What’s the Matter With California? Student Dispatches From Santa Cruz to the Border
(This post which was edited by Youngist contributor James Cersonsky, was originally published by The Nation and is republished here with permission.)
1. As Napolitano Sits, Campus Occupations Spread
On March 5, as UCLA students died-in against deportations, #not1more continued to growand students at the largely working class Community College of San Francisco prepared further action against a potential shutdown, students at the University of California–Santa Cruz took up Berkeley’s call for escalating action against UC President and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Fresh off major wins for strike-ready UC service workers and Santa Cruz teaching assistants, students and workers rallied to make clear that these developments are part of a larger struggle to reclaim the university. After marching to McHenry Library, students entered the Hahn Student Services building and subsequently occupied it for eighteen hours. There, we called for Napolitano’s resignation and for workers’ ongoing demands—safer staffing, smaller classes and work for undocumented graduate students—to be met. Through daybreak on March 6, Hahn, normally a space of loans, fees and student-judicial affairs, became a site for students to strategize resistance to the dual challenges of racism and privatization.
A Dream No Longer Deferred
by Regina Joseph
Today I woke up and my mind rested on Jordan Davis. My body shook with anger and my blood boiled with discontent towards a prison-industrial-complex that continues to make excuses for the execution of Black and Brown youth by law enforcement and racist vigilantes.
Oh, mama don’t you see the empty field of flowers that now cover all your children’s graves?
I woke up and my tears watered the graves of the 26 children (we know there are many more), whose deaths were justified in Stand Your Ground cases.
by Tina Vasquez and Julio Salgado
Did Jan Brewer do the right thing for the wrong reasons? And why is it so hard to relate to social justice issues that don’t impact us directly? All this and many more questions in this week’s #LibertyForAll.
"Liberty For All" is co-published by CultureStrike.Net and Youngist.org.
We’re Tired of the Kids Table
by Erik Lampmann
Institutions dedicated to the pursuit of the ‘common good’ will be unable to forge meaningful coalitions, strategize policy interventions, or leverage communities’ collective voices without integrated youth at argue youth at the highest levels of spaces invested with real decision-making power; this applies even to that most storied institution of collaboration, the United Nations.
A full one billion people fall into the category of 15-24 year olds. Our generation is one of the most diverse in human history. We’re polyglot, multicultural, and are connecting with each other across oceans, continents, and time zones. We’ve come of age during a lynchpin movement for the climate justice movement, beneftted from the gains of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and are ourselves struggling against the specter of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Any way you spin it, our generation is facing social, economic, political, and ecological hurdles previously unknown. We’re expected to curb decades long bouts of inaction to mitigate the effects of climate change, find some semblance of balance in a chaotic global economic system, and find beauty in the cacophony of our 6 billion voices.
Mount Holyoke, A College For White Men?
by Maya Wegerif
I am a Black student at Mount Holyoke College, the first of the seven sister schools, which was started because no other American colleges accepted women. Mount Holyoke women are taught to be bold, to never fear change, and to speak up against injustice… unless you’re a student of color. 177 years later white male privilege still reigns supreme here. And it is actively reinforced by campus police.
I spent the early hours of Saturday morning at the South Hadley Police Department having been arrested at Mount Holyoke for “breach of peace.” This is how the story begins.
My boyfriend Sam came to visit me on a whim so I took my blankets and my things to an unoccupied room in the dorm where my friends and I often hang out. I have a roommate who I couldn’t kick out on such short notice so I set up the other room for Sam and I to hangout. On Friday night Sam and I were drinking in that room with some of our friends when suddenly two officers from campus police showed up.
Lupita Nyong’o and the Evolving Paradox of Black Femininity
by Hannah Giorgis
(Photo Credit: NY Magazine)
It’s no secret that I am a Lupita Nyong’o fan girl. She is gorgeous, graceful, and certifiably ***flawless.
The actress gained worldwide attention for her heart-wrenching portrayal of the enslaved Patsey in Steve McQueen’s much-praised 12 Years A Slave. Having been thrust into the Hollywood spotlight only months ago, Lupita is notably reserved in the public eye—but her powerful presence speaks volumes about the ever-expanding ways in which Black women are complicating archaic notions about our femininity.
Lupita’s Patsey is markedly different from both Mistress Epps, her master’s wife, and from Kerry Washington’s delicate Broomhilda in Django Unchained. Dark-skinned and long-suffering, Patsey is not afforded the benefit of Broomhilda’s damsel in distress rescue. It is, however, worth noting that both women were targets of sexual violence from the white men with power over them, neither of them immune to the Jezebel stereotype that deemed their black female bodies “unrapeable.”
5 Black Trans Women Who Paved the Way
by Mel Goldsipe | Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Like so many parts of American history, popular culture depicts transgender history as one in which white leaders paved the way for everyone. But, as our community has to keep reminding people, it was trans women of color who led the Stonewall riot and set off the gay rights movement in this country.
The work of countless black trans warriors have made significant impacts on equal rights and visibility throughout history. These pioneers forged ahead despite intersecting challenges and oppressions. Here are just five of the many black trans women whose influence has helped shape the transgender community as it is today:
1. Lucy Hicks Anderson
Lucy Hicks Anderson was a pioneer in the fight for marriage equality. She spent nearly sixty years living as a woman, doing domestic work, and working as a madam. During the last decade of her life, she made history by fighting for the legal right to be herself with the man she loved.
After marrying her second husband, soldier Reuben Anderson, in Oxnard, California, in 1944, local authorities discovered that she was assigned male at birth. The couple was charged with perjury for marrying despite their both being legally male, resulting in ten years of probation. Standing up to the charges against her, Anderson said, “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” Years later, Anderson and her husband were charged again, this time with fraud after she received federal money reserved for military spouses. Both went to prison and were banned from Oxnard upon their release.
Laura Jane Grace: Crucified Trans Woman
by Emma Caterine
I was terrified. If I hadn’t already humiliated myself by unknowingly saying it in front of Against Me!'s singer Laura Jane Grace, I wouldn’t be as blatant about it here. But since I’ve already dug that grave, I’ll go ahead and be honest.
I grew up with a lot of musically great, albeit often sexist, corny, or racist, punk bands. I listened to Rancid and AFI and NoFX. Some of these bands (hi NoFX!) in retrospect were always terrible choices that I mostly made because it was the cool thing to do. A band like NoFX or Rancid always had bro-tastic or boring shock rock lyrics that I just couldn’t sing along to because even at that time, I identified as a feminist. But Against Me! was different. Their lyrics were about anarchism. And not Sex Pistols-type, boring fuck-the-system shit; Against Me! was talking about the WTO protests and the struggle for the 8-hour work day. And they were ballads. Genuine narratives that gave you feelings about the characters in them. I didn’t just want to sing along, I wanted to scream along! And for what I perceived as an all-male band, they sure seemed to be able to portray women in non-sexist and even empowering ways (little did I know…).
UNC Greensboro Students Walkout Against Budget Cuts
by Eric Ginsburg
Hundreds of people, primarily students with a strong showing of faculty members, staged a walkout at UNC Greensboro today against budget cuts. We’ll have complete coverage of the protest, as well as planned action at the board of trustees meeting tomorrow morning, soon. For now, here are several photos of the demonstration.
Click here to watch a video of part of student organizer Juan Miranda’s speech: 120219-web-UNCGwalkout-eg3