Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Reading


White Racial Logic: The Real Difference Between Waco and Baltimore
by Chauncey de Vega
The participants in the Waco, Texas gun battle were almost exclusively white. The participants in the Baltimore Uprising were almost all black. Quite predictably, the corporate news media’s narrative frame for those events was heavily influenced by race. News coverage of these two events has stretched the bounds of credulity by engaging in all manner of mental gymnastics in order to describe the killings, mayhem, and gun battle in Waco as anything other than a “riot.”
Read More at ChaunceydeVega.com


‘Grace': Single Mothers, Stillborn Births, and Scrutinizing Parenting Styles
by BJ Colangelo
Despite humanity surviving nearly 200,000 years without mommy blogs and Dr. Spock’s baby books, our culture has become fixated on determining the “right” way to be a mother. The truth is, there is no right way to be a mother. What works for one mother and child may not work for another, and the ongoing debate of motherhood is something ugly and downright frightening. Society imagines the “right” mother to be the ones creating the crafts and cooking the meals we pin to our Pinterest boards, all while raising well-behaved and “normal” children. However, the things that we believe to be “right” aren’t always going to wind up being the best options.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


Why am I insulted when people mistake me for a samba dancer?
by Micheline Nitru
Let me give you some snippets of what it is like to be black in Brazil: A few months ago Ana*, a well-to-do, Afro-Brazilian friend of mine, dressed in head-to-toe perfection, was asked to go into the service entrance of her (white) friend’s apartment building (yes, residential buildings in Brazil have separate service entrances for the exclusive use of  housekeepers, gardeners, plumbers etc.). She was livid and spewed her wrath at the doorman, insisting that she be shown the regular entrance.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


My Iranian Breakup
by Zahra Noorbakhsh
When I was invited to speak at a conference in Iran, I was asked by the organizers to take as much of my digital footprint down as possible. I took down my first LoveinshAllah.com column “My Infidel Husband,” postponed my next two columns, de-activated my website, and even untagged myself in podcast photos of “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim” on Facebook.
Read More at Love, Inshallah


Oyalogy – a poetic approach to African feminism
by Minna Salami
On April 1st 2003, Leymah Gbowee, an activist who would later win the Nobel Peace Prize, learnt that fighting was nearing Monrovia, her country’s capital. There were clashes between rebels and then president Charles Taylor, and the scheduled presidential elections seemed increasingly unlikely to take place. Distressed, Gbowee began to make calls to her colleagues at WIPNET, the organisation she was a founding member of. “We need to step up” she told them. “The men have failed […] the women of Liberia want peace now”. And so the women began to organise. They printed flyers, made statements on radio, spoke to people on the streets. Over the course of a few days, almost one hundred women arrived in Monrovia. Leymah Gbowee and her group had mobilised.
Read More at Ms. Afropolitan


The Wire: Tautology Supercut



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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tuesday Reading



The South Does Rights Thing; Why US & Canada Fear Human Rights Court, Part II
by Steve Russell
Human rights as something existing outside of national borders but enforceable within those borders is the furthest frontier of international law. Conflict resolution outside of national legal systems began with trade and spread to border disputes and the rules (such as they are) of warfare. In the Atomic Age, very few disputes justify going to war, and recognition of that has driven even more acceptance of international law.
Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network


‘Viy': Incestuous Mother as Horror Monster
by Brigit McCone
Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol disassociated himself from his 1835 story Viy by framing it as an unaltered “Little Russian” (Ukrainian) folk tale, but it is actually a strikingly original, vividly visual and deeply felt Gothic horror that bears only slight resemblance to folklore. Though Mario Bava’s 1960 Black Sunday is officially based on Viy, the most faithful adaptation is a 1967 Soviet production with effects by stop-motion legend Aleksandr Ptushko. I’m analyzing this classic, not the recent remake.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


The Silence of the Lambs: The Case of Presidency University Now
by Brinda Bose
Some serious questions arise from the imbroglio this month at Presidency University, Calcutta, the latest in a series of rumblings and explosions since the end of last year, this latest gone entirely unreported in newspapers (save one damning article in The Telegraph of May 20th) and on television, and mostly unnoticed even on social media other than on the Facebook pages of some current Presidency students. These are bare squeaks where there should have been a cacophony. A few decades ago, in the(then) Presidency College canteen, there was some gratuitous wall graffiti advice for feeble Bengalis that thundered, “Bangali Gorje Othho” (Bengalis, Rise and Roar) under which, in miniscule print, was inscribed “halum” (“meww”). It elicited ironic laughter, in recognition of the Bengali penchant for believing that their race was tiger-like while more often than not, it was lamb-mewlish. But college and university students have universally always proven that they can rise and roar fearsomely and effectively when the occasion demands it, and the history of Presidency, like many other old institutions, has had more than its fair share of instances of anarchic student rebellion, not least famously the one of the late 1960s and early ‘70s in Bengal.
Read More at Humanities Underground


St. George to Tompkinsville to Park Hill to Stapleton, Part 3
by Kevin Walsh
In my collection of NYC books I think I can count the number of books on (exclusively) Staten Island with two hands. There’s Holden’s Staten Island, Secret Places of Staten Island, any one of John Sublett’s self-published Staten Island books, and Staten Island neighborhoods in the Arcadia photo books series. Not one of those books are on a major publishing house imprint (though Arcadia does have hundreds of editions nationwide). In my edition of New York City Landmarks, Staten Island takes up 35 pages out of 452; in the AIA Guide to New York City, Staten Island takes 53 pages out of 1056. In Forgotten New York the Book, I give Staten Island what I feel is a decent portion, 55 pages out of 360.
Read More at Forgotten-NY.com


A Campaign of Harassment
by Sara Ahmed
It has been difficult to witness: the launching of a systematic campaign of harassment against a student at Goldsmiths, Bahar Mustafa, who is currently Welfare and Diversity Officer for the Student Union. I am writing this post to express my solidarity with Bahar Mustafa. I also want to use the occasion to try and make sense of what has been going on: to ask why and how this story came to circulate the way that it did. One of my standpoints is that doing diversity work – the work of trying to transform institutions often by opening them up to populations that have not previously been accommodated – gives us insight into the very mechanisms of power. We learn how things are working from what happens to those who challenge how things are working.
Read More at Feminist Killjoys


Qraftish: "I'm Allergic to Cats . . . And Cat Calling" (Ep.7)



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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday Reading


The oil giants are coming to Tanzania
by Marta Tveit
International oil giants are bearing down on East Africa. Off the coast of Tanzania, the discovery of 46.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves has put the country on the world energy map. The number is expected to rise to 200 trillion cubic feet in the next two years, and eventually transform Tanzania into a middle-income country.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


This Is What Happens When a Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant Queer Walks Into a Wildlife Training
by Alona G.
I’m at a training with my county forest preserves to learn how to identify local dragonfly and damselfly populations.
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous


Cops: Toddler Disfigured By Grenade in “No-Knock” Raid a “Criminal”, To Blame For His Injuries | #JusticeForBouBou
by Jenn Feng
Last year, nineteen month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh was sleeping peacefully in his playpen in Habersham County, Georgia. The Phonesavanh family had recently moved to Georgia from Janesville, Wisconsin after their home had been destroyed in a fire, and the family — including the four young Phonesavanh children — were temporarily living in a converted guestroom of the house owned by Bounkham Phonesavanh’s sister.
Read More at Reappropriate


#SayHerName: Kayla Moore killed by Berkeley Police+my own recent brush with the cops
by Aya de Leon
All across the US yesterday, people–particularly black women–sought to expand the national conversation about police violence to include the reality that black women are not only grieving mothers, daughters and partners of black men slain by police, but we are directly targeted. A critical paper by The African American Policy Forum was released on Wednesday: “Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.” Although women are not targeted as often as men, the statistics clearly show that within the gender categories, black women are targeted in the same disproportionate numbers as black men. This day of action is critical in fighting the erasure of black women’s stories.
Read More at AyaDeLeon.com


The Harm We Are Causing Young Girls By Covering Up
by Ana Rojas
A few months ago, I was at the beach. It was in beautiful south Florida that my girlfriend and I had spent four hours at soaking up the sun and talking. Two very profound things happened to me that day.
Read More at Zusterschap Collective


5 Awesome Ice Cream Life Hacks



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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday Reading



Studying in the Streets: The Pedagogy of Throwing Bottles at the Cops
by Derek R. Ford
One of my close comrades had been reporting from the frontlines, and recently he posted a 1-minute video that captured succinctly the tragedy and hope ran through the streets. The sun had long been set and the first mass protests that took place earlier that day – Saturday, April 25 – had ended. It's a nondescript street corner in Baltimore, with multicolored row houses and a corner store in sight, and a few dozen riot cops are standing behind the barricades. We don't get a full view of the street but it looks like the cops outnumber the people. Most of the people are Black and, although we can't see the cops' faces, we know what color they are.
Read More at Black Agenda Report


Digital Trends in Fairy-Tale Scholarship
by Jeana Jorgensen, Ph.D.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the “At the Crossroads of Data and Wonder Symposium” held at Brigham Young University this month, where folklorists gathered with digital humanities folks to discuss the application of quantitative and digital methods to fairy-tale and folklore research. I compiled all of the #VisualizingWonder tweets into a Storify here, but I also thought the event merited a blog post.
Read More at JeanaJorgensen.com


Girl Bachelor
by Zainab Chaudary
We’re very different, Adam and I: he is a critical and analytical thinker, I am an intuitive and emotive one. Science, reason, and skepticism trump all for him, whereas for me, all three lie under a dome of spirituality. He is more realist painting, I am more impressionist imprint. Though we often have spirited debates, we respect each other’s brains enough to maintain this friendship of nine years.
Read More at Love, Inshallah


Blanket Training Is About Adults, Not Children
by R.L. Stollar
In its simplest form, blanket training consists of 3 actions: (1) place a young child (usually an infant or toddler) on a small blanket, (2) tell that child not to move off the blanket, and (3) strike that child if they move off the blanket. Rinse, repeat.
Read More at Homeschoolers Anonymous


No, You Don’t Have To Be ‘Lean and Hot’ To Do Cool, Exciting Things
by Caitlin Constantine
One thing did manage to wriggle its way into my consciousness, and while other people have ably torn it to shreds, I noticed something that I didn’t see anyone write about that I thought was important to talk about.  I’m referring to the article on Bodybuilding.com titled How Lean Should You Get?  The accompany graphic – the Fat vs. Muscle Matrix – got a lot of people seriously pissed off, and understandably so.
Read More at Fit And Feminist


How to Make Donut French Toast



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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Reading



Duke University Prof Makes Online Tirade Against “the Blacks” and “the Asians”
by Jenn Feng
Duke University political science professor Jerry F. Hough — alumnus of Harvard University whose specialty is domestic identity formation at the intersection of American and Soviet politics —  is in hot water. Over the weekend, Hough posted a racist 6-paragraph tirade on the New York Times website comparing supposedly self-defeating behaviours of the Black community (“they feel sorry for themselves”) to the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans, whom Hough praised for “work[ing] doubly hard” and our “desire for integration”.
Read More at Reappropriate


Playing the Race Card”: A Transatlantic Perspective
by Ahmed Olayinka Sule
What do Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Diane Abbott, Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey have in common? Besides being black public figures, they have all been accused of playing, using or pulling the race card. According to Wikipedia, “Playing the race card is an idiomatic phrase that refers to exploitation of either racist or anti-racist attitudes by accusing others of racism.” 
A close examination of the usage of the phrase reveals that it is applied almost exclusively to people with non-white skin pigmentation in general and against black people in particular.
Read More at Media Diversified


The Kids Aren't All Right
by Nick Turse
When I was their age, I wasn’t trusted to drive, vote, drink, get married, gamble in a casino, serve on a jury, rent a car, or buy a ticket to an R-rated movie.  It was mandatory for me to be in school.  The law decreed just how many hours I could work and prohibited my employment in jobs deemed too dangerous for kids -- like operating mixing machines in bakeries or repairing elevators.  No one, I can say with some certainty, would have thought it a good idea to put an automatic weapon in my hands.  But someone thought it was acceptable for them.  A lot of someones actually.  Their government -- the government of South Sudan -- apparently thought so.  And so did mine, the government of the United States. 
Read More at The America Empire Project


What former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré’s trial next month in Senegal means for his victims
by Jacqueline Moudeina
Next month former president Hissène Habré, who ruled my native Chad from  June 7, 1982 to December 1, 1990, goes on trial in Senegal, in a special tribunal set up by the African Union.  Habré’s reign was one of absolute terror.  He created the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS), which quickly developed into a machine of repression. According to the report of an investigation ordered by the Chadian government in 1992, 40,000 people were killed in the prisons of the DDS.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


Margon
by Jeremiah Moss
We've visited Margon before, but now with Cafe Edison gone, it may the only affordable, authentic, local restaurant left in Times Square. It's certainly worth visiting again--and again.
Read More at Jeremiah's Vanishing New York


White Liberals and Colonialism: Interview with Haidar Eid - Part Two



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Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Reading



Celebrating Revolutionary Blackness: Haitian Flag Day and The Importance of the Haitian Flag
by Bertin M. Louis, Jr.
In communities across the globe, thousands of Haitians celebrate Haitian Flag Day every May 18 at concerts and ceremonies, on the Internet and at festivals and parades. The flag not only reflects pride in Haitian roots but it is the flag of the first black republic in the world. The Haitian flag takes on renewed meaning as an anti-racist symbol of revolutionary blackness and freedom in a continuing time of white supremacy and anti-blackness. Its inception was from the Haitian Revolution (1791-1803).
Read More at New Black Man (In Exile)


CBS is Colorizing “I Love Lucy.” Here’s Why I’m Okay with That.
by Will McKinley
Yes, Ted Turner colorized CASABLANCA. But despite his boast that “once people start watching the colored version, they won’t bother with the original,” a gorgeous, black and white restoration of the film aired again today on the channel that bears his name. The color version has long since been forgotten.
Read More at Cinematically Insane


The Hairy Truth
by Carly Lane
Certain portions of the memory are very clear, and yet others are very faint. I remember how old I was, roughly – definitely in middle school, at the height of my awkward phase (and at the dawn of my rapid growth spurt). I’d heard the messages about how my body was going to to change and how it was going to develop. Until that point, I had never felt self-conscious about the way I looked as I went through the world – until that moment.
Read More at Zusterschap


Dear Future Husband, Please Don’t Listen To Anything Meghan Trainor Says
by KP
A couple of weeks ago, while my sister and I were engaging in our usual cooking/dance session one evening, a previously unheard Meghan Trainor song came on Spotify. We both bopped along to the catchy melody, chopping courgettes in time to the rhythm and waving our knives around precariously. Later that same evening, during our teeth-cleaning-dance-party (we dance around like idiots for 90% of the time that we spend awake in our flat) the song came on again. This time I started listening to the lyrics properly, and I was disturbed by what I heard.
Read More at The Vagenda


When you’re invisible, every representation matters: Political edition
by Adrienne K.
Ready for a little history lesson? A (not-so-long) time ago, this continent was full of people. People who had been here for thousands and thousands and thousands of years, since the beginning. Then around 500 years ago, some folks showed up, pretended those people didn’t exist, or deemed them “savages” unworthy of status as human. Those interlopers decided that they could just “claim” land and resources and people and whatever else they wanted by some papal doctrine that said they could, and killed millions of the original inhabitants in the process. All in a quest for land, resources, and wealth. Then they sent in their own people to illegally occupy the previously (and continuously) inhabited lands. That process continues today, it wasn’t something that ended in 1776 with the formation of the “United States of America” on top of stolen Indigenous lands. This, my friends, is settler colonialism. Say it with me. Settler colonialism. How is this different than other colonialism? The main goal is the establishment of a new sovereign entity, not to extract resources/wealth/people for the gain of another nation-state (though there was plenty of that in the early days). There has also been no process of decolonization (working on it)–y’all are still here, still answering to a foreign power on stolen lands, and still doing everything possible through institutional and structural forces to assert that your race is superior to the “savages” on whose land you hang out indefinitely.
Read More at Native Appropriations


Making Hasty Pudding



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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday Reading



Why Black people in France are still invisible
by Aude Konan
A new French study has revealed that racism is on the rise in France, with half of the French population admitting that they have a racial prejudice. Contrary to the popular belief that racists are old people who are left-wing, the study reveals that 65% of people under the age of 30 believe that there are too many immigrants in France. Numbers show that 8.8% of people living in France are migrants, and 57% of them are Europeans.
Read More at Media Diversified


We need decriminalization, because no one ever looks like a rapist.
The client seems ideal, older, polite and respectful in all his emails, he arrives right on time, clearly having just showered and his designer t shirt and jeans pristine. 
Because no one ever looks like a rapist.
Read More at Sometimes, It's Just a Cigar


The Rockstar Vacation Dilemma
by Jeana Jorgensen, Ph.D.
I don’t vacation well. I’m a bit of a workaholic, so as much as I love travel and meeting new people and seeing new places, it’s hard for me to really, truly interact with the new places and people. I think I’ve figured out part of why this is.
Read More at JeanaJorgensen.com


Tomgram: Ann Jones, Citizen's Revolt in Afghanistan
by Ann Jones
Soon after 9/11, Ann Jones went to Afghanistan to help in whatever way she could, “embedding” with civilians who had been battered by the rigors of that war-torn land.  Out of that experience, especially dealing with the crises of women, she wrote a powerful and moving book, Kabul in Winter. In 2010, she borrowed a flak jacket, put on her combat boots, and settled into a U.S. military outpost in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border to see what life was like for American soldiers.  (“Being outside the wire had filled me with sorrow as I watched earnest, heavily armed and armored boys try to win over white-bearded Afghans -- men of extraordinary dignity -- who have seen all this before and know the outcome.”) 
Read More at TomDispatch.com


Damn, He Didn’t Die?: George Zimmerman, Oppressive “Moral High Ground” Lectures and What’s Good For My Soul
by Mia McKenzie
If you haven’t heard, yesterday George Zimmerman, the man who stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin, was shot at. Many initial reports offered vague headlines such as “George Zimmerman Shot In Face” in the hopes that people would click to see if he was dead or not. Turned out, he wasn’t dead. To the dismay of a lot of folks, including myself.
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous


Lawrence Hamm Black Community Control of Police



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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Reading



Back to the Future: From Watts 1965 to Baltimore 2015, How Much Has Really Changed?
by Chauncey De Vega
In the United States, the colorline is a paradox. It is story of continuity and change.
The colorline in the Age of Obama, and the post civil rights, era more broadly, are built upon a skeleton of white supremacy and white privilege even while the shape of its superstructure may suggest that much racial progress has in fact been made.
Read More at ChaunceyDeVega.com


To be young, privileged and black (in a world of white hegemony)
by Lelo Macheke
Today is March 19. Tension fills the Rhodes University campus in the small South African university town of Grahamstown. The university’s student representative council had announced a day earlier that a meeting would take place today to allow the student populace, the various student representative societies, and university management to discuss the ructions taking place at the campus and at other universities across the country.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


#iamnotavessel: Joss Whedon’s Romantic Reproductive Coercion
by Brigit McCone 
The Alien saga offers some of the most powerful images of bodily violation in pop culture, from the metaphorical rape of the facehuggers to the victim’s resulting fatal impregnation. Ridley “Thelma and Louise“ Scott* fostered male empathy by casting John Hurt as the victim of this violation, while Sigourney Weaver’s badass Ellen Ripley defeated the monster. The sequel, Aliens, saw Ripley voluntarily assume maternal responsibility for a young girl, Newt, and fight an iconic battle against the Alien Queen to save her adopted child. In Alien3, Ripley realized she had been impregnated with an Alien Queen, and made a conscious decision to destroy herself and it. Then, in 1997, celebrated male feminist Joss Whedon scripted a fourth film in the series, Alien: Resurrection, which revived Ripley as an Alien/human hybrid clone.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


“The Good Ones Say No”: Why Purity Culture and Rape Culture Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
by Miri Mogilevski
On one side of the coin is the idea that only “good” women are worth anything, and only women who consistently refuse men’s advances can be “good.” Of course, this creates a paradox: if women are only “good” as long as they refuse, and men could only ever want to get emotionally (and materially) invested in “good” women, what happens when a woman stops refusing?
Read more at Brute Reason


Happy Mother’s Day, Ami
by Rabia Choudry
My maternal grandfather was on his sick bed when he called his eldest to his side. My mother, at 26 already pushing Pakistani spinsterhood, obeyed. He informed her that they had accepted a marriage proposal for her. He asked if she wanted to see her future groom’s picture.
She asked him, “do I have a choice in marrying him or not?”
Read More at Split The Moon


After Hours - Movies Secretly Told From The Perspective Of One Character



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Monday, May 11, 2015

Spending in Baltimore



There's a number I've heard kicking around the past two weeks:
$15,483

Supposedly, that's the amount the city of Baltimore spends on each of its students.

Most of the people I've heard trotting out that number have a vested interest in conservative, "limited government," politics and they have used it as proof that more government spending is not the answer.

However...

The spending per student number come from the Census Bureau, based on their 2010 efforts. It takes the total amount of spending, minus other sources of income, and divides that by the number of students in Baltimore.

When the number was released, The Baltimore Sun clarified that the actual amount of spending per student is closer to $5,190:
"That amount is different from what the Census Bureau reported because the school system takes out other expenses, such as transportation costs and special-education services, before allocating money to individual schools. In addition, the school system provides extra funding for certain groups of students, such as those in special education and dropout-prevention programs."
But even if you accept the larger number, that's not the end of the story, because Baltimore spends money on other things, like cops and prisoners.

Last February, the Justice Policy Institute and the Prison Policy Initiative published a study that tracked spending per prisoner in Baltimore. Of all the inmates serving time in prison, 33% are from Baltimore. The city and state spend $300 million dollars on all of Baltimore's 7,795.

That's an average of $38486 per prisoner, or $23,003 more than is spent on students.

The highest percentage of Baltimoreans incarcerated from a single neighborhood live in Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park, where Freddie Gray lived. $17 million is spent on the 458 people in prison from the area. About $37,117 per person.

WalletHub reports that Baltimore spends half a billion dollars on its police force. So far, I haven't found any reports on how that breaks down on a per officer basis, but the Baltimore city budget is freely available online so feel free to do your own math. One thing the WalletHub report makes clear is that the spending has little impact on the crime rate. So where does that money go?

Take a look at Google Maps satellite view of Baltimore's suburbs: Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Rosedale. Unlike the abandoned houses, and torn apart blocks, these suburban streets are tree lined and spread out so every home has a decent piece of land to sit on.

Another number I've heard kicking around since the Baltimore uprising is 75%. That's the percentage of police officers who live in Baltimore's suburbs, who take their paychecks from the city residents' taxes and fines and exploited labor and spend it on above ground pools and vacations to Disney World.

Oh, and Klan memberships. That city of Rosedale I mentioned earlier, happens to be home to a group called the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In 2013, they told USA Today:
"If we don't stop Barack Obama, if we don't stop this government all together that is running us into the ground, working us like dogs, so that they can keep taking it and giving it to somebody else, we're not going to have a country," said Richard Preston, imperial wizard of the 2-year-old Confederate White Knights of Rosedale, Md., said.
For comparison, this is what Rosedale looks like:



And this is Sandtown:



It doesn't look like its the residents of Rosedale who have the fruits of their work taken away and given to someone else.

In fact, it looks like just the opposite.

The problem with the WalletHub ROI calculation is it calculates the crime rate in the city, but most of the police officers live in the suburbs, and there, not only is the crime low, but all that government spending stimulates an economy that literally could not survive on its own.

So, perhaps it's not that Baltimore spends too much on its students, but that it spends twice as much per person locking up the students and their parents.

Monday Reading



A Steampunk May Day: Black Radicals, Anarchists, Socialists and Reformers
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
Steampunk itself exists in a radical age, as the blog Steampunk Emma Goldman reminds us in its dedication to “occasionally talk about past and future political actions inside and outside the steampunk community.” The era to which the genre lays claim was one in which labor unions, workers, socialists, anarchists and radicals waged wars of rhetoric and direct action–that could erupt into riots, uprisings and rebellion. In Chicago’s Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886, a labor protest rally turned into a riot after someone threw a bomb at police. Eight people died. In Ludlow, Colorado, striking coal miners attacked their place of work, destroying and looting property. They were met by company guards and the Colorado National Guard with machine guns. Between 70 to 200 men and women were killed.
Read More at Disgruntled Haradrim


Unprotected by Assimilation: Lessons from the Case of Duy Ngo
Duy Ngo, a Vietnamese American undercover police officer working in the Minnesota Gang Strike Force, was struck by a bullet from an unknown suspect while working a case.  The bullet did not pierce his bullet proof vest, but it knocked the wind from him.  After briefly chasing the suspect, he called for backup, and laid on the ground.  Two officers in a squad car arrived on the scene, and apparently one of them mistook Duy for an Asian gang member and opened fire on him while he lay on the ground.  Duy claims he was struck by eight bullets.  Some accounts claim at least six.
Read More at Reappropriate


Vintage Viewing: Mabel Normand, Slapstick Star in Charge
by Brigit McCone
Mabel Normand was once known as “The Queen of Comedy” and “The Female Chaplin.” Her name was featured in the title of her shorts as their star attraction, which she soon parlayed into creative control as director. Normand mentored Charlie Chaplin as well as Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who went on to mentor Buster Keaton in his turn. Mabel is, therefore, a cornerstone in the development of the American slapstick auteur, but one whose role is regularly overlooked. Her indirect connection with scandals, from Hollywood shootings to Arbuckle’s sensational trial, was used to tarnish her image and spark campaigns to ban her films, exploited by what biographer Thomas Sherman calls “behind-the-scenes Hollywood power brokers seeking to reshape the existing order.” Because of her early death in 1930 from tuberculosis, Normand is now remembered mainly through portraits by male co-workers, Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin, rather than her own words.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


The Life and Times of Mr Peter Buckton: Forty four years of walking past Cecil John Rhodes’ Statue
by Abigail McDougall
On Friday, April 10th Mr Peter Buckton walked from the bus station up to his office at the University of Cape Town. For the first time in 44 years of this daily journey, he did not have to pass the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on the university’s upper campus. There was no brass band, no media, just a quietly victorious white-haired man on his way to work. He breathes a slow sigh, and describes the feeling.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


Dove’s #LoveYourCurls Fake Feminist Campaign Reinforces Racism
by Aya de Leon
So I’m watching TV today as I’m cooking dinner, and several of the commercials are for Dove products. Other writers have effectively pointed out how Dove has these faux feminist ads, which are problematic for a few reasons: 1.the ads ultimately suggest that the problem with sexist beauty standards can be solved by buying beauty products. 2. They reinforce appearance and grooming as central preoccupations for women. 3. They don’t reflect a real corporate commitment to eliminating sexism in our culture, because Dove is owned by Unilever, the same corporation that owns Axe body spray, which has notoriously sexist advertising. Their advertising gives give faux feminist messages to women and misogynist messages to men.
Read More at Aya de Leon


Glen Ford at Black Community Control of Police



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