If I look up “carrot” in the dictionary, most people will acknowledge I do not know all there is to know about carrots and if I truly want to understand carrots, I should probably pick up a horticultural text book. We know that legal and medical terms are going to be, at best, simplistically represented and know we need to find a lawyer or a doctor if we want to know more. Anyone deciding to base their argument on, say, a philosophical concept or term using the dictionary is going to be laughed at at best, or automatically lose whatever argument they’re trying to make at least.
Yet the minute we move into a social justice framework, the ultimate authority changes. We don’t need lived experience, we don’t need experts who have examined centuries of social disparities and discrimination, we don’t need societal context. We don’t need sociology or history – no, we have THE DICTIONARY! That ultimate tome of oracular insight, the last word on any debate!
It’s patently ridiculous and you can see that by applying it to any other field of knowledge. But the privileged will continually trot out simplistic, twitter-style dictionary definitions as if they are the last word and the ultimate authority. No-one would drag out the dictionary to debate science with a scientist. But they’re more than willing to trot out a dictionary definition of racism over any sociological analysis. A dictionary is not the ultimate authority - they’re a rough guide for you to discover the simple meaning of words you’ve never heard before – not an ultimate definition of what the word means and all its contexts.
butterflies drinking the tears of a Yellow Spotted River turtle in the Amazon. It is believed the salty liquid is needed to help them produce. The endangered yellow-spotted river turtle cannot easily brush the salty liquid away, while the insects need sodium in its diet. In addition to sodium, tears also contain proteins that could represent a high-quality resource throughout the year.
Photo credit: Jeff Cremer
i wish butterflies would come eat my tears
Yes, Oshun! Go in! Let have!
The world of music constantly pits “sexuality” against “consciousness” in its commentary, especially when Black music is the subject at hand; internationally, it divides music with “positive,” “progressive” or “political” content from “sex-driven” music which is, supposedly, “sensational,” “scandalous” and “slack.” This line of thinking goes well beyond contemporary critics and consumers. For over five hundred years, the Western world of ideas has itself opposed sexuality and consciousness, rigidly, laying the foundation for an entire culture to interpret “eroticism” as a threat to “intelligence,” “bodies” as menaces to “minds” and “sensuality” as an enemy to “rationality” or rationalism. The European oppression of most of the world’s peoples, African people most of all, it continues to use this bi-polar world-view to advance a racist empire that is every bit as much sexist, class-elitist and homophobic as it is racist or white-supremacist.
There are over 800 trans women in this picture.
But you can’t see them.
They are underneath the active and intentional dialogue.
This is hilarious
Prison Labor Exposed: From Starbucks to Microsoft - A sampling of what US prisoners make & for whom
May 21, 2013
Tens of thousands of US inmates are paid from pennies to minimum wage—minus fines and victim compensation—for everything from grunt work to firefighting to specialized labor.
The breaded chicken patty your child bites into at school may have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners. At the UnionCorrectional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.”
And Each month, California inmates process more than 680,000 pounds of beef, 400,000 pounds of chicken products, 450,000 gallons of milk, 280,000 loaves of bread, and 2.9 million eggs (from 160,000 inmate-raised hens).Starbucks subcontractor Signature Packaging Solutions has hired Washington prisoners to package holiday coffees (as well as Nintendo Game Boys). Confronted by a reporter in 2001, a Starbucks rep called the setup “entirely consistent with our mission statement.”
Texas inmates produce brooms and brushes, bedding and mattresses, toilets, sinks, showers, and bullwhips.
In Texas, prisoners make officers’ duty belts, handcuff cases, and prison-cell accessories. California convicts make gun containers, creepers (to peek under vehicles), and human-silhouette targets.
A stitch in time: California inmates sew their own garb. In the 1990s, subcontractor Third Generation hired 35 female South Carolina inmates to sew lingerie and leisure wear for Victoria’s Secret and JCPenney. In 1997, a California prison put two men in solitary for telling journalists they were ordered to replace “Made in Honduras” labels on garments with “Made in the usa.”
Open wide: At California’s prison dental laboratory, inmates produce a complete prosthesis selection, including custom trays, try-ins, bite blocks, and dentures.
Constructive criticism: Prisoners in for burglary, battery, drug and gun charges, and escape helped build a Wal-Mart distribution center in Wisconsin in 2005, until community uproar halted the program. (Company policy says, “Forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart.”)
On call: Its inmate call centers are the “best kept secret in outsourcing,” Unicor boasts. In 1994, a contractor for gop congressional hopeful Jack Metcalf hired Washington state prisoners to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty. Metcalf, who prevailed, said he never knew.
Federal Prison Industries, a.k.a. Unicor, says that in addition to soldiers’ uniforms, bedding, shoes, helmets, and flak vests, inmates have “produced missile cables (including those used on the Patriot missiles during the Gulf War)” and “wiring harnesses for jets and tanks.” In 1997, according to Prison Legal News, Boeing subcontractor MicroJet had prisoners cutting airplane components, paying $7 an hour for work that paid union wages of $30 on the outside.
this is disgusting.
pride? the evil nonprofit is called pride? fuck.
State Names, Juane Quick-to-See Smith
“We are the original owners of this country. Our land was stolen from us by the Euro-American invaders … I can’t say strongly enough that my maps are about stolen lands, our very heritage, our cultures, our worldview, our being … Every map is a political map and tells a story—-that we are alive everywhere across this nation …” —Smith
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith has painted several maps of the United States to show how the land already occupied by ancient native communities was colonized by European settlers. Here, she included names of states that derive from Native American words, such as Wyoming, from a Delaware Indian word that means “mountains and valleys alternating,” and Kansas, from a Sioux word meaning “people of the south wind.” Smith is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation in Montana and works to raise recognition of Native American art and peoples. State Names expresses her anger that the country’s lands were divided without regard for existing tribal territories.
Phylicia Rashad’s Letter to 21-Year Old Self:
Romantic involvement distracts you and can blind you to what’s really in front of you. And what really is in front of you? You are. You don’t even know yourself yet. You think you know and you want to assert that you do, now that you’re a certain age, but you don’t. What’s in front of you is a whole world of experiences beyond your imagination. Put yourself, and your growth and development, first. There are long-term repercussions to what you’re doing now. Everything you do, every thought you have, every word you say creates a memory that you will hold in your body. It’s imprinted on you and affects you in subtle ways—ways you are not always aware of. With that in mind, be very conscious and selective.
With high hopes for you,