Rohingya child street vendor in Kuala Lumpur

Rohingya child vendor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Naz Amir:Flickr) Oct 20 2017

A Rohingya child on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It appears the little guy is a street vendor probably helping his family survive. Despite all the grandstanding done by Malaysian politicians, Rohingya refugees have no rights in the country & are frequently incarcerated.

Child welfare is a major part of refugee rights for the Rohingya people.

(Photo by Naz Amir/Flickr)

On using the Weinstein exposé to go after identity politics

Black women liberationists 1960s

In a theoretical non sequitur that exposes their politics, many are using the Weinstein exposé to go after identity politics. What connection in their minds leads them from revelations about systemic sexual crimes against women to denouncing identity politics? That women are standing together to fight against the assault & rape of women & children? It would be interesting to do a demographics on those most opposed to identity politics. Pardon the speculation, but it’s likely most are white males or in organizations dominated by them. In US politics, women’s power, Black power, Latino power must scare the bejeezus out of them because they undermine the very foundations of white & male supremacy.

Then you get the socialists who try to counterpose identity politics to class politics. Those who call themselves Marxists should try to get a grip on dialectics, on complexities & contradictions. They should put aside mechanical conceptions about society, schematic notions of how things interact & stop talking naive notions about unity of the working class. It might be hard to swallow, but racist & misogynist workers are not our brothers. Ask any woman or Black worker who’s been threatened, harassed, excluded, persecuted by white or male coworkers. There won’t be any harmony of the working class at our expense, by requiring us to keep our mouthes shut when someone tries to make our lives a living hell. Until we have persuaded or forced them to see us & treat us as human beings, they can stuff that phony harmony stuff because it isn’t harmony; it’s capitulation to oppression.

Capitalism, as a system, may have inherited misogyny from history but it was built on a foundation of colonialism, racism, & white supremacy which included extreme sexual violence against women & children. It now cannot function without the subordination of female, black & brown labor. Sweatshop economics are based on exploited women, child labor, & racism. So you can blither till the cows home about how identity politics weakens working class unity against capitalism, but it only means you think in schemas & don’t get complexity. If you’re gonna call yourself a Marxist, get it together on the dialectic. Meanwhile, those who care about human rights will keep trying to build movements of the oppressed to persuade white & male workers to stop preventing unity by acting all high & mighty over us.

One last thing: US & European feminism is not the gold standard theoretically or in political organizing. Feminism is a social movement, not a political party with an agreed-upon program for action. There are contending political perspectives within the movement, from reactionary & racist to international. As a social movement, those differences have to be hammered out–which does not come easy. There are issues, like reproductive rights, that despite class & other differences, we can agree to work on together. But no one, especially white male bloggers, can define who is & is not a feminist based on their prejudices. Feminism is the struggle against the special problems we face under capitalism & in some cases under dictatorship, war, occupation, persecution. The gold standard is not how many feminist bloggers a nation has but how many women are engaged in political organizing. That requires examining women’s work in the Arab Spring uprisings, in the Syrian revolution, in Kashmir, India, Bangladesh, Guatemala, & elsewhere.

Photo is Black women liberation activists from the 1960s to show that despite the misrepresentation of our history, Black & Latina women were an important part of the movement of the 1960s-1970s.

Long live feminism.

George W. Bush still lying

George Bush caricature

Yesterday, George Bush gave a speech at a NYC event sponsored by his own foundation. It must have been written for him because if there’s any president just as stupid as Trump, it was Bush. There are catalogs & huge compendiums of his quotes published only for their comedic value which include not just slips of the tongue but show his significant cognitive problems. From: “They misunderestimated me” & “fool me once…shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again” to “I know the human being & the fish can coexist peacefully” & “More & more of our imports come from overseas.”

What wasn’t the least bit funny about Bush were his policies: the No Child Left Behind program which was like a weapon of mass destruction lobbed at public education; the US-NATO war on terror which has made the entire world unsafe for billions of people & increased terrorist attacks around the world; the US-NATO wars against Iraq & Afghanistan which involve unspeakable crimes against those peoples & which have not yet ended; his refusal for over a week to launch aid & rescue operations for hundreds of thousands of mostly Black New Orleans residents stranded in flood waters without food or water due to Hurricane Katrina.

Bush stands a chance of raking in more honoraria if he stops talking like a buffoon & tries to act more like an éminence grise so he had a professional liar write his speech for him yesterday. He used words & concepts way over his head like “nationalism distorted into nativism” & “isolationist sentiments.” He spoke of the “galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War” by which he must have meant the McCarthy witch-hunt. But the comment that has social media afire is his statement that “bigotry & white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed.” That’s where the lying comes in. Bigotry & white supremacy are as American as Apple pie. They are the very foundations of US history, foreign & domestic policy, & not just American, but world capitalism. World capitalism would collapse without them structured into its entire economic, social, & political edifice.

Things won’t be right with this world until he is prosecuted, even posthumously, for his crimes against humanity.

(Caricature by Wen Jie Li)

Update on Betty Windsor’s family problems

Betty fighting Alzheimer's

Every time I post about Betty Windsor, I get the naughty finger shoved in my face by some killjoy or socialist who thinks I’m being frivolous again. But since so many socialists have “gone south” & are grieving the death of that mass killer in Syria today, it’s safe to repost this one from 2014. It’s such bad form, but I sometimes laugh at my own sarcasms.

It’s such a shame you have to go to the supermarket to get the important news. If it wasn’t for tabloids at the checkout line we would know nothing about the misfortunes of Betty Windsor. And the poor beleaguered woman has a full plate of them. That damn Camilla is nothing but a trouble maker in the palace. She’s so afraid Betty won’t die in time for Chuckles to become king & her queen that she schemes constantly against poor KKKKaty, even hiding the one biscuit KKKKaty is allowed to eat per day. Now she’s turned her venom on our own Betty & is circulating scurrilous rumors that Betty has Alzheimer’s.

This is particularly malignant since Cammy & Betty seem inseparable & spend all their time together at the horse track. Many tabloids want to know, “How could Cammy do this to Betty when they give each other tips on the horses?” But Globe magazine reports there’s truth & not just libel to the claims. Betty has been found wandering lost & confused in the palace garden. Just last week she was found wandering in a field of ceramic poppies outside the Tower of London & she thought they were real. She spotted Phil across the field & thought he was the rear end of her favorite horse.

Worst of all she has mistaken her son Chuckles for her husband Phil. What’s the downside to that? She always did call Phil her “anus horribilis” & we concur. She also doesn’t remember Willy & KKKKaty’s wedding. There might be something to be said for Alzheimer’s.

In the few lucid moments Betty has left she speaks of exiling Cammy to a deserted island & begs Chuckles to divorce her. But then she reconsiders since who could she trust for racing tips other than Cammy & their bookie?

(Photo is front cover of Globe magazine, an indispensable source of news)

Had an early Halloween where creatures from the Assadist/fascist netherworld came to eulogize their fallen hero the butcher Zahreddine. Their political arguments were so cogent, including calling me a bitch, whore, Zionist cow, degenerate hipster, scum, ISIS sympathizer. In politics, the epithets you use matter. When your politics are rooted in hate, your curses & epithets come from that energy. But they’re mostly weasels & cowards hiding behind that big macho mass murderer. So I said the Facebook equivalent of “boo” & blocked them. Now I need to do an exorcism of my wall.

In the past, I’ve had my issues with the singer Miley Cyrus who despite considerable talent & intelligence relied too much on sexual exhibitionism for attention. But on The Voice talent show, she has shown herself to be extremely supportive of other women. She’s showing the very best of herself in encouraging & developing women singers. I’m loving that girl.