15 September 2008

swiping this from a friend and adding in a few excerpts for good measure:

this is your nation on white privilege, tim wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.


i guess i like it when someone takes all my disjointed frustrations and incredulity, and gives them a good shake, and they all fall into the little notches of a framework i've fallen away from because i've gotten too bogged down in the smallness of my life and of manufactured discourse. the pieces were all there in my head but i let self-absorbed political narrative, and annoyance with it, crowd out the capacity to take a step back and see what's really going on.

however: i am still frustrated that palin's children, her oldest daughter especially, have been so aggressively made into ciphers for everything about her.

11 September 2008

i was just talking about this shit with my friend jennifer

(pasting half of it)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. government employees received improper gifts from energy industry representatives, and engaged with them in illegal drug use and inappropriate sexual relations, according to a report issued Wednesday.

A report says government officials accepted gifts from oil and gas company employees.

The report was issued by the Interior Department's inspector general after a $5.3 million investigation "uncovered recreational marijuana and cocaine use" by "a handful" of Interior Department staff, and found two federal employees "engaged in brief sexual relationships with representatives from companies doing business" with the department.
Two Interior Department employees "received combined gifts and gratuities on at least 135 occasions from four major oil and gas companies with whom they were doing business -- a textbook example of improperly receiving gifts from prohibited sources," Inspector General Earl Devaney says in a letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne accompanying the report.


10 September 2008

you're an adult at twenty-one

DOB xx/xx/1987

pt's husband was killed in a car wreck, their child now lives w/ a disability b/c of wreck. Fixed income. --sb, 9/10

or in other words...

I oppose Sarah Palin because she is John McCain's running mate. John McCain, the man who laughed when one of his supporters called Hillary Clinton a b*tch. The man who has promised to nominate extreme right-wing judges to the Supreme Court. It doesn't matter what Sarah Palin stands for (though in fact she stands with McCain on these issues), because you wouldn't be voting for Palin for president, you'd be voting for McCain.
-Janet L., 44, Palo Alto, CA

i hesitated to link to the website, actually, because it is counter to all the things i was trying to say in my last post about how i swear i'm not gonna rant about palin. but this contributor summed it up well. it's still about the platform.

08 September 2008

summer of 68- forty years thence

Voice over loudspeaker: 'I would like to introduce to you Dr. Ralph David Abernathy -- the mayor of Resurrection City! Yeah!'

stuff i have been meaning to post for months now. excerpts pasted to persuade you to click through. enjoy:

Resurrection City

Rev. King had the vision to bring together poor people of all races to make visible the plight of poverty. It was not to be a sit-it, but a live-in. They built "Resurrection City" on the mall on Washington -- and the legacy of this city's rise and fall lives today.

Dr. Bernard Lafayette: I got a call from Martin Luther King. This was in '67. He said, 'I need you to come down to Atlanta and to move here and work full time. This may be my last campaign and we're going for broke.' And when I got to Atlanta, he appointed me the national coordinator for the Poor People's Campaign. Now the idea originally came from Marion Wright Edelman.

Marion Wright Edelman: I was Marion Wright back in 1968. I had been working with Robert Kennedy on poverty in Mississippi, and he told me to tell Dr. King to bring the poor to Washington. To make them visible.

Lafayette: And the idea was that we would bring those people in front of the folk who make decisions and build this tent city and camp out until you get what you want. The two of us, we're talking, so I said to MLK, 'Well, you say this is a PPC. Well, black people aren't the only ones poor -- are you talking about getting Hispanics involved?' He said 'Yes!' 'What about Native Americans?' 'Yes!' So I was getting to the final question, and that was the poor whites from Appalachia... He said, 'Are they poor?' He said if they were poor then this was their campaign.


MLK Memorial Statue dispute

Members of a powerful federal arts commission expressed satisfaction yesterday with changes to a memorial statue of Martin Luther King Jr. after the architect smoothed away wrinkles in King's brow and reshaped the mouth to impart a hint of a smile.

forty years after the poor people's campaign, king's assassination, and the riots that left swaths of many american cities, including the neighborhood next door to mine, burned out and barren, this country is still fucking up our responsibility to authentically remember a man who looked at the state of things and was not satisfied -- let alone our responsibility to authentically confront injustice.

let's stop talking about sarah palin and how sexily horrifying she is

let's get back to talking about why mccain sucks, and how his vp pick's horrifying-ness is basically a symptom of his own horrifying-ness

because it's really annoying to read about convention bounces and obama "becoming the underdog" because everyone wants to talk about sarah palin and somehow in contrast mccain seems well-intentioned and not batshit crazy.

focus, people!

04 September 2008

the following was written by lynn paltrow, who heads the national advocates for pregnant women. i have wanted to work with them since the day i heard about them -- last january, when they were organizing a conference in atlanta drawing together abortion clinic staff, midwives, obstetricians, and advocacy groups like the center for american progress... alas, apparently they operate on a shoestring and hire only lawyers. anyway, here you go:

An Open Letter to Gov. Sarah Palin on Women's Rights

By Lynn Paltrow, National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Posted September 4, 2008.

Dear Governor Sarah Palin:

Many Americans agree with your position regarding abortion -- they do this as a matter of faith, ethics, personal experience and sometimes politics. I am just wondering though, if you have thought about what would happen if you succeeded in getting your position -- that fetuses have a right to life -- established as the law of the land? Did you know that it not only threatens the lives, health and freedom of women who might want or need someday to end their pregnancies, it would also give the government the power to control the lives of women -- like you who -- go to term?

Your last pregnancy, the one that has become the topic of widespread discussion and speculation provides an important opportunity to demonstrate how this could be true.

According to press reports your water broke while you were giving a keynote speech in Texas at the Republican Governors' Energy Conference. You did not immediately go to the hospital -- instead you gave your speech and then waited at least 11 hours to get to a hospital. You evaluated the risks, made a choice, and were able to carry on your life without state interference. Texas Governor Rick Perry worried about your pregnancy but didn't stop you from speaking or take you into custody to protect the rights of the fetus.

After Ayesha Madyun's water broke, she went to the hospital where she hoped and planned to have a vaginal birth. When she didn't give birth in a time-frame comfortable to her doctors, they argued that she should have a C-section. The doctors asserted that the fetus faced a 50-75 percent chance of infection if not delivered surgically. (Risks of infection are believed by some health care providers to increase with each hour after a woman's water has broken and she hasn't delivered).

The court, believing like you that fetuses have a right to life, said, "[a]ll that stood between the Madyun fetus and its independent existence, separate from its mother, was put simply, a doctor's scalpel." With that, the court granted the order and the scalpel sliced through Ms. Madyun's flesh, the muscles of her abdominal wall, and her uterus. The core principle justifying an end to legal abortion in the U.S. provided the same grounds used to deprive this pregnant and laboring woman of her rights to due process, bodily integrity, and physical liberty. When the procedure was done, there was no evidence of infection.

According to the press reports, instead of going straight to a hospital you chose to get on a long airplane flight back to Alaska.

When Pamela Rae Stewart, allegedly, didn't get to the hospital quickly enough on the day of her delivery, she was arrested in California on the theory that she had violated the rights of her fetus.

When Laura Pemberton chose to give birth at home in Florida, a Sheriff came to her house. Doctors believed that she was posing a risk to the life of her unborn child by having a vaginal birth after having had a previous c-section and were in the process of getting a court order to force her to have a c-section. The sheriff took her into custody during active labor, strapped her legs together and forced her to go to a hospital where an emergency hearing was taking place to determine the rights of her fetus. She was "allowed" to represent herself. A lawyer was appointed for the fetus. This woman, who vehemently opposes abortion, nevertheless believed in her right to evaluate medical risks and benefits to herself and her unborn child. She was forced to have the unnecessary surgery and when she later sued for violations of her civil rights, was told fetal rights outweighed hers.

You chose to continue working throughout your pregnancy -- even during your labor. Until 1991 women who worked in high paying blue color jobs that provided health benefits were being fired based on "fetal rights" policies that claimed if the woman became pregnant she would expose the unborn child to workplace health risks. Eventually, the Supreme Court said employers covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (the PDA) could not do this. But, millions of American women work part time or for small employers who are not covered by the PDA. If your political position on abortion is accepted -- all of these women could be forced to give up their jobs because an employer, family member, or state agent believed it necessary to ensure the health and rights of their unborn child.

Governor Palin, you have led an extraordinary life, balancing work and family, public service and private family obligations. We hope you know though that your freedom relies on exactly the same legal principals that guarantee that American women can choose to have an abortion when they need and want one.

Sixty one percent of women who have abortions are already mothers. Eighty-four percent will be mothers by the time they are in their forties. As a proud mother of five beautiful children, we hope you will recognize that the issue isn't abortion -- it is ensuring the lives, dignity and freedom of all pregnant women and their families.

Lynn Paltrow
Executive Director
National Advocates for Pregnant Women

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