6

Compromise where you can. But where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say “no… you move”.

she, and i 
and our mouths
with clenched jaws,
our bloodied lips
and aching hands, 
make eyes across a church 
she and i
wince at loud noises
but still in the night
remind each other of our names,
screaming;
i tell her i will fight until i die out there
before i let us go back into 
shadow-born citizens who 
lost our jobs for this, i’d rather 
be a smear on the street than
let others beat my brothers and sisters
for our sin of keeping others near;
she kisses me when no one is looking
and whispers,
that’s what i’m worried about

People say all the time, ‘Well, I don’t understand how people could have tolerated slavery?’ 'How could they have made peace with that?’ 'How could people have gone to a lynching and participated in that?’ 'That’s so crazy, if I was living in that time I would never have tolerated anything like that.’ And the truth is we are living in this time, and we are tolerating it.
—  Bryan Stevenson, 13th on Netflix

I really struggle to articulate this properly but I feel like a lot of abled people can recognise the idea of disabled people in theory but not in practice? And I feel this heavily affects accessibility

So for instance with disabled parking spaces they see them and know that they are for the elusive ‘disabled people’ but also they think “hey no one will need this right now” and so will use it because the idea of disabled people actually existing and interacting with a public space just doesn;t add up and fully form in their minds

And I think a major cause of this is the fact that a lot of disabled people have not been or continue to not be allowed in public spaces. Through ‘ugly laws’, institutionalisation, inaccessibility, abuse, imprisonment and other violence, disabled people have been forced from or never allowed into the public sphere and so the idea of us being there, existing in communities, in society is so abstract to abled folks and I feel like that really affects and informs a lot of attitudes that people have especially wrt to using things meant for disabled people

6

“There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost; there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for. The Dark Side will have won only when there is no one left to stand against it. Until then, there is only the struggle, because tides do what tides do - they turn.” (x)

Despite my best filtering and blacklisting efforts I still see a few calls to violently attack fascists on my dashboard every day. Practically all of them specifically call for beating up fascists with a baseball bat. 

I wonder what it is about baseball bats. Is it that they’re household items? But steak knives are moreso, and I haven’t seen any calls to stab fascists with your steak knives. Is it that blunt force trauma is less physically dramatic, so calls for it feel less like calls for premeditated murder?

Because let’s be really fucking clear: you can kill someone with a baseball bat. If you really went out on the streets and beat people up with a baseball bat you would likely kill some and inflict permanent brain damage on others. And, of course, killing people by accident in the course of beating them up on purpose is murder.

Maybe some of those people endorse that. But since I haven’t seen widely reblogged enthusiastic calls to shoot fascists point-blank in the drive-thru, or carry a steak knife so you can stab them, I can’t help but wonder if some of those people don’t endorse that, if they mistakenly believe that they’re calling for some sort of tamer, less homicidal flavor of violence.

Or maybe that’s too optimistic and lots of people on tumblr think extrajudicial murders of people for their political views are how to build a society in which marginalized people can be safe.

(I think the real answer is that these posts are not supposed to be taken at face value: ‘beat up fascists with a baseball bat’ means ‘I dislike fascists really emphatically’, not ‘beat up fascists with a baseball bat’. But some people will take them at face value, and other people will have to plan for their own safety around the assumption that others might be taking them at face value, and by being impossible to distinguish from actual calls by murderers to commit murder they provide those with cover. I believe that these posts are evil and indefensible, no matter how metaphorically intended.)

None of this is an original insight or anything, but:

The people who beat other people at Berkeley engaged in appalling behavior, and while they seem to have been a tiny minority not even associated with the school and with the peaceful protestors, it looks like peaceful protests need to be prepared for this kind of shit. I don’t know how to plan a protest in a way that protects against violent assholes using you as cover to do serious bodily injury to strangers who look like they might be their political enemies, but since I do not want violent assholes doing that when I’m protesting I intend to figure it out. 

It is good for universities to expose students to different perspectives. Not inviting Milo Yiannopoulos because he is a right-winger would have been a bad idea. Not inviting Milo Yiannopoulos because he singles out innocent uninvolved students to bully and harass, shows their pictures on stage and tries to rile up his audience against them, is a perfectly good reason to not invite him. He should never have been invited. If someone has nothing of value to say, free speech (the civic virtue, not the legal principle) does not demand you extend them invitations to come talk. 

Free speech the legal principle is totally irrelevant here and everyone talking about free speech is talking about the civic virtue, except for the people who keep interrupting them to say ‘free speech just means you don’t go to jail for it!’ As a big fan of free speech the civic virtue I wish we had different words for these two things, but we don’t, so saying ‘by the other definition of that concept the concept is irrelevant to this debate’ is not very helpful.

Old friend of the family, a blues musician from St. Louis, got attacked last night in his neighborhood. Five young men surrounded him and one punched him in the face, breaking his nose. They say it was probably a “knockout game”, as the men walked off down the street laughing and joking as he lay there. It’s not sure if they’ll have to remove it, but I guess he’s blind in one eye now.