man West Indians are good at island hopping like a mug. Most of my family were from or lived in Grenada before the came to Trinidad. It’s crazy to see how few generations removed from slavery you are. sobering really.
message me if you want to see a pic…its a work in progress though.
Who would have thought that my ass would have Irish ancestry though; of all the owners in the Caribbean
DARIEN, Conn. – The plight of transgender illegal immigrants is probably a mystery to most people. But Darien native Isabel Castro is working on a documentary that will share the tale of three transgender women from Mexico who fled to Los Angeles.
“Crossing Over” focuses on Francis Murillo, Brenda Gonzalez and Abigail Madariaga. All three come from rural areas of Mexico and suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of family, friends and police because they are transgender.
“Their story is fascinating. The cultural and social pressures in Mexico just made it impossible for them to live there,” Castro said.
A student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Castro heard the story of these women from a lawyer she consulted with on a journalism paper. She traveled to Los Angeles with other students and shot some footage for a documentary that she is hoping to expand.
Castro started a Kickstarter page to raise money to finish her project. She is trying to raise $4,000 in 40 days to help pay for a crew, travel and equipment to shoot a documentary about 45 minutes long.
Castro says she is not a proponent of illegal immigrants but believes that reforms must be made to help people move here who are unable to live in their own countries. She is interested in documenting the reasons people immigrate to the United States and the troubles they face here.
“Because these women are both illegal immigrants and transsexual, it’s a double whammy. Many of them turn to prostitution, and several contract HIV or AIDS.”
The three women in the documentary have all found stable jobs, but it was not easy. Madariaga became addicted to drugs while working as a prostitute, and Gonzalez contracted HIV. Both have been granted political asylum, but Murillo still has a final hearing scheduled in February. If she is denied, she will be deported to Mexico.
Castro is hoping to raise enough money to travel to Los Angeles two or three times and finish the film by summer. She and her colleagues will pitch it to film festivals to try to raise awareness of the struggles of transgender immigrants.
I’m very wary of cis people who take on the role of the “White Knight” while doing projects that they claim are for the benefit of trans women. I want to welcome projects by cis people that highlight the issues of violence against trans women. The voices of trans women need to be amplified by cis people. But it needs to be the actual voices trans women and not the cis directors ventriloquist vision of how trans women should be represented.
After viewing the video on Kickstarter, I feel there is reason to be concerned about this project. For instance, right away Isabel Castro follows the transmisogynist cliché of showing trans women putting on makeup — and it continues for virtually all the shot of the women, as if their entire existence outside of being interviewed for this video consists of putting on makeup and primping themselves. Later in the video, Castro says “a grand majority of them [trans women immigrants who do survivor sex work] are contracting HIV and AIDS.” While it is true that trans women of color who are sex workers and immigrants have disproportionately high rates of HIV infection when compared to others, the rate of infection is still less than a third. Obviously this is still an outrage, even if it’s actually not even close to a “grand majority.” The exaggeration sensationalizes a serious issue that needs serious and accurate attention. Otherwise it’s just playing on socially perpetuated paranoia about trans women, people of color, sex workers, and immigrants.
So I fear that this project, while couching itself in good intentions of addressing violence against trans women, still caters to a voyeuristic and exotifying cis gaze.
The victims of human trafficking, including women forced into the sex industry or trapped as unpaid domestic servants, are being unfairly treated as criminals and illegal immigrants, an inquiry has found.
The investigation by Lady Helena Kennedy QC has concluded that the police and immigration authorities fail to see the thousands of women, men and children trafficked into Britain as the innocent victims oforganised crime whose own basic rights have been breached.
Kennedy’s report to the Scottish office of the Equality and Human RightsCommission (EHRC), published on Monday after an 18-month inquiry, calls on the UK and Scottish governments to introduce legislation and criminal justice policies which will tackle trafficking as a specific crime and support its victims.
She said trafficked people frequently end up being forced to work inprostitution, domestic service, fruit and vegetable picking, food processing, benefit fraud and cannabis cultivation. But the issue is chiefly treated by the authorities as an illegal immigration, sexual offences or crime enforcement matter.
Victims were treated as part of the problem, or their needs and rights sidelined, as detectives focus on the brothel owner or the smuggler, since trafficking victims often emerged in raids for drugs, prostitution or immigration offences. By contrast, a British citizen who had been raped or seriously wounded in a normal setting would be given much greater support.
We are deeply saddened to be writing this note to you today. As some of you may know, the day after Thanksgiving we all learned that Joaquin Luna, an undocumented student in Texas and firm believer in the DREAM Act, took his own life. It has been reported that Joaquin…
NTV’s Real Time News aired the following feature report last week about Fidea Kobayashi, a Tanzanian woman living in Nagano Prefecture:
Here is a quick summary of some of the information covered in the report:
Fidea came to Japan 12 years ago after marrying a Japanese citizen in Tanzania.
She works at the Chateu De St. Cousair, a restaurant/wedding chapel in Karuizawa. She has worked there for 11 years and now holds a managerial position, although she still insists on helping out in nearly every duty at the restaurant.
Fidea’s ability to balance and carry large objects on her head, something most Tanzanian villagers can do, is a rarity in Japan. At some point during her employment at the chapel/restaurant, she ended up carrying something on her head, and the positive reaction of amazement she received from customers has led her to make it a special feature. As the video shows, she sometimes balances large wedding cakes on her head, and guests and ceremonies love it. She is often asked to pose for photographs.
Guests interviewed say that they like the celebratory style in which she leads wedding ceremonies, and they are impressed with her Japanese ability. Restaurant customers also like the fun atmosphere she creates.
She lives with her 47-year-old husband Kazunari, their 2-year-old daughter Sara, and Kazunari’s 83-year-old mother. During a family apple-picking scene, we are shown that little Sara speaks Swahili and English with her mother, and speaks Japanese to her grandmother.
She met her husband when he was working in Tanzania. She was 25 at the time, and he was 35. She initially thought he was Chinese, and he initially found her to be cute but a little fat. When he contracted malaria, she helped nurse him back to health and a romance developed between them.
Kazunari’s family was initially opposed to their marriage. His father had never seen a foreigner before, let alone an African, and had major doubts about such a marriage. They eventually consented, however. Fidea’s family did not oppose the marriage, although Kazunari did have to present them with a dowry of 1 cow and 3 goats.
As is common with such news features about foreigners living in Japan, we get a look at the kind of food Fidea cooks at home. The dinner shown in the video consists of Tanzanian-style ugali and some Japanese-style grilled saury.
When Fidea first came to Japan, she was quite surprised by the crowds in Tokyo. She was also a bit perplexed by Shibuya’s ganguro girls, who tan their skin to the point of looking almost African. When Fidea asked them why they tanned their skin, they told her, “black is best.”
Fidea had her picture taken the ganguro group, and her family in Tanzania was quite surprised when they saw the photograph.
Her life in Japan has not been without difficulties. Not long after moving to Nagano, she was told to get the hell out of a shop, apparently because the shopkeeper was racist. At the time she was quite shocked that the other customers in the shop ignored what was happening, and left with the impression that Japanese people are cold. She believes that such a thing would not happen at a store in Africa.
She has since met many kind Japanese people, and she feels that only some of the population are bad.
Fidea and Kazunari worry about the discrimination their daughter will face when she becomes older and starts attending school. They are trying to raise her to be a strong person who will overcome such difficulties
The report ends with a message from Fidea in Swahili: “Sisi Sote Sawasawa” [All human life is equal].
#Unfortunately , I can’t embed the video on tumblr but it’s a worthwhile watch . As for the summary , very necessary since its all in Japanese and no subtitles either.
Foreign language is on my mind. I read this post on Kimchi Mamas by Mary. Mary hasn’t yet figured out how to answer her father’s inquiries about whether she’s going to teach her children to speak Korean or not. The commenters’ varied responses peaked my interest.
Ah, the ‘native’ language question. It’s always there if you’re a POC here in the U.S. Do European second generationers who appear Caucasian get asked, “Do you speak [‘native’ tongue]” as often as Asian second generationers? I wonder.
If you do then you’re praised by society at large for being worldly, being in touch with your roots. But does this also mean you’re contributing to the status of being a perpetual foreigner? Does speaking your “native” tongue make you more American? Or less? What if you’re mixed race, hapa? Or a transracial adoptee? Or live in a mixed household like mine?
For one’s own family it can mean a lot. It is especially important to the majority of first generation parents, and it means the world to grandparents who still live in the old country. Speaking a ‘native’ tongue is a sign of ethnic authenticity. You earn cultural credibility. It’s proof that you’re still in touch with your family’s traditions and (hopefully) values too because you’ve been obedient, disciplined, and respectful enough to learn the mother tongue. It’s a link among generations.
In the most populous state of California, Filipinos have enough of a population presence that they are counted as a separate ethnic demographic from Asians and Pacific Islanders since the 2000 census. Yet Filipino cultural visibility and societal participation remains frustratingly minimal given the lack of Filipino restaurants, lack of Filipino celebrities and politicians, and minimal knowledge of crucial historical relationships between the Philippines and the United States. Filipinos truly are what the Wikipedia entry on “Filipino American” labels as the “invisible minority.”
Major kudos to Alejandro, Gabriela, and Sean for sharing their stories and also to the Daily Californian for this special feature. There’s a lot we can learn from their stories, so please take the time to watch their interviews and read through the personal, political, and financial perspectives about the DREAM Act. I hope this feature will help others become more educated and aware about AB540 issues, and that it will help us move forward to becoming a more open-minded, inclusive, and just society.
The site also addresses the false stereotype that only rich white girls struggle with body image issues and eating disorders. Not true. Read this post from Lisa Lee and Lynn Chen, founders of Thick Dumpling Skin (a blog that raises awareness about body issues in Asian American communities) where they interview each other about the issues they grew up with.
Did you ever have this longing…to blend in…for your difference, your skin color to not be noticed when you were with your white friends? Did you ever look in the mirror when you were younger surprised to see your skin color, forgetting you were darker and then being dreadfully aware of your difference?
If you are a woman, if you’re a person of colour, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are a person of intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world.
…And it’s going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere. Especially women’s and gay men’s culture. It’s all about how you have to look a certain way or else you’re worthless. You know when you look in the mirror and you think ‘oh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly’, don’t you know, that’s not your authentic self? But that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will take your hard earned money and spend it at the mall on some turn-around creme that doesn’t turn around shit.
When you don’t have self-esteem you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for, you will hesitate to ask for a raise, you will hesitate to call yourself an American, you will hesitate to report a rape, you will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote, you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.
Thank you From the bottom of my heart You take my culture, dye my hair, confine me to the clothes you wear Call me dark, call me ugly, call me wild because your men love me Force your names upon my face, no tones no characters just gotta sound the same As your Nancys your…
Ever notice how there’s no mention of the psychological damage done to communities of color by colonialism, imperialism, or slavery? No mention of any syndromes that might be created by an ongoing message of genetic & social inferiority constantly beings spoonfed to kids? Gee, I wonder why there’s no discussion of the long term harm that could be done to a community as a result of systemic dehumanization & oppression.
I was just thinking this the other day. Between the media/ educationally inflicted messages of our inferiority there has to be some psychological ramifications. I know sociology has words like “internalized stereotype threat” and “internalized racism” (although that is only discussed when a black person literally hates other black people when there is far more to that).
I find it interesting that people have theorized about the psychological ramifications of rich people who don’t get attention from their parents, or people in unfulfilling white collar jobs, but NOTHING about the dehumanizing effect of the combination of poverty & blackness. Or just blackness.
They’re afraid of what effects the inescapable truth they are destined to uncover will have on the world. Better to keep the masses ignorant than have them aware that their lives are not okay.
Here are some links to get some discussions started:
Ever notice how there’s no mention of the psychological damage done to communities of color by colonialism, imperialism, or slavery? No mention of any syndromes that might be created by an ongoing message of genetic & social…
An 18-year-old in Texas took his own life fearing he didn’t have much of a future.
Shortly after kissing his family members goodbye, and dressed in a suit and tie, Joaquin Luna shot himself with a small handgun the night after Thanksgiving, according to KGBT-TV Action 4 News. Letters Joaquin left behind showed he was frustrated and anxious about his immigration status. His older brother told the Rio Grande Valley station that Joaquin was counting on the passage of the federal DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legalization to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors.
This is beyond fucked up and SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. A kid took his own life because of fucking politics, greed, racism, unfairness, bullshit, etc. This MUST NOT HAPPEN!
When she arrived at the French Uni, she discovered that the only piano there was not even tuned. Determined to speak French, she explained her situation to the local piano store-owner named, Gilbert or “Zhil-berre.” Of course, her French was embarrassingly fractured. Gilbert led the way to the showroom in the back of the store where all the acoustic grand pianos were kept. He recommended playing on the brand-new Bösendorfer.
She straightened her shoulders and arched her fingers over the keys to play Bach’s prelude and fugue in C minor. The sound bounced off the plaster walls like a concert hall. When she was done, she noticed she had been playing for an audience: a young French boy of about 12, his father, and Gilbert. When the potential customers left, Gilbert asked out of sincere curiosity: “Vous êtes Chinoise ou Japonaise? Il y a beaucoup des etudiants ici qui viennent de Chine et Japon.” She smiled at the familiar question and responded: “Aucun. Je suis Americaine.”
My 6th grade geography students and I have just started a lesson on immigration/emigration. We are discussing push/pull factors, Ellis Island, personal backgrounds and ancestry, etc. My students have been begging for another chance to debate one another. That being…
The law’s damage is particularly heartbreaking in poor towns across the state, where small businesses are the economic lifeblood. We’ve spoken with Latino shopkeepers and restaurant owners in places like Albertville who say business is catastrophically down, with customers in hiding or flight….
“There should be no doubt about the moral repugnance of Alabama’s [anti-immigrant] law, which seeks to deny hardworking families the means to live. But even some of the law’s most enthusiastic supporters are beginning to acknowledge the law’s high economic cost. There is growing talk of revising or repealing the legislation. The sooner Alabama does so — and other states learn — the better.”—From a New York Times editorial, The Price of Intolerance - NYTimes.com (via bohemiansouth)
Am I the only one who finds this horribly Islamophobic?
It is in the Qur’an that we are supposed to stand out from nonbelievers… And they are not allowing her to do that. She is unable to fulfill her religious beliefs just because “it won’t look right”. Really?
It’s not that I think she’s lying, per se. But as a Muslim American who wears her headscarf on a daily basis, I find it hard to believe that this is the first time Zawity was ever faced with the notion that some people don’t wear headscarves. As a 14-year-old, I’m finding it hard to believe that she can’t fathom the concept of “uniforms.”
Are you kidding me? Uniforms are there to show that someone is in the army, working at a certain workplace, etc. They are NOT there to completely get rid of any differences between human beings. The simple thought of that is scary itself.
But then, they say this, in order to appear a little less Islamophobic:
But ROTC regulationsdo allow for the headscarves worn by Muslim women for religious reasons to be worn, so long as they’re “completely covered by standard military headgear.” She wasn’t told no. She was told “yes, but …”
If the headscarf is “completely covered by standard military headgear”, then there is almost no point in wearing it, I believe. I could be wrong, but in my personal opinion, one of the main reasons of wearing it is, again, to stand out from the nonbelievers.
This article bothers me so much. Reading the comments - which I could only stand to read the 1st page - there was ONE comment which supported her. Here it is:
First of all, very few military members are ever in correct uniform. After living on several military bases I know this for a fact. Second, the young girl in question was told she would have to fold up the head scarf to wear it and I see no problem with her simply wearing the headscarf as is. When we have lowered our military standards so that military members can have visible tattoos on theie hands, neck, faces, be overweight, and have the IQ of 1st graders, let a dedicated young woman wear the scarf.
Thank goodness some people have intelligence and support all religions.
im sorry but no. i beleive if you want to be in the UNITED STATES ARMY than you should dress in there regulations. Dont try to bend it just so you can stay. YOUVE CAME TO AMERICA BE AN AMERICAN! No we wont make you change religions but we do want you to respect the others and not stand out. there should not be a change in your uniform just to show what you are. my dad has served long enough and one rule shouldnt be bent just for a stupid scarf. sorry to be that way but its just wrong.
So I guess you think women shouldn’t be in the army at all, then, since they had to have the uniform changed to accomodate them?
Also, lol “YOUVE CAME TO AMERICA BE AN AMERICAN!”? Because obviously no one who wears hijab could be born in America, right?
Not to mention that, in 1987, “shortly after the decision in Goldman v. Weinberger, Congress added Section 774 to Title 10 of the United States Code providing that, with limited exceptions, “a member of the armed forces may wear an item of religious apparel while wearing the uniform of the member’s armed force.”
The statute creates two categories of exceptions: (1) items that would interfere with the performance of the military duties; and (2) apparel that is not neat and conservative.”
A sports hijab would easily be neat and conservative, and wouldn’t interfere with the performance of military duties. It’s honestly not that hard for them to say, “Look, just wear one that’s in uniform colours and go on your merry way.”
On another note, I wish I could contact the girl who wants to be in the military and be like “Come to Canada, we already have at least one hijabi in our military. You can protect us anytime, and we’ll be grateful that you want to serve us instead of turning you away for a piece of headgear.”
“I’m tired of you my fellow feminists because of your Islamophobia. Your bigotry has turned me into an islamist with no faith and no spirituality. I’m tired of the weight on my shoulder for being a veiled queer woman that was not oppressed by her veil or her parents but was simply oppressed by ideas and the restrictions you put on me; where I had to love my veil just for it to be in the face of all the ideologies that say: “veils oppressed women.”—An Exotic Veiled Woman (via kawlture)
“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.”—Haile Selassie I (via jorrty)