What do the Identity Evropa banner in St. Cloud, an anti-Islam protest in Texas, and a Russian Facebook account have in common? Each of them uses social media deceptively, in an attempt to increase hatred and division in American communities.
Identity Evropa is the white nationalist group that marched in Charlotte this summer, with violence that killed one counter-protester. In St. Cloud, the Identity Evropa hate-mongers hung their anti-immigrant banner over MN Highway 23 in the dark of night, on December 23. St. Cloud police saw the banner and took it down before it saw the light of day. Continue reading
If you have spent the last five days reading and watching and thinking about Charlottesville and the quiet heroism of Heather Heyer and the blatantly in-your-face racism of Unite The Right and the stupidly incoherent racism of the president of the United States, you probably won’t find anything new here. I cannot find anything new to say, but I feel compelled to summarize facts as the president tells lies. That’s a small enough thing to do, but it seems to be all I can do to keep faith with the people who stood up to racism and hate and with a young woman whose life was senselessly taken away by that racism and hate. Continue reading
Yesterday, July 31, was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. Serena Williams wrote an eloquent column for Fortune, explaining just what that means:
“I’d like to acknowledge the many realities black women face every day. To recognize that women of color have to work—on average—eight months longer to earn the same as their male counterparts do in one year. To bring attention to the fact that black women earn 17% less than their white female counterparts and that black women are paid 63% of the dollar men are paid. Even black women who have earned graduate degrees get paid less at every level. This is as true in inner cities as it is in Silicon Valley.”
Filed under gender, race, work
Mr. Phil. That’s what the kids at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul called Philando Castile. A parent called him “Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks.” Will he be remembered as the cafeteria supervisor who gave out hugs and food and love to “his” kids? Or will he be remembered as one more name in the unending litany of black men and women killed by police? Continue reading
In Kansas, an anti-immigrant terrorist killed one man and shot two others this week. In Florida and in Texas, arsonists burned mosques in January and February. Dozens of Jewish Community Centers have received bomb threats over the past two months, and two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in the past week. In each case, people have responded, fighting back against terrorism and hate. We need to acknowledge the hatred and bigotry that exists in our country. We need to name these actions as terrorism. We also need to recognize the responses of Americans rejecting that terrorism. We need to insist that we are the majority, not the haters, not the bigots, not the terrorists. This is our country, and we will not let them take it away. Continue reading
Today the bomb threat came to the Jewish Community Center in St. Paul. That’s where our children went to preschool. That’s where they learned to swim, and where we splashed and laughed together in the swimming pool. That’s where we attended plays and made friends and went to parenting groups. Do you see why this bomb threat seems personal? Do you know that this is one of dozens of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country, ten today alone, dozens in the past two months? Continue reading
Tish Jones, courtesy photo
As long as she can remember, Tish Jones has loved words, loved writing and loved being on a stage. A self-identified student of hip-hop culture, she traces her passion for words to African diasporic cultural practices, including the griot, hip-hop, jazz, funk, bebop and blues. Now she’s a poet, spoken word artist, and the executive director of TruArtSpeaks – an organization she founded to cultivate spaces for youth and community, especially through hip-hop and spoken word. Continue reading
Photo of Sacred Stone Camp by Tony Webster, published under Creative Commons license.
As thousands of Native Americans gather in North Dakota to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), local law enforcement has pushed back by arresting journalists covering the protests and the Sacred Stone Camp and by outright lies about the protests and protesters. In addition, misinformation and propaganda is flooding social media, posted through sock puppets and other sources. Continue reading
The Stone Spirit encampment began back in April with 50 people. By August, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chair David Archambault II wrote in the New York Times that it was “a spectacular sight: thousands of Indians camped on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. … The Indian encampment on the Cannonball grows daily, with nearly 90 tribes now represented.” As summer slides into fall, the protesters — or protectors, as they call themselves — plan to stay through the winter. Continue reading
I remember the old story of the emperor’s new clothes. The emperor bought new clothes from a charlatan who sold him on the idea of clothes so fine that they would be invisible to anyone who was stupid or unfit for their position. The emperor paraded before his courtiers and sycophants and everyone admired the new clothes. Only a child said, “But he isn’t wearing any clothes!”
Today pipeline companies and their buddies in government dismiss the threats posed by pipelines. Nobody should worry about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), tunneling underneath the Missouri River. Maybe some old pipelines leak, but this is a new pipeline. Can’t you see the difference? The emperor’s new pipeline poses no problems. Continue reading