Self Care: Privilege and necessity.

self-care n. 
The care of oneself without medical, professional, or other assistance or oversight.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” -Audre Lorde

Self-care is something that I have had strong feelings about for a good while now. Being involved in progressive politics, it has been a topic that has come up around me from time to time. Every time it has come up, I have discussed my thoughts on the concept with the same general feeling:

I hate it.

Voter Rights Issues: The Importance of Progressive Southerners Coming Together

Voting rights have emerged as a crucial issue, again.  In the 2012 election, many issues regarding voter rights emerged across the United States. These issues are continuing to grow, and the groups that have the most at stake with new voting requirement laws are the most vulnerable, those who perhaps need to express their electoral voice the most. What I want to discuss today is not so much the idea of the voting rights, but, rather, the issue of regional privilege and power within the South. It is time for southern progressives to come together and build each other up in the fight for a Blue South.

Use Your Words: Why conservative rhetoric will never build a more progressive South.

I was visiting Cottonmouth, which is a fantastic progressive blog in Mississippi, when I came across this video calling for the expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

The ad seemed real polished, and it seemed like it would connect with many low-income and working-class voters. I say many instead of most or all because of the following passage from the same video:

They’re saying no to 9,000 new jobs and almost $1 billion of economic activity in our state, and they are leaving 200,000 of our neighbors in the cold. Working families, not freeloaders; preventing them from getting decent medical care.

I just cannot understand this.

Insects Voting for Raid/Terminix: The Curious Story of Republican Union Members and Business Unionism.

Being a union member and voting Republican is like being an insect and voting for the Raid/Terminix ticket.

This is something that my father used to always tell me when I was coming of age in politics. I never understood it either; even though I was much more conservative in my youth than I am now (though always a Democrat; I will likely cover that in a later blog post), I could never understand why members of a labor union would cast a ballot for a party that actively works to destroy them.

Invisibility in a Public Death

I’m mourning the loss of Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian, who at 34 was murdered, his body beaten, dragged, set on fire and left in a levee in Northeast Mississippi.  From most reports McMillian seemed to be an amazing man, dedicated to his community and well decorated for his contributions.  McMillian was openly gay and his candidacy was supported by the Victory Fund, an organization that provides political support and fundraising capacity to out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) candidates.  Having organized LGBTQ youth in Mississippi since 2008, I’m more used to closeted politicians that the LGBTQ community knows about but the public doesn’t, or those who are outed in less-than-desirable ways.

All Politics is Local: Why we need a stronger focus on communities and young people in Democratic organizing.

When I worked in Democratic politics, I never really thought of myself as a community organizer. Political organizing is something that is very short-term in a lot of ways: most field organizers are only in a location for three to six months at the longest, many field organizers are not indigenous to the area in which they are organizing, and the nature of political organizing is such that you discuss many issues within a campaign, and not just one or two. I always used the term “community organizer” to describe those folks that worked for non-profits or issue-based organizations like Clean Water Action or the ACLU.

Y’all, I was SO wrong.