Jim Obergefell Takes On Religious Liberty Bigotry.

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In a disgusting move by the House, they decided to open hearings on anti-LGBT legislation on the Anniversary of the Orlando Massacre. Well done, U.S. Government! That’s the way to show us you really, truly care, and that all lives matter isn’t just a knee-jerk privileged response. For the sarcasm impaired, sarcasm. Jim Obergefell testified, and it is a very moving and emotional testimony. Here’s a bit:

Here’s what I said to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Tuesday.

Chairman [Jason] Chaffetz and Ranking Member [Elijah] Cummings:

Thank you for inviting me to testify today. My name is Jim Obergefell, and I was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

June 2015 was a joyous time for me and LGBT people across the country. The Supreme Court decision extending the freedom to marry to all loving couples was a landmark achievement in the long and ongoing struggle for equality under the law. I was deeply honored to have played a role in helping same-sex couples win this victory.

June 2016 was a time of heartbreak for millions around the world, including myself. The murder of 49 people and wounding of 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12 was a devastating tragedy and the worst attack on the LGBT community in our nation’s history.

Today, exactly one month after this horrifying event, I am appearing before this congressional committee to discuss a bill that would authorize sweeping, taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people. I think that is profoundly sad. With all due respect to you, Chairman Chaffetz, and the members of this committee, this hearing is deeply hurtful to a still-grieving LGBT community.

It is my opinion that a hearing like we’re having today would have been much better spent in looking at how best to ensure that no one in this country is subjected to violence or discrimination based on who they are or whom they love.

Sadly, that is not the focus of today’s hearing. I will explain why I am so strongly opposed to the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, but I first would like to share a bit more about myself.

Mr. Obergefell’s full article can be read 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:

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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.

 

Faces.

A woman confronts stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

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

 

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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.