What We Missed

The Center for American Progress has more reporting on the LA billboard campaign and counters the myths behind the billboard message.

Tim Pawlenty gets glitter-bombed in San Francisco.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the war on drugs. From Colorlines:

At the estimated cost of $1 trillion, the War on Drugs has triggered the mass incarceration, mostly of black and brown people through harsh penalties for non-violent drug violations like simple possession. It has encouraged racial profiling in the name of enforcement. In addition, people with drug convictions (and their families) have been evicted from public housing, deemed ineligible for food stamps and college financial aid, and denied employment. This failed war has destroyed mothers, fathers, children, grandparents—whole communities.

Click through for the full article, complete with fascinating (and infuriating) infographics.

In my favorite frivolous news of the week, Pop Up Video is coming back to VH1! (h/t Tanya)

Alice Walker on Slutwalks in Guernica:

I’ve always understood the word “slut” to mean a woman who freely enjoys her own sexuality in any way she wants to; undisturbed by other people’s wishes for her behavior. Sexual desire originates in her and is directed by her. In that sense it is a word well worth retaining. As a poet, I find it has a rich, raunchy, elemental, down to earth sound, that connects us to something primal, moist, and free.

The spontaneous movement that has grown around reclaiming this word speaks to women’s resistance to having names turned into weapons used against them. I would guess the police officer who used the word “slut” had no inkling of its real meaning or its importance to women as an area of their freedom about to be, through the threat of rape, closed to them.

Read the whole Q&A here.

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