America The Free

While waiting on SCOTUS to make decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, I took the time to dive into some of the other cases that they were deciding on this week. Two of which struck me the hardest. The first was the VRA and the second was Fisher vs. The University of Texas (which whhhewwww white America we need to talk) As a black person and otherwise minority (queer, genderqueer, Jew, etc etc) the Supreme Courts decision on the VRA felt a little bit like a punch in the gut.

What is the VRA?

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §§ 1973–1973aa-6)is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.
Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”Specifically, Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African Americans from exercising the franchise.The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
The Act established extensive federal oversight of elections administration, providing that states with a history of discriminatory voting practices (so-called “covered jurisdictions”) could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice, a process known as preclearance. These enforcement provisions applied to states and political subdivisions (mostly in the South) that had used a “device” to limit voting and in which less than 50 percent of the population was registered to vote in 1964. The Act has been renewed and amended by Congress four times, the most recent being a 25-year extension signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006.
The Act is widely considered a landmark in civil-rights legislation.

The VRA made it so that there would be less voter suppression. By striking it down it now becomes easier to suppress certain voters. Ie; minorities, poor people, immigrants, and the elderly. So. Basically a win for all white rich conservatives. THANKS AGAIN GUYS. Texas wasted absolutely NO TIME in using this towards their favor.
The strict photo ID requirement blocked by the DOJ and a federal court would require Texans to show one of a very narrow list of acceptable photo IDs. Expired gun licenses from other states are considered valid, but Social Security cards and student IDs are not. If voters do not have an ID — as many minorities, seniors, and poor people do not — they must travel at their own expense, produce their birth certificate, and in many cases pay a fee to get an ID.


What is Fisher vs. The University of Texas about you may ask?

If the Supreme Court is ruling on it, it’s probably a super important big deal right? Like gay marriage? Yeah you would think. Fisher is Abigail Fisher a white woman (girl?) who was denied entry to The University of Texas, and chose to get fucking heated at Affirmative Action because of her rejection. Remember the college application process you guys? It was all kinds of shits and giggles. You had your eye set on one school, no matter how many others you applied to, there was only one letter that actually mattered to you. And on the day that letter came your emotions were going to go one of two ways. There were either going to be ecstatic happy leaps, or a face plant into your bed. Those were pretty much your only options, because you are a sane human person. Rejection sucks, but it is a fucking part of life. Well Abigail Fisher decided that her rejection was actually worse then your rejection because you see she is white, and her spot no doubt went to some black person just because you know THEY’RE BLACK. So what did little privileged Abigail do? Her and mommy and daddy went to their lawyers and got this fucking shit all the way to SCOTUS. Which like, as parents isn’t this the time you tell your kid to maybe stop being such a brat and accept the fact that not everyone get’s what they want? She had a 3.5 GPA. Which, I am no Dumbledore at math or anything but is .5 points away from a 4.0 which means that well Abi isn’t exactly perfect.


White people like to get good and fucking angry about Affirmative Action, but skate on by when it comes to legacies. You know that system in place in many colleges across the country that gives priority to those who have had families who have gone there in the past? Let us break this down REAL QUICK. Brown vs. The Board of Education happened in 1954. In 1962 the first black student was enrolled in The University of Mississippi. Soooo how many African American kids enrolling in school TODAY exactly can have legacies? Right. But Affirmative Action is unfair. Totally.

Don’t even.

Civil rights are something that we (society) have either been fighting for, or against since we could segregate ourselves. My parents grew up in a time when blacks and whites lived in a very different United States. My grandparents lived and fought in a war that tried to rid the world of Jews forever. And now our generation is fighting for the equality of LGBTQ people. And today we moved two steps closer to not being seen as 2nd class citizens.

As a black person, I have always known that America is not fair when it comes to race. Or shall I say, we have not come to a point where racism is no longer an issue. Of course I did not have to go through what my ancestors or even my aunts and uncles growing up in the 50’s and 60’s had to endure and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for fighting so that I could one day not worry about walking into the front door of a restaurant or sitting anywhere in a movie theatre or a bus. It is almost impossible for me to wrap my head around the thought that when my parents were kids they went to segregate schools. My parents are white. They were raised in a time of segregation, grew up, and adopted a black kid, who then in turn turned out to be gay. My grandparents grew up having to hear words like kike, and Jew said with disgust. My grandfathers fought in a war that sought to end their existence. They won. And now they have a grandchild who can just about say the same for gay marriage.

I knew that regardless of my families background the decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 would strike me, I mean how could they not? It is such a hard thing to vocalize. This feeling. I look back on my families history and all I see is a fight. There has not been one generation that hasn’t had to fight for the right to be seen as an equal. It finally seems like new generations will be born in a truly open and accepting world, well at least here in America.

This country is by no means perfect. But we have been moving towards equality since we began. There have always been those trying to stifle the rights of others and there have always been and I am certain will always be those who won’t shut up until they are heard and seen as equals. And today I can say that as a black, Jewish, gender queer, gay individual one less weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Thank you to everyone who has fought, and thank you to everyone who will continue to make sure equality is not just a slogan on bumper stickers, but an actual practice that all of our children never have to question.

Happy PRIDE everyone.



I’m Not a Faggot

Now I don’t want to be a party pooper. Because everyone knows I LOVE A GOOD PARTY. But when I checked my event invites on Facebook the other day a very ugly word was staring back at me. “Faggot”. It wasn’t an invite to a kill the homos party, it was instead an invite to one of the most rad parties out there. So I scratched my head and was like ok, this is a group of empowered well educated people. And I know that their intent behind this is from a place of knowledge and self love. BUT I really, really, really don’t like slurs. Especially when they are going to be seen by people outside of said community.

In, circles where everyone shares a common minority thread, certain words are tossed around. Some people say its done to take back what has been wrongfully taken from them. Some people argue that words are just words and that it is the nature in which you speak them that gives them their power. Whatever the argument I do think it’s kind of lame to say words that other people have literally died for, in a joking matter. Now, I am a minority of minorities. I am black, Jewish, gay, and a woman. So there are quite a few words I could go about saying. I could make tons of anti feminist jokes, say words like kike and nigger. Because I would be doing it from an empowering place? RIGHT?

When I hear people on the street saying “Yo my nigga.” Nigga this nigga that, I get both angry and offended. It’s not only black people that use the N word. Anyone that has an ear turned into hip hop or rap subsequently thinks they have license to use it. Ah but the N word is for black people to take back right? Well black people aren’t the only ones listening to rap. If a white kid who has never known the racism of the 60’s grows up with black friends who openly say the N word and he listens to music the openly uses it, what is stopping him from using it as well? Is it then fair for his black friends to tell him that he may not use that word? That when it plays in a song he’s rapping along to that he must omit it?

Words all have a funny history. What words originally meant have changed as years have gone by. In England for instance the Brits call cigarettes fags. So a gay experiencing London for the first time might be a tad confused as to why the English love lighting up fags so much. But here in America fag means one thing->; gay. In gay life the word fag gets said by some daily. Quite like the word nigga. Fag and Nigga. But rarely: Faggot or Nigger. I have actually heard people explain to me that nigga is a different word all together than nigger. That they are two different words that mean two different things. Maybe to younger generations that is the case, but all I can think is, great to older generations who grew up hearing and possibly even saying Nigger they are now hearing young black kids call themselves the very words they once used to put blacks down. It’s almost like their racism is still succeeding. They called you a nigger for so long that you now see yourself as one. Congratulations.

Facebook events can be seen by all, well unless they’re made private which this isn’t. It is also at a huge venue – Public Assembly, that is not a gay space. Yes it allows gay events (as it should) but daily their concerts and parties are attended by any and all. So when straight people walk by and see that an event is coming called Year of the Faggot, they then have the license to repeat that word out loud correct? And maybe text a few friends about it. Maybe write a status about it. A whole bunch of straight people will be throwing the word faggot around. Because they will understand it as well, the gays seem to be ok with being called faggots now guess we can too.

In 2013 can I hope to see parties thrown like: Niggers Making Music and Kikes and Dykes? Can black face parties maybe become a thing? Because if a group of black people are ok with black face then it’s totally ok right? (though I don’t think anybody is ok with black face because I think universally everyone can agree dat shit is never funny)

I think creative expression is ridiculously important. And I think that when throwing parties you have to find creative and inventive ideas to keep people interested and to keep them coming back. I have heard LGBTQ people refer to themselves as faggots before and if for them that title makes sense then that is fine. But it is not my title. And I still have a hard time finding respect for that word.