John Green's tumblr: When Things That Are Bad for You Are Good for the World -
Legislation is currently making its way through the U.S. Congress that would require online retailers to charge sales tax on domestic sales.
People who do not live in the U.S. will find this idea very confusing, so let me briefly explain it: In most of the world, consumption is taxed at a…
TL;DR version: “this is bad for me personally, but I am in favor of it because it will benefit more people in the long run.” It’s a difficult position to take, but for the most part I feel like it’s the right one.
reality check america
(Source: nosdrinker, via areyouwearinganypants)
In which rape is a problem for all genders, and rape culture is also a problem for all genders
A new study scientifically proves why Obama’s comments about Kamala Harris being “by far the best-looking” attorney were a really big deal.
Can I just take a moment to make a giant, sweeping inference based on this chart? The steepest decline is to the “in touch” category, from which I am inferring that if a reporter comments on a politician’s looks, the reader assumes that the politician is thinking about it in that moment instead of their actual platform.
I’m not basing this on anything in particular, other than knowing from my dayjob that the framing of an argument is oftentimes more important than the argument itself, so if a reporter is framing a person first by presenting their looks as noteworthy, OF COURSE it will have an effect on people’s perception of that person.
: If you're white, the "Justice" system should terrify you -
The lie of the “Justice” system is that it’s there to protect white people. This is a fallacy. One that will one day, sooner rather than later, come back to haunt you. The “Justice” system is there, not to protect white people but to protect white people from being punished. (In addition to making massive profits of course) White people, both those who work to be non-racist as well as those who don’t, might take some comfort in knowing that in most cases, they don’t have to worry about the police. Often, they have no reason to think about the system at all. The part so many of you seem to be forgetting is that while some of you will read about the Prison Industrial Complex and others will absorb statistic after statistic that says Black people are unfairly targeted, given higher incarceration rates and longer sentences for the same or lessor crimes, you haven’t thought about what that means for you personally.
While your skin color may work in your favor as far as jail time goes, being a victim of white-on-white crime, is quite the opposite. 96% of all rapes are committed by white men. Yet, 80% of rape inmates are Black. This means most male rapists are walking free. Free to rape again, simply because of the color of their skin. Now, add that to the fact that most crime, is intraracial and not interracial and you have white on white homicide at 86%. White on white homicide is slightly lower than Black on Black homicide but remember, Black people are getting sent to jail these days for breathing. White people are being given less than a slap on the wrist for even vicious crimes.
If you are white, not only should you be angry that criminals with your skin tone aren’t getting punished, you should be terrified that criminals of your skin tone will find you.
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you. — Lindy West for Jezebel: “If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?” (via lauratheoutlandish)
(Source: jezebel.com, via inbetweengreens)
A woman’s right to bodily autonomy outweighs fetal pain because we live in a society that does not force people to use their bodies to support others — not their organs, not their bone marrow, not their blood, not their skin. We do not force people to sacrifice parts of their bodies to save others not because we don’t care about a patient’s pain, but because we recognize that bodily autonomy is an essential part of a functioning free society. To suggest that we ignore that and make an exception when it comes to forcing pregnant women carry a pregnancy to term suggests that we force pregnant women to submit to a violation of their rights that we impose on no one else.
— Ana Mardoll via Shakesville
http://www.shakesville.com/2013/03/the-rhetorical-power-of-pig-pain.html (via catronicon)
Jim Crow for kids: Schools prepare children for life behind bars
March 26, 2013
Gone are the days of children dreading a trip to the principal’s office or spending their lunch time in detention. Instead, children are now facing the possibility of being dragged out of their classrooms in handcuffs for conduct violations, such as a schoolyard brawl or being accused of stealing a student’s lunch money.
Increasingly, children of color and children with learning disabilities are being prepped for a life in the American injustice system as police officers have become as common of a figure at schools as the nurse. After the Newtown massacre in December, police presence in schools across the country jumped leaving the authorities to deal with school children just as they deal with criminals, in an arrangement commonly referred to as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
Recent cases of criminalization include a 12-year-old junior high student who was handcuffed and arrested for doodling on her desk in New York City; a 13-year-old Florida boy arrested and charged with disrupting a school function after passing gas; and a 6-year-old child handcuffed and arrested for throwing a tantrum in Georgia.
More guns, officers aggravate injustice
In his recent gun control proposal, President Obama slipped in a call to staff schools with police officers, further exacerbating the school-to-prison pipeline that unequally marginalizes black and Latino children. According to a study by the Civil Rights Data Collection—one that covered 85 percent of the nation’s students and 72,000 schools—black students are three and a half times more likely to be arrested than their white peers. The study also showed that 70 percent of students arrested were either black or Latino. Running in sync with the National Rifle Association’s call to put armed guards in every school, Obama’s plan will only intensify the school-to-prison pipeline, endangering children of color across the country.
Students with disabilities are also the victims of these harsh policies. Officers already receive very little training on how to handle suspects with mental disabilities, but even less so when it comes to children. Even though 8.6 percent of children in public schools have been found to have some sort of disability, they make up 32 percent of the youth in detention centers.
In a prison system that author Michelle Alexander has called “The New Jim Crow,” mass incarceration has led to one in six Latino men living behind bars, people of color making up 60 percent of the prisoner population and more black people in prison than there were slaves before the Civil War began. These same principles used to lock up people of color for petty “crimes” have found a way into classrooms, preparing these children for the racist injustice system they are statistically likely to encounter later in life by forcing them into the prison system early.
Not only have more security guards and police officers resulted in more bogus misdemeanor arrests, but they drain the already scarce funding for schools. School districts have spent upwards of $51 million on school security, while other much more vital aspects of education go underfunded, especially in poor urban neighborhoods of color.
A child is not a criminal
School-to-prison pipelines have been under fire recently with the expansion of the police state into elementary and middle schools, especially in places notorious for racial discrimination. In October, Meridian, Mississippi was sued for operating a pipeline where students were denied basic constitutional rights once they were arrested and taken to juvenile court. About 86 percent of the students in the Lauderdale Country School District are black, and every single one of the students referred to the court for violations were students of color. Not only were these students arrested, but they were denied legal representation, detained without probable cause, and weren’t advised of their Miranda rights.
Texas isn’t far behind when it comes to criminalizing students for minor infractions, such as disrupting class. According to The Guardian, the state tallied more than 300,000 Class C misdemeanor arrests in 2010 because of zero-tolerance policies and increased police forces on school grounds.
But this extension of the New Jim Crow has been found to have been the worst and the largest in Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, 12,000 students were arrested 13,870 times in public schools last year. Black students made up 46 percent of the referrals, even though they make up only 21 percent of the Florida youth.
According to the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research, these arrests make for long-lasting psychological damage to the student. Incarcerated youth are more likely to exhibit symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety issues. Detained students are also more likely to lose ground academically from juvenile detention. According to a study done on inner-city Chicago high school students, those arrested in the first two years of high school were six to eight times more likely to drop out than those who hadn’t been arrested.
Instead of focusing on education, school-to-prison pipeline policies are preparing America’s youth for a life in the injustice system. Scare tactics, zero tolerance policies, and police forces are quickly threatening the future of millions of young students. But this criminalization won’t end for them when they graduate high school because, as Alexander states, “mass incarceration in the United States has, in fact, emerged as a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.”
The Boston Occupier
Larger graphic here