Doodles in the margins
Ask | Submit |  online users

JoAnn. 24.
{ TV enthusiast; cinephile; procrastinator extraordinaire }

Too many shows, too little time. Social issues. All the feelings. Rambling, usually via tag commentary.

My graphics/.gifs: older | newer

Quick links: Random Reasons to Watch Fringe | Top Non-Disney Animated Films | Favorite Jules Cobb Moments | Films Watched in 2012
1/13 »
theme by m-onkeyslut


Why understanding the word “Gypsy” is important.



This week, several neo-Nazis in Ontario, Canada, were allowed to walk free from court on a technicality.

Although arrested for protesting in front of a motel housing recently arrived Romani refugees (mostly women and children) carrying banners adorned with swastikas and shouting racist slogans (things like ”Honk if you hate Gypsies,” “Out Gypsies out,” “You’re a cancer” and “Canada is not a trash can”), court judge Russell Otter accepted the defence position that the Crown had not proven that the terms “Roma” and “Gypsy” mean the same thing. The Crown sought to amend the charge to read “Roma a.k.a. gypsies.” This was refused.

This terrible report pretty much sums up the reason I argue against all of the shit I find in the #Gypsy tag. When you have scores of TV shows, musicians, and bubblegum hipsters arguing that no, it’s fine, it’s just a word and we use it in a different way….

it undermines the centuries of racist hatred that has been meted out to us and that we still face. It allows neo-Nazis to excuse their overtly racist behaviour because, oh we weren’t talking about the Roma…only the Gypsies.


The history of the word “Gypsy” is inexorably tied to the Roma. It was a word created on our backs as we made our way into Europe. It was a word branded on our foreheads before we were hung. It was a word tattooed onto our skin before we were gassed. It was a word that took away our children. 

It was a word battered into our hearts for all eternity. 

It doesn’t matter how we try to assert our own identity, to separate ourselves from the word “Gypsy”, we aren’t allowed. People use the word AT us how and when they choose. Some argue that only the “bad” Roma are “Gypsies”. Some argue that the only “Gypsies” are Romanian. Some argue that we’re Romani Gypsies. Some groups under the term are proud to be Gypsy (mostly those who did not face the Holocaust) and continually misrepresent our relationship and our relationship to the word.

Then, of course, you have the legions of young people who INSIST that  the word “Gypsy” can be removed completely from its ties with a racial and ethnic category and pulled solely into the realm of hipster life and bubblegum fashion. Clothing lines flaunt their “Gypsy Style” and bands such as “Gogol Bordello” support this argument with frequent use of the word “Gypsy” and promotion of a stereotype (and nothing done to address it).

TV shows utilizing the term “Gypsy” do not, for the most part, show Roma. They are made by white people and generally feature Americanized Irish Travellers (the My Big Fat Wedding series for example) or Romanichal. They are a misrepresentative (and often extremely stereotyped) portrayal of our lifestyle. The shows are often used as a defense for those who would slander our ethnicity. 

Roma is the correct term for our race and ethnicity. I am Romani. I am part of a larger group of ethnicities that include Romanichal, Sinte, Kale, Kaale, Calo, Kallon, Romany. We are all corralled under the term Gypsy together, though our histories are divergent and our language and culture different. We all have our roots in India centuries ago. We all battle discrimination and racism on a daily basis. 

We are not the only ones under the exonym, but we are certainly the largest group to whom the word is applied.

Please, don’t use (or support the use of) the word “Gypsy”. It is an ethnic and racial slur that has murdered many hundreds of thousands of my people and now allows white supremacists to walk away unpunished….


10 Reasons Lawyers Say Florida’s Law Enforcement Threw Away George Zimmerman’s Case


Florida law enforcement, from the local police to the special prosecutor overseeing the Trayvon Martin case, did not want to see George Zimmerman convicted of murder and deliberately threw away the case, allowing their prosecution to crumble. A growing chorus of attorneys and analysts who know jury trials and courtroom procedure say this is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the parade of otherwise incoherent missteps by George Zimmerman’s prosecutors.

“I find it personally difficult to believe it was not thrown,” said Warren Ingber, a New York-based attorney who has practiced law for decades. “I am far from alone in this assessment, and it reveals even harder truth why this case was a miscarriage of justice.”

Ingber detailed his reasons in a letter sent to a NPR’s “Left, Right and Center”program after its liberal analysts would not touch that possibility. But there’s been a growing chorus saying the Zimmerman prosecution was not merely incompetent, but going through the motions and intentionally losing. This includes Florida talk radio host Randi Rhodes, who covered the trial daily, to New Orleans Times-Picayune editorial writer Jarvis DeBerry whose source canvassed 20 local prosecutors, to celebrity lawyers like Alan Dershowitz and other legal analysts, and longtime lawyers like Ingber who was indignant at NPR’s commentators ceding too much ground to right-wingers.

Here are 10 key points the lawyers in these reports cite behind this conclusion.

1. There was enough evidence to convict, despite biased police work.That assessment “is itself a miracle,” Ingber wrote, citing how the Sanford, Florida police handled the killing. “Martin’s body lay in the morgue as a John Doe for three days while his mother was asking for his whereabouts. His cell phone records indicated he was on the phone as he was being killed. The person he was on with had no idea where he was. Meanwhile his admitted killer was on the loose and allowed to produce exculpatory evidence while crime scene evidence was deteriorating. It appears from videos of Zimmerman ‘strolling’ into custody that he was not that badly hurt. But in Florida the right of self-defense includes, for whites, the freedom to exculpate oneself. And when that wasn’t enough, the police stepped in, as when the lead detective Chris Serino told Zimmerman the screams for help were his, not Martin’s, over his objection.”

2. The governor’s handpicked prosecutor enters with an agenda.“No account of this trial is complete if it does not start with how the deck was stacked before the trial took place,” Ingber said. “But it continues in the identity of the person that Florida’s [Republican] Gov. Rick Scott selected to prosecute the case: Angela Corey, the prosecutor who sentenced Marissa Alexander [a black woman] to 20 years for firing a gun into the air in her own garage in defense against a convicted abuser of women. I’ll leave it to Alan Dershowitz, who knows the law of defamation, to describe her professional lapses that ‘bordered on criminal conduct.’”

3. No change of venue was demanded.There were a series of decisions made by the prosecutors that incrementally lowered their chances of obtaining a conviction. The first concerned not seeking a jury trial in another county. The Seminole County district attorney and multiple judges recused themselves, “proof that the case was a political hot potato and that there was a fear that there would be negative political ramifications following a Zimmerman verdict,” Times-Picayune editorial writer Jarvis DeBerry wrote. But the state did not want to move the trial.

4. The early mishandling of the jury. Prosecutors meekly tried to remove two jurors with very strong pro-Zimmerman biases, but did not use more forceful “preemptory challenges,” DeBerry noted. “Juror B-37… should never have been let onto the jury after she said there were ‘riots’ in Sanford over this case,” Ingber added. “How was that allowed to occur? B-37’s interview is worth a listen.” She called Martin a “boy of color” (at 10.41) and mentioned “rioting” twice (12.12 and 14.32), calling it “organized” by Martin supporters and adding that she didn’t trust mainstream media.      

5. There were no men on the jury. DeBerry, citing a former prosecutor who “handled hundreds of homicide cases over his career,” said opposing an all-female jury was “prosecuting 101. In a fatal fight between men, you fight to get men on the jury. Men are more likely to convict.”

6. The jury was improperly sequestered. While talking about the jury—before turning to what the prosecution did and didn’t do with witnesses—it’s also important to note that the jury wasn’t properly kept away from interacting with the public. “Why wasn’t the jury properly sequestered?” Ingber said. “Why was it given time with family members, time enough for, oh, I don’t know, arranging a book deal?” (Juror B-37 signed a contract with a literary agent immediately after the trial ended.)

7. Missteps with the state’s witnesses. The prosecution failed to adequately prepare its witnesses, such as Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Martin during the confrontation “and was the closest thing the state had to a star witness,” DeBerry wrote.

“Why was the jury’s prejudices given free rein to suppose, as the entire nation did, that Rachel Jeantel was stupid because of her speech when she has an underbite that will require surgery that she is putting off?” Ingber explained. “Why did even close observers of the trial learn this only afterward, from this supposedly stupid witness? Could the prosecution have been even stupider? Or is prosecution of a white man for killing a black man in the South just stupefying?”

Jeantel was hardly the state’s only bad witness. “What of the ill-prepared “I know nothing” state medical examiner, who changed his testimony in the course of his examination, including waffling on the absurd notion that marijuana might have made Martin aggressive?” he wrote. “Why did he ignore testimony that Zimmerman was the aggressor? One wonders who got to this man. Surely not those Sanford rioters!”

8. More missteps with Zimmerman’s witnesses. If your side’s witnesses are falling down, lawyers usually work even harder to undermine their opponent’s case. But exactly the opposite unfolded. “The defense witness that impressed B-37 the most was that friend of Zimmerman’s (whom she mistook for a doctor) who testified he knew it was Zimmerman’s voice based on a knack acquired in military service,” Ingber said. “He had been sitting in the courtroom throughout the trial before his testimony—undisguised and adjacent to the defense team—in flagrant violation of the witness sequestration rule. He should never have been permitted to testify. Where was the prosecution?”

He cited other examples: “How could the prosecutors have been so stupid as to allow Zimmerman to testify in his own defense by admitting into evidence his Sean Hannity interview on Fox News for the ostensible reason of admitting a minor detail?” Inger said. “Could it have missed the predictable effect on the jury’s sympathies of the defendant appearing before a fake journalist on Fox? Could it not see this for a one-sided waiver of Zimmerman’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination? Without risking cross-examination?”

DeBerry’s ex-prosecutor source noted more examples. “A Sanford police officer who was asked if he believed Zimmerman’s story of self-defense was allowed to answer yes without the prosecution objecting,” he said. “Witnesses should not be permitted to offer an opinion on the credibility of other witnesses or other evidence. The next day prosecutors asked the judge to strike that portion of the investigator’s testimony, and she complied. But why did the prosecutors sit quietly as the question was asked and answered?”  

9. Florida’s abysmal laws compounded the botched prosecution. Many media outlets analyzed Zimmerman’s acquittal by saying that the state overcharged him—because second-degree murder has a higher standard of proof than the lesser charge of manslaughter. The lawyer-critics don’t buy that analysis, however.   

“All of the evidence is that Zimmerman was the aggressor,” Ingber said. “Jeantel testified that Martin was being stalked and that Martin’s cell phone was knocked out of his hand in real time and fell to wet grass just as the struggle—obviously self-defensive on Martin’s part—commenced. The tape of the 911 call is to the same effect. Zimmerman’s self-serving testimony, the coached evidence from the detective about whose voice it was—it’s all fluff. The two telephone calls set it all out. Who was on top for a moment means nothing. They rolled around. The injuries were not consistent with a ground-and-pound attack.

“But say they were. Is the explanation of the not-guilty verdict as to manslaughter that the jury thought it is legal for a man with a gun to initiate an altercation with an unarmed boy and shoot him dead if he starts to lose the fight and fears for his own?”

The Florida law deciding this case is abysmal, Ingber said, noting that this added to the jury’s confusion during deliberations, and  in getting the charge from the judge. “Try reading the instructions. Really try. I did,” he wrote. “I am an attorney and thought I knew what the elements of manslaughter were until I read this. Anyone who can parse this—in written form, never mind by ear—qualifies for a Supreme Court nomination.”

“But it’s even worse,” he continued, saying these were yet more prosecutorial blunders. “During deliberations the jury, having only the legal smarts of a mere circuit court judge, asked for clarification as to manslaughter but never received them. Why was that?”

10. Florida wanted to get rid of the case, not win it. The Times-Picayune’s DeBerry said his ex-prosecutor source “said he’s polled about 20 prosecutors in New Orleans, and though all aren’t sure that they would have been able to get Zimmerman convicted as charged, each of them is convinced that he or she could have gotten more than an acquittal. It was a clear case of tanking, he argued: ‘They didn’t want to win this case.’”  

There are political benefits to that outcome, Ingber said, explaining what would be the state’s motive for proceeding so sloppily and working not to get a conviction.

“Bear in mind how cost-free all of this shoddy prosecution is,” he said. “Once jeopardy attaches and a defendant is exonerated the prosecutor will suffer no judicial embarrassment because any further proceedings would be double jeopardy. Translation: Zimmerman can’t be retried and the prosecution also gets off the hook. So this could all be swept under the rug and Angela Corey and Rick Scott… can go their merry way.”

Who wins when the state deliberately loses?

It is clear that the details of the Trayvon Martin case will not be forgotten by people who watched the trial or heard it described in detail by radio hosts such as Randi Rhodes, who understand how Florida’s legal system can be stacked in favor of white defendants. The striking conclusion after listening to these lawyers is that even with all the state’s policing and courtroom errors, there was enough to obtain a conviction.    

“It takes no partisan slant to see the procedural injustice in this case,” Ingber said. “It is not hard to make the case that the evidence supported a manslaughter verdict beyond a reasonable doubt. This was another O.J. [Simpson] case, except this was not a case of jury nullification. It is to the Emmett Till case what modern-day voter suppression is to the poll tax. You need to drill down to see it for what it is.


HEY TEAM. Let’s not put “inspirational” coco chanel quotes on things. she was literally a nazi. like i don’t give a fuck what she said about being a woman or an individual or whatever. i promise you there are quotes from other people that can get the same point across. People who didn’t directly get incredibly rich off nazi seizure of jewish owned businesses and property. People who weren’t literally NAZI SPIES AND PAID AGENTS OF THE SS like coco chanel was. Remember when you put “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants. - Coco Chanel” on some post that what and who Coco Chanel wanted to be was Abwehr Agent 7124, code name “Westminster.”

Posted 11 months ago with 7,892 notes
originally varlandgear



Gordon ParksDr. Kenneth B. Clark conducting the Doll Test, Harlem, New York, 1947

In the “doll test,” psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark used four plastic, diaper-clad dolls, identical except for color. They showed the dolls to black children between the ages of three and seven and asked them questions to determine racial perception and preference. Almost all of the children readily identified the race of the dolls. However, when asked which they preferred, the majority selected the white doll and attributed positive characteristics to it. The Clarks also gave the children outline drawings of a boy and girl and asked them to color the figures the same color as themselves. Many of the children with dark complexions colored the figures with a white or yellow crayon. The Clarks concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” caused black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred. This photograph was taken by Gordon Parks for a 1947 issue of Ebony magazine. (via)

You want to know what is exceptionally fucked up?

The same study was replicated in 2008.  Dark-skinned children still by far selected the white doll.  Repeatedly. 

Posted 1 year ago with 43,896 notes
originally cavetocanvas

Instead of saying “I am Trayvon Martin” it would do more good for white people [and non-Black people] in solidarity with the Trayvon Martin case to recognize all the ways they are Zimmerman.

As in, if you live in a “safe” suburban or gated community that is mostly white and that is considered a “good” neighborhood because it excludes people of colour [especially excluding Black people] then you benefit from the same conditions that created Zimmerman.

If you benefit from “police protection” to your property that depends on racial profiling of people of colour [especially Black people] and brutality towards them then you take part in the same systems that create Zimmerman.

If you have the racial privilege to work, move, live in mostly white spaces and have limited contact with… [Black people], particularly “low income” …[Black people], then you live with the same social and economic policies of casual segregation that create Zimmerman.

It’s good that people recognize the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s death, but if that recognition is not accompanied by the work to recognize and undo the systematic economic, social, educational and employment policies that create neighborhoods where Black people are seen as threatening trespassers - and how people benefit from this racial privilege - then no true anti-racist work can occur.

Nobody wants to say “I am Zimmerman” but until we recognize how Zimmerman reflects institutionalized racism there will continue to be more Trayvons.

El Jones (via gaypocalypse)

Posted 1 year ago with 7,299 notes
originally writeswrongs


Black and unarmed.

Remember the names of unarmed Black men who were killed by police or vigilantes. This is only a short list, please reply with other names so we may remember these men.

Trayvon Martin.

The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.  Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. He was unarmed and headed home after buying skittles and sweet tea from a gas station close to his home. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old multi-racial Hispanic American was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place. Zimmerman, against the instructions of the Emergency dispatcher pursued Martin on foot calling him “the suspect.” When the case garnered international attention sparking protests all over the world, the state of Florida filled charges against him 46 days after Martin’s death. Zimmerman was tried for second-degree murder and manslaughterand found not guilty on Saturday, July 13, 2013.

Ervin Jefferson

The 18-year-old was shot and killed by two security guards — also African American — outside his Atlanta home on Saturday, March 24, 2012. His mother says that he was unarmed and trying to protect his sister from a crowd that was threatening her.

Amadou Diallo

22-year-old Amadou Ahmed Diallo, a Guinnea-Bissau immigrant, was killed when four white New York police officers in plain clothes fired 41 shots at him, 19 of which hit his body. The officers said they thought Diallo was reaching for a gun when they shot him in the doorway of his apartment. Turns out it was his wallet. During the trial, the officers admitted that they never considered the situation (four strangers in an unmarked car with guns approaching a guy on his stoop at night) from Diallo’s point of view. They were acquitted of all charges

 Patrick Dorismond

The 26-year-old father of two young girls was shot to death in 2000 during a confrontation with undercover police officers who asked him where they could purchase drugs. An officer claimed thatDorismond — who was unarmed — grabbed his gun and caused his own death. But the incident made many wonder whether the recent acquittal of the officers in the Amadou Diallo case sent a signal that the police had a license to kill without consequence

Ousmane Zongo

In 2003 Officer Bryan A. Conroy confronted and killed Zongo in New York City during a raid on a counterfeit-CD ring with which Zongo had no involvement. Relatives of the 43-year-old man from Burkina Faso settled a lawsuit against the city for $3 million. The judge in the trial of the officer who shot him (and was convicted of criminally negligent homicide but did not serve jail time) said he was “insufficiently trained, insufficiently supervised and insufficiently led.”

Timothy Stansbury

Unarmed and with no criminal record, 19-year-old Stansbury was killed in 2004 in a Brooklyn, N.Y., stairwell. The officer who shot him said he was startled and fired by mistake. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called his death “a tragic incident that compels us to take an in-depth look at our tactics and training, both for new and veteran officers.” A grand jury deemed it an accident.

Sean Bell

Hours before his wedding, 23-year-oldSean Bell left the strip that hosted his bachelor party, jumped into a car with two friends, and was killed when police fire 50 shots into his vehicle. Police say they opened fire after Bell rammed his car into an unmarked police van filled with plainclothes officers. They say they followed Bell and his friends outside the club suspecting that one person in their group had a gun. Referring to Bell and his friends, Mayor Bloomberg told the Associated Press "there is no evidence that they did anything wrong." A judge acquitted the officers of all charges in 2008. 

Orlando Barlow

While surrendering on his knees in front of four Las Vegas police officers, Orlando Barlow was shot with an assault rifle by officer Brian Hartman 50 feet away. Hartman argued that he feared Barlow was feigning surrender and about to grab a gun. Barlow was unarmed. A jury ruled the shooting “excusable.” Hartman later resigned from the force a month before a federal probe uncovered that he and other officers printed T-Shirts labeled ”BDRT” which stood for “Baby’s Daddy Removal Team” and “Big Dogs Run Together.” 

Aaron Campbell

 Portland police officers got a call to check on a suicidal and armed man at an apartment complex. Aaron Campbell,25, came of the apartment walking backward toward police with his hands over his head. The Oregonian reported that police say Campbell ignored their orders to put his hands up. At which point one officer fired six bean bag shots at his back. Witnesses say they saw Campbell reach his arm around his back, where the beanbag struck him. Officer Ronald Frashour said he saw Campbell reach both hands around his waistband to get a gun, and so he shot Campbell in the back with an assault rifle. The jury acquitted the police officer with no criminal wrongdoing.

Victor Steen
17-year-old Victor Steen died when he fled from police, was tasered, crashed his bicycle and was run over by police cruiser. Steen committed a simple traffic violation while riding his bike. The deadly incident was captured on video. The officers were acquitted of any criminal wrongdoing.

Ronald Madison and James Brissette

In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, five officers opened fire on an unarmed family on the east side of the Danziger Bridge, killing 17-year-old James Brissette and wounding four others. Next, officers shot at brothers Lance and Ronald Madison. Ronald, a 40-year-old man with severe mental disabilities, was running away when he was hit, and an officer stomped on and kicked him before he died. In a federal criminal trial, five officers involved in what have become known as the “Danziger Bridge Shootings” were convicted of various civil rights violations, but not murder.

Oscar Grant

On New Years morning, 2009, three Bay Area Rapid Transit officers pulled 22-year-old Oscar Grant and four other black men off a train in Oakland. You can view what happened afterwards in this Youtube video. In it, former-transit officer Mehserle can be seen shooting Grant in the back. During the trial, Mehserle argued that he thought Grant was reaching for a gun near his waistband. To stop this from happening, Mehserle said he intended to Tase him, but shot him with a pistol instead. He was sentenced to two years in prison and served 11 months.

Jordan Davis

On Nov. 23, an unarmed, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by Michael Dunn after an argument over loud rap music. Dunn, 46, Davis through the window of a sport utility vehicle at a Jacksonville convenience store gas station before driving away, authorities say.Officials say Dunn parked next to the vehicle where Davis was sitting with three other teens. Dunn complained about the loud music and they started arguing. Dunn told police he thought he saw a gun and fired eight or nine shots into the vehicle. N He is charged with first degree murder.

 Kenneth Chamberlain

On November 19, 2011, after his Life Aid medical alert necklace was inadvertently triggered, police came to Chamberlain’s home and demanded that he open his front door. Despite his objections and statements that he did not need help, the police broke down Chamberlain’s door, tasered him, and then shot him dead. Chamberlain was a 68-year-old, African-American, retired former-Marine, and a 20-year veteran of the Westchester County Department of Corrections. He wore the medical alert bracelet due to a chronic heart problem. A grand jury reviewed the case and decided that no criminal charge would be made against police officers involved in the killing.

Abner Louiama

 30-year-old Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, was arrested and sodomized with a broomstick inside a restroom in the 70th Precinct station house in Brooklyn. The case became a national symbol of police brutality and fed perceptions that New York City police officers were harassing or abusing young black men as part a citywide crackdown on crime. One officer, Justin A. Volpe, admitted in court in May 1999 that he had rammed a broken broomstick into Mr. Louima’s rectum and then thrust it in his face. He said he had mistakenly believed that Mr. Louima had punched him in the head during a street brawl outside a nightclub in Flatbush, but he acknowledged that he had also intended to humiliate the handcuffed immigrant. He left the force and was later sentenced to 30 years in prison. The commanders of the 70th Precinct were replaced within days of the assault. As the legal case wore on, Charles Schwarz, a former police officer, was sentenced in federal court in 2002 to five years in prison for perjury stemming from the torture case. A jury found that Mr. Schwarz had lied when he testified that he had not taken Mr. Louima to the station house bathroom where the assault took place.

Kimani Gray

16-year-old Kimani was shot four times in the front and side of his body and three times in the back by two New York City police officers as he left a friend’s birthday party in Brooklyn on March 9, 2013. The only publicly identified eyewitness is standing by her claim that he was empty-handed when he was gunned down.

 Kendrec McDade

19-year-old college student McDade was shot and killed in March 2012 when officers responded to a report of an armed robbery of a man in Pasadena, Calif. He was later found to be unarmed, with only a cellphone in his pocket. His death has prompted his family to file a lawsuit, in which McDade’s parents argue that he was left on the street for a prolonged period of time without receiving first aid. According to court documents, McDade’s last words were, “Why did they shoot me?” The officers involved were initially placed on paid administrative leave but have since returned to duty.

Timothy Russell

Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, were killed in Cleveland after police officers fired 137 rounds into their car after a chase in December 2012. Officers said they saw a possible weapon, but no weapon or shell casings were found in the fleeing car or along the chase route. 

Steven Washington

Washington was shot by gang-enforcement officers Allan Corrales and George Diego in Los Angeles one night in 2010 after he approached them and appeared to remove something from his waistband. The officers said they’d heard a loud sound in the area and the 27-year-old, who was autistic, was looking around suspiciously. No weapon was ever recovered.

Alonzo Ashley

Police say that 29-year-old Ashley refused to stop splashing water from a drinking fountain on his face at the Denver Zoo one hot day in 2011, then made irrational comments and threw a trash can. The responding officers, who didn’t dispute that he was unarmed, killed him with a Taser, saying he had “extraordinary strength.” No criminal charges were filed against them.

Wendell Allen

Allen was fatally shot in the chest by officers executing a warrant on his house on March 7, 2012, in New Orleans. The 20-year-old was unarmed, and five children were home at the time of his death. Police found 4.5 ounces of marijuana on Allen after they killed him. An attorney for the family says that New Orleans police are investigating whether Officer Joshua Colclough was wrong to pull the trigger.

Travares McGill

In 2005 in Sanford, Fla. (the same county in which Travyon Martin was killed), the 16-year-old was killed by two security guards, one of whom testified that Travares was trying to hit him with his car. But evidence showed that the bullet that killed the teen hit him in the middle of the back and that the guard kept firing even after the car was no longer headed toward him.

Ramarley Graham

18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed in February of 2012, when Officer Richard Haste and his partner followed Graham into his grandmother’s apartment where Graham was attempting to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. Haste fatally shot Graham, who was unarmed, in the chest. The officers did not have a warrant to be inside the home. A Bronx judge later tossed out an indictment against the NYPD cop. No weapon was ever uncovered from the scene.

Tyrone Brown 

32-year-old former Marine from East Baltimore, Tyrone Brown was shot 12 times in a crowded bar after an off-duty Baltimore police officer fires 13 rounds at him for groping one of the officer’s lady friend’s. That officer, Gahiji Tshamba, was indicted for murder and faces a maximum life in prison charge if convicted. Tshamba was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Posted 1 year ago with 44,224 notes
originally caseybruce



The Trayvon Martin rally in NYC marched 30 blocks to Times Square

Thousands have now shut down Time Square staging a massive sit-in. Traffic stopped; no arrests so far.

Democracy now is covering the NYC protest on live stream via their website

Posted 1 year ago with 44,191 notes
originally thechanelmuse

Once again, Caucasian does not mean white, and using it to mean white is actually racist.

There are real Caucasian people who live in the Caucasus region, and they are not white.

Posted 1 year ago with 33,571 notes
originally writeworld


They couldn’t even wait for 2 hours. It takes Texas less time to disenfranchise minority voters than it takes for them to barbeque a pig.”

Posted 1 year ago with 15,365 notes
originally sandandglass


if you’re angry or feeling helpless, and if you have the means, you can donate to the national network of abortion funds and help someone get the medical services they need on time, before illogical laws prevent them from receiving care

Posted 1 year ago with 2,623 notes
originally winecat


i kinda wish people outside of texas understood that this really isn’t about abortion and who can or cannot get pregnant. 

if this bill passes i will no longer have a doctor - a GP - because her office provides abortion services in select cases. it’s not just an office for women - centro med sees kids and men too. 

effectively this bill shuts down health care clinics that just happen to provide any abortion service. 

Posted 1 year ago with 22,708 notes
originally fileunderjd

Tell the Associated Press that people aren't "illegal"

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.

Posted 1 year ago with 30 notes
originally azspot

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.

Curious Georgiana (via sexistmorons)

always reblog

(via asvainasiallow)

Posted 2 years ago with 128,997 notes
originally sexistmorons


starcrossed-sky | transcouchnetwork:

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!!

Posted 2 years ago with 3,315 notes
originally transhousingnetwork


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.

Posted 2 years ago with 2,129 notes
originally motherjones