It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village is a reminder of Democratic Party values – especially the values of long time Democrats whose lives have been dedicated to helping people.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: Edward Ross and Race Suicide 10/9/18

American sociologist and eugenicist Edward Alsworth Ross (1866-1951)


I had strongly considered backing off from difficult topics for awhile, in deference to the difficult past few weeks. But then I saw this tweet by one of my favorite Twitter-follows:


Some may not like the bluntness of @Ange_Amene, but I’ve always found her willingness to be true to herself, even if it enrages fellow Democrats and/or white feminists, to be refreshing and much-needed. And I also happen to think she’s right about “doesn’t know shit”; privilege more often than not has protected white folk from knowing and understanding history as it was, rather than as it was taught (often in support of white supremacy). So while it would be easier to stick with something lighter, today I’m focusing on a little-known phrase, “race suicide”, and how one prominent sociologist framed it and popularized the concept.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Chipping Away at the Patriarchy 10/2/18

Moritz von Schwind: Sabina of Steinbach, painted 1844. The existence of Sabina von Steinbach may be a myth, but women chipping away at the patriarchy is not.

Last week was a painful and potent reminder that the forces of patriarchy are still strong and that there will always be men and women who embrace the image and role of the subservient woman; to paraphrase the title of Gail Collins’ book, women as “dolls, drudges, helpmates, and [only occasionally] heroines.” But for every moment of rage and despair last week, there was a moment of hope: Dr. Blasey Ford’s personal bravery; Sen. Klobuchar’s quiet but firm questioning; Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher sharing their pain and outrage with Sen. Flake. Our hope comes not just from the sisters of today; it comes from knowing that our sisters from the past helped us to get this far. There’s still a long way to go. We won’t create the sculpture of equality overnight, but we have the chisel; we have the hammer, and we will not quit chipping away.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: Mansplaining 1870s Style 9/18/18

Written on border: ‘Jan. 10, 1878’. Just regular old 1870s style.

Every once in awhile, my curiosity leads me down obscure rabbit holes; this was one of those weeks. In the course of reading Gail Collins’ book, America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines, she talks about the rise of the “New Woman” in the late 1800s; independent, educated, and involved in issues outside of the home. Collins mentions that the “first generation of female college students enrolled around 1870” (p. 297) and that their presence led to the publication of Dr. Edward Clarke’s Sex in Education, or, a Fair Chance for Girls. A quick search led me to the discovery that the entire treatise has been made available by Project Gutenberg (Sex in Education, 1873). I started skimming it and quickly settled in to read all 196 or so pages, with a mixture of bemusement, disbelief, and horror. In light of the enraging misogyny we are once again seeing, hearing, and being subjected to over the Kavanaugh attempted rape allegation, I thought it would be interesting to explore the 1870s version of mansplaining and blaming women. If we are supposed to learn from history, some folks are learning the wrong lessons.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Rage Becomes Us (h/t Soraya Chemaly) 9/11/18

Embrace it.

Sometimes you realize the reason you have a writing block is because you’re so damn angry. Twitter reminds me that I’m not alone; I remind myself that voting is cathartic and can’t come soon enough. Let’s get it done.

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Belated Labor Day Story 9/4/18

The Battle of the Overpass, 1937

Throughout the course of Labor Day, we see reminders of what unions have accomplished for all of us; tweets like this are typical:


Sadly, this anodyne and misleading tweet from the GOP is also typical:


What gets lost amidst the parades and barbecues, speeches and parties, politicians and public is the often costly path that was necessary to make the gains we now so-often take for granted. Today, I’m going to share one story: the story of the Battle of the Overpass.

Tuesday in Mooseville – The “I” Word 8/28/18


Today’s post was prompted by two tweets. First, this one:

Needless to say, I downloaded the handbook (only 67 pages) on my Nook immediately. The second motivation for this post was this tweet:

It may be unpopular to say it, but Rep. Swalwell is 100% correct. Of course, it’s The Hill, so it’s necessary to go beyond the clickbait headline to read this:

“We don’t want to be as reckless with the facts as he is,” he said. “I think having thorough investigations, putting forth an impenetrable case, doing it in a bipartisan way is the proper way to do this, but we’re not there yet.” Swalwell: We don’t have enough evidence to impeach Trump

So what do we need to know about the process of impeachment that we think we know, but may not really know?

VNV Tuesday – Digital Tips and Tricks Before the Mid-Terms 8/14/18

Today’s post was inspired by this article in the Washington Post Democrats seek stronger social media presence to guard against potential Russian interference in midterms as well as the uptick of posting I’ve seen on Twitter by Democratic leaders. What I’m writing today is Twitter-specific, although most of it should translate easily to those who still use Facebook. As we gear up for the mid-terms, it’s helpful to consider how we, as individuals, can also gear up our messaging on behalf of the Party and the candidates we support. As per usual, I write, not as an expert, but as someone who has observed and learned over the years.

VNV Tuesday – Book Break! Getting Cozy 8/7/18

Not my books, but I recognize this style of decorating.

I read. I read a lot. On a scale of 1-10, I’m probably a 7.5-8 in terms of time spent reading. For the most part, I read non-fiction, mostly history of some sort, and since I started doing Tuesday posts, my reading has provided an invaluable resource for information and inspiration. When I start feeling bogged down and in need of self-care, I turn to mysteries, some cozy, some not. Ngaio Marsh and P.D. Marsh are my all-time favorite mystery writers, the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters are my favorite historical mysteries (thanks, Rugbymom for turning me on to them), and Diane Mott Davidson writes my favorite cozy (culinary) mysteries. I mentioned to my daughter a few weeks ago that I was feeling overwhelmed and depressed by all of the history I’ve been reading, but I wasn’t sure I could take a break and leave myself topic-less for these posts. She suggested I read some mysteries written by persons of color, and Diana in NoVa suggested an author that I might find interesting and want to start with. So from now on, when you see “Book Break!” in the title, you’ll know I’m taking an emotional breather and that the kudos belong to The Kiddo and Diana.

VNV Tuesday – History’s Wrenching Pain 7/31/18


Last week I mentioned that I was reading a book on the history of lynching, which resulted in more than a few folks expressing trepidation about my next post. Fear not! The post is here, and I should point out that technically, the book, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-First Century by Sherrilyn Ifill is not a history as much as it is a call for restorative justice. In her 2007 book, she focuses on two lynchings and several averted lynchings which occurred on the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the 1930s, as well as numerous references to lynchings elsewhere in the country. Today’s post, using her book as a template, will focus on white silence and complicity then, the ongoing impact of that silence, and what reconciliation can look like.