ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: violence

Don’t Be Afraid of Checking Yourself. We Have to do Better.

Earlier today, it was reported that openly gay and black actor Jussie Smollett was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago that left him hospitalized but in stable condition. A horrific act of violence like this not too long after comedian Kevin Hart refused several times to apologize for his homophobic remarks in the past isn’t surprising in this country. Homophobia and racism are rampant, and people found in the intersection like Smollett are particularly vulnerable. And as news reports were quick to call it a “possible” hate crime, referring to it mostly as “racially charged”, a phrase which almost always simply means racist, I can’t help but marvel at the aversion the media has at referring to a person as a racist. It’s as if they fear the word… Read more »

It’s Time to Get Serious About Domestic Abuse and the NFL

In light of the recent scandal that the dearly beloved Johnny “Football” Manziel got himself in by beating his girlfriend, I think it’s important to talk about the ridiculous number of athletes who have also committed similar crimes, but continue to go without punishment and continue to get paid thousands of dollars per game. First and foremost, I want to admit that I’m not that into sports. At all. I’d like to think that this gives me the ability to not be hindered by rose colored glasses, but to accurately see the system as it really is. The being said there is a huge fucking problem in our sports entertainment industry. We see time and time again, male athletes being arrested for beating their wives, girlfriends, and family members. Johnny… Read more »

Trans Day of Remembrance — We Remember

Tomorrow is Friday, November 20. Exciting times because we’re a few days from Thanksgiving, turkey, warm meals and family, but equally and devastatingly more important is TDOR — or Trans Day of Remembrance as the traditional finale to Transgender Awareness Week, which is celebrated November 14-20 of each year. For those who are unaware, the Trans Day of Remembrance was started by trans* advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil Smith held was a tribute to all of the trans* people who lost their lives to violence that year and has since become an annual memorial to be celebrated, mourned, and remembered all across the globe. The amount of trans* folks that were… Read more »

The Reproductive Justice Case for Taking in Refugees

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” These words come from a statue given to the United States as a gift from our oldest ally, who just experienced a horrific tragedy. People should stand with France, but people need to be also aware of the tragedies that happened in Beirut and Baghdad and the on-going violent turmoil in Syria. Unfortunately, these attacks that have been claimed by ISIL have further reinforced islamaphobic and xenophobic rhetoric that further threatens the lives of refugees, two-thirds of which are women and children. Saying that refugees have no place in the United States misses a few… Read more »

Straight Outta Respect: Hip Hop and Domestic Violence

In late August of this year, Straight Outta Compton, the film biopic that told the story of the famous ‘90s hip hip group N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitude), hit theaters nationwide. The film was met with a widespread positive response from hip hop historians and fans of traditional Black rap music as well. I still have not seen the film, and in some ways, I’m glad I didn’t. N.W.A is a rap group from the late 80s, early 90s that first brought gritty, inner city gangsta rap to the forefront of mainstream music. The group was primarily comprised of O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, and Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. The group released the album “Straight Outta Compton” to the tune of 750,000 copies in 1989. The film documents critical moments… Read more »

We Shouldn’t Have to Fear the People Sworn to Protect Us

I got pulled over by a police officer for the first time earlier this year. I was driving down the highway with my best friend, who was in the passenger seat. I had music playing loudly, and it was kind of late, around 10:00 pm. We were on our way to meet up with some friends in the city. I was admittedly speeding, but did not realize it until I heard the sirens. When I saw the familiar but foreboding flashing blue and red lights in my rearview mirror, my hands started shaking. My best friend is so much better at composing herself and emotions than I am, so naturally, I looked at her with widened eyes. However, I saw the same thing being mirrored in her eyes as well, before she… Read more »

On Solidarity and the Movement for Black Lives

Two weeks ago, an anti-choice group released heavily-edited undercover videos aimed at discrediting and potentially dismantling Planned Parenthood. As the country’s largest provider of reproductive health care, this campaign to take down Planned Parenthood could have disastrous effects on the millions who need access to abortion and other healthcare services. The movement for reproductive health, rights, and justice swiftly rallied to Planned Parenthood’s defense against these malicious attack. Here at URGE, we did the same and were one of 92 organizations that signed on to a letter to Congress in support of Planned Parenthood’s work. Our movements  worked quickly to stand in solidarity against these attacks — that’s a good thing — but we also hope we can use this as a moment to bring our solidarity to another vital… Read more »

Making Gender Equality A Reality: International Women’s Day

View image | gettyimages.com If you haven’t seen the South Africa Salvation Army’s take on the #dress controversy of last week that puzzled some, irritated some, and fascinated others, here it is: It’s #InternationalWomensDay on Sunday. We care for abused/trafficked women worldwide. Help us help them. #TheDress pic.twitter.com/tQvxQTnHib — Salvation Army IHQ (@SalvArmyIHQ) March 7, 2015 This was absolutely brilliant. #TheDress hoopla was used to draw attention to violence against women. It explores what catches our attention and the topics like abuse that some don’t want to discuss. I don’t know about you but the campaign makes me appropriately uncomfortable. It makes me want to move, to share, and to act. This campaign could not have come at a better time because the United Nations and the world observed International Women’s… Read more »