TOXIC SLUDGE IS GOOD (enough for black folk)...

Cross-posted from The Blog and the Bullet.

Francis L. Holland blogs about a recent article he read from the Associated Press:
Although whites would have us believe that AIDS could NOT have been started by whites and that the Tuskegee Experiment could never happen again,
BALTIMORE - Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients.


It galls me. It galls me that the major news institutions can make federal cases out of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's prophetic indignation at a nation whose policies undervalue and marginalize whole populaces, and reduce it to the rantings of a mad man, when in our own backyard our own government is conducting more experimentation on its citizens!

[Hat Tip: the field negro]


White Privilege and StuffWhitePeopleLike

As everyone knows there is this website called StuffWhitePeopleLike.com I decided to create this little post just to clarify a few things on the website and how it relates to whiteness and white privilege.

Macon D put it best in this comment:
I don't care as much as many others do, though, for "Stuff White People Like." I think it lets white folks off the hook, since what little insightful critique it has to offer is routinely buried beneath a smarmy, ironic, humorous surface.
Gary Dauphin states in this blog post:
Nothing gets under my (colored, nearly-middle-aged) skin like the spectacle of a twentysomething white kid doing what twentysomething white kids do all the time, namely, play on some or another aspect of their race for smug fun and profit. Lander has already reportedly been offered a $350K-plus book deal from Random House. (Can a VH1 Special be very far behind?) People of color are constantly accused of playing various race cards, but "White boy makes good by being white" is hardly a man-bites-dog story.
The problem with StuffWhitePeoleLike.com (or SWPL) is that there is actually nothing that offensive (all though some white people have thought it that) or thought provoking within the site. The reason for this is obvious, as whites are the majority in the country that have never experienced racial discrimination, institutionalized or socially. Because of this a site such as SWPL, which purports to "make fun of" white culture, can become profitable and can garner a large book deal from a major publisher.

Whiteness is essentially an invisible and often overlooked (in mainstream culture) factor within the United States and because of this most whites are blind to their own privilege as it is never talked about all that much.

In fact, even when people of color want to bring up certain offensive characteristics of white culture, such as naming mascots after Native Americans, and try to show them how offensive certain aspects are; white people can actually shrug all of that aside and laugh it off. After all, white folks are the dominant ones in society and have all of the advantages that have been built up over hundreds of years of racial preference toward whites; so when a group of Native American students name their intermural basketball team "The Fightin' Whites" in order to point out the stupidity of naming a team "The Fighin' Reds" white people find it funny and laugh it off because it is not a real threat to whiteness.

When you look at SWPL there is very little content in the site except a few jokes here and there about sandwhiches, non-profits, and drinking wine. It doesn't point out some of the very real and serious consequences of whiteness within American society.

A blog site that points out white privilege and white supremacy and its damaging affects on society is deemed as too dangerous and makes many whites uncomfortable about who they are because who they are and will become (or have become) is a product of a system that benefits them and tries to break down everyone else. A blog or web site such as The Unapologetic Mexican or Race Traitor will never get a huge book deal by a major publisher. Yet sites such as those actually get straight to the issues on whiteness and attack the structural and social privileges of whiteness. They make the invisible visible and the glossed over ever so apparent. Yet somehow a website such as SWPL is hailed by the mainstream white media as "brilliant" for poking fun at white culture.

Yet as Dauphin and others have said it's not that SWPL is poking fun at white culture but more of using the advantages of white culture and being white in order to make a buck while in turn leading the white American public away from critical self thought on their own whiteness and what it means for themselves and others in America.

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Come On America, Arizona's SB 1108 Is A Racist Bill

"I'm gonna show you WHO's BOSS"

To some people it may have seemed like the fight was against undocumented immigrants. They are "illegals," "aliens," "criminals" overrunning our nation.

Well for me that was never true. From my own experience, it's basically a fight against culture, language, and color. The anti-immigrant sentiment that is so strong today, as it has been throughout our history as the United Sates, is about hatred. It's about racism, colonial power, capitalist interest, and everything else you can think of.

Man, I am just sick and tired of this. I am sick and tired of this game that a lot of "Americans" are playing. This is not about immigration.

YOU KNOW WHY? THIS IS WHY: Arizona state lawmakers and their evil SB 1108 bill is about killing Mexican-American/Chican@/Latin@ identity. To say this bill is fueled by merely anti-immigrant sentiment is to confuse the real issue here--because anti-immigrant sentiment has always been about anti-Hispanic sentiment (hey I don't like calling it Hispanic, but that's what it is to them)

You can look up several news articles on the bill, but here's one:

Some state lawmakers are again sticking their noses where they don't belong and trying to tell educators what should or shouldn't be taught in public schools.

The Legislature is attempting to usurp the decision-making responsibilities of local school boards and is perpetuating lies and creating divisions among Arizonans by pushing a bill that seeks to end programs like Raza Studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The bill would deny state funding to schools whose courses "denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization."

Whatever that means.

Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services reported in Thursday's Star that the bill, SB 1108, is aimed at MEChA, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, a student group that state Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, describes as racist.

Raza Studies has also drawn the ire of anti-immigrant-rights activists and last year was criticized by state schools superintendent Tom Horne, who said the program was promoting "ethnic chauvinism."

Horne investigated the program and then quietly dropped his inquiry.

Pearce, one of the state's most strident opponents of illegal immigration, appears to have bought into the notion that MEChA followers want to take over the southwestern United States, which was part of Mexico.

That's hogwash.

The myth is perpetrated by right-wing anti-immigrant-rights groups like American Border Patrol and their Web sites. The lie gained new life over the last couple of years as the illegal-immigration debate reached a boiling point.

...What lawmakers like Pearce ignore is that programs like Raza Studies and MEChA help many Hispanic students excel.

By learning more about their race's culture, the students become engaged in the education process and go on to become better taxpaying members of society.

OH I'M SORRY AMERICA. I'm sorry that because world history is OBVIOUSLY distorted in every damn aspect of our education to favor learning about white people, I have to oppress my own identity and educate myself about subjects that are not only irrelevant to my culture and diversity, but are also not reflective of true history.

It wasn't until college that I finally came to understand the dimensions of my Latina identity. It wasn't until college that I learned about the atrocities of white America's past and present--the genocides, the school of the Americas, the coups, the SLAVERY, the exploitation, the National Origins Quota, the "treaty" of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the promises of reparations, the diseased blankets, Thanksgiving, Africa, Guatemala, the list goes on...

I AM NOT ANTI-AMERICAN. The REAL anti-Americans are those people who RESIST accepting that AMERICAN MEANS MANY LANGUAGES,CULTURES,RACES,AND HISTORIES. American is NOT CITIZEN--AMERICAN IS PERSONHOOD. I AM AMERICAN BECAUSE I AM A LATINA BORN IN THE UNITED STATES who is an active member of society, respects her fellow Americans (documented or not), and upholds her values of tolerance and human rights for all. I recognize that HISTORY is not ONE STORY, BUT MANY. Our country does not have a history, as our euro-centric society would have it, our country has HISTORIES--good and bad--of peoples from all perspective.

I am tired of being taught one perspective. What Ethnic studies does, let alone Chican@ studies, is give us ANOTHER perspective--one that often reflects that of us "Hispanics" who are trying to learn something other than the white history. LETS KEEP TEACHING WHITE HISTORY BUT NOT WHITE HISTORY ALONE. Let's teach many histories.

With all my heart, with all my soul, I beg others to join me and many others in saying: AMERICA, THIS BILL IS RACIST, XENOPHOBIC, AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.


Obama, 'Black Man' With Authority

What do you think when you hear about the latest critique of Obama? From remarks about his "lack of experience," to his pastor's preachings, and now to his "bitter" remarks about xenophobic Americans, Obama's racialized identity is implicated in every remark made of him.

When we look at criticism of Obama, there is a lot going on there, but you just can't separate it from the fact that he is a man of color, and mixed at that.

David K. Shipler has written a very insightful piece in the Los Angeles Times, giving us context by which we can understand the deeper meaning of what's going on here. He writes,
Obama has made some real missteps, including his remark last week that "bitter" small-town Americans facing economic hardship and government indifference "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." Perhaps he was being more sociological than political, and more sympathetic than condescending. But when his opponents branded him an elitist and an outsider, his race made it easier to drive a wedge between him and the white, rural voters he has courted. As an African American, he was supposedly looking down from a place he didn't belong and looking in from a distance he could not cross.

This could not happen as dramatically were it not for embedded racial attitudes. "Elitist" is another word for "arrogant," which is another word for "uppity," that old calumny applied to blacks who stood up for themselves.

At the bottom of the American psyche, race is still about power, and blacks who move up risk triggering discomfort among some whites. I've met black men who, when stopped by white cops at night, think the best protection is to act dumb and deferential.

Furthermore, casting Obama as "out of touch" plays harmoniously with the traditional notion of blacks as "others" at the edge of the mainstream, separate from the whole. Despite his ability to articulate the frustration and yearning of broad segments of Americans, his "otherness" has been highlighted effectively by right-wingers who harp on his Kenyan father and spread false rumors that he's a clandestine Muslim.

In a country so changed that a biracial man who is considered black has a shot at the presidency, the subterranean biases are much less discernible now than when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. They are subtle, unacknowledged and unacceptable in polite company. But they lurk below, lending resonance to the criticisms of Obama. Black professionals know the double standard. They are often labeled negatively for traits deemed positive in whites: A white is assertive, a black is aggressive; a white is resolute, a black is pushy; a white is candid, a black is abrasive; a white is independent, a black is not a team player. Prejudice is a shape shifter, adapting to acceptable forms.

So although Obama's brilliance defies the stubborn stereotype of African Americans as unintelligent, there is a companion to that image -- doubts about blacks' true capabilities -- that may heighten concerns about his inexperience. Through the racial lens, a defect can be enlarged into a disability. He is "not ready," a phrase employed often when blacks are up for promotion.


Fetishizing of Asian Women

Just finished reading this disturbing article on the consequnces of mainstream America (white society) exotifying Asian women:
A week ago, InSight, the only Asian-American women's organization on campus, gathered for a weekly dinner meeting, and the topic of conversation turned to the prevalence of the "Asian fetish" in American culture. We discussed the social significance of this obsessive sexual fixation on Asian women in a larger context, including the stereotyped portrayal of Asian women in the media and its relation to the growing mail-order bride industry.

What we didn't realize at the time of the discussion was the disgusting form that this fetish had taken on a nearby college campus. Recently, Princeton graduate student Michael Lohman admitted to police that he had been silently terrorizing more than 50 Asian women on campus...

Many might discredit this news as an isolated incident of perversity, but the fact is that there is a pattern in which Asian women are targeted for sexual fetishes, harassment and assaults, even on college campuses...
[Hat Tip: Brandy]

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A Call to Allies

Cross-posted from The Blog and the Bullet.

The Angry Black Woman is hosting the first (and possible only) Carnival of Allies. All posts are due May 5th!
This got me thinking about those white folks who exist in that liminal space where they are against racism but don’t understand how it works and get defensive, hurt, and freaked out when folks point out how they benefit from it without trying...I am wondering how you turn that kind of person into an ally. I’m wondering if maybe I cannot simply because, when they read my words, they are so filled with defensiveness and perhaps guilt, nothing I say can get through. If they can’t listen to me, can they maybe listen to other White people?


I call a Carnival. The Carnival of Allies. Where self-identified allies write to other people like themselves about why this or that oppression and prejudice is wrong. Why they are allies. Why the usual excuses are not good enough. I figure allies probably know full well all the many and various arguments people throw up to make prejudice and oppression okay. Things that someone on the other side of the fence may not hear. Address those things and more besides.

And when I say allies, I’m talking about any and every type. PoC can be (and should be) allies to other PoC, or to LGBTQ people if they are straight, or any number of other combinations. If you feel like you’re an ally and have something to say about that, you should submit to this carnival.


Views: Feminism, Appropriation, and Racism

Cross-posted from The Blog and the Bullet.

Some more views across the blogoshpere on the recent controversy surrounding Marcotte and BFP. However, it is not just about one incident but a whole history of appropriating ideas from people of color in order to benefit those white "intellectuals" and "activists. As "Sudy" says, the "demand for writers/bloggers to "stop stealing" far exceeds the events (disasters) of this week or just BFP herself...I'm not talking about one singular instance that set me off into a knee-jerk reactionary post, I'm speaking about a maddening phenomenon of disregarding BODIES of work."

High on Rebellion:
Anyone who reads BFP regularly knows that she has done a lot of writing on immigration and particularly the racism and sexism faced by immigrant women in the US during the current climate of hysteria.

And now, she is understandably upset that Amanda Marcotte from Pandagon has published an article that happens to make all the same points BFP has made time and again and her blog - and yet, at no point has BFP been linked.
Sylvia dissects Marcotte's post on Alternet bit by bit, pointing out each phrase that Marcotte appropriated from women of color and men of color:
THAT’S the sinister nature of appropriation. And in this instance, by not linking to anyone that inspired her viewpoint — forget BFP, even — Amanda tapped into this narrative that has been tapped into by countless folks online and offline. And each leaking into this scheme hurts and makes the victims of invisibility less than charitable once someone white sees us and says, “Hey, what’s wrong? Please write us a book report with cross checks and proper cites, perfect spelling and grammar, and completely objective — that means don’t interpose your oversensitivity into it — yes, please write us a great screed telling us everything very clearly about what’s wrong. One ‘t’ uncrossed, and you lose your argument. And please, make sure you note everyone involved; if you fail to do so, that’s intellectually dishonest and we’ll refuse to engage with you!”
She also wrote:
I can’t keep doing this to my stomach and my health, my consciousness and my emotions, my work and life. And since the woman I did it for has asked for it to stop, I will honor that.
"Sudy" at A Womyn's Ecdysis:
BFP was certainly part of my thought process, but this demand for writers/bloggers to "stop stealing" far exceeds the events (disasters) of this week or just BFP herself. This post vomited on the years of hearing echos in the blogosphere with no visible credit or citation to others' contributions. My links are specific, but my point is wider. I'm not talking about one singular instance that set me off into a knee-jerk reactionary post, I'm speaking about a maddening phenomenon of disregarding BODIES of work . And I'm tired of something that is so deeply problematic being casually normalized by writers and readers of feminism.
Fetch Me My Axe:
Look. It's not that difficult a concept. A woman who's under the radar, relative to you, posts important news stories that are, in turn, under the radar. Both her under-the-radarness and the stories' have to do with, surprise, marginalization in ways that go beyond simple sexism: y'know, racism AND sexism, for instance. She works hard at building community and getting the word out about important stories. You, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with self-aggrandizement.

For a year or two or more, you steadfastly ignore her, on the whole. Certainly you don't bother to link to the stories she's covering; that would be too much like giving someone else credit. No. You wait. Maybe you're even at the same conference as this other woman, not so long ago, wherein she speaks on these same issues. And then, you post the stories and the POV the woman has been eloquently -trying- to get you to listen to for all this time...without a hint that you know who this person is. Kudos rain in. For you. Applause, applause, there's nothing like applause.
Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of my Black Sisters:
But, as so often happens in the blogosphere, the voices of WOC are suppressed, silenced and downright ignored. Appropriation is the rule of the day, the law of the land, where WOC are concerned. We have been resisting oppression in this world for centuries, for generations, and no one wants to hear our voices. Very few want to give us credit for calling attention to the myriad injustices that exist in this world. As so often happens, when WOC give voice to the many isms that affect women the world over, we are simply derided, castigated, tagged-tarred-and-feathered as “angry”, “bitter”, “mean”, “bossy”, or the worse of all epithets—”hard to get along with”.
Team Rainbow:
In the months that Team Rainbow has been online, I have never once felt the need to get involved in any inter-blogular conflict. However, "X"'s co-opting of BFP's once powerful message is a matter that goes beyond interpersonal/interblog politics. It is a powerful symbol of a larger problem, which is the silencing of WOC writers, activists, and leaders by the more privileged sectors of the feminist movement. I can't hold a candle to BFP's brilliance, her breadth and depth and relevance of knowledge regarding WOC issues. So today I will write about my own people, my own heritage, and where we went wrong.
XicanoPwr writes:
I have read many blogs, but there is something about Brownfemipower. I have never met Brownfemipower personally, nor have I talked to her personally. But her words were powerful to inspire me to think in new ways, especially when it came to women issue. She has not only opened my eyes, but has challenged me.


En lucha mi amiga!
Rebbecca of Burning Words:
It’s a bit of an understatement that [X] doesn’t exactly have the best record on race issues. The sort of feminist issues that you’ll see covered at Brownfemipower’s essentially never see the light of day at Pandagon, and she’s been called out more than a few times over the years for dismissing and silencing women of colour when they’ve called her out about offensive comments that she’s made.
The SmackDog Chronicles:
And what does it say for AlterNet, which has never seen fit to allow more radical activists of color to impugne their pages, but frequently allows established A-list liberal feminist bloggers like Amanda Marcotte (and antiporn “leftists” like Bob Jensen and Gail Dines, too, BTW) to claim to represent the entire “progressive” diaspora unopposed and unburdened by actual debate and discussion???
Think Girl:
White feminists (and I am one myself), leave behind your notions of what feminism entails. We need to stop centering feminist work on such things as pop culture analysis, white women’s body images, and abortion. I’m not saying we should never talk about such things, but that feminism must work in step with so many many more movements: anti-racism, anti-classism, environmental issues, immigrant rights, anti-U.S. imperialism, LGBTQI rights, disability rights, anti-prison industrial complex, and so much more than I could quickly list here. Just as importantly, when we link with these movements, we must be careful to give credit when credit is due. We must expand our views to build coalitions, not for any less noble reason, such as to diversify our work. Please, join in this transformation; it is long overdue.
I end with Jessica Hoffmann saying:
you are bigger and more beautiful and insightful and important and revelatory and warm and liberating and transcending than i can even begin to express in words.

wish i could give you a hug and cook a hot, colorful dinner for you.

i'm cooking for some local make/shift folks tomorrow night, and you'd better know there will be many a toast in your honor.

[Many o' Hat Tips: High on Rebellion, ¡Para Justicia y Libertad!]


Saturday Beats: Juvy

From the latest Beat Within.

Juvy is a personal experience,
from the courtrooms to the closed doors, to the
It depends upon yo’ case or yo’ attorney and your
probation officer, should I say.
They say you in here for a while,
then weeks and months, it’s what come by.
The days and nights you sit inside of here, it makes you
wanna cry.
One phone call ain’t enough and it’s the number they select.
They call us delinquents and don’t even know the facts.
Juvy was my second home, but I changed that around.
Now I’m right back where I started. Damn, ain’t that a
-Brianna, San Francisco


Pointing Our Dirty Finger At China

The controversy about the 2008 Olympics in Beijing is deeper than it might appear on the surface. Westerners pointing to its human rights violations and other issues are doing more than just that--they are carrying a long-held note sung by our country for about half a century. Ever since China turned communist, there has been a bitter-sweet diplomatic history between it and the United States.

This Olympics controversy is throwing fuel into the flame of anti-Chinese sentiment. From the Los Angeles Times:

As the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of Paris, London and San Francisco, tens of thousands protested China's treatment of Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

But inside some Chinese American communities, notably the San Gabriel Valley, the view of Tibet and its spiritual leader is far more complex.

On Cat Chao's Mandarin-language talk show "Rush Hour" on KAZN-AM (1300), most callers haven't been debating whose side to take but why the Western media has been so biased against China in its reporting of the riots that rocked Tibet earlier this month.

"They're pretty angry," Chao said. "People usually trust Western media because they think it's balanced. Not anymore."

Others complained that the torch protests have gone beyond criticizing the Chinese communist government and have a decidedly anti-Chinese feeling.

Our country's people are voicing a lot of objections to China, especially now in light of the Olympics controversy. But we should keep in mind that as much as we try to disassociate ourselves from China through discussions of human rights abuses and environmental abuses, our country has been and currently is guilty of the same things.

I'm talking about our companies that set up sweatshops and/or factories in foreign countries--abusing local workers, their families, and their environments. Such as the Mexican maquiladora industry.

There is a lot going on with the Olympics controversy, we can't just try to target China because in doing so we are implicating ourselves. In other words, who are we to point the finger? It's not that no finger should ever be pointed, but come on, the United States?


Tim Wise on White Privilege

A nice short exlpaination on the affects of white privilege in America.

[Hat Tip: Eileen the Episcopalifem]


Support the Fight for Asian American Studies at Hunter College

Cross-posted from The Blog and the Bullet.

Rage, at down on the brown side, blogs about the fight for Asian American Studies at Hunter College:
I'm writing this in response and in support of the righteous students and organizers at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, who are organizing and pushing to protect and expand Asian American studies at their school. I stand with these students and urge any reader here to check out their information (here's an article to start) and see how you can be supportive of their cause. I'll post more information up as I get it about how allies and supporters around the nation can show them love and let them know that we stand with them in this struggle.

Let's Talk About White People

The other day I visited a beautiful city called Sausalito, north of the San Francisco bay. "Beautiful" is very loaded--the city was so clean, plump with flowers and shrubberies, and very white. I mean, there were shops with incredibly expensive yachting apparel, and more. But in pointing out its whiteness, I am not being hostile. I have every right to point it out, for I do the same thing when I observe black, Latino, Asian, and other racialized geographical areas.

Pointing out whiteness should not make white people uncomfortable. It should be blatant and funny, Kind of like it is in this article about San Francisco being a top white destination.

As odd as this may sound, it's refreshing to find out about a blog that highlights "Stuff White People Like." The blog brings white culture into shape and form. It latches onto whiteness and drags it down from its normative perch, so that we can pinpoint its traits and study it. It even provides information about how to deal with/talk to the stereotypical white people described in each of its entries.

This Time article by Jeninne Lee-St. John describes the blog a little further:

If you don't keep up with all the snarky, zeitgeisty corners of the Internet, Stuff White People Like is a pseudo-anthropological list mocking the habits, tastes and whims of people of non-color. (Entry #1: Coffee. "White people all need Starbucks, Second Cup or Coffee Bean. They are also fond of saying "you do NOT want to see me before I get my morning coffee.")

...I called Damali Ayo, a black social critic and artist who wrote the book How to Rent a Negro — a satire inspired by the same sentiments as another thing that white people like (#14), Having Black Friends. She thinks the blog, oddly, represents a form of social progress. "I'm really glad that white people are stepping up to critique white culture, because in general white people like to deny that there is such a thing as white culture," Ayo says. And she sort of made me feel better about being enmeshed in that culture. "Stuff white people like is what we all live and breathe everyday. Turn on the TV: it's all stuff white people like. I've been studying stuff white people like since I was four just so I could have a conversation."


Ecclesial Anti-Racist Theology: A Critique

I have a post over at my blog The Mustard Seed about a recent article in the Anglican Theological Review Dr. Dwight N. Hopkins. In the article Hopkins talks about racism and white supremacy in American society and what the Episcopal church can do about it. While I applaud his article I have many critiques on his views on race and racism which you can read more about over at The Mustard Seed. Here's a quick excerpt:
It has been recognize that race, essentially, was hammered out by the role of the court system within the United States, especially during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when “social Darwinism” was at its peak and “racial science” was in its heyday. Race was essentially a tool for giving out citizenship within the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: to be classified as white, within the court system, was to gain the privilege of citizenship...During the mid-20th century the role of law and race changed. By this time race was already hammered out as anyone with light skin color and with ancestry from Europe as being classified as white (even Jews, though not fully at that point); with whiteness one got the privilege of home ownership and being able to move to the suburbs. So while earlier whiteness got one citizenship, now one got home ownership and government subsidies and wealth accumulation...(Read More)


Saturday Beats: Materialism

One of the latest from The Beat Within. This is one of the best writings I've read in quite some time from our youth. Hope ya'll enjoy.

The Addiction of Materialism
Materialism is a very addictive illusion,
but a more potent product of materialism is the glamour,
and the thing’s and feeling’s that money and material things bring.
A lot of younger teen’s get sucked up into bubble gum dreams
wanting to be like old time white gangsters
such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, John Gotti and so on.
The Escalades, the Mercedes, and the scraper’s on dubs are
cool things to own just like the jewels and [having] females
and some rack’s in your pocket pero.
That ain’t all I would risk my life and liberty for,
especially in this White man’s system
where I could loose by any means.
I would rather make my money intelligently, and stack up,
put some in the bank rather then spend it on shhh
I could buy when I have enough money stacked.
As far as the neighborhood, I wouldn’t care where I live.
As long as no one messes with me I wont face no 25
with an L.
-Grumpy, Alameda


James Bond Filming Clashes With Chilean Community

Here's some weird news from Chile: during the filming of a scene in Chile for the upcoming James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, a local Chilean mayor angrily drove a vehicle into the set. Mayor Carlos López, of Baquedano, Chile, was protesting the filiming for its negative impact on the community.Tom Leonard from Telegraph.co.uk reports:

Mr Lopez was arrested and briefly detained for what police called "causing public disorder". It was claimed that he almost ran over two people at the town's railway station as he sped onto the set.

He had been protesting at what he called an excessive police presence in Baquedano and objecting to Chilean soil being used as a stand in for neighbouring Bolivia.

Baquedano lies in a mining region around the city of Antofagasta in the far north of the country. It was forcibly annexed by Chile from Bolivia in the late 19th century - an issue that continues to divide the two countries.

...Mr Lopez said yesterday: "For a town that has just 1,000 residents, sending in special forces and water cannon, preventing people from walking in the street, reminded me of the worst of the Pinochet years.

So what's the problem? This situation just comes off to me like another one of those big western capitalist F.U.'s to the other guys. Sure the filming was permitted and legal, but that doesn't rid it of all evil. I mean, all those foreign companies set up in Jamaica are there legally too...but their presence there has greatly harmed the national sovereignty of the country. When Jamaica finally gained its independence, like many other countries, it faced overwhelming debt. As a result, the country turned to international lending organizations for help. However, the loans came with conditions that forced Jamaica into submission under foreign companies. Ultimately, the country's own resources and monetary system were completely undermined by foreign imports, and the country ultimately fell at the mercy of foreign Western capitalist nations.

Specifically, I'm trying to get at the issue of Western capitalist interests overpowering the national sovereignty of other countries. I'm talking about a blatant disregard for the culture, history, and identities of the locals who become unavoidably involved in Western capitalist affairs in such countries. In the specifics of the James Bond incident, I'm trying to point out that the filming of this movie cannot simply take place without imposing on the relations of the Chilean and Bolivian people implicated by the filming controversy.

These kinds of filmings are not uncommon, but we have to realize that taking such projects into a foreign country does not have the same effect as filming on some Los Angeles high school campus for some Hollywood teen movie. There is a heavy racial, cultural, and international clash that takes place--which the general Western capitalist public takes for granted.

After Hutton and King

Author Ron Jacobs writes about the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Hutton and concludes with this paragraph that I thought I'd share:
Despite the current campaign by Barack Obama for president, the vast majority of US residents of color are not faring that much better than they were in 1968. Legal apartheid no longer exists and attitudes towards race have progressed, but the economic facts of much of non-white America are appallingly similar to what they were forty years ago. Furthermore, the statistics regarding the imprisonment of black and Latino men in the United States provide concrete evidence that the mechanics of racial oppression still operate in this country. The criminal justice system continues to be the means by which the predominantly white and essentially racist power structure maintains its control over those who are poor and whose skin is darker in hue. Like I noted above, many of the same elements of US political and economic society that were served by the murder of Dr. King and the destruction of the Black Panther Party continue to be responsible for much of what goes on in those arenas to this day. No matter how one tries to portray the past forty years of this aspect of US history, it is clear that we have not reached the promised land.