• A pregnant woman moving from California to New York has resulted in a disturbing custody battle. A New York court said, “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.” This is a new step in treating a fetus as a child and limiting women's reproductive rights. [The New York Times]
• Young Lakota, which tells the story of three young activists on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, is premiering November 25th. Check out our review of the documentary in our new Food Issue! [Racialicious]
Until this week, I was only peripherally aware of Lily Allen. Sure, I’d downloaded “Fuck You” and “Smile,” her funny pop confections with a bracing dash of intelligence. But I never qualified as a Lily Allen fan, and in fact had kind of forgotten she was a thing until the Internet blew up with a heated debated about the video for her new song “Hard Out Here.”
This XIGGA playlist is an afrofuturistic journey through time, space, and energy. It embraces the XIGGA afrophilocosmology that affirms the funky fresh and courageous ways that people navigate being both on the margins and at the center. Deep inside us lives a spirit that is bold and capable of afroastral flight. When we tap into the origins of our people, the truth of our spirits and the bass-beats of our hearts, we are capable of magic. It is true, our people could fly, and we do.
• Another person of color has been shot and killed by a white person after seeking help following a car accident and being "mistaken" for an "intruder." People in Detroit are holding vigils this week for 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was shot in the back of the head after asking a neighbor for help after a crash. [Slate, Dispatches From the Underclass]
• Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted on and passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would federally legislate against job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and includes provisions to protect trans people for the first time. Now many, including President Obama, are urging the House to consider the bill as well. [Huffington Post]
• Germany’s new third-gender law that gives an alternative to declaring babies male or female on their birth certificates may seem positive, but it was not written with any input from intersex activists and it may actually put intersex babies in more danger. [The Advocate]
• La Luz, a great female surf band that Bitch reviewed for our next print issue, was in a serious car accident this week, totaling their van, destroying their gear, and causing injuries to the band members. If you want to help them out, they have a Paypal account set up here. [Seattle Weekly]
Costumes aren't just a Halloween thing for a lot of Americans. Bitch Creative and Editorial Director Andi Zeisler talked with cosplayers at Seattle's Geek Girl Con this month, including Chaka Cumberbatch, about why they think costumes are powerful and what role dressing up plays in their lives.
Totally Biased writer Aparna Nancherla is hilarious. Having recently been named the first Indian-American female comic to perform on late-night television, Nancherla graciously chatted with me in the midst of prepping for her multiple sets for Portland’s all-female All Jane No Dick comedy festival and sampling as many culinary treats she could squeeze in during her latest 48-hour stint in Portland, Oregon.
Racism is an integral part of US culture, but the shape and nature of racism changes with every generation. This country’s roots in slavery and colonization gave way to Jim Crow, reservations, and racist immigration policies. Since the late 1960s, we’ve been living in the post-integration era where real progress in a few areas has created a pretense that racism is over. This things-are-so-much-better-now narrative continues in spite of people of color continuing to testify about how racism still affects every aspect of our lives on a daily basis.
As the context of racism changes, what it means to be a white anti-racist “ally” has transformed, as well.