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.
With a rainbow pin on his lapel, signifying -- on that day at least -- the most recent gun massacre in the United States, Congressman John Lewis made an impassioned cri de coeur before members of Congress and the people of this country: the time for silence is over. "Sometimes," he said, "you have to do something out of the ordinary." And that's just what they did: he and other members of his party put their bodies in the way of the daily operations of the Congress, by using a nonviolent tactic known as a sit-in -- when you occupy a space in order to dramatize an unmet need.
While moving around within agricultural regions to support herself and her mother in Mexico, Olivia started a family. As a young mother of four children, three daughters and a son with autism, all US citizens, Olivia once again escaped domestic violence. This vicious cycle of violence followed Olivia, and she wondered if this is what love looks and feels like. She did not know how to ask her abusive partners to stop.
Some Americans have decided that Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is a "moderate" who might have a restraining effect on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. This might be because Ryan's language is less combative and contentious than Trump's. But this is dangerously misleading, for the Speaker's apparent moderation is an illusion. The truth is that regardless of his choice of words, what Ryan stands for is as disastrously radical as the positions of Trump and the rest of the right-wing Republicans.
Everything on our small planet affects everything else. This interdependence is more a harsh reality than a New Age bromide. A diminishing few may still deny human agency in climate instability, but they can hardly pretend that diseases or wind-driven pollution are stoppable by national borders. Even Donald Trump would not be able to build a wall that stopped the Zika virus, or micro-particulates wafting from the coal plants in China, or the cross-Pacific drift of radioactive water from Fukushima.
Since Albert's release on his birthday, February 19th, a few short months ago, he’s been really busy… After nearly a month of visiting with family and friends in New Orleans sharing more birthday cake than he’s been able to consume in over forty years, Albert has been catching up with his dreams. This trio of video-interviews with Albert recorded recently, during a visit to Sacramento, will give you a glimpse of just how well Albert is doing.
When I was in third grade, I remember my teacher telling us she was a Republican because her son was in the military and Republicans cared about soldiers. When I got home, I asked my mother what we were, to which she responded, "We're Democrats, because Democrats represent issues that are important to you and me." I grew up believing in progressive politics. I wanted to learn how to play saxophone because Bill Clinton and Lisa Simpson did. Other times I would stay up late watching "Politically Incorrect."
When published in April 2015, War Against All Puerto Ricans ignited debate throughout the US and Puerto Rico. I was called a "liar" by several history professors … yet the book became a #1 Amazon Bestseller for 13 months, and the top-selling book in Puerto Rico. It even outsold Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Why was this book so successful? A factual narrative with over 700 footnotes, the book is a history of US-Puerto Rico relations. But it also reads like a police blotter.
Bear Butte is one of these ancient holy places. My people, the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation), call it Paha Sapa. Bear Butte is crucial to our traditional way of life. It is where the Lakota received star knowledge and divine instruction. Our greatest leaders, like Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull) and TaSunka Witko (Crazy Horse) prayed there. Even today, I know many Lakota who go there for Hanbleceya, to cry for a vision. Westerners call it Vision Quest. This ceremony takes place on the side of the mountain, over the course of four days and nights. Individuals remain in quiet solitude to fast, pray and commune with Tunkasila and the spirits while supporters keep the fire below.
Through no fault of their own, the Puerto Rican people have suffered through decades of heartache, disappointment and having the wool pulled over their eyes. Some may believe exploitation is too strong a term to describe what has happened, but what else can you call it when millions of honest, hard-working American citizens are relegated to a permanent second-class status, suspended somewhere in the netherworld between statehood and independence?
In the historic port city of Yalta, located on the Crimean Peninsula, we visited the site where Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, in February of 1945, concluded negotiations ending World War II. These leaders and their top advisors were also present at the creation of the United Nations and other instruments of international negotiation and non-military cooperation. Tragically, the creation of the "Cold War" was underway soon after. Reviving tensions between the United States and Russia make it seem as though the Cold War might not have ended.