Most people don’t like to think about social justice because it’s rarely pleasant to think about. Unless they pause and ask themselves why their initial reaction to reading a social justice Tumblr is so negative, that reaction is likely to remain a superficial annoyance rather than a more nuanced disagreement. It’ll be closer to “This is so dumb” than “I don’t agree with this view because [reason].”
Of course, while important and nuanced social justice discussion can and does happen on Tumblr, most of the examples you see on subreddits like r/TumblrInAction were never meant to engage or educate outsiders. They’re meant to vent about individual struggles and build community among like-minded people, which isn’t that different a goal from the one pursued by many subreddits and other types of communities.
Reading these Tumblrs and calling them “social justice activism” is like overhearing a conversation between a few friends about books they like and calling that “literary criticism.” Mocking such a casual conversation as shallow and non-educational misses the entire point of it. It’s not necessarily there for you; it may be there for the participants.
- Environmental racism is the geographic relationship between environmental degradation and low-income or minority communities.
- The people populating areas within 2 miles of our nation’s hazardous waste facilities are by majority of color.
- Racial disparities of color exist in 9 out of 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions.
- Existing laws and land-use controls have not been adequately applied in order to reduce health risks for those living in or near toxic “hot spots”.
- African Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of causing the greatest health dangers.
- A Commission for Racial Justice study found that three of the five largest waste facilities dealing with hazardous materials in the United States are located in poor black communities.This study also showed that three out of every five African American and Latinos live in areas near toxic waste sites, as well as live in areas where the levels of poverty are well above the national average.
- Poverty-stricken Native American communities face some of the worst toxic pollution problems in the country.
- “Approximately half of all Native Americans live in communities with an uncontrolled toxic waste site,” according to the Commission for Racial Justice.
- Living near toxic waste facilities and in low income housing affects almost every aspect of life including food, water, and air. Homes, schools, and workplaces are deemed unsafe because of environmental hazards in the buildings, which are dilapidated and outdated.
- Children of color who live in poor areas are more likely to attend schools filled with asbestos, live in homes with peeling lead paint, and play in parks that are contaminated.
- These same children are nearly 9 times more likely than economically advantaged children to be exposed to lead levels so high they can cause severe learning disabilities and neurological disorders. 96 percent of African American children who live in inner cities have unsafe amounts of lead in their blood.
and this is just america. this doesn’t even address the fact that the effects of the climate crisis will disproportionately effect the the global poor (overwhelmingly poc) and in fact many have ALready lost their homes to it.
this is really important because so many people who like to pretend they live in a “post racial” environment or “don’t see color” refuse to acknowledge that racism isn’t just words. the entire physical structure of civilization is an expression of centuries of racism and oppression and merely existing in it (let alone supporting it) gives one a responsibility for the outcomes of it.
Q:Hello. I'm an Ivorian currently living in the States. I follow the news report about the missing girls, and I have read your post about everyone being an Expert on Nigeria. Although I would like to do everything I can to help, I'm a little skeptical about the campaigns going on in the states right now. There are many cities organizing "Rock a Gele to save our girls rally" What is your opinion on them? Thank you.
Hello. I usually respond to messages privately, but I’ve received a few like this and figured I would respond to this publicly, as well as address some other points not related to your ask, but I’ll just post this here in one centralized spot.
With regards to the ‘Rock a Gele’ and ‘Rock a Crown’ rallies, I have no problem with them. In fact, I attended one earlier today to show some support, to stand in solidarity with them, to observe and to document it. I will post some photos later. There weren’t just Nigerians there. There were many other Africans like Ghanaians, Zimbabweans, Cameroonians, Liberians, Sierra Leoneans, South Africans, Kenyans and others. Not to mention many from the Caribbean, Afro-Latinos and Black Americans. There is support. Many people showed up. I’m all for making inroads and people working together in any way possible. It can’t hurt.
My main gripe is how some in the west were framing this catastrophe online, and from what I’m witnessing, it’s gotten worse. From the “nobody is reporting this” and “nobody cares” posts, to completely disregarding the situation for self-aggrandizement, to gross representations of Nigerian people, to rampant Islamophobia and an undercurrent of paternalism towards Nigeria in general. This story should be international news (and it is), but some people framed it as if everyone was sitting on their laurels and just letting things be idle, and that didn’t sit well with me. We all want the girls back, but people shouldn’t be reckless in their proclamations for their safe return. Just be cognizant of how you are saying things. If you want to take western media to task, then do that. You don’t do that by saying “no one cares” or “no one is reporting about this”. Be specific about who you feel is dropping the ball, because Nigerians have been tirelessly doing everything they can to bring awareness by screaming, shouting to the heavens, protesting and everything else in between. There were even rescue and search parties that went deep in the bush to look for the girls. The Nigerian press has been on it as well. You know about it because the Nigerian media reported it. It irked me when people said no one reported it, as if the information they have of what is happening manufactured itself out of thin air. Other African nations are covering it too. I have friends in Cameroon who I regularly talk to and they are well informed of the latest happenings. Protests and rallies have been far and wide in Nigeria, from Abuja to Lagos to Kano to Port Harcourt. Protesting in Nigeria is not like protesting in the US or the UK. The police there will shoot, so people are risking a lot with civil disobedience. We in the western diaspora have it easy in comparison.
The reason why it has taken off in social media is because of the work of Nigerians back home first and foremost and those in the diaspora. It’s because of the work of other Africans in the diaspora organizing and rallying. It’s because of the Black Americans who are standing in solidarity and side by side with us. These are the people amplifying the story, and it’s been Black women doing the organizing and rallying. At the rally today, there were quite a few men who turned out, but I expected more. I wanted to see more men stand with their sisters. Many did come out and shout out to those who came to support and document, but I expected more. For every man at the rally there were easily 5 to 6 women. If over 200 Black boys were kidnapped, there would not be a ratio of 5-6 men for every woman at a rally or protest decrying the kidnappings. That is certain.
The Nigerian government has failed its people. It has routinely failed its people. People feel helpless. I know that feeling. None of us are trained soldiers or mercenaries. We can’t just storm in with guns blazing. This is real life, not a video game. All people have is their voices and pens, and people are speaking and writing wonderfully. So much so that many who wouldn’t have heard have heard. People are making noise, as they should. Boko Haram is a scourge that is making life miserable for Nigerians. My friend in Abuja quit his job and is moving back to Aba at the urging of his wife after the second bomb blast there in 2 weeks. His wife is deathly afraid, and so is he. So yes, people need to hear about what is happening.
Now, many people hearing will come with potential problems. We should be on guard so that the people working diligently don’t risk being written out of the narrative. On paper, that should not matter. At stake are the lives of over 200 missing Nigerian girls. There is bigger fish to fry. However, I just got wind of CNN interviewing a white woman named Ramaa Mosley, and they credited her for the social media campaign and hashtag of #bringbackourgirls. You can see a tweet from the CNN journalist crediting her for it here. A white woman did not start this campaign or the hashtag. Nigerians did. How do you erase Nigerian people and activists from this narrative? Ms. Mosley is doing work in support and that is super, but how do you just take credit for this entire thing and not even say that this wasn’t your idea? Thankfully, after being called out on twitter, the CNN journalist tweeted a correction that it wasn’t Mosley’s idea, and that she just created a logo. It might seem like squibbles, but things like this need to be clear on the record. She’s done an interview on CNN and was paraded as the brainchild of this. This is what always happens. We must remain diligent so that Black people are not written out of their narratives and work.
Also, now that the kidnapped girls are rumored to be in Chad and Cameroon, this is an international problem. One that Nigeria should work with along with the government of Chad and Cameroon for the rescue of these girls. The leader of Boko Haram (Abubakar Shekau) is Nigerien, or at least has close ties to Niger. Perhaps Nigeria could work with Niger in addition to Chad and Cameroon as well. They should work with them before the US. This is my opinion, I’m no foreign relations strategist. Nevertheless, now that John Kerry has promised US involvement, I sincerely hope that the involvement does not go beyond intelligence. The last thing I want is US boots on the ground. I will never support western military intervention in Nigeria. Believe me; you do not want western troops on the ground in Nigeria. We cannot afford to be ahistorical about things like this and the repercussions of it. Not to mention that this is what Boko Haram wants. The “western devil” on their land will be like a dream come true for them. We can work with peacekeeping troops of other African nations if need be. Nigeria and other African nations regularly sent peacekeepers to former warzones in Sierra Leone and Liberia, so Africans helping Africans is nothing new. It should be like this. The real travesty is that it took President Jonathan 2 weeks to convene a meeting on these missing girls. What an embarrassment he is.
Also, with the rumors of these girls being married off, Nigerians need to take this as an opportune time to take a bigger stand against young girls being married off to old men. We have Senator Yerima from Zamfara who is marrying children. He was previously a governor, and is now a senator. Why are the people of Zamfara supporting this child rapist? It’s absolutely horrid. The people of Zamfara should have run him out of office immediately. Why are they voting him in? Why does a child rapist have their support? These questions need answering. Nigeria should be asking it, Northern Nigeria in particular. These are their daughters.
The word ‘bisexual’ is still blocked on Google.
The word ‘bisexual’ is still blocked on Google.
The word ‘bisexual’ is still blocked on Google.
If you haven’t signed the change.org petition yet, sign it now.
Boosting because young bisexuals are told to google for resources and to find a bi community and the word is blocked because it’s considered dirty.
Once again, Caucasian does not mean white, and using it to mean white is actually racist.
There are real Caucasian people who live in the Caucasus region, and they are not white.
- Difference Between White and Caucasian
- Stop using the word “Caucasian” to mean white
- White American
- Caucasian race
- “Why White People Are Called ‘Caucasian,’” (pdf)
- Caucasian is a Dirty Word.
- Who is “White”?
THANK YOU. Don’t call me white & don’t equate my people to whiteness.
Killing trans women isn’t bad press.
ESPN killed a trans woman. And the author was told “eh, just don’t do it again?” by everyone above him. He still has the job he used to kill a trans person because killing a trans woman isn’t bad press.
I want you to understand this story. It’s here if you can stomach the problematic, transphobic language and the incredibly problematic responses that they’ve made (oh, we should have checked first, but ‘he’ shouldn’t have hidden that ‘he’ was trans so whoops is among the most disturbing writings on this whole story.)
Dr. V is a woman who was in deep stealth. She was very much in the closet to everyone that she met and this was a good thing. She’d spent a lot of time and energy making sure people respected her and treated her decently in a new life because, let’s face it, when you transition people treat you like shit fairly often and she didn’t want that anymore.
She invented this putter. It’s an interesting piece of kit, and the design is still selling if you care about golf. Essentially it’s using physics phenomenon to balance out some of the forces, I haven’t really looked into the technology but she had a lot of professionals saying it made an impact in their putting, to the point that some refused to share details because they were still on tours and they viewed them as “invaluable.”
She asks, when he starts the article, that it be about “the science, not the scientist.” She asks that he focuses on the invention and not her. He agrees, they write about this for a while, he writes an article, it’s interesting, they meet, discuss the physics, and he goes to keep writing.
Then he stumbles across the fact that she might be trans.
And he starts doing all this research. She doesn’t have degrees in her name from the schools she said she did, she didn’t have the job experience under her name … so he researched and found out she was transgender, she experienced serious discrimination to the point she had to sue a former employer, that her closeted life had been somewhat different then what she had disclosed (you mean someone who was trans hid the thing they can be murdered for well? what?) and that she has hidden this as hard as she can.
So he continues to dig. Including calling her investors and friends and telling them she was transgender and giving them information about who she was before she transitioned.
He told people she didn’t have the experience or degrees she was says she had. That not only was she trans but she was a fraud (despite getting confirmation from someone externally that she was, in fact, the person with the experience just not to THAT name.)
She offered to show him the proof that she had the degrees, if he would sign something that he wouldn’t publish it. He said he “couldn’t take that deal.” She’d probably be alive if he had.
She killed herself before it was published.
And you know what’s happened because of this?
Nothing. No-one has been fired. The editor even said that they didn’t want to “make the author feel bad.” But I couldn’t care less because this transphobic murderer isn’t my friend or co-worker. He’s just someone who could give two fucks about whose life he destroys. I spent this morning crying after reading this article, because it was such a clear reminder that we’re the only ones who will stand up for ourselves.
His articles are here,
His twitter is here.
The editor that said those horrific things and approved the entire article to be published is here.
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of finding out we can be beaten to death in front of police officers and have nothing happen. I’m tired of finding out that reason we were called f***gots still rings true - we are valued as less then the price of a match. They think of us as fire starters.
Fine. Let’s start a few fires.
Let’s show them that we’re not taking this shit sitting down. They aren’t allowed to do this to us with impunity anymore. We’re not going to let these people kill us without a fight. Fuck, every single one of us has been fighting since we came out of the closet. No more standing down.
And I’m calling in every single person that has every claimed to be an ally to trans people. This is disgusting, this shit needs to stop, and you could help. We need as many voices as possible.
Anyone identifying as a Radical Feminist - they’re making women kill themselves. Either admit you’re transphobic and stay away from the LGBT movement, or back up what you have said and stand with us.
Anyone who identifies as catholic, christian, muslim, jewish, or any religion that’s had a seriously problematic time dealing with trans people - this isn’t theological, it’s basic morals, we’re being killed out here. Help.
Anyone identifying as an LGBT supporter or ally - I don’t care if you’ve never done anything for transgender people before. Get involved. There are no side line players, either you’re with us or your silence supports those that would have us killed in the streets.
Anyone who has called themselves out as a member of the Rainbow Lantern Corps - you’re needed now. This might not be the reason the response structure was made but we need pressure and let’s face it, the quicker we make people see transgender people deserve basic respect the sooner corrective therapy ends.
Make ESPN send a message, clearly, to anyone who works for them either directly or indirectly - outing a transgender woman is wrong. The resulting suicide should be taken seriously and should be held under actual journalistic scrutiny.
Calab Hannan should be fired. Anything short of permanently losing his position is an insult to the transgender community, and saying that kind of unethical dribble passes for journalism lowers the standard of every publication he touches.
Anything you can send in, letters, tweets, anything, will help. Spreading this around so more people see it will help. We need to respond to this or this shit will keep happening.
Let’s light a few fires.
This is a petition to have Caleb Hannan fired. Please sign it. The more people we have working on this, the more people spreading this around and signing the petition, the more likely it is ESPN will be forced to respond. We might make a major journalist organization reform their policies regarding the LGBT community.
Start a hastag called #FireCalebHannan too and also hashtag it #ESPN.
Final Post/Thoughts on Media Coverage
So I think one really interesting thing for me throughout this project has been thinking about visibility and audiences. The social media websites that I have discussed (Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook) all have some sort of popularity measurement. Reddit has upvotes and downvotes, tumblr has reblogging and notes, Twitter has trending hashtags and topics, and Facebook has top posts. And I think more popular news articles get better spaces on the websites and bigger petitions get more page visibility, but I’m less familiar with those systems.
Trans women featured in a celebratory space in Marie Claire magazine.
They applaud Redefining Realness’ bestsellers status as well as feats accomplished by Carmen Carrera, Laverne Cox and Laura Jane Grace.
There’s a social media campaign going on right now to spread the word on why we need more diversity in our books. It’s really fantastic and inspiring and I am so proud to be a part of it. You can learn more about it here and here.
As a writer and a mom, this campaign is also deeply personal for me. My daughter is 1/2 Korean and 1/2 Jamaican. She loooooves books. I think she might love books more than she loves anything else (including mama!). One day she’ll be able to read them on her own and I want her to be able to find herself in them. I want her to know that girls that look like her can be anyone, can do anything.
We need diverse books because this is my family.
Due to our concern over some of the comments made on a previous post regarding male sexual assault, we want to remind you that male sexual assault is real and prevalent. Male survivors deserve as much respect as any other survivor of sexual violence.
Project Unbreakable is a community of people who believe in providing a safe place for all survivors of sexual violence, regardless of gender identity. We are here to support and believe all survivors.
Any comment made undermining male sexual assault will be removed and the user potentially banned.
We take this issue very seriously. We hope you do too.
We want to take this time to acknowledge the incredibly brave men who have shared their story with all of us. Thank you for your courage.