Thursday, 27 April 2017 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

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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.

Mar 15

Whose Commons? National Parks as White Public Space

By Jamie Corliss, Speakout | News Analysis

The emergence of "rogue" Twitter accounts by National Parks employees has attracted widespread positive attention, with many onlookers celebrating the accounts' tweets about climate change and efforts to resist the new president's administration. As noble as the current resistance by parks employees may be, however, ignoring the violent and racist history of the National Parks is part of a dangerous de-historicizing of natural space that is all too common in white perceptions and use of such spaces. The erasure of people of color within the history of the parks is not a long-gone phenomenon irrelevant to the use of National Parks today.

Tragedy struck Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, when a gunman opened fire on three bar patrons, killing one, injuring two. Adam Purinton shot and killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and injured Alok Madasani, engineers from India employed by Garmin, the Kansas-based hi-tech electronics firm. According to witness accounts, Purinton opened fire shouting, "Get out of my country!" He later told a bartender 70 miles away that he had shot "two Iranians." According to The New York Times, the FBI has classified the shootings as a hate crime.

My plane landed at Dulles International Airport at 1:20 am. The fact that the airport was named for a former Republican Secretary of State who "continued his support for the Nazi platform right up to the time Germany invaded Poland" reminded me of what we were up against. I wrapped myself in a blanket and waited until 7 when the airport bus and the metro system started operating. It was March 10, the morning of the scheduled Native Nations Rise march through downtown Washington, DC.

Mar 13

Building Bridges, Not Walls

By Patricia MacCorquodale, Speakout | Op-Ed

Ariel, the 11-year-old daughter of a friend, was riding the school bus in Northern Arizona when two Native American girls boarded the bus. A high school boy yelled, "Got off of here, this is a white bus." Laughing, he turned to his friends and said, "Are y'all ready for Trump's inauguration?" They joked that the bus was for "white people only" the whole way home. Ariel sat clenching her fists, not knowing what to say or do. This is hate.

The resistance is a huge movement -- yuge! At least that's how it feels when you are in it. And it's true that the United States has not seen anything like this since the Vietnam War days. Still, Trump and the Republicans in Washington roll on, with some new horror every day. Maybe the resistance isn't yuge enough yet. It has plenty of chance to grow, though. The potential is clearly there. Let's look at the numbers.

Mar 10

I Am an Abortion Provider Because of Her

By Meagan Gunkel, Speakout | Op-Ed

I am an independent abortion care provider because of her. Her whole life, she has stood up for other women. She promoted education and empowerment amongst the women around her, despite living in a political climate that threatened her own safety every day. She taught me so much about how to treat people: with dignity and respect. She is the woman I watched keep her chin high while others tried to put her down.  She is my mother. She is an independent abortion care provider.

After assuming office in 2009, President Obama directed the Pentagon to conduct a campaign of cyberattacks against uranium enrichment facilities inIran, code-named Olympic Games. Fast forward to the launch of the Trump administration, and unnamed officials reveal that Iran wasn't the only country on the receiving end of Obama's covert sabotage ops. For the past three years, American spies have also been targeting North Korea's missile program. The very fact that the White House would opt for such an approach says a lot about the current state of affairs along the demilitarized zone.

I spent my childhood in communist Romania in the 1950s. By age eight, I knew that autocratic regimes take away more than your freedom. They also distort your sense of reality. They destroy the fabric of your community. And they undermine your sense of agency, thus invading your very selfhood. School was a minefield, and not just because I was a small, skinny girl who had to sit next to the big bullies. It required complex negotiations and a relentless vigilance daunting for an eight year-old.

The philanthropy practiced by capitalist corporations through foundations they create has a mixed outcome. It rightfully boasts its success, for example, the eradication of malaria and tuberculosis, which saved many lives. But that success has limitations because this philanthropy is a child of capitalism, a system that places profit and economic growth ahead of the environment and people's needs. In capitalism, the ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth is maintained by private individuals or corporations -- the 1%.

On January 30, advocates with the animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) filed a lawsuit in Alameda County, California, against Diestel Turkey Ranch, one of only a handful of suppliers to receive a 5+ rating from Whole Foods' Global Animal Partnership rating program. Just a little over a year prior, DxE's investigation broke the major media, with feature stories in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, revealing shocking conditions at the northern California farm.

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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.

Mar 15

Whose Commons? National Parks as White Public Space

By Jamie Corliss, Speakout | News Analysis

The emergence of "rogue" Twitter accounts by National Parks employees has attracted widespread positive attention, with many onlookers celebrating the accounts' tweets about climate change and efforts to resist the new president's administration. As noble as the current resistance by parks employees may be, however, ignoring the violent and racist history of the National Parks is part of a dangerous de-historicizing of natural space that is all too common in white perceptions and use of such spaces. The erasure of people of color within the history of the parks is not a long-gone phenomenon irrelevant to the use of National Parks today.

Tragedy struck Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, when a gunman opened fire on three bar patrons, killing one, injuring two. Adam Purinton shot and killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and injured Alok Madasani, engineers from India employed by Garmin, the Kansas-based hi-tech electronics firm. According to witness accounts, Purinton opened fire shouting, "Get out of my country!" He later told a bartender 70 miles away that he had shot "two Iranians." According to The New York Times, the FBI has classified the shootings as a hate crime.

My plane landed at Dulles International Airport at 1:20 am. The fact that the airport was named for a former Republican Secretary of State who "continued his support for the Nazi platform right up to the time Germany invaded Poland" reminded me of what we were up against. I wrapped myself in a blanket and waited until 7 when the airport bus and the metro system started operating. It was March 10, the morning of the scheduled Native Nations Rise march through downtown Washington, DC.

Mar 13

Building Bridges, Not Walls

By Patricia MacCorquodale, Speakout | Op-Ed

Ariel, the 11-year-old daughter of a friend, was riding the school bus in Northern Arizona when two Native American girls boarded the bus. A high school boy yelled, "Got off of here, this is a white bus." Laughing, he turned to his friends and said, "Are y'all ready for Trump's inauguration?" They joked that the bus was for "white people only" the whole way home. Ariel sat clenching her fists, not knowing what to say or do. This is hate.

The resistance is a huge movement -- yuge! At least that's how it feels when you are in it. And it's true that the United States has not seen anything like this since the Vietnam War days. Still, Trump and the Republicans in Washington roll on, with some new horror every day. Maybe the resistance isn't yuge enough yet. It has plenty of chance to grow, though. The potential is clearly there. Let's look at the numbers.

Mar 10

I Am an Abortion Provider Because of Her

By Meagan Gunkel, Speakout | Op-Ed

I am an independent abortion care provider because of her. Her whole life, she has stood up for other women. She promoted education and empowerment amongst the women around her, despite living in a political climate that threatened her own safety every day. She taught me so much about how to treat people: with dignity and respect. She is the woman I watched keep her chin high while others tried to put her down.  She is my mother. She is an independent abortion care provider.

After assuming office in 2009, President Obama directed the Pentagon to conduct a campaign of cyberattacks against uranium enrichment facilities inIran, code-named Olympic Games. Fast forward to the launch of the Trump administration, and unnamed officials reveal that Iran wasn't the only country on the receiving end of Obama's covert sabotage ops. For the past three years, American spies have also been targeting North Korea's missile program. The very fact that the White House would opt for such an approach says a lot about the current state of affairs along the demilitarized zone.

I spent my childhood in communist Romania in the 1950s. By age eight, I knew that autocratic regimes take away more than your freedom. They also distort your sense of reality. They destroy the fabric of your community. And they undermine your sense of agency, thus invading your very selfhood. School was a minefield, and not just because I was a small, skinny girl who had to sit next to the big bullies. It required complex negotiations and a relentless vigilance daunting for an eight year-old.

The philanthropy practiced by capitalist corporations through foundations they create has a mixed outcome. It rightfully boasts its success, for example, the eradication of malaria and tuberculosis, which saved many lives. But that success has limitations because this philanthropy is a child of capitalism, a system that places profit and economic growth ahead of the environment and people's needs. In capitalism, the ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth is maintained by private individuals or corporations -- the 1%.

On January 30, advocates with the animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) filed a lawsuit in Alameda County, California, against Diestel Turkey Ranch, one of only a handful of suppliers to receive a 5+ rating from Whole Foods' Global Animal Partnership rating program. Just a little over a year prior, DxE's investigation broke the major media, with feature stories in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, revealing shocking conditions at the northern California farm.