About “Save the Pearls”

So… I’ve had some time to ruminate on this ‘book‘… “Save the Pearls”. I put book in air quotes because this doesn’t deserve to be called a book. It’s a self serving, poor me, white people are OMG oppressed in this far flung, post apocalyptic, fictitious world so this is totally ok, AMIRITE?! oppression fantasy brought to you.

Here’s the “About” blurb. I apologize in advance for any rage you may experience, but I didn’t write this. Bold commentary mine.

Would you betray your loved ones—and maybe your entire race—to avoid a horrible death?

In a post-apocalyptic world where resistance to an overheated environment defines class and beauty, Eden Newman’s white skin brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. The clock is ticking: if Eden doesn’t mate before her eighteenth birthday, she’ll be left outside to die. (Humanity is fucked then if people who don’t mate by 18 are left to die, shortest dystopian epic ever)

If only a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class would pick up her mate option, she’d be safe. But no matter how much Eden darkens her skin and hair, she’s still a Pearl, still ugly-cursed with a tragically low mate-rate of 15%.

Just maybe one Coal sees the real Eden and will save her-she has begun secretly dating her handsome co-worker Jamal. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father’s secret biological experiment, she is thrown into the eye of a storm-and the remaining patch of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land.

Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity’s last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction to him. To survive, Eden must change-but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty-and of true love.

Acclaimed writer VICTORIA FOYT <—- acclaimed by WHO? blends equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this captivating dystopian novel set in a terrifying future, which is all too easy to imagine. <—- only if you are a white person who is terrified of becoming a minority and what it could mean if *gasp* there are more of them than us.

The first installment in the Save the Pearls series of fantasy romance novels, Revealing Eden recently won the 2012 Eric Hoffer Award in the Young Adult Category, the Best YA Fantasy Award from Books & Authors, and was runner up in the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival!

NO, JUST FUCKING NO. Save yourself the trouble and embarrassment of attempting to make a “statement” when all you’ve done is show how very, very little you know of how the world works. This attempt at showing some alternate reality, where white people are oppressed, devalued and dying out because they have a low mate rate because they can’t survive a super heated environment due to their lack of melatonin is perverse.

It’s a sad attempt at showcasing their own little world view (emphasis on little, since their writing and attempts and stemming the tide of their own fail on FB shows how narrow minded the author is) and trying to make some kind of … argument for something…

The author has posted a response on the Facebook page, here and many people have responded. It looks like the author is deleting comments that disagree with her post, her book and this whole concept. Here’s what I had to say:

Intent means nothing. Look at the vocabulary used in the book. Coals for dark skinned people, supposedly those that are “Coals”a re more worthy and valuable. Do you understand that coal does not have value except as fuel, something to be used and tossed away? Yet the poor, oppressed white people in this book are still called “Pearls”. Pearls, a semi-precious item in today’s world, something of intrinsic value, that is coveted, and treasured by others. 

The snippets I’ve seen are poorly written, the cover is offensive and you jumping up and down saying I’m not a racist is full of fail. Try harder, do some research into what words mean as well as caste systems, and try again once you have some research, some facts and can do better than this…whatever this is.

In choosing to KEEP TALKING instead of listening to the numerous POC (and non-POC) voices telling her how racist, fucked up, vilifying and fetishizing this thing is, the author is trying the usual tactic of repeating ad nauseum, but I’m not a racist! I’m not a racist! And this goes back to Jay Smooth’s point of how to tell the difference in someone doing/saying something racist, but that doesn’t mean they are a racist.

I’d liked to have given the writer of this fictitious world the benefit of the doubt, but when her responses basically boil down to OMG YOU ALL I AM NOT RACIST, STOP PICKING ON ME. I AM CRYING ALL MY WHITE WOMAN TEARS, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M DOING HERE!!!

I can’t do that because of her oh so special comment here:

Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash. The first young African American reader who responded to me loved the book. But then, she’s the kind of free spirit who would eschew limiting herself to a single category.”

That gave any inclination I had to be civil in this post went right the fuck out my living room window.

“IF SUCH A CATEGORY STILL EXISTS?” You know what Victoria Hoyt, FUCK YOU. I’ve been reading since before you were thought of you privileged dumb ass. Who the fuck do you think you are to make such a statement? Clearly reading, writing, and comprehension are skills you lack based on the this thing you are attempting to pass off as a serious look at “reverse-racism”, what-if scenarios.

Here’s something for you to read, print, and tack it next to your monitor because you need a lesson in how not to continue to fuck up regarding race issues:

I didn’t mean to and other such nonsense from allies:

http://racismschool.tumblr.com/post/22807040831/i-didnt-mean-to-and-other-such-non-sense-ally

Also, the Invisible Knapsack from Peggy McIntosh is required reading for you (and anyone else dumb enough to think your book is anything but an epic case for race fail).

I’d say just fucking Google it but it’s clear that using research tools and methods and actually trying to sound like an intelligent human being is beyond you, so have a freebie.

Ahem, back to what I was saying… oh yes how this attempt at post apocalytpic dystopia (read white oppression, mandingo fantasy gone wild) is a piece of tripe.

In going back to the site (shudder) to get more reference material I found this “video-log” of the main protaganist. SHE IS IN BLACKFACE, FUCKING BLACKFACE YOU HEAR ME. (video is here, watch at your own risk, I am not responsible for any damage caused after viewing it)

Just… really? Mate rate? Is that what people have been reduced to you in your fantasy world? Mate or die? If that’s the best you can come up with as a plot device, I would skip this tripe anyway but the whole thing about “Coals” and “Pearls” just cements the fact you are naive, privileged and have no clue about real world race issues.

Let me tell you something… words have meaning, they have value. Tossing about words like Coals, savage, beastly in reference to the antagonist who discovers her father’s experiments and tosses her out in the rain forest does not endear me, you want-to-be wordsmith. It shows that you still buy into the savage, hyper-sexualized, black man trope. It shows me that you couldn’t be bothered to try and find some way to describe the superior, darker people in this book without finding a way to still reduce them to nothing by your choice of words.

The fact that whites are described as “Pearls”, something precious, to be coveted and desired, “saved” shows your oppression fantasy quite clearly for the world to see, and it’s ugly. You should cover it up. I also want to know in what world (oops, yours apparently) that the girl used in the YouTube video would be considered ugly? She looks like someone dabbed her in brown shoe polish and she needs a bath but she is not ugly. I suppose there are people who tell her, you’re not bad looking for a Pearl in your book? (my guess is not really).

Someone with some sense, and a red pen should have stopped you when you pitched this idea to begin with. Someone with sense and editorial knowledge should have sat you down and explained how racism actually works in the real world, how the caste system works in the real world before letting you attempt whatever the hell you have let loose on the world.

Congratulations, you have created something I hold in greater derision that 50 Shades of Grey. You have also shown that you need some very harsh life lessons in order to see that racism is more than you conceive of in your attempt to show people the wrongs of racism. You failed Hoyt, seriously, epic-ally failed in Eden.

Also, other people have taken this concept and done it WELL. [Noughts and CrossesBlonde Roots] You should read their books, take notes and once you come out from the cave of Tropes, caricatures and fallacy that your characters reside in, perhaps learn to listen and try again, or not. I’m sure none of us would mind if you stopped attempting to teach people about concepts you don’t even understand yourself.

Dear Dan Savage, just stop talking about Bisexuals, it’s clear you know NOTHING about us.

I already didn’t like Dan Savage… but goddamn now I’m just bursting with anger. How the fuck, just how the everliving fuck does he even fix his mouth to spout the shit about bisexuals that he continues to let out into the ether?

Via AngryBlackTumblr: Bisexuals You Need to Come Out to Your Friends and Spouses—Now

Dear Dan Savage,

You know his claim as to why Bi’s NEED to come out? So we can basically stop whining about being invisible and do something and claim our spot in the community. You know what, fuck and you Savage.

No one should be forced to be out, in case you haven’t noticed not everyone can safely be out no matter their orientation. A lot of people can’t be out because they will lose their homes, their jobs, their kids, be threatened with bodily harm, and the list goes on. I should not have to declare myself at the LGBTQIA community border for your comfort. I don’t have to declare my orientation so you can pigeon hole me, continually treat me as a red-headed step child in the family because I supposedly can run back to hetero privilege whenever I get too scared.

You don’t speak for me Savage. You don’t get to draw lines in the sand and declare that my bisexuality is valid only because of my age. You don’t get to deny those teen boys (notice girls aren’t even on his radar as valid) their orientation because you claimed being bi as a teen. You are not them, they are not you and you are not the fucking mouthpiece of the entire LGBTQIA movement.

You preach that it gets better for some, but you are employing the same divisive tactics that anti-gay leaning folks use on the community. Just stop talking about things you don’t know, you don’t understand and for fucks sake stop posturing yourself as the be-all-end-all pundit of queer issues. Stick to what you know, which isn’t much.

No love,

Me
ETA: Just a few links I found while Googling Dan Savage + Bisexuality. Almost all links point to some bi-phobic shit he’s said in the past and never apologized for. Come at me again with how he’s not bi-phobic and I’m going to laugh at you.

Next up: we host Dennis Upkins for a spell on his Hollowstone book tour

I’m very happy to host the most excellent Dennis Upkins, author of the soon to be released Hollowstone. He breezed through the windy city during a stop on his book tour. Hollowstone is due out on 17 June 2011.

Q: Now, it’s great to see more POC authors and queer authors getting their work out and into the hands of readers who often feel left out of the literary mix. Hollowstone looks to address a lot of those needs. However, as a fan who is often left out of the mainstream media I wanted to know what else you might have planned to fill the gaps in for folks who aren’t seeing themselves reflected in the media they purchase?

A: I was talking to a good friend of mine about this, another professional writer, and we both discussed how we’re always looking for areas of opportunity to improve as far as being progressive and inclusive goes. While Hollowstone runs the gamut in tackling many facets of bigotry and institutional oppression, with Empyrea (the recently finished novel I’m currently editing), I come at representation of marginalized people from a completely different angle. Empyrea features a queer POC as the main protagonist, features multiple women of color in prominent roles.

It shows a loving interracial family in a matter of fact manner. Empyrea essentially illustrates what a world devoid of racism, misogyny, homophobia (as least as we know it) could look like. And while Empyrea is breaking a lot of ground, I’ve already got sequels planned and I’m looking for ways to step my game up. In the sequels, I know I will have a heroine who is a trans woman, lesbian characters and a disabled character. Each of them have important storylines, fleshed out roles, and treated with respect. The next novel I’ve got planned after Empyrea is a superhero story which features a teenage black girl and a gay man as the co-protagonists. Both characters have stories that are worth sharing. I’m constantly striving for ways to improve representation in my works because I believe everyone has a story worth telling.

Q: I know you’ve mentioned it on your blog, but I’m curious about who would be cast in a Hollowstone movie? Do you think the movie would suffer from white washing such as the reported casting options for a remake of Akira? Would you rather Hollowstone remain a book if your only option was to have a movie cast in the majorities image rather than how they are depicted in the book?

A: In regards to dreamcasting, I think this post sums it up: http://neo-prodigy.livejournal.com/954523.html Do I think the movie would suffer from white washing? That would always be a risk, a huge one in fact. It would really depend on the players involved, how much money would be riding on it and chance. For that matter, a publisher could’ve tried to whitewash the story, and we’ve seen this crap happen far too often. Luckily I was blessed to find a home with a good publisher (Parker Publishing) that was welcoming of Hollowstone as is. I give props to Neil Gaiman and Ursula K. Le Guin who have both been outspoken in standing tall against allowing their characters to be whitewashed and I would like to think if presented with the choice, I would make the same decision. Because Hollowstone tackles too many important issues to allow such crap to happen.

Q: If you could make the literary world over in an image that would included fair and equal representation for everyone, how would you do that with your authorial powers?

A: I guess pretty much what I’m doing now. Writing stories that celebrate marginalized people. Supporting works with my money that celebrate equal and fair representation of everyone and promoting and working with other marginalized creators to see their work make it to the public.

Q: We already talked a bit about being marginalized and invisible in mainstream media. As a queer man and POC, did frustration with that marginalization and invisibility have anything to do with Hollowstone’s creation?

A: Not really. At least not consciously or directly. I didn’t intentionally set out to write a story that was in reaction to being marginalized or invisible in mainstream media. But as the story developed, took on a life of its own, and continued to evolve, it did exactly that. But it had more to do with the fact that much of Hollowstone is based on personal experiences and things I’ve witnessed first hand. The marginalized issues was something I struggled with. It felt like walking a tight rope. Do you tip your toe in the pool of social justice issues and risk making your characters cliches who only exist to whine about racism or homophobia or do you go all out, balls to the walls, and show it all unapologetically and let the story share its truth. And why does it always have to be about racism/homophobia with gay and black characters. I wrestled with these choices and then finally I just had to tell myself, frak it. Truth is truth, no matter how inconvenient it is, and as Noah states in the opening of the novel, there are some stories that just must be told.

Q: If you could fix one thing in fandom (Take your pick; comics, movies, books, all of the above) which one would you fix or is it too broken to fix?

A: I would say all of the above, if for no other reason than they all intersect. I’m not sure if fandom is too broken to fix but I definitely think something drastic is going to have to happen, a massive overhaul to fix things. At minimum, marginalized peeps are going to have to double their efforts in creating their own spaces, their own media, supporting one another and boycotting those that denigrate them. At most, the industry is going to have to fall and be rebuilt before things can improve. Or something else unexpected can occur. I think it’s a matter of staying vigilant about these issues and continue to press forward even if fandom is hellbent on backsliding in regards to progress.

Q: If any of your characters from Hollowstone could write a post for the We Got Your Back Project, who would submit their story and what would they say?

A: WOW! This has to be one of the most powerful questions I’ve received. You know the We Got Your Back Project is near and dear to my heart, and some of the characters would definitely have a lot to say.

Noah– He would definitely discuss his experiences with knowing Ryan, Neely, and another gay character who is revealed in the story. He would discuss his experiences in trying to be a straight ally and would urge other allies to be proactive in supporting their queer brothers and sisters based on the folks who impacted his life.

Neely– She would discuss her experiences being a bisexual teen, growing up in a conservative environment, and how it isn’t easy to be out and proud, in spite of what society would have you believe. She would also point out that if it wasn’t for her older brother—who loved, protected, and accepted her as God intended her to be—she probably wouldn’t be here today. She would probably say why support and love is vital, especially in light of all the hatred and bigotry LGBTQs endure on a day to day.

Ryan– Ryan’s story would be the most powerful. Because he goes through a lot in the story. And his story is a sobering reminder why it doesn’t always get better and that in fact, it rarely does. And if his story doesn’t move people to take an active role in fighting bigotry and hatred, nothing will.

Q: Do you think that Hollowstone and books like it will finally get POC authors out of the “African American Author” purgatory books by black authors are often dropped into regardless of the books subject matter?

A: Your guess is as good as mine. If authors like Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks haven’t clued society in that our work is universal just like white authors, I don’t know if society will ever learn. As POC authors, all we can do is do what we can and just hope and pray for the best.

Q: Lastly, will we get to see more of the Hollowstone cast in future novels? Will we get to follow them as they develop or will they remain in the world built in Hollowstone?

A: You know, the thought of doing a sequel, even a trilogy, crossed my mind more than once. It was an idea I toyed around with and even debated with myself. Then I realized that the characters in Hollowstone get so much closure, not to mention the fact that the novel ends in a very unique way, that to do a sequel would probably be a disservice to the characters and the story. If you can ever exit on a high note, that’s the way to do it. That being said…in the superhero story I’m outlining, one of the central characters will make an appearance and something about their fate that was all but promised in Hollowstone, gets confirmed in the superhero novel. So stay tuned.

Denny, thank you so much for stopping by during your book tour and we’ll be sure to give Hollowstone a review once its out! If all of that didn’t convince you to buy Hollowstone, here’s 12 reasons to order it! You can order Hollowstone directly from the publisher or from Amazon.com

WGYB Project is still alive, and we’re still taking your stories

We Got Your Back Project is still alive and still seeking submissions!

I had a chance to talk the project up at Gay Is the New Black? Event hosted by JF tonight. Hopefully this will generate some interest and new submissions.

Can I ask a favor? Can anyone who comes across this post please signal boost this project for me & whereisjoy? We don’t want to see it die but to thrive it needs stories, your stories so that our POC-LGBTQIA youth know that they are not alone and just because someone says its gets better, that it may not apply to them.

Sumbission Info

Submission guidelines are below. If you come across something you think would be good for posting, please email us at wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com or tweet at us WGYBProject on Twitter.

Thanks for your interest in contributing to the “We Got Your Back” Project! We are accepting videos and written statements that share how the lives of LGBTQIA people get better when we have each others back. Give some hope to LGBTQIA youth by telling them how your own life improved. To submit, send an email to wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com We request that posts meet the following guidelines:

Videos: Please keep videos to no more than 8 minutes maximum. If you have a video on YouTube or Vimeo, please submit a link to the video and a brief description.

Length: 2,500 word maximum. (Please note, longer posts may be broken up into several posts on the project)

Language: Feel free to use adult language, however please warn for swearing or other adult and/or potentially triggering language in your post at the beginning. If you do share potentially triggering material, we ask that you use the “more” tag to put it behind a cut.

Permission to repost/share your content: Please indicate to us whether or not you consent to the sharing of your material outside of this project when you submit your post and/or video.

Black is… black ain’t…

Black is beautiful, just so we are motherfucking CLEAR. Black ain’t “less desirable than other races”,

“inherently less attractive than other races”

tumblr_llb9rsnCiZ1qzo0zoo1_500

So… we are in the throes of yet ANOTHER online storm about black folks. Black women’s looks, black women’s bodies, black fathers and the old ass trope of omfg black folks are on the internet too!?! How about that has been dragged out and beaten again for what its worth. (A hint – Not much). I tried to be eloquent and wordsmithy, but you know what? Fuck it, I’m sick of being polite about people telling me how I should feel about how I look.

So many people have waxed eloquently on this topic that I’ll give you links and such… but for what my 0.02 is worth; I’m so fucking sick of being told that I’m not beautiful or attractive or worthy of love and affection because I’m “strong” or career focused or “the strength of the family.”. I’m really fucking sick of the idea that everyone gets a say in how I feel about myself as a black woman. I’m tired of everyone getting to hold up the brown paper bag to check my blackness, and worthiness of having a say in racial debates because I’m fair skinned and obviously “not really black.”

I’m tired of pseudo scientists speculating on the attractiveness of myself and the bounty of black women everywhere. Who the fuck decided that this guys opinion was worth anything to begin with? I don’t even know what an evolutionary psychologist is, do you? Someone explain what that means and then you’d better have a really, really good reason as to why some “evolutionary psychologist” gets a say on black bodies and beauty. I’ll be here, so when you get a clue, come holler at me. Until then, all these faux pop psychologists and arm chair thinkers can shut the fuck up about our bodies, our beauty and everything else in-between.

I leave you with some great articles and a repost of a lovely image snagged from the Angry Black Tumblr.

You Keep Saying Black Women are Ugly Worthless Whores and We Refuse to Believe you by Karnythia

Racialicious: Repeat Offender: Satoshi Kanazawa’s Other Greatest Misses

Angry Black Tumblr: The Article is now gone, but more thoughts

Angry Black Woman: Initial post on this article; noting original title was “Why are Black Women Ugly?”

ABW: Screencap of the article in question, after the title was changed.

Black Gods, Tribalism and Wiccatru…

[DISCLAIMER GOES HERE!]

Note that I am no expert and this is all my personal opinion based on my relationship with my Gods. Do not assume I am casting aspersions on your personal beliefs/lack thereof. If you assume I’m talking about you, that’s your problem.

Are all things on my mind lately. Still amused at the people losing their shit over Idris Elba as Heimdall in the upcoming Thor movie. Last time I will say this: the Thor Movie – Based off a COMIC BOOK, NOT the Poetic Eddas or the Lore. STFU about it already.

The awesome pretzelcoatl posted this link on my Facebook page the other day. I was interested in the perspective of the author until I got to the words Mojlnir and Coven in the same sentence. O_o? Not sure how many of you reading know that I’m Asatru, and I’m still working my way through what this means for me but one thing I’m 100% certain about is that Wicca != Asatru. The words Coven and Mojlnir, Thor and such should not be uttered together IMNSHO.

Now it could just be a semantic misstep by the article’s authors, not knowing what to do with the word Kindred or the author could have actually said Coven. Regardless, it turned me off of the idea that this person was serious in their beliefs. Yes, that makes me sound kind of snobbish, but one thing that’s always stuck with me is the idea that our Gods don’t share with other pantheons. So for me, reading Coven and Moljnir struck me as odd and just not right some how. It rekindled the thoughts I’ve often had about mixing of pantheons and claiming more than one set of Gods/Goddesses.

Which gets into my issues with people claiming pantheon’s but not going all the way in their claims. IE not swearing oaths, living their words and deeds but claiming kinship to a particular path when it’s convenient. I firmly believe that if someone is going to claim a Nordic path then they need to claim it fully, not in a buffet style of grab it, keep it in my pocket until needed, brandish it as needed then put it away until the next time. I guess what I’m getting at, is that I find it bothersome when people lump Asatru, Pagan and Wiccan all in the same group and treat them interchangeably.

I figure if you dedicate yourself to a path that should be your path, and not take bits from each one that suits you when it suits your purpose at that moment. Keep in mind I’m not talking about Unitarian Universalists, I’m addressing specifically Pagan paths in this post. This could be my naivete about how others think of their path speaking or my attempt at keeping something intact as possible for my own use… scratch that last bit.

I guess this turned into a processing post about how I feel about some aspects of buffet style paganism or pantheism and how I’m not happy when people do that. So thoughts on my take on pick a path and stay with it? or don’t try to claim traditions you are not fully invested in and speak upon them as if you are a participating member of X tradition?

*sigh* I know this has the potential to turn into a firestorm so I’m saying it now. If you cannot be civil to people in this thread, don’t bother commenting. I’m not going to referee adults and I shouldn’t have to either.

Help Con or Bust!

Here are some con_or_bust auctions with very few or no bids. Please bid and spread the word about these auctions!

Con or Bust is administered by the Carl Brandon Society. Learn more.

Make a donation or pay for an item with a PayPal account or credit card (more information)

Here’s a quick primer on how to browse auctions, many of which were posted several weeks ago now. And here are some auctions that have been modified or are neglected—no bids, only one bid, or fewer bids than I think they deserve. Please link this post or the general announcement post far and wide!

Modified items:

* chocolate chip cookies – additional batches offered
* Three Short Story Critiques by Claire Light – updated to include hour-long “meeting” along with critique and marked-up document
* Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories + Artwork by Shweta Narayan – additional poetry offered

No bids:

* character named after you and erotic paranormal trilogy
* Tutoring
* Middle Earth Roleplaying Modules
* Three trivia books about Stephen King
* George Beahm, The Stephen King Story: A Literary Profile
* Shine, Coconut Moon and Jazz in Love, Signed, by Neesha Meminger
* Farlander by Col Buchanan, Wolfsangel by MD Lachlan, and Changes by Jim Butcher

One bid:

* Yarn Lot #4: Grab Bag
* podfic by [info]bessyboo
* Spanish edition of The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
* Translation of a Korean text into English
* Coraline Nike Dunks
* Copy of the script for the TV miniseries of The Stand
* Professional Editing/Critique Service
* Fat-Acceptance Books II
* Signed 1st ed. hardcover of Acacia by David Anthony Durham
* Paper Cities (anthology) & Sybil’s Garage (magazine) full run
* Australian edition of Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
* Print of The Purifying Fire cover art, a Magic: The Gathering novel by Laura Resnick
* Alcestis trade paperback
* ARCS of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin, Finch by Jeff VanderMeer and The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

Items I think deserve more love than they are getting (feel free to add your own!):

* Small Beer (Press) Sixpack
* Circlet Press Erotic SF/F Ebook Library
* One-of-a-kind altered fashion doll
* Custom story and character by Mary Anne Mohanraj
* Naming Rights In YA Novel by Karen Healey

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

Keep in mind this author is not making wide brush strokes over all Americans, nor are they assuming we’re all idiots, racists, and never have gone further than our own back yards. They raise the points below after reading the stupid shit posted on the internet by people who think they KNOW THINGS.

If you feel the urge to come at me for re-posting this, bring a good argument because frankly I don’t have the energy or desire to fight with someone over a re-post. Don’t like the article? Then comment to the original poster.

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

The past few days I have heard so many stupid things from friends, blogs, pundits, correspondents, politicians, experts, writers that I want to pull my hair.  So, I will not beat around the bush, I will be really blunt and give you a handy list to keep you from offending Egyptians, Arabs and the world when you discuss, blog or talk about Egypt.  Honestly, I would think most Progressives would know these things, but let’s get to it.

Continue reading “A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt”

In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day… “What Would Martin Do?”

In honor of today’s Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, I’m sharing the winning essay in the American’s for Democratic Action’s contest: What Would Luther Do? I’m pleased that the winning essay is by my good friend Joy E.

Remember, that even though Dr. King is immortalized for his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King’s legacy is more than one speech, more than one action. Read Letters from a Birmingham Jail, and his other works. See the whole man, not an idealization remembered once a year for stirring words. Remember his actions, his humanity and most of all that the Dream he had is not yet realized, not so long after his assasination and we have a long way to go until it is realized.

To answer the question of How Long? The answer is still Too Long and a Long way to go…

First  Place – Joy E. of Chicago, Illinois

If Martin Luther King, Jr. could visit our country this January, he would see a nation much changed and yet the same. Imagine King catching a bus in downtown Montgomery. Perhaps he would select a seat in the front, next to someone tired from a long day’s work for little pay. Through the bus window, he might see dilapidated schools and foreclosed homes. If he were to open up a newspaper, he would read of another war with no end in sight. If King returned to this country of sweet promise and bitter disappointment, he would once again take up the struggle of the poor. King would organize against the interlocking evils of racism, militarism, and poverty. And he would invite us to join him.

In the 43 years since King’s death, we have not fulfilled his dream of equality. Poverty is rising. Health care is out of reach for too many Americans while our military budget grows. Ours is a political landscape that King understood all too well.

In his speech Beyond Vietnam, King decried the way the war on poverty was abandoned for the war on communism. Today we still choose fighter jets over unemployment benefits. The soldiers who fight and die in our army are still overwhelming our nation’s poor. If he were here today, King would say again, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

King cried out for the poor of Vietnam recounting American’s role in their history. “We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village,” he said. “We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon.” Today, King would similarly mourn the poor people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He would point out that we once supported the Taliban, the mujaheddin, and Saddam Hussein – over the protests of Iraqis and Afghanis. We remain the enemy of the poor in Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere our government supports the rights of corporations over the rights of poor people.

King wrote, “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values…When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” But that world revolution is still alive today and brings hope even to our country.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, America, and around the world, millions of poor people are building a nonviolent movement for a peaceful, just future. We should not need to Dr. King to entreat us to join the right side of the world revolution. The poor are calling us to join them. Just as King heeded their call, may we see their cause as ours.

A brief thinky post on the Wiscon situation and disinviting EMoon as GOH

This will be brief and entirely ineloquent because I am sick and cannot brain well. In short, disinviting E Moon as GOH is NOT FUCKING SILENCING HER! Reposting her own words for the world to see is NOT BULLYING HER! All these people whinging about how evil the mean brown people are, how they wheedled the comcon into disinviting her to be GOH need to just shut the fuck up, as in NOW.

I’m tired of people crying about Moon being silenced, and persecuted and all that other bullshit. She shat on the living room carpet, threw a blanket over it and continued to act as if there was nothing there. Her continued silence, refusal to discuss the issue and then the concom taking a while to make up their minds while staying conspicuously quiet is the issue.

I’m sick of people throwing tantrums in the Wiscon LJ comm about how meen this was, and rude, etc etc to disinvite Moon and stamping their feet and saying they aren’t coming now because the Con obviously isn’t for them.

GOOD, I don’t want my con experience ruined by whiny ass people who think its all about them and can’t see why Moon’s screed was so damn problematic. Also, if you can’t realize how much her words hurt our Muslim sisters and brothers, then I suggest you revisit Civics class, Privilege and Classism as well as Racism 101.

Many, many other people have said their piece on why the whole issue and how it was handled is problematic. See the [community profile] wiscon, [personal profile] karnythia, [personal profile] yuki_onna, [personal profile] nojojojo and K. Tempest Bradford sums up my feelings perfectly with You People are out of your Goddamned Minds

Introducing… The We Got Your Back Project

So… Joy E. came up with a nifty idea. A project where LGBTQIA youth, straight allies, adults and others could share their stories to encourage and strengthen youth who may be getting bullied, harassed and otherwise mistreated for being who they are. This project will make sure that lgbtqia of color, bisexual and transgendered folks will not be left out of the work of telling their stories and having their voices heard.

Yes, I know some of you are thinking… but there’s already a similar project out there! Well, yes there is but whereisjoy and I wanted to be sure everyone’s voice is heard, that everyone is able to share their story in the hopes it would give strength to others who are dealing with coming out, being out and bullied as well just for being who they are.

This idea is just a wee idea, barely out of the box and we need your help to make sure it thrives. What we need help with is:

Contributors; anyone who falls within the LGTBTQI & A spectrum, allies, anyone who has been touched by the injustice of having their voices silenced or drowned out by the masses.

A couple people to be editors; to help with reviewing content, posting and maintaining the site (which is now a WordPress site). Please note that the site is pretty bare at the moment, and we are adding content, submission guidelines and such over the next couple of weeks.

As the project grows, we hope to have someone who is media savvy, who can talk to the local LGBTQIA media, and deal with the issues that will arise from creating a project similar to one that already exists. Please note that we are not doing this to be in direct competition with the It Gets Better Project, but rather to supplement and give everyone a voice who may not feel as if they will be heard otherwise.

For now, please spread the word about this project, what we hope to do and most importantly the soft launch date of mid-October 2010. In the interim, please leave questions here, if you want your question discussed off site want to have a longer chat, email us at: wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com

So there’s the great idea, let’s make sure it not only learns to crawl but learns to soar.

Wiscon 2011 and how the emoon situation is making me rethink attending

So, it’s not news about the whole emoon Islamaphobia post that is now shut down by the author. It isn’t news that many fantastic people have written their piece about her idiocy Link Roundup @ karnythia’s LJ and some great posts on this by Asim are here, here, here and response to the Wiscon concom not rescinding her GOH invite is here and now comes the decision by Wiscon to keep her as a GOH. That discussion and the fallout over her remarks is now overshadowing the fabulous Nisi Shawl as 2011 GOH, and it pisses me off that this RaceFail redux 2010 edition is ruining the con for so many before people have even booked tickets to attend.

The whole situation reeks of hatred, vitriol, over the top uber patriotism that we were all treated to immediately following 9/11. I can understand the position that the Wiscon concom must be in, to have to deal with yet another race fail type thing and not just by a panelist or attendee, but having to deal with such remarks by one of the incoming GOH’s has to be hell to deal with. I concede that it’s not an easy discussion… but, and there’s always a but… allowing her to remain GOH, and trying to frame it as a teaching moment does two things in my head (and this came up in conversation with [personal profile] karnythia this evening.

1. It puts the onus for teachable moments on the attendees, to task them with making others understand when they are at the con of their own reasons. I don’t go to cons to be on the hot seat for explaining and teaching others, if I wanted that I’d be on panels (not like panels are all about teachable moments, but you get what I mean I hope!) and I don’t want to spend my time that could be spent at panels, socializing and having a good time at con turn into being a walking ask me board, or the token (fill in the blank) that you can ask questions you may not ask others.

2. The fact that she deleted all the comments and shut down any chance of discourse on that post tells me quite clearly that there is NO INTEREST in dialog or learning from what has happened due to her post, her words that are now out there on the internet for eternity. I don’t see why allowing her to remain GOH is supposed to be some great opportunity for dialog when it’s clear that there is no interest in her part and anyone attempting to dialog will likely be labeled as one of those mean people who just won’t let it go, or just won’t see what she really meant, and stop being so mean to her! [that’s my assumption, since most online interactions about race, and privilege usually go in that direction]

It also makes me feel as if the con does not care about the people that were hurt and offended by her words. The people she painted in such broad strokes as barely civilized and should be grateful for being allowed on the hallowed ground of the USA. I think because she is a professional writer, I think more care should be taken with what you say, online, in text and have the realization that once your post it out there, it’s out there. Considering all the discourse I’ve seen on this issue alone, people have long memories and they won’t forget her words just because the con is next May.

I know I won’t forget this whole chain of fuckery, hate, racism and Islamaphobia that is rearing it’s head, and making me rethink Wiscon. It makes me wonder if the concom holds to the values they espouse and if anything will make them take notice of how this has damaged how some people may think about Wiscon, how it may influence people to skip the con altogether instead of giving any money to an organization that would have her as a GOH, well nothing outside of money. If people start canceling their registrations or skip it all together, would that send a message that is loud and clear or would it be chalked up to those oversensitive people who undoubtedly refuse to dialog, even after all this programming was created to address the issue…

I could go on, but that’s veering off into rant territory and I think this post is barely cohesive as it is because I’m pretty rageful at the disregard for any people who would attend Wiscon, and for those that don’t feel safe now and are already planning other things in place of attending Wiscon.

I’m still on the fence about attending, but I’ll have to climb down one side or the other soon.

More on that damn Feministe post and the comment trail where I apparently Other another POC by the use of OP

This is a totally random thing, but in going into WP and cleaning up spam and seeing older comments, I tracked back to that idiotic post on child free space on Feministe. A place where I commented, via a blog comment here, a pingback there got really nasty against me after I commented. I did not swear at the person who wrote the blog or OP nor did I get really bent out of shape, in my opinion.

How, someone tell me my one comment becomes an example of how not to comment on this person’s blog by rules that seem extreme to me (and by extreme I mean they want a point by point analysis of where you think someone is wrong, and what you plan to do about it in detail) and by saying OP instead of her name, which I couldn’t recall at the time of my comment I’m now othering the author of that “article”?!

On the one hand, I know these are people I don’t know, will probably never meet and shouldn’t give two shits about in the long run. On the other, it bothers me greatly that I’m being accused of othering another Person Of Color by mere virtue of not recalling her name at the time I left my comment there. FWIW, I didn’t even know that this woman was a person of color when her post really pissed me off, but it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference in how I responded to her.

I dunno, maybe I’m feeling hair trigger today but I’m trying really hard to stay my hand and not respond to the negative comments there because in the long run these people aren’t worth my energy or time but damn that really bothers me that I’m “othering” another POC by the mere fact I couldn’t recall her name when I left my comment.

Repost of: Navigating Through this Post Racial Society; via Neo_Prodigy on LJ

Reposting from Neo_Prodigy on LJ.

Navigating Through This Post-Racial Society

Neo_Prodigy once again nails something on the head so hard it howled for mercy that has been milling around in my head regarding the reaction to Lebron’s leaving Cleveland and how Lebron’s non-decision overshadowed the news of the cop that was convicted of the lowest possible charge in the murder of Oscar Grant.

Long post is long but worth every damn word and graphic within.

Where Oscar Grant Meets Lebron James

This post shares some cold hard fundamental truths about this society.

Two black brothers with two very different stories, yet the underlying message of “white people own, operate, execute, and enforce this shit” could not be clearer. In the same country where video evidence of a white police officer murdering a black civilian can result in an involuntary manslaughter conviction, is it really any surprise that a white (basketball) owner feels so entitled to a player’s black body that he would resort to name calling and tantrums?

The days of literally owning our bodies are over, but the remnants of our time under white supremacy linger. Dan Gilbert’s bitchfit over losing his most prized possession, while excellent fodder for late night talk show hosts and bloggers, is nothing compared to the pain Grant’s family and our community experiences as we add another name to the ever-growing list of brothers and sisters slaughtered by those ordered to protect and serve. Malcolm X’s words are still new: “You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches and then pull it out six inches and say you’re making progress.”

It also reiterates a point “afro_dyte” made in the past: that the unquestioned assumption that a Black person’s body, a Black person’s space, a Black person’s time (or other POCs for that matter), has no innate value (save the value White people give it), which makes it impossible to violate.

This also puts in perspective some wank I endured online a few years back. A few years back I spoke out on offensive tropes concerning gay men and demanding better on a writing forum and a condescending white woman rolled on to my blog and made with the trolling. After asking her to leave and then being forced to ban her, I found out later that she made some friends-locked post and all of her buddies came over and began flaming my blog. After tearing each and everyone of them a new asshole, they pulled some Rosewood shit in crying that the Negro Savage was being meeeeeeeeeeean to the poor innocent white woman. And what was interesting was when I called them out on how wrong they were for flaming my blog, my personal space in the first gawd damn place, they acted nonplussed because I was getting all “uppity.”

More than the usual sense of entitlement, ignorance, arrogance, and just grade-A bitchassness, there was something about that whole troll situation that got under my skin and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was. While I dealt with trolls before this was unsettling. A bunch of white folks acted under the assumption that a POC’s space and time had no value save what they gave it and therefore they felt completely justified. IE, in spite of the fact they were wrong about the whole argument and situation, in all their white privilege, they felt entitled to roll into my home unannounced, unwelcomed, take a steaming shit in the middle of my living room and get outraged because I refused to wipe their asses.

And then they wonder why the Negro savage gets all Negro and savage.

Mel Gibson’s Racist Rant

And clearly someone’s Nazi ass didn’t learn his lesson from last time.

White Peepul: The Following Video Is A Surefire Way To Wind Up On The Back Of A Milk Carton”

A couple of points:

1. There IS a difference between being accused of being a racist and committing a racist act.

2. Being called on racist activity IS NOT more offensive than the act itself.

3. Just because you aren’t intentionally doing something racist or bigoted out of malice or hate DOES NOT mean that your actions aren’t racist, hurtful and destructive. Intent does matter but only so far as whether or not I’ll forgive you and try to educate you or whether I just throw up my arms and walk away shaking my head, less I risk catching another assault charge.

4. Just because you say something bigoted in a polite or diplomatic manner does not negate the fact that you are saying something bigoted. Too many times I’ve seen folks pull this shit. Whether you’re screaming “Fuck you nigger!”, “Faggot!” or justifying institutional oppression with “The police are well within their rights to racially profile blacks and Latinos because numbers show they’re the only ones committing crimes” or “Publishers/Media Execs are totally justified in whitewashing or making with the gay erasure because they don’t generate sales and it’s all about numbers,” you’re still saying something bigoted (and for that matter inaccurate) and others are well within their rights to get outraged and call you out on it. And speaking of calling out, that’s right Scans Daily, I’m looking at you, yet again.

5. When you do say bigoted shit, you don’t get to get mad or dictate the terms of the discussion or police people’s reactions because someone is outraged over something bigoted you said.

As a friend of mine once stated, “When it comes to race, a lot of people (including people of color) assume – if not outright state – that White is a lack of race, an empty ethnicity, the default, normal, invisible. As a result, when it comes to matters of race, Whiteness becomes impartial, objective, unbiased, rational, common sense. I’m sure you can imagine how this plays out in racial discourse. Whiteness is positioned as true and therefore right. Of course, no one thinks that consciously (duh!), but it often comes out in how, in a weird sort of way, White people seem to act like they’re only White when the topic of discussion is racism and not every waking moment of their lives. And this confuses the shit out of me because that’s like a straight person acting like they’re only heterosexual when the issue of gay marriage crops up. Or a man acting like the only time he notices gender is when people bring up sexism. To which the only prudent response is to disengage before the intensity of delusion makes your head explode.”

Lost In Translation

H/T to heavenscalyx for the following:

Addendum: In the second panel in the top right, the other more prominent translation is- All my friends are white. All the men I fuck are Black. But the only men I even remotely consider for a serious meaningful relationship are white.

heavenscalyx also recently made some excellent points on Racefail that I think eloquently sums up a lot of what we’re witnessing:

What none of my fellow People of Pallor seem willing to suggest out loud (so, of course, I’m going to do it) is that it’s probably no coincidence that RaceFail has happened so vividly in the post-Obama-election world.

Because, really, isn’t it the same fundamental fear that motivates the Tea Baggers and the Birthers and even the various extreme white supremacist groups that causes all these white folks to drop their pants on the Internet?

Fear takes the filters down. Fear makes even reasonable people unreasonable. Add extra fear — the fear that they really haven’t come so very far after all — in the hearts of white people who consider themselves broad minded liberals, or at the very least, educated and “color blind”, and the filters really come a-tumblin’ down to let out all the defensiveness to cover the shame and embarrassment.

Because I have no doubt that on some level, people are ashamed to realize that there’s a corner of their minds that doesn’t believe that “all men are created equal.” They push that knowledge down, cover it up with stuff, and hope no one notices this pile of ugly baggage in the corner.

This artificial Fear of the Other is programmed into us by our society and culture — that’s what institutionalized racism (and sexism and homophobia) IS, after all: the fear that the oppressed people will do to the privileged folk just what the privileged folk have done to them. It is, I daresay, practically impossible to excise. Further, I believe that there isn’t a person in this country who is without it, no matter what they may claim.

The only way to beat the Fear of the Other and all its horrible, devastating consequences is to be aware of it, to pay attention to it, and fight it by not letting it win, by consciously trying to keep it from getting its sticky little tentacles into less formed minds, and by keeping a constant monitor on our interactions with others.

Originally posted on tanyad @Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment here, or there

Neither Here or Nor there, how far she’s come

Just got linked to this post about a new film on trans-racial adoptions. It’s called Neither Here nor There, How far she’s come. It’s chilling to read the bits about how the adoptive mother grills her new “daughter” on English to the point where the girl is exhausted and asks to go home in Chinese. It’s disgusting that this woman who seems to have adopted Chinese daughters as trophies of her “goodness” & color-blindness rather than trying to actually help these young girls from any sense of doing what’s right for another human being. It will premiere in the US in PBS on August 31 and I’ll be watching.

I find it telling that the girl lose all of her Chinese, and is constantly compared to the other little girl that this woman has adopted. I’ve got a lot of opinions on trans-racial adoptions most of which are not particularly pleasant or thoughtful. But one constant seems to be that I come across folks online that adopt babies and children of color and/or not of their nationality as trophies of their goodness, color blindness and look at me saving those poor brown folks, giving them a “better life” albeit one modeled on the “norms” of white, American and forgetful of their roots.

Granted, not everyone that adopts outside of their race/nationality has such ulterior motives or means well, 9/10 of our reality is perception not truth. All I can base my perceptions on is what I see.  Too often I see white women who adopt brown and other non-white children, with no thoughts as to what that child will deal with when they are older, when the differences between “mommy” and the child can no longer be swept under the rug. Or what they will do when that child comes home after being called a racial slur for the first time, or worse if they witness racism committed against their adopted child and they have no coping mechanisms to pass on, no advice since they’ve never had the honor of shopping while black, or driving while black or having so many assumptions made on your intelligence, abilities, etc because of the color of your skin and all the baggage that comes with it.

It’s a heavy burden to bear and I wish people would weigh the luggage they are going to take on when they adopt that poc/non-white child along with the idea that they are doing their part by “saving these poor kids” from their poor roots. In my humble opinion, it would help everyone be prepared for what will come as these children grow up in a society that is anything but post-racial and color blind despite having a black POTUS.

Bah, I’m getting rambly and unfocused but I hope you got my point. If not feel free to say so in the comments.

Keep it civil or I’ll boot you so fuckin fast your head will spin away like the Tardis.

My hair is not a walking invitation to the Zoo.

I have people coming up to me all the time to tell me how much they like my hair. Seriously. At one point a woman walked pass me, stared at me the whole time while she passed, then walked all the way back just to say, “Your hair is awesome.” I enjoy this. My new hair IS awesome and I love to get compliments on it. I love compliments from my friends and from strangers.

The problem is when those friends and strangers just feel the need to touch my hair and not accept no for an answer. Not only do I not understand why you’d want to touch someone else’s hair (“Oh, is it soft?”—Opposed to what? A brick?), but it seems to be only white people who do this—at least to me. Black women seem to be capable of admiring it without wanting to finger it. In fact, most white women do too (the previous mentioned person who walked pass me, just to come back was white).

But the ones who are not content to admire my hair are always white. This is not happenstance, of course, white people generally feel more entitled to infringe on other people’s spaces. But, I won’t get into the historical and political aspects of why blacks hate this. There have been post, after post, after post on the matter, and even a guide here. They aren’t hard to find.

The main issue I have is that in this day and age, people should know better. Any information you wish is just a click away. Don’t believe me? Check google: “why not to touch a black person’s hair” or “touching black people’s hair.” See all those links? They are real. They are written by real people with real feelings. (In fact it has been written about so much I almost didn’t bother to post this. But it’s obvious some people just haven’t gotten the memo.)

There are so many reasons not to touch or ask to touch people of color’s hair. Some of them include: offensive, dehumanizing, rude.

But let’s get to the meat of it, show of hands. How often have you gotten you hair done just right, in that up-do, or curled just so for that special occasion and someone then come along and ran their fingers through it? How annoying is it? Very? Really? Well imagine being on display like this all the time, 24-7.

The most recent incident came when I was with a group of friends, sitting at a table and a woman walked over and said, “Oh, your hair is so pretty.” Then she stretched out her hands as if she was just going to touch it (without permission) and when I moved out of her way, she looked shocked. “Oh, I just wanted to feel it,” she said.

“No,” I shook my head.

She looked puzzled. “No?”

I smiled, and said nicer than she deserved, “I’m having dinner with friends, do you mind.”

“Well, EXCUSE me.” She said, as if I had offended her and not the other way around—as if I had the nerve to refuse her natural born right to touch me. I stared for a moment and watched her walk away. My group of friends were mixed company, but they are pretty awesome women.

“Bitch.” Someone said—I refuse to say who would say such a thing (besides my friends are like the mafia, snitch and you’ll wake up swimming with the fishes).

Listen, I’ve heard all kinds of excuses about why this is not a race issue. They seem to mainly be: “I am a white female with blonde hair, and on more than one occasion, someone has touched my hair.” But, I’ve learned along the years that I can’t decide when someone else should be offended or why they get offended. Neither can you.

In the end, The Stuff White People Do blog put it best. You’re not allowed to touch my hair:

“Because I’m not an animal in the zoo.”

“Because this is my body and I don’t have to let anybody touch any part of it, EVER, if I don’t want to.”

“Because my black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me.”

And I’ll add one of my own: Because you live in a different world from your mothers and fathers and you have the opportunity, no, dare I say the responsibility, to research and find out the views of other people before you make an ass of yourself, and before you offend someone with your ignorance.

‘Nough said. Got it?

  • Mood: aggravated aggravated

The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Hair Etiquette

1. It is never okay to touch, pull, or stroke a black person’s hair without permission. No matter how different, cool, or fun their hair looks, you just don’t.

2. It is never okay to ask a casual acquaintance or a perfect stranger if their hair is real. It doesn’t matter how curious you are or how incongruous their hair is to your expectations. Don’t do it.

3. Realize that, in asking if you can touch a black person’s hair, you are objectifying them in possibly uncomfortable ways. That person may consent to letting you touch their hair just to be nice, but rarely is it because they enjoy having your hands on them. The most polite thing would be not to ask until such time as you know that person well enough to know if they won’t mind the request. This is not the Petting Zoo.

4. Think before you make any comments expressing surprise that a person’s hair could look any certain way without a lot of help from chemicals, products, or professional stylists.

Print this, carry it around with you, tell others. I know I will. Because the next person who touches my hair without permission is going to come out of the encounter with several strands of their own missing (with root tags attached).

Which of these two things are alike?

I read the Huffington Post. Most of the time its on point, humorous and gives me a chuckle. That was not the case when this article: Two Black Role Models done in by Hubris went up.

The author is not a woman of color, nor does she seem to understand that her article is patently offensive and racist. A summary for those that don’t click. She posits that these two black men were brought low by their hubris. Woods for his extramarital dalliances and Obama for failing to deliver on his campaign promises in his 8 months in office so far. Um, what? I didn’t appoint her my savior and decider of who gets to speak for me as a black person to the world at large.

When readers call her on the idiocy of linking these two men based on skin color alone, she gets quite defensive in the comments to her own piece. I notice that she trips over herself basically calling herself out and back pedaling on what she did and didn’t actually say in the piece. Critical thinking fail here people.

Here’s my comment in case anyone is interested:


photo

“That you even think their race had anything to do with their failure means you can’t read.” If that’s the case, what was the point of your article in tenuously linking two famous black men? What hubris can you point to on the part of the president? You really need to step back, untangle the straps of your invisible back pack and realize the issue people are taking with your “article”. Let me clarify for you.

You, as a white woman are attempting to tell us people of color that we ought to be ashamed of these two fallen role models of our “people”. No one assigns my role models. No one famous person of color should be held up as the monolithic example of what POC should aspire to, and none of us should be told by journalists of any race, creed or color that the “failures” of famouse POC are doubly problematic and just such a disappointment for the race.

This is condescending, patronizing and yes, it is a racist action. You can commit racist actions and not even realize it. Reading your commentary back to posters here, it seems as if you are treating people’s responses to this poorly written attempt at connecting two famous black men as personal attacks.

Your closing line is very telling on yourself, you should read it and let it sink in because its exactly what you are doing by jumping up and down screaming but I’m not racist! online.

Would Jesus be a capitalist Michael Moore asked…

I’m a fan of Michael Moore, this is no secret. For those of you who may keep up with his films, he has a new film out, Capitalism: A Love Story. I’ve yet to see it and this post isn’t about the film, but about a question he posits in the film and to his readers of his site. Before you read my inquiry below; keep in mind, I am not bashing all Christians/Catholics/People who don’t believe as I do. I am asking questions of you who do hold these beliefs, and calling shame upon those who do not walk the walk and talk the talk of being “good” Christians/Catholics even though they yell the loudest about how devout they are. I want to head off any, YOU HATE CHRISTIANS wank before it has a chance to start.

“…Amidst all the Wall Street bad guys and corrupt members of Congress exposed in “Capitalism: A Love Story,” I pose a simple question in the movie: “Is capitalism a sin?” I go on to ask, “Would Jesus be a capitalist?” Would he belong to a hedge fund? Would he sell short? Would he approve of a system that has allowed the richest 1% to have more financial wealth than the 95% under them combined?

I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what’s left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you’d have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.”

Now, I am not Christian, most of you reading this probably know that, and for new folks this might be news to you. The question that Mr. Moore puts out there can apply to most beliefs, but he puts it forth especially to those that share the faith of Catholicism. I’ve always had a problem with those people who are the first to shout I am a Christian! I go to church every Sunday, I pray, I donate to charity. However these are the same people who will be amongst the first to complain about the poor using “their tax dollars” for help, for assistance when those poor should be amongst the first if they are true to their beliefs.

I find it odd that alot of people who are loudest in their affirmation of faith are often the loudest in their protestation of helping those that would need the most help. Isn’t that antithetical to the belief that the least among us shall be the first? What happened to compassion for those who need your help? Isn’t that what Christ teaches you to have for those in need?

I hope those of you reading this can give some clarity on the question that Mr. Moore puts out there… because looking from my non-Christian POV, I can’t understand an answer to his question other than a resounding NO and shame on you who think otherwise.

So, let the comments begin. Remember I tolerate NO bullshit here, You want to have a flame war… do it elsewhere. You start a flame war here you will be banned period.

My smiles are not for you, random man on the street

I’ve had the issue of women being treated as property, as if (some) men think we are here for their pleasure only, as if we are to be honored by your hey baby, how you doin’s as we go about our daily lives, but instead when we ignore you, tell you to fuck off or just keep walking the insults flow freely.

Instead of understanding that women are not chattel, we do not exist to please you… you revert to mental infancy and call us sluts, whores, bitches… ask if we think we’re too good for you, or won’t we just FUCKING SMILE, after all it was a compliment I paid you, damn why you have to be like that. The litany could go on forever but you get my point.

After a post by karnythia on creepy ass man following her and try8ing to intimidate her, and the story of the MTA passenger who just needed some help but instead was asked out for a date by an employee, this topic has boiled over in my head and needs to be let out.

I know men don’t understand that life is different for women, in that alot of us are raised to be leery of unknown men, especially ones that approach us on the street. It’s something that keeps you safe and can save your life, because you never know when a dude is just trying to be a harmless flirt or a serial killer or rapist. I know its harsh, but you (men who think you’re doing us a favor by hollering on the street)don’t know our lives, our stories, what kind of baggage we’re carrying around.

That woman whose arm you try to grab so you can “talk to her” could be a rape survivor, she could be on the way home after being laid off from a job, or getting some other bad news. She could not be smiling because she just found out her grandmother died or she failed a test, or for any number of reasons. You never know what a person has going on in their head, and presuming that she should give you the gift of her smile, her time just because you’re a man is pretty damn arrogant.

Thinking that women should be honored because you deign to throw some two bit line our way on the street, or talk about us as if we’re nothing more than walking tits, ass and vagina’s put on display for your approval and usage speaks volumes about how little you know about women or the real world. I don’t speak for all women, but I think anyone with a shred of self-respect wouldn’t bother with a trifling ass man who thinks the way into a womans heart is to talk about that ass, and how you’d give her what for.

Men, at least the men who think that this is a GOOD IDEA and women should be grateful for your attention… realize we don’t owe you a motherfucking thing. We don’t owe you our time, our energy, our bodies or our smiles.

Lastly, posted this in a comment to an earlier post of mine and it needs to be seen, and reposted far and wide.

My $2.00 worth on White Privilege

After discussions, upon discussions where sometimes I feel like the person I’m talking with genuinely “gets it” and many other times where people just can’t/won’t/refuse to understand their privilege, I’ve decided to spell it out for people and hope they actually read, comprehend and think about what’s coming in this post.

What’s about to be said here is based on MY experiences, what I’ve read by other people who have done research on the topic and who have shared their insights with me over the years. This is fueled by hearing one time too many.. but I’m POOR  I can’t be privileged! I don’t treat people like that, stop accusing me of being racist! etc….

Continue reading “My $2.00 worth on White Privilege”

Karnythia speaks up about the Great SF Race Fail of 09′

So folks have had enough of the SF communities epic fail at depicting CoC (characters of color). There has been massive wank, fail and omgwtf is wrong with you fuckers all over the internets. Well LJ’er Karnythia has spoken up about Race Fail 09′. She has encouraged folks to link away so I’m doing that.

For clarity, here’s  a link to the timeline of race fail 09, posted by Karnythia from Rydra_Wong‘s link spam.

Don’t be e-bullies kids… it’s not nice mmmkay? It will also get you kicked in the e-nads thusly.

This is what I had to say to karnythia’s post:

On a serious note, I had never heard of the fuckwads that are primary to this fiasco before this week. Now that I have heard of them? I’ll be even more selective in who gets my hard earned cash for reading material.

I had a chance to catch up on this epic fail of all fails via [info]ryda_wong‘s linkspam, [info]delux_vivens, and other folks and all I got is who the fuck do these people think they are? E-Bullying, making not so vague threats as if you really have the power to do something to up and coming authors? Intentionally “outing” bloggers in some perverse tug of war and power trip? You fail fuckwads, and all you’ve done for me is make me more eager to support ventures like [info]verb_noire, not pay for your shitty writing and keep my money for those who will act as if I’m a person, not the exotic other that you just can’t understand… that you can’t personify as regular fucking people and not these mythical things that you now refuse to deal with.

No loss to us, in case you hadn’t noticed dumbasses. From the bits I’ve read from the principal players? No one will weep if you never write a fucking word again. So take your crappy ass toys and leave, we’ll be over here making progress against your epic fail.

Edited at 2009-03-05 10:23 am (local)

A note to those who want to claim.. but I didn’t know it was racist!

racism-101-for-cartoonists

For the edification of the few dumbasses who still want to claim.. but I didn’t know (insert phrase/imagery/well known historical fact) had a racist connotation! Really!!!! Here’s some facts for you:

1. Watermelons + black folks = RACIST IMAGERY Saying you had no idea? Makes you out to be a dumbass racist, or at the very least a total dumbass who doesn’t know any history.

2. Monkeys + black folks = RACIST IMAGERY For example.. the now infamous Delonas cartoon in that rag the NY Post

3. Calling a grown man or woman boy, gal, or anything other than their names… racist you fuckwads. Example: McCain calling Obama “That One” during the 2nd debate

4. Wearing blackface… NOT OK, NOT OK, NOT FUCKING OK. It wasn’t ok when it was an accepted form of “entertainment” and it sure as fuck isn’t OK now. Just don’t do it (I’m looking at you JAPAN)

5. Tossing around images of Nooses, bonus points for throwing in the words lynch, lynching, lynchmob. In case you need an example.. the photoshopped piece that went around suggesting a “solution” to the Obama problem.

6. Lots of verbiage that should just stop being used. Nigger obviously, porchmonkey and its variants… coon, coon dog, and the phrase knowing your place. Doing it for a laugh or trying to say well black say it why can’t I will get you a bitchslap for your troubles.

Anything I’m missing?

The first and last bit on that NYPost cartoon that’s causing an uproar

Yes… I heard about the NY Post editorial cartoon. Not posting at length since I’ve said what I’ve got to say all over the internets yesterday. I also don’t want to even conceive of what kind of arguments could be had over it here. Instead I give you what I sent the Post:

To whom it may concern at the NY Post:

I’m sure I’m not the first or last person who will write in outrage over the Sean Delonas depicting a chimpanzee being shot. All I can say without devolving into filth, flarn and filth is that you and your papers higher ups should have known better than to let that garbage sit out for the world to see. You can defend it to the end, and claim it was in reference to the chimpanzee attack in Conneticut all you like, but when the words in the panel talk about signing the stimulus bill, which has NOTHING to do with the animal attack? You’ve failed to be able to use that as an excuse. I’m sure there are Post readers who are defending this trash, but honestly can you not do a simple equation to see where this outrage is coming from? Blacks have been compared to monkey’s in the past, our President is black and he just signed a stimulus package. Hmm, can you see what I see now defenders of this garbage? I’m not going to waste my time trying to persuade you folks at the Post, but I do hope you realize that you have failed to be edgy, relevant or even amusing with this pitiful attempt at political satire. Try again, and try using someone with a higher intelligence quotient than a chimp. It might be funny.

[Initials]

Chicago, IL

That’s all I got to say about it here. I’m not giving it any more press either by linking. Want to see it? Google is your friend.

I have a dream… and this year it’s coming true

mlk09

I usually give a nod to Dr. King for all of his achievements and place in history… but this year is special to me. Special for the fact that tomorrow instead of another Dream Deferred, we get to see a Dream Realized by so many people.

I wrote before on waking up after election day to realize that yes, we did and it wasn’t a mere dream. I repeat this sentiment today as I see the excitement mounting in DC, hear from friends who are there to bear witness to history in the making.

I’m sure that pundits all over are readying speeches, remarks and such linking today’s holiday and the history en route tomorrow as President Elect Obama becomes President Obama. I’m sure other folks more skilled with a digital pen and wordsmithing will wax rhapsodic on 20 January 2009 for ages to come but for me, I’m pleased to see the dream realized; to see a man rise from the roots of his community to the top most branch of the government he has served for so long.

I salute you Dr. King for all you have done, for laying down the foundation for President Obama to step up tomorrow and start fulfilling the promises laid on the campaign trail, to the people and to his daughters and other children of this nation that will live with the legacy of his presidency be it great or failure.

President Obama, once you have sworn the oath and stepped into the oval office… I charge you to remember and honor those of us who helped you get there. Those of us who called, campaigned, helped you hurdle over road blocks to get to the new address you’re taking up tomorrow.

We the people see you, and are waiting to see what you can do for this great country and we hope that you can continue to keep the dream and hope alive while reminding us that Yes, we can every day you are in office.

Cheers Mr. President, now get to work!

Why defend the Freedom of Icky Speech?

Why defend freedom of icky speech?

This is a bit long. Apologies. I’d meant to talk about other things, but I started writing this reply this morning and got a bit carried away.

I have questions about the Handley case. What makes lolicon something worth defending? Yaoi, as I understand it, isn’t necessarily child porn, but the lolicon stuff is all about sexualizing prepubescent girls, yes? And haven’t there been lots of credible psych studies saying that if you find a support community for a fetish, belief or behavior, you’re more likely to indulge in it? That’s why social movements are so important for oppressed or non-mainstream groups (meaning everything from the fetish community to free-market libertarianism) -and why NAMBLA is so very, very scary (they are, essentially, a support group for baby-rapists.)

The question, for me, is even if we only save ONE child from rape or attempted rape, or even just lots of uncomfortable hugs from Creepy Uncle Dave, is that not worth leaving a couple naked bodies out of a comic? It is, after all, more than possible to imply and discuss these issues (ex. if someone loses their virginity at 14, and chooses to write a comic about it) without having a big ol’ pic of 14 yr. old poon being penetrated as the graphic. I also think there’s a world of difference between the Sandman story-which depicts child rape as the horrific thing it is (and, I believe, also ends with a horrific death for the pervert, doesn’t it?) and depicting child rape as a sexy and titillating thing. I think there is also a difference between acknowledging children’s sexuality, and pornography about children that is created for adults. Where on this spectrum does something like lolicon fall? And, again, why do you, personally, think that it should be defended?

Thanks for reading my ramble, and for being accessible to us, and engaged in things like CBLDF. Mostly, they are a fantastic org., but I’m really on the fence with this case…

Jess

Let me see if I can push you off the fence, a little. I’m afraid it’s going to a long, and probably a bit rambly answer — a credo, and how I arrived at that.

If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.

The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.

People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble. Continue reading “Why defend the Freedom of Icky Speech?”

An open letter to white activists, re: Proposition 8

Via LJ User slit

I find it curious that African-American women are all lazy unwed welfare-cheating baby-making machines and African-American men are all violent drug-abusing absentee fathers RIGHT UNTIL they are standing in the way of gay rights, at which point they become socially conservative homophobes who can’t see past their religious family values. If you’re going to scapegoat people of color for all the world’s problems, at least make your stereotypes consistent, ya know? C’mon.

First of all, as other people have amply demonstrated, Prop 8 was not lost by people of color, despite what Dan Savage and a whole lot of other people think.

[info]sparkymonster: Brown People Did Not Pass Prop. 8

Propositioning Privilege: The reality is that white people are not being blamed as a racial group for the loss because of the sense that queer=white and there is no racial investment that would benefit from an argument that pathologized whiteness as inherently homophobic in the way that white privilege benefits from pathologizing blackness this way. This is a great, comprehensive look at how both sides of the Prop 8 campaign were handled.

Racialicious roundtable on Proposition 8

More links at Alas, A Blog

And as [info]bias_cut shows, if it weren’t for people of color most of the gay marriage bans still would have passed and McCain would have won the election in a landslide.

Even acknowledging this, I don’t think it excuses the way No-on-8 campaign was run. I don’t live in California, so I can’t really speak to this outside of what I’ve seen on the internet, but I do want to say a few things about white Left movements, including but not limited to white queer movements, and how they (try to, sort of) do alliances with people of color. This has been brewing for me for a while now; it’s not a new problem and I know other people reading this have thought about many of these things so forgive me if it comes off as repetitious or preaching to the choir. I think it still needs to be addressed.

1. Think about how you use civil rights imagery. There are parallels there, and they should be drawn, but to compare the passing of Prop 8 with lynching and Jim Crow disrespects Black history. Even the Loving decision, which is the most obvious parallel (and one Mildred Loving herself endorsed) had a profoundly different history than the history of gays and lesbians. Angry Black Woman discusses the background on that decision and how it was frankly not a huge priority during the civil rights era: So I have to wonder why the No on 8 people chose to present this as a parallel of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. To my mind, this helped trivialize their desire to marry, particularly among older blacks who remember when being able to marry white people was the least of their worries.

I think for white people the relationship is clear: if it was wrong to discriminate against relationships on the basis of race, it should likewise be wrong to discriminate against relationships on the basis of gender. But sexual ‘relationships’ between races had been going on for generations; what made Loving historic for a lot of people was that it was finally talking about such relationships in the context of mutual consent and agency for both partners — as opposed to systemic sexual violence against women of color by white men and the lynching of Black men perceived to be pursuing white women. It wasn’t so much “yay! we get to marry white people! this is the best day of our lives!” :p Which is related to:

2. Think about how you talk about “sex” and “freedom.” White people tend to think of consent as an individual thing. Did she, singular, say yes? They’re not usually thinking of the three or four hundred years in which white men raped slaves and live-in domestic workers, or the women and girls today who are caught up in the sex trafficking industry. The right not to have sex was a lot harder to win than the right to have it, and I think a lot of folks (myself included) are skeptical of feminist/queer movements when they treat history as if it’s all “our sex lives used to be so repressed and limited but hurray now we’re free!” Add to that the number of Black men who’ve been falsely accused of raping white women, and there’s an additional layer of reluctance to sign up for a cause that makes more cops the answer to sexual violence and invests a lot of energy in saving white women from all manner of discomfort while having little to say about the imprisonment of Black men for the most petty of crimes. Reluctance especially when, again, white movements treat sexual violence solely as an individual problem (one man raping one woman) rather than a community problem (one race or nationality being granted total sexual agency under the law and another race or nationality just hoping and praying to stay the hell out of their way).

3. Think about how you talk about Black churches. For many white gays and lesbians, the church is a place of repression and silencing, and one of the first institutions they are ready to abandon when they come into adulthood. But the church has played a different role in black communities — Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and many many other civil rights leaders tied their work to religious tradition. Black churches have been a powerful source of progressive organizing in communities of color, as well as a source of emotional and financial support for people who are struggling. I’m not saying there isn’t more work to be done there, and I’m not saying religion played no role in getting people to support Prop 8. But to speak of African-American religiosity as if it’s the same thing as your white neighbor’s homophobic Bible-thumpin’ Leviticus-quoting Rapture-believing denim-jumper-wearing young-earth anti-science women-get-back-in-the-kitchen 700 Club brand of Christianity is to shit on the people who brought you school desegregation and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Black churches are potential allies, and indeed many religious leaders have already come out in favor of LGBT rights, but those alliances aren’t going to get very far if white Leftists keep talking about them as if they are forces of institutionalized oppression when in reality their role in American history has been precisely the opposite.

4. Think about how you talk about your neighborhood. I’m not going to go into the whole history of gentrification except to note that it goes beyond where any one person decides to locate. It’s about how you treat and speak about your community. Would the elderly want to live in your neighborhood? Not would they be welcome but would they actually want to? Would they have things to do? What about families with small children who are not part of your particular subculture or political community? Would you send your own kids to the local schools?

I know white Leftists and/or LGBT folks live all over the map and these issues aren’t germane to everybody, but “building community” seems to be something we value and devote a lot of time to without thinking about the impact it has and the message it sends to people outside “our” (actually quite insular) community. I’ve seen this come up a LOT, not just around Prop 8 but in general when the possibility of POC/queer alliances comes up.

5. Think about how you talk about other people’s neighborhoods. I saw a fair bit of No-on-8 people talking about their reluctance to canvass in “bad” areas. I am going to go out on a limb and guess these were pretty much all communities of color. As far as I can tell, the Yes-on-8 people weren’t complaining about this. Now to some extent that’s apples and oranges because queer and transgender people have different concerns about safety than straight people (even Mormons) do when they’re walking around in unfamiliar territory, but those concerns apply in white neighborhoods as much or more so and I didn’t hear anyone saying “I can’t doorknock in the suburbs or they’ll kill me.” I know when I hear someone say they won’t go into certain parts of the city, even someone else’s city, I feel like a wall just went up between us — even if I’d previously seen this person as a friend or ally — because that’s the kind of neighborhood I live in. And I’m white. So think about how that comes across. As [info]delux_vivens and others have said repeatedly in the past few days, the No campaign didn’t ask for those votes, so it is disingenuous to express shock after the fact.

6. Queerness does not negate whiteness. Neither does communism, anarchism, or any other brand of radical politics. This one was hard for me when I was younger, because the force of what for the sake of brevity I’ll call Mainstream SocietyTM was so strong that I saw all people who were any brand of “other” as natural allies. To an extent, there’s value in that world view. In 1991 I went to a large demonstration in Chicago that was organized by CISPES, ACT UP, and the anti-war movement; the point was to solidify connections between groups that might otherwise seem disparate and single issue, to reject divide-and-conquer strategies of the Right, and to make sure our activist work was attentive to the interrelatedness of different forms of oppression.

But “interrelatedness” != “same as,” and at some point I had to confront how my work on Issue X didn’t give me an automatic pass on Issues Y and Z. Nor did it undermine the institutionalized benefits I’d received from growing up in a white family in a country where race matters very deeply. Over time I also realized how what I thought of as my “alternative” status was actually alienating to many people of color: that in many ways my flagrant disregard of Mainstream SocietyTM was the ultimate sign of white privilege. I could go around carrying a placard with my hair dyed three colors and clothes covered in safety pins, but if an African American woman my same age walked out of the house with so much as a rip on her sleeve or a scuff on her shoe she risked being pegged as a charity case and borderline illiterate. That was difficult for me to work out, because the way I presented myself wasn’t just a fashion thing — it was a rejection of mainstream beauty standards for women and traditional notions of gender. Appearance and self-presentation were politicized for me. I’m not saying we should all go around in pantsuits and business casual and try to be as safe and non-threatening as possible when talking about politics (don’t read me that way), nor am I saying there aren’t people of color who are also concerned about how these issues intersect (don’t read me that way either), but when I looked at this whole thing from the perspective of people who were already, inherently, considered suspect and outsiders, it made the issue much more complicated for me. I used to be all “get out there! mix shit up!” end of story. But when you can put on a suit and tie and put your daughter in her Girl Scout uniform and go to church to pray to Jesus and still lose your child in a directed attack because of who you are, it makes me a lot less critical of people who might be reserved about pushing the envelope, especially if they’re expected to do it in solidarity with people who’ve never shown much solidarity with them. Which brings me to:

7. Acknowledge your debt. This goes back to #1 and #3 above. If you’re going to present your issue (I’m thinking of Prop 8, but other stuff, too) as the outgrowth of the civil rights movement, then it seems smart to learn more about that movement and to get to know people who were involved in it. Civil rights weren’t gifts from enlightened white people, nor were they just part of the natural progression of history. They were earned with blood. Don’t be casual about that. Don’t bring it up only in the context of how it relates to your issue(s). And if you are going to ask for people to support your issue on principle, not because it benefits them but because It’s Just The Right Thing To Do, you might work harder to support their issues on principle, too. By “support” I don’t mean “agree with it in my mind”; I mean get out there and ask where you can be of service. In the case of California, there were at least two ballot measures that directly affected minority communities. I saw very few white activists write about these, especially compared to the number of straight POC I saw writing about Prop 8. [info]ladyjax writes more about this: When white people roll up on Black folks about being oppressors, there’s some truth to it but that gets lost when people start to remember: ‘Hmm, that rally for (immigration rights, education, housing, etc. etc.). I didn’t see you there.’ … Sometimes the fight isn’t always about what you want but about reciprocation.

8. Stop assuming African-American support. Everything I’m saying here could fall under the umbrella of “don’t take people of color for granted,” but I wanted to say something specifically about what seems to be a common assumption — that African Americans, even more than other minorities and definitely more than white people, “should just understand” what gays and lesbians are going through “because it happened to them, too.” First of all, as I (and many others) said above, the parallels between the two movements are not nearly as clear as they’ve been made out to be. Second, to make this an issue of understanding or the lack thereof, rather than resentment at being ignored and trivialized or pushed out of one’s own neighborhood, isn’t helpful. But most of all, it misses the mother of all points, which is that Prop 8, like most everything that sucks, is overwhelmingly about white money and white power. Even if they voted yes in higher percentages, African Americans are not more guilty than whites, who funded this thing and got it done. Black homophobia isn’t especially galling because of their history in this country. White homophobia is especially galling because white conservatives have the resources and, my god, the energy to make defeating LGBT rights such a priority.

9. Stop assuming African-American NON-support. The flip side to the white liberal saying “there’s no point in asking for African-American support because we know we already have it” is the white Leftist saying “there’s no point in asking for African-American support because we know we’ll never get it.” Either because of beliefs about Black homophobia or (more charitably) beliefs about Black communities having more pressing priorities, it’s still a reluctance to form alliances. Over and over again, at least in blogs, I’ve been seeing black and brown women saying “no one approached us” or “we weren’t asked to help.” These are women who voted no anyway (if they’re Californian, or from one of the other states that had a ballot measure of this kind), but while doing so some have bitterly pointed out it’s another sign that people of color are being treated as silent foot soldiers in a movement while white organizers take over the leadership.

10. Finally, there are queer people of color! I almost didn’t include this because it seems too obvious to mention, but I don’t want the fact that I am addressing a white audience right now to be taken as a sign that I’m ignoring queer POC or that I’m painting the queer movement as exclusively white. That’s been another huge issue in this debate. (See Pam’s House Blend post about the treatment of Black gay activists after Prop 8 passed, The N-bomb is dropped on black passersby at Prop 8 protests and ask yourself with friends like these….?) I have much more to say about this, especially as it relates to the treatment of Islam by gay and lesbian activists because that’s where most of my attention goes anymore, but really it merits its own post.

What I will say is that I’ve read some excellent stuff lately (offline) about building alliances between queer communities and immigrants/people of color, and/or about addressing racism in queer organizing, and as much as I like it it still needles me that so much of it assumes an audience of white gays and lesbians, exclusively. Never straight people of color, and, well, the existence of LGBT people of color would ruin the whole argument so they’re just left out altogether. The assumption seems to be that white people can be educated about race but queer POC come from backgrounds so hopelessly homophobic that their only choice is to try to assimilate into a white queer community (who will try to be “more sensitive” but will ultimately still control and define the community’s agenda).

But when the argument is always framed that way — “I know y’all are good on gay and lesbian issues, but now let’s talk about race” — well, just who are you talking to there? I did it myself above, without thinking about it, by linking to the CISPES web site (in case someone doesn’t know what that is) but not bothering to link to ACT UP (because I assume anyone reading me has heard of that). That’s what I’m talking about. So if you’re trying to build alliances but are always assuming that your audience is already politicized around queer stuff but isn’t politicized around race issues, you are implicitly communicating your exclusion of people for whom it works the other way around, or who have been prioritizing both things long before they ever stumbled across whatever you’re on about at this moment. But again, a post in itself. This one’s long enough.

Election List X: Some of The Horrible Things That Will Happen To You If You Don’t Vote

From John Scalzi… Horrible things that will happen if you don’t vote

This is all true.

Election List X: Some of The Horrible Things That Will Happen To You If You Don’t Vote

1. Your penis will fall off. If you are a woman, you will grow a penis, which will then fall off.

2. Your peers will point and laugh at you more than they already do.

3. You will have to listen to smug voters say “if you didn’t vote, you can’t complain” for at least two years.

4. You will be consumed by pillbugs whilst you sleep. They will leave behind nothing but your penis, which as you’ll recall, has already fallen off.

5. You will smell of sour buttermilk until the next New Hampshire primary.

6. Uncontrolled flatulence.

7. Cars will swerve to hit you, even when you are inside your own home.

8. Your World of Warcraft party will turn on you and smite you mightily.

9. Impotence. And not just because your penis has fallen off.

10. Stairs will rise to trip you.

11. Boils. In Biblical plague amounts.

12. Static cling that no amount of Bounce sheets will ever cure.

13. Your cat will take a dump somewhere in the house that you will never find, and the smell will be carried through the air vents for months, all the while the cat will stare at you with that “you’re a real asshole” look they sometimes have. If you do not have a cat, one will be provided for you for the length of time required for it to crap in said undisclosed location.

14. Your credit card will be canceled and your creditors will send someone to repossess your penis. Which has fallen off.

15. Your favorite TV show will be canceled and every time you try to buy the last season on DVD, retailers will be out of stock.

16. Your children will disown you. If you have no children, you will be summarily adopted by a family, and when you attend Thanksgiving at their home, you will be told how disappointed they are in you. For six hours straight. After which they will disown you.

17. Your cabbies will henceforth always take the long route to any destination to which you travel.

18. Zombies, and you without a shotgun.

19. Everyone on your street will win the lottery. You will get a rock.

20. I swear to God, I will learn your address, come to your house, and when you open the door, I will totally kick you in the nads. Which will hurt even more because they’re the only reproductive organs you have left. Because your penis has fallen off.

I trust now you will be sufficiently motivated to vote.

The election lists are now completed. Thank you for your attention.

On why I’ve never been able to support McCain/Palin & chose Obama/Biden

I’m a life long democrat, that shouldn’t surprise anyone here. My bit on the lack of support for McCain is so people can understand this isn’t a knee jerk, OMG he’s a Republican so I can’t support him reaction. It’s a reaction to his platform, or rather a lack thereof.

I’m a reasonable, intelligent person(and if you don’t agree THIS isn’t the place to argue that point) and I vote based on who I think will do a better job. I support Obama because he’s had an answer, a laid out plan for what he would do as President. Again, I don’t think he’s a Messiah or has all the answers. No one person can turn around the cesspool that government has become. McCain seems to be using the same catch phrases over and over without ever really explaining his position. All I hear from him is I’ll work for Vets, I’ll keep taxes where they are, we must stay the course in Iraq until we have victory, Obama is dangerous and not ready to lead. He’s never stopped people from claiming that Obama is an A-Rab or has ever talked directly to the Senator in debates. When pressed to repeat some of the negativity in his ads, he turned it back on poor me, they are lying about me and that guy who called me out hurt my feelings, wah.

I’ve got no clear picture on just WHAT McCain would do to reverse the economic downturn we’re in, he wants to keep the war going, he has not said HOW he’d get Bin Laden, just that we’ll stay the course until we win. That’s all well and good but how do you plan to do that McCain? If he’d picked Lieberman as a running mate, and truly stuck to his label of Maverick I’d be a lot more concerned about Obama’s chances next week. As it is he’s picked a woman to capture the vote from disenfranchised Hillary supporters who think with their gender instead of their brains. But as time has gone on, its clear this woman is an opportunist who is willing to toss the party and McCain under the bus so she can step up in 2012 and run.

There isn’t enough space to list all of the things that are wrong with Palin as a VP pick so I’ll give you a few. She is not family focused, she does not understand foreign policy, thinks being next to Russia is a qualifier for knowing about the world, just got a passport last year, exonerated herself and her husband on charges of misconduct as if that is even legal, used Alaskan taxpayer money to fund her family’s travel alongside her on gubernatorial duties, thinks only small towns are the REAL AMERICA and that folks in big cities don’t get it. She questions peoples patriotism if they come from big cities, the folksy you betcha’s are the nail in the coffin. Trying to appeal to the common man with Joe the plumber, Joe Six Pack, etc are condescending to me as a citizen who gets up and goes to work every day.

My other problem with McCain/Palin is that instead of addressing the issues and really hammering the Obama campaign on what they claim are his weaknesses, they are instead just singing the same tune of he’s not American enough, he’s socialist, he’s going to “spread the wealth around” like the bogie man is hiding under our beds that will suddenly jump up and give us all money O_o?! Granted, that selective memory is coming back to bite McCain/Palin; Palin is on record as being proud of the Socialism of Alaska, how they could give back to each man, woman & child in Alaska because they like to spread the wealth. Hmm, forgot you said that Gov?

I want a President that is going to spend the time to address issues. I want them to be able to remain calm, cool and collected. McCain is not that person. Palin cannot wink or you betcha, golly darnit her way out of a G8 summit or arms treaty. I don’t trust either one of them to deal with our allies in a way that will help this country, and I honestly am TERRIFIED of the idea of Palin being thisclose to the Presidency if McCain drops dead.

I’ve had enough of the government treating the country as their personal playground, of them treating the constitution as a whiteboard they can edit as will with no regard for what we, the people want and need from our government.

I urge you to vote next Tuesday, I urge you to do the right thing and Vote for Change.

A day in the life of Joe Six-Pack

Day in the Life of Joe Sixpack


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.

The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT JOE THE PLUMBER WOULD YOU!

Christ on a wheat thin, I am so fucking sick of hearing about Joe the Plumber! It’s been proven that he’s not even a real plumber, owes quite a bit of money in back taxes, is a Republican and has donated to the their causes and is related to the Keatings of the Keating controversy.

Stop waving his name around like a fucking badge of honor, like he’s your personal buddy. Between him and Joe Six Pack, I’m sick of this ooooh look, we love the common man. He’s the face of America! Well, here’s a bit of news. Joe Six Pack is who I think of when I think of redneck assholes that go home and beat their wive because dinner isn’t ready at 6 pm.

I think of Joe Six Pack as the guy who never got out of high school or has a couple community college credits and resents his wife because she makes more than him in her secretarial job at the local high school. Joe Six Pack is not what I think of when I think of what America is.
America is supposed to be the land of the free, brave, and so on. It’s not a country where you are inciting people to riot over race, not a country where one has to be afraid to express themselves for fear of censure, not a country where I need to fear that someone will attack me because I’m not a white, conservative christian. People seem to have forgotten that America was founded by people who were sick of being run over by the elite, yet we have a candidate who doesn’t know how many houses he owns and a barbie doll for a running mate who has had more spent on an image re-do in 6 weeks than some people make in 2 years.

So for those people who want to toss out Joe the Plumber and Joe Six Pack as shining examples of American values, just fucking stop it. You are making all of us sick to death with this lame ass sound byte, and frankly you are foolish if you think anyone agrees with that small minded idea.

November 4th must come quickly because then I can stop hearing about how Un-American I must be because I live in a Big City, because I’m not a Christian or Conservative.

Race & Politics herein, read and comment at your own peril

Warning – hateful image at the head of this & linked post, in case it would bother anyone

A thoughtful post on a hateful image done by a McCain supporter by karnythia

Well written post again by Karnythia. Once again articulating what is bothering me about the rage and undercurrent of kill him and race baiting being done by the extremists in the McCain bullpen. The fact that this blogger is claiming he didn’t know he was using racist, hateful, death threat imagery is utter bullshit.

It’s only 3 weeks till election day and as several people have said, I’m done worn out. I don’t know if my nerves or patience can keep me calm until the last vote is counted.

Keith Olbermann breaks this down for the folks:

Just so you know…

If you are going to comment on anything here, especially if you want to just argue without PROOF, then you will be mocked, ignored and banned, not neccessarily in that order. If you drop in on posts older than 6 months old, you will be mocked, your comment deleted and banned again not in that order. This is my little corner of the web, and if you don’t like the rules feel free to leave, just close the door on your way out.

On the film Religulous…

Oh My Gods! Futhark Kid 3

I saw Religulous over the weekend, and it was intriguing, funny at times, a bit shocking and yes a little heavy handed at the end. The film crew was tossed out of the Vatican and off Mormon temple grounds, which didn’t surprise me at all.

Seeing this movie comes on the heels of a conversation I had with Eric about the fact that there are people who have assumed I must be an atheist because I’m not an in your face, bible thumping xtian. First, that’s pretty damn presumptuous, to assume that if I’m not part of the tian army then I HAVE to be an atheist. Second, that’s offensive because it excludes all other faiths that I could ascribe to. Third, frankly its no one’s damn business what faith I practice (or don’t) and it shouldn’t inform your opinion of who I am because I don’t fit into your little check box.

While I am most definitely NOT xtian, and have many issues with this faith… I’m not an atheist. My faith does not instill the virtue that I’m a worthless creature that is always dependent on my G*d, nor does it make me think that I must toil away all my days on the (unproven) chance that if I’m good enough, treat others well enough I might get a little slice of heaven once I’ve passed on. Sorry, not interested in toiling away and missing out on the life I’ve got right now for some (empty) promise of eternal joy that no one can prove exists. I’ll take my joy and happiness now, tyvm. But on to the movie…

It did raise questions without being too offensive, this is Bill Maher after all. What I loved is that he questioned people from the major faiths, showed a couple of “men of the cloth” for the hypocrites they are, and just planted that seed of healthy doubt about some of the religious teachings folks believe.

Of course, Scientology and Mormons were not excluded from the skewering, and inquisitive mind of Maher. I admit I knew nothing about Scientology other than the bit about them believing aliens are residing inside humans. I knew zip about Mormonism until this movie actually, and the fact that the founder claims to have communed with G*d along with Abraham, Jesus, etc… and the fact that people followed this Smith nutter, and that no one calls it a cult (well people who practice it anyway) just amazed me.

All in all, I’d say its a must see movie whether you have faith or not. It may offend those who are deeply religious no matter what the tract; but I think it raises those questions that people often shun and refuse to think about. Mainly, what if I’m wrong and there is no G*d, Jehovah, Allah, etc… because to even think it could cause some people to just melt down, but what I’d hope would happen is that people would step back and just think about what they are doing, what they are devoting themselves to.

There’s more on my mind but it’ll need to wait till I can collect my thoughts and I’m not getting ready to run out the door.

Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio

Has this been on a news blackout? How is it that no-one has heard of this until now??

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

to repeat: Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio

Please, please, go to this link and read the whole thing. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/28/203016/697/536/613742

It was reported in the Dayton Daily News, but not commented on in major media since. The DVDs —28 million of them— were inserted in newspapers in many swing states by a pro-McCain group. And so here we are. A country where hatred is distributed with the Sunday paper. Where children are maliciously attacked because of their religion and no one blinks. Thankfully, no-one died. This time.

I urge you to call or write any major media outlet you know of and disseminate this story. Also, I’m sure the people in Dayton Islamic Society and their members would appreciate a kind word.
26 Josie Street, Dayton, OH 45403 Tel: (937) 228-1503
Here is the email:
isgd@hotmail.com

Here also is the email for the people that put this sick piece of trash into circulation.
info@clarionfund.org

Crossposted to my LJ and snagged with permission from the community obama_blackfolk

Something to think about… a thoughtful piece on bi prejudice

…and it’s re-posted here with her permission. A thoughtful piece on bi-prejudice.

Common misconceptions regarding bisexuality which anger me greatly:

(Homosexual – gay and lesbian; “you” – a general “you” and not anyone in particular.)

You’re really homosexual but afraid to admit it.

No. If you’re saying this, you’re effectively saying that bisexuality isn’t real. People used to say, and some still do, that homosexuality doesn’t exist, and lesbians are just afraid of penises or hate men, and gay men identify with their moms too much or something. Saying that self-identified bisexuals are really something else is precisely the same as expressing those anti-homosexual opinions.

You only date other-sex people because you’re afraid of social/familiar response, so you’re really straight.

And homosexual men have married women and homosexual women have married men. It didn’t make them heterosexual. That a person may be afraid to realize their sexuality means that there’s something they’re afraid to realize, not that there isn’t such a thing.

Bisexuals are more prone to cheating. If you’re attracted to both sexes, how can you be happy with just one?

That someone is potentially attracted to both men and women doesn’t mean that the person they love has to be both. It doesn’t take a bisexual to be attracted to characteristics which cannot all exist in the same person. Put in a rather ludicrous way, how can someone who’s attracted to both blondes and redheads stay loyal? The same way.

Self-identified bi people who only date one sex, usually the other one, do it to impress people or they’re a reason for some bi people to not identify as such.

Maybe some do it to look cool, but I think a lot of them are just afraid. Just like some heterosexuals are afraid to date someone they’re attracted to but who’s of a different social class or “racial” descent, or some homosexuals end up in relationships with other-sex people or avoid relationships at all.

And how can this be a reason for bi people to not say they’re bi? Only if they’re afraid that should they say it, no one will believe it. This isn’t because of the people suppsedely giving bisexuality a bad or false name. This is because of the people who think bisexuality isn’t real, or is always some sort of remitting homosexuality. (Sometimes it is. Not always.)

And even if those closeted bi people lay the blame on the other, scared bi people… Just because someone is of a certain group doesn’t mean they’re immune to holding prejudice against it themselves, implicit or explicit. If they were, then teens and adults of minority groups wouldn’t be more prone to depression, self-harm and such.

Don’t call me anti-bi! I have bi friends!

I believe you. I believe you have bi friends, I believe that you consciously hold pro-rights views, I believe that you have and will defend bisexuals and other minorities. I really do believe that you mean no harm.

I also know that implicit prejudice is real. “Implicit prejudice” is when an opinion or a reason that at first glance appear harmless really aren’t, but express a social bias so deeply ingrained that most of us don’t notice it anymore, even those of us with the most pro-rights views and best intent. If those of us who are aware of implicit prejudices still usually possess a whole posse of them, despite our best efforts.

So, no, you shouldn’t be called anti-whatever. You really aren’t. But maybe, that isn’t what that person was telling you; maybe something you thought was innocent and unbiased really isn’t.

So please, if you’re really everything you say you are and which I think you are, consider the possibility that some of your reasoning and ideas have their roots in biased commonly accepted opinions which you just never thought to doubt.

(Yes, of course y’all may link, repost or mildly rephrase and repost.)

The AntiSpore… Say WHAT?

Well, it’s begun. There’s an AntiSpore blog started by a woman (because Gods forbid you should assume she’s male) who is claiming that Will Wright is evil, and trying to usurp her G*D’s right as Creator of ALL THINGS.

I left a comment that’s still in Moderation. I guess after the 1000+ comments that were left over the few posts she decided to turn on moderation of comments.

Ma’am, while I don’t agree with any threats made against you and those calling for you to burn in hell for this site and your belief that Will Wright is trying to usurp your G*D’s rights as creator… you should be able to see how a non-Christian or someone who is playing this game for entertainment might see this as taking things too far.

It is a game, not a conspiracy to take over the world, or to over turn Christian Values. I’m no Christian, and I certainly think you are taking this a bit too far, especially taking credit for a way to censor penile like images that may come through in the game. I challenge you to just try the game, or the other game the Sims and see that this is merely a game. Something fun to do, and not a plot to create a bunch of gene splitting mad scientists who will take over the world while the other people of the world are sleeping.

This is simply, silly. It’s taking a game that was made for fun and profit and making it into a demon lurking in the nearest pc. It’s just a game and I think you should step back and realize that and stop making it into a sinister plot.

It’s pretty sad that just about anything that comes out is fodder for people like this.

I may go back for some lulz, but really its sad that someone is so stuck in the Dark Ages when it comes to belief and science.

Note to self for reading other’s political thoughts…

Note to self…

When reading others political thoughts:

If they decide to stoop to name calling and outright idiocy, don’t sink to their level

If they decide that by supporting your candidate of choice you are un-American and un-patriotic remember it’s only their opinion.

If they have decided that attacking, arguing and flat out refusal to listen to facts is their MO rather than intelligent discourse; give it up as a lost cause.

If all of the above happens, just stop reading their blog until the election is over.

John Scalzi is awesome… read what he has to say dammit

I love John Scalzi, awesome, awesome man that he is. A not so gentle reminder from Mr. Scalzi to folks to calm the fuck down and stop spazzing out because the GOP got a poll jump after their convention.

The full post after the jump if you don’t click.

Continue reading “John Scalzi is awesome… read what he has to say dammit”

My thougts on the election… Senator Obama, history

I won’t mince words here. I do Believe in Change, I do believe in the message that Senator Barack Obama is bringing to the nation. I do believe that he can be that agent of change we need to move past the past eight years of war, recession, theocracy and tailspin we have endured as a country.

Let me take a moment to let you know, that no I do not think the good Senator is our next Messiah, I do not think he walks on water and can do no wrong. I do not idolize Barack Obama, and think that he is THE ANSWER for all of our nations ills. No one man or woman can snap their fingers and make it alright. No one man or woman can wade into the mess that is our current administration and sweep it all clean with a word or gesture.

I do believe that he can do it, with work over the 4 years of the Presidential term. He can do it, if people learn that first and foremost we are a nation of strong people, who are willing to do the work to bring America back to its greatness, not just a nation of whiners, not just a nation of “not my fault” irresponsible types but a nation that can band together to make a difference.

I do not believe that someone who does not support the Senator is automatically a racist, because that is just stupid. While I may disagree on choice of candidate, who am I to point the finger of you are racist just because you don’t agree with me? For those who can find fault in his policies, his past actions in Chicago, his relatively short term in Senate as reasons to not vote for him, I can respect that. I may not like it, but I can respect it.

For those women who feel slighted by the fact that Hillary did not make it to the Nomination by the party, suck it up will you? Would you let your bitterness and misguided anger over her loss let you vote for a man who has no regard for women, who called his wife a trollop and cunt when she jokingly teased him over his thinning hairline? Some champion of women’s rights you’re behind now that Hillary is out of the running. To them I do say, Your Whiteness IS showing.

All of that rambling was to state clearly that I support Senator Obama, be it with my time, money or just my heart and ballot come 4 November but I do so with a clear head and cautious mind that while yes, WE CAN do it with Barack, he is still a mere human and fallible. He is still a politician and as such can promise us the moon, but we must hold him accountable for those promises. We as a people must ensure that we get substance along with his style and that we hold his feet to the fire to make the change he has promised a reality and not empty words uttered along the campaign trail.

Text of Obama’s Nomination acceptance speech

Link stolen shamelessly from angelsscream

Denver, CO (AHN) – Sen. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech as he receives the nomination to serve as the Democratic party’s presidential candidate for 2008; delivered to the nation from Invesco Field at Mile High stadium in Denver, Colorado.

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation; With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest – a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours — Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia – I love you so much, and I’m so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story – of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren’t well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart – that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That’s why I stand here tonight. Continue reading “Text of Obama’s Nomination acceptance speech”

Rightwing Swiftboating v2.0 – or let’s derail Obama 08′

Media Matters has found the Obama swiftboating strategem

The thematic structure of the right-wing
smear campaign against Barack Obama

As the means of communication have evolved, presidential campaigns have grown increasingly multifaceted, with each election featuring layers of complexity that were not present four years before. The most striking feature of the 2008 election may be the sheer volume and variation of the attacks being directed at Sen. Barack Obama. Though they come from many sources, arrive through a variety of media, and cover a wide range of subjects, a close examination reveals a unified thematic structure to these attacks.

Text only version.
Click on each bubble for more information.

Swiftboating

Swiftboating

As has been extensively documented, many of the criticisms Obama has faced are based on outright falsehoods. The truth is that he is a Christian, not a Muslim; he was born in the United States; he doesn’t refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; he wasn’t endorsed by Fidel Castro; and so on. Other attacks are outrageous distortions with a kernel of truth at their core.

The diagram below shows how the seemingly disconnected attacks on Obama all drive in a similar direction. Each begins with some aspect of Obama’s history, family, personal characteristics, or beliefs. The attack then moves to one of three broad themes: that Obama is a Muslim or somehow foreign; that he represents a black radicalism more at home in the 1960s than today; or that he is a liberal elitist with a radical, even socialist agenda.

Some of the attacks touch on two or even all three of these themes, which is why they are represented in a Venn diagram. But all the attacks ultimately point to the conclusion that Obama is “not one of us,” as the expression goes — not Christian, not white, not mainstream, not even American.

Just as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth unleashed on the public a dossier of lies about John Kerry in 2004, this new campaign is on a mission to spread misinformation about a presidential candidate. We call it “Swiftboating 2.0” not only because it is the latest model of a political smear campaign, but also because it shares features of “Web 2.0” sites like Facebook and MySpace: significant portions of the content are generated by ordinary people and are spread from peer to peer. Swiftboating 2.0 combines these new information pathways with traditional media — books from conservative publishers, right-wing radio, and conservative pundits and strategists on television — to spread the smears as widely as possible and force them into the mainstream media.

To understand the attacks on Obama, one must acknowledge that they operate together, as one coherent, thematically unified campaign: Swiftboating 2.0.

End of online civility?

Reading the commentary on columns in the Chicago Tribune makes me feel like my iq drops with each word read, each sentence consumed. Then I feel like I must be a genius compared to those nut jobs who take the time to post such fucking idiocy to the web.

I’m debating a post on the McCain spoof cover by Vanity fair and comparing it to the Obama New Yorker cover. However, I know full well what the consequences may be and frankly I don’t feel like dealing with anyone’s bullshit over my opinion on the matter.

I ask you online folks who have happened upon this page…do you ever just lose hope for humanity after reading the news or comments on news stories? I pick on the Trib again, since they have a couple locations where people can spew their electronic bile far and wide, with no repercussions.

This election has brought out the true ugliness of Americans and I fear it will only get worse. Not so much a political post, but it makes me wonder if the power of the internet has robbed us of our civility, our ability to think critically about the issues at hand? Does that ever thinning shield of anonymity make us type before thinking? Do people even care about the effect of their words, their reactions to things?

Whether it be to feed an internet troll, or put out their views without having to own up to having them in a face to face context; there is a definite lack of thought put into the words that go onscreen lately. After all, an internet identity means little, and can be created in seconds. I think this trend, this lack of civility online is part of this nations decline towards idiocy and poor treatment of others.

More later… but I’m wondering if this lack of online civility is a harbinger of worse things to come…

What do whites fear about blacks?

This is an old forum inquiry on the Tribunes’s Exploring Race forum. The link to the actual question post is MIA (probably too old to find online) but the comments are there.

Here’s a link to the comments.

So, tell me what do you think whites fear about blacks if anything? But for my own sanity, stop using that PC bullshit African American terminology.

Washington Uni of St. Louis to honor hate monger Phyllis Schafly

Washington U. Set to Honor Anti-Gay Activist
Washington University in St. Louis is giving an honorary degree to anti-gay activist Ms. Phylis Schlafly founder of the Eagle Forum a right wing group opposed to LGBT equality and feminism. This woman has fought tirelessly against marriage equality even though her own son is gay, and she has said women should not work and believes they belong in the kitchen.

Take action by clicking to email the university on the post below:
http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/05/ding-dong-witch-is-getting-honorary.html

I miss shooting Floaters and Lobster Men

I’m not sure who remembers X-Com UFO defense *… but this game UFO Aftermath made me think of what X-Com ** could have been if it had remained a viable title past Win98.

I loved X-Com and wish I could find a copy of it for the Playstation. I have it for PC still, but it won’t run under Windows XP [I haven’t been able to get it to run anyway].

But I think I’m back in the alien killin business! And I’ve found that there’s a sequel to Aftermath, called UFO Aftershock.

Now off to kill some alien scum. Edit: Found X-Com UFO Defense for download =) if anyone was interested

/nostalgia flashback

Westboro nutters have gone beyond the pale

Snagged from Brian. In respectful proximity… Westboro nutjobs actually have the bloody gall to ask Heath Ledgers family where they are hiding their sons body so they can protest his funeral. These bastards are so fucking sick… I wish they’d all just fucking die already.

Continue reading “Westboro nutters have gone beyond the pale”