Earlier this month, artist Andy Warner illustrated a comic for the Center for Constitutional Rights, highlighting Lively’s exploits in Uganda. His comic, originally posted on the Huffington Post, is reproduced in full below. With the passage of the anti-gay law, the comic is more relevant than ever: according to Warner, now several of the people featured below “are fearing an imminent witch hunt.”
The Coke “Controversy”
I know I rarely post anything of actual importance and I know none of you give a crap about what I say, but please read this.
I am from the very very very Republican state of Kansas, where our politicians have just passed a bill called the Kansas House Bill 2453 where it allows businesses and government employees to deny service to same sex couples. [x] [x] [x]
I, personally will not just stand here and take this unlawful discrimination from this God awful House of Reps, nor anyone else. There are so many things wrong with this bill that I can’t even type them out at this point. I am just so sickened by my home state and these representatives.
So, I am begging each and everyone of you to please sign this petition which opposes the bill. If you do not want to sign the bill, please at least reblog this post so others can see it. We only need 1,702 votes left, so PLEASE reblog this!
An anti-censorship group in America has reported a flurry of attempted book bannings in the last quarter of the year and has said there are increasing numbers of books being taken off school shelves that deal with race or sexuality or are written by “minority” authors.
The Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) is part of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and says in November alone they dealt with three times the average number of incidents. To date in 2013, KRRP investigated 49 book bannings or removals from shelves in 29 states, a 53% increase in activity from last year. In the last half of the year the project challenged 31 incidents compared to 14 in the same period last year.
Acacia O’Connor of the KRRP said, “Whether or not patterns like this are the result of co-ordination between would-be censors across the country is impossible to say. But there are moments, when a half-dozen or so challenges regarding race or LGBT content hit within a couple weeks, where you just have to ask ‘what is going on out there?’”
Among the books which have been complained about were Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits and Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.
Most of the challengers were parents of district students or library patrons, though a handful were local or state government officials. Of the more than two dozen incidents KRRP faced from September to December, the majority involved materials used in classroom instruction.
"It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year," said O’Connor. "We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block."
However, the KRRP says it has also seen an increase in “challenged” books being returned to the shelves following the body’s involvement. This month saw two major victories: Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima was returned to English classrooms in Driggs, Idaho, and a ban on Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits was lifted at Watauga County Schools in Boone, North Carolina.
Among the other successes the KRRP counts was the situation involving the urban fantasy novel Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which was removed from the shelves at schools in Alamogordo, New Mexico, following a single complaint by a parent. The school board later reinstated the book.
Neil Gaiman said today: “I’m just glad that organisations like the Kids’ Right to Read Project exist, and that so many of these challenges have successful outcomes – it’s obvious that without them, the people who do not want their children, or other people’s, exposed to ideas, would be much more successful at making books vanish from the shelves.”
KRRP, co-founded by the NCAC and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and supported by the Association of American Publishers and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, says it is difficult to estimate exactly how many books are challenged or removed as many incidents go unreported.
The KRRP also successfully tackled the proposed banning of The Diary of Anne Frank from schools in Northville, Michigan, where one parent complained that passages detailing Anne’s descriptions of her own body were “pornographic”, and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which was branded “anti-Christian”. The KRRP and NCAC “went to bat for [this book] more than any other work in 2013, facing challenges in Montana, New York, and two new cases in New Jersey and West Virginia.”
Sherman Alexie said censors are “punishing the imagination. That’s why we’re fighting them.”
A reminder to people just how hostile the current social environment is to learning anything about marginalized voices.
Also, please note the bolded: the books under attack are those being used in classroom environments as tools for diversity in education.
[Image: Three photos. The first shows Laverne Cox, a beautiful Black trans woman with long light colored hair seated, head tilted, across from CeCe McDonald, a beautiful Black trans woman seen from behind, as they speak. The second photo is a shot of a row of prison cells. The third is a picture of CeCe McDonald speaking with the back of Laverne Cox shown.]
FREE CECE, the new documentary with Laverne Cox, explores the roles race, class and gender played in CeCe McDonald’s case. McDonald’s claim of self defense was rejected by Hennepin County prosecutors. The documentary explores the implications of CeCe’s story as a survivor, housing trans women in male prisons, and the practice of keeping trans women in solitary confinement.
Please take a moment to visit the site and contribute a tax deductible donation so this important work can continue.
If you can’t donate, then signal boost if you can. This deserves all the attention it can get!
Pasta maker Garofalo’s response to Barilla: “We don’t care with whom you cook pasta, the important thing is that you cook it al dente!”
Great visual design.
Irrelevant side note, is that a non-standard Italian language at the top? Wiki leads me to guess Neapolitan. Interesting that it’s on this ad!
By Monica Moorehead
A vigil was organized by Harlem Pride Aug. 27 in remembrance of Islan Nettles and other tragic victims of hate crimes. Nettles was a 21-year-old African-American intern assistant designer at Ay’Medici, a Harlem fashion company in New York City. She was also a transgender woman who was savagely beaten on Aug. 17 in a transphobic attack while walking with friends in Harlem.
Nettles fell into a coma with a severe head trauma following the attack. After being declared brain dead, she was taken off of life support and died on Aug. 22 in Harlem Hospital. There has been one arrest in the case so far.
Activist and actor George Takei, best known as helmsman Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trektelevision series, is calling for the Games to move to Vancouver from Sochi to protest Russia’s anti-gay laws. READ MORE→
PLEASE SIGN THIS. SPREAD THE WORD. LET RUSSIA KNOW THAT WHAT THEY’RE DOING IS NOT OKAY AND THAT WE THE PEOPLE WILL NOT STAND FOR IT.
The Shot Glass Heard Around The World
In 1969, the Stonewall riots — precipitated when the NYPD burst into the famed gay bar and started being their usually abusive selves — defined the modern gay movement.
Among the first to physically resist the police was Marsha P. Johnson, the now infamous transgender rights activist who co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s.
At 1:20 in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes police officers entered Stonewall Inn and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!"
Officers forced the customers to form into two lines divided by perceived gender and show them their genitals to confirm if it matched the gender on their identification card.
At some point during the raid, Marsha Johnson proclaimed, ‘I got my civil rights!’ and then threw a shot glass into a mirror, adding on to the tension and creating an atmosphere of resistance. Some witnesses and historians believe her action is what instigated the riot.
Patrons began to refuse to produce their I.D. and police decided to arrest everyone still at the bar. Those who were not arrested gathered outside the bar and quickly drew a crowd of over 1,000 queers. As rumors spread through the crowd that those inside were being beaten by cops, they began throwing pennies, beer bottles and other items at police.
A drag queen who was shoved by an officer in front of the crowd responded by hitting him on the head with her purse as the crowd began to boo.
Soon after, an unidentified lesbian was hit on the head with a billy club after complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. She faced the bystanders and shouted, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
Police threw her into the back of a patrol wagons, at that point the crowd became a mob and collectively resisted the police.
Along with Sylvia Rivera, the two transgender revolutionaries created S.T.A.R. and STAR House in which they housed, fed and clothed homeless drag queens and trans* youth by hustling in the streets of NYC so that their children didn’t have to.
Marsha P. Johnson is often credited for inciting the Stonewall Riots, yet she receives close to no recognition by mainstream Gay Organizations and the queer community. I have no doubt that the erasure of Marsha’s participation in the riots and the Gay Liberation Movement is due to her being a black, transgender radical. Had she’d been a white gay cis-male, her name would be permanently embedded in every queer’s mind.
I know Marsha as a courageous queer revolutionary, a queen of Queens, a Stonewall Veteran, a dedicated activist, a mother of S.T.A.R. and a personal idol. She deserves more than anyone I know, to be recognized by the queer community.
In July 6, 1992, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers shortly after the 1992 Pride March. Friends of Johnson claims she was harassed near the spot where her body was found. The police disregarded this and ruled her death a suicide without any evidence. However, in November 2012, the NYPD re-opened the case.
Click here to watch “Pay It No Mind”, a documentary on Marsha P. Johnson.