Trump Administration Ripping Away LGBTQ Rights
The travel ban can amount to a death sentence for some people. Revoking Trans access to private bathrooms can result in all forms of abuse. Workplace discrimination has set back our rights. The Trans military ban, while being reviewed, is set to go into effect in March. And of course, the president has appointed one person after another who actively works to erode any rights the LGBTQ people have won. Read this article in Out.com to see five ways the current administration has affected LGBTQ rights.
Boko Haram Still Kidnapping Girls
Before ROAR, I wrote about Boko Haram on my Facebook page. I have been haunted by the kidnapped girls since I first heard of the massive kidnapping in April 2014. There was a massive hash tag campaign on both Facebook and Twitter, and there were many failed attempts at rescue. Three years later, many girls were released, all of them with horror stories to tell, many with children to raise. All along, more girls have been kidnapped and forced into “marriage,” or strapped into suicide bombs and ordered to kill others. This week there is an article in the New York Times about eighteen girls who escaped. This is a less in courage.
Men Travel Out of the Country to Rape Children
How is this allowed? Why are these men not stopped at the border? How do they continue to get away with raping children? We may not have jurisdiction in the countries supplying the kids, but can we not do a better job of stopping the traffic on our side?
This story is from the San Diego Union Tribune. It tells of young children being peddled to men from the US.
Pregnancy and Childbirth crisis among African Americans
The LA Times reports:
“America is one of the most developed nations in the world. Average life expectancy has been generally increasing over at least the last five decades, and deaths from illnesses that were once widely fatal, including polio, small pox, tuberculosis and AIDS, are sharply falling.
“Yet when it comes to the natural process of childbearing, women in the U.S. die in much higher numbers than those in most developed nations, where maternal deaths are generally declining.
“A woman in the U.S., where the maternal death ratio more than doubled between 1987 and 2013, is more likely to die as a result of pregnancy-related causes than in 31 industrialized countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, aside from Mexico.”
Black women in Texas are dying at the highest rates of all. Read the article here.
Two Months After Charlottesville
Another white man drives into a crowd of 200 activists outside Rep. (R-CA) Ed Royce’s office. The crowd was there “to demand Royce ‘support an existing temporary immigration program for citizens of several Central American countries.’”
Activist Claudia Aguilera jumped on the hood of the car, hoping to halt the driver. Her actions caused him to slow and stop, thereby diminishing the amount of damage he was able to do. Still, six people were taken to the hospital.
Daniel Weznek was charged with assault with a deadly weapon for driving through an immigrant justice protest. Read the full story in Colorlines.
The FBI’s New Black Identity Extremist Label
What does the FBI’s new label “Black Identity Extremist” actually mean? Colorlines interviewed Malkia Cyril, the founder and executive director of the Center for Media Justice on this topic. Cyril is best known for leading the fight for net neutrality, but they are now embroiled “in a related but distinct fight—one they call ‘protecting Black dissidents from the FBI.’ It’s a fight they’ve been preparing for since they were born to parents who were members of the Black Panther Party.”
I encourage you to read the entire article, here.
Miscarriage of Justice
Finally, twenty years ago President Clinton apologized to the then eight remaining survivors of the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study. The government offered no recompense to the men of the study, but did break the silence. Alabama conducted studies on African American people that resulted in the sterilization of women and girls, the untreated syphilitic deaths of men, and the studies continued unabated until Peter Buxtun, an investigator for the health service, blew the whistle in 1972.
“The SPLC sued the federal government in 1972, forcing it to halt the sterilization program and prompting a federal judge to prohibit the use of federal funds for this purpose.
“It took a lawsuit to halt the Tuskegee syphilis study, too, even after Buxtun leaked information about it to the press. Fred Gray, the civil rights lawyer who defended Rosa Parks, desegregated Alabama public schools and forced the state to let civil rights activists march from Selma to Montgomery, filed a class action lawsuit in 1973 on behalf of the men who were the study’s unwitting participants.” Full story on Colorlines, here.
Support SPLC. Support ACLU. Write letters to the editors. Write your Members of Congress. Be outraged, but do something. Read Colorlines. Stand up for your friends, family, neighbors. #RESIST
Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.