Thursday, September 30, 2010



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via maia medicine on 9/29/10


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"In other words, the neutrality of the word and idea of “animal” for white m...


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via maia medicine on 9/30/10

"In other words, the neutrality of the word and idea of "animal" for white middle-class animal advocates means something quite different to people of color who are always at risk of not being fully human in our racist society. Thus, when white vegans say that because they are not offended at being compared to animals neither should people of color, they equivocate between two grossly different contexts."

- Animal Writes: Privilege: The U.S. Vegan Movement, Whiteness, and Race Relations (part 1&2)


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4thkind: Watch these little girls WERK to willow smith’s whip...


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via Liquor&Spice on 9/29/10


Watch these little girls WERK to willow smith's whip my hair.

This just made my LIFE!


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"Once we stop fretting over making everyone happy, eating an exact way or fi...


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via maia medicine on 9/30/10

"Once we stop fretting over making everyone happy, eating an exact way or fitting in exercise all the time life seems to slip into place. first though you must accept the person you are right now. If you like to chill out at home and watch DVD's sometimes then so be it, If your a Vegetarian and don't eat meat then so be it, If your training schedule means you can't get wasted every friday night then so be it. We might disappoint people or offend them by being ourselves but it has to be that way. Meaning that you can still do what you like and live the lifestyle you want to live while letting go of the perfection or balancing act. You will probably find that you will start living a more fulfilled life and actually achieve more of your goals. Things will become effortless and the lowered levels of stress will make you think better and perform better in whatever you do. Plus you will probably become more outgoing and easygoing by nature. Accept who you are right now and the way you do things now and get on with life. We cannot achieve a perfect balance and live on a tightrope for any sustained length of time so its better to spend time on solid ground where everything doesn't matters as much but you still do your best to lead the life you try to lead."<br/><br/> - <em><a href="">Finding Balance in Life : transform.</a></em>


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have don...


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via maia medicine on 9/29/10


The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won't save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn't possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you.

I want a full accounting, an accounting that goes way beyond what's dead on your plate. I'm asking about everything that died in the process, everything that was killed to get that food onto your plate. That's the more radical question, and it's the only question that will produce the truth. How many rivers were dammed and drained, how many prairies plowed and forests pulled down, how much topsoil turned to dust and blown into ghosts? I want to know about all the species—not just the individuals, but the entire species—the chinook, the bison, the grasshopper sparrows, the grey wolves. And I want more than just the number of dead and gone. I want them back.


When the rainforest falls to beef, progressives are outraged, aware, ready to boycott. But our attachment to the vegetarian myth leaves us uneasy, silent, and ultimately immobilized when the culprit is wheat and the victim is the prairie.


- Lierre Keith - The Vegetarian Myth (via ardhra)


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"Vegan or non-vegan consumers cannot destroy capitalism and save the planet,...


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via maia medicine on 9/29/10

"Vegan or non-vegan consumers cannot destroy capitalism and save the planet, nor does veganism necessarily prefigure an ecological society. We will destroy capitalism and save the planet outside our involuntary role as consumers. Veganism as a boycott does not work. Within capitalism, a decrease in demand can lower prices, and increase total consumption. Those treacherous reformists who spread the lie of energy efficient lightbulbs and so forth have helped energy consumption skyrocket. Throughout the 80s and 90s, greater energy efficiency lowered energy prices and allowed the major consumers—the factories and shopping malls—to consume much more. Similarly, while the number of vegetarians and vegans in the US exploded from almost none to a sizeable minority in the last decades, total meat consumption did not decrease, in fact it increased. Let's be blunt. Y'all talk about saving animals but you haven't made a dent. It's much easier to be a vegan these days, capitalist production has created a niche for you, but no fewer imprisoned animals are being slaughtered in the factory process. Doesn't that highlight a need to reevaluate strategies? Or is veganism something other than an attempt to liberate animals?"

- Veganism is a consumer activity - Infoshop News (via ardhra)


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loveyourchaos:(by infinitedecay)


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it takes a village: on the “no wedding, no womb” discussion.


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via Freedom Fighter by aliciasanchezgill on 9/29/10

over the past few days, a new "movement" has been brewing, almost to critical proportions. the "no wedding, no womb" discussion seems to call for (based on what i've read here) an end to single parenthood, and what seems to be specifically mother hood, in the black community. their premise is the "idea that a two-parent household is better than a single, struggling one." it calls for accountability in child bearing, and sexual responsibility. ok. i can get with that. i mean, raising children IS a huge responsibility, not to be taken lightly, and who doesn't love the ability to make sexual reproduction choices? that's what reproductive justice is about, right?

i've read numerous articles by various contributors to this blogging movement. It might be impossible to read them all, there are probably a hundred of them at this point- all with slightly different viewpoints, and stories to share. each one is valuable in their own way, and there is no arguing with people's personal experiences– so i won't. full stop. i have also had numerous conversations with people who vehemently disagree with this movement's theory and solutions to what may be a very real issue, worth discussing. I might even venture to say that many of us disagree about the very root of the problem.

i guess i shouldn't really be so worked up about this conversation- it is very clear that no matter what i do, I will ultimately be a dysfunctional parent. no matter how much love, safety, affection, attention, resources i give my children and no matter how much healthy, happy, stable, well-adjusted community they have, they will underachieve because…they won't have a father [in their very traditional sense of the word]. it seems, based on the information page i have read, that this campaign is targeted to mothers who co-parent with men. only. wait. maybe i can't get with this.

But NWNW doesn't NECESSARILY equate to marriage, per se, but commitment–a lifelong partnership between mother and father. Both are "married" to the idea that a two-parent household is better than a single, struggling one.

now, based on this definition of what constitutes "good parenting," I completely fall out of the norms of what society and NWNW deems as healthy for children. i am so glad that it does at least mention that marriage isn't the only option for raising children. but I am so curious about why the idea of a two-parent home is better. maybe there is an assumption that being a single parent always means a struggle. or that being single means "alone" or "without any support networks."

also, they have made their stance on sexuality and gender pretty clear [from most of the blogs I have read]. only men can raise boys [to do manly things, of course, like throw footballs, and such]. i was also perusing, and found this little nugget of a comment, written by the founder of the #nwnw movement herself, regarding her post "funny friday: funny excuses to have kids with no daddy." i wonder if being a lesbian couple in a long-term, committed relationship and adopting children is a funny excuse to have kids with no daddy. needless to say, i did not find this comment by her funny. at all.

Oh OH! I got another one: Having a baby with two parents is SO "heteronomative!" (Da hay-ll does that mean anyway? Should we all be "heteroABNORMATIVE?" WTF with a dash of What the CUSS and OMG. The world has gone MAD!)

so, if the person who created this "movement" cannot even be bothered to read a queer theory book to find out what heteronormative means, and thinks that challenging heteronormativity is mad, and hasn't asked about LGBTQ parenting experiences in a meaningful [and not comedic or condescending] way, I will go ahead and assume that my voice, as a queer, black woman, who will potentially mother, has fabulous support networks and resources, is not valued in this conversation. not to mention that even for those lgbtq folks who want to get married, for many of us, marriage is not even an option.

there are so many times that we as black women are excluded from movements, but it is especially damaging for our communities to not consistently challenge patriarchy, gender expectations and class issues. i believe that we all have a stake in the health and safety of our children. i also believe that the concept of family, for most people of color is so much bigger than a marriage license or institution can hold. and who's to say that's less valid? as an afro-latino, who grew up with afro-latino and afro-carribean neighbors, i knew how important extended family was and is to many black folks from all over the diaspora. some of us are living with our mothers, (and fathers), grandparents, and an aunt or two. it is not uncommon in other parts of the world, to live it different types of family unit models than the one NWNW is suggesting.

how do we undo the ideas that an "institution" is going to make us better parents to our children? how do we create community responsibility in child nurturing that fall outside of institutions that often, are not in place to keep us safe and protected [just look at black incarceration rates]. how do we get past the idea that the ideal family consists of one "man" and one "woman" and move towards goals like "children have the right to good books and lives free of street harassment and sexual abuse?"

i mean, if we want to keep our children safe, maybe we should be talking about the fact that 40% of our little black girls will be sexually abused before they turn 18 [and all of the emotionally, psychological damage that can do to a child- especially when she is not believed], often by a father, or father figure. maybe we should be talking about the school to prison pipeline. or talking about domestic violence, and the fact that black women are killed three times more often by a spouse than white women. we'd talk about lack of affordable childcare, fair wages, fair housing, sexual education, sti and pregnancy prevention.

you see, there's so much more that our community needs. we don't need another slap on the wrist as black women. "women, keep your legs closed" rhetoric is so patriarchal, and dated. and frankly, I'm tired shaming, and tired of having other folks make demands on my womb. i mean, there was [and is] slavery, forced sterilization in puerto rico, anti-abortion laws, rape, sterilization of women with disabilities. no one has the right to tell me what kind of body is ok for pro-creation, and what kind of bank account, educational level or house size is worthy of child rearing. let's talk about radical love instead. i reject the myth that queer families are not fit to love and care for children. I reject that idea that a two-parent model is the the only way we as black folks create loving families.

i care deeply about black children. i'm not saying that our children don't need loving supports. i agree that black mothers cannot do it all by themselves. i'm through with being a strong black woman.  we don't have to be strong black women. but what i am suggesting, is that i, in fact, am my sister's keeper. i have worked at rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, all in love for, and solidarity with black [and brown and queer, and low income] women, and their [our] children. i care so much about us, that I believe it takes more than two parents– more specifically, one man and one woman to raise a child. it takes a loving, safe village to raise our children.


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The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Sex and Power in the Black Church


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Last night, I watched the interview of  Jamaal Parris,  one of four young men who has come forward accusing Atlanta mega church pastor Eddie Long of sexual abuse and coercion. When the story of Long's alleged sexual abuse of these young men hit news outlets last week, I was shocked and reluctant to comment. You see I'm a committed Christian, a weekly churchgoer, and the (step)daughter of a pastor. I attended grad school in Atlanta, where I also regularly attended a mega-church, led a ministry team, and heard Bishop Long preach on more than one occasion. He's my pastor's pastor.  And my deeply spiritual and religious parents reared me that we do NOT speak against pastors (God's anointed). All these things swirled in my head as this story broke. But alas, "it's time to put away childish things" and have some grown folk discourse about sex and power in the church.  Ironically, that verse appears at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, the oft-quoted passage on love, because it is a reminder that real love is grown folks business. It cannot be undertaken and sustained by the childish, the immature, and the faint of heart.

If we are committed to a revolutionary love ethic, we have to be honest even when it hurts. And what's honest is that there is something undeniably real when you listen to this young man's testimony. Given the parochial and limiting narratives of Black sexuality and Black masculinity propagated by the church and the unchecked power given to preachers particularly in mega-church pulpits, this man has everything to lose and nothing to gain if his accusations are untrue.  He admitted to a same-sex encounter with a married preacher. Because of our rampant homophobia and blind love for our pastors, this young man has been subject to much ridicule I'm sure.

When I looked into Jamal's eyes, I was reminded of more than a few Black men with whom I've come into contact who have admitted being abused as children. Can we get real about the dirty little secret of sexual abuse in our communities? If we're honest, part of the reason that Tyler Perry and T.D. Jakes have been able to build the empires they have is because they actually will name this issue. The success of their films at least confirms that while much, very much is to be desired, we at least have some kind of discourse about the abuse of Black girls and women. But we are virtually silent on the abuse of young men, even though it is too common to be uncommon.  Because of our homophobia, insularity, and mentality of closing ranks, we'd rather not deal. And so we leave countless Jamal Parris' to be abused, with no outlet other than legal to address  and redress their concerns. And just like we know that prior sexual abuse is a major cause of low self-esteem and other emotional ills among Black women, perhaps we should consider that much of the violent, self-hating behavior that we see among young Black men is due at least in part to unnamed and unacknowledged sexual abuse.

But let's also be clear. What Long has been accused of doing isn't about sex. It's about power, as sexual abuse generally is.  And as my friend Theresa has written, we need to seriously rethink our stance on giving pastors all the power. At my church in Atlanta, a few years back, we voted as a congregation to take away all voting power from ourselves and to give virtually all decision-making power to the pastor. Back then, the decision made sense. I understood my pastor to be one who heard from God about God's vision for our church, and I understand that that vision was not supposed to be left to the whim and fancy of the people. When I was confronted with the reality of these four young men, I realized the fallacy of that thinking. Everybody has to be accountable to somebody, and in a community of faith, if God tells it to you, surely God will confirm with a substantial number of one's congregants. Otherwise it's suspect, no matter how good it sounds.

But as I reflect back on that time, I am amazed at the degree to which I bought in to all I was taught, the degree to which I was afraid to question, question though I did. The penalty for challenging church authority is steep, and I've definitely paid some tolls on that highway. And my mode of challenging can't hold a candle to the courageous acts of these young men. So I know the price is inordinately high for them.

Yet, it amazes me that we can't speak about sex given that book of erotica dropped right in the middle of the Bible. Song of Solomon is not just a Toni Morrison novel, in case you were wondering.   Ifvthe very preachers who continue to espouse this theology fail over and over again to live it out, perhaps the problem is not one of human frailty and sin as we are so wont to conclude. Perhaps our sexual theology needs revisiting and rethinking. And this for both straight and queer folks.

On Sunday morning, I watched the live coverage of New Birth's early service.  Long is a powerful preacher, and his mini-sermon on how to handle tough situations, reflected the best of Black Baptist homiletic traditions. After mocking the crowd ["we're here every Sunday,"] with raucous applause from the New Birth family, and standing ovations after every comment, Bishop Long got down to what everyone "came for." He said that though he was not "a perfect man," he "is not the man the television is portraying him to be." He indicated that he was "gonna fight this thing." And in a most arrogant twist, he put his accusers on notice, "I feel like David fighting Goliath. I've got five stones and I ain't thrown one yet."  <Drops Mic>

"Love is not arrogant or rude. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth."

On Sunday, I didn't see any Jesus in Eddie Long. He did not one time express concern for his accusers and it stands to reason that if these are totally trumped up charges, a pastor who admittedly claimed to love these boys would be troubled, would ask his congregation to pray for their well-being,  would indicate his own hurt, bewilderment, and confusion at this situatin. But no. None of that. Just an arrogant pronouncement that he was gonna come for (no pun intended) his accusers.

The question to be asked about Sunday's shenanigans is a simple one: "Where is the Love?"

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers…but I have not love I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and give up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."

For all those folks who think Long's good works serve as an apologia for his abuse,  they don't. You can't love someone and violate them, abuse their body, coerce them, emotionally manipulate them, and then lie on them and subtly threaten them when they speak out against you. Abuse is not love.

If faith is the "evidence of things unseen," what is evident to me are four hurting young men, an arrogant preacher, and a Black Church largely unwilling or unable to get real about sex, even though there's a whole lot of it going on from the pulpit to the pews.  With that much evidence, what more do you need to see?


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

nezua:africansunset:thedancingflame:Just doing your jobs,...


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via Liquor&Spice on 9/28/10




Just doing your jobs, right?

This is sad.

Let's play a game
Where you have no worth
And I have no shame


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B.Steady is officially one of my favorite songwriters. Ever....


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via Liquor&Spice on 9/28/10

B.Steady is officially one of my favorite songwriters. Ever. Incredibly inspiring. Makes me seriously wanna learn how to write music. Maybe it's time to take lessons from the auntie… I miss the days of she and my uncle having us kids help with lyrics and tracks. I miss music..


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The former guerrilla set to be the world’s most powerful...


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via maia medicine on 9/28/10

The former guerrilla set to be the world's most powerful woman - Americas, World - The Independent

The world's most powerful woman will start coming into her own next weekend. Stocky and forceful at 63, this former leader of the resistance to a Western-backed military dictatorship (which tortured her) is preparing to take her place as President of Brazil.

As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is revelling in its new oil wealth. Brazil's growth rate, rivalling China's, is one that Europe and Washington can only envy.

Her widely predicted victory in next Sunday's presidential poll will be greeted with delight by millions. It marks the final demolition of the "national security state", an arrangement that conservative governments in the US and Europe once regarded as their best artifice for limiting democracy and reform. It maintained a rotten status quo that kept a vast majority in poverty in Latin America while favouring their rich friends.


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To The Other Side of Dreaming

Mia and Stacey

Support “To The Other Side of Dreaming”

In a flash of bold courage and brave vision Mia Mingus and Stacey Milbern began a journey of possibility the likes of which the world… well at least we’d never seen. “..two queer disabled diasporic Korean women of color in the process moving from the South to the Bay to create home and community with each other”?! While surely such a phenomena cannot be new to the universe, have YOU ever heard of such an amazingly beautiful thing?!

This radical act of love and reclamation cannot be performed alone. The costs of moving from coast to coast is daunting for anyone, yet even more daunted when dealing with the realities of our able-bodied and inaccessible world.

In an effort to lend our support to two of our favorite people we are working to help them raise the $12,000 necessary to make their dream a reality.

Energized by the collective spirit that their move embodies, we are calling on our communities to support their vision by giving what ever you can give!

As Mia writes, “the reality that once we’re there, there aren’t even going to be that many places we can go to, get into, be with people in. Will we be able to go over to people’s houses to build with them outside of public spaces (the limited accessible public spaces that is)? the knowledge that what we are doing here is finding not just space for us, but for community as well. we are finding home to be intimate with people in, to be queer in, to be women of color in. we are making accessible queer space, accessible queer people of color space, accessible disabled queer people of color space, for all of us; something that i have been yearning for for what seems like forever. places where we can begin to build past these concrete divides of stairs, money, bathrooms, doorways, reading, speaking…silence and exclusion.”

Don’t you want to be a part of this awesome vision?! Don’t you want to build this amazing inclusive community?!

We thought so!

So here’s how!

Support “To The Other Side of Dreaming” chip in!

$12,000 is a lot of money but it’s the actual, for real, no frills, cost to get Mia and Stacey to the bay.

  • For Stacey and PA to go out to see a house and/or continue house/housing hunting on next trip flight for two – $750
  • PA gas and tolls to get to Mia’s house in ATL- $150
  • PA food for a week – $125
  • PA pay ($150 x 5 days) – $750
  • For Mia to go out to the bay again to either do the walk through (since the house won’t be ramped yet) or go and continue looking for housing since Stacey won’t be able to go and look at most things to see if they can be modified to be made accessible flight – $300

House alterations (if they get this house):

  • Main ramp: $1,215
  • Home modifications: $500
  • Personal care attendants at 8 hrs a day $15 a hour for 2 months: $7320. This will be for the 2 months (we hope it’s only 2 months!) when Stacey is moving her state services over to CA.
  • Taxi from airport because of no access to van: $40
  • Extra crip baggage: $50
  • Shipping our stuff: $800

But building collective disability community… priceless!

If you’d like your contribution to correspond with one of the above needs, let us know by leaving us a note with your donation!

And of course, money isn’t the only way you can help! Check out these other creative fundraising ideas that folks have come up with!

If you have other ideas (like you’ve got a moving truck or you and friends can build a ramp) please email us at!

In radical love,

the Quirky Commune aka 2/3 or simply, Moya & Yolo!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Collateral Damage


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via my best friend gayle by summer of sam on 9/27/10

I don't know if Eddie Long is gay; I don't know if these allegations of sexual abuse are true.  I suspect, however, that on some level they are, and that Eddie Long, again  on some level, probably enjoys the (sexual) company of men.  As a rule, I think just about everybody is a little bit gay, especially those who shout their homophobia the loudest.  That said, there are plenty of internet sites and Twitter accounts blabbing on and on about either issue, so I won't belabor either point here.  Yet I would like to make--or perhaps simply echo--something that may or may not be receiving as much attention as the speculation about Long's sexuality and the validity of the claims made in the lawsuits against him.

What continues to baffle me about these kinds of stories is the level of damage that is inevitably unearthed as these men are exposed.  Let me explain.  As a general rule, I do not believe that anyone should have to come out.  Even as a someone who conjectures openly about the sexuality of certain celebrities, I am not an advocate of goading folks out of the closet.  There is safety there.  And the risk of coming out, for many, is simply too dangerous.  I understand that.  Sometimes the monsters in the closet are less frightening as the ones outside of it.

I also know that being and remaining closeted can be taxing on a person, and that the emotional toll one must pay not to live a certain kind of truth is sometimes unbearable, resulting in various forms of self-hate and -abuse that occasionally make living a task.  I get that.  Yet what I simply cannot understand, what I find intolerable are those who choose--consciously or not-- to project their self-hatred onto others, thereby destroying so much more than themselves.  I just can't go for that.  (Hall and Oates.)

For me, it's not enough to discuss the sexuality of Eddie Long or the abuse allegations.  There's a third part of this story, one that often gets obscured.  What I find most infuriating are the number of folks he hurt in order to maintain a lie.  Let's suppose, for the moment, that Eddie Long is indeed a gay man, one who, for perhaps a myriad of legitimate reasons does not want to openly express his sexuality.  He would not be alone.  Yet as my friend said as we discussed this over dinner, "Fine.  Don't be openly gay, but why do you have to get married?  Have kids?"  Exactly.  I hope I'm echoing my friend properly here when I repeat her point that folks like Eddie Long should just be gay by themselves without hurting other people in the process.  But they don't.  Instead, their repression--or whatever it is--compels them to engage in sexual behavior that more than likely endangers the women in their lives, and the words they spew from their soap boxes not only push those like them deeper into the closet but also engender homophobia-inspired violence.

The desire to live dishonestly enables such terrible things.  Like, for example, choosing to wear a jheri curl wig on the day you decide to "confront" the allegations that you are sexually abusive.  Seriously, Eddie?  I wanted to be sad for and extend some compassion to the folks in the congregation and perhaps his wife.  Then I realized they were supporting a man who rocked a lace front while he was trying to be serious, and I just couldn't do it.  I tell my students not to generalize, but I'm convinced these folks are voluntarily being duped, allowing this man to press their emotional buttons while pressing mute on the logical ones--you know, assuming they exist.  How else could they explain cheering as the man conjured major gayness in front of them?  First, the aforementioned jheri curl wig in combination with dropping the microphone after he spoke indicated that clearly Long had not been reading the Bible but rather watching Coming to America before church service.  Apparently, Long draws inspiration from Randy Watson, who isn't the manliest of men.  Secondly--cue my serious tone--Long likened himself to David, saying "I feel like David against Goliath. But I got five rocks, and I haven't thrown one yet," and then leaving the stage.  (In my head, Beyonce's "Diva" started playing as he walked away from the pulpit.)  Although I am a heathen, I've read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations and am well aware of the myriad characters Long could have chosen.  Yet he picked David, an Old Testament favorite.  Many Christians love the story of David and Goliath.  They don't seem to love the story of David and Jonathan as much, though, despite the fact that it has to be one of the most eloquent love stories I've ever read.  It's too gay, I suppose.  As I watched the internet stream of the sermon, I wondered how many congregants thought of Jonathan as their cheered their pastor off the stage.  I thought how many, if any, knew the story at all.

But I digress.  (Sophia Petrillo.)  Eddie Long may not be a perfect man, but he has more than likely made a tremendous mess.  And even if he is found guilty, I seriously doubt he'll have to contend with the level of damage he has probably caused.  Neither will the folks who probably enabled him.  Because if the charges are true, and my instincts tell me they probably are, some of the same folks in that church house on Sunday kept those secrets and further enabled a situation that was incredibly damaging to the young men who trusted Long and people who had never set foot in New Birth.  Such behavior is un-Christian like.  Unfortunately for white Jesus and others who believe in him, that's exactly what many of us have come to expect from that ilk.  Perhaps the thing one should hope for is not a guilty verdict but for those who choose to behave similarly to somehow find the strength to only damage themselves.


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Monsanto: Number One Enemy of Humanity


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via maia medicine on 9/27/10

Monsanto: Number One Enemy of Humanity:


The World According to Monsanto is an in-depth look at the domination of the agricultural industry from one of the world's most insidious and powerful companies. A bold, brilliant film and a definite must-see for anyone who is interested in learning more about the multi-billion dollar, omni-powerful, and highly dangerous Monsanto.

French filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin spent some 20 years hearing about Monsanto  before she set out to understand just what Monsanto was all about. Robin posits that perhaps the company's past can shed some light on what the company is all about today. Monsanto started out as one of the world's largest chemical companies and is responsible for the creation of Agent Orange (used during the Vietnam War), Aspartame, Bovine Growth Hormone, Polystyrene, PCBs and GE crops (genetically-engineered).

David Carpenter, the foremost expert on PCBs explains how the entire world is now contaminated with PCBs. "They have gone into the water and into the air."



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Sunday, September 26, 2010

has not come back/ to apologize: lucille clifton rebirth broadcast #14

has not come back/ to apologize: lucille clifton rebirth broadcast #14 from Alexis Gumbs on Vimeo.

Be good to yourself. Be good to each other. What are the insights that unresolved hurtful experiences in your life are offering to your community right now in our journey of healing together and loving each other right?

To learn more about the Lucille Clifton ShapeShifter Survival School see:

The Most Important Thing To Know About Conflict | Psychology Today


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via maia medicine on 9/25/10

The Most Important Thing To Know About Conflict | Psychology Today:

There is something my parents and teachers never told me about conflict. To increase safety, move towards it. I'm guessing that this idea, for many of you, is not only counter-intuitive but down right aversive. Certainly, for most of my adult life that had been the case. Just the thought of needing to "deal" with a live conflict would knot my stomach into a ropy mass. After all, stepping into a situation in which people were too angry or hurt to be "calm" (even when the people happened to be me) was volatile, dangerous, unstable. To help me feel safer, I found many effective ways to avoid conflict, or, if not avoidable, bring down the temperature of those involved through a number of effective "soothing" techniques. However, the conflicts themselves did not actually get resolved. They just went under ground. And my subsequent interactions with the same people would continue to have that tinge of danger - the slight scent of gun powder in the air - ready to ignite with the right spark. But that's the nature of conflict, isn't it? The best we can do is get everyone to agree to behave in a "civilized" manner for the duration of our time together and Hallelujah if we can get that far. Or so I thought until I met Dominic Barter, a Brazilian Brit, and founder of Restorative Circles, who has turned my ideas about conflict, safety, and explosive content upside down. Barter's theory is that painful conflict has to do with unmet - and unheard - needs (let's say for respect, security, love, safety). The further we move away from the communication of the unmet need, the louder that communication needs to become to get our attention. In other words, just as people tend to raise their volume in order to compensate for being further apart physically, they also tend to "raise their volume" to compensate for their perception that they are moving further apart in shared understanding. People close to each other yelling At its extreme, this volume raising looks like violence. It follows, then, that in order to lower the volume of a conflict, you move towards it, not with the intention to soothe but with the intention of increasing mutual understanding. This theory underlies Barter's wildly successful and award winning restorative justice process of addressing conflict at all levels. Indeed, when I first heard it, the idea of moving towards conflict felt both radical and resonant to me. Somewhere deep inside, I recognized the times I had escalated my volume, words, actions - in response to what I believed was a complete lack of being heard or understood. Still, as Barter advises, I did not simply take his word for it. Instead, I spent most of this summer trying out the theory for myself. What this looked like on the ground is that my spouse and I seemed to suddenly be having a striking increase in arguments - painful, frequent, unpleasant, tiring, dragged out arguments. At least that was how it seemed at first. I believe this was a natural result of allowing myself - for the first time ever - to trust (just temporarily) that Barter may be right. And so, I was moving us towards the (explosive) exploration of long-avoided areas of "unmet needs," such as "Am I really loved and wanted?" and "Does what I say really matter?". However, neither arguing nor avoding arguments brings on the mutual understanding that, according to Barter, leads to increased restoration (righting of relationships) and safety. Thus, what was different about my experiment this summer is that after every painful argument, we made time (later on) for a deep, restorative conversation (using tools gleaned from Barter's Restorative Circles and other related modalities, including Non Violent Communication). Over the course of weeks and months, these restorative conversations about real truths started to bring us out of the darkness of some long-standing mutual mis-understanding into the light of mutual comprehension. And over time, the restorative conversations began to take the place of the arguments. At least some of the time. And then, a wonderful thing happened. The spaces between our arguments not only grew longer. They grew peaceful. Not simply the quiet of a temporary truce. Not the silence of an agreement to disagree or a patient tolerance of the issue. Not a grin-and-bear it, suck it up, everyone-must-compromise-something type of thing. It was the clear crisp quiet of having things cleared out and set back to zero. The sense of ease and comfort that flowed between us after a painful issue had been honestly examined using restorative tools was profound. Even our children could feel it. Peace, it turns out, is not the absence of conflict but the state of deep inner knowing that your most sacred longings have been fully heard and acknowledged. And that can only be accomplished by moving into - and through - the fire.


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Friday, September 24, 2010

"Can we please be accountable to the way in which Blacks travel the world as...


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via maia medicine on 9/23/10

"Can we please be accountable to the way in which Blacks travel the world as tourists with the same or similar kinds of destructive manners/patterns as rich white people? Tourism in third world countries is another form of colonization. Beautiful portions of the country are often off limits to people indigenous to that country in order for hotels and resorts to be made available for tourists and the tourism economy. Traveling to someone else's home in search of peace of mind, relaxation or a deeper sense of self is the most colonial bullshit on the planet. Black Americans do this in Africa and the Caribbean, looking for a rugged, vacation lover to help them forget the woes of their lives. Please, please read Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place for an amazing analysis of what tourism has done to Antigua. I don't travel to other people's countries to get free. I would never be so arrogant or disgustingly first world. I go home. Or I travel because I want to partner to make art and/or partake in activism that is led by those indigenous to the place I'm traveling to. Any Black person with the privilege and resources to travel to another country to find themselves, and who does this, is feeding into a racist and violent tourist economy."

- a dyke of a certain caliber: THE NAIJA ESSAY: Rhapsodizing on Black Americans' Cultural Appropriation of Nigerian & African Cultures


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Genderbitch Lite: Now With More Rambling!: I Am A Slut. And Raping Me Is Sti...


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via maia medicine on 9/23/10

Genderbitch Lite: Now With More Rambling!: I Am A Slut. And Raping Me Is Still Wrong.:


  • Just because I have casual sex doesn't mean I don't get a choice in that sex.
  • Just because I have many partners (all consensual and aware of each other, but even if they weren't aware, rape is still wrong) doesn't mean anyone gets to fuck me without me wanting it.
  • Just because I enjoy sex…


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fyeahafrica: French-Senegalese model and editor of Wonderland...

QBG Lex's hair twin.


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via maia medicine on 9/23/10


French-Senegalese model and editor of Wonderland Magazine, Julia Sarr-Jamois.


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BOOLESH1T is an exploration of the evolution of the relationship...


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via NIKITAGALE on 9/23/10

BOOLESH1T is an exploration of the evolution of the relationship between humanity and technology.  The work presented in this exhibition seeks to explore the inherently fleeting nature of being human and how human beings cope both physically and psychologically with the rapidly expanding influence and permanence of digital technology within modern human civilization.  It's an exploration of how the human mind negotiates the massive proliferation of information in a visually-driven, post-literate age.
The name for the show "BOOLESH1T" was inspired by George Boole, creator of Boolean arithmetic.  Boolean arithmetic is a mathematical system which precipitated the development of Boolean logic, a system used in electronics that spawned the creation of virtually every digital device and website on the Internet.  The Internet has gone from being a source of information and social interaction to becoming a source of, well, a lot of superfluous… "SH1T".
The gallery space will be transformed into an interactive physical and visual manifestation of the artist's interpretation of the Internet.  The show will feature traditional photographic prints as well as photo-based installations and mixed media works.  
BOOLESH1T is ultimately a visual investigation that seeks to answer questions such as "How can we as human beings continue to lead meaningful, fulfilling existences in a world that is inevitably hurtling toward complete digital automation?""How has this overflow of information provided by the Internet affected the ways that we think and interact with others?" "Are we becoming less compassionate?" "Are we growing less aware of our physical selves and our surroundings?"
My first "GIFT" to you is an animated .GIF flyer featuring "Antoine Dodson" (highly information YouTube video here:  This flyer contains all of the information for the show's opening on November 6th.  There will also be a very special performance by BOSCO near the end of the night.  
I would really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the show, so please feel free to contact me if you need more information or if you'd like to speak with me about the show for any reason.
Tell your friends (and your kids and your wife and your huuuusband, too)!


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Thursday, September 23, 2010



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via NIKITAGALE on 9/22/10


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Don't feel guilty for being cis, being white, being abled, being skinny, etc...


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