3rd Language

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3rdlanguage.com
Initially presented with polarities, it is of a queer experience to seek articulation of the 3rd.

wertheyouth:

Yayyyy! The We Are the Youth book has arrived! To read the individual stories of LGBTQ youth order your copy today! 

The book is being published by space-made, which is also publishing the rad interruptmag's LGBTQ*Love issue.

(via sebastiankmtco)

— 3 months ago with 1328 notes
Perez Hilton and the gay movement's racial politics by Alok Vaid-Menon →

returnthegayze:

Perez Hilton is at it again. After his online fight with Azealia Banks in January, the blogger caused controversy with recent tweets claiming that “inside every gay man is a fierce black woman.” Then he defended himself by comparing black women to Hitler. Via Jezebel:

"I AM genuinely hurt/saddened. Go back to your superiority complex and overreacting,” “I didn’t attack. They did,” “The whole overreaction has really bummed me out. :-(,” “I only apologize in life if it’s with sincerity. I’m not sorry,” “I’m not racist,” “They should probably just ignore me and/or stop reading my tweets then,” AND, ahem, “Some present logical arguments, but then Hitler attempted to justify the holocaust too.”

According to Hilton’s black feminist critics, like Crunk Feminist Collective’Eddie Ndopu, these caricatures “reinforce dehumanizing narratives … about black femininities.” In an essay for Feministing, Sesali Bowen writes, “We shouldn’t need a white male body to legitimize our experiences or expression…we’re not going to accept this as a compliment.” Even white gay men joined the backlash. Christopher Carbone, a writer for Slate and the Guardian, responded with the hashtag #NotYourSassyGayFriend to call for the end of racist gay tropes.

While I agree with the many critiques that have surfaced in the weeks following his Twitter meltdown, I think we need to push the conversation further to really understand just how deeply racism is entrenched in gay communities.

This incident is not just about Perez Hilton; it’s about the gay movement as a whole. We cannot afford to view appropriation as an isolated incidenceracist appropriation is an underlining component of the contemporary gay rights movement.

Racism is not just about individual actions; racism is a system. The rest of useven those of us involved with LGBT activismare complicit in anti-black racism. This incident brings up larger questions about the status of gay rights in this country. This is about the “progress” of gay rights and gay marriage in a moment of unyielding anti-black racism, leading to mass incarceration.

Hilton’s appropriation of language from black women is symptomatic of a larger cultural theft: the gay movement’s hijacking of the black liberation struggle. In 2008, an Advocate cover asked, “Gay Is the New Black?” That headline is a perfect distillation of the recent trend of activists calling the gay struggle the new civil rights movement, as if the “old” civil rights movement were over. Take, for example, Attorney General Eric Holder’s frequent remarks that the fight for marriage equality is a continuation of the civil rights movement: “Just like during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involved in this generation’s struggle for LGBT equality could not be higher.” In Arizona, publications like Gawker and the Seattle Times were quick to equate the state’s discriminatory legislation to Jim Crow.

What such comparisons do is create the illusion that anti-black racism is over in this country. But just like Hilton’s superficial nod to black women, what is violent about this appropriation is that the way it operates is not actually about real collaboration and solidarityit’s about exploitation and greed. Perez Hilton, like the gay movement itself, is not actually interested in ending racismboth are interested in exploiting blackness to get ahead.

When gay men like Hilton use black women’s language they are celebrated as “fierce” and “sassy,” but low-income black women are too often shamed for being themselvescalled “welfare queens.” the gay movement has been successful in using the rhetoric of the civil rights movement gaining unprecedented legal victories, such as the recent repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, but in the same political climate, black activists have been unable to garner support for racial justice issues.

In Florida, a black woman named Melissa Alexander is now facing up to 60 years in prison for firing a warning shot into the ceiling for her abusive husband; Alexander is having difficulty fundraising for her legal expenses. Where was the gay movement when CeCe McDonald a black trans woman was thrown into prison after defending herself from racist and transphobic attacks? Where was the gay movement when Assata Shakur, one of the most influential black feminist activists, was the first woman added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list. Gay organizations have not come out in support of the countless black people in this country who are being targeted, criminalized, and incarcerated unfairly. Where is the solidarity now?

What becomes evident is how gay rights organizations are quick to use the language of the black struggle but not actually support black people themselves. This is how appropriation works: black people are reduced to a concept, a history, an ideasomething able to be contained in a gay man’s body. Black people are not respected as thriving people still resisting virulent state criminalization and violence.

What is so violent about appropriation is that it gives the superficial impression that oppressors are somehow supporting the people they oppress. I’m sure that Mr. Hilton genuinely believes that he supports black women; I’m sure the gay movement believes it’s helping all people of color.

However, what becomes evident is that appropriation really only benefits people with power. Appropriation is manipulative: It strategically steals to get ahead. Both Hilton and the gay movement merely give lip service to black people: using their language, but not actually supporting them. We have to own up to the fact that not only the success of gay celebrities like Perez Hilton but also the “success” of the gay movement is on the backs of black people in this country.

It’s time for less talk and more action.

(via owning-my-truth)

— 4 months ago with 827 notes

owning-my-truth:

Andrew Christian, “The Audition” Video -  Reifying White Supremacy in the LGBTQ Community (NSFW)

Every Monday I review media as part of my weekly “Media Review Mondays” series. This is the first installment of this series.

As a black gay man, the blatant white supremacy and antiblackness in the LGBTQ community no longer comes as much of a surprise to me. I’ve grown accustomed to the racist pronouncements of white gay men, who are so incredibly entitled and feel like their experiences with homophobia somehow gives them license to spew racist filth. With the vast majority of white gay men I’ve encountered, they either openly say that they’re “just not into black guys” and ignore the fact that our economies of attraction do not exist in a vacuum, so that they can cling to their white supremacist ideals and standards of beauty. Or, alternatively, they fetishize me and my blackness with their “jungle fever” and being “really into black guys.” There is almost never any in between with them, very little space for my humanity to be acknowledged and for them to not homogenize me and all black men into some dark, exotic mass to be consumed or vilified.

[image description: A screencap from “The Audition” video featuring 5 of the male models. All are white, muscled and wearing tight underwear]

And so already at 23, my expectations of white gay men are incredibly low. But still, for whatever reason, this video advertisement for Andew Christian still stunned me. Andrew Christian is a white gay male underwear and swimsuit designer whose line heavily targets the gay community. The video makes clear, though, who he sees as counting in said community.

We are introduced to the video as an audition for models to win a ticket to Matinee Las Vegas, a large annual Gay Dance Festival. The judges, include Davey Wavey, Pandora Boxx and Todrick Hall (the only judge of color), and together they judge who wins a ticket based on the attractiveness of the contestant (in their eyes).

[image description: The judges from “The Audition” video. From right: Todrick Hall, Davey Wavey, Andrew Christian and Pandora Boxx. All are holding up “10”s for a white contestant]

Begin white supremacist trainwreck.

Of course, the several contestants whom they judge over the course of the video are almost all white or white passing. Many (heterosexual) people may be surprised to know that the “progressive” LGBTQ community is far from a safe space and is as virulently white supremacist as the rest of our society. The video’s parade of white beauty and blatant exclusion of non-white passing MOC, besides one lone black model, should therefore come as no surprise. This is “the gay community” in their minds, and there is no space for us QMOC in it.

[image description: Screencap from “The Audition” video showing black male model, Indar Smith, winking]

The part of the video which gave me the most pause, though, was seeing the treatment of the token black guy, Indar Smith, they threw into the mix. As he walks onto stage, the last contestant, I cringed not knowing what racist fuckery was to come next. He becomes a spectacle, as many of the other contestants had, but one cannot tell the real reason for his particular objectification until the final moments of the video when this happens: 

[image description: Animated gif image from “The Audition” video showing Pandora Boxx being led off camera by Indar Smith. She holds up the sign, “Once U Go Black” and smirks as she walks off camera with him]

Yes, “Once U Go Black” being touted about by Pandora Boxx, a white person, as they walk off stage with the only black guy in the video.

And so in the midst of this white supremacist spectacle of a video, the only non-white passing MOC becomes a fetishized object and spectacle before the white gaze.

The fact that Todrick Hall is in the video and was the first one to use the sign, “Once U Go Black” is no excuse. We forget that as POC, we can indeed fetishize ourselves and do so quite often. Moreover, Todrick Hall has been one whom I’ve never really been a fan of for his constant stream of modern minstrel style performances on Youtube. One lesson that people must come to realize is that having one or two black people included in your video does not an anti-racist video make, as many of us POC readily can and do buy into white supremacy and the enshrinement of white supremacist aesthetics in larger culture. This video, between the parade of white bodies as the standard of beauty and the blatant exotification and fetishization of the sole black contestant, is so indicative of this fact.

Overall “The Audition” provides the viewer with clear insight into the value systems which the gay male community as a whole ascribes to: white supremacy. There is also some fatphobia thrown into the mix as well, of course, as they mock the one fat contestant in the competition and boo him off stage. In addition to this the utter exclusion of non white passing MOC, besides one, and the complete tokenization, debasement and fetishization of the one black guy in the video, really stood out to me personaly as a queer black man myself. It reflected many of my own experiences with white gay men and facing white supremacist standards of beauty within the community, and of course it was in a predominantly white gay bar this past weekend that I happened to see this video.

Shortly after the video played, a white gay guy I had recently met got a notification from a black guy on Grindr. He turned to me and the group and remarked nonchalantly: 

“Wow this guy has an amazing body… but he’s black” 

And with that I was officially done. And the same goes for my feelings about this trainwreck of a video.

If you have suggestions for other media you would like to see reviewed as part of this weekly, “Media Review Mondays” series. Please submit those requests: HERE.

Related Posts:

Podcast: Racism, Sexism & Transphobia in the LGBTQ community

On HBO’s New Show “Looking”

A White Gay Man being Racist

(via owning-my-truth)

— 6 months ago with 685 notes
#white supremacy  #lgbtq media 
jrvmajesty:

After the Trans at SAIC event last semester, a few other trans students got together to think about creating a student group to advocate for change at SAIC. After some planning and paper work,the group, called The League of Extraordinary Genders, is in its infancy of becoming active. 

We’ve scheduled our first event for Tuesday April 15th from 4:15 - 6:00 in room 214 of the Sharp Building. 

This is mostly just a meeting to connect with interested people and formulate some specific goals and plans of action. Group leaders (Florian Thor Palucci, Alex Barnawell, Magritte Nankin, and Carolina Poveda) have some priorities of our own, but we want this group to serve as a tool for trans and gender nonconforming SAIC community members to  get what they need accomplished with the support and power of a number of like minded individuals.

We want to prioritize health coverage for trans students, making trans 101 educational materials available for students and staff, working on establishing attendance and pronoun protocol and etiquette for classrooms, more numerous and accessible gender neutral bathrooms, and creating the position of a paid LGBTQ etc. liaison at the school, who can specifically act as a representative for the gender and sexuality associated needs of the student body, among other goals.

We’d love to hear your ideas, suggestions, complaints, and call outs.  

If you could, let any trans,  gender nonconforming, or otherwise interested people know about the group. We want to hear as many perspectives as possible, particularly those of trans women or trans feminine people and people of color.

Also find us on Engage (SAIC’s student group website interface)
https://engage.saic.edu/organization/extraordinary-genders

and on Tumblr
http://theleagueofextraordinarygenders.tumblr.com/

jrvmajesty:

After the Trans at SAIC event last semester, a few other trans students got together to think about creating a student group to advocate for change at SAIC. After some planning and paper work,the group, called The League of Extraordinary Genders, is in its infancy of becoming active. 

We’ve scheduled our first event for Tuesday April 15th from 4:15 - 6:00 in room 214 of the Sharp Building. 
This is mostly just a meeting to connect with interested people and formulate some specific goals and plans of action. Group leaders (Florian Thor PalucciAlex Barnawell, Magritte Nankin, and Carolina Poveda) have some priorities of our own, but we want this group to serve as a tool for trans and gender nonconforming SAIC community members to  get what they need accomplished with the support and power of a number of like minded individuals.
We want to prioritize health coverage for trans students, making trans 101 educational materials available for students and staff, working on establishing attendance and pronoun protocol and etiquette for classrooms, more numerous and accessible gender neutral bathrooms, and creating the position of a paid LGBTQ etc. liaison at the school, who can specifically act as a representative for the gender and sexuality associated needs of the student body, among other goals.
We’d love to hear your ideas, suggestions, complaints, and call outs.  
If you could, let any trans,  gender nonconforming, or otherwise interested people know about the group. We want to hear as many perspectives as possible, particularly those of trans women or trans feminine people and people of color.
Also find us on Engage (SAIC’s student group website interface)
and on Tumblr
— 6 months ago with 15 notes
arssociety:

Ten Rules for Writers by Zadie Smith
1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
3. Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.
4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.
5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.
8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.
10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.
via The Guardian

arssociety:

Ten Rules for Writers by Zadie Smith

1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3. Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

via The Guardian

— 6 months ago with 2462 notes
#never satisfied 

blackscientistsandinventors:

This are the Kenyan Tech group The Akirachix.

What are the Akirachix?

we are women technologists

In a continent where women form a majority of the population and half of the workforce, it is an anomaly that the percentage of women working in technology is less than 15%. Technology is one of the key factors driving Africa’s projected economic rise. As such, there is enormous potential for maximizing the growth of technology through increasing the number and quality of women in technology.

that’s where akirachix comes in.

AkiraChix aims to inspire and develop a successful force of women in Technology that will change Africa’s future. We plan to do this through our key programs areas of networking, mentorship and training.

Who are the Akirachix?

From top to bottom: 1. Judith Owigar is passionate about all things women and all things tech. She places herself in positions where her two passions intersect. She believes that exposure, education and use of technology can increase the quality of life and as such change the world. Apart from Akirachix Judith is the founder of JuaKali; an online micro jobs site for skilled manual workers, and a tech enthusiast. Through the Akirachix activities she seeks to increase the number of women who are creators of technological solutions and in effect change the perception of technology by women. Judith graduated from University of Nairobi with a degree in Computer Science and is currently pursuing her Masters in Applied Computing at the same university. She is also a dormant supporter of Gor Mahia, a local football club.

2. Linda Kamau co-founder and training director Linda is a software developer based in Kenya with a degree in Business Information Technology. She develops for both web and mobile applications, currently working as a Senior Developer at Ushahidi Inc, a Non-profit tech company. She a Co-founder and also the Training Director of the Training program which is offered to girls from underprivileged homes. She loves everything Information technology and her passion and goal is getting more women into this industry by either training or mentoring them. When not coding, she enjoys bowling and camping and being a die hard Man U fan, you will often catch her watching the latest match.

3. Marie Githinjico-founder and outreach director. Marie is the Program Manager for Infonet a technological innovation facility that uses technology to empower citizens and civil societies in fostering service delivery and democratic governance.She is also the communication Advisor for Akirachix and also in charge of the Akirachix high school outreach.She is passionate about IT and seeks to inspire leadership among women in the traditionally male dominated field of technology. She has a background in Business Information technology. In her spare time she loves watching movies and series and has a collection of over 100 pirated cds, she also enjoys cricket her favorite player is Sachin.

4. Angela Oduor co-founder and community director. Angela Oduor a developer with Ushahidi, based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a recent First Class honors graduate from Strathmore University with a degree in Business Information Technology(2011). Her work at Ushahidi involves developing web applications on the Ushahidi platform, and providing technical support to users of Ushahidi’s cloud based system, Crowdmap. At AkiraChix, she serves as the content manager, keeping the AkiraChix community up to date with their activities. Her hope and vision is that through the work that AkiraChix does, some girl out there will have the courage to take up a career in tech, and hopefully pass on that courageous spirit for generations to come. In her spare time, Angie loves to read books and is an active participant in the *iHub Book Club.

5. Felishina Wanjohi IT officer. Felishina, commonly known as Janise, is a web developer based in Kenya. She is the IT Officer for Akirachix. Her work involves in website management , servicing and maintaining the machines. She has a diploma in Business Information Technology and is set to her degree soon. She was also a member of the pioneer at Akirachix Training Program that graduated in the year 2012. She is passionate about IT and her commitment to women in technology is demonstrated through her work at AkiraChix and in our community. The empowerment that the girls receive through Akirachix is what touches her most , because the girls become economically empowered as a result. When not running Akirachix, she loves swimming. However, nothing gives her greater joy than nursing her baby and watching her grow.

6. Wangechi Mwangisuper Super Volunteer. Wangechi, commonly known as Sheshi, was one of the top female students nationally during KCSE in her year. She is currently a student at Strathmore University pursuing BBIT and a super volunteer at Akirachix. She has one of those curious minds that seek to learn, understand, challenge and improve the way things work. She is a tech enthusiast and values it mainly for the impact it has, and has potential to have, on: individual lives, businesses, governance and policy. She met Akirachix while in high school and after interacting with the iHub community for about 6 months, the aspiring Economist became sold to the world of technology. She has 2 major goals in Akirachix. One is to enable other girls to see the light that she was lucky enough to see. The other is to see growth in numbers but more importantly, growth in terms of quality (skill-wise) of women in tech. When not being a geek, Sheshi loves watching a good series, hanging out with friends, listening to music and dancing!

7. Mercy Ng’ang’a Accountant. Mercy is an aggresive, enthusiastic go getter and eager to learn person. She is also passionate about Tech and helping young women build a career in Technology. She has a CPA-K and deals with Finance at Akirachix Association. She is dedicated in what she does, believes in results and doing the best to make a difference to a better community in empowering women. She am also inspired in mentoring the youth which is what Akirachix does.  Apart from that she loves swimming, reading books, baking/cooking and enjoys traveling.

8. Samuel Wachira Business Developer. Samuel Wachira is a Business Developer at Akirachix .Responsible for handling Akirachix commercial interests and works closely with operations.Prior to this he worked as an Investment officer in a Venture Capital firm where he managed the companys portfolio and investments. Sam graduated with a double major degree in Finance and Marketing from Strathmore University and is currently pursuing his masters in Strategic Management at Daystar. Sam prides himself in being part of Kenya’s best dance duo in 2009 KTN dance competition “Can you dance” and being taken to Egypt to learn bellydancing( I know, right). He prides himself in being the first AkiraDude and believes in the power that comes from humble beginnings and building foundations that will last beyond his lifetime.Sam is also an avid basketball player and displays his skills by living vicariously through Lebron “the King” James from the comfort of his couch. 

(via latinosexuality)

— 6 months ago with 58 notes
#tech 
bklynboihood:

transstudent:

Queer youth of color face unique hardships that lead to extreme amounts of discrimination. While 1 in 3 LGBTQ people identify themself as a person of color, schools and services are not addressing their specific needs. Click here to share on Facebook. Learn more here.

this makes our work feel more important. we have so much more to give and so much more to do!

bklynboihood:

transstudent:

Queer youth of color face unique hardships that lead to extreme amounts of discrimination. While 1 in 3 LGBTQ people identify themself as a person of color, schools and services are not addressing their specific needs. Click here to share on Facebook. Learn more here.

this makes our work feel more important. we have so much more to give and so much more to do!

— 7 months ago with 4626 notes
Books by TWOC →

labrujamorgan:

homoarigato:

(Source: queerthanks, via brownnipplebraggadocio)

— 7 months ago with 2424 notes
imanihenry:

Support Monica Jones and De-fund Project ROSE
Phoenix, Arizona has some of the most severe prostitution laws in the United States.
According to a municipal statute titled ‘manifestation’, an intent to commit prostitution includes activities like waving at cars, talking to passers-bys, and inquiring if someone is a police officer. Mandatory minimum sentencing and felony upgrades make it highly probable that workers are funneled into the prison system for sex work related offenses. Alongside Arizona’s already brutal racial profiling laws, these anti-prostitution statutes enable police to profile and harass people of color, immigrants, people in poverty, and LGBTQ people.
The History of Project ROSE
Since 2011, Phoenix police, prosecutors, and professors from the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Social Work have been collaborating on a program titled Project ROSE (Reaching Out to the Sexually Exploited). Over two weekends per year, up to 125 police officers detain community members that are suspected of being sex workers. Even though the police and Project ROSE founders state that the individuals apprehended are not technically arrested, the Phoenix ACLU has stated otherwise-they are handcuffed and brought to the Project ROSE command post and are confined to a room to speak with a Project ROSE volunteer and a city prosecutor. Arrestees cannot speak to a defense attorney, even though they are being held without the constitutionally mandated option of being able to leave freely. People who qualify (only those with no outstanding warrants, those who have not completed a prior diversion program, and not in possession of any drugs at the time of arrest) are told they can take a diversion program run by Catholic Charities that can last as long six months. Criminal charges are held over the arrestee’s heads until the diversion program is completed. Those who do not qualify, or decline to participate in the diversion program, are sent a court summons in the mail and face criminal charges.
Project ROSE harms sex workers.
By teaming up with police and prosecutors, sex worker diversion programs like Project ROSE increase the profiling and targeting of vulnerable communities — poor communities, people in street based economies, and communities of color. Trans women of color are disproportionately impacted. Rather than making sex workers safer, diversion initiatives cause harm by funneling them into the criminal justice system. Project ROSE and programs like it violate ethical standards in social work and perpetuate the idea that individuals who sell sex are not human. Further, Project ROSE frames its work as saving sex workers — who are stigmatized as scarred victims rather than people with civil and human rights (the right to work, the right to be free from violence, the right to due process and much more). This “savior” mentality makes no distinction between people who are subject to human trafficking and those who engage in the sex trade to support themselves and their families. Project ROSE results in increased vulnerability and fear on behalf of sex workers, violating their rights while driving them into the criminal justice system. Similarly, Project ROSE may also violate the rights of victims of trafficking, and may not adhere to best practice standards for the treatment and care of trafficked persons set out by human rights advocates.
Who is Monica Jones?
Monica Jones is a trans activist and sex worker rights advocate who lives in Phoenix; she is also a student at ASU who recently gained entrance into the university’s School of Social Work.

During the Project ROSE stings in May 2013, Monica spoke at a community event protesting Project ROSE. The next evening, as the Project ROSE stings continued, police arbitrarily arrested Monica and charged her with violating a vague anti-prostitution statute. Monica is standing up for her rights in court and her trial date is on March 14, 2014. It is of the utmost importance that we stand in support of Monica and all others whose human rights are being violated by the police and prison system with the support of programs like Project ROSE. Ultimately, we must get Project ROSE’s mass arrest program off the streets of Phoenix and bring an end to police harassment and profiling everywhere.
Since her arrest, Monica and others have continued to protest Project Rose. As a trans woman of color, Monica has been especially ssingled out for police harassment. Police have approached her three times when she’s been near her home or walking around Phoenix, and the most recent time she was handcuffed again and under suspicion of “manifestation”. Monica’s case proves that Project ROSE is harmful.
Project Rose is planning its next sting operation in February. ASU has hosted several summits on “sex trafficking” and Project ROSE is being hailed as the new model for preventing sex work across the United States. Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-Phoenix), the Best Practices Policy Project, and other harm reduction and trans activist groups are uniting to stop Project ROSE and put an end to this coercive and unethical model of policing, and to change Arizona sex work laws.
SWOP-Phoenix and the Best Practices Policy Project have recently filed a report of civil rights violations to the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of Arizona sex workers. We invite you to join us in speaking out against unjust criminalization programs like Project ROSE.
Please sign this letter to make your voice heard against Project ROSE and the collaboration between ASU School of Social Work and the City of Phoenix.
The pledge to support Monica Jones and protest Project ROSE
We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, protest the coercive and criminalizing tactics of Project ROSE. We believe that Project ROSE stigmatizes sex workers as victims rather than people with agency and rights. Further, we believe that Project ROSE causes far more harm in the form of incarceration and forced “reeducation” than it does good. We demand that Arizona State University cease its partnership with Project ROSE, and that Project ROSE is ended entirely.
We demand that the resources allocated to Project ROSE are channeled to developing sex worker led, non-coercive models to support the health and safety of sex workers that promote harm reduction and improve occupational health, safety and working conditions rather than criminalizing and profiling vulnerable communities.
We are alarmed at the targeting of a human rights defender- Monica Jones- who is standing up for the rights of people unfairly targeted by the police and prison systems. We demand that the criminal charges against Monica be dropped, that an independent monitoring body launch an investigation into police harassment against her, and that she be protected from further abuse and harassment by police.
We are united in calling for an end to the pattern and practice of racist and transphobic policing across the United States, and we commit ourselves to working for a society where people of all backgrounds and identities are free from police abuse and discriminatory arrest.

imanihenry:

Support Monica Jones and De-fund Project ROSE

Phoenix, Arizona has some of the most severe prostitution laws in the United States.

According to a municipal statute titled ‘manifestation’, an intent to commit prostitution includes activities like waving at cars, talking to passers-bys, and inquiring if someone is a police officer. Mandatory minimum sentencing and felony upgrades make it highly probable that workers are funneled into the prison system for sex work related offenses. Alongside Arizona’s already brutal racial profiling laws, these anti-prostitution statutes enable police to profile and harass people of color, immigrants, people in poverty, and LGBTQ people.

The History of Project ROSE

Since 2011, Phoenix police, prosecutors, and professors from the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Social Work have been collaborating on a program titled Project ROSE (Reaching Out to the Sexually Exploited). Over two weekends per year, up to 125 police officers detain community members that are suspected of being sex workers. Even though the police and Project ROSE founders state that the individuals apprehended are not technically arrested, the Phoenix ACLU has stated otherwise-they are handcuffed and brought to the Project ROSE command post and are confined to a room to speak with a Project ROSE volunteer and a city prosecutor. Arrestees cannot speak to a defense attorney, even though they are being held without the constitutionally mandated option of being able to leave freely. People who qualify (only those with no outstanding warrants, those who have not completed a prior diversion program, and not in possession of any drugs at the time of arrest) are told they can take a diversion program run by Catholic Charities that can last as long six months. Criminal charges are held over the arrestee’s heads until the diversion program is completed. Those who do not qualify, or decline to participate in the diversion program, are sent a court summons in the mail and face criminal charges.

Project ROSE harms sex workers.

By teaming up with police and prosecutors, sex worker diversion programs like Project ROSE increase the profiling and targeting of vulnerable communities — poor communities, people in street based economies, and communities of color. Trans women of color are disproportionately impacted. Rather than making sex workers safer, diversion initiatives cause harm by funneling them into the criminal justice system. Project ROSE and programs like it violate ethical standards in social work and perpetuate the idea that individuals who sell sex are not human. Further, Project ROSE frames its work as saving sex workers — who are stigmatized as scarred victims rather than people with civil and human rights (the right to work, the right to be free from violence, the right to due process and much more). This “savior” mentality makes no distinction between people who are subject to human trafficking and those who engage in the sex trade to support themselves and their families. Project ROSE results in increased vulnerability and fear on behalf of sex workers, violating their rights while driving them into the criminal justice system. Similarly, Project ROSE may also violate the rights of victims of trafficking, and may not adhere to best practice standards for the treatment and care of trafficked persons set out by human rights advocates.

Who is Monica Jones?

Monica Jones is a trans activist and sex worker rights advocate who lives in Phoenix; she is also a student at ASU who recently gained entrance into the university’s School of Social Work.

During the Project ROSE stings in May 2013, Monica spoke at a community event protesting Project ROSE. The next evening, as the Project ROSE stings continued, police arbitrarily arrested Monica and charged her with violating a vague anti-prostitution statute. Monica is standing up for her rights in court and her trial date is on March 14, 2014. It is of the utmost importance that we stand in support of Monica and all others whose human rights are being violated by the police and prison system with the support of programs like Project ROSE. Ultimately, we must get Project ROSE’s mass arrest program off the streets of Phoenix and bring an end to police harassment and profiling everywhere.

Since her arrest, Monica and others have continued to protest Project Rose. As a trans woman of color, Monica has been especially ssingled out for police harassment. Police have approached her three times when she’s been near her home or walking around Phoenix, and the most recent time she was handcuffed again and under suspicion of “manifestation”. Monica’s case proves that Project ROSE is harmful.

Project Rose is planning its next sting operation in February. ASU has hosted several summits on “sex trafficking” and Project ROSE is being hailed as the new model for preventing sex work across the United States. Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-Phoenix), the Best Practices Policy Project, and other harm reduction and trans activist groups are uniting to stop Project ROSE and put an end to this coercive and unethical model of policing, and to change Arizona sex work laws.

SWOP-Phoenix and the Best Practices Policy Project have recently filed a report of civil rights violations to the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of Arizona sex workers. We invite you to join us in speaking out against unjust criminalization programs like Project ROSE.

Please sign this letter to make your voice heard against Project ROSE and the collaboration between ASU School of Social Work and the City of Phoenix.

The pledge to support Monica Jones and protest Project ROSE

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, protest the coercive and criminalizing tactics of Project ROSE. We believe that Project ROSE stigmatizes sex workers as victims rather than people with agency and rights. Further, we believe that Project ROSE causes far more harm in the form of incarceration and forced “reeducation” than it does good. We demand that Arizona State University cease its partnership with Project ROSE, and that Project ROSE is ended entirely.

We demand that the resources allocated to Project ROSE are channeled to developing sex worker led, non-coercive models to support the health and safety of sex workers that promote harm reduction and improve occupational health, safety and working conditions rather than criminalizing and profiling vulnerable communities.

We are alarmed at the targeting of a human rights defender- Monica Jones- who is standing up for the rights of people unfairly targeted by the police and prison systems. We demand that the criminal charges against Monica be dropped, that an independent monitoring body launch an investigation into police harassment against her, and that she be protected from further abuse and harassment by police.

We are united in calling for an end to the pattern and practice of racist and transphobic policing across the United States, and we commit ourselves to working for a society where people of all backgrounds and identities are free from police abuse and discriminatory arrest.

(via transfeminism)

— 8 months ago with 632 notes
#trans women  #twoc  #racism 
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