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Main article: BlackLivesMatter

33 Fierce Signs Of Resistance From Pride Marches Across The U.S.

LGBTQ Pride marches ensued across the U.S. this weekend and the signs did not disappoint.

Thousands of people hoisted colorful signs of resistance above their heads as they flooded the streets of New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco and other cities during the annual demonstration.

Many signs carried traditional Pride messages of love and unity while celebrating the LGBTQ community and their push for equal rights throughout history.

Other signs took aim at President Donald Trump, whose administration and policies have been largely condemned by LGBTQ community members. Last week, six top experts resigned from Trump’s advisory council on HIV and AIDS, a major issue affecting the LGBTQ community, over the president’s lack of policies to combat the HIV epidemic.

Other signs demanded justice for those disproportionately affected by police brutality, including people of color and those in the LGBTQ community.

Black Lives Matter activists carrying banners that read “No Justice No Pride” delayed the Pride march in Minneapolis. The demonstrators claimed the event was furthering “white supremacy” by ignoring the verdict that found a policeman not guilty in the shooting death of Philando Castile in a suburb of St. Paul last year.

New York City began its 48th Pride March this year with what some interpreted as a sign from Mother Nature ― a rainbow shining over the city skyline.

Check out the roundup below for some of the most powerful signs from this year’s NYC Pride march and other LGBTQ pride events across the country. Prepare to be Babashook!

Warning: Some of these signs and images could be considered NSFW.

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jun 26 17, 01:13
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Thousands March In Saint Paul After Philando Castile Verdict

Protesters rallied in front of the state Capitol in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Friday after a jury found a police officer not guilty in the July 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile.

Jeronimo Yanez, a police officer in the suburb of St. Anthony, shot and killed Castile, who was black, during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was in the car with him and filmed the aftermath of the shooting. Yanez was found not guilty of several charges Friday, including manslaughter. 

Demonstrators had planned to gather outside the Capitol even before the verdict was made public, according to local news station WCCO. Saint Paul police estimated there were around

 at the rally as of 9:41 p.m. local time.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Reynolds said in a statement that she was “incredibly disappointed.”

“My boyfriend, Philando Castile, was pulled over because, per officer Yanez, he had a wide nose and looked like a suspect,” Reynolds said,


“It is a sad state of affairs when this type of criminal conduct is condoned simply because Yanez is a policeman,” she went on. “God help America.”

Protesters chanted “

,” “
,” and, later, “
” as they marched down University Avenue in Saint Paul, according to local reporters.

In videos from the rally, the demonstration showed no signs of slowing down as the sun set over the city.

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jun 17 17, 06:47
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Journal Apologizes After Excluding Black Writers From Black Lives Matter Issue

A prestigious academic journal has come under fire after publishing an issue dedicated to Black Lives Matter with no black writers.

The Journal of Political Philosophy allotted more than 60 pages of its June issue to the movement, authored by three white professors. Two academics in African-American studies wrote open letters addressing the lack of black voices and criticizing the journal for routinely ignoring issues related to race.

University of California, Los Angeles professor Melvin Lee Rogers sent the editors of the journal an email, which he later posted on Facebook, expressing his disappointment with the series of articles.

“It is profoundly troubling that a symposium named in honor of the movement effectively performs the invisibility and devaluation of black life via the exclusion of scholars of color that the movement would otherwise challenge,” Rogers wrote on Wednesday. “This is especially upsetting because there are a number of political theorists and philosophers of color positioned to easily say something meaningful about the movement and its connection to substantive normative issues.”

He then listed several black philosophers who would have been more suitable candidates to contribute to the journal.

Yale professor Christopher Lebron also wrote a letter on Wednesday noting the irony of all white writers addressing Black Lives Matter, a movement aimed at ending the erasure of black lives. He also criticized the journal for completely ignoring issues dealing with race for the past few years. 

“One might (or might not) be surprised to learn that at four issues a year, making a total of nearly twenty issues ... the Journal of Political Philosophy has not published a single article on the philosophy of race: voting, elections, immigration, global markets, and animals have gotten their time in the journal’s sun,” he wrote.

“But as black Americans, and the philosophers who study racial inequality ― a political philosophical problem ― have directly engaged one of our era’s most sinister moral and political quandaries, the journal has failed to represent race in its pages,” he continued. “Maybe more damning, so far as I can tell, not one black philosopher has seen her or his work appear in the pages of your respected journal, on race or any other topic.”

As the letters circulated, Twitter users chimed in.

The journal issued a letter of apology on Thursday, calling the omission of black writers an “oversight.”

“We, the Editors, sincerely apologise for the oversight in not including a Black author in a Symposium explicitly entitled ‘Black Lives Matter’. We accept the point eloquently and forcefully made by our colleagues that this is an especially grave oversight in light of the specific focus of Black Lives Matter on the extent to which African-Americans have been erased and marginalised from public life.”

The editors said that they’ve scheduled a meeting to review their “inadequate” procedures and said that they would extend invitations to add “at least two” black people to their board. They also said that they would work harder to include work from philosophers and political theorists of color.

H/T The Root

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may 31 17, 19:27
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Miss Black Texas Says Police Chief Illegally Arrested Her In Fit Of Racist Road Rage

Miss Black Texas 2016 is calling for a North Texas police chief to be removed from his job after he allegedly called her a “black bitch” and unlawfully arrested her for passing his 14-year-old daughter on the road.

Carmen Ponder, an intern at the Hunt County district attorney’s office and a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, tweeted Tuesday that she experienced “road rage” from Kerry Crews, the police chief in Commerce, Texas.

Ponder says she was on her way to a local Walmart when a black truck cut in front of her and began driving erratically. She says she decided to pass the vehicle to avoid a potentially dangerous situation because she believed the driver to be drunk.

She had parked her car outside the Walmart before realizing the black truck had followed her, she says. Crews, who had not identified himself as a cop, apparently yelled at Ponder for passing his daughter, whom he had been teaching to drive at the time.

“Whatever, you black bitch,” Crews allegedly told Ponder after she reminded him that it’s “illegal” for a 14-year-old to drive.

It’s just a reminder that our skin color ... is seen as something hostile, dangerous and illegal.
Lee Merritt, civil rights attorney

Ponder says she walked away from the confrontation and made her way into the store. She alleges that Crews, his daughter and at least one other man were waiting for her when she returned.

One of the men allegedly informed Ponder that Crews is a police chief and that she should apologize to him for being disrespectful. Ponder refused and began walking to her car, apparently prompting the man to grab her by the arm and tell her she was going to be detained.

When more police arrived on the scene, Ponder approached them for help. But she claims the man who initially grabbed her told the officers that she was resisting arrest and instructed them to detain her.

Ponder was handcuffed, put in the back of the a police car, and detained for roughly 24 hours. She was released but still faces a charge for evading arrest.

Read Ponder’s description of the ordeal below.

Crews did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. He told a local NBC affiliate that his attorneys had advised him not to speak.

The Commerce Police Department declined to comment on the incident. 

Ponder’s attorney is Lee Merritt, a civil rights lawyer. He told HuffPost that a Walmart employee heard Crews swear at Ponder and apologized on his behalf. Walmart referred HuffPost to the Commerce Police Department when asked for a comment. 

Merritt said Ponder suffered bruising on her arms and is hesitant to leave her house because she’s afraid of being threatened by Crews’ supporters.

“If this is how [Crews] behaves when he feels someone disrespected him ... how does he handle people who he suspects of committing real crimes?” Merritt said. 

Ponder is calling for the charge against her to be dropped, for Crews to be fired and for the other involved officers to face disciplinary action.

“It’s just a reminder that our skin color, speaking specifically about the African-American community, is seen as something hostile, dangerous and illegal,” Merritt said. 

Merritt also represented Jacqueline Craig, the black mother from Forth Worth whose arrest went viral after being captured on a cellphone video. A white cop arrested Craig and her two daughters in December after they called the police to report a neighbor for attacking Craig’s 5-year-old son.

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may 25 17, 23:47
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Sword-Wielding Student's Viral Post Shows How White Privilege Protected Her

Colgate University went on lockdown for four hours earlier this month after reports circulated of a gunman on campus. Those reports turned out to be false and the perceived “threat” was actually just a black student with a glue gun for an art project. 

The school later issued a statement confirming it was all a “misunderstanding” but many students were left feeling outraged, saying that the police and school response were drastic overreactions to an incident they say stemmed from racial profiling. 

In response, Jenny Lundt, a sophomore at the school, expressed anger over the situation on social media and called out the school administration’s actions in a Facebook post. In it, Lundt posted a picture of herself wielding a giant sword, which she wrote she keeps in her room, to make a point about how her white privilege played a central role in why she faced no repercussions after she” ran around” the campus holding the sword.  

“THIS is what white privilege looks like,” she wrote in the caption under the photo, which has since been shared more than 16,000 times. “This is me, only one year ago on this very campus, running around the academic quad with a fucking sharp metal sword. People thought it was funny. People laughed- oh look at that harmless, ~ silly white girl ~ with a giant sword!!”

“If you think for even a second this wasn’t profiling, ask yourself why this sword is still in my room and has not ONCE made anyone uncomfortable,” she wrote. “No one has EVER called the police on me. Understand that there are larger forces at play than this one night, and this once instance of racism. This is engrained in our university and our larger society. White Colgate students, we need to do better. #blacklivesmatter.”  

Yet while many commended Lundt’s efforts to call out racism, others maintained that it was her privilege that led to such a viral response to her post and that she inserted herself into a narrative that wasn’t hers to tell.

Lundt later added an update to the post to acknowledge these responses and apologized to “people of color seeing this,” saying “I am sorry that this post is taking up a lot of space. It was never my intention for it to be spread this vast, and I am sorry to those who could potentially feel silenced by the airtime this is getting.” 

She continued: “This post is getting far more shares than I ever imagined. I just want to remind everyone viewing/sharing this that this narrative is not about me and my feelings. This story and the event that happened last week is about are people of color that are oppressed each and every day by this institution and this country at large and I in no way meant to take the conversation away from them and their stories... My privilege allowed me to share my story. My privilege and my influential friends and thus their influential friends made this post go ‘viral’. All of that is privilege at work.”

Because, after all, people of color are impacted by racism most and constantly do the necessary work and make crucial sacrifices to speak out against it ― despite not always being met with such widespread praise. 

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may 17 17, 22:44
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Teen Writes '#BlackLivesMatter' 100 Times On Stanford Application, Gets In

In answer to the question “What matters to you, and why?” on his Stanford application, Huffington Post blogger Ziad Ahmed made his point. Over and over and over.

The Muslim teen from Princeton, New Jersey, wrote “#BlackLivesMatter” 100 times, Mic reported.

On Friday, he received his letter of acceptance, which he posted to Twitter on Saturday.

“I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability,” Ahmed told Mic.

As for his emphasis on #BlackLivesMatter in the application, Ahmed, 18, said to the outlet, “To me, to be Muslim is to be a BLM ally, and I honestly can’t imagine it being any other way for me.” 

Ahmed’s qualifications for the prestigious university extend beyond his now-viral answer.

According to the Root, he was invited to the White House Iftar dinner, worked for the presidential campaigns of Democrats Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton, and gave a TEDx Talk about youth activism.

Refinery29 noted that Ahmed was also accepted to Princeton and Yale. He did not immediately reply to a request for comment from HuffPost.

Here’s an interview with Ahmed, who founded a teen social justice organization called Redefy:

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apr 4 17, 15:16
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Man Leaps Over Barricade To Snatch Confederate Flag On Live TV

A Black Lives Matter activist has been arrested after making an incredible running leap through police tape to snatch away a Confederate flag at a demonstration in Charleston, South Carolina.

Muhiyidin d’Baha, 31, was charged with disorderly conduct for his feat on Wednesday, a Charleston Police Department spokesman told The Huffington Post. The act was caught on live television, and can be seen below.

D’Baha, whose real name is Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, attempted to snatch the flag from a member of the South Carolina Secessionist Party. The group was gathered outside of Sottile Theatre at the College of Charleston to protest an event featuring African-American activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome. 

Newsome rose to prominence in June 2015, when she was arrested herself for climbing a South Carolina Statehouse flagpole to remove a Confederate flag, a symbol with strong ties to racial injustice. She was hailed as a hero for defying white supremacy weeks after gunman Dylann Roof murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston. The following month, South Carolina’s state government permanently removed the flag from the Capitol grounds.

D’Baha was counter-protesting the Secessionist Party demonstration when he made his dramatic dive through police tape. He is currently being held at Al Cannon Detention Center, where he’s awaiting a court hearing to determine his bail, a spokeswoman for the detention center told HuffPost.

The advocacy group Showing Up For Racial Justice Charleston has set up a crowdfunding page and already raised more than $5,000 for d’Baha’s bail.

Twitter erupted with praise for d’Baha’s act of resistance.

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feb 23 17, 18:55
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Here's What We Learned From Friday's #DayofFacts

Museums and libraries are typically nonpartisan institutions, but even they can’t stay quiet in this political climate and amid the “fake news” buzz. On Friday, they took to Twitter to stand up for something that’s become a puzzling political talking point: Facts.

Using the hashtag #DayofFacts, scientists, historians and even encyclopedias filled Twitter feeds with all the facts that no one ― not a POTUS nor political pundit ― could deny.

The movement was launched by two museum educators in Virginia and D.C., and more than 280 institutions participated, according to The Washington Post.

“We’re using facts to illustrate truth about the present moment,” Alli Hartley, one of the founders, told the Post.

Tweeted facts varied from the mind-blowing (

) to the poignant (over
). Most tweets seemed to address political topics: civil rights, climate change,
, and the

The San Francisco Public Library was one of the hundreds of institutions that tweeted Friday. It participated to “remind our patrons and the world that libraries are a place that all people can come to and access trusted and curated information,” library spokeswoman Katherine Jardine told The Huffington Post.

However, Jardine said that promoting facts shouldn’t be considered a political movement because provable facts, unlike “alternative facts,” shouldn’t be up for debate.

“I think public libraries are here to encourage that notion,” she said.

Of the four #DayofFacts tweets shared by the San Francisco Public Library, two were about climate change and one included the tag #BlackLivesMatter.

So, what do we get when a horde of researchers, scientists and history buffs tweet in the fight against “alternative facts”?

Turns out, a whole lot of truth bombs about our country, its history, its communities and the health of the planet we all call home.

Lastly, not a fact, but some wonderful insight about what knowing more can achieve:

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feb 18 17, 08:01
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Students Are Decorating Their Dorm Room Doors To Celebrate Black History

Viral hashtag challenges are the internet’s thing. They usually involve people dancing or freestyling, but a new challenge urges folks to pay homage to black history.

Students at colleges across the country have been using their creativity to celebrate black history with the #BlackHistoryDoorChallenge. The challenge began on January 25 when Louisiana State University student and social media influencer

tweeted a photo of his dorm room door decorated with the faces of prominent black figures. He urged students to follow suit. Taylor’s tweet has been shared thousands of times since then.

And all Black History Month long, students at historically black colleges and predominantly white institutions alike have been doing just that. They’ve put their own unique spin on how they’re showing off their black pride with various figures, quotes, facts and artwork.

Take a look at some of these dope designs from the #BlackHistoryDoorChallenge.

Way to do it for the culture, class!



H/T Blavity

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feb 17 17, 20:21
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The Psychological Power Of Reclaiming Oppressive Language

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s words ― used to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week as she challenged Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general ― were transformed into a viral meme almost the moment they left his mouth. 

Women across the internet quickly turned the demeaning (but somewhat poetic) language on its head, adopting it as their own motto ― a call for strong women to continue standing up in the face of adversity, and demand that their voices be heard. 

“Mitch McConnell, bless his heart, has coined a new feminist rally cry,” the Chicago Tribune wrote. 

The phrase was repeated in countless memes, often accompanied by photos of bold and heroic women, from Rosa Parks to Malala Yousafsi to Beyoncé. Warren, too, took the opportunity to show that she wouldn’t be silenced. 

“Nevertheless, she persisted” ― which

and showed up on T-shirts and iPhone cases within a matter of hours ― is only the most recent weaponized meme to emerge from what began as oppressive language.

It’s an online phenomenon that became familiar in the presidential campaign. “Such a nasty woman” exploded as a viral meme and became the rallying cry of anti-Donald Trump women, and “Grab ‘em by the pussy” was reclaimed in the form of the infamous pussy hat“Bad hombre,” of course, had its moment, too. And it’s not just the liberals: Conservatives have done it, too, reclaiming “deplorable” as their own, after Hillary Clinton characterized Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” 

A new twist on linguistic appropriation

Weaponized memes are a modern variation on the practice of linguistic appropriation, which means to take possession of language once controlled by another.

Reclaiming words can play an important role in cultivating identity and facilitating conversations about rights. A 2013 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that people felt more powerful after self-labeling with a derogatory term like “queer” or “bitch.” This sense of enhanced power also led people to view the term less negatively. 

“Instead of passively accepting the negative connotative meanings of the label, ... [one] rejects those damaging meanings and through reappropriation imbued the label with positive connotations,” a team of psychologists wrote in the journal Identity Issues in Groups in 2003

Tony Thorne, a linguist and slang specialist at King’s College London, said this type of reversal can be a very effective means of shifting meanings and perceptions associated with certain language. 

“To take words used as slurs by Trump or Trumpists, like ‘nasty woman’ or ‘bad hombre,’ and use them as your own identity label ― especially in the context of memes or tweets where savage sarcasm and irony are rife ― is effective, amusing and gets a message across,” Thorne told The Huffington Post.  

Thorne added that the term “pussy” has in recent years been reclaimed at least twice, “in the feminist activist ‘pussy power’ in the U.S., and Vladimir Putin’s nemesis girl group Pussy Riot.” 

Draining words and actions of their negative power

Just as a word can be reappropriated, so too can a phrase, image or even an action. For instance, during the civil rights movement, black activists reclaimed the act of getting arrested, turning it from something criminal into something heroic. 

Perhaps it’s also the case that being vocal and persistent ― something McConnell and like-minded older male senators seem to view as an affront ― is being reclaimed by a new generation of women. 

The act of reclaiming racist, sexist or otherwise degrading and oppressive language has a long history. Take the word “queer,” for example. Originally used in the late 19th century as a slur against homosexuals, the term was reclaimed by the gay community to signify a broad and inclusive celebration of human sexuality. 

“Queerness is the final, completely obvious contemporary acceptance and understanding that this enormous world of beauty, sexuality, identity, lust, feeling, excitement, and love isn’t just black and white,” musician Michael Stipe wrote in The Guardian

However, Thorne noted that language reappropriation does carry a risk misunderstanding and confusion ― particularly in the case of loaded terms, or words still commonly used in a demeaning manner.  

“There have been attempts to reclaim ‘bitch,’ just like ‘queer,’ ‘dyke,’ or ‘n****r,’” Thorne said. “But unlike queer or dyke, bitch (and the N-word) are still very much in use and very much associated with its very strong pejorative value. So I think attempts to reclaim it by feminists, while laudable, can only be partly successful.”

Memes can avoid these sorts of issues, Thorne argued. Turning a phrase like McConnell’s on its head is a fast, powerful way to immediately subvert its meaning and drain the statement of its negative power.

Call it

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feb 11 17, 01:01
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