find a way to survive
Watch "I Didn't Know My Own Strength - Whitney Houston …" on YouTube
I Didn’t Know My Own Strength - Whitney Houston …:
As Black people, we have been fed the lie that the Black body is an “Always Able” body, with no time to rest, feel safe, or breathe easy. Though there isn’t one of us who can live up to these unrealistic expectation whiteness forces upon us, we still belittle and shame our kin. Black People, it is time to reclaim our Black bodies as our own.
It is time to shed these harmful, white supremacist, capitalist, cishet, patriarchal, binaric notions of The Worthy and Unworthy under ableism. ALL Black bodies are lovable, beautiful, brilliant, and whole—whether or not they are dealing with mental health concerns or living with chronic pain. It is the stigma and prejudice associated with illness, the racist, anti-black ideals filling this systemic society with hatred and violence that makes no room for ALL of us who just want to rest and feel free. We don’t have to “do” anything or “go” anywhere to be revolutionary and worthy of love, family, and community. Our mere existence as people on the margins of society—as Black, Queer/Trans, Chronic, Poor, and all the other labels we use to define our unique intersections—IS revolutionary.
— Lynx Sainte-Marie, "Our R/evolutionary Bodies: On Being Black and Sick" (via ethiopienne)
Mother Of Special Needs Son Arrested After Entering His School To Console Him
A mother in St. Louis was unknowingly the reason for a lockdown at her special needs son’s school.
“I was lying in bed when I received a frantic phone call from the teacher, Michael was panicking,” said Niakea Williams — whose young son Michael has Asperger’s Syndrome — of the call she received before heading to the school.
“I saw a teacher and she said Ms. Williams what is wrong? I said something is wrong with Mikey and proceeded to go straight to my son.”
Once Williams got to her son’s classroom, she tried to calm him down and console him. The Walnut Groves Elementary School principal then entered the room to inform Williams that she failed to sign in at the desk and had therefore broken policy.
“’I didn’t sign the book, but I had to check on my son. You can bring me the book.’ She said, ‘Oh no, I’ve already called the police,’’ recalled Williams.
Soon after, local police arrived at the scene and arrested Williams in front of her son while the rest of the school was placed on a 12-minute lockdown. The school said the reason for the lockdown was “unauthorized entry to a school.”
“They escorted me away from my son, who already has emotional distress,” said Williams. “Four officers told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back, I was under arrest.”
Williams believes her arrest was unnecessary and that the school overreacted. She says that everyone there already knows who she is, including the principal, claiming that they had actually met just a week prior to the incident. Williams is trying to fight the charges against her.
Of all the spiteful petty things to do after an obvious misunderstanding. Heaping this sort of anxiety and embarrassment on top of an already escalating behavioral episode is pretty unprofessional, in my book.
For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?
— bell hooks (via note-a-bear)
*wells up. dreams of a world without prisons.* (via patchworkpoetics)
(Source: ethiopienne, via queerandpresentdanger)
Mother arrested after leaving kids in the car during job interview because she couldn’t afford childcare
March 27, 2014
Shanesha Taylor is a homeless, single mother of 2 children, who was arrested for child abuse this week. Taylor left her children, ages 6 and 2 years old, in her Dodge Durango while she attended a job interview in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A passerby found the children in the car, with the engine turned off and the windows cracked open. Once Taylor returned to the car, 45 minutes later, she informed the police officer that she did not have a babysitter for her children.
“She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job. Obviously not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation,” said Scottsdale Police Sergeant Mark Clark.
She was arrested and booked into jail for child abuse.
Her children are now in CPS custody.
Update from Prison Culture:
An email from Amanda Bishop who has organized a fundraising drive for Shanesha offers the following additional information:
Shanesha has been in jail over a week. She will be out within the next few days when her bail is done by her family. I do not know if the family would like me sharing any information regarding the jail she is at.
She has plans to get a specific lawyer when she is out. Her children are with family
Ms. Bishop also responded to a question about where the funds raised would be directed:
“All money from this fundraiser is deposited into a bank account of Shaneshas mother. The money is currently being used to bail her out. The money collected afterwards will be used for the care of herself and her children.”
Here is a local report where Ms. Bishop is quoted about the case here.
There is currently no more information available. @lifeandmorelife and I would like to encourage everyone who wants to support Shanesha to please donate to the fundraiser for now. You can also continue to spread the word about this story through your networks. A newsreport about this story is here.
We have been in touch with some folks based in Arizona, are gathering more information, and will provide updates as they become available.
Update #1 (4:30 p.m. central)
Shanesha is still in jail at this point. I was able to learn that she has a hearing scheduled on Friday at 8:30 am. Perhaps, she’ll be able to make bail at that point. Please keep donating to the fundraiser.
What we call ‘community accountability’ (some call it transformative justice, others call it as many names as there are people) has existed for as long as we hold collective memory. A simple definition of community accountability: any strategy to address violence, abuse or harm that creates safety, justice, reparations, and healing, without relying on police, prisons, childhood protective services, or any other state systems. Instead of police and prisons, community accountability strategies depend on something both potentially more accessible and more complicated: the communities surrounding the person who was harmed and the person who caused harm.
Many people are also working with the term ‘transformative justice.’ The organization generationFIVE defines transformative justice as ‘an approach to respond to and prevent child sexual abuse and other forms of violence that puts transformation and liberation at the heart of the change. It is an approach that looks at the experiences of both the individuals and communities involved, and the larger social conditions at work; an approach that seeks to integrate both personal and social transformation.
Excerpt from The Revolution Starts at Home by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Here is the full PDF
"I think about how in queer communities, especially queer people of color communities, you know how much shit your lovers/partners have been through. How they are often survivors, if not of physical or sexual violence, then definitely of the violence of oppression. How can we hold them accountable and still get them the support they need for the fucked up shit they have been through and still keep ourselves safe? How do we share community? How do survivors get past the shock that “one of us” is recreating the violence? The guilt of not wanting to add to our lover’s oppression or make their situation worse? The fear that the community we found or created will hate us, shun us, expel us for shaking up the foundation of trust we thought we shared?"
—jai dulani “the revolution starts at home: pushing through the fear”
so i’m pretty sure this zine is just going to have me sobbing the entire time.
When a story is told or collected, silence is broken. This is no small thing. Isolation is a key factor and tool in perpetuating violence. Survivors of violence often find themselves silenced or stripped of power by their abusers, by the criminal legal system, or by the shame and fear that often accompany survival. Sharing stories allows the telling and retelling of what survivors - people who so often have been told that their voices are not worth hearing - have weathered and withstood. At its strongest, the act of naming the violence breaks an essential circuit in the cycle of violence.
— from “Making Our Stories Matter” by Rachael Herzing and Isaac Ontiveros, featured in The Revolution Starts at Home.