Disciplining Luther.

Paradise.
While it lasted…

Sometimes I can’t even believe my life. While everyone else was very busy fighting Nazis (?!#%*&@?!), I was busy vacationing luxuriously in the Caribbean, blessedly unaware of the stateside shitshow. And by “in the Caribbean” I mean literally in the Caribbean, alternately swimming, snorkeling and floating effortlessly in impossibly warm and clear waters for hours on end. We are enthusiastic snorkelers, my lover and I, and we had finally fulfilled a long-ago promise and purchased our own fins and masks for the trip. (Did you know you can get swim goggles with corrective lenses? TRUE FACT.)

A natural coral jetty divided the resort’s two sandy coves, and there were spectacular reefs very close to shore. It felt like a dream, really, and everything was going so wonderfully…

Until that little fucker Luther showed up.

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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.

Dances with trolls.

[CONTENT NOTE: casual ableism]

Our troll story today begins as they almost always do: with an unprompted comment on an oooooold post. Behold my Facebook status from November 10, 2016:


Iris Vander Pluym
November 10, 2016 

JUST TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR: If you voted for Donald Trump, or you live in a swing state and voted for a third party candidate or declined to vote entirely, UNFRIEND ME. You are now and always will be dead to me.

Now I thought I was being clear and fair. Kind, even, if not particularly nice. I felt that not only was I was doing a service to myself and my own online spaces, but to those who would interact with me, or decide not to. I then went ahead and proactively blocked some people, and apparently I did a pretty good job since only one Trump voter slipped by:

[Former IRL “friend”] Really

Iris Is a dead person trying to communicate with me? No, that cannot be. I don’t believe in ghosts. (Unfriended/blocked)

THE END.

Oh, wait no. NOT the end. Eight months later:

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Vacay!

Vacation Iris.

Yes it’s vital and necessary work, but I gotta tell you: keeping on top of the enemy rodent menace is exhausting. My partner and I have not had a real break in a loooong time, so we’re headed where the WIFI may be spotty (I may or may not post anything for a week or so), but the rum cocktails will be abundant. It will be glorious! Unless the fucking squirrels show up and RUIN EVERYTHING, of course. So if you kind people could just keep them distracted for a minute while I make my getaway, I would really appreciate it.

kthxbye!

Beware aggressive, hostile, disease-ridden squirrels, Indiana University warns.

The Indianapolis Star reports:

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is warning about hostile and possibly disease-ridden squirrels.

“Recently, there have been reports of aggressive squirrels around the IUPUI campus,” IUPUI wrote in a Campus Life blog post July 25. “Squirrels may look cute, and they are fun to watch scampering about, but they should not be treated as pets.”

Good luck with that message, IUPUI. I’ve been desperately imploring my own mother for ten years to stop feeding the disgusting monsters, but she will. not. quit. (Then again, I’ve also been telling her I’m a fucking adult for at least twice that long, and she doesn’t accept that either. So.)

Squirrels are known to carry diseases, including rabies, salmonella and even plague, the university said. IUPUI advised students and workers to stop feeding the furry menaces.

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The President just endorsed police brutality.

And police applauded.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump received applause on Friday when he endorsed police brutality while delivering a speech to law enforcement officers on Long Island, New York.

The president suggested that officers should hit suspects’ heads on the doors of their police cars.

“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,'” Trump said.

“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?'” he added.

His remarks received significant applause.

Watch and listen for yourself if you can stomach it:

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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.”