Helen Chavez has walked on.

Helen and Cesar Chavez with six of their eight children in 1969 at the United Farm Workers’ “Forty Acres” property outside Delano. Standing from left are Anna, Eloise and Sylvia. Seated from left are Paul, Elizabeth and Anthony. (United Farm Workers)

Helen and Cesar Chavez with six of their eight children in 1969 at the United Farm Workers’ “Forty Acres” property outside Delano. Standing from left are Anna, Eloise and Sylvia. Seated from left are Paul, Elizabeth and Anthony. (United Farm Workers)

Helen Chavez, the widow of Cesar Chavez, who aided the farmworkers union her husband founded by keeping the books, walking the picket line and being arrested — all while raising their eight children — died Monday at a Bakersfield, Calif., hospital. She was 88.

A statement from the Cesar Chavez Foundation said she died of natural causes and was surrounded by family members.

Though notoriously reticent and uncomfortable with media attention, Chavez sometimes found herself in the spotlight alongside her husband, who led the United Farm Workers of America for 31 years. In 1978 she was arrested and convicted with her husband for picketing a cantaloupe field where workers were represented by the Teamsters Union.

Yet at the height of the movement, she remained in her husband’s shadow. She seemed to push past nervousness whenever she spoke publicly. “I want to see justice for the farmworkers,” she told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in 1976. “I was a farmworker and I know what it is like to work in the fields.”

The Chavez’s were another major window for me, in early life. They helped me to see past my own privilege, and I was honoured to help work with and for their causes when I was a teenager. Goodbye, Helen, and thank you.

Full Story Here.

McCrory: I’ll Stand Firm.

Andrew Dye/Journal.

Andrew Dye/Journal.

Gov. Pat McCrory said he will continue to fight for a “respect for privacy” in the face of a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit over the state’s controversial “bathroom bill.”

McCrory was speaking at North Carolinians for Home Education’s annual conference, being held this week at the Benton Convention Center.

McCrory praised the several hundred families in the crowd for their choice to home school their children. He said it’s important for families to have choices about educating their children and for leaders to respect all of those choices.

[…]

“One other advantage of home schooling is you aren’t going to have the president, the attorney general or the mayor of Charlotte telling you what bathroom (to use),” he said, to a standing ovation.

[…]

McCrory said he would support unisex bathrooms for transgender students, saying that we should give kids with “special needs and unique needs” an option.

“But don’t change the norms that have been working for generations,” he said.

“Special needs and unique needs”? FFS, how dense can McCrory get here? This is as simple as it gets: transgender woman = woman. Transgender man = man. Transgender girl = girl. Transgender boy = boy. It’s quite interesting how McCrory thinks that unisex lavs are great…for those weird people. Not so great for actual people, eh, Pat? I have a question about these wonderful, unisex, transgender persons only lavs, Pat – who is going to police them to keep all the cis people out? Perhaps all cis people should be made to go through years of red tape to get a special identification, and absolutely must be karyotyped!

McCrory blamed the kerfuffle on Democrats, saying there were no issues with bathroom rules until the Charlotte City Council passed a nondiscrimination ordinance to provide legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people that included language would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender with which they identify. HB2 was passed in a one-day special session to reverse Charlotte’s ordinance.

Tsk. You’d think those ‘norms’ that had been working great for generations wouldn’t have gotten knocked down by a bit of non-discrimination. Also, this is a “kerfuffle”? People’s lives. Legislation of hatred, fear, and bigotry. Inciting hatred and harm. Kerfuffle. Fuck you, McCrory. I hope you go down in a blaze of shame, a sad footnote on the rigid, atrophied thinking of a conservative bigot.

Via Winston-Salem Journal.

Finding Middle Ground For Bigotry and Fear.

Maya Dillard Smith.

Maya Dillard Smith.

Maya Dillard Smith, the interim director of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, has resigned from her position because she does not support the organization’s fight for the right of transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Smith reportedly said the ACLU is advocating for trans rights at the expense of safety for women and children.

[…]

Smith claimed that transgender rights have “intersectionality with other competing rights, particularly the implications for women’s rights.” She said that when her young daughters shared a bathroom with transgender women, it made her worry the children would be harmed. “I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults over six feet with deep voices entered,” she wrote in the statement.

So, if three young adults, over six feet tall, with deep voices, who were afab entered, that would be okey dokey? This couldn’t possibly be about your own perceptions and prejudices, right?

She went on to say that her “children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer.”

So, you’re ill-prepared. What you should have done from there was to embark on an education, learn, go out and meet a few transgender people, listen. Share that education with your children. Oh, but no, can’t have that! Instead, your lack of learning must be enshrined, and your willful ignorance paraded about, spreading fear and lies.

“Despite additional learning I still have to do, I believe there are solutions that provide can provide accommodations for transgender people and balance the need to ensure women and girls are safe from those who might have malicious intent.”

Because transgender people might be people, but they can’t be women! You just can’t take the chance of allowing a woman in a womens’ lav, too dangerous.

In an interview with Atlanta TV station WXIA, Smith argued that cisgender (nontrans) women should not have to share bathrooms with trans women because it could be”traumatic.” “If we have all-gender restrooms which will accommodate trans folks, what do we do about women who are the survivors of rape, for whom it would be traumatic to share a public restroom where you take down your underwear, and there’d be men in the bathroom,” she said.

Auuugh, no, no, no. You do not get to hold up rape survivors as free PR, claiming to care about us, while having the nerve to speak for all of us. By the way, Ms. Smith, a lot of transgender people, including trans women, have been raped. Are you speaking for them, too?

Smith has launched a website called Finding Middle Ground that features a video of a young girl talking about “boys in the girls’ bathroom.” “There’s some boys who feel like they’re girls on the inside and there’s some boys that are just perverts,” says the young girl in the ad. A caption appears on the screen after she speaks that reads “How do we keep ourl ittle girls safe and prevent transgender discrimination?”

This is the same exact shite Ted Cruz was putting out, with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

Full Story Here.

The Fight Against Blue Lives Matter.

Getty Images.

Getty Images.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed the country’s first “Blue Lives Matter” law last week, a piece of legislation that makes a civilian attack on a veteran, police officer, emergency responder, or firefighter a possible hate crime. Louisianans convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes against officers will be slapped with a $500 fine and possibly an additional sentence of up to six months.

Fusion has a very good look at why this legislation was unnecessary, and how it can be used to further crush those already deeply marginalized and poor. As most people know, across uStates, there’s an automatic add on to any interaction with a cop. Punch someone, it’s assault. Punch a cop, it’s assault of a police officer, and cops do love taking advantage of that little add on. Everything is worse if it’s directed towards a cop, it’s always been that way, so why this legislation? How would Ferguson have played out under such legislation? I think maybe there wouldn’t have been a Ferguson at all with such a law in place. This simply adds yet more weight on the side of authoritarianism, more protections for any tale a cop might spin.

Julie Baxter Payer, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, told Fusion in an email that the governor does not view this law as targeting communities of color. In the statement about the bill, Governor Edwards said “coming from a family of law enforcement officers, I have great respect for the work that they do and the risks they take to ensure our safety.”

Anneke Dunbar-Gronke, part of BYP’s leadership in New Orleans, told me the law is redundant and that she sees “no existing precedent that can trust this [law] will be used in a way that will protect citizens,” adding “when it’s a police officer’s word against civilians we see how that’s played out specifically when it’s a black person or a person from a community of color.”

“The danger in that redundancy is that it further criminalizes black people, poor people, and those with the least access,” she said.

The vague language of the law, Moore-O’Neal said, also leaves communities more susceptible to legal trouble. “The purpose of these sorts of legislation is not public safety for the public but safety for the elite,” she said. “The purpose of this is to quell social unrest.” Moore-O’Neal, who is black, explained that the law can be easily interpreted to quell free speech.

“Who is to say if I am protesting or having direct action against cops?” she said. “Who is to say that isn’t a hate crime?” In late May, BYP helped organize the “National Day of Action to End State Violence Against All Black Women and Girls,” with actions that took place in at least 21 cities across the country.

We Will Line Up For Crucifixion to Defend Our Bigotry.

Gov. Phil Bryant. AP Photo.

Gov. Phil Bryant. AP Photo.

Well, Misssissippi Governor Phil Bryant must be bursting with pride – he’s made Right Wing Watch. ‘Over the top’, melodramatic, dramatic, glurgetastic, none of these is an adequate descriptor anymore. A brand new word is needed.

At least week’s Watchmen on the Wall conference, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins presented Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant with the first ever “Samuel Adams Religious Freedom Award” for having signed a radical anti-LGBT bill into law earlier this year that will allow businesses to deny service to gay people.

While introducing the governor, Perkins said that America’s elected leaders should be “ministers of God,” while Bryant praised the hate group leader as something of a modern-day David.

[…]

Later, Bryant recalled how “all of the secular progressive world had decided that they were going to pour their anger” out on him for pledging to sign the legislation, wrongly thinking that he could be pressured into backing down because they were unaware that Christians like him would line up to be crucified before turning their backs on Jesus.

“They don’t know us very well, do they?” he asked. “They don’t know that Christians have been persecuted throughout the ages. They don’t know that if it takes crucifixion, we will stand in line before abandoning our faith and our belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So if we are going to stand, now is the time and this is the place.”

Gee, Phil, did you ask all the other Christians if they are good with being crucified?

 

100 Year Old Anti-War Graffiti to Be Saved

 The cells of Richmond Castle, which have over 5,000 drawings on them, will now be preserved by English Heritage.  Credit: English Heritage


The cells of Richmond Castle, which have over 5,000 drawings on them, will now be preserved by English Heritage.
Credit: English Heritage

Richmond Castle has been standing since shortly after William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066.

Throughout its long history, the fortress in North Yorkshire has held a lot of prisoners. Surprisingly, it was still being used for this purpose as recently as 100 years ago, during World War I.

Conscientious objectors — people who refused to take part in the war on moral or religious grounds — were held in the castle’s tiny cells.

And while they were there, they scratched messages of protest and pictures into its walls. A kind of World War I graffiti.

Since then, the castle walls have been crumbling away, threatening to erase those historical marks.

But now the structure is going to be saved, thanks to a grant of half a million dollars just approved to preserve the site.

[…]

The identities of many of the graffiti artists remain unknown, but according to Leyland, some of the drawings were made by a group who came to be known as the “Richmond Sixteen.”

Imprisoned in the castle for refusing to take part in the war effort, the group was then forcibly sent to France to carry out non-combat roles on the front.

When they continued to resist, they were sentenced to death by firing squad. But “in a dramatic scene, their sentences were reduced to 10 years of hard labor,” said Leyland.

“But they were willing to go all the way and face the ultimate deterrent. They would rather be killed than kill.”

 Bert Brocklesby, one of the so-called Richmond Sixteen, drew this delicate sketch of his fiancée, Annie Wainwright. Credit: English Heritage

Bert Brocklesby, one of the so-called Richmond Sixteen, drew this delicate sketch of his fiancée, Annie Wainwright. Credit: English Heritage

Full Story Here.

Christian Lawyers Victims of Second Sexual Revolution.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

Oh, definitely one for The Persecution Files. There might not be any Christian lawyers in five years! I’m pretty sure that isn’t going to happen, in spite of the fact that Christians are being informed that they are not going to be allowed to rest on their bigotry.

Less than a decade ago, few would have imagined homosexual marriage would become the law of the land.

Maybe the same will be written ten years from now, only about the absence of Christian lawyers and judges.

That’s right. The Second Sexual Revolution is not satisfied with just excluding Christians from the service industry as florists, photographers and bakers—it is excluding the law profession, too.

[…]

Fast forward to today. The American Bar Association is currently considering tightening their conduct rules to include sexual orientation and gender identity, even of “gender expression.”

[…]

Naturally, if the attorneys must bow to the altar of sexual tyranny, so must the judges.

Wait, I thought this was a sexual revolution, now it’s a tyranny? Make up thy mind, Sir. There’s much more Persecution Whine here.

Itzhak Perlman says no to NC

Violinist Itzhak Perlman - Facebook

Violinist Itzhak Perlman – Facebook

Thursday afternoon the Grammy Award-winning musician made the announcement on Facebook:

“As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally,” he wrote. “As such, after great consideration, I have decided to cancel my May 18th concert in North Carolina with the North Carolina Symphony as a stand against House Bill 2.”

He continued, “As Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently stated, HB2 ‘is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. [It] is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens.’ I couldn’t agree more and will look forward to returning to North Carolina when this discriminatory law is repealed.”

Full Story Here.

The Angry, Confused, Bigoted Responses To Transgender Student Inclusion.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)

Zack Ford at Think Progress has a state by state roundup of responses to the new federal education guidelines.

On Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) told the country’s schools that they should be making sure transgender students have equal access to all educational opportunities, including using facilities that match their gender identities. If they don’t, they put themselves at risk of losing federal funding.

While the debate continues to play out in North Carolina in the courts, the response nationwide, particularly among Republican governors, was not pretty.

The article has responses from Kentucky, Utah, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Idaho, Mississippi, Michigan, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Indiana, aaaaand the Catholic Church.

Full Story Here.

F*CK HB 2

north-carolina-beer-company-protests-anti-lgbt-billx750

North Carolina’s beer industry has a message for the governor: Hate has no place in their state.

In response to House Bill 2, the controversial law that forces trans people to use the public restroom that does not correspond with their gender identity, the state’s Wedge Brewing Company has begun printing “#F*CK HB2” on its beverages. The can of the company’s popular Iron Rail IPA, features the hashtag printed on the bottom of the can. It’s designed to look like a serial number.

[…]

“We’ve seen businesses, municipalities, and even rock legends from around the country punish North Carolina for passing this law,” Myers said in a statement. “We’ve seen business expansions and job opportunities pull out of the state. We see that our communities are being harmed by this action.” He further added: “We didn’t feel like HB2 represented us as businesses or as residents of North Carolina.”

In April, over 40 local companies announced that they would be releasing a limited-edition brew to raise money for local LGBT non-profits, including Equality North Carolina and Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer (QORDS), a summer camp specifically for LGBT youth. The beer, called “Don’t Be Mean to People, A Golden Rule Saison,” will be available locally in May.

Full Story Here.

In related news, McCrory has found a whole new career in whining. What now? Well, the new federal education guidelines. Pat doesn’t like them.

[Read more…]

Bryant: We Are So Persecuted!

Phil Bryant (Facebook)

Phil Bryant (Facebook)

Oh, the whining. It never ends. Are these fossils ever going to realize it’s time for them to fade away, quietly? One of the most unattractive things about Christians is the constant need to feel persecuted, to somehow make a case that yes, oh yes, we are too persecuted! The very presence of anyone they don’t like, persecution! “Oh, it makes us think about things, thinking is bad.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant complained Christians are still being bullied in his state because not everyone agrees with their interpretation of a law that permits discrimination against LGBT people.

Bryant insisted the law was intended to prevent discrimination against Christians by allowing them to deny service, housing, medical treatment and some government documents to LGBT people or even unmarried couples — so long as they claim a religious objection.

[…]

“I mean, they cherry-pick these issues,” Bryant said during an appearance on a religious-right radio program. “If they had any integrity at all, they would say, ‘We understand Mississippi is actually trying to make sure that Christians and people of other faiths are not discriminated against.’ It is a nondiscriminatory law. It prevents discrimination against simply that segment of the population that has a deeply held religious view about marriage.”

The Republican governor whined that “dear friend Pat McCrory,” the governor of North Carolina, is also facing a political and corporate backlash after signing a similar anti-LGBT law.

[…]

Bryant complained that Christians were facing discrimination from anyone who disagreed with their interpretation of the law as one that protected the rights of religious people to practice their faith.

“We’re criticized, we’re threatened, we’re bullied, we’re told by corporations that we’re doing the wrong thing?” Bryant said.

[…]

Despite court challenges, directives from the U.S. Department of Justice and boycotts against their states, Bryant said he was certain he and his counterpart in North Carolina had significant support nationwide.

“I think the rest of the nation is beginning to wake up and say, ‘What world do they think we’re living in? This is not Hollywood, this is not more liberal areas, this is America, where common sense still prevails,’” Bryant said.

Aaaaand we’re back to that common sense bullshit. Interesting, that going by Bryant, Hollywood and more liberal areas aren’t part of America.

Full Story Here.

NC: Cops Say No

Police in several major North Carolina cities told NPR they will not penalize nor arrest a trans person for using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Photo: Shutterstock.

Police in several major North Carolina cities told NPR they will not penalize nor arrest a trans person for using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
Photo: Shutterstock.

While legal battles rage on over North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law known as House Bill 2, law enforcement officers in the state won’t be arresting any restroom deviants any time soon.

Damien Graham, a spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department, told NPR on Tuesday that his department will not enforce the sweeping law, which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity, because “the bill doesn’t speak to enforcement nor penalty.”

Raleigh Police had attorneys review the language of HB 2, but since there “wasn’t any specific language that spoke to enforcement or even penalty,” the department wasn’t sure how its officers could enforce the law, Graham told NPR.

[…]

If the police receive a complaint about someone in the “wrong” bathroom, the department will respond, says Graham, but officers will not penalize or arrest anyone for using the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

[…]

Christina Hallingse, the public information officer for the police department in Asheville, told NPR that it would be nearly impossible to enforce HB 2. Doing so would drain the department’s resources, because it would require officers to stand guard outside public restrooms asking people to present their birth certificates before entering these gender-segregated spaces.

“It would take them off the streets, off patrol and having to put them at bathrooms,” explained Hallingse of the logistics of enforcing HB 2.

Full Story at The Advocate.

While it’s very nice to see police paying attention to reality, and doing the right thing for a change, McCrory continues on in stubborn asshole mode. Apparently he thinks he has a chance in the upcoming election, and is selling these bumper stickers for a donation:

323ae28a-16d7-11e6-a157-0eacb5a15a09

“It’s just common sense” has been McCrory’s increasingly plaintive defense of HB 2 and the indefensible. I’m expecting he’ll be utterly trounced by Roy Cooper in the November election, and I’ll be happy to see it.

LC: Pedophiles Behind Non-Discrimination Laws

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel.

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel.

From Right Wing Watch: On today’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver asserted that North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law and the Religious Right’s boycott of Target are necessary because efforts to allow transgender people to use facilities that match their gender identity are being pushed by pedophilia advocates.

“The fact is we know sexual assaults occur,” he said, “they are going to occur with or without these laws, there’s no question about that. People commit sexual assaults, they commit them in buildings, they commit them in restrooms; but what you have now done, knowing that sexual assaults occur, knowing that they occur in these places where women are trapped and they can’t get out, now what we’ve done, through these laws, is we’ve opened the door for every rapist and pedophile.”

“Frankly,” he continued, “when you look at some of the people behind the North Carolina law and some of these other laws, who are they? They have been identified, some of them that have been advocating this, as pedophiles. Some of this is being financed by those who are actively promoting pedophilia.”

Naturally, Staver did not state just which groups are advocating child abuse.

The Advocate also has this story.