Saturday, October 22, 2005

For Blacks, a Dream in Decline

From today's New York Times. "THE Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. set forth the goal. Civil rights and union membership were to be intertwined. The labor movement, Dr. King wrote in 1958, "must concentrate its powerful forces on bringing economic emancipation to white and Negro by organizing them together in social equality."

Dwindling Membership
That happened in the 1960's and 1970's. But then unions lost bargaining power and members. And while labor leaders called attention to the overall decline, few took notice that blacks were losing much more ground than whites." Read more.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Zizek: The Subject Supposed to Loot and Rape

Via I cite.

"The reality of poor blacks, abandoned and left without means to survive, was thus transformed into the specter of blacks exploding violently, of tourists robbed and killed on streets that had slid into anarchy, of the Superdome ruled by gangs that were raping women and children. These reports were not merely words, they were words that had precise material effects: They generated fears that caused some police officers to quit and led the authorities to change troop deployments, delay medical evacuations and ground helicopters. Acadian Ambulance Company, for example, locked down its cars after word came that armed robbers had looted all of the water from a firehouse in Covington—a report that proved totally untrue.

Of course, the sense of menace had been ignited by genuine disorder and violence: Looting, ranging from base thievery to foraging for the necessities of life, did occur after the storm passed over New Orleans. However, the (limited) reality of crimes in no way exonerates “reports” on the total breakdown of law and order—not because these reports were “exaggerated,” but for a much more radical reason. Jacques Lacan claimed that, even if the patient’s wife is really sleeping around with other men, the patient ‘s jealousy is still to be treated as a pathological condition. In a homologous way, even if rich Jews in early 1930s Germany “really” had exploited German workers, seduced their daughters and dominated the popular press, the Nazis ’ anti-Semitism would still have been an emphatically “untrue,” pathological ideological condition. Why? Because the causes of all social antagonisms were projected onto the “Jew”—an object of perverted love-hatred, a spectral figure of mixed fascination and disgust." Read more.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Lawrence Wilkerson on the Rice, Cheney-Rumsfeld 'Cabal': ''In some cases, there was real dysfunctionality,'' said Wilkerson, who spoke at the New America Foundation, a prominent Washington think tank. ''But in most cases..., she (Rice) made a decision that she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president.''

''…the case that I saw for four-plus years,'' he said, ''was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardisations, and perturbations in the national-security (policy-making) process'', he added." Read more.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Amerika is Devouring Its Children

1970; Jay Belloli (Berkeley, CA); silkscreen on paper; 21 11/16 x 14 15/16 inches

The Sixties Project. via.


Abandoned. See my earlier thoughts on the incorrigible. APARTHEID NATION.

"Kozol visited my classroom one afternoon and had the following conversation with my students, which is related in his book:

Mireya suddenly began to cry. “I don’t want to take hairdressing. I didn’t need sewing, either. I know how to sew. My mother is a seamstress in a factory. I’m trying to go to college. I don’t need to sew to go to college. My mother sews. I hoped for something else.”

“What would you rather take?” I asked. “I wanted to take an AP class,” she answered.

Mireya’s sudden tears elicited a strong reaction from one of the boys who had been silent up to now. A thin and dark-eyed student, named Fortino, with long hair down to his shoulders who was sitting on the left side of the classroom, he turned to Mireya.

“Listen to me,” he said. “The owners of the sewing factories need laborers. Correct?” “I guess they do,” Mireya said. “It’s not going to be their own kids, right?” “Why not?” another student asked. “So they can grow beyond themselves,” Mireya answered quietly. “But we remain the same.”

“You’re ghetto,” said Fortino, “so we send you to the factory.”

These conversations with children and educators contain more truth than all the combined studies of the Department of Education." ... Separate and Unequal: The Resegregation of America’s Public Schools Read more.

Monday, October 17, 2005

"The relief effort is failing"

"'They are not giving out tents. Only those with political connections are getting them'". "In the earthquake-ravaged hills of Pakistan, the army is now using pack-horses to get supplies to the survivors. There aren't enough helicopters to go around. Most of the roads are still blocked by landslides, and winter is approaching fast.

The survivors grow more desperate by the day. The relief effort is failing, and thousands are without food or shelter. In the mountains above Balakot, the town that was completely destroyed by the earthquake, scenes that could come from the First World War are unfolding." ...

Anger in Kashmir as death toll rises . "'The patients are coming too late and suffering gangrene in their wounds,' said Fazlur Khan, an orthopaedic surgeon who has performed dozens of amputations in recent days. 'Almost a week down the line, we are seeing many children - orphans like Faisa - trapped under the rubble for so long they develop gangrene. By the time they get to you it is impossible to save their limbs. You make a decision - you have to save the life of the patient." ...

Quake deaths near 40,000 as Britons rush to the rescue. "When an earthquake of 7.6 magnitude ripped through Pakistani-run Kashmir last Saturday, burying alive tens of thousands of people, the news was a dagger through the hearts of hundreds of thousands of their relatives in Britain." ...