urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I obviously haven't been keeping up too well, but here's an interesting one from my inbox: Clarence Thomas: It's time for YOU to apologize to Anita Hill.
Her agenda in approaching Anita Hill with her outrageous request is unclear. But it's yet another example of brazen attempts by Tea Party adherents to rewrite history and claim victimhood for the powerful even as they launch attack after attack on minority groups -- be they women, gays, African Americans, or immigrants.

We shouldn't ignore this bizarre incident. We should accept Virginia Thomas' challenge and defend history as we know it.

I was 15 or 16 when the original mess came to light, and was appalled then. Not that I'd been laboring under the impression that things were fair before that--hell, I was dealing with frequently sexualized bullying on a daily basis--but it really helped bring home that no matter what level of dominant-culture-defined success you reach as a woman in our society, you still get to deal with special levels of condoned hatefulness. Not to mention Long Dong Silver (which the kiddie bullies picked right up on). And if you make any fuss, you're going to get humiliated and painted as a liar.

It's bad enough when prospective Supreme Court justices aren't expected to act any better than evilminded 15-year-old bullies (gee, wonder where they learned it?!)--and when this kind of behavior is tolerated/encouraged from anybody. Further harassing the wronged party 20 years later? Truly unbelievable. The sociopathy continues to astound.

NY Times article: Clarence Thomas’s Wife Asks Anita Hill for Apology

From 2001: The return of Long Dong Silver, in which a writer hired to prop up Clarence Thomas admits he was making stuff up, and:
"...Hill’s version of events was more truthful than Thomas’s after all.” He acknowledges that he had become “a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine.”.

Not that the other major party doesn't have its own sleaze machine going, but that's not the one under scrutiny here. *shakes head*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I just saw an excellent post from [personal profile] amadi (from Friday), which I'm reproducing here. I'm too low on spoons ATM to turn out something on the same theme myself, but this is important stuff:

If you:
  • Find that I've just quoted someone you know of to be a known repeat offender abuser/bully without noting that the person is problematic

  • Find that I'm engaging with such a person, perhaps without knowledge of their history

  • Note that I have invited someone of this sort into a larger conversation in some way

please let me know. While I am, I think, aware of the three most prominent trouble-causing people in the corner of the social justice blogosphere I hang around in at the moment, obviously things have occurred and will occur outside of my knowledge. Come to me, talk with me, let me know. Help me to help keep us all safer. In turn, I will, with respect and with only that goal in mind, do likewise for you.

Note: Feel free to duplicate this post or use it as a jumping off point for your own statement on this matter. No attribution required, even if you copy completely. This isn't about me, this is about us as a community.

I am aware of several bullies, particularly in the autistic blogosphere, who have targeted people I know. It has bothered me that elsewhere in social justice circles, if I haven't seen the nasty behavior, I don't know who is doing the bullying and harassment. And, frankly, to conserve my Sanity Watchers Points, I have purposely been staying away from some places this is a more common phenomenon. Which is frustrating, in itself.

And some of us who already have too much experience dealing with this kind of crap, also have trouble talking about it openly (thanks to PTSD, concerns about dogpiling, getting the tired old "you're pointing out a problem, so you must be the problem" crap, etc.) when we're getting targeted specifically because the bullies know we're vulnerable and think they can get away with replicating abusive power dynamics on our heads: trying to build themselves up by tearing other people down. Kind of a difficult situation, all around. And I do not want to contribute to it.

People who behave nastily do not need any further encouragement, which includes (even unwitting) validation that the way they're treating other people is OK. So, please let me know if you see me engaging in any way with a bully. Please. And I will try to do the same.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Related to the last post: Jason Adams' Self-Determination on the Paleface Reservation.

The first national census, taken in 1790 reclassified all the unique Indian, Metis and other non-black, non-white peoples as "Free Persons of Color" (FPC), effectively stripping them of their culture (Kennedy, 1997, p. 13).

At the same time that this reclassification took place, people described generically as "Indians" – who were living at the site of the first people known to be labeled "Melungeon" (Everett, 1999, p. 360) - successfully fought off an emerging coal industry’s attempt to steal over 55,000 acres of their land. French speculator Pierre-Francois Tubeuf had aquired "rights" to fifty-five thousand acres of coal lands in southern Appalachia in 1791. When he arrived that same year to secure his paper claim to the already inhabited lands, he encountered a cleverly planned guerilla resistance from mixed-blood "Mountain Indians", likely Melungeons. Having a variably Indian, white or other physical appearance (not to mention knowledge) afforded them the ability to carry out a creative resistance: they could dress and act as painted indigenous warriors and threatening, mystical snake-handlers or as friendly "Mountain Indian" traders and common White hunters. This chameleon-like power, unique to those of mixed-ancestry, was used to gain information about Tubeuf in order to secure their centuries old claim to the lands (Wilson, 1998, p. 66). Tired of what he called "black tricks", in 1793 Tubeuf enlisted the violence of Virginia’s militia to clear out his claim of "inhabitants." It is unclear how succesful he was, but by the year 1795 Tubeuf lie mortally wounded, killed by two men who were variably described as Indian, French or unknown by witnesses (Wilson, 1998, p. 57-59). The variation as to the ethnicity of these men, and the presence of a long standing indigenous resistance suggests that they were probably mixed-bloods, and given the location, Melungeon.

This was but one of many examples of creative indigenous resistance to land theft.

IOW, this crap has been going on for a long time. The clowning there? Priceless. *g*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
One I just ran across, from Brooke Jarvis: Appalachia Rising for a New Economy. I quoted more than I'd intended (emphasis added), but it touches on some very important points.
"Being arrested? That's such a small price to pay for being heard," said Mickey McCoy, former mayor and lifelong resident of Inez, Kentucky, who started opposing mountaintop removal (or MTR) when the creeks by his house ran black following a breach in a nearby sludge dam in 2000. "My home and people are paying the real price for mountaintop removal. They are dying."...

Mountaintop removal, Randolph continued, "is keeping an entire region poor. It has meant a direct loss of tens of thousands of coal mining jobs in the region, and is 100 percent directly correlated with high unemployment, high poverty, and low economic diversification. We agree that Appalachia needs jobs, but we can create jobs without poisoning our communities. According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, we could create 15,000 jobs a year for the first five years by investing in energy efficiency."...

Of course, tourism is just one industry that depends on an end to MTR. In West Virginia's Coal River Valley, residents are pushing for a wind farm that they say will bring more jobs—not to mention higher paying, more secure ones—than mining. But blasting for an MTR coal mine has already begun on the mountain ridges that would support the turbines...

What does it mean, I asked him, to say that Appalachia is rising? As coal's economic power wanes, he answered, so does its political power—leaving a vacuum for the residents of Appalachia to fill. "The political clout of the coal industry has long outlasted its ability to provide job growth or sustainable economic development for the Appalachian region," he said. "Just like the coal, that power is going away."

And Appalachians are rising to take its place—in a more diverse, stable, and less destructive economy.

For more background, see iLoveMountains.org, and their excellent America's Most Endangered Mountains series.

I may understand why (more very convenient victim blaming--see “You People”, environmental degradation, and difficult choices), but it continues to frustrate me just how little attention this irreversible destruction gets from people not very directly affected by it. Even though it's affecting lots of other people.

Chris Irwin, an attorney with United Mountain Defense, told TENTHMIL this is about looking to the future, to a time when we’ll regret permanently contaminating the thousands of streams and rivers that are the headwaters for the water supply that much of the US East Coast relies on. “The coal industry likes to say that we are the ‘Saudi Arabia of coal,’ but that’s bullshit. What we’re the Saudi Arabia of is clean drinking water…You can’t drink coal.”#

"Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money." —Cree Proverb

I guess we should add to that "when the last mountain has been knocked down". :-|

ETA: I didn't explicitly say, but one of the big reasons this caught my eye was that it was very explicitly not suggesting that Appalachian people need saved from ourselves. When, erm, we aren't the ones with the power to destroy shit in the first place.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Quick pointer, via [personal profile] the_future_modernes: Shakesville's Quote of the Day.

"How start?"—A bullet-point in "a newly declassified document that details talking points that emerged from a meeting between Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and CENTCOM Commander General Tommy Franks in November 2001." The bullet-point was followed by suggestions on how to start the Iraq War.

[transcription of JPG, formatting slightly modified - U.]
How start?
--- Saddam moves against Kurds in north?
--- US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 or to anthrax attacks?
--- Dispute over MWD inspections?
------- Start now thinking about inspection demands

Um, yeah.

Too bad cooking a case for war out of thin air isn't a war crime, huh?

I just keep getting depressed and frustrated at the idea that large numbers of people think that giving anyone that level of power over other people is a good plan. Especially anyone who wants and actively pursues it. Put just about anybody in that kind of position--including random people off the street--and somebody's going to wind up hurt.

And we come back to [livejournal.com profile] issendai's excellent piece on sick systems.

What's even more depressing is the way that this gets painted as some sort of wackily extreme position.

Edit: And again via [personal profile] the_future_modernes: [personal profile] deepad's Dirt I Can Lay Claim To, a POC-focused roundup related to MoonFail. Glad one of my posts was worth linking. :)
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Via [personal profile] maevele, an excellent post on assimilation prompted by Elizabeth Moon's recent obnoxiousness:
[livejournal.com profile] shweta_narayan's's Dissimilation

Darkly amusingly, for all Moon's care to mention that "(the native peoples had the most troubles with immigrants!)", I found [livejournal.com profile] shweta_narayan's post very triggering. She could have been describing my experiences in a very hostile school system in a very hostile town. My culture of origin (best description: Appalachian American Indian) was just not OK. My uppity family who didn't take much seriously--definitely not the snots--was really not OK. More than one set of parents made it clear how open-minded they were being, letting their kid hang out with one of Those People--much less bring one of Them home. (And I think a lot of the discomfort with my totally unrecognized autistic behavior got projected onto my ethnic background. For real. What would you expect from Those People?) I could go on, but [livejournal.com profile] shweta_narayan describes the experience entirely too well.

Yeah, talk about continuing troubles with immigrants...

This is what Elizabeth Moon's grand idea of assimilation looks like for the other side.

Because I did try to belong. It was painful, sometimes physically dangerous, not to...And when I dared to act like a full member of any group I was let into, they'd put me in my place. . .

And that abject, miserable, ashamed person, with that deeply ingrained insecurity and this rejection of family, is what Elizabeth Moon wants Muslim Americans to be. That person, hurt so badly that even talking about it half a lifetime later brings back shame to the point of nausea, is what she wants others to be so that she isn't inconvenienced.

And that is why I cannot -- no, fuckem, will not quietly and reasonably and submissively explain to privileged jerks ignorant of their privilege exactly how there is privilege they are missing here.

From another post [personal profile] maevele pointed out, [personal profile] sarasvati's Out of the mouths of xenophobic asshats.:
We have always had trouble with immigrants (the native peoples had the most troubles with immigrants!) Every new group that landed on the shore was greeted with distrust (and often responded badly) until it showed that it was willing and able to contribute something those already here wanted.

Yup, 'cause all European immigrants totally ended up giving in to the demands of the people whose land they were taking. She makes another appeal to sympathy here ("See, I acknowledge the plight of those who have non-white skin.") But then she pretty much blows that out of the water by making the second statement. It's pretty much true, I'll grant you, but it seems to me a bit off that a person wants to appeal to those who came before her and then demands her rights as white overlord and ruling class of America. Can't have it both ways. Either the Muslims are doing it as wrong as all the white folk who came and settled on already settled land, or the previous inhabitants of a land don't mean a damn thing in the grand scheme of things.

Well said.

Vine Deloria, Jr. made some comments that reflected a poor understanding of history east of the Mississippi (not unusual but very politically convenient in a divide and conquer way), but I can't help but think of one of his very reasonable observations. From God is Red, p.8 in the 2003 tradeback: "The general attitude of the whites, however, was that they were the true spiritual descendents of the original Indians and that the contemporary Indians were foreigners who had no right to complain about their activities." Part and parcel of colonialism, with a huge side dish of Manifest Destiny.

And it sounds like Moon is jumping right on associating herself with the "original" Natives for some strange sense of legitimacy. Even though what she is saying makes no freaking sense whatsoever.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
An excellent post, via [personal profile] torachan: poor people aren’t supposed to want nice things:

Your goal, Poor Person, should you choose to accept it, is to forget about any presumption of haves and have-nots. Your job, Poor Person, is to get as far away from the have-nots as possible in thought and deed and investment. Otherwise, you will tip people off to the fact you are or have been poor. They are only supposed to suspect that you have been poor when you approach the dais to give a motivating speech, or when you are filling out an application to fund more education for yourself, or when you have fallen upon dire straits but grow accustomed to those circumstances with aplomb. Then, dear Poor Person, and then only may you say, “I did not always blithely accept the presence of Nice Things in my life; I lived a joyless existence under the poverty line.”

Yep. Exactly.

I am not currently poor, but am still halfway expecting the filthy Grocery Checkout Police looks, over items such as mushrooms out of the reduced-for-quick-sale section. We got extra nasty looks when I was growing up--yes, I got them too, as the well-fed spawn of a Nasty Poor Person--because my mom kept us well dressed, by sewing in all that working-poor spare time she had. *snort* # And there she was, buying "luxury" items such as deeply reduced good cuts of meat, mushrooms and other fresh fruits and veggies, and (the chutzpah!) ice cream--with food stamps. And she didn't have the decency to act ashamed, but glared right back and occasionally asked them if they'd got their eyes full.

And that's just the grocery store experience.

I've been realizing more and more lately how much I managed to internalize the "you're not even doing paid work, you shouldn't buy things like nice new clothes--much less things like PDAs which might actually make you more capable of doing stuff" crap. I have been meaning to write something about how this kind of thing--combined with the "you should work yourself into a frenzy just to prove you are not a Lazy Slacking Freeloading Ass"+ baggage--has been helping me keep myself living in cluttered chaos. But have been too busy trying to dig myself out of said depressing, overwhelming, disabling chaos!

Even things that I would consider totally reasonable accommodations for someone else are apparently frivolous and greedy in my own case--another intersection of poverty and disability. And another twisted perfectionism-type thing that does not apply to other people, but only to me, even though I consciously know that this kind of thinking is based on a lot of totally screwed-up assumptions and is poison. It is absolutely ridiculous, and these messages are everywhere. If you are less-than-virtuous enough to be poor and/or disabled, you should not be seen to enjoy your life. And it's only right that what other people consider basics are luxuries for you.

From one rather good comment:
I personally don’t care if my neighbors spend their (astonishingly low) welfare money on whatever they want, including drugs. For real. It’s their money. I’m not gonna tell a WalMart worker how they should spend money that comes from profiteering off the sweatshop labor of children in poor countries. I’m not going to tell scumbag lawyers who have fancy cars “legitimately” that they should stop ripping people off and drive a beater. It’s none of my business. It is my business to try to change the capitalist system that sets us all up to be in this relationship where one person “gains” by another’s “loss”, but I’m not going to take that out on individuals because it’s not fair. It’s especially not fair because (as usual) poor people get picked on first.


# A lot of it with remnants from the sewing factories where she did piecework for years, no less. (And not so much of it for herself. :/) Then there was the cognitive dissonance when some snotty people found out she was educated as a librarian, but working as a seamstress out of necessity. "But, but...you're not stupid!" *headdesk* Not to mention the "But, but...I had you pigeonholed as lazy hillbilly/Indian/what-have-you trash!" factor.

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