Monday, February 23, 2009
Above are a series of Code of Conduct images that hopefully will encourage forgiveness I put together from pics on the Internet. Sometimes having graphics helps people to imagine a future beyond the current, oppressive situation that they are in. These are just rough drafts and I greatly welcome more images that are not put together by me. I am currently seeking help in working on creating a standard feminist code of conduct on blogs, and in addition, I am going to start working on a collective to promote forgiveness so there is not so much in-fighting.
Towards an end to institutionalized patriarchy...within our lifetime.
We have recently seen LGBTQI come under such vicious attacks as to have constitutional ammendments created to discriminate against them. The time for us to work together is now... before it gets any worse for all us.
Divided we are weak... united we are strong.
We must learn to forgive one another instead of fighting one another.
Love for the people,
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.
I also want to once again, thank and give respect to the following people who have been on a quest to make these issues and solutions better for a long time (and I apologize for anyone I did not name): Aaminah, Angry Black Bitch, Angry Black Woman, Annaham, Anxious Black Woman, Belledame, BlackAmazon, Bluealto, Brownblackandqueer, Brownfemipower, Cara, Cassandra, Danadocus, DeviousDiva, Elle, Firefly, Florence Craye, Holly, Ilyka, Karnythia, Lisa Harney, Luci-Kali, Lucy, Magniloquence, Naamen, Nubian, Rachel, Renee, Sadie, Sara no H., Sin Vergüenza, SlantTruth, Sokari, Sonia, Sudy, Sylvia/M, Vanessa, WOC PhD
"....a political struggle that does not have women at the heart of it, above it,
below it and within it is no struggle at all.”
-Arundhati Roy, Quoted from her speech: '2004 Sydney Peace Prize
Lecture' (The entire speech is available online, search for the title)
"When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.”
-Dylan Thomas quotes (Welsh Poet, short-story Writer and Playwright, 1914-1953)
“A man with a talent does what is expected of him, makes his way, constructs, is an engineer, a composer, a builder of bridges. It's the natural order of things that he construct objects outside himself and his family. The woman who does so is aberrant. We have to expiate for this cursed talent someone handed out to us, by mistake, in the black mystery of genetics.”
-May Sarton quotes
"When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots,
we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes.
When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things.
We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees.
We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the
ground, pull down the trees, kill everything. ...
the White people pay no attention. ...
How can the spirit of the earth like the White man? ...
everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore."
Wintu Woman, 19th Century
So I read Black Amazon's 1st response to the article mentioned in my below tow posts. It was by far the most powerful blog post that I have ever read. Raw Emotion. Definitely stripped of all the grammatical correctness bullshit that I have really come to detest, I must admit. I don't desire to ever speak like a colonized House Negro and the fact that I know there are white people who would read my blog more because they would discriminate against my way of speaking.... makes me want to not speak properly all the more.
That fact that there are feminist groups blogs who would not invite me to blog because on my typos is so stupid I can't even think of it.
After reading her post..... I carried on with my life for a couple hours...kind of like someone does when they step out of car accident and they walk around dazed and just go through the motions.
Then I realize why it hit me so hard... because I know that pain. I have felt that pain. I have been attacked like Black Amazon, betrayed...and much like her, I stand and survive. Here she states:
"But outside of the emotional violence , the unaccountability, the self indulgent navel gazing the assinine behavior that is not even directed at full misogynists( they will at very least name teh misogynists when responding. Many neigh most of these blogs while calling me essentiallya hating demon for two years DO NOT LINK ME)"Then I turned off the computer and as I was about to go to bed, it hit me: I truly need to burn my bridges to a whole lot of people who really just don't give a flying Fuck about me as a human being...and certainly not as a Black, male Feminist. It is almost as if I feel warm in the dead of winter in front of the comfy fire that is that bridge burning.
I then went back and read Black Amazon's second and third response. Yup, even more revealing. Revealing about myself.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one making three blog responses in a row towards this issue.
Bullshit. My overall feeling about the article is that it was great.
Just now I got the clear image in my mind that if I were on a plane, there would be progressive feminist activists that would parachute out of the plane to get away from me so great is their desire not to be told about their racist, biased behavior by a Black, Male feminist. It was a very clear visual image in my mind.
I feel like I was able to share it with you now that I'm burning my bridges. The smell of smoke is inviting like a campfire with friends at night watching the campfire send up dancing sparks at night.
I'm not going around visiting blogs like I once did. That is bullshit. The more blogs I visit, the more I realize how very, very badly people will discriminate against a Black, Male Feminist in the feminist and progressive blogosphere. Lots of clubs and carnivals you can't join in the feminist blogosphere if you're a male, lots of inner circles you can't get in to if you're an outspoken Black person, and most of all, lots of people who ignore you if you happen to be both, a Black, Male, feminist... in addition to someone who speaks out against capitalism.
It is fascinating that BlackAmazon has endured people for two years who 'do not link' to her blog.
I'm actually feeling so good I might take me a beauty rest. MMMmmmmMMmmmmm.
One of those sleeps that you take when you're feeling perfectly centered.
I love you all,
Expect good things from me... if your definition of good is more realness than ever before.
I might turn this blog into a library and focus more on the podcast and online radio show at www.blackmanfluff.org
Love for the people,
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Linkage And The "Good Ole Girl’s Network.” Racist, bias against Male, POC Feminist within the Feminist Blogosphere - Follow Up to Yesterday's Post
This post is a follow up to yesterday's post that I encourage you to read as well. It should be noted that the above Woman's Rights Convention Report was produced after the First Woman's Rights Convention in the North Star Printing Office owned by Frederick Douglass, Rochester, New York. It was reprinted several times and circulated at national women's rights conventions. Even in 1848, when Slavery was still legal in many states, a Black, male feminist's committment to free speech in the feminist movement was unwaivering.
Male feminist people of color have been working in solidarity with women feminists throughout time. I have gone around the country giving workshops at conferences on 'Indigenous Lifestyles Free of Patriarchy' and I can tell you in vivid detail that in indigenous cultures, men empowering women, their sisters, mothers, wives, aunts, grandmothers and all women... only made sense in order to have a stronger family unity, tribe or clan. And yet there are those in our current capitalist culture who desire to not only silence us as Male feminist people of color as we seek to empower women...but even worse, they desire to silence us on the basis that we are Black people of color who dare to speak up for Women of Color and speak up about the effects of capitalism, globalization and anti-immigration policies that are oppressing women worldwide and they tell us:
#1. Our voices, as Black, male feminists aren't as important because we don't speak in the academic, grammatically pleasing manner that makes them comfortable.
#2. Our voices, as Black, male feminists aren't as important because...*gasp*... we are feminists who happen to be "male"...as defined by the patriarchal, capitalist society that we live in. Shortly after the article titled What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?." I noticed there were several bloggers who posted links in the comment section, and then when you click on the link, it takes you to their blog where they have a full article response, and then after you read their article it states something like: 'I only consider Women of Color's voices important enough to be heard... People of Color such as Males, Trans, Cis, and other various Genders outside of the realms of the patriarchal, capitalistic definition of 'women' of color...are not worthy to comment on my blog.' Well, those weren't their exact words, but it might as well have been because the meaning and the censorship was the same. This is amazing to me, how a person will go into a public discussion on colonialism (a form of bias) within the feminist blogosphere...and then post a link so that you head over to their blog... only for them to then say if you are not one of eight clearly defined gender categories...and a person of color.... within the feminist movement...then you must be a victim of their bias within their blog. As you can imagine I immidiately stopped reading their biased blog and I felt nauseated, almost tricked, into even visiting their blogs. Indeed there is a time for learning, and there is a time for recognizing censorship that is facilitated and promoted through a public discussion on a public platform.
So I searched for some feminist definitions of Sex and Gender. I once disliked wikipidia because of so many problems they have had, but in terms of up to date gender studies, that incorporate the work of new third wave feminists, they often are a good place to quote.
So the Wikipidia definition on Sex and Gender distinction [a feminism-related article sub-topic], states this:
"Sex and gender distinction is a concept in feminist theory, political feminism, and sociology which distinguishes sex, a natural or biological feature, from gender, the cultural or learned significance of sex. The distinction is strategically important for some strands of feminist theory and politics, particularly second-wave feminism, because on it is premised the argument that gender is not biological destiny, and that the patriarchal oppression of women is a cultural phenomenon which need not necessarily follow from biological sexual differentiation. The distinction allows feminists to accept some form of natural sexual difference while criticizing gender inequality. Some third-wave feminists like Judith Butler, French feminists like Monique Wittig, and social constructionists within sociology have disputed the biological-natural status the distinction imputes to sex, arguing instead that both sex and gender are culturally constructed and structurally complicit. The most extreme view maintains that gender is totally undetermined by sex.To learn more about Judith Butler and Monique Wittiq, click on their name above. Below, I have included a few relevant quotes about gender from each woman's profile:
Here is a Judthi Butler quote: " “I would say that I'm a feminist theorist before I'm a queer theorist or a gay and lesbian theorist.”
"Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one's best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another."
— Judith Butler (Undoing Gender)
“Perhaps a new sort of feminist politics is now desirable to contest the very reifications of gender and identity, one that will take the variable construction of identity as both a methodological and normative prerequisite, if not a political goal.”
Here is a quote from wikipedia:
"In Excitable Speech, Butler surveys the problems of hate speech and censorship. She argues that censorship is difficult to evaluate, and that in some cases it may be useful or even necessary, while in others it may be worse than tolerance. She develops a new conception of censorship’s complex workings, supplanting the myth of the independent subject who wields the power to censor with a theory of censorship as an effect of state power and, more primordially, as the condition of language and discourse itself."Here is a quote about Wittig:
Monique Wittig called herself a Radical lesbian. To avoid any confusion, she stated: "There is no such thing as women literature for me, that does not exist. In literature, I do not separate women and men. One is a writer, or one is not. This is a mental space where sex is not determining. One has to have some space for freedom. Language allows this. This is about building an idea of the neutral which could escape sexuality". A theorist of material feminism, she stigmatised the myth of "the woman", called heterosexuality a political regime, and outlined the basis for a social contract.I have taken the time to give quotes about and by these two extremely prominent and well respected feminists and gender theorists, because I agree with them that the use of gender in discourse and communication only causes censorship and further imposes censorship as an effect of state power which is particularly devastating in the blogosphere...where we are supposed to have a greater voice without censorship.
I saw at least two people leave links in the comments section and state:
"only Women of Color can comment on my blog."
Yet, there are those who would not condemn than as the heterosezist, Transphobic, narrow-gender minded bias and discrimintary, first and second wave feminist, anti-solidarity, divisive action that I declare it to be and I find it to be restrictive to the purposes of people working together to create a better world.
I wholeheartedly support, in every way, the idea that people need private conversation, yet the idea that they should entre a public forum on a sentive issue about bias and then use bias to only permit certain people to partake in further conversation is an abomination in the worse way. I can hardly stay calm about it. It is without questions, the Good Ole Girl’s Network, regardless of the race involved.
Can you imagine if you walked into a public forum in which people were having a conversation on colonialism in your town...and then someone in the audience stood up and said:
"I want to continue this conversation about digital colonialism in the feminist blogophere... but not here... as a matter of fact lets take it to my private space...where I control everything... but then I only want to invite certain people.... of certain races.... of certain genders... to be able to talk and leave comments.... and engage in that conversation....oh, and by the way, I only want those certain genders to be defined through narrow minded first and second wave feminism definitions of gender that are defined within our heterosexist, patriarchal, capitalist oppressive system. "Would that be acceptable?
What is most mind-boggling is that these are some of the exact same people who attacked Mandy and Brittanty for using the 'T' word, yet they are also discriminating openly on their blogs against certain LGBTI of color people who refuse to label themselves as 'women,' much like Monique Wittig, refused to label herself, as a writer and radical lesbian of the third wave feminism, as a woman.
#3. Our 'unacceptable actions' as Black, Male Feminist are somehow offensive to the feminist Good Ole Girl’s Network. Some how my actions are pissing people off. Imagine that! *happy laughter* In the case with Frederick Douglas, Susan B Anthony, a member of perhaps the first 'Good Ole Girl’s Network' within the American feminist movement, turned her back on Frederick Douglas and shunned him when he dared to... *gasp* ...marry a white woman (something which will to this day raise the unbridled anger of even some of the most progressive Black women feminists and White women feminists). Renee at Womanist Musing wrote a powerful article about Backstabbing Feminism , which was essentially about feminists who call for solidarity yet reject the issues or racism...and their own racism. Yes, what happened to Frederick Douglas was Backstabbing feminism. But allow me to detail the depth of this backstabbing betrayal:
The Biography of Frederick Douglas States:
He participated in the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 and signed the Declaration of Sentiments. Elizabeth Cady Stanton later reported that the resolution calling for women’s suffrage was passed by that Convention to a great extent through Douglass’ efforts on its behalf. After the convention, Douglass published a positive editorial on "The Rights of Women," which appeared in the July 28, 1848 edition of the North Star. The History of Woman Suffrage notes that during the subsequent adjourned Women’s Rights Convention held in Rochester on August 2, 1848, "Frederick Douglass, William C. Nell, and William C. Bloss advocated the emancipation of women from all the artificial disabilities, imposed by false customs, creeds, and codes." In 1853, Douglass signed "The Just and Equal Rights of Women," a call and resolutions for the Woman’s Rights State Convention held in Rochester on November 30 and December 1, 1853. He also attended and spoke at that meeting.During the years before the Civil War, Douglass was a close friend of Susan B. Anthony and her family, and often visited the Anthony home. He delivered a eulogy upon the death of Anthony’s father Daniel in November 1862.
Douglass’s first wife, an Black woman, died in 1882. In 1884, he married Helen Pitts, a feminist from Honeoye, New York. Pitts was a graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary. While living in Washington, D.C. before her marriage, she had worked on a radical feminist publication called the Alpha. Frederick and Helen Pitts Douglass faced a storm of controversy as a result of their marriage. Douglass himself wrote:
No man, perhaps, had ever more offended popular prejudice than I had then lately done. I had married a wife. People who had remained silent over the unlawful relations of white slave masters with their colored slave women loudly condemned me for marrying a wife a few shades lighter than myself. They would have had no objection to my marrying a person much darker in complexion than myself, but to marry one much lighter, and of the complexion of my father rather than of that of my mother, was, in the popular eye, a shocking offense, and one for which I was to be ostracized by white and black alike. (Douglass, Life and Times... p. 534.)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, however, remained a loyal defender. She congratulated the two and wrote:
In defense of the right to...marry whom we please -- we might quote some of the basic principles of our government [and] suggest that in some things individual rights to tastes should control....If a good man from Maryland sees fit to marry a disenfranchised woman from New York, there should be no legal impediments to the union.
Fortunately, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, shunned the racist, sexist actions of Susan B. Anthony and the 'Good Ole Girl’s Network.'
As you can see, despite all the Black, male, feminist will do for the feminist, even someone so close as a Black, male, feminist to help plan the Woman's Righst Conventions, circulate Womans' Rights material, marry a radical feminist and even read the Eulogy at her father's funeral... still, there will exist those feminist who cannot move past their own racism and sexism... who cannot move past their own little 'Good Ole Girl’s Network' ...in order to welcome Black, male, feminists... regardless of our 'unacceptable actions' that your priviledged minds may feel warrant our exclusion from your 'Good Ole Girl’s Network.'
Why have I shared this history with you?
#1. This form of Good Ole' Girls' Network is alive and well within the feminist Movement...and more recently with the Feminist Blogosphere and I want to modify a few of Frederick Douglas's above quotes to describe the Backstabbing nature of it all:
People who had remained silent over the unethical censorship of feminists of color, and over the unethical censorship of Feminist Sex workers , and over the unethical censorship of LGBTQI feminists by so called 'radical' feminists  and by mainstream white feminists with their popular feminist group blogs... loudly condemned Mandy and Brittany, two women a few shades lighter than myself, who were brave enough to speak about the Good Ole' Girls' Network.Below is an excerpt from Mandy and Brittany's article titled: "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
They would have had no objection to me and other Male, feminist people of color talking about the issues on our own blogs, but for them to allow us to guest post our opinions on this issue, or for them to link to a Black, male feminist blog is, in the popular feminist trend, a shocking impossibility, and one for which Male feminist of color remain ostracized by white and black feminists alike.
"These actions form a “good ole girl’s network” whereby feminist blogs are stratified into a formalized hierarchy, which enables the already privileged group to maintain and increase their privilege. We see this in the multiple book deals given to the feminist blogging elite by women-oriented publishers like Seal  Press . We see this in books edited by feminist bloggers that feature other prominent feminist bloggers that hold a similar ideology. We see this when the feminist blogging elite are published by the same print and online publications. It’s difficult to believe that all of this is purely a coincidence, and not a result of recommendations, the putting in of good words, and other kinds of direct influence. All of this is a replication of the way corporations in America gain power and capital."
-Excerpt from "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
So I went over to Renee's blog today at Womanist-Musings.com
I recommend it, as always. While there today I read her response to a blog post that she was told about that was published called:
"What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
To see my entire response, with audio, that I posted yesterday, to "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" please click here.
There are dozens of comments on Renee's blog about Renee's comment, and some of them involve a lot of people in conversations (debates? arguments?) with Mandy, cofounder of the Feminist Review website, and who is also one of the two authors of "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
So I am copying and pasting the comment that I left there below the dashed line. Keep in mind that everything in brackets is something that I added later once I posted to this blog.
Dear Renee, Mandy, and everyone having this conversation,
Thank you very much for each one of you who are engaging in this conversation.
I am a Black Male feminist and I have been giving workshops around the country about this type of colonialism and oppression within the feminist and progressive movement for years…and writing about it and posting about it steadily for the last three weeks.
I have seen the crisis grow exponentially worse in the last year no doubt due to the economy getting worse…thus, in turn mainstream feminists needing to censor and disregard more of the issues of people of color.
For the sake of those who are probably tired of reading comments (or who have physical challenges that may find an audio response more convenient), I posted my text and audio response here:
To all of those women of color and other marginalized people who gave input on this issue before and after Mandy and Brittany (the authors of the post) I say: Keep up the Great Work.
To Mandy and Brittany and the owner of the blog at Professor What if and to Renee, for starting this discussion and thread on this blog, I say: Keep up the Great Work.
Renee started this post on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 and I have taken the time to read every single comment (70 at last count) on this thread and read a few of the links given or mentioned and while I agree that conversation is important, I am still left wondering... when are we going to see something done to stop the way things are?
I definitely want to see a change. I want to see a change to the random censorship that WOC and POC face on the major feminist and the smaller feminist blogs. I want to see a change to all of the violent attacks that POC receive when we visit major feminist blogs and say something that non-POC don't like... and the owners of the blogs just sit there.
I want to see a change in the number of feminist blogs who censor conversation about immigration, capitalism, globalization..and yes, digital colonialism in the feminist blogosphere, because they think it doesn't exist. Renee eloquently said:
"Being a WOC blogger who is determined to insist that feminist conversations include race means that all of those who do not want to own their privilege often feel very off put by what I have to say. "I feel that this type of bias is also amplified in the case of a Male, Black, feminist, such as myself, who are determined to insist that feminist conversations include race means that all of those who do not want to own their privilege often feel very off put by what I have to say. "
Although there have been many people supportive of what I and other male feminists have had to say, such as Renee, there are those who want to discount the voice of Male Feminists (or overtly discriminate) and they are every bit as gender biased as those Radical feminist who continue to practice transphobia [This links to a blog post by Renee that includes some Radical feminists who openly practice Transphobia].
To hear people, even on this thread, continue to talk about the importance of linking, is quite the spit in the face. Take a survey [Please, take some time and actually take a survey] of the top feminist blogs (or even the minor feminist blogs)... and count how many Male People of color, feminist bloggers they link to. I've visited many of those major blogs and I already know you'll see several White Male feminists, and links to White males (some of whom are even Male porn profiteers)... you'll see lots of female people of color feminists, but what about the male feminist people of color? Not just Blacks but people of others races. If we are going to strengthen a feminist movement across gender lines at some point the linking has to be equal as well. In many ways the anger that some of you feel towards Mandy and Brittany was justified...yet, I cannot help to say that there is a double standard being used against Mandy and Brittany in regards to the linking issue [that many people mentioned in the comment section of Mandy and Brittany's article and in many of the other blogs that criticized their article] and a few other issues and I find it very offensive. I think the fact they they are White enables them to have a different perspective that should be welcome although I do acknowledge all the mistakes they made and as a POC who has also been speaking about this issue I do feel the pain of some of those who spoke up.
So when do we start working on the solution... together?
I think I also agree with Kristjan Wager's comment above when she said that "unless we actually move somewhere, it will end up like so many of these have done before - with anger, frustration, and no change."Renee, if you are going to move somewhere with this, I welcome it and encourage it. Or, Mandy, or anyone reading this, if you are going to move somewhere with this, please do so we don't end up with more anger, frustration, and no change.
Thank you to everyone,
If I offended anyone it was not intentional.
I love you all.
Solidarity for a world of peace, equality and an end to patriarchy... particularly institutionalized patriarchy…within our lifetime,
Love for the people,
Often there are people who read about a crisis and say: "What can I do differently?" I recommend that they do exactly as Mandy and Brittany have suggested:
"...whether we’re pleased to admit it or not, competition among feminist blogs is a liability to the feminist movement. We should take a lesson from Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, who teamed up with Gloria Steinem to help Ms. through the magazine’s financial troubles in the late-70s. The two were viewed as enemies because of their public criticism of the other’s ideological stance. But when push came to shove, Gurley Brown not only donated $1000 of her own money to Ms., she also went with Steinem to her own publisher’s family foundation to plead Ms. magazine’s case saying, “If you have one good woman’s magazine, it does not mean you cannot have three or four or nine,” putting into practice her vision of sisterhood among women and looking for points of similarity that might bring them together."I have copied and pasted links from a bunch of different blogs and placed them in one easy blog roll of over 1,900 blogs. Most of the are very progressive but I already know that I won't agree with all of them, and yet just like Brown and Steinem I have to put aside some of my difference. I have placed some of the most outspokenly feminist blogs at the top of that blogroll. If you want to do it, you can simply follow these three simple steps:
Step 1. Click here to see my blogroll and then open a second window to create a new blog post.
Step 2. Title the new blog post: 'Blog Roll.' Then copy and paste my blog roll into your new post area. Rearrange the order of the blog list if you like, add any blogs that you don't see there and delete a few that perhaps that are just 'too much' for you. Make sure to add your own blog to the top of the list, so that when you encourage others to copy and paste the blogroll, you will already be on there. Also, make sure you click on 'post options' at the bottom of the screen (if you have a blogspot account) so that way you can change the date to make the date older than your first blog post so the new blog post doesn't show up at the top of your screen.
Step 3. Place a link called 'Blog Roll' on the front of your blog and link the text to the URL (web address) of the new post. And you're done! :)
Here is step by step process on how to place a Blog Roll link on your blog:
Step A. If you have a blogspot (blogger account) you can do that by going to your dashboard, clicking on 'Layout,' and clicking on 'add a gadet' and then when the list of gadgets appear click on the blue button next to the gadget called 'Link List.'
Place the URL into the URL field marked: "New Site URL" and place Blog Roll into the two text fields and it will appear on your blog exactly as it appears on personal blog here and on this group blog.
Solidarity for a better world! ;)
Oh, for those of you have managed to come up with an excuse not to link to:
- Black, Feminist women
- Black, feminist men
- Feminist People of color
- Feminist Sex workers
- or LGBTQI Feminists...Congratulations! You probably have membership in the 'Good Ole Girl’s Network.' Your prize is that I encourage you to read the below inspiring quote that was published on the Common Dreams website in May 2008t:
"The progressive blogosphere is segregated," said McCauley, whose What About Our Daughters blog was accepted to the DNC's blogger pool. Essence magazine named McCauley one of its 25 most influential people last year alongside Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and filmmaker Tyler Perry. "Black bloggers link to other black bloggers, and progressive white bloggers link to other white progressive bloggers," she said.It was published by Common Dreams and was original published by the San Francisco Chronicle on an article appropriately titled:
"Black Bloggers Fight to Make Voices Heard."
The below two foot notes were from their original article and that is why you don't see foot notes 3-11 here.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Stop Censoring and Attacking the Lucy Parsons of the World: My response to: "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
A Photo about Colonialism.
Due to my desire for this response to reach as many people as possible, for those who don't want to read my entire blog post, I have also posted a summary of it on my personal blog, podcast and online radio show found by clicking here: MP3 File. I ask that the link to the Mp3 is included because I find that many blogs that prohibit the addition of an Mp3 are indeed discriminating against technologies that would further welcome people who are physically challenged and seek inclusion into these conversations...which regard 'how to include more people into our conversation.'
I can summarize my feelings into one sentence: My summarized one-sentence response to the article titled "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism"...is that I would love to see action take place, that was suggested by a woman, taken very soon so that the digital colonialism and digital apartheid supporters within the feminist blogosphere can Stop Censoring and Attacking the Lucy Parsons of the World. Period.
My full response is below:
So I went over to Shark Fu's blog today at AngryBlackBitch.com
Always good stuff over there, I recommend it, as always. While there today I read her response to a blog post that she was told about that was published called:
"What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
I realize that there are those who may have read Shark Fu's response and felt very offended. But what you fail to understand is that people like Shark Fu have been fighting racism and colonization for over three decades, which is longer than many of you reading this have been alive, and the idea of even accidentally lumping women of color like Shark Fu into the group of feminists who are indeed remaining silent for the sake of integration with larger feminist about the digital colonialism and digital apartheid in the feminist blogosphere should indeed be seen as insulting. Your blog post was made on Feb 16, 2009, and yet even as recently as Feb 9th, 2009 Shark Fu went to Feministing, a major group blog and stated: "I've felt the backlash that comes from daring to question and discuss race beyond the accepted areas of driving while black, shopping while black or working while black. And I have received the warning that thou shalt not turn that critical lens on feminism." She posted that in a guest blog post on Feministing titled Notes from a bitch - backlash....
So, as you can see, it is without question, that women of color like Shark Fu are an inspiration to the many of us (I was one of the people who left comments on the prior conversation) who are indeed tired of the digital colonialism and the digital apartheid in the feminist blogosphere and even if you do not agree with all of her opinions about your particular article it is still worth taking time to give detailed thanks to at least a few of the feminist women of color who spoke about this issue before you before opening up such detailed criticism. In many indigenous cultures, when people come together to talk about extremely sensitive issues, they often have been known to take a day or two just giving thanks to all those who struggled before them as a method respect so for you to offer a couple sentences of respect isn't asking too much.
Now, in regards to my personal opinions about the article....
I can honestly tell you that, with the exeption of how it hurt the feelings of my fellow feminists, I feel overwhelmed with happiness about that blog post....and yet I acknowledge and respect those who are infuriatingly upset about that post for any number of reasons that they may feel justified in their anger. Some of the reasons for their anger were without doubt because of the race and social position of the authors so I have compassion and solidarity for the pain behind their anger, and yet my overall feeling about the the article... "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" ...is Yeahhhhh!
....happiness and a sense of relief.
Let me point out, for those who have not read the history of this particular Feminist blog, the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog, which we keep at a tab at the top of this blog marked 'The History' so that no one will ever forget, you will know that one of the reasons I created this group blog was because of some serious racially oppressive behavior, including racial slurs, from one of the major group feminist blogs and their owner that took place within the last three weeks. The very name of this blog, SaveThePoorBrownChildren.org was created after modifying the racial slurs used to attack me and insult me.
So the first thanks I have to give is 'Thanks to bloggers...Renee, Harrietsdaughter, Black Amazon, Tanglad, Shark Fu, Monica of Transgriot, Elle, Ojibway Migisi Bineshii and all the other women of color bloggers, people of color of any gender and other marginlized people for keeping this issue alive. if I did not mention your name it is not an intentional oversight..it is due to lack of space and perhaps lack of awareness of your blog or your writings.
Second I want to say that the phrase: What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" is far too soft.
The phrase that accurately describes the problem, in my opinion, could be titled:
'The feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism and digital apartheid.'
There are those who may think that is extreme, but please first read the article titled, Seattle's Apartheid Schooling, and then read the article titled The Shame of the Nation : The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (written by someone who went around the country doing research on the issue) perhaps you will understand that Apartheid in this country is indeed, getting worse among the financially disadvantaged and particularly Black people and people of color. I am a Black person who lives in the Pacific Northwest so I see it everyday.
Yes, I agree, that the feminist blogosphere is a a form of digital colonialism and a digital apartheid without question. No doubt and without question.
Much like I said in my below post titled Women of Color Need To Be Recognized, I have already spoken about this issue once in vivid detail on this blog, and I have spoken about the need for a boycott in even more vivid detail and spoke about it on other feminist blogs in the comment section.
I could go into a full critical analysis of my feelings... and then no one would hardly even read it because it was so long and because I have spoken about this issue since the very first post on this blog! *happy laughter*
So I will instead say that I am in agreement with many of the comments (over 125 at last count) in one way or another... though I am not in agreement with the comments that say things like 'you should stop talking about this issue.' Wrong. We should keep talking about it we can take action and until it is no longer a problem.
Some of the major feminist blogs have gotten away with routine censorship and power trips for so long that they can use over-the-top racial slurs and most of their users are OK with it, as was the case with me when I made my first post onto one of the major group feminist blogs. Even worse, I have seen how some of the smaller group blogs have started that same kind of censorship and they have done it against so many people that lots of people are speaking up about it.
So in the name of moving forward...
I want to talk about... The Next Step
RavenM left a comment on that article and here is an excerpt:
"I’m an activist. So I’m wondering why you, Mandy and Brittany, didn’t take the obvious next step: propose a way to make the feminist blogosphere better."
"For instance, you call for more openness in how blogs make money, spend money, make decisions, etc. A great way to accomplish this is to suggest a standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs. Write a draft, ask for input, revise and edit until you get the best possible Code you can create. Post it on a website. Ask people to support your call. Once enough people support your call, feminist blogs will be forced to either adopt the standards or explain why they do not."
"You have an opinion about how guest bloggers should be treated: propose another code for guest bloggers."
"....Like many have said before, I gave up on the “big” blogs a long time ago. But if you haven’t and you want to make them better, stop writing about it and start acting. Do it soon. You never know what could happen."
-yes, I agree with those parts of her comments.
I would greatly like to see a 'standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs.' Not a written in stone standard, but something that tells newcomers and people what is acceptable and what is not...particularly in regards to censorship...and moderated comments.
Tim O'Reilly is a supporter of the free software and open source movements. He is widely given credit with coining the term Web 2.0. He recently advocated creating such a code after the brutal and extremely vicious cyber-bullying that happened to his friend and colleague, Kathy Sierra. If you want to know what happened to her go here. It is not for the faint of heart. I only mention it because Kathy Sierra has made a public statement about it on her blog titled, Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations). There is also an account of it on her profile page at Wikipedia.
She had over 1,100 comments on that blog with thousands of other comments about those attacks elsewhere and shortly after the above post she made one last blog post and decided to give up blogging for a while.
I do believe that a standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs would benefit many people of color and people of other marginalized groups.
I say that not only in terms of it applying to other feminists who randomly censor people... but more importantly in terms of having some kind of written 'standard' when the day comes when I, a free speech advocate, have to unfortunately delete someone's post because they have decided to be 'too hateful.' What exactly is a feminist blogger's purely subjective measuring stick for 'too hateful?'
There are some major feminist blogs that have written comment policies that literally aren't respected by the blog owners or their 'regular, very influential commenteers...' and it is very acceptable to curse people out as much as you want... as long as you come up with some kind of 'academic' and 'personally justifiable' excuse why you did it...this is especially so in the comment sections of many feminist group blogs and it has been stated time and time again.
That is fine. Some people enjoy being cursed out so that they can curse out others in the name of free speech and cultural and social class expression... all of which is understandable. Some people, like myself, grew up around a lot of profanity and can take it a lot better than others. However, for some people being cursed out is just as triggering as seeing a person's beaten body in a photograph and those people. Yes, I would greatly like someone to start work on a a 'standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs.'
That is my request. Thanks.
At one point in the comment section Mandy said...
'I have to step back from this conversation at this point because I feel I need time and space to process all of these comments and response posts and comments on the response posts, etc. There is a whole lot going on here, and while I appreciate it, I also can’t deny my own hurt and confusion and need to sort it out before continuing down this road. This isn’t a recanting of this post. There are parts that were handled poorly (e.g., two things that start with a “t”), but that that doesn’t mean the other parts are not valid. This isn’t an abandonment. I’m just taking a time out to get it together so that I don’t continue to cause others, particularly people I have mad respect for, pain and hardship.'
Just as there will always be people who criticize Tim Wise for his perspectives on White Priviledge (no matter how correct and eloquent he often is).... there will also be people who criticize you, Mandy and Brittany. They will criticize for your mistakes, they will criticize you because we live in a society of 'Kill The Messenger' and they might even criticize you because of the sound of your names. I urge you to listen, and yet take heart and keep doing the best you can and to try to include WOC and POC as best you can. The WOC were very open with you in the comment section of your post and it looks like you listened and took action on some of the things that were said and repeated to you and the owner of the blog where you guest posted. Because even if you were text book perfect, there will always be those who, in the end, simply desire 'gradualism' rather than action.
Type the word gradualism into wikipedia and learn more.
Martin Luther King spent much of his life fighting not only racists of other races, but people of color (activists and non-activists) who desired gradualism... wanting us all to sit back and wait until everything gradually got better by itself.
Anyone who studied Martin Luther King knows what his position was in regards to the oppressive characteristic of capitalism.
There are more than one top feminist group websites whose owners were former employees of high profile democrats who support capitalism in every manner, way and form. rather than name names, as many people have requested many and Brittany to do, I would encourage people to look up the names of the owners of feminists blogs in wikipedia, and learn for yourself.
It is important that you know about the political affililiations of the femnist blogs that you support, because for many feminists of color who I know, feminism means working towards solutions to the Economic crisis that is capitalism (no matter what political party, democrat or republican, supports capitalism)... but for some feminists... feminism means capitalism as usual...and that is why you see:
1. A very obvious censorship of anything that criticizes the democratic party
2. Preference for Guest writers who do not ever question or even criticize capitalism
3. A lack of conversation about colonialism, immigration or globalization
In short, what a lot of feminist group websites seek out is a Hillary Clinton (served on the Board of Wal-Mart, one of the world's most infamous multinational corporate oppressors causing suffering to millions of women and children worldwide, from 1986-1992) who is financially well off... rather than a feminist, anarchist woman of color such as Lucy Parsons, who was never financially well of and died destitute... but she died with ethics and morals on behalf of the quest to create a better world.
So perhaps, what we need is a standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs as well as a political viewpoints disclosure...and perhaps a disclosure of a blog's sponsor. Why do we need to know the sponsor?
Here is just one example:
In the last three weeks, the Fem2pt0 feminist web conference recently chose 30 Top feminist Blogs. One of those blogs is a Male Porn Profiteer, as I have written about more than once. If that male profited from porn in their private life that would be different, but that particular male made a profit as a direct result of their domain name traffic so that type of blog sponsor needs disclosure to the public on a prominent place on that feminist blog. Porn in general and especially Male Porn Profiteers within the Feminist Movement... is by far one of the most controversial issues within the Feminist movement. As you can imagine, it would greatly affect:
1. Whether people want to donate to that blog
2. Whether that blog continues to win feminist awards
3. Whether feminists want to continue to even link to that blog (thereby driving up the authority and search results rank of that blog)
4. the amount of criticism of other porn-profiteers on that particular feminist blog
5. censorship of all things related to porn (such as human trafficking. kidnapping etc)
I urge you to work on that standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs and political viewpoints disclosure and a disclosure of a blog's sponsor... and to include people of color because I do believe it has the potential to a lot of good in the feminist movement and the feminist blogosphere and bring an end to the omnipresent....digital colonialism and digital apartheid that currently exists not only in the feminist blogosphere, but in the progressive movement in general.
Thank you to everyone,
If I offended anyone it was not intentional.
I love you all.
Solidarity for a world of peace, equality and an end to patriarchy,
Love for the people,
The blogs I work on are the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog at www.SaveThePoorBrownChildren.org
black man f.l.u.f.f. Blog, Podcast and Online Radio Show at www.Blackmanfluff.org
To Learn more about Lucy Parsons... please visit... The Lucy Parson project at ...
Below are a few quotes from Lucy Parsons:
“Anarchism has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, 'Freedom.' Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully.”
“Oh, Misery, I have drunk thy cup of sorrow to its dregs, but I am still a rebel.”
“Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.”
"Can you not see that it is the INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM and not the "boss" which must be changed?"
“So many able writers have shown that the unjust institutions which work so much misery and suffering to the masses have their root in governments, and owe their whole existence to the power derived from government we cannot help but believe that were every law, every title deed, every court, and every police officer or soldier abolished tomorrow with one sweep, we would be better off than now.”
“If, in the present chaotic and shameful struggle for existence, when organized society offers a premium on greed, cruelty, and deceit, men can be found who stand aloof and almost alone in their determination to work for good rather than gold, who suffer want and persecution rather than desert principle, who can bravely walk to the scaffold for the good they can do humanity, what may we expect from men when freed from the grinding necessity of selling the better part of themselves for bread?”
There is a crisis of Women of Color Being ignored who Need To Be Recognized. And there are not enough men speaking up about this crisis. Well, I am a male and I want everyone to know what I have to say. I have already spoken about this issue once in vivid detail on this blog, and I have spoken about the need for a boycott in even more vivid detail spoke about it on other feminist blogs in the comment section. Below is my full comment left for Renee at Womanist-Musings in regards to her wonderful post titled: 'Dear Black People WOC Feminists/Womanists Do Exist' found here:
Dear Renee, As always, a great post on your part. As you know I am a Black male feminist, and I help with the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog. We currently have two women of color RSS feeds (including yours) on the right side of our page that give people the titles to your latest articles and we also have women of color members in our Peace Communities who contribute articles. You mentioned "Instead of spending so much time railing against white women for their obvious racism, some time needs to be devoted to celebrating the large body of work produced by WOC." Yes, I agree. I think perhaps that you and several other Women of Color should start a website to give out annual awards to Women of Color, and if you want, you could include other Marginalized People. Your blog, and the blog of other women of color are certainly high profile enough that it could actually make a great difference. I've posted about this before in the comment section of feministing when I heard you and SharkFu speak about who determines what is relevant and I've posted about it on my blog. I have also posted on similar conversations elsewhere but I have heard no response from anyone. People say they don't like awards, but every year blog award websites gain a higher rate of traffic and notoriety and direct thousands of new readers to their websites who otherwise would have never looked their way. For example, The Weblog Awards has a niche category for best gossip, best diarist, best fashion...but not WOC? That's crazy and has racist and sexist implications as well regarding their lack of (or misguided) priorities. Their website said that on January 8th they had 95,000 visitors to their website since their awards began and 250,000 came on that one day alone. If you don't like the idea of creating a WOC annual blog awards I would like to encourage you to help spearhead a boycott for the year 2009 of all the major blog awards (name their names like the Webbies and the Weblog Awards ) until they create a separate niche category for Women of Color and Marginalized people. My belief is that they would agree very, very quickly but they just haven't had a unified group of people make the request for such equality in representation. It is my belief there are many bloggers who would place a badge or widget (that you create) on their website and blogs (including me) in solidarity with the need to boycott those blog awards and website awards until they create a separate niche category for WOC.
I think there are some folks who come to your site who might read this and like the idea. I would start it myself, but it is definitely an organizing effort that should be lead by women.
It is long past over due for WOC to gain recognition for their writing... which will open the door to other overlooked WOC crisis issues that we see multiplying during this period of economic crisis.
Keep up the great work.
Love for the people,
Student Protestors at NYU - Bob Burdalski
Dear friends working for a better world,
I found the below posted news articles on a variety of websites including NYC Indymedia, Take Back NYU and Ustream Video. As I am a freeschool community volunteer, I think this is not only a beautiful example of how Students are taking over their universities to peacefully use civil disobedience to demand financial accountability....but more importantly I think these below articles are important educational tools for people aspiring to use Civil Disobedience to urge financial accountability from their schools. However, Civil Disobedience is only as powerful as the support of those willing to help the brave activists who use it for social justice. As a Freeschool Community <> volunteer and Board Member and a volunteer with the Peace Communities Progressive Coalition volunteer, I stand in Solidarity with these Students and I urge those in decision making positions to comply with the NYU Student's list of demands found at the bottom of this report and to immediately stop evicting NYU Students from their dorms in the middle of winter. This report covers the period of February 18th, 2009 through February 22nd, 2009.
For more up to the minute news on how you can support the Take Back the NYU movement please visit their website at: http://www.takebacknyu.com
This report was originally published the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog found at http://www.SaveThePoorBrownChildren.org
Please circulate this far and wide.
Love for the people,
Solidarity for a better world of free schools, free healthcare and equality for all people,
black man f.l.u.f.f.
Statement from Noam Chomsky sent to Take Back NYU!
Feb 22nd, 2009 by Take Back NYU!
I would like to express my support for the actions of the students who are calling on their universities to end their participation in the brutal oppression of Palestinians by divesting from corporations that participate in and profit from these crimes, in violation of international and US law.
Faculty, MIT Linguistics and Philosophy
LET PROTESTERS LIVE! Tell NYU to let NYU Students back into their dorms!
Feb 22nd, 2009 by Take Back NYU!
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!
NYU is taking immediate steps against protesters, at risk of its public image and the well being of its students. Right now, several protesters in university housing are being evicted from their residences. This is not OK. Dissent should not displace people. Please contact NYU Housing to insist they allow students to stay in their dorm. We’ve provided a form letter, but, as always, feel free to write your own or change ours:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have been informed that several of the student protestors who partook in the occupation of the Kimmel Marketplace have been evicted from campus housing. These students showed tremendous bravery and dedication to their ideals in standing up to the NYU administration and, for their efforts, they are being turned out of their homes in the dead of winter. I am appalled by the calloussness with which NYU has handled this situation and the contempt that it has shown for its students.
It is abhorrent that the administration at NYU has gone to such lengths to silence dissent. NYU has shown, once and for all, that it puts its own fiscal interests before the interests- and even the safety- of its own students. The student body at NYU and the people of New York City and the world at large will not stand for the eviction of student protestors. I support the student occupation of the Kimmel Center and demand that those protestors who have been evicted from campus housing immediately be given full access to their homes.
Live video by Ustream
February 21, 2009 04:45AM Download Article (PDF)
Official Statement from Take Back NYU! Regarding the Kimmel Occupation
This protest is just a beginning to what is to come.
By Take Back NYU!
From 10 pm on February 18th 2009 to 2 pm on February 20th, students of Take Back NYU! occupied the Kimmel Center for University Life in a historic effort to bring pressure on NYU for its administrative and ethical failings regarding transparency, democracy and protection of human rights.
From 10 pm on February 18th 2009 to 2 pm on February 20th, students of Take Back NYU! occupied the Kimmel Center for University Life in a historic effort to bring pressure on NYU for its administrative and ethical failings regarding transparency, democracy and protection of human rights.
During the occupation students rallied hundreds of supporters to the streets of New York, drew national and international press coverage, and sparked a long-needed discussion about the NYU community. For these reasons and more, Take Back NYU! believes the occupation represents a historic moment, and by many measures a success.
However, we also recognize that our occupation was not a full success. When we succeeded, we did so because the passion of our movement shone through the smoke and mirrors cast by the NYU administration. When we failed it was only because we underestimated the lengths NYU will go to in order to deter any real criticism of its policies.
The administration demonstrated their steadfast commitment to ignoring its students. Members of Take Back NYU! didn’t even see the face of NYU negotiator Lynne Brown until 26 hours into the occupation. Throughout, the administration only gave disingenuous offers of discussion without negotiation, which the students readily rejected. NYU’s refusal to negotiate contrasts sharply with good-faith negotiations made by other universities during similar occupations.
We believe that our occupation gave NYU the opportunity to become a leader among universities and to build our community around strong commitments to democracy, transparency and respect for human rights. Instead, NYU said ‘pass’ and chose to stick to its narrow interests at the expense of genuine discussion.
In the course of defending its secrets, NYU put students and its security guards at risk by encouraging the use of physical force to end a non-violent protest. NYPD officers used billy-clubs and mace against demonstrators outside the building. These acts of aggression have gone unmentioned and unquestioned in the course of NYU’s handling of the occupation.
This protest is just a beginning to what is to come. The action made national and international news, and showcased the real power of the new student movement sweeping the globe. Here in New York, a City Council member, Charles Barron, has publicly endorsed our campaign and shamed the University for its mishandling of student protest. Actions at universities around the city will continue in the weeks to come.
No doubt NYU will begin attempting disciplinary action, but no suspensions, expulsions or arrests can contain what began in the last two days. This fight will carry on in the hands of the dozens of people who made it inside, and the hundreds more who came out to support the occupation. NYU showed its irrational need to defend secrecy and its exclusive hold on power, and that alone will drive this movement forward.
For everyone showing support: the real lesson here is that you can act and you can make a difference. Take the lessons from the occupation on to your own struggle, and begin to act yourself.
February 20, 2009 04:15PM EST Download Article (PDF)
Students Suspended As NYU Occupation Ends
40 hour long action ends with no demands met.
By NYC IMC
The occupation at New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life has been ended, with some of the last remaining students barred from entering NYU buildings. The school has also kicked students out of their residence halls and said that NYU will provide the students with alternative housing for now.
The occupation at New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life has been ended , with some of the last remaining students barred from entering NYU buildings. The school has also kicked students out of their residence halls and said that NYU will provide the students with alternative housing for now. None of the demands the NYU occupiers made were met by the administration.
The action at NYU, which lasted for over 40 hours, followed what had been a wave of student activism over the past couple of months, including student occupations in Greece , Great Britain , and the United States and protests across Europe.
The Take Back NYU coalition, who organized the action and which includes a diverse number of groups ranging from Amnesty International to the NYU chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, were demanding that the university operate in a more transparent, open, and democratic way.
Among the student demands were legal amnesty for the participants in the occupation, compensation for workers at NYU whose jobs were disrupted as a result of the occupation, disclosure of NYU’s budget and endowments, and the creation of a student elected “Socially Responsible Finance Committee” that would look into NYU’s investments into companies involved with the occupation of Palestine. They also demanded that the school give 13 Palestinian students scholarships, as well as donating any extra supplies to a university in Gaza.
February 18, 2009 11:49PM Download Article (PDF)
New York University Students Occupy Kimmel Center, Continuing Wave of Student Activism
Students demand NYU disclosure of budget and endowments.Following what has been a wave of student activism over the past couple of months, including student occupations in Greece , Great Britain , and the United States and protests across Europe, students from the Take Back NYU coalition have begun to occupy the Kimmel Center for University Life at New York University.
By NYC IMC
The coalition, which includes a diverse number of groups ranging from Amnesty International to the NYU chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, is demanding that the university operate in a more transparent, open, and democratic way.
Among the student demands are legal amnesty for the participants in the occupation, compensation for workers at NYU whose jobs were disrupted as a result of the occupation, disclosure of NYU’s budget and endowments, and the creation of a student elected “Socially Responsible Finance Committee” that would look into NYU’s investments into companies involved with the occupation of Palestine.
February 18, 2009 10:37PM
NYU IS OCCUPIED!!!
NYU students and other city students in solidarity have taken NYU.
NYU students and other city students in solidarity have taken NYU.
Keywords: Analysis, Bronx,
****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******
NYU BUILDING TAKEOVER!!!
At approximately 10pm tonight (Feb. 18), students of Take Back NYU! took over the Kimmel Marketplace. They have blockaded the doors and declared an occupation! They presented their demands to the NYU administration. They read as follows:
We, the students of NYU, declare an occupation of this space. This occupation is the culmination of a two-year campaign by the Take Back NYU! coalition, and of campaigns from years past, in whose footsteps we follow.
In order to create a more accountable, democratic and socially responsible university, we demand the following:
1. Full legal and disciplinary amnesty for all parties involved in the occupation.
2. Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation.
3. Public release of NYU's annual operating budget, including a full list of university expenditures, salaries for all employees compensated on a semester or annual basis, funds allocated for staff wages, contracts to non-university organizations for university construction and services, financial aid data for each college, and money allocated to each college, department, and administrative unit of the university. Furthermore, this should include a full disclosure of the amount and sources of the university's funding.
4. Disclosure of NYU's endowment holdings, investment strategy, projected endowment growth, and persons, corporations and firms involved in the investment of the university's endowment funds. Additionally, we demand an endowment oversight body of students, faculty and staff who exercise shareholder proxy voting power for the university's investments.
5. That the NYU Administration agrees to resume negotiations with GSOC/UAW Local 2110 – the union for NYU graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and research assistants. That NYU publically affirm its commitment to respect all its workers, including student employees, by recognizing their right to form unions and to bargain collectively. That NYU publically affirm that it will recognize workers' unions through majority card verification.
6. That NYU signs a contract guaranteeing fair labor practices for all NYU employees at home and abroad. This contract will extend to subcontracted workers, including bus drivers, food service employees and anyone involved in the construction, operation and maintenance at any of NYU's non-U.S. sites.
7. The establishment of a student elected Socially Responsible Finance Committee. This Committee will have full power to vote on proxies, draft shareholder resolutions, screen all university investments, establish new programs that encourage social and environmental responsibility and override all financial decisions the committee deems socially irresponsible, including investment decisions. The committee will be composed of two subcommittees: one to assess the operating budget and one to assess the endowment holdings. Each committee will be composed of ten students democratically elected from the graduate and under-graduate student bodies. All committee decisions will be made a strict majority vote, and will be upheld by the university. All members of the Socially Responsible Finance Committee will sit on the board of trustees, and will have equal voting rights. All Socially Responsible Finance Committee and Trustee meetings shall be open to the public, and their minutes made accessible electronically through NYU's website. Elections will be held the second Tuesday of every March beginning March 10th 2009, and meetings will be held biweekly beginning the week of March 30th 2009.
8. That the first two orders of business of the Socially Responsible Finance committee will be:
a) An in depth investigation of all investments in war and genocide profiteers, as well as companies profiting from the occupation of Palestinian territories.
b) A reassessment of the recently lifted of the ban on Coca Cola products.
9. That annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian students, starting with the 2009/2010 academic year. These scholarships will include funding for books, housing, meals and travel expenses.
10. That the university donate all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.
11. Tuition stabilization for all students, beginning with the class of 2012. All students will pay their initial tuition rate throughout the course of their education at New York University. Tuition rates for each successive year will not exceed the rate of inflation, nor shall they exceed one percent. The university shall meet 100% of government-calculated student financial need.
12. That student groups have priority when reserving space in the buildings owned or leased by New York University, including, and especially, the Kimmel Center.
13. That the general public have access to Bobst Library.
Along with this, students have issued a
We, the students of Take Back NYU! declare our solidarity with the student [sleepovers] in Greece,
Italy, and the United Kingdom, as well as those of the University of Rochester, the New School for Social Research, and with future [sleepovers] to come in the name of democracy and student power. We stand
in solidarity with the University of Gaza, and with the people of Palestine.