REMINDER WEEK 21 – OCTOBER 23, 2020
Before we forget, here’s our website of past newsletters, here’s a link to subscribe to our Patreon, here’s an anonymous question bank for anyone who wants to keep their questions private, here’s a fund tracker that breaks down how we spend our money, and here’s the link to sign up to receive these newsletters if someone forwarded them to you.
We are so excited to see any and all of you for a dialogue this Sunday night to talk about Cultural Appropriation, this video, and the ways we can work towards cultural appreciation that doesn’t make a mockery of someone else’s identities or traditions. Invite any friends who might be interested in a candid, shame-free but accountability-inducing conversation.
- Name a time you, or something about you, felt like the butt of someone else’s joke. How did it make you feel?
- Have you ever dressed in a way that appropriated another culture or identity?
- What are your thoughts on the distinction between dressing as a character versus a caricature? (Think: dressing as a Geisha vs. dressing as Mulan or dressing as Pablo Escobar vs. dressing as a drug dealer).
- How can we tell our family, friends, or even strangers that their costume choices may be causing harm in a way that invites reflection instead of indignance?
- How can we learn from and even emulate other cultures in an ethical and appreciative manner when we see parts that we really like? (ie. a style of dress, an artform, a type of dance, etc.)
Meeting ID: 731 4249 2884
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN NIGERIA? #ENDSARS and #LEKKIMASSACRE
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a faction of the Nigerian police force that was developed nearly three decades ago to “prevent robberies” in the nation. However, the unit is highly militarized and officers of the organization target any young person with nice possessions, practice mock executions on them, sexually assault them, and sometimes kill. In fact, Amnesty International has found at least 85 abuses associated with the group since 2017.
October 11, 2020, the Nigerian government announced that SARS was dissolved and officers would be deployed to other forces. This sparked massive backlash from demonstrators who called for former SARS officers not to be rehired. On Tuesday, protestors took to the streets again in Lekki Toll Gate Plaza in Lagos, Nigeria. The crowd sang the national anthem as “security forces” opened fire, killing 12 and injuring hundreds.
You can help by donating to mutual aid funds arising out of Nigeria. We’re supporting Assata Collective as they send funds directly to queer and trans Nigerian activists on the ground in Lagos. You can donate via paypal at: paypal.me/captnsal
Wait… but how is this about racism?
Remember when Notre Dame burnt down and $835 million dollars was raised overnight to rebuild the building? Nigerian youth activists have been calling for international support since 2017, fighting for their literal lives, and gaining almost no traction outside of social media. There is some racism embedded in our preferences toward “relatable” nations’ crises compared to those that feel “foreign.”
We could say a lot about the role of imperialism in the development of Africa, the way the nations were divided by arbitrary lines drawn by Europens who hardly accounted for the individual cultures when drawing them; how much of the violence that has emerged from Africa is directly related to Western interventions. And we could say a LOT about how Western media is biased against stories coming out of Africa or about the African diaspora as a whole, but we’ll save all of this for a separate newsletter. For now, we will sum it up as this: Black lives matter means they matter everywhere.
- Inside the Utility Company Lobbying Blitz that Will Hike Electric Bills – energy poverty is a form of racial injustice. This great ProPublica investigation explains how utility companies often attempt to manipulate legislation meant to protect their buyers in order to make them more money. Google your own state’s energy justice efforts (here are two based in North Carolina and South Carolina to wet your whistle!)
- The System is Made for Power, Not Justice and Black Cops Don’t Make Policing Any Less Anti-Black – two more mind blowing, thought provoking articles from Kaepernick Publishing’s Abolition for the People series
- Heat is the Human Rights Issue of the Century – Part of Atlantic Planet, a new series from The Atlantic about the ways that climate change is currently affecting our world. In the words of our friend Sophonie, “climate is a racial justice issue.”
- Election Night Coverage is Broken, In 2020 It Could Be Dangerous – This article from The Appeal makes the case that presidential election results are likely to take weeks or months to be determined. This “race to name a winner on Nov. 3” could do serious damage to the integrity of the vote-counting process.
Alright team, we’ll see you Sunday! Have a safe and healthy weekend.
Ellie, Emily, and Hayden