CALL TO ACTION: Tell the Texas State Board of Education They Will NOT Dehumanize and Erase Our Communities!
The Texas State Board of Education approved Ethnic Studies: Mexican-American studies as an electives course after a tireless fight by many incredible folks. MIL GRACIAS TO ALL OF YOU CHANGING THE COURSE OF HISTORY AND FOR UNDERSTANDING SELF-EMPOWERMENT BEGINS WITH HONEST EDUCATION ABOUT SELF AND OTHERS!
Unfortunately, today at the final reading of TEKS, (or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills: standards set by the State Board for public school curriculum requirements) Republican representatives voted to eliminate the term "Latinx" as well as include "illegal" as an identity.
This means students who take Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies in their public high schools will learn that Latinx people do not exist and "illegal" is a correct identifier for people who have crossed the border and are undocumented. Simply put, our future children will continue to be taught a false narrative implemented by the same old, White conservatives who have kept our true history from us for decades and instead fed us a Whitewashed one. It is critical we demand better for our students so they do not grow up with ignorant false senses of self the way many of us did, myself included.
By removing LATINX, the SBOE is effectively ERASING an entire community of people that identify outside of the gender binary. This erasure also enforces a patriarchal structure of all people being lumped and identified as "Latinos," with a masculine pronoun. David Bradley, representative of Beaumont, stated "Latinx" is offensive because Wikipedia said so. (You can't make this up!)
By teaching our students it is acceptable to identify human beings as "illegal" is dehumanizing and false. A human being CANNOT be illegal. This language perpetuates propaganda against people who cross manmade borders and labels them by actions, labeled to define their worth by laws created to enforce White Supremacy. This language is xenophobic. Instilling an idea that human beings are defined by a term so vitriolic as "illegal" ensures our students perpetuate ignorant biases. We've seen how these biases lead to hate crimes and the creation/support of detention centers where children and adults are being traumatized by the State for seeking a better, safer life. There is no such thing as an "illegal" person, especially on land that was stolen by genocide and continued racist violence.
THE FINAL VOTE BY THE BOARD TO IMPLEMENT IS THIS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14.
Read more information about the meeting here.
Please write or call your representative - ESPECIALLY THE REPUBLICAN MEMBERS:
FIND YOUR REP
LIST OF REPRESENTATIVES
Credit: Lucero Saldaña via Facebook
A few months ago at a San Antonio Current event, I spun a wheel at a booth and won a free float pod session with Radiance MedSpa. I rarely win anything so I was excited to win a treat I wouldn't explicitly spend money on. I researched float pod (aka sensory depravation tank) sessions a few days before my appointment to get a better idea of what I was getting into.
Alleged benefits of floating include:
The procedure begins with a run-down of instructions and explanation by the attendant. There's a plethora of accessories to use by choice: a swimming cap, ear plugs, and vaseline to cover any cuts that could be irritated by the highly concentrated Epsom salt solution, which is what causes the body to float. The water is cleaned and filtered after every use, but the mandatory shower beforehand ensures body oils and hair build up don't end up in the tank as well.
You can wear a swimsuit, but it's recommended to go nude for maximum effect. There's also the option to play a soundscape or music at different intervals. I chose a "zen meditation" soundscape for the first and last five minutes, and silence in between. For my first float, I wish I had chosen the soundscape the entire way through because the silence made me feel uncomfortable a couple of times to the point I had to remind myself I wasn't drifting away into nothingness. The disassociating experience of mind from body gets pretty intense in pitch black silence.
As the treatment is meant to be done a couple times a week, I can understand where it gets easier to relax and meditate. For most of this first experience, I genuinely enjoyed shutting down all external stimuli. I heard and felt my heartbeat stronger and louder than I've ever encountered before. I let my thoughts roam all over the place and set intentions. I tested my buoyancy and focused on my breathing. There were a couple times I did panic a little, thinking I couldn't breathe in the dark and dampness (the pod stays at a consistent warmth so you never get chilly), but it was easy for me to collect myself once I focused on my breathing again.
Afterwards, I took my time relishing my relaxed state by showering off all of the salt solution and getting ready. Radiance offered so many amenities like various lotions, makeup remover, combs and brushes, and a plush robe I fully took advantage of.
I genuinely enjoyed my float session from start to finish as a great self care practice. It's not something in my budget I would do regularly, but I'm glad I got to try it. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who has tried meditation before and would like to switch the bodily experience up. If you're looking to relax in another way, floating might be for you. There are plenty of specials (not by Radiance) on Groupon now if you're interested in trying while being budget friendly.
Keep up with my musings about political chismé, life, my relationship, food, San Anto history, my dog, and everything in between.