Lingering white supremacy in South Africa sounds much like United States

by Robert Jensen

Apartheid is dead in South Africa, but a new version of white supremacy lives on.

“During apartheid the racism of white people was up front, and we knew what we were dealing with. Now white people smile at us, but for most black people the unemployment and grinding poverty and dehumanizing conditions of everyday life haven’t changed,” a black South African told me. “So, what kind of commitment to justice is under that smile?”

This community activist in Cape Town said that, ironically, the end of South’s Africa’s apartheid system of harsh racist segregation and exploitation has in some ways made it more difficult to agitate for social justice today. As he offered me his views on the complex politics of his country, Nkwame Cedile, a field worker for People’s Health Movement, expressed a frustration that I heard often in my two weeks in the country: Yes, the brutality of apartheid ended in 1994 with free elections, but the white-supremacist ideas that had animated apartheid and the racialized distribution of wealth it was designed to justify didn’t magically evaporate.

That shouldn’t be surprising -- how could centuries of white supremacy simply disappear in 15 years? What did surprise me during my lecture tour was not the racial tension but how much discussions about race in South Africa sounded just like conversations in the United States. There was something eerily familiar to me, a lifelong white U.S. citizen, about those discussions. I have heard comments from black people in the United States like Cedile’s, but I’ve also heard white Americans articulate views on race that were sometimes exactly like white South Africans’. I learned that even with all the differences in the two countries there are equally important similarities, and as a result the sense of entitlement that so many white people hold onto produces similar dodges and denials.
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Pacific Freedom

Pacific Freedom
by C. L. Cook
Pacific Free Press will be in the able hands of sister site founder, Rich Kastelein (think of him as the Dr. Frankenstein of this gnarled monster). I'll be headed north into the edges of the Great Bear Rainforest. It's an area so interesting, and so controversial, and so very fragile. I urge you check out some of the folks I'll be visiting there at www.PacificWild.org
 
One of the worthy projects being undertaken there is an extensive study of the Sandhill Cranes. New chicks are just hatched, their beginnings recorded by remote cameras below. 
 

 
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Yes, Iroquois Diplomacy. No, Colonial Gun Boys

YES, IROQUOIS DIPLOMACY
by MNN
Canada has always known that we were against putting guns in the hands of the border guards in the middle of our community.  The US and Canada have abandoned their border checkpoints at Cornwall Island in the St. Lawrence River.  The New York State Police and Cornwall City Police have closed down the bridges.  We can't easily get on or off the island or go about our normal lives.  In fact we are imprisoned.  

Canada created propaganda against us to provoke a confrontation and then an assault.  Then the guns were to be put into the middle of our community.  We think  other indigenous communities might be next.  Prime Minister Harper just announced a policy that he was going to generously fund those Indigenous who cooperate with resource development and extraction.  The rest  of us will just have to sink or swim.    

We are being isolated on the island.  Our trade and commerce with each other is being deliberately crushed.  This is having a dire impact on our ability to feed our families.     
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Obama and the "Muslim World"

Peace be upon Barack
by TRNN

Pepe Escobar: Commentary on Obama's speech to the Muslim World.
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Doug Christie Allowed Intervenor Status in B'nai Brith v. Radical Press Speech Case

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Rules in Favor of Intervenor Status in RADICALPRESS.COM Sec. 13(1) Complaint Case Granted Doug Christie & Canadian Free Speech League 
by Radical Press
RadicalPress.com Publisher/Editor Arthur Topham says he received written confirmation June 2, 2009 that Canadian Human Rights Tribunal member Karen Jensen has handed down her ruling in the ongoing dispute over free speech lawyer Doug Christie’s application to intervene on behalf of the Canadian Free Speech League (CFSL) in the Abrams v. RadicalPress.com “hate crimes” complaint case now before the Tribunal.

The case (T1360/9008) is the latest in a series of similar charges laid under the Canadian Human Rights Act’s controversial Sec. 13(1) “hate crimes” legislation against other notable Canadian writers and publishers such as Mark Steyn of Maclean’s magazine and Ezra Levant, former publisher of the now defunct Western Standard and was brought against Topham and his website RadicalPress.com by Harry Abrams, BC representative of the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada along with co-complainant Anita Bromberg, legal representative of said Jewish advocacy group back in November of 2007.
 
The Complainants  are contending that Topham is publishing articles on his website which promote “ongoing hatred toward Jews and/or citizens of Israel.”
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As Goes General Motors...

We Don't Need the General Motors Corp.
by Mike Ferner
Times are anxious indeed, but simultaneously we are face-to-face with an extremely rare chance to replace our transportation system with something we can literally live with.

To take advantage of this uncommon opportunity we will have to do something far more profound, yet less costly, than a government bailout or an act of Congress. We will have to, as Paul Newman said in Cool Hand Luke, “get our minds right” on one simple fact: what we need is reliable, sustainable transportation. That does not mean we need General Motors Corporation or even cars. Contemplate the freedom implied in that statement for just a moment: we do not need General Motors Corporation.


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Obama's Gaza Speech

Abridged Remarks of President Obama at Gaza
by President Barack Obama*
President Obama delivered a powerful speech today when he visited Gaza. He spoke on genocide, hatred, and the ability of people to commit acts of bravery and kindness even in times of horror.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: More than half a century later, our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished. I will not forget what I've seen here today. We are here today because we know this work is not yet finished. To this day, there are those who insist that the Nakba never happened -- a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful. This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts; a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history.

Also to this day, there are those who perpetuate every form of intolerance -- racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more -- hatred that degrades its victims and diminishes us all. In this century, we've seen genocide. We've seen mass graves and the ashes of villages burned to the ground; children used as soldiers and rape used as a weapon of war.
 
This places teaches us that we must be ever vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time, that we must reject the false comfort that others' suffering is not our problem and commit ourselves to resisting those who would subjugate others to serve their own interests.

But as we reflect today on the human capacity for evil and our shared obligation to defy it, we're also reminded of the human capacity for good. For amidst the countless acts of cruelty that took place here, we know that there were many acts of courage and kindness, as well. They could not have known these things. But still surrounded by death they willed themselves to hold fast to life. In their hearts they still had faith that evil would not triumph in the end, that while history is unknowable it arches towards progress, and that the world would one day remember them. And it is now up to us, the living, in our work, wherever we are, to resist injustice and intolerance and indifference in whatever forms they may take, and ensure that those who were lost here did not go in vain. It is up to us to redeem that faith. It is up to us to bear witness; to ensure that the world continues to note what happened here; to remember all those who survived and all those who perished, and to remember them not just as victims, but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed just like us.

And just as we identify with the victims, it's also important for us I think to remember that the perpetrators of such evil were human, as well, and that we have to guard against cruelty in ourselves.
 
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* Of course, President Obama did not venture into Gaza, world's largest open air prison, to bear witness to the Holocaust, known to the those suffering its cruelty as the Nakba (www.alnakba.org/) currently being undertaken by Israel, the nation enjoying an "unbreakable bond" with America.
 
Israel, against the president's pleas above, and against the censure of the rest of the world, continues to dispossess those non-Jews living within remnant Palestine, burning their crops, destroying their orchards, poisoning and burying their wells, killing their livestock, and girding their villages, towns, camps, and cities with walls and guns.
 
As Mr. Obama delivered his speech today, so-called "settlers," aided by the Israel Defense Force, set alight fields ready for harvest and terrorized farmers; even as the Israeli government refused tonnes of food, medical supplies, and other necessities of life entering the besieged and embattled territories.

Below is a video of Obama's actual speech, given at the gates of Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. As ever, he spoke eloquently and without irony, reiterating the message of the memorial built to honour the victims of fascism: Jews; Gentiles; and others killed and tormented at Buchenwald and other places, "Never Again."
 
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Demon Iran and the Threat to Democracy

The great, international, demonic, truly frightening Iranian threat
by William Blum
The United States is "facing a nuclear threat in Iran" — article in Chicago Tribune and other major newspapers, May 26

"the growing missile threat from North Korea and Iran" — article in the Washington Post and other major newspapers, May 26

"Iran's threat transcends religion. Regardless of sectarian bent, Muslim communities need to oppose the attempts by Iran ... to extend Shia extremism and influence throughout the world." — op-ed article in Boston Globe, May 27

"A Festering Evil. Doing nothing is not an option in handling the threat from Iran" — headline in Investor's Business Daily, May 27, 2009


After taking office, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We will not allow Holocaust-deniers [Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] to carry out another holocaust." — Haaretz (Israel), May 14, 2009
 
This is a very small sample from American newspapers covering but two days. Like clinical paranoia, "the threat from Iran" is impervious to correction by rational argument.
 
"Fifty-one percent of Israelis support an immediate Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites" — BBC, May 24
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Nicaragua’s Revenge

Nicaragua’s Revenge: Cuba, The OAS and Iraq
by Sherwood Ross
Miami, Florida, June 4, 2009 - It was three o’clock this morning when I was awakened from a beautiful dream by police knocking on the door of my apartment to come down to the parking garage and identify my vandalized car. Downstairs, they had the suspect handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car, one of four parked in the street.
 
Couldn’t see much of him through the window with the flashing lights of the squad cars blinding me but he appeared to be about twenty with long, greasy black hair and wild eyes. He was yelling at everyone and no one and when he began kicking the rear door the police opened it and said a few words of warning that made him stop.
 
I don’t know how the crazy people are differentiated from the allegedly sane people any more but it would be safe to hazard a guess the perpetrator was not all together. Someone among the knot of my neighbors whose car windows had also been smashed in said the man was from Nicaragua, as if that explained anything.

Not being totally altogether myself, it occurred to me as a humorous aside that the assault upon our vehicles was “Nicaragua’s Revenge” for what President Ronald Reagan’s so-called “freedom fighters,” the Contras, had inflicted upon that small country’s leftist Sandanista government for having the temerity to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship in 1979.
 
During his presidency, Reagan was supposed to know nothing of U.S. support for the Contras, who were, in the words of William Blum, author of “Rogue State,” “burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing.”
 
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Obama Brings Hope to Israel: End the Occupation - Start Living

End the Occupation - Start Living
by Gush Shalom
Uri Avnery:"The President of the US understands the interests of Israel much better than Israel's own government. Obama offers a real hope to Israelis and Palestinians while Netanyhau's 'Government of Yesterday' has nothing to offer" [...] As an Israeli patriot I must say, without the shadow of a doubt, that at this moment the President of United States understands the interests of Israel much better than Israel's own Prime Minister and his ministers" says Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc.

"In his memorable Cairo speech, as in his entire career so far, President Obama has opened up a horizon of real hope to the citizens of Israel as to the Palestinians and to all Arabs and Muslims as he brought hope to the citizens to the US, who elected him. Conversely, Netayahu's is 'Yesterday's Government' offers no solution of any kind, and whose policy consists of clinging blindly to continued occupation and settlement expansion.
 
CAIA Victoria will join marchers across the world, including Israel, in a demonstration to end the occupation of Palestine and the siege of Gaza. Our will be at 12:00 noon, around the Information booth across from the Empress, where we held our previous demonstration against the murderous attack on Gaza. Please join us, Ed Daniel

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Homeland Body Count: Econocide in America

Econocide: Body Count 3
by Nick Turse
After David B. Kellermann, the chief financial officer of beleaguered mortgage giant Freddie Mac, tied a noose and hanged himself in the basement of his Vienna, Virginia, home, the New York Times made it a front-page story. The stresses of the job in economic tough times, its reporters implied, had driven him to this extreme act.

"Binghamton Shooter" Jiverly Wong also garnered front-page headlines nationwide and set off a cable news frenzy when, "bitter over job loss," he massacred 13 people at an immigration center in upstate New York. Similarly, coverage was brisk after Pittsburgh resident Richard Poplawski, "upset about recently losing a job," shot four local police officers, killing three of them.

But where was the front-page treatment when, in January, Betty Lipply, a 72-year-old resident of East Palestine, Ohio, "who feared she'd lose her home to foreclosure hanged herself to death" shortly after "receiving her second summons and foreclosure complaint from her mortgage lender"?
 
And where was the up-to-the-minute cable news reporting on the two California dairy farmers who "killed themselves... out of despair over finances, according to associates"?
 
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Iceland: "Stop Whale Hunting Now!"

Tell Iceland to Stop Whale Hunting Now!
by Care2 Campaign Team
It's a terrifying time for whales. Iceland's whaling season began last week, despite international outcry against the bloody hunt. Whalers plan to kill up to 100 minke whales this season.
 
image
      
Tell Iceland's Minister of Fisheries to reduce this year's whale hunt quotas immediately, and work toward a full ban on whaling in Iceland:
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AFM2W/zJCa/__O7
     
Clearly Iceland is sensitive to the outrage against whaling -- particularly its impact on the country's tourism industry. Whaling is banned close to Reykjavik harbor, and the first whales are usually killed in a bay just outside of the capital city. But clearly a more effective effort to protect Iceland's tourism industry and popular whale watching businesses would be to ban the brutal whaling program completely. That is why we need your help.
 
 
These majestic beauties of the ocean deserve to live in peace.
 
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