Category Archives: Queers for Economic Justice

April 29, 2015, 10:53 am

Teaching Baltimore, Teaching the History of American Violence


Baltimore burning in 1968. Photo credit.

During this year of police violence, and organizing against police violence, I have avoided blogging about the many issues raised by Ferguson, Staten Island and Baltimore. I am ambivalent about this decision, because it isn’t as though I do not have a lot to say, and that saying it in this space is not important. Many of these protests occurred in my own city: my students and I marched, and we talked. Urban uprisings have been the most consistent theme of the academic year.

Yet I have been overwhelmed by these events. More importantly, I have also been troubled by the role social media has played in the dynamics of these uprisings, and by the extent to which some academics posture as virtual, semi-professional, urban revolutionaries when they talk to the Internet. Without…

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November 20, 2014, 8:12 am

Harvard Housekeepers Strike, Rally


If you remember this one, you are as old as me.

Citing “pain and sometimes life-altering injuries” acquired while working at the Harvard-owned Doubletree in Allston, housekeepers went out on strike this morning at 5:30 a.m.

What do they want? They want to join a union, something they originally approached Harvard about in 2013.

The workers, who claim they are the first housekeepers in Boston history to go out on strike, are assembling at 9:30 and 5:00 at Harvard’s Science Center Plaza, supported by students and clerical workers.

As an aside, one wonders what Harvard is doing owning a hotel in the first place. Small colleges often build, or partner with hotel chains, to maintain a hotel (Williams and Wesleyan come to mind) because otherwise there might literally be nowhere for visitors to stay, much less a…

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June 14, 2009, 2:35 pm

What, Exactly, Is The Gay Agenda? And What Part Should Repeal Of The Defense of Marriage Act Play In It?

I had missed it that the federal Department of Justice (DoJ) had filed a brief supporting the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) until my Facebook friends went berserk over it on Friday. DoMA, for those of you who have been living under a rock, withholds federal recognition from any marriage contract not enacted between a man and a woman (read Jennifer Finney Boylan here on the application of that idea to transpeople), and licenses states to void gay marriages contracted in other states that are illegal under their own laws.

Many queers see Obama backpedaling on GLBT issues, and point to a campaign statement where he explicitly objected to the provisions of DoMA. I suppose it isn’t worth it it to point out that Attorney General Eric Holder is not the President: he is only the President’s right hand. My capacity for outrage is currently taken up with other things, such as: why paying …

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