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Black Lives Matter Seattle organizers and supporters take over Bernie Sanders’ rally at Westlake on Saturday, August 8, 2015.
Today BLM Seattle, with the support of other Black organizers and non-Black allies and accomplices, held Bernie Sanders publicly accountable for his lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and his blatantly silencing response to the #SayHerName#IfIDieInPoliceCustody action that took place at Netroots this year.
Bernie’s arrival in Seattle is largely significant in the context of the state of emergency Black lives are in locally as well as across America. The Seattle Police Department has been under federal consent decree for the last three years and has been continually plagued by use-of-force violations and racist scandals amongst their rank and file. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has refused to push any reform measures for police accountability, not even the numerous recommendations of his self-appointed Community Police Commission. The Seattle School District suspends Black students at a rate six times higher than their white counterparts, feeding Black children into the school-to-prison pipeline. King County has fought hard to push through a plan to build a $210 million new youth jail to imprison these children, amid intense community criticism and dissent. The Central District, a historically Black neighborhood in Seattle, has undergone rapid gentrification over the past few decades, with Black people being displaced from the only neighborhood that we could legally live in until just years ago. While white men profit off of the legalization of marijuana, our prisons are still filled with Black people who are over-incarcerated for drug offenses.
This city is filled with white progressives, which is why Bernie Sanders’ camp was obviously expecting a friendly and consenting audience for today’s campaign visit. The problem with Sanders’, and with white Seattle progressives in general, is that they are utterly and totally useless (when not outright harmful) in terms of the fight for Black lives. While we are drowning in their liberal rhetoric, we have yet to see them support Black grassroots movements or take on any measure of risk and responsibility for ending the tyranny of white supremacy in our country and in our city. This willful passivity while claiming solidarity with the#BlackLivesMatter movement in an effort to be relevant is over. White progressive Seattle and Bernie Sanders cannot call themselves liberals while they participate in the racist system that claims Black lives. Bernie Sanders will not continue to call himself a man of the people, while ignoring the plight of Black people. Presidential candidates will not win Black votes without putting out an explicit criminal justice reform package. As was said at the Netroots action, presidential candidates should expect to be shut down and confronted every step along the way of this presidential campaign. Black people are in a state of emergency. Lines have been drawn in the sand. You are either fighting continuously and measurably to protect Black life in America, or you are a part of the white supremacist system that we will tear down in the liberation of our people.
On this, nearly the one year anniversary of the ruthless murder of Mike Brown, we honor Black lives lost by doing the unthinkable, the unapologetic, and the unrespectable. Out of radical love for our Black brothers and sisters, we put our lives and our bodies on the line to testify to their persecution and resilience. We join together in Black love to #SayHerName and declare that #BlackLivesMatter, understanding that our love will disrupt the complicity and corruption of our anti-Black society; GOP, Democrat, and otherwise.
There is no business as usual while Black lives are lost. We will ensure this by any means necessary.
With the strength of our ancestors and for the future of our children,
I know what you are thinking; well, yeah… I’m putting on an animal costume, that’s kind of the point. And in some ways, yes, some fursuiters are wearing their costumes for the very purpose of wanting to feel less human and more…. wolf-like, tiger-like, or whatever animal you choose to dress up as. But I want to talk about those OTHER ways one can become less human in an animal costume….
Almost every fursuiter has probably experienced ill treatment while in fursuit. This is not limited to mascot type costumes either. The campaign “Cosplay ≠ Consent” shares many similarities to the troubles fursuiters have regarding people doing things which they may not otherwise in a more normalized situation. The trouble with Fursuits, Mascot costumes and cosplay often lie in the concealing of ones identity. Masks and face coverings seems to give people free reign to treat those in costume as if they are less of a person. This maybe largely be due to the fact that humans are visual people who respond to subtle facial changes to determine mood and emotion. Without those cues, it can be hard to feel the normal empathy one should towards an individual.
Abuses towards fursuiters can range from “harmless” tail or ear pulling (which may not hurt for physically, but could damage your costume), inappropriate touching (such as gender checking, or butt groping), striking, punching, pushing, or even picking up a fursuiter. Like contact with another person in an ordinary social situation, everyone has varying levels of “okay-ness”; whereas some people may be fine with rough play, hugs, petting or other contact, not every fursuiter may like or want that kind of contact. With no visual cues from facial expression it may be hard to tell if a fursuiter wants the sort of contact you are engaging in.
Not all fursuiters are vocal. It is a personal choice to speak in costume and when to “break” character. They may speak up if you cross a certain line, or choose not to speak up at all and bear through a situation in hopes it will end and they can make an escape. In some lucky cases they may have friends or handlers who can jump in and speak up for them to say what is and is not ok, or act as bodyguards to prevent people from approaching them in the first place.
It is easy for forget that cuddly pink bunny or big black dog is not a big stuffed animal you can interact with, but a person with feelings. Please do you best to remember that those in costume have the same rights and deserve the same respect as any person. If you do not know a fursuiter personally, it’s always safer to ask permission before engaging in certain activities (for example, “Can I have a hug?”). Even if they do not speak vocally, a fursuiter can still nod or shake their head. If they say “no”, don’t be upset… it is THEIR choice to accept or refuse an action (remember, they are a person who has the right to refuse if they wish). If a fursuiter or their handler asks that you stop doing something, please listen to them.
It can be easy to forget or ignore that fursuiters are just people; a really great performer can suspend your belief that the character they are portraying is something other than human. But! Fursuiters are indeed people, and their choice to dress up and entertain people does not make them less deserving of your respect.
Sex ed campaigns:
CONSENT IS SEXY OOOOO ITS SO HOT MMM DONT YOU LOVE HOW SEXY CONSENT IS IT DOESNT KILL THE MOOD SEE CONSENT IS ALL TEH SEXY-NESS NO BORING SEX WITH CONSENT MMM YES LICK YOUR LIPS SEDUCTIVELY WITH CONSENT
consent is required. Stop being so desperate about making it sexual and start making it a rule.
CONSENT IS REQUIRED AND THIS IS NOT SOMETHING TO MAKE LIGHT OF but it can also be super cute and hot too like yes make consent into a requirement that is adorable and loved and romantic and part of the mood!! And always remember that it has to be there no matter what so why not make it desirable!! 😚😚😚
YES THIS IS HOW YOU DO THIS YES GOOD PERFECT 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
sexualizing consent is rape culture at work, you would never see the words “breathing is sexy” written on an asthma awareness ad? even though you can’t avoid asthma and having asthma isn’t your fault? so why WHY should we act like consent is anything but a necessity, the issue shouldn’t be dumbed down or turned into a catchphrase to make it idk easier? for people to understand … dogs know that no means no, i put a treat in front of my dogs and say NO and they won’t take it, you can’t sit here and tell me that humans can’t understand consent without making it cutesy. the world isn’t rated PG bad things happen and bad people exist. consent to sex is not a cupcake and ‘sexy’ shouldn’t be the cute pink frosting on top of the word i mean damn
As the month of april starts to turn into may, Jx and the Badwells will be slowing down its focus on consent awareness efforts.
Thank you to everyone who speaks up and is reblogging the consent selfies, that took a lot of courage.
This campaign for consent awareness has gotten bigger than our small town band. If this is our biggest splash we make, well, we could not be more happy about it.
I, Jx Badwell, as a human being who at least most people call big, tough and ridiculously outspoken about whatever is on my mind:
I have seen the face of rape culture, personally. I have hide behind closed blinds as the intimidators of rape culture circle my home, I have stood frozen in a shower until it ran cold raging at the frustration of feeling powerless to stop predators who have affluence of a family name, I have been spit on by the casual friends of business owners that sell lies to protect the hunting ground of predators and sponsor victim shaming. I know what it is like to face the day trying to protect my sanity from douchebag people that don’t hesitate to hide behind good people to bury their dirty secrets. In this time the age of right now, nobody in the world, should know these indignities.
This campaign has helped me heal a little more from the irrational pain of rape culture. When everyone in our society just accepts that YES MEANS YES & NO MEANS NO, there will not be so many bullshit conversations about how some attacks are grey area semantical rape by a victim that was asking for it.
In may, Jx and the Badwells will release the single “I’ll Never Forget”.
During every one of our concert and festival performances this year, we will be speaking out by playing “Dream Come True” and “I’ll Never Forget”. We don’t explain our songs and don’t try to educate from the stage, we are going to do our best to just lay down some Good Time music and let our audience forget about everything that just ain’t fun.
Seriously each time I go on stage, I will think of all the great people on tumblr who accept us even though they know the backstage stories and that Jx and the Bawells are all just beings trying to be humane.
I just don’t care what the haters say, We are going to carry this love from our fans close to our hearts each and everyday. <3
The ‘consent is sexy’ campaign blows. I understand they are trying to appeal to people in a positive way but the message feels like: “Improve your sex life by asking for consent! Consent will turn you on!”
Consent doesn’t make sex better, it makes sex sex. Otherwise it’s rape.