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Tidbits - July 29, 2021 - Reader Comments: Right Wing Crusade - Cultural War; Bob Moses Remembered; Olympics, Simone Biles Hero; Masks and Vaccines Because They Work; Cuba; China; Korean War; Puerto Rico; Black Lung; and more ....

Reader Comments: Right Wing Crusade - Cultural War; Bob Moses Remembered; Olympics, Simone Biles Hero; Masks and Vaccines Because They Work; Cuba; China; Korean War; Puerto Rico; Black Lung; and more ....

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - July 29, 2021, Portside

Re: Culture War in the Classroom (Max B. Sawicky; Harry Targ)
Re: Bob Moses, Crusader for Civil Rights and Math Education (Kipp Dawson; Bob Zellner; Muriel Tillinghast)
Re: The Human Costs of the Pandemic Olympics (Laura Owen; Judyth Hollub)
Re: Simone Biles Just Demonstrated a True Champion Mind-Set (Craig Gauthier)
Because It Worked  --  cartoon by Dawn Mockler
Re: AFL-CIO Union Federation Supports Vaccine Mandates For Workers (Saul Schniderman)
Re: Benjamin Franklin’s Fight Against a Deadly Virus (Joe Berry)
On the Backs of Amazon Workers and Customers  --  cartoon
Re: Families Wait Years for Housing Vouchers Due to Inadequate Funding (Joseph Maizlish)
Re: 'Recess Can Wait': 23 Groups Demand Senate Stay in DC to Pass For the People Act (Jim Coughlin)
Legality is a Matter of Power, Not Justice
Re: Texas Republicans Can't Handle the Truth About the Alamo (Claire O'Connor; Todd Allen)
Re: The Left Is the Only Reason We’re Talking About Climate Change at All (Daniel Millstone)
He Just Kept Bringing Up His Rights  --  cartoon
Re: Up and Down The Ballot, Progressives Score Wins in Western New York (Paul Krehbiel)
Re: What They Don’t Say About Cuba (US Progressive Activists' Update)
Re: What’s Happening in Cuba? (Jose Luis Medina)
Re: The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party (John Case)
Re: Penetrating Curtains of Deceit: I.F. Stone’s ‘The Hidden History of the Korean War’ (Mike Liston; Joanne Forman)
Politicians Know More Than Dr. Fauci  --  cartoon by Rex A. Jones

Resources:

Let Cuba Live! — Poster of the Week (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)

Announcements:

Black Lung: People, Power, and Policy - August 11 (Appalachian Citizens' Law Center)
NO to Statehood, YES to Decolonization - New York City - August 15 (Friends of Puerto Rico Initiative)

Re: Culture War in the Classroom

I wrote this as an addendum to the Leo Casey post.

The Anti-CRT Campaign is Trumpism by Other Means

By Max B. Sawicky

July 24, 2021
DSA North Star Caucus Blog

I'd like to underscore the importance of Leo's post. I've had a ringside seat on this and I've been yelling about it since April, so I'd like to add a few points, in the nature of friendly amendments.

The Right is whining that education on race introduces turmoil in schools and classrooms. Actually it is their own agitation that will do that. Rabid denunciations of teaching on elementary matters of race by adults will echo in classrooms. A race-blind pedagogy will render U.S. history more remote to POC and lead to the opposite result for which they clamor: less identification with U.S. citizenship.

But the campaign is not motivated by any of that. One of the original epicenters was in Loudoun County, Va., where I live. This has national strategic significance, in three ways. 1) it pressures teacher unions, one of the lynchpins of Democratic Party power nationwide; 2) it agitates Trump voters in Virginia, a key source of Democratic Party electoral votes; 3) it fuels the home-schooling movement.

On (2), the former head of the Loudoun County school board is using this issue as a springboard for his gubernatorial campaign. The state government went all-Democratic in recent years, and this issue, along with hype over gun control, has lead to frenzied public meetings of crazed voters. The gun control agitation was based in the rural counties. The CRT noise is focused in the biggest, wealthiest counties. Put them together, and you have the basis for Republican victory.

On (1) and (3), CRT hype promotes separation from public schools altogether, not unlike the formation of racist 'academies' in the South after Brown vs. Board of Ed. One can find talk locally by parents of hiring teachers to teach in their home to groups of five or so students. There are enough people here with the financial means to cause a non-trivial drain on public schools, leading to generalized lack of funding that will have disparate, negative impacts by class and race.

On ways to fight back, here are a couple of additional considerations.

This is a Trumpist movement, and Trumpists have substantially discredited themselves with their actions on Jan 6. Such antics would be likely to have their greatest negative response in precisely the middle-class localities where the CRT issue has been amped up. Jan 6 should be a millstone around the necks of the GOP everywhere.

In Loudoun Country, the school board is not up for election this year, so the Right is trying to set off a recall election. Here school board elections are formally non-partisan. Of course all electeds have some known party identification. Nevertheless, voters may resent being dragged into elections for those they have already approved at the ballot box, all the more so if the campaign is based on rubbish.

One added element locally has been protest over protocols on treatment of transgender students. The bathroom issue is rearing its head again. Parents of these students tend to be among the most energetic in response. There has also been flak over 'dirty books' being assigned for reading. (Actually they're not dirty and they have not been required reading.) Middle-class moderate parents are unlikely to be moved by these issues, so the campaign has the effect of energizing an excitable minority, but also isolating them.

Finally, I note that DSA in Virginia has been totally asleep at the switch on all of this. In my rudimentary understanding of organizing, politics entails talking about what others are talking about, not just what you want to talk about. Here the preferred issues are a pipeline that would run through the state, and the PRO act. If the R's retake power in the state, pipelines and labor rights will take their place alongside other, equally-critical problems.

      =====

see:

THE CONTRADICTIONS FACING 21St CENTURY HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE OF “CIVIC LITERACY” AT PURDUE UNIVERSITY

By Harry Targ, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, Purdue University and Dan Morris, Professor of English, Purdue University

Harry Targ
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Bob Moses, Crusader for Civil Rights and Math Education

Gratitude to Portside https://portside.org/2021-07-25/bob-moses-crusader-civil-rights-and-mat… for this set of tributes to (and stories about) our #BobMoses.

Here's how Portside https://portside.org/2021-07-25/bob-moses-crusader-civil-rights-and-mat… heads this collection: "Bob Moses was teaching math at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx when scenes of Black people sitting at lunch counters across the South inspired him to become an activist. "

Kipp Dawson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Bob Moses memories

My head was full of Bob Moses from the time I joined SNCC. From the beginning there was debate and some tension between two factions that were beginning to develop.  Moses was the name most associated with the voter registration side.

In my memoir, I put it this way, “in the early days, the philosophy of SNCC was slowly being hammered out, and the heated and strong feeling on both sides—direct action vs. voter registration—was becoming quite evident. Some wondered if the organization would split into two different groups with some people doing what Bob Moses was doing already - organizing around voter registration in Mississippi. He had made so many good contacts with older activists there, like E. W. Steptoe, Amzie Moore, and Medgar Evers, and they were hungry for help. People were being threatened and killed for attempting to register.”

I arrived in Atlanta to volunteer for the summer when nobody from the organization seemed to be in town.  Chuck McDew was the only person in the SNCC office which I had managed to find on sweet Auburn Avenue. He said he had to leave to catch a bus, so every thing was said and done fast.

“Here’s the briefcase,” and he shoved it toward me. I had assumed that it was his briefcase, but he slid it over to my side of the desk and said, “Here’s the briefcase, take good care of it. Everything’s in there.”

“What’s in there?”

“Don’t worry about it.  Just keep it, and when somebody comes, they’ll know who to give it to. Keep it with you at all times. Don’t leave it here. If you need anything else, Wyatt Tee Walker with SCLC is across the street. Moses has a desk over there.”

“BobMoses? Is he there?” “No, he’s in Mississippi.” “When is he coming back?” “I don’t know, but if you need anything just go over there and talk to Wyatt, and he’ll take care of it for you.”

In SNCC we had two great leaders with their eyes on history.  Our Executive Director James Forman was constantly saying to us, “write it down, make a record.”  He wanted us to be aware of the necessity of telling our own story.  Around the time the movie MISSISSIPPI BURNING came out, Bob Moses said in Jackson, Mississippi, at the thirtieth anniversary of SNCC—that we needed to start writing our own stories, because history and historians will either not tell about it or will get it wrong.

Bob Moses was incensed that the story line of the film Mississippi Burning made two white savior FBI agents the heroes of the summer of 1964.  The grassroots movement community [African American activists and their white northern Jewish allies] served only as background for the Buddy Movie and their homophobic, racist boss –J.  Edgar Hoover.  This was the exact opposite of the true story, turning history on its head.

Bob Moses, like Ms. Rosa Parks, was a person of such calm and firm demeanor that everyone listened when he spoke in his quiet voice. When Moses suggested that you should do something, most of us young SNCCers would get right to it.  This is one of the main reasons that my memoir, THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER CREEK, ever got written and published.  Connie Curry and Julian Bond, also listening to Forman and Moses, made sure the book got done. Then, dreams sometimes do come true, along comes Barry Alexander Brown and Spike Lee, who made sure a good movie was done on the story which could reach thousands of young women and men around the world.

Bob Zellner
Fairhope, Alabama

      =====

Thank you for your reminiscences of SNCC in its earliest days.  Without a doubt, Robert Parris Moses was one of a kind, a rare and formidable humanist of extraordinary vision and capability.   He will be missed.

Muriel Tillinghast

Re: The Human Costs of the Pandemic Olympics

So disgraceful! Putting young people in harms way to make the ‘ Almighty Dollar’, all lawyers should gather up for a class action suit for reckless endangerment!!!

Laura Owen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

The Tokyo Olympics are a gigantic folly. Should have waited until next year, or whenever it would be safer.

To the athletes who say they've been training for this, I say, what's more important: possibly winning some medals, or staying healthy and keeping a dangerous disease from spreading?

And as for winning medals, how valid will those medals be if you haven't competed against ALL of the athletes you would have if many had not been eliminated by testing positive for Covid? Personally, I feel that any athletes who win should have an asterisk next to their names.  WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR!!!

Judyth Hollub
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Simone Biles Just Demonstrated a True Champion Mind-Set

We don't need to dance to their music, we have our own music, soul to soul,😆😆😆💞💞

Craig Gauthier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Because It Worked  --  cartoon by Dawn Mockler

Dawn Mockler
December 16, 2020
dawnymock.com

Re: AFL-CIO Union Federation Supports Vaccine Mandates For Workers

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

Thank you very important message. I have circulated to fellow unionists.

Saul Schniderman

Re: Benjamin Franklin’s Fight Against a Deadly Virus

This is an interesting piece and accurate, I suspect, as far as it goes. However, it omits an important aspect of the controversy, then and later. Namely that the anti-inoculation forces (then and now some too) were partly animated by racism since the practice came from non-white peoples (Africans and Asians) and was then characterized as “savage superstition”.

Joe Berry

On the Backs of Amazon Workers and Customers  --  cartoon

Re: Families Wait Years for Housing Vouchers Due to Inadequate Funding

Where are they supposed to live while they wait? And where DO they live while they wait? And with what consequences to health, child development, stress, etc.?

Joseph Maizlish

Re: 'Recess Can Wait': 23 Groups Demand Senate Stay in DC to Pass For the People Act

Fat chance! Nothing is more important than fund raising for too many elected officials.

Jim Coughlin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Legality is a Matter of Power, Not Justice

Re: Texas Republicans Can't Handle the Truth About the Alamo

A myth taught in Texas you say. I learned about the Alamo heroes in St. Paul public schools in the 1960s. In fact, though it was no surprise to find out, I didn't know about connection to slavery until a few years ago Duh! I wasn't surprised.

Claire O'Connor

      =====

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Todd Allen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Left Is the Only Reason We’re Talking About Climate Change at All

Kate Aronoff explains how we have pushed and demanded a Green New Deal strategy. I was in San Francisco ... when a huge crowd of young Sunrise Movement activists confronted Pelosi.  One result has been that some climate change issues have been incorporated in the Infrastructure bill. Of course we chattering leftists are always being instructed to shut up. But we won't. We are moving on to victory. Thanks to Portside for sending this along.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

He Just Kept Bringing Up His Rights  --  cartoon

September 2020

Re: Up and Down The Ballot, Progressives Score Wins in Western New York

A socialist mayor in my hometown! I’ve been out of Buffalo for years but congrats to India and the gritty, salt-of-the-earth multiracial working-class of Buffalo!

Paul Krehbiel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: What They Don’t Say About Cuba

As the Cuban writer René Vázquez Díaz put it recently, imagine the army of US government officials who have worked tirelessly since 1960 to make Cuban children, the elderly and the sick, women and men suffer the unspeakable in a small country that has never attacked its executioner. Imagine the massive number of US government officials who, now more than ever, continue to carry out that daily work.

Imagine for a moment the cost of this full-spectrum war that operates in cyberspace. They connect and share information with all their operatives working in “real-time” to ensure that the social unrest passes from a promising potential to something that seems plausible. This happens without ever mentioning the hand that has rocked the cradle. And without revealing, of course, that the majority of the Cubans did not participate in the protests and will not accept, in any way a “humanitarian intervention” nor the bombs and marines that accompany it.

When the Cuban government called the people to defend their revolution, the signal was given on social media and international media to turn President Miguel Díaz-Canel into a criminal. They forgot to mention that the President didn’t call the army to shoot at citizens or inflict ocular injures or use electric batons and water tanks with acid or tear gas or any other weapon. The majority in Cuba know who the actual criminal in this story is.

US Progressive Activists' Update
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: What’s Happening in Cuba?

"Will the current situation in Cuba lead to US-backed violence in Cuba? To answer that question, we first need an understanding of what’s happening. There has been ongoing violence from the United States towards Cuba for 60 years."

Jose Luis Medina
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party

The arrogance of this US 'leftist' lecture to China is breathtaking; as is its ignorance of the actual statements, books, and policy histories of the actual Chinese leaders from Mao through Xi Xinping. Ouch

John Case

Re: Penetrating Curtains of Deceit: I.F. Stone’s ‘The Hidden History of the Korean War’

This is why I support Portside. I read Stone's book decades back and it's informed me ever since. I love my land, but most sincerely don't love its corrupt technocrats, oligarchs, plutocrats and mafia bosses.  I.F. Stone was a national hero. Someday, he'll get the acknowledgement he so truly deserves. As for the rest of those bums, let them burn,

Mike Liston

      =====

Greetings from an old timer in Taos, NM.

I remember WELL the announcement that Korea would be united within six months of the end of WW II. Didn't turn out that way, did it?!

Joanne Forman

Politicians Know More Than Dr. Fauci  --  cartoon by Rex A. Jones

Rex A. Jones
June 2020
tweeted by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control
July 16, 2020

Let Cuba Live! — Poster of the Week (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)


Gladys Acosta
Offset, 1991
Havana, Cuba

No Al Bloqueo Economico a Cuba!
No to the Economic Blockade of Cuba!

The Poster of the Week features a green map of Cuba trapped in the prison-like stripes of Uncle Sam’s hat. Falling out of the hat are some of the items targeted by the embargo:

  • Petroleum
  • Foreign exchange
  • Medicine
  • Imports
  • Exports

Last week, the corporate media praised anti-Cuban government demonstrations taking place in Havana. They did not cover any of the pro-government demonstrations that also took place. Even worse, they used photos from pro-government demonstrations but called them anti-government protests!* The prominent red and black flags should have been a clue had they been interested in accuracy. CNN even recycled a photo from an anti-Cuban government demonstration held in Miami, and claimed it was held in Havana. They pulled the photo, but the damage was done.

Meanwhile, President Biden has chosen to tighten the vise on Cuba as Covid-19 is rapidly spreading throughout the island. Fortunately, 6 million syringes are heading to Cuba, thanks to the organizing efforts of Global Health Partners, assisted by the Saving Lives Campaign, CODEPINK, The People’s Forum, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and two Cuban American groups—the No Embargo Cuba Movement and Puentes de Amor.     

Today’s NYTimes has an open letter to President Biden to end the embargo. It was signed by an impressive list of US and international politicians, activists, artists, and academics.

To see the NYTimes ad and sign the letter:

https://www.letcubalive.com/

The Guardian (7/12/21), Fox News (7/11/21), Boston Globe (7/11/21), Financial Times (7/12/21), Yahoo! News (7/11/21) and NBC’s Today program (7/13/21

Sources:

Center for the Study of Political Graphics
3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 103
Culver City, CA 90230

Black Lung: People, Power, and Policy - August 11 (Appalachian Citizens' Law Center)

August 11th @ 6pm - Register

Black lung, caused by the inhalation of coal and silica dust, affects tens of thousands of coal miners in the United States today. This disease is incurable, progressive, and deadly.

A coalition of mine workers, their families, and other supporters are working to advance government policies that will protect miners from excessive exposure to harmful dust, and to ensure that the medical and material needs of those miners who are already disabled with the disease are met. Namely, the Black Lung Association is calling on Congress to extend a small tax paid by coal companies in order to fund medical care and disability benefits for miners with black lung. Kentucky-based Appalachian Citizens Law Center is petitioning the Mine Safety and Health Administration to strengthen silica dust regulations in coal mines.

Join us at 6pm (Eastern Time), on August 11th, to learn more about black lung disease, the grassroots efforts to address this epidemic, and what you can do to push policy makers in the right direction on this important issue.

Speakers will include:

  • Gary Hairston, coal miner and President of National Black Lung Association
  • Fred Pinson, coal miner and Vice President of East Kentucky Coalfield Black Lung Association
  • Deborah Wills, black lung clinic coordinator based in WV
  • Rebecca Shelton, Director of Policy and Organizing, Appalachian Citizens Law Center
  • Willie Dodson, Central Appalachian Field Coordinator, Appalachian Voices

Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center
317 Main St
Whitesburg, KY 41858

Main Office: (606) 633-3929
Toll-Free: (877) 637-3929
Fax: (606) 633-3925

 

NO to Statehood, YES to Decolonization - New York City - August 15 (Friends of Puerto Rico Initiative)
 

Declaration of the “NO to Statehood, YES to Decolonization” March of August 15. 

We affirm that we are Puerto Ricans; that Puerto Rico is our Country and our Nation. We are a Caribbean people and our language is Spanish. We are Boricuas who live in the Archipelago of Puerto Rico and who live in the Puerto Rican Diaspora throughout the world.

We declare that Puerto Rico is subject to a colonial regime that is not permitted to make its own fundamental decisions. We claim our right to initiate the process of self-determination and decolonization of our Country.

We reject Puerto Rico’s conversion into a state of the United States. We affirm that annexation to the United States is NOT a decolonizing option for our Country. On the contrary, statehood is the death of the Puerto Rican nationality; it is illegal under International Law; and would be the culmination and fatal result of 123 years of dependence and colonial domination.

We reject that an illegal and definitive annexation to the United States can be imposed on Puerto Rico, based on mere arithmetic majorities of voters that are subject to colonial dependence.

We declare that the actual colonial government of the New Progressive Party (PNP) lies when it says it has a “mandate” of the People to ask for statehood. The result of an imposed consultation, with unjust and rigged rules, in which the only thing reflected is the wide opposition to statehood, does not represent any kind of mandate to ask Washington to make us a state, thereby annihilating our existence as a Country.

On the basis of the statements heretofore expressed, we, the organizations and persons who have signed this declaration, call upon our people to mobilize for the march and activities on Sunday, August 15; and to express in the multiple possible forms that Puerto Rico is a Nation, that we are committed to a true process of Decolonization and that we categorically reject annexation and statehood.

Puerto Rico forever!  Yes, to the Boricua Nation!  Yes, to the Decolonization of Puerto Rico!  Never Statehood!

Puerto Rico Siempre!