So the message of Chris Rock’s monologue at the Oscars was that Blacks should accept exclusion from recognition with good humor & not make any unseemly displays of indignation. The rest of his schtick was making sport of the whole controversy. Wow. Is that approach a rerun for women & Blacks!
He did, in his own way, acknowledge that the Oscars were a white only affair when he suggested Blacks have their own category. Their own separate but equal category?
Regrettably, the sacrifice Rock made for comforting the status quo, who all so dutifully laughed, was the genius of his wit. Perhaps he can’t be blamed since the system of racism in Hollywood is much bigger than his career & includes not just Blacks but Latinos, Arabs, & Asians. But he still ends up the loser for sacrificing his dignity & cracking jokes so racism is not discomforted.
I’ve recently received several invitations to “like” Bernie Sanders Facebook walls–which apparently proliferate with panic at a Clinton/Trump runoff. Putting aside that I’m running a campaign against all of the Democratic & Republican candidates, let me say with absolute clarity that I will never vote for anyone–even a lesser evil anyone–who is not intractably opposed to all US wars, Israeli apartheid, & steadfast for immigration/refugee rights. If a candidate doesn’t stand on the human rights side of those issues, nothing else they stand for matters. Because racism is the heart of all of them & racism is the monstrous impediment to social transformation around the world. There can be no compromise with it, even compromises of the lesser evil kind.
I haven’t panicked at an election result for decades because I don’t believe in saviors–especially saviors coming from either of the two corrupt parties. Maybe that’s because I’m a sixties-generation person who saw the power of independent political action like the antiwar, civil rights, & women’s movements. We saw democratic political power in action & there ain’t no going back to relying on compromised, lying-assed politicians to make social transformation for us.
This is the Israeli apartheid wall. We could talk about the cost of maintaining the wall: $260 million a year. Or we could describe its physical characteristics: in some places, 2 meters/7 feet high of electrified razor wire; in other places 8 meters/26 feet high of concrete; & the cameras, radar, motion detectors, patrols, checkpoints, needed to control it. We could talk about how it cuts off Palestinians from their farmlands & from families & from access to businesses, hospitals, the Al-Aqsa mosque, cultural centers, & other services in Jerusalem.
But it’s more powerful to let the wall speak for itself. This is the wall at Al-Ram, West Bank which Palestinians scale over moving traffic to search for work in Israel.
When Israel began erecting the wall in April 2002, they claimed it was to protect against suicide bombers & as a deterrent to make terrorism more difficult. In fact, it has facilitated the barbarism of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands & increased Israeli terrorism against Palestinians. It has enforced apartheid.
Israel is not a sanctuary from persecution of Jews; it is not the only democracy in the Middle East. It is an armed fortress against justice & against a democratic, secular state where Jews & Palestinians can live as brothers & sisters.
To dismantle the wall & Israeli apartheid, honor the economic & cultural boycott of Israel. Buy nothing with barcode beginning 729
(Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)
A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison & 2,000 lashes for atheist tweets. The feudal autocratic regime beheaded 47 political dissidents in January, including a Muslim cleric. Saudi Arabia is a key component of US foreign policy in the Middle East–including under President Touchy-Feely Obama. So much for that lesser evil crap. Lesser evil to whom?
If there is a heart, it should break now.
If it is broken, it should shatter now
The sea is full of hope and rage
deceit and cruelty are the dust of now.
Innocence consoles the bravery
How a father shall embrace the child now?
There is no land left for migrants
Border, bullet, prayer, abuse and now.
Life is left behind in smoke and fire
The body carries the soul and tears are dry now.
Winter will pass, spring will come
An eternal autumn will stay here now.
Rise and rise, cry and cry, rage and rage
Fight and fight, die and die, now and now
Poem by Musab Iqbal
(Photo is refugees on Syrian-Turkish border on Feb. 7th, prevented from crossing to escape bombing because of Turkish government’s cash exchange & deal with EU. By Ammar Abdullah/Reuters)
News is nothing but unremitting cruelties–but human beings cannot live by indignation alone. To plow against the tide of misery & exploitation, to embolden us against massive military power, we must believe in something greater than ourselves, something worth fighting for. That hope & inspiration usually comes from children because their happiness is the one thing most agree on & their suffering the chief thing that most outrages.
If we want our children to have a future, to live in a world suitable for them to live & love in, we have no alternative but to forge bonds of solidarity with others. That’s not an easy thing to do, given the impediments of racism, misogyny, & other social hatreds–or the sectarianism so rife in politics. That only requires us to put first things first in politics & allow nothing irrelevant to stand in the way of fighting together against the social hatreds that divide us & for the justice that unites us.
(Photo thanks to King Fahad)
Last November, the European Union (EU) struck a deal with the Turkish government that it would stop the movement of refugees in exchange for cash & help in joining the EU. As if more proof were needed for the cynicism & criminality of those regimes who bomb other countries & refuse to accept the consequences; of those who consider human life an obstacle to destroy rather than something to cherish & protect; of those who consider some lives important & most lives of no consequence at all.
This photo is a young Syrian girl begging in the streets of Istanbul with a tiny child sleeping next to her. It isn’t reported whether they have caretakers or if they’re traveling alone. This is what refugees, especially unaccompanied children, get out of that devil’s pact between the EU & Turkey. We should shudder to think of the dangers they face living on the street in a strange country with a different language because it is beginning to emerge that sexual predation & trafficking are part of EU refugee policy. How else do they explain the Europol report that 10,000 unaccompanied children are missing after being processed by EU officials? Or that they don’t have agents out looking for those children?
That devil’s pact will come back at Turkey if they are allowed to join the EU but regrettably it will not impact the officials striking the deal but hit working people, exactly as EU austerity policies are devastating working people in Greece, Spain, Portugal.
The hopeful development is the combativeness demonstrated in the past several years by Turkish working people against the regime & by increasing protests around Europe in solidarity with refugees as brothers & sisters. One can disagree with the economics of Karl Marx but never with his international advice that working people of the world unite. Such solidarity is the mightiest force on the planet Earth.
Immigration is a human right. Open the borders.
(Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)
Former SNL comedian & current Minnesota senator Al Franken just endorsed Clinton for president. His sniveling character combined with her groveling support for Israel is certainly what clinched the deal. Clinton & Sanders both support Israeli colonialism & apartheid but she aggressively promotes it (to rake in Zionist money) while Sanders avoids international issues that might alienate his “socialist” groupies.
As a senatorial candidate in January 2009, Franken attended a rally in a Jewish community center in Minneapolis to support Israel during its 22-day bombing assault over Gaza in Operation Cast Lead (Dec 27th 2008 to Jan 18th 2009)–whilst the bombing was going on.
In Operation Cast Lead, an estimated 1,419 Palestinians were killed, including 308 children & teens. More than 5,000 others were wounded, some permanently incapacitated; 3,540 housing units were destroyed & 20,000 people made homeless; 18 schools were destroyed & 262 others were damaged; 20,000 meters (12 miles) of water & sewage networks were destroyed; over $10 million of damage was done to the power infrastructure; hundreds of factories & businesses were destroyed.
Israel was condemned by human rights groups for using white phosphorus munitions supplied by the US (which the US uses extensively in its wars). It is not illegal to use under international law–though it is completely immoral–except in populated areas, which of course, all of Gaza is. White phosphorus is highly flammable & similar to Napalm which burns flesh right to the bone.
Al Franken, a lesser evil guy, was an enthusiastic supporter of Cast Lead & pledged to support Israel at the Minneapolis rally. He hasn’t wavered in that pledge but also supported Israel’s carpet bombing assaults over Gaza in 2012 & 2014. Accordingly, he has often been picketed at his offices in Minneapolis by Palestinian solidarity activists. He needs to be thrown out of office on his ass. Clinton can have his endorsement; it stinks of apartheid & genocide.
Honor the economic & cultural boycott of Israel; buy nothing with barcode beginning 729.
(Photo of white phosphorus munitions by Reuters)