Excellent news.

I just heard Florida governor Rick Scott say – TWICE in a brief live interview – that the single most important thing the state needs right now is everyone’s thoughts and prayers.

excellent-news-the-first-truckload-of-your-thoughts-and-prayers-has-just-arrived

Right now I am sick with worry about my friends in Florida, including one in the Panama City area, and my oldest, dearest friend sheltering in the home of a couple he knows in Pinellas County, 20 miles inland from his house on the Gulf Coast. Both of my friends are nonbelievers. I’m sure they take great comfort in knowing the state government has its priorities straight.

I can’t even.

Medical misogyny.

[CONTENT NOTE: misogyny, torture, extreme hostility to pregnant people.]

Rewire has a new piece by Amy Littlefield that details the unconscionable withholding of medical care from patients in Catholic hospitals.

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Disciplining Luther.

resort1Paradise.
While it lasted…

Sometimes I can’t even believe my life. While everyone else was very busy fighting Nazis (?!#%*&@?!), I was busy vacationing luxuriously in the Caribbean, blessedly unaware of the stateside shitshow. And by “in the Caribbean” I mean literally in the Caribbean, alternately swimming, snorkeling and floating effortlessly in impossibly warm and clear waters for hours on end. We are enthusiastic snorkelers, my lover and I, and we had finally fulfilled a long-ago promise and purchased our own fins and masks for the trip. (Did you know you can get swim goggles with corrective lenses? TRUE FACT.)

A natural coral jetty divided the resort’s two sandy coves, and there were spectacular reefs very close to shore. It felt like a dream, really, and everything was going so wonderfully…

Until that little fucker Luther showed up.

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Petition: Tell ABC and Tom Llamas to apologize.

[CONTENT NOTE: Anti-black media reporting, anti-black violence.]

via Color of Change (email):

Dear Iris,

He called the police on them for trying to get food.

ABC News anchor, Tom Llamas, in Houston to report on Hurricane Harvey, spotted Texans who had recently lost everything entering a grocery store. Instead of reporting on the desperate circumstances with compassion, he actually diverted first responder resources that could be used to save stranded families–and called the police.1

That’s right. Houstonians desperately searching for uncontaminated food and water in order to survive were not only shamed and blasted on social media, but confronted with police as they fought for their lives.

And when we asked Tom Llamas to apologize for his biased and possibly dangerous treatment of Hurricane Harvey victims; instead of owning up to it, he blocked us on Twitter.

Tell ABC News and Tom Llamas to issue an apology now!

Tom Llamas didn’t only wrongfully criminalize disaster victims– he put them in harm’s way. Local authorities recently announced that anyone found “looting” will be faced with mandatory jail time.2 And the District Attorney has escalated burglary charges all the way up to life imprisonment–of course this disproportionately affects poor and Black people who may not have had the money to purchase goods in advance, and will be on the hunt for clean water and food.3

In times of emergency and natural disaster, television news is often the only way that bystanders can ascertain what’s happening. News media has the sacred duty of framing tragedies in an honest, unbiased, and compassionate manner. Unfortunately, we saw this same dishonest and biased reporting during Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of Black families were shamed and criminalized as “looters” while trying to feed their families. Meanwhile, white families were simply characterized as searching for food. And and we know that media representations can have a profoundly negative impact on the ways that people in positions of power and privilege interact with Black people. Research has shown that negative media portrayals can engender antagonism toward people of color and lead to higher tolerance for race-based societal disparities.

Tell ABC News, Tom Llamas to apologize now!

The victims of Hurricane Harvey need compassionate and unbiased reporting in the wake of this horrific natural disaster–not criminalization and unnecessary police intervention. It’s time for Tom Llamas and ABC to stop running and apologize.

Sign the petition.

Until justice is real,

— Brandi, Arisha, Rashad, Anika, Jade, Evan, Corina, the rest of the Color Of Change team

References:

  1. “ABC News reporter covering Hurricane Harvey gets slammed online after reporting alleged looters to police.” Business Insider, 28 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8690?t=9&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
  2. “In Houston, Authorities Are Toughening Penalties As Warning To Would-Be Looters.” NPR, August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8691?t=11&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
  3. “Race and class are the biggest issues around Hurricane Harvey.” The Root, 31 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8692?t=13&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J

Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

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If you want to know why this is so urgent and important, here’s why [h/t Alyssa Gonzalez]:

Armed Fascists Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Looters

Armed right-wing paramilitary groups are patrolling parts of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey under the guise of helping hurricane victims.

A group of “Proud Boys” — a men’s rights group with fascist leanings — photographed themselves wading through flooded neighborhoods with assault weapons and flashing a hand signal associated with extremist militia groups. They refer to themselves as an “anti looting patrol.”

Of course they do. And that headline should read: Armed White Men Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Black People To Shoot. See, starving white people are not looters by definition. They’re simply “finding food.” Starving black people? Well, not so much.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the power of YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA.

Sign the petition.

WTF, people.

I go off the grid for a little R&R, and I return to this? White supremacist terrorism and imminent nuclear war? I mean, I can barely even walk on land yet without my snorkel flippers attached to my feet and my butt cheeks are still painfully sunburned (don’t ask). JFC.

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Don’t ever quit, Mooch.

scaramucci2

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
(image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

So Ryan Lizza, a Big Willie reporter at The New Yorker, received a phone call last Wednesday night from our fancy new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Naturally Lizza wrote all about it, and it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since…since…well, since Friday’s news feed.

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News from the Texas Republic of Gilead.

Via AP:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lawmakers in Texas largely failed to take any significant action to address the state’s skyrocketing rate of pregnancy-related deaths just months after researchers found it to be the highest in not only the U.S., but the developed world.

Conservatives are pro-life, everyone. FYI.

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BREAKING: I might be terrible.

Readers, I am more than a little disturbed at myself. You see, I have an affinity (<-hi Caine!) for some very dark humor, by which I mean the kind I feel terrible about for finding funny, because it is either rooted in harmful stereotypes, or taboo subjects, or punching down instead of up, that sort of thing. And yet! I still find myself laughing nonetheless.

This laughter, mind you, is inevitably followed by overwhelming feelings of shame, embarrassment and self-admonishment. That is NOT funny, Iris! I will exhort internally. Get a hold of yourself, woman! You should NOT be laughing at this!

Alas, as anyone who has ever commanded themselves to STOP THAT LAUGHING RIGHT NOW! can attest, this exercise is utterly, fatally doomed.

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OMG Karma is real!

So maybe it doesn’t work all that well among humans, but have scientists reeeeeally studied whether interspecies karma is in play when it comes to elephants? And possibly crocodiles? NO I DON’T THINK SO.

A data point:

South African Hunter Crushed to Death By Elephant

A South African big game hunter died after being crushed by an elephant cow that had been shot on a game reserve in Zimbabwe at the weekend.

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PETITION: Urge DHS not to appoint David Clarke.

[CONTENT NOTE: state violence, brutality and death]

Apropos my post earlier today about state violence-supporting, authoritarian fascist douchebro David Clarke, here comes a timely petition (via Presente.org):

Dear Iris:

On Wednesday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke told right wing radio he will resign to take a job in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under Donald Trump.1

Will you sign the petition and tell DHS Secretary John Kelly to not hire Sheriff Clarke?

Clarke’s resignation is great news for Milwaukee County, but if he really is being appointed to DHS, that’s terrible news for the country. That’s why we’re joining forces with our partners at Voces de la Frontera to stop Sheriff Clark and hold the DHS accountable.

Amazingly, DHS has not confirmed that they actually offered Clarke the job he claims. There’s still time to sign the petition urging DHS Secretary John Kelly to not appoint Sheriff Clarke to any position.

Click here to sign! Don’t forget to share it on social media!

Clarke is incompetent and corrupt. He has abused his power by attacking political opponents. He has enriched himself by acting as a media mouthpiece for white supremacists. He is unfit for any office and should face criminal charges for the deaths and human rights abuses at the Milwaukee County Jail.2

If Clarke is appointed to this position, his job would be to bully other local law enforcement nationwide into enrolling in the 287g program to deputize officers as Immigration agents, as he has tried to do in Milwaukee.3 That is unacceptable!

Click here to sign!

Thank you for all you do and ¡adelante!

– Matt, Favianna, Erick, Reetu, Oscar, Erica and the Presente.org team.

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.

Sources:
1.“Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he’s taking job in Department of Homeland Security.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. May 17, 2017.
2.“4 People, Including A Baby, Have Died In A Jail Run By Potential Trump Nominee Sheriff David Clarke.”Huffington Post. November 29, 2016.
3.Bice: Letter details Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s plan for immigration enforcement.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. March 16, 2017.

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