“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”—Stephen Colbert (via soupsoup)
I keep telling myself that I’m going to start taking pictures, but my camera is too complicated and I feel embarrassed pulling it out because I don’t know how to use it. But I’ve decided this can’t go on any longer! And I’m going to buy a book about it.
Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.”
The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.
”—MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, the most-cited living author in the world and one of the most staunchly anti-capitalist intellectuals in the United States, has sent a “strong message of support” to the organizers of the Occupy Wall Street protests (via cantorknox)
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”—
“I have yet to see a death case among the dozens coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial… People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty.”—Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg (via absurdlakefront)
“A 2008 poll of 1,400 Americans by the Cornell Survey Research Institute found that when people were asked whether they had “ever used a government social program,” 57 percent said they had not. Respondents were then asked whether they had availed themselves of any of 21 different federal policies, including Social Security, unemployment insurance, the home-mortgage-interest deduction and student loans. It turned out that 94 percent of those who had denied using programs had benefited from at least one; the average respondent had used four.”—Suzanne Mettler: Americans think they don’t rely on the government, but actually do (via jonathan-cunningham)
You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts.
You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth.
Oh, you know, just a piece of no bake cookie that I had wrapped in a paper towel, stuffed in my stocking drawer, and then forgotten about. Oh yeah, it had only been there a FEW MONTHS, since this guy I was seeing at the time made them and gave me a few.
Currently feeling so accomplished as a twenty-three year old woman.
Ah, the joys of lunch duty. Allow me paint a picture for you. Imagine being locked in a giant room with 400 twelve and thirteen year-olds for half an hour. Your duties (besides basic survival) include making sure they don’t sneak into the lunch line before their section has been called,…
Oh Blair, this makes me so nostalgic for elementary school. Remember when you were completely unable to sit in your seat during lunch, and the principal would walk by, put her hand on your head and say, “Sit down, Blair.” Every single lunch.
People can suck a lot. I did write this whole passive aggressive post about a girl I know who recently ended our friendship by blocking me on Facebook. But what’s the point? Of course I can be a bitch, but where does it leave me? Haters gonna hate. That bullshit isn’t worth my time.
Oh yeah, I do realize this post is totally livejournal circa 2003.
“They NEED to be validated at every twist and turn. They need you to let them know how open and accepting and good and not-racist they are. If every comment out of your mouth is not validating their existence as a Good Not-Racist Ally, they will derail until the cows come home and build a tent in your living room. If we argued the way white people wanted, a racial essay would look much like this: “I really hate white people, but only sometimes and only the really bad intentionally racist ones, which not all white people are. When I go into a store, the white security guards follow me around because I am black, but let’s not forget that not every white guard does this and that many white guards are amazing people who are great and completely not-racist at their jobs. Once, I joined a conversation with some white feminists, and when I brought up the issue of racism in feminism, they told me I was being a bad feminist for not supporting them. Those feminists were especially bad, there are many good feminists who support black feminists, so let’s take a few moments to sing a hymn to their praises. My brother got arrested and beaten for jaywalking, and the cops who did it got away with it, but remember that white cops are vital to our survival and they take care of us when we can’t or are too afraid to. I saw a white hipster wearing a Native headdress and an offensive logo on their shirt, and even though it was wrong, they probably didn’t mean it or know, and not all hipsters are insensitive like this. I was discussing my native language, which is Japanese, and someone kept asking me to say things in “Chinese”. I felt terrible because this happens a lot and is extremely dismissive of who I am. However, Japan and China are really far from America, and both languages aren’t very popular in this country, so I understand that the white person was probably confused and didn’t mean to continuously insult me, and of course, many white people know the difference and try to learn about my culture. Racism is perpetrated by white people, but a lot of white people hate that and try to fight with us even when they get it wrong. At least they’re trying.” Perhaps seeing it written this plainly will help some people realize why this is problematic.”
A pet peeve that I never experienced until college: When white people make a big exciting conversation about their ancestry, and the origin of their last name, and who in their family was a settler in the US when and all the piles of land each of those settlers owned…and then the conversation moves awkwardly to the people of color nearby, who are quite likely their first POC friends. Who have no answers and nothing to say. And this could be understandable, if the white people responded with something other than cringing and moving the conversation back onto themselves, or being patronizing.
What I used to see in college was people, for whom I was supposedly their “black friend”, claiming most of the time to be history buffs but then disengaging when I responded that my last name is British, so someone in my family was owned by British people. I mean, for real, let’s talk history!
What I saw today was a much older white man relating all the glorious details of his family’s history settling and governing and owning property (and people?) in the US to a much younger woman of color, where the power dynamic between the two is skewed greatly in his favor. Then after telling her about all these things people in his family did, including the time someone was killed by a native tribe and that death set off a local race war “which pretty much decimated their tribe”, he asked where her family was from, and she told him. And when he asked about her family history, she just shrugged and said she didn’t know. And he started saying, “Well you must know something!”, “Well there’s plenty of history there too!”, “You can find your family’s history, you just have to try!”, “More people would know their history if they cared about it.” And she still just shrugged and looked kind of ashamed. (ETA: The place the woman said her family is from was used as a port for moving slaves around, and that is reflected heavily in the population and history of that place, so her family’s history is quite likely buried. That was the important thing I forgot to mention.)
Half my family was black slaves and indigenous people. What we have for family history goes back far, by our standards—about 4 generations, but it gets shaky toward the end. What we have for heirlooms is a spoon for making chocolate that my grandma found somewhere, that was the only possession a woman back in her family had brought with her when she escaped or was freed from slavery. I don’t even know the story, or who the woman was, only that my grandma had found this spoon and told me about it when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure the woman I saw being lectured has a similar lack of stories; in fact, I’ll bring up how unfair that is sometime when I see her around, that we are denied that history and then told we should be ashamed of it.
Moral of the story is: Don’t start digging into history if you’re unwilling to deal with it, deeply and productively, and to fix how it still functions today.
They keep insisting that we shouldn’t dwell on the past & should let it go or some such crap. But when your family history is limited by circumstance to surviving oppression? It’s not dwelling to talk about it as part of your family tree.
Ugh. This is really an interesting thing to appear on my dash. A few of the white people I know are extremely into their history. They talk about what their family was doing 100 years ago, who they owned (yes, who they owned), what they owned, what they did, what “important historical events” their family took part in. They usually don’t even bother to ask me why I stay silent.
I try not to side-eye that hard, but I get pissed off when I see white people who are really into time periods like the 20s/American pre-depression era, or post-depression era to the end of the Jim Crow time period. I get pissed off when they don’t understand why I am not “in” to those time periods, why I don’t like “olden country” bricabrac and shit like that.
Because none of it has anything to do with me or my people. That’s white history. Those outfits and knick-knacks and stories and whatever else are from white history. From white people’s grandparents. My culture is from the Caribbean, from Africa, from India. White people don’t know about the clothes of my culture, the colors, the foods, the jerk chicken, the roti bread. They don’t know about the steel drums or the bongos. If they do, they’re imagining this uncivilized heathen party of wild negroes (you’ll need a master ball to catch these guys, pokeballs be damned).
I’m lucky enough to be able to trace my history back to the last family member who was a slave. We don’t have any information before that. History don’t talk about her. So the next time, white people, you wanna talk about how you’re related to General Lee or William the Conqueror…realize that some of us can’t get that fucking excited about our slave-no-name-family members who, according to your books, didn’t even exist.
my family grew up in a war torn pakistan and recollections of our ancestry are scarce. we have red hair and blue eyes in our family but no idea where these genes came from. in geography class i was given an assignment to create a family tree and since 90% of my family is dead or in pakistan i had a very few names on the list and i got a very bad grade.
“In 1980, fewer than 500,000 Americans were in prison; today, the number is 2.3 million. To put that statistic in perspective, the median incarceration rate among all countries is 125 prisoners for every 100,000 people. In England, it’s 153; Germany, 89; Japan, a mere 63. In America, it’s 743, by far the highest in the world. Include all the U.S. residents currently on probation or parole, and our country’s correctional population soars to about 7.2 million—roughly one in every 31 Americans. All told, the U.S. incarcerates nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, even though it’s home to only 5 percent of the world’s inhabitants.”—