the word '"racism" embedded in circle with a slash through it.

Racial Lenses

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End Racism Now

White privilege.  It’s a system that is embedded in our culture “to overempower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one’s race [white/Caucasian] or sex [male]”.

In looking and thinking about white privilege, I periodically read other civil rights bloggers to see what that have to say on the issue of white privilege, racial inequities, and how people of all races and ethnicities view the world.  One of these bloggers had a link to a new person [to me]; Glenn Robinson is this “new” blogger. He writes about mixed cultures, mixed heritages, and mixed identities in what I believe is an effort to speak the truth about other views of our world in an effort to help break down some of the barriers that white privilege creates.

Glenn maintains several different civil-rights based blogs. Topics range from Amerindian issues [500 Nations], to immigration and multiculturalism [Community Village], to views about mixed cultural heritage [Mixed American Life], to systemic oppression, violence, and disenfranchisement [Oppression Monitor].

The blog that initially caught my eye is called Mixed American Life.  And the article that I first honed in on is called Racial Lenses.  Here are a couple of excerpts from this blog.  If you are interested in more of his work, please check it out. I’m impressed. I hope you are too.

What is a racial lens?

A racial lens is what influences how you view the world by way of your own experience, your own racial and ethnic experience. -Glenn Robinson

Xenophobic Racial Lenses

Some ways cultures describe their own color

  • Africans – Black
  • Asians – Gold
  • Chicanos – Bronze
  • Native Americans – Earth tone, Golden
  • Europeans – White, Pink, Red

Mixed Heritage Racial Lens

Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage

Not to justify my existence in this world.
Not to keep the races separate within me.
Not to justify my ethnic legitimacy.
Not to be responsible for people’s discomfort with my physical or ethnic ambiguity…. [and more, this is just a start of the list of rights Glenn presents in his blog]

Corbett’s at It Again

This time, Corbett is attacking LGBT couples

“Just Close Your Eyes”

Last year, the Pennsylvania General Assembly was considering passage of a transvaginal ultrasound bill to force women to have an unnecessary ultrasound in advance of going to an abortion clinic if they want to terminate their pregnancy. This bill would have required pregnant women to have the intrusive vaginal ultrasound with a video screen pointed at then and then would have required them to carry that report to the clinic the next day along with a signed form indicating that they had the procedure done.  This report would also have to be placed in their medical record despite the fact that this procedure was not medically necessary.

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was asked if this was a bill that burdened women, he said that the women who didn’t want the procedure could “Just close their eyes.”

Here’s a clip of that comment (the commentary and the comment start at 02:39 minutes into this video):

This time he says, “I think a much better analogy would have been  brother and sister…”

Now this week, he’s attacking loving gay couples who want to marry just like their heterosexual friends do.  On Friday he responded to another reporter’s question.  He appeared on a Harrisburg TV station program called “Ask the Governor.”  The reporter asked him to comment on the legal argument that his lawyers are proceeding with in a case to stop Montgomery County’s Register of Wills from issuing marriage licenses to gays and lesbians who want to get married in Pennsylvania.

The legal brief compares same-sex marriage to allowing 12-year old children to get married.  His response, just a bit longer than the “Just close your eyes” comment from last year, is just as offensive.  The reporter said to him, “comparing gay marriage to the union of 12-year olds … you called inappropriate.” Corbett responded:

“It was an inappropriate analogy. I think a much better analogy would have been  brother and sister, don’t you? ”

Here’s a clip of this comment:

He later, as with last year’s comment, apologized, saying this time that it’s just a “legal” argument since marrying a 12-year old or having an incestuous marriage, or marrying a person of the same-sex are all illegal.

This is the guy who thinks he represents the Commonwealth?!!?  Women as well as men? I don’t think so! All gays and lesbian couples as well as any heterosexual couple that wants to get married?!!? I don’t think so!

Inappropriate, Offensive, Insensitive, and Hateful

Both of these statements are offensive, insensitive, and hateful.  And, yes just as Corbett later stated they are both inappropriate.  Yet he continues to attack – women, gays, immigrants, etc.  For a sampling of these attacks by Governor Corbett (as well by the Pennsylvania legislature), check out my blog posting earlier this entitled “War on Women in PA: At Least a 20-Year Happening.”

The apologies are not enough.  Corbett has to go.  He needs to be a 1-term Governor in Pennsylvania – something that hasn’t happened since the PA Constitution was amended in 1968 to allow a Governor to succeed himself (or herself, which might change if we ever elect a female governor) with a second term.

The Alternatives (So Far)

We know that Tom Corbett will be the Republican candidate for PA Governor in 2014.  We don’t know who the Democratic (or any other party) candidate will be on the November ballot.  Right now there are at least eight Democrats running: John Hanger, Jo Ellen Litz, Rob McCord, Katy McGinty, Max Myers, Ed Pawlowski, Allyson Schwartz, and Tom Wolf have officially announced and Rep. H. Scott Conklin, Senator Mike Stack, and former Auditor General Jack Wagner are considering a run. We need information on these alternatives.

So I started looking for blogs or commentary on alternatives to Tom Corbett.  So far, there is only one that is not party-based that I could find.  It is written by Cindy Purvis, Treasurer of Healthcare for All PA.  Her blog is titled “Race for PA Governor” and focuses on single-payer healthcare reform.  So check out her blog.

After the fall elections, there should be more websites up that can provide more complete information on the stances of candidates across a wide spectrum of issues, including women’s rights, reproductive justice, marriage equality, and other LGBTQ issues.  One of the best, in my opinion is Project Vote Smart.  Right now there is nothing on any race being held in 2014, but check back later.

Meanwhile, you can let your outrage be known. Contact Tom Corbett by email or phone at 717-787-2500.  Tell him that his wars on women and the LGBT community must stop.  Let him hear your outrage.  Maybe he might reconsider some of his views and actions towards the citizens of Pennsylvania.  I doubt it, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Change in Blog Title

I just wanted to send out a message to my followers. I decided to change the title of my blog from “Joanne Tosti-Vasey Blogging for Equality” to “Civil Rights Advocacy.”  So when you get an email in the future saying something like “New post on Civil Rights Advocacy,” you will know it was from me.

Meanwhile check out the archives of my blog since I started blogging on December 14, 2012.  The archive list is located on the right hand side of my home page.  My most frequent topic areas to date are:

Campus Violence, Children, Civil Rights, Discrimination,, Domestic Violence, Economic Justice, ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, Health Care, LGBTQ Issues, Marriage and Marriage Equality, NOW Inc. (National Organization for Women), President Barack Obama, Racism, Rape, Reproductive Justice, Sexism, Sexual Assault, Stalking, US Constitution, US House of Representatives, US Senate, US Supreme Court, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), Victims of Violence, and Women’s Equality.

I’d love to hear back from you on all of these blogs; comments are ALWAYS welcome!