Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, let us remember all of the trans people whose lives we lost this year to violence and suicide. This is a day of sorrow, grief and despair for trans people and for all of humanity. TDOR is the only trans-specific holiday, yet it is not recognized by our governments. Our fallen receive no moments of silence in school halls, no flags at half mast, and little mention from the mainstream press. This is our holiday, and we must come together as one with our allies to remember, cherish and mourn the beautiful lives lost in our community.
We must stand with all trans people in their fight for liberation against systemic transphobia, transmisogyny, and anti-trans violence. Today, let us especially remember our trans sisters of color, who statistically experience more violence than our white sisters. Let us remember the victims from suicide, often our youngest – some of the world’s best and brightest – whose lives were ended prematurely from a sense of hopelessness, frustration and from mental illness brought on by a culture of hostility and transphobia. We must remember our fallen siblings who did sex work to survive, because we live in a world that economically disenfranchises us and puts many of us in situations where it’s survive, or turn our bodies into commodities. And once our bodies are commodified, it makes us vulnerable to forced sex trafficking – a violence so repugnant it must be wiped out immediately, yet law enforcement seems to consistently ignore it. We must remember these siblings’ lives, and honor them by fighting back. We must remember our non-binary siblings who have been killed, because they dare challenge a gender binary that is deeply ingrained in our history and traditions – history and traditions that are then spread around the globe via U.S. imperialism. We must remember our fallen trans and queer siblings in oppressed nations around the world, who don’t have access to the same care and communities that we have here in KC. We must demand justice for our sister Jennifer Laude, not only a victim of transphobic violence but racist imperialism since her murderer was a US Marine, who has still not answered to his crimes from either the government of the Philippines nor our own. Last but not least, we remember our anonymous dead, who are all greatly missed and loved. Continue reading
In the wake of growing student protests, the University of Missouri System’s president, Tim Wolfe, has resigned. Students of color, black athletes, and black faculty members stood in solidarity against the inaction of President Wolfe to address racial inequities on the University of Missouri campus. Students like Jonathan Butler, who was on a hunger strike, led the effort by displaying their resolve in the face of the bureaucratic power of the University of Missouri. Faculty members stood with the students, as well as the black athletes on the Mizzou football team, thus forming a powerful bloc against racism on campus that forced a significant concession.
The issues that caused the movement to emerge are numerous and encompass decades of unspoken racism within the University of Missouri System. This year several black student groups reported incidents of racial discrimination on campus through the use of verbal slurs and other discriminatory acts, such as a swastika painted in human feces that appeared on a dormitory wall . On October 10th black students attempted to draw attention to the festering racism on campus by blocking President Wolfe’s car during the homecoming parade. Wolfe proved himself to be unresponsive to the calls for a discussion of race in the University of Missouri community, and the protesters were promptly removed. Continue reading
Today’s youth are facing a crisis. The necessity of receiving a college degree to obtain employment has forced many young people to take on massive loans to cover the cost of schooling. 71% of students receiving their bachelor’s degree will graduate with student debt, with the average accumulated debt hovering around $35,000. Women, oppressed nationalities, and LGBTQ people are doubly burdened due to pay discrimination based on gender, race, and sexual orientation, thus making it more difficult to secure an income on par with white cis-male students with which to pay back loans. With this burden attached to the majority of college students, the looming shadow of debt can be nothing else than a prolonged financial bondage thrust on an entire generation. This goes hand in hand with the increasing corporatization of higher education here in the United States, where students are treated as cash-cows ripe for monetary exploitation rather than young minds eager to expand intellectually and practically. This systematic monetization amounts to nothing less than a privatization of education and removes its accessibility to working-class people. Continue reading