Yesterday was Black Friday, the day of the year when massive sales help put corporations’ bottom line into the black. This year, however, was a little different in many places. Protests took place in many cities, including St. Louis, Oakland, NYC, and Seattle. Photos, videos, and tweets from the protests are incredible as hundreds and hundreds of people protested in malls against the decision to not indict Darren Wilson and the continuing police brutality.

In Oakland, several protesters locked themselves together and to the BART, causing the transit system to shut down for two hours. Protesters shut down the St. Louis Galleria in St. Louis with protests and a die in. In Chicago, Wicker Park Street was closed because of protests. Seattle also saw protests, which caused Westlake Center to also close down early and protesters rallied outside of New York City’s Macy’s in Herald Square.

Other protests last week included traffic halting on northbound I5 near San Deigo and there were protests in Portland, OR as well (these are just photos).

I definitely recommend looking through the photos and videos from yesterday’s protests on Twitter – there are some amazing leaders continuously working towards justice in this movement.

The Grand Jury Decision

Last Monday night, the grand jury decision to not indict Darren Wilson of the death of Mike Brown was announced. Since then, protests not only in Ferguson but around the US and world have been going on. Articles and responses to the decision, grand jury testimony and evidence, and US racism are continuously coming out and fundraisers are being held to support those being arrested because of the protests (including this one for black folks arrested in Oakland) (and another about how you can show up for Ferguson).

Several people have written about their own experiences:

  • Diamond Latchison wrote a post on Black Girl Dangerous last August titled: “I’m from Ferguson and I’m tired and fed up”.
  • W. Kamau Bell wrote about his experience of being a tall black man in the US right now
  • Brittany Cooper wrote: “I am utterly undone: My struggle with black rage and fear after Ferguson”

Others have also poked holes in the testimony and evidence from the grand jury:

  • Lisa Bloom, a legal analyst for NBC and a trial lawyer, brought up some questions after going through the released grand jury documents from the case
  • Legal scholar Patricia Williams also commented on what Darren Wilson’s testimony reveals about racism in the US
  • There was a shocking mistake in what was presented to the grand jury
  • Justice Scalia explains what was wrong with the Ferguson grand jury

The protests have also been covered:

  • The media hasn’t done a great job covering all parts of the protests
  • The New York Times editorial board wrote on the meaning of the Ferguson protests

There are really great people to follow on Twitter, including:

deray mckesson




Shaun King 

Mia McKenzie, Black Girl Dangerous 

I definitely recommend following the above and so many more to see what is happening on the ground in real time.

Thin Privilege, Fat Shaming, and Everything in between

Earlier this year, I wrote about my experience of being fat  and how my body has always been open for public comment and critique because I am fat.

People always think that my trouble breathing while exercising has been due to being fat, not to the fact that I’ve had a mild form of asthma since I was 7 or 8 years old. It doesn’t matter that I spent a good chunk of my childhood on steroids and medication for my asthma and breathing troubles because my labored breathing after exercise just has to do with my weight.

And don’t even get me started on clothes shopping – I’m so weirdly proportioned, especially with being fat, that I can’t go shopping for hours because I usually have an anxiety attack and end up crying in a fitting room because nothing fits or looks good. I wear the same clothes for much longer than I should because if I can’t I’ll have to go shopping again.

So when I read Everyday Feminism’s article on 9 Facts that Shatter Bullshit Stereotypes About Fat People, I felt an incredible amount of relief. Here’s an article that breaks down some of the shit that people throw in the faces of fat people all the time and argues against fat shaming. Because like I’ve said before, it hasn’t really mattered how active I am – the extra fat has always been there. I’ve always been fat and no amount of exercise has changed that in my life. There was an almost two year period where I was constantly active all year round with three different sports (cross country running, soccer, and horseback riding – all three of which are incredibly active).

And while I was reading that article, two more articles caught my eye – 5 Reasons Why We Need to Stop Thinking of Skinny Shaming as Reverse Discrimination and Let’s Talk About Thin Privilege. This also resulted in a sigh of relief – finally there is more and more media covering the issues of body shaming in a way that doesn’t shame anyone or claim that privilege isn’t real.

All of this reminded me about a blog post an acquaintance wrote a few months back about her thoughts on being thin and thin privilege. Honestly, it was incredibly frustrating to read through because she spent most of the time saying that skinny shaming was oppression and that she had worked hard to be thin and all the comments like “hey eat a burger!” were again, part of that thin oppression. While I’m all against body shaming in any capacity, I don’t really agree with her interpretation of thin privilege.

I definitely think that there is an incredible push for people to hate their bodies – because without there isn’t much money in body love. Hating ourselves fuels a market that appeals to making us look more like the heteronormative, white centric, skinny norms. Shaming someone, regardless of size; however, there definitely seems more of a push for fat people to hate themselves than the opposite.

Eventually I’ll also write about heteronormative and white supremacist views on beauty because both of those things have completely built the societal views of beauty.