Thursday, February 7, 2013

Former SC GOP Exec Director's Racist Tweets


In 2008 and in 2012, the African-American vote went soundly to President Obama. The GOP insinuated repeatedly that the only reason for this support is because Obama is a Black man.  The fact that African-American's have a long history of voting their rights has been soundly ignored.  This is purposeful because it allows the GOP to ignore the impact of the racism they regularly engage in.

During the Super Bowl, former South Carolina GOP executive director Todd Kincannon took to twitter to follow the party line and attack Katrina survivors and Trayvon Martin.

Predictably, he received some push back on this tweet and rather than apologizing and retreating as any decent person would do, Kincannon decided to push forward. 


In one finally parting shot, as though the twitterverse didn't get a large enough helping of Kincannon's bigotry, he tweeted the following.

You would think that this would be enough ignorance for one person, but why not go for the gold if you are already "winning", as Charlie Sheen would say. The following is Kincannon's non-apology.

Gov. Chris Christie and a Fat Shaming Public

'NJ Gov. Chris Christie 002' photo (c) 2011, - license:
It's clear that Chris Christie is gearing up for a run for president in 2016.  His increased media presence cannot possibly be seen in any other fashion.  When he appeared on Letterman recently, Dr. Connie Mariano, who served as a physician to former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, said, “I’m a Republican. I like Chris Christie. I want him to run. I just want him to lose weight,” she added. “I’m a physician more than I’m a Democrat or Republican. And I’m worried about this man dying in office.”  This comment was made after Christie made a joke and ate a doughnut on Letterman.

Christie decided to respond to the doctor with the following:
“I find it fascinating that a doctor in Arizona — who has never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing about my family history — could make a diagnosis from 2,400 miles away,” the governor said. “She must be a genius. She should probably be the Surgeon General of the United States, I suspect, because she she must be a genius.”

“This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV,” he continued. “And it’s completely irresponsible — completely irresponsible. My children saw that last night. And she sat there on TV and said, ‘I’m afraid he’s going to die in office.’”

“My 12-year-old son came up to me last night and said, ‘Dad, are you going to die?’ I mean, come on. This is irresponsible stuff. And people who have a medical license, who have the privilege of having a medical licence should, in my view, conduct themselves more responsibly than that.”

Christie suggested that Mariano should “get on a plane and come here to New Jersey” so he could have a conversation with her.

“Until that time, she should shut up,” he insisted. (source)
It's clear that the more Christie attempts to increase his profile, the more he will have to deal with fat shaming.   The comments on the linked article continue on the fat shaming, despite the excellent points that Christie made in his response.  There is an assumption that because someone is fat that they are on death's door.  It's really quite laughable because one certainly need not be fat to drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow.  Christie was right, what Dr. Connie Mariano said was absolutely irresponsible and feeds into the culture of attacking fat people on sight.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Lynch Quilt Project: A Simple Quilt Can Challenge the World

I have a new post up at Clutch magazine

It’s officially Black History Month and this means that across North America, we will hear the tried and true tales of many prominent children of the African Diaspora. There are, however, names that even the Black community to a large extent have forgotten. Perhaps it’s because some of these names reveal a history that at times seems too painful to confront, or perhaps it’s because we have invested so much in a gender based narrative of suffering that we have turned our back on the women who were lynched.

For far too long, race based violence is something that has been constructed as happening solely to Black men, though we know that women have been subjected to police violence, rape, and lynching. The names of these forgotten women have been glossed over to uplift Black masculinity, as the symbol of victimhood behind the crimes that we have suffered as a people, while black women have been constructed as ancillary victims through our relationships with Black men and boys.

Black life has always been cheap in a patriarchal white supremacist state but the lives of Black women have historically been universally devalued because, as women of colour, we occupy two marginalizations that interact to our detriment.

Lashawnda Crowe Storm is an Indianapolis artist and leader of The Lynch Quilt Project. Along with several other women, Lashawnda has taken a post card of the only surviving image to date of the lynching of a Black woman into a quilt.

Finish reading here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Marriage Debate and The Barrage of Homophobia

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky. 

We’re battling for marriage equality in the UK at the moment. And I dearly want this fight to be won.

Not just for the obvious reasons –  though I am counting the seconds until Beloved and I can marry.

But the debate is wearing. I’ve said before how studies and debates can be insulting, well there can be no greater proof of it than the last few months and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon.

Of course, there’s always some homophobe somewhere spouting some vile bigotry – and certainly you can’t go near the internet without being pelted with slurs, screeching and sheer nastiness. But when we decide to have a public debate on whether or not we’re real people due rights and respect due actual, proper citizens, we’re treated to a double – and unavoidable – load.

Tory MPs have crawled out from under every rock (after dark, of course, sunlight being anathema to them) to talk about incest and paedophilia and the poor poor children with nice side trips to “bring back section 28”. One has announced that his chief whip is the pope, to which I invite him to fuck off to Rome then. We have so many open letters from “concerned” MPs that they probably extend to several volumes now and the phrase “I support equal rights for gays but…” has been used so often most reporters have probably set up a macro for it. If you write the phrase into office that annoying paperclip will probably pop up “you look like you want to write a bigoted screed, would you like to time travel back to the 1950s?”. We have innumerable people screaming about the freedom of religion – which is apparently a special right bigoted Christians have to ensure the whole country follows their belief system. It seems like rather an odd definition of “religious freedom” to me. We have some wonderful claims like “no gay people have said it’s important to me!” from Tory MPs who have managed to score a great big zero when it comes to gay rights record, oh why do they think ANY gay person would say anything to them? And then we’ve got the wonderful “haven’t we got more important things to worry about!?” crowd who completely ignore the fact that if it weren’t for them jumping on the tables and screaming like drunken howler monkeys this law would have long since been passed and done.

Also Nadine Dorries has Said Things, which is never ever ever ever a good thing. She’s like a human manifestation of the Daily Mail.

Which brings us to the papers who have gleefully reported bigotry from every corner. Editorials have been written by the usual poisonous suspects to spread venom and bile everywhere. The Telegraph has been positively hunting down ANYONE they can find who can be reliably depended upon to provide some homophobic quotes and desperately tackling them to meet their hate quota (the Daily Mail has just unmuzzled it’s slavering rabid attacks dogs and let them lose from the pens in which they wallow in their own filth. And has never ever had a problem meeting their hate quota). Even the more liberal press is full of the debate with earnest people having to counter the ridiculous constantly. And, of course, good ol’ nasty auntie has been there, “unbiased” as ever, giving a platform to every passing bigot who happens to flag them down. And, of course, they can’t challenge the hatred, oh no, that would be BIASED.

Native American Man Responds To Immigration Protests

Tucson, Arizona, is in many ways ground for the American debate on immigration.  Much of the language used by those against immigration reform is racist and jingoist.  I find it ironic that these people are themselves the descendants of immigrants.  The are largely white and in fact are only really concerned that Brown people changing the population graphics in the U.S. and what this will do to their unearned and undeserved racial privilege. 

A Native American man coming across a protest decided to speak his mind.  His truth, is something that none of these protestors want to acknowledge because it would force them to concede that they are all "illegal" and responsible for the genocide of Native people, the loss of language as well as the ongoing effect of colonialism on Indigenous citizens. It's a truth that needs to be told but I doubt if anyone at that protest heard a word he had to say.

Transcript below the fold.

Monday, February 4, 2013

When Downton Abbey Meets The Game of Thrones

Okay, so here I am giving you yet more evidence of how geeky I can be, but seriously how can anyone not adore this mashup?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Review Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses #1)

Before I begin to review this book, I feel that it's important to disclose that I chose to read it simply because each time a conversation has begun about the negativity of discrimination flips, Noughts & Crosses has been referred to repeatedly.

In the world that Blackman has created, Noughts (read: White people) are institutionally oppressed by Crosses (read: Black people). At one point, Noughts were enslaved by Crosses and now, Blackman's society is at the stage Jim Crow segregation, with Noughts fighting violently for inclusion. This is the world into which Sephy, a Cross and Callum a Nought have been born.  They become friends as children, when Callum's mother is employed by Sephy's family as a nanny/maid. When Callum's mother loses her job, the two are told that they can no longer interact but Callum and Sephy continue to sneak away to spend time together, determined to preserve their friendship.

When Callum is one of the few Noughts chosen to integrate into Sephy's Cross school, she is excited about the chance to spend more time with her best friend and to show him around the campus. Sephy has no idea that this will wipe away the last bit of innocence she possess about her racial privilege and the oppression Callum faces as a Nought man. The two struggle to maintain a relationship, even as the pressures from the outside world seem determined to rip them apart.  Can Sephy and Callum overcome the odds?

This is a typical discrimination flip, in that Blackman has taken real historical events like slavery and Jim Crow and placed White people on the receiving end of oppression.  Because Blackman is a woman of colour, she is able to discuss these issues from a position of expertise and therefore imparts a strong sense of realism to her story.  For instance, the scene in which Callum talks about how Noughts have been erased from history and how this is a purposeful act, to suggest that Noughts have not significantly contributed to society, is something that minority students continue to face today.

finish reading here