Earth Day

Makȟá. Earth. Makočé. Land. Kinship. Family. The interdependence and connectedness of all things. That there was a need to name a day Earth Day makes me hauntingly sad. Every day, life goes on, and people walk over thicknesses of concrete, asphalt, spend days inside more concrete, lock themselves in steel when they are outside. It can be easy to forget how much you are a part of the earth. It can be easy to want more, always more. More to make your life easier, convenient, what you think is better. Poverty can grind people down so much they see nothing but blackness and pain. And in it all, we are both the driving force and blind eyes that allow those who are powerful to destroy the earth which gives us life. To destroy all life which is not that of humans, and if some humans get caught up in that destruction, so what? This is a day of terrible sadness, all the more so because it’s just one of “those days” to most people. It doesn’t mean anything, just as the earth doesn’t mean anything.

Duane Yazzie, photo by Robert Esposito.

Duane Yazzie, photo by Robert Esposito.

“The life of the earth is waning,” warns Duane Yazzie, president of the Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

Yes, it is. One piece at a time.

NBA: No All-Star Game for North Carolina

From left: NBA commissioner Adam Silver with Charlotte Hornets owner and retired NBA great Michael Jordan when they announced last year that the 2017 All-Star Game would be held in Charlotte.

From left: NBA commissioner Adam Silver with Charlotte Hornets owner and retired NBA great Michael Jordan when they announced last year that the 2017 All-Star Game would be held in Charlotte.

After having said last week that no decision had been made on pulling next year’s NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina, the league’s commissioner now says the game definitely will be moved if the state’s recently enacted anti-LGBT law isn’t changed.

“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” commissioner Adam Silver said today at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ commissioner meetings in New York City, The Charlotte Observer reports.

Full Story Here.

Cool Stuff Friday: Explosions and Weed

Cai Guo-Qiang’s Explosive Gunpowder Performance.

Cai Guo-Qiang igniting gunpowder drawing White Tone, in Brookhaven, New York, 2016. Photo: Wen-You Cai

Cai Guo-Qiang igniting gunpowder drawing White Tone, in Brookhaven, New York, 2016.
Photo: Wen-You Cai

Cai Guo-Qiang White Tone (2016). Photo: Photo: Wen-You Cai

Cai Guo-Qiang White Tone (2016).
Photo: Photo: Wen-You Cai

 

 

Museum Opens First Major Spliff Exhibition on National ‘Weed Day’.

A Lemon Kush cannabis plant. Photo: Flickr user eggrole, courtesy Oakland Museum of California.

A Lemon Kush cannabis plant.
Photo: Flickr user eggrole, courtesy Oakland Museum of California.

Both museums and graphic designers are jumping on the 4/20 bandwagon, taking a close look at marijuana on National Marijuana Day.

The Oakland Museum of California has opened the exhibition “Altered State: Marijuana in California,” which it claims is the first museum show to concentrate on the controversial plant. The show’s contents range from fine art to protest posters and multimedia displays exploring the scientific, recreational, medicinal, and even religious aspects of pot.

“The roles of museums in today’s world are shifting,” says museum director Lori Fogarty. “We are dedicated to being a place where people can come learn about complex topics and, more importantly, add their voices and stories to the dialogue.”

“Altered State: Marijuana in California” is on view at the Oakland Museum of California April 16–September 25, 2016.

Trump: Let Trans People Use Bathrooms That Match Their Identity

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Donald Trump says North Carolina made a mistake passing its anti-transgender bathroom law.

The Republican front-runner for president said the state self-inflicted “economic punishment” when it passed House Bill 2, which not only banned local governments from including sexual orientation and gender identity in anti-discrimination ordinances, but also required transgender people to use the public bathrooms and locker rooms that don’t match their identity.

When asked about the law during a town hall on the Today show, Trump said there was nothing wrong with the way things were working before HB 2 was passed. “Leave it the way it is,” he repeatedly said is the best policy.

Okay, Trump sounding reasonable? I’ll admit, that threw me. But the normal stupid got right back on track:

Going even further, Trump said he’d let Caitlyn Jenner use whichever bathroom she wanted when visiting one of his properties.

Apparently, Trump has all his bathrooms labeled on all his properties. *Insert eyeroll here*

Full Story Here.

Jesus Dartboard, Oh No!

Rutgers

An alleged “art display” at Rutgers University featuring a figure of Jesus Christ on a dartboard, with darts inserted where He was wounded on the Cross, is being held up as a contradiction of the school’s professed commitment to diversity.

Natalie Caruso, who describes herself as a former Rutgers student, posted a photo to a Facebook group for the Class of 2016 showing the display, which she claimed is currently hanging in the Art Library on College Ave.

The post quickly gained traction on social media, inspiring numerous Campus Reform readers to share their own (uniformly disapproving) reactions.

“As a Catholic this is not tolerable and very disgusting,” one reader opined, adding, “I thought Rutgers was about embracing diversity?”

“I am a potential Rutgers student but I am largely considering not even APPLYING … because of what I’ve seen on social media,” said another. “Christians on campus must be ashamed of the school they go to after seeing this.”

Full Story Here.

Tennessee: Not Giving Up

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Tennessee’s Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill Is Dead. For Now.

Tennessee Rep. Susan Lynn has pulled her sponsored “Bathroom Bill,” which would require all public schools, including universities, to require students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender at birth. The controversial bill is strikingly similar to the much-protested North Carolina HB2, and to Georgia’s recently repealed HB 757.

Rep. Lynn said her decision wasn’t impacted by corporations, businesses, and LGBT advocacy groups protesting the measure, but instead because the discriminatory practices of the bill might lose Tennessee $1.2 billion of Title IX funding, a source of funding that forbids any discrimination based on sex.

….

During her April 18 press conference, Rep. Lynn said she had only intended to ensure protection: “We just did want to protect children at the state level.” But at that time, two transgender students—Jennifer Guents and Henry Seaton—were headed to Gov. Haslam’s office with more than 67,000 signatures opposing the legislation.

Although she’s pulled the bill from consideration, Rep. Lynn hinted at plans to revive the legislation in the future.

No, Rep. Lynn, your legislation had nothing to do with protecting children, and am I ever sick to death of the sanctimonious “for the children” excuse. If nothing else, have the honesty (we all know you have no integrity) to tell the truth: it’s all about your bigotry and your personal ick factor. Of course, you’re going to try and revive your bigotry law later on, nothing is more important that appeasing the bigot crowd, right? I have a better idea, Rep. Lynn – why don’t you visit the 21st century for a while?

LGBT Roundup

A lot of news today.

Survivor Contestant Places Rainbow-Painted Outhouse Atop North Carolina’s Tallest Mountain:

Neal Gottlieb's Facebook

Neal Gottlieb’s Facebook

“Yes, at least for a little while, North Carolina’s highest point is an outhouse; a fitting symbol for a state that has sullied itself with shitty, repressive legislation,” Neal Gottlieb pens in a letter to the Governor of North Carolina.

…Protesting North Carolina’s anti-trans “bathroom bill”, HB2, Neil Gottlieb placed a rainbow outhouse on the summit of Mount Mitchell, the state’s tallest mountain. Gottlieb, a contestant on this season’s Survivor: Kaoh Rong, shared the photos and a letter penned to NC Governor Pat McCrory.

On Facebook Gottlieb wrote,  “I proudly placed a rainbow-painted outhouse displaying a trans pride flag at the summit of North Carolina’s tallest mountain this morning in protest of the state’s repressive HB2 legislation. It was a brilliant site. The follow letter was nailed to the front of the outhouse and calls out the governor for the crap has become known as the ‘bathroom bill.'”

Gottlieb then posted his letter:

Read More Here.

Target Defies North Carolina Bathroom Law:

The company says it will welcome trans people to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The company says it will welcome trans people to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Target is taking a stand against North Carolina’s transphobic bathroom bill, saying its customers and employees can use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The company announced the policy on its corporate website today, saying, “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate.”

The department store chain even proclaimed its support for the Equality Act that is proposed in Congress.

“We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community —deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” the company said in its statement. “Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”

Full Story Here.

[Read more…]

U.K. Issues Travel Warning About Antigay U.S. States

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Days before President Obama travels to England, the United Kingdom’s foreign office has issued a travel warning to British tourists visiting the American South, specifically referencing North Carolina and Mississippi.

On the U.K.’s Foreign Office website, under the local laws and customs section of the USA travel advice, is the following message:

Local laws and customs

Laws vary from state to state. When you are physically present in a state, even temporarily, you are subject to that state’s laws. You must carry a passport showing that you have leave to enter or remain with you at all times.

The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community. You can find more detail on LGBT issues in the US on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.

Full Story Here.

Much Ado Over…

Women on 20s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced on April 20 that Andrew Jackson will be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 Federal Reserve Note.

Women on 20s
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced on April 20 that Andrew Jackson will be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 Federal Reserve Note.

Indigenous people have an interest here, to say the least. Before I get to that, the mere fact that a woman might end up on a piece of paper is apparently cause for outrage. Add to that fact it will be a black woman, and oh my, there goes the internet again, all blowed up, and you see things like this:

Bigots

hey all I know is she stole property. Jackson gave Indians a new home. Tubman was a criminal.

Jackson gave NDNs a new home? There are times the stupid is utterly infuriating. I know that most people don’t know anything at all about Indigenous peoples in uStates, but this is beyond the pale. You’re on the ‘net, you know. Take five minutes out and fucking learn something. As for Tubman being a criminal? Point me to one past uStates president that hasn’t been one. Oh, but they were white, so it was okay. Ms. Tubman saved lives. Jackson was a murderer. A bit of a difference there. But for those preaching #whitegenocide, this heralds the beginning of the end. I would have preferred Chief Wilma Mankiller to be on the $20, but I’m very happy with the choice of Ms. Tubman, assuming this actually happens.

Women on 20s organized to get a woman on U.S. paper money to celebrate the centennial in 2020 of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women. They picked Jackson as their target in furtherance of another goal in their mission statement: “Removal of symbols of hate, intolerance and inequality…”

I learned something at that point that was highly gratifying. I know Cherokees who put 20s in their wallet in a manner that avoids looking at Jackson’s face. I know Cherokees who identify as Republicans because Jackson was a Democrat and are highly offended at Democrats having annual “Jefferson-Jackson dinners.” What I did not know is that Indians generally despise Jackson almost as much as Cherokees do.

Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker, released a statement reacting to the decision to replace Jackson with Tubman:

Andrew Jackson defied a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and forced the removal of our Cherokee ancestors from homelands we’d occupied in the Southeast for millennia. His actions as president resulted in a genocide of Native Americans and the death of about a quarter of our people. It remains the darkest period in the Cherokee Nation’s history. Jackson’s legacy was never one to be celebrated, and his image on our currency is a constant reminder of his crimes against Natives…

The Cherokee Nation applauds the work… to replace his image with the image of Harriet Tubman, whose legacy represents values everyone can be proud of.

Harriet Tubman to Replace Indian Killer and Slave Dealer Andrew Jackson on $20 Bill.

Back to Jackson.

Courtesy Whitehouse.gov Andrew Jackson took office in 1829 with one goal set firmly in his mind: Indians must be moved “beyond the great river Mississippi.”

Courtesy Whitehouse.gov
Andrew Jackson took office in 1829 with one goal set firmly in his mind: Indians must be moved “beyond the great river Mississippi.”

[Read more…]

Sounds So Horrible It’s Wonderful.

It’s pretty bad. It’s still not as bad as Pat Boone. Way to go protesters! If you’re in the area, think about making a horrible noise at another Pat.

‘Can You Hear Us Now, Pat?’: Awesome ‘Air Horn Orchestra’ Actually HB2 Protest At Governor’s Mansion.