Most men do many things in their daily lives that directly or indirectly contribute to a culture of gender inequality.
Most men do many things in their daily lives that directly or indirectly contribute to a culture of gender inequality.
On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American 17-year-old walking home from a 7-Eleven. What The Washington Post and other media outlets had dubbed “the trial of the century” was over, with a deeply unsettling verdict. In the fifteen months between Trayvon’s death and the beginning of the trial, people across the country had taken to the streets, as well as to newspapers, television and social media, to decry the disregard for young black lives in America. For them—for us—this verdict was confirmation.
A group of 100 black activists, ranging in age from 18 to 35, had gathered in Chicago that same weekend. They had come together at the invitation of Cathy J. Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the author of Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics, and her organization, the Black Youth Project. Launched in 2004, the group was born as a research project to study African-American youth; in the decade since then, Cohen has turned the BYP into an activist organization. The plan for this meeting was to discuss movement building beyond electoral politics. Young black voters turned out in record numbers in the 2008 and ‘12 elections: 55 percent of black 18-to-24-year-olds voted in 2008, an 8 percent increase from 2004, and while a somewhat smaller number—49 percent—voted in 2012, they still outpaced their white counterparts. But how would young black voters hold those they had put in office accountable? And what were their demands?
This group, coming together under the banner Black Youth Project 100 (“BYP100” for short), was tasked with figuring that out. As with any large gathering, people disagreed, cliques were formed, and tensions began to mount. The organizers struggled to build consensus within this diverse group of academics, artists and activists. And then George Zimmerman was acquitted. The energy in the room changed.
“A moment of trauma can oftentimes present you with an opportunity to do something about the situation to prevent that trauma from happening again,” said Charlene Carruthers, one the activists at the conference.
Carruthers, a Chicago native, has been an organizer for more than ten years, starting as a student at Wesleyan University. She has led grassroots and digital campaigns for, among others, the Women’s Media Center, National People’s Action and ColorofChange.org. She heard all types of sounds emanating from the people in the room that day, from crying to screaming. “I don’t believe the pain was a result, necessarily, of shock because Zimmerman was found not guilty,” Carruthers said, “but of yet another example…of an injustice being validated by the state—something that black people were used to.”
Some members of BYP100 went into the streets of downtown Chicago and led a rally. Others stayed behind and drafted the group’s first collective statement. Addressed to “the Family of Brother Trayvon Martin and to the Black Community,” it read in part: “When we heard ‘not guilty,’ our hearts broke collectively. In that moment, it was clear that Black life had no value. Emotions poured out—emotions that are real, natural and normal, as we grieved for Trayvon and his stolen humanity. Black people, WE LOVE AND SEE YOU.”
The group recorded a reading of the letter and released the video on July 14, one day after the verdict. “That was the catalyst,” Carruthers said, “that cemented [the idea] that the people in that room had to do something collectively moving forward.”
The demise of the Black Panther Party in the mid-1970s left a void in black political organizing. The Panthers weren’t without problems (the sexist nature of their leadership was a big one), but they represented the last gasps of a national black organizing that combined radical political education, direct action, youth engagement and community services. In the years since, racial-justice groups have struggled to effect change as profound as they managed to achieve during the heyday of the civil-rights and Black Power movements. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is mostly visible to the extent that Sharpton is able to leverage his own platform and personality for the causes he cares about. The same is true of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Until Benjamin Jealous took over as president in 2008, the NAACP—the nation’s oldest civil-rights organization—was battling perceptions of irrelevance. Under Jealous’s leadership, the NAACP changed course, but the question lingered as to whether it was equipped to fight the new challenges faced by black America. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has existed since 1993 without much fanfare; the National Hip-Hop Political Convention, started in 2004, fizzled. “The times we live in,” Carruthers said, “call for a resurgence of national black-liberation organizing.”
This past May, I traveled to Chicago for the “Freedom Dreams, Freedom Now!” conference, hosted by a number of organizations, including BYP100, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The conference was intended as an “intergenerational, interactive gathering” of scholars, artists and activists commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer and discussing contemporary social-justice organizing. The opening plenary featured a keynote address by Julian Bond, a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and former board chair of the NAACP. He presented a history of Freedom Summer, the SNCC-led movement to register voters and get black people to the polls in Mississippi, before a premiere screening of the PBS documentary Freedom Summer, directed by Stanley Nelson.
But the aim of the conference wasn’t just to reminisce. It was a precursor to Freedom Side, a collective that includes members of BYP100, the Dream Defenders and United We Dream, an immigrant-youth-led organization, as well as more established groups like the NAACP and AFL-CIO. Before the conference, as part of the Freedom Summer celebration, the Dream Defenders hosted “freedom schools” throughout Florida, talking to young people about criminalization, mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. Voter registration drives were also held across the country.
The day after the conference ended, BYP100 hosted an organizer-training event at the University of Chicago. Early on, the attendees were split into two groups, and the two sides engaged each other in a call-and-response chant that referenced historical greats like Nat Turner, Angela Davis, Ida B. Wells, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Fred Hampton. But even as they paid homage to their history in song, these young activists had their eyes on the future. Members led sessions on personal narratives in organizing, how to handle interactions with police officers, and building political power.
"When you hear people talk about free school lunches, they talk as if they have no notion of the fact that public schools themselves are just massive welfare programs.
I mean, really bask in the absurdity of the spectacle going on in all of this. We spend $12.5k per pupil each year to provide schooling for the 9 in 10 American children who attend public schools. Most of them get on the big yellow public bus in the morning, attend publicly-owned facilities, go to publicly-owned classrooms, and then receive instruction from public employees. In many cases, they also get from their schools a whole slew of extracurricular activities, from the public arts programs like band and theater to the public sports activities like football and basketball. The major part of almost every child’s life in this country consists of welfare mooching off of public services.
Yet, somehow, in the context of this potpourri of public provisioning, providing free food while they are at the school is a bridge too far. You can spend $12.5k each year providing free welfare services to almost every single kid, but if you up that an extra, say, $5/day to provide food to the kids while they are at the school, then human souls become crushed and welfare dependency becomes inevitable. The public football teams and math classes do not wreck kids’ hearts and minds, but the public milk does. You shouldn’t stigmatize attending free history class as welfare moochery (I assume), but you should stigmatize eating a free burger as such.”
$900 a year and no stigma because everyone eats together. Of course here come the Conservatives, it’s another step in the regimentation of America. Blah Blah.
I’ve said this before and I’ll point it out again -
Menstruation is caused by change in hormonal levels to stop the creation of a uterine lining and encourage the body to flush the lining out. The body does this by lowering estrogen levels and raising testosterone.
Or, to put it more plainly “That time of the month” is when female hormones most closely resemble male hormones. So if (cis) women aren’t suited to office at “That time of the month” then (cis) men are NEVER suited to office.
If you are a dude and don’t dig the ladies around you at their time of the month, just think! That is you all of the time.
And, on a final note, post-menopausal (cis) women are the most hormonally stable of all human demographics. They have fewer hormonal fluctuations of anyone, meaning older women like Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren would theoretically be among the least likely candidates to make an irrational decision due to hormonal fluctuations, and if we were basing our leadership decisions on hormone levels, then only women over fifty should ever be allowed to hold office.
"If you are a dude and don’t dig the ladies around you at their time of the month, just think! That is you all of the time. "
i’ve reblogged this before, but after watching “last comic standing” with my boyfriend and hearing way more period jokes than i thought would pass in 2014, gonna just put it out there again.
But the poor are poor because they want to be, right?
Four jobs. Let that sink in.
LOL at all the ya White Libertarians out there yelling “LIBERALISM IS A DISEASE” while straight up ignoring all the fuckery conservatives stay doing…like whatever…just be fucking honest and admit it —you’re either closet conservatives or bored privileged White kids (aka “radicals”😒) who all have the same “one Black friend”
SN: before some ya chimes in with the tread bare false equivalence “both sides are the same" noize, pls hear this: YOU ARE WRONG. Again…"both sides" aren’t blocking the minimum wage increase and universal healthcare
That “pox on both their houses” shit is so aggravating. True the political process is messy and easily corrupted. But one side is trying to deprive women of access to both abortion AND birth control while at the same time cutting services to needy families. Not the fucking same at all.
Yeah. Drawing that conclusion is like seeing a gazelle and a lion at the same watering hole and then concluding that both are predators. No one is calling all libs perfect little angels—they stay needing a tall glass of #doBetter & #goHarder—but calling both parties “the same” is all kinds of mentally lazy and intellectually disingenuous
I always suspect that some percent of those who like to throw that phrase around are intentionally trying to demoralize otherwise democratic leaning voters bc they know that the less ppl who vote, the better Republicans do electorally. It’s a political strategy
This is about more than Michael Brown.
If you thought the protests in Ferguson were only a response to the shooting and death of Michael Brown, these numbers might change your mind.
That’s for a city of 21,135 people.
All those fines and fees were a big boost to the city’s finances. Of Ferguson’s $20 million in revenue in 2013, $2.6 million of that was a result of these arrests. That’s good for the city’s second-highest income stream, NPR notes.
A racial disparity makes this much worse: Of course, those arrest warrants aren’t handed out equally for everyone in the city. Many are issued for traffic violations, for which black residents are disproportionately stopped. Eighty-six percent of those stopped by police are black, even though they only make up two-thirds of Ferguson’s population. Compare that to whites, who are stopped less than 13% of the time, despite making up 29% of the population.
Another infuriating thing to consider: While blacks in Ferguson were twice as likely to be searched after being stopped — and twice as likely to be arrested — searching whites was actually more likely to produce contraband, according to a report from ArchCity Defenders, a St. Louis-based public defender group.
"Folks have the impression that this is a form of low-level harassment that isn’t about public safety," the group’s founder, Thomas Harvey, told NPR. “It’s about money.”
Major impact: It’s not just police procedures that take their toll. The ArchCity Defenders reportnotes that the municipal court in Ferguson will start hearings early, then lock the doors five minutes after the scheduled start time, meaning someone showing up just a little bit late for a hearing can receive an additional “failure to appear” fine.
The impact these procedures have on public opinion is clear. “They’re searching to find something wrong,” one defendant said in the report. “If you dig deep enough, you’ll always find dirt.”
Brown’s death was a tragedy well beyond the scale of a car search or court fine. But statistics like these give insight into the anger of many protesters.
Source: Matt Connolly for Mic
"Defendants took up arms and, in militaristic displays of force and weaponry, engaged U.S. Citizens as if they were war combatants," the suit claims.
WASHINGTON — A multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed in federal court in Missouri on Thursday, seeking compensation for “excessive force” by the police in Ferguson, Missouri, in the days after the shooting of Michael Brown.
According to the suit, the excessive force included false arrest, assault and battery; led to intentional infliction of emotional distress; was the result of negligent supervision and discipline; and resulted in a violation of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.
The lawsuit, filed by three out-of-state lawyers — including Malik Shabazz from Black Lawyers for Justice, who participated in the protests in Missouri — seeks multi-million dollar judgments against the City of Ferguson and St. Louis County, as well as one specific ands several unknown officers on behalf of Tracey White, Dewayne A. Matthews Jr., Kerry White, Damon Coleman, and Theophilus Green.
In addition to the city and county, the chief of both city and county police are named as defendants, as is Justin Cosma, a police officer with the Ferguson Police Department.
Source: Chris Geidner for Buzzfeed News