A new federal court decision blasts racial disparities in drug sentencing as akin to slavery and Jim Crow. (via think-progress)
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a must-read.
“When you yell at someone, who hears it more: you or them? You’re only hurting yourself by getting angry. I want to live to be 100. I haven’t raised my voice in 40 years.”
This is basically what I tell the kids I work with.
THE THURSDAY REBLOG | 5.9.13
In his series, Created Equal, Detroit-born photographer Mark Laita explores social inequality by placing photos of US citizens who appear to be the opposites of each other (punks teens and Amish, for instance) side by side. The series took eight years to complete and is meant to show the “successes and failures that America has experienced in its short life.”
And this is important! And this is important!
And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you, to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say “No. This is what’s important.
~ Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You
The Duke. He was chilling in my yard yesterday, rolling around in the grass and eating clover. I was a little nervous about him being out and about because of stray dogs and cars and opossums and people and whatever else eats rabbits. Now he’s in my bathroom, and there’s an ad on Craigslist looking for his family.
He’s pretty sweet. He makes these little grunting sounds and hops around kicking up his feet, which I learned means he’s excited and having fun.
He did nip my toe at one point, but I think that was because I was picking up his blanket to shake it out. Afterwards I sat down, and he hopped into my lap to eat a carrot. So we’re good.
Anyway, there’s a rabbit in my bathroom.
A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?
Autostraddle (via notaprincessdestinedtobeawitch)
Guys. You need to read this.
This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like. Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York. This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary. Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.
So who are the people on welfare benefits, really? The answer actually seems to be most of us. 64% of families, and about 30 million individual people - half the total population of the UK. The attack on benefits has portrayed people claiming benefits as a kind of underclass, separating them from ordinary people in low paid jobs, ordinary people looking for work, ordinary families. But really, the people on benefits are our friends, colleagues and neighbours, our families, ourselves.
The attack on benefits is an attack on all of us, because they are us - our granddad receiving the winter fuel payment, our parents receiving child tax credit, our colleague receiving housing benefit, us, claiming income support to help pay for the food. Because if these cuts carry on, most of our children will be growing up in poverty within two years. It is also an attack on all of us, because it could be us. Us who loses our job or has to flee from an abusive relationship, us who has an accident and can’t work, and finds ourselves homeless or in debt or going hungry because the safety net isn’t there anymore - because it was removed with our complicity.
Anyone who has ever been in a situation which they cannot deal with, a situation that’s shocking and unbelievable, can understand. If there’s a safety net there, you can survive, get back on your feet, and make a better life. If not… well, disaster takes many different forms. Ask a homeless person, or a mum with kids fleeing domestic violence, who couldn’t stay in a refuge because of the housing benefit cap.
Just how widespread poverty really is, and just how disastrous the consequences of removing benefits really are, is a painful truth to realise. But it’s much more painful to live through. And it gives us our most powerful weapon in the ‘welfare war’ that has broken out: telling the truth. The lies about people on benefits being a scrounger underclass removed from the rest of society are thin and shallow, a myth hiding millions of true stories of poverty, hard work, caring for others, and survival.
Who Are the People on Benefits? (via Huffington Post UK)
All of this is just as applicable in the US.
|—||Toni Cade Bambara, from “Raymond’s Run” (via the-final-sentence)|
Bikers Against Child Abuse make abuse victims feel safe
These tough bikers have a soft spot: aiding child-abuse victims. Anytime, anywhere, for as long as it takes the child to feel safe, these leather-clad guardians will stand tall and strong against the dark, and the fear, and those who seek to harm.
The 11-year-old girl hears the rumble of their motorcycles, rich and deep, long before she sees them. She chews her bottom lip, nervous.
They are coming for her.
The bikers roar into sight, a pack of them, long-haired and tattooed, with heavy boots and leather vests, and some riding double. They circle the usually quiet Gilbert cul-de-sac, and the noise pulls neighbors from behind slatted wood blinds and glossy front doors.
One biker stops at the mouth of the street, parks in the middle of the road and stands guard next to his motorcycle, arms crossed.
The rest back up to the curb in front of the girl’s house, almost in formation, parking side by side. There are 14 motorcycles in all, mostly black and shiny chrome. The bikers rev their engines again before shutting them down.
The sudden silence is deafening. The girl’s mother takes her hand.
The leader of this motorcycle club is a 55-year-old man who has a salt-and-pepper Fu Manchu and wears his hair down past his shoulders. He eases off his 2000 Harley Road King and approaches the little girl.
He is formidable, and intimidating, and he knows it. So he bends low in front of the little girl and puts out his hand, tanned and weathered from the sun and wind: “Hi, I’m Pipes.”
“Nice to meet you,” she says softly, her small hand disappearing in his.
The unruly-looking mob in her driveway is there to help her feel safe again. They are members of the Arizona chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse International, and they wear their motto on their black leather vests and T-shirts: “No child deserves to live in fear.”
I’ll admit - this made me tear up. I’d never heard of BACA before. Now I want to find the WA and OR chapters, and give them some money. I can’t give them a lot - I live hand-to-mouth - but they deserve my support. Surviving abuse is not - *not* - easy. These bikers have taken on a nearly-impossible task, struggling to make it a little easier. Amazing. Absolutely wonderful.
The bikers aren’t looking for trouble. They are there so the kids don’t feel so alone, or so powerless. Pipes recalls going to court with an 8-year-old boy, and how tiny he looked on the witness stand, his feet dangling a foot off the floor.
“It’s scary enough for an adult to go to court,” he says. “We’re not going to let one of our little wounded kids go alone.”
In court that day, the judge asked the boy, “Are you afraid?” No, the boy said.
Pipes says the judge seemed surprised, and asked, “Why not?”
The boy glanced at Pipes and the other bikers sitting in the front row, two more standing on each side of the courtroom door, and told the judge, “Because my friends are scarier than he is.”
This is the most beautiful, awe-inspiring thing I’ve read in a long time. I wanna write a book about these guys, Jesus Christ. Where’s the blockbuster movie about these badasses?
I’m, honestly, sobbing.
What wonderful, kindhearted people. Once again just proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
((I come from a family of bikers. And I just have to say that BACA is an amazing organization. They often participate in rides and fundraisers to benefit local children’s charities, as well as the things mentioned above. This is their website if anyone wants to visit their faq to learn more about their cause :) ))
The best thing.