Link

allies-person:

By Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Michelle Dawson, and H. Hill Goldsmith

Please read and send to people you know who are among the “epidemic” proponents.  These authors speak sense.

(via edoro)

Text

Why I am against Autism Speaks (made rebloggable by request)

goldenheartedrose:

Autism Speaks is probably the most well-known charity out there when it comes to autism.  Just because they have the most media coverage and celebrity support does not mean they are a good organization.  

  • Autism Speaks does not have a single autistic member on their board.
  • Autism Speaks only spends 4% of their budget on “family services”.
  • The majority of Autism Speaks’ money goes toward research, and the majority of that research is to find a way to rid the world of autism, and thus, autistics.
  • Autism Speaks produces advertisments, small films, etc. about what a burden autistic people are to society.
  • Autism Speaks was responsible for “Autism Every Day”, which featured a member of their board talking about contemplating murder-suicide of her daughter in front of her daughter.  This has now be removed from Autism Speaks’ Youtube channel but can still be found elsewhere.
  • Autism Speaks is responsible for the atrocity known as “I am Autism”, a short film comparing autism to cancer, AIDS, and blaming autism as the reason why marriages break up.

In short, Autism Speaks makes it much harder for those of us who have autism to be taken seriously.  Autism is considered to be a child’s disease (not that it’s even actually a disease at all), and you will often hear people say “where are all the adult autistics?”  Well, we’re right here in front of you.  We may have been misdiagnosed with learning disorders, mental retardation and other mental illnesses when the diagnoses of autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s weren’t as precise (or even existent) as they are now.  We vary in where we fall on the spectrum.  Don’t make assumptions about us because we can use a computer.  

For further reading, here are a few resources about Autism Speaks:

Why Autism Speaks is No Good for Autistics. 

Autism Speaks Does Not Speak for Me.

I’m Autistic, But Autism Speaks Doesn’t Speak for Me.

An Autistic Speaks about Autism Speaks.

(via edoro)

Link

sengis:

si-je-savais:

sengis:

tangential: I wish more people on tumblr would read works by disability advocates outside of tumblr and blogs (although there is some really amazing stuff being written in those places!), so they could understand the ideas that the disability rights movement is based on. it’s not a new movement, but tumblr acts like it is, ignoring any activism or writing that isn’t posted or quoted on here. just a half hour spent reading the archives of A Ragged Edge would benefit a lot of people- there is so much history and diversity of opinion among people with disabilities, because as a group, we’re made up of people from all kinds of experiences. there’s a rich history of writing and speeches and that’s totally ignored.

shit, look at the front page of ARE- there’s an article about the issue of physician-assisted suicide. this is an issue that the community is divided on. but on tumblr, we’re stuck arguing about inane things like if “homophobia” is an ableist word.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Ever since I started tracking the #ableism tag, it’s bothered me tremendously that the majority of posts here discuss ableist language instead of the more serious issues. 

By the way, I’m glad you posted about that website. I intend to read it from top to bottom. ^^

I’m glad it’s useful for you! I actually came to disability activism through books after it became clear that I was dealing with something that was going to be life-long. the first thing I read was the book Make Them Go Away (official site with excerpts!) and it helped me so much. it covers a lot of the ideas behind the activism, but in a way that connects them to their impact on the lives of PWD. one of the best sections is ‘I Don’t Consider Myself Disabled’. it is what first put me on the path to identifying as disabled, despite pressure from my family and peers not to. tumblr acitivism is so weirdly focused on tiny details, like if it’s okay to say “stupid”, instead of things like liveable cities and caretaker violence.

(Source: poorlifechoicesblog, via cephiedvariable)

Link

edoro:

pajipajipaji:

iragray:

snipped

man this is exactly what i meant except it actually explains it properly thank you so much

This is all really good, but I have one tiny problem.

I think the whole issue of sexual attraction and body parts is a lot more complicated than people boil it down to being. Because people can’t really help their sexuality. Sexuality can be very fluid and can change during your life, or stay static, or do any number of things, but really the defining trait of it is that you don’t really CHOOSE what you’re sexually attracted to. I think basically everyone will agree that they never sat down and decided to find something sexy and practiced by fantasizing about it until they finally did. 

So I don’t think it’s necessarily cissexist to be attracted to specific body parts or turned off by othere. I don’t think saying you only like penises or vaginas is really a shitty thing to do. I can definitely recognize where it could be hurtful to hear that. I understand that it could sound a whole lot like “Because of your genitals, I don’t really recognize you as your gender”. And I think that in a lot of cases, it is! People conflate sex and gender and genitals and assume that x genitals = x gender and if they’re attracted to y gender then they’re never going to be attracted to x genitals, because x genitals belong to x gender.

But the fact is that someone could be completely in love with you, and very attracted to you, but completely not attracted to your genitals. And that’s not them being a bad person. That’s not their FAULT. And I think it’s very wrong to try to tell someone that if they are completely not turned on by a certain set of genitalia, they just need to be more open. You can’t dictate someone else’s sexuality like that.

And being open and honest about what you are and aren’t sexually attracted to in a person isn’t just reducing them to a body part. Sex is often a huge part of relationships. A lot of people view sex as something you do to bond with someone you’re in a relationship with and as a really important thing. Lack of sex is something that ruins a lot of relationships. Not all relationships are sexual, not all relationships NEED to be, and there is nothing inherently better about being sexual or having a sexual relationship, but for some people it is important and I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to value sex.

If sex IS very important to someone, then it’s not at all unreasonable for them to not want to be in a relationship with someone they’re not sexually attracted to. If they feel like they can go without or manage other kinds of sexual activity, then that’s their decision to make and a discussion they need to have with their partner, but what’s inherently oppressive about someone being honest about what’s important to them and letting someone know that a relationship where there are such fundamental incompatibilities isn’t going to work? 

Statements like that absolutely can be part of cissexism and used to oppress trans people and treat them like they aren’t really their gender, just pretenders who will never quite make it, and said by close-minded people. I’m not saying everyone who says “I only like x” should get a pass, and people who say they wouldn’t date a trans person need to be given some serious side-eyeing at the least, but I really don’t think it’s fair to try to say someone HAS to be attracted to certain kinds of genitalia or they’re being offensive and hurtful.

This too! This has come up on my blog before but it’s worth having it again to go with that other post. There’s not really anything to add. It should go without saying that if you are unable to be attracted to someone’s genitalia you should be respectful about it, but I went ahead and said it, just in case.

(Source: qpocc)

Link

almaswithinalmas:

A new study of homegrown terrorism involving Muslim Americans suggests that the alarm bells set off by Republicans in Congress over sleeper cells of Islamic extremists may be much too loud.

Despite warnings of a potential wave of violent attacks hatched on U.S. soil, research by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security finds that the number of attacks committed by Muslim Americans has fallen for the second year in a row. According to the study, 20 Muslim Americans carried out or were arrested for violent terrorist crimes in 2011, down from 26 in 2010 and 49 in 2009.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the report said, 193 Muslim Americans have been arrested or convicted of violent terrorist acts. Last year was an average year for such offenses, the Durham, N.C.-based center said.

The findings, which follow revelations that the New York Police Department has spied on the city’s Muslim community, are sure to bolster critics who warn that singling out Muslim Americans is counterproductive and bigoted, and may make the country less safe.

“Muslim American terrorism continued to be a miniscule threat to public safety last year. None of America’s 14,000 murders in 2011 were due to Islamic extremism,” said Charles Kurzman, the University of North Carolina sociologist who wrote the study as well as the book “The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists.” He said, “The challenge is for Americans to be vigilant about potential violence while keeping these threats in perspective.”

David Schanzer, the Triangle Center’s director, said the study proves that “those who predicted an inevitable, rapid increase of homegrown violent extremism among Muslim Americans were wrong.” He added, “While homegrown radicalization is still a problem, the offenders from 2011 were less skilled and less connected with international terrorist organizations than the offenders in the prior two years.”

The overall drop in numbers aside, the study will likely bolster one fear raised on Capitol Hill. One in five Muslim American terrorist offenders last year had military experience. That’s a sharp increase — just 15 of the 193 perpetrators since 9/11 had served in the military — and suggests there may be some truth to officials’ concerns that Islamic extremists are infiltrating the ranks.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • Only one of the 20 offenders last year was accused of actually executing a terrorist attack.
  • The 20 offenders do not match any one ethnic or racial profile: 30 percent are Arab, 25 percent white, and 15 percent African American.
  • Last year’s offenders were more likely to be converts to Islam, with 40 percent of them having changed their religion compared to 35 percent of all Muslim American terrorist offenders since 9/11.
  • Only two of the 20 offenders received terrorism training abroad, compared to eight in 2010 and 28 in 2009, suggesting that those who do commit violent acts are learning their skills at home.

For more, read the full report here:

Kurzman Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9 11

(via edoro)

Photo
pajipajipaji:

iragray:

Hey, folks, this is going to be a long post, so please bear with me. 
This is a prime example as to how cissexism is not so much a feeling as it is an institution. This diagram means well yet actually upholds cissexism in various ways. I do not ask that you 100% agree with me on everything I think or say here, but I do ask that you join me in questioning paradigms. Let’s deconstruct this based on the aforementioned subcategories:
Gender Identity

Men and women are not opposite genders. To say men and women are is to fuel two patterns of oppressive thought: sexism and cissexism. Placing these two genders on opposing sides is to put them at odds with one another, as if they ought to be at war with one another as opposed to exist next or with each other. Secondly, it reinforces the gender binary by saying here’s one gender at one end, another gender at the other end, and this third gender in the middle which is like a combo gender. The gender binary as a construction actually works to keep trans* people down, binary trans* people included, by supporting the normative transgender narrative which dictates who is and who is not transgender enough. This pressures trans* people to subscribe to hypermasculinity or hyperfemininity when they may not necessarily want to in order to fit an ideal, to gain support from binarist transgender folks, or to otherwise gain access to resources they may want or need. Lastly, genderqueer as an identity does not mean in between man and woman. It may mean that for some folks who identify as such, but the general definition is that genderqueer means not identifying as a man or a woman. This could mean above, beyond, below, next to, etc, while not being in between. 
This diagram does not account for the fluidity of gender identity by presenting it as a line. I recognize that there are arrows that go in each direction, but I’m personally reading that as akin to “I’m not cissexist/binarist, but…” except in the form of a cute picture. At least make it a wavy line or something. It doesn’t account for the ability to identify as multiple genders and creates potential confusion and conflation between the identity of a bigender person who identifies as a man and a woman and a genderqueer person who identifies as neither of these.

Gender Expression

Gender expression is also a form of self identification in that the perception is based on normative standards of gender performance but what we personally call the performance is up to us. By reclaiming the ability to dictate what our expressions are, we also claim the ability to question normative standards of masculinity and femininity. In this sense, masculine expression could be defined as how men perform gender and femininity described as how women perform gender, regardless of what said gender expression actually looks like. To be clear, I’m not advocating for a new set of normative standards but rather for the acknowledgement of the ability to question and challenge the status quo. How others perceive our expressions certainly changes how we are treated in many ways, but it does not suddenly redefine us. 

Biological Sex

Lots of folks have very differing views on the concept of biological sex, but if you were to ask me, I’d say that sex, much like gender, is a social construction and a form of self identification (are you noticing a pattern yet?). I’ve written and spoken about my views on sex here before explaining why I consider it a social construction.
That being said, the diagram seeks to be educational while simultaneously contradicting itself. It tells us in the tiny text on the right that biological sex is determined by a variety of stipulations while only presenting a single condition on the left by pointing at the genderbread person’s crotch and labeling it “Sex.” 
If we have agency to define our names, genders, pronouns, etc., why do we not also have the agency to define our bodies? Our bodies, and the genitals that may or may not be attached to them (yes, some folks don’t have genitals at all), exist objectively but the ways in which our cultures define them are anything but objective. Given that cissexism operates in many ways on the absolute conflation of sex and gender (which are not always separated per se but are two different things generally), terms like male and female are then inherently gendered. Therefore, to call trans men female or trans women male is to misgender them unless they say otherwise. We all have preferred terms in references to our bodies whether or not we are trans*. Some cis women prefer the word breasts over tits or vice versa (or the many other options). Some cis men prefer penis over cock and so on. Many cis women prefer vagina over pussy or prefer vulva over both. Again, our bodies exist objectively; the language we attach to them does not. 

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is not to whom you are romantically attracted. It is to whom you are sexually attracted. Sometimes these are one in the same. Sometimes they’re not. This is especially true for folks, who are apparently not worthy of mention, who are aromantic and/or are asexual, meaning they do not generally experience romantic and/or sexual attraction. Secondly, if there are an infinite number of genders and sexes, then there are also probably an infinite number of orientations depending on exactly how picky people can be (slight sarcasm here). Here comes the unpopular opinion, but stick with me for a moment. I don’t expect to convince anyone of anything, but you’ve read this far already right? When I see someone for the first time I think is cute (in person), odds are I have no idea what their genitals are. So, this diagram visually defines sex as our genitals and then partially defines sexual orientation as being attracted to someone’s sex. Therefore, according to this self-contradictory logic as it also gives another definition for sex, sexual orientation is the attraction we may or may not experience to someone else’s genitals? This is cissexism. Here’s how: we are making the assumption that a certain set of physical traits that someone has when we see them is indicative of having a certain generalized genital set. That’s classic cissexism. It’s practically cissexism 101. Furthermore, we’re reducing the worth of individuals down to singular body part and is that not how this kind of all begins in the first place? We’re born. A doctor looks at our genitals. Then, we’re expected to be coerced into one side of a binary gender role. In that same sense, we assume the genitals of someone, based on gender performance, and then dictate how we will treat them from there on out while claiming to oppose cissexism. 
Furthermore, the “I like penis/vagina only” statement is only a testament to a lack of willingness to practice/learn good consent. It assumes your partner’s desire to share access to their genitals with you, and it assumes that you have no agency to set up a boundary between you and your partner sexually. 


man this is exactly what i meant except it actually explains it properly thank you so much

pajipajipaji:

iragray:

Hey, folks, this is going to be a long post, so please bear with me. 

This is a prime example as to how cissexism is not so much a feeling as it is an institution. This diagram means well yet actually upholds cissexism in various ways. I do not ask that you 100% agree with me on everything I think or say here, but I do ask that you join me in questioning paradigms. Let’s deconstruct this based on the aforementioned subcategories:

Gender Identity

Men and women are not opposite genders. To say men and women are is to fuel two patterns of oppressive thought: sexism and cissexism. Placing these two genders on opposing sides is to put them at odds with one another, as if they ought to be at war with one another as opposed to exist next or with each other. Secondly, it reinforces the gender binary by saying here’s one gender at one end, another gender at the other end, and this third gender in the middle which is like a combo gender. The gender binary as a construction actually works to keep trans* people down, binary trans* people included, by supporting the normative transgender narrative which dictates who is and who is not transgender enough. This pressures trans* people to subscribe to hypermasculinity or hyperfemininity when they may not necessarily want to in order to fit an ideal, to gain support from binarist transgender folks, or to otherwise gain access to resources they may want or need. Lastly, genderqueer as an identity does not mean in between man and woman. It may mean that for some folks who identify as such, but the general definition is that genderqueer means not identifying as a man or a woman. This could mean above, beyond, below, next to, etc, while not being in between. 

This diagram does not account for the fluidity of gender identity by presenting it as a line. I recognize that there are arrows that go in each direction, but I’m personally reading that as akin to “I’m not cissexist/binarist, but…” except in the form of a cute picture. At least make it a wavy line or something. It doesn’t account for the ability to identify as multiple genders and creates potential confusion and conflation between the identity of a bigender person who identifies as a man and a woman and a genderqueer person who identifies as neither of these.

Gender Expression

Gender expression is also a form of self identification in that the perception is based on normative standards of gender performance but what we personally call the performance is up to us. By reclaiming the ability to dictate what our expressions are, we also claim the ability to question normative standards of masculinity and femininity. In this sense, masculine expression could be defined as how men perform gender and femininity described as how women perform gender, regardless of what said gender expression actually looks like. To be clear, I’m not advocating for a new set of normative standards but rather for the acknowledgement of the ability to question and challenge the status quo. How others perceive our expressions certainly changes how we are treated in many ways, but it does not suddenly redefine us. 

Biological Sex

Lots of folks have very differing views on the concept of biological sex, but if you were to ask me, I’d say that sex, much like gender, is a social construction and a form of self identification (are you noticing a pattern yet?). I’ve written and spoken about my views on sex here before explaining why I consider it a social construction.

That being said, the diagram seeks to be educational while simultaneously contradicting itself. It tells us in the tiny text on the right that biological sex is determined by a variety of stipulations while only presenting a single condition on the left by pointing at the genderbread person’s crotch and labeling it “Sex.” 

If we have agency to define our names, genders, pronouns, etc., why do we not also have the agency to define our bodies? Our bodies, and the genitals that may or may not be attached to them (yes, some folks don’t have genitals at all), exist objectively but the ways in which our cultures define them are anything but objective. Given that cissexism operates in many ways on the absolute conflation of sex and gender (which are not always separated per se but are two different things generally), terms like male and female are then inherently gendered. Therefore, to call trans men female or trans women male is to misgender them unless they say otherwise. 

We all have preferred terms in references to our bodies whether or not we are trans*. Some cis women prefer the word breasts over tits or vice versa (or the many other options). Some cis men prefer penis over cock and so on. Many cis women prefer vagina over pussy or prefer vulva over both. Again, our bodies exist objectively; the language we attach to them does not. 

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is not to whom you are romantically attracted. It is to whom you are sexually attracted. Sometimes these are one in the same. Sometimes they’re not. This is especially true for folks, who are apparently not worthy of mention, who are aromantic and/or are asexual, meaning they do not generally experience romantic and/or sexual attraction. 

Secondly, if there are an infinite number of genders and sexes, then there are also probably an infinite number of orientations depending on exactly how picky people can be (slight sarcasm here). 

Here comes the unpopular opinion, but stick with me for a moment. I don’t expect to convince anyone of anything, but you’ve read this far already right? When I see someone for the first time I think is cute (in person), odds are I have no idea what their genitals are. So, this diagram visually defines sex as our genitals and then partially defines sexual orientation as being attracted to someone’s sex. Therefore, according to this self-contradictory logic as it also gives another definition for sex, sexual orientation is the attraction we may or may not experience to someone else’s genitals? This is cissexism. Here’s how: we are making the assumption that a certain set of physical traits that someone has when we see them is indicative of having a certain generalized genital set. That’s classic cissexism. It’s practically cissexism 101. Furthermore, we’re reducing the worth of individuals down to singular body part and is that not how this kind of all begins in the first place? We’re born. A doctor looks at our genitals. Then, we’re expected to be coerced into one side of a binary gender role. In that same sense, we assume the genitals of someone, based on gender performance, and then dictate how we will treat them from there on out while claiming to oppose cissexism. 

Furthermore, the “I like penis/vagina only” statement is only a testament to a lack of willingness to practice/learn good consent. It assumes your partner’s desire to share access to their genitals with you, and it assumes that you have no agency to set up a boundary between you and your partner sexually. 

man this is exactly what i meant except it actually explains it properly thank you so much

(Source: qpocc, via lesbo-deluxe)

Photoset

nortonn:

juthikaforpresident:

konjum-mainakkale:

rapcat:

nishnabin:

Last year, I went to nimaamaa’s rez(North western Ontario), and somebody took my camera and took pictures of the prices of food. I thought it would be interesting to post them here. Whenever somebody assumes that people who live in reserves “have it great”, I always think back to how high the prices of food is; Food is damn expensive in the rez.

HOLY FUCK THESE PRICES ARE NOT EVEN LOGICAL

This is absolutely disgusting.

I was reading an article during my politics class about how the food prices are five times the amount in our grocery stores because they are flown in. Most of the people on the reservation of Kashechewan live on welfare and in order for them to eat healthy, they have to spend all of their monthly welfare check on the groceries. This is why most people stick to unhealthy food. It’s a never-ending cycle. For all the people who say that most Natives should just cheer up and be happy that they live on a reservation, this is why they are not.

Holy shit.

(via past-crowry)

Link

solidbutts:

drtanner:

salmonking:

spicyshimmy:

doctorwhookah:

blainescarnivorousasshole:

lettersfromtitan:

1. This is very triggering about bullying and suicide. Proceed with caution.

2. This is from Rolling Stone’s Valentine’s Day issue.

3. If you are a straight person in the Glee fandom, oh god, do I want you to read every word of this.

This is horrifying, and that’s exactly why you need to read it.

Correction to the comment about: If you’re a person, you should read this. 

this is not an article to go into lightly. it is not something to read without expecting to be profoundly affected. i feel sick to my stomach and i can’t stop crying. but if you are in such a space where you are capable of handling the topics involved, then it is a worthy read. a devastating one. such a world this is. 

Oh man, this is — I can’t make it past the first page but this has to get out there. Pass it on.

Read this.

“Open your eyes, people,” Anderson recently wrote to the local newspaper. “What if a 15-year-old is seduced into homosexual behavior and then contracts AIDS?”


What if a 15 year old is bullied to death thanks to deceptive hate mongers like Anderson. Yes, nothing shows off your moral authority like manipulating people’s emotions through deceit. No big surprise she was inspired by Bachmann. 

"Youth who embrace homosexuality are at greater risk [of suicide], because they’ve embraced an unhealthy sexual identity and lifestyle," Prichard wrote.

Asked on a radio program whether the anti-gay agenda of her ilk bore any responsibility for the bullying and suicides, Barb Anderson, co-author of the original “No Homo Promo,” held fast to her principles, blaming pro-gay groups for the tragedies. She explained that such “child corruption” agencies allow “quote-unquote gay kids” to wrongly feel legitimized.


People will always be able to spin a story to rid themselves of blame and legitimize their beliefs. That level of denial and obtuseness is sickening.

(via vapor-asses-deactivated20121111)

Text

Today in “I didn’t know they were Black!!”: Ludwig Van Beethoven

sunspeared:

misssynph:

theafrosistuh:


SOURCE

The true identity of Ludwig van Beethoven, long considered Europe’s greatest classical music composer.  Said directly, Beethoven was a black man. Specifically, his mother was a Moor, that group of Muslim Northern Africans who conquered parts of Europe—making Spain their capital—for some 800 years.

In order to make such a substantial statement, presentation of verifiable evidence is compulsory. Let’s start with what some of Beethoven’s contemporaries and biographers say about his brown complexion.:

” Frederick Hertz, German anthropologist, used these terms to describe him: “Negroid traits, dark skin, flat, thick nose.”

Emil Ludwig, in his book “Beethoven,” says: “His face reveals no trace of the German. He was so dark that people dubbed him Spagnol [dark-skinned].”

Fanny Giannatasio del Rio, in her book “An Unrequited Love: An Episode in the Life of Beethoven,” wrote “His somewhat flat broad nose and rather wide mouth, his small piercing eyes and swarthy [dark] complexion, pockmarked into the bargain, gave him a strong resemblance to a mulatto.”

C. Czerny stated, “His beard—he had not shaved for several days—made the lower part of his already brown face still darker.”

Following are one word descriptions of Beethoven from various writers: Grillparzer, “dark”; Bettina von Armin, “brown”; Schindler, “red and brown”; Rellstab, “brownish”; Gelinek, “short, dark.”

Newsweek, in its Sept. 23, 1991 issue stated, “Afrocentrism ranges over the whole panorama of human history, coloring in the faces: from Australopithecus to the inventors of mathematics to the great Negro composer Beethoven.”

And yet Western “scholars” want you to believe that Beethoven looked like:

Well…

This is definitely something that I didn’t know.

“His somewhat flat broad nose and rather wide mouth, his small piercing eyes and swarthy [dark] complexion, pockmarked into the bargain, gave him a strong resemblance to a mulatto.”

THIS MAKES ME REALLY HAPPY. In capslock. 

(via madseason)

Text

an open letter to the opponents of SOPA

morejoyful:

As much as I oppose SOPA and hope it doesn’t pass, I have some real issues with the rhetoric being used to argue against it, particularly the use of certain other countries—mostly China, but I’ve also seen Iran mentioned—as a comparison for all the bad things that will happen in the United States if SOPA is enacted. While these countries are certainly relevant to a discussion of Internet censorship, the way they are being positioned in a dichotomy of good!U.S. versus evil!China and evil!Iran is deeply problematic: “We have a moral imperative to stop our country from becoming communist China! How terrible, no one would want to be compared to them! The horror, the horror!” Um, what? Not only is such a rhetorical gesture coextensive with narratives of Western cultural superiority, it is highly epistemologically flawed. The United States, perhaps more than any other country in the world, owes not only its current prosperity but its entire existence to its history of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, exploitation, murder, and racism. And anyone who wants to say “oh get over it, it was the past, why should we pay for things our ancestors did?”—uh, because you’re still benefitting from it. And other people are still paying for it. 

The United States and other Western countries don’t critique China and Iran because they ~care, no matter how much well-meaning individuals may sincerely believe that this is the case—they do it because it reinforces their own positions of power against non-Western countries that might threaten their long-held hegemony (notice how Turkey hasn’t figured in this conversation at all, despite the fact that they too censor their Internet—huh, wonder why that is? /sarcasm). If you think it’s a coincidence that this upsurge in criticism of every aspect of Chinese policy—towards human rights, global economy, the environment, sex selective abortion, censorship, Tibet (funny how all the wanna be activists who are apparently so in love with Tibet have never heard of Xinjiang—guess no one cares when it’s a bunch of filthy Muslim terrorists! Tibet is so much more ~romantic, plus there’s a Brad Pitt movie!)—is taking place at the same time that China is becoming a serious economic rival to the U.S., you are pitiably naïve. Do you really think that all the U.S.’s moral and humanitarian discourses aren’t rooted in the U.S.’s own political and economic self-interest? Do you think the U.S. seriously went to war in the Middle East because out of the goodness of their own hearts they wanted to bring peace and democracy and rainbows to the poor brown people? Yeah, that’s why the vast majority of deaths in the war have been Middle Eastern civilians. And yeah, the U.S. just loves democracy so much—remember when they overthrew and assassinated the democratically elected leader of another country in order to replace him with a dictatorship that would be more favorable to U.S. political and economic interest? Oh wait—that happened more than once!

Although they can both be called “Internet censorship”, the action that SOPA represents is completely different in nature from that of censorship in China. China censors the Internet not to ruin everyone’s fun but to suppress political opposition, something that the U.S. has its own healthy history of—Alien and Sedition Acts, anyone? SOPA is an act driven by corporations (yeah, we know who’s really in charge here) who want to maximize their profits by suppressing online piracy, something that China couldn’t give less of a shit about. There’s tumblr in China. There’s LiveJournal in China. It is incredibly wrong-headed to use China as the ultimate embodiment of how terrible life will be if we lose our precious fandom blogging sites, without any knowledge or consideration of the actual conditions and dynamics of the country that is being positioned as an object of criticism and derision. China is a real country with real people with real problems. Yes, the government is corrupt and should be held responsible for its human rights abuses, no doubt about that. But China doesn’t exist just to be a specter you can use in your horror story narrative about SOPA—“if Little Bunny Foo Foo doesn’t stop bopping field mice on the head, he’ll turn into a goon!”, “if good old red-blooded Americans don’t stop SOPA from passing, we’ll turn into communist China!”. It’s absolutely nauseating that the U.S. can be so righteous about how much more just and enlightened they are than “communist China” (and note how despite the fact that U.S.-ians like to disclaim the McCarthy era as a thing of the past, the label “communist” obtains as a synonym for “evil” when leveled against non-Western countries) when the very flawed and corrupt system that they are so quick to condemn and deride is the very thing that enables the U.S. and other Western countries to shamelessly exploit the global South’s labor and resources, thus enabling the economic prosperity and political dominance that allow for Western “enlightenment” and “democracy” at the expense of “third world” bodies and lives.

(via roachpatrol)