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Tim Wise explicates racist, right-wing rage

Thanks a lot, **Naomi**. Racism, Right-Wing Rage and the Politics of White Nostalgia | Red Room
"You know full well that no one is talking about wanting to go back to the days of segregation." Well, no, I don't know it. I don't know that at all, seeing as how so many of the tea-bag set and anti-health care folks make "taking their country back" one of the most prominent lines of their vocalized outrage. What does that mean, coming from people in their 60s and 70s, for whom the America of their youth was indeed a white supremacist place? ... What does it mean when someone says that they want to go back to the country the way the founders envisioned it, as many have also explained at these rallies? After all, they envisioned a white republic. ... ...: "We aren't talking about the racism part. We mean the rest of it." How fascinating. That it is factually impossible to separate out the "racism part" from the rest of it is something many white folks seem not to understand. They seem to think there was once a time of innocence when oppression wasn't happening, or that we can easily extract from our accounting of those crimes the great and noble things about our forefathers and view them in some patriotic vacuum. But we can't. ... Oh, and not to put too fine a point on it, but the founders actually did foster quite a lot of government dependence: enshrining slavery was about government protecting white people from the competition of free black labor, and white folks becoming quite dependent on that protection. Stealing native land and then redistributing it to white people was about dependence on government-imposed violence. And later, yet still in the supposedly "good old days," government dependence was at the heart of segregation--which artificially subsidized white people in the job, school and housing markets--and was at the heart of the FHA and VA loans that white families used (and from which black families were all but completely blocked) in the 40s and 50s, which literally built the white middle class. But I'm guessing that when she uses a phrase like "dependence on government" she isn't thinking about the white folks who were given 270 million acres of essentially free land under the Homestead Act. Or the 15 million or so white families who got those racially preferential home loans, with government underwriting and guarantees, thanks to programs implemented by liberals and thanks to pressure from the left....

September 02, 2009

Detroit: What do you do when your landlord abandons you?

detroitblog -- Home free
. . . When they moved in a few years ago, Spaulding Court was a nice place to live, featuring two sleek wings, walls of cut-stone blocks and a courtyard through the middle. Each pair of apartments shared a covered porch capped with a brick archway. They’d been solid for a century. All 20 units were occupied. Then the landlord stopped showing up to collect rent or to perform maintenance. A couple years later he returned to serve eviction notices. And then he vanished, again. As the place fell apart, its residents left one by one. Empty apartments were ransacked. Windows were shattered. Doors were kicked in. A couple units got torched. The family had nowhere to go and no money to get out. For a while they attempted to contact the landlord, first for repairs and then just to learn what happened, but his last known phone number is disconnected, and his last address was a box at the post office. Meanwhile, they live in a nearly abandoned building. Scrappers break down the doors to empty units and tear out anything that’s metal. Drug dealers moved into the vacant unit across from the family a while back and set up shop until Rick chased them off. Amateur photographers sometimes wander the ruins until they hear him barking at them from a window to get the hell out. . . . The benefits of living rent-free were long ago outweighed by the building’s disrepair. “I hate this place with the biggest passion in the world,” Jennifer says. “I cannot stand it.” She aspires to one day move someplace downriver, like Melvindale. . . .

September 01, 2009

Video shows chicks ground up alive at egg hatchery

Video shows chicks ground up alive at egg hatchery - Yahoo! News
DES MOINES, Iowa – An animal rights group publicized a video Tuesday showing unwanted chicks being tossed alive into a grinder at an Iowa plant and accused egg hatcheries of being "perhaps the cruelest industry" in the world. The undercover video was shot by Chicago-based Mercy for Animals at a hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, over a two-week period in May and June. The video was first obtained Monday by The Associated Press. "We have to ask ourselves if these were puppies and kittens being dropped into grinders, would we find that acceptable?" asked Nathan Runkle, the group's executive director, at a news conference in Des Moines. "I don't think that most people would." The group said that tossing male chicks, which have little value because they can't lay eggs or be raised quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, into grinders is common industry practice. United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, confirmed that.

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