Let me tell you another reason why I don’t truck with the Democratic Party & just so you know, my grudges go back a long way so I’ve had time to nurse & cultivate them to high dudgeon. I worked my way through college, partly on the university work-study program. In about 1968, I had a work-study job at a Black housing project in Minneapolis. At the tail-end of the Civil Rights Movement & in the Black Power phase, housing was (& still is) segregated. My job was with a group of little kids but there was no place for me to take them, no toys, balls, or games, nothing to keep them engaged.
At the time, I lived with an elderly woman & provided security & housekeeping in exchange for room & board. Her house was in an exclusive area of Minneapolis near the University & the housing project was just a few blocks away. She had once been head of the Minnesota Democratic Party (DFL) & still had social affairs at her home with all the DFL politicians. She was the biggest snob I’ve ever met in my life with utter disdain for working people. But she had a great big unused yard & if I walked the kids a few blocks & cut through the bushes we could use her yard at least for story-telling since we had no other equipment.
They were great little kids, entirely well-mannered, but since they were poor were somewhat intimidated when we entered the exclusive enclave. It was just the only place nearby where I could take them & where we could all be comfortable. It never dawned on me that their presence would offend Mrs. Harding. But her snobbery rose to its full measure & in a state of horror & near-apoplexy she said the kids absolutely could not be in her yard. They weren’t noisy, weren’t tearing up the grass, weren’t throwing balls. They were just sitting with me listening to stories & chatting. But they were little Black kids & I knew that’s what bothered her. Nothing ruins a relationship with me faster than crapping on little kids so our arrangement didn’t last much longer & despite the no-rent situation I moved on. Fifty years later I’m still nursing that grudge. When I think of those little kids, I anticipate I’ll go to the grave with it.
Just a reminder for those in the NYC area that today & tomorrow Rohingya activists & their supporters are meeting at Barnard College where they will issue a call for an international boycott of Burma for genocide against the Rohingya people. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of history in building solidarity.
More photos of todays Great Return March in Gaza showing how Israeli snipers directly target the young, including small children. It is exactly what Kashmiri protesters face. Injured or executed children are not the result of stray bullets or what the US Pentagon calls “collateral damage” but are the intended targets so as to disable, disfigure, & demoralize the young & make them passive against brutal occupations.
Photos from today’s Great Return March in Gaza: Walid Mahmoud from Gaza pointed out that during the Great Return Marches of nearly one year, Israel has killed journalists, nurses, women, volunteers, children, young men, elderly, students, disabled, but we have not heard once that the unarmed peaceful Palestinian protesters have killed or wounded one Israeli soldier or citizen.
End the occupation. Self-determination for Palestine.
Kashmiris are having a field day mocking media reports about Modi’s recent visit to Kashmir. He was photographed on a boat in Dal Lake waving as if to the assembled throng when there wasn’t a soul in sight. One headline read “PM Narendra Modi steals J&K’s hearts with his Kashmiri speech, tours Dal Lake in Srinagar.” In fact, in protest of his visit, there was a complete shutdown in Kashmir, everything was at a halt, & there probably wasn’t a soul in the streets either. The headline should have read “Modi went to Kashmir & everything his propagandists & generals told him about his popularity was a lie.”
Go back India, go back!
Who is more opposed to “identity politics”? The extreme right or the academic left? What is it about the oppressed taking a stand against brutalities imposed specially upon them that so rankles & unites these counterposed political forces? Why should the oppressed subordinate their demands in the interests of some false harmony with the privileged? How do you separate being woman, Dalit, Black, Latino, Native American, Palestinian, Kashmiri, Rohingya, Uyghur, Muslim, LGBT, indigenous from the special forms of oppression imposed on us?
In truth, there was never a more banal objection to the struggles of the oppressed than the rubbish around “identity politics.” Perhaps it isn’t so banal as it is pernicious in making the oppressed defend their resistance to injustice.
“Ali is on the grill!’ Israeli settlers celebrate burning of Palestinian baby
Such profound personal & political corruption as taunting the burning alive of a baby seems inscrutable evil. But it has always been the very nature of colonialism & racism. Israeli Zionist settlers are part of that tradition. Zionism has never been an emancipatory ideology but since its inception was rooted in colonialism with all the savageries & butcheries of that history. That is what makes the Palestinian struggle so monumentally important for all humanity.
Liam Neeson said he felt a “primal urge to lash out” & kill a random Black person after a Black man raped his friend. There’s a name for those kind of urges: racism. John Malkovich had a similar homicidal urge, threatening to shoot Fisk & Galloway for supporting Palestinians. Now his resemblance to Hannibal Lecter comes into full relief. They ought to learn to keep their big traps shut because now we know to boycott their films.