Monday, September 15, 2014

Talk at DU Law School, room 180 on Governor Evans and Sand Creek, September 22, noon



The Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) has invited me to give a talk on Evans and the Sand Creek massacre, Monday, September 22, noon at the University of Denver Law School Room 180 (h/t Aubrey Bertram, who informs me that all in the Denver area are welcome):

"SAND CREEK MASSACRE: COLORADO’S HISTORY OF SETTLER VIOLENCE

Professor Alan Gilbert of the Joseph Korbel International School will discuss the Sand Creek massacre as part of settler colonial violence from coast to coast, and Governor John Evans' central role in the brutal murder of innocent Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children in November 1864 at their camp in southeast Colorado. Join NALSA and Prof. Gilbert as we acknowledge this history and make the beginning steps in the long process of healing as we approach the 150th anniversary of the Massacre.

MONDAY, SEPT 22ND ROOM 180 NOON FREE FOOD!

Sponsored by the NATIVE AMERICAN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION"

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Greg Hobbs on Sand Creek Voices



Greg Hobbs, whom I met on the Governor's Commission about Sand Creek, sent around to Commission members and others "Sand Creek Voices." It relies on the words of two poets, Linda Hogan and Joseph Hutchison, about Left Hand and Silas Soule. It elicits, in brief compass, the enduring trauma of Colorado's founding Massacre. On this 150th anniversary, there will be a spiritual healing run of the descendants of the Cheyennes and Arapahos; we at the University of Denver, the Methodist Church, the Governor's commission on Sand Creek, and many others are working towards this and towards making new beginnings, small shoots of possible healing and democracy. For all in Colorado, please join us. You can find regularly updated information by googling http://sandcreekmassacre150.com/

***

"Sand Creek Voices
Justice Greg Hobbs, Colorado Supreme Court

“Left Hand returns to speak,
wind in the blood of those
who will listen.”
Linda Hogan, Chickasaw Poet
(“Left Hand Canyon” in Red Clay, Poems & Stories)

“Two months it’s been
since Soule testified—told the horrors
he’d seen at Sand Creek to the panel
convened by Colonel Moonlight.
A massacre, Soule called it . . .”
Joseph Hutchison, Colorado” Poet Laureate
(“A Marked Man” in Marked Men)

It’s rough stuff. On November 29, 1864, Colorado volunteer cavalrymen massacred approximately two-hundred women, men, and children of the Arapaho and Cheyenne Tribes at Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado.
Through poets Hogan and Hutchison, whose poems are based upon historical fact, you can still hear the voices of these people. Left Hand was an Arapaho peace chief. Silas Soule was a U.S. Army Captain. Both were at Sand Creek that day. The Arapaho and Cheyenne were peacefully assembled on land set aside for them under the 1861 Fort Wise Treaty. Colorado and United States officials sent them there, promising protection. They were flying the United States flag and a white flag of peace.

Colonel John Chivington of Colorado’s one-hundred day volunteer unit, serving in the Army, orchestrated the unprovoked attack. It was a slaughter, not a battle. Left Hand suffered a mortal wound. Captain Soule directed his men not to fire. Soon after the massacre, he testified against Chivington at a United States investigatory commission.

Because of his witness against atrocity, Soule was assassinated in the streets of Denver. We hear his voice of equality and justice towards the encamped Arapaho and Cheyenne in Hutchison’s poem. Soule wanted:

“safety for their people, freedom enough
to hunt, freedom to sleep without fear,
all for settling down a while, some miles
from Fort Lyon, on Sand Creek.”

A candidate for Congress, a Methodist minister who preached no-mercy for Indians, Chivington through Hutchison proclaims, at one of Colorado Governor John Evans’s dinner parties:

“’I long to wade in gore’
followed with a discourse on the need
to wipe the Redskin from the earth ‘Root
and branch,” he argued. ‘Men, women, babes
in arms—root and branch, I say.’”

Such bigotry wreaks havoc down through the future generations. Hogan speaks in the voice of Left Hand:

“You can’t take a man’s words.
They are his even as the land
is taken away
where another man
builds his house . . .
his words come back,
the old griefs
carried on the wind.”

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. Arapaho and Cheyenne descendants are calling for acknowledgment of the Sand Creek wrongs, healing among peoples, and reconciliation between nations. The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site managed by the National Park Service near Eads, Colorado is open to the public.
http://www.nps.gov/sand/historyculture/index.htm

In its 2014 session, the Colorado General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution of acknowledgment and atonement, stating:

“That we, the members of the General Assembly, acknowledge the
devastation caused by the Sand Creek Massacre and seek to raise public awareness about the tragic event, the Cheyenne and Arapaho people, and events surrounding it.”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has appointed a Sand Creek Massacre Commemoration Commission that includes members of the Arapaho and Cheyenne Tribes. Its website contains information about events and educational resources available to everyone.
http://sandcreekmassacre150.com/

We can go forward together. “Listen,” says Linda Hogan, “There is secret joy, sweet dreams you may never forget.” (“Rapture” in Dark, Sweet, New & Selected Poems).


Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. Photo by Greg Hobbs,
Member, Sand Creek Massacre Commemoration Commission

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kris McDaniel-Miccio on a mistake about crimes by individuals and racism



As Kris McDaniel-Miccio points out, I made a mistake in reprinting Yale Chaplain Bruce Shipman's letter and Phillip Weiss's commentary at the end of a long post concerning Steven Salaita and not commenting on it. See here. I missed the misuse of the term that the brutal Occupation of the Territories "contributes" to anti-semitism (explicitly in a letter to Philip Weiss by a friend who also says "contributing" to is not "justifying"). But to put it pointedly, oppression or murder by particular persons gives no moral or intellectual quarter to racists (i.e. Idi Amin and slaveholders, segregationists; "Shylock" and Nazis) nor extenuates racist crimes...

***

"Dear Alan,

I read this email very carefully and I have a question about Shipman's letter. If Israel "contributes" to anti-Semitism by its actions regarding Gaza etc, do African Americans contribute to racism because some might engage in criminal behaviour? If you answer no to the latter, which I hope you do, how can you answer yes to the former. While I do believe that the Israel/Palestine situation is used to legitimise anti-Semitic explosions in Europe, (and it doesn't take much) there is a distinction between that and "contribute." Using "contribute" gives quarter and a pass for those acts and actors who deserve neither.

Kind regards,

Kris McDaniel-Miccio"

***

Opposing the brutal exploitation of/racism toward Arab workers in Europe or fighting against the Israeli government's crimes in Palestine does not "justify" one burning of a shop owned by a person who happens to be Jewish...

Quite the contrary, a decent movement needs to denounce such actions and, where possible, stop them (I prefer organized nonviolence in all cases, but forcibly if there is no alternative).

***

Here is Yale chaplain Shipman's original note to the Times:

"To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

The writer is the Episcopal chaplain at Yale."

***

And the article on it by Phillip Weiss,

"Mondoweiss
Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism
US Politics Philip Weiss on August 28, 2014
Bruce Shipman, Chaplain - Episcopal Church at Yale Bruce Shipman, Chaplain - Episcopal Church at Yale

Everyone is talking about this. Last week the New York Times ran an op-ed by Deborah Lipstadt saying that anti-Semitism is returning to Europe in ways reminiscent of the Nazi era, in which Lipstadt blurred the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, citing protests of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Well, the Times has now run a simple and eloquent letter from the Episcopalian chaplain at Yale that many people have passed along.

To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

The writer is the Episcopal chaplain at Yale.

So Shipman is saying that American Jews have a responsibility to curb Israel’s war crimes because this is feeding anti-Semitism. The pushback against Shipman has already begun. David Bernstein (who ran me and Max Blumenthal down as no-accounts who would have no reputation were it not for the great career opportunity of Jewish anti-Zionism) smears Shipman, in the pages of the Washington Post. Yale has distanced itself from Shipman and Shipman has himself clarified his original statement, without neutering it. Writes a friend:

I read this in the NYT and immediately knew someone was going to call this poor man an anti-semite. But he doesn’t say that all Jews are responsible for Netanyahu and he doesn’t say anti-semitism is justified. What he says is that Israel’s behavior contributes to anti-semitism and the best way to fight this would be for Israel’s patrons to pressure Netanyahu.

Now in many cases the antisemitism is deeper than just what Israel does, but it’d be odd if Israel’s arrogance and brutality didn’t contribute to some of it. Obviously it contributes. And when people in the Jewish community make unquestioned support for Israel an integral part of being Jewish, that isn’t going to help. And anyway, even if the pastor is simply wrong it doesn’t mean he’s an anti-Semite.

Also, of course, nobody in his right mind denies that Muslim terrorism increases bigotry against Muslims. It doesn’t justify it, but in what universe would anyone deny that there is some connection? I’m a Christian and I despise the Christian Right for its support for various cruel policies.. I despise the knee-jerk pro-Israel Jewish religious community for the same reason. I wonder if it’s okay to say that in public? Probably not.

I know the way liberal Protestants think–I am one. It’s obvious that Shipman wasn’t justifying anti-semitic violence. In the Yale Daily News (linked at Bernstein’s site) he called acts of anti-semitic violence “deplorable” ["deplorable" is, however, a very weak word...] and he hoped that the two communities (Israeli Jews and Palestinians) would both flourish and said they both had claims to the land. Sounds like a real Nazi, doesn’t he?

What really burns me is this–Bernstein quotes a Rabbi Rosenstein attacking Shipman, and it’s obvious that Rosenstein is someone who justifies Israeli war crimes. That’s within the range of respectable thought, while Shipman’s comment is supposed to be on the edge of Nazism.

This ties into my claim the other day that American Christians are going to overcome their fear of the anti-Semitism charge and start to criticize Israel– that Javier Bardem won’t suffer career damage for saying Israel committed genocide. Shipman’s challenge underlines my point. He has an elite appointment, and he looks into the barrel of the anti-Semitism paintgun and doesn’t blink. More and more Jews and non-Jews are going to express themselves over the Gaza horror show of 2014, that was a sequel to the Gaza horror show of 2009 and a sequel of 25 years of peace processing and colonizing more Palestinian land– a pattern demonstrating that Israel has not a clue about how to deal with its Jim Crow constitution except to marginalize, sequester, and kill brown people.

But the Lipstadt piece followed by the reaction against Shipman demonstrates that there is a bifurcated discourse in the U.S. on Israel that recalls the bifurcated consciousness of the O.J. trial. Those friendly to Israel look at the whole situation one way, and those on my side look at it another way. We are simply in different realities, and who is right? Well my side is right; I’ve been to the occupation. But what will it take to break down the epistemological walls of the other reality? Sadly, I think violence in Israel and Palestine and then the U.S. is what will do it. Though the media and BDS and the great young Jewish awakening can help to force a reckoning. The New Yorker has at last acted to marginalize AIPAC. Eight years after Walt and Mearsheimer did so in the LRB, twelve years after Michael Massing did so in the American Prospect, The New Yorker declared AIPAC a corrupting organization. And good for The New Yorker, I hope it keeps moving. And this same week Philip Giraldi writes in the Unz Review that a group of Jewish billionaires wants to take the U.S. to war in Iran. This is a far more sweeping view of the lobby’s role, and a correct one I believe. One of those billionaires is Thomas Kaplan of United Against Nuclear Iran, who is married to an Israeli and who helped appoint the neocon at the head of Harvard’s Belfer Center and is chairman of the 92d Street Y (which discriminates against Palestinian authors). Incredible, huh? The New Yorker’s piece and Giraldi’s are actually compatible, they speak to the same underlying reality, and in a few years these accounts will be reconciled. Yes I understand, it’s a delicate issue, but people have a right to talk about it."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The correct link to sign Victoria LeftHand's petition to rename Chivington



Thanks to several people who wrote me that the link to the petition. Here is one that will: https://www.change.org/p/senator-larry-crowder-change-the-name-of-chivington-colorado

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Victoria LeftHand's petition to rename Chivington, Colorado



In the report of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Sand Creek Massacre in 1865, Benjamin Wade, a Senator from the Indian-killing Republican Party, nonetheless, wrote: it is shocking that "beings in human form" can have done such things...

***

This is the only American massacre, among all those involved in genocide against indigenous people from the Pequot massacre in 1638 to Wounded Knee, which was condemned by the Federal government in three separate hearings. It is the one massacre committed by the US army anywhere in the world from the Philippines to Vietnam to which there is a domestic national monument - the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site - near Eads.

The road to the historical site is fairly desolate. One passes through the town of Chivington, named for the Colonel and Republican candidate for Congress who commanded the massacre.

Vicki LeftHand has created a petition on change.org to rename the town. The ghosts of Colorado's founding in the slaughter of peaceful Cheyennes and Arapahos, the mutilation of women, the casual slaughter of babies, including one cut from his mother's womb, the driving out of the Native Americans whose territory this was - these haunt the state and the country till this moment. If we want an inclusive and democratic society in which every person is recognized as a citizen, renouncing this heritage and beginning to heal is a necessity in this century. It is time to end the irredendist celebration of Sand Creek and its perpetrators.

***

"Change the name of Chivington, Colorado

Vicki LeftHand
Petition by
Vicki LeftHand
St Louis, United States

In the early morning hours of November 29, 1864 at Sand Creek, Colorado as they lay asleep U.S. Colonel John M. Chivington, commander in charge of the Colorado Volunteers, was responsible for the needless deaths of approximately 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children who were all under the “protection” of the United States government. Under his command, Chivington’s men not only brutally murdered these people, but mutilated their bodies (including genitalia) and, in a show of “victory”, paraded these so-called souvenirs down the streets of Denver while the townspeople looked on and cheered. During the brutal attack, not only was a United States flag flown in open sight, but a white flag, which is a universal sign of surrender, was also displayed in the open at the Cheyenne and Arapaho camps at Sand Creek for all eyes to see.

While President Lincoln “promised” to investigate AND punish Chivington for his crimes, no justice has ever been served and in fact, instead of facing justice for the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children who were all under the protection of the United States government, a town in the State of Colorado was named after the commander in charge of such an atrocity – Chivington. Genocidal mass murders should NEVER be allowed, let alone HONORED.

In remembrance of the 150 year anniversary of this massacre of the estimated 150 innocent Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children brutally and unjustly killed at Sand Creek, I would ask that you change the name of the town of Chivington, Colorado and let the healing of these Nations begin. This will be an ongoing petition until the town named after Colonel John M. Chivington is REMOVED from the State of Colorado and RENAMED. Please help to begin the healing process.

Sincerely,

Victoria S. LeftHand"

***

You can sign the petition here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Those who fight anti-semitism need to fight against the false, expedient and bigoted charge of 'anti-semitism': a sharp issue in the Salaita case



Many people are now having, regretfully, to reject invitations from the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana because of the arbitrary and dishonorable firing of Stephen Salaita - see Bonnie Honig's letter here. Below is another fine letter from Katherine M. Franke, a Columbia law professor (h/t Mike Schwartz).

***

Salaita, as Corey Robin notes on his blog, issued a tweet which attacked the Israeli government's misappropriation/distortion of the term "anti-semitism" to mean: if you disagree with the state of Israel - even its policies of ethnic cleansing which involve mass murder and displacement- you must be an "anti-semite," a would-be Nazi.

The tweet said: “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”

***

Note that the Israeli government's criterion for "anti-semitism" bizarrely makes any Jewish critic of the Occupation like Henry Siegman who escaped the Nazis as a a child or Bonnie Honig or me an "anti-semite"...

***

More deeply, that criterion makes all Palestinians who are horrified by being driven off their land (starting in 1948) as Benny Morris and Siegman have underlined - see here - "anti-semites."

No, many Palestinians have been treated by Israel as Jews were treated in Europe - and the misuse of the term "anti-semitism" to legitimize the Occupation and other crimes of the Israeli state is bizarre.

***

Now Palestinians have not yet been deported en masse to concentration camps, which "liberal" supporters of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians repeat to themselves as a talisman against noticing that they are supporting/abetting crimes. Try: "I only joined the Klan for a short time and stood around while 3 people were lynched, I am not as bad as a Grand Lizard or a veteran Klansmen..."

***

Gaza has also been made "a large open-air concentration camp" as my former Dean Tom Farer, refers to it - no one could escape the recent Israeli slaughter - and the West Bank has many features of this....

***

Murder and ethnic cleansing are great crimes in themselves even if - mercifully - they are not yet at the highest level on the "European" scale.

***

In terms of the recent massacre by heavily armed Israeli soldiers in Gaza, would some 526 Palestinian children have been killed - see "Poem: the world according to Netanyahu" here - if everyone had stood up against it (and I mean even those who wish to defend Israel)? Enabling the murder of children and other random civilians - Israel's settled and criminal policy of trying to change international humanitarian law - is a dangerous thing. See here.

***

More deeply, the true charges against Israel are: the founders and supporters of Israel expelled some 800,000 and murdered many innocent Palestinian civilians in 1948, and are in process of gradually doing a similar thing in the illegally Occupied territories today.

***

These injustices are the vital grain of truth in Salaita's tweet. That is why the followers of Israel - particularly AIPAC, increasingly in desperate straits because young people including Jews are now aptly seeing Israel as a brutal colonial/settler state - have to misuse the term "anti-semitism" to refer to the opposite of what it means. Anti-semitism means a system of discrimination and mass murder. But the Israeli government misuses the term to refer to doing Occupation, discrimination and increasingly mass murder.

To use the term in this bizarre way mocks the victims of Nazism.

***

As the survivors or descendants of survivors of the Holocaust recently said protesting the massacres in Gaza, "Never again!" means "Never again for any people." See here.

***

Now Hamas (which is not a good organization, I underline, though completely justified in resisting the military Occupation and having the right - Israel as the Occupier does not - to self-defense), also invokes the phony Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Jews were kept "beyond the pale" - that is, in ghettoes - in Russia. When the tsars, confronted by farmer and worker discontent, needed a scapegoat, they often organized pogroms against Jews. And they manufactured/propagated the spurious "Protocols" to make their crimes palatable.

***

When Hamas invokes the "Protocols", it participates in anti-semitism though many of its actions - resisting oppression by the state of Israel - do not.

***

One of the most commendable aspects of the Bolshevik party under Lenin was that it carried out Russia-wide campaigns against anti-semitism, for instance, to defend Menachem Beilis was bizarrely charged with "ritual child murder" in 1913 by the tsarist government...See here, here, and here.

***

Nazism and the eugenics movement, including American laws for the sterilization of immigrants (some 100,000 in California alone), anti-miscegenation laws, and a 1924 immigration law that referred to "preserving the pure Nordic Stock" of the United States, were diversely and pseudo-scientifically racist. The craniometry (measuring skull size) and anthropometry movement, which was linked 20,000 Native American skulls being cut off and sent to the Smithsonian, and IQ testing were, both, inclusively racist toward non-Aryans/Nordics/WASPs but carried out differentiated crimes against those groups.

***

Nonetheless, the animus toward Jews, joined in Germany with Medieval anti-Semitism (of the sort involved in the Beilis case) to create an environment of gut hostility toward Jews and to enable the genocide.

***

'Gut hostility' - Leo Strauss, a Jewish reactionary, one who sympathized with the National Revolution - Nazism - against Nietzsche's "last men" - nonetheless describes going and studying with Jacob Klein (also a great scholar) at a cafe, and pretending in their conversation to be businessmen. As a joke, Strauss abruptly shouted "Nietzsche!" at Klein (a joke completely dependent on the racism of the environment).

***

One has to take in the grim chill of ordinary German anti-semitism (just like the racism alive in the murder of Michael Brown and its persistence, i.e the police chief of Ferguson still has a job, the officer who shot Brown six times at a distance with his hands up has still neither been arrested nor required to present a public defense at a judicial proceeding...)

***

In Letter from the Birmingham City Jail, Martin Luther King refers to this enveloping climate of American racism as "always having to stand on tip-toe..."

***

Racism, in other words, is part of a system of oppression with spectacular acts of criminality like the massacre in Gaza occasionally bursting out.

***

Take Kristallnacht in 1938: the Stormtroopers - Sturmabteiling, SA - and other German racists, protected by the police, murdered 91 Jews; they arrested 30,000 people and incarcerated them in concentration camps. Thugs ransacked Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools (note the similarities to Gaza), demolishing buildings with sledgehammers. They burned over 1,000 synagogues (95 in Vienna alone) and destroyed or damaged over 7,000 Jewish businesses.

Martin Gilbert writes that no event in the history of German Jews between 1933 and 1945 was so widely reported as it was happening, and that the accounts from the foreign journalists working in Germany sent shock waves around the world. The Times wrote at the time: "No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenseless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday."(Nov. 11, 1938)

***

Kristallnacht is a paradigm for anti-semitism...

***

Draw an analogy with Gaza, and you will see that Israel is getting pretty bad on the Kristallnacht scale (a difference: Hamas did fire rockets which killed three civilians and terrorized Israelis, whereas the Jews in Germany did nothing of the kind; the latter were resented for sometimes successful civilian, for instance entrepreneurial activities and an allegation of economic oppressiveness. But 526 children....

(As a footnote, anyone who thinks German or American or Palestinan capitalism is "Jewish" is, as August Bebel, a leader of the German socialists once aptly put it, a fool.)

***

Sadly, the analogy is clear...

***

To defend Israel because it is not yet as murderous as the Nazis became or is not yet as sweepingly murderous as the American settler state toward indigenous people was in the 19th century is a "bad comparison set" in which to place oneself.

You cannot defend massive criminal activities by saying they are not yet the worst, i.e. only "Kristallnacht" but not as "bad as"...

***

At a dinner party some years ago, Avraham Burg, former head of the Knesset, grimly reported news of a grandmother killed in Lebanon with her two grandchildren by the invading IDF (Israel "Defense" Forces). To suppress taking in the crime, one of his liberal Zionist invitees said curtly: "but we're not as bad as the Nazis"...

Burg was shocked. Realizing in a flash of insight what Israel has become, he rethought his position. Burg now opposes the Occupation and sees that the state is doing grave harm to ordinary Palestinians and, though not as terribly, endangering most Israelis.

***

This phrase "not as bad as..." - is a mirror into which every proponent of what is now a race regime needs to look deeply. See here.

***

To turn the coin, however, Steven Salaita makes a mistake in the tweet in not opposing every aspect of anti-semitism (hard to fit in 140 characters; he was, as Honig underlines, quite careful, putting scare-quotes around false government accusations of "anti-semitism," for example).

That Palestinians and many others are understandably angry at Israel's crimes, however, does not justify one act of, for example, burning a Jewish-owned store on the edges of Paris or Frankfurt or the Hamas killing by rockets of 3 innocent civilians.

***

Nor does it justify one anti-semitic slur against Jews - or, one might add, Arabs (anti-Arab racism/"Orientalism," as Edward Said underlines, is historically the same as anti-semitism).

***

But racism is, once again, not just a matter of ideas in which, say, in the 1930s, Germans are bigoted against Jews, Jews (if they were...) against Germans. On the contrary, racism is a system of social relations, often enforced by governments, which involves acts of cultural, including spiritual, demeaning, economic and status discrimination and oppression, political "outsiderness" and often murder. A system of racist relationships gives rise both to ordinary prejudices - what are often identified with and set apart by commentators as "racism" - as well as pseudoscientific ideas. Unchecked, racism often verges on, turns into displacement, mass murder, ethnic cleansing and, under the UN definition (Article 2 "imposing conditions designed to destroy a people in whole or in part"), genocide.

***

What the settler state of Israel is doing involves ethnic cleansing (is "expulsionist" as my correspondent Samuel Kaplan helpfully puts it) and genocide. These crimes hurt everyone: the wanton slaughters in Gaza are linked to thugs - teenagers possessed by racism against "Arabs (substitute: Jews and you will understand fully) and leftists" - beating protestors in Tel Aviv while the Army murders nonviolent protestors in the West Bank.

What Salaita says about anti-semitism rightly opposes racism toward Jews, but does not take in the scale of anti-semitism of which many ordinary Jews are still frightened (and there is transgenerational trauma among Jews stemming from this, which is a psychological ground on which fear and today's racism in Israel are being stirred; just as there is trangenerational trauma among Palestinians from the ethnic cleansing and increasing Israeli brutality, multiplied by recent "mowing[s of] the lawn" - h/t Ramona Beltran).

***

Salaita was reacting, as any non-bigoted person would, to the mass murder of children. Those who defend such things by speaking of "anti-semitism" betray the victims of the Holocaust and he speaks with an anger which many of us - an anti-Nazi like me or a former Zionist like Bonnie Honig - can empathize.

***

Salaita makes a venial mistake. Academic freedom means that people do research as best they can, speak about their findings or subjects that concern them freely in the classroom and are permitted to speak their minds freely in other contexts (that is, they are not to be fired for saying things of which the powerful, including University trustees, disapprove). Academic freedom means academics can make mistakes (and often even the most prominent do, about grave matters like American aggression in Vietnam) and are criticized by others but not fired for it.

Freedom of speech means - you can say what you think (so long as you are not crying "fire" in a crowded theatre, "lynch her" to a mob about to do so...) and you can't be locked up or tortured for it.

Free discussion is the fulcrum or proof of a free or democratic regime (and every parliamentary democracy or capitalist oligarchy with parliamentary forms is still a long way from having it)...

***

As Martin Luther King says in his Letter from the Birmingham City Jail, the Athenian murder of Socrates has, in the long run, contributed to the creation\protection of academic freedom.

"Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

This principle is pretty important...

***

To disagree with Salaita, if one does from the mistaken side of thinking the state of Israel is run by currently decent human beings who wouldn't possibly slaughter children in a premeditated way ("mowing the lawn," once again, in the ministerial phrase) - the way to prove any moral and intellectual seriousness in that disagreement would be to defend Salaita against the shameful firing by Chancellor Wise and offer reasons on behalf of your disagreement with his conclusions.

***

That such reasons are, however, not persuasive is shown by the fact that an increasing number of Jews and other anti-racists are speaking out and acting against the Occupation as well against this firing.

***

One last point: the extenuation (if such a thing can be) of the crimes involved in founding Israel is that Jews needed some place to go after the Holocaust and that was where Europe, the Soviet Union and America would allow them to emigrate (now, Hannah Arendt, I.F. Stone, Judah Magnes and others had a different picture of that settlement, one which passed through peaceful arrangements with the Palestinian villages...)

Every single current Israeli has human rights as does every Palestinian - and the Palestinians are most in need of having their rights upheld. The best way to make a peaceful settlement would be to do something which preserves the rights of each person. There is no right, however, in the Occupation and the settlements; to enlarge the original crime does not protect most Jews but puts them in danger....

***

As a race state, a pseudo-democracy for non-"leftist" Jews, Israel, for all its democratic pretensions among an increasingly restricted population, increasingly approaches Saudi Arabia or Iran in what it imposes on others and its unhappiness/escapism ("fiddling while Rome burns"). Now many Israelis want some decent agreement with the Palestinians and oppose state policies. Further, the American contribution, particularly the Senate (I speak of the 100 to 0 vote for more weapons for Israel to crush further the Palestinians), is now being looked at critically by many Americans, particularly young people. America must stop using Israel as a fulcrum for its foolish policies of domination in the Middle East (divide and rule, coupled recently with murderous as well as futile, ultimately self-destructive American invasions).

***

If a two state solution is no longer possible in Israel/Palestine - and it still seems like it could be if ordinary Americans and, hence, the American government pushed for it by cutting off military aid to Israel until that solution was achieved or if Palestinians begin to fight for a universal human rights-based, one state solution and the Israeli government then coughs up a second state - then Israel will fail to be a democratic or socialist regime mainly for Jews (the original ideal, false because even the Histradut - unions - and the kibbutzes - agricultural cooperatives - barred Arab-Israelis; a national or exclusive socialism, even among the formerly oppressed, inevitably becomes more national than socialist...) and, fortunately, fail as a Jewish state as well. Then the anti-apartheid, one state with equal rights movement will have to win over time.

For the aim of Likud and the Home party - governing parties - to make Israel a race state "from the River to the Sea" is disgusting, and should be stopped.

***

"What Exactly Did Steven Salaita Mean By That Tweet?
Corey Robin (blog)
8 AUG

Though I don’t think this changes whether or not Steven Salaita should have been dehired, here is my interpretation of that tweet of his that has people, understandably, most upset: “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”

One of the great achievements of the human rights movement of the 20th century is that it made anti-Semitism into a term of universal opprobrium. Anti-Semitism was associated with a terrible animus toward Jews, discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. Kind of like racism after the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Nobody wants to be called a racist, nobody wants to be called an anti-Semite.

But today we see three developments: first, Israel and many of its defenders claim that Israel is coterminous with Jewishness — indeed, sometimes, that Israel exhausts the definition of Jewishness; second, Israel has come to be associated, in the eyes of many, with colonization, racism, occupation, population transfer/ethnic cleansing; and, third, movements against colonization, racism, occupation, and the like are considered to be honorable because those things are thought to be, like anti-Semitism itself, among the great sins of the 20th century.

Because of these three developments, Israel has perversely made anti-Semitism into something honorable: i.e., a discourse that is not about animus toward Jews but rather about opposition to colonization, population transfer, occupation, and the like.

I should say, as I already have, that I disagree with this understanding of anti-Semitism today. But I think it’s the only interpretation of that tweet that makes sense of Salaita’s overall commitments, which include an opposition to Zionism, an opposition to anti-Semitism, and a belief that the word anti-Semitism is often used to delegitimate criticism of Israel and opposition to Zionism.

Admittedly, a mouthful, and considerably longer than a 140-character tweet. But that’s the difference between Twitter and a blog post."

***

"Columbia University in the City of New York │ New York, N.Y. 10027 SCHOOL OF LAW
Katherine M. Franke
Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law Director, Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Dr. Phyllis M. Wise, Chancellor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Swanlund Administration Building
601 John Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Dear Dr. Wise:
Voice: (212) 854-0061
Fax: (212) 854-7946 kfranke@law.columbia.edu
September 2, 2014

Last June several University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty invited me to your campus as part of The Cultures of Law in Global Contexts Initiative and the Gender and Women’s Studies Department’s Queer Studies Reading Group. I agreed to come in late September and give several public lectures and hold intensive sessions with graduate students in the humanities, law, and women’s/gender/queer studies. For this I was generously offered a modest honorarium plus the costs of travel and accommodation. I enthusiastically looked forward to working closely with the UIUC’s outstanding interdisciplinary group of faculty and students who are thinking in new and challenging ways about notions of globalization, nationalism, personhood and justice across a range of disciplinary locations. These interdisciplinary initiatives promise to destabilize comfortable notions of belonging, reparation, identity, and dispossession. I was excited to learn more about their work and participate, if only for a few days, in a community of scholars who were committed to thinking hard, if not uncomfortably, about the ways in which law is, or is not, up to the task of addressing the most critical forms of injustice, and how law itself can become an instrument of injustice in critical global contexts.

Regretfully, I write to inform you that on account of the decision to rescind an accepted offer of employment to Professor Steven Salaita, I must now cancel my visit to the UIUC campus in late September.

I have long held the view that the use of boycotts as a tactic to protest an unjust practice by a state, business or academic institution may be appropriate in the right context, such as the current crisis at the UIUC, but that those who pledge to honor a boycott cannot rest their political commitments exclusively on a promise not to do something. Rather they should also pledge to affirmatively engage the injustice that generated the call for the boycott. For this reason, rather than merely boycotting your institution, I plan to travel to Urbana-Champaign in mid September at my own expense to participate in a forum (located off campus) with members of the UIUC community in which we will explore the manner in which the termination of Professor Salaita’s employment at UIUC threatened a robust principal [sic - principle] of academic freedom.1

Of equal, if not greater, importance, at this forum I plan to explore with UIUC faculty the complex questions of belonging, dispossession, and possibilities for legitimate uses of state and non-state violence that may underlie Professor Salaita’s tweets on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

We would be well served to relate them to a rich academic literature that has aimed to give meaning to this particular struggle. UIUC’s world-class faculty in history, comparative literature, post-colonial studies, Jewish and Arab studies, ethnography, and human rights, are more than equipped to unpack Professor Salaita’s brief comments on social media (most would admit that 140 characters do not allow for nuance, rigor or careful analysis), taking them as a starting point instead of an end of a discussion about complex questions of belonging, dispossession and identity. Rather than appealing to norms of civility and safety that risk inoculating the UIUC community from challenging and uncomfortable inquiry, an approach that appreciates the norms and values of an academic institution would substitute rigorous interdisciplinary and scholarly analysis of the possible meanings of a provocative comment such as “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”2 Should we take from such a statement a cynical, if not offensive, apology for anti- semitism or does it suggest a deeper critique of the unintended and tragic consequences of certain extreme forms of political Zionism? Perhaps both? This conversation may include thoughtful consideration of the perils and merits of academics’ use of social media. Instead of being afraid of ideas that may be disturbing or provocative, or prejudging their meaning and declaring them off-limits, scholars aim to unpack them and interrogate their possible implications. I suspect that this conversation could generate disagreement, but I am certain it would galvanize a rich scholarly inquiry that has been lost by banishing Professor Salaita and his ideas from the UIUC campus.

As for my decision to decline the departmental invitation to speak at the UIUC, allow me to explain why I have chosen to take this course. The statement you and your Board of Trustees issued on August 22nd, affirming the decision to terminate Professor Salaita’s employment, as well as emails related to this matter that were released to the public last week, make clear that this catastrophe is not really about Professor Salaita and the UIUC’s interest in preserving a civility norm on campus. Rather, it is better and more accurately understood as the most recent iteration of a well-funded, well-organized and aggressive strategy to censor academic scholarship, research or discussion that is critical of Israel or Israeli state policy. So too it aims to censor scholarship, research or discussion that expresses sympathy for the rights of Palestinians. With the assistance of consultants and other branding experts, the strategy has been to frame comments critical of Israel as an affront to civility in the university context. To those of us who have defended academic freedom on this issue in recent years, your statement on the Salaita case echoed, in profoundly disappointing ways, the framing that has been advanced by political operatives who seek to capture the parameters of discussion of Israel/Palestine in an academic context.3 We at Columbia University are no strangers to this pressure, as we have experienced, and weathered, enormous outside pressure placed on our administration to deny tenure to scholars whose academic work criticizes Israel or political Zionism. I have had my own lectures taped and then critiqued by members of the David Project, have been instructed by my dean’s office that I cannot give a talk in which the word “Palestine” appears in the title because “there is no such place as ‘Palestine,’” and my former dean refused to accept a grant I received to fund scholarly work designed to create space in academic contexts for critical discussions of Israel/Palestine.

The strategy behind the campaign opposing Professor Salaita’s appointment at the UIUC seeks to reframe any discomfort that might arise around the competing claims to belonging, dispossession and identity in Israel/Palestine as a fundamental problem of intolerance, disrespect or abuse. This tactic insinuates as a baseline a particular stance or orthodoxy with respect to the highly contested claims to truth or right on this issue that can then be intolerated, disrespected, or abused. The emails disclosed from your office from university donors, alumni/ae, and others clearly document that the UIUC has been targeted by a particular kind of pro-Israel pressure group hoping to purge the professorate and the campus of parties who they deem to have taken positions (whether in their academic or personal capacities) hostile to an uncritically felicitous conception of Israel. That the UIUC administration would surrender to that pressure, and then defend the decision to do so, in the name of a civility norm on campus, is both disingenuous and disheartening.

Finally, you and your Board offer the defense that the UIUC was justified in terminating Professor Salaita’s employment on the ground that “our campuses must be a safe harbor” where students will not be confronted by ideas that upset them or make them uncomfortable, and that the UIUC “will not tolerate ... personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them.” Presumably this new standard of “academic integrity” would apply not only to Professor Salaita but to other faculty and visiting lecturers such as myself. If so, then the positions I have advanced in my scholarship and in my work outside the academy would disqualify me from giving a lecture to your students as an invited visitor, not to mention an appointment at the University of Illinois College of Law. My recent article Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights includes a sustained critique of the state of Israel’s effort to rebrand itself as a gay-haven in order to distract attention from its abuse of the human rights of Palestinians,4 and my public withdrawal5 from a gay rights conference in Philadelphia partially funded by the state of Israel would most certainly create discomfort for some members of the UIUC community who are inclined to applaud Israel for its “pro-gay” laws and policies. To be frank, most of my work was written with the aim of upsetting settled notions of identity, justice and rights – something for which I have received both praise and criticism from others in writing and in person at public lectures. I regard this give and take, often impassioned if not ferocious, as a central part of the academic project where we test new, uncomfortable ideas for the novel forms of knowledge they may illuminate.

In addition to myself, Professor Salaita, and many other scholars holding appointments at peer academic institutions whose scholarship and other advocacy contain remarks that would run afoul of the UIUC’s new civility policy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would surely be unwelcome at the University of Illinois as an invited lecturer on the basis of his recent uncivil comments on social media, swearing vengeance against the “human animals” who captured and killed three Yeshiva students in the West Bank last June.6

My most sincere regrets that on account of the unfolding catastrophe surrounding the termination of Professor Salaita’s employment I will be unable to accept your faculty’s invitation to visit the Champaign-Urbana campus to give a lecture on The Cultures of Law in Global Contexts. However, I do hope that we can meet in mid September, either in a public or private context, when I come to central Illinois to participate in an off-campus session with a community of scholars who do not fear, nor are intolerant of, provocative, challenging, and even uncomfortable ideas.

Sincerely,
Katherine M. Franke

1 A good summary of my legal analysis of this catastrophe can be found in the letter that I authored on behalf of professors of constitutional law, available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gxfbptf2t0d17vw/Faculty%20Letter%20to%20U%20of%20I.pdf.
2 A number of scholars have already taken this tweet as a provocation to explore its possible meanings. See e.g. Corey Robin, What Exactly Did Steven Salaita Mean By That Tweet? (“Israel and many of its

defenders claim that Israel is coterminous with Jewishness — indeed, sometimes, that Israel exhausts the definition of Jewishness; Israel has come to be associated, in the eyes of many, with colonization, racism, occupation, population transfer/ethnic cleansing; and movements against colonization, racism, occupation, and the like are considered to be honorable because those things are thought to be, like anti- Semitism itself, among the great sins of the 20th century. Because of these three developments, Israel has perversely made anti-Semitism into something honorable: i.e., a discourse that is not about animus toward Jews but rather about opposition to colonization, population transfer, occupation, and the like.”) http://coreyrobin.com/2014/08/08/what-exactly-did-steven-salaita-mean-by-that-tweet/.
3 See for example, The David Project, A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges (2012), available at: http://www.davidproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012524- ABurningCampus-RethinkingIsraelAdvocacyAmericasUniversitiesColleges.pdf; and Gary Tobin, Aryeh Weinberg, and Jenna Ferer, The Uncivil University: Politics and Propaganda in American Education (2005).
4 “Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights,” 44 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 1 (2012), https://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/gender- sexuality/Dating%20the%20State.pdf.
5 Katherine Franke Explains Why She is Boycotting the Equality Forum, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jd5YwZJB3U.
6 Alexander Marquardt, “Israeli PM Calls Killers of Three Israeli Teens 'Human Animals,’” ABC News, available at: http://abcnews.go.com/International/israeli-pm-calls-killers-israeli-teens-human- animals/story?id=24367041.

***

"Mondoweiss
Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism
US Politics Philip Weiss on August 28, 2014
Bruce Shipman, Chaplain - Episcopal Church at Yale Bruce Shipman, Chaplain - Episcopal Church at Yale

Everyone is talking about this. Last week the New York Times ran an op-ed by Deborah Lipstadt saying that anti-Semitism is returning to Europe in ways reminiscent of the Nazi era, in which Lipstadt blurred the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, citing protests of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Well, the Times has now run a simple and eloquent letter from the Episcopalian chaplain at Yale that many people have passed along.

To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

The writer is the Episcopal chaplain at Yale.

So Shipman is saying that American Jews have a responsibility to curb Israel’s war crimes because this is feeding anti-Semitism. The pushback against Shipman has already begun. David Bernstein (who ran me and Max Blumenthal down as no-accounts who would have no reputation were it not for the great career opportunity of Jewish anti-Zionism) smears Shipman, in the pages of the Washington Post. Yale has distanced itself from Shipman and Shipman has himself clarified his original statement, without neutering it. Writes a friend:

I read this in the NYT and immediately knew someone was going to call this poor man an anti-semite. But he doesn’t say that all Jews are responsible for Netanyahu and he doesn’t say anti-semitism is justified. What he says is that Israel’s behavior contributes to anti-semitism and the best way to fight this would be for Israel’s patrons to pressure Netanyahu.

Now in many cases the antisemitism is deeper than just what Israel does, but it’d be odd if Israel’s arrogance and brutality didn’t contribute to some of it. Obviously it contributes. And when people in the Jewish community make unquestioned support for Israel an integral part of being Jewish, that isn’t going to help. And anyway, even if the pastor is simply wrong it doesn’t mean he’s an anti-Semite.

Also, of course, nobody in his right mind denies that Muslim terrorism increases bigotry against Muslims. It doesn’t justify it, but in what universe would anyone deny that there is some connection? I’m a Christian and I despise the Christian Right for its support for various cruel policies.. I despise the knee-jerk pro-Israel Jewish religious community for the same reason. I wonder if it’s okay to say that in public? Probably not.

I know the way liberal Protestants think–I am one. It’s obvious that Shipman wasn’t justifying anti-semitic violence. In the Yale Daily News (linked at Bernstein’s site) he called acts of anti-semitic violence “deplorable” and he hoped that the two communities (Israeli Jews and Palestinians) would both flourish and said they both had claims to the land. Sounds like a real Nazi, doesn’t he?

What really burns me is this–Bernstein quotes a Rabbi Rosenstein attacking Shipman, and it’s obvious that Rosenstein is someone who justifies Israeli war crimes. That’s within the range of respectable thought, while Shipman’s comment is supposed to be on the edge of Nazism.

This ties into my claim the other day that American Christians are going to overcome their fear of the anti-Semitism charge and start to criticize Israel– that Javier Bardem won’t suffer career damage for saying Israel committed genocide. Shipman’s challenge underlines my point. He has an elite appointment, and he looks into the barrel of the anti-Semitism paintgun and doesn’t blink. More and more Jews and non-Jews are going to express themselves over the Gaza horror show of 2014, that was a sequel to the Gaza horror show of 2009 and a sequel of 25 years of peace processing and colonizing more Palestinian land– a pattern demonstrating that Israel has not a clue about how to deal with its Jim Crow constitution except to marginalize, sequester, and kill brown people.

But the Lipstadt piece followed by the reaction against Shipman demonstrates that there is a bifurcated discourse in the U.S. on Israel that recalls the bifurcated consciousness of the O.J. trial. Those friendly to Israel look at the whole situation one way, and those on my side look at it another way. We are simply in different realities, and who is right? Well my side is right; I’ve been to the occupation. But what will it take to break down the epistemological walls of the other reality? Sadly, I think violence in Israel and Palestine and then the U.S. is what will do it. Though the media and BDS and the great young Jewish awakening can help to force a reckoning. The New Yorker has at last acted to marginalize AIPAC. Eight years after Walt and Mearsheimer did so in the LRB, twelve years after Michael Massing did so in the American Prospect, The New Yorker declared AIPAC a corrupting organization. And good for The New Yorker, I hope it keeps moving. And this same week Philip Giraldi writes in the Unz Review that a group of Jewish billionaires wants to take the U.S. to war in Iran. This is a far more sweeping view of the lobby’s role, and a correct one I believe. One of those billionaires is Thomas Kaplan of United Against Nuclear Iran, who is married to an Israeli and who helped appoint the neocon at the head of Harvard’s Belfer Center and is chairman of the 92d Street Y (which discriminates against Palestinian authors). Incredible, huh? The New Yorker’s piece and Giraldi’s are actually compatible, they speak to the same underlying reality, and in a few years these accounts will be reconciled. Yes I understand, it’s a delicate issue, but people have a right to talk about it."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Raymond Nat Turner's fine poem on the demonstrations in Ferguson




Raymond Nat Turner, a jazz poet who knows a lot about what I call democratic internationalism, the international wave of solidarity which often accompanies movements from below - for instance, Arab Spring, his "midWest Bank" is Gaza and Ferguson - has a list of ongoing police murders of black people, worth checking into one by one. The simplest way to think about this is: how many poor white folks have you heard of shot, unarmed, with a large number of bullets by police? See "poem: walking" here.

He also rightly speaks more generally of/for poor and working people.

***

Alan,

Don't know if it's fine/do know it's mine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfHYkoMUOk4

***


Hail the heroic Mid-west Bank: Ferguson

Day 10 and heroic African-American youth,

Poor and working people of Ferguson are still

Standing tall, like Tunisians and Egyptians, like

Sowetoans, like Justice For Oscar Grant activists,

Like Occupy Oakland, like Occupy Wall Street,

Like the People’s Organization for Progress, like

Madison capitol occupiers, like Montgomery Bus

Boycotters, like Columbia University students,

Like 41st and Central Panthers, like Native Americans

On Alcatraz and at Wounded Knee, like ILWU Local 10

Still standing tall against SOBs — Sons of Bull,

Sons of Beauregard, Sons of Byron, Lester, George—

Robocop-clad confederates spitting tobacco juice-

Laced epithets, under Stonewall Jackson’s command…


Day 10 and heroic African-American youth, poor and

Working people of Ferguson are still standing tall against

Judas Quisling Steppin’ Fetchit house Negroz telling them to

“Get off the streets,” “Go home, “ “Go back to sleep, watching

Oprah, Ellen, reruns of ‘Roots’” Judas Quisling Steppin’ Fetchit

House Negroz who—any minute—might grab a good ol’boy’s

Baton and whip some black militant ass— “Didn’t I tell you

To get your black ass off the street— Didn’t I? Didn’t I tell you

To get in the house— Didn’t I?! Didn’t I?! Didn’t I?! Didn’t I?!”


Day 10 and heroic African-American youth, poor and

Working people of Ferguson are still standing tall, shoulder

To shoulder with activists from Motown, Chitown, Oaktown,

Philly, D.C., City of Angels, The Big Apple, like the

“Function At The Junction,” “‘cause everybody’s gonna

Be there/got people comin’ from everywhere—“ nothing

Sinister or conspiratorial, it’s solidarity, it’s proletarian

Internationalism, like when Chinese and Vietnamese

Issued statements supporting African-American struggles

During the 60s; like Abraham Lincoln Brigade fighters

Fighting side by side with freedom fighters in Spain; like

Cuban soldiers fighting shoulder to shoulder with Angolans and

South Africans defeating colonialism, weakening apartheid;

Like “outside agitator” King in Memphis in solidarity with

Striking sanitation workers, and “outside agitators” coming

With clubs, guns, teargas for anything Black & not crawling…


Day 10 and heroic African-American youth, poor and

Working people of Ferguson are still marching, becoming

Clearer that Mike Brown is Melvin Black is Malice Green,

Arthur McDuffie, Eleanor Bumpurs, Eula Love, Leonard

Deadwyler, Gregory Clark, Jerry Lee Aime, Rosewood, Black

Wall Street, Tulsa, MOVE, Philly, Tuskegee, Eric Garner…