#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.



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


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.


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:

WB butterflies-2_1024x1024

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


California: Vaccine Mandate.



With California’s strict vaccine mandate now in place, opponents are fighting to overturn the law in court.

The new law, which took effect Friday, bars parents from citing religion or other personal beliefs as reasons to not vaccinate their kids. SB 277 is one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the country and drew many protesters when it was debated in Sacramento.

A group of parents and the nonprofit Education 4 All filed a suit Friday to overturn the law in U.S. District Court in San Diego. The suit claims that the law violates California children’s right to an education under the state’s constitution.

“SB 277 has made second-class citizens out of children who for very compelling reasons are not vaccinated according to the CDC schedule,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Robert T. Moxley, said in a statement. “We are hoping the court will grant us an injunction while the judicial process takes place to see if this law is constitutional, which it most certainly does not seem to be.”


About 80,000 California students claim personal belief exemptions for vaccines annually.

First, good for you, California! It’s about damn time this ‘religious belief / personal belief’ crap was tossed out. No surprise that anti-vaxxers are fighting this mandate, but on the basis of violating a child’s right to an education? How does that work, when it is a parent’s refusal to vaccinate which bars a child from a public school? Your child doesn’t go to school in a vacuum, there are a whole lot of other children and their health at stake, and no, you don’t get to count on all the other kids being vaccinated as an okay for your little snowflake to run about in a possibly contagious state. I’m not all that comfortable with home-schooled kids not being vaccinated, because again, those kids aren’t in a magic bubble, never coming into contact with others. I was vaccinated, but I got nailed by chickenpox anyway. It was much milder and shorter lived than it would have been minus the vaccination, and it was not at all fun. I just don’t understand how any parent would be willing to see their child with such an illness.

I was also gobsmacked by the 80,000 personal belief exemption claims. Seriously? I know, in the scheme of the total population it’s not all that much, but in terms of a potential epidemic, it’s a huge number. I don’t have any personal reason to be concerned about these diseases anymore, but I am glad I’m not in SoCal anymore, either.

Via Raw Story.