REMAINS OF 200+ INDIGENOUS CHILDREN FOUND IN CANADA

Last month, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered underneath a former Indigenous boarding school in Canada. Some of these children were as young as three years old. The school, located in Kamloops, British Columbia, was a policy attempt to “assimilate” the children to Western culture. These assimilation efforts included destroying indigenous languages and cultures, and forcing the children to convert to Christianity.

The bodies were found using a ground-penetrating radar, and it’s possible there are more to find according to Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation. Kamloops Indian Residential School opened in the late 19th century and operated until the late 1970s. The Catholic Church ran the school up until the 1960s. Every body found was that of a student. The deaths of the 50 identities which were able to be determined range from 1900 to 1971, but the 165 others have no available records to do so.

A survivor of Kamloops Indian Residential School, Garry Gottfriedson, told CBS News, “We were made to feel ugly because we were told we were ugly. We were made to feel like we were nothing but dirt, and that has remained with me to this very, very day is it’s you know, I’ve never felt that I was good enough for anything.”

The recent events bring to light the discrimination and violence Indigenous peoples experienced and continue to face– in Canada and beyond. They are collectively marginalized, with one in five Native Americans having reported discrimination, for example. Additionally, 38% of Native Americans reported they or family members have experienced violence and 34% reported threatening or harassment based on information from a 2017 study. The discovery is Canada is sickening, and Indigenous peoples are in need of support and advocates as they have always been.

How to support Indigenous communities: educate yourself and research the land you’re living on, stay informed about Indigenous rights problems, include Indigenous peoples in discussions of climate change and land use, buy Indigenous products, donate to Canadian charities that help Indigenous communities in Canada, donate to Native American COVID-19 relief funds

Additional sources: BBC

ISRAEL-PALESTINE CRISIS

There is a long history of unrest among Israel and Palestine, and the Israel-Palestine Crisis cannot be explained simply. For centuries, Jews and Muslims have had claims on the land because of religious and historical significance to each group. Following Britain’s depart from Palestine after World War II, the occupation issue between Jews and Muslims was passed off to the United Nations. Then, in 1948, Israel became an independent state. Palestinian Arabs were not in support of the establishment of Israel from the beginning and quickly moved to prevent it.

For Jews, Israel was their ancestral home, but Arabs claimed the land as well. Jerusalem is a holy site to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. There were wars, the first and second Intifadas, and more violence. Just this Wednesday, more than 1,000 rockets were fired from Gaza, most intercepted by an anti-missile defense system according to the Israeli military. Following this were airstrikes from Israel to military and residential areas throughout the Gaza Strip.

As stated, the apartheid between Israel and Palestine is extremely complicated and with a situation as long-lasting as this, there’s no surprise. Zack Beauchamp from Vox explains it as, “Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs both want the same land. And a compromise has proven difficult to find.” The apartheid is not about religion at all– a common misconception. Some believe the root of the problem to be that Israel is oppressing Palestine, and that it’s a case of Zionist settler colonialism. According to BBC, Israel is committing crimes of apartheid and persecution. The Jewish state “has a policy ‘to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians,’ including those who are its citizens.” However, Israel’s foreign ministry has called this report “preposterous and false.”

What’s happening is a crisis and there is truthfully no “side” to be on. Both Israel and Palestine have retaliated and hurt people. There are extremists on both sides fueling each other, and no one is in the right. 27 children have been killed in Gaza from misfired rockets. Gaza’s death tolls are reaching 200 and over are 70 dead in Israel. Families are being ripped away from each other and having to take shelter from bombs. Israel shut off Gaza’s internet and electricity, and the Palestinian territory is very much under attack right now. However, so is Israel. It’s crazy how wars never have anything to do with actual people, but civilians are the only ones affected.

The United States has historically given the state of Israel diplomatic, financial, and military support more than any other foreign country; $3.8 billion in military aid to be precise. Some might say that makes the US complicit. President Biden has reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to a two-state solution, and action needs to be taken now before more innocent lives are taken and the situation escalates any further. The two-state solution which the US supports would establish two states for two groups: Palestine for Palestinian people and Israel for Jewish people.

How to help:

SUMMER 2021 TRENDS

People of the world, it’s time to start shopping for this summer. The most constant theme I’ve been seeing recently is ’70s styles like psychedelic prints and patterns and I’m here for it. This is truly a great time in fashion.

Tankinis

Frankies Bikinis Peace Strapless Bikini

Princess Polly Recycled Nylon Niccola Bikini Set Pink / Orange

Frankies Bikinis is the blueprint for stylish swimwear and they’ve done it again with their new styles and prints. Important to note: Bella Hadid was seen wearing a tankini recently, so it’s happening.

Psychedelic and hibiscus prints

Zara Flowy Mini Dress

Urban Outfitters Phoenix Plunging Tie-Back Tank Top

I’ve been waiting for a new print to come in style and psychedelic is IT. It’s simple, but complex at the same time.

OMIGHTY Hibiscus Tank Dress in Pink

Zara High-Waisted Printed Pant

Hibiscus print is so reminiscent of the 2000s for me and like all trends, it’s coming back.

Coach

Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag 26

Coach Ergo Shoulder Bag In Signature Jacquard

Coach recently had a huge rebrand and they hit the nail on the head with it. I think this is a trend that will stay through the summer, and I’m super excited about the brand’s comeback. Plus, their older/vintage purses are in style like the signature jacquard print.

Striped button downs

Zara Striped Shirt

Pull&Bear Unisex Striped Poplin Shirt

Button down shirts are something everyone needs in their closet because they’re so versatile. They can be worn as is, as a swimsuit coverup for a day at the beach, as outerwear– anything.

French blue

Princess Polly Finlay Bodysuit Blue

Urban Outfitters Edith Cropped Wrap Sweater

I recently discovered I like wearing blue and I’ve been seeing this specific shade of “French blue” everywhere. It’s the perfect pop of color to add to your wardrobe.

Halter tops

Pull&Bear Halter Crop Top with a V-neck

Cider Women’s Pink Sleeveless Top

Halter tops are such a classic and timeless summer style, and even just a solid halter top is a fun piece that adds more than any other basic IMO.

Platform loafers

Princess Polly Rachel Loafers

Nordstrom Balin Platform Loafer

When I say I don’t love the preppy style I mean (with the utmost disrespect) Golden Goose shoes, khakis, and full-smocked shirts. I don’t mean to be a hater, but I just can’t find it in me to enjoy them. HOWEVER, there are preppy items I absolutely love, like these platforms loafers (shoutout Emma Chamberlain) and Grandpa sweaters and sweater vests. I think we’ll be seeing loafers everywhere this summer.

STOP ASIAN HATE

Yesterday March 16, 2021, eight people were shot dead in the Atlanta, Georgia area, most of which were of Asian descent. According to law enforcement the attacks began around 5pm and took place at three Atlanta area spas. The first attack took place at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in in Acworth– a suburb outside of Atlanta. Police arrived at the spa to five people shot. Four of the five have died, and the fifth was in stable condition as of Wednesday. An hour later were the second and third attacks took place at the Gold Spa and the Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta. These spas are located across the street from one another, and all four victims were Asian women. The South Korean Foreign Ministry has confirmed they were Korean women.

The suspect of these murders is 21 year old Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia. He claims his actions were not racially motivated and that he frequented the spas, but the word of a murderer is not trustworthy. This was racially motivated. The Atlanta Police Chief believes it’s too early to say whether or not the murders were a hate crime. “He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” said Police Captain Jay Baker about Long.

The victims are Delaina Ashley Yuan, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Yan, and Daoyou Feng. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was identified as injured. 

What occurred yesterday is a tragedy and it brings to light the violence Asian people experience. Hate against Asian people has risen during COVID-19, as well as attacks against Asian Americans. The organization Stop AAPI Hate has reported 3,800 incidents of hate against AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) people from March 2020 to February 2021. In Texas alone, Stop AAPI Hate reported 63 incidents of anti-Asian American hate just from March 19, 2020 through July 1, 2020.

Racism is alive and well in the United States, and even if Long’s actions weren’t racially motivated (let’s be real– they were) does not take away from what Asian people experience. The Asian community experiences extreme xenophobia, and all Asian hate has an effect. It’s why “jokes” like “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” are harmful. Hate begins with words, and regardless if your hate runs deep, it may cause someone else’s to. Stop Asian hate and stop white terrorism!

Donate here to help.

Sources: USA Today, NBC News, BBC News

SARAH EVERARD

Sarah Everard is a 33 year old woman from South London. She was a marketing executive, a daughter, and a victim of violence against women. On her 50 minute walk home to Brixton following a visit to a friend in Clapham, Sarah was murdered. On this walk she disappeared, and one week later her remains were discovered in a woodland area in a neighboring county 56 miles away. Sarah was wearing bright clothes, walked on busy streets, and it was only 9:30pm.

Sarah’s death has ignited action to discuss violence against women and girls. London activists organized a “Reclaim These Streets” vigil, although it was cancelled and is instead raising money for women’s charities. At the Clapham Common vigil, police can be seen in video pulling women, handcuffing them, and even pinning some to the ground.

The Assistant Commissioner of the police, Helen Ball, said the crowd at the vigil began to grow as people began making speeches and the police were “faced with a really difficult decision.” Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report of what happened after witnessing “upsetting” footage online.

However, the police’s mishandling at Sarah’s vigil is not what’s most important here. Women feel connected to Sarah because what happened to her is every woman’s greatest fear. We could all be Sarah. Women are scared to walk alone, they’re scared to walk at night, and are trained to stay alert. The hashtag #textmewhenyougethome is trending right now with the goal to bring awareness to Sarah’s death, as well as bring attention to the huge problem that is violence against women at the hands of men. 97% of young women in the United Kingdom have been sexually harassed. Women don’t feel safe, and men are to blame. Protect your daughter, but also educate your son. Sarah was only walking home. Women should be able to walk home.

Police Constable Wayne Couzens has been accused with Sarah’s kidnap and murder. She was killed by the system that is meant to protect her. Upon Couzens’ arrest he was additionally charged with indecent exposure concerning an incident as a fast food restaurant three days earlier. He will go to trial in October for Sarah’s kidnap and murder.

Sources: NPR, The Indian Express

THE TEXAS WINTER STORM

I’ve been a Texas resident my entire life and what’s happening right now is not normal. Some towns, including where I’m from, experienced snow in January unlike it had it years. Just a little over a month later it happened again. This time, however, thousands of Texans have been left without power for days on end, and now drinking water is becoming a scarcity. My college town just got back regular power after three days of it going in and out, and we’re crossing our fingers it lasts.

So what is causing this insane power outage? It’s not wind turbines. Wind power only makes up approximately 7% of the state’s energy, anyway. According to the New York Times, “The main problem was frigid temperatures that stalled natural gas production, which is responsible for the majority of Texas’ power supply.” The state’s natural gas infrastructure is not prepared for the low temperatures, and their failure can largely be blamed for what is happening. Many conservatives like Governor Greg Abbott are placing the blame on green energy sources without any truth to their statements.

The Texas Tribune specifically states the power outage is a result of two things: the decision to not require equipment upgrades to better withstand extreme winter temperatures, as well as the choice to operate mostly isolated from other grids in the United States. Texas has a privatized power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to avoid federal regulation. When the state was in a similar power outage in 2011, it received aid from Mexico by importing power from the country. Now, millions in north Mexico are without power from the Texas storm freezing natural gas pipelines.

Of the half a million Texas homes without power, many citizens are having to relocate to warming centers and to the homes of friends and family. An example of a Texan who traveled to find warmth is Senator Ted Cruz, who’s vacationing in Cancun, Mexico. You may assume he left before the chaos ensued, but you’d be wrong. It’s comparable to when Austin mayor Steve Adler traveled to Cabo after telling Austinites to stay home to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The effects of the ongoing power outage is staggering. Texas’s infrastructure is not built to deal with climate change and they need to invest in renewable energy for a plethora of reasons. 90% of the plants that failed have been oil, gas, and coal plants. There have been 34 deaths, 20 of them being from Texas. ERCOT officials say Texas was minutes away from “catastrophic monthslong blackouts.”

In conclusion, Texas needs help and there are ways we can do so.

Donate to a Mutual Aid Fund: Houston, Dallas, Austin

If you’re a Texas resident, the Austin-American Statesman has a guide on how to conserve power here.

If you need to find a warming center, call 512-305-4233.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM ON THE CAPITOL

Yesterday, January 6, 2020, our nation experienced the most damaging attack on the nation’s Capitol since the British burned it down during the War of 1812. The story goes like this: President Trump called on his supporters to rally at the Capitol in Washington DC as Congress was confirming president-elect Joe Biden’s win. Despite President Trump having lost both the popular vote and electoral college, he (and some of his supporters) continue to live in denial. This wasn’t a typical rally– Trump supporters sieged the Capitol. They breached security lines, scaled walls, and disrespected the very essence of our country as they entered the Capitol building. These people smashed windows, carried guns inside, and for the first time in all of the United State’s existence, brought the Confederate flag inside the Capitol.

The safety of lawmakers and staff inside the Capitol was feared for, and police worked to evacuate them as quickly as possible. Police locked the doors to the House chamber and barricaded it with a desk. Representatives were given “escape hoods.” There is an image of a man sitting at House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk with his feet up, and another of a man carrying out the Capitol Podium, smiling.

CBS News and many news outlets have confirmed at least four people dead. As in any case of death, this is saddening, but we must look at the facts surrounding this day. President Trump called on his supporters to rally at the Capitol. He didn’t suggest they siege it, but his call to action and four years of damaging administration directly provoked what happened that day. There was no reason for Trump to dispute the election results, and especially no reasoning to encourage a rally protesting it.

What happened on January 6, 2020 in Washing DC is white privilege. We all know how differently this story would be told had the “rioters” been anything but white. In BLM protests police were quick to react violently with rubber (and sometimes real) bullets and mace, most of which were non-violent protests. Yet when it’s hundreds of white nationalists breaking into and vandalizing the Capitol, and attempting a coup, security miserably fails to protect. I don’t mean to compare these opposite fights, though. I’d rather compare yesterday’s events to when Ahmaud Arbery was hunted and killed while jogging, to when Breonna Taylor’s home was broken into by police and she was killed at their hands, and to the countless other violent acts targeting Black people.

The people who stormed the US Capitol are not rioters but domestic terrorists. They committed violent acts in the pursuit of Donald Trump’s administration meant to intimidate and coerce the public. The difference in how police handled this situation versus BLM protests is disturbing and extremely indicative of the racism this country continues to experience. This is Donald Trump’s America, but not for long.

Trump supporters climb the west wall of the US Capitol.
Staff and lawmakers shelter in the House Chamber from Trump mob.
Trump supporter carries the Confederate flag freely through the Capitol.

SAGE GREEN & BROWN: THE COLORS OF THE SEASON

Green is such an underrated color in my opinion. Plus, it’s a muted/neutral form of green, so it’s an easy transition into if you’re used to wearing neutrals. And not to mention that sage green is calm enough it can be carried into the summer. All you have to do it switch up what you’re pairing it with and you’re good to go! It works year-round. As for brown, having brown eyes has got me so excited brown is in. I feel like I’ve never seen brown clothing and I don’t know why because it’s so beautiful, and amazingly, it’s compatible with all skin tones and hair colors IMO. Here are some sage green and brown pieces I’ve found that I think are killer.

Princess Polly Military Minds Mini Dress

In addition to the sage color, this style of dress– military, is very trendy. Its simple with ruching on the side that means you can adjust the length, and it adds more to this modest dress.

Urban Outfitters Native Youth Avery Puffer Jacket

Puffers are a necessity for the winter, and although I’d say if you only have one, go with a more neutral like white/black/beige, this sage green UO puffer is a great second option. And it’s cropped!

Zara Limitless Contour Collection Halter Top 01

I love a good mock neck– I think they’re so flattering. It would look great with some fun pants (I’m picturing zebra print). I also think it’d be cute under a faux leather or sherpa jacket for the winter time!

John Galt Cowgirl Cropped T-Shirt

Baby tees are such a cute, easy style, and I love the “cowgirl” being that I’m from the south. This top can be worn with casual bottoms like knit, wide-leg pants, but would be just as cute with some baggy jeans and boots or sneakers.

BDG Corduroy High-Waisted Slim Straight Pant

Corduroy is a good way to spice up a regular pair of pants and there’s something about them in the brown that seems extra cozy, like a teddy bear! I think they’d look really cool with a brown top to create a monochrome look.

Zara Cropped Top

This Zara top gives me corset vibes, which are in right now. Fortunately, it seems more comfortable and not as hardcore as an actual corset.

GIFT LIST INSPO

Every year around Christmas I struggle to think of gifts I’d like to receive (and give), which is odd because I am constantly dreaming of my next purchase and therefore source of serotonin. But this year I made sure to create a “buy list” that I add to whenever I find something gift-worthy, so here are some items from my list and additional items I’ve picked out!

Oversized (faux) leather jacket

Oversized leather jackets are trending right now, but they’re classic enough that it’s an item you can keep forever.

Nasty Gal Outta the Way Faux Leather Longline Blazer

Funky candles

I started following influencer/model Matilda Djerf a few months ago because I loved her style, and come to find out she has the best minimalist interior design. She’s been posting her funky candles to Instagram lately and I am obsessed with them.

Foam The Cream Bubble

Colorful Squiggle Candle by YuiBrooklyn on Etsy

Platform Converse

I almost exclusively wear platform shoes, and these are the classic, high-top, Chuck Taylor style. They’re not aggressive platforms and there are tons of color options that you’re bound to find one that speaks to you. The lugged style is another cute option!

Custom Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Star By You

Houseplants with trendy planters

I love having plants and there are a lot of low-maintenance houseplants you can find with a simple Google search. For example, this article by Good Housekeeping lists 25 easy houseplants. They’re even more fun to have with cute planters and make for environmentally friendly decor!

Urban Outfitters Hector Face 3.5″ Planter

Urban Outfitters Rattan Standing Planter

AirPods case

Having a case for your AirPods is fun and makes taking them places SO much easier. Urban Outfitters, Target, and Amazon to name a few, all have really cute options.

Urban Outfitters Cow Hard Shell AirPods Case

Puffer Jacket

Gotta stay warm during the winter! And do it stylishly ~ Target has this awesome puffer jacket that is super affordable, unlike most of the ones I’ve seen. It also has other neutral color options.

Target Women’s Puffer Jacket – Wild Fable

Pants, pants, and more pants

Pants are so hard to shop for, but in addition to that they’re one of the more expensive clothing items. I try to thrift and buy second-hand as much as I can, but I find it to be harder for pants. Here are two from Zara and Urban, but know that second-hand/sustainable shopping is always best. (Utilize apps like Poshmark and Depop!)

Zara Faux Leather Pants

BDG Color Corduroy High-Waisted Mom Pant

Skincare

If you need some ideas for what skincare to get, Hyram on YouTube is all-knowing. Brands like The Ordinary, Inkey List, and CeraVe are all affordable, high-quality brands that have everything you could need.

Jewelry

Jewelry is tough because whenever it’s affordable, there’s a high chance the piece will tarnish with time and wear. Gorjana is a jewelry brand with an anti-tarnish barrier and although it’s not “cheap,” it’s very affordable for the quality and has lots of trendy pieces.

Tiffany Heart Tag Charm Bracelet

I’ve always loved this classic Tiffany bracelet and it’s a piece that can go with different kinds of outfits, plus it comes in a gold option if that’s your vibe.

#ENDSARS and #ENDSWAT

TW: r*pe

There have been weeks of protests in Nigeria in opposition to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS. Nigerians and people around the world are specifically protesting police brutality, which SARS has been a long-time participant of. Unfortunately, the protests turned deadly when security forces fired live rounds on demonstrators and killed ten people just over a week ago. A major part of the movement’s outburst is the result of a video featuring a SARS officer allegedly shooting a man in Delta state before driving off, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad’s purpose is to fight violent crime in Nigeria like armed robbery and car jackings. SARS has been known to abuse power through unlawful arrests which have resulted in raping, beating, kidnapping, and stealing from young Nigerians. Despite SARS being reorganized in 2017, there has been no change.

The movement #EndSARS consists of seven demands from Nigerian youth, who are trailblazing the movement. These demands are as follows: cost of governance, institutional reforms, health reforms, constitution reforms, education reforms, public office reforms, and youth affair reforms. As you can infer, the call to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad is bigger than meets the eye, like many movements. People are demanding progress and wanting change to ensure a better life in Nigeria for future generations.

Many headlines speak of the absolvement of SARS, which was recently announced in a statement by the Inspector General of Police. However, this is not the news many have been hoping for. The same statement was released in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019; and now, a new unit by the name of SWAT has been formed to carry out the duties of SARS. Through SWAT, officers “will receive training on police conduct and use of force by the the international committee of the Red Cross.” But protesters fear that SARS officers will blend into the new unit without facing accountability and are using #EndSWAT in opposition.

The same article from the Wall Street Journal states that President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, agreed in a televised statement to disband SARS, but has been silent since. Protestors perceive the president’s statement as a way to cover up the issue of police brutality and abuse rather than solve it, and their anger is escalating.

How to help: donate to https://www.gofundme.com/f/4ppyfs-diasporans-against-sars; donate here and explore other ways to help on https://feministcoalition2020.com/

Sources not linked: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGnX2-HHHHt/