August 31, 2008 2 Comments
August 31, 2008
from The Sanctuary
Many of us get an extra day off to celebrate labor day. Sadly though the injustices against workers around the world continue. Even within these United States we see working people being arrested for simply seeking employment and working hard. While ICE claims to be heavily involved in the “war on terror” they’re really only involved in creating terror. The only “war on terror” I see needing to take place is the one that changes the abhorrent policies of ICE. (As if being arrested and detained is not enough of a Labor Day present for hard working people please read about the gift to farm workers this Labor Day in A Labor Day Attack on Farmworkers.)
Just last Monday as the Democratic Convention was getting underway the largest immigration raid ever took place. 595 people were arrested. This post is a call for help.
August 31, 2008 2 Comments
New Orleans Craigslist: Rideshares — ignore the creepy one about BBW needing help evacuating, eww
New Orleans Craigslist: Volunteers — offers for family help and help with caring for pets
On Twitter: GustavAlerts
On Twitter: #gustav
Received via e-mail:
ICE has put out statements that it will not arrest anyone at any checkpoints and that the undocumented should evacuate along with everyone else. And it’s not just NOLA, but the entire region. Some Spanish language media is sending the ICE message out. Let’s hope people hear and believe it.
Many thanks to bfp, Andy Carvin, KM (via e-mail), robvato (via e-mail) and Prof BW for links.
August 31, 2008 2 Comments
Acknowledging the Bruises: Emotional Pain and Walls of Experience
When I started reading This Bridge Called My Back for the first time, I felt excited and then angered. The excitement lay in the words, the essays, and the women who presented to the fire of the world their bodies as animate beings. The book quilted together invaluable insight about the dangers of walking along the margins of identity, the power of revolution, and the instability of planning for such dramatic change. The threads weaving these experiences together pointed to painful anecdotes and epiphanies spawned from different realities – as a woman of color with white skin, as a woman of color with first- and second-generation immigrant roots, as a woman of color realizing she loved and treasured other women. Each story shaped the woman’s journey into the hostile landscape of American history and society. Through each elemental trial the different contributors faced, the resounding message shook me, an introverted Black mumble-sexual twenty-something law student, with the unwelcome fear and trembling survivalism triggers in a person’s heart.
The anger lay in the lack of exposure the book received in the broader world. The anger lay in knowing that I spent a lot of time scouring search engines and used bookstores to find an affordable copy of the anthology. The anger rocked my already agitated nerves and introduced more tension to my neglected health. I felt saddened that the book that brought me so much insight did not have the audiences and the institutional backing it needed. I also felt angry that in over 20 years, the way the world treated women of color had not changed. These women, under threat of facing more strife, swept their sorrows, their loves, and their losses under the table. My own losses lay in shadow among them, and with my tongue held in check by sharp teeth and bitter tasting silence, I learned to coddle and to placate the powerful with swallowing bile.
Learning the intricacies of the American legal system and suppressing my instinctive desires to be a mild-mannered office clerk Far, Far Away would not spark revolution. Rippling a reasonable and flexible system on the surface with a riptide of corruption and impenetrable drudgeries beneath the sheen, the legal system drowned and depressed my spirit. Instead, I would drastically alter my life. I longed for a place where I could sit under the golden heat of the sun and write poetry about revolution, change, and love. I needed somewhere I could write spontaneously and passionately, and then return to bed with my trusting feline companion. My future profession offered no such respite, and it wouldn’t do it unless I broadened my focus.
Idealism paralyzed me with the urge to try to change the world again.
Only a year and some change before I started reading This Bridge, I started a small web-log about issues important to me. I named the space The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum, borrowed from the critical race theory of anti-essentialism and its challenge to essentialist feminist legal jurisprudence. Since the theory mainly focused on variations of experience and intersections of identity, I thought it appropriate for writing about discrimination and about change to recognize the similarities and differences of human experience around the world. I used it to raise a lot of hell in the tiny corner of feminist-themed and race-themed web-logs. I spent more time writing in that space than concentrating on my critical first year of law school. My grades showed it. Online writing caused me more distress than the day-to-day reprogramming challenges of legal analysis and writing.
During this period, I learned more about human nature and myself than I wanted to know: virtual media dissolve social interaction to its most glaring and repulsive flaws. I projected and had false motives projected on me; I engaged in pointless bickering over the nuances of words and the meaning of absences in expression. I made great friends and I felt parts of my heart eaten away when acquaintances spent more time belittling me than paying attention to what I said. Soon I began returning the favor. Every day when I checked to see what brewed in the world, my sense of self-respect eroded with every drop of indifference to the fates of hundreds and thousands of people in this country and in other countries.
The indifference is what soured me against trying to work for anything and urged me to find solace alone. The indifference and the injustice of people dying in conflicts for someone else’s material comforts – including my own – destroyed my hope for the goodness in the world. The world ambled towards self-destruction, and I welcomed it because I hoped to help rebuild the aftermath, to pick up the pieces. In the meantime, I would find my pen, my hovel, and my cat. I would live within the safety of my thoughts while I waited for the inevitable. I eliminated The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum, and I dwelled on my sense of teleology to jumpstart my apocalyptic predictions.
I’m glad that life so far has not worked out that way.
August 29, 2008 33 Comments
A scientific treatise and herstory. Not for the faint of heart.
- I was beholden to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits (because I think pantsuits are more practical and business-like than jeans; so her fashion policy trumps Hollywood’s).
- I really don’t want to be left behind under a glass ceiling. I’d rather grab onto the hems of Clinton’s pantsuits and ride the upward wave. Feeling 18 million pinpricks of glass on my little brown head? I don’t think so!
- I like cats! I switched to Apple because of the Panther/Tiger/Leopard/Lion/Mastodon/Pterodactyl naming process, and so when I heard that pro-Clinton supporters named themselves PUMAs, I was ecstatic. I dusted off my black catsuit and everything! Teehee!
- Something about equal pay and babykilling and getting closer to Prez Slick Willie
Woohoo! I was right! Score one for Team Palin-McCain!
4. They have both pushed out children through their holes.
I learned in abstinence class that the sole purpose of my hole is to push out babies, and therefore I should wait until I found a man who understood what my hole was used for, marry him, and use him and my hole appropriately to push out a baby. I still don’t really know what that means, but anyway I have a hole! And they do too, and they’ve already done the hole-pushing-with-married-man thing!
Hillary pushed out one baby and Sarah pushed out five babies. Sarah pushed out five times more babies than Hillary. So that makes her five times better. But since I’m trying to make them similar, I will show five pictures of Hillary’s baby and then all five of Sarah’s different babies.
3. Something about Jesus.
I can’t really nail this one down. But something tells me he would be happy. And that something is likely Jesus. (Besides the black guy is a Muslim!)
(See how the 3 is elevated between them? That’s not HTML fail. Jesus is watching.)
(Okay that was HTML fail but I fixed it! Glory be!)
2. Both are white and American! God bless America!!!
Do you know what I like about America? The Americans in it. And do you know what I think about that black guy? He’s not an American. He went to a madrassa in a dark, dark continent somewhere! This lady said so!
And my ears are clean and I heard it loud and clear! As a black woman, I know the one true white Jesus has blessed true Americans with this information through this former congressional investigator. I received that email forward too! Except I hope she knows now that Palin is the Way to True American White Womanhood in the White House. As soon as McCain kicks it. Hard.
And the number one reason why Sarah and Hillary are exactly the same (except for some things but they’re not important) is…
1. The letters in their names are almost the same. And their last names kinda rhyme sorta.
S – A – R – A – H.
H – I – L – L – A – R – Y.
Letters in common: A, H, R.
Letters of difference: I, L, S, Y.
Say it a few times. Now say them really fast. Hear that powerful “N” beat that resonates with each chant? That’s commonality! Solidarity! As that black guy rapped somewhere (or one of the remixes), he said, “We are not as divided as our politics suggest.” And he has a really funny name so he must have meant names because his name is nothing like mine. That Obama-Aid… woo. Glad that’s gone.
So, I hope I have convinced other women and their respective pantsuits that a vote for Sarah is a vote for women everywhere. Now that you know the truth, please help me fight the lies and smears against this One True Political Pairing (OTPP) by going to this website and crying in its direction. My empirical proof trumps random red Xs!
We WILL see a woman in the White House by next year! And not that angry black one either! Sistah Souljah will not count!
Disclaimer: I’m not really this fucking stupid.
August 25, 2008 1 Comment
Many thanks to matttbastard from bastard.logic for tweeting this my way.
August 23, 2008
I read BFP and thought Beloved. About Sethe, Beloved, and Denver. The conflict between survival, murder, and breastfeeding. About how instinctively [possibly] a mother would not know which to do when facing the realities of captivity.
[India is not some damp cave; it is home.]
If this child had been kidnapped from a poor borough in Australia for 8 years, and India discovered that she had been adopted by a Brahmin family — would we face the same “dilemma” about whether the child should return home?
Using someone’s living [reality] to prove a point about Hollywood does not a great satire make. People like appending post- to different concepts. In a world where we wish to respect people’s humanity and value their presence, perhaps we’re post-politically incorrect satire.
Perhaps there are [many varied infinite intelligent] ways to express a poignant point without demeaning people [for millions of dollars and back slaps from the culture you mock].
A great interview with a [well-chosen and uplifting] vice presidential candidate. I will vote my [identity] ticket. People [literally] want to see change in [identity] politics, if not just in the [skin] makeup of their politicians.
August 19, 2008 2 Comments
Doctors may not discriminate against gays and lesbians in medical treatment, even if the procedures being sought conflict with physicians’ religious beliefs, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday.
In its second major decision advancing gay rights this year, the state high court ruled that religious physicians must obey a state law that bars businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
“The 1st Amendment’s right to the free exercise of religion does not exempt defendant physicians here from conforming their conduct to the . . . antidiscrimination requirements,” Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote for the court.
“There are millions of Americans across this country for whom faith is important,” says Daughtry, who leads an unprecedented party effort targeting the devout. “And whether they vote on the basis of their faith, or whether they vote about issues that are somehow connected to their faith, we should be reaching out to them.”
That doesn’t mean changing the party’s values, she adds, but moving past issues like abortion and showing that people of faith are not only welcome inside the Democratic Party but wanted.
“There are shades and gradations of what it means to be a Democrat,” Daughtry says in her modestly appointed convention office. “We’re not all Los Angeles, New York, Birkenstock-wearing Democrats.”
Al Qaeda and other groups have said that the United Nations is a priority target. In November 2001, Osama bin Laden declared, “Under no circumstances should any Muslim or sane person resort to the United Nations. The United Nations is nothing but a tool of crime.” Last year, Al Qaeda specifically denounced the humanitarian agencies of the United Nations as “direct enemies aiming to change the fabric of Muslim society.”
United Nations officials have recently received specific threats in Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan. In December, a Qaeda suicide strike in Algeria killed 17 United Nations workers and injured another 40. The after-action report on the Algeria attack sounded helpless: “The U.N. is under an extremist threat. The threat could be carried out anywhere at any time. There is no U.N. capacity to predict attacks.”
Mr. Vieira de Mello’s political team had come to Iraq in 2003 in order to hasten the end of the American occupation, but this proved to matter little to a man known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, who helped Al Qaeda plan the attack. “A lot of Islamic countries have been through injustices and various occupations and foreign troops using the U.N. resolutions,” he said afterward, referring to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
By this logic the 140,000 unarmed, civilian personnel who do political, humanitarian, development and human rights work for the United Nations would be blamed for the Security Council’s actions and inactions (over which these civil servants have little say).
The federal prosecutor’s office, which began sending the letters in January, has asked owners for meetings, building inspections and all the records of the design and layout of the apartments in specific buildings. Until recently, the real estate industry had hoped that the matter would quietly go away.
But last week, the United States attorney’s office filed a lawsuit against one of the recipients, AvalonBay Communities, and its architects, charging them with discrimination against disabled people by failing to provide sufficient access at Avalon Chrystie Place, a building on the Lower East Side with 361 apartments.
Now other landlords and developers — virtually everyone who has built an apartment house in New York City since 1991 — fear they may be next. Along with city officials, they assert that compliance with what is known as Local Law 58 satisfies the standards set by the Fair Housing Act.
“This is not limited to these 12 or 13 buildings,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s powerful lobbying arm. “If there’s a decision that Local Law 58 does not meet the criteria for apartments’ being accessible, you could easily argue that every building built since 1991 wasn’t built in accordance with the federal guidelines.”