In the Blog
Mid-Week Round Up: July 10
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Yesterday South Carolina state representatives voted on removing the confederate flag from the statehouse. The flag will be removed today.
Bree Newsome, who removed the confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse on June 27, was interviewed on Democracy Now earlier this week. Newsome took down the flag the morning of the funeral of Reverend and State Senator Clementa Pinckney who was one of nine people killed in the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Reflecting on her direct action, Newsome says:
“part of why it was so important to me to do that was because, to me, that flag also represents just fear. You know, it’s racial intimidation. It’s fear. These are the same things that they would fly when people were marching for integration. They would be flying that flag, because it’s a sign of intimidation, which is undergirded by violence, and has been undergirded by violence ever since the failure of Reconstruction. And so, you know, that’s part of what Tamika was speaking to: To have a black woman climb up there, whether it was me or someone else, to climb up there and take that down was a strong sign of, you know, we refuse to be ruled by this fear.”
Since the Emanuel AME massacre, seven predominately Black churches have been on fire. As Democracy Now reports, the FBI has launched an investigation into the fires and three of them have been determined as caused by arson.
The end of June saw Pride celebrations in cities including Toronto, Chicago and NYC to name a few. At the San Francisco Annual Trans March the Oakland Radical Monarchs (formerly known as the Radical Brownies) came out in full force chanting:
“When trans women are under attack, what do we do? Fight back! Fight back!”
“Hey hey, ho ho, transphobia has got to go!”
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court made the historic decision that all U.S. states must permit LGBTQ couples the right to marry. Addressing the new ruling at the White House Pride celebration, President Obama was interrupted by trans activists and undocumented migrant Jennicet Gutiérrez. Gutiérrez asked the President to release all LGBTQ people being held in detention centres and to stop all deportations. Instead of receiving support from the crowd at the celebration, Gutiérrez was booed and she was shamed by the President. In an interview with Democracy Now Gutiérrez explains how the lack of support from the people attending the celebration was heart breaking:
“I just want to say, you know, my mainstream community, it was heartbreaking, and it really—I felt betrayed when they turned their back on me. So I believe now they are in a position to do the right thing and to reach out to us and to include us in the conversation and listen to our struggles.”
Artist Gavin Aung Than has created a comic looking at gender, growing up with facial hair and the power of Frida Kahlo’s art.
On June 27 philosopher and activist extraordinaire Grace Lee Boggs turned 100-years-old. Boggs was also a contributor Shameless editorial director Sheila Sampath’s book Letters Lived—you can read about Boggs’ letter here.