Love Trumps Hate.

Planting Peace Billboard.

Planting Peace Billboard.

Planting Peace on Thursday erected a billboard right outside the location of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that depicts Republican primary rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz embracing and preparing to kiss. The caption on the billboard reads, “Love Trumps Hate. End Homophobia.”

The billboard is going up just as the Republican platform committee passed what gay Republican groups are calling the most homophobic party platform in the GOP’s history.

Via Planting Peace and Raw Story.

Bulletproof Warrior.

Jim Glennon. Credit: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune.

Jim Glennon. Credit: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune.

The seminar was called “The Bulletproof Warrior,” and the instructors urged the law enforcement officers in the hotel conference room to make the decision to shoot if they ever feel their lives are threatened.

Videos of bloody shootouts between police and civilians emphasized a key point: Hesitation can kill you.

In the audience at the May 2014 seminar was a young St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, city records show. He’s now known around the world as the officer who killed Philando Castile minutes after making a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last week.

Amid intensifying demands for changes in police training in the wake of the shooting deaths of Castile and others, such “survival” courses for officers are flourishing nationally. But some in law enforcement are distancing themselves from the approach.

The Houston Police Department, for example, won’t pay for its officers to attend the Bulletproof Warrior seminar, which is put on by an Illinois for-profit company called Calibre Press.

And the leader of an international police training association said he thinks some seminars like those offered by Calibre and other firms foster a sense of paranoia among officers.

Oh, you think? As if the militarization wasn’t bad enough, there’s shit like ‘bulletproof warrior’, which is little more than an expensive exhortation to shoot! shoot! shoot!, but not white people if you can avoid it.

“Police training became very militaristic and it caused a lot of the problems that are going on in the nation,” said Michael Becar, executive director of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, with offices in Idaho and Washington, D.C.

Ah, there it is. Nice to see this acknowledged, but are you going to move past that?

Jim Glennon, a co-owner of Calibre who co-taught the seminar Yanez attended, said it’s wrong to link the course to the officer’s actions last week. “Everybody’s going after this kid,” Glennon said Wednesday. “Nobody should be judging what he did yet without the evidence.”

Well, you see, we have evidence. Evidence of murder. It’s right there, for everyone to see. Perhaps if you hadn’t invested so much time in making cops hyper-aggressive, this might not have happened.

The Bulletproof Warrior is one of 15 sessions offered by Calibre and its parent company, LifeLine Training. The courses are well-known and popular in law enforcement circles. Facebook photos show conference rooms and auditoriums filled with officers to hear the Bulletproof Warrior message.

Fans say it provides a valuable “wake-up call” in police safety tactics for the street: how to read the body language of someone preparing to attack, for instance. Training professionals note that Calibre was a pioneer decades ago in teaching basic police safety.

The body language of someone preparing to attack. Right. Interesting how the body language of PoC is always “oh no, gonna attack!”, while that of white people, even when firing at police, is not, so you end up with dead PoC, and white people arrested. Something is seriously fucked up with your warrior training there.

Yanez took the 20-hour seminar on May 21-22, 2014, according to a summary of Yanez’s training that the city of St. Anthony provided after a public records request. A year earlier he attended “Street Survival,” another of the company’s seminars, records show.

Yanez also took 20 hours of training in 2012 in “Officer Survival” from a different organization. In May of this year, he took two hours of training titled “de-escalation,” the only instruction in his four years with the department that appears to focus on that approach, the records show.

Over 40 hours of “training” in how to be a bigoted profiler, hyper-aggressive, and a killer. Great. And a whole 2 hours in de-escalation. Wow, I am just so impressed. I don’t want to be funding cop shops, when they are doing this sort of shit. Who in their right mind would? (I said right mind.)

William Czech was also in the Bulletproof Warrior class in the Ramada in Bloomington those two days in 2014. Czech isn’t a police officer. He’s a 47-year-old electrician from Mendota Heights with a keen interest in police training because of incidents involving a mentally ill family member.

Czech posed as a student to get into the class. He said he was horrified. He said he expected to see a presentation about understanding both how to avoid using deadly force as well as how to realize when it’s unavoidable. Czech said the course consistently emphasized the risk of hesitation.

[…]

Still, there are some in law enforcement training who question the courses.

Becar, who leads the international law enforcement training group, said his organization has no position on LifeLine Training and Calibre. But he said he has attended Calibre classes.

“Everything they were doing made the police officers very paranoid,” Becar said. “At some point they wouldn’t even stop a car without three backups.”

The Houston Police Department will not pay for officers to attend the Bulletproof Warrior seminar, said Houston police spokesman Kese Smith. Officers can go on their own time and expense, he said.

Smith said he couldn’t elaborate, saying only that “some of their instruction is not what we instruct.”

“No position.” “Can’t elaborate.” Why in the fuckety fuck not? If there are good cops, who think all this shit has gone much too far, why don’t you have a position? Why can’t you elaborate? Why in the hell aren’t you speaking out and denouncing this absolute crap? Why aren’t you doing your damn job, to protect and serve?

Full article here.

Men Meet Women’s Beauty Standards.

Possibly NSFW, view at your discretion. I highly recommend watching this, it’s a great exposé on photoshop beauty standards, which we are all met with every single day, even when we try to avoid them. It’s not a surprise to anyone that models are photoshopped, including male models, but as usual, there’s special standard for women. The Try Guys at Buzzfeed tackle this standard, to see what it’s like to meet a woman’s photoshop beauty standard.

The Advocate has the full story.

RNC Transgender Ad

ad

The National Center for Transgender Equality is part of Fairness USA, a partnership that includes the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund, the Movement Advancement Project, the Equality Federation, the Equality Ohio Education Fund, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Today we are launching a major public education campaign — the first of its kind — to raise awareness of the need for protections for transgender people across the United States.

The centerpiece of the campaign is an ad that will be aired during the Republican National Convention. The ad depicts mistreatment and harassment that many transgender people across the country have faced and continue to face when they need to use the restroom.

Newly released survey data from NCTE shows that 59 percent of transgender people have avoided bathrooms in the last year because they were afraid of problems like being confronted by others. A shocking one in 10 (12 percent of) transgender people report they have been harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a bathroom in the last year, and one-third of transgender people have avoided drinking or eating so that they did not need to use the restroom. In the majority of states, restaurant and store managers can legally stop transgender people from using bathrooms that match the gender they live as every day — or kick them out of their restaurant or store just for being transgender.

This is appalling, but we are no longer fighting this battle alone. Much like the state-by-state marriage equality battles, we have seen that when people get to know their LGBT colleagues, neighbors, and friends for who they are, their opposition weakens and their support grows. Today, as more transgender men and women step forward to tell their stories, and parents advocate for their transgender or questioning children, negative attitudes are challenged and hearts and minds open up. In truth, we’re a mishmash community like everyone else — some of us are raising children, most of us are regular working folks, and some of us are serving in the military.

Those who support us see us for who we are – people. And in the same way that they’ve opened their hearts and minds, so too have voters across the country. Just last month, Quinnipiac University released findings from three swing states in the presidential race — Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — showing that support for transgender people is on the rise.

I think that’s a great ad, and it shows all people what we need to do – to view and treat all people as people. When we see someone’s rights being blocked, we need to step in and stand up.

Full story here.

Cops, Bigotry, Cops, Bigotry…

Louizandre Dauphin's selfie after he was pulled over by police (Photo: Instagram)

Louizandre Dauphin’s selfie after he was pulled over by police (Photo: Instagram)

First up, for a change, a story from Canada, where a man was confronted by cops for reading while black.

Louizandre Dauphin of Bathurst, New Brunswick snapped a selfie of his arched eyebrow for Facebook with red and blue police lights flashing behind him. The former high school English teacher pulled had over by the water to read a book by C.S. Lewis. All he wanted was a nice quiet place to read his book. But he had been pulled over.

The officer said that they had received several calls from concerned citizens who said that they saw a “suspicious person” on the wharf. He left his teaching job and now serves as the city’s director of parks, recreation and tourism, which might be why he sought out the city’s wharf as a place to read. But his appreciation of nature isn’t why he thinks people called to complain, The Province reports. He thinks it is because he’s black.

Full Story Here.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, the union that represents the city’s police officers, has scrubbed its social media accounts less than a week after suggesting the Black Lives Matter movement was to blame for the fatal shootings in Dallas, The Stranger reported.

Not only was the guild’s website offline, but a Twitter search for its account came up empty as of Monday, as seen below: (See image at linked story.)

As the Seattle Times reported, the guild’s Facebook page was also taken down, just days after a post commenting on the Dallas attack by saying, “The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting” and adding the tag #Weshallovercome, a reference to the Civil Rights Movement protest song.

Geekwire published a screenshot of the post prior to its deletion, which can be seen here:

ScreenHunter_5537-Jul.-12-20.07

Guild President Ron Smith, a detective with the department, said at the time that the post was criticized because people took it out of context.

Oh. Always a good sign when someone decides to go full court Sam Harris, and scream context. There really isn’t any complex context to consider here.

“Somehow some folks were offended that police officers are disgusted at the level of violence directed toward law enforcement officers across this country by the vitriol spewed by a small segment of society,” he said.

So, people of colour are a small segment of society. Interesting. If that’s the case, why are all these white bigots so damn upset, screaming at how white people are a minority and will soon become extinct? You don’t get to have this both ways. Also, Mr. Smith, if people of colour are such a tiny segment of society, why in the hell are almost all extrajudicial murders by cops happening to PoC? Something smells, don’t you think? Full Story Here.

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Teen confronts white couple over racial statements (Facebook/screen grab)

Live Facebook video caught a Texas couple shouting racial slurs at an African-American teenage girl.

According to Media Takeout, the girl was dining with her family after church at Chester’s Hamburgers restaurant in San Antonio and began streaming the encounter live on Facebook after the couple made racial statements.

“So, Facebook, this is what racist people look like,” the girl announces to her followers.

Both families tell each other to “shut the f*ck up” before the white man begins calling the black family “god damn n*ggers.”

“You’re a f*cking n*gger!” the white woman wails.

“This is what racism looks like!” the teen recording the video shouts back.

“F*ck you, honky!” one of the women in the black family exclaims.

“I can be a honky! I can be cracker too!” the white man yells.

“Take your n*gger ass back to Africa!” the white woman says.

“I was born right here in America!” one black woman points out.

“My ancestors owned your mother f*cking ass,” the young white woman squawks. “My ancestors owned your ass, bitch.”

The woman adds, “Black people don’t belong in America.”

[…]

They call us monkeys and n*ggers and nobody is paying attention. You know, I had to record it to let you all see. Because it’s real in San Antonio too. For everyone who thinks it’s not real, it’s real in San Antonio.”

“That’s the problem though,” she notes. “You can’t fight these people because that’s how you end up in jail.”

And right there is a prime reason that white people need to be good, strong allies in this fight. Don’t be silent. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look down. Don’t tell yourself “this isn’t my fight.” It is your fight, it’s the fight of every thinking, decent person, and a lot of the time, you won’t find yourself up against stone asshole racists, like the ones quoted above. You’ll be facing nice people who think they are good, and decent and kind. And for the most part, they are right in that self-assessment. But they don’t know enough, and they don’t think enough. I found myself in that situation at the pain clinic yesterday, laying on a slab, half naked, with a needle in my spine. For a moment, I considered letting the remark about those poor cops slide, then thought “no, you cannot do that.” So I didn’t. Talk, even when you think “eh, not the right time”, talk anyway. You never know when you can get another person to think deeper, and they’ll end up wanting to know more.

Full story here.

 

This is who I am, I shouldn’t be ashamed.

Signal boosting an important message.

Speaking our truth! The #TransEmpowered women featured in the new Empowered campaign from Greater Than AIDS get real about love, life, and HIV.

There are more videos here. Watch, listen, share. This is important. No, it’s more than that, it’s crucial. Face time makes all the difference. Many people don’t know a transgender person, which makes it easy for them to hold on to their bias. Sharing these videos will help people to understand that bias, and overcome it. This is a very simple way to help enact great change. Please, do your part.

28.

Shortly after taking office in 1913, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson delivered a phonograph address signaling a change in the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. Whitehouse.gov

Shortly after taking office in 1913, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson delivered a phonograph address signaling a change in the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. Whitehouse.gov

Shortly after taking office in 1913, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson delivered a phonograph address signaling a change in the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes.

This “message to all the Indians,” played on a phonograph donated by Thomas Edison, was part of a traveling expedition to each of the nation’s 169 recognized Indian reservations. Wilson’s voice echoed from the phonograph during ceremonies held beneath the American flag.

In his speech, Wilson quoted Thomas Jefferson’s words from a century earlier, predicting that a day would come when the red men would “become truly one people with us.” One hundred years later, America was “nearer these great things than hoped for, much nearer than we were then,” Wilson said as he boasted about the successes of assimilation policies like land allotments, agricultural training and the more than 30,000 Indian children enrolled in government, state and mission schools.

“The Great White Father now calls you his brothers, not his children,” Wilson said. “You have shown in your education and in your settled ways of life staunch, manly, worthy qualities of sound character.”

Wilson acknowledged “some dark pages in the history of the white man’s dealings with the Indians,” but he claimed the “remarkable progress” of the Indians was proof of the government’s good intentions.

“Many parts of the record are stained with the greed and avarice of those who have thought only of their own profit,” he said. “But it is also true that purposes and motives of this great government and of our nation as a whole toward the red man have been wise, just and beneficent.”

The message, part of an “Expedition of Citizenship to the North American Indian” organized by Philadelphia department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker, was played on every Indian reservation. Joseph Dixon, education director at the Wanamaker department store, led the six-month, cross-country expedition, which left Philadelphia in June 1913.

Dixon sought to “obtain a pledge of allegiance to the government from all the North American Indian tribes,” the New York Times reported at the conclusion of the journey, in December 1913. Dixon had traveled 25,000 miles and visited 189 tribes in an expedition he said “had planted new ideals in the lives of the Indians, and would give great impetus to education, industry and Christianity among them.”

[Read more…]

Faces.

A woman confronts stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

A woman confronts stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Source.

 

Faces2

A man being “detained”. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Source.

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Ieshia Evans. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Source.

 

Police arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)

Police arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. (Max Becherer/Associated Press).

 

A man being "detained" by stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

A man being “detained” by stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

 

Another person being "detained". Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

Another person being “detained”. Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

#All Plates Matter.

All too often black people are met with incredulous dismissal when we talk about the realities of being black. These realities– police brutality, extrajudicial executions, public humiliation, etcetera–inform the sentiment behind #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter is a hashtag, a movement and a mantra. It means that black people are suffering. When black people say that our lives matter, when we use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, it denotes recognition of that suffering.

On the contrary, #AllLivesMatter contributes to black suffering. It’s the moral equivalent of telling someone who just stubbed their toe, “all toes matter.” Like, we know all your untouched toes matter, but can we focus on alleviating the pain of the person with the stubbed toe? #AllLivesMatter has become the rallying cry of those bereft of critical thinking faculties.

Here’s a skit that breaks down the canyon between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter hilariously and creatively, right down to the metaphor of choice. Created by Peace House, a hub for creative and politically thought-provoking comedy, the skit succinctly nails down the frustration of being black in 2016.

Via Safy-Hallan Farah at Paper.

Trans Guidelines: 10 More States Sue.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

A second lawsuit has been filed by states objecting to the Obama administration’s call for schools to avoid discriminating against transgender students, including the recommendation that trans students be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

Ten states led by Nebraska filed the suit in federal court in that state, the Associated Press reports. The other states in the suit are Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Eleven other states, led by Texas and joined by some school districts and public officials, filed a similar suit in May. Both name the U.S. departments of Education, Justice, and Labor as defendants, plus the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The new suit uses much of the same language as the previous one and contends that federal government departments and agencies do not have the right to interpret the law as they did, declaring that a prohibition on sex discrimination in education also bans discrimination based on gender identity. The sex discrimination clause is in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

I knew this was coming, but it really hurts to see ND in that list.

The federal guidance document on treatment of trans students, issued in May, is not legally binding, but it does advise schools on how to comply with their legal obligations to students. Schools that do not comply may lose federal funding.

The new filing means that nearly half the U.S. states are challenging the Obama administration’s guidance, and doing so based on a “1972 understanding of sex,” notes Zach Ford at ThinkProgress.

They can’t go home to the 1950s, but they’ll take it as close as they can get.

Full story here.

Cool Stuff Friday

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Are you on Instagram? Check out Nihongo Flashcards, and learn Japanese. Via Spoon & Tamago. Also, I just have to mention these fabulous Seppuku sweets, which you can only get if you’re in Japan, specifically, Tokyo.

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Visit the Kickstarter for a great project, Umi Hashi.

Need to feel a bit ethereal for a while? Check out these watercolour butterfly temporary tattoos:

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For Dinosaur Watchers, a beautiful poster of Birds of North America:

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