18 May 2015

Chris Hedges: The Pathology of the Rich White Family

from Truthdig: 

The pathology of the rich white family is the most dangerous pathology in America. The rich white family is cursed with too much money and privilege. It is devoid of empathy, the result of lifetimes of entitlement. It has little sense of loyalty and lacks the capacity for self-sacrifice. Its definition of friendship is reduced to “What can you do for me?” It is possessed by an insatiable lust to increase its fortunes and power. It believes that wealth and privilege confer to it a superior intelligence and virtue. It is infused with an unchecked hedonism and narcissism. And because of all this, it interprets reality through a lens of self-adulation and greed that renders it delusional. The rich hite family is a menace. The pathologies of the poor, when set against the pathologies of rich white people, are like a candle set beside the sun.

There are no shortages of acolytes and propagandists for rich white families. They dominate our airwaves. They blame poverty, societal breakdown, urban violence, drug use, domestic abuse and crime on the pathology of poor black families—not that they know any. They argue that poor black families disintegrate because of some inherent defect—here you can read between the lines that white people are better than black people—a defect that these poor families need to fix. 

Peddle this simplistic and racist garbage and you will be given a column at The New York Times. It always pays to suck up to rich white families. If you are black and parrot this line, rich white people are overcome with joy. They go to extreme lengths to give you a platform. You can become president or a Supreme Court justice. You can get a television talk show or tenure at a university. You can get money for your foundation. You can publish self-help books. Your films will be funded. You might even be hired to run a company.

Rich white families, their sycophants opine, have tried to help. Rich white families have given poor people numerous resources and government programs to lift them out of poverty. They have provided generous charity. But blacks, they say, along with other poor people of color, are defeated by self-destructive attitudes and behavior. Government programs are therefore wasted on these irresponsible people. Poor families, the sycophants tell us, will not be redeemed until they redeem themselves. We want to help, rich white people say, but poor black people need to pull up their pants, stay in school, get an education, find a job, say no to drugs and respect authority. If they don’t, they deserve what they get. And what the average black family ends up with in economic terms is a nickel for every dollar held by the average white family...

01 May 2015

Black Lives Matter: Justice for Freddie Gray

What did you expect? I don’t know why we’re so surprised. When you put your foot on a man’s neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what’s he going to do? He’s going to knock your block off.

-- President Lyndon Johnson

The mainstream/elite/white media tend to frame the parameters of discourse within their perspective, which differs from the perspective of the majority of people in the Unites States and around the world. Through doing so, they influence public opinion and solidify personal biases. They suppress the voices of victims, of the marginalized, and of the vast populace who does not enjoy the privileges of money and power, as do those in the elite, prestige media. Here are some of the voices of the oppressed:

15 April 2015

In Solidarity - Fight for $15

Low-wage workers cannot make a living - not even close - on their paltry wages. Taxpayers subsidize the economic profits of wealthy multinational corporations by helping these workers to survive via public assistance (which is increasingly being cut in order to send tax dollars instead to the coffers of the already rich). Even $15 an hour will still keep most workers in poverty, but it is a start toward the $22 or more per hour that every working American deserves to live a comfortable and dignified life.

Low-wage workers include those in service professions, at fast-food establishments, big-box stores, and department stores (i.e., most if not all, corporate establishments). They include restaurant workers, teachers at for-profit educational organizations, elderly care workers, disabled care workers, and adjunct professors. Basically, low-wage workers are among some of the most important and ubiquitous laborers in our midst. They - we - deserve so much better. It is criminal and immoral for multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires to continue to profit - and continually expand their profits - at the expense of the poor and of all taxpaying citizens.

28 January 2015

A Belated Happy MLK Day and Condolences to the Ava DuVernay and her Film Selma

“Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.'”

--- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail

And about "Selma" ...

It is not surprising that such a beautiful, historically accurate, well-executed, poignant, and consequential film about a complicated, nuanced, important man, made by a black female filmmaker, would be nearly overlooked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but it is all the more insulting when an insipid,  historically inaccurate, poorly-executed, superficial, jingoistic piece of propaganda about a simplistically-minded potential psychopath is embraced by moviegoers and the Academy alike. 

The Game Never Named, the Addendum Never Spoken

Remember that silly game we used to play with fortune cookies from Chinese restaurants? Maybe people still play it. It’s the one where...