[Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian]

Taylor wouldn’t dare. She can’t out-white-woman another white woman whose privilege works just as well as hers and carries a lifetime guarantee. So, of course, the next-best target would be the black dude everyone kind of already hates. It’s low-hanging fruit, sure, but it’s safe. And white women like Swift tend to retreat into the safety and protection that their femininity and whiteness afford them when their feelings and egos have been hurt, or they feel that they have been slighted. #

Looking back on it now makes you feel tired. Police beating the shit out of people on camera is old news. It is a show in its 25th season. No one even retweets the clips anymore. We scroll past them looking for something more prescient. A news story that’s a little more live, a little less depressing. Ideas like “justice” and “innocence” and “fair trials,” which maybe people actually believed in at some point, seem quaint and dated now. Witness how we literally called it a victory in 2016 when a cop who raped 13 women actually went to jail. You don’t celebrate something like that unless it’s not promised. In order for it to be a victory, the outcome has to be in doubt in the first place.

But one very important thing has changed since March 3, 1991. Back then, justice was expected to be delivered as if from a benevolent and impartial machine. You fed in the data, the undeniable evidence of wrongdoing, and it spit out an evenhanded answer. All you had to do was get the evidence. But in 2016, we know the machine spits out bullshit. The machine is bullshit. There is no machine. We know, in 2016, that justice is not delivered by anyone or anything. We know we have to make our own.

This is what we are here for today. We slay to make our own justice. We fight and march to make our own justice. We write, and love, and fuck to make our own justice. We are beautiful to make our own justice. We are unbothered to make our own justice. We are ugly to make our own justice. We graduate with straight A’s or drop out to make our own justice. We smash windows and set fires to make our own justice. We love ourselves and we love each other to make our own justice. We walk deadass into courtrooms with a briefcase and a law degree just to make our own justice. And, yes, sometimes we just say fuck tha police to make our own justice and then blast that shit late into the night. #

Please, think about who you give the microphone to.

I’ve met Chinese restaurateurs here in Los Angeles County who have been unable to open restaurants in certain locations because they are not “mainstream and trendy” enough. I’ve been forwarded actual emails written by the city representatives to those restaurateurs with those exact words. “We need to find something mainstream and trendy,” the emails say.

I’ve read too many articles rooted in the exoticization of my people’s food, written by white writers who don’t speak a lick of Chinese.

“A good researcher and writer may be able to winnow out that backstory, but it will be third-person, as opposed to a writer who has lived that culture, who can write from a much deeper personal point of view,” says freelance journalist Grace Hwang Lynch, whose work focuses on Chinese home cooking.

“I don’t believe that only Chinese people can write about Chinese food, as there also many good Asian food journalists who could do a fantastic job covering French pastries. But Chinese-American writers who can cover Chinese food should be sought out for their personal insight and the humanity they can bring to these narratives.”

I don’t air these grievances in a vain attempt of recognition, as a Chinese woman who writes about Chinese food. I write this because history has a way of erasing our role in our own food. #

Nothing makes me more insecure about my identity as an Asian American than when I step into a Chinese supermarket. I don’t know the language too well, I don’t know all the ingredients, I don’t know how to make it. I grew up with this food but I did not learn how to create it through osmosis. So while it’s easy to know which Chinese restaurants obviously catered to which demographic, I still hesitate about “authenticity”.

Now I’ve moved to an area where some major deep-fried, super burnt ends egg rolls are a regional cult sensation, where the sheer amount of online reviews about a Chinese restaurant involve the quality of egg rolls. These egg rolls have been around at least 50 years and are so influential that other restaurants model their egg rolls after them. I feel like I’m in a horror movie where I know I’m surrounded by the children of the corn but I don’t know how to escape.

But at the Chinese supermarket, I am at an utter loss. I don’t know what brand name is good for which food, I don’t know what spices to get to make me remember what my mom’s cooking tastes like. I’m currently looking for a steamer but I’m still too hesitate to just buy it in case I screw it up.

I know enough but not enough.

I don’t know how much time I have left with my best source of information – my parents. I’m hundreds of miles away and while I could call them or ask while I visit, it’s not the same. My mom says, “Just a little bit of this, a little bit of that”, things she was taught as a child and refined through practice. I get stressed making one meal, much less navigate a bunch of smaller plates. I’m paying more attention whenever I get back but I’m cognizant that I may never truly gain this knowledge.

This is nothing to say of non-Asian people making fusion Asian and getting all the attention and hype. Like the author of the article, it evokes complicated feelings. I want to know how to make bao like they do. But they can just take various ingredients from other cultures, merge them together, and people think it’s interesting. If Asian people do it, it has to be clearly marked as fusion or else the foodies become purists.

I just want to make and eat delicious food from my culture. Is that too much to ask?

[white women wearing t-shirts with black slang]

Keeping in mind that Peaches Monroe, who coined “on fleek,” is crowdfunding her life, that there is racial inequality in meme monetization, and that, as Doreen St. Felix put it when writing for Fader, black teens are breaking the internet and seeing none of the profits, here’s the question: When you have a situation in which, as what one person on Twitter called it, “the commodification and misuse of AAVE and black culture for capitalistic gain” occurs—not to mention unauthorized usage of lyrics from black musicians—should we be distressed with the companies making these products, upset with the consumers, angry at the market, pissed by the business plan (put words black people have used on something and sell it!), or just resigned to the idea that, as the kids say, there’s no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism? #

I saw this being retweeted a lot and wondered how many of those people unknowingly continued to use AAVE or black slang in their regular tweets. For example, using the emoji clap in between words to emphasize what’s being said. According to Know Your Meme, “On May 3rd, 2014, Urban Dictionary[1] user Alexandria Princess submitted an entry for “ratchet clap,” defining the expression as an applauding gesture used by “ratchet” people to “emphasize a point or statement.

Black Twitter influence + unpredictable diffusion throughout the internet = people who don’t know the net history. I’m reminded of Miranda Priestly’s monologue from The Devil Wears Prada:

This stuff’? Oh, ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic “casual corner” where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of “stuff.”

On the supercharged end of the internet spectrum is memes and “going viral”. On the other are people who are still figuring out what is a “basic bitch”. This means that there are folks who don’t know that the emoji clap history but know how to use it. People who will think that its history is not from black culture but internet culture and thus are ignorant to why black people get angry and annoyed by its appropriation and by white people’s attempts to cash in on it.

The internet is still terrible at providing sources but I think we need to be more diligent about it so everyone can be better informed and so black people can hopefully get the (monetary) credit they deserve.

Walking into the Skagit County courthouse on a rainy November morning in 2007, Judge John Meyer realized his case had hit the news.

TV vans idled outside and middle school students huddled inside, many in tears. These were friends of Dennis, a 14-year-old so committed to being a Jehovah’s Witness that he refused blood that could save his life.

Dennis had been diagnosed with cancer three weeks earlier. He had a 75 percent chance of living – but only if he accepted blood transfusions to get healthy enough to undergo chemotherapy.

When Dennis said he wouldn’t take blood, doctors and lawyers at Seattle Children’s Hospital agreed he could refuse transfusions, even though it meant he would die.

Meyer, a lanky man in his 60s, had been assigned the case the day before. As far as he could tell, this had never happened before in Washington state.

Source:  KUOW News and Information

“You Will Be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing 

Where are we going? I spoke to fifty people across the book world—from emerging and established writers to agents to editors to publicists to critics, from lit mags to MFA programs to mainstream media to small presses to the Big Five publishing houses—in an effort to feel out this answer, as well as document the lived reality of working inside a monoculture.

What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight, white man)

The statistics are unequivocal: Women and minorities are vastly underrepresented in front of and behind the camera. Here, 27 industry players reveal the stories behind the numbers — their personal experiences of not feeling seen, heard or accepted, and how they pushed forward. In Hollywood, exclusion goes far beyond #OscarsSoWhite. (Interviews have been edited and condensed.)

It’s 2016 and it is still a struggle. I am statistically almost halfway through my life and I continue to notice whenever an Asian person shows up in pop culture. I continue to celebrate work that doesn’t continue stereotypes and I continue to hide my hurt whenever it is very clear that people of color are not wanted.

Some of the problem with building fiber networks is that the needs of these profit-grabbing companies diverge from the public good, which requires long-term investments where the gains accrue to the economy in general. A sensible fiber system would be part of an overall smarter, 21st-century infrastructure. We should integrate planning for essential energy, water, and transportation systems with our communications transport planning. We need to affirmatively plan for fiber systems as the backbone for smart grid and distributed energy systems as well as educational networks. If we want our infrastructure to be resilient in the face of natural disasters and terrorist threats, not to mention helping us to mitigate climate change and support the growing Internet of Things, we will need a fiber-optic communications system that can respond in real time as demands change. A sensible network will work in complementary fashion with WiFi — we’ll need fiber lines deep into the neighborhoods and buildings to which those WiFi hotspots are attached. We should set high standards for ourselves — the FCC’s definition of “broadband” at 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads won’t cut it for many interactive internet uses. And to avoid waste and inefficiency, we need to get it right from the beginning — and not just hope we’ll get there with our current patchwork quilt of federal, state, and local government agencies and private utility planners, each with different goals and motivated by different incentives.

It’s got to be a single vision. Otherwise it won’t be the smartest one. #

Yes, yes, yes! We need to plan for the future! We need to plan public transit and mixed neighborhoods and internet access. And not internet access that is adequate for now, we need to start future-proofing it. We need to start planning how to power it, how to integrate internet access with our educational systems. We need to help create a safer, integrated, more accessible environment now!

Honestly, is there a SimCity or CitiesXL mod for this kind of thing? We need to spread awareness that these are important, systemic issues and that we need to start thinking about comprehensive solutions.