Tidbits - June 16, 2016 - Reader Comments: Orlando, LGBT, Puerto Ricans and Latinos; Thank You Bernie, Now What Next?;Racism, Native Americans; announcements and more....
Tidbits, Reader Comments, Shorts and Announcements - June 16, 2016, Portside
- Re: Let's Not Get Confused about This: Orlando Was a Queerphobic Attack (Maria Alicia)
- Re: In Praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club (Kari Fisher)
- Re: A Public Note to My Friend, Bernie Sanders (Laurel MacDowell; Henry Foner; Daniel Millstone)
- Re: Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie (Kevin P. Lynch; Sandy Eaton)
- Re: What Will Bernie Do? (Gene Glickman)
- Re: Why "#BernieorBust" Is A Dead End (Ricardo Ochoa)
- Re: "We Will Not Sit on the Sidelines": John Legend's Proposal for Ending Mass Incarceration (East Side Freedom Library)
- Re: Eliminating White Supremacy Must Become a Priority in Order to Solve the World's Most Pressing Issues (John Due)
- Re: Anti-Imperialism and Black-Palestinian Solidarity (Alice Kim)
- Re: Yes, Native Americans Were the Victims of Genocide (Fred Hirsch; Aaron Libson)
- Medicare for All - It's Time for Action (The Labor Campaign for Single Payer)
- Release Homa Hoodfar (Middle East Report)
- Chilean ex-Lieutenant Faces US Trial in Murder of Singer and Activist Víctor Jara (Reuters / The Guardian)
- Cluck You: Bolivia Rejects Bill Gates' Donation of Hens (Reuters / The Guardian)
- The Whitney Launches Major Retrospective of Danny Lyon - in Pictures - New York - June 17 - September 25
- Memoirs of Activism from 1930s Spain to New York Today - New York City - June 22
We should not pass up either that the majority of the victims were Latinx, with 24 slain Puerto Ricans. No doubt it was a Queerphobic attack, but the killer did not choose Country Music night, but Latino Night.
Thank you Robert Reich for giving Bernie Sanders the recognition he deserves. He has had an amazing campaign and educated a whole generation that there are ideas other than neoliberalism and economics other than Reaganomics. He also articulated his own "spiritual" beliefs which is a profound belief in society, democracy and people working together to build community. He has underlined that the basis of a free and civilized society is free education and medical care for all. The people, not the corporations pay the taxes and they should get something for their payments. He has been an inspiration and hopefully his efforts will lead to the election of honest, democratic and progressive members of Congress. He is politically savvy enough to use his influence at the convention and that is all to the good.
Thank you Bernie Sanders.
Thank you very much for your valued and thoughtful public note to your, and our friend Bernie Sanders. You have put into writing the feelings that so many of us have about his role in the current campaign. It will help make our task in the period ahead that much easier. In the words of at least one other commentator, "just keep on doing what you're doing."
Robert Reich speaks for me here except that, because I am not a personal friend of Bernie Sanders, I feel I can tell him what to do. The struggle continues and Bernie should continue to give voice to the movement he has helped form. Defeat Trump, elect progressives down ticket and continue the struggle in the streets. Thanks to Portside for the link.
Matt Taibbi got it right in the article below -- we need to send people of character to Washington to make politics the noble profession it could become.
Kevin P. Lynch
Interesting insights, but Matt misses the real point: the ruling class needs two parties with which to rule. Both parties. Millions of people in this country refuse to be ruled in the old way. They reject the growing insecurity and poverty effected by these two parties in order to further enrich their paymasters. Both parties are now in crisis, as is the country. As in 1932, there are two paths out of the morass, the fascist way espoused by Donald Trump and the social democratic path being pushed by Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton is not the answer to Trump's proto-fascist appeal because she is the champion of the very exploitative and militaristic forces that are making life miserable for most of us. Will enough delegates to the DNC in Philadelphia wake up and realize this in time? Whether they do or not, will the millions unleashed by the Occupy movement, the Black Lives Matter movement and the Bernie Sanders for President movement coalesce into a mighty independent force to carry on effectively the fight against neoliberal ideology and practice that has absorbed both old parties of big business?
Of all the pieces I've read about the Sanders/Clinton pas de deux, I think Borosage ("What Will Bernie Do?") comes the closest to giving us an understanding of the forces that will be at work in the forthcoming Democratic Convention and how they might play themselves out there and thereafter. His perspective is anchored by turning on its head what many have been saying (What will Bernie do?). His alternative perspective places the onus on Clinton, not Sanders: What will she do, in response to the challenges the Sanders candidacy has raised and will continue to raise.
This is all good and constructive, I think. Its shortcoming is that it assumes three things. 1) That Clinton does not have a history, a record; that she does not inevitably bring this baggage with her into her candidacy, 2) That there is flexibility for Clinton to decide what stance she takes in the rest of her campaign. 3) That what she says in her campaign will accurately reflect her presidency, should she be elected. Each of these assumptions is, in my opinion, at least dubious, and, quite possibly wrong.
1) Putting aside the scandals and "errors" that continue to dog her, Clinton's history, as First Lady, as Senator and as Secretary of State is well-known to the voters. It is the reason she comes across as untruthful, especially since her campaign against Sanders has veered further and further leftward, in marked contradiction to her stands prior to the current campaign. Her original advocacy of TPP and her flip-flops on minimum wage are merely two of the most recent and obvious examples of this. Thus, many are suspicious of anything she says as mere rhetoric. They assume that, no matter what she says before November, it will probably not tally with what she does after November, assuming she wins the presidency.
2) Unlike Sanders' campaign, Clinton's was and is based on the customary methods of fund-raising: appealing to large donors for large contributions. These donors thus become her base; this is, of course, very different from Bernie's base. And, just as those who contributed to the Sanders campaign did so because they liked the kind of president they thought he would make, those money-laden Clinton donors gave to her campaign because they liked her approach to the presidency. The Sanders and the Clinton donors are very different from each other and the two campaigns are, likewise, different from each other, and not merely in style, but in substance, as well. Sanders is a radical, Clinton is a centrist. Clinton is thus limited in how much she can adopt Sanders' orientation. Clinton's donors like her centrist orientation; that's why they gave her all that money. Even if she were capable of refocusing her lifelong political gyroscope, she's a prisoner of her donors, who like her the way she is.
3) Furthermore, no matter what she says as a campaigner, this is very likely to have little or no resemblance to what she will do as president. This has been true, to varying degrees, with every president in the last fifty or so years, beginning with Johnson, who campaigned against the hawkish Goldwater, and then, after his election, enlarged the war in Vietnam. The more she sounds like Bernie now, the more her presidency is likely to be different from her campaign rhetoric. This is true both because if she adopts the approach Borosage would like her to as a campaigner - if she becomes even more of a Bernie parrot than she has been till now - the more likely it is that it will all vanish with her successful election - as President, she'll revert to her old self.
In sum, I think that Borosage's perspective is a good starting point, but it needs to be refined for it to make a meaningful contribution to our outlooks - and our actions - during and after the convention and after the election. The most important question is this: Is the Democratic Party a suitable vehicle for the radical changes that the Sanders candidacy calls for, or must the attempt to take it over be deemed a failure and another approach be adopted?
Hey now, just learned my piece on #BernieOrBust got picked up by Portside. Seems timely at the moment.
(Posting on Portside Labor)
Stay tuned -- The East Side Freedom Library will soon be working with Jewish Community Action to organize a series of programs on the problems generated by mass incarceration, and what we can do about it.
Re: Eliminating White Supremacy Must Become a Priority in Order to Solve the World's Most Pressing Issues
This Portside article is the best I have seen yet that represents a Proposed Last Will and Testament by my 50s -60s Second Century Generation that began at Emanuel -a civil rights generation that ended with the RICO Colored Administrators and teachers in Atlanta.
As I tell A J Richardson, a Florida AME Bishop, he, I, the students, and the Black Church, represented the best of the Second Bethel, seeking to Over come the Second Century White Plague.
Richard Allen, organized the First Bethel, the First House of God, in Philadelphia, to overcome the White Plague brought to America by the English Puritans who in their Exceptionalism of white supremacy, who genocided the native Americans two centuries before Africans were brought for to America. That was the First Century of the American White Plague.
When enslaved Africans -seeking to escape slavery, stopped in Philadelphia, called the City of Brotherly Love, they thought it was a Way Station to Freedom
The run away Africans , stopping in the City of Brotherly Love, mis-understood that the con- concept of brotherly love to all applied to them, seeking to worship in a Methodist Church .
But it was infested with the white plague. "Y'all ain't our brothers--y'all can't worship here--dogs."
So Richard Allen and his African followers applied to and received from the British Methodist Church a charter for Mother African Methodist Church in Philadelphia.
Now the rest of the story. My grandchildren must learn that our human struggle is more than civil rights-that the WHITE PLAGUE affects all people.
I, as a 10 year old grand child, was taught that the white plague, in Philadelphia, made every body sick, and that Bethel AME Church, led by Richard Allen, worked to heal, care, and love, EVERY BODY, white and black brothers and sisters ,sick with the white plague.
So as good as the Portside Article is, as we move further into the Third Century, we can no longer play civil rights white guilt games of "White Supremacy" and pretend that we did not learn from Dr. Franz Fanon that the WHITE PLAGUE is a culturated mental sickness afflicting all of us, regarding so-called race.
Please read again "Black Skin -White Masks" by Fanon before it is too late. Our children living under RICO Colored Overseers is real. Pogo is right. I met the enemy . It is us.
Now let us organize a THIRD BETHEL to help heal America from a Third Century Version of the White Plague
John Due. A Grandfather,
Freedom is Not Free
Much thanks to Nadine Naber for writing this important and insightful piece. An excerpt was published in Praxis Center, the full article will be published in the upcoming issue of Critical Ethnic Studies Journal.
Please convey to Roxanne Dunbar - Ortiz my opinion is that this article is informative of essential history, well written, and vital to the understanding of "American" history.
Thank you for publishing this fine piece of work. I hope to obtain and read the book.
"Were" isn't quite accurate! The genocide continues unabated! What better example than Leonard Peltier !!!!!!!
The Labor Campaign for Single Payer submitted testimony to the DNC Platform Committee asking that Medicare for All be included in the 2016 Democratic National Platform.
The labor movement is nearly unanimous in its support of Medicare for All. 53% of all Americans and 81% of Democrats believe that we need it. Please act today to urge the DNC (Democratic Party) to include Medicare for All in their 2016 Platform. Click here to sign petition.
We are deeply concerned by the arrest and ongoing detention of Homa Hoodfar, an eminent anthropologist and contributor to Middle East Report, by the Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Hoodfar traveled to Iran in early 2016 to visit family and conduct scholarly research. She was scheduled to depart the country on March 10, but on the preceding evening Revolutionary Guards officers went to her home and confiscated her passport, as well as her personal computer, cellular phone and other items. Since mid-March she has been repeatedly interrogated, apparently with the aim of tying her scholarly work and research to political activity of which the state disapproves.
Hoodfar was arrested on June 6 after being summoned for still another interrogation. She is being held incommunicado and without charge in Evin prison in Tehran. Neither her lawyer nor her family have been permitted to see her since her arrest, nor have they been given any reason why she is being detained. More worrisome is that Hoodfar's family has not been allowed to give her the medication she needs to treat a chronic neurological condition.
Hoodfar is a professor of anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. She is a specialist in gender issues, including reproductive rights, family law and the role of women in politics, as well as the intersections of gender with development and public health. She has written for Middle East Report on such subjects on three occasions.
Homa Hoodfar's arrest and detention are a violation of the rights to freedom of thought, opinion and speech guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a signatory. We join Amnesty International, the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association and other organizations in calling for her prompt, unconditional release and the immediate return of her passport and personal effects.
Middle East Report Online is a free service of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).
Reuters in Santiago
June 2, 2016
US has not acted on Chile's extradition request but human rights group has brought a civil suit against Pedro Pablo Barrientos Núñez, who lives in Florida
Víctor Jara was murdered in 1973.
Photograph: Fundacion Victor Jara, Antonio L/AP // The Guardian
A former lieutenant in the Chilean army under Augusto Pinochet will face a civil trial in Florida this month for his involvement in the 1973 murder of Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara, according to the US human rights group bringing the suit.
Jara, also a poet and political activist, inspired generations of artists from U2 to Bruce Springsteen with his lyrical odes to the working class. A communist, he fell afoul of the Chilean government when the leftist president Salvador Allende was overthrown by rightwing Pinochet in a bloody 1973 military coup.
During Pinochet's rule, which lasted until 1990, an estimated 3,200 people were killed and 28,000 tortured by the state. According to Chilean court documents, Jara was shot dead by soldiers in Santiago's Estadio Chile, which served as a mass detention and torture center in the early days the military government. His death soon became a potent symbol of the era's abuses.
A high-ranking official was arrested for his involvement in the murder in 2008, and in 2012 a Chilean judge ordered the arrest of an additional eight soldiers.
But one of those soldiers, Pedro Pablo Barrientos Núñez lives in Deltona, Florida, rather than Chile, and the United States has not acted on Chile's extradition request.
In 2013, the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), an organization dedicated to preventing severe human rights abuses, filed a civil suit against Barrientos on behalf of Jara's widow and daughters. The trial is set to take place in the district court in Orlando from June 13 to 29, the group said on Thursday.
According to the organization, a jury will be asked to find Barrientos legally responsible and will be asked to award punitive and compensatory damages.
"We stand by allegations that he was the one who tortured and murdered Víctor Jara, or at the very least he aided and abetted in his death, and in either case he is liable for what happened," the CJA's executive director, Dixon Osburn, told Reuters.
Osburn added that the CJA hoped the civil trial will push US authorities to act on Chile's extradition request, and will shed light on the abuses that took place in the Estadio Chile in the days after the coup.
Legal representatives for Barrientos could not be immediately reached for comment.
Reuters in La Paz
June 15, 2016
`Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia,' development minister said about billionaire's offer despite South American nation's thriving poultry sector
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said he would donate 100,000 hens to countries with high poverty levels, including Bolivia.
Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters // The Guardian
The Bolivian government has rejected a donation of hens offered by the US billionaire Bill Gates, as officials said the tech magnate needs to study up on the Andean nation's thriving poultry sector.
"How can he think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce?" the Bolivian development minister, César Cocarico, told journalists. "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia."
The Microsoft founder and philanthropist recently said he would donate 100,000 hens to countries with high poverty levels, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa but including Bolivia.
Bolivia produces 197m chickens annually and has the capacity to export 36m, the local poultry producing association said.
The Whitney Launches Major Retrospective of Danny Lyon - in Pictures - New York - June 17 - September 25
Maricopa County, Arizona, 1977
Photograph: c Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
Photographer Danny Lyon has long been concerned with social and political change - with some of his greatest subjects being bikers, prisoners and the civil rights movement. The first comprehensive retrospective of his work in 25 years features more than 175 images. Danny Lyon: Message to the Future opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art on 17 June and runs until 25 September
Announcement from The Guardian
Join us for a conversation with Eunice Lipton http://eunicelipton.com/ as she discusses her recently released family memoir, A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance, and a Family's Secrets, which explores her Latvian-born uncle's path from Europe to the Bronx and then back across the Atlantic when he joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. Though Lipton never met her uncle, her tracing of his radical politics in New York shows how history can both haunt and mobilize families over generations.
- Eunice Lipton, Author of A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance, and a Family's Secrets (University of New Mexico Press, 2016)
- Sarah Seidman, Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism, Museum of the City of New York
This program accompanies our exhibition Activist New York.
Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30 pm
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10029
Free for Museum members; $12 for seniors and students; $16 for adults