“Any person harboring lust in their heart for the opposite sex will burn in hell …”

 

If ‘Heterophobia’ Were Real …

A short film entitled “Love is All You Need?” uses real life events in an alternate universe to explore if “heterophobia” were real.

“Love” creator and director K.Rocco Shields uses intolerance, bullying and suicide to depict what the world would be if being gay was the norm and straight people were in the minority. The film has already won a total of 19 film festival awards.

At present, WingSpan Pictures is currently seeking financing of the feature-length version of the movie, which is reportedly set to star “Twilight” hunk Kellan Lutz.

Check out the powerful short film in full below.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/26/love-is-all-you-need-movie-_n_3164591.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

Happy 59th Birthday Mumia Abu Jamal

Free Mumia campaign intensifies

By Jamila Wilson
Philadelphia

“It is our job to give people hope and help people see this is people power. We are winners. We can never be discouraged.”

These words from the ever-present representative of people power, Pam Africa, minister of confrontation with the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, kicked off a Jan. 8 organizing meeting for the Free Mumia Campaign.

Educators for Mumia, Millions for Mumia, the International Action Center and other grassroots organizations joined Concerned Family and Friends at the Calvary Church in Philadelphia to discuss the next steps to win Abu-Jamal’s release from prison. Major initiatives have been established for local, national and international actions around the Free Mumia Campaign.

Organizing on the local level includes holding Seth Williams, Philadelphia’s district attorney, accountable to former District Attorney Lynne Abraham’s pledge to “release people” when issues of corruption and police misconduct occur in the judicial system, as is the case for Abu-Jamal.

The local initiative also includes a “meet Mumia” project. “People don’t really know who Mumia Abu-Jamal is … they need to get to know him as a person,” said Kevin Price of the local organizing group.

The group also discussed how they would influence communities’ conversations to include Abu-Jamal’s name and case by circulating Mumia’s “Message to the Movement” statement to the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as promoting his latest book, “Classroom and the Cell.”

On the national front, a pledge campaign “to Occupy for Mumia and End Mass Incarceration” will kick off organizing efforts for a national rally and protest on April 24, when activists will descend upon Washington, D.C., to occupy the Department of Justice for Mumia.

The pledge campaign is designed to engage different constituents, including youth, religious groups and public figures, to lend their voice and support for the Occupy for Mumia and End Mass Incarceration movement. Another key constituent being engaged is the national Occupy movement, by establishing Occupy for Mumia and Mass Incarceration working groups within local general assemblies throughout the U.S.

The international campaign shared its plan for actions to help maintain the momentum of various efforts to free Mumia, including those of public figures who have already come out in support of Abu-Jamal’s release, such as former Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“This is an internationalist movement. Mumia is a true internationalist,” Suzanne Ross from the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) explained.

International law and its standards on torture identify psychological torture as more than 15 days in solitary confinement. A petition campaign against torture, supported by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, will be among the many projects undertaken by this working group.

http://www.workers.org/2012/us/free_mumia_0126/

Join us in Philadelphia on April 24th (Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 59th birthday) to kickoff the new campaign to end his incarceration and bring Mumia home.

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Will Obama Cry for Inner City Youth?

 

New America Media, Commentary, David Muhammad

Like President Obama and many others across the country, I too wiped away tears as I watched the horrifying news coverage of the tragic shootings in Newton, Conn. I immediately called my children who were still in school. I sat watching the television trying to fathom how I would respond if I got a call that a shooting had occurred at my children’s school. This brought on more tears. But for the parents of 20 children and six other families in Newton, it wasn’t an exercise; it was an excruciating reality.

I then watched and listened to our President, and like parents around the world, the shooting had affected him emotionally as well. Twenty children gunned down. He struggled to hold back tears.

It was then that my phone buzzed. I quickly grabbed it to see if it was one of my children calling back. But it wasn’t. It was a colleague in Chicago. I had emailed her the day before asking for research into one of the mentoring programs in the city’s schools for youth with the highest risk of being shot.

She provided me with the information I was seeking. Then she included a P.S.: “What a devastating horrible day in CT. But frankly I wish people cared this much when it was children on the south and west sides of Chicago.”

I was snapped back into reality with the email. The tragedy in Newtown was truly horrific. But there is similar carnage carried out every day in the streets of America’s cities, especially in the President’s hometown of Chicago, where I work in Oakland, in Philadelphia, and many other cities across the nation.

In 2010, nearly 700 Chicago school children were shot and 66 of them died. Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended a memorial for 260 school children who had been killed in just the previous three years. On several occasions in the past year, tens of people have been shot in a single weekend on the streets of the city. The worst three-day stretch saw 10 killed and 37 wounded in gun fire. But Google the term “Chicago weekend shootings” and the results are far too many deadly weekends to count.

Oakland, Calif. has seen a huge increase in shootings. Last year, three small children were murdered in shootings. The youngest victim hadn’t yet turned 2. Oakland has become the first city in the country to have its police force taken over by a federal court. Because of a lack of resources, the city has one of the lowest police to resident ratios in the country.

Gun violence in America is a pandemic, but there is no round-the-clock news coverage. No national address from the President with tears. No pledge for urgent change.

Why? Is it because the children who die on the streets of America’s cities are black and brown? Is it because they are poor? What makes the victims of everyday inner-city gun violence expendable?

Like the horrendous shooting in Newton, easy access to guns and the challenges of mental illness contribute to the violence on America’s streets. Like the calls for change in guns laws that have been heard following this massacre, so too do we need tighter gun control because of the death and destruction that touches the hearts of mourning mothers in American cities every day.

Speaking at a prayer vigil in Newton, Obama said, “Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? The answer is no, we’re not doing enough. And we’ll have to change.”

Mr. President, this is so very true. But it is not only these one-day mass shootings that cause us to cry out for the need to change, but also the daily gun violence that plagues our cities.

“We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true,” Obama said. “No single law, no set of laws, can eliminate evil or prevent every act, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this.”

We can do better in Chicago, in Oakland, in Philadelphia, and in every city in America.

(David Muhammad is the former Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County in California and the former Deputy Commissioner of Probation in New York City. He now consults with philanthropic foundations on juvenile justice issues)

Source: http://newamericamedia.org/2012/12/will-obama-cry-for-inner-city-youth.php

Black Male Privilege Is Real …

The Black Male Privileges Checklist by Mr. Jewel Woods
Leadership & Politics

1. I don’t have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.
2. When I read African American History textbooks, I will learn mainly about black men.
3. When I learn about the Civil Rights Movement & the Black Power Movements, most of the leaders that I will learn about will be black men.
4. I can rely on the fact that in the near 100-year history of national civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League, virtually all of the executive directors have been male.
5. I will be taken more seriously as a political leader than black women.
6. Despite the substantial role that black women played in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement, currently there is no black female that is considered a “race leader”.
7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women’s history, or black women’s issues.
8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an “out” rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.
9. I will make more money than black women at equal levels of education and occupation.
10. Most of the national “opinion framers” in Black America including talk show hosts and politicians are men.

Beauty
11. I have the ability to define black women’s beauty by European standards in terms of skin tone, hair, and body size. In comparison, black women rarely define me by European standards of beauty in terms of skin tone, hair, or body size.
12. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of having my hair conforming to any standard image of beauty the way black women do.
13. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of being terrorized by the fear of gaining weight. In fact, in many instances bigger is better for my sex.
14. My looks will not be the central standard by which my worth is valued by members of the opposite sex.

Sex & Sexuality
15. I can purchase pornography that typically shows men defile women by the common practice of the “money shot.”
16. I can believe that causing pain during sex is connected with a woman’s pleasure without ever asking her.
17. I have the privilege of not wanting to be a virgin, but preferring that my wife or significant other be a virgin.
18. When it comes to sex if I say “No”, chances are that it will not be mistaken for “Yes”.
19. If I am raped, no one will assume that “I should have known better” or suggest that my being raped had something to do with how I was dressed.
20. I can use sexist language like bonin’, laying the pipe, hittin-it, and banging that convey images of sexual acts based on dominance and performance.
21. I can live in a world where polygamy is still an option for men in the United States as well as around the world.
22. In general, I prefer being involved with younger women socially and sexually
23. In general, the more sexual partners that I have the more stature I receive among my peers.
24. I have easy access to pornography that involves virtually any category of sex where men degrade women, often young women.
25. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where “purity balls” apply to girls but not to boys.
26. When I consume pornography, I can gain pleasure from images and sounds of men causing women pain.

View the entire article and checklist at: http://jewelwoods.com/node/9

“He’s more likely to be dangerous and commit crimes because he is Black …”

Duane Buck & The Systematic Execution Of Blacks – Huffington Post

Duane Buck & The Systematic Execution Of Blacks
Huffington Post
Evidence shows that Duane Buck was convicted and sentenced to death largely because of his race. An investigation reveals a long and deep culture of racism in Harrison County, Texas that has resulted in the “over-execution” of black bodies. Hosted by: …

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE

“Temptation Is a Movie About Punishing Women …”

Tyler Perry Isn’t Just an Artless Hack, He’s a Scary Ideologue

By  Lindy West

There are a lot of things to laugh at in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Kim Kardashian’s attempts to move and talk at the same time, Vanessa Williams’s fake French accent for no reason (hoh-hoh-hohhh!), the alien dialogue, the blunt-force moralizing, the sheer ineptitude of Perry’s filmmaking. (Worth noting: None of Perry’s actual scripted “jokes” made the list.) But, that said, it is not a funny movie—it’s a frightening one. Temptation is a movie about punishing women. Specifically, Perry is obsessed with punishing women who stray from the good woman/bad woman binary dictated by traditional Christian gender roles. That is the film’s entire purpose. I watched it 24 hours ago and my skin is still crawling. And I’m starting to believe that Tyler Perry isn’t just artless—he’s reprehensible.

Temptation is framed as a story told by a marriage counselor to her client. The client, some white lady, comes in and is like, “I’m thinking about having an affair! YOLO!” And the marriage counselor is like, “Well, let me tell you a little story, lady. About my, um, ‘sister.'” (The first of a million spoilers: IT’S REALLY ABOUT HER. SHE IS HER OWN SISTER.)

The “sister” in question is Judith—a nice, pretty, church-going “good woman” who wears ugly high-collared blouses, cooks dinner for her man every night, and only has married-sex in bed with the lamp off. Judith’s husband, Brice, is a “good man.” He works hard at a pharmacy all day, wears glasses, and is on great terms with Judith’s mother. They are “happy.” Except that they’re totally not (spoiler #2: it’s Judith’s fault).

The first hint of Judith’s discontent comes when she and Brice are heading home from a romantic dinner. A group of ne’er-do-well youths on the street cat-call Judith as they pass. Judith flips the fuck out and has to be physically restrained by Brice, who tells her to calm down, ignore it, let it go. They get in the car and go home. Judith refuses to speak to Brice for the rest of the night, because he didn’t defend his property her honor by fighting the cat-callers to the death. He didn’t do his manful duty. “But honey, they could have had guns!” Brice says. THEN HE APOLOGIZES TO JUDITH FOR NOT FIGHTING THE YOUTHS. I didn’t see the rest of the scene because my eyes fell out and rolled away.

Meanwhile, at the Millionaire Matchmaking agency where she works, Judith meets Harley—the “third largest social media inventor since Zuckerberg!” (so, uh, LinkedIn? Christian Mingle?). Harley immediately fixates on Judith and begins scheming about how to get his penis inside her posthaste. Harley is rich, sexually aggressive (his dialogue highlights the inhuman weirdness with which Perry writes about sex: “Sex should be random, like animals!”), he believes in Judith’s career (Brice, by contrast, told her that she should stay at the matchmaking agency for 15 years before starting her own practice—!?!?), and he goes jogging with no shirt so ladies will look at his muscles. “I bet you only have sex in a bed with the lamp off,” he tells Judith. (Nailed it!!!) In a clunky counterexample to the cat-calling incident, Harley attempts to murder a doofy bicyclist who accidentally bumped Judith’s knee with his bicycle. He is truly the best man ever.

Oh, also Harley is literally the devil. Linemouth.

You can tell he’s literally the devil because he says things like, “Let me play devil’s advocate,” he drives a sinful red sports car, everything in his apartment is constantly on fire, and every time Judith’s churchy mom sees him she starts screaming, “HE’S THE DEVIL. THAT MAN IS LITERALLY THE DEVIL.” He is literally the devil.

And because he’s the devil, he manages to “seduce” Judith, lure her away from her good Christian life with Brice, nose-feed her mountains of cocaine, beat the shit out of her, and turn her into a cackling demon who hates Jesus and never, ever cooks dinner. Back at the pharmacy, Brice discovers that Harley has been running around giving HIV to all kinds of fallen women all over town. This discovery finally awakens his dutiful aggro side, so he runs to Harley’s apartment to rescue Judith from Satan-AIDS, and then throws Harley through a window. Then Brice gets a new, better, non-HIV-having wife and Judith puts her frumpy clothes back on and goes to church, alone forevermore.

Cut back to this dialogue between the therapist and the white lady:

“How does the story end?”
“Well, it’s still being written.”
“Did [Judith] get HIV too?”
“Yes.”
“Did Brice?”
“No.”
“Thank you so much for sharing this story with me  I’m going to end this almost-affair and stay with my husband.”

THE END. OF THE MOVIE.

Okay. Now. Okay. There are three main areas in which Tyler Perry is fucking over the entire human race in Temptation.

1. Men Do Marriage Like This/Women Do Marriage Like This!

Temptation is a feature-length Chick tract, only with slightly less artistry and nuance. Watching this film as an atheist, it makes absolutely no sense. If you don’t believe in the devil, which I don’t, Temptation is simply the story of a 25-year-old woman who got married too young, is no longer compatible with her partner, is frustrated with her stalled career, and is preyed upon by a charismatic sociopath with a drug problem. Then, because of Perry’s fixation on Christian moralizing, the film portrays Judith’s contraction of HIV (deliberately given to her by an abusive partner) as a fitting punishment for her “sins.” From a godless perspective, this is bonkers.

Outside the confines of traditional gender roles, Judith is just a woman trying to find her place in the world. She is confused, she is sad, she is frustrated. “I feel so dead with you Brice,” she says. In the real world, women are not obligated to cook dinner for their husbands, or eschew casual sex, or put their careers on hold for their partners, or submit sexually to dominant men, or ignore cat-callers, or stand up to cat-callers, or swath their knees in modest hemlines, or be nice to their moms. Women are people. But in Perry’s universe, women are women, and a “good woman” is a very specific and important thing to be.

People can have whatever kind of relationships they want—if a traditional Christian marriage works for you, go nuts—but Perry’s insistence on punishing women who don’t follow his doctrine of subservience is harmful and oppressive. Compliance with gender roles doesn’t make anyone a good person. People are good people because they’re good people. Church doesn’t make you good. Loving your mom doesn’t make you good. Even fidelity doesn’t make you good. Those are all just excuses, loopholes, cop-outs that signify “goodness” without having to actually do the legwork.

When Judith stops being “good,” she is punished. The moral of the movie is explicit: Stay in your unhappy marriage forever because the alternative is Satan-AIDS.

Which brings me to my second point.

2. People with HIV Are Not Your Toys.

Three people in Temptation have HIV. One of them is literally the devil (see above), and the other two are black women who slept with the devil. That Perry would have the gall to use HIV as a punitive measure against black women who don’t fit his idea of “goodness”—black women, by the way, account for 2/3 of new HIV infections among women—betrays a frightening selfishness and lack of empathy. It echoes, very plainly, the old Fundamentalist rhetoric that AIDS is a punishment from god for the sins of the gays. Perry expands that rhetoric, sure—now dirty, filthy women can sin just like gays do!—but the message is the same. Casual sex is a sin and sinners deserve HIV. That. Is. Crazy.

The other woman infected by Harley is named Melinda (played by the Brandy), a saintly gal who works at the pharmacy with Brice. “I’m accepting my part in it,” she says. She chose to stay with Harley even though he was abusive and she knew he was sleeping around. Besides, the film takes care to point out, she totally took Harley’s private jet for granted—so of course he cheated! Temptation isn’t a movie about Harley—who, after all, can’t help his sin seeing as he is a demon from hell. It’s a movie about Harley’s victims. Only they’re not portrayed as victims—they’re sinners. They’re to blame. And in the end, Melinda and Judith wind up alone, repentant and meek, while Brice finds himself a new, untainted wife.

Apparently this needs to be said: People with HIV are people. People with HIV are not a rhetorical device that Tyler Perry gets to exploit to keep women in line. People with HIV have healthy relationships with other people, regardless of HIV status. Tyler Perry is a bad person.

https://i2.wp.com/img.gawkerassets.com/img/18jixdclw0wodjpg/original.jpg

3. Harley Rapes Judith.

Here are all of things that Judith says immediately before Harley has sex with her in his private plane: “No.” “Stop it.” “I don’t want to.” “Get off of me.” Judith does not want to have sex with Harley. (There’s another layer of nuance here—one reason Judith doesn’t want to have sex with Harley is that she’s deeply invested in Perry’s beloved gender roles. But the reason for her “no” is irrelevant. Her spiritual weakness betrays her, Harley can tell she wants it, and she’s punished for that weakness.)

He does not stop. He just tries harder. He knows what she really wants, no matter what her mouth and body are saying. She never says yes. He says, smugly, “Now you can say you resisted.” He has sex with her anyway. This is a rape scene. But, in Perry’s universe, Harley is right. She did secretly want it. And that’s the real problem.

Afterwards, for a minute, Judith is disgusted with Harley and with herself. She pushes him away. She tells him never to contact her again. But then! Then! She’s back on the phone with him almost immediately (while Brice is caught up in the football game—doofy doofy dur dur!), telling Harley he’s the best she’s ever had, begging him to have sex with her again. Judith, it seems, is addicted to what the dick did. And now she’s like, “OMG I NEED MORE OF YOUR SATAN BONER AND ALSO COCAINE.” Because that’s how us fickle ladies work.

This idea—that men know what women really want, that resistance can be fucked out of us (or consent fucked into us)—is DEEPLY NOT OKAY. It’s not okay to telegraph this to young men or young women or victims of sexual violence or potential perpetrators of sexual violence or lawmakers or anyone. It’s a paradigm that I was hoping had died out with Pepe LePew. It is frightening.

I’m amazed at how efficiently Perry was able to roll back discourse, human rights, the basics of consent, and storytelling itself in just one shitty movie. Perry has done a lot for the visibility of black voices in popular culture, but that doesn’t make his moralistic subtext in Temptation any less repellant and irresponsible. The world should demand better than Tyler Perry.

Source: http://jezebel.com/5993523/tyler-perry-isnt-just-an-artless-hack-hes-a-scary-ideologue

“There’s Not a Black Man on This Earth You Can Count On …”

 

Among Black children, those who learn in early childhood, long before confronting a hostile white world, that they are not worthy will then encounter that same message when they go out into the public world. Thus they are trapped. They are not valued in family life and they are not valued in the world beyond. Often Black male children hear adult women repeatedly maligning adult Black males, saying things like “he’s no good,” “he ain’t shit,” or “there’s not a Black male on this earth you can count on.” All these messages reinforce the notion that he is flawed, that nothing he can do will make him whole. All he is offered is a life of compensation, where he must work hard to make up for the “lack” others see in him and for his own sense of inner emptiness.

– bell hook, We Real Cool pg. 91

100 Percent of Urban Prep Seniors College-Bound

Seniors have been awarded more than $6 million in scholarships and grants

Urban Prep Academy is continuing its record of success.

For the last three years, all graduation seniors from the charter school’s Englewood campus have been college bound. This year, the inaugural graduating class of the West Campus has  accomplished the same goal.

In all, 167 seniors, all African American males, have been accepted to a four-year college or university.

“What this 100 percent proves beyond a doubt is that it need not be the exception but it should be the expectation for every child in the city of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a ceremony where the final students exchanged their red uniform neckties with the red-and-gold striped ones that signify their college-bound status.

Urban Prep founder Tim King said he was exceedingly proud of the young men.

“It’s really heartwarming. It’s really an inspiration,” said Tim King. “These guys are an inspiration to all of us because they show you what can happen when you really work hard and do the right thing. I feel great. There are no words to describe how powerful and wonderful it is to be a part of Urban Prep.”

Urban Prep also announced a $150,000 donation from Citi Foundation to support the academy’s  Alumni Affairs Program, which supports roughly 300 graduates enrolled in college.

“To me, it’s a place that wants to see more young black men grow and mature into men and be successful in life,” senior Malik Battle said of Urban Prep.

Battle said he’ll be attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. in the fall, studying business administration and sociology.

“Urban Prep cares,” he said.

Urban Prep Academies, founded in 2002 by King and a group of African American leaders, will host commencement exercises for this year’s graduating seniors on June 7, 2013 at the UIC Forum.