It was quite a week in the world. The ground broke in Nepal, rage erupted in Baltimore, hope persisted in DC. I felt the energy of human capacity and human limits in the air and in my heart. It was a frenetic week, but also a reflective one. And how appropriate that today, the end of this week, is May Day, an international day of protest and solidarity.
I snapped this photo during the Baltimore solidarity march in Boston on Wednesday. It’s a mural in the largest Black community in Boston. It felt really powerful to walk past giant image of Frederick Douglass, whose words and actions helped drive the slavery abolition movement. His words are as true today as they were back then.
With that, the Friday Five…
There were a lot of really amazing and important think-pieces reflecting on the “violence” in Baltimore, but this one summed it up best for me: “Militance is about direct action which defends our communities from violence. It is about responses which meet the political goals of our communities in the moment, and deal with the repercussions as they come. It is about saying no, firmly drawing and holding boundaries, demanding the return of stolen resources. And from Queer Liberation and Black Power to centuries-old movements for Native sovereignty and anti-colonialism, it is how virtually all of our oppressed movements were sparked, and has arguably gained us the only real political victories we’ve had under the rule of empire.
We need to clarify what we mean by terms like “violence” and “peaceful.” Because, to be clear, violence is beating, harassing, tazing, assaulting and shooting Black, trans, immigrant, women, and queer people, and that is the reality many of us are dealing with daily. Telling someone to be peaceful and shaming their militance not only lacks a nuanced and historical political understanding, it is literally a deadly and irresponsible demand.”
Really important interview by Kay Ulanday Barrett with Katrina Goodlett and Alexa Vasquez about what centering a wealthy, white trans woman’s story in the media means for other trans people whose experiences are vastly different from Jenner’s. Goodlett notes, “The media wants to maintain the status quo of capitalism and white supremacy. Bruce’s story is based on privilege. Despite Bruce’s internal truth seeking, [Jenner] will have access to health care, housing, jobs etc. Many trans people of color I know don’t even have access to safe and affordable health care or housing. Mainstream media wants to prop up this narrative of “transition” when for many trans folk that is not the goal!” Lots of food for thought in this interview, and always important to center these voices that get ignored by mainstream press.
I realize I have immense privilege to be able to attend marches and rallies like the one I mention above (and the ones I’ve been attending for over a decade). I’m able-bodied, have no major cognitive qualms being in those spaces, and am not disproportionately targeted by police. This is not the case for everyone, and this list is for them: “This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in liberation. For a range of reasons, there are and always have been folks who cannot attend rallies and protests but who continue to contribute to ending police and state violence against black people. People seek justice and support liberation in an array of ways, yet their bodies, their spirits, and their lives may not allow them to be in the streets. We believe that we will win.”
I am loving the sound and look of these treats from The Bojon Gourmet! I love all the healthy versions of rice crispy treats that exist on the inter webs, but this one seems particularly occasion-worthy with it’s goji berries, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs. And because you don’t have to turn on the oven, it’s a lovely dessert to share during the warm months!
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
although there is nothing happy about the reasons for the protests taking place across the country, i am forever grateful for the energy of collective resistance, and i found happiness in the struggle while marching through the streets of Boston this week, chanting in power with a thousand people; having a really inspiring meeting with a community organization in an underserved community in Mass where I’ll be facilitating a film screening and discussion about gender for the after school program; sculpt and sculpt teacher training (teaching future teachers is a special kind of teaching-love); kitten snuggles; amazing friend support—seriously, i have felt overwhelmed with friend-love the past couple weeks, in the form of phone calls, emails, texts, and crystals (<3); getting through a nasty cold and sitting in gratitude for my health; getting an article published and remembering why i take the time to do “public scholarship” because it’s so much more rewarding than stuffy academic publishing; good weather; the grounding power of routine (and also the liberating feeling of being okay when that routine was compromised); &hope.
What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xo