Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Reading

Finishing “Politically Inept with Homer Simpson” & “The D’oh-cial Network” and Starting “Moe Goes from Rags to Riches”
by Chris Ledesma
Most people have probably only heard “Rhapsody in Blue” being performed by a large orchestra, but I knew that the piece was composed in 1924 for The Paul Whiteman Orchestra which was really an expanded jazz band – think Duke Ellington’s or Glenn Miller’s band with violins, banjo, and tuba added – which only had 24 players. The symphony orchestra version didn’t appear on the scene until 1942. I told Alf if we could find a copy of the 1924 version, we could record that one, he wouldn’t have to rebuild the score for our needs and we would be true to the original spirit of the piece. As it turns out, we were able to find – with the assistance of the always helpful JoAnn Kane Music Service – a PDF scan of the original manuscript that had been donated to the Library of Congress by the original orchestrator, Ferde Grofé. Woo-Hoo!
Read More at Simpsons Music


The Black Administration of White Interests
 The commodification of black bodies, once big business during the slave trade, and the cruelty and brutality associated with that condition lingers on today in a modified but obvious form. No longer is it the white mob eager to seize a black body, string it up, mutilate it, and drag in through the streets as a token of white supremacy; that job now rests with law enforcement who maintain the prescribed racial boundaries and can shoot, mutilate, and abuse black bodies under the protection of white policemen, white prosecutors, and white juries in spite of the presence of black public officials. The history of law enforcement in the United States has denied African Americans due process and equal protection, and so the agents of law enforcement have little legitimacy among African Americans in general. In fact, there has been a long history, extending back to World War I, of police precipitating riotous incidents and conspiring with white mobs to do violence against blacks. The “bad nigger” who formerly was punished and made an example for resisting his or her place is now “any nigger” who rouses white suspicion. This is the way white power is maintained.


Once upon a time, I had just come out to my family as an ex-Muslim. Believing me to be under the influence of a a heathenish social group or malicious atheist man, my folks dragged me to mosque after mosque all over California. The miles were clocked in the hopes that some imam or sheikh would manage to “answer my questions” (though I was long past questions, really). I went along with it, since I had been successfully gaslit into feeling guilt for my choices and had learned that there were rewards to giving into their “requests” instead of resisting them (i.e. I’d be left blissfully alone about it for a longer while if I yielded instead of standing my ground).


by The Belle Jar
Like most white people, I grew up with the idea that the cops are on my side. Over and over again, I was told that the police were here to protect me. As a little kid, I was told that if I was ever lost or in danger, the first person I should try to find was a police officer. I was taught that this is the system; I was taught that the system was here to take care of me. 
What I was never taught was that the system takes care of white people like me first, and everyone else second. If at all.


Tim and Julie Tennant adopted little Beth and her younger brother Jonathan back in the ‘80s. The couple took the sibling pair into their home, not aware of their past abuse at the hands of their biological father. Her mother, who had abandoned her and Jonathan, died when Beth was one. When Child Services found the children, Beth was screaming in her own soil and Jonathan was found in his crib with a curdled bottle of milk, his head flattened from the way he’d been positioned. Tim and Julie didn’t know about the sexual abuse Beth had been subjected to as early as 19 months old by her father. They didn’t know she was suffering from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), a condition that surfaces from past trauma and neglect into oceans of disturbing, detached, unresponsive, and apathetic behavior. They couldn’t possibly know that a young girl could be filled with so much—that much rage.





Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Reading

No indictment. No trial. No justice. No peace. | #BlackLivesMatter
There was never — could never have been — an advocate for Michael Brown in the grand jury proceedings. This was a grand jury that was 75% White, asked to see the humanity of a Black teenager. This was a prosecutor who, despite his job being to speak on behalf of the victim, clearly perceived the victim in this situation to be Officer Darren Wilson, and not the teenager whom Wilson may have illegally killed.
Read More at reappropriate


White Supremacy in Action--No "Probable Cause" to Indict The Killer Cop Darren Wilson
by Chauncey DeVega
A prosecutor can get a jury to indict a ham sandwich if so inclined. Michael Brown, and by proxy the lives of black and brown folks, are apparently worth less than a sandwich.


by Kim Tran
When white women say I’m too confident, it’s because they have a set idea of who I, as an Asian American queer womyn, am supposed to be. For white liberal feminism, confidence has become the ideal way to take the corporate workplace by storm. I would venture to say that if I were a high powered white woman, like Sheryl Sandberg, no one would be calling me too confident. But, as an Asian American womyn, I am expected to be more quiet and less aggressive. Why? Because stereotypes, or controlling images, work differently in different communities. Unlike white women, Asian American women have been pervasively defined by a history of forced sex work, colonialism and American imperialism.


One of the most persistent gender gaps in cognitive skills is found in the area of spatial skills, specifically on measures of mental rotation, where researchers consistently find that men outscore women by a medium to large margin (Linn & Petersen, 1985; Voyer et al., 1995). While no definitive evidence proves that strong spatial abilities are required for achievement in STEM careers (Ceci et al., 2009), many people, including science and engineering professors, view them as important for success in fields like engineering and classes like organic chemistry. The National Academy of Sciences states that “spatial thinking is at the heart of many great discoveries in science, that it underpins many of the activities of the modern workforce, and that it pervades the everyday activities of modern life” (National Research Council, Committee on Support for Thinking Spatially, 2006, p.1).


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