Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and White Supremacists Are Coming After All of Us

From The Rainbow Times:  http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/neo-nazis-kkk-white-supremacists-coming-us/

By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw
September 7, 2017

I wasn’t surprised when the KKK, white nationalists, and white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, but I was surprised to see Nazi flags flying among their midst. I was shocked that those who flew the Nazi flag were so open about it. The Nazi symbol, the swastika, is such an awful symbol that for someone to actually fly the Nazi flag today was out of the question, or so I thought. It was bad enough seeing the KKK and the white nationalists and supremacists at that protest but to add neo-Nazis to the mix was to add horror to an already deplorable protest. 

The neo-Nazis hold the same beliefs as the original Nazis. Their cardinal enemy is the Jewish people, but they also despise non-white, as well as LGBTQ folk. The Neo-Nazis are afraid that they are losing their place in society and the Jewish people, the non-white people, and the LGBTQ people are seen as taking away their rights and knocking them off their place in society. What is going on with these folks? How can they think like this? 

One reason that they may think like this is because many of them do not have the ability to think in a way that is nuanced. They can only see things in black and white rather than the more complex gray way. They lack integrative complexity when it comes to thinking. This was a finding from Alejandro Beutel who researches violent extremist ideologies. Beutel is a researcher studying countering violent extremism at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).  

Beutel’s findings show that the black and white thinking process can accept simplistic ideas such as the whites make up an Aryan race and that this race should hold privilege in the world. Of course, this is a ridiculous thought but unfortunately some people do buy into this ideology. This thinking places non-white and Jewish folk as enemies to the Neo-Nazis but how do LGBTQ folk fit in? LGBTQ folk are seen as abnormal to the neo-Nazis and that we should all go back into the closet. For instance, I recently saw on the internet, a KKK flyer which supported “bathroom bill” legislation. 

 So, what can we do to stop this kind of hideous, extremist thinking? Holding counter protests, like Charlottesville did, to bring more awareness to these terrible ideologies and letting everyone know that thy must not be tolerated. Other things you can do are to contact your legislators, let them know your feelings, and ask them what they will do to address these hateful ideas and actions. Keep abreast of any legislative bills coming up at town, state, or national levels and show your support or disapproval by lobbying your legislators. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reports that 100 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced so far in 2017. You can also talk to friends and acquaintances and those folks who use social media, such as Facebook, to discuss their concerns about these ideologies.  

Continue reading at:  http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/neo-nazis-kkk-white-supremacists-coming-us/

GLAAD calls for increased and accurate media coverage of transgender murders

From GLAAD:  https://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-calls-increased-and-accurate-media-coverage-transgender-murders

By Nick Adams, Director of Programs, Transgender Media
September 14, 2017

This page is updated regularly as new deaths are reported. Please see resources below on how to write stories about transgender people who have been victimized by crime, and additional resources for writing about the violence that affects transgender people, especially transgender women of color.

These are the 20 transgender people killed in 2017 — all are transgender people of color, with the exception of Gwynevere River Song:

  • Derricka Banner was killed on September 12 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was 26 years old.
  • Kashmire Redd was killed on September 4 in Gates, New York. He was 28 years old.
  • Kiwi Herring was killed on August 22 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 30 years old.
  • Gwynevere River Song was killed on August 12 in Waxahachie, Texas. Gwynevere was 26 years old.
  • TeeTee Dangerfield was killed on July 31 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was 32 years old.
  • Ebony Morgan was killed on July 2 in Lynchburg, Virgina. She was 28 years old.
  • Ava Le’Ray Barrin was killed on June 25 in Athens, Georgia. She was 17 years old.
  • Josie Berrios (also known as Kendra Adams and Kimbella Rosé) was killed on June 13 in Ithaca, New York. She was 28 years old.
  • Kenne McFadden was found on April 9 in San Antonio, Texas, but due to misgendering by police and the media she was not identified as a transgender woman until June 6. She was 27 years old.
  • Sherrell Faulkner was attacked on November 30, 2016 and died on May 16, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was 46 years old.
  • Brenda Bostick was attacked on April 25 and died on May 4 in New York City. She was 59 years old. (There have been conflicting reports about the name this person used and their gender. It now seems clear that this person was assigned male at birth and lived at least part of her life as Brenda. Therefore we refer to her as Brenda and use female pronouns out of respect for that identity.)
  • Chay Reed killed on April 21 in Miami, Florida. She was 28 years old.
  • Alphonza Watson killed on March 22 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was 38 years old.
  • Jaquarrius Holland killed on February 19 in Monroe, Louisiana (identified as trans on February 28). She was 18 years old.
  • Ciara McElveen killed on February 27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 21 years old.
  • Chyna Gibson killed on February 25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 31 years old.
  • Keke Collier killed on February 21 in Englewood, Chicago. She was 24 years old.
  • JoJo Striker killed on February 8 in Toledo, Ohio. She was 23 years old.
  • Mesha Caldwell killed on January 4 in Canton, Mississippi. She was 41 years old.
  • Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow killed on January 1 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was 28 years old.

* Initial police reports from Fresno, California identified homicide victim Imer Alvarado as a transgender woman, but Alvarado’s friends say he identified as a gay man who occasionally dressed in drag. Police have not arrested a suspect nor revealed a motivation for the murder, which happened on May 17.

* Initial news reports from San Francisco, California identified homicide victim Anthony Torres, aka Bubbles, as a transgender activist, but Torres did not identify as transgender. Police have not arrested a suspect nor revealed a motivation for the murder, which happened on September 9.

* On September 16, Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was killed by police while they were experiencing a mental health crisis. Schultz was 21-years old, and identified as non-binary, using they/them pronouns. On January 6, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, a 23-year-old transgender man named Sean Hake was also killed by police while Hake was attempting to harm himself. On February 4, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona, police shot and killed Kayden Clarke, a 24-year-old transgender man with Asperger syndrome, after Clarke’s friend asked the police to go to his apartment because she was afraid Clarke was suicidal. These tragic incidents speak to the need for more mental health resources for transgender people, and for more comprehensive training for police on how to respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

GLAAD is calling on the media to:

  • Report on the brutal violence perpetrated against transgender people, particularly transgender women of color. With violence against transgender people at an all-time high and rising, national media coverage is severely lacking. The media must do a better job of reporting these murders and bringing needed attention to a community under vicious and violent attack. In order for people to be aware of the horrific violence affecting the community, the public needs to know it is happening. The media has a responsibility to communicate about the deadly realities faced by transgender people.
  • Respect and use the lived identity, name, and pronoun of the victim. Report on each victim with dignity and respect, portraying them as a person, not just a statistic. Disregarding the victim’s gender identity and misgendering them in news reports adds further insult to injury, compounding the tragedy by invalidating who the victims were. GLAAD’s Doubly Victimized: Reporting on Transgender Victims of Crime offers clear guidelines for reporting respectfully on stories where transgender people have been victimized by crime. GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide also offers a glossary of terms, and best practices for fairly and accurately covering transgender stories.

As necessary, GLAAD reaches out to media outlets to correct incidents of irresponsible reporting where misgendering and victim-blaming occur. We also work with local communities and advocates, connecting them to journalists to confirm information about the victims. If you see a news story which misgenders a transgender victim and/or publishes details about their personal life irrelevant to their murder, contact us at transgender@glaad.org.

Background

Victims of anti-transgender violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color, who live at the dangerous intersections of transphobia, racism, sexism, and criminalization which often lead to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. While some homicides have not yet been identified as hate crimes due to lack of information about the perpetrators or motives, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports an alarming multi-year trend showing that transgender women experience a greater risk of death by hate violence than any other group.

2016 overtook 2015 as the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States. In 2016, 27 transgender people were killed in the United States and nearly all of the victims were transgender women of color. (The 27th victim was India Monroe, a Black transgender woman, who was found shot to death in Newport News, Virginia on December 21, 2016; however, because initial reporting misgendered and misidentified her using her birth name, her death was not known until January.) This number does not include transgender people whose deaths were not reported due to misgendering in police reports, news stories, and sometimes by the victim’s family.

Additional Resources:

Stop talking right now about the threat of climate change. It’s here; it’s happening

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/11/threat-climate-change-hurricane-harvey-irma-droughts?CMP=fb_us

Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – we need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fast


Monday 11 September 2017

For the sake of keeping things manageable, let’s confine the discussion to a single continent and a single week: North America over the last seven days.

In Houston they got down to the hard and unromantic work of recovery from what economists announced was probably the most expensive storm in US history, and which weather analysts confirmed was certainly the greatest rainfall event ever measured in the country – across much of its spread it was a once-in-25,000-years storm, meaning 12 times past the birth of Christ; in isolated spots it was a once-in-500,000-years storm, which means back when we lived in trees. Meanwhile, San Francisco not only beat its all-time high temperature record, it crushed it by 3F, which should be pretty much statistically impossible in a place with 150 years (that’s 55,000 days) of record-keeping.

That same hot weather broke records up and down the west coast, except in those places where a pall of smoke from immense forest fires kept the sun shaded – after a forest fire somehow managed to jump the mighty Columbia river from Oregon into Washington, residents of the Pacific Northwest reported that the ash was falling so thickly from the skies that it reminded them of the day Mount St Helens erupted in 1980.

That same heat, just a little farther inland, was causing a “flash drought” across the country’s wheat belt of North Dakota and Montana – the evaporation from record temperatures had shrivelled grain on the stalk to the point where some farmers weren’t bothering to harvest at all. In the Atlantic, of course, Irma was barrelling across the islands of the Caribbean (“It’s like someone with a lawnmower from the sky has gone over the island,” said one astounded resident of St Maarten). The storm, the first category five to hit Cuba in a hundred years, is currently battering the west coast of Florida after setting a record for the lowest barometric pressure ever measured in the Keys, and could easily break the 10-day-old record for economic catastrophe set by Harvey; it’s definitely changed the psychology of life in Florida for decades to come.

Oh, and while Irma spun, Hurricane Jose followed in its wake as a major hurricane, while in the Gulf of Mexico, Katia spun up into a frightening storm of her own, before crashing into the Mexican mainland almost directly across the peninsula from the spot where the strongest earthquake in 100 years had taken dozens of lives.

Leaving aside the earthquake, every one of these events jibes with what scientists and environmentalists have spent 30 fruitless years telling us to expect from global warming. (There’s actually fairly convincing evidence that climate change is triggering more seismic activity, but there’s no need to egg the pudding.)

That one long screed of news from one continent in one week (which could be written about many other continents and many other weeks – just check out the recent flooding in south Asia for instance) is a precise, pixelated portrait of a heating world. Because we have burned so much oil and gas and coal, we have put huge clouds of CO2 and methane in the air; because the structure of those molecules traps heat the planet has warmed; because the planet has warmed we can get heavier rainfalls, stronger winds, drier forests and fields. It’s not mysterious, not in any way. It’s not a run of bad luck. It’s not Donald Trump (though he’s obviously not helping). It’s not hellfire sent to punish us. It’s physics.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/11/threat-climate-change-hurricane-harvey-irma-droughts?CMP=fb_us

When History’s Losers Write the Story

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/sunday-review/civil-war-statues-losers.html

By
Sept. 15, 2017

I visited a summer camp in western Russia in July 2015. Its theme was “military patriotism,” and it involved dozens of teenagers lounging around in tents, wrestling, carving wood and making garlands. They were also taking history classes. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader who killed millions of Soviet citizens, was remembered fondly.

“Whatever your view of Stalin, you can’t deny that he was a strong leader,” a counselor told me later over steaming bowls of cabbage soup. “Stalin won the war. He made it possible for us to go to space. You can’t just throw out a person like that from history.”

Russia has not faced the darker parts of its past, something I spent a lot of time thinking about as a correspondent there. But my own country has memory problems, too. Take the Civil War. Historians tell us it was fought over slavery. But an entirely different version unspooled last month at an Applebee’s in Delaware.

“It’s too simplified to say the war was over slavery,” said Jeffrey Plummer, head of a local chapter of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. “That’s what’s been taught in the schools, but there’s more to it.”

Selective memory, it seems, is a global phenomenon. Think of Turkey and its blank spot where the Armenian genocide should be. Or Japan with its squeamishness about its aggression and mass murder in China. It starts as a basic human impulse to take the sting out of defeat or to avoid admitting some atrocity. But it’s also a way to help cope with a difficult present. And like a growth on a tree ring, it can keep the past off-kilter until some future generation is brave enough to right it.

“In most countries you are more likely to get evasion and nationalistic versions of history than tough grappling with the darker parts of your past, and the U.S. is no exception,” said Gary Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton.

In the United States, the Civil War remains “the most divisive and unresolved experience Americans have ever had,” according to David Blight, a historian at Yale. “The Civil War is like a sleeping dragon. If you poke it hard enough, it will raise its head and breathe fire.”

That is, in part, because the loser was allowed its own interpretation. The South, facing catastrophic loss of life and mass destruction on a European scale, wrote its own history of the war. It cast itself as an underdog overwhelmed by the North’s superior numbers, but whose cause — a noble fight for states’ rights — was just. The North looked the other way. Northern elites were more interested in re-establishing economic ties than in keeping their commitments to blacks’ constitutional rights. The political will to complete Reconstruction died.

“The whole notion of honoring the Confederacy and the sacrifice that your family made became part of what we taught in the schools,” said Charles Dew, a Williams College historian whose book “Apostles of Disunion” describes the white supremacist arguments that underpinned the South’s case for leaving the Union.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/sunday-review/civil-war-statues-losers.html

We Are Asking the Court to Put an Immediate Stop to the President’s Anti-Trans Military Ban

From The ACLU:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/we-are-asking-court-put-immediate-stop-presidents-anti-trans

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project
September 14, 2017

Imagine serving your country for over a decade in the armed forces — many of those years hiding the truth of who you are, but still showing up each day to fight for something bigger than yourself.

You put yourself on the line.

You depend on your service for your benefits, for your survival, for the survival of your family.

You plan your entire life around your career.

After years of committed service, the government finally changes policy and you can serve proudly and openly. You can be who you are and continue to thrive in your work. You don’t have to hide under the mask of an inauthentic self.

Then, in an instant, after you rely on assurances that your livelihood and existence will be safe, your government turns on you — in a tweet from your commander in chief, you are told that you cannot serve “in any capacity”; you are told that because you are transgender, everything about who you are and what you have done is irrelevant because you are not wanted. The entire country watches as you are humiliated and demeaned, and everyone is sent a message that somehow you are unworthy of even basic decency because of who you are.

This is what happened to transgender individuals in the United States armed forces.

For years, transgender individuals were barred from open military service based on outdated and outright incorrect views about what it means to be transgender. In 2016, after years of study and careful analysis, that ban on service was lifted, and a new policy allowing transgender individuals to serve openly in the Armed Forces was implemented.

But after a tweet from President Trump on July 26 and a subsequent directive signed on August 25, the Department of Defense was instructed by the president to reverse course and again ban transgender individuals from openly serving in the military. The directive also included banning coverage for medically necessary medical procedures and beginning a process of subjecting currently serving individuals to separation just for being transgender.

Pensions are on the line. Medical care is being cancelled. Enlistments are prohibited. People’s entire lives and careers are disrupted.

Continue reading at:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/we-are-asking-court-put-immediate-stop-presidents-anti-trans

Common Enemies, Common Causes: Queer People and the Labor Movement

From Infomore:  https://intomore.com/impact/common-enemies-common-causes-queer-people-and-the-labor-movement/

You might not think that Labor Day is a queer holiday, but queer people are a part of US labor movement history.

By: Mathew Rodriguez
Sep 4 2017

The labor rights movement in America is about economics. And the US fight for queer liberation is about civil rights and sexual liberation. But, while they may seem totally different on the outside, these movements do intersect. Queer women, men and trans people have all played a significant part in US labor rights history, and the fight for fair wages and benefits has often been a fight for better working standards for queer people.

To illuminate further just how much queer people were a part of the US workers rights’ movements, INTO spoke with Miriam Frank, author of Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America.

I’m very interested that you draw this parallel early in the book between states historically with anti-sodomy laws and states with anti-union laws. You point out that in 12 states that continued to have anti-sodomy laws until the 2003 Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas  — Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia — there are also present day anti-union or “right to work” laws. Beyond those both being conservative talking points, are there any ways these are related?

There is a heritage in the states that have right to work laws that also had sodomy statutes. There is a heritage of anti-liberal, anti-free — it is not obviously misogynistic but it is misogynistic.

The reason I wrote the book was to show how these two movements, which are very different — the gay movement is about a way of being sexual and the labor movement is about making a living. Unless you’re doing sex work, they aren’t really the same thing at all. They don’t really have the same reasons, they don’t have the same history, they don’t attack the same kinds of people, they don’t have organize the same way, they are not restricted by the same laws. But, because they have the same enemy — the hostile anti-gay, the anti-sex, anti-liberal laws Christian Right, you can define it anyway you want to — we have common enemies, and so we have common causes. My intention in the book was to show how that worked out in the process of working for a living and being out at your own workplace in the form of working a union.

Everyone believes there should be a union and they should negotiate with the boss and then they find out that the guy you’re working next to is trying to get domestic partner benefits in their union contract and this guy doesn’t think queers are good people. How does someone struggle with that? How does someone make an alliance with someone who isn’t exactly like them? The cause has to be a forethought.

So, you touch on a lot of different industries in the book, but you do say that a lot of unions learned from the teacher’s union. Would you say that was the earliest and most vociferous defenders of queer union members?

Yes, because a flashpoint, a shining point of homophobia, is “Those queer men are going to turn my little boy into a fag!” You know, the whole thing about pedophilia, that thing is a livewire issue today but the teachers unions have really pushed that back and have campaigned. They didn’t really want to. They started out wishing, “Just keep quiet and we won’t have any problems,” and then we did have problems. Again if you go to california and you go to proposition 6, the Briggs Initiative, which was a huge campaign in California in 1978, the briggs initiative was defeated by an amazing coalition of liberal coalitions. Not only unions, but liberal religious groups, the Girl Scouts, everyone got on the bandwagon and thy pushed back the hostile initiative. Six years later in Oregon, another group of people were trying to do the same thing. They kept running these bogus campaigns about pedophilia. The teachers’ union, having learned from the Briggs initiative said “it’s not going to happen.” And in fact in Oregon, in the state of Washington, in a lot of places where there were strong teachers union movements, that’s never went anywhere.

Continue reading at:  https://intomore.com/impact/common-enemies-common-causes-queer-people-and-the-labor-movement/

Americans Are Confronting an Alarming Question: Are Many of Our Fellow Citizens ‘Nazis’?

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/magazine/americans-are-confronting-an-alarming-question-are-many-of-our-fellow-citizens-nazis.html

By

One morning in mid-August, Americans woke up in what felt, to some, like an altered country. The week’s most notable political event had begun with hundreds of Americans carrying torches while chanting “Sieg heil” and “Jews will not replace us.” White supremacist radicals like these had been active and energized throughout the presidential campaign, but much of their energy had been restricted to the internet. The rally in Charlottesville was markedly different. It confronted America with an unlikely question: Was it possible the nation was seeing a burgeoning political faction of … actual Nazis? People we should actually call Nazis?

“Nazi” is a remarkable example of the very different routes a word can take through the world. In this case, that word is the Latin name “Ignatius.” In Spanish, it followed a noble path: It became Ignacio, and then the nickname Nacho, and then — after a Mexican cook named Ignacio Anaya had a moment of inspiration — it became delicious, beloved nachos. In Bavaria, a much darker transformation took place. Ignatius became the common name Ignatz, or in its abbreviated form, Nazi. In the early 20th century, Bavarian peasants were frequent subjects of German mockery, and “Nazi” became the archetypal name for a comic figure: a bumbling, dimwitted yokel. “Just as Irish jokes always involve a man called Paddy,” the etymologist Mark Forsyth writes in his 2011 book “The Etymologicon,” “so Bavarian jokes always involved a peasant called Nazi.” When Adolf Hitler’s party emerged from Bavaria with a philosophy called “Nationalsozialismus,” two of that word’s syllables were quickly repurposed by Hitler’s cosmopolitan opponents. They started calling the new party Nazis — implying, to the Nazis’ great displeasure, that they were all backward rubes.

That original, taunting meaning of “Nazi” is now long gone, replaced forever by the image of history’s most despised regime. This is precisely why the word has resurfaced in American conversation, aimed at the white supremacist arm of the so-called alt-right: It is perhaps the single most potent condemnation in our language, a word that provides instant moral clarity. Not everyone, though, is entirely comfortable with this new usage. The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb finds “Nazi” insufficient as a label for American racists, because when we use it, he writes, “we summon the idea of the United States’ moral victories, and military ones” — references that make little sense when we’re talking about American-made moral failures. Lindsey E. Jones, a Ph.D. student of history in Charlottesville, tweeted that a long history of American racism is “conveniently erased” when figures like the white nationalist Richard Spencer are reduced to “Nazis.”

But if “Nazi” isn’t quite the right word for the fringe groups now attempting a takeover of national politics — if it’s sloppy and inexact and papers over just how widespread some of these bigotries are — then “Nazi” will, in a way, have returned to its roots. It began as a broad, imprecise and patronizing slur. Then it became a precise historical classification. (One that, you might argue, “conveniently erased” widespread anti-Semitism throughout Europe and America.) Now we find ourselves arguing over whether it can serve as a general epithet again — a name for a whole assortment of distasteful ideologies. Nearly 80 years after Kristallnacht, we are not exactly sure what a Nazi is, or should be.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/magazine/americans-are-confronting-an-alarming-question-are-many-of-our-fellow-citizens-nazis.html