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September 2014
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Before They Pass Away. Photographer Jimmy Nelson traveled around the earth to try and document the world’s most secluded tribes.

"Before they pass away" what the fuck

^If I remember correctly, this person was photographing secluded tribes whose populations and cultures have dwindled to the point that the tribe is expected to die off or fully assimilate in the next few decades. Thus the title.

It’s kind of weird to me, because it implies that they can only keep their culture if they continue living isolated and away from healthcare and stuff - like they gotta be preserved like that and aren’t really people? That it’s not possible for them to have a healthcard and a credit card AND keep their beliefs and traditions?

I think the problem is that while it’s totally possible cultures do still die off. By that I mean a culture group either totally failing to maintain their population until no one’s left or the descendants of a group no longer knowing the language, stories, beliefs, customs, traditions, rituals, artistic styles, etc. that were associated with their culture.

I think the purpose of these photos was to photograph these people who ARE secluded but whose populations are dwindling so they and their cultural heritage won’t be forgotten if they cannot maintain their population or if their descendants abandon their traditions. That they’re secluded is pointed out only because few photos of them exist. The point is that those outside their group without these photos might never have known these people exist or in the future existed. And they’re dying out because they’re not reproducing fast enough or people are abandoning the group.

The thing is though a lot of those groups who practically disappeared were forced to it, being the Natives in North America and the Mayans and the Aztecs. Members of the groups still exist but their heritage was wiped out or went through attempted erasure by invaders, so lots is missing. The cultures and languages of these groups shown here don’t have to ‘pass away’ if they’re recorded first. Re: ‘Assimilated’, they can still have their beliefs and an apartment. It’s just weird that it’s being implied that they’re gone forever if they stop living secluded.

Sorry this is going to be lengthy.

First of all, I’m really not referring to the Mayans, Aztecs, or most Native Americans. None of these groups have disappeared. Their languages and traditions have greatly continued through their descendants into the present day.

What I am talking about is the modern disappearance of languages and threatening of tribal groups not due to colonialism but due to “globalization.”

"By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain…

Language defines a culture, through the people who speak it and what it allows speakers to say. Words that describe a particular cultural practice or idea may not translate precisely into another language. Many endangered languages have rich oral cultures with stories, songs, and histories passed on to younger generations, but no written forms. With the extinction of a language, an entire culture is lost.

Much of what humans know about nature is encoded only in oral languages. Indigenous groups that have interacted closely with the natural world for thousands of years often have profound insights into local lands, plants, animals, and ecosystems—many still undocumented by science. Studying indigenous languages therefore benefits environmental understanding and conservation efforts…

Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct…

As big languages spread, children whose parents speak a small language often grow up learning the dominant language. Depending on attitudes toward the ancestral language, those children or their children may never learn the smaller language, or they may forget it as it falls out of use. This has occurred throughout human history, but the rate of language disappearance has accelerated dramatically in recent years.” (Source)

As an example, this is why Norse is no longer really spoken in the British Isles despite a massive invasion of Norsemen about a millenia ago. While a few place names in the UK and Ireland and a few terms (Thursday, for instance) remained of the language, most descendants of the Norse grew up predominantly speaking English like their neighbors, and in many cases like their mothers as the primarily male Norse Vikings tended to take brides and mistresses from the area they conquered rather than bringing women from home. Intermarriage helped increase total assimilation and loss of the Norse language and traditions, and that’s something that is happening to many threatened tribal groups around the world whose children increasingly are leaving the group due to hardship and making lives for themselves and starting families away from their community. Even if they keep their own language and traditions, their children increasingly do not.

Second, the people you listed were not small groups. The Mayans are a large population of people living in the Yucatan Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs were a massive empire that spread over most of Central Mexico. And the Native Americans were many, many tribes some of which were quite massive spread over an entire continent. Even attempts at forced assimilation and erasure did not completely eliminate these groups. Especially in Mexico where the Native population continued to greatly outnumber the Spanish. But that’s not the case with small marginalized groups that are being decimated today.

Let’s talk about a recent group elsewhere in the world though which was what I was more thinking of.

"For about 65,000 years Bo culture and language existed in the Great Andaman region of India. The tribe, culture and language associated with Bo became extinct in 2010 when its last surviving member, Boa Senior died." (Source)

The problem with the Bo was as follows:

"Boa’s loss is a bleak reminder that we must not allow this to happen to the other tribes of the Andaman islands," Survival director Stephen Corry said in the statement. Andaman and Nicobar Islands authorities put at least five tribes in their list of vulnerable indigenous communities.

According to Corry’s group, the surviving Great Andamanese depend largely on the Indian government for food and shelter and abuse of alcohol is rife.” (Source)

What about the Akuntsu?

"Cattle ranching has destroyed nearly all the Akuntsu’s land. Of all the tribal peoples wiped out for standing in the way of ‘progress’, few are as poignant as the Akuntsu. Their fate is all the more tragic for being so recent.

No-one speaks their language, so the precise details of what happened to them may never be known. But when agents of Brazil’s Indian affairs department FUNAI contacted them in 1995, they found that the cattle ranchers who had taken over the Indians’ land had massacred almost all the tribe, and bulldozed their houses to try to cover up the massacre.

Just five Akuntsu survive. One of the men, Pupak, has lead shot still buried in his back, and mimes the gunmen who pursued him on horseback. He and his small band of survivors now live alone in a fragment of forest – all that remains of their land, and their people.” (Source)

Okay, so now let’s talk about why their isolation was brought up. A group can continue without seclusion, however, seclusion was mentioned because isolated tribal groups are some of the most threatened groups in the world. Here’s why:

"Introduced diseases are the biggest killer of isolated tribal people, who have not developed immunity to viruses such as influenza, measles and chicken pox that most other societies have been in contact with for hundreds of years…

Christian missionaries, who have been making first contact with tribes for five hundred years, are still trying to do so today. Often believing that the tribes are ‘primitive’ and living pitiful lives ‘in the dark’, the missionaries’ ultimate aim is to convert them to Christianity – at whatever cost to the tribal peoples’ own health and wishes…

Members of the New Tribes Mission, a fundamentalist missionary organisation based in the US, carried out a clandestine mission to make contact with the Zo’é of Brazil to convert them to Christianity. Between 1982 and 1985 the missionaries flew over the Zo’é’s villages dropping gifts. They then built a mission station only several days’ walk from the Indians’ villages. Following their first real contact in 1987, 45 Zo’é died from epidemics of flu, malaria and respiratory diseases transmitted by the missionaries.

The New Tribes Mission was totally unprepared and did not provide proper medical care to the Zo’é. Their policy to sedentarise the Zo’é around the mission meant disease spread rapidly, and the Indians’ diet suffered because the game they hunted became scarce due to the concentration of Indians in one area. As the Zo’é’s health suffered, they began to lose their self-sufficiency, and became dependent on the missionaries for everything. In response, the government expelled the missionaries in 1991. Since the Zo’é have been left in peace and now receive proper medical care, their population is increasing…

The Awá are one of the few remaining nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes in Brazil. Their home is in the devastated forests of the eastern Amazon. Today they are hemmed in by massive agro-industrial projects, cattle ranches and colonist settlements. To’o, an Awá man, explains how colonisation is destroying their land and way of life:

‘If the Awá Indians have to leave their land, it will be very difficult. We can’t live anywhere else because here there are forest fruits and wild animals. We couldn’t survive without forest because we don’t know how to live like white people who can survive in deforested areas. For years we have been fleeing up these rivers, with the whites chasing us, cutting down all our forest.

‘In the old days there were lots of howler monkeys and deer but today there’s very little left, because the forest has been chopped down. The colonists round here make things difficult for us because they hunt game too…

‘Every day as the white population by our reserve increases so do diseases like malaria and flu, and we have to share the game with the settlers. They have guns, so they kill more game than us. We are very worried about the lack of game and being able to feed our children in the future.’…

Many areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes are being invaded illegally by loggers. Their presence often brings them into contact with the tribal people; many have died from diseases introduced by the loggers, or even been killed by them.

The Murunahua were decimated by contact with loggers and, if nothing is done to stop the invasions, the same fate awaits the Mashco-Piro tribe. ‘The loggers arrived and they drove the Mashco-Piro further upriver, towards the headwaters,’ said one indigenous man who has seen the Mashco-Piro more than once. ‘The loggers have seen them on the beaches, their camps, their footprints. The loggers always want to kill them and they have done.’…

In 1970 the Panará people of Brazil numbered between 350 and 400 people, and lived in five villages, which were laid out with complex geometric designs and surrounded by huge gardens.

A major highway was bulldozed through their land in the early 1970s. It quickly proved disastrous. Road builders enticed Indians out of the forest with alcohol and prostituted some women. Soon waves of epidemics swept through the tribe and 186 Panará died. In an emergency operation, the survivors were airlifted to the Xingu Park, where yet more died. Soon there were only 69 Panará left. More than four fifths of the tribe had been killed in just eight years…

The Jarawa tribe of the Andaman islands saw their land split in two when the islands administration built a highway through their territory. It is now the principal road through the islands. There is not only a constant stream of settlers travelling in buses and taxis, but the road acts as a conduit for tourists, and for poachers targeting the Jarawa’s reserve (which, unlike the rest of the islands, is still covered in rainforest). Jarawa children are often seen by the side of the road, and there is some evidence of the sexual exploitation of Jarawa women.” (Source)

This is what the photo is referring to. Secluded groups are increasingly endanger of extinction because mistreatment of tribal people continues to this day and because their way of life is becoming increasingly difficult due to outside action that decreases their land and economic opportunities. Marginalized tribal groups all over the world are losing their language, their culture, and their population and this photo set is trying to bring attention to these terribly threatened peoples.

These groups are unlikely to just move into an apartment and continue their current customs. They’re being rapidly annihilated and those that assimilate are losing the language and heritage.

September 2014
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18 Things White People Should Know/Do Before Discussing Racism 

September 2014
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it’s not like i don’t GET the allure of pussy power feminism. especially since, as a cis woman, the only value society will try to assign to you is directly related to your vagina. so when you first bambi-leg stumble into feminist circles, of course the vagina seems like the CENTER of womanhood. it seems like the only place you have to draw power from because it’s the only power you’ve ever been given (if that). you read the vagina monologues and jessica valenti and all this shit about how your vagina is the passage to sisterhood.

and so much of it is horseshit. for your feminism to evolve, and for you as a person to evolve, you need to understand that vaginas and reproduction are not the end-all be-all of feminism. they’re not even half the goddamn battle.

you can be proud of your vagina and you personally can find strength in it but saying that the strength of the vagina is the strength of women, of “female bodies” needs to go. your feminism is childs play until you reach that point.

September 2014
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Why is it that people are willing to spend $20 on a bowl of pasta with sauce that they might actually be able to replicate pretty faithfully at home, yet they balk at the notion of a white-table cloth Thai restaurant, or a tacos that cost more than $3 each? Even in a city as “cosmopolitan” as New York, restaurant openings like Tamarind Tribeca (Indian) and Lotus of Siam (Thai) always seem to elicit this knee-jerk reaction from some diners who have decided that certain countries produce food that belongs in the “cheap eats” category—and it’s not allowed out. (Side note: How often do magazine lists of “cheap eats” double as rundowns of outer-borough ethnic foods?)

Yelp, Chowhound, and other restaurant sites are littered with comments like, “$5 for dumplings?? I’ll go to Flushing, thanks!” or “When I was backpacking in India this dish cost like five cents, only an idiot would pay that much!” Yet you never see complaints about the prices at Western restaurants framed in these terms, because it’s ingrained in people’s heads that these foods are somehow “worth” more. If we’re talking foie gras or chateaubriand, fair enough. But be real: You know damn well that rigatoni sorrentino is no more expensive to produce than a plate of duck laab, so to decry a pricey version as a ripoff is disingenuous. This question of perceived value is becoming increasingly troublesome as more non-native (read: white) chefs take on “ethnic” cuisines, and suddenly it’s okay to charge $14 for shu mai because hey, the chef is ELEVATING the cuisine.

August 2014
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August 2014
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Chimamamda Ngozi Adiche, We Should All Be Feminists

The most powerful thing anyone has ever said to me: “You deserve to take up space.” 

August 2014
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had to shut a b**** down today

And that’s how public shootings and school shootings and shit like that happen. I’m not saying that this dude is not creepy as fuck, but this is not the way to handle this! He didn’t say anything mean (on purpose), and when you shut him down like that how the fuck do you think he’s going to react? He must know he’s somewhat creepy, but when a complete stranger that he adores tells him so vividly how creepy he is, that must wreck his world. I’m just saying I wouldn’t be surprised if he bought a gun (legally, but that’s a different issue) and went in to the store he knows you fucking work at. Just be nice to people fuck.

Alright, you know what? I don’t want to reblog this post. I want this post to die. And I have never once reblogged to reply to someone else’s comment on this post. But this one? This one I’m fucking gonna, because how. dare. you.

Are you seriously one of those slimy, inhuman grease traps of a human being who blame VICTIMS OF SHOOTINGS FOR THE FUCKING SHOOTINGS

Don’t you EVER come at me and try to tell me that I need to be responsible, personally responsible, for the mental satisfaction of the kind of monsters who would do something like that. Don’t you ever tell me I have to let myself be uncomfortable around people who LITERALLY STALK ME and put on a big smile and let them down gently because in your twisted little brain it is MY JOB TO KEEP THEM FROM KILLING PEOPLE

H O W   F U C K I N G   D A R E   Y O U

YOU are the problem. YOU are the kind of person who justifies that kind of senseless violence by saying WELL IF SHE HAD JUST GIVEN HIM A CHANCE




Are you fucking proud of that? Are you proud that that’s the tiny drop you choose to drop into society’s bucket? 

I don’t care if it ‘wrecked his world’ when he was called out on his socially unacceptable, disgusting behavior. I don’t caaaaaaaare

His actions are HIS actions. His actions are HIS fault

the next time I see a tragedy like the elliot rodger shooting on the news, I’m gonna think of all the vile comments from people online that say it all could have been avoided if the people he threatened and menaced would just relinquish their bodies and their comfort and their personal space for him, and I’m gonna  s e e   y o u r   f a c e  and I hope you fucking know it.

Don’t you ever talk to me. I am sick to my stomach over your fucking bullshit.

August 2014
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The 100 richest, and 100 poorest counties in the US, measured by median household income.


The 100 richest, and 100 poorest counties in the US, measured by median household income.

August 2014
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I need feminism; because the bra straps of a twelve year old shouldn’t make a 40 year old married principal with two daughters “uncomfortable”

So am I allowed to walk around adult women who are mothers and grandmothers at work with my cock out or what

in what world is someone’s dick equivalent to a fucking bra strap

August 2014
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the US is unreal like girls cant wear shorts to school, you can literally lose your job for being gay, and unarmed black children are brutally murdered on the regular but old white ppl r still like “what a beautiful country. i can freely carry a gun for no reason and some of our mountains look like presidents. god bless”

August 2014
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People love watching and reading about dystopias and rebellions, but when it happens in real life suddenly those people are demonizing the resistance and championing the oppressors as the protectors of society. 

August 2014
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If you think all Black people’s blogs are “social justice” blogs, you’re racist.

I read some newspaper article recently that pretty much summed up Tumblr and the responses to it this way—privileged people who come here are shocked to see marginalized people talking about their experiences, so they think everyone’s just obsessed with social justice, rather than talking about their own lives.

August 2014
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"Should parents read their daughter's texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?" 


Earlier today, I served as the “young woman’s voice” in a panel of local experts at a Girl Scouts speaking event. One question for the panel was something to the effect of, "Should parents read their daughter’s texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"

I was surprised when the first panelist answered the question as if it were about cyberbullying. The adult audience nodded sagely as she spoke about the importance of protecting children online.

I reached for the microphone next. I said, “As far as reading your child’s texts or logging into their social media profiles, I would say 99.9% of the time, do not do that.”

Looks of total shock answered me. I actually saw heads jerk back in surprise. Even some of my fellow panelists blinked.

Everyone stared as I explained that going behind a child’s back in such a way severs the bond of trust with the parent. When I said, “This is the most effective way to ensure that your child never tells you anything,” it was like I’d delivered a revelation.

It’s easy to talk about the disconnect between the old and the young, but I don’t think I’d ever been so slapped in the face by the reality of it. It was clear that for most of the parents I spoke to, the idea of such actions as a violation had never occurred to them at all.

It alarms me how quickly adults forget that children are people.

Apparently people are rediscovering this post somehow and I think that’s pretty cool! Having experienced similar violations of trust in my youth, this is an important issue to me, so I want to add my personal story:

Around age 13, I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me “not to joke about things like that.” I stopped telling my mother when I felt depressed.

Around age 15, I caught my mother reading my diary. She confessed that any time she saw me write in my diary, she would sneak into my room and read it, because I only wrote when I was upset. I stopped keeping a diary.

Around age 18, I had an emotional breakdown while on vacation because I didn’t want to go to college. I ended up seeing a therapist for - surprise surprise - depression.

Around age 21, I spoke on this panel with my mother in the audience, and afterwards I mentioned the diary incident to her with respect to this particular Q&A. Her eyes welled up, and she said, “You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?”

TL;DR: When you invade your child’s privacy, you communicate three things:

  1. You do not respect their rights as an individual.
  2. You do not trust them to navigate problems or seek help on their own.
  3. You probably haven’t been listening to them.

Information about almost every issue that you think you have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to your child.

August 2014
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McDonald’s worker arrested after telling company president she can’t afford shoes.

"A woman who has been employed by the McDonald’s Corporation for over 10 years says she was arrested last week after she confronted the company president at a meeting and told him she couldn’t afford to buy shoes or food for her children.

Nancy Salgado, 26, told The Real News that she felt like she had to speak out during McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton’s speech at the Union League Club of Chicago on Friday for the sake of her children.

“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day,” she shouted as Stratton was speaking. “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”

“I’ve been there for forty years,” Stratton replied from the podium.

“The thing is that I need a raise. But you’re not helping your employees. How is this possible?” Salgado asked.

At that point, someone approached Salgado and informed her that she was going to be arrested.

She later recalled the encounter to The Real News’ Jessica Desvarieux.

“The strength was very powerful, like, just remembering the face of my kids, like I say, you know, just simple things like I can’t provide a pair of shoes like everybody else does, sometimes every month, or anything like that,” she said. “And he needs to know we are what all the employees at McDonald’s are going through. We’re struggling day to day to provide our needs in our houses, things for our kids. And it’s just–it gets harder and harder with just the poverty wage they have us living in.”

“They just told me, you know, well, you’re being under arrest because you just interrupted, you trespassed the property. You’re just going to go to jail,” Salgado added. “And what I remember just telling them, ‘well, like, so, because I have to speak out my mind and I had to tell the president the poverty wage I’m living in, that’s just against the law?’ You know, just be able to speak up your mind and say, you know what, I can’t survive with $8.25? It’s just — it’s ridiculous that I’m going to get arrested. You know.”

Salgado, who is still working at McDonald’s, said she had her hours cut following the arrest and feared further retaliation.

“The CEOs make millions and billions a year and why can’t they provide enough for their employees?” she wondered.”

I think that this is beyond awful for many reasons. People can’t afford to live off of the wages that they are given currently, and can’t even speak out against it. I know tumblr is great for spreading important news like this, so please help me get the word out to support this woman.