Category Archives: politics

Two Chances To See Me Read

So if you’re in the Bay Area there are two chances to see me read in the next few weeks. The first is at the Soulful Reading Series on my school’s campus. Here’s the flyer:soulful-revised

 

Not only do I know most of the readers and can guarantee their collective awesomeness and soulfulness but the piece I will be reading features cannibalism. CANNIBALISM! People you should be asking yourselves, how can you not come!

The second chance to hear me read will be on 5/1/2009 at the Center of Sex & Culture in San Francisco as part of SFinX’s Manifesto Night. I will be reading a non-fiction radically extreme political manifesto (or at least part of it) that I’m working on right now. I’ll put the poster and more info up here when I get it.

LOGISTICS CHANGES:
4/28/09 – reading moved to 5:30
5/01/09 – location moved to Modern Times Bookstore

“Prop. 8 It Passed ‘Cause of Black People!” …. Yeeeeeeah, no.

So the new screed for the No on Prop. 8 people is that it’s the fault of black people that the proposition passed. So let’s break the numbers down, black people make up 6.7% of California and 52% of people voted yes on Prop. 8! Even if every black person in CA voted Yes on Prop. 8 it does not equal even remotely the number of white people who voted for it, so how is it our fault again? Why is the focus all on us?

Is there queerism within communities of color? Yes abso-fucking-lutely, but that’s present within all communities and we all need to do that work. I don’t mean to diminish that queerism at all but I also do not want it elevated because it’s occurring within a community of color which is the M.O. of a lot of the focus around the intersections of POC communities and queerism. Rarely if ever when queerism within POC communities is discussed do queer POC get a chance to speak on their experiences at the intersection of those two or more identities.

The whole campaign for ‘No on 8′ was fucked from the jump.

As my friend Jackie said – “The Yes on 8 people were smart, they campaigned heavily in People of Color communities from the beginning and their commercials included People of Color (POC)”.

The No on 8 people came into communities of color late and they came soft, the whole push for No. on 8 was soft. In so many ways the current push for gay rights is predicated on assimilating into the mainstream and yet somehow trying to keep enough status to call on People of Color communities and say, “We’re just like you! We’re allies!” But here’s the thing we’re only allies when you need something. When initiatives for/about POC have come up the gay community has mostly been completely silent. For more on this read LadyJax’s post Something told me this was going to happen. Where she talks about gentrification, coalition building and reciprocity. Like she says the No on 8 folks needed to come hard and say ‘Bottom line our rights are being taken away. We are a minority who is having our rights stripped and if it happens to us it can happen to you.’

Do two wrongs make a right? No absolutely not (and that’s not what LadyJax is saying either).

What is being said is that you can’t act just like any other cog in the oppressive system one second and then try to play on some invisible connection to POC the next when you’ve done nothing to nurture any kind of bond or relationship there. In so many ways the big GLBT organizations – HRC, GLAAD seem to ignore POC as much as possible you just have to look at the amount of praise that shows like The L Word & Queer As Folk receive as opposed the silence that shows that feature queer POC like Noah’s Arc are greeted with. They would like to ignore the fact that there are in fact queer POC. Communities of Color, our issues and problems are completely ignored and a lot of that has to do with the fact that rich gay white men, the focus and funding of GLAAD and HRC profit off of not remembering that – especially in regards to gentrification and the way that POC get treated in our own neighborhoods when gentrification begins. Because they would prefer to ignore us the outreach that happens is minimal if there at all. Is it any wonder that when we’re approached a couple of weeks before the election with comparisons to segregation and civil rights that we’re more likely to scoff than join hands and sing a round of kumbaya?

In so many ways liberals just expect the support of minorities just for being liberal but guess what it doesn’t work that way. We’re just like every other group of people, there are going to be some who are queer, some who aren’t, some who support Prop. 8 and some who don’t and you need to do the work, to do the outreach and to build communities not just come to us when you need something.

The bottom line is if the support of communities of color is sought then coalitions need to be built, we need to be acknowledged as a constituency that have power and pull and treated like any other. I mean the NAACP of California came out against Prop. 8 but was that mentioned anywhere that you saw? I only learned it this morning and that’s something that should have been explicitly brought up in their ads and literature.

I went a bit off point there but the fact is that not only is the assertion that it’s black people’s fault that Prop. 8 passed racist as all get out for spotlighting the their support for Prop. 8 as the deciding factor as opposed to the majority of white people that voted for it but it’s also exactly the kind of attitude that DOES NOT lead to coalition and relationship building. You want to win next time, you want POC support next time? Then you go into the community, you speak to people, you communicate, you build relationships. You don’t wag a blaming finger in the face of black folks and say “Oh it’s all your fault how could you?!” because that? Won’t get you any kind of positive reaction next time around.

For more posts from POC check out rydra_wong’s awesome linkspam.

I Voted Today! Did You? Will You?

So I have done my civic duty this grey morn and tonight my teacher has decided to have CNN’s live update projected onto the class wall so we can see what’s up.

If you don’t plan to vote today (and are in AMerica of course) then I give you the finger waggle of shame.

Yes it will busy (longest I’ve had to wait to vote ever) and crowded and some of the folks in line with you may leer or smell of tequila at 7A.M. but this is your democratic process and your country. You have to live here, and have to abide with the people in charge. The only reason I can think to not vote is that you’re planning a coup of the government to install either a more strict military regime or a socialist, flower in every orifice, hips pumping into empty air era. In those cases I could understand why you might not vote if you’re sure your revolt will come to pass but if you’re not absolutely sure that by this time next year you’ll be ruling with an iron fist or a soft, fleshy heart full of love then you should really vote. And hell even if you’re 100% sure you should still vote ’cause you have to live with whoever’s chosen too, at least until your strategically placed, hypnotized, living-zombies in the current regime come online.

So in summary – VOTE! or take over the world with zombies whichever seems easier.

White Privilege & The Republican Ticket

Yes I’ve been gone for a couple weeks school and work have combined into a maelstrom of kicking my ass. I’m gonna try and get back on the horse of posting even if it’s just links and not original posts – although I want to try and do at least one  original post a week. Now these are two links about the way that white privilege is affecting the election and especially the republican ticket.

The first one is the much linked “This Is Your Nation On White Privilege” by Tim Wise. I’ve always had an political crush on Tim Wise and this just solidified it.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their fuckin’ ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

Read the rest of the essay at Tim Wise’s blog!

Really fantastic – go read it now.

And be sure to check out his follow-up “Explaining White Privilege to the Deniers and the Haters”

The second link is to a blog called Raving Black Lunatic and the post “Just A Reminder” where he name checks the Wise article above and discusses the linguistic racism at work with Sarah Palin.

Every time she said “doggone it,” or “darn it” or “aw shucks” I got a little more angry and frustrated. And it wasn’t just because her voice reminds me of a Minnesotan on crack.

Listening to her spew colloquialisms, I wondered if a “plain-speaking” black person would be considered a legitimate presidential candidate. You know, a black person who said stuff like “fo’ sho,” or “girl, please” or “that ain’t right.”

Really good stuff, check out the whole article.

That’s all for today but hopefully I’ll have an original post for y’all pretty soon.

9.11

I’ve been going back and forth on what to post today. Actually that’s a lie I’ve been going back and forth trying to decide whether to censor what I want to post or not. I’m going with not.

I think there’s a way in which 9.11 is remembered like the Oklahoma City Bombing never is. Which if you recall until 9.11 was the biggest terrorist act on American soil. And I think a lot of that has to do with it being foreign brown folks rather than an American White Man which makes it scarier somehow. Now having said that both acts were horrible and I mourn for the tremendous loss of life but we should never forget the politics that surround 9.11

So I’m reposting a poem Ani DiFranco wrote about 9.11 called:

Self-Evident (you can listen to it read here)

yes,
us people are just poems
we’re 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper-distillation
and once upon a time
we were moonshine
rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite what the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity
fermented and distilled
to eighteen minutes
burning down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there
yes, it’s part of a pair
there on the bow of noah’s ark
the most prestigious couple
just kickin back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its indian summer breeze
on the day that america
fell to its knees
after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
or please

and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky Continue reading

Still Swamped – Links!

I still have a lot of balls in the air so I have links for you guys today!

First the story of a mother who found herself the subject of a Child Services investigation because there had been an accusation that her autistic daughter was being sexually abused by a man. The evidence for this accusation? Well it seems the educational assistant who works with little Victoria went to see a psychic.

One Memphis officer has been fired and another now riding the desk after they beat a Transwoman in a holding cell because she wanted to be called by her given name and no “he-she”. It’s all on video and from what I hear pretty graphic (I can’t bring myself to watch it yet), she’s beat in the face with handcuffs, sprayed with mace and another officer holds her arms while one beats her and finally when the nurse enters she goes directly to the officer. Trangriot has more.


So Nightshade books released an anthology called Eclipse: One in which the authors were pretty much 50/50 men and women but no women’s names appeared on the cover. There’s was a valid outcry over this. Check out Coffee And Ink’s breakdown of the panel on it that occured at WisCon this year. This includes the fact that at the panel people were told the second volume would be different because of the respondents, the excuse for the first cover being that the men were just more famous.

But the story’s not over because the Table of Contents for the second volume has been released and there’s only one woman that I see. The excuse is of course that whole genderblind defense: “I don’t see gender I see good stories” which of course not only ignores subconscious prejudices but implies that women just don’t write good Science-Fiction. Bring into it the fact that this volumes is supposed to focus on more Science-Fiction than Fantasy and it reinforces that old stereotype of “Men write Sci-Fi, Women write Fantasy” which is of course complete bullshit. Check out some links.

Gender blind, right…

A scenario for you

And for a little perspective a post theangryblackwoman wrote over a year ago: How To Promote Diversity in Fiction Markets


Many of you will recall my post about Marriage Equality and that one of things that bothered me the most was that there were no dissenting voices in this debate, no one who stood up to say that marriage is not a cure-all and in fact is a bit of a fucked up system. Well I started to find some dissent.

In “Marriage Isn’t My Golden Ticket” Miriam Perez points out the way this issue has eclipsed everything else and draws attention away from important issues.

In “Why This Queer Isn’t Celebrating.” AngryBrownButch addresses the way that already marginalized groups within the queer community are becoming even more marginalized by the mainstream face that is being presented by the community.  

Finally “Why One Queer Person Is Not Celebrating California’s Historic Gay Marriage Decision” by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (who I now want to be my new best friend) breaks a lot of the issues I’ve been struggling to verbalize down.

That’s it for today, enjoy the links.

 

 

 

Too Much Going On – Short Links

I have a lot going on today and for the next couple of weeks plus it being Monday makes me feel even more stressed and out-of control so for today’s post I have a list of short links that I thought y’all would find interesting and can read instead of my insightful commentary ;)

Whose Feminism? over at Racialicious by Guest Contributor Thea Lim where she discusses her feelings of anger and betrayal toward some of the white feminist blogosphere and grassroots movements that ignore any discussion of race. I think it puts into words what a lot of Women of Color are feeling right now toward the feminist movement.

Oregon Public Broadcasting has the first in a series on Umatilla women, their tradition of root gathering and the threats to this tradition. Anna King actually talks to women of the Nation instead of talking at them which makes this a much more rounded article than the usual ones on Native folks.

A woman in Canada shaves her head to raise money for a Cancer org and finds herself fired from her waitressing job. This is all about this man (and the patriarchy itself) trying to control women’s appearances. It such bullshit and I’m glad the community is up in arms about it but – and perhaps this is just me being cynical – but I wonder would they be half as up in arms if this was her personal choice and not about raising money for Cancer?

Worried about angry white women voting for McCain? Well you probably shouldn’t be. Jill over at Feministe breaks down the point lead that Obama holds over McCain in regards to women overall. But as most of us know the media’s never really cared for any women but white middle-class ones and among that group McCain is beating Obama (but only by the small margin of 6 points).

An experimental new Alzheimer’s drug/treatment may stop the build up of protiens that damage brain cells.

Homophobic judge in Spain forced to marry gay couple after years of putting off performing any marriages between folks of the same sex.

Guest Contributor Alex Alvarez has two recent posts over at Racialicious that are really eye-opening. First, New Study Shows that Latino Teens Are Pregnant Suicidal Junkies where Alex questions who they consider Latina/o and how they decided it which is an important factor that’s not been brought up. Secondly, Our Genes Don’t Match with “Brown Pride” Clothing discusses the conflation of the term Latina/o with the chola/o subculture in the media and with clothing marketed to the Latina/o community in particular.

Finally on an environmental note, the first beaver dam in England in over 800 years.