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"Beyond Survival" Edited by Ejeris Dixon ( @ejeris ) and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha ( @leahlakshmiwrites ) CW: abuse & suicide
This was definitely one of my favorite books of the year. In order to achieve liberation, we must be able to vision towards the possibilities for healing in our relationships and communities. And the Transformative Justice movement has been leading in this theory and practice. As I first heard @Jlovecalderon say, "love plus accountability equals liberation."
"Shame and social stigma are powerful emotional forces that can prevent us from holding ourselves accountable for being abusive. We don’t want to admit to “being that person,” so we don’t admit to having been abusive at all.
Some people might suggest that people who have been abusive ought to feel shame - after all, perpetrating abuse is wrong. I would argue, though, that this is where the difference between guilt and shame is key. Guilt is feeling bad about something you’ve done; shame is feeling bad about who you are. People who have been abusive should feel guilty for the specific acts of abuse they are responsible for. They should not feel shame about who they are because this means that abuse has become a part of their identity. It means that they believe that they are fundamentally a bad person - in other words, “an abuser.”
But if you believe that you are an “abuser,” a bad person who hurts others, then you have already lost the struggle for change - because we cannot change who we are. If you believe that you are a fundamentally good person who has done hurtful or abusive things, then you open the possibility for change.
Being accountable is not about earning forgiveness. That is to say, it doesn’t matter how accountable you are - nobody has to forgive you for being abusive, least of all the person you have abused. In fact, using the process of “doing” accountability to manipulate or coerce someone into giving their forgiveness to you is an extension of the abuse dynamic. It centers the abuser, not the survivor. One shouldn’t aim for forgiveness when holding oneself accountable."
bit.ly/mcgreads (in bio)
Super pumped for this convo with my wonderful friend and incredible organizer @richiereseda ! Thank you @jlovecalderon for all of your support in making this possible! 🙏🏼💕🙌🏼
Repost from @weinspirejustice - “Throughout time, there's been no clearer path to understanding and examining periods of our culture than through the arts. The opportunity for a greater connection to the issues of our time lie within creative storytelling and art. We are excited to partner with @neuehouse and @question.culture in bringing @mattmcgorry and @richiereseda together to share their experience in leveraging art and entertainment as a means to inspire new narratives of equity and change. How are these stories told? What role can arts and entertainment play in order to be used as a mechanism for understanding dominant narratives in current culture? Head to the link in our bio to RSVP for the conversation.”
This is so 🔥🔥🔥🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
Repost from @richiereseda - “The LA Sheriff’s department is the most murderous in the country and operates the largest jail system on earth. Let's invest in people, not punishment.
Bump the Defund The Sheriff Album @Question.Culture made with @JusticeLANow, @_notprisons & @ReformLAJails ft. songs and drops by artists including @VicMensa , @laurenjauregui , @aloeblacc , @madamegandhi , @thatgirlmystic , @ajamonet , @akeishein and OF COURSE @jj_eightyeight and @IndigoMateo .
Hit that link in @richiereseda ‘s bio to bump the album and take action on a vote HAPPENING TODAY to invest in the #ReimagineJustice alternatives to incarceration plan.”
Repost from @munroebergdorf - “As LGBTQ+ Pride month drew to a close, six Black trans women were found dead in a brutal nine-day stretch. Between June 25 and July 3, the bodies of Brayla Stone, Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Draya McCarty, Tatiana Hall, and Bree Black were all discovered. Each of the victims was between the ages of 17 and 32 at the time of their death, although McCarty’s age has yet to be reported by the media.
In total, at least 22 trans women, the vast majority of whom were Black, have now died as a result of violence in 2020.
When I say self appointed 'feminists' like J.K. Rowling have blood on their hands. This is why.
The hate-driven ignorance of 'gender critical feminism' and the assertion of her power and influence as a wealthy, cisgender, heterosexual white woman - to attempt to wind back transgender access to safe spaces and health services, is contributing to an already toxic and violent social environment, that is KILLING black trans women specifically and is exposing the trans community as a whole to increased violence, abuse and prejudice.
This is where race and gender collide. Transphobia is white supremacist violence.
Stop. Killing. Us.
Full article by @steroidbeyonce for @them posted in my story. #blacktranslivesmatter #blacklivesmatter #transgender #lgbtq “
My big, soft belly. My earliest memories that my body was "wrong." A site of torment and trauma that taught me that I, myself, was shameful. Self-inflicting harm in the hope that it would protect me. From a world that hates fat people and men who are soft, physically and emotionally. "Casual" comments, and their impact that I tried to ignore. To acknowledge them fully, would mean being too soft in both body and spirit.
My big, soft belly. As men, we must be hard and angular, like chiseled impenetrable statues. Unchanged by external conditions- seasons, quarantines, life events, traumas, systemic oppression and emotions. We are told that our bodies reflect our inner-state, and that we must always be in control. Of our lives, our emotions, "our women," and our bodies. We are taught that a lean and muscular physique is the prize of self-control and that this is worthy of unending obsession as we sacrifice our joy at the altars of these lifeless statues that we worship. All of the trauma, self-hate, self-punishing exercise and food restrictions I put on myself had to be worth it, right? The more the better. Resentful of friends who got "credit" for their leanness when they didn't have to harm themselves like I had in order to achieve it. Of course, I received some specialized awards for how dutifully I slit my throat and let the softness bleed out of me, as I watched myself harden to stone.
My big, soft belly. Bigger and softer than ever before. As my personhood and spirit blossoms and grows, my body and my belly does as well. Symbiotically, they support the growth of each other. As my healing takes deeper root, it supports me in growing in wild, uncontainable, and unknowable ways. What would be possible, if we could see the growth of our bodies as intricately connected to healing our our spirits, our relationships with our bodies, food, movement, and to the world around us?
My dad's big, soft belly. Like mine. Too unique and beautiful to fit into the hard boxes created to contain soft men. I feel his pain, like I feel my own. My softness allows it. And he is gentle, kind, empathetic...soft. Our softness is magic. There is beauty in our softness.
Reading the article “Social Distancing Is a Good Time To Learn What Introversion Is and Isn’t” by Sherronda J. Brown ( @4loveandnappyness ) on @wearyourvoice (highly recommend both accounts!) blew my mind. It revealed some truths about myself that I’m continuing to explore. As an introvert, I have MUCH less social battery than usual and therefore need much more solo/phone-off time to recharge. It has required very strong boundaries. Below are some poignant excerpts, but I highly recommend the whole article.
“I don’t have more social battery now than I did before this pandemic. Truth be told, I have even less. People who aren’t introverts don’t seem to understand this though.”
“Introverts hear these same myths and we often internalize them, unfortunately. Many of us grow up thinking that something is fundamentally wrong with us and the way that we naturally exist in the world, so we find ways to push ourselves outside of our comforts and even have our boundaries repeatedly violated for the sake of extrovert comforts. We do it on an almost daily basis—in academic, professional, religious, recreational, and otherwise social settings—because this world demands it as proof of morality, intelligence, competence, health, stability, and humanness.“
“It’s easy to understand why this means that extroverts will have a very difficult time with many aspects of something like social distancing. They are starved for the kind of stimulation that is a normalized part of their daily life, and many of them don’t seem to understand that they have pretty much always had the privilege to embrace their natural temperament without being overwhelmingly ostracized for it. Nor do they understand that introverts have had to learn how to perform it for our own survival and to our own detriment.”
Introverts are never required to be readily available and accessible to others, even when we are choosing to do absolutely nothing. We are not here to entertain others who assume that we have nothing better to do because they think that all we do is sit around and stare at the wall. Our needs are not less important during social distancing just because the world is designed for extroverts.”
Happy 7th Birthday to #blacklivesmatter ! Immense gratitude to the dope women that founded the movement and the many organizers across the country and world fighting for Liberation! @osopepatrisse @opalayo @chasinggarza
Repost from @opalayo - “Wow. As the person who purchased blacklivesmatter.com 7 years ago, so that we could have a way to communicate and coordinate our larger organizing efforts I’m in awe of the evolution and growth of the work. I see all kinds of people in every corner of the country sharing this message, and so many new people are showing up to protest and join the movement. But I’ve also always believed, deep in my bones, that people of conscience and courage are the majority. And if we could only be reminded of our own humanity and agency, then we might have a fighting chance to chart a different future. We need only look to the countless stories of brave acts throughout history, and from around the world. Stories of Indigenous resistance, to rebellions by enslaved Africans to more contemporary hunger strikes in immigration detention facilities to COVID-19 mutual aid efforts and beyond. Firsthand, I’ve witnessed people In the most dire of scenarios find ways to assert their humanity and demand justice against all odds. I have organized in many uphill battles - sometimes winning sometimes losing, but always knowing that our humanity is not up for negotiation. It will always be our duty to fight for justice. Our movement is not about trivial politics, this is about our very lives. When I see headlines like this I feel so proud of Us. The collective Us. The people who resist.The people who persist. People who behave like another world is possible. Reclaiming the narrative of what it means to be human, and love, and live well. Knowing our resistance is righteous and that we have a duty to build a world that reflects the best of who we are. We have a long way to go, but headlines like this remind me that we are making progress. I encourage you to take heart. And keep that same energy.
Hey friends! I can’t recommend this doc enough. So appreciative of you, @lavernecox ! @disclosuredoc on Netflix is a really important piece of work that travels through time exploring the history and present reality of trans representation through film and TV. We all know that culture hugely informs and shapes the lived reality of all people. And given that 80% of people in the U.S. (believe they) have never met a trans person, the way that trans folx are represented on screen has an especially real impact on their safety and well-being. Trans people are subjected to constant violence by the state and other individuals. Erasure of complex and humanizing narratives is part of the reason that trans people (and especially Black trans women) are some of the most marginalized in our society, from the violence of poverty (trans people are nearly twice as likely to live in poverty than cis people), police violence, and hate crimes. When we dehumanize people (which the media constantly does to trans folx), we normalize violence against them. Some things have changed in big ways in terms of trans representation on screen, and yet there is a LONG way to go. As cisgender people, we need to do the work year-round (not just during Pride) to support, uplift and be in solidarity with trans folx. Thank you @lavernecox @samfeder_1 @amyjscholder for this important work. #DisclosureNetflix
Thank you @jameelajamilofficial for having me on the @i_weigh podcast (link in bio temporarily!)! Highly recommend following them both! When Jameela asked me to be on the podcast, I was thrilled because I’ve really appreciated the way that way that she shows up and is using her platform to create change. She is very bold in how she speaks out against systems of oppression like diet culture, patriarchy, and white supremacy. And she recognizes the importance of discussing the messiness of this work. If we are doing it right, we are all learning and growing, and we are all going to fuck up many times along the way. There are no “perfect activists” or “perfect feminists” and I appreciate how willing Jameela is to learn in public and remind us all of that as we move forwards and consistently deepen our practices.
Spread the word!!! From @mvmnt4blklives !!!BreatheAct.org 🔥🔥🔥
Repost from @weinspirejustice - “Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ayanna Stanley-Jones. Elijah McClain. Natasha McKenna. And countless more. Their lives mattered. We are committed to defending Black lives. Today, we are asking you to join us in that commitment by supporting the #BREATHEAct. This is a modern-day Civil Rights bill in defense of Black lives. We simply cannot wait to take action. The time to act is now. https://bit.ly/the-breathe-act “
🙌🏼😩🙌🏼😩 Repost from @ms_eagleheart
“BREAKING - Tribes win against big oil!!! ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
“The Dakota Access pipeline must shut down by Aug. 5, a district court ruled Monday in a stunning defeat for the Trump administration and the oil industry.
The decision is a momentous win for American Indian tribes that have opposed the Energy Transfer Partners LP project for years. It comes just a day after developers scuttled another project, the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline, after years of legal delays.
Pipeline opponents have increasingly taken to the courts to oppose fossil fuel infrastructure projects, claiming at least three big victories this year.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said a crucial federal permit for Dakota Access fell too far short of National Environmental Policy Act requirements to allow the pipeline to continue operating while regulators conduct a broader analysis the court ordered in a previous decision.” @bloomberglaw “