in relation to his huge frame—are central to conveying the story of his power and single-mindedness.
2. Shoe-Makers in Lexington Kentucky, Pre-1900
The making of shoes was one of the skilled labors performed by slaves throughout the South. Once slavery ended, former slaves used the skill in their businesses that were often operated out of their homes. Later, the industrial manufacturing and mass production of shoes would greatly reduce the number of individual shoemakers.
Here the names of some African American shoemakers in Lexington, KY, pre-1900:
- Sally A. Jackson was a shoe binder who lived on E. Short Street between N. Mulberry and Walnut. She was a free person and is listed in the Directory of the City of Lexington and County of Fayette for 1838 & ’39.
- Micajah M. Mason was a shoemaker who lived on W. Water Street between N. Mill and Broadway. He is listed as a free man in the 1838-39 directory, and in the 1859-60 directory when he lived on E. S. Mulberry between Short and Barr Streets.
- Edward Oliver was a boot and shoe maker. He lived at 4 E. Water Street and is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory.
- William Tanner, a shoe maker, lived on E. Short Street between Walnut and Bank Streets. He is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory.
Sources:© 2011 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The origins of Ghillie Brogues stretch back through Scottish history. A‘Ghillie’ was an indispensable assistant to a Highland chief – carrying hunting rifles or fishing rods. On occasion, he even carried his employer.
Ghillies walked and walked….through the bogs, rivers, bracken, and heather. They scaled the highlands or scrambled through the lowlands. If walking was hard on a man, it was worse for his footwear.
Ghillie Brogues were designed for the work of a Ghillie. A patterned network of fine holes punched in the shoe leather called ‘brogueing’ allowed any water to drain while walking. Originally, the laces were above the ankle so the shoes wouldn’t get stuck in the mud. Thistle Shoes of Scotland makes Ghillie Brogues as they have always been made. Tough as nails – but with a heart of gold. Not unlike the people for whom they’re named.
Why call the company “Thistle Shoes? In the Middle Ages, the Scots and the Norsemen were at war. King Haakon of Norway and his men landed at the Coast of Largs at night intent on surprising their Scottish foe. Removing their boots, they crept on bare feet towards the Scottish army. Then one of the attackers stepped on the sharp spines of a Scots thistle. The yell he made at this unwelcome assault on his feet alerted the Scots who drove the attackers from their shore.
“Dad had to make so many wooden getas (clogs) for our family of seven. My brothers helped saw, drill, and sand, and we girls braided the straps and knotted them through the holes. They kept our feet from getting dirty after we took our showers, and they were great for walking in the sticky mud when it rained.” So wrote the gifted artist, Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz, in her memoir “Camp Days 1942-1945”.
George Takei, in the book’s introduction, described her art which has arisen out of “girlhood years imprisoned in [an internment] camp called Poston in the desolation of a desert in Arizona. Chizuko’s art is a powerful narrative of a shameful event in our history. It is also an evocative personal chronicle of the survival of a loving and resilient family.”
See also: “Camp Days 1942-1945” a memoir by Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz.
Special thanks to glass artist Caroline Jonas for this information. http://www.csjonastudio.com/