From the Blog
In school I was taught the names
Columbus, Cortez, and Pizarro and
A dozen other filthy murderers.
A bloodline all the way to General Miles,
Daniel Boone and General Eisenhower.
No one mentioned the names
Of even a few of the victims.
But don’t you remember Chaske, whose spine
Was crushed so quickly by Mr. Pizarro’s boot?
What words did he cry into the dust?
What was the familiar name
Of that young girl who danced so gracefully
That everyone in the village sang with her–
Before Cortez’ sword hacked off her arms
As she protested the burning of her sweetheart?
That young man’s name was Many Deeds,
And he had been a leader of a band of fighters
Called the Redstick Hummingbirds, who slowed
The march of Cortez’ army with only a few
Spears and stones which now lay still
In the mountains and remember.
Greenrock Woman was the name
Of that old lady who walked right up
And spat in Columbus’ face. We
Must remember that, and remember
Laughing Otter the Taino who tried to stop
Columbus and was taken away as a slave.
We never saw him again.
In school I learned of heroic discoveries
Made by liars and crooks. The courage
Of millions of sweet and true people
Was not commemorated.
Let us then declare a holiday
For ourselves, and make a parade that begins
With Columbus’ victims and continues
Even to our grandchildren who will be named
In their honor.
Because isn’t it true that even the summer
Grass here in this land whispers those names,
And every creek has accepted the responsibility
Of singing those names? And nothing can stop
The wind from howling those names around
The corners of the school.
Why else would the birds sing
So much sweeter here than in other lands?
–Copyright 1993 by Jimmie Durham. Published in “Columbus Day,” West End Press, 1993. Used by permission. (West End Press, P.O. Box 27334, Albuquerque, NM 87125)
I’m enjoying reading Psychology of Liberation: Theory and Applications, edited by Maritza Montero and Christopher Sonn. But especially inspiring is the work of Ignacio Martin-Baro, the primary founder of liberation psychology. He was eventually murdered because of his work in critical social psychology. He was 47.
Here’s his explanation of Freire’s term “conscientization” (one of the most important words ever created):
“The human being is transformed through changing his or her reality, by means of an active process of dialogue in which there is a gradual decoding of the world, as people grasp the mechanisms of oppression and dehumanization. This opens up new possibilities for action where new knowledge of the surrounding reality leads to new self-understanding about the roots of what people are at present and what they could become.” (PL, 56)
You can read his work in Writings for a Liberation Psychology.
I’ll post more quotes along the way….
These folks are doing great work and I’m glad to support them. If you think torture yields actionable data or is useful, check out the real research and perspectives of intelligence folks. I think the moral arguments against torture are iron clad.
“There are only two feelings.
Love and fear.
There are only two languages.
Love and fear.
There are only two activities.
Love and fear.
There are only two motives, two procedures, two frameworks, two results.
Love and fear.
Love and fear.”
Undocumented immigrants are often controlled through fear. And the Un-Doc-U-Bus riders are showing that courage and love can indeed overcome fear and exclusion and hopefully change policy as well. I think this is a great action (one of the 198 nonviolent direct actions), what do you think?
I think this article speaks a crucial word into this conversation.
“Give us neither poverty nor riches, but our daily bread.” – Proverbs 30:8
Conservatives like House Speaker John Boehner say the government can’t raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires because they are “job creators.” Instead, House Republicans are once more calling for trillions in more tax cuts for the richest Americans.
That’s a big mistake. The “job creators” that Boehner doesn’t want to tax aren’t creating many jobs. Big corporations already are reaping record profits, sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, and shipping jobs abroad. Small businesses lack customers, not confidence.
But with 24 million people still in need of full-time work and the wealthiest 1 percent capturing a staggering 93 percent of the growth in income in 2010, most customers aren’t willing or able to spend more. In these circumstances, we’d be far better off investing in rebuilding the country and paying for it with higher taxes on the rich and the corporations. They aren’t putting their money to work, so we should do it for them.
This basic conservative belief in tax cuts is a theology based on faith, not evidence. When taxes were raised during Bill Clinton’s presidency, conservatives predicted a deep recession. Instead, the economy boomed and private investment took off. When taxes were cut under President George W. Bush, private investment and job growth were disappointing. But conservatives won’t let the facts get in the way of their gospel.
Conservative Republicans also claim that cutting government spending creates jobs, even in the midst of a recession. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said, “All of our efforts are centered around jobs — starting with cutting spending and federal regulations — to grow the economy so that people can get back to work.”
But this is just more nonsense. Cuts in government spending at the state level have killed hundreds of thousands of jobs as teachers, cops, and firefighters are laid off and contractors lose their contracts. Those layoffs not only hurt the economy, they slash services we rely on.
Conservatives argue that if we make wrenching cuts in spending, fire civil servants, force seniors to pay more for their health care and students to spend more on tuition, and promise never, never, never to raise taxes, businesses will gain the confidence to invest, despite the resulting government layoffs. But with high unemployment and stagnant incomes, businesses look to increase profits not by adding workers but by cutting costs. Instead of creating jobs, they’re firing workers and investing in cheaper labor abroad.
This conservative theology is squandering an extraordinary opportunity to rebuild America. Interest rates are near record lows, the construction industry is flat on its back, and our decrepit infrastructure — everything from roads to public transit to sewer systems — must be rebuilt.
We’ll never have a better opportunity to borrow money and make the investments we can’t avoid — and put people back to work at the same time. But instead of a major initiative to rebuild the country, the conservative Congress had a hard time even passing a small, short-term extension of a job-friendly transportation bill. No “job creator” would make that choice.
- Nick Hanauer: The Inequality Speech That TED Won’t Show You(delong.typepad.com)