Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thoughts on the NYT MO Platform article …


Y’all, my Afro is featured in The New York Times!

Check it out.

I was interviewed about the Missouri Democratic Party’s platform drama earlier this year. I served on the platform committee and, after a prolife Dem added template language from Democrats for Life to nullify the pro-choice section of the platform, I worked with fellow committee members to right that wrong. Anyhoo, the Times wanted to revisit the whole thing and I damn sure wasn’t going to let a prolife Dem spout nonsense unchallenged.

The article is solid. 

The podcast is slanted, and it seems that they want to cast the prolife Dem as a victim and all the rest of us as unreasonable.

Thus, this post!

***pause … crack knuckles … continue***

After the disaster of 2016, I made several promises to myself.

First, that I am not going to organize to get back to where we’ve already been.

Second, as a Black woman who is part of the most reliable voting block on the left, I will either be respected and heard as such or I will take action to hold those accountable who fail to do so.

And finally, that I will not take strategic advice from groups of folk who haven’t refreshed their strategy in damn near ten years.

Wait.

I also pledged to wear leggings as often as possible, because this sistah requires comfort in these troubled times.

Blink.

So, I approached my service on the platform committee with all those things in mind.

Shall we?

Things I wish I’d thought to say during the interview …

Access to abortion is not some insignificant wedge issue that politicians can chose whether or not to champion based on how they think their district feels about it.  Reproductive healthcare is key to every single progressive issue Democratic claim to champion, so failing to support the full spectrum of services indicates a fundamental lack of understanding how policy works.

There can be no economic justice without reproductive justice. The ability to control whether or not you get pregnant, whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and the spacing between children is a big fucking deal. It means the difference between being able to make ends meet or not, being able to get an advanced degree or attend college/training or not. For some people, it is the difference between life or death. I’m passionate about access because IT FUCKING MATTERS.

Folk can’t claim to be pro-worker and support policies that would allow employers to block coverage for reproductive healthcare.

Dems can’t claim to be working to lift folk out of poverty and support policies that ban abortion coverage for poor women and defund programs that make it easier to afford birth control.

You can’t claim to stand with Black women and then dismiss our leadership, ignore our demands, and support policies that promote reproductive oppression.

And you can’t say a platform is pro-choice if it includes language stating that the party will welcome people who do not support abortion access and see their presence as a strength.

In conclusion …

As I said earlier in this post, I am not organizing to return to where we have already been. I regret almost every compromise I’ve made over the years on core progressive policy. They didn’t result in wins, they just slowed down losing.

In our new reality we have the opportunity to build something better that is informed by the fuck-ups of the past. I’m here for that. I’ll work hard on that.

What I’m not going to do is quietly sit back and watch folk perpetuate abortion stigma while pushing an appeasement strategy that is surrender by another name.

Toodles.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pondering political advertising …


***2 cups coffee, 2050 steps (blame the rain), one yummy plum***

I got the final color added to my newest tattoo last night! It’s an owl with purples and blues. I love it! I’ll post a pic as soon as it heals up.

Let’s jump right on in!

We are well into the political season, y’all. The House of Bitchitude has been trying to watch less political news, but it is damn near impossible to avoid the commercials. As a St. Louisan, I get to see both Illinois and Missouri political ads.

Yay.

It’s not all bad, though. I’m a former broadcast advertising sales person, so I enjoy trying to figure out who the hell these ads are supposed to appeal to. The thing about television ads is that they are going out to a huge audience even if they are supposed to speak to a select universe.

For example, NRSC is running an ad in Missouri featuring footage of Trump speaking at some sort of rally or event about McCaskill and the GOP tax cuts that were so poorly crafted that your average Missourian either forgot they happened or is still pissed they happened but failed to trickle down.

The ad is a mess. Trump is slurring his words and not the most articulate fellow on a good day, but I could make out that he thinks every senator should have supported his tax cut for the elites … and he’s confused why McCaskill opposed burning money to increase debt with zero benefit for the majority of her constituents.

Clearly NRSC thinks featuring Trump is a positive, even a mumbling slurring Trump. I really don’t want to live in a state where featuring an un-indicted co-conspirator in ads is still a benefit, but here I am.

Time will tell if the Trump slurrified ad helps Hawley, but Lawd it shouldn’t.

The tax cuts haven’t benefited most Missourians. And they sure as hell won’t help Missourians facing the ramifications of Hawley’s anti-ACA lawsuit. Lots of us have pre-existing conditions, and not having coverage is expensive as hell. The kind of expensive that folk with backgrounds like Hawley (Stanford alum, Yale law school grad) don’t understand, and the comms team at NRSC probably call fake news.

Anyway, we’re all going to be seeing a lot of political ads claiming all manner of shit until election day. Some will feature that orange man, lots will be inaccurate as hell.

In a world of bullshit, spin, and faux news voters need to focus on the known knowns.

What policies have helped you?

Who is fighting to protect them?

And who has said they don’t support them, partnered with an orange-faced man who puts them at risk, or has taken action while in office to destroy those policies?

Meanwhile, I’m holding out hope that the team that gave us the demon sheep ad gives us another gem. 

That, my friends, was an amazing campaign ad!

Toodles.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Making the habit …


***2 cups of coffee, 5500 steps, and one yoghurt topped with crunchy fiber***

Let’s begin again.

I’ve been busy as hell, y’all! As you may know, I co-founded Reproaction three years ago as a direct-action organization to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. We've been busy since day one, and that has only increased since the Trump regime took power. Visit our website to find out more about our campaigns, read recaps of our direct actions, and register to receive opportunities to take action via email.

Anyhoo, I’ve missed writing here. It’s been 13 years, give or take a few months, since my first post! I’m pretty sure that was about the British royal family, and Lawd has that shit changed since 2005.

Blink.

I’ve been thinking about the habits in my life, some healthy and some not so healthy. Sharing the fine art of bitchitude with y’all is totally in the health column. So, I’ve quit smoking, picked up walking, started eating fruit on a daily basis, and I’m back here to bitch and plot and strategize and laugh with whoever wants to join in. 

Please be patient as I get back into the rhythm of posting.

I’d like to share a quick note about the power of community within movement spaces. Over the years I’ve shared a lot about the problems, bullshit, and destructive weaponized wokeness in progressive spaces that continues to work my last nerve even as it contributes little to the movement beyond drama.

But the community, y’all. 

The regular acts of compassion, support, encouragement, and solidarity that often happen offline or in private exchanges. Those, along with my amazing family and friends, are what sustain and nourish my soul. We all need that shit, now more than ever.

The other day, a dear friend called me because she was having a good day.

For real.

She was feeling good, enjoying work, happy with her partner and pet companions … the weather was beautiful, the crickets were jamming to a cool beat, and all her household appliances worked.

And she called to ask how I was, and share that there are still good days complete with happy dogs and cats, excellent coffee, sunshine filled skies, and dishwashers that wash dishes.

Even now, in the midst of our long national nightmare.

I should point out that this friend has had more than a few tough days. She’s an immigration rights activist, and she’s been so busy that I haven’t seen her in over a year.  So, it really touched me that she was having a good day, and that in the middle of that nice day she paused to reach out to me even though there was a pretty good chance I’d piss in her Corn Flakes with some drama or other happening in my world. That’s the very definition of sweet and generous, and it was delightful to talk to her and hear the smile in her voice.

Anyhoo, I’m just sharing to speak into the universe that these horrible fiends will not take my joy or all the nice days or my ability to be simply enjoy a nice chat with a good person.

It may come and go. At any given time, I’m frustrated and angry and scared and tired and disgusted and short tempered.

Okay, the short tempered bit isn’t new, but anyway.

There are also moments of laughter and joy and happiness and soothing pockets of normal.

Those moments matter too. They are our regularly scheduled reminders of what we are fighting for that drop down in the middle of the exhausting cycle of resistance to remind us that resistance is a stage, not the end goal.

Onward …