Trans Rights Are Human Rights

Trigger Warning: Discussion of trans-misogyny and violent death: Continue reading “Trans Rights Are Human Rights”

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Good News!

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By Mary Emert

On Tuesday November 6th the nation held its midterm elections and the stakes, to some, have never been higher. And, in some places the results have never been better. A record number of women, people of color, and people from the LGBT+ community ran, and a record number of them won as well ushering in new faces to represent America.

Congress will have a record breaking 118 women, next year making up 22% of congress which is a significant jump from the 20% currently in office. Many of these women were inspired after the 2016 election, and many of them are democratic working towards women’s rights to birth control, safe abortion, and equal treatment in politics.

Two of these women, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, happen to be Native American both women are very involved in their tribes and interested in the rights of Native Women, who unknown to many have the highest missing and murdered percentages among any minority. Davids also identifies as a lesbian making her the first openly LGBT+ member of Congress from Kansas.

In this she is not alone either. Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, will be the first openly gay governor of Colorado. Chris Pappas will be New Hampshire’s first openly gay member of Congress. Lesbian Angie Craig defeats anti-LGBTQ congressman in Minnesota, will be first openly gay person elected to Congress from the state. Two transgender women, Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker, were elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. According to the Los Angeles Blade, Cannon and Bunker will join Virginia state Del. Danica Roem as the only openly trans members of any U.S. state legislature. Democrats Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard become the first LGBT+ members of Continue reading “Good News!”

Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life

By: Madeleine Clow

Pro-choice vs pro-life is a highly controversial social issue that the United States debates over continuously. Abortions have been a part of American legal history since as early as the 1820s. The first law against abortions was instated in 1821, in Connecticut, targeting apothecaries who sold “poisons” to purposely induce a miscarriage. Coming into the 20th century, some states had anti-abortion laws emplaced until the Supreme Court’s decision in the Roe vs Wade trial of 1973. The Supreme Court’s decision decriminalized abortion nationwide.

Later with the 1992 Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Planned Parenthood vs Casey, emplaced the original guidelines of the laws on abortions nationwide. In the 2016 Supreme Court decision in the Whole Woman’s Health vs Hellerstedt case, led us to the abortion laws we have in place today. Each state has their own laws pertaining to abortion in the United States. Most of the common state-level laws regarding abortion are parental consent for minors, mandating counseling meant to persuade women from continuing with the abortion, limitations on public funding, excess regulations on abortion facilities, and a mandated waiting period before the abortion. Continue reading “Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life”

Suicide Rates in America

By: Madeleine Clow

Disclaimer: This article may be triggering and handles sensitive issues regarding mental health

Continue reading “Suicide Rates in America”

LGBTQIA+ Rights in Idaho

By: Madeleine Clow

It came to my attention earlier this year, simply by mistake, that the LGBTQIA+ community is not protected by hate crime laws in the state of Idaho. I have lived in Idaho as long as I have been out of the closet, since 2015. Same-sex relationships have been legal in Idaho, but same-sex marriage has not, until the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize Gay Marriage under federal law, nationally in 2015. I honestly believe that if same-sex marriage had not been legalized nationally, that it would still be illegal today in the state of Idaho.

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Idaho capitol building lit in support of Pride Month

When I learned that my life was not protected under law by discrimination due to my sexuality, I felt very unsafe in the environment that I call home. I began to research what other rights the LGBTQIA+ community has been excluded from, and I was astonished to find out that Idaho does not prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Idaho does not protect from employment discrimination, or public and school harassment and discrimination, and conversion therapy is still legal.

Continue reading “LGBTQIA+ Rights in Idaho”

Racial Profiling in the PNW

By: Madeleine Clow

This past June I was getting off my bus at the Greyhound Station in Boise, Idaho, to get my bag. The employee asked which bag was mine, I pointed, and he handed it to me, and as I was walking away a commotion began. The employee was sharing the handle of the bag begrudgingly with its rightful owner, a black man. The employee began shouting that the man was stealing the bag. The man protested that in fact, it was his bag and he could prove it if the employee would just release his property. The employee began thrashing the bag violently to get it away from the man while screaming that he was being harassed. After much struggle, with the man’s shirt torn off his body and one of his shoes strewn across the ground, the employee called the police. The police showed up to the scene and separately asked the men what had happened. Later the employee went back to work and the man was arrested with his bag, and his shirt was thrown away.

 

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Taken From: https://aintaboutthatlife.com/nypd-supervisor-racist-arrest-blacks/

I recorded on video the altercation that happened between the two men. I also wrote a witness statement and recorded a witness statement with the police. When I asked them, why the man was being arrested and the employee was free to go back to work they told me that it was due to a company policy technicality that the man apparently did not follow. He apparently did not have a check-in tag on his luggage. Therefore, it seemed, as though the ‘unidentified’ bag was being stolen. But, I didn’t have a tag on my luggage, and neither did other white passengers who didn’t get asked or have a second glance given to us when taking our bags.

When I watched that man be driven away in the cop car, hand cuffed and behind bars, I was frustrated. I was frustrated with the police for handling the situation poorly and giving the white guy the benefit of the doubt. I was frustrated because I knew that if that man had been white he would have been given his bag without a tag, and without a problem. I was frustrated because even though I told the truth and did the best to do the right thing, I was powerless.

Continue reading “Racial Profiling in the PNW”

End the Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women

By Madeleine Clow

Disclaimer: Native American Indian Tribal People do not identify themselves under one label. “The question is usually posed as, ‘do you prefer to X ,Y , Z?’ to which I am expected to choose from one and categorize who I am, further marginalizing myself, and possibly someone else. It’s always difficult to answer this question because ‘I’ do not necessarily identify with any of these terms.” – Courtney Tsotigh-Yarholar, Indian Country Today

Native American history has been riddled with genocide and pain since the introduction of colonialism. The Trail of Tears is a painful memory of the forced relocation and resettlement of the Native American people to their current reservations. Originally, 15 million Native Americans began the Trail of Tears—today, there are a total of 5 million. Contemporary Americans may not be familiar with the history of the past century of Native Americans in the United States. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Native American children were forced to attend Indian Boarding School, in order, to “kill the Indian, save the man.” More recently, in the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of Native American women unknowingly went through forced sterilization by the Indian Health Service, because they were deemed unable to use other forms of birth control on their own.

These malicious acts made against Native Americans caused deep distress and dejection throughout Indian nations, that continues to affect their lives today. The unemployment rate among American Indians today is 85 percent. American Indians are 500 percent more likely to die of alcoholism than the average American. The suicide rate among American Indians is 62 percent higher than the average American. Native youth have the highest rate of suicide among any other ethnic group in the United States. One in ten American Indians become victims of violent crime. A recent study showed that the vast majority of Native women in the United States have experienced sexual assault or rape. According to the Indian Law Resource Center, “More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence, and more than 1 in 2 have experienced sexual violence.” Why is this happening and what can we do to help American Indian and Alaska Native women? Continue reading “End the Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women”