Entries tagged "politics"

Why Did President Obama Post About DACA On Facebook?

While I’m glad President Obama addressed DACA, I am very concerned that he posted his response on Facebook. Facebook is a privately owned platform. The company chooses who sees the post in their feeds without explaining to anyone why or how it makes that decision. It is also a platform responsible (though we yet don’t exactly know how responsible) for targeted voter suppression campaigns run on the last election. President Obama has a web site. Why did he not first post his statement there? He could have easily had that post cross-posted to various other platforms like medium, twitter and yes, Facebook, if his concern was reaching the most people.

Privatizing our public space, not to mention handing over data about our political positions and stances to a private company, are incredibly relevant to DACA and immigrants safety. President Obama asked for Dreamers data while President. This data can now be used to target them by the current administration. Now he’s helping Facebook get data by posting his support of DACA only on Facebook.

After Trump I Went to the Castro

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Youth Protesting in the Castro

I went to the Castro the night after Trump was elected to be with my people. I went there to fight Prop 8 and when marriage equality passed. It’s where queers marched the night Harvey Milk was killed by an elected white guy full of resentment and looking for someone he was allowed to blame. It’s where we lost a generation and where they were loved and mourned and fought for. It is the gay Jerusalem. After Harvey was killed, more people came out. When HIV/AIDS hit and decimated a generation and the President refused to even acknowledge this was happening, many well-to-do white, gay men came out and were outed, queer men and women united to work together and care for and bury our own. ACT UP was created. We organized. People learned about medicine and drugs. When Prop 8 passed in California, more straight folks joined us than ever before. Each time something unimagineably horrible has happened, something unimagineably powerful has been born in response. there has been no one leader. The change has come within each person and from what they have done.

I want to time travel to 1988 and tell everyone “We have the meds!!! You did it!! You cheated death! We have marriage, we’re not criminalized!! We have some trans* rights! Keep going! Come out.”

Some part of future me is here to tell you the same.

Compassion and White Liberal 12 Step

Compassion and empathy are important things to have. But who needs it most right now from you? Where will it do some good immediately? Do you have compassion more for the people scared out of their minds about real impending persecution? Are you able to care first for yourself and see and handle your fear? Are you able to see first what are real risks and harms in the world today right where you are? Do you believe intellectually understanding something will make your feelings of fear or disorientation go away? Do you have a fantasy about placating someone who isn’t interested in what you’re saying? White liberals need to stop going to the hardware store looking for bread. Build bakeries.

morning Jew Ep 8 (10/18/2013)


I’m enjoying doing this weekly morning show with my pal NY comic Katie Halper. We review the week’s headlines and ask: Is it good for the Jews? It’s so morning show sometimes you even get a true morning face from me, like in this week’s episode. This week we hit topics from the hugs: how do political parties really work in America to what a good Jerry Seinfeld interview sounds like.

If you want to know if something is good for the Jews, just ask or (more likely) tell us.
The show is at http://morningJewz.com .

“Putin wrote an op-ed in the NYTimes, like a good Jewish boy” Morning Jew is back.

Katie Halper and I have just brought morning Jew back. We ask: Are the headlines good for the Jews?

Today’s full post. You can follow us on tumblr.

"The big breakthrough will come…when we are able to handle the truth about people." Van Jones

“The big breakthrough will come…when we are able to handle the truth about people.”

-Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod and me, NYTimes op-ed
Van’s entire piece is worth reading about what it feels like to be caught in Washington DC doing politics in real-time right now via the web.
I’ve been exploring the process what it means to be “Private” (aka yourself) in Public for some time now. It’s what solo performer, comedians, performance artists and many performers do. When it’s chosen an you provide the context it can be very powerful. Of course the latest political episode is particular poignant because Shirley Sherrod spoke in public on behaviour of her government employer but apparently of her own choosing and gave plenty of context which made her story about race and class understanding really powerful. And it’s that context which was taken away by Breitbart’s selective editing and the ensuing political playout of anxious reactions.
And I still believe that it is this act that makes the world safe for you as I said during my 20009 SXSW panel Everything I Need to Know About the Web I Learned From Feminism. But the always brilliant and challenging danah boyd noted that it’s a privilege to be yourself in public. And of course people behave differently in different publics.
The “public” of the media and the blogosphere and political DC are all different. Of course our political “public” is theoretically supposed to be the place in which we solve common problems but this kind of judgemental-ness and harsh manipulation which serves political and media business ends isn’t always in the interests of our common good.
This rend is an old media and political one. It’s not new. The fact that the real-time web is speeding it up is a little bit new. What will be new and is necessary is what Van Jones mentions: not the truth about how people are or what they’ve said but when we can handle it.
An individual matures when they can handle difference. It’s called differentiation ( “the ability to separate one’s own intellectual and emotional functioning from that of the family”). An individual heals from depression or trauma when they get to a point when they feel they can handle their feelings. Our body politic and publics seem to me to operate just like a person.  And I think Van is right, the key word is handle.

As an individual you can’t control the world, you can only get better at feeling you can handle it and the change and challenges it presents you with. It’s the same thing for the media and our politics. And sometimes you have to bottom out before you are motivated to change. And it looks like our politics are heading there.

The Net provides a place to attack each other better and I wager it’s connectedness (and our real-life connectedness with each other and our selves) could also help us get better at handling once we decide that’s what we need to work on.

Fun video link: danah boyd’s comments on how gendered behaviour plays out in social networks (thx @allaboutgeorge)

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

New York, NY – 10/27/08

Earnestness (audio podcast)

Heather mixes Lawrence Lessig, comedian Aundre the Wonderwoman, marketer Deb Schultz and the “audience” about Earnestness in Politics. Is it possible? What about earnestness at work, in the corporate environment?

Listen to the full 90 minute show.



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