Friday, September 30, 2016

Gif of the Day


I love lion cubs so much.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Attacked By Police

It was bad enough that the company that owns the pipeline sent in hired goons to attack peaceful protesters. Now the state is sending in its hired goons to do the same thing to people who are simply praying and protesting to stop work on a pipeline that is supposed to be on hold.

According to the Censored News blog, the police surrounded protesters with automatic weapons, military-style armored vehicles, and shotguns, arrested 21 of them, dropped tear gas, confiscated phones, and deleted videos of it all. There a photos and videos at the link.

Click to Enlarge

There are also reports of protester access to Facebook being blocked and Facebook deleting protester videos. People have even reported trouble keeping these videos up on Tumblr.

How police could possibly justify doing this is beyond me, but I'm sure they'll try. But before they'll even bother, media sources need to pick this up and spread the word. This is worse than the private security company attacking protesters. And this is far from over. The temporary halt order on the pipeline's construction was likely only to appease the masses and get people to declare premature victory, then forget about it.

Don't let them trick you. Don't forget about it. Keep speaking out.

Alfred Olango


I'm late on this, possibly because my brain overloaded from all the police fuckery that's been going on. But I need to power through it. And some new details have come out about this case.

Alfred Olango was a 30-year-old black man who is now dead because cops killed him. He was unarmed and "acting erratically," according to police, and he took something out of his pocket and pointed it at them, so they shot and killed him. It was a vape pen.

I heard both that Olango was having an episode related to mental illness and that he was having a seizure. According to NBC, neither is true. He was actually grieving due to the recent death of a close friend, says his family. They say he was having a "mental breakdown," which isn't really a thing. However, intense grief and emotional distress will make people behave "erratically," because hello?

There's some speculation that Olango may have pointed his vape pen at police intentionally, knowing they would shoot him. At the same time, there are people callously saying shit like, "you should know not to point things at police," as though Olango deserved to die. But did you also know that "suicide by cop" is a thing? The fact that this is a thing and that Olango may have known he could commit suicide by pointing a vape pen at cops is supremely fucked up.

People say that if you cooperate with police and do what they say, you'll be fine. Of course this has proven not to be true multiple times when it comes to black people. But also, this shouldn't be an expectation to survive an encounter with police. There are many reasons why people might not be able to behave exactly in the way that police want. Maybe they're having a seizure. Or a stroke. Or are mentally ill and are having an episode. Or they could be autistic. Or deaf and unable to speak. None of these people deserve to die.

The Wage Gap

No, not that wage gap, the other one.

The wage gap between black and white Americans is at a 40-year high

This makes the stagnation of the gender wage gap seem like not such a big deal. Of course they're both problems, but feminists need to be talking about this because racism is bad and, you know, black women exist.

That's right: The wage gap between blacks and whites in the United States is higher than it was nearly 40 years ago. 
On average, black men earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to white men when comparing hourly wages.  
And it's even worse for black women, who earn 65.8 cents to a white man's dollar. Meanwhile, white women earn 11.7% more than black women.


This probably has a lot to do with the increasing incarceration of black people and the horrible way tiny black children are treated in schools, resulting in the school-to-prison pipeline.

Bias Isn't Just A Police Problem, It's A Preschool Problem

While the teachers watched, eye-scan technology measured the trajectory of their gaze. Gilliam wanted to know: When teachers expected bad behavior, who did they watch? 
"What we found was exactly what we expected based on the rates at which children are expelled from preschool programs," Gilliam says. "Teachers looked more at the black children than the white children, and they looked specifically more at the African-American boy." 
Indeed, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, black children are 3.6 times more likely to be suspended from preschool than white children. Put another way, black children account for roughly 19 percent of all preschoolers, but nearly half of preschoolers who get suspended.

Welcome to post-racial America, where we stopped trying not to be racist and things are therefore getting worse for black people again.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gif of the Day

I will never get tired of this.

Flawless Feminist Victory


The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act unanimously passed the U.S. Senate, clearing the final hurdle to land on Obama's desk, who will of course be signing it, because he's not terrible.

If you weren't aware, this is the legislation made possible by Amanda Nguyen that dramatically expands the rights of rape victims to store, get access to, and prevent the destruction of their rape kits to make it not completely impossible to convict their rapists.

Nguyen has been agitating for the legislation ever since her own rape several years ago exposed her to a broken system. After submitting evidence to Massachusetts through a rape kit, Nguyen was told she had 15 years to decide whether to cooperate with criminal charges – but only six months before the state was allowed to destroy her kit. As a consequence, Nguyen spends several weeks each year scrambling to locate her rape kit so she can file an extension. 
Her ordeal – once, a police officer told her the kit was likely in police custody, only for a lab technician to confirm the kit was actually at a lab – caused her to wonder about the law in other states. Nguyen compiled a list of more than 20 rights that different states guarantee to someone who reports a sexual assault.

That's completely fucked up, and now it can be less fucked up!

There's still a lot more to do to create anything resembling justice in our so-called justice system in terms of rape victims, but this is a victory worth celebrating. Thank you, Amanda Nguyen!

Recommended Reading

If you haven't noticed, I've been rather terrified by the current rise in nationalist and white supremacy across the U.S., Canada, and dominantly white Western European nations. Both Trump and Brexit are the high profile symptoms of this surge. Both are fueled by white nationalist xenophobia and racist, rhetoric about "those immigrants" causing all of our problems, Islamophobia, and in the U.S., the terror sparked in my fellow white people at the sight of black Americans fighting back against police brutality/modern-day lynchings.

And this piece on Vox is doing an excellent job explaining all of this in a way that I have not yet been able to, because I can't get my brain to stop screaming every time I think about it, let alone settle down enough to do the appropriate research. Thankfully, liberal white dudes and their privilege are good for something.

White riot: How racism and immigration gave us Trump, Brexit, and a whole new kind of politics

Keep in mind that I haven't read the entire thing yet. There may well be problematic elements to it that I haven't gotten to. Upon scrolling, I did notice one ableist slur in a subheader, surprise surprise.

It's a long read, but I think it's also very important for my fellow white people to be seriously thinking about this problem. And being afraid. Racism and xenophobia are not things of the past. White supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK aren't even things of the past. These bigots resurface every time the world is going through a rough spot to prey on the fear and powerlessness of poor and middle class whites who feel as though their unearned privileges are being taken away by the demands of people of color who demand their basic human rights.

The funny thing is, of course, that the increase in immigration and refugees are all due to white interference, terrorism, and imperialism. The Central American immigrants are coming here because of the horrific gang warfare in those countries created as a direct result of our "War on Drugs." And of course, we know why there are Syrian refugees, right?

But that doesn't matter much to my fellow white people.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gif of the Day

Turtles eating is literally the best thing in the universe.

National Prison Strike Continues, Grows to Include Guards

Wow, this is mind-blowingly shocking and a thing I never though would happen in a billion years.

Guards Join Striking Prisoners In Alabama

Guards at the facility did not show up for their shifts at 6pm on Saturday, according to organizers of the national prison strike and audio and video accounts from a contraband cellphone inside the facility. 
“The warden is pushing the meal cart,” tweeted out the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, one of the organizations behind the strike, which began on September 9th.

I knew about the strike and I knew it was still going and I'd been meaning to blog about it more because of course the mainstream media isn't covering it at all, and then this happened. And I mean, I'd heard of guards definitely being unsatisfied with conditions in prisons because it affects them, too, but I never thought they'd join a strike by the prisoners. I hope it's not entirely a selfish effort. I hope they really feel like prisoners are human beings who deserve decent treatment and human rights.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gif of the Day

Of course.

This is Beautiful

Again, we need some positive shit today.

Transgender couple make history with birth of their first child

A transgender man has given birth after conceiving with his transgender wife. The couple have made history as the first transgender couple in South America to do so. 
Fernando Machado, who was assigned female at birth and his partner Diane Rodriguez, who was assigned male at birth, welcomed their first child. 
The couple who live in Ecuador have expressed their desire to have more children.


Look at this beautiful family:

Perfect. Congratulations, Diane and Fernando!

One Thing About Last Night's Debate

That is all.