If any subject has ever boggled my mind, it has been the insistence of the idea that Men of Color are far more likely to be violent than white men. I have been on the receiving end of violence and threats thereof many times in my life. I am not talking about the occasional school yard fight, I am talking being beaten once I was down, I am talking having my life threatened just for being. All but one of those instances have been at the hands of white men. When I have witnessed violence, it has almost always been a white, male aggressor. Then I go ahead and read one article citing a study about attitudes regarding armed revolution and another about the chaos at Seattle’s Mayday marches. Continue reading
Some of you may already have known that yesterday was the anniversary of Cesar Chavez’s birthday. Others may only have known because of the tempest in a teapot over Google honoring him with a doodle yesterday, rather than celebrating Easter. There is so much to be discussed about the man’s achievements and about the silliness of Christian “victimization” that resulted in yesterday’s brouhaha. Something else happened yesterday, however, in the middle of all that, and it got my wheels spinning in a different direction. Continue reading
Our problems with race in this country are complex, and yet so very often people, usually of the pale variety, want to make them simple. No one wants to think of the cultural debt white Americans as a group owe their brown brothers and sisters, and certainly folks do not want to think about their individual responsibility for the suffering of others. No, the fact that we have each benefited in some way because black people in this country have been held down is too much to bear. We want an easy fix, preferably one that does not actually require sacrifice on our part. Continue reading
I suppose it is appropriate after writing about proper etiquette among our four-legged fellow travelers that I should revisit our attitudes about them in a different light today. Sometimes I wonder if humanity is capable of proper balance at all. We either create a false sense of balance by giving equal weight to all arguments, or they throw balance completely out the window, showing more respect for a cluster of cells or for flightless avians with brains the size of my thumbnail, than for a born human being. In particular I find it distressing because so much of this lack of balance among the left stems from an unwillingness to address our own privilege. Continue reading
I have, and shall continue to, called out the bad behavior of people who want to be allies to the LGBTQ or any other cause. It is easy to call yourself and ally, to wrap yourself up in convenient phrases like “I don’t see color,” or “we are all gay.” As mentioned yesterday, some of the people who do so really do want to be good allies, they just mess up a little, others just want to feel like they are good people. Then there are real allies, people who stand up when there is enormous pressure, political or cultural, to not do so. People like Brendon Ayanbadejo and Rashad Evans. Continue reading
OK folks, time to discuss memes again. I am seriously considering creating an entire feature dedicated to deconstructing memes, at least the political ones. I’d like to say that it was only right-wing, anti-equality, anti-poor people memes, that need deconstructing, but unfortunately there are plenty of liberal ones that require it as well. Sometimes they just need to be called out for bad reasoning that hurts the cause, sometimes because they are being insensitive to the people they are claiming to champion, as is the case in today’s meme.