Archive for the blog Category

BLACK LIVES MATTER

GeekAesthete explains:

Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.

STACIANN CHIN

staceyannchinI can’t stop shaking. I can’t stop saying, “Stop killing us.” Muttering it from room to room. Stop making our death less visible than the death of others. Dead is dead. Gone is gone. Sorrow is sorrow. I can’t make sense of myself. Cannot access my own sense of self. All I see is this shaking. This rage. This unfathomable sorrow. Stop targeting Black bodies. Stop killing us. Please stop killing us. Stop muting our cry for justice. I am shaking. Listening to all these white news anchors. These entitled White men. Telling a story in which they are complicit. More and more and more white men. A sea of White men mouthing our tragedy. Where is Melissa Harris-Perry.? Where is Angela Davis? Where is Alice Walker. Mutabaruka? @Keorapetse Kgositsile? Get these white men off my fucking screen. White men. Talking about our sorrow. You cannot speak for us. You, who can barely speak in your sorrow for the slain police officers, but can speak at length with no empathy for the Black men killed by murderous cops. You cannot speak for those killed at the hands of police officers that run free. Without a lateral empathy, you cannot speak for people who look anything like me. I’m so angry. So sad. So sad. Sometimes anger and sadness is all you have. I am desperately trying to articulate it. Everything I write seems incoherent. Feels incomplete. The deaths of these two men whose murders we witnessed on video yesterday have completely disappeared from the conversation. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is room for all of it. Every time white people die, Black death is forgotten. Every time a police officer is killed, Black civilian deaths are erased. The very reason this young man, 25 years old, took up a gun is informed by this kind of one-sided coverage. This one-sided coverage is why we are so torn between mourning those men killed in the line of duty, and those who are killed by those duty bound to protect us. I cannot stop shaking/waffling between anger and a sadness I know it will take us decades to shake. The stories you tell are like bullets. Stop aiming them at us. Stop killing us. Stop killing what we have left of our already marginalized stories.

DONATE TO BETTY

betty soskin
On the night of Monday, June 30, an intruder attacked NPS Ranger Betty Soskin in her home in Richmond and stole many of her possessions. We are all deeply saddened by these events, but relieved to report that she is recovering well and resting.

Please consider making a contribution to Betty’s Fund, and directing others who want to help to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/rangerbettysoskin. All funds raised beyond immediate needs will be used, as Betty has asked, to complete a film in progress that contains vital documentary information about Betty’s life and impact. This is the legacy that she wants to continue passing on to younger generations, and a remarkable testimonial to her strength of spirit.

Checks can be mailed to Rosie the Riveter Trust, PO Box 71126, Richmond CA 94807 and should be ear-marked Betty Fund.

Cards for Betty should be mailed to the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center:

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Center
Attn: Betty Reid Soskin
1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000 (Oil House)
Richmond, CA 94804

UGH

Brexit, Lies and America,
by Andrew Tobias,
June 24, 2016

First of all: ugh.

You have to love this headline: The British Are Frantically Googling What The E.U. Is, Hours After Voting To Leave It.

So maybe, once they see what they’ve done, there will be another, better informed referendum, overturning the first.

But maybe not.

So . . . ugh.

As a 27-year-old British friend texted this morning (bleeped to protect your sensibilities):

“I’m livid. The vote was carried by a load of baby boomers who are secure in their pensions and it doesn’t really matter a flying f— to, other than they want to regain nostalgic feelings of 50-year-ago Briton viewed thru rose-tinted backwards looking spectacles.

“There were so little facts in this referendum, it’s invalid. Democracy only works if the electorate can make an informed decision on their best interests based on the facts. If they’re fed a load of crap and vote as a result, it’s not democracy, it’s fraud!

“Never again will I hold a slightly smug sense of superiority when we talk about American partisan politics. Turns out we’re all f –d. Led by the lowest common denominator and peddled to with misinformation and barefaced lies and controlled by an unaccountable media.

“I think I’ve aged a decade this morning and firmly arrived as a grumpy, cynical man.

“I watched a “leave” voter on the BBC this morning say she thought it was outrageous that Scotland were calling for another independence referendum and that this was a time for unity!!”

Turning to America, Texas Governor George W. Bush proclaimed, preposterously, that “by far the vast majority” of his proposed tax cuts would go to people “at the bottom of the economic ladder” and promised “a humble foreign policy” even as he was planning to invade Iraq. It’s hard to overstate how much harm his presidency did. But the second time, he even got a majority of the vote — with 70% of his voters believing, erroneously, that Iraq had played a role in the 9/11 attack.

And now Trump is promising ridiculous things — he’s going to bring millions of $1-an-hour jobs back from China? And somehow make their employers pay a good wage even though he opposes the minimum wage? And force consumers around the world to buy products made here with $20-an-hour labor instead of the same products made in China with $1-an-hour labor? Even though, as a businessman, he sources his own products from overseas? And this is all just going to magically happen because he’ll bring back torture and defeat ISIS in a matter of weeks and is the king of debt and will build a beautiful wall?

Trump’s main focus will be destroying his opponent. He will say anything that pops into his head — or even say outrageous things in prepared remarks. (E.g., she was “sleeping” during the Benghazi crisis. Challenged for proof, he explained to NBC News’ Lester Holt that she might have been sleeping — “how do you know she wasn’t?” — and that was, to his mind, basis enough for the charge.)

Andrew Tobias

middle fingers up

Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry, nigga, nah
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry

He trying to roll me up, I ain’t picking up
Headed to the club, I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Me and my ladies sip my D’ussé cup
I don’t give a fuck, chucking my deuces up
Suck on my balls, pause, I had enough
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
I ain’t thinking ’bout

Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, middle fingers up
I ain’t thinking ’bout you

Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry, nigga, nah
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
No no, hell nah

Now you want to say you’re sorry
Now you want to call me crying
Now you gotta see me wilding
Now I’m the one that’s lying
And I don’t feel bad about it
It’s exactly what you get
Stop interrupting my grinding
(You interrupting my grinding)
I ain’t thinking ’bout you

Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
I ain’t thinking ’bout you

Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, boy, bye
Middle fingers up, I ain’t thinking ’bout you

Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry, nigga, nah
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry
No no, hell nah

Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home
Today I regret the night I put that ring on
He always got them fucking excuses
I pray to the Lord you reveal what his truth is
I left a note in the hallway
By the time you read it, I’ll be far away
I’m far away
But I ain’t fucking with nobody
Let’s have a toast to the good life
Suicide before you see this tear fall down my eyes
Me and my baby, we gon’ be alright
We gon’ live a good life
Big homie better grow up
Me and my whoadies ’bout to stroll up
I see them boppers in the corner
They sneaking out the back door
He only want me when I’m not there
He better call Becky with the good hair
He better call Becky with the good hair