So, the following celebrities have apparently signed a letter by an anti-BDS Hollywood group in support of Israel’s massacre of Gaza:
- Tom Arnold
- Roseanne Barr
- Mayim Bialik
- Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s manager)
- Minnie Driver
- Kelsey Grammar
- Benji Madden
- Bill Maher
- Ziggy Marley
- Ivan Reitman
- Joan Rivers
- Seth Rogen
- Haim Saban
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Sarah Silverman
- Aaron Sorkin
- Sylvester Stalone
- Howard Stern
- Jon Voight
Remember these names the next time they have a movie or TV show or album out.
We (Ellie and Sarah) were in Chicago today and this was the main window display at Women and Children First, the feminist book store.
On the cardboard where it says “Rest In Power” are the names of murdered black people, from Mike Brown to Islan Nettles to ‘my friend’s student’. To the left two signs read “Injustice is a Feminist Issue” and “Ferguson is a Feminist Issue”. On the right a sign says “The idea that some lives matter LESS is the root of all that is wrong in the world”. Below is a selection of books on African American issues or by African American authors, focusing on feminist, womanist, and LGBT themes.
Across the bottom is a quote by bisexual African Caribbean-American poet and author June Jordan (that’s her yellow book to the left called Some Of Us Did Not Die, which is amazing btw). The quote reads:
"And what shall we do, we who did not die? What shall we do now? How shall we grieve, and cry out loud, and face down despair? Is there an honorable, non-violent means towards mourning and remembering who and what we loved?"
Just volunteered with phat beets’ community garden in Oakland. Harvested a bunch of produce to give away and got to eat the best salad (complete with corn, jalapeños, basil, tomato, cukes, lettuce, etcetc) made by the sweetest middle schoolers. They’ve quelled my anxieties around teaching older students this year.
Phat Beets Produce is a rad food justice collective. The collective was started in North Oakland in 2007 as a guerrilla produce stand in a North Oakland park. As a collective, they strive to support social enterprise businesses and small & minority farmers.
(1) Healthy Food is a Human Right
(2) What is lacking is not food, but the political will to fairly distribute food regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay.
Check them out here: http://phatbeetsproduce.org
Also came across this squash/corn/sunflower container garden on my walk over to phat beets as well as these bold roses, reminding me of my grandma who used to love to grow them in her garden. 🌹❤️🌹
everytime i do my facial routine (face mask, cleanse, & tone)
i ask myself how i’ve lived without lush products for so long
The establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria poses a far greater threat to Muslims than it does to the west. Western government may worry sleeper cells at home or radicalised Muslims travelling back from Iraq, but it is Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere who have most to worry about from the Islamic State. Even the brutal and horrifying decapitation of the journalist James Foley doesn’t change anything - the number of Iraqis executed by Islamic State fighters is far, far more.
Inside Story - Islamic State ‘beheading’: A challenge to US?
In many ways it is perhaps the worst development in recent Muslim history since 9/11. There are two reasons for this: First, it is likely to cause even greater unrest in countries where Muslims aren’t a majority, and second, the Islamic State group could tear apart the Middle East and cause further unrest for generations.
In a very short time the Islamic State has become the most compelling and attractive organisation for Muslim fighters around the world, more so than al-Qaeda ever was. India, which has the world’s second-largest Muslim population, is especially in shock after Islamic State sympathisers have turned up from Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south. There is not one recorded instance of an Indian Muslim having fought for al-Qaeda, but already four are suspected of having joined the group. Now Indians worry that more will follow.
The impact of this phenomenon on community relations - in Canada, India, the US, and Europe - could be devastating. Once again, suspicions will easily be raised by Islamophobes about Islamic State sympathisers in the west and whether they pose a threat. One pollster has found support for the group to be as high as 16 percent in France. The news media will undoubtedly report on American or European Muslims joining the group or calling for violence in videos, further raising tensions and besmirching the Muslim faith.
I want this shirt.
University at Buffalo’s Black Student Union stands for Ferguson. #DontShoot #ClubUnity
On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American 17-year-old walking home from a 7-Eleven. What The Washington Post and other media outlets had dubbed “the trial of the century” was over, with a deeply unsettling verdict. In the fifteen months between Trayvon’s death and the beginning of the trial, people across the country had taken to the streets, as well as to newspapers, television and social media, to decry the disregard for young black lives in America. For them—for us—this verdict was confirmation.
A group of 100 black activists, ranging in age from 18 to 35, had gathered in Chicago that same weekend. They had come together at the invitation of Cathy J. Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the author of Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics, and her organization, the Black Youth Project. Launched in 2004, the group was born as a research project to study African-American youth; in the decade since then, Cohen has turned the BYP into an activist organization. The plan for this meeting was to discuss movement building beyond electoral politics. Young black voters turned out in record numbers in the 2008 and ‘12 elections: 55 percent of black 18-to-24-year-olds voted in 2008, an 8 percent increase from 2004, and while a somewhat smaller number—49 percent—voted in 2012, they still outpaced their white counterparts. But how would young black voters hold those they had put in office accountable? And what were their demands?
This group, coming together under the banner Black Youth Project 100 (“BYP100” for short), was tasked with figuring that out. As with any large gathering, people disagreed, cliques were formed, and tensions began to mount. The organizers struggled to build consensus within this diverse group of academics, artists and activists. And then George Zimmerman was acquitted. The energy in the room changed.
“A moment of trauma can oftentimes present you with an opportunity to do something about the situation to prevent that trauma from happening again,” said Charlene Carruthers, one the activists at the conference.
Carruthers, a Chicago native, has been an organizer for more than ten years, starting as a student at Wesleyan University. She has led grassroots and digital campaigns for, among others, the Women’s Media Center, National People’s Action and ColorofChange.org. She heard all types of sounds emanating from the people in the room that day, from crying to screaming. “I don’t believe the pain was a result, necessarily, of shock because Zimmerman was found not guilty,” Carruthers said, “but of yet another example…of an injustice being validated by the state—something that black people were used to.”
Some members of BYP100 went into the streets of downtown Chicago and led a rally. Others stayed behind and drafted the group’s first collective statement. Addressed to “the Family of Brother Trayvon Martin and to the Black Community,” it read in part: “When we heard ‘not guilty,’ our hearts broke collectively. In that moment, it was clear that Black life had no value. Emotions poured out—emotions that are real, natural and normal, as we grieved for Trayvon and his stolen humanity. Black people, WE LOVE AND SEE YOU.”
The group recorded a reading of the letter and released the video on July 14, one day after the verdict. “That was the catalyst,” Carruthers said, “that cemented [the idea] that the people in that room had to do something collectively moving forward.”
The demise of the Black Panther Party in the mid-1970s left a void in black political organizing. The Panthers weren’t without problems (the sexist nature of their leadership was a big one), but they represented the last gasps of a national black organizing that combined radical political education, direct action, youth engagement and community services. In the years since, racial-justice groups have struggled to effect change as profound as they managed to achieve during the heyday of the civil-rights and Black Power movements. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is mostly visible to the extent that Sharpton is able to leverage his own platform and personality for the causes he cares about. The same is true of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Until Benjamin Jealous took over as president in 2008, the NAACP—the nation’s oldest civil-rights organization—was battling perceptions of irrelevance. Under Jealous’s leadership, the NAACP changed course, but the question lingered as to whether it was equipped to fight the new challenges faced by black America. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has existed since 1993 without much fanfare; the National Hip-Hop Political Convention, started in 2004, fizzled. “The times we live in,” Carruthers said, “call for a resurgence of national black-liberation organizing.”
This past May, I traveled to Chicago for the “Freedom Dreams, Freedom Now!” conference, hosted by a number of organizations, including BYP100, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The conference was intended as an “intergenerational, interactive gathering” of scholars, artists and activists commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer and discussing contemporary social-justice organizing. The opening plenary featured a keynote address by Julian Bond, a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and former board chair of the NAACP. He presented a history of Freedom Summer, the SNCC-led movement to register voters and get black people to the polls in Mississippi, before a premiere screening of the PBS documentary Freedom Summer, directed by Stanley Nelson.
But the aim of the conference wasn’t just to reminisce. It was a precursor to Freedom Side, a collective that includes members of BYP100, the Dream Defenders and United We Dream, an immigrant-youth-led organization, as well as more established groups like the NAACP and AFL-CIO. Before the conference, as part of the Freedom Summer celebration, the Dream Defenders hosted “freedom schools” throughout Florida, talking to young people about criminalization, mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. Voter registration drives were also held across the country.
The day after the conference ended, BYP100 hosted an organizer-training event at the University of Chicago. Early on, the attendees were split into two groups, and the two sides engaged each other in a call-and-response chant that referenced historical greats like Nat Turner, Angela Davis, Ida B. Wells, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Fred Hampton. But even as they paid homage to their history in song, these young activists had their eyes on the future. Members led sessions on personal narratives in organizing, how to handle interactions with police officers, and building political power.