Morgane Richardson

is a professional feminist, lecturer, freelance blogger and birth doula who addresses race, gender, and sexuality in today’s society... without dwelling on theorists and terminology.

text

Students Start Racist Protests After Election Result

On Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, the American people watched as President Barack Obama was re-elected. Though some rejoiced while others cursed in frustration, groups of students around the country gathered on their campuses to shout racial epithets and threats of physical violence to students of color.

At Hampden-Sydney College in Richmond, Virginia, 40 students “shouted racial slurs, threw bottles and set off fireworks outside the Minority Student Union within hours after President Barack Obama’s re-election,” says Steve Szkotak of the Huffington Post (According to Think Progress, the school’s president, who is black, sent an email to students’ parents calling the incident a “harmful, senseless episode,” but it is not clear whether he had plans for disciplinary action). At a protest at the University of Mississippi on Tuesday night, 400 people shouted racial slurs. Only two were arrested.

And in NYC, 16 year old High School student, Ricky Catanzaro, tweeted, “No n—– should lead this country!!! #Romney” followed by, “Only thing black people are good at is basketball #run #shot #steal,” says the NY Daily News.

The extent of these racist acts stands as a morbid example of the verbal and physical violence students of color endure on campuses across the country.

It is not enough to set up perimeters banning racist language on campus, for while those barriers may silence the most racist of students at school, most students will return home with the same racist ideologies they hold in their mind. Instead, there needs to be a fundamental shift in the ways we are teaching students about identities. Students should have the opportunity to ask questions about communities outside of their own, and address the stereotypes that have been created by the societies they live in.

Originally Posted at Refuse The Silence. 

text

Manhattan Shelters In Need of Assistance, Post Hurricane Sandy

VOLUNTEERING & SUPPLIES NEEDED AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
Updated Regularly. Last Update, Friday 11:19am
 
MANHATTAN -  CHINATOWN
see: http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/chinatown
 
CAAAV (Open 10am-5pm)
46 Hester St Frnt A 
 
CAAAV is really swamped with people seeking aid. Many are elderly and non-English speakers who are having a hard time. Volunteers are requested to come to the location to help. There is a special need for volunteers who can speak Mandarin.  For more information and specific supply needs visit http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/chinatown 
 
 
LOWER EAST SIDE
see: http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/les
 
Location #1
Nazareth Housing 
206 E. 4th street 
Contact: Michael Callaghan (212) 471-7017
 We urgently need food, water, flashlights, batteries, candles.  
We need a few volunteers here to help coordinate the supply donations as they come in.
 
Location #2
Goles  (open 11/2 12pm-6pm)
169 Ave. B btwn 10th and 11th 
 This is our new LES campaign headquartered out of GOLES, 169 Ave B.  We need food water flashlights batteries candles and gas
 
Volunteers are needed for teams going into neighborhoods to check on and supply disabled, elderly and those who cannot get aid on their own. we have many buildings who need help.  Please help us help them! come to GOLES @ 12pm. we’ll finish at 6pm. Just show up or contact: GOLES office 212-358-1223. or call goldi at 917-382-9868.
 
Location #3
Henry Street Settlement
265 Henry Street (below delancey) at 10:45 on
Help distribute food to the Lower East Side tomorrow with Henry Street - PLEASE!!! come and bring canned goods, granola bars, cereal, juice boxes, bread, peanut butter, bottled water. We have a huge transitional housing population as well as a huge meals on wheels program with Seniors unable to leave their apartments. Please Help!
 
Location #4
Help the Smith Apartments, 46 Madison St Friday, 10 am- 5 pm Bringing water, food and information to elderly residents stuck in their apartments.
 

text

Brooklyn Hurricane Shelters In Need of Assistance

BROOKLYN SHELTERS
In light of the demand for a list of places to donate and volunteer in Brooklyn in post-Sandy, I have shared a message from 
State Committeeman Chris Owens on where to assist in Brooklyn. 

Overview: There is no network of shelter phone numbers for volunteers to call, so please simply go to one near you and ask if you are needed. At the moment, the shelters have many daytime volunteers and assigned personnel. They need people in the evenings and at night. When you go to a location, ask to sign in and leave your number/email so the coordinators can get in touch with you if they need you. 

Who Is Needed: 
1. Individuals with medical training are always needed. If you are an RN or former RN, an EMT, etc., or a social worker, your help is needed.

2. Entertainers are always needed. Singers and musicians are most welcome (particularly during the day hours), and anyone who can be creative with activities for children. There may not be a lot of space to work with, but I have faith in my fellow cultural workers. Those who carry portable instruments (e.g. - your own voice, guitars, accordions, light percussion) will have the easiest time of it, but some schools with open auditoriums have a working piano! 

Donations Needed: 
At this point in time, only bring BRAND NEW clothing items to the shelters and check with your location FIRST to assess what is needed there. 

Shelter Locations:
NYC Technical College, 300 Jay Street
Park Slope Armory, 361 15th Street
J.H.S. 57, 125 Stuyvesant Avenue
I.S. 111, 35 Starr Street
I.S. 117, 300 Willoughby Avenue
I.S. 136, 4004 4th Avenue
P.S. 189, 1100 East New York Avenue
I.S. 246, 72 Veronica Place
P.S. 249, 18 Marlborough Road
I.S. 271, 1137 Herkimer Street
I.S. 55, 2021 Bergen Street
I.S. 292, 300 Wyona Street
I.S. 383, 1300 Greene Avenue
Franklin K. Lane High School, 999 Jamaica Avenue
Brooklyn Tech High School, 29 Fort Greene Place
Boys & Girls High School, 1700 Fulton Street
John Jay High School, 237 7th Avenue
Bushwick High School, 400 Irving Avenue
I.S. 187, 1171 65th Street
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, 5800 20th Avenue
Clara Barton High School, 901 Classon Avenue

I also recommend making a donation to non-profits along the waterfront in Brooklyn. Gere are several non-profits that could use your support through an online donation:

Eyebeam
Printed Matter
Dumbo Arts Center
A.I.R. Gallery
Smack Mellon

Up-To-Date List Of Locations Where Assistance Is Needed:
Updated Regularly. Last Update, Friday 11:17am. 

Folks in Park Slope can also donate goods at Postmark Cafe on 326 6th St. They will be accepting sugar, flour, 100% juice, canned fruit and veggies, canned tuna and chicken, soup, pasta sauce, rice, beans, boxed milk with a shelf life, cereal, oatmeal, coffee, and tea from 7am to 7pm (Saturday at 8am).

- DUMBO’s Powerhouse Arena got rained on in a big way. Over two feet of water stormed the bookstore/event space, destroying store items and furniture with it, leaving the place stranded without flood insurance. However, Powerhouse is determined to re-open, and you can help with that! Donate to their efforts to clean up and restock. There’s also a Sandy Hates Books fundraiser on the horizon, currently scheduled for Saturday, November 17 from 12-8pm. Updates to come.

- If anyone is available today InterOccupy is meeting and regrouping to help the elderly people who still are without food, water and electricity in the Warbass and Brighton area. Today they ran out of food and water. Please bring bottled water and any kind of unopened food or fruits/vegetables. Things that can be eaten without cooking. They are meeting at the RAJE center and moving out from there. 2915 Ocean parkway between Neptune and Oceanview aves. Please be there at 11am.

- Please come to St. Jacobi Church 5406 4th Ave  Sunset Park today, Friday, as early as 10am and throughout the day.   We will be transporting volunteers and supplies throughout the day to Coney Island, Howard Beach and Far Rockaway. You can catch a ride to Sunset Park from any of the Brooklyn drop-off locations at 12pm or 3pm.  Find all the Brooklyn hubs on http://interoccupy.net/occupysandyPlease check http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/sunsetpark  for specific needs to bring.

- In Red Hook, the Red Hook Initiative has been coordinating relief and support efforts (and doing a phenomenal job!).  Feel free to drop in at 767 Hicks Street or call them at (718) 858-6782.

- Give blood.  Some of the City’s blood supplies were contaminated from flood waters and need to be replaced.  NY Methodist Hosptial and SUNY Downstate LICH are always eager to accommodate donors.

- Sign up for the City’s emergency notification message service - Notify NYC - available at: https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/notifynyc/

- Cash donations to support these and other efforts can be made through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.  Learn more here: nyc.gov/fund

text

CNN removes sexist article on women voting and their hormones

Yesterday, I wrote a post shedding light on an article posted by CNN discussing a recent study surrounding the correlation between women’s voting patterns and their hormones.

Apparently, CNN either realized this was as offensive a study as you can get, or they didn’t want to hear the public critique it any further.

Either way, the article has been removed:

Given the nature of the internet, you may still find the entire article here.

text

Wondering Who To Vote For? Don’t worry, your hormone levels will decide for you


                          

                                                Image by: Todd Benson

According to a new study by Kristina Durante and colleagues of the University of Texas, San Antonio, single women who are ovulating are more likely to be socially liberal while relationship-committed women are more likely to be socially conservative.

Durante explains:

When women are ovulating, they “feel sexier,” and therefore lean more toward liberal attitudes on abortion and marriage equality. Married women have the same hormones firing, but tend to take the opposite viewpoint on these issues, she says.

“I think they’re overcompensating for the increase of the hormones motivating them to have sex with other men,” she said. It’s a way of convincing themselves that they’re not the type to give in to such sexual urges, she said.

In order words, if you are ovulating on November 6th and you find yourself to be single, you will a. feel really sexy this day and b. will vote for Obama. If you are married, apparently you will be voting for Romney out of fear on cheating on your spouse.

Luckily, Susan Carroll, professor of political science and women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, sheds light on the harmful (and ridiculous) claims of this study and, 

…sees the research as following in the tradition of the “long and troubling history of using women’s hormones as an excuse to exclude them from politics and other societal opportunities.”

Perhaps Durante and her fellow researchers should move away from re-instituting scientific studies resembling the 1940’s and focus on the social, political and economic issues that will affect men and women’s voting patterns this election.

photos

Image Source: (r) Danny Lyon, Manhattan Bridge Tower in Brooklyn, New York City, Framed through Nearby Buildings,1974 & (l) Wally Gobetz, Manhattan Bridge, 2009.

Growing up in DUMBO, Facing The Effects of Gentrification

I grew up in DUMBO, Brooklyn when the streets where populated only with the artists living off of their own money, families who purchased dilapidated factories for close to nothing, and the handful of men and women working hard to make it through rehab at the Phoenix House on the corner of Jay St.

The age of the cell phone was just emerging - though there was no service in the area - so anyone visiting called from the pay phone in the F Train station to announce their presence. There were no trash cans at the corner, no dry cleaners, drug stores, or supermarkets to buy your food. Everyone knew each other, including the guy at the corner who always (and continues) to ask for money when you left home.

In the chaos that comes with growing up, DUMBO was home. It was my sanctuary full of memories, comfort and family.

I fell in love when we lived on Washington Street and had my first breakup after moving to Plymouth St. I played truth or dare by the rocks on the edge of the East River, and had my first kiss in the open field once polluted with glass bottles, dog shit, and unkempt grass, now blocked off by gates and no trespassing signs- the last bit of land waiting to be developed.

I became inspired by the works of great graffiti artists in the area including Neckface, Bansky, and Obey, and even placed my amateurish marks around town during a phase of teenage angst. I had my first legal drink at the corner bar (commonly known as 68 Jay Street) before all the seats became occupied by nameless faces and suits - when artists remained the heartbeat of this area. I partied on my roof top, was one of a handful of people in yoga classes when White Wave Dance Studio opened, hung out with the locals and spent hours in my room reading Virginia Woolf in my quest to learn more about the world.

I got accepted to Middlebury College in Vermont in 2003 and though I knew I would change in drastic ways, I had no idea that DUMBO would too. Every trip home meant returning to a new high rise complex, store, inflated prices or another person in a business suit whom I knew nothing about. And every time I went back to the corner bar, I listened to the artists who created DUMBO as they expressed their fears of no longer being able to afford the increased rent. I watched as slowly, they all left - they weren’t just artists, but people and friends who made sure I always got home safely at night, who helped raise me and who showed me how to let loose once in a while.

DUMBO has come a long way since those days. While New Yorkers dream of living in DUMBO, I dream of being able to see old faces in the area again, of a community that doesn’t only see art as work being hung in a gallery, and of the return of a community that cares deeply about their neighbors.

For better or for worse, gentrification is a reality in a city like New York. But rarely do you hear about the stories of individuals whose sacred places and memories become covered up by money and a desire for more. This is a little bit of mine.

quote

If Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, were to win next month’s election, the harm to women’s reproductive rights would extend far beyond the borders of the United States.

In this country, they would support the recriminalization of abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and they would limit access to contraception and other services. But they have also promised to promote policies abroad that would affect millions of women in the world’s poorest countries, where lack of access to contraception, prenatal care and competent help at childbirth often results in serious illness and thousands of deaths yearly. And the wreckage would begin on Day 1 of a Romney administration.

The New York Times: “A World of Harm for Women” (via barackobama)

photos

Feminist and Natural Hair Friendly Halloween Costumes

Halloween is upon us! The time of year has come again when NYC will transform into a land of fairies and monsters, and most likely, a large number of Obama’s, Romney’s and binders full of women. For one night, people around the United States are given the freedom to be whomever they desire, without judgement or consequence (most of the time at least). 

Finding a feminist-friendly halloween costume can been a challenge in the sea of naughty school girls, and disney character outfits currently on sale. Finding a feminist-friendly halloween costume for people of color with natural hair is even more difficult. So here is a list of some feminist costumes ideas for all the natural haired people out there.

1. Angela Davis (Top Row, Left)
Embody Black Power activist, political prisoner, and academic for the night. 
Costume: Afro (Check!), Big glasses (shades or vision glasses), Hoops, Black turtleneck, Black pants.  

2. Diana Ross (Top Row, Right)
A good outfit for those who love to shine. You can even belt out some tunes from The Supremes as you trick or treat your way through town. 
Costume: Afro, Off the shoulder dress with lots of sparkle, Hoops, Heels, and a Microphone. If you are ambitious, you can even get two other friends to dress up with you as The Supremes.

 3. Billie Holiday (Second Row, Left)
Holiday used her powerful voice to expose, and protest against, American racism and lynching practices in the South in the song, Strange Fruit. 
Costume:  1930’s dress, Flower in your hair, Pearl necklace, microphone, and Clip on earrings.

4. Pamela Grier as Foxy Brown (Second Row, Right)
Here’s your sexy feminist costume. In the 1970’s, the film and character, Foxy Brown, became a symbol of female empowerment amongst communities of color while catching the villains running around town. 
Costume: Afro, Red 1970s Blouse, Jeans with brown belt, Hoops, Platform shoes

5. Sonia Sanchez (Third Row, Left)
Finally, your night to show off your talented gifts as a poet. Or at least for one night!
Costume: 1970’s garb (preferably long skirt and shirt with collar), a notepad and pen to jot down your thoughts, and make sure to part your ‘fro in the middle. 

7. bell hooks (Third Row, Right)
Kick-ass author, feminist and social activist. 
Costume:  Professional dress (think professor), an African print scarf

What feminist figure are you going as this Halloween? 

video

"For Being A Fucking Mutt!" Stop And Frisk Policies in New York City

On June 03, 2011, three New York City police officers stopped and questioned, Alvin, a local Harlam teenager. Though he is only one of 180,000 mostly young Black and Latino men who are racially profiled and stopped each day in New York City, Alvin is believed to be the first known person to capture audio of an incident of stop and frisk (he was actually the second - the first known incidence was circulated on Youtube in July, and showed a young man in Sunset Park, Brooklyn being assaulted by a police officer in the Subway station).

Alvin’s audio has become part of a new video released today by The Nation resulting in outrage and renewed efforts to end the practice of Stop and Frisk in New York City.

In the 13:15 minute video, Alvin asks the officers why they are threatening to arrest him to which an officer responds, "For being a fuckin’ mutt! You know that?!" The Sergeant then says, "I will break your fucking arm off right now," while holding Alvin’s arm tightly behind his back. 

According to Jessie Daniels, PhD at Racism Review, The audio was recently played at a meeting of The Morris Justice Project, a group of Bronx residents who have organized around the issue of stop-and-frisk and have been compiling data on people’s interactions with police. Jackie Robinson, mother of two boys, expected not to be surprised when told about the contents of the recording. “It’s stuff we’ve all heard before,” she said at the gathering. Yet Robinson visibly shuddered at one of the audio’s most violent passages. She had heard plenty about these encounters, but had never actually listened to one in action.”

The initial sentiments felt by Robinson hold true for myself: here is another horrendous case of the civillian population of color being “hunted,” as one officer in the video exclaims. But whether or not these issues come as a shock to communities of color living in New York City, these instances of racial profiling must be voiced, they must be shared with the world and they must be stopped. Hopefully, this video will have the necessary power to shed light on the NYPD’s policing tactics to control young men of color and put a stop to the injustices that Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly incite through these laws. 

likes

group

follow