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.

Oct 15

Unjust Deaths

By Leslie Jarquin, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Many African American young adults have found no reason to stay in school and get an education while they keep hearing in the news about the "stand your ground" excuse used by white officers who have killed young African American teens in our society.

Adam Hudson states: "1 black man is killed in the US every 28 hours by police or vigilantes: America is perpetually at war with its own people. From the war on drugs to the war on terror, law enforcement's battle against minorities serves as pacification."

Scouring media outlets nationwide, it is evident that Operation Streamline – which was shut down by human rights activists on Oct 11 in Tucson – remains “America’s dirty little secret.”
One of the media outlets reporting on this unprecedented action – which included blocking the entrance to the federal courthouse’s parking lot – plus the disabling of two immigration buses – elicted this response from readers:
“They should be shot on site.”
“Just run them over.”

Although most  polls indicate that Americans are putting the blame on Republicans for the government shutdown in terms of actual politics, the Republicans are winning. The debt ceiling is a quintessential example of the failure of leftism under both the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Obama has lost Waxman-Markey (climate change), Manchin-Toomey (gun control and the Gang of Eight (Immigration). Dodd-Frank (finance reform) has been dismantled and hasn't even begun to correct the damage wrecked by Gramm-Leach-Bliley (which repealed Glass-Steagall) and the Commodities Modernization Act (deregulating derivatives).

Oct 14

Bullying and the Power of Pity

By Max Eternity, The Eternity Group | Opinion

Pity is a powerful tool. And President Obama wields it with might—saying recently that the Republicans are just trying to mess with me”—in his ongoing I’m-the-good-guy posturing with a Republican party that seems very happy to oblige the boogeyman bully role.

It’s a cruel joke played by both parties, and the lot of us—the 99%, as it were—are the butt of it.

Reckless governance with no impunity is on the menu today, and the current government [show off?] shutdown is symptomatic of that.

Read the headlines. It’s all there.

Oct 14

Ali: "You Must Listen to Me"

By Paul Thomas, The Becoming Radical | Opinion

From March 1967 to October 1970, Muhammad Ali lived in America the Beautiful, not as a free man, but as the embodiment of Baldwin’s declaration in 1972. Ali as African American and Black Muslim was trapped between the rule of law and his own code of ethics—which he explained as alternatives:

I have two alternatives: either go to jail or go to the army. But I would like to say that there is another alternative: and that alternative is justice.

This Ali in a suit and tie behind a microphone, glancing down to read from his prepared statement, stood in stark contrast to the Ali draped in a towel and swarmed in the boxing ring where he declared, “I shook up the world!”


  1. Government by the wealthy.
  2. A country or society governed in this way.

The big pigs and bigger pigs jostled each other at the trough Tuesday October 8 as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in what has become its annual dismantling of campaign finance law.  There is not much such law left to dismantle, so this contest concerns very few people: those who want to more effectively buy public policy for profit by spending on federal elections every two years more than double the U.S. median income.

Oct 11

The Standoff: The House and Obama

By Lee R. Haven, Truthout | Writing

“I’m going to kill you.”
“Uh, why?”
“I don’t like you and what you stand for.”
“But a lot of people think I’m OK, or at least they tolerate me.”
“They're crazy too. I’m going to shoot you. That will be the method.”
“But that’d be against the law.”
“OK, let’s negotiate.”

Oct 09

What Happened to Change?

By Karina Dominguez, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Are we suppressing ourselves or is the government the cause of our suppression? Statistics show that Black and Latinos make up 30% of the US population, but are 61% of the incarcerated population! The percentage practically doubles. This clearly shows that there is something peculiar going on. How is the percentage of colored people in jail larger than the actual percentage of colored people? I'm all for individual responsibility, but with the way our system is set up, how do they expect people to help themselves when they are doing everything they can to constrain the people? The system claims to help and protect society but in reality they are the main ones against them. The system is the enemy.

The Mediterranean is nearly a locked sea between the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia. The fourteen kilometers-Strait of Gibraltar, the Greeks' Pillars of Hercules, connects the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. The Greeks considered the Pillars to be the western end of the known world.

The Mediterranean is more than a sea. Pregrad Matvejevic, a Central European writer from the Pannonian plains of Croatia, insists that the Mediterranean is also more than geography, history, and national cultures.

This morning we lost without a doubt the biggest, bravest, and brashest personality in the political prisoner world. It is with great sadness that we write with the news of Herman Wallace's passing.

Herman never did anything half way. He embraced his many quests and adventures in life with a tenacious gusto and fearless determination that will absolutely never be rivaled. He was exceptionally loyal and loving to those he considered friends, and always went out of his way to stand up for those causes and individuals in need of a strong voice or fierce advocate, no matter the consequences.