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.
"It was freedom to destroy freedom." Jesse Williams' provocative and heart-wrenching speech at the BET Awards on June 26 made me recall the words of W.E.B. Du Bois. History is dangerously repeating itself, mirroring many of the events around the world during the first half of the 20th century, including the rise of fascism, Jim Crow and apartheid. We've seen displays of xenophobia in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, like young men in Manchester who verbally assaulted a man on the bus with racist language.
We longtime US intelligence officers again wish to convey our concerns and cautions directly to you prior to a critically important NATO summit -- the meeting that begins on July 8 in Warsaw. We were gratified to learn that our referenced memorandum reached you and your advisers before the NATO summit in Wales, and that others too learned of our initiative via the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which published a full report on our memorandum on Sept. 4, the day that summit began.
The US has entered the Orwellian era of permanent war -- until we decide that it's over. Why, after nearly 15 years, do we still have 10,000 US troops fighting, killing and dying in Afghanistan? Why, after more than 13 years, have we nearly exited and then escalated back into Iraq with 3,500 US troops fighting, killing and dying? We are gaining absolutely nothing from this armed occupation of two countries for so long -- instead we are losing lives, spending billions and creating endless ill will amongst yet another generation in the Middle East and Central Asia.
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.