Monday, May 7, 2018

Bethlehem to Brooklyn: Breaking the Surface


Friday, May 4, 7-8:30 PM. Film “Bethlehem to Brooklyn: Breaking the Surface” at the Holy Cross Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, 30 Pine Grove Ave, Kingston. Documentary spotlights the world of Latino, African American, and Palestinian teenagers struggling with the circumstances in their daily lives. They don’t join a jihad or a gang, but find a way to resist through writing and activism. SPECIAL GUEST: A member of Black Lives Matter - Hudson Valley will talk about the campaign to bring racial justice to our local communities. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response mideastcrisis.org, Hudson Valley BDS hudsonvalleybds.org, Jewish Voice for Peace - HV jvphudsonvalley.org, and Veterans for Peace. Contact: mecr@mideastcrisis.org or 845 876-7906

Friday, May 4, 2018

Complex system of discrimination

Guest: Fabian Marshall, political activist and resident of the Hudson Valley, talks about the day the Kingston Police arrested him for being a "black man in red shorts," and ended up tasering him 21 times. Fabian and his mother will describe their fight for racial justice this Friday at 7 pm at Holy Cross Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, 30 Pine Grove Ave, Kingston.

Fabian and Liz will speak this Friday in Kingston

The Civil Rights era was not all about the cops. The era was about Black oppression in the South, a particularly ugly form of Jim Crow that had festered since the end of Reconstruction.

When the Civil Rights Movement became more than that, leaders were assassinated before our whole system  could be called into question. What about poverty, racial discrimination in the North, or the imperial invasion of Vietnam? Those questions, as non violent as they were, started the bullets flying.

Exposing police racism and brutality may have a similar effect, a huge increase in state supported oppression. The police are the enforcers of a grossly unfair system with a tiny group of obscenely rich at the top and a huge mass of people stuck at the very bottom. The nation's police are as discriminatory as its criminal justice system. It doesn't take too much investigating to reveal the extent of the gross unfairness. Black people get shot by white cops, who invariably get away with murder each time.

But police in the twenty-first century empire are not really there to protect anyone but the corporations, Wall Street, the big banks and that filthy rich who own them. Police feel free to express the racism that the empire is based on, in the conquering of other lands and the exploitation of their peoples. Empires can't exist without "untermensch," what the Third Reich called those targeted for exploitation and extermination. As long as there is an underclass, the empire can survive.

That is why the cops are dangerous, especially if you are Black. But exposing them is dangerous too. Like the apartheid state of Israel, America exists through its complex system of discrimination. 

Don't fear Bolton

Guest: Gareth Porter, activist, commentator and author of "Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare," talks about the ascendency of John Bolton and the pro-war wing of both major parties. 

The American Conservative

America has been in the grip of a war party since Ronald Reagan. It doesn't matter which party either. The Republicans seem to have more of the "crazies," as Cheney's neocon gang was called in the run up to the Iraq War. Unfortunately for humankind, more than one of the crazies are back. John Bolton is just the most obvious.

Bolton has a long history of advocating all out war in the Middle East. Some of this may have been posturing to gain geopolitical advantage. But even careless threats endanger the future of our species, as well as all life on earth.

I believe that people like Bolton are closest to serial killers. Rather than strangling one or two victims each month, they fantasize about a bigger prize. Of course, the American economy has been based on war since we mobilized to fight the German and Japanese empires. Sadly, our country defeated these imperial powers only to catch the disease of empire itself. Bolton and Cheney are as apple pie as our continued racism towards and exploitation of Black people. There is no peace party, nor is there any major party committed to ending poverty or discrimination. War economies are anti-democratic. And our major corporations have always chosen this option over decision making by all American citizens. War entails taking enormous risks to maintain the dominance of the corporate state and its small circle of billionaires. Don't fear Bolton; fear what we have let our country become.