KU Volleyball Junior Tiana Dockery (Navajo); Talks About Breaking Stereotypes and Dealing with Racism
I was in seventh grade, I had never played volleyball before and I was the only black girl that was on the team. Next year, no one came back but me. I had racist remarks and the normal stuff against me. I never thought there was an issue with me being on the team. From then on I literally just said, I’m black, so what?”
Ferguson Teach-In at Brown University
i would be the one to spill buffalo sauce from native foods on my books
Elsewhere I have argued that the Black is a sentient being though not a Human being. The Black’s and the Human’s disparate relationship to violence is at the heart of this failure of incorporation and analogy. The Human suffers contingent violence, violence that kicks in when s/he resists (or is perceived to resist) the disciplinary discourse of capital and/or Oedipus. But Black peoples’ subsumption by violence is a paradigmatic necessity, not just a performative contingency. To be constituted by and disciplined by violence, to be gripped simultaneously by subjective and objective vertigo, is indicative of a political ontology which is radically different from the political ontology of a sentient being who is constituted by discourse and disciplined by violence when s/he breaks with the ruling discursive codes. When we begin to assess revolutionary armed struggle in this comparative context, we find that Human revolutionaries (workers, women, gays and lesbians, post-colonial subjects) suffer subjective vertigo when they meet the state’s disciplinary violence with the revolutionary violence of the subaltern; but they are spared objective vertigo. This is because the most disorienting aspects of their lives are induced by the struggles that arise from intra-Human conflicts over competing conceptual frameworks and disputed cognitive maps, such as the American Indian Movement’s demand for the return of Turtle Island vs. the U.S.’s desire to maintain territorial integrity, or the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional’s (FALN) demand for Puerto Rican independence vs. the U.S.’s desire to maintain Puerto Rico as a territory. But for the Black, as for the slave, there are no cognitive maps, no conceptual frameworks of suffering and dispossession which are analogic with the myriad maps and frameworks which explain the dispossession of Human subalterns.
-Frank B Wilderson III
Anyone who is actually blaming Janay Rice for staying with her abuser is engaging in some degree of victim blaming and does not have a good working understanding of abuser dynamics, battered woman syndrome, or Stockholm Syndrome —and right now, should she decide to leave, is an incredibly dangerous time for Mrs. Rice, even if she doesn’t realize it: the most dangerous time in the life of a battered woman is when she attempts to leave her abuser. Threatened by the loss of control, the batterer is likely to become even more violent and may even try to kill her. And please do not make the mistake of thinking that the danger is somehow minimized just because the abuser is famous and wealthy
And while it might not “make sense” to a lot of people, abusers are often world class manipulators and there are actually several very understandable reasons an abused woman might choose to remain with her abuser:
LOVE/HOPE: He is not always brutal…She hopes he will change, and the beatings will stop…An abused partner still loves the abuser even though he hits her
FEAR : She believes his threats to beat or kill her, the children, her family if she leaves him…He’s done it before, she fears he will do it again
SOCIETAL PRESSURE: Society has conditioned women to believe their primary duty is to keep the family together no matter what…She would be admitting failure…She may have been successful in other areas of her life and believes that if she works hard enough she can also have a successful relationship or marriage
LACK OF SUPPORT: Family members are threatened physically… After repeated attempts to help, family may distance themselves from the victim…Friends don’t want to get involved…Isolation from family makes it difficult
RELIGION: Divorce is not acceptable…Vow was to love, honor, and obey
EMBARASSMENT, SHAME, GUILT: She doesn’t want her family to find out…If her family likes him, they may not believe her or they might blame her…If she is the wife of a prominent citizen she may worry about how the publicity will effect his reputation, career, and whether people will believe her
FEELS RESPONSIBLE: She doesn’t know anyone else being beaten, so she must be doing something wrong…She believes what her abusive partner says that somehow it’s all her “fault”, therefore he had to beat her
SURVIVAL IS ALL SHE THINKS ABOUT: All her energy and thoughts are focused on surviving…Formulating a plan to leave is overwhelming…Trauma is similar to that of a prisoner of war who is reduced to the level of mere existence and survival
HAS NO PLACE TO GO: She may not know about shelters or lack transportation…She has worn out her welcome at mom’s, sister’s, etc.
ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE: Many batterers have strict control over the purse strings…Husband convinces her that she will not receive any child support if she “abandons” the family…Over 50% of victims have no marketable skills…Feels she can endure beatings so that children have more financial advantages
Personally, I think we should support an abused woman who hasn’t left her abuser in exactly the same way we support a drug user who hasn’t stopped using, or a depressed person who won’t just hurry up and “feel better” —we don’t agree with, understand or condone the choices of people engaging in various forms of destructive self-harm, but we offer them our support, be there for them, and never blame them
Knowing these reasons is not “agreeing” with someone staying in an abusive relationship, but it does allow us to better support and understand abuse victims. And iMho, passing judgement on her, the victim, just takes far too much of the onus off of her abuser. #whyistayed is an important discussion, but an equally important question, if not more important, is #whydoesheabuse?
And, ANY domestic abuse is a criminal act. Period. It is wrong, and needs to be condemned and stopped, but while we can acknowledge that yes, men and same sex partners are also the victims of intimate partner violence—and again, they are no less important—it is very important I think, to keep in perspective who the overwhelming majority of abusers are and avoid any disingenuous “both sides” false equivalencies:
Day 15 of September’s #SizeDoesn’tMatter Yoga Challenge: Runners Lunge
I posted a little video of a transition from runners lunge into hanumanasana (monkey pose) or splits. You can watch it here. Song is Spank Rock featuring Amanda Blank “Bump”.
Want To Participate?
2. Post a pic of yourself in the pose of the day- check @yoga_davina & I for daily pose updates. Tag us & hashtag #sizedoesntmatter.
3. At the end of the month we’ll select a few of you to receive goodies from our generous sponsors- don’t forget to tag all your pictures w/ #sizedoesntmatter!
(BTW, if you’re participating via tumblr, just tag your posts #sizedoesntmatter!)
(You can also subscribe to My Youtube Channel. You know, if you want.)
Fast food workers walked off the job nationwide on Thursday, as police arrested dozens who engaged in civil disobedience. Organizers said workers in an estimated 150 cities were expected to take part in the strike, which they said marked an intensification of their two-year campaign to raise hourly pay in the industry to $15 and to win workers’ right to form a union. Organizers said dozens of workers had been arrested in cities including Kansas City, Detroit, and New York.
Fast-Food Workers Turn Up the Heat (In These Times)
“Paddy wagon’s on its way,” announced a Chicago Police tactical officer over his radio early this morning. Shortly thereafter, a crowd of about 300 demonstrators—including over 100 striking fast food workers—began chanting “Take the street!” and proceeded to do just that. Marching between a McDonald’s on one side of the road and a Burger King on the other, the crowd blocked 87th street traffic on Chicago’s south side for about 20 minutes. The action was the latest escalation in the fast-food workers’ campaign for a $15 minimum hourly wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. Two dozen workers proceeded to link arms and sit down in the road in an act of civil disobedience, prompting the police to take them away in handcuffs.
Hundreds of Fast-Food Workers Striking for Higher Wages Are Arrested (New York Times)
Hundreds of fast-food workers and labor allies demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested in sit-ins around the country on Thursday, as the protesters used civil disobedience to call attention to their cause. Organizers said nearly 500 protesters were arrested in three dozen cities — including Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Little Rock, Ark. All told, the sit-ins took place in about 150 cities nationwide, the organizers said.
Thousands of workers at fast food restaurants across the country went on strike Thursday, demanding better wages and the right to unionize without retaliation. Organizers said strikes would take place is around 150 cities and would include workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, and more. In addition to the right to unionize, workers are demanding a $15 hourly wage. “There has to be civil disobedience because workers don’t see any other way to get $15 an hour and a union,” Kendall Fells, organizing director of the organizing group Fast Food Forward.
50 arrested in local fast-food wage protests (Chicago Tribune)
Hundreds of fast-food workers held strikes and protests in Chicago and other U.S. cities Thursday, the latest step in their push for a $15 hourly wage. In the Chicago area, 50 were handcuffed and taken into custody in two separate events, one in the city’s Chatham neighborhood and one in Cicero. Cicero charged the protestors with disrupting traffic, a misdemeanor, while Chicago issued citations to the 19 it detained earlier in the day. The Fight for $15 campaign said that 436 fast-food workers had been arrested nationwide as of Thursday afternoon.
Police ticket, arrest 30 Detroit fast-food protesters (Detroit Free Press)
More than 100 demonstrators shut down an east-side Detroit intersection Thursday as part of a labor-organized national fast-food strike. Detroit police said they ticketed and released 24 demonstrators for disorderly conduct and another six arrested for outstanding traffic warrants. Officers said protesters sat in the roadway at Mack Avenue and Canyon and refused to leave. The protesters blocked traffic for about a half hour, police said. “They didn’t have to leave — they just had to get out of the roadway — and they refused,” said Detroit Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt. “As long as you’re peaceful, we’re good, but you can’t block the roadway.”
Little Rock police arrest 11 in McDonald’s wage protest (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
Little Rock police on Thursday morning arrested 11 protesters demonstrating for higher pay for fast-food workers. Officers got a call from protesters about 8 a.m. and responded to ensure order. By that time, demonstrators were blocking the thoroughfare at Seventh and Broadway, eventually moving to Third and Broadway, where some were arrested. “To my understanding they are protesting the minimum-wage law,” Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Sidney Allen said in an emailed statement. About 50 to 60 were demonstrating peacefully, Allen said.
Fast-food protests lead to 8 arrests in Wilkinsburg (Pittsburgh Business Times)
A strike by fast-food workers seeking $15 an hour in pay has resulted in arrests in front of a McDonald’s restaurant in Wilkinsburg. Kyndall Mason, a spokesperson for One Pittsburgh, a labor support organization that’s been working with fast-food workers in their ongoing fight for higher wages in the region, said that eight protesters were arrested Thursday when they sat down on Penn Avenue in front of the restaurant, disrupting traffic. “They were arrested and taken away,” said Mason, who participated in the strike, which she said started at 5:30 a.m. “The rest of the crowd was dispersed.”
Five arrested in Houston fast food wages protest (Houston Chronicle)
Five protesters were arrested Thursday afternoon in front of a McDonalds in Southwest Houston as part of a one-day protest in 150 cities to boost the minimum wage of fast food workers to $15 an hour. In a scene that has become increasingly familiar, Houston police were standing nearly with an armful of handcuffs and as soon as the protesters flooded into the intersection and sat down in the middle of the roadway, the police began making the arrests.
Three arrested at Denver protest outside McDonald’s (Denver Post)
Three people were arrested Thursday for blocking traffic during a demonstration in favor of paying fast-food workers $15 an hour. McDonald’s worker Christian Medina, the Rev. Patrick Demmer, the senior pastor at Graham Memorial Community Church of God in Christ, and college student Tucker Plumlee sat down in crosswalk on busy Colfax Avenue during a lunchtime protest outside a McDonald’s. They were taken into custody to cheers from around 100 protesters after police warned that they would be arrested if they refused to leave.
Fast food workers strike outside McDonald’s in Gretna, kicking off day of demonstrations (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
At 29 years old, Shaunta Richardson looks back at more than a decade of working in the fast food industry, starting when she was 16. Richardson, a Burger King cook who moved back to New Orleans from Texas this year after fleeing Hurricane Katrina nine years ago, said something is familiar between her teenage years and today — the numbers behind the dollar sign on pay day. “It seems like the checks look the same from then, to now,” Richardson said Thursday morning. Richardson joined in a rally outside McDonald’s in Gretna early Thursday morning, as strikes, demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience unfolded nationwide, part of the “Fight for $15” movement seeking $15-per-hour for fast food workers and the right to unionize, without fear of retaliation.
Charlotte fast-food workers join national protest (Charlotte Observer)
Priscilla Hoyle says she is raising her three children in a hotel room. When she’s not working three days a week at Bojangles’, she supplements her income by asking strangers for money, she said. “The only thing I can do is get out here and panhandle just to keep a roof over my children’s heads,” said Hoyle, 22. On Thursday, she joined about 20 Charlotte fast-food workers who walked off their jobs and demanded higher wages as part of a national push that featured protests in dozens of cities.
Solidarity protest in Cleveland with home health aides leading effort (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Customers got a little something extra when they ordered from the breakfast menu at a local McDonald’s on Thursday morning. Well, the super-size portion of protest wasn’t exactly on the menu. Still, it was offered — for free — beginning at 6 a.m. to anyone within earshot of the McDonald’s on St. Clair Avenue, near East 105 Street, in the city’s Glenville neighborhood. Cleveland was one of more than 100 cities participating in the latest effort to get a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers. Supporters in Cleveland protested in solidarity with those holding strikes for higher wages in other cities. This is Cleveland’s third protest since 2013.
Fast-food workers stage national protests for better pay (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Protestors march up Ponce de Leon Avenue on the way to protest in front of a McDonald’s restaurant. Ten people were arrested for blocking Ponce de Leon Ave. as protestors participated in a nationwide protest and strike for better pay near a McDonald’s in Atlanta, Thursday afternoon September 4, 2014. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food chain workers and community supporters protested as part of a wave of strikes and protests in 150 cities across the U.S.
Labor’s New Groove: Taking the Struggle From Streets to Legislatures (The American Prospect)
The campaigns for minimum-wage raises aren’t confined to Democratic strongholds, however. Initiatives that would raise the state minimum wage are on November’s ballots in Arkansas and Alaska, where they may produce the kind of working-class turnout that would help the re-election bids of Democratic Senators Mark Pryor and Mark Begich, respectively. That’s largely why Democrats gathered signatures to put the measures on the ballot. But no such Democratic strategy is responsible for the presence of such an initiative on Nebraska’s ballot this November. Quite apart from political calculation, it seems a fair number of Nebraskans just believe it’s time for a raise. Similarly, in Kentucky, a measure to enact a minimum wage ordinance is before the Louisville City Council, where it’s favored to pass.
Why Labor Matters in the Fight for Racial Justice (In These Times)
This was a period when black workers still were relegated to the most dirty, dangerous and grueling positions in industry. They were frozen out of transfers and promotions to what were considered white men’s jobs, even at union plants. But, as Fred says, “Even the worst union in the world is the best for black folks.” He explains, “For the first time, you were in an environment where you could speak against the union and against the company.” In the union, black workers had the power of collective voice, and they used it to change the union itself.
Why I Support the Fast-Food Workers Strike (The Nation)
In Washington, the agenda of corporations too often trumps the agenda of America’s middle class. Corporate leaders call and politicians answer. But when the working class calls to tell its representatives about the jobs that have disappeared because of bad trade deals or the paychecks that are smaller than they were twenty years ago, no one answers. Workers have stopped calling. They know the only way politicians see the light is if they feel the heat. Today, thousands of fast-food workers will be out in the street demanding a higher wage, dignity and the opportunity for a better life. They’re doing it because they have families to feed, parents to look after and basic needs that can’t be met at $7.25 an hour.