Back When Nelson Mandela Was a Terrorist…
Posted on May 26th, 2010 at 4:38 pm by Steve

The government of Israel agreed to sell nuclear-armed Jericho missiles to the apartheid South African government in 1974.

London’s Guardian revealed on Sunday evidence that Shimon Peres signed a top-secret agreement with P. W. Botha to sell to South Africa the long-range Jericho nuclear missiles and warheads. Both men were the Defense Ministers of their respective nations, and each would later become head of state. Peres and the Israeli government deny that such an agreement ever existed. Ultimately, South Africa chose not to purchase the missiles from Israel, and later developed its own nuclear weapons. (The musical satirist Tom Lehrer joked in 1967 of their nuclear ambitions, “South Africa wants two – that’s right! – one for the black and one for the white!”)

Adding yet another layer of painful irony, in a letter to South Africa’s Secretary for Information in 1974, Shimon Peres wrote,

“This cooperation is based not only on common interests and on the determination to resist equally our enemies, but also on the unshakeable foundations of our common hatred of injustice and our refusal to submit to it.

Indeed, one can only imagine “the unshakeable foundations of common hatred (…)” that Israel and apartheid South Africa shared.

And so it goes.

?uestlove Has a Twitter Feed
Posted on February 5th, 2010 at 5:00 pm by Steve

?uestlove has a Twitter photo feed:

That is all.

“I’m Not Fearing Any Man!”
Posted on February 5th, 2010 at 11:59 am by Steve

Via dj/rupture comes Auto-Tune the News’ songification of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech in Memphis, the night before he was killed:

When Do I Get to Vote on Your Marriage?
Posted on November 4th, 2009 at 4:26 pm by Steve

Maine repeals its same-sex marriage law, 53-47.

Makes me wonder what that dusty old Supreme Court ruling, Loving v Virginia, really means:

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

Could the voters of Virginia have voted in 1968 to amend their state constitution, to reinstate their ban on interracial marriage?

Diversity != Equality
Posted on August 28th, 2009 at 4:13 pm by Steve

“Good” Hair
Posted on August 11th, 2009 at 10:32 pm by Steve

The invaluable Pam Spaulding (of Pam’s House Blend) is guest-blogging for Glenn Greenwald this week. (For those out of that particular “know,” Pam is an out & proud woman of color who hosts some of the most insightful and respectful discussions of race, gender, and sexuality over at The Blend).

Pam highlights the upcoming comedy/documentary produced by Chris Rock, called Good Hair. Have a look:

It’s a Crime to Be Broke In America
Posted on August 11th, 2009 at 10:13 am by Steve

Barbara Ehrenrich writes an op-ed for the New York Times that tries very hard to wake up the paper’s elite readers to the desperate reality of poverty in America:

Al Szekely… A grizzled 62-year-old, he inhabits a wheelchair and is often found on G Street in Washington — the city that is ultimately responsible for the bullet he took in the spine in Fu Bai, Vietnam, in 1972. He had been enjoying the luxury of an indoor bed until last December, when the police swept through the shelter in the middle of the night looking for men with outstanding warrants.

It turned out that Mr. Szekely, who is an ordained minister and does not drink, do drugs or curse in front of ladies, did indeed have a warrant — for not appearing in court to face a charge of “criminal trespassing” (for sleeping on a sidewalk in a Washington suburb). So he was dragged out of the shelter and put in jail. “Can you imagine?” asked Eric Sheptock, the homeless advocate (himself a shelter resident) who introduced me to Mr. Szekely. “They arrested a homeless man in a shelter for being homeless.”

The viciousness of the official animus toward the indigent can be breathtaking. A few years ago, a group called Food Not Bombs started handing out free vegan food to hungry people in public parks around the nation. A number of cities, led by Las Vegas, passed ordinances forbidding the sharing of food with the indigent in public places, and several members of the group were arrested. A federal judge just overturned the anti-sharing law in Orlando, Fla., but the city is appealing. And now Middletown, Conn., is cracking down on food sharing.

Of course, Michael Franti had this beat well-covered back in 1994:

Theories of “Just War” Are Bullshit
Posted on May 21st, 2009 at 1:49 pm by Steve

Every time the American War Machine™ revs up, we are deluged by arguments appearing in the press about whether or not the pending military action qualifies as a “Just War.” Invariably, the answer is, Yes!

The next time someone tries to convince you that a war is “just” by some philosophical, religious, or moral principle, you can trot out this quote, from a discussion of traffic in human slaves:

Papal blessing was given to this traffic in a bull* of 1442, which proclaimed that enslaving Africans fell within the limits of a ‘just war’.

That’s from Slavery and the British Empire, a scholarly work by Kenneth Morgan, published by Oxford University Press.

*Has there ever been a more apt phrase for a religious edict than “Papal Bull”?

Obama Endorses “States’ Rights”
Posted on May 7th, 2009 at 11:05 am by Steve

Governor George Wallace (above, left), on the subject of racial segregation:

Integration is a matter to be decided by each state. The states must determine if they feel it is of benefit to both races.

President Obama (above, right), via spokesman Robert Gibbs, on the subject of marriage equality:

The President believes this is an issue that’s best addressed by the states.

Not that I’m surprised, mind you.

Obama Brings Racial Unity to Morning TV
Posted on November 25th, 2008 at 2:07 pm by dr.hoo

Snoop banging out the mizzle potizzle wizzle Martha Stizzle…

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