Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it

Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it:



Much of the existence of race can trace its origins to the colonization of the Americas. The categories and meanings of race have changed over time and geography. Suffice it to say, no one was white or black until the colonization process needed ways of differentiating various rights, privileges, social, and legal standings between various laborers. Fifteenth century European countries were not the modern nation states of today, so there was no concept of being “Italian,” for instance. People identified with regional areas, as Calabrese, Genoan, etc. When Europeans did use the term “race” it was employed to talk about tribal groups, such as the “Teutonic races” and while those categories might have been used as indicators of “types” they were by no means seen as limiting or indicative of innate inferiority. Religion and class were the most important divisions, and race as we know it had not been invented.

Police officers and pedestrians in Harlem, 1970. (Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)


It’s important to note that dating back to the first millennium AD, Africans existed in in Europe, and, from about 711 AD to 1492 most of Spain was under Moorish control. Consequently, the Spanish colonizers who ventured forth to “settle” lands outside of Europe did so while harboring color prejudice associated with their subjugation. But racial categories as we now know them, had not yet been used to justify the denial of basic rights, which were controlled through the church. By contrast, Europeans knew Africa to be a wealthy, advanced continent in many areas of development and education. When the American colonizers started the Atlantic slave trade, they weren’t simply grabbing people out of the trees, as many of us were led to believe. They were targeting well established kingdoms weakened by internal strife, with citizens who had the skills required to develop the colonial enterprises, including advanced agricultural practices, metallurgy, navigation and shipbuilding, as well as the resources from the lands themselves. Race didn’t begin to take on its modern meanings until the mid-16th century, and the terms and meanings that we now give to race in the U.S. weren’t concretized until the early 20th century.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pentagon Discloses Data on Sexual Assault Reports on Military Bases | Top News | US News

Pentagon Discloses Data on Sexual Assault Reports on Military Bases | Top News | US News:

#METOO



"According to the newly released data, a collection of U.S. bases in South Korea had a combined 211 reports of sexual assault while Norfolk had 270 reports of sexual assault in the 2016 fiscal year, which began in October 2015 and ended in September 2016. That is down slightly from 291 cases at Norfolk in 2015.



The Pentagon did not elaborate on the data but noted that the reports showed where a victim reported a sexual assault, not necessarily where the sexual assault occurred.



Sexual assault reports from other big bases in 2016 included: Fort Hood in Texas with 199 reports; Naval Base in San Diego, California, with 187 reports; Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with 169 reports; Camp Pendleton in California with 157 reports, and Fort Bragg in North Carolina with 146 reports.



The Pentagon announced earlier this year a record total of 6,172 sexual assault reports in 2016, compared with 6,082 the previous year. This was a sharp increase from 2012, when 3,604 cases were reported.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

What Harvey Weinstein tells us about the liberal world | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian

What Harvey Weinstein tells us about the liberal world | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian



"What explains Weinstein’s identification with progressive causes? Perhaps it was all about cozying up to power, the thrill of being a friend of Bill Clinton.



Perhaps it was all about moral absolution, in the same way that lists of corporations-that-care always turn out to be led by outfits like Walmart, Goldman Sachs and Exxon-Mobil. In the world of the wealthy, liberalism is something you do to offset your rapacious behavior in other spheres. It’s no coincidence that, in Weinstein’s desperate first response to the accusations against him, he thought to promise war against the National Rifle Association and to support scholarships for women.



But it’s also something deeper than that. Most people on the left think of themselves as resisters of authority, but for certain of their leaders, modern-day liberalism is a way of rationalizing and exercising class power. Specifically, the power of what some like to call the “creative class”, by which they mean well-heeled executives in industries like Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood.



Worshiping these very special people is the doctrine that has allowed Democrats to pull even with Republicans in fundraising and that has buoyed the party’s fortunes in every wealthy suburb in America.



That this strain of liberalism also attracts hypocrites like Harvey Weinstein, with his superlative fundraising powers and his reverence for “great artists”, should probably not surprise us. Remember, too, that Weinstein is the man who once wrote an essay demanding leniency for Roman Polanski, partially on the grounds that he too was a “great artist”.



Harvey Weinstein seemed to fit right in. This is a form of liberalism that routinely blends self-righteousness with upper-class entitlement. That makes its great pronouncements from Martha’s Vineyard and the Hamptons. That routinely understands the relationship between the common people and showbiz celebrities to be one of trust and intimacy."

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Let’s Try This Again, Olympia: Fully Fund Education Without Hurting Students of Color | South Seattle Emerald

Let’s Try This Again, Olympia: Fully Fund Education Without Hurting Students of Color | South Seattle Emerald: by Sharonne Navas and Rachael Myers



Come the start of the legislative session next week, elected representatives must come up with an additional $1 billion of funding by the start of next school year to fully fund education. This latest McCleary development gives Washington another chance to create an education system that equitably invests in…

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What White Marchers Mean for Black Lives Matter | South Seattle Emerald

What White Marchers Mean for Black Lives Matter | South Seattle Emerald: by Marcus Harrison Green (This article is published in conjunction with the Seattle Weekly) The cries rang out in unison throughout Seattle’s Central District. Black Lives Matter!!! And as my own voice joined the chorus of hundreds of other marchers, one next to me gave a heavy sigh. “You can’t go anywhere in Seattle without…

Monday, January 1, 2018

When Black Lives Mattered: Why Teach Reconstruction | Zinn Education Project

When Black Lives Mattered: Why Teach Reconstruction | Zinn Education Project: By Adam Sanchez



Every day seems to bring new horrors as the U.S. president’s racist rhetoric and policies have provided an increasingly encouraging environment for attacks on Black people and other communities of color. The acquittal of yet another police officer accused of murdering a Black man in St. Louis, the raging battle across the country over whether symbols of slavery should be removed from public spaces, and the formation of a “Commission on Election Integrity” to further suppress voting by people of color are just a few of the recent reminders that racism is as American as apple pie. In moments like these, it’s worth remembering a time in U.S. history when Black lives mattered.