U.S. Farm work and the rights of human beings.

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In 1948 The Democratic Party convention passed a resolution against lynching. All people, the Party said, have a right not to be hung by a mob.  I thought of that when I read in Commondreams that the Environmental Protection Agency has just passed legislation to protect farm  workers — even undocumented workers — from being sprayed by pesticides.  Human beings, the EPA said, have a right not to be poisoned at work.

The legislation    will require vigilance to make sure it is carried out. The fight will continue. On a broader level, farmworkers continue to demand other rights  that  no human being should have to fight for: the right not to be sexually harassed or abused, the right to drink clean water, take shade, use a toilet, the right to be paid for your labor, the right to a childhood, the right not to work every day of the week.

The United Farm Workers in California, ( currently fighting unsafe conditions that have led to deaths at DARIGOLD,)  the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in south Florida  with their fair food campaign, (currently asking consumers to pressure Wendy’s to join, and asking students this week to take action on campuses) and the midwest Farmer Labor Organizing Committee,  currently fighting to end child labor in tobacco farms, have all been fighting for these basic rights for decades.

Human rights – a concept more essential than civil or labor rights – are things no government can take away, not subject to debate. They don’t disappear if you cross a border without papers, land up in prison, don’t have a home, work on a farm, migrate for work.

Human rights for farm workers.  Let the struggle be for higher wages, not the right to be a person.

Moon’s eye view of two U.S. social movements.

 

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It is hard to get a perspective on the strength of social movements from the ground. The influences ripple and it is hard to pinpoint cause and effect. Sometimes when the backlash is fierce and the infighting gets ugly it can feel as though you are working at cross purposes. We need a moon’s eye view to see where the tide is going. So while everyone else was admiring the blood moon eclipse, I slipped away to the moon.

From up here I see the Black Lives Matter movement spreading and deepening. I see politicians like Elizabeth Warren make it a point to speak up for the movement, though the group has been explicit about their refusal to back the Democratic party.   That is influence.  It is also influence when the Minnesota Governor who called the #Blackfair demonstration “inappropriate” is now talking about the need for affirmative action at the Minnesota State Fair. It may be harder to connect things like the Minnesota Children’s Theater’s Afrocentric season to the social movement, but let me tell you,  from the moon it is clear -on all levels the culture is taking notice.

However, from my perch on the moon I see the peace movement, working hard but spinning wheels, losing opportunities, fighting over Syria- the character of the Assad regime — dividing and conquering themselves when they should be uniting forces in support of Syrian refugees and against U.S. intervention. They are losing out on opportunities to build a mass movement against the militarization of our police and our southern border and against drone warfare. They are not capitalizing on what Obama calls “war- weariness”  – anti war sentiment that has spread to all corners.

Hmm, I think I’ll stay up here on the moon. So much easier to comment from a perch than to face the music on earth.

Love is a lot, but it’s not all there is.

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Philosophy Professor dies at age 61, destitute, from an untreated thyroid condition.  

First my condolences to all whose lives were touched by the late Dave Heller.

After reading the story of his untimely death, I could not sleep. Now, there have been many articles, including one featuring me, about low pay for faculty, professors living in dire conditions and even a couple about professors dying in dire conditions.   This one bothered me more than all the rest.

What bothered me about the article was the talk of love.

How Dave Heller loved his work. Between the lines was the implication —   he HAD to love his work, or he would not do it. After all there are lots of other jobs that pay better….

I don’t doubt he did love his work. I love my work. I love my students. Love my field. But look, its work, like other things people love — parenting, playing the violin in an orchestra,  being a stage actor, caring for the elderly, farming.

I talked about love when I was interviewed as well.  But last night I realized there is another aspect to how this all works — how the academic powers-that-be get away with impoverishing their faculty, endangering their lives, killing them with neglect, that is beyond love.

Those of us who spent many years in school feel an obligation to teach. A responsibility. As long as education is a privilege, not available to all, we feel a need to share what we learned.

Responsibility. Obligation. Need. These are different from love. Love may, or may not attend them.

Higher Ed also has a responsibility, an obligation, a need, to provide living wages and benefits to its employees.  They don’t have to love us. It would be nice, but it’s not necessary. They just need to be fair.

Rest in peace Dave Heller. Thank you for fulfilling your obligation to your students and society to share what you had. In your honor I’m going to take a mini-vacation– get on my bicycle on a Monday and ride out of town.  Then, in addition to grading my papers, planning my classes and meeting with students, I will recommit to getting our bosses to fulfill their responsibilities.

 

Of Bicycle paths and Infant mortality

 

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Go Team!

I have never rooted for a ball team or rah rah-ed for a school. But I celebrate when governments compete to better the lives of their people.

For several years now Minneapolis has been in the top tier in the contest for best bicycle town in the U.S. and recently made it onto the top 20 world listing I am happy to say our current city council is playing the game, scheming how to make our town ever more bicycle friendly. I applaud. My cheerleading chant for them is

Access, access, access for all. North first, then South, East, and West, Heed the call. Go team!

More bike access is not the same as more bike paths overall. Location and access matters. I hope those conducting the contest, keep this mind.

Landing in Havana, Cuba on New Years Day in 1987, I was puzzled by a news headline that filled the front page to the fold. It was a number.

The figure referred to the number of infant morality deaths per 100,000 for 1986. Propaganda? Of course. But what better way to compete for the hearts and minds of your people and the world!

Infant mortality is a figure that measures more than prenatal health. The World Health Organization views it as a broad indicator of overall healthcare and well being. When I visited Cuba again in 2006, I saw indications that Cuba had perhaps focused more of its severely limited health resources on infant care for the severely sick, at the expanse of older children. Infant mortality is measured by survival up to one year– an indicator that the World Health Organization may need to refine its measurement to encourage the very best health practices. But the space to “cheat” is minimal – if your children over age 1 do not receive the best health care, it will show up in infant mortalities beginning a decade later.

Cuba was/ is competing with itself — forever pushing to get the number downward to zero — and with the rest of the world, especially the super-wealthy United States, where it has the advantage.

I wish the United States was playing the lowest infant mortality game. I’d be the first to yell, Go team!

The above came to me while taking a curve on the West (Mississippi) River Road bike path on this most beautiful early autumn day, September, 26, 2015.

End the Foreclosure of African American History

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While bicycling the perimeter of the United States in 2011-12 my partner and I tried to visit as many African American and other people’s history museums as possible. We discovered that the disturbing story of Minnesota’s stalled African American  Museum — seven years of roadblocks– discussed in this interview with Nekima Levy-Pounds,  is one that is replicated across the country.

  •  In Milwaukee we tried to visit ‘the only slavery museum in the United States.’ The windows were covered in plywood. Embossed letters across the building were gone, but we could stillmake out the words in weathered wood. African American Holocaust Museum. Founder, Dr. James Cameron, (only known survivor of a lynching) died in 2006. The city council refused to fund the museum and it closed in 2008. (Curators created a virtual museum.)
  • In Fredricksburg, Virginia, the only part of the National Slavery Museum ever finished was  a freedom garden. The project filed for bankruptcy two weeks before we biked into Fredericksburg.
  • In Walterboro , South Carolina, we tried to visit the Slave Relic museum . There was a post-it-note on the door: “Knock. The doorbell does not work”. We knocked, but it was clear no-one was there. It looked, from the official city posting, as though the museum was in financial straits. A couple years later I was relieved to see Henry Louis Gates examining artifacts at the Museum for the Many Rivers To Cross TV series. I hope  he gave the exhibit a donation.
  • In Blythe, California we waited for the one-room Black History Museum, with its stunning wall murals, to open. At 10am a White man unlocked the door. We followed after him. The man, on his knees fixing electrical wires, told us:
    “I just bought the place, it’s going to be my office space.”

One museum we did find open and in business was John Reed’s African American and Cape Verdean  Museum in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Housed in a historic African American church, the Museum honored the history of the region’s working class Black and indigenous people, many of whom came to work in Cape Cod’s cranberry bogs or to provide domestic labor for those who “summered” on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard.   Reed had refused public funds, preferring to fundraise privately and retain total say on form and content of the museum.

In Oakland, California,

 

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we visited the African American Museum — triumphant to find it open. Black Oakland has roots going back to WWI when people came to work the shipyards and canning industries. The  Brotherhood of Pullman Porters and the Black Panthers originated here. The exhibit interviewed people of diverse ages and perspectives. I was struck by an agreement: decent union jobs, made earlier decades the “good old days.”  When the jobs went, other foundations of a healthy society — neighborhood organizations, cultural opportunities — frayed. The Panthers stepped in, offering free breakfasts, health care, security and pride while the dominant society criminalized unemployment and hunger.
From there we went to the Art Museum, showing Question Bridge, a video montage of fifty Black men and youth questioning each other. “Do you feel you are free?” “Why are you afraid of being intelligent?” “If you’re gay, how do you deal with that in the community?” “What do you fear?” An eight year old asked, “When do you know you are a man?” All the men smiled before answering.  A question about fathers brought tears.

Question Bridge illustrated how essential it is to establish venues where people’s histories and current realities can be told.  The foreclosure of African American history, in Minnesota and around the nation is another Jim Crow. It must end.

Day of Atonement

Eid  Adha,  Yom Kippur, and the Pope’s visit to the United States all happening at the same time.  The Pope has reminded us we have a much work to do to bring about a world where we treat our neighbor as we would be treated ourselves. He also talked about atoning for past sins, against Native Americans, against immigrants, against mother earth. (His canonization of Junipero Serra  puzzles me as it is so incongruous with everything else he is saying. The only good he is doing with this decision is  thrusting the limelight on those Native Americans who oppose his decision.

I spent the day of atonement – Yom Kippur – not fasting but – due to a dizzy spell — contemplating, thinking about accepting and changing. Angela Davis said she wants to change what she can not accept. I agree. But first I have to accept myself where I am, my students where they are, the world the way if is before I can change anything.

Maybe  accept is the wrong word. I have to be willing to start the process of change from where I am and where we are and not from where I wish we were.

I’m not for atoning, but I am for repairing. Personal wounds and those facing a nation and a world.  Reparations — for slavery for example — don’t require personal responsibility for the sin, just a realization somethings been torn and needs repair. that makes sense to me.

Without repair  we face reckoning, no matter what god we do or don’t pray to.

Pope Francis referred with reverence to Dorothy Day, who – Code Pink tells us once said:

“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this dirty rotten system. “

Junipero Serra

My thoughts on the sainthood of Junipero Serra and veneration of Spanish missions in California. (excerpt from my forthcoming book, Turtle Road)

“The modern analogies we use to understand the missions impact their legacy. Were they technical colleges and Christian retreats, or concentration camps and plantations, stealing the labor of indigenous nations to build an overseas empire?

California’s tribes have not been the only ones suffering from centuries of whitewashing the purpose and practice of these missions. WWII Japanese Internment camps, California military bases situated on former mission land and the state’s ubiquitous migrant-exploitative factory farms, all have systemic roots in these missions.”

Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the Church’s sins.  Sanctifying Junipero Serra is a move in the opposite direction.

Puddle Land

September 21, 2015

The view was clear for an hour as the plane approached Minneapolis.

I laughed.

Minnesota from the air looks like a giant lake dotted with islands– or a land of puddles. Leaving California’s immense ocean, majestic mountains, giant redwoods, endless produce fields — I had to admit: Minnesota is boring by comparison. But we know (those of us who live here and don’t just fly over) those puddles are beautiful. And they are everywhere. We are always a few miles away from peace-inducing waters.

Still, I realized while sitting on the plane a week ago, it is quite possible for me to go days, weeks even, without seeing water.

Today I followed the Minnehaha Creek to Lake Nokomis on my bicycle, then circled the lake seven times, stopping occasionally to walk up to the water. On the west side, in the marshlands I saw a two great blue herons.

On summer weekends the Nokomis picnic area is filled with families barbecuing. The kids swim and playing together on the playground in front of the beach. In a segregated and unequal city, it is an unusually healthy multi-racial space. That is no an accident. It is the result of positive social engineering. Thanks to some far-thinking city officials over a century ago the city’s lake and river shores are public, lined with woods and public walking and bike paths. Houses with lake and River views share them with the world.

Every place has its beauty — even flat Minnesota. Not every place — in Minnesota or California — is the beauty accessible to all.

Even if it is accessible to us, it is easy to get to so caught up with life we don’t take advantage of what we have. Today I made a resolution: to take advantage of the puddles. I will make sure to spend time by a lake, a Creek or a river, at least once a week.

Want to go for a walk?

Open Streets, Minneapolis!

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Youth marching on Nicollet Avenue for Black Lives Matter in May 1, 2015 

Open Streets  on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis on September 21, 2015  — was a little utopia for an afternoon. All that asphalt for us – the people and our strollers, bikes, wheelchairs and feet. It was Barcelona for a day with flame jugglers and dancers, folk bands and punk, corn and churros.
I wonder if we do it enough, people would decide it’s so much nicer this way – expand the buses and trains, get rid of the cars, get rid of all that tension I see on the faces of drivers as I walk or cycle or bus by.

On Open Streets Day  people are invited to hang out — that is the point. In our every other day closed-streets world, standing on a street corner is viewed with suspicion, especially –city arrest records show— if you are Black, Native, young or poor.

Open Streets is more than a one day party,  — it is a reminder that the streets and sidewalks, the trains and buses, the parks and parkways belong to all of us, everyday of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Righteous hatred of haters doesn’t further justice

 

 

In the weeks between announcement and Minnesota St. Fair protest, Black Lives Matter St. Paul received a bombardment of outrageous wrath on its Facebook announcement and in the comments sections of articles about the impending protest. It seemed to get uglier with each passing day. I signed up to attend the rally early but the need to participate grew in importance with each ugly missive – wanting to counter their messages.
I wanted to join in the righteous hatred of the haters, but I have the privilege of knowing a little about how people pick up these beliefs and how it is possible for them to change. I’ve had students like that in my courses on race, and I have witnessed changing perspectives. It doesn’t always happen —  often I see a boomerang backwards as people leave the final class — but sometimes there is a transformation and sometimes is enough to provide evidence of how racism  works and how it can be overcome.
I am talking about White people who struggle in other ways ( class, gender, sexuality, disability etc) not those elites who profit substantially from sowing hate. Those people don’t tend go to State universities and they don’t tend to waste time trolling.

I am grateful for the education I’ve received from my students about how they experience racism,  how they absorbed racist ideas and how they can absorb anti-racism. They’ve taught me about my own prejudices and how we can all find our way out of the lies that divert and divide us.

I am NOT encouraging People of Color to spend a moment of energy on people expressing racist hatred. ( You won’t find me engaging with people expressing misogyny). I am encouraging White anti-racists like myself to think about ways to talk to people convinced their difficulties are caused by, for example,  “reverse racism.” It feels righteous and good to reject people mouthing ugliness, but it doesn’t further justice.

Blogs to come will focus on some strategies in the form of stories. I would love to hear your stories. How do you counter racism? What has worked?

 

 

“PREP” playing at Pillsbury Theater.

 

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Tracy Scott Wilson

https://www.facebook.com/PHouseTheatre

“Prep ” — a new play by Tracy Scott Wilson, showing at the Pillsbury House Theater in Minneapolis until October 18, features three riveting actors. A White female high school principal and two Black male students traverse the current education minefields in this Ferguson-Baltimore-Youtube-viral-bound-worst-of-times/-best-of-times moment.
The piece is one seamless poem, weaving three lives together,  demanding we see in the individual stories the systematic racism of every U.S. community and school system.

I don’t want to tell you anymore as you have to see it. What I can tell you is my partner and I had a hard time composing ourselves when it was over. We were both sobbing and stuck to our seats. Walking home in the rain, up Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis, it felt like everything we were doing in our lives had been tossed in the air — in need of reevaluation. First we wanted to throw everything away. As we walked the pieces of our lives began to fall back to the ground, but in different places – with altered meanings. We sat up into the night reviewing each piece of our existence – asserting new meanings — questioning it all. Occasionally we returned to the theater performance, laughing about particular lines that made us cry earlier.

Through out the play other students and adults — youth voices played by Washburn and South High students — could be heard over the loudspeaker interacting with the three live actors – leaving the audience feeling as though voices in our heads were also part of the mix. The way the actors traded limelight, finishing riffs begun by the others, also invited us to enter and put ourselves inside the narrative.

On Saturday September 26th you can go and be part of the mix for real, joining an audience discussion afterward. Don’t miss it!TSW2_new-300x200

Over 100 million White people without wealth in the United States. Clues to rising middle age mortality

 

According to the above May, 2015 Washington Post article, White people have seven times as much wealth as Black people. That includes things like houses, stocks, and money in the bank.

At the same time — if we take in the number of people with zero or minimal wealth, account for the People of Color who are in this category, and add the number of Whites needed to bring it up to 60% — then the figure of 100 million White people without assets in the United State is a conservative estimate.

So we have to take both of these truths into account as we plan for justice. How do we end the race/wealth divide? How do we bring together people of all races who are suffering economically to fight the wealth divide? Because that kind of coalition would be unstoppable.
Which is why White people at the top want to perpetuate the idea of “reverse racism” so poor White people blame people of color for their woes and not them.

Poor white people do not experience the same kind of discrimination in housing , employment, and the judicial system and policing. And when it comes to receiving safety net assistance — African-Americans, — 22 percent of those who are under the poverty line ( different figure from wealth) , received 14 percent of government benefits, while Whites —  42 percent of the poor — receive 69 percent of government benefits.

So poor and indebted White people — 100 million of them — have reason to be angry about their own economic state of being, but their liberation is dependent on finding solidarity with African Americans and Latinos facing greater impediments to justice. Misplaced anger is part of what is killing low income whites in increasing numbers. 
Sounds complicated, but if we all follow this easy rule — focus our protest on those with the most power over us — we can protect ourselves from being divided and conquered.

Anne Winkler-Morey Ph.D.  Writer, educator, activist.

Social Justice Movements and the Major Political Parties

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When the Democrats held their national meeting in Minneapolis on August 29 they passed a resolution endorsing Black Lives Matter. The organizers responded: “We don’t endorse you.”
Other movements avoiding endorsing candidates and instead making demands: Fight for 15 dollar minimum wage, Seattle and Chicago teacher’s strikes and the campaign to stop the Keystone Excel Pipeline.
This is really heartening.
Social movements are effective when they stand outside and assert pressure, demanding a response from politicians. When they endorse candidates and then hope for the best – well that’s when we get the Trans Pacific Partnership – eroding protections for workers worldwide, detention centers for children in Texas, mass incarceration, the privatization of prisons, remixed No Child Left behind policies, the militarization of police, and drone warfare.
The best way to “Dump the Trump” is to build support for immigrant rights movements, forcing  candidates to take up our demands for citizenship for 12 million, making connections with the refugee crisis in Europe.

Remember that moment last election when candidates of both major parties courted the Occupy movement? Even Michele Bachman. They will when they have to – every time. It’s up to us to demand action behind words.

Would anybody be talking about the deep systematic racism practiced in St Louis County if young people in Ferguson had decided to just vote and not stay out in the streets and protest and develop demands and refuse, refuse, refuse, to be silenced?
Would Obama have issued his Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals without the dreamers sitting in and speaking out, shouting undocumented and unafraid?

I would love to see the labor movement stop endorsing candidates and endorse workers’ rights and social justice issues instead. Make them come to us – not the other way around.
Otherwise what you got is cronyism – not a social movement with teeth.

Ball games and slavery

“National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia.”

“Wow”, I thought, sitting down at the wood table at the Hosmer Library in Minneapolis, flipping through the National Geographic coffee table book.  “I was in Fredricksburg.  This is what I wanted to see. How did I miss it?”

I fingered the glossy color photos, absorbed deep descriptions of each gallery, architectural details, interviews with famous African American backers. It took an hour of reading to realize there was just one little problem.
The museum did not exist.
Douglas Wilder, first Black man elected governor of Virginia, conceived the project in 2001. He convinced a private developer to donate land, hired architects and began collecting artifacts. He asked the Fredericksburg City Council to give the project tax-exempt status. They refused. Four years later they increased the property’s taxes 20-fold.
In 2008 museum boosters published this book. In 2011, a freedom garden — the only part of the Museum project completed— was abandoned, allowed to go to seed. The project filed for bankruptcy two weeks before my partner and I  biked into Fredericksburg — mile 4000 of  our 12,000 journey, eager to take in every people’s history site we could find.

I checked online for an update. In October, 2013, the city reclaimed the land, sold it to a baseball stadium developer for a dollar. The city built stadium parking on adjacent land for a taxpayer cost of eight million.In 2015, despite all this generous corporate welfare the baseball plan was stalled. The saga continues. 

A museum telling the three-century story of slavery and resistance, is a desperate need. Fredrickburg invites tourists to visit their civil war battleground, to learn the gory details of a fight that took thousands of lives – a battle that Confederates won. They need a place where people can contemplate the context of that bloody war.

At least replant the freedom garden – a place to contemplate how we finish that battle for justice.

 

A Tree Grows in Oakland

Franklin elementary school in Oakland California has a little garden with a gazebo covered in grape vines, a box for three sisters — corn, beans and squash — little round eggplants, multi-colored peppers, pole beans on the fence, kale and collards, and a fig tree.

The  school is in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world and the new principal wants to make it a place that embraces refugees and  and fosters friendships and education between children of newcomers and those who have been here multiple generations. The garden is a place parents and other volunteers can showcase their green thumbs and share favorite foods and traditions .

 

I went with third grade teacher on a Sunday to water the plants and collect pole beans to make a salad for her students to try on Monday.

The garden can be a place where students suffering Post traumatic stress, culture shock and struggling with a new language find comfort, and physical release. It is a science laboratory and a source of immense school pride. But  in order to take full advantage of the project they need more staff — a full time garden instructor to fulfill their education vision and bring their verdant dream into fruition.

It is hard to understand how the city- currently providing huge public subsidies to a real estate developer for a shipping and logistics center slated to bring coal shipments into the Oakland port– does not have enough money for this modest but essential garden project.

Public schools should not have to fundraise, but until we live in that world where the proverbial military bake sale goes moldy, real estate developers are not subsidized with public funds and school funding  reflects our love of children — the Oakland Education Fund is a way to fill that need so many of us feel right now to support refugees.

There are over 100 languages spoken in the Oakland schools but the language of gardens in universal.   http://www.ousd.org/Page/11078

 

 

 

THE RIGHT TO URINATE

IMG_0541THE RIGHT TO URINATE
I have never been homeless – unless you count that one summer spent camping on my husband’s parents land. No that doesn’t count. We had access to the land, access, to the homes of relatives. Lots of choices.
I have never been homeless, but I did spend 14 months looking for a place to pee. For 420 days me and my spouse abandoned our access to home and work facilities and embarked on an adventure in bathroomlessness. To make matters worse we chose to engage in the kind of activity — sitting on a bicycle seat — guaranteed to result in chronic urinary tract infection.
Constantly entering new territory where the places to pee were unknown, we became pit hunters and experts at letting it rip on side of the road without getting arrested. It was easier for him of course. However the stakes were also higher for him – school social worker who could lose his license if caught exposing himself in public.
Bicycling 12,000 miles around the perimeter of the United States , we discovered that some places were much better than others at providing access to bathrooms. Some the more “progressive” cities were the worst. Boston. San Francisco. Some of the more regressive and poorer regions – rural South Carolina – the best.
I’m visiting the Bay Area this weekend. There is so much I love here. The smash of cultures, the glorious natural setting. I took the BART from the airport, got off on Powell Station, walked to Union Square and up Geary Street delighting in the crowds , the sound of Spanish and Chinese. The smell was unmistakable, delectable street food, salt air … and urine.
Heading up the block I saw a man with two dogs who stopped to lift their legs on a street sign. As they did the man unbuttoned his pants. I didn’t see the rest – just the shocked look on the tourist walking in my direction.

It was great to see the Department of Justice rule it unconstitutional to ban sleeping outside last month- nullifying California ordinances.
Urinating is also a human function everyone must do. We need legal healthy places to do it.

Should you support Black Lives Matter?

 

Should you support the Black Lives Matter movement?
Are you a parent? A child? A brother or sister? Are there people in your life so precious it would break your heart in two if anything bad happened to them? Are you human?

This is a movement about personhood, a refusal to be dehumanized. When people say Black Lives, Native Lives, Trans Lives matter, they are saying all lives matter and we must stop treating some as though they don’t — in our judicial system, in policing, in hiring, schooling, housing, health care … and breathing.

 

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In the same way, these slogans of present and past movements reclaim personhood:
The second wave feminist slogan Feminism is the Radical Idea that Women are People 
The current immigrant rights movement slogan No Human Being is Illegal
The Sanitation workers Strike slogan in 1968  I am A Man
Jesse Jackson’s rainbow coalition I am Somebody
Labor movement slogan Everyone Deserves a Living Wage.
The Disability rights movement:  I am Not a Disability
Gay Rights slogan Marriage Equality
Right to vote from 18-20 year olds: If I’m Old Enough to Fight Your Wars, I’m Old Enough to Vote.

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Black Lives Matter is terrifying to the powers that be because if the 99% refused to allow each other to be dehumanized, the billionaires would be in big trouble. Which side are you on?

I wrote the above after attending the march to the Minnesota State Fair in St Paul on August 29 2015.  A few days before our Governor Mark Dayton  said the march was inappropriate and that Black Live Matter should have petitioned the State Fair first.  It was Dayton’s Hubert-Humphrey-Walter-Mondale-LBJ-refusing-to- seat-the-Mississippi-Freedom-Democratic-Party-moment. I  wrote:

 

It IS a political reality — as Dayton is saying — that protest is the only thing that will move people to open doors, but is the not the RESPONSIBLITY of people to petition in order to get entities – (the state fair, police departments,  schools) to be equitable and fair. Dayton’s statement assumes Black Lives Matter members have nothing else to do but petition and protest. People have a right to live their lives without having to petition for every door to open. The Governor is the one who is being irresponsible and inappropriate. Horrible language,wrong position.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterMinneapolis