Ken Burns Talks Trump.


Ken Burns speaks to CBS (screen grab).

In an interview with the Daily Beast on a retrospective of his films, acclaimed documentarian Ken Burn spent the majority of his time discussing the candidacy of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and what it says about America.


Discussing Burns’ film The Central Park Five — about five black teens who were wrongly convicted of assaulting a white woman in New York City — Burns recalled how Trump reacted at the time.

“He shamefully took out a full-page ad in all of the New York dailies asking for a restoration of the death penalty for two 14-year-old, two 15-year-old, and one 16-year-old innocent children,” Burns explained. “While New York State laws would not have permitted their execution, just the fact that there was a rush to judgment ought to be complete evidence of how temperamentally unsuited he is for the office he now seeks.”

Burns makes an excellent point here, in regard to Trump’s volatility. Trump is con man, always ready to twist in the wind, willing to change views in a heartbeat. All his viewpoints are on the repugnant side, which should be enough to scare people away, but it isn’t. Given that, people should seriously consider Trump’s eruptions into temper, and how that would translate in an office of high power.

“I find Donald Trump more of a super-predator. This idea that he can attack and attack and attack whole groups of people, and that we live in a media culture where that’s permitted to be tolerated—it’s the spectacle and not the truth of it,” he said. “An amoral internet permits a lie to travel around the world three times before the truth can get started, and we live in a place where lying is OK—where a lassitude develops where it doesn’t matter what the truth is—and that’s how it’s possible for someone like him to be advanced who is so clearly temperamentally unsuited and has no idea about governing.”

“The Republican Party has been extraordinarily successful at getting many groups of people to vote against their self-interest,” he continued. “Evangelicals are voting for Donald Trump. What part of Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ? Trump lusts after his own daughter on national radio, talks about women’s bodies and breasts in such a disparaging way, and mocks them. How is this in any way Christian? When you make the ‘other’ the enemy, how is that Christian?”

Okay, that last question is silly. Christians are all about othering, it’s the lifeblood of their belief. If you don’t other, how you can get your self-righteous judgment on? (Yes, I know, #notallchristians.)

Full story here.

Racism: The Divide is Black and White.

A Black Lives Matter demonstrator (Shuttershock)

A Black Lives Matter demonstrator (Shuttershock)

On Monday, Pew released the results of a survey showing that, eight years after Barack Obama was elected president, 61% of black people and 45% of white people say that race relations in America are “generally bad.” That’s compared with 59% and 34%, respectively, who had negative impressions of race relations in July 2008.

If you’re wondering why things have gotten so tense, Pew has also released a report that offers a possible explanation: namely, black people and white people see black people’s struggles completely differently.

The survey shows that black people overwhelmingly blame lower-quality schools and discrimination for why “some blacks have a harder time getting ahead than whites.”

A majority of white people, meanwhile, said that “family instability” and “lack of good role models” were chiefly responsible for the problems facing black communities. Only 36% blamed discrimination, and just 45% said that a “lack of jobs” was holding black people back.

In other words, while most black people think that higher levels of poverty and lower levels of economic mobility in their communities are the fault of America’s legacy of systematic racism and under-investment, more white people are content to blame black people themselves.

Here’s the key chart:


There’s much more at Fusion, including the chart which shows that Republicans say there’s actually too much discussion about race in America.

This is mind-numbingly disheartening, that more and more, white people are simply turning their backs and declaring there’s no problem, really, if people would just stop making a thing out of race, well, no probs.

Sunday Facepalm

Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.

Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.

Well, the KKK is back at it with their little flier campaign. It’s a bit more involved than the last effort in Georgia.

Following the mass shooting at gay nightclub ‘Pulse’ in Orlando, Florida, the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi gave out anti-gay pamphlets to the homes in Gautier and Ocean Springs along the Gulf Coast.


In response to news reports of the incident, Brent Waller, who identifies as the Imperial Wizard of the United Dixie White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Realm of Mississippi, said it’s his right to distribute whatever material even if locals do not welcome them.

‘I got the same right under the First Amendment to pass out pamphlets and literature just the same as the newspaper does,’ Waller told the Hattiesburg American.

Waller defended his group’s anti-gay sentiments by saying that black people and Muslims are also their list.

‘[The pamphlets were] put out in a legal fashion, nobody’s being targeted,’ he said. ‘There’s some things about gays, but there’s also some things about blacks and we’re coming out with one on Muslims next week.’

Goodness, he sounds a wee bit defensive. I’ll admit to being quite amused at the politically correct disclaimer after the Boycott 101’s final paragraph:

“Don’t let the outside immoral crowds and their news media get your butt in a bind. We will never bow to homosexuality and bestiality or other unnatural sexual perversions that go against the laws of nature and GOD.”

It said: “This is a mass flier drive, no one is being targeted because of race, religion, national or sexual orientation.

Emphasis mine. Not overly amused though, because while the Klan is not remotely the same powerful organization it used to be, given the rise of the far right everywhere, along with white nationalism, it doesn’t pay to completely discount such groups. There’s a great deal of ugly in the Boycott 101 flier, but even the Klan, it seems, has had to learn where to carefully draw a line.

And Waller said he and his group don’t want outsiders coming into his state “spreading their liberal agenda.”

“Our state is being bombarded by outside views,” he said. “They get on the news about the flag and gay rights agenda.”

But the straight white perspective is rarely told, even though the bulk of Mississippi residents are white, Waller said.

According to a U.S. Census report issued in July 2014, an estimated 62 percent of the state’s residents are white.

“We’re the Klan that’s been here since the Civil War,” Waller said. “We have long been the voice for the white right wing. People may not like our views, but we are entitled to them.

“We’re not out here hanging people no more, but we certainly have some viewpoints that some people don’t agree with, but we certainly have some who do. I don’t sugarcoat it. I’m not politically correct. We are the main group for the white man. We have been for 150 years.”

Waller said the UDWK will continue to push for the right to be heard.

“We’re really going to get the message out this summer,” he said. “As long as we’re not using any inflammatory or hate-type material in our fliers we’re OK.”

And contrary to popular belief, Waller said, he has nothing against gays as long as they don’t flaunt their lifestyle.

“If somebody wants to live a certain lifestyle, I’m cool with that,” he said. “But if they want to push their agenda on us … I had one of those gay churches contact me. I told them I’m going to pray for you. You don’t have to worry about us harming you, but I think what you are doing is wrong.”

It does appear, at least for now, that the Klan remains mostly de-fanged.

Via Hattiesburg American, and Gay Star News. Boycott 101 Flier.

Brexit, Nexit, Frexit…

Marine Le Pen with Heinz-Christian Strache of Austria's far-right Freedom Party (AFP Photo/Vladimir Simicek)

Marine Le Pen with Heinz-Christian Strache of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (AFP Photo/Vladimir Simicek)

Brexit, Nexit, Frexit, Fuck it. The chain has begun, with far-right, racist leaders all over* cheering Brexit, and whipping up similar sentiments all over Europe. I’ll just give you one small quote, and you can go read the rest, I hate beginning the day with despair.

— And the leader of Germany’s right-wing populist AfD Frauke Petry said in a Facebook post the Brexit was a warning that “if the EU does not abandon its quasi-socialist experiment of every greater integration then the European people will follow the Brits and take back their sovereignty.”

Yeah! Can’t have that whole humans being compassionate and caring stuff going on, oh no.

*Including American racist moron, Trump.

Full Story Here.

Stonewall: Where [White] Pride Began.

Last year, I was excited to hear a movie was going to be made about Stonewall. I wasn’t so excited when I heard it would be directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot). Then I thought to myself, well, how bad could even Emmerich do, it’s a great story, filled with amazing people. Optimism really doesn’t pay off. After last September, I heard many negative noises about the film, and promptly forgot about it.

Did you see Stonewall? Based on its abysmal box office performance, it seems safe to assume you did not. The terrifically abominable thing — just a badly-planned and shoddily-executed work from start to finish — premiered last September and grossed just $187,674.

Stonewall is offensive on two counts: Not just for being a lousy movie, but also for whitewashing history. The 1969 Stonewall riots, as has been well-documented, was a landmark event for LGBT rights; two of the most prominent protesters were trans women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

But Stonewall director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot) wanted his movie to appeal to the masses, he explained to Buzzfeed, and in order to get that mainstream appeal, he created a fictional protagonist, Danny. Danny is gay but, in Emmerich’s words, “very straight-acting.” He is cis and he is white. He moves from Indiana to New York City and, in the film, is the brick-throwing rebel that incites the riots that sparked a movement.

:Gobsmacked: So Emmerich thought a white, cis-het appearing, apple pie and mom guy would magically appeal to the ‘mainstream’. Who did he think was going to be the major audience for a movie about Stonewall? This reminds me of the often blank reaction people get when they realize that indigenous people are still around – Stonewall was in 1969, and no, not everyone there and involved is dead, let alone long dead.

Perhaps it will not surprise you to know that many, many LGBT individuals and allies objected to this act of erasure — Johnson makes little more than a cameo, Rivera is M.I.A. — and over 20,000 people signed a petition promising to boycott the movie altogether.

No, that doesn’t surprise me at all.

One might think that Emmerich, nearly a year out from his film’s release and subsequent commercial and critical failure (Rotten Tomatoes rating: 9 percent) would, upon reflection, realize his errors. Or not! In an interview with The Guardian pegged to the release of sure-to-be-cinematic-masterpiece Independence Day: Resurgence, Emmerich “sighs at the memory of his passion project’s reception.”

“My movie was exactly what they said it wasn’t. It was politically correct. It had black, transgender people in there,” Emmerich said. “We just got killed by one voice on the internet who saw a trailer and said, this is whitewashing Stonewall. Stonewall was a white event, let’s be honest. But nobody wanted to hear that any more.”

Stonewall was a white event. Did I say I was gobsmacked before? No, Stonewall was not a white event. It wasn’t even close to a white event. Titus Montalvo, a Stonewall vet, put the crowd at 70% Hispanic and Black. That’s not overwhelmingly white, but I suppose to an Independence-minded Emmerich, that constitutes a white event. Mr. Emmerich, please, stick with your idiot pleaser popcorn flicks, and consider staying very, very quiet about events such as Stonewall. No one appreciates your continued whitewash.

Full Story Here.

North Carolina LGBT law protesters reunite for Orlando.


Participants attend a Moral Monday rally near the North Carolina Legislature in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, June 20, 2016. Victims of violence including the recent Orlando shooting and the Charleston shooting were honored during the rally. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Opponents of North Carolina’s new law limiting antidiscrimination protections for LGBT people have reunited to mourn the victims of the shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people and condemn state policies they say are responsible for furthering bigotry nationwide.

The state NAACP held a vigil “against hate and discrimination” late Monday in Raleigh on the Bicentennial Mall between the offices of Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly building.

“We are one humanity, and we will not be divided by hate and discrimination and violence — not in Florida, not in North Carolina, not in America, not in this world,” state NAACP president the Rev. William Barber said.

The state’s law preventing local governments from passing LGBT anti-discrimination protections and directing which bathrooms transgender people can use has transformed North Carolina into the epicenter for the national discussion on LGBT rights. Serena Sebring of LGBT advocacy group Southerners on New Ground said the Orlando shooting was an extension of the same fight.

“Homegrown terrorism in this county is not new, and it is fueled by bigoted leaders and institutions of the far right, including the architects and supporters of House Bill 2, who put a target on our people’s backs,” Sebring said. “We know that we are relentlessly under attack at the hands of these entities just for daring to live our lives.”

Serena Sebring is absolutely right. This is domestic terrorism, American terrorism, committed by Americans. People need to face that, whether or not they like it. All of us queer folk, we’re surrounded by people who have a serious problem with our existence, let alone us having the same rights as everyone else. The particular ideology behind queerphobia isn’t all that important, whether it’s being shored up by Abrahamaic based religions or bullshit secular reasons doesn’t matter – it all comes down to hate and fear, hate and fear which is being fomented and exploited by a multitude of individuals and groups. These people don’t care if there’s someone out there messed up enough to start killing – for too many, that’s actually seen as a good thing. Right now, Americans are faced with a distinctly American problem, and it’s time to focus on that fact.


Whitewash, Workin’ at the Whitewaaaaash…


CREDIT: Wikipedia, KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx/AP.

The lack of diversity in Hollywood isn’t exactly news to many — but the creators of an upcoming film about the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi clearly aren’t getting it.

David Franzoni, an American screenwriter who worked on the film Gladiator, and producer Stephen Joel Brown told the Guardian that they hoped their upcoming film about Rumi would challenge the stereotypical portrayals of Muslims in Hollywood.

But for the two lead characters — Rumi, and his spiritual adviser, Shams of Tabriz — they said they were hoping to get Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey, Jr., respectively. “This is the level of casting that we’re talking about,” said Brown, apparently seeing no irony in believing that whitewashing a film will help dismantle stereotypes.


As many on social media rightly pointed out, one thing about Rumi’s life, then, is clear: He wasn’t white.



While Hollywood has long taken an interest in other parts of the world, it hasn’t done enough to make sure that the people from those regions get a chance to tell the story. Lead roles have been whitewashed in many movies about the Middle East, including Gods of Egypt starring Gerard Butler, Prince of Persia starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and Exodus: Gods and Kings starring Christian Bale. The full list of movies that have been similarly cast with white actors — despite the characters clearly being of other backgrounds — is far too long, but recent examples include Aloha, Ghost in the Shell, and Doctor Strange, among many, many more.

As ThinkProgress has previously reported, there is a serious lack of opportunity for non-white actors in Hollywood. When it comes to Muslim and Middle Eastern actors specifically, they’re often typecast into roles such as “Terrorist #4” — making it that much worse when a lead role they can actually play is given to a white actor instead.

In an in-depth GQ interview with some of the most famous Middle Eastern actors — like Maz Jobrani, Ahmed Ahmed, and Sayed Badreya — Jon Ronson found that pretending to hijack planes and kill infidels were usually the only roles available. As Ronson noted, the lack of opportunity is so warped that many of the actors actually have tips for how to stand out at terrorist auditions.

“If I’m going in for the role of a nice father, I’ll talk to everybody,” Badreya told GQ. “But if you’re going for a terrorist role, don’t fucking smile at all those white people sitting there. Treat them like shit. The minute you say hello, you break character.”

“But it’s smart at the end of the audition to break it,” clarified Hrach Titizian, an actor who appeared on Homeland. “‘Oh, thanks, guys.’ So they know it’s okay to have you on set for a couple of weeks.”

Oh, but we’re post racist, you betcha! :Insert an enormous, spine-popping eyeroll here: If the casting of this movie goes as planned, I certainly won’t be watching it. I have never been a fan of DiCaprio, it’s a mystery to me what people see in him, the most I can elicit is a meh. Having read a fair amount of Rumi’s work, I would love a movie about him and his life if it was done well, and doing it well includes accuracy. That leaves Hollywood out.

Full Story at ThinkProgress.

Four More Heads.

Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. This front page of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper ran with portraits of 11 Modoc Indians, who ended up as federal prisoners.

Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
This front page of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper ran with portraits of 11 Modoc Indians, who ended up as federal prisoners.

The four Modocs dangling from the gallows at Fort Klamath, Oregon, on October 3, 1873, had barely been cut down when the ghoulish souvenir-taking started. Soldiers auctioned off a hank of hair shorn from the head of Modoc leader Kientpoos (a.k.a. Captain Jack) to fit the noose around his neck, and they sold unraveled gallows rope for $5 a strand. Thomas Cabaniss, a physician from nearby Yreka, California, who had worked for the army during the Modoc War, claimed two halters. Other spectators snatched pieces and parts from the gallows. Meanwhile, in a nearby tent, military medical officer Henry McElderry was taking the army’s share of hanging-day mementos.

This image of Kientpoos (Captain Jack) was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

This image of Kientpoos (Captain Jack) was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

In 1868, George Otis Alexander, then assistant surgeon general of the United States Army, circulated an order among military physicians requiring them to help the Army Medical Museum’s effort to build its collection of Native crania. The museum had already amassed 143 skulls and wanted to add more.

“The chief purpose … in forming this collection,” Alexander explained, “is to aid in the progress of anthropological science by obtaining measurements of a large number of skulls of aboriginal races of North America.”

The official purpose for collecting Indian skulls was comparative study of racial differences. George A. Otis, MD, of the Army Medical Museum, after studying the “osteological peculiarities” of the skulls collected up to 1870, announced that America’s Native peoples “must be assigned a lower position in the human scale than has been believed heretofore.” Lewis Henry Morgan, a pioneering physical anthropologist who had sought unsuccessfully to be appointed Indian Affairs commissioner, wrote that Native Americans “have the skulls and brains of barbarians, and must grow toward civilization.” Thus did the crude, pseudo-Darwinist science of the time support herding Natives on to reservations to learn English and farming.

 This image of Black Jim was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

This image of Black Jim was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Army doctors in Indian country could augment the collection by gathering skulls and forwarding them to Washington and the Army Medical Museum. Accurate statistical analysis required as many specimens as possible: “… it is chiefly desired to procure sufficiently large series of adult crania of the principal Indian tribes to furnish accurate average estimates. Medical officers will enhance the value of their contributions by transmitting with the specimens the fullest attainable memoranda, specifying the locality where the skulls were derived, the presumed age and sex….”

The army’s medical officers responded enthusiastically, swelling the collection to more than 1,000 skulls by the time of the Fort Klamath hangings. Some remains came from ancient burial sites, such as the mounds of the eastern United States, others from tribal cemeteries captured during military operations. Epidemics were a boon for the collectors, since, besides felling Indians in droves, they tore apart Native societies and made it difficult for survivors to protect their dead against white grave robbers. And then there were the many battles and executions.


This image of Boston Charley was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Military medical officers enjoyed easy access to all these opportunities. Plus, they had the surgical skills to dissect away soft tissues and prepare heads for boiling in water or steeping in quicklime to leave only the bare bone the Army Medical Museum wanted.

The Army Medical Museum collection had grown to 2,206 skulls by 1898, when it was turned over to the Smithsonian Institution. The collection had fallen into disuse as academic anthropologists adopted different modes of study, and the museum no longer wanted to maintain it. Almost a century later, the skulls became part of the more than 6,000 individual human remains offered for repatriation by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History through federal legislation passed in the 1980s and 1990s. The Modoc skulls were among the remains repatriated.

Despite the federal government’s latter-day efforts to make this wrong right, the Army Medical Museum’s collection marks the United States as the only national government ever to officially use warfare to collect human skulls.

This image of Schonchin was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

This image of Schonchin was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Full Story at ICTMN. And before anyone tsks, shakes their head and murmurs, thank goodness we’re past that now, we aren’t. We’re currently surrounded by so called ‘race realists’ and white nationalists who think this is great science, and we should probably do more of this sort of thing. Don’t go dismissing it, everyone thinks it can’t happen to them.

Securing A Position With Bigotry: The Notpology.

Ali Jimenez-Hopper said of her Democratic opponent, "She brings up that she is half black and she uses that as a strength. She brings up that she is in support of LGBT and that lifestyle and puts out pictures on Twitter of her and her wife."

Ali Jimenez-Hopper said of her Democratic opponent, “She brings up that she is half black and she uses that as a strength. She brings up that she is in support of LGBT and that lifestyle and puts out pictures on Twitter of her and her wife.” Credit: screenshot.

Remember Ms. Jimenez-Hopper, who secured a position with open bigotry against her opponent? She’s back, with a sparkly notpology, blaming the democrats because they always twist the words of good republicans to look like bigotry. It just couldn’t have been anything she said, no.

Jimenez-Hopper claimed her comments were somehow misconstrued. For that she blamed Democrats.

“Unlike my opponent, I am new to the political process and sometimes say things in a way that can be twisted around and out of context by the Democrats,” Jimenez-Hopper said. “I apologize to anyone I offended by my comments. As a Hispanic American, it is my hope that voters in Apple Valley judge both of us by where we stand on the issues, and not simply by the color of our skin or who we are married to.”

Oh my. Ms. Jimenez-Hopper jumped all over her opponent Erin Maye Quade for bringing up that she’s half black, saying she used it as a strength, and somehow that was very wrong. Apparently it’s perfectly okay for her to bring up being a Hispanic American. Oh, the mealy-mouthed hypocrisy. You can always count on republicans for some things, and that’s one of them.

The allegation Maye Quade is somehow guilty of the sin of identity politics for not concealing her identity was echoed by other Republicans in her district.


So people should not take Ms. Maye Quade’s being biracial or lesbian into account when voting? Well, SD57 Republicans, I have terrible news for you all. I do take such things into account when considering candidates. Being mixed race myself, I’m much more likely to vote for someone who is an Indigenous person, as well as democrat. As someone who is also under the queer nation umbrella, that matters to me too. A candidate who is also under that umbrella is more likely to be active in issues which I’m concerned with. That’s how this whole voting thing works. That’s why bigots vote for assholes who say things like “identity politics”. So surprising you haven’t figured this out, being in politics. :eyeroll:

ThinkProgress has the full story.

The Real Victims of Persecution: American Christians, Part II.

donald-trump-claims-accommodating-transgender-people-is-too-expensivex750_0Continuing the Art of Pandering with Donald Trump: America Is A Judeo-Christian Nation Because ‘That’s The Way It Is’. Well, that’s certainly a concise, well thought out, well researched conclusion. *Cough* On with the show…

In an interview following his speech at the Road to Majority summit today, Donald Trump told Christian Broadcasting Network pundit David Brody that he agrees America is a “Judeo-Christian nation” because “that’s the way it is.”

Trump also vowed to reach out to Religious Right movement figures, mentioning his upcoming meeting with a variety of extreme activists and preachers hosted by Ben Carson.

And here I was thinking that the nightmare just had to stop at some point, the rhetoric and reaching out to all the evil people had to at least slow down, but no. It actually gets worse.

When asked if he would “turn down” some of the controversial rhetoric that has come to define him,Trump gave a mixed response.

“Well, you have to be who you are. I’ve gotten the largest number of votes in the history of Republican politics, by far, and so I want to keep doing what we’re doing. But if you ask me to tone it down I’ll tone it down,” Trump laughed.

He also used the speech to reiterate his support of the pro-life community. It’s no secret Trump has had a shaky relationship with the pro-lifers in the past but conservative women groups seem to be warming up to the idea of a President Trump.

“From what I hear he has been very consistent in meeting with the conservative community and the life community and being there in support,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told CBN News.

That is seriously bad news.

He will also hold a closed-door meeting with many evangelical leaders later this month.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, will be in that meeting. CBN News asked Perkins how Trump can narrow the gap between himself and evangelicals.

“His vice-presidential pick is going to be extremely important. I think it needs to be somebody that has a relationship with the evangelical community, which he really has not had,” Perkins said.


“I don’t think he can necessary transcend the theological differences from a stand point of evangelicals and the centrality of their faith. He can’t rewrite the narrative of his business career. But I think he can say,’ I’m going to protect your right to believe. I understand how important you are to American and America’s moral fabric and I’m going to fight for you,’ Perkins continued.

Oh good, a closed door meeting with evangelicals. Who knows what he’s going to promise them?

Via Right Wing Watch (video)  and CBN.

Strong Reactions.

Ellie, left, who is transgender, hugs her brother Ronnie. (Courtesy Ford family)

Ellie, left, who is transgender, hugs her brother Ronnie. (Courtesy Ford family)

Ron and Vanessa Ford are the parents of a 5-year-old transgender child, and they recently wrote for The Washington Post about why they appreciate and support the Obama administration’s directive to schools on accommodating transgender students.


For the Fords, the debate about bathroom access is really a debate about discrimination, and about whether the government will or will not sanction discrimination against their child.

“We are an interracial couple,” they wrote. “Fifty years ago, in many places across the country, it would have been legal to discriminate against us because, many people said, a fundamental part of who we are was somehow offensive and perverse. Our daughter is transgender. In many places across the country, it is legal to discriminate against her because, many people say, a fundamental part of who she is somehow offensive and perverse.”

We asked readers to weigh in on how the bathroom debate compares to earlier civil rights debates. There were many responses, representing the wide range of views and strong feelings that have characterized the discussion about transgender rights in America.

It was good to see mostly support from readers, but it wasn’t just support. I dislike reading the non-supportive contributions, but I think it’s important to keep a current insight into how people are not only viewing certain issues, but how they are viewing people. It seems to me that in such views, beyond all the regular reasons for being anti and upset, there’s a distinct current of “no, not human”. This is othering, but it’s taking on an ugly extremism, with people even citing the violence directed at transgender people as a reason to refuse gender dysphoria being real, and gender affirmation as being absolutely wrong. Then there are those who are not concerned with actual people at all, just upset at what they see as co-opting the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s.

[Read more…]

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.

The Black Woman Is God.



© Nicole Dixon.

The Black Woman Is God art exhibition tells and shows you the story of black women’s divinity through the lens of black women reclaiming their ancestry, culture, history and future. The brainchild of Karen Seneferu, this project is in it’s second incarnation in 2016 and will be featuring dozens of artists in at least three separate exhibitions at different locations throughout the summer and fall. The curatorial project is lead by a team that includes karen, Sasha Kelley, Zakiya Harris, Idris Hassan and many others including volunteers from the exhibited artists. As the team prepared for the first exhibit at the Oakland Museum, they held a series of meetings to help the participants get to know one another and to help plan and prepare for the exhibit.

This series is a documentation of these gatherings in an effort to recall and retain the importance of community and sisterhood in collaboration for social justice, ideology shifts, art, and, of course, love.

The Black Woman Is God: Reprogramming the God Code.

The show will be at SOMArts, July 7th through August 18th, 2016.