Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Furious with Arizona

Yup. Mad at an entire state. Or at least the government of the state of Arizona. Because I just can't believe the people would support such outright and blatant racism.

A new law just passed mandating that law enforcement question anyone who appears to be undocumented by 'reasonable suspicion.' Seriously? What would constitute reasonable suspicion? If you look like an immigrant you will be questioned and must show documentation. But any immigrant? No I don't think so. I doubt the state of Arizona is pulling over anyone who looks Canadian or French or they are looking for brown people. They are 'cracking down' on immigration from Mexico, Central and South America. Oh the irony!

Why irony?...well, unless you are part of the less than 1% who claim Native American heritage living in this country then you too have immigration in your familial history, and likely illegal immigration given the history of our country. We are a nation built on immigration. And despite all the negative press, there are many positives to this--not the least of which includes diversity of culture and a hard working and honest labor force. With undocumented workers we also have a population of people who contribute largely to services, though they are often denied these same services because of lack of legal status and/or lack of resources. Undocumented workers are in many ways the backbone of our economies--certainly true in California with our agriculture and construction industries--yet they are subject to prejudice, discrimination, and laws that prohibit their full participation in society.

It is also important to note that many undocumented workers are working illegally in the U.S. because their home economies are so poor they can't survive or raise a family. Not your problem? Think again. These economies are largely impacted by colonization by countries like the U.S. With this, wealthy nations (again, think U.S.) go into poorer nations and take over, setting up export industries that support the U.S. and in turn deplete resources, farm land, and economies. Left with little option, workers travel, moving around farm to farm, every few months, looking for work--jobs that usually consist of substandard working conditions, unfair labor practices, no safety precautions, no health care, and extremely poor wages. And they leave loved ones, missing years of time with their families. They do this to survive.

And most Americans benefit greatly from this system. We love to yell and scream about the impact on our health care system (well Universal Health Care would solve that), the impact on our schools (prioritize and fund education adequately and then we'll talk), and other services (again, many of which undocumented workers contribute to via sales tax and workers' taxes but then don't have access to) but we rarely recognize the numerous benefits we reap off the backs of these workers. Consider the cost of basket of strawberries without this system in place. And for that cheap basket of strawberries we are willing to allow atrocities of unsafe, unfair, and often violent work environments for farm workers. Shamefully we are not only willing to allow this, we add to it an arrogance of labeling people illegal and treating them worse than animals.

The Arizona law takes this practice to a whole new level.

I commend Mayor Gavin Newsome (San Francisco) for taking a stand. I commend California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for taking a stand. We must send the message to Arizona that such laws are wrong.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A bra for your butt? Will this crap ever stop?
For more on the butt bra, click here

Can we perhaps move our focus from 'boosting saggy bums' and 'shrinking our backsides' to a focus on 'boosting' the self esteem of women and girls, 'boosting' wages for working women, 'boosting' representation of women in politics and 'shrinking' discrimination, sexism, homophobia, violence, and inequity?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another reason for Feminism and Justice

This blog post, Shocking Photos of Corrective Rape Victim, came across my facebook tonight. My immediate reaction was tears....but then rage took over. The violence, hate, brutality that continues to plague women and girls around the world overwhelms me. If ever there was proof that sexism and homophobia are alive and it is. If ever we need to recommit to feminism, activism, and is the call.

My thoughts are with Millicent Gaika tonight, I'm in awe of her strength and her survival.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My daughter's logic

My daughter, Molly, wanted to visit the girl toys in a store today. I explained (again) that there are only toys, not boy and girl toys, and that anyone can play. She looked @ me and said, "OK, then, I want to go where the pink and purple toys are." Geez...

Re-Post from Ms. Blog

When Infidelity Becomes “Sex Addiction”