Anti-Muslim Refugee/Immigration ruling: US government, Trump is being very very unfair

protest-after-refugee-ban

So the US government bombs folks’ countries making it almost impossible to live in and then refuses them entry into this country? One administration bombs Muslims it doesn’t like and the other refuses to let them in. Contrary to what most people want to believe both parties are indeed consistent in their anti -Islam stance.
There has been lots of consternation about this, but the truth is the US didn’t let in many Syrian refugees under the last administration. While Europe allowed millions entry, with Germany leading the way, the US has just talked about being benevolent.
Imagine what Syrians must be thinking. Not only was the opposition terrorized by the Assad government but also the fanatical ISIS. The last administration opened the door for ISIS even aiding its growth, even initially enlisting them in their scheming against Assad. And now it is terrorizing parts of the Syrian population.
Truth is there should have been as much outrage about the Obama administration’s drone program as there is about this.
It may not be coincidental that this policy was announced on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Jews were kept out of this country despite the fact that they were facing persecution in 1930’s Nazi Germany because of biases held by this government. As was the case in this instance the message delivered was not subtle at all, rather it was loud and clear. Muslims not wanted! This should dispel folks of any idea of the US government being in the business of humanitarianism.
Furthermore this policy isn’t based on anything real. Not one native of any of the countries named, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen has committed terrorism in the US.
This is purely propaganda! “I think it’s fair to say that refugees coming into the United States to be resettled are some of the most vetted individuals entering the United States,” said Vannina Maestracci a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a briefing after the US government’s announcement.
Those in the Muslim community who voiced their fears about a Trump and possible right wing US administration are having their fears realized. That community will no longer be able to keep its head low and hope everything works out. Their silence in the face of drone attacks against Muslim countries and frame ups of their fellow religious practitioners in this country on made up charges of terrorism, indicates that they have become more American than they realize.
And though we should protest this policy, we should be careful not to align ourselves too closely with those from the other capitalist party, who suddenly have a problem with an anti- Islam move by this government.
One of the leading Democrats calling for mass protests complained that “they are breaking up families now,” while decrying the fact that the Trump administration has practically prevented anyone from the seven countries entry into back into the country. Even those who had previously been granted legal or legal refugee status. Even those with green cards are being denied re –entry.
Their complaints seem a bit shallow and hypocritical, considering the last administration set records for “breaking up families” by deporting thousands. The Obama administration callously sent back thousands of children running from Central American terror squads, drug goons and crippling poverty. It even deported Haitians back to Haiti while it was still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.
Democrats calling for protest and running to the rescue are some of the same folks that supported the bombing and destabilization of Libya. They supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the deliberate interfering that has contributed to the instability of present day Somalia. The same folks who support the Saudi’s proxy invasion of and interference in Yemen. Hmmm Saudi Arabia didn’t make the list!
They are like folks who set a fire and then come running back to help put it out, so they can appear to be the hero, the saviors.
Make no mistake we are in a war and we won’t win it fighting with folks who have a foot on both sides, or who aren’t convinced we are in one. We will either have to organize and come together and begin to see all of us (who aren’t rich or part of the point one percent) as having a common interest and work for a “real” government of and by us, or we will all go down one by one.
To partially paraphrase the famous anti-Nazi Pastor Martin Niemoller, “First they came for the [MUSLIMS] Socialists but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a Socialist [Muslim] ……..
justice then peace

On throwing rocks at the Women’s March: We all crawled before walked

womens-march-sign

It makes sense that people would question the veracity, the sincerity and the commitment of a sleeping entity that suddenly leaves it slumber. So those questioning the commitment of tens of thousands of women who have been fairly silent until now on some level are justified. But upon further examination those throwing rocks of judgment must keep in mind that they too had to crawl before they walked.

In other words, no revolutionary, no significant change agent sprung into the world out of whole cloth, thoughts fully formed, analysis complete. They, like us, gradually came to consciousness and of course some claiming to be “woke” are just partially so.

All over social media young Black women were putting the question to their White would- be- sisters (would- be because Sisterhood, like Brotherhood is a choice). Some Sisters will have to commit class suicide before they become full- fledged members of the “woke” fraternity. The question: Will you be there when the next time the police shoot one of us down in the streets? And the implied ancillary is, will you stand up for us when the conversation turns decidedly racist? Will you speak up when the boss says he doesn’t hire Black folks?

However new the protest was, it did take place in space and time. Despite the skepticism women did march. Despite the doubts, a new chapter has the chance to be written. Despite the critique, women, thousands of women at least stood up for themselves. Everyone should stand up for themselves, their group and their rights. Standing up for oneself is not a bad thing. It’s how everyone comes to some kind of political and social consciousness.

We should be careful not to push too hard and not be too critical, lest we become self- righteous and even worse, create the conditions for our critique to become self- fulfilling prophesy.

Never forget that the hallmark of activism is optimism!

For women sexism, misogyny, patriarchy serve as wake up calls. For the LGBQT community homophobia and rejection serve as the wake-up call. If you are Black or Native discrimination against your color serves to remind you that you are not as American as everyone else, despite what you may want to believe. If you are an immigrant, ostracism from the longer established immigrants (that is squatters and settlers) tends to open one’s eyes.

If we are to be fair, we have to see Saturday as a starting point for many of our fellow Americans. And like all human beings, one has to walk before one can run, this adage applies to politics as well.

Not only do folks have to crawl before they walk, usually but they have to be nurtured and encouraged to take that next step.

Like babies, the idea that one should stand up is foreign to a lot of folks, who have gotten quite comfortable nursing on the pabulum of US propaganda, which consistently feeds all of us the same lies of mutual well-being. While some marched out of fear that cherished rights, choice, may be taken away, many others rights have already been curtailed, some have even had their lives taken by this beast.

The system will remind them that taking that next step could be perilous; they could fall on their face. Or they could find a friendly hand across the aisle encouraging them to continue on.

Few people can name a successful revolutionary or change agent activist that did not receive some encouragement along the way.

Furthermore some of the naysayers, finger-pointers and rock throwers live in glass houses. While some dutifully oppose police violence and support and advocate for Black rights they don’t stand up for the rights of those outside their group. Some who support Black Lives don’t support LGBT rights or are callous to the suffering of immigrants and are quiet while US Imperialism harasses and scapegoats their African and Middle Eastern Muslim Sisters domestically while bombing and murdering them overseas.

And yes some fighters for Black rights don’t dare mingle with and in the hood. And while we consider ourselves down, we aren’t really down if we are just protesting for OUR piece of this rotten pie. If we aren’t advocating for an end to the real source of our problem, the very root of what ails us, US Imperialism coupled with White Supremacy and patriarchy, then we aren’t as down as we think.

Its right to challenge the formerly sleep. No doubt many were moved by narrow self- interest, but it’s just as likely a percentage will open their eyes for good. Let’s not only challenge them, but also ourselves and like the prophets and prophetess’ who came before us, work to deepen our analysis and understanding by continuing to read, study and analyze.

Forward ever backward never!

justice then peace

Women’s March on time:Sisterhood desperately needed

womens-march

Yes, yes we can! After the woman’s march on D.C. was announced there was immediate controversy over the inclusion or lack of inclusion of women of color in the planning. Thankfully that was overcome but not without some hand-wringing. As it turns out US women of color weren’t all that was left off this “civil rights” oriented, narrowly focused and provincial protest.
 
However it was good to see patriarchy jabbed in the eye. All men all people stem from the womb of women, even Donald Trump. And as one young Black male rapper put it, Black women have even had to teach their boys to be men.
 
We were treated to a glimpse of women’s power.
 
Without question any time women or any oppressed group come together to push back against their marginalization their victimization their oppression is a good thing. Defending the right to choose, equal pay for equal work, stronger and better enforcement of laws against sexual assault, ending police violence, are worthy of protest. Some even protested hate. If we are honest this was already a pretty hateful place, just ask Colin Kaepernick
 
Some suspect that like much of the anti-Trump hysteria the march(es) were grounded upon fears that our favorite ox may get gored. No doubt much of it is based on fears that women’s rights will be turned back, gay rights will be turned back and that the planet itself could be destroyed by a megalomaniac at the controls. And there is good reason to fear.
 
Yet women coming together was a good thing even though it was in part organized by some of the folks who helped perpetuate the problem of women’s inequality and oppression in the first place, the Democratic Party.
 
At rally’s all over the country the nice women plantation “keepers” were invited to speak. These are the same folks who: refuse to implement $15 an hour, or single payer universal healthcare; who refuse to sign any significant accords to limit climate change; who refuse to reform the system of mass incarceration and whose policies of domestic surveillance, deportation, warmongering while allowing corporations to steal at will without consequences, have opened the door for Trump’s anticipated further right-ward swing.
 
These liberal politicians reminded us of how the Plantation isn’t as bad as it could be because of their presence and they warned it was about to get worse. But of course it’s still a plantation and notice they didn’t advocate leaving or “restructuring” the Plantation.
 
Revealing her privileged class status the recently elected Black and Indian US Senator from California Kamala Harris speaking at the DC rally said,”Imperfect though we may be I believe we are a great country.” Says who? The point one percent? She has it wrong, no one expects government perfection, but rather fairness. Government should provide the opportunity for everyone the ability to eat, feed the children, get a decent education, afford a roof over their heads, real singl payer universal healthcare while affording every one equal rights and equality of opportunity.
 
A very real and important truth was left out. At bottom our problem is structural! No matter who sits in the White House if they preside over the same economic/ social /political system (whose main reason for being is the profit motive) then we will in reality continue to have a need for women’s marches and all other kinds of marches related to human and civil rights.
 
The marches which took place in major urban metropolis’ all over the country were shadowed by the cries of poor women in general, poor women of color and poor women of immigrant households. It was haunted by the tears of the thousands of inner city mothers who buried daughters and sons lost to gun violence from their fellow hood dwellers and trigger happy cops charged to keep order.
They were also haunted by the struggle of women in the so-called developing or Third World just to eat, just to live. NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about women in Madigascar as the victims of climate change feeding their children boiled cactus leaves to survive because they have nothing else to eat. Climate change has dried up their land, making cultivation of crops impossible. It was haunted by the death of Emilsen Manyoma Afro Colombian human rights activist fighting simply for her people to live in peace in Colombia. It was haunted by Honduran environmental rights activist Berta Caceres murdered because she thought her people and not multinational corporations had a right to the land.
 
Ultimately all women are going to have to link arms across cultural ethnic and national boundaries if we are to have true peace and justice in the world. And women living in the belly of the most powerful capitalist beast in the world are going to have the responsibility of saving the world.
 
Injustice to one should be seen as an injustice to us all.
 
justice then peace