N.A.M.E. Hope to see you there!

September 30, 2013

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION for MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION (NAME) 

23rd Annual International Conference

November 6-10

Oakland City Center Marriott Hotel & Oakland Convention Center

Over 200 workshops by people doing social justice and multicultural education work.

·        Keynote speakers include Carl Grant, James Banks, and Angela Davis.

·        Panels on Chicano-Latino teaching; on Asian American education; and on international issues (including guests from Venezuela, Palestine, and Korea).

·        Conference also includes intensive institutes, time to meet and share and act, social and cultural events, school and community visits, youth day and teacher day on Saturday.

Register at www.nameorg.org


Juvenile Solitary Confinement

September 29, 2013

What country is this???

 

On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePEf4cOisDk


The War to Explain the War against Viet Nam

September 23, 2013

Please sign on to this important initiative:

 

 

http://www.ncveteransforpeace.org/memorial/


Governments Lie!

September 22, 2013

Image
I know, it’s not big news.
But Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and Anonymous bring us fresh examples everyday—governments lie casually, gratuitously, aimlessly, and viciously.
All governments lie some of the time; some governments lie all of the time. The role of any honest or self-respecting journalist (thank you Amy Goodman!) is to find out what the lies are, who’s telling them and why. Journalists who fail to start there are simply stenographers for power, no matter how they pump up their image.


Putin Acheives the Impossible: The US Political Class Unites!

September 18, 2013

President Vladimir Putin managed to unite the entire chattering class from Fox News to MS-NBC, as well as politicians from the most liberal Democrats to the farthest right Republicans in their outrage and unanimous condemnation of the Russian head of state, by uttering a simple truth on the op-ed page of the New York Times:

It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too.

He’s right of course.

“American Exceptionalism,” in common with reactionary nationalism everywhere, insists on  seeing similar sets of facts in dramatically different ways: torture, rendition, imprisonment without trial, nuclear threat, manufacturing or storing chemical weapons, extrajudicial killings, assassinations, drone strikes and the bombing of civilians—all of this and more is condemned as evil or embraced as good by the governing class and its “amen chorus” of nationalist/patriots depending on only one item: who did the deed?

“American Exceptionalism” insists that our cause is always just, the American heart always pure, and “our” side always righteous. We won’t hold ourselves to the standards others must follow because we are the chosen ones, the superior group, above the law and common norms of behavior. We’re exceptional!

That’s nonsense; it’s the way of lawlessness, permanent war, crimes against humanity, and a breakdown of any hope for a world at peace and in balance.

The US should spend time practicing how to be a people among peoples, a nation among nations. We can start by agreeing with that short bit Putin wrote above. And we can then work toward discovering our own deepest humanity by fully embracing the humanity of all others.


A Quick Test!!

September 16, 2013

Quick!

Since Syria has signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC) bringing the number of states who are party to the CWC to 189, what state in the region has failed to ratify the Convention?

Got it?

OK, hint one: some hidden agreement or secret informal censor assures that you will hear no mention of this in the corporate media.

Now?

OK, hint two: it shares a border with Syria.

Still searching?

OK, hint three: beyond manufacturing and storing banned chemical weapons, it has a huge stockpile (officially unacknowledged) of banned nuclear weapons.

Right : it’s Israel.

Unless you embrace the perverse and racist idea of Israeli Exceptionalism—little cousin to American Exceptionalism—it’s time to push for a comprehensive ban.

Mindless, reactionary nationalism includes the manufactured and sometimes imposed capacity to see similar sets of facts in dramatically different ways. Torture, rendition, imprisonment without trial, nuclear threat, manufacturing or storing of chemical weapons, extrajudicial killings, assassinations, drone strikes and the bombing of civilians—all of this and more is condemned as evil or embraced as good by the governing class and its “amen chorus” of nationalist/patriots depending on only one item: who did the deed.

“Israeli Exceptionalism” like “American Exceptionalism” is the magic potion nationalist/patriots drink in order to justify these specific atrocities and other human rights violations when carried out by the Israeli or US states: the Israeli moves are always defensive and necessary, we are assured, the American cause is always just, the American heart always pure, and “our” side always righteous.

 


How the Anti-War Movement Won the Hearts and Minds of the Public by Bernardine Dohrn

September 15, 2013

 

A decade of protests paved the way for Americans to say ‘no’ to Syrian strikes.

 

This moment of popular resistance to the military option as the only option shows that what we do does make a difference. Not immediately. Not obviously. Not in a straight line.

Who knew there was a wide and deep anti-war consensus in the United States?!
 
Apparently not the president, who appears blindsided by the growing opposition to U.S. military attacks on Syria, nor the always hawkish Sens. McCain and Graham, who speak for the aging national security elite, nor the New York Times, which flacked for a violent strike on the first day of Obama’s war announcement but made an about-face the next day, running a devastating front-page photo of “rebel” forces executing their trussed, face-down young prisoners point-blank.
 
Indeed there is a freshly expansive, growing, tidal wave of sentiment that permanent war is neither in the interest of the American people nor the global community. It’s become evident to large sectors of the population that the long war of occupation in Afghanistan, now sputtering toward withdrawal of foreign troops, is a total disaster; the invasion and occupation of Iraq—based on fraudulent evidence—is a complete failure; the military rush to interfere in Libya will have blowback across Africa for decades; and U.S. military interventions and drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, Bahrain and Afghanistan continue to result in bitterness, widespread deaths, displacement, corruption and tyranny. People do not believe official promises that US military action will be either “surgical” or limited. They do believe that U.S. military attacks in Syria will surely lead to civilian deaths.
 
These are terrific victories for peace and social justice activists, and they are the fruit of years of work. Iraqi and Afghan veterans have agonizingly educated the American people about the harsh realities of war and return. The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington threw into sharp relief the linkages between war, poverty and injustice first identified by the Black Freedom Movement. As Dr. King put it, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government.” He continued, “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” 
 
Nor could the sea change in public sentiment have come about without the tens of thousands of small demonstrations by peace and justice activists, the anti-war contributions of musicians, playwrights, filmmakers and comedians, and the imagination and persistence of CodePink. It is clear, too, that the large and determined opposition to the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago—although forced to demonstrate inside a massive police occupation of an emptied and barricaded city at an enormous cost to taxpayers—educated the public and served notice that global military meetings would not be welcome in urban North America. Official talk about NATO has been muted in the current run-up to war. And the recent revelations about domestic and global spying have aroused resistance and diminished U.S. and corporate credibility.
 
Resistance to military recruitment in high schools across the country has made a difference as well. And a number of progressive struggles—for immigrant rights, for quality public education, for living wage jobs, for ending reliance on fossil fuels, for racial justice, for ending the carceral state, for dignity and equal rights, and for healthy food and safe water—have raised consciousness about how the furnaces of permanent war abroad and the national security state at home are usurping resources for basic human needs. People are increasingly saying, “Enough!”
 
This moment of popular resistance to the military option as the only option shows that what we do does make a difference. Not immediately. Not obviously. Not in a straight line. 
 
Greater moral imagination is required to create alternatives to missiles, drones, arial assaults and devastation. During the hundred days of the Rwandan genocide, U.N. General Dallaire noted that the world community could have saved lives and manifested its outrage by jamming Radio Rwanda’s airwaves to disrupt the continuous directions of who to kill. That would have been a non-violent, partial disruption of war crimes. But US military intervention and humanism almost never go hand-in-hand, no matter how passionate the “moral” rhetoric. It seems that great sectors of the US population has learned this, at a terrible costs to the people whose countries and lives have been ravaged.
 
But the people’s resistance to endless war, right here in the heart of empire, shows that our efforts toward peace and justice can take root. 
 
Amilcar Cabral wrote: “Claim no easy victories.” But also consider: Manifesting resistance to war and injustice creates waves and subverts what was once the the taken-for-granted.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Bernardine Dohrn is a social justice activist, children’s rights and international human rights law professor, writer and speaker. She lives in Chicago and has three sons and three grandchildren.