I turned from black to white: How a skin disorder changed a man’s identity and his place in the world 2

The Daily Mail

As a five-year-old, every night I would pray to God to make me white. I grew up in an orphanage filled with largely white children, where I was often ridiculed for my skin colour.

And even at that age, I realised that some opportunities in this world were not for the taking if you were black.

‘Please God, lighten my skin and make me like everyone else,’ I would whisper before I went to sleep. It sounds like an impossible dream, but, for me, it came true.

Luke Davis taken in 1972 aged about 6 in Castlebar
Luke Davis

Changing faces: Luke Davis as a boy, left, and today after being affected by the skin disorder vitiligo

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School sets up ‘gender-neutral’ dressing room 1

The Local

School sets up 'gender-neutral' dressing room

A Stockholm high school is set to open a third changing room for transsexual pupils and those who don’t want to define themselves as being male or female, a move believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

“It’s for people who aren’t comfortable being divided into gender stereotypes,” Camille Trombetti, who sits on the student council at Södra Latin gymnasium, told The Local.

She said management at the central Stockholm high school at first welcomed the idea.

“They were very positive and welcoming but we had to figure out how to do it practically,” said Trombetti, who underlined that the student council has long pushed to expand the rights of LGBT students.

“We were the first student council to march in the Stockholm Pride Festival last year, and we encourage our teachers to use the pronoun ‘hen’.”

Trombetti explained that teachers now use the gender-neutral pronoun instead of the male and female “hon” and “han” in “relevant situations” rather than replacing them.

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City: No ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag on public land Reply

Fellowship of Minds

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) — A “Don’t Tread on Me” flag hoisted by veterans outside a city-owned armory has been ordered down because of complaints that the defiant symbol of the American Revolution is now associated with the tea party and makes an unwelcome political statement.

Veterans in New Rochelle, just north of New York City, are threatening to sue, and a prominent conservative law firm has taken up the case. Some residents are upset with city officials, and a small town 60 miles away has raised the flag — with its coiled snake and yellow field — in solidarity.

“They shouldn’t be able to tell us what flag we can fly,” said Peter Parente, president of New Rochelle’s United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association. “They don’t tell us what color flowers to put at the veterans’ graves.”

But City Manager Charles Strome said: “They can fly whatever flag they want at the VFW post, at their own homes, but anything displayed on public property has to be determined by the municipality. Anything that could be offensive to some people ought not to be on public property.

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A Racial Divide Closes as Students Step Up 1

New York Times

Bryan Meltz for The New York Times

Mareshia Rucker, center, and Stephanie Sinnott, right, are two of the four students who came up with the idea of an integrated prom in Wilcox County, Ga.

By

ABBEVILLE, Ga. — Mareshia Rucker watched in frustration last weekend as several dozen classmates in tuxedos and gowns walked into an Art Deco theater for her high school’s “white prom.”

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Bryan Meltz for The New York Times

Mareshia Rucker, left, and Stephanie Sinnott helped put on a barbecue plate sale in Abbeville, Ga., to raise money for the prom.

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Anarchism in the 21st Century: Towards a New Paradigm 3

The Attack the System radio program returns with host Keith Preston.

In this installment Keith discusses:

-The need for anarchists to reach out to new sources of potential supporters beyond the radical left and the anarchist youth subculture.

-How the ARV/ATS philosophy of anarcho-pluralism continues the traditions of anarchism without adjectives and synthesist anarchism established by classical anarchist luminaries such as Voltairine De Cleyre, the Magon brothers, and Voline. More…

Why Should I Care That No One’s Reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev His Miranda Rights? 1

Emily Bazelon

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not hear his Miranda rights before the FBI questions him Friday night. He will have to remember on his own that he has a right to a lawyer, and that anything he says can be used against him in court, because the government won’t tell him. This is an extension of a rule the Justice Department wrote for the FBI—without the oversight of any court—called the “public safety exception.”

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The Bill of Rights was written for Dzhokar Tsarnaev 2

Thomas Mullen

AMPA, April 20, 2013 – 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody. Assuming that Tsarnaev is indeed guilty of these crimes, a very real threat to public safety has been taken off the streets. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the Tsarnaev brothers have taken the last vestiges of a free society in America down with them.

The Bill of Rights was already on life support before this tragedy. Before the dust settled after 9/11, the 4th Amendment had been nullified by the Patriot Act. The 5th and 6th Amendments were similarly abolished with the Military Commission Act of 2006 and the 2012 NDAA resolution, which contained a clause allowing the president to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil without due process of law.

Americans had already grown accustomed to having their persons and papers searched at the airport without probable cause and without a warrant supported by oath or affirmation. After a brief, politically-motivated backlash against the Bush Administration, Americans similarly resigned themselves to the government tapping their phones, reading their e-mails and generally spying on them wherever they went. Things were already very, very bad.

They just got a lot worse.

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Middle School Girls Receive Training for Dorm Life When They Go Off to College Reply

Standupforthetruth.Com

Imagine 13 and 14-year-old girls being instructed to ask one another for a lesbian kiss in a class exercise.  The girls had no choice. The parents were NOT informed. But hey, if it falls under “anti-bullying,” than who are you to question it, right?

 Heather Clark over atreports this alarming development:

Red Hook, New York – A recent anti-bullying presentation at a middle school in New York that focused on homosexuality and gender identity has angered parents after their daughters have come home to tell them they were forced to ask another girl for a kiss.

According to reports, the session occurred last week at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York, near Poughkeepsie. A group of students from Bard College led two workshops for the youth, separated by gender.

During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”

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Emma Goldman: Anarchism and Other Essays, with a new introduction by Keith Preston 1

Available from Black House Publishing at Amazon.Com

Emma Goldman is often depicted in current academic discourse as a mere prototypical feminist and socialist. Yet this collection of essays by Goldman reveals that she often expressed ideas which many of her present day admirers might find surprising and unsettling. She distrusted the proletariat, wrote disdainfully of the early feminists who were her contemporaries, and even expressed scepticism of women’s suffrage. More…

Julian Assange, the Left-Anarch 2

Julian Assange, the Left-Anarch

This passage from the interview of Julian Assange by Google CEO Eric Schmidt exemplifies the kind of radicalism I most admire. Notice the lack of a clean, rationalist philosophy or any sanctimonious univeralist moral bravado.

I looked at something that I had seen going on with the world. Which is that I thought there were too many unjust acts… And I wanted there to be more just acts, and fewer unjust acts. And one can sort of say, well what are your philosophical axioms for this? And I say I do not need to consider them. This is simply my temperament. And it is an axiom because it is that way. And so that avoids, then, getting into further unhelpful discussions about why you want to do something. It is enough that I do.

The rest of the interview has some fascinating insights, anecdotes, and theory on networks, politics, even technology and even ontology. Highly, highly recommended!

Bill Ayers Gets It Right 5

The Blaze

Bill Ayers spoke at the University of Oregon last week on the subject of teaching and organizing for “social justice.”  His speech was not free of the radical sentiments he is well-known for espousing (especially in the company of America’s youth). Case in point: he spoke of the end of America, a new world, and what our role ought to be in all of it.

(Related: Bill Ayers: ‘I Get Up Every Morning and Think…Today I’m Going to End Capitalism)

Almost as interesting as Ayers’ speech itself, perhaps, was how the leftist radical was introduced by the university students.  One girl, who described herself as a doctoral student at the university, spoke of the privilege they would have with their honored guest, in an “evening [of] radical imagination.”

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When the Shoe is on the Other Foot Reply

“The bombings in Boston today were horrible, and I do not intend to suggest anything else. But I cannot help thinking that at least hundreds of such street-side bombings, some of them much more powerful and lethal, have occurred in Baghdad during the past decade. I very much doubt whether many Americans have any real idea of how it feels to live in such an environment. Of course, Baghdad has scarcely been unique except in its size, and many, many such bombings have also occurred elsewhere in Iraq and in Afghanistan during these years. No wonder mental disturbances have become extremely common among the Iraqi people.” — Robert Higgs