Too Fast, Too Black, Too African: On Caster Semenya | Autostraddle

From the article:

When, and more importantly, how, does it become permissible to forcibly strip an 18 year old girl in front of “experts” who will determine, for her, her own gender? Though Semenya has never confirmed nor denied this, it is widely rumoured that the gender testing she underwent in the months and years following the initial questioning of her gender revealed an unknown fact to her: that she is intersex. Many intersex people are not aware they are intersex until a medical or reproductive issue arises; however it is estimated that roughly 1.7% of the world population is intersex. Pause to think about the weight of making this discovery in the most public, unnecessary and invasive of ways. To better understand the number of intersex persons globally, 1.7% is also the approximate occurrence of red hair in the human population. Which is to say, it is not a small number. Is discrimination against this robust a population of people justifiable? If so, why? Whose advancement does it serve? What agenda does it push forward?

The science of testosterone and its influence on performance or as indicator of masculinity has likewise been successfully questioned and discredited within academic and scientific circles. I don’t purport to know nor want to debate Semenya’s biological composition; she is deserving of more privacy than we have ever afforded her. However, it is notable that the World Medical Association has not only questioned the study upon which the IAAF’s regulations are based but also the ethics of imposing medical treatment on athletes like Semenya. The IAAF’s regulations show a complete disregard for the wellbeing of Semenya when put up against the standards of a white, European, athletic body vested in the advancement of a heritage of white European athletic excellence.

Source: Too Fast, Too Black, Too African: On Caster Semenya | Autostraddle

I just can’t stop being thoroughly outraged by the treatment of Caster Semenya. Can you imagine an 18 year old being literally stripped naked while “experts” with no definable background in the expertise they tout, poke and inspect you to look for any reason to deny your womanhood?

There is a layer of racism to this that is jaw dropping, as Semenya was compared to the physiques of white women.

Then, to add insult to injury they pull up a discredited study about testosterone levels that is so far form reality that it was completely debunked. Every athlete has increased testosterone. There are no hard lines for what testosterone levels should be. We have a generalized masculine and feminine level.

I know this because I depend on testosterone for my masculine presentation, and my wife is repressing hers for her feminine presentation. I guess with both of us being transgender, we have a better understanding of the situation than the IAAF.

I will never stop being outraged that this woman’s success was not celebrated but undermined.

I can never support these sports knowing that this has happened.

One Of The Top Voices For Women In Sports Doesn’t Think Caster Semenya Is A Woman

From the article:

It’s difficult to talk about women in sports without talking about the work of Nancy Hogshead-Makar. She won three gold medals as a swimmer in the 1984 Olympics, and that’s possibly the lesser part of her résumé given what she’s done since. She’s spent decades advocating for equality for women in sports, through her work with the Women’s Sports Foundation and later her own organization, Champion Women. She’s testified before Congress.She’s been profiled by Outside magazine for her work representing young athletes who’ve suffered sex abuse. She’s been quoted in countless national outlets—the New York Times, NPR, the Washington Post, and here at Deadspin—as an advocate for women in sports.

But for several days on Twitter, Hogshead-Makar has been arguing that South African runner Caster Semenya is not a woman. It began on Sunday, when Hogshead-Makar responded to a tweet about Semenya by saying “We must protect women’s sport for women’s bodies.”

Source: One Of The Top Voices For Women In Sports Doesn’t Think Caster Semenya Is A Woman

Caster Semenya is a woman. She’s not even a transgender woman. She’s not intersex. She’s just a woman, plain and simple.

I’m horrified that there are people trying to take away her achievements because she has an elevated testosterone level. All star athletes have higher testosterone levels.

There isn’t even a consensus on what elevated testosterone in a woman even means, medically.

This is a personal racist attack on Caster Semenya. It’s a way to cut a winning champion out of her wins because she does not match the white European ideals.

What they have put Semenya through is horrific. Lab tests, physical exams, and constantly questioning if she is really a woman. It’s enough to put me off the Olympics forever.

Sandra Bland’s Phone Video Of Her Own Arrest Surfaces, Reviving Calls For New Inquiry : NPR

From the article:

Nearly four years after Sandra Bland was pulled over by a Texas state trooper, arrested and put in a jail cell where she was found dead days later, a cellphone video that Bland took of her traffic stop has surfaced.

Bland’s family members now say they want her case reopened.

“Open up the case, period,” Bland’s sister Shante Needham said after seeing the video, according to TV station WFAA in Dallas. The family’s former lawyer says the state never turned over the footage, which Texas officials dispute.

Source: Sandra Bland’s Phone Video Of Her Own Arrest Surfaces, Reviving Calls For New Inquiry : NPR

They need to reopen this case, and get justice for Sandra. She died in police custody for a traffic stop that should have never ended up with her in jail.

Paula Radcliffe: Caster Semenya ruling could bring ‘death of women’s sport’ · PinkNews

From the article:

Under the regulations Semenya, who has naturally high testosterone levels, would be required to undergo hormone therapy for at least six months before any competition.

The UN has condemned such treatment as an “unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedure.”

Source: Paula Radcliffe: Caster Semenya ruling could bring ‘death of women’s sport’ · PinkNews

This ruling was asinine from the beginning. There is no exact level for testosterone for cisgender women. High level athletes produce more testosterone. There is also a racist element to this targeting.

Semenya is challenging this ruling to force her to undergo HRT therapy to lite4rally change her hormonal makeup in order to compete.

They have already put her through unscientific gender verification where they had some quack literally inspect her genitals.

This is bullshit.

TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be — ProPublica

From the article:

The full-body scanners at airports across the country frequently give false alarms for Afros, braids, twists and other hairstyles popular among black women.

Source: TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be — ProPublica

This has been a thing since it all started. My coworkers at my old job always got pulled too because of black hair styles.

I have all the sympathy in the world because trans folks get pulled, too. It wasn’t until I had top surgery that they stopped thinking I was smuggling something in. It was a small window into the issue that they have to face every time they flew.

I think the whole thing is a ridiculous exercise in bag policy and technology.

Trump Attacks Ilhan Omar Over a Speech He Definitely Didn’t Watch | The Mary Sue

From the article:

Last week, Donald Trump tweeted out a deliberately misleading videocriticizing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s recent comments about anti-Muslim discrimination following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The video takes an excerpt from a speech Rep. Omar gave at a banquet hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in which she describes the attacks as how “some people did something,” cut together with footage of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon burning. “We will never forget,” the video reads.

That quote from Omar went viral last week because when taken out of context, it sounds like a flippant diminishment of violence and terrorism. If you listen to more than those four words, though, it’s obvious that that’s not what she was saying. Those four words came about 15 minutes into a 20-minute speech, in which Rep. Omar was talking about the discrimination Muslims face in America, where their religion is too often equated with violence.

Source: Trump Attacks Ilhan Omar Over a Speech He Definitely Didn’t Watch | The Mary Sue

These attacks on Omar are really fucked up. She is being attacked for being Muslim. This is America, land of religious freedom, so they should shut the hell up.

Here is another article discussing this laser focus from the TOP at Omar. 

From the article:

On the day in question when Donald Trump and his Fox News sycophants attacked Representative Ilhan Omar’s words, taken out of context, her larger point was that since 9/11, Muslims and anyone even suspected as being a Muslim in the United States – which mistakenly includes Sikhs – have been targeted, scapegoated, harassed and oppressed for the actions of a total of 19 men of Saudi Arabian heritage.

To stereotype and scapegoat all followers of Islam for the events of 9/11, San Bernardino, and Orlando is as invalid as blaming all Christians for the despicable actions perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber who was involved in the so-called “Christian Identity” movement.

Yes, Representative Omar could have articulated her meaning better, but people tell me that I should articulate my words and meanings better virtually every day.

The difference, however, is that Trump and Fox have exchanged Nancy Pelosi with Ilhan Omar as the enemy, using fear and hatred as their weapon. And by so doing, they have placed all U.S. Muslims at greater risk of marginalization and violence – U.S. Muslims who comprise a proud and patriotic people who love and cherish the United States no more and no less than any other group.

She is getting honest, credible, death threats because of all this. She will likely never be safe again in her life, as there are crackpots with weapons and the will to kill in America.

Wish us luck!

Louisiana Black Church Fires: Suspect Arrested In Connection To 3 Cases : NPR

From the article:

Police have arrested the son of a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy as a suspect in connection with three historically black churches that were torched in recent days.

Officials identified the suspect as Holden Matthews, a 21-year-old white male from St. Landry Parish, a small community about an hour west of Baton Rouge.

“I don’t know what this young man’s motive was. I don’t know what was in his heart,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Thursday morning. “But I can say it cannot be justified or rationalized. These were evil acts.”

Matthews was charged with state crimes on three counts of simple arson of a religious building, said Louisiana State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning. Each charge has a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Source: Louisiana Black Church Fires: Suspect Arrested In Connection To 3 Cases : NPR

This is a racist hate crime. The end. Period. I notice that is not among the charges.

Inside the Fight for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

From the article:

Indigenous women, be they in a city or on a reservation, have for decades been among the most unprotected members of North American society. In 2016, the National Crime Information Center recorded 5,712 cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women or girls in America; as was highlighted by the Urban Indian Health Institute’s groundbreaking 2018 MMIWG report, just 116 of those were logged in NamUs, the U.S. Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database.

Source: Inside the Fight for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Everybody should read this because indigenous women have one of the highest rates of violence committed against them in the US. The structural racism that embeds our society creates an environment where they are victimized as horrifying rates.

There are challenges that they face just trying to be heard. So do some listening and read the article.

3 Black Churches Have Burned in 10 Days in a Single Louisiana Parish – The New York Times

From the article:

ATLANTA — Three historically black churches have burned in less than two weeks in one south Louisiana parish, where officials said they had found “suspicious elements” in each case. The officials have not ruled out the possibility of arson, or the possibility that the fires are related.

“There is clearly something happening in this community,” State Fire Marshal H. Browning said in a statement on Thursday. “That is why it is imperative that the citizens of this community be part of our effort to figure out what it is.”

The three fires occurred on March 26, April 2 and April 4 in St. Landry Parish, north of Lafayette. A fourth fire, a small blaze that officials said was “intentionally set,” was reported on Sunday at a predominantly white church in Caddo Parish, about a three-hour drive north.

Racist terrorist style attack on black churches? Sure, it’s 2019 in America.

HUD Charges Facebook With Housing Discrimination – Consumer Reports

From the article:

Facebook has been charged by the Department of Housing and Urban Development with violating the Fair Housing Act, because the company’s advertising platform lets real estate agents target potential renters and home buyers using such factors as race, religion, gender, and disability status.

“Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”

The complaint alleges that Facebook’s ad platforms (PDF) allow advertisers to target housing ads too narrowly, excluding members of demographic groups in violation of the Fair Housing Act. That includes “a map tool to exclude people who live in a specified area from seeing an ad by drawing a red line around that area.” HUD had filed a formal complaint against Facebook last August after a two-year investigation.

Source: HUD Charges Facebook With Housing Discrimination – Consumer Reports

I’m happy about this because these anti-discrimination laws are on the books for a reason.

Also, who is the kind of person that figures out Facebooks ability to discriminate in advertising for housing, and then excitedly starts crafting discriminatory ads? I mean, what the fuck?!