DDP will be back after New Year’s Day!
Until then, Janelle Monae will keep you company…
DDP will be back after New Year’s Day!
Until then, Janelle Monae will keep you company…
Recently I’ve noticed a lot of people unfriending people on Facebook who don’t agree with them about Ferguson, Eric Garner, and the #blacklivesmatter movement in general. And of course, the counter cry of: please DON’T unfriend these people spewing nonsense. Engage with them. Try to change their minds! Especially if you’re white! Do you expect people of color to have to do ALL the work dismantling the system?
But what about people who are liberal and relatively unprejudiced, who really just don’t know what is going on? Who think that all this outrage over a few police-encounters-gone-bad are reactions to isolated incidents? Often these people are older white folks who are isolated from the black community, or do not have a facebook account where their friends post tons of articles about race and police brutality.
So I’ve put together a brief reading list as resource for you who have family members who need educating about what is going on. Most of the links I’ve posted are from relatively mainstream sources that should be easier for older, non-millennial folks to digest. The less mainstream articles at least cite their sources well. Obviously these don’t cover everything, but it’s a start. If you find yourself struggling to explain things, hopefully these links will help answer some of the questions your family might have. Continue reading
This holiday season, it is very easy to get caught up in the materiality of all the shopping centers and online bargains and forget about the point of the holiday: giving. As a Christmas celebrator, recently I have been struggling with what to give my sister, what to get my patents, younger cousins and family and also what to get my friends. I am definitively not the most well-endowed with funds this year, but I do want to show the people I love that I care. So for all of you readers that are struggling along with me, I have thought of one wonderful, priceless and irreplaceable gift to give. Time.
A lot of us are thinking about racism during the past few weeks and the way it impacts people we love – a lot of us have been living under the violence of that racism for past centuries. For those of us who don’t live the horrors of racism directly, there are still a lot of emotions that go along with that: anger and helplessness at the injustice we see, fear for people we love, and maybe even some anxiety over difficult conversations we have been having, or are gearing up to have, with people who just don’t get it. As a nonblack person, I am one of many people trying to be allies, who will always have more to listen and to learn about how best to be supportive to our loved ones of color.
Recently, I messed up. It’s an instinctive thing to reach out to the people we care about for support, and I reached out to the DDP editing circle for support with the anxiety I felt about upcoming difficult conversations about race with my family members over Thanksgiving. In doing so, I redirected attention away from the people who are directly experiencing this violence. Whatever my anxiety about engaging with ignorant family over the holiday, the conversations the black community was gearing up for over their Thanksgiving dinners would be far more somber. All I had to do was get my family to open their eyes and see the violence; black folks and their families must have conversations to explain to their children that they are the targets of that violence. Continue reading
Welcome to the latest edition of What We’re Reading, a collection of links we email to each other when we should probably be working or studying. This week comes with bonus mood music, an incredible protest anthem by
the love of my life musician John Legend and featuring Common — Glory. So press play and settle in with your new reading material for this week.
What have you been reading? What’s got you salivating with excitement/rage? Tell us in the comments!
In my social circles online and in person, I’ve seen and heard people wondering what they can do in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I certainly can’t claim to speak for the movement, but from what I’ve heard and read from other participants, I’ve compiled a short, non-exhaustive list of policies you can support to end police profiling, brutality, and impunity against Black folks in the US.
Of course, changing policy is only one way to take action on this issue. At the heart of this is changing the value placed on Black lives, by society, by individuals, and by institutions. There are also non-policy-focused ways you can affect change, like helping change attitudes among your personal social network,donating to organizations leading the movement or to the victims and victims’ families, speaking out publicly against racism whenever you see it, and participating in actions out in the streets. If you’re White and wondering what to do, here are twelve ideas to get you started.
1.Establishing citizen review boards
Citizen review boards with firing power can create consequences for police brutality that the current system fails to do. Here’s one example of what that would look like. I’ve also heard people advocate for a federal division to prosecute local law enforcement violence, perhaps in the Civil Rights section of the Justice Department.
2. Demilitarization of police
Call your Congressional representatives in support of H. R. 5478, to end “Program 1033” which allows the Pentagon to sell war equipment to local police stations. The bill is bipartisan, but right now Congressional Republicans are blocking it. Find out which reps are blocking it and start calling campaigns in their districts. You can also advocate for demilitarization from a local level–find out whether your municipality participates in 1033 and pressure them not to. Continue reading
I’ll be honest, the last week (month? year? decade?) or so has not been fun. The U.S. “justice” system is intent on communicating its lack of regard for black life. But, the silver lining has been witnessing the growth of a persistent and powerful nationwide movement to declare that #blacklivesmatter.
What we don’t need in this moment of pain and opportunity is a movement that ignores trans women, cis women, gender nonconforming/non-binary folks, and trans men who are impacted by state enacted and state sanctioned violence. We also don’t need a movement that silences the voices of all the bad ass people from those communities who are fighting against it. If you are part of this movement- on social media, in the streets, in your cubicle, or anywhere else- here are some steps you can take to make sure these voices are amplified:
1. If people talk about how black “(cis) men and children” are dying from state sanctioned violence, correct them. If the names of women or trans people or gender nonconforming folks are missing from a list of victims, add them.
As one of our readers helpfully pointed out in reply to Kate’s awesome post and the resulting discussion on the future of feminism, there has been some question about whether or not being trans is still considered to be a mental disorder by the DSM. In the DSM 5, the current version of the diagnostic and statistical manual that mental health clinicians use in the United States and elsewhere to diagnose their patients, the answer is no, though understanding why requires understanding DSM diagnostic procedures beyond the main criteria. However, the updated diagnosis, now re-named “Gender dysphoria,” is not without its problems. And unfortunately, the institutional pathologizing of Trans people and identities does not end with the DSM.
Since I do not identify as Trans, it is not my place to comment on how this impacts people who do. The goal of this post is solely to shed light on some important things going on in our healthcare system.
Video games have had an interesting journey. Increasing in complexity and sophistication, they are today’s most interactive way to tell a story. Recently, they entered the mainstream, no longer regarded as the lonely bastion of nerddome and geekery. This year has been particularly interesting in the world of video games and gamers. We have seen a lot of discussion in the mainstream media about the roles of games in our society. (We touched on this subject in our Feminists Are Ruining Video Games post). Feminist media critics have called attention to the dearth of women and minorities in video games themselves as well as among the developers. While big titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty are not very progressive in their politics, there are many games that are doing something innovative and beautiful with the genre. One such game is Never Alone.