“In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King says “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In that same spirit- can we be cognizant of the interrelatedness of our own bodies, of our own well-beings? I cannot sit and read a manifesto for liberation of mind without going deep and healing for liberation of body and spirit. I cannot sit and care for my body without being concerned with what happens to the bodies of my sisters. We are connected.”—from Communities of Care, Organizations for Liberation: http://nayamaya.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/communities-of-care-organizations-for-liberation/
The scent of hyacinths, like a pale mist, lies between me and my book; And the South Wind, washing through the room, Makes the candles quiver. My nerves sting at a spatter of rain on the shutter, And I am uneasy with the thrusting of green shoots Outside, in the night.
Why are you not here to overpower me with your tense and urgent love?
Debt: The First 5000 Years covers a vast sweep of history, anthropology, and political economy, arguing not so much for a single thesis as for a braid of complementary ideas. Among them are:
That money originated as “social currencies” used to rearrange relationships among human beings (marriage, funerals, blood money, and other social functions), and was not used to buy and sell things. Indeed, this kind of money is to be found even in societies without a significant division of labor.
That the first money used for commerce took the form of credit: tallies of transactions and loans denominated in a common unit of account and periodically settled by delivery of various commodities.
That the conflation of these two different kinds of money led to debt peonage, slavery, the demotion of women’s status, and other iniquities that one might expect to happen when human relationships are mediated by the same currency as commercial transactions.
That much of the psychology and morality around money traces its origins to the violence and slavery that have been part of creditor-debtor relationships for thousands of years. War and slavery were crucial in creating the economy we know today, which should not be surprising, as our economic habits still encode the anxiety one might expect from such origins. As well, they perpetuate violence and, if not outright slavery, debt servitude to this day.
That history has alternated between periods of credit money and coinage, with the latter corresponding to times of greater violence, social chaos, slavery, and the repression of women. So for example, the Middle Ages saw the virtual abolition of slavery and the flowering of complex credit relationships facilitating trade across the Indian Ocean and beyond. Coins were seldom used. Compared to the Axial Age that preceded it, it was a time of relative peace and prosperity, ending with the rise of Europe and the influx of vast amounts of silver from the New World. A new age of coinage began.
That markets have never been “free” in the sense of being separate from government, but, to the contrary, were created by governments to facilitate their acquisition of various goods (especially for their armies). They have been intertwined ever since.
That all major world religions grew in response to money, whether informed by the beliefs of people living in a money economy, or in reaction to its evils.
That the origin of capitalism as we know it today is “the story of how an economy of credit was converted into an economy of interest.” Debt, he says, is the primary instrument of colonization whether internal or abroad – keeping in mind that behind the man with the ledger is a man with a gun. Moreover, the enforcement of debts is key to maintaining the political power relationships the prevail today.
That the invasion of market relations into every sphere of life has always been accompanied by violence. War, debt, and the market are inextricably linked. Even today, our money system is based mainly on the monetization of government war debts. If there is one persistent theme to this book, it is that our association of debt repayment with morality is false; that, indeed, the debt relations that hold today are rooted in a history of violence; that debt and money itself are social creations and not unalterable facts of nature; that our understanding of human nature is deeply colored by the market-based, debt-based world we live in. The world could be different. We are right to want it to be different.
“Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.”—
I need this quote today! Everyday I see trans women posting about the oppression and violence that they experience and/or witness other trans women experiencing. And literally everyday their justified anger and outrage in the face of violence is subjected to guilt-ridden responses.
Trans women are being oppressed and are the targets of systematic, institutional and interpersonal violence. These women have every reason to be pissed off. And telling them, “I’m not like that,” isn’t going to do any thing to make this world any less violent and oppressive for these women.
I believe this defensiveness really is destructive of communication. Please, if you are someone who responds to anger with guilt, next time you feel like telling a trans woman, “I’m not like that,” stop and take a moment to really listen to her and hear where her anger is coming from. Take any frustration or guilt you might be feeling from being called out on your privilege and let it be the beginning of knowledge. Then use that knowledge to refocus your energy on the source of the problem instead of trying to convince trans women that you’re really a nice person.
Seriously, imagine if you were part of a group of bystander while a trans woman was being attacked on the street and she yells at the group you’re part of asking why you aren’t doing anything to stop it and calls you scum for just standing there. I seriously hope no one reading this thinks guilt-based responses like yelling back, “We’re not all like that. Why are you trying to guilt trip us?” would be appropriate. And if you don’t think that’s appropriate, then why do so many people think it’s acceptable to do just that online? (Not that people only act like this online.)
Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager, wasshot and killedin a gated community in Florida late last month by a white neighborhood watch captain, according to police. But the watch captain, George Zimmerman — a 26-year-old college student who has admitted to police that he shot the young man — still walks free. And Martin’s family is pleading for answers and demanding justice….
Martin, 17, a high school junior who lived with his mother in Miami, was visiting his father and stepmother at their home in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando, on the weekend of Feb. 26. During halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, Martin’s family said he walked to a nearby convenience store to get some candy for his younger brother. On his way back home, according to reports, he caught the attention of George Zimmerman, a 26-year-old college student and self-appointed captain of The Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood watch.
Zimmerman, armed with a 9mm handgun, trailed the boy in his car. At some point, Zimmerman called 911, telling the operator there was a “suspicious person in the area,” according to a police report acquired by HuffPost.
Not long after the call, some sort of altercation ensued between Zimmerman and Martin. Then neighbors said they heard gunfire.
The Sanford Police arrived and found Martin lying face down on a patch of grass about 70 feet from his family’s home, a pack of candy in one pocket and an iced tea in the other.
“What happened between him being confronted, up to the point where he got shot, nobody knows but him and that guy,” Tracy Martin, the boy’s father, told HuffPost. “I’m looking for justice for my family. I want answers but I don’t have any to give — not for his mother, his brothers or sisters. We don’t have nothing, but we want answers.”
According to reports, Zimmerman’s gun was legal and he has claimed to authorities that he shot Martin in self-defense. Crump, the family’s attorney, described Zimmerman as a “loose cannon” and questioned why any neighborhood watchman would be carrying a loaded gun. He has asked law enforcement authorities to turn over recordings of the call to 911 that Zimmerman made the night of the shooting, in the hopes that it might shed some light on the incident. Crump said if the recordings are not given to the family, he will file a public records lawsuit on their behalf.
the updated article has a statement from the police
Chief Bill Lee of the Sanford Police Department on Thursday evening said the account given by Martin’s family and attorney is correct, that Zimmerman saw the young man walking home from the store. He said that Zimmerman did indeed call 911 and report a suspicious person, and that he was told not to follow him.
“For some reason he felt that Trayvon, the way that he was walking or appeared seemed suspicious to him,” Lee said. “He called this in and at one part of this initial call [the dispatcher] recommends him not to follow Trayvon. A police officer is on the way at that point.”
Lee said that Zimmerman instead followed Martin.
“I believe that Mr. Zimmerman was trying to, by his account, find an address to give the officers and also trying to keep Trayvon in eyesight.”
Zimmerman told the police that Martin noticed that he was being followed and asked, “what’s your problem?”
That’s when a physical confrontation ensued, Lee said. And moments later, Martin was shot.
Lee said that Zimmerman has a legal permit to carry the weapon used in the shooting, and that he told police that he shot Martin in self-defense.
“He felt the need to defend himself,” Lee said. “ I don’t think it was his intent to go and shoot somebody” that night.
The chief said the police have met with Zimmerman on two to three separate occasions, and that their investigation should be wrapped up this week. He said all of the evidence in the case will be delivered to the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office soon after.
“We’re going to present all the information and if they feel that based on all of the evidence that we’re able to produce that Mr. Zimmerman has satisfied the requirement that he shot in self defense, they may, but if not, he would be charged with some type of homicide or manslaughter,” Lee said.
WHAT THE FUCK?
Are they really trying to claim self-defence on this? REALLY?
The boy had iced tea and Skittles. Maybe there’s something I don’t know but you cannot kill someone with a package of CANDY.
Oh my god.
The more I read about this case, the more physically ill I feel.
“For some reason he felt that Trayvon, the way that he was walking or appeared seemed suspicious to him,” Lee said. > FOR SOME REASON!? seriously dude? WTF.
“When I asked the police why there’s been no arrest, they told me they respected the guy’s background, that he had a four-year degree; that he was clean,” Tracy Martin said. “But did they check my unarmed son’s record? No.”—
“And don’t give me that, “Oh we reached out to communities of color but they didn’t come! It’s their fault for not participating!” Because that is just bullshit. The reason why POC don’t show up for your event/party/campaign etc is because there is no space made for them. Why would anyone want to enter a space where their voices, histories and thoughts are ignored? Why would anyone want to enter a space where folks were committing microagressions left and right? Moreover, who would want to be in a space that has historically excluded them?”—
I also love the paragraph after this one but it’s a short article and I’ve included links. This could be a good resource to send people if they don’t get why POC often don’t feel comfortable in many queer/trans* spaces.
“I would say to a young activist, ‘Do visionary organizing.’” Boggs told Hyphen. “‘Turn your back on protest organizing and recognize how that leads you more and more to defensive operations, whereas visionary organizing gives you the opportunity to encourage the creative capacity in people and it’s very fulfilling.’”—http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/03/grace_lee_boggs_advice_to_young_activists_you_must_be_visionaries.html
“White queers, including white trans people, are at the LOWEST risk for pretty much every bad thing that happens to queer people as a group.75% of queer violence is against PoC. Most of the homeless? PoC. Do you think that no PoC ever commit suicide for having problems with being gay? Of course they do. But you only see the two white boy suicides on the news.”—
Filing this under “things that may hurt for me to say but needs to be said.” it hit me when I was at a transgender day of remembrance event and hearing all the names of women in countries of color being read. (Brazil and Latino America in particular.) Queer people of color have the duel battle within their families and communities and then add that to having to be seen as valid as a poc. Shit is rough. Queer folks are devalued twice as hard. When you already don’t see someone has a human being and then dehumanized even more. It’s a lot easier to perpetuate acts of violence when there’s more than one reason to see them as invalid. It Gets Better fails to address the needs of anyone who isn’t young, white, and a cis male.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”—Carl Jung (via psychedelic-freak)
“The slaves are taught that petitions or elections, or lobbying for this or that legislation, is the only CIVILIZED way to achieve “change,” and to fight for freedom. In reality, those are all ways to solidify your own enslavement, because they all reinforce the idea that you need the PERMISSION of tyrants in order to be free.”—
We use the term “ally” for someone who is truly supportive of the survivor. Often people in the survivor’s life are trying to be helpful, but are doing so in ways that don’t feel helpful or supportive to the survivor. Examples: encouraging the survivor to “leave it in the past,” trying to “cheer…
“Because I spend so much time now in a very professional, gender normative work environment, I have to remind myself that I love weird people, I am weird, I want to be weird, and being normal is truly horrifying. I’m thinking of that experience of seeing someone on the street or on the bus who is working some kind of weird, non-normative look and feeling some delight and relief, like the person’s existence is making space for you. I have often felt that way when I see other visibly queer or visibly trans people, or other kinds of rule-breakers. It’s beautiful to see people taking those risks and its wonderful to have those moments of mutual recognition with a stranger in the midst of a hostile world.”—
The femme identity is always treated with suspicion and disdain precisely because it invests itself into the qualities most commonly associated with weakness and powerlessness. Even across queer communities, we, too, are often convinced that relying on masculinity is the only way to be commanding and threatening in the face of the powers we seek to challenge.
To Hollibaugh, the femme identity is always a radical one, no matter who does it, because it works to command and threaten without reifying male status or masculinist hierarchies. It challenges power on the terms which power most fears, and refuses to forfeit any of its own desires, tendencies or passions in the process.
I see you with your 5 o’clock shadows, your outfits held together with safety pins and strategically placed belts, your leather and your florals and the snarl on your faces and I can’t keep my heart from bursting.
<3 femininity forever <3 <3 femme of center forever <3 <3 living life in the shameless pursuit of self defined glamour <3