Sorry for such a break y’all. I’ve been focusing a lot on Twitter lately, just because without a laptop Tumblr is a little more difficult to churn out quality content (the mobile app is alright, but not perfect by any means).

I’ll try to balance it out a bit more though, because I really enjoy both! How’s everyone doing? Fantastically, I hope.

cartermagazine:

Today In History
‘Diana Ross, actress, legendary solo singer, and lead singer for the Supremes, was born in Detroit, MI, on this date March 26, 1944. In 1993, the Guinness Book of Records awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award and title of “most successful female vocalist of all time.”’
(photo: Diana Ross)
- CARTER Magazine

cartermagazine:

Today In History

‘Diana Ross, actress, legendary solo singer, and lead singer for the Supremes, was born in Detroit, MI, on this date March 26, 1944. In 1993, the Guinness Book of Records awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award and title of “most successful female vocalist of all time.”’

(photo: Diana Ross)

- CARTER Magazine

(via npr)

rtamerica:

Unconstitutional for Oklahoma to keep execution drugs secret, says judge
Oklahoma’s capital punishment law has been ruled unconstitutional by a state judge based on a provision that allows officials to withhold the source of execution drugs from inmates.
Under Oklahoma law, there is no way, even through the court system, that an inmate can compel the state to disclose the source of lethal injection drugs. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said this violates the inmates’ constitutional rights.
"I think that the secrecy statute is a violation of due process because access to the courts has been denied,"Parrish ruled, according to AP.

Can’t blame prisoners for wanting to know what the drugs that are going to kill them are made from, and who produces them.
In fact, inmates in Texas are suing for the same thing.

rtamerica:

Unconstitutional for Oklahoma to keep execution drugs secret, says judge

Oklahoma’s capital punishment law has been ruled unconstitutional by a state judge based on a provision that allows officials to withhold the source of execution drugs from inmates.

Under Oklahoma law, there is no way, even through the court system, that an inmate can compel the state to disclose the source of lethal injection drugs. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said this violates the inmates’ constitutional rights.

"I think that the secrecy statute is a violation of due process because access to the courts has been denied,"Parrish ruled, according to AP.

Can’t blame prisoners for wanting to know what the drugs that are going to kill them are made from, and who produces them.

In fact, inmates in Texas are suing for the same thing.

(via aboriginalnewswire)

blackinasia:

Lee Michelle’s “Without You” Video: Challenging Colorism and Crafting a Beautiful Message of Self-Love

On my blog I discuss kpop quite a bit, particularly since many kpop idols are some of the worst serial offenders in terms of their antiblackness and cultural appropriation. It was therefore a pleasant surprise for me to watch this video by Lee Michelle (a biracial former contestant on the first season of “K-pop Star”), which breaks this mold.

Before proceeding I would like to briefly note that there have been biracial stars in Korea before. But when we talk about “biracial” or “mixed” children in the context of Korea, it’s so important that we think critically about what we mean when we say “mixed”. When kpop sites talk about “biracial” kpop stars, they default to white and typically mean mixed “white-Korean”. They will go so far as conflating the experiences of mixed white-Korean children with those of black-Korean children in the same article and somehow think that their articles still have credibility. These experiences are simply not the same and conflating them together is not only intellectually lazy but insulting. Yes, Korea has a relative obsession with racial purity which does affect both groups, but global white supremacy, colorism and virulent antiblackness makes the situation for mixed black-Korean children significantly worse than that of mixed white-Korean children.

[image description: a portrait of Tasha Yoon Mi-Rae, a biracial half-black Korean R&B artist who has spoken eloquently about colorism in her music Photo via Generasia]

The lived experiences of people like Daniel Henney (mixed white-Korean) who get widely praised for their features and appearance, and that of Lee Michelle who is half black, dark skinned, has coarse hair and does not have passing-privilege as full Korean are not the same. Colorism already affects darker-skinned Koreans in incredibly damaging ways, and intersecting that experience with racism makes this doubly hard for mixed-black Koreans.

And so Lee Michelle’s presence in the industry matters.  Tasha Yoon-Mi Rae has discussed colorism and the discrimination she has faced for her mixed-black heritage eloquently in her song “Black Happiness,” and in a similar way “Without You” has also struck a chord with me.

[image description: a promotional picture of Lee Michelle Photo via 24-7kpop]

“Without you” lyrically is a breakup song directed at one man, but the chorus in particular is significant in which she asserts: 

I’m beautiful without you
I’m meaningful without you
I’m still beautiful even if I wasn’t loved by you

And then she continues:

I’m so angry
Everyone treated me like you did, baby
Now I’ll erase you and wipe my tears
So I can receive a love that’s better than yours and different from yours

With these words, Lee Michelle asserts her beauty for herself and for the listener in turn. For a dark skinned, mixed black girl growing up in South Korea to assert this in the midst of a society where light skin and racial “purity” are prized and antiblack sentiments are rampant is a radical act indeed. Without a doubt Lee Michelle typically grew up hearing everything but “you are beautiful.” It is almost certain that like other mixed black children in Korea, she was mocked and teased mercilessly for her hair texture, “black” feature and dark skin. These things in the eyes of many simply precluded her from beauty, she was “ugly”- simple as that.

So in this song, ostensibly directed at one boy, we find a declaration of self-love and emancipation from damaging colorist, racist, societal standards of beauty. If you’re not going to love yourself in a society which doesn’t cherish people who look like you, then who will? Lee Michelle finds this answer within herself, which is a theme echoed by the music video.

[image description: an image still from the “Without You” video of a young biracial [black-Korean] girl]

In the video, a young biracial (mixed black-Korean) girl is shown walking down the street before she lingers on the image of a black graffiti figure. As she peers at the figure, she suddenly begins to run, being chased by an unseen monster. I saw this as representative of the unseen, but pervasive societal pressures pushing her from accepting herself, her blackness and her features, even at that young age.

Being chased into a shelter, she then proceeds to draw many figures with dark features on the wall. Staring into a mirror, she then proceeds to powder her face white and put on lipstick. A white-washed version of Lee Michelle then appears on camera with a light powdered face, red lips and straightened hair to evoke an image of the person this little girl “aspires” to be—an image crafted in the crucible of societal beauty standards that denies her as beautiful the way she is. The little girl begins to weep. There is ultimately no joy or happiness in self-rejection and hatred.

[image description: A screencap from the “Without You” video of the young biracial girl crying with white powder on her cheeks and bright red lipstick on her lips]

This all comes full circle at the end of the music video when this little girl begins to throw paint balls at a colorless portrait of Lee Michelle. This scene evoked for me the acceptance of oneself regardless of your skin color and in the face of interlocking systems of domination which deny you your agency and being. The ecstasy on the little girl’s face as she throws each paint bomb and asserts this again and again is so indicative of this. To complete her journey to self-love and actualization, she then walks through a magical door of light, which appears on the wall she just painted, and approaches an adult Lee Michelle. They look at one another and smile and Lee Michelle sings “Without you, I’m alright” one last time.

A message of self-love indelibly crafted which will resonate with people who suffer from colorist and racist standards of beauty across the globe. A moving video, and I wish Lee Michelle the best with this promising start to her professional career, and I am incredibly glad that YG Entertainment no longer has their hands on her, given their history of antiblackness. Congratulations, Michelle!

 I would like to thank all of my followers who took the time to send me links to this video and made me aware of it. You’re the best!

Related articles:

+ Kpop’s Top 10 Racist Moments of 2013

+ How problematic is the kpop world? (Master post)

+ Tasha Yoon-Mi Rae’s “Black Happiness” music video

+ EXO’s colorism and denigration of Kai

(Source: owning-my-truth, via reverseracism)

anarcho-queer:

Associated Press: Record Amount of Censorship From Obama Administration
The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
The government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.
In a year of intense public interest over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times — a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama’s first year, when it cited that reason 3,658 times. The Defense Department, including the NSA, and the CIA accounted for nearly all those. The Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency cited national security six times, the Environmental Protection Agency did twice and the National Park Service once.
Associated Press has also called for a push in independent coverage of the president.
The White House routinely bans news media from president meetings with foreign leaders and other events, then releases its own photos of those events.
The presidents of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors have urged their members to stop using White House handout photos and video, saying they amount to propaganda.

anarcho-queer:

Associated Press: Record Amount of Censorship From Obama Administration

The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

The government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.

In a year of intense public interest over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times — a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama’s first year, when it cited that reason 3,658 times. The Defense Department, including the NSA, and the CIA accounted for nearly all those. The Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency cited national security six times, the Environmental Protection Agency did twice and the National Park Service once.

Associated Press has also called for a push in independent coverage of the president.

The White House routinely bans news media from president meetings with foreign leaders and other events, then releases its own photos of those events.

The presidents of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors have urged their members to stop using White House handout photos and video, saying they amount to propaganda.

anarcho-queer:

Mississippi Judge Takes Baby Away From Mother, Says Lack Of English Would Cause ‘Developmental’ Problems
A federal judge has ruled that a case against two employees of Singing River Hospital and a state child welfare caseworker accused of unjustly separating a newborn baby from her mother may proceed – denying the defendants’ attempt to claim immunity for their actions
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Baltazar Cruz and her daughter. The mother – who speaks the indigenous Mexican language Chatino, limited Spanish and virtually no English – gave birth to her daughter at Singing River Hospital in November 2008. Two days later, the child was taken from her following allegations by a hospital employee who spoke only in Spanish to the mother.
They claimed she was undocumented, traded sex for housing and concluded she intended to give her child away. While she was at the hospital, her Chatino-speaking cousin tried to tell officials that she is actually employed at a Chinese restaurant, and did not in fact “admit” to allegations that she was involved in the sex trade. But a social services representatives who did not know her language nonetheless excluded her cousin from discussions between them.
After the state health department filed a “report of suspected abuse and neglect,” officials temporarily gave Baltazar Cruz’s baby to a couple who wanted to adopt a child, but were not licensed as foster parents, according to court documents. And at a court hearing that followed, Judge Sharon Sigalas agreed with the couple’s argument that the baby would have “developmental” problems because she would not communicate with the baby in English.
Baltazar Cruz was without her daughter for almost a year, and the court nearly terminated her parental rights.
It was only after a federal investigation of the case was initiated that the judge, prosecutor, and guardian ad litem all recused themselves from the case, claiming a new conflict of interest. The judge who replaced Sigalas granted Baltazar Cruz custody.
A federal judge ruled Friday that these officials could not now claim immunity from constitutional allegations against them, concluding, “This case is riddled with contradicting stories and potential indicia of misconduct.”

anarcho-queer:

Mississippi Judge Takes Baby Away From Mother, Says Lack Of English Would Cause ‘Developmental’ Problems

A federal judge has ruled that a case against two employees of Singing River Hospital and a state child welfare caseworker accused of unjustly separating a newborn baby from her mother may proceed – denying the defendants’ attempt to claim immunity for their actions

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Baltazar Cruz and her daughter. The mother – who speaks the indigenous Mexican language Chatino, limited Spanish and virtually no English – gave birth to her daughter at Singing River Hospital in November 2008. Two days later, the child was taken from her following allegations by a hospital employee who spoke only in Spanish to the mother.

They claimed she was undocumented, traded sex for housing and concluded she intended to give her child away. While she was at the hospital, her Chatino-speaking cousin tried to tell officials that she is actually employed at a Chinese restaurant, and did not in fact “admit” to allegations that she was involved in the sex trade. But a social services representatives who did not know her language nonetheless excluded her cousin from discussions between them.

After the state health department filed a “report of suspected abuse and neglect,” officials temporarily gave Baltazar Cruz’s baby to a couple who wanted to adopt a child, but were not licensed as foster parents, according to court documents. And at a court hearing that followed, Judge Sharon Sigalas agreed with the couple’s argument that the baby would have “developmental” problems because she would not communicate with the baby in English.

Baltazar Cruz was without her daughter for almost a year, and the court nearly terminated her parental rights.

It was only after a federal investigation of the case was initiated that the judge, prosecutor, and guardian ad litem all recused themselves from the case, claiming a new conflict of interest. The judge who replaced Sigalas granted Baltazar Cruz custody.

A federal judge ruled Friday that these officials could not now claim immunity from constitutional allegations against them, concluding, “This case is riddled with contradicting stories and potential indicia of misconduct.”

thepeoplesrecord:

288 protesters detained at anti-police brutality march in Montreal
March 16, 2014

Police gave protesters at the annual demonstration against police brutality just minutes before the riot squad encircled the crowd and detained 288 people on Saturday.

Lines of riot police blocked the streets around the protest at Jean-Talon St. and Chateaubriand Ave., funnelling protesters to the south down Chateaubriand, where they were immediately encircled.

The protesters were charged under municipal bylaw P-6, which requires organizers of a protest to provide their itinerary to police.

Two people suffered minor injuries during the police intervention, police spokesperson Ian Lafrenière said.  

The protest began under a heavy police presence, including cavalry, a helicopter and dozens of riot police from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal and the Sûreté du Québec.

“It was a veritable army of police … who occupied the area surrounding the Jean-Talon métro when the protest was to start,” the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, which organizes the annual protest, said in a written statement issued after the protest.

The COBP organized this year’s march to protest what it called “social cleansing” of homeless and marginalized citizens by police.

“The COBP denounces the fact that the SPVM has yet again demonstrated that it is incapable of tolerating protests against its brutality and police impunity,” the organization said.

The police had a different view.

“They refused to share their itinerary, and they refused to give us any details. When we got there, we asked them not to jump onto the street, and they answered by going into the street and yelling at us that they were not cooperating,” Lafrenière said. (LOL)

Police made several arrests over the next few hours as small groups of protesters moved through the neighbourhood, occasionally blocking traffic.

“The reason we apply P-6 is to prevent problems. In a case like this, with the history that we have — that protest has been going on for 18 years and unfortunately 15 years of that it went wrong,” Lafrenière said.

In past years, the protest has often devolved into vandalism and rioting, but this year police reported only two major acts of mischief. Both a police van and a CBC/Radio-Canada truck were damaged and spray-painted.

“We are still conducting investigations in regard to the mischief,” Lafrenière said.

The 288 people detained under bylaw P-6 will receive a ticket for participating in an illegal protest.

“It looks good in the media — the police can say (all of these) people were arrested, were breaking windows and stuff, but it’s not true. They were doing nothing,” said Claudine Lamothe, who narrowly escaped arrest when police surrounded the demonstration.

The first arrested protesters were released after about an hour, while others were still in police custody and waiting to be processed as of 7 p.m. The four who may face criminal charges will be held for longer, Lafrenière said.

Tamim Sujat, a McGill student and photo editor at The McGill Daily, one of the university’s campus newspapers, was among the group arrested at the beginning of the protest.

“(The police) said ‘You’re not supposed to be loitering around with cameras where you’re not supposed to be,’” Sujat said.

Sujat said he plans to contest the $638 fine with the help of the newspaper’s lawyer. Police did not recognize his student press credentials, he added.

“They said the only thing we can do is let you out before other people,” Sujat said. 

Source

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wants to ‘steadlily’ replace school boards with charter schools | The Raw Story

(Source: satanic-capitalist, via cultureofresistance)

TERF: What It Means and Where It Came From | The Trans Advocate

america-wakiewakie:

Cristan Williams: From what I can see, yours is the earliest use. The term has become fairly common in trans discourse.

TigTog: Lauredhel and I are pretty sure that we started using trans-exclusionary radfem (TERF) activists as a descriptive term in our own chats a while before I used it in that post.

C: TERFs have made some assertions about your lexical contribution to feminist discourse. For instance: “TERF is not meant to be explanatory, but insulting. These characterizations are hyperbolic, misleading, and ultimately defamatory.”

T: It was not meant to be insulting. It was meant to be a deliberately technically neutral description of an activist grouping. I notice that since TERF has gone out into the wild, many people seem to usetrans-exclusive rather than  trans-exclusionary or  trans-excluding, and I think that leads to some exploitable ambiguity. It is possible to interpret trans-exclusive as “exclusively talks about trans* issues” (which could quite rightly be considered a slam on the rest of their feminism), while trans-exclusionary is more specific that their exclusion of trans* voices and bodies from being considered women/feminists is the point.

C: I find it interesting that this term originates in the feminist community and was popularized by a cisgender woman. I think the assumption has been that a trans person had coined the term in the last year or so. Was there a specific incident – or a culmination of incidents – that lead you to advocate for the use of this term?

T: We wanted a way to distinguish TERFs from other radfems with whom we engaged who were trans*-positive/neutral, because we had several years of history of engaging productively/substantively with non-TERF radfems, and then suddenly TERF comments/posts seemed to be erupting in RadFem spaces where they threadjacked dozens of discussions, and there was a great deal of general frustration about that. It is possible that one of us picked it or something similar up from an IRC discussion elsewhere and then we both adopted/adapted it for ourselves, perhaps transforming it from some other initialism into an acronym, because we both appreciate the utility of acronyms in simplifying discourse.

C: You seemed to take personal offense over the colonization of the RadFem identity by an anti-trans group. Was this because you identified as a RadFem and/or have friends that were RadFem who were frustrated by a colonization of their feminist identity – that RadFem became synonymous with being anti-trans?

T: Not so much personally offended as pointedly pedantic, although I certainly sympathised with various RadFems I knew who felt that mAndrea and her fellows did not speak for them and were disrupting other discussions with anti-trans* derails. I was still quite actively writing FAQs for the Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog then, so being pedantic about what various strands of feminism were and were not saying was pretty much second nature at the time.

C: Some TERFs have asserted that others do not have a right to make a distinction between TE RadFems (TERFs) and RadFems.

T: The idea that any group can deny others the right to make distinctions between opinions/positions voiced by different members in that group seems utterly absurd. Obviously, nobody can force anybody who voices what others consider TERF stances to self-adopt the TERF label for themselves, but they can always choose another name for their stance which is not held by all other RadFems. After all, RadFem itself is a label chosen by some feminists to distinguish themselves from other feminists, and those feminists felt insulted that what they were doing was not considered sufficiently radical to fall under the RadFem label, see also the womanist/feminist distinction – distinguishing between different arms of activism is what social activist movements do as they grow and develop and react to change within and without.

C: Others assert that the TERF is a slur. How would you respond to such assertions?

T: It was not originally intended as such. Initially the TERF acronym didn’t seem to gain much traction at all, so I never really kept track. Since it’s become in more common usage, no doubt there are some people that use it as a slur. The same thing happened to “radical feminist” and also to “feminist” – any group-identifying word can and will be used as a slur by those who find that group challenging, but that doesn’t mean that the word is fundamentally/always/only a slur.

C: How do you feel about the impact you’ve had in feminist discourse (re: your lexical contribution)?

T: I don’t really know. The acronym was something Lauredhel and I found useful for some of the discussions we were having at the time (and as mentioned above, we aren’t really sure that we invented it as such anyway rather than adopted/adapted it). We thought it might be useful for some others having similar discussions, so we and our co-bloggers shared it around in some of those discussions. That it did eventually catch on and people still find it useful after five years, and that it’s now a label that TERFs feel the need to push back on? It’s certainly intriguing, but I don’t really feel any strong sense of ownership over the term (language is a collective construct which evolves with variant usages, after all). I wanted to communicate something clearly at the time, and it worked for that. That it’s still working for people engaging in that ongoing trans*-inclusion/exclusion debate is certainly satisfying on several levels, definitely.

(Read Full Text)

(via realworldnews)

Patients Are Already Suffering From Tar Sands, Nurses Say

(Source: resistkxl, via aboriginalnewswire)