For the more than half a million women who pick and handle the food we eat, sexual assault often comes comes with the job.
Frontline partnered with Univision News to produce the documentary “Rape in the Fields” that explores how many migrant women working in America’s fields and packing plants are sexually assaulted by supervisors who exploit their immigrant status.
“The Spanish men left babies right and left. When most of the indias had given birth to mixed-blood children, when all the lands had been divided, our labor shared out in the encomienda, and no more caciques went out to battle them, they said the people were gone. How could we be gone? We were the brown and olive and cream-colored children of our mothers: Arawak, Maya, Lucaya, stolen women from all the shores of the sea. When we cooked, it was the food our mothers had always given us. We still pounded yuca and caught crabs. We still seasoned our stews with ají and wore cotton skirts. When we burned their fields, stole their cattle, set fire to their boats, they said we were someone else. What was wrong with their eyes? We mixed our blood together like sancocho and calalú. But the mother things stayed with us.”—Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (via onthemargin)
“I am a black man
Who was born café con leche
I sneaked into a party, to which I had not been invited.
And I got kicked out. They threw me out.
When I went back to have fun with the black girls
All together they said ‘Maelo, go back to your white girls’
And they kicked me out. They threw me out.”— Ismael Rivera, “Niche” (via browngirlinorange)
“Me gustan las ojeras de tus ojos
de no dormir por estar aprendiendo.
Me gusta tu cabello sin arreglar,
porque tienes mejores cosas que hacer.
Me gusta que te quejes,
porque se nota que piensas por ti misma.
Me gusta que te vistas como quieras,
porque sabes que tienes el derecho a hacerlo.
Me gusta que luches por lo que consideras correcto,
porque no eres domesticada, y eso es lo que más me gusta.
Es que por todo eso que, me encantas”—Jonathan Chacón (via hachedesilencio)
Last month, a 19-year-old Native American high school student at J B Pennington High School in Blountsville, Alabama was told he couldn’t wear an eagle feather if he wanted to graduate. When Sky Walkingstick, of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, explained it was a demonstration of his beliefs protected under federal law, he was still told by Assistant Principal Steven Bryson, a former history teacher, and another instructor, William Smitherman, who teaches government, economics and 9th grade history, to remove it.
“I was just starting the graduation ceremony and I had my eagle feather in my cap, it was hanging from the tassel. I was walking towards Mr. Smitherman he saw my eagle feather and stopped me. He started shaking his head no. He said you cannot wear that during the graduation,” said Walkingstick.
“I asked him why not and he said, ‘you just can’t.”
Walkingstick, who has been a men’s traditional dancer since age 5 and a fancy dancer for about a year says the eagle feather is part of his heritage, his religious beliefs and achievements. He said he tried to explain that the wearing of a feather was also protected, but he was shut down.
“I started to get upset and tear up, but I held it in. I put my eagle feather back in my car. When I came back Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Bryson told me again,” said Walkingstick.
Walkingstick was surprised two educators with backgrounds in teaching history and government aren’t aware of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Walkingstick complied during the May 23 graduation ceremony, even though he didn’t want to. “I didn’t want any trouble nor did I want to cause a ruckus… I went ahead with graduation with my feather in my heart and my head held high.”
His mother, Hollye Walkingstick, was frustrated by the situation. “You would think of all people, that history teacher would be more aware. It made me very mad,” she said.
“I asked Mr. Bryson ‘can you tell me why he can’t wear it?’ He said, ‘the main reason is that all of the kids are required to look the same. I told him there was no dress code the kids had to sign and no one was told they had to wear certain things. I told him you would not tell a Christian person to remove their cross or a Jewish person to remove their Star of David. And I can guarantee you that if you had a Muslim child in your school you would not tell her to remove her head covering. You could not do that by law.”
She explained that Sky respected Bryson’s wishes because he is an elder and the assistant principal. “But this is a school, you could turn this into a real teaching opportunity,” Hollye told Bryson.
Hollye said she and the teachers argued that other students—honor students—wore adornments in their tassels. She also said the school accepts funding for having minority students, but doesn’t support their beliefs.
“My daughter asked Mr. Bryson if he understood what the eagle feather meant and he said ‘Oh yeah, I know you all smoke peace pipes and what you smoke in them.’ This is a former history teacher who is now the vice principal and the history teacher was standing right next to him,” Hollye said. “This is unreal to me.”
J.B. Pennington High School principal Brian Kirk said the school has no comment on the issue and referred ICTMN to the Blount County Board of Education Superintendent Jim Carr, who has not returned several calls.
This isn’t the first time a graduating senior has taken flack for wearing an eagle feather at graduation from an Alabama school. Chelsey Ramer, a Poarch Creek Band of Indians student who recently graduated from Escambia Academy in Atmore, Alabama faced a similar situation. She did wear her feather though and nearly had to pay a copy,000 fine for doing so. (Related story: “Poarch Creek Student Not Required to Pay Fine, Receives Diploma”)
& my tribe this time
*SCREAMING AT THIS RACIST STATE I’m in*
why Alabama? why must you do these things? Jim Crow-Bull Connor & Hb56 weren’t bad enough?
El Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed. Scholars have traced the origins of this holiday back thousands of years to the days of the Aztecs. Dr. Alderete brings the celebration to modern day with this 176 page collection of contemporary artwork inspired by the tradition. Get a copy of “The Day of the Dead: El Dia De Los Muertos”
This is Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D), and she needs to be known and recognized right alongside Senator Wendy Davis.
She couldn’t be at the start of the senate session because her father died in a car crash last week and the funeral was the day of Davis’ filibuster. She left the funeral to lend her voice to Davis’ cause and worked her ass off to make it count. She made so many parliamentary inquiries on behalf of the filibuster that it’s now become the new slogan of the Texas rebellion. When Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the acting Senate president, attempted to skip over and ignore her inquiries time and time again and seemed to purposely skip over her in favor of the men, she had this to say: “At what point must a female senator raise her hand, or her voice, to be heard over the male colleagues in the room?”. She put the needs of herself aside in favor of her people; for the women that needed her to speak up when they couldn’t.
Let’s add Leticia Van de Putte to the list of important names to know.
Women like Leticia give me hope for this country and make me proud to have a fellow Latina sitting in Congress and fighting for us. She’s my political aspiration and makes me want to be part of this country’s future.
Us women need to work together, not against each other.
“Spanish colonialism universalized Indian identity, as all inhabitants of the Americas were rendered ‘Indian’—regardless of their heterogeneous cultures and political organizations—in contradistinction to Spaniards. At the same time, colonial policy also parochialized indigenous identities by disarticulating previous cultural, political, and spatial organizations, replacing them with circumscribed structures of local identification and governance that existed parallel to, and in the service of, colonial governance. Taken together, Spanish colonialism engineered a lasting Indian difference through this simultaneous process of universalizing and particularizing Indian identity. Thereby, it reproduced a racialized labor force that spanned two continents, not through military force, but by relying on the disciplining power of thousands of atomized ‘Indian’ towns to produce and contain Indian difference. These towns, in turn, served to proliferate ethnic differences among Indians by further fragmenting identity. Briefly stated, Spanish colonialism transformed every aspect of indigenous cultural life and political territoriality through the townships, while at the same time (re)producing the grounds for Indian difference at a safe but accessible distance.”—
“Reading a Silence: The ‘Indian’ in the Era of Zapatismo” by María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo (via nepantlastrategies)