you better czechoslovakia before you wreckyoslovkia
insert russian aggression joke here
and the title of this clip is called “GO HOME U.N., YOU’RE DRUNK”
Being extremely knowledgeable about the cruise industry this is all I have to say about the Carnival Triumph fiasco. People are right to question the sensationalistic media coverage (which is almost entirely inaccurate—CNN said twice that Carnival Corp owns Royal Caribbean, for instance, when they are direct competitors), but there are aspects to this story and issues that should be getting attention and that aren’t, even in the wall-to-wall coverage of the last couple of days. Things the media should actually be focusing on instead of asking pax leading questions about pooping in bags and onion sandwiches:
Passengers have unanimously praised the crew on board the ship. Crew that is severely exploited on a good day by cruise lines. These people work 80-100 hour weeks for less than minimum wage and survive almost entirely on tips from passengers. It is also a distinctly racialized form of exploitation in that every ship has a hierarchy. White Europeans, British, Americans, Australians, etc. are who you see as officers and entertainment staff getting the higher pay and benefits. Hotel/serving staff are almost entirely Indonesians, Filipin@s, West Indians, etc. who all get the most back breaking jobs for the least pay. Unions are non-existent and they basically have no rights. Keep in mind that, in the case of the Triumph, Carnival has promised full refunds to all the passengers, including refunding gratuities. Meaning that these crew members who were subjected to by far the worst conditions on the ship (crew quarters being below the water line in the bowels of the ship), literally handling bags of human waste, may not get anything more than their usual shitty substandard contract pay for all the hard work the passengers praised them for.
All of this stems from the fact that the industry is probably the least regulated of all industries in the US, in large part because of powerful lobbyists greasing pockets (a law that was passed back in 2010, for instance, had the most powerful provision—allowing for the ability to sue—removed due to lobbying efforts). Carnival’s continued pattern of cost-cutting fuckery is 100% legal. Only 1 ship of all the US-based lines is actually flagged in the US and subject to US labor laws (Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America which sails Hawaiian itineraries). Carnival, for instance, is not even keeping the Triumph in drydock in Mobile, which has unionized shipyards. As I write this, they are towing the ship down to Freeport in the Bahamas, where costs are far cheaper.
There is a story here. It is not about a floating hotel losing toilets. It’s about corporations in a multi-billion dollar a year industry operating under minimal oversight, exploiting workers, and CEOs pocketing millions in bonuses earned by cutting safety corners in the name of increasing the stock price a few cents. In other words, US capitalism run amok. It’s not nearly as dramatic as the yarn they’re trying to spin, but it’s the thing we actually need to be concerned about, whether you go on cruises or not.
ohh and this is what pissed me off so much about Ed Schultz coverage of this shit. He asked the most asinine questions to some random passangers. I don’t remember him mentioning the crew’s wages/conditions at ALL. And this is a guy who’s old school, pro union, blue collar white guy. So why the fuck did he not talk about this?
Live able wage !!!!!!! And a guarantee u won’t be fired if u get sick!
“Hillary will be our next President and she will be a great one,” Tsakopoulos said at a private gala in California this past weekend.
Asked if this was confirmed by Clinton or whether it’s his personal view, he replied, “I talk to her husband, and he confirmed it. She will run.”
OHHHH MYYY GOOOOD
Like I’m excited. But I’m not expecting any changes. It’s still United States we still have gross human rights violations. We still act as this imperialist entity. I mean. I guess I’m excited cause….??
Alright, so this happened
US President Barack Obama quietly signed his name to an Executive Order on Friday, allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security.
President Obama released his latest Executive Order on Friday, July 6, a 2,205-word statement offered as the “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” And although the president chose not to commemorate the signing with much fanfare, the powers he provides to himself and the federal government under the latest order are among the most far-reaching yet of any of his executive decisions.
WASHINGTON — As lawmakers debate the Obama administration’s commitment to immigration enforcement, a report released last week shows that 2 million people will be deported by 2014 — more than the total number of deportations before 1997 — if they continue at the current rate.
Tanya Golash-Boza, an associate professor of sociology at University of California-Merced, found that interior immigration enforcement has expanded rapidly as border-crossings have slowed down, leading to more families being separated by deportation. Read more
According to Wikileaks:
“In 2009, the Haitian parliament unanimously passed a measure that would hike the Haitian minimum wage to $5 a day.
Yet much as the United States government mobilized to protect Big Oil’s profits a few years earlier, American diplomats immediately protested the hike in wages.”
Let’s all take a moment to soak this information in. Representatives of the U.S. protests the fact that the companies profiting from a third-world country have to pay its workers a minimum wage for an entire day that most Americans work in an hour. Did you guys catch all that? If not, here’s the simple truth: America likes to fuck shit up, and nobody gives a fucking fuck.
What in the actual fuck
Prior to the election I shared a quote that challenged the concept of the universality of Whiteness. The concept of a “White voting block” is something that many Whites reject, but the reality is they too are a race, not a default “neutral” group. One of the key ways of implying that Whiteness is apolitical, neutral and universal is by obscuring the labeling itself. By shaping something that clearly speaks to Whites but leaving the label “White” off, the claim can be made that it is for “everyone,” even when it clearly isn’t.
Instead of the truthful admission that White voters in fact have patterns and reasons as to how they vote just like other racial demographics (reasons which aren’t necessarily completely monolithic by race), and make decisions where their own race or the race of the candidates play a role, just like other racial demographics, people refer to their voting patterns as “normal” while “othering” and minimizing the political agency of primarily Black and Latino voters. Further, it’s assumed that Whites vote only on issues and qualifications and people of colour vote on race alone, when in fact Whites, not people of colour, have voted in ways to reinforce White supremacy in the political system since the origin of this country.
Instead of the truthful admission that womanhood is dynamic, culturally diverse and complex, the default setting for “woman” (and “good” mother/wife) remains White. Everything from the images chosen in major print and visual mediums to the stories shared about women in any space that was previously/currently dominated by men, the primary image remains White. This is why a show like Girls, (with that problematic annoyance that is Lena Dunham) that is deeply and forcefully focused on remaining as White as possible, can be labeled the voice of women of their generation, as if that voice must be White, and forcefully so. The concept that there are millions of women whose young adulthood resembled the past network show, Living Single for example, not Girls, is lost. But alas, something based on Black women like Living Single cannot be deemed something that “anyone” can relate to since love, heartbreak, friendships, sex, careers, marriage and twenty-something adventure once no longer White, are niche and rare; not something other races of women are expected to find even a remote connection with.
Instead of the truthful admission that the tones “nude” “flesh” and “neutral” in fashion and makeup only match a small percentage of the skin of women in the world, and is primarily matched to White skin, people refer to them by these labels, obscuring the fact that they’re based on Whiteness and are NOT universal. On my skin, these tones are the colours peach, beige, or tan—they aren’t “neutral.” They do NOT blend in.
Instead of the truthful admission that the LGBTQ community is incredibly racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse, the default setting for them remains cisgender, male, White and middle class. In fact, the media continues to do two things; portray homophobia as solely a Black problem (when it’s a White one and worldwide one as well) and portray the LGBT community and Black people as two divergent groups with zero overlap. Thus, even amidst a community that faces great marginalization via homophobia, sexism, misogyny and transphobia, the universality of Whiteness and White supremacy are STILL reinforced.
There are times when Whiteness as “universal” and thereby “good” is challenged and this occurs for example when a White man commits an act of domestic terrorism or a White woman deviates from “delicacy” and “femininity” (stereotypes shaped by White supremacy and sexism) and commits a crime. Individuality becomes the media and social focus in these cases. Thus, their behaviors will be socialized as something “exceptional” and not “normal” especially when again, “normal” implies Whiteness. This is a luxury not provided to Black or other people of colour who commit crimes; the claim of group dysfunction “inherent” in our race that one of us finally just acted out on is deemed the source. In order for the myth of “Whiteness is good” to work, like any other binary social construct, an opposite is there and this would be “Blackness is bad.” One thing I’ve noticed is that despite the shift to individuality as the focus in the case of White criminals, positive qualities attributed to Whiteness, such as intelligence for males and beauty for females are still included in White criminals’ media and social narratives.
When Black people or other people of colour create culturally-affirming products, art, media, and other cultural production in response to living in a White supremacist society obsessed with normalizing Whiteness and “othering” anyone else, they’re accused of “reverse racism” and other unintelligent lies that are ahistorical in nature. If the very Internet itself, from a Google search for “beauty,” to news media, to beauty blogs and more are dedicated to White women and the concept of Whiteness itself—mass media presences now, and I, for example, make a small personal blog called Gradient Lair to shed some light on the dynamism and complexity of Black womanhood in response to invisibility and marginalization via mass media, I face hatred in response. I am told that since I do not continue the worship of Whiteness as universal and the only example of beauty on my tiny site in the way that every major American beauty site, backed by billions of dollars and endless influence do, I am a “reverse racist.” Forget the fact that any critical thinker on race knows that the latter term is a non-existent position (since people conflate individual biases that can go in either direction with systemic and institutionalized oppression and axes of power that go in one direction where race is concerned); the fact that bloggers of colour, especially Black women, are demanded to continue the worship of Whiteness in their personal spaces in the way it is worshipped via mainstream media and society itself, is an act of White supremacy. Anyone who views Whiteness as “universal” and thereby “normal” and “good” will be alarmed by the existence of spaces that don’t reinforce White supremacy, no matter how small and unequal they are in scale in comparison to mainstream media, because ultimately, their assertion is a White supremacist one; that all spaces should reveal the “normalcy” of Whiteness or else be a space to be insulted, “otherized” or fetishized, or ultimately destroyed through attack, enter the cycle of appropriation, or acquisition and then dilution and what I think of as “digital gentrification.”
What confuses many Whites, individually, who like me, live in this White supremacist society, is that my rejection of the idea of Whiteness as “universal,” “good,” and “superior,” reads to them as hatred of individual White people. Nothing could be more inaccurate. I don’t hate anyone. However, they need to deeply question themselves as to why they need to be treated as automatically “superior” as a race in order to feel loved as an individual.
•A woman in Utah gave birth to twins. When one was stillborn, she was arrested and charged with criminal homicide based on the claim that her decision to delay cesarean surgery was the cause of the stillbirth.
•After a hearing that lasted less than a day, a court issued an order requiring a critically-ill pregnant woman in Washington, D.C. to undergo cesarean surgery over her objections. Neither she nor her baby survived.
•A judge in Ohio kept a woman imprisoned to prevent her from having an abortion.
•A woman in Oregon who did not comply with a doctor’s recommendation to have additional testing for gestational diabetes was subjected to involuntary civil commitment. During her detention, the additional testing was never performed.
•A Louisiana woman was charged with murder and spent approximately a year in jail before her counsel was able to show that what was deemed a murder of a fetus or newborn was actually a miscarriage that resulted from medication given to her by a health care provider.
•In Texas, a pregnant woman who sometimes smoked marijuana to ease nausea and boost her appetite gave birth to healthy twins. She was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance to a minor.
•A doctor in Wisconsin had concerns about a woman’s plans to have her birth attended by a midwife. As a result, a civil court order of protective custody for the woman’s fetus was obtained. The order authorized the sheriff’s department to take the woman into custody, transport her to a hospital, and subject her to involuntary testing and medical treatment.
Who could have seen this coming?