29 October 2011 @ 04:52 pm
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] _samalander at Native Headdresses
We all know that the appropriation of Native culture by hipsters and other white people is an issue, but apparently no one told the Washington Post. (And if you don't know why it's a problem, please see here for more information.

(Not that this happening in the city where the "Redskins" is an appropriate team name is surprising.)

This Friday, they published a picture of a white woman wearing a head dress on the cover of their "weekend" section. To advertise karaoke bars.

You can see it here, I couldn't find the picture larger. (In case they pull it, I've uploaded it here for posterity.

You can contact the Ombudsman, responsible for ethics, at ombudsman@washpost.com or call 202-334-7521.
You can submit a letter to the editor following these instructions.
You can contact the weekend section here: weekend@washpost.com

I've been unable to find out who the editor of the Weekend section is, but the picture was taken by Rebecca D'Angelo and the article was written by Stephanie Merry and Jess Righthand, though I doubt they're responsible for the choice of the picture.

Additionally, I'd like to point you guys to this awesome post that I just read today about Native American headdresses. The post, which explains the difference between war bonnets, roach headdresses, and other common Native American head wear.

I would also like to draw your attention to the following quote (added emphasis is mine):

On our Native American regalia page, you can find links to tribal members who make dance roaches and other ceremonial Indian clothing. A good place to buy kits for making your own porky roaches or other dance accessories is the well-known pow-wow vendor Crazy Crow.

If you are not Native American but are just trying to make a headdress for an art project, we recommend making a beaded headband, since headbands do not have the same sacred meaning of many other Indian headdresses and do not require you to understand complex cultural traditions to create one properly. The book North American Indian Beadwork Patterns includes a nice pattern for beading a Native American headband.

Even if you can't spare a few moments to write out an e-mail, please to your own journal.
20 October 2011 @ 10:30 am
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] _samalander at Chocolate and Slavery
On a serious note: It's October and in a few days kids will be begging for candy at your door. Lets talk about chocolate.

Did you know that cocoa farmers engage in human trafficking and slave labor to make your chocolate bar? They do.

Did you know that TEN YEARS ago there was an international protocol passed requiring chocolate makers to work to end child slavery? There was, and people were too busy patting themselves on the back to enforce it, so nothing has changed.

Think a boycott will just hurt the people who make those 15 cents a day? You're missing the big picture.

Addicted to chocolate? Fine, here are the Fair-Trade companies that don't use slave labor.

Want to give money to supporting international labor rights? You can do that, too.

Want to learn about better candies to give out at Halloween? I have an app for that.

As a side note, I know money is still very tight for people (at least everyone I know), but there are non-chocolate alternatives that you can give out. In fact, non-chocolate is generally cheaper than chocolate, so you can save money! Skittles, starburts, bubble gum, and lollipops are all delicious.
11 October 2011 @ 03:40 pm
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.