Pinned splat

I recommend "Walking with the Comrades" to anyone who wants a primer on the Naxal movement in India. It's written by Arundhati Roy.

This book (essay, actually) is her journey literally walking through the jungle, meeting the Maoists, talking to them and understanding their story.

Growing up in India, you read all these one-sided news stories about Maoists inflicting violence when in fact they are just trying to protect themselves. When India gained independence and adopted the colonial constitution, the state became the custodian of the tribal lands.

They resist displacement for dams, mines, irrigation, development projects... And when they resist, police forces brutalize them.

At the time the essay was written, 45% of the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA, the armed wing) were women. Roy meets some of them as well.

If you're interested, you can read the essay here:

The law has sparked massive protests across the country, as hundreds of thousands of Indians have taken to the streets demanding far-right President Narendra Modi to revoke the legislation. #CAAProtest

Explaining the current beef between the lesbian and trans community to people who didn't know about it always makes me nervous.

How do you explain that lesbians, women who have often at times paved the way for LGBT rights, are now being kicked to the curb for people born male who want to appropriate our identity? Who tell us we are transphobic for not sucking "female penis" (of which there is no such thing).

How do you explain we are being raped, groomed, forced to refer to our abusers in court as "women" when they have weaponized their bodies against us the same as non-trans males.

How do you explain that we no longer feel safe? That lesbians are leaving the LGBT community and in some cases aligning with white radical feminists who align themselves with the alt-right because our own community (LGBT) will not allow us to speak?

How do we explain the butch and GNC young lesbians being pushed to transition because not conforming to gender roles must make them men? How do we explain detransitioners who feel violated by our healthcare system, misled by the LGBT community, and ostracized by the trans community.

This was never supposed to happen in the first place, there have always been inside issues in our community, but I feel that at last, unity in the community in a dream.

How do I explain that "TERF" is a slur when weaponized against lesbians for saying they wouldn't have sex with transwomen.

How do I explain the unique issues that come with being female, having a vulva. Issues that I am hyper aware of having lived in India where women get abortions purely because the fetus is female, and now there is a shortage of women in some states in India.

Do you hear us? We are here.

Don't you love it when you have sudden realigaytions about the past, like the fact that you actually had a crush on that woman seven years ago? Love to grow up repressed 🙃

"North Korea" was mini-trending on Twitter so I was like, Uh-oh, who did what to DPRK? Turns out Trump was railing against Parasite, so a bunch of ppl were reacting with "Haha, if the movie were North Korean he'd be all for it". First of all, please. Second of all, how dare you

<<The very idea of a “Latin America” and “Latin” people comes from the French intellectual Michel Chevalier, who sought in the late 1800s to create an umbrella term that would unite colonial subjects under a generic “Latin” identity. In doing so, Chevalier hoped to assist Napoleon III in expanding the French empire. Chevalier hoped that if he could persuade Mexicans to adopt a “Latin” view of themselves, they would be more inclined to align themselves with French interests. In 1968, John Leddy Phelan, in his “Pan-Latinism, French Intervention in Mexico, and the Genesis of the Idea of Latina America,” explains Chevalier’s intentions:

In order to forestall such a dismal prospect, Chevalier had an emphatic answer. France must reassert in a vigorous fashion that hegemony over the Latin world which belonged to her since the time of Louis XIV. Chevalier exhorted, “Only she [France] can prevent this whole family [the Latin nations] from being engulfed in the double inundation of the Germans or the Anglo-Saxons and the Slavs. To France belongs the role of awakening the Latins from the lethargy in which they are now submerged in the two hemispheres, to raise them to the level of other nations and to put the Latins in a position where their influence can be felt in the rest of the world.

If Mexicans embraced the ideals of “Latinism,” the French would now be their “Latin” brethren as opposed to the “Saxons” who also had interests in Mexico. As historian Thomas Holloway notes, “Napoleon III was particularly interested in using the concept to help justify his intrusion into Mexican politics that led to the imposition of Archduke Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico... ”

Unfortunately, the idea found a home among Mexico’s ruling elite. The notion that indigenous people would be “improved” by transforming them into Latinos was a central part of Jose Vasconcelos’s idea of “La Raza Cosmica,” a racial fantasy that promoted whiteness as the “door to the future” for indigenous Mexicans. In her book Seeing Indians: A Study of Race, Nation, and Power in El Salvador, author Virginia Q. Tilley breaks down the racism of “La Raza Cosmica” thusly:

Vasconcelo’s cosmic race concept had, however, little or nothing to do with Indians. Although citing the admixture of indigenous and black blood, he saw the true value of la Raza in its European Spanish and French — hence, “Latin” — cultural (racial) roots. In “La Raza Cosmica,” his tone about Indians was indeed dismissive: those Indians not already “Spanishized” (españolizados) had “no other door to the future than the door of modern culture, nor any other future than the road already cleared by the latino civilization.” His goal was to eliminate Indianness by turning Indians into “latino-mestizos” through cultural change, rather than truly to obviate and eliminate anti-Indian bias. Indeed, he believed that marginalizing — even eliminating — the indigenous peoples was essential to Latin America’s international security and standing.

Knowing the origin of the term “Latino,” I cannot bring myself to embrace it. No matter how you slice it, terms like “Latin,” “Latino,” “Latina,” and “Latinx” represent a racist-colonialist mindset that actively erases people of indigenous and African origin. Why should we continue to promote a term that privileges whiteness at the expense of Brown and Black people? Sadly, in the race to be inclusive, a variety of alphabet-twisting terminology has emerged. >>

Gandhi is only revered because of his satyagraha (non-violence). The fact that he was lionized is no accident.

It's how the establishment keeps down the oppressed. You are a good protestor only if you are non-violent. You deserve to be heard only if you are non-violent, even though it will likely amount to nothing.

Gandhi was fucked up for a number of reasons, most importantly his thoughts and actions with respect to caste, race, and sex. It's definitely infuriating when white people exalt him (plus they never spell his name correctly), more so when Indians do it.

It is Black History month and I must talk to you about one of the most important women in the history of modern science. Her name is Henrietta Lacks and her cells were the first immortal human cells ever grown in culture. Known as "HeLa" cells.

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells, taken without her knowledge in 1951, became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and have aided in cancer research. HeLa cells are still used to study the effects of toxins, drugs, hormones and viruses on the growth of cancer cells. They have been used to test the effects of radiation and poisons, to study the human genome, to learn more about how viruses work, and played a crucial role in the development of the polio vaccine.

The real story behind HeLa cells?

Henrietta Lacks did not consent to her cells being taken and used in this manner, and despite her amazing contribution to science, her family was never compensated.

The HeLa cell line continues to be a source of invaluable medical data to the present day. No consent was obtained to culture her cells, nor were she or her family compensated for their extraction or use. The Lacks family was not made aware of the line's existence until 1975 and its use for medical research and for commercial purposes continues to raise concerns about privacy and patients' rights. In the 1980s, family medical records were published without family consent.

"Ron Lacks, 59, said in an interview: “My father just wants to have some control over what has happened in the past. Even on our family story, we have been shortchanged. . . . The family story, we don’t even own that.”

“It’s not all about the money. My family has had no control of the family story, no control of Henrietta’s body, no control of Henrietta’s cells, which are still living and will make some more tomorrow.”

white feminist callout 

Any woman will be labelled a TERF if they say a critical thing about trans issues. Right wing women who are critical of it are called it which makes zero sense because many right wing women dislike feminism and radical feminism is often oppositional to right wing politics obviously. I heard men labelling Hillary Clinton a TERF when she is not even a feminist, nevermind a radical one. TRAs often water down female radical politics as a way to label radical women right wingers.

TERF is just used as a way to justify violence against women considering threats of violence that follow afterwards as well the violence that women have faced from TRAs.

There are toxic people on all sides but let's not forget where the vast majority of toxicity comes from.

This doesn't fit under our current categories, but it ended up tasting so good I thought I'd share. Hope that's okay.

This is a creamy garlic sauce pizza with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and olives. (I cheated a bit and got the crust premade.)

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