[image description: a three-color (sky-blue, earth-brown and blood-red on white) poster, in a style reminiscent of wood-block or woodcut printmaking.
The outer margin, and the human figure in the center of the poster — a kneeling Native North American elder, wearing a single eagle feather in their hair, braided (or beaded or bound) side-locks, a bone choker and what appears to be a long robe- or dress-type garment decorated with embroidery, and holding a tomahawk in their left hand / resting in their lap — are rendered in brown.
All of the block-print, ALL CAPS text (see below) is rendered in blue, as are:
- at left, a stylized eagle on a prickly-pear cactus, the sign that in Aztec / Mexica belief was foretold by the god Huitzilopochtli as indicating the place where Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City) should be founded, and which has been a symbol of Mexico since pre-Columbian times;
- at right, a stylized turtle, representing the Turtle Island which appears in the traditional belief systems of several First Nations who lived at or near the east coast of the modern United States when they first encountered European colonizers, and which has for decades been adopted by members of those and other Native American and Native Canadian peoples as a term for the North American continent as a whole;
- at bottom left, what appears to be a stylized mountain range or series of hills;
- at bottom right, what appears to be a council circle, with four seated human figures and what may be the arm of a fifth visible as silhouettes, at least one of whom is also wearing a single feather.
The blue turtle and brown human figure are superimposed on one another, so that the turtle’s left front flipper is a series of lines across the human’s otherwise-white face, and the turtle’s left side and left rear flipper are discernible in the white stitching decorating the human’s otherwise-brown clothing. There is a slight overlap of the brown human figure and the blue eagle-on-cactus, but those two elements appear more to border one another than to share space.
The blood-red element is somewhat like a Western-cartooning-style “speech bubble,” having a point which is aimed as if emerging from the brown human figure’s mouth, but which is mostly filled in with dark red, aside from numerous short, thin, pale lines suggestive of flowing water or woodgrain (or breath) and which curve inwards into a spiral at the end furthest from the human’s mouth. The word being spoken is also written along the top of the spiral/bubble, rather than inside; it is rendered in cursive script, all lowercase, the single word “libertad” (Spanish for “liberty”) with no punctuation.
The first, fourth and fifth lines of block-letter text are sky-blue on earth-brown, as the bottom margin of the poster has a wider band of brown to accommodate the text, while the brown background of the first line is in the form of a thin banner near, but not at, the top margin and slanting slightly downwards to the right. The text reads as follows (rendered in mixed Caps for readability):
—end of image description—]
Image credit: Poster created by visual artist and Michigan State University assistant professor Dylan Miner.
[image description: a photo (or screencap) of King Peggielene Bartels of Otuam, Ghana. She is a robust, broad-shouldered, plump Black woman with a medium-brown complexion and short, tightly-curled, reddish-brown hair. In the photo, she is wearing kohl-style eyeliner, dark lipliner, deep-pink lipstick, and possibly other makeup; she has on a modest golden crown and two long, thick necklaces, one gold-tone in various shapes and textures and the other alternating golden-yellow “trade”-type beads with black-and-white-striped beads, but does not appear to have pierced earlobes; and she is wearing a traditional Ghanaian garment, made of traditional West-African woven fabric in geometric patterns of green, fuchsia and white, which is wrapped so as to cover her left shoulder but leave the right bare; there is also what seems to be a strap crossing her chest from her right shoulder downward, made of some reddish material with adornments in golden-yellow and goldtone circles. And, she appears to be either smiling, in mid-word, or both, and is turned slightly towards and looking at someone or something out-of-frame to her left.]
(76# Ghana) King Peggielene Bartels: Why she kicks ass
“To be a king in an African village or some places like this, it’s not like European queens where everything is on a silver platter for them … I have to really work hard to help my people. I have to give myself to people to better their lives..”
- She is currently the King of Otuam, Ghana and one of only three female kings in Ghana. She has maintained her work in Ghana’s embassy in Washington, D.C. while making education affordable in Otuam, installing borehead wells to produce clean drinking water, enforcing incarceration laws to deal with domestic violence, providing the village with its first ambulance, replenishing the royal coffers by taxing Otuam’s fishing industry to improve life in the village, and appointing three women to her council.
- When she encountered corruption and the threat of embezzlement to the royal funds, she declared “I’m going to squeeze their balls so hard their eyes pop!”
- For 11 months out of the year she’s regular Peggy, secretary for the Ghanian Ambassador. She works, keeps in touch with her advisors via phone every night, saves her money and accumulates her vacation time into one month-long period — where she then takes off to Ghana to fulfill her duties in-person.
- When she discovered that male chauvinists wanted her to only be a figurehead, she said: “They were treating me like I am a second-class citizen because I am a woman. I said, ‘Hell no, you’re not going to do this to a woman!’”
- King Penny’s tale has been documented in a book written by her and author Eleanor Herman and is to be made into a film after Hollywood star Will Smith bought the rights to the book.
I love the phrase “only three female kings in Ghana.”
For those not familiar with Ghana, it’s a West-African country with the Atlantic Ocean as its southern border, approximately 240,000 square kilometers in area (roughly intermediate in size between the Philippines and the Hunan Province of China; roughly equivalent to the size of the UK, plus or minus Northern Ireland; intermediate in size between the U.S. states of Michigan and Minnesota) and with a population of approximately 24 million people (about as many as live in the four major countries of Scandinavia — Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden — taken together; right between the populations of Afghanistan and Yemen, or of the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia and the Chinese city of Shanghai; and a million-odd fewer than live in the U.S. state of Texas). Most of those places listed in the above parentheticals for comparison, of course, don’t have even one male king (or a queen, or any royalty for that matter).
And Ghana has only three female kings…
Also, where is that film, Will? I want to see it! (Not nearly just because Queen Latifah will be playing King Peggy, BUT. Mmmm.)
Labeling people as “Illegal Immigrants” benefits capitalism and corporations.
As long as America continues to threaten migrants, it will benefit economically. Now, many naysayers and tea partiers will disagree — the rhetoric of “they took our jobs!” etc. The fact is, as long as people are threatened about their paperwork status on being here, they can be mistreated and forced to work shit pay — and companies routinely do this. It is cheaper and more “cost effective” for them to keep a lid on the status of their workers so they don’t have to pay for things like health benefits, an actual fair wage, and compensation for injuries (since majority of the jobs in factories and agriculture are labor-intensive and full of risk).
One of the best reasons to buy organic when it comes to fruit that must be hand-picked (all berries other than cranberries; grapes; cherries, apricots and many other stone fruits; most melon varieties; figs; and the list goes on, but you can usually infer from how delicate the fruit in question is) — besides the fact that those are also some of the most-poisoned produce, between insecticides and herbicides and fungicides, and besides the fact that they lead to significant soil and water pollution when grown “conventionally” — is that it’s common for agribusinesses, and even some smaller farms, to spray assorted poisons on fruit fields while there are migrant workers in the field picking fruit.
Yeah; on top of
- the illegally-long shifts without breaks;
- the inadequate provision of water, for drinking or otherwise;
- the inadequate provision of sanitary facilities, i.e. toilets or port-a-potties (even after multiple e. coli outbreaks led to thousands of dollars’ worth of produce needing to be recalled and destroyed, and thousands of dollars more lost due to consumers’ fears after the outbreaks were contained);
- the complete lack of overtime pay, sick pay, vacations, etc.;
- the complete lack of workers’-compensation coverage for injuries or illnesses due to / during work;
- the complete lack of healthcare coverage;
- the typical lack of a first-aid station on premises, or even a handful of band-aids, despite frequent occurences of heatstroke, heat exhaustion, severe dehydration, heart attack, and other work- and/or working-conditions-related medical emergencies among farm workers;
- and the illegally-low pay;
- migrant workers get poison sprayed directly onto them, typically without any warning, and without any way to wash themselves off until many hours later.
There’s a reason why so many migrant farm workers are undocumented (“illegals”); most people who are citizens, or legal residents with work permits, won’t work under illegally-dangerous, illegally-unpleasant conditions for illegally-low pay!
If you want strawberries badly enough to pay $2 for them, then you probably want them badly enough to pay $3 or $4 for them…
Another post about why Autism Speaks should STFU
(This started as a brief response to thispurplepoet's question, “How can someone be an advocate for Autism if they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about?" and turned into a long-ish rant, so I decided to make it a separate post.)
Autism Speaks does NOT advocate for people with autism, and it never has. Rather, it advocates on behalf of parents (and/or other family members) who feel their autistic child (or other relative) is a burden to them — and, to a lesser degree, on behalf of “concerned” citizens who feel most or all autistics are a burden to “society” — and whose goals are as follows:
- ideally, a magic “cure” to make autistics become just like neurotypicals/alltistics;
- or at least close enough that we can “pass” for “normal”;
- failing that, some miracle drug or other medical intervention that would allow (or force) those of us on the “low-functioning” end of the spectrum to behave “normally” and/or live independently;
- or at least behave more “normally” and/or live more independently than before “treatment” (and some people are willing to go to very extreme measures in pursuit of these goals, cf. Judge Rotenberg Educational Center);
- finding a cause or causes for autism spectrum disorders, so that the victims (i.e., the families of autists, not autistic people ourselves) have someone to blame and/or sue — though finally, years after every reasonable scientist conceded that all evidence showed neither causation nor possible mechanism for causation (and multiple scientists and executives left AS over its refusal to stop wasting money on it) they seem to have given up on the vaccination-autism hypothesis;
- "educating" the public about what a horrible burden [sic] autistic children are on their families, partly in order to inspire donations;
- and also, in addition to the above: developing a magic injection, or genetic/fetal screening, or some other method that would/could prevent there being any more autistic people in the future.
- (Oh, and helping individual families of people with autism… but they spend less on that annually than on their executive salaries. Really, they’d be better off just not claiming they even do that.)
There are many thousands of people on the autism spectrum who do live mostly- to entirely-independently, and who are “verbal” or otherwise capable of communicating with other humans, and who are perfectly capable of advocating for ourselves.
I should know; I’m one of us.
Not surprisingly, many autists take a dim view of AS’s goal of genocide against us — and if you think that’s hyperbolic language, consider that there’s already a genetic test for at least one condition (so-called fragile X) that frequently occurs along with autism, and strong evidence both that most forms of autism are inherited and that most families into which one person with autism is born already have, or will have in the future, another family member or members with autism.
But many of us take issue with the other goals of Autism Speaks as well. If someone with autism can live semi- or fully-independently, with or without supports, but engages in stimming behaviors and rarely makes eye contact… well, so fucking WHAT?! Other (non-autistic) people have annoying personal habits, too, but it’s almost never seriously suggested that such people be subjected to electroshock torture or food deprivation to “cure” them of wearing too much cologne, or belching with their mouths open, or dressing like they’re auditioning for Jersey Shore.
Our biggest beef, however, is always going to be with the fact that, when actual autistics do speak (or otherwise communicate),
Autism Speaks ignores us.
To them, we are irrelevant. We’re the object, not the subject (grammatically speaking). They’re not advocating on behalf of people who are silent; they advocate on behalf of those who need us to remain silent, and it is no coincidence that they continue to promote the MYTH that autistic = nonverbal, over a quarter-century after Temple Grandin first made headlines.
* A note on language: There is no consensus among people on the autism spectrum about how we wish to be described, or how those who are not on the spectrum should be referred to when contrasting the two groups. No matter what terminology I choose, someone would take issue with it. Cycling through the most commonly known and/or preferred options (as far as I’m aware of them) seemed the best compromise; if I’ve offended any of my fellow autists, I apologize.
** Bonus points for everyone who spots the terrible pun I made with a very serious paragraph.
Happy Autism Awareness Month!
“Keeping the wrong people out” has never been an acceptable civil rights goal.
“Keeping the wrong people out” has never been an acceptable civil rights goal.
“Keeping the wrong people out” has never been an acceptable civil rights goal.
“Keeping the wrong people out” has never been an acceptable civil rights goal.
There are legitimate aims that can only be achieved by limiting the admission of people to a particular space. “Making sure we’re not made to feel uncomfortable” isn’t one of them. Comfort is not a human right, and thank Goddess for that (if “comfort” was a human right, Christians could argue I was violating their human rights for even mentioning the Goddess).
Sometimes people mentioning Jesus makes me uncomfortable…
The moral of the fable “The North Wind and the Sun” is NOT that you get what you want more easily by being nice.
hasnt anyone on tumblr heard the fable of the sun and the north wind
like basically the moral is that its easier to get what you want by being nice and patient than by being an abrasive asshole because people will just shut you out if you do that
and people here think its unreasonable to say that no one will listen if you are rude as long as you’re ~oppressed~
no people just dont want to heat what disrespectful people have to say and they clearly havent for thousands of goddamn years
That’s such bullshit. Are you actually claiming that progress happens when everyone’s really really nice? The point is that no one with power wants to hear what certain people have to say period, regardless of how politely they speak. No majority ever wants to listen to the minorities. And that has been true for thousands of years which is why most movements are full of vocal people being extremely impolite in persistent, loud ways.
And if we’re busting out the fables here, let me lay a quote on you:
“The tiger will never lie down with the lamb; he acknowledges no pact that is not reciprocal. The lamb must learn to run with the tigers.” - Angela Carter
Meaning if you want to be heard, you’d better learn to roar.
Your advice is great for dealing with certain social situations. It’s something I use when I navigate my own personal life with family and friends who sometimes hurt me and vice versa. But it’s terrible advice for any oppressed group trying to get somewhere. I’m not saying you can’t be nice about correcting someone’s terminology or explaining why something’s racist, that’s completely up to you and some people will probably listen. But to say that this is the better route to change and understanding overall is absurd.
I might also point out that your own post isn’t all that polite. It’s full of passive-agressive, condescending sarcasm (which I’ll happily return with gusto). So if you’re trying to drive a point home, you’re completely disregarding your own advice.
I actually love seeing people claim that the “moral” of the fable of the North Wind and the Sun is that you get what you want more easily by being nice than by being mean. Because it’s such a teachable moment.
Let’s break it down.
The North Wind thinks he’s just as good as the Sun, but the Sun is sure that he’s better than the North Wind.
The Sun deliberately picks a contest he knows he’ll have the advantage in. I mean, really, if you flip the contest parameters, make it about who can make the human put his coat on, there’s no way the Sun would win that one.
(Okay, maybe if the Sun blasted the poor mortal fiercely enough that he’d have to cover up to keep from getting a blistery sunburn… but that definitely wouldn’t qualify as getting your way by being the nicest, now would it? And really, if the Wind had blown at tornado speed he would not have had any trouble getting the cloak off the guy. Six of one, half-dozen of the other.
But I digress.)
So, having chosen an uneven playing field, the Sun “wins” the false contest. But he didn’t win by being nicer.
He “won” by making sure the whole contest system was rigged in his favor, mendaciously presenting the contest as a way to measure their power fairly, and then pretending that he had “proved” that he was superior.
He “won” by resorting to deceit and unfairness.
Now, let’s look at what this fable really tells us.
Watch out for people claiming that you have less power because you’re simply not as good as they are, because chances are, they have chosen a contest where the parameters ensured you would lose before you began.
So tell the dog-eggs of the world that you’re not interested in their game of three-card monte, and that you’re under no obligation to treat people with respect who have only ever treated you with disrespect — and that you’re not going to let them derail you.
(Oh, and incidentally? You can actually catch more flies than you might think with vinegar. A saucerful of cider vinegar is an effective, cheap and easy way to deal with fruit flies, in particular.)
Transcripts and why I hate the rise of video discussions
I’m in a ranty mood after seeing yet another cool-seeming podcast that has NO TRANSCRIPT. So I’m going to insert:
Do, definitely, if you’re reading this, click through and read hastybooks’s rant about the lack of transcripts for audio and video content.
I’m not deaf, as hastybooks is, but I am somewhat hard of hearing, and find spoken language particularly difficult to parse at times. So I tend to use captions when they’re a) available and b) not so badly-realized their only value is the absurdist humor of their meaningless mangling of the words they’re meant to transcribe.
(Put on the closed captioning on your TV sometime and see how far off the captioning sometimes gets — for programming that has captions at all. If your set isn’t CC-ready, try a hospital waiting room or a bar, two public places where captions are often enabled, or at least where they’ll be able and even willing to put the captions on if asked. Check out YouTube’s “automatic captions” ‘feature’, too.)
Also like hastybooks, I try to put image description text on any post I make with images that weren’t already image-captioned before I reblogged it. I haven’t managed it 100% of the time, and I’m aware of that. (I also try to properly credit any image I post or reblog, which is a whole separate rant for another post, and no, I haven’t managed 100% with that goal, either.) Both image descriptions for people who can’t view the image — whether due to anatomical or technological issues — and transcripts for people who can’t listen to audio and/or video files are things most of us can do to help avoid shutting out people with limited hearing or vision.
Do you have to do an image description or voice transcript of everything you post? No. It isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. As I said, I don’t manage 100%; sometimes I don’t have the energy, or I want to post something ASAP and plan to add the accessibility aid later, or I just can’t figure out how to describe an image, or I can’t parse the audio well enough to transcribe it myself.
But every little bit helps. Every post. Every image in a multi-image post that gets a description helps. Every audio or video file that has even a partial transcript.
One last thing, and the lecture will be over (for now):
If you come across a post that has image descriptions and/or proper attribution and/or a transcript, and you want to reblog it? Please, please do NOT remove any of those features. You can add your own commentary if you want, of course. But removing attribution is tantamount to stealing from the person who created the content you deem worthy of reblogging (and in some cases is exactly stealing from them). And removing accessibility features that someone else took the time to put there is saying to the people who need those features in order to access that content that we don’t matter, that we don’t deserve to enjoy something you felt was worth sharing, and that the people who put those accessibility aids into the post wasted their time.
So, bare minimum… if you’re not going to make your posts accessible, at least don’t make them less-accessible than they were when you found them. And if there’s attribution information, don’t delete that, either. Just… don’t be a dick, y’know?
It’s Johnny Depp’s birthday today.
I’m very fond of his work with Tim Burton (the bloke on the right, there) despite my deep discomfort with the culturally-appropriating and othering choices that have been made in other films he’s been in — the Pirates of the Caribbean films most egregiously. If he does indeed have Cherokee ancestry, a claim which First Nations activists often question due to his not being listed with any of the federally recognized* Cherokee Nations, then he really should use his star status to pressure the directors, producers, screenwriters, costumers et al. he works with to refrain from slandering Native peoples, and from casting non-Native actors to play Native characters.
I mean, as far as I’m concerned, everyone with sufficient Hollywood cachet to make demands (whether they work in front of the camera or behind it) should refuse to participate in films that are racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-polytheist, anti-atheist, sexist, cissexist, heterosexist, ageist, ableist, and so on. But yes, I do also think that if you identify with any demographic that’s marginalized in Western culture, you have more of an obligation to not just give people a pass when you have the authority to hold them accountable.**
oh. okay then, dearie. :P
where’s that quote from?
Gotta admit, I’m curious as to the source of the aardvark quote, too…
* The problem with distinguishing Native people who are enrolled in a federally-recognized tribal nation from those who aren’t is right there in the phrase “federally-recognized” — meaning, of course, recognized by the United States federal government in the form of the notorious Bureau of Indian Affairs. (Yes, they still call it that. In 2012.) The BIA routinely denies recognition to extant tribal groups who can document their history so long as White property owners who stand to either lose real estate, face economic competition, or both, argue “persuasively” enough against recognition. And that’s not even getting into all the Native populations who can’t meet BIA standards of proof because Whites destroyed records and/or exterminated a high enough percentage of Native populations — or because the BIA itself took Native children away from their families to be re-educated and adopted into White families and thus created a break in the passing down of their tribe’s cultural traditions.
Then there are people like me, who probably would be “federally-recognized” in Canada, but because I and my parents and grandparents were all U.S. citizens, and neither the Métis nor (unless there was intermarriage with another, border-spanning tribe or tribes which we haven’t discovered via genealogical research) any of the currently-recognized Canadian First Nations my ancestors belonged to are recognized by the BIA, I fall outside both U.S. and Canadian definitions for recognition. Members of tribal nations south of the U.S. border — from Mexico down to the southernmost tip of South America — face the same refusal of recognition under U.S. law.
** Having the authority to hold others accountable for their prejudiced speech and behavior creates an affirmative obligation to do so, in my view. This does not apply to people who lack the situational authority to correct the offending person, though some brave individuals may do so anyway; I would definitely not argue that anyone has an obligation to challenge bigoted speech or behavior from, say, a supervisor who can fire them, or a police officer who’s just pulled them over. Personal safety comes first.
[Image description: A head-and-shoulders photo of United States President Barack Obama, wearing a dark suit with a flag lapel-pin over a white shirt and light-grey tie, smiling, against an out-of-focus background of warm-brown wood paneling and what appears to be an upright but furled American flag. At the top of the image, the single-word caption “HOPE.” Centered at the bottom of the image is the other part of the caption, “You don’t get indefinitely detained.” There is also a tiny watermark, no more than 10 or 12 pixels in height, right at the bottom edge of the image and at the left corner, identifying the captioning as having been done via ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.COM.]
Indefinite detention is a violation of our Constitution, multiple international treaties to which the United States is signatory, and fundamental human rights.
It should never have been countenanced in the first place. It is an abhorrent practice, and has already stained the honor of the United States… and ensured that a generation of today’s children will grow up seeing the USA as a two-faced country that claims to desire freedom and democracy yet mistreats their families and neighbors in violation of its own principles and laws. It’s probably too late to convince many young people who have already seen their loved ones suffer unbearable treatment; but we can at least work on not breeding enmity in any more children’s hearts.
The United States must abide by our own principles, and by our own laws and international law; otherwise, we are not merely hypocrites but the world’s bully, rather than its protector (as many Americans like to think of their country). Torture must stop, disappearances must stop, denial of legal representation must stop, and indefinite detention cannot be allowed to continue.
[image description: the Demand Progress logo, a ventral (palm-side) view of a stylized clenched fist, in red, with the wrist just visible at the left, and the words DEMAND (top) and PROGRESS (beneath) stacked to the right of the fist in dark-blue block letters, with variations in the depth of color throughout the logo giving the impression that it’s stamped or reproduced via woodcut.]
Demand Progress has made it easy to stand against this travesty of justice. “Congressmen Adam Smith and Justin Amash will put forth an amendment [when the NDAA comes up for re-authorization] to make it clear that the military does not have the power to arrest and indefinitely detain civilians without charging or trying them.” U.S. citizens and residents can click here to use an easy form to let their member of the House of Representatives know they support the Smith-Amash amendment; there’s an alternate version of the form for people who don’t have a United States address, too.
Here’s the text of the letter I sent to my Congressional rep via Think Progress:
It’s long past time for our nation to stop using the threat of terrorism as an excuse to trample Constitutional rights and violate international laws and treaties including the Geneva Convention. America can hardly be the defender of freedom and democracy we wish to be if we are denying democratic freedoms to anyone! As your constituent, I urge you to please, PLEASE support the Smith-Amash amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — this may be the only opportunity Congress will have this section to finally correct the noxious indefinite-detention-without-charge-or-trial sections of last year’s NDAA. I sincerely HOPE that you will do the RIGHT thing. Thank you for this opportunity to share my concerns with you.
Anyone who wants to tell Congress they oppose indefinite detention, either using the Think Progress page or by other means, is welcome to use any of the text in this post, without needing to credit me. (Any of the text may also be reproduced anywhere else, such as via reblogging, with credit.) In many cases, messages from the public with unique content, as opposed to dozens or hundreds of copies of a single version of a letter each differing only in the signatures on them, “count” more… so any kind of personalization helps. And not I know not everyone is confident they know what to say, or how to say it best, when contacting a politician’s office. Quoting from (or even just referencing) the Fourth, Fifth and/or Sixth Amendments may also be useful.