links for 2011-01-21

  • "Yesterday marked the second day of coordinated civil disobedience at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras as part of a strike that protests an $800 fee that some say is aimed at making the constitutional protected right to education in Puerto Rico a privilege. "This is a struggle that has been going on for months with very little coverage in the U.S. media even though Puerto Rico is a colony of the U.S. I ask again, were this happening at a university in Indiana, would it be so ignored?"
  • "Last month Abercrombie vowed to find another official record of Obama's birth in the state's archives, and find it he did. On Tuesday he announced that they had found documentation that "actually exists in the archives, written down." Will this stop the Birthers? Of course not. But it was kind of Abercrombie to try."
  • "The NAACP is 102 years old right now. And for 102 years, it's been fighting white supremacy. It's done it in different ways at different times. Almost all of these years, it's spent litigating against segregation. It still does that today, or against discrimination. It's spent all of these years making sure that barriers to [voter] registration are removed. It's still doing that today. So though it's hard to imagine, the role of the NAACP today is not very different from the role of the NAACP in 1909, when it was founded.

    "Of course circumstances are different. Of course this is a different country. But still, its mission is almost exactly the same. And to believe that because a black man is president, or we have a black woman as head of Xerox [Ursula M. Burns], that we don't need this organization is a serious mistake."

  • "The inquest process is all about putting the dead man/woman, in this case John T. Williams, on trial — a fundamental disrespect, as well as deprivation of due process. As the saying goes, “dead men tell no tales,” and in the inquest Ian Birk spread as many dubious ideas, inconsistencies, and stereotypes as he could about this dead Native man in hopes of saving his own skin. In this instance, however, the dead man does tell us all a story.

    "He tells us that his carving knife was never a threat — his small knife, contrary to Ian Birk, was not open. He tells us that he was not walking toward Ian Birk as Birk contended — he was shot in the side four times. Most importantly, John T. Williams reminds us of the lesson of Lord Amherst: Do not accept or even feign belief in this process; these people show absolutely no humanity or honesty when their own are threatened. Watch out for these men and women who shoot first and ask questions last — they do not have your best interests at heart."