Black men. Fellas. Brothers.
I need you to stop complaining about Ray Rice’s (much deserved and yet woefully insufficient punishment) RIGHT NOW.
When we - Black men are beaten, slain, left in the street and otherwise persecuted our sisters, our mothers, our women stand for us with nearly unilateral unwavering support. They march for us. They cry out our names and demand justice. They support us in our moments of quiet fear when we shed the bitter shameful tears of self-doubt and fatigue. If you cannot find it within you to get over your idol worship and stand up for our sisters when they are being abused and mistreated then you need to spend some serious time in reflection.
STOP looking for reasons to diminish Ray Rice’s actions.
'Well…it couldn't have been that bad. She married him.'
It doesn’t matter.
'She should know he's a big man and if provoked he's gonna hit back.'
It doesn’t matter.
'She charged at him.'
It doesn’t matter.
'She hit him first.'
It doesn’t matter.
'He's trained to hit. He can't stop it. It's a reflex.'
Are you f*cking kidding me. That’s absurd and even if it were true, IT DOESN’T MATTER.
When you say these kinds of things – when you look for ways to go easy on Ray Rice when you claim he’s ‘already been punished’ you do two things – first you tell black women “Your lives and your sense of safety have less value to me than the recreational sports entertainment I watch ritually.” You tell the women who stand for you- cry for you- demand justice for you ––”thanks for all that but don’t mess with my game” You deny them any hope of feeling safe with you. You reinforce the perception that they are ALONE in their struggle. Which in turn signals to those who would further victimize them (you know- general society that places Black women at the very bottom of valued humans) that they are free to move at will.
The second thing you do is – and this is irony – you borrow from the script of people like supporters of Darren Wilson. Let’s compare notes…
"He shouldn’t have been in the street"
It doesn’t matter
"He should have listened to the cop"
It doesn’t matter
"They say he stole so he was in the mindset to resist arrest"
It doesn’t matter
"Cops are trained to shoot to kill. He couldn’t help it it was reflex.."
Are you seeing the terrifying parallel? IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Brothers. Recognize wrong and stand up for what’s right. Whatever happened between them and whatever they did to patch things up is irrelevant to the fact that no man has business hitting (let alone knocking out) any woman over a spat. He should regard the use of his body against her as lethal force and exercise restraint above all else.
Also stop sipping your damn tea.
IT IS YOUR BUSINESS
When one of our sisters is hurt, abused or in peril it’s OUR business. Because when somebody has us jammed against a car with 5 or 6 weapons drawn at us they sure as hell make it their business to monitor record and speak out. They throw themselves in peril to see us safe –– and you can’t manage as much as a a supportive facebook post?!
GTFOH. I mean it. we don’t need that sh*t in our community.
(H/T Karen Parker)
1) If you critiqued the sexist content in a game many will try to persuade you that this means that the rest of your critique is meaningless and they will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
2) If you critiqued a fan favourite and did not enjoy the game, commenters will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
3) If you critiqued a game and you previously critiqued a fan favourite unfavourably the fans of the previous game will appear to tell you your critique is meaningless and will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
4) If you critiqued something that is not a fan favourite and really enjoyed the game, commenters will accuse you of being paid off for your opinion and will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
5) If you are a woman and you have written about topics in the game pertaining particularly to matters concerning your gender’s outlook or socialisation commenters will try to persuade you to kill yourself.
6) If you wrote a piece of New Games Journalism, describing your playthrough as more of a travelogue or personal journey as analysis of the game, commenters will type ‘BUT IS IT ANY GOOD THOUGH’ or ‘BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ACTUAL GAME’ and then try to persuade you to kill yourself.
Happily, commenters are usually not very good writers, and so largely are very unpersuasive in getting you to kill yourself.
This is pretty much exactly when The Next Generation went from being a warmed-over piece of shit into a show about SOMETHING.
Guinan: [Data]’s proved his value to you.
Picard: In ways I cannot begin to calculate.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, 2x09, “The Measure of a Man”
Stories of Tomorrow: How the Joy of Writing Spreads…
Tomorrow’s stories start in all sorts of places: on the drive to work, or at the movie theater. One constant source of inspiration? The classrooms that tackle NaNoWriMo through our Young Writers Program. YWP educator Connie Greenlee tells us about watching the joy of writing become infectious:
My husband first participated in NaNoWriMo nine or ten years ago and noticed the Young Writers Program on the website. He encouraged me to use NaNoWriMo with my 4th grade students. The first year was really an experiment, and so successful that I’ve been doing it every year since.
At first, some said that NaNoWriMo doesn’t fit the curriculum and were hesitant about the value of it. But these doubts and hesitations went away when they saw how engaged and excited the kids are about writing and how that engagement continues on year after year. Allowing the students to choose what they write about is very empowering for them. There are often results that I don’t expect.
The live-action feature film debut of visual artist Takashi Murakami, the film brings Murakami’s trademark visual aesthetic to a live-action world; your elementary school years may not have looked like this, but all that imagination and moments of wonder feel familiar all the same.
Obit of the Day: Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, one of the great voices in American writing, passed away on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. A Renaissance woman, Ms. Angelou was a dancer, poet, memoirist, actor, and director. She worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, and James Baldwin. She served on presidential commissions for both Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. President Bill Clinton invited her to deliver a poem (“On the Pulse of Morning”) at his first inaugural. And in 2010 she received the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.
Born in Missouri on April 4, 1928, Ms. Angelou’s early life was marked by trauma that she detailed in her National Book Award-nominated memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She was raped by her mother’s boyfriend when she was only seven years old. Emotionally and physically scarred, she felt guilt when her uncles murdered her abuser, believing she was responsible for his death. She would not utter a word for more than five years.
After choosing to speak again (precipitated by a relationship with a mentor named Mrs. Flowers), Ms. Angelou began to flourish academically and artistically. Attending high school in San Francisco she began taking classes in dance and drama. (She also worked, for a time, as the first black woman to drive a cable car.) By the early 1950’s, with two young sons, she moved to New York where she first broke into entertainment, beginning as a nightclub singer. She also continued her studies in dance working with legendary choreographers Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham. She also earned a role in the national touring company of Porgy and Bess (1957-1958)
New York also had an impact on her literary career. It was there that she met James Baldwin and joined the Harlem Writers Guild. It was also around the same time she first heard a young preacher from Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr., speak on civil rights.
In 1962 she left the U.S. to live in Egypt and serve as the editor for a weekly English language paper. Two years later she moved to Ghana where she met with Malcolm X while he was touring the country. Following the meeting Ms. Angelou returned to the U.S. to work with Mr. X on the creation of the Organization of African American Unity. (Unfortunately the organization was never fully realized after Mr. X’s assassination in February 1965.)
She decided to re-direct her efforts by working with Dr. King and was named Northern Coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). This relationship also ended in tragedy when Dr. King was assassinated on Ms. Angelou’s birthday in 1968.
Just a year later Ms. Angelou gained national acclaim and a National Book Award nomination after the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - the first of six memoirs. Encouraged in her work by Mr. Baldwin, Caged Bird, is still popular on high school reading lists 45 years after publication.
Ms. Angelou was now in high demand and her output continued to receive the highest accolades. Her first book of published poetry, Just Give Me a Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie (1972) earned her a Pulitzer Prize nomination. That same year her screenplay for the film Georgia, Georgia became the first by a black woman to be produced. In 1973, she earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway production Look Away. She also a supporting role in the 1977 miniseries Roots.
During all this she continued to publish her life story, publishing five books following Caged Bird: Gather Together in My Name (1974), Swingin’, Singin’, and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (1976), The Heart of a Woman (1981), All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986), and A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002). (The last earned Ms. Angelou her third Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, she earned two others in 1993 and 1995.)
The body of Ms. Angelou’s written was so vast, including additional poetry and children’s books, that in 2013 the National Book Foundation awarded her the Literarian Award for her contributions to literature.
Sources: MayaAngelou.com, The Poetry Foundation, IMDB.com, Wikipedia, Grammy.com
(Image of Ms. Angelou is courtesy of MayaAngelou.com)
So how do we begin to make a transition from this fear-enabled, angst-filled, respect-stunted, violence-prone and civility-impaired nation of fools without the ability to hold even the most basic of conversations without resorting to ad hominem attacks about Progressivism, Socialism, Marxism, conservatism, Nazism, racism, or Communism and get back to a nation powered by ideas, fueled by innovation, guided by clear vision, charged with enthusiasm for the future, and with the idea that only as a nation of real equals do we have a chance to tackle a potentially troubling and very challenging future filled with perils aplenty – a constantly growing need for diverse and renewable energy sources, better food to feed an obese and sedentary nation, a more even educational system providing higher quality education at lower costs, handling a crumbling technological infrastructure in all of our cities, ever-rising debts in the management of said cities, mass transit systems, school systems, prison systems and local governments, a reduction of our nation’s status as the leader in technological innovation, military might, and national idealism, wars all over the globe, some of which we take part in and other we shamefully allow to take place without intervention because our assets are not yet imperiled. Do we not have enough to deal with without the people and particularly the leaders of our nation acting as if we had simply gone mad?