Sunday, December 08, 2013

No one really believes in predestination. But, it is difficult to say that when it seems his life was cast in stone before he was born.

A picture taken from a xerox in the National Archives of South Africa March, 10, 2005 shows the front page of South Africa's Sunday Express newspaper from June 6, 1964 during the Rivonia trial that resulted in the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti - RTR1LRDX

Nelson Mandela quotes: 12 of his most famous statements

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." Statement at the opening of his defence in the Rivonia treason trial, April 20, 1964.

December 7, 2013
Tim Costello

...The 1960s heralded (click here) an enormous change in race relations across the globe and one can only imagine that Mandela must have felt that South Africa's moment was coming.

In the US, the Brown v the Board of Education Supreme Court ruling of 1954 started the slow process of officially dismantling segregation, followed a year later by the brave actions of Rosa Parks and the rise of King. It took several years but, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy declared his administration's commitment to desegregation and the Civil Rights Act - eventually signed into law by Lyndon Johnson - was born.

Australia was also confronting its own race relations, culminating in the 1967 referendum. The two questions put to the people and overwhelmingly passed gave the federal government the right to legislate for Aboriginal people and removed a clause that barred them being counted in any census.

In South Africa, however, there was no such shift. In 1964, instead of conceding the racism of apartheid was abhorrent, the white establishment overwhelmingly remained committed to maintaining it.

In 1960, 69 unarmed protesters were killed at Sharpeville by police and the African National Congress was banned that same year.

In October 1963, Mandela joined nine others on trial for sabotage in what would become known as the Rivonia Trial. It was from that dock that Mandela made clear his determination to champion equality for all the people of South Africa: ''I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.''

Mandela did not have to die for his dream, despite facing capital charges, but he was sentenced to life in jail. Yet, even in what must have seemed like such a hopeless hour, he never faltered....

It had to exist in order to oppose it. Those in power created it and those without power had to find a way to end it.

Does Reverse Racism Exist?

Last updated 15:08 04/12/2013

Melbourne-based stand-up comedian Aamer Rahman (click here) says a lot of white people don't like his comedy because it's kinda racist.
They say things like, "Hey Aamer, you get on stage. You make your jokes about white people -- don't you think that's a kind of racism? Don't you think that's .... *whispers* Reverse Racism?"  
Aamer, who is one half of a comedy duo called Fear of a Brown Planet with Nazeem Hussain, didn't laugh in the faces of "racially oppressed" white folks.  
In fact, he agrees that there is such a thing as reverse racism. And here is the only way you can become a reverse racist: 
"I could be a reverse racist if I wanted to. All I'd need would be a time machine, and what I'd do is get in my time machine and go back in time to before Europe colonized the world and I'd convince the leaders of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America to invade and occupy Europe, steal their land and resources."
"In that time I'd make sure I'd set up systems that privileged black and brown people at every conceivable social, political and economic opportunity..."
So there you have it guys, every time you see anyone trying to play the "reverse racism" card, simply send them a link to this clip. Go on, you'll brighten up their oppressed world.

-Daily Life

'Racist' Attack on Community Painting in Canada, Targeting Black People in Pointe-Saint-Charles

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay 
December 5, 2013 1:03 PM EST

...According to Marco Silvestro, (click here) who happens to be one of the members of the group which organised the painting, the painting was defaced. He discovered the vandalism as he was biking leisurely along with his daughter. The black woman's face in the painting was painted white. Mr Silverstro finds it as a clear example of racism and xenophobia. He informed that he had been disgusted by this defamation of art.
The mural took three long months to get completed. Every resident in the community was encouraged to freely express their own ideas about it. Everyone was also welcome to try their painting skills on such a huge canvas of concrete....

Mr Silverstro further said that they were in favour of promoting solidarity, multiculturalism and living together. 160 members from the community worked together to create the mural, and it has always been highly respected and was a souce of pride by the community. He said that there was no previous instance of the mural getting mutilated by such graffiti. The community group was quick to react to the vandalism as they claimed that they would repaint the mural to its original version shortly....

Racism can exist in a microcosm.

A person can have a dual personality. One for their homelife and another for their place of work. That occurs where a microcosm exists and the rules are different than in the general society. Office politics plays a large part in developing and sustaining an emotionally dangerous work environment.

Andrea's Agenda
December 5, 2013 - Andrea Johnson

...Apparently (click here) they just object to the way Gibney went about it. Gibney, who wrote an opinion piece about her experiences at The Gawker, which can be found at, has said this was not the first time she clashed with the college administration. Back in 2009, a college newspaper editor filed a complaint against her after Gibney made some comments during a newspaper staff meeting. The editorial staff had discussed why readership was down and Gibney apparently had commented on black students not seeing themselves represented at or in the paper. He thought it was inappropriate for Gibney, the staff adviser, to make those comments and also objected to the tone of her emails. The alleged editor was interviewed and gave his side of the story in an article at /shannon_gibney_mctc_prof_also_took_heat_for_structural_racism_comments_in_2009.php 

Judging by the atrocious spelling and grammatical errors in the editor's letter of complaint, the quality of the paper may have left something to be desired. At this same student newspaper, there had been an incident the previous year, when two black students complained after the previous editor hung a noose in the office to remind staffers of story deadlines. Nothing came of their complaint.... 

Racism can exist in the tensions in the room. It doesn't have to said or overtly be a part of the reality. It simply has to exist at some level like a powder keg waiting for a spark.

When I was a union representative in Newark, New Jersey we called it cultural within the authority of the manager. See, racial tensions are convenient tools when the opportunity presents itself. So, when someone was accused of racial epithets or remarks or worse, maybe even threats, the first thing to be done was to interview other members of the staff not involved to find out if there were always racial subscripts to events day to day. Where the actions of an individual was considered 'normal' by their peers regardless of the obvious egregious event; they were considered innocent of any complaint. 

Work is a powerful thing. Learning environments are powerful as well. There are real commodities at stake for the people involved. So, when faced with an underlying culture in the work environment many people simply take it as it comes and goes home without a concern. But, when that culture turns ugly because it is convenient for a certain outcome; then it becomes a management problem and not that of the individual.

This incident is such an issue. The racism was always there, but, it is pulled out of their bag of tricks when it is convenient. As a manager one has to be able to discern racism and counter it with a healthier work environment. When that doesn't occur, then it is the managers fault it occurred in the first place.

Teaching While Black and Blue (click here)

...What happened to me in 2008 did not happen because I am a young, Black female faculty member at school that has over 50 percent students of color; what happened to me occurred because I turned the world backwards on an angry White male student. We were in a regular weekly meeting of the newspaper staff, and the students were discussing the fact of the new edition, how well it had turned out, and the editor-in-chief said that although he was proud of the paper’s developments, he was not pleased with the fact that so few students regularly picked up the publication. Theories were thrown around as to why this was—the aesthetics were all wrong, the design didn’t pop, the stories could be flashier. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a noose hanging from the ceiling. When I looked again, it was gone....

In this case, the Right Wing media picked it up, if I remember correctly and made it into a national dialogue stating "reverse discrimination." The Right Wing media never stopped to investigate the issue, simply made accusations and then innocent people were victimized for the sake of power politics. If the Right Wing Media wanted to make a difference, the story would have been fully investigated and all parties exposed for their role in it. But, that was asking too much, they just wanted the juicy gossip to promote their propaganda.

Value. Racism removes value of a human life when it depersonalizes.


Racism and the Destruction of Value

WHAT is to be done? (click here) It is worth evoking this seminal pamphlet written by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, in 1901/2 when dealing with racism and the destruction of value (life or property) in Namibia.

Namibians of different skin colours too easily switch to the racial divide as a default mode when, for instance, a white person shoots a black person ostensibly to keep “them” away from their property. Blacks, excuse the generalisation, believe a white person does not value their lives and whites are convinced blacks do not value their property. Each carries an element of truth, but skirts the real issues.

During colonialism and apartheid, blacks encouraged one another to steal from and generally cause the destruction of white-owned property. The introduction of colonialism itself was premised on the destruction of the colonised, in our case black people, and thus white people (again at the risk of generalising) have come to believe that black people and whatever property they owned were of lesser value than theirs.

We wish we could have said that was then. But the reality is that the past is still with us and it does not seem like this new nation called Namibia has even began to do something about exorcising the ghosts....

Is opportunity value? Because if opportunity is value, then it explains the wealth gap between races. 

Will you tell me what exactly you folks are thinking! This is NOT funny!

From The Copenhagen Post:

December 6, 2013
by RW

Tina Petersen, (click here) a former MP for Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and current member of the Svendborg City Council, has has been acquitted of racism after posting a photo on her Facebook page in April that compared Muslims to rubbish.
“Hehe ... Remember to take out the big trash tomorrow ;-)))…” Petersen wrote next to a manipulated photo of a burka-clad Muslim woman and child who were made to resemble the two rubbish bags they are standing next to.
The public prosecutor’s office on Funen filed the indictment. Petersen was acquitted by a unanimous decision.
“The court found that Petersen had no intention of hurting anyone,” Petersen’s defence lawyer, Jens Bertel Rasmussen, told TV2 Funen. “Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
Rasmussen told the court that the offensive picture had appeared many places online since 2006, and that during Petersen’s political career she has fought for women's rights and against the oppression of women....
Did I ever tell you the one about the Wop that hated Santa?


And I'm not gonna either.

Can we stop pointing fingers and simply address the obvious racism in the USA?

“Today we remember Rosa Parks’ (click here) bold stand and her role in ending racism,” tweeted the Republican National Committee’s official account on Sunday. Whoops.

There’s a generous interpretation of this tweet: Rosa Parks’ bold stand played a role in the ongoing and perhaps endless project of ending racism. About four hours after the initial tweet went out, the RNC sent out a clarification to this effect.

To be clear about the problem: The original tweet conflates the end of statutory discrimination with the end of racism. It suggests that changing government policy changes all the attitudes that led to that policy, and all the social arrangements that were built around that policy. It’s a view often held by conservatives, which is odd, because it requires a tremendous belief in the government’s power to cleanly reshape whole societies.

Much government action remains, shall we say, racially uneven, even if the underlying law has become colorblind. Take marijuana policy. Statute makes no distinction between marijuana usage by blacks and whites. And usage among blacks and whites is very similar — but arrests are not....

Conservatives and Structural Racism (click here)

Responding to some of the discussion (my own contribution perhaps included) around Jonathan Chait’s controversials thoughts on conservatives and “12 Years a Slave,” The Daily Beast’s Jamelle Bouie tweeted: “Empathy about racial issues is nice, but actual policy to ameliorate effects of structural racism would be better, and I’m not sure conservatism is equipped to do that. I would be happy to be wrong though.”...

Macho attitudes in sports will get you nowhere globally. It may not effect performance, but, the morality really stinks.

9 Dec 2013 
Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

If football is the world game, (click here) then Australians must not only accept competing against the world’s best, but also be willing to open their arms to the many cultures which enjoy this truly global sport....

...So it was interesting to see the official Twitter account of Cricket Australia tweet a photo with the caption “will the real Monty Panesar please stand up?” about the popular English cricketer on Friday morning....

...Born in Luton, Panesar is a patka-wearing Sikh who remains a fan-favourite for his sharp-turning off-breaks, occasionally erratic fielding and trademark bushy beard.
What Cricket Australia thought it would achieve by tweeting a photo of four turban-wearing individuals seemingly dressed as Teletubbies is anyone’s guess, but the social media faux pas offers a starting point for a discussion on Australian perceptions of race.
In an age where taking offence and responding with apocalyptic-level vitriol resembles a competitive online sport, what made anyone at Cricket Australia think that inviting the Twittersphere to scrutinise its attitudes towards cultural diversity was a good idea?
There’ll be those who argue the tweet wasn’t racist in the first place, but it’s hard to see Cricket Australia tweeting something similar about Australian players Usman Khawaja or Fawad Ahmed.
And though it’s hard to quantify the hunch, it strikes me as an interesting coincidence that many of those who proclaim most loudly that Australia is not a racist nation, appear to be both Caucasian and born and raised in Australia....

Sexual harassment is the same for the LGBT community in the USA, get used to it.

December 8, 2013
“That fat dyke is . . .”
It was a part of a comment a manager (click here) (long since departed) once made to me — many moons ago — about a lesbian colleague. It wasn’t said out of love or jest; quite the opposite, it was said with contempt, the equivalent of “That fat faggot . . .” if the manager had been talking about a gay man. At least that’s the way I interpreted the comment, and I was shocked by it. But I didn’t object, nor did I rat out the manager to a bigger boss. I let it slide . . . and, no, I didn’t mention it to the female employee, either.
I wonder how many similar situations happen in workplaces around the world? A co-worker or manager makes a bigoted comment about an employee, and those who hear it don’t speak up? Does it make them complicit? Was I complicit when I didn’t inform on the manager?
These thoughts trouble me today after reading about the trans police officer in Middletown, Connecticut, who has filed a complaint alleging discrimination by supervisors, some of whom, she claims, were quite open about it and said things directly to her. If the allegations are true, it makes me wonder about the comments that were made behind her back . . .

Why does anyone live where they live? Choice? Or imposition?

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

JULY 2013

NOTES: The percentages (click here)
on the vertical axis 
indicate, for example, that Northern-born black men made in 2000 about 28 percent less than Northern-born white men. Being Northern-born or Southern-born doesn't necessarily mean that the men still live in the North or South, respectively. Samples are derived from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) American Community Survey data on white and black males age 21-60 born in the 48 contiguous states. Individuals with zero earnings are assumed to have potential earnings below the median for their region/race cell and age. Samples are weighted using IPUMS weights where appropriate....

...What driving forces can explain these trends?
Vigdor examined three hypotheses to understand why it appears that the South demonstrated more rapid progress than the North in reducing the earnings gap between blacks and whites from 1960 to 2000.2 While each hypothesis seems to have had an effect at some point throughout the 40-year period, the results of his analysis suggest that much of the "improvement" in the racial wage gap in the South was merely a reflection of changing regional demographics—what he calls "selective migration"—and not of actual improvement in relative earnings for Southern-born blacks. The improvements were the result of blacks and whites of differing abilities moving from South to North and vice versa.
Vigdor's results indicate that selective migration accounted for 40 percent of the South's relative improvement from 1960 to 2000 and all of the improvement from 1980 to 2000. More specifically, the black-white wage gap improved among Southern residents but not for those born in the South....

Cost of living and quality of life are regionally different in the USA.

October 06, 2010 6:30 PM
by Jennifer Ludden
...The government says median income (click here) household is just under $50,000, and you'd think that single people in that category would be the most comfortable. But as Jada Irwin knows, a national median-income salary goes a lot further in some parts of the country than others....

There was a great deal of migration in the USA during the past decade. The country is dividing into rich and poor by region. As income falls migration out of a place one would consider home occurs. Migration does not indicate increased quality of life as one might expect. Most Americans like to better their circumstances and will move to make that happen. But, in the past decade people moved to areas where they could find work regardless of the salary decrease or discomfort with a new regional culture. The reasons people are migrating are somewhat backwards. Basically, people are moving for pragmatic reasons and now reasons of choice.

The underlying causes of racism.

One of the most common causes of racism is stereotypes. Through television, through radio, through the internet, through music, through books, and the like, the potential for stereo types to build are a definite possibility. When a person, especially one that is very young, is exposed to stereotypes of a specific group for the first time, then that person will assume all are that way. Likewise, when a source is constantly displaying negative things about a particular race, then that will affect the overall opinions as well.
Another very common, and probably the most common cause of racism is unfamiliarity. People fear what they do not know or understand. If someone hasn't grown up around a particular race before, then there is more of a chance the person can be racist toward that particular group. Not all the time, but when the person has already been fed negative stereotypes, and does not have the actual real life experiences with at least one within the particular group, then the chances of racism are increased. This is why it is important for children to be around other races at a young age: to ensure they get their minds used and adapted to being around them, and also to help counterbalance any false stereotypes they may encounter in the future.
Selfishness is another obvious cause of racism. Humans are sometimes very selfish creatures caring only about their own at the expense of others. If individuals aren't taught how to respect others, then the potential for the person to become racist is increased as well. This is why you will find that most caring individuals aren't racist. Neither are they sexist or anything else.
Include with selfishness that of economic strife. Rarely explored in USA racism is the idea that African Americans were an underclass to serve as slaves. The Civil War changed all that, but, the culture still lived. Some would say that hierarchy is still alive today. Sometimes, those Black Folks don't know there place.
Environmental Factors
The lastly and probably the most surprising cause of racism is environmental causes. We are all made different biologically and genetically. Our physical environment can affect our biology and therefore, in many cases, affect our minds. This does not mean freewill and choice are not options, but that an individual's potential for racism could possibly be increased through certain environmental factors unknown to man. By default, racism is nonexistent. However, things such as improper health maintenance, excess chemicals, head injuries, or other factors may help contribute to it. This should not be used as an excuse that racism has to persist, but more of a better chance to cure racism by enhancing biological health and medical technology, rather than thinking it can only be done by other means.

The number of people targeted (click here) by racist behaviour has almost doubled over the last year, new figures have revealed.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland described the 85% rise in racist incidents as "stark", with a fifth of attacks happening in the home or local community.
Chief executive Denise Charlton said while the figures that reflect the past 11 months are preliminary, the hike is still alarming.
"These initial findings show that racism can occur anywhere, people have been made victims in their own homes, at work, on the street and increasingly online," Ms Charlton said.
"We will now carry out analysis of the figures to see why our current laws are not preventing racism and examine what procedures can be in put place, including a reformed reporting system."
Some 142 racist incidents have been reported since January, compared with 77 over the same period last year....

IRISH society (click here) must not "rest on its laurels" where recent incidents of religious intolerance and xenophobic behaviour are concerned, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has warned.

In an address at the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin, the archbishop said we all lived with "inherited prejudices, misunderstandings and stereotypes" which can "subtly and rapidly raise their ugly heads if we are not attentive".
Elsewhere in his address at the first ever Christian, Muslim and Jewish conference on dialogue in Ireland, Archbishop Martin said Ireland had no wish to remain as a "closed monolithic culture on an island isolated from what is happening around the world".
The Primate of Ireland said dialogue between faiths was not just for scholars and theologians, adding: "It is a public good even in societies that proclaim themselves secular."
His comments were made just weeks after the Muslim community in Ireland reported a series of sickening hate-mail letters which were sent to mosques and homes....

What is it with the Dutch that they are hooked on stereotypes?

I don’t think (click here) I will ever forget the look on my roommate’s face when I offered her some pepernoten....

...Over the last few months, the long-simmering debate about whether black Pete is racist has grown into a full-blown controversy that has attracted the attention of the international press. In January of this year, four representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights sent a letter to the Dutch government attacking black Pete as potentially “perpetuat[ing] negative stereotypes” about African people and people of African descent, and soliciting the Dutch government’s views. The Dutch government’s response was an exercise in evasion: the government essentially said it is aware of disagreement about black Pete but views Saint Nicholas as an event for children, and that the it is “highly committed to combating discrimination on all grounds[.]” Professor Verene Shepherd, the lead author of the UN letter, added fuel to the fire by saying in a televised interview that she didn’t understand why one Santa Claus wasn’t enough for the Dutch. A black Pete fan-page on Facebook attracted more than two million “likes” in a week. In an essay published in yesterday’s New York Times, Dutch author Arnon Grunberg argues that the strong emotional support of black Pete is a symptom of “thinly disguised xenophobia” driven by “the fear of losing identity[.]”

In my own life, a micro-level version of these events played out in the pepernoten incident. The bag I handed to my roommate featured several Saint Nicholas illustrations, including some depictions of black Pete that looked a lot like the picture at the top of this blog post (which, incidentally, is the profile picture of the Facebook fan site). Needless to say, these images struck my American friend as deeply offensive. She calmly explained to me that between the big eyes, round face, exaggeratedly red lips, and large ear hoops, it would be hard to come up with a more racist caricature of a black person....
It's Sunday Night

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas written by Ralph Blane, Music written by Hugh Martin and sung by Judy Garland (click here)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
let your heart be light
Next year
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
make the Yule-tide gay
Next year

all our troubles will be miles away

Once again as in olden days
happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
will be near to us once more

Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now
Has anyone noticed how the DOW doesn't fall very far when there is profit taking these days? I am the only one that noticed that? I certainly hope not. No one on Wall Street has my sympathies for 'tough times.' Quite the contrary.

Uncertainty? This is such a joke.

Alan Greenspan states the worry over uncertainty is palpable on Wall Street.

What? What uncertainty? I want a definition.

You tell me where the UNCERTAINTY exists! Because it doesn't and it hasn't since the 2008 bailouts.

I am sick and tired of holding Wall Street's hand and helping them cope with PTSD of their OWN mistakes that lead to ANY uncertainty. 

Uncertainty. What year is Alan Greenspan living in? "The Year of the Republican Rhetoric?"

Uncertainty on Wall Street is a LIE.

Let's have a big pity party for Wall Street's uncertainty. "AHHHHhhhhhhh. Poor, poor, babies, they are upset at losing an increment of their gains. Their obscene gains."

The Assault on Contract Law. When is a contract not a contract? And is it selective?

Republican Governors are making pensions meaningless. Don't leave pension funds in the hands of the employer anymore. As a matter of fact, unions need to seek resolutions with current employers that hold pensions for their members to transfer the funds to more secure options. Do it now, don't wait for every major city or private enterprises to go bankrupt.

Don't force the bankruptcy, but, begin a structured transfer of monies from company, state and city held pensions over a period of years. The federal government did it to the US Post Office, it is time everyone does the same thing. The banks aren't trust worthy. They have proven themselves to be untrustworthy. The only entity that survived 2008 were the federally insured credit unions. Why go anywhere else? They have investment capacity. 

By all rights Detroit should have received a federal bailout no differently than New York City, but, getting it through Congress would have been impossible. Pushing Detroit into bankruptcy it assault the meaning of pensions. Employees need to negotiate contributions into 501Ks, but, with the uncertainty of Wall Street that isn't much better a solution. The last resort is setting up pension funds with federally insured Credit Unions and not the employer.

For the states that will seek to shield companies from honoring their contracts today and in the future it gets real simple. Entanglements of any kind with the employers, public or private, is corruption / conflict of interest / however anyone wants to word it. That is how union leaders get in trouble. Currently, the gossip is that unions are consenting to arrangements that lead to issues as Detroit has. Enough of the "Unions of Evil" talk. They need to free standing pension funds. 

People protest outside the courthouse where U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that Detroit was eligible for bankruptcy protection and that its workers’ pensions could be cut. (Bill Pugliano / Getty Images / December 3, 2013)

December 7, 201310:31 p.m.

...A bankruptcy judge's ruling (click here)  that Detroit's pension funds — like its other creditors — can take a hit might lead other financially troubled cities down the same path, experts say.

"I think it's so very unfair," Beasley said. "We retired expecting to get a certain amount of benefits. Now you've pulled the rug out from under us."
It's not just Detroit retirees who are worried about their pensions. Financially troubled cities in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania will soon face decisions on what to do with chronically underfunded pension funds, and experts say the Detroit ruling has made it easier for cities to argue that pensions must be cut.
"If I were a retired public-sector pensioner, I'd be worried today," said Olivia Mitchell, a professor at the Wharton School of Business and the director of the Pension Research Council....