This week, in lieu of our usual weekend posting schedule, we here at The CSPH would like to extend their sincerest condolences and heartfelt wishes to the family, friends, and community affected and inspired by Mike Brown.
As an editorial note, many of the links lead to images and video that you may find disturbing, so exercise caution and take care of yourself. There may also be information, opinions, or calls to action present. The CSPH does not endorse the willful limitation or infringement on people’s rights, however it is important to share information as we can.
If you spent your week celebrating all of the things you are thankful for with your loved ones, think about taking some time to check out #Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, #stoptheparade. As a sexuality organization, we uplift these issues because they are directly and indirectly related to what we do. We have an anti-racism commitment & a mission to advance the sexuality field; that means we must call out & address what hinders our society from achieving reproductive justice, sexual health, and pleasure, including white supremacy, police brutality, and things like wage theft.
The outpour of support from around the world in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson has been as encouraging as it was, sadly necessary. To see people coming together across the world and the Internet to support Ferguson’s library, repair costs, and love has been wonderful.
Since the announcement Monday night, there has been an outpour that the trial was unjust. There’s plenty to read up on there, but it’s important to remember the community that has been left reeling in the wake of it all. And there are ways to help them: you can donate to legal defense and bail funds for those arrested at protests, you can sign a petition to protect communities from police brutality, and you can send your condolences and kind thoughts to Mike Brown’s family.
With the short attention span of social media and the constant news cycle, it is important to remember that Mike Brown’s death and the injustice surrounding it are not the only issues of race and inequality in the US (and beyond). The last couple of weeks in the sexuality world have brought us the whitewashed “sex masters” and response from the Women of Color Sexual Health Network, as well as responses from some of the people involved in the book.
We have just celebrated a holiday that commemorates the fairy-tale version of an event that eventually led to the massacre and continued mistreatment of the First Nation in the US. We live in a nation where white people can carry semi-automatic assault rifles into Chipotle under their constitutionally protected Second Amendment rights, but people of color can be murdered for holding an airsoft gun, riding a bike, seeking help after a car accident, playing loud music, sitting on a sidewalk…and the list continues to grow.
It is also important to remember that privilege is intersectional. People can have power based on some facets of their identity, and have it removed by others.
We hope that as you recover from the holiday, you take a moment to think about how all these issues connect. If you are in a position of power, we challenge you to have some of these difficult conversations with those around you. We can’t promise it will be easy or comfortable, but it is deeply necessary.
This is a reproductive rights issue. Black lives matter. ALL lives matter.
On that final note, an uplifting story: Sportsheets is developing custom adaptive sexual devices for veterans.