Connect. Organize. Build a Movement. Bend the Arc of History Towards Justice.
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Originally Posted on January 30, 2019.  All photographs provided by: The Larson Lens, LLC

Prelude:

For much of December and January, Huntington Woods Library's "Drag Queen Storytime" was under attack by forces of bigotry within, and without, the local community. It began with City Commissioner Allison Iversen, whose emails about the event included the following "I have been trying to get this stopped since it started. Please do get more people involved. I am one voice and we need many people to call this out for what it is." That leak prompted a City Commission meeting where residents of Huntington Woods showed overwhelming support for the program.

"The results that have been achieved by Drag QUEEN Storytime is statistical truth to the desire of Huntington Woods and surrounding cities, which was echoed by community member after community member, at last month's City Commission meeting. There is a waiting list for the event, and ONE letter of opposition that was the only letter sent to the Mayor's office. The community has spoken, HATE chooses NOT to hear them,” stated Jey'nce Poindexter, Founder of Trans Sistas of Color Project - Detroit and Board Member of Women's March, MI, who was in attendance at the meeting. Allison Iversen would resign early on December 18th, with her bid to end Storytime failing. 

The results have been readily apparent. Joyce Krom, the librarian organizing Storytime, has been assembling wildly successful events, with 100 attendees at her first event and a perpetual waiting list since. "We strive to support all children in our community, one of our top priorities is to be welcoming and inclusive, and always work toward creating a more equitable society," Krom told MDPAN, when describing the purpose behind Drag Queen Storytime. Miss Raven Divine Cassadine, a regular host of Storytime, was leading the reading on January 26th. "I think that it’s very important that we teach the importance of reading to the children and acceptance for everyone regardless of race, sex or gender," expounded Miss Raven, on why she stays involved.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=121&dpx=1&t=1589040600You said it, doc. 

Despite all these triumphs, Poindexter was astute to point out that hate wasn't listening. In her emails, Iversen put out a call for greater involvement in shutting down the event. Tennessee-based hate group Warriors for Christ answered that call. Their founder, Rich Penkoski, placed his ignorance on public display when describing his reasons for protesting the event "Parents that bring their kids to this, you can say what you want, but a transgender 4-year-old is like a vegan cat. We know who's making the lifestyle choices for that cat and that child. Children should be left alone." This group has attempted frivolous lawsuits in Louisiana, where they booked space in the library, then proceeded to intimidate participants (some as young as 3) and filmed the Story Hour without permission. Upon encountering consequences for this behavior, they filed suit claiming their First Amendment rights were infringed upon. 

MDPAN was one of the organizations asked to come out and support the event, and proceeded to call the banners of the Motor City Sisters, GNA, TSOCP, TGDetroit, Planned Parenthood, American Atheists, and Ferndale Pride. With local organizing provided by Sara Smith, the inaugural Queensguard was formed. It's mission: protect children, their families and the Queens from hate speech and other attacks, allowing Drag Queen Storytime to continue unhindered. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=122&dpx=1&t=1589040640Queensguard logo created by MDPAN Art Director Kelly Clawson. 

January 26th, 1:30 PM, pre-event defense.

The forces of hate had an early start to the day. A group of 8 well-dressed bourgeoisie formed the "Michigan Mass Resistance", an anti-LGBTQIA group who also threatened to protest the event. They stood near the entrance, inviting passersby to pray the rosary for an imagined corruption of children. They were being interviewed by the Church Militant, a Ferndale-based group that abandoned all the class consciousness of the Game of Thrones group they copied, but kept the bigotry. South of them, along the sidewalk, were a pack of six men in hoodies, several of which read "Proud Boys" along the chest, and another in a red "Make America Great Again" sweatshirt. Warriors for Christ, numbering 6, were the last to arrive, but were very proud of their custom jumpsuits. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=124&dpx=1&t=1589040730Somebody paid money for those 

On the other side of the wall, Queensguard had amassed over 100 supporters with almost an hour left until the 3 PM event start time. An experienced and capable bunch, they immediately took the front line, bedecked and bedazzled in rainbows, facepaint, and a gigantic array of custom signs, plus a bunch more donated by Planned Parenthood and American Atheists. The lime-capped bigot opened proceedings declaring shame and eternal hellfire on the supporters for helping corrupt the minds of children. Queensguard responded to that verbal assault with a thundering chorus of "Love Not Hate" and "Hate Go Home".

As more supporters rolled in between 2 and 3 PM, eventually exceeding 200, Warriors for Christ decided to target specific marginalized groups during their raving. "Everyone wants to be gay, but nobody wants the AIDs," was one such example, noted by a local member of the gay community. Others reported Islamaphobic comments, and a bizarre obsession with adult diapers. As volunteers with ample cellphone batteries teamed with supporters carrying a portable speaker, the screech of bigotry was deadened by the speaker and the crowd erupting into Barney's "I Love You".

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=125&dpx=1&t=1589040790At the very least, there's love on the left. Rich Penkoski will be furthest right. 

2:45 PM - Showtime

Parents and their kids arrived for Storytime. One participant in the Queensguard had a basket full of flowers with ribbon and a positive, affirming message attached for each child attending. MDPAN's Lead Marshall, wearing a rainbow cape, topped with a pink wig, brought popular children's books to pass out to each young person who could make it for Storytime. When it came time to enter the library, all 200+ of the Queensguard did their best Red Sea impression, parting to provide safe passage and booming cheers for standing up to hate.

One parent would later remark "Uh oh, I hope my kid's not expecting a present and cheering every time we go to one of these."

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=126&dpx=1&t=1589040987

The Proud Boys made a considerable effort to distance themselves from Warriors for Christ, milling around on the sidewalk South of the parking lot. Unfortunately, the majority of the parents were entering from that direction. Red Orchestra (RO) provided volunteers for the demonstration to ward off attacks, verbal or otherwise, from the hate groups present. It should be noted the Proud Boys were briefly added to the FBI's terror watchlist, and have strong ties to the recently arrested Roger Stone. RO took the point on the South end of the parking lot to ensure no parents would be accosted, with significant success.

Meanwhile, at the wall, the Southernmost member of the Queensguard embarked on a special mission. Matthew Kinne is an attorney that's traveled nationwide trying to stop WfC's campaign of hate against any number of genders greater than two. He brought a large thermos full of hot water, and an entire case of hot chocolate powder with balloons tied to it. Kinne attempted to have a frank, calm dialogue and perhaps a declaration of piece. Instead, the Warriors for Christ speaker rejected the gift, and proceeded to point at trans members of Queensguard and deliberately misgender them, including comments like "God will make a man out of you!" (EDIT: 2/21/19) Kinne's mission was successful, with the Southern Poverty Law Center granting the "anti-LGBT hate group" designation to Warriors for Christ. Following the news, WfC Patriarch Rich Penkoski posted a video saltier than Lot's wife on their decision to abandon their base in West Virginia. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=127&dpx=1&t=1589041096What heathen would turn down hot cocoa on a day like this? 

While everyone was dressed in their Pride parade best, it was the Motor City Sisters taking everyone's breath away. With Warriors for Christ targeting individuals among the Queensguard with hate speech, Sister Misty Meanor sprung into action. Clothed as the Virgin Mary, or at least the second part, she bravely strode to the front of the line, directly in front of the bigots. From there, she turned her back to hate and let her habit fly, supported by a pair of nearby Queensguard. Golden and blue light from the fabric completely covered the megaphone operator in Warriors for Christ from view, muffling his speech in the process.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=128&dpx=1&t=1589041213Not pictured: A very frustrated bigot.

Despite WfC's leader, Rich Penkoski, saying children should be left alone in his attacks on Drag Queen Storytime, the families participating were the next major targets of the group. A barrage of vitriol eschewed from their megaphone, attempting to tell children as young as 3 that their parents were going to make them go to hell. 

Fortunately, the Queensguard was more than prepared to counter. A few clicks and swipes on a cell phone had "Baby Shark" blaring through a portable speaker, with other activists holding the mic from their megaphones up to the speaker, creating a surround sound effect focused directly on the religious zealot screaming at 4-year-olds. Swaying like the waves of the ocean, all 200+ of the Queensguard lifted their voices to the heavens, belting out every "doo doo dodo do do" along the way. Paralyzed with involuntary laughter, WfC's mouthpiece did the one thing no one expected: he stopped talking. 

 At this time, the Proud Boys skulked off, and members of RO took point at the neighborhood intersections to ensure their preferred tactic of jumping lone activists post-event would fail.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=129&dpx=1&t=1589041270Unrelated to the previous paragraphs, but these are some excellent signs 

3:30 PM - Exit, stage left.

RO provided escort detail for families or members of Queensguard walking to their cars alone or in a small group. Thanks to the (baby) shark attack, the primary threat of WfC was effectively diminished. All families were able to return to their cars safely. 

It was at this point it became apparent how overwhelming the support for Drag Queen Storytime was in the Huntington Woods community. Mayor Paul stood in the supporters camp, joined by recently elected City Commissioner Michelle Elder, who replaced Allison Iversen. The literature didn't stop with just the kids, either, as many of the organizations present educational pamphlets to distribute. Joyce Krom joined the exit procession for a bit, making sure to meet one of the illustrious Motor City Sisters:

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=130&dpx=1&t=1589041307

After an impromptu dance party to finish the successful defense, the principal organizers started returning to their vehicles. However, there was a bit of a standoff as everyone departed. "We stayed with the last protester on site because they were parked in front of the WfC people and didn't want to be seen getting in their car by them," reports Gloom, a member of RO and JBGC. Both sides stared each other down for a few minutes, then back-up arrived from other organizers who just finished packing up. The WfC pick-up sped off at the sight of greater numbers and all returned safely.

MDPAN is please to report zero arrest and zero instances of violence, and would like to thank Red Orchestra and all experienced protesters who helped keep it that way.

More information about the Proud Boys can be found here.

#pride #PlannedParenthood #proudboys #warriorsforchrist

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CW: Literal Nazis and what comes with it.
Originally Posted on June 10, 2019
Update 6/12/19: Features account and video footage of an NSM member assaulting a woman in front of multiple DPD officers.

An oral history of Antifascist action in Detroit, collected and synthesized from accounts with on-site participants. 

Preparations, Confrontations, and Mutual Aid

On April 16th Burt Colucci, alleged "Commander" of the National Socialist Movement [NSM], levied a threat against Motor City Pride, stating they would be holding an armed demonstration to intimidate and harm Detroit’s LGBTQIA community. Word of the threat spread among leftist circles, and LGBTQIA rights organizers were rapidly alerted. When Motor City Pride was informed, they asked concerned residents to leave it to the Detroit Police Department.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=131&dpx=1&t=1589042113The initial threat, from his Facebook profile. 

Food Not Class (FNC), which routinely serves a free buffet and clothing/toiletries share for vulnerable community members twice a week, called in as many volunteers as they could for a special serving on the first day of Motor City Pride. They set up along an apropos wall of stone on Jefferson and Bates, having just produced a “History of Pride” zine, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. Their spread was complete with 11 cases of bottled water, lasagna, vegan chili, stuffed peppers, pizza and a veritable mountain of cornbread, delighting the houseless community and passersby alike, wetting whistles and sating appetites. Mitten Medics were on hand to make sure anyone who got hurt could get patched up, and keep folks hydrated on an 80 degree day.

Red Orchestra (RO) and the youth cadre of Communist Workers League (CWL) of Detroit provided the direct action and community defense portions of the proceedings, with Antifascists garbed in tie-dye and rainbow bandanas, alternately dubbed the “Rainbow Warriors” or “Rainbow Bloc” by onlookers and social media accounts.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=132&dpx=1&t=1589042150The FNC serve, and they still fed State Fair the same day. 

While Burt Colucci’s threat was copied onto Stormfront and NSM’s homepage, they were no-shows for the proposed 1 PM start time for their acts of hatred, effectively removing the most common defense of fascism: getting the trains to run on time.

Instead of the literal Nazis, 1 PM’s entertainment came in the form of a Christian bigot trundling down Jefferson, condemning LGBTQIA individuals to hell through his microphone at each step. Once he arrived within earshot of the FNC table, Antifascists sprang into action, forcing him away from MC Pride with an ersatz blockade on the sidewalk, while others harangued him through megaphones along the stone wall. His cries of homosexuality being a mortal sin were drowned out by commands to take his bigotry elsewhere, and multiple suggestions for therapy interspersed with everyone's favorite expletives.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=133&dpx=1&t=1589042196Like many bigoted Christians, this one was also not blessed with reading comprehension. 

Finding himself in front of the Renaissance Center, the hateful zealot attempted to give antifascists the slip, heading back down the sidewalk and got as far as the parking garage elevator before running into another ersatz blockade. This time, his choices were a packed sidewalk and the oncoming traffic of Jefferson, he chose the latter and rabbited to the median where Woodward and Jefferson intersect. From there, his declaration that transgender people were a crime against god was met with protesters blasting Pride anthems, such as "Born this Way" by Lady Gaga and "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross, through a portable speaker. He found himself at a loss for words as the protesters started grinding and twerking in front of him. Emboldened future MC Pride attendees took care of the rest, verbally dissolving his life's philosophy on their way to the entrance line, and he sheepishly skittered away.

Meanwhile, Food Not Class' serving was going so well, they were in danger of running out of everything but cornbread by 3 PM. Two houseless folks who enjoyed the spread elected to stick around and serenade foot traffic with punk rock and classic pop standards on their ukelele, while hanging out with FNC volunteers. Thanks to the generosity of those who enjoyed the serving earlier, they had enough for seven large pizzas and six cases of water.

 Not ten minutes after the pizza order was placed, a Swastika flag was spotted in front of Cobo Hall, headed directly for Hart Plaza.


The Smallest Blitzkrieg

Walking on the North side of Jefferson, in front of the Scientology building, a lone antifascist tried to halt their march. She was shoved down by an NSM shield in full view of DPD, who neither arrested, nor charged the Nazi with assault. (video)

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=134&dpx=1&t=1589042228Photo source: Herman Davis 

A second antifascist later bolted to the scene once they crossed the street, heading towards the end of the Pride entry line. They ran into a wall of no less than thirty DPD officers, some in riot gear, acting as a phalanx for ten members of NSM. The Nazis were sporting the clearance aisle of their local Army-Navy surplus, only one had a replica SS uniform. Amid the black tacticool, one woman with a Macklemore haircut stuck out in a Mormonesque khakis and white polo ensemble. The antifascist attempted to darted around and tail the group before it could reach the entry line. DPD made grabs for the protester, amid the Nazis shouting "White Power" and "Fuck You F******" to the Metro-Detroit LGBTQIA community. The police were unsuccessful, as the first Rainbow Warrior darted across the street, flipping the guardians of National Socialism the bird. 

Reinforcements arrived as the Rainbow Warriors confronted the NSM and DPD head-on (video). They rallied some of the entry line of Motor City Pride in a chant of "Nazis Fuck Off" to counter the hate speech, and were aided by three members of the houseless community, who joined the front line in trying to stop the march. It was to no avail, shoved aside by DPD riot shields, the bloc took to tailing the demonstration and were joined by a furious crowd confronting a symbol of their genocide. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=135&dpx=1&t=1589042256Aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper? 

A crowd growing behind them, the Nazis quickened their pace as they crossed in front of Hart Plaza, a raucous uproar of "No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA" behind them, and Pride attendees banging on the fences. Near the MC Pride Bicycle Valet, an Arab Rainbow Warrior was called "Sand N*****" and told "go back to your country" by a white officer. A couple brave and agile antifascists were able to briefly slip by the police bubble to get clear photos. NSM was losing ground on the Jefferson sidewalk as it crossed Bates.

DPD elected to close down Eastbound Jefferson and escort Nazis to the median and up Randolph St. The sidewalk was taken up by a fuming unified bloc of Antifascists and Pride goers shouting "Class traitor!" and a thunderous chorus of "Who do you serve, who do you protect?"

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=136&dpx=1&t=1589042287Nice pins. 

The antifascist who was assaulted at the beginning of the march was accosted by DPD. The officer grabbed her hard enough to leave bruises, and attempted to detain her because she was carrying two water bottles. The officer was quickly surrounded by protesters and let her go.

The Rainbow Bloc grew in number and overwhelmed the Southeast corner of Jefferson and Randolph and began shouting "Queer Power!" in response to NSM taunting with "White Power!" while scurrying away under heavy police guard. Then "Trans Power!" was added, later "Black Power!" and "People Power!" echoed off the walls of the Millinder Center as the Nazis retreated to Larned and Randolph.

There they lingered as the chants died. A small detachment of the bloc circled around to Woodward and Larned, rallying Pride goers at street crossings along the way to confront them from the West. Marching in, the bloc used a megaphone to undress the NSM from their odious viewpoints, to the likely origins of their lack of self-esteem. DPD reinforced the Nazis by pushing the Antifascists back and drawing a crowd of onlookers from a nearby parking garage. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=137&dpx=1&t=1589042321New ReichGuard Extreme, by Just For Manchildren. 

At one point, possibly Bert Colucci, it was difficult to tell the men apart with twelve inches of hair between them, tore up and peed on an Israeli flag. Perhaps he was mock peeing, but no arrest attempt was made. The bloc laughed, responding "We're leftists, we don't like Israel 'cause they act like you!"

Each attempt for the National Socialist Mormon to speak through her megaphone was shouted down, sometimes with clever jabs, a Queer Power reprisal or simply "Shut up, just shut the fuck up". Eventually, this drew more attention from Pride goers and Detroit visitors alike, and the "Nazis Are Scared" chant caught on. Curiously, they stopped attempting to spew hate at Randolph and Larned, and walked West. Masked members of the bloc eschewed them out with a spirited but off key "Na Na Hey Hey" by Steam and Ray Charles' "Hit the Road, Jack". Sadly, a voluminous DPD presence allowed "White Power" to echo through the Millinder Center tunnel as they skulked away. 

The Rainbow Warriors regrouped and cut around to Larned and Beaubien via Jefferson, and were greeted with cheers from early bar goers, chasing the NSM into a parking lot on Larned and St. Antoine. Another section of the bloc marched up to the other entrance of the parking lot and was halted by a suffocating array of DPD officers and cruisers. The Warriors remained undaunted, bringing a reprise of "Nazis Are Scared" as the police escorted the National Socialist Movement away in a rented catering van.

From the start of the MC Pride line to the parking lot retreat, the National Socialist Movement only managed to disrupt Pride proper for 10 minutes and Detroit proper for 20, 5 spent cowering in a van. 

Meanwhile, the Mitten Medics held it down at the Food Not Class table, but their consumable supplies dwindled to cornbread and coffee. Fortunately, they had plenty of literature from FNC and Communist Workers League, plus radical stickers.

Post-Action Mutual Aid

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=138&dpx=1&t=1589042365

After taking a half hour to regroup, FNC realized they completely forgot about the pizza. The resupply run lasted 45 minutes and everyone had to make due apologizing for only having coffee, clothes, cornbread and literature. Once the 8 large pizzas arrived, it was passed out to hungry Pride attendees in roughly 5 minutes. Many people lingered, dancing to 105.9 on the portable speaker, and/or talking radical theory. 

The Mitten Medics patched up a young Pride-goer who suffered a leg injury, keeping her comfortable and well hydrated with bandage wraps and assistance on an impromptu medical evacuation. Red Orchestra and Communist Workers League squads walked the streets around Pride, checking to ensure no white supremacists lingered. Along the way, they encountered a man catcalling women waiting in line from his car. Blocking his view, he stopped yelling and got out of his car, frustrated. Unpleasant words were exchanged at low volume, but it was made clear his behavior was out of line and it was also the least logical place to try anyway. He stormed off, but bothered Pride no further.

FNC was confronted by an undercover officer, upset about the organization's rule of refusing service to law enforcement and fascists. He took a piece of anti-police literature and interrogated the organization over its permit status for the stone wall on Jefferson and Bates. Eventually, he left, thoroughly unsatisfied with his lack of service.

The sun went down, and Pride came to a close Nazi-free. All in a day's work for Antifa.

    #communitydefense #directaction 

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Rep. Tlaib speaks our mind on after we have seen more and making for  in ways that they would never talk about suspects.  Indeed, they would not likely be taken .  

#racialjustice #rashidatlaib #racism

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Deb Haaland of the Laguna Pueblo was confirmed as the firstr as Secretary of the Interior.

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The rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is appalling and we all must be in action whether through , , and/or for civil protections.  

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Let the Biden administration know that they have to keep fighting for $15 Minimum Wage Increase.

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"The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth."

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an .  

and from ever holding office again. 

If we don't, he could do it again or the next would-be certainly will.

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The Biden-Harris administration is considering forgiving student debt with executive action. Reports say they are considering $10k while Senators Schumer and Warren are encouraging them to go to $50k.

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Originally Posted on March 20, 2019

In this society, women are expected to live up to a man’s standards of what a “real” woman is. As time goes on many women are defying these sexist standards. You would think that in 2019 people wouldn’t be so bothered by multifaceted women, but this is still an issue. Insecure and sexist men do not like to see women who are confident in themselves. They get their self esteem from being able to control the way women live. It’s the same way for women with internalized misogyny. They have been conditioned to think that their lives revolve around men. It bothers them to see that there are women who refuse to live that way.

I noticed that the more popular Megan Thee Stallion gets the more hate she receives from men especially. They seem to be intimidated by her being her. Megan is educated, attractive, talented, and sexually liberated. Anyone who has been following her knows that she has an unshakable confidence. Sexist men see women as one-dimensional beings. Our lives revolve around what role we play in theirs. We’re either the “hoe” or the “good girl”. These men would be okay slut shaming her as an Instagram model or video vixen. They see those women as insecure and seeking validation from men. They would be okay if she was an MC Lyte or Rhapsody, a female rapper who doesn’t focus much on her sexuality with a tomboyish look. Both talented female rappers who do not present themselves as sexual beings, so their sexuality doesn’t intimidate men. Or maybe the Michelle Obama type, an educated woman who presents herself in a “classy” light. But men cannot fit Megan Thee Stallion into any one-dimensional, sexist bubble and that bothers them. She is also unbothered by society’s standards of what a woman should be. They can’t control how this woman lives so they spread hate towards her.

This applies to other sexually liberated female rappers as well. For example, Cardi B and City Girls. Their lyrics piss off misogynistic men and women with internalized misogyny. They are bothered by women who focus on their sexuality. But they aren’t bothered by a society that focuses on a woman’s sexuality. Male rappers have used the sexuality of women for decades. Rapping about women’s bodies and what they would do to them sexually. Video vixens in every single music video. But there’s an issue when a woman decides to talk about her own sexuality especially in the unapologetically raunchy way the City Girls and Cardi B do. Women are not allowed to be sexual on their own terms. Their lyrics appeal to the sexuality of women, not men. They rap about manipulating men for money the same way men brag about manipulating women for sex. Yet they are the ones being called bad role models and not the hundreds of misogynistic rappers.

I feel that this is the same reason men and women with internalized misogyny are bothered by Instagram models. These women can capitalize solely on their sexuality and misogynists are threatened by this. For centuries men have used our sexuality for their benefit. Society conditions us to believe that a woman’s sexuality is only for the enjoyment of men. Instagram models capitalize off male thirst which is easy to attract, and men know this. They love to ask these girls what they offer besides their looks as if men don’t base a woman’s worth on their attraction to her. They spend their time thirsting over their Instagram pictures while complaining about them. Instagram models are sexy and aren’t afraid to show off their bodies. They don’t respond to the sexist threats of, “You’ll never find a husband acting like that.” Insecure men can’t shame these women into living by their standards. Women with internalized misogyny are bothered by them because they won’t confirm to the standards of men the same way they do. These misogynistic women live their lives based on impressing men and are angered to see Instagram models impress them in such a “demeaning” way.

It’s 2019, not the 1800's. Ladies if you want to express your sexuality, then do it. If you want to be modest, then be that. Do not base how you live your lives on what men want. Our lives are about us and no one else. If a man doesn’t like the way you are then he is not the one for you. And that’s okay. Our lives do not revolve around impressing men. If they can do what they want, then so can we.

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Originally Posted on December 5, 2018

Misogyny is so ingrained in our minds, that we think any challenge to it is detrimental to our way of life. That is the complete opposite. Feminism isn’t destroying our community. Our upholding of patriarchy is. Racism and misogyny is destroying our community. Mass incarceration is destroying our community. Lack of funding in our neighborhood is destroying our community. Assault and abuse is destroying our community.

This idea that the black community should only focus on racism, not misogyny or homophobia, is not helping us move forward. If we want to liberate the black community, then we have to listen to everyone’s grievances. All of our issues matter, not just straight cis black men. The gaslighting and silencing of Black women has to stop. Our experiences with Misogynoir are valid. We’re not trying to “tear black men down,” because we expect better from them. We also need to put an end to the homophobia and transphobia running through our community. Why are we shunning our own people based on their sexualities and gender expression? We are encouraging discrimination in our own community. How is this acceptable?

Please, kill the idea that mainstream media has an agenda to, “turn black men gay,” and “make black men feminine.” I don’t know if people realize this, but gay black men have always existed. Gay black men have even been apart of fighting for us to have equal rights in this country.  Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin are two examples. When you complain about black men being “feminine,” that is toxic masculinity. Teaching black men that there’s a certain ways to be “real” man, like holding emotions in and being overly aggressive, is not good. You are also helping enforce the stereotype that black men are “aggressive” and “wild”. That stereotype is dangerous. It has been used as a way to justify innocent black men being murdered by police officers.

Black women are also not door mats for Black Liberation. Stop teaching Black women that in order to help our community, we have be silent when we are hurting. Instead of shaming Black women for speaking out against their rapists and abusers, shame the rapists and abusers. Black people are not obligated to protect predators because they are black. Black victims are the ones should be protected. You make us feel unloved in our own community and we have done nothing wrong. The fact that it is common to have known child molesters and rapists in our families, should disturb you. The fact that it’s common for us to put the responsibility on little black girls to “cover up in the house,” and “stop being fast,” should disturb you. Protect black victims. Protect little black girls. Protect little black boys too.

The disrespect black women receive in this community while simultaneously being expected to do all the labor is exhausting. Respectability politics are enforced on black women. Single black mothers are constantly being disrespected. Why are women being disrespected for raising their children, instead of the men who do not take care of them? We pick and choose which black woman is worthy of praise. Black woman who is sexually liberated? Not worthy of respect. Black woman who wears weave? Not worthy of respect. Black woman who is “unattractive.” Not worthy of respect. Do not say you love and appreciate black women, when you pick and choose which ones to show love to and appreciate. It is disheartening seeing black women internalize these misogynistic beliefs, as well. Supporting those views does nothing to help us.

The Black community is also selective when it comes to which Black life matters and which one doesn’t. There is little outrage for the high rate of Black trans women being murdered in the U.S. According to The New York Times, 25 to 28 trans people were killed last year. The majority of the them were trans women of color. Their life expectancy is 35 years old. The only ones who speak about Black female victims of police brutality are other black women. Koryn Gaines and Sandra Bland deserved better than the black men who were justifying their deaths. Black sexual assault and domestic violence victims do not receive the support they deserve, not even from our own community. According to a study done by CDC, Black women had the highest homicide rates from 2003-2014. It was said that more than half of the women killed were murdered by a current or former partner. We show a huge amount of support for black male victims of violence until we find out that the black man is gay. Anthony Wall and Gemmel Moore deserved more attention than they received from us.

Feminism is not destroying the black community. The toxic views that we continue to pass down from generation to generation is destroying it. If we really want to liberate the Black community, we should start by dismantling the sexist and homophobic beliefs that we uphold. If we say that Black lives matter then we need to act like it.


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Originally Posted on November 15, 2018

Misogynoir is the combination of sexism and racism towards Black women. This term was coined by Queer, Feminist scholar, Moya Bailey. I have only recently learned what misogynoir is. But it has been surrounding me my whole life.

I learned about colorism from school and rap music. Boys in my class didn’t hesitate to sit in front of my face and say, “I only like light skinned girls.” Then I would go home, turn on the television and see rap videos where men were surrounded by lighter skinned women. All you would hear in the songs were, “redbone,” this and “yellow bone,” that. I remember being eleven years old, sitting in the car and hearing this line by Lil Wayne on the radio. It went, “Beautiful Black woman, I bet that b*tch look better red,” meaning she’d look better lighter. I felt uncomfortable hearing that line and always avoided listening to the song. I couldn’t help but to feel “ugly,” and “unwanted.” I hardly saw women who looked like me on television, especially as love interests. Darker skinned women were usually portrayed as the “Angry Black woman,” or “the sassy sidekick.” We were incapable of being loved on screen. Television can have an affect on an individual’s psyche. It can also influence society.

If you’re on social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram, you may see the many posts tearing down Black women. From memes about Black women to bullying Black women for their looks, the bashing seems endless. Rarely anyone else comes to our defense, but other Black women. Celebrities can make anti-Black women statements and their career remains unscathed. Like rapper and accused rapist, 6ix9ine who recently commented under a Black couple’s wedding picture that, “He should of chose a white woman.” Instead of being reprimanded, he was given the benefit of the doubt and was said to just be “trolling.” Or another rapper and accused rapist, Kodak Black who explained in an interview why he did not find dark skinned, Black women attractive. He also has a line in one of his songs that says, “I’m already Black. I don’t need no Black b*tch.” Both rappers’ careers are still flourishing despite their dehumanizing comments about Black women.

Sexual assault and domestic violence are swept under the rug when it comes to its Black female victims. Black women were hardly mentioned during the “Me Too,” movement even though it was a Black woman by the name of Tarana Burke who created it. Celebrities like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion are viewed positively in the Black community despite their allegations of abuse and proof that they are abusers. Black girls are being sexually assaulted in our community, but there are many Black people who would rather write them off as “fast,” than hold predators accountable. The hyper sexualization of Black women, including Black girls, has been used to justify sexual assault against us since slavery. Black women are also said to be victims of domestic violence at high rates and yet this is not widely discussed. Not even within our own community. But we make jokes about Chris Brown and Ike Turner’s abuse against Rihanna and Tina Turner.

Misogynoir may be a more recent term to describe the experiences of Black women. But we have been experiencing this for centuries. It plays a part in the hyper sexualization of Black women and the justification of sexual assault against us since slavery. It plays a part in why domestic violence against us is swept under the rug, even in our own community. Misogynoir is why bashing Black women is not seen as a career ender for celebrities. And misogynoir is why little Black girls are growing up believing that their dark skin is ugly.

 

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Originally Posted on January 28, 2018

R. Kelly's fans are another example of celebrity worship gone too far. His fans have been camped out on the Mute R. Kelly event page for a week, posting gifs and arguing in defense of their "man". These fans are flocking to our page from a fan page called "R. Kelly's Single Ladies" which has over 11,000 members. Their ringleader, Curry Dynasty initiated this by posting the lead organizer of Mute R. Kelly Detroit on their Facebook page. These women hurled transphobic comments, insulted her looks, and made threats for her to stop the boycott. R. Kelly's single ladies eventually made their way to the event page and have also defended him under any Instagram post with the hashtag, . His fans have filled comment sections with posts that reek of internalized misogyny, victim blaming, transphobia, homophobia, threats, and delusions. A few have even used examples of pedophilia in their own lives to justify R. Kelly's wrongdoings. They often mention their Christian faith although they are worshipping false idols and wishing bad on other people...which is considered a sin. They say that those accusations against him are untrue. But this man has over twenty years of allegations against him and his most recent allegation was last year. He has settled with a few of his accusers. One victim even had medical evidence that she had a sexual relationship with him while she was underage. But they don't care. Their other excuse is that if he was guilty he would've served time. Forgetting that fame and money can buy your way out of things. Also, George Zimmerman was found not guilty for murder, so that excuse means nothing.

What makes this situation sad is that these are all black women and all of his known victims have been black women. Black victims are often ignored in society. So to see black women turn their backs on other black women because they love someone's music is disgusting. To make it even worse, I've noticed that many of these women have daughters. They're so enamored with R. Kelly that they defend his crimes, forgetting that it could happen to their own children. Their defense of R. Kelly helps preserve rape culture. Despite what R. Kelly's fans are doing, the Mute R. Kelly protest will continue. They may not think those black girls and women matter, but we know they do. His fans are unintentionally helping this boycott. More articles are being made and his ticket prices have even been lowered, so keep up the good work. 

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Originally Posted on December 1, 2017

I didn’t start paying too much attention to the size of my body until high school. I used to be really skinny.  I had a small chest, small butt, small everything. Never really thought much of it. That wasn’t until people started making comments about my body and other women’s bodies. Boys would thirst over the girls who had curvy bodies. The girls with big breasts or a big butt, or both. Then boys would see me. They’d say exactly what was on their mind. They’d make comments about how small my breasts were. They’d say my breasts were too far apart. They’d tell me I had no butt.  In their eyes, I paled in comparison to girls with curvy bodies. And honestly, it hurt.


Fast forward to around 2015. My body started developing more. I started to have a curvy body. Men and women would compliment me. I felt better about my body because other people liked my body, which wasn’t healthy at all. About a year later, I put on more weight and my stomach was no longer flat. People would comment on my weight and tell me I was getting fat. I was ashamed to wear crop tops or to even take pictures from an “unflattering” angle. I remember my ex saying “Lose that.”, as he pointed down at my stomach. I hated my body.


I decided that it was time for me to become “fit”. I wasn’t choosing that for myself, I chose it for others. Everyday I stressed on what I ate. I exercised whenever I could. Exercising is never a bad thing but I was doing it for all of the wrong reasons. Everyday I’d take a look in the mirror at my stomach to see if it had gotten smaller. I’d check out the sizes of other girls stomachs. I’d look at Instagram models and roll my eyes at how “fit” their bodies were.


I see so much body shaming on social media and television. We’ve seen Rihanna being shamed for gaining weight. We’ve seen women like Kim K. and Beyonce being shamed for gaining weight while pregnant. We’ve seen Gabourey Sidibe and Ashley Graham being shamed for simply being comfortable with their bodies. We’ve even seen Serena Williams be shamed for being too muscular. It’s all bullshit. We’re so brainwashed by the images we see everyday that we think it’s unnatural for a woman to have anything but an hourglass figure. Then when a woman does have what some may view as the “perfect’ body, she’s fake. No one’s ever satisfied, and that’s why it’s important to not give a damn how anyone else feels about your body. No one deserves to power to tell us what we should look like. Learning to love yourself is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey.

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and are and to up to $50,000 in . 43 million are affected  Let's do this!  . #gobig #presidentBiden

Cancel Student Debt Now!

#biden


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Originally Posted on November 29, 2017

R. Kelly has a long history of being accused of sexual assault and abuse. Yet there are still people who support him. Why is that? Many people worship celebrities. They idolize celebrities and believe that they can do no wrong. But society also has a problem with giving predators a pass. There are people out there who will sympathize with the predator before they sympathize with the victim. I also feel that the women and girls that he has targeted plays a part in why he gets away with it. Society has a problem with turning their backs on victims, especially women of color. All of the women and girls we have heard about are black. 


I️ will include a few stories about R. Kelly’s alleged predatory behavior. Let’s go back to the early 90’s. R. Kelly met Aaliyah when she was twelve years old through her uncle, who was his manager at the time. R. Kelly started working with Aaliyah and they were said to have had a close relationship. They secretly married in 1994. He was twenty-seven and Aaliyah was only fifteen, though the marriage certificate states that she was eighteen at the time. Now a common excuse I️ hear about this story is that “her parents allowed it”. That’s actually not true. Aaliyah’s parents did not know about the marriage until 1995. When they did find out, they disapproved of the marriage leading R. Kelly and Aaliyah to have their marriage annulled.

In 2002, a twenty-year old woman accused him of sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They had a sexual relationship when she was only sixteen years old. She eventually got pregnant and accused him of coercing her into having an abortion. There were said to be phone records, witnesses, and medical history. R. Kelly eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.

We also cannot forget the infamous story of him recording himself having sex with an underage girl and urinating on her. This was one of the many videos of R. Kelly that was being sold in underground markets in 2002. R. Kelly was charged with 21 counts for his video with the underage girl. In 2008, he was acquitted of 14 counts. That same year he was interviewed by Touré for the BET network. When asked if he liked young girls, his response was “How old are we talking?”. 

 

R. Kelly has recently been accused of having a sex cult. He has been said to be physically and mentally abusive towards these women. Some have stated that they were required to wear baggy clothes and ask for permission to eat and use the bathroom. They were told to only address R. Kelly as “daddy”. One woman has stated that he would force the women to have sex with each other and that he recorded everything. There are other disturbing details to these accusations. How many more stories do we need to hear before people stop supporting this man? 

 

On February 21, 2018, R. Kelly will be joining Charlie Wilson in concert at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Nicole Denson is the lead spokesperson for the boycott of his concert. The purpose is to show that our city does not tolerate sexual assault and abuse. We will not be giving our money to R. Kelly, nor will we be giving him a platform.

  

Here is the press release for the boycott:

November 15, 2017
Lead Spokesperson
Nicole Denson
Co-Lead Spokesperson
Kalimah Johnson
888-865-7055

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DETROIT, MI – R. Kelly, is scheduled to perform at the Little Caesars arena in Detroit on February 21, 2018 with Charlie Wilson. The concert will be hosted by New Day Entertainment and 105.9 KISS FM Broadcasting and Media Production Company.

Detroit is currently in the process of healing and adjusting from the trauma of discovering over 11, 000 untested rape kits in an abandoned warehouse in 2009. In 2017, all the kits have been tested and victims are now informed of the criminal justice process and have options for healing and made aware of resources available to them.

R. Kelly has had several encounters with the law (as well as concerned parents of now adult women) centered on power and control dynamics, sexual assault and human trafficking.
Below is a timeline of said encounters:
In 1994, R. Kelly married Detroit’s own Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old.

In 1996, a woman accused him of having sex with her when she was a minor. He settled with her for $250,000.
In 2000, he was brought into court where another teen musician who reported a sexual relationship with R. Kelly when she was a minor and he also settled in that case.
In 2002/2003, he was indicted for child porn in which the judge dismissed the case because the images were seized illegally.

The message that Detroit sends to the nation in allowing R. Kelly to perform here, is that sexual assault, violence and abuse is acceptable and even, celebrated.  While our city is experiencing tremendous growth, we cannot tolerate providing R. Kelly a platform and opportunity to perform in a building paid for by taxpayers, in a city that is recovering from the trauma and silencing of sexual assault survivors over decades.

Statistics show that 81% of the untested rape kits were African American women, overall 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 7 men will experience sexual trauma in their lifetime.  As a group of interested survivors, advocates, directors and citizens we are asking that Detroit collectively send a clear message that R. Kelly is not welcome to perform here.

The goals for this press release is to promote , to ask all citizens to divest in the concert by not attending and more importantly to ask officials of this great city and Ilitch Holdings, LLC to cancel the show .  We are asking that all radio stations stop playing his music.  

We want the concert hosts and their advertisers to drop this show and encourage the public to refuse to buy the tickets and help us to raise awareness about sexual assault.

To get involved email us at muterkellydetroit@gmail.com

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Today's is a to and , the organizing include #xenophobia any #policy that benefits #therich.

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Another of :

A called the to from

#amctheaters #blockbuster #hedgefund #wallstreet #shortstocks 


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There needs to be for the and for those who joined the of . walked away from the of #Jesus.  Its time for them to #apologize for following an #immoral #racist.

#evangelicalchristians #faith

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On this 4th anniversary of the first Women's March on Washington, we thank the activists, organizers, and resisters for fighting for our country for the last many years.  Because of collective action, we were able to create the new reality in our politics.  

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When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We've braved the belly of the beast
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it


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Finally, the end of the Trump Presidency is nigh.  Tomorrow and will be as President and Vice-President of the United States.

Trump will slink away to Florida where charges, , and his await.  The Trump Presidency was filled with on a daily basis, racism and xenophobia, a for our democratic norms, and a complete lack of basic .  

#byedon #nevertrump #notmypresident #dumptrump

Added a petition 

We, the Undersigned, Demand that the Senate Expel Senator Ted Cruz of Texas for Acts of Sedition.  Senator Cruz lied and supported the lies of President Trump attempting to undo the will of millions of voters in various states. He visibly showed his support to domestic terrorist rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, attempting to stop the procedural counting of electoral votes, certified by each state. Senator Cruz’s actions incited and encouraged an insurrection.

The Senate does indeed have the Constitutional authority to expel its members. Article I, Section 5, of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." Since 1789, the Senate has expelled only fifteen of its entire membership.

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