So, I tweeted to Candidate & Self-Certified Eyeball Doctor Rand Paul in response to his “crusade” to destroy Planned Parenthood, and triggered an avalanche of Derp
Cultural appropriation in America can be audacious. Just look at the Ku Klux Klan
Michael W Twitty
Why do the Ku Klux Klan wear white robes that look like bedsheets? We have been told that this silly uniform used to represent ghosts of the Confederate dead, but that’s not the whole story. The Klan’s hooded masks are one of the most warped cases of cultural appropriation in American history.
Across the Southern Black Belt - named for the extent of cotton cultivation and a black majority - different masking traditions survived the suppression of African cultures and spiritual traditions. From John Canoe in Virginia and North Carolina to Christmas masquerades and Mardi Gras celebrations along the Gulf of Mexico and lower Mississippi Valley, African Americans preserved hooded colorful costumes in imitation of those found along the coasts of West Africa.
Many early Klan members learned these traditions as children growing up among African-Americans. Many original Klansmen were raised by black elders who famously told their charges folktales and stories centered in the early African-American culture. They, as much as their black playmates, feared the revenge of “Raw Head and Bloody Bones”, witches and “the Hairy Man” for disobeying the authority of their caretakers. White children often dressed up along with black children and participated in masquerades - where they saw men dress like women and hide their identities under Spanish moss or animal skins. White children even joined in the revelry by darkening their skin to appear “colored”. All of these traditions would be later used by the early Klan as a way to intimidate African-Americans.
The thought occurred to one man, and others, the possibility of utilizing the new and mysterious organization, to restrain young Negroes who were beginning to run amuck at social conditions, by taking advantages of the Negroes’ superstitious fear of ghosts. It was agreed to give this man’s theory a trial.
Each member was required to provide himself with a mask for the face, with orifices for the eyes and nose; a tall fantastic cardboard head so constructed as to increase the wearer’s apparent height; a gown, or robe, of sufficient length to cover the entire person. No particular color or material were prescribed … each selected what in his judgment would be most hideous and fantastic … these robes added vastly to the grotesque appearance of the assembled Klan.
In the masquerade tradition in West and Central Africa, masqueraders represent ancestral moral authority: they are the dead taking part in the deliberations of the living, going so far as to disguise their voices to represent the return from the spirit world. Masqueraders in this tradition were members of secret societies charged with keeping social order and reminding people of the authority of times past. Crossing or disrespecting the rules was met with intimidation and punishment - usually under double cover of mask and darkness. Violators of the ancestral customs might be whipped or exiled.
The Klan thus incorporated a spectrum of occult language from African traditions to scare, intimidate and harass the formerly enslaved by using a spiritual horror they felt more acutely than others. Their uniforms were colorful, menacing and full of mystical symbols like stars and crosses that were appliquéd onto the fabric. African-Americans were surrounded by war and violence: to them, an inexhaustible amount of negative spiritual energy - embodied by ghosts and other angry dead - surrounded them. The Klansman did their best to exploit their knowledge of those beliefs.
Of all the “mysterious signals” meant to terrorize the black community, none was more salient than the insignia of the encircled cross and the burning cross used to warn and intimidate. The encircled cross, a universal symbol, was embodied in the cultures of the African Atlantic as a cosmogram - the symbol of spiritual power, and the the movement of soul from the land of the living to the dead and back. Archaeologists and anthropologists have found the use of the crossroads symbol across the South and across the African diaspora in the Americas. The Klan’s layering of Christian symbolism onto ancient African religious culture was a horrific omen. To this day, the Klan’s symbol is the encircled cross; their name derives from the Greek word “kuklos”, which means circle, or ring.
FAIL OF THE DAY
Why would Slate use a Jewish cemetery to illustrate this article?
If Katrina Spade gets her way, using decomposed corpses as fertilizer will be as common a practice as traditional burial and cremation. Spade is the founder of the Urban Death Project, an organization that plans to compost dead bodies with woodchips inside a three-story concrete core. The New York Times recently called it “a startling next step in the natural burial movement” and in May the project’s Kickstarter raised more than $90,000 to design its first composting facility, which should break ground in Seattle by 2022.
The model is meant to be more ecological than the embalming and nonbiodegradable caskets associated with burial, and than the greenhouse gases caused by cremation. But its perceived rejection of existing death rites might also be its biggest stumbling block.
Spade, who isn’t religious, created the Urban Death Project out of a desire to have an ideology guiding her death ceremony. “Growing up in rural New Hampshire, nature was the closest thing we had to spirituality,” she told me. “We weren’t religious, we’ve never gone to church, and yet we don’t not believe in something bigger than ourselves.” But she doesn’t think that the Urban Death Project has to conflict with other ideologies. “If you’re an enlightened person, you recognize your connection to every other human being. It’s beautiful to be able to celebrate, recognize, and encourage this idea that we’re part of this larger ecosystem. It gives me comfort.”
Whether you agree or disagree with this idea, and people should be allowed to choose this option for themselves and their loved ones, using an illustration of a Jewish cemetery is in the utterly worst of bad taste.
The tombstone shown above is not random, it is the matzevah of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersohn, a revered woman in Hasidic circles. Five of my granddaughters are named for her.
I don’t know what Slate was thinking (or were they even thinking?) when they used this photo to illustrate their article. Why not just use a bar of soap or Soylent Green to illustrate how nicely human remains can be made into something useful?
Speaking at an event in Iowa on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush voiced his opposition to the Obama administration’s proposal to expand overtime protection to an extra five million workers.
Calling it “the wrong approach,” he argued that the plan will result in lower wages, less overtime available, fewer people working, and will also ban business owners from giving managers bonuses:
“The net effect of the overtime rule will be, if history’s any guide, there will be less overtime pay, there will be less wages earned,” Bush said. He also said it wouldn’t allow “giv[ing] a bonus to a manager in your store or your company,” and that it will also “lessen the number of people working rather than increasing.”
Currently, those who make less than $23,660 a year and/or those who can be classified as “executives” — including, for example, people who supervise a clean-up crew — are exempted from the requirement that they be paid time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours a week. Because the salary threshold hasn’t gotten a meaningful update since 1975, it has effectively lowered as inflation rose. The administration has proposed bringing it up to $50,440 by 2016, just shy of where the threshold would be if it had risen with inflation.
If employers have to pay more when workers go over 40 hours a week, it can have one of two effects: Either those workers will end up making more for the extra time on the job, helping to combat the wage stagnation most Americans have faced for a decade, or employers will cut back on hours, giving people more time to spend at home with family and friends rather than putting in uncompensated hours at work. That would help combat a workweek that is, on average, a day longer than the supposed nine-to-five, 40-hour standard.
A deceptive video from a conservative group purports to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing prices for the illegal sale of fetal tissue from abortions. But the full, unedited footage and transcript released by the group undermines their sensationalist claims, showing at least three crucial edits that reveal the Planned Parenthood official was instead discussing the reimbursement cost for consensual, legal tissue donations.
Center For Medical Progress: Video Proves Planned Parenthood Is “Selling Aborted Baby Parts.” In a July 14 video, The Center for Medical Progress claimed to have recorded Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing how the organization “sells the body parts of aborted fetuses.” The nearly 9-minute video and an accompanying press release claimed that the organization was in violation of 42 U.S.C. 289g-2, a federal law regulating the use and sale of fetal tissue. According to the organization’s press release:
New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.
In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of PPFA’s Medical Services department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). [The Center For Medical Progress, 7/14/15]
At Least 3 Major Edits To The Video Undermine The Deceptive Attack
Unedited Transcript: “Nobody Should Be ‘Selling’ Tissue. That’s Just Not The Goal Here.”
The Center for Medical Progress also released a full transcript and longer version of the video with Dr. Nucatola — featuring more than 150 minutes of additional footage — which include crucial portions that were edited out. In one case, Nucatola says, “no affiliate should be doing anything that’s not like, reasonable and customary. This is not- nobody should be ‘selling’ tissue. That’s just not the goal here.” From the Center for Medical Progress’ transcript (emphasis added):
Buyer [ACTOR]: Ok. I’m just trying to brainstorm. Because, I think offering some people, not only, just offsetting their cost in other areas, seeing the potential for that, besides the potential, for the patient, I’m still going down that road, even though I know, I understand what you’re saying. This cannot be seen as, “We’re doing this for profit.”
PP [NUCATOLA]: No. Nothing, no affiliate should be doing anything that’s not like, reasonable and customary. This is not—nobody should be “selling” tissue. That’s just not the goal here.
Buyer [ACTOR]: Right. And, I never see that as, I don’t look at it that way, we’re not selling tissue, we’re selling the possibility of what the research can offer. [The Center for Medical Progress, 7/14/15]
Video Jumps Nearly 8 Minutes In The Middle Of The Conversation About Money. In the short version of the video, a confusing exchange takes place misleadingly implying that at one point, Dr. Nucatola discussed the cost of the tissue, but timestamps on the footage reveal nearly eight minutes of conversation was removed:
ACTOR: Okay, so, when you are, or the affiliate is determining what that monetary —
ACTOR: So that it doesn’t raise any question of this is what it’s about, this is the main — what — what price range would you —
NUCATOLA: You know, I’m — I could throw a number out that’s anywhere from $30 to $100 depending on the facility, and what’s involved.
[TIMESTAMPS JUMP FROM 12:24:07 TO 12:32:06, REMOVING NEARLY 8 MINUTES]
ACTOR: The $30 to $100 price range, that’s per specimen that we’re talking about, right?
NUCATOLA: Per specimen, yes. [The Center for Medical Progress, 7/14/15]
The Internet is full of memes about birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger, portraying her as a racist, a eugenicist, a KKK and nazi sympathizer or a combination of all of these.
An African-American activist has looked into Sanger’s past to find the facts behind the memes.
Compiled by Anna Holley, SisterSong Intern - July 2010
Opponents of abortion promote myths and half-truths about Margaret Sanger in the African American community and elsewhere. This brief research summation is meant to dispel such falsified information distributed by those opposed to abortion and who are determined to distort her impressive historical legacy of enabling reproductive freedom for all women as a pioneering advocate for birth control. Sanger’s opponents use quotes taken out of context, exaggerations and outright falsehoods to paint a grim and racist picture of Sanger. It is important that we, as African American women, examine the historical evidence for ourselves to avoid the pitfalls of historical revisionism. While some falsify the evidence, others attempt to whitewash uncomfortable facts. We consulted with experts on Sanger’s life, reviewed primary historical source documents, and received valuable assistance from the archivists at Smith College and New York University.
Sanger’s Campaign for Birth Control
Having grown up in a progressive household, Margaret Sanger began to question the medical industry as a result of her mother’s death of tuberculosis in 1896. Shortly after, she began challenging medical ignorance. Sanger trained as a nurse and began working in the slums of New York City. From working in desperate conditions, Sanger had the opportunity to observe the hardships of poor mothers who pleaded for information on controlling their fertility. Convinced that the lack of birth control and oversized families were a primary cause of poverty, Sanger became a social radical and joined the Socialist Party. After publishing a monthly newspaper advising women to limit the size of their families, she was arrested and fled to Europe to continue her research on birth control methods. Because of the 1875 Comstock Law prohibiting the spread of information about contraceptives in the U.S., information was more freely available in Europe.
Upon her return to the United States in 1916, she moved back to New York City to open up a birth control clinic in the slums. Yet again, she was arrested and spent a month in prison with her sister who acted as her partner. Spending time in prison only encouraged Sanger to intensify her work. She began lecturing more, raising money, and writing for her new publication: Birth Control Review, where she encouraged liberalization of state and federal laws regarding fertility control. By 1930, she had established fifty-five birth control clinics across the country. Reaching worldwide fame, Sanger spoke at the first World Population Conference in Geneva, Switzerland and continued to push the United States government to allow for easier distribution of contraceptives and sex education.
The American Birth Control Movement finally gained public approval by 1940. As her last act in the movement, she founded the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1946. Today, Margaret Sanger’s accomplishments are recognized in a different light used to fuel anti-abortion activism across the country. Without acknowledging the complexities of the time, her work is often deemed pro-genocide and racist. However, her words and actions are often taken out of context instead of revealing a complicated woman and her true dedication to women’s lives.
Margaret Sanger’s Core Principles
- A woman's right to control her body is the foundation of her human rights
- Every person should decide when to have a child
- Every child should be wanted and loved
- Women deserve sexual pleasure and fulfillment
Eugenics and African Americans
When the movement for birth control began, organizers like Margaret Sanger believed that fertility control was linked to upward social mobility for all women, regardless of race or immigrant status.
Because the medical establishment largely opposed birth control, Sanger initially emphasized woman-controlled methods that did not depend on medical assistance. Her arguments persuaded middle-class women, both Black and white, to use birth control when available.
Sanger’s immediate effect on African American women was to help transform their covert support for and use of family planning into the visible public support of activists in the Club Movement. But African-American women envisioned an even more pointed concept of reproductive justice: the freedom to have, or not to have, children.
The early feminism of the birth control movement, which promoted equality and reproductive rights for all women regardless or race or economic status, collapsed under the weight of support offered by the growing number of nativist whites. Under the influence of eugenicists, Sanger changed her approach, as did other feminists.
In 1919, Sanger’s American Birth Control League began to rely heavily for legitimacy on medical doctors and the growing eugenics movement. The eugenics movement provided scientific and authoritative language that legitimated women’s right to contraception. This co-optation of the birth control movement produced racist depopulation policies and doctor-controlled birth control technology.
Birth control was demanded as a right and an option for privileged women, but through public policy at the hands of the government, it became an obligation for the poor.
Sanger launched the Negro Project, designed by Sanger’s Birth Control Federation in 1939. It hired several African-American ministers to travel through the South to recruit African-American doctors. The project proposal included a quote by W.E.B. Dubois, saying that “the mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among Whites, is from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.” This quote, often mistakenly attributed to Sanger, reflected the shared race and class biases of the project’s founders. The Negro Project relied on Black ministers because of its white sponsors’ belief that “the most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.”
Among the quotations frequently and incorrectly credited to Sanger is, “More children from the fit, less from the unfit—that is the chief issue of birth control.” It is so widely misattributed to her that it appeared on the wall of an International Center for Photography exhibit on eugenics. Another common offender showed up in a recent fundraising letter from Priests for Life: “Colored people are like human weeds and have to be exterminated.” The historian Esther Katz, director of the Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University, explains that Sanger never said anything of the sort.
“According to the ‘Black genocide’ movement, Sanger worked in cahoots with the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis to advance a theory of White supremacy and forced sterilization. The truth is more complicated than this caricature. Sanger did embrace ideas about eugenics that were popular in the 1920s; the eugenics movement offered her legitimacy, says [Ellen] Chesler, adding that
‘Margaret Sanger had no choice but to engage eugenics. It was a mainstream movement, like public health or the environment today. It was to sanitize birth control and remove it from the taint of immorality and the taint of feminism, which was seen as an individualistic and antisocial group that addressed the needs of women only, and immoral women at that’” [Italics in original].
Oakland County Family Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca lifted her contempt of court rulings Friday and ordered the release of three children at the center of a contentious child visitation case.
The decision means the kids won’t spent the summer in the county’s juvenile detention center where they have been housed for the past few weeks.
“The court agrees with the children’s guardian’s recommendation as to the best interests of the children,” Gorcyca said this afternoon. “The court finds that is in the children’s best interests to grant the father’s and the guardian ad litem’s motion to allow the children to attend summer camp. Children’s Village is to facilitate the transportation.”
The children did not attend the hearing. They’ll be going to a Jewish summer camp where programs typically run for two weeks. It’s unclear what will happen to them when it concludes.
“That’s up to the judge,” said Lisa Stern, an attorney for the mother, Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni.
Gorcyca’s decision came during a court hearing this afternoon called to review the case of three siblings who refused the judge’s order to meet with their estranged father.
The case has drawn international attention and Gorcyca this afternoon blasted the news media coverage, insisting she has the children’s best interests at heart.
The judge noted the kids are not housed with criminal offenders in the juvenile detention facility, but instead, in a short-term housing facility known as Mandy’s Place on the campus of Children’s Village.
Gorcyca acknowledged that their placement there was “not ideal” but said when she sent them there, all other alternatives had been exhausted.
Brittany Kalso of Oakland County Children’s Village told the court the children, two boys and a girl, are doing very well in custody, smiling and interacting with others.
“They seem to be making progress on a daily measure,” Kalso said, adding they had been enjoying barbecues, nature hikes and a visit from a K-9 therapist.
The children’s parents, Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni and Omer Tsimhoni, divorced five years ago and have been battling in court ever since over parenting time. On Wednesday, lawyers asked Gorcyca to reconsider the decision to lock up the children.
On June 24, Gorcyca ordered the children to be held at Children’s Village after they refused her order to meet with their father.
Today, Gorcyca defended that decision.
“While this court’s remedy in this particular situation may seem drastic and offensive, so too, is the notion … that the only way to maintain a stable and loving connection with the mother is to vilify and reject the father,” Gorcyca said.
This is the most batshit custody ruling that I have ever heard of. OK we get that the father and mother hate each other’s guts, that happens. But to jail the kids? If they are not already fucked up, THIS WILL FUCK THEM UP.
The judge should be jailed.
I live in Oakland County, will be voting for whoever is running against Gorcyca.
Here is a petition to remove Judge Gorcyca from the bench
Fairfield County, CT - The sale of rainbow color cookies following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the nation has unleashed a torrent of criticism against one local bakery.
Connecticut-based Challah Connection bills itself as a kosher bakery offering confectionery treats and challahs for Jewish holidays, birthdays, and even shiva visits. But owner Jane Moritz, who was raised in a Conservative home with Orthodox leanings, says she was the recipient of what she describes as “hate e-mails” for posting a picture of rainbow cookies with a message on her homepage that read, “Never have these treasured cookies had such meaning” after the Court’s ruling. Her website also featured a “BUY NOW” button inside a rainbow heart.
Kosher consumers were offended by Moritz’s website, and told her so. “People [were] saying what was wrong with me, how could I be a Jew, how could I be supporting gay marriage, saying that they were never going to order from my company again and they were going to make sure that no one else ordered from my company again,” Moritz told the Jewish Week (bit.ly).
This is not the first time Moritz has fielded criticism for her political or religious views. Ten years ago, her bakery advertised and sold black and orange cookies in celebration of Halloween, much to the dismay of her kosher consumers.
The rainbow cookie controversy even spilled over to the onlysimchas.com website which condemned Challah Connection for its “endorsement and support of a lifestyle and activity that is unequivocally condemned and forbidden by Jewish Law.”
In response, Moritz said, “If that’s the case, so be it. We stand firm in the Jewish values that implore upon us to show compassion and kindness to all beings. We believe in freedom. We believe in love, and compassion - for all people, of every faith, everywhere. We are here to help all people gain more access to wonderful items that have sprung from our Jewish faith. Our customers include Jews and non-Jews alike, and that’s one of the things we love about Challah Connection. We are a conduit to Jewish customs, cultural practices, and of course specialty Jewish foods. But anyone can enjoy the special items we sell, regardless of their religious belief… .”
More at VosIzNeias
(WARNING: Don’t read the comments, they are as nasty as anything you would see at Breitbart)
Those cookies look scrumptious!