cindy Piper on So You Want to Wear a Safety…
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While the moonlight-and-magnolias myth of the Old South continues to persist, the region’s history actually is much more sinister and grim – even for many white Southerners. Recently scholars have revealed the brutal, bloody realities of slavery in the late-antebellum Deep South. Yet to truly understand the gross inequalities endemic to slave societies, it is also important to acknowledge what happens to excess workers when a capitalist system is predicated on slave labor.
With the rising global demand for cotton, and thus, slaves, in the 1840s and 1850s, the need for white laborers in the American South was drastically reduced, creating a large underclass who were unemployed or underemployed. These landless poor whites simply could not compete – for jobs or living wages – with profitable slave labor. Though impoverished whites were never subjected to the daily violence and degrading humiliations of racial slavery, they did suffer tangible socio-economic consequences…
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It’s summer! Time for all the the ladies to start posting articles about why it’s not a woman’s responsibility to prevent a man from lusting and all the gentlemen to start posting comments about why it’s not a woman’s responsibility, but she sure can help.
I’ve been encouraged to see the pushback, by women, even women in more conservative circles, against the toxic idea that a woman’s clothing choices can cause men to stumble.
But this pushback gets halted when a guy stands up and comfortably announces that while this personal responsibility thing all sounds great, the reality is that normal, healthy guys like him struggle, so women should still cover up. And the ladies go a little silent, unable to argue with this universal battle against sexual temptation that women never face.
The pushback against purity culture dies right then and there, because no woman wants to challenge…
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Reader Will called my attention to a new piece in CNN News describing the auction of the first U.S. one cent coin for a cool 1.2 million dollars. Now that’s a pretty penny! It’s the famous “Birch Cent,” made in 1792, and apparently only ten of them are in existence.
But what’s nice about it is what Will imparted in his email:
The interesting part is the motto on the coin: “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry”. Now we all know that the “In God We Trust” motto is a relatively recent innovation, but I was surprised to find (although I shouldn’t have been) that the founders rated science as one of the boons of liberty. And nary a mention of the creator. Just another little nail in the coffin of “America founded as a Christian nation.” I’ve attached the image.
Sure enough, on the face it clearly says “Liberty Parent of Science…
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You have woken the witch that lives deep inside me.
You have removed the slumber chains from the giant of old.
You have handed me a box of matches and no chaperone
And a world made of lies and polyester.
You have barked up the wrong bitch.
I have shucked off the good, southern lady’s cloak,
Of the homecoming court, the cheerleader,
The preacher’s daughter, hands gentled in her lap.
They tied it at my neck with a bow, a Gordian girl-knot,
When I was young and bossy and sure-footed
“For protection,” they said.
Whose protection? I wondered.
I have sent that shit out to the dry cleaners
I will not pick it up
They can sell it for a profit from a rack on the street.
From now on,
I’m exposing the raw pink edges of my true skin to the sun.
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Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do what you can to combat the result. Good. Do that.
But don’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense. Your intentions are not a tangible shield. If you don’t make a plan, you will get yourself or the person you are trying to defend very killed.
Let’s avoid that.
So make a plan.
Some of you can stop reading now. You have, or know how to make a plan and you don’t need…
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It’s Trump’s hair!
An internet friend of mine regaled me with a tale of a buddy of his that looked like he got whacked in the face with a 2 x 4. Did he owe money to a bookie? Girlfriend beat him up? No, he got his ass handed to him by a one inch long fluffy little caterpillar. The hell you say? Yeah, a caterpillar. What’s the world coming to? Every day that I step outside I feel like I’m in Mother Nature’s Thunderdome. Who knew Mother Nature was really Tina Turner?
Puss moth caterpillar by Valerie Bugh (c) (AustinBug.com)
This cute little fella, Megalopyge opercularis (left), goes by the name puss, tree asp, or southern flannel moth caterpillar. Their habitat starts in Maryland and sweeps down south to Florida and west into Texas and Missouri, inhabiting all the states in-between. It resembles a Tribble, and if you’re an…
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Dear White People/Queridos Gringos: You Want Our Culture But You Don’t Want Us – Stop Colonizing The Day Of The Dead
Dear White People (or should I say Queridos Gringos/Gabachos),
Let me begin by saying it is completely natural that you would find yourself attracted to The Day of The Dead. This indigenous holiday from Mexico celebrates the loving connection between the living and our departed loved ones that is so deeply missing in Western culture. Who wouldn’t feel moved by intricately and lovingly built altars, beautifully painted skull faces, waterfalls of marigold flowers, fragrant sweet breads and delicious meals for those whom we miss sharing our earthly lives. I understand. Many cultures from around the world celebrate these things, and many of them at this time of year. As a woman whose Latin@ heritage is Puerto Rican, I have grown up in California, seeing this ritual all my life and feeling the ancestral kinship to this reverent, prayerful honoring of the departed.
Let me continue by saying that it is…
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