Wednesday, June 30, 2004

So I was reading When Work Disappears and I felt much better, because if blacks behave in certain ways because of their economic situation, maybe whites do the same thing, which is a more calming hypothesis than the other one which was that a large majority of the US population are jerks. Although, I will keep the old one in mind. Maybe they are worried about the economic crunch, and the competition for decent work, what with the immigrants and the need for people to go to college to get a job above trash collector, and mix that with some racial lies some dude spews, and viola! an easy way to discharge your tension.

I mean, isn't it easier to complain about black people than to improve the country? And it feels better too. I guess I am back to individual attributions, but it is true. It's a lot of work to reform society, and blaming the nearest person who looks different from you is a lot more fun.

Although, if you believe that you must go to this college or that college to be able to get a decent job, and you think (even though this isn't true) that people who look different from you are just waltzing in, and taking your spot and therefore your job, you are like "this must be stopped", especially if you have no idea about history or sociology, and don't care about society at all, only getting yours. But again, I'm wandering into individual terrain. Oh well...
You know, something that gets me really pissy is when people go, mess up a situation, and then call the people stuck in that situation names. Like people insisted on segregating neighborhoods, and not giving people true freedom after slavery. So finally, the black folk get some laws changed, and all seems good, right? Noooo, many of the poorer blacks are still stuck in that area, manufacturing jobs that used to actually pay something are moving out, and schools are attached to property tax, which in this area, means schools don't get squat. Your infrastructure is deteriorating, and basically, the change of laws hasn't changed the schools. Some people get bussed, but people complain too much about bussing, because it makes them uncomfortable.

So you go to a shitty school, don't get the tutors and tricks to game the tests, so people get all mad at you, because you're black, and blacks actually have to have worth to go to school. No matter that whites that were 'substandard' had been going to school for forever, scores only really become this big thing when blacks come in. Then when people are barred from going anywhere in life, they turn to crime, and then you call them inherently criminal. I don't know why people do that, but it pisses me off.

Although, I think people should read When Work Disappears. People don't read anything, then they think they can say anything, and it pisses me off.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"There's an arrogance that comes over people who think the system is just. The more just you think the system is, the crueler you're likely to be, because if you generally believe that those at the top deserve their success, you have to believe that those at the bottom deserve their failure. That's when you start talking about people as "losers," and saying things like, "Winners make their own luck." So there's a very nasty side to this otherwise very nice-sounding idea that we should make society fairer. Success is never totally deserved just as failure is never totally deserved. And I think there are too many overly happy billionaires who say things like, "No one ever helped me, so why should I help anyone else? Why should I pay taxes?" And one wants to say, "Yes, of course. ButÂ…" "

- Alain de Botton

This is a really great piece of wisdom. The whole interview was great- I am terribly afflicted with status anxiety. I hate resumes because I feel in some large part of me that the person will look at it, anddeterminee quickly my human worth, and toss it out without a second glance. On one hand, this is not true at all. They can't possibly know my human worth, they don't know me. Then again, people think they know your human worth based on just anything.

Stuff your mouth, sit on your ass, be fat you're a lazy person. Stuff your mouth sit on your ass, and be thin. Well, you're obviously just fine. Is your skin a bit too dark? Well, you're inherently stupid and criminal. Your clothes too cheap? You are lazy, and don't work. Basically, most of this stuff doesn't even matter, yet people base what they think your worth is on it.

I think Botton has a great point with the quote above especially. We think a person's success in life is who they are. The total sum of themselves can be summed up in a bank account and a high position at the table, while the rest of us are just subhuman. I should read the whole book to learn about alternatives.
First some good news. I read The Working Poor: Invisible in America, and it was very good. I liked his approach. He didn't go and be like "Oh, poor babies" or be like "Well, bootstraps, people!" and I liked how he did a lot of primary research, a lot of interviews, to really get a face on it. A main point is that yes, sometimes the poor do things they shouldn't do, but they have less leeway than a rich person who does something they shouldn't do.

For example, let's say a poor person eats really crappy, food because they are tired after work. Their diabetes or high blood pressure may go un noticed for years, causing a potential catastrophe. On the other hand, let's say a rich person eats crappy food. They have more money to go to the doctor, be told of their condition, they are more likely to have adequate insurance so that they can take the new drugs to control their conditions,etc,etc. So they both did something stupid, and it had completely different outcomes. He really does it much better in his book, which is great conscious raising for people who really haven't taught about this before.

Read the book- it's good.

In bad news, people are stupid. They caught a rape on video tape, and apparently that's just fine with these dirtbag jurors. A bunch of scum. In my opinion, it wouldn't distress me in the least if people who think gang raping people is ok shot themselves in the face, and left more air for decent people.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Creative Ways to reinforce White Supremacy

Just define what subjects have whites in them (or men) as important, and subjects with blacks (or women) in them as unimportant. Like History is important, but Women's History is useless. Or to make it even more final, all of liberal arts is unimportant because now it teaches about unimportant subjects. English now has sections that talk about women's lit,Sociology now talks about the plight of the black man. Psychology even barges in, talking about the differing sizes of structures in gay and straight people, men and women. Yes, I realize that that is more like biology, but it was taught in a psych class.

I don't mean that people just like wake up and say "Hey, to protect my male privilege, I'll complain about how women's studies doesn't cause people to get huge paychecks, so therefore it's worthless". It's sort of a mental process that you don't think about much. Like if I think my supply of little green pieces of paper is threatened, I will become very stressed out. Very rarely does it come into my head that green pieces of paper, or numbers in your bank account, do not have inherent value. It's like that. It's not exactly subconscious as you can think about it, and ask "why do I think something is worth more than something else", but it's more like hidden.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Here is a link to a streaming video interview with President Bush.


And on quite another note, it is pretty liberating to throw out everything you have that is remotely related to math. Out Cliffs Notes and Study Guides for Algebra and Trig and Calculus. Out beat up textbooks! Just out! Nothing brings down the energy in a room than being reminded of all that frustrating mess. I have to wait til the end of the summer to be rid of my chemistry book. I'd burn it, but I think selling it would be the most satisfying way to get rid of it.
Jesse Jackson is cooler than I thought. Here he talks about his fight to tell Appalachian voters that they don't have to hurt themselves. The more people vote to keep others down, the more they keep themselves down. We all have to realize that rich folks are going to keep getting rich, even if you are the same color as them. Just being the same color doesn't mean they are for your interests.

The country we live in is the same country, the world we live in is the same world. People should stop trying to ruin things for others because they are scared. Only courage will get us through, and you know what? Courage means venturing out of your comfort level. It means abandoning stereotypes and seeing what's really going on.

When you are controlled by fear of the other, or the unknown, can you really help anyone? I don't think so.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

It's easier to donate to the library than I thought it was. Just go to circulation and drop them off. Nice. It's important to donate to the library in my area, because their budgets get really tight, and so they may not be as effective education centers in our communities as they should be. So even a little extra would probably be nice.

I have always been fond of the public library. Maybe I accrued large fines, but that was a small price to pay for the pure joy of loading up on books.

Also as long as I am moralizing, give Russ Feingold some money. He voted against the Patriot Act.
I found a good LJ post

"i also believe that people of color and other oppressed groups are constantly being put on the spot by white folks and other people positions to flex oppressive power. we are put on the spot to justify positions, perspectives, beliefs, ways of being, and many times we are put on the spot to justify our existance. i've come to this belief through a mix of my experiences, the experiences of friends who are people of color (or glbtq or otherwise oppressed in mainstream US), and the writings of numerous scholars of color." - a person known as 'da guru'.
Despite some grammatical problems, I agree. People don't know more about black people than I know about the tribes of Laos, and they think they know all about blackness, and can tell everyone what is wrong with black people.

I read "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" again lately. It is an interesting look at the Hmong culture by way of the story of a Hmong girl with severe epilepsy. I have done more work than most people who badmouth blacks have done on blacks. Yet, I would not presume that I could walk into a Hmong community, declare them pathological, and then lay out what they need to be doing.

You know why? You can't solve a problem by walking in, saying "I'm superior", and judging everyone by your biased standards. The problem is that everyone thinks they have the only correct yardstick, and think it is perfect and objective.

For example, people will be like "but the amount of money people make is objective" but you put in your own subjectivity by saying that money is important, and that worth should be measured by it.
I think Bush causes AIDs. Seriously, he's always trying to push his junk about abstinence, which is really unrealistic. 95% or more of the population is going to have sex. It doesn't matter about marriage licensing, because even if people wait til marriage to have sex, people tend to divorce at a high rate nowadays, meaning that people will have sex with more than one person their entire life. If people are going to have sex, they need to protect themselves, and wagging your finger isn't going to help.

I think if something doesn't work, you don't have to keep doing it. Wagging the finger may feel good, but it doesn't work. We've been wagging our finger about drugs for years, yet drug use still continues, and sex, well, sex is a basic human drive- so how is wagging the finger going to help?

I dislike how people think blaming is a substitute for useful action. Blaming is like a hammer. It works with nails, but not on screws, and not on millions of other things. However, there is way more in our toolboxes than that.

I guess people do it because it feels good. I mean, you get a nice feeling of moral superiority. That's fun and all, but how feelings of moral superiority ever solved any problems is a mystery to me.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Spay or neuter your god danm animals. Also, don't get them from the pet store- you could be enabling puppy mills. Get them from a shelter. There's no need to have a pure breed anything for your family pet. Get a mutt and be happy with it.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I like Hip Mama. It's by mothers, yes, but not the kind of boring mothers that are so reified in the public eye. Sure,maybe they'd bake you cookies, but the 'special' kind. I really enjoyed this little story about a single mother and her thoughts on Monica Lewinsky.

I agree with the fact that we're always talking about how that ho was doing this and that, but other avenues tend to be complained about. Even the socially approved role of wife and mother has to do with sex. Sexual attraction brings many couples together, and to be a mother, you must have sex.
Let them eat cake, he says. What's with our morals nowadays? I don't mean morals like don't have sex, I mean real values like compassion, empathy, and caring. If that doesn't work, one of the basic human needs is food. People aren't going to be like 'hey, I'm starving, well, I was a lazy bastard and deserved it", they'll do something desperate to get food, and it's not going to be all happy bunnies.

I'm sorry, but I get sick and tired of people who work way harder than me being called lazy. I work 3 hours a day at my job, and maybe a little extra on selling buttons. Sometimes at work, there is nothing to do. But I'm supposed to be less lazy than folks my age who were busting their ass at the MegaMart til they got laid off. Yea, that's right. If you have the right parents, you're automatically not lazy. Yea, right. Middle class kids go and work their little jobs so they can have a nicer car and some pot or beer, and no one calls them lazy. But someone has a problem besides "Oh Noes, I have to buy a used PS2" and they are just awful. Man, this country!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bullying Sucks.
My mom does not know what scholarships are. She believes that people just apply, and they give you money. Not so. They want kids with high GPAs, great essays, president of ten clubs,etc, not bob off the street. Of course, I understand it's very hard to tell if your kid is average, and in the past, a 3.2 would be a good GPA. I'm not saying I don't do any work, but unlike the prevailing myths say, there's a kind of mathematical bent going here. Only a few people can be outstanding, that's the whole point. It's like how if more people get As, then getting all As is outstanding, but if everyone gets Ds, then getting a C is outstanding. I dislike competition, because of the heavy math involved.

Only one person can win most competitions, and the whole point of competition is that people lose, so there can be a winner. There's never a win win competition. I am pretty aware that the odds are against me, and very aware of my real position, which is much harder to do when you're not the person. We all try to make ourselves look better, but only we know the tally of all our mistakes.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

I finally found John Scalzi's posts about what losers the Confederates were. Read and free your mind.

Also, while I'm thinking about it, here are some tips to make the world a bit better.

Support indie merchants, and media.

Donate to your local library. The library is the best place to free your mind.

Read to a child.

Declare a media fast for a day and get in tune with your life.

Create something new.

Pick up trash.

If you know someone who could use a warm meal, help them out. This is especially important for new mothers.

If your local government is screwing up, write them a letter.

Oppose racism/sexism/classism in the media.

Question your own assumptions. I am relatively richer than many people, but I have good sense enough to know that having money doesn't make you a better person.

Read books.

Yes, this stuff isn't as cool as marching in the streets and setting stuff on fire, but if a lot of people do something small, there can be a big change. At least I think there can be, I'm pretty airheaded lately.




This is my 700th post. I just finished watching Freaks and Geeks, so I have some thoughts about it. One interesting part is that it is situated between eras. The 70s have ended, but bits of it are stuck around everywhere- jumpsuits, disco clubs, the fact that there are dead heads hanging around, ugly muscle cars, and dried up hippies as guidance counselors. Signs of the 80s are fading in- George H. W. Bush speaks at their school, ataris are bought, etc. It's probably some sort of high faluting metaphor for how childhood lingers on into adolescence. Pretty lame,eh?

I had only seen one or two episodes of the show from way back, but those episodes were really high quality, so I asked for it for my birthday. What I asked for, I received, and it was great. I wonder about the high sales of shows like this one, My So Called Life, and Family Guy on DVD. Maybe there is an untapped audience that TV execs are ignoring, and that are tuning out because most TV sucks, but hey, what do I know? I'm some chick with a blog.

Friday, June 18, 2004

It seems like Bitch magazine is having a summer subscription drive! Subscribe to one of the best magazines on the planet.

PENIS!!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Here is a good post on blog snobbery. I don't do anything technical to get these musings to you. I just type in a window on my computer, and then press a button. Yet, they manage to mostly be spelled correctly, and to suggest that I once looked at a book of English grammar, and that's more than you can ask from most people.
Here is some good feminist discourse. I see the same pattern in so called black conservatives. I mean, I'm not saying I'm miss wonderful, and that large amounts of money to bad mouth people wouldn't tempt me. I mean, you get a special place- people pay attention to you, pay you large speaking fees, buy your books, because you say what they want to hear. They don't want to hear reality, which they try so hard to run away from. They desperately want to know that it's not their fault, that they aren't responsible, that they don't have to do any work. They want it so badly, that I fear they'll do anything to get it. People have killed before to go back to a past that never existed. It's really sad.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

This interview of Seth reminds me of how I feel that I can't really enjoy nostalgia. I feel that in the past, I would have been swallowed up, I would have disappeared. We of course are all men and women of our times, so of course, the present me would not exist. But the closest thing to it couldn't have survived until about the 60s or 70s or so, maybe even the 80s. I get mad enough at mere unenlightened people spouting ignorance. Let them blow up some churches, and I'd do something that I really shouldn't be doing.

I like history- in another life, maybe I'd be a historian, but I mostly just admire the resolve of the people living in hard times. The people who lived through Jim Crow, who lived through slavery- there are many heroes among them, as well as many middling folk, and many people who suck. But probably a higher portion of heroes than usual. I couldn't have started a business knowing if I got too big, someone would try to burn me out.

Heck, I'm struggling with the fact that I tremble to write anything. n asute reader would say- you're writing right now. But since no one reads my blog, I feel that I am talking to myself. Talking to others is the problem.


Also, this is a good blog post about the Asian Persuation Also, someone who can actually write. Shock.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Reagan pisses me off. He not only reminds me that folks will lie about you, and not even apologize when it's shown to be false, but of the differences between the black world and the white one. Of course, these worlds are mostly racially segregated, but that doesn't mean a black can't wander into the white world or vice versa.

In the white world, locking people in dank, terrible camps for years for no reason needs reparations, but locking people in ships, beating people and raping people, taking their rights away by law for years, not letting them have jobs for no reason, medically experimenting on them without their consent,etc,etc, isn't a bad thing at all, and it's ridiculous people even bring it up.

In the white world, black people aren't really part of America, even if they have been there from the beginning, and are part of a big reason America is so wealthy today. Do you think having people work for free didn't make somebody wealthy?

In the white world, the rules of logic are changed, and blacks can, at the same time, being only ten percent of the population, steal all the white people's jobs, and college spots, yet also spend all their time smoking crack while on welfare, and shooting people in the face.


In the white world, any attempt to make the world better for blacks is racist against them, even if it's something like not saying the n word. But a white guy could go around, write about how inferior we are, and it's not racist.



Saturday, June 12, 2004

Yay, "Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back" shirts.

Some time ago, there was a lot of BS about how women were from Venus and men were from Mars in some charlatan's self help pap. Anyway, this lady decided, hey, this shit is a bunch of crap, why don't I critique it in a feminist manner? So she did, and the world was a whole lot smarter.
Great, more clever talk about race and class.

It's amazing how a few lies can stick around forever, but noone ever hears the truth. One of the bad things about Reagan is that he repeated the lies about welfare queens even when he knew they were not true. Everyone is very eager to believe lies, but do they ever try to seek out the truth?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Today I mailed a letter to Donald Rumsfeld. Yesterday, I was going to Working For Change to look at some Tom tomorrow, and since I was clicking around, I stumbled upon their campaign to get Rush Limbaugh off American Forces Radio. I'm against Rush Limbaugh- he likes to spread hurtful misinfomation, especially about minorities, and his latest comments about how Abu Gharib was like "frat hazing" really annoyed me. I personally thought it was inappropriate, so I sent a snail mail message about it. Also, I am a geek at heart, and think that if I could score a form letter on Defense Department letter head, that would be cool. Maybe I don't like this particular Defense Department, but cool is cool.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Read this post about rape. Educate yourself.
The Christian Science Monitor talks about affirmative Action for males. See how the argument is framed. For example, in this article, the woman complains about 'lowered standards' and how blacks and Hispanics should have to live up to the same standards. Yet, there's only a mention that women are usually stronger applicants, not a bunch of raping famous men's corpses to suggest that this is sexist. There's no attempted co optation of feminist rhetoric here, as the conservatives here try to use to make us feel that social justice is 'racist'. Men aren't called to live up to the same standards- no, their underachievement is fine- it's not a pathology. Also, note the lack of saying that letting men in leaves women out, unlike this article in the New York Times:

"The inclusion of race on the scale, with the result that nearly all qualified minority applicants are admitted to the competitive program while many qualified white students are turned away, demonstrates the absence of the ``individualized consideration'' that the Bakke decision required, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote"

What exactly is so bad about having qualified whites turned away if they are replaced with qualified minorities? Unless the perception is that whites are the ones who should get in by default. The idea is that blacks are taking over whites' 'rightful' places and that annoys me. The only reason that many blacks were not in the predominately white colleges was discrimination. It wasn't anything inherent in having dark skin, and so many people forget that.

I think the Street harassment Project is cool, because it notes that women have the right to be on the street without fear, and doesn't blame women for the actions of men. I got yelled at once in the street for wearing stockings. So, am I supposed to purge my wardrobe of stockings or should the guy just shut up? I am mystified at people who blame the victim. Why women dressing in ordinary clothing and walking down their own streets is so horrible, yet it's perfectly ok to invade someone's space and harass them, I have no clue. I never got the idea that the person agressed against was supposed to change.

I think it's like people want males to be dominant. If women have to tip toe around worrying for their lives just for walking in the street, weak males feel powerful. It's too bad there aren't enough real men around. A real man doesn't need to harass folks in the street to show that he's a man. He knows he's a man. He doesn't need to disrespect women. That's a good sign of a fake ass man. I mean, if you need to try to intimidate someone smaller than you to be a man, you're not one.

Also, saying that men aren't responsible for their actions in this case makes them look bad. I mean, the idea that men are just forced to shout offensive things out, and can't control their own behavior, and have to depend on women to protect them from themselves, that doesn't speak well of men. I know many real men who can control their behavior, so that lie is just a cop out.

Also, I wish I had so much chutzpah as to kick someone's ass. Here's the story of a woman who did what many of us wish we could.
I got Freaks and Geeks for my birthday, and it is great. I didn't get to see more than half of it on TV, so the first two episodes are episodes I had never seen before. It's got good dynamics starting off. Lindsey wants to be accepted, yet still doesn't want to go too far. Sam just wants to be left alone, but the outside world keeps intruding. In all that, there are crushes that are subject to the typical tensions- Sam likes a cheerleader, but even though Cindy is friendly to him, there's a lot of other boys around and asking. Lindsey might like Daniel, but Kim is always in the way. I always like these tensions in a good drama. It keeps it interesting. And the last dance scene in the first episode is one of the most enjoyable depictions of joy around.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I admire this guy's logical and simple way of framing the argument. It's too bad that real information about affirmative action isn't spread about as fast as lies about it. I guess what you really want to believe sticks in your ear, and the rest falls out.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The black hate industry

There seems to be a whole industry devoted to hating blacks. I mean, there are foundations that 'study' how pathological we are, there are whole books devoted to 'proving' how stupid we are, and how any racial problems are our fault, there are pundits devoted to spreading lies and inaccuracies about black history, people who are paid to pull the lies together and write about them, politicians who depend on fear of blacks for votes.

The Hispanic hate industry is smaller, but it's getting more impressive as time goes on. However, the black hate industry has grown steadily, so that's why it's slightly bigger now.
I am so interested in race because it's a problem on the edge of logic. Humans made it up, but now that we have had it for so many years, it's hard to unmake it. For example, there are many 'black' people with European blood, and many 'white' people with African blood, but people see people who look like they are mostly European as individuals, while they see people who look like they have African blood as a monolith. This of course makes no sense, and there's no reason for it, but it's shaped our society for so long.

White people will vote against help for themselves if they can hurt imaginary 'blacks' who are 'sucking the system dry', even if they may themselves have as much African blood as those 'blacks'. People also judge whether something should be taught based on skin color. If a man with light skin invented something in the past, it is considered worthy to be taught. If a man with dark skin invented something, even a small mention is 'multiculturalism', which is said to ruin our schools for reasons unbeknownst to me.

People truly seem to believe in these categories, even if they say they are color blind. I mean, slavery has been over for a hundred and forty years as they all say, but the people keep making excuses about it. If they didn't identify in some way with the slave owners, why the reason to make up lies or blame it on someone else? It's the same pattern with people who like to pretend the Holocaust never happened- they are often involved in groups with problems with Jew hating.

I guess race is like bills. We made up bills too, but the average man can't wish them away, and the more you pretend they aren't there, the more they pile up.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

It took me a month of lethargy to get through 88 episodes of Sailor Moon. I personally think the Black Moon arc is one of the strongest parts of the anime. First, it takes a character through an entire arc of development. While all the characters in Sailor Moon grow and evolve(that's one of the selling points), Chibi Usa's development here is particularly note worthy. She goes from a scared little girl who acts out because she is in a truly frightening situation, to being able to face up to her mistakes and fix them, even if she has to become the (really cool looking) embodiment of darkness beforehand. I mean, imagine this. You're 5 or 6 years old. For all you know, your mom is dead, and your dad gravely injured, and it's all your fault. This isn't going to be sunshine and vanilla pancakes, and you're not going to act like miss sunshine.

Second, the villains are engaging and human. I like Sailor Moon's formula of having some villains that can be convinced, and villains that have real motivations, besides ohohohohoh, we're evil. Sure, Wiseman/Dark Phantom isn't exactly Mr. Motives, but the rest of the clan make up for it. Dimande's desire for revenge, Sapphir's brotherly love, and Esemeraude's love for Dimande are all solid reasons that they fall for the trickery of the Wise Man. This is a pretty good addition to a children's show. People don't just wake up, and are evil, but usually have ways to justify themselves. Also, I like the fact that they included some conversation, some idea that people with differences could live together, which encourages a more peaceful viewpoint.

Third, it also helps flesh out the 'back story' of Sailor Moon, by showing the future. This makes the imaginary world of the cartoon richer and deeper.

Forth, even the filler episodes are fun. It's hard to keep a good momentum going when you use filler, but it held up tolerably well.
The Sisterhood Showcase

Yesterday, I went to the Sisterhood Showcase. I met E Lynn Harris, but was unable to speak, although I got his autograph. There were vendors with everything from afrocentric books, shirts and dolls, to boring retailers like Dillards. My mom says they usually have more boutique shops and book sellers than they did this time. That sucks, because we would have liked to get Happy to Be Nappy for mom's grand nieces. There was a teen panel which talked about everything from wearing brand name clothes, to how white people are allowed to wear more revealing clothes at school, to homophobia in the black community to basic theology. There was a model show with loud music and lots of sexy male models. There were also hospitals galore, out to screen the black community for everything from diabetes to high blood pressure.

David Horowitz is an Attention Whore

Here are some more links about how much of an attention whore he is. Read them all, please. The whole reason for me posting these links is to oppose lies that others speak as truth. Although, while all these links are interesting and important, I would like to pull out one for special consideration. This one refutes ten lies that Horowitz had been spreading in a good amount of depth.


This girl is smarter than me Read the archives, they are great.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I'm 20 today, as I have said before. I feel that I am becoming an adult. I was thinking of the debt I can not pay. People before I was born were sacrificing so I could live in a better world than they had to live in. After I was born, my parents sacrificed so that I could live better, and everyone worked so we could live in a society that was orderly. My debt can never be paid- you can't do more than live for a person, it's a greater sacrifice than dying for a person.

I guess at least knowing about the people who worked for me to live gives me a sense of community. Many people are not connected, because they don't see the line of sacrifice running for hundreds of years. Even if it wasn't for you specifically, those who loved the future enough to make it just, worked for you.

I think becoming an adult means that you start to know the meaning of this sacrifice, and maybe contribute to it. Of course, I'm sure this isn't universal. The idea of sacrifice is embedded in my culture- and I respect the idea of the living Jesus, who lived his life for the poor, who lived his life for the downtrodden. He didn't live his life for vanity or silliness, but for others.

I guess we don't see the value of sacrifice as it is considered a feminine value. I think the values we deride and mock- compassion, a sense of justice, cooperation- are the ones we need most. We lie and say self reliance is crucial. Ain't nobody ever just relied on themselves. They all lived in societies, and they all got help sometimes.

People are going blind to make your clothes. People are dying to 'serve your national interest'. People are breaking their backs to make your society and your community. Show them respect.
Today is my birthday. I am twenty years old. I am also afraid to write. I can write on my blog, as I am sure noone reads it, but doing any productive writing is impossible because of my fear. I just stare at the pages that I started last month, and my stomach is in knots. I'm ill today, so at least I have an excuse to not do anything.

Friday, June 04, 2004

This post is about several things. First, the tail end of Sailor Moon R, which I had not seen before, is rather shabbily animated it seems to me. Also, here is a good article about 'the race card' I'd like to note that co opting the language of victimhood sucks. I mean, maybe Bonds is overstating his case, but come on, even spun by right wingers, you can't even make his speech even resemble hate speech. I wonder if people are simply so privleged that they don't know what real hate speech is, and just plug in terms without knowing their context. Same for people saying a black guy stealing your lunch money is oppression. No it's not, it's called "Look, this guy needs a cock punch"

Also, Condi Rice talks about domestic terrorism in the 1960s.
Another Cosby repost. I think poor blacks are the scapegoats for all our problems. I mean, it's not just LaShiniqutia and DeShawn in the ghetto who are wearing $500 shoes, and not getting a $20 hooked on phonics, you know? Materialism is a big problem in America, and many people are very anti intellectual- you can see this in their attitudes towards life- that they think everything is a simple case of "good" and "bad".

HUTCHINSON: Stereotypes Not Cosby Are the Real Problem

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet
June 3, 2004

Comedian Bill Cosby's partial recant that his knock of allegedly bad behaving blacks was a call for action and not a broad brush stroke indictment of all poor blacks, came too little, too late. The gaggle of rightwing shock jocks, conservative black apologists and op-ed columnists have giddily embraced him as their darling, and many blacks cheer him for supposedly daring to speak what they call, "the truth."

But what is that truth? A special Census report in February 1999 on black achievement and the National Urban League's State of Black America annual reports found that the overwhelming majority of blacks graduate from high school, their drop-out rates are only marginally higher than that of whites (not fifty percent as Cosby claimed), and a significant number of black high school graduates go on to college.


A survey of student attitudes by the Minority Student Achievement Network, an Illinois-based educational advocacy group in 2002, found that black students were as motivated, studied as hard, and were as serious about graduating as whites. Even in the poorest of poor black neighborhoods, countless numbers of children live in non-welfare dependent, two-parent households where the children do not sell drugs, join gangs, get pregnant in their teens or mumble in unintelligible babble.


Cosby better than anyone should know these things. He has spent much of his professional career battling the clown, coon and mammy image of blacks in Hollywood. He has written books touting the excellence and achievements of young blacks. He has given tons of money to charitable and educational causes whose goal is to provide resources and create opportunities for the legions of young blacks who want to improve their lives.


Though Cosby is one of the best-known blacks to fan negative racial stereotypes, he's hardly the only one. Despite much evidence to the contrary, many blacks routinely trash, demean and ridicule themselves. They unthinkingly and unquestioningly spin sordid tales of ghetto car jackers, gang bangers, drive-by-shooters, and dope dealers that supposedly turn black communities into war zones and cesspools of rot.


Some blacks in the rap and hip-hop world are deeply complicit in fanning this stereotype. The rap moguls have reaped king's ransoms peddling their music-video-cartoon version of the thug life. The rebellious young of all colors that shell out billions to enrich them are almost totally mindless of the social complexities, and the artistic and intellectual richness of the black experience. Even more tragic, some blacks further bolster the thug life stereotype by committing or winding up as victims of violence. The murders of rap icons Tupac Shakur, and Notorious BIG have been the stuff of cheap media sensationalism.


Cosby's ill-thought-out remarks is not just grist for the mill of conservative talking heads to hammer blacks -- they certainly didn't need Cosby to do that -- they also confirm that the problems of poor blacks are self made and insoluble. Many employers admit that they won't hire young blacks because they believe they are lazier, more crime prone, and educationally deficient. Many politicians, even without the excuse of ballooning state and federal budget deficits and cutbacks, mightily resist efforts to increase spending on job, health and education programs for the poor while waging relentless war against affirmative action.


During the Democratic presidential primary debates, with the arguable exceptions of John Edwards and Howard Dean, the white Democratic presidential candidates were mute on issues such as urban investment, health care for the uninsured, fixing lousy inner-city public schools, racial profiling, affirmative action, the racial disparities in prison sentencing and the racially marred drug laws.


Despite the plummet in crime rates, racial stereotypes have deeply embedded the popular and terrifying belief that crime in America comes exclusively with a young, black male face. The result: nearly one million blacks are now warehoused in America's jails, the majority of them young blacks, and a significant number of them are there for non-violent, petty drug crimes. Then last but not least, there's Cosby himself. In times past, Cosby has been ripped by the same white and black conservatives that revere him for talking favorably about affirmative action, civil rights, and for his own sexual hijinks. His wife Camille Cosby was slammed for having the temerity to suggest that racism may have been a factor in the murder of their son, Ennis Cosby.


Cosby didn't invent the shopworn stereotype that poor blacks, and indeed the poor in general, are their own worst enemy. This belief has been around for a long time. But Cosby is a recognized and endearing icon, and when he speaks, people listen. In this case, what they heard from him won't change their negative belief about the black poor.


Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and columnist.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

This post is reposted not because I think that blacks do not need to do anything, but because it's pretty easy for whites to make excuses to not hold up their end.

Bill Cosby and White America
Cosby feeds White America's 'Can't Do, Won't Do' Attitude
by Paul Street; June 01, 2004


Bill Cosby's decision to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision by proclaiming that poor black people deserve their fate at the bottom of America's steep socioeconomic pyramid has delighted many white Americans. Large numbers of United States Caucasians are grateful for Cosby's widely reported intra-racial top-down smack-down, which gave politically safe - because nominally "black" - confirmation to their own self-satisfied opinion that poor African-Americans have nothing and nobody but themselves to blame for their difficult circumstances in this great "color-blind" "land of opportunity."

"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal," Cosby' declared. "These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids -- $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.' . . . "They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English," he exclaimed. "I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is.'"

According to the Washington Post, Cosby also turned his wrath to "the [black] incarcerated" and many black victims of police brutality. "These are not political criminals," Cosby proclaimed. "These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, [saying] 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?"

There should be nothing surprising about Cosby's remarks. Along with a number of other affluent and conservative black "elites," Cosby has been providing service to white privilege for some time now. What, after all, was the secret to the spectacular success that the "The Cosby Show" with a predominantly white viewing audience in the 1980s? As culture critic Mark Crispin Miller noted in a 1986 essay titled "Cosby Knows Best," the affluent, ever-cheerful, and hyper-consumerist, apolitical African-American Huxtable family - headed by the affable, impish obstetrician Cliff (played by Dr. Cosby himself)- functioned as "an ad, implicitly proclaiming the fairness of the American System: 'Look! [Cosby shows us] Even I can have all this!" "On 'The Cosby show,'" Miller noted, "it appears as if blacks in general can have, and do have, what many whites enjoy and that such material equality need not entail a single break-in. And there are no hard feelings, none at all, now that the old injustices have been so easily rectified."

Consistent with its mission of selling the American System and the related idea that America's racial divisions had been overcome, "The Cosby Show" refused to permit any "negativity" on the screen. "This is a conscious policy," Miller noted, observing that "Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard, reads through each script as a 'consultant,' censoring any line or bit that might somehow tarnish the show's 'positive image.' And the show's upscale mise-en scene has also been deliberately contrived to glow, like a fixed smile. 'When you look at the artwork [on the show's walls], there is a positive feeling, an up-feeling,' Cosby says. 'You don't see downtrodden, negative I Can't Do, I won't do.'" (Miller, Boxed In: The Culture of TV [Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1988], pp.69-75). How revealing to see Cosby go selectively "negative" in 2004, against a rather safe target: the nation's most downtrodden.

The dirty little secret 18 years after Miller's essay and 50 years after the Brown decision is that the racial injustices have not in fact been rectified. The "fairness of the American System" is a cruel and bitter hoax inflicted on masses of truly disadvantaged U.S. blacks. Millions of responsible African-Americans, many of whom work long hours (sometimes in multiple jobs) and yet remain stuck among the "lower economic people," continue to be victimized by mainstream white America's "Cant Do, Won't Do" attitude, as in:

Can't, Won't fairly integrate America's schools, which remain highly segregated by race (increasingly so since the 1980s), directly contrary (by the way)to the spirit of the very Brown decision (which ruled that separate schools were inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional) that Cosby was (supposedly) commemorating.

* Can't, Won't fairly integrate American housing markets, which distribute much more than housing, including access to jobs, employment networks,recreation, shopping, medical services, and good schools.

* Can't, Won't fairly provide black children with schools and an educational experience equal to those enjoyed by white children.

* Can't, Won't hire fairly, without discriminating against African-Americans, even when black job applicants have equal or superior qualifications to their white competitors.

* Can't, Won't police, prosecute, legally represent, sentence, or incarcerate fairly, without racial and related economic bias, so that - to give one among countless savage racial US criminal justice disparities - blacks comprise 15 percent of all users of illegal drugs but make up more than 60 percent of people serving time behind bars for drug crimes.
Can't, Won't invest adequate meaningful and effective resources into devastated and predominantly black communities, whose deep disadvantage is exacerbated by the racially disparate "War on Drugs" and the related rampant mass incarceration and felony-marking of black males.

* Can't, Won't value the life of a black inner-city youth as much as material goods and commodities, like, say, pound cake, the theft of which (by a black teenager)leads to a justifiable state execution in Cosby's chilling view. * Can't, Won't acknowledge the depth, degree and ramifications of the criminal abuse and oppression that white America has inflicted on people of African ancestry since the early colonial onset of black chattel slavery, whose unacknowledged crippling legacy remains powerful and significant a mere five generations after its formal abolition.

Beyond the ubiquitous daily terror and misery inflicted by heavily racialized structural and historical inequalities and the white mainstream's denial of the resulting injustice, people at the bottom-run intersections of capitalism and racism must contend with the victim-blaming shame imposed by certain members of the black "elite." Those relatively privileged and comfortable African-Americans feel their own position (considerably less exalted than that held by white "elites") threatened by white racial perceptions that are influenced by widely disseminated media images of irresponsible, parasitic, and predatory blacks. Some of those "elites" are happy to follow in the footsteps of the white ruling-class, which has a long history of blaming working and lower classes for their relative poverty and powerlessness. Some take their own relative success, unimaginable in the pre-Civil-Rights
era, as proof that anyone can and should make it America if only they adopt the "right," "positive" values and behavior.

What "deal" is it, exactly, that "the lower economic people" within the black community "are not holding up?" It's the one where masses of poor blacks don't protest or feel angry and ripped off while vast white-dominated structures of concentrated wealth and power reign supreme, tilting "equal" opportunity against those without inherited and interrelated economic, cultural, and white-skin privilege. It's the one that opens a few doors of advancement to a certain small share of fortunate African-Americans, who are encouraged to join in the general condemnation of those who struggle with poverty and its multiple consequences in the industrialized world's most unequal and wealth-top-heavy society.

It's a rotten, stinking, authoritarian, and racist deal, one that requires some people to exhibit heroic amounts of work and "personal responsibility" just to survive from one day to the next but permits others to enjoy remarkable wealth and power while hardly working at all. It is no structural and political accident, of course, that the former group is very disproportionately black and the latter group is very disproportionately white. That many among the second, super-empowered group use the remarkable moral and behavioral leeway they are granted to perpetrate crimes of vast domestic and international significance only intensifies the odium of Cosby's victim-blaming, power-serving rant.
Paul Street (pstreet99@sbcglobal.net) is an urban social policy researcher in Chicago, Illinois.




An entertaining take on the Confederate Flag.

Give money to some anarchists or whatever.

Heathens Against Hate
Which is why I often say that many--not all, but many--of the people we wrongly label "liberals" today should most properly be thought of as today's reactionary class. As John Stuart Mill would say, they don't have ideas so much as irritable mental gestures that vaguely seek to resemble ideas. And their arguments almost inexorably degenerate into ad hominem attacks and assumptions about others' motives. Everything becomes about what the other guy is "really" saying (i.e. he has a Secret Agenda), what he is "really" trying to do (i.e. he has a Secret Plan).


This is a quote from Dean's World. Please see all of it here.

I disagree. You can't just take everyone at face value. If someone says "Well, we're trying to help the Iraqi people", but all their actions seem to be against it, you can say that something is up there. And sometimes there is a subtext to things. For example, a lot of the anti immigrant sentiment has a semi racist subtext. We can't just ignore that. Then again, maybe Dean comes from a place with more plain speakers without detailed plans, but here, I think folks on both sides will do anything to get their man in, whether it is trying to pretty up racist assumptions just enough to not lose the racist vote, but also not sound racist to people who are kinda against racism, or to make an increase in taxes sound better to those who howl over the idea of even a fifty cent increase in taxes, so I can't just trust their words, especially if I am 'reactionary' and don't want the strides of the past erased.

People who were much smarter and braver than me worked really hard to get the freedoms I have today. Some even died. So I feel that it takes a little more than just being not 'reactionary'.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Female Oppression: Rape, Genital Mutilation , lack of access to safe medical procedures

Male Oppression: One night a week, women pay less for drinks so that men will come in.
Of course, everyone, people of color and people who are not, should let go of the fantasy that we can do whatever we want and not have to consider others. That fantasy is terrible, because we think we deserve this power to hurt others and then blame them for being hurt. I'm getting older, and so I think we should be gentler to each other. Pain comes around anyway.
Here are some more anti white supremacy articles. I can't think of anything to do, so I will distribute these articles. I don't think that anything in the world should keep you from educating yourself, whether you be black or white. Richard Wright educated himself on a dubiously borrowed library card, and if you are reading this, you have the internet, one of the most powerful means for education in the world. So read these with a good heart.

This article gives background, and historical grounding.

This details a white activist and his struggles against white supremacy.

This is one of my favorites as it talks about how white supremacy hurts whites too, reminding me of the subtext of the book Kindred.

These are from the community information of an anti racist, anti fascist community on livejournal.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

"I can't help you with your bullshit. All I can do is use your company to make me feel happy. What good does that make me? Not much"- a paraphrase of words by Ron Rege Jr.

I read an amazing essay about anti racist work. I worry it may be a bit high level, but I think exposing people, even people on low levels to high level work is good. I like how this level system reveals how much influence video games have had over me. In many RPGs, you gain experience by defeating monsters and then you level up. So to me, anti racism has levels. The first is when you realize that things aren't right in this country, and then you have to go on and explore more. Some are stuck at certain stages and some progress faster than others. At high levels, there are critiques of the systems of anti racism themselves, which can only really be made after you get the point, I think. Anyway, you probably don't need to read my babbling. Here it is.