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The Racist History Of Chicago’s Housing Policies

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Saudi Starbucks bans women

A Starbucks at a Jarir bookstore Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has temporarily banned women after a wall segregating families (the section for women) and singles (i.e. men without women) collapsed. A sign was posted to the coffee shop entrance that read: “PLEASE NO ENTRY FOR LADIES ONLY SEND YOUR DRIVER TO ORDER THANK YOU." Mic reached out to Starbucks, which declined to discuss the issue beyond this official statement.

People are going to hate me saying this – and oh well, I’m used to tumblr hating me and my opinions – but I feel like Jk Rowling was queerbaiting, if not unintentionally.

Hear me out before you breathe flames all over my nice pink sweater.

As a person of color, you grow up seeing famous white authors who don’t necessarily *hate* people of color but are uncomfortable writing about us. Why? Because they don’t want to misrepresent or turn us into an offensive token, so in an attempt to spare people of color that usual horror, they keep all their “minority” characters off to the side in minor roles.

In this situation, people of color are tolerated, acknowledged as existing, used as background decorations to pay lipservice to diversity, but not really included in the narrative. A text book example of this would be Dragon Age Origins, in which people of color exist but are relagated to the sidelines, and the two brown people who have speaking roles aren’t important enough to be three-dimensional characters who exist throughout the story. Duncan dies in the opening (you have to get his background from a book), and Isabella is just there to teach you a skill (and be a hypersexual stereotype).

Does Zevran count as not-white??? I always felt he was a white Spainard with a tan. But if he’s actually a poc, then he’s the only remotely important person of color in Dragon Age Origins who also gets to live through to the end of the game.  

Rowling has done the same thing with all her queer (or potentially queer) characters. She doesn’t hate queer people, but she tolerates us enough to acknowledge that we exist. Gay people are allowed to be gay – as long as they’re gay OVER THERE OFF SCREEN.

So Dumbledore couldn’t be gay in the books but in some announcement after the books were well and done. Tonks and Lupin – the two potentially queer characters – were conveniently smashed together in an unlikely pairing to squash all rumors of gayness (which I thought was a shame). And Harry Potter’s son will never really be gay on stage, just in little hints and subtext.

No, Rowling doesn’t hate queer people (said without sarcasm). She’s uncomfortable writing them or trying to represent them well, in which case she shouldn’t be writing them at all.

My mantra for the last five years or so for white writers has been this: include us well or don’t include us at all. Period.

There is nothing so shitty as being misrepresented or half-represented. If you want to write about a minority but don’t have the balls, the knowledge, or the inclination to learn, then don’t bother.

And this problem isn’t Rowling’s. It’s not up to her to represent queer people. The bigger issue is the fact of so few queer writers on the market. We aren’t allowed to represent ourselves and be our own voice.

As a queer writer myself, I work tirelessly to make agents and publishers see past the sexuality of my characters and see people. But in reality, publishing houses only care about MONEY. So they will sign whatever mindless, vacuous shit will appeal to straight white people (Twilight, anyone?) whether the writer has talent or not because that’s where they believe the money is at.

I am basically saying that publishers will sign any story the think will sell to the straight white majority, not that Rowling has no talent. She is vastly superior to Meyers in every conceivable way.

In short, JK Rowling doesn’t hate queer people. We all know this. But I also don’t think she’s purposely queerbaiting. I think she had a desire to write about queer people but didn’t know how to do it well and was afraid of making a mistake. Her first mistake? Writing about queer people when she had these fears in the first place.

That old saying “write what you know” has weight. Straight white writers should write what they know, while publishing houses should allow queer people and people of color to be their own voices.

Yeah. It’s that fucking simple.

Today I was working on my outline for my new fantasy novel (right now it’s just a mash of ideas) and I realized that if it was ever published, it would be heckled as “the black lesbian Harry Potter” even though the story is actually nothing like Harry Potter and the character is not a lesbian, just queer.

Also, it’s just one book, and the character goes from a child (who learns magic at a sort of school – again, nothing like a real school and more like a monastery) to an adult throughout the story. In the end, it’s nothing like Harry Potter, but people would see the similarities and say so.

Can you imagine what it’s like to write something and have it watered down into the black version of everything else? Last year I wrote a graphic novel about a black female super hero, and in the back of mind, I knew she’d be called “black supergirl” if she ever saw the light of day. But she was nothing like Supergirl. If anything, my character is better than fucking Supergirl. At least she gets to live out from under the shadow of a Superman counterpart….  or would she? The second she was published, the world over would accuse me of copying, even though the story was nothing like Superman.

Black people are never allowed to just be people. Our stories are never just stories – they’re black stories. Our characters are never just characters – they’re black characters.

No, we don’t walk around “aware of our otherness” because we don’t see ourselves as strange and other. We see ourselves as normal human beings, and it’s everyone else who has to treat us like baffling animals behind glass.

All these people preaching about a post-racial society like to forget that we are still segregated. We live in separate neighborhoods, we go to separate schools, and in the book section of every story, every black fantasy writer has been shoved away into BLACK fiction.

Because god forbid anything written by a black person should just be FICTION.

Is there a section for queer fiction? Is there an inter-sectional section for black queer fiction, where the hatred comes together to closet away people who have two minority backgrounds instead of one????

Sometimes I look at my steampunk novel – which is about a woman of color falling in love with a female robot, yup – and I wonder just how hopeless it is for me to see it in print.

Being black is hard. Being queer is hard. Imagine being black and queer.    

JK Rowling can’t. And that’s why she should’ve just left minorities alone. I think she was screwed either way, as people would have criticized her for not having one important brown person at Hogwarts, even though brown people live in Britain everywhere, especially Indian people.

Again, the problem isn’t Jk Rowling. Her writing is just a symptom of a world where we are still so segregated, she has no clue how to write about people of color or queer people without being offensive.

Ursula Le Guin could write about people of color without screwing up because she was exposed to them regularly. She saw us as people, not stereotypes, and that’s how she avoided being racist.

If we can tear down the walls of segregation that are still firmly, invisibly in place, we will see a lot fewer baffled straight white writers and video game developers and more people who understand and appreciate each other.

I just wonder how fucking long that’s going to take. I don’t believe people truly WANT to break down these barriers. If anything, people have been working tirelessly to keep them there for all manner of reasons: greed, power, grand delusions of superiority, or a sheer hatred of those who are different from them.

In short: when we have a better world, we will have better writers.

Congrats America!

You have successfully removed what may have been the greatest president, you have ever had the pleasure of ruling your country. You have taken one of the greatest steps towards equality by replacing the first ever black president, with someone who is racist beyond words, someone who believes women are trophy wife’s and nothing more than a scale out of ten. A man who thinks women should be punished, that sexual assault is not real. That abortions should not be funded. A man who does not believe in the abilities in those of the LGBTQ+ community.  A rich white man who will only take care of rich white men. A horrible, vile man who has not got an inch in his body to feel the empathy required for such a position. You have turned what could have been one of the greatest milestones of our generation, an inspiration for young women internationally and you have ripped it to shreds. You are taking homes away from people who need them and earned them, placing a wall and segregating your nation from the rest of the world. This is not America and this will not make America great again. 
As I continue to type this message my fingers cannot manage to keep up with my thoughts. I am disgusted at the people who gave such a man, so much power. However, right now my thoughts are drifting. I cannot begin to fathom the heartache within the minority groups, the people of colour, LGBTQ+ community, young women and their children, those who are not exactly well off and those who are currently vulnerable positions. I pray that the next four years go fast and that they do not treat you wrong, I pray that young men and women have hope left for their country and realise that their vote, it does matter! I pray that the little girls in your country grow up knowing they’re important and they do have a say in the story of their lives and no person, no president, no money or power can take that away from them. Most importantly, I pray that you all find peace and cherish every second you have it within you. 

Together, you can make America your home again. 

anonymous asked:

What initially caught your attention on the Palestinian and Israeli conflict and why did you side with the Palestinians? I mean it is obvious why since they're clearly the oppressed ones but I would like to know :) Thank you. x

I met a friend in high school who was Palestinian, and that was the first time I had ever heard the words Palestine uttered - I was 17. I didn’t even know there was any sort of conflict until I was 19 or so, and even then I didn’t know what the conflict was over. I never questioned Israel, and I was actually pro-Israel (despite not knowing what they were doing) because I equated Israel to the Biblical Israelites (I think that’s something that a lot of Christians do, and don’t realize that Israelites and Israelis are not the same).

I started looking deeper into the Palestinian conflict by the age of 21, while I was in college. I hung around with more Muslim people who were aware of the Palestinians oppresion, my Arabic professor was Palestinian, and the university was an environment where I was exposed to non-Muslim people who were protesting and fighting for the rights of Palestine.

At age 22 I decided I wanted to go and see things for myself, so I traveled to Palestine for a month to volunteer. I realized while I was there, that I had more rights as a traveler than the people born and raised there did.

Upon my return I told my dad “It was like living before the Civil Rights era, there were segregated roads, segregated buildings, segregated towns, an apartheid wall; everything is separate, and none of it is equal.” And so the Palestinian oppression woke me to the oppression I face as a black person in the United States. Today, I love Palestinians, and I stand in the fight with them, because they helped me realize I have something I need to fight for too. Protesting in front of the police isn’t nearly as scary once you’ve protested in front of the Israeli military.

anonymous asked:

Do you know anything about Cassandra Clare being sued by Sherrilyn Kenion? I read some articles and so far the similarities are striking, especially with the characters (Kenion did a list of characters parallels). I'd like to know more!

1) There is some history of legal disputes between the two, specifically over the term “shadowhunter.”  Apparently Kenyon was mad that it was too close to “Dark Hunter,” which is ridiculous in itself, but they came to an agreement that Clare later either fudged or outright violated.  I’m not up to speed on all the details, nor do I particularly want to be.

2) Most of Kenyon’s claims are unsustainable.  You cannot copyright an idea.  If you could, it would mean the death of the creative industry.  I’m sorry if it upsets you, but there is no legal basis for saying “no one else can write about a group of elite fighters that protect an unknowing public from demons.” 

3) The crux of the complaint is that the similarities between Shadowhunter books and Dark Hunter books has caused confusion among the fans.  Considering these are, in fact, fans, I have a very hard time believing they would mistake a completely different series for their own beloved fandom.  Certainly not to the point of creating a financial impact. (The “Dark Hunter symbol” pictured in the complaint isn’t even the Dark Hunter symbol; it’s the symbol for a secondary character.)

4) Many of the similarities between the books are not unique to either series.  They are based in mythology and general writing tropes.  Kenyon did not create the concepts she is suing over, she only created her specific interpretation of those concepts, and Clare did not steal those in a way that violates copyright law.

5) I mean, just look at this quote from Exhibit 3:

Both works take place in an urban world that is not what it seems.  Theirs is a world behind the veil with portals that lead to heaven realms and hell realms.  There are segregated wards used as walls to hold back demons and neutral grounds that are safe zones. Different dimensions exist. Supernatural beings break through to the world of man.  These worlds are not readily accessible to mortals. 

That’s urban fantasy.  That’s the entire genre of urban fantasy.  That is so broad as to be mindboggling that anyone thinks they can claim ownership of it.

6) How about her “unique” traits she claims for her main character?

Believes himself a normal human until the night when a mysterious Dark‐Hunter saves his life.

His father is a demon he has to destroy.  

He becomes a Dark‐Hunter only to learn he has the blood of angels in him. 

Discovers the psychic mystic who lives next door is not what she seems.

Um….can we say every single fantasy hero ever?  Shit, out of context the first thing that comes to mind for me is Luke Skywalker.

7) These characters are so similar because there is literally nothing original about any of them.  They are genre and gender conventions to the max.  When you draw for the same source material, you get the same result, end of story.

8) I think the claims of “African‐American psychic and clairvoyant.” being some unique, copyrightable concept is the most insulting of all considering the Magical Negro is a long and far-from-upstanding tradition in fiction.

9) I want to mock more of these, which are riddled with inaccuracies on the Clare side and get just ridiculously basic for some characters (Max’s is especially lol-worthy) but it would take too long.  (Also, “Daimons“ aren’t even a thing in the shadowhunter books?  Did they mean warlocks?)


In short: Yes, Clare is an unoriginal writer who borrows heavily from everything under the sun.  Guess what, so are most writers.  Clare just isn’t very good at it, but that’s not something you can sue over.  Clare has committed actual plagiarism, but this isn’t it.

This case will not win.  I doubt it will even last long in any court system.  It’s too ridiculous and too flimsy.  This whole thing strikes me as either spiteful retribution, harassment, or a PR stunt.  In that light, I am rather concerned about the way people talk about this case.  Filing law suits as a form of silencing or harassing people already happens, and authors who have way less clout that Clare can easily be crushed by even an error-filled pile of BS like this.  (If you have no money for a lawyer and you get something like this, are you going to fight it or pack up shop?  Hah, fight it with what?  You have no money!)  So when a high-profile case like this comes up, when it brings situations like this into the realm of public discourse, it becomes part of the culture of the publishing world.  How people react is going to become part of the culture of the publishing world. The fact that it’s given credence at all is going to scare some baby authors who are self-aware of their influences.  It’s going to muddy the waters of what’s plagiarism and what’s inspiration.  Whether we like it or not, whether we know it’s wrong or not, it’s going to squash some ideas before they ever see the light of day.  I’m sorry, but that’s how anxiety works, we can’t just put on a brave face and say “can’t let that get me down! :)”

What makes me even more nervous are the people who are happy about all this simply because they don’t like Clare, because they see this as karma or irony or something.  Using a lawsuit as harassment is never okay whether you like the victim or not, and celebrating someone’s unjust ill fortune is poor form.  (Now, if she were being sued for any of her actual plagiarism, that’s would be a different story.)  I will always side-eye hard any attitude that says our feelings about the victim impact the actual morality of actions taken against them.

Apartheid wall, by Jason Kuhrt:
This poster, wall, challenges a wall being built by “Israel” which divides itself from the West Bank.

“Depending whom one asks the name of this wall differs.
Among Israelis it includes "separation fence”, “security fence”, and
“anti-terrorist fence”;
among Palestinians: “racial segregation wall”, or “apartheid wall”.
The International Court of Justice refers to it as just “wall”, and the BBC style guide allows for “barrier”, “West Bank Barrier”, and “separation barrier.”“ -Wikipedia.

#ICP50
Miki Kratsman is an Argentinean-born photographer, artist and activist who has lived in Israel since 1971. For the past three decades Kratsman has worked in Israel’s occupied territories documenting the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly its bitter consequences on the daily life of the Palestinian population.
📷 The Israeli / Palestinian wall is a separation barrier in the West Bank along the Green line. Israel considers it a security barrier against terrorism, while Palestinians call it a racial segregation or apartheid wall. The photo was taken in Abu Dis village, East Jerusalem, 2003.

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AH tumblrcon panel: the City

The City of Almost Human is an unnamed metropolis on the West Coast of the US. It ranges from shady black-market districts to high-end mansions.

It is watched over by drones, protected by the police force and separated by a wall. The shabbier parts of the city, such as Kohln Avenue district by the wall, Kingston Heights, the Ironworks have been main locations in several episodes, while on the outskirts and subsurbs, you have high-end Chrome schools and large mansions.

As the series is shot in Vancouver, there are also several distinct landmarks that stand out.

Speculation and History: The City and The Wall

(see this post for the Wall panel)

There isn’t much else we’re shown about the city, so from here on it’s all meta about what it could hide, what could have happened previously and how the worldbuilding could stretch.

Central to the city is the Wall, which it into separates two sections. While we don’t know its purpose or background, the hints that are given in the series are plenty to go by. Since the history, location and backstory is coated in mystery, a lot of speculation about the city comes from the Wall and the few times that it’s mentioned.

Historically, city walls have had two purposes: to protect and to segregate.  While perimeter walls have been used for thousands of years, separation barriers is something from the 20th century, often used to isolate two geopolitical factions, dividing them into to governing forces.

We can assume that the Wall functions as a separation barrier from the vastly different conditions on the two sides. In the few shots it appears in, we are shown shabby, run-down buildings, overgrown streets and what appears a city with no electricity, in contrast to the city’s gleaming architecture.

Separation barriers have been used to divide two conflicting sides that have turned, or will turn, violent, with race, religion and political segregation being the main causes. While the Berlin Wall is most well-known, it was separated by outside forces (Ally/Soviet). However, Belfast’s Peace Line functioned from 1969 to 2011 to divide the working class into Catholic and Protestant sides as tensions grew during the Troubles. Niciosa was divided along the Greece/Turkey border to suppress riots, and Jerusalem’s Green Line kept the peace between Palestine and Israel factions from 1948-67.

These were mostly used as a last resort, as tolls of urban partition are heavy. The social and economical effects of living in a segregated city has been explored in the book Divided Cities by Calame and Charlesworth, and the drastic difference in economical and social status even after the city is reformed is not easy to repair.

Going from this, it’s likely that some form of armed conflict broke out in the City’s recent history. It would also explain the series’ vague hints of an authoritarian-like government, such as the surveillance drones, DNA profiling at birth, the cheery voice asking you to obey authorities. It’s easy to see how, in the aftermaths of either terrorist conflict or an armed uprising, the government decided to tightened security and go segregate the two parts of the City.

Now, separation barriers from history usually aren’t as large and menacing as the one in Almost Human, most of them rising maybe 10 metres into the air. We don’t know who is on the other side of the Wall, or why they were partitioned, but the nature of the wall itself should be a huge factor in indicating that the government wanted them as separated as humanly possible.

Furthermore, it hints at a governing powers more oppressive than what’s been revealed. It’s possible that this level of deterioriation on the other side of the Wall could be a form of deliberately suppressed of economy on the the other side in order to hinder uprisings. Despite the pretty building of the city, it’s hiding a very ugly underbelly.

(disclaimer: I am in no way a historical expert on this, and what I’ve got I  got from Google, so if I have dates or facts wrong, or if you have anything to add to this at all, please correct me!)

It is worth noting here the similarities between beautifying the walls in Baghdad and the apartheid wall built by Israel, when few artists tried to use it as a canvass. Banksy, the well-known British graffiti artist, reports how he had the following conversation with an old Palestinian:

Old man: You paint the wall, you make it look beautiful.
Me: Thanks
Old man: We don’t want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall, go home.

Painting on the segregation walls does not beautify them, and does not take away the suffocation, humiliation and feeling of isolation they invoke, and the only way to regain Baghdad’s beauty, dignity and joy of life is by removing them.

— 

Walling in Iraq: The Impact on Baghdadi Women by Iraqi political activist and author Haifa Zangana هيفاء زنكنة

I don’t agree with the repeated comparison she makes throughout the article between the concrete walls and blocks built across Baghdad following the invasion and the apartheid wall in Palestine. But, what she raises with regards to the beautification of such structures is indeed important to be examined and studied to understand the effect such paintings and murals have on resisting versus the eventual normalization of their physical existence, particularly from the voices of those who are forced to [im]mobilize between and across them; the Palestinians. 

By extension, the role artists play either as objectors or contributors to the beautification of these walls needs to be highlighted. For example, in this article Zangana emphasizes that many Iraqi local artists refused to accept U.S. and local governmental commissions to paint the structures in Baghdad; highlighting not only their political opposition, but also the larger social contextualization of these structures and their impact as tools of social and demographic manipulation. 

At the same time, one would argue that painting these structures and beautifying them is an act of resistance within itself to the psychological oppression the colonizers aim to force on the oppressed, and should thus be commended as one of the tools employed in order to fight the suffocation and isolation the occupier wants to create. Here, I think the question that needs to be raised is to what extent does such passive forms of resistance play in overshadowing the importance of active ones? Having said that, the assumption that those involved inactive forms of resistance against colonization and its physical manifestation are easily manipulated by such passive forms of artistic ‘resistance’ is not unfair, but it is also disresprectful.

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Understand the Israeli – Palestinian Apartheid 

External image

- The Forced Exile of The Palestinian People

- Maintenance of the Occupation

- Continued Dispcement and Destruction

A Pattern of Violence and Aggression

Illegal Detention

Segregation of Resources

Segregation of Travel

The Wall

source: http://thrivalroom.com/understand-israeli-palestinian-apartheid-11-graphics/