- Another child – In light of recent discussions about the tone of criticism in social justice critiques, the way the media is treating the murder of Jordan McCabe is a reminder that we’re talking about attitudes that get people killed before exculpating the perpetrator. The discussion is not academic for everyone.
I’m pissed off with media and our society. I can’t keep pretending and responding as if these things are isolated incidents. Over and over and over again, Autistic people have seen our kind murdered. Over and over and over again, we’ve seen media and society bend over backwards to excuse the murderers. ENOUGH. I will not let them wash their hands of it. This talk of burdens and overwhelm and excusing killers puts blood on your hands.
What the hell do you think make Jillian McCabe and Jeffrey Bostick and Karon McCarron and Allen Grabe and every other killer or attempted killer of Autistic people think it was okay? The fucking orgy of sympathy and attention that plays out in the media every single fucking time one of us is killed.
- Trying to Vote While Disabled Sucks – s. e. smith is at Vice with a post about how voting is often inaccessible to disabled voters. MA uses those Scantron ballots you fill in the circle for, meaning I can’t vote independently and neither can blind people. Twitter user @amaditalks was unable to vote at all since her polling place was inaccessible and her absentee ballot got bungled. It’s a real civil rights issue.
Voting is “a fundamental characteristic of citizenship,” says Ari Ne’eman, co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability. “People with disabilities deserve to be recognized as equal citizens and equal participants in society. When our voting rights are denied, it’s a fundamental undermining of our equality under the law.”
Yet with election day dawning, access to that very right will be denied at polling places across the nation. Many disabled people are still disenfranchised by default, many polling places remain inaccessible despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, and turnout for disabled people generally trails the general population by around 20 percentage points.
- Jake Marchment f*cked up – Jake Marchment is a draftee of the LA Kings and said some really disgusting things about women. Kings blogger @langluy has a great post on the root causes of this behavior.
Hockey is a church in Canada, and hockey players are the beneficiaries of that spiritual fervour. They are the lordlings of our small towns and even our medium-sized towns, the cosseted princes. Young men from mostly privileged backgrounds, they are sent away from home as teenagers to spread the hockey gospel, and to learn how they will be worshipped if they ascend to the pinnacle of the sport. They are hosted by billet families in a system which apparently has minimal oversight and they are handed pittances by the for-profit businesses which benefit from their work. Much like the infamous high school football towns of the American South, the players serve as a curious mix of untouchable celebrity, great vicarious hope, and cheap labour.
They are praised for their physicality over all else; they are taught that they are men amongst children. They live lives governed not by loved ones but by teams which excoriate them for their failures on the ice and respond to their failures off of the ice with internal discussion, pro forma apologies, and trades. They are taught, in this way, that their authority figures and the world at large care more about what they accomplish as athletes than how they conduct themselves as human beings. They learn that they are products which are to be admired or to be sent away, not adults who ought to maintain their senses of personal responsibility. They are shining idols on pedestals, instead of young men receiving the parenting they need, and it has made them not nice.
- The Sobering Reality of Actual Black Nerd Problems – Racism permeates society all the way through. Everyone should be able to overspend on a Buster sword at a con if they want to.
The table was glorious, just about every bladed weapon from nerd lore were on the tables, all handled with care, all available for a price. There was Jon Snow’s “Longclaw”, Cloud Strife’s sword “Buster”, Nariko’s “Heavenly Sword” and many, many more. I picked up “Buster” and marveled at its weight. This thing was awesome. I had no idea where I would put it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t contemplate dropping some credits on it. I mean, come on: FINAL FANTASY VII MEMORABILIA!
And then, I got really, really sober and put it down. I smiled at the vendor, told him how great all the stuff looked, then walked away. Maybe it was because I had just seen this tumblr post of tweets collected from Carrie McClain. Maybe it was because the autopsy of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt, the cosplayer in Utah was just released and confirmed that he was shot at least six times by police, at least four of them in his back. Suddenly, the idea of carrying around a giant sword wasn’t as appealing.
- The Other Side of Diversity – Erica Joy ennumerates the million tiny cuts that eat away at someone who is the only representative of a demographic in a workplace.
The prevailing narrative surrounding minorities in tech relates to how beneficial employing minorities can be for a company and/or how detrimental the lack of diverse perspectives can be. I’ve searched for, and have been disappointed to find that few studies have been done on the psychological effects of being a minority in a mostly homogeneous workplace for an extended period of time. (Update: There have been some very recently published studies surrounding this topic. I’m very appreciative of Jake Van Epps for pointing them out to me.) Here I’ll try to highlight how it has affected me, as I grew from a young black lady to a black woman in the predominantly white male tech industry.
- We Need Diverse Romance. – In honor of her nana who recently passed away, K.M. Jackson started #WeNeedDiverseRomance, which generated a ton of great responses, including this blog post.
No matter the genre, I’m a sucker for a love story.
Aliens are invading the planet? I’ll be waiting for the brilliant scientist to get with the mouthy fighter pilot. A string of murders in a small town? You can bet I’m keeping track of every time the flirty librarian and shy professor decided to partner up to help with the case. A world full of magic and mythology? I’ve been waiting for the protagonist and one of the supporting characters to get together the moment they began bickering.
In none of the examples above have I stated a race, or even a gender. Yet in the literary world the romance relationships between characters is most likely to be heterosexual and white. Readers are diverse both in ethnicity and sexuality but that diversity is very rarely seen between the pages.