About that time when (yesterday) a white supremacist crashed my gig and tried to behave but couldn’t hold back in the end… And moving past that.


So yesterday I had my first meeting for “The Progressive Left Think Tank” and we had one guy there who did not seem to understand that this was meant as a meeting for progressives to come up with ideas together and well… strategize and plan.

Instead, like they always do – he felt the need to invade our space and try to co-op the meeting over to “all the reasons libertarians are the real liberals and you progressives are wrong about everything.” You know… the usual way they behave.

You know… if you are one of them and reading this… I don’t go crashing your space to rant about horrible things like “people should have equal rights” and “black people have a right to be alive” and “women have brains” and “imagine if we made the planet a better place just because, no profit involved” and “respect is only something you can lose, but everyone starts with it.” You know… all of our horrible ideas and touchy feely stuff like wanting to have rights.

No.

I say that here. My space. And I say it in my groups and among my fellows. And we use the public space to argue it out over whether or not cops should be allowed to murder people without even giving them a trial.

But then again this argument is all about respect and rights… so… of course the side arguing that other people don’t deserve respect and rights will… invade the space of other people… because they don’t respect our rights.

To them I just have to say… history is a long road. And its moving my way.

So that person, well, we had him going in the group, up until… here, see for yourself:

[2017/03/01 20:29] Pussycat Catnap: I think one traditional notion for the progressive left is that it is the role of government to look after the welfare of the people.
[2017/03/01 20:29] [V]: It’s hard to organize when everybody’s poor and struggling to get by
[2017/03/01 20:30] [S-M]: Korben, I disagree
[2017/03/01 20:30] [V]: Yes, Pussycat
[2017/03/01 20:30] Pussycat Catnap: Government shouldn’t be weakened – it should be harnessed as the tool to empower equality.
[2017/03/01 20:32] [Z]: [V]…I think that’s a wonderful idea….but let’s not forget the role of government in this….in a perfect world, my neighbors would take care of me and vice versa….but government, as I see it….is simply a gigantic union whose members are it’s citizens…..Mangement in this case is any and all private interests….The Union is the Public Interest……as a Liberal (and i use that term to describe myself)…I get really tired of people who treat the Government as this evil, “other”……it is us writ large……and it’s about damn time it served it’s workers and not it’s casino players.
[2017/03/01 20:30] Korben Rage: But the founders disagree with you, they said as much
[2017/03/01 20:31] Pussycat Catnap: The founders were all basically men like Trump, but with better educations: rich land barons who used slavery and exploitation of the poor to empower themselves and their own social class. It’s an accident that the document they left behind has been put to better use than they intended.
[2017/03/01 20:34] Pussycat Catnap: If not for people who fought against the founder’s vision, I would be a slave – my African ancestry, not much of it in me, but it is there, was about 100% Nigerian in the early 1800s somewhere.
[2017/03/01 20:34] Korben Rage: The founders didn’t enslave anyone
[2017/03/01 20:34] Pussycat Catnap: That ancestor would not have mixed out and into the many ethnicities I have now, if they had remained slaves.
[2017/03/01 20:35] [S-M]: OMG Korben, listen to yourself
[2017/03/01 20:35] Korben Rage: it’s true, Slavery was a thing created by others BEFORE the USA existed
[2017/03/01 20:35] Korben Rage: And the 3/5 compromise was meant to end it
[2017/03/01 20:36] [S-M]: the founders bought slaves that others imported here, and enslaved themselves those slaves offspring
[2017/03/01 20:36] [V]: We are going to have to acknowledge that the US was founded on slavery and genocide, though; without the former to bolster the economy and the latter to clear the land, the US wouldn’t exist
[2017/03/01 20:36] Korben Rage: True, but they didn’t start the practice
[2017/03/01 20:36] Pussycat Catnap: This is basically the point – where the Libertarian and the Progressive/Liberal part ways: should the society use a collective method to empower equality (progressive), or leave it up to individual actors who will act in self-interest for the betterment of society (libertarian)
[2017/03/01 20:37] Korben Rage: how do you empower equality, sounds like an oxymoron to me?
[2017/03/01 20:37] [Z]: The founders owned slaves…the founders struck the Deal With The Devil (the 3/5ths compromise)……it’s a bit disingenous for a man who penned “all men are created equal” to be squarely behind this deal…..but he was……If I come upon stolen money and still choose to spend it….it doesn’t really matter morally whether I stole it or not.
[2017/03/01 20:37] [S-M]: so, any practice you did not, yourself, originate you are justified in perpetuating?
[2017/03/01 20:37] [V]: Unfortunately, we are a part of society…. If there’s a way to rip myself free and live as a fully autonomous job creator, show me the door 🙂
[2017/03/01 20:38] Korben Rage: The US wouldn’t exist without that deal with the devil and couldn’t have ended slavery later
[2017/03/01 20:40] Pussycat Catnap: Well. I would rather not spend this time debating how we shouldn’t be progressives, but should be libertarians. Can we get back to Progressive definitions and thoughts on tactics?
[2017/03/01 20:40] [S-M]: but we did, at leas legally, end slavery. The question is what do we do NOW
[2017/03/01 20:40] [S-M]: thank you Pussycat
[2017/03/01 20:40] [V]: Continue dealing with the aftermath…. slavery ended eventually, but systemic racism has yet to…
[2017/03/01 20:41] Korben Rage: Pussycat but that’s why I ask, we aren’t that different, you have no hope of convincing a trump voter if you can’t convince me
[2017/03/01 20:41] Korben Rage: True systematic racism still exists, but it’s by the gov and against whites
[2017/03/01 20:41] Pussycat Catnap: I’m actually not holding this meeting to convince any Trump voters nor any libertarians.
[2017/03/01 20:42] Pussycat Catnap: Hmmm… yeah that one was my own personal nope – not going to let that line go.
[2017/03/01 20:42] Second Life: Avatar ejected.
…IMs:
[2017/03/01 20:43] Korben Rage: how typical, that’s why so few respect you
[2017/03/01 20:43] Pussycat Catnap: I didn’t hold this meeting to argue with people over how whites have been slaves for 500 years to the African.

Ok I got snarky there at the end. And yeah “I” might not be a slave today if the Civil War hadn’t happened – but somebody else who ended up descended from that ancestor would be. And me? I wouldn’t even exist. Many of you wouldn’t either.

But…
Now… If you happen to agree with this bloke, you do not belong in a gathering of Progressives, Leftists, or Liberals.

So… A few hours later I figured I should recheck this.

Make sure I was not over-reacting.

Let’s look at this guy’s profile and find out:

White Supremacist Group in Second Life – how do we AR them? by Pussycat Catnap, on Flickr

Yeah like… no…

Kinda doesn’t matter if I had originally over-reacted when I’m dealing with that. That is actually not the end of it. There’s more if you look through all the tabs at his picks and groups…

Still not convinced? If you really have no familiarity with, or are in denial about hate groups: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=white+supremacy+symbols&t=ffsb&iax=1&ia=images
– That symbol is pretty well known.

That… is not the way to approach life.


You gotta be better than that kind of path.


We’re going to keep on trodding this path. We’ve got a plan for another meeting next week. The topic will be, more or less:

Topic for next week: The Indivisibility paper:
https://www.indivisibleguide.com/download-the-guide
We will discuss our thoughts on it, and how we can take action based on how it inspires or otherwise guides us.
See also: http://thesixtyfive.org/home
And the general website: https://www.indivisibleguide.com

If you’re a Progressive, a Liberal, a Leftist, or somewhere in the range of those notions… If you understand how that is not a Libertarian…  come on by and we can work on that together.

But I’ve no patience for racists or libertarians (they seem to go hand in hand very often. I know all of one libertarian that I would say is not racist – a good friend in real life btw… frustrates me, but without the racism I can at least find other things to have in common without feeling a sense of danger).

I’m not holding debates. I’m holding gatherings to work ideas.

So… in moments like this, I turn to music. Music is my prayer.

Intro:
In this time you know, its not easy getting around. For Droop Lion representing to the fullness in
this time y’all.
Verse 1
When the barrel cracks and the smoke smell
Mama sing a prayer for me
She put her arms around me and say this place gonna set us free
Early morning Black Maria come and take my black brothers on a jail ride
But if they taking us all to hell center
Don’t you know some of us won’t reach alive
Chorus
I’m taking the freeway
The freeway way, right away
The freeway, o my brothers and sisters
They will be seeing me trodding up the King’s highway (repeat)
Verse 2
See the smoke rise above Earth surface
While the mountains come to the sea
Building blocks is burning, is burning,
On the news someone crying help
Thunder roll and lightning strikes
See the sun comes with all its might
Plantation field, it is burning
Setting the way for us to be free
Chorus (repeat)
Verse 3
Wheel is tough but me got to turn it
O father God, o help me on this journey
Walk through the fire and the flames don’t burn me
Walk through the tornado and the wind don’t turn me
Live ‘mongst eden, them can’t hurt me
Run with the swiftest, none of them don’t splurt me
I never do no wrong fi Babylon come girth me
I know my God … salvation
Chorus (repeat)

Ya’ll should listen to this one too:

Linden Lab’s statement against the hateful bigotry of the US President is a good thing.

trumpistan_800px
In the face of the US National Security Council being headed by a Klansman, and the creature in the White House being a Russian puppet with ties to White Supremacists, things are pretty bleak in the USA.

Statements like this are why I choose to live not just in California, but in the Silicon Valley:
https://www.lindenlab.com/releases/linden-lab-statement-on-trumps-executive-order-on-immigration

We at Linden Lab are extremely disappointed in and adamantly opposed to Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. We reject racism, intolerance, and xenophobia.

We are proud to include immigrants among our leadership, colleagues, and customers, as well as our families, friends, and communities. We value diversity, compassion, and understanding, and we are proud that our products enable people to come together and form meaningful connections regardless of differences in their offline lives.

Trump’s order is counter to what we value and antithetical to American ideals. We join the many voices calling on the US government to remove this restriction as quickly as possible and to refrain from imposing additional barriers that threaten opportunities for immigrants, under-represented minorities, and women.

It is only here that I can remind myself that it is not the entire white race that is full of hate. Something my rational mind knows, but which experience anytime I leave this area, works very hard to counter.

Linden Lab’s statement is not just a press release, not just a bandwagon, not just ‘getting in politics’. It is a statement against hate. It is a reminder to me and those like me that we are family, we are friends, we matter, and we will be protected. If not by our own government, then at least by allies among the people.

To the people who say “we don’t want politics here” in Second Life… As a person of color it’s been a lifelong experience that the people who say that will shove racist policy at me all day long, and then use that line when I object…

Conservatives and racist have a basic notion that their politics are just fine, but when somebody doesn’t like it: that suddenly is being too political…

And if you think I’m just some “cartoon cat person who posts a lot of stuff about nudity in SL”, I am a veteran, with one of my  degrees in political science in addition to working in technology. I’ve spent my life, as a person of color, keeping a keen eye on hate movements and learning to counter them, as a matter of survival.

2017-01-28_-_protest_at_jfk_81017

On January 28, 2017, thousands of people gathered at various airports in the United States to protest President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13769

It is never wrong to stand up against hate. No matter how small your actions, any action against hate is a worthwhile action to take. Never give up the fight, never step back from the frontlines. The enemy is always waiting to pounce – as we saw in the USA in this last election, the slightest relaxing of the guard and they have shoved the Klan all the way into the White House.

In my personal life ‘outside of online’ I am able to meet and deal with many people who share the mindset Linden Labs expresses above. They provide that hopeful counter message to what I see in the news or encounter in travels and online from those outside this region.

A great comment I heard recently is that the USA is like an empty head with two ears that listen: on the coasts. Everything in-between is a dark incurious mess of ignorance and bigotry. Of course this misses things like what you see in maps like this one:

Each Dot On This Map Is A Place Where A Person Of Color Was Lynched

Each Dot On This Map Is A Place Where A Person Of Color Was Lynched

That Southern Coast is pretty bad. Southern culture as a whole is a toxic thing based on centuries of abuse by a people who have never had to face any justice or recognition of their actions.

The USA never had a Truth and Reconciliation moment, so it has never grappled with the current of hate broiling through it’s culture. We get taught about Southern culture as gentile, refined, graceful. We don’t get taught about lynchings, mass rape of slave women, brutalized families, Jim Crow, plantations, share cropping, beatings, killings, white terrorists like the Klan, and so many other things – evil things, that we must face head on, acknowledge, and work to stamp out, or they will keep coming back, and as we see – even make it into the White House. Trump is a northern Yankee, sure – but his worldview is a product of that legacy.

So when I see people stand up against hate, even in small announcements – every chip put into the armor of hate matters. And when I see it from a place I frequent, it matters even more. I can feel more comfort, less defensiveness, if I know someone has my back.

Of course it is worth noting that the tech industry didn’t have much to say about Trump until he started directly threatening their workforce. His immigrant bans and plans to attack H1B visas have people in tech very scared. Tech didn’t seem to have much to say when it was just racism and sexism. But now he’s woken them up. Whatever it takes though, to get the libertarian tech world to realize social justice matters.

America is supposed to be a place of inclusion and diversity, and in times like these, we need to fight to keep that. And we need to wake more segments of society up, not just the Tech sector. Everybody needs to realize fascism hurts us all; Trump must be stopped.
greater_than_fear

I’ve put the above image and 4 more from it’s series into SL, for anyone to copy:
we_the_people_sign_in_sl

The source says you can copy, print, give away – but not sell. Respect that. Click the image to go to it’s website, and the sign inworld will also take you there. Also put it up free (as required) on SL Marketplace.

There’s also now a flickr group for ‘Avatars Against Trump’ for those of us in virtual worlds to comment through:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/avatarsagainsttrump

Covered here: http://strawberrysingh.com/2017/02/03/avatars-against-trump/

I will leave you something to consider from one of the USA’s political prisoners, released not long before the US put him away:

Take a look at me, tell me what do you see
You don’t have to love me, but I’m not your enemy
And I’m not amused, by your verbal abuse
You think you’re clever, what a sorry excuse
Playing with the minds of people, dangerous games they play
Man if you are not careful they lead you a stray
Protect your soul by any means necessary
Take nothing for granted, you may be sorry, oh
One life you’ve got to live
Come on let’s us live it right
If you’re in bed with the devil
Then you ‘ave made your choice, because

We’ve been battered and bruised (battered and bruised)
We still nursing wounds (aah)
Battered and bruised, yah, still nursing wounds, well
Battered and bruised (battered and bruised)
Still nursing my wounds (aah)
Battered and bruised, yah, still nursing wounds, oh

We face all form of human segregation
Who are used to ask me where I am from
They brought us here in shackles and chain
And throughout the centuries, it’s nothing but pain, Lord

White America wants me out.

Mad as I can get today…

38% of America’s white population believe non-whites are less-evolved. Make no mistake, last night in the USA was a whitelash. White Power is back in vogue in the USA. Yes both Candidates were white – but this was a rebuke of Obama as much as Clinton, and it was an embracing of a Racial Supremacist as President.

It is white America telling the rest of us they’d rather we were dead. That’s not why everyone voted the way they did – but it is why those who voted for Trump did it. It is all over his message. You either embraced that hate, or you cared so little for people of color that that hate didn’t matter to you – which is the same thing.

These racist crackers don’t want the rest of us around. I’m just about fed up with them.

Their racism was so strong, that a majority of white women voted for a man who’s proud of his history of sexual assault, just to send a message to us. They sold us out.

This issue, whether you’re Black, Asian, Native American, LatinX, or a Mulatto mix of all of these like me; has put a target on all of us.

30769149952_7d5653b61d_o

This BTW, is set to take a copy. copy/no-mod/trans

Racism, misogyny and religious intolerance have now been given a green light, and you need to understand that you will be under attack. You will be under attack from government policy. You will be under attack from the courts. You will be under attack from the police. You will be under attack on high school and college campuses. You will be under attack everywhere. Make no mistake: Donald Trump is as close to a strong-man fascist president as we’ve seen in our lifetime. And strong men don’t look for the middle; they demand everything they want.” – The Root

Solidarity is the key, if we’re ever going to stop them. It will take hard work even just to slow them down.

But don’t you dare try to tell me everything will work out and be OK, because it won’t;

“The upsetting part about last night wasn’t that democracy “died.” It’s that democracy worked. And the results showed that an overwhelming part of America does not want minorities here. This isn’t just another cyclical political party swing. It’s a loud and resounding message from white people telling minorities that we shouldn’t get too comfortable here. So yeah, we’re scared. And if you’re white, you don’t have to be. But please stop telling us that everything is going to be okay, because all signs point to “not okay.”

 

Must Read article: “I, Racist”

My post today has nothing to do with Second Life, except that everything in the article is even more strongly re-enforced in SL’s absurdly over-white presence than in ‘real life’.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-metta/i-racist_b_7770652.html
True for brown as well as black – we think in terms of we because we are not allowed to think in terms of ‘I’.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.”

[whites are] unable to differentiate [their] participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that [they], individually, [are] a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

. . .

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or- playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.

This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.

As a Mulato with an African avatar, I’ve seen this dynamic all my life, and recreated inside of SL – where I get ‘grouped’ one way if I note that I am Mulato, and yet another if people just see the black avatar; but neither as an individual. And as the article notes, it is impossible to talk about race with whites because they are conditioned into denial.

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