Friday, July 29, 2016

Gif of the Day



This is like me trying to do yoga.

How I Feel About Hillary Clinton's Acceptance Speech




Honestly, I feel cheated. She didn't say anything I didn't expect her to say or leave out anything I didn't expect her to leave out. But I feel cheated. I should have felt elated, inspired, like I was witnessing a glorious moment in history (more like herstory amirite), an uplifting and empowering moment for women across the nation. It should have been wonderful.

But it wasn't. Because Hillary Clinton is an imperialist, an upholder of global white supremacy, a defender of the wealthy and a part of the military industrial complex. She is the epitome of white cishet feminism. So all I felt was disappointment at what could have been. The first female presidential candidate for a major party could have been someone great. At least an Elizabeth Warren. Maybe a woman of color! And if Bernie had won the nomination, perhaps if all of the primary votes for him had been counted instead of millions being left out, we could have had that incredible moment.

Instead...



Not to Make a Nazi Comparison But



What are you gonna do when the similarities are so striking?

A school district is forcing trans students to wear green wrist bands so that staff members and security guards can identify them on sight and make sure they're not doing something horrible like using the bathroom that doesn't make them feel unsafe and dysphoric.




When was another time that a marginalized population was made to wear identifying markers? OH YEAH.

Fuck all of that. Not only does that constantly out trans kids, it's basically like wearing a sign that says "stigmatize and harass me." All because of one trans boy who's just trying to survive high school.

How fucking bigoted and ridiculous and horrible and pathetic do you have to be to target a single kid for systematic harassment from the school staff just because he was labeled female at birth and disagrees. He's a kid who just wants to use the boy's bathroom and hang out with the other boys on school trips. And you make him wear an arm band?

This is unacceptable and needs to be stopped. The link leads to a petition to tell the school district to fucking stop. The kid is also suing the district for all the shit he's been put through, so good for him.

Hey Did You Hear About This

Lol probably not, and if so, only very recently. Because hahahahahaha

British Muslims Gave £100 Million To Charity During Ramadan

A spokesperson for MCF said: “This year, during the holy month of Ramadan, our members have raised around £45 million in donations that will go to providing essential humanitarian aid to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Across the whole sector we estimate that £100 million has been raised in total this year, representing incredible levels of giving of around £38 per second. 
“We at Muslim Charities Forum are incredibly proud of the British Muslims whose continuing generosity means that our members and the wider Muslim-charity sector will be able to go on providing the humanitarian assistance that those living under conflict, famine and other catastrophes desperately need.”

Literally all Muslims are supposed to do during Ramadan is good. They have an entire month dedicated to non-violence and charity, which is a month more than the Christian religion has. If you think that anybody who committed a terrorist attack or mass killing during this month is a real, devout Muslim, you don't know anything about Islam and should shut up.

Stop demonizing Muslims and Islam right now and forever.

The article has a long list of good works that Muslim charities have done. Please throw it in some faces if you get the chance.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gif of the Day



I love gifs like this.

Online Threats Must Be Taken Seriously By Authorities

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE THREATS AGAINST A CHILD]

Yesterday, Jessica Valenti was driven offline by a death and rape threat against her daughter, who is five. Five years old.

Two questions. How low can shit anti-feminist men sink? And how low can shit anti-feminist men sink before police fucking do something about it???

People (men) go on and on about online threats not being "credible" (until it's against them or someone they like) but at the point of threatening someone's child, no parent is going to give a shit where a threat came from. They're not going to take any risks. Which is exactly why this person threatened Valenti's daughter, because he knew it would work. Which is exactly why there needs to be swift and harsh consequences for threatening a person's child.

Valenti is not my favorite feminist for several reasons, but she's a columnist for the Guardian and makes a lot of her money by doing online work. Being driven offline means that income is cut off. It also means she's cut off from the vast majority of the world. She's silenced. I ask again where the supposed free speech advocates are. Oh yeah, they're out defending the rights of assholes to threaten and harass people online.

It's been several years now that women like Valenti have had to endure harassment and threats with zero recourse. The police don't care and the laws aren't adequate even if they did. Politicians and police need to get off their asses on this issue immediately. Because I will track down and murder anyone who threatens the well-being of my loved ones. Is that what you want?

Someone needs to do something. If they won't, I will.

Oh No I'm Talking About the Election Again

I was discussing the 2016 U.S. election with a friend yesterday (*finger guns*), and I expressed my internal conflict between my idealism and my pragmatism. I can still see the merits of both the people refusing to support Hillary Clinton and those saying we need to keep Trump out of the White House at all costs. I have friends on both sides, and honestly I'm scared for some of them.

I remain privileged in race and ability. I'm scared that some of my friends may find themselves without necessary medical care or the ability to afford the things they need to survive without the Affordable Care Act in place. I'm afraid for my LGBTQP+ friends and their emotional health under a Trump/Pence administration. I'm also scared of the long term effects of the person that would be installed as the fifth conservative Supreme Court Justice.

I also can't tell people to vote against their principles. I just can't. Especially when some of those people are black or perhaps Guatemalan and Hillary Clinton is partially or directly responsible for horrible violence that has plagued their entire lives.

I can, however, tell my fellow white cishet able-bodied people that this isn't about you. And men in that category, especially, this election is not about you. Because you won't be affected in the same way that others will. Your lives aren't on the line. Stop using people of color to defend your hatred of Hillary because Trump/Pence are just as bad, only for different reasons. And stop telling people of color about how much Trump/Pence hate people of color and are supported by the actual KKK because they already fucking know. They're not naive. They're not unaware. They probably know better than you how racist those two are.

My stance remains that privileged people need to keep quiet on subjects in which their privilege applies. For white people, in yet another very white election, it's a time for us to listen and learn and stand up to other white people who are being assholes to people of color and acting like they don't understand the stakes.

The problem in this election is not that some people on the left side of the aisle don't want to vote for Hillary Clinton even in the face of a Trump presidency. The problem is that our country is in a place where Trump could be nominated in the first place. Focus on fighting white supremacy rather than telling people of color to vote for Hillary. Focus on fighting for decent healthcare in this nation rather than telling chronically ill and disabled people that they're shills for voting for Hillary. I've always been an advocate for addressing the root of the problem. Nothing else solves problems.

Credit for this idea goes to Ijeoma Oluo.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gif of the Day



Why is this so funny. Why.

Conservatives Utterly Baffled By Concept of Bathroom

[TRIGGER WARNING: TRANSPHOBIA]

This may be the funniest thing that's happened during this entire eight-year election season.





The question here is whether Ms. Westwood is similarly confused by her bathroom at home, seeing as home bathrooms are typically all-gender bathrooms.

It just gets more ridiculous the further you get into the details. Westwood later said she was concerned because she wanted to pump breast milk. Apparently she was also baffled by the two lactation suites available in the convention center and by the concept of bathroom stalls. And by every other bathroom in the entire convention center that was traditionally gender segregated.

Maybe I can help conservatives and other transphobes figure this out. It's a bathroom. You go in. Use a urinal for pee if you have a penis and you want to use a urinal for pee. Use a stall in every other situation. Wash your hands. Then leave.

You're welcome.

Ableism is Real

Among the numerous other atrocities happening across the globe, you may have heard of a man murdering 19 people in Japan by stabbing them to death. Oh, and he did so in a hospital for disabled individuals, specifically targeting the disabled, because he wanted them to "disappear."

It was the nation's worst mass murder since WWII, and it was against the disabled. The murdered used to work at the care center, and told the police that he stabbed dozens of his former patients because "It is better that disabled people disappear."

It gets worse.

Authorities said Uematsu had been “involuntarily committed” to hospital on 19 February, after police in the town of Tsukui contacted him in response to a letter he had attempted to pass to the speaker of the lower house of Japan’s parliament. 
In the letter, Uematsu argued that the government should permit euthanasia for disabled people, said he would be willing to carry out such killings himself, and detailed how he would do it. 
“I envision a world where a person with multiple disabilities can be euthanised, with an agreement from the guardians, when it is difficult for the person to carry out household and social activities,” the letter said.

This says a lot about pervasive attitudes toward disabled persons and/or the conditions that they're subjected to in these care centers. And don't think this is just a Japan problem. Yes, Japan does have a cultural issue around one's ability to make money being directly tied to one's worth, but so does the U.S. and its Protestant work ethic background and the U.K. where they have been actively blaming disabled people for the nation's problems to the point that visibly disabled people have been attacked in the streets.

One of the first thing assholes attack when talking about The Dreaded SJWs (TM) is the concept of ableism, despite it being one of the most overt and obvious forms of oppression in our modern world if you pay attention for two seconds. Please fucking stop because you're getting people killed.



"What Rape Culture?"

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE THREAT, ASSAULT, MISOGYNISTIC SLUR]

You can pretend that sexism is over, but this is what happens when a girl steps outside of rigid and violently enforced gender roles.

This Teen Says She Experienced Rape Threats And Serious Injury While Playing Boys Hockey

On Nov. 1, Byers was playing against another team within the Edmonton Minor Hockey League. It started with the opposing players being particularly physical, but then one player started telling her “I want to fuck you.” Then it turned into “I’m going to fuck you.” 
Eventually, Byers said he pinned her to the ice and kept repeating “I will fuck you whether you like it or not.”
...
She immediately skated to the bench and told her coach what happened, who then went to the referee. But, Byers said, the referee said there was nothing he could do. Her coach actually ended up getting suspended for two games after getting upset with the referee.

In fact, the entire governing body of the hockey league said there was nothing they could do because it doesn't even have a sexual harassment policy. And they continued to do nothing when the harassment turned dangerously violent.

Then at one point Byers said a player on the other team cornered her, dug his stick into her ribs, and slammed her head into the ice. 
“As I went down he said, ‘That’s what you get bitch.’” 
As she was carried off the ice, chaos erupted around her. She could hear her dad pounding on the glass, the other coach laughing, and people shouting that she shouldn’t play boys’ hockey if couldn’t “take the pain.” 
By the time an ambulance arrived, her whole torso was spasming. She ended up in hospital with a concussion and cracked ribs.

Yes because boys have steel ribs and don't get concussions if their heads are slammed onto ice.

As it turns out, the league does have a sexual harassment policy, yet still no one has been suspended or fired for this horrific, targeted harassment campaign that could have killed this girl who just wanted to play some hockey.

This is also why rhetoric about boys and men needing their own spaces free of women and girls is dangerous. Men literally become violent to the point of causing life-threatening injury if women "invade" their spaces yet constantly whine about and mock women's need for safe spaces from men. Men hate women that much.

This whole thing sickens me. The coach laughing. Other adults saying she deserved it. This is why integration of gendered sports needs to happen. Girls' leagues are often underfunded and ignored or may not exist at all. This teen girl can fortunately join the women's league, but what if another girl wants to play on the boys' team because her friends or on it or just because? She should be able to do that without fearing rape threats and assault. She doesn't deserve a concussion for daring to step outside artificial gender lines.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Gif of the Day



Cats are going to take over the world. Thank god. We humans are really fucking it up.

Headline of the Month

[TRIGGER WARNING: ABLEIST SLUR]

The Republican National Convention has been... incredible. In the way that if I didn't know any better and you told me some of the things that had happened, I'd question your credibility. But I think this headline just about sums it all up:

Male escorts are making crazy money at the RNC

Male prostitutes contacted by The Post said business is booming and Republican National Convention attendees — most of them married — are clamoring for their services. 
“Business has been way better. I’ve seen 10 clients so far,” one male escort said. 
“Most of them were first-timers. You could tell they were nervous, but once they became more comfortable, they seemed to be having a good time.”


Activism Opportunities

A million things happened while I was on vacation, of course. A cop shot a black man laying on the ground with his hands up apparently because he meant to shoot a seated autistic kid and missed. They found out that the Democratic primaries totally were rigged. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. The Republican National Convention.

You've probably heard about all that. Instead of dwelling on how this country is circling the drain, I thought I'd share all the nice ways you can help out. Before it all goes down in flames.

Reparations

This is an amazing website made so that white people can directly help black people. Of course we can never really make up for what we did to them, unless we give up all our property and money to them, let them drag us to Africa, and enslave us for hundreds of years, and our white supremacist government will probably never even give black people any money, but this is something.

You can offer your talents and services! I plan to sign up today to offer help writing cover letters. There are many categories. Think about it, fellow whites.

Native American Language Program

This is a GoFundMe to raise money for a program to teach Native kids Indigenous languages that are in danger of disappearing. Language is incredibly important to culture. Happily, since I first saw this, the program has already passed its fundraising goal. But they can always use more! This is perfect for us whites with more money than time.

White Nonsense Roundup

This is another program by white people for telling white people to shut up. It was started by two white ladies in Washington state and consists of videos that explain what black people find themselves having to constantly explain to us whiteys and encourage us all to challenge our racist relatives and friends. They also offer their services to people of color who are having trouble with whites. They can simply tag WNR and they'll come in to deal with the white nonsense.

Let’s walk through an example: some dude decides to respond to your posts with #AllLivesMatter for the 900th time. On Facebook, tag the page “White Nonsense Roundup” and connect us to the chat where this is happening. We will share essays, graphics, research, news articles, and personal examples to take apart their arguments. We are also happy to give praise for those folks taking action and trying to do the right thing, so you’re not stuck handing out cookies. You can also find us on Twitter @nowhitenonsense, or email us at whitenonsenseroundup@gmail.com. We look forward to supporting you and helping dismantle systemic racism!

I checked out responses from people of color to this idea, and the overwhelming response is that this is how you ally! And they're looking for volunteers! As someone who has a problem with arguing with bigots on the Internet, I can't wait to feed my addiction for the greater good.

If we all work together, maybe some of us can survive the inevitable end! Whee!

Dragons Are Feminist Icons

So over the weekend, I suddenly started getting a ton of traffic from Facebook to one of my Dragons Are Feminist Icons posts, I think the first one. Then I started getting snotty comments.

A quick search for the title of the blog post on Facebook led me to a gross Facebook page all about mocking the dreaded "SJWs" and Tumblr posts. Somehow they'd found my two-year-old post and in short order I had a brigade of losers on my blog who all thought they were very clever but were actually using quips and arguments I'd already heard many, many times before and had ready counters for. Classic anti-social justice buffoonery.

So I spent a couple hours yesterday having fun getting them all riled up and generally messing with them. I eventually got bored and closed the comments section but feel free to check it out if you want some amusement.

The best part is that any feminist or social justice activist would likely get in three seconds that I only created the original post to make people like that all mad and once again demonstrate how they're the ones who are overly sensitive. Worked like a charm. They didn't even get it after I kept responding to their comments telling them how jealous they are that dragons are for feminists only now.

Good times.

Anyway, to reiterate, dragons are feminist icons forever.




Check this out, there's an entire blog called Feminist Dragons. The word is spreading!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gif of the Day



That's pretty close but humans don't tend to use quite that much toilet paper.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gif of the Day



I can't remember if I already used this one, but apparently there's a TV show where people have to bite things that may or may not be made of chocolate. They have to guess and just go for it. Japan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gif of the Day


Reaction gif gold.

Morning Announcements

I'm taking an official week off of all work, because I need it! There will be gifs but other than that, I'll be back next Monday. Have fun playing Pokemon GO.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Gif of the Day



Short people problems.

I'm actually average for a cis woman but I imagine this could be what it's like.

The Basic Functions of the World Depend on Women

Another great find on Tumblr. Apparently women in Iceland refused to lift a finger for a day and men could not handle it.

working as in cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, doing chores and so on, not only “not showing up to your workplace”. women did nothing that day, except showing up in reykjavik and protesting for gender equality, equal pay and equal representation in parliament, you know, cool stuff.  
you know what happened? havoc. men were left with food to cook and children they never took care of to pick up from kindergarden and entertain for the day. they went en masse to the food shops buying sausages because they could cook nothing else, they had to bond with children they never spent more than a couple hours a day with. they struggled combining their work day and the domestic tasks they had to sort out. and this just for one day. 
iceland in 1975 stopped working and things indeed got ugly.
so ugly that women in the following decades became woke AF and soon it happened that women became president, took half of the seats in parliament and achieved one of the best living environments in the world.

This incredible information comes from Tumblr user tabathagfitzgerald, who was explaining to some loser why the world would, indeed, completely shut down if women stopped doing all the unpaid labor than men are totally ungrateful about.

You're welcome for this improvement to your day.

Donate to Victim of Bizarre MRA Obsessiveness

If you're a feminist at all, or an ally, or have come up against MRA ridiculousness, you may have heard of Chanty Binx, commonly referred to by MRAs as "red" or "Big Red." They've been obsessed with this woman for years because they accosted her on the street while she was with a feminist group protesting a gathering of MRA shitbags in Canada. The MRAs recorded her without her permission, spouted some standard MRA bullshit, and then wouldn't shut up for two seconds so that she could respond. She became angry, because who wouldn't, and dared to raise her voice to be heard.

For this crime, and I guess for having her hair dyed red, she's been systematically harassed by MRAs for years in a kind of obsessive behavior typically reserved for TV villains on the creepy serial killer shows that are so popular these days. This of course comes with thousands of rape and deaths threats, doxxing, and zero help from the police.

Most recently, an MRA who is also a neo-nazi posted a screenshot of her from a security camera in a convenience store that he works in. This is creepy beyond all reason and he should definitely be fired for this, but I would literally be afraid for her life if he was.

Why he did this after so many years is baffling, at least to average people, but the thing about stalker/murdered type obsessions is that they tend to never end. All she did there was buy a bottle of wine and leave.

Because the police are completely unhelpful when it comes to online threats (unless they're against police), she's hiring a lawyer and needs legal funds. I plan to donate when my next check comes, and if you have any spare cash and love giving the finger to MRAs, this is a great way to do it!

Here's a link to her GoFundMe page. Go get em, lady!

Oh the Man Tears, the Man Tears!

This is great. A county in the UK made catcalling a hate crime. Men are soooo maaaaaaaaaad lmao.

The UK County Nottinghamshire Just Made Cat-Calling a Hate Crime


Is Nottingham ruled by a man-hating lesbian dictator? Because if so, how can I move there immediately?










Awwwwww poor men, aren't allowed to dehumanize, intimidate and exert their artificial sense of power over women by screaming out their car windows about their tits. So oppressed :( :(

For serious, though, why aren't any crimes against women considered hate crimes? I understand that catcalling isn't an overt and obvious expression of hatred, but it's definitely hateful, and there's hate underneath the surface. But the main point is that it makes women fear for their safety. We routinely schedule our lives and plan trips in an attempt to avoid it. It creates substantial amounts of stress for us. Until men learn to fucking stop, I'm 100% in favor of it being a hate crime everywhere.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gif of the Day



I've wanted to roll out of a few vehicles in my time.

Hey News Media, Can We Talk?

[TRIGGER WARNING: HARASSMENT, VOYERISM, TRANSMISOGYNY, POLICE BRUTALITY, RACIAL SLUR, HATE CRIME, GUN VIOLENCE]

As a somewhat journalist myself, by which I mean being employed by a petition website that requires some of what people call "journalistic integrity," I have some insight into how news media should frame their articles and, perhaps more importantly, their headlines, in order to refrain from skewing their audiences into a particularly biased impression of an event.

People sometimes complain about the used of language like "allegedly." I've come to learn that this is simply a legal term that journalists are often required to use whenever a specific criminal act has not yet been definitively found by a court of law to have taken place. News outlets will say that police brutality was "alleged" because a court hasn't yet found that officer guilty. And probably never will, but that's another thing.

This isn't to say that journalists are required by law to use terms like "alleged" in these circumstances. It's more about ensuring that audiences aren't misled and maintaining credibility for the news company. That's why I don't tend to bother with that crap. But I do understand why large companies trying to appear unbiased do it. However, they're doing it badly.

This is something I saw on Facebook yesterday:


Um. 10News. Where is your "allegedly"?

The problem with this headline is that A) It makes the reader automatically assume that the individual is an actual trans woman, which is currently up for debate, and it leads the reader to believe that this person is guilty without any kind of trial.

And it's not just this ABC affiliate.


This is at least better than the first because it uses "Police Say," a more specific alternative to "allegedly." But they put it all the way at the end and still declares the person to be trans despite the fact that there are allegations that it's a cis man pulling the "pretending to be a trans woman to get into a women's dressing room" thing, which probably wouldn't have happened if shit-bigot transphobe alarmists hadn't put that idea into everyone's fucking heads. Anyway.

This is my favorite:


This is, of course, Fox News. So eager to push the cis dude going into women's spaces fearmongering that they put a glaring typo in their shit headline. The comparison also shows the lack of journalistic integrity on someone's part. One headline says "photos," another says "video." This one not only fails to say that the accusation of voyerism is alleged, it declares this person to be a man, which is even worse. Because if this is a trans woman, then they're misgendering a trans woman, which is violence.

Now, this kind of thing might not bother me so much if it wasn't for the comparison to other headlines on different subjects. It's interesting that the mainstream news media will drop its efforts for integrity in cases like this, but what about when police and privileged people target the oppressed?


Oh, interesting. This man "claims" cops put him in the hospital, but the woman accusing a possible trans woman of voyerism isn't claiming? She's definitely right? It's definitely true? But we can't trust the person accusing police of brutality? Is that how it is?

Then there's this:


I have no problem with US Uncut's headline. But look at the headline from FOX 2. Possible hate crime? This guy pulled a gun and screamed "I hate gay n*****s," and it's a POSSIBLE hate crime??

I've seen weasel words used on a lot of news stories about clear hate crimes, but this one takes the cake. The guy literally used the word "hate" about a marginalized community while committing a crime. Like.

Pay attention to how news outlets use this kind of language. Think about how it frames your first impression of an incident. Soon you'll be as pissed off as I am.

Police Finally Arrest People Who Threaten Others Online

Oh wait lol they're only arresting people saying shit about police.


Click to Enlarge

*sad trumpet noise*

*sound of me flipping over 10,000 tables*

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Gif of the Day



*honk honk* Yes this is dog.

Where Are the Good Cops?

I hear all kinds of things about supposed good cops, cops that aren't racist, cops that don't support unnecessary violence, cops that would never commit brutality. Where are they? I haven't heard shit from them, aside from one very angry black woman cop who I sincerely hope isn't fired or demoted or otherwise punished for yelling at racist cops in her video.

If most cops are good, then why am I hearing about them walking out on sporting events where black athletes dare to honor black lives and say that they matter? To me, that walking out says that those cops don't care about black lives. That they support murderous cops.

How come I see pundit after pundit demanding that Muslims step up and issue condemnations of terrorism every time a terrorist attack that might be related to an Islam extremist group happens, but not any time that a cop clearly kills a black person for no reason? How come Muslims don't get to use the self defense argument when the U.S. is bombing the fuck out of the Middle East constantly for decades?

How come I don't see cops coming out in droves to condemn police brutality? Where are they? Why aren't they on social media to declare that black lives matter, that unjust killing is wrong and against their moral code? How come I never see groups of cops raising money for victims the way Muslim communities do after shit like Orlando, even though that appeared to have no actual connection to anything Muslim?

It's almost like cops want to maintain the power structure that allows them to do whatever the fuck they want without fear of punishment.



Recommended Reading

I think a lot about my motivations for going to Black Lives Matter protests. I think about what I should do during to best use my privilege for good and protect black people while still keeping myself out of the spotlight and making sure it's about black people. I hear different things about what I should do as a white person. Should I be in the middle of the crowd during a march to avoid the cameras, or should I be on the outside to keep myself between black people and the police? Which chants are appropriate for me to participate in? Is it better to keep silent during certain chants or change key words to acknowledge my white privilege?

Should I even write about my experiences at these protests? Should I be taking photos and videos to post? Writing is my best skill and I want to use it to uplift the oppressed. But is that why I write about these protests? Or is it just to get myself and my little blog more attention and praise? Am I doing this to appear as and feel like a good person?

These questions came into my mind again upon reading this piece by Ashleigh Shackelford:

For White People Who Want to Attend #BlackLivesMatter Protests

To many Black folks at these rallies though, we are openly and publicly grieving. Our protests and rebellions are out of channeling our trauma into action that is a form of healing, strategy and moving through pain. We are marching, yelling, singing, physically and mentally exhausted because WHITE PEOPLE ARE KILLING US. So when I see white people show up to rally excited and smiling, ready to march like it’s a hobby — I’m disgusted and absolutely fucking livid. When I witness white people taking up space, pushing myths of whiteness as political truth or using white saviorism to reframe their power and privilege, I’m ready to fight.

This might be the first article that made me question whether I should be there at all. The hard truth is that more bodies at a protest means more attention from the media. The harder truth is that more white bodies likely gives a protest more legitimacy to the racist media. And by that I mean all mainstream media. Is racist.

But Shackelford makes a great point. These marches are like a funeral procession for black people. They need to be treated with the proper respect. They are somber and serious events. We white people need to stay quiet unless instructed otherwise. To stay in the back unless it's to stand before lines of police.

But I should also think about other ways to help that are truly out of the spotlight. Volunteering for the black community and the movement in ways that minimize my visibility. I want to help in ways that avoid triggering black individuals as much as is possible. It may be impossible to avoid that entirely. Joining the white organizations focused on promoting black liberation is a good start, I think.

These things I just rambled about are probably the things that my fellow white people should all be thinking about, no matter how they're trying to help. I believe it's impossible to entirely avoid selfish motivations, so confront that in yourself. Think about your real motivations for what you do. Think about how black people might feel about anything you do. Think about how to best minimize your savior complex and maximize the help to the black community. Minimize the harm you do.

It all starts with self-reflection. That is the best think you can do. For yourself and for anyone.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gif of the Day



I like how the guy in the background only seems mildly perturbed. Like "I'm outta here."

Four Latinxs Killed By Police Last Week

Around the same time that Anton Sterling and Philandro Castile were killed by police and Black Lives Matter protests raged across the nation, four Latinx people were also murdered by cops. They are Melissa Ventura, Anthony Nuñez, Pedro Villanueva, and Raul Saavedra-Vargas.

Media Silent As Police Kill Four Latinos This Week

Two of them, Ventura and Nuñez, were mentally ill, with the later being actively suicidal at the time the police were called to help him. But once again, instead of just talking him down, they murdered him. They opened fire the moment he moved his gun away from his own head. Why bother even trying to talk to him if you're going to kill him anyway?

Villanueva and Saavedra-Vargas were killed while running from police (though Villanueva probably didn't know it was police chasing him because they were in an unmarked car with no fucking siren). But can you blame any person of color for running from police at this point? You probably have a better chance of coming out alive if you run.

Even though these four deaths didn't get noticed, don't blame the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember that racism is us white people's problem. It's our job to keep track of these killings and report on them, no matter if they're black, Latinx, Indigenous, etc.

Recommended Reading

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, RACISM]

This piece by a former cop and current black man should be read by everyone, especially the rapid cop-defenders out there.

I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

Thank you, Redditt Hudson, for writing this. It's valuable to be able to read about police corruption from someone who's been there. Some of his stories are appalling and sickening in their brutality. The rest of the piece destroys the idea that there are only a few bad cops and only a little tweak to hiring practices would fix the problem because most cops are honest and good.

Nevertheless, many Americans believe that police officers are generally good, noble heroes. A Gallup poll from 2014 asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in various fields: police officers ranked in the top five, just above members of the clergy. The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system. It makes it look like all we need to do is hire good people, rather than fix the entire system. Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.

He goes on to say that about 15% of cops are bad, corrupt, violent people, and 70% are neutral people who are easily corrupted by the bad cops. 15% is already a huge number of cops, but if one bad apple really can corrupt the neutral apples, that's 85% racist, brutalizing, dehumanizing, don't give a fuck about the people they murder cops.

Clearly, we need a complete overhaul.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gif of the Day



Mama crow feeding unsure babies.

Racism is a White People Problem

One of the most profound things I heard during last Thursday's BLM rally in Seattle was just that. Spoken by one of the black female speakers: "Racism is a White People Problem."

It's our problem. All of this going on is our mess. This violence against citizens and cops alike is our's to fix. We victimized black people and all other people of color in the world. Why should it be on the victims to find a solution? Why do we act as they need to clean up the mess that we made?

I've said plenty of times that privileged people need to work to end systems of injustice that privilege them. But I also want to stress that we white people aren't doing people of color some kind of favor for fighting white supremacy. We're not doing anything worth commending. We shouldn't be doing this to feel good about ourselves. This is your basic "you spilled it, you clean it up" kind of thing. We made the problem, we fix it. That's how life works.

Here's a collection of resources on how you can begin doing that:

Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston

There are a lot of great things to read up on here as well as organizations for white people to work with fellow white people to clear up our mess. I've already joined the mailing lists for the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). I'm going to try and attend meetings as they come up.

If any fellow white people in the Seatlle area want to attend with me, perhaps because they also have some social anxiety, feel free to contact me.

We can do this.



Cops Created the "War on Cops"

In the past couple days, assholes like conservative pundits, possible Trump campaign staff members, and police union heads have been spreading violent rhetoric about some "war on cops." It's completely typical that as soon as a violently oppressive force experiences any kind of violent backlash, it's called a "war." There's no war on black and Latinx people committed by the cops no matter how many they kill, but a couple cops get shot and there's a war on cops. Ha.

Nevermind the fact that a person's race can't be changed while cops sign up to be cops, fully aware that danger is part of the job.

Cops are the ones committing the violence. Cops are the ones protecting their fellow cops when they murder and commit other atrocities. Cops are the ones fucking over the few good cops who blow the whistle on corruption and killer cops. Cops are the ones who fought for and molded a system that makes it nearly impossible to convict or even indict killer cops. Cops are the ones failing to keep bullies, assholes, predators, and racists out of their forces.

Cops are the ones pushing the "war on cops" narrative that will only increase violence against people of color, particularly black men, and therefore increase resentment against them. Cops are the ones who created a mass feeling of distrust and resentment against cops in the first place. Cops are the ones supporting all of this. Cops are the ones refusing to stand up against police brutality. Cops are the ones wearing riot gear to peaceful protests. Cops are the ones who escalate at protests.

Cops have been waging a war on U.S. citizens, especially marginalized ones, for decades. They started the violence. Fighting back in self defense is not starting a war.

If cops don't want violence, they should stop participating in the violent system that cops created.

Cops Keep Arresting People Who Post Videos of Brutality

Seriously, pretty much every time a civilian films an incident of deadly police brutality resulting in some poor person of color becoming a hashtag, the filmer eventually ends up being arrested on some bogus charges. Some end up convicted and are now facing years of prison time.

The latest is the man who filmed the two white officers responsible for the brutal murder of Alton Sterling.

Police Arrest Man Who Posted Video of Alton Sterling’s Death

This is such a clear case of retaliation, it's ridiculous.

The very next day, while trying to get through a security checkpoint to go to his job as an aerospace ground equipment technician at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, LeDay was surrounded and detained by ten military police officers, some of whom carried M-16 rifles. 
The military officers allegedly told him that he was wanted for assault and battery before hauling him to a back room where he was handcuffed and leg-shackled. He was then taken to Dekalb County Jail by local Dunwoody police. 
When he arrived, the warrant for his arrest mentioned nothing about an assault and battery charge. “It was just over some traffic tickets from a couple of years ago,” LeDay said. “They said my license was suspended.” 
LeDay wound up being forced to spend 26 hours in a jail cell, only being released after paying $1,231 in traffic fines. He admitted to not paying the tickets and allowing his license to be suspended, because he did not have the money at the time and no longer drives.

The fact that he was released makes this a much happier story than the others. Still, it's completely disgusting that this happened and that they lied about the assault and battery charges. Apparently, charges like that could have gotten him fired from his job immediately, but LeDay's boss found out it was about unpaid traffic tickets. For which they brought 10 military cops and assault rifles.

On top of this, the man who filmed the murder of Eric Garner could be heading to prison for four years as he recently decided to take a plea deal on yet another criminal charge he's been brought up on since the incident. This was the same guy who said he found rat poison in the food given to him at Rikers. He might not survive this time.

If you want more, just Google something like "man who filmed police brutality arrested." You'll see many more examples.

This is the world we live in. This is a thing that happens all the time. The police get away with this because the system is made so that police can get away with anything. They can do anything they want to us and there's very little chance that they'll face consequences, especially if the person they fucked over or raped or murdered is a person of color or mentally ill or disabled or autistic or otherwise marginalized.

This is one of the things we need to be fighting at all costs, but the news barely reports on it.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Gif of the Day


Black Lives Matter

So yesterday.

I went to the Seattle vigil/protest yesterday for Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile. I saw some beautiful things and some ugly things. I saw Alton's cousin get up on the stage in Westlake Park to speak and having significant difficulty because he was so emotional. A black woman cried as she spoke, expressing gratitude for seeing so many of us there to support black lives. I saw young black girls on stage, holding candles and wearing shirts saying "Justice for Alton Sterling." I don't know if they're related to him, but that broke my heart.

I saw a news reporter, full sized camera and everything, get violently shoved backward by a Seattle police officer. I saw a flash bang grenade explode not five feet from me because we wanted to get onto the freeway to demand real attention to the plight of black people across the nation. God forbid some people be delayed at 9 pm because black people are being murdered in the streets and getting no justice.

The thing that really stuck with me, though, was when the overwhelmingly male organizers and speakers at the initial vigil refused to give a black woman space to speak to the crowd when she started shouting her dissent to calls for peace in the streets and working within the system. It was disheartening to see the main speaker shout over her, tell her that she was being disrespectful, and even saying that he did let her speak when he'd refused to hand over the megaphone so people could hear her and continued his speech over her voice.

It was, however, wonderful to see a black man in the crowd with a particularly loud voice start shouting at the main speaker, demanding that he give the woman the megaphone and saying that real unity means allowing everyone to have a voice, even if they disagree with you on some things.

The main speaker still refused, and eventually a large group split off from the crowd so that actual space could be given for black women to speak, doing so in the intersection next to the park. I took a moment to think about who to follow, but I will always follow black women first. When the main speakers brought a white guy onto the stage to speak, that sealed it, and I moved off to listen to the black women speak about how there is no working within a system that was designed to oppress them.

I also wanted to be there to use my white body to shield them from the police, who arrived in a couple short minutes after they started blocking traffic. There were a lot of them, and they had batons and tear gas launchers and pepper spray, but they did not attack as long as white bodies stood in a chain in front of their line.

I'm glad to see fellow white Seattleites in these protests starting to catch on. The best thing we can do is follow the direction of the black leaders and stand in front of police officers who are so much less likely to harm us.

I felt honored to hear so many incredible black women speak. I felt afraid when I saw cops motioning to each other, identifying a black man in a handkerchief mask as a leader. He didn't have it on the entire time. I hope he's okay.

Near the end of the night, we went to the King County Jail right in downtown Seattle. Looking up, you could see the silhouettes of prisoners in the small windows, waving vigorously as we chanted "you are not alone" and "we will fight for you."

I'm ashamed to admit that I had no idea these strange white buildings, many stories high with their many small, opaque windows, was a county jail. I've been by those buildings so many times having no idea that they were filled with mostly people of color in a predominantly white county and city. People imprisoned by a system designed to fail them. Those windows with the waving and flailing silhouettes led to jail cells stuffed with at least four people each, based on the typical number of silhouettes. Their enthusiasm both warmed and broke my heart.

I left after that, worn and but with somewhat uplifted spirits, yet knowing that neither the vigil nor the march would, on its own, change anything. Remember marching through the same streets two or three years ago. Was it first for Trayvon? There have been so many. It feels like nothing has changed.

Yesterday, another man was shot and killed by police, this time in LA, this time because he had a knife and "aggressed" at the police officers, whatever the fuck that means. The victim has yet to be identified.

The only thing that's different is not for the better. On the way home, looking at Facebook on my phone, I learned of the shooting in Dallas, this time actually against police. I immediately knew that this would be used against the Black Lives Matter movement despite the fact that both BLM leaders and city officials have said that the snipers are not affiliated with them or any part of yesterday's Dallas rally. And this morning, there's news all over of conservative politicians and pundits doing just that.

I'm tired, I'm sore, and I woke up with a migraine this morning because I was a dork and didn't drink enough water yesterday. I feel helpless, and I know all of this is only a fraction of the pain and fear that black people are feeling. So I'm going to use that privilege to keep fighting, as should the rest of my fellow white people. If nothing is getting better, fight harder. Fight harder for those whose oppression we've unfairly benefited from all our lives.

You can find some photos from last night's Seattle protest on the Facebook event page. If you're in the area, look up Initiative 873 for the state of Washington, which that would end the "malice" language in our police brutality laws that makes it more difficult to prosecute killer cops here than in any other state in the nation. Find a way to add your signature or volunteer to collect signatures yourself.

Also look up Seattle Black Book Club. This instruction was given to us by the incredible black women leading yesterday's march. They're working to block a proposal to spend $160 million of city money to build a ridiculous bomb-proof bunker for police in North Seattle despite a homelessness crisis, affordable housing crisis, and heroin addiction crisis. We need police to be less insulated from the community and less afraid of average citizens. We need a community that can trust its police, not one pissed off to see a military-like fortress built in the middle of it.

I'm going to take some time to rest today, but as always I'll be back at it again next week. Keep fighting.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Gif of the Day



After today, please be sure to hug a friend if you need to.

This is Reverse Racism

This is relevant today.

Behold, the only actual possible example of reverse racism/racism against white people in the confines of space-time.







If you're hearing impaired, here's a gif set with full captions.

Another

Delrawn Small. Murdered by an off-duty police officer during a road rage fight.

Mourners call for justice for Delrawn Small, man killed by off-duty police officer: ‘When is it going to stop?’

I don't care if Small started throwing punches during the fight. White people get into fist fights all the time. The officer was off duty. Small had no way of knowing that he was a cop. And even if he did, why doesn't being a cop get you a 24/7 licence to kill for any reason you want? He could have driven away. But our culture lets cops get away with literal murder and cops know it, they know that they can commit literal murder in broad daylight whether they're in uniform or not and nothing will happen to them.

Small was unarmed. But if he had been the one with the gun and had shot this officer in his street clothes three times, killing him, he'd be going to prison for life if not getting the death penalty. If he'd killed anyone in a fight, he never would have been able to claim he was standing his ground or defending himself. He'd be in prison.

Things are not getting better. They're getting worse every year, and people fret over what will happen to these poor police officers but nothing happens to them. They don't even feel threatened by the body cams that they turn off or throw away, they're not scared of the increased public scrutiny. If they were, then things would be getting better, but they're getting worse.


Make. It. Stop.

Make It Stop

Police. Stop killing black men. Stop killing black men. STOP KILLING BLACK MEN.

Stop killing black women and black girls and black boys. Stop stop stop stop stop stop stop.

What will it take for things to change in this country? How many innocent black people need to be blatantly murdered and executed in the streets?

We have to utterly change our police system. We have to demand it. Abolish the system that makes it almost impossible to indict, let alone convict a police officer of wrongdoing. Abolish the system that encourages racist white men craving power and the ability to do harm with impunity to apply. Make it so racists and bullies and murderers can't pass the psych exam. Make sure every murderer cop is put away for life.

How do we make that happen? Demand it.



Fellow white people, this is what we need to do. Stop letting blood harden on your hands because it's easier than doing something.

I'm going to look into creating some kind of local organization in my city. It has to start at a local level. It has to be about this. People are dying now.

For Alton Sterling. For Philando Castile. Make it stop.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Gif of the Day


Ohhhhh myyyyyy goddddddd.

Amazing Women of Color

Not to promote the military industrial complex or anything, but this is totally badass.

Meet Japan's first female warship captain.

Commander Otani, 45, made Japanese maritime history earlier this year when she was promoted to the senior-ranking position of captain of the Yamagiri destroyer, overseeing a crew of 220, only ten of whom are women.
The Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) appointment marked a major step forward for Japanese women in the armed forces, long renowned as a male dominated world mirroring the nation’s sharp gender imbalance across the professional spectrum.

The Commander, predictably, has faced significant gender discrimination barriers along her path to command. From the almost complete lack of female peers to her family to the complete lack of female senior politicians to her colleagues asking her when she was going to leave her job after she got married, it's been a gauntlet of male bullshit. But she's overcome it all and is now speaking out to try and make things easier for women who want to be badass battleship commanders.

CREDIT: ANDRONIKI CHRISTODOULOU

Look how badass!

The ten female crew members who work on board the Yamagiri most likely count themselves as particularly lucky to be working for the nation’s first female captain – with Commander Otani even hosting regular “joshikai” (female gatherings). 
Among them was Mayu Kanzaki, 28, Japan’s first female gunnery officer, who spoke with warm appreciation of her captain: “She is very friendly and very fair.  She takes care of the officers and their families. She thinks it’s important for us to have a private life and feels responsible for everyone on board.”

I'd work for her, damn. And I'm anti-military.

Reminder That Donald Trump is a Rapist

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD RAPE, MINOR DESCRIPTION OF RAPE]

No, this isn't about how his wife said that he raped her in an overtly violent manner. This is about how he and his friend tied a 13-year-old girl to a bed and raped her repeatedly, then threatened to hurt her family if she reported it.

Why The New Child Rape Case Filed Against Donald Trump Should Not Be Ignored

Jane Doe says that Mr. Trump “initiated sexual contact” with her on four occasions in 1994. Since she was thirteen at the time, consent is not an issue. If Mr. Trump had any type sexual contact with her in 1994, it was a crime.  
On the fourth incident, she says Mr. Trump tied her to a bed and forcibly raped her, in a “savage sexual attack,” while she pleaded with him to stop. She says Mr. Trump violently struck her in the face. She says that afterward, if she ever revealed what he had done, Mr. Trump threatened that she and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.” She says she has been in fear of him ever since.

There's also a statement from another anonymous woman saying that it was her job to get attractive adolescent girls to attend Trump's and Jeffrey Epstein's parties. Jeffrey Epstein is a convicted sex offender who assaulted an underage girl and is registered as "a threat to public safety" - the most severe level of sex offender. He's also Trump's buddy.

If anybody doubts that this fucking sociopath and his child rapist friend raped this girl, that's some pretty clear rape culture at work.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Gif of the Day


That is one contented ham.

So Many Great Things Are Happening for Trans People!

Gonna leave you with a positive for the weekend. It's just been win after win for trans rights lately, which is the opposite of what it usually is!

First, NYC is being actively cool about bathrooms, using a trans woman of color for their ad campaign:

These New NYC Subway Ads Will Promote Transgender People’s Right To Use Restrooms

A trans-positive bathroom bill passed in the Massachusetts House that the Republican governor says he'll sign.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Says He Would Sign Transgender-friendly Bathroom Bill

Conservative rabbis have officially affirmed that trans people are to be included in the Jewish community.

A Group of Conservative Rabbis Just Passed a Resolution Backing Transgender Rights

And finally, two trans women have won their primaries in major U.S. elections. The women, oddly both named Misty, are running for federal congressional seats - Misty K. Snow for the Senate and Misty Plowright for the House of Representatives.

For the First Time in American Political History, Two Transgender Women Win Major-Party Primaries

More! More! More trans women in congress! More pro-trans bathroom bills! More religious support of trans people! I demand more!

Consider Not Lighting Off Fireworks

[WARNING: FLASHING GIF]

This is your yearly reminder that combat veterans and other people with PTSD exist and live in the world, including on the 4th of July. I know we U.S. Americans love exploding things and bright lights, but consider that the air pollution, litter, fire hazards, and triggering of people traumatized by our military industrial complex may not be worth it.

And if you can't manage to garner up some sympathy for mentally ill human beings, dogs are scared by the loud noises, too.

If you have to do something, sparklers and throwing pop-its at your friends are the best parts, anyway. Or you could just get really, really drunk!

But seriously, it's messed up that yet again our so-called "American values" once again fuck over veterans. The people that we're supposed to be so grateful to because probably they thought they were protecting the country by invading other countries. We can't take care of them emotionally or financially and we celebrate our Independence Day by giving them flashbacks of when they were pretty sure they were gonna die.

You could at least just go and watch one of those city-sponsored fireworks shows that veterans can avoid. There are plenty of options for not triggering veterans. Consider celebrating the 4th that way. Thanks.



Awkward

As it turns out, Jack Daniels, the official whiskey for white assholes, was basically created by a slave. Apparently the minister that Jack Daniel learned his distilling techniques from learned all those distilling techniques from his slave, Dearis Green.

Green’s crucial role in the Jack Daniel’s whiskey-making process was referenced in the 1967 biography, “Jack Daniel’s Legacy,” by Ben A. Green. In the book, Call reportedly tells his slave (Green) to teach Daniel everything he knows. 
“Uncle Nearest is the best whiskey maker that I know of,” the book quotes Call saying. 
The art of whiskey making has long been deemed a “lily-white affair,” but the South’s dark history of slavery and whiskey are totally intertwined. Enslaved men made up the bulk of the distilling work force and often had crucial skilled roles in the whiskey-making process, The New York Times reports.

White people have for the most part taken credit for this and all other whiskey and pretty much everything else for 150 years. Because that's what we white people do.

Furthering the awkwardness is the fact that Jack Daniels is still made in a town that's still called Lynchburg.

But after 150 years of mediocre whiskey making, they finally want to "set the record straight" in the fucking year 2016.

A year after slavery ended with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, Daniel opened his own distillery and employed two of Green’s sons, The New York Times reports. However, as corporate history-keeping was an uncommon practice at the time, the crucial roles and contributions of Green and his sons eventually slipped into the background. 
“I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision” to leave the Greens out of the company’s story, said Phil Epps, the global brand director for Jack Daniel’s at Brown-Forman.

Yeah, sure, not a conscious decision. We white people don't even need to think about it before we take credit for black people's ideas, knowledge, skills, trends, and culture.

Jack Daniel’s is taking things slow for now, remaining aware that the story of an enslaved American making whiskey might not be a huge selling point for its customers.