It’s like a disease.
Geez there was a really big reservation above Texas and it just disappeared….
This nation was designed on the genocide of indigenous peoples. Never forget that.
Lol how “urban fabulous” of them.
Racism on the runway - tell me, what else is new?
'This woman, who sees without being seen, frustrates the colonizer.'
Frantz Fanon, one of the founders of post colonialism theory (along with Edward Said), wrote of the frustration that the French colonisers in Algeria had regarding Muslim women who wore the face veil (niqab). His words, penned over fifty years ago, still carry much weight as we attempt to decipher why the West is so concerned about a small piece of cloth.
He said that ‘this woman, who sees without being seen, frustrates the colonizer.’ By abjuring Western standards of liberation, she asserts an identity, and even power, of her own, thus refusing to acknowledge the validity of, and inherent power in, her colonizer’s unveiling, subjugation and rape of her own culture.
Ironically, in claiming to liberate women from the constraints of the veil, the colonizer is forced to do so with violence and force, thus becoming the culprit of the very crime that he purports to fight.
- Summarized and extracted from Frantz Fanon’s, “Algeria Unveiled.”
At Stanford there was this Professor who was a total bitch and she taught British Literature, which was cool. Except she taught only her opinions of the books and it didn’t help me as a writer. I went to school to learn new things to improve my craft, not have someone else’s opinions carved onto my forehead.
So anyway, for our final project, she asked us to write a ten page paper on why the color symbolism in Othello was so significant. I did some research and it turned out that she did her entire graduate thesis on this very subject. I was mad. This wasn’t teaching, this was boosting her ego. SO I wrote a ten page essay on why color symbolism in Othello wasn’t significant, satirizing it to the point of no return, saying that her opinion was an opinion and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
SHe failed me, needless to say. So in retaliation, I responded by baking a batch of brownies laced with weed and laxatives and delivered them myself to the professor hours before her big graduation speech. I told her that it was a peace offering, my way of apologizing and asking if I could do anything to fix my grade.
She refused to fix my grade.
In the end, she shit herself on stage.
I didn’t regret it.
12. Bayard Rustin
What do a ‘Communist draft-dodging homosexual sex-pervert’ and a ‘Civil Rights hero’ have in common?
Well, for starters, they’re sometimes the same person.
Bayard Rustin was an activist and teacher who played a key role in the Civil Rights movement. His accomplishments included:
- Rustin moved to New York after spending time at university and in teacher training, and quickly became active in civil rights politics. He registered as a conscientious objector to World War II, and went to California to help protect the interests and properties of Japanese-Americans who were interred for the duration of the war.
- He worked on the campaign to defend the Scottsboro Boys, and was an early worker on the campaign for desegretation on public transport. In 1942, he was arrested for the first of many times for repeatedly refusing to move from the front seat of a bus when asked to do so.
- In 1947, he helped organise the first of the Freedom Rides, sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), an interfaith and mixed-race pacifist group. He was arrested while on the Ride and served twenty-two days in a chain gang in North Carolina
- In 1948, he travelled to India to learn from Gandhi’s pacifist independence movement.
- In 1956, he went to work as a close advisor to Dr Martin Luther King, passing on the techniques of non-violent resistance that he learned from the Gandhian movement.
- And finally, he was the main organiser of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — the event at which Dr King made his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech (link is to video). It was in no small part thanks to Rustin’s careful organisation (of everything from bus marshals to bathroom facilities) that the march was able to stay peaceful and non-violent.
So why have you never heard about Bayard Rustin in history class?
Because Bayard Rustin was gay.
(or, perhaps more accurately, because Bayard Rustin was openly gay and not particularly interested in keeping quiet about it).
In 1953, he was arrested in Pasadena, California for having consensual sex in a parked car with two male partners. He was intially charged with vagrancy and lewd conduct: the charges were later altered to a lesser count of ‘sex perversion’, to which he pleaded guilty. After his conviction, he was asked to leave the FOR,and he was later shunned by many members of the civil rights movement.
It’s important to remember that this may not have been completely due to the homophobia of the other civil rights leaders — they were acting under the fear of being smeared or blackmailed by right-wing opposition (after all, these events were taking place at the height of McCarthyism). Their fears weren’t ill-founded, either — in 1963, right-wing Senator Strom Thurmond lectured Congress on Rustin’s 'Communist draft-dodging homosexual sex-pervert' ways. Some opponents even threatened to circulate rumours that Rustin and Dr King were having an affair.
Nevertheless, Rustin never seems to have been inclined to deny his sexuality or to keep it a secret. Rachelle Horowitz, a fellow March organiser, commented that she thought 'he’d never heard there was a closet’. Immediately after his removal from the FOR Rustin briefly saw a psychiatrist, Dr Robert Ascher, but seems to have quickly given up on the idea of attempting to ‘cure’ himself of being gay. He continued to have male partners, and formed a long-term relationship with Walter Naegle in the late 1970s which lasted until the end of his life. As the litany of his achievements above suggests, he also managed to overcome the stigma of having been arrested for his sexuality. After being dismissed from the FOR, Rustin became secretary of the War Resisters’ League, and later worked as a secretary to Dr King.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin continued to work for civil rights — and among those rights were gay rights. He was one of the first thinkers to begin comparing the post-Stonewall gay rights movement to the Civil Rights movement, and in 1986 he gave a speech entitled ‘The New N****** Are Gays’ — a statement that I’m not going to comment on aside from saying that I think he was much more qualified to have an opinion about the topic than I am. He also worked to found Project South Africa, a programme which sought to connect concerned Americans with groups working for democracy in SA. By the time of his death in 1987, his FBI file stretched to over 10,000 pages.
At a time when post-1960s white American society was settling into cosily mythologising the history of the Civil Rights movement into a non-threatening, happy story of ‘Rosa Parks sat down on the bus because her feet were tired and then racism was over, hooray’, Rustin continued to ask difficult questions, cause trouble and demand more from his society — and for that, I sort of have to love him.
PDF of Rustin’s essay ‘From Montgomery to Stonewall’ plus a pamphlet authored by him preparing marchers for the 1963 March: http://www.illinoisprobono.org/calendarUploads/Rustin%20Documents.pdf
Walter Naegle, Rustin’s partner, speaks about his life: http://rustin.org/?page_id=11
Detailed bio of Rustin from ‘Waging Nonviolence’: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/03/revisiting-rustin-on-his-centennial/
Profile on KNOWhomo with a brief excerpt from ‘The New N****** Are Gays’: http://knowhomo.tumblr.com/post/11565611172
Website for Brother Outsider, a film biography of Rustin: http://rustin.org/?page_id=2
Article on Rustin’s speech ‘The New N****** are Gays’: http://killingthebuddha.com/mag/damnation/gays-are-the-new-niggers/
Wikipedia biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayard_Rustin
there are certain Scripts
but i can’t forget them
i depend on them for my survival
in the current state i’m in.
unlearned knowledge, yet caged
inside of it.
but for my survival.
as i repeat these things to myself
The Script becomes more real.
easier to digest
when it’s necessary
for your survival.
when certain Scripts
are in play
it isn’t hard to feel
when those closest
the proponents of The Script
they make you feel
Currently reading: “Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales”
Each of us carries extra baggage that weighs us down, both literally and figuratively, some maybe more than others. The best that we can do for each other is not only to respect our bodies, not only to respect the different ways that we grieve and mourn, not only respect the different ways we react to situations—but also to respect each other’s time. In this spirit, let us not dictate how our neighbor uses their time. Let us not colonize each other’s space and the way we use our time. Let us respect each other’s space(s) and be mindful and gentle with each other.
Fiat Café, New York, Food http://bit.ly/1q0kl7p
I basically came off my dry tumblr spell to share this beautiful picture with you all today. It is easy to wear our labels, our past failures, to feel a victim to the obstacles of life which drain on our precious energy-but know that is not you, but garments of conditioning. Strip free, pour into yourself love and let it rest on your tongue when you share whatever sweeps through your mind. Clean yourself of judgement. In physical and spiritual form you are an eternal gift, an ancient gathering of exotic elements that is blessed with consciousness, and therefore blessed to tell, dance, transform each moment into a story. The universe is as wise as these myths which we leak into the soil, peaks and vast skies. Be well friends, and do not let any unconscious illusions steal you of your grace.
Desert Spirits by Spencer Tunick
Slavery Memorial in Ogier-Fombrun Museum in Haiti. Sculpture depicting the walking slaves.