After she came up to me and said, “I’ve been with my partner for 20 years… We would never get married because he’s on social security income, and because my daughter is disabled I have secondary income from the state to support my daughter. If I got married, both my benefits and his benefits would be reduced because we would become a double income family.”
She was explaining that marriage doesn’t work for poor people, and that it doesn’t work for disabled people. Having really simple examples like hers are important.
first, from the NEA, a bit about what a typical classroom would look like if it reflected the demographics of the country:
it’s interesting to me that there are more students with disabilities than there are students form whom english is not their first language. this could be even higher, because i imagine they’re tracking only students with IEPs and declared, documented disabilities. i come from an education program that had a huge focus - dedicated faculty members, lots of research projects, multiple specific classes - on english language learner students, but paid very little attention to students with disabilities.
What is surprising about these shifts is that they are not leading to more diverse schools. In fact, the Civil Rights Project has shown that black students are just as segregated today as they were in in the late 1960s, when serious enforcement of desegregation plans first began following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
having significant bra problems. this sucks because this is supposed to be the reliable bra and i don’t have time to obtain new bras until next weekend.
meeting with state legislators. watching them spend the entire meeting acting like they are taking notes but really drawing pictures of trees. not very good at drawing trees, even.
watching a 38 minute online training video of how to use a data upload website for a funder. simultaneously have a window open with the post-quiz so i can fill it in as i go along. trying not to fall asleep.
looking forward to this evening, which involves a delicious dinner and a project involving a huge map, different colored highlighters, and tape flags.
prepared brought and made a delicious lunch for myself, high five me.
usually comments sections fill me with dread and shame and loathing, but i have found a set of comments sections that i truly enjoy: comments on US weekly articles. (“articles.”) they are full of people who feel like they genuinely know and connect with the mentioned celebrities and give them well-intentioned advice designed to make their lives better. (yes, there are people calling them sluts and ugly and untalented, but they are usually drowned out by people talking about them like they are friends from high school or distant relatives.) it is somewhat heart warming to think of people considering how mariah carey can really live her best life and be as happy as possible. because i also want mariah carey to live her best life and be as happy as possible!
i don’t know how this happened but it appears that i am genuinely invested in the bachelor-industrial complex. i had real emotions upon finding out who the next bachelor will be (chris the farmer, yay!). these shows are legitimately awful and promote the most antiquated gender roles - the only way it could be worse is if all the women were expected to wear corsets. i’m pretty disappointed in myself but also excited about upcoming mindless tv time.
I have to stress the importance of silliness in the Step Up franchise. These movies are technically “dramas,” and there are always moments two-thirds of the way through when the hero believes that, as hard as they have danced, their dancing didn’t go hard enough. No one should ever take the plot of a Step Up movie seriously, though, because the franchise’s creators (including long-running producer Adam Shankman and original director Jon M. Chu) certainly don’t. In Step Up world, all of life’s problems can be solved by a nice crew pulling off cool stunts. You can pull off expert choreography on top of cars, in science labs, in art galleries and in office buildings. And the tempo of the music is never, ever slow.
also fascinating that in this edition of step up incorporated a very strong steampunk aesthetic while still incorporating the traditional “exposed midriff” theme of the previous step up movies.
there are several women who cannot correctly remember their emails, so i get their shipping confirmations for a new set of kitchen cabinets, their invitations to bible study group, or even emails from their grandparents. today, i got this:
Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming wedding! It was really great speaking with you this morning, Teravista would be delighted to host your wedding and be a part of your special day! Friday, October 24th and Sunday, October 26th are currently available.
As we discussed, if you choose to move forward with having your wedding and reception here, I’d be happy to discount the rental to $1200.00. If you decide to just have your reception at The Ranch House, the rental price will be $800.00. This includes our tables, chairs, standard white linens, and our staff setting up and tearing down the setup.
If you would like to view pictures of The Ranch House or show friends and family, please follow the link below:
just one night without stress dreams, just one night without my brain trying to tackle all the projects i have to do during the day but without being able to make any actual progress because, you know, i’m asleep.
I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behav…
I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.
Things I’ve seen:
-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras
-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents
-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned
-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson business retaining wall to weigh down their tent
-Another major TV network renting out a gated parking lot for their one camera, not letting people in. Safely reporting the news on the other side of a tall fence.
-Journalists making the story about them
-National news correspondents glossing over the context and depth of this story, focusing instead on the sexy images of tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.
-One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.
One anecdote that stands out: as the TV cameras were doing their live shots in front of the one burnt-out building in the three-block stretch of “Ground Zero,” around the corner was a community food/goods drive. I heard one resident say: “Where are the cameras? I’m going to go see if I can find some people to film this.”
Last night a frustrated resident confronted me when he saw my camera: “Yall are down here photographing US, but who gets paid?!”
In the hardest places to live – which include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon – health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.
In the easiest places to live, the Canon Elph and other digital cameras dominate the top of the correlation list. Apparently, people in places where life seems good, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and much of the large metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast, want to record their lives in images.
Beyond cameras, subjects popular in the easiest places include Baby Joggers, Baby Bjorns and baby massage; Skype and Apple devices like the iPod Nano; a piece of workout equipment known as a foam roller; and various foreign destinations (Machu Picchu, New Zealand, Switzerland and Pyeongchang, the South Korean host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics).
Income has stagnated in working-class communities, which helps explain why “selling avon” and “social security checks” correlate with the hardest places from our index. Inequality in health and life expectancy has grown over the same time. And searches on diabetes, lupus, blood pressure, 1,500-calorie diets and “ssi disability” – a reference to the federal benefits program for workers with health problems – also make the list.
on my bus commute to work this morning i ran into a student from my old phd program and we talked about life and several times he said “you just seem so happy” “you just seem lighter and happier” “even your voice sounds happier” so, continued validation of life choices, yay, and also good that i seem so much more content with my life and circumstances even in a week where everything is conspiring to annoy and disappoint me.
A sixteen year-old gay boy commits suicide after years of bullying. His mother finds solace in a letter about the teenager who got his donated heart. But she also gets a saddening letter saying that his eyes were being rejected because he was gay. It’s not only blood that gay men are prohibited from donating - it’s also eyes and certain other tissues.
“It is a cruel irony that this great promise of democracy is rarely realized in practice. Most of the great political reforms of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been accompanied by massive episodes of civil disobedience, riot, lawbreaking, the disruption of public order, and, at the limit, civil war. Such tumult not only accompanied dramatic political changes but was often absolutely instrumental in bringing them about. Representative institutions and elections by themselves, sadly, seem rarely to bring about major changes in the absence of the force majeure afforded by, say, an economic depression or international war. Owing to the concentration of property and wealth in liberal democracies and the privileged access to media, culture, and political influence these positional advantages afford the richest stratum, it is little wonder that, as Gramsci noted, giving the working class the vote did not translate into radical political change. Ordinary parliamentary politics is noted more for its immobility than for facilitating major reforms.”—James C. Scott’s discussion in chapter 1 of his Two Cheers for Anarchism. Crooked Timber
That is how white supremacy works. The misdirection and deflection of issues pertaining to Blackness to centralize whiteness is what it does. You don’t even have to be cognizant to what you’re doing to participate. It has been this way for so long, that it’s as natural as breathing. Whiteness must usurp the victim. Many white “allies” can’t just offer solidarity and fight alongside you for justice. They want to pretend that the plight of Black people is theirs as well.
After Trayvon Martin was murdered, white “allies” did the same thing. They chanted “we are all Trayvon Martin”. I know, I saw them at rallies in NYC. It is quite off-putting to witness a white person say that they too are Trayvon Martin. A white mom at the Union Square Trayvon Martin rally with her white son in tow said “I’m afraid for the future. This could be my son too.” Someone told her that her son could never be Trayvon Martin because he is white. She then feigned ignorance and relegated back to the comfort of a colorblind world. She said “I don’t see color, we all bleed red”. Here she was, at the rally of a boy who was followed and murdered because he was Black, and she’s spouting colorblind ideology.
This is a problem with the mentality of many white “allies”. They erase Blackness to generalize issues that directly affect Black people. Anti-Blackness affects Black people and no one else. White people have an aversion to using terms like anti-Blackness and white supremacy in discourse on discrimination and injustice because those are not ambiguous terms open to interpretation. It points directly to the problem and the perpetrators. For comfort, they will hide behind the cloak of a term like “racism” instead. Racism goes both ways in their estimation. They too can be victims of it. Big bad Black meanies are “reverse racists” all the time. One time, a scary Black person called them a “honky”. Armored vehicles are rolling in on Ferguson, but “reverse racism” y’all!
When you say white supremacy, there is no dancing around that. This is why when Black people bring up issues pertaining specifically to Black people and anti-Blackness, it becomes a problem for many whites. Merely addressing the problem is a problem for them. They will accuse you of “playing the race card”. Issues pertaining to Black people must be sanitized and rebranded as “human issues” “class warfare” etc. Intersection does not exist for them. If Black issues are not rebranded, they will be misdirected or deflected. They will say “It happens to everybody” as the streets remain crimson with Black blood.
This mindset doesn’t only manifest itself in tragedy, it manifests itself in anything pertaining to Black people that whiteness wants to consume. It could be the arts. Black arts are communal. It’s for everyone. You can’t even discuss the origins of the art itself without whiteness taking issue. See Black music for instance. Participation in the culture for whiteness is not enough, whiteness must own it.
Whiteness has a parasitic relationship with Blackness. Blackness is their host body. Whiteness will claim ownership over the Black body, even in death. From Sarah Baartman to Henrietta Lacks to Trayvon Martin. They must possess you. If not literally, then figuratively. This is how they too have become Mike Brown.
man in suit, late 50s, white. writing emails on his ipad to thank people for the gifts given for his newborn son? grandson? who has been in the NICU for the past 3 weeks. they are hoping he will be able to come off oxygen this evening. he cried a little.