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David Schmidt

David Schmidt is an author, podcaster, multilingual translator, and homebrewer who splits his time between Mexico City and San Diego, California.

TABLETS OF HUMAN HEARTS: The Indestructible Cultural Wealth of Haiti

As I sat in the middle of the Haitian refugee camp with the battered guitar resting on my lap, I thought of Mamá Lola in Mexico.

“Coup? What Coup?”

The US government and the Bolivian putschists continue to describe this coup as a win for “democracy.” Disturbingly, this same claim is echoed in Mexico by political conservatives and the economic elite. Not only are they supportive of the coup, some are calling for similar violence against Mexico’s own center-left President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In Search of the Promised Land: Hope and Despair in the Migrant Caravan

I found the migrant shelter at the end of a side street, in the shadow of the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

“My son's dreams were cut short”: protests against police brutality go viral in Mexico, the US, and beyond

As soon as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the rumors started: it had been prophesied all along! Psychic Sylvia Browne had predicted it in her 2008 book End of Days, writing: “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe…” Brazilian author Melissa Tobias described it in her novel A realidade de Madhu: a “global pandemic that would kill more than three billion earthdwellers.” Some even attributed prophetic powers to the end credits scene of the 2001 film Planet of the Apes, depicting how a new disease could quickly spread across the globe through air travel.

“Won’t somebody please think of the children?”

Just hours after the white tents appeared, followers of the conspiracy theory known as QAnon concocted this elaborate story: in a network of underground tunnels beneath Central Park, children had been bred and raised for sexual slavery. These “mole children” were raised underground, kept in cages, destined to feed the dark desires of an elite society of devil worshippers.

A Day without Women

Here in the Mexican capital, March 8 saw over 80,000 women fill the length of downtown Reforma Avenue. They donned purple shirts, bandanas, and flags, the symbolic color of the women’s movement that, coincidentally, matched the blooming jacarandas. Some have coined this mass movement “The Purple Tide.” They came out in droves—coronavirus concerns be damned. These women were not just marching for equal pay or greater government representation: they were marching for their lives.

"Here Be Dragons"

The US publishing industry has recently thrown its weight behind a novel about migrants in Mexico: American Dirt (2020) by Jeanine Cummins. American Dirt is a gross misrepresentation of this nation, its culture, and, most importantly, its migrants. The fact that it has been selected by US publishers and publicists to represent the migrant’s story—to the exclusion of hundreds of other books—is deeply revealing.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues