Sarah McBride, first transgender speaker at major political convention, addresses DNC 2016

I think Sarah McBride is a far better spokeswoman for Trans-folks than Reality TV Star Caitlyn Jenner.

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Older Ladies by Donnalou Stevens

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Black Zionist Slams Pro-Palestinian Group — Cites Arab Slave Trade

From Forward:  http://forward.com/news/344932/watch-black-zionist-slams-pro-palestinian-group-cites-arab-slave-trade/

A prominent African-American Zionist used social media to ‏blast a campus group for drawing parallels between racial violence in this country and the occupation of Palestinian lands by the Israeli military.

“I’m just like, wait a minute SJP. Let’s be real,” Chloé Simone Valdary said in the brief video, posted on both her Facebook and Twitter feeds on July 12. “The majority of people in your organization are Arabs. Let’s be real. Today Arabs still engaged in the African slave trade. I’m just putting it out there.”

“You want to exploit my people’s history?” Valdary said. “You want to exploit Jewish people’s history and twist and turn it to use towards your political gains?”

“Don’t act like you have solidarity with my people,” Valdery said, adding: “You need to stay in your lane.”

In recent years pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have intensified outreach to non-Jewish and African American communities, in an effort to built a wider base of support. Valdery has collaborated with both AIPAC and the Zionist Organization of America. In 2014, Tablet Magazine heralded Valdary as an “African American firebrand” who “wants to ignite a Zionist renaissance.”

The Arab slave trade across the Sahara is among the oldest slave trades in history. Forms of slavery continue today in countries like Mauritania and Sudan; in Sudan, for example, following the 1983 civil war large numbers of ethnic Dinka, Nuer and Nuba were captured, enslaved or exploited in other ways by Afro-Arabs from the north.

Valdary also mentioned Hamas and an Ethiopian Israeli who has been held hostage by the Palestinian political group for two years.

“Legitimately, there are Ethiopian Israelis in Gaza today that are still held by Hamas. Where you at, fam? You going to talk about that? That doesn’t really fit into your narrative?” Valdary said.

Complete article at:  http://forward.com/news/344932/watch-black-zionist-slams-pro-palestinian-group-cites-arab-slave-trade/

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U.S. military to allow transgender men and women to serve openly

It’s about time.  Trans-folks have been serving in the military for years.

From The Los Angeles Times:  http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pentagon-transgender-ban-20160630-snap-story.html

By W.J. Hennagan
June 30,2016

The Pentagon on Thursday lifted a long-standing ban against transgender men and women serving openly in the military, removing one of its last discriminatory hurdles and placing gender identity on par with race, religion, color, sex and sexual orientation.

The announcement by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is part of a fundamental shift in the straight-laced, male-dominated U.S. military, which in 2011 ended discrimination against gays and lesbians. More recently, it opened all combat positions to women and appointed the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, Eric K. Fanning.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” Carter said. “We have to have access to 100% of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”

Ending the transgender ban, which followed an extensive one-year review, will affect a small fraction of individuals serving in the armed forces, or about 0.1% of the approximately 2 million active and reserve members in the U.S military.

Still the social and political ramifications are likely to be felt more broadly. The military has often been a trailblazer in taking steps against discrimination, most notably ending segregation of African Americans in the 1940s.

The move also comes as conservative states like North Carolina and others push to impose new restrictions on transgender men and women, such as requiring them to use public bathrooms based on the gender stated on their birth certificates.

Critics in Congress were quick to respond. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that the decision was “the latest example of the Pentagon and the president prioritizing politics over policy.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pentagon-transgender-ban-20160630-snap-story.html

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The Declaration of Independence

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