Oct 21, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; National Anthem singer Denasia Lawrence kneels as she sings the anthem prior to the game between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

Oct 21, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; National Anthem singer Denasia Lawrence kneels as she sings the anthem prior to the game between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

A singer knelt while performing the national anthem at a Miami Heat basketball game on Friday and opened her jacket to reveal a shirt that read “Black Lives Matter,” a variation on a protest that has punctuated many U.S. sporting events since the summer.


Lawrence, a social worker, wrote on Facebook that the opportunity at the preseason Heat game “was bigger than me.”

“Right now, we’re seeing a war on Black & Brown bodies – we’re being unjustly killed and overly criminalized,” she continued. “I took the opportunity to sing AND kneel; to show that we belong in this country AND that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us. I took the opportunity to sing AND kneel to show that, I too, am America.”

Well done, Ms. Lawrence, you’re a light in the world.

Full story here.

Native Lives Matter.

I have mentioned, often, that in uStates, the highest percentage of extrajudicial killings are of Indigenous people. To say this isn’t well known would be quite the understatement. It isn’t known at all, and when people do find out, they don’t much care. The Guardian has kept track, along with all the other groups of people who are consistently killed by cops. Very few of these murders get any press at all. The murder of Loreal Tsingine got a little bit, and so did the murder of John T. Williams. Those people who read Indian publications are aware of most of the others, but they don’t get any write up at all. Indigenous people also have the highest rates of dying in captivity, and cops casually toss off excuses like “hey, she overdosed on meth”, as they did in the case of Sarah Lee Circle Bear, who was only 24 years old. The cops neglected to explain how she could have died from a meth overdose while in custody for two days. Sarah’s case, and that of so many others, has been a cause of deep outrage in Indigenous circles, but once again, if you aren’t reading native publications, you aren’t likely to know about any of them.

Chase Iron Eyes started NLM in 2014, but once again, it’s been a slow take because about the only people who care about native lives are natives. In These Times has a very good article about Native deaths at the hands of law enforcement, and the bigotry Natives face every single day. Please, go read. Please, share. I thank you.







The Police Killings No One Is Talking About.

Borrowed Time.

There’s a new Pixar animators’ side project short making the rounds, Borrowed Time, and as you will see, watching the video, it has garnered high praise from everyone. Not from me. I understand the desire to impress people with the idea that animation is not solely for children or upbeat subjects, but I rather thought most people already had that one figured out. According to the blurb, Borrowed Time is about loss and mourning. What I saw was a wallow in a soul destroying guilt, which had pretty much eaten the character’s life. It also seemed to me that the old west was chosen as a scenario so that a gun could be brought into play. This short is being described as powerful, but it did not affect me that way at all. It struck me as being cheap, maudlin, and manipulative. Yes, I got the ‘lesson’ of borrowed time and all that, but depicting a person utterly ruined by guilt wasn’t a good way to do that.

The Verge has the full story on this.

Sunday Facepalm.

Facebook has done it again, in their ongoing mania regarding [female] breasts, and those oh-so-forbidden nipples. Cancerfonden, a Swedish cancer charity, posted an animated video, showing how to perform breast exams. This is very important knowledge, and it is something everyone should know, as well as do. When it comes to something like breast exams, pamphlets aren’t always the best way of instruction, especially compared to video. A video can be viewed privately, and played as many times as needed. Well, unfortunately for Cancerfonden, the nipple nazis of facebook wouldn’t allow it. As per usual, it took a very long time for Cancerfonden to get through to someone to explain. FB did uncensor the video, but really, you get the feeling they didn’t want to do it. In an absolutely brilliant move, Cancerfonden went square:


After Cancerfonden’s video was taken down, the organization responded with an open letter in which it proposed a different depiction of the cartoon breasts, composed entirely of squares.

“After trying to meet your control for several days without success, we have now come up with a solution that will hopefully make you happy: Two pink squares!” the letter reads. “This can not possibly offend you, or anyone. Now we can continue to spread our important breast school without upsetting you.”

Lena Biornstad, communications director for Cancerfonden, tells the AFP that it is “incomprehensible and strange how one can perceive medical information as offensive,” adding: “This is information that saves lives.”

The Verge has the full story.

The Reappearance of Extraño.

For those who might be willing to remember the very cringe-worthy, briefly lived (thankfully) character of Extraño, a gay magician from Peru, from DC’s 1988 crossover, Millennium, this is what you remember, gay stereotype extraordinaire:


Yep. There really cannot be enough mockery. That damn thing cries out for a caption contest. I believe I’ve mentioned that I’ve never been a big DC fan. This can be counted as one reason why. A gay character who looked like the bastard offspring of Mandrake, an unknown pirate, and Liberace, with apologies to Liberace. The character spoke with a lisp, called himself “Auntie” and gave lots of unsolicited advice. I’m sure you’re thinking it couldn’t possibly be worse than that. Wrong! Extraño goes up against a villain by the name of Hemo-goblin (oh yes. Feel free to cringe), contracts HIV, and was eventually killed off in a Green Lantern. I know it was the ’80s, but fuck me, there was just no excuse. I never expected to see this character, or even the name, again.

Extraño is back though, at least marginally, in last week’s first issue of Midnighter and Apollo. What is great is how Extraño is characterized there:


Nice, right? This is in the hands of openly bi writer Steve Orlando, and if he’s handling things, I’d be happy to welcome Extraño back. Full story is at The Advocate.

Lightning Bolts…



© C. Ford.

Earlier, Marcus made a comment about the horses and lightning bolts. Yes, there are a number of oddly placed lightning bolts on the horse quilt, but they aren’t quite intentional. Neurological deficits aren’t fun, especially when you’re doing something like painting, on pristine white fabric. Or canvas, or paper. I’m subject to what my late neurologist called disconnects. As far as my brain is concerned, why yes, I do have a grip of death on that loaded paintbrush. The reality: I don’t, and loaded paintbrush drops right on to an inconvenient place on my pristine fabric. Okaaaay…lightning bolt. Involuntarily dropping things is a right pain, but especially when you have to risk your work. There will no doubt be many more lightning bolts.

Turing Bill Withdrawn.

Alan Turing.

Alan Turing.

A British bill that would have granted pardons for men convicted of gay sex is not moving forward, the BBC reports.

The “Turing Bill” — named for World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, who was subjected to chemical castration because of his homosexuality — would have removed the criminal records of thousands of gay and bi men, both living and dead.

After emotional testimony from the bill’s author, member of Parliament John Nicolson, and shouts of “shame” from sympathetic politicians who saw the legislation dying a slow death, the “Turing Bill” was withdrawn. The conflict was over a companion bill introduced by the Ministry of Justice, which would only pardon dead men convicted of sex crimes. The government believes Nicolson’s Sexual Offences (Pardons) Bill could lead to the clearing of convictions for behavior that remains criminal.

Nicolson’s bill would overturn the convictions of men charged under a 1956 “buggery” law and an 1885 sexual “offences” act, assuming all those involved were consensual partners and over 16 at the time.

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to pardon men who were tortured for no reason, that might be the right thing to do, can’t have that! For Fuck’s Sake. Via The Advocate.