Sasanka Jinadasa: Here's Why We Need to Stop Calling Pumpkin Spice a ‘White People Thing’ (BGD)
It’s not pumpkin or pumpkin spice that’s the problem; it’s the commodification of our resources as somehow exotic when used in non-white foods and comfort when used in white foods. And when we mock certain foods as “white foods,” particularly in America, we’re capitulating to a lie—the lie that anything we eat in the diaspora isn’t touched and flavored by people of color. It’s the ahistorical denial of the complexities of the role of colonialism, slavery, and genocide in the spice trade. And it further snarls the delicate balancing act all diasporic people are forced to embody, in constantly having to understand their selves in relation to the trauma of separation from home and capitalist violence.
Alana Semuels: The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America (The Atlantic)
As the city became more progressive and “weird,” full of artists and techies and bikers, it did not have a conversation about its racist past. It still tends not to, even as gentrification and displacement continue in Albina and other neighborhoods.
Zahir Janmohamed: How Portland Is Driving Away New Residents of Color (Portland Mercury)
But the disparities are disconcerting. According to 2010 data, income for white Portlanders was about $62,000 per year. For Black Portlanders, it was $35,000—lower than the national average for Black Americans, which was $43,300.
These statistics, sadly, are the story of America. It always has been and Oregon is no exception. But residents of color told me that a bigger problem is that far too many white Portlanders are knowledgeable about these discrepancies, but remain complacent, even dismissive.
Catie Gould and Emily Guise: Adventures in Activism: Tools of the trade (Bike Portland)
How can you “engage” in transportation advocacy? You’re in the right place, since one of our missions here at BikePortland is to get you inspired and informed enough to have a valuable role in local policy and project decisions. But you need tools. Our activism editors Catie Gould and Emily Guise of BikeLoudPDX have put together a list tools they use to sharpen their activism skills.
For every person who considers themselves a transportation advocate, there are ten more who are interested in learning more but don’t know where to start. Below you’ll find some of the best tips and resources we’ve come across or learned in our advocacy work.
Helen Rosner: 20 Things Men Can Do RTFN to Support Women, Beyond Just Literally Ceasing to Sexually Harass Us
If you’re a man unsure of what you can do right now to support women, instant changes you can make this very second in your daily life that will make life better for women (and, bonus, for men too!), here you go.
Hazel Cills: Queer Eye Is Missing Out on a Sharper Conversation About Inept Straight Dudes (Jezebel)
These men don’t exist in a vacuum, yet the Five frequently treat their subjects, and their ineptitude, as existing in one. The Five seems to believe that simply a lack of self-care is the problem in each of the straight men they makeover, unique to each of them, and not an issue of a systemic lack of accountability in men when it comes to household or traditionally feminine labor. The show continually begs for one of the Five to say, out loud, that straight men don’t often know how to take care of themselves because they rely on the labor of others (even, in this case, the labor of five gay men.) The makeovers at the heart of the show could be a jumping off point for a conversation more substantial than about how feeling good is the end-all, be-all goal. For example, it’s fun to joke about “can’t cook” Antoni, but continually he frames food and cooking not as a necessary skill but merely a fun instrument of entertaining. “Food is love,” he says. A nice meal is “special.” Cooking is a great “gift” you can give. What it rarely is, even for the subjects on the show who do cook, is sustenance for a man and his family that he’s rarely expected to make. It’s telling that in order to get so many men on board with cooking that Antoni needs to wrap up the experience as a special occasion and not a new, daily occurrence.
Queer Eye might be so in love with mapping out a heart-pulling arc that it won’t throw the Fab Five a good challenge, because freeing men (as much as you can in a 45-minute television show) entombed in ideas of what a Real Man should be is worth exploring right now. Mainstream America is just getting hip to the idea that women’s work in the home (the cleaning, cooking, date-keeping, childcare, etc.) is often invisible, unpaid, and yet implicitly expected on basis of gender alone; an American time use survey released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2017, on an average day, “19 percent of men did housework—such as cleaning or laundry—compared with 49 percent of women.” At the same time, there’s an ongoing conversation about how to raise boys and what we expect of them in the shadow of their innate privilege and entitlement.
Catie Gould: “Be reasonable” and other advice aspiring activists should ignore (Bike Portland)
To “advocate” is a verb. It requires you to occasionally stand up in front of other smart people and give voice to the politically unpopular topic that no one else wants to bring up. When you do that, people often try to talk you out of it. Here are some of the responses I’ve heard. After reading through them, I hereby grant you permission to let them roll right off you so you can get back to work.
Why I Wrote a Book About an Obscure '90s Computer Game
It is in details like this, whether in the construction of a technical artifact like the French public transit system at the heart of Latour’s Aramis or a strategy game from the 1990s, that we see the texture of how people and machines produce everything around us. It reminds us not just that the world is human-made, but also that specific historical and technical contexts opened imaginations or constrained possibilities.
Note: Most of these answers pertain to the American Crow, _Corvus brachyrhynchos_. Much of the information here is from my own research on crows in central New York; where I used other sources I have tried to reference the material.
—Dr. Kevin J. McGowan, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
WhiteAccomplices.org: Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
The ideas captured on this website, very much a work in progress, have been developed to support White people to act for racial justice. It draws from ideas and resources developed mostly by Black, Brown and People of Color, and has been edited by Black, Brown, and People of Color. I recognize that categorizing actions under the labels of Actor, Ally, and Accomplice is an oversimplification, but hopefully this chart challenges all of us White folks to go outside of our comfort zones, take some bigger risks, and make some more significant sacrifices because this is what we’ve been asked to do by those most impacted by racism, colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, xenophobia, and hyper-capitalism. I believe that for real change to occur, we must confront and challenge all people, policies, systems, etc., that maintain privileges and power for White people.
Cordelia Dillon: How to call your reps when you have social anxiety
When you struggle with your mental health on a daily basis, it can be hard to take action on the things that matter most to you. The mental barriers anxiety creates often appear insurmountable. But sometimes, when you really need to, you can break those barriers down. This week, with encouragement from some great people on the internet, I pushed against my anxiety and made some calls to members of our government. Here’s a comic about how you can do that, too.
Toria Gibbs & Ian Malpass: Recommended Reading for Allies
One important strategy for being an effective ally is self-education. Women are frequently expected to teach introductory feminism and entertain discussions on “being a woman in tech” with anyone who asks. It’s a great burden to shoulder and frankly a waste of their time. You wouldn’t ask Rasmus to teach you how to write a Hello World program in PHP, right? No! You would go out and find the articles, tutorials, and forum threads that already exist for beginners.
With that, we introduce our list of recommended reading for allies.
Toria Gibbs & Ian Malpass: Being an Effective Ally to Women and Non-Binary People
Relying on members of minority groups to shoulder the burden of diversity issues is just as flawed as expecting one person to do all the work to fix a broken deploy system. You can’t excel at your job when you spend half your time dealing with other stuff. We need ways of spreading the load. We need allies. And we hope that’s why you’re reading this now.
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How many slaves work for you? There are 27 million slaves in the world today. Many of them contribute to the supply chains that end up in the products we use every day. Find out how many slaves work for you, and take action.
Now that the rich are no longer required to pay taxes, death has become the sole universal human predicament.
Renouncing one’s own greed, understanding oneself as one small participant in the infinitely long conga line of history, is reassuring, as is the idea that you can contribute to the well-being of those who will survive you. In fact it’s the only real (by which I mean, lasting) balm for the fear that is the inevitable companion of life.
Maria Bustillos: Erasing History (Columbia Journalism Review)
Absent that microfilmed archive, maybe Donald Trump could have kept insinuating that Barack Obama had in fact been born in Kenya, and granting sufficient political corruption, that lie might at some later date have become official history. Because history is a fight we’re having every day. We’re battling to make the truth first by living it, and then by recording and sharing it, and finally, crucially, by preserving it. Without an archive, there is no history.
Andy Beta: Yvonne Turner Helped Invent House Music—So Why Does No One Know Her Name? (Pitchfork)
Evan Turner was actually Yvonne Turner, who had a prolific, if abridged, career as a producer, mixer, and remixer. Being erroneously credited was just the beginning: On subsequent pressings of “Music Is the Answer,” her name was left off altogether. These kinds of mistakes and misprints make piecing together Turner's discography especially tricky. She was often relegated to the small print on a record, bumped to associate or co-producer status, marked as mixer instead of remixer. In dance music, it's assumed that the singer is secondary to the producer in the creative process, but the inverse is true for Turner. Many male vocalists she worked with—be it Abrams, Willie Colón, or Arnold Jarvis—got credit for the music.
Demi Adejuyigbe: The Mortal Threshold of Whiteness
When I heard about Alton Sterling, I mentally skipped all five stages of grief. It is too regular and I am too used to seeing the cycle of death and despair and inactivity as my black brothers and sisters die in the street. Before I could rouse myself into reading about the case, Philando Castile died too. The video appeared on Twitter. I made the mistake of watching it. I spent hours crying. He did exactly what I’ve been taught to do with the police since I was a child. He complied. He followed orders and reached for his ID, and he was still shot. In the middle of the day, in full view of his girlfriend and child.
Michelle Allison: Diet Culture Exists to Fight Off the Fear of Death (The Atlantic)
This is how the omnivore’s paradox breeds diet culture: Overwhelmed by choice, by the dim threat of mortality that lurks beneath any wrong choice, people crave rules from outside themselves, and successful heroes to guide them to safety. People willingly, happily, hand over their freedom in exchange for the bondage of a diet that forbids their most cherished foods, that forces them to rely on the unfamiliar, unpalatable, or inaccessible, all for the promise of relief from choice and the attendant responsibility. If you are free to choose, you can be blamed for anything that happens to you: weight gain, illness, aging—in short, your share in the human condition, including the random whims of luck and your own inescapable mortality.
Juliette Cezzar: How to Have a Professional Conversation
There is a bit of eye-roll material here (“if you want to be able to talk to anyone, read the newspaper every day,” LOL OK) but it’s full of a lot of good advice for anybody talking to other professionals in any capacity.
--I’m looking for work and instead of a real interview I was offered an “informational interview.” Should I go? How do I prepare for it? Do you have any tips?
--You should go to any interview that you are invited to, because it’s one of the best ways to learn how to have a professional conversation with someone you don’t know.
A handy guide to financial support for open source.
This document aims to provide an exhaustive list of all the ways that people get paid for open source work. Hopefully, projects and contributors will find this helpful in figuring out the best options for them.