Trayvon Martin’s altar at La Plaza del Mariachi in Boyle Heights
APARTHEID IN DETROIT: WATER FOR CORPORATIONS, NOT FOR PEOPLE
- Carl Gibson, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Contact Carl on the Commons or read his other articles on www.occupy.com
- Citizen Radio
- Detroit Water Brigade
- Detroit Water Brigade
I’m so angry. I will stay angry.
"It’s actually the exact opposite of religious freedom if you’re forcing employees to abide by your beliefs."
^THIS THIS THIS!!!
okay but you have to understand that they aren’t denying women of ALL birth control. There were over 20 different forms of birth control listed in the ACA and Hobby Lobby objected to the 4 pills that were “abortion-inducing” that prevent an already fertilized egg from growing in the uterus, causing a miscarriage.
I understand the outrage, but don’t get this wrong. They aren’t objecting to your BC pills or your IUDs and things like that, just the abortion-inducing pills. Take that as you will!
And YOU have to understand the intense hypocrisy of Hobby Lobby — their 401k plan invests in companies that manufacture abortion-inducing drugs. It buys products from China, a country that has a one-child policy (two if you live in a rural area, if one parent is an only child or GASP! one child is a GIRL!), which means that they have state-funded abortions.
I understand your desire to blow this SCOTUS decision off because that means you’d have to think about the fact that it’s declaring that a company has a right to decide what medicines ANYONE can take, despite the fact that THEY ARE NOT A DOCTOR. Oh wait, it doesn’t really say that — it JUST TALKS ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL. Viagra, blood transfusions and vaccinations are still covered. So let’s make sure that guys can get off, but ladies — screw you and your serious medical issues that birth control helps.
We’re on a very slippery slope here — the religious right knows that they can’t overturn Roe v. Wade so they’re doing everything they can to chip away at women’s rights to reproductive health. They’ve already gotten very far, and SCOTUS just handed them a bazooka. And they handed it through a company that has shown that they really don’t care about abortions and abortifacient drugs when it makes them money — just when it could cost them some. Take that as you will!
THOSE DRUGS ARE NOT “ABORTION INDUCING’ YOU ASS.
There is 1 “abortion pill” and its not on this list. IUDs do not cause abortions, nor does the morning after pill. They both prevent pregnancy. They PREVENT ABORTIONS FROM BEING NEEDED.
After three decades of slow growth, middle-class incomes in the U.S. appear to trail those of Canada. Poor Americans now make less than the poor in several other countries.
(I think this is more a reflection of how bad things are in the US, rather than Canada doing anything better)
Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the National Guard in Georgia has always plaited her hair into two twists around her head. She has been in the military for six years and has worn her hair natural (meaning no chemical treatments [perms] or hair extensions [weaves]) for four of those years. But according to the new hair-grooming requirements the U.S. Army recently released, her hair is now out of regulation.
And so are the Afro-centric hairstyles of many black women in the Army, who make up 31 percent of Army women.
Jacobs, who said she is “kind of at a loss now with what to do with my hair,” has started a White House petition asking the Army to rethink its new hair guidelines. The petition has collected more than 7,000 signatures from soldiers and civilians, but needs to reach 100,000 signatures by April 19th in order for the White House to address it.
The petition states:
Females with natural hair take strides to style their natural hair in a professional manner when necessary; however, changes to AR 670-1 offer little to no options for females with natural hair… These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent.
The new Army Regulation 670-1 [PDF] was published Tuesday and illustrates with photos the types of hairstyles that are unauthorized for women. Those include dreadlocks, twists or any type of matted or coiled hair. A particularly cumbersome requirement disallows the bulk of a woman’s hair to “exceed more than 2″ from her scalp.” That rules out Afros and most types of non-chemically altered black hair.
Basically, almost every natural hair option that black women in the Army could wear is now off limits. One of the few traditionally natural hairstyles that was listed as appropriate is cornrows, but a slew of specifications and rules surrounded even that. The diameter of each cornrow can’t be more than one-fourth of an inch, and no more than one-eighth of an inch of scalp may be shown between cornrows.
The only way to realistically meet the new standards would be to shave one’s head, perm one’s hair or wear weaves or wigs.
Jacobs said twists like the one she wears are very popular among black women soldiers because the style requires little maintenance when in the field. Her hair’s thickness and curliness makes pulling her hair back into a bun (a style popular among white women soldiers) impossible.
A spokesperson for the Army said the grooming changes are “necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population.” When that need for “uniformity” erases the ethnic differences of a group of women and forces them to constrain themselves to European standards of hair, it presents a serious problem.
“I think, at the end of the day, a lot of people don’t understand the complexities of natural hair… I’m disappointed to see the Army, rather than inform themselves on how black people wear their hair, they’ve white-washed it all,” said Jacobs.
Screenshots taken from Army Regulation 670-1
TW: rape, racism, police violence
Caught On Video: Police Hit, Tie Down, Then Chop Off Possible Rape Victim’s Hair (VIDEO)
Police caught on camera hitting, tying down a 22 year old black mother before chopping off her…
Read the article if you can stomach it.
"Just a little over a week ago, the republican Executive Director of Oakland County, Michigan, another suburb of Detroit, suggested that Detroit be turned into an ‘Indian reservation,” but for black people.
“I made a prediction a long time ago and it’s come to pass. I said what we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it and then throw in the blankets and the corn.”
He later clarified his statement, saying that his comment was in reference to black people, not Indians.
In another suburb of Detroit, Gross Pointe, it was brought to light that police were humiliating mentally disabled black men. Videos show cops telling the men to sing, dance, walk like chimps and perform other demeaning acts. The men were recorded and the videos were circulated among friends and family members of the officers involved, along with racist messages.
Detroit is currently under an extreme law, written by Republicans and Tea Party members in the Michigan legislature. The law allows the governor to legally strip the citizens of their right to elect local government. It allows the state’s republican governor, Rick Snyder, to remove duly elected representatives and appoint hand picked representatives in their place. During the summer of 2013, the Governor’s hand-picked emergency manager shut off power to a large part of the city of Detroit, on the hottest day of the year. He later admitted, on camera, that it was done to teach the citizens of Detroit “a lesson.”
ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyygooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooddddddddddddddddddddddddd i wanna puke i really wanna puke
We were discussing rape culture the other day and a (white) friend of mine refused to believe that people would simply not report rapes. ‘Why wouldn’t they?’, she asked, ‘the police is here to help you’.
This is fucking why. (among several other reasons)
New York homeless at Penn Station say officers threaten them with expulsion into deadly weather.
This is a new one.
Some of you may know that there is a wave of colleges and universities filing complaints with the Office for Civil Rights, claiming that their institutions are failing to protect women from sexual assault. This (first) wave includes Amherst, Yale, the University of North Carolina, Swarthmore, and Occidental among others.
Well, last night many of the details of the stories of the students whose cases have been mishandled — right down to exact quotes from their lives — found themselves in an episode of Law&Order SVU. They didn’t ask for permission, offer a “consulting” fee, or even warn them that it was coming.
This just leaves a this-is-so-wrong-I-don’t-even-know icky feeling in the pit of my gut. I know that Law & Order has been ripping stories from the headlines for three decades, but it stuns me that it can claim to be fiction and not compensate the real women who’s lives are clearly and unequivocally depicted in this show.
Let me put this in stark terms: Law & Order is brazenly capitalizing on the pain and trauma of young women and not only failing to compensate them for stealing their stories, but actually denying that they exist by claiming that the “story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.” Stunning.
Alexandra Brodsky, a survivor who filed the complaints against Yale, told Jezebel:
The SVU episode strikes me as an extreme example of the risk of going public as a survivor: your story is no longer your own.
I’ve not seen a more obvious example of this fact.
The teaser for the episode, plus a list of 15 ways the episode copied real life, collected by Katie J.M. Baker at Jezebel, is after the jump.
Here’s the entire list:
SVU: Lindsay is gang-raped by three frat guys who later claim she’s crying rape because she’s embarrassed about her slutty behavior.
Real Life: Four University of Montana football players allegedly gang-raped a drunk female student; charges were dropped because it was unclear whether she was “just embarrassed” about what happened.
SVU: Lindsay Snapchats her rapist the next day, leading students and administrative officials to doubt that she was actually raped.
Real Life: Woman allegedly raped by Mizzou basketball player Michael Dixon Jr. texts him the next day, leading students, officials and cops to doubt that she was actually raped.
SVU: ”I’m sorry that girl had a bad night, but why would Travis need to rape somebody?” a frat bro muses.
Real Life: Students at campuses all over the country don’t believe that Big Men on Campus can be rapists.
SVU: Students call Tau Omega the “Rape Factory.”
Real Life: A former Wesleyan student is suing the university for failing to “to supervise, discipline, warn or take other corrective action” against a frat which she says had a “reputation in the Wesleyan community as the ‘Rape Factory.’”
SVU: Renee is pressured to leave school and commit herself to a mental institution after she attempts to self-harm after the school ignores her rape report. Her rapist is set to graduate with honors.
Real Life: Former student Angie Epifano says Amherst abruptly decided to admit her into a psychiatric ward after she made suicidal comments spurred by the despair she felt when her allegations were repeatedly ignored. Her rapist graduated with honors.
SVU: Renee is penalized by her school’s Honor Court for “intimidating her rapist” by speaking out.
Real Life: UNC sophomore Landen Gambill says she was punished by the Office of Student Conduct for “intimidating” her rapist by speaking to the press about her sexual assault.
SVU: Renee is told that sex “is like a football game” by a school official.
Real Life: Former UNC student Annie Clark was told that rape “is like a football game” by an administrator.
SVU: The university’s mental health counselor says she was met with resistance when she tried to support rape survivors’ reports.
SVU: Dean Reyerson says she couldn’t stop Tau Omega alumni from selling “We don’t take ‘no’ for an answer” rush t-shirts.
Real Life: Amherst’s administration came under fire for holding an ineffective closed-door discussion related to a similar frat t-shirt.
SVU: Dean Reyerson says students have the right to assemble, even if they want to chant, “No means yes, yes means anal.”
Real Life: Yale frat boys once gleefully ran around campus chanting exactly that.
SVU: Dean Reyerson says she can’t stop students from posting photos and rumors about rape survivors on an anonymous website because of “free speech.”
Real Life: Oberlin’s administration cites the First Amendment and does next to nothing about undergrads who are seriously harassed via its student-run anonymous message board.
SVU: Lindsaykills herself.
Real Life: Elizabeth “Lizzy” Seeberg committed suicide nine days after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexually assaulting her in a dorm room; Notre Dame investigators failed to interview the student she accused until 15 days after Seeberg reported the attack and five days after she killed herself.
SVU: Frat boys are caught on video joking that they “raped [Lindsay] dead. (Also that they “raped her Gangnam Style,” which is one we haven’t heard before!)
Real Life: Anonymous leaked a video of former Steubenville High School baseball player Michael Nodianos cracking himself up as he calls a rape victim “deader than” JFK, OJ’s wife, Caylee Anthony, and Trayvon Martin, amongst others.
SVU: At the end of the episode, students hold up signs protesting rape culture using real quotes said to them by members of the community following their assaults.
Real Life: Amherst students put together a collection of photos of men and women who were sexually assaulted on campus, holding signs with words said to them by members of the community following their assaults.
SVU: “I was thinking about maybe starting a kind of support group on campus, so survivors know they’re not alone,” Renee says.
Real Life: A group of rape survivors includingDana Bolger (Amherst College ‘14), Alexandra Brodsky (Yale College ‘12, Yale Law School ‘16), Annie Clark (University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill ‘11), and Andrea Pino (UNC — CH ‘14), some of whom have filed complaint with the federal government against their universities, joined together to help students at colleges across the country stand up to administrations; they recently launched “Know Your IX,” a campaign that aims to educate every college student in the U.S. about his or her rights under Title IX by the start of the Fall 2013 academic term.
I don’t like war metaphor. I prefer to think about reproductive justice advocacy in terms of healing and love. But when our nonsensical policies on drugs and reproductive health claim the lives of living, breathing people, it feels like a war.
Jamie Lynn Russell was 33 years old when she went to an emergency room in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma in such debilitating pain that she was unable to move. Because her excruciating pain prevented her from lying down for an examination, hospital staff labeled her “noncompliant,” and called the police. The police discovered that she had two pain pills that weren’t hers. Still in pain, she was released by the hospital as “fit to incarcerate,” arrested for drug possession, and taken to jail, where she died two hours later from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
Two pain pills.
Much of the initial response to the case centered around the actions of the hospital, which likely amount to malpractice. But we must avoid making the mistake that the hospital did: looking at individual actions when they are merely symptoms of deeper, deadlier problems.
Jamie’s needless death shows us where our priorities lie, misplaced: chasing down minor drug offenders in service of a failed war on drugs is more important that human life and dignity; women’s health is not taken seriously and “noncompliance” is cause for punishment. The tragedy of her death once again disproves the myth that women never need abortions and that “modern technology and science” have eliminated maternal mortality.
I hope that her family—and people across Oklahoma and the United States—will demand justice for Jamie so that she is not just another unnamed casualty of the many political and rhetorical wars waged on pregnant women.
A Washington, D.C. police officer who fired multiple shots into a car with three transgender women and their friends is getting off easy. The officer, 48-year-old Kenneth Furr, was sentenced yesterday “to three years of supervised probation, a $150 fine, and 100 hours of community service,” the Washington Blade reports. The transgender community in D.C. has reacted with outrage.
The D.C. Superior Court Judge, Russell Canan, also sentenced Furr “to five years in prison but suspended all but 14 months of the prison term and credited Furr with the 14 months he already served between the time of his arrest and his trial last October,” the publication reported.The officer was released from jail while he awaits sentencing for his conviction on charges of assault and solicitation for prostitution. Furr was acquitted on the more serious charges of assault with intent to kill with a weapon.
The judge also ordered the officer to stay away from D.C.’s well known areas for transgender prostitution.
“This result is the product of a legal system that constantly devalues trans lives, particularly trans people of color,” Jason Terry, an activist with the D.C. Trans Coalition, told the Blade. “Officer Furr’s defense team actively sought to portray the victims as somehow deserving of this violence, and apparently they succeeded. If roles had been reversed and a black trans woman had gotten drunk and shot a gun at a police officer, the results would be drastically different.”
The case revolves around events that occurred in August 2011. On a Washington, D.C. street, Furr asked one of the transgender woman for sex for money. After the woman refused, Furr followed her to a CVS store and, when he was outside the store, pointed a gun at the transgender woman. After the officer drove away, the group of transgender woman and their male friends followed him, until Furr stopped his car and fired his gun at the car.
Then, “one of the male friends driving the vehicle ducked to avoid being shot and unintentionally rammed the car into Furr’s car, witnesses testified,” the Blade reports. “Furr responded by climbing on the hood of the car occupied by the transgender women and their friends and fired five times through the front windshield, causing three of the occupants to suffer non-fatal gunshot wounds.”
When D.C. police came to the scene, they arrested Furr, who had a “blood alcohol level twice the legal limit under D.C. law,” according to the publication.
The Washington Blade also reports that Furr’s attorney seems to have convinced the jury that Furr was acting in self-defense, which is why he was not convicted on the more serious charges.
While Furr is getting off relatively easy legally, the case will have ramifications for his job. D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump told the Blade that Furr “has been suspended without pay and that the department will follow its standard procedure for dealing with an officer convicted of a felony.” The standard procedure, according to the Blade, is that “a felony conviction, especially one associated with violence, usually results in the firing of a police officer.”
Just how poorly were women represented in US media in 2012?