Indy Star Voter Guide

If you always wonder, when standing in the voting booth, how to pick candidates for the less well-known political offices, the Indy Star’s interactive voter guide goes through each of the candidates, provides information about them, and lets you make selections and print out a cheat sheet to take to the voting booth with you. Very nice. I don’t know enough about local politics to decide if the questions they asked of each set of candidates are the ideal questions to ask, but at least they give you some insight into candidates.

Continue ReadingIndy Star Voter Guide

links for 2007-12-28

Continue Readinglinks for 2007-12-28

My Comments on other’s stuff….

My reply to Richard Prince’s column on Rishawn Biddle, on the Maynard Institute website. The column was being discussed in the forums.

If a white male writer in Indianapolis had written what Rishawn wrote he would have been fired, and probably a lot more quickly than Rishawn was.
What he wrote wasn’t edgy or even necessarily correct, especially in some of the original, non-cleaned up versions of the blog post which are floating around on the web. He actually revised it repeatedly and only in the fourth version did it have somewhat of a point; the originals were offensive beyond measure.
An African-American city-county council president is under investigation for ethics violations, but the end of that investigation is by no means a foregone conclusion, even though the local right-wing blogosphere has tried and convicted him repeatedly in volatile rants laced with racial epithets, all of which have little to do with the actual supposed violations and everything to do with trying to break down the democratic power base of Indianapolis’ urban townships.
Rishawn got caught up in the noise of Indy’s politically-charged, shoot from the hip blog world, and forgot he worked for a newspaper that has actual fact-checking standards and ethical requirements.
The Indy Star’s reader’s forums have repeatedly been criticized on a national level for being full of racially charged, borderline KKK rants, and the newspaper has been under scrutiny both by their corporate offices and by national journalism standards boards for it, so it’s not surprising that they were sensitive enough to the issue to go to pinks slips quickly.

Continue ReadingMy Comments on other’s stuff….

Rishawn Biddle Gets Fired

I’ve been trying to avoid writing about local politics of late, just because the bile and animosity therein was way to much to deal with given my increased workload at my place of employment, and because others do a much better job of saying what I would anyway.

On occasion here, I’ve ranted about Indy Star editorialist Rishawn Biddle, who brought to the paper something less than what was actually necessary to write a good editorial column regularly.

The other day, Rishawn posted a diatribe on the Indy Star’s Expresso blog against Indianapolis City-County council head Monroe Gray, who is being investigated currently for god knows what. It’s hard to figure out in all of the racist bile being slung around. I’m sure someone will helpfully post some racist bile here to explain it.

Anyways, the diatribe was full of racial epithets towards Gray and other black members of local politics. StAllio! has a pretty entertaining reconstruction of the post, which was edited several times, although remnants of the unedited versions still exist. I guess Rishawn thought he got a pass on calling people Coons because he himself is black. Turns out, not so much. He got fired for it, and rightly so.

Schadenfreude, she is so beautiful, but deadly. I should not laugh.

Continue ReadingRishawn Biddle Gets Fired

My letter to the Indy Star about SJR-7

I’m writing to the citizens of Indiana regarding Senate Bill SJR-7, the anti-gay hate bill that just passed the Senate and will be moving to the house soon.

It’s fascinating to me that at the turn of the last century, Indianapolis was a mover and shaker on the national cultural scene. This city was at one time a hotbed for jazz music, a host of a major league baseball team, the home of nationally recognized artists (TC Steele, James Whitcomb Riley) and a breeding ground for national political figures. Indianapolis used to be a hot, hot town.

What happened to kill all of that? What turned us into the cultural backwater that we are today? The rise of the KKK and cultural conservativism in the 1920’s and the scandal and corruption that resulted from it. Bigotry and hatred sunk the state before, it’s going to do so again.

Gay rights advocates have been pointing out, correctly, that this bill will kill economic development in the state of Indiana, because companies will not be willing to move their businesses to a state where the goverment is bigotted to their employees. This bill’s strong wording WILL invalidate benefits that companies are currently providing for their employees, and that’s exactly the agenda that extremist hate groups like Eric Miller’s are aiming for.

It goes beyond big companies not moving to Indiana. If this state puts this hate and bigotry into the constitution, it means that people like me will leave the state. There will be a brain drain where thousands of the best and brightest pick up and move, and I will be one of them. And YOU NEED ME. If you want this state to recover and have a bright and healthy future, you need me, specifically, and thousands like me, to stay in Indiana.

You can start all the cultural initiatives that you want, you can move that “Big Red Arrow” all over the city, but if you don’t have people like me to attend your cultural events and write about them, to stimulate thought and ideas, to create art and visual work, to talk about the joy of living in Indianapolis and Indiana, it won’t mean anything.

Continue ReadingMy letter to the Indy Star about SJR-7

17-year-old Indianapolis Youth Killed Because She Was Trans

From the Indianapolis Star:

Gregory Johnson and his friend Brandie Coleman were killed and left in an SUV set on fire in the 6700 block of Fall Creek Parkway, North Drive. Johnson, they say, was a sweet and funny young man who liked to dress as a woman, fooling his dates. They suspect one of them became enraged upon learning the truth and killed Johnson and his female friend.

They were murdered by Paul Moore and Curtis Ward, and they enlisted Paul’s half-brother, Clarence McGee to help cover up their deaths.

What’s scary is that this article in the Indianapolis Star seems to blame Nireah, not the killers, for her death. Just because you’re upset that someone fooled you does not give you the right to kill them and their friends.

Related posts:

More on The Murdered Indianapolis Trans Teen

Two Indianapolis men sentenced for killing trans teen, friend

Nireah Johnson and Brandie Coleman

Continue Reading17-year-old Indianapolis Youth Killed Because She Was Trans