Sistah Vegan on ‘Black Women’s Lives Matter’ : Free Marissa Alexander NOW!

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Over the past week,  I have directed much of my social justice work, within the Black Women’s Lives Matter movement, towards Marissa Alexander’s case. Yesterday, I went to an East Bay area meeting for Free Marissa Now. Several awesome things took place, including activists organizing to create a Berkeley to Florida caravan that will arrive on the day of Marissa’s court day at the end of January 2015.

For me, two things stand out with this case that yes, are infuriating: (1) The ridiculousness that Angela Corey, Prosecutor of Zimmerman and Dunn, is making Marissa’s life hell for protecting herself from a husband who was beating her and has done so (on record) previously; (2) It says a lot that a significant number of male, mostly white policeman and vigilantes can get away with killing Black people because a [white dominated] jury ‘naturally’ sympathizes with the defendant’s ‘negrophobia’ but; (3) a Black woman standing her ground against her abusive husband needs to “know her place” as woman in a misogynistic hetero patriarchal society and know her place as a Black person in an anti-Black society. She should “let” white racism and abusive men beat her down and never fight back. If she does not, she must be made as an example to all those other Black women (and Black transwomen, remember CeCe McDonald?) to know their place. 

See below as two of the folk from this past weekend’s Free Marissa Now East Bay area meeting, Nell and LaJuana, discuss who Marissa is. After, we took selfies of ourselves with the Free Marissa sign. We are hoping that you will take selfies of yourselves, with similar messages and signs to Free Marissa, post to your social media networks, and then have people go to the FreeMarissaNow.org link to learn more about how ALL OF US can help her be free. 

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Dear PETA, Black Lives Matter…So, Where are You in All this Mess?

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Dear PETA,

I ran across this old post from 5 years ago (see at the end of this post). Why couldn’t you make your point without needing to do this? Seriously, it’s 5 years later and I wonder if you’ll ever know that Black Lives Matter and that we’re not just here to promote your white neoliberal racist sense of animal liberation. When I first saw this posted on Craig’s List (see at the bottom) I just wanted to vomit and cry… I thought about how, historically, Black women’s bodies have been exploited, abused, and demeaned in order to maintain white supremacist USA system…and yes, this process still continues. So, this ad below was just heartbreaking to me because it really shows that PETA uses ‘diversity’ in the most white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchal sense; that you are not an ally but an accomplice.

In the past several months, as I have directed my black feminist vegan work to meet the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement, I wonder if you ever apologized for doing this ad below. I also wonder what your role in Black Lives Matter movement is. Despite your obsession with being ‘post-human” and “we’re all animals”, race matters. Black people, collectively, do not think of ourselves as post-human because thus far, we have not even been afforded the right to be treated as sentient and loving human beings yet. And I don’t say this in as a promotion of speciesism. I say this with the full canon of critical race and Black feminist scholarship backing me up. I know that since European colonialism until now (…and probably tomorrow, and the week after, and the year after) Black people will continue to be treated as animals due to systemic racism and neoliberal whiteness— until post-racial, post-humanist, “I don’t see color” power-holders like yourself, practice the tenets of Black Lives Matter (along with many other anti-racist movements); incorporate it into your vegan actions. And when I write ‘treated as animals’, I’m speaking within the socio-historical context of post-1492, when European colonizers decided that non-human animals are disposable, exploitable, and non-sentient…and then they categorized Black Africans as such types of animals. 

As the Black Lives Matter movement becomes stronger and stronger across the U.S. nation, and  as I support this movement through my own actions as Black feminist vegan, where are you in all this mess? What have you done to show us that Black Lives Matter? Where are you in finally doing an organizational wide re-vamp to teach your staff and volunteers that a vegan praxis of Black Lives Matters is not only possible, but necessary? That it is far from distracting from your ‘single-issue’ goal of non-human animal liberation? You ask omnivores to stop being silent about the systemic abuses and suffering of non-human animals. I’m asking you to stop being silent and compliant when it comes to systemic abuse and exploitation of Black people. It is possible to focus on animal liberation and be anti-racist without losing your power to affect change. But, I think you know that by now and I wonder if it is easier to give up your speciesist power than it is to give up the collective neoliberal white privilege power most of your leadership HAS and simply cannot revoke. 

Like the ad below, will you continue to use our Black and Brown bodies that have white supremacist myths trailing behind them (“they are exploitable”, “they are hypersexual”, etc.) to further your very own and exclusive vegan social ‘just us’ goals; goals that don’t dismantle systemic racism and neoliberal whiteness, but reaffirm and maintain them?

I invite you to attend the Sistah Vegan 2015 Conference “The Vegan Praxis of ‘Black Lives Matter'”. It is online. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by attending. And pick up some books that will help you the learn about Black Lives Matter Movement; how it is a continuum of Black liberation. You will find that list at the bottom of this other Sistah Vegan post.

(Breeze sits here, anticipating the sound of crickets and another 5 years of social ‘just us’ like the ad below)

africanAmerican_Peta_ad

Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power

(TRIGGER WARNING FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT)

So, in continuation of my post about the Black Feminist Queer praxis that the Black Lives Matter movement is rooted in, I will continue to focus on book recommendations as well as report on my new involvement with activist project Free Marissa Alexander movement of the East Bay California movement.

Today I would like to recommend this book. I know many people have been taught that Rosa Parks ‘just sat down’ as her contribution, but she was a engaged in what I would call Black feminist activism way before she became famous for sitting down on seats designated for whites. The book is called At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
) and description is below.

darkend:

In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer to Abbeville. Her name was Rosa Parks. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that ultimately changed the world.

The author gives us the never-before-told history of how the civil rights movement began; how it was in part started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men who used economic intimidation, sexual violence, and terror to derail the freedom movement; and how those forces persisted unpunished throughout the Jim Crow era when white men assaulted black women to enforce rules of racial and economic hierarchy. Black women’s protests against sexual assault and interracial rape fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South that began during World War II and went through to the Black Power movement. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that struggle.(Source: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0307389243/ref=dra_a_sm_ff_fx_it_P2000_1000?tag=dradisplay-20&ascsubtag=4a251a2ef9bbf4ccc35f97aba2c9cbda&dra_hfr=1&dra_ohs=0-0)

REDUX: [CISGENDER] BLACK [MALE STRAIGHT] LIVES MATTER…OR, ON DISMISSING THE BLACK FEMINIST QUEER PRAXIS BEHIND THE MOVEMENT

MA_Front_Closeup
Marissa Alexander source: http://images.cdn.bigcartel.com/bigcartel/product_images/146066410/max_h-1000+max_w-1000/MA_Front_Closeup.jpg

(Updated December 17, 2014 with a reading list and other comments)

Does anyone else feel like the #BlackLivesMatter movement has a lot of participants that don’t realize the original methodology and demands behind the movement? Started by Alicia Garza, after the Trayvon Martin murder verdict, Garza makes it clear that the movement is to include all Black lives….but it seems like the focus by the majority out in the streets (at least the ones I hear and see in the news), since Ferguson, is that only the lives of Black cisgender straight male victims of police and/or vigilante violence matter. Am I hallucinating here? Those like Marissa Alexander, CeCe McDonald, and Renisha McBride have been left to the margins; basically forgotten it feels like. Marissa used her firearm to fire a warning shot into the ceiling of her own house to prevent her abusive ex husband from entering and hurting her and her children again. She had just given birth 9 days earlier. Even though she stood her ground, she was sentenced to 60 years in jail, led by the same lawyer who helped to get Zimmerman off; this was despite the medical records showing she has been beaten by her husband and he is violent and her ex husband admitting that he was there to cause trouble. CeCe McDonald, a transwoman, defended herself from her transhating attacker and went to jail after it was determined she ‘should’ be punished because the man who attacked her died from the injuries she inflicted upon him.

Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffurbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F01%2F13%2Fcece-mcdonald-free-welcome-home-cece%2F&ei=idWQVKy8DZDaoATZooHwAQ&bvm=bv.82001339,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNE3xnH9t24ZsGSl-m7iVhingdnB6Q&ust=1418864387955703
Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffurbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F01%2F13%2Fcece-mcdonald-free-welcome-home-cece%2F&ei=idWQVKy8DZDaoATZooHwAQ&bvm=bv.82001339,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNE3xnH9t24ZsGSl-m7iVhingdnB6Q&ust=1418864387955703

Renisha McBride got into a car accident and left her car to seek help. She knocked on a man’s door and he responded by shooting her because of his ‘negrophobia’.

Source: http://www.southerncoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/renisha-mcbride-poster.jpg
Source: http://www.southerncoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/renisha-mcbride-poster.jpg

I don’t get it.

BlackLivesMatter started off as a black feminist queer oriented movement. How many out there, who have joined the protests, have actually taken the time to go to the website and read the ‘About’ section. This section will school people on how ALL Black Lives Matters (not just Black cisgender males). Garza also sets it straight: that making the claim ‘ALLLIVESMATTER’ completely dismisses anti-black violence and racism. Who else is perplexed by the #AlllivesMatter hastag/logic? Seriously, it’s like when I explain to a white liberal, the anti-black racism I have experienced, and she responding, “Well, all human beings are discriminated against– some for skin color, some for socio-economic class.” What is it with this addiction to completing disregarding the REALITY that we live in a racial caste system in which non-black people, historically, have fought hard to not be considered as ‘black’ because that is the ‘lowest of the low” and hurts your life chances of happiness and success? Why do I keep on seeing #alllivesmatter hashtags? Gee, what a wonderful way to derail the conversation around the violence of systemic racism and anti-black ideologies that the USA was founded upon and still function within. What a great way to make invisible the the violence of white supremacist system and institutions that even white liberals benefit from, regardless if they are or aren’t one of those ‘bad overtly racist white’ people (because only neo-Nazis and white Tea Party members are the ‘real’ beneficiaries of racism and white supremacy). Instead of diverting the conversation to #alllivesmatter, can we please bring it back to the black feminist queer tenets of #BlackLivesMatter? Can we please not repeat the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s when Black cisgender males became the central figures for the ‘Black experience’ and those most affected by racism? Can white liberalism please not override the original Black feminist queer praxis that Garza wants the movement to operate within?

Please let me know if I’m hallucinating here?

Recently, I joined forces with the FreeMarissaBayArea movement, so I can help to get her our of jail.

And don’t get me wrong. I am not dismissing the pain and hurt of my Black cisgender male victims of police violence. I’m just saying that I see a similar pattern happening again and folk should be aware of the basic goals of the BlackLivesMatter movement and school themselves, if they haven’t already, on what a black feminist queer “black Lives Matter” movement actually SHOULD look like.

Yes, I know there is an intersection of oppressions, but I do not think #alllivesmatters is productive at all, since #BlackLivesMatter started off to address the violence of white supremacist racist violence, at the systemic, structural, and institutional levels that negatively affect BLACK PEOPLE. The audacity for many to co-opt BlackLivesMatter into AllLivesMatters and then obliterate the core objective to dismantle white supremacist violence against all Black Lives has my head spinning. Talk about discursive violence in full effect! And please don’t start talking about how I must be against [cisgender] [straight] Black men and how they have been victims of state violence. If you think that this is what this post is about, then, once again, you have not educated yourself with the core principles of Black feminist queer praxis.

I am hoping that the upcoming Sistah Vegan conference, “The Vegan Praxis of ‘Black Lives Matter'”, will show participants what the core principles of Garza’s movement can look like amongst Black vegans and allies who ‘get it’ and don’t dismiss it.

Also, here is a recommended reading list if you would like to know what Black queer feminisms are.

Recommended Reading List (English)

And please post comments on new suggestions!

[Cisgender] Black [Male Straight] Lives Matter…Or, on Dismissing the Black Feminist Queer Praxis Behind the Movement

MA_Front_Closeup
Marissa Alexander source: http://images.cdn.bigcartel.com/bigcartel/product_images/146066410/max_h-1000+max_w-1000/MA_Front_Closeup.jpg

(Updated December 17, 2014 with a reading list)

Does anyone else feel like the #BlackLivesMatter movement has a lot of participants that don’t realize the original methodology and demands behind the movement? Started by Alicia Garza, after the Trayvon Martin murder verdict, Garza makes it clear that the movement is to include all Black lives….but it seems like the focus by the majority out in the streets (at least the ones I hear and see in the news), since Ferguson, is that only the lives of Black cisgender straight male victims of police and/or vigilante violence matter. Am I hallucinating here? Those like Marissa Alexander, CeCe McDonald, and Renisha McBride have been left to the margins; basically forgotten it feels like. Marissa used her firearm to fire a warning shot into the ceiling of her own house to prevent her abusive ex husband from entering and hurting her and her children again. She had just given birth 9 days earlier. Even though she stood her ground, she was sentenced to 60 years in jail, led by the same lawyer who helped to get Zimmerman off; this was despite the medical records showing she has been beaten by her husband and he is violent and her ex husband admitting that he was there to cause trouble. CeCe McDonald, a transwoman, defended herself from her transhating attacker and went to jail after it was determined she ‘should’ be punished because the man who attacked her died from the injuries she inflicted upon him.

Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffurbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F01%2F13%2Fcece-mcdonald-free-welcome-home-cece%2F&ei=idWQVKy8DZDaoATZooHwAQ&bvm=bv.82001339,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNE3xnH9t24ZsGSl-m7iVhingdnB6Q&ust=1418864387955703
Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffurbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F01%2F13%2Fcece-mcdonald-free-welcome-home-cece%2F&ei=idWQVKy8DZDaoATZooHwAQ&bvm=bv.82001339,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNE3xnH9t24ZsGSl-m7iVhingdnB6Q&ust=1418864387955703

Renisha McBride got into a car accident and left her car to seek help. She knocked on a man’s door and he responded by shooting her because of his ‘negrophobia’.

Source: http://www.southerncoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/renisha-mcbride-poster.jpg
Source: http://www.southerncoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/renisha-mcbride-poster.jpg

I don’t get it.

BlackLivesMatter started off as a black feminist queer oriented movement. How many out there, who have joined the protests, have actually taken the time to go to the website and read the ‘About’ section. This section will school people on how ALL Black Lives Matters (not just Black cisgender males). Garza also sets it straight: that making the claim ‘ALLLIVESMATTER’ completely dismisses anti-black violence and racism. Who else is perplexed by the #AlllivesMatter hastag/logic? Seriously, it’s like when I explain to a white liberal, the anti-black racism I have experienced, and she responding, “Well, all human beings are discriminated against– some for skin color, some for socio-economic class.” What is it with this addiction to completing disregarding the REALITY that we live in a racial caste system in which non-black people, historically, have fought hard to not be considered as ‘black’ because that is the ‘lowest of the low” and hurts your life chances of happiness and success? Why do I keep on seeing #alllivesmatter hashtags? Gee, what a wonderful way to derail the conversation around the violence of systemic racism and anti-black ideologies that the USA was founded upon and still function within. What a great way to make invisible the the violence of white supremacist system and institutions that even white liberals benefit from, regardless if they are or aren’t one of those ‘bad overtly racist white’ people (because only neo-Nazis and white Tea Party members are the ‘real’ beneficiaries of racism and white supremacy). Instead of diverting the conversation to #alllivesmatter, can we please bring it back to the black feminist queer tenets of #BlackLivesMatter? Can we please not repeat the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s when Black cisgender males became the central figures for the ‘Black experience’ and those most affected by racism? Can white liberalism please not override the original Black feminist queer praxis that Garza wants the movement to operate within?

Please let me know if I’m hallucinating here?

Recently, I joined forces with the FreeMarissaBayArea movement, so I can help to get her our of jail.

And don’t get me wrong. I am not dismissing the pain and hurt of my Black cisgender male victims of police violence. I’m just saying that I see a similar pattern happening again and folk should be aware of the basic goals of the BlackLivesMatter movement and school themselves, if they haven’t already, on what a black feminist queer “black Lives Matter” movement actually SHOULD look like.

Yes, I know there is an intersection of oppressions, but I do not think #alllivesmatters is productive at all, since #BlackLivesMatter started off to address the violence of white supremacist racist violence, at the systemic, structural, and institutional levels that negatively affect BLACK PEOPLE. The audacity for many to co-opt BlackLivesMatter into AllLivesMatters and then obliterate the core objective to dismantle white supremacist violence against all Black Lives has my head spinning. Talk about discursive violence in full effect! And please don’t start talking about how I must be against [cisgender] [straight] Black men and how they have been victims of state violence. If you think that this is what this post is about, then, once again, you have not educated yourself with the core principles of Black feminist queer praxis.

I am hoping that the upcoming Sistah Vegan conference, “The Vegan Praxis of ‘Black Lives Matter'”, will show participants what the core principles of Garza’s movement can look like amongst Black vegans and allies who ‘get it’ and don’t dismiss it.

Also, here is a recommended reading list if you would like to know what Black feminisms are (there is more than one).

Recommended Reading List (English)

And please post comments on new suggestions!

The best holiday turkey….

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image

I saw this beautiful turkey family a few minutes ago, while driving in Berkeley, CA. I thought to myself , “The best Holiday turkeys are ones that can spend time with their families and stay alive too!” Until I learned about the sentience of non human animals, I too believed the American myth fed to me that turkeys are stupid , which justified why it is ‘okay’ to raise and kill them as a symbol for humans to share family time together. Before I read about veganism, I was never told that they feel pain, have families, have relationships, and care for each other.

I saw these animals after having left my natural grocery store that was asking people to ‘Order your holiday birds’.  And of course as a natural store, the birds being sold as being humanely raised and organic. I know I don’t feel like being humanely raise and then slaughtered , so not sure how or why so many people think that that is really okay.

MA in White Power – UCL – Dismantling the Master’s House

http://www.dtmh.ucl.ac.uk/ma-critical-white-studies/

Wow, a Masters degree in Dismantling White Power…. Wondering though how and why this is different from critical race studies and who the target audience is. (See link above)

I also wonder what type of employment is available for a degree with that name. Any thoughts on this programme?

I hope the programme does come into existence! Would be great to have something like this in the USa, now that there is a huge support around protesting Mike Brown and Eric Garner’s murder verdict. A lot more folk know we need to dismantle white supremacy at the systemic level asap.