On Jan. 16, the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University released a 67-page report with a grim message: racial segregation has returned to U.S. schools at levels not seen for three decades. The report has implications for contemporary activists, such as those in Lewiston, Maine, who recently demonstrated against racism. Its findings are of a piece with rampant onslaughts of discrimination and division throughout the world.
Forty years ago this year, the Equal Pay Act was passed. In 1963 women working full-time, year-round were making just under 60 cents to a man’s dollar. It was still legal to separate the want ads into “Help wanted, Male” – where the engineering, lawyering, medical, and scientific jobs were found – and “Help wanted, Female” where the nursing, teaching, cleaning and typing jobs were found.
The mass media are bombarding Americans with proclamations that the global revulsion to George Bush’s policies is “anti-American.”
It’s dirty, and it’s deadly. When you coat a shell with it, it slices through armored plating as if it was cheese, turning tanks, buildings and bomb shelters into exploding incinerators. It causes cancer among people who breathe its dust, or touch it. It causes horrible birth defects among the babies of pregnant women who breathe it or touch it. It causes a host of chronic ailments and sicknesses among returning troops.
The imperial obsessions of the Bush administration have come under increasing clinical examination. In the process the fog of war propaganda spread on radio and TV by journalistic courtiers is beginning to lift. For more and more, the impending war with Iraq has nothing to do with eliminating weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or promoting democracy, or fighting terrorism.
As a young child growing up in Chicago I enjoyed the stories from my friends about their summer vacations in Mississippi. I wondered why my parents refused to let me visit there. Once I saw a story in the Chicago Defender with frightening photographs of a lynching in Mississippi. My desire to visit vanished. My first visit to Mississippi and the “New South” was in 1996.
Lies, obfuscation, denial, hyperbole and now outright plagiarism characterize the U.S. right-wing-led push to war against the people of Iraq.
Just over half a century ago, Paul Robeson and William L. Patterson, two giants of the struggle for African-American equality, delivered to the United Nations a petition titled “We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People.”
It’s been said that two swallows don’t make a spring. But that didn’t stop The New York Times writer who hailed the 0.3 percent decline in the official unemployment rate last month as the “first signs” that the labor market is “healing.”
George Bush’s State of the Union speech was the public kickoff of his taxpayer-funded public relations campaign to convince an increasingly skeptical public that all is well – or will be if we just put our faith in him and believe.