Monday, September 19, 2016

Intersectionality Through The Lens Of A Queer Black Woman - Karisha Shaw Speaks

Intersectionality Through The Lens Of A Queer Black Woman

Karisha Shaw Speaks

I am lying here again, unable to sleep because my mind is reeling over the condition of the world I live in. I have been trying to resolve things in my mind that I still feel traumatized by from last year. Hell, really, from my whole 41 years of life as a Black a Queer Black woman, at that.

When I evaluate what seems to be constantly causing my unrest, it is this. We as Black and brown people must unite. I don't mean that in a generic sense of unity. I believe we can all look at the current world and see we are being targeted for brutality and disproportionately are filling up jails and graveyards. I am talking more from a place of real community that is steeped from a realization of just how much we need each other at this very moment in history.

I believe the catalyst of what brought me to my current thought was a year ago. I was sitting in a room full of women. I was there, supposedly, to represent the beauty that we women possess in our diversity of black and brownness. I sat there and felt like I needed to defend my sister's who were not there. Or maybe I was defending myself.

I have traveled all over the world. I have seen things that many will never have the opportunity to see except in a history book or travel magazine. I know how to read Russian and mostly taught myself how to speak and read some Bulgarian. I know how to cook authentic Korean, Japanese and Thai dishes. I have used my college degree to help produce two albums on two different continents (in two different languages) and been able to be a guest musician on both. I have been approached by a music legend and told that I was the only woman he had ever seen play drums with the gusto that I do. I have stood in front of thousands and sang my heart out with some of the most talented gospel artists in the world. But I am also poor. I was raised in the projects. We were on welfare for a large portion of my childhood. I didn't get anything but a two year degree that 14 years later, I still haven't been able to pay off. I have found myself again unemployed and after 8 years in my so-called career, having absolutely nothing to show for it but high blood pressure and ulcers. I am struggling to attend events to stand up for social justice because we just don't have the money to buy extra gas for our cars right now.

Why do I say these very contrasting things about my life? Why is my life so contradictory of itself? I have come to realize that within our Black and brown community, that we leave many of us out.

In that room of women that I spoke of earlier, I heard someone refer to some Black women as, "welfare queens." My mother could have fit that description, but she was just an uneducated Black woman whose husband left her and had to figure out how to raise us in a very oppressed economy. Did she not deserve to be in that room with us? If the one who spoke those words knew that I was queer and struggling to pay my bills at the time, would I have been unwelcome at the table too? Who are we really pushing away when we don't see all of us as part of the solution in the dangerous world we live in? Who are we writing off as not being smart enough to join our conversations about social justice? Who are we leaving to be devoured in the streets?

My partner was recently part of a dialogue on social media about our need to build community and join as one to protect and educate ourselves to preserve Black and brown life. My partner is a beautiful and intelligent, plus sized queen that I am honored to be with. A Black male in the conversation, responded to her comment by saying that she was of "no use" to the Black Lives Matter movement because she needed to lose weight. While I realize that he was not the kind of brother I want next to me if the shit hits the fan, he is still my brother who needs to clearly understand that all of us have something to contribute to the movement.

Fat shaming has absolutely no place in the movement and nor does any of the other internalized hatred that we have for one another and ourselves. And there is the part of me that wants to protect my partner from him, but why should I have to in that space from someone who coined himself a BLM activist? 

I keep asking myself lately, if they arrest me, who will bail my well traveled, poor, queer, Black undereducated ass out? I keep wondering who is protecting me? I may be a masculine of center woman, but I still feel a need to be protected from the current threat of being Black in America. When they come for me, who will stand up for me?

These are the concerns I am trying to sort out as a woman who loves my people, but realize that we have to save ourselves and to do so, we have to rid ourselves from internalized oppression and really start loving each other. If we don't, we will be just like the machine who wants us all dead.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Donald Trump's Hate Tour To Visit Houston

This Saturday, 9/17/16 hate, racism, and xenophobia will visit Houston to attend The Remembrance Project National Conference Luncheon. The Event will be held at the Omni Houston Hotel at Westside @ noon.  According to event info:

These are people that shouldn't be in our country. They flow in like water.” - Trump

This event is part of a larger conference held by an organization that focuses on criminalizing Latinx people. This criminalization is done by using the age old racist meme that non white people are out to rape and kill American citizens. The usage of the term illegal alien(s) indicates a clear reference to race and specifically to those who come from south of the border. It is no secret that Trump has embraced immigration reform in a way that is less than favorable. Which is why he is perfect for this bigoted event using the tragic loss of lives of men, women, and children." 

They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists" - Trump

Protests in support of our undocumented friends and family will be taking place, and that includes one held by Black Lives Matter: Houston. We encourage you to come out and use your voice to drown out hate.

RSVP: Fuck TRUMP, Shut It Down!

About The Remembrance Project:

"The Remembrance Project is a non-partisan educational foundation which is barred by Internal Revenue Service rules from endorsing any candidate for political office, or participating in any candidate’s campaign. The appearance of individual Remembrance Project victim’s family members, or group of such members, at any candidate’s political event to educate the public and draw attention to the entirely preventable and heartbreaking loss of their loved ones due to the illegal presence of criminal aliens in our country, DOES NOT constitute an endorsement of that candidate by the Remembrance Project or any of its affiliated organizations."

~ Maria Espinoza, National Director

Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Houston's Montrose Center

Unlike the Houston NAACP the Montrose Center has chosen to be transparent and alert the community that Westboro Baptist Church will be in Houston to protest the Transgender community. Not that long ago the White lives matter protestors came to the black community without out advance warning from the NAACP. This group is well known for bigoted views and according to them, "WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth." Houston has seen its fair share of hate towards the Black, LGBT, Latinx, Muslim and other marginalized communities, we must take a stand against these bigots.

Bigoted - having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one's own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others.

In a statement today, the Montrose Center asked that:

The response included information from the the Westboro website:

Out of respect for the Montrose Center, if you decide to show up against their wishes just make sure to not touch or fight the haters. Keep it clean and frustrate them with love, this is an attack on our Trans family and we need to make sure that any Trans Person present has our support and is given precedence to speak in the event someone has a megaphone or loud speaker.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Dear Becky, You Ain't Entitled To Our Black Bodies

Becky - A White person, one who typically think that they own the world and everything in it. European descent, off spring of colonizers and enslavers, beneficiaries to the system of White supremacy

Recently, Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham caused a stir when they spoke about their experience or lack thereof at the Met Ball while seated with Odell Beckham:

I kept my mouth shut to see how far this would go, but in epic fashion I grew more pissed with
Dunham. I am pissed because she was the typical white woman in that moment, one who accuses black man of making her feel less than. Less than, as in "Black man, you are my property and you should find me attractive." I wonder why she didn't just yell rape to cover up her perceived feelings of rejection. Had she said this fifty years ago Beckham would be lynched, her statement feeds into an age old stereotype that Black men are lazy and hypersexual. That we are out to take and rape their White women. She issued this tepid apology to Beckham via Instagram:

"After Reconstruction, whites conflated black men’s desires for white women with their desire for political rights as men, thus creating the rape myth. By the twentieth century, the rape myth was at its height, and it structured most white southerners’ beliefs about the consequences of allowing interaction between white women and black men. The rhetoric about black men’s propensity to rape and the corresponding need for white men to protect white women flourished both in debates about black men’s civil and political rights and in discussions about new freedoms and opportunities for white women. The rape myth thus enforced white women’s subordination to white men and the social, economic, and political power of whites over blacks."

Odell Beckham may accept your apology, but I don't. Your feelings as valid as they are about feeling less than in this apology, does not justify the comments. You made this about you, this wasn't a real apology in my mind. Regardless of how special you want to feel, you don't have a right to criminalize someone who gave you no physical or visual indication that he thought you were an "it." Now Amy, let's talk...

Then to make things worse Amy Schumer, you go and tweet this...

It is interesting that you responded to a tweet with some racist ass stereotypical phrasing. 

"How would you know? Statistically who is hollerin' at you in the street more, pa?

Did your manager make you delete the anti Black tweet? According to, you removed it after getting "one retweet and two likes..." You have shown us your true colors, yet again. It's no secret that you made rape jokes about Latinos and etc. The only reason you both have a career is for one reason only: YOU are white!

The truth is that, even though I am a gay man, I have this same experience around white gay men who wish to fetishize us and then criminalize us for not accepting advances. You think you can all just do and say what you want because your white privilege taught you that lie. This is deeper than your experiences at the Met, your white tongue has more power and can be a dangerous tool. We are not your toys, property and we ain't trying to be your fetish either.

No thanks,