As a young child, I was by told my mother that skin color didn't matter—everyone's the same. Almost all of the faces I encountered on a daily basis, were white. Two of my mother's friends from her job at the local university were from southeast Asia. They came to our lower-middle-class home, on occasion, for dinner, or a bit of coffee. My memory is terrible. However, I recall them being lovely individuals. It wasn't until I was in grade three that I someone my own age whose skin was a different shade than mine. She was from China. She was in my class. She played flute and, looking back, seemed so nervous of her English, that her voice cracked with emotion every time she spoke. I didn't always understand what she was saying, entirely, but I liked her a lot. Most kids my own age thought I was a little spooky and stayed the hell away from me. She didn't have any shits to give. We remained friends for years before losing touch. I never noticed that most of the other kids didn't want to bother with her, either.
When I entered grade seven, I saw a Black kid for the first time. She was tall, friendly, and a little churchy. Despite my being a troublemaking little shit, we always had a smile for one another and worked on class projects together frequently. Everyone seemed to like her. However, it wasn't uncommon to see her cry in our school's hallways or outside at recess. Read the rest
JK Rowling's retroactive Harry Potter continuity additions have been a continuous source of pop cultural embarrassment. But her repeated allusions to trans-exclusionary radical feminism has been even worse. After a few gross anti-trans tweets, Rowling decided to double-down on her discriminatory convictions by posting a massive screed on her website attempting to explain why, actually, trans and non-binary people and those who otherwise deal with gender dysphoria are — to hear Rowling tell it — not real human people but also thieves who are trying to steal money from Rowling's charities.
To be clear: this is bullshit, and it causes further unnecessary harm against trans and non-binary people who represent a sliver of the population but have definitely already dealt with enough bullshit in their lives simply because of antiquated social impositions on them.
The thrust of Rowling's shameful argument is that the 0.3-0.6 percent of people who are trans are selfishly robbing resources from causes that Rowling supports, like domestic violence shelters for women who have suffered from abuse. On the surface, this is an utterly fucking absurd assertion. Rhetorically, Rowling cleverly avoids citing any sources or data in support of any of her arguments — arguments which she, of course, insists are based on (un-linked) facts and not feelings. This fact alone should be enough to dismiss the absurdity of her claims.
But in case you need something more, TCGPlayer writer Cassie LaBelle has annotated Rowling's entire ridiculous blog post. All 13 pages of it. And she succinctly vivisects every stupid argument contained within. Read the rest
On October 24, Gregory Bush was said to have opened fire at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky on 69-year-old Maurice Stallard, shooting him in the back of the head. 67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones? She was shot by Bush as well. Both victims were black. According to NPR, it was announced this week that the racist shit stain has been justly indicted on hate crimes and fire arms charges by a federal grand jury.
The 51-year-old is charged with "shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman in the Western District of Kentucky.
Minutes before the ambush Bush was also captured on surveillance video trying to enter the First Baptist Church — a predominantly African-American congregation — during a service but locked doors prevented him from entering.
So, in addition to being a bigot, Bush was also a coward: he decided to take out his hate on a group of unsuspecting congregants who'd come together to worship their God. Locked doors? Better go and shoot an old man in the back of the head and an unsuspecting, unarmed woman as she walks across a parking lot. But, you know, not a white dude, because "whites don't shoot whites."
I'm so sick of reading and writing about this sort of shit. Justice cannot come swiftly enough.
Image: by Blogtrepreneur - Legal Gavel, CC BY 2.0, Link Read the rest
Aaron Schlossberg is the triggered snowflake who became internet famous when he went on an unhinged racist rant against some customers and servers at a restaurant near his law office, who had been speaking Spanish.
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Hey, remember few weeks back when The Trump Administration, with its dickery engines revved up to 126%, declared that transgendered personnel would no longer be in welcome in the United States military? One of their bullshit excuses for why this should be the case was that, apparently, transgendered individuals were bad for unit cohesion and terrible for morale. Well, the heads of all four branches of the American military have all gone out of their way, on the record, to say that this simply is not the case.
From the Military Times:
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as she had with the top military leaders of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps when they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for their budget hearings, used the opportunity to question Goldfein as to whether he was aware of any “issues of unit cohesion, disciplinary problems or issues of morale resulting from open transgender service.”
“In the last two weeks Gen. [Mark] Milley, Gen. [Robert] Neller, and Adm. [John] Richardson have told me that they have seen zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale as a result of open transgender service in their respective service branches,” Gillibrand said, referring to the chiefs of staff of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, respectively.
The Military Times goes on to say that on Tuesday, the Air Force's top officer, Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein, told Congress that he hadn't heard any reports of issues in the ranks surrounding transgender personnel and, of those he spoke with, he noted a “commitment to serve by each of them.” Read the rest
In 1853, the U.S. Government bought a 29,670 square mile chunk of dirt in a deal that, as history buffs will tell you, ended up being called the Gadsden Purchase. It was a dick move: purchasing the land meant bisecting the territory of the area's indigenous Tohono O’odham Nation. This left half of the Tohono O’odham in Mexico and the other half in the United States. Today, the Tohono O’odham are a federally recognized tribe, with somewhere around 34,000 members. This number includes around 2,000 Tohono O’odham who live in Mexico. It's not uncommon for the tribe to cooperate with Homeland Security where protecting the border is concerned. But guess what? A tribe that had their lands split up by the Federal government once isn't crazy about having it done again.
According to Splinter, the Tohono O’odham Nation controls the second largest land base in the United States. This includes a full 75 miles of the U.S./Mexico border. Given that members of their tribe live on both sides of the border, they're less than chuffed with the notion of allowing the National Guard onto their lands to surveil their territory or to allow a border wall to be built on their property. The reasons for their objections are sound: Having a wall thrown up in the middle of their land would keep members of their tribe from easily traveling to participate in culturally important events on their own frigging land.
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Tohono O’odham chairman Edward D.
Following a crowdfunded restoration, the film of Hugo Bettauer's eerily prescient novel will tour Europe again as anti-Semitism is on the rise. At the film's release, Bettauer was doxxed by local media and murdered by a young Nazi soon after. Read the rest
As a species, we've got a long history of being shitty to one another for no other reason than skin color. White folks, myself included, have arguably earned the right to drop the mic on bigotry. Over the centuries, we honed systemic racism to such a razor edge that the cuts our ugly worldview made are still being suffered today. As our world's recent politics have illustrated, a lot of people still buy into this superiority-of-the-white-man bullshit. But it's getting better. Views are changing, albeit slowly, and we're crawling on our knees towards equality.
I think that one of the reasons that it's taking us so long to get there is that no one likes to admit that they're wrong. Doing so puts you in a perceived position of weakness, which is ironic given that owning one's faults can be so powerful. Believing this as I do, I was really surprised to read this morning that National Geographic decided to call itself to account for the racist reporting that its correspondents have written and they've published over the decades:
Instead of wasting their time on naval gazing, the magazine's editorial team asked an outsider, historian John Edward Mason, to hunt down all of the ugly, racist writing he could find from National Geographic's archives. As National Geographic's current Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg explains, examining the publication's past was both painful and necessary:
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I’m the tenth editor of National Geographic since its founding in 1888. I’m the first woman and the first Jewish person—a member of two groups that also once faced discrimination here.
GOP bigots in South Carolina and Wyoming have decided to try and weasel around the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed "legal" marriage to everyone.
I can not begin to understand the religious babble these 'lawmakers' enter into, trying to describe how two people committing to share their lives is anything wrong. Jeff March, the president of South Carolina Pride, commented “Pure prejudice is what that is. Pure outright prejudice."
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Republicans in South Carolina and Wyoming are pushing new bills to segregate same-sex weddings and legally redefine them as a “parody” of marriage.
Six GOP lawmakers unveiled the ‘Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act’ bill to the South Carolina House last week.
The bill appears to be an attempt to segregate same-sex marriage from heterosexual unions in the wake of the 2015 Supreme Court decision that brought equal marriage to all 50 states.
The proposed law seeks to define “any form of marriage that does not involve one man and one woman” as a “parody marriage”.
The lawmakers claim that ” the State of South Carolina’s decision to respect, endorse, and recognize parody marriages and sexual orientation policies has excessively entangled the government with the religion of Secular Humanism, failed to accomplish its intended purpose, and created an indefensible legal weapon against nonobservers”.
There's the shot; here's the chaser:
We're a ways short of the term 'racism' being proudly reclaimed, but there's not much ground left between here and there. Read the rest
A trans woman in North Carolina says she was called "it" and "thing" by co-workers and fired when she complained about it, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Bost, who’s now 46, said she was repeatedly harassed by a man who became her direct supervisor when he was promoted to assistant manager in 2014. The lawsuit said he called her “it” in front of other employees, made off-color jokes and initiated unwanted physical contact.
According to the suit, the assistant manager also was involved in fabricating written infractions against Bost that led to her firing.
A spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the parent company of Sam’s Club, said the company doesn’t agree with Bost’s account.
“We disagree with the claims raised by Ms. Bost. Her termination was for performance reasons,” said spokesman Randy Hargrove. He said that the company “maintains a strong anti-discrimination policy.”
"Performance reasons" is the sort of comically vague euphemism that happens when honesty is impossible. If specifics existed that they could justify, they would state them. Read the rest
Hollis Bulleit publicly accused her own family, makers of a popular brand of bourbon whiskey, of homophobia. Read the rest
Karl Stefanovic: "The Daily Mail has a long, despicable track record of denigrating women, of ridiculing women, of objectifying women."
A London tabloid, the Daily Mail has become wildly successful on the web over the last decade. Beyond the bigotry, its practices (nakedly untrue and plagiarized stories, amateurish editing of photographs, comical yet effective exportation of British tabloid stock stories to new markets) put it at the heart of everything that's gone wrong with news, yet place it almost beyond criticism.
It revels in the fact it has no real credibility, because that sort of thinking only matters to people who remember. But the magic of Daily Mail content is that it's about the world it creates for readers to sink into now, the drug of gossip without the moderation of truth or memory. Today water causes cancer. Tomorrow it cures it.
Most tabloid writers I've met hate their audience: think of the empty, smirking contempt of a character from a Richard Curtis comedy. I'd say it was a British thing, because it's the sneer talk that the marginally middle-class have for working-class people who make more money than them (think: drunks writing for plumbers) but the formula was internationalized so fast and so well it can hardly be that.
Stefanovic famously revealed in an interview that he wore the same suit every day for a year without anyone remarking upon it, unlike female colleagues who receive criticism if they repeat an outfit even twice. Read the rest
Thirteen shots were fired into Tulsa's Dennis R. Neill Equality Center Monday from a passing truck or SUV. The Gayly reports that no-one was hurt.
Around 12:30 am last night a white, four door pickup pulled up in front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center and fired 13 shots at the windows and front door. Office Administrator Olivia Cotter discovered the damage to the protective glass on our windows and front door around 8:15 am Monday morning, March 6. ...
"We are working closely with Tulsa Police," said Oklahomans For Equality officials. "Captain Cathy Reynolds, the LGBTQ liaison with the Tulsa Police Department, has made our safety and security a top priority."
"I am sickened, yet not surprised, by the bullet holes that now riddle the front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center," said Geoffrey Brewster, Board President, Oklahomans for Equality. "They are the latest reminder of the deep-seated hatred some individuals have towards the LGBTQ community. Oklahomans for Equality condemns every act of hatred and violence perpetrated against any individual or group based upon difference.
"We are keenly aware after an event such as this, or the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, FL, that sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes in current hate crime legislation. Even though hatred of difference is the motivation for such acts, our community is not equally protected under the law. This must change, and we call on our community and our allies to demand it."
Oklahoma legislators are planning to pass a bill that reportedly strips LGBTQ people of housing and employment protections. Read the rest
Millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump has a knack for projecting criticisms of himself back onto his opponents, however hamfistedly. The latest: Hillary Clinton is a bigot.
"Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future," Trump said, reading from prepared remarks.
Unlike past lines that have drawn scrutiny, including Monday's comments in Ohio about African Americans not being able to walk the street without being shot, this one was not a Trump ad-lib. ...
Clinton, for her part, has repeatedly declined opportunities to call Trump himself a racist, despite repeated questioning on the subject and multiple labelings of some of his campaign statements as racist by her campaign.
Trump's guest for the evening was UK far-right leader Nigel Farage, who as a younger man boasted that his initials matched those of the white supremacist National Front and sang jaunty ditties about gassing jews.
Mind you, all this did make me wonder: will it ever dawn on Team Hillary why headlines like "Republican announces support for Clinton" make people like her less? Read the rest
The Independent writes that the U.K. is warning travelers about new anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and Mississippi.
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Dr Felicity Daly, director of the LGBT Kaleidoscope Trust said: “It is heartening the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is becoming more LGBT responsive in their work, it’s a good sign as it is an important issue in the UK, but most people who identify as LGBT in the UK will already be aware of the nature of certain states.”
Matt Horwood of Stonewall charity said: “What’s happened in Mississippi and North Carolina proves that equality is never secure.
"It’s positive to see the UK government recognise this need and update its travel advice pages accordingly."
A group of residents in Farmersville, Texas said they are prepared to put pigs' heads on spikes and pour pigs' blood on a plot of land where a Muslim cemetery will be established.
The members of the group say they object to the cemetery not because they hate Muslims, but because they will be poisoned if the cemetery becomes operational:
“When somebody dies they bury them at that time. They don’t know whether they were shot, diseased or anything else. All they do is wrap them in a sheet from the grave and bury them,” Troy Gosnell told the local CBS station.
Patricia Munroe voiced fears that local drinking water could be polluted.
“We used to grow onions here. We sure enough don’t want to be growing bodies,” said another resident, Mont Hendrick.
The Farmersville city council will meet and decide whether or not to move forward with the plan. Read the rest