Cultural Appropriation and Death by Hoodie

Protester holding a photo of Trayvon Martin in a hoodie
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First they wear the hoodie to rebel… Someone in a marginalized culture starts wearing clothes and hair a certain way (spats, Afros, bell bottoms, baggy pants, hoodies) that those in the dominant culture are not wearing it. (And that fashion is used as shorthand for ‘threatening’, and oppressed people get killed) Authorities in the dominant culture cry out against the ‘radical’ fashions of ‘those people’ (And that fashion is used as shorthand for ‘threatening’, and oppressed people get killed) Then they wear the hoodie to fit in… Young people of the dominant start importing the style from the oppressed culture…

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‘The Rich Men Need Our Food Stamps’: The Relative Value of Twenty-Five Bucks

twentyfive - 'The Rich Men Need Our Food Stamps': The Relative Value of Twenty-Five Bucks
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My sister posted a link on her Facebook awhile back that the state of New Mexico was cutting low income seniors’ Food Stamp allotment by $25. Twenty-five bucks. When we think of taxation and all of the complicated formulas that go with it, the numbers can be dizzyingly difficult to understand, especially as you get into millions and billions and trillions.Twenty five bucks, though, we get. Who, after all, can understand what a million dollars looks like in your hands? And while you might be able to reasonably figure out the purchase power of a million dollars applied to your…

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All Humans are People; or “Othering”, Justice, and the Monkeysphere

Where the humans eat - All Humans are People; or “Othering”, Justice, and the Monkeysphere
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You wouldn’t think that the basic tautology in this title, ‘all humans are people’, would be controversial, but when you start breaking it down, a lot of people will start quibbling. There was a fairly long thread in Alas, A Blog this week, discussing Sheri Tepper’s Strange Horizons, that dealt seriously with the question of “incorrigibles”. You know, people who don’t deserve the same rights as other people. Let me tell you a bit about “incorrigibles”. For starters, there are none. Human beings are human beings, and some human beings commit acts that other human beings rightly condemn. That doesn’t,…

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The Attack on Planned Parenthood is Personal

300px Planned parenthood supporters - The Attack on Planned Parenthood is Personal
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Article first published as The Attack on Planned Parenthood Feels Personal on Technorati. (link is now broken) About 26 years ago, I was a teenage girl as HIV was just starting to hit the newspapers and was still the “gay disease”. I’d fallen head over heels over a guy at school who was smart, talented, funny, and absolutely wrong for me (weren’t they all, back then) and I wanted to “do it” in the worst way. I went down to my local Planned Parenthood, and with minimal fuss and bother, and without costing me a dime, I got my very…

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