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Dec 11, 2017 at 06:47 PM
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  • NFL's Chris Long will be donating all of his 2017 football salary to education charity

    While presidents and their enablers shake their impotent fists at the peaceful protests of Americans, NFL linebacker Chris Long has been doing some real patriotic work. About a month ago, Long and his wife announced that they would be donating almost half a season’s worth of Long’s sizeable football salary towars education scholarships in Charlottesville. Now, as ESPN reports, the Longs have announced that Chris will donate the remaining 10 games worth of paychecks to a campaign for his foundation, Pledge 10 for Tomorrow.

    "My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality," Long told the Associated Press. "I think we can all agree that equity in education can help effect change that we all want to see in this country."

    [...]

    Long's foundation has selected four organizations whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character.

    The four organizations are based in the three communities in which Long has played during his NFL career. The city that raises the most money during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.

    Well done, Mr. Long. In unrelated news, our “billionaire” president uses charitable foundations or charitable “promises” to enrich himself while literally giving next to nothing out of his own pocket. A quick reminder: if you voted for Donald Trump, you got got. And you’re kinda dumb.



  • Introspection gives us the empathy to give those who oppose us a second chance—even the racists

    Like most men, I grew up being sexist and homophobic. It did not help that it was part of the culture of the Latin American country I am from. My path away from homophobia deserves a whole article of its own. But most importantly, my path to becoming a feminist (and gay rights activist) makes me a much more empathetic person toward racists and others I am diametrically and morally opposed to. This may sound strange, but hear me out.

    I became a feminist soon after I entered the University of Texas at Austin. It was an intellectual realization that women as a class, like many other groups (blacks, Asians, gays, etc.), were discriminated against. I understood that the systemic nature of said discrimination resulted in the economic and power disparity between men and women.

    Recently, I read a post from my Facebook friend Jim Rigby that really spoke to me.

    Listen guys, I understand your resistance to what women are saying this week about the prevalence of male abuse of women, but there is a gift in this for you if you can find the courage to set aside your defenses and hear what is being said.

    I remember my own painful awakening to MY role in the patriarchy- sitting in training classes at the Rape Crisis Center decades ago.

    I remember the temptation to co-op the conversation making it about MY discomfort with the conversation instead of what was happening to women. I remember resisting the statistics.

    I remember, after that training, speaking to colleges and high schools where the males CONSISTENTLY tried to shut down the conversation by presenting the experiences of women as though they were nothing more than personal criticisms of men.

    I certainly remember a fraternity at U.T. shutting down my talk on rape prevention by shouting "f*ck you, f*ck you."

    To recognize how I had been taught to see women as objects and how I had been conditioned by the culture to "fix" women and to try to stay in control, without even realizing it, was not easy.

    I, personally, could not THINK my way out of patriarchy. I kept finding flaws in what was being said. I did not realize I was using my own sexist interpretations of my life to measure the justice claims of women. Eventually, I had to GRIEVE my way out of patriarchy. I had to die to my false hyper-masculinity. I had to learn to stop trying to control and fix others. I had to die to my false bravado, and be born into the ambiguities of my deeper humanity.

    Like alcoholism, undoing male privilege is a life time struggle, but the reward of being fully human is worth every tear.



  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker succumbs to 'Whataboutism'

    At work, many of us are expected to multitask. As parents, we often have to have eyes in the back of our heads just to keep up with what the kids are doing. As human beings, we are capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time—it’s in our nature. Unless, of course, you are a GOP politician and want to stick your nose somewhere it does not belong, as is the case with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was apparently missing the limelight since he lost the title of worst Republican in government. 

    By now everyone knows that the reason we are seeing NFL players protest during the national anthem is because of the racial injustice and disparities that continue to exist in our nation. As has been written before, this is in no way disrespectful to the flag, or to veterans. Of course, Republicans being Republicans, they have to make a big stink about anything that is their outrage of the week (or in this case, year). Scott Walker is no exception. This past week, the attention-starved governor wrote a letter to the NFL and the NFLPA. 

    Speaking up for what you believe in is a profoundly American idea, but disrespecting our flag, and the men and women who have fought to protect and defend our country, is not American in the slightest.It is time for players in the NFL to stop their protests during the anthem and move on from what has become a divisive political sideshow. Instead, I encourage them to use their voices and influence to take a stand against domestic violence. 

    Where to begin with this? First I have to state that as a veteran, I do not need Scott Walker to speak for me. I am perfectly fine with NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. I do have a problem when people in power seem to think they can force people to stand and show respect to the flag. That is nationalism, and it has never worked out well. 

    Secondly, we can focus on more than one fucking thing at a time.



  • It is time to claim our human rights

    In my mind’s eye, I can see the last legitimate president dealing with Harvey Weinstein and other men of his ilk.

    In my imagination, I can see him briskly approaching the podium, his stone-faced sober mien hiding the anger that is just beneath. His daughter was an intern for the Weinstein Company. But he knows that it is not just Malia, or someday Sasha, who was at risk, but that all women are at risk. And that makes him angry. 

    In a tightly controlled voice, President Obama announces the formation of a presidential commission on sexual assault in the workplace, headed by Vice President Joe Biden, who in 1992 secured passage of the Violence Against Women Act, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Their task will be to examine the existence and prevalence of demands for sexual favors in exchange for employment, advancement, or other benefits. 

    The commission will be spend at least six months gathering testimony from men and women around the country who have encountered sexual demands in the course of their employment or during their attempts to obtain employment. At the end of that time they will assemble the data and their policy recommendations into a report on the status of sex in the workplace. It is hoped that the report can assist our legislators in passing the laws that will serve to make places of employment safer for women.

    Okay, so that didn’t—and sadly, can’t—happen. Instead, we have a man in the White House who does not give a damn about us. Except as objects for his gratification: the assaulter in chief.



  • Want to increase black turnout? Make the fight for voting rights a core campaign issue

    If Democrats want to win elections—which is how we’ll be able to make positive changes and make America a more just place—we need to connect the dots. Two articles came out this week about black voters. One looked back to voter suppression in 2016, while the other was about black turnout in upcoming elections this fall. In order to achieve those electoral victories, we need to link these two subjects.

    Mother Jones has a terrific piece of journalism by Ari Berman, who has been focused for some time on voter suppression, and who wrote a book on the struggle for voting rights since the passage of the Voting Rights Act. His article highlights the experience of Andrea Anthony, an African-American woman who should have been able to cast her vote last fall in Milwaukee, but was stymied by that state’s draconian voter ID laws, which were passed by Republicans with the specific intent of suppressing the votes of poor and minority voters. A backer of the law, former state senator and now-Congressman Glenn Grothman, said openly that the law would help Republicans win elections: “and now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.”

    After talking about Ms. Anthony’s story, Berman examined the broader data her story represents and concluded that there was enough voter suppression in Wisconsin to throw the state from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Yes, there were other factors, and without Comey it wouldn’t have even been close enough to matter. But there was Comey, and it was close enough to matter. And voter suppression swung the state.






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