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Dispatch #35 Day 367 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #35 November 8th 2017

Day 367 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 292 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

I have been in Bolivia since October 19th, participating in a Habitat for Humanity Build, and then traveling in this very beautiful and wildly geographically diverse country — from Andes range and volcanoes to Salt Flats and flamingos to Amazon jungles and rainforests.

Seemed like a good idea to be out of the country with limited access to the Internet as the one-year anniversary of the Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny approached.

And yet, on Monday November 6th, I felt the disbelief, shock, horror, and anguish as keenly and piercingly as if it were Tuesday November 6th 2016.

During the past year, we have witnessed the Ascendency of Early 21st Century American Fascism, nourished by White Supremacy, Misogyny, and Global Capitalism. The Tangerine Tyrant (AKA PeeeOTUS) relishes his role as petty demagogue/village idiot. His quislings and collaborators — an exceedingly more dangerous crowd — relish their opportunities to rape and pillage without even a semblance of constraint.

We who Resist the Normalization of Fascism have all found our strategies to be Outraged and NOT Disheartened, Actively Committed to Justice and NOT Paralyzed.

For me, these Dispatches have come to provide many comforts: An Outraging Outlet; Exchanges with Social Justice Sisters and Colleagues; Challenging myself to more Radical Analyses; Sharpening my Language of Resistance; Reminding myself about the Wisdom of so many Fore-Sisters-Heroes-Warriors; Demanding that Misogyny be constantly Named, Shamed, and Dismantled; Insisting that White People have a collective responsibility to SEE and dismantle White Supremacy.

 

On this day after Election Day 2017, many results seem to suggest that determined resistance and activism can push back against Trumpism/Fascism. And yes, we are entitled to savor some good news for a moment.

But, we have a long road ahead. The Enemy is not the PeeeOTUS. We have a Republican Party that has embraced Fascism in exchange for the power to dismantle all constraints on the moneyed-elite (not to mention dismantling social programs, oppressing women and minorities, and promoting violence). We have at least 26 states with Republican controlled legislative and executive branches. We have a national/federal governance structure that favors low-population homogenous rural states over high population diverse largely-urban states. We have a country built on White Supremacy/Slavery and the Genocide of Indians that has never come to terms with and accounted for these original sins.

 

Incredibly, the leadership of the Democratic Party continues its refusal to address or even acknowledge White Supremacy and Misogyny. These leaders, mostly white men, must be replaced by women and people of color. A BIG shout-out to all the women who ran for elective office at the state and local levels. Especially in Virginia, where 10 diverse women contributed 10 of the 14 flipped seats, all held by white men, in the state legislature.

Yahoo, headlines trumpeted that college-educated white women turned out big in Virginia and contributed to the strong Democratic wins. Actually this statistic is infuriating. WHERE WERE YOU WOMEN A YEAR AGO WHEN A MAJORITY OF COLLEGE-EDUCATED WHITE WOMEN VOTED AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON!?!?!?! MISOGYNY IS TERMINALLY TOXIC TO THE SOUL.

 

And since we are on this topic, while public take down of sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein creates some grim satisfaction, this does not mean that Institutional Misogyny is being dismantled. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse are Symptoms of Misogyny. Cracking down on the KKK and staunching the incidence of lynchings did not dismantle Institutional White Supremacy. These extreme symptoms of White Supremacy were toned down in favor of establishing/maintaining softer and more insidious toxic oppressions such as steering black home buyers to the worst properties, denying GI Bill benefits to black veterans, destroying black urban neighborhoods, criminalizing being young and black.  

Cracking down on sexual harassment/predators will not change the softer and more insidious toxic oppressions of Institutional Misogyny such as omnipresent sexualization of women’s bodies, characterizing strong bold intelligent women as bitches and witches, establishing attractiveness to men as the most important female attribute, punishing women who do not follow the rules for deferential demeanor.

 

A BIG shout-out to Lindy West!! In her piece “Brave Enough to Be Angry” she outrages about how women are incentivized to never speak when they are angry.

“Last month, an Access Hollywood correspondent asked the actress Uma Thurman to comment on abuse of power in Hollywood, presumably in light of the sexual assault allegations against the producer Harvey Weinstein. Speaking slowly and deliberately, through gritted teeth, Thurman responded, “I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you, because I’ve learned — I am not a child — and I have learned that when I’ve spoken in anger I usually regret the way I express myself. So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry. And when I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”

“Thurman is seething, like we have all been seething, in our various states of breaking open or, as Thurman chooses, waiting. We are seething at how long we have been ignored, seething for the ones who were long ago punished for telling the truth, seething for being told all of our lives that we have no right to seethe. Thurman’s rage is palpable yet contained, conveying not just the tempestuous depths of #MeToo but a profound understanding of the ways that female anger is received and weaponized against women.”

“In the past few months alone we’ve seen Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, pilloried by the far right for criticizing Donald Trump’s anemic response to Hurricane Maria (“We are dying here,” Cruz told the news media, “I am mad as hell.”) and the Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson deluged with abuse after she characterized Trump’s call to the military widow Myeshia Johnson as “insensitive” and “an insult.” Both Cruz and Wilson were directly targeted by the president on Twitter, then incessantly memed and regurgitated and redigested and rememed by his obedient online horde.”

“Just this week, Juli Briskman, a government contractor, lost her job after a photo of her flipping off the presidential motorcade went viral. Solange, Britney Spears, Sinead O’Connor, the Dixie Chicks, Rosie O’Donnell — I struggle to think of women who lost their tempers in public and didn’t face ridicule, temporary ruin, or both. And we don’t even have to be angry to be called angry. Accusations of being an “angry black woman” chased Michelle Obama throughout her tenure at the White House, despite eight years of unflappable poise (black women suffer disproportionately under this paradigm). The decades-long smearing of Hillary Clinton as an unhinged shrew culminated one year ago today when, despite maintaining a preternatural calm throughout the most brutal campaign in living memory, she lost the election to masculinity’s apoplectic id.”

“Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.”

“Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it. Close your eyes and think of America.”

“We are expected to keep quiet about the men who prey upon us, as though their predation was our choice, not theirs. We are expected to sit quietly as men debate whether or not the state should be allowed to forcibly use our bodies as incubators. We are expected to not complain as we are diminished, degraded and discredited.”

“We are expected to agree (and we comply!) with the paternal admonition that it is irresponsible and hyperemotional to request one female president after 241 years of male ones — because that would be tokenism, anti-democratic and dangerous — as though generations of white male politicians haven’t proven themselves utterly disinterested in caring for the needs of communities to which they do not belong. As though white men’s monopolistic death-grip on power in America doesn’t belie precisely the kind of “identity politics” they claim to abhor. As though competent, qualified women are so thin on the ground that even a concerted, sincere, large-scale search for one would be a long shot, and any resulting candidate a compromise.”

“Meanwhile, as a reminder of the bar for male competence, Donald Trump is the president.”

“Tuesday, voters — some angry, some hopeful despite themselves — went to the polls and told a different story: the first openly trans woman elected to the Virginia legislature, a surge of female Democratic candidates across the nation, many of them victorious.”

“I did not call myself a feminist until I was nearly 20 years old. My world had taught me that feminists were ugly and ridiculous, and I did not want to be ugly and ridiculous. I wanted to be cool and desired by men, because even as a teenager I knew implicitly that pandering for male approval was a woman’s most effective currency. It was my best shot at success, or at least safety, and I wasn’t sophisticated enough to see that success and safety, bestowed conditionally, aren’t success and safety at all. They are domestication and implied violence.”

“To put it another way, it took me two decades to become brave enough to be angry. Feminism is the collective manifestation of female anger.”

“They suppress our anger for a reason. Let’s prove them right.”   www.nytimes.com/2017/11/08/opinion/anger-women-weinstein-assault.html

 

Hasta la próxima de Sajama Bolivia!!

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Dispatch #34 Day 346 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #34 October 18th 2017

Day 346 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 271 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 

With bitter pleasure, I note the latest, and perhaps most succinctly eloquent assessment of the PeeeOTUS offered by none other than Gregg Popovich, coach of NBA San Antonio Spurs:

“This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner– and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers – is as low as it gets,” Popovich added. “We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it.” www.thenation.com/article/a-soulless-coward-coach-gregg-popovich-responds-to-trump/ ; www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/17/gregg-popovich-donald-trump-criticism-barack-obama-nba

 Hey, who thinks athletes and sportspeople can’t have incisive politics?! Check out Dave Zirin and the Edge of Sports when you have a moment.

The normalizing of Early 21st Century American Fascism is steadily gaining ground. We Americans are uniquely ignorant about our history; this ignorance is magnified and made malignant by the heroic mythologies and pandering propaganda that are endemic to the American psyche.  

 Dr. Patricia Hill Collins is a renowned social theorist whose research and scholarship have examined issues of race, gender, social class, sexuality and/or nation. Her first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge) was published in 1990. She understands the power wielded by those who create and own history https://socy.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Collins/Patricia%20Hill  

To maintain their power, dominant groups create and maintain a popular system of ‘commonsense’ ideas that support their right to rule. In the United States, hegemonic ideologies concerning race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation are often so pervasive that it is difficult to conceptualize alternatives to them, let alone ways of resisting the social practices that they justify. http://www.azquotes.com/quote/850237 Patricia Hill Collins

In America, White-Washed History has always been written by the pitiless white male victors/oppressors. The March for Black Women insisted on a herstory lesson/revision when they explained the choice of September 30th for the March.

 September 30th is sacred. September 30, 1919 was the culmination of the infamous “Red Summer” when Black sharecroppers dared to organize themselves as the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America, to demand better pay from white plantation owners. In response, white mobs went on a state sanctioned killing spree. It is estimated that upwards of 240 Black organizers were massacred that day. This Massacre was one of many in a wave of racist lynchings in nearly 36 cities that rocked the nation. At the center of this narrative is that by the “end” of the Jim Crow Era, more than 150 Black women and girls were also lynched, and evidence reveals many of them had been raped first. These Black women and men fought, against all odds, for the protection of their bodies, families, communities and freedom. On September 30th we march for ourselves, for our rights, and we mourn our ancestors, their lives and honor their resistance in our time. Their courage reverberates through generations and inspires our struggle today. www.mamablack.org/single-post/2017/09/18/Black-Women-Respond-With-Statement-on-March-for-Black-Women-and-Yom-Kippur

 

Eric Foner offers another history lesson/revision in his review of Brahmin Capitalism – Frontiers of Wealth and Populism in America’s Gilded Age by Noam Maggor. Foner identifies these compelling and well-reasoned/well-evidenced themes: 1) industrial capitalism was not inevitable but came to power in the latter half of the 19th century because Eastern capitalists actively and ruthlessly sought economic power in the emerging West; 2) small business people and farmers actively sought and fought for a more egalitarian approach to economic development; 3) populism in these Western territories meant a desire to curb the power of economic elites and use the democratic state to promote economic equity; 4) Eastern economic elites swept these populist movements aside with federal assistance that included troops attacking strikers, Supreme Court striking down state regulation, and national banking system to control capital. He concludes his discussion with this observation:

Maggor’s book offers us an important reminder of the broad impact of capitalist development and the bitter conflicts it engendered. With its vast inequalities of wealth and power, business dominance of the national government, and nationwide debates over taxation, spending, and economic regulation, the era that Mark Twain dubbed the “Gilded Age” bears more than a passing resemblance to our own. Then and now, the key issue facing American society was as old as the republic itself: Is it possible to reconcile capitalism and democracy (aka the public good)? On this question, the jury is still out. www.thenation.com/article/frontiers-american-capitalism/

 

What could be the consequences of having history shaped/reported/interpreted to promote the common good instead of bigotry, oppression, and hierarchies?

Kaitlyn Greenidge riffs on this question in her poignant and powerful piece, ‘Sisterhood’ Felt Meaningless. So My Sisters and I Got in the Car:

The art historian Moyo Okediji notes that in Yoruban concepts of history, the community must assure children that they are not physically alone and “that a series of road maps exists, made by great and talented ancestors who as individuals have beaten a track for succeeding generations.”

That is why history is a comfort to me, in times of doubt. And this is, of course, why the past is a battleground. Why we fight about statues, and which system of oppression should be enshrined in bronze to be remembered or torn down to be recorded differently.

I have seen, first hand, how understanding history can change people’s present-day attitudes. A decade ago, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, I led a group of black high school students on a tour of the Hunterfly Road Houses. I told them the story of black self-determination and liberation in 19th-century Brooklyn. By the end, these students literally broke into song — a spontaneous rendition about freedom and joy and black excellence. It was one of the most profound moments of my life.

Whenever anyone insists that the past doesn’t matter, that we should get over it, I think of those students, dancing on a lawn in central Brooklyn on a school-day afternoon, stepping to the rhythm of the names of black abolitionistswww.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/opinion/sunday/feminist-history-road-trip.html

Now that is a truly beautiful and inspiring collaborative ownership of herstory/history.

 

 

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Dispatch #33 Day 342 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #33  October 14th 2017

Day 342 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 267 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy- Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 

Let’s begin with a couple of random and out-raging observations.

Wow, the fall of Harvey Weinstein means a big step forward in how sexual predators will be outed and punished. But, wasn’t it just a year ago that almost 63 million American voted for a proudly misogynist serial sexual predator? Uh-huh.

And, really, Bernie Sanders a featured speaker at the upcoming Women’s Convention in Detroit? The Bernie Sanders who identifies a woman’s right to control her body as negotiable identity politics?! The Bernie Sanders who is demonstrably clueless about White Supremacy and Misogyny?!   The Bernie Sanders who said he is “honored to join the women at the front lines of our struggle for economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”  www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/13/womens-convention-faces-backlash-after-prime-speaking-slot-goes-to-bernie-sanders/

BERNIE!!!! What about Gender Justice?! You know, dismantling Misogyny….oh well…. yeah, hard to keep track of these side issues…

Soft Misogyny, just like soft White Supremacy, maintains/nourishes structural oppression insidiously and effectively in our “post-feminist” country. Know this! We Must Insist that Misogyny is NAMED and DEFAMED and DISMANTLED

 

Petula Dvorak’s recent column scores high on the “are-you-fucking-kidding-me-scale:”

It figures. Finally, a woman might be celebrated in grand, monumental way in the nation’s capital.   And she’s naked.

 Tall, strong, towering and steel, defiant in her stance, yes. But stripped of clothing, as though she were an offering to the former Miss Universe beauty pageant aficionado who now occupies the White House.  It’s already clear that our nation has a hard time celebrating or memorializing real women in our culture.

Among 44 memorials in the Mall space, only two besides Freedom include women. One is the tucked-away likeness of Eleanor Roosevelt (who rates a less prominent place on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt monument than his dog) and the powerful statue of Vietnam War nurses.

We’re 51 percent of the population, but a futuristic archaeologist unearthing the rubble in a post-apocalyptic Mall would find little evidence we even existed

This blind spot isn’t just a Washington thing. Of the more than 5,000 public outdoor sculptures across America that are entered in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art Inventories Catalog, less than 400 include women. That’s 8 percent.

Even after what seemed like a huge victory for women and African Americans last year, when the U.S. Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, current Treasury Secretary Steve T. Mnuchin said he would not commit to following through on that plan. www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-woman-finally-gets-a-monumental-tribute-on-the-mall-and-shes-naked-really/2017/10/04/2072b564-a911-11e7-b3aa-c0e2e1d41e38_story.html

 

OK, now let’s check in on how the War on Women is going in the US. New rules from the PeeeOTUS Administration gives many more employer-based insurers to opt out of covering contraception for women due to their religious beliefs. How much hate-based rhetoric do we hear about Muslims imposing Sharia Law in the US?!   Uh-Huh…we are already imposing Christian Supremacist Law….which by the way will soon be conflated with the Flag, the National Anthem, and the Military. So watch out all you NFL ingrates!

And as always, poor women, disproportionately women of color, must bear the brunt of Misogyny. Shouldn’t we at least be embarrassed by the situation for women in Washington DC, capital of the richest country in the world?!

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dc-has-been-failing-to-deliver-for-black-mothers-for-a-long-time/2017/09/14/72977792-88d9-11e7-961d-2f373b3977ee_story.html

www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/poor-sick-and-still-traveling-long-distances-for-health-care-in-dc/2017/09/19/e32201c0-9d3e-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html

www.colorlines.com/articles/maternity-care-desert-threatens-lower-income-women-washington-dc

 

In Fall 2016, two professors at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill called attention to the stealth attacks by Congress on Title X Family Planning Programs. With a bi-partisan (shocking!) vote in 1970 Congress established Title X as part of the Public Health Service Act. Yes, really, not so long ago it was a no-brainer to understand family planning as public health issue. Beginning in 2011, Congressional Republicans have been steadily reducing the funds that go to states for Title X services. The authors explain:

Why does that matter? According to a recent study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, while maternal mortality rates around the world are decreasing, they increased in the United States between 2000 to 2014. www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/26/contraception-deserts-are-what-you-get-when-you-cut-off-this-little-known-federal-program

Yup, you guessed it, these cuts disproportionately and adversely affect poor women of color. Contraception deserts – poor women condemned to third world conditions and medieval restrictions. Can we imagine what is going on in Fall 2017?

 

Previous dispatches have discussed poverty in America, and the history, legacy, and political purpose of poverty in White Supremacist and Misogynist America. A recent story that did not appear in the mainstream press, that is too busy trying to normalize the PeeeOTUS and the ascension of fascism, concerned the emergence of endemic tropical diseases in the US.

Children playing feet away from open pools of raw sewage; drinking water pumped beside cracked pipes of untreated waste; human feces flushed back into kitchen sinks and bathtubs whenever the rains come; people testing positive for hookworm, an intestinal parasite that thrives on extreme poverty.

 These are the findings of a new study into endemic tropical diseases, not in places usually associated with them in the developing world of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, but in a corner of the richest nation on earth: Alabama.

Scientists in Houston, Texas, have lifted the lid on one of America’s darkest and deepest secrets: that hidden beneath fabulous wealth, the US tolerates poverty-related illness at levels comparable to the world’s poorest countries. More than one in three people sampled in a poor area of Alabama tested positive for traces of hookworm, a gastrointestinal parasite thought to have been eradicated from the US decades ago.

The study, the first of its kind in modern times, was carried out by the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in conjunction with Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (ACRE), a non-profit group seeking to address the root causes of poverty. In a survey of people living in Lowndes County, an area with a long history of racial discrimination and inequality, it found that 34% tested positive for genetic traces of Necator americanus.

Hookworm was rampant in the deep south of the US in the earlier 20th century, sapping the energy and educational achievements of both white and black kids and helping to create the stereotype of the lazy and lethargic southern redneck. As public health improved, most experts assumed it had disappeared altogether by the 1980s.

But the new study reveals that hookworm not only survives in communities of Americans lacking even basic sanitation, but does so on a breathtaking scale. None of the people included in the research had travelled outside the US, yet parasite exposure was found to be prevalent, as was shockingly inadequate waste treatment.

The peer-reviewed research paper, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, focuses on Lowndes County, Alabama – the home state of the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and a landmark region in the history of the nation’s civil rights movement. “Bloody Lowndes”, the area was called in reference to the violent reaction of white residents towards attempts to undo racial segregation in the 1950s.

We now need to find how widespread hookworm is across the US,” said Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, who led the research team along with Rojelio Mejia. Hotez, who has estimated that as many as 12 million Americans could be suffering from neglected tropical diseases in poor parts of the south and midwest, told the Guardian the results were a wake-up call for the nation.

“This is the inconvenient truth that nobody in America wants to talk about,” he said. “These people live in the southern United States, and nobody seems to care; they are poor, and nobody seems to care; and more often than not they are people of color, and nobody seems to care.” www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/05/hookworm-lowndes-county-alabama-water-waste-treatment-poverty

 

Nourished by White Supremacy and Misogyny, Poverty disables millions from birth to (an often early) death. Fear of Poverty makes sure that millions of others loathe poor people and preoccupy themselves with avoiding Poverty. Yeah, structural oppressions are built to endure and flourish.

 

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Dispatch #32 Day 332 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #32 October 4th 2017

Day 332 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny PAWSM

Day 257 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS  & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 OK!!! Shout-Out to WNBA Athletes (that would be Female Athletes) who courageously acted in solidarity to protest racism and police killings of black people and to support Black Lives Matter before Kaepernick took a knee. Failing to recognize these courageous female athletes of all races who led silent protests in sports underscores the toxic impact of misogyny, especially in sports. Here is the Herstory:

       Before this weekend’s mass NFL protests against police brutality, racism, and President Donald Trump’s attempt to squash those protests, there was Colin Kaepernick’s famous kneeling protest in August 2016.

     And before Kaepernick, there were the WNBA protests in the summer of 2016.

     They began in Minnesota. On July 9, four members of the Minnesota Lynx — a dynasty on par with the Warriors — held a pre-game press conference to talk about police violence in the wake of the killing of Philando Castile by a Minneapolis-area officer and Alton Sterling by two Baton Rouge, Louisiana, officers. The four members of the Lynx — Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen, and Rebekkah Brunson — wore black shirts with the phrase “Change Starts With Us: Justice & Accountability. www.sbnation.com/2017/9/24/16357206/national-anthem-protest-wnba-history-donald-trump; https://hellogiggles.com/news/badass-wnba-athletes-wont-stop-fighting-believe/; http://wgno.com/2016/07/22/male-stars-begin-supporting-wnba-players-protests/; https://theshadowleague.com/story/wnba-players-protest-anthem-before-game-1-of-finals .

Here is more Summer 2017 Herstory in response to White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS:

     The WNBA and its players are showing their support for the victims of racially charged violence in Charlottesville. The Los Angeles Sparks and the Washington Mystics locked arms at center court before the start of their nationally televised game Wednesday night. The Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm did the same thing before their contest later in the evening.

     “It is not a surprise that racism and bigotry exist in this country, but it is not something we stand for in any way. We feel great shock, sickness, and sadness with the degree of acceptance and normalization of this hatred, culminating in ways in the events in Charlottesville this past weekend,” players from the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks said in a statement.

     “We feel pain and disbelief following the blatant hate displayed and the President’s response to it. There is no way to innocently protest alongside a hate-based group and to take pause on condemning the acts that took place is inexcusable.” https://blackamericaweb.com/2017/08/17/wnba-players-take-the-lead-in-athlete-support-for-charlottesville/

Tina Charles Courageously Protesting (team shirt inside out) After Being Fined  and While Receiving WNBA Player of the Month Award:    https://www.instagram.com/p/BIIkmuPgBCU/

tina31charles  Today, I decided to not be silent in the wake of the @wnba fines against @nyliberty, @indianafever & @phoenixmercury due to our support in the #BlackLivesMatter movement . Seventy percent of the @wnba players are African-American women and as a league collectively impacted. My teammates and I will continue to use our platform and raise awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter movement until the @wnba gives its support as it does for Breast Cancer Awareness, Pride and other subject matters.   July 21 2017

Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! You fabulous Women Athlete-Leaders. Equally important is that white and black WNBA athletes stood together protesting racism and bigotry. All too often, white women in America, crippled by the reinforcing oppressions of White Supremacy and Misogyny, are unable to walk the path to justice and equity.

 

Kaitlyn Greenidge begins her poignant and powerful piece, ‘Sisterhood’ Felt Meaningless. So My Sisters and I Got in the Car, with this question:

 What does the rallying cry of sisterhood and the concept of feminism mean when last year, the majority of white, female voters chose whiteness as a political identity over womanhood? What does feminism mean to each of us, as black women, when we had just lived through an election season of hearing candidates and commentators use that old, unexamined phrase, “women and black people,” skipping over our existence as both? How do we understand women’s history as triumphant when we are still smarting from the very public smackdown of a woman attempting to reach the highest seat of power? www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/opinion/sunday/feminist-history-road-trip.html

 Greenidge wonders how she can find a way to live with the choice of white women voters.

       Black womanhood was always centered in our home, so I didn’t look at white women with envy because they were white. And I was rarely instinctively suspicious of them. Like most black and brown people in this country, despite what white people may believe, I was not actively looking for the ways whites slighted me because I was black. Especially when you live and work in predominantly white spaces, you have to hold on to the social fiction that white people are responding to you as an individual. If you do not hold on to that lie, or at least use it judiciously, you risk going mad with grief and anger. But since the election, that has changed.

       Greenidge and her two sisters hoped to find reason for optimism via a New England road trip designed to find women who could remind us that another, more tolerant, hopeful way of being is possible. It was possible 150 years ago, during a time when people supposedly didn’t know any better — and we hoped that perspective would help us in this present time, when people supposedly do. My sisters selected the following women to lead us on our tour: Prudence Crandall, Sarah Harris, Belinda Sutton and Ellen Garrison.

 They experienced the herstories of three black women and one white woman who resisted white supremacy and fought for the human rights of black people in the mid-19th century. At their last stop, Greenidge reflects: ….my sisters and I sat on the green, while all around us, people paraded, dressed in the costumes of colonists who believed in freedom with conditions — not necessarily for women, not necessarily for black people and certainly not for black women. I think about the foresight and sheer leaps of intelligence it took for Crandall, for Harris, for Sutton and Garrison, to imagine a world that most around them could not imagine. It is a world I have to keep telling myself we are almost in sight of, if we keep thinking and planning and plotting as they did. www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/opinion/sunday/feminist-history-road-trip.html

  • We must never stop demanding that Misogyny be understood as a Structural Oppression as powerful and insidious as White Supremacy.
  • Indeed these two oppressions nourish and enable each other.
  • Engorging their capacities for debilitating hate/bigotry through mutual ingurgitation.
  • Starving and eviscerating the human potential for compassion, courage and the sheer leaps of intelligence needed to imagine a world that so many cannot imagine.

 

Black Women in America have always led this fight, despite their doubled vulnerability under the reinforcing structural oppressions of White Supremacy and Misogyny.

BlackWomensBlueprint emerged in reaction to the failure of 2008 Democratic candidates to address the particular problems “Black women are facing within their communities and in greater society (gender-violence, poverty, the over-criminalization of black women and girls among others). What was manifesting itself was the cultural tendency to erase Black women by conceptualizing white women as speaking on behalf of the rights of the sex and Black men as speaking on behalf of the race.” www.blackwomensblueprint.org

Black Women’s Blueprint envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased.

We work to place Black women and girls’ lives as well as their particular struggles squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities and are committed to building movements where gender matters in broader social justice organizing so that all members of our communities gain social, political and economic equity. www.blackwomensblueprint.org/mission

 

In June 2017, BlackWomensBlueprint discussed the state of human rights for black women in America with the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.

www.mamablack.org/single-post/2017/06/13/BWB-Speaks-to-the-UN-High-Commissioner-of-Human-Rights-on-the-State-of-Black-Women-in-America

 

Just this past weekend, the September 30th March for Black Women, sponsored by BlackWomensBlueprint, demanded justice for all genders and called out the all-too-familiar strategy that elevates racial injustice while excluding gender injustice.

On September 30, 2017, Black women in all their diversity will march at the center of the March for Racial Justice in our very own MARCH FOR BLACK WOMEN in Washington, D.C. to denounce the propagation of state-violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of transwomen and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes. www.mamablack.org/about-the-march-for-black-women

On September 30, 2017, Black cis and trans identified women will remove the gags from our mouths, protest in collective action and lift the foot of imperialist white supremacist patriarchy off our necks. We call on every Black woman from every U.S. city, every walk of life, every demographic to rise together within our differences and face our common oppressors—the systems, and too often the very communities claiming civil and human rights for some, while invisibilizing, rejecting and relegating the rest of us to political backseats.

Recent actions by our federal government and leaders to dismantle our civil and human rights by plotting to eliminate access to health care, and in particular reproductive health; the increase of prisons while threatening to eliminate resources to communities of color that empower all of us to prevent violence against cis and trans identified women; and the undermining of economic justice demonstrates not only a disregard for the lives of all Black women in America, but perpetuates what James Baldwin prophetically proclaimed—that “the American Dream is at the expense of [Black people]”. The physical, financial and social enrichment of the nation-state at the expense of Black bodies and at the expense of Black lives is too old a strategy, and Black women will not allow for it. It is us, and in particular trans Black women and our girls, and our elders and those of us on a low income, who bear the brunt of a multitude of racialized and sexualized abuses which are not challenged with outrage, do not make the screens of our social media pages nor our televisions.

In this moment of ealization once again that “we are all we’ve got,” we call on all Black Lives Matter, Movement for Black Lives, and Black communities at large to march especially for the lives and rights of Black transwomen, for the gender non-conforming and for our Black girls in all the 50 states, plus the so-called territories and all the African diaspora. By their very being, it is through Black transwomen and Black girls that the revolutionary potential of our entire Black community resides. Theirs are the Black lives who underscore the poignancy of this moment, and a future where all Black women and Black communities are liberated from persistent, imposed and internalized axes of gender-oppression, domination and discrimination.

Please join us, our comrades and partners in the March for Black Women, in mass mobilization for our security and safety, our human rights and our freedoms, calling on the federal government and our own Black communities to take the following actions:

  • Issue an apology to all Black women for centuries of abuses, including sexual violence and reproductive violations against Black bodies, especially the brutalization of transwomen.
  • Beyond the 2016 Gender Bias Policing Guidance, ensure immediate and sustainable measures by the U.S. Government to eliminate incarcerations, incidences of rape and “sexual misconduct”, police murder and violence against all Black women, and especially transwomen.
  • End the threat against the human right to healthcare and increase access, including all reproductive health care, bar none.  
  • Ensure economic justice for Black low income women at the communal and federal level, many of whom are at increased risk for violence due to lack of economic power.
  • Cease and desist all threats of deportation of immigrant women across the country, especially those whose deportation may cost them their lives or safety.

www.mamablack.org/about-the-march-for-black-women

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #31 Day 328 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #31 September 30th 2017

Day 328 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 253 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy- Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 

So yeah, keeping the outrage, the out-raging, and the resistance fired up is soul-enervating and mind-debilitating. The constant hagiographic normalizing of White Supremacy and Misogyny is like acid rain beating on the brain and heart.

 

An insidiously poisonous example involves Mitch McConnell being routinely described by the mainstream media as the Republicans’ master tactician in the Senate. Uh –Huh, his singular accomplishment for the last 8 years involved total opposition to the Obama Administration premised on fueling the flames of White Supremacist horror at the event of a black man in the white house. And oh yeah, violating procedure rules, he refused to hold hearings for a year on a legitimate Supreme Court nominee premised on elevating the War on Women and rewarding misogynists.   Come on now: All hail Mitch McConnell as the master-toady-tactician-quisling for White Supremacy and Misogyny in service of Early 21st Century American Fascism.

We must all resist normalizing, if only to have the small satisfaction for being on the side of justice and equity when future historians assess Early 21st Century American Fascism nurtured to full flowering by the Ascendency of White Supremacy and Misogyny, and the Emergence of Global Capitalism’s Unrestrained Reign of Human and Environmental Degradation.  

A BIG shout-out to New York Times columnist Charles Blow who is committed to resist normalizing the White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS and to insist on unrelenting condemnation.

From Blow’s column Soul Survival in Trump’s Hell:

     You could stay in hell for a little while if you knew that you were going to get out.

     My mother always told me that when I was going through something tough and dispiriting. It was her way of saying that trouble doesn’t last forever, that even in your darkest place, hold fast to the hope and the light, that though today you are in the valley, tomorrow you shall scale the peak.

     Well, Mama, this is hell. Indeed, Donald Trump’s America is the Ninth Circle.

     And while I know that a president is limited to two terms, and I highly doubt that Trump could be re-elected to a second term and think that Robert Mueller’s investigation may curtail the first, I am still struggling to maintain optimism and perseverance.

     I don’t think that this is even a matter of fatigue, but rather of the capacity of rage and the length of mourning. Hopelessness is a very human response when the feeling of persecution intersects with the feeling of powerlessness.

       Like many Americans, I try my best to do the small affirming things in my family and in my community that express my love and reaffirm my values….I try to nourish my soul so that it will survive, because I know that the fight is not finished. We are in hell. We have to remember that one day we will get outwww.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/opinion/soul-survival-in-trumps-hell.html

From Blow’s column Dispatch From The Resistance:

I often hear from Trump enthusiasts and accommodators that at some point resistance must submit, that the time for outrage is term-limited, that at a point, complete opposition registers as unfair and unpatriotic.

This always settles on me in a most unsettling way. How is it, precisely, that right becomes less right and wrong less wrong simply by the passage of time and the weariness of repetition?

How is it that morality wavers and weakens, accommodates and acquiesces?

It seems to me the oddest of asks: Surrender what you know to be a principled position because “moving on” and “moderation” are the instruments that polite society uses to browbeat the radical insisting on righteous restoration.

I see no value or honor in this retreat.

I don’t even think my crusade is a personal one, although it must be said that every day that I wake and recall that a bigoted, sexist, intolerant, transphobic scoundrel is president, my stomach turns and my skin crawls.

None of this is normal or right, and Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, in my opinion, has become one of the most dangerous men in America because he is endeavoring to make the abominable look acceptable. No, thanks, sir, I prefer my disasters not to wear a disguise.   www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/dispatch-from-the-resistance.html

 From The Flag Is Drenched In Our Blood where he points out that the American flag represents a country with 400 year history of black slavery and apartheid where black people have somehow survived and sometimes thrived:

But I am also infuriated by his framing: that this has nothing to do with race (whenever you hear that, know that the subject at hand must have everything to do with race) and that this is just about patriotism, honoring national ritual, celebrating soldiers, particularly the fallen, and venerating “our flag.”

What this misses is that patriotism is particularly fraught for black people in this country because the history of the country’s treatment of them is fraught. It’s not that black people aren’t patriotic; it’s just that patriotism can be a paradox. Many black people see themselves simultaneously as part of America and separate from it, under attack by it, and it has always been thus.

People upset with those who kneel seem to be more angry about black “disrespect” than black death. (Here, I need to applaud the non-black players who demonstrated their solidarity in the cause of free speech and equality.)

We have to accept that different Americans see pride and principle differently, but that makes none of them less American.

Indeed, we Americans see the flag itself differently. As the civil rights legend Fannie Lou Hamer once said, “The flag is drenched with our blood.” www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/opinion/the-flag-is-drenched-with-our-blood.html

 

 We must understand the significance of the PeeeOTUS’s latest foray into inflaming and encouraging White Supremacist violence and hatred by attacking certain black athletes who protest injustice in the public square of national sports. Sports serves as a primary socializer, nationalizer and cultural mediator. Moreover, the growing dominance of black athletes in national American sports threatens whiteness and challenges the rules of behavior dictated by toxic male whiteness.  

 In Taking A Knee Is Not About Abstract Unity But Racial Justice, Dave Zirin, highly regarded social justice sportswriter (yes, this is possible), calls out efforts of PeeeeOTUS and others to distort and dilute the courageous protests of black athletes.

       People like Jerry Jones and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and all the owners, linking arms with their players, are as complicit in obscuring the actual meaning of taking a knee as Donald Trump himself. It’s a case of competing narcissisms. We absolutely cannot allow this debate to become one of “unity” vs. “the flag” or a liberal brand of bumper-sticker patriotism (“Protest Is Patriotic”) vs. the Trumpian brand (“Stand or Die!”).

         This is what it’s about. It started because the killings of people like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile last summer were intolerable for anyone with a conscience.

     Protesting during the anthem was about highlighting that gap between what we are told the flag represents and the lived experience of too many people. Or as Kaepernick himself said a year ago, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

       Then I asked Chris Petrella, who works with Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp to develop political-education curricula. He said:

       “I am deeply concerned that the original political thrust of #TakeAKnee is being both diluted and recast through the shallow, simple, and ahistorical vocabulary of “unity.” This kind of political shift, however, is far from surprising. History has proven that white supremacy has a way of reframing the terrain of political debate—changing the goalposts, if you will, and policing the parameters of acceptable discourse when communities of color pose threats to its persistence. My sincere hope is that folks in the movement refuse to cede the pointed and historical language of police violence, institutional racism, and white supremacy. To paraphrase James Baldwin, we white folks are trapped in a history we don’t understand. Calling for unity flattens history and makes a mockery out of the passage of time. Unity does not heal; truth does. If we’re after truth and justice, then knowing our history might be a good place to start.”

       It is so important for us to draw strength and inspiration from the people throughout the sports world standing up to Trump. But inside the movement, we do need to not be silent as we link arms. We need to turn to those alongside us and say the names of those killed by police. We need to say that unity matters, but not unity with those who would blackball Colin Kaepernick. We can never forget that this is a movement for those who, because of racism and state violence, can no longer speak for themselves.   www.thenation.com/article/taking-a-knee-is-not-about-abstract-unity-but-racial-justice/

Similarly, in Please Stop Defending Colin Kaepernick. You’re Doing It Wrong, Michael Harriot educates, chastises, and exhorts white people:

       Over the past year, people have tried to whitesplain taking a knee with gobbledygook about America’s need to have a conversation about the underprivileged, inherent bias, or anything that’s not about the flag, the anthem or race. What began as a radical, obstinate statement of resistance and truth has been “All Lives Mattered” by people trying to make it palatable for white America. It was always about race. It was always about the flag. It was always about the anthem.

       If you could peer into the hearts and minds of black people in America, you would find that we have always been, at the very least, conflicted about the flag. It has nothing to do with hating this country, but it has everything to do with the unavoidable knowledge that the Stars and Stripes have always billowed blindly over the centuries of beating and brutality that black people have endured.

       For us, it is a duality. It simultaneously represents the birthright of our oppressors and the perfect freedom to which we aspire. It stands for the constitutional justification for our subjugation and the laws we invoke to argue for our liberty. It is the rope they used to lynch us and the tourniquet we used to stymie our bleeding. The flag symbolizes a superpower assembled on white supremacy. It is the emblem for the nation that black people built from scratch with our own bruised backs and callused hands.

    The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass stood in front of a crowd of white women 165 years ago (July 5, 1852) at the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society’s Independence Day Celebration and told them this:

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?

I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

     So please stop the arm locking and the other empty gestures. Cease saying that Colin Kaepernick’s act of courage had nothing to do with race, the anthem or the flag. It most certainly was about all of those things. It was about so much more than those things, but erasing the defiance of his message does not serve any cause. Making it palatable for white people not only neuters its power but also does a disservice to Kaepernick’s courage, the movement he inspired, and the overall fight for justice and equality.www.theroot.com/please-stop-defending-colin-kaepernick-youre-doing-it-1818999019

In A Rebel, A Warrior and A Race Fiend, Blow insists that the current state of affairs in America is not due to the PeeeeOTUS, but, instead to the structural oppressions being called to account by Kaepernick and other black athletes:

Donald Trump is operating the White House as a terror cell of racial grievance in America’s broader culture wars.

He has made his allegiances clear: He’s on the side of white supremacists, white nationalists, ethno-racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites. He is simpatico with that cesspool.

And nothing gets his goat quite like racial minorities who stand up for themselves or stand up to him.

Kaepernick’s objection is valid on its own, but the anthem itself is problematic. It all points to the complexity we encounter when we pull back the gauzy veil of hagiographic history we have woven.

The exploitation of black bodies and the spilling of black blood are an indelible part of the American story, and how we deal with that says everything about where we are as a nation and who we are.

This is about far more than football and flags, about more than basketball and battle cries. This is about American memory, the ongoing quest for equality, the racial inequities fused to the DNA of power in this country. This is also about the response to minority advances and the coming minority-to-majority demographic conversion.

This is about the honest appraisal of what America was, is, and should be.  www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/columnists/trump-race-nfl-nba.html

 

A shout-out to Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code for her courageous and principled op-ed in the New York Times The Case for Shunning the White House explaining why she declined Ivanka Trump’s invitation to the White House:

       To work with this administration in any capacity is to normalize it, and all of the hate and bigotry it represents. That is the very real danger we face as the months drag into years, and each successive outrage fades from memory. We will all be tempted — by lucrative contracts, federal grant dollars or flashy ribbon cuttings — to seek a middle ground that does not exist. At times, it will be easier to give an inch than to stand firm.

   In those moments, we would be wise to remember the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who, in “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” lamented that “the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

     There is an undeniable appeal to the benefits that could come with having an audience with any president, and conventional wisdom about our divided politics has long suggested that the way to make change is to find common ground. Still, I believe Girls Who Code sends a more powerful message — to the young women we aim to empower, to other organizations making strategic choices and to President Trump himself — by refusing to engage.

         Resistance is not futile. Those who have recently taken a knee on the football field showed us — by the national attention they drew back to the issue of racialized police violence and the value of peaceful protest — the power of citizens who refuse to cooperate with injustice. As long as extremists and open bigots inhabit the White House, there is no common ground nor common purpose to be found. We are at war for the soul of our nation, and that is why we must say no, on behalf of our fellow Americans who deserve nothing less than equality. We must not be stumbling blocks. We must draw the line. We must do it here and now. www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/opinion/girls-who-code-trump-stem.html  

 

 

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #30 Day 295 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #30 August 28th 2017

Day 295 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 220 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 

So a HUGE shout-out and THANK YOU to EVE ENSLER, a most courageous woman warrior whose two decades of international activism against misogyny inspired women to exorcise this deadly and disabling miasma. She demands that we speak out and encourage each other.

“And now, 20 years later [after The Vagina Monologues], I wish for nothing more than to be able to say that radical anti-racist feminists have won. But patriarchy, alongside white supremacy is a recurrent virus, like herpes. It lives dormant in the body politic and is activated by toxic predatory conditions. Certainly in the US, with an openly racist and misogynist predator-in-chief, we are in the midst of a massive outbreak. Our job, until a cure is found, is to create hyper-resistant conditions that build our immunity, and will make more outbreaks impossible. It starts where The Vagina Monologues, and so many other acts of radical feminist resistance, begin – by speaking out. By saying what we see. By refusing to be silenced.”

“They tried to stop us even saying the names of some of the most precious parts of our bodies. But here’s what I learned. If something isn’t named, it is not seen, it doesn’t exist. Now more than ever it’s time to tell the crucial stories and say the words, whether it’s vagina, “my stepfather raped me” or “the president is a predator and a racist.” When you break the silence you realise how many other people have been waiting for permission to do the same thing. We will not be silenced again.”  http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/45418-focus-even-with-a-misogynist-predator-in-chief-we-will-not-be-silenced 

 

Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming’s compelling tutorial on the insidious intractability of “soft” White Supremacy (www.theroot.com/to-be-clear-white-supremacy-is-the-foundation-of-our-c-1797990783 discussed in my August 24th dispatch) applies with equal trenchancy to Misogyny. My restatement:

Misogyny thrives as systemic oppression because people believe that it 1) doesn’t exist, 2) has been overcome (i.e., women can just lean in) or 3) exists only among extremists (e.g., red-necks). Misogyny can’t tolerate millions of people finally realizing that it is pervasive and systematic. Misogyny needs us ignorant and “hopeful.” And it needs us to cling to a particular kind of hope—a hope that reinforces patriarchal ignorance and denial of Misogyny. A hope that sells you neoliberal inclusion and “feel good” tokenism—the kind of hope that cannot threaten the Misogynistic status quo. A TOXIC hope whose price is acceptance of abuse and oppression.

 

Adrienne Rich instructs: “No woman is really an insider in the institutions fathered by masculine consciousness. When we allow ourselves to believe we are, we lose touch with parts of ourselves defined as unacceptable by that consciousness; with the vital toughness and visionary strength of the angry grandmothers, the fierce market women of the Ibo’s Women’s War, the marriage-resisting women silk workers of pre-Revolutionary China, the millions of widows, midwives, and the women healers tortured and burned as witches for three centuries in Europe.” http://www.azquotes.com/quote/616510

Women may have the appearance of freedom and self-determination in the US, but, we are sexualized and objectified by the male gaze as surely as women in Afghanistan who are objectified as ‘my household’ or ‘mother of my children’ or ‘my weak one’ and whose name is not to be mentioned in public. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/30/world/asia/afghanistan-womens-rights-whereismyname.html?module=subsection_world

Our particular American brand of misogyny does not involve imprisoning women at home, making women invisible in their dress, making physical and sexual women slaves, giving girls to men for their pleasure.  No, in our slightly more civilized misogynist world, women simply know that they are in danger of being sexualized and sexually attacked, being forced to bear/raise children in economically inequitable circumstances, being made available as the repository for male rage/denigration and oppression, constantly intimidated in the public square, being always aware of the threat of male aggression and violence, must always be worried about appearance, and always self-conscious about how much space they take up. (January 13th 2017 Dispatch #13)

 How can we forget the 2016 Republican anti-Hillary campaign slogans: 2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts and 1 left wing; and Trump that Bitch? So many of us thought at the time that these horrific displays of Misogyny would surely hurt the Republican candidate. Looking back, I now believe that these slogans actually fanned Misogynistic attitudes – how could this sexualized object possibly become President?!

Andrea Dworkin speaks the fierce and furious truths: “Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating. ….Under patriarchy, no woman is safe to live her life, or to love, or to mother children. Under patriarchy, every woman is a victim, past, present, and future. Under patriarchy, every woman’s daughter is a victim, past, present, and future. Under patriarchy, every woman’s son is her potential betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman.” www.azquotes.com/quote/666824 The nature of women’s oppression is unique: women are oppressed as women, regardless of class or race; some women have access to significant wealth, but that wealth does not signify power; women are to be found everywhere, but own or control no appreciable territory; women live with those who oppress them, sleep with them, have their children. We are tangled, hopelessly it seems, in the gut of the machinery and way of life which is ruinous to us.” www.azquotes.com/quote/1082509

The endless strength, resilience and courage required of Black Women, who must labor under the reinforcing structural oppressions of White Supremacy and Misogyny, are almost impossible to imagine.

The War on Women demands recognition that working class and poor women and women of color continue to experience the worst brutalities of Misogyny. These brutalities include women charged for murder in the aftermath of a miscarriage; jail for a mother who procures birth control for her daughter; young women forced to have children and then required to work with no access to childcare or education and then accused of child neglect for using unlicensed daycare. (March 18th 2017 Dispatch #20)

The titles of these articles are suggestive/descriptive of their troubling content that touch on (1) the terrible consequences for black girls of being seen as older than they are, (2) the White Supremacist historical context for why black children are more likely to be viewed and treated as adults, and (3) the different standards that poor black parents (usually single women) are held to when they face losing custody of their children.

http://nypost.com/2017/07/17/adultification-hurts-black-girls-more-than-others/

www.cnn.com/2017/06/28/health/black-girls-adultification-racial-bias-study/index.html

www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/28/black_girls_are_seen_as_being_older_than_their_age.html

www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/opinion/black-kids-discrimination.html

www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/opinion/poor-neighborhoods-black-parents-child-services.html 

Angela Davis salutes these women-warriors: Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women, and black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society. www.azquotes.com/quote/809853

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #29 Day 291 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

Dispatch #29 August 24th 2017 

Day 291 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 216 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 

Yeah, I have been OUT-RAGED my entire life. You know: If You Are Not Outraged You Are Not Paying Attention. Over the decades, my OUT-RAGE intensity has been punctuated by my personal experiences – white woman circumscribed by Misogyny, and by my work – poverty and social justice circumscribed by White Supremacy and Capitalism.

After November 8th, I swore that I would never again moderate my OUT-RAGE. That, for me, ethical and principled Resistance to the Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny required a higher level of OUT-RAGING. Early 21st Century Fascism in America is not about the White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS himself. White Supremacy and Misogyny are the toxic foundations of America. Institutionalized White Supremacy and Misogyny demanded the elevation of the Village Idiot instead of the Supremely Qualified Woman.

 

And PU-LEEZE spare me the hand-wringing about temper-tantrum-nuclear-war and the post-Charlottesville-mea-culpa-ing about the White Supremacist-in-Chief. And the self-serving whining pleas to rescue ‘liberal democracy’ that for centuries has allowed White Supremacy and Misogyny to flourish. Democrats are the worst offenders with their continuing BULLSHIT about the economic pain of white men, and their reprehensible willingness to deny women’s human rights and dismiss identity politics.

 

Boiling OUT-RAGE is tough on body and soul…..I do falter with my own perseverance. I can appreciate why the morbidity and mortality rates for chronic disease are so high for black people in the US who have labored under 400+ years of White Supremacy. But, their strength and perseverance – make a way out of no way – demand that we White People meet our responsibilities to SEE, root out, and destroy White Supremacy at every turn.

 

Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming, Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana studies at Stony Brook University, provides a provocative tutorial on the insidious intractability of “soft” White Supremacy in “To Be Clear White Supremacy Is the Foundation of Our Country. We Won’t Destroy It by Toppling Statues.”

 

From the inception of this nation, white supremacist ideology was used to justify genocide and slavery. And so, the problem of collective memory extends far beyond Confederate memorials. Removing memorials to white supremacy in the United States is not simply a matter of knocking down statues of Robert E. Lee. It’s relatively easy for some to see the Confederate flag as an emblem of hatred and white supremacy. But slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow, mass incarceration and centuries of systematic racism all happened under the star-spangled banner. In other words: It is not enough to recognize white supremacy in its most obvious manifestations (the overtly white supremacist Confederate). We also need to see it in the founding principles (and ongoing practices) of the nation itself.

So while the removal of Confederate symbols of white supremacy is completely justifiable and repulsively long overdue, it is also important to recognize the fact that the flag of the Union—and, indeed, our current, actual flag—is an emblem of white supremacist racism, too. The nation that existed prior to the Civil War was racist. That country is still racist today. It has never not been racist.

You want to know why the United States still has memorials to white supremacy while Germany does not? White supremacy was our founding principle. Yes, of course, Germany was racist before Hitler, and anti-Semitism predated the Holocaust. But unlike the United States, Germany was not explicitly founded on white supremacy or racialized violence. Indeed, German Nazis actually modeled their death-making logics and practices on the implementation of white supremacy in the United States.

A clear-eyed understanding of our nation’s systematic relationship to white supremacy reveals that the United States has consistently treated white supremacist terrorists with more sympathy and respect than civil rights activists. This is why, beyond Confederate statues, we still have hundreds of monuments, buildings and prestigious schools (Yale, to name just one) honoring people (mostly wealthy, white men) who made their fortune enslaving, exploiting, torturing and raping racialized minorities.

White supremacy in the United States cannot be toppled by toppling statues. It’s endemic. Importantly, the endemic nature of white supremacy was repeatedly denied by former President Barack Obama. Obama built his political career (before, during and, now, after his presidency) granting some acknowledgment of racism but insisting that white supremacy was not a fundamental feature of our country. Which is to say, he perpetuated a lie.

As a system, white supremacy needs people to believe that it 1) doesn’t exist, 2) has been overcome or 3) exists only among extremists. White supremacy can’t tolerate millions of people finally realizing that it is pervasive and systematic. It needs us ignorant and “hopeful.” And it needs us to cling to a particular kind of hope—a hope that reinforces racial ignorance and denial of white supremacy. A hope that sells you neoliberal inclusion and “feel good” tokenism—the kind of hope that cannot threaten the racial status quo. www.theroot.com/to-be-clear-white-supremacy-is-the-foundation-of-our-c-1797990783

A powerful resource from Southern Poverty Law Center provides the graphic evidence about exactly that these Statues stand for – that is, visible endorsements for the ascendency of White Supremacy over all efforts to dismantle this American apartheid.

www.splcenter.org/20160421/whose-heritage-public-symbols-confederacy

 

Dr. Carol Anderson, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, challenges us to grasp how “America Is Hooked on the Drug of White Supremacy—We’re Paying for That Today.”

Unless, that is, we come to grips with the reality that we are seeing the effects of far too many Americans strung out on the most pervasive, devastating, reality-warping drug to ever hit the United States: white supremacy.

Like all forms of substance abuse, it has destroyed families and communities and put enormous strains on governmental institutions. It has made millions of Americans forsake their God and jettison their patriotism just to get a taste. 

High on its effects, its users feel powerful, heady, even as they and everything around them disintegrates. And, as with most drug crises, while not everyone may be strung out, everyone is very surely affected. In 2017, millions of Americans are hooked on this drug. As clearly as track marks in the arms, the most visible signs are all around.

Yet, odious as he may be to many, Trump is, in fact, only a symptom. All of his racist rants would have dropped him on the outskirts of the lunatic fringe if it hadn’t been for the way that a major political party had spent decades making white supremacy the Republican party’s drug of choice.

The Republicans, of course, believed that they could control it. Getting a little taste every now and then, the party would swear that it wasn’t hooked, but, inevitably it needed an even more powerful strain each time to feel that high

With white supremacy’s current grip on the Republican party, everything the addict once valued has become expendable. Gone from power are moderate Republicans who believed in limited government, fiscal restraint and civil rights. Gone, as well, is the clout of the national security hawks, who put American sovereignty, might, and global leadership first….. As long as Trump gives the white supremacists one more Ice raid, one more deportation, one more Muslim travel ban, one more hunt for “illegal voters” in a sanctuary city, the craving is temporarily satisfied. And as with any addict, anything that gets in between the user and the drug has to go. 

Republicans have convinced themselves, as addicts do, that they’re still in charge, that they’re getting out of this what they’ve always wanted – tax cuts for the rich, eventual destruction of the Affordable Care Act, a supreme court that will overturn Roe v Wade, and decisively fewer regulations on private industry – but none of these, if they were truly sober and in their right minds, are worth destroying the United States for. Yet, here we are. We’re not all addicted, but we’re surely enduring the consequences.

www.alternet.org/right-wing/america-hooked-drug-white-supremacy

 

And in “Charlottesville is Just More Evidence American Was Born and Raised on Racism and Violence” Kali Holloway assesses the impact of America’s history:

Remember that within hours of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama moved forward with voter ID laws that specifically disenfranchise black and brown folks. Remember that the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, which means black people have only legally been able to vote in every part of this country for a sliver of the time we’ve been Americans. Remember that people were murdered for trying to vote, sometimes by lynching, events which were celebrated and memorialized in picture postcards. Remember that through voter suppression tactics, millions of black people are still denied voting rights, and remember who benefits from that.

Remember all this when you hear someone respond to Charlottesville by saying racist violence is “un-American” or that it’s “not who we are,” because that is a bald-faced lie. In fact, it’s what this country has been about since day one; this is the U.S.A. at its most transparent. And nobody gets to pretend to be shocked anymore. www.alternet.org/right-wing/charlottesville-just-more-evidence-america-was-born-and-raised-racism-and-violence

 

Need More Exhortations and Guidance for Actions?!? From the remarkable Angela Glover Blackwell at PolicyLink www.policylink.org/blog/white-people-show-us:

Over the past several days we have watched in disgust as the progeny from our nation’s despicable past terrorized a city, committed murder, and received tacit approval from the highest level of government. White supremacy has found a home in the White House. The President is determined to perpetuate and maintain the social, political, historical, and institutional domination by White people at the expense of people of color. And in so doing, he is creating an environment that is also too toxic for White America. The White supremacy movement will not vanish until people of good will succeed in atoning for our nation’s past, reconciling, and building a bridge to a just and fair society where ALL are prospering and reaching their full potential.

America is seeing in real-time what the fight for equity looks like. When cultures, structures, and institutions are forced to change, the responses by those comfortable with and benefiting from the status quo are too frequently ugly, distressing, and violent. Equity leaders should not expect anything less. We signed up for this. Consequently, when things are at their worst, we must be at our best – body, mind, and soul. PolicyLink remains optimistic and single-minded in our work. We are standing strong in the face of formidable opposition because equity leaders, especially those on the front lines, are making progress.

We also are standing strong because we are getting a sense that increasing numbers of White people are sick of other White people’s racist conduct. We applaud the fact that from the streets, to corporate board rooms, to charitable giving, White people are taking up the work of equity. We hope we live in a country where most White people do not sympathize with White supremacists. If our perceptions are real, we have an opportunity to accelerate the advancement of equity, and we must seize it. While people of color are going to see this fight for equity through to victory, there is a powerful role that White people must play, and this role can no longer be eschewed for safer, transactional expressions of solidarity.

Show yourselves to be true patriots by joining with people of color, believing in the potency of inclusion, and building from a common bond to stamp out White supremacy and realize the transformative promise of equity – the imperfect and unrealized aspiration embodied in the Constitution. White America, you can perfect this aspiration! To do so requires that you honestly and forthrightly call out racism and oppression, both overt and systemic. And while this is a good start, it is insufficient. Your work is to lead the way in designing and implementing equity-centered public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms that trump White supremacy and create a just and fair society. This must be your call to action. This is what people of color need from you.   

The normalization of White supremacy must be stopped now before it irreversibly poisons the nation’s culture. Your leadership is critical in this moment. You are best equipped to defeat White supremacy. Here are actions you can take that are transformative.

 

 

  • Show Up for Justice – Visit the Indivisible website to find and join a solidarity event near you.
    • Lead for Equity at Work – Use your power and influence to transform your organization into a national model of equitable practice. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide provides practical ways to start.
      • Vote for Justice and Fairness – Vote for elected officials with a demonstrated track record of introducing and voting for equity-centered policies that improve the quality of life for people who are not wealthy
      • Show us that our perceptions of a White majority opposed to White supremacy are real. Show us that we have a reason to believe that you will fight with more devotion to create a society that is just and fair for ALL, than White supremacists will in their pursuit to maintain their structural advantage, their racial privilege, their “whiteness.” By accepting this invitation, you’re not doing anyone any favors. You’re doing the work necessary to make America all that it can be. History has its eyes on you. Show us. Fight for equity
  • YEAH, FIGHT FOR EQUITY AND JUSTICE

Categories
Women Warrior-Ancestors

Courageous and Principled

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #28 Day 260 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

July 24th 2017 Dispatch #28

Day 260 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Day 185 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings

 

Oh for Fuck’s Sake, another infuriating, oh-no-you-didn’t-say-that performance by the white male Democratic leadership as they unveil a new messaging strategy: WAIT FOR IT….     Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future: A Better Deal

Wow, the craven idiocy and stunning bankruptcy of this slogan/new vision are beyond belief…..did Chuck Schumer offer any explanation or reassurance?

 

“President Trump campaigned on a populist platform, talking to working people. That’s why he won,” the senator [Schumer] said….[later in the article] Mr. Axelrod, noted that Hillary Clinton’s myriad economic policy prescriptions failed to overcome Mr. Trump’s battering-ram nationalist message. www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/us/politics/democrats-economic-message-trump-2018-better-deal.html/  

 

Yeah, Chuck ignores the hate-filled, misogyny-laced, white-supremacist-undergirded campaign by the Fascist-in-Chief.  THIS IS NOT POPULISM. Any more enlightenment for us Chuck?

 

In the last two elections, Democrats, including in the Senate, failed to articulate a strong, bold economic program for the middle class and those working hard to get there. We also failed to communicate our values to show that we were on the side of working people, not the special interests. We will not repeat the same mistake. www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/opinion/chuck-schumer-employment-democrats.html/

 

Hey Chuck, are you concerned about working women, working Muslims, working people with Hispanic ethnicity, working black people?!?

 

In interviews, including one Tuesday on CNN, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was quick to criticize the 2016 Democratic campaign for being “namby pamby” on economics, allowing Donald Trump to run away with traditional Democratic issues. But even before the Sanders primary challenge, Clinton ran a campaign that sided with labor and the left on most issues; after the Sanders challenge, Clinton had moved left on trade (opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership) and college tuition). “The new agenda also echoes Clinton’s promises to expand job retraining for displaced workers, provide paid sick and family leave, a renewed scrutiny on potential monopolies, and her late embrace of a $15 minimum wage,” wrote Vice’s Alex Thompson. www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/07/24/with-better-deal-democrats-temporarily-calm-a-restive-left/

 

Deliberately ignoring content of Clinton’s campaign, Schumer asserts that the Fascist-in-Chief was allowed to ‘run away with traditional Democratic issues.’ What ARE those traditional Democratic issues? Misogyny no doubt since we have seen the Democratic leadership willing to bargain away women’s right to control their bodies.   What else? White Supremacy? Xenophobia? Strident Nationalism? Islamophobia?

 

And, once again, hapless Democrats ignore the context and dynamics for the 2016 election. Eight years of white-supremacist rhetoric about the black man in the white house. Vicious misogyny on the rampage. Voter suppression concentrated in poor communities of color. Clear evidence that PeeeeOTUS voters were largely white, middle class and upper class, evangelical Christians. Decades of strategic and relentless work by Ayn Rand-inspired conservatives supported by concentration of enormous wealth in a few hands and enabled by the Supreme Court Citizens United decision.

 

The wealthy donors who finance the Koch network are frustrated that national Republicans are not doing more to capitalize on having unified control of the federal government. But at their summer seminar here in the Rocky Mountains, which wrapped up last night, many were ecstatic—even giddy—about significant conservative gains that have been made this year in state capitals across the country.

Republicans now control the governorship and legislature in 25 states, compared to only six states for Democrats. Last November, the GOP seized all the levers of lawmaking in four new states – Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire – making it much easier to pass far-reaching legislation.

The network, led by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on low-profile races and building out grassroots operations in 36 states over the past decade. In 2017 alone, several of these states have reduced union power, scaled back regulations, cut taxes, blocked Medicaid expansion, promoted alternatives to public education, loosened criminal sentencing laws and eased requirements to get occupational licenses.

Koch network officials reiterated plans to spend between $300 million to $400 million on policy and politics in the 2018 cycle and said it will probably be in the higher end of that range. A lot of that will go toward state efforts. www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/06/27/daily-202-thwarted-in-washington-the-koch-network-racks-up-conservative-victories-in-the-states/

 

Why does it continue to be so difficult for the Democrats to attack/eviscerate the Republicans? Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin is up to the task:

Let me suggest the real problem is not the Trump family, but the GOP. To paraphrase [David NYTimes] Brooks, “It takes generations to hammer ethical considerations out of a [party’s] mind and to replace them entirely with the ruthless logic of winning and losing.” Again, to borrow from Brooks, beyond partisanship the GOP evidences “no attachment to any external moral truth or ethical code.”

“Indeed, for decades now, demonization — of gays, immigrants, Democrats, the media, feminists, etc. — has been the animating spirit behind much of the right. It has distorted its assessment of reality, giving us anti-immigrant hysteria, promulgating disrespect for the law (how many “respectable” conservatives suggested disregarding the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage?), elevating Fox News hosts’ blatantly false propaganda as the counterweight to liberal media bias and preventing serious policy debate. For seven years, the party vilified Obamacare without an accurate assessment of its faults and feasible alternative plans. “Obama bad” or “Clinton bad” became the only credo — leaving the party, as Brooks said of the Trump clan, with “no attachment to any external moral truth or ethical code” — and no coherent policies for governing.

If the Trump children became slaves to money and to their father’s unbridled ego, then the GOP became slaves to its own demons and false narratives. A party that has to deny climate change and insist illegal immigrants are creating a crime wave — because that is what “conservatives” must believe, since liberals do not — is a party that will deny Trump’s complicity in gross misconduct. It’s a party as unfit to govern as Trump is unfit to occupy the White House. It’s not by accident that Trump chose to inhabit the party that has defined itself in opposition to reality and to any “external moral truth or ethical code.”www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/07/14/the-gops-moral-rot-is-the-problem-not-donald-trump-jr

 

I am SICK to DEATH of the constant refrain ‘The Trump Era.’ Listen up!! We are in the Era of Post-Industrial Capitalism nourished in 21st Century Fascist America by the backlash of White Supremacy and the retrenchment of Misogyny.

I am SICK to DEATH of the handwringing about Democracy and whether it will survive the Illegitimate PeeOTUS. The ability of the Illegitimate PeeOTUS to flout every “norm” without consequence shows the bankruptcy of so-called American experiment with Democracy. Smoke and Mirrors, nothing more. If Democracy is deserving of adulation, then Democracy must demonstrably be about Justice and Equity.

Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.   http://www.azquotes.com/author/9365-Nelson_Mandela/tag/justice

 

So where shall we look for our democratic leaders committed to justice and equity? How about Stacey Abrams running for Governor in Georgia!?!

 Rae Peoples is ready to do everything she can — rally her friends, open her checkbook, knock on doors — to help Stacey Abrams, the Democratic leader of the Georgia Statehouse, become the nation’s first black female elected governorAnd it doesn’t matter that Peoples lives all the way across the country in Oakland, Calif.“Why wouldn’t I lend my energy, financial support and political muscle to support her?” Peoples said, adding that an Abrams victory would be a point of progress and pride for black women everywhere.

Get in Formation,” a campaign launched this week by three black-led political organizations, hopes to recruit more women like Peoples to pledge their personal and financial capital to help Abrams in her history-making quest. The effort will primarily be run online via a website and social media. The initiative brings together Democracy In Color, which focuses on organizing and engaging voters of color and progressive whites; Higher Heights for America, whose goal is to get more African American women elected to office; and the Collective PAC, which recruits and supports progressive black candidates for public office

Peoples described Abrams as “a strong candidate, with a very significant platform.” She also said it’s important to her that as a black woman Abrams “represents this notion of a new American majority, a multicultural, multiracial, progressive coalition that will take the lead in ushering in this new political narrative that is more inclusive and just and representative for our country.”www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/07/12/groups-urge-black-women-across-the-country-to-help-georgias-stacey-abrams-make-history/

 

And a shout out to Nikkita Oliver candidate for Seattle Mayor whose activism resulted in the newly formed Peoples Party—a grassroots movement centered around “partner[ing] with the communities of Seattle to develop equitable political strategies and solutions which place people over profits and corporations.” Oliver reflected on her candidacy during an interview with Jezebel’s Kara Brown.

“Our city is at a place where the existential question is: Who has the right to stay here? And if we don’t answer that question, instead of becoming healthier and more diverse, we’re going to become wealthier and more homogenous and I don’t think that’s what Seattle wants. I believe that we are a city that wants to be diverse and wants to make sure we have equitable access to opportunity. I believe that this city and the mayor’s office sit in an incredible place to bridge the gap between developers and corporations, but also our wealthier residents and those who are more economically disenfranchised and really start to build what equity looks like and maybe set a new standard across the United States for how we all invest at the level we’re capable of investing in our city and in healthier communities.”

“Angela Davis said, “Radical means to get the root.” I know when people call me radical they’re thinking of something in particular, but the way that I view that word is that it’s about getting to the root of the problem. Thinking about the context we live in now, Trump is certainly a problem, but Trump is not the problem. Trump is actually a symptom of something that has been living beneath the surface for a long time. Part of the problem is we have not gotten to the root of the historical and present day inequities in our system as they pertain to cash poor people and as they pertain to black and brown folk. As a result, there’s been a bubbling up. To see someone so openly talk in such a bigoted way take office is really a symptom of how we haven’t addressed the cultural things beneath the surface. In a country that really talks about itself as a land of opportunity and equality and justice, the reality is, where you see the law and justice are not the same thing because your value for justice and for whom, is really at a heart level.”

“So, my response to that is, you may think I’m radical, but let’s look at the substantive positions that I’m taking around issues that are very much at a crisis point in Seattle. And if you agree with my substantive position, if we can agree there’s at least a root problem that has to be addressed and actually within our current context needs a bold addressing, then I’m perfectly fine being called radical. If we can at least agree to start taking some bold stances forward around what equity truly looks like in Seattle. I believe Seattle can be the progressive city we talk about it as. There is so much money and so much opportunity in this city and if it was shared a little more equitably, I cannot imagine the strides forward we could take. They’re so unimaginable they’re so exciting—they’re that great.” https://theslot.jezebel.com/a-conversation-with-nikkita-oliver-the-seattle-mayoral-1796650160

Hey Chuck and our so-called Democratic Party leaders!! Pay attention to the words and aspirations expressed by women of color leaders. They are the future, you are the past.

 

And lastly today, regarding the proliferation of articles and punditry about the difficulties being faced by the Black Lives Matter Movements. No such luck nervous white people. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/civil-rights/325040-black-lives-matter-is-not-a-moment-but-a-movement; www.theroot.com/black-lives-matter-awarded-the-2017-sydney-peace-prize-1795471731

If you haven’t gone to The Movement for Black Lives Platform yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! https://policy.m4bl.org/platform/

Categories
Women Warrior-Ancestors

“I want history to remember me not just as the first black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.” Shirley Chisholm, 2004

“I want history to remember me not just as the first black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.” Shirley Chisholm, 2004

 

Shirley Chisholm was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1968. She ran against civil rights activist James Farmer. She quickly became known for her work on minority, women’s, and peace issues. She represented 12th Congressional District, New York, 1969 – 1983 (7 terms).

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm made a symbolic bid for the Democratic presidential nomination with the slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed.”  She was the first African American whose name was placed in nomination at the convention of either major party for the office of president.

She was the first woman to run a campaign for the nomination of either major party for the office of president.

 Shirley Chisholm was born 30 November 1924 in New York but spent seven of her early years growing up in Barbados with her grandmother. She returned to New York and her parents in time to study at Brooklyn College. She met Eleanor Roosevelt when she was 14, and took to heart Mrs. Roosevelt’s advice: “don’t let anybody stand in your way.”

Chisholm worked as a nursery school teacher and director of a nursery school and child care center after graduation from college, then worked for the city as an educational consultant. She also became involved in grassroots community organizing and the Democratic party. She helped to form the Unity Democratic Club, in 1960.

Her community base helped make possible a win when she ran for the New York State Assembly in 1964. In 1968, Shirley Chisholm ran for Congress from Brooklyn, winning that seat while running against James Farmer, a veteran of the 1960s Freedom Rides in the south. She became the first black woman elected to Congress. She hired only women for her staff. She was known for taking positions against the Vietnam war. for minority and women’s issues, and for challenging the Congressional seniority system. In 1971, Chisholm was a founding member of the National Women’s Political Caucus. When Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, she knew that she could not win the nomination, but she nevertheless wanted to raise issues she felt were important. She was the first black person and the first black woman to run for president on a major party ticket, and the first woman to win delegates for a presidential nomination by a major party. Chisholm served in Congress for seven terms, until 1982. In 1984, she helped form the National Political Congress of Black Women (NPCBW). She taught, as the Purington Professor at Mount Holyoke College, and spoke widely. She moved to Florida in 1991. She briefly served as ambassador to Jamaica during the Clinton administration.

Shirley Chisholm died in Florida on 1 January 2005 after a series of strokes.

Autobiographies:

  • Unbought and Unbossed (1970)
  • The Good Fight (1973)