Quote of the day: on uniforms and uniqueness

“When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.

This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.

Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.”

– Janelle Monáe via Obvious Magazine

Quote of the day, part 2: Veteran’s Day

“Saying ‘Happy Veterans Day’ seems odd. How about this instead: I am sorry that you were ever asked to go try to kill people. I am sorry that the leadership of this nation sees fit, regularly, to send young adults whose frontal lobes aren’t even fully developed yet to other countries with tanks and guns (but without proper protective gear) in order for the rest of us to continue to live in an illusion of freedom on stolen land, and rich dudes can get richer making more bombs. I am sorry that poor kids and kids of color are aggressively recruited by the military, with a promise of job skills and a brighter future, only to be commanded to kill other poor people and people of color, and then return home to no jobs, no support and no help from the government for whom they fought. I am sorry that 22 veterans take their own lives everyday, meaning that since the start of the current wars, more soldiers have died from suicide than enemy fire. I am sorry that female soldiers are more likely to be raped by their fellow soldiers than they are to be harmed in combat, and that when they ask for help, they are told it’s an occupational hazard. I am sorry that we demand so much of soldiers and veterans, and do very, very little in return for them besides free meals at Applebee’s one day a year. Shame on us. May we never have cause for more veterans, not just because war is bullshit, but because we generally don’t deserve the sacrifices we demand of them.”

– Cristy Cardinal, a friend of a friend on Facebook (who gave permission to share her status)

Quote of the day: Veteran’s Day and Typhoon Haiyan

Image from 350.org

We are deeply grateful to the folks who have sacrificed quality time with loved ones, health, limbs, and everything else for our country. You are forever heroes to us.

But we want to honor veterans of a different war, today. Veterans who didn’t volunteer to fight, but instead were forced to. Veterans who pay a steep price, against their will, so that the rest of us can enjoy lights, fancy cars, fast trains, and every other luxury that currently comes from the fossil fuel industry.

So much love and honor to our Pilipino sisters and brothers, and our deepest apologies. We promise, everyday, to work towards a just, sustainable world, where you don’t have to bear the brunt of the burden, for the world’s extreme energy addiction.


Typhoon Haiyan is a horrific, heart-breaking reminder of what’s at stake in the fight for climate justice. We need to fight like hell to prevent more such disasters from happening. And in the meantime, the survivors in the Phillipines need our help. CNN has a list of ways to help here.

Quote of the day and mini-links-roundup: for today’s “holiday”

“i live on the land of the massachusett people. they were killed in droves by infectious diseases brought by european settlers in the 1600s, and their national sovereignty was stripped from them in 1869 by the state that took their name, but the land is still unceded. today i celebrate the resilience of indigenous people everywhere.”
– my friend Elizabeth, on Facebook

She also passed along the following posts, which are important reads: 

A Columbus Day challenge.
Celebrating indigenous peoples, not Columbus.
Telling the truth about Columbus Day.
Savage and alive: Native students respond on Indigenous People’s Day.
An Ojibwe view of Columbus Day.
Mutilation and other carnage: 7 worst atrocities committed by Columbus.
8 myths and atrocities about Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day.
American mestizo.