Support the PHRA!

Hi hi hello readers, have you got a second?

I’ve taken on another (unpaid) role (instead of getting a job but who wants to work rn anyway??) which has my anxious ass communicating with people? What a concept! And so, I’ve much less time to put together a cutesy story around this in order to seem acceptable and charitable rather than angry, scared and personally involved. But someone on the internet was hellbent on being wrong and rather than wasting time arguing with them, I much rather do something constructive.

The Philippines makes the Western news nowadays for crude President Duterte and his brutal drug war, the number of deaths in which are disputed, but even the government’s count is over 5,000. But besides talking a big game (including perpetuating rape culture), what has he done for the most oppressed Filipinos?

If you hadn’t heard of how the US Drug War has gone and thought it would be a solution– you might think the problem would be solved by now. But this is what happens when you go after not just small-time dealers but criminalize using drugs rather than addressing why people may feel the need to turn to using or selling. You end up slaughtering toddlers and poor people that can barely afford their family’s coffins (cw: within 2 scrolls there’s a large photo of a dead body).

Since the 1970s Ferdinand Marcos administration/dictatorship, the Philippine government has depended on commodifying and exporting its people to work outside of it to send money back to make up its economy. OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) are hailed as heroes, but it’s as about as much lip service as the praise for essential workers is here in the US. There are tons of fees, taxes, and other costs to do this, and again, you would think with that the billions of dollars accumulated, so many Filipinos wouldn’t be impoverished. But millions are hungry while those in government gain billions. This sends the message that the Filipino people are not worth investment.

They are fit solely for being killed in the streets, being packed into prisons like sardines, separated from their families and put in precarious situations just to survive. Nobody can stand up for the Philippines when they neglect cultivation and depend on overseas remittances. A leader hasn’t implemented autonomy by allowing the military of the same wealthy countries preferential treatment over their population.

( * US irony dance break * )

It’s possible to point all of this out and not want the US to play world police. I acknowledge that I don’t have first-hand knowledge and that news outlets can have agendas. However, even though he may have cursed and a few trolls may have benefited by Duterte, the Philippines cannot be free if it isn’t free from the valuing of wealth and status over Filipino lives (if going out and conquering is the highest form of that, afterall).

US Imperialist cartoon
School Begins

The US has an atrocious history and present itself including that involving the Philippines. If you could care less about another country, consider that the US gives millions of dollars to the Philippine army— which harasses and bombs indigenous people. But the main thing is that a country particularly a small country that’s been subjugated by powerful others deserves the right to control itself.

This is why groups are urging US citizens to tell their representatives to support the Philippine Human Rights Act. This aims to repeal that US funding and a piece of its compliance rather than “intervention.” I believe that you can simply sign the petition, but it’s always great to call, follow or get in contact with organizations like those on the page and meet with lawmakers especially if you aren’t in the US.

Thanks for reading!

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Rock My Soul 1-4

I can’t speak for all Filipinos as anyone of an identity shouldn’t be expected (in general it’s a good idea, but we really should start using the noggins more than eyes about what is good for people). I’ve European heritage, have lived only in the US. I hash together vlogs about Filipino kids books I wish I knew existed as kid. I wrestle with my experience of the only Filipinos I know seeming incredibly reactionary and in what/who their interests are tied.

It’s difficult to come from a background whose poverty is fetisized not only by external paternal forces but those in our own culture, our individual selves. Pageants over policy. It describes not only what garners the retweets but what’s considered “pride.” Stick a flag emoji in your handle and share a video of sob story answering trivia.

I’d heard of bell hook’s Rock My Soul: Black People & Self-Esteem, and my mind would come back to it when I’d see such kind of contradictions. How can there be so much of this excitement for a people yet unwillingness for the betterment for the lesser statused of them? I don’t mean to take a black woman’s work and just insert myself into it, but 1) I’d have no idea where to turn for any kind of Filipino work like this 2) While specifics may be for black people, others can probably relate to more general themes and probably should connect how they’re related 3) That’s kind of what I intend to do.

Current read pin

1: Healing Wounded Hearts

In the opening chapter, bell hooks introduces why it’s no wonder black people may have “wounded” self-worth. Slavery and segregation have imposed observable white supremacist violence, but because self-esteem or the wellbeing of peoples’ souls aren’t very valued, the psychological impact of things like beauty standards and more namely, integration have not been studied and discussed.

2: Lasting Trauma

Although science has been a tool of racism that can be suspicious, mental health must be a part of liberation. Everyday violence reenacts trauma and without proper strategies that include decolonized thinking, healing can’t take place. hooks also critiques conservative blame and denial of black pain by noting their failure to connect ongoing trauma (like PTSD) to certain behavior and a perpetuation of racism by judging black people more harshly for this.

bell hooks quote

3: Ending the Shame That Binds

The shame of this chapter is that being (physically) ugly in white supremacist patriarchy. Shame conditions to intimidate especially vulnerable lower-statused people. The author wonders if black employment gains have come at the cost of psychological ones. Colonized minds value the imitation of acting and looking white.

I hate to bring this up but seeing as how white people have no problem, I’m reminded of mail-order brides. I can’t say the degree to which it’s encouraged culturally, but just from existing in the US, when you look at who is famous, who is rewarded, who has resources, who receives justice (who is denied), who is fawned over for doing the which actions, whose actions are met which such unmatched animosity, it’s easy to imagine the need to keep women impoverished financially and psychologically to pimp out for cheap labor. And how is this working out? Are we still getting beaten, raped, and stuffed into the backs of freezers? It’s no wonder that men that buy women stand with macho politicians.

4: Living With Integrity

Integrity is defined by Stephen Carter and Nathaniel Branden as being able to tell right and wrong and acting on it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it seems like greed and other unethical behavior is rewarded. So to exist or even succeed, people must assimilate to bad behavior. However, if one comes from decolonized background, the imbalance of behavior and values create crisis and hypocrisy which Branden says is self-invalidating. There’s no integrity without honesty; lying spreads to other areas of one’s life.

I know it’d be nice and clean to end at chapter five, but this is already 600 words, and I’d like to include thoughts from the preface where hooks wonders why she and her siblings, who were more economically and academically privileged than their parents, were more psychologically fragile. I totally relate seeing my mother and others uproot their lives across the world, yet I have severe anxiety. I can only attribute it to Mom and at least one other woman I’m thinking of grew up in environments where everyone is literally family. Obviously, family is not synonymous with support, so I wonder about how toxic behavior is dealt.

I probably could’ve written a lot more but I read and didn’t write and already started 3 other books on here and don’t want so many posts on one book, so perhaps in the future when I re-read!

Roots of Health

Mabuhay readers, have you been watching the news?

I wanted to post my next batch of Filipino Kids Books, but video recording and editing is an ordeal. And I just didn’t think that I could continue my blog without condemning the recent attempts to subjugate women.

As you may have heard, US states like Georgia, Missouri, and perhaps most notably Alabama are working toward state-level abortion bans. If one does not follow “politics,” it may seem like you’re saving babies, but I would plead that not only is this not the case, but people pushing these laws know this and do not care. These rules are a punishment for not supporting white (patriarchal) supremacy.

PinoyPicks

We should know that wagging our fingers at hormone-addled teens whose sense of judgement isn’t fully formed and patronizingly telling them not to worry their pretty little heads about sex because you don’t have it until marriage doesn’t work. Why would this work for abortion? Young people– at least perhaps in culture that glamorizes sex or romantic relationships– are going to have sex, and we do them no favors– we harm them!– keeping inaccessible the tools and knowledge of safe sex (consent, reducing chance of disease) and healthy relationships. People that can become pregnant and don’t want to be are going to find ways to induce abortion regardless of the law.

This is just the case in the Philippines where the health service is illegal, but an estimated 610,000 still occur every year. And I hate to sound like a concern troll-y liberal seeking points by mentioning a poor brown country when the same issue is impacting the same people in her own country. But this is a blog by a Filipino-American, so one) that article is just the one that came to mind/I can’t really spend all day reading about terriblosity, two) is to show that injustice is a threat to justice everywhere, etc and inspire international solidarity, three) I’m categorizing this post in my Pinoy Picks series so that the diaspora can support empowerment and four) to show how pregnant people are forced to dangerous options that can kill them. So much for “pro-life.”

The pro-life side/argument is such a scam. Is it a life if it can’t survive on its own? “It has the potential.” What about the potential of the life carrying? What of the life of an 11 year old girl raped by a 65 year old and because abortion was illegal, she was forced to deliver (a fetus that likely won’t survive) at 23 weeks? These torturers could be spending their time doing so much else to promote the quality of life for people, but what do they do? Bomb people. Threaten to arrest (and kill) dissidents. They lie to, deceive, harass patients, and steal resources from the needy to fund their waste of law-making time and fake clinics without real doctors.

Delete Your Podcast episode 132- Forced Birth
Roqayah Chamseddine & Kumars Salehi are joined by reproductive rights organizer Christine O’Donovan-Zavada.

And look at this through racial, class, and gender lenses. If you click through that Instagram post and read the comments (I know I shouldn’t, but God help me), you can feel the misogyny radiating off comments condemning wicked women to gruesome death for slaughtering a romanticized notion of a baby. So much for Romans 2:1-5 (I know, they don’t care about Jesus either). What are we, ruled by Pilgrims? Only fuckin for the rapture? What are we, animals? No wonder some are so undeveloped. So much for the First Amendment. The preoccupation with forcing people (many women that have children already!) to put their body through a pregnancy and birth is exactly that: an occupation. It’s a way to force women to subordination via poverty and/or their so-called inherent roles of homemakers/carers. Ah yes, I guess that’s why we’re all cishet and physically and mentally able to bear children. And why actual infanticide by mothers doesn’t exist and women have never murdered before, right? 

2019-05-27 02.58.13 am
Marco Rubio fundraising email. “radical Democrats” i’m fuckin 😂

Who is most likely to get abortion? Poor women for whom birth control may be expensive. Who is most likely to be poor in the US? Who is sentenced to jail (disproportionately)? Why? What happens when you’re arrested? You may be work for pennies. You can potentially be barred from voting for the rest of your life. What just happened in mid-terms? For what/who do those people vote? 🤔🤔🤔

Obviously, voting is not the only concern regarding jail and prison. Consider the toll on one’s mental and social status and how a felony status and inadequate health care can land someone back at square one. Take a look at @prisonculture‘s profile. 

https://twitter.com/prisonculture/status/1132770033929805824

If such laws were about anything other control, these extortionists would be against state violence (war, killer cops, death penalty), funding adopting processes and birth control, getting non-violent people out of prison so that they can be with their families, and other processes so that people can raise children! Make health care and housing a right. It is classic reactionary bullshit to blah blah blah about what people should do and provide 0.00 resources to do them. How else can they make money off their jails if they’re not filling them?

PHILIPPINES

If you’re Filipino, you can support Roots of Health which aims to reduce maternal mortality, unplanned pregnancy, and HIV through sex ed and clinics. They are based out of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. I’ve only started following the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, so I don’t know them too well, but they seem to be more for organizing. They seem to have global campaigns but are based out of Quezon City. I think that people across the world can donate to both! I know that I, myself, do not know how to transfer between bank accounts and need things with Paypal. 😅

UNITED STATES

Planned Parenthood or volunteer for your local one, National Network of Abortion Funds, Yellowhammer Fund (Alabama), Sister Song (Georgia), Women Have Options (Ohio), Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund (MS), New Orleans Abortion Fund (Louisiana).

I tried to be inclusive of trans people, but please lmk if anything could be better. Or if there are any other Filipino organizations. 

Current read pin

Women, Race, & Class 1

Hey hey readers, what are you reading?

I have to admit, I’m kind of tech snob. Not in a Apple superfan way, but that I was wary of e-readers, and I’ve no idea what I’d do with tablet or smart speaker. But Haymarket Books (which often offers great sales) was offering Remi Kanazi’s Before the Next Bomb Drops for free, so I decided to try to figure out how to use e-books. And now I’m downloading all of them! 

Current read pin

The first e-book I checked out from my library’s system is Angela Davis’s Women, Race, and Class. After realizing how devoid of diversity my bookshelf is, I was really excited to start reading work by feminists of color (even if yes, I am already in the middle of 13 other books 😅). Since it’s Black History Month, I thought I’d share some highlights of what I’ve read so far.

Chapter 1: The Legacy of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood

Black women were women indeed, but their experiences during slavery– hard work with their men, equality within the family, resistance, floggings and rape– had encouraged them to develop certain personality traits which set them apart from most white women.

Ironically, there was an equality for slave men and women as they were oppressed the same. Black women were not afforded the higher status that motherhood brought white women i.e., pregnant and new mother slaves still worked, were still whipped, still had to care children in the field. But because of this, the passive role expected of white women wasn’t applied to slave women. Eugene Genovese described slave families as “a closer approximation to sexual equality than possible for whites.” Consequently, Black women’s resistance matched that of men.

Chapter 2: The Anti-Slavery Movement & the Birth of Women’s Rights

This chapter was about white women that joined the abolitionist movement. Working women and middle-class housewives lost economic and social status from industrialization and may have noticed the similarities in subjugation. Women like sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimke challenged women to “join in on that struggle with the understanding that their own oppression was nurtured and perpetuated by the continued existence of the slave system.” As they organized, these women learned about those power structures, how to take action upon them, and how to challenge male supremacy from the abolitionist view which would assist in the fight for women’s liberation years later.

Sojourner Truth
When heckled that male supremacy was a Christian value as Christ was a man, Sojourner Truth replied, “Where did Christ come from?”

Chapter 3: Class & Race in the Early Women’s Rights Campaign

Chapter 3 is about the failure of those women considered part of the Women’s Rights Movement to include working white women and all Black women, enslaved and free. While there was rightful concern about inequalities in institutions like marriage, in which men controlled women’s finances, there was a lack of associating the economic control recent European immigrant women faced in unsafe mills. The first women’s rights convention, held in Seneca Falls and organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, did not have a single Black woman in attendance.

This was unfortunate because it was not as if these women weren’t fighting for their rights as well. Mill women striked and Maria Stewart gave speeches years before Seneca Falls. There are a few quotes that come to mind that convey that if one party isn’t free, one’s self isn’t free. Davis uses an Angelina Grimke quote to condemn the solidarity deficiency: “While the South has waged this [Civil] war against human rights, the North has stood by holding the garments of those who were stoning liberty to death…”

Chapter 4: Racism in the Woman Suffrage Movement

As middle-class white women neglected building “an alliance embracing labor, Black people and women,” it’s not surprising that leaders for their suffrage possessed a biased analysis of the political moment. After the US Civil War, people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton viewed emancipation as total liberation and that Black people were then on the same level as she. Yet, she became so defensive about the proposed 15th Amendment– which would grant suffrage to Black men but not women– that she would align with anyone who supported her cause including staunch racists.

Frederick Douglas, who was not only an abolitionist but an ardent supporter of women’s rights (he was only Black person at the Seneca Falls Convention), argued that because of violent attacks on Black people, support of the 15th was a means of survival. He didn’t mean to say that women’s suffrage shouldn’t be supported; it seemed like he called the passage of the 15th a boost to energize the movement for women’s suffrage. 

book cover

Hopefully, I can complete this book in a more timely manner than the last one I started for my series! Check out my last read for Black History Month about a Black Panther photo book I won from Goodreads here!

Surviving R. Kelly Reflections

Hello readers, can you take a second to make sure if you’re prepare to read about sexual assault?

Initially, I did not think I was but felt that it was important to learn about since I didn’t know about accusations. Watching a documentary is literally the least I could do if when I do get around to reading articles, that’s more graphic and overwhelming for me. So it’s completely understandable if you’re not comfortable…

I’m kind of in the continual process of rearranging and organizing my blog, and as preferable (and probably more profitable) as it is to only write about makeup and music, I gotta purge about other stuff for which I wouldn’t want a blog (i.e., troll comments) to be solely dedicated. Enter my new Reflections tag.

In watching Surviving R. Kelly, whichever Clinton/Lewinsky program was recently played, and just my own got danged product-of-an-older-white-man-and-(Southeast) Asian-lady life, I can’t help but notice the parallels. Kelly’s victims may not have become a household name like Monica, but the predation on young women and the relegation of them to a fucking punchline is stunningly disgusting. The exploitation of white supremacy to get away with abuse of black and brown women. I’m reminded of a poem by Barbara Jane Reyes where she says she can’t find an article about a Filipina woman whom was dismembered by her white, USian husband that doesn’t mention that he was in the Navy or a tenured professor or something.

Statused, privileged men are able to exploit those titles, their wealth, and connections to prey on and manipulate young, impressionable women. Yet, who is supporting the abuser? The community of the abused. Whenever I see this type of dynamic, I think that people like supporters in this case, want such structures. Perhaps they think that if they stand by the statused, if they believe, they will be rewarded, recognized either by the person in power. Or they otherwise benefit from misogyny or xenophobia. So long as they’re beating you, they’re not beating me. Who cares if a few of them are mutilated so long of the rest of them keep sending those remittances, baby!!

I just happen to be figuring out how to use ebooks and am reading Angela Davis’s Women, Race, and Class. It’s not surprising that rape is about power and control rather than any sort of attraction. But what Davis brings to light is putting this in the context of slavery and imperialism: “Rape was a weapon of domination, a weapon of repression, whose covert goal was to extinguish slave women’s will to resist, and in the process, to demoralize their men. … Since the Vietnamese women were distinguished by their heroic contributions to their people’s liberation struggle, the [U.S.] military retaliation specifically suited for them was rape.”

Vietnam War quote
Source: Women in Vietnam, Arlene Eisen-Bergman. 1975

While women bear the brunt of these actions, men and boys are affected as well. They see what’s permitted; they see what happens to loved ones. It’s very dispiriting to see people so actively against their own people and interests. But we must address systems in addition to individuals to ensure sure “never again.” Although that seems like a big task, it makes me hopeful to see survivors living and all the people screwed over by power {vs. those in it} who will overthrow our oppressors!

To watch: Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime. They’ve also provided several organizations that help victims of abuse.

To support survivors + their work:

Sparkle

Kitti Jones

Asante McGee

Jerhonda Pace

Is My Mom Not Economically Anxious?

Following the US 2016 election which gave us President Trump, there seemed to be a frenzy of reporters clamoring to share his supporters’ stories. Sam Bee and Full Frontal beat me at covering this biased narrative of poor, rural whites voting out of “economic anxiety.” Bee also brought up the point that– wait for it– “working class” is not synonymous with white!

At first I wondered why outlets bothered; 45ers had “won” after all. After CNN ambushed an old lady outside her house, one might see these tactics a sad attempt at going after small fish rather than hold the powerful accountable. But considering the gatekeeping of journalism, I think that these writers know dads or aunts (that they like) that voted for Trump and wanted to show how they weren’t mini Hitlers literally snatching crumbs from children.

Regardless, those people supported a candidate that was going to do that. So why should I care about them? Everybody keeps talking about coal workers; those few jobs aren’t coming back. There are 300x more workers in retail, a sector deemed unstable from sudden and massive layoffs and other factors. Where is the sympathy for them? Where are their quotes and stories? Here’s (part of) my mom’s.

Some are fun, some are not fun… the story of my life.

For the past 2 years my mom has been awakened by a shifting heaviness on her chest and head: It’s her fat orange cat, Simba, asking for breakfast. It’s 5am and after taking care of her mini lion, she must get ready for her “part time job with full time hours” at Macy’s.

Until last summer, she split the week between the department store and Wal-Mart but quit to take a break from having only Saturdays off. “When I was working at Wal-Mart, I get off at 1 o’clock at Macy’s, and I go home, take a nap or something. And go to work at five until ten [at Wal-Mart].” She wouldn’t have to work at Macy’s on weekends but initially did both Saturday and Sunday at the big box chain.

In January, the retailer claimed the president’s tax cuts would allow it to raise minimum wage to $11 per hour. When we now shop at my mother’s previous employer, we no longer see her previous position. The 10 or so cashiers we’d usually see have been replaced by self-checkout machines with a few employees keeping watch. The last time we went, I heard my mother speaking to a former co-worker. She murmured about how employees weren’t allowed to perform check-out actions for customers; they could only tell customers how. 

Mom and Simber

Mom actually transferred to Wal-Mart from Sam’s Club when lifting wholesale goods on a daily basis became too exhausting for her five-foot frame. “‘Are you sure it didn’t happen at home?'” she recalled a manager saying after telling her about a sprained wrist. “‘Oh, I’m gonna investigate, I’m gonna look at the camera.’ And she didn’t get back to me… And you know what? She got demoted.” Cashiers were also expected to upgrade club memberships which was “frustrating” because by definition of a club, you’d be asking the same people. When memberships were advanced, management expected more.

After transferring to Wal-Mart, she lost $0.35 per hour. The same day Wal-Mart made its $11 announcement, it would close sixty Sam’s Clubs (including Mom’s former store).

Obviously, working two part time jobs isn’t ideal especially when combined they can total more than full time, but one must take what’s available when rent for one’s buggy apartment is due and an almost $1000 tooth extraction is needed but insurance isn’t provided. As someone who describes her own teeth as “garish,” I’d always been a bit jealous of my mom’s straight teeth and wondered how it was possible that she, growing up on the farm and not going to the dentist, managed to have them.

After the extraction, she now has a small gap that no one would say is noticeable or unsightly. But after seeing my mother for nearly 30 years, it always catches me off guard for a second as if I’m not sure it’s her. I don’t think that I can ever forgive a system that not only did this or took that tooth, but made health care so unaffordable that she could not attain preventative care.

Memorial
Mom’s memorial for her parents. She hasn’t been able to visit family since before they passed.

My mother did hold full time work for 20 years at Macy’s before being laid off in 2009. “From 1990 ’til before I got laid off, I always became Employee of the Month, but I don’t get anymore ’cause I don’t put up with the shit no more. Before I was like, whatever they want me to do, I do it. Now? Uh uh. I complain a lot too,” she laughs. “So they don’t give me any recognition no more.” That recognition the 1990s meant a lunches, special parking spot, and plaque; now it’s a t-shirt. “I still do my job good, but I don’t volunteer… After I lose my benefits…”

In Full Frontal‘s silly segment, it’s briefly discussed what it would take for people and politicians to hear the “actual forgotten working class.” One person says for us to run for office; another says the disregard is intentional to prevent action. It seems so ridiculous that we should have to do that when the interviewed agreed that they had no free time. Plus we can probably not actually afford it. But I suppose absurdity calls for ridiculous methods. I am not one to put down one way of doing things, so hopefully, one of my current routes of putting our stories out ourselves counts as being enterprising. 😅

Since thinking about writing this post, I’ve also seen findings stating “economic anxiety” was fear of losing status. Hm, could being treated like someone who isn’t a white guy pose some sort of problem??? I’ve also considered writing about my two friends, so this may be the first of a mini-series.

Make money online

Offset Holiday Costs with SurveySavvy

Make money online

Hello buds, are you celebrating a holiday this week?

I’m not a big Thanksgiving person, but it does seem to be getting more festive as people are putting up wreaths and lights, so I’ll try to keep this post short and sweet. Whether you’re eating turkey tomorrow, celebrating something soon, or supporting Native American Heritage Month, it may very well require the green stuff. No, not a needle-y tree or spearmint; I’m talking about money. If you’re looking for some extra dough this holiday season, consider survey site SurveySavvy.

SurveySavvy is probably among one of the panels I’ve used with the least amount of bells and whistles. They have surveys and that’s pretty much it. And they don’t e-mail nearly as much as other sites. It could very well depend on your demographics (age, gender, race, income, etc), but according to my e-mail records, they sent me notices about 15 times a month or less.

Invitations do tend to say how much they’re worth (mine were usually $1- $5), but keep in mind that you may not qualify for every one. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that they keep track of your history so that you can see how many surveys you’ve taken, didn’t qualify for, and how much you earned like on other sites like Opinion Outpost. I doubt that they don’t reward you appropriately, but it just seems more transparent.

Survey Savvy logo

I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think that SurveySavvy’s surveys were particularly “fun.” Some panels ask about tv shows, but I believe their questions were more about your household appliances. Additionally, they do have a referral and other programs where you can download tracking software on your connected devices for larger amounts of money. Their site says they do accept people across the world. They pay by check.

To be honest, I will probably delete my account after this season. I’ve so many things going on, the questions aren’t particularly relevant to me, so it just ends up taking up time that I don’t feel is worth it. However, if you are looking for a just-a-once-in-a-while hobby, this may be more suited for you.

P.S.- Support the Tsleil Waututh tribe for updates on the Kinder Morgan pipeline!

ShopLatinx Pin

Shop Latinx Wishlist!

So I was originally going to blog about prison labor and companies to avoid, but since writing my Beauty Bakerie post, I’ve been reminded that there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism (hard to trace every factor of a product) and trickle-down economics don’t work. Furthermore, the companies benefiting from what’s being called slavery are the usual suspects like Walmart which may be difficult for poor people to boycott. Some say such protests are more about optics and energies should be put towards laws. 

TBH, I’m not sure about that given money’s influence in politics. Regardless, with tremendous racial wealth inequality and the recent pardon of noted goblin Arpaio, who was not only repeatedly found guilty of racially profiling Latinos but also ran abusive jails and quit investigating sex crimes (amongst many other things), I think we throw some support to the community! Here are some things I’m pinning and adding to my wishlist!

CulturaCorazonPearEarrings.jpg

Cultura Corazon

How cute are these prickly pear earrings? You can find them and a variety of jewelry and pins at Cultura Corazon which features icons like Frida Kahlo.

OhComadreHorchataCandle.jpg

Oh Comadre

It’s a bit refreshing when a shop specializes in one thing, and for Oh Comadre, that thing is the most special soy candles you’ve ever seen. Scent names include: ChurroMi Nuvio, Hot Chisme, and La Novela. I really hope she restocks Rainbow & Unicorn!

MudShopNaturalsMatchaMask.jpg

mudShop Naturals

Did you think I could window shop without looking at some mud masks? mudShop Naturals offers a handful of sophisticated body products like scrubs, salts, and balms. I find this mask interesting because it has matcha tea, but they also have Hemp Seed Facial Serum. Apparently it’s good for anti-aging!

 

 

Mercado El Catrin

El Catrin probably has the widest mercado in this post with products ranging from jewelry and apparel to balloons! They have really cute little pins/buttons for only $1, and soap that’s supposed to smell like chocolate… omg…

hijadetumadreWatermelonPurse.jpg

Hija de tu Madre

Hija is definitely more of a boutique with amazing sequined denim jackets that run about $80 (they have a really cool rooster one that makes me wish I was a kid!). But they do have more affordable items and are currently having a crop top and purse sale! Check out this watermelon bag!

All of these were found via the Instagram account @ShopLatinx which features small businesses owned by Latinx of all gender identities (hence the “x” rather than Latino/Latina). They’ve since expanded to a website!

I would definitely recommend a follow. And if you do prioritize legislation, check out how to defend youth and families from deportation.

Book heart

Incarcerated Illinois

The holidays are upon us which means for some of us– myself included– will be complaining about incoming in-laws or other unsavory relations. While some complaints may be valid and not to be patronizing, but perhaps we can deal by considering people who will have to go through a little more to see their families.

I just happen to see @prisonculture‘s tweets sharing groups’ Amazon wish lists for incarcerated children and youth in Illinois. I highly recommend checking out their blog as well as supporting the freeing of Bresha Meadows, referenced in their screenname.

https://twitter.com/prisonculture/status/802536660760195072

https://twitter.com/prisonculture/status/802537512795275264

I sent a copy of The Hunger Games to Books Through Bars. It’s quite inspiring to see multiple opportunities in one city when I know how fricked up in the system is in my state and don’t see as many groups. I think I’ll be contacting some local groups with similar interests. Additionally, there is a #FreeBreshaNow online art exhibition today!

Supporting prisoners can uplift a much forgotten and disenfranchised population. And as with giving elsewhere, you can feel proud too. If you can deal with that cousin or sibling’s significant other’s parent, maybe you can bring them into helping, a deterrence perhaps from the usual battles. Hopefully, some common ground can be found– whether it’s abolishing solitary confinement or minimum sentencing or restoring voting rights– and you can work on it together!

❤ Steph

Defend the Sacred

Sacred Stone Camp

Defend the Sacred
Dallas Goldtooth

In April, indigenous activists began protesting construction of the Dakota Access pipeline which stands to contaminate the Missouri River, a water source for thousands of Standing Rock Sioux and millions downstream.

In September, more than 100 tribes unified in historic gatherings, and protectors were attacked with pepper spray and dogs while trying to defend a tribal burial site being bulldozed by the pipeline company. President Obama has since paused DAPL, but the government had previously approved two other pipelines owned by the same company in May.

Shailene Woodley was arrested Monday while protesting, and I’ve even heard that she paid bail for other protesters. Like: holy shit! That’s how you step up and be an ally. Not by wearing headdresses at Coachella or wearing caricatures on Halloween.

You can support people having basic needs through these links

Election day is coming up here in the states, so be sure to hold elected officials accountable!

❤ Steph