Popular queer Native American Twitter account turns out to be unpopular straight white woman

@sciencing_bi was a well-read Science Twitter account, a queer Native American professor with a unique perspective on science and university life. They reportedly caught coronavirus and and died of Covid, drawing tributes from online admirers, some of them prominent academics. But it was only the final straw in a haybale of suspicion for people who knew BethAnn McLaughlin, a white woman that @sciencing_bi often spoke of. It turns out, with grim predictability, that it was her all along, catfishing the academic pond.

The anonymous account, @Sciencing_Bi, was an active participant in the corner of Science Twitter that frequently discusses issues of sexual misconduct in the sciences. It claimed on at least one occasion to have grown up in Alabama, to have “fled the south because of their oppression of queer folk,” and to have attended Catholic school. The account began to pointedly make reference to being Native American and, earlier this year, began to identify as Hopi. ... In April, @Sciencing_Bi began to undergo a drama that belonged solely to her, announcing the coronavirus diagnosis in a tweet. It was Ms. McLaughlin who announced that the anonymous professor had died.

Twitter banned both McLaughlin and her sockpuppet, but there's a lot more to unravel.

An interesting element of the sockpuppet was posing @sciencing_bi at Arizona State University. One of the largest universities in the U.S., ASU has a six-figure roster of students, academics and staff, a daunting prospect to any researcher trying to track the account author down. Read the rest

Portland, Maine votes to ban face recognition technology use by government

You love to see it.

How emoji use can reinforce racist white supremacy

When you first hear "emojis can be racist," it might sound like the kind of reductive hyperbole of progressive discourse that you'd find on Hannity as he tries to make a big deal out of a single stupid tweet that some intern dug up in order to further prove that the Culture War is real.

But when you actually break it down — as seen in this presentation by Sara Mei Ling Goldstein and Megan E. Glavin — emojis can reveal some surprisingly complex levels about "default whiteness" and the ways that we pretend that certain things are "colorblind."

This is something I've noticed myself in the past, but was never able to articulate as well as this 10-page presentation does. For example: you're on Slack, and a Black colleague uses a Black thumbs-up emoji to react to someone's comment. Is it weird as a white person to also tap that Black thumbs-up, to show your support and solidarity? If you're a white person, is it better to use the Simpsons-neutral-but-actually-white yellow thumbs-up? If you use a lighter-skinned emoji, it might look like a white power move. So what do you do?

The answers aren't easy. But, as this presentation shows, they're worth considering.

If emojis can be flirty, they can also be racist: a guide to understanding the "unbearable whiteness" of emoji [Sara Mei Ling Goldstein and Megan E. Glavin] Read the rest

Man builds guitars using wood from a lynching tree

Freeman Vines is a luthier in Fountain, North Carolina. For half a century, he's crafted beautiful guitars from wood taken from a tree used to lynch Black people. Vines deeply moving work is the subject of a new photography book, Hanging Tree Guitars, with tintype images by Timothy Duffy and essays by Zoe Van Buren and Lonnie Holley.

Duffy is the co-founder of North Carolina's Music Maker Relief Foundation, "founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time."

From the description of the book, published by The Bitter Southener:

An artist, a luthier, and a spiritual philosopher, Freeman Vines’ life is a roadmap of the truths and contradictions of the American South. He remembers the hidden histories of the eastern North Carolina land on which his family has lived since enslavement. From tobacco barns, mule troughs, and radio parts he creates hand-carved guitars, each instrument seasoned down to the grain by the echoes of its past life.

Along with the book, the Foundation is also releasing a complementary album of blues and gospel songs about race in America.

Read the rest

Black Michigan teen detained for not doing homework to be released 'IMMEDIATELY'

“Grace,” the Black teen girl in Michigan who was detained because the school said she was not doing her online coursework, is to be released from detention “IMMEDIATELY.” Read the rest

Read this final essay by Rep. John Lewis on the day of his funeral

“Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.”

White woman uses racist slurs against George Floyd memorial observers

She does not look well. Read the rest

White woman verbally abuses postal worker with racist slurs [VIDEO]

This video is very disturbing to watch, and includes racist language. Read the rest

Detailed explainer on how America was segregated by design

This short documentary explains how St. Louis, Los Angeles, and every other major US city were segregated by design, via decades of federal, state, and local actions. Read the rest

GOP Senator Tom Cotton describes slavery as "necessary evil"

In an attack on the New York Times' 1619 project tracing slavery in America to its origins, Republican senator Tom Cotton described it as “the necessary evil upon which the union was built”.

“We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.” Cotton write.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her introductory essay to the 1619 Project, said ... “If chattel slavery – heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit – were a ‘necessary evil’ as Tom Cotton says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end.

Cotton concedes a claim, often denied by conservatives, that slavery was central to the founding of the American republic. That said, Cotton now insists he was merely attributing the remark to the Founding Founders.

The text of his editorial, however, plainly poses him in agreement: "As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil."

Cotton attempted a similar "clarification" after his "Send in the Troops" op-ed was interpreted as a call for a general crackdown on rowdy protestors.

Once again, he set out to sound like a no-nonsense strongman of the right, poured cement around his own feet, didn't like how fast it set, and ended up bleating about "fake news" on Twitter. Read the rest

Military bases to be renamed, after veto-proof U.S. Senate vote

The U.S Senate yesterday voted to rename bases currently bearing the names of Confederate officers, as part of a sweeping defence spending bill.

The renaming amendment was added by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and only a handful of senators opposed it, resulting in a veto-proof 86-141 "blowout", as The Washington Post put it.

The Senate passed its version of a $740 billion defense bill Thursday by a veto-proof majority, in the latest sign that Congress is undeterred by President Trump’s threat to reject legislation mandating that the Pentagon rename bases honoring Confederate generals.

The 86-to-14 Senate vote follows the House’s 295-to-125 vote earlier in the week on parallel legislation. Both bills instruct the Defense Department to come up with new names for the problematic bases; the Senate gives the Pentagon three years to make the changes, while the House bill instructs officials to finish the process within one year.

The White House objected to the inclusion of any mandate earlier in the week in a 13-page memorandum threatening that Trump would veto the House bill if it passed in its current form. The House and Senate will have to negotiate a compromise between the two versions of the defense bill before sending it to the president’s desk.

1. Psalm 86:14: "O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them." Read the rest

Richard Pryor explains how capitalism leads to racism, in a 1977 interview

White homes. [Network executives] worry about that a lot. […] [They're afraid I'm] going to stop some racism. They're probably afraid of that. Because then people don't hate each other, then people start talking because soon people people don't hate each other and people start talking to each other and then they start talking to each other they find out who's the problem, which is greedy people.

[…]

I just think it's part of capitalism to promote racism, right? In order to make things work. If you feel better because you're white and you can get a job, you use that. I would. […] And that separates people. So they keep people separated and that keeps them from thinking about the real problem. That's as simple as I see it.

[…]

It seems that the only time you get into positions of power is if you like the people that are in power. The people that get to become executives become like the people that were already executives. They may go in there with good intentions, but it eats them up. It's like a cesspool.

Read the rest

DJ Joey Negro, who is white, decides to change his stage name

A white musician in the UK who performs as "DJ Joey Negro" has decided to drop the name, reports the BBC.

In truth I’ve not felt comfortable with the name Joey Negro for a while, especially as I’ve got older. I’ve stopped using it a few times but establishing a new name as an artist isn’t easy and I’ve ended up going back to it. I understand now though that it’s not appropriate for me to carry on using the name. I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable and people find it out of place in 2020 - and I agree. From now on I’m dropping Joey Negro as a pseudonym, and all those future releases that weren’t already in production will carry the name Dave Lee. I’m sorry to have caused any offence. My whole life has been about music but particularly black music, I love soul, funk, disco, jazz in a way that’s impossible for me to articulate in words and I have tried to champion it with the best intentions. Please be aware the changes are not instant everywhere, Best Dave Lee

Game over for blackface and the like, as put out there by clued-in but boneheaded white entertainers who thought they were being ironic, respectful or clever.

Photo: YouTube Read the rest

Amazon-owned Whole Foods cracked down on staff wearing 'Black Lives Matter' apparel, class-action lawsuit claims

More than 12 workers at Whole Foods stores in 4 different U.S. states claim in a class-action lawsuit that the Amazon-owned retailer retaliated against them for wearing apparel associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Read the rest

Watch "Karens Gone Wild!"

If my copy doesn't arrive soon, I'm going to talk to their manager. Yeah! Video tote me all day long!

(The Radical Left)

Read the rest

Chalk "Black Lives Matter" on the sidewalk, go to jail for a year

Chalk washes away with the next rain, and there's plenty of both in Washington state. But that's not stopping authorities in Selah, Wa., from threatening people who chalk "Black Lives Matter" on sidewalks with a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

As the 10 protesters covered parts of their artwork with their bodies, a city worker walked between them, spraying away the exposed parts of their messages and sending tubs of chalk tumbling into the street. The young activists, wet from the washing, watched in silence and held up signs that were outside the reach of the pressure washer.

“Hate has no home in Selah,” one of them said.

The standoff last week was just one of a growing series of conflicts between conservative leaders of Selah, a community with only a few dozen Black residents, and young people from a wide range of backgrounds who believe the city is long overdue for a conversation about race.

The problem, of course, is that authorities aren't much interested in conversation. Read the rest

NPR examines centuries of policing against racial minorities in America

As part of NPR's Throughline podcast episode on the history of racialized policing in America, they created a brief overview with Harvard historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Read the rest

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