Hey there, is your passport up to date yet? Normally it takes 6-8 weeks to process it. State Dept has got a move on right now (bless them) and they’re processing in about 2.5 weeks. Please, if you have been meaning to, do it now. There are resources out there, especially if you are at risk.
Urging Support for the No Religious Registry Act Today I’m calling my House Representative and asking her to support HR 6382, the No Religious Registry Act, which is currently stalled in the House Judiciary Committee. The likelihood that the Republican leadership will allow it to proceed is admittedly slim at best in this new world we live in, but it’s important to let our representatives know there’s vocal opposition to what Trump is planning. As I learned from Talia Lavin’s newsletter last week, This bill aims to “preemptively foreclose the possibility of a Muslim registry; it ‘would prohibit the Attorney […]
I had this silly little dream. I thought that we might be part of something better. Where people cared about each other. Where compassion wasn’t seen as weakness. Where those in power helped people, without judgement. I thought maybe we could remind people, you know? That it’s okay to care.
— Virtue, The Movement #12
It’s time to strengthen your networks again. It’s been a few weeks and it’s easy in the moment to reach out to someone. It’s harder when it’s been a bit and you’ve got other things climbing the priority list so when you see this I want you to stop and for literally a minute or two, dash off an email, make a phone call, send a text, or a message, or even walk into the next room and really check in with someone in your life that you maybe haven’t heard from in a while. The connections to others are […]
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. (Letter from Birmingham, 1963)
And I contend that the cry of ‘black power’ is, at bottom,a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. (A riot is a letter unheard)
But at the same time, it is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. (The Other America, 1967)
Add to the refuge restroom list and then tell other people about it: REFUGE is a web application that seeks to provide safe restroom access for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals. When the Safe2Pee website passed out of functionality it left a hole in our hearts. REFUGE picks up the torch where Safe2Pee left off and makes the valuable resource available to those who find themselves in need of a place to pee safely once again. Users can search for restrooms by proximity to a search location, add new restroom listings, as well as comment and rate existing listings. […]
Rachel Barney, professor of philosophy and classics at the University of Toronto, has drafted an Anti-authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct—“to keep the bright lines visible” she says—which she wishes to share with philosophers and others in academia. I post it below, with some slight edits. Feel free to make suggestions for revisions in the comments, keeping in mind the purpose and limits of such a document. From here: http://dailynous.com/2016/11/29/anti-authoritarian-academic-code-conduct/ I will not aid in the registering, rounding-up, or internment of students and colleagues on the basis of their religious beliefs. I will not aid in the marginalization, exclusion, or deportation of […]
“I think of too many of my white graduate students at Harvard who somehow feel perfectly comfortable calling me by my first name, but feel reluctant to refer to my white male colleagues– even those junior to me– in the same way. And I think about how my black students almost always refer to me as ‘Professor Lawrence-Lightfoot’ even when I have known them a long time and urge them to be less formal. The title indicates their respect for me, but also their own feelings of self-respect, that part of them that gets mirrored in my eyes. And besides, if their mothers or grandmothers heard them call me by my first name, they would be embarrassed; they would think that they had not raised their children right. So I completely understand when one of them says to me (n response to my request that he call me Sara after we have worked together for years), ‘I’m sorry, that is not in my repertoire, Professor Lawrence-Lightfoot.’
These private daily encounters with white and black students are punctuated by public moments– too numerous to recall– when the humiliation of being called by my first name seems to demand an explicit response; when I feel I must react to the assault not only for my own self-protection, but also in order to teach a lesson on respectful behavior. I regard these public encounters as ‘teachable moments.’ I make a choice to respond to them; a choice that I know will both help to shield me and render me more vulnerable.
A few years ago I was asked to speak at a conference at the University of Chicago, a meeting for social scientists and their graduate students about race, class, gender, and school achievement. The other speaker was Professor James Coleman, a distinguished sociologist, a white man several years my senior who was well known and highly regarded for his large-scale statistical studies on educational achievement. Both of us came to the conference well prepared and eager to convey our work to fellow scholars. The language of the occasion was full of the current rhetoric of our disciplines; focused, serious, sometimes esoteric and opaque. I say all this to indicate that there was nothing playful or casual about either of our presentations. Neither of us said anything that suggested informality or frivolity.
When we had finished speaking, the moderator opened the floor for questions, and several hands shot up in the air. The first to speak was a middle-aged white man who identified himself as an advanced graduate student finishing his training at another prestigious university. He began, ‘I would like to address my question to both Professor Coleman and Sara…’ I could feel my heart racing, then my mind go blank. In fact, I could not even hear his question after he delivered the opening phrase. I saw there having a conversation with myself, feeling the same rage that my parents must have felt sixty years earlier in Jackson, Mississippi. How can this be? How can this guy call him ‘Professor’ and me ‘Sara’? And he has no clue about what he has done, how he has injured me. I’m not even sure that the others in the audience have heard what he just said; whether they’ve recognized the asymmetry, the assault. Somehow, I must have indicated to Jim Coleman (we were friends and colleagues) that I wanted to respond first. He must have seen the panic in my eyes and my shivering body. I heard my voice say very slowly, very clearly, ‘Because of the strange way you addressed both of us, “Professor Coleman and Sara,” I am not able to respond to your question. As a matter of fact,’ I say, leaning into the microphone, holding onto it for dear life, ‘I couldn’t even hear your question.’ The room was absolutely still. I was not sure that there were any people out there who had any idea how I was feeling, any idea that I was on fire. But my voice must have conveyed my pain, even if the cause was obscure to them. ‘Would you please repeat your question?’ I asked the man, who had by now slid halfway down his seat, and whose face revealed a mixture of pain and defiance. ‘And this time, would you ask it in a way that I will be able to hear it.’ …My ancestors were speaking, reminding me of my responsibility to teach this lesson of respect; reminding me that I deserved to be respected.”
– Prof. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Respect: An Exploration, Chapter 2
Today’s action: Avoid burnout. We are only 20 days past the election as I write this. We are looking at 1,439 days to the next presidential election. (Breathe.) We are in a marathon right now. There are multiple stories a day (and have been for years) about how the world is terrible and we are all gonna die (we’re still all gonna die). Yes, make plans. Yes, do everything you can in the next 50 days to get as safe as you can (doctor visits are scheduled, yeah? ID is up to date? Signal is on your phone?) but also […]