Blog Archive

Friday, April 25

Suburbs poor, transitless, & bad schools; Cities rich, transit-full, & good schools

Oh dear heavens.

We (people who care about justice) need to WATCH OUT and make sure action gets taken about bad policy in the next decade or three.

Without good, deliberately anti-racist policies everywhere and in every aspect possible, there could be a lot of people of color stuck taking external assistance (because they can't afford gas for a commute, and that's the only way to survive staying at home) while living in shoddily built houses in the middle of nowhere.

And their kids could be in just as bad of schools as they are now in the cities, if, say, upper-middle-class (mostly white) people crowding the cities cry for schools to stop letting kids attend whatever school they started at (in other words, not letting kids whose parents have had to move to the middle of nowhere at least get to stay at their old in-the-city school as its quality of education improves).

S***, s***, s***, s***, s***.

I'd just been thinking about this over the last few days--wondering if low-wealth people of color would ever get locked out. Wondering if high-wealth (mostly white) people would ever legislate seriously just and fair rules whenever they find themselves having a mixed claim on social goods with low-wealth people of color.

And then I see this article.


P.S. How offensive, calling poor people moving to suburbs "decline" of those suburbs. Geez Louise, the suburbs are important enough entities that we personify them and say they "decline?" Even though the cause of our word choice is individual people making real life decisions in their very real lives? The f***? How about their LIVES declining? Can we forget about the f***ing suburb's "decline" in our press and acknowledge that their LIVES are "declining" if they're having to relocate away from family and friends over money concerns? Cripes!

P.P.S. If you are upper-middle-class, and low-wealth people live near you, get to know them and introduce them to neighbors you know. Knowing neighbors is how they fought to keep their neighborhoods "decent" all these decades. Want to be an anti-racist, anti-class-warfare ally? Fight side-by-side with your low-income neighbors against crime; don't write entire households off and try to run.

Sunday, April 13

Let's End Mass Rape & Mutilation In The Congo: Part 2

Naming names

See also ABW's/Elaine's list and Lisa's list.
Series part 1 of 2 is here.

(Click here to expand to the full post.)

The "mineral" you hear about in the mainstream media. It's actually 2 minerals chemically attached as found in the ground.
One is "columbium" and the other is "tantalum."
Keith Harmon Snow refers to "columbium" as "niobium"--another name for it.

A special kind of coltan.

You're gonna love this. Where do I start? Mixed into:

  • Stainless steel
  • Heat-resistant steel for construction
  • Steel for oil pipelines
  • Glass for corrective eyeglasses
  • Jet engine ferroniobium
  • Rocket assembly ferroniobium
  • Furnace part ferroniobium
  • Automobile & truck body ferroniobium
  • Railroad track ferroniobium
  • Ship hull ferroniobium
  • Turbine ferroniobium
  • Nuclear reactors
  • Airframes
  • Jewelry
  • Chemical processing equipment
  • MRI machines
  • Superconducting magnets
  • "Nanotechnology" of various kinds
Another lovely list.
  • Electronic capacitors
  • Cell phones (not sure which part)
  • Laptops (not sure which part)
  • Video game systems (not sure which part)
  • Pacemakers (not sure which part)
  • Surgical instruments
  • Pagers (not sure which part)
  • Automotive electronics
  • Camera lenses
  • Digital cameras (not sure which part)
  • GPS
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Prosthetics
  • Surgical implants
  • Fiberoptics
  • Heat-resistant jet-engine materials
  • Heat-resistant nuclear reactor materials
  • Heat-resistant missle parts
You want tin? You'd better get yourself some cassiterite. There's tin in it, and it's easy to extract--just smelt the stuff.
You can also coat automotive metal in it and the metal won't corrode very easily.

Replaces what used to be lead in solders and other things that environmentalists think lead shouldn't be in. (Solder = sticking electronics parts together!)

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

In the Congo. Often right at the same mine as other minerals.

Companies, People, & Organizations
(Click here to expand to the full post.)
The mid-2007 "Blood Minerals" article by David Barouski where I found most of the mineral use information gave me twice as many names as I'd catalogued from Snow's "Three Cheers" article. I think I will have to do a "Part 3" to list them. This list will simply come from Snow's article and followup I did with Wikipedia, etc.

Lueshe mine
Where you get perchlorate in Central Africa.

A company set up for the sole purpose of being "in charge" of a mining concession that was about to be given to "Mettalurg Inc." by the Congolese/Zairian government in 1982.

Controls Lueshe mine somehow, according to Snow.

GfE Nuremburg
Owned 70% of SOMIKIVU.

Metallurg Inc.
US-based. Owns Arraxa & GfE Nuremburg.
Got the 1982 Lueshe mine 20-year mining concession.

Metallurg Holdings
US-based. (Pennsylvania.) Owns Mettalurg Inc.

The government of Zaire/Congo
Gave Metallurg Inc. the Lueshe mine "mining concession" for a 20-year term in 1982, but gave the operations duties to SOMIKIVU.

Hermes AG
Insured SOMIKIVU. According to Snow, this had to do with getting SOMIKIVU to not actually mine much out of Lueshe (so the price of niobium/columbium would be high).

The German government
Backed Hermes AG.

Laurent Kabila
President of Congo, 1997-2001.
A cruel man, it seems, but he did at least one great thing (or tried):
In 1999, his government dissolved SOMIKIVU, which left GfE without legal control of the Lueshe mine. Instead of giving it back to GfE somehow, his government gave the mining concession to a company they thought would actually bother to mine the mine (which would mean taxable money for the Congolese government): E. Krall Metal Congo.

E. Krall Metal Congo
From 1999-present, owns the Lueshe mining concession.

E. Krall Investment Uganda
Owns E. Krall Metal Congo

Michael Krall
Owns E. Krall. Australian. I can't imagine he's any Mother Teresa, since he owns a copper & cobalt plant in Uganda, but his company does seem to have refused to buy soldiers occupying its Lueshe mine weapons. In addition, it seems his company has refused to hire counter-militias to get control of their mine--instead they've been trying for 9 years to take their case to court with the official governments of various countries.

Karl Heinz Albers
He's been the manager of SOMIKIVU, is the man whose company GfE sold off its 70% share of SOMIKIVU to, and was affiliated with the German Embassy in Congo. (He is German.) It sounds like he had connections to pretty much every mineral-related businessperson in Rwanda.
He has personally ordered E. Krall employees killed by African soldiers (though that was thwarted).

Paul Kagame
President of Rwanda. Willing to order ANYONE killed or send troops to assist in another army's killing of ANYONE for profit or retention of his position as President of Rwanda.
He's one of the asshats who has, in the past, set his forces to raping people. (Though that was largely in Rwanda and in the 90's.)

Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame's party.
Though before it was the president's party, it was the militia Kagame was leading.

Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA)
The name of Rwanda's military. (As far as I can tell.)

Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD)
A Congolese political party.
Snow refers to them as militias, too, but Barouksi separates the party from its "armed wing" and refers to its armed wing as the Congolese National Army (ANC).

At first, the RCD just let Albers use the Lueshe mine despite the fact that he no longer had any rights to it. Soon, though, the RCD loaned him armed guards. Heck, some of the time, they were operating the mine instead of him or his companies.

This political party and its armed forces are supported by the Rwandan government, army, and president.

"The chief of the RCD's secret service in Goma, North Kivu"
Refused to kill E. Krall members on Karl Albers's orders and even let them go.
(Had to flee to Uganda and still had trouble escaping Albers's hit men there.)

Gen. Laurent Nkunda
With the RCD. Or at least part of it. Whoever the heck is doing his dirty work, he's got a helluva lot of power in North Kivu thanks to them. Oh, and the RPF (Rwandan government & its army) support him when he needs their help.
Apparently his invasion of Bukavu in 2004 had something to do with helping Rwanda get firmer control of Lueshe mine. (It made Congolese and UN forces head from North to South Kivu to chase him down.)
He's one of the asshats who sets his forces to raping people.

Dr. Johannes Wontka
German. Technical director of SOMIKIVU. Ordered 2 sets of murders:
1) The leader of the labor union that was on strike at Lueshe mine (they hadn't been paid in months)
2) Krall Metal employees who were on their way to check out Lueshe's mine (that they had rights to)
Foiled by the man he gave the order to, who reported his orders to the police.
Arrested and almost put on trial, but released by the Congo's national Minister of Justice when the German Embassy declared that all German businesses would pull out of Congo if this one man were not released.

"A major of the RCD army"
Got the killing orders from Johannes Wontka. Turned him in to the police instead.

Doretta Loschelder
German Ambassador to Congo.
Told Congo that if Germany didn't release Wontka, all German businesses would pull out of Congo.

Johanna König
German ambassador to Rwanda.
A member of Karl Albers's company's board.
Visited Lueshe mine in 2004, told striking workers (who were also locals to the area) that the German government owned the mine now and ordered them to get back to work, without pay, or be punished by the RPA (Rwanda's military).

H.C. Starck
Bought a lot of coltan from Albers / the RPF even when they knew they shouldn't.

Bayer AG
Owns H.C. Starck.

A&M Minerals
A British company who's purchased pyrochlore even when they knew they shouldn't.

Alfred Knight Holdings (AKH)
"Tested" a lot of pyrochlore before re-exporting it, cassiterite, and coltan to Europe.
Barouski asserts they should've known exactly what it took to get that pyrochlore out of the ground and to them, since pyrochlore only comes from Lueshe mine.

Rotterdam, Netherlands
The port lots of niobium/coltan/pyrochlore came into Europe through

They're the "black men pulling the trigger" that Snow refers to--committing a lot of the violence--but Barouski declares that it actually isn't clear exactly what chains of power their commanders are from...or even who they are.
(But as Snow says, let's start going for the ones we can figure out pretty easily.)

The United Nations Panel of Experts
Reported on raw material plunder in the Congo and named names of corporations and people and syndicates acting illegally.

The United Nations
Removed the names named on the Panel of Experts Congo report.

GTZ, Nokia, Intel, Sony, Barrick Gold Corporation, Anglo-American Corporation, Banro, Moto Gold, DeBeers, Royal/Dutch Shell, John Bredenkamp, Billy Rautenbach, George Forrest, Louis Michel, Yoweri Museveni, Salim Saleh, James Kabarebe, Walter Kansteiner, Maurice Tempelsman, Philippe de Moerloose, Dan Gertler, Etienne Viscount Davignon, Simon Village, Ramnik Kotecha, Jean-Pierre Bemba, Romeo Dallaire...
Copmanies and people that Snow suggests we investigate and, depending on what we find, possibly demand "help the victims of sexual violence in the Congo."

Most of the names I've chronicled from Keith Harmon Snow's article relate to the Lueshe mine story. But he warns us not to zoom in and only focus our outrage on those white, Western, rich people ordering black, African, poor people to protect "their land."

He speculates that:
these activities certainly apply to...other corporations--this is how the system works, and who works it. The Lueshe Niobium mining scandal merely provides us an excellent case study where the thief has been caught red-handed...

Let's End Mass Rape & Mutilation In The Congo!

Arlene Fenton, a.k.a. "shecodes," of Black Women Vote, has started an April 13 blogswarm against mass rape and mutilation in the Congo. This is my participation (part 1 of 2).

I have a lofty aim with this post. I want all the blogswarmers to see my opinion, and I hope to change every single blogswarmer's discourse about mass rape and mutilation in the Congo.

You see, all those armies whose soldiers are raping and mutilating women have a goal, and it ain't hurting women.

Rape & mutilation of women are one of the ways those armies' commanders order their soldiers to terrorize populations.

And the reason those armies are trying to terrorize populations is because their commanders are getting paid by Westerners to depopulate (or at least demoralize the populations of) areas with minerals prized by the West.

I believe that we must get this assertion commonly accepted--at least within the blogosphere--if we're going to have any effectiveness reducing mass rape and mutilation in the Eastern Congo.

(Read The Rest of This Post.)

To introduce everyone to this concept, I'd like to highlight parts of Keith Harmon Snow's late 2007 article, "Three Cheers for Eve Ensler?"

It's not a perfect article--Snow made some tenuous connections about certain people's business activities and left it to the reader to continue the research and decide if people were innocent or guilty. But nevertheless, I owe everything about this thesis to his clear points.

Some mainstream media has been drawing attention to sexual violence against women in the East Congo lately. Eve Ensler. Glamour Magazine. Now the HBO documentary The Greatest Silence. But Snow believes that these stories are being allowed to proliferate so that better-researched stories--the ones that point to orders coming from Western, White, rich wrongdoers--won't be audible.

Not that it even takes much conspiring by media bosses, he points out. It doesn't always take conscious selection by editors to exclude stuff like Snow's work and include stuff like Ensler's work. It can happen subconsciously, too, since Ensler's work reminds people of the "hopeless African condition [of violence]" they've associated with Africa all their lives, whereas Snow's work reminds them of...well...nothing familiar.
(By the way, Snow does not name himself as someone excluded. That is my choice of an example. And he names many more voices included in media attention--referring only to Ensler is my shorthand.)

Snow wrote the following:

According to [the mainstream descriptions...African men]...are universally castigated for "rape as sport," no matter that...armed forces backed, armed, and licensed by the West to commit massive sexual atrocities...are paid in kind for services provided to maintain and insure natural resource plunder and the acquisition and control of vast tracts of Congolese territory.

From researching with Google--I'm sorry to say that I've forgotten all my sources, but an interview of Paul Ruseabagina by Snow is one--it sounds like the way things work is similar to theories I've heard about when it comes to Darfur.
(Sadly, I can't find any links, but somewhere a year or two ago, I read that the Janjaweed and others aren't settling the areas they're depopulating, which is highly unusual for a bunch of poor, rag-tag folks who could really use free land. In other words, they're getting orders not to settle the land themselves. Which means someone with power wants the land completely empty. From there, the likely guess is "mining or oil," since that's the kind of use for empty land that's easier to get access to when no one lives there.)

The multinationals don't want normal "daily life" activity going on on land with minerals under it.

So they get militias to "protect" said land.

And they know damned well that the only way that a militia can "protect" land from being lived on and used in normal "local" ways is to terrorize the locals into
  1. leaving or
  2. feeling too scared to demand that they get to use their ancestral land for normal stuff again.
But they give the orders to "protect" it for mining/drilling/etc. anyway.

Of course, they don't bother to pay the militias full wages. Just the commanders.

So terrorization of local populations happens for 2 reasons.
  1. The commanders deliberately order soldiers to do it as part of demoralizing the population or getting them to pack up and leave. (Mentioned by Snow in "Three Cheers.")
  2. The commanders don't necessarily order soldiers to terrorize people, but they do order soldiers to stay in the army or get shot...and to fend for themselves as far as pay for service is concerned out of whatever and whomever they find in the area. (Mentioned by Ruseabagina in the interview with Snow.)

Back to the mainstream media narrative.

Ensler, according to Snow, declared that "'we don't know who' is involved behind or beside" the militias actually committing the rape.

Snow contests that we have a pretty damned good start. He asks:
How does a company of white executives...from Canada gain control of such vast concessions? Through bloodshed and depopulation with black people pulling the triggers.
Snow named a few names, which I will summarize in my next post. If we Westerners would do the investigations where we ought to--into the heads of White/Western-benefitting, rich corporations--we'd know even more names.

Saturday, April 12

BFP Has Hidden Her Web Site

BrownFemiPower / "La Chola" has hidden her web site.

It was the place I sent people. Yes, there are more bloggers still out there...but she was the one who was writing both
1) prolifically
2) in a way that took time to explain concepts for white liberals and for men of color.

I'm just liberal enough to understand her. (I mean, no, she wasn't covering so many basics that even a white conservative would read what she said and come to agree with it.) But I've never quite felt like I "got it" enough to follow any of the other blogging women of color on a regular basis. Well, maybe "Black Women Vote," but she's not quite as prolific on quite as many topics as BFP was.

Now what? I can't split off into reading a gazillion different WOC blogs, much as I'd like to, I have to limit the number of minutes I spend per day on the internet. That's why anyone goes to, say, Kos or Feministing/Pandagon/Feministe. To be up-to-date yet save time for essential real-world tasks. I...I've faced some losses in the real world from the internet, so I just can't go into reading more #s of blogs.

I want to bring BFP back to writing on the internet.

I mean, not so fast that she isn't healed and ready to write.

But dammit, I want to help her heal. I wish I lived in Detroit or something or wherever she lives so I could babysit her kids...bring her extra food...

If my favorite internet writer could find strength to go back to her online writing by something I could contribute in my offline life, I'd want to do it.

But dammit, I don't live near her, and I don't even know who she is or what she could use offline.

I'm so frustrated. I want to do something that feels like it might open her up to coming back.

Tuesday, April 8

BIG MN Social Justice News + Call To Action

Big news.

Minnesota's governor line-item vetoed the Minnesota Legislature's decision to borrow money to build light rail trains along University Avenue (and other streets) in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

He's a Republican, so I'm sure he didn't do it for the reasons behind my call asking him to do so.

(But I do like to think that my call and my flyers helped! After all, he'd previously said he was not going to use his power of line-item veto on this money-borrowing bill.)

Please call or write your legislators (1-800-657-3550) if you live in MN and ask them, whatever their previous votes pertaining to light rail transit on University are, to NOT override this line-item veto.

Please tell them that you would rather see train transit between the two downtowns delayed another decade than see such a terrible social injustice committed to the minority and (currently-)low-income business owners, workers, and residents of University Avenue.

Minnesota CAN recover from canceling the University Avenue train project.
Yes, there's some sunk money and time--about 6 years' worth.
But it CAN, if it really does need trains, recover and start over, this time with the trains going somewhere else.
Somewhere less harmful. (Like the center of the highway currently connecting the two downtowns.)

Please make these calls no matter where in the state you're from. The issue will be decided by legislators all over the state, after all.

Thank you.

Write me if you have any questions.

University Avenue "Central Corridor" Light Rail: My Position

I oppose the "Central Corridor" light rail plan that's going through various levels of government right now.

I am not against urban train transit--in fact, I support all other commuter train routes proposed for building by 2030.

But I am against putting commuter trains on University Avenue in St. Paul. I believe that the small, largely minority-run and lower-middle-class-run businesses depend not only on the high traffic of University (which would stay with light rail, of course), but also on every bus being within a block of a bus stop.

In the best-case scenario, trains would only stop every 4 or 5 blocks. What few buses are left would only come by every 40 or more minutes.

Although upper-middle-class owners of new businesses on University could be profit by simply renting property close to train stops, minority and currently-low-income business owners will be priced out of property close to train stops and will not have enough customers to remain open in between train stops.

Since business ownership is tied for best way to accumulate wealth (another common one being born into a family line that was allowed to buy suburban homes in the 1940's-1970's), I strongly oppose putting trains on this street.

Since University Avenue is already highly developed in terms of the number of successful, worthwhile businesses on it, I believe that arguments claiming that trains would "develop" University Avenue are false. Trains would only shift the "prior wealth" business owners on the street have. They would not develop the street.

I believe that despite how much planning has gone into putting trains on this street, the whole plan should be scrapped.

If legislators and planners want to start over with a different route, like the middle of Interstate 94, that's fine with me.

But I want them to halt light-rail-building along University.

Help finding a post by BFP

Help! I can't find a post by BFP. It's the one where she wrote about women organizing the civil rights movement in homes and beauty shops and such. Might've mentioned Baker, but a Google search isn't turning it up by a search for "baker."

I support Abolut's original advertisement

(Ad appropriate for xenophobic mofos:)

(Original by Absolut:)

Tuesday, April 1

Please Read This Very Powerful Speech On Feminism

Please Read This Very Powerful Speech. [Boldface in the speech mine.]

Its topics:

  1. Why doesn't the majority of well-read feminist media cover gender-related wrongs to women when those wrongs are done in the context of immigration enforcement?

  2. An argument as to just how gender-related these immigration-context wrongs are (that is, a call for all feminist publications & media to cover them intensely)
BrownFemiPower said:
  • In May of 2007, a young woman imprisoned at Hutto prison in Texas was sexually assaulted by a guard. Her son was in the cell while the sexual assault took place.

    The media that reported the rape, the Taylor Daily Press, was unable to find out the woman’s name, where she was from or deported to, or how old her son was. Although she received treatment at the local hospital the night of the rape, she was sent back to prison after she was treated and was deported shortly after. There is no mention of rape crisis counseling in the article.
    (Click here for more information.)

  • Jeremy Christian Brickner admitted that Eugene Kesselman hired him to arrest Kesselman’s estranged wife and her 10-year-old daughter on the basis that an immigration judge had issued an order for their deportation.

    On May 11, 2006, Brickner falsely identified himself as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent, arrested the mother and daughter in San Francisco and detained them overnight in a hotel room in South San Francisco where they spent the night.
    (Click here for more information.)

  • The National Immigrant Justice Center created a video of testimonial of an asylum seeker from Cameroon. In the video, the asylum seeker details her interaction with an immigration official. The immigration official tells her that she is going to jail for four months and that immigration would be taking her one year old child away from her.

    I said nothing can separate me from my baby but death or my husband. Then [the immigration official] said that she’s not even sure that my husband is the father of the child. My husband had to drive back to Wisconsin to get the baby’s birth certificate to prove he is the father of the baby.
    (Click here for more information.)

  • Margo Tamez wrote the following in an open letter calling for outside help after the government sent agents out to tribal lands and demanded that land be turned over to the government so they can build a border wall:
    My mother is under great stress and crisis, unknowing if the Army soldiers and the NSA agents will be forcibly demanding that she sign documents. She reports that they are calling her at all hours, seven days a week. She has firmly told them not to call her anymore, nor to call her at all hours of the night and day, nor to call on the weekends any further. She asked them to meet with her in a public space and to tell their supervisors to come. They refuse to do so. Instead, they continue to harass and intimidate.
    (Click here for more information.)

  • Luaipou Futi traveled with her son Michael and his nurse to the U.s. Michael had severe heart problems and was coming to the U.S. for surgery.

    But immigration officials detained Michael, his mother and nurse at the airport, locking all three of them into a room even though the only one whose passport was in question was Luaipou’s. Her son died shortly after they were finally released.

    A translator for Luaipou said,
    "She was so happy — the minute she got on that plane — because she knew her baby was coming here … They were the first ones out of the plane. If they would let them come immediately, her baby would have still been here. Her son would have still been alive. She’s heartbroken. She can’t eat. She can’t sleep. … She’s traumatized."
    (Click here for more information.)

These stories detail the lives of women in the United States. Intertwined throughout these stories are experiences of gendered violence that feminists have been organizing against and writing about for decades. Rape, spousal abuse, controlling mothers through threatened loss of their children, and assumed sexual promiscuity.

And yet, there is a disturbing silence about these stories by mainstream feminist media organizations—indeed most feminist media, mainstream, radical, alternative or otherwise, simply didn’t cover these stories at all.

Even in an election year where immigration has been consistently brought up by mainstream news sources and ICE raids have been increasingly intensified, “immigration” as a topic remains "off the table" when it comes to feminist media coverage.

And when I approached different feminists about this, I’ve been consistently told “immigration is a race issue, not a feminist one”. Others have told me that feminism can not and should not fix immigratrion. Abortion rights were more pressing. Concentrating on immigration would spread feminism too thin.


But in light of the gendered experiences I have read (and that we’ve seen through the video), the question must be asked, why is there such an engulfing silence around this issue? And even more importantly, what responsibility does U.S. feminism have to those women who exist within it borders but with out the privilege of citizenship or proper documentation?


Let’s start with a little background.

The feminist movement in the U.S. has historically centered citizenship as it’s major tool in achieving gendered liberation. Susan B Anthoney fought until her last breath for the right to vote. And in the 60’s, the women’s movement centered civil rights—or the full legal recognition of constitutional rights for women as the main goals of their movement. The ERA became almost as important part of feminism as the right to vote did.

The logic behind centering citizenship as a tool to gaining liberation was that through full legal recognition as citizens, women would then have the power to claim their full personhood. Specifically, gendered empowerment would come through legal protections and the enforcement of rights granted by the constitution.

The use of citizenship the major tool in attaining gendered liberation was a conscious choice made by both the suffragettes and the ERA women.

But what these choices led to was the creation of an invisible border wall that wrapped itself entirely around the feminist movement occurring in the U.S.

This border wall made it next to impossible for those women existing in the U.S. without the benefit of citizenship papers to negotiate their way to gendered empowerment. How does a woman who is “illegal” demand the right to vote?

How does a woman that the government is actively working to deport demand that her civil rights be upheld under the law? According to the government, legally she has no civil rights, so she is not allowed to make demands.

The wall around feminism today is as impenetrable for non-U.S. citizens as it was back in the day. The bricks that crafted the wall to begin with, the right to vote and civil rights, have been sustained and reinforced by abortion rights and and our responses to domestic violence.

Again, if women in the country without proper documentation must be reported by any public service health care provider (as is required in heavily anti-immigrant states like Arizona), why does she care if Roe Versus Wade is repelled? Or, if the answer to domestic violence is to call the police, but the police are acting in the name of ICE, what are immigrant women to do when they are being beaten or assaulted?

The goals of feminism created a wall around feminism because these goals often seem unchanging, solid, and fixed. And maybe they are and were.


But I don’t necessarily believe it is feminist media’s job to change the goals of any feminist movement. I firmly feel that our goal as feminist media makers is to save the world and use a feminist analysis to do so.

And in today’s world, a post 9-11, terrorist fearing, hyper militarized world, investigating borders is an incredibly vital step to take towards saving the world. Borders and the protection of those borders is what is driving much if not most of the violence against all women today, citizen and non-citizen alike.

Now, I bet you would like to explain that statement, right? How did I connect violence against women to a post 9-11 militarized world?
Well, I’m not going to tell you. At least, not yet!
What I’m going to say is that the massive wall we have around feminism prevents us from seeing the answer. And our jobs as feminist media makers is to investigate the subjects that are actively being hidden by those in power. To uncover the truth. Our loyalty is not to a movement or an organization, but to the story. To the words that liberate the story from the bodies of people most in need of feminism.

When thinking about what to say today with my fellow panelists, we agreed it was important to leave people with ideas about what can be done.

Navigating the borders of feminism will require that we expand our understanding of them. It will also require that we recognize that we are entering into a battle that began long ago without us.

Framing is a vitally important component of the anti-immigrant movement’s agenda. They recognize that half of the battle is fought through the words that that media uses to frame the people and actions they are so against. Rightist media centerpieces...take their cue from the rightist grassroots organizations and call people in the U.S. without documentation words like “Illegal criminals” and “Illegal Aliens.” They’ve pressured mainstream news media into a “compromise” with the term “Illegal immigrant.”

What intervention can feminist media makers make into these coordinated efforts to control the words that liberate?
What does a gendered analysis bring to “framing” in immigration?

    Consider the following:
  • Are women in the country without proper documentation “illegal criminals”? Or are they women in the country without proper documentation?

  • Are the detention centers that women in the country without proper documentation held at “detention centers” or are they “prisons”?

  • Is the sex that is being demanded of women in return for immigration papers “bartering” or is it “rape”?

  • Is the intimidation and harassment by the government of native women who do not acquiesce to land seizures “business as usual” or the continued colonization of native lands through gendered violence and intimidation?
As feminist media makers, how we choose to answer these questions through our media making will have a direct impact on the national and international discourse on immigration. It will also contribute to the dismantling of nationalitic borders around U.S feminism.

But even more importantly, it will help to create a world in which no gendered body is marked “criminal,” where no woman has to climb a wall or apply for papers before she is allowed access to the tools that will liberate her.

This world is not only necessary, it is our only choice.

My fellow media makers, lets tear down these walls and let’s do it together.

Si se puede!

Getting all upset over the rest of the world

Sometimes I feel "fault" for ills in the world, too.

Most people I know call it ridiculous.

I think that my life is happy enough otherwise that I can handle the extra mourning. And I do think that it helps keep me active. (Though I'm far too "ADD" about it to stick to one cause every single weekday like Rev. Kinman.)

Growing Things For Sale April 26

A month ago I said we had 4 kinds of produce left.

Now we're down to 1 and a half. The sprouts are still available. But the greenhouse lettuce is gone, and MN potatoes are so green the small stores finally stopped carrying them. (Though a huge grocery store still had WI russet potatoes in bags. I didn't get to ask where the individual russet potatoes were from.) I'm not seeing WI mushrooms too often--more often, they're from PA.

We will not have any more local produce for almost 4 weeks (the last week of April). Can you see why I'm heartbroken that the rest of the Dark Days Challengers are all getting their new local foods and ending the blogging challenge?

The darkest of our local-food dark days have just begun!

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