Wingnuts Against Monsanto! #rva #wingnut #protest #monsanto #anarchist #marchagainstmonsanto
Let’s stop policing ourselves and each other. Gender is one game that you don’t have to play by anyone else’s rules. The real danger in this ‘gender is a social construct’, ‘abolish gender’ crap is that in gendertopic spaces, anyone who is not subversive enough, or is seen as ‘gender normative’ already fails. We (and I’m guilty of this too) assume that they are being ‘duped’ or buying into gender norms. What the fuck? Are we fighting for gender liberation so that we can tell people how to express themselves? You have no idea where someone else is coming from, or what gender journey has led them where they are today.
Lovin’ this zine.
YES THANK YOU YES
(Posted as a reminder to myself and others cause I’vee pulled this shit before myself and it’s not cute)
Basically why I don’t get behind most movements in which if you are not subversive enough for the group then you’re automatically cast as the enemy.
I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them. Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together.
Melissa Harris-Perry, Why caring for children is not just a parent’s job. (via futureabortiondoctor)
I WANNA BUILD THIS WORLD(via chicken-snack)
Editorial: The whole Redskins naming controversy is a big to do about nothing, an example of how the misguided actions of a few can rain on the parade of many.
Chris Bopst describes anger over the name of the Washington Redskins as “despicable,” “manufactured,” and equivalent to maliciously wounding an elderly performer as happened last weekend.Bopst conceives the controversy as centering around the word “Redskins,” rather than the use of an ethnic stereotype as a mascot for a sports team; he doesn’t actually address that part, seemingly unaware that that’s where the controversy stems from.In any case, here is his analysis of why “Redskins” is an appropriate name for a football team, and why opponents of the brand are just trying to ruin everyone’s fun for no good reason:- The word ‘redskin’ was neutral between 1769 and 1829, and many Natives have historically named themselves as redskins. Therefore, use by a mostly-white audience for marketing purposes is acceptable because the word is not a slur in all contexts.- Nobody who participated in the genocide of North American tribes is still alive today, therefore suggesting that white Americans have a particular responsibility not to disrespect and degrade Native cultures, given the historical context, is oversensisitve. It’s not our fault, it was our ancestors- we never did anything to them, they’re just trying to ruin our fun using caricatures of their faces as literal mascots.- Most Americans in general don’t have a problem with the name. Because ethical scenarios are decided by majority rule, this means that the branding of the team is not a problem and everyone who thinks that it is are just trying to ruin everyone’s fun.- Some Native Americans don’t mind that the Washington Redskins is branded the way that it is. A 2004 study of 768 Native people found that 90% of those polled didn’t mind the name; this constitutes a total of 691 Native Americans. Because almost seven hundred people of the relevant demographic don’t mind, the individual responses of Natives who oppose are irrelevant. Bopst does not address them in his opinion piece.- The Washington Redskins are privately owned, therefore it is inappropriate for the public to criticize them. While the premise of private entities being somehow immune to criticism is false in the first place, the Washington Redskins actually just slurped up a little over $23 million in Richmond tax revenue, for the construction of their summer training camp behind the Science Museum of Virginia.- In the United States, you have a right to offend people. This apparently extends only so far as using a racial caricature for private gain, and does not cover the “despicable” act of objecting.There we have it, why the Washington Redskin’s Native American mascot is fine, and why non-Native sports fans dressing up in fake ceremonial regalia to celebrate a sports game is completely above rebuke.
California prisons punish inmates by racial bloc, not offense
April 13, 2013
Are California prisons determining inmates’ punishments based solely on their race? Though it’s not said to be official policy, a new report shows that at least five state prisons maintain a color code system to racially segregate their populations.
According to a number of documents, including a state response, collected by the ProPublica investigation, some California prison facilities separate and label prisoner blocks by ethnicity in order to “provide visual cues that allow prison officials to prevent race-based victimization, reduce race-based violence, and prevent thefts and assaults.”
Though few would argue that maintaining a prison population as large as California’s is an easy task, organizations like the ACLU and the Prison Law Office are fighting the practice, arguing that besides being an uncomfortable reminder of the days of racial segregation, it is an ultimately ineffective way to maintain order.
One document collected by ProPublica describes color signs placed above cell doors at men’s prisons across the state: blue for black inmates; white for white; red, green or pink for Latino; and yellow for everyone else.
“Rather than targeting actual gang members, they assume every person is a gang member based on the color of their skin,” said Rebekah Evenson, an attorney with the Prison Law Office.
According to an analysis conducted by Evenson’s group, nearly half of the 1,445 security lockdowns enacted between January 2010 and November 2012 impacted specific racial or ethnic groups. The report showed that Hispanics were the most habitual target, while inmates categorized as “other” were least likely to be restricted.
Though correctional officials with the state of California deny racial targeting, some inmates have come forward with complaints, and in 2011 filed a class action lawsuit claiming racial discrimination.
Robert Mitchell, an inmate at High Desert State Prison, testified that he had been swept up into recurring lockdowns because he is black, and had suffered muscular atrophy and pain as he was prevented from exercising a leg injury.
Hanif Abdullah, another black inmate suing the state, says he was placed on “modified programming” multiple times, and was kept from attending religious services as well as receiving adequate health care. Modified programming refers to security situations requiring that inmates be prohibited from seeing visitors, visiting the prison yard, or even from attending classes and drug rehabilitation meetings.
Though the state’s total prison population recently dropped, with nearly 200,000 inmates the system is still at 150 per cent of its maximum capacity.
In 2005, the US Supreme Court ruled that racial classifications must be limited to a narrowly defined and compelling “state interest.” In its opinion brief, which pertained to racially segregating prisoners prior to entering a new correctional facility, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote, “When government officials are permitted to use race as a proxy for gang membership and violence … society as a whole suffers.”
Currently, California is the only state in the country known to employ race-based lockdowns, according to the ACLU National Prison Project.
“If you’re an adivasi [tribal Indian] living in a forest village and 800 CRP [Central Reserve Police] come and surround your village and start burning it, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to go on hunger strike? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation.” - Arundhati Roy
Hip-hop was a problem because an underclass that had been left to die didn’t, and instead created a music decrying their conditions that was vivid, troubling and beautiful, a declaration of existence in the face of those who’d condemned them to oblivion. It screwed up the narrative, and thus was born an anti-rap racism in which symptom became cause, laments of violence and deprivation becoming justifications for violence and deprivation. Anti-rap racists hear rap music as proof that black men pose a uniquely violent danger to the American status quo, even as the entire trajectory of that status quo suggests it’s the other way around. As theories of history go it’s both aggressively incorrect and depressingly unoriginal.
Disliking hip-hop doesn’t make you a racist any more than liking hip-hop makes you not a racist, and I’m sure there are plenty of Stormfront enthusiasts with Rick Ross in their iTunes. If you don’t like Jay-Z because you just don’t like the way he sounds, or you’re sick of his cloying ubiquity, or you wish he’d talk about something other than where he’s from for five seconds—hey, I’m not mad, I don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons. But if you don’t like rap music—a genre that contains multitudes—because of a self-satisfied moralism, or because you’re scared of it, or because you wish those people would stop talking about their problems and get out of your television and radio and kids’ bedrooms: well.
And I’m not just talking about the American right, I’m talking about all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
Rap music doesn’t get unarmed kids shot to death, “it’s different” does. “It’s different” infuses “these assholes always get away” and gives solace to people who hear that sound bite and nod their empty heads in agreement. “It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.
The backdrop to Kanye West’s “Saturday Night Live” performance was a lie. Projected behind the rapper, as he let loose with two rage-filled and politically fueled tracks, were the words “Not For Sale.”
Yeezy wouldn’t have graced the set if he wasn’t hawking a soon-to-be released LP. But his incendiary performance was peppered with damning truths: Angry and pointed condemnations of institutional racism and the prison industrial complex, which disproportionately jails young men of color to fill state budget holes and enrich private corporations.
In the final verse of “New Slaves,” a track released Friday with the coordinated projection of a video on 66 buildings worldwide, and the second performance in his “SNL” set, West raps:
Meanwhile the DEA
Teamed up with the CCA
They tryn’a lock niggas up
They tryn’a make new slaves
See that’s that private owned prison
Get your piece today
Condensed and reduced to flow in rhyming verse, West’s lyrics smack of the conspiratorial. But he is correct: The War on Drugs, abetted by and fueling the private prison industry, currently serves to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of black men in the United States, who provide dirt-cheap labor. Various industries — from call centers to weapons manufacturers to retail companies — rely on prison labor. Private prisons pay inmate workers as little as 25 cents an hour; prisoners who refuse to work are regularly held in isolation. These are the de facto “new slaves” of the prison industrial complex. The CCA (the Corrections Corp of America) is one of two major private prison corporations (along with the GEO Group) that share in a market worth $70 billion.
And West’s implication that the CCA and the DEA are “tryn’a” lock up black people, leaving racist intentionality aside, is supported by troubling statistics. While the entire U.S. population is only 13.6 percent black, 40 percent of its vast prison population (over 2.5 million) is black. In 2010, black males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,347 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender, compared to 678 inmates per 100,000 for white males. The disparities are striking, especially when the majority of those held in U.S. prisons are guilty of minor drug offenses. This brings us to Kanye’s reference to the DEA.
As attorney and author John W. Whitehead pointed out in a HuffPo comment piece last year, states specifically opted to make sentencing laws for minor drug offenses harsh in order to fill private prisons — prisons which promised to fill gaping holes in state budgets:
[W]ith an eye toward increasing its bottom line, CCA has floated a proposal to prison officials in 48 states offering to buy and manage public prisons at a substantial cost savings to the states. In exchange, and here’s the kicker, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and states would have agree to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. The problem with this scenario, as Roger Werholtz, former Kansas secretary of corrections, recognizes is that while states may be tempted by the quick infusion of cash, they “would be obligated to maintain these (occupancy) rates and subtle pressure would be applied to make sentencing laws more severe with a clear intent to drive up the population.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what has happened. Among the laws aimed at increasing the prison population and growing the profit margins of special interest corporations like CCA are three-strike laws (mandating sentences of 25 years to life for multiple felony convictions) and “truth-in-sentencing” legislation (mandating that those sentenced to prison serve most or all of their time).
As has been well-documented, young black men are disproportionately targeted by police for marijuana arrests. In New York City, for example, nearly 90 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession are blacks and Latinos. The logic is simple: If states rely on minor drug arrests to fill privately run prisons, and young black men are targeted in minor drug arrests, then states rely on young black men to fill private prisons.
Or, as Yeezy put it: “See that’s that private owned prison/Get your piece today.”