school to pipeline

Don’t you just love how there’s a massive problem with incarceration, but people keep breaking it down into simple solutions.

For example: If you steal, you should go to prison.

Stealing in of itself is wrong. Like the concept is pretty simple.

But would you want a person who stole food because they were hungry get 20 years in prison while a person who stole millions in liquid assets get 2 months… probation… outside of prison? 

but what fucks me up the most about moonlight is the scene at kev’s restaurant, near the end of the film, where they reunite — specifically, the part where kevin makes chiron a plate of food and they sit at the table, talking and catching up. the camera angles, the lighting, etc. the way this scene is filmed, you really can’t help but think “what if” as you realize just how much love and just how many experiences were stolen from chiron. you can’t help but think, fuck. if it weren’t for the pervasiveness of toxic masculinity inciting other guys his age to turn on him whenever they felt their manliness was put to question, if it weren’t for the violent insistence of homophobia and misogyny forcing chiron to stifle any urge to simply dance or to be touched softly or to love, if it weren’t for systematic anti blackness and poverty and mass incarceration and the biased judicial system and the school to prison pipeline, shutting every door of opportunity in his face until chiron didn’t even look for ways out anymore, if it weren’t for all these invisible shackles, and unwritten chokeholds, and intangible gates, and insurmountable hurdles … then maybe — no not maybe, but almost certainly … things would have worked out differently for chiron.

because maybe, instead of meeting up with kev, after spending time in prison and then all the years following on the streets (for simply standing up for himself once in high school) and after not seeing the first guy he’s ever loved for over a decade, he and kevin would have never separated to begin with. or maybe, chiron would have had other relationships before they reunited. maybe he wouldn’t have felt so deprived for so long. and maybe he wouldn’t have to talk to kevin over dinner at a public restaurant, under the guise of just two friends catching up and swapping stories. maybe instead they could have been together already. and they could be talking over their own dinner, at their own house. and kev wouldn’t have to play love songs for chiron on the juke, he could play them on their home radio. and they could hold hands, and stand close. and maybe they could dance. and maybe kevin jr. would have been their son. maybe they could have been dads, and better parents than either one of them has ever known. and maybe chiron would have never had to change and get “hard” and toughen up so damn much that people barely recognized him anymore, just to get by, just to be respected. maybe instead. chiron could have been happy. maybe he could have been happy with kev. and maybe they could have been at the center of the world together, a lot sooner, instead of struggling in its shadows, miles and miles apart.

Black History Month 2017

Planned Parenthood strives to create a world where sexual and reproductive health care is accessible, affordable, and compassionate — no matter what.

Black women have always championed reproductive freedom and the elimination of racism and sexism as an essential element of the struggle toward civil rights. This Black History Month, Planned Parenthood honors the resilience of Black women like Dr. N. Louise Young and Dr. Thelma Patten Law,  two of the first Black women health care providers at Planned Parenthood — and the resistance of women like Angela Davis who continue to fight for the full dignity, autonomy and the humanity of all women.

In commemoration of Black History Month each year, we lift up and celebrate those who have defied their time and circumstances to become Dream Keepers and freedom fighters. #100YearsStrong of Planned Parenthood could not be possible without the vision, tenacity and determination of those who have kept and protected the dream of reproductive freedom, justice and autonomy.

The 2017 Dream Keepers

Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Journalist, Civil Rights Activist

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was the most prominent Black woman journalist of the late 19th and early 20th century. Her research and reporting around the lynching of Black people helped to bring national attention to the crisis and pushed federal legislation to hold mobs accountable.

Marsha P. Johnson
Activist, Stonewall Rioter

Marsha P. Johnson, co-founder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), is credited with being one of the first people to resist the police during the Stonewall Riots of 1969. On the commemorative anniversary of the riots in 1970, Johnson led protesters to the Women’s Detention Center of New York chanting, “Free our sisters. Free ourselves,” which demonstrated early solidarity between LGBTQ rights and anti-prison movements.

Former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
Black Feminist, Former Presidential Candidate

In 1990, Shirley Chisholm — along with former Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Faye Wattleton, Byllye Avery, Donna Brazile, Dorothy Height, Maxine Waters, and Julianne Malveaux (among others) — formed the group African American Women for Reproductive Freedom to show their support for Roe v. Wade, doing so with what we now call a reproductive -justice framework. The former New York representative was the first African American woman elected to Congress. During her seven terms, Rep. Chisholm pioneered the Congressional Black Caucus and was an unwavering champion for women’s reproductive rights and access to health care, including abortion. In 2015, President Obama awarded Rep. Chisholm with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.

Dr. N. Louise Young

Dr. N. Louise Young, a gynecologist and obstetrician, opened her practice in Baltimore in 1932. She later operated a Planned Parenthood health center that was opened with the assistance of the local Urban League and other community partners.

Dr. Thelma Patten Law

Dr. Thelma Patten Law becomes one of the first Black women ob-gyns in Texas. She provided health care for more than 25 years at the Planned Parenthood Houston Health Center, which opened in 1936.

Faye Wattleton
Author, Advocate for Reproductive Freedom, Former President of PPFA

In 1978, Wattleton became the youngest individual at the time and the first African American woman to serve as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). During Wattleton’s 14–year tenure, PPFA became one of the nation’s largest charitable organizations. Under Wattleton’s leadership, the organization secured federal funding for birth control and prenatal programs; fought against efforts to restrict legal abortions; and, along with reproductive health allies, helped to legalize the sale of abortion pill RU-486 in the United States.

The Coiners of Reproductive Justice

Black women’s existence has inherently challenged the “choice vs. life” argument. However the creation and coining of reproductive justice ushered in a new framework where women of color could express all of the ways their sexual and reproductive autonomy is systemically limited.

Dr. Dorothy Roberts
Author, Scholar, Professor

Dorothy Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law. Her books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997) — all of which have shaped and informed scholarship around reproductive justice.

@DorothyERoberts


Monica Roberts
Historian, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of TransGriot

Monica Roberts, aka the TransGriot, is a native Houstonian and trailblazing trans community leader. She works diligently at educating and encouraging acceptance of trans people inside and outside the larger African-American community and is an award-winning blogger, history buff, thinker, lecturer and passionate advocate on trans issues.


Dr. Iva Carruthers
Past President of Urban Outreach Foundation, General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Carruthers uses her ministry as a vehicle for addressing social issues, particularly those involving people of African descent both in the United States and abroad. She is past president of the Urban Outreach Foundation, a nonprofit, interdenominational organization that assists African and African-American communities with education, health care, and community development.

@IvaCarruthers



Rev. Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers
Founder and Pastor; The Pavilion of God, Washington, DC; and Chair of the Board of Directors for Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Rev. Smith-Withers has been an active advocate for reproductive justice for many years. She is currently serving as the chair of the board of directors of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). She is the founder and pastor of The Pavilion of God, a Baptist Church in DC.  She hosts “Rev UP with Rev. Alethea”, a BlogTalkRadio show.

@RevAlethea


Rev. Dr. Susan Moore
Associate Minister at All Souls Church Unitarian

Dr. Moore’s ministry has focused upon the challenges facing urban America. An HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention educator and trainer, she has worked with several community and faith-based groups, including the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Planned Parenthood, and AIDS Action Foundation. She actively advocates for a national, coordinated AIDS strategy to reduce racial disparities, lower the incidence of infection, increase access to care, and involve all stakeholders.


Bevy Smith
CEO and Founder of Dinner with Bevy

A Harlem native and New York fashion fixture, Smith is outspoken about women’s empowerment and social justice. She gives back by connecting and engaging a network of top leaders to promote social change.

@bevysmith


Mara Brock Akil
Screenwriter and producer and founder of Akil Productions

Mara Brock Akil is the co-creator of hit TV shows Girlfriends, The Game, and Being Mary Jane.  She is a tireless advocate of women’s health and rights.

@MaraBrockAkil


Tracy Reese
American fashion designer

Relentless PPFA supporter, Reese is a board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

@Tracy_Reese


Kimberlé W. Crenshaw
Scholar, Professor at the UCLA and Columbia Schools of Law

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw is a feminist scholar and writer who coined the term “Intersectionality.” Kimberlé  is the co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, which developed seminal research on Black women and girls and the school-to-prison pipeline and policing, including, respectively: “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected” and “Say Her Name.”

@SandyLocks

Angela Peoples
Co-Director of GetEqual

Serving as the Co-Director of GetEqual, Angela is working to ensure that Black lives and gender justice is a guiding force in LGBTQ work.

@MsPeoples


Jazmine Walker
Reproductive Justice Leader

Jazmine is a big fine woman who specializes in reproductive justice and agricultural economic development.

Her dedication to public scholarship and activism is driven by a passion to amplify feminist and reproductive justice discourse around Black women and girls, especially those in Mississippi and the broader South.


Amandla Stenberg
Actress, Author

This Black queer feminist makes us look forward to the next generation of feminist leaders and thinkers.

Her YouTube video, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” clapped-back against the cultural appropriation of Black fashion and style and won our hearts.

@amandlastenbergs


Charlene A. Carruthers
National Director for Black Youth Project 100

Political organizer Carruthers is building a national network and local teams of young Black activists.  She is committed to racial justice, feminism, and youth leadership development.

@CharleneCac


Monica Simpson
Executive Director of SisterSong National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

At SisterSong National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Simpson works to amplify and strengthen the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to ensure reproductive justice through securing human rights. She has organized extensively against the systematic physical and emotional violence inflicted upon the minds, bodies, and spirits of African Americans with an emphasis on African-American women and the African-American LGBT community.

@SisterSong_WOC


Deon Haywood
Executive Director, Women With A Vision, Inc.

Haywood works tirelessly to improve quality of life and health outcomes for marginalized women of color.  Since Hurricane Katrina, Haywood has led Women With a Vision, a New Orleans-based community organization addressing the complex intersection of socio-economic injustices and health disparities.  

@WWAVinc


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Congresswoman, D-TX 18th District

Congresswoman Jackson Lee has been a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood and women’s health.

This year she has become a valuable champion as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where she was vocal at both hearings displaying a clear understanding of the important role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the communities they serve. She also came to the floor on several occasions and attended a Planned Parenthood’s press conference, lending her voice in the fight against backwards legislation.

@JacksonLeeTX18


Del. Stacey Plaskett
Congresswoman, D-US-VI

Delegate Stacey Plaskett became a supporter of Planned Parenthood this year when she spoke out for Planned Parenthood health center patients during a Oversight and Government Reform hearing, where she is a member, commenting that she would like a Planned Parenthood health center in the Virgin Islands.

@StaceyPlaskett


Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congresswoman, D-DC

As a fierce, passionate, Black feminist and reproductive health advocate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has supported Planned Parenthood unwaveringly. She also sponsored the EACH Woman Act and, in 2015, held an event with young women on abortion access.

@EleanorNorton


Rep. Joyce Beatty
Congresswoman, D-OH 3rd District

Rep. Beatty has been an active supporter of women’s health during her tenure in Congress, cosponsoring legislation, signing onto pro-letters and always voting in the interest of women’s health.


Rep. Maxine Waters
Congresswoman, D-CA 43rd District

Since arriving in office in 1990, Rep. Waters has voted in the best interest of the health of women and communities of color, making a career of addressing these issues by closing the wealth gap.    

medium.com
Our first Justice Democrat: Cori Bush – Justice Democrats – Medium
By Justice Democrats

Not too long ago, we introduced you to Cori Bush, a registered nurse and Ferguson activist. We asked you to join us in asking her to run for Congress. You, from every corner of the nation, answered the call and told Cori you would back her.

Today, we are incredibly proud to announce Cori is running to represent MO-1 in Congress!

Cori embodies the kind of leadership St. Louis needs.

She knows the pain of working families because she has lived it. She understands the needs of society’s most downtrodden, because she serves them every day as a nurse. When Ferguson burned, she answered the call and stood tall on the front lines against police violence. She’s the perfect person to represent St. Louis because she is St. Louis.

She’s yours.

But Cori isn’t just our first official candidate. She’s yours. At the start of our nomination drive, you recommended Cori in droves. Over and over again during our vetting process, we were impressed with the passion people have for Cori; and after getting to know her, we firmly agree that it’s a passion well-placed.

While Cori’s just the first of the many candidates we will be running in the 2018 midterm elections, she’s a strong representation of what’s to come:

She puts people first — As a nurse, she’s been a first-hand witness to community health struggles: “We have patients who don’t even realize they are getting better because they are so stressed about how they will be able to get the resources in the future.“

She believes in her community — Cori believes in fighting to create thousands of jobs in St. Louis, not fighting to save 1 job in DC. That’s why she’s committed to bringing renewable energy jobs to St. Louis, even if the refining and fossil fuel industry attacks her for it.

She’s not afraid to speak the truth — Cori believes the role of government is to support, not control. That’s why she wants to break the school-to-prison pipeline, create educational standards on-par with other nations, pass Medicare For All and make the federal income tax fairer for the middle-class.

She’s struggled and lived the real American experience — While taking care of two young children, working and going to nursing school, she lived out of her car. You won’t find a DC politician of any part who’s faced the stigma of homelessness. Because she knows first-hand how expensive being poor is, you can trust Cori to protect social support programs, remove barriers to housing and increase funding for job training.

Cori, like all of our candidates, will challenge the status quo of American politics. They’ll be attacked as unprepared by Establishment Democrats and soft by Republicans — but so what? We will be defined by ourselves, our actions and our commitment to the people.

#Cori4MO-1 

do people who defend multinational corporations, faceless conglomerates, imperialistic nations, specific politicians, exploitative industries like pornography/prostitution, the military, the school-to-prison pipeline etc etc…do they realize that none of these people give a single goddamn shit about you? that most of them have pr teams that are exclusively devoted to making them appear as publicly palatable as possible? that, in the vast majority of cases, their interests are completely opposed to yours, and some are actively making your life worse as i type this? industries and institutions like this don’t need your facebook pseudo-support, they need constant critical analysis to weed out corruption. capitalism is not your friend, unless you’re a corporation. 

Political prisoner Leonard Peltier once wrote, “When you grow up Indian, you don’t have to become a criminal, you already are a criminal.” Through the drug trade, U.S. government has effectively marketed the policing and imprisonment of minorities as the key to public safety, and therefore marked them as targets of state terror. This unearths how Native men can be incarcerated at four times the rate of white men, how Native women can be incarcerated at six times the rate of white women. It demonstrates how the flooding of crack cocaine into Black communities during the ’70s correlated with a sharp increase in minimum sentencing laws that helped put 1.7 million Black people under some form of correctional control. It reveals how native Hawaiians, who represent just 20 percent of the state’s population, can comprise 40 percent of the its incarcerated. […] Indeed, of minorities and the poor it fashions enemies of the state with the intent to exercise terror. From the origins of police, to the school-to-prison-pipeline, to the vast network of U.S. incarceration, this has been the enduring legacy of the American judicial system — not safety, and certainly not justice.

anonymous asked:

the american education system is absolutely disgusting and i hate it a lot but i feel really uncomfortable with you describing it as child abuse because child abuse is something that i actually suffered outside of school and it feels like my experience is devalued when you go applying that term to whatever you want

I suffered from child abuse too, which is why I can say with certainty it is psychological abuse.

The american education system really does emotionally abuse children so like, I’m keeping anons post there. And sometimes even fucking physically abuses them, especially black children.

Teachers literally tell children they’re fucking failures, and kill their creativity, kill their inspirations, destroy their dreams, make them question themselves and their self-worth, and so on.

Not to even mention the fucking school to prison pipeline is a fucking thing they do on purpose to black children especially, which is child abuse tbh. 

Like the american education system really does abuse children so I’m keeping it.

There Are No Sanctuaries

by Kesi Foster, Urban Youth Collaborative (NYC)
December 16, 2016

Black and Brown youth have never received sanctuary in this country, its cities, our communities, or in the institutions that are supposed to provide a safe, nurturing and supportive environment, including our schools. Despite Mayor’s and municipal governments from New York to Philadelphia and Los Angeles to the Bay Area cities, reaffirming their commitments to be “Sanctuary Cities,” Black and Brown youth are entangled in a web of oppressive, discriminatory, and dehumanizing policing and criminal justice systems weaved on the local level around their communities and schools.

The Sanctuary Cities movement emerged in the 1980’s when communities worked with churches to provide sanctuary for people leaving Central America due to political instability fostered by US involvement. The churches promised a safe haven free from the clutches of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As the Obama Administration aggressively moved to break-up immigrant families, deporting more people than the 2.5 million people, the Sanctuary City movement began to redefine sanctuary to address the new conditions. This has included varying levels of commitment by Municipal governments to not cooperate with ICE. Some Sanctuary Cities have passed policies to not share local law enforcement information with ICE and not to detain individuals for minor crimes based on their status. Other districts have passed mostly symbolic commitments to limit interactions between local law enforcement and ICE. Certain districts provide legal and social supports for undocumented communities. Today, close to 50 cities across the country claim to be sanctuaries by providing protections from an unjust, unforgiving, and discriminatory federal criminal legal system.

Unfortunately, Black and Brown young people and their families in these same cities are not protected from unjust, unforgiving and discriminatory local criminal legal systems. From “broken windows” policing, to Stop and Frisk, to criminalizing the poor to the school-to-prison pipeline, the systems that Black and Brown youth are forced to navigate everyday make finding sanctuaries an impossible task.

Even if local officials don’t let ICE walk in the front door of our schools to take our children, local militarized police forces are taking Black and Brown youth out of the back door in handcuffs. This is not a sanctuary for Black and brown who are targeted and it’s not a safe place for them to learn. Black students are more than two times as likely to be referred to law enforcement than their white peers, and Latina and Indigenous students are similarly disproportionately criminalized and pushed into the criminal legal system by their schools. As the incoming Administration begins to expand on plans to expand its use of criminal to target undocumented communities, and push Stop and Frisk as a national strategy to increase law and order in Black communities, school-policing policies will do little to provide sanctuaries for any community.

State and local funding priorities facilitate putting young people in front of police, prosecutors, and judges when they need guidance counselors, mental health workers, and restorative justice practitioners. There is no evidence police in schools creates safer environments or helps improve academic outcomes, but for many Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth, police are more prevalent in their schools than guidance counselors and more empowered than school administrators. Police were never put in schools with Black and Brown youth to keep them safe. They are there to police them and that will always end in their criminalization and incarceration. If Black and Brown youth are ever going to be free from the clutches of the local and federal criminal legal systems that stalk them in their communities and schools, we must respond to the new conditions created by the infrastructure put in place by the Obama administration and those that preceded him and by the explicit intentions of the incoming Administration to oppress, deport, and incarcerate Black, Latina, Muslim and Indigenous communities. We have to respond collectively across struggles.

Our resistance must keep all undocumented communities – Latina, Black, Asian, Muslim free from the federal criminal legal system and dismantle the local criminal legal system that has denied Black communities from ever finding sanctuary in this country. As communities, we have an opportunity to connect our struggles, to expand ideas and strategies to go beyond protection from one system because these systems are all interconnected. We need to come together and collectively transform our institutions, communities, and cities into sites of resistance and protection for everyone.

The statistics won’t come as a shock to those aware of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a series of policies and practices that push students, especially those most at-risk, from classrooms to the criminal justice system at a young age. 

It’s time we change the conversation and the policy that leads to more incarceration, inequality and hopelessness for so many.

Join the Issue Time discussion on the school to prison pipeline. 

Ask our experts a question by Wednesday 10/5 and follow @the-movemnt for the answers this Friday 10/7!

“i’m white and i’m sorry” what the fuck does that do for me? are the cia and fbi gonna crumble? is assata shakur gonna be safely welcome back into the usa? is the school to prison pipeline gonna disintegrate? are you gonna un-kill the thousands of black people at the hands of lynch mobs from decades ago and now? are all the troops and drones sent over to other countries gonna retreat? is the usa gonna return all the land and territories it stole from indigenous peoples? are you gonna build a time machine and make sure columbus never sails the ocean blue in 1492? hm????

I can send my incarcerated uncle emails now.

He’s a perfect example of the school to prison pipeline.  He’s my mother’s oldest brother. He’ll be in prison for the rest of his life. We’ve written each other back and forth since I was very young. While in middle school I’d tell him about not fitting in and loving to draw and I’d send him my sketches to critique. He’s a really good artist. My mother and sister have a few of his pieces hanging in their homes. He’s incredibly intelligent. Seriously, he could have been anything. Anything. I have at least 5 or 6 shoeboxes filled with our letters of correspondence. 

He’s got a little bit of the misogynoir thing going on but whatever, I love him. He loves me. 

Anyway, you can send emails now to inmates instead of snail mail. 

They charge you one “stamp” an email. 

Each stamp = $1. 

In order for the inmate to respond they need stamps too. 

So really to email an inmate it cost $2, because obviously you want them to be able to respond. 

For every picture attachment you add to the email that’s an additional stamp, so an additional $1. 

If your email is longer than a page, they charge you an additional stamp per page (however long a “page” in an email is they don’t really tell you if they’re basing it on character count or word count). 

It’s sickening to realize that most people with incarcerated family members probably cant afford this service. I’m over here sending him pictures from my trip to Miami and sending him essay long letters detailing my life - because I can. I don’t know it’s just fucked up, when you see the system at work and the cycle being continued…its just fucked up. My latest email to him cost $5 after adding pictures, and I sent him $10 worth of stamps so he can have a chance to respond to me as well as the rest of our family that corresponds with him who I know is on a more fixed income. 

TL/DR: Incarceration is a business, and realizing that and having to feed into that business to communicate with the important people in my life makes me angry. 

5

Polls start opening in under 12 hours but felony convictions disenfranchise more than 5 million people, including 7% of the African-American community. A major contributor to the problem is the school-to-prison pipeline: A system of flawed policies that send at-risk youth—especially people of color—directly into the criminal justice system.

Mic’s The Movement (@the-movemnt​) did an Issue Time on the subject. It’s well worth your time, and it’ll give you plenty to chew on when you ✧・゚*go and vote tomorrow*・゚✧


Art by Tumblr Creatr @jxiaoo

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Save Our Kids (2/24/15): Brittany Overstreet had her first court date yesterday, and we turned up and turned out in protest against the charge brought against her (resisting arrest without violence). They’re currently trying to force her to plead out by threatening to bring an additional charge if she goes to trial. Don’t let their threats go unnoticed. You’ve already made such a difference in this girl’s life by sharing her story. We will get justice for Brittany! #staywoke #farfromover

#SchoolToPrisonPipeline

Two days after Maryland officials approved spending $30 million of taxpayer funds on a shiny new jail for Baltimore youth caught in the snare of the criminal justice system, Gov. Larry Hogan removed $11.6 million from the city’s school budget and reallocated it to the pension fund for state employees, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The budget decisions reflect a pattern in Maryland and across the U.S. of prioritizing spending on incarceration over education—calling to mind what’s become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline”—and the elderly over the young. 

How is that in America in 2015, we spend more money on incarcerating people - people who contribute nothing to society - than we spend on educating children so that they can be productive adults? 

As a matter of fact, An educated workforce is a great danger for the Government. 

Privatizing prisons is more benefical than bothering about education and far more profitable in terms of kickbacks and donations.

You see, the answer is easy

The brutality at Spring Valley High is only the latest example of the over-policing of black girls in American schools.

Students of color under 14 are cited at higher rates for minor infractions like lateness.

Black girls are suspended from school 6 times more often than white girls.

Across 84 districts in the South, black students made up 100% of students suspended.

The school to prison pipeline is real.

I promised I’d explain how I understand capitalism – I’m going to take this explanation from a paper I recently wrote about how love functions under capitalism, and how that function is sustained:

it is important to understand that when I refer to capitalism here, I am not referring to a mere economic system, but also

  1. to the set of social structures, systems, and processes it produces and is maintained by, and
  2. to the way of perceiving the world around us that is the result of living under capitalism, especially as that relates to the way we perceive other people

in being an economic system, capitalism is centred around private ownership (of property, labour, and the means to make goods) and wealth accumulation, as well as a pricing system that assigns value to goods, services, labour, and the means to make goods

under capitalism, people are not exempt from being assigned value

  • for certain groups of people, this works in their favour, because they are the intended beneficiaries of capitalism – they are most conducive to its continued existence, directly benefit from it, and thus have a vested interest in its persistence; these people’s lives are inherently valuable, because capitalist ends align with their own
  • however, certain people’s lives are only valued in terms of their capability to be used as a means to capitalist ends – these people have instrumental value, as opposed to inherent value
  • for people who cannot be used as a means to meet capitalist ends, or who are a hindrance to meeting those ends, their lives have no value, or are instrumentally valuable only insofar as they can be erased

currently, and in the West, particularly North America, people who are White, cis, male, heterosexual, able-bodied and of a particular socioeconomic status are primary beneficiaries – they directly benefit from the structures (i.e., capitalist political, economic, and social institutions), systems (such as the prison-industrial complex and the school-to-prison pipeline, the medical/psychiatric-industrial complex, etc.,), and processes (e.g., settler colonialism and the extermination of Indigenous peoples, anti-Blackness and the denigration, suppression, and murder of Black peoples, misogyny and the subjugation of women, imperialism and the exploitation and extermination of people in destabilized nations, etc.) that are reliant on the dehumanization of others for their sustenance – processes sustain systems sustain structures

this having been said, social identities and locations are complex, and people benefit and suffer as a result of capitalism on myriad axes – people are valued differently on these axes in terms of capitalist ends, and who is valued and the way people are valued can and do shift over space and time

ultimately, capitalism is dependent on the reduction of all people to their worth in meeting capitalist ends – in this way, capitalism is necessarily dehumanizing for all, and this dehumanization manifests itself in myriad ways

it is important to understand that capitalism is woven into our social fabric – it permeates the way we think about those around us on an individual level; it causes us to view others not only in terms of their value to capitalist ends, but in terms of their value to our own ends [which are usually capitalistically-aligned themselves]

we come to think about people in terms of what they can do for us, and often form relationships on this basis, even if we do not intend to

the way we love each other is not exempt