Rainbow Rant: Stop lecturing millennials and start supporting our movements

“Millennials don’t need a guilt-trip. We are already politically active, and we’re acting out of an understanding that older people should heed: It takes more than voting to change an oppressive system.

Queer and trans people know this truth deeply. At times when neither party fought for our interests, queer and trans people created new ways to effect change. We “zapped” politicians, held die-ins, built underground networks and took care of each other. These tactics are just as important today as they have been in the past.”

Read the whole thing here!

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Rainbow Rant: Incarceration is an LGBT issue and now is the time to act

Big announcement!  I am writing an opinion column for Columbus Alive newspaper.  I’ll be writing about LGBT topics twice a month.  My first column is about the National Prison Strike.

Striking prisoners are demanding an end to prison slavery, which is legal under the 13th amendment; increased access to rehabilitation services; the reinstatement of Pell grants; an end to racial disparities in sentencing; the reinstatement of voting rights for former prisoners with felony convictions; the redress of grievances local to individual institutions, and more. These demands are not only reasonable; they address some of the most pressing forms of racism in our country.

Read the rest here.

New article: Neville Longbottom and Anti-Racist Disabled Solidarity

As a disabled person who can “succeed” in an ableist world, I am offered a similar bargain.  Ableist ideologies and power structures now hail me as “valuable,” and encourage me to separate myself from other disabled people.   As I have learned to navigate my own disability, I sometimes “pass” as able-minded and able-bodied.  When I do, I find similar acceptance.  I’m able to access this privilege in part because my disabilities are invisible, but a wide variety of disabled people are offered the opportunity to be gatekeepers for other disabled people whose disabilities are perceived as “more severe” than our own.

In non-profit organizations and schools, disabled people with education and other privileges are recruited to work in programs designed to serve other disabled people, particularly those with intellectual disabilities.  Too often those programs are designed to provide “care” rather than collective liberation.  Neville’s story is an opportunity to examine those moments in our own lives – and these are moments many disabled people experience, whether we want to admit it or not.

Read the rest of this article on the Geeky Gimp!

New writing: Tomatoes – Heritage or Hate

I just published a new essay on Ruminate.  It’s about racism, family, and gardening.

“We eat the stalks, not the leaves,” he said, explaining that those big green leaves were poisonous. I was surprised that part of something could be good, full of vitamins and tasty enough to sit beside strawberries nestled underneath Grandma’s handmade pie crusts, while another part can kill. I have no better metaphor for being raised white in America.

I hope you’ll check it out!

I interviewed Fred and George Weasley about “Civility”

So, lately some Death Eaters have been in the news asking us to keep it civil.

i'm sure we're all going to be very good friends

[Umbridge says, “I’m sure we’re all going to be very good friends.]

I have a lot of questions about the political implications of civility, so I decided to interview two of the most accomplished activists in the wizarding world, Fred and George Weasley.

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[Fred and George grin]

Fred and George, do you think a polite conversation is going to stop ICE raids?

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[Fred rolls his eyes and says, “That’s likely.]

How to you feel about Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of Maxine Waters’ calls for protests against Trump officials?

come again

[Fred says, “Come again?”]

Seriously, Pelosi told Waters, a Black woman who survived Jim Crow, to be more polite because that’s what will make social change.

judging you

[George shakes his head.  Text reads #JUDGING YOU]

Yeah, people are saying that we should deal with babies locked up in cages, threats to voting rights, increased income inequality, the Muslim travel ban, a growing prison system, and daily police violence by being nice.

thats rubbish

[Fred and George yell “THAT’S RUBBISH!”]

What’s your opinion of Maxine Waters’ idea that we should confront Trump officials whenever and wherever we see them?

f and g wicked

[Fred and George say, “Wicked.”]

What do you think about activists who have broken injust laws and raised their voices, even when people criticized them for being rude?

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[George says, “We owe them so much.” Fred nods.]

And what are you personally doing in response to Death Eater-In-Chief Donald Trump’s immigration policies?

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[Fred and George say, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”]

So, you’re engaging in direct action?  Trying to stop injustices as they happen?

giphy

[Fred and George wink rakishly.]

Have you heard about the national day of action against immigrant detention on June 30th?  There will be demonstrations all over the United States.

wanna go

[Fred says to George, “Wanna go?”]

What do you want to say to everyone who has been speaking and acting against Trump’s immigration policies and other hateful actions? 

[Two images of Fred and George clapping and cheering]

In closing, is being polite ever more important than standing up for justice?

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[Fred and George say, “Never.”]

Last, what do you hope will happen to Trump officials and anyone else who colludes with them?

umbridge runs

[Umbridge runs from Fred and George’s fireworks]

fireworks

[Fred and George fly on brooms through their fireworks and high-five.]

Me too, boys.  Thanks for your time!