Thursday, May 29

Contact Google; Boycott If They Don't Respond

I wrote:

Please change the mouseover text of your front page graphic ASAP. It is HIGHLY offensive and makes me want to avoid Google for the day and go use Yahoo or something. And makes me want to spread the boycott via blog if the caption lasts. It reads, "Anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest." That is ridiculous and erases people of color's history by implying that the only things that the entire world bothers to count when it says "First," etc. are first-world Westerners' history. Please change it to, "Anniversary of the first outsider ascent of Mount Everest" or "Anniversary of the first Western ascent of Mount Everest." Thank you.

Write what you like, but submit a comment to them, then change your home page, hide your toolbar, and search with something else until the word gets out that they've changed the "mouseover" text of that image on the front page of

I'm not sure if the above comment link is better or if this one is. I sent my comment to both.

Wednesday, May 28

Teaching Different Consent Rules ->->-> Society Judging Breach Of Consent Differently?

I don't know how to get our entire judicial/legal culture changed so things like this don't happen.


Best I can come up with as my own plan of action is to work on getting our entire mainstream culture changed in the ways BetaCandy suggests here and let the changes seep from there into our judicial/legal culture.

My current guess is that actions like BetaCandy's are the fastest way to get to the point where most mainstream-acculturated people would answer a dialogue like the one Marcella had with a commenter ("Anna C") exactly the way Marcella did:

Anna C:
So basically, his actions (from his point of view) come down to [3-point list]
I disagree with your assessment of his actions from his POV. That assessment at most matches the rationalizations and excuses he would give for his actions if he faced a criminal investigation. Someone's rationalizations which support the decisions they make are not the same thing as the situation from their perspective.

Do White Male Vegans Think Of Themselves As "Vegans," Not "White Male Vegans?"

Johanna at Vegans of Color asked:

Do (white, male) vegans see themselves as my ally automatically when they learn that I, too, am vegan? Do they assume we’re on the same side? (Is it even a conscious thought?) Such vegans divide the world into two parts: people who are vegan, & thus allies, & those who are not vegan.
I'm not vegan, but Johanna, I can tell you that the answer for me, as a white woman raised with a lot of privilege, is "Yes."

Nerdishness, sci-fi lovers, fellow students and enthusiasts of my favorite high school subject...YES.

That's exactly how I felt 80% of the time. And I don't have any stand-out memories I can think of as I type this about the likely 20% of the time that I didn't feel that way.

It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally got exposed to enough words like yours:
Some of us don’t have the luxury of seeing things that simply. Some of us will never, ever have the privilege of ignoring, if we want to, the rest of who we are in favor of focusing solely on our diets. Why?

Oh yeah, because the world won’t let us.

Because being who we are — completely aside from veganism — can be very dangerous sometimes. Some of us are getting raped or fired for being gay or pulled over ... or losing our homes ... or being harassed on the street or getting deported or being tortured or having the franchise taken away from us or struggling to get health care or ...
and Sly Civilian's on figuring out how to make whiteness something as prominent in my sense of identity as my "interests" or B.D. Tatum's book and started doing my damndest to think of myself as "colored" the color white.

Rachel Moss needs to know what she did

So here's a link to the post that I think lets her know.

Hopefully, Rachel Moss see that post whenever she Googles her own name and never forget AngryBlackWoman's take on what she did.

Monday, May 19

Working on this University Ave. thing

Just in case it isn't clear, like Macon D, I hope I'm being a different kind of helper.

I hope I'm being a true ally.

Though I'll appropriate "do-gooder" language when people who understand it have power and I'm trying to convince them, I do hope I'm not a do-gooder.

I did start this whole "stop the train on University" thing because of the answers to questions I got from people who live and work there. If I hadn't met so many people who share my opinions, I wouldn't be doing this, and I don't try to convert people who live and work in area to sharing my opinions. (Converting people with power--politicians and such from out of the area--is a different matter.) I don't even explain why I'm against LRT on University unless they ask.

I hope I'm doing a good job of being an ally.

Back to the Drawing Board: Keeping train transit off University Avenue


The MN legislature re-introduced bonding legislation that funds the "Central Corridor" University Avenue light rail train, the legislature passed it, and Gov. Pawlenty promised, as part of budget negotiations, not to veto it.

I don't even know whether to call the governor and ask him to veto that line of the budget bill or not.

I mean, it probably wouldn't help if he was working all weekend and, as a result of a whole week's/weekend's work, said he'd sign the bill, including that part.


I THINK my time--and especially the time of the people I'm trying to organize--would be better spent calling those who have yet to make any decisions about whether or not to fund the University Ave. train plan.

Still, it's really hard to imagine trying to convince all the people I'm organizing to move on to the next stage. I think half of them signed on because the questionable status of state funding gave them hope that they could do something.

I don't even know how to get myself up out and at 'em enough to get as many of my 130 contacts as possible writing letters (which is what it's going to take at the next level of funding decisions, I think).



I could use some advice about how to further organize the people on my petition.

I think we have to write the next organization that'll be making a funding decision now. I don't know if calling that organization will work.

I mean, I'll write a letter, and I'll tell the organization that my petition has about 130 people of the University Ave. area on it so far, but I doubt that'd be nearly as effective as 50 of those petitioners EACH writing a letter. A good swarm.

Thing is, I'm no experienced activist! And a ridiculous number of people of my race and social class (that is, the people I actually strike up conversations with easily) are for this stupid train because they're upper-middle-class privileged people who just don't happen to see what a poverty-creating clusterfuck this thing is. Everybody makes mistakes, but theirs are particularly frustrating to me right now.

I only have phone numbers for most of the people I've gotten contact info of who're against putting light rail on University Avenue (sometimes addresses, sometimes not--almost never e-mail addresses). So getting sample text to them is either going to be hard & slow (going door-to-door) or super expensive.

I'll bite the bullet & choose one of those two ways of trying to motivate them to get a letter written and get it off to next organization making a funding decision if I have to...but are there better ways than providing sample text to get working people to write letters?

Wednesday, May 7

Central Corridor - 24 signatures against University Avenue trains in 2.5 hours

I got 24 signatures against putting Central Corridor light rail trains on University Avenue in one night!

Considering my petition was only at about 110 when I set out this afternoon, that is AWESOME.

I hope I can really get this going. If I could keep up at this evening's rate, I'd actually reach my first goal of getting more signatures on my petition than there are policymakers who have backed the current plan. (State legislators, the Metro Council, nonprofits, big businesses, etc.)

People of the Central -> Charles / Lexington -> Western area, you rock. You're probably not reading this, but thanks for talking to me today. There IS strength in numbers--glad you believed it.

Tuesday, May 6

Poll: Twin Cities Couldn't Care Less If Current Central Corridor LRT Dies

I do believe that the good people of the Twin Cities know that Light Rail would kill University Avenue and drive minorities into an even worse wealth gap!

Although the overall Minnesota poll wasn't so good, when asked, "Governor Pawlenty vetoed funding for the Central Corridor light rail line between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Should the Central Corridor funding be re-considered as part of a budget deal at the end of the legislative session?" Twin Cities residents (who were 64% of poll respondents) answered:

No: 45%
Not sure: 9%
Yes: 45%

Not all hope that Twin Cities liberals care about the poor is lost.

Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"