Move more police funds to social services, decriminalize cannabis: top choices to lessen police brutality in new “Break the Binary” poll (TRM Blog)

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Our new “Break the Binary” poll is designed to improve public discourse by countering binary thinking along with its scary step-sibling, triangulation. Read about results of our first pilot poll; participate in the new one.

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NEW: Share the joy of books, reading in “Off the Shelf”

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Welcome to our new book review feature, “Off the Shelf.” Open to any book reader who wants to share your thoughts on how you’re affected by what you read, Off the Shelf is also led by decades-long voracious reader and personal reading activist Cathy Chavez, who will provide a monthly review. Take a look at Chavez’s first review, on an award-winning book from July 2019. BOOK: “The Nickel Boys” AUTHOR: Colson Whitehead ABOUT THE BOOK: Historical and literary fiction of 213 pages, released in July 2019 RATING: 5 Stars REVIEWED…

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Surviving and thriving: a new family within the Leather family

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I have been to quite a few away-from-home events over the last couple of years and often have seen my Leather family posting about their “event drop.” But I’ve never really experienced it. I thought maybe I was broken, or maybe didn’t have my heart in it. Maybe that was why I was completely fine upon returning home from most events, ready to go with house duties, mom duties, work, and “let’s get it done.” This time is different, so very different. This time, I was helping kick off a…

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The mind behind drag king Hugh Jindapants on the I.C. Kings’ legacy of gender-bending service (GUEST COLUMN)

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It’s the end of June — but something feels, off. This Pride month is different, and many of the spaces — physical, emotional, spiritual — have been drastically altered.  We’ve felt the loss of live performances and underground glimpses of poignant art.  Instead, we’ve found a grieving for the face-to-face conversations yelled across a loud, dark room thumping with bass … and this looming sense of unarticulated loss, or of being lost.  It’s weird to even be a person right now.  I’ve forgotten how to be comfortable chatting in groups,…

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From minor league baseball, to allies, to the word ‘uprising:’ unsung heroes of Pride (TRM Blog)

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Tomorrow, you’ll read a column here from and about two icons of LGBTQ+ culture in the Midwest: the I.C. Kings of Iowa City, and one of their co-founders, the artist formerly known as Hugh Jindapants. Today 52 years ago — about right now, actually, in the wee hours of June 28 as I write this column — is the actual anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. At somewhere around 1:30 a.m. in New York City, on June 28, 1969, police launched the surprise raid on the Stonewall Inn that triggered the…

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New “Long Live Community!” showcases events, performers, audiences and organizers

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What’s a great way to honor and inspire community? Showing other communities in action! Long Live Community! is The Real Mainstream‘s new section devoted to pics and videos of intersectional, LGBTQ-affirming and progressive community events across Iowa and Illinois. Our first photo packages are from Davenport, Iowa City and Sioux City in Iowa, and Belleville, Buffalo Grove and Moline in Illinois. Take a peek at the event of your pick: In this new feature, you can submit pics and video of events you attended. You can submit pics and video…

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George Floyd memorials today as police ethics face growing local, national questions

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IOWA AND ILLINOIS — As the nation and several groups throughout Iowa and Illinois honor the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s videotaped murder at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, police ethics are under the spotlight anew both locally and nationally. And while Officer Derek Chauvin will serve life in prison for the murder of Floyd, more devastating videos of other Black men mistreated at the hands of police are joining with local police-related controversies to increase tension — all under the shadow of a federal partisan stand-off over…

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High school writers connect across chasms with Page Poetry Contest

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IOWA CITY — With the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and the trial of the officer who killed him, a program I started as a high school writing program has become an escape, an outlet, and a way to deal for the young writers who are participating. Page Poetry Contest Winners from IC Speaks Over the past year, IC Speaks and our members have dealt with a pandemic, and an explosion of political conversation happening worldwide. In some cases, I had BIPOC students writing pieces about the anger and pain…

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Lies, melodrama, and the hunger to control guns and drugs: roots of police brutality (TRM Blog)

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Days after Derek Chauvin’s trial resulted in full convictions last week for George Floyd’s murder, we’re in the thick, realizing things haven’t changed much in the past year. Since Tuesday alone, victims of known videotaped police shootings are a 40-year-old unarmed Black father of 10 wanted on drug charges, shot in the back; a 21-year-old unarmed Black father of one wanted for missing a Zoom hearing on gun charges; another 21-year-old unarmed Black man who sought help from police; a 16-year-old Black girl shot from behind while rushing another girl…

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