Way back in the way back, in 1992, an evangelical right wing group called the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance (OCA) circulated a petition called the Abnormal Behaviors Initiative. That initiative proposed to amend the Oregon constitution to ban civil rights protections for LGBTQ people while also labeling us “abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse.” The initiative language lumped LGBTQ people in with pedophiles and those who commit acts of necrophilia and bestiality, making it seem almost laughable until it received the required number of signatures to qualify for the ballot in near record time. The initiative became Oregon Ballot Measure 9.… Read more “That Was Then, This Is Now: No on 9, No on Trump”
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is refusing trademark protection to a Portland, Oregon based rock band called The Slants. Apparently, they believe the name the band is seeking to protect is disparaging to Asians.
When I first heard about this I wasn’t sure what to think. On one hand, it seems like a marker of progress that the U.S. government would deny trademark protection of a racial slur. But, on the other, this sounds like censorship, right?
Wrong. The fact that trademark protection is being denied doesn’t mean the group can’t use the name. This isn’t censorship. This … Read more “A New Slant on Hate Speech”
Give me a place to stand on and I will move the earth
I’ve argued in the past that the fulcrum of white supremacy is anti-black racism. A fulcrum, you probably already know, is what one rests a lever on to give it, well, leverage. Without it, a lever is just a stick.
I’ve called anti-black racism the fulcrum of white supremacy because I believe fear and loathing of black people is the driving force behind our racial politics. It has shaped everything from welfare policy to policing. While today unions may be working people’s best friend, … Read more “The Other Side of Anti-Black Racism”