7th Circuit Finds Gender Identity For Transgender Students Is Protected

This news broke yesterday and it is fantastic. From the Transgender Law Center:

"With this decision, the Seventh Circuit (which covers Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana) is the first federal appeals court to find conclusively that a transgender student has the right to be treated in accordance with the student’s gender identity at school under both Title IX and the Constitution. Notably, it is also the first decision to reach that conclusion without reliance on the Obama Administration’s guidance on schools’ Title IX obligations to transgender students, which the Trump Administration rescinded in February."

 

Read more:

 https://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/13892

Social Welfare Isn't About "I Paid My Share"

This is important. Though the post focuses on social security, you really have to consider it across the entire social safety net. That's because "welfare" is a dirty word, but "social security" is somehow the honor and the privilege of "hard-working Americans". If you're even on these pages, you should know where this is going--those who think they are deserving of honored categories of government payments see "welfare" as something for Black folks and people of color. The entire culture of the modern welfare state is geared toward this kind of thinking, such that you can't call student grants, subsidized loans, the mortgage interest deduction, 401(k) pre tax deductions, employer provided health benefits credits, government contracts and funding, and and and... For some reason none of that is called welfare but is considered deserved  for being a productive member of society. Nevermind that societies take all types, that economic cycles govern production, that racism and sexism affect access to productivity; nevermind that human life has intrinsic worth and should be valued for the sake of itself. But like the article says, once we sell these social welfare schemes as deserved rewards, it makes all the rest of it easier when you don't "pay into" the kind of welfare they think only PoC receive. 

 

Read more: 

 http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2017/05/paying-social-benefits

ICE Continues To Harass Latinx People, Even Citizens

It's almost as though the entire agency exists to traumatize brown people, as though the agents are sadisticly imposing their values of a "white America for white Americans" onto anyone with brown skin. Humanity and decency are lost on them. Look at the the link, look at this woman, and how the hell do you find her a threat?! That could be an auntie, a tia, an ate to any one of us. Enter ICE. 

 

Read more: 

 http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-aclu-ice-plascencia-20170524-story.html

Trump's Budget Hurts Women More (but you have to know how to look for it)

The folks at The Upshot used a texhnique called "gender based budgeting" to calculate how Trump's budget proposal affects men and women. While its easy to say "cuts across the board" are objective and neutral, the reality is that much of government policy affects us differently. As long as American society still varies in outcomes and access by race, gender, sexuality, and other social lines, we cannot dismiss these effects with depoliticized and socially neutral rhetoric.  

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This Regime Is Dismantling Civil Rights. Quietly.

It appears the Trump administration is quietly reducing the clout of federal civil rights agencies and divisions, doing so across the entire federal level. Reducing budgets, installing personnel hostile to the missions of these various agencies, and otherwise dropping any effort to continue to protect the rights and protections of people of color and our queer and trans family, the administration is pushing its agenda however it can. The potential for harm is great. The racia animus? Just read this quite from one of his nominees:

"Jackson’s nomination has added to the anxiety of civil rights activists. Jackson, a lawyer from Vancouver, Wash. and author of a book about women who had accused President Bill Clinton of sexual assault, has written that programs aimed at fostering a diverse student body dismiss “the very real prices paid by individual people who end up injured by affirmative action.” 

 

Read more: 

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-plans-to-minimize-civil-rights-efforts-in-agencies/2017/05/29/922fc1b2-39a7-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82_story.html 

They Published. The Personal Info. Of Abuse Victims.

Is it incompetence? Is it indifference? Is it malicious? The stories we've heard coming out of those charged with "protecting" our borders under this new regime have the color of a vindictive and malocoous culture hellbent on making life hard and harder for anyone that has brown or Black skin. We already know that this has pushed immigrants to stop reporting abuse and any crime which might alert authorities to their legal status. But giving whereabouts in a public database and allowing the harmed among them to be further victimized? It's disgucsting. 

 

Read more: 

 http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2017/05/immigrant-domestic-violence-victims-appear-dhs-database

DREAMers Are In Danger With The Sadistic F*cks Now Running Loose At DHS / CBP / ICE

10 are in detainment centers, and the big story from USA Today has the first deportation of a documented DREAMer, previously granted protection by the Obama Administration (see DACA) because they were brought to the US as children. But the utter garbage and sadistic white supremacy of the Department of Homeland Security (and its Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies) have gained a renewed sense of purpose and cause under Trump. And so we have stories like this, where a perfectly normal teenager doing perfectly normal teenager things is expelled like some monster because his skin happens to be brown.

 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/18/first-protected-dreamer-deported-under-trump/100583274/ 

State Senator From Miami Uses The Hip-Hop Defense When He Says "N*gga" (Guess the race)

 He also called a woman "this b*tch", and another colleague a "p*ssy". But yes, he tried to use the "its slang" defense when referring to his colleagues. I don't know how many times we have to gove folks a basic lesson in how language works. Familiarity, intimacy, significance of interpersonal relationships, the quality of the relationships themselves--these matter in language. You have nicknames in your family, terms of endearment for your significant others, refer to people of influence with respectful titles, and so on. So we already know when it is okay and not okay to use language. We know that it isnt "free speech" that we don't refer an executive VP in our company with "listen, bro." And yet when it comes to demeaning people by race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, or otherwise, it suddenly becomes a matter of free speech and asserting not just a freedom to be a dick but the false yet utterly white and male and hetero notion that it is a responsibility to be a dick.

 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article145327079.html 

ICE Arresting More Non-Criminal Immigrants; Prosecutors Now Fear Immigrant Victims Of Crime Aren't Coming Forward

This is awful on multiple fronts. ICE has doubled its number (and share) of arrests of non-criminal immigrants. And with ICE officials camping out at courthouses, prosecutors and advocates fear that immigrants aren't reporting assaults and violent crimes committed against them. After all, if reporting a sexual assault might also get you deported by the ICE agent standing by, why bother? From WaPo:

 "Advocates for immigrants say the unbridled enforcement has led to a sharp drop in reports from Latinos of sexual assaults and other crimes in Houston and Los Angeles, and terrified immigrant communities across the United States. A prosecutor said the presence of immigration agents in state and local courthouses, which advocates say has increased under the Trump administration, makes it harder to prosecute crime.

“My sense is that ICE is emboldened in a way that I have never seen,” Dan Satterberg, the top prosecutor in Washington state’s King County, which includes Seattle, said Thursday. “The federal government, in really just a couple of months, has undone decades of work that we have done to build this trust.”"

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration-arrests-of-noncriminals-double-under-trump/2017/04/16/98a2f1e2-2096-11e7-be2a-3a1fb24d4671_story.html

A Problematic Patch To The Gender-Gap In STEM Fields, Not A Fix

The research should be framed entirely differently. Allowing women to skip grades and accelerate should be done anyway. But to frame it as a good fix to the problem of gender norms and the values that men have when it comes to work isn't actually foxong anything. Whether women want to have babies or not, get married or not, the underlying problem is that men are expected to work more and have less balance at home while women are expected to support that man in ways that allow him to work more. Gender gap, pay gap, skills gap... Fix the expectations (and the way women and girls are steered out of STEM fields) and you have a better fix than the patch proposed by this piece.

 https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/04/can-grade-skipping-close-the-stem-gender-gap/523305

San Diego State To Consider Replacing Offensive "Aztec Warrior" Mascot

Let's be clear: using caricatures of indigenous people as mascots is an offensive oversimplification of entire cultures, and reduces humans to racist tropes and stereotypes. This is what these mascots do, full stop. They do not belong in any time, and least not in 2017. As has been noted by opponents of the current mascot, less than 1% of the SDSU student population consists of people of indigenous descent (a whole other problem? probably) and Aztecs existed more than 1,000 miles away--there is no local, in-group case that can be made for maintaining the offensive mascot, and instead we have non-indigenous, non-Aztec people declaring the symbol to not be offensive and demanding it remain. Ridiculous.  

http://remezcla.com/culture/sdsu-aztec-warrior-mascot/ 

Strav Strashko, Torraine Futurum, Marcs Marcus: Three Trans Models Featured In Proenza Schouler's Fall 2017 Lookbook

This is so much glory. Fashion and style need not accept the binary, or outdated notions of what makes a "woman" and a "man". From Paper Mag: 

 "Proenza Schouler's pre-fall 2017 collection arrives in stores today, and the accompanying lookbook notably features three transgender models.

The lookbook, shot by photographer and former model Ethan James Green, features models wearing the bold patterns and colors of the collection. Alongside models Michelle Gutknecht and Emm Arruda, the trans models featured are Stav Strashko, Torraine Futurum, and Marcs Marcus."

 http://www.papermag.com/proenza-schouler-trans-fashion-models-2366976914.html