No Justice; No Peace! Is apropos of 2020 circumstance.
Defunding the police and dismantling the police are not the same thing. Defunding police departments means to take away the, ancillary duties such as social work. Cutting down on the duties of the police will help relieve stress placed upon individual police-persons and departments themselves.
President Trump believes that Black Lives Matter and other demonstrators—(ANTIFA and Occupy) are at war with the police, not vice-versa. Trump visions himself as a Strong Man envies police power. He hired retired US generals until they “spoke truth to power,” then were fired or resigned.
Americans preoccupation with the present and the future, disregards the past. The majority don’t understanding that the past shapes the future. Trump is historical–the pantheon of Strong Men influence his behavior. The Strong Man Trump is presently mimicking is Joseph Stalin, the most successful leader of the 20st Century. What is most peculiar is no media/pundit on the Left has pointed out resemblance between Trump and Stalin. Americans hear capitalistic criticism of Stalin as a communist, not as a leader, they’re blinded to being subjugated as the people of the Soviet Union were.
Trump amazed the world by being elected and not using the soft power that allowed the US to maintain its position of One, falling to One of Many by opening up two simultaneous world plagues: Sanctions and COVID-19 eating away the peace and security in the world.
Under COVID-19 as a member of the Trump administration he can afford to ignore Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a member of VP Pence’s own Presidential Health Commission and the nation’s top expert of infection diseases, warning to avoid reopening the country too soon could lead to serious consequences.
Democrats are accused of being too secular, thus allowing President Trump, Vice President Pence, and his White-Protestant-Evangelical base to hijack Christianity. As I write this opinion, I understand that only Black and other peoples-of-color will fully comprehend my points because we survive in the world by faith and Spirit. And if all else fails, riots. Others have the power and security of Whiteness, except Autumn Steele’s family (https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2019/02/22/iowa-open-recor).
As I write, I am haunted by Matthew 4:7 (testing God); Numbers 12 (racism); Revelation 13 (Sanctions); Zechariah 2:8 (God’s eyeball); Jonah 3 (God’s forgiveness); Acts 2:45 (biblical-socialism); Acts 9:18 (recovering insight). If Democrats would read these passages, then they would have the political ammunition to fight Trump machine propaganda and win in November.
Trump refuses to condemn/criticize police for their racist treatment of Blacks even though riots-uprising threaten to bring his government down, like Miriam and Aaron at Numbers 12, he refuses to acknowledge the racism fueling the the demonstrations, not only in the US but worldwide under the rubric of George Floyd.
If the Democrats use their heads for more than a hat-rack and put away their rabid secularism and study the Bible, which the White-Christian-Evangelists claim is The-Word-Of-God, perhaps we Christianized Democrats can be on a winning tract.
COVID-19, Revelation 13, and Zechariah 2:8 are closely related in cause and affect and effect. All of Trump’s wicked behavior did not attract God’s wrath until he put Sanctions and tariffs on the world’s population. This seems to be the equivalent of putting his finger in God’s eye. When this occurred, God sent a plague on the world because its inhabitants had thought Trump untouchable. Jonah 3 demonstrates that God’s mind can be changed. And Acts 9:18 demonstrates that the scales can fall from the eyes of scientist seeking a vaccine. Acts 2:45 will challenge the rabid laissez-faire capitalism installed by the Trump administration.
Studying an opponent and undercutting his/her rhetoric is how you win hearts-and-minds as well as votes in American politics.
John Higgs in Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th Century (2015) tells a history that President Trump and the Trumpsters like to ignore. To listen to Trump complain about how the Chinese have taken advantage of us Americans, you would think that they pulled into New York and Los Angles harbors and said all your trade or else, like the British did to them in the19th century. Higgs writes that it was American corporate greed that caused our trade imbalance.
Higgs writes that post WWII was an exciting time to be alive in the West. A rising time of affluence benefited entire populations and suggested that the future could only get better. The American Dream was the American reality. The mix of individualism, advertising and corporate growth was a potent cocktail indeed. But then, at some point in the 1970s, things changed.
The strange attractor-like shift that occurred in the years leading up to 1980 was not apparent at the time. Economic growth continued as expected, but its impact on society began to change. Princeton economist Paul Krugman calls the shift in American inequality that began at the end of the 1970s the “Great Divergence,” while New Yorker journalist George Packer refers to the years after 1978 as the “unwinding.”
The benefits of economic growth slowly removed themselves from the broader middle class, and headed instead for the pockets of the very rich. Good jobs evaporated, social mobility declined and the “millennial” generation born after 1980 are expected to be worse off than the postwar “baby boomers.”
Life expectancy rates have started to fall, in certain demographic groups at least. At the same time, inequality has increased to the point when, in 2015, the combined wealth of the eighty riches people in the world was equal to that of the poorest half of the world’s population, some 3.5 billion people. Even those who believe that those eighty people work hard for their money would have difficulty arguing that they work 45 million times harder than everyone else.
THE RETREAT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM & CHINA’S PART IN IT
(l-r) Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping and President Xi Jinping
The retreat of the American Dream, which had promised a future better than the past, is the result of a number of complicated and chaotically linked events from the 1970s. One of these was the rise of Deng Xiaoping to the position of Paramount Leader of the Chinese Communist Party in December 1978, in the aftermath of the death of Mao. Deng began the process of introducing a managed form of capitalism into China.
The impacts of this would not be felt immediately, but the availability of cheaper Chinese labor for Western corporations would lead to the disappearance of well-paid Western manufacturing jobs, as well as destabilizing trade imbalances. This process of globalization also led to the disappearance of corporate taxes from government balance sheets. Corporations increasingly embraced globalization and reimagined themselves as stateless entities in no way beholden to the nations that formed them.
BRETTON WOODS COLLAPSE
A second factor according to Higgs was the collapse of the Bretton Woods Agreement in August 1971. This was a framework for international monetary management that had been agreed in the small New Hampshire town of Bretton Woods towards the end of the Second World War. The pre-war, every-man-for-himself approach to currency valuation had been responsible for some of the instability that led to war, so Bretton Woods was an attempt to create a more stable environment for international finance. It tied the value of international currencies to the US dollar, which was in turn tied to the value of gold reserves.
President Nixon’s response to a period of economic pain was to end the gold standard, cut the link between the dollar and physical wealth, and ultimately bring Brenton Woods to an end. The value of the dollar could then float free, worth whatever the markets said it was worth.
Thanks to this neat trick of divorcing money from physical reality, the perpetual-growth economy continued in what would otherwise have been a period of recession. It also transpired that the ever-increasing amount of consumption needed for perpetual growth could be financed by creative bookkeeping, and the creation of debt. Debt Mountains began to grow. When that approach ran into difficulty, in the early twenty-first century, taxpayer-funded bailouts kept the dream of perpetual growth alive.
Stephen Zunes in Tinderbox: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (2003), examines the collusion of the United States and Israel to establish Israel as the suzerain of the Middle East.
Richard Falk in the Forward of Tinderbox writes that in March of 2002, a leaked Department of Defense document reveals a new willingness by the U.S. government to plan for wide potential uses of nuclear weapons, not as deterrents, but in war-fighting situations, and most provocatively, against a series of named countries. This unprecedented embrace of nuclearism is bound to give rise to profound anxiety throughout the world, confirming the worst fears about the destructive and dangerous drift of the brand of unilateralism being pursued by the Bush Administration. Such an arrogant form of militarist geopolitics menaces the entire world.
While these disturbing indications of a mounting world order crisis were accumulating, the Palestine/Israel encounter was entering its bloodiest phase ever, with both sides daily relying on Crimes Against Humanity to inflict as much harm as possible on the respective civilian societies of their enemy. Israel with its superior firepower deployed tanks and helicopter gunships against defenseless Palestinian refugees’ camps and undefended towns, creating a spectacle of oppressive brutality rarely, if ever, seen before in the long gory history of military occupation. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, responsible for a whole string of past abuses throughout his long career amounting to war crimes, actually had the chilling temerity to tell the Israeli Knesset that the violence could not end until more on the other side were dead. “Only after they have been battered we will be able to conduct talks.” It needs to be remembered that the other side is not an army, but an occupied helpless and impoverished civilian society.
Falk posits that as shocking as are these developments, the scandalous American reaction still manages to startle the moral imagination by its perversity. The U.S. government has during these bloody days consistently singled out Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to blame for the escalating violence, and has endorsed the outrageous Israeli view that their struggle is as much against terrorism as the American response to al-Qaeda. It is the intention of this absurdly distorted view of terrorism to give a green light to state terrorism even if it is engaged in directly targeting civilian society with heavy weapons. There is little doubt that such policies are [still 2019] plunging the world into a snake pit of chaos and depravity.
It is against such a background that one welcomes this fine and prescient book by Stephen Zunes, which surgically explains and clarifies what has truly gone wrong with American policy in a manner that challenges impressively the false reassurances of the conventional wisdom that weaves the myth of American innocence in relation to the terrorist backlash of September11. Zunes provides us with an un-blinkered understanding of the terrorist challenge, the Palestinian ordeal, and panoramic view of the wider failings of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Zunes provides telling examples of our own frequent reliance on our own brands of “terrorism” to promote strategic and ideological goals as in the relation to the contras in Nicaragua during the 1980s or with respect to the anti-Soviet phases of afghan resistance when Osama bin Laden was our trusted and valued friend and ally. Zunes also shows how much our policies toward Israel/Palestine have proceeded with a brazen disregard for international law, the authority of the United Nations, especially Security Council Resolutions, and the protection of Human Rights.
In effect, Zunes portrays America taking over from the colonialists, and doing the same sort of dirty work to the peoples of the region, whether in the context of ensuring access to cheap oil for promiscuous energy consumption in rich countries or backing up the cruel Israeli refusal to provide Palestinians with their legitimate right, above all, their right to self-determination.
What distinguishes this powerful analysis from other critiques of American foreign policy in the Middle East is that you need not accept the principled part of Zones’ assessment to be persuaded by his overall argument that the U.S. government is pursuing a path that is self-defeating and will ultimately rebound to undermine its strategic interests in the region.
What is more, Zunes is at pains to insist that the quality of American support for Israeli official policies is having the effect of weakening the legitimate core of Israel’s search for security as a prosperous sovereign state living at peace with its neighbors and at ease with itself. In this important respect, those who ardently support Israel, and identify with its struggle, would do well to ponder his central contention that the “friendship” being tendered by the U.S. government includes a poisoned chalice!
HOW DID WE GET HERE? THE ROOTS OF U.S. POLICY
Devastation and outrage’ after Israeli forces destroy Palestinian homes in Sur Bahir
Israeli forces demolished 10 buildings in Sur Bahir on Monday, July 22, 2019 (Photo: All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective)
It was the middle of the night, but the residents of the occupied East Jerusalem town of Sur Bahir were not asleep. They were waiting for, dreading, the arrival of Israeli forces to demolish their homes.
At around 2:15am on Monday, the people’s worst fears came true with the sounds of military jeeps, bulldozers, and heavy machinery rolled into their neighborhood of Wadi al-Hummus, on the outskirts of Sur Bahir, right next to Israel’s separation barrier.
Hundreds of Israeli forces stormed Sur Bahir on Monday morning to begin demolishing 11 buildings in the area. (Photo: All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective)
Locals told Mondoweiss that more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers and government workers descended upon the area, with force, and began the process of demolishing 11 buildings in the neighborhood.
The buildings in question, containing some 70 apartments, were slated for demolition last month when the Israeli Supreme Court gave the final ruling — after a seven year legal battle between residents and the state — that the buildings were to be destroyed due to their proximity to Israel’s separation barrier, citing “security concerns.”
Despite being on the Jerusalem side of the barrier, the homes in question were built on land controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA), with the homeowners claiming they received the appropriate building permits from the PA.
The residents of Wadi al-Hummus stepped up their efforts last week to try and save their homes with intensified media campaigns and appeals to international leaders to intervene on their behalf.
But as Israeli forces stormed their neighborhood Monday morning, the hopes of the residents came crashing down. By late afternoon local time, Israeli forces had destroyed 10 out of 11 buildings, and had rigged the final building with explosives in preparation for its demolition, local activist Hamada Hamada told Mondoweiss.
Masked Israeli forces forcibly evicted residents from their homes prior to demolition (Photo: All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective)
“With these demolitions they [Israel] forcibly displaced dozens of people,” Hamada said, “and destroyed the dreams of hundreds of others who had not yet moved into their homes.”
A swift and aggressive operation
Immediately after Israeli forces arrived at the scene they began forcibly removing residents from their homes, along with local activists who had pitched up at the residents homes in an act of solidarity.
“The soldiers were really aggressive, pushing and shoving people, firing tear gas at us, and even beating some people with the butts of their rifles,” Hamada told Mondoweiss.
Video footage and photos circulated on social media show masked soldiers pulling people out of their homes, while trucks removed residents’ cars from the area.
According to Hamada, residents were not even given time to go through their belongings and take what they needed.
“The soldiers just threw everyone out, and cordoned them off in corners, preventing them from moving around the neighborhood or interacting with other groups in the area,” he said.
Two women console each other outside one of the buildings as an Israeli officer stands next to them. (Photo: All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective)
During the standoff between residents and soldiers, at least one person was detained. He was identified as Muhammad Abu Teir, an owner of the homes that was destroyed.
“He was just trying to defend his home, that he built with his two hands, from being destroyed,” Hamada said of Abu Teir’s arrest, adding that Abu Teir was expected to be released by the end of the day, but would be receiving a fine and an order to stay away from Wadi al-Hummus until Thursday.
While some forces removed the residents from the buildings, Hamada said that other forces worked to “besiege” the entire neighborhood, declaring it a closed military zone, and preventing the entrance of everyone, including journalists.
“Then besieged each building, assigning a bulldozer to each building so that multiple bulldozers could work at once,” he added.
The PLO tweeted that the demolitions began with four buildings being destroyed at one time, along with a video of Israeli forces removing residents and activists from the buildings.
In a statement on Monday, UN officials commented on the situation, saying “what happened today in Sur Bahir is of even greater significance, as many other homes and structures now risk the same fate,” the statement said.
Israeli NGO B’Tselem released a report Monday, commenting on the “far-reaching” implications of the Supreme court ruling in Sur Bahir.
“In various places in East Jerusalem (such as Dahiat al-Barid, Kafr Aqab, and the Shuafat Refugee Camp) and other parts of the West Bank (such as a-Ram, Qalqiliyah, Tulkarm, and Qalandia al-Balad), numerous residential homes were built near the separation fence,” the group said.
“Furthermore, as a result of the Israeli planning policy that prevents Palestinians from receiving building permits, many other buildings were built without permits, there being no other choice. The latest ruling gives Israel legal authorization to demolish all of these houses, while hiding behind “security arguments” in order to carry out its illegal policy.”https://mondoweiss.net/2019/07/devastation-outrage-palestinian/
Stephen Zunes declares that with the United States arming and financing Israel’s occupation and colonization drive and blaming the Palestinians exclusively for the violence, however, Sharon and future Israeli leaders [like Netanyahu and his Likud] can especially do as they please. This buying time will likely end up being disastrous for Israel since it further isolates the Jewish state from other Middle Eastern countries and much of the rest of the world, provides an opening for anti-Semitic ideologies, and creates a greater dependency on the United states. And, the ongoing occupation and dimming hopes that the Palestinians will have a viable state of their own are just what breed extremists prone to commit acts of terrorism.
Bias Against Palestinians
What motivates the strong American bias against the Palestinians? Zunes posits on is the sentimental attachment many Americans—particularly liberals of the post-World War II generation—have for Israel. There is a great appreciation for Israel’s internal democracy, progressive social institutions (such as the kibbutzim), the relatively high level of social equality, and Israel’s important role as a sanctuary for an oppressed minority group that spent centuries in the Diaspora. Through a mixture of guilt regarding Western anti-Semitism by criticizing Israel, there is enormous reluctance to acknowledge the seriousness of Israeli violations of human rights and international law.
Many American liberals of this generation have an idealist view of Israel that is both as sincere and inaccurate as the idealized view of Stalin’s Russia embraced by an earlier generation of American leftist. To many Americans who are middle aged and older, Israel is seen as it was portrayed in the idealized and romanticized 1960 movie Exodus, staring a young Paul Newman. Contributing to this view is the widespread racism in American society against Arabs and Muslims, often encouraged in the media.
This is compounded by the identification many Americans have with Zionism in the Middle East as a reflection of their own historical experience in North America as immigrants and pioneers. In both cases, European migrants—many of whom were escaping religious persecution—built a new nation based upon noble, idealistic values while simultaneously suppressing and expelling the indigenous population seen as violent and “primitive.”
An increasingly important factor shaping U.S. policy is the Christian Right with tens of millions of followers and a major base of support for the Republican Party, which has thrown its immense media assets and political clout in support for Ariel Sharon and other right-wing Israeli leaders. Based in part on a messianic theology that sees the in-gathering of Jews to the Holy Land as a precursor for the second coming of Christ, the battle between Israelis and Palestinians is, in their eyes, simply continuation of the Biblical battles between the Israelite and the Philistines. God is seen as a kind of cosmic real estate agent who has deemed that the land belongs to Israel alone—secular notions regarding international law and the right of self-determination notwithstanding.
The continued high levels of U.S. aid to Israel does not come out of concern for Israel’s survival, but more likely from a desire for Israel to continue its political dominion over the Palestinians and its military dominance of the region. Why then then, this extraordinary support for Israel?
The primary reason is the role Israel plays for the United States. In a region where radical nationalism could threaten U.S. control of oil and other strategic interests, Israel successfully has prevented victories by radical nationalist movements, not just in Palestine, but in Lebanon and Jordan as well. They have kept Syria, with a radical nationalist regime once allied with the Soviet Union in Check. Their air force is predominant throughout the region.
ISRAEL “HAS A RIGHT TO EXIST” BUT NOT PALESTINE
It would be wrong to assume that the U.S. commitment to Israel has primarily a moral basis as claimed by its supporters. U.S. support for Israel is certainly not a case of defending a democracy battling for its very survival. Were this actually the primary motivation for supporting Israel, American aid would have been highest in the early years of the existence of the Jewish state—when its democratic institutions were strongest and its strategic situation most vulnerable—and would have declined as its military power grew dramatically and its repression against Palestinians in the occupied territories increased. Instead, the trend has been in just the opposite direction: major U.S. military and economic aid did not begin until after the 1967 War. Indeed, 99 percent of all U.S. military assistance to Israel since its establishment came only after Israel proved itself to be far stronger than any combination of Arab armies and after Israeli occupation forces became the rulers of a large Palestinian population.
In the hypothetical event that all U.S. aid to Israel was immediately cut off, it would be many years before Israel would be under significantly greater military threat than it is today. Israel has both a major domestic arms industry and an existing military force far more capable and powerful than any conceivable combination of opposing forces.
A cutoff of U.S. military and economic support might force Israel to negotiate a settlement with the Palestinians, since it would make the expensive patchwork of Israeli military control and subsidized settlements in the occupied territories prohibitively expensive for such a small country. However, even with such a suspension of U.S. aid, there would be no question of Israel’s survival being at risk militarily in the foreseeable future.
One of the most fundamental principles in the theory of international relations is that the most stable military relationship between adversaries (besides disarmament) is strategic parity. Such a relationship provides an effective deterrent for both sides against the other launching a preemptive attack. If the United States was concerned simply with Israel’s security, the goal would be to maintain Israeli defenses to the point where they would be approximately equal to any realistic combination of Arab armed forces, [or Iranian missiles].
Instead, leaders of both American political parties have insisted that rather than help maintain a military balance between Israel and its neighbors, the United States must insure a qualitative Israeli military superiority.
Donald Trump vetoes bills prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia
Arms package includes thousands of precision-guided munitions and aircraft maintenance support
Donald Trump has vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from selling billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, last month cited threats from Iran as a reason to approve the $8.1bn arms sale to the two US allies in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Iran and tension has mounted between the UAE and Tehran over several issues, including the UAE’s coordination with US efforts to curb what it calls Iran’s malign activities in the region.
But Trump’s decision in May to sell the weapons in a way that would have bypassed congressional review infuriated lawmakers. In a pushback to Trump’s foreign policy, Democrats and Republicans banded together to pass resolutions to block the weapons sale.
The White House had argued that stopping the sale would send a signal that the US did not stand by its partners and allies, particularly at a time when threats against them were increasing. The arms package included thousands of precision-guided munitions, other bombs and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support.
Anger has been mounting in Congress over the Trump administration’s close ties to the Saudis, fuelled by the high civilian casualties in the Saudi-led war in Yemen – a military campaign the US is assisting – and the killing of the US-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents. Trump’s decision in May to sell the weapons further inflamed the tensions.
“The president’s shameful veto tramples over the will of the bipartisan, bicameral Congress and perpetuates his administration’s involvement in the horrific conflict in Yemen, which is a stain on the conscience of the world,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement.
It did not appear that lawmakers opposed to the sale had enough votes to override Trump’s veto.
The New Jersey senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, led the effort, but he had support from two of Trump’s GOP allies in Congress: Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Last month members of the House foreign affairs committee grilled state department officials about the sale. Its chairman, Eliot Engel, a Democrat representative of New York, said it was a “slap in the face” to Congress and accused the Trump administration of using threats from Iran as a “convenient excuse” to push through the sale.
When Israel was less dominant militarily, there was no such consensus for U.S. backing of Israel. The continued high levels of U.S. aid to Israel does not come out of concern for Israel’s survival, but more likely from a desire for Israel to continue its political dominion over the Palestinians and its military dominance [suzerainty] over the region.
It has long been in the interests of the U.S. government to maintain a militarily powerful belligerent Israel dependent on the United States. Real peace could undermine such a relationship. The United States therefore has pursued a policy that could bring greater stability to the region while falling short of real peace. The United states is working towards a Middle East where Israel can be a key component in projecting American military and economic interests [oil, selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and aiding in its quest to build a pipeline across Yemen to the Gulf of Aden where a permanent U.S. military base is established], which requires suppressing challenges to American-Israeli hegemony.
ENCOURAGING THE ISLAMIC BACKLASH AND THE RISK OF WAR
Zunes posits that even where the United States has not supported Islamic extremist [Afghanistan 1980s] directly, the U.S. has often engaged in policies that have led directly to the rise of such movements, [al Qaeda]. The classic case of this phenomenon is Iran .
The move by the nationalist Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh to nationalize the British-owned [BP] oil monopoly in the early 1950s sparked direct U.S. involvement in the country’s internal affairs. Fearing the possibility of this precedent spreading to Saudi Arabia [ARAMCO]—where U.S. oil companies were in effective control of that country’s oil reserves—the United States joined Great Britain and other Western countries in boycotting Iranian oil, resulting in a major economic and political crisis.
Concerned that the political unrest was increasing the influence of the communist Tudeh Party [MEK now an American ally] and desiring control of the country’s vast oil wealth, the United States sent in the CIA to facilitate the overthrow of Iran’s constitutional government in 1953. In its place, the United States installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi—who had fled into exile barely a week earlier after losing a power struggle with Mossadegh—as absolute monarch. Over the next twenty-five years, the United States armed and trained the military and the SAVAK, the dreaded secret police of the Shah, which emerged as one of the most repressive internal security organizations of the era.
It comes as no surprise, in light of this, that the revolution that finally ousted the monarchy in February 1979 was stridently anti-American. Furthermore, since the Shah’s repressive apparatus had largely succeeded in wiping out the secular opposition to the regime, it was religious opponents—who survived as a result of the greater cohesion made possible through the mosques—who spearheaded the revolutionary movement. Thus, the radical Islamic orientation of the revolution was greatly influenced by the Shah’s American-backed efforts to maintain control through repression.
Eight months after the triumph of the revolution, the exiled shah entered the United States for medical treatment. Fearing he might be plotting with American officials to try to return to power, radical Iranian students, backed by elements in the Islamic government, seized more than fifty American hostages at the U.S. embassy, promising to release them only if the shah was extradited to Iran for trial.
They held the American hostages for 444 days. During that time, the United States successfully petitioned the International Court of Justice to demand their release, made threats of war, staged an unsuccessful military raid to free them, seized Iranian assets overseas, and helped secure international sanctions against Iran.
The hostage crisis dominated the attention of the Carter Administration during its last fourteen months in office and brought the attention of the United States for the first time to the threat from anti-American Islamic movements. The Shah died of cancer in July 1980. A series of difficult negotiations, brokered by the government of Algeria, eventually led to the hostages’ release on January 20 1981, the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president.
The U.S. support for the Shah often is cited as a classic example of “blowback,” the phenomenon where the United States engages in policies supporting political repression for short-term political expediency only to find that, in the long term, an extreme anti-American reaction results.
Howard Zinn in Passionate Declarations: Essays On War And Justice (2003) take on Tyrants and tyranny, lessons to give US hope in the time of Trump. In one essay, he features a fable written by German playwright Bertolt Brecht that goes roughly like this:
A man living alone answers a knock at the door. When he opens it, he sees in the doorway the powerful body, the cruel face, of The Tyrant. The Tyrant asks, “Will you submit?” The man does not reply. He steps aside. The Tyrant enters and establishes himself in the man’s house. The man serves him for years. Then The Tyrant becomes sick from food poisoning. He dies. The man wraps the body, opens the door, gets rid of the body, comes back to his house, closes the door behind him, and says, firmly, “No.”
This tale reminds me of the death of Franco, Juan Carlos and Spain’s rejection of him and his Fascism.
Zinn’s lesson: Violence is not the only form of power. Sometimes it is the least effective. Always it is the most vicious, for the perpetrator as well as for the victim. And it is corrupting.
This is the point that the Iran Ambassador to the UN in his interview with Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition Tuesday July 19. As well as the writer of Psalms 37:35-38:
Psalm 37:35-3821st Century King James Version (KJ21)
35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and lo, he was no more; yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Zinn posits that the absence of democracy in foreign policy is even more obvious when you consider how much is done secretly by the president and his advisers, behind the backs of the American public, as well as behind the backs of their elected representatives.
Zinn declares that the list of secret actions by the U.S. government includes the CIA’s overthrow of the government of Iran in 1953, restoring the Shah to the throne: the 1954, invasion of Guatemala and the ousting of its democratically elected president; the invasion of Cuba in 1961; and the wide range of covert operations in Indochina in the 1950s and1960s, including the secret bombing of Cambodia. More recently, we find the series of attempts to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua by arming a counterrevolutionary force (the “contras”) across the border in Honduras, and mining Nicaragua’s harbors, as well as the secret transfer of arms to the contras in violation of a law passed by Congress.
When the “Iran-Contra” scandal became public in 1986-1987, President Reagan feigned innocence—using the doctrine of “plausible denial.” With astounding hypocrisy, Reagan said in his State of the Union Address at the beginning of 1987 (the bicentennial of the Constitution), “In those other constitutions, the government tells the people what they are allowed to do. In our constitution, we the people tell the government what it can do and that it can do only those things listed in the document and no other.”
Zinn advises that actions (the word covert is used officially, perhaps it sounds more respectable than secret) are fundamentally undemocratic; they take place behind the backs of the American people. The people who carry them out are, therefore, not accountable to any democratic process. The government has bypassed its own channels. For the citizens to stop this, civil disobedience may be needed.
The excuse for covert action is that telling the truth will endanger the country, while secrecy will save lives. But secrecy may result in the taking of people’s lives, behind the backs of the public, which if it knew what was happening, might stop it. People were killed in the coup that put the shah back on the throne of Iran; many more were killed by the shah’s [secret police] afterward. The secret operation in Guatemala resulted in a police state that later killed tens of thousands of Guatemalans. In the invasion of Cuba, thousands died. Secrecy did not save lives.
Tom Gjelten reported on Morning Edition July 19, that Millennial are losing trust for American Churches and the clergy and placing their trust in the military. Zinn would disagree with this trust in the military and say it was an illusion.
Zinn writes that freedom and justice, which so often have been the excuses for violence, are still our goals. But the means for achieving them must change, because violence, however tempting in the quickness of its action, undermines those goals immediately, and also in the long run. The means for achieving social change must match, morally, the ends.
It is true that human rights cannot be defended or advanced without power. But, if we have learned anything useful from the carnage of this century (20th century), it is that true power does not—as the heads of states everywhere implore us to believe—come out of the barrel of a gun, or out of a missile silo.
The possession of 10,000 plus thermonuclear weapons by the United States did not change the fact that it was helpless to stop a revolution in Cuba or another in Nicaragua, that it was unable to defeat its enemy either in Korea or in Vietnam. Nor did they stop the break-up of the Soviet Union.
The power of massive armaments is much overrated indeed it might be called a huge fake—one of the great heroes of the twentieth century, [and especially in the 21st where the computer and AI hold sway]. We have seen heavily armed tyrants flee before masses of citizens galvanized by a moral goal. Recall television images of the Shah of Iran searching desperately for someone to take him in.
GROWING WORLDWIDE ANTI-SEMITISM & US THE MILITARY
Zinn gives as example of why Antisemitism is increasing. He writes the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, under the military occupation of the Israelis since the war of 1967, began around 1987 to adopt nonviolent tactics, massive demonstrations, to bring the attention of the world to their brutal treatment by the Israelis. This brought more brutality, as hundreds of Palestinians, unarmed (except for clubs and rocks), were shot to death by Israeli soldiers. But the world did begin to pay attention and if there is finally a peaceful arrangement that gives the Palestinians their freedom and Israel its security, it will probably be the result of nonviolent direct action.
Because of the Internet and Social Media in general, Zionist/Neocons propaganda cannot not protect the Israelis against charges visibly witnessed of the ill treatment of the Palestinian and the fact that the Trump administration is not a neutral or fair-handed negotiator and the that Sunni Arab states, our allies, will not take the Palestinians as anything but refugees, not citizens; thus they have not citizenship outside of Palestine.
Israel tries to pretend that the Balfour Decision has nothing to do with the present conditions in the Middle East or with the anticipated war on Iran. And that the Palestinians have been imaged as Nazi oppressors, when it was the Arabs that allowed them for centuries to live in peace within their lands.
The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. It read:
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Immediately following their declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914, the British War Cabinet began to consider the future of Palestine; within two months a memorandum was circulated to the Cabinet by a Zionist Cabinet member, Herbert Samuel, proposing the support of Zionist ambitions in order to enlist the support of Jews in the wider war. A committee was established in April 1915 by British Prime MinisterH. H. Asquith to determine their policy toward the Ottoman Empire including Palestine. Asquith, who had favoured post-war reform of the Ottoman Empire, resigned in December 1916; his replacement David Lloyd George, favoured partition of the Empire. The first negotiations between the British and the Zionists took place at a conference on 7 February 1917 that included Sir Mark Sykes and the Zionist leadership. Subsequent discussions led to Balfour’s request, on 19 June, that Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann submit a draft of a public declaration. Further drafts were discussed by the British Cabinet during September and October, with input from Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews but with no representation from the local population in Palestine.
By late 1917, in the lead up to the Balfour Declaration, the wider war had reached a stalemate, with two of Britain’s allies not fully engaged: the United States had yet to suffer a casualty, and the Russians were in the midst of a revolution with Bolsheviks taking over the government. A stalemate in southern Palestine was broken by the Battle of Beersheba on 31 October 1917. The release of the final declaration was authorised on 31 October; the preceding Cabinet discussion had referenced perceived propaganda benefits amongst the worldwide Jewish community for the Allied war effort.
The opening words of the declaration represented the first public expression of support for Zionism by a major political power. The term “national home” had no precedent in international law, and was intentionally vague as to whether a Jewish state was contemplated. The intended boundaries of Palestine were not specified, and the British government later confirmed that the words “in Palestine” meant that the Jewish national home was not intended to cover all of Palestine. The second half of the declaration was added to satisfy opponents of the policy, who had claimed that it would otherwise prejudice the position of the local population of Palestine and encourage antisemitism worldwide by “stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands”. The declaration called for safeguarding the civil and religious rights for the Palestinian Arabs, who composed the vast majority of the local population, and also the rights and political status of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine. The British government acknowledged in 1939 that the local population’s views should have been taken into account, and recognised in 2017 that the declaration should have called for protection of the Palestinian Arabs’ political rights.
Noam Chomsky in Perilous Power declares that Israel is a notoriously racist state, preferring Russian Jews, as Chomsky attests, who unlike the Falasha or Ethiopian Jews, a lot of them aren’t Jews. The Rabbinate, which is very corrupt, is willing to accept them as Jews—mostly because they’re blond and blue-eyed, figuratively speaking. They don’t look like Arabs, they look more like Northern Europeans. [More like Hitler’s Aryans’ standard of beauty.] They help stem the Levantinzation. The typical model of the Sabra, an Israeli Jew born in Israel, is supposed to be red-haired and strong, rather like a movie hero in the West. The Russian so-called Jews help with that. Chomsky says that some of the estimates were that maybe half did not fit the strict criteria for being Jewish. In any event, they’re a very hawkish element, and they’re politically very significant.
This can help U.S. citizens understand who is running the show that Sheldon Adelson And Steve Wynn are paying Trump to host. And why anti-Semitism has taken hold worldwide.
My faith in American democracy was revived by Amada Gorman’s poem in that she let me know that saving democracy is an individual responsibility. This is why maintaining the freedom of the vote is an American duty, not a Democrat or Republican duty. It is the duty of WE the People. If we allow Mitch McConnell to kill the Biden agenda, then we have allowed fascistic ideology to take over the United States and kill what little democracy we have left. The Republicans seem to hate the United States and its peoples by being obstructionist against everything including the US Constitution itself. They seem to favor Viktor Orbon a Donald Trump more that the welfare of the US. In the old days they would have been judged as un-American. But today we understand that they put power above American liberty wishing the US to be more like Hungary.
The visit of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban to Washington has proven controversial in Congress, where the far-right leader’s invitation has been received as another demonstration of president Donald Trump’s fondness for anti-democratic leaders. Read more at https://on.ft.com/2vZFKEY
Hungary’s A Textbook Case For Democracy In Decline. Is America Next?
Political science scholars look at Viktor Orban’s regime in Hungary as a textbook case of rapid democratic decline. Is America moving in a similar direction? We learn what Hungary can teach the U.S. about accelerating authoritarianism.
Kim Scheppele, professor of sociology and international affairs at Princeton University. Author of the forthcoming book “The Frankenstate.”
Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a leading human rights organization based in Budapest.
On Viktor Orban’s rise to power
Kim Scheppele: “Orban was just past university when the wall came down. And he sort of shot to fame in Hungary because he was one of the speakers at this giant sort of rally, when it was sort of clear that politics in Hungary was changing. And he took to the microphone and he called for Soviet troops to withdraw from Hungary, which looked incredibly brave at that time. And it kind of catapulted him onto the national scene. He had already founded this political party called Fidesz in which he’s been really the only leader.
“And at the time of the transition, Orban and his colleagues all portrayed themselves as libertarians. You know, it was a young party. It was a party that called for throwing out everything communist. And they went into the first free and fair elections with this kind of branding. And they did pretty well in 1990. The problem is, by 1994, the luster had gone off that particular brand and Orban’s party didn’t do so well. So when he was in opposition, he remade the party. He purged it of all the libertarians and took this sharp, hard turn to the right.
“And so by the time of 1998, when there was another national election, his party actually came in first. So he was prime minister in 2000, but he actually became prime minister in 1998 to 2002. But he had to govern in coalition. So there were lots of signs during those four years that if he were left to govern alone, he might be dangerous. But because he governed in coalition, he didn’t do anything that was as radical as he probably would have wanted. So then he was defeated in 2002, and he was defeated again in 2006.
“And while he was in opposition, he created a whole network of what were called ‘civic circles’ to kind of boost his popularity throughout the country, and support his political party. So that by the time of the election in 2010, and by the way, Hungary experienced the financial crisis, it was under a caretaker government. It was under an IMF austerity program. By the election of 2000, Orban looked like the only sane and sensible candidate running in that election.
“And he won. And he won with a bare majority of the vote. But he got 67% of the seats in the parliament. In a system in which a single two-thirds vote of the parliament could change anything in the Constitution. And it was that lineup that gave him the legal power to do what he’s done. And that is to shut down Hungarian democracy, and also to prevent himself from ever losing an election again.”
On Orban’s political ideology
Kim Scheppele: “To some extent, the public platform of his party could not be more different. Freedom for everybody, [to] freedom for nobody. But there is this kind of link, which is that Orban still believes in freedom for himself. And so he refuses to be constrained by any law. It’s like a libertarian fantasy. That anything about the state can be changed to suit your own personal will.
“So in that sense, Orban, I think, hasn’t really changed. You know, it’s a bit like after the Russian Revolution and Lenin realized the world was not going to be entirely communist. So Lenin developed this theory of communism in one country, which led to everything we saw in the Soviet Union. Orban has developed this theory of libertarianism in one person. Which is that he’s the only one who can operate completely without constraint.”
On the parallels between Orban’s actions when he lost power, and the GOP now
Kim Scheppele: “This is where I think we have the scariest parallels. So Orban, when he was out of power, had a two-pronged strategy. One was that he purged his party of everyone who wasn’t personally loyal to him. So he built a party that was just lying in wait for an election when the main sort of left parties would be weak. And that’s what happened in 2010. And of course, in the U.S., we have a two-party system. So you can’t wish for one party to stay in power forever. One day the Republicans will come back.
“And the question is what the party looks like. And if it looks like Orban’s Fidesz party, where it’s really designed to support one person or to support a kind of a strong man at the top, then you’ll be in some danger. But there’s also what the other thing that Orban did with these civic circles, was that he engaged in a kind of mass mobilization of civil society, and he did it a lot through the Hungarian churches. He mobilized their members. He got them all on board. They already had a preexisting structure. He was mobilizing the kind of religious Hungarian middle class.
“And through doing that, he developed a very reliable base for his own party by feeding them sort of a lot of lines. As I mentioned, rewriting Hungarian history, developing a certain version of civic patriotism, developing a kind of intolerance for multiculturalism, and laying the groundwork for what became the kind of Fidesz platform when Orban came back to power. So you see that kind of thing happening now with the Republican Party. Its alliance with the evangelical movement, its alliance with other groups that sort of foment, and the militia movement. And all of these Oath Keepers, and proud boys and so on. And so all of that means that in addition to the Republican Party organization, you’ve got a whole civil sector that is mobilized to bring autocracy back.”
On lessons for the future of U.S. democracy
Kim Scheppele: “It’s a kind of hallmark of these autocrats that they try to distract the press. And unfortunately, the press allows itself to be distracted. I mean … what’s click bait? The latest Trump tweet or the latest Orban outrageous statement? It’s important, though, I think, for us all to keep our eye on the ball, what’s happening to the democratic institutions that are supposed to protect us. So we need to look under the surface to ask, do we have functioning institutions that can stop an autocratic push for power?
“And I’m worried about that in the U.S. I saw in Hungary that all of these institutions that I knew and loved and even worked within were captured so easily when the public was distracted by other things. And culture wars, however important they are, and however hateful the rhetoric is, and everybody’s got to respond. But the culture wars are very often a distraction from the kinds of checks and balances and important sort of guardrails on democratic processes that we need to keep intact for democracies to survive.”
READ: The Parallels (And Differences) Between Viktor Orban And Donald Trump by Kim Scheppele
President Donald Trump praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the Oval Office on Monday, disregarding bipartisan objections from Congress that the nationalist leader has taken steps to limit freedoms in his central European nation.
“People have a lot of respect for this prime minister,” Trump said. “He’s a respected man. I know he’s a tough man, but he’s a respected man and he’s done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration.”
While Orban has become the poster child of resurgent far-right groups in Europe, he’s a pariah to mainstream political parties. His Fidesz party was suspended by Europe’s biggest political family this year over his erosion of the rule of law and Hungary is currently undergoing a European Union probe for allegedly undermining democratic standards.
“We have some similar approaches,” Orban said of Trump. The Hungarian leader has campaigned against immigrants, declared Hungary an “illiberal” democracy and enacted crackdowns on the press and limits on elections and the judiciary.
“You look at some of the problems they have in Europe that are tremendous because they’ve done it a different way than the prime minister,” Trump said.
Orban was an early backer of Trump’s 2016 bid for president and his “America First” mantra. The Hungarian leader was invited to meet with the president because the U.S. seeks to steer the central European nation and NATO member away from Russia and China’s influence, White House officials said.
Orban has been in office since 2010 but never had a White House meeting with President Barack Obama. His visit Monday comes only after Trump met with the leaders of the other three former communist states in the Visegrad region – Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
White House officials say the U.S. government has repeatedly raised governance concerns with Hungary. They say the visit is important as Trump seeks to pull Hungary back from recent alignments with Russia, reward members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that increase their commitments to defense, limit China’s global reach through 5G networks and sell U.S. weapons overseas.
But Trump didn’t mention any U.S. concerns about Orban’s administration to reporters.
“The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the NATO Alliance and to their democratic systems of government, which safeguard the freedom and cultivate the prosperity that the United States and Hungary enjoy,” the White House said in a statement about the meeting. “The president and the prime minister discussed how best to increase vigilance against unchecked global migration and to address China’s unfair trade and investment practices.”
Hungary has been in talks about purchasing military equipment from a U.S. supplier. During Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s February visit, Hungary confirmed it considering buying a U.S. medium-range air-defense system. The nation was also reported to have floated the idea of buying Lockheed Martin Corp. fighters once its lease of Swedish-made Gripen jets expires in 2026.
Ahead of Monday’s meeting, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators on the Foreign Relations Committee wrote to Trump to ask him to urge Orban to return to the democratic roots and values that defined Hungary’s post-Cold War relationship with the U.S. and Europe.
“Hungary has experienced a steady corrosion of freedom, the rule of law and quality of governance,” said the May 10 letter signed by Republicans James Risch of Idaho, the committee chairman, and Marco Rubio of Florida, as well as Democrats Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. The senators said they are “profoundly concerned” about the close relationship between Orban and Russia, which has allowed President Vladimir Putin’s government to evade U.S. sanctions and extraditions.
While recognizing Hungary’s security role in NATO, the senators urged Trump “to not diminish the importance of democratic values in our bilateral relationship with Budapest.”
From The Reading List
Vox: “The American right’s favorite strongman” — “At dawn on a Tuesday in May, the police took a man named András from his home in northeastern Hungary. His alleged crime? Writing a Facebook post that called the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, a ‘dictator.'”
To understand the kuffel surrounding Critical Race Theory by Red State legislatures and governors, you must understand the importance of keeping alive the myth of American history that maintains that other than Slavery, Blacks have no history in forming and maintaining “a more perfect union.” Critical Race Theory has always been taught in Graduate Schools as part of social science and social studies curriculum to create understanding.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill gave $4 billion to Black farmers, but conservatives pushed back. Here’s the history of how the USDA mistreated Black farmers for hundreds of years and how we can change it going forward. #DailyShow#TrevorNoah#IfYouDontKnowNowYouKnow
In 1967, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King spoke with NBC News’ Sander Vanocur about the “new phase” of the struggle for “genuine equality.”
Less than 24 hours after Senator Joe Manchin released a list of changes to the voting rights bill he could now support, many Democrats and Republicans are speaking out, including the founder of Fair Fight Action, Stacey Abrams. While it seems like the bill could be moving forward, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Abrams and Manchin, releasing a statement that reads, “Senate Democrats seem to have reached a so-called ‘compromise’ election takeover among themselves. In reality, the plan endorsed by Stacey Abrams is no compromise. It still subverts the First Amendment to supercharge cancel culture and the left’s name-and-shame campaign model.” Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project, joins “Prime with Charles Blow” to discuss the topic.
New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s politics, including emails showing attempts by former President Donald Trump’s team to overturn the 2020 election results, efforts toward election reform in the Senate, how President Joe Biden fared during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Juneteenth.
WHY CRITICAL RACE THEORY IS SO FRIGHTENING TO THE WHITE POWER STRUCTURE
Whites fear and adverse to Critical Race Theory because they refuse to recognize Institutional Racism as part of American patriotic social structure.
The term institutional racism was first coined in 1967 by Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation. Carmichael and Hamilton wrote in 1967 that while individual racism is often identifiable because of its overt nature, institutional racism is less perceptible because of its “less overt, far more subtle” nature. Institutional racism “originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than [individual racism]”.
Institutional racism was defined by Sir William Macpherson in the UK’s Lawrence report (1999) as: “The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour that amount to discrimination through prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism
Gordon W. Allport in The Nature Of Prejudice (1958) declares in Institutionalism that the person with character-conditioned prejudice likes order, but especially social order. In his/her clear-cut institutional memberships, he/she finds the safety and the definiteness he/she needs. Lodges, schools, churches, the nation, may serve as a defense against the disquiet in his personal life. To lean on them saves him from leaning on him/herself.
Research shows that, by and large, prejudiced people are more devoted to institutions than are the unprejudiced. Anti-Semitic college girls are more wrapped up in their sororities; they are more institutionally religious; they are more intensely “patriotic.” Asked “What is the most awe-inspiring experiences?” they usually answer in terms of external patriotic and religious events.
Many studies have discovered a close link between prejudice and “patriotism.” The tie between nationalism and persecution of minority groups was clearly seen in Nazi Germany. It seems to hold for other countries [such as the United States] as well. One investigation, conducted in a suburban American community, among middle-class people, is particularly revealing.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY AND THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLT AGAINST RACISM
Thomas F. Gossett in Race: The History of an Idea in America (1971) posits in The Scientific Revolt Against Racism that Institutionalized Racism had its beginning in nineteenth century pseudoscience of scientific racism.
Gossett posits that all attempts to construct any theory of history or civilization upon racial theory, all attempts to describe accurately the difference of character, temperament, and intelligence among the races, have been failures. Race theory has frequently lent itself to the crudest kind of manipulation by the people who wished to justify a scheme of exploitation or discrimination. It was in the 1920s that the racists first met a serious check among the sciences and among the academic disciplines generally. One can hardly help wondering—now that the claims of the racists are widely recognized as having little or no scientific backing—why the opposition to racism was so long in developing. Were not the effusions of the nineteenth-century racists, for example, extreme enough to call for a more sober scrutiny among serious thinkers?
One reason was that the scientists themselves frequently spoke of race in personal and emotional tones rather than in terms of fact. There could hardly be a subject more likely to involve prejudice than that of race. Unlike religious, political, or social ideas, human differences which we have elected to call racial differences are a part of our physical endowment which we are born with and cannot change. All of us belong to one race or another or to a combination of races, and thus all of us are involved to some extent in an emotional attachment to the idea that our own race is at least potentially equal to others. Much of the debate over the merits and defects of races has taken place in a peevish and ill-tempered atmosphere, one in which the opponents frequently “get personal” and tell members of other races and hurl racist insults.
Of course, there were some in in the nineteenth century who realized that reflections on the character of races lent themselves readily to the self-aggrandizement of one’s own people and the denigration of others. Doubtless, many of the eminent men in history and literature who ignored the race theorizing then so much in the air did so because they recognized its tendentious character. John Stuart Mill explicitly rejected racism.
Virtually all of the systematic critics of racism in the nineteenth century were Europeans, and it is pity that most of them are unknown. However an exception to this is Dr. Franz Boas (1858-1942), who was born and educated in Germany but who decided to become an American citizen in his his twenty-ninth year and did nearly all of his significant work here. The racist of the 1920’s rightly recognized Boas as their chief antagonist. Although his opinion was then a minority one, he never wavered before the onslaughts of biological interpretations of history and civilization. More importantly, he was about to meet his opponents with arguments which could not be brushed aside as humanitarian twaddle.
Deprived of their support from psychology and biology, some of the racists of the 1920’s began to show signs of giving ground. Of course, not all of them did so. Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard seem never to have lost their confidence in race as the prime determinant of civilization. Madison Grant wrote a book in 1931 tracing the Colonial stock back to its Nordic foundations. In Clashing Tidesof Colour (1935) and Into the Darkness (1940), Stoddard continued his racial analyses—although now considerably modified. Stoddard interviewed Hitler in 1940 and wrote an account which amounted to a partial vindication of the Nazis, arguing that many of their ideas were excellent but that they had gone much too far in their fanaticism.
What chiefly happened in the 1920’s to stem the tide of racism was that one man, Franz Boas, who was an authority in several fields which had been the strongest sources of racism, quietly asked for proof that race determines mentality and temperament. The racists among the historians and social scientists had always prided themselves on their willingness to accept the “facts” and had dismissed their opponents as shallow humanitarians who glossed over unpleasant truths. Now there arose a man who asked them to produce their proof. Their answer was a flood of indignant rhetoric, but the turning point had been reached and from now on it would be the racists who were increasingly on the defensive. As frequently happens in the history of thought, after a change of opinion occurs one can only wonder why it was so long delayed. It is true that Boas did not accomplish the task of laying the ghost of racism all by himself. There were others at about the same time who were becoming strongly aware of the illogical of racism. But it was clearly Boas who led the attack.
The shift of the scientist and social scientists with regard to race did not occur because of any dramatic or sudden discovery. Racism had developed into such a contradictory mass of the unprovable and the emotional that the serious students eventually recognized that as a source of explanation for mental and temperamental traits of a people it was worthless. Once this point was accepted, the top-heavy intellectual structures of racism began to topple, one after another.
Marc Lamont Hill sits down with Dr. Imani Perry, a professor at African American studies at Princeton University, on Critical Race Theory. Republican-led states have made moves to ban the theory from being taught in schools. This conversation comes a day after Marc Lamont Hill’s explosive interview with former Rep. Vernon Jones and Georgia gubernatorial candidate, who said he would ban CRT on his first day of office, even though he struggled to define what he’d be banning.
NBC has obtained a transcript of an FBI interview with a Jan. 6 insurrection defendant, which included questions about his possible connections with Members of Congress. NBC4 Washington Investigative Reporter Scott MacFarlane joins The ReidOut with his report.
Malcolm Nance visits with Stephanie Miller every Wednesday. Malcolm is an American author and media commentator on terrorism, intelligence, insurgency, and torture. He is a former United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer specializing in naval cryptology.
Zerlina. airs 6 p.m. ET weeknights on Peacock: Incisive and timely coverage of politics and current events, through in-depth conversations that unpack the latest developments in this era’s breakneck news cycle and draw back the curtain on their real-world consequences.
A female dog is a bitch. A Blue Dog Democrat is a Republican in Democratic clothing. Krysten Sinemon is both these things. A every voting occasion she betrays the people of Arizona and the Democratic Party. He voting record reveals this, so I am not miligning her character. She seems to be preparing for Trump’s return to the White House with her votes. I believe this. The people of Arizona need to call the Dog Catcher to put her out of Office because she is a traitor to the Democratic causes.
Arizona’s Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema says her ‘brand’ is bipartisanship. Sinema isn’t an everyday senator. We talk with Arizonans about Sinema’s life story, what she stands for, and what she’s really trying to accomplish.
Ron Hansen, national politics reporter for The Arizona Republic. Co-host of The Gaggle podcast. (@ronaldjhansen)
Kent Burbank, chair of the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. He teaches social work at Pima Community College.
How would you describe what kind of state legislator Sinema was in the Arizona State House?
Ron Hansen: “If I could even go back a little bit earlier than that, she ran in 2002 for the Arizona legislature and lost. She was aligned with the Green Party at the time and was a vocal member of the anti-war movement here in Arizona during the Bush era. And so when she gets to the legislature, she really had sort of created a body of support among the very progressive community in Arizona, such as it was at that time, and found herself in a legislature that has been, to this day, pretty well dominated by Republicans.
“So she was in some ways, you know, notable just by her background walking into the place. And by the time she left it, I think she was seen as somebody who was interested in crafting deals to make legislation that could work. It’s worth noting, though, that in Arizona, the legislature really never accepted much Democratic input. And so Democrats were always sort of shunted to the back and just sort of watched their legislative goals crumble in a GOP-controlled House and Senate. So she was trying to work productively with people in the very, very limited space where it was permitted.”
On her personal history
Ron Hansen: “She really is an interesting person because there are some interesting paradoxes that we’ve seen in Washington that sort of, I think, amplify some of the questions that people have about her here in Arizona and have throughout the years. She was born in 1976 in Tucson. Her parents divorced when she was a child, and her mother moved her and her siblings to the Florida Panhandle for a few years. That’s when in the mid-1980s, they famously spent three years living out of an abandoned gas station.
“She graduated from high school early and with honors. She won a scholarship to Brigham Young University and again graduated early and began a career in social work with the Phoenix Area Public School District in the mid-90s. It’s notable that shortly after that, she began pursuing advanced degrees and she may have the most college degrees in the Senate. She has a master’s in social work, a law degree, a Ph.D. in justice studies and an MBA. So she has a long career in seeking and getting college degrees as well. And all of this, I think, has just kind of burnished her reputation as someone who is a thinker, trying to understand more about the world around her.”
Is she being naïve about the possibility for bipartisanship in the Senate?
Ron Hansen: “She maintains that she thinks that bipartisanship still exists and that it’s something that is a hard process that you can get if you’re willing to do the work. And that’s something that I think to a lot of folks these days, it just feels like it doesn’t reconcile with their lived experience of contemporary politics. And I think that’s where this great tension lies at the moment, especially with Democratic and liberal activists, that she seems committed to an ideal that to them seems antiquated, if not extinct.”
On support in Arizona, and what guides her actions in the Senate
Ron Hansen: “This is a state that continues to evolve. But what we do know is that when she won in 2018, for example, she won by 2.3 percentage points. And it was the first time that a Democrat won a Senate race in Arizona in 30 years. When you look at Mark Kelly, who is her counterpart in the Senate from Arizona, you know, he won by 2.3 percentage points. And of course, everybody remembers that Joe Biden won Arizona last year, but it was by 0.3 percentage points. What you’ve got is what seems to be, in some ways, a recent track record of great success for Democrats in this state.
“And that is something that has emboldened folks on the left here to feel like they can win. And they can get what they want, seemingly. But at the same time, the state legislature got more conservative. The night she was elected to the Senate, the gubernatorial Democratic candidate was wiped out by double digit. And so there is a relatively narrow path that has been shown to work in this state. But it’s unclear as to just how far you can take it in the near term. And I think that’s part of what is guiding her deliberations on these issues.”
AOL: “Column: What’s the matter with Kyrsten Sinema?” — “The original filibuster is a very Roman move. In the ancient world, Roman senators like Cato the Younger were notorious blowhards who thrived on delivering long speeches to prove their stamina and talent at oratory.”
The 19th: “Kyrsten Sinema doesn’t feel the need to explain herself” — “When Sen. Kyrsten Sinema walked onto the Senate floor in March to vote against the inclusion of a minimum-wage hike in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, the ‘no’ vote itself didn’t come as much of a surprise.”
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Lift every voice and sing, because America may be back indeed. When one group of Americans gains their freedom, all gain theirs. Lincoln was determine that the Union could not exist half slave; half free. Thus he help maintain the most unique nation in the world. The United States, until Trump, is where a person of any ethnicity could come and become an American. I tried to explain to a visiting student from China that she could become an American, but I could never be Chinese. She ask me why. I told her because I wasn’t Chinese. She said, Oh. Just my joke. I want the US to remain a welcoming site in the world and this can done by brave men and women standing up to tyrants and leader who prefer Fascism to Americanism.
President Joe Biden on Thursday signs a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. The signing event at the White House comes two days before Juneteenth itself, which falls on June 19 each year. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris deliver remarks in the East Room.
Independence Day Kirk Franklin Lift every voice and Sing BLM Black Lives Matter
Juneteenth Commissioner In Texas Reacts To The Holiday Going National
Reported today on The Verge For the full article visit: https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/11/22… Reported today in The Verge. Darnella Frazier, who documented George Floyd’s murder, receives Pulitzer Prize citation Darnella Frazier – the teen who used her smartphone to film the video of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020 that sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests worldwide, which culminated in the murder conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin – will receive a special citation from the Pulitzer Board. Frazier was given the citation for “courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice,” the Pulitzer Board said (PDF). Frazier’s video, which was viewed by millions, ignited one of the biggest protest movements in American history and demonstrated how a smartphone with a camera can be a powerful tool to document police brutality and racial injustices.
Frazier was 17 when she filmed the video and uploaded it to Facebook. She also testified at Chauvin’s trial, a trial that eventually resulted in a historic conviction: “the first time in Minnesota history that a white police officer was convicted of killing a Black civilian on the job,” according to the Star Tribune. (The Star Tribune was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Friday for its coverage of Floyd’s death and what followed.)
“Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself,” Frazier said in a statement on the anniversary of Floyd’s death. “If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth. I own that. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.
The woman who filmed the video of George Floyd’s killing told the murder trial for former police officer Derek Chauvin that she and other witnesses pleaded for Chauvin to take his knee off Floyd’s neck.
Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the Derek Chauvin trial, where the movement for police reform goes from here, and the courage of Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old who shot the video seen across the country that was key to Chauvin’s conviction. “She is one of the heroes of this,” Moore says. “Hearing her talk about this injustice that she was watching right in front of her eyes, that type of weight, trauma, is something that is not just going to be weighted on her, but frankly, has been weighted on a lot of people beforehand.” Aired on 04/21/2021. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc
In a first, a teenager was awarded the Pulitzer special citation for filming the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. The video that went viral following the death of George Floyd sparked off protests across America calling for police reforms, human rights and end of racial discrimination against people of African origin. #Fraizer#GeorgeFloyd#Pulitzer
Spike Lee presented Darnella Frazier with the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award. Frazier delivered the following remarks in her acceptance. Gabrielle Union, Meryl Streep, Mona Hanna-Attisha, Deray Mckesson, Molly Crabapple, Rita Dove, Anita Hill, and Cory Booker thanked Frazier for her courage.
George Floyd was an African American man murdered by a police officer during an arrest after a store clerk suspected he may have used a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis.
Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded a comprehensive video of the killing of George Floyd last May, was recognized on Friday by The Pulitzer Prize board. Frazier, who was 17 at the time of the incident, was awarded a special citation for “courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice,” the organization said. Frazier also testified during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. For More Updates : https://bit.ly/3wNDcYW#GeorgeFloyd‘s #DarnellaFrazier#Pulitzer
JUNETEETH RECREATES AFRICAN AMERICAN INTROSPECTION AS A NEW DAY BEGINS
Provided to YouTube by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July” · Ossie Davis A Voice Ringing O’er the Gale! The Oratory of Frederick Douglass Read by Ossie Davis ℗ 2009 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Released on: 2009-06-30
The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.
FEATURING (alphabetically) Douglass Washington Morris II, 20 (he/him) Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15 (they/their) Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12 (she/her) Alexa Anne Watson, 19 (she/her) Haley Rose Watson, 17 (she/her)
The US lost 58,000 troops in Vietnam, not counting those injured with no chance of recovery. The Vietnamese lost over a million men, women and children mainly because they were tired of being colonized by the French. It seem that they believed in Tom Paine’s “Liberty or death.” While we believe in “Be Like US!” Even if they don’t want to be. The Vietnamese did not want to be, but didn’t matter to us. They did not understand that freedom lied with us because we had the best weapons and all they had was determination. But determination goes a long way.
18 May 2020 is Comrade Ho Chi Minh’s 130th birth anniversary. Vijay Prashad speaks about what Comrade Ho meant to the Vietnamese people and their revolution; to the task of creating a socialist society in a country destroyed by thirty years of war imposed by imperialism, on land ravaged and poisoned by conventional and chemical weapons; and on how Vietnam has responded to the global pandemic, Covid-19, with a scientific and human approach. Vijay Prashad is Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, and Chief Editor at LeftWord Books.
Aldon Morris in his essay in Race In America: The Struggle for Equality (1993): Centuries of Black Protest: Its Significance for America and the World, writes of the influence that Black protest had on the Vietnam War and projects on present day struggles for freedom worldwide.
Morris posits that protest movements are not unique to African Americans. Indeed, protest movements are endemic to human societies. As the final decade of the twentieth century opened, protest movements are evident around the world. Their significance is being felt throughout Eastern Europe, in South Africa, the West Bank, Northern Ireland, the Soviet Union, Latin America, and many other nations.
Some protest movements initiate major societal changes, as Solidarity did in Poland. Others are crushed in their infancy, like the recent pro-democracy movement in Beijing, China, [and in Hong Kong 2020]. But even when protest movements are crushed, there is no guarantee that they will not burst forth another day to address unfinished political business. The protest movement is often the voice and deeds of the oppressed.
Beginning in in Harlem, in New York City, in 1964 and Watts, in Los Angeles, California, in 1965, urban rebellions multiplied in the late 1960s, resulting in thousands of arrests, hundreds of deaths, and millions of dollars worth of property damage. In cities across the nation young black people were engaged in a physical war with the police who had brutalized and tyrannized them. They were striking out against exploitative businesses and landlords by burning and looting their property. This was the radical wing of the black protest movement coming alive in the traditional of the violent slave revolt.
Many folk have heard that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. made the comment that the U.S. government [was/is] “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”. This was in context to a speech delivered on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City – exactly one year before his untimely death. Though not as well-known as his other speeches, this is one of the ones that speak deeply to my soul. Because of a few “blips” in the audio, I tried to include include the entire speech to be read along with the speech. It was, however, longer that what is allowed here. SO.. you can see this embedded video AND read the speech on my blog here: http://4amoreperfectunion.blogspot.co…
The urban rebellions had a profound influence on the nonviolent civil rights movement. It pushed it leftward and markedly affected its goal of racial integration. It forced Martin Luther King, Jr., and other leaders to take a hard look at the structure of inequality in American society and to grapple with the problem of the widespread poverty and oppression that gripped the black ghettos. Indeed by the late 1960s, King concluded that the entire economic and social system of America needed fundamental restructuring.
In the midst of the urban rebellion, King concluded that inequality between blacks and whites and the haves and have nots could be eliminated only if all Americans were guaranteed a decent income even if they could not find employment. Thus King redirected his efforts toward integrating the economy and advocating the use of radical nonviolent protest to accomplish the revolutionary goal of economic empowerment for not only blacks but also all poor people. Such a position logically led King to oppose the Vietnam War on both moral and economic grounds. For him violence, even if committed by the state, was morally wrong, and the war itself was draining away the funds needed to assuage domestic poverty.
As King and SCLC moved toward the left, other wings of the civil rights movement became even more radicalized. The Black Power Movement rejected the goal of integration, advocated self-defense, pressed for the acquisition of political and economic power for the African American community, and scrupulously reserved the right for black people to define themselves and their goals.
Thus Black Power totally rejected the validity of the white hegemonic consciousness and replaced it with a diametrically opposed black oppositional consciousness. It also declared that American institutions and American values were not worth preserving and in fact had to be dismantled in order for the society to become non-racist and democratic. Black power advocates denounced American imperialism and around the globe, and they opposed the Vietnam War as imperialistic and racist.
Leading the march against the Vietnam conflict are Dr. Benjamin Spock, tall, white-haired man, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., third from right, in a parade on State St. in Chicago, Ill., March 25, 1967. Dr. Spock is co-chairman of the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy. (AP Photo)
“Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.”
During the War on Drugs, the Brownsville neighborhood in New York City saw some of the highest rates of incarceration in the U.S., as Black and Hispanic men were sent to prison for lengthy prison sentences, often for low-level, nonviolent drug crimes. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
When Aaron Hinton walked through the housing project in Brownsville on a recent summer afternoon, he voiced love and pride for this tightknit, but troubled working-class neighborhood in New York City where he grew up.
He pointed to a community garden, the lush plots of vegetables and flowers tended by volunteers, and to the library where he has led after-school programs for kids.
But he also expressed deep rage and sorrow over the scars left by the nation’s 50-year-long War on Drugs. “What good is it doing for us?” Hinton asked.
Morris declares that the overall response to the Black Power movement was severe oppression by the state and local governments. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., were removed from the scene, and the exact sources of those assassinations are still unclear. The leadership of the Black Panther Party was systematically jailed or murdered. The urban rebellions of the late 1960s were labeled criminal riots and then crushed under the guise of [Nixon’s] law and order. During these rebellions military tanks rumbled through the African American community, backed by police squad cars where officers rode four deep, openly displaying automatic weapons. The government spent millions of dollars on repression rather than on social change.
Beijing has accused the U.S. of perpetuating a Cold War mentality as President Joe Biden and senior administration officials shore up alliances in the Pacific region to counter China’s growing influence and increasingly describe the country as a geopolitical threat. Vijay Prashad, director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, says the “bellicose” tone out of Washington is not because the U.S. sees China as a military threat, but because China threatens U.S. dominance in the scientific, technological and diplomatic spheres. “It’s very chilling what the U.S. government is doing in ramping up this cold war,” says Prashad.