Archives for the month of: August, 2014

On August 9, 2014 August 28, 1955, Michael Brown Emmett Louis Till , an African-American boy who was murdered in Missouri Mississippi at the age of 18 14 Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson drove up to Brown and a friend, Dorian Johnson, and ordered them to move off the street and onto the sidewalk. An altercation then took place between Brown and Wilson through the window of the police car. after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. . A shot was fired from within the vehicle and Brown and Johnson began to flee. Wilson left his vehicle, fired his pistol at Brown and confronted him. Wilson then fired several shots at Brown, fatally wounding him. Witness reports Brown was on his knees with his hands up when Wilson shot him multiple times. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam went to Till’s great-uncle’s house. They took Till away to a barn, where they beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Brown’s body is left lying in the middle of the street for four hours. Three days later, Till’s body was discovered and retrieved from the river.

Till’s body was returned to Chicago. His mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. “The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till’s bloated, mutilated body. Her decision focused attention not only on American racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy”. Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his casket and images of his mutilated body were published in black-oriented magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U.S. The shooting sparked unrest in Ferguson due to longstanding racial tensions in one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the United States. Protests, and other forms of social unrest continued for more than a week, with night curfews being imposed and escalating violence by State Police Department. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the condition of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around the country critical of the state. .Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who nearly 40 years ago suffered a fractured skull as police officers attacked civil rights protesters with dogs and billy clubs in Selma, Alabama, denounced the police treatment of protesters and journalists in Ferguson, recommended the federalization of  the Missouri National Guard to protect citizens from police brutality. . Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they soon began responding to national criticism by defending Mississippians, which eventually transformed into support for the killers. A support campaign for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown six times, has managed to collect over a quarter million dollars in a few days via GoFundMe, a crowdsourcing site. Several donors passed racist comments on the page while making donations, prompting GoFundMe to disable the comments as it was in violation of the site’s terms

 

The trial attracted a vast amount of press attention. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a civil rights investigation of the shooting. President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing condolences to Brown’s family and committed the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an investigation. “When an all-white, all-male jury acquitted Bryant and Milam of kidnapping and murder in September, the verdict shocked observers across the country and around the world. And when, mere months later, the men openly admitted to Look magazine that they had, in fact, mutilated and murdered Till, the outcry was so intense — and the reaction of Till’s devastated family so dignified — that it lit a spark that helped ignite the modern civil rights movement”. Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till’s kidnapping and murder, but only months later, a Look magazine reporter interviewed Bryant and Milam. Protected against double jeopardy, they admitted to killing him, which further inflamed black opinion. Till’s murder is noted as a pivotal event motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement. The shooting of Michael Brown is under investigation by a grand jury. The demographics of the jury are 68 percent white and 24 percent black.

If you don’t learn from your past you are forced doomed to repeat it.

 

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You guys, my anniversary is coming up. Next weekend I will have been married for 22 (!) years. I think. I’m pretty sure it’s 22.
I’m also fairly certain it’s next weekend… I’ll be honest: I have a horrible memory. But I’m absolutely certain of two things: We got married. AND it was a LONG ASS TIME AGO.

YES. I GOT MARRIED REALLY YOUNG. (see also: 24 year old son. Hi, Adam!) I did a LOT of things really young. Heh.

ANYWAYS. Not the point. The point is that I never know what to do about our anniversary. I looked up wedding anniversaries; apparently this is the year I’m supposed to gift copper.
A copper WHAT, though? Really, it doesn’t matter because when you’ve been married as long as we have, I feel like you pretty much have all the things you could ever really want.
EXCEPT JEWELRY, YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH JEWELRY. So I guess I’ll just sit tight until my 25th anniversary: Sterling Silver. Tiffany’s here I come!

And while I was looking up anniversary stuff, do you know what ELSE happened on my anniversary?

Houston Riot of 1917 (also called the Camp Logan Riot)!
So what had happened was… two Houston police officers busted in this (black) lady’s house(they were “looking for a suspect in the neighborhood”). They assaulted her and then dragged her into the street.
A soldier from the 24th Infantry was like, Well WTF IS HAPPENING HERE?
And the police officers were like, you can get some of this too.
The official reports and later news reports stated the soldier was charged with interfering with the arrest of a publicly drunk female.
Later on, Corporal Charles Baltimore went to the Houston police station to investigate the arrest, as well as beating of another black soldier, and attempted to gain the release of the soldier.
An argument began which led to violence, and Corporal Baltimore was beaten, shot at, and himself arrested by the police.
Once he was set free and sent back to camp all beaten up, the infantry became angry and decided extract revenge.

The riot began the evening of August 23, when 156 angry soldiers stole weapons from the camp depot and marched on the city of Houston.
They were met outside the city by the police and a crowd of armed citizens, frightened by the reports of a mutiny.
A virtual race riot began, which left 20 people dead – four soldiers, four policemen, and 12 civilians.
Order was restored the next day, and the War Department disarmed the soldiers.

There you have it folks! Your unnecessarily long, but still informative BHFOTD!

But I don’t want y’all thinking I’m trying to insinuate some sort of correlation between police officers from 1917 to the present day are out here causing riots because they don’t know how to treat black people. So, may I share one more anniversary with y’all?

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the movie, Do the Right Thing.

SMIRK
#jerks4life

The other day I was watching some Korean equivalent of America’s got Talent! Or maybe it was The Voice or…something. I dunno. There was a girl singing and people judging her and it was all in Korean. Except the song the girl sang.
Why am I watching Korean shows, you ask? ‘Cause The Brat is home. And she felt the need to make me watch all the shit I haven’t had to watch since she’s been away at college.

ANYWAYS.
Me: I don’t think she picked a good song. I think I’d like it better if she was singing the original version.
Brat: ….?
Me: The Fugee version is a cover. The original singer of this song is Roberta Flack.
To be fair, there’s not really a reason you should know that. That song is WAAAY before your time. And really, I was barely born when that song came out.

My mom (who’s visiting): That CAN NOT be true. That song isn’t THAT old. (Did she just call me old?)
Me: It was released in 1973. I wasn’t even 1 year old yet. (Thanks, Google!)

My mom: DAMN.

And because I’m a jerk, I felt immeasurably better knowing that even though this entire conversation made me feel old, I managed to make MY mom feel even older.

#jerksforlife

I went to BlogHer this year. It was a last minute decision, so sorry if I gave some of y’all heart attacks by being where I didn’t say I’d be. Usually I go for the parties, and to stalk my favorite bloggers who I don’t get to see regularly because they don’t live in SoCal. This time I went for something else. BUT WHILE I WAS THERE (I stalked up a few faves, went to a few parties and ALSO), I dropped in on a few panels. One of which was  The Girlfriends’ Guide to California Politics that was being hosted by the California Women Lead organization. While I’m not usually “politically minded” (y’all read my blog, right?), I was interested. Even more so when I realized that women are severely lacking in leadership roles in California. One of the more disturbing facts that were presented was that of the 296 seats County Boards of Supervisors in CA, 68 are women. Many counties have 0.

 THIS IS AN IMPORTANT LESSON ABOUT REPRESENTATION GUYS.

 We need to get involved. We need to be interested, and active in issues that affect us. Our homes, our healthcare, our bodies.

And if you don’t think it matters…Lemme tell y’all a little something I learned about….Ducks.

In early July, I went to Vegas with some friends. One of them is getting married! That isn’t why I was in Vegas, it was just a happy coincidence that she told us she’s plannin’ to get hitched. And in the way that women do, we asked lots of questions. One of them had to do with the living situation, which, he hasn’t completely moved in because he has ducks. And I think chickens? Maybe she owns the chickens? I’m not sure because I was drunk and in Vegas drinking out of straw shaped like a penis. ANYWAYS. The point of this story is that the chickens (whoever owns them) need protecting from the ducks. BECAUSE APPARENTLY DUCKS ARE RAPISTS.

 No. I’m not exaggerating. She told me a horrifying story of ducks raping chickens, ducks raping other ducks, and corkscrew penises. And then I did some research! Because WHUT? That can’t really be a thing. But it is, Blanche, it is. But NEVER FEAR. Apparently female ducks* are constantly evolving ways to not get pregnant from forced sex. Female ducks have the vaginal equivalent of false passages and dead ends.

 Sidenote: I bet in a million years you never thought you would be learning about duck sex (forced or otherwise) on my blog. You’re welcome.

HOW DO THESE TWO THINGS EVEN CONNECT?! WELL. There are 20% or less women in Elected Office. Maybe if we got more involved in politics, more involved in seeking public offices, ignorant mother fuckers wouldn’t be trying to convince people that we are not in fact human ladies, but lady DUCKS. (See what I did there? There’s always a point guys, sometimes you just gotta look for them)

 

**As it turns out Female PEOPLE also have ways of preventing pregnancy (forced or otherwise): birth control and emergency contraceptives, but if there’s no one representing women and what’s important to us, how much longer will we have them?