new-democracies

Inmates jailed in Flint forced to drink, shower in toxic water

Even though Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in December, followed by Gov. Rick Synder in January and President Barack Obama a few days later, inmates in the Genesee County Jail in Flint were forced to drink the water, as well as shower in it, according to a new report from Democracy Now!

According to the report, the jail distributed bottled water to inmates after Weaver declared an emergency in December, but the bottled water only lasted a shockingly short amount of time.

Good news, everyone! Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire caucus!
Senator Sanders got over 20% more votes than Hillary Clinton, who has a deep history with New Hampshire voters.

Together we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California,Mr. Sanders said.And that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people, and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their ‘super PACs.’

I mean, what more could you wish for in a presidential candidate? Our country needs a leader who will put people before everything else, because once president has people’s trust, they will be willing to work on improvement of our country too. And Bernie is the perfect candidate.

#Bernie2016

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Cédric Gerbehaye : Land of Cush, South Sudan

The day before the first anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, in July 2012, Cédric Gerbehaye pursued a body of work that he began two years ago. It bears witness to the time of birth of a new nation. From referendum preparations to instated independence, this story is writing itself out to be a literal illustration of clash and conflict.

And the song ‘Formation’ is—and people should watch the video. There are more indelible images in the five minutes of this video than any Hollywood film I’ve seen in memory. And I really want to encourage people to go to the blog, New [South] Negress, and read a breakdown of the video by Zandria—that’s the author’s name—because, honestly, for me, as a white guy who’s from the North, I was only getting like 5 percent of what Beyoncé was trying to say. This is a video that’s rooted in Southern black experience, and it’s not only about the Black Lives Matter movement, it is about hundreds of years of black women resisting state violence with a centered approach that’s about mothers protecting their children and also about queer black women stepping up to be able to say, ‘We are here. We matter, too.’
Ted Cruz isn’t an actual person, guys. He’s a fictional, smarmy politician villain character in a bad low-budget sci-fi movie about aliens taking over the US senate.

Um, yeah, you’ll never be able to look me in the eye and tell me an evil lizard overlord isn’t secretly lurking beneath Cruz’s human skin.  

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Zed Nelson: South Sudan

*Because of the current crisis in South Sudan, whose details are still unclear, I’m re-posting this series. It is worth viewing in full on the photographers websites so that you can read the details of each person photographed, as well as a small interview. His photos spread from the anti-corruption board, world bank advisors, UN commissioners, police cadets, prison inmates, former and current army generals… everything from government officials and chinese construction company presidents. 

Artist Statement:

Africa’s largest country has officially split in two. South Sudan is the world’s newest nation, following Africa’s longest-running civil war. After decades of marginalization and ongoing conflict with the North, South Sudan has finally broken away and is free to carve out its own future.  

Optimism is high but the new state, the least developed country on earth, faces immense challenges. The new ruling elite will shape the nations future.

This series of environmental portraits aims to reveal the new power-brokers of South Sudan - the former rebel soldiers, government advisers, ministers, bureaucrats, adventurers, entrepreneurs and international aid workers who have descended on this fledgling nation. Showing the unsettling mix of optimism and brooding menace, we meet the key figures and power structures that create, manage, and exploit a brand new country.

But the question is — in the creation of a brand new nation such as this — who really holds the power? The newly-appointed government ministers fresh from the battlefields? The overseas educated returnee’s from the scattered Diaspora? Or the shadowy foreign advisors, UN chiefs, World Bank executives and foreign businessmen? All are here, contributing to, or feeding off, the birth of this fledgling nation.

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Why Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ matters

‘The articulation of southern blackness here invites us to theorize black resistance practices. There is the expressive resistance that stands and fights and brandishes guns and stages coups. There is the quiet resistance, the meditative kind that Kevin Quashie talks about. For Ralph Ellison’s protagonist in Invisible Man, it is hibernation, the act of a particular kind of invisibility, that is a “covert preparation for a more overt action.”

Formation, is a different kind of resistance practice, one rooted in the epistemology of (and sometimes only visible/detectable to) folks on the margins of blackness. The political scientist Cathy Cohen talks about activism at these margins, the kind of deviance-as-resistance built and cultivated at the margins of respectable blackness. Formation, then, is a metaphor, a black feminist, black queer, and black queer feminist theory of community organizing and resistance. It is a recognition of one another at the blackness margins–woman, queer, genderqueer, trans, poor, disabled, undocumented, immigrant–before an overt action. For the black southern majorettes, across gender formulations, formation is the alignment, the stillness, the readying, the quiet, before the twerk, the turn-up, the (social) movement. To be successful, there must be coordination, the kind that choreographers and movement leaders do, the kind that black women organizers do in neighborhoods and organizations. To slay the violence of white supremacist heteropatriarchy, we must start, Beyoncé argues, with the proper formation. The proper formation is, she contends, made possible by the participation and leadership of a blackness on the margins. The celebration of the margins–black bodies in motion, women’s voices centered, black queer voices centered–is what ultimately vanquishes the state, represented by a NOPD car. Beyoncé as the conjured every-southern-black-woman, slays atop the car and uses the weight of her body to finish it off, sacrificing herself in the process. Like so, so, so many black folks in the margins in the movement for (all) black (lives matter for) liberation. This formation is brought to you by conjure.

“Formation” is an homage to and recognition of the werk of the “punks, bulldaggers, and welfare queens” in these southern streets and parking lots, in these second lines, in these chocolate cities and neighborhoods, in front of these bands and drumlines. Movements for black liberation are led by black folks at the margins who know we must all get free to sink that car. Folks who know that we must be coordinated, and we must slay. And because I recognize black southern country fence-jumping feminism as a birthright and imperative, I have no tolerance for the uncoordinated–those who cannot dance and move for black queer liberation, black trans liberation, black women’s liberation, at all intersections.’

Why white people should shut the fuck up!

Most of the times a black artist like Beyoncé makes an empowerment statement in its performance white people (and not so white!) are quick to ask what would happen if a white artist would do the same? Black people would freak out! This is a proof that people aren’t treat equal! (The exclamation points are very important here: they are quick to jump over their head in the name of democracy and especially equality.

Here’s why white people should think twice this argument and should think twice about ‘equality’ in a democracy:

‘The vast majority of Black people in the US are descended from people who were dragged here against their will and forced to live in a culture that shut them out completely from mainstream artistic production for 400 years. For 400 years, Black people were living in a culture where their pain, their culture, and their art were appropriated and sanitized for white consumption, or, more often, shut out of the narrative entirely, replaced by racist caricatures or rendered invisible. For 400 years, the stories of Black people in the US were untold, belittled, or made the tools of white narrative and white profit.

Now we’re in a cultural moment where there are powerful, mainstream Black artists telling Black stories that may or may not include white people, may tell uncomfortable truths about white people in Black lives, or may use white people as metaphors. For 400 years Black people were used as metaphors in white art, so my sympathy for “not all white people” and “that’s not fair” is somewhere at the bottom of a pile of Magical Negroes, Gone with the Wind, and token Black friends.

In this cultural moment where powerful, mainstream Black artists like Beyoncé are telling their stories on their own terms, the white people who controlled the narrative– including how and when Black stories have been told– for the past 400 years need to sit back, shut up, and listen, listen, listen. You don’t like how white people are being portrayed? Spend some time thinking about why Black artists are portraying white people that way instead of demanding they adjust their stories to conform to your self-image as “the good guy.” We are not the heroes in these stories. We are not the intended audience. We are irrelevant, and there’s nothing people in power hate more than to be made irrelevant, but the fact remains that these are Black stories, by, for, and about Black people. You don’t like it? Don’t watch. But I recommend that you do, and give it some real thought. This is their truth. You do not get to dictate how Black artists see or portray their own lives.’

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This is what democracy looks like. I spent the past few days canvassing in New Hampshire for the Bernie Sanders campaign. It’s not something that I have any previous experience with, but let me tell you I met so many people: young and old, political and heart-driven, experienced and inexperienced, fringe, moderate, conservative– so many people supporting Bernie Sanders because the call for establishment change has become so inherently strong within our daily lives. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity, not only to contribute to a cause I support but to have had the opportunityto learn from so many people much more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the political process. This experience has not only brought me the feeling of victory (Sanders won NH!) but also the sense that the support Bernie has much tangible fuel and will be maintained s the campaign travels around the country in the next few months. One fellow volunteer described this particular feeling as demonstrated in the rally tonight as the extraordinary energy created within the gymnasium when we all seemed to breath together between Sanders’s lines, like the moment in basketball between the shot and the ball making the hoop. There is so uch support and after we donate and volunteer for the Bernie campaign the next thing to do is to research your local and state officiala so we an make the most of our voice from the bottom up. Most of all, VOTE IN THE PRIMARIES.

anonymous asked:

how does clinton have nearly 400 delegates if there's only been 2 primaries, Iowa and New Hampshire?

The 400~ superdelegates are there to vote for an electable candidate and whom the majority of regular delegates/voters are looking for (which has been Hillary for a while) AND to prevent a candidate who’s popular with the voter base but also seem like he or she would wreak havoc in their party.

What’s absolutely important is that they are only 

Here’s an article about it and why it’s not something to worry too much about.

This video will also help explain the what and the why about superdelegates:

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Is Donald Trump losing?

Is he going to lose the New Hampshire primary like he lost Iowa?

*Bombards you with random information that is not the answer to the question*
—  Hillary Clinton 2016 (Democratic Town Hall)
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MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 08: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kisses his wife, Melania Trump, during a campaign rally at Verizon Wireless Arena on February 8, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates are finishing up with the last full day of campaigning before voters head to the polls tomorrow. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

More photos at CelebPhotoWatch.com

I think of it like this. Under capitalistic democracies, social justice has come a long way. A capitalist democracy (Great Britain) was one of the first countries to abolish slavery, and a capitalist democracy (New Zealand) was the first country to give women the right to vote, and a capitalist democracy (Netherlands) was the first country to allow same-sex marriage.

there is not enough yikes in the sea

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MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 08: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets patrons at Chez Vachon on February 8, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. With one day to go before the New Hampshire primaries, Hillary Clinton continues to campaign throughout the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 08: Melissa Chandler walks with a Scottish Highlander named ‘Bleu’ with a campaign sticker for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on his its head on February 8, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Chandler brought farm animals to downtown Manchester to promote New Hampshire agriculture. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)