white radical nerd lady in my 30s
transplanted to the East Coast US
happily living in sin with my co-conspirator Mr. X
my Dragon Age sideblog
Other tags of interest - Places I Wish I Was Right Now, GPOY, owls, you are cordially invited to my pants, this has been a post, OH MY GOD, Favorite of all the things, Maru is the best cat in the whole world
Aaron Swartz — Internet activist, RSS co-author and Reddit co-founder — committed suicide in New York on Friday, reported The Tech, MIT’s newspaper.
Swartz’s uncle and attorney both confirmed the news to the publication.
“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” said Elliot R. Peters of Kecker and Van Nest, Swartz’ attorney, in an email to The Tech.
Swartz was a co-founder of the digital activist organization Demand Progress, which was one of the Internet freedom organizations instrumental in the fight against SOPA and PIPA. He was also a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
In July 2011, Swartz was charged with allegedly downloading and distributing more than 4 million documents — many in the public domain — from MIT and journal archiving service JSTOR.
He was charged in September 2012 with 13 counts of felony hacking.
Demand Progress had said at the time that the Justice Department’s indictment of Swartz was like ”trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”
He pled not guilty in September 2012, but still faced possible prison time, ZDNet reported, noting that his financial woes generated during his struggle against the Justice Department were no secret.
Cory Doctorow, co-editor of the blog Boing Boing and a friend of Swartz, wrote a personal tribute to Swartz early Saturday morning.
PublicResource.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing and sharing public domain materials in the U.S., also turned its homepage into a tribute to Swartz.
“BE FREE,” reads the homepage.
“When the right to communicate was imperiled by tyrants and profiteers, the Postmaster General changed his frank from “Free, B. Franklin” to “Be Free, Franklin,” it said.
“Aaron Swartz made our world more free,” it said. “Be Free, Internet. Thank you, Aaron, for what you gave us.”
I hope everybody knows by now that PETA is an awful bunch of people, but I thought I’d collect some of the reasons together for anyone who doesn’t.
Was there one and I missed it?
Is there going to be one?
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about something I’ve started calling the “Activist industrial complex,” which can be understood as any combination of the following -
- When someone participates in activism solely to be recognized by others as an ‘active’ or ‘good’ person
- When someone disguises their actions as activism when the true purpose is personal gain, such as making money or adding to a resume
- When someone tries to invalidate another person’s activism because it does not match up with their own definitions (example: people that criticize bloggers for not being “real” activists, people whose definitions of activism do not include survival/caring for one’s self, family, and friends/etc.)
- Hypocrisy in recognizing actions as activism (see this Patricia Hill Collins quote for an example)
- Claiming to be an advocate for all people of an oppressed group, yet only caring about those in that group with other privileges (for example, the It Gets Better Campaign and it’s focus on the experiences of white gay youth)
- Acting for/on behalf of another person or group without taking into account their voices and experiences - examples here are endless, but some include non-Muslim women advocating to ban the burqa or a white man writing a paper on women of color without ever talking to woc or citing their work
- Priding oneself on being an ‘activist’ for participating in action that allegedly raising awareness or supports a cause/group - changing your profile picture to a picture of a ribbon of whatever color, wearing a purple sweater to support LGBTQ youth, or updating your Facebook status to the color of your bra to raise awareness about breast cancer
- The hypocrisy of the “going green” movement (see more at this Racialicious post)
- Rhetoric of protection (man saves woman, white person saves poc, etc.)
I just created a rally for the arrest of George Zimmerman. Can’t say I’m not nervous.
I wonder if we can make one of these in NYC. Anyone interested?
Boston people! this needs to happen.
“On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York presented the first Spirit of Freedom award to Jada Williams, a 13-year old city of Rochester student. Miss Williams wrote an essay on her impressions of Frederick Douglass’ first autobiography the Narrative of the Life. This was part of an essay contest, but her essay was never entered. It offended her teachers so much that, after harassment from teachers and school administrators at School #3, Miss Williams was forced to leave the school.We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation honored her because her essay actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography, even though it might seem a bit esoteric to most 13-year olds. In her essay, she quotes part of the scene where Douglass’ slave master catches his wife teaching then slave Frederick to read. During a speech about how he would be useless as a slave if he were able to read, Mr. Auld, the slave master, castigated his wife.Miss Williams quoted Douglass quoting Mr. Auld: “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him. It will forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”Miss Williams personalized this to her own situation. She reflected on how the “white teachers” do not have enough control of the classroom to successfully teach the minority students in Rochester. While she herself is more literate than most, due to her own perseverance and diligence, she sees the fact that so many of the other “so-called ‘unteachable’” students aren’t learning to read as a form of modern-day slavery. Their illiteracy holds them back in society.Her call to action was then in her summary: “A grand price was paid in order for us to be where we are today; but in my mind we should be a lot further, so again I encourage the white teachers to instruct and I encourage my people to not just be a student, but become a learner.”This offended her English teacher so much…”This offended her English teacher so much that the teacher copied the essay for other teachers and for the Principal. After that, Miss Williams’ mother and father started receiving phone calls from numerous teachers, all claiming that their daughter is “angry.” Miss Williams, mostly a straight-A student, started receiving very low grades, and she was kicked out of class for laughing and threatened with in-school suspension.There were several meetings with teachers and administrators, but all failed to answer Miss Williams’ mother’s questions. The teachers refused to show her the tests and work that she had supposedly performed so poorly on. Instead, the teachers and administrators branded her a problem.Unable to take anymore of the persecution, they pulled her from School #3. Wanting to try another school, they were quickly informed that that school was filled and told to try “this school.” During her first day at this new school, she witnessed four fights, and other students asked her if she was put here because she fights too much.Long story short, they took an exceptional student, with the radical idea that kids should learn to read, and put her in a school of throwaway students who are even more unmanageable than the average student in her previous school. To protect their daughter, her parents have had to remove her from school, and her mother has had to quit her job so she can take care of Miss Williams.To date, the administrators of School #3 have refused to release her records, even though she no longer attends the school, and they have repeatedly given her mother the run around. We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation have contacted school administrators in regards to this situation and have also been told to hit the pavement.
That’s what we intend to do. If this school will sacrifice the welfare of an above-average student whose essay, that they asked her to write, they find offensive, we intend to make everyone aware of this monstrous injustice. The school has a job, and it is not doing it. We would like as many folks as possible to call the Principal of School #3 and complain about this injustice. Her name is Miss Connie Wehner, and she can be reached at (585) 454-3525. This treatment of Jada Williams cannot stand.