30 December 2015


Papi Edwards

Papi Edwards was a trans Black woman who was who was shot and killed on January 9, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. Henry Richard Gleaves was charged with her murder. She has been consistently misgendered by news media outlets.  The police report also misgendered Edwards and police officers refused to identify the murder as a hate crime.  Footage of the murder clearly shows that Edwards identified as a trans woman and her friends have also confirmed that Edwards identified as a woman.  

Laquan McDonald

Laquan McDonald was a  17 year-old cis Black male who was shot sixteen times by a Chicago police officer on October 20th, 2014. Dash-cam footage shows officer Jason Van Dyke repeatedly shooting MacDonald as he is walking away from the police vehicle. A judge ordered the City to release the footage before November 25, 2015. Release of the footage has caused a serge of Black Lives Matter protests. Van Dyke has since been charged with first degree murder.   

Jamar Clark ghost portrait by Sophia Terazawa

Jamar Clarke

Jamar Clarke was a  24 year-old cis Black male who was shot and killed by police officers on November 15, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Police and ambulance arrived on the scene in response to a domestic dispute between Clarke and his girlfriend. Clarke struggled with officers to reach the ambulance where his girlfriend was being treated. Clarke was then handcuffed and slammed to the ground. A police officer then shot Clarke in the head execution style. None of the officers were wearing body cameras and the police report denies that Clarke was handcuffed. Multiple witnesses say that Clarke was handcuffed.    

Rest In Power 

Who Will Survive America?

December 2015

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29 December 2015



In response to the extra judicial murder of Jamar Clarke on November 15th, BLM activist in Minneapolis moved to shut down the MPD 4th Precinct demanding #justice4Jamar, the release of the dash cam footage of the shooting, the release of surveillance video, an independent investigation of the shooting, and the immediate termination of the officers involved. Protesters occupied the precinct and set up encampment for over 18 days in freezing temperatures. During that time white supremacist attacked the encampment, shooting and injuring a number of protesters. On December 3rd at 3AM Minneapolis police evicted the protesters and bulldozed the encampment. Protesters reconvened at City Hall where they marched to disrupt a police union fundraiser. The City has still failed to release the footage.       

Shehla Rashid (Image source: kafila.org)


On December 9th 300 to 500 student protesters mobilized in opposition to the University Grants Commission in Delhi, India. The students were prepared to march to the Parliament when they were intercepted by the police in Central Delhi. The police then viciously attacked the students, unleashing hi-powered water cannons, sound grenades, and tear gas at protesters. Over 200 students were detained by police, beaten, and many reported being sexually assaulted by officers. The protest came after a national call for mobilization by various student unions across the country. Protests in India have been occurring since October when the UGC announced their plan to scrap the research fellowships that many disadvantaged students need in order to afford higher education in India.   


Video of Laquan Mcdonalds death at the hands of officer Jason Van Dyke was kept from the public for nearly a year. Now protesters in Chicago are demanding an immediate end to police and city corruption and are calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's resignation. In March Emanuel approved of a  5 million dollar settlement with the Mcdonald family so that the city would not be obligated to release the video footage. Officer Van Dyke was not charged until after the footage was released.  Emanuel's administration has been complicit in the code of silence among police officers and has actively worked to protect corrupt officers from facing conviction. On December 9th BLM protesters took the streets after Emanuel issued a public apology for the Mcdonald cover-up.  Fatal shootings of other victims  by Chicago police officers are now being reopened for investigations linking to Emanuel's administration.  


POC@ IC protesters staged a week long occupation of the College's administrative building Peggy Ryan Williams Center from  December 7th through December 13th.  After approximately 71% of Ithaca College students voted no confidence in President Tom Rochon, pressure has been steadily increasing for his resignation. The occupiers of the week long action directly confronted Rochon on Thursday after he attempted to slip pass  the occupiers unnoticed. On Friday a march was led to IC's Free Speech Rock where the President was asked to appear and make a statement regarding his resignation. Tom Rochon is still insistent on remaining in office. On December 14th the faculty no confidence vote was released. 77.8% of those who voted agreed that they have no confidence in President Rochon.         

Track the Movement

December 2015

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28 December 2015


by Sophia Terazawa

“Decolonizing Touch” is a monthly column about love and intimacy. If the revolution will not be televised, then the erotic, the heartbreaks, and interpersonal relationships most certainly will go unseen. But I believe that what happens in private is the most radical space of all. What does it mean to desire the Other? How does it feel to need the oppressor? I hope to answer these questions (and more) in my column.

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Ripe for Business, Sophia Terazawa
Ripe for Business: A Self-Portrait, Illustration by Sophia Terazawa

Last night I woke up repeating, “Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.”

Talking in my sleep was not new, as my family and college roommate would always let me know the next morning.

“Who were you talking to in your dreams?” They asked.

I never remembered.

To stir awake in the middle of a conversation, now that was unusual.


In this dream, we wore black suits. The man’s hand was on my back. His voice, quiet but firm. We were standing at a conference table with a large map spread upon it like a bed cover.

I stiffened as he moved his hand around my waist but did not hesitate to snap, “Don’t touch me.”

In that moment, my eyes opened. The man was―poof!―gone, and there I was, awake, chanting in the dark.


White men are everywhere. I cannot avoid them, even in my sleep. Worse still, I have the feeling they want to colonize me (yes, my subconscious, too). Let me explain.


Last night in my dream, the map laid out on the table represented my identity, the land of my mother’s people before the French colonizers arrived, tapping on rubber trees and milking them dry.

According to one of my Aunties, we were rumored to have French blood in our veins. Perhaps it could explain the peculiar phenomenon of our eyes changing color with age―black, hazel, and finally, sky grey. By the time my grandmother died, her irises were golden yellow, a sign of old nobility.

But I digress.

The man wanted more, clearly, from me. I was not just a guide, some shrewd topographer. To him, my name was Indochine. My flesh, the giving tree. Coconuts, dragon fruit, warm papaya seeds. He wanted more, just a taste of jungle deep in me.

My blazer could not hide it. Perfected English could not hide it. Composure could not hide it. I was there, in my own mind, ripe for business. Ripe for picking.

The horror of it all was waking up to the same reality.


The colonizer with no spirit―no depth beyond what he takes―is inside of me already. He is a real person with a real family and a name. In every movie, I am taught to sympathize with his hunger before my own. In every conflict, I fear his power before my own. I give because he asks, and nobody ever taught me how to ask.

Why are your eyes so empty?

Why are your lips so cold?

Why do you stand so close?

Why do your hands feel like they know how to pull a trigger? I ask because my cousins say they don’t speak Vietnamese in public anymore in case a white man is listening. I ask because my Muslim sisters now cross the street when a white man comes their way. I ask because my Black brothers now say a prayer when a white man blocks their path. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil... I ask because our lives depend on what you say.

Sophia Terazawa

December 2015

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27 December 2015


by Dubian Ade

Image source: campuslately.com

He has no shame
his dry mouth
talking empty things as
if reading from a teleprompter
his commitment to diversity.
He is a string of arbitrary 
alibis hastily put together
Posture bent to one side
wringing his hands he
wipes his forehead
with the Klan hood
stuffed in his back pocket

He dresses himself well.

Eats well. Lives in a house
owned by the institution.
Drives a car that is owned by
the institution. Swipes with a 
credit card owned by the

Makes over 500,000 dollars a

Adjunct faculty make less
than 20,000 a year. Can't even
afford the roof over their
heads. Staff work overtime to
feed hungry families. Hand to

students pay 60,000 to be at
the college. Tomorrow it will
be 70,000. It is not unusual to
see them struggle.

Students of color can barely
afford this institution at all. 

Meanwhile, he lives

In his spare time he enjoys

structural racism and white

When he is not busy, he is
finding new ways
of domination. Appoint new
trustees. Change the provost.
Silence the newspapers.
Punish the faculty.

You can find him re-imagining
blue skies.

Still hasn't apologized to Tatiana 

A body of lies 

he doesn't give a shit about
people of color.

His favorite word is "dialogue"

As in "listen to me talk about

His favorite color is money

When he grows up he wants to
be an obnoxious, wealthy,
incompetent, white supremacist,
president of a college institution.

He has two jobs. The first is
president of Ithaca College. The
second is as chairman of
Tompkins County Financial, where
he makes another 60,000 a year.  

When he speaks to the campus
body, his fly is generally showing.
He is generally fearful. He wrings
his hands. He stands awkwardly.
He is white fragility.   

sweat patches under his arms

he makes a fool of himself.

The campus body is humiliated for him.

Once he compared racism to having a bad hair

He is the inside joke among students and

He is the kind of person who tries

To sneak out of the front entrance

of the administrative building to avoid student

When he comes to work in the morning, he
sneaks in through the side door to avoid

Not a people person.

Ask him a question about structural racism and
he will run circles around you like a wet dog
chasing his tail.

Ask him if he cares about Black lives

and he will let you know that Black lives are
your issue.

He will infiltrate a Black church because he
wants "dialogue" and desecrate it with his

They say he studied social movements in order
to suppress and ignore them.

He happily signs off on every microaggression
that runs by his desk

He thinks that an institution of higher
education should run like a business.

He is a puppet who sits in the lap of the board
of trustees.

He refuses to resign.

He has no shame.

THE DECOLONIZER strongly urges President Tom Rochon's immediate resignation.

Dubian Ade

December 2015

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26 December 2015


University of Missouri Demands (via thedemands.org)

National Mobilization of College Campuses

This month has been an electrifying time for student activism on college campuses across the country. Following the well-publicized University of Missouri protests that led to the resignation of Mizzou president Timothy W. Wolfe, media coverage has shined light on the countless student movements that were already building nationwide. According to thedemands.org, students of color from at least 65 different colleges and universities have put forth a list of demands. The website goes even further to link student demands to the national demands of Black Lives Matter protesters. Many student organizers, fed-up with the structural racism perpetuated by institutions of higher education, have called for the resignation of chief administrators. Ithaca College students most notably have called for the resignation of President Tom Rochon, and through the Student Government have officially placed a no-confidence vote.

Jennifer Laude

U.S Marine Guilty for the Murder of A Filipino Trans Woman

On December 1st, U.S marine Joseph Pemberton was found guilty  of homicide by the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court for the 2014 killing of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude. Pemberton was on a break in October 2014 after participating in a United States colonial military operation in the Philippines. Laude and Pemberton met at a disco in Olngapo City and the U.S marine strangled Laude in a hotel room after discovering that she was a transgender woman. The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court has sentenced Pemberton to 6-12 years and a forced payment of 4.5 million pesos (130,000 U.S$) to the Laude family. The court has also ordered he pay 50,000 pesos for civil indemnity, 155,255 as reimbursement for the wake and burial, 50,000 for moral damages, and 30,000 for exemplary damages.

The Philippine government has also served five subpoenas to the U.S. Embassy. The situation has strained the relationship between the two countries and many Philippine transgender rights activist have called for the cancellation of the Philippines-United States Visiting Forces Agreement. Protesters have railed against the special treatment of Pemberton, who is currently been held at a U.S facility instead of a Filipino jail. The Philippines, which was formally colonized by the United States, is occupied by thousands of U.S marines who come to train on Philippine soil each year.       

Daniel Holtzclaw Trial: #BlackWomenMatter

Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been charged with raping 13 Black women and is currently on trial. Holtzclaw used his position on the force to do background checks on numerous women, stalk them, and ultimately coerce them into sex. Holtzclaw was fired from the force in January of 2015. In the first proceedings of the trial defense attorney Scott Adams made numerous racist attempts to discredit the testimonies of the affected women by focusing heavily on incriminating them. Irrelevant questions about their drug use were also pursued as if this some how justified the disgusting actions of Holtzclaw. The trial was before an all-white jury in a justice system that has historically failed to protect woman of color from sexual abuse and white supremacist patriarchy. The trial also failed to get the proper media attention that it should. In early November the courtroom was nearly empty and the large scale support enjoyed by men of color who are victims of policing violence was absent for the women in this case. Two more woman came forward to testify against Holtzclaw in late November. On December 10th in a wonderful turn of events, Holtzclaw was found guilty of 16 of the 36 charges brought against him and will be facing time in prison. Sentencing will be set for January 21st.

Freddie Gray Trial Begins In Baltimore

The trial of Baltimore police officer William G. Porter for the extrajudicial murder of Freddie Gray began December 2nd. Porter, who is Black, is the first of six Baltimore City police officers to stand trial for Gray's death. Porter has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. On April 12th, 2014 Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal cord injury at the hands of Baltimore police officers which incited a series BLM protests. Prosecutors say that Porter failed to seek out medical attention for Gray and neglected to seat-belt him in the transport van when it was clear that he had serious spinal injuries. Prosecutors are trying Porter first because he can serve as a material witness against the other officers in the case.

Muslim Taxi Driver Shot in Pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh a Muslim taxi driver was shot in the back Thanksgiving day by an anti-Muslim passenger. The 38-year-old man, who chooses to remain unidentified, had picked up the passenger in what seemed to be a normal car ride. The passenger began ranting about ISIS and asked where the taxi driver was from. He replied that he is against ISIS and that he is from Morocco. The driver then proceeded to talk about The Prophet Muhammad. Once the taxi reached its destination in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood area, the passenger asked the taxi to wait while he retrieve his wallet in the house. The passenger returned with a loaded rifle and shot at the back of the car as the diver took off. The taxi driver is in stable condition with a bullet wound between his shoulder blades. The council on American-Islamic Relations has called for the Justice Department to investigate the incident as a hate crime. Anti-Muslim sentiments have been increasingly violent especially with the Paris attacks and the rejection of Syrian refugees.

White Supremacist Terror In Minneapolis

The November 23rd attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters outside of the Forth Precinct have left five Black males injured. #Justice4Jamar #4thPrecintShutdown protest had remain non-violent when four white men infiltrated the crowd with ski masks and kevlar vests. When the men began shouting racial slurs they were asked to leave by protesters and escorted to their car. Once at their vehicle the men opened fire. Police officers intentionally delayed their response, taunting protesters and telling concerned activist that "they had asked for this." They proceeded to pepper spray protesters waiting for the ambulance and continued to break up the encampment. 26-year-old Daniel Macey, 27 year-old Joseph Backman, 21-year-old Nathan Gustavsson, and 23-year-old Allen Scarsella have all been accused of the shooting. All face various counts of riot and assault with a dangerous weapon. They are due in court in January.

The Newsfeed

December 2015

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25 December 2015


by Emilio Paqcha Benites

Artwork by Luna Enriquez (Image source: Flickr.com)

A first step to decolonizing our mentalities is to be aware of the characteristics of a colonized mentality. Here is a list to get started:

Manipulating or letting someone else manipulate nature to satisfy the desire of a non-necessary commodity.

Eating food without thinking about the sacrifices that took place to produce it.

Throwing any amount of food away knowing that someone is dying of hunger somewhere in the world.

Fantasizing about wealth even though it means the poverty of someone else.

Putting a monetary value to education, health, and food.

Equating intelligence with social status or skin color.

Believing that racism doesn't exist.

Thinking that poverty is the result of a person's bad choices.

Thinking that a capitalistic society gives every one equal opportunity to succeed.

Believing that borders are the doors to a distinct culture.

Thinking that the only person right is you.

Thinking that there is a unilinear way to evolve as a society.

Admiring a society while assuming that their misfortunes are a result of its existence.

Accepting poverty.

Thinking that we are individual beings.

Believing that violence and destruction is human nature.

Separating the past present and future as different times in our lives.

Believing that there is only one way to reach God...

..to be continued by those who are in the process of decolonizing their mentalities.

Emilio Paqcha Benites

December 2015

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24 December 2015


(via claridadpuertorico.com)

Julia de Burgos is considered to be one of the greatest Puerto Rican poets of all time. Born in poverty in Carolina in 1914, Julia  persevered and became a renowned poet in Puerto Rico. By the time she immigrated to the United States in 1940 she had  published two collections of poetry. Julia's poems were a precursor to feminist anti-colonial politics. She herself became a vocal advocate for Puerto Rican independence. Her more famous works are El Rio Grande de Loiza,  Poema para Mi Muerte (My Death Poem), and Yo Misma Fui Mi Ruta (I Was My Own Path)

Decolonizing Culture

December 2015

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23 December 2015


by Leah Grady Sayvetz

On a Tuesday morning in early November, on my way driving to work, I was stopped at the bottom of Elm street by a traffic jam, not atypical for 8am on a week day. Thinking nothing of it, I patiently waited for vehicles to move on so that I could pull out onto Floral Ave. The car ahead of me seemed somewhat thoughtless in how they had stopped across a lane of traffic on Floral and did not appear to be moving.

An elderly black man turned up Elm, having just come from the Martin Luther King Blvd bridge, and stopped his car next to mine to let out his passenger, a middle-aged black man. As I saw these two men say good bye, I realized that the driver of the car ahead of me, a white man, had just jumped out of his vehicle and was now pointing a gun at the younger of the two black men. It suddenly became clear that we were surrounded by undercover police.

Dear Officers,

That Tuesday, did you feel like you did your job well, pursued justice, kept our community safe, by staging this surprise arrest of my neighbor, a black man? Had you been told- perhaps you yourselves had even collected evidence to suggest or confirm- that this individual was committing crimes? Did these supposed crimes have anything to do with illegal drugs? Were they violent or nonviolent crimes? I want us to stop and think, first, before even answering these questions. Before even asking them, really.

For here we are on a Tuesday morning in rush hour traffic and here is the scene you have staged for everyone to watch and learn: You are armed white men pointing guns at a black man. What message does this send to those of us who happen to drive by? To those of us who are white, does it perhaps reinforce the myth that blackness is criminal? To those of us who are white does it perhaps reinforce the myth that black lives don’t matter? I would claim yes. To anyone driving by who is a person of color, does this scene perhaps reinforce the very real fear that they or their loved ones could be stopped by the police at any time for little or no reason at all, to have guns pointed at them, to be interrogated, dehumanized, shot, killed? 

What about black and brown children in the car being driven to school, who see you with your guns pointed at a black man this morning? You know that these children hear the news so often of yet another black body slain by police or security guards with no criminal prosecution of the murderer. What kind of fear do you think your show of force this morning instills in these beautiful children? A real and founded fear.

Ok, now if you’ve thought about that, but you still feel justified because you were doing your job to “fight crime,” I want us to have this conversation: How can you call ANYTHING that my neighbor may be accused of a CRIME, when the real and monstrously enormous crimes of our governments and corporations go unchecked and unaddressed?

The real crime is every single mother, father, and child without adequate housing. The real crime is every child not fed good healthy food. The real crime is every youth, every adult, not employed, not employed meaningfully, not paid a living wage. The real crimes is mass incarceration of people of color, of poor folks. The real crime is the theft of trillions of dollars from US tax payers to build weapons, to invade other countries, to torture. The real crime is our governments’ complete disregard for Native treaties, leaving our Native brothers and sisters without land, homes, food, work, clean air, clean water, clean soil. The real crime is the imprisonment and forced slave labor of over 2 million people in our country, most for nonviolent offenses, for crimes of poverty, for the crime of being abandoned and targeted by the system, for the crime of being black, for the crime of being poor. The real crime is so many millions of Americans who don’t have access to health care. The real crime is Wall Street making billions of dollars off the whole mess, off of even our visits to the doctor. The real crime is mothers and fathers who fled here for their lives and their children’s lives, who are being deported and taken from their families.

The real crime is our export of violence and poverty to resource-rich countries so that we can enjoy cheap fossil fuels and cheap factory goods. The real crime is our flying drones which kill children, fathers, mothers, blowing up wedding parties, tribal counsel assemblies, assassinating anyone anywhere in the world without due process. The real crime is our rape of the earth, our extraction of fossil fuels, releasing carbon into Earth’s atmosphere in quantities to ensure the planet’s warming and climate catastrophe. The real crime is White Supremacy which built this country by the massacre, enslavement and displacement of its original inhabitants, by the kidnapping and enslavement of 12.5 million Africans (“How Many Slaves Entered The US?” Henry Louis Gates Jr., Jan. 6, 2014. theroot.com). The list of crimes goes on, far beyond the end of this paragraph, beyond the end of this page. When will our law enforcement begin to address these?

Leah Grady Sayvetz

December 2015

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22 December 2015


Good Cop > Bad Cop

by Patrice Lockert Anthony

The Big Easy (Image source: morefilms.de)

In 1987 Columbia Pictures released a Jim McBride film called, The Big Easy. The screenplay was written by Daniel Petrie, Jr, and starred Dennis Quaid (Detective Lt. Remy McSwain) and Ellen Barkin (A.D.A. Anne Osbourne). It was filmed on location in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Remy McSwain sees himself as an honest cop. He arrests the bad guys. He serves the community. He also, with the participation of other cops on the squad, helps himself to monies from the “widows and orphans” fund. This is okay for him because he uses it to pay for his kid brother’s college tuition.

After he’s caught (on tape) accepting a bribe for protection; he is exonerated after some of his fellow cops arrange to magnetically erase the evidence being held in the evidence room. He’s happy about the outcome.

Remy doesn’t think any better because this is how it’s always been. His father, and other relatives before him, now, and probably future generations of McSwains would have been "innocently” on the take if not for a state assistant district attorney.

Enter Anne Osbourne. There’s some powerful chemistry here. They feel the tug of attraction, but Ms. Osbourne is there to expose corrupt cops. Cops on the take. Cops who murder. She’s after bad cops. She wants them gone (investigated, charged, and doing time). Problem. The "good” cops aren’t helping her do her job.

Unfortunately for their mutual attraction; Anne is the prosecutor when Remy is caught with his hand in the cookie jar. She is dismayed on account of the attraction, but also certain of the conviction. She has an eye witness, and the tape. Too bad that’s not enough.

After the trial, Remy’s family throws a party for him. Everyone is celebrating. Remy has his uncle (a cop) all but kidnap Anne to bring her to the party. Remy hasn’t figured out yet that Anne isn’t amused.  She informs him, “You still don’t get it, do you? Why don't you just face it, Remy; you’re not one of the good guys anymore?”

Why am I sharing this movie plot with you, my readers? It’s because there is a larger lesson to be learned . . . by real life cops. Precincts are tight places. Everybody knows other folks’ business. This is true because in a precinct, you are your brother’s (and sister’s) keeper. Cops have to support each other. They need to know they have each other’s backs. When that support spreads to knowing who’s corrupt, however, who’s racist (and commits racist acts, or any of the other isms), who bullies, and bashes, who uses excessive force; it is no longer having your fellow cop’s back. It is corruption. When a cop fails to come forward, or find some way of shining a light on what is wrong in the ranks; that cop becomes complicit in any wrongdoing, any crime committed. A cop who knows, yet fails to shine that light is also guilty.

Cops everywhere hate it when people (witnesses) refuse to come forward. It makes their job more difficult and feeds into a frustration that makes it all but impossible to serve the community well.

Community members who witness crimes should, in whatever way possible, endeavor to shine a light on the problem and help the police solve the crime, and help make the community a safer place.

This is just as true, if not more so, for cops. Cops carry guns, mace, sticks, and the badge of authority to bend people to their will. That means the members of the community have to place their trust in them to do what’s right.

Too often that trust is violated. And every time it is violated; it is because someone on the force knew better, or at least suspected, and yet refused to shine the light. Edmund Burke said that, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We don’t need any more facile explanations, or defensive posturing. No more ignoring the problem, or dismissing the painfully obvious. No more deflecting. No more lying. If you’re not participating in the solution . . . if you refuse to shine a light on what is wrong at the precinct . . . if you are still in lock-step with allowing the corruption, and enjoying the privilege and power of the badge, well . . . “Why don’t you just face it . . . you’re not one of the good guys anymore?”

In faith~

Patrice Lockert Anthony

December 2015

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21 December 2015


by Dubian Ade

Tupac Amaru II

The very last ruler of the Incan Empire was publicly assassinated before the people of Cuzco by the Spanish Viceroy Don Francisco de Toledo in 1572. His name was Tupac Amaru, the rightful heir of the Incan throne who was shafted in a series of political maneuvers by the Viceroy and his own Incan officials. The crowd of thousands mourned over his death as the Spanish crown moved in to begin the genocide in Peru. October of that year Toledo ordered the Libro de Tasas, a document which began the process of systematically annihilating all vestiges of Inca rule.

It is said that Tupac Amaru was survived by two daughters, Juana and Magdalena, who found refuge with the Archbishop of Lima. Juana would later marry the curaca of Surimani and Tungasuca named Condorcanqui. Her decedent was Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui, who would later be known as Tupac Amaru II.

The colonizing process in Peru moved forward with harshest domination. The Spanish Crown regarded the Indigenous peoples as its immediate subordinates. The Christianization of indigenous populations was made into policy. The repartimiento system, which allotted plots of land and native labor to Spanish colonizers, was introduced. The conditions on the repartimientos and in the mines in which Indigenous workers toiled were absolutely deplorable. For the native members of the mitta who were forced to work in the obrajes the situation was particularly atrocious.  
The country was divided into small jurisdictions called corregimientos. Each corregimiento was overseen by a corregidor. Many of the corregidors were Spanish viceroyalty and the unregulated abuse from the corregidors ran rampent. The corregidors collected increasingly large amounts of taxes from the Indigenous people living in these areas for the purpose of keeping them in a perpetual state of debt to the Spanish colonizers. Native rights to trade were restricted. The Christian church generally became an extortion ring as tribute was demanded as well as fees for baptisms, weddings, and burials. The native ruling class of the curacas generally aligned themselves with the Spanish colonizers and served to reinforce the exploitation of the impoverished native sectors. The gradual worsening of conditions for Indigenous Peruvians continued for more than a century.

In the late 1700’s the Corregidor of Tinta, Antonio Arriaga, had a notorious reputation for ruthlessness and colonial tyranny especially among native people. Arriaga’s callousness was further amplified by the imposed Bourbon Reforms which raised taxes significantly in the corregimientos. In 1777 a curaca of Tinta traveled to Lima to express his grievances and to represent the natives of the region before the Spanish administration. After talks with the corregidors proved fruitless, Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui traveled back to his home in Tungasuca, Tinta. He changed his name to Tupac Amaru II.

On November 4, 1780 Tupac Amaru II and a few others ambushed Antonio Arriaga on his way home from a dinner party. Arriaga was taken prisoner in Tungasuca and large ransom was demanded from the Spaniards. On November 10th before a crowd of dispossessed Indigenous people, the hated Arriaga was executed.                       

Arriga's execution set all the conditions needed for a massive Indigenous up-rising. Within a matter of days Tupac Amaru II had assembled a crew of several hundred people. Amaru used the money secured from Arriga’s ransom to win over the loyalty many more native people.  On November 17th 1780, the rebel force successfully attacked Sangarara as Spanish troops fled to a nearby church. The church caught on fire after being pelted by the rebel forces. Over 500 Spaniards were killed. The victory at Sangarara greatly encouraged many natives to join the insurgency.

It is said that Tupac Amaru’s forces numbered close to 60,000 at this point. The rebel forces moved southward and split into three factions, some of which went to the region of Ayaviri and Azangaro. Many cruelties and atrocities were committed by the forces in Ayaviri and Azangaro against Spanish sympathizers.

Tupac Amaru returned to Tungasuca on December 14th and with the partnership of his wife Micaela Bastidas staged two failed attempts to take the city of Cuzco that January.  Though the insurgency was widely supported by the native curacas and the rebel army was significantly larger than the Spanish forces, the insurgents were unable to overcome the Spanish defenses. Receiving word of the revolts, the Spanish colonial administrator Jose Antonio de Areche had heavily armed the colonial militias and ordered troops to be imported from Lima and surrounding areas. Spanish defenses were able to successfully repel the rebel forces.

The defeats at Cuzco were a serious blow for Tupac Amaru’s army, which took refuge in Tinta to recuperate. By this time more than 17,000 of the Spanish forces from Lima had arrived under General Jose del Valle y Torres. Fighting began on March 12, 1781 and a series of battles in the Vilcamayu Alley led to the complete defeat of the rebel army at Checcacupe on April 6, 1781. Tupac Amaru, Micaela Bastidas, their two children, and numerous others were captured. Sixty-seven insurgents were hung in Tinta.

The captives were taken to Cuzco were they were tortured. On May 18th, by order of Jose Antonio de Areche, Tupac Amaru was forced to watch the execution of his wife and children. His tongue was ripped out of his mouth and his limbs were tied to four horses running in different directions. When that failed to dismember him he was beheaded, his body was burned, and his remains were distributed among the native villages. Afterwards, Areche banned the use of the Quechua language in the Peruvian territories and commanded that all documents, folktales, and literature in Quechua be destroyed. In addition all of Tupac Amaru’s property was thoroughly destroyed and all members of the Incan royal family line were hunted down by the Spanish administration and viciously murdered.       

Brief Histories, Dubian Ade

December 2015

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20 December 2015


(via Roxie.com)

The first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, highlights the Party's significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.

Decolonizing Culture

December 2015

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19 December 2015


Bringing together classic and new writings of the trailblazing feminist theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues facing contemporary feminism. Forging vital links between daily life and collective action and between theory and pedagogy, Mohanty has been at the vanguard of Third World and international feminist thought and activism for nearly two decades. This collection highlights the concerns running throughout her pioneering work: the politics of difference and solidarity, decolonizing and democratizing feminist practice, the crossing of borders, and the relation of feminist knowledge and scholarship to organizing and social movements. Mohanty offers here a sustained critique of globalization and urges a reorientation of transnational feminist practice toward anti-capitalist struggles.

Decolonizing Culture

December 2015

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18 December 2015


by Sophia Terazawa


The neighborhood called Jubilee Park in Kolkata is exceptionally quiet at dawn. For the time being, the street dogs have ceased their nightly howling melodrama. There are three patrolling the block below my window—all muscle and limp—that growl and bark and bite at each other for their rightful place as alpha male. The fights erupt from the tiniest infractions. A bump on the shoulder. A look.

The regular brawls are quite exhausting to hear at midnight, as everyone bleeds and nobody sleeps. But like I said, the theatrics inevitably end at dawn, and it is in this moment that one can feel the silence of this city.

I am sometimes awake at this time to write, as I write now, when a dream pries open my eyes and chokes out the sound of what needs to be said. And I think what needs to be said is the smell of holy places―mosques and black churches―burning in America.


My flat in Jubilee Park is a dusty ten minute walk from the Tollygunge tram depot, and somewhere between the two, the dogs are finally napping. They are a pile of legs and heavy, fresh torn bodies. I imagine each morning that they are finally friends. I also imagine my mother working. She is a refugee in a new country that once bombed her previous country, and I imagine her paycheck in U.S. dollars. I imagine her laugh lines, the ones that deepen around her eyes with every passing year, the ones that fold and break easily into hysterics. She laughs, even when she is hurting, and I think about this before writing, but I cannot write, not yet. I cannot write until the first call to prayer.


The mosque is so close that I can hear the man clearing his throat before the microphone. It is a soft cough, a gentle cough, and he could shatter the spirit in two if he could—however mournful the previous day, however high the body count rises, however brown and black the faces of his murdered children around the world—yet he does not halve anything but the silence. In this place and in this time, he is the song and glory that pierces the distance between Kolkata and South Carolina. And it is precisely here that I write about devotion in flames.


Homes of worship are combustible places. The sight is more immediate from a television screen in West Bengal—a grainy video from a cell phone of the fire, the yelling, the grief. A mosque burns, and a young man howls into the shirt of another. One elderly nun is raped in a church. A temple falls. Bangladesh is there. Nepal is there. Pakistan is not too far away either. There are conversations all the time with the people of Kolkata—some hushed at the vegetable stalls of Lake Market and some roaring at the universities, in Esplanade, a blocked intersection of Ballygunge. It is an insistent demand for justice, and though my language fails me in some instances, I am witness to the calls for accountability, peace, and equality for all by any means necessary.

“What in the hell is going on over there?” A Bengali professor had demanded to know, as we sat over tea and politics. I replied that yes, Niladri, it is hell over there. America is hell. In the name of progress and freedom, the country is a falsehood for the hungry, the tired, the poor, and worst of all for the policed. There are images of hate, and then there is the reality of hate. I did not have to leave that place to see the difference.


There is something peculiar that happens to rage, as the morning light becomes brighter, and the street vendors begin shouting. There will not be another call to prayer until midday. It is more difficult to write poetry at a time like this, but the words come fluidly. It reeks of kerosene and old teakwood, the history still fresh, and there—buried inside the muscle and flesh of such history burning mosques, temples, and churches—is the responsibility to write about the ashes. I do not believe that the dead ask for immortality, as I believe the dead bury no names. And I believe in chaos as much as I believe in grace.

Sophia Terazawa

December 2015

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16 December 2015


This month’s word is Internal colonialism.

Internal colonialism (noun): The structural exploitation and domination of minority groups from within an empire. Internal colonization happens when the dominate core of a empire oppresses those who are at its periphery. Although internal colonialism can be found in every colony, it is not necessarily limited to colonized territories. In England  for example, the Irish would be considered an internal colony. Internal colonialism generally cuts across all marginalized racial and ethnic groups, as well as gender, class, and sexualities. The main distinction between colonialism and internal colonialism is that colonialism involves being oppressed by a foreign power, whereas internal colonialism involves being oppressed by a dominate core located within the nation state.        

Internal colonialism in a sentence:

Black, Latinx,  Xicanx, Indigenous and Asian groups have been made into internal colonies within the United States, constantly subjected to the domination of whiteness.      

Decolonizing Culture

December 2015

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The radical assembly is an organized, at times underground convening of activists from all over the movement. The assembly is formed for the purpose of collectively identifying the conditions of oppression, articulating the politics of the movement, and solidifying the means for resistance. The radical assembly draws on the ideas, connections, and experiences of all of those in attendance for the purpose of movement building. According to Peoples Movement Assembly.org (PMA) the assembly "in essence and operationality, is a decolonizing process. The assembly is an ‘open space’ and an open door for people to come into the social movement and become active participants and players. The open space can be considered a jet propulsion that pulls-in all the social movements to the assembly and allows equal/equitable participation (without rank or hierarchy) in a horizontal and direct participatory democracy." Learn more about PMA assemblies by visiting their website: http://www.peoplesmovementassembly.org/

Step 1: Identify The Movement

Start with the movement or movements that you are interested in organizing around. What are the key concerns? Who are the key players? How will you connect multiple movements together? What would be the assembly's focus? You can also begin to think about reach. Is the assembly for local organizers? Is the assembly national? International?

Step 2: Form An Organizing Committee

The organization of a radical assembly seems like a daunting task without a team of people willing to help and pull resources. This should be composed of people from all areas of the movement and wherever possible leadership should be held by radical women and trans women of color. Above all, members of the committee must trust each other and be willing to work with one another. The organizing committee will be responsible for developing the assembly program, outreach, securing the assembly venue, and any costs that might be required for the assembly. 

Step 3: Form Assembly Agenda, Program, And Framework

The organizing committee should together come up with a program, agenda, and guiding framework for the assembly. What are the key concerns of this assembly? How long is the assembly? Will there be speakers? Will there be workshops? Will there be open forums? How will time be organized? Long-term and short-term action steps can also be considered. The assembly should facilitate the sharing of ideas and the building of networks. Most importantly, there should be a framework for how the assembly space is organized. How are we centering women and trans women of color? How are we centering those who are most affected? Are people with privilege asked to be conscious of the space they take? How will we address the oppression happening within the space?

Step 4: Mobilize The People To Attend

Once an agenda, format, and venue are confirmed, the organizing committee can begin outreach. There should be list of key organizers and activist that the committee would like to be in attendance. There should also be a broad outreach of networks and organizations to contact. If the assembly is underground, outreach should be very selective to prevent infiltration. Only trusted organizations and contacts should be reached. If the assembly is public, utilize all avenues to broadcast the assembly to the people.

Step 5: Organizing The Assembly

You are finally ready to organize the assembly logistics. Members of the organizing committee should have clearly assigned rolls from coordination all the way down to speakers, facilitators and even food. There should also be a means for documenting what happens at the assembly via note-takers, audio, and video. Afterwards, it is the responsibility of the organizing committee to synthesize this materials and follow up with those who attend.

How To's

December 2015

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The Decolonizer, December 2015

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THE DECOLONIZER gives a special thanks to @DecolonizeMedia for their continued coverage on issues regarding #indigenousliberation and for their righteous use of images. Their work continues to influence THE DECOLONIZER. Check out their work at http://decolonizingmedia.tumblr.com/

THE DECOLONIZER also strongly urges President Tom Rochon's immediate resignation.

1 December 2015


Please help to support THE DECOLONIZER by making a donation through Give Gab here. Your support helps keep this publication going.

A fundraising campaign for Multicultural Resource Center.

The Multicultural Resource Center is proud to share this monthly labor of love + revolution with its comrades. Editor Dubian Ade writes and sources essays, personal narratives, artwork and news coverage that centers the margins, rejects respectability politics, embodies courage, and fights for the physical, cultural, and spiritual survival of those for whom colonization has, and continues to impose its violence upon.

Your donation will help THE DECOLONIZER grow by allowing us to print physical copies of the newsletter (up until this point, we have only distributed online), which will be distributed for free around public spaces (cafes, schools, organizations, etc.).

The more we are seen; the more contributors we can co-create the practice of liberation with.

About The Multicultural Resource Center


The mission of The MRC is to create safe spaces for dialogue and transformative learning by confronting institutional and interpersonal racism and discrimination, and encouraging cross-cultural communication, diversity and inclusion within Tompkins County. We also serve to support community leadership and civic engagement through authentic relationship-building and responsible partnership.

27 November 2015


This months word of the month is neocolonialism.

Neocolonialism (noun): The continuation of racist, patriarchal, and colonial relationships of domination that remain after an imperial power leaves a colonized area. Neocolonialism is only an adjustment of the former colonial system. Instead of officially governing the area, the colonizing power now exerts control with capitalism or through a puppet government of native politicians. The formerly colonized country is usually still economically and politically dependent. The class structure of the former colony is always kept in tact. The exploitation of resources continues and the economy is hopelessly dependent on foreign imports and exports. Neocolonialism is also the infiltration of a former colonized country by foreign corporations and humanitarian aid groups.

Neocolonialism in a sentence:

When we speak of globalization in Africa, when we speak of a McDonald's in Nigeria, we are speaking of neocolonialism.

Decolonizing Culture

November 2015

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26 November 2015


via atlantablackstar.com


Video of a 16 year-old Black woman being violently assaulted by a police officer at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina went viral this October. The young Black woman, who is choosing to be identified as Shakara, was aggressively pulled out of her chair by officer Ben Fields and thrown to the floor after being asked to leave because she wouldn't put away her cellphone. She was promptly arrested along with 18 year-old Niya Kenny who attempting to help Shakara.Officer Fields has since been fired. Strangely, over a hundred students staged a walk-out at the school to protest the firing of officer fields, many of them students of color. The controversy has exposed much of the internalized white supremacist patriarchy held by students at the school. Black Lives Matter has issued an open letter to Shakara and Niya affirming their worth as Black woman and offering support. A GoFundMe account was also created to help support Shakara. You can donate to that account at https://www.gofundme.com/7w7h7cvw

Arson Continues At Historically Black Churches

At least seven historically Black churches were burned in St. Louis, MO this October, many of them not too far from Ferguson. White supremacist terror has recently resurfaced in the media since the shooting of the Charleston nine at Emanuel AME Church and the rash of church burnings that followed in late June. The first of the fires began October 8th at Bethel Non-Denominational Church, which was followed by burnings at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, St. Augustine Catholic Church, and the New Testament Church of Christ. Very recently a Black male, 35 year-old David Lopez Jackson has been charged with setting two of the seven fires. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has jumped on the possibility of Jackson being linked to all of the fires and has dismissed the attacks race-related. Yet the identification of Jackson as Black does not automatically mean that the attacks were not race-related when white supremacist racism can influence the actions of anyone.

Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations win Million dollar Settlement

The Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations of Oklahoma have finally won a long standing lawsuit against the United States government. The landmark case Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation vs U.S Department of the Interior was filed in 2005. The suit charged the U.S with mismanaging 1.3 million acres of Choctaw and Chickasaw timberlands, violating the Administrative Procedure act and the Fifth Amendment. The suit has won 186 million dollars from the U.S Department of the Interior, which will be divided between the two tribes.

Native Hawaiians to Vote For Independence

November 1st marked the beginning of a 30 day voting period open to over 100,000 Native Hawaiians who will elect delegates to attend the convention for self-governance in Honolulu this winter. The eight-week convention will be focused on drafting a document for the formation of a government by Native Hawaiians for Native Hawaiians. The Native Hawaiian community has suffered from exploitation homelessness, poverty, and the erasure of Native traditions at the hands of the United States government.

Tamir Rice: No Justice

On October 10th Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty released two reports from the grand jury investigation concluding that Officer Timothy Loehmann was "reasonable" when he shot and killed 12 year-old Tamir Rice. A representative of McGinty explained that the reports were an attempt to keep the investigation as transparent as possible. Outraged family members and activists demand that a special prosecutor take over the case if McGinty fails to pursue an indictment himself. A grand jury has already begun hearing testimony in the case and family members fear that a case brought to a grand jury will result in a non-indictment.

The Newsfeed

November 2015

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24 November 2015


via IMDB

A treasure trove of footage that spans the length of the Black Power movement including film interviews with Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and other leaders is found in the basement of a Swedish television company. Director Göran Olsson and co-producer Danny Glover bring this footage to life, bridging the voices of struggle from the 60s and 70s with contemporary artists and activists. The Black Power Mixtape takes a crucial look at the development of the Black Power Movement.

Decolonizing Culture

November 2015

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