Wednesday, September 3, 2008

All Around the Blogosphere

It’s the shame of every blogger, but the reality for so many of us, is that staying on top of blog rolls is incredibly difficult. I have about 40 blogs linked on the side here, and there are about 10 more that I know should be linked but keep forgetting to update – not to mention my attempts at reading multiple papers, magazines, and books. It becomes incredibly difficult for me to stay up to date on blogs. As much as I dislike these posts on other people’s blogs I’m going to point readers to a few posts by friends of mine that really spoke to me recently. Most of you, being far better people that I, will have already read these. But here they are:

I haven’t written about Tropic Thunder specifically because I haven’t seen the movie. I often choose not to see movies, buy books, etc because I’ve already decided I won’t enjoy them, and that’s as it should be! I read reviews or see trailers and am able to discern for myself if it’s worth my money. However, I won’t make everyone else listen to my uneducated opinions of media I haven’t seen/read/listened to. Which is why I’m linking to an essay by Lawrence Carter-Long posted to Disaboom on the treatment of the Tropic Thunder protests, and what media professionals and bloggers are missing in the discussion.

MissCripChick also wrote about the Tropic Thunder protests. Here she discusses why parallels to Civil Rights activism are not right and actually a divisive move. I have a friend who recently started compiling a list of articles that compare or include a quote comparing gay liberation to Civil Rights movement – he’s calling it “Gay is not Black”. What MissCripChick wrote hit a lot of things for me – both because I agree with what she’s saying and because I also agree that the realm of developmental or mental disability is still incredibly unknown to many people who consider themselves “progressive”. It’s very thoughtful.

Also from Ms. Crip Chick I found a link to a Blog Carnival around women of color and beauty. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but it sounds amazing. There are about 13 blog posts connected here, which range from discussions of hair beauty to issues of hair touching. Bloggers comment on colorism and dating inside, outside, and around the color line. I can’t wait until I have a moment to really read these.

On Black Looks this stunning post by Mia Nikasimo discusses being a transgender lesbian of Nigerian descent. She touches on the exclusion of transfolks within LGB communities, the exclusion of folks from the African diaspora in LGBT communities, and her pride in who she is. She challenges people to educae themselves and start dialogues on challenging subects.

In two related posts, bfp and Jess H. of Feministe and make/shift touch on organizing feminist movement. Jess H., who is posting her final guest blogger post, discusses her encounter with “unfolding feminism” online, and hones in on surface discusses of intersectionality. This is a very intense post with lots of outside links…I’m still working my way through it but already I’m getting excited by what she’s laying out here. bfp discusses how organizing intersects with capitalism, and the need to be accountable as feminists to a feminist movement: we need to believe in it. There’s a really fascinating analysis of Oprah’s investment in her girls school in South Africa here. She ends her blog with a list or organizations that are accountable (thank you!). Of note, one of these groups is INCITE! Which has also put out this press release on collecting funds for survivors of Hurricane Gustav. INCITE! is an amazing organization, all of their books have inspired me and provided me with insight I previously didn’t have. They do work that I believe in, and I would give to them now if I could.

As I read the INCITE! press release I thought back to Hurricane Katrina, and remembered how I failed at being aware of and understanding what was happening in Louisiana and surrounding areas. During that fall I was incredibly depressed – I dropped out of two courses at my college and I was fired from two jobs because I couldn’t get out of my bed. So I agreed with commentators who examined the racism and classism of the way Hurricane Katrina was handled and covered – but I didn’t know why I was agreeing. I simply went along with these analyses out of a sense that everything was already racist, so why not Hurricane Katrina, too. I failed to understand that simply saying “that’s racist” doesn’t address the actual issues of racism nor does it pinpoint the institutional ways in which racist systems function to create the situation we’re in. I didn’t have any facts or analysis of Katrina, just a general notion that it must be classist and racist, too. I didn’t even begin to have an understanding of the ways in which Hurricane Katrina affected people with disabilities or criminalized immigrant families, either. I’m just beginning to catch up on my understanding of everything that happened, and is now happening in the exact same area. I want to ensure that I don’t repeat my mistake of repeating without comprehending.


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