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Heather, twentysomething, queerball, fangirl. movies, music and pop culture. social issues and anti-isms.

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8 Accounts of Black People Being Used As Guinea Pigs ›

Gynecology Invented Through The Torture of Black Women

In the 19th century, the father of modern gynecology, J. Marion Sims, conducted his research experiments on enslaved Black women. Sims performed the invasive and torturous procedures without anesthesia. J. Marion Sims’ justification for choosing not to anesthetize his test subjects was that he did not believe Black women felt pain at all. In an 1857 lecture, he stated that it was “not painful enough to justify the trouble”.

The Tuskegee Experiment

The Tuskegee Institute and the Public Health Service began a study of the natural progression of syphilis involving 600 Black men (399 with syphilis, 201 uninfected) in 1932. The infected men involved in the study were never made aware of their condition upon diagnosis and believed they were being treated for “bad blood”. In exchange for their participation, the men received free medical examinations and burial insurance. They were never treated for the disease. These trials went on until 1972 when the study was exposed by The Associated Press. The remaining victims and their family members won a $10,000,000 reparations settlement which guaranteed them lifetime health coverage and burial insurance.

The Pellagra Incident
Pellagra is an ailment commonly caused by a lack of niacin (vitamin B-13) in the human diet. The symptoms include skin lesions, sunlight sensitivity, dementia and ends in death. At the turn of the twentieth century, millions of people in the United States died from this disease. Scientists claimed that the cause of the disease was a toxin found in corn. In 1915, the U.S. Surgeon General ordered government funded experiments on Black prisoners afflicted with pellagra. Poor diet and niacin deficiency was found to be the cause. However, these life-saving findings were not released to the public until 1935 because the majority of Pellagra-induced deaths affected Black communities.

The Ebb Cade Experiment

In 1945, African-American Ebb Cade, a 53-year-old truck driver, was secretly injected with plutonium, the substance used to make nuclear bombs. After breaking several of his bones in automotible accident, he was rushed to the emergency room. Unbeknownst to Ebb Cade, he was in the care of doctors that were also U.S. Atomic Agency employees. For six months, he was held in the hospital under the belief that they were treating his injuries. During that time, he was injected with more than 40 times the amount of plutonium an average person is exposed to in a lifetime. The doctors and researchers collected bone samples and extracted 15 teeth to monitor the effects of his exposure. Ebb Cade grew suspicious of his broken-bone treatments and escaped from the hospital. Unfortunately, Cade suffered from the brutal effects of intense radiation until he died from heart failure eight years later at the age of 61.

Weaponized Mosquito Experiment

In the early 1950′s, the United States government conducted an experiment to see if mosquitoes could be weaponized. The CIA and the U.S. military released nearly a half million mosquitoes carrying  yellow fever and dengue fever viruses into several Black communities in Florida. In the predominantly Black community of Avon Park, dozens of Black people became ill, eight dying as a result of this government-issued mosquito attack.

Infants Injected With Test Drugs In Los Angeles

In June 1990, more than 1500 six-month old Black and Hispanic babies in Los Angeles were given what seemed to be a standard measles vaccination. The parents were not told that this particular vaccine, Edmonston Zagreb measles vaccine (EZ), was still in its research phase and not approved by the FDA. The EZ vaccine already had a reputation in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Haiti, triggering an increased death rate among infant girls, most not living past the age of two. The Center for Disease Control would later confess that the infants were injected with an experimental vaccination without their parent’s knowledge. Presently, it is believed that many of these families are still unaware that their babies were used as guinea pigs.

The Toxic Sludge Experiment of Baltimore and St. Louis

In the year 2000, Federally funded researchers from John Hopkins University, the EPA, HUD, The Kennedy Krieger Institute and Department of Agriculture spread sludge from a sewage treatment plant on the lawns of nine low-income families, and a vacant lot in Baltimore and East St. Louis.  The families and residents were told the sludge was safe and not informed about the toxic mixture of human and industrial waste the sludge contained. The research was conducted to see if the toxic waste absorbed into the water supply could effectively reduce lead levels in children.

Children Forcibly Vaccinated in Chad

In December 2012, at least 500 children in Gouro, Chad were forcibly given the MenAfriVac during school resulting in dangerous side effects including convulsions, and paralysis. Parents were not notified of any plans to vaccination their children at school and parental consent was never requested. The forced vaccinations were part of an aggressive healthcare initiative sponsored by several internationally revered organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

(via bellamyyoung)

Online activism changed me from a woman who actively put down other women to one who actively uplifts them. Online activism changed me from a white woman with unchecked privilege who actively oppressed people of color to a woman who has lost friends because she tells them to shut their racist mouths. Online activism has changed me from a woman who hated her body, to a woman who realizes just how beautiful she is. No one EVER tell me online activism isn’t good for anything.

sazziscooler

The above is so me. My gut reaction is to cringe at the phrase “online activism” but when you really think about it everything these online communities provide —  free information/literature sharing, community building, consciousness raising, and the free exchange of ideas and critiques are all (more within the self, more passive) forms of activism.

One of my favorite rebuttals of some asshat saying the usual “SJ blogs don’t even do anything because it’s not in real life” was when someone said "If it wasn’t for online activism, I’d still be calling women sluts and whores."

Same for me. And now I’m a sociology major and I go to a women’s college and constantly read/think/write about intersectional feminism. So fuck anyone who thinks online social justice conversations and blogs don’t “do anything.”

(via bytheseawithoutme)

Saving this for people who think that online activism and education doesn’t have value.

(via moniquill)

Through this little blogging website, I learned a fuckton about homophobia, sexism, racism, and took all of it to heart. I know some people scoff at “social justice”, but without it, I would still be homophobic, I’d still be a little sexist, and I’d probably still be saying unintentionally racist bullshit.

(via giemma)

(via favoritezipper)

Most girls are relentlessly told that we will be treated how we demand to be treated. If we want respect, we must respect ourselves.

This does three things. Firstly, it gets men off the hook for being held accountable for how they treat women. And secondly, it makes women feel that the mistreatment and sometimes outright violence they face due to their gender is primarily their fault. And thirdly, it positions women to be unable to speak out against sexism because we are made to believe any sexism we experience would not have happened if we had done something differently.

I cannot demand a man to respect me. No more than I can demand that anybody do anything. I can ask men to be nice to me. But chances are if I even have to ask he does not care to be nice. I can express displeasure when I’m not being respected. But that doesn’t solve the issue that I was disrespected in the first place.

I can choose to not deal with a man once he proves to be disrespectful and/or sexist. But even that does not solve the initial problem of the fact that I had to experience being disrespected in the first place.

As a young girl, I wish that instead of being told that I needed to demand respect from men that I had been told that when I am not respected by men that it’s his fault and not mine. But that would require that we quit having numerous arbitrary standards for what it means to be a “respectable” woman. It would mean that I am not judged as deserving violence based on how I speak, what I wear, what I do, and who I am.

Oh—you wouldn’t date a girl who’s ever been a stripper?
In that case, I wouldn’t date a guy who’s ever been to a strip club.

Oh—you wouldn’t date a girl who’s ever done porn?
In that case, I wouldn’t date a guy who’s ever watched porn.

You’re the reason we exist.
You’re the demand to our supply.
If you disdain sex workers, don’t you dare consume our labor.

As they say in the industry, “People jack off with the left hand and point with the right.”

Lux ATL (via stripperina)

This.

(via n0-ap0logies)

(via gnimaerd)

Don’t ever compliment me by insulting other women. That’s not a compliment, it’s a competition none of us agreed to.

When I go to contemporary Asian restaurants, like Wolfgang Puck’s now-shuttered 20.21 in Minneapolis and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in New York City, it seems the entrées are always in the $16–$35 range and the only identifiable person of color in the kitchen is the dishwasher. The menus usually include little blurbs about how the chefs used to backpack in the steaming jungles of the Far East (undoubtedly stuffing all the herbs and spices they could fit into said backpacks along the way, for research purposes), and were so inspired by the smiling faces of the very generous natives—of which there are plenty of tasteful black-and-white photos on the walls, by the way—and the hospitality, oh, the hospitality, that they decided the best way to really crystallize that life-changing experience was to go back home and sterilize the cuisine they experienced by putting some microcilantro on that $20 curry to really make it worthy of the everyday American sophisticate. American chefs like to talk fancy talk about “elevating” or “refining” third-world cuisines, a rhetoric that brings to mind the mission civilisatrice that Europe took on to justify violent takeovers of those same cuisines’ countries of origin. In their publicity materials, Spice Market uses explicitly objectifying language to describe the culture they’re appropriating: “A timeless paean to Southeast Asian sensuality, Spice Market titillates Manhattan’s Meatpacking District with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s piquant elevations of the region’s street cuisine.” The positioning of Western aesthetics as superior, or higher, than all the rest is, at its bottom line, an expression of the idea that no culture has value unless it has been “improved” by the Western Midas touch. If a dish hasn’t been eaten or reimagined by a white person, does it really exist?

Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods, often claims that to know a culture, you must eat their food. I’ve eaten Vietnamese food my whole life, but there’s still so much that I don’t understand about my family and the place we came from. I don’t know why we can be so reticent, yet so emotional; why Catholicism, the invaders’ religion, still has such a hold on them; why we laugh so hard even at times when there’s not much to laugh about. After endless plates of com bi, banh xeo, and cha gio, I still don’t know what my grandmother thinks about when she prays.

Soleil Ho, “Craving the Other” (via cmao)

(via bananaleaves)

bana05:

paws-grandad:

drunkinlike:

onionjulius:

allerasphinx:

thesharkinwinterfell:

The network was also looking to reach more of an “urban” audience and expand the show’s reach among black and Latino audiences

"Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don’t want to take them for granted,"

image

What did I say? Did I not say this was dark-sided?

Oh HBO.

how about putting some POC on your show?

Can I get a black/brown person thats not a damn barbarian/slave or lying snake? How bout that for drawing my attention?

Does ANYBODY of color work at HBO? Like, this is the classic example of Missing the Point(TM). Wow, that they think to draw in more Black/Latino people is to use Hip-Hop and not cast them in diverse and significant roles in their programming, or hire them to write shows, or direct shows, or run shows, is really all kinds of problematic and why nearly 75% of their viewership is white. Don’t act like that concerns you when you pull nonsense like this, HBO. I mean seriously.

The romance industry conflates finding love with looking a certain way, and it’s hard even for the strongest of us not to internalize messages about the way we look. And worse, these messages are normalized. Just think of things people say when they are getting ready to date someone: ‘He’s cute,’ ‘He’s short,’ ‘He’s kind of chubby,’ ‘He’s tall and fine.’ Or men: ‘I prefer slender girls,’ ‘I’m not really into fat girls,’ ‘I prefer Asian chicks,’ and on and on. It is completely acceptable to say the most appalling things about the way people look when it comes to dating, and if someone is called out for it, their opinion becomes a matter of ‘preference.’

What gets ignored in calling this level of categorization ‘just preference’ is a history and culture of mainstream advertising that impacts our psychology, causing us to actually want to respond to certain things over others. It’s hardly a coincidence that people are attracted to images of femininity that have been beaten into their psyches….We are taught to prefer certain things over others, and when we repeatedly see the same exaggerated images of femininity and masculinity, we internalize a specific standard of beauty and begin to strive for it unconsciously. Considering the exaggerated nature of these kinds of images, preference is not really a ‘preference’; it is more like a culturally sanctioned fetish.

Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life  (via o8x)

(via crossedwires)

christel-thoughts:

linalinalove4:

nerd4music:

The ‘who cares?’ reaction to people side-eyeing Jared Leto for not only playing a trans woman, but winning the Oscar for his role and failing to mention trans women in his speech is ridiculous.  An actual trans actress in that role would have been revolutionary.You should care. Trans women matter, their stories matter, and they deserve to be represented on screen.

Actually, I’m sorry that you seem to be a little misinformed, but he did notably mention his support. He addressed more than just trans women and a lot of people are missing that.

From Slate:

When he took home the Golden Globe for Rayon back in January, I called his remarks ‘self-centered and juvenile and joined many critics in finding his jokes about the difficulties of Brazilian waxing in very poor taste, considering the true physical struggles transgender people like his character can endure. I ended that assessment hoping that next time, Leto would have ‘basic notes prepared that won’t mock the very people of whom you’re supposedly a champion.’”

For this speech, he said something about “36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS” and dedicated his award “to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love”… that sounds nice but effectively avoids having to acknowledge trans women specifically. I have done this whole “avoiding speaking about anything concerning trans women or trans men because i don’t feel like dealing with the fallout if i slip and say something that offends people” thing before… so i know exactly what it looks like.

Him shying away from saying the term trans women here in conjunction with making those inappropriate comments before makes me think he may not recognize the humanity of trans women, just took the role as a challenging, potentially award-winning role, that could change his career again…. not a chance to bring a character to life whose existence he values.

My guess is a lot of people are thinking like over at Slate from the privileged or low-expectations (or privilege of having low expectations that aren’t life threatening) point-of-view

"The relevant lines could have been less vague (the word transgender did not appear). But then, waxing jokes were avoided and the relevant lines seemed heart-felt, so I say we call it a net improvement.”

but he can’t say trans women or refer to trans women without mocking them or including a bunch of others so that he doesn’t have to look them squarely in the eyes and show them respect, specifically. That’s not even knife in 9 inches and out 6. That’s like in 9 and out 1/2 inch while turned 30 degrees.

Ellen Page said she’d been scared to reveal her truth, and in response way too many people responded with, ”In other news, the sky is blue.” The fact that so many felt comfortable being that rude to someone who’d just publicly shared a private struggle speaks volumes about how important they consider the issues of gay women to be. We should be wary of these people. People like them are why so many believe this country is post-racial or post-feminist when this country is racist as fuck and hates women.