A time to tear down

I can concede that 1776 may have been the time that tried men’s souls but it’s 2014 that be trying our bodies and minds as well. From the shame of poor teeth to the unraveling of a colonized mind to cotton field capitalism, we are all feeling the effects of concentrated opulence and diluted scarcity to varying degrees. In Missouri, Governor Nixon has declared a state of emergency before the verdict is even in to deal with those uppity residents in Ferguson. In Michigan, a court ruled against those uppity students in the Great Lakes by finding the state “has no constitutional requirement” to provide a quality education. It’s too bad that the citizens of Missouri and Michigan aren’t people corporations.  On a slightly less trying note, selected prisoners in San Quentin are learning to code while the city of Baltimore is discussing ways to house the homeless. In the midst of such turbulent waters, the bards and minstrels are needed more than ever to help us to transcend and overcome our circumstances. So kick back, relax and forget your own trying times, at least, for the next 6 minutes and 43 seconds. I think we all know the answer to one of the lines…Mother, should I trust the government?

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Same as it ever was

(Photo credit: Indybay.org)

(Photo credit: Indybay.org)

The oppressors do not favor promoting the community as a whole, but rather selected leaders.

-Paulo Freire

It’s hard to believe that it is already November in the land of milk and (cancelled) Honey Boo Boo. This is a surreal time of year as America prepares to celebrate a major holiday based on historical untruths while being simultaneously bombarded by the corporate media outlets with present day untruths. While families from sea to shining sea gear up to give thanks for their daily bread and genetically modified turkeys, the indigenous peoples prepare to once again observe a Day of Mourning. Yet, we continue to teach the myth in our public schools that the pilgrim lay down with the injun’ and everyone lived happily ever after. Fast forward to the year 2014 and the American public is now being inundated with reports and images of “insurgents” and “rebel groups” hell bent on imposing their will from Ukraine to Syria. All while ignoring the inconvenient truth that the intelligence and military apparatus of the U.S. are training and funding these groups. Since so many Americans, including myself, have emerged from the public school system with a stunted worldview, we have failed to put events into their proper context.

We need rewind the tapes only a few decades to see that history does, in fact, repeat itself with America once again propping up dictators by supporting insurgent groups. In Latin America, from the 1970′s to the 1990′s, we see the chilling template the U.S. Army and intelligence agencies would later use to fight the nascent war on terror. The School of the Americas (SOA) was founded in 1946 and housed at the U.S. Army base at Fort Benning, Georgia. Here, members of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies trained foreign soldiers in counterinsurgency and psychological warfare. According to SOA Watch, the soldiers were trained in “counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics.” Field manuals and training documents have been obtained that reveal the breadth and scope of the SOA’s mission. The U.S.-trained soldiers both shocked and awed the people of targeted countries by singling out “educators, union organizers, religious workers and student leaders who worked on behalf of the most vulnerable people.”

(Photo credit: DC Protests)

(Photo credit: DC Protests)

The SOA’s formation coincided with the founding of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Band in 1945. These two organizations have played a crucial role in placing “developing” countries under the heel of Western financial interests in the City of London and Wall Street, through the issuing of crippling loans packaged as bailouts. We see these same interests at play in Europe where austerity measures have pummeled the people of Spain, Greece and Ireland. In the 70′s and 80′s, countries across South and Central America would bear the brunt of the burdens. It is underestimated that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.” The influx of immigrants from Central America can be traced directly to the actions of SOA graduates. The macabre mashup of Call of Duty meets Apocalypse Now was nicknamed the “school of the assassins” and benefitted from the lessons learned by the French in suppressing independence movements in Southeast Asia.

(Photo credit: BPFNA)

(Photo credit: BPFNA)

Like a good neighbor…the state is there to keep order on the global block. There are many who have realized the three-headed hydra of capitalism, militarism and imperialism that the SOA/WHINSEC represents. Shutting down the “school” is just one step in slaying the beast with three heads. Putting history in it’s proper context is critical to analyzing current events, whether it be immigration or the Islamic State. There have been trials for some of the architects of the human rights violations in Guatemala and El Salvador but the SOA/WHINSEC has operated with virtual impunity. Archbishop Romero’s words speak to our consciences, “I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God’s words, ‘thou shalt not kill.’ No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you; in the name of God I command you to stop the repression.”

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

_________________

For further information and resources: SOA Watch: Close the School of the Americas

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Jeffster Awards #37

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

This is the next installment of an ongoing series at Deconstructing Myths…the Jeffster Awards! This award will be given on an ongoing basis to five outstanding blog posts that caught my wandering eye. There are no strings attached or requirements for reciprocation. I don’t have time to comment on other blogs as much I’d like to so the least I can do is direct readers to some of these outstanding writers, poets, and visual artists. Please direct all feedback (likes, comments, follows) to the blogs themselves. I hope you enjoy these exemplary posts as much as I did. So, without further ado, here are the recipients of this week’s Jeffster Awards…hot off the (Word)presses.

This Changes Everything at Mainstream Permaculture

War in the Time of Ebola at Just Sham It

actually, it’s about ethics in games at kung-fu lasers

“Causal Links” — Summer Sermon 8/10/2014 at Theology in Action

Photography and its therapeutic properties at Street Wolf Photography

_________________

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Longform: Like Something the Lord Made

Say his name, and the busiest heart surgeons in the world will stop and talk for an hour. Of course they have time, they say, these men who count time in seconds, who race against the clock. This is about Vivien Thomas. For Vivien they’ll make time.Dr. Denton Cooley has just come out of surgery, and he has 47 minutes between operations. “No, you don’t need an appointment,” his secretary is saying. “Dr. Cooley’s right here. He wants to talk to you now.”Cooley suddenly is on the line from his Texas Heart Institute in Houston. In a slow Texas drawl he says he just loves being bothered about Vivien. And then, in 47 minutes—just about the time it takes him to do a triple bypass—he tells you about the man who taught him that kind of speed.No, Vivien Thomas wasn’t a doctor, says Cooley. He wasn’t even a college graduate. He was just so smart, and so skilled, and so much his own man, that it didn’t matter.And could he operate. Even if you’d never seen surgery before, Cooley says, you could do it because Vivien made it look so simple.

Vivien Thomas and Denton Cooley both arrived at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1941—Cooley to begin work on his medical degree, Thomas to run the hospital’s surgical lab under Dr. Alfred Blalock. In 1941 the only other black employees at the Johns Hopkins Hospital were janitors. People stopped and stared at Thomas, flying down corridors in his white lab coat. Visitors’ eyes widened at the sight of a black man running the lab. But ultimately the fact that Thomas was black didn’t matter, either. What mattered was that Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas could do historic things together that neither could do alone.

Together they devised an operation to save “Blue Babies”—infants born with a heart defect that sends blood past their lungs—and Cooley was there, as an intern, for the first one. He remembers the tension in the operating room that November morning in 1944 as Dr. Blalock rebuilt a little girl’s tiny, twisted heart.

He remembers how that baby went from blue to pink the minute Dr. Blalock removed the clamps and her arteries began to function. And he remembers where Thomas stood—on a little step stool, looking over Dr. Blalock’s right shoulder, answering questions and coaching every move.

“You see,” explains Cooley, “it was Vivien who had worked it all out in the lab, in the canine heart, long before Dr. Blalock did Eileen, the first Blue Baby. There were no ‘cardiac experts’ then. That was the beginning.”

A loudspeaker summons Cooley to surgery. He says he’s on his way to do a “tet case” right now. That’s tetralogy of Fallot, the congenital heart defect that causes Blue Baby Syndrome. They say that Cooley does them faster than anyone, that he can make a tetralogy operation look so simple it doesn’t even look like surgery. “That’s what I took from Vivien,” he says, “simplicity. There wasn’t a false move, not a wasted motion, when he operated.”

But in the medical world of the 1940s that chose and trained men like Denton Cooley, there wasn’t supposed to be a place for a black man, with or without a degree. Still, Vivien Thomas made a place for himself. He was a teacher to surgeons at a time when he could not become one. He was a cardiac pioneer 30 years before Hopkins opened its doors to the first black surgical resident.

Those are the facts that Cooley has laid out, as swiftly and efficiently as he operates. And yet history argues that the Vivien Thomas story could never have happened.

Continue reading

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Mic check: Peter Schreiner

 

behind-the-vote

Election Day

by Peter Schreiner

To vote or not, is a question in the mind of some.

But it is not in mine.

I will not vote.

I’ll share my reason with the more than average aware reader of Deconstructing Myths, in the hope I not waste your time. But first, know that I’m not assessing your character. If you chose to vote, it is your so-called right and privilege, and I encourage everyone to do what he or she believes right, given due consideration.

And there lie the crux, the unknown ramifications of our blind participation and obedient vote.

Myself, I’ve not seen a ballot since I punched one for Bush Sr. I am ashamed by offering the dolt my vote, but in the end, it didn’t matter. For one, American government is a two-head, one body political monster, and all presidential candidates, senators, most congressman and governors are thug excretion seeped out of the same secret society septic sewer system. And too, this little insignificant matter, people don’t elect presidents. Never have. Believe what you may, the Electoral College is not obligate to your vote.

Of course, this isn’t a presidential election, just more of the same without the presidential hoopla affixed.

It is the same pomp, pageantry, and propaganda in lower form.

It is the same incomprehensible spending.

The same blah, blah, blah bullshit lies, hypocrisy, and never-intended-to-keep promises.

The same after election diminishing services and escalating taxes, fines, fees, fares, permits, penalties, licensing, tolls, et cetera to keep war machine oiled and tuned, and their coffers overflowing in blood money—and do they ever overflow, both blood and money.

It is the same murderous genocidal policies of the ages, only growing in scale.

The same voter expectancy followed by the same voter disillusionment, year after tireless year.

I imagine it a typical anarchist mentality that I not vote, but that’s not my reason. Mine is a moral decision, and not unlike my motive for adopting veganism: I make conscious effort to eliminate any participation, compliancy, and acquiescence to cruel, inhumane, and murderous acts of any sort to any being, either directly or indirectly, wherever and whenever possible.

And for this reason too, as with all governments, the United States government doesn’t work.

But that’s not entirely true, is it?

Rather they not work for the people, the proletarian.

I like that word, proletarian. It has a sense about it that typifies today’s American in the context of Orwell’s 1984, and in so many ways. The proles, the working class, the backbone of the country, the workers who keep gears greased, wheels turning, who take out the garbage and empty their shit-pots. Without us where would these sleazebags rulers, greedy bankers, and corporate gangsters be? One would think that with such honorable responsibilities as we proles have heaped upon us, carrying the country upon our shoulders, these ingrates would respect us a little more; insure our happiness, give to the will of We the People, that sort of thing. Maybe even throw us a cookie every now and then.

But that’s not how they do slaves.

And I regret to say, we are nothing but indebted serfs. Attached to the land of our masters, the bankers, the corporations and their government stooges, and from cradle to grave it is thus and not just for our labor and money—hell, that’s the easy part—but our children and grandchildren we give so patriotically to their war effort; as cannon fodder, bodies to stop bullets and absorb shrapnel, and thus to further bolster the medical and pharmaceutical cartels upon their return, if they return.

And try as it may, a vote can’t fix that.

It only affirms the system, the system that imbues the voter with a false sense of ownership in the country.

But we own nothing; they own us, they own it all.

They do as they well please. And leave us with only the fanciful notion that we had a say in the matter. And so we wear our “I Voted” buttons proudly pasted to our chest as though we have done our duty and lend voice to the system.

Had we voice, do you imagine we would choose war over peace?

No, most of us would not.

In that regard, here’s an interesting tidbit:

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the Christmas of 1914, during World War 1, along the western front a widespread and unofficial ceasefire took place, known as the Christmas truce. Leading up to Christmas, German and British soldiers began singing carols and exchanging greetings from within their trenches. The tension was so relieved that officers could not keep their soldiers on either side from climbing out of their trenches, without weapons, and greeting one another in no-mans-land; they exchanged food and gifts, and even played a game of football (soccer) together.

The next day, both sides refused to fire the first shot. Not until troop replacements arrived did fighting resume. Henceforth, high command on both sides prohibited such fraternizing with the enemy, an act of treason. Source: New York Parade Publications Dec. 20, 1981 p. 12, via The Gods of Eden, William Bramley.

But ask yourself, who really is the enemy?

War and division is not of our doing, it is the work of authority, the elected officials to serve not us but rather the insatiable lust of the elites.

War should be nothing but a last resort and only then in the defense of one’s country (by hell we shouldn’t even have countries, but rather unities). What manner of freedom is it that sends their children off to foreign lands to kill and die in senseless wars of aggression? What twisted or mislead sense of submissive lends its endorsement to this way of rule?

Any why have they such a fixation with war?

Just as General Smedley Butler said in his book, “War is a Racket,” war is a racket. After his career in the military, as the most decorated marine of all time, he awoke and began speaking against war and its profiteering scumbags.

Still today, the masses are in ignorance as their government wage war for riches and treasure, fame and power; and for no other reason than to satisfy the voracious hunger of the world elite.

War is horrendous. No, it is indescribable; it kills and maims people—and animals—on both sides and in the middle, it ruins lives directly and indirectly. Causing pain and suffering for every creature except our rulers and their brotherhood of puppeteers. It facilitates the destruction of the only planet we have to live. But, do you think any of them care?

They do not, not in the slightest and not for a moment.

This country’s election is a fiasco, yet another weapon in their arsenal of disunity, a wedge to divide and stir animosity between peoples, groups, states, and nations. It is a spectacle; a sporting event complete with bands, banners and streamers, flag waving and horns blowing, cheap t-shirts, and party slogans to get the masses worked into a frenzy, to program. It is the very representation of war itself, red versus blue, us against them, good over evil.

And they spend billions of dollars in their election bids. And for them it’s worth billions in return.

When we participate in the election process, we become an accessory to their schemes, their crimes, murder, and genocide; endorsing their unfettered brutish way of rule.

However and unfortunately, I have brought you thus far without an implementable solution to offer our generation.

There is none, I believe. Other than the time-burdened peaceful evolution to anarchy, to arouse awareness and remain committed to doing what one know right, to weigh carefully our associations and matters we give our approval. Then perhaps in the many generations to come, life may find humanity living humanely, in cooperation instead of competition, compassion in place of apathy and heartlessness, leadership in lieu of government and in accord with one another, the animals, nature, and earth; and with no need of authority.

Thank you for your time, and to you, Jeff for the opportunity to express my often singular and unpopular opinions to your prudent readership.

Peace to all.

_________________

Peter Schreiner can be found at his outstanding blog…Crows Head Soup – A Vegan Stew. This work is part of the Mic check guest blogger series.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Ebola is the new black

I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie extoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” Like the nameless speaker in Ralph Ellison’s contemporary masterpiece “Invisible Man”, there are those of us who know this feeling of inconspicuousness. The corporate media outlets have unwittingly reminded us all that there exists an entire continent of people who, for all intents and purposes, have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Despite frantic reports of airports blocking flights from West Africa or highly publicized outings of infected health care workers, the outbreak barely registers on the scale of public health concerns in the U.S. While there have been isolated incidents of individuals returning abroad infected by the ebola virus, these incidents pale in comparison to the havoc the disease has wreaked upon swaths of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The United States has in ebola a legitimate tragedy unfolding in real time. However, the disaster is not affecting the homeland in a significant way, at least not in the manner that National Propaganda Radio (NPR) and their ilk would have you to believe.

(Photo caption: www.global research.ca)

(Photo caption: www.global research.ca)

Rather, the ebola crisis is an alarming example of privatized health care gone horribly astray. The World Health Organization (WHO), under the auspices of the United Nations, turned a blind eye until the contagion started to affect Western countries. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been the single, largest contributor to the WHO at $300 million per year. Gates the patriarch has continued the time honored tradition of robber barons in America by engaging in social engineering masked as philanthropy. The Gates Foundation has it’s upturned nose in everything from public education to agribusiness to healthcare. Every one of those 300 million dollar bills comes with tiny strings attached to Lord Gates’ bony fingers. Years of foreign intervention by way of the shock doctrine have left West Africa’s public health systems nonexistent and lacking in sanitation, clean water and nutrition that could have helped to prevent outbreaks in the first place. While the POTUS initially offered an anemic 25 beds and no health care workers for a field hospital, Cuba has sent hundreds of doctors, the largest medical response from a single country. Cuban doctors were also the first and foremost responders in Haiti during the cholera epidemic following the 2010 earthquakes.

(Photo credit: Wikimedia)

(Photo credit: Wikimedia)

What has gone unspoken in the corporate-state controlled media is the under cover of night buildup of U.S. military troops in Africa. Like the short-lived social media campaigns Kony 2012 and #BringBackOurGirls that came before it, the ebola virus has a bigger role to play in drumming up public support for military interventions in Africa. This is the only reason that most Americans have ever heard of Boko Haram or Joseph Kony. Referring to Boko Haram, Margaret Kimberly nailed it, “Because Americans are so poorly informed about the rest of the world, and so strangely enamored of their own government and its intentions, they automatically fall back to the worst solution of all, foreign military intervention. President Obama has said that he will assist the Nigerian military. That solution may please people who are understandably concerned about the fate of these young women, but that doesn’t make it very helpful. The last thing Nigeria needs is a foreign military presence to prop up its corrupt government. Nigeria is a linchpin of AFRICOM, which puts African militaries under the direct command of the United States. AFRICOM is in place to protect the resource pipeline and to restrict efforts to keep any other nations from bringing resources that Africans actually need.”

(Photo credit: KeizerStreetArt)

(Photo credit: KeizerStreetArt)

In the world according to DARPA, the militarized response to the ebola crisis has not gone unnoticed by keen observers. At this point, it’s a given that when you hear a nation’s leader being demonized in the American press or political pundits blathering on about “humanitarian interventions”, then boots and bombs are sure to follow. The more complex the rationalizations, the simpler the truths they are trying to conceal. Historically, capitalist wars have been fought for three inalienable reasons…land, labor and the pursuit of (natural) resources. Africa is home to extensive mineral reserves which are needed to sustain the technologies we’ve come to depend on and fetishize. I am ashamed to admit that my childhood knowledge of Africa was gleaned from watching UNICEF commercials and Live Aid. The chutzpah of a nation that built it’s fortunes on the genocides of not one but two distinct peoples, indigenous and African slave, is hard to overstate. The cotton plantations in the antebellum South used public beatings, forced migrations, quota systems and the separation of families to maximize production for it’s owners. Desmond Tutu spoke for the colonized everywhere, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Jeffster Awards #36

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

This is the next installment of an ongoing series at Deconstructing Myths…the Jeffster Awards! This award will be given on an ongoing basis to five outstanding blog posts that caught my wandering eye. There are no strings attached or requirements for reciprocation. I don’t have time to comment on other blogs as much I’d like to so the least I can do is direct readers to some of these outstanding writers, poets, and visual artists. Please direct all feedback (likes, comments, follows) to the blogs themselves. I hope you enjoy these exemplary posts as much as I did. So, without further ado, here are the recipients of this week’s Jeffster Awards…hot off the (Word)presses.

Turning away from ‘good’ violence at Aisha J. Shah

BE HERE NOW at xmk75′s

I Dream to See My Country Iraq Again, Receiving People from All Over the World at Sweden and the Middle East Views

Ethnocentricity and the European Aesthetic at Natively Foreign

RAVAGE: art and culture in times of conflict at Willful & Wayward

_________________

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s just war

 

If you conduct a war, you shouldn’t be in charge of narrating it.”

-Thomas Hayden

I recently came across a moving post at Wolfessblog that brought to my attention a homage already underway for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War Commemoration and it’s accompanying website was green-lit by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. All I can say is thank goodness the Dept. of Defense is finally getting around to memorializing the indiscriminate slaughter, chemical warfare and weapons of mass destruction that were unleashed by the U.S. military on the civilian population in Vietnam. I am confident that the thousands of veterans who returned from Southeast Asia drug addicted, Agent Oranged and PTSD’ed will find some measure of peace knowing there is now an interactive timeline dedicated to their efforts. I think I speak for all Vietnamese people whose livelihoods, families and homes were forever altered by the U.S. military campaign when I say, “Your commemoration and most of all your glorious website makes up for everything.” As I wipe away the tears, I chastise myself for ever wishing The Hague upon the executives of Monsanto, Dow Chemical and the American government who orchestrated this just (a bunch of gooks) war.

(Photo credit: Wikimedia)

(Photo credit: Wikimedia)

Until recent decades, the shadow of the Vietnam War loomed large over American geopolitics and the bellicose were relegated to shadow wars in Central America to appease a war weary public. But nobody puts baby in a corner for long. At the end of Gulf War I: Desert Storms, Bush Sr. whooped, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!” All that was needed was a cataclysmic event to activate the shock doctrine in star spangled style. As citizens reeled from the singular event known as 9/11, the monolithic apparatus known as the United States government, which can barely get out of it’s own way on a good day, somehow found the political will and unity to authorize the Patriot Act. The bible beltway was then loosened to launch another just (a bunch of Muslims) war. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a transplanted Vietnamese adoptee, it’s that Americans love their memorials. With luck, future generations will get the privilege of participating in the Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya/Syria/TBD War Commemoration. Meanwhile, the venerable Veterans for Peace have launched their own counter-insurgency known as the Peace and Justice Commemoration that is part of a broader campaign for full disclosure of what really went down in the kill anything that moves fields. Clearly, they haven’t been to the new website, yet.

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Jeffster Awards #35

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

(Photo credit: skulzstudios)

This is the next installment of an ongoing series at Deconstructing Myths…the Jeffster Awards! This award will be given on an ongoing basis to five outstanding blog posts that caught my wandering eye. There are no strings attached or requirements for reciprocation. I don’t have time to comment on other blogs as much I’d like to so the least I can do is direct readers to some of these outstanding writers, poets, and visual artists. Please direct all feedback (likes, comments, follows) to the blogs themselves. I hope you enjoy these exemplary posts as much as I did. So, without further ado, here are the recipients of this week’s Jeffster Awards…hot off the (Word)presses.

Naked at Rooted in Being

The Graduate Premium Myth {The system sucks the life from me} at discordian {Artist Ian Pritchard}

Earth and Sky at Eddie Two Hawks

GAZANS STILL WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS TO COME ON at Desert Peace

Talking about freedom rather than change at See & Connect

_________________

Peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It ain’t Arawak Day

Hear ye, hear ye! If you are a federal employee, mailman or banker, Columbus Day is your day to kick back, crack open a cold one and pour one out for Cristoforo Columbo, the Genoese explorer who put the C in colonialism. While Kindergarten teachers still dress up their students in headbands and reenact the last supper with the pilgrims and injuns (I've seen this with my own eyes), the 1950's called and they want their lesson plans back. But if there's one thing I've been taught by my colonial benefactors, it's to be thankful. When I was FedExed from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to the United States, I was conditioned by my well meaning adoptive family to be grateful to the U.S. military for rescuing me from the Communist heathens. Sure, they left out the fact that the same military carpet bombed my homeland with more than 50,000 tons of napalm, Agent Orange and assorted dioxins but who am I to nitpick? So, I now resolve not to make the same mistake twice and take a moment to give credit where credit is due.
Uncle Sam standing over US Pacific possessions...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to Columbus the indigenous people of North America, aka the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs, were systematically starved, plagued, boarding schooled, treatied, reservationed and just plain white-manned to death.

Thanks to Columbus the African people were imported in chains like so many Hondas and Toyotas to make pampered and privileged land owners obscenely wealthy.

Thanks to Columbus the Japanese Americans whose ancestors helped build the infrastructure of this country were herded like cattle into internment camps without due process.

Thanks to Columbus the CIA flooded the inner cities with Colombian stamped, dirt cheap crack cocaine to fund counterinsurgencies in Central America.

Thanks to Columbus the U.S. military has fought more than 13 years of nonstop wars in predominantly brown, black and Muslim countries.

Thanks to Columbus our students are graduating with six-figure debt while other nations provide higher education for free to their citizens.

Thanks to Columbus the public schools are lab rats for neoliberal think tanks and billionaire funded foundations who view teachers as scapegoats and children as future assets or liabilities.

Thanks to Columbus our nation’s law enforcement officers are morphing into an occupying force rather than public servants entrusted to protect the public it serves.

Thanks to Columbus one of the wealthiest nations on the planet has failed to provide single payer, universal health care to it’s citizens.

Thanks to Columbus millions of Americans have lost their homes or jobs while we all get to put up with fat, white men in suits (no offense, Santa) telling us that some banks are just too big to fail.

Thanks to Columbus that stubborn, old sun just keeps on rising in the East and setting in the West. What…no love for the North or South?

English: Rossport Solidarity Camp

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, that last one might have been a stretch…peace and solidarity to all readers.

Posted in Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments