I'm sending this also to my EdgeLeft list with this brief intro. I was deeply impressed with Baldwin's essays - more than with his fiction. His writing was clear and "essential".
One thing I did share with Baldwin was a love of Bessie Smith. When he had a kind of nervous breakdown and retreated to Switzerland to recover, he took some of his records with him.
Bayard Rustin got Baldwin to speak for the War Resisters League at a large meeting at the Community Church here in NYC. Bayard assigned me to take care of "Jimmy" after the meeting, in terms of finding out where he wanted to go.
I said "Mr. Baldwin, when the meeting ends, do you want to stay and talk with people or do you want to leave immediately?". He said he wanted to leave as soon as the meeting was over. So as the meeting drew to a close I went out, hailed a cab, told it to wait, went in, got James Baldwin and, with him, went down to the folk song club (Gerde Folk City?), where I joined him and some friends for a bit. One of my few brushes with celebrity!
I look forward to seeing the film. I recommend Baldwin's essays.
Baldwin. "Explains in advance" - the toxicity of white supremacy in 21st c. US.
I saw it last week in Seattle. Wow. Every white person in America should watch this film.
As a veteran, I KNOW that the only "race" that matters is the human race !!!!!
"She was warned." - Ooooh haven't we all? Haven't we all been warned about what would happen to us good girls if we got out of line? If we wore THAT outside. If we upset men/our parents/the authorities/other women. We've been warned our whole lives. Warned to shut us down. Warned to keep us in our place. Warned by faux-authorities who position themselves as knowing better when really all they were after is their own superiority.
"She was given an explanation." - I had to laugh. He wants so badly for mansplaning to still work. It didn't. It won't. Not anymore. You can't just explain to the little ladies why they should shut up anymore. Somehow Warren has got it in her pretty little head that what she has to say is worth hearing.
"Nevertheless, she persisted." - THERE IT IS. That right there is gold. Epitaph-worthy. The highest accidental compliment, from a man who has no idea how much women are used to being warned and explained at. Warren is having none of it. She will persist.
A belated congrats to Sen. Warren for speaking truth to power
James Sanders Jr.
Bravo!, Ms. Baczynski, a fine piece of writing. (And this from an early-stage octogenarian heterosexual male.) Mitch McConnell has really created a rallying cry for women ALL OVER THE WORLD, not just the USofA. I just sent Heidi Stevens' article (we subscribe to the 'Chicago Tribune') to my daughter, and with her permission I will send it to my 15 year old granddaughter. In my opinion, McConnell is a snake at the best of times, a man without scruples, any sense of political morality and - basically - a jerk. It's going to be interesting to see him and Ryan squirm for the next few years in trying to defend, rationalize, backtrack and support Trump.
The speed of the Trump agenda has also angered people. The press was also alarmed by his attacks and are now releasing information about the strange relationship between Trump's campaign and the Putin government. The women's march was a success and activated many people. The most frightening platform plank for me is that Trump is a climate denier.
Climate change is happening quickly and since the Paris Declaration not enough is being done anywhere in the world. China and India have incredible pollution. North America is still full of huge cars that clog our freeways; the middle class is not switching to small cars and is not encouraged to by the auto industry. There have been small improvements in the use of alternative fuels but not large advances in the use of tidal power, solar power and wind power. We are not making lifestyle changes fast enough. And now this President will roll back changes that have been made. The effects of climate change will kill many people.
History gives hints about what may happen but does not repeat itself. And climate change is a totally new issue that cannot be denied for 8 years.
We have to get with it and quickly. We cannot afford governments run by the plutocracy, for the 1%.
Et tu, Portside? Joining the Cold War liberals?
The American political system put Trump in the White House. Blaming it on Putin is a copout.
There are constant allegations that Putin ordered assassinations, but I haven't seen any evidence. On the other hand, a witness reported that in August 1960 President Eisenhower told Allan Dulles that Congo's leader Patrice Lumumba had to be eliminated.
Please cancel the Portside jacobin ISO red scare/net news nuttery...
They are bringing back red-baiting, anti-russian chauvinism, and looking for any way to promote war in Syria and elsewhere so as not to lose the unilateral "new world order" whose King, Daddy Bush, just passed away. But these promoters of blame Putin and Trump first while having given a pass on every child that died, was imprisoned and/or tortured, and those that were just killed by the 7 countries Obama blamed and bombed first. Obama was great: domestically while giving the single largest big bank bailout EVER, he killed single payer and took it off the table of consideration, he refused to bring investigation and trial to those that started the war in Iraq, and he let Hillary aka "Killary" get away with murder in her coup de etat against the democratically elected president of Honduras, then let her lead a western no fly zone turned into bombing campaign against Libya which then quickly and literally transported the Jihadi US proxy agents of caos to Syria to convert that Arab spring from protest and change into terrorist war against the people of syria and their constitutional and elected government.
Killary got millions and millions of money donated from monarchist governments of terror that crucify, guillotine, and behead opposition religious leaders. And these are also governments that then stone womyn and promote male only voting etc. And hillary killary rewards them with military aid at the billion dollar level where the money was federally taxed from those of us who are workers. All US presidents have governments that have had financial relations with foreign governments. Please stop the Red Baiting and making Putin into the all powerful wizard behind our right wing president who is not as war happy AS THE NEOCON ANAL OPENING WANT. The people want less war and trials against those who used lies and lies and continue to lie to distract us from their wars.
But it is just because they are not white, right? Get a Black president to expand the pentagon to its greatest peak ever. Then when people finally start getting someone who doesn't get all his funding from terrorist monarchist governments or coup governments that we certify were not coups to continue funding their annihilation of democracy as General Sisi did so well in the thrice elected government of Egypt. So we are finally talking about an alternative to the two state solution in Palestine. Yay! Down with the War Pigs and the MSM War Pimps! Come on people united can never be defeated. Lets put the Democrats and Republicans permanently out of business and build a one world cooperative to each according to need and from each according to ability. Replace big banker and insurance finance execs with a minimum wage that is a living and not parasitic wage.
I'd agree with the thrust of the comments below. This new anti-Russian McCarthyism is something you should be energetically opposing, not supporting. It is ridiculous to claim, that of all the alien and undemocratic influences on US elections, that Russia is the chief threat. And this bogus, totally fact free claim of Russian influence, is the result of Russia blocking US war aims in the Ukraine and Syria. By publishing this article below, you are on the wrong side of the fence.
An important argument that should be part of the current analysis.
Schwartzman's rant is typical of the loony left.
Borowitz writes so close to the truth that I sometimes forget he is a satirist
Is this guy for real ?
Thank God, it's spoof.. (isn't it?)
Wish I could click the laughing emoji because Borowitz is always funny but it is very hard to since reality seems to outstrip comedy in its insanity on a daily basis.
It's got to be a spoof. Has hasn't read the constitution because it wasn't written by Fox news
[Moderator's Note: A version of Linda Burnham's piece was also published in
The Guardian on February 10, 2017. That version can be viewed here
I really dislike the term "the white working class". It brings up an image of brawny, unthinking and maybe a little scary white males. For some time now the working class has been interracial and multi gendered. Think Detroit, for one example. So many of us have inter-married that there is now a large, unclassifiable mixture in many families.
The ENTIRE working class, all races, men and women, all gender identities and places of national origin has been abandoned by the practices of globalism and domination by financial manipulation and speculation. Unique historical experience and wisdom have shielded African-Americans and other "minorities" from making the mistake of going for racist demagogues as a solution. Not voting at all is the main response.,
White workers have to reject the idea that we are so special and above the others if we are to combat the selfish plans of the 1%. We must try to understand that our fall from dubious grace is not attributable to African Americans or immigrants or shrewish women but to our increasing weakness as a group to stand up for ourselves in the workplace and in the electoral arena.
It has been white workers' tolerance for racist "last hired, first fired" policies in industry, for terrible conditions and low wages for Mexican-Americans, for failure to unionize and make our unions fair and strong. It has been our aloof indifference to the fact that for many the only ticket to a regular paycheck, respect and an opportunity to take care of their families has been military service, something shared by poor whites and poor people of all races.
So let's not overuse the term "the white working class". It reinforces backwards dead-end approaches..
What??? "the fight for a better tomorrow is one that may not-indeed, probably will not-be won in your lifetime."
Such weighty resignation might comfort a PhD student anticipating a lengthy academic career, but it is dead wrong. We know that history can turn on a dime, that what was seen as impossible one day can become the new normal the next.
The prospect of human survival rests upon our ability to break free of capitalism, not in some distant future, but as soon as possible. We do not have forever.
We cannot be complacent. We must stand up and fight NOW.
It seems to me that this case has merit for the UN and the World Court since the National minorities have treaties and historic precedent !
Well, there's a surprise, LIUNA!
Kick their butts; I'm, sticking to the union till the day I die.
Is anyone keeping an up-to-date list of changes state by state?
Public employee Unions, Beware!
Soon we will have Federal union busting
Our Solidarity Saturday forum on healthcare reform came to a similar conclusion.
How about the government health care for all!
Good article. I will just add that in Spanish we use "paro" (work stoppage) when it refers to a limited and usually definite time period, such as 24 hours. The word "huelga" (strike) is used for more serious -- and usually indefinite -- actions.
Déborah B. Santana
From Bambi to Aladdin to Rogue One, Disney has created some pretty great movies. And who can forget Mickey Mouse - the character at the center of it all. But these days, Mickey and Disney CEO Bob Iger have been hanging around with Donald Trump. Bad Mickey!
Disney CEO Bob Iger serves on President Trump's economic advisory council. While we forced Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to step down last week, Iger refuses to leave the council. In a statement on Tuesday, Iger said the council is a "great opportunity" that gives him a "pipeline" to speak with Trump.
But here's the thing. There's no negotiating with an administration that is attacking immigrants, handing government over to Wall Street, and planning to take health care away from millions.
This week, Trump has repeatedly tried to bully federal judges and undermine the courts. He continues to flout our Constitution by refusing to divest from his businesses, despite the massive conflicts of interest they present. And he is using illegal and unconstitutional executive orders to advance his agenda.
Disney may want to present itself as above the political fray. But right now, there are no sidelines. Disney needs to take a stand.
Tens of thousands of People's Action members - together with hundreds of thousands of Uber users and workers - forced Uber's CEO off Trump's council. We can do it again. We will not let corporate collaborators off the hook.
Jacob, Isaiah, Libero and the People's Action team
Trump Is Bound By The Constitution.........And It Will Be Kept..........
Here's hoping Portside readers will look for Day of Remembrance events sponsored by the Japanese-American community to both learn about this criminal, racist history and act in solidarity to defeat Trump's current policies.
"the War Location Authority hired photographer Dorothea Lange..."
It was the War RElocation Authority (WRA).
This is a wonderful story, making sense, as it does, of many things that were not clear to me otherwise. I thank you for sharing it. I wonder if there is a way that we can see the specific pictures that are referred to in the text.
Really important article. Shows want nativist, anti-immigrant hysteria can lead to. Should give cause to country to think about what a Muslim Ban means. Beautiful pictures taken by Dorothea Lange, and kept hidden and censored by the U.S. government since World War II - our government is very good at covering up crimes that it commits. Also sheds light on other photographers who were used to make the internment camps "look pretty" - one gets a different view of Ansel Adams.
A chilling 1941 Dr. Seuss cartoon in response to the denial of incoming Jews to America. Notice the slogan on the shirt.
Mark D. Levine
Give em hell Sisters!
Its still being done.
Slavery by another name (see Michelle Alexander, Brian Stevenson, Margaret Burnham). Portside nails this in a very substantive and succinct summary "Exploiting Black Labor After the Abolition of Slavery."
In a nutshell, African slave labor was absolutely essential to the massive amounts of capital that was accumulated by King Cotton in the first 6 decades of the 19th c century. Mind you raw cotton was the most grade commodity on world markets. America had the advantage of stolen lands from Indigenous Peoples and stolen labor from Africa. Slave owning planters (Cotton, Tobacco, Rice, Indigo) were the riches men in all of the US!
But quickly following the Civil War, American industrial capitalism boomed, stimulated by the war machinery necessitated to defeat the Confederacy. Northern Industrial capitalism (extraction and manufacturing industries, railroads, banking, real estate, etc) eclipsed the agrarian capitalism of the Southern Bourbon planters. Initially Black labor was in a prime position to leverage economic power. They owned the monopoly of skill labor as there we're few white skilled tradesmen and craftsmen in the Ante Vellum South.
Black laborers were protected by the 14th and 15th Amendments. They became lawmakers under Black Radical (Republican) Reconstruction. 22 congressmen, and 2 senators! Thousands of state legislatures.
But this Reconstruction began to change, first slowly then rapidly as the old Planter White Supremacist class got their political acts together. They quickly began to dismantle Reconstruction legislation.
At first the impoverished and disenfranchised and disempowered slave owners struggled to rebuild their operations without slave labor. They resorted to share cropping and tenant farming that rapidly impoverished Black labor rending them into a debtor class. Then they worked around the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments and by the third election cycle 1876, reduced the Black vote from 800,000 (all men) in 1986 to under 10,000 in 1876. Hence the notorious Compromise of 1876. Black Reconstruction was dismantled all accomplished with the full compliance of the federal and state governments. White supremacy was restored. BLACK LABOR BECAME SURPLUS LABOR.
Why? What must industrial capitalism do with all this growing numbers of surplus labor? Disfranchise, disempower, demonize, dehumanize, then vilify Black men and women, and sexualized racism: meaning, Black men become profiled as monstrous sexual predators. Sen Ben Tillman's infamous remark, "The women of the South are in a stage of siege!!!" Lynch them!!!! The return of Black Codes and Jim Crow terror, whether white supremacist called Restoration and Redemption gradually led to mass incarceration.
Patrick L. Barton See also D. Blackmon, since you mention slavery by another name; his book of that title won the Pulitzer; also a PBS doc of same name.
Patrick L. Barton
And it wasn't just Black convicts they exploited. Read THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS
, for example, to learn about slavery-like conditions across the South during Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era. Oh, and that Convict Labor? STILL GOING IN ALL 50 STATES. #RacismIsTheNorm #StopExploitation
"We might agree with Trump that we do not want new trade deals. And we might agree that more money should go into building infrastructure. But we must be loud and clear that our larger vision includes trade, but trade that is fair for workers and the environment. Our vision is internationalist, not nationalist. Our vision includes building infrastructure, but infrastructure that is environmentally sustainable and provides a living wage and good, union jobs. We must maintain a vision that doesn't accept short-term gains that cut off our capacity to do long-term organizing."
Check out this article and pay attention to the issue of clean water in you home faucets. You and your family's health depend on it.
credit: Carlos Latuff
February 10, 2017
Those regimes that the U.S. and allies have attacked and/or overthrown have tended to be more secular than our number one ally Saudi Arabia. For example, in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya it was possible for women to work, get educated, and drive a car before the attacks. Not one attack resulted in a stable government and the cumulative cost in lives is in the millions.
Saudi Arabia had that free pass since the end of WWII...
I don't think any U.S. president will take that pass away in the near future?
The majority of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis. Research shows the Bush family had business and political ties with the Saudi Royal family that went back for years.
Actually Bush and the Repubs began making it more public. 9/11 bush let the Saudi royal family and Saddam's family fly out of the US for home as the rest of the world had no planes flying. Never did deal with it when they learned that Saudi Arabia and 3 other countries were the home of those killers. Fast forward and trump does business in those 4 countries and wont explain why they are not on the list of 7.
This is an excellent example of how the "anti-fascists" of the Black Bloc make themselves into the Right's best friends!
Both before and since the November election, certain radical pro-Socialist advocates have carried on a never-ending campaign of criticizing and demonizing the Democratic Party. While the Democratic Party is certainly deserving of criticism and hardly any compliments -- if at all -- to focus totally on negating the Democratic Party is, to me, not what is most helpful at this time.
I strongly disagree with an "anything but Democrats" campaign. The ultimate result of such advocacy is precisely what is currently foisted on the nation -- 25 states under total Republican control, 38 states with solid Republican legislatures, and a DC administration with virtual veto-proof control of all three branches of government. Throughout the states, Republicans are moving swiftly to overturn hard-won labor laws, fair wages, healthcare, reproductive rights, LGBTQ advances, Cannabis, voting rights, and economic and social programs too varied to list.
For now and the foreseeable future, the US electorate is far from birthing a socialist society -- and there are no movements currently, actively, or effectively organizing the foundation for such needed social and political change. Given the predicament the nation is in, arguments that deride the Democratic Party -- because it is incapable of instilling the kind of society we maybe should have -- is not helpful ... and in no way will such derision get us there.
Until the Left and progressives are in position to exercise political power, we need a new paradigm, different even from "not voting" or "not voting for the lesser evil" or "not voting unless they agree totally with our platform." The new paradigm should be "TO VOTE SO AS TO ENSURE THAT THE OUTCOME WE DO NOT WANT DOES NOT WIN."
When that threshold has been successfully crossed, maybe then we can start to address possible approaches to a socialist nation. We are not nearly at that place. In fact, pundits are predicting that due to widespread re-districting and gerrymandering, it will probably take a decade or more to dislodge the hold Republicans will continue to have over the apparatus of governments across the nation.
Such anti-Democrat adherents should rethink the efficacy of the negative path they now advocate, and instead should contribute to devising strategies to help progressives and the US people out of the mess we most unfortunately have stumbled into.
James E Vann
Dear reader, Tidbits is taking a short break. After next week, Tidbits will skip the next three weeks (March 2, 9 and 16) and will return March 23.
Last night, the Senate confirmed Mnuchin. That means, updated Trump scores for your members of Congress! Bookmark this page. It's an incredible resource to quickly find out how your members voted on key pieces of legislation so you can continue to hold them accountable. Share this far and wide.
An updating tally
of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president
Photo: From a poster for the film S. A. Mann Brand (1933). Kunstbibliothek Berlin/BPK, Berlin/Art Resource, New York
The Nazis used propaganda to win broad voter support, implement radical programs, and justify war and mass murder. This exhibition highlights the power of propaganda and challenges us to actively question, analyze, and seek the truth.
This exhibition closes on Sunday, March 5, in New York City-don't miss your chance to see it.
Until March 5th
United Nations Headquarters
46th Street and 1st Avenue
New York, NY
"Propaganda," Adolf Hitler wrote in 1924, "is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert." During the subsequent two decades, Nazi leaders showed the world bold, new ways to use this tool.
State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda examines how Nazi propaganda shaped German society and prepared the population to accept, support, or participate in persecution, war, and the mass murder of Europe's Jews and others.
Tickets are not required, but entrance to the UN Visitors Lobby requires check-in and government issued ID. More information is available at visit.un.org
and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
United Nations Headquarters
Exhibit sponsor: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
On Saturday, March 4, 2017, the Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) will sponsor Beloved Comrades: The Political and Personal Partnership of Annette T. Rubinstein and Vito Marcantonio, a presentation by Gerald Meyer, author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, and Stephen Siciliano, screenwriter and novelist, that explores the relationship of the renown Marxist literary critic and the seven-term American Labor Party congressman from East Harlem. Meyer will discuss their relationship and Siciliano will explore Annette's analysis of Percy Shelly and Lord Byron, who Annette showed were revolutionary poets.
Saturday March 4, from 3:00 to 4:45 pm
Community Room of the Mulberry Street Public Library
10 Jersey St. (btw Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.).
Free Admission / Light Refreshments
Gerald Meyer, a Co-Chair of the VMF and Prof. at Hostos Community College (CUNY), is author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, co-editor of The Lost World of Italian American Radicalism, and numerous articles.
Stephen Siciliano, a Founding Member of the VMF, is the author of Vedette or Conversations with the Flamenco Shadows and The Sidewalk Smokers Club, who also writes for Marcantoniana: Items from the Life and Times of the Marvelous Vito Marcantonios.
Gil Fagiani, Host: a Founding Member of the VMF,, he is the author of six collections of poetry, is the co-curator of the Italian American Writers Association. He was recently the subject of a New York Times article by David Gonzalez, A Poet Mines Memories of Drug Addiction.
Registration is open for Preparing Our Youth For Work, a labor studies workshop, sponsored by the American Labor Museum and held at the Botto House National Landmark in Haledon, New Jersey.
The workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 9:30AM to 2:30PM, with a luncheon served at midday.
Workshop plans include presentations by the Honorable Thomas P. Giblin
, NJ State Assembly, Lee Sandberg
, Young Workers, NJ State AFL-CIO, Rutgers University finance professor Arthur S. Guarino, J.D.
and Angelica Santomauro
, Ed.D., Director of the American Labor Museum
Teachers will receive 5 professional development hours and, teaching materials for grades 4-12 will be distributed.
Registration fee: $45 for museum members, $50 for non-members.
Past Museum teachers' workshops have focused on "Women in the Workplace," "Teaching Working People's History," "Child Labor: Past and Present," "Ethnicity, Race and Class in Working America," "Workers, Economic Crises and Living with Hope," and "Two Cities on Strike: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1912 & Paterson, New Jersey, 1913," "The 1913 Paterson Silk Strike Revisited 100 Years Later," "Labor & Immigrants in New Jersey," and "Labor & Race Relations in NJ."
For further information and to receive a registration form by mail, fax, or email, please call the Museum at (973) 595-7953 or email email@example.com
. To complete and return your registration, click here
The World Peace Council, the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the People and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), along with the co-sponsorship of the Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL), the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and the Center for Reflection Oscar Arnulfo Romero, call organizations, fighters for peace, anti-war and others committed to the idea that a better world is possible, to participate in the V International Seminar of Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases being held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from May 4 to 6, 2017.
The presence of military bases of U.S. imperialism and its NATO allies in many countries around the world, are against the will of the vast majority of people in those countries. The bases represent flagrant interference in the internal affairs of these countries and represent a clear violation of the independence and sovereignty of these nations where they have been installed.
As in the previous four occasions, this International Seminar will take place in Guantanamo province where 117 square kilometers of its territory has been illegal occupied by a US naval base that was turned into a center of torture. It is well known that the base has become a center of the most horrendous violations of human rights of the prisoners who have been there now for more than a decade.
In addition, the V International Seminar will be held in the context of the process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, whose cornerstone includes the Cuba's demand for the cessation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the United States has imposed against Cuba and the return of the illegally occupied territory at Guantánamo. This gross violation has taken place against the legitimate will of the Cuban people for more than half a century.
The V Seminar will take place at a time when an offensive by imperialism with the Latin American oligarchies is underway against several social and political progressive countries in the region, such as Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. The imperialists, using all the political tricks they have operating in conjunction with the corporate media, seek to reverse the progress gains made by these governments. Their plan is to dismantle the processes of integration and development in the region.
In this regard, the V Seminar will endorse once again the validity of the proclamation that Latin America and the Caribbean are Zones of Peace, adopted by all Heads of State and Governments of the Region at a meeting in Havana in January of 2014.
In addition, participants will have the opportunity for 10 minute for presentations of papers and interventions. Participants wishing to make a presentation need to send their intervention in advance to Movpaz for the purposes of translation into the corresponding language.
The AMISTUR CUBA S.A Travel Agency of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) will be responsible for ensuring the accommodations, transportation, and the general logistics of the event.