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Never Forget? The Things You Really Need to Remember

September 11, 2015

I reblog this every year.And this year I’m going to add one more thing that we should all remember.

Americans are being targeted right now by extremists in our own country. An elderly Sikh man was beaten yesterday while his attackers hurled anti-Muslim slurs at him.

Black Americans are being hunted by the law enforcement officers who are supposed to protect us.

Female Americans are being hunted by pretty much whoever the fuck feels like it.

While you’re busy posting about 9/11 keep in mind that we are a long way from right in this country a lot of the time and a not small number of our citizens are living under the constant threat of terrorist violence, not from ISIS or some other Muslim extremist group but from the religious right, from men, from straight people, from white people, from the police every fucking day.

Never fucking forget.

So everyone knows what today is. Everyone knows that a bunch of people died due to extremism and today everyone is going to bombarded with two things; idiotic “Never Forget,” signs, images, bumper stickers and what not; as well as multiple television shows and movies attempting to re-traumatize the public for cash.

And all we’re going to be told today is that we should never forget. Yeah…thanks. I needed that reminder because the image of two people holding hands as they leapt to their deaths from the higher floors of the North Tower, so as to have some human contact in their last moments on earth, was going to go away any time soon; just,you know, pop right out of my head.

You know what we shouldn’t forget?

We shouldn’t forget that there were actually four planes that crashed that day. One took out a building full of soldiers. One crashed in a field after it was retaken by the passengers. The two others hit two buildings full of people.

Why do so many people focus on the building full of victims rather that the building full of soldiers or a plane full of ordinary Americans who stepped up when it was necessary and made themselves heroes? I think we should never forget the other two planes that crashed.

Guess what else we shouldn’t forget?

The terrorist attack on September 11th wasn’t random. It was the result of two things; religious extremism and global politics.

Notice that I didn’t say Muslim extremism. Yes, the people who attacked the U.S. were Muslims but that is peripheral. Religious extremism isn’t exclusive to Islam as evidenced by the idiot reactions to Park 51.

As a result of the religious extremism that led to the attack on September 11th we, the United States have responded with a level of extremism that makes no logical sense and is, in fact, pathetic and sad.

Somehow, in our strong, tough response to terrorism we’ve embraced the very worst traits of those people who attacked us and shown that what we as a nation mean by strong and tough is actually acting in the most cowardly, counter-Constitutional way possible.

Never forget that repeating the same mistakes are going to lead to the same result. Yes, Mr. President, I am looking at you right now.

Never forget that in the days after September 11th people who looked like they might be Muslims were attacked and in some cases were killed.

Never forget that fear and panic are exactly the reactions that the people flying those planes on September 11th wanted.

Never forget that religious extremism is what is happening right now in the United States. Go to any right leaning website and do a search for the word Muslim. You’ll see what I mean.

Never forget that September 11th is the event that led our nation into signing away our civil rights in the form of the Patriot Act.

Never forget that September 11th is the event led directly to a war we never should have fought in which 4400 American service men and women gave their lives and countless civilians died.

Never forget that the U.S. tortured people.

Never forget that part of the reason that the U.S. was targeted was our own actions and our subsequent inaction. That doesn’t, in any way, justify the actions of the terrorists but it’s something that we need to cop to.

Never forget that the U.S. has been selectively meddling in the Middle East for decades and doing so with little regard for the wishes of those in the region or the sovereignty of the nations therein.

Never forget that the events of September 11th are far more nuanced and complex than any t-shirt or very special episode can possibly cover.

Never forget that terrorism in America is overwhelmingly domestic and Caucasian.

You want to memorialize September 11th? Remember that real patriots respect Islam. Remember pluralism, the concept that two or three or thirty-seven, divergent ideas can and must exist in the same nation at the same time and each be equally respected. Remember that we the people have a responsibility to the nation and the Constitution to stand up for our fellow Americans, no matter what religion or nation of origin.

Remember that. While you’re at it, remember that all of the memorials that are showing on TV are happening for profit and all the memorials that are happening in the media are too.

Remember, that grieving is a process and if you are still in the exact same mental and emotional place, wherein you are afraid to leave the house on this day and you cry and cry all day long, you should probably go talk to a professional because you are kind of stuck on step one.

Remember, most of all, that if you are one of those people who are reliving every moment of the attacks on social media or in person you are very likely triggering the shit out of someone else. Also, you’re being really ghoulish. Stop it.

Then remember this:

Real Patriots

Ally Basic Training Supplement: You Will Make Mistakes #BlackTransLiberationTuesday

August 25, 2015

Ally Basic Training


On this day when we honor specifically Black Trans Lives, I want to make a point that very few people will make to you.

You’re gonna fuck up.

You will fail to be a good ally.

It’s going to happen.

Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Day of the Dead

That’s me appropriating the fuck out of a culture that is not mine and thinking I look extra cute while doing so.Take that shit in. This is what I do! This is my wheelhouse and wow did I fuck that up in a major way.

And that’s not the last time I did so.

I’ve written in the past about my use of the most offensive trans slur. And how it was wrong. But even that blog post is a problem because aside from a bunch of stuff about Perez Hilton and Azelia Banks it’s mostly about me and my feelings and not, you know the people I hurt with my abject stupidity.

It should not have been about me.

It should not have been about me.

It should not have been about me.

It should have been about my trans friends.

It should have been about the pain I caused them with my stupidity.

As an ally, my entire job in the moments when I fuck up is to not center my feelings but to center the feelings of the marginalized. Guess what I didn’t do. Yep, I made a mistake and you will do the same. You’ll trip yourself up on your privilege or the training we all have to push aside the value and basic humanity of the marginalized. And when that is pointed out to you, you will get all up in your feelings just like I did.

That is wrong. Don’t do that.

Return to Step 1. If you’re making it about you and your feelings then you are failing to listen to other human beings, you’re failing to acknowledge that you and your feelings are what a system that marginalizes other humans wants you to do, you’re being an ass, you’re failing to center the marginalized, and you’re failing to earn yourself any trust.

You’re failing all of the steps that I have spent time and effort outlining for you. Fix that.

Black trans women are being slaughtered and too few people care. Too few people raise up their voices. Too few people say their names.

Jasmine Collins

Tamara Dominguez

Elisha Walker

Kandis Capri

Ashton O’Hara

Shade Schuler

Amber Monroe

K.C. Haggard

India Clarke

Mercedes Williamson

London Chanel

Kristina Gomez Reinwald

Penny Proud

Taja Gabrielle DeJesus

Yazmin Vash Payne

Ty Underwood

Lamia Beard

Lamar “Papi” Edwards

Bri Golec

Make this about them. Think about them. Say their names. Care that their lives have ended and join with them to value them. Seek out trans voices and listen to them. Seek out trans people and be led by them. Do better. Be better. You keep doing the work and so will I.

Ally Basic Training Part 4: Trust

August 20, 2015

Ally Basic Training

Don’t demand it.

Don’t expect it right away.

Don’t complain that you don’t have it.

Earn it.

We’ve been fooled too many times before.

Part of your privilege is your ability to check out and go ghost whenever you feel like it.

We’ve seen that happen all too often as well.

A number of people I know have lately taken to informing everyone who is already allowed on their social media as well as anyone interested in joining that they have rules for who they will friend or follow or whatever.

It basically goes like this “If you’re white and I don’t know you personally from back in the day I’m checking you out before I accept a connection. If I have to scroll more than three time to find something Black Lives Matter related walk on.”

On their own feeds, that belong to them, wherein they get to make decisions and decide who they interact with.

In reaction people are losing their shit.

Losing. Their. Shit.

And making all of the excuses.

“But if I post about BLM my friends will get angry at me. I don’t want to make my white friends and family angry.”

OK then. That’s where you check out. Keeping peace on Facebook is more valuable to you than Black Lives. Got it. You do you. It’s your life. You make decisions for yourself and your interactions. I am not judging.

OK that’s a lie. I am totally judging, but I don’t care enough to read you for it. You do you. Just do you over there. Because we are busy trying not to die.

Also, we aren’t going to trust you that far because, you know, you’re not even willing to risk a dust up on your Twitter feed while we are out here fighting for our lives.

“But I have real life friends and I can’t talk about this to them because reasons.” Yeah. I don’t care about your reasons. And I don’t trust you because you care more about that friendship than our lives. Cool. Oh wait, not at all cool. That one. The second one.

That’s where you check out. You’re fine interacting on your social media page but confronting someone on their racism in real life is a step too far? No trust then. Because you’re proving you aren’t willing to do the work to earn trust.

I’m not saying that you have to be lying in the street at every die in and confronting cops in riot gear every weekend. I’m saying that we are in a state of constant mourning and we are never allowed to finish the process because there is always a new name, a new story, a new brutality for us to learn.

As I type this right this second, the police in St. Louis are attacking peaceful protesters. People are dying out there. I don’t have time for your virtual friends or your family and their feelings. And I don’t trust that you will value the next piece of state violence, the next set of official lies, the next death more than your temporary peace.

Prove me wrong.

Ally Basic Training Part 3: Center

August 16, 2015

Ally Basic Training


Center: anyone but yourself.

Center: anything but your own feelings.

Center: anything but your own safety and comfort.

What do I mean by centering others? Google works for everyone. go look up terms on your own time.

DO NOT: Pivot away for the marginalized to your own shit.

For example, today one of the people I know on the internet shared the story of Charnesia Corey, who was raped by a group of Texas police officers after the white male officer who stopped her claimed he smelt weed in her car. After searching the entirety of her car and finding nothing, he called in a female officer to perform a cavity search of Ms. Corey in a public parking lot.

The police department is claimed for a while that they did, in fact, find .02oz of pot in Ms. Corey’s vagina. Either that police officer has mutant powers and needs to join the X-Men or the police were lying.

Oh look, the fact that they have dropped the charges against Ms. Corey indicates the police were lying.

Either way, the reaction to this from people with functional souls has been outrage on behalf of Ms. Corey and anger that another Black woman was violated by authority figures for their entertainment.

And then there’s the White Feminist/Dec-entering reaction?

 Please people, understand that the War on Drugs and the criminalization of cannabis creates a reason for law enforcement to act like this. I’m sure this isn’t the first time and it likely won’t be the last. Take a stand.

See that? Don’t do that.

Don’t take a story that is about a Black woman being violated by a white cop who lied about finding weed in her vagina and make it about the weed. That’s horrible.


Bernie at Gettysburg


Bernie Sanders went to Gettysburg, the largest Civil War cemetery in the country, and talked about economics. Not slavery, not the history of racial injustice in America, not the value of Black lives. Fucking economics. That is also horrible and it is a prime example of everything wrong with the white liberal thought process today.

Stop it. Stop it. Stop it right the fuck now. Stop it forever.

I get that part of this is training; for White Women™ especially. When someone talks abut their pain, you talk about your pain and that shows you are the same.

But we aren’t the same because your whiteness protects you. Also, stop it forever. That’s how privilege works. It protects you from the consequences and the pain that we have to face. We are not the same.

In your daily life examine whose words you are using, what posts you are sharing, what books and media you recommend. Are the voices you are raising up white when the subject is racism or #BlackLivesMatter? Are they straight when the subject is Gender and Sexual Minority rights? Are they female when the subject is misogyny? Are the feminist voices you are supporting intersectional? Or are you only posting the kinds of voices that don’t need your signal boost?

And I’m going to admit that part of this is personal. So if you call sour grapes I’m not going to pretend that isn’t a factor. A~ and I both blog about the issues of Social Justice and because we talk to each other, our posts sometimes parallel each other. So sometimes we end up posting similar things around the same time. Yet her stuff, which comes from the place of a white ally, is shared by our mutual friends significantly more often than my stuff which come from the place of Blackness. that is annoying on a personal level, but far more importantly it is problematic in terms of allyship.

If you find yourself reaching for white translations of Black voices you need to go back to Step 1.

The same thing happens in a larger sense with authors like Tim Wise, who I will admit is a good writer, but is really in love with the sound of his own voice to the point where he actively takes up space that could be occupied by Black voices that come out of actual Black people.  People post his things like they are gospel while ignoring the huge number of Black voices that they could be boosting. Those same people, and innumerable others, post think pieces by white people about Black issues which are centered on whiteness and the white viewpoint as if they are insights into “the Black mind,” or “the Black plight.”

Make no mistake, that’s just more racism. These authors are too busy trying to speak for us that they can’t listen to us.

That’s a problem.

In talking about this, A~ decided to challenge herself and others to post only the voices of Black people and other marginalized groups for one 24 hour period on all of their social media platforms.

All of them failed, including A~.

You all need to get better at this.

Don’t just listen, memorize, repeat and credit the originator of the thoughts.

Don’t just read, recommend.

Don’t just like, share.

And don’t look to Black people to tell you what you should be reading, who you should be listening to, and who you should be following on social media.

Google works for everyone. Look it the fuck up. Don’t ask us to do this work for you. We’re busy trying not to die.



@SenSanders, @HillaryClinton Where Are You? #NotanALLY #ThisIsWhiteSupremacy #EarnThisDamnVoteOrLose

August 13, 2015



Tyrone Harris Jr. was shot in Ferguson, MO over the weekend. He was a friend of Mike Brown who, as you may remember, was lynched by the police one year to the day that Tyrone was shot by the same police force.

Senator Sanders, where are you? Secretary Clinton? Feel free to jump in on this any time.

Maybe his isn’t a good enough victim? I mean the police say he had a gun. They even offered video. But if I remember correctly, and I do, that same police department offered a video excuse for they lynching of Mike Brown too. Despite the fact that the video didn’t have anything to do with the lynching, the police released it as if it were relevant.

Does this situation seem something other than similar to you?

You could speak out about this. But you are silent.

Secretary Clinton? Is this thing on? Senator Sanders, where are you?

Dr. Cornel West, Deray McKesson, Johnetta Elzie and a host of others (look them up. Do the tiniest bit of work) were arrested over the weekend for peacefully protesting the police department that funds itself via racism and which lynched Mike Brown. Meanwhile, white people armed with assault rifles are occupying Ferguson and that seems perfectly fine with everyone wearing a badge.  .


Oathkeepers in Feguson

Either of you have an opinion on the blatant disparity?

As I sit here typing another person has been shot by police, this time in Oakland. He was the second to be shot in the city in nine days. (9Pm CDT, so if you have both suddenly jumped up and done any of these things just ignore me. Oh wait you’ve been ingoring all of us this whole time haven’t you?}

Anything? Anything at all?

You are both still running for president right? I didn’t miss an announcement somewhere that one or both of you have dropped out? Because you two are nowhere and my people are dying. You should both be ashamed.

There have been innumerable opinions in the past two days for either of you to show the most minimal level of leadership skill.You’re running for president, not prom king, where are you? You want to lead this country? You want to be the Leader of the Free World?

Fucking lead.

Step up. Say their names. Say Black Lives Matter. Say it every day.

Secretary Clinton, say it with no qualifiers, no wiggle attempts, no backing out. Tell Black voters our lives matter. And then show us something to back it up.

Bernie, can I call you Bernie? I’m going to. You want my vote? You want to secure the votes of a metric fuckton of Black voters? Go back to the Senate and introduce a comprehensive racial justice bill. I know you understand the impact that introducing a bill has, because you just did it for college age kids and their parents.

Mike Brown was on his way to college. He might have benefited from your bill. We will never know because he’s dead.

Tamir Rice was 12. He might have benefited from your bill. We will never know that either because he too is dead.

Sandra Bland was on her way to a job at a college where she might have influenced the lives of people who benefited from your bill. She is dead too.

They are all dead and you’re just sitting there.

Perhaps you could take a look at O’Mally’s proposal. It’s better than yours.

Once again, we do not need you, either of you The very best you and your supporters can come up with when I point this out is “but a republican would be worse!”

To them and you I ask, what is fucking worse than us dying in the streets? What is worse than us begging for our lives and being told that we need to ask nicely. What is worse than right now?

Get your shit together. Step up and be leaders or watch someone else get sworn in next January and know that your inaction is the reason why.

Ally Basic Training Supplement: Don’t Be An Ass

August 11, 2015

Ally Basic Training

If you can’t express your support for a candidate without also being extra racist, you are failing. Return to Step 1.

If your response to #BlackLivesMatter is any variation of all lives mattering you sound like this:

and you’re failing. Return to Step 1.

If you think that the proper response to any of the above is to rush toward my comments section with ill-conceived confidence to explain your truly true truth.

Fucking stop. Return to Step 1.

Instead, be this guy and others like him who raise up Black voices and Black issues.

@SenSanders You Have A Problem #ThisIsWhiteSupremacy #WhatFergusonTaughtMe

August 10, 2015

I am not a happy Witch. Strap in.


Almost exactly one year after an 18-year-old was shot and left in the street for 4.5 hours we see the face of Whiteness in America.


@SenSanders this weekend your supporters screamed at and put their hands on a Black woman who was literally crying for her life and you stood there and did nothing.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Just a few hours later you finally put out something like a Racial Justice plan and pushed a Black female face out front. And then you directed her to teach your supporters to further shout down Black Lives Matter activists.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

You are White Supremacy.

Dear Bernie,

Can I call you Bernie? I’m going to. Simple truth: We DO. NOT. NEED. YOU. You need us and you are throwing away Black votes with both hands. Get your shit together.


A police union decided the anniversary of the day Mike Brown was killed was a great day to declare Darren Wilson Day. Because you know, that’s classy.



@SymoneDSanders taught the mostly white Bernie crowd how to shout down people people who are screaming for their lives.

You madame, are acting in support of White Supremacy and should be ashamed of yourself too.


In the mean time Ferguson police shot another 18-year-old last night. I remind you that last night was the 1 year anniversary of Mike Brown’s death and they. killed. another. Black. man.


America, you should be ashamed. You will not bully us inot silence while we are dying in the streets. You will not demand our votes while you devalue our humanity. You will no longer abuse and gaslight us.

No more.

Shame USA

Ally Basic Training Part 2: Acknowledge

August 9, 2015

Ally Basic Training

Acknowledge that as an ally you are, by definition the beneficiary of a system designed to benefit you and denigrate the marginalized. That doesn’t mean that everything is super plus plus perfect for you or that you are not impacted by other aspects of marginalization. It just means that if you are a part of a marginalized group you aren’t an ally to that group because, you know, you’re already a part of it.

As such, you view the world through a veneer of privilege. Please note that I did not end that sentence with “and you’re a horrible person.” This is not a value judgement. It’s just a fact.

Acknowledge that your desire to help and to learn is less important than the mental and emotional well being of the marginalized. As such, you will not always be welcomed into marginalized spaces. Even if you are welcomed, that welcome may be conditional upon you proving that you know how to act right.

And that is perfectly OK because this is not about you or your comfort. It’s about the marginalized and if you can’t make it about them and keep it about them then you are wrong and you need to return to Step 1.

Otherwise you are wrong and, you know, not an ally.

Acknowledge that your privilege is going to cause you to make mistakes. It’ll be easier for you to address them if you understand they are going to happen, no matter what.

Acknowledge that if you were raised as a nice white middle class liberal, you were probably taught that your dual goals were tolerance and colorblindness. Both of those tenants are aspects of White Supremacy. Reject them.

The culture that you grew up in worked hard to convince you that you are normal, that your experiences and your understanding of how the world works is true, and that your method of interaction with that world, a method based on privilege, is the correct way to go about things. Your world view is true and by definition all other world views are not.

All of that, that I just wrote up there in the previous paragraph? It is wrong and you are going to have to acknowledge that in order to be a good ally.

You will say and do things that are hurtful, offensive, and just plain wrong. And you will be called out on that behavior. That is the moment when you reach for the previous entry in this series and STOP. That is the moment when you listen. That is the moment when you may feel as if you are being told that water is dry and the sky is down. It’s OK. That feeling is called cognitive dissonance and it is what is supposed to happen when your mind expands to assimilate new facts.

Take a moment. Take several moments. Take as many moments as you need to avoid getting defensive and ruining a learning experience by getting all up in your feelings.

Once again, it’s not about you. If your reaction to being called on problematic behavior or even just hearing the truth about the culture that oppresses the marginalized, is to take offense or to make sure everyone knows that you’re not like that…you are actively being like that. Stop it. Return to Step 1

Embrace that feeling of discomfort, otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time. .

Ally Basic Training Part 1: Stop

August 7, 2015

Stop typing. Stop talking. Stop tweeting. Stop booking face. Stop pushing your opinion, point-of-view or voice forward in any way.

Just stop.

The absolutely least that you can do as an ally is listen to the voices of those marginalized groups with whom you are trying to ally. That means you do not talk.

If you find yourself welling up with the urge to use any phrases that resemble “in my opinion,” or “from my point-of-view,” or “as a white person,” you should stifle that urge without compunction. Do not hesitate. Just stifle.

Especially if you are lucky enough to be invited into Black spaces, just stifle.

Instead of talking you should listen. You should take in the voices of the marginalized. Hear their stories and when something they say makes you uncomfortable or causes you to get defensive, good. That means they are challenging your entrenched thought process.

That’s the entire reason you are in the space; to listen, to learn, and to be challenged and challenge yourself. If you’re not doing those things then you are wrong and you need to go home until you get right.

“But I just want to help!”

That’s nice, but you cannot be helpful until you learn to listen.

The only time you take the mic is to pass it to one of the marginalized. Period.

The only time you put yourself forward is to body block for the marginalized or to create space for the marginalized to move forward. Then you step back.

If someone calls you on a mistake that you made, fucking apologize. Don’t make excuses or explain your intent. Just care that you caused pain or damage.

Practice both empathy and respect. You’ll need to practice because we are actively taught not to feel empathy or respect for the marginalized. Fight what you are taught.

Educate yourself. Before asking a question of a marginalized person fucking Google that shit. Because I’m tired of having these basic conversations over and over. If you hear a term you don’t know LOOK IT THE FUCK UP. Don’t look to us to educate you in the most basic aspects of being a good ally.

Or, you know, a decent human being.

Being an ally is not a label you can claim, it’s a process you undergo in order to improve yourself. It’s work.

Either do the work or don’t pretend that you’re an ally.

End of fucking file.

Ally Basic Training

Two Words About Tolerance for Allies

August 5, 2015

Fuck it.

Fuck tolerance.

Fuck it in every possible way.

Fuck it and fuck you if that is your goal.

Because tolerance is just another way for you to express White Supremacy and I have no time for your shit.

Because tolerance is not respect.

You tolerate an unruly child. You tolerate an ill-trained puppy. Tolerance requires that you be above the thing you are tolerating.

Fuck. Your. Tolerance.

If you are reaching for tolerance then you are not reaching for respect and you are entirely wrong.

Fix your shit.

I deserve respect.

More importantly, I fucking demand respect just like you demand it.

But here’s the difference, I do so at the risk of my own life. Just ask Sandra Bland. She demanded respect as a citizen and now she’s dead. That police officer who illegally arrested Sandra Bland, along with innumerable others who have executed people for the crime of being Black, as well as their apologists continually insist that they deserve respect. It’s their go-to assertion; that the right level of respect will keep a Black person safe.

That theory is so common it has an actual name, Respectability Politics.

And it’s bullshit.

If you cherish tolerance over my respect then you need to go back to Ally Basic Training.

Sigh, now I need to write Ally Basic Training, don’t I?


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