It’s Wednesday – on being black and Muslim in the U. S.

Let’s hear from someone new today. Please click through to read the article On the Bodies of My People by Tyson Amir. This is a beautiful memoir of a man reconciling his faith, his culture, and how he is treated and should be treated.

I proudly come from that tradition of Islam being mixed with a fight for the freedom and liberation of Black people and all oppressed peoples.

This fight began once the first men and women were stolen from their homeland and placed aboard Portuguese ships to be carried across the Atlantic Ocean. The reality is their fight didn’t end with them; their fight has been passed down to every generation of their offspring.

My generation is attempting to practice Islam and fast Ramadan in the age of mass incarceration, school to prison pipeline, the war on drugs, the era of every 28 hours a Black person being killed by law enforcement or security personnel.


It’s Monday – cis/straight privilege

It’s Monday and time to think about our privilege!

When we found out we were having twins, the first question people asked (almost without fail) is if we were having boys or girls. When our babies were small, that was still strangers’ first question. It didn’t bother me, per se, so much as surprise me how ubiquitous it was. Our twins are both female and although we are not pushing “girl” stuff we identify them as girls. But now that they are a little older, there is a lot of talk of potential boyfriends and how daddy needs to get a shotgun. This does bother me. It is disheartening how much conversation revolves around gender and heteronormativity with babies and toddlers.

prideflagToday I want to share this article from Everyday Feminism: 10 Examples of Straight Privilege. Click through to read the whole thing. The thing that stood out to me was that heteronormativity is both assumed from birth, and is reflected constantly in media. I’ve noticed this as we’ve watched so many children’s shows. From preschool shows that actually center episodes on the characters trying to get “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” to just minor passing scenes when romance is not a subject on the show at all.

So what to do? Those of us that are cis gendered and heterosexual have a long way to go in being supportive of our LGBTQA friends and family. But the changes that are needed – no more bathroom bills, intersectional feminism as the only feminism, real diverse representation in media, legal protections regardless of sexuality – all of that feels overwhelming. But we can change the culture of microaggressions today! Start here by reading this article on Huffington Post: Being an Ally Means Sometimes Having to Say You’re Sorry. Then practice! Listen, apologize, keep our mouths shut. We can do it!


It’s Monday – on disappearing to find yourself

It’s Monday! Time to talk about privilege.

Today I want to share a Longform article by Alex DiFrancesco called How to Disappear. They write about their experience with disappearing in the midst of a mental break. Speaking about hearing the story of a girl who left her life behind, and the differences between how her disappearance was treated in comparison to their own, they say:

When I saw Kidd’s story, I thought of all the resources that had gone into her “case,” and all of those of us who really were lost, unhealthy, and scared, who were given little to no help.

DiFrancesco also gives us a peek into their journey to self acceptance. Here’s a snippet from the part that I resonated with, as having someone love me has helped me find my true self:

Having someone understand me, love me, and support my gender identity let me be the person that I’d been hiding from myself, the too much and too far that some of the people who had said they’d loved me all my life couldn’t allow. Some people did look at the real me and judge me as unlovable. Others adapted, learned, embraced.

Beyond the cis-gendered privilege many of us experience, DiFrancesco also touches on class and family support privilege. Please click through and read her entire story.

Amnesty: Compassion in the Age of Rhetoric

by: Juan Meave

I’m a child of amnesty. My family came to the United States on two separate, but similar, journeys. My mom came with her family as a child, my dad by himself when he was a teenager, but both journeys began as illegal immigrants. Both sides of my family were from the same small mountain town in San Luis Potosi; they knew each other very well. In the early 1970’s, my mother’s family immigrated to the United States. They’d be one the first of many families to leave this town. Some families would immigrate to the U. S. Others, like my father’s, would move to the capital. There just wasn’t enough opportunity to support a family. To this day, the town is supported by the people that come back to visit, economic refugees coming back home. Continue reading “Amnesty: Compassion in the Age of Rhetoric”

It’s Wednesday!

Let’s widen our online reading!

Please click through and read Vrai Kaiser’s essay, “Nobody to Wear” on Popularium. It’s a beautiful look at identity, seeing yourself, and that adolescent feeling of not believing your outside can ever match your inside.

And then click over to Feminist Current for the provocative, “You’ve Heard of Rape Culture, but Have You Heard of Pedophile Culture?” I don’t want us to ever get into the trap of shaming other women for the choices they make with their bodies, but this resonated strongly, every summer when I feel compelled to shave my body baby smooth, every time I see those flirty 50s dresses that keep coming back in style with their petticoats you’d put on a toddler as soon as a grown woman. We want to live in a society where women and men can make free choices about their personal expression, but we don’t live in that society. Not yet.

And finally, a great meme by Jerilyn Hassell Pool, found on facebook.


What have you been reading this week? What’s challenged you?