alexseanchai: American flag: "one nation, indivisible" (one nation indivisible)
I have two rituals for this day. Watch 1776, and read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in original and amended form. In light of recent events, I think today I am adding a third ritual.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that everyone is equal, and that everyone has certain rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government founded on such principles and organized in such a form as shall seem most likely to effect their liberty, safety, and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light or transient causes. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Now, Thomas Jefferson (the author in large part of the words above; I have in a few places altered them to my satisfaction) was not a good man. Two words: Sally Hemings. But on the subject of achieving freedom from dominion, he knew what he was talking about. I won't borrow his words any further, because they are specific to the situation of 1770s white men in what would become the original thirteen United States, but consider this:

The wealthiest one percent of the United States population possess forty percent of the country's wealth. The least wealthy eighty percent of the United States population possess seven percent of the country's wealth.

The median wealth of white households is twenty times that of black households and eighteen times that of Latina households.

Two words: Glass ceiling.

Two words: Hobby Lobby.

tw: forced sterilization, rape, murder )

It is not possible for an off-binary trans person to get ID that correctly identifies or that does not identify their gender. It is in many places not possible for an on-binary trans person to get ID that correctly identifies their gender.

It is still legal to pay disabled employees less than minimum wage.

Minimum wage is still not a living wage.

There is still no mechanism in place for descendants of slaveowners and colonizers to recompense descendants of enslaved peoples and colonized peoples for the injuries done and continuing to be done to these peoples.

I could go on. And on. And on. Instead I will close with words from the Combahee River Collective:
We realize that the liberation of all oppressed peoples necessitates the destruction of the political-economic systems of capitalism and imperialism as well as patriarchy. We are socialists because we believe that work must be organized for the collective benefit of those who do the work and create the products, and not for the profit of the bosses. Material resources must be equally distributed among those who create these resources. We are not convinced, however, that a socialist revolution that is not also a feminist and anti-racist revolution will guarantee our liberation.

[...]

If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.
And Martina McBride:
Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day
It's time for a new Declaration of Independence.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may want to ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all".

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression 'of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.

Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

I think Rev. King would be very disappointed in US Christianity today (see the letter itself for King's own words as to why), and in today's Republican Party. Especially in those Christians and Republicans who insist King would have supported them, even as they argue against all King stood for.

oh hey it's diwali

2012-Nov-13, Tuesday 10:33
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Happy Diwali!

(no subject)

2012-Jan-16, Monday 10:58
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Supernatural 1x13 Cassie courage of her)
My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
Happy MLK Day.

stolen from network

2011-Nov-24, Thursday 21:07
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
glomp_fest

Another holiday exchange, for values of 'exchange' that include 'post a stocking and let others stuff it'. Unlike [livejournal.com profile] fandom_stocking, this one's not screened.

My stocking! Post yours so I can stuff it!

(no subject)

2011-Nov-13, Sunday 11:26
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] insmallpackages is open for business!

In case anyone had not figured it out, I really love the whole concept of holiday wishlists and granting other people's wishes.

(no subject)

2011-Nov-05, Saturday 16:51
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Attn: all who have or will make winter holiday wishlists: [community profile] wishlist on DW and [livejournal.com profile] wish_list on LJ are open for business. I'm keeping an eye on both comms so I can fulfill as many wishes as is reasonably possible for me to fulfill.

Lots of people on [livejournal.com profile] wish_list are asking for donations to our local food bank. I feel stupid commenting with 'Part of every 2012 paycheck will go to my local food bank; does that count?'
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Step One
Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered...whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of 10 Holiday Wishes.

The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fun to medium to really big to fandom things. The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want. If you wish for real possible things, just make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ, or link to this post so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
Surf around your friends list (or friends of friends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. Here’s the important part:

If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Once a wish has been granted, it will be crossed off the list. You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf--to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not--it’s your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just... wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.


I got rambly )

10) Love and hugs. Not just for me. Spread the wealth!

If you want to send me actual physical holiday gifts, email me at mercuryblue144 at gmail and I'll send you my address. And if you want to link me to your wishlist, or email me your address so I can send you a holiday card, I'd really appreciate it.

(no subject)

2010-Dec-21, Tuesday 07:43
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Whee solstice. Hope it's a happy one!

Mr Sacks from Echo Bazaar wearing a Santaesque robe, holding a wine glass that's spilling, and carrying a full sack. 'Let Nothing You Dismay.'
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Step One



* Make a post (public, friends locked, filtered...whatever you're comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a Snape/Hermione icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.") The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.



* If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.



* Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread.



Step Two



* Surf around your friendslist (or friends friends, or just random journals, or holiday_wishes/wish_list) to see who has posted their list. And now here's the important part:


If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.



You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not--it's your call.

ooh presents )

If you need my address, leave a comment and I'll PM you, or email you if you give me your email.

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alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
let me hear your voice tonight

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