As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong. I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that “authority figures” could control my BEING… my ability to BE!

Danièle’s husband, Brian Lucas, who is white, says he believes they were targeted because they are an interracial couple.

Read more here

What Happens When Businesses Use Black Tragedies To Sell Products


- FCKH8 creates a super sarcastic and oddly cheery video “Hey White People: A Kinda Awkward Note to America by #Ferguson Kids,” to sell “racism’s not over but I’m over racism” shirts and claims $5 from each shirt is going to anti-racism charities. The t-shirt slogan is highly suspect and does nothing to support anti-racism but…yeah. Ok.

- Colorlines does a post saying "ummmm there’s something sketchy about using cute black kids from Ferguson to sell t-shirts and this doesn’t really address any issues"

- After FCKH8 lists Race Forward (Colorline’s publisher) as one of the organizations set to receive a portion of the shirt profits, Race Forward releases a statement on Facebook that basically says “we don’t know these people, they haven’t given us any money and we’re not ok with them using our name to sell t-shirts”

- Mike Kon from FCKH8 posts a super passive aggressive comment on the Race Forward Facebook page, and another on the Colorlines article which essentially say, “we just wanted to use a national tragedy to sell some shirts and make a viral video. we didn’t know that we actually had to care about racism or address issues in order for people to be satisfied. don’t you dare critique my allyship or we’ll just take it elsewhere

David Kao’s Murder Shows Anti-Asian Hate Crimes are Real - COLORLINES →

Four teens were charged last Thursday with the strangling death of 49 year old Chinese account executive David Kao, in Flushing, New York.  Under questioning the teens, aged 16 and 17, confessed to dragging, choking, and beating Kao in the backseat of his car before dumping his body on a nearby street.  The suspects, who admitted to the stickup of another Asian man in Flushing last month, had targeted both men because of the victims’ race. Sounds like a hate crime, right? District Attorney Richard Brown, who’s prosecuting the teens, thinks otherwise.

David Kao’s death was not an isolated incident. Throughout my life, incidents of anti-Asian violence have recurred with alarming frequency. I am surprised and a bit incredulous, then, when I am confronted with news coverage that touts the low incidence of anti-Asian crime.

When I learned about Kao’s murder, I reverted to my usual routine of feeling despondent, angry, and frustrated by my inability to prevent these types of incidents from occurring. From an early age, I’d recognized that these events were not uncommon: when I was a kid, it was the crime waves leveled against Asian owned businesses in the Bay Area, New York, Philly, etc. -crimes of which the robberies of my parents’ Oakland Chinatown acupuncture clinic were a part. In high school, it was the deaths of Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans like Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh American gas station owner who was shot by a man bent on “avenging” the September 11th attacks. In college, it was hearing my students, high-school aged, immigrant victims of anti-Asian violence in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, recount the physical bullying, harassment, and teasing that they experienced daily on account of being Asian. A 14 year old boy at one of our program’s feeder schools was beaten up so severely (for no other reason save the fact that he is an Asian male) last year that he was hospitalized and described as “unrecognizable” by his father.

And yet, according to the FBI’s annual hate crime report, only 4.7% of the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2007 involved victims of an anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.

The Asian American Legal and Defense Education allege, however, that Anti-Asian violence is widely underreported at both the individual and state level. The reasons are manifold: Asian American victims may not be comfortable with, or capable of reporting their experiences because of the lack of bilingual law enforcement personnel, mistrust of local police, fears of trouble over their immigration status, and a general lack of awareness around hate crimes and federal civil rights protections. Furthermore, despite the passage of legislation mandating the collection of federal hate crimes statistics, many states and localities have not made rigorous efforts to prosecute and collect data on anti-Asian violence. Most local police forces do not gather records on hate-crimes, and few state governments have implemented programs to measure the number of crimes against specific racial groups.

Kao’s case raises another explanation as to why Asian American victims are reluctant to report racially motivated crimes. Although police confirmed that the teens charged with Kao’s death targeted Kao and Jin Ton Yuan because of their race, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has decided not to prosecute the murder as a hate crime. Sadly, this is in line with a larger trend: victims of anti-Asian violence incur the problem of non-identification or mis-identification of hate crimes by law enforcement officers who don’t take them seriously and deliberately avoid investigations. […]

Why Do Millennials Not Understand Racism? →


White privilege



Forty-six million white adults today can trace the origins of their family wealth to the Homestead Act of 1862. This bill gave away valuable acres of land for free to white families, but expressly precluded participation by Blacks.

"how do I have privilege?"

Violence against Indigenous Women: Fun, Sexy, and No Big Deal on the Big Screen



The body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg on August 17.  Her murder has brought about an important conversation about the widespread violence against First Nations women and the Canadian government’s lack of concern.

In her August 20 Globe and Mail commentary, Dr. Sarah Hunt of the Kwagiulth band of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation wrote about the limited success of government inquiries and her concerns about other measures taken in reaction to acts of violence already committed, such as the establishment of DNA databases for missing persons. Dr. Hunt writes:

Surely tracking indigenous girls’ DNA so they can be identified after they die is not the starting point for justice. Indigenous women want to matter before we go missing. We want our lives to matter as much as our deaths; our stake in the present political struggle for indigenous resurgence is as vital as the future.”

Violence against indigenous women is not, of course, happening only in Canada. In the U.S., for example, the Justice Department reports that one in three American Indian women have been raped or experienced an attempted rape, and the rate of sexual assault against American Indian women is more than twice the national average. This violence is not taking place only in Indian Country.

In the Globe and Mail on August 22, Elizabeth Renzetti wrote about three recent murders of First Nations women. “What unites these three cases is that the victims – Tina Fontaine, Samantha Paul and Loretta Saunders – were all aboriginal women. What else unites them, besides the abysmal circumstances of their deaths? What economic, cultural, historical or social factors? Anything? Nothing?”


I can’t answer that, but I know that all of these women—and every other indigenous woman in Canada and the U.S.—lives in a society that includes images of violence against indigenous women in its entertainment products. Over and over, violence against indigenous women is made to titillate, built into narratives along with action, suspense, swashbuckling, and romance. Indigenous women become exotic props, and when we are identified with these dehumanized caricatures, it becomes easier to treat us inhumanely.


Take as an example Disney’s Pocahontas. Released in 1995, the cartoon feature has replaced the historical figure’s life story in the minds of many Americans. Much has been made of Disney’s exotification of Pocahontas. John Smith is only compelled to put down his gun because of her beauty. Pocahontas is imbued with animal qualities throughout the film as she scuttles, bounds, swims, creeps, and dives. This reinforces a long-held conception of Native peoples as being “close to nature” at best, “more animal than human” at worst—and the latter is a view that makes us easier to abuse.


 The recent depiction of Emily (a Makah woman) in the Twilight series offers viewers a direct representation of violence in a fictional Native community. Emily’s broad, visible facial scar is said to be the result of her partner Sam’s (a Quileute man/werewolf) outburst of rage: he was a younger werewolf, with difficulty controlling his “phasing” from human to wolf, he became angry, and she was standing too close. The presentation of this story problematic in its shrugging absolution of Sam of his responsibility in maiming Emily, and the aftermath is heartbreaking: in the more detailed version of the story presented in the Twilight books, after Sam mauls Emily, she not only takes him back, but convinces him to forgive himself. This sends the message that an episode of violence can and should be overlooked for the sake of romance. Emily, a Native woman, becomes expendable. Her safety is of little concern; the fact that Sam has “imprinted” on her, cementing his attachment, is more important than the reality of recidivism.

In a Globe and Mail editorial, “How to Stop an Epidemic of Native Deaths,” the author brings up the many social factors at work in the epidemic of violence against Native women. I bring up the problematic and pervasive imagery above not because I think it is the most problematic issue, but because it is what I know, and because we can start solving it with our individual actions. We don’t need to call Native women “squaws” and joke that they were “hookers” when forced into prostitution, as Drunk History did last year. We can make better choices than “naughty Native” costumes on Halloween. We have the freedom to choose the representations we make in the world, and when we perpetuate damaging stereotypes of indigenous women as rapeable, we are using our autonomy to disempower others.

Karen Warren wrote in “A feminist philosophical perspective on ecofeminist spiritualities”:

"Dysfunctional systems are often maintained through systematic denial, a failure or inability to see the reality of a situation. This denial need not be conscious, intentional, or malicious; it only needs to be pervasive to be effective."


I’m tired of hearing that these images aren’t harmful. I’d rather see how much they’re missed when they’re gone than continue to listen to the insistence that the image of Pocahontas at the end of a gun barrel is wholesome while, every day, more and more indigenous women die while we are told that this is not a phenomenon, not a problem, nothing more than crime.


Black trans women are also victims of this same violence targeting black men and black cis women. This genocide is all inclusive. And transmisogynistic violence is heavily racialized. 

Sept. 1 11:27 pm



I’m only sharing tweets for those who are not on twitter and can’t see how passionate and outraged journalists are as they tweet from #Ferguson.

If you are on Twitter, here’s a good roster of people to follow if you want to keep updated.

"…rather than reconsider their racist ‘solution’ to Australia’s nuclear waste problem – that is, dumping it on Aboriginal land – the Abbott government is desperately trying to find another remote site [after the Muckaty people successfully stood against a dump on their territory]. The NT government is actively assisting, with Chief Minister Adam Giles upping the ante and supporting the idea that an international nuclear dump could be the antidote to Aboriginal poverty."

the dumps, which include shallow unlined trenches for medical waste and above-ground sheds for nuclear waste, are being called “temporary” but will be in place for a minimum of 300 years. in return, they are promising $11 million in a charity trust for infrastructure, and a $1 million scholarship fund.

granted i am not very good at math and am definitely not one of those scientists that does nuclear waste risk assessments or whatever….but seems more than a little fishy that they expect an Aboriginal community to host toxic waste that will pretty much undoubtedly fuck up their water, air, land, and bodies for 10 generations, when they’re willing to pay them an amount that won’t even provide for 1 generation. [source]

Navajo Kindergartener Told to Cut his Hair, Sent Home on First Day of School - COLORLINES →


Five-year-old Malachi Wilson was all set to start kindergarten at F.J. Young Elementary in Seminole, Texas, but on Monday he was told to cut his hair and was sent home. His mother, April Wilson, contacted the Navajo Nation; the American Indian Movement also put pressure on the district to reverse its decision against the child. Only after she provided documentation of her son’s Native-ness through Malachi’s Certificate of Indian Blood did the Seminole Independent School District change its mind. The district’s rather lengthy student dress code stipulates more than a dozen rules when it comes to hair. Among them, Mohawks are prohibited. (Mohawks are called that for the way that some actual Mohawk people wear their hair.) Dreadlocks are also prohibited. The handbook says exceptions are made on “certain recognized religious or spiritual beliefs,” but students “must receive prior approval by the campus administrator.” The district changed its mind about Wilson’s hair—but he nevertheless missed his first day of school. The school district is ostensibly named for the Seminole people. The district’s schools use various Native mascots, and refer to their students as “Indians and Maidens.”

"Young women on the reservation live their lives in anticipation of being raped. They talk about, ‘How will I survive my rape?’ as opposed to not even thinking about it. We shouldn’t have to live our lives that way."
- Juana Majel Dixon, 1st vice president of the National Congress of American Indians and co-chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women
"Fontaine’s murder has rightly reignited calls for a federal public inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women. How many more indigenous women’s and girls’ bodies do police have to discover by chance in rivers, forests, parks and farms before the government begins to show an ounce of interest in our lives? Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on his annual tour of the North, was posed essentially that question when asked to comment on Fontaine’s death last week. Harper replied, “We should not view this as a sociological phenomenon. We should view it as a crime.”"

sociological phenomenon or crime? here’s some numbers that should clear that up for you (source):

  • 1,017: Number of aboriginal women murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2012
  • 327: Total number of aboriginal women victims of murder reported by the RCMP to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in September 2013. The RCMP says that number was smaller “because they focused solely on RCMP jurisdictions and spanned a relatively short period of time.”
  • 164: Number of aboriginal women reported missing between 1980 and 2012. The real number is likely higher, since the stat only includes women missing at least 30 days.
  • 225: Number of unsolved cases of missing or murdered women
  • 16: Percentage of women victims of murder who were aboriginal. Aboriginal women are roughly four times more likely to be victims of murder than non-aboriginal women.
  • 8: Percentage of female victims of murder who were aboriginal in 1984
  • 23: Percentage of female victims of murder who were aboriginal in 2012
  • 12: Percentage of aboriginal women victims of murder from 1991 to 2012 who were likely involved in the sex trade. That’s versus 5 per cent of non-aboriginal women. The RCMP notes that the proportion for both is relatively small and that “it would be inappropriate to suggest any significant difference in the prevalence of sex trade workers among aboriginal female homicide victims as compared to non-aboriginal homicide victims.”

Inuit Children Showing Physical Signs Of North's Food Security Problems →


Hunger among Inuit families is so prevalent in the Arctic that it could be why almost half their children are shorter than average, new research suggests. A paper published in the Journal of the Canadian Public Health Association says the height discrepancy implies that food insecurity is a long-running problem — not just something that happens occasionally. ”The observed association between food insecurity and linear growth suggests that the diet quality and quantity of children from food-insecure households had been compromised for a long time,” the paper says.

…A McGill University study found in 2010 that 41 per cent of Nunavut children between three and five lived in homes where they either had no food for an entire day or where their parents couldn’t afford to feed them at least part of the time. Two-thirds of the parents said there were times when they ran out of food and couldn’t afford to buy more. In a 2012 study, Statistics Canada found that 22 per cent of Inuit reported going hungry during the previous year because they couldn’t afford food. Nunavut’s territorial nutritionist has found nearly three-quarters of Inuit preschoolers live in food-insecure homes. Half of youths 11 to 15 years old sometimes go to bed hungry.

"Food-insecure children were significantly shorter in stature, by an average of two centimetres, than their food-secure counterparts," the report says. "For children of this age group, this is close to half a year’s growth." They also found children from hungry families tended to be more anemic. ”The results of this study raise concerns about the long-term implications of food insecurity for Nunavik,” the report concludes.


Black TV producer on way to Emmys party mistaken for bank robber, handcuffed, held for six hours

An African-American film producer in Beverly Hills for an Emmy pre-party was handcuffed and detained for around six hours on Friday night as police believed he fit the description of a suspect in a nearby bank robbery.

Charles Belk said he left a restaurant alone to refill a parking meter when he was suddenly surrounded by six police cars “handcuffed very tightly, fully searched for weapons, and placed back on the curb,” he wrote on his Facebook page with an accompanying photo of him sitting on the curb as two police officers stand close by.