One Species

An exploration of human nature. How we treat one another, both the kindness and the cruelty.

getradified:

experimentsinmotion:

Hong Kong’s “Cubicle Dwellers”: Exposing Life in One of the World’s Most Densely Packed Cities

In light of the current political protests in Hong Kong, showcasing a project from the Hong Kong-based Society for Community Organization (SoCO), a non-governmental and human rights advocacy group, seems fitting. SoCO has organized community social actions and civic education programs to encourage political participation since 1972, and it recently brought attention to the unacceptable living conditions of many of the city’s poorer inhabitants in a disturbingly illuminating ad campaign. “Cubicle Dwellers” shows the tiny apartments, averaging only about 40 square feet and too small to be shot from anywhere but above, that over 100,000 people occupy. In these spaces, individuals and families must rest, cook, and store all their personal belongings. Due to Hong Kong’s lack of buildable space, the city has come to be one of the world’s densest, resulting in increasingly tall, tightly-packed dwellings. Indeed, thirty-six of the world’s 100 tallest residential buildings are in Hong Kong, and more people live or work above the 14th floor than anywhere else on Earth, making it the world’s most vertical city. The project highlights how the disparity between industrial growth and human needs can rapidly transform environments, and how an imbalance in the way we distribute our energy resources can paradoxically create places of enormous wealth and widespread poverty. 

This is why I am wary of people who are really into “Tiny Homes” or whatever and romanticize small living spaces.

(via tofuboots)

— 16 hours ago with 919 notes
#hong kong  #culture  #industrial growth  #urban living  #asia  #development 

thisiseverydayracism:

The White Savoir Industrial Complex

TEJU COLEMAR | March 21, 2012 | theatlantic.com

A week and a half ago, I watched the Kony2012 video. Afterward, I wrote a brief seven-part response, which I posted in sequence on my Twitter account (see images above).

These tweets were retweeted, forwarded, and widely shared by readers. They migrated beyond Twitter to blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, and other sites; I’m told they generated fierce arguments. As the days went by, the tweets were reproduced in their entirety on the websites of the Atlantic and theNew York Times, and they showed up on German, Spanish, and Portuguese sites. A friend emailed to tell me that the fourth tweet, which cheekily name-checks Oprah, was mentioned on Fox television.

These sentences of mine, written without much premeditation, had touched a nerve. I heard back from many people who were grateful to have read them. I heard back from many others who were disappointed or furious. Many people, too many to count, called me a racist. One person likened me to the Mau Mau. The Atlantic writer who’d reproduced them, while agreeing with my broader points, described the language in which they were expressed as “resentment.”

This weekend, I listened to a radio interview given by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof. Kristof is best known for his regular column in the New York Times in which he often givesaccounts of his activism or that of other Westerners. When I saw the Kony 2012 video, I found it tonally similar to Kristof’s approach, and that was why I mentioned him in the first of my seven tweets.

Those tweets, though unpremeditated, were intentional in their irony and seriousness. I did not write them to score cheap points, much less to hurt anyone’s feelings. I believed that a certain kind of language is too infrequently seen in our public discourse. I am a novelist. I traffic in subtleties, and my goal in writing a novel is to leave the reader not knowing what to think. A good novel shouldn’t have a point.

But there’s a place in the political sphere for direct speech and, in the past few years in the U.S., there has been a chilling effect on a certain kind of direct speech pertaining to rights. The president is wary of being seen as the “angry black man.” People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.

It’s only in the context of this neutered language that my rather tame tweets can be seen as extreme. The interviewer on the radio show I listened to asked Kristof if he had heard of me. “Of course,” he said. She asked him what he made of my criticisms. His answer was considered and genial, but what he said worried me more than an angry outburst would have:

"There has been a real discomfort and backlash among middle-class educated Africans, Ugandans in particular in this case, but people more broadly, about having Africa as they see it defined by a warlord who does particularly brutal things, and about the perception that Americans are going to ride in on a white horse and resolve it. To me though, it seems even more uncomfortable to think that we as white Americans should not intervene in a humanitarian disaster because the victims are of a different skin color."

Here are some of the “middle-class educated Africans” Kristof, whether he is familiar with all of them and their work or not, chose to take issue with: Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire, who covered the Lord’s Resistance Army in 2005 and made an eloquent video response to Kony 2012; Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani, one of the world’s leading specialists on Uganda and the author of a thorough riposte to the political wrong-headedness of Invisible Children; and Ethiopian-American novelist Dinaw Mengestu, who sought out Joseph Kony, met his lieutenants, and recently wrote a brilliant essay about how Kony 2012 gets the issues wrong. They have a different take on what Kristof calls a “humanitarian disaster,” and this may be because they see the larger disasters behind it: militarization of poorer countries, short-sighted agricultural policies, resource extraction, the propping up of corrupt governments, and the astonishing complexity of long-running violent conflicts over a wide and varied terrain.

I want to tread carefully here: I do not accuse Kristof of racism nor do I believe he is in any way racist. I have no doubt that he has a good heart. Listening to him on the radio, I began to think we could iron the whole thing out over a couple of beers. But that, precisely, is what worries me. That is what made me compare American sentimentality to a “wounded hippo.” His good heart does not always allow him to think constellationally. He does not connect the dots or see the patterns of power behind the isolated “disasters.” All he sees are hungry mouths, and he, in his own advocacy-by-journalism way, is putting food in those mouths as fast as he can. All he sees is need, and he sees no need to reason out the need for the need.

But I disagree with the approach taken by Invisible Children in particular, and by the White Savior Industrial Complex in general, because there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

I write all this from multiple positions. I write as an African, a black man living in America. I am every day subject to the many microaggressions of American racism. I also write this as an American, enjoying the many privileges that the American passport affords and that residence in this country makes possible. I involve myself in this critique of privilege: my own privileges of class, gender, and sexuality are insufficiently examined. My cell phone was likely manufactured by poorly treated workers in a Chinese factory. The coltan in the phone can probably be traced to the conflict-riven Congo. I don’t fool myself that I am not implicated in these transnational networks of oppressive practices.

And I also write all this as a novelist and story-writer: I am sensitive to the power of narratives. When Jason Russell, narrator of the Kony 2012 video, showed his cheerful blonde toddler a photo of Joseph Kony as the embodiment of evil (a glowering dark man), and of his friend Jacob as the representative of helplessness (a sweet-faced African), I wondered how Russell’s little boy would develop a nuanced sense of the lives of others, particularly others of a different race from his own. How would that little boy come to understand that others have autonomy; that their right to life is not exclusive of a right to self-respect? In a different context, John Berger once wrote, “A singer may be innocent; never the song.”

One song we hear too often is the one in which Africa serves as a backdrop for white fantasies of conquest and heroism. From the colonial project to Out of Africa to The Constant Gardener and Kony 2012, Africa has provided a space onto which white egos can conveniently be projected. It is a liberated space in which the usual rules do not apply: a nobody from America or Europe can go to Africa and become a godlike savior or, at the very least, have his or her emotional needs satisfied. Many have done it under the banner of “making a difference.” To state this obvious and well-attested truth does not make me a racist or a Mau Mau. It does give me away as an “educated middle-class African,” and I plead guilty as charged. (It is also worth noting that there are other educated middle-class Africans who see this matter differently from me. That is what people, educated and otherwise, do: they assess information and sometimes disagree with each other.)

In any case, Kristof and I are in profound agreement about one thing: there is much happening in many parts of the African continent that is not as it ought to be. I have been fortunate in life, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen or experienced African poverty first-hand. I grew up in a land of military coups and economically devastating, IMF-imposed “structural adjustment” programs. The genuine hurt of Africa is no fiction.

And we also agree on something else: that there is an internal ethical urge that demands that each of us serve justice as much as he or she can. But beyond the immediate attention that he rightly pays hungry mouths, child soldiers, or raped civilians, there are more complex and more widespread problems. There are serious problems of governance, of infrastructure, of democracy, and of law and order. These problems are neither simple in themselves nor are they reducible to slogans. Such problems are both intricate and intensely local.

How, for example, could a well-meaning American “help” a place like Uganda today? It begins, I believe, with some humility with regards to the people in those places. It begins with some respect for the agency of the people of Uganda in their own lives. A great deal of work had been done, and continues to be done, by Ugandans to improve their own country, and ignorant comments (I’ve seen many) about how “we have to save them because they can’t save themselves” can’t change that fact.

Let me draw into this discussion an example from an African country I know very well. Earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians took to their country’s streets to protest the government’s decision to remove a subsidy on petrol. This subsidy was widely seen as one of the few blessings of the country’s otherwise catastrophic oil wealth. But what made these protests so heartening is that they were about more than the subsidy removal. Nigeria has one of the most corrupt governments in the world and protesters clearly demanded that something be done about this. The protests went on for days, at considerable personal risk to the protesters. Several young people were shot dead, and the movement was eventually doused when union leaders capitulated and the army deployed on the streets. The movement did not “succeed” in conventional terms. But something important had changed in the political consciousness of the Nigerian populace. For me and for a number of people I know, the protests gave us an opportunity to be proud of Nigeria, many of us for the first time in our lives.

This is not the sort of story that is easy to summarize in an article, much less make a viral video about. After all, there is no simple demand to be made and — since corruption is endemic — no single villain to topple. There is certainly no “bridge character,” Kristof’s euphemism for white saviors in Third World narratives who make the story more palatable to American viewers. And yet, the story of Nigeria’s protest movement is one of the most important from sub-Saharan Africa so far this year. Men and women, of all classes and ages, stood up for what they felt was right; they marched peacefully; they defended each other, and gave each other food and drink; Christians stood guard while Muslims prayed and vice-versa; and they spoke without fear to their leaders about the kind of country they wanted to see. All of it happened with no cool American 20-something heroes in sight.

Joseph Kony is no longer in Uganda and he is no longer the threat he was, but he is a convenient villain for those who need a convenient villain. What Africa needs more pressingly than Kony’s indictment is more equitable civil society, more robust democracy, and a fairer system of justice. This is the scaffolding from which infrastructure, security, healthcare, and education can be built. How do we encourage voices like those of the Nigerian masses who marched this January, or those who are engaged in the struggle to develop Ugandan democracy?

If Americans want to care about Africa, maybe they should consider evaluating American foreign policy, which they already play a direct role in through elections, before they impose themselves on Africa itself. The fact of the matter is that Nigeria is one of the top five oil suppliers to the U.S., and American policy is interested first and foremost in the flow of that oil. The American government did not see fit to support the Nigeria protests. (Though the State Department issued a supportive statement — “our view on that is that the Nigerian people have the right to peaceful protest, we want to see them protest peacefully, and we’re also urging the Nigerian security services to respect the right of popular protest and conduct themselves professionally in dealing with the strikes” — it reeked of boilerplate rhetoric and, unsurprisingly, nothing tangible came of it.) This was as expected; under the banner of “American interests,” the oil comes first. Under that same banner, the livelihood of corn farmers in Mexico has been destroyed by NAFTA. Haitian rice farmers have suffered appalling losses due to Haiti beingflooded with subsidized American rice. A nightmare has been playing out in Honduras in the past three years: an American-backed coup and American militarization of that country have contributed to a conflict in which hundreds of activists and journalists have already been murdered. The Egyptian military, which is now suppressing the country’s once-hopeful movement for democracy and killing dozens of activists in the process, subsists on $1.3 billion in annual U.S. aid. This is a litany that will be familiar to some. To others, it will be news. But, familiar or not, it has a bearing on our notions of innocence and our right to “help.”

Let us begin our activism right here: with the money-driven villainy at the heart of American foreign policy. To do this would be to give up the illusion that the sentimental need to “make a difference” trumps all other considerations. What innocent heroes don’t always understand is that they play a useful role for people who have much more cynical motives. The White Savior Industrial Complex is a valve for releasing the unbearable pressures that build in a system built on pillage. We can participate in the economic destruction of Haiti over long years, but when the earthquake strikes it feels good to send $10 each to the rescue fund. I have no opposition, in principle, to such donations (I frequently make them myself), but we must do such things only with awareness of what else is involved. If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.

Success for Kony 2012 would mean increased militarization of the anti-democratic Yoweri Museveni government, which has been in power in Uganda since 1986 and has played a major role in the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict, the war in the Congo. But those whom privilege allows to deny constellational thinking would enjoy ignoring this fact. There are other troubling connections, not least of them being that Museveni appears to be a U.S. proxy in its shadowy battles against militants in Sudan and, especially, in Somalia. Who sanctions these conflicts? Under whose authority and oversight are they conducted? Who is being killed and why?

All of this takes us rather far afield from fresh-faced young Americans using the power of YouTube, Facebook, and pure enthusiasm to change the world. A singer may be innocent; never the song. 

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/

— 23 hours ago with 268 notes
#africa  #war  #violence  #white savior complex  #imperialism  #usa  #america  #nigeria  #uganda  #racism 
stay-human:

While New Delhi claims that Kashmir is an inseparable part of India, the government has left flood victims to fend for themselves
“Drove across South Kashmir, battered and bruised. Just reached Srinagar, the city in shambles, can smell death in the air KashmirFloods,” writes a Facebooker who is on his way to meet his family in Kashmir almost two weeks after the flood killed 74 in the Valley.
“SOS we needs rafts. Send us rafts from Bombay,” reads a tweet posted by a desperate youth from Downtown Srinagar to a friend outside the Valley.
“Even traffic constables are not on the streets and it is causing havoc on the few roads that are open for ferrying relief supplies,” complains another social media user.
The absence of the state is at the heart of the calamity that Kashmiris have been facing. The “rescue effort” in a region considered to be one of the most highly militarised zones in the world is shocking indeed.
“They (security forces) had lists when they came to rescue people in our neighbourhood. They had been instructed to rescue government officials and Pandits, not local Muslims. They were sticking to the list,” claims an agitated young man while speaking over the phone from Rajbaugh, an affluent area where bureaucrats reside.
“They flew so low that our boat overturned! Then the soldiers dumped biscuits and expired medicines in the filthy floodwater. How can we use these?” asks an angry flood survivor from south Kashmir.
Structural violence has been woven into the state’s rescue plan in Kashmir. The apparent tactic of ignoring the masses in India’s only Muslim majority state and selectively rescuing Indian tourists and bureaucrats has elicited condemnation from Kashmiri civil society all over the world.
Instead of streamlining aid distribution to make it easier for aid agencies, sources revealed that the state has made it mandatory for aid agencies to procure permission from the local SP in order to release relief packages at the cargo distribution point at Srinagar airport.
“This will not only delay our effort, but also involve paperwork. At a time like this, should we run around asking for permission from police?” asked an agitated camp coordinator.
“The administration, without taking our views into account, has also asked us to keep our trucks outside the gate of the airport as it is a high security zone. Are we supposed to walk for a kilometre out of the airport with relief material on our heads?” he added. No official communication has been released to this but relief workers in different parts of Srinagar claim this measure is very much in place.
Commenting on the skewed coverage by the Indian news channels on how the army has saved lives, a Kashmiri doctor settled in Europe says, “This has got to be the largest psychological operation by the establishment through the Indian media; if they show the lies often enough, people will believe them. Meanwhile, reports on Indian tourists being saved by the security forces highlight the fact that tourists and bureaucrats were the only ones on the government’s mandate.”
In the name of embedded journalism, Indian television channels chose to focus on the army’s rescue operations in selected locations in Jammu and Kashmir. But photographs from international new agencies told a completely different story — a story that the Indian news channels deliberately ignored. Scores of Kashmiri youth took to the streets in a bid to rescue citizens from different areas of Kashmir, with the army nowhere in sight.
Sikhs, Pandits and Muslims saved each other after days of being stranded in their semi-submerged homes. “Even the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was ignored by the army. Some of them were stranded without a raft and we fed them,” said a relief worker in downtown Srinagar. “Relief supplies were not sent to areas where there were 30 people stuck in one house in places like Bemina, which are still submerged,” said another aid worker.
With hardly any help from the state, local journalists and youth from mohalla committees have come to the aid of people caught in harrowing circumstances. Even as aid pours in from different parts of the sub-continent, a young volunteer from Srinagar expresses concern about winter. “It is fast approaching. Look how cold the water is. It’s difficult to stand in it even for five minutes,” he says.
Around 1,800km away, Kashmiri students in Mumbai joined hands to help their loved ones back at home. An engineering student says, “Our institution has not backed us, but we can’t sit around doing nothing. I haven’t heard from my family but I know there will be a need for medicines and blankets as Kashmiris have lost everything, so we are doing whatever is in our capacity.”
Kashmiris across the country and even abroad have answered the call for help from the Valley. To prevent an epidemic, a Kashmiri doctor settled abroad has uploaded a document on risk and disease prevention during floods in English and Urdu to be distributed at relief camps.
@NaqKash is one of the many Twitter handles that liaised between those at the grassroots level and those who want to be part of the rescue efforts. In fact, flood rescue groups on Facebook and Twitter managed to connect some of the rescuers to those stranded in their attics for over seven days.
Messages of scarcity of fresh drinking water have prompted Kashmiris from Delhi and Mumbai to look up fresh water springs in the nearby areas and post their locations. Lists of required medicines are uploaded from the flood-hit areas, numbers of those needing rescue exchanged and maps of functional routes updated and disseminated to streamline the relief operations.
In an effort to raise funds and collect essentials, some students outside the Valley have gone out of their way to co-ordinate with those in need despite the communication lines being down for over a week. “In some areas, the network is slowly coming back to life, but even that is intermittent,” says a relief worker from a camp closest to the airport.
But trolls and anti-Kashmir elements on Facebook have infiltrated some of the rescue groups and recommended that people use certain chemicals, which are in fact poisonous, to disinfect their homes and localities. Politicising the calamity, trolls on social forums have praised the efficiency of the army and resorted to abusing the Kashmiri separatists while ridiculing Kashmir’s call for self-determination.

stay-human:

While New Delhi claims that Kashmir is an inseparable part of India, the government has left flood victims to fend for themselves

“Drove across South Kashmir, battered and bruised. Just reached Srinagar, the city in shambles, can smell death in the air KashmirFloods,” writes a Facebooker who is on his way to meet his family in Kashmir almost two weeks after the flood killed 74 in the Valley.

“SOS we needs rafts. Send us rafts from Bombay,” reads a tweet posted by a desperate youth from Downtown Srinagar to a friend outside the Valley.

“Even traffic constables are not on the streets and it is causing havoc on the few roads that are open for ferrying relief supplies,” complains another social media user.

The absence of the state is at the heart of the calamity that Kashmiris have been facing. The “rescue effort” in a region considered to be one of the most highly militarised zones in the world is shocking indeed.

They (security forces) had lists when they came to rescue people in our neighbourhood. They had been instructed to rescue government officials and Pandits, not local Muslims. They were sticking to the list,” claims an agitated young man while speaking over the phone from Rajbaugh, an affluent area where bureaucrats reside.

“They flew so low that our boat overturned! Then the soldiers dumped biscuits and expired medicines in the filthy floodwater. How can we use these?” asks an angry flood survivor from south Kashmir.

Structural violence has been woven into the state’s rescue plan in Kashmir. The apparent tactic of ignoring the masses in India’s only Muslim majority state and selectively rescuing Indian tourists and bureaucrats has elicited condemnation from Kashmiri civil society all over the world.

Instead of streamlining aid distribution to make it easier for aid agencies, sources revealed that the state has made it mandatory for aid agencies to procure permission from the local SP in order to release relief packages at the cargo distribution point at Srinagar airport.

“This will not only delay our effort, but also involve paperwork. At a time like this, should we run around asking for permission from police?” asked an agitated camp coordinator.

“The administration, without taking our views into account, has also asked us to keep our trucks outside the gate of the airport as it is a high security zone. Are we supposed to walk for a kilometre out of the airport with relief material on our heads?” he added. No official communication has been released to this but relief workers in different parts of Srinagar claim this measure is very much in place.

Commenting on the skewed coverage by the Indian news channels on how the army has saved lives, a Kashmiri doctor settled in Europe says, “This has got to be the largest psychological operation by the establishment through the Indian media; if they show the lies often enough, people will believe them. Meanwhile, reports on Indian tourists being saved by the security forces highlight the fact that tourists and bureaucrats were the only ones on the government’s mandate.”

In the name of embedded journalism, Indian television channels chose to focus on the army’s rescue operations in selected locations in Jammu and Kashmir. But photographs from international new agencies told a completely different story — a story that the Indian news channels deliberately ignored. Scores of Kashmiri youth took to the streets in a bid to rescue citizens from different areas of Kashmir, with the army nowhere in sight.

Sikhs, Pandits and Muslims saved each other after days of being stranded in their semi-submerged homes. “Even the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was ignored by the army. Some of them were stranded without a raft and we fed them,” said a relief worker in downtown Srinagar. “Relief supplies were not sent to areas where there were 30 people stuck in one house in places like Bemina, which are still submerged,” said another aid worker.

With hardly any help from the state, local journalists and youth from mohalla committees have come to the aid of people caught in harrowing circumstances. Even as aid pours in from different parts of the sub-continent, a young volunteer from Srinagar expresses concern about winter. “It is fast approaching. Look how cold the water is. It’s difficult to stand in it even for five minutes,” he says.

Around 1,800km away, Kashmiri students in Mumbai joined hands to help their loved ones back at home. An engineering student says, “Our institution has not backed us, but we can’t sit around doing nothing. I haven’t heard from my family but I know there will be a need for medicines and blankets as Kashmiris have lost everything, so we are doing whatever is in our capacity.”

Kashmiris across the country and even abroad have answered the call for help from the Valley. To prevent an epidemic, a Kashmiri doctor settled abroad has uploaded a document on risk and disease prevention during floods in English and Urdu to be distributed at relief camps.

@NaqKash is one of the many Twitter handles that liaised between those at the grassroots level and those who want to be part of the rescue efforts. In fact, flood rescue groups on Facebook and Twitter managed to connect some of the rescuers to those stranded in their attics for over seven days.

Messages of scarcity of fresh drinking water have prompted Kashmiris from Delhi and Mumbai to look up fresh water springs in the nearby areas and post their locations. Lists of required medicines are uploaded from the flood-hit areas, numbers of those needing rescue exchanged and maps of functional routes updated and disseminated to streamline the relief operations.

In an effort to raise funds and collect essentials, some students outside the Valley have gone out of their way to co-ordinate with those in need despite the communication lines being down for over a week. “In some areas, the network is slowly coming back to life, but even that is intermittent,” says a relief worker from a camp closest to the airport.

But trolls and anti-Kashmir elements on Facebook have infiltrated some of the rescue groups and recommended that people use certain chemicals, which are in fact poisonous, to disinfect their homes and localities. Politicising the calamity, trolls on social forums have praised the efficiency of the army and resorted to abusing the Kashmiri separatists while ridiculing Kashmir’s call for self-determination.

(via randomactsofchaos)

— 1 day ago with 24 notes
#india  #kashmir  #occupation  #disaster  #flooding  #emergency  #asia 

palestiniandaddy:

Somehow

I don’t know how but somehow

I am still surprised [but not] at the entitlement felt amongst Israelis and their supporters, ESPECIALLY amongst the “leftist” crowd.

These people are utterly ridiculous and devoid of any semblance of higher functioning in the brain or the capacity to think ~outside~ of their tiny, bigoted little bubbles.

They refuse to listen to any sort of reason, no matter how “calmly” and “rationally” you propose it to them, no matter how much you omit in order to limit potential backlash in regards to your views, no matter how much you censor yourself in order to appease their insatiable bloodlust for any Palestinian who decides to go against what their feeble collective has dubbed “acceptable”.

It’s never, ever about presentation, and it’s never, ever about how they “feel”, and it’s always about speaking truth to power and presenting a narrative that they both refuse to hear and do everything to make sure nobody even attempts to speak about in the first place.

(via randomactsofchaos)

— 1 day ago with 178 notes
#racism  #palestine  #israel  #oppression  #middle east 
thinkmexican:

Humans of Mexico City
“I have a Masters in history, a Masters in anthropology, and a PhD in education.”
“What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?”
“My personality.” (Mexico City, Mexico)
Humans of New York is in Mexico City as part of a world tour in partnership with the United Nations to raise awareness for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
A lot of great stories, like this one from a very well educated and confident señora, are being shared.
If you haven’t already, follow HONY.

thinkmexican:

Humans of Mexico City

“I have a Masters in history, a Masters in anthropology, and a PhD in education.”

“What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?”

“My personality.” (Mexico City, Mexico)

Humans of New York is in Mexico City as part of a world tour in partnership with the United Nations to raise awareness for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

A lot of great stories, like this one from a very well educated and confident señora, are being shared.

If you haven’t already, follow HONY.

(via thisisnotlatinx)

— 1 day ago with 11564 notes
#amazing women  #beautiful women  #mexico  #latina  #mexican 
"Who is Black?" →

reclaimingthelatinatag:

Yesterday, an interesting thing happened to me. I was told I am not Black.

The kicker for me was when my friend stated that the island of Puerto Rico was not a part of the African Diaspora. I wanted to go back to the old school playground days and yell: “You said what about my momma?!” But after speaking to several friends, I found out that many Black Americans and Latinos agree with him. The miseducation of the Negro is still in effect!

I am so tired of having to prove to others that I am Black, that my peoples are from the Motherland, that Puerto Rico, along with Cuba, Panama and the Dominican Republic, are part of the African Diaspora. Did we forget that the slave ships dropped off our people all over the world, hence the word Diaspora?

The Atlantic slave trade brought Africans to Puerto Rico in the early 1500s. Some of the first slave rebellions took place on the island of Puerto Rico. Until 1846, Africanos on the island had to carry a libreta to move around the island, like the passbook system in apartheid South Africa. In Puerto Rico, you will find large communities of descendants of the Yoruba, Bambara, Wolof and Mandingo people. Puerto Rican culture is inherently African culture.

There are hundreds of books that will inform you, but I do not need to read book after book to legitimize this thesis. All I need to do is go to Puerto Rico and look all around me. Damn, all I really have to do is look in the mirror every day.

I am often asked what I am—usually by Blacks who are lighter than me and by Latinos/as who are darker than me. To answer the $100,000, 000 question, I am a Black Boricua, Black Rican, Puertorriqueña! Almost always I am questioned about why I choose to call myself Black over Latina, Spanish, Hispanic. Let me break it down.

I am not Spanish. Spanish is just another language I speak. I am not a Hispanic. My ancestors are not descendants of Spain, but descendants of Africa. I define my existence by race and land. (Borinken is the indigenous name of the island of Puerto Rico.)

Being Latino is not a cultural identity but rather a political one. Being Puerto Rican is not a racial identity, but rather a cultural and national one. Being Black is my racial identity. Why do I have to consistently explain this to those who are so-called conscious? Is it because they have a problem with their identity? Why is it so bad to assert who I am, for me to big-up my Africanness?

My Blackness is one of the greatest powers I have. We live in a society that devalues Blackness all the time. I will not be devalued as a human being, as a child of the Supreme Creator.

Although many of us in activist circles are enlightened, many of us have baggage that we must deal with. So many times I am asked why many Boricuas refuse to affirm their Blackness. I attribute this denial to the ever-rampant anti-Black sentiment in America and throughout the world, but I will not use this as an excuse. Often Puerto Ricans who assert our Blackness are not only outcast by Latinos who identify more with their Spanish Conqueror than their African ancestors, but we are also shunned by Black Americans who do not see us as Black.

Nelly Fuller, a great Black sociologist, stated: “Until one understands the system of White supremacy, anything and everything else will confuse you.” Divide and conquer still applies.

Listen people: Being Black is not just skin color, nor is it synonymous with Black Americans. To assert who I am is the most liberating and revolutionary thing I can ever do. Being a Black Puerto Rican encompasses me racially, ethically and most importantly, gives me a homeland to refer to.

So I have come to this conclusion: I am whatever I say I am!

Who is Black byRosa Clemente, organizer, independent journalist and hip-hop activist of Puerto Rican descent. 

— 3 days ago with 170 notes
#identity  #culture  #race  #racism  #blackness  #african diaspora  #puerto rico  #latin america 
lastrealindians:

Native women speaking out against violence by Brandon Ecoffey
RAPID CITY — Some say that a picture can speak a thousand words: Some however, can do more than that.
A photo posted by First Nations woman, Sarah Rainville, on Twitter, along with hashtag #ImNotNext, has gone viral and is giving those who are fed up with the high rates of violent crime against indigenous women in Canada a far reaching platform to speak from.
Rainville, 25, a citizen of the Soto First Nation from Sakimay, SK, chose to take her own personal message to social media. The catalyst for Renville’s revelation to post the photo and create the hashtag came about in response to a different social media campaign that asked the question #AmINext. #AmINext was intended to create awareness about the high rates of violence against Indigenous women in Canada. However, Rainville, felt that a more powerful and empowering message was more appropriate.
“I would never go to Canada and ask if I am next. It is time we lift our people I am not going to be next. My people are not going to be next. And my children are not going to be next,” said Rainville. “I am not next I don’t want to be next,” said Rainville. “This was not from a victim’s standpoint or from a place of fear.”
READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/native-women-speaking-out-against-violence-by-brandon-ecoffey/

lastrealindians:

Native women speaking out against violence by Brandon Ecoffey

RAPID CITY — Some say that a picture can speak a thousand words: Some however, can do more than that.

A photo posted by First Nations woman, Sarah Rainville, on Twitter, along with hashtag #ImNotNext, has gone viral and is giving those who are fed up with the high rates of violent crime against indigenous women in Canada a far reaching platform to speak from.

Rainville, 25, a citizen of the Soto First Nation from Sakimay, SK, chose to take her own personal message to social media. The catalyst for Renville’s revelation to post the photo and create the hashtag came about in response to a different social media campaign that asked the question #AmINext. #AmINext was intended to create awareness about the high rates of violence against Indigenous women in Canada. However, Rainville, felt that a more powerful and empowering message was more appropriate.

“I would never go to Canada and ask if I am next. It is time we lift our people I am not going to be next. My people are not going to be next. And my children are not going to be next,” said Rainville. “I am not next I don’t want to be next,” said Rainville. “This was not from a victim’s standpoint or from a place of fear.”

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/native-women-speaking-out-against-violence-by-brandon-ecoffey/

— 4 days ago with 1717 notes
#violence against women  #native women  #misogyny  #woc  #women of color  #canada  #racism  #sexism  #amInext 
thepoliticalfreakshow:

In Case You Missed It: Meet Ronald Ritchie, The White Man Who Lied About African-American Man John Crawford In A Walmart 911 Call, That Led To Police Murdering Crawford, Who Was Holding A BB Gun Which Was Pointed To The Ground & Then Sat On The Ground, & See How Twisted This Entire Case Is: An Explainer On The Murder of John Crawford
Sunday September 7th’s Guardian story on the Beavercreek, Ohio police murder killing of 22-year-old Wal-Mart shopper John Crawford, on August 5th, brings to light new facts about the case which should make any reader’s blood curdle.
Here’s the excerpt of the opening of the story…

Doubts cast on witness’s account of black man killed by police in Walmart
Alleged to have threatened customers, John Crawford, 22, was having a phone conversation while holding an unloaded BB gun
Jon Swaine in New Yorktheguardian.comSunday 7 September 2014 10.37 EDT
When Ronald Ritchie called 911 from the aisles of a Walmart in western Ohio last month to report that a black man was “walking around with a gun in the store”, he said that shoppers were coming under direct threat.
“He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told the dispatcher. Later that evening, after John Crawford III had been shot dead by one of the police officers who hurried to the scene in Beavercreek, Ritchie repeated to reporters: “He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”
One month later, Ritchie puts it differently. “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody,” the 24-year-old said, in an interview with the Guardian. He maintained that Crawford was “waving it around”, which attorneys for Crawford’s family deny.
Ritchie told several reporters after the 5 August shooting that he was an “ex-marine”. When confronted with his seven-week service record, however, he confirmed that he had been quickly thrown out of the US marine corps in 2008 after being declared a “fraudulent enlistment”, over what he maintains was simply a mixup over his paperwork….


And, here are just a few of the additional/primary pieces of information about the case covered later on in the story…
• After everything was said and done, “Crawford, 22, turned out to be holding an unloaded BB air rifle that he had picked up from a store shelf. After Ritchie said Crawford appeared to be ‘trying to load’ the gun, the 911 dispatcher relayed to an officer that it was believed the gunman ‘just put some bullets inside’…”
• Crawfords’ attorneys informed the Guardian that autopsy findings concluded Crawford was shot “in the back of his left arm and in his left side, supporting their claim that he was turned away from the police officer who shot him.”
• Crawford’s family has “pleaded” with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release the store’s surveillance video of the shooting to the public. For all intents and purposes, it fullyundermines statements made by 911 caller Ronald Richie, who, according to the story, made the only call to the police about “the incident.” And, while DeWine is quoted stating that releasing the tape to the public “would be ‘playing with dynamite,’” someone from DeWine’s office let Ritchie review the recording (apparently, to get his fabulist story “straight”)!
• Crawford’s father notes this about the video in the article: “‘It was an execution, no doubt about it,’ alleged Crawford’s father, John Crawford II. ‘It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.’”
• The Crawfords’ attorneys have requested that “the department of justice…open a civil rights investigation into the Ohio incident, only the second fatal police shooting in Beavercreek’s history.”
• Aside from the reported facts dictating the greater truth that Crawford was focused upon his phone call—pretty much totally unaware that the police were approaching him with their guns drawn—it would appear that it wasn’t until after he was shot that he realized they were even speaking to him and telling him to put his gun down.
• Perhaps the most ominous new fact—and there are many, so you’ll have to read the article in its entirety to understand how truly twisted this case is—reported in this Guardian story is the following excerpt. It’s…

…only the second fatal police shooting in Beavercreek’s history. A white officer has been placed on administrative leave following Crawford’s shooting……
…Beavercreek police and the attorney general’s office have declined to name the officer who shot Crawford. However, after Sergeant David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams were placed on leave following the incident, Darkow has returned to work but Williams has not.Williams was the officer behind the only other fatal police shooting in Beavercreek. In 2010, he shot dead Scott Brogli, a retired master sergeant in the US air force. According to Williams and a colleague, Brogli charged at them with a large knife after they went to investigate the 45-year-old’s drunken beating of his wife. A grand jury declined to bring any charges…


(Bold type is diarist’s emphasis)
The story concludes by informing readers that a Greene County grand jury “is scheduled to begin hearing evidence on 22 September.”
#            #            #
SIGN THE CHANGE.ORG PETITION TO DEMAND A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF THE BEAVERCREEK, OHIO POLICE KILLING OF JOHN CRAWFORD III AND TO INSIST THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL MIKE DEWINE RELEASE THE VIDEOTAPE OF THIS SHOOTING NOW!
CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION.
UPDATE (7:43 PM 9/24/2014): The grand jury has failed to indict the officers involved in John Crawford’s murder. They have also released the surveillance video of the shooting [TW: Violent Content]

UPDATE (7:46 PM 9/24/2014): The Department of Justice has announced that it is opening a federal investigation of the murder of John Crawford.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that he is turning the investigative files over to the U.S. Department of Justice for a civil rights review. The federal government has been monitoring the case and agreed to a review.
"The Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the FBI will conduct a thorough and independent review of the evidence and take appropriate action if the evidence indicates a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes," said Jennifer Thornton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

UPDATE (7:53 PM 9/24/2014): More information about the officers who shot John Crawford has been released.


Officer Sean Williams (left) and Sgt. David Darkow (right) were already on the scene, according to a statement released by Beavercreek Police on Aug. 6. They moved to the pet section, at the back of the store, where they confronted Crawford “holding a rifle,” the statement said.
“Officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon,” the statement said. After he failed to comply with officers’ commands, police said, he was shot. [NBC News]

This post will be updated when new updates are available.
Source: Bob Swern for Daily Kos

I have so much anger.
They are scum. 

thepoliticalfreakshow:

In Case You Missed It: Meet Ronald Ritchie, The White Man Who Lied About African-American Man John Crawford In A Walmart 911 Call, That Led To Police Murdering Crawford, Who Was Holding A BB Gun Which Was Pointed To The Ground & Then Sat On The Ground, & See How Twisted This Entire Case Is: An Explainer On The Murder of John Crawford

Sunday September 7th’s Guardian story on the Beavercreek, Ohio police murder killing of 22-year-old Wal-Mart shopper John Crawford, on August 5th, brings to light new facts about the case which should make any reader’s blood curdle.

Here’s the excerpt of the opening of the story…


Doubts cast on witness’s account of black man killed by police in Walmart

Alleged to have threatened customers, John Crawford, 22, was having a phone conversation while holding an unloaded BB gun

Jon Swaine in New York
theguardian.com
Sunday 7 September 2014 10.37 EDT

When Ronald Ritchie called 911 from the aisles of a Walmart in western Ohio last month to report that a black man was “walking around with a gun in the store”, he said that shoppers were coming under direct threat.

“He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told the dispatcher. Later that evening, after John Crawford III had been shot dead by one of the police officers who hurried to the scene in Beavercreek, Ritchie repeated to reporters: “He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”

One month later, Ritchie puts it differently. “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody,” the 24-year-old said, in an interview with the Guardian. He maintained that Crawford was “waving it around”, which attorneys for Crawford’s family deny.

Ritchie told several reporters after the 5 August shooting that he was an “ex-marine”. When confronted with his seven-week service record, however, he confirmed that he had been quickly thrown out of the US marine corps in 2008 after being declared a “fraudulent enlistment”, over what he maintains was simply a mixup over his paperwork….

And, here are just a few of the additional/primary pieces of information about the case covered later on in the story…

• After everything was said and done, “Crawford, 22, turned out to be holding an unloaded BB air rifle that he had picked up from a store shelf. After Ritchie said Crawford appeared to be ‘trying to load’ the gun, the 911 dispatcher relayed to an officer that it was believed the gunman ‘just put some bullets inside’…”

• Crawfords’ attorneys informed the Guardian that autopsy findings concluded Crawford was shot “in the back of his left arm and in his left side, supporting their claim that he was turned away from the police officer who shot him.”

• Crawford’s family has “pleaded” with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release the store’s surveillance video of the shooting to the public. For all intents and purposes, it fullyundermines statements made by 911 caller Ronald Richie, who, according to the story, made the only call to the police about “the incident.” And, while DeWine is quoted stating that releasing the tape to the public “would be ‘playing with dynamite,’” someone from DeWine’s office let Ritchie review the recording (apparently, to get his fabulist story “straight”)!

• Crawford’s father notes this about the video in the article: “‘It was an execution, no doubt about it,’ alleged Crawford’s father, John Crawford II. ‘It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.’”

• The Crawfords’ attorneys have requested that “the department of justice…open a civil rights investigation into the Ohio incident, only the second fatal police shooting in Beavercreek’s history.”

• Aside from the reported facts dictating the greater truth that Crawford was focused upon his phone call—pretty much totally unaware that the police were approaching him with their guns drawn—it would appear that it wasn’t until after he was shot that he realized they were even speaking to him and telling him to put his gun down.

• Perhaps the most ominous new fact—and there are many, so you’ll have to read the article in its entirety to understand how truly twisted this case is—reported in this Guardian story is the following excerpt. It’s…

…only the second fatal police shooting in Beavercreek’s history. A white officer has been placed on administrative leave following Crawford’s shooting…

…Beavercreek police and the attorney general’s office have declined to name the officer who shot Crawford. However, after Sergeant David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams were placed on leave following the incident, Darkow has returned to work but Williams has not.
Williams was the officer behind the only other fatal police shooting in Beavercreek. In 2010, he shot dead Scott Brogli, a retired master sergeant in the US air force. According to Williams and a colleague, Brogli charged at them with a large knife after they went to investigate the 45-year-old’s drunken beating of his wife. A grand jury declined to bring any charges…

(Bold type is diarist’s emphasis)

The story concludes by informing readers that a Greene County grand jury “is scheduled to begin hearing evidence on 22 September.”


#            #            #

SIGN THE CHANGE.ORG PETITION TO DEMAND A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION OF THE BEAVERCREEK, OHIO POLICE KILLING OF JOHN CRAWFORD III AND TO INSIST THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL MIKE DEWINE RELEASE THE VIDEOTAPE OF THIS SHOOTING NOW!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION.

UPDATE (7:43 PM 9/24/2014): The grand jury has failed to indict the officers involved in John Crawford’s murder. They have also released the surveillance video of the shooting [TW: Violent Content]

UPDATE (7:46 PM 9/24/2014): The Department of Justice has announced that it is opening a federal investigation of the murder of John Crawford.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that he is turning the investigative files over to the U.S. Department of Justice for a civil rights review. The federal government has been monitoring the case and agreed to a review.

"The Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the FBI will conduct a thorough and independent review of the evidence and take appropriate action if the evidence indicates a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes," said Jennifer Thornton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

UPDATE (7:53 PM 9/24/2014): More information about the officers who shot John Crawford has been released.

image

Officer Sean Williams (left) and Sgt. David Darkow (right) were already on the scene, according to a statement released by Beavercreek Police on Aug. 6. They moved to the pet section, at the back of the store, where they confronted Crawford “holding a rifle,” the statement said.

“Officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon,” the statement said. After he failed to comply with officers’ commands, police said, he was shot. [NBC News]

This post will be updated when new updates are available.

Source: Bob Swern for Daily Kos

I have so much anger.

They are scum. 

(via randomactsofchaos)

— 4 days ago with 7985 notes
#murder  #white people  #sean silliams  #david darkow  #racism  #discrimination  #police brutality  #ohio  #ronald ritchie  #john crawford III  #violence  #violence against black bodies  #america  #usa