9 actions and resources for Thanksgiving, from Catalyst Project

Poster by Dignidad Rebelde

Today as many people around the country are gathering and sharing food, many more are also talking about the origins and mythology of thanksgiving, a feel-good story of settler benevolence designed to obscure the real history of land theft and genocide.  More than any other time, except perhaps during the 1970’s and the height of the American Indian Movement, people are talking about and showing up for Indigenous struggles. Imagine we all did the work today so that future generations look back on this time as the moment when non-native people changed our understanding about our history and started to take Indigenous sovereignty seriously.

This time last year so many of us were in deep support of Standing Rock, a struggle that at its foundation was a movement for Indigenous Sovereignty. Indigenous sovereignty would mean that the U.S. government would honor its treaties and recognize the Lakota nation as a sovereign nation like France or Brazil.… Read more

Ask First! A Better Practices Guide for Indigenous Engagement

Sneak peak with context and description by Dixie Pauline:
This Better Practices Guide is a collaborative effort between event producers, community organizers, and Indigenous leaders. It’s still in DRAFT form and only a portion of it is presented here so be sure to keep an eye out for the document in full released this December.
Gatherings * Festivals * Conferences * Action Camps * Ancestral Arts * Protests * Ceremony * Water & Land Protection/Defense * Climate & Environmental Justice * Antiracism * Human Rights * Sacred Sites * Permaculture
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are always in relationship with Indigenous peoples by living in and producing events on their ancestral homelands. Regardless if tribes have recognition status, or if particular sites fall under tribal jurisdiction or band council, the entirety of North America (Turtle Island) is made up of distinct and overlapping Indigenous territories. There are hundreds of tribes working to reaffirm their sovereignty and protect their cultural practices, traditional lands, waters, and natural resources.… Read more

why you should not call the cops

Cross-posted from Catalyst Project:

Dear Friends,

Trump called himself the ‘law and order candidate’. He’s vocally supported “stop & frisk” policies that target Black and brown communities. His ‘first 100 days’ plan includes expanding federal funding for local police, federal law enforcement, and federal prosecutors.  And he’s promised to have the Attorney General investigate Black Lives Matter protestors for criminal charges.

Policing under any president is violent and racist, and Trump has little to no control over local police policies.  But we also expect that he’ll use whatever power he has to criminalize dissent, expand policing in communities of color, and detain and deport migrant communities.  It’s an important time for us to be building resistance to policing, and one way to do that is to build our willingness and skills to copwatch.

Below is my story of how these things show up in everyday lives and what we can do to fight back at multiple levels.Read more

Moving into Radical Self-Worth to Better Support our Movements — part 1 in a series

our liberation is intersectionalIn our struggles to take down white supremacy and patriarchy, we must each heal the ways we have internalized these systems of oppression. Otherwise, we end up recreating them — even in our liberation movements. This healing means different things to different people. We write this piece in particular for those of us who identify at what we often call the intersection of race privilege and gender(ed) oppression. The two primary authors of this piece identify as white, queer women (though those labels never seem sufficient), but we recognize that people invested in this conversation might identify elsewhere on the spectrums of race and gender. We write this in hopes of starting a conversation that we think has been missing. We write it because we need to acknowledge that not having this conversation is causing real harm to our mental health, to our resilience, and to our ability to sustain hope.… Read more

Southerners on New Ground: On the role of white people in the movement at this time

We are excited by the recent post from SONG (Southerners on New Ground):

THERE IS HONOR IN STRUGGLE

THERE IS HONOR IN THE WORK

SONG ON THE ROLE OF WHITE PEOPLE IN THE MOVEMENT AT THIS TIME

It opens with a powerful quote:

“White people are taught that racism is a personal attribute, an attitude, maybe a set of habits. Anti-racist whites invest too much energy worrying about getting it right; about not slipping up and revealing their racial socialization; about saying the right things and knowing when to say nothing. It’s not about that. It’s about putting your shoulder to the wheel of history; about undermining the structural supports of a system of control that grinds us under, that keeps us divided even against ourselves and that extracts wealth, power and life from our communities like an oil company sucks it from the earth. The names of the euro-descended anti-racist warriors we remember – John Brown, Anne Braden, Myles Horton – are not those of people who did it right.Read more

Showing up and Honoring the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

The #BlackLivesMatter movement is expanding and deepening across the nation, and spreading around the globe.  This sign, hashtag and rallying cry are filling streets, newsfeeds, imaginations and institutions.  And white-identified folks eager to engage, enraged by injustice, and inspired by the movement are showing up in large numbers and in different ways. As white allies act, and reflect on action, it is key to understand what is being asked for by Black leadership, what is useful, powerful, and what is detrimental. Many brilliant Black organizers have commented on the ways white folks have co-opted or redirected movement energy from #BlackLivesMatter, or distracted from the movement by generating overwhelming media coverage on the “violence” of property destruction.

Today, as millions across the country prepare for a weekend of marches and mobilizations nationwide, we wanted to cross-post this piece by Alicia Garza in The Feminist Wire, to learn from and listen to one of the founders of this movement.… Read more

To say that I’m “too political” is to say that I love too much.

A galvanizing Black leadership has emerged from Ferguson in the weeks and months since the murder of Mike Brown and non-indictment of Darren Wilson which has stoked the fires of resistance across the nation-state, joining with histories of rebellion on this land and across the globe. This wave of uprising against injustice has shown a powerful strength in its messaging, its demands and its ability to continue to dominate the airwaves with important information about racismpolice brutality and white rage against Black progress – an essential movement if we are to have real conversations or effect meaningful change.

i cant breathe

(Note: We would prefer the above graphic to read “I won’t see,” not “I can’t see”)

There is a clarity with which Black organizers and writers have continued to put out calls to white people to both own their privilege and step up in this movement, from demands to stop whitewashing #BlackLivesMatter into #AllLivesMatter to specific guidance on how to behave in the streets (ie – white people: don’t say “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and don’t do a staged “Die In” because the police aren’t shooting and killing white people) to requests that white people say no to business as usual and start having difficult conversations to change hearts and minds of other white people . Read more

Confronting Thanksgiving

“The killings became more and more frenzied with days of Thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.” (Susan Bates)

This is an updated repost from last year, to continue our commitment to raise awareness about the actual origins and impact of this holiday that many of us celebrate without a second thought and to confront the mythologies that encourage us to ignore the real history of Thanksgiving:

no-thanks-no-giving2

We often think of Thanksgiving as a time of family, football, giving thanks and gorging. I used to be of this mindset until learning more about some of the actual roots of this holiday. What I learned was that Thanksgiving has little to do with an amicable meal shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. While there is a documented meal shared at one point, and this is often what is referenced, the “National Holiday” was originally a marker of the celebrations of the massive genocide of Indigenous peoples across the Eastern coast of the US. … Read more

Police Brutality Action Kit (Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice – SURJ)

Police Brutality Action Kit, cross posted with permission from: showingupforracialjustice.org/archives/2016

Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Click here for a PDF version of this toolkit.

By Tes One Artwork used with permission.

By Tes One
Artwork used with permission.

Showing up for Racial Justice(SURJ) was formed in 2009 by white people from across the US to respond to the significant increase of targeting and violence against people of color in the aftermath of the election of  Barack Obama.  The killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO; Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY; Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA; and John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio  are the latest in a long series of extrajudicial (outside the law) killings of people of color in the United States.  We mourn the loss of life, see the impact on communities of color and believe that white people must partner across race and other differences to create social change. SURJ is here to provide resources and support for white people to make this happen.Read more

Creating “Safe” Neighborhoods: A reflection on my neighborhood’s private patrol — and what to do with my disapproval

Like many Oakland progressives, my political alarm went off last year in response to the trend towards middle income and affluent neighborhoods hiring private security guards. For Oakland at least, the private patrol debate is relatively new, but it raises many familiar concerns about racial profiling and the feeding of racialized fears by misrepresenting the dangers of city life. Here I reflect on my learning from engaging in the patrol debate in my own mostly white, mostly home-owning neighborhood.

neighborhood-watch

Since the hiring of private security strikes me as yet another example of those with class privilege investing precious time and money in methods that disproportionately target black and brown people and contribute to the increased privatization of our lives,  I felt grateful not to be in a neighborhood contemplating a patrol — but soon enough it was my turn. In mid 2013 some people in my area began meeting to plan the hiring of our own security guard.… Read more

Dispatch from Northern California – Our Commitments in 2014

In late January 2014, for the first time since our birth in 2009, the entire current White Noise Collective core met for a full weekend retreat in coastal Northern California.  The blissful sunshine, gentle wind, and migrating whales inspired a weekend of tough questions, deep introspection, big dreams, new plans, and renewed commitments.  We hope this post, which summarizes the growth we underwent at our retreat, serves to put our intentions to the world, makes transparent our commitments, and increases our accountability to those of you who provided valuable feedback on our 2014 survey.  On the survey we sought general feedback, and also asked you all:

1. In your wildest dreams, what would you like the White Noise Collective to do in 2014?

2. More specifically, which of the following would you like us to do or provide in 2014?

  • More Dialogues
  • More Workshops
  • More Resources
  • More fb postings
  • More Blogging
  • Training and allyship with organizations
  • Other (explain)

photo 1photo 2-4

 

Retreat AgendaOur retreat began with a jam-packed agenda, and along with it a conscious commitment to maintain flexibility so that our ambitious agenda didn’t interfere with the opportunities to have deep, necessary, and potentially transformative conversations. … Read more

The Last Thursday in November

“The killings became more and more frenzied with days of Thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.” (Susan Bates)

no-thanks-no-giving2

We often think of Thanksgiving as a time of family, football, giving thanks and gorging. I used to be of this mindset until learning more about some of the actual roots of this holiday. What I learned was that Thanksgiving has little to do with an amicable meal shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. While there is a documented meal shared at one point, and this is often what is referenced, the “National Holiday” was originally a marker of the celebrations of the massive genocide of Indigenous peoples across the Eastern coast of the US. Judy Dow (Abenaki) and Beverly Slapin gives an amazing run down of many of these “origin story” myths we were taught about our country and some of the actual truths that they mask.… Read more

Liberate Halloween Action Kit!

They’re ba-ack! (shudder) With Halloween quickly approaching, and costume shops like Spirit Halloween opening their doors, many of us are cringing at the thought of another Halloween full of racism, sexism, heterosexism and the full range of offensive apparel we annually witness.

In response, we offer up a toolkit to those who wish to be a part of resisting the dominant paradigms that plague this season. Let’s make this be a season to reclaim and expand our expressive imaginations from being steered into narrow, tired, offensive and uncreative marketing channels.

Not sure what exactly is so offensive about certain Halloween costumes? 

The Sexy Debate

Screen-Shot-2012-10-08-at-3.09.26-PM

The “sexy” costume phenomenon is complex. On one hand, women ought to be empowered and have the freedom to dress as they wish without fear of the all-too-common repercussions – slut-shaming, violence and objectification. We ought to be able to dress as we wish without having to fear that we are reproducing tired, binary gender stereotypes.… Read more

Strategies to Engage White People Around (Im)migrant Justice

In our June dialogue, we convened white female and gender minority racial justice activists to examine personal and political histories of immigration to this country, and to generate steps for action, engagement and dialogue with other white people towards contributing to the inspiring momentum of the immigrant justice movement. It was fantastic for the White Noise Collective to be joined by special guest, organizer and facilitator extraordinaire Dara Silverman of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), who led us through a three-part process of familial exploration on a timeline of US history, expression of values and stakes white people may have in immigrant justice, and concrete practice with role playing conversations. SURJ is a national network of white people committed to racial justice, originally organized in 2009 to begin to explore ways that white individuals could step up to the challenge of confronting the contemporary manifestations of racism across the US.… Read more

I Am Not Trayvon Martin, but I sure look like the jury. Reflections on racism, the Zimmerman verdict and white women jurors.

20130714+Zimmerman+ProtestAs we collectively mourn for Trayvon Martin and feel outrage for him, his family and all people who live in fear of a criminal (in)justice system which is designed to entrap and persecute them or their loved ones, we must reflect on the dynamics of racism and fear in our culture that not only allowed, but encouraged, Travon’s murder. From the We Are Not Trayvon Martin tumblr:

The Trayvon Martin case isn’t about an isolated incident but about a pattern of behavior.  It’s assumed that racism some how magically ended in the 1960’s. Instead, we’ve slapped a fresh coat of paint over it and then remarked about how great it looked.  But the problems didn’t disappear.  

And we must have a conversation about the System of White Supremacy and the white women jurors who released George Zimmerman. As one of our collective members posted earlier today on facebook, “White Supremacy let Zimmerman go, but it was a jury of almost all white women who did White Supremacy’s bidding.” The Daily Mail reports:

A jury of six women, five of them white and the other a minority, decided George Zimmerman was not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.Read more