I can probably count on my two hands how many times I’ve seen my mother’s hair outside of its headwrap. For modesty’s sake, she has religiously worn the garment almost every day for as long as I have been alive. To my mother, hair is an intimate experience, to be let down only in intimately personal moments–and she has always had far, far too few of those in a world that demands she give all her energy simply to survive.
Having to write this at all is frustrating to say the least. But, heterosexual sex is not the only kind of sex. Not only that, it isn’t a tool that should be leveraged to secure anyone’s civil rights. And, even though actress, singer, producer, and Black girl from the future Janelle Monáe recently suggested otherwise in her 2017 Fresh Faces interview with Marie Claire, “respecting the vagina” is not synonymous with respecting women or our rights.
In January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a plan that would make attending college a lot easier for the state’s families. It may have seemed like a lofty dream at the time, but it was just approved.
A plan to offer residents free tuition to state institutions was approved and will take effect for the 2017-2018 school-year.
Not content with over-policing Black folks in the streets and at their schools, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now extending these practices into their academics. Earlier this week, the mayor shared his bright idea for requiring Chicago Public Schools students to produce a letter of acceptance from a 2 or 4-year university, vocational school, a branch of the military, or a job before receiving their diploma–starting with this year’s freshman class.
President Donald Trump has been infatuated with both Russia and its leadership for over a year now. Based on recent news stories, it appears that his affections weren’t one-sided. They may have helped him win the election. However, as many predicted, this illicit relationship has now put Trump, and the United States, in an awkward position especially where it concerns Syria.
James W. Knowles III has been re-elected as mayor of Ferguson, MO. This happened despite a well-recorded history of mishandling the uprising in the city following the killing of Mike Brown and the political discourse that followers.
“Before women can work to reconstruct society we must reject the notion that obtaining power in the existing social structure will necessarily advance feminist struggle to end sexist oppression. It may allow numbers of women to gain greater material privilege, control over their destiny, and the destiny of others, all of which are important goals. It will not end male domination as a system.”
–bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center
Feminist theorist bell hooks has deeply questioned white feminist notions of power, noting that power–even in the hands of women–that is defined by domination simply reproduces systems of oppression. This quote is particularly pertinent, as Ivanka Trump has become a federal employee this past week, and it appears that her use of power will be used to maintain the order and domination of her father’s disastrous presidency.
Apparently, Black Lives Matter groups have even more to be concerned about when it comes to police authorties.
The Guardian reports that New York Police Department officers went undercover to infiltrate small groups of Black Lives Matter activists. The department was then able to gain access to private text messages and offer the locations of certain activists during 2014 and 2015.