wow im just going to leave this here
Someone got fired
Nah, they meant it. LOL.
Dove sells skin whitening products overseas. Don’t act like these beauty brands weren’t made with a specific demographic in mind. xD
Ha, reminds me of this photo
I won’t soon forget the events that took place in #ferguson…will you?
Photo Source: Jamal Williams
On Thursday August 14th, 2014, Feminsta Jones called for a National Moment of Silence (NMOS) to pay ‘respect to fatal victims of police shootings and brutality’. New Orleans, a (for now…) majority black city with a long history of police violence against black bodies (including the famous case of Henry Glover, an unarmed black man who was shot by police who then burned his body in an attempted cover up), took part in the NMOS by hosting a vigil in Lafayette Park. According to the NOLA Defender, a young black woman named Chanelle Batiste organized and led the vigil activities:
Left Photo: Chanelle Batiste, Photo Source NOLA Defender
Right Photo: NOLA crowd in moment of silence, Photo Source Instagram @BMike2c
I showed up to the park and saw a racially diverse crowd of between 100-200 people. The largest racial groups that were visually represented were whites and blacks, and my initial thoughts were, ‘Well, if all these white folks gathered here today then they must at some level understand the targeting and criminalization of black bodies and its consequences, including Mike Brown’s death”
Baptiste started the vigil with a few words before asking the crowd to raise their hands in the “Don’t Shoot” pose that has become symbolic of Mike Brown’s death. Right before the moment of silence and call for raised hands, I took a moment to close my eyes and re-center myself. I re-opened them when Baptiste started reading the names of other victims of police violence after the moment of silence passed and was caught off guard by the numerous white people holding up their hands in the ‘Don’t Shoot’ pose:
Photo Source: Twitter #MikeBrownNOLA
After the reading of names, Baptiste and others announced follow up events to the vigil, then abruptly ended the gathering (it took no more 20 minutes from start to finish). When they stepped down from the steps they were speaking from, a collective, “Was that it?” feeling took over the park. I turned to a black woman activist friend of mine named Mshaiti A Uwenzo Siyanda and we quickly agreed that something about the brevity of the vigil did not feel right, did not feel like enough to encompass how we were feeling about the not-so-new phenomenon of disregard for black lives. Mshaiti and I took each other’s hands and made our way to the steps of the statue where I called out something along the lines of “EXCUSE ME! Is that all? I know too many busy people here who could be somewhere else but chose to be here. For Mike and others. There is too much collective energy here to waste. If we took to the streets, would you join us?”
Mshaiti and I stepped off the statue and into the street and led, what would be at its peak, a crowd of about 400 in a march for Mike Brown. We led them through downtown Canal St to Jackson Square and eventually ended the event with the occupation of a police station in the French Quarter where participants peacefully aired their grievances against police nationally & locally (including an August 11th incident where an NOPD officer shut off her body camera and shot a black man in the head. The NOPD failed to immediately release a public report about it).
Photo: Man holds up local Newspaper whose front page reads “NOPD Shoots man during traffic stop” in NOLA police station during occupation of police building,
Photo Source Twitter: @2ChainzLyrics
Up front, my friends (4 black women and 1 black man) and I were leading the group in chanting “Justice for Mike Brown” & “What do we want? JUSTICE. When do we want it? NOW” while a black man whom I did not know (pictured above holding newspaper) joined us in front and led a chant of ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’. Because the people leading the unregistered public event in honor of Mike Brown were black, we didn’t think twice about leading with that particular chant. At some point though, I stepped back and joined the body of the rally and it was at this point that I started getting upset.
As mentioned earlier, I had a brief instance during the moment of silence when I opened my eyes and saw a bunch of white folks with their hands raised in the same position that it’s believed Mike Brown adopted before he was shot. As I moved further back into the crowd of the march, I realized that everybody, including almost all the white people, had adopted the ‘Hands up’ pose. The initial rationalization I had done in the park when I first saw white folks in this pose disappeared as I watched white person after white person march past me with their hands up chanting ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!’ as if they would be criminalized and targeted by police because of the color of their skin. As if their existence was an inherent threat despite being unarmed and in a pose of surrender. As if their interactions with law enforcement as white people don’t usually look like this. I remember feeling the exact same way after Trayvon Martin died and white people, in their misguided attempts at solidarity, posted photos like this one:
Photo Source: Google Image search, White People I am Trayvon
Or when white people, after the criticism of the portrayal of Mike Brown (and other black victims of police violence) in the media posted photos like this one:
Photo Source: Twitter @goawayjoyce
Look, I understand wanting to show up and support, but white people need to understand that this symbolic act of raising your hands in a position of surrender is meant to illustrate how black people are violently targeted by police because of their race. If you don’t experience that, you should not mimic the gesture in an attempt at “solidarity”. It is centering yourself in a narrative that you cannot tell because of the protection your white privilege gives you. It shows a lack of understanding about the nature of systemic state sanctioned violence against black bodies. In fact, the day after the rally I was talking to a white male neighbor who had attended the rally (and marched with his hands up chanting ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’) who expressed that he thought the gesture was “too passive”. I had to literally break it down for him that the point of the gesture was so show that a non-aggressive surrender wasn’t enough to save Mike Brown because his blackness made him a threat, disposable, or both. In adopting this pose, Black people aren’t demonstrating passive surrender to oppression, they are communicating that they can make all attempts to appear non-threatening, but the historic and contemporary vilification of blackness in America has made the real danger the perception of their blackness as inherently threatening.
Another thing I noted as I went further back into the rally was the behavior of a number of white people in the crowd. These folks (all of whom that I saw were white with bandanas over their faces) were pushing over trash cans, taunting police officers in their cars as we passed them, spray painting public property and releasing colored gas canisters (as shown in this video of the march. A friend of mine told me after the march that he had seen one such white person throw themselves full force against a police car and there were outside reports that a window had been broken).
Left Photo: Yellow gas canister goes off during march, Photo Source Twitter: @what__bruh
Right Photo: Graffiti found after march, Photo Source Twitter: @what__bruh
This is when I got mad. How dare these white folks come ‘take part’ in this march by bringing unnecessary violence into a demonstration about unnecessary violence? We were already taking a risk by leading an unregistered rally in order to make a statement on injustice, and now it was being co-opted by the group of people least likely to face any consequences. Had the police reacted to the rally or the violence of these provocateurs, they would have been more likely to arrest myself or other Black people peacefully leading the march, not the white people actually causing the trouble. Later, it was revealed that this group of white folks was part of a local (white) anarchist group that was essentially taking advantage of the energy and numbers of the march to bring about their own agenda, mirroring claims of the same escalation tactics used by outsiders in Ferguson.
All of this backstory finally leads us to the title of the piece, White People, Solidarity & Why I Didn’t March for Mike Brown
Recognizing that the spontaneous rally in the business & tourist sectors of New Orleans did not reach most of the city’s black population who are most likely to be impacted by police violence, there were plans to organize a follow up march that would be more intentional about including this population. A friend of mine attended the organizers meeting for this next event where attendees discussed the route that should be taken, what to do about provocateurs and where/when the event should take place (the meeting was described to me by a white attendee as having “a few poc with a definite majority of white anarchists who identified as occupiers [who] spent most of the time talking”). . At sometime during this meeting, it was revealed that one of the pseudo-national events that was originally announced at the vigil was already in the stages of being planned by a local (white) Anarchist group who would eventually make (and later delete) the Facebook page for the event. I showed up to the rally at Washington Square Park to support a black woman friend of mine who had posted that she was one of the organizers online, and this is what I saw:
There were literally more bikes than black people. After finding my friend, she took one look at me and said, “So you probably won’t be marching today huh?” I told her I probably wouldn’t, but stuck around to see if there was going to be any dialogue about this particular gathering for Mike Brown. There wasn’t. After the organizers met and decided on an acceptable route given the make up of those in attendance, they led the 90-95% white crowd out of the park with their hands up chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”. I turned and walked in the opposite direction with the four other black women I came with and we sat on a playground expressing our frustration about the strange energy of this almost all white group going through the streets of this ‘chocolate city’ chanting ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’.
I want to think that white people care about systemic racism. I want to think they are outraged by Mike Brown’s murder, that they are bursting with righteous anger and that they want to riot because the state of our country’s “criminal justice” system is unacceptable. I want to think that. But when I see white people smiling for pictures at protests, carrying the biggest sign that takes up the most space, bringing in unnecessary violence, and talking about how ‘we are all victims and all just need to get along’ during demonstrations about the targeting of black people…I can’t help but think that maybe they’re just here to make themselves feel better about their own prejudice and advance their own agendas because of how so many choose to participate. I’m not saying don’t support and/or participate , I’m saying make sure how you do so makes sense for you as a white person and doesn’t harm the cause you claim to support.
On Thursday I attended an event featuring Kalamu ya Salaam where a friend and myself expressed our frustration about the derailment of the first rally by white participants. A few elders in the audience reminded us that these tactics were not new, that they themselves had to deal with provocateurs and other tactics during the Civil Rights Movement. One in particular told us that when white people were using your issues to fight their own battles and doing so at your expense, then it was your responsibility to call them out before they do you more harm. So white people, this is me calling you out. Solidarity is not meant to be comfortable. It is not shining light on yourself as ally at the expense of the oppressed who are demanding their counternarratives be centralized. It is understanding that your whiteness protects you from certain things which in turn prohibits you from participation in others, because at the end of the day, when you get tired of marching and chanting, you can put your hands down and feel confident that the police won’t see you as a threat.
Some of us simply don’t have that luxury.
Thanks to US Uncut for this! BREAKING: Detroit’s unelected emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has just relinquished control of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, which is now back in the hands of the people. It’s expected the mayor and city council will approve a water affordability plan that caps a household’s water bill at no more than 3 percent of their income. Read more: http://abcn.ws/XavyWZ Thanks to groups like the Detroit Water Brigade for the weeks of ongoing pressure to stop the shutoffs! Direct action gets the goods. Read their statement on this victory here: http://bit.ly/1o9yqbT
Shelly Frey, (pictured) a 27-year-old mother of two has been fatally shot by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy after he suspected her of shoplifting at a Houston Walmart.
I am SO goddamned tired of this shit.
damn, they won’t let up. we can’t run and we can’t surrender. what do they expect us to do? they killed this woman over what some merchandise? you let out on some garments what twisted universe do you gotta come from when a overtime punching rent-a-cop even bothers to chase and then pull a gun? smh rip because there is nothing but war on this side of the final curtain.
I cannot.. I can’t….
Palestinians — young and old — celebrate an indefinite ceasefire in Gaza. 26 August 2014.
In a nutshell, there are two camps of people working for lgbtq rights: the queer assimilationists and the queer radicals. Queer assimilationists focus their efforts on participating in the capitalist institutions of the military and marriage. They work to “normalize” being queer so that it doesn’t shock straight people, so that they can participate in the existing power structures.
Queer radical work in the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, and other oppressions to take down power structures that continue these oppressions in hopes of liberating everyone in them. For example, queer radical issues might include recognition of all configurations of families (extended, poly, single parents, queer, etc.) instead of marriage, or anti-colonialism/imperialism work instead of work to join the military.
The HRC is part of the first group of people, and thus they give up what makes our community unique, radical, and revolutionary, instead of using those special qualities to affect actual change and revolution of the system. They work for people who are just a step away from being equal rather than liberating everyone. And in that work, they throw the more oppressed under the bus.
|—||This is the comment I made to my friend explaining why the Human Rights Campaign doesn’t further the rights of queer people. (via thedebonairgentlequeer)|
Cameroonian Footballer Dies After Being Hit By Thrown Object From Stands.
Tragic news as reports confirm the death of Cameroonian striker Albert Ebossé, 24, after being struck by an object thrown by spectators during a match between his team JS Kabylie and USM Alger in Tizi Ouzou in Algeria.
Ebossé had scored a goal leading to his club’s victory over Tizi Ouzou and was hit at the end of the game when players were making their way to their changing rooms. He was rushed to hospital but was later declared dead.
It is unclear what the object was that hit him but some local newspapers reported that fans of the losing side had thrown rocks at Ebossé and teammates in anger. After having signed with JS Kabylie in July 2013, Ebossé became the leading scorer in the Algerian league during the 2013-14 season with a total of 17 goals.
An investigation is due to be carried out into the circumstances surrounding his death by the Ministry of Interior and Local Government.
Such a tragic and unnecessary loss. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
FBI billboards not about Assata Shakur; it’s about repressing the black community
May 5, 2013
Following the ludicrous announcement that the Obama administration has placed Assata Shakur on its “most wanted terrorist list”, the FBI has erected billboards in Newark, New Jersey announcing its recently increased $2 million dollar reward. However, any critically thinking person knows that these billboards are not about capturing Assata Shakur but sending a message to the rest of us. Interestingly, perhaps just a coincidence or not, Newark, New Jersey is the place where a theater co-owned by Shaquille O’Neil, recently reneged on an agreement to show a popular independent film about the life of another former member of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Is Assata Shakur in New Jersey? No, she is not and the FBI and the Obama administration know exactly where she is, in Cuba where she has lived since being granted political asylum by its government in 1979 after escaping from prison.
This is not about Assata Shakur, it is about sending a message to the Black community and those that live within it who stand up to police violence, oppression and murder of residents, one of the very reasons for the formation of the Black Panthers. It is about the political repression of those who advocate on the behalf of the many political prisons being held by the United States government often in torturous conditions. It is about sending a message to anyone who would take up arms in defense of life, liberty and true freedom in a country that is home to the largest prison population in the world which the federal government and various corporations use as slave labor. It is about sending a message to those that would dare stand up and point out that the US government is the most violent entity on the planet and one that commits acts of terrorism against non-white people and nations on behalf of maintaining the American imperialist status-quo.
Why else would the U.S. government seek to name Assata Shakur as a domestic terrorist after all these decades? We are talking about a woman who was shot twice while attempting to give herself up to police who were co-operating with Federal authorities to target and assassinate or otherwise eliminate members of the Black Liberation movement just as they had done and admitted in a civil lawsuit to doing to Martin Luther King Jr.
The FBI and its corporate media wing fail to report the details of the sham case built against Assata Shakur after failing to win convictions on other trump up charges. The corporate media is failing to point out that a police officer, a state witness against Assata Shakur for the murder of another police officer, has recanted his testimony and admitted to lying on the stand. Medical personnel stated that because of nerves severed by a bullet, Assata Shakur would have been physically prevented from firing a weapon and it was also stated that her wounds indicate her hands were raised when she was shot consistent with her claim that she was giving herself up.
Just as Assata Shakur has pointed out that COINTELPRO utilized and received full cooperation from the corporate media to demonize and alienate freedom fighters from the people who supported them, corporate media today is still fulfilling that role. The concept of a free and independent press in America has always been a fraud and it remains so today.