Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
In the past year there have been many brilliant publications written on anti-fascism, modern fascism and what is to be done. Of these publications I have no doubt Shane Burley's Fascism Today: What it is and How to End It, published by AK Press and slated for release on November 28, 2017, is an absolute must-read.
Noam Chomsky discussed the responsibility of intellectuals and pointed out how, "historical amnesia is dangerous not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity, but also it lays the groundwork for crimes that still lie ahead." According to Josefhine Chitra and Andhyta F. Utami, "His quote holds some truth for Indonesia's bleak past in settling its human rights violations [with US support]."
Billionaire Stan Kroenke earned his wealth in real estate, and later through his connections with the Walton family (of Walmart fame). A closer look at his finances reveal that his exorbitant wealth could and should fund public needs such as higher education and welfare.
The next several years will see a number of 50-year commemorations of the events that helped to launch the historic Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. For some, the movement was a series of legal actions, strikes or huelgas, civil rights protests, and mass rallies and marches, all challenging the permanent dehumanization of Mexican peoples in the United States.
Who ever thought that the USA would be the place where journalists would fear for their safety? The home of the First Amendment and the rhetorical respect for a free press, while ebbing and flowing, is heading into a crisis. In 2011, when I wrote Kill the Messenger: The Media's Role in the Fate of the World, I focused on how hate messages, blame frames and an "us-versus-them" mentality contributed to widespread violence, antagonisms and polarization in 10 case studies.
Sixteen years ago, here in Boston on the afternoon of 9/11, we created the United for Justice with Peace coalition with the slogan "No More Victims Anywhere." The next day, as police in Boston swarmed Copley Square in search of the bombers and their associates, our quickly planned vigil was moved to Harvard Square in Cambridge. To our surprise, 700 people gathered there, silently and powerfully with our message "War is Not the Answer." We couldn't imagine that we'd be out here 16 years later in what may still be the early stages of an endless war.
The month before, I took a knee for Adalid Flores, who was killed by an Anaheim, California, police officer. He had been holding a cell phone. I've been taking a knee for someone most of my life, and things seems to be getting worse, not better, despite the prevalence of videotaped evidence and access to non-lethal weapons such as Tasers. No one enjoys taking a knee, because the killings and the beatings don't stop.
In March 1989, during the first intifada, members of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) came together for the first time in the United States for an international peace conference, the Road to Peace. The late Edward Said, who taught at Columbia University, arranged for the conference to be held there, since it was illegal for Knesset members to meet with members of the PLO except under "academic auspices."
The idea of human uniqueness has taken something of a beating in recent years. The aptitudes and traits that we once thought were ours alone, setting us apart from other animals, have been discovered in other species. We've learned that tool-use is common among primates and crows, that dolphins and elephants display a capacity for altruism, that chimpanzees are capable of culture, that bees employ a complex communication system, that bonobos have sex for fun, and that pigs and elephants might mourn their dead. What are we left with?
I've long-wondered why an Indigenous consciousness exists among some Mexicans/Chicanos/Central Americans and other peoples from this continent, while not in others, considering that all are generally products of colonization? This phenomenon is often most stark when many reject the notion of celebrating a "Hispanic heritage" at the expense of subjugating their primarily Indigenous-African and mixed heritage. And a related question: Why did Indigenous Studies, counterintuitively, never develop as an academic discipline within Raza Studies, considering that Indigeneity is at its philosophical core?