the civil rights act of 1964

vox.com
A federal court just made a very big decision for gay rights. Seriously, it’s huge.
It’s the first federal appeals court decision to rule that anti-gay discrimination is banned under existing federal law.
By German Lopez

The ruling concludes that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also protects workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

When the courts recognize your basic rights…

Originally posted by eatwithme75

When she joined a “swim-in” in St. Augustine, Florida on June 18, 1964, then 17-year-old Mamie Nell Ford had little idea that her picture would soon be seen around the world – and help spur the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. On that day, seven civil rights activists, including Ford, jumped into the segregated pool at the Monson Motor Lodge to protest its ‘whites-only’ policy. As journalists looked on, the motel owner’s James Brock responded by dumping acid into the pool in an effort to drive them out. Ford recalls that her immediate reaction was “I couldn’t breathe,” and a photo of her with an alarmed expression as Brock pours acid nearby appeared in newspapers around the world. When people learn about the incident today, Ford says, “I’m often asked, ‘How could you have so much courage?’ Courage for me is not ‘the absence of fear,’ but what you do in the face of fear.”

The campaign to challenge segregation in St. Augustine in 1963 and 1964, known as the St. Augustine Movement, is considered one of the bloodiest of the Civil Rights Movement. Students staging “wade-ins” to challenge segregation on the beaches were violently beaten and, after several black children were admitted into white schools due to the Supreme Court’s decision outlawing school segregation, several of the children’s homes were burnt to the ground by local segregationists. Martin Luther King, Jr. was even arrested on the steps of this same motel only a week prior to the pool “swim-in,” after being charged with trespassing when he attempted to dine at the “whites-only” Monson Restaurant.

Prior to the pool “swim-in”, Ford was already an experienced civil rights activist in her hometown of Albany, Georgia. When Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference came to Albany to recruit activists to support the movement in St. Augustine, she immediately signed up. “When they asked for volunteers to participate in the swim-in demonstration, I said, yes, because, despite segregation, I knew how to swim,” she says. While they knew it was likely they would be arrested, no one expected the owner to pour acid into the pool. “It is as fresh in my mind as the morning dew, because when the acid was poured in the pool, the water began to bubble up,” Ford recalls. Although the group was arrested shortly thereafter, their protest had the intended effect: as it made headlines worldwide, President Johnson said in a recorded phone conservation: “Our whole foreign policy will go to hell over this!” Within 24 hours, the civil rights bill that had been introduced a year before and had been stalled in the Senate won approval, leading directly to the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.

After being released from serving jail time for the swim-in, Ford made a powerful statement urging the people of St. Augustine to keep fighting: “Don’t lose heart now because you’re the ones on whom this movement rests. People will come and go because they live somewhere else, but you live here and you make this thing happen.” She returned home and went on to join five other black girls to lead the desegregation of the formerly all-white Albany High School, where she graduated with honors in 1965. Ford, who later changed her name to Mimi Jones, then went to college in Boston where she spent her career working in the Department of Education.

Although less well known than school segregation, the long legacy of segregation in swimming pools still lives on today. After legal challenges and actions like this one in St. Augustine forced the end of segregated pools, in many towns, especially in the South, ‘white flight’ from public pools to private clubs often led to their closure. The impact of first segregation and later pool closures over generations has led to a major gap between white and black Americans in swimming ability, with whites being twice as likely to know how to swim as blacks. This difference is also reflected in the CDC finding that black children are three times more likely die from drowning than white children. For these reasons and the long legacy of racism at swimming pools, Simone Manuel’s victory at the last Olympic Games took on special meaning for many African Americans – a significance the young swimmer alluded to after she became the first African-American woman to ever win an individual Olympic gold in swimming: “The gold medal wasn’t just for me,“ she said. "It’s for a lot of people who came before me.”

Picture and text from "A Mighty Girl” on Facebook

America. If we look at the founding documents of America — the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights — they paint a picture of a beloved community. But every time throughout American history, when the majority of the people have tried to mold America into a beloved community, there’s always been a group of people who were in opposition.

So when America was founded, it was founded on the backs of enslaved Africans and the genocide of Native Americans. After a while, people got together and said, ‘Well, we’ve eliminated the Native Americas, and pushed them onto reservations, but we still have these African slaves here and we need to free them.’

So a group of people came about called abolitionists who opposed slavery, and other people fought them. The result, ultimately, was the Civil War. And then after the Civil War was the Reconstruction, and there were people who opposed that. That’s how we got domestic terrorist groups and racist laws here in America. And this continued right on down through the centuries until the modern era. And the modern era is what brings us here and now.

Because in the 20th Century, there were two, very important years: 1964 and 1965. In the year 1964, a law was enacted called the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And then that was followed by the Immigration and Naturalization Act, opening up the doors of America for people from around the world — not just Europeans, but people who were Africans, people who are Arabs, people who are Southern Asians.

As a matter of fact, that 1965 law, and the opening of the doors, is how most of you got here.

So why do I mention this? I mention it because we are now in an era of oppositional designs to those two very important years. Right now, and for the past few years, there are a group of people in America who have been pushing back against Civil Rights Laws, who have been pushing back against the gains made in the area of voting rights, and now they’re pushing back against immigration.

So now we who are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists and people of other faiths in America, we stand in opposition to their opposition. They push back, we fight back. And if the people in power are not careful, they’re going to unleash the greatest demonstration of non-violent resistance in American history. Because the people in America are not going to stand for being taken back.

 Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid of the Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem in a sermon at a protest at JFK airport on Friday. Read his full sermon

follow @the-movemnt

My favourite response to all the talk of riots not doing anything is the contrast between the Birmingham Campaign and the Birmingham Riot in 1963. The former was led by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (mainly Martin Luther King, Fred Shuttlesworth, and James Bevel) and was focused entirely on maintaining nonviolence against whites, although they were willing to attack black people who violated the boycott and destroy the goods they had bought from white-owned businesses. For 5 weeks of protests, with children as young as 8 being attacked by police water cannons and dogs and arrested en masse in order to get the best pictures out to the international press and starve local businesses of profits, they achieved desegregation in a single city. The next night, the KKK bombed the motel where Dr. King had been saying and the black people of the city took to the streets in anger. A cop was stabbed, dozens of buildings were burned, and the army was deployed to police the streets. The prize for that single night of action, as confirmed in declassified White House recordings, was JFK’s support for the landmark legislation that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the first civil rights legislation to pass Congress in nearly 100 years. Tell me, which do you think was more successful?

On This Day: April 20
  • 1649: The True Levellers Standard Advanced is published by the Diggers.
  • 1812: Luddites attack factories in Middleton near Manchester, England, protesting technologies throwing them out of work.
  • 1848: The radical democratic forces in Baden were defeated ending the revolution in south-west Germany.
  • 1853: Escaped slave Harriet Tubman begins her Underground Railroad.
  • 1871: The Paris Commune abolishes night shifts for bakery workers.
  • 1871: US President Grant signs the “Civil Rights Act of 1871” into law which empowered him suspend habeas corpus to combat the KKK.
  • 1914: Ludlow Massacre of miner strikers and families by US troops using machine guns.
  • 1916: Emma Goldman was convicted of advocating birth control.
  • 1927: The Dielo Truda group organized an international anarchist conference in L'Haÿ-les-Roses, France.
  • 1939: Billie Holiday records the anti-lynching, anti-racist song “Strange Fruit”.
  • 1946: The Korean Anarchist Congress met for the second day of four.
  • 1964: Nelson Mandela makes statements in Rivonia Trial.
  • 1964: Approximately 60,000 or 85% of black students in Cleveland boycott classes to protest segregation.
  • 1980: United Auto Workers end successful 172-day strike against International Harvester.
  • 2001: Jaggi Singh was arrested while thousands of demonstrators, including members of Anti-Capitalist Convergence, demonstrated against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas in Quebec City, Quebec.
  • 2002: A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition organizes march of over 75,000 against the War on Terror in Washington, DC.
  • 2012: Tens of thousands demonstrate in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against continued military rule in Egypt.
On “I Didn’t Leave the Democratic Party, it Left Me.”

Without fail, a few times a week I hear someone who claims to have been a Democratic voter say, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”  This is almost always said as a rationale, a justification for voting for Trump or not voting at all.   It is also almost always said by a white male.  A lot of the times, they either are or were in the manufacturing sector and/or a member of a union.  They blame the loss of jobs in their field that have either affected them and/or their family and friends on the Democratic Party.  They also blame the Party for the decline in union membership and anti-union bills passed in once proud union states like Michigan and Wisconsin.  Whenever I hear these complaints, I ask for specific examples of exactly how the Democratic Party betrayed them.  So far, I haven’t received a single specific from anyone that can’t be disproved by my eight-year-old and Google.  All I get is a reiteration that the Democratic Party left them or right-wing talking points about the Democrats being the party of “corporatists.” When I ask them to explain how Democrats are supposed to push pro-union bills when many union members themselves vote for Republicans or how they are supposed to alter the inevitable changes that arise from globalization, they hem and haw and end up not saying a damn thing.

The Democratic Party didn’t leave these folks.  These folks left the Party for a number of reasons.  One reason is because they, like most Americans, are intellectually lazy, especially when it comes to knowing and understanding how their government works.  They don’t understand or care to understand how laws are made, what can and can’t be done because of legislative rules, what can be legitimately done at any given moment in time due to the makeup of the legislative bodies involved.  This situation isn’t unique to ex-Dems, the far-left also suffers from being severely civics challenged.  They expect, demand, and want FDR-like progress without the very large progressive majorities FDR enjoyed every single term in office.  This same unrealistic demand applies on the state level, as well.  If people who claim to be progressives don’t vote for progressive majorities, then they shouldn’t bitch when things are not as progressive as they’d like.  I know this sounds simple, but it seems to completely elude a whole lot of people.

When I ask these ex-Dems whether or not they voted or Democratic candidates in the 2010 and/or 2014 midterms, they almost always say, “No.”  I don’t know exactly how the Democratic Party left people who didn’t support it.  I really don’t know how allowing Republicans who are anti-union and all for shipping jobs overseas to have power is a reasonable response to wanting pro-union, less globalization.   If I’m ever able to get an answer about this, it usually ends up being something along the lines of, “to teach the Democrats a lesson.”  This is the same stupid mindset from many on the left during the 2010 midterms with regard to what they perceived were sleights with regard to health care and Wall Street reform.  How’d that “teach them a lesson” thing turn out?  As far as I can tell it led to the rise of the Tea Party, Democrats losing many states including blue states like Michigan and Wisconsin, the U.S. House of Representatives and most of the political leverage progressives had.  That wasn’t a lesson.  That was political suicide which was followed by giving Republicans control of the Senate in 2014 and the White House last November.  This is where I sarcastically slow clap and say, “Bra…..fucking….o!”  You wanted the Democratic Party to do things for you but you didn’t do anything for the Democratic Party.

Another reason these people left the Democratic Party is the same reason a lot of people left-racism/bigotry.  To many of these individuals, unions were great until minorities became members.  Public schools were terrific until their kids had to go to school with “those kids.”  Living in the city or suburb adjacent areas was fine until “those people” started moving in.  Make no mistake, White Flight isn’t something unique to conservatives.  Many so-called “progressives” bolted from their neighborhoods once it started getting ethnically diverse.  The beliefs, attitudes, mindset behind progressive White Flight are the same behind, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”  Anyone who claims differently doesn’t know a damn thing about anything, especially political history, voting patterns, sociology, psychology, belief systems….

The Democratic Party hasn’t won the majority of the white vote since 1964.  Now, why is that?  What happened in 1964 that would cause white voters to turn away from the Democratic Party?  Was it, A) the government outlawing the poll tax?  Or, B) Barry Goldwater winning the Republican presidential primary nomination?  Or, C) the last Looney Tune cartoon produced by Warner Bros.?  Or, D) the passage of the Civil Rights Act by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson?  If you say anything other than, “D” you need to be remanded to third-grade history and can’t come back to the discussion until you pass.  The underlying reason for White Flight, for School of Choice, for whites not voting for the Democratic Party is racism. Full…Fucking…Stop!  When people tell me, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me, “ what they often mean is, “An awful lot of people I don’t want in the Democratic Party are a major voting bloc in the Party.”  The same reasons behind conservative and progressive White Flight are why the Democratic Party hasn’t won the majority of the white vote since 1964.  It isn’t because the Democratic Party’s stance on economic issues.  It is because, when push comes to shove, too many white voters don’t want to minorities to have the same rights and privileges they do.

Of course, people aren’t going to come right out and say the reason they no longer support the Democratic Party is because of racial issues. Instead, they come up with nonsense claims like, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me” or “Democrats have moved too far to the left.”  This latter claim is used by the right, the media, and so-called “Democrats” who think chasing the white vote is a smart, moral strategy.  Former Democratic Senator from Virginia, Jim Webb is the most recent person making the idiotic claim that Democrats have moved too far to the left.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows  Webb’s political history. Until 2006 he was a Republican.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone with such a conservative background to say something different than Democrats have moved too far to the left.  This is why anyone with an ounce of sense can and should completely ignore anything Webb has to say about the Democratic Party.

The political reality is only one party has moved hard towards their extreme and that would be the Republicans.  Read Eisenhower’s 1956 platform and it sounds like it came out of the 2016 Democratic Convention.  You don’t even need to go back that far to see just how hard to the right Republicans have shifted.  Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., even W. wouldn’t have lasted two months running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.  This shift to the right by Republicans in Congress is well researched and documented.  Since the early 70s, the majority of Democrats have pretty much stayed in the same just left of center grouping while Republicans in the Senate, but especially in the House have moved sharply to the right.  To say, “Democrats have moved too far to the left” isn’t backed up by the data.  If the gap between the majorities of the two parties was four spots on the political spectrum in the 70s and now it is ten, this doesn’t mean each has shifted three spots.  What has happened is the left has shifted one spot and the right has shifted five.  It is intellectually lazy to look at the difference between four and ten and say, “both sides have moved equally apart.”  There are no Tea Party equivalents on the left.  Jim Webb and others saying, “The Democrats have moved too far to the left,” is complete bullshit.

Progressives love to point out white privilege when it applies to conservatives.  Of course, it is low hanging fruit. What many white progressives are not very good at is recognizing and admitting their own privilege and how their beliefs and actions undermine the very ideology they claim to believe in so strongly. Progressivism is about equality, justice, and fairness with no fine print, no fucking asterisks.  If you aren’t standing up and fighting for the rights of those in society who have been and are denied them to one degree or another, stop pretending you are progressive in order to make you feel good about yourself.  Don’t blame the Democratic Party for being the only one of the two major political parties that stands up for these things because you don’t have the mental or intestinal fortitude to do so yourself.  Don’t say, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me,” when what you really mean is, “I’m uncomfortable with the Democratic Party prioritizing the most vulnerable in society over my white privileged ass.”  There are actually white supremacists at the seat of power in our country right now.  So-called “progressives” who aren’t adamantly standing up and fighting for those most at risk from the quasi-fascist right may say they were Democrats, but at best they were fair weather fans who, if they were honest, would say, “I’m perfectly fine with progress as long as it is focused on my wants and needs and not on people who really need it.”  This is what it really boils down to whether progressives want to admit it or not.  If you want social/economic change, you have to vote for the party that is your best chance to get it, not the party that is completely against it.  The more you vote for and elect Democratic candidates, the more they will have power.  The more power they have, the more they can enact change.  It is See Spot Fucking Run for anyone smart enough and honest enough to see it.

via Representative Alan Lowenthal

Yesterday, an individual barged into my office in Washington and made a disparaging remark about the fact that I fly the Pride Flag outside my office. He then went back out into the hallway outside my office, removed the flag from its holder, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it. He told my staff that the flag was “disgusting, immoral, and goes against everything that is right.”

The Pride Flag is more than just a symbol of pride for the LGBT community–it stands for love, understanding, and unity.

As a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I have flown this particular Pride Flag since 2013 in solidarity with the LGBT community. I have committed to fly it proudly until LGBT people have all of the same rights I have and until our laws protect LGBT people from discrimination and violence. Sadly, the violent and disturbing behavior of this individual yesterday demonstrated that we aren’t there yet.

His actions yesterday–intended to intimidate and demean–only make me and those that love freedom and justice want to fight that much harder. We simply MUST pass the Equality Act now! Introduced by my colleague, Rep. Cicilline, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

anonymous asked:

Can you explain something to someone who's very ignorant of US internal politics- how did the Republican Party go from being the champion of emancipation & anti-Secession in the mid 19th century to being viewed as a party of conservative whites opposed to POC ,in the current times?

Sure. It’s a very complicated story that could easily fill up a semester, but I’ll do the super-quick version: the Republican Party abandoned Reconstruction in 1876 following gradual voter fatigue over Federal intervention in the South and then gradually shifted to merely pro-forma support of civil rights in the 1880s, and then gave even that up in the 1890s. 

The next big moment is when black voters in the North in the 1930s and 1940s - who had become a significant voting bloc due to the First Great Migration - joined the New Deal coalition (a shaky but potent coalition that included southern whites, western farmers, “white ethnic” working class voters in the Midwest and Northeast, the labor movement, middle class liberals and former Progressives, etc.) following the 1936 election, when the Republican Party embraced austerity and opposed the New Deal, which many African-Americans relied upon for survival. 

This then gradually (I’m talking 1940s to 1960s gradually) forced the Democratic Party to embrace the cause of civil rights. In turn, southern whites began breaking with the Democratic Party - first, in creating a legislative alliance with conservative Republicans after 1937 to block further New Deal legislation, second, with the 1948 walkout from the Democratic Convention that led to Strom Thurmond running for President as the “States’ Rights Democratic Party,” third, the gradual erosion of the (white) “solid South” in the 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964 elections. 

This formed the basis for the “Southern Strategy” pursued by Richard Nixon: he saw that the white South was up for grabs due to the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and believed that he could win their votes without appearing to openly favor segregation by campaigning on “law and order” and “states’ rights” without explicitly mentioning race. 

And the rest was history. 

Loretta Lynch, the nation’s first black female attorney general, bids farewell to her post in a speech at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

“When I was born, it would have been unimaginable to think that an African-American woman could even sit on a jury, much less serve as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.,” Lynch, 57, said in her final address as attorney general from the sanctuary of the church.

In 1963, four reputed Klansmen bombed the church, killing four black girls — the act would later spur passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The church was targeted because Martin Luther King Jr. and others had used the 16th Street Baptist as an organizing hub during the civil rights movement.

“But because of what happened here in Birmingham, I stand before you today as attorney general of the United States, serving in the cabinet of the first African-American president of the United States,” Lynch said on Sunday, just ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

4

Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (November 20, 1910 – July 1, 1985) was a civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, lawyer, and author. She was also the first black woman ordained an Episcopal priest. Born in Baltimore, she later moved to New York and obtained a degree in English in 1933. In 1940 she was arrested for violating Virginia’s segregation laws on a bus. This incident, along with her involvement in the socialist Workers Defense League to free a Black sharecropper from execution for killing his white landlord, led her to become a civil rights lawyer. She enrolled at Howard University’s law school where she, along with James Farmer and Bayard Rustin co-founded C.O.R.E. (Congress for Racial Equality) in 1942. 

While at Howard, she became conscious of sexism, or “Jane Crow” as she called it. As one of the few women law students there, she found herself the object not of hostility but of ridicule. On her first day of classes she was shocked to hear her professor announce that he didn’t know why women went to law school, but that since they were there, he guessed the men would have to put up with them. She responded with steely silence. “The professor didn’t know it,” she later wrote, “but he had just guaranteed that I would be the top student in his class.” 

After passing the California bar exam in 1945, Murray became the state’s first black deputy attorney general. It would be Murray’s 1950 book States’ Laws on Race and Color that NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall would hail as the “bible” of the civil rights movement, directly contributing to the 1954 Brown vs. Board decision. Respect for her mind did not improve her treatment by men in the movement however. In 1963, she became one of the first to criticize the sexism of the civil rights movement. In a letter to civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, among other grievances, she criticized the fact in the 1963 March on Washington no women were invited to make one of the major speeches or to be part of its delegation of leaders who went to the White House:

I have been increasingly perturbed over the blatant disparity between the major role which Negro women have played and are playing in the crucial grassroots levels of our struggle and the minor role of leadership they have been assigned in the national policy-making decisions. It is indefensible to call a national march on Washington and send out a call which contains the name of not a single woman leader.[x]

Murray lived in Ghana from 1960–61, serving on the faculty of the Ghana School of Law. She then returned to the US and studied at Yale Law School, becoming the first African-American to receive a J.S.D. from the school in 1965. Murray co-wrote the critical position papers on the E.R.A., Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the American Civil Liberties Union brief for the White v. Crook case, which successfully challenged all-white, all-male juries in Lowndes County, Alabama. In 1966 she was one of the founding members of NOW (National Organization for Women), but resigned when the white women of the organization failed to incorporate analysis of racial oppression into their activism.

[I’ve begun to] reassess my entire relationship to the women’s movement and to ponder how I can remain effective without exposing myself to humiliation, for it is humiliating to be deliberately excluded from participation in an area to which one has devoted many years of one’s life.[x]

In 1973, Murray left law and academia for the Episcopal Church, becoming a priest, and was the first Black woman named an Episcopal saint in 2012.

anonymous asked:

What do you hope to accomplish this year in terms of helping the community of LGBTQIA+ ?

My goal this year for the LGBTQI community centers around stopping SB6 in the Texas legislature. I firmly believe that if Texas passes this bill it will be a signal to other states that they should do the same. I also believe that even though these types of bills are aimed squarely at the trans community, they are the precursor for an attempt to roll back the hard-earned rights of the LGB community. Where will it stop? Reproductive rights are certainly always on their mind, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The proponents of these bills see the 1950s as the model for America.

Happy weed day, everybody.

Originally posted by cartoonsondrugs

It’s 4/20 in my time zone. And this is not a meme.

While I don’t partake anymore (and haven’t done so for a long long time), I’m all for taking symbols and historical dates away from Nazis.

So let’s celebrate other stuff (or weed, if you’re so inclined).

For example:

Originally posted by rarelyupforair

Happy birthday, George Takei! Legendary Star Trek cast member, outspoken activist and all around awesome person. And happy birthday to Jessica Lange and Luther Vandross, too!

On this day in 1871, Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1871, enabling him to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in order to combat the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy organizations.

The first historical record of Moscow is dated this day in 1147.

In 1964 the Beatles occupy the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts.

Francis Drake is knighted for his circumnavigation of the world on this day in 1581.

In 1960 France grants independence to the Mali Federation (Senegal and French Sudan), which leads to 4/20 being Independence day in Senegal.

It’s also a holiday in Angola, the Day of Peace and Reconciliation, celebrating the end of the Angolan Cilvil War.

And these are just a small sample of the good things to happen today. Don’t let Nazis make this day about Hitler and themselves. Take it back and keep it for good.

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January 15th 1929: Martin Luther King Jr. born

On this day in 1929, the future civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Born as Martin King, he and his father changed their names in honour of Protestant reformer Martin Luther. King entered the ministry in his twenties and first came to national attention for his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. This event is considered by many to be the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, which saw a national struggle to end discrimination against African-Americans. King was one of many leaders, but became the face of the movement for his nonviolent tactics and powerful oratory. In 1963, during the March on Washington, King delivered the crowning speech of the movement - the ‘I have a dream’ speech. Beyond his role in combating racial inequality, King also focused on tackling poverty and advocating peace, especially during the Vietnam War. On April 4th 1968, King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. He lived to see the legislative achievements of the movement - the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act - but tragically was unable to continue the push for full equality. The movement King set in motion continues to be fought today; the United States is still not a completely equal society and systemic discrimination persists. However, thanks to Martin Luther King, America is closer to fulfilling King’s dream of a truly free and equal society. Since 1986, a national Martin Luther King Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January.

Today would have been his 88th birthday

Just a reminder:

Your parents were probably alive when the LDS Church decided people of color counted as human beings. Mine were. My dad was a deacon. 

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued Official Declaration 2 in 1978. That’s less than forty years ago. Let that sink in. This infamous “revelation” permitted all “worthy men” to hold the priesthood. Before that, all church authority came from old white men in the States. All of it. 

DO NOT believe the church’s bullshit about trying to best serve its members world-wide. Official Declaration 2 was a sales tactic and a PR move, plain and simple. By the late seventies, the church found itself behind the cultural curve. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had become law some twelve years earlier, and subsequent legislation and legal battles concerning race, feminism, and LGBTQA+ rights were beginning to turn the general tide of sentiment toward more progressive policies and ideas. If you read the lds.org page on “Race and the Priesthood,” you will encounter infuriating language implying that the church was actually ahead of its time, and that making the priesthood available to all men was a kind and generous act. Do I even need to explain how fucking arrogant, privileged, racist, and colonialist this statement is??? The church bowed to pressure. End of discussion. 

THE CHURCH IS A PARASITE. It cannot live without its members, sucking their time and money and hope. And like any parasite, the church has to continue to grow. They realized they had to change their sales approach concerning race or run the risk of estranging their massive member base overseas (who are, you guessed it, mostly people of color). 

(There’s also evidence to suggest that pressure from other college football teams on BYU’s team concerning their discriminatory policies regarding black players had a hand as well). 

There it is. There’s your reminder. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the prophets who claim to speak god’s word of peace and love to and for ALL people, were dragged kicking and screaming into acknowledging that people are people. This is the very definition of way, way too little, way, way too late. 

40 fucking years. 

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December 1st 1955: Rosa Parks on the bus

On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old black seamstress from Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man. A member of the NAACP, Parks was returning home from a long day at work when the bus driver ordered her to give up her seat on the full bus for a white man. No stranger to civil rights activism, she was subsequently arrested for civil disobedience in defying the state’s Jim Crow racial segregation laws. Through this act of defiance, Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, during which time African-Americans - under the leadership of a young, charismatic reverend called Martin Luther King Jr. - refused to use the city buses, arguing that they should be integrated per the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. The boycott was successful in forcing Montgomery to end its discriminatory segregation laws, and marked the beginning of the main phase of what is now known as the Civil Rights Movement. From Montgomery, African-Americans across the United States went on to lead sit-ins, freedom rides, and political marches, in an attempt to bring an end to segregation laws which had oppressed their community for so long. These activists were all indebted to Rosa Parks - known as the ‘mother of the Civil Rights Movement’ - for her simple act of defiance, firmly asserting her humanity and her rights as an American citizen. As the movement grew, Parks remained an influential symbol and leader of the movement, which ultimately brought an end to legal segregation and forced Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights and 1965 Voting Rights Acts. As for Parks herself, the affair of her arrest and the subsequent boycott caused her to lose her job and made her a victim of harassment and threats. She moved to Detriot and in 1965 began to work in the office of Congressman John Conyers. In 1999, Rosa Parks was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her role in transforming American race relations, and upon her death in 2005 she lay in state at the U.S. Capitol. Today, 60 years on, we remember Rosa Parks’s personal bravery, the successes of the movement she inspired, and the steps yet to be taken as the struggle against systemic racism continues.

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day…No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in”

60 years ago today

Exclusion and Inclusion

I am 45.

I say this as a preamble to what I want to cover.  Simple oldness does not give me any general authority, but it does give me lived experience through some of the history that seems to get argued about.  Even that can be limited, because I wasn’t part of the larger LGBT community from birth, and because in the before-time of the Internet (70s and 80s) there was a lot of regional variation.  I lived in a bunch of places, but not everywhere.  So what I know about NYC in the 70s and 80s is pretty theoretical.  What I know about Nevada and the Upper Midwest?  Pretty accurate.

So.

A few days ago, @scribbleowl posted a great post about LGBT+ community models.

I found that post compelling.

The great thing about models is that there are so many of them.  They work a bit like User Interface metaphors in computers.  That is, a computer “desktop” is pretty different from the top of an actual a desk or table, but they are similar enough to allow real conversation about the underlying things, but there are always slight differences from the real thing.  And just like with different OSes, you can have different and yet similar models.

So.  Another model.

Lets talk about mainstream culture.  Mainstream US culture, because this is largely US centric.  The pinnacle of US mainstream culture are who?

Men.  White men.  Straight, white men.  Straight, white, cisgender men.

At various points in history we had people who were non-men and/or non-white fighting for recognition of their civil rights – that gives you the sufferagettes, feminism, and the Civil Rights movements.

One of the biggest problems with these movements was that there were people who were both non-white and non-men, but their rights were not evenly won.  Women got the vote in 1920, but Native American women (and Native Americans in general, in fact) weren’t even citizens until 1924.  And until the Voting Rights act of 1964, a lot of blacks in general, and women in particular, had trouble excercising that right.

This inequality is not a positive of these movements.  It is not something they should be proud of, and it’s not something we should seek to emulate in future civil rights discourse.

Which brings us to today, and MOGAI identity politics, and asexual inclusion or exclusion.

In my humble opinion, the LGBTQIA community – what I would, with my own personal history, casually refer to as the Queer community, or the QUILTBAG community, or the MOGAI community – is most appropriately made up of people who don’t fit into the ‘straight’ or 'cisgender’ descriptors in the straight, white, cisgender, male 'pinnacle’ of modern US society.

Under that rubrik, you would presumabely be looking to exclude people who were both straight and cisgender from being community members, while other combinations would be included.  Straight but transgender, or not-straight but cisgender would be fine.  Not-straight and transgender would also be fine.

Assuming you accept all that, Ace, Bi, Trans, and NB inclusion seems like a no-brainer.  Ace people and Bi people aren’t straight.  Trans people and NB people aren’t cisgender.  What’s the problem?

At various points in our shared history, people – generally in the L and G categories – have decided that one of the other categories – ie, B or T or I (or Q) don’t exist as distinct identities worthy of inclusion.  No, those identities are actually made up of two categories – those that are “actually” straight, and should be excluded, and those that are “actually” gay or lesbian, and therefore should be included.

Today, that kind of analysis is being levied at the Asexual and Aromantic contingents.  But it has also been levied directly at trans, bi, and even in some cases intersex folks.  It’s used by TWERFS to categorize trans women as men – unacceptable – and trans men as women – acceptable.  It’s been used by various gay and lesbians to decide that bi people in mixed gender couples are “straight now” and no longer queer.  It’s been used by lesbians and gays to pathologize trans and bi folks as “not welcome” in various ways at various times.  The existence of the term 'gold star lesbian’ is an example of this kind of thing, and the fact that for some people, sex with a trans woman would strip a lesbian of her gold star badge.

The sick thing is, at the same time that a bunch of Very Loud people are working to exclude Asexuals, there are parts of the community working to exclude transgender people and bisexuals.  Like, right now.  It’s not a historic argument, it’s a current one.  Possibly the folks arguing about Aces right now don’t want to use this rhetoric against trans or bi people, but other parts of the community absolutely do.

We are all in this together.  Because what our enemies care about isn’t what letter(s) you identify with, it’s that those identities aren’t straight, aren’t cisgender.  How you aren’t straight, how you aren’t cisgender, those don’t matter.  It’s a binary for them, even while it’s a spectrum for us.

Ace exclusion is wrong.  It is wrong from a historical perspective.  It is wrong from a discrimination perspective.  It is wrong from a rhetorical perspective.  It is based on a fundamental disrespect of Asexuality as a distinct identity.  That identity exists, it is discriminated against, and it has often found safety in our communities, whether it was called Asexuality or not.  It can only be seen as 'right’ if you think of Ace people as 'them’, somehow.  And many people who seem to think that seem to also think the same thing about 'bi’ and 'trans’ people.

They are wrong about all of us.  We belong.

Lyndon B. Johnson biopic ‘LBJ' gets a release date

Woody Harrelson takes the lead role in the “LBJ” biopic, which opens in US theaters November 17. The movie tells the story of the 36th US President, from his childhood in rural Texas to his White House debut in 1963 and beyond.

On November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson took the USA’s top job in unusual circumstances. Serving as vice-president under John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson took oath onboard Air Force One following JFK’s assassination in Dallas.

To honor his predecessor’s legacy, Lyndon B. Johnson passed Kennedy’s historic Civil Rights Act in 1964. The Texan, from a modest rural background, went on to stand for election in his own right in 1964 and was re-elected US President. His time in office was marked by race riots and political assassinations, including the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Woody Harrelson is joined on the cast by Jennifer Jason Leigh, playing the President’s wife Claudia Alta Taylor, more widely known under her pseudonym Lady Bird Johnson. Bill Pullman will play Ralph Yarborough, the only southern senator to vote for all civil rights bills from 1957 to 1970, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

After a preview screening in September at the Toronto Film Festival, “LBJ” opens in US theaters November 17. The film is directed by Rob Reiner, who previously directed “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery” and “A Few Good Men.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson has been portrayed several times on the big and small screens in recent years. Since 2013, he has been played by Liev Schreiber (“The Butler” by Lee Daniels), Tom Wilkinson (“Selma” by Ava DuVernay), Bryan Cranston (HBO TV movie “All That Way”) and John Carroll Lynch in “Jackie” by Pablo Larrain.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Warnings: none
Rating: everyone
Summary: The reader is getting Steve up to date, catching him up, teaching him about the time he missed and she starts teaching him about the 60s and she gives him a list of famous songs from the time with her personal favorites added in as well. Later he does something special for her (as requested by anonymous)
Y/N = your name
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You were hired by S.H.I.E.L.D back when they’d just brought Steve outta the ice. Your job was to get Steve up to date with everything historically; catch him up; teach him about all the time he missed while he was in the ice.

At first, you thought it would be like teaching a child something that they’d missed on in class, and they would show no interest. However, you found that Steve averted all of his attention on the things you taught him. He was only like this until you finished the topic of the 1950s with him, because when you started telling him about the 60s, you’d have to make sure that he was paying attention and not daydreaming; which was something that was becoming more and more frequent.

He did show interest, he liked learning and you enjoyed teaching, but he was daydreaming too often. Even though he looked cute when he daydreamed, you had to teach him properly.
“Hi, Steve,” you smiled as you greeted him one day.
“Hi,” he replied happily as he sat down in his seat.
You were perched on the table (there was only one in the room and you usually sat next to him while you taught him) and you said, “So, since we’re on the topic of the swingin’ sixties, I decided to introduce you to something that you might like.”

You handed him a sheet of paper with a list of songs printed on it. “These are some famous songs from back in the day, and if you listen to them, you’ll get a real taste of the sixties. I even added my favorite for you - Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli, it’s a lovely song.”

“That’s great! Thank you, Y/N. I’ll definitely listen to them,” he grinned.
“Tell me what you thought of them once you do,” you giggled. “Okay, on with our ‘lesson’; we’ll be talking about the Berlin Wall today, which was built in 1961…”

You were progressing quicker than you’d expected. It would take you only two days to go over most of the important historical events of each each year, things like the Famous Escape From Alcatraz in 1962, the First Woman in Space in 1963, the Civil Rights Act Passes in U.S. in 1964, the New York City Great Blackout in 1965, the Founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966, the First Heart Transplant in 1967, and the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

Because you’d predicted that it would take a month to go over the sixties, by the time you’d finished conversing over when Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon in 1969, you had finished in 20 days and had 10 days to spare.

Steve, being the gentleman he is, asked if you could go out together sometime - “just as friends, not on a date. I figured it might be uncomfortable for you to date your ‘student’,” he said with a wink. You blushed and agreed and he said he’d take you someplace of his own personal preference.

You were sat in his car and he was driving you to the place he’d chosen to take you. You could have sworn that he was humming the tune to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You at one point, but he stopped and it felt like your mind was playing games with you, so you asked him about it. “I forgot to ask, what did you think of the songs?”

“I listened to them, they’re real nice. I liked them.”

“I’m glad you did,” you smiled as your turned away to look out of the window.

“Are you gonna tell me now? Where you’re taking me to?” You asked sweetly.

“You’ll see when we get there,” he replied, smiling happily to himself. He’s such a sweetheart. At that moment, you felt an unwelcome feeling of love swell in your heart.
*
He led the way down some steps and into an empty room. It looked like an old club, but it wasn’t used anymore. In the corner, there was a stereo - kinda looked like a jukebox. He turned to you and said, “Are you up to a little dancing?”

“Oh, gosh. I’m terrible at dancing!”

He chuckled softly and said, “No you’re not,” as he walked over to the stereo and inserted a CD. He walked back over to you and told you, “Not to worry, I’m not amazing either. We could teach each other,” he said, taking hold of your hands and swaying them to the slow beat of the music. You recognized the song as one from the list you’d given him and you couldn’t help but smile. It was Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

“You…?”

“Yeah,” he nodded, twirling you around and stepping from side to side.

You continued on like that for the rest of the song, swaying together, making sure not to step on the other’s feet. As soon as the first song ended, Steve quickly jogged over to the stereo and turned the volume up a little. He stood by the stereo, watching you, waiting for the song to start. The sound of the first beat filled the room, and he tapped his foot along to it. It was the one, your favorite.

But then he started singing, and that changed everything. You felt all sorts of love bubbling up inside you as soon as he started singing. Every note was hit perfectly, his voice smooth and soft like silk. As the song progressed, he stepped closer and gestured towards you when he sang the chorus. He danced with you, both of you laughing, and sang with passion, as if he meant every word from the song:

“You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you

Pardon the way that I stare
There’s nothing else to compare
The sight of you leaves me weak
There are no words left to speak
But if you feel like I feel
Please let me know that it’s real
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you

I love you baby and if it’s quite all right
I need you baby to warm the lonely nights
I love you baby, trust in me when I say
Oh pretty baby, don’t bring me down I pray
Oh pretty baby, now that I’ve found you stay
And let me love you baby, let me love you

You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off of you

I love you baby and if it’s quite all right
I need you baby to warm the lonely nights
I love you baby, trust in me when I say
Oh pretty baby, don’t bring me down I pray
Oh pretty baby, now that I’ve found you stay
And let me love you baby, let me love you,” he finished, gracefully twirling you one last time and holding you from the small of the your back and bending you over backwards so that you were looking up at him.

There, in that moment, something fell into place. You’d loved Steve ever since you first saw him, and you never realized how deep those feelings were until that moment. You always thought that being nervous around someone - as confident as you acted - was normal. But now that you think about it…that’s love.

“I love you,” you whispered breathlessly before not-so-graciously crashing your lips onto Steve’s. He was a little startled at first but after a second, he kissed back just as hard. You held desperately onto his shoulder so as to not fall over, but he knew that this position wasn’t the best for kissing. He straightened you both up and cupped your face gently and kissed softly and lovingly.

Slowly, you both pulled apart for air but still held on to each other. “Steve…I really do love you. I can’t believe I never realized, I’ve always been nervous around you and I-”

He stopped you from rambling by leaning in and kissing you once more. Pressing your foreheads together, he said, “It’s okay, I love you too.”

You smiled, “Who said that it would be uncomfortable for me to date my 'student’?”

“Even though I’m older than you, isn’t it some sort of rule?”

“You were the same age as me when you went into the ice, y'know. You’ve been frozen in time…gosh, you probably won’t even age. Can we break that rule? I want you all to myself,” you giggled giddily.

“I’m more than willing to break that rule. Anything…anything for you.”