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14 posts categorized "Resistance"

June 02, 2017


#resistancelog (contemplation issue)


ContemplateSometimes, in response to what I see happen in the world, I find my art responding. The response could be:

  • an illustration of 22 pink balloons floating into the sky as I contemplate the lives that were lost by a radicalized suicide bomber in #Manchester, England.
  • an oil portrait of a 15-year-old #JordanEdwards as I contemplate how another unarmed Black male was shot to death by a cop in Dallas, Texas.
  • an illustration made with crumpled receipts to point out the ironies of my ecologically-aware yet consumption-driven lifestyle.

Sometimes I hear people ask "What's the solution?"

And I guess what I want to say in response to that is that I don't know, AND
I don't think solutions are linear or simple. X + Y doesn't necessarily = Z.

With social problems so deep-rooted, I wonder if an artist's ability to feel and express and contemplate increases our ability to empathize and better understand matters. And perhaps this is a mightily high service that art delivers to the world ... a service that inspires critical thinking and deep-end feeling ... and moments of honest contemplation ... about society and about self. 

#manchesterunited #blacklivesmatter #contemplation #artandactivism #resistancelog

May 23, 2017


#resistancelog (Merry Christmas edition)


OyChelsea Handler recently went bowling and hung out with three Trump supporters in an effort to better understand Trump supporters. After they bowled, she asked them to name one thing that had caused them to connect with Trump.

You wanna know what the first person said in response to that? He said, "It's when he [Trump] said he was going to bring Merry Christmas back to the white house ..."

So then I tried to recall whether Obama said "Merry Christmas" during his tenure. I Googled it. And you know what came up? Video after video after video of him saying "Merry Christmas." And Michelle saying "Merry Christmas." They also said "Happy Holidays."

But I guess when a Black president says "Merry Christmas" it's not heard by some.

 

May 21, 2017


Separation of Church and State


 

Resist

Protect separation of church and state and reproductive freedom.

#resist #misogyny #malesupremacy #bullshit #mikepence #nolitetebastardescarborundorum #istandwithplannedparenthood

 
 

May 04, 2017


#resistancelog (Nolite te bastardes carborundorum edition)


NoliteThis morning, I woke up to read a few sentences that Mike Pence continues to release to the universe ... including "This is the first time in a long time America has an administration filled top to bottom with pro-lifers" and "Life is winning." As though the destiny of my body is some sort of win-lose game.

These disgusting sentences reflect a desire to control women's bodies. And they almost sound unbelievable ... like they are fictional ... like they are straight out of the pages of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel: The Handmaid's Tale. Have you read it? It's a horrific vision of what could happen when male supremacy strips away the rights of women ... where our bodies and our minds are no longer ours. There's a new breathtaking version being told by @handmaidsonhulu @reedmorano that chills me to the bone ... and reminds me that things like this don't happen over night. They happen over time ... when male supremacists like Pence are not challenged and resisted.

And so ... on this day when Fascist45, Cowardly Ryan, and the GOP aim to repeal the Affordable Care Act once and for all (but only after they exempt their own healthcare by preserving the ACA's coverage for their own lives) as they aim to kill more sick, poor humans, especially the women ... I resist.

#resist #misogyny #thehandmaidstale #margaretatwood #nolitetebastardescarborundorum #dontletthebastardsgrindyoudown #istandwithplannedparenthood #separationofchurchandstate #resistancelog #lockthemup
Photo credit: Nick Holmes

 

March 07, 2017


#resistancelog (Word Choice Edition)


Word choice

As I continue to embrace my outrage against the misogyny of this administration and the world, I am reminded of the importance of being mindful with words. My word choices. My desire to avoid using words that create hierarchy among women.

Case in point. Recently, there was a photo of Kellyanne Conway kneeling on the couch in the oval office while looking at her phone that went viral. Congressman Cedric Richmond joked about the photo saying that she "really looked familiar in that position." In response to the misogyny reflected in Richmond's comment, Chelsea Clinton called him out on it and defended Conway by saying: "Despicable. I hope @kellyannepolls receives the apology she deserves ..." To which Conway responded to Clinton by saying: "Thank you @chelseaclinton. As strong women ... appreciate you speaking out on this ..."

And it's the word choice of "As strong women" that left me feeling unsettled.

"As strong women" are three words that appear innocuous at the outset but in my opinion, elevate women of privilege and denigrates women with less privilege. When the words "as strong women" are spoken, the unspoken words sound something like: "as better women ... than those weak ones, those poor ones, those slutty ones, those pitiful ones ..."

I feel that if I as a woman am going to fight misogyny, I need to be aware that perceived strength in a woman isn't because that woman is inherently superior, or that perceived weakness in a woman isn't because that woman is inherently inferior.

Sometimes, when a woman exists within an environment of abuse, poverty, sexual oppression, the means for survival includes meekness and other strategies of finding ways to survive ... quietly sometimes ... outlandishly sometimes ... provocatively sometimes ... to finish the day with the currency she needs for her work so she can live another day.

I'm not saying that I don't want to be strong. I just want to talk about strength in ways that don't unknowingly ignore the dynamics of privilege among women and buy into the faulty notion that individual hard work is all I need to overcome structural oppression. As Catharine MacKinnon points out in Feminism Unmodified: "When a few of us overcome all this, we are told we show there are no barriers there and are used as examples to put other women down. She made it—why can't you? We are used as tokens while every problem we share is treated as a special case."

I want to be strong ... and I don't want to huddle with the privileged "as strong women" to inadvertently shame other women. And I don't want any perceived strength on my part to be used to prove that there are no barriers ... but because there are.

March 03, 2017


#resistancelog (oligarch edition)


OligarchsDid you know that:

  • Our new Commerce Secretary is a man named Wilbur Ross?
  • The German bank named Deutsche Bank was discovered to have move and launder $10 billion out of Russia and that those dollars included accounts by Vladimir Putin and other Russian oligarchs?
  • Deutsche Bank has branches in Moscow, New York, and Cyprus (an island country in the East Mediterranean) called Bank of Cyprus?
  • After the laundering scandal, the chairman of Deutsche Bank became chairman of Bank of Cyprus, which is the bank where Russian oligarchs go to launder their money?
  • Two of the largest shareholders of Bank of Cyprus are Russian oligarchs Vickor Vekselberg (friend of Putin) and Dmitry Rybolovlev (known as the King of Fertilizer)? 
  • As Rybolovlev was going through a nasty divorce was buying expensive property in order to tie up his money from the divorce settlement?
  • One of the things Rybolovlev bought in 2008 was a humongous estate in Florida for $100 million from Donald Trump?
  • Donald Trump had bought that Florida estate from an auction, just two years prior in 2006 for $40 million? 
  • Neither oligarch Rybolovlev nor Trump ever met to make this deal but worked only with intermediaries?
  • Aside from Russian Oligarchs Rybolblev and Vekselberg's high stature in the Bank of Cyprus there is one American who also has high stature in that bank and serves as one of its two vice-chairmen and that his name is Wilbur Ross?

Kudos to Rachel Maddow for connecting these very important dots and reporting on all of this on February 27, 2017. Do you want to better understand the disgusting behavior or Russian oligarchs and their track-record of destroying humans in their quest for money? Then I highly recommend that you read Red Notice by Bill Browder. It is an important book.

I think the reason Fascist45 isn't showing his taxes is because once we get forensic auditors to look at his taxes, we will learn that he is as disgusting as these oligarchs who he has been in bed with, with his insatiable thirst for money. Is there a dossier that could potentially ruin Fascist45? If Russian oligarchs were involved with any business dealings where they agreed to pocket Trump a cool $60 million with a real estate transaction, you better believe there is a dossier. That's the way oligarchs do business. You don't get to pocket $60 million for nothing.

February 21, 2017


#resistancelog (Nicety Nice Edition)


NiceFascist45 loves people who are nice to him. He points out all the time that since (fill in the blank) was nice to him, we should love (fill in the blank). That (fill in the blank) could be someone like Sean Hannity ... or Mike Pence ... or Vladimir Putin. Fascist 45 also despises with a vengeance people who he thinks are not nice to him. And when he feels someone has been mean to him or his people, it's an all out attack ... from Meryl Streep, to Nordstrom, to the American media (including NYTimes, NBCNews, ABC, CBS, and CNN) as he goes for their jugular.

But what IS nice? What does that mean and what weight should nice have in setting domestic and foreign policy? If a kleptocratic terrorist like Putin is nice to Fascist 45 by complimenting him or hacking into our election to find ways to help Fascist 45 win ... does that mean that we ought to feel good about Putin just because he has been "nice" to Fascist 45? Be nice back to Putin who kidnaps, tortures and murders his political opponents and hacks into our election process?

And when Fascist 45 feels an American company isn't being nice to his daughter for no longer carrying her shoes, he uses a worldwide platform to go after that company, to single it out and harass them for making a business decision. And his disgusting son joins in by encouraging Americans to cut up our Nordstrom cards.

To me, being nice is synonymous to being courteous. It's letting a car merge in rather than speeding up to cut off that car for no reason. But just because courtesy is practiced on the freeway doesn't mean that world views become aligned. After all, true courtesy lets all cars (whether blue or red) merge in. That's courtesy.

Fascist 45 was elected to be the leader of the free world. When a journalist investigates facets of his world view as translated into policies and procedures, it's not because they are being mean. It's not because they are being nice. It's because it is their job to be relentless, rigorous and free.

Especially toward women, there's a lot of pressure to be nicety nice. To smile. To be kind. I can be all that. Especially on the freeway. Because that's the way I was raised. But when Fascist 45 and his team continue to champion a world view that dangerously steers our world into the dark ages,

I resist.

For me, resistance involves a lot of tears and heartache. It takes a lot of work. Thankfully, resistance also involves deep satisfaction in knowing that I am living life not obliquely, but honestly, and straight from the heart. Thank you to the many resistors who inspire me and help me feel the opposite of alone.

PS: My cute little black dress? It's from Nordstrom ... one of the best American companies known for their awesome customer service that employs thousands of American workers.

 

 


 

 

February 14, 2017


Red Notice by Bill Browder


RednoticeDid you know that:

  • in 2012 Vladimir Putin's regime announced a proposed ban that would become law, prohibiting American families from adopting Russian orphans?
  • this ban is one of the ways in which Putin retaliated against the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan bill passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Obama, that imposes sanction on Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky?
  • Sergei Magnitsky was Bill Browder's lawyer who helped uncover the deep corruption of the Russian government that stole money from its very own people?
  • Putin's regime captured, tortured and ultimately killed Sergei Magnitsky who refused to retract the truth about the corruption that he helped uncover about his country's kleptocratic regime?

I just finished reading one of the most harrowing books I've ever read: Red Notice by Bill Browder, which I first learned about through Katie Couric's podcast.

Do you want to better understand Russian history, the American political system, and the ongoing atrocities of Vladimir Putin and his regime? I recommend that you listen to the podcast and also read Red Notice. The most eye-opening, educational, horrifying and inspiring books I've ever read.

Horrifying because of realizing the long track record of the terror that Putin inflicts upon his enemies and how the current US President shadows the practices of this totalitarian regime and continues to align himself with Putin.

Inspiring because of humans (like Magnitsky and Browder and members of the US Congress and countless human rights activists) who refuse to back down from exposing the truth about terrorists like Putin.

 

February 11, 2017


#resistancelog (Freedom Edition)


Resit

#resistancelog (Freedom edition) Some folks have written me privately asking whether I worry about losing some business with my activism. Technically, I probably have lost some but I've also gained some so it's been sort of a wash. And honestly, it's not that I don't care about all of that. It's just that I care MORE about living as who I am and to achieve the status of being absolutely free.

And it's another reason to live within my means and resist being an over-consumer of stuff I don't need ... material stuff that bogs me down ... making me think I need to earn more to consume more ... all to protect that which makes me have to silence myself more. Such bullshit. (Does this topic intrigue you? I recommend that you watch the documentary titled Minimalism. It's on Netflix. It'll rock your world.) Here's more on this topic from the amazing Audre Lorde:

"And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my lfie that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife ... and this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe."

February 10, 2017


#resistancelog (Chances edition)


Chances

#resistancelog (Chances edition)

There's this thing that some people say in response to my activism, which is "Why don't you give him a chance?"

Every single morning, I wake up with some hope that maybe he's been humbled and enlightened. Maybe he's been counseled by a level-headed adviser to tackle the day with increased compassion and awareness and presidential polish. Because even ideas that I disagree with can be accepted when delivered with calm. With polish. With respect. I think this hope is synonymous to chances.

He is given a chance every day to #actlikeapresident. And every day, I die a little bit more because he  displays his misogynistic, racist, fascist, and kleptocratic values by abusing his position in such an arrogant manner that incites true terror in my psyche. A terror of knowing that if allowed, my country will become ruled under totalitarianism by a regime that is allowed to exist above the law ... where my rights as a woman are stripped away. And that he will ignite unnecessary conflicts with the global community as he taunts and undermines delicate foreign relations all over the world.

And the thing about me is that when chances I give aren't taken, I resist.

So to those who continue to ask "Why don't you give him a chance?" I ask two questions in reply:

1 What the hell do you think he is given every single day?
2 How much longer can your conscience allow you to remain willfully unaware before your pillow gets so hard that you can no longer sleep? 

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