xenologer: (objection!)
My dad posted this article on Facebook, and I ended up sort of wall-of-texting at him. In the interests of not having to type this again in case I need it, I'm saving it here.

I'm not terribly fond of people using some highly-fictionalized privilege-friendly white-coddling version of Dr. King's work as a stick to hit people with who dare bring up race like there might still be racism and like maybe we still have work to do and white people still need to check ourselves.

In The De-Christianizing of Dr. King, Peter Heck complains that there were no direct references to Christ or God on the monument or in the selected quotes.

My first thought was yeah, well, they somehow managed not to explicitly mention race or racism, either. If they won't let him be a hero to Christian social justice activists, at least they're not letting him be a hero to black people either. (And yes, I find both of these two things inexcusable, though hardly inexplicable.)

The sterilization of Dr. King's positions and work is really interesting, if sort of maddening. To hear the way he's discussed now, he was a nonconfrontational and nonthreatening friendly black Santa who didn't challenge anybody's ideas of justice, racial equality, or what kind of social justice battles Christians could be considered OBLIGATED by their religion to fight (but which many of them just try not to think about). He asked politely and quietly for equality and eventually it was handed to him because he was nice enough to say please and then sit down and wait for white people to be comfortable with his ideas.

I mean, by all serious accounts I've read (by which I mean to exclude the children's books they have people read in grade-school American history courses), King was considered a dangerous radical. Sure, you had X running around being even more of a scary angry black man, but it's not like people saw King during his time the way memorials like this seem to be trying to get him viewed in hindsight.

Everybody LIKES Dr. King because at this point in our culture you sort of have to like him as a symbol of... of well, whatever we're calling the best American ideals and behavior at any given time. What not everybody would like is being faced with someone like him today. When King died, wasn't his approval rating only like 30%?

Then again, I have basically the same view on Jesus. Americans are sort of all required to at least have some vague bland fondness for him as a symbol of kindness and generosity, but it's a lot easier to feel that way about him when he died way too long ago to turn over anybody's tables or assail anyone in the face with a whip.

As long as Jesus is this amiable white guy telling us we're God's favorites and not telling us that means we should change how we do things or think about our fellow humans a certain way, Jesus is great and we're all allowed to sign on with a loose version of his ideas. As long as Dr. King is this amiable black guy telling us we can all get along and not telling white people that it requires we change how we do things and think about our fellow humans (both black and Asian) a certain way, King is great and we're all allowed to sign on with a loose version of his ideas.

I think maybe it's because he said a lot of inflammatory things that are actually still basically true. It'd be a lot easier to honor the real work he did and the real reasons he did it and the real people he was working for if we didn't still have his opposition hanging around acting like mentioning racism is a dirty trick conversation ender. (For example, this article condemns people who call out racism today as though they were somehow BETRAYING King's legacy rather than continuing it.)

I don't think the people who put up this monument would enjoy or appreciate the Dr. King who really existed and was such a controversial figure in his time.

Honestly, though? I don't think the guy who wrote this article would, either, and I don't think he'd get on with Jesus any better. Just a lot of dangerous radicals bringing class warfare and race relations into everything and bothering all the comfortable privileged people who just want to live their lives pretending that nobody else's problems have anything to do with them.

I mean, what King would have to say to Peter Heck, who wrote in this very article:

While King dreamed of the day when ours was a colorblind society, the left seems intent on bringing color into every political discussion. In just the last two years, liberals have used race to condemn conservatives for their opposition to high unemployment, increased debt, stimulus spending, climate change policies, the occupy Wall Street protests, and for the mere observation that food stamp usage has skyrocketed under President Obama.


Sounds like somebody still doesn't want race discussed at all, and isn't even open to CONSIDERING whether racism might need to at least be an explanation on the table. What would King have thought of that?

Despite new laws, little has changed...The Negro is still the poorest American -- walled in by color and poverty. The law pronounces him equal -- abstractly -- but his conditions of life are still far from equal. -- Negroes Are Not Moving Too Fast, 1964


Heck is right that King's work is being sterilized of much of its substance to make him a less threatening and challenging figure, but I'd find Heck's criticism a lot more compelling if he were not doing the exact same thing. Just as he derides the planners of this monument for recasting King as the kind of guy who didn't work from Christ's teachings, Heck recasts King as the kind of guy who didn't want to have conversations about race and racism (that are uncomfortable, but mainly only for white people).

Heck has himself remade King in his own image, and while he's not the only one doing it, it puts him in a damn poor position to gripe at anybody else.
xenologer: (vengeful)
So pissed.

From reannon.
Iowa, we were so proud of you. Now two Republican state reps have proposed to EXCLUDE LGBT kids from the Safe Schools law that protects kids from harassment and bullying. What. The. Fuck. It's right here: the bill itself.

What bothers me more is the utter lack of news coverage. It's all on the blogs. Come on, Iowa newspapers! I realize TV's been on Super Bowl for the last three days, but you still have pages to fill!

Windschitl, the guy who started this, is part of Iowa's "Liberty Agenda." (He also looks about 12 years old. It has brilliantly camouflaged itself by putting two conservative-friendly and fairly inoffensive ideas around this: "Allow Iowans to vote on the definition of marriage." The other two are "restore the number of state troopers to pre-1998 levels" and "the Iowa Good Neighbor Act," which lets neighbors and grandparents watch kids after school without registering as day care providers.

Iowa Pride Network has more. This is the sort of thing that sneaks in under the radar, guys. Iowans, wanna shout some? Clearly no one's hearing yet.
*tears her hair out*
xenologer: (vengeful)
So pissed.

From reannon.
Iowa, we were so proud of you. Now two Republican state reps have proposed to EXCLUDE LGBT kids from the Safe Schools law that protects kids from harassment and bullying. What. The. Fuck. It's right here: the bill itself.

What bothers me more is the utter lack of news coverage. It's all on the blogs. Come on, Iowa newspapers! I realize TV's been on Super Bowl for the last three days, but you still have pages to fill!

Windschitl, the guy who started this, is part of Iowa's "Liberty Agenda." (He also looks about 12 years old. It has brilliantly camouflaged itself by putting two conservative-friendly and fairly inoffensive ideas around this: "Allow Iowans to vote on the definition of marriage." The other two are "restore the number of state troopers to pre-1998 levels" and "the Iowa Good Neighbor Act," which lets neighbors and grandparents watch kids after school without registering as day care providers.

Iowa Pride Network has more. This is the sort of thing that sneaks in under the radar, guys. Iowans, wanna shout some? Clearly no one's hearing yet.
*tears her hair out*
xenologer: (vengeful)
So pissed.

From reannon.
Iowa, we were so proud of you. Now two Republican state reps have proposed to EXCLUDE LGBT kids from the Safe Schools law that protects kids from harassment and bullying. What. The. Fuck. It's right here: the bill itself.

What bothers me more is the utter lack of news coverage. It's all on the blogs. Come on, Iowa newspapers! I realize TV's been on Super Bowl for the last three days, but you still have pages to fill!

Windschitl, the guy who started this, is part of Iowa's "Liberty Agenda." (He also looks about 12 years old. It has brilliantly camouflaged itself by putting two conservative-friendly and fairly inoffensive ideas around this: "Allow Iowans to vote on the definition of marriage." The other two are "restore the number of state troopers to pre-1998 levels" and "the Iowa Good Neighbor Act," which lets neighbors and grandparents watch kids after school without registering as day care providers.

Iowa Pride Network has more. This is the sort of thing that sneaks in under the radar, guys. Iowans, wanna shout some? Clearly no one's hearing yet.
*tears her hair out*
xenologer: (it are fact)
You know how California is getting sued over Prop 8 because it's a flagrant violation of the Constitution?

The anti-equal-rights activists just realized they got randomly assigned a gay judge.

Oops!

I mean, we're all having a good laugh over this because they're seriously standing up in front of a gay man and attempting to convince him of the essential depravity of gay people (including predictable but bizarre assertions about their propensity to rape children). Their case was shit before--and they knew it (and you can tell they've known it from the start by the way they've tried to hide their arguments and lie about their motives and backing), but now this.

The down-side is that they'll obviously turn this into another narrative about the oppressive liberal establishment imposing its Supah Sekrit Homo Commie Agenda on the Good Decent Christian People of this nation. Never mind that according to the Constitution, we have judges to doublecheck laws and make sure they're Constitutional; actually using them is "unamerican."

Walker here is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. On the one hand, he has the option to cement into judicial precedent his own status as a second-class citizen. On the other hand, if he brings the 14th Amendment into the discussion, the defendants in the case will slink off growling about how gays are so mentally twisted that they aren't even qualified to evaluate the Constitutionality of laws.

Can't be teachers, can't be parents, can't be judges, can't be married, can't be people. Same old, same old. They were going to find a reason to pretend an unfavorable ruling isn't legitimate. We just know now in advance what that's going to be.
xenologer: (it are fact)
You know how California is getting sued over Prop 8 because it's a flagrant violation of the Constitution?

The anti-equal-rights activists just realized they got randomly assigned a gay judge.

Oops!

I mean, we're all having a good laugh over this because they're seriously standing up in front of a gay man and attempting to convince him of the essential depravity of gay people (including predictable but bizarre assertions about their propensity to rape children). Their case was shit before--and they knew it (and you can tell they've known it from the start by the way they've tried to hide their arguments and lie about their motives and backing), but now this.

The down-side is that they'll obviously turn this into another narrative about the oppressive liberal establishment imposing its Supah Sekrit Homo Commie Agenda on the Good Decent Christian People of this nation. Never mind that according to the Constitution, we have judges to doublecheck laws and make sure they're Constitutional; actually using them is "unamerican."

Walker here is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. On the one hand, he has the option to cement into judicial precedent his own status as a second-class citizen. On the other hand, if he brings the 14th Amendment into the discussion, the defendants in the case will slink off growling about how gays are so mentally twisted that they aren't even qualified to evaluate the Constitutionality of laws.

Can't be teachers, can't be parents, can't be judges, can't be married, can't be people. Same old, same old. They were going to find a reason to pretend an unfavorable ruling isn't legitimate. We just know now in advance what that's going to be.
xenologer: (it are fact)
You know how California is getting sued over Prop 8 because it's a flagrant violation of the Constitution?

The anti-equal-rights activists just realized they got randomly assigned a gay judge.

Oops!

I mean, we're all having a good laugh over this because they're seriously standing up in front of a gay man and attempting to convince him of the essential depravity of gay people (including predictable but bizarre assertions about their propensity to rape children). Their case was shit before--and they knew it (and you can tell they've known it from the start by the way they've tried to hide their arguments and lie about their motives and backing), but now this.

The down-side is that they'll obviously turn this into another narrative about the oppressive liberal establishment imposing its Supah Sekrit Homo Commie Agenda on the Good Decent Christian People of this nation. Never mind that according to the Constitution, we have judges to doublecheck laws and make sure they're Constitutional; actually using them is "unamerican."

Walker here is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. On the one hand, he has the option to cement into judicial precedent his own status as a second-class citizen. On the other hand, if he brings the 14th Amendment into the discussion, the defendants in the case will slink off growling about how gays are so mentally twisted that they aren't even qualified to evaluate the Constitutionality of laws.

Can't be teachers, can't be parents, can't be judges, can't be married, can't be people. Same old, same old. They were going to find a reason to pretend an unfavorable ruling isn't legitimate. We just know now in advance what that's going to be.

Prop 8

Jan. 5th, 2010 11:27 pm
xenologer: (Default)
Remember Prop 8? CA is getting sued over it, and Focus on the Family is trying to get the trial held SECRETLY. If they're ashamed of the shit they're unleashing, that's their problem. Sign the petition in here to ensure press is allowed in. Boost the signal however you can; this shit IS NOT OVER.

Keori has details.

Are you reading Keori yet? Seriously? You should be.

Prop 8

Jan. 5th, 2010 11:27 pm
xenologer: (Default)
Remember Prop 8? CA is getting sued over it, and Focus on the Family is trying to get the trial held SECRETLY. If they're ashamed of the shit they're unleashing, that's their problem. Sign the petition in here to ensure press is allowed in. Boost the signal however you can; this shit IS NOT OVER.

Keori has details.

Are you reading Keori yet? Seriously? You should be.

Prop 8

Jan. 5th, 2010 11:27 pm
xenologer: (Default)
Remember Prop 8? CA is getting sued over it, and Focus on the Family is trying to get the trial held SECRETLY. If they're ashamed of the shit they're unleashing, that's their problem. Sign the petition in here to ensure press is allowed in. Boost the signal however you can; this shit IS NOT OVER.

Keori has details.

Are you reading Keori yet? Seriously? You should be.

Huzzah!

Dec. 8th, 2009 11:36 am
xenologer: (smile)
MN Society of Friends wins at civil rights.
The congregation will continue to hold both opposite-sex and same-sex weddings at its meeting house, but will no longer sign the legal marriage certificate for opposite-sex couples. Instead, couples will need to have the certificate signed by a justice of the peace.

"Everything else proceeds as it normally has, except that we will not sign the marriage certificate," Landskroener said.


You go, guys.

(ht karjack via rm)

Huzzah!

Dec. 8th, 2009 11:36 am
xenologer: (smile)
MN Society of Friends wins at civil rights.
The congregation will continue to hold both opposite-sex and same-sex weddings at its meeting house, but will no longer sign the legal marriage certificate for opposite-sex couples. Instead, couples will need to have the certificate signed by a justice of the peace.

"Everything else proceeds as it normally has, except that we will not sign the marriage certificate," Landskroener said.


You go, guys.

(ht karjack via rm)

Huzzah!

Dec. 8th, 2009 11:36 am
xenologer: (smile)
MN Society of Friends wins at civil rights.
The congregation will continue to hold both opposite-sex and same-sex weddings at its meeting house, but will no longer sign the legal marriage certificate for opposite-sex couples. Instead, couples will need to have the certificate signed by a justice of the peace.

"Everything else proceeds as it normally has, except that we will not sign the marriage certificate," Landskroener said.


You go, guys.

(ht karjack via rm)
xenologer: (Default)
Iran protests by pro-democracy advocates on National Student Day were attacked by security forces on Monday. The country's Green Movement has found new ways of organizing and keeping its message alive.
Istanbul, Turkey - In Iran, riot police clashed with thousands of protesters Monday in the latest round of demonstrations, which took place despite a concerted six-month effort by Iran's security services to stamp out the opposition Green Movement.

Witnesses said that at Tehran University, just one of several flashpoints in Tehran and other cities marred by violence, police used tear gas and batons, and plainclothes agents wielded electric stun-guns against students and other demonstrators throwing stones. Protesters chanted slogans against the security forces and "Death to the dictator"; passersby were beaten with batons in alleys off the main streets.

Iran specialists say the persistence of the protests in the face of powerful counter-measures from the regime indicates that politics in Iran has irreversibly changed.

"This is not a revolution, this is the commencement of a civil rights movement," says Hamid Dabashi, a prolific historian of Iran at Columbia University in New York. (...)

While Monday's protests focused on students, they were the largest in months. Efforts by security forces to arrest student leaders did not appear to work — partly because of new organization techniques developed since June.

"Communication is all through [personal] networking — they have adjusted so that they do not make decisions as a single group," says Ali Akbar Mousavi-Khoeini, a former prominent member of Iran's strongest student organization who moved to the US earlier this year.

"They have changed to do networking activities, so that decisionmaking is not longer taking place at a top level," says Mousavi-Khoeini. "The decisionmaking process has changed to avoid having to meet and vote."
xenologer: (Default)
Iran protests by pro-democracy advocates on National Student Day were attacked by security forces on Monday. The country's Green Movement has found new ways of organizing and keeping its message alive.
Istanbul, Turkey - In Iran, riot police clashed with thousands of protesters Monday in the latest round of demonstrations, which took place despite a concerted six-month effort by Iran's security services to stamp out the opposition Green Movement.

Witnesses said that at Tehran University, just one of several flashpoints in Tehran and other cities marred by violence, police used tear gas and batons, and plainclothes agents wielded electric stun-guns against students and other demonstrators throwing stones. Protesters chanted slogans against the security forces and "Death to the dictator"; passersby were beaten with batons in alleys off the main streets.

Iran specialists say the persistence of the protests in the face of powerful counter-measures from the regime indicates that politics in Iran has irreversibly changed.

"This is not a revolution, this is the commencement of a civil rights movement," says Hamid Dabashi, a prolific historian of Iran at Columbia University in New York. (...)

While Monday's protests focused on students, they were the largest in months. Efforts by security forces to arrest student leaders did not appear to work — partly because of new organization techniques developed since June.

"Communication is all through [personal] networking — they have adjusted so that they do not make decisions as a single group," says Ali Akbar Mousavi-Khoeini, a former prominent member of Iran's strongest student organization who moved to the US earlier this year.

"They have changed to do networking activities, so that decisionmaking is not longer taking place at a top level," says Mousavi-Khoeini. "The decisionmaking process has changed to avoid having to meet and vote."
xenologer: (Default)
Iran protests by pro-democracy advocates on National Student Day were attacked by security forces on Monday. The country's Green Movement has found new ways of organizing and keeping its message alive.
Istanbul, Turkey - In Iran, riot police clashed with thousands of protesters Monday in the latest round of demonstrations, which took place despite a concerted six-month effort by Iran's security services to stamp out the opposition Green Movement.

Witnesses said that at Tehran University, just one of several flashpoints in Tehran and other cities marred by violence, police used tear gas and batons, and plainclothes agents wielded electric stun-guns against students and other demonstrators throwing stones. Protesters chanted slogans against the security forces and "Death to the dictator"; passersby were beaten with batons in alleys off the main streets.

Iran specialists say the persistence of the protests in the face of powerful counter-measures from the regime indicates that politics in Iran has irreversibly changed.

"This is not a revolution, this is the commencement of a civil rights movement," says Hamid Dabashi, a prolific historian of Iran at Columbia University in New York. (...)

While Monday's protests focused on students, they were the largest in months. Efforts by security forces to arrest student leaders did not appear to work — partly because of new organization techniques developed since June.

"Communication is all through [personal] networking — they have adjusted so that they do not make decisions as a single group," says Ali Akbar Mousavi-Khoeini, a former prominent member of Iran's strongest student organization who moved to the US earlier this year.

"They have changed to do networking activities, so that decisionmaking is not longer taking place at a top level," says Mousavi-Khoeini. "The decisionmaking process has changed to avoid having to meet and vote."

Maine.

Nov. 4th, 2009 11:38 am
xenologer: (Green Iran)
You've all probably seen the results of Maine's gay marriage vote.

As someone whose right to vote was once a matter for debate, as someone whose right to marry a person of a different race was once a matter for debate, and as someone whose right to marry a woman or a trans man or woman (depending on what specific states have decided trans people "are") is still a matter for debate... I'm so sorry. This hurts us all, and it reflects on us all. And I'm so sorry.

Meanwhile, Washington voters speak out in support of "separate but equal" unions for LGBT and hetero citizens.

The latter one could be worse, obviously, but this is just such heartbreaking shit to watch. I know that we'll get there eventually, but in the meantime... in the meantime LGBT Americans are forced to lead more difficult lives than hetero Americans, and not because they're different than straight people on some fundamental level. It's because we're not the country we like to say we are.

Not yet, at least. We'll get there, but only if we keep fighting. In the meantime, losses hurt. Watching Christians rejoice because they've successfully convinced yet another state that their God hates gay people and therefore so should we? That hurts. Watching my fellow human beings congratulate each other on denying rights to their brothers and sisters? That hurts. And it's happened again.

Maine.

Nov. 4th, 2009 11:38 am
xenologer: (Green Iran)
You've all probably seen the results of Maine's gay marriage vote.

As someone whose right to vote was once a matter for debate, as someone whose right to marry a person of a different race was once a matter for debate, and as someone whose right to marry a woman or a trans man or woman (depending on what specific states have decided trans people "are") is still a matter for debate... I'm so sorry. This hurts us all, and it reflects on us all. And I'm so sorry.

Meanwhile, Washington voters speak out in support of "separate but equal" unions for LGBT and hetero citizens.

The latter one could be worse, obviously, but this is just such heartbreaking shit to watch. I know that we'll get there eventually, but in the meantime... in the meantime LGBT Americans are forced to lead more difficult lives than hetero Americans, and not because they're different than straight people on some fundamental level. It's because we're not the country we like to say we are.

Not yet, at least. We'll get there, but only if we keep fighting. In the meantime, losses hurt. Watching Christians rejoice because they've successfully convinced yet another state that their God hates gay people and therefore so should we? That hurts. Watching my fellow human beings congratulate each other on denying rights to their brothers and sisters? That hurts. And it's happened again.

Maine.

Nov. 4th, 2009 11:38 am
xenologer: (Green Iran)
You've all probably seen the results of Maine's gay marriage vote.

As someone whose right to vote was once a matter for debate, as someone whose right to marry a person of a different race was once a matter for debate, and as someone whose right to marry a woman or a trans man or woman (depending on what specific states have decided trans people "are") is still a matter for debate... I'm so sorry. This hurts us all, and it reflects on us all. And I'm so sorry.

Meanwhile, Washington voters speak out in support of "separate but equal" unions for LGBT and hetero citizens.

The latter one could be worse, obviously, but this is just such heartbreaking shit to watch. I know that we'll get there eventually, but in the meantime... in the meantime LGBT Americans are forced to lead more difficult lives than hetero Americans, and not because they're different than straight people on some fundamental level. It's because we're not the country we like to say we are.

Not yet, at least. We'll get there, but only if we keep fighting. In the meantime, losses hurt. Watching Christians rejoice because they've successfully convinced yet another state that their God hates gay people and therefore so should we? That hurts. Watching my fellow human beings congratulate each other on denying rights to their brothers and sisters? That hurts. And it's happened again.
xenologer: (Green Iran)
A WWII vet speaks out about fighting so that all four of his sons (not just the three straight ones) can have freedom and equality.



(HT uhrwerkmensch)

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