If you think calling Kamala Harris a cop was racist, you need to talk to black feminists

To be certain, Kamala Harris faces obstacles of oppression and perception as a black woman; few would argue against this. At the same time, however — to put it into her own words — Kamala is California’s “top cop.” As the 32nd Attorney General of California, Harris was both a chief legal advisor to the state government and its chief law officer, with responsibilities including leading the California Department of Justice, enforcing state laws, supporting local law enforcement, overseeing law enforcement agencies, and even assisting as the chief legal counsel in state litigation cases. In short, a person in her position may be the most “cop-like” a person can be.

A Primer On Bolivia’s US-Backed Coup

“I am resigning just so that my sisters and brothers, leaders and authorities of the movement towards socialism, are not harassed, persecuted, and threatened,” Evo Morales, the democratically elected president of Bolivia, told the world in his somber resignation speech on November 10th. The speech came over two weeks after his supporters and members of his party were kidnapped, beaten, publicly humiliated, and assaulted by opposition forces; the images of Patricia Arce, mayor of Vinto in Bolivia, covered in red paint with her hair cut off and violently abused went viral, and serve as a representation of who’s behind the US-backed coup.

Groundings: A Revolutionary Pan-African Pedagogy for Guerilla Intellectuals

Walter Rodney’s utilization and subsequent coining of the “groundings” pedagogical model, along with his conceptualization of the "guerilla intellectual", are among the most potent manifestations of a (Black) critical pedagogy or educational praxis with this unique intention. Within this framework, history and theory are not only weapons of the pedagogical process but are transformed—through the guerilla intellectual—into weapons of the struggle and, as Rodney’s life shows as testament, eventually into a facet of the struggle itself. This essay seeks to explore Walter Rodney’s life, his development and use of the groundings model, and to explain why his conceptualization of the guerilla intellectual is not only still relevant today, but how his development of an Afrocentric pedagogy model maps out a powerful educational framework which can be applied for the liberatory purposes of contemporary struggle. We also consider the absence of Rodney and the Pan-African tradition from too much of the radical pedagogy and general radical canons, though this is starting to change.

The illusion of electoral politics from Palestine to Black America

Electoral politics are asked to carry that which they cannot hold; or possibly more aptly, electoral politics are made to be the face of a change which they’ve never known. As the elections in Israel and the possible ousting of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister have dominated Western headlines over the course of several weeks now, the illusion of the power of a vote must once again be called into question.

A look at Washington DC’s Museum of the Palestinian People

A feeling of family welcomes you when you walk into the Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington DC. Conversations flow, anecdotes and oral histories echo all around. Walls covered with pictures show faces and legacies that invite connection. “There are connections that are happening,” says AnaMichele Babyak, social media and development coordinator. “People are coming in, they’re meeting people, and visitors are connecting to each other and the history. And we say that’s very inherent in

The Violent Implications of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Shows

Despite the shallow gimmick of the film's interactive style, Bandersnatch raises for me a number of pressing social and political questions. Important in analyzing any film is paying close attention to the way violence is framed — the way the director and writers choose to deliver, handle, contextualize, and rationalize violence within the short universes they create. Given the interactive ability thrust onto viewers during Bandersnatch, the gaze of violence in this film becomes a crucial moment in defining, or — anticipating the potential popularity of this new interactive film style — redefining the ways in which violence is manifest bidirectionally in film and how that reverberates throughout society.

DeRay Mckesson's Misguided Case for Hope

There are two histories which have always battled each other, publicly and loudly: domination’s history—the history of the class in position to dominate the masses—and the people’s history, which is the history of colonized and oppressed peoples struggling and triumphing from the ground up. Between these two histories, narrative and autobiographical writings have been a key tool in correctively challenging the historical narratives placed onto oppressed and colonized people, from the era-defining writing found in Malcolm X’s autobiography, to the consciousness-shaping contours of Assata Shakur’s Assata. And still, one must wonder if such a definitive, important piece of autobiographical writing has come from our generation yet, or if any attempts have been made. However, as we move into a new generation characterized by celebrity activists steeped in social media rather than intellectual study, it seems domination’s recent history finds a comfortable bedfellow in the work of some high-profile activists, including activist DeRay Mckesson’s On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.

The symbol of political prisoners resonates beyond borders

Among all movements of oppressed people, but particularly those of Black and Palestinian people, political prisoners become the face and embodiment of this unjust carcerality, recognizable figures from Angela Davis’ afro to Ahed Tamimi’s smile. We hold closely to these figures, and to the incarcerated, not because they are necessarily lionized but because they represent an integral key in breeding international, intercommunal solidarity.

Imperialism, Among Other Things, As Global Racism

There are many fitting descriptors one could use to illustrate imperialism in simple terms. An exploitative economic system between dominant and subordinate countries, an extreme and external form of colonialism, global domination, a phenomena which is simultaneously economic, systemic, and cultural. One simple description I often used with students when I taught my race/ethnicity class which resonated was "imperialism, among other descriptions, is global racism."

Extracting a legacy of Black, Southern organizing for Palestine

The particularity of racism’s history in the South has not been overlooked, and has given way to an understanding of immense commonality between contemporary Palestine and the Jim Crow apartheid system in the U.S. It should come at no surprise, then, that some of Palestine’s most well-known voices of solidarity from the Black community have come from those with Southern backgrounds, using their lived experiences through Jim Crow to call for action. Both Alice Walker and Angela Davis lived through the violent apartheid system of the South in the 1950s and 1960s, and have many times written and spoke about this connection of what they have seen in Palestine and experienced during Jim Crow. In an interview with Democracy Now, Walker went as far as to say it is actually worse in Palestine than what her family experienced under Jim Crow. Writing in 2012 after visiting Palestine, Davis stated: “we here in the U.S. should be especially conscious of the similarities between historical Jim Crow practices and contemporary regimes of segregation in Occupied Palestine.”

Florida Prisoners To Launch ‘Operation PUSH’ Strike Against Prison Slavery

Incarcerated people in Florida have announced a prison strike called ‘Operation PUSH’ beginning Monday, January 15th, coinciding with MLK Day. The organizers plan to disrupt as much economic flow of the prisons as possible by waging a labor strike; according to their statement published on Fight Toxic Prisons, they will not attend shifts in the kitchens, cleaning and laundry services, or facility maintenance services, including other jobs that exploit the labor of prisoners to maintain the prisons. Their demands are noble and straightforward: end prison slavery by receiving fair payment for their labor, stop price gouging through ‘outrageous’ commissary/canteen prices, and re-introducing parole incentives for those with life sentences and inhumanly long sentences.

Coates doesn’t get it

Coates is not an organizer or an activist. And, as far as I am aware, West is not an organizer, but is at least seen as some form of celebrity activist by popular standards of today (although, when the bulk of your “activism” surrounds presidential elections and campaigning, I challenge that application fully). This is not to say one is better than the other, rather that their ears are clearly to the ground in crucially different spaces. Thus, the question of who they listen to in order to hold themselves and be held accountable must also be crucially different. While one may be critiqued and hailed by the academy as what seems like a sole source of affirmation, the other is concerned with the voice that arises upward from the grass. And while some might bemoan this as “unfair” to Coates, that is indeed often the nature of truth.

Theirs and Ours: Terrorism’s “Inclusivity” Argument

I don’t know that we can say with clarity that arguing for the application of the term “terrorist” to certain individuals is actually useful. The conversation is positioned on the equalization of the term’s application, not on the total deconstruction of the term. The late Eqbal Ahmed agitates our use of ‘Terrorism’ as both a word and idea in his 1998 essay Terrorism: Theirs and Ours, stating: “[Terrorism] necessarily evades definition.” He further describes the nature of what gets defined as terrorism, as well as its double standards, by the US. Ahmed writes, “If you are not going to be consistent, you’re not going to define. […] They don’t define terrorism because definitions involve a commitment to analysis, comprehension, and adherence to some norms of consistency.”

Grammys Need To Bring Back Female Rap Categories And Here’s Why

Given the history of female rap at the Grammys and the several years of lacking representation for women in hip-hop, a redefining and reimagining of these categories is desperately needed. The institution should create a new kind of category once again; one that values gender performance, femme energy, and grand statements on sexuality/gender. They should create a category that exists statically to support, value, and cultivate women and LGBTQ rappers in hip-hop, as well as in the space where hip-hop intersects R&B. The existence of this new category within the Grammys structure, one that explicitly values confronts gender and makes space for sexuality transgressions — essential movements that female rappers have led for decades now — will create a new definition of “winning” as well.

I Can't Hear In That Ear: Abuse Affects Queer Relationships Too

All of the advice on dating, relationships, sex, abuse, and abusers had been steeped in such a strong hetero-patriarchal normativity, that by the time I was old enough to be in the midst of these things I had no clue what I was doing. More than just not knowing what I was doing, I thought that since I’d never really heard much conversation on these things from a queer perspective or been immersed in a world where queer relationships were discussed, that I couldn’t talk to others about my relationship.
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