Ta-Nehisi Coates, being amazing. (via politicalprof)
And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
Muneeb Hasan [08.10.14] (via muneebb)
When your classmates wrinkled their noses at the scent of your lunch still lingering on your clothes,
Even though their ancestors had conquered half the world in search of the spices you ate.
How they jeered at your mother’s bindi, making crude jokes about how ridiculous it looked on her,
And after ten years, how they all wore the exact same ornament on their own foreheads to keep up with the current trends.
When they repeatedly stumbled over the sharp letters which formed your name, forcing you to repeat yourself several times before giving up;
Only to have those very letters tattooed on their own flesh, in a language they do not comprehend.
Your culture belongs to you,
Not to them.
[trigger warning: suicide]
If someone were to die at the age of 63 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a tragedy and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.” That’s bullshit. Robin Williams sought help his entire life. He saw a psychiatrist. He quit drinking. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 63. For some people, 63 is a fucking miracle. I know several people who didn’t make it past 23 and I’d do anything to have 40 more years with them.
One of the more helpful and insightful things I’ve seen about depression/suicide in the last couple of days.
alice walker, we alone. (via ethiopienne)
We alone can devalue gold
by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
so much the worse
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.
This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
Another way to present the 9 types of intelligence as exemplified by my How Do We Measure Intelligence post.
The basic idea is that different people are good at different things. These 9 probably don’t cover the wide range of smarts we all possess, but it’s a start.
As Albert Einstein said, ”Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Sarah Kendzior - The peril of hipster economics (x)
Gentrifiers focus on aesthetics, not people. Because people, to them, are aesthetics.
Proponents of gentrification will vouch for its benevolence by noting it “cleaned up the neighbourhood”. This is often code for a literal white-washing. The problems that existed in the neighbourhood - poverty, lack of opportunity, struggling populations denied city services - did not go away. They were simply priced out to a new location.
That new location is often an impoverished suburb, which lacks the glamour to make it the object of future renewal efforts. There is no history to attract preservationists because there is nothing in poor suburbs viewed as worth preserving, including the futures of the people forced to live in them. This is blight without beauty, ruin without romance: payday loan stores, dollar stores, unassuming homes and unpaid bills. In the suburbs, poverty looks banal and is overlooked.
In cities, gentrifiers have the political clout - and accompanying racial privilege - to reallocate resources and repair infrastructure. The neighbourhood is “cleaned up” through the removal of its residents. Gentrifiers can then bask in “urban life” - the storied history, the selective nostalgia, the carefully sprinkled grit - while avoiding responsibility to those they displaced.
"Brown eyed people are responsible for the fact that you have electricity. Many of the components for generating and transmitting electricity were invented by brown eyed people.
Brown eyed people gave us our alphabet. Brown eyed people gave us our numeration system. Brown eyed people gave us the paper on which we write these anonymous letters to me that tell me that brown eyed people are inferior.
Brown eyed people are the originators, the ones who founded every major religion on Earth. No white people have ever founded a major religion.
Now you need to realize the contributions that have been made to society, to civilization by brown eyed people, by PEOPLE OF COLOR.
I’m talking about people of color here folks. And most of us are not aware of those things because we live in a racist society.
And because we are educated by a racist school system that only teaches us about white contributions.”