Breaking via ABC News: UN Human Rights Council votes to open inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza; U.S. is the ONLY “no” vote.
That’s because the U.S. is a direct accomplice to every war crime that Israel commits.




Breaking via ABC News: UN Human Rights Council votes to open inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza; U.S. is the ONLY “no” vote.

That’s because the U.S. is a direct accomplice to every war crime that Israel commits.



I have an unpaid internship for a non-profit that makes documentaries. And their most recent documentary is about conditional cash transfers in Latin America as a method of reducing poverty. My job is to research themes related to the documentary and compile links for an educational packet.

But what I noticed is that we never talk about race. It isn’t a related theme. And at first I was thinking “This isn’t about race, this is about poverty and the women in poverty.” But just as poverty disproportionately affects women, it disproportionately affects black and indigenous people in Latin America. A related theme is the “feminization of poverty” but not the racialization of poverty. 

Which is interesting, considering a lot of the links I find point out that black people, especially, face the brunt of poverty in Latin America. All the people I work with are white, some are Latino, yes, but still white. I just find it interesting how race isn’t a related theme although race is just as related to poverty and gender is. I also find it interesting how I refused to acknowledge their neglect of this topic until now. Hm. 

What’s Genocide?

their high school principal
told me I couldn’t teach
poetry with profanity
so I asked my students,
“Raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Holocaust.”
in unison, their arms rose up like poisonous gas
then straightened out like an SS infantry
“Okay. Please put your hands down.
Now raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Rwandan genocide.”
blank stares mixed with curious ignorance
a quivering hand out of the crowd
half-way raised, like a lone survivor
struggling to stand up in Kigali
“Luz, are you sure about that?”
“That’s what I thought.”

“Carlos—what’s genocide?”

they won’t let you hear the truth at school
if that person says “fuck”
can’t even talk about “fuck”
even though a third of your senior class
is pregnant.

I can’t teach an 18-year-old girl in a public school
how to use a condom that will save her life
and that of the orphan she will be forced
to give to the foster care system—
“Carlos, how many 13-year-olds do you know that are HIV-positive?”

“Honestly, none. But I do visit a shelter every Monday and talk with
six 12-year-old girls with diagnosed AIDS.”
while 4th graders three blocks away give little boys blowjobs during recess
I met an 11-year-old gang member in the Bronx who carries
a semi-automatic weapon to study hall so he can make it home
and you want me to censor my language

“Carlos, what’s genocide?”

your books leave out Emmett Till and Medgar Evers
call themselves “World History” and don’t mention
King Leopold or diamond mines
call themselves “Politics in the Modern World”
and don’t mention Apartheid

“Carlos, what’s genocide?”

you wonder why children hide in adult bodies
lie under light-color-eyed contact lenses
learn to fetishize the size of their asses
and simultaneously hate their lips
my students thought Che Guevara was a rapper
from East Harlem
still think my Mumia t-shirt is of Bob Marley
how can literacy not include Phyllis Wheatley?
schools were built in the shadows of ghosts
filtered through incest and grinding teeth
molded under veils of extravagant ritual

“Carlos, what’s genocide?”

“Roselyn, how old was she? Cuántos años tuvo tu madre cuando se murió?”

“My mother had 32 years when she died. Ella era bellísima.”

…what’s genocide?

they’ve moved from sterilizing “Boriqua” women
injecting indigenous sisters with Hepatitis B,
now they just kill mothers with silent poison
stain their loyalty and love into veins and suffocate them

…what’s genocide?

Ridwan’s father hung himself
in the box because he thought his son
was ashamed of him

…what’s genocide?

Maureen’s mother gave her
skin lightening cream
the day before she started the 6th grade

…what’s genocide?

she carves straight lines into her
beautiful brown thighs so she can remember
what it feels like to heal

…what’s genocide?
…what’s genocide?

“Carlos, what’s genocide?”

“Luz, this…
this right here…
is genocide.”

I don’t want you to think I’m cute. I want you to think I’m powerful, fierce. I want you to see the movement brewing inside of me. I want you to see more than thick thighs, I want you to think “She could crush my head between her thighs if she so desired.” Don’t tell me I’m cute, tell me my voice is important and that I need a larger platform. I’m over wanting people to see me as attractive, see me as a human being, with a will to change the world.

Fake Representation

I’m so fucking tired of people attempting to be representative and missing by a long shot. Representation is not one dark skin black woman, or one fat white woman. These feelings came from watching Colbie Caillat’s video for “Try.” The video features many women, removing make up from their faces and showing off their hair how it naturally is. While I appreciate the concept behind the video that you don’t have to try to look beautiful because you naturally are, I feel like the video didn’t change anything or wasn’t revolutionary in any way. Is is really that extraordinary for a thin, white woman to accept herself without makeup and hair extensions? Personally, I feel like to change things and to be revolutionary, you have to make a lot of people feel uncomfortable. Yes, this goes for concepts of beauty too.

Firstly, most of the women in the video were white, or white-passing, or at least light-skinned. She included one skinny dark skin black woman with natural hair, one skinny bald woman, one (or a few) skinny red headed woman, a couple skinny women with freckles, and a fat white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. I appreciate the sentiment, I really do. But if your idea of beauty is one degree away from what is normally presented as beauty under this white supremacist system then I really don’t want it. 

Beauty in women is marketed and presented as being white, and thin with long, blonde hair and blue eyes. So the one black woman is still thin and has medium length hair. The one fat woman has blonde hair and blue eyes. The one bald woman is white and thin. 

What about every one else? What about the other shapes, sizes, and colors women come in? What about transwomen, women who aren’t feminine, women with disabilities? 

This is a reoccurring trend where people think they add one black woman, or one fat, white woman and it’s representation. It’s not. It isn’t anywhere close to true representation. I refuse to be complacent with acceptance and representation as a gradual, step by step, degree by degree thing. I want it all, and I will fight for it all.

But honestly, I’m really not surprised. I don’t really expect anyone that benefits from a white supremacist, cisheterosexist, patriarchal, capitalist system to present revolutionary, inclusive beauty. This supposed “progress” we’re making is much too slow.

Learn to Use your Voice

If there’s only one thing I learned so far this summer, it’s that I need to speak up. I’ve been so afraid of speaking up and using my voice when I’m in unfamiliar places and with unfamiliar people. I learned that people will abuse me for not speaking up for myself. 

I read a quote by Audre Lorde, that inspired me to want to talk, to speak for myself and to inspire people to talk for themselves. “What’s the worse that can happen?” she asks. 

Sometimes when I’m really passionate I fear speaking will make me cry, and I suppress my voice, and I suppress my tears. But tears are human, some people may question why I was crying, but they’ll forget eventually. I think I need to remind myself that the interactions I remember are not the interactions other people will remember. I need to let more things go. I need to not be angered so easily. I strayed a bit from my main point but these are things that will help me speak up. I think I should be more compassionate and understanding. Care more for people. 

But before I care for other people, I have to properly care for myself and that involves speaking more, even if I feel it isn’t something groundbreaking or revolutionary. The more I talk the more comfortable I will be talking about the more controversial things when they arise. Suppressing my voice will not work if I plan on making a difference anywhere. Sometimes my voice is the most important thing I have, and if I don’t use it then what’s the point? I will lose nothing if I speak up, and if I do, then it was never meant to be mine anyway.


New York City: A Decade of Resistance - Trans Day of Action 2014, at Christopher Street Pier, June 27, 2014.

From Trans Justice of the Audre Lorde Project: “On Friday, June 27, 2014, TGNC (Trans and Gender Non-Conforming) People of Color (POC) and allies will take the streets of New York City once again to demand justice and let the world know that the Stonewall Rebellion is not over and we will continue fighting for justice and raising our voices until we are heard.”

Photos by Chrissy Maritza Etienne

(via wocinsolidarity)


The 16 most inspiring things about bisexual artist Frida KahloMexican painter Frida Kahlo was born 107 years ago today July 6, 1907. A feisty free spirit who blazed her own trail and inspired everyone around her.

Frida Kahlo is one of the most revered artists to come from 20th century Mexico. Her distinctive look and style are instantly recognizable and she has been called a diva, a muse and a feminist icon.

A force of nature perhaps best summed up by an art critic who saw one of her very first exhibitions and said: ‘It is impossible to separate the life and work of this extraordinary person. Her paintings are her biography.’

She fought through a great deal of adversity during her life. At the age of six she contracted polio, when she was 18 she was badly injured in a bus crash and later in life she suffered several miscarriages … Kahlo never lost her passion for life. She was well known as an extremely quick witted and sharp woman, always the centre of attention wherever she was. Her strength of character has made her an emblem of hope and determination for many.

Art historians usually focus on her relationship with fellow Mexican painter Diego Rivera (whom she married, divorced and then married again) and her affair with Communist leader Leon Trotsky. But Kahlo was bisexual, and made no secret of her affairs and relationships with women as well as men. Kahlo was linked with African American entertainer Josephine Baker, American painter Georgia O’Keeffe and Mexican singer Chavela Vargas.

Photographers were captivated by her beauty. She was a muse to photographer Nickolas Murray who loved to take her picture in her sumptuous Mexican clothes.

Her work has been exhibited in art galleries all over the world, her diary has been published and many authors have written biographies of her extraordinary life.The house she lived in is now a museum. La Casa Azul is filled with trinkets and treasure collected by Kahlo during her life and is one of the biggest cultural attractions in Mexico.

She defied classification of her work. Art critics tried to label her as a Surrealist painter, which was very trendy at the time, but she defied this label, instead saying: ‘They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.’

In 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo’s art as a "ribbon around a bomb".

(via angrywocunited)