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Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

On Ferguson, Missouri, And Micheal Brown.

seasons greetings

Once again, a young black man is killed by a white police officer, and once again, that police officer is cleared of any charges. Sound familiar? It should: It’s an act that gets repeated over and over through out the annals of American History.  Some of the killings may be justified, most are more likely not. In just about every case I am certain that due diligence in the ensuing investigation was not performed. It’s just another black man taken off the streets: A black man who was most certainly a hard core criminal, am I right? We’ll never know because Michael Brown was never given a chance to tell his side of the story. Darren Wilson was the judge, jury, and executioner in this case, and apparently a white officer of the law can behave as Judge Dredd toward people of color with impunity. How does a grand jury not indict? What compelling evidence was introduced that impeded further scrutiny? I don’t blame anyone for being hurt and angry.

I don’t condone violence. I certainly don’t condone the decimation of neighborhoods and family owned businesses. On the surface, these are senseless acts, much like the acts of police brutality that are routinely performed across the country. However, I can’t say as I blame anyone. You can only hold a being down for so long before that being tries to get up. Anger can only be held in check for a short amount of time before it furiously bubbles to the surface and spews into the air like water from a geyser. It’s human nature: It’s fight or flight, and in this case a lot of people across the country are choosing to fight. It’s horrifying, and I wish it to stop, but it’s a natural reaction to an unjust circumstance.

People of color are tired. Tired of being afraid of the police. Tired of the profiling, the beatings, the shooting of their own with very little recourse.  Hell, I’m a white man, and I’m afraid of the police. I can’t even begin to imagine the fear that a black man experiences whenever an interaction occurs with a man in blue. Innocent or guilty? How do we know? It’s not as if proper investigations are performed. Most cases are dismissed and dropped like dirty laundry.

I don’t have the answers: I wish I did. However, I do know this: Until racism is completely eradicated like the plague it is, until every act of police violence is given complete and utter scrutiny, until racial profiling is stopped, people of color are going to be afraid and angry. Furious at a judicial deck that is overwhelmingly stacked against them. Because of this, there will be many more Fergusons, there will be many more LA’s and Detroit’s and Cincinnati’s. Violence will be answered with violence.

It hurts me to the core to even think about it.

Arizona: It’s Not The Heat. It’s The Stupidity.

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Once again, Arizona has lost its freaking collective religious right mind. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard by now that Arizona legislature passed a bill making it legal for businesses, public servants etc, to refuse service to anyone who does not conform to their religious beliefs. Dubbed the “right to discriminate act,” similar bills are currently being considered in 10 other states, with Georgia hot on the heels of Arizona. While many feel as if these bills solely target the LGBT communities in these states, that’s not exactly true. In Georgia and Arizona for instance, a hotel for example, can refuse to give a room to anyone who does not fit the religious criteria of the owner. Muslims, Hindus, virtually anyone can be refused service. Currently in Arizona, the bill is expected to be vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. However, she is doing it because of the back lash, not because it’s just a god-awful, disgusting Jim Crow like set back to human rights. The bill reeks of inhumanity, and both conservative and liberal alike should be disgusted by any such piece of legislation. This bill, and other bills under consideration, are a slippery slope toward not only a return to Jim Crow, but a return to Nazi Germany as well. It’s horrifying to me to even think about what bills may come afterward, should any state turn such discrimination into law.

Yet, I’m not surprised by the bill. The radical religious right has been hot on the trail of Puritan like conformity for decades. They want to quash down the movement of marriage equality (Ted Cruz, I’m looking at you). They want to kill women’s reproductive rights (Hello Rick Perry!).  They want to severely limit immigration. They want to jail almost every American of black and brown color on trumped up charges.  They want to eliminate every colorful ingredient of our melting pot, and turn our country into bland creme soup. It’s so bad, that even moderate conservatives are not only distancing themselves from their grand old party, they’re forsaking it all together – in droves. If John McCain is complaining, you know it’s bad.

What’s our recourse? Protest, protest against these moral intruders like they owe you money. Write your state leaders, and make your voice heard. Threaten with your buying power, and threaten with your votes. People will listen. It’s happened before, and it can happen again. In fact, it’s already happening, why else would Governor Brewer consider a veto? It’s not because of her humanity: She doesn’t have any. It’s because she knows that Arizona will lose a ton of tourist dollars. She’s probably going to do the right thing for the wrong reasons, but at least she’s going to do the right thing. We must continue to stand up for what is right: After all, George Takei simply isn’t going to be around forever to fight our battles for us.

These are dangerous times we live in folks, and if we don’t fight back, our freedom will already be more repressed that it already is. I’m just saying.

How Many Cops?

I came across this little gem from Anarchist Memes:

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It’s funny, but it’s not funny. You know what I’m saying? I laughed because it’s clever, but yet I was very disturbed because it’s still all too true. The fact of the matter is that if you are a person of color, you’re more likely to be harassed, beaten, shot, arrested, incarcerated, etc, for the simple fact that you are not white. Don’t believe me? Google “Racial Profiling” and see what you come up with. Better yet, try Googling “Cops beating African Americans” or “Cops beating Latinos”.    It’s a disgusting potpourri of articles detailing beat downs and killings of minorities, perpetrated by the very people who are paid to protect and serve.  When you couple this with the fact that the GOP has declared war on everyone but rich white males, it’s no wonder that civil unrest is still roiling just beneath the surface of our society, spewing forth with the eternal consistency of Old Faithful.

 

A Public Service Announcement From The NSA.

946339_646678152009833_1127529628_nFree cloud storage? Who could resist? On a side note, I’m considering changing our Puppy’s name to NSA: All she does is follow me and my partner around and watch us all day. Just kidding, don’t drone me bro.

A tip of the tinfoil hat to Tom Tomorrow, as well as The Other 98% for sharing Tom’s work :)

Kessler’s Rebellion

Mark Kessler: Shoots off part of his finger, yet commands his own militia and calls those in favor of gun control "libtards."

Mark Kessler: Shoots off part of his finger, yet commands his own militia and calls those in favor of gun control “libtards.”

Good lord, the crazies are stepping up their game in Gilberton, Pennsylvania. Apparently, Gilberton police chief Mark Kessler is enacting his own demented, fascist version of Shay’s Rebellion. Though recently suspended, Kessler has forcefully maintained his position as chief, posting armed guards from his Constitution  Security Force, strip searching city council members, and generally promising physical violence on any “libtard” who dares to speak against him and his views. Meanwhile, in his spare time, he’s threatening the life of Secretary of State John Kerry.

This is the kind of radical right wing bullshit that keeps me up at night folks: If a police chief turned militant psycho is allowed to ignore the very Constitution that he thinks he’s so vehemently and violently protecting, what’s next?  Will Rick Perry form his own militia and declare Texas as a Republic once again? This country just might be doomed to fall apart after all, but it’s not from the liberals, the socialists, the anarchists, or the atheist: Our country is threatened by people such as Mark Kessler, a man willing to go to any length to insure that his beliefs are the beliefs of the country. It’s people such as Mark Kessler who are the real terrorist. He is living proof of a demented group of people who are willing to go to any length to inflict their dogma on the rest of us. This is NOT patriotism, this is paranoid, terrorist fanaticism.

That, my friends, has me scared shitless.

By the way, there is an online petition calling for Federal intervention to remove Kessler and his militia. If you would like to sign it, please go here.

The Departure of Exodus International

First, there was an apology. Then came this announcement. After nearly 40 years of targeting the LGBT community with bigotry and abuse, Exodus International seems to have had a change of heart. The conservative Christian based organization is best known for their “pray the gay away” reprogramming of gays and lesbians. Now, according to Exodus president Alan Chambers, they are disbanding and rebranding.

So why after 37 years of hatred has there been a change of heart? Chambers had this to say on their blog:
” Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living breathing organism.” ” For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a world view that’s neither honoring our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

Does that sound like a change of heart to you? It sounds like a change of heart to me. The times, they are a changing, and I couldn’t be happier :)

However, the fight for acceptance goes on: There are many, many, so many more hate based Christian groups out there. I’m sure wing nuts such as Fred Phelps and his Westboro cronies are absolutely seething over this betrayal. Exodus has long been the keystone in the arch of Christian based LGBT bigotry. But hey, it’s progress am I right? It represents a monumental shift in American Christian thinking, and I must say I’m impressed.

Now, about that marriage equality issue, can we please get that resolved?

Speaking of Westboro, they’re about to taste the rainbow. The Equality House, which is right across the street from Westboro, is holding a wedding in full view of the whackadoodle compound. I realllly wish my partner and I could be there! Alas, Mr and Mrs Hat are not on the guest list :( I wonder if Fred and Margie Phelps were invited?

Not Asking For It.

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As a society, the way we treat rape and sexual abuse is back assward. It’s not a woman’s job to avoid rape: It’s the man’s job to – you know, NOT RAPE!!! No means no, and not saying yes means no. I repeat, anything other than yes means no!

Revealing clothes do not equal consent.

Flirting does not equal consent.

Coercion doe not equal consent.

Incapacitation does not equal consent.

Any questions?

I wish our society would stop blaming the victim, and start treating the perpetrators for what they are- violent criminals.

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