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This article succinctly explains why Israel is a danger to itself and others.

Based on this analysis, Avigail Abarbanel believes “Israel cannot be reasoned with”, that it “is a traumatised society and it is therefore very dangerous.” Applying family therapy models, she compares Israel to the abusive husband, the Palestinians to the abused wife and the United States to the enabling neighbor.
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Marvel is picking up Red Wolf again.  It's representation, but far from ideal.  I've listed my Native American superheroes here.
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See an animated map of the slave trade.  If you pause the animation, you can click on any ship for details.

Around 2 million Africans died on the slave ships alone, and more before and after that.  Never forget.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "primary colors" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and it fills the "Asked to give public safety lecture -- right after incident" square in my Superhero Bingo Card. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem touches on some sensitive topics. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bullying, vile language, discrimination against assorted groups, willing and unwilling changes in hair color, nonsexual intimacies, navigation through shifting identity, boundary issues, violation of body autonomy, canon-typical violence, emotional stress, and other challenges. On the whole, though, there's more fluff than angst, and it ends on a high note. If this is touchy territory for you, consider your headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
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 ... as unearthed by Nalo Hopkinson.  She's one of those writers who likes to do serious research for her F&SF novels.

I would like to add: the perception of stupidity, laziness, and clumsiness is not an accident or a random stereotype.  It is a misinterpretation  of the tactics for survival and resistance by slaves against their owners.  If the master thinks you're rebelling, you'll be punished or killed.  But if you can make them think you're unable  to do better, they're surprisingly easy to fool and will let you alone.  So slaves quite frequently wasted resources, broke or lost tools, dragged their feet, let the livestock out, stole food, and generally did everything they could, as discreetly as possible, to make the masters' lives less pleasant.  

Those strategies linger in poor communities today.  Why bust your ass when all the benefit of your labor gets creamed off for the benefit of people who hate you?  You'll never be permitted to earn more than subsistence wages, so you might as well do that with as little effort as you can possibly get away with.  Where there is no reward for harder work, you get passive resistance.

So when you read my writing about the slave descended cultures of the Americas and Caribbean, you can see many of the same roots.  It's often there in the language, the personal and community dynamics, the food, and especially the ways people deal with problems.  Each place is unique, with its own local culture -- Jamaica is different from Cuba and from New Orleans.  They're related through the common experiences of colonialism and slavery, yet distinct in local resources and historic events.  The diversity is beautiful.  As that plays out in my storytelling, you can see how people from different cultures might handle things like superpowers (Haiti is one of the bottom-ten countries for soups) or getting kidnapped by alien slavers (in which various black folks used their family lore to devise survival strategies).
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
When you write them like this

I am pleased to see mention of the points that make these characters good, which are things I often aim for:
* giving them a full heroic backstory, not just implying that they have abilities because of their race
* grounding them in a specific tribe or tribes, including multiracial characters
* showing how they adapt to and/or struggle with modern life and their tribal heritage
* providing tough plot challenges that require maximum effort to surmount, and are about something other than just being Indian.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It belongs to the series Lacquerware, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.


"silkbag"


silk bag encloses
programs woven by fingers
of old blind women

onnagata is
equally male and female,
role and performer

sensitivity
enables both of these things
to become themselves

* * *

Notes:

Haiku verses have a 5-7-5 syllable pattern.  Learn how to write haiku.

An onnagata is a male actor who plays female roles in kabuki theatre, historically a kind of genderqueer although not as often so in modern times.

Silkpunk

Jul. 21st, 2015 11:20 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So there's a genre called silkpunk, inspired by historic Asian technology.  Fascinating.

I've written a handful of explicitly Asian series: The Origami Mage relies primarily on paper magic.  Kung Fu Robots is more like wuxia SF.  Lacquerware is Edopunk.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
"La Belle et la Bête" is a French film that goes back to the roots of the classic fairy tale.  I stumbled across a trailer online, and it looks quite good.  I am particularly charmed by having the original French dialog with English subtitles.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... from people in case they die in police custody.  Useful if you belong to any group the police enjoy abusing and murdering.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
This gaming community solved online harassment.  First they polled the community to determine local standards.  Then they created a learning system which allowed users to penalize behavior outside community norms, or reward particularly good behavior.  This is optimum because it allows each community to set and maintain its own standards.  Parameters are created by the community and enforced within its own interactions, not devised and imposed from outside.  This way, each little corner of cyberspace can establish its own ideals.  Everybody wins!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by [personal profile] kelkyag, an image prompt from [personal profile] curiosity, and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "Old things (heirlooms, antiques, nostalgia)" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Warning: This poem is sad and references past deaths.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This looks like fun.  I'm definitely interested in watching it.

I just wish other people would mix up their ethnic characters a bit more.  There's a really heavy trend toward linking superpowers with ethnicity.  Sure, do that, roots matter.  But do some other stuff too.  African-descended characters often have primal powers such as animal traits.  I have Lakia, who has a tail and Neural Blast.  I even have a soup who actually IS an African elephant, Hercules.  But I've also got Boss White (Telepathy), Danso (Superpower Manipulation), Dazzlecat (Shapeshifting: Ocelot Form), Jolt (Control Electricity), Fiddlesticks (Super-Speed), Gallium Gal (Liquid Metal Form), the Gingerbread Man (Teleportation), Lieutenant Brown (Regeneration), the Muffler (Power Nullification & Empathy), and Saraphina Dreux (Soul Powers).
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "reality is illusion" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Learn some words and phrases in Lakota for talking about a powwow.

They left out frybread. >_< How can you have a powwow without frybread?  Every Indian is going to say that, because the first thing you say at a powwow is: "Where is the frybread?"  There are about a dozen bumper stickers especially devoted to frybread. Of course, this is only part 1.  Maybe they will cover powwow food in a later part.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is today's freebie. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu and this picture. It also fills the "forbidden" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest.

Read more... )
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This post includes written and vocal samples about tribal affiliation.

For what it's worth, Wazí Aháƞhaƞ (Pine Ridge) is the reservation where my father's brother has kin by marriage. Yes, that's complicated. It's also perfectly ordinary for tribal people to trace connections through long trails of relatives.

On my mother's side, our Cherokee ancestor, we don't know who she was.  She was one of the ones who survived by assimilating.  But I am still finding bits of things, all this time later, where family traditions overlap Cherokee culture.  Burying fishheads in the garden, that one was obvious!

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