“When I watch this video, I don’t see a car full of young men who are behaving in a manner consistent with fear of the police.”—
Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz in reference to a video where a car of young black men are stopped and harassed, one being pulled from the car and handcuffed, while the others sat under gunpoint. In the video the officer who drew his gun says, “I’ll put a fucking round in your ass so quick,” to one of the young men filming him.
Clearly, if you do not instantly and totally comply with a police officer’s violation of your rights, if you do not fear the police… you have the right to be made to fear them.
We see so many instances of violence against women blamed on the victims themselves, and domestic violence is no exception. A famous example of this involved actress Choi Jin-sil. Whilst going through her divorce in August 2004, she was beaten by her estranged husband, baseball player Jo Sung-min. Cho, like Kim Hyun-joong’s agency, told the media that it was a fair fight, because of course a slim actress would be an equal match to a professional sportsman. In response, Choi released pictures of her injured face to the public.
That action led her to being sued by one of her endorsers, Shinhan Engineering and Construction. The company argued that Choi had breached her contract because her actions — that is, making the fact that she had been a victim of domestic abuse public — had reflected badly upon the “moral and social reputation” of the company. Because, as in many nations, domestic abuse was (and still is) seen as a family matter, Choi was regarded unfavourably for bothering everyone by making her private affairs public.
Seemingly forever we are let down when the same monster of American sexism and racism betrays us again, again, again, and yes, again.
We still have not learned, but why we have not learned it is a question simple enough to answer if we understand the basic human needs of community and meeting all the material/emotional necessities therein. Being loved and valued is essential to our well-being. Having been born into a culture which marginalizes our human needs — for all but the few who narrowly fit its dogmatized narrative of humanity — changes nothing of those needs but the frequency at which they will never be met.
Because our natural needs have been and will continue to be exploited, the oppressed peoples of America… are faced with the impossible dilemma of seeking love and validation from a white supremacist hetero-patriarchal culture while simultaneously aiming to abolish it.
“And there it is. A nearly all-white crowd chanting to a nearly all-black crowd, “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!” Contemporary racism encapsulated by an attempt to package it as support for the police, exposed by calls to shoot black men.
“Soon, police vehicles reappeared, including from the St. Louis County Police Department, which had taken control of the investigation. Several officers emerged with dogs. What happened next, according to several sources, was emblematic of what has inflamed the city of Ferguson, Missouri, ever since the unarmed 18-year-old was gunned down: An officer on the street let the dog he was controlling urinate on the memorial site.”—Michael Brown’s Mom Laid Flowers Where He Was Shot - And The Police Crushed Them - Mark Follman (via corinnestark)
“… the core problem facing the Korean people for the past sixty-two years: the era of national division, of two Koreas, an anomaly for a people united across millennia of time and who formed the basic sinews of their nation long before European nation-states began to develop. To Americans this may seem like someone else’s problem, yet another tragic story from a distant country. But Americans first divided Korea, in the immediate aftermath of the atomic obliteration of Nagasaki. A charter member of the postwar “wise men” at the core of American foreign policy, John J. McCloy, instructed Dean Rusk and an Army colonel to go to an anteroom, find a map, and figure out a place to divide Korea. They chose the thirty-eighth parallel because it would put Seoul, the highly centralized capital city, in the American zone. So Dr. Paik’s book is also for American, who plunged into an unknown political, social, and cultural thicket in Korea in August 1945 and have yet to find a way out. Nearly 30,000 American troops remain stationed there, constituting a core element of Korea’s division system.
Why is it a division system? Paik was the first intellectual to grasp that both Koreas, North and South, participate in a symbiotic relationship designed not to bring about unification but to perpetuate division. These are two divided states within one nation, two highly organized but separate systems engaged every day in maintaining the status quo and enhancing their own status. Those who most vociferously rail against the other side are the true patriots, the ones most rewarded by the governments in Seoul and Pyongyang. Those who try to bridge the gap between the two Koreas are the most vulnerable—for decades the surest ticket to jail and personal oblivion in the South was to praise the North, and prison awaits anyone who in the North praises the South, even today. International forces also reinforce the Korean division: Korea is a central nation in the postwar world-system, one of the critical pivots, nodal points, and arenas wherein the structure of world politics was formed and sustained, made and remade. The thirty-eigth parallel, the unsettled Korean War, and the DMZ still retain an imminent power to destroy the system, at least in Northeast Asia if not the world. Again it is the United States that plays the greatest role here, as ally, backer, coach, sometime quarterback, and virtual creator of the Republic of Korea. Supporters of U.S. policy in Korea would say that we have been most steadfast and courageous in sticking by the ROK for so long. Paik Nak-Chung would say, you have helped perpetuate the very division that you authored.
This is not, however, another anti-American diatribe from an ungrateful ally. In truth the United States appears infrequently in this book. This is a complicated account of the myriad ways that national division has insinuated itself systemically into just about every facet of Korean life, and how in spite of so many mountainous obstacles, it might be overcome. It illustrates how so much that happens in Seoul and Pyongyang is oriented toward or caused by the other side, often unconsciously, as both states find themselves caught up in an interdependent—or, one might say, co-dependent—relationship. This book is a humble and self-critical excursion into theorizing how and why a division that Koreans say they hate, one that had no original rationale apart from the dictates of the Cold War and was supposed to be temporary, could not only last so long but become the structuring armature around which so much else is organized. Dr. Paik explains the systematic mechanisms by which the division system produces deformation in both Koreas and prevents both the ROK and the DPRK from being “self-complete” on their own terms.”—Bruce Cumings, Forward to The Division System in Crisis: Essays on Contemporary Korea by Paik Nak-Chung [read full online] (via koreaunderground)
White supremacy is not promoted by only whites. It has become a paradigm that many, inherently, adhere to. So targeting a specific group (whites) as the pretense to a social revolution is not the right step. IMO. Two wrongs do not make a right.
Let’s not confuse white supremacy with anti blackness. Yes, there is a lot of overlap, but when we talk about anti blackness specifically, yes, non-black PoC are responsible too; but it is not as if they (non-black PoC) maintain and wield a system of oppression like white supremacy. One is a racist system with immense power while the other, though it can feed into and replicate white supremacist thinking, is prejudice without institutional power of comparable magnitude. This is an essential distinction to make, and one that does not let white folks socialize the blame to effectively decouple themselves from a system of privilege which they clearly still maintain.
I think it’s fantasy that we can recoup the violating image and use it. I used to get so tired of people quoting Audre Lorde, the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house, but that was exactly what she meant, that you are not going to destroy this imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy by creating your own version of it. Even if it serves you to make lots and lots of money.
I’ve really been challenging people to think about, would we be at all interested in talking about Beyonce if she wasn’t so rich? Because I don’t think you can separate her class power and the wealth from people’s fascination with her. Here is a young black woman who is so incredibly wealthy, and wealthy is what so many young people fantasize, dream about, sexualize, eroticize, and one could argue that even more than her body, it’s what that body stands for. The body of desire fulfilled, that is, wealth, fame, celebrity, all the things that so many people in our culture are lusting for. If, let’s say, Beyonce was a homeless woman who looked the same way, or a poor, down and out woman who looked the same way, would people be enchanted by her? Or is it the combination of all of those things that are at the heart of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy?
And I’ve [been] saying, people of color, we are so invested in white supremacy, it’s tragic… I say to my students: Decolonize. But there’s also that price for decolonization. You’re not gonna have the wealth. You’re not gonna be getting your Genius award funded by the militaristic, imperialist MacArthur people. And I’m not saying anything negative about the people who receive those awards, but there is a price that comes with decentering, decolonizing, and part of what has to happen for us to be free is that we have to create our own standards of how to live.
[S]ymbolic annihilation… is one, not seeing yourself. But it’s also seeing yourself only denigrated, victimized etc., and what that does to you. And I think that, you know, we can talk about all the things that denigrate us, but I’d rather shift the camera, shift my gaze, and look for the images and the people and the places that feed me. And I really do think — you know you talked about children — the more we create our culture, our cultural images, the books you write, the films I make, the alternatives, that these are artifacts that live and they speak to people whether we are there or not — bodies of work, and that is critical.
So I want to give just one example. My daughter, she’s four… She’s never known me not working on the Angela Davis film which took eight years. She was so excited when I could show her the trailer… She watched that trailer over and over and over again. She had a favorite line, when Angela said “It’s genocide!” I was like THAT’S MY GIRL! She would point out all the characters. She loved going that’s Angela’s mom. So she created Angela’s family and a sense of community just by watching this thing over and over again.
But that’s not what I wanted to share. So she’s a little girl. She wants to be a Princess; I’m trying to convince her she wants to be a Warrior Princess… She woke up one morning and her hair was all out, you know, big — out, out, out. And usually that’s like “Oh mom my hair’s too puffy.” …And this morning after watching the trailer over and over and over again she said “I have Angela Davis hair!”
So I thought I was making this political crime drama with a love story at the center, etc., etc., etc., but I was also making another image for young people to see and to perhaps relate to, and I was blown away because I can tell her she’s beautiful all day long. I’m her mom, doesn’t count. It doesn’t, it doesn’t. So the more we create the alternative universe, which then becomes the universe.
But equating the two is Netanyahu’s latest way of hypnotizing people into supporting the Gaza war. He gets away with it because people are afraid that if they challenge this idiotic slogan, they’ll be accused of ‘defending Hamas.’
Anybody who isn’t a shill for Israel can see through Netanyahu’s new slogan,“Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas.” It’s such a crude attempt to brainwash people, to put the most horrifying image in their minds and associate it with Gaza, thereby cleansing Israel of those images of Gaza’s agony. Like he’s been doing his whole career, Netanyahu is insulting people’s intelligence, treating them like children, selling them the war with a short little singsong slogan they can all remember.
And he gets away with it, because people won’t challenge this idiocy for fear they’ll be accused of “defending Hamas.” Well, if anybody accuses me of defending Hamas in what I’m about to write, I accuse them in turn of supporting the war in Gaza because they enjoy seeing Palestinian children killed. One claim is as fair as the other.
A fighter from the Islamic State stands in front of a tank.
Just to be clear, I know very well that Hamas is a brutal, dictatorial organization; the term “Islamofascist” is indeed descriptive of its character. So in that limited sense, it’s the same as ISIS.
But the difference between Hamas and ISIS in the degree of their brutality, and in their strength, is so great as to be a qualitative difference.
“Hamas, like ISIS, is persecuting minorities,” Netanyahu said over the weekend.But there are churches in Gaza, Christians attend them freely, there is a seat in the Gazan legislature reserved for a Christian – that’s night and day from the way ISIS treats Christians, isn’t it?
About Hamas’ executions in recent days of some 25 suspected collaborators, it’s a sickening reminder of this organization’s ruthlessness – but the fact is that the prestate Zionist underground organizations Irgun and Lehi executed many suspected Jewish collaborators. They also deliberately bombed crowds of civilians, hid behind their own civilian population, and had maximalist territorial goals. The Irgun and Lehi, the progenitors of Likud, practiced what could be called “Judeofascism,” and, minus the religious fundamentalism, could be compared to Hamas. But like Hamas, they could not be compared to ISIS.
A fighter from the Islamic State.
If Netanyahu really believed Hamas is ISIS, would he have sent a delegation to negotiate with Hamas and offer it concessions in Cairo? Would he have reached a ceasefire agreement with Hamas after Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012? If Hamas is ISIS, would a “senior Israel Defense Forces officer” have told this to Britain’s Financial Times in March:
Today we can describe Hamas as a much more restrained, much more responsible organisation than it used to be a decade or two decades ago – this all in light of their statehood experience. This has made them much more responsible, much more cautious.
And if Netanyahu thought Hamas is ISIS, would his goal in the current war, at least until now, have been leaving Hamas severely weakened – but still strong enough to go on running Gaza and keeping it out of the hands of ISIS’s global jihadist allies?
Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrate in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, Nablus, West Bank, August 15, 2014.
But for all those differences, the decisive one between Hamas and ISIS, of course, is that Hamas represents a nation under foreign rule, which means Hamas is fighting a war of self-defense against Israel. ISIS is trying to take over a nation, or nations, that are beset by civil war, so ISIS, being the most murderous, totalitarian and feared of any of the factions, is fighting a war of aggression.
Compare: ISIS is a threat to take over all of Iraq (and maybe later Syria); Hamas isn’t a threat to take over a blade of grass in Israel.
And there’s one more answer to Netanyahu’s attempt to justify the war by equating Hamas with ISIS – is the Palestinian Authority ISIS, too? Is Mahmoud Abbas also ISIS? If Netanyahu can’t deal with Hamas, why couldn’t he deal with the PA? If Hamas is the problem, why does Israel maintain a military dictatorship over the West Bank, where the PA has worked with the IDF and Shin Bet for the last decade to shut Hamas down?
For Netanyahu, ISIS is a red herring, and so is Hamas – Netanyahu is fighting in Gaza to defend the occupation, and he would fight to defend it against any Palestinian challenger. Yes, Hamas is an organization of brutal, ruthless fascists, but so were any number of national liberation movements – that didn’t make the foreign occupation of their countries and the wars fought to maintain those occupations any more just. The slogan “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas” is just another cynical ploy by Netanyahu to blind some people to what Israel is doing in Gaza, and to intimidate the others who see into keeping quiet about it.
Several dozen people have gathered by the reinforced checkpoint at the entrance to the rebel-occupied special services (SBU) building here. It is 6 p.m, but the August heat is still stifling. The people, most of them women, wait in silence, their eyes downcast. They are waiting for The List.
“Is this the place where they read the list of captives?” I whisper to three women huddled on a small bench, a few steps away from numerous camouflage-clad guards with Kalashnikov assault rifles. “Have they taken someone from you too?” one of the women, Anna, whispers back.
When I explain that I am here to document illegal detentions, hostage-taking, and other abuses, two of the women jump up and walk away, merging with the crowd, but Anna stays put. “Yes, every night, between 6 and 7, an SBU representative comes out and reads the updated list of those who they’re holding. They took my husband away last night. If he’s being held here his name should be on the list. If not I’ll just keep looking. They have such prisons in several other places around town. Also, they take some of the captives outside Donetsk.”