Chris Rock at the Oscars: compromise with racism in Hollywood

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.

Misogynist attacks on Hillary Clinton’s competence miss the point of her corruption

Attacking the competence & experience of Hillary Clinton seems a particularly misogynist approach to criticizing her–not to mention politically naive about how this country is run. Obama had only a few years in politics under his belt when he was elected president. She has several times more experience than he did in who & how this country is run.

She knows about the role of Wall Street, think tanks, special consultants like Henry Kissinger, special interests like Monsanto & lobbying groups like AIPAC. She’s familiar with the charade played out with Congress & how those nine corpses on the Supreme Court fit into all this. Most of all, she knows whose interests she serves. Experience in chicanery is not what she lacks but precisely what disqualifies her from consideration.

Lesser evil Bernie Sanders is not my schtick

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.

The Israeli apartheid wall

Apartheid wall (Thomas Coex:AFP:Getty Images) Feb 27 2016

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

Group of Syrian refugees

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)