Archive for May, 2008
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 31, 2008
Mick Hall writes:
The growth in working class support for Germany’s Die Linkspartei, [The Left Party] as expressed in recent regional election results and national opinion polls has clearly rattled Capital and its gofers in the Bundestag and media. This time in an attempt to halt the party’s rising popularity, reactionary forces have been rifling through the dustbin of history and dug up an old story about Gregor Gysi, one of the Left Party most charismatic leaders, who at one time was a member of East Germany’s Socialist Unity Party. [SED]
Unsurprisingly, as all of these parties have suffered at the ballot box due to the rise of the Left Party, politicians from the Christian Union parties, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and the FDP have called for for the head of Gregor Gysi by demanding that he should submit his resignation from national political leadership.
Posted in Class, Corporations, International, Media | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 30, 2008
In light of the recent ad pulling by Dunkin Donuts over Rachel Ray wearing a non-pollitcally aligned black and white keffiyeh, Holly blogs:
Although I have to say I laughed out loud at the phrase “hate couture.” The thing is, if you look at the scarf Rachael Ray is wearing in that picture, it doesn’t even remotely resemble the pattern traditionally associated with the keffiyeh, which resembles an interlocking net or a chain-link fence. Look, here’s Yasser Arafat wearing one… a fairly iconic and well-known image. But Ray’s scarf doesn’t even have a regular geometric pattern on it.
Posted in Arab Issues, Contemporary Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 29, 2008
Francis L. Holland blogs about the complete lack of invited bloggers whom are people of color, at the upcoming Democratic National Convention:
Has the DNC consulted with the 20% of the Convention delegates who are Black to determine whether they approve of this color-based caste system? Of course not! However, unless the floor blogging caste system is either immediately scrapped or broadened to include a representative number of Blacks and Latinos, then many afrosphere bloggers will continue a determined and concerted nation-wide campaign to bring this new color and ethnicity-based blogger caste system to the attention of all of the Black and Latino delegates to the Democratic National Convention, as well as state Democratic Party elected officials, the media and the public, so that the entire nation can participate in deciding what should be done to rectify the virtually all-white “Jim Crow” floor blogger corps of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
If so, this promises to be a long, hot summer for all concerned.
Posted in Blog, Contemporary Racism, Media, White Privilege, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 28, 2008
Terrance blogs about Memorial Day, his father, and the wars being fought now:
One of the earliest rules I remember learning as a child was how to wake dad up from a nap. Don’t touch him or shake him, I was told. He might be dreaming about being back in Vietnam, or the defensive reflex required to survive there might kick in and the reaction might be violent. So, when it was time to wake him up, we would stand at the door and call to him until he responded, even well into my high school years. Looking back, in think it was a way of not releasing the war inside — the war he carried with him — into our home.
It’s bad enough that we sent men and women overseas to fight a war founded disinformation, in insufficient numbers, and with inadequate equipment. But, when they come home with deep psychological wounds from that war, and we give them less than the treatment they need, Memorial Day celebrations and speeches ring hollow.
Posted in Government, Health Care, War | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 27, 2008
Michael Connery blogs about the protests over Tony Blair’s speech at Yale:
Normally I’m skeptical of student anti-war protests. While throwing a pie in Tom Friedman’s face might be emotionally satisfying on some level, it accomplishes very little in the way of real change. In recent years, students have achieved far greater success on campus when their protests were directed at their college or university. Over the past half decade, student protests have helped establish a living wage for workers at Harvard, many campuses, bowing to student pressure have divested from regimes involved in human rights abuses, and many more campuses have made strides toward becoming carbon neutral thanks to the pressure of students. The same cannot be said of student anti-war efforts.
That may be changing…
Posted in Academia, Government, Organizing, War | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 24, 2008
Ann, from Feminist Law Professors, gives us a link to an article on whiteness and teaching in schools:
This Article argues that whiteness operates as the normative foundation of most discussions of race. Legal educators often overlook the role of whiteness in the law school setting and in law more generally. Identifying and understanding whiteness should be an essential component of legal education. This Article considers reasons why legal education rarely addresses this normative role played by whiteness.
Posted in Academia, White Privilege, Whiteness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 23, 2008
Ridwan, a South African blogger, blogs on the recent violence against immigrants in his country:
I know all the rationalizations for why gangs of South Africans are attacking migrants of the streets of our country. I know the deplorable conditions that are hardly hidden by the delusional capitalist flash of the ‘new’ era.
But I am not willing to make excuses for the barbaric murders (22 killed), beatings, and violent intimidation of poor migrants who live among us. They are simply wrong and immoral.
Posted in Class, Immigration, International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 22, 2008
Pam blogs about a document by the Allied Defense Fund that purpots to show the “real” agenda of LGBTQI folk in America:
Someone’s going to get a spanking from the blogmistress! I want to know who has turned over one of our top secret strategy documents to the fundie Alliance Defense Fund. Blender Karen in Kalifornia alerted me to the security breach; click the image to see what has been leaked from Homo Headquarters.
Posted in LGBTQI Issues, Propaganda | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 21, 2008
In honor of this blogs namesake.
In honor of what would have been Malcolm X’s 83rd birthday, Villager has compiled a phenomenal list of links to some of his famous speeches and interviews, including “Ballot or the Bullet,” “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?” and “House Negroes vs. Field Negroes.” He’s also leading a discussion about how this man has touched the lives of so many people through his voice, his fire, and his life.
Happy birthday, Brother; your spirit lives on.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is one of the defining books in my life. The first time I read it, I was nine. Even now, though I haven’t picked it up in about five years, I can still remember whole passages by heart, and the basic wording of much more. What I find interesting is that as I grew older, my interpretation and understanding of the book changed. When I was younger, I was enthralled by ex-criminal, black nationalist Malcolm X; as I got older I began to wonder more about his transformation to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, his journey to Mecca, and his change in mindset and focus. It is his journey that inspires my own.
Many of our modern leaders live by cynical double standards. They practice slippery personal ethics, while lecturing the masses about morality. They consume conspicuously, while telling ordinary folks to save their pennies. They father children outside of marriage, then blame single mothers for the violence in black communities. They blame individuals for their circumstances, rather than help them deconstruct, understand and overcome the historical, structural, political, reasons for their plight.
Malcolm taught us better. He criticized the powerful rather than the powerless. He pointed to the pathologies of the privileged instead of the failings of the oppressed. His own story of redemption was emblematic of the possibilities available to even the most disempowered, but when he pointed to solutions, they were consistently collective.
Miss Jones blogs:
…very few people, even those who claim to love him, have taken the time to learn more about what he believed and what he did over his lifetime. There was more to Malcolm X than his views on race; his leadership style is something to admire. Too often, as I have written about here, older leaders are inaccessible because they are spoken about as though they are angels who neither grow nor change over their lifetime. However, Malcolm X never hid the fact that he made mistakes and that he was constantly learning and growing nor that he expected people to take ownership of their lives.
Mr. Shadow blogs:
Above all we must understand what Malcolm stood for: justice, freedom and equality for Africans in America and abroad. It is for this he fought and it is for this that he died.
I think it is appropriate to end this post with the spiritually moving eulogy at Malcolm’s funeral given by our late elder, actor and activist Ossie Davis.
Posted in Black Issues, History, Islam, People of Color, Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 19, 2008
Ding, at Bitch Ph.D. blogs in response to a recent article that Kathleen Parker wrote about how recent immigrants might not “understand” American values due to the fact that they haven’t been here that long:
Pat Buchanan wants me to ‘be grateful.’ He wants me to shut up and be grateful I live in a place that suffers from the worst case of degenerate racism, a place that makes no significant movement toward recognition of or reconciliation for its white supremacist past. But here’s our chance! Here’s a moment – a gorgeous, breathtaking moment! And what do we do with this moment? We say he is not (and by extension, we are not – I am not) a ‘full-blooded American’!
Oh, America, you make we wanna holler!
Posted in Contemporary Racism, History, Immigration, People of Color, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 17, 2008
Hossam blogs on the latest of the Mahalla detainees in Egypt. Over the past two years strikes have been cripling the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak; these strikes have been lead by the workers in Mahalla, Egypt, the industrial center for Egypt. Of those strikers and protesters three prominent leaders have been arrested due to their actions during the April 6th strikes. They recently released a letter:
A week has passed on our hunger strike and we are extremely weak. We are appealing to you as the last and only resort for all who have suffered injustice in Egypt.
We would like in the beginning to correct certain information which has reached the press about our (the three of us) having been transferred to the prison hospital as a result of our hunger strike.
The truth is that we are still in prison after the administration refused to call an ambulance to take us to hospital, and as a result of the inability of Karim el-Beheiry and Tareq Amin to stand on their feet – as a result of their extreme weakness. Instead, a “nurse” was summoned to examine Karim, whose condition has seriously deteriorated.
We would like to know the reason why we remain in detention. We will continue the hunger strike until we either die or receive this information.
Kamal El-Fayyoumy, Tareq Amin, Karim El-Beheiry
Detained workers from Mahalla
Borg el-Arab Prison
Wing 22, Cell 5
Posted in Class, Government, International, Organizing, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 14, 2008
As’ad, a professor at CSU Stanislaus and a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, blogs about the radical left and the situation in Lebanon and the dangers in blindly supporting Hizbullah:
I believe that the radical left, or the revolutionary left, should be careful in evaluating the situation. I see that the Lebanese Communist Party has for all purposes conflated its position with that of Hizbullah–at least during this crisis. The radical left should keep a distance from an organization (i.e. Hizbullah) with which it does not share an ideology–a religious fundamentalist one at that. Today, I kept thinking of the leader of the Iranian Communist Party who sang the praises of Khumayni only to be forced to appear on TV (after the revolution) and make Stalinist-style “confessions”. He later was executed as were other communists.
[Hat Tip: Farfahinne]
Posted in Leftism, Radicalism, Religion | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 12, 2008
I’ve recently watched a couple of documentaries about radical movements in the 1960s and 70s:Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, The Weather Underground and a narrative film about the Naxalite movement in West Bengal called Calcutta My Love.
Both of the first two films were fascinating but left me feeling irritated at the ludicrousness of it all – especially at the white privilege that protected many of these so-called revolutionaries, whereas members of the Black Panther Party faced a decidedly different fate.
Posted in Government, Institutionalized Racism, Law, Radicalism | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 10, 2008
Here are some views from the blogosphere on what is going on in Lebanon:
I just came back from the funeral wake of my neighbor’s son. He was 16 and he and his friend were shot this morning in my street. His family owns a bakery and a cafe in my neighborhood.
And has some links for us on other Lebanese bloggers.
Wassim At on his take of Hizbollah taking control of Western Beirut:
After so much talk, so much posturing and so much thuggery in the end it took only 24 hours for Beirut to be liberated. Let me come out clean from the start, those men who flushed out the Future movement and surrounded Jumblatt are clean men, strong men and, I feel, the most honourable men in the region.
Marxist from Lebanon blogged in the beginning:
Well, after General Secretary of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah spoke, heavy shooting began between AMAL/Hezbollah and Future Movement extensively. Shooting took place everywhere, in my street alone guns were shot. The neighboring street, 4 masked gunners came out and are still there. A lot of my friends reported that snipers stood up on their rooftops. Rockets were reported, and everywhere these parties are presents, a gigantic shoot-out.
Blacksmith Jade on Hizbollah:
Hizballah finds itself in a bind in Beirut – internationally, it is viewed as a non-legitimate force which has aggressed a democratically elected government; within the Arab/Islamic world it is seen as the Shiite aggressor against the Sunni Lebanese; and it is politically/militarily unable to hold large swaths of a hostile Beirut for longer than a few days, at which time it will have to hand control to the Army and its Commander, Michel Suleiman, thereby returning the country to an equilibrium already agreed upon politically the only difference being its having exposed its weapons by using them internally against fellow Lebanese.
Lebanese Socialist blogs at Sursock:
We crossed from east Beirut through to Hamra tonight. Army in control over all major road junctions. We were challenged once, but where left to pass as soon as they heard our Beiruti accents.
There are reports that this phase of crisis could be drawing to a close. The government said that they left to the army the question of whether to close Hizbollah’s communication system and withdraw its security officer from the airport.
The army then announced that they would not move on Hizbollah.
Farfahinne blogs (excuse the bad translation) on Nasrallah’s speech:
1) What is most shocking in his [Nasrallah's] statements is his call for compromise and dialogue with all of the parties and with Condoleezza Rice. I felt his speech, despite the escalation phenomenon: the “spare hand that extends to the arms of the resistance,” an indirect call to return to the table of dialogue with these parties. This is what we have to take a decisive stand on: no dialogue with a puppet government …yes to the toppling Siniora.
2) In his speech he didn’t even mention the sensitive issue of the difficult economic situation and he also omitted the topic of the raising of the minimum wage, which was called for by the General Labor Union…And, hence, limited the conflict with the question of disarmament and bumped out the economic situation and economic policy of Altaher Sinoiora’s government.
أكثر ما يصدمني في تصريحه هو إتهامه بالعمالة لأطراف الحكومة “موظفي كونداليزا رايس” من جهة ودعوته للمساومة والحوار مع هذه الأطراف من جهة أخرى. فلمست بخطابه، على الرغم من ظاهره التصعيدي : “سنقطع اليد التي تمتد الى سلاح المقاومة”، دعوة غير مباشرة إلى العودة الى طاولة الحوار مع هذه الأطراف. وهذا ما علينا ان نأخذ منه موقفا حاسمًا: لا حوار مع حكومة عميلة…نعم لإسقاط حكومة السنيورة
في كلمته لم يذكر حتى الوضع الإقتصادي الصعب الذي يفتك بالفئات الأكثر حساسية وأغفل أيضا موضوع رفع الحد الأدنى للأجور الذي دعا الإتحاد العمالي العام ودعت “المعارضة” لإضراب من أجله يوم البارحة. وبالتالي فهو حصر الصراع مع السلطة في مسألة السلاح وأخرج الوضع الإقتصادي وسياسة التعهير
الإقتصادية التي تنتهجها حكومة السنيورة من الصراع
And also states:
the Opposition have used the General Labor Confederation’s call for a general strike for it’s own purposes. It instrumentalised the workers’ socio-economic demands to create political pressure on its rivals in the government.The leadership of the union is allowing itself to be coopted by the political designs of the Opposition. Indeed, as soon as they were on the ground, the “protesters”forgot all about demands of the workers.
On the other hand, the government has recklessly implemented plans for its own interest, mostly congruent with the US vision for the “new Middle East”. Its leaders have presided over the collapse of the Lebanese state structure, where its institutions have been virtually paralyzed and its self-serving, sectarian parliamentarians have made the parliament a moribund and irrelevant institution. In the sectarian system that it has reinforced, the government talks about electoral majorities and minorities as if it were a secular system without democratically adhering to the political and demographic realities of Lebanon.
The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب has updates on the conflict as well as Moussa Bashir who blogs at UrShalim and updates GlobalVoices on blogging from the Middle East.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 8, 2008
The 15th May – a day for bloggers to unite and focus on human rights everywhere. For more information Bloggers Unite.
Via Devious Diva
Posted in Blog, International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 7, 2008
A. R. Sakaeda blogs at the Chicago Tribune News Blogs
When people talk about the model minority, “model” is code for never making other people feel uncomfortable about racism. “Model” means not being like all those other troublesome people of color. It means keeping your mouth shut and your eyes lowered. It means smiling brightly and nodding along. Yes, sir! Whatever you say, sir! It means never complaining.
Members of the model minority often are used to shame other people of color. They can do it, why can’t you? If you would only have those same close-knit families. If you only valued education more. If you only worked harder. Racism is a thing of the past.
Holding up Asian Americans as a model divides communities of color, making it difficult for us to see our commonalities.
[Hat Tip: angry asian man]
Posted in Asian Issues, Contemporary Racism, People of Color, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 7, 2008
A blogger at the Revolutionary Democratic Front (India) blogs about the rise, and current trend, of Hindu fascism in India, relating to the BJP and RSS parties:
The Hindu fascist ideology has been in existence for as long as seven and a half decades with the inauguration of the RSS in 1925 at Nagpur. But it did not play any significant role in state power. It has risen to power in the last 25 years and since then has become a strong political force. Initially its bases were upper caste people and Hindu merchant communities. In 1980s ruling classes decided to develop this fascist ideology. It has increased day by day and has made a place even amongst the dalits and backward castes. All the ruling classes have played a significant role in developing aiding and abetting the growth of fascist forces. The different fronts made with an intention of parliamentary alliances have legalized Hindu fascism. It has maintained a mask by making alliances with regional parties. BJP in its tenure associated with big commercial households and together with its organizations-CII, FICCI, and ASOCHEM-formed various committees with different ministries. It went so far as to make acquaintances with the PM office. We see that Hindu fascism is basically a result of a course of political events, which has been brought by the ruling class, which centers on imperialism and increasing political and economic crisis of national and foreign capitalists and ruling classes.
Posted in Capitalism, International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 6, 2008
The reduction of racism to hate, however, both conceptually and politically limits our understanding of racism and the ways we can challenge it. Racism has been silently transformed in the popular consciousness into acts that are abnormal, unusual, and irrational – “crimes of passion.” Missing from all this are the ideologies and practices in a variety of sites in our society that reproduce racial inequality and domination.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Institutionalized Racism, Language, Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 5, 2008
Map Singer writes:
Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier…in a two story house with an interior courtyard that still exists today (and is now situated at “Karl Marx street” of said city), which was typical of a petty bourgeoisie Prussian family.
Karl Heinrich Marx nace el 5 de mayo de 1818 en Trier…en una casa de dos pisos con un patio interior todavía existente (y que se sitúa hoy en la “calle Karl Marx” de la indicada ciudad), propia de una familia de la pequeña burguesía prusiana.
Posted in History | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 4, 2008
Carol P. Araullo, the chairperson of BAYAN, a large umbrella front of progressive and left-wing organizations in the Philippines, blogs on the food crisis and the culpability of President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines:
But this time around, we can readily agree that the rice/food crisis is happening worldwide and its immediate causes and historical roots cannot be strictly confined to the specific policies and concrete situations obtaining in particular countries. Indeed, the international agribusiness cartels such as the small clique of corporations that control the world’s fertilizer and pesticide market, the largest seed companies (e.g. Monsanto), the largest grain traders (e.g. Cargill) and the world’s big food processors (e.g. Nestle), their local business partners in third world countries and the homegrown trading cartels (e.g. in rice) have made a killing in the midst of growing hunger, food riots and panic buying by governments and households.
Having said that, we reiterate that the Arroyo regime is not blameless, in fact it must own up to and be held accountable for the neoliberal policies and programs it has perpetuated and even accelerated in implementation that today aggravates the rice crisis.
Posted in Capitalism, Corporations, Globalization, Government, International, Organizing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 3, 2008
The blogger at Lenin’s Tomb posts his thoughts on the latest assembly elections in London:
Anyone who thinks that Labour is about to turn left is kidding themselves. Far more likely is that the government will take a more aggressive stance toward the unions (as it did in 1969, with ‘In Place of Strife’) and make a demonstrative crackdown on immigration (as it did with the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in 1968). Labour doesn’t contain the resources for a regeneration of its battered left, any more than it did when John McDonnell failed to get enough PLP support to even run a campaign against Gordon Brown. The last vaguely leftish credible alternative to Brown was the late Robin Cook, whose standing after his dignified antiwar resignation speech would have made him the obvious candidate. And even he would have struggled. Just because the left-of-Labour vote was poor, just because the Tories have made a decisive recovery, don’t think that we can place our hopes in a New Labour conversion, or that we can avoid continuing to try to build a left-of-Labour alternative. We will be lying to ourselves in quite a dangerous way if we imagine that we can claw back some space by just abandoning the electoral terrain to New Labour. The fact that it is now a more difficult task in the short-term does not mean it can be wished away.
Posted in Government, International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 3, 2008
The 58th Carnival of Feminists is up at Be a Good Human:
Welcome to the 58th edition of the Carnival of Feminists! I’m seriously, seriously thrilled to have you here. If you missed the 57th edition, go check it out at Pandemian.
(And while I have your attention, please take a quick sec and vote for my new blog name over to the right. Thanks!)
So I’m going to break down these excellent submissions based on things my 13 year old sister has said to me. (Translations in parentheses.)
Posted in Carnival, Feminism | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 1, 2008
Barbara at WIMN’s Voics blogs:
The story of thousands of schoolchildren without a library and books should be front-page news. Since when did sending inner-city children to bigger schools become a positive educational step in a city concerned with high dropout rates? The story of established neighborhood schools – with acceptable school rankings – closing their doors for lack of enrollment should be a reason for investigative stories by the media. The community should be outraged, right?
Not in San Antonio. Who’s going to tell this story? Here, one Hearst chain newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News is blitzing its ads on the front page as it seeks even more profits. Corporations, according to Jimenez Reyes, are the real power behind the closing of the six schools in a balance-the-budget bottom-line mentality as the developers seek prime inner-city real estate.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Education, Government, Media, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »