north carolina senator

In 1987, the ACT UP’s affinity group Gran Fury created an installation in the window of the New Museum. It may have been the first work about AIDS in a major art institution. The installation was called Let The Record Show. Employing the politics of accountability at the root of ACT UP’s ethos, the show featured photographs of real-life individuals who were causing the deaths of our friends. People like North Carolina senator Jesse Helms who had just said the government should spend less money on people with AIDS because they got sick as the result of “deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct.”
In the background was a photo of the Nuremberg trisld. The implication was that the specific people who caused our friends to die would one day be made accountable. They would be reduced from their undeserved grandeur into wilted hovering little men like Rudolph Hess.
However in the end, our public enemies all got away with it. No one was ever made accountable. Our friend Sal Licata spend nine days on a gurney iin a hallway of a New York City hospital. He never got a hospital room. And then he died. No one has ever had to account for this. When Jesse Helms died his crimes against humanity were barely mentioned. The names of our friends whom Ronald Reagan murdered are not engraved in a tower of black marble. There has never been a government inquiry into the fifteen years of official neglect that permitted AIDS to become a world-wide disaster.
—  Sarah Schulman - The Gentrification of the Mind

anonymous asked:

Please stop with all the Bellamy and lexa drawings, you are causing serious trouble in the fandom and insulting many LGBT people. People are uncomfortable with you art and the subject. Be responsible and respectful and stop trying to cause drama to get your art attention.

In 1989 The Corcoran Gallery of Art refused to exhibit gay artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s solo-exhibition ‘The Perfect Moment’. Artist Tracey Emin displayed an installation consisting of the her bed with bedroom objects but also included condoms, menstrual stained underwear, and other detritus. Kara Walker, a black female artist, is known for her racially controversial drawings and cut paper silhouettes depicting sexual and violent scenes particular to the American Civil War era.

All of these artist are from different walks of life with different intentions and understandings for their practice but have all met the same public protest. They have all created work, work based on their own real life and experiences and points of views, that has offended someone. The explicit gay nature of his work caused Mapplethrope to be apart of a national debate on the public funding of art deemed too controversial, a witch hunt lead by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, the very same senator who lead an unsuccessful filibuster against making MLK day a national holiday and fought against feminism, disability rights, and gay rights. Much of the public criticized Emin for her installation, deeming it ‘sluttish and improper for a woman’ when she revealed these intimate, imperfect, and insecure details of her life when she was at her lowest. And audiences wanted to silence Walker when she depicted a black female slave having sex with a white man because it was uncomfortable reminder of the horrors of racial oppression that is still imposed on her people.

But who decides what is obscene or offensive? And does that mean we are allowed to silence these people to ease the discomfort of others? Then does that mean all three of these artists all should have been silenced to appease men like Jesse Helms? 

‘No wait, I’m not like that man! I’m not a bigot or a racist! I’m standing up for the LGBT!’ and yes you are right, you aren’t him but what you are doing is no different. 

You, like Jesse Helms, believes that your way of life is the only way and have deemed my work an insult to it just because it doesn’t depict LGBTIGA+ life the way you live it. Not once have you or anyone else asked me if I’m a member of LGBTIGA+ or if any of my work is a reflection of my life and the important people in. Do you ever think that maybe I dress like this or interact with my friends like this, that our cultures may be different or maybe the woman I loved was very much was this way and the way I choose to depict the character is because I miss her? Just because you don’t live the way we do doesn’t mean we are wrong. This is my personal account where I post personal work that you and anyone else are free to block and ignore if it’s so offensive because I don’t dictate how you feel, but you don’t get to dictate what I do. I have not started anything to get any attention and if people steal my work and use to harm others, it is a reflection of them. I have responded to people who have come to my inbox anonymous to make me stop drawing, which you have no right to do. I will not be silenced just because you are unhappy with my work when I haven’t made anything explicit or disrespectful unless you mean to say men and women cannot be friends. I have always maintained that Lexa is a lesbian and never condone her depicted in a heterosexual relations. 

You’ve come here in the name of social justice which I applaud you for, but all you’ve done is tell me that how I live and love is wrong and I should just be quiet

Jesse Helms, the dead North Carolina senator, once said of gay people "it’s their deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct that is responsible for the disease.“ The disease being HIV/AIDS. He also said, ”There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.“

Hope he’s rolling in his grave.

(Photo via Facebook)


225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. President George Washington transmitted copies of North Carolina’s ratification at the start of the 2nd Session of the 1st Congress in January 1790.

Letter from President George Washington Transmitting Copies of North Carolina’s Ratification of the U.S. Constitution, 1/11/1790, Records of the U.S. Senate

Watch on

All along, the biggest question in this election was whether Republicans could take over the Senate and add it to their solid House majority. Republicans need to gain six net seats to do so. Three, in states where Democrats are retiring, seem nearly certain: West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota. Republicans’ chief targets elsewhere are Democrats running for re-election in states that President Barack Obama lost: Alaska, Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina.

Read more here.

I didn’t raise my two daughters to think that they were worth 82 cents on the dollar.

Senator Kay Hagan, NC Senate debate, 10/7/14

Overall, North Carolina women currently make $0.82 for every dollar earned by white men. Senator Hagan thinks women should get equal pay for equal work; Thom Tillis killed a bill at the state level aimed at closing that gap, and last night called her support for equal pay a “campaign gimmick.”


225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On June 11, 1790, President George Washington forwarded Congress copies of North Carolina’s ratification of Articles One through Twelve of the Bill of Rights.

North Carolina was the 3rd state to ratify amendments to the Constitution on December 22, 1789. The Bill of Rights officially became part of the Constitution on December 15, 1791 when three-fourths of the states ratified articles three through twelve.

Letter from President George Washington Transmitting Copies of North Carolina’s Ratification of the Bill of Rights, 6/11/1790, SEN1A-E2, Records of the U.S. Senate

The 2016 elections certainly aren’t going to be a popularity contest.

In fact, the current crop of White House hopefuls is among the least liked by voters in recent history, with many starting out with very high negative ratings.

Usually such numbers spell doom for candidates, but it’s a problem across the board for this field — and a marked change from previous presidential cycles.

“This is a time when people are unhappy with politicians and Washington, and people feel frustrated,” said Iowa-based pollster J. Ann Selzer. “The mood of the nation is negative.”

That was certainly borne out in last month’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Hillary Clinton’s numbers continued to be upside down, with a net negative rating of 11 points. It’s a troublesome trend the Democratic front-runner has tried to shake, even airing new, softer biographical spots that talk about her mother’s rough childhood.

General disapproval hasn’t always been the case with presidential candidates. At the close of the 20th century, the economy was surging and the country was hopeful, and that was reflected in the upcoming elections. In September 1999, the comparable point in the presidential cycle of 2000, eventual winner George W. Bush had soaring approvals, as did another Republican hopeful, Red Cross President (and later North Carolina senator) Elizabeth Dole. Publishing executive Steve Forbes also had a net positive rating of 9 points.

Why No One Likes The 2016 Presidential Field

Chart credit: Alyson Hurt and Jessica Taylor/NPR
Source: Source: NBC/WSJ polls conducted in September 1999, September 2003, September 2007, August 2011 and July 2015

London Spy and the trope of the tragic homosexual

(This is a response from pennypaperbrain to “When gayness isn’t a joke,” some thoughts of mine on London Spy. Tumblr in its infinite wisdom has made it impossible to edit a reblog so that you don’t have to scroll through the entire original post, so I’ve just cut-and-pasted here. Hope that’s okay.)

I was very interested to read this, because personally I feel that so far (episode 3) while many of the individual painful experiences have been well handled, cumulatively they overbalance into grimdark. I’ve only seen it all once, and am observing gay history from my armchair without even having been adult during the first HIV crises, but that was what struck me.

This is a non-spoilery thread so I won’t go into details, but Scottie for example seems to have had nothing *except* stigma-induced/-enhanced suffering in his life. Each of his stories is real, but doesn’t add up to the man we see, who has a nice flat and a club membership whatever else has befallen him. I wish we were getting the harsh stories in a wider context, rather than what currently feels like a race to cram in more and more harsh.

The characters are tragically isolated, when I would expect a balanced depiction of a stigmatised community to focus on that - community - as well as the challenges. Warts and all, community gets minorities through, but there isn’t one here. We just get Mark Gatiss chewing the scenery, an opposition between his bad gay and Danny’s good gay.

I loved the ‘Are you out?’ moment because it was a prosaic meld of hope and caution, so it really did pull the viewers out of that ‘Are you gay?’ (are you one of those poor stigmatised specimens?) headspace into the context of normal humans just trying to get by in the situation life’s handed them. I don’t think most of the rest of the show lives up to it, though.

Give me Blue references over gay jokes or an erasure of history any time, but if I was so inclined I could have sat back in my armchair at the end of ep 3 thinking ‘Those poor tragic gays, I do hope my son doesn’t turn out to be one,’ unchallenged. Not entirely, but for the majority of the time London Spy feels to me like a throwback to the time when just getting people to realise gay men deserved an ordinary level of human consideration was the battle. Maybe I’m naive and it still is, just not in my personal London-dwelling bubble.

PFG responds:

You’re right, Penny, so far London Spy looks an awful lot like just another tale of lonely, doomed gay men. But it is a spy story, after all, not a domestic drama or a romance. It’s going to be about crime, danger, intrigue, and the secrets of individuals and nations. (There are no happy spy stories, really, unless you go the campy-Bond route.) But I think your point about community can’t be overstated: Danny and Scotty are terribly isolated, and club culture, both of the dancing and sherry-sipping sort, doesn’t have to be destructive or stultifying. Danny and Scotty’s cross-generational relationship allows for interesting reflection on recent gay history, but yes, it can feel like a throwback.  (The show does another sketchy thing, too, when it links homophobia to a fear of kink, so that homosexuality is as sick as it is kinky, and kink=death.)

In short, I agree with everything you say here, and I can only hope the last two episodes mitigate the tragic-gay aspect. Your response makes clear to me that my post was motivated more in answer to Tumblr conversations about queer representation than about London Spy itself. I wrote it after coming across another of those posts saying that if I don’t agree with TJLC, if I don’t think that Gatiss et al secretly intend to make Johnlock canon, then I’m homophobic and blinded by heteronormativity. (x)  I think part of my resentment of TJLC readings is how they sometimes operate in ignorance of the past few decades of gay history. They say they know Gatiss’ attitude toward representation, when they show no awareness of what it was like to live through the AIDS crisis, when “SILENCE=DEATH” was our watchword. I’m sorry, I’d like to think a man who dealt with that is not going to straight-up lie about whether he’s writing a queer show. (x) When I think of “better queer representation,” I don’t think of a six-year tease whose queer subtext is so easy to overlook or deny.** I think of something like London Spy, with an out gay actor playing an out gay character from an out gay creator and writer. Whether or not that representation is “positive,” it’s honest, and unapologetically represents the lived gay experience of its creators without tittering jokes or mind-games.

*Because I know I’ll be asked for my bona fides: I was part of the group that brought ACT-UP to Durham, North Carolina, when Senator Jesse Helms was demanding that PBS be defunded for showing black men kissing. I lost friends to AIDS, and that probably makes me hypersensitive and prone to resentment.

**And because I always have to say this: I SHIP JOHNLOCK.