29 May 2009

These two weeks back to Belgium surprisingly are tender. I miss my birthland and loved ones more than during the initial phase of of relocation (summer 2008). Nonetheless I’m planting my first garden, learning about self-employment, and meeting other expats.

And, meanwhile, I follow happenings back home and around the globe. Here is a selection of articles, audio interviews, and web sites that I find especially noteworthy. My responses pepper the sources, which are grouped under these summary headlines:

  • Gender ‘be’ what gender ‘does’
  • Women of color rock
  • What the f…cover-up?!
  • Not indie but INDIGIE films
  • Speakin’ truth

Gender ‘be’ what gender ‘does’

1 –In Civil War, Woman Fought Like A Man For Freedom. Linda Paul. Weekend Edition Sunday, National Public Radio. 24 May 2009.

Quote – “Albert D.J. Cashier was the shortest soldier in the 95th Illinois Infantry… Jennie Hodgers, masquerading as Cashier, marched thousands of miles during the war… ‘Albert Cashier seems to have been in [the war] from the beginning to the end,’ Davis says. ‘She stuck it out.'” Story subheadings: “Why Live As A Man?” and “Town Reluctantly Celebrates Veteran.”

MDH – We need to learn from those who’ve gone before us and lived outside of social boxes, which assume the direction of our life path based on fixed interpretations of genitalia. Thank you, Mr. Cashier, for being true to yourself; may we learn from your example.

2 – Mission Accomplished? Not Yet, NOW President Says. Interview by Liane Hansen. Weekend Edition Sunday, National Public Radio. 24 May 2009.

MDH – Many young USians incorrectly believe that women live equitably among men in the USA, yet facts belie this reality and NOW President Kim Gandy sets the record straight. Denial is the root of this insidious myth, which I found too many undergraduates embraced over years teaching at US university between 1999 and 2005.

Women of color rock

1 – Sri Lankan Officials Kill Rebel Leader, End Civil War. Tell Me More, National Public Radio. 22 May 2009.

Quote – “Georgetown University Professor Asoka Band[a]rage, along with former Tamil Tiger member Nirmala Rajasingam, talk about the conflict and the future of Sri Lanka.”

MDH – A riveting and conflicting exchange between two women originally from Sri Lanka: Rajasingam who is exiled in the UK, and Bandarage who resides in the US. Tell Me More host Michel Martin deftly handles the pair in her expert manner. Particularly piquing my respect is Rajasingam, an activist and writer who isn’t favored by hierarchal and institutional powers in Sri Lanka. Another interview was given by Rajasingam to SBS Dateline two days later.

2 – Cancer pain much worse among minorities. Women cancer patients also have more pain than men, U-M study finds. University of Michigan Health Systems. 5 May 2009.

MDH – In this press release, Carmen R. Green, M.D is recognized as the lead author of the featured study. Finally, medical research is benefiting people of color and women. Without surprise, the work is being done by a woman of color. Thank you, Dr. Green!

What the f…cover-up?!

1 – Michigan adds 69 species to endangered list. John Flesher, Associated Press, Detroit Free Press. 13 May 2009.

Quote – “When a species is placed on the federal endangered list, officials are legally required to develop a restoration plan that includes setting aside critical habitat areas. Michigan has no such policy but prohibits killing, collecting or otherwise harming species on its list.”

MDH – This article speaks the truth omitted from the following government press release.

2 – Fish and Wildlife Service Celebrates Endangered Species Day In Michigan, Kirtland’s warblers, piping plovers show progress. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 14 May 2009.

MDH – In stark contrast to the afore-linked article, this press release mentions nothing about the increase in endangered species living within Michigan.

Not indie but INDIGIE films

1 – Aboriginal film-making emerges on cinema’s centre stage. Andrew McCathie. Monsters and Critics. 16 May 2009.

MDH – Samson and Delilah is a film by Aboriginal director Warwick Thornton, who says, “This is the year of indigenous filmmaking.” I can’t wait to see this film featuring indigenous actors – like amazing casts from Whalerider and Rabbit-Proof Fence – AND directed by a native person.

2 – International Cherokee Film Festival. 9 – 10 October 2009. Tulsa Cherokee Casino Resort, Oklahoma.

MDH – I came across the ICFF web site while looking for indigenous film listings. Maybe I can be there in 2010 when I make my next annual migration back to Turtle Island.

Speakin’ truth

1 – Multiracial People Now Fastest Growing U.S. Group. Associated Press. NPR.org. 28 May 2009.

Quote – “Demographers attributed the recent population growth to more social acceptance and slowing immigration. They cited in particular the high public profiles of Tiger Woods and President Obama, a self-described ‘mutt,’ who are having an effect on those who might self-identify as multiracial.”

MDH – The article details how the RECOGNITION of multiracial individuals in the US is growing, boosted by high-profile individuals who proudly are asserting a mixed-race identity. Reality being that multiracial folk have been around FOR-EV-ER. See my posts about coming into mixed-blood-ness: The Family Name, The Silence of Violence, and Cherokee.

2 – Gay Marriage Ruling Creates Separate Rights. Tell Me More, National Public Radio. 28 May 2009.

Quote – “The California Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to uphold Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. But the court also said the 18,000 couples who were married last year could remain married.”

MDH – My ears ring with paradox, “the land of the free and home of the brave” made a farce when cowardice denies liberty. Here are firsthand accounts from two gay couples residing in California where the farce is playing out.

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