my dad died from ALS when i was 3 years old. he was 36. my mom was 33. that was 30 years ago. now i’m the same age my mom was when my dad died. and there is still no cure for ALS.
this is what happens when you have ALS: your muscles slowly stop working, one part at a time. for my dad, first he couldn’t use one of his hands. then his arm. then the other arm. then he couldn’t walk. then he couldn’t stand up. then he couldn’t talk. then he couldn’t swallow. then he couldn’t breathe. then he was dead.
this all took about two years. he was diagnosed when i was about one year old. the only memories i have about my dad are of an inert body in a wheelchair or lying in a bed with a bunch of tubes stuck into it. as i was learning to talk, he was losing the ability to speak. as i was learning to walk, he stopped being able to move. my mom often had to choose between who she was going to help go to the bathroom at any given moment: her husband or her toddler.
after my dad died, my mom took over the philadelphia chapter of the ALS association. it consisted of a shoebox full of notecards with names on it. now it is a multi-million dollar organization with a large staff. she is still in charge. my mom is one of the most amazing people on the planet, basically.
these past couple weeks have been mind-boggling. i have openly wept watching so many of these videos. i still don’t completely get how all of this has happened, but now we live in a world in which lil wayne and taylor swift and oprah and justin timberlake and weird al and bill gates talk about ALS. my mom just emailed me this sentence: “lebron james ice bucket challenge.” i mean, IS THIS REAL LIFE?! i just keep saying over and over: holy shit. holy shit. holy shit.
so far, it has raised over 10 million dollars… and counting. my mom has spent every single day of her life for the past three decades trying to get this kind of attention and funds for this disease.
i don’t care if it’s a stupid gimmick. i don’t care if people are just doing this because it’s trendy or because they want pats on the back. i don’t care if it’s the new harlem shake. i don’t care if for the rest of my life, when i talk about ALS, i have to say “you know, the ice bucket disease.”
please, everybody, please keep pouring buckets of ice over your heads. please keep donating money. please keep talking about this.
my mom’s chapter:
p.s. the only reason i haven’t done my own ice bucket challenge yet is because i wanted to do it with my mom. we’re seeing each other next week, so it will happen then, i promise.
Think about this next time you think it’s just a stupid gimick
my mobile has been stuck on this image for literal hours. nothing else will load. i refresh and lord farquaad only gives me this cheeky grin. i scroll down and all i see is darkness. there is no escape
The above is Travis Morales. If you don’t know who he is, he’s one of these privileged jokers who goes around talking about “revolution”. He and many other jokers like him traveled to Ferguson and are using this opportunity to incite further mayhem. He went to Ferguson for the “revolution” and “rebellion”. It’s not their communities being targeted so they can leave when it gets too hot. They can ignite a match and walk away. They will promote violence and leave.
Like I mentioned here, avoid these people Black folks. Avoid them at all costs. They aren’t your friends. They aren’t your allies. These people have their own agendas and fighting anti-Blackness isn’t it. They’re dangerous.
rcp is piggish af
TUESDAY 8/19: Ferguson PD presented a table full of fabricated evidence at this morning’s press conference - allegedly seized from protestors and stopped cars. The Colt 45 Molotov with a white bandana was the crowning glory, turns out you can’t even buy glass 40’s in Missouri. Stay classy, FPD
I seriously think white supremacist are coming in the area to frame the protesters, but it could just be the cops
Nah I think that’s exactly what’s going on.
One year anniversary of the murder of Islan Nettles: How long will we wait for justice?
August 17, 2014
Sunday marks one year since 21-year-old Islan Nettles was brutally killed on a street near her home in Harlem. Nettles, an African-American transgender woman, was a design intern at a fashion company. She was beaten to death in the early hours of Aug. 17, in the shadow of the NYPD Housing Bureau’s Service Area 6 .
Yet she — and transgender people around New York City and the world — are still waiting for justice from the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney. Activity in the investigation, if there has been any, remains shrouded behind a disturbing veil of secrecy.
Nettles had been walking with a group of transgender friends when they came upon a group of young men who subjected them to catcalls and harassment of a type familiar to many women in New York City.
But the catcalling took a violent turn when the men apparently realized that she and her friends were transgender.
Nettles was beaten badly enough that she needed to be hospitalized. At the hospital, she lapsed into a coma. Four days later, she was brain dead. Life support was turned off. She was gone.
While she was in the hospital, the police arrested her alleged assailant. Witnesses reported that he had pushed Nettles to the ground, climbed on top of her and beat her repeatedly while screaming anti-gay and anti-transgender slurs.
Despite this, he was charged only with misdemeanor assault. Of course, Nettles hadn’t yet died at the time of his arrest, and he therefore couldn’t be charged with anything related to her death. But it was still difficult to shake the feeling that the authorities did not take this attack very seriously.
After Nettles died, charges were dropped against this assailant. The expectation was that new charges would be brought against him stemming from her death.
Those never came.
Instead, it appeared that the investigation lost steam. Explanations floated around. The one most commonly heard was that a second man had stepped forward claiming responsibility for killing Islan, but that he was too drunk to remember it clearly.
The various accounts only compound the sense that prosecuting the man who killed Nettles in what is by all appearances a hate crime simply isn’t a priority for the police and district attorney.
In November, the Manhattan DA’s office stated that it was still “aggressively investigating” Nettles’ death.
But the investigation hardly feels aggressive. It’s been a year and there has been little visible effort spent on finding justice.
For the transgender community — scarred by a long and difficult history of violence and an often uneasy relationship with law enforcement — the vacuum of information makes reasonable community members question whether or not resources are truly being directed towards this investigation.
After a year of claims about their commitment to justice, it’s time for officials to become more transparent about their investigation.
Transgender people, and transgender women of color in particular, face harassment and violence on a regular basis. All too often, crimes committed against them go unpunished.
But their lives matter. Islan Nettles’ life mattered. It mattered to her friends, to her family and to her community.
Every day, I work with many transgender women of color like Nettles who astound me with their strength and resilience in the face of widespread discrimination and violence and seeming indifference from authorities.
Transgender people are gaining more visibility, acceptance and legal protection every day. But violence remains a daily part of life. We must demand accountability from law enforcement and an end to anti-transgender violence and discrimination.
Islan Nettles is yet another trans sister whose life will not be forgotten. Demand justice now!
Rally to Honor the Legacy of Islan Nettles
Sunday, August 17th, 2014 3:30 p.m.
Across from the police precinct, 147th street and Frederick Douglas BLVD
how come some cis white man gets shot 30 years ago and when he finally dies its considered a homicide but a trans woc is beaten to death and dies four days later of her injuries and the charges are dropped because its ‘unrelated’
american justice system my fucking ass
meanwhile the police fill the block with tear gas. who’s protecting and serving here
Y’all we gotta look out for each other. I know pretty everyone can’t drop what they’re doing and go to Ferguson but we can spread the news via social media. The only reason why this story ia in the mainstream media is because of twitter and IG. Don’t let this atory die and don’t forget to spread stories like this that they won’t put on the news. #ferguson