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Speakout

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.

Oct 01

Stop Oppressing Our Youth

By Michael Villalobos, Truthout | Essay

When our President Barack Obama first got elected he said, "To parents--For our kids to excel, we have to accept our responsibility to help them learn. That means putting away the Xbox--putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour." I disagree with President Obama, because you cannot blame the children for not being successful in their lives. Even if they do follow their parent's orders and do everything there is to do to be successful, there's no point because of the system we live in. People of color get oppressed and racially profiled on a daily basis and there is nothing we can say about it. We cannot blame the individual when it is clearly the system that doesn't work.

Sep 30

"Let The Fire Burn" Documents MOVE 9

By Lamont Lilly, Truthout | Op-Ed

On Friday, September 20th 2013, the Full Frame Theatre in Durham, NC hosted the premiere of a film called Let The Fire Burn by filmmaker and director Jason Osder. It was supposed to premiere during the Full Frame Film Festival in April, but had to postpone its Durham debut until Full Frame's Third FridayFree Film Series. For those of us who attended, it worked out perfectly. It was a packed house as no seat went unfilled for the 7:30 pm screening. Little did we know, Durham was about to view the Philadelphia Police Department's most heinous act of brutality in the city's history. It was a documentary about the bombing of an organization called MOVE and historical developments concerning the group's political repression by the city of Philadelphia since 1978. Osder's premiere of Let The Fire Burn was absolutely riveting.

Sep 30

Stereotypes in Society

By Vianey De La Rosa, Truthout | Essay

Just by looking at someone’s skin color a lot of stereotypes flood through your mind. If you are dark-skinned you are seen as a drug addict who is violent and carries weapons. We have grown up to believe all these stereotypes. According to Obama “...Whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured - and overcame.” This just shows how we are taught to be responsible for what other people think of us. How we are the ones who should change and not the people who think this way of us?

Sep 30

Hardships

By Guadalupe Jimenez, Truthout | Essay

“Whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured-and overcame.” — Obama

I disagree with this quote in part, because if the previous generations had actually overcome the hardships they had faced because of race, there would not be hardships anymore.  While I agree that the hardships today pale in comparison, they are still hardships and they are still going to happen for the same reason no matter the time that has passed: your race still matters. Human hardships have not been overcome by generations. They have been endured in different ways, but are still present and have not yet been overcome.

 

Last Sunday, 14 people walked past a “no trespassing” sign in-between two railroad tracks in Helena, Mont., and temporarily shut down the main rail line used to transport coal through Montana to the West Coast. The action marked the culmination of months of preparation, as organizers in Montana decided on the best way to bring direct action against coal transportation to a new level. Although the occupation of railroad property itself lasted less than an hour, by the time it was over something had changed significantly for Montana’s movement to stop coal exports.

Sep 30

Western Plunder of Greece

By Evaggelos Vallianatos, Huffington Post | Op-Ed

The plunder of Greece by Western Europe goes back to the Romans. Despite their admiration for Greek culture, they made Greece a colony in 146 BCE. From then on, occupied Greece became an open field for thieves and conquerors.

Roman rulers and wealthy Romans filled Rome and their homes with purchased or plundered Greek statues. Rome started looking like Greece, but underneath that artistic splendor, there was resentment and boundless violence.

With reports of yet another near-nuclear weapons disaster being averted, (This time a declassified report detailing when a nuclear warhead-200 times more powerful than the atomic bombs used against Hiroshima and Nagasaki-was accidentally dropped on an American city in 1961, with 3 of its 4 safety mechanisms failing.), it will be extremely difficult for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to keep a straight face if and when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama. Unlike the U.S., not only has Iran consistently offered direct talks and provided numerous opportunities for diplomacy over its nuclear enrichment program, but on numerous occasions it has reiterated a more ethical and sane nuclear doctrine.

Stories Covered

Risky repair of Fukushima could spill 15,000x radiation of Hiroshima, create 85 Chernobyls
Will Tokyo Be Evacuated
Bangladesh Workers Set Factories Ablaze Demanding better Wages
BBC Investigates Bangladesh Fires
Pope Gone Wild!

Sep 27

The Real Values War

By Brian McAfee, Truthout | Op-Ed

The Republican controlled House of Representatives have voted on the Farm Bill; part of which includes a $39 billion cut in the food stamp program. The bill will of course not pass through the Senate or be signed into law by Obama.

Of those receiving government help in the form of food stamps or the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) 76 percent are children, disabled or elderly. Fifty seven thousand children lost Head Start services because House Republicans voted to keep the sequester (automatic budget cuts) instead of choosing a balanced approach to the budget that makes corporations and millionaires pay their fair share. The WIC program, a health and nutrition assistance program for low income women and children, is also under fire from the right.

Sep 27

New Zealand Professors Say No War with Syria

By Darius Shahtahmasebi, YouTube | Video
As the focus of US and Israel's foreign policy shifts back onto Iran and its nuclear program, the option of military strikes against Syria is still on the table. Some of New Zealand's most respected Peace and Conflict experts and University professors take a stand and say that they are against any military action against Syria by the US and its allies. They make clear they will not condone the New Zealand government's support for any such military action.