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.
Just days ago thousands took to the streets in yet another March Against Monsanto, yet many people still don't understand what Monsanto is and what it's doing to our food supply. Take ten minutes and learn the truth.
African Americans and Latin Americans have been oppressed for centuries, and yet still has there not been any change. Many people of the United States blame the individual for being oppressed, jailed, or murdered. These ethnicities and races are still oppressed by the system. Not in a matter of slavery or segregation, but in the matter of poverty, discrimination and classism. I agree that wars and revolutions have made change over the past years, but not enough change that we are able to stand by the 14th amendment that guarantees civil rights for all Americans.
Poverty has been a huge effect around the world, but specifically in the city of San Francisco. According to a US Economic Inequality article, statistics show that the 1% of rich Americans are getting richer and the poor are even more poor.
On 22 May 2013 I wrote an analysis titled “Staying Sober.” It recounted two news stories that drew many hopeful comments from progressives. One was about the New York-based federal judge who placed an injunction on the U.S. government’s practice of indefinite detention. The other was the momentary success of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons at attaining some relief from their intolerable conditions. They too were protesting, among other things, that country’s version of indefinite detention.
I noted that these were battles won and precedents to take heart from. They showed what was possible through determined opposition against unjust state practices. However, winning battles is not equivalent to winning wars, so it would be wise to celebrate soberly, knowing the struggles were not over.
The announcement that the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) took many by surprise. The consensus choice seemed to be the young female education activist, Malala Yousafzai. The selection of OPCW, however, fits the Norwegian Nobel Committee's history of awarding the Prize to global institutions that pursue the broad goal of the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
The complexities and contradictions of global politics can often lead to cynicism. No one can be trusted, violence is endemic, and international organizations are too incompetent to do anything about it. Just a month ago the United States was on the brink of war, once again using the threat of its military might to try to force its desired outcome.
According to Bill O'Reilly, a syndicated columnist and also the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor, the reason Trayvon Martin died is because he dressed a certain way. And that way is how "gangstas" look, so therefore he got attention and for that reason he lost his life. As he states on his show, "It would be nice if they did extend the story into the why of it rather than the what of it. The cause and effect needs to be addressed. If you want to stop these things then you have to solve the problem, which is not white people hunting down blacks." If the idea of racism was analyzed more in depth I think a lot of people's views would be different. The fact that Trayvon was a child was forgotten and the system once again refused justice to another African American young man.
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."
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).
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.
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!”