“Being mixed doesn’t make me less black” and compliments that devalue blackness by exalting European attributes

Black Women of Brazil

Mas seu cabelo é tão bonito

Note from BW of Brazil: Today’s piece, like so many others, is exactly what this blog is about. Stephanie Paes covers so many issues that are pertinent to the comprehension of blackness from the Brazilian perspective. Hair texture, racial mixture and “compliments” that simultaneously mask racist sentiments are all covered here. In this piece, Stephanie Paes takes the reader through the many complexities of the development of black identity and the development of black consciousness. In Brazil today, there are thousands, if not millions of young women that do all in their power to disassociate themselves from blackness. If one has a looser type of curl or brown skin on the lighter side of the spectrum, the Brazilian racial ideology questions any person with such a phenotype about why they would choose to define themselves as negra because they are “too pretty” to be black. With consciousness, Paes is…

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North Coast sunset

North Coast sunset

Beautiful sunset, Fort Bragg, Ca. Occupied Pomo territory

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…The Next Day Was Revenge: Rivalry or Cooperation

Some illuminating and heartfelt analysis of the progession of local radical politics over the last year.


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BAI Note:  We would like to suggest that people watch the following video from October 7, 2012 –the 11th anniversary of the US/NATO occupation of aggression against the peoples of Afghanistan– in order to have a better context for this article’s analysis of the past year. BAI would also like to extend an offer of prayer to all who have died from the aggression (whether or not they are dying in battle, or crossing borders, or at the hands of fascists in Europe and North America) :

~”Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un انا لله وانا اليه راجعون

Surely we come from Allah; And to him shall we return”~

From Tom Vee : Video from last year’s rally and march:

“The Next Day Was Revenge” : Rivalry or Cooperation

Oakland, California

Since October 7 of 2012, the 11th anniversary of the US/ NATO occupation  of aggression against the Afghan…

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The End of nationalism…the time has come..

Something I have been wondering about lately. Why is so little discussion of the destructive nature of nationalism on human society? We see much discussion of the ills of racism, and how race is a social construct that divides us, and the even talk of an eventual “color blind” society, yet we never hear people talking about how nation states, and thus national “identities” are also social constructs, that are fundamentally designed to divide us. In fact, nationalism logically leads to fascism and ethnic hatreds, as we are seeing again in Europe, and other places. We also, when discussing economics, hear a lot of anti capitalist discussion,yet it is always framed within the context an internal struggle in each separate nation, despite the fact that capitalism functions outside the rules and confines of the nation state game. Nationalism only serves to justify global inequality, and strengthen those in power, even as they abandon their own “citizens”. Similarly, environmental problems are global in nature, but are dealt with nation by nation, which is ineffective and potentially catastrophic (as we are seeing in Japan). Clearly clinging to the nation state model is bringing us close to destruction, and can’t address the needs of future generations. Shouldn’t we be weening ourselves off our addiction to our national identities, and towards some more universal?




The colour brown: de-colonising anarchism and challenging white hegemony


By Budour Hassan

The appearance of the Egyptian Black Bloc in Cairo’s streets in January 2013 triggered gullible excitement in Western anarchist circles. Little thought was given to the Egyptian Black Bloc’s political vision – or lack thereof – tactics, or social and economic positions. For most Western anarchists, it was enough that they looked and dressed like anarchists to warrant uncritical admiration. Facebook pages of Israeli anarchists were swamped with pictures of Egyptian Black Bloc activists; skimming through the US anarchist blogosphere during that period would have given one the impression that the Black Bloc was Egypt’s first-ever encounter with anarchism and anti-authoritarianism. But as American writer Joshua Stephens notes, the jubilant reaction many Western anarchists have towards the Black Bloc raises unflattering questions concerning their obsession with form and representation, rather than content and actions. And in this regard, these anarchists are not different from the Islamists…

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Oakland Responds to the Trayvon Martin murder trial verdict

by Zappa Montag

The acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida, while hardly surprising, has understandably provoked lot of outrage, protest, soul-searching, and may in fact turn out to be a catalyzing moment for a new round of heightened social activism, and upheaval. I certainly hope so. Oakland is a place that is an epicenter of forces of social liberation, and repression, and a mass of contradictions that reflect these confused and difficult times we live in. There are many angles from which to write about this place, and these times, but I like to keep it pretty personal most of the time, so in that spirit, here is a little slice of the personal and political as it manifested amidst the recent street protests in reaction to the verdict here in Oakland.

July 16, 2013

As the protest march last night headed around Lake Merritt, after the stand-off at the 580 (i think we should have gone up Macarthur along the freeway personally, but anyhow..), my friend and I left the march and headed back along the lake. After walking for a few minutes we hear a commotion behind us and turn to see a group of 4 young brothas running/jogging..as they get closer, I can hear them kind of laughing, and telling eachother ..”run n@#$a, run”…not sure what’s up, we keep walking as they pass us on the opposite side of the street heading towards Lakeshore… and then soon hear another commotion behind us, and we turn to see two folks, white male and female, running and yelling..”call the police…call 9-1-1″…”they took our stuff, ….thieves…..”….aaahh…scenario explained….now the weird or funny thing was that we had just come from the Trayvon Martin protest, and it kind of seemed like both the robbers, and the robbed were also at the march…the yells to call the cops, kind of confused and amused us, as 1) the cops were all down the street at the protest and they don’t show up much even when they aren’t tied up at demo..2) where we all had been giving them hell and telling the fuck off…and I was of no mind, and really never am, to call the police and have them hunt down, arrest, and possibly maim or kill some black kids over some dumb stuff..and it is ironic that it at least appeared that protesters were calling for the cops to help when their stuff got jacked…I had already heard of a similar incident that took place at yesterday’s protest…Protesters calling cops for help is not a good look…

BUT…Had they yelled “help, stop those guys, they took our stuff”, I probably would have gone after them..probably could have helped get their stuff back too..them yelling to “call the cops” confused and deactivated me.I generally don’t like bullyish, rudeboy type behavior, and have, and am willing to, confront some kids even if I understand the anger or resentment that leads to such behavior…I have worked in many schools where I had to de escalate rowdy youth behavior, without using or gun, and rarely ever having to hurt anyone…I actually believe that wise adults, who can read social cues, and have methods and knowledge, can and should be the peace keepers, instead of armed outsiders of low intelligence (cops)..

….and the main reason that I intervene when I see kids, especially black kids, act out, is not because I am just worried for the victim, but because adults need to let these kids know that we have higher expectations out of them.. I know they might actually, and sometimes do, listen to me, partially due to my blackness and maleness. And what I try to convey is that, attacking some white person because you have the numbers, or stealing some shit, and running off laughing about it, etc…is not acceptable, and expected, and it is nothing to be proud of, and it is not revolutionary…I can respect some righteous, and brave resistance, even if it is foolish, or ineffective…You want to be tough, go use that anger against the real enemy..

Lately I hear about muggings, and strong armed robberies happening all over Oakland..It seems like it is getting even more common…I feel lucky to have never been mugged, or been the target of a violent crime (except at the hands of the police), and despite my strong feeling regarding gentrification, and institutionalized racism, and despite the fact that part of me feels like folks get what’s coming when they move into an area that is essentially a battleground in the war of containment that is being waged against black people, I do not feel that petty crime, and individual acts of anti social retaliation against white people, or attacks against people who you perceive to vulnerable or weak is something that should be ignored or encouraged. Generally obnoxious, and somewhat cowardly, behavior that goes unchecked can lead to worse actions down the road imo..Nor do I think that getting the criminal justice system involved helps either..So my questions..Can we fight loutish behavior, gentrification, racism, the prison industrial complex, and teach righteous resistance and respectful behavior all at once?, or do we continue to compartmentalize all of the issues?

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10 Ways to Spot an Informant

Useful information…

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