12: Respectability Politics are a Lie

On this episode, Yvette and Cynthia discuss the potential end of the Temporary Protected Status program, break down respectability politics, and analyze the case Goldberg v. Kelly. They note the erasure of Central Americans, reject respectability politics, applaud the Supreme Court for determining that welfare benefits are a form of private property, and examine the importance of due process.

Visit cerebronas.com for more information and links on what we discussed.
Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Current Event: Executive Action on TPS

Here’s an article from Aljazeera that’s helpful: “Hondurans in US live in limbo amid TPS uncertainty” by Nidia Bautista.

This is USCIS’ official page on Temporary Protected Status, which includes a brief overview of the program, eligibility, countries designated for TPS, and a link to the press release on Acting Secretary Elaine Duke’s Announcement on Nicaragua and Honduras.

Also an informative read: “Black immigrants call on Congress to extend Temporary Protected Status” by Esther Yu Hsi Lee on ThinkProgress.

Deep Thoughts: Respectability Politics

A great example of respectability politics at work.
  • Here’s a link to the book that’s credited with first articulating the term: Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham’s Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920.
  • Here’s the transcript to Bill Cosby’s speech at the NAACP 50th Anniversary commemoration of Brown vs. Board of Education.
  • An Op-Ed in the LA Times that discusses how respectability politics can get embedded into policy: “Respectability politics won’t save us from police violence” by Jamil Smith.
Respectability politics is a trap for WOC, particularly black women, in regards to “professional clothing” as demonstrated by the controversy over Patrice Brown’s dress.

Case: Goldberg v. Kelly

Here’s information on the case, including a link to the decision.


  • Yvette recommended Netflix’s How to Survive a Plague.
  • Cynthia recommended checking out the Reads page on our website!


11: The Spanish Own the Cow

In this episode, Cynthia and Yvette discuss Eduardo Galeano’s Venas Abiertas de América Latina, the gender discrimination case Nguyen vs. INS and the case of Jane Doe — an unaccompanied minor who sought an abortion while detained in immigration custody. They discuss the economics of colonialism, how gender is analyzed under the Equal Protection doctrine, and the myriad ways in which the bodies of migrant womxn are regulated and controlled.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Current Event: Garza v. Hagran

Read the ACLU information on the event here and read the legal files here.

Here’s a CNN article with problematic quotes from Texas State Attorney General by Eric Levenson and Tal Kopan, “Court Delays Abortion for Undocumented Teen in Detention.

Here’s an interview by VICE with the undocumented teen, Jane Doe.

Deep Thoughts: Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America

You can buy the book here on Amazon.

When Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez met former President Barack Obama, he gave Pres. Obama a copy of the book. Read more about it here.

Case: Tuan Anh Nguyen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

You can find the court documents, summary of the case, and a recording of oral arguments here at Oyez.


Yvette recommends reading Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal and other texts published by AK Press.

Cynthia recommends listening to Andra Day, an amazing artist from San Diego, CA. Listen for yourself below 🙂

10: Chiquitasode: “I’m Not Racist But…”

In this chiquitasode, Yvette and Cynthia interview professor Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, who shares the research that led to the writing of her book “Crook County: Race and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court.” She reveals the coded language used in the Prosecutor’s office to justify incarcerating black & brown folks, notes that these moral narratives are systemic, and gives warm advice for young Latinas interested in academia.

Van Cleve-MBG.jHeadshotspgCrookCounty-high resolution

​​​​Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve is an Assistant Professor at Temple University in the Department of Criminal Justice with courtesy appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Beasley School of Law. She is the recipient of the 2014-2015 Ford Foundation Fellowship Postdoctoral Award, the 2015 New Scholar Award (co-winner) awarded by American Society of Criminology’s Division on People of Color and Crime. She is also an affiliated scholar with the American Bar Foundation. Her award-winning book, “Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court” (Stanford University Press) was an NAACP Image Award Finalist, a two-time Prose Award Winner and a recent winner of three “Best Book” distinctions by the American Sociological Association. It has been featured on NBC News, MSNB’s The Rachel Maddow Show and CNN.

Send her love notes at Facebook or Twitter 

Buy Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court here. “Crook County bursts open the courthouse doors and enters the hallways, courtrooms, judges’ chambers, and attorneys’ offices to reveal a world of punishment determined by race, not offense.”

Mentioned on the episode:

9: Gender is a Journey

In this episode, Cynthia and Yvette interview Isa Noyola, the Deputy Director of the Transgender Law Center, discuss the manslaughter conviction of Ky Peterson, and analyze the G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board case. They highlight the ways in which survivors of domestic violence are criminalized and note the challenges that trans folks face in being able to navigate public space. Isa shares how her gender identity is linked to reclaiming her indigenous roots, the importance of letting those directly impacted lead, and what gender would look like in her ideal world.

Interview with Isa Noyola


“Isa Noyola is a translatina activist, a national leader in LGBT immigrant rights movement, and the director of programs at Transgender Law Center. She works extensively for the release of transgender women from ICE detention and an end to all deportations. She is a part of the #Not1more campaign team and sits on the advisory boards of TAJA coalition, El/La para Translatinas , and Familia:Trans, Queer Liberation movement. She has organized the first ever national trans anti-violence convening that brought together over 100 activists, mostly trans women of color, to address the epidemic of violence trans communities are facing.”

Learn more about her work at the Transgender Law Center here.

Current Event: Ky Peterson’s Continued Incarceration

Read more about Ky here. Learn more about violence against the trans community here.

Case: G.G. ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board

Learn more about the case at the Supreme Court: “This Supreme Court Case Could Affect Trans Lives for Generations” by Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project


Chiquitasode: Behind the Degrees

Surprise! Here’s a special, short-er episode while we’re away! In this chiquitasode, las cerebronas get personal about their experience pre- and during higher education, featuring some hot tips along the way. They share what they’re proudest of, who is most important in their lives, and how they got through and are getting through the tough parts of higher ed.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!

Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas

Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song


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8: Knowing Your History is Power

On this “Back to School” episode, Yvette and Cynthia discuss affirmative action, the case Plyler v. Doe, which ruled that Texas’ attempts to deny undocumented children access to K-12 public education was unconstitutional, and the recent Ethnic Studies win in Arizona. They debunk the myths surrounding affirmative action, break down 14th amendment jurisprudence, and emphasize the importance of Ethnic Studies for students of color. In lieu of our recommendations segment, we answer a listener email asking if we were too quick to chastise the white liberal woman whose parents voted for Trump. We hope you enjoy!

As a final FYI: This is our last episode until the month of October. We will be taking a break to travel and prepare for school. Please look out for our upcoming “chiquitasode”- a mini-episode where we share more about ourselves and our journeys to higher education.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!

Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas

Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Deep Thoughts: White Affirmative Action

Some dope reads on the subject:

Case: Plyler v. Doe

You can find the opinion and a recording of oral argument at this Oyez page.

The wikipedia on California Proposition 187 aka “Save Our State” (major side eye at this) and the wikipedia on California Proposition 227, which eliminated bilingual classes (it was repealed last year).

Current Events: Arizona Ban of Ethnic Studies Found Unconstitutional

Here’s the court opinion which has some sweet T in it.

Informative read: “Federal Judge Finds Racism Behind Arizona Law Banning Ethnic Studies” via NPR’s All Things Considered

7: Lincoln Gets Too Much Credit

In this episode, Yvette and Cynthia process the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, discuss what accountability means to them, and analyze Korematsu v. United States – the case that deemed the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast legal. They call out allies who don’t hold their own people accountable, discuss the differences between accountability and punishment, and explain the irony of strict scrutiny.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!

Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas

Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Current Event: White Supremacists at Charlottesville

Here’s an informative article from the LA Times: A guide to some of the far-right symbols seen in Charlottesville by Matt Pearce

A really insightful documentary by VICE that is absolutely terrifying. After watching this, Cynthia’s comments on why she refuses to be shot down in the street should make more sense.

Deep Thoughts: Accountability

Here’s where you can find and support Yes, You’re a Racist:

  • Patreon Account – wow, their page has now been removed.
  • Twitter Account
  • IG Account – can’t find it now either so probs also been removed.

Case: Korematsu v. United States

Picture was courtesy of Karen Korematsu and the Korematsu Institure for an Aljazeera article, linked below.

Aljazeera – Fred Korematsu: Why his story still matters today (source of photo)

First – yes, this was a criminal case (not civil).

You can find the case documents and more information here.

Here’s the statement from former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal about the withholding of evidence that Yvette mentioned.

Daughter of Civil Rights Icon Fred Korematsu Reflects on Internment, Executive Orders by Ryan Levi – an interview with Karen Korematsu that details how and when she found out about this case.


Yvette recommended The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri

Cynthia recommended a tarot card reading with Valeria Ruelas!

I am now settled in New Orleans and ready to take clients again. I know I wasn't able to get to some Boston/Cambridge folks and would love to do your readings now! I'm introducing a new pay scale to better serve low income folks so please message me to discuss a price that works for you, don't be shy about it, I know what it's like to struggle with money. 🕷For folks who have the means and want readings, I am currently unemployed and really in need of some income. Please support your queer brujas! 35$ readings 🕷Hola a todos! Ya estoy tomando clientes para sessiones de tarot, dispuestas en español tambien. Los nuevos precios vienen descontados para la gente de bajos recursos. Por favor mandarme un mensaje en instagram o facebook para reservar tu session. Para la gente interesada, orita esta es mi única manera de mantenerme y me encantaria tener más clientes mientras consigo empleo. Mis precios empiezan a 35$. I AM AVAILABLE ALL WEEK, FLEXIBLE TIME. #tarotreadersofinstagram #tarotcards #tarotdeck #tarotista #tarotgram #brujasofinstagram #brujablogger #mestizamagic #femmepreneur #renaissancewoman #leerlascartas

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Folks to Support with $$$

  • During the Unite The Right rally yesterday Tay was violently attacked when a white supremacist rammed her car as she was peacefully driving in downtown Charlottesville, VA. Tay’s car was the silver car – target of his hate. Let’s show Tay love over comes hate. Support here.
  • zahira kelly aka Bad Dominicana
  • Help Ralayzia with funding to pay for medical expenses, food, secure housing, and clothing. We must show up for her and all trans kindred that are brutalized and blamed for violence inflicted on them. Justice for Ralayzia!
    • On Nov. 7th, Ralayzia Sayuri Taylor, a Black Trans Women, was stabbed in the back 3 times and beaten with a hatchet at 10:30am in Arbor Glen Park in Charlotte. Though she was severely injured, Ralayzia survived and was able to stay with family in Ohio during the first few days of her recovery.
    • On Nov. 17th, 10 days after surviving physical assault and battery, the CMPD issues warrants for Ralayzia’s arrest. She was arrested on charges of statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a minor based on accusations about the events leading up to her assault. CMPD then labeled her as a fugitive for leaving the state when in
  • Nalgona Positivity Pride is a Xicana-Brown*-Indigenous project that focuses on intersectional body positivity, eating disorders awareness, and cultural affirmation.