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progress )

I should start getting the rejection letters soon. I've got a binder I'm gonna keep them in. They help me remember I'm sending in my work, which makes me feel like a real writer.

I have been energized by my work on the Resistance Manual this week. I'm learning a lot about both editing wikis and the impact of the impending Obamacare repeal, which is the issue I'm currently helping with, in addition to helping add contact information for everyone's elected officials. If you have any interest in helping out, I've been really happy with the helpful/welcoming/collaborative environment over there so far. Those of you who have been doing this sort of thing for a long time will probably have an even easier time of it than I'm having. And even though it's a very small task in the grand scheme, my little contribution makes me feel like I'm doing something concrete to help the Movement, and that's important to me.
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I just got this email from Deray McKesson, and I have found my new project. I hope some of you will join, too.

Today, we launch the Resistance Manual -- an open-source platform to collect information/resources to resist Trump's agenda & to continue making progress towards equity and justice in America.

Explore the manual to learn about the policies the incoming administration plans to pursue, how they'll impact our communities, and what you can do to stop them through federal, state, and local advocacy.

You can also find and contribute essential readings in resistance, learn and contribute information about policy issues in your state, and view a growing list of tools and organizations that can help to strengthen your advocacy efforts.

The manual will grow over time as more and more people contribute updates, facts and resources to it. As such, we encourage you to contribute important information for others to read.

If you would like to assist us in growing the content within the Resistance Manual, please reply to this e-mail directly. [The email came from deray at thisisthemovement dot org, but the wiki recommends as a contact address.]

We also urge you to dial (844)-6-RESIST to tell Congress to support the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and to vote against Jeff Sessions.

Get educated. Get organized. Take Action.

// DeRay, Netta, Brittany, & Sam

P.S. Shout-out to Chi/Donahoe for assisting with Design.

# of American adults who support the Black Lives Matter movement: 104 million
# of American adults who voted for Donald Trump: 63 million
# of reported incidents of hate since the election: 1094+
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
[Edit: Bill @PenzeysSpices responded immediately to point me to this: which acknowledges some of my concerns. Thanks, Bill! I still think it should be a part of all discussions, not just the background info.]

Just got an email from Penzeys (my fave spice company) that included these lines:

2021 will mark the quadricentennial of our country's first Thanksgiving, celebrated with the harvest of 1621. As we count down to 2021, our hope is to promote Thanksgiving 400 as a reminder that America was not born July 4th 1776— that was us declaring our adulthood. America was truly born over the summer of 1621 in the extraordinary kindness of the Wampanoag people towards those delivered on their shores by the Mayflower. Through their example, the Wampanoag people set in motion a nation much different than any nation before or since. A nation that would not only welcome in newcomers, but also work to help them succeed.

My response:

Usually, I'm right there with you on these initiatives of yours. LOVE the love campaign, and the veterans cooking, and oh my gosh, so happy about the pro-science messages and efforts.

But Thanksgiving. We weren't immigrants to this country. We were conquerors. We were warmly accepted, yes, and then we killed everyone in sight. And took their land. And are still refusing to give them basic civil rights.

This country does not welcome newcomers unless they're white and have money. Otherwise, it vilifies them, makes them "illegal," and denies them the human rights of health care, a living wage, and often even the sanctity of keeping their families together.

Please reconsider praising the first Thanksgiving without acknowledging that it was the beginning of a campaign of domination by white Europeans over the indigenous people of this land who were already here and should have been allowed to live in peace.

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You may have surmised that I'm enamored of Harriet Jacobs. Here's an annotated bibliography I put together. It's short, but maybe I'll add to it over time.

Annotated Bibliography, Harriet Jacobs )
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Three actual events from the past week or so, put forward as an example of how and how not to respond when you're called out on your -isms:

1) Friendly acquaintance, white, posts a joke on her Facebook whose punchline relies on how "white" Michael Jackson was. I point out that it's rude and racially insensitive to make comments about how someone is or is not black enough. Her friends tell me to get a sense of humor. She tells me she's not racist. I unfriend her, not as a punishment, but because, really, who needs it, and we weren't close or anything. This is her response, locked down so I can't answer: "Out of 830 friends on FB, you were the only person who found that Michael Jackson comment racist. It wasn't. You took it in a way that it was not intended. I apologize for having offended you, but if I didn't rank high enough on your respect list for you to give me the benefit of the doubt, I'm better off not having you in my life anyway."

2) Friend posts a wordplay joke on his Facebook whose punchline relies on the assumption that being fat is a horrible thing that should be avoided. I point out that it's a fatphobic joke and I dislike it (okay, I may have said "Yuck! Fatphobia! Ptui!"). He says, "Oh, wow, sorry. Should've seen that. I took it down. Thanks for pointing it out." I reply, "Thanks. No worries; if I know you, you were focused on the wordplay."

3) Family member talks about "gay marriage." I say "Not gay marriage, same-sex (or same-gender) marriage," and he says "Right. Thanks for the correction." The conversation continues normally.

My point? That I'm always right and it doesn't pay to disagree with me.

No, wait, that's wrong.

My point? That we all say stupid shit sometimes -- yes, even (or perhaps especially) I do! -- but the best response when you have that pointed out is not "No way, you're being oversensitive. No one ELSE thought it was stupid!" but "Oh, wow, yeah. Sorry."

I can't count the times I've had to say "Oops, I fucked up. Sorry about that. I'll try harder." I could make you a MUCH longer list about the times I've had to say "Sorry for dismissing you. Sorry for using sexist/racist/whateverist language." Every time I've said it, it's felt less like I was a complete failure, and more like I was doing a good job at being a grown-up and taking responsibility for my flawed behavior. And I hope it means I'm more careful about that kind of thing now. When I offend people, I want it to be on purpose, and I want it to be the Powers That Be that are getting my barbs, not the people who are the targets of the oppression I claim to be fighting.
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Every year, I listen to the I Have A Dream speech, and every year, I get major goosebumps. This year, it's an interesting juxtaposition with my reading/viewing of "Twilight: Los Angeles". Dr. King's dream hasn't come true yet. I hope some day, it does.

Happy MLK Day (observed). This is one of the only holidays that means anything to me. When I was in grade school, Dr. King's assassination was fresh in people's minds and hearts. I grew up in an overtly racist set of communities, with a mom who was trying to do better by us. Dr. King was one of my first heroes. Sure, he wasn't perfect, but I often think his messages were. And I am impatient for the day when the totality of his dream is real, and not just a dream and a hope. Please read this exerpt from his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, which expresses my feeling of impatience today:

For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.
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From the ACLU (received in email):

In anticipation of the Mehserle verdict...

Here's what ACLU-NC Associate Director Kelli Evans has to say about community relations, free speech and interacting with police:

The shooting of Oscar Grant by BART police officers in January 2009 remains a tragic reminder of the need for serious efforts to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities of color. No matter the verdict in the Mehserle trial, the need to rebuild community trust in law enforcement will remain. In too many American cities, racial tensions between the community and law enforcement run deep. Police oversight remains a critical issue in truly ensuring both public safety and public trust.

No doubt, Oakland residents and other people following the trial will have a wide range of emotions. Following the verdict, community members need to be able to peaceably exercise their First Amendment rights to demonstrate and to express their opinions about the ruling.

Any police response to demonstrations must respect the rights of the people to peacefully exercise their freedom of speech, no matter who they are or the reason for their protesting. It's important to be mindful that violence is never protected speech, but it is also important to remember that neither the mere possibility of violence, nor the bad acts of a few, can justify the blanket suppression of peaceful demonstrations and protests.

Check out the ACLU’s online guide to your rights when demonstrating or print out the one-page reference sheet. Have questions about your rights with the police? The ACLU also has some some practical tips for interacting with the police.


Aug. 12th, 2009 07:19 pm
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Paraphrasing a conversation I had with someone in email today:

Them (in a public notice): Wanna participate in this GLBT event, blah blah gay, blah blah gay, blah blah gay activists...

Me (in public): What about bi and trans activists? Why use the full acronym and then go on and on about gay this and gay that?

Them (privately from here on in): It's just a shortcut. Sorry you were offended. So, you wanna participate?

Me: Well, it is one keystroke more to type GLBT than gay, but it's an important thing to be inclusive.

Them: But more importantly, wanna participate?

Me (and here I'm quoting): "No, thanks. I'm not confident that I would be listened to, or that you're a good person to work with, because you don't respond well to constructive criticism, or to calls for diversity."

Them (and god, I would totally quote it if it weren't skeevy to quote PVT EMAIL): Well, hope you'll change your mind. And you're totally off base on the diversity thing. Hey, I notice your last name [editor's note: it's Vannoy, and it's Dutch in origin]. Are you Filipino or Vietnamese? Because one of our members is Filipino, and he rocks.



Yeah. I got nothin'.
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
Before I get to the list, I'll tell you why I'm posting it. I'm posting it because my friends are not assholes. [personal profile] klwalton is not an asshole for wanting to call Tim her husband. She's not even an asshole for being pissed at me if I refuse to do so. ([personal profile] klwalton, I'm using you as an example because I'm entirely certain that you already know that I don't think you're an asshole, and you care about this stuff as much as I do.) My partner's partner isn't an asshole for thinking that my belief that it's unfair that she can call our lover "husband" legally when I couldn't call either of my two female life partners "wife" legally means I think she's the enemy, even if I don't.

But I was talking to [personal profile] someotherguy, and I said something like this, and I hope I say it as clearly as it felt to me at the time: "I'm not sure it's possible to say to someone 'It's not fair that you get this privilege and that other person doesn't' and not have it heard, at least some of the time, as 'You're an asshole.' I'm not sure you can say, for example, 'You're soaking in white privilege' and not be heard a good deal of the time as saying 'You're a racist'."

In fact, I'm not sure there's a way to talk, even within one's own group, about stuff that one thinks is stemming from another's act of taking their privilege for granted, and not have at least some of those people hear "You are an asshole."

Well, my friends aren't assholes. Most of them, anyway. No, wait. I cut loose the assholes. My original statement stands.

A non-exhaustive list, in no particular order:

"It's not about you" ≠ "You are an asshole"

"It's not about you" ≠ "You are a self-involved asshole who should shut the fuck up and keep your opinion to yourself."

"You are soaking in white privilege" ≠ "You're a racist asshole"

"There's no reason you should be allowed to marry when other people can't" ≠ "You're a heterosexist asshole."

"If people don't have to treat my relationships as real, I don't have to treat theirs as real, even if they're on my side (unless I'm an officer of the government)" ≠ "You are an asshole"

"I refuse to be married until everyone can marry anyone they want to*" ≠ "You are an asshole if you're married"

If I think that you're an asshole, I'll say so -- ask anyone. If what I think is that your privilege is not as important to me as a message that needs sending, then that's what I'll say. Love or no love, and I do love all my friends, to one degree or other. And it's really, truly, genuinely, honest-to-atheism okay with me if they disagree with me, but I'd like to find ways to discuss this that don't come off as me saying people are assholes, because I don't hang out with assholes.

Some of the threads I've seen so far on this topic have helped me to start formulating ways to do this, and for this I am ever-so-grateful to my circle of online friends and acquaintances and benevolent strangers. Thank you. (Admittedly, some other threads have just made me want to say over and over "It's. NOT. ABOUT. YOU, GODDAMMIT!!!")

(*Over the years, I have amended that statement. If it meant a benefit for my partner that was otherwise out of reach (say, if I needed to get medical coverage for a partner who was no longer able to work or something), I would consider it. I will not do so for my own benefit, and have said so since August 4th, 1990.)
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[ profile] someotherguy points out that Schroedinger was openly polyamorous in the 1930s.

[ profile] wordweaverlynn blogs a bunch of great links about Harvey Milk and asks what we're going to do to celebrate.

Here's what I'm going to do. I don't think I've talked much on this (Dreamwidth) journal about my sexual/relationship orientations and politics, and I'm not planning to import my journal from LJ, as I'm fond of fresh starts, so here is my celebration of Harvey Milk. It's me, as a professional woman, coming out, in response to his words:

"I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they'll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects ... I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough', come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help." Harvey Milk, 1978

I am queer. I am bisexual. I am polyamorous. I love two men with all my heart, and I have loved women, too.

I am also a lot of other things that get up people's noses: I'm a liberal. I'm a Green Party member who voted for Nader (once, anyway). I'm an atheist. I'm an unschooler. I'm in favor of the decriminilization of drugs, even though I've never done an illegal drug in my life. I'm unapologetically fat, and I genuinely love my fat body and the fat bodies of my lovers. (I love the thin bodies of the people I've loved, as well. Fatness is a beauty to me, not a fetish.) I am a white woman trying to fight her own racism and sexism, and not always succeeding.

But in Harvey's honor, I just want to end with this. I want to raise my own personal freak flag. I am queer. I am not going anywhere. And I work a respectable job, raise a family, pay my taxes, and am a contributing member of my local and national society. Sometimes I wear a sign (well, t-shirts, anyway), but it's impossible to know me for very long and not know I'm queer and poly.

Letting people know these things about me has not made the world come crashing down. It's a small thing in the grand scheme, but enough small things put together change the world. So I encourage you, if there's anyone you're not out to, to take that plunge and make the world a little bit better.
serene: I am not a MOCCODITY (moccodity)
"[...]in today's science fiction and fantasy, most of the writers are white, straight and male. If you're not interested in changing that, then say so. But don't try to claim that being content with the status quo somehow proves that you're enlightened. All it proves is that you're indifferent."

(Thanks to lots of you for the pointer.)

(Administrivia: I've finally decided what to do about the DW/LJ question for myself. I will crosspost to LJ for a while (likely weeks, not years) and then move entirely to DW. Reply to crossposted posts wherever (whenever/however/ifever) you desire. When I figure out how to make a syndicated LJ feed to my DW, I will do that for those who wish to read me on their LJ friendspages.)
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Inspired by a post from [ profile] black_pearl_10, I just want to say this to everyone reading my LJ:

If you have a "race card" to play, please play it*, so that you can help me learn the rules of the game. It's not your job to educate me, but I want to make it really clear that I appreciate learning from you, and I don't want to ever be a part of silencing you.


[*if you want to. Or not. Because, like, it's your call and all.]
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Thanks to the link from [ profile] badgerbag, I've gone crazy and signed up for [ profile] 50books_poc, which means I'm going to try to read fifty books by people of color this year. I probably read five or ten books TOTAL last year, so this'll be a real challenge for me, and might mean fewer silly survey posts from me -- which, of course, means your life is about to get a smidge less boring. :-)
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I have tried to explain to [ profile] stonebender the difference between graphic novels I like, and ones I don't. Some of the things that differ between them are that the ones I dislike are really busy and dark (Sandman) or don't tell a story I can follow. Nalo Hopkinson pointed out one that I really like (Fun Home by Alison Bechdel is another):
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From [ profile] black_pearl_10:

So I think black artists especially in hip-hop and rap, get unfairly targeted with the need for "social responsibility" tag. So I'd like y'all to put down your favorite (non hip-hop and non-rap) song(s) about killing and/or objectification of women written and performed by a white person or group.

Copy this post, add your own entry (or entries) to this list, and post in your own journal. My guess is we'll have a huge list by the end of the day.

Other people's entries )

My additions; only a few for now, but I'll try to post more later )

[Edit: Papa Loved Mama, Garth Brooks]
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Mine is a white ethnic blog.

That is to say, I recognize that when I am talking about anything here, I am talking about it from a white person's perspective. I have a lot of examined-and-discarded bias in my history, but don't doubt I have a lot of unexamined bias, too. I was raised in a racist environment in a racist country by racist people, and I can't possibly have escaped some of their thinking. I just want to acknowledge that here, and let you all know that if you ever wanna call me on that shit, I'm listening.


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