On an average day in an average month, the presence of misogynoir, even if frequent, is little more than irritating. The typical manifestations—mainly incidents in which a man of virtually any racial background gives disparaging remarks about Black women à la Bill O’Reilly—often make for an interesting, yet brief, groupchat-worthy discussion chock full of eyerolls. But in the last three weeks, the violent displays of misogynoir have become overwhelming and fear-inducing.
Recently, California legislators took the first steps towards combatting HIV criminalization by introducing a bill that would downgrade the charge for failing to disclose positive status to sexual partners from a felony to a misdemeanor. The bill would also apply to penalties against non-disclosure to blood banks.
I am not the same person now as I was when I was 14—and thank God for that. I was remarkably naive and unbearably insecure, and stuck in an environment that did nothing but exacerbate those complex internal struggles that are so typical of adolescence.
So imagine my outrage upon being continuously confronted with articles that insist on describing the affairs between Thomas Jefferson and a fourteen year-old enslaved Sally Hemings (simultaneously his slave and wife’s half-sister) as a ‘relationship.’ I cannot fathom, at fourteen, being denied the liberty to reject the sexual advances of a 44 year-old man (and not just any man, but a man who would become the President of the United States) only to have historians and writers skip over the imbalanced power dynamics and categorize it as a ‘relationship.’ Continue reading
What do you call a party that refuses to represent the interests of its base in an increasingly critical time in U.S. politics?
Soon to be over.
Since the beginning of this decade, the Democratic Party has continuously grown more and more out of touch with their base. We saw it in the 2014 midterms, when the decision to swing to the center and distance themselves from Obama resulted in sound defeat in Congressional races. We saw it in the heavily contested Democratic primary, as more and more traditionally left-leaning people began to critique, if not outright reject, the political establishment. Continue reading
Days after clinching the U.S. presidency in November, Donald Trump appointed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as his pick for Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice. From stating he was once “okay with the Ku Klux Klan” until he learned they smoked marijuana, to prosecuting Black activists in the decades following the fall of Jim Crow for registering people to vote, Sessions’ past, like Trump’s, is filled with controversial, biased and racially-charged rhetoric and action.
Civil rights groups around the country have begun mobilizing against his confirmation and urging senators to reject him. I spoke with longtime filmmaker and activist dream hampton about her efforts, in tandem with the advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance, to block Sessions’ confirmation as U.S. Attorney General.