“Our job was not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate.”—
Bayard Rustin, “From Montgomery to Stonewall” (via so-treu)
I’m not in the business of persuading my enemies with moral reason, I’m in the business of defeating them so that what they think is irrelevant.
There have to be large-scale institutional changes, we need a real democratization of the society. I mean, if we continue to have domination of the economic and political system by corporations, why should they behave any differently? It’s not that the people in the corporations are bad people, it’s that the institutional necessity of the system is to maintain corporate domination and profit-making. I mean, if the Chairman of General Motors suddenly decided to start producing the best quality cars at the cheapest prices, he wouldn’t be Chairman any longer-there’d be a shift on the stock market and they’d throw him out in five minutes.
And that generalizes to the system as a whole.
There is absolutely no reason why the people who own the economy would want it to be set up in a way that undermines or weakens their control, any more than there’s a reason why they would want there to be a political system in which the population genuinely participates-why would they? They’d be crazy. Just like they’d be crazy if they opened up the media to dissident opinion-what possible purpose would here be in that? Or if they let the universities teach honest history, let’s say. It would be absurd.
Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing we can do. Even within the current structure of power, there’s plenty of latitude for pressure and changes and reforms. I mean, any institution is going to have to respond to public pressure-because their interest is to keep the population more or less passive and quiescent, and if the population is not passive and quiescent, then they have to respond to that. But really dealing with the problems at their core ultimately will require getting to the source of power and dissolving it-otherwise you may be able to fix things up around the edges, but you won’t really change anything fundamentally. So the alternative just has to be putting control over these decisions into popular hands-there simply is no other way besides dissolving and diffusing power democratically, I think.
“The capitalist class in the United States is extraordinarily class-conscious, while the working class is very diffuse and weak. So the result is, we don’t have a lot of things that by now are pretty much taken for granted in every other industrial country: we have more homeless and less health”—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
So I understand that not everything in the tv adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire will be true to the books. But why is it so easy to waste precious airtime to flesh out a character that was only called “the red-headed whore” with no other significance to the storyline than her reputation for beauty, yet so difficult to actually include characters integral to the series? (Tyrion found both Chataya and Alayaya to be beautiful as well.)
Oh, I know. It’s because we can’t have powerful WoC on television for the world to see. Chataya owned and ran her own upscale brothel, had the nobles of King’s Landing as regular customers, and along with her daughter Alayaya, became instrumental in Tyrion’s visits to Shae. So someone please tell me why these two parts have been whitewashed? If the parts needded to be condensed, why couldn’t the one woman have still been a PoC? If their roles were too minor to matter, explain Roslin’s elevation from “red-headed whore.” And since Hollywood likes to go with the “no PoC auditioned” excuse, explain this lovely woman who made it onto the show as a background character and could easily have played either of the Summer Isles women.
It honestly saddens me when this is done. It’s the Hunger Games all over again, but not many ASoIaF fans seem to notice or care. Not only were Hunger Games fans angry when Cinna’s description was left open to interpretation and filled by Lenny Kravitz, they were upset that Rue, who is clearly described of having dark skin and hair was filled by Amandla Stenberg. So why isn’t there the same angry backlash when roles meant for PoC are given to white actors and actresses? It’s because they’re thought of as belonging to white actors to begin with and PoC should be happy with any parts they see fit to give to us. Like olive-skinned Katniss being played by Jeniffer Lawrence, people were quick to come to the defense of the casting directors. In the same vein, these people shot down the fans who despaired that their hopes of having an identifiable character had been dashed by the Caucasian-restricted casting call. These may be fictional worlds, but the choices made in reality reflect the gross abuse of white privelege. It needs to stop.
Published on April 28th, 2012 Written by: Kevin Mathews
Monsanto, the genetically modified food giant, has recently purchased Beeologics, a leading bee research firm. Borrowing a move from the tobacco companies’ playbook, Monsanto appears to have decided that if you do not…
We’re all gonna die.
^^ tell me why that is exactly what i just said. i said… well… we are all gonna die on earth cause a few rich motherfuckers wanna make more dough. it’s been nice.
Not if we the people have our motherfucking way, we won’t. Monsanto has hella dough, yeah, but they can’t fight us all. Wish I could come up with the link, but there’s a petition that’s gotten almost 750k signatures on it that would require Monsanto to label their GMO seeds and products grown with Monsanto’s GMO seeds. Once that happens, we can start to use our money to shut their shit the fuck down. For now, do your research. Figure out what products come, either directly or indirectly, out of Monsanto and the other big seed companies and stop buying it. Stop buying all of it. There are ways to get good, healthy, affordable food that isn’t genetically modified and isn’t bloody with Big Farm bullshit. We can do it - and we don’t have to march anywhere to get it done. We just have to pull together. I’ll be damned if I sit by and do nothing - and there are, literally, millions of other people who feel the same way. We can make a difference.
Published on April 28th, 2012 Written by: Kevin Mathews
Monsanto, the genetically modified food giant, has recently purchased Beeologics, a leading bee research firm. Borrowing a move from the tobacco companies’ playbook, Monsanto appears to have decided that if you do not like the scientific reports coming out about you, then you should just buy the labs.
Beginning in 2007, Beeologics has researched two critical bee issues: colony collapse disorder and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus. In late September of last year, Monsanto acquired Beeologics for an undisclosed amount. In making this purchase, Monsanto now has control of research that has previously pointed at its pesticides for contributing to – if not outright causing – a sharp decline in bee populations. Multiple studies in recent years have linked pesticides and high fructose corn syrup with colony collapse disorder.
Portential outcome manipulations
With Monsanto’s vested interest in bee research’s conclusions, there is reason to believe that the true causes of and solutions for these bee epidemics may be manipulated if not lost entirely. Indeed, it seems likely that now some new study released by Beeologics will find that GMOs are not the problem after all.
Prior to the acquisition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture looked to Beeologics as its top resource for bee research. In effect, Monsanto has now positioned itself even better with the USDA. For that reasons, health experts and entomologists alike are upset that Beeologics would be willing to self itself to Monsanto in the first place. Alas, sometimes it is more about the money than the honey.
(TRIGGER WARNINGS for: rape, rape culture/apologism, institutionalized abuse, mentions of violent racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia and misogyny. Time for some real talk, folks. Getting serious.)
+Because I’m a survivor of sexual assault(s), wherein my sexuality was used to degrade, shame, and traumatize me, and after which - still to this day, in fact - my sexual history and status as a sexual woman has been used to trivialize that trauma, deny me accountability and justice for what was done, and justify even further violence against me.
+Because I’m mentally ill, and women with mental illnesses have been non-consensually sexualized, deemed “hypersexual” and “sex addicts” as a means of justifying institutionalized abuse (often sexual abuse) against them, etc, since pretty much the advent of psychology.
+Because the bodies of people of colour, particularly women of colour, are also consistently non-consensually sexualized, and that DIRECTLY contributes to higher rates of sexual violence against women of colour.
+Because I’ve done sex work, and I’m fucking sick of the cultural/social understanding that people who do sex work have no right to ever not be sexual objects, that our bodies are unrapeable, not even bodies at all really but commodities.
+Because I’m queer, and queer people have been demonized as sexual deviants, who are incapable of ever curbing or controlling our (inherently abusive) sexual natures without excessive therapy and “training”, and that’s been used to keep queer people out of work, housing, etc - something that goes double for trans folks, by the way, and if you don’t believe me just look at all the cis people freeeeeeaaaaking the fuck out about trans women simply USING THE WASHROOM with cis women, and how that’s always, always “justified” with shit like “but what if one of those trans women is secretly a sexual predator preying on innocent cis women?!”, and all the violence that that logic has resulted in.
+Because I’m poor and from a poor/working-class background, and am intimately familiar with the stereotype of poor/working-class people as being “classless” and “tacky”, WHICH MEANS inherently sexual (this is why when I was in junior high, the boys at my school would throw pennies at me and the other “welly” - you know, welfare - girls, chanting “penny whore, penny whore” as we walked by).
+Because dividing people into binary categories of “sexual” and “non-sexual” is a STAPLE of enforcing dynamics of marginalization and privilege - where MARGINALIZED PEOPLE are seen as inherently sexual, and therefore dirty, untrustworthy, incapable of real feeling, and most of all unrapeable, while PRIVILEGED PEOPLE are seen as non-sexual, and therefore pure, innocent, intelligent and compassionate, and most of all worthy of protection and empathy.
+And therefore when I see people repeatedly referring to anyone who does not identify as asexual or demisexual as “a sexual” or “sexuals”, and talking about “sexual privilege” and “sexual supremacy”, what I see is someone erasing centuries of MULTIPLE, intersecting oppressions - throwing whole classes of people under the bus, and I hesitate to use that phrase because it is so violent, but that’s what this denial is: it’s a violent denial, violent in that it erases and obfuscates so much real violence, and that erasure is a big part of what enables that violence in society already. It’s harming people, directly, specifically, in order to further discourse about an idea and identity that is still fairly new and still finding it’s place, and that does not bode well for me at all.
“The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power.”—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
Tom Morello:One of the more provocative statements of yours that I have read is that if the standards of the Nuremberg Trials were applied, then every post World War II American president would have been hanged as a war criminal. Take us briefly through the war crimes committed by each president.
Noam Chomsky:I've done that in print a couple of times. Well, with Truman you could start with, shortly after he entered office there was the bombing of Hiroshima, which maybe one could give an argument for -- well, I don't think so -- but it is almost impossible to give an argument for the bombing of Nagasaki. That was mostly just trying out a new weapon to see if it would work. Then there was an utterly gratuitous bombing, a one thousand plane raid at the end of the war -- right in fact after Japan surrendered -- called the "finale," the grand finale. Then comes, for example, the support for the brutal counter-insurgency campaign in Greece, which killed about 150,000 people to basically restore Nazi collaborators and demolish the resistance. And then we could go on from there.
Eisenhower. The Eisenhower administration, the Truman and Eisenhower administration, the bombings -- whatever you think about the Korean War, and there is a pretty complicated story when you really look at it, but nevertheless the bombings in North Korea in 1951 and 1952 was just an outright war crime. You can read in the Air Force history about how in the Eisenhower years they had nothing left to bomb, everything was flat, so they just bomb dams, which they exalt how wonderful it was to see the water flooding down and killing people and wiping out the crops and so on. Well people were hanged for that, for less than that. They were hanged for opening dikes in Nuremberg. And then again we can proceed with what happened in Guatemala and elsewhere where it was a terrible crime in the Eisenhower years.
Kennedy is not even worth discussing. The invasion in South Vietnam -- Kennedy attacked South Vietnam, outright. In 1961-1962 he sent Air Force to start bombing villages, authorized napalm. Also laid the basis for the huge wave of repression that spread over Latin America with the installation of Neo-Nazi gangsters that were always supported directly by the United States. That went on and in fact picked up under Johnson.
In the Nixon years, for example, the bombing of inner Cambodia in 1973 was a monstrous crime. It was just massacring peasants in inner Cambodia. It isn't much reported here because nobody paid attention, but it was quite a part in helping create the basis for the Khmer Rouge. Well, the CIA estimate is that 600,000 people were killed in the course of those US actions, either directed or actually carried out by the United States.
In the Carter years there were major crimes, for example the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which happened to start under Ford and led to the nearest thing to genocide since the holocaust, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of the population has been slaughtered. That was using 90% US arms. In the Carter years, when the Indonesians were actually running out of arms in their attack on this country, Carter actually increased the flow of arms in 1978, which was the worst peak of the slaughter. Carter was backing Somoza and his national guard, openly and with direct military and diplomatic support at a time when they had killed about 40,000 people in the terror of the last days of their regime. Again, that's a sample.
Going on to the Reagan years, its not even a question. In fact the US was condemned by the World Court during the Reagan years for its "unlawful use of force," meaning aggression in Nicaragua. In Central America alone, maybe 200,000 people or so were slaughtered in a very brutal fashion by US run programs. In southern Africa about 1.5 million people were killed and over $60 billion of damage were done according to the UN commission which reviewed it later from 1980 to 1988. That's from South African atrocities that the US was directly supporting. Then, again we could go on. Well Bush, we've already talked about him, but the invasion of Panama for example was simply outright aggression. It was condemned internationally -- the US was able to veto the security counsel condemnations, that doesn't change the fact that they were there.
When we move on to the Clinton years, one of his first acts within a few months was to send missiles to bomb Baghdad. Well, he didn't kill a huge amount of people, only I think 8 or so. But there was absolutely no pretext, there wasn't even a pretext. I mean it was to show what a tough guy he is. In fact the pretext was so ludicrous, it's embarrassing to repeat it. The pretext was that this was self defense against armed attack, because two months earlier there had been a failed attempt by someone who might or might not have been Iraqi, no one knew at the time, to kill Bush or something like that. I mean, it's just ridiculous. About half of military aid and training to Latin America under Clinton was going to Columbia, which has absolutely the worst human rights record in the hemisphere, killing thousands of people in a horrifying fashion. These are all crimes. I don't think it's hard to set up a bill of indictment if somebody wants to.
“From a comparative perspective, the United States is unusual if not unique in its lack of restraints on freedom of expression. It is also unusual in the range and effectiveness of the methods employed to restrain freedom of thought. The two phenomena are related. Liberal democratic theorists have long observed that in a society where the voice of the people is heard, elite groups must ensure that that voice says the right things. The less the state is able to employ violence in defense of the interests of elite groups that effectively dominate it, the
more it becomes necessary to devise techniques of “manufacture of consent,” in the words of Walter Lippmann over 60 years ago, or “engineering of consent,” the phrase preferred by Edward Bernays, one of the founding fathers of the American Public Relations industry.”—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
“For example, in 1831 there was a big slave revolt in Jamaica- which was one of the things that led the British to decide to give up slavery in their colonies: after some slave revolts, they basically said, “It’s not paying anymore.” So within a couple years the British wanted to move from a slave economy to a so-called “free” economy, but they still wanted the basic structure to remain exactly the same -and if you take a look back at the parliamentary debates in England at the time, they were talking very consciously about all this. They were saying: look, we’ve got to keep it the way it is, the masters have to become the owners, the slaves have to become the
happy workers-somehow we’ve got to work it all out.”—Noam Chomsky - Understanding Power (via noam-chomsky)
Trigger warning: Quotes of things that shouldn’t be said. They can be ableist and triggering.
Written by Lydia Brown
There could really be a hundred or a thousand of these, but I’ve decided to choose just fifteen for the sake of brevity and not imploding anyone’s browser. All of these things have actually been said to Autistics, children and adults, and some of them are unfortunately very common. Some happen more often over the internet, and some happen more often in person, but they’re all phrases or questions that can be incredibly hurtful. Sometimes people who say these things are well-meaning, which can make the impact even worse. Especially in those cases, people might not understand why these can be so offensive and hurtful, and occasionally insist that what they’re saying is a compliment, even when it’s not.
1. “So is that like being retarded?”
Factually speaking, Autistic people in many cases do not have an intellectual or cognitive disability, and many people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities are not also Autistic. There are some Autistic people who also have an intellectual or cognitive disability. Nevertheless, the word “retarded” is often very hurtful for Autistic people, as it is frequently used as an insult to dehumanize people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The r-word is often used to express hatred for people with disabilities. Please don’t use it.
2. “You should be very proud of yourself. You seem so normal. I couldn’t tell that you’re Autistic.”
While this is rarely said to Autistic people whose disability is very visible, it is very frequently said to Autistic people with much more invisible disability. It’s insulting because it suggests that because the person doesn’t appear to be disabled or doesn’t fit preconceptions of what Autistic people are supposed to sound or act like, that person must therefore not have a disability or be Autistic. It also suggests that “normal” is the standard to which anyone should aspire to appear or act (and that “normalization” should be the ultimate goal of therapies or treatments for autism rather than pragmatic coping skills to navigate a world where Autistics are a minority), and therefore that it’s not good to act or speak in ways commonly associated with being Autistic, even if those behaviors don’t actually hurt anyone. This is very dismissive of a person’s disability and experiences.
3. “You must be very high-functioning.”
Many Autistic adults take issue with the “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” labels for a variety of reasons. Some people have received both labels but at different times in their lives, and many Autistics have very uneven skill levels — some people who might be able to articulate their ideas very well at a conference may be unable to travel alone or cook for themselves, while some people who are unable to communicate with oral speech might be able to live independently. That debate aside, this is also very dismissive of a person’s individual experiences with disability. Unless you know someone very, very well, you have no way of knowing what specific adaptive functioning skills or life skills a person has or what his or her needs and challenges might be, and it’s not possible to acquire that information simply by looking at a person.
4. “You’re not like my child; you can write a blog post. My child will never be able to write a blog post.”
Not everyone who can write a blog post can live independently, tend to their own activities of daily life, get and keep a job, complete higher education, travel alone, communicate with oral speech, or manage their own finances. The ability to write a blog post says absolutely nothing about a person’s needs and challenges, and how disability might affect an individual person. There are people like Amy Sequenzia , Larry Bissonnette , Amanda Baggs , Tracy Thresher , Hope Block , Sue Rubin , and Carly Fleischmann , all of whom are non-speaking Autistics or people with autism who have given presentations at conferences, written blog posts, written letters to the editor, published articles in newsletters or journals, and visited legislators. Other people, like Kassiane Sibley and Kathryn Bjørnstad , who are frequently touted as “high-functioning” because of their blogs, do not have consistent adaptive functioning abilities.
5. “I know a kid whose autism is really severe. You don’t seem like him.”
Every Autistic person is different from every other Autistic person. Among Autistics, there is a huge range in individual abilities, skills, needs, and challenges. It is impossible to know what an Autistic’s abilities and skills versus needs and challenges after a brief conversation either in person or in the comments thread of an internet post. What makes Autistic people a group united by a shared diagnosis are the commonalities of all Autistic people. All Autistic people share some of the same core characteristics that define autism — key differences in neurological functioning, sensory and cognitive processing, and communication abilities that often manifest as disability. If an Autistic person was diagnosed by a qualified clinician familiar with autism, that person is Autistic, regardless of whether they look, speak, or act like another Autistic person.
6. “Can you have sex?”
Yes, Autistic people can have sex. Some get married and have children. Some have Autistic children. Other Autistic people are never taught about sex, for a variety of reasons. Autistic people, like all people with developmental disabilities, are at much higher risk for abuse or victimization — sexual or otherwise — than the general population, but that doesn’t mean that Autistic people don’t know about or can’t have sex.
7. “Does that mean you’re really good at math/computers/numbers?”
If there’s one thing that’s sure to offend an Autistic, it’s seeing him or her in terms of common stereotypes about autism. A very small minority of Autistics are also savants. Many Autistics have higher than average measured IQ, and many Autistics have measured IQ that falls right into the median, while still others have an intellectual or cognitive disability. Some Autistics have dyscalculia or similar learning disabilities, and actually find math to be extremely difficult. Other Autistics, including those who might be good at math, simply don’t like it. And yes, some Autistics happen to be excellent with math and enjoy working or studying in related fields. There are Autistics who are relatively computer illiterate as well as Autistics who thrive in the IT world and community. Asking if we like math, computers, or numbers because we’re Autistic is like asking a Black or African American if he or she likes watermelons or rap music because he or she is Black or African American.
8. “But you’re married/have a job/go to college. You couldn’t do that if you were really Autistic.”
Yes, it’s true that every Autistic isn’t going to get married, have a job, or go to college. But plenty of Autistics do get married, have jobs, or go to college. This statement is insulting because it’s ableist. (For those who may not regularly read my blog, ableism is like racism, ageism, or sexism, but directed toward people with disabilities.) While not every Autistic person may be able to do all or some of these things, it’s very ableist to assume that no Autistic person can or that anyone who can must not be Autistic.
9. “Do you take any medications for that?”
This is a very personal decision. Some Autistic people take medications for various reasons, and some do not take any medications. You wouldn’t ask a stranger if he or she was on medication for anything, so you shouldn’t ask an Autistic person whom you don’t know very well if he or she takes medications either. This is very rude to ask someone, especially someone whom you do not know well. The only context in which such personal questions are appropriate with strangers or acquaintances might be during a conference or panel presentation where the Autistic speaker is specifically speaking about his or her experiences.
10. “You have no right to claim to speak for severely Autistic people who can’t speak for themselves.”
Firstly, any non-speaking Autistics can speak for themselves. People like Amy Sequenzia , Larry Bissonnette , Amanda Baggs , Tracy Thresher , Hope Block , Sue Rubin , and Carly Fleischmann are all non-speaking and they can speak quite capably for themselves. Secondly, while every Autistic person has different abilities and needs, that does not mean that Autistic people who may present as highly verbal or invisibly disabled cannot speak to the commonalities that they have with Autistic people who do not present the same way as themselves. Furthermore, any Autistic person will understand another Autistic person’s experiences far better than any non-Autistic person by nature of also being Autistic. That doesn’t mean that I should be advocating for your child in his or her school (unless you ask me to do that, it’s not my place), or that I know your child’s particular quirks or personality, because unless I actually spend time with your child, I don’t and won’t. It does mean that I share the way your child experiences the world, and can speak to that.
11. “Can you please not flap/rock/spin/jump in public? It’s embarrassing.”
Flapping, rocking, spinning, jumping, or other stimming (calming behaviors), in the vast majority of cases, hurts neither the person doing it nor anyone else nearby. There’s nothing wrong with stimming, and this statement communicates that the Autistic person should stop acting like him or herself or stop moving in ways that come naturally and instinctively. This is like asking a Christian who likes to wear cross jewelry to please not wear a cross necklace in public, or asking a Latino or Hispanic from an hispanohablante country to please not speak Spanish while in public. It’s very offensive, and for some people, could be very triggering (psychologically and emotionally traumatic).
12. “You mean you are a person with autism. You are a person first, not a disability or a disorder label.” Some people on the autism spectrum do prefer to be called people with autism, and if talking to someone who does, you should call him or her a person with autism. Many of us, however, prefer to be called Autistic or Autistic people, and if you are talking to someone who prefers to be called Autistic, you should also respect his or her preferences in referring to him or herself, and call that person Autistic. Everyone has the right to decide how they would like to be described, and you should respect that right.
13. “What’s it like to be Autistic?”
You wouldn’t ask someone what it’s like to be Black or African American, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Transgendered, or elderly… You shouldn’t ask someone whom you don’t know well what it’s like to be Autistic outside the context of a conference or panel presentation about that person’s experiences — in which case, more specific questions might actually be better and more effective. Besides, every Autistic person’s experiences vary so much that it’d be an injustice to all of us for you to ask a question that implies that there’s one way to experience being Autistic. While we share certain characteristics and experiences of the world, our life stories and our experiences with people and ableism are vastly different.
14. “Have you ever heard of Temple Grandin? Her books are really amazing!”
The answer is almost always yes. But it gets very tiresome for Autistic people to constantly hear about Temple Grandin day in and day out. There are many prominent Autistic people in diverse fields and known for a variety of accomplishments, and it’s very annoying to be constantly compared to the one same person all the time.
15. (Asking a question about the Autistic person to a parent, support person, aide, sibling, or friend who is standing or sitting beside the Autistic person )
Please don’t talk about us as if we’re not in the room when we’re sitting or standing right here. Just don’t. The message that that communicates to us is that we don’t matter and can’t possibly have anything meaningful to communicate.
“They didn’t care. It was systemic. It didn’t matter. They were marginalized women, most of them were aboriginal,” Dicks told the missing women inquiry on Monday.
“As far as I was getting from the department, I was told to ‘stop being a bleeding heart,’ and to ‘grow up, these people are scum of the Earth.’”
Both women took calls from family members of women who were vanishing at the same time Robert Pickton was hunting sex workers in the impoverished neighbourhood. The inquiry is examining why the serial killer wasn’t caught sooner.
As a black, but brown-skinned homosexual man, I have privileges: I’m not light skinned, but I am lighter than dark skinned; I am male; I am cisgender; I am college educated; I am middle class; I am able-bodied; I live in the United States; and there are more privileges that are not named. I am, however, working to undo those privileges and equalize access, consideration, opportunity, and existence. So when I hear “I don’t have privilege” from white gay people or white women or white disabled people or white trans people or light-skinned black people, I realize those individuals are UNCONSCIOUS or don’t want to give up or don’t want to acknowledge their privileges because they think admitting to or confronting the fact that they have privileges somehow minimizes the oppression they also face.
They need to grasp the concept of BOTH/AND and let go of the bullshit of EITHER/OR. And while I understand letting go is difficult, particularly in America, which is EITHER/OR even in its subatomic structure, they GOT TO LET IT GO.
Also can I just LOL at the idea of people like colorblinding & of-praxis being “unbiased” or “above the mob mentality”? I see people telling them shit like that all the time & I just…please note who is more comfortable with discussions of blackness & anti-blackness being an academic exercise instead of a lived experience. Think on why it is you can’t stand to see black people’s emotions directly, but instead prefer them filtered & flattened until they aren’t attached to humans.
And what is this “above the mob mentality” shit? Views like colorblinding’s and of-praxis’ are de rigueur in modern American society. They ain’t sayin’ shit new, revolutionary or different. They’re doing the same appeasement tactics that American White supremacist society insists PoC use. They are part of the bigger mob, bigger by far.
i find people saying this to be interesting (that they are solely independently thinking, without outside influence of others). they must not know these people. cause let me be clear. i have spent time speaking with both of them on a personal level, hoping to give the benefit of the doubt because when i first joined, i seriously wanted collaboration between people of color. i have even had extensive conversation w/ colorblinding about anti-blackness by of-praxis and she called it out, but cannot quite see how her actions fall into the same category. i understand how people cling to their educations as a shield or badge, but when you talk to people on a personal level, you gotta let it go. you gotta stop acting like you can teach everybody and LEARN from some people. it’s impossible to know everything. but the idea of learning from people like us, who are seen as “angry” “rude” “abrasive” “#teamhivemind” the idea of being able to learn from that goes against all academic standards. i honestly believe that a lot of that anti-blackess comes directly from the education setting that teaches us to honor and uphold certain ways of communicating above all others. and we do not fit into those academic boxes because that form of communication is inherently unnatural and not only unnatural but full of lies and illusions. it’s literally nothing we’ve done. it’s the fact that we fly in the face of the academia they hold soooo close.
you cannot be unbiased when your entire idea of what is appropriate or right comes from books and academia. an institution so opposed to us from it’s very foundations it bleeds anti-blackness into every body. it’s not unique or individual to not be able to see that and not be able to shake it off or work against that. and it’s disappointing as fuck cause i can’t lie, i wanted to be cool w/ them at first. but then you put yourself out there, and see all this policing and bullshit. and it’s not cool. at fucking all.
“The thing that sucks about Girls and Seinfeld and Sex and the City and every other TV show like them isn’t that they don’t include strong characters focusing on the problems facing blacks and Latinos in America today. The thing that sucks about those shows is that millions of black people look at them and can relate on so many levels to Hannah Horvath and Charlotte York and George Costanza, and yet those characters never look like us. The guys begging for money look like us. The mad black chicks telling white ladies to stay away from our families look like us. Always a gangster, never a rich kid whose parents are both college professors. After a while, the disparity between our affinity for these shows and their affinity towards us puts reality into stark relief: When we look at Lena Dunham and Jerry Seinfeld, we see people with whom we have a lot in common. When they look at us, they see strangers.”—
Earlier in the week after reading both the AV Club’s “won’t anyone think of the offended white people” article, and in the week prior, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “so what, who cares” response to WOC being less than pleased with “The Show” I mentioned that it would be nice to see a relatively prominent journalist, who is also a man of color, write an article about why representation is important and why these conversations are necessary. In this article, Cord Jefferson manages to break down some of these issues in a (surprisingly?) thoughtful way.
I started smelling something not right with the AV Club in the 90s. I don’t say that to be hipper than thou—I’m just saying: There’s something way wrong when the people who are getting paid start saying all the things you and your friends who are just getting by say to each other when they’re down and out and think nobody else is listening.
Some appropriating assface is always listening, TO THE ZEITGEIST. That’s what I’ve figured out in my time on the internet. If you label it with a clever abstract term, bonus points for German because that’s not problematic at all, you can call “thievery” almost anything else but.
I don’t mean that as an interesting or witty remark, either. I mean that as goddamn, I thought corporations had perfected erasing people?—Yet here’s a whole bunch of actual individual private people doing it for next to free or for the promise of the good Lunchables in their mealbags—whichever.
Well? When you give away for free the fruits of the labors everyone else fought tooth and nail for? I don’t know what medal you expect to be awarded for that.
ZEITGEIST!! Ha! That word always cracks me up, ‘cuz I remember when they all started using it, like everybody got on the increase-your-word-power bus at the same time. I kept thinking of William “Upski” Wimsatt’s piece “We Use Words Like Mackadocious”. Zeitgeist. Yeah. A way to sound academic without actually having to go through the rigors of being an academic….
To be frank, I never would have heard of “Girls” had it not been for my Tumblr dash. And I watched a rerun of True Blood last week (or was it the week before)…never seen an ad for it (maybe I was in the bathroom when it ran). Game of Thrones, I saw the ads for, but Girls? Nahh. No importa. I’m not the target audience. From what I’ve read about it, sounds more like a vehicle for product placement—-a simple rehash of cobbled-together older…sitcoms? dramedies?…that were all-white, upwardly-mobile, young-ish and about folks who were clearly living outside their means tho’ somehow that never gets explained in the show (maybe the target audience wouldn’t be down with an explanation, like Suzie is fucking some gross rich dude for the rent, or Becky is embezzling money from her employer, or Jenny brought back more from her trip to Cancun than a case of the clap). Cannibalizing older pop culture is in vogue with the “cultural creatives”; something about being “retro”. Selectively retro. Anyway. I think it says something when a show about vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and fairies resembles real life more than the urban fantasies of the young! white! and in the city!
Still thinking about George Clinton trying to save his recording studio, and how he was struggling to bury his mother a couple of years ago. Somebody’s always listening, alright. Selectively.
“A 911 operator who worked for Vancouver Police when sex workers were disappearing from the Downtown Eastside says, her superiors repeatedly told her they weren’t going to spend valuable time and money looking for hookers.”—
“Homosexuality exists EVERYWHERE in nature. The heterosexist notion that homosexuality is absent from certain cultures, regions, religions, species, or peoples is absolute balderdash and indicative of a concerted effort to distort or erase history.”—Son of Baldwin (via sonofbaldwin)
“To prevent Africans and Native Americans from uniting, Europeans played skillfully on racial differences and ethnic rivalries. They kept the pot of animosity boiling. Whites turned Indians into slavehunters and slave owners, and Africans into “Indian-fighters”. Light-skinned Africans were pitted against dark-skinned, free against enslaved, Black Indians against “pure” Africans or “pure” Indians.
Those who have put history into books have emphasized differences between Africans and Native Americans. For example, they have stressed that Europeans encountered Indians as distinct individuals and members of proud nations, and Africans as nameless slaves. Little mention is made of the enslavement of Native Americans and nothing is said about the cultural similarities between the two dark peoples. In 1984, scholar Theda Perdue said: “By emphasizing the actual, exaggerated and imagined differences between Africans and Indians, whites successfully masked the cultural similarities of the two races as well as their mutual exploitation by whites.””—William Loren Katz, Black Indian: A Hidden Heritage (via adailyriot)
“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”—Neil DeGrasse Tyson (via thedukeofyork)
Can black folks have one fucking thing to ourselves? Just one? Please???? I mean damn! Every fucking time we come up with some shit, white folks gotta steal it. all the slang we come up with, they use it. The music we make, they steal it. The clothes we wear our ridiculed when they’re on our bodies but seen as “avant garde” and “haute couture” on white people. Most of the white girls who covered the Rachet Girl Anthem probably didn’t even know what the fuck “rachet” meant before they heard that damn song. Shit, can you please just leave our shit alone for fucking once???
African art was originally collected by Western explorers and slave traders because nothing quite like it had been seen before.The objects were usually regarded as curiosities with no particular artistic value.
In time, many pieces made their way into various European museums as trophies of conquest through war and religious conversion. Eventually African art was discovered by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti and Braque who started incorporating the unusual geometric lines and shapes into their own work, resulting in what was becoming known as “cubism”.
Along with the success of these and other European artists came the validation of the African art itself. As original African objects found their way out of collections and into the influential auction houses, the prices and status of these extraordinary antique African works started rising dramatically. Of course the original creators were simply making functional, yet powerful masks, statues and other items to be used in their daily life in the village. It is doubtful these men had any sense of how they were affecting European art.
Authentic antique African art has increasingly become an excellent investment to the collector because unlike other investments, the value is rarely diminished.
Today, investment in good quality African art is even more important. Unlike other investments that we have all seen vanish into thin air recently, African art is something we can actually hold in our hands. We can feel the smooth patina of wood that has been handled by many hands in the past. We can admire and enjoy its beauty for as long as we have it in our care. My advice is to always buy what you like….that piece or style that catches your eye for one reason or another. This way you can never go wrong.
This piece was written by Douglas Yaney, an American man that makes a living out of buying and selling African art. This bolded sections of this piece jumped at me as lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how far too many pieces of African art are housed in museums throughout Europe and the United States, mainly as possessions of the museums, Art Houses or Western individuals who have come acquired these artifacts through what may have been less than ethical means (although for the most part, I suspect so). That and the fact that the people who reap most of the benefits from ‘collecting’ African art are usually not Africans themselves. How many famous non-contemporary African artists can you name that specialize in producing pieces of traditional art work? Yet we know the names of the people in the Western world that were directly influenced by the work of African artists. Funny how African art was only ‘validated’ once those who took inspiration from it became successful.
We continually talk about how the Western world continuously reaps the benefits of both our labour and raw materials (and once again, unjustly so), but we shouldn’t forget that some of our most treasured art forms and practices have also been taken from us in much the same way.
There are two very large and influential prison companies in the United States who are manipulating the system to make sure they have plenty of business: The GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In the first part of this two-part series, I will explore The GEO Group’s influence peddling; next week, I will look at CCA.
If you have any doubt in your mind that improving society and lowering the number of prisoners in our country (normally considered a worthy social goal) is a threat to the prison industry business, all you need to do is to read about that concern in The GEO Group’s 2011 annual report:
In particular, the demand for our correctional and detention facilities and services and BI’s [a prison industry company Geo acquired in 2011] services could be adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or the loosening of immigration laws. For example, any changes with respect to the decriminalization of drugs and controlled substances could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Similarly, reductions in crime rates could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities. Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us.
This is an industry that needs misery, long sentences, rounded-up undocumented immigrants and increasing crime to flourish. In order to keep the prison beds filled, The GEO Group and others have paid out millions of dollars to lobbyists, federal and state legislators, and governors to allow our immigration problem to go unsolved, to make sure that no drugs are decriminalized and that an ineffective War on Drugs continues, and to make certain that long term prison sentences, like California’s three-strikes-and-you’re-imprisoned-for-life laws, keep a steady flow of revenue and profits flowing to their shareholders. They are also hoping that our national drop in crime is just a temporary trend.
If you doubt the existence of evil, read that again.
Well, there are fundamentally two different ways of looking at work.
One is capitalist ideology. That basically takes for granted that the natural state of a person is to vegetate. You have to be driven to work. If you aren’t driven to work you’ll lie around watching television or take your money from the welfare office and you won’t do anything. So therefore there have to be punishments for not working and rewards for working.
There’s a different conception, which goes right back to the Enlightenment. And that’s one that regards work as one of the highest goals in life. But they’re referring to a special kind of work: creative work taken under your own control and under your own initiative.
That’s a very different conception of work, one that’s pretty familiar to all of us. If you just walk down the halls around here [at MIT], you’ll see people working, maybe 80 hours a week, working hard. Because they like what they’re doing! They’re fundamentally controlling their own work––challenging issues, etc.
But you don’t have to be an engineer and a scientist to do that. The same is true of carpenters, plumbers. I know artisans who just love their work; they’ll do it in their spare time. Maybe they have to do it in a factory during the day, but during the weekend they’ll go in the garage and build a car or something like that.
Because it’s something they want to do. And I think almost all work can be like that. But, fundamentally, it’s back to just different conceptions of what work is.
And what human beings are. I mean, are they, kind of, in their nature, dependent couch potatoes? Or are they people who want to become involved in creative, exciting, challenging work that they control themselves and cooperatively with others?
Again, if you walk down the halls you see students talking to each other. A lot of the work that gets done is cooperative work. That’s the way things happen almost anywhere.
“By such methods, the most impoverished country in the hemisphere has been turned into a leading
purchaser of U.S.-produced rice, enriching publicly subsidized U.S. Enterprises. Those lucky enough to have received a good Western education can doubtless explain that the benefits will trickle down to Haitian peasants and slum dwellers – ultimately.”—Noam Chomsky - Profit Over People (via noam-chomsky)
When a lot of people talk about cultural appropriation, the rhetoric of how it’s not a big deal or how “minorities” have more in the communities to worry about than people playing dress-up really trips me out. If you can’t do something as simple as staying away from a bindi or headdresses in an effort to show solidarity with people who wish for their cultures not to be reduced to stereotypical caricature, how can you even begin to deconstruct more complex, challenging racism?
“On Racialicious, Carmen Van Kerckhove dubbed hipster racism one of 2006’s top race and pop culture trends, which means that hipster or “ironic” racism has been a topic of conversation by writers of color and others in the social justice sphere for literally years. You won’t find any links or acknowledgments of these earlier discussions in West’s Jezebel post, but hey, at least a whole new audience of people will be that much closer to knowing how to talk about stuff like Lesley Arfin’s insensitive, “ironic” tweet last week.”—