Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Components of Oppression in White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy

this image, of a mural by Jim Chuchu,
inspired by the poetry of Staceyann Chin, is from here

The components of oppression in white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, or as it is known here on this blog, Corporate Racist Atrocious Patriarchy (CRAP):

Power-over/Status: The dominant group has a material interest in the system being oppressive and hegemonic. It is in the dominants' material interest to maintain the status quo. These interests include various entitlements, privileges, advantages, benefits, and forms of enfranchisement. Having power means, simply: If you want things done, they get done. If you want something to be a certain way, it is made to be that way; you have meaningful choices of action; you can choose to change political locations on one or more hierarchies. Your values are valued; your personhood is humanised; in myth and legend, in fiction and reality, your humanity is revered as great, genius, holy, or authoritative. Power-over is distinguished from power-with, such as in healthy friendship and communal action.

Subordination/Stigma: There exists a social hierarchy in which there are two main groups, one on top, one on the bottom. The bottom group is thought to exist for the top group. there is no identity for the subordinated group that is not in stigmatised relation to the statused dominant group.

Discrimination/Marginalisation/Segregation/Rejection: Sometimes, as needed, the oppressed group may be cloistered off, kept out, kicked out, removed from society, or purged. This may be done using culture, religion, and law, through uncentering or persistent decentering in theory and social experience. Examples: Jim Crow; poverty; pogroms.

Objectification: the dominant group dehumanises the subordinated one also through physical and sexual objectification. The group is turned into a thing, a commodity. Media reinforces this. Pornography makes it feel like 'sexual fulfillment'. For the oppressed group to be 'sexy', they/we must be available for the dominant group, to do what they want. (Even if they want you to be sexually dominant.)

Exploitation: The dominating group makes economic use of the subordinated group: their resources--emotional, physical, sexual--are taken/stolen or systematically used/used up, or withheld from the oppressed. The oppressed work directly for the benefit of the oppressor class in one way or more. The subordinated group is may be 'merely' used, or also impoverished, imprisoned, or enslaved.

Violence: the oppressed group, in part by being objectified, is targeted throughout their lives as appropriate to do violence to, including violation--being interpersonally abused directly or through proxy bullies and thugs. The violence and violation is coded into law; made to be natural, scientifically or socially inevitable, or God-ordained. Example: heterosexual couples must consummate their marriage--she must be penetrated at least once, by legal/cultural/religious mandate; "the rule of thumb"; lynching.

Bigotry: in addition to being stigmatised, it is common and normal to reduce the subordinated group to a negative characteristic, trait, or quality of being. (Note: bigotry against a dominant group doesn't = oppressing or dominating them.) Example: women are dirty; Black people are dangerous and criminal; gay men and lesbians are child molesters and perverts; trans women being misogynist predators.

Silence, threat, and death: The dominant group successfully silences or destroys the oppressed. Examples: femicide, genocide, systematic lack of access to medical care or refusal of the dominants to develop and distribute appropriate care (AIDS deaths), potable water, nourishing food, one's own homeland; the voices of the oppressed are not given the mic, are not allowed on the stage unless to promote the status quo. The oppressed group is seen as perpetually threatening the stability and status of the oppressor class. Humiliating the oppressor class is punishable by death. So is taking power from them. Serial murder and mass murder of the oppressed group is normal.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Seeking Freedom for 15 year old human trafficking victim sentenced to prison! Petition link here.

image of Latesha Clay is from here
What follows is from Change.org.
On January 11, 2016, a date proclaimed as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, an inexcusable atrocity was committed against the human rights of a child. At the same time that government officials, law enforcement agencies, advocates, survivors and allied citizens of the United States brought attention to modern day slavery and the importance of being victim centered, our own justice system failed in the protection of a 15 year old human trafficking victim. News media stories disregarded her status as a minor and published her name, while maliciously burdening her with guilt, as our society is prone to do without consideration of facts and laws that attempt to extinguish the plague of victim blaming. Her charges of armed robbery and unlawful imprisonment are predicated entirely on her involvement as a child advertised online, to be purchased for sex. This is an act that a minor cannot be held responsible for consenting to under federal and state law. It is also not required for force, fraud or coercion to be proven in cases involving minors under federal and state law in order to prove that the minor is in fact, a human trafficking victim. This can be found in Michigan state law at:
Trafficking a Minor MCL 750.462e
Covers both sex trafficking and labor trafficking of a minor
NO Force Fraud or Coercion Required
"regardless of whether the person knows the age of the minor"
In addition, Michigan is a state that has enacted Safe Harbor laws relating to victims of human trafficking.
Safe Harbor - Safe harbor was one of the key reforms in the 2014 Michigan human trafficking legislative package.
2014 PA 336 amends MCL 750.451 to provide Safe Harbor to minor sex trafficking victims by presuming that a minor found engaging in prostitution is a victim of human trafficking and mandates law enforcement to refer the minor victims for appropriate treatment within the Department of Human Services.
2014 PA 342 amends MCL 712A.2 to provide Safe Harbor to minor sex trafficking victims by establishing probate court jurisdiction for minor human trafficking victims who are dependent and in danger of substantial harm.
2014 PA 335 amends MCL 780.621 to provide Safe Harbor by allowing victims of human trafficking to clear their criminal record of crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers.
Latesha Clay of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was used as bait for a robbery scheme which placed advertisements inviting sexual acts with a teen on Backpage so that men would respond. These were not hapless victims, but predators who arrived with the intention of sexually assaulting Latesha, the true victim. Michigan Penal Code lists Solicitation of prostitution as a crime, Prostitution and Solicitation, Sections 750.448 - 750.462 - See more at: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/michigan-law/michigan-prostitution-and-solicitation-laws.html#sthash.nH2pSng4.dpuf
Furthermore, the same human trafficking laws provide for certain penalties when solicitors attempt to purchase minors for sex:
[For the rest of the petition language, please see *here*.]

Friday, March 11, 2016

Action Alert: Justice for Berta Cáceres!

image is from CIPSES site, linked to below

Please see this, from The Nation: "Before Her Murder, Berta Cáceres Singled Out Hillary Clinton for Criticism: The presidential candidate has ignored criticism of her role in enabling the consolidation of the Honduran coup."

What follows is from here at CIPSES.

Call your representative today and tell them to join other Members of Congress in demanding justice for Berta Cáceres, security for fellow activists, an end to all training and aid for Honduran security forces, and an end to megaprojects and corporate land grabs that violate indigenous land rights.

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) is sponsoring a congressional letter to Secretary John Kerry echoing COPINH's demands. The deadline for Members of Congress to sign it is 5 PM on Monday, March 14, so please take action immediately.

Call or email your representative today!
Find your representative's name and phone number using your zip code here. If you already know who your representative is, you can call the congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be transferred to their office.

The deadline for Members of Congress to sign it is 5 PM on Monday, March 14, so please take action immediately. Please email 
laura@cispes.org after you call to tell us how it went.
Sample Call Script:
Hello. My name is _____ and I am a constituent of Representative _____. I am calling to ask the congressman/congresswoman to take a strong position on human rights and justice in Honduras given the recent murder of Berta Cáceres, a human rights defender, indigenous leader, environmental activist and winner of the Goldman Environmental Award.

Since the 2009 military coup in Honduras, the country has been besieged by corruption, militarization, State-sponsored repression and violence, and corporate land grabs that violate indigenous land rights. Yet the United States government continues to fund and support the Honduran regime responsible for this corruption, violence and impunity. Hundreds of activists have already been murdered.

I am asking Representative ______ to take action today by signing the letter being sponsored by Representative Keith Ellison to Secretary Kerry, calling on him to take concrete and meaningful steps to support human rights and justice in Honduras. You can contact Sara Sudetic in Mr. Ellison's office to sign on or for more information. The letter will close at 5 PM on Monday, March 14, so I ask that the congressman/congresswoman please take action immediately.
You can also email your representative using this form: 
[Please click here to complete the action.]

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Images from International Women's Day 2016

All the images below are from The Guardian. Credits are beneath each photo.

I am wishing all girls and women physical safety, economic security, clean water, nutritious food, control over their own bodies and land, and power in their own lives.

Mexico City, MexicoA member of the indigenous Zapatista National Liberation 
Army (EZLN) takes part in a demonstration to mark 
International Women’s Day, outside the Palacio de 
Bellas Artes
Bhopal, IndiaTribal artists during a rally for International Women’s Day
Manila, PhilippinesA Filipino mother with her child march during 
a parade to mark International Women’s Day
Port-au-Prince, HaitiOn International Women’s Day a woman sells 
cleaning products near children playing, in Jalousie 
neighbourhood, in the commune of Petion Ville

Monday, March 7, 2016

Stop deMANd for Trafficking in Girls and Women

A few years old, this is not at all a message that is close to expiring. From the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), this short video is called:

Men's Responsibility: Ending Demand for Sex Trafficking
 oalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pippa Fleming: a Lesbian Butch Truth-teller

photo of Pippa Fleming is from here
I will not waste your time with many of my words here today. What I just realised, in a kind of palm-to-forehead way, is this: 30 years ago I used to say I was woman-identified, and more lesbian-identified than gay-identified. That was always a statement of political allegiance and affectional affiliation, not ever a demand for others (who I structurally oppress due to male privilege) to include me in their groups as one of them.

Now, I simply want to introduce you to a wonderful person. Pippa Fleming is "a long-time Performance Artist, Actor, Poet, Writer, DJ, Vocalist, Athletic Coach, Shapeshifting Lesbian = A force to be reckoned with!"

Below I hope there appear some working links to some video posts on Facebook.

I welcome you to listen thoughtfully, to take her words to heart, and to share them as acts of honoring and respecting Lesbians, their communities, and herstories.

1. https://www.facebook.com/pippa.fleming.18/videos/10203874688811751/

2. https://www.facebook.com/pippa.fleming.18/videos/10208915234662247/

3. https://www.facebook.com/pippa.fleming.18/videos/10203874688811751/

For more, please visit Pippa's YouTube channel.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Indigenous Activist Berta Cáceres Assassinated In Honduras

From SOA Watch:

Human Rights Organizations Demand an Investigation of the Circumstances Surrounding the Assassination of Berta Cáceres, the General Coordinator of COPINH
At approximately midnight last night, the General Coordinator of COPINH, Berta Caceres was assassinated in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca. At least two individuals broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying for the evening in the Residencial La Líbano, shot and killed her. COPINH is urgently responding to this tragic situation.
Berta Cáceres is one of the leading indigenous activists in Honduras. She spent her life fighting in defense of indigenous rights, particularly to land and natural resources.
Cáceres, a Lenca woman, grew up during the violence that swept through Central America in the 1980s. Her mother, a midwife and social activist, took in and cared for refugees from El Salvador, teaching her young children the value of standing up for disenfranchised people.
Cáceres grew up to become a student activist and in 1993, she cofounded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to address the growing threats posed to Lenca communities by illegal logging, fight for their territorial rights and improve their livelihoods.
For the rest of the article, please see here at SOA Watch.