The South Is On Fire And National Media Couldn't Care Less
Ravaged by months of drought, huge swaths of the southeast United States are on fire, but you wouldn't know it judging by national media coverage.

“ … A total of six states in the southeast (Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi) are currently suffering from “exceptional drought,” a category reserved for the most severe drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. The majority of land in four states (Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia) are facing “extreme drought,” the second most severe level. … “

“ … According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), a federal agency tasked with coordinating interstate fire prevention and suppression efforts, 83 fires are currently raging across 6 southeastern states. Eighteen of those are classified by NIFC as large and uncontained. … “

The Rock Mountain fire in Georgia, which is only 45 percent contained and not expected to be fully under control until mid-December, now encompasses more than 23,000 acres.

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Yesterday was the first day ordinary residents were allowed back into Gatlinburg, and the destruction is numbing. Dozens of homes and businesses are just gone. The fire is mostly contained, but with over 250 buildings destroyed and 14,000 people evacuated, it’ll take a long time to rebuild Gatlinburg to what it was before.

A lot of people will need assistance rebuilding their lives, and if you’re inclined to help, the best way to do so is through the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund. Dolly has done a lot for the people of East Tennessee, and with this fund she aims to provide $1000 a month for six months to every Sevier County family who lost their home. 100% of your donation will go directly to the families affected by the wildfire.

If you’re interested in helping in other ways, especially if you’re local, WBIR has a complete list of every organization that’s offering assistance.

Black Lives Matter is held to such a ridiculously high standard. If anyone who is REMOTELY associated with BLM commits an act of violence, white people use it as an excuse to smear the name of the entire movement.

Cops can murder unarmed Black people and many white folks still jump to defend the police force.

This is racism. This is white supremacy culture.


Tennessee Congressional Candidate Has A Dream To ‘Make America White Again

Rick Tyler, a local businessman running in the heavily Republican district, has drawn sharp criticism for a pair of inflammatory signs near Highway 411 in Polk County: One that says “Make America White Again,” and another that invokes Martin Luther King Jr. and reads “I Have a Dream” over an image of the Capitol surrounded by Confederate flags.   

It was intended to elicit the idea in people’s minds of … what ‘Make America White Again’ could possibly mean. My quick response to that is the ‘Leave It to Beaver,’ ‘Ozzie and Harriet,’ ‘Mayberry’ America that I grew up in was a better America,

Tyler said, claiming that time had no “break-ins” or “Muslim sleeper cells,” had less immigration by people of color — and was so safe you could leave your doors unlocked.

“He wants to go back to the 1950s where whites are in control and blacks ‘know their place. He’s about as racist as you can get, from what I can tell.

Topher Kersting said [running as an independent] 

WTF?! Go back to what else? Jim Crow? The “good old days” when if a black person looked sideways at a white person, they were lynched? Separate but equal? 

If you aren’t offended by this message, you are what’s wrong with this country. #Hate it!

You can buy a candle that smells like your favorite state. ‘Homesick Candles’ each have a distinct aroma that is reminiscent of one of the 50 United States, including Tennessee, which smells like magnolias and whiskey, Indiana, which smells like kettle corn, hay, and denim, and Massachusetts, which has a hint of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Source

never been to Georgia but i WANT THIS CANDLE RN


Day 2/3: Johnson City, Tennessee

Today, just seconds before I came to join our second demonstration on campus, a freshman at our school, East Tennessee State University a freshman by the name of Tristan Pettke came up to my fellow protestors and taunted them with bananas, brandished a paper sack with the Confederate Flag, and carried around a noose. He called one protestor a nigger and handed out bananas. He was detained by public safety and onlookers demanded his mask be taken off before he was taken away. Though his actions deserved harsh repercussions, protestors remain calm while met with such heinous behavior. Tumblr, I ask of you to boost the heck out of this. We have been peaceful the entire time and to be met with such blatant racism is disgusting. Very proud of our president for taking immediate action and the good news is that he will be charged with civil rights intimidation and I spoke directly to our university president and demanded expulsion. For now, Tristan is suspended. I’m hoping for nothing worse tomorrow after what happened today. We might be waking people up on campus, but being in the South, the actions like today are to be expected and are nothing new.
Tennessee teacher fired for sponsoring GSA
A Union County teacher is without a job next year and he thinks it’s because he sponsored a club for LGBT students.

In Union County, Tennessee, a teacher and his colleagues believe he was fired for sponsoring the gay-straight alliance at the high school where he worked.

Chris Richeson’s contract with Union County High School was not renewed for the upcoming school year, and he wasn’t given a reason why. He has a perfect track record at his school and has consistently earned the highest performance rating for his job, yet the administration refused to tell him why he was let go. 

However, he says that when he helped students start a GSA this year, they faced extreme hostility from administration and other students alike. One example: students reportedly hung posters up at the school that said “GAY IS NOT THE WAY” and “Stay Straight, God Is Coming Back Soon!” 

Richeson said being asked by a student to sponsor the club was his proudest moment as an educator, but that afterward, there were more than a dozen instances where students were asked to change the club, or Richeson was questioned about it.

“I was called down to the principal’s office repeatedly and given lectures involving the GSA’s attempts to do different activities,” he said. “It was very difficult to get approval for basic things that other clubs do such as making announcements or hosting an event.” […]

Richeson feels like he lost his job because of his involvement with GSA and now he’s worried that his former students will be left without an adult to stand up for them and give them a safe space.

“I always told them they were completely safe in my classroom, that I would lose my job before I ever allowed anything to happen to them,” he said. “Unfortunately that did happen.”

Those last two quotes break my heart. Protect teachers who defend their LGBT+ students without apology, and raise hell for those who are mistreated.


This is in Gatlinburg, TN tonight. The city is on fucking fire, and I’m seeing very little coverage of it. There’s also fire behind and across the street from Ripley’s aquarium. That’s thousands of animals left behind. People are losing their homes. Honestly this breaks my heart.


As of tonight (Nov. 29), the Barker Lounge can shelter dogs because of the fires. Their number is 1-865-771-3738.

As of now, here are the evacuation centers: LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, Pigeon Forge Community Center, Liberty Baptist Church in Wears Valley and Iglesia Cristiana LaDuz De Jesus.

If there are horses or mules that need to be evacuated, call 865-388-6886. Be warned that this is only one man that has volunteered to do this that I know of. There may be more. He may be able to point you in the right direction.

Facebook has activated the safety check in.

If possible, send food and water to the shelters there. They also will accept Gatorade. Consider sending baby food as well. You should also want to contact the Barker Lounge and similar places to see about sending food for animals. They have also specifically requested crates for the animals. Please get together with your local businesses and charities to organize drives. I can update this once I know more about doing this.

UPDATE 2    

Here is an updated list of centers:                                                                          

  • LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge 
  • Liberty Baptist Church in Wears Valley
  • Pigeon Forge Community Center
  • Iglesia Cristiana LaDuz De Jesus 
  • The First Red Bank Baptist Church in Sevierville
  • First Baptist Church of Sevierville (317 Parkway, Sevierville)
  • River Plantation RV Resort and Anchor Down RV resort are open to     assist with any campers being evacuated 
  • Trinity Baptist Church (1995 Hartford rd. Cosby, TN)
  • Douglas Lakeville Stables at 1650 Providence rd. in Sevierville, TN is   offering to pasture any displaced livestock and animals. You can         contact Kristi at 864-671-8439. They are working with others for the     transportation
  • The Barker Lounge is open all night to board dogs displaced

According to the Gatlinburg Fire Chief, the fires are mostly contained, and the worst is over. 

All 11,000 of the animals at Ripley’s Aquarium are safe and cared for.

Over 250 structures were damaged. The worst of the damage was in the surrounding areas, downtown is more intact. Close to 170,000 acres were burned.

I would also like to thank the firefighters and volunteers that ensured the safety of people in the area. I would also like to thank the places that are taking in displaced animals


There are now 3 deaths and 14 injuries. They are still searching the area. The fire is still burning, but the flames are now closer to the ground. 


The Gatlinburg Relief Fund has been established at SmartBank. Donations can be dropped off at any location or mailed to: 

  • SmartBank
  • P.O. Box 1910
  • Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
  • Gatinburg Relief Fund
  • Call 865-453-2650 for more information.

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for evacuees and first responders to the Sevier County fire.The organization is accepting donations at the Pigeon Forge Fire Hall Station 1 at 3229 Rena Street in Pigeon Forge. The Red Cross is not looking for untrained volunteers, but is accepting monetary donations. People can make a $10 donation by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. Essentially they do not want anyone else to come and visit or offer help. The danger is still very real.

Pigeon Forge city officials have said they have received substantial donations of food/drink/toiletries. The need for those items is no longer as great. So they request that you contribute monetarily for now.

The City of Pigeon Forge Relief Fund

  • will update this when I can find link/phone number
  • Toys for Tots will have a sign up for victims and their families (865-254-3911, 2719 Northview Academy Lane in Kodak)

Places accepting donations:

  • Knoxville Expo Center (5441 Clinton Highway in Knoxville, (865)686-3200 or (865)919-8114) –  will accept tooth brushes, tooth paste, water, baby wipes, dog food, kennels and more
  • Northview Academy (2719 Northview Academy Lane, Kodak, TN 37764,  (865) 933-5880)
  • Ryder Vehicle Sales is also accepting donations at its location at 7509 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville
  • Clubhouse Ministries – 2 drop off centers for donations. One outside of Kroger and one outside of Food City in Seymour
  • Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum – looking for cases of water and Gatorade; pre-packaged, non-perishable food items, toiletry items, blankets, diapers and formula. Drop off at Coliseum box office (extended hours:Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
  • Purpose Church in Pigeon Forge – has a truck from operation compassion drop off at their church location,1038 Charlottes Court with cases of water and food. (865-428-0026 or visit )

These are only a few of the donation centers, please look locally as well.

16-year-old Chauncy Black had no money for food, so the straight-A student took the bus to a store in a wealthy part of town and asked a stranger if he could carry groceries to his car in exchange for some donuts. Knowing he needed much more than donuts, Matt White bought a week’s worth of necessities for Chauncy and his disabled mother, started a GoFundMe campaign, and raised over $260K in 12 days. Source 

So this is Chauncy…

…our new favorite person. I’ve been reading about him and looking at the GoFundMe page that Matt White so graciously set up for him, and in the time it took me to make this post (maybe 15 min), I watched the money raised go from $258k to over $262k. This happened in about 15 minutes…

The love is seriously flowing for Chauncy, which is awesome in light of everything else we’ve got going on in the world right now. It’s amazing what a positive attitude and strong work ethic can do for you. Honorable mention goes to the Internet…

Forced ourselves to wake up at 5 in the morning to watch the sunrise even after driving 10+ hours the day before and barely getting enough sleep. We drove up to Clingmans Dome which is the highest point in the Smoky’s at 6,600 feet. This was the sight that greeted us a few minutes after we walked up to the tower view deck. The clouds and the fog made the scene all the more dramatic and magnificent.

Photographed by: Paolo Nacpil ( tumblr | instagram


Please donate to the American Red Cross of East Tennessee, the Sevier County Rescue Squad, and the Pittman Center Community Volunteer Fire Department

TEMA is providing official updates on the situation. WATE, WVLT, and WBIR have television coverage, and WIVK is the local radio station. You can check on friends and family in the area with the Red Cross’s Safe and Well program and Facebook’s Safety Check. I’ll update this with more ways to help and stay informed as more information becomes available.
Want a Gun-Free Zone? Tennessee Says That's on You: LITERALLY
Can you imagine? Holding gun-free zone property accountable for injuries people sustained by being disarmed and left defenseless? Groundbreaking.

As of July 1, if a handgun carry permit holder in Tennessee is injured, suffers bodily injury or death, incurs economic loss or expense, property damage or any other compensable loss on a property posted as a gun-free zone, they can sue the person or entity who stripped them of their right to self defense.

Fuck yeah.