Inuit Throat-Singing: A Gutteral Game Gets a Cultural Resurgence
“It’s a friendly competition between girls, something they would do while the men were out hunting,” said Kathy in at interview at the conference. Karin added: ”It’s part of Inuit culture. It’s an oral tradition, it’s something that can’t be written down, it has to be learned from someone else,.”
A “game” of throat-singing begins with two women facing each other, standing close and sometimes holding each other’s arms. One begins to sing, while the other follows. The game can last up to a few minutes, and ends when one loses her breath, laughs, or breaks concentration in any way. Some sources, such as Pulaarvik Kablu Friendership Centre, cite that it was once practiced with their lips practically touching, the women using their opponent’s mouth cavity as a sound resonator.
A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States. I contributed a chapter (Environment and Climate Justice) to this year’s Human Rights Status Report. It’s so important that we educate ourselves on the rights we are entitled to as human beings.
well finally this windows 8 jizz is paying off. I can browse the internet and write my study guide for new testament without an extra monitor splitter
"It’s not an investment if it is destroying the planet." —Dr. Vandana Shiva
“The Environmental Protection Agency plans to unveil a major new regulation on Monday that forces oil refiners to strip out sulfur, a smog-forming pollutant linked to respiratory disease, from American gasoline blends, according to people familiar with the agency’s plans.”
The New York Times, "E.P.A. Set to Reveal Tough New Sulfur Emissions Rule" by Coral Davenport, March 3, 2014.
White People Using Blackness and Anti-Black Racism Analogies For Their Experiences Is NOT Intersectionality325
Who is the oppressed person that deserves to be heard? Who is the one where the seriousness of the oppression, discrimination, injustice and bigotry that they face should be centered and spoken of above all? Regularly this is posited as a White person. While those not ignorant nor willfully ignorant about race know that Whites do NOT experience racism, they know that Whites can experience other forms of oppression (i.e. homophobia, transphobia), while still having White privilege. Their Whiteness guarantees that though they may not be centered in the mainstream, they are in the margins and whenever an “example” of the margins is needed.
In my essay The Impact Of White Privilege On Womanism I mentioned:
Let’s think about who is the face of each oppressed and/or political group: Gay - cis White man, lesbian - cis White woman, queer - cis or trans White person, bi - cis White woman, usually presents femme, trans - White trans woman, atheist - White man, poor - if “reedeeming” and in need of “deserved” help - White woman, fat and body positivity - White woman with “curvy” weight distribution, disabled - White man or White woman (as on many websites and platforms), anti-classism - Whites, and ones who ignore intersectionality at that, sex workers movement - White women (I’ve seen White women who are sex workers admit this), feminist presence on any platform - White women, reproductive rights - White women; the word “woman” itself - White women.
This centering creates a dual-edged sword where Whiteness is used to infer that White people within the margins are more important than people of colour in those same margins, but that same marginal space where other forms of oppression that aren’t racism exist is then used to shield critique from how Whiteness is centering them. Then people of colour who experience some of the same oppressions AND racism are again disregarded and silenced. Worse, racism, especially anti-Black racism with a Black example then becomes the “go to” oppression to use as a rhetorical device in order to infer how “serious” another form of oppression is for a White person, or at times other non-Black people of colour. In the same aforementioned essay, I mentioned:
By co-opting knowledge that we produce and experiences that we have, Whites who are oppressed (not for race of course, but other facets of their identity) then use us to “prove” the seriousness of their oppression, because everyone is comfortable with Black people sitting at the bottom. It’s why “even Black people" type of statements are made by Whites when declaring some sort of oppression that they shouldn’t experience because "even Black people" don’t, in their view.
I recently expressed some thoughts behind this on Twitter as well because regularly "as bad as racism!" statements or analogies are used where Black people, Blackness and anti-Black racism are treated as rhetorical devices only for the purpose of emphasizing the seriousness of a different form of oppression. Regularly how Whites experience that form of oppression—not to highlight how someone Black experiences the racism and the other form of oppression—is why this comparison is made. This comparison where Black people are reduced to rhetorical devices—to “add depth” to an essay/issue etc. on a different form of oppression for non-Black people and especially for White people—is not what intersectionality is.
I recently saw a post that could not explain how fatphobia impacts someone’s perception of attraction and “preferences” without invoking "well not dating Black women is racist, so…" Why was this necessary? I mentioned on Twitter:
Why can’t people discuss fatphobia’s impact on attraction without “well not being attracted to a Black girl is racist” as a rhetorical device? Some fat women are Black but this is not why such an example gets used. It’s because Black bodies/lives are always used as ground zero for oppression-related rhetorical devices. I am sick of other types of oppression that people cannot discuss without a Black body as a reference point to “prove” the seriousness. Using “well it’s as bad as anti-Black racism!” to discuss another oppression is not intersectionality. This would be anti-Blackness actually and it’s antithetical to intersectionality since saying “___ oppression is as bad as racism!” erases the fact that some Black people deal with both.
The Daily Beast invoked Blackness as a rhetorical device ("Alec Baldwin is essentially showing up to a Civil Rights rally in blackface") when discussing Alec Baldwin’s transphobia, as if the topic alone cannot be discussed as seriousness without pretending that the racism that Black people experience ended, and now oppression of White LGBTQ people is the only real issue. Once again Blackness is just a flowery metaphor versus lived experience. I mentioned on Twitter:
Why can’t Alec Baldwin’s transphobia be discussed without Civil Rights metaphors? Some trans people are Black but that’s not why The Daily Beast did it. The bottom line is that Black bodies are used as ground zero for oppression. People think using the Civil Rights Movement or racism metaphors makes their issue “serious.” When the reality is transphobia on its face is serious. It doesn’t even require journalists going “It’s as bad as racism! Ooo extra bad!”
This racist dehumanization where Blackness and anti-Black racism are solely rhetorical devices is often dated as well, or in other words it’s written as a memory of the past as if racism ended and “new” oppressions took over. Speak of how fatphobia impacts people’s perceptions of attraction where Blackness is a rhetorical device solely to imply “seriousness” but meanwhile Black women are the ones regularly treated as scorned, unbeautiful and unfeminine, and while the face of a lot of fat positivity remains White? Where not just being a Black woman but having coarse hair, being dark and/or fat is treated with scorn? This would not be the place to add exception for Lupita Nyong’o’s fame. I’m talking oppression not exceptions. And much of beauty politics themselves is not only White supremacy but actively anti-Blackness as well where even if a woman is not White, the “at ‘least’ not Black” clause often applies. Speak of transphobia where Blackness is a rhetorical device solely to imply “seriousness” but meanwhile racism and transmisogyny let alone misgendering means the most dire poverty and violence for Black trans women? This would not be the place to add exception for Janet Mock’s and Laverne Cox’s fame. I’m talking oppression not exceptions.
This is why Blackness as a rhetorical device, as an analogy only to imply something White-centered (or non-Black centered as at times non-Black people of colour also make false equalizations to emphasize something that they experience [while excluding actual Black people] versus emphasizing that seriousness on its own) is also serious is clearly anti-intersectional and dehumanizing. While it is true that White supremacy cannot exist without a ground zero for its oppression (and the “antithesis” of Whiteness itself) and that area is regularly Black bodies and lives, that “ground zero” is a reality greater than a metaphor meant to re-center Whiteness. It is our lives as Black people.
Comparing things to anti-Black racism while purposely ignoring the intersectional experiences of Black people implies people understand racism. Many do not. Instead of a thorough explanation of the particular oppression in question, many non-Black people and especially White people rely on "it’s as bad as racism for Black people and that’s all ya gotta know" as an analysis of some other form of oppression. This not only leaves people uninformed and resentful (since many people don’t care about what Black people experience anyway) but it establishes a plethora of false equalizations that obscure the truth of intersectional experiences of Black people. Worse, some non-Black people of colour will refer to this hypervisibility for the sole purpose of dehumanization that Black people experience as “power” that Black people have instead of challenging the White supremacy and anti-Blackness that creates this highly visible dehumanization for Black people versus invisibility for them.
Black scholarship—especially Black women’s scholarship—is regularly used by non-Black people, and especially by White people, to erase Black people. This use of Black experiences to highlight Whiteness plus another form of oppression is just another example of dehumanization and eventually erasure and oppression through caricature. For how long will anti-Blackness be mistaken for intersectionality?
With a deepening global economic crisis, Greece has been the site of increasing austerity and dramatic budget cuts to essential social services such as welfare benefits, education, and public health care. Public hospital administrators have responded to this situation with layoffs, suspensions, furloughs, hiring freezes, overloading employees and speeding up care, withholding pay and even forcing workers to repay wages they already received. In some cases, patient loads have quadrupled. Additionally, hospitals are running out of supplies and electronics and computers are breaking down and left in a state of disrepair. Many pharmacists have begun only accepting cash, no longer certain that they can expect to be reimbursed by insurance. Most recently, the Greek government has been imposing fees for what used to be free services. Meanwhile, wages among Greece’s most impoverished layers have dropped 30-50% in the last few years, leaving many without any health care options whatsoever. This situation will sound familiar to many of us New York and raise questions about the road the future of the American health care system.But the Greeks are fighting back. For months, Greek health care workers have been setting up independent free clinics and occupying hospitals. Most recently, Greek doctors, nurses and other health care workers went on strike with 90% participation nationally. Florence Johnston Collective supports this and other actions Greeks are taking to survive and ensure access to quality health care for all.
Four workers at Insomnia Cookies’ Cambridge store went on strike on August 19, protesting poverty pay and wretched working conditions, and demanding $15/hr, health benefits and a union at their workplace. The company illegally fired all four. For the next six months strikers, IWW members, allies, and student organizations at both Harvard and Boston University held pickets, marches, rallies, forums, phone blitzes, and organized boycotts, while workers continued organizing at both the Cambridge and Boston locations. The union also pursued legal charges through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
On March 3, a company representative signed an agreement promising almost $4,000 in back pay to the four strikers (two of whom had given notice before going on strike; and all of whom had moved on to more rewarding jobs or pursuits). The company also agreed to post a notice in the Cambridge store, promising not to fire or otherwise retaliate against workers for taking collective action, including joining the union and going on strike. The company was also made to revise a confidentiality agreement that improperly restricted workers’ rights to discuss their conditions of employment with one another and third parties (including union organizers and the media). All references to the terminations have been removed from strikers’ personnel files.
“Since the first utterance of the word ‘strike’ that late August night, it has been an uphill battle for all of us,” says striker Chris Helali. “The Industrial Workers of the World answered the call when no other mainstream union was interested in organizing a small cookie store in Harvard Square. We picketed, we chanted, we sang. I thank my fellow workers, the IWW and all of our supporters for their continued work and solidarity through this campaign. I am proud to be a Wobbly!”Jonathan Peña says.
The IWW vows to continue organizing efforts at Insomnia Cookies. Helali says, “I am extremely pleased with the settlement, however, it does not end here. This is only the beginning. The IWW along with our supporters will continue to struggle until every Insomnia Cookies worker is treated with respect and given their full due for their labor. There is true power in a union; when workers come together and make their demands unified voices and actions.”
'US Troops Out Now': Philippine Protesters Push Against Base Expansion
- Sarah Lazare, staff writer
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the Philippine capital on Tuesday to demand U.S. troops leave their country, just days after Philippine President Noynoy Aquino announced he is “close" to a deal that would open the Philippines to an expanded U.S. military presence.
“Aquino is desperately trying to outdo previous Philippine presidents when it comes to puppetry to the US,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, spokesperson for labor organization Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement), which organized the demonstration.
Riot police clashed with approximately 300 demonstrators, who carried signs and banners that read “Obama Not Welcome” and “US Troops Out Now,” near the U.S. embassy in Manila. At one point police attacked the crowd with truncheons, but no one was seriously injured, the Associated Press reports.
The protest comes ahead of a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama in April, which will be aimed at making progress towards an agreement over sustained U.S. military presence in the Philippines, including in the Subic Bay, which overlooks the South China Sea.
Social movements in the Philippines have long opposed U.S. power over their country, which includes more than five decades of direct colonial rule and the backing of brutal dictator Ferdinand Marcos — who was president from 1965 to 1986 until he was overthrown by a popular movement. Even after Philippine independence, the U.S. maintained a heavy presence of bases and troops, despite widespread opposition to the environmental and social harm they spread, including numerous incidents of #sexual assaults and #rape of the local population.
While the last U.S. base in the country was shut down in 1992, the U.S. currently sends 500 troops to the southern Philippines annually for so-called counter-terrorism purposes, while 6,500 come each year for training, according to the Philippine military.
With the cooperation of Aquino, Obama is aggressively pushing to expand this military presence as part of the U.S. military’s pivot to Asia to hedge against China. The U.S. and Philippine governments have levied U.S. humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan to build support for a deal.
According to Labong, Aquino “tries to make it appear that the return of US military bases to the Philippines is part of efforts to help the country when it is part of the U.S. geopolitical strategy.”
Former Baltimore Black Panther leader released from prison after more than four decades
March 4, 2014
Former Baltimore Black Panther leader Marshall “Eddie” Conway was released from prison on Tuesday. Conway was convicted of gunning down Baltimore City Police officer Donald Sager in 1969.
Baltimore City NAACP President Tessa Hill-Aston released the following statement; “Today is a monumental day for the thousands of Marylanders and millions around the world that have championed the release of Marshall “Eddie” Conway for a very long time. The release of Conway after four decades of imprisonment is an important page turner in this tragic story. The Baltimore NAACP has been supporting Conway’s release for decades and now a new chapter begins for Marshall “Eddie” Conway, his family and supporters. Our prayers remain with him as he makes the transition to freedom.”
On January 15, 1971 Conway was convicted by a Baltimore City jury of the first degree murder of Sager and two counts of assault with intent to murder Baltimore Police officers Stanley Sierakowski and Roger Nolan. He was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years. A ruling handed down by Maryland’s highest court that found jury instructions were unconstitutional up until 1980.
Hundreds of convictions could be affected by the appeal filed by cop killer Merle Unger. Unger has since been retried and remains in prison to this day, sentenced to life.
According to Conway’s settlement agreement during his incarceration he earned a bachelor’s degree from Coppin University and will now be employed in the field of publishing and printing.
Victory to Eddie Conway! Release all political prisoners!