When reporters from newspapers and TV stations across the country and around the globe write their stories, they follow the AP Stylebook. It is the authoritative guide for everything from punctuation to word choice. The most recent stylebook advises that “illegal immigrant” is an acceptable term for describing people living in the U.S. without documentation, but pressure is mounting on the AP to change its guidance.
The word “illegal” is a dehumanizing term that robs people of their God-given dignity and prejudices readers against the needs and concerns of our immigrant brothers and sisters. Ending the use of this controversial word by the media would create a more compassionate and accurate conversation about immigration. It is a small change that could make a huge difference. You can help make that happen.
I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.
Hi! I just started a tumblr, the Transgender Couchsurfing Network. After seeing dozens of posts come across my dash about displaced or homeless trans people needing places to crash, I decided that there had to be a way to organize these posts somehow, and to put those in need in contact with those willing to lend a hand. If you’re trans and need a place to stay, or if you have a couch or floor or spare bedroom available for someone in need, I urge you to reblog this post, follow the blog, and get the word out. Everything is still under heavy construction, but the more people that see and hear about this blog, the more people will be able to benefit from it! I know that there are so many people here on tumblr who are in need of a place to stay for a night or two, and I also know how many amazing, wonderful people would be willing to host someone and help out a trans person in need. We all know what a huge problem unemployment and homelessness are for trans people (especially TPOC and trans women) — even a place to stay for a night can make the biggest difference! So PLEASE, even if you can’t offer up your couch, REBLOG AND SIGNAL BOOST. I really, really think that this is something that could help a lot of people, and I would LOVE to see this spammed all over my dash and the dashes of all of my lovely followers!!
The YWCA weighs in on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act. There are three reasons some Republicans are trying to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.
There’s a petition here, just FYI.
Toby Ng - The World of 100
Have you ever asked yourself, what would the World look like as a small community of 100 people? Probably not. However, it is something to think about, as the reality would be startling - as much as you’d think so, the village would only have 7 computers, and only 1 person in the World Village would be educated at University level.
These facts are something that designer Toby Ng has thought about very carefully, and turned the results of his findings into a series of twenty infographics depicting ‘The World of 100’. Although aesthetically beautiful, with sharp lines and bold, vibrant colours, these infographics are often horrifying.
The posters look as though they have come straight out of a children’s book; is this to mirror the naivety of those that are most likely to be looking at them on their computers?
“Look, this is the World we are living in.”
- Toby Ng
There’s a petition you can sign here (US citizens only). Marissa’s case will be on Anderson Cooper 360, 8pm & 10pm tomorrow (Monday, April 23).
Sometimes I hear people say that racism/sexism/etc in culture isn’t important or worth criticizing. ”Oh it’s just a book,” they say. ”It’s just a crappy TV show.” ”It’s just a commercial.”
This argument always baffles me. It’s like if you put poison into a fish-tank and then say “Oh well I didn’t poison the fish, I just poisoned the water.” The fish lives in the water, dumbass; it’s completely submerged in and surrounded by the water. I’m pretty sure that poisoned water is going to affect the fish.
Similarly, we all live constantly immersed in this miasma of information that we call “culture.” People are not born prejudiced. We don’t emerge from the womb knowing that all black men are scary thugs, that all Latinas are spicy sexpots, that all Indians are violent savages, that all women are weepy and frail, that all gay men are depraved pedophiles, and that all people in wheelchairs are objects of pity. We learn these things, usually starting at a very young age, and we often learn them from our culture — the books we read, the movies we watch, and the constant barrage of advertising that we don’t really pay attention to but which still manages to seep into our brains, and which shapes the way we think about the world, for better or for worse.
If you want to save the fish, you need to purify the water.
ABC News releases surveillance video of arrest of George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman said he had been bloodied badly, had the back of his head slammed into the ground, and was given a broken nose. Does that appear to be the case from this video?
Good luck with that defense, George.
he doesn’t have a SCRATCH on him. The extent of the coverup here is monstrous. At this point they need to put some of those cops under the jail right along with Zimmerman.
But the decision to alter the storyline with Peeta’s leg really troubles me because of what it symbolises. Peeta becomes a prominently disabled character in the series, and his disability becomes part of his experiences. At the same time though, he’s not defined by the disability, consumed by it, and placed in the narrative for the sole purpose of constantly reminding everyone that he’s disabled. Peeta, like other characters, is scarred by the world he lives in, and he bears a visible mark of the cruelty and brutality of Panem, but more importantly, he’s another person trying to survive and build a better world. By neatly cutting that entire plotline away, the filmmakers avoided some tangled and thorny issues.
Like the fact that Peeta is supposed to be a love interest. I can’t help but feel one of the reasons the amputation storyline was taken out was because the filmmakers don’t think amputees can be love interests, or think that the reality of the amputation might be offputting to audiences who wouldn’t be able to identify with the characters if Katniss fell in love with a disabled Peeta, because that sort of thing Isn’t Done. Furthermore, obviously no amputees engage with media and pop culture and certainly don’t want to see versions of themselves on screen, so that angle didn’t need to be considered when preparing the film adaptation.
They probably also feared the idea of a character who happens to be disabled; they couldn’t let him get fitted for a prosthesis and get on with his life. They would have felt compelled to wrap up some kind of special story in it, even though that’s not necessary. Riding right over that storyline can be justified by saying they don’t have time to do it, with all the other things that need to be included. Just like they didn’t have time to view actresses of colour and nonwhite actresses while they were making decisions about the casting of Katniss. Making movies is very busy work, people.
And, of course, Peeta doesn’t comply with narratives above disability. His withdrawal and depression at the beginning of the second book are more about his emotional state over Katniss, rather than his leg. As a character, he’s physically active as well as politically defiant, once he begins to grow into himself. This isn’t what amputees are ‘supposed’ to do in pop culture, and thus it’s a narrative that makes people uncomfortable, and one that the filmmakers evidently simply didn’t want to deal with.
I could be wrong; perhaps in the next film we will learn that infection set in and they took the leg. But I doubt it, highly, because this doesn’t seem to be in character with way Hollywood works, where disability is erased when it doesn’t serve a greater narrative or actively defies tropes. Peeta cannot be allowed to be disabled.
In the days following the rogue US soldier’s shooting spree in Kandahar, most of the media, us included, focused on the “backlash” and how it might further strain the relations with the US.
Many mainstream media outlets channelled a significant amount of energy into uncovering the slightest detail about the accused soldier – now identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. We even know where his wife wanted to go for vacation, or what she said on her personal blog.
But the victims became a footnote, an anonymous footnote. Just the number 16. No one bothered to ask their ages, their hobbies, their aspirations. Worst of all, no one bothered to ask their names.
In honoring their memory, I write their names below, and the little we know about them: that nine of them were children, three were women.
Mohamed Dawood son of Abdullah
Khudaydad son of Mohamed Juma
Shatarina daughter of Sultan Mohamed
Zahra daughter of Abdul Hamid
Nazia daughter of Dost Mohamed
Masooma daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Farida daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Palwasha daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Nabia daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Esmatullah daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Faizullah son of Mohamed Wazir
Essa Mohamed son of Mohamed Hussain
Akhtar Mohamed son of Murrad Ali
Haji Mohamed Naim son of Haji Sakhawat
Mohamed Sediq son of Mohamed Naim
Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend has spoken out. She was on the phone with Trayvon just moments before his murder.
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man. I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run. Eventually he would run, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering him.
Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
“George Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was suspicious and up to no good is completely contradicted by this phone log, showing all day he was just talking to his friends— like so many teenagers do. Martin was talking to her when he went to the 7/11 and when he came back. Her testimony connects the dots, completely connects the dots of this whole thing.
The friend’s phone call completely blows Zimmerman’s absurd self-defense claim out of the water.
A kid who is up to no good isn’t on the phone constantly calling his friends back. Somebody who’s looking to break in somewhere isn’t on the phone talking to his friend, when she’s in Miami.
Zimmerman wants you to believe he was on drugs and acting suspicious so he can justify killing him in cold blood.
The girl’s family wishes that she remain anonymous because of the traumatic nature of the event:
“This was her really, really close personal friend. They were dating… She couldn’t even go to his wake. She was so sick, her mother had to take her to the hospital, she spent the night in the hospital.” - Martin’s Attorney”
3. Remind yourself always to do some research before giving to any organization, like for instance by making a quick visit to charity navigator.
4. Remember that the masturbatory habits and/or substance abuse problems of cofounders of charities are not nearly as important as the work those charities do and the efficiency with which they do it. I, for one, am far more concerned that Ugandans seem generally disgusted with Kony 2012 movement than I am with this news.
5. Acknowledging that the LRA sucked 10 years ago, and sucks today, and will suck tomorrow, and that it remains our job to pay attention in a patient and sustained way to the world in which we find ourselves.
So I’m gonna take my legally registered fire arm and shoot a suspicious looking white dude who is walking around our gated community.
Then… I’m going to claim self defense, so I can go free.
And get away with murder.
#even if all you know about the CJ system is Law and Order reruns #you know that self defense cases still involve charges #arraignments #trials #ARRESTS #you can’t just claim self defense on the street
Meet Betty Bigombe.
Born into the Acholi tribe of Northern Uganda in 1957, Betty has spent the majority of her life fighting the injustices faced by the people of Uganda. Not only has she spent time in displacement camps talking to those who have been directly affected by Kony’s militia, she’s personally worked to build trust with Kony and arguably would’ve succeeded in bringing the rebels and government to peace 1990s, if not for last-minute interference by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.
After Museveni’s interference after the “Bigombe talks”, Bigombe moved to the United States and earned a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Institute for International Development (on top of her Bachelor’s degree from Makerere University in Uganda). She began working with the World Bank, first as a senior social scientist, then as a consultant to the World Bank’s Social Protection and Human Development department.
In 2004, after seeing the a news broadcast that displayed the devastation still happening in her homeland and being toted as the only person to come close to succeeding at bringing peace to Uganda, Bigombe left the United States and moved back to Uganda with hopes of once again making a difference.
Once in Uganda, Bigombe organized a series of peace talks between the rebel forces and the Ugandan government. Though she was backed by government support, she used much of her own money to facilitate the talks in hopes bringing peace to Uganda. Once the LRA started expanding into neighbouring countries, Bigombe invited them along to the talks as well. Peace was looking promising. After talks that Kony and other LRA commanders would be indicted by the International Criminal Court for their numerous crimes against humanity, Kony fought back and war broke out once again.
Bigombe has since moved back to the United States and works as a senior fellow for the U.S. Institute of Peace. She has founded two non-profit organizations since her return — one to raise awareness about the children of war, and another to fight corruption in world governments.
Women like Bigombe are who we should be listening to. Her and people like her should be at the forefront of this movement. We should raise up the decades of work she has already accomplished, rather than re-focus this fight on white North Americans and our desire to save the world.
TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM, VIOLENCE, DEATH
Unarmed Black Teen Gunned Down By Neighborhood Watch Leader After Being Deemed Suspicious
Trayvon “Trey” Martin, 17, of Miami was visiting relatives living in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He had just left a local 7-11 after buying a snack and was on his way home around 7:00 PM on February 26. George Zimmerman, a 26-year-old member of the local neighborhood watch, saw Martin and called police to report a suspicious man in the community. He tailed Martin in his car. He had a loaded pistol on him. The police told Zimmerman they would handle it.
For some reason, Zimmerman didn’t obey. Minutes later, a number of local residents called police to report a fight. A gunshot was heard. Martin died 70 yards from the house he was staying in. Zimmerman was arrested and then released. He was carrying the pistol legally and has claimed that he was acting in self-defense.
Said Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. in an interview with the Huffington Post, “For some reason he (Zimmerman) felt that Trayvon, the way that he was walking or appeared seemed suspicious to him.”
Ah, yes. The way he was walking and his appearance were deemed “suspicious.” Oh, did I forget to mention that Martin is black? And that the gated community, called Retreat at Twin Lakes, is predominantly white?
Martin’s parents are demanding the police make an arrest and release the 911 call. They are expected to file a suit in state court on Friday.
“Zimmerman, an adult, had a gun. Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old, had Skittles. No way you can say self-defense,” said the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump.
what the fuck do you mean they’re calling for his arrest. the fact that Zimmerman isn’t right now in custody is all the proof anyone needs of what is still happening in this country.
What irks me the most about this situation is that Zimmerman is trying to claim self defense. How in the hell are you going to plead self defense against a 17-year-old boy when he had nothing but Skittles in one pocket and a damn iced tea in the other?
Is it possibly THAT hard to just be a decent human being and admit that the basis of your “suspicion” came from the fact that he was black?
Some reports are stating that when police arrived on the scene Zimmerman’s back was wet, his nose was bloodied, and he was yelling about how he cried for help and no one came. So “‘There is some physical evidence and some testimony that would corroborate [his claim of self defense].” Which is fucking ridiculous.
He was a twenty six year old man in a car following a seventeen year old kid at night. He has all the power in this situation. He is older, he is more familiar with the area, he is armed, and he is inside a goddamn car. The only way an altercation occurs is if he gets out of his car. If it’s night and I’m walking alone and a car begins to follow me, I am going to be terrified of that car and it’s driver. I can completely understand a young kid reacting aggressively in that situation because that’s a terrifying situation to find yourself in. The only person who should be held responsible for any alteracation that occured is the grown ass man who thought it appropriate to follow a young kid around in the dark after the police dispatch explicitly told him not to do so and then GOT OUT OF HIS CAR.
Zimmerman is clearly and undeniably the aggressor here and the fact that he has not been arrested is disgusting.
Look, most self-defense laws in the country clearly state that you have a valid claim of self-defense only when you respond with appropriate force. For example, Person A comes up and punches Person B. Person B punches Person A back. They are arrested. Person B has a valid claim of self-defense, not because Person A punched him first, but because Person B punched Person A and only punched Person A. If Person B suddenly whipped out a knife and stabbed Person A, or if Person B took out a pair of brass knuckles and started punching Person A, or hell, even if Person B didn’t take out a knife and didn’t take out a pair of brass knuckles and just started punching Person A repeatedly in the face - Person B cannot make a valid claim of self-defense.
Therefore, in order for a person to shoot and kill someone for assaulting him, that person would have to reasonably believe that his life was in immediate and mortal peril. So, yeah - Zimmerman could have started the fight. Hell, even Trey Martin could have escalated the fight. Could have. But the only way Zimmerman could adequately claim self-defense in this situation is where Trey Martin could have started beating him up so badly that Zimmerman thought he needed a gun to stop him. And I seriously doubt that this would be the case.