Sunday, October 23, 2016

Whiteness in Libraries

Whiteness in US Libraries

[Note--this is a blog post.  These ideas can and will be further developed.  These ideas are sketches of what I am thinking at the moment.  Feedback is encouraged and welcome.]

US schools and libraries serve as points of diffusion for Whiteness.  

Whiteness, as used in this post is defined as the concept/s that state European people and European culture are more important than other people and other cultures.  

Whiteness is purveyed uncritically in libraries.  This shucking of Whiteness is done under the guise of objectivity, of adhering the the 'marketplace' of ideas.  But this so-called neutrality is really an adherence and capitulation to the Whiteness paradigm.  

Children of color hear the message of Whiteness--"European people and European culture are more important than other people and other cultures.  

Children of color live in a world of discrimination and bias in US schools.  
You might not be thinking of US culture are not European, but it is derived from European culture and is fundamentally White-supremacist. 

I don't say this lightly.  Whiteness is embedded everywhere.  From the shapes of the buildings, to the hierarchies of the library staff and administration, Whiteness surrounds us at all times in the world of the US library.  Ethnic categories, demeaning classifications, cataloging systems with names like the Anglo American Cataloging Rules, and staff who don't look like the people who live in the neighborhood.  Microagressions, discrimination, hiring bias and collections centered around Whiteness all are outcomes of the ubiquitousness of Whiteness in libraries.  

Engravings on Multnomah Co. Library Central Building Photo by Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton.
Many people will now be thinking that Max is saying all White people are racist, or that all White people are bad, or some such nonsense.  That is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that the idea of Whiteness defined above is what our country was founded upon. 

What I mean by this is that European immigrants now live on stolen indigenous land.

Europeans and European descendants committed genocide against Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas.

The wealth of the Americas, in large part, was created by slave labor. This slave labor was both African and Indigenous.  

Whiteness says that this is okay, that this is correct and that it is justified. Those who adhere to Whiteness also believe these fundamental principles of Whiteness.  Most of what is in libraries say it is okay, or they don't address these issues...

That is what I mean.

Engravings on Multnomah Co. Library Central Building.  Photo by Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton.
The diffusion model works something like this:

Whiteness is brought from Europe. It is part of US Ed. System from the beginning.

Children are inculcated with #Whitenes via books, lectures and the culture of US schools.

Some children become authors, scientists and other types of academics.  They produce information and knowledge in the form of books and other types of media.

Racist mainstream 'Intellectual' book 
The knowledge they create is fundamentally flawed with the concept of #whiteness embedded everywhere within it. Even if the creators of this knowledge are people of color. They are working with tainted information that has not been fully analyzed from a cultural perspective. This lends itself to embedding Whiteness in all new knowledge created from this tainted information. This is why we have seen no real advancements, even with the educated people of color. They exist within and are heavily influenced by Whiteness. Libraries serve as key distribution points of this information and knowledge in this model.

One example is the fact the everyone knows Thomas Jefferson is a rapist, yet he is given an okay and is hailed as a hero still. This is #Whiteness. 
Thomas Jefferson (Slave Rapist) bust in the Library of Congress
Technology in libraries has not been looked at with a critical eye when it comes to Whiteness.   I would postulate that metadata, algorithms and other location tools are just as infected with Whiteness as the rest of the library world and American Educational culture.  This is particularly pertinent as we transition into a more digital information world.  

These people are probably still in control of your library technology.
The idea that White people, European Americans are more important, smarter, better, stronger, more worthy, and that their culture is superior is embedded in most of the books in US libraries. People check out these books and are then influenced by these books. And since most of these books have the message of #Whiteness uncritically embedded in them, the reader is most often influence by #Whiteness without giving it the critical eye it deserves.
This is how libraries are points of diffusion for Whiteness.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hush Canna BHO ULTRA Cartridge Review: BB Headband

Hush Ultra Premium BHO Cartridges

Photo courtesy of Hush Canna. 

Hush Canna has a new product for you to try:  Hush Ultra BHO cartridges.

These are limited edition stronger, more intense BHO cartridges with higher THC levels.

If you are in pain, need to relax or can't sleep--I can't recommend this product enough.  

As always, Hush oil is Organic, Artisan quality and is super clean. 

Testing details for Headband BB.
The strain Hush sent me to try was BB (BlueBerry) Headband.  

The taste is super Headband is a hybrid of OG Kush and Sour Diesel.  The oil from this BB strain is fantastic.   It has an earthy flavor with hints of Sour Diesel.   The cartridges hit smooth and one to two vape hits is all that is needed for pain relief.  The taste of blueberry is present and sweet in this strain! 

This strain clocked in at 83.53% total THC and 87.53% total cannabinoids.  

The price of this product is a bit more.  It is 35 dollars for a .5 gram cartridge at the dispensaries I frequent.  However, it is worth the extra price--the amount of pain relief and relaxation I received from this product was amazing.  I have Degenerative Disc Disease.  It also helped me sleep when I was in pain.  I would recommend this to anyone who has medium to severe pain. 

Image courtesy of Hush Canna.
Hush is great.  You should look for them at your local dispensary.  If they don't carry Hush--ask them to get onboard! 

Hush Ultra--look for it!  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Culture and Information Literacy Video

This is a video I created (with help from the school's video production team) for my introductory Information Literacy class. It was meant to broach the subject of Culture and Information Literacy. It can be used to generate a discussion or as a reflection writing assignment catalyst. I would LOVE feedback on this please.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Book Review: The Other Slavery

The Other Slavery:  The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement In America by Andrés Reséndez is an important book that you will want to add to your library collection.

Cover hsa a photo of the Arizona Desert
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0547640986
ISBN-13: 978-0547640983
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
It is important in several areas:
  • History
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Political Science
It sheds new light on so many areas. It shook my understanding and revitalized my resolve to learn as much as possible about the history of our country and of the genocide that took place and in many ways is still taking place against indigenous people.  For instance, I had no idea that smallpox did not hit the Caribbean until a full 26 years after Columbus' invasion.  This gives new light to the claim that the majority of these Indians died from disease.  These people were murdered or worked to death.

The book covers the rape of the Caribbean and how, once the local population was exhausted, the need for more slaves drove the Spanish to raid nearby lands and import slaves.

Map of slaving expeditions in the Caribbean 1510-1540
Map of slaving expeditions in the Caribbean 1510-1540
The first part of the book begins by looking at the Spanish system of indigenous slavery.  It has a fascinating chapter that covers the fate of many indigenous people who were sent to Spain to become slaves.  
Brand placed on cheek of Slaves captured in War
Image from The Other Slavery

 Slaves could be captured in war.  Meaning--if the Spanish raided your village and you resisted in ANY manner--you would be deemed a violent enemy and could be captured. 
Brand placed on cheek of ransomed slaves by Spanish.
Image from The Other Slavery   
 Slaves could also be purchased from other Indians who had captured them.  This provided an incentive for Indians to slave raid other tribes an expanded market for slaves in the Americas. 

The Spanish soon discovered Silver in Mexico and this caused the need for massive amounts of slave labor.   The from Northern Mexico were used in massive numbers for this purpose.  Mining, smelting and other labor was done by these slaves.

The system slowly turned to one of peonage.  This new version of other slavery lasted well into the 20th century and probably exists today as well. 

Indian Peons in Guanajuato mining for silver.
Indian peons in Guanajuato mining for silver.  1905

There are also chapters that inform the reader of how tribes such as the Utes were able to build slave empires by raiding other tribes and selling their captives to the Spanish and other tribes.
There is also an excellent chapter on the Navajo tribe's destruction and removal which led to massive amounts of Navajo being enslaved in the Southwest--particularly in New Mexico.
I am hooked on this topic and will be researching extensively for years thanks to this wonderful book.

Ute territory in SW North America
Ute territory in SW North America

There is also a great chapter on the California Genocide and Slavery starting with the Spanish and then carried on by the Americans.  If an CA Indian was not 'employed' they could be arrested and then auctioned off to the highest bidder for labor.  Once indentured like this, they could not leave their place of employment without 'certificates' which were almost never granted.

Passage describing the plight of CA Natives.
Passage describing the plight of CA Natives.

The plight of indigenous slaves is little known and fascinating.   This book is seminal and creates a new field for study that can help us understand where we are today and how we arrived here.

Indian Slaves in the Americas 1492-1900
Indian Slaves in the Americas 1492-1900
If you are even remotely interested in this topic you will appreciate this book.  It is well written, extensively researched and is a new instant classic.  Professor Reséndez has done our country a great service by writing this informative book.  Get it now!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hush Canna BHO Cartridge Review: Shiskaberry

Hush's Amazing Shiskaberry!
Shiskaberry is a great Indica.

According to Leafly it is:
"... is an indica-dominant hybrid that came about from crossing DJ Short Blueberry with an unknown Afghani strain." 
I was introduced to this strain of flower in June from Fresh Buds dispensary in Portland, Oregon.  It was one of their weekly deals.

Massive 8 pound Shiskaberry in S. Oregon.
My friends at Hush provided me a cartridge of this wonderful BHO extract in July.  

The description is for both the flower and for the Hush BHO cartridge.  The BHO is more intense and longer lasting.  Hush produces quality BHO cartridges that are clean and of artisanal quality. This particular strain was grown for HUSH by Farm of Righteousness in Oregon.  Hush only works with producers who adhere to the highest organic standards.

Shiskaberry breakdown
Words like "no till, living soil, clean, local and sustainable' are all words that HUSH lives up to with their produce, attitudes and business practices.  If you are a dispensary in Oregon--you should look into carrying Hush products--they receive my highest ratings.

In my experience, Shiskaberry is a powerful Indica that is good for pain relieve, creative energy and for relaxation.

 Initially, it provides a rush of energy and creativity.  Pain relief is almost immediate.   After about an hour or so relaxation begins to take place.  A nice deep bodily relaxation begins and sets in at this point.  The ability to medicate with Hush's product was a great boon to my pain relief and the .5 gram cartridge lasted almost 3 weeks for me.

Vape pens are a great option.
Hush cartridges don't clog up, they maintain their effective dose producing vapor quantity throughout the life of the cartridge.  The taste of the shiskaberry has a sweet blueberryish taste that stays in your mouth after the vapor disappears.  It is truly a joy to medicate with this wonderful tasking oil.  Their products are available throughout Oregon at quality dispensaries.

Summer cartridge tip:  don't leave your pen, or cartridges in a hot car.   The heat can cause them to leak and cause problems.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Please Help Us Publish Librarians With Spines

This is your chance to be part of a unique publishing endeavor. Yago S. Cura and Max Macias are co-editing a book of essays written by specifically invited librarians who we feel have some of the best minds in the world. We need help with funds for publishing. Please consider giving what you can to help us create this one of a kind work. We plan on continuing with a series of unique, forward-thinking and courageous librarian works from outstanding minds in the Information world.

My name is Max Macias and my Co-editor is Yago Cura. We are seeking help publishing an invitational anthology of radical essays written by exceptional librarians, many of whom are also librarians of color. All funds will be used for publishing and promotional costs. We are projecting to publish this anthology of essays by May, 2017. Few books have been written about how information and culture impact the creation of knowledge. Even fewer books critique how oppression is bolstered and enhanced by cultural concepts that are embedded in our information. Since information is important to all of us as librarians and consumers of information, these essays will seek to fill the void described above. One of the things we are trying to understand is the relationship between culture and information, and how this impacts the creation of knowledge. 

These essays will range in theme from colonialism and whiteness in library science to representation in children’s literature. Going beyond what has been written in the past on this subject and bringing together a diverse group of great librarians is the goal of this endeavor. These essays will attempt to move LIS forward in the areas of culture, information and education. You will not only be helping us publish this work, but you will be helping the field and profession of Library Science with your support. Please give anything you can to help us change the field of library related publishing. Description: Hinchas Press invites original chapters for a new volume. 

This edited volume seeks to understand culture and its impact on information and knowledge in LIS and Education in general. We seek contributors involved in the ongoing critique of information and culture in the United States and Canada and the rest of the Americas--especially those who are interested in sharing and speaking candidly about their experiences with culture and information in libraries, authorship, books, films, comics, other media and in education. This monograph will offer multiple views and insights from the greatest minds in LIS during the second decade of the 21st century. 

These essays will cover major breakthroughs, barriers to progress, cultural innovation and information, and radical thinking in libraries and in education and other vital areas. What progress has LIS made regarding major problems concerning information and culture? What successes have individuals had creating change? What do great contemporary librarians think about colonialism, feminism, multiculturalism, religion and race, intersectionality and other social justice and equity issues? This compilation will be edited by two of today’s shakers and movers in information and culture: Max Macias and Yago 

Topics to consider from a theoretical and/or practical perspective: Information, culture and user needs Computers and culture Whiteness in Libraries and Education Women and computers in libraries Open educational resources and representation Microaggressions in education, academia, in print Cultural representation in children’s literature Cultural representation in comics Erotica and Information in libraries Sexual identity and collection development Classism in LIS education and librarian culture Hip-Hop culture in libraries...

 Below is the golden ticket we sent invited authors and a link to our GoFundMe drive.  

Please give what you can.


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