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.

Nipples are Radical, Apparently

In a strange twist on Republican policy initiatives, women’s breasts have become hot topic issues, again. In Asheville, North Carolina, a topless protest had at one point exceeded 2000 participants, although this year participation had declined. From acts such as this, Republican legislators in North Carolina have written and promoted a “topless bill” that would send women to prison for baring their breasts, explicitly including the nipple as part of the “crime.” As of February 26, the bill has been sent back to a committee. Rep. Tim Moore had even quipped, “You know what they say, duct tape fixes everything.” Clearly Rep. Moore has little knowledge or concern for how sensitive the nipple area is and how illogical and offensive that remark is. This issue, though, is indicative of a greater political issue of expressing opinions with our bodies.