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thoughts for our thingy with Addie and Ian [19 Mar 2007|01:38pm]
On “Days” for womyn:

The sad thing is that any official “day” is that the State is taking a historical figure and co-opting their message. The State takes Martin Luther King, a revolutionary leader, an opponent of u.s. imperialism and an anti-poverty activist, and turns his message solely into “I Have a Dream.” So unfortunately any “day” designated to a womyn activist would do the same to her message.


So-called “war on drugs” :

Although the average drug user is me, a twenty-one year old white male, the overwhelming majority of convictions of drug users are poor Black or Latin@ peoples. Certain communities are heavily policed and others, if they are more affluent, tend to have a blind eye turned towards them.


In a town like Moorestown, no matter the prevalence of drug use, few convictions will come from our town. This is not only because the money exists to hire a competent defense, but also because cops are not even looking to make the arrests here.


Accountability:

Having power and privilege in society, (whether it is class privilege, male privilege, or white privilege to name a few,) means i need to be accountable. The ways i do this vary; everything from confronting racist comments to taking more time to listen to womyn in my life to trying to raise awareness around the issues faced by transgender peoples.


Accountability and “Save Darfur”:

i wonder about this sometimes with the whole ‘Save Darfur’ effort. Are privileged white people who want to “help Afrikans” on the continent willing to confront their own privilege at home?


(Addie- im not sure about this one, it might come off as too attacking and too elitist and i dunno if it’s a good idea)


Calling people out:

Being open to being called out and confronted, means being open to learn.

(Addie…i don’t know if the tenses are right here..should it be learn or learning?
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me and trac: [16 Feb 2007|12:21pm]
And honestly, no i dont. (want to intro. a speaker-Cecil Corban Mark) i want to be out of the public eye as much as possible.

i dont want you all to feel that i am abandoning you, because i am not.
But fact is:
one, i am fucked up that we were accused of shit we didnt do. If people hate me, okay, but hate me for what i actually did.

Two, if people do think all this negative shit about me, then i am not helping the cause by being in the public with shit, because ppl see me and just get mad.

At the same time, i understand that "power conceeds nothing without struggle, never has, never will" -Fredderick Douglass (something like that.) People are going through a lot more than we are, and people here are going through a lot more than i am, but i need to figure how best to contribute to this whole effort without hurting the cause.

i hope you understand. Someone from YNot news asked me and Roddy to be interviewed, and i think Rod is gonna do it, but i just did not want to...
So i mean i hope i am not bailing. i am just trying to figure the best way to help.




TRAC:

You are not hurting the cause at all. I understand that you feel "responsible" for this whole thing and that is why they all hate you, but 1) they hate all of us and 2) you should be proud of yourself. We all are!! I am, very much so!

It is up to you if you want to be out of the public eye for a little while, you have to do what you have to do for yourself. But I really don't think you should feel ashamed, embarrassed, or anything else. What we are doing is the right thing. No matter how right we think we are for doing what we do, no matter how wrong we KNOW racism is, there are always going to be people that think we are wrong, that are racist and ignorant, and that want to take the heat off them for committing such a hateful action and try to spin it around on us. Of course they are going to accuse of us things we didn't do, should we really expect anything less?!? I really think there are wayyyyyy more people that agree with us and that we printed this in the link than not.

You are right, there are people that are going through alot more than we are, there are people like Junior and Roddy and Vannesa and others that are hurt by this more than we ever will be or will even be able to understand. That's why I think that we can't back down. They are affected by this down to thier core emotions, I mean, I am too and I am sure you feel the same way, but it is different for them ,obviously. I feel that I need to stand next to them and support them.

Don't worry Rog, I know you are not bailing and I definately understand where you are coming from. Do what you need to do. I know where you are coming from.
7 comments|post comment

[14 Feb 2007|04:36pm]
http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/1755.html
6 comments|post comment

[06 Feb 2007|12:46pm]
Do you know this person? Report IM Spam

SolarSunday (11:01:55 PM): hey roger, you may or may not be at your computer or whatever but i wanted to say hi. we haven't spoken in about a month and this was no accident. at least not on my part any ways. i thought it would be best if i didn't speak to you anymore, on the basis of the last time we spoke it was what i like to call "a hot mess". in short i feel like your a really great person and that i pick on you a lot. of all the people i know, you probably need critisizm the least and yet i feel i critisize you a lot. i think about 4 times last semister you must have said the phrase "its not like i hate you" in response to somethin i said. any way, the only reason its been so easy not to talk to you is because you haven't been talking or contacting me as well, so maybe you feel the same way. and if so thats cool. i can be civil towards you. we don't have to speak. i just wanted to know if you had to choose, hilary or obama for prez?


Auto Response from racsmprdctcptlsm (11:01:59 PM): The Link comes out tomorrow...


SolarSunday (11:09:20 PM): well i have to get some work done. umm, yeah, good night
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sum shit to remember [04 Feb 2007|04:30pm]
However – as a movement we also need to recognize the difference between property destruction and violence. I remember watching – years ago – thousands of people hammering away at the Berlin Wall that stood as such an obvious symbol of political oppression. I did not once think that those who were smashing the wall were violent. It was a jubilant and inspiring moment. Nor do I think that those who were toppling statues of Stalin in Eastern Europe are violent. Again another obvious symbol of oppression. In the United States, under corporate capitalism, the symbols of oppression are the golden arches of McDonalds and other corporate stores that are destroying the planet and amassing enormous power at our expense. While we need to think strategically about our tactics and be open to debate and dialogue, we also need to put things into perspective. While I advocate non-violent direct action, I understand where others are coming from and hope that we can discuss these issues as a movement that is diverse and vibrant.

Chris Crass
“Shutting Down the WTO and Opening Up a World of Possibilities”


Shortened:

“However – as a movement we also need to recognize the difference between property destruction and violence. I remember watching…people hammering away at the Berlin Wall that stood as such an obvious symbol of political oppression. I did not once think that those who were smashing the wall were violent. It was a jubilant and inspiring moment…In the United States, under corporate capitalism, the symbols of oppression are the golden arches of McDonalds and other corporate stores that are destroying the planet and amassing enormous power at our expense…While I advocate non-violent direct action, I understand where others are coming from and hope that we can discuss these issues as a movement that is diverse and vibrant.”





“I don’t think I know a woman who is comfortable with her body.” –L.S.

“The only people that hate black people, more than white people, are black people.”
–A.D.

"I have had a Black person call me "nigger" and it stung. It hurt as bad as if a white person were saying it."
"It is so internalized now that some of us hate ourselves more than white people hate us."
"There has always been a BLA. There used to be Black groups that everytime a Black person would be lynched, they would go out and lynch 2 or 3 white people."
"It was after John Brown that organizations like the Klan got really popular. They eploited that division of class. They said if you hate each other, than you can't get together and say, 'hey, that executive is fucking us both over. Let's gang up and get him.' They had to do that because that alliance scared them." -H.S.
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jay kay had this in her away message and it was too good to pass... [14 Dec 2006|12:51pm]
If you go away
As I know you will
You must tell the world
To start turning
Till you return again
If you ever do
What good is love
Without lovng you
1 comment|post comment

[13 Dec 2006|01:26am]
12/12/2006

The Mexican Revolution and its aftermath

Something important- I favor history as a story and not so much
history as a theory (though not entirely.) This presentation will be
basically a story. The thing about history is that it is like a story,
except there is no end or beginning, just chapters. The closer we get
to our own time, the more ideological the story is presented in the
mainstream teaching of it. I do have a major bias in favor of the
peasants and the revolutionaries, but not that many people, even
liberals and moderates, disagree with me here, at least until the
height of the revolution.

I generally like oral histories better and not much academic
histories, because I like to hear what normal people have to say, not
what people in the ivory tower like to write about. That said, since
this is a very brief history and basically a summary, I do focus on
people like Pancho Villa, Emilio Zapata and the like a little bit more
than say the average peasant fighting for a better life for themselves
and their children.

That said, please feel free to stop me if you have questions. I'm not
an expert but I do enjoy trying to find the answer even if I don't
know the answer, so chances are if I can't answer right now I will
answer you very soon.

Finally, I would like to say that knowing history is vastly important
because it gives us clues on how to act, it gives us lessons on what
not to repeat, and it also helps us understand where we're going.

5 Concepts

Porfiriato, Zapitismo, Plan de Ayala, PRI, Constitution of 1917

People
Porfirio Díaz Mori, Francisco Madero, Victoriano Huerta, Pancho Villa,
Venustiano Carranza, Ricardo Flores Magon, Alvaro Obregon,

Basic Mexican History- 2 revolutions in 1810 and 1820. The first led
by a priest who called for land reformation and class war by peasants.
This one was opposed by white ruling class. The 2nd one was more of an
agreement with Spain that the white ruling class would establish
independence.

In the north is less populated by very important in resources. The
south was very populated by peasants. In the south are large peasant
populations and large amounts of indigenous peoples, like Mayans and
others.

Rural nineteenth century Mexico was the scene of constant tension and
struggle, occasionally violent, between the hacendado class which
attempted to further encroach on Amerindian landholdings, and the
Amerindian communities that struggled to survive and maintain their
communal way of life. The pressure points were between the hacienda
administrators and their enforcers, and the free Indian communities,
their town fathers and appointed political and military leaders.

Several military coups, loss of Northern provinces to US. Invasion of
Mexico by France in 1860. War fought until 1866. (Cinco de mayo is
celebrated to commerate victory over the French)

A largely forgotten war is the caste wars of 1848-1886 in the Yucatan.
Chiapas is near this place and was influenced by it.

Diaz comes to power in 1876 under banner of no-reelections. Very
conservative, favored landowners and the church. He eventually became
unlimited ruler and backed foreign companies. Wanted to develop into
capitalist nation and forced industrialization. By 1910 1 in 5 land
owned by foreign companies. Swelling peasant rage. 50% of rural
population lived on haciendas.

In 1908 Francisco Madero wants to run for president under loosely
liberal platform. He is an elite guy. Diaz jails him. Madero wanted
liberal capitalism and was a vegetarian.

In 1910, from exile in the US, he issues Plan de San Luis Potosi,
November 1910.

He promises agrarian reforms, and mass support in the South swells
quickly because of this. Large amounts of peasants rally to his army,
including Emilio Zapata. A middle class guy who loved bullfights, he
was Nahuatl an indigenous group. He grew up observing many conflicts
between peasants and plantation owners (hacendados). He became an
activist for ancient title rights and eventually turned to militant
action. When Revolution broke out in 1910, he quickly became a leader
of a large southern army. One of his main allies was Ricardo Flores
Magon.

His army was mostly peasants but also joined by urban intellectuals
who Zapata let do reforms, work medicine, and send messages between
revolutionaries as well as write political manifestos. Women played a
prominent role in the Zapatistas and up to a 1/4th of the army of the
south were women. They also often played roles as quartermasters and
administrative, and medics. Famous commander is Margarita Neri.

In the north- Pancho Villa (Doroteo Arango Arámbula) He became a
bandit in the 1890s after he came home one day to find that his sister
had been raped by a hacendado's son. He killed the man and fled into
the mountains. Recruited by governor of Chihuahua and became
politicized to oppose Diaz. Brought an army of bandits and others into
fight against Diaz.

Mass protests and fighting against Federales all over the country. May
21st 1911 Diaz steps down and Modero becomes President. Later elected
with large majority.

During war, youth especially students flocked to the armies of all
sorts. Students were seen as anti-revolutionary because of their elite
backgrounds, so were heavily indoctrinated by revolutionary armies. In
the 1920s, wide spread protest movement was led by students and youth.

The Cat is Out of the Bag-

Madero quickly refused to enact the reforms he had promised. Zapata
issues Plan de Ayala in the south and continues fighting, especially
for land reforms. Madero sends in the Federal Army.

Plan de Ayala

Rejection of Madero's presidency and a call for free elections
once the situation in the country had stabilized;
Naming of Pascual Orozco as the legitimate leader of the Revolution;
Devolution of land and property to townships and citizens, as
opposed to being owned by large hacendados;
Confirmation of the agrarian nature of the Revolution.

This was heavily influenced by Magon and included the basic call for
¡Tierra y Libertad! (Translation: Land and Liberty)

In the North, the commander of the federales, Huerta arrests Pancho
Villa, and he flees to the US and then returns and calls on his former
army to revolt against Madero and fight for justice. War continues all
over country. The cat was out of the bag.

In negotiations he says to commissioner "I've been Senor Madero's most
faithful partisan. I've given infinite proofs of it. But I'm not
anymore. Madero has betrayed me as well as my army, the people of
Morelos, and the whole nation. Most of his original supports are in
jail or persecuted, and nobody trusts him any longer because he's
violated all his promises. He's the most fickle vacillating man I've
ever known." The commissioners wanted to know what to tell the Prez.

Zapata says "Tell him this for me. Tell him to take off for Havana,
because if not he can count the days as they go by and in a month I'll
be in Mexico City with twenty thousand men and have the pleasure of
going up to Chapultepec castle and dragging him out of there and
hanging him from one of the highest trees in the park."

In 1913, in a conspiracy with the US ambassador and Felix Diaz, nephew
of the dictator, Huerta overthrows Madero and has him and the vp
executed. Huerta becomes the new president and quickly begins
consolidating his control. Zapata and Villa declare Huerta to be the
new enemy after Huerta attacks the House of the World Worker, which
was largely made up of intellectual radicals. An army of the north
(División del Norte (Northern Division) and an army of the south are
formally constituted.

A fake battle is waged between Diaz's conservative rebel forces and
the federales "La Decena Tragica" and then Diaz and Huerta join
forces.

New president Wilson refuses to recognize him as President. March 26th,

In April 1914, US marines seize Vera Cruz.

and Venustiano Carranza Garza, a general who had fought with Pancho
Villa, issues Plan de Guadeloupe, which calls for the overthrow of
Huerta. Revolutionaries are enraged after he declares himself the
leader of the revolution.

He calls for the return of Modero's policies and his Constitutional
Army seizes Mexico City. Huerta flees and shortly dies.

After Carranza sends attacks the Zapatatistas and Villists in
consolidation of power, Villa and Zapata march on Mexico City.
following his defeat, the Constitutionalists set up a convention to
decide the form of the government.

Zapata refused to attend the convention, pointing out that none of the
attendees had been elected. Instead the chiefs in Morelos sent a
delegation to present the Plan de Ayala for consideration and observe
the state of the convention.

In early 1915, Carranza flees the city and Villa and Zapata enter.
This is really the highlight of the revolution and probably where the
revolutionaries had their greatest chance at real change. Villa and
Zapata sat in the Presidential palace and declared it was to be
dismantled and power decentralized.

However, the actions of Villa's men of being rude and drunkards led to
the citizens of the city disliking the Villists, and Villa's men had
to leave. Afterwards, Zapata was left vulnerable and Carranza and his
general Alvaro Obregon, retook the city. Afterwards, Villa and Zapata
returned to their perspective places. Their armies were very shattered
and hurt at this point after years of fighting.

Fighting continues. In 1916, Wilson recognizes Carranza and in
response Villa raids the town of Columbus New Mexico. The US army is
sent in to chase after him, which it does for 1.5 years before the
outbreak of WWI.

1917- To take the steam out of the revolution, Carranza declares that
he will implement a new Constitution which will give in to most of the
rebel demands. Among other things it banned foreign ownership of the
land, put in labor codes, reformed the church's role in education and
put in limited land reforms. Much revolutionary activity is exhausted
at this point, but fight continues.

The government is now firmly in control.

In 1919 Jesús Guajardo invited Zapata for a meeting, pretending to be
friendly towards him and intimating that he was intending to defect to
the revolutionaries. No sooner had Zapata arrived at the appointed
place on April 10 – the Hacienda de San Juan, in Chinameca, Ayala
municipality – when Guajardo's men riddled him with bullets.

Following Zapata's death, the Liberation Army of the South slowly fell
apart. He shortly became a legend however in Mexico and a hero to the
poor. Some refused to accept his death and said he still lived, even
if just in spirit. This is why the Zapatistas adopted his name as
their own.

Zapata Quotes:
Esos que no tengan miedo que pasen a firmar, (Translation: Those
who have no fear should step forward to sign this) said when
calling on people to sign the Plan de Ayala.
¡Tierra y Libertad! (Translation: Land and Liberty)
Ignorance and obscurantism have never produced anything other than
flocks of slaves for tyranny. (A letter to Pancho Villa)
The quote Es mejor morir a pie que vivir arrodillado
(Translation: It is better to die on your feet than to live on
your knees.),while popularly attributed to Zapata, is actually
from Cuban revolutionary José Martí. Zapatistas did use this
slogan, but it did not originate with Zapata.

Aftermath

In 1920- Villa declares and Armistead with the federales and retires.
Carranza is overthrown by Obregon and murdered. He continues plans of
slow reform.

1923- Villa assassinated.

1926-1929- Cristero Wars (war between the Church and the State) leads
to a draw.

1928- after eight years of rule as President Obregón assassinated. His
party, the PRM, (Partido de la
Revolución Mexicana) begins to form and implements land reforms and
anticlerical reforms.

1934, is implemented with the election of Cardenas as permanent party
in Mexico. No president has ever seeked a 2nd term since. Rules
through a mix of corporatism, paternalism, authoritarianism and
suppression. Socialist ideals and revolutionary slogans, yet firmly in
control. ("The perfect dictatorship")

1946 becomes Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) sympathetic to
the soviet union yet not outright. Unions are recruited as official
branches of the party to control the workers and turn out people for
production.

1950s- shifts to neo-liberal ideology and is supportive of USA.

In 1980s- laws were laxed on foreign ownership of the land, and much
industrialization happens at the border (maquileadora)

Rules until 2000 election. Implements labor rules to keep mandatory
minimum wage laws across the industries, which later are flipped to
keep wages low. Therefore, Mexican unions are arm of the government
and independent unions are banned.

2000 Election- for the first time ever, the PRI is defeated in
election for Presidency by PAN, which is a conservative neo-liberal
party. Vincent Fox, a former CEO of Coca-Cola, becomes president.

2006- PAN and PRD have very close election. PRD supporters are still
demonstrating….

In 1994- The Zapatista Uprising in the southern province of Chiapas.
Declaring themselves direct ideological descendants on Zapata. Their
social base is mostly indigenous but they have supporters in urban
areas as well as an international web of support. Their most visible
voice, although not their leader, is Subcomandante Marcos (currently
a.k.a. Delegate Zero in relation to the "Other Campaign"). Their
leader is Comandanta Esther. Unlike the Zapatista comandantes,
Subcomandante Marcos is not an indigenous Mayan. They see themselves
as descendants of 500 years of struggle against imperialism.

Some consider the Zapatista movement the first "post-modern"
revolution: an armed, yet non-violent (despite an uprising in the
early 1990s) revolutionary group that incorporates modern technologies
like satellite telephones and the internet as a way to obtain domestic
and foreign support. They consider themselves part of the wider
alter-globalization, anti-neoliberalism social movement.

Their actions are very similar to Plan Alaya.

"demand that the revolutionary armed forces not intervene in matters
of civil order or the disposition of capital relating to agriculture,
commerce, finances, and industry, as these are the exclusive domain of
the civil authorities, elected freely and democratically".
Furthermore, it added that the people should "acquire and possess arms
to defend their persons, families and property, according to the laws
of disposition of capital of farms, commerce, finance and industry,
against the armed attacks committed by the revolutionary forces or
those of the government."

Issues communiqués

And recent "The Other Campaign" - The political aims of the Other
Campaign include the barring of privatization of public resources, and
autonomy for indigenous peoples. They also aim for the drafting of a
new national constitution and the reorganizing of Mexican society in a
more equal system.

Oaxaca- Part of the election protests, the teachers strike has turned
into a general insurrection against the PRI governor. Anarchists,
union, and leftists of all kinds have flocked to support it. Marcos
and the Zapatistas have called for militant action in support of it
and even crossed the bridge a month ago. A western reporter (Brad
Will) was killed which brought much international attention to the
matter. But lots of other protesters have been killed.

Suggested Reading
Zapata and the Mexican Revolution by John Womack JR (full of great quotes)

La Revolucion- Mexico's Great Revolution as Memory Myth and History

Life and Times of Pancho Villa by Friedrich Katz

http://latinoartcommunity.org/community/Gallery/1910/CourseRev.html-
online source for a history of the Mexican Revolution.

The No-nonsense Guide to World History- by Chris Brazier (not about
the Mexican revolution, but a great intro on why world history is
manipulated for the ruling classes, and a great "People's History"
intro)

Zapatista and other current Resources

www.rebelresources.com – "Rebel Imports (www.rebelimports.com) is a
volunteer-run organization that aims to build sustainable fair markets
for artisans and farmers, especially those in conflict zones or with
connections to social movements. Zapatista women told us that more
than charity, they want dignity and fair prices for their artesania...
so Rebel Imports was born." (coffee and other stuff.)

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/ Zapatista Homepage (Spanish Language)
http://chiapas.indymedia.org/ Has communiqués in English and much
other translations.
http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/zapsincyber.html Another
good English language collection of Zapatista stuff.
http://www.narconews.com/ Reports on the drug war from Latin America
with breaking news, analysis, investigative journalism, translations
of journalism from Mexico and beyond
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fuckers. i was really pissed [11 Dec 2006|10:51am]
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1016-33.htm

Wow. Wow……

On some real shit, groups like that are why 1,300 poor Black people are allowed to drown in New Orleans and no one does anything because this is a fucking racist country, ran by a bunch of racist white people and most of them think that Blacks are worthless.

That is why a Black man is eleven times more likely to get the death penalty that the same crime committed by a white person. That is why 53 percent of the prison population is Black people, with Latino and Native peoples also making up disproportionate amounts of the prison population.

That is why Amadou Diallo got killed, gunned down in the street by racist killer cops who empty forty-one shots into an innocent man for reaching for his wallet. That is why the fuck they all got off and they are just living their lives and they never served a day in jail. That is why when a cop gets killed in the hood, I find it hard to find tears when they patrol the Black and brown streets like the military and they have a shoot to kill order.

That is why this country is fucked. That is why Black people still have so much self-hate, because it is taught so well. We are experts at it. That is why white people stay in our white towns and our white schools with our white friends…

That is why I cant listen to rap, because Matt thinks it is okay to be in that group. Because white people like Black people at a distance, as long as they sing and dance. That is why I knew I couldn’t be with Hannah in the end regardless of what had happened, because she can be in that group. That is why it really doesn’t matter if you think “your not a racist” if meanwhile you can be in that group. If you even think that it is okay for that group to exist, without speaking out against it. That is why having Black friends doesn’t mean shit, when you can say or agree with shit like that. That is why white liberals doesn’t mean shit when Rob wants to help the pitiful poor Africans but he thinks it is funny to be in that group…

That is why I hate whiteness and at times I hate my white skin and I cry for the history and legacy of my people and what we continue to do. The same reason I hate the fact that I have a dick, because so many men rape womyn, and I fall into that group. But ive moved past self-hate to accountability. That means accountability for whatever any ignorant comments white people make.

I hate what it has come to mean to be white. It means racism.

It means “harmless ignorance”. Harmless ignorance that silences people. That causes harm. That causes hatred. That causes self-hate.

It means a war that results in the death of 655,000 plus civilians. But it is made easier because they are just sand niggers that practice a backwards way of life and they oppress their womyn. Not that we give a shit when we’re dropping bombs on their womyn and children.

That is what whiteness means today, in this country. That was the most repulsive thing I have seen in a long time. Disgusting and upsetting and hurtful.
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RENT beginning, and Rody's reviews... [11 Dec 2006|10:50am]
So tonight i went and saw RENT again on Broadway. It is my third time (im prettyyy sure) seeing it. i went with Amanda, Lindsey and Ryan. We did the lottery and all won twenty dollar tickets!! In fact, Ryan and i won front and center tickets first row. Everytime we showed our tickets to the attendants, we were congradulated! But at intermission, we moved one row back and a bit to the right to sit with Linds and Amanda. We were row B, like second row seats like 111,112.




And Roddy's suggestions:
A white view on Racism <-----(CAN THIS GO ON THE FRONT)
>
>“White Privilege and white accountability”
>“White supremacy and white privilege”
>(BUT im NOT SURE WHAT TO ACTUALLY CALL IT?)

>But before i jump too far ahead, lets backtrack. i may have already lost some of my white readers.~~sounds like you're are taking a stab at white people. i believe thaat some may stop reading after this line; Sets the tone as if you were talking down to them. (i feel you though roger, you talk down to those who are beneath you, which these people are)~~ i am not suggesting that any individual bears the entire burden. The core responsibility of the problem lies with our society. However, accountability falls on our shoulders. This country, built on forced labor-a product of white supremacy-still to this day functions on that SAME white supremacy. As white folks, we refuse to see how racist institutions function to our benefit, and at a detriment to people of color. It all starts from a lack of awareness of our race.
>
>i distinctly remember the first time i looked in the mirror and saw a white male's face.~~Personal and powerful~~ It was an uncanny experience, i was seventeen and realized at that moment what it means to not have to be conscious of my race. Before this point i wasn’t aware of my whiteness. This is an advantage allotted to us as white people. Being a person of color in this country means a heightened awareness of one’s race. For whites, it means a lack of awareness of our race, until we’re confronted. When the reality of this system of privilege and oppression is presented to us, we’re quick to get defensive. (As some white readers may do throughout this article).~~let your words speak for themself; i would take this out~~

>Suddenly, race, which is ‘not a big issue’ to us and ‘something we just don’t see,’ means a hell of a lot. Suddenly our racial pride is on the line. This illustrates perfectly how we have (unexamined) feelings of white supremacy. If you feel defensive throughout this article, ask yourself why. If you don’t think about race, why does it become such a big issue when another white person talks about white accountability? Why does it become a personal attack when a person of color speaks about racism? These feelings come from a lack of understanding of white supremacy (racism) or even acknowledgment of its existence. A majority of people fail to understand “what it is, and how it works.”~~yes..im thinking of Neely Fuller~~
>
>At times no one can ignore racism. The recent murder of Sean Bell by cops in Queens, is such a time. Five cops fired a total of 50 bullets at his car, carrying three unarmed Black men. The 12-year veteran and the only white cop~~i thought it was two Black, two white,and 1 latino??~~ fired 31 times. His gun didn’t carry 31 bullets. He stopped and reloaded. So Sean Bell, who was to be married the next day, is dead.
>
>White folks driving don’t get fifty shots sent at our cars. Where are the white folks condemning this crime? There are marches in Black communities. Black leaders are speaking out. Yet we as white folks have no response? This is disgusting. We should be using this as an opportunity to examine our position, as an opportunity to be accountable. Most of all, we should be outraged! We don’t (directly) control institutions like the media or the “justice system,” but we control our response and actions.(this inspired me to change my ending) In trying to oppose racism, we need to think about how we enable oppression and how to break this cycle. Why aren’t we furious at this brutal murder?~~they make numerous exceptions and over analyze for the sake of supporting "the system" aka "white supremacy"
>
>Dealing with racism is never easy. Its not about ‘making us all feel good and equal.’ That’s bullshit. Things are not good and equal. Nor should it cause whites to feel “white guilt.” That doesn’t help. Just because all whites have privilege, doesn’t make us bad people. As whites, we get these privileges and cannot control this fact. We control if we hold ourselves accountable for our privilege. We can try to be conscious of our whiteness (read: privilege). If you are going into a place where you will be with mostly people of color and you feel uncomfortable, you should be aware that this is common place for people of color in much of the US. Especially in racist institutions of higher education... It is far past time for white people to move from racism and/or “white guilt” to accountability. And hopefully, to white allies in a struggle against white supremacy (racism).~~i like WS and racism interchangably...yes sir~~
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Howard Zinn...is this good. Yes. [29 Nov 2006|01:22pm]
Friday, November 24th, 2006
Howard Zinn on The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism

Howard Zinn is one of this country's most celebrated historians. His classic work "A People's History of the United States" changed the way we look at history in America. First published a quarter of a century ago, the book has sold over a million copies and is a phenomenon in the world of publishing - selling more copies each successive year. [includes rush transcript]

After serving as a bombardier in World War II, Howard Zinn went on to become a lifelong dissident and peace activist. He was active in the civil rights movement and many of the struggles for social justice over the past 40 years.
He taught at Spelman College, the historically black college for women, and was fired for insubordination for standing up for the students. He was recently invited back to give the commencement address.
Howard Zinn has written numerous books and is professor emeritus at Boston University. He recently spoke in Madison, Wisconsin where he was receiving the Haven Center's Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship. We bring you his lecture, "The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism."


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RUSH TRANSCRIPT


HOWARD ZINN: Madison is a very special place. I always have a special feeling when I come here. I have a feeling I am in a different country. And I’m glad, you know. Some people get disgusted of the American policy, and they go to live in some other country. No. Go to Madison.

So, now I’m supposed to say something. I am glad you’re there, whoever you are, and this light is shining in my eyes to wake me up.

Well, do you get the feeling sometime that you’re living in an occupied country? Very often that’s a feeling I get when I wake up in the morning. I think, “I’m living in an occupied country. A small group of aliens have taken over the country and are trying to do with it what they will, you know, and really are.” I mean, they are alien to me. I mean, those people who are coming across the border from Mexico, they are not alien to me, you see. You know, Muslims who come to this country to live, they are not alien to me, you see. These demonstrations, these wonderful demonstrations that we have seen very recently on behalf of immigrant rights, say, and you’ve seen those signs saying, you know, “No human being is alien.” And I think that’s true. Except for the people in Washington, you see.

They’ve taken over the country. They’ve taken over the policy. They’ve driven us into two disastrous wars, disastrous for our country and even more disastrous for people in the Middle East. And they have sucked up the wealth of this country and given it to the rich, and given it to the multinationals, given it to Halliburton, given it to the makers of weapons. They’re ruining the environment. And they’re holding on to 10,000 nuclear weapons, while they want us to worry about the fact that Iran may, in ten years, get one nuclear weapon. You see, really, how mad can you be?

And the question is, how has this been allowed to happen? How have they gotten away with it? They’re not following the will of the people. I mean, they manufactured a will of the people for a very short time right after the war started, as governments are able to do right after the beginning of an armed conflict, in order to able to create an atmosphere of war hysteria. And so for a short time, they captivated the minds of the American people. That’s not true anymore. The American people have begun to understand what is going on and have turned against the policies in Washington, but of course they are still there. They are still in power. The question is, you know, how did they get away with that?

So, in trying to answer the question, I looked a little at the history of Nazi Germany. No, it’s not that we are Nazi Germany, but you can learn lessons from everybody and from anybody’s history. In this case, I was interested in the ideas of Hermann Göring, who, you may know, was second in command to Hitler, head of the Luftwaffe. And at the end of World War II, when the Nazi leaders were put on trial in Nuremberg, Hermann Göring was in prison along with other of the leaders of the Nazi regime. And he was visited in prison by a psychologist who was given the job of interviewing the defendants at Nuremberg.

And this psychologist took notes and, in fact, a couple of years after the war, wrote a book called Nuremberg Diary, in which he recorded -- put his notes in that book, and he recorded his conversation with Hermann Göring. And he asked Göring, how come that Hitler, the Nazis were able to get the German people to go along with such absurd and ruinous policies of war and aggression?” And I happen to have those notes with me. We always say, “We happen to have these things just, you know, by chance.”

And Göring said, “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. It works the same way in any country.”

I was interested in that last line: “It works the same way in any country.” I mean, here, these are the Nazis. That’s the fascist regime. We are a democracy. But it works the same way in any country, whatever you call yourself. Whether you call yourself a totalitarian state or you call yourself a democracy, it works the same way, and that is, the leaders of the country are able to cajole or coerce and entice the people into war by scaring them, telling them they’re in danger, and threatening them and coercing them, that if they don’t go along, they will be considered unpatriotic. And this is what really happened in this country right after 9/11. And this is happened right after Bush raised the specter of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and got for a while the American people to go along with this.

But the question is, how did they get away with it? What about the press? What about the media? Isn’t it the job of the press, isn’t it the job of the media, isn’t it the job of journalism to expose what governments do? Don’t journalists learn from I.F. Stone, who said, “Just remember two words,” he said to young people who were studying journalism, he said, “Just remember two words: governments lie”? Well, but the media have not picked up on that. The media have gone along, and they embraced the idea of weapons of mass destruction. You remember when Colin Powell appeared before the United Nations just before the onset of the Iraq war and laid out to the UN this litany of weaponry that Iraq possessed, according to him, and gave great details in how many canisters of this and how many tons of this, and so on and so forth. And the next day, the press was just aglow with praise. They didn’t do their job of questioning. They didn’t do their job of asking, “Where? What is your evidence? Where did you get this intelligence? Who did you talk to? What are your sources?”

Isn’t this what you learn as a freshman in college? “Hey, what are your sources? Where are your footnotes?” No, no. They were just -- the Washington Post said, “It is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.” And the New York Times, you know, it was just beside themselves with admiration for Colin Powell. Of course, it all turned out to be untrue, all turned out to be lies. But the press did not do its job, and as a result, the American people, watching television, reading the newspapers, had no alternative source of information, no alternative opinion, no alternative critical analysis of what was going on.

And the question is, why still did the people believe what they read in the press, and why did they believe what they saw on television? And I would argue that it has something to do with a loss of history, has something to do with, well, what Studs Terkel called “national amnesia,” either the forgetting of history or the learning of bad history, the learning of the kind of history that you do get, of Columbus was a hero, and Teddy Roosevelt is a hero, and Andrew Jackson is a hero, and all these guys who were presidents and generals and industrialists, and so on. They are the great -- they are the people who made America great, and America has always done good things in the world. And we have had our little problems, of course -- like slavery, for instance, you know -- but we overcome them, you know, and, you know. No, not that kind of history.

If the American people really knew history, if they learned history, if the educational institutions did their job, if the press did its job in giving people historical perspective, then a people would understand. When the President gets up before the microphone, says we must go to war for this or for that, for liberty or for democracy, or because we’re in danger, and so on, if people had some history behind them, they would know how many times presidents have announced to the nation, we must go to war for this reason or that reason. They would know that President Polk said, “Oh, we must go to war against Mexico, because, well, there was an incident that took place on the border there, and our honor demands that we go to war.”

They would know, if they knew some history, how President McKinley took the nation into war against Spain and Cuba, saying, “Oh, we’re going in to liberate the Cubans from Spanish control.” And in fact, there was a little bit of truth to that: we did go in, we fought against Spain, we got Spain out of Cuba, we liberated them from Spain, but not from ourselves. And so, Spain was out, and United Fruit was in, and then the American banks and the American corporations were in.

And if people knew their history, they would know, you know, that President McKinley said, when -- as the American army was already in the Philippines and the American navy was already in the Philippines, and Theodore Roosevelt, one of our great presidential heroes, was lusting for war, then people would know that McKinley, who did not know where the Philippines were, but very often now presidents need to be briefed and told where something is. You know, George Bush, “This is Iraq is,” you know. Lyndon Johnson, “This is where the Gulf of Tonkin is.” You know, they need it.

And president -- they would know, if they knew history, that President McKinley said, “We’re going into the Philippines to civilize and Christianize the Filipinos.” And if they knew their history, if the history books spent some time on the war in the Philippines in the early part of the 20th century, instead of, as history books do -- they spend a lot of time on the Spanish-American War, which just lasted three months -- they spend virtually no time on the war on the Philippines, a bloody war which lasted, oh, seven years, and which involved massacres and the extermination of populations. That history doesn’t appear. You know, we had civilized and Christianized the Filipinos and established our control.

They would know, if they heard the President say, “We are going to bring democracy to the Middle East,” they would know how many times we brought democracy to other countries that we invaded. They would know if we brought democracy to Chile, when we overthrew a democratically elected government in Chile in 1973. They would know how we brought democracy to Guatemala when we overthrew, again, a democratically elected -- oh, we love democratic elections, we love free elections, except when they go the wrong way. And then we send either our army in or the CIA in or secret agents in to overthrow the government.

If people knew that history, they would never for a moment believe President Bush, when he says, oh, we’re going into Iraq, you know, because of this reason and that reason and liberty and democracy, and they’re a threat, you know. I mean, it takes -- yeah, it takes some historical understanding to be skeptical of the things that authorities tell you.

When you know history, you know that governments lie, as I.F. Stone said. Governments lie all the time. Well, not just the American government. It’s just in the nature of governments. Well, they have to lie. I mean, governments in general do not represent the people of the societies that they govern. And since they don’t represent the people and since they act against the interest of the people, the only way they can hold power is if they lie to the people. If they told people the truth, they wouldn’t last very long. So history can help in understanding deception and being skeptical and not rushing to embrace whatever the government tells you.

And if you know some history, you would understand something which is even more basic, perhaps, than the question of lying about this war or lying about this invasion, lying about this intervention, something more basic, if you knew some history: you would understand a sort of fundamental fact about society, and including our society, that the interests of the government and the interests of the people are not the same.

It’s very important to know this, because the culture tries very hard to persuade us that we all have a common interest. If they use the language “national interest” -- there’s no national interest. There’s their interest and our interest. National security -- now, whose security? National defense, whose defense? All these words and phrases are used to try to encircle us all into a nice big bond, so that we will assume that the people who are the leaders of our country have our interests at heart. Very important to understand: no, they do not have our interests at heart.

You will hear a young fellow who is going off to Iraq. I remember hearing the same thing when a young fellow went off to Vietnam. And a reporter goes up to the young fellow and says, “You know, young man, you’re going off, and what are your thoughts and why are you doing this?” And the young man says, “I’m doing this for my country.” No, he’s not doing it for his country. And now, she’s not doing it for her country. The people who go off to war are not doing fighting for their country. No, they’re not doing their country any good. They’re not doing their families any good. They’re certainly not doing the people over there any good. But they’re not doing it for their country. They’re doing it for their government. They’re doing it for Bush. That would be a more accurate thing to say: “I’m going off to fight for George Bush. I’m going off to fight for Cheney. I’m going off to fight for Rumsfeld. I’m going off to fight for Halliburton.” Yeah, that would be telling the truth.

And, in fact, you know, to know the history of this country is to know that we have had conflict of interest in this country from the very beginning between the people in authority and the ordinary people. We were not one big happy family that fought the American Revolution against England. I remember, you know, in school, that’s how it seemed, you know: they’re the patriots, and there’s all of us, working, fighting together at Valley Forge and Bunker Hill, and so on, against the Redcoats and the British, and so on. It wasn’t that way at all. It wasn’t a united country.

Washington had to send generals down south to use violence against young people to force them into military service. Soldiers in the revolutionary army mutinied against Washington, against officers, because there was class conflict in the army, just as there had been class conflict all through the colonies before the Revolutionary War. Well, anybody who knows the military, anybody who’s been in the military, knows that the military is a class society. There are the privates, and there are the officers. And in the Revolutionary War, the privates were not getting shoes, and they were not getting clothes and not getting food, and they were not getting paid. And the officers were living high in resplendence. And so, they mutinied, thousands of them.

I don’t remember ever learning about that when I studied history in school, because the myth comes down: oh, we’re all one big happy family. You mean, including the black slaves? You mean, including the Native Americans, whose land we were taking from them, mile by mile by mile by mile? We’re all one big happy family? The women, who were left out of all of this, were -- no, very important to understand that fundamental fact: those people who run the country and we, our interests are not the same.

So, yes, history is useful for that, for understanding -- understanding that we are a nation like other nations, for understanding that we are not, as again we are taught from early on, we are the greatest, we are number one, we are the best. And what -- it’s called American exceptionalism in the social sciences. The United States is an exception to the rule of nations. That is, the general rule of nations is they’re pretty bad. But the United States, our country, we are good. We do good in the world.

Not long ago, I was on a radio program, interviewed by -- this was sort of a regular commercial station. I like to be interviewed on regular commercial stations, where the guy really doesn’t know who he’s invited, you see. And he says, “Professor Zinn, don’t you think America has, in general, been a force for good in the world?” “No, no, no.” Why not ask me, “Do you think the British Empire was a force for good in Africa, or the Belgians were a force for good in the Congo, or the French were a force for good in Indochina? You think the United States was a force for good when they sent the Marines into Central America again and again and” -- no.

But there’s this notion of, you know, we are different. We are the great -- I mean, sure, there are very great things about America, but that’s not what we did to other countries, not what we did to black people, not what we did to Native Americans, not what we did to working people in this country who suffered twelve-hour days until they organized and rebelled and rose up. No, we have to be honest with ourselves.

This is a very hard thing to do: be honest about ourselves. I mean, but, you know, you’re brought up and you say, “I pledge allegiance,” you know, etc., etc., “liberty and justice for all,” “God bless America.” Why us? Why does God blessing us? I mean, why is He singling us out for blessing? You know. Why not, “God bless everybody”? If indeed, you know -- but, you know, we’re brought up -- if we were brought up to understand our history, we would know, no, we’re like other nations, only more so, because we are bigger and have more guns and more bombs, and therefore are capable of more violence. We can do what other empires were not able to do to such an extent. You know, we are rich. Well, not all of us. Some of us are, you see? But, no, we have to be honest.

Don’t people join Alcoholics Anonymous so that they can stand up and be honest about themselves? Maybe we ought to have an organization called Imperialists Anonymous, you know, and have the leaders of the country get up there on national television and say, “Well, it’s time, you know -- time to tell the truth.” It would be -- I don’t expect it to happen, but it would be refreshing.

And then, if we knew this history, we would understand how often fear has been used as a way of getting people to act against their own interests to work up hysteria and to get people to do terrible things to other people, because they’ve been made afraid. Wasn’t it fear and hysteria that motivated lynch mobs in the South? Wasn’t there created fear of black people, hysteria about black people, that led white people to do some of the most atrocious things that have been done in our history? And isn’t it today -- isn’t it fear, fear of Muslims, not just terrorists, in general? Of course, fear of terrorists, especially fear of Muslims, you see? A very ugly kind of sentiment to inculcate on the American people, and creating a kind of hysteria, which then enables them to control the population and enable them to send us into war after war and to threaten, you know, still another war.

And if we knew some history, we would know about the hysteria that accompanied the Cold War, the hysteria about communism. It’s not that communism didn’t exist, just as terrorism does exist, yes. It’s not that communism -- communism existed, and there was a Soviet Union, and it was repressive to its own people, and it did control Eastern Europe, but there was an enormous exaggeration of the Soviet threat to the point where -- oh, it’s not just that they’re in Eastern Europe. It’s, they’re going to invade Western Europe.

By the way, no evidence of that. CIA analysts who were specialists in the Soviet Union in recent years came forth and said there was never any evidence that the Soviet Union were going to invade Western Europe. But against that, NATO was created. Against that, the United States built up an enormous nuclear arsenal.

The Soviets were always behind the United States. They built up the Soviets as a threat, but after all, who had the atom bomb first? And who had more atom bombs than anybody? And who was the only country that actually dropped atomic bombs on ordinary people in two cities in Japan? And so, we who use the atomic bomb, we who accumulate the atomic bomb, we create a hysteria about countries that are desperately trying to catch up. Of course, Iran will never catch up, and North Korea will never catch up. The Soviet Union tried to catch up. But in creating this monster threat, we took trillions of dollars of the wealth of this country and expended it on military budgets.

And the hysteria about communism reached the point where -- and I’m not just talking about school kids hiding under their desks, you know, because the Soviets were going to drop an atomic bomb. There was no evidence the Soviets were going to drop an atomic bomb. By the way, there is evidence that the joint chiefs of staff, the people high up in the American government, at various, various times proposed preventive war, dropping nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. But we created a threat so ominous, so omnipresent, that kids were, yeah, hiding under their desks, and also so that anything that happened anywhere in the world that was not to the liking of the United States became part of the world communist threat.

And so, to deal with that, we could go into any country in Latin America that we wanted. And because it was a communist threat, we would send an army over to Vietnam, and several million people would die, because Vietnam became the symbol of the communist threat in the world. When you think about how absurd it was to worry that Vietnam, already divided into a communist north and anti-communist south, to worry that, oh, now half of this tiny country is going to become communist, and just to the north a billion people had turned to communism. And there’s something a little bizarre.

But, you know, bizarre thinking is possible when you create fear and hysteria. And we’re facing, of course, that situation today with this whole business of terrorism. And if you added up all the times in speeches of George Bush and his Cabinet and all the times they used the word “terrorism” and “terror,” it’s a mantra they have created to frighten the American people.

I think it’s wearing off. You know, when you -- I think there’s beginning to be some recognition, and that accounts for the fact that public opinion has turned against the war. People no longer believe that we’re fighting in Iraq in order to get rid of terrorism, you know, because the evidence has become so overwhelming that even the mainstream media has reported it -- you know, the National Intelligence Estimate. And this is the government’s own intelligence agencies saying that the war in Iraq has caused a growth of terrorist groups, has increased militancy and radicalism among Islamic groups in the Middle East.

But terrorism has supplanted communism as an attempt to get people to do things against their own interests, to do things that will send their own young people to war, to do things that will cause the depletion of the country’s wealth for the purposes of war and for the enrichment of the super-rich. It doesn’t take much thought about terrorism to realize that when somebody talks about a war on terrorism, they’re dealing with a contradiction in terms. How can you make war on terrorism, if war itself is terrorism? Because -- so you respond to terrorism with terrorism, and you multiply the terrorism in the world.

And, of course, the terrorism that governments are capable of by going to war is on a far, far greater scale than the terrorism of al-Qaeda or this group or that group or another group. Governments are terrorists on an enormously large scale. The United States has been engaging in terrorism against Afghanistan, against Iraq, and now they’re threatening to extend their terrorism to other places in the Middle East.

And some history of the use of fear and hysteria and some history of the Cold War and of the anti-communist hysteria would be very useful in alerting people to what we are going through today. I mean, with Iran, for instance, it’s shameful, and the media have played such a part in this, of the Iran nuclear weapon. They want a nuclear weapon. They don’t say they have a nuclear weapon. They want a nuclear weapon. So do I. Yeah, it’s easy to want a nuclear weapon. And small countries that face enormous military powers and who cannot possibly match the military power of these enormous countries, they are following what was the strategy of the United States: the United States said, “We must have a deterrent.” How many times have you heard, when you ask, “Why do we have 10,000 nuclear weapons?” “We must have a deterrent.” Well, they want a deterrent: one nuclear weapon. You know.

Not that situation with Iraq. I mean, you know, Condoleezza Rice: “a mushroom cloud.” We were the only ones who created mushroom clouds, over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Iraq was in no position to create a mushroom cloud. All the experts on the Middle East and atomic weapons said, you know, Iraq was five-ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon, but we were creating, you know, hysteria about nuclear weapons.

Now we’re doing the same thing with Iran. And the International Atomic Energy group of the UN flatly contradicts a congressional report which talks about the danger of Iran’s nuclear weapons, and the international group, which has conducted many, many inspections in Iran, says, well, you know, you need to -- and they give the American people a kind of half-education. That is, they say, they use the phrase, “They’re enriching uranium.” Well, that scares me. You know, they’re enriching uranium. I don’t really know what it means, you see, but it’s scary. And then you read the report of the International Atomic Energy group, and you see, well, yes, they are. They’ve enriched uranium to the point of 3.5%. In order to have one nuclear weapon, they have to enrich it to 90%. They’re very, very far from even developing one nuclear weapon, but the phrase “enriched uranium” is, you know, repeated again and again, you know.

And so, yes, we need some historical understanding, yeah, just remembering back to Iraq, just remembering back to the hysteria around Vietnam. My god, a communist might take over South Vietnam! And then what? Just a short hop to San Francisco. No, some of you may remember that when Reagan was supporting the Contras in Nicaragua, he was saying, “You know, you see where Nicaragua is? It wouldn’t take much for them to get to Texas.” I wondered about that, you see? And then I wondered, why would the Nicaraguans want to get to Texas? And this is no slur on Texas, but -- and once they got to Texas, what would they do? Take a United Airlines flight to Washington. What would they -- but really, it’s very important to know some of that history to see how hysteria absolutely cripples consciousness about what is going on.

I would suggest something else. I’m getting worried about how much time I have taken. Well, actually, I’m not getting worried about how much time I’ve taken. I don’t care. I’m looking at my watch to pretend that I care. And since I don’t know when I started, I can’t figure out how long I’ve been talking.

But at some point the war in Iraq will come to an end. At some point, the United States will do in Iraq what it did in Vietnam, after saying, “We will never leave. We will never leave. We will win. We will stay the course. We will not cut and run.” At some point, the United States is going to have to cut and run from Iraq, you see. And they’re going to do it because the sentiment is going to grow and grow and grow in this country and because more and more GIs are going to come back from Iraq and say, “We’re not going back again,” and because they’re going to have more and more trouble supplying the armed forces in Iraq, and because the parents of young people are going to say more and more, “We are not going to allow our young people to go to war for Bechtel, you know, and Halliburton. We’re not going to do that.” So at some point, yes, at some point we are going to do what they say we mustn’t do: cut and run.

We don’t have to cut and run. Cut and walk. Cut and swim. Cut, but get out, as fast as you can, because we’re not doing any good there. We’re not helping the situation. We’re not bringing peace. We’re not bringing a democracy. We’re not bringing stability. We’re bringing violence and chaos. We’re provoking all of that, and people are dying every day. When a Democratic leader says, “Well, I think we ought to withdraw by May 14th, 2000-and-whatever.” You know, yeah, every day from now until then more people will die, and more people will lose arms or legs or become blinded. And so, that is intolerable. And so, we have to do everything we can.

And in the case of Vietnam, at a certain point the government realized it could not carry on the war. The GIs were coming back from Vietnam and turning against the war. They couldn’t bring people to join the ROTC. Too many people were running to Canada. Too many people were not signing up for the draft. Finally, it had to do away with the draft. They were losing the support of the population. They were losing support of the military. And at a certain point, no.

And something like that is going to happen. And the sooner we help it happen, of course, the better. The more we go into the high schools -- you know, there’s a very practical thing, very practical thing that everybody can do, and that is, go to their local high schools and make sure that all the parents and all the kids in high schools understand that they don’t have to give their information to the military recruiters, you see, as, you know. And more and more have teams of people who will counter the propaganda of the military recruiters.

You know, they are having trouble. They’re getting desperate about recruiting for the military, going to all sorts of lengths and, or course, they’re concentrating -- they send their military recruiters into the poorest schools, because they know that the working class kids are the most vulnerable, the most needy, the ones who, you know -- they need an education, they need a skill, and so. And so, they’re trying to prey on the working class. Eugene Debs said -- if you don’t mind my quoting Eugene Debs -- but Eugene Debs said in a speech during World War I, which landed him in jail, “The master class has always started the wars. The working class has always fought the wars.” And, of course, that has been true all the way. So we will at some point get out of Iraq.

But I want to suggest one thing: we have to think beyond Iraq and even beyond Iran. We don’t want to have to struggle against this war and then against that war and then against the next war. We don’t want to have an endless succession of antiwar movements. It gets tiring. And we need to think and talk and educate about the abolition of war itself, you see.

I was talking to my barber the other day, because we always discuss world politics. And he’s totally politically unpredictable, as most barbers are, you see. He said, “Howard,” he said, “you know, you and I disagree on many things, but on one thing we agree: war solves nothing.” And I thought, “Yeah.” It’s not hard for people to grasp that.

And there again, history is useful. We’ve had a history of war after war after war after war. What have they solved? What have they done? Even World War II, the “good war,” the war in which I volunteered, the war in which I dropped bombs, the war after which, you know, I received a letter from General Marshall, general of generals, a letter addressed personally to me, and to 16 million others, in which he said, “We’ve won the war. It will be a new world.” Well, of course, it wasn’t a new world. It hasn’t been a new world. War after war after war.

There are certain -- I came out of that war, the war in which I had volunteered, the war in which I was an enthusiastic bombardier, I came out of that war with certain ideas, which just developed gradually at the end of the war, ideas about war. One, that war corrupts everybody who engages in it. War poisons everybody who engages in it. You start off as the good guys, as we did in World War II. They’re the bad guys. They’re the fascists. What could be worse? So, they’re the bad guys, we’re the good guys. And as the war goes on, the good guys begin behaving like the bad guys. You can trace this back to the Peloponnesian War. You can trace it back to the good guy, the Athenians, and the bad guys, the Spartans. And after a while, the Athenians become ruthless and cruel, like the Spartans.

And we did that in World War II. We, after Hitler committed his atrocities, we committed our atrocities. You know, our killing of 600,000 civilians in Japan, our killing of probably an equal number of civilians in Germany. These, they weren’t Hitler, they weren’t Tojo. They weren’t -- no, they were just ordinary people, like we are ordinary people living in a country that is a marauding country, and they were living in countries that were marauding countries, and they were caught up in whatever it was and afraid to speak up. And I don’t know, I came to the conclusion, yes, war poisons everybody.

And war -- this is an important thing to keep in mind -- that when you go to war against a tyrant -- and this was one of the claims: “Oh, we’re going to get rid of Saddam Hussein,” which was, of course, nonsense. They didn’t -- did our government care that Saddam Hussein tyrannized his own people? We helped him tyrannize his people. We helped him gas the Kurds. We helped him accumulate weapons of mass destruction, really.

And the people you kill in a war are the victims of the tyrant. The people we killed in Germany were the victims of Hitler. The people we killed in Japan were the victims of the Japan Imperial Army, you know. And the people who die in wars are more and more and more people who are not in the military. You may know this about the different ratio of civilian-to-military deaths in war, how in World War I, ten military dead for one civilian dead; in World War II, it was 50-50, half military, half civilian; in Vietnam, it was 70% civilian and 30% military; and in the wars since then, it’s 80% and 85% civilian.

I became friends a few years ago with an Italian war surgeon named Gino Strada. He spent ten years, fifteen years doing surgery on war victims all over the world. And he wrote a book about it, Green Parrots: Diary of a War Surgeon. He said in all the patients that he operated on in Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere, 85% of them were civilians, one-third of them, children. If you understand, and if people understand, and if you spread the word of this understanding, that whatever is told to you about war and how we must go to war, and whatever the threat is or whatever the goal is -- a democracy or liberty -- it will always be a war against children. They’re the ones who will die in large numbers.

So, war -- well, Einstein said this after World War I. He said, “War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished.” War has to be abolished, you know. And it’s -- I know it’s a long shot. I understand that, but you have to -- when something’s a long shot, but it has to be done, you have to start doing it. Just as the ending of slavery in this country in the 1830s was a really long shot, but people stuck at it, and it took 30 years, but slavery was done away with. And we can see this again and again. So, we have a job to do. We have lots of things to do.

One of the things we can learn from history is that history is not only a history of things inflicted on us by the powers that be. History is also a history of resistance. It’s a history of people who endure tyranny for decades, but who ultimately rise up and overthrow the dictator. We’ve seen this in country after country, surprise after surprise. Rulers who seem to have total control, they suddenly wake up one day, and there are a million people in the streets, and they pack up and leave. This has happened in the Philippines, in Yemen, all over, in Nepal. Million people in the streets, and then the ruler has to get out of the way. So, this is what we’re aiming for in this country.

Everything we do is important. Every little thing we do, every picket line we walk on, every letter we write, every act of civil disobedience we engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, any parent that we talk to, any GI that we talk to, any young person that we talk to, anything we do in class, outside of class, everything we do in the direction of a different world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile, because that’s how change comes about. Change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points in history come together, and then something good and something important happens.

Thank you.
post comment

phil [29 Nov 2006|12:35am]
Often times, white lives mirror the lies we have learned. Our lives mirror the lie of a ‘free and equal’ society. Taking an honest look at the misperceptions and outright deceit we have learned about the history of the US, also means taking an honest and critical look at ourselves as white people. We refuse to see the lack of fairness and equality in society. White folks do not look at the way we get special privileges daily. Worse, we do not recognize that they come at the expense of other people. Awareness needs to exists amongst whites that privelage, oppression and power are real. They effect our lives everyday.

More so ( , ) white people need to be race conscious. It is (long) passed the time to give up the myth ( that we are a) color blind society.

No ( division or something else) of our society, and no one in our society is color blind. ( I ) know i am white, and when people look at me they sure aren’t seeing me in “color blindness.” ( I'm not sure what the message of this line is..i dont think it flows)

Laura, a white women who spent time in prison, worked to bring attention to violations that all women in the prison were facing while locked up. She got more attention for her incidents of abuse than Native, Latina, Black, and other women of color (recieved). (Even though the women of color faced the most incidents, they were the most likely to be ignored)

Laura used her position of (relative) privilege to bring attention to these abuses. False colorblindness would not have helped anyone. As whites, we get these privileges; we have no control over this fact. We do control what we do in our position.

i have (found this to be true time and time again). Often ( - times) when a racist comment is made, many people of color feel silenced. Many times, folks will express their hesitation of talking for fear of being labeled “The crazy Black person.” Being white, i don’t have to fear such a retribution. But before i jump too far ahead, (lets backtrack a little). (I know that I already) have likely lost some of my white readers. (-And) It is not because i am unclear in my writing. ( I should make clear that I do not believe that any single person should bear the burden for this.) ( The core responsibility of the problem lies within the complicated depths of our society.) (However, accountability falls on our shoulders).

This country, which was built on forced labor (a product of white supremacy)-still to this day functions on that SAME white supremacy. It is long past time for white people to come to terms with our privilege. This privilege is what allows me (the white man) to speak against racism without being labeled ‘crazy’ or ‘racist’. Yet for (a person of color) to speak out against this oppression, the oppression being perpetrated against them by whites, they’re written off as being racist themselves. All of these misconceptions come first and foremost from a lack of understanding of white supremacy (racism).

A majority of people fail to understand “what it is, and how it works.” White supremacy is continued largely because masses of white folks have unexamined (very true-good point) feelings of racial superiority. Feelings that all things whites do (are) superior. These feelings of white supremacy trickle up and down. From institution to individual and back. White supremacy ( -,) exists in (I would use the word almost...or else people may write you off as extremest) every institution (of) our society. This has been an unwavering fact since) the days of first contact, when Europeans came to occupy and settle what is today called ‘the Americas.’ Institutionally, people of color experience white oppression everyday.

Rarely these stories break the corporate news sources; media which is itself racist....( If this is how you feel its fine...but if other people are reading it, it comes off as extreme leftist and might anger them too much to see your point...i would tone it down instead of stating "the media is racist"...its too blunt.) White supremacy is filtered into our living rooms every night through that box. But even in our sensationalized news environment, at times cases of racist crimes cannot be ignored. The recent murder of Sean Bell by police in Queens is such a crime. Five cops fired a total of fifty bullets at his car.( His car carried three unarmed black men.) The 12 year veteran cop in the group (and the only white cop) fired thirty-one times. His gun does not carry thirty-one bullets. He stopped and reloaded.

And so this man, Sean Bell who was on the way to being married the next day, is dead. Where are the white folks condemning this crime? There have been marches in Black communities. Black leaders have spoken out. Yet we as white folks have no response? This is disgusting. We should be supportive. We should be using this as an opportunity to examine our position and even to possibly lead to healing. Most of all, we should be outraged.

Where is this response? We do not (directly) control institutions like the media or the cops and the “justice system.” But we can control our response (and) our actions. On (an) individual level, it means many white folks consciously (and/or) subconsciously look down on (the) lifeways of people of color.

Meanwhile (whites) take for granted the fact that we use their cultures, labor, intellectual ability, and creations. White supremacy means having validation for most things you say as a white person.... ( i dont get this line) Here huge differences account for white folks who are marginalized in other ways (sexuality, class, gender.)

But when it comes to race, our thoughts have always been legitimate to our (white) peers. Meanwhile, it means giving no legitimacy to the words that come from a mouth of a person of color. This shit needs to stop. As white people (,) we need to recognize that racism (,) and take time to listen to people of color. This includes listening to pain and anger. Disagreements are one thing, but when someone talks about racism they are not ("pulling the race card.") They are speaking about experiences that they have (gone through) nearly everyday of their life. It is legitimate. It is not the place of whites to constantly question those experiences....( good point) That is the role of the racist.-( I think that is a great point rog)

For white people genuinely interested in acting as an ally our role is to listen and recognize that experience.( i think that using the word ally makes you sound like ur seperating white and black...use a word like "brother" or "fellow human" or something) It is fair to expect that we (should) be conscious of our whiteness (read-privilege.) If you are going into a place where you will be with mostly people of color, and you feel uncomfortable, you should be aware that this is (a) common place situation for people of color.

Especially in white supremacist institutions of higher education... Discussions about racism are not easy. Nor should they be. They also should not be about ‘making us all feel good and equal.’ That is bullshit. Things are not good and equal. Nor should the conversation cause the white participants to feel so-called “white guilt”. This also, does not help anyone. It is far past time for white people to move from racism or “white guilt” to white accountability. And hopefully, to white allies in a struggle against white supremacy (racism).

You make alot of good points roger but I think that at times you sound too extreme for the majority of readers. As you obviously know, racism is a topic that can ignite emotions...one of them being anger. You should try to get your message across...and appeal to the people who need to be educated about it. Its a natural human reaction to feel anger if they feel they are being attacked. People may take some of your comments the wrong way. All im saying it to tone down some of it. You make alot of potentially eye opening points...and if they are delivered in a way that the average person doesnt have a problem recieving....the potential can turn into reality. Anything i put in parenthesis is either a thought, a correction, or a suggestion. Good job son...im proud of you.
post comment

Sasha tears me up.... [28 Nov 2006|09:43pm]
okay the only way i could send it was to include by statment within a :::: open
::::close format- i hope its doable
- tho it up- sasha
?A white perspective on racism.?> white guilt to white accountability"??Often
times, white lives mirror the lie we have been taught. Our lives mirror the
lie of a free and equal society. Taking an honest look at the misperceptions
and outright lies we have learned about the history of the U.S. also means
taking an honest and critical look at ourselves as white people. We fail to
see the lack of fairness and equality in our lives. White folks refuse to look
at the ways in which we get special privileges everyday
:::: special sounds so awesome i feel like they're particular or benifecial, perhaps that special
makes it sound a little too shakey- these privledges arent just special they're
institutional and signifigant, special sounds fruffy.::::

Worse, we do not recognize that they come at the expense of other people.??A white women who had spent time in prison once told me that while she was in prison, she would work
to bring attention to violations that all women in the prison were facing. She
said that she would get more attention for her incidents of abuse, than Native,
Black, Latino, and other women of color would get.
::::careful with this example, its a random story, its content is minimal and its context fairly
unexplained, where did you meet her why do you include her story, break it down
a bit, show dont tell ::::??

While generally the women of color would be the ones
facing the most incidents of human rights abuses, they were also the ones that
would be ignored the most. So this white woman would use her position of
(relative) privilege to bring attention to these abuses. Even in prison, in
one of the most vile places to live, white privilege exists whoa whoa saying
prison is the most vile place or one of them to live,
:::: however true coming from you sounds weird- yes prisons are fucked yes prisons are unacceptable on many standards but that vile, that word, place is home to a lot of people vile
makes it sound so evil or makes the people living there sound evil. and by
saying even in prison makes it sound weird like of course its in prisons,
prisons one of the most obvious breakdowns of color, class, and power- theres
gonna be racism, careful how you approach this:::: ??

i have found the same thing numerous times. Often times when a racist comment is made, many people in the room feel silenced
:::: what kind of people, who is silenced white people ::::

So many times folks will express their hesitation of talking for fear of being labeled “The crazy Black person”
:::: folks who? folks of color (?)folks express their hesitation to who you, how do you understand there hesitations? ::::

As a white person, I fear no such retribution
:::: do you ever fear being labeled the "radical" misunderstood white who thinks he knows
when he doesnt or flipside attacked by whites who dont believe you- because
there is retribution for you but it manifests itself in different manners when
YOU combat racism. how do our personal identities determaine the ways we combat
racism---?::::??

But before i jump too far ahead, let me backtrack. i do not want to make any assumption of knowledge. For already i have most likely lost some of my white readers. And it is not because i am unclear in my writing (im a little bit misdirected but not terrible,) nor is it solely the fault of any
person reading this. No the bottom line responsibility falls with our society.
But bottom line accountability falls on us.
:::: thats confusing, two bottum lines- it is the self, individaul and collective tho thats agreed. and those selves are not seperate, or perhaps even equal HA, but they must be accounted
for- the other self is still self. ::::??

In this country, a country built on the forced labor of white supremacy, a country still to this day which functions on that same white supremacy, it is ::::WAY:::: past time for white
people to come to terms with our privilege
:::: what do you mean 'past time' like something whites have been doing for a while, like it should have been done at a certain time, when was the time- this sentance sounds kinda weird yes
racism has manifested itself over the course of "history" of lives but talking
about how it should have been done before doesnt help and makes it seem like a
couple steps woulda changed the whole damn thing- is it that simple, or
complex, i appreicaiate the way you acknowledge that history and say its past
time- but so what, does that mean you asking for a call of action to white
folks to stand up and recognize the cycles they are consistently perpetatuing...me like ::::??

This privilege is what allows me (the white man) to speak against racism without being labeled ‘crazy’ or ‘racist’. Yet for people of color to speak out against this oppression, the oppression being perpetrated against them by white folks, they are written off as being racist
themselves. All of these misconceptions come first and foremost from a lack of
understanding of white supremacy (racism) and privledge and power.
:::: who has the power to be right and wrong who has the power to use their subjective voice
it is suppose to be the sub altern, people of colors power, but instead is
misredirected by white supremecy as 'reverse racism' or reading into it. ::::

A huge majority of all people fail to understand “what it is, and how it works”
:::: not only that they deny that it even still 'exists' as if it once
manifested itself and then ran away ::::??

White supremacy is continued in a large part because masses of white folks have unexamined feelings of white superiority

:::: yes...AND those people control systems of oppression that perpetuate these feelings, it is indivuals that make up systems not just their feelings, these feelings are only so serious because they control entire communites and countries ::::

Feelings that all things we (Europeans) do ultimately are superior

:::: careful using Europeans,i think your talking bout white peoples bout whatbout australia mothafuckers are white as hell, careful what white is... white people are everywhere be scared ::::

These feelings of white supremacy both trickle up and down. From institutions to individual and
back.
:::: these last sentances are sound kinda sloppy and since i am usin my sub altern poc power then make it better, yes they "trickle" from individual and back, back where to who and what- talk about the realities of racisms embedded and institutionalized behavior/ surprise all white people are racist and it doesnt make you a bad person it means you have certain power and
priveldge etc...(its not my job to teach you, cough, so imma stop rantin now) HA ::::??

Focusing on the individual level of white supremacy it means that we
mock the lifeways of people of color, while meanwhile taking for granted the
fact that we use their culture, labor, intellectual ability, and creations
:::: now use the word cultural appropriation perhaps, this sounds weird with the word
mock, unless you either give example i.e certain whites and hip hop or talk
about appropriation and power of culture as commoditity dont just stop there
thas a real practical realistic place to relate racism to white folks lives,
the power to reinterpet a culture / also i dont know if you know the term
imperialist nostaligia which basicaully kinda means this::::

The personal is the political. This feminist wisdom holds true not only for relationships
between genders, but also in so many situations of racial and ethnic
collision.?? The reality of white supremacy involves basically having complete
validation for most things you have ever said as a white person. Here huge
differences account for white folks who are marginalized in other ways
(sexuality, class, gender, etc.) but when it comes to race our feelings have
always been legitimate in the eyes of our (white) peers . On the other hand,
it means giving no legitimacy to the words that come from a mouth when it is
dark skinned

:::: !! whoa this sentence should just be taken out, dark skinned sounds akward from you in this sentance, you cant define poc experiences by the color lines it just dont work here- so- either chop this sentnce or say by "it means giving no legitimacy when the situation involves a person of color - which by the way and sometimes is questionable... ::::

This shit needs to stop. As white people we need to recognize that racism and take time to listen
to people of color. This includes listening to feelings of pain and anger hells
yeah,
:::: not only listening but thinking reflexively about you own involvement with everyday racism, also dont get mad as a white person when you need to listen this is a conversation based around concepts of silence, power, priveldge, and voice not your time to talk about how you know what racism is and how you aren't it... ::::??

Disagreements are one thing, but when someone talks about racism they are not ‘pulling the race card.’ No they are speaking about experiences that they have felt nearly everyday of their life. It is legitimate. It is not the place of every white person to constantly question those experiences. That is the role of the racist. For white people genuinely interested in acting as an ally our role is to listen and recognize that legitimate claim.
:::: This paragraph I like...so the white man has caught on i see ... like it love it do it ::::??

It is not unfair to expect that white people be conscious of their whiteness (read-privilege.) If you are going into a place where you will be the “minority,” and you feel uncomfortable, you should be aware that this is a situation faced everyday by people of color

:::: you must add..'in the united states' cause we run da world baby fuck that minority shit
that dont exist in the world but in the u.s they try to convince you I.E MAPS
so biased and small scale the size of those continents that are majoirty people
of color and majoirity the damn world. people of color are a "minority in this
country" - and even then the word minority is weird- so be specific por favor.
::::??

Discussions about racism are not easy. Nor should they be. They also should not be about ‘making us all feel good and equal.’ That is bullshit. things are not good and equal. Nor should the conversation cause the white participants to feel so-called “white guilt”

:::: its a step but dont expect your friends of color to boo hoo with you and give you a tissue, shit is serious, and we've been there done that and poc appreciate and want to be there
but not at the expense of their own self and collective identities.::::

This also, does not help anyone. It is far past time for white people to move from
racism and “white guilt” to white accountability. And hopefully, to white
allies in a struggle against white supremacy (racism).
:::: holla brotha dodger this is the truth glad to be part of the journey hope my comments were helpful, i liked this kinda felt like a diaolouge you know like that cornell west bell
hooks joint or some shit - you know do like we usta kick it. hope it all goes
down well. much love. sasha. ::::?
1 comment|post comment

um my lil article and shitttt. [27 Nov 2006|10:40pm]
893

A white perspective on racism.
"From white guilt to white accountability"

Often times, white lives mirror the lies we have been taught. Our lives mirror the lie of a free and equal society. Taking an honest look at the misperceptions and outright deceit we have learned about the history of the U.S. also means taking an honest and critical look at ourselves as white people. We fail to see the lack of fairness and equality in our society. White folks refuse to look at the ways we get special privileges daily. Worse, we do not recognize that they come at the expense of other people.

A white women, Laura who’d spent time in prison once told me that while there, she worked to bring attention to violations that all women in the prison were facing. She said that she would get more attention for her incidents of abuse, than Native, Black, Latino, and other women of color would get. While often the women of color would be the ones facing the most incidents of abuse, they were the ones that would be most ignored. So Laura would use her position of (relative) privilege to bring attention to these abuses. Even in one of the most vile places to live, white privilege exists.

i have found the same thing numerous times. Often times when a racist comment is made, many people in the room feel silenced. So many times folks will express their hesitation of talking for fear of being labeled “The crazy Black person.” Being white, i don’t have to fear such a retribution.

But before i jump too far ahead, let me backtrack. i do not want to make any assumption of knowledge. For already i have most likely lost some of my white readers. And it is not because i am unclear in my writing (im a little bit misdirected but not terrible,) nor is it solely the fault of any person reading this. No the bottom line responsibility falls with our society. But bottom line accountability falls on us.

In this country, a country built on the forced labor of white supremacy, a country still to this day which functions on that same white supremacy, it is past time for white people to come to terms with our privilege.

This privilege is what allows me (the white man) to speak against racism without being labeled ‘crazy’ or ‘racist’. Yet for people of color to speak out against this oppression, the oppression being perpetrated against them by white folks, they are written off as being racist themselves. All of these misconceptions come first and foremost from a lack of understanding of white supremacy (racism). A huge majority of all people fail to understand “what it is, and how it works.”

White supremacy is continued in a large part because masses of white folks have unexamined feelings of white superiority. Feelings that all things we (Europeans) do ultimately are superior. These feelings of white supremacy both trickle up and down. From institutions to individual and back.

Focusing on the individual level of white supremacy it means that we mock the lifeways of people of color, while meanwhile taking for granted the fact that we use their culture, labor, intellectual ability, and creations. The personal is the political. This feminist wisdom holds true not only for relationships between genders, but also in so many situations of racial and ethnic collision.

The reality of white supremacy involves basically having complete validation for most things you have ever said as a white person. Here huge differences account for white folks who are marginalized in other ways (sexuality, class, gender, etc.) but when it comes to race our feelings have always been legitimate in the eyes of our (white) peers. On the other hand, it means giving no legitimacy to the words that come from a mouth when it is dark skinned. This shit needs to stop. As white people we need to recognize that racism and take time to listen to people of color. This includes listening to feelings of pain and anger.

Disagreements are one thing, but when someone talks about racism they are not ‘pulling the race card.’ No they are speaking about experiences that they have felt nearly everyday of their life. It is legitimate. It is not the place of every white person to constantly question those experiences. That is the role of the racist. For white people genuinely interested in acting as an ally our role is to listen and recognize that legitimate claim.

It is not unfair to expect that white people be conscious of their whiteness (read-privilege.) If you are going into a place where you will be the “minority,” and you feel uncomfortable, you should be aware that this is a situation faced everyday by people of color.

Discussions about racism are not easy. Nor should they be. They also should not be about ‘making us all feel good and equal.’ That is bullshit. Things are not good and equal. Nor should the conversation cause the white participants to feel so-called “white guilt”. This also, does not help anyone. It is far past time for white people to move from racism and “white guilt” to white accountability. And hopefully, to white allies in a struggle against white supremacy (racism).


Institutionally people of color experience white oppression everday. Rarely these stories even break the mainstream of news sources in our sensationalized
3 comments|post comment

Really old, but i want to ensure that i keep it. [16 Nov 2006|12:17pm]
i rememeber how we first got you from my dad's friend. He found you on
the street. You were so small then, just as you leave us now. i remember
we couldnt tell if you were a boy or girl and a friend of the family i think
her name was Danielle was trying to look. We thought you were a girl.
i remember how we named you Nightcat because we wanted to be original and
midnight was so common.

Whenever i talked about my pets and i said your name and it was always so
funny to everyone. And i always made a joke of it and got a laugh.

You were such a member of the family. So SO much. You are my background on my
phone. i never knew it could hurt so much to loose a pet. But now i really
realize, and again it unfortunely prooves that stupid fucking saying, you
were so much more of a pet, you were a family member. For the last fourteen
years of my life. All the years that matter you have been here. And it is so
true, as it always is, that you dont know what you have until you are gone.

i remember how when i was at school and looking forward to coming home for a
break, especially after freshman year that it would hit me that you would be
there and i would get so excited to see you.

We used to call you 'Devilcat' and

Dan used to throw you over the railing of the stairs when we were younger and
i was being mean to him. If he could not catch me and could not hurt me, he
would pick you up and hang you over the banister and drop you to get back at
me. i dont even know if that was common, or if i just blew it out of
porportion in my mind by always talking about it.

i remember how much you used to purr. Like crazy. And then you got fixed and
we were worried because you purred less, but neat the end i think you were
starting to purr a lot again. You loved being rubed under your chin and it
was a trust thing. You would curl in that little cute ball and after petting
you a while and earning your trust, you would turn your head out so we could
pet it and scratch it.

Like all cats, you loved string and the ball on the string in the kitchen.
You were so much fun. As you got older you played less, but you were alwasys
so loveable and loving. But you could fight too and you were crazy at time.
You hated when people would touch my your butt and that was enough to get
them a claw or a bite.

Most of all, you were really friggin bourgie and you would only drink out of
the water fountain if it was running. In fact for the longest time you would
only drink out of the one in the front bathroom. And even then, i had to
start by showing you that it was good enough for me to drink, so i would lick
a little bit and drink, and then you would afterwards. That annoyed us all to
have to sit with you while you drank, and it would piss me off when me or
someone else left the water running by mistake. And even that will be some
thing that i really miss.

You were always the favorite to everyone because the world hates fat people
so it hates fat cats. i remember how you would eat our hair and everyones who
would sit on the couch.When i would get out of the shower in the morning in
all my years of school here and lie back down and you would lick the water
out of my hair. i remember how you would always be there when we got home
from school waiting close to the door. i always used to clean your litter
box and i hated the chore, even though it was so easy. And i hated how dan
never had to do it.

And i remember just yesterday coming home and we all knew there was something
terribly wrong. And last night late when you were howling, you were truly
crying out for help. And that is all i could think is how you were asking me
for help and i could not give it to you... And last night when you layed at
the end of the couch. i was so sad you sat right down, because i know that
whenever i move you to me to sleep with me, you never sit right down. But
last night you did, because you were too tired to do anything else. So i
layed me head by you and i pet you. All i could think is how you were just
skin and bones. You were so thin. And then you had to leave us...

Today when my mother told me, i was worried not that Nightcat had died, but
that my Aunt Gigi had, that was my thought. Because she looked farr too sad
to have lost a pet. Because until she told me i couldnt figure it out. That
it is loosing a family member and a good friend. A close, old friend.

And my mom said that it was so sad. He was just so small, she said. She said
it was so hard for her and that she could not have done it without someone
there, as Dan was there for her, telling her that it needed to happen.
Seeing my mom hurt like that is the worst part. She is so strong. The
strongest person i have ever known, and she looked so broken. She said it
just wants you to say 'life sucks. You get so used to one loss, and maybe you
dont even get used to it, but then another one comes along.' And she added
'and this is in america, it would be so much worse in another country.'

i think she was
probably referring to her parents. As if you could ever get used to that
loss. And i remember when we all embraced when we heard her mother had died.
In the living room, in the middle we all hugged and cried together... i
thought about my dad there, and how he could help us through it. i think i
thought it at the time because he did not feel as deeply the loss as we all
did. But maybe i thought it becuse that is just what dads are supposed to do
in my young mind at the time, help us through times like that. Why do i even
ask these things? How the fuck do these things matter in a time like that?

My dad said.. 'he cried a lot.'
2 comments|post comment

http://www.totse.com/en/politics/terrorists_and_freedom_fighters/armsprit.html [08 Nov 2006|03:38am]
I would say that at the moment in the liberal sectors and
radical sectors of Puerto Rico society on the island there is no
unifying theme. We are hoping that the campaign for the
liberation of the political prisoners will be the unifying trend
amongst all the radical and progressive sectors of Puerto Rican
society. And that even the moderates, due to the human rights
issues included in it, will finally give the support to this
campaign for freedom in view of the fact that the political
prisoners and Prisoners of War, the only reason that they are in
jail is that they are anti-colonial combatants and very clearly
under international law anti-colonial combatants are not to be
persecuted by the colonial power, but would either be judged by
an international body, or should be allowed to receive asylum in
a neutral country. In the same way, these international
institutes forbid the oppressor country to criminalize the anti-
colonial combatants and the U.S. has always violated what is very
clearly stated by the international institutes.


Interview With Dr. Luis Nieves Falcon - Co-ordinator Of
Ofensiva '92
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quotes [01 Nov 2006|01:17pm]
"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it, at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice."
-Mumia Abu-Jamal, u.s. Political Prisoner



"Without freedom, there isn't any big deal in living
since to accept fascism is to forfeit life."
-Kuwasi Balagoon


"Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act."
-Howard Zinn
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some thoughts as always...personal is.... [26 Oct 2006|02:36pm]
self-discipline not imposed discipline
MXGM

Collective privelage needs to equal collective responsibility.
-us citizens
-white ppl
-men
-upper class folks
-"able bodied"
-heterosexual





Thinkin the global rev is gonna start in the US is the same as thinking that Black liberation will be led by down white folk. Or that womyn' lib will be spearheaded by male allies.
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http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1016-33.htm [22 Oct 2006|12:25pm]
Roger,

Thank you for this, for the time and thought you put into it. As you can
imagine, a lot of the folks who've responded are willing to think through
the issue as you have. (You can see the responses from yesterday posted
here: http://www.bernestinesingley.com/disc.htm.) So I appreciate that
aspect of it, too.

The best news you could send me today is this: "i feel that as i try to be
white ally in the fight against white supremacy, that it is my job first and
foremost to confront racist whites head-on."

Folks tend to look for grand gestures and huge sacrifices as evidence of
doing the work. The fact is it's the small stuff, day to day, one-on-one
that, when joined together, cause systems to change, oppression and
domination to crumble. Self-examination and self-correction and then
expanding that lens to include our family, relatives, and friends--that's
how I believe things change. It's all our responsibility to do what we can,
wherever we can, as often as we can, especially when it makes us
uncomfortable and questions who we think we are.

I'll be interested to know how you resolve your dilemma with your
doll-profile friends. Can you send me a link to what you're talking about?

I've gotten twice as many more responses today. Hopefully, I'll have time to
post them quickly, so check my website later on if you're interested.

Best,
Bernestine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger N. Drew" <drewr@mville.edu>
To: <straightlk@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 11:13 AM
Subject: Your article on Common Dreams....


> Bernestine Singley-
>
> i was recently forwarded your article "Ghetto Fabulous Party' Steeped in
> Stupid" and unfortunetly i could relate all too well. As a white person i
> grew up basically my whole life in a white suburb that (unkown to me at
> the time) people constantly mocked poor urban Black and brown existance.
> Flowing between outright stealing culture to simply mocking it, that was
> the background in which i was raised.
>
> Coming to a "liberal" and "diverse" school, i thought it would be
> different. But the more things change the more they stay the same.
> Recently i found a profile for a Black toy doll on the college online
> social site facebook. i am ashamed to say it was made by some of my
> friends. It was one of the most disgusting and racist things i have seen
> coming from people i associate with.
>
> Me and some of my friends looked at it last night in disgust and anger.
> Initially i wrote a response that was equivalent to an end to my
> friendship with these people. It is something that i need to decide if
> that is what i want to do.
>
> However after reading your article i think i might send it to them. It
> sums up the disgusting racist nature of what they are saying so very well.
> And it is much more elogant and thought-out than my rant.
>
> i especially like when you ask who is responsible. You then go on to
> question if friends are responsible. i like this because i feel that as i
> try to be white ally in the fight against white supremacy, that it is my
> job first and foremost to confront racist whites head-on. To hopefully
> stop some of the pain you speak of in your article...
>
> i am sorry this was so long, but i was truly moved by your piece. We
> forwarded it around to other people who are equally as outraged at this
> profile. It was so suiting and i think you for it.
>
> Solidarity,
> roger
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My weekend/monday fiascosss. it is really the 18 at about 11:30AM [18 Oct 2006|04:59pm]
My weekend basics and my monday...which was wildd.

So friday i went to Williamsburg to see Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band at this place called Nothsix. It was such a great show. He is amazing and i love him and it got me in such a friggin good mood. Him with his band is incredible. i went alone, but it was still cool. It was my first time to Williamsburg and i was so disgusted with that hipster-infested scummy ass place. That was that. (Wayyy short version.)

Before the show i also briefly went over to Union Square for a World Cant Wait "Culture of REsistance" type protest. It was okay... i just handed out some flyers.

Saturday i went up to Mville to see the play Borders that Hannah suggested that i see.n It was so moving and really so much better than i had expected. Except for the problematic division of men and womyn (which was followed by a sketch about a trans person) it was really very great. i brought that up in the Q and A section afterwards and they were moderately open or understanding that it was hugely problematic, although im sure they didnt change it.

So then i got a ride back saturday night with Nic and Junior. They were going clubbing in the city. Those two are wild and i love them. They told me they both had had a crush on me and i was very flattered. Then i went up and hung out with Linds and Diana and fell asleep up there.

Sunday i hung with Diana for alittle, then she left. Me and Linds kinda wasted the day in a good way. Then we went running and i went to bed early because....


Monday morning.

Got up at 7:45, was out the door by 8:30 and off to the Lynne Stewart support rally at her sentencing. It was an interesting crowd. Racially diverse. Many men and womyn. Some younger folks mixed in with mad old school cats. Commies from Spartacus especially. It was really an amazing way to start my monday.

There was this Black womyn who was chanting next to me. At one point an older white womyn from 'Grannies for Peace' started singing "We Shall Overcome" and the Black womyn was like 'Oh helll nahh. Im done with this song. Ive been singing this for too long. We should DONE BEEN overcome.' i laughed a lot and told her i agreed. And then i added 'We should overcome these walls right now.' (Referring to the court walls.) It was a good time.

So i ran into Ellie Omani and the Quaker man who gave us the tour while there, and then i left at about 10:30.

i got to Fortune at 11. Did work there until about 1:50.

Off to class. Sat in on a murder trial. It was sad, hurtful, angering, awkward and just so uncomfortable to be there with the two families on either side. At class until 4:30.

Back to Fortune to run homework group from 5-6.

Ran to Grand Central desperately trying to catch the 6:14, didnt have time to buy the ticket. Got the 6:33 with the 90cent connection to the Bee line.

Got to Mville at 7:30 to watch Amy, she had been late and i didnt miss much. She was incredible again. Blew me away again. i took notes, see them for more detail.

Spent the night building mainly with Rod, and Tracie and Vaness. My allies right there. My close ass allies.

Trac also told me Hannah wanted to see me... So i went and saw her briefly. It was this extreme pain in my chest as sooon as i walked into her room Step Dignan was there and Hannah started talking and then Steph left bc im sure she was uncomfrotable. So we said a few words. i was in so much pain every second being there. i really could not even look her in the eyes. She said i did not seem like i cared. i almost started to cry upon hearing this. i was hurt that she would even suggest that to me. Then she went on to insist that there were reasons to smile like all the memories like Pepsico. i left at that point i think. i basically explained that our conversation from the other night just made me realize that i needed to take time to figure out how i was feeling and to be able to better control my emotions so i am not so emotional bc she does not wnat to hear that. She said she didnt understand why i was so upset bc i didnt still like her bc i didnt want to be with her. i didnt even respond. i said it hurts bc i think we need to still work things out but she doesnt want to talk like 'ex lovers' so i guess we never will. She said she didnt understand what needs to be worked out. For an example i said how dan asked me that question and i didnt know what to say. And it was so uncomfortable as an understatement. She said she had told me that we didnt, which is bullshit. i also said it was foolish for me to try to rush to make this friendship after this long and intense and one of the most meaingful relationships ive ever had. One of the deepest in so many ways...And im still scared to say the most loving...i should know im going to need a lot of time. To be honest, i dont know if i will ever be able to be her real, close friend. We are nothing now and it hurts so badly to know that. i dont know...Even as i feel the extreme pain just from typing this i know somewhere that it is the right thing. Like it is the only way that i may heal over the long-term and get over all the brief, pain, anger and anguish that she caused me. And hopefully and ideally move to a place where i can celebrate what we had and build a lasting and loving friendship.

Oh and when i entered her suite she was like "is that roger drew?"

In between here we all looked at that profile. Which was super fucked up and now they changed... Hmmm...so problematic is the world.

Then i took the train back with Shane at 12:30. i tried my bill in the machine and it said "not accepted." Then the train came. So on the train i told the dude that to see if he wouldnt charge extra, and he said i was fine and didnt charge at all. It was so nice of him, and made a great day that much better. Me and Shane had some great convos on the way back to the city.

i took the 2-3 and fell asleep on the subway. i fell asleep at about 2 in lower Manhattan and woke at 2:30 way into BK, way past my stop. It sucked, and then it took me forever to get back to Court. i went to bed prolly at 3 or 3.30 and that was that.

An amazing and very long day. Didnt eat much all day. Skipped class the next monrnig to sleep, and it was all good with Wil. Things are looking up. Oh shit... i forgot to add in about Hannah...
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i miss Bic [18 Oct 2006|04:55pm]
FlamingCrapBall (12:27:45 AM): lol rog, i think every decision you make is an infinetly wiser, kinder decision than what 99.999% of people in this world make


it is actually the 12th...
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