Welcome to Silver and Shadow

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.



Sunday, November 27, 2022

How to Make Your Twitter Experience Better

Hating the new Twitter algorithms? Always hated the ads, suggestions, and random people you don't follow added to your feed? Feeling like there's no way to control any of this and you want to throw your computer out the window and be done with Twitter forever? Fear not, there is a super easy way to fix all of this!

Have you ever really used the list function of your Twitter feed except to make creepy lists you like to brag about? Did you know that you can use it them control your Twitter experience? I am here to tell you how to use Twitter lists to keep yourself in control of your Twitter feed, instead of it controlling you.

Lists can be made private or public. I recommend making private lists for this, because you're the only one who needs to see this, or utilize it. Lists can be done in different ways. You can create what I call a "shadow feed" where you add everybody you follow on twitter, to a single list. You can create lists by category, which is what I do. I have two: politics/religion and celebs. This way I can better control the content and my stress/anxiety levels. However you choose to make a list, the point then is the only go into your Twitter through those lists. Bookmark them and go into them only, not your main feed. 

Why bother with lists? Anything through a list has no ads, suggestions, or anything added to it that you didn't add yourself. You can add to or take away people if you decide you don't like their content, but still follow them. I call this "following" and "follow following." A follow means you just follow somebody, but a "follow follow" means they get added to your list and you'll be seeing everything they post. There are no skipped tweets, no algorithm, it's just straight tweets, period.

Another thing I do that I highly recommend: Now that you are able to see every tweet of the people you follow, if you notice that there are some people in your lists that tweet too much in a day and take over your list feed, you can remove them from your list, and make a point to go into their twitter page directly when you want to, to see what they're tweeting.

All of this puts the control of what you see, how you see it, and when you see it, back to you. No pornbots, no ads, no algorithms that change weekly to mess up your feed. I honestly would have quit twitter years ago if I hadn't figured this out.

If you're frustrated with twitter, to the point that you're considering quitting, please try this out. I guarantee that it will improve your experience. And if you're an antiracist activist, like me, this will better allow you to keep up the fight, when you aren't having to fight the basic Twitter layout too.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

white History: Affirmative Action

We end our look at white history, with my hot take on Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action has come and gone over the years. It was introduced in 1965, by Executive Order 11246, which created the Equal Employment Opportunity system. 

Discrimination, otherwise known as white supremacy, was still the law of the land in 1965, so this system was put in place to create quotas to make it more fair for people besides white men to be employed. The fact that we needed this system at all, should be humiliating to us. It is not the shining triumph we like to claim it to be. We didn't learn to be better. We had to be forced into it, just like any other advances made in this country. white people were largely unwilling, or they would have just done it.

The fact that AA has been attacked over the years and detracted from by white people claiming it's an overreach or no longer necessary, is also a horrifying example that white supremacy is still the law of the land, in our hearts, if not the laws themselves. 

As soon as Affirmative Action is adjusted or dismantled because white people claim it's not necessary, we immediately see the exact opposite come to light. If you need further proof of that, look up Washington State's ban on AA, brought to us by none other, than Tim Eyman himself. Seriously, that's all you need to know...

Affirmative Action is only "racist" against people who already benefit from the system set up as it is. It shouldn't exist, because employment opportunities should be fair to begin with. If the system was equitable for all, we wouldn't need it. 

Dismantling white supremacy is the only way to make it fair for everybody. If I have learned anything from this project, though, most of us white people will not come to see this. Most of us will have to be dragged into it kicking and screaming, with the Supreme Court and government forcing it through laws and executive orders. We will look back on those as triumphs of fairness we all wanted all along anyway. We will cover up the hate and anger and fear and pretend we were one of the good ones all along.

This concludes my white history month project. In light of what's happening in many states trying to ban CRT in teaching history, I wanted to focus on historical figures and events that we have usually looked at one way, and really see the overlooked issues. white people don't want to be made uncomfortable. Our comfort is of highest priority in this country. These posts, no doubt, made white readers feel uncomfortable at times, or maybe the entire time. That's a good thing. It means you know we have had advantages and rigged the system in our favor. You know it was wrong. It's ok to feel bad about our past. It should spur us on to fight harder now to dismantle white supremacy. We should work to make our future history something we can truly be proud of. Something we won't have to hide. Are you up for it?

More info about Affirmative Action:

Wikipedia 

dol.gov 

History of Affirmative Action. 

Cornell Law School page.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

white History: The Little Rock Nine Screamers

 

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The Little Rock Nine were the first nine Black students to integrate Little Rock Central High School, in 1957, three years after Brown v. Board passed, ending school segregation. You might be asking yourself, why did it take three years from Brown v. Board, till the school in Arkansas desegregated? The answer is simple: the governor, Orval Faubus, was a racist a-hole, who just decided, "Nah, the rules don't apply to me," (not a direct quote.) He opted not to comply with the law of the land. Just because he could. The president had to get involved and sent the National Guard to force Faubus to integrate the schools. How humiliating is that that our own, pretty much great grandparents, in this time era, were like this?

The above pictures are two of the most iconic shots from documenting the school's integration. The young woman in the front, is Elizabeth Eckford, who was harassed and tortured not only in this picture, but the entire time she went to school. Behind her, the main woman screaming, is Hazel Bryan Massery, who was 15 years old at the time. She is still alive and well today, though apparently has had a change of heart since then.

I did some researching, because I wanted to know some of the other white people in the shots, but as we are really good at doing, we managed to cover up a lot of the shameful situation by not bothering to get names. The perpetrators and the people who knew them are the ones who will have to fess up to it, and most of them have remained silent.

I did find a couple names, though. The young woman next to Hazel, the one in the dark dress, with the notebook, is Sammie Dean Parker, who was apparently an absolute terror at the school. Top level racist school bully. Her parents had the caucasity to try to sue the school district after she was suspended for her harassment. She was the absolute worst. I found no information online of her ever having a change of heart, or anything about her after this time, so who knows what became of her.

And the blonde woman in the second picture, in the light dress, holding the books in her arms, might very well be this woman. Please note, I have no actual proof of this, this is merely based on looking at the two photographs and reading the confirmation in the article about having gone to the school. But if they are the same, it's interesting to note how it was remembered so differently from what the photos of the day portray.

I tried to find information on the stockery-looking woman on Elizabeth's other side but found nothing on her. She looks like an adult, and appears to want to strangle her. I wish we had cared enough then to get these people's names. We should remember them. Many of these are our grandparents' ages now. Ms. Eckford is still alive.

The Little Rock Nine is another example of white people trying to get out of our racism and history by saying it's better to only acknowledge the true heroes, the Black students who integrated the school. They do deserve all the credit and kudos, of course, but it's also a convenient way to keep future generations not thinking about the people doing the bullying, so I say we need to remember the screamers and taunters who chanted "2, 4, 6, 8, We don't want to integrate" and bullied the students in the school. Their names and faces deserve all the shame.

More information:

Orval Faubus

The forced reconciliation. 

A look back.

Where I found many of the names. 

cracked.com article

A paper written about this time. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

white History: Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a 1954 Supreme Court decision that undid the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896. Brown v. Board stated that a separate but equal education was unequal and therefore, unconstitutional. Jim Crow was still intact in other societal elements, this decision only ended Jim Crow within the world of education.

So, what changed in the nearly 60 years between Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board? Did white people suddenly see how damaging their white supremacy was and had as a collective made a concerted effort to dismantle it? Yeah, no...Definitely not. If that had happened, it wouldn't have taken a Supreme Court decision to enforce it, we'd have just done it. What happened was the formation of an organization called the NAACP.

The NAACP was founded in 1908, and became an organization with actual political and monetary power behind it. It would use its power to move civil rights forward, before the Civil Rights movement of the 50's and 60's even began. Thurgood Marshall, an attorney for the NAACP was the lawyer who fought for the plaintiffs(Brown) in the Brown v. Board case. (Thurgood Marshall would go on to become the first Black Supreme Court justice, himself. Talk about full circle!) 

Black activists did all the work to force the Supreme Court to honor their own concepts. They had to prove that separate was not equal, and therefore, unconstitutional, so the SC had no choice but to relent. white America was once again forced to change, kicking and screaming(more on that tomorrow) into a slightly more equal in one area, nation. white people do not get to pat themselves on the back for this landmark change. We should be humiliated that it took a Supreme Court case to get us to move toward equality.

Sources:

History.com

Thurgood Marshall 

National Archives

NAACP.org History 

supreme.justia.com

thirteen.org 

uscourts.gov

Monday, March 28, 2022

white History: Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson was a Supreme Court decision made on May 18, 1896 that reinforced Jim Crow America. It made "separate but equal" the official law of the land. 

The Plessy v. Ferguson case stated that it wasn't unconstitutional to have legalized segregation, as long as the result was equal. As we know, "separate but equal" was anything but, but as long as white people remained supreme, we didn't care.

The case itself is out of New Orleans, a man, Plessy, had refused to give up his seat in the "white only" section of a train, because he was only 1/8th Black, and since he was white-passing, said he should be able to sit in the "white only" section. Due to the one-drop rule and general racism, Plessy lost his case. It went to the Supreme Court, who upheld the ruling, and white supremacy.

This is another good example of the Supreme Court being used to uphold white supremacy. As we will see with the next couple of posts, it waxes and wanes in support, based on the white people's attitudes of the time, and is hardly permanent. We like to think of the Supreme Court as an indicator of the nation's progress, but it really isn't. It depends entirely on who is on it, and what they stand to lose or gain by the decisions.

Here are more resources about Plessy v. Ferguson:

Cornell Law School

Wikipedia 

History.com

Oyez.org

Sunday, March 27, 2022

white History: Jim Crow

 

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We talk about the "Jim Crow South" a lot, but we don't really ever talk about what it was. We also don't really ever talk about the fact that it wasn't just the south, it was alive and well nationwide, in various forms.

Jim Crow was the name of a minstrel show character. He was the idea of what slave song and dance was like, and performed by a white actor in Blackface. The above picture depicts the fictitious "Jim Crow."

Jim Crow was both a legal system, and a social caste system set up after the Civil War to reinforce white supremacy. It was a system of legal segregation. You've seen images and depictions on tv/movies of "whites only" and "colored only" signs on buses and drinking fountains. The KKK developed during this time, as well as miscegenation laws. Voting rights were discouraged, outlawed, or made too difficult to participate in. This was Jim Crow. 

The Nazis were so inspired by our Jim Crow system that they adopted some of it into their own laws prior to the start of the Holocaust. They were really big fans of our use of eugenics and other pseudosciences to "prove" white superiority.

This legal system was enforced by law, and was the law of the land for a century. In case you've never thought about it before, a century is approximately five generations. Five generations of our white ancestors reinforced and benefited from Jim Crow while five generations of Black ancestors were held back from advancement. This is why there's talk about reparations now, because even if "Oh, but we're all equal now," is true, it doesn't mean there is equity. We unfairly got head for so long that it will never be "equal" unless we even the playing field.

Here are more sources on Jim Crow

Ferris State University page.

Wikipedia 

History.com

Jim Crow info 

PBS.org

Smithsonian Institute 

How Jim Crow influenced the Nazis.

More info on Jim Crow and the Nazis. 


Saturday, March 26, 2022

white History: A Brief Look at How We Have Treated Chinese Immigrants


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The United States has generally treated Chinese immigrants like garbage. In the 1860's, we let Chinese men come to the country to build our transcontinental railroad. It was dangerous work that involved dynamite and mountains and no white person would do it unless you paid them a lot of money, so they decided to get people who would work for less.

Over 15,000 Chinese laborers came to the US and built our railroad, and we thanked them by passing the Page Act of 1875 which banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States. The idea was hopefully it would get the laborers to go back to China. 

Those who remained were subject to discrimination and segregation and further thanked for their service with the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which banned all Chinese immigration entirely. This would not be lifted until 1965.

The anti-Asian sentiment we see on the news today, with Asian Americans and immigrants being attacked actually has a long history in this country. We like to pretend it's new, but it isn't. We white people love to hate people from non-European places. Always have. We seem to just move from one group to the next, using and abusing them while profiting as much as possible from them. Why? Because we are trash.

Sources:

US Citizenship web page. 

Wikipedia 

Library of Congress web page. 

Guardian.com article 

History.com 

National Archives 

Info About the Chinese Exclusion Act 

PBS video