On Charleston, White Supremacy, & Racism

I’m bereft that someone was so radicalized by racist ideologies – in 2015! in the U.S.! – that they murdered 9 people on cold blood – an act of terrorism if you will.  And sadly I’m not surprised in the least.

There is little I can write about last Thursday’s massacre – and the culture that surrounds it – that someone else hasn’t already said better. So instead I link to them:

I’m not the perfect anti-racist ally but I’m trying. And I’m going to fail in the future just like I’ve failed in the past. And then I’m going to apologize, and do better in the future. Because dammit, black peoples’ lives DO matter to me. And white people, we can do so much better than what we’ve done so far. 

On Ferguson

Last night the justice system in the US demonstrated that it is a white supremacist construct that – as it currently operates – will never provide justice to black people.

Other people say it so much better than I can. Please read what they have to say.

#blacklivesmatter

Fessin’ Up: On Rejection

Lindsey over at Composition.al wrote a great post in April 2014 about rejection that resonated with me, so I wrote a long blog post about the ways in which I’ve been rejected through my career and in my personal life.

But before I hit “publish” on that post, I re-read it again… and had a slowly sinking feeling that if I published it, I would be a total asshole. Because when I think about my life, my career, I am incredibly privileged.

Librarianship is overwhelmingly dominated by cis, white women. I’m a cis, white woman. I may be part of a sexual minority but that alone – especially in Massachusetts, where I currently live – hasn’t hurt me professionally.

So yes, I’ve been rejected. But I’ve been rejected in ways that don’t cause me to question whether going into this profession was the right call or not; in ways that don’t threaten my sense of safety nor of self; in ways that don’t resonate with the challenges being faced by new professionals today, nor with professionals who don’t identify as a cis, white woman.

I sit in a place where I can look clinically at those rejections and not wonder if it’s something about ME that caused the rejections. And THAT is what made me pause last week, and made me re-write this entire post.

So I’m not posting that blog post on rejection. Because that smacks of “If I can do it, anyone can”-ism, which is total CRAP. Instead, I quietly acknowledge that my successes and my rejections are both strongly influenced by who I am and by how our world is set up to privilege that. And then I turn my attentions to trying to dismantle the structures that value lives more like mine over lives less like mine.

Friday Link Love: The Prop 8 Response Edition

These are just a few of the things I’ve read since Wednesday morning about Prop 8 in CA. I’m not sure I agree with all of them 100%, but each of them has had some nugget in them which has resonated with me.

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Op-Ed from Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese on Approval of Proposition 8

“Fifty-two percent of the voters of California voted to deny us our equality on Tuesday, but they did not vote our families or the power of our love out of existence; they did not vote us away.”

You Can Forget My Taxes by Melissa Etheridge

“(S)omeday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.”

It’s God’s Fault: The cruel success of Prop. 8? Not Newsom, not gays. Blame You Know Who by Mark Morford

“(Interestingly, I believe this is the same God who, until recently, didn’t allow whites to marry blacks. Or women to vote. Or slaves to be free. Or people to get divorced. Or women to become priests. Or humans to wear condoms. Hmm.)

“So let me correct myself…. I do not blame God. I blame a very gloomy, revisionist version of the divine, a sour and demeaning mindset that believes in restriction, constriction, dread.”

The President-Elect Wants Your Story over at Mombian

“To drop the new administration a hint, however, why not share your story or vision via the Change.gov site, as they request? No guarantee that they’ll use them, but I say a flood of LGBT stories can’t hurt.”

Cartoon by (and copyright) Mikhaela Reid

Toon: The Dream and the Nightmare

“but we will soldier on.” On Prop 8 by theantidesi101 at Pam’s House Blend

“To every hurt soul out there, prop 8 is not your future. Your future is happiness, your future is community, YOUR FUTURE IS THE OPTION TO START A FAMILY OF YOUR OWN. Your future can be wedding vows. Your future can be love. Your future can be all those annoying things married couples complain about. Your future is not defined by the forces of the past, the forces behind Prop 8. Your future is the only age demographic that opposed Prop 8, those 18-29 years old.