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theblacksophisticate:

Happy birthday to the late Dr. Dorothy Height. What a trailblazer! What a legacy! Google's doodle is dedicated to her!





Dorothy Irene Height was an American administrator, educator, and a civil rights and women’s rights activist specifically focused on the issues of African-American women, including unemployment, illiteracy, and voter awareness. (via Wikipedia)

theblacksophisticate:

Happy birthday to the late Dr. Dorothy Height. What a trailblazer! What a legacy! Google's doodle is dedicated to her!

  • Dorothy Irene Height was an American administrator, educator, and a civil rights and women’s rights activist specifically focused on the issues of African-American women, including unemployment, illiteracy, and voter awareness. (via Wikipedia)

fyeah-history:

Photographs from the White Night riots
The White Night riots were a series of violent events sparked by an announcement of the lenient sentencing of Dan White, for the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. The events took place on the night of May 21, 1979 (the night before what would have been Milk’s 49th birthday) in San Francisco. Earlier that day, White had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the lightest possible conviction for his actions.

The gay community of San Francisco had a longstanding conflict with the San Francisco Police Department. White’s status as a former police officer intensified the community’s anger at the SFPD. Initial demonstrations took place as a peaceful march through the Castro district of San Francisco. After the crowd arrived at the San Francisco City Hall, violence began. The events caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property damage to City Hall and the surrounding area, as well as injuries to police officers and rioters.

Several hours after the riot had been broken up, police made a retaliatory raid on a gay bar in San Francisco’s Castro District. Many patrons were beaten by police in riot gear. Two dozen arrests were made during the course of the raid, and several people later sued the SFPD.

In the following days, gay leaders refused to apologize for the events of that night. This led to increased political power in the gay community, which culminated in the election of Mayor Dianne Feinstein to a full term, the following November. In response to a campaign promise, Feinstein appointed a pro-gay Chief of Police, which increased recruitment of gay people in the police force and eased tensions.

(Source: Wikipedia)

unhistorical:

May 21, 1979: The White Night riots begin.

On November 27, 1978, Harvey Milk - San Francisco’s first and one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials - was shot and killed by San Francisco supervisor Dan White (also killed in the attack was Mayor George Moscone). White and Milk had served together (and often clashed on issues while serving together) on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors under Dianne Feinstein for around ten months before White, citing his disgust at the corruption of city politics and his need for a higher salary, resigned his position as supervisor. After Moscone declined his request for re-appointment to his position at Milk’s (and others’) urging, White assassinated both men at San Francisco City Hall. 

White’s trial officially began on May 1, 1979. The jury announced its verdict three weeks later after 36 hours of deliberation  White was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison; his defense team had successfully argued that, because of White’s spiral into depression (as evidenced by his change in diet from healthy foods to junk food), he would have been unable to premeditate murder, therefore making it impossible for him to be charged with first degree murder. Instead, White’s assassination of Milk and Mayor Moscone was defined as third degree murder, a “heat of passion” crime, and the least severe conviction White could have managed to leave the courtroom with, despite the fact that White had admitted to planning the assassinations of Carol Ruth Silver and Willie Brown. 

The “White Night riots” began in the Castro District (where Harvey Milk began his work as a gay rights activist) as a gathering of several hundred people, mostly members of the Castro’s LGBT community. Enraged over White’s light sentence, thousands of protesters erupted into violence, and riots broke out near City Hall. By the end of the incident, during which policemen indiscriminately attacked rioters and vice versa, sixty-one policemen and around 100 protesters were hospitalized. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, tensions between San Francisco’s conservative elements and its growing minority populations increased as the latter groups gained political and economic influence - this hostile divide was apparent within the Board of Supervisors, in the conflict between White (who was relatively conservative) and Milk, and in the White Night riots, which pitted the city’s police department, which had raised money for White’s defense, against the city’s gay community, which had been revitalized under Milk’s leadership and by his election.

In 1985, Dan White committed suicide. Harvey Milk was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. 

A Word About Allies.

A Word About Allies.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, I thought I’d say a few words about allies.

According to Dictionary.com, an Ally isa person who associates or cooperates with another; a supporter.”

I can only speak from my own life experience. I am a gay, while male. That is the perspective from which I see the world. When it comes to *people of color, the best I can do is empathize and remember that it’s not always about me.

❇When I say “People of Color”, I’m referring to all ethnic and/or non-white people. Essentially, the majority of people on the planet.

As a gay man, I can easily empathize with any oppressed persons. There are laws prohibiting my very existence. Anti-gay violence is everywhere. It would be easy to compare it to the horrors inflicted upon African American families throughout the history of this great, yet flawed, country of ours. But I have the luxury of never having had my family torn apart and sold as chattel. No one in my family ever risked their lives just to sit at a lunch counter. No one in my family was strung up in a tree and left to die because (s)he misspoke. None of my family was burned out of their home because they moved into a neighborhood with better schools.

Allies don’t always get it right.

The job of an ally is to support and give voice to those whose voice cannot be heard. Unfortunately, we sometimes get so caught up in our own BS that we forget to step aside and give up the spotlight.

I’ve been fortunate to have had good friends and lovers who have had the patience and fortitude to put up with my BS, and show me when and where I was wrong. I didn’t always like it. At times I was downright insulted. How dare they say I’m just as racist as…? Live and learn, right?

The point I’m trying to make is this.

When you hear black folks expressing displeasure about white folks, for any reason, remember it’s necessarily about you. It could be, but chances are they’re just trying to tell you something. All you have to do is shut up and listen.

It’s not your job to say anything. Just listen.

view source

Explosion At Fukushima Reactor! 12/28/13 Radioactive Steam Billowing Out Into The Atmosphere! – 30 December 2013

Uploaded on 29 December 2013 by ShantiUniverse

TEPCO just released on December 28th 2013 that an explosion at the Fukushima Reactor #3 building has taken place and 89 TONS of radioactive material may be releasing into our atmosphere being carried by steam!

Article links: http://www.turnerradionetwork.com/new…

BPEarthwatch BlogTalkRadio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bpearthw…

LIVE Show Monday December 30,2013 @ 2:30pm CT

A Can’t miss Event with BPEarthwatch talking about this disaster and how to prepare if needed!

source

I’m posting this for a number of reasons, the first being that we would be foolish to think Fukushima an isolated event that is over and done with. The reactors continually emit radioactive material into the environment. The effects will be felt for decades, if not centuries, to come. This should concern us all, not just those living on the West Coast of the United States. Radiation is getting into our food supply. King crabs and salmon from Alaska and produce and wine from California and Washington are just a few affected foodstuffs.

It’s not just Fukushima. The effects of the BP oil spill are still unknown. Fracking is leaking harmful chemicals and gasses, including methane, into our drinking water 

But no one is paying attention.

I could point fingers at the tea party GOP for their animus towards the EPA, FDA, and other consumer health and safety organizations, but that wouldn’t solve anything.

All we need are people who care enough to make some noise.

If we don’t stand up for our environment, then unemployment, civil rights, marriage equality, and the economy mean nothing. Without safe drinking water and food, we won’t last long enough to worry about voter suppression.

Cause and effect. Everything goes somewhere.

San Antonio Passes Far-Reaching Antidiscrimination Measure

(photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press)
Tiffani Bishop, left, Lauryn Farris, right, and Jennifer Falcon after the San Antonio officials passed the ordinance on Thursday.
By  MANNY FERNANDEZ

HOUSTON — Nearly 200 cities across the country have enacted ordinances in recent years that prohibit bias by municipal employees or in city contracts over someone’s race, sex, age, religion or sexual orientation. Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth are a few of the Texas cities that adopted such measures.
But in San Antonio, a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity turned into a divisive political battle this summer, the likes of which this liberal-leaning city of 1.4 million has rarely seen in recent decades.
The City Council passed the measure, 8 to 3, on Thursday, capping weeks of heated debate that exposed racial, religious and gay-and-straight divisions and drew the scorn of Republican leaders and candidates around the state who are just starting to position themselves for next spring’s primary elections.
The Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, who has been running for governor since Gov. Rick Perry announced he was not seeking re-election, weighed in on the issue, expressing his opposition. The state agriculture commissioner, Todd Staples, who is running for lieutenant governor — and who as a state senator sponsored the constitutional amendment that passed in 2005 that defined marriage in Texas as between one man and one woman — also spoke out against it.
They said it would trample religious liberties by suppressing the views of those who oppose homosexuality or same-sex marriage for religious reasons, a claim supporters of the measure deny.
“I consider this an attempt to impose a liberal value system over the objection of millions of Texans,” Mr. Staples said. “It actually discriminates against those with deeply held religious views by pushing this agenda to the extreme.”
read more at nytimes.com

San Antonio Passes Far-Reaching Antidiscrimination Measure


(photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press)

Tiffani Bishop, left, Lauryn Farris, right, and Jennifer Falcon after the San Antonio officials passed the ordinance on Thursday.

But in San Antonio, a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity turned into a divisive political battle this summer, the likes of which this liberal-leaning city of 1.4 million has rarely seen in recent decades.

The City Council passed the measure, 8 to 3, on Thursday, capping weeks of heated debate that exposed racial, religious and gay-and-straight divisions and drew the scorn of Republican leaders and candidates around the state who are just starting to position themselves for next spring’s primary elections.

The Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, who has been running for governor since Gov. Rick Perry announced he was not seeking re-election, weighed in on the issue, expressing his opposition. The state agriculture commissioner, Todd Staples, who is running for lieutenant governor — and who as a state senator sponsored the constitutional amendment that passed in 2005 that defined marriage in Texas as between one man and one woman — also spoke out against it.

They said it would trample religious liberties by suppressing the views of those who oppose homosexuality or same-sex marriage for religious reasons, a claim supporters of the measure deny.

“I consider this an attempt to impose a liberal value system over the objection of millions of Texans,” Mr. Staples said. “It actually discriminates against those with deeply held religious views by pushing this agenda to the extreme.”

read more at nytimes.com

Scott Lively will be tried for exporting homophobia to Uganda

gaywrites:

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Scott Lively, an American evangelist, will be tried in an international lawsuit for helping conservative groups in Uganda target LGBT people. 

This will be the first persecution of its kind, holding Lively accountable for working with religious and governmental leaders to advise on the nation’s notoriously anti-gay laws. Lively has also carried out such work throughout Russia, and in this case he’s being tried for human rights violations.

During opening arguments in January, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights said Lively’s decade-long collaboration with political and religious leaders in Uganda deprived the nation’s LGBT people of basic human rights and should therefore be punishable under the Alien Tort Statute, which gives "survivors of egregious human rights abuses, wherever committed, the right to sue the perpetrators in the United States," according to the Center for Justice and Accountability

Although federal judge Michael Ponsor initially expressed doubt that Lively’s actions constituted international human rights violations, statements the judge made in court Wednesday seemed to indicate a shift in tone. 

Of course, Lively argues that his actions were protected by his free speech rights, but we’ll see how far that gets him. This is one to watch.

Bayard Rustin honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

gaywrites:

Bayard Rustin, who was an openly gay advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was announced as a posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom last week. Also announced as a recipient was the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, who was also openly gay.

Bayard Rustin, the openly gay right-hand man to the legendary Dr. King, has been called the “lost prophet” of the Civil Rights Movement. The late Rustin organized demonstrations, rallied activists, and lobbied politicians to help make life better for people of color. He was a key organizer in the historic March on Washington in 1963, where Dr. King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Rustin died in 1987.

Rustin will be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor available — as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington nears, notes the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbied for Rustin’s inclusion. 

Like Harvey Milk and so many others, Bayard Rustin is one of those people we should be teaching our kids about during civil rights history lessons in schools. Here’s hoping this is the start of some well-deserved recognition across the board. 

Black Does Not Equal Fear - by Chris Beasley

Published on Jul 20, 2013

This video is about changing the mindset of America. Black does not equal fear. In this video I ask “I am black, do you fear me?” to inspire people to realize their own possible bias. I reference President Obama and many things from the Zimmerman trial. Videographer : Javier Ruiz Music: prod. D.O.P.E.


Transcript

I AM BLACK
DO YOU FEAR ME?
IS IT FROM WHAT YOUVE HEARD
OR WHAT YOU SEE?
I WEAR SWEAT SHIRTS, POLOS, AND WHITE T’S
BUT ITS NOT MY CLOTHeS THAT INDICT ME
Its not my actions, education, or personality
Its my nose, my lips and my ancestry

Why does my skin speak louder than the words I say
We don’t assume all whites are Timothy McVeigh
If I plead the fifth and don’t ad to my case
I can’t escape your ideas of my race

Its ok to infer, conclude, perceive
As long as we know, what we deduct can deceive
Admit you could be wrong 
Cause you don’t know me
thats all that I ask, I’m begging you please

If I have a ball you  clap and cheer
But outside the game you quiver in fear
I see purses clutched closer, doors locked as i pass
Words laced with curses, no wonder we clash

Justice in court
Will always fall short 
If we don’t begin to take a fresh start
The judge tried to excluded race thats a fact
But the jury can’t forget that Trayvon was back
No need to see race and then pick us apart
Cause we all look the same when we stand in the dark
Now judge me simply by my diction
hear my emotion pain and conviction

I want to enlighten not divide
I want respect for your life and mine

If fear is the cause thats something we share
And fear is caused from not knowing whats there

So like President Obama let me be clear
Im a black man 
And I’m not going anywhere

Im part of some gangs you’ve heard all about
I’m an Aggie alum
And a proud Eagle Scout

Entrepreneur starting a career
I will identify my self so you’ll have nothing to fear




The idea of being black has been twisted so much
Were said to be savage , ratchet ghetto, 
Threatening, lazy, and sit on our butts
And those that know me still seem to judge
You call me white cause I’m non of the above
I’ve been called black, and I’ve been called white
Based on what you believe  neither is right
I am Chris one of a kind
So don’t judge me by your experiences but by mine
And I’m incline to tell you, I’m not alone
In moments like this we all can be strong
Let our voices be heard let them relish the sound
How can we move forward if we all stand our ground
And after that verdict, the value of my life seemed bleak
What are my chances if they demonize me
We fear for our lives, to a certain extent
But this video is our self defense.

This video was included in The Obama Diary Wordpress post entitled This And That.
Thank you to @TheObamaDiary for sharing Mr. Beasley’s incredibly powerful and beautiful words.