Whose pain matters?

Since there are currently no pressing problems facing our great nation, the US House of Reprehensibles has just passed HB 36, a national ban on abortions after 20-weeks. Charmingly entitled “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” the legislation would force a pregnant patient who is carrying a fetus that is dead, dying, or incompatible with life to carry it to term and give birth, unless the patient is in grave danger of death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

According to reality, fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until at least 28 weeks. But since conservatives are highly allergic to reality, perhaps Your Liberal Media™ might helpfully report on this egregious tripe from another angle. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that a fetus is indeed capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.

SO FUCKING WHAT?

You know what’s really painful? Giving birth. (So I’ve heard – I personally dodged that bullet thank Vishnu.) I would like my legislator to promptly propose a bill entitled The Pain-Capable Pregnant Person Protection Act, which provides free abortions on demand to anyone who wishes to avoid the pain of childbirth. The bill should have no problem passing in this congress, seeing how the majority is so concerned about sparing citizens from painful medical procedures.

Squirrel rescuers: the worst of the worst.

[CONTENT NOTE: disgusting images of baby squirrels, descriptions of wildly inappropriate human-squirrel interactions.]

Goddammit.

Twenty years working wildlife rehab, and Kevin Barton has seen it all. Or he thought he had. At least until Hurricane Irma tore through Florida this week. It wasn’t the variety of species that grabbed his attention. It was the volume. Of utterly common critters, like bunnies and squirrels. Mainly squirrels.

By midweek, the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of Venice had accepted 140 baby squirrels, from week-old hairless “pinkies” to unweaned juveniles.

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FUCKING SQUIRRELS. Yes, what people rebuilding their lives from Irma’s devastation in Florida really need right now… more squirrels.

%$#@*&!

[Read more…]

Multiple squirrel attacks reported in New Orleans. UPDATED.

UPDATED BELOW.

[CONTENT NOTE: vicious squirrel violence.]

This is no way to start my morning. In a terrifying echo of July’s assaults in Brooklyn, residents of New Orleans are suffering unprovoked attacks by the enemy rodent menace:

Squirrels attack Lake Vista residents in at least 4 incidents

NEW ORLEANS – In the Lake Vista neighborhood of New Orleans, neighbors live along lush, tree-lined lanes in harmony with nature.

But, this week nature attacked.

[Read more…]

Petition: Tell ABC and Tom Llamas to apologize. UPDATED.

[CONTENT NOTE: Anti-black media reporting and anti-black violence.]

UPDATED BELOW.

via Color of Change (email):

Dear Iris,

He called the police on them for trying to get food.

ABC News anchor, Tom Llamas, in Houston to report on Hurricane Harvey, spotted Texans who had recently lost everything entering a grocery store. Instead of reporting on the desperate circumstances with compassion, he actually diverted first responder resources that could be used to save stranded families–and called the police.1

That’s right. Houstonians desperately searching for uncontaminated food and water in order to survive were not only shamed and blasted on social media, but confronted with police as they fought for their lives.

And when we asked Tom Llamas to apologize for his biased and possibly dangerous treatment of Hurricane Harvey victims; instead of owning up to it, he blocked us on Twitter.

Tell ABC News and Tom Llamas to issue an apology now!

Tom Llamas didn’t only wrongfully criminalize disaster victims– he put them in harm’s way. Local authorities recently announced that anyone found “looting” will be faced with mandatory jail time.2 And the District Attorney has escalated burglary charges all the way up to life imprisonment–of course this disproportionately affects poor and Black people who may not have had the money to purchase goods in advance, and will be on the hunt for clean water and food.3

In times of emergency and natural disaster, television news is often the only way that bystanders can ascertain what’s happening. News media has the sacred duty of framing tragedies in an honest, unbiased, and compassionate manner. Unfortunately, we saw this same dishonest and biased reporting during Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of Black families were shamed and criminalized as “looters” while trying to feed their families. Meanwhile, white families were simply characterized as searching for food. And and we know that media representations can have a profoundly negative impact on the ways that people in positions of power and privilege interact with Black people. Research has shown that negative media portrayals can engender antagonism toward people of color and lead to higher tolerance for race-based societal disparities.

Tell ABC News, Tom Llamas to apologize now!

The victims of Hurricane Harvey need compassionate and unbiased reporting in the wake of this horrific natural disaster–not criminalization and unnecessary police intervention. It’s time for Tom Llamas and ABC to stop running and apologize.

Sign the petition.

Until justice is real,

— Brandi, Arisha, Rashad, Anika, Jade, Evan, Corina, the rest of the Color Of Change team

References:

  1. “ABC News reporter covering Hurricane Harvey gets slammed online after reporting alleged looters to police.” Business Insider, 28 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8690?t=9&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
  2. “In Houston, Authorities Are Toughening Penalties As Warning To Would-Be Looters.” NPR, August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8691?t=11&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
  3. “Race and class are the biggest issues around Hurricane Harvey.” The Root, 31 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8692?t=13&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J


Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

__________

UPDATE [h/t Alyssa Gonzalez]: If you want to know why this is so urgent and important, here’s why.

Armed Fascists Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Looters

Armed right-wing paramilitary groups are patrolling parts of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey under the guise of helping hurricane victims.

A group of “Proud Boys” — a men’s rights group with fascist leanings — photographed themselves wading through flooded neighborhoods with assault weapons and flashing a hand signal associated with extremist militia groups. They refer to themselves as an “anti looting patrol.”

Of course they do. And that headline should read: Armed White Men Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Black People To Shoot. See, starving white people are not looters by definition. They’re simply “finding food.” Starving black people? Well, not so much.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the power of YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA.

Sign the petition.

Priebus is out!

According to a breaking story in The New York Times, Reince Priebus has just been “pushed out” as White House Chief of Staff.

The New York Times didn’t specify whether Priebus was asked to resign, outright fired, or physically thrown out of a West Wing window (thus the term “pushed out”). The Times apparently has no fucking clue what just went down, but to be fair, Priebus himself probably has no idea what just hit him either.

Hey Reince! Here’s a helpful hint: it rhymes with “pooch.”

Don’t ever quit, Mooch.

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
(image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

So Ryan Lizza, a Big Willie reporter at The New Yorker, received a phone call Wednesday night from our fancy new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Naturally Lizza wrote all about it, and it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since…since…well, since yesterday’s news feed.

[Read more…]

7-year old squirrel attack victim speaks out!

Survivor of multiple violent murder attempts by enemy rodent menace.
(image: ABC-7 New York)

 

The 7-year old victim of multiple bite wounds from an unprovoked squirrel attack on Wednesday in Brooklyn has spoken to ABC-7 New York about her horrifying ordeal. Readers may recall from my post yesterday that she is being subjected to a course of rabies treatment as a precaution, and was seriously traumatized by the relentless assault. “She is not OK,” her father Andres said. “Every night, she’s crying and scared. ‘Please papi, help me, the squirrel is coming, a big one.'”

Now, adorable little Maria Guerrero and her father have added more disturbing details to the terrifying tale:

[Read more…]