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Thursday, November 26, 2009

THANKSGIVING and Native American Views of Pilgrims

NANEPASHEMET, late Wampanoag Historian talks about Pilgrims

Friday, October 23, 2009

Give Water, People!

Give a little, change a lot. Got ten bucks? Want to save some lives? Give Water

  • More than 1 in 6 people in the world don't have access to safe drinking water.
  • 1 out of every 4 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.
  • Nearly 80% of illnesses in developing countries are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.
  • Lack of water claims more lives than any war
  • Every day more than 4,000 children in developing countries die, simply because they don't have clean drinking water
  • More children die from diarrheal illnesses like cholera and dysentery than from HIV/AIDS or malaria combined.
  • But, for only $10, you can fix that for one person... for ten years!
Donate ten dollars to the Water Project and provide water for one person for ten years. It doesn't get any simpler than that. Give Water, people!

Need more info?

Check out The Water Challenge Video

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What all the Fuss is About: Universal Healthcare and Who is Against It

A couple weeks ago we saw news coverage of seemingly out of control protestors pushing their way into senator-organized town hall meetings to fight against Universal Health Care. We have seen footage of protestors with signs adorned with swastikas, of protestors sporting weapons at the public meetings of congress members and our president. Ugly caricatures have been drawn of Obama and elaborate stories about "death panels" and state-sponsored medical neglect of the sick have circulated.

I have personally received numerous alarmist emails and seen inflammatory ad campaigns portraying universal health care as the newest evil in the land. Who is afraid of free healthcare exactly?

If all of this outcry was coming from the citizenry of this country it would be something to worry about. I might begin to wonder if perhaps somehow giving everybody free medical care could be detrimental in some way.

But this outcry is not coming from American citizens. These  protests and these ad campaigns have not been organized by grassroots organizations despite the misleading rhetoric to that effect. These anti-Universal Healthcare campaigns have been organized and funded by those likely to be harmed by the elimination of medicine-for-profit- the corporate health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies. These protests are all about Big Business making big money off of sick people. 

They have a reason to be scared. Their bottom line is at stake.  The rest of us- those of us who will be receiving free medical care- have nothing to fear. Who knows, we might actually be able to get better without going broke for a change. Imagine that.

We are the only industrialized country in the world who practices medicine-for-profit.  In other words, we are the only country among those who can afford to offer its citizenry free healthcare who doesn't.  

Its time we caught up with the rest of the Industrialized world, people. Its time we started taking care of our sick. Its time we started putting the well-being of our citizenry before the profit margin of corporations.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Want to Know What It Feels like to Be Free

I am watching Soledad O'Brian on CNN. She is the Black/Hispanic/mixedrace anchor who is responsible for producing the "Black In America" show which aired a while back. She is about to air Black in America Two" tonight. In the meantime she is interviewing accomplished African Americans about their role models, their mentors, how they became so  accomplished.

The first guest on her show was Professor Henry Louis Gates who talked about being arrested this week by a "rogue/racist" white cop in Harvard Square in his own house. A neighbor reported seeing "two black men" trying to break into a house in the prestigious neighborhood near the University and the police responded.

When the police arrived to find the University professor inside his home they asked him for identification. Dr. Gates made the mistake of requiring them to present their identification as well. After getting their badge numbers ad giving him his ID, proving he was the owner of the house and accusing the officer of racial profiling, he was arrested and charged with "disorderly conduct."

It is a bit difficult to imagine that the distinguished 58 year old scholar, one of the best known and most published black scholars in the country, who standing at only 5'7", weighing 150 lbs, and walking with a cane could have intimidated the three officers present. Dr. Gates reports it was only the intervention of the one black officer who prevented him from having to try to walk with his arms handcuffed behind his back, something that as a disabled man, he would have been incapable of doing without falling.

The rogue cop filed a report full of spurious and false claims but the charges were later dropped although the Cambridge police refuses to admit to any wrongdoing and claims race was not a factor. Numerous black professors would beg to differ. They too have been stopped by Cambridge police for daring to be black on the campus of the most prestigious university in the country. Their white colleagues have not suffered similar fates.

As a professor of African American ancestry I have also been treated in ways my white colleagues never have. I am a success story. I am professor of philosophy. I have become what my grandmother never could have become, no matter how brilliant she was. I am proof of the progress we have made as a race, as a country on the subject of racism. I have had opportunities my Black father never had and I am grateful for this.

We have a black/mixedrace president now. We have Black and Latino news anchors, congresspeople, and businessfolk. We have a Latina woman soon to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. Her mother never could have achieved that goal no matter how hard she worked. We have come a long way.

But events in recent weeks remind us that we also have a long way to go. Despite my having a PH.D. from the top-rated University in the world (UCBerkeley)  I am on the receiving end of racism on a regular basis. Despite his accomplishments, Dr. Gates was arrested. Despite being the most qualified nominee in a hundred years, Sotomayor experienced racism at the hands of white male congressmen during confirmation hearings. President Obama has had so many threats against his life (more than Lincoln when he was threatening to abolish slavery) he has had to be under more extreme security than any other president in history. Its good to have opportunities, it would be better to be treated as if we deserved them.

Soledad's next guest was a famous national radio show host, Bev Smith. She talked about coming from a long line of African American forebears who fought for justice. Soledad asked her to comment on  the remarks of a little boy who was one of the 60 black and latino summer campers who were subjected to racist remarks and ejected from a private pool in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago. The little boy said he didn't think this kind of thing could happen in America when we have a black president. Bev Smith said, Well we have a lot of symbols, Soledad. We have Obama, we have Oprah, we have am African American professor at Harvard, we have you on CNN... and that's good but that's not enough.

"I am tired of symbols," she said. " I want to know what it feels like to be free."

I agree with Bev. I, too, want to know what it feels like to be free. 

When will that be?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The New Earth: Headed For More Heart

The thunder is rumbling in the distance as I eat the homemade oatmeal and blueberry pancakes I cooked on my new griddle today. I started the day out listening to the  Sotomayer hearings but had to turn the news off after she was forced to sacrifice "heart" as a valuable component of decision-making. 

I understand the fears of her (mostly male) colleagues. After all, as a country we have been led by logicians and masculine authoritarians for our entire history. We have been led by men compelled to subscribe to our culturally-constructed definition of masculinity: a construct that requires dichotomic thinking, the vilification of emotion, and engagement in competitive ego battles. No room for heart there. 

But its time for a change.

The origin of the original "heart" statement now being used by senators to question the nominee, was our president. Some time ago, while responding to a question on how he would nominate judges, Obama said that in 95 percent of Supreme Court decisions, “the law is pretty clear…. But it’s those 5 percent of the cases that really count. And in those 5 percent of the cases, what you got to look at is: What is in the justice’s heart? 

"What’s their broader vision of what America should be?.... we need somebody who’s got the heart … the empathy to recognize what it’s like to be a young, teenaged mom; the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” 

I agree with the man! Let's hear it for more heart!

Obama does not define his manhood the way men most in America do. And this is part of his appeal. He is not afraid to talk about emotion, to have a strong , equally-educated, extremely successful wife. He does not feel the need to prove he is a "real man" by talking endlessly about "victory" in Iraq. He tells complete strangers he loves them. He has empathy.  And that is one of the reasons I voted for him. The masculinist focus of the last 200 years has NOT served us.

Most men in this country get punished for not behaving in a way that is consistent with societal norms of masculinity. Hence the recent rash of suicides by small boys who were being verbally bullied by their classmates who called them "faggots" and "sissies" while their teachers looked the other way. One mother defended her son. "He played football. He tried to fit in" (i.e. he tried to follow the "act like a boy" rules). His efforts did not save him. He had too much heart.

Meanwhile, off in the peace-touting, lovey-dovey corners of the earth, many are talking in glowing terms about an uplifting in consciousness- the creation of a New Earth where so much more is possible. 

More Americans are interested in spirituality than ever, there has been a huge growth in green consciousness, and the younger generation is much less invested in perpetuating racism, sexism, classism and other ubiquitous forms of oppression. Young people are claiming gay and transgender identities earlier in life and demands for freedom are being made worldwide. And we elected a mixed-race black Hawaiian who has heart and are about to confirm a wise Latina as a Supreme Court justice.

With change comes resistance. Kicking and screaming is inevitable during times of accelerated growth and we should not be put off by it. A new, improved earth is on the way, one filled with heart, wise latinas, sensitive men, happy gay people, black people in power, animals free from abuse, healthy food, the flourishing of a green planet and the expansion of consciousness.

So, I am not going to worry. My high-fiber, high in antioxident, organic pancakes taste good and I am not frightened by the sound of booming thunder in the distance.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michael Jackson and the New Racism

It hasn't been easy following the news coverage of MJ's death. The man's body was not yet cold when the mud-slinging began. Allegations of drug abuse and repeated references to charges he was acquitted of in 2005 dominated early reports. 

Eventually so many people complained about it that CNN changed its programing. Despite the fact that millions worldwide were paying tribute to the man in the streets, VH1, MTV, and BET, along with other news sources stopped covering the pop star's life early on. Some people complained that they didn't want to keep hearing about Michael Jackson because they wanted to hear world news.

But as my brilliant sister so eloquently put it, when people in every country on the planet are mourning your death and celebrating your life, you ARE world news.

Every single white person I know, without exception, had something negative to say about this man before he was buried. Without exception.

People working in the morgue where his body was examined "leaked" the graphic details of the state of his corpse to the press.

Old rumors that he bleached his skin because he wanted to be white resurfaced and were repeated as if they were the gospel. 

Long drawn-out narratives of his 2005 trial implying he was guilty, despite the fact that he was acquitted of all 14 counts by a conservative, upper-class, overwhelmingly white jury, were repeated on every channel.

Before his young children had a chance to deal with the shocking loss of their father, news reporters were claiming they were too white to be the biological children of Michael.

White addicts I know and white doctors claiming to be experts in addiction have been quick to label him an addict (before any toxicology report is out), pretending there was no real distinction between taking an anesthetic for insomnia and taking heroin or drinking alcohol to get high and escape your problems.

We have not seen this type of treatment in the death of white stars and we won't. You don't have to be a fan of Michael Jackson's to care about this story. You just have to be someone who is intolerant of racism.

This is the new racism. It is hard to pin down. It is more subtle than the racism some of us grew up with. People don't call colored folk nigg*%s! anymore. They find other ways to question and undermine everything a black or brown person does. I know because I experience it on a regular basis. 

Its ugly, its insidious and its ubiquitous.

It is the tone of voice that shop clerks, bank clerks, co-workers use to talk to you. Its the lack of respect given for one's life, one's needs, one's family, one's schedule. Its the insinuations that you are lacking, are not good enough, do not deserve something you have, do not belong where you are. It is the automatic doubting of the veracity of any story you tell about your life. It is the ever-present unfounded suspicion. It is the repeated challenge to your authority no matter your position or your education. This is the face of the new racism. Its harder to prosecute but it still exists, it still damages lives. It still crushes the souls of black folk.

Normally we respect the dead. Normally we treat those in mourning  with respect. Normally we say good things about the dead. There is even a social taboo regarding speaking ill of the dead. We wait until they have been buried awhile before we dish the dirt.

But when a black person does good in this country white people get mad. They don't always know how to express this anger and in truth many may not be aware of the depth of their rage or its origin. But the expression of this rage is so evident whenever a black person succeeds in a big way in this country. Especially if his or her accomplishments eclipse those of whites.

Normally when a candidate of an opposing party wins an election people are frustrated, disappointed, maybe even angry. But when Obama  ran for office, people weren't just disappointed, they were violent. It was ugly. Acts of hate speech and hate violence spiked during and after his campaign, according to the FBI. Gun sales skyrocketed in the days following his election. I personally heard more racist hate speech  and experienced more discreet acts of subtle racism during that campaign than I had experienced during the last twenty years (accounts of some of these incidents can be found in my blog archive)

The explicit and dire acts of racist violence have died down but the new racism continues unabated. We are not now a non-racist country, racism has simply morphed. Racists find new and more creative ways to explain their bad behavior towards people with pigment. The disrespectful way in which Jackson's death and corpse were treated is just one example of this new racism.

Just a quick review of this week's news reveals the ubiquity of this new racism:

A white firefighter is testifying against Porto Rican Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor for "reverse discrimination" after the Supreme Court upheld his case this week. One form of the new racism is the claim that all Black folks of note or in power are  reverse racists. It's not enough for us to pretend that whites are no longer responsible for racism or its impact on the lives of blacks and browns, now they have to turn racism into a black thing.

Black children were forced to hear racist comments from white private swim club members, to watch all the white children exit the pool when they got in, and then were ejected from a swimming pool in Philadelphia after paying $1900 to swim, because, according to the club employee, they were ruining the "complexion" of the club. What is the likely defense? It had nothing to do with race.

But back to the world news: Michael Jackson.
White people and non-white people alike have accused Michael Jackson of "wanting to be white." ever since his skin started to lighten in the '90s. As soon as he died this rumor began re-surfacing with a vengeance. Its as if nobody can believe that a black man could be that talented and that successful without wanting to be white. 

The man modeled himself heavily after great black music and dance legends like James Brown, the Supremes, and Diana Ross; he had black stars in all his videos; he was the first black artist to desegregate MTV, he was the first to portray Egyptians as Black people, he wrote about racism, and accused his own record label of being racist. He was the first American to raise millions of dollars for Africans and he gave millions to the United Negro College Fund, among many other charities. He was the only major pop star ever to positively portray Native Americans, Africans,  and South American Indigenous folk in his videos. And despite all this evidence of his love for Black and Brown people, when he came on national TV, on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1993 (yes, 16 years ago!) and told the world he had a disfiguring skin disease that turned his skin white nobody believed him.  

It is racism that makes us think it preposterous that a black person would love his blackness.

Last week Deepak Chopra, a famous Indian physician and author, confirmed that  Michael had vitiligo.

Last night his white dermatologist, Dr. Arnie Klein in an interview with Larry King, once again confirmed that the star had vitiligo and that it was so widespread and severe that "depigmentation treatment" was his only option. Ne did not bleach his skin to look white. He got a treatment for a serious skin disease that had already caused depigmentation. The treatment resulted in the loss of his remaining pigment.

Why was his own explanation doubted? Why did everyone assume a black man of mammoth talent and unparalleled success, who could dance and sing and write and produce better than any white person ever has, would want to be white?

The new racism.

Friday, June 26, 2009

He Tried to Heal the World: Tribute to the King of Pop

Michael Jackson was more than the most talented entertainer of his generation.
He was more than a musician of genius level- talent and epic accomplishments.
He was more than an innovator, a trail-blazer and a trendsetter
Though certainly most men would settle for being any one of these things.
Still he was more even than all of these things.

He was a change agent.
He was a messenger of love and hope.
In his art, he sought not just to entertain but to change the world, to make it a better place:

"We`re on a mission
In the everlasting light
That shines a revelation...
We`re gonna shake it up and break it up
We`re sharing light brighter than the sun
Hello, good times
We`re here to simulate, eliminate
And congregate, illuminate"
(We Are Here to Change the World)

Like most love warriors, he paid a heavy price for his efforts. He was accused of crimes, robbed of his fortune, and despite being vindicated by a court that ruled  he was "innocent on all counts" suffered for years as a result of recurrent aspersions against his character. He was a tragic character, a victim despite his brilliance, a target despite how much he was loved by people all around the world. He wrote about what was done to him in his History Album:

"Tired of injustice
Tired of the schemes
The lies are disgusting
So what does it mean
Kicking me down"

Despite it all, he continued writing, singing, dancing. He turned his grief into art. In his song, "They Don't Really Care About Us" he turned his personal trials and tribulations into a video about racism, police brutality, and the high levels of incarceration of black and brown men. Even in his despair, he made art that brought people together and educated his fans about racial injustice:

"Beat me, hate me
You can never break me
Will me, thrill me
You can never kill me
Chew me, sue me
Everybody do me
Kick me hit me
Dont you black or
white me! "
(They don't Care About Us)

At five years old, I was dancing with a group of children in the playground at Hull House in Chicago to the the hit song "Rockin Robin." We even had a Rockin' Robin dance.

This amazing human being was far too young and his life, especially in the last few years was far too tragic but the legacy he left behind speaks for itself and no matter what his naysayers say, they cannot undo the magic he spun in the world during his brief incarnation among us.

At seven I recall crying when my mother played "Ben" and thinking about my dad when she played "I'll Be There."

Michael wasn't just a crossover artist, he was the first major artist to break down racial boundaries in music. He integrated MTV back when it was a "whites only" station with his blockbuster,"Thriller." He produced videos like "Remember the Time" which portrayed Egyptians as the Africans they were and not the white people that white American filmmakers have sought to portray them as. His "Bad" video had an anti-violence message.  His "Man in the Mirror" video juxtaposed images of MLK, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, homeless Americans, and starving children in he Third World.

He was a great collaborator and brought artists of different races and cultures together to produce art and was the first American artist to raise millions of dollars for less fortunate people in Eastern Europe and Africa  through his "Heal the World Foundation."

We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear
Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares
(Heal the World)

When I was in Middle School, my friends and knew all the lyrics to his "Off the Wall" album. We sang the songs while we hung shyly against the wall, too shy to dance with each other at the school-sponsored dances.

He wrote and sang about racial injustice, environmental issues, war, hunger, homelessness, gang violence, genocide, AIDS. He challenged racial categories and anti-black police brutality. He tried with his art, to heal the world:

"We are here to change the world
Gonna change the world, Hee
We are here to change the world
Gonna change the world"
(We Are Here to Change the World/Captain EO)

When I was 17, working at a pre-school in Phoenix, I had a two-year old in my class who could dance and sing just like Michael. He was a Nursery school sensation. He was "bad" and he was white.

Before Native American beliefs about the oneness of al life were popularized by the New Age movement, Michael tried to get us to see our shared humanity:

"We're Sendin' Out
A Major Love
And This Is Our
Message To You
Message To You
The Planets Are Linin' Up
We're Bringin' Brighter Days
They're All In Line
Waitin' For You
Can't You See . . .?
You're Just Another Part Of Me . . "
(Another Part of Me)

I was in College when he wrote the "We are the World" lyrics, providing a positive alternative to Bandaid's subtly racist portrayal of Africa as ignorant and bereft of anything but hunger:

"There comes a time 
When we head a certain call 
When the world must come together as one 
There are people dying 
And it's time to lend a hand to life 
The greatest gift of all 

We can't go on 
Pretneding day by day 
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change 
We are all a part of 
God's great big family 
And the truth, you know love is all we need"
(We Are the World)

He brought an anti-war and pro-environmental message to his music and thus to the millions of people around the world his music reached :

"What have we done to the world
Look what we've done ...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores "
(Earth Song)

When I was a graduate student in the 90s, Michael's incredibly moving "Earth Song" video came out and although I did not own a TV at the time, I somehow managed to get an invitation to somebody's house to see it. It made me cry and cry but it also filled me with hope. Michael tried to get us to recognize the kinship we share not only with each other across race and space but also with plants, animals, and the earth. I had never seen any artist in the mainstream make such an important appeal to the human race. Every child in every school should be shown this video every year of grade school until we change out ways:

"Hey, what about yesterday
What about us
What about the seas
What about us
The heavens are falling down
What about us
I can't even breathe
What about us
What about the bleeding Earth
What about us
Can't we feel its wounds
What about us
What about nature's worth
It's our planet's womb
What about us
What about animals
What about it
We've turned kingdoms to dust
What about us
What about elephants
What about us
Have we lost their trust
What about us
What about crying whales
What about us"

(Earth Song)

I remember so clearly seeing the "Black or White" video on TV, where he showed people of different races morphing into each other and talked about transracial love. As a mixed race product of a highly contested interracial union living in racially segregated Chicago, it gave me a glimpse of a future that I could belong to. Perhaps it was this song that inspired the poetry I write about coming together across race and despite racism. I know I owe a debt of gratitude to this amazing artist. His music was the soundtrack of the majority of my young life.

"See, It's Not About Races
Just Places
Where Your Blood
Comes From
Is Where Your Space Is
I've Seen The LIGHT
Get Duller
I'm Not Going To Spend
My Life Being A Color"

(Black or White)

"He say one day you will see
His place in world history"


Thursday, June 25, 2009

When They Take the Professors You Know You are in Trouble

A UK newspaper  reports today that Iran has now arrested 70 professors who met with the  opposition leader, Mousavi, recently. They also report that journalists are going missing in large numbers.

If you weren't already horrified , now is the time  to panic about the state of affairs in Iran. 

This is not just self- interest talking (I am, after all, a professor). This is a reaction based on history. Whenever republics start locking up intellectuals, things are officially spinning out of control in a very very bad way.

Cambodia under the Kmer Rouge
Bosnia under General Krstic
Darfur under al-Bashir
Germany under the Nazis.

When they start locking up professors, especially in a country like Iran where education is so highly esteemed, the world needs to take notice.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fighting for Democracy in Iran

The color green is associated with the heart chakra, the seat of love, symbolizing protection, harmony. It is also the color that protestors in Iran are wearing as they take to the streets to demand a recount in an election they say has been rigged.

As of today sate-sponsored violence against protestors is said to have resulted in 150 deaths. Foreign embassies throughout Tehran are taking in wounded. Hospitals report 19 killed today. Rumors on Twitter say houses are being raided and people are being dragged from their homes. Protestors claim that acid or liquid tear gas is being dropped on them from helicopters. Iran has blacked out the media.

More women than men have voted in the last few elections and they too are out on the street in large numbers They currently hold  legally defined second class citizenship in Iran and the risks they face in protesting and being arrested are far greater than those faced by male protestors. Yet they take to the streets demanding their right to elect their own leader.

When we Americans had our votes stolen in 2000 we protested but not for long. We let a man- George W. Bush- that we did not elect rule as our president for four years. We think of ourselves as the greatest democracy but we let our election be stolen. Iranians are willing to die rather that have their vote not count. Perhaps we could learn a democracy lesson from these freedom-seeking people, members of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mixed Roots Festival In LA Goes Well

Just back from my jaunt across the US to the annual Mixed Roots Festival held in Los Angeles, California. Apart from the loss of my cellphone and a misfortune at the drycleaners, the trip was a big success. My beautiful god-daughters Bailey Rose and Blair Mahya Quinones joined me on the stage for our inaugural performance of intergenerational mixed poetry and I got to hang out with a bevy of talented mixed artists in sunny California. Life is good.

Though there could have been  more attendees, the festival was a good time. The organizers, Mixed Chicks founders, Heidi and Fanshen were dedicated and hospitable as usual and the crowd was homey and ever so nice to look at! Highlights included the Loving Day party Friday night, complete with cake and soul train dancing lines, some tear-jerking films about the tragic mulatto, and some side-splitting comedy by a Black Italian with a bad attitude.

Jason Sublette, an excellent fiction writer, came back this year and created a wonderful display of "worldle word clouds" about the parents of mixed artists in order to visually "express feelings and thoughts of appreciation." The word clouds were beautiful and moving. I know my dad appreciated his. Jason's reading of chapter four of his novel was entertaining. His work is well-crafted if a little sinister. He explained that he was trying to challenge current stereotypes about nice, quiet, nerdy Asian American men by creating a Hapa Asian character who was  athletic, aggressive, and a tad immoral. You did it, Jason-No stereotypes in your story!

Amazing performances were also shared by singer Jason Luckett and comedian Maija DiGiorgio  at the "Mixed Unplugged" event Saturday night.

My god-daughters Bailey and Blair stayed with me in my hotel room, writing poems, laughing and preparing their rock star careers and the time I spent with them was the best time I have had in a long time. I have partied, I have performed, I have met and loved beautiful women, I have been fawned over by fans but none of this compares to quality time spent with these amazing young women. Lets hear it for the Quinones girls! Mixed race and proud. Beautiful and brilliant.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Can We Save the Earth by Gardening?

I told my sister about my transition/recession garden and she said we should call them "Save the Earth" gardens. Its a mouthful but it makes sense. 

Can we save the earth by planting gardens? We can try to and see what happens. At the very least we might produce enough oxygen to save our ozone, put people back in touch with nature and provide people with an alternative to cancer-producing food grown with pesticides.

Still, I wonder, will saving the planet be enough? Who is going to save us? Will farming heal us? Will touching the earth remind us of who we are? Will getting dirty humble us enough to see past our  pathetic selves?

We have so much to do. So much to save. So much to heal. So many to save. Maybe starting little gardens won't save us but its a start, its a part of what will.

The important thing is that we move forward in the right direction with good hearts and good intentions. Everything else is just details.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu, bird flu? human flu, H1N1, ?

First they called it swine flu but it turns out this new flu does not come from pigs. Or does it? A recent report I read on the Associated Press claims it is a mixture of pig, human, and bird flus. 

So now birds, pigs, and humans are co-habitating and exchanging blood somewhere? Really?

So is this a bird flu, a swine flu, a human flu? Or all of the above? 

The CDC and the president have stopped calling it by its popular name, swine flu and are now calling it by its official name, H1N1.  Not catchy, people! We can't call it that! We need something we can remember. Hmmm,....pighumanbird flu?  No.....

How about mutant flu? Lets call it the mutant flu.

And can we stop blaming Mexico? Scientists thought it was from Mexico but now they aren't sure. Besides, Mexico deserves praise for doing a very good job of containing the virus. They are forcing all their emigrants to take their temperature before getting on a plane just to protect the rest of the world. Do you think American travelers would put up with that?

So on May Day of all days, we do not need to give the bigoted anti- immigrant white racists out there any more reasons to hate on Mexicans. Mutant flu is not an export of Mexico.

My advice:  wash your hands, cover your mouths, and keep your sick butts at home so nobody else gets the mutant flu. In other words, act like you got sense, people. Its not that hard.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Have You Started Your Recession Garden Yet?

Given the current state of the economy it might be a good idea for people to start growing their own food and becoming more self-sufficient. There is a movement currently afoot of forward-thinking Americans who are planting vegetable gardens in their yards in order to buffer the impact of the failing economy. Of course many people have been growing their own veggies for years but the rest of us needed a crisis to motivate us to become city farmers. We can't all be visionaries....But we CAN all jump on a good bandwagon when we see it.

During the world wars in the early part of the 20th century the Roosevelts urged Americans to plant "Victory Gardens" to help deal with food shortages brought on by the wars and the depression. The Obamas have carved an L shaped vegetable garden out of the White House lawn to grow their own quite extensive vegetable garden. Some people are calling these new gardens "Recession Gardens." I don't like that name. It sounds so negative. We need a positive term like Victory, but as a lifelong anti-war activist I could never cheer for victory in anybody's war.....alas.

So what do we call these gardens? Hope gardens? Change gardens? My Teaching Assistant (Harlan Wallner) thinks we should call them "Transition Gardens."  A little more positive but...transition to what? Transistions aren't always good. Remember your transition through puberty? No cake walk.
Unity gardens? How about something related to all these green moves? Green garden is redundant. So is eco-friendly. That would be like calling a tree green or a class educational. Hmmm....Progress gardens? Prophecy gardens (in ref to all the prophecies that foretell earth changes and the need for us to radically change our way of life in preparation) Preparation gardens? Readiness gardens?

Or do we need something that is just soft and cuddly and happy regardless of its relevance to any specific looming threat the garden may be designed to prevent, or mitigate?

Rainbow gardens? Bliss gardens? Horizon gardens? Autonomy gardens? Rebound gardens? Oops there I go referring to the cataclysm again....

Somebody needs to come up with a good name. In the meantime, let me talk about my wee effort at growing something. Mine is a container garden. You don't need a yard or a bunch of farming tools or the strength and energy of a young healthy person to start a garden. I am proof of that. I started mine in window boxes filled with peat soil. I got Organic soil and a bunch a young plants that I transplanted. If I had less money and more ego I might have started with seeds. Fortunately I have no illusions about my natural farming ability.

Despite having lived on a farm as a child and growing up in families that always grew something that we ate, and despite having far too many green-thumbed relatives, I know that I have no natural gift in this area. That said, I still decided to take a stab at minimal self-sufficiency. While I don't share the pessimism of some gardeners- I don't expect the economy or the earth to self-destruct in the near future-I do think it doesn't hurt to become a little less dependent upon corporate agribusiness for all my sustenance.

And besides I like contributing to the oxygen levels, prefer organic food but can't always afford it, am dissatisfied with the quality of produce available in Florida, and most importantly, I have a bunny and she has a big appetite. This garden is for her as much as for me.

My little garden currently contains tomatoes, squash, green beans, cucumber, and many herbs (rosemary, basil, oregano, cayenne, and cilantro.) I also have seeds for lettuces, carrots, parsley, pumpkin and turnip greens for when I am feeling more confident and ambitious. We will see how the plants fare first. My goal right now- keep them alive. 

I don't have a very good track record with house plants but as long as nobody tells the porch plants about this I think I will be OK. I keep telling them they are happy and well-nourished and will be growing big. Its only day 2 but so far I feel certain that they find my pep talks persuasive and compelling.

So walk, get on your bicycles, or into your eco-friendly cars, people, and head to the nearest nursery, home depot or lowes-type store and buy your seeds or young plants, your spade, your containers and your waterpot and get to farmin'! Its easy to do, does not take much time (I am a nocturnal farmer), lowers blood pressure and leads to feelings of great peacefulness (You see, I CAN be compelling, right?)

And hey, the muscles you acquire digging holes, pulling weeds, and hauling water and the vibrant health you acquire from eating fresh home-grown produce will no doubt make you very sexy to the mates you desire!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rape: A State of Emergency

Last night, the feminist students at the University of Central Florida held a "Take Back the Night" march to speak out against violence against women. 

I wrote the following poem for the event and dedicated it to "LaJuana", the woman raped, shot, and dumped on our lawn in North Chicago, but who survived nonetheless, when I was 11.

Rape: A State of Emergency

One out of four college women
Every two a half minutes
60% of rapes never reported
The facts are tragic
But the stories make me madder
Are much sadder
Half of all the women in my family
Most of the friends and lovers I’ve ever had.

Rape is an epidemic
Its time to recognize this
Women live in fear
In a country we call free
Were here to put an end to this
To take back our bodies, to take back our lives.

Its time to walk the streets
Without being preoccupied with
This ever-present threat


I asked my mother, long ago
What is the one poem I should write
Write about rape she said
It happens everywhere to everyone

It happened to my mother when she was only 18
At knifepoint producing a child
She did not have the legal choice
To have or not have

It happened to my best friend on a couch
In the middle of the day

It happened to my neighbor at 7,
My girlfriend Sarah at 11
My godsister Anna at 8
My classsmate Kara Lin at 10,
All at the hands of uncles and fathers
Brothers and family friends

It happened to my little sister’s best friend
At a party in the coat room where she passed out
And awoke to the clammy groping of her coworker’s hands

It happened to kamala in an all-girl dorm
at an all girls school
Where her muslim parents thought she would be safe.

It could have happened to you

Were you wearing tight jeans, a short skirt, a low cut blouse?
No wonder you got raped

Did you let your boyfriend walk you back to your dorm room?
No wonder you got raped.

Only men can stop rape.

Did you make out with him and then say he had to go home?
Have you ever gone out on a date with a man you didn’t know?
No wonder you got raped.

Only rapists can stop raping.

Were you left home alone with your brother,
your stepfather? A male babysitter?
No wonder you got raped

Did you talk back to a white cop?
Were you kissing a girl in public?
Did you go to the bar unescorted?

No wonder you got raped.

Only rapists are to blame.

Did you stay late in the library studying for your test?
Did you take a late shift at work?
Did you go to a party and get stupid drunk?
No wonder you got raped.

We have to stop telling these lies to girls.

Did you get lost and end up on the wrong side of town?
Were you trying to live within your means and ride the bus?
Did you travel to a strange new city and walk around?
Were you the only woman in an elevator full of men?
Are you the only girl in an all boy band?

No wonder you got raped

Do you enjoy sex.
Do you like to make out with boys or men?
Did you assume you had the right to say when?

Did you forget you were a woman
And imagine you were free?

Were you thinking about your job, your kids, your hopes, your dreams?
Were you preoccupied with your life and its deeper meaning?
Did you forget about rape for a minute. Just one minute?
Were you trying just to live your life for a minute?
Just one minute?
No wonder you got raped.

This is a state of emergency
Women are crying, cutting themselves, dying
Blaming themselves, struggling to survive

When are we going to declare this a state of emergency?
We have declared wars for so much less


Kayla tells me
“It was stupid dark night in the June of 99”
the city Houston
the weapon his large heavy body, a gun
She was new to America
“And this is how you greet me?”

Esme tells me it was the middle of the night
In August of 2004
On a base in the desert
The city Baghdad, Iraq
The weapon: Her superior officer
Twice her size
He thought he was in charge

Sunny tells me it was a firefly night in her twelfth year
During that magical part of summer
When the kids get to stay out late
Right before The 7th grade
The city: Anytown, USA
The weapon: her brother
Two years older and besides who would believe?

Tell me how is it the stories never end
Tell me how is it I have so many family members and friends
Tell me why have all the women I love been raped
What kind of country do we live in what kind of world
Every two minutes; One out of five women
How have such crimes become so commonplace?

This is urgent business, bloody business, tragic business
For forty years* now we women
Have been blowing the clarion call
For forty years now we survivors
Have been sounding the alarm
For forty years now we feminists have been
taking back the night, marching marching out
into the black black night

Telling all our stories testifying, Expressing all our rage
When will our chanting our marching
be enough?
When can we go home in peace, walk home in peace
Stop the screaming stop the shouting
Stop this terrible necessary crusade?

This is a state of emergency
Women are dying, cutting themselves, killing themselves
Struggling to survive
When are we going to declare this a state of emergency?
We have declared wars for so much less.

Women are sinking, drinking, screaming, marching
We are doing out best
Our lives matter
Our bodies matter
Until rape ends we will not rest.

We are declaring a state of emergency
With our angry voices, our sad stories,
Our survival, our marching feet.

Its time to declare this a state of emergency
We have declared wars for so much less.

*The first known "Take Back the Night" march was organized in San Francisco, California on November 4, 1978

Monday, March 2, 2009

What I like About Obama- Updated List (add Yours!)

1. He kisses men on the cheek (as well as women) when greeting people.

2. He believes in the basic goodness of humanity.

3. His critics accuse him of being over-ambitious

4. He is going to reform heath care

5. He thinks education is a huge priority

6. He is equally comfortable with white and black folks

7. He is polite and gracious at all times

8. He is humble

9. He is young and energetic

10. He is mixed like me!

11. He does not support tax breaks for corporations

12. He can't be bought by Big Oil or the Military Industrial Complex

13. He believes in dialogue, collaboration, and the accommodation of difference

14. He respects his opponents, even the rude ones, even those who don't respect him 

15. He has the coolest walk! (posted by Anonymous)

16. He knows the power of reframing and understands the connection between how one sees/tells a story and how we engage in creating/addressing conflict.

 (posted by Martine)

17. he is very dedicated to his work but it never gets in the way of quality father/daughter time with Malia and Sasha  (posted by The tomboyeffect)

18. he brought back hope and helped America smile (posted by Tomboyeffect)

19. He treats his wife with respect and makes sure everybody knows he loves her.

20. He is keeping his campaign far.

21. He is going to make the wasteful, inefficient American car companies clean up their act and clean up the environment at the same time.

22. He is telling the truth about how the government really works and is letting the people know the "ins and outs" of law-making and budget writing through his transparency.


24. He extended unemployment benefits---which will help a lot of out of work people- including my sister and my cousin.

25. A little black girl  in South Carolina sent him a letter and he not only read it but invited her to Washington to watch his speech to Congress in the First Lady's Box.

Add your own "what I like"s to the list.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I Like About Obama

1. He kisses men on the cheek (as well as women) when greeting people.
2. He believes in the basic goodness of humanity.
3. His critics accuse him of being over-ambitious
4. He is going to reform heath care
5. He thinks education is a huge priority
6. He is equally comfortable with white and black folks
7. He is polite and gracious at all times
8. He is humble
9. He is young and energetic
10. He is mixed like me!
11. He does not support tax breaks for corporations 
12. He can't be bought by Big Oil or the Military Industrial Complex
13. He believes in dialogue, collaboration, and the accommodation of difference 
14. He respects his opponents, even the rude ones, even those who don't respect him

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Economy, The Stimulus Bill, and Useless Debates

Over the last week it has occurred to me that I should be blogging about the economic stimulus bill. Its all they talk about in the news. Can there be a bi-partisan solution? Should the Democrats shave off ore dollars? But I haven't been able to bring myself to hold forth on the topic. I guess I just don't think there is truly anything to debate. 

And I know that may sound strange coming from me given my love of dialogue but....isn't it too late for a debate about the details?

Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work. The economy is growing worse by the day. And none of the critiques I have heard of the bill are the least bit compelling:  Its  a bad idea to pump money into state governments? Its a mistake to give money to create jobs that simultaneously improve our schools, build a green economy, or provide family planning, healthcare, or infrastructure to cities?

And we should debate the details of this bill with people who think the only way to stimulate an economy in a recession is through tax cuts? And they are arguing this after the last administration got us into this mess while following the same tax cut economy stimulus plan? 

And they want to stall this bill after they helped Bush rush through a Wall Street bailout plan that did not save the economy, helped no homeowners, stopped no job losses, created no jobs, provided no regulation or oversight (specifically requested by those who rejected the bill)  and resulted in wasteful spending by prodigal corporate executives (on golden toilets and whatnot) at the taxpayer's expense?

Really? Are they serious? 

Forgive me but I just can't quite wrap my head around this. It just doesn't make sense. What is there to debate about exactly?

Shouldn't the people who've made so many bad decisions over the last eight years be a tad bit more humble? Wouldn't it be more dignified for them to just say, "Ok. My bad. I messed up. See what you can do to fix it up" 

But if the devastated economy is not evidence enough that we should stop attempting to stimulate the economy with tax cuts, try looking at some figures that tell us which economic policies have the largest impact on the economy. Check out this chart by Mark Zandi in which he shows that tax cuts are much less effective in stimulating the economy than spending. Tax cuts will not save us:

So can we stop debating  and start trying to save this currently-in-the-toilet economy already?

I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last Night I had a Nightmare: Palestine and Israel

Last night I had a dream. All of my friends decided to take a trip to the Middle East. Half of us went to Palestine, the other half went to Israel. I don't know how the decision was made about who would go where but I ended up in Palestine. It was a nightmare. I spent the entire week dodging bombs. I did nothing all week but struggle to survive. 

When the group got back together and compared notes I had to explain to the friends who stayed in Israel what Palestine was like. They had no clue. I had to loudly and dramatically explain to them that we had no  water, no electricity and no peace of mind. Our every waking moment was consumed with wondering when the next bomb would fall, where the next meal would come from, how we would get by.

My friends who stayed in Israel had had no such experiences. They had watched TV, talked on the phone, ate regular meals, accessed the internet and lived a relatively uneventful life. It was like night and day. I realized after talking to them that it was as if we had lived on different planets for a week (Is it like that for Israelis? Do they just have no idea what it is like to live in Palestine?)

After our one-week experiment we all returned to America but my friends noticed I was having a much harder time re-adjusting to my home life because I could not help worrying about the Palestinians.

This really was a dream. I didn't make it up. But I did get to wake up. After waking up, I find I am still worried about the Palestinians. As an Indigenous person, I am sympathetic to the plight of any colonized people. 

When will the colonization of Palestine end? When will they wake up from their nightmare ?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama's To Do List: Remember the Women


1. Stop US involvement in torturing detainees---check
2. Wage Peace in the Middle East--begun
3. End International "global gag rule" on abortion--check
4. End the war in Iraq--begun
5. Get us out of this Economic Mess--begun
6. Tear Down the Bush Curtain of Secrecy Hung around the government for last 8 years--check

Obama has initiated talks with Middle Eastern leaders, sent envoys to the Middle East, met with military leaders to set the time table for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, has issued executive orders suspending trials at Gitmo,  shut Gitmo down, and set regulations on the interrogation of prisoners still held there. He has also passed executive orders to create government transparency, posted complete copies of all of his executive orders online, written an executive order to reverse the global gag rule on abortion, and met with Congressional leaders to push through an economic stimulus plan designed to create 4 million jobs. All this in the first five days on the job.

So far so good.

But there is still much to do. One of my big concerns at this point is how well Women's Issues will be addressed by this administration. 

Concern: Obama's decision to create new jobs primarily through construction and engineering projects is likely to unfairly benefit men over women, given that only 3% of construction workers are women. 

Concern: Not only are the jobs being created in fields that are typically disproportionately filled by men but they also usually pay much more than jobs populated by women workers. 

Concern: Of the 4 million jobs promised by the economic stiumlus package how many will go to women? An estimated 1.4 million, according to Obama. That is only 35%. Why is 52% of the population only receiving 35% of the jobs being created? This is not acceptable.

Concern: Only 6 of Obama's 24 cabinet members are women, a mere 25%. Only 16 percent of Senators are women and women only account for 17 percent of the House. We as women do not as yet have the political power to represent ourselves. This needs to change. In the mean time we need the men in office- men like Obama- to do everything they can do end gender inequity.

So what should Obama do?

Obama's To DO List for Gender Equity

1. Make sure that 52% of all economic stmulus jobs go to 52% of the population (women) by writing this into the legislation

2. When creating jobs in male-dominated industries (such as construction, engineering, etc), institute regulations to prevent men from favoring men in hiring. Many of the jobs that are reserved for men do not require any skills unique to men.

3. Write pay equity regulations into the economic stimulus plan to guarantee that women receive their fair share of tax-funded resources. Ensure that the female-dominated jobs get paid wages similar to the male-dominated jobs so that men are not making twice what women are making just because we have a history of paying more for jobs associated with men (garbage collection, construction, plumbing, electricians, etc)  than for those associated with women(education, clerical, healthcare, childcare).

4. Provide childcare for workers thus allowing more women to work outside the home while simultaneously creating more jobs in a woman-dominated industry (childcare).

Only by undoing the political and economic inequalities that have been in place since this country was founded can we hope to stimulate the economy in a way that does not unfairly privilege 48% of the population (men) to the detriment of the majority (women).

I have a much larger TODO list for Obama but he can start here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't Pinch Me: If I am Dreaming I Don't want to Wake Up!

This morning I woke up afraid the inauguration had all just been a wonderful dream. It wasn't until I heard the DJ on my morning radio show mention the inauguration that I breathed a sigh of relief. But I can't relax. I still hold my breath every time I see Obama in public, afraid he will be shot. I still worry that someone will find a way to take it all away, to render his election illegitimate somehow. I am still not sure this is really happening.

Its not my fault. Nothing in my 40 years of life on this planet has prepared me for this. Nothing in my experience as a black/red/brown woman in the United States has ever suggested that this was possible. If I don't know how to act for awhile, people are going to have to cut me some slack.

Am I sporting a goofy grin during what ought to be a serious discussion? Cut me some slack. Am I teary-eyed every time I watch the news? Cut me some slack. Am I bumping into walls while walking about in a dreamy state? Cut me some slack, people.

When I was a wee girl all my teachers told me I was supersmart. My parents tended to agree with them. Given all the praise I was getting from the big people- who ought to know-I had no reason to think it unreasonable for me to decide that I was going to grow up to be president of the United States. The adults were too nice to burst my bubble. They never discouraged me but oddly didn't encourage me much either. Looking back on it now, I suspect that just hearing me say that was what I wanted may have broken their hearts a little bit.

When I was older- around 10 or 11 I was reading an encyclopedia (something I enjoyed doing for fun, being a nerdy type of child) and I came across a section on the presidency. The book had a photo gallery with photographs (or in some cases drawings) of all the presidents who served in the history of the country. I looked through all the pictures, page after page, and I was struck by two oddities: there were no women and there were no brown faces.

By that age I had  been made aware of the great number of white people who thought Black people weren't real people like them and I had met my share of men who believed that we lived in "a man's world" where women were just their helpmates, their ornaments, their entertainment. But I didn't put it all together until I saw all those old white men lined up in that book. I didn't know until then that when they said any American citizen over the age of 35 could be president that the term "American citizen" did not include me, despite my being Indigenous to this country on one side of my family and a 3rd generation American on the other.

So if I you find me stumbling through my day in a dreamy state, don't pinch me. I don't want to wake up from this wonderful dream! I hope I never do.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Smiling ad Crying for Obama

I am sitting in front of the television watching the Kenyan Boy's Choir dancing for Obama and I can't help crying. I have been to Africa, I have known Kenyans. I have danced with Tanzanians, Nigerians, Kenyans, and Zanzabaris in the streets on the continent. But I had to travel so long and so far to meet my sisters and brothers.  

We as African Americans have never danced with our cousins in the streets of the United States. And when we as African Americans have danced in our own streets, we have always had to keep one eye open for the brutality of our state's police forces who were ready to stop our dancing with guns. We have never seen our African cousins on the dais at distinguished national events. And before Obama, we have never seen our faces so well represented in so many places. We have never had this chance to be this proud.

This is our moment. It is also our country's moment. It is our moment of healing: this inauguration. This is America's chance to begin to undo a history of  shame and injustice. It is our chance finally to undo the damage done by our ancestors, to heal the wounds inflicted on our ancestors. It is our chance to remember and to heal a past marked by slavery, lynching, segregation, and discrimination. It is our chance to replace hate with love.

Kenyans are so happy. We African Americans are so happy. But I can't help crying too. We have waited for so long.  African Americans have waited so long. Africans have waited for so long. America has waited for too long.

Will we now, finally, have the chance as peoples to dance in our own streets? Will we be treated with dignity and respect now? To believe that another world is possible makes us smile; to remember the lives we have been forced to live for centuries makes us cry. 

No matter what Obama does as a president, his election has given us this moment, this moment of hope. For the first time we are able to imagine that another world is possible.

Thank You Kenya, for sending us your son; thank you Kansas for sending us your son. Thank you America for pursuing King's dream. We shall overcome.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good News: Oscar Grant's Killer in Jail

The white cop who shot the unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, at an Oakland BART station has finally been arrested and put behind bars after two weeks of protesting in the city of Oakland by outraged residents. The officer was apprehended in Nevada and returned to California where he was booked on murder charges the night before a second big rally by Bay Area activists asking for justice

Numerous  cell phone videos have surfaced over the last week. None of them show any reason why the cop should have shot the man in the back while he lay face down on the ground. The other young men who were forced to witness the brutal murder at close range while also being detained by police are said to be suffering from trauma after the event.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Racism Kills - OSCAR GRANT murder (TRAIN VIEW)

Young black man killed execution style by white police officer.

Oscar Grant, the 22-year old killed, had no guns, posed no threat, was not engaged in any crime and had his hands in the air when they tackled him, as this video clearly shows. He was a black man killed at random by a white cop who perceives black men as inherently dangerous even when handcuffed and restrained by two cops. Oakland residents have been protesting for days demanding that charges be made against the officer who  killed the handcuffed father of two.

This is what racism looks like. Racism kills.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day: The Day of Killing Children

Today Israel is still bombing Gaza. Over 400 Palestinians killed, over 2,000 wounded. Many children wounded today.

Sadly Israel and their allies continue to try to portray this as a war. The Israeli's have lost 4 people, they say. Four? Are they serious? Four compared to four hundred? A city that has no water, limited electricity, insufficient medical supplies, and no modern military weapons, no weapons of mass destruction is being compared with the modern city of Israel, a city-state which has one of most well-stocked arsenals in the world?

According to the group, Physicans for Human Rights, "Palestinian doctors are performing surgeries without surgical gloves, local or general anesthetics, gauze, sterilized equipment or sufficient oxygen for patients. All together, there are only 1,500 hospital beds available in Gaza’s 13 publicly run hospitals."

Israel is the only state in the entire region that has nuclear weapons. It is the fourth-largest recipient of weapons from the U.S.  Since 1986, it has received a U.S. allotment of $1.8 to 3 billion per year in foreign military funding. No other country in the world, whether member of the United Nations or non-member, has been as frequently condemned by the United Nations as has Israel for its occupations, wars, attacks, and massacres in the Middleeast. It currently stands in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions.
(Hoffman and Lieberman, Reporter's Notebook)

Meanwhile, no Arab State has ever been condemned by any organ of the United Nations for military attacks upon Israel.
So if you don't believe me, listen to the United Nations. This is not a just war, it is not even properly described as a war. It is a military attack by a super military power on an ethic organization designed to suppress and intimidate. It is an act of terror.

The blood of Palestinan children running through the streets of Gaza testifies to this.