Skip to main content

Tidbits - August 18, 2016 - Reader Comments: #M4BL; Black Lives Matter; Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Readers debate Portside post on Syria; Fidel Castro at 90; NYC Aug 31 events

Reader Comments: #BLM taking the baton from SNCC; More on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - The world did not need this horrendous 'experiment'; Sanders, Clinton, Trump, Stein; Saluting Labor Notes; Growing Racial Wealth Gap - how to unite the multi-racial working class; Readers debate Portside post on Syria; Saluting Fidel Castro at 90; Announcements: New York events - August 31

printer friendly  
Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - August 18, 2016, Portside
All lives won't matter until BlackLivesMatter.
Ella Baker was SNCC's Fundi, one who passes on a craft. We are passing the torch while holding on to it tightly. Bob Zellner
Bob Zellner
Comrades, brother and sisters:
Not all SNCC staffers and organizers were Black. My guess is that those of us who were/are not Black, agree with the SNCC Legacy Project's solidarity with #Black Lives Matter. I know I do.
Bill Hansen, Yola, Nigeria: 
Freedom Rider, Parchman Penitentiary, July-Aug 1961; SNCC staff member 1961-1966; Director, SNCC Arkansas Project, 1962-1964; SNCC Ex Com Member, 1963-1965.
Skip Waterhouse posted the following to Portside:
I had two uncles fighting in Europe who were slated to be transferred to the Pacific to invade Japan. They only had two bombs available and both were experiments. Even dropping the first bomb did not stop the war. The Japanese finally threw in the towel after the 2nd bomb, with a huge minority against surrender. Hirohito finally spoke out for surrender which tilted the balance. Truman did the only thing possible to save countless American and, in the long run, Japanese lives.
Sorry, Skip, that's just fantasy. Bombing civilians is a war crime, period. Illegal. In fact, not just a war crime but a crime against humanity. (This, according to numerous international legal scholars.) The U.S. government officials who authorized the bombing should have been tried as war criminals. More than a few of the officials who participated in the decisions and the bombings admitted as much, explicitly. But of course, they wrote the history, so. no. And, by the way, the firebombings of various Japanese (not to mention German) cities, that killed more civilians than the nuclear bombings, were also admitted by U.S. military and civilian authorities to constitute war crimes and considered by some legal experts as "state terrorism": killing massive numbers of civilians to pressure a government to act in accord with the desires of the terrorists. The international law of war (International Humanitarian Law) forbids targeting civilians as a strategy of war.
Furthermore, we know from the papers of Truman and other high level military and civilian authorities that the Japanese government already intended to surrender prior to the bombings, and that the U.S. government knew this. Finally, those same papers show that U.S. officials dropped the bombs on Japan as a warning to the Soviets to show the Soviet government our military capabilities. Many historians believe it was the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on August 8 that convinced the Japanese government to surrender. The twin nuclear terrorist attacks on civilian populations in Japan saved neither U.S. nor Japanese lives.
And because Skip makes it personal, appealing to our concern for his two uncles, I'll just add that my father, who served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre during WWII, was not, after the Japanese surrender, transferred back home, nor to Japan, but rather to China, where he spent perhaps half-a-year ferrying troops and supplies for the Kuomintang, the reactionary Chinese Nationalist Party fighting the Chinese Communist Party for control of the Chinese mainland. The terrorist bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were not the last attacks of WWII, but rather the first strikes in the Cold War.
Blair Sandler
Bernie is absolutely correct.
My friends in Brazil are saying a whole lot about how fine a person she is and why.  None of them have mentioned anything about the Olympics.
Deborah Nagle-Burks, PhD
A very welcome article. Yes, strategic voting, defeating Trump and boosting the Stein/Baraka ticket in this election should be supported by the left. Unfortunately strategic voting on a national level was not endorsed by the CCDS Convention. One aspect of Hillary's climate program was left out, her support of fracking and of course militarism. Both unchecked will cancel out the good parts of the Democratic program on climate change. Building much more wind and solar energy infrastructure is imperative but will not stop dangerous climate change unless carbon emissions are rapidly and radically eliminated.  For this reason alone, and there are many others, the Green Party must be strengthened as the electoral arm of the climate and energy justice movement.
David Schwartzman
Quote, as below, is from Michael Eric Dyson.
Justice is, after all, what love sounds like when it speaks in public.
~ Michael Eric Dyson 
Therese Becker

Well now! Who would have expected this? More war on the people, primarily Black people!
William Proctor
This and the TPP are the contradictions in this conservative blackman, Obama's agenda. This is felt even more on the east, south and southern regions of the country which in some cases are more segregated then the West. Mass deportations, once again we live with USA instigated coups in America Latina. On one hand pardoning folks with unjust life sentences. I can understand cops feeling the need for rifles or even AR's, but tanks and armor like this for use on a civilian population, like in Ferguson, and Baton Rouge . Or what happened the other day in Milwaukee. where cops murder a man who had a permit for a gun, and then appealed to black folks to remain calm?? How can we as a people keep arming the people who are in many cases a source of the problem.? How can we stand and watch good cops come forth only to be drummed out or ostracized for telling the truth, or in the case of Sandra Bland a year later?? Pogo was right, we are the problem. Billions spent on these weapons of war. Are the right wing Cliven Bundy's right? Is our government prepared to end the right of assembly and free speech?
Earl Marty Price
It's time for the #AllLivesMatter People to speak up. This is not just a #BlackLivesMatterMovement issue. #StandUp  #SpeakOut or #ShutUp
Gwendolyn Relf
(Posting on Portside Labor)
"He promises nothing of substance to ease their pain, but gives voice to their rage."
And there, my friends, you have it.
Corinne Anderton
This is how Donald Trump treats those who work for his companies; this is how Donald Trump would treat the people of this country. Trump - No Way.
Jay Schaffner
Nonsense! No one got a blank check Sanders ran campaign wherein he all but ignored black people until he absolutely had to and even then his overtures were lukewarm at best. The Sanders campaign despite the braying about his civil rights background, was aimed at the white working class voter. He just didn't count on Donald Trump having the louder dog whistle.
Carl Foster
(Posting on Portside Labor)
Most of us would agree that if we want a revolution the working class must be involved. But finding out what is actually going on inside and outside of unions is not always easy. Labor Notes does at least 4 things beautifully: it speaks to efforts being made towards rank-and file democracy; it presents all union struggles as class struggles; it gives a once-a-month overview of what's happening all over the country; and it has conferences in different cities in the US to unite rank-and-file activists.
Thanks to Portside for publishing.
The trouble with this approach is that the super rich households are white and averaged in with all white households.  I live in a rural Missouri county and there are few blacks here but lots of white poverty.  This article takes the wrong approach.  We want to unite lower income people of all races to fight for better tax and social policies.
Pamela Wright
There is no such thing as a white working class. There is only one working class here and it is multinational. There may be blocs or tendencies within that class, but there is certainly no distinct white working class.
Greg McDonald
I'm really surprised that Portside Labor would post an article like this.  It starts out seemingly sympathetic to workers, but then you get some very anti-immigrant and anti-worker statements....
The article is relying on the statements of a labor contractor, who has a vested interest in keeping wages low.  Contractors make their profit on the difference between what the grower pays to harvest a field and the wages the contractor pays to workers.
David Bacon
Stay tuned -- soon to be screened at the East Side Freedom Library. Thank you, Brother Mike Honey, for your great work!
Read this informative Portside interview with Love and Solidarity director Michael Honey.
"We have found the film to be an effective and great conversation starter. The film touches - as does Lawson's work - many different strands - Latino/a rights, immigrant rights, labor rights, civil rights organizing, social justice. Pretty much any audience will pick up on current concerns."
I read the In These Times article "U.S. Peace Activists Should Start Listening to Progressive Syrian Voices A U.S.-centric view of the conflict gives Assad a free pass" by Terry Burke on Portside. This is a perfect example of why US progressives are a part of the problem rather than the solution. 
What Terry Burke defines as a US-centric view is actually the point of view prevalent elsewhere in the world. I live in central China and watch Chinese news everyday. The so-called US centric view is what I see on CCTV, there are 1.4 billion people in China, they matter as much if not more than the mere 300-400 million people in the USA. What folks back home seem to be only dimly aware of is the rapidly escalating tensions between the USA and its two nuclear armed adversaries, making the likelihood of an error of judgement or miscommunication ever more likely, one that could lead to global annihilation. 
Given that the US outspends the rest of the world on weapons and maintains about 1000 external military bases, it seems to me the proper role for "peace" activists is not kibitzing on Syrian internal matters but raising the issue of militarism and austerity during an election period where the choices are between a racist proto-fascist and war criminal. In progressive circles judging from what I read on Portside, Counterpunch, Jacobin, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, that is not happening at all. Syria is just one booth in a ever-widening carnival of destabilization, disorder, and chaos where the hand of the American deep state is never too far away, stirring the pot.
Steve  McClure
I am surprised you ran this article, but I guess that's your politics. The following article is a little more on target, to put it mildly.
How to Get Yourself Named "Pro-Assad"
By David Swanson
August 16, 2016
Stansfield Smith
Burke deliberately misinforms readers.  This article seems closer to the
The True Story Of How War Broke Out In Syria
by Tyler Durden
August 15, 2016
Coleen Rowley
Fidel indeed deserves the tributes according to him, but he would be the first to tell his admirers that it is wrong to attribute Cuban successes to him personally.  He has always been in the forefront of opposition to any cult around his personality.  Fidel was not only the Cuban Revolution's greatest leader but the inheritor of a great revolutionary tradition and the product of a people whose history prepared the great majority of Cuban people to follow Fidel, bringing their own strength and revolutionary maturity to bear in the process.
Joseph Kaye
A panel discussion with:
  • Moumita Ahmed, Millennials for Bernie
  • Rahel Biru, Democratic Socialists of America
  • Steve Kramer, Executive VP, 1199/SEIU
  • Representative, NY Labor for Bernie (TBA)
Wednesday August 31! -- 6 pm 
MLK Community Labor Center
310 W 43 St / 8th Ave.,, 12 fl
Take A,B,C,1,2,3,N,R to 42 or Times Sq Shuttle from Grand Central
Free! RSVP 
A Left Labor Project production!
Mother Sister's always watching." This line, from the critically acclaimed film Do the Right Thing, fully embodies the feeling in Black and Latino communities. A need to protect oneself and monitor one's own neighborhood from internal and external threats has always been the modality of communities of color - however, times are changing. With the influx of gentrification and the resulting militarization of Black and Latino communities by law enforcement on the rise, people of color in this country are experiencing a heightened level of aggression and repression. Join us for a free screening of a film that reminds us that community, all communities, is a place that stewards solidarity and resilience, and that although no one is perfect, we as a people can and will come together when the threat is unyielding, ever-present, and persistent.

Where: DCTV,  87 Layfette Street
When: August 31
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
After the screening, we will be joined by CCR's Government Misconduct and Racial Justice Fellow Somalia Samuel and Black Youth Project 100's Rahel Teka for a short discussion about the current state of Black and Latino lives in this country, the importance of this film in today's social and political context, and how we can empower ourselves and our youth to resist repression. We'd like this screening to be one that leaves attendees feeling pride in their status as people of color and for those who support POC to know your solidarity is needed, and that when we all come together to forge solidarity, any change is possible.
About Freedom Flicks:
CCR hand-picks a cutting-edge documentary or feature-length film that tells defining stories of the social justice issues of our time. Screenings are free, and, after each screening, there will be a talk back to discuss the film and its themes, and to build community.