Guanahani

Abagond

One morning on the island of Guanahani, men arrived from the sky, men who were not used to walking on the earth. Well, we thought they were from the sky. Later we found out that if you held them under water long enough they died and, even after three days, did not come back to life.

They came on three boats. There were maybe a hundred of them.

Their leader was a man with red hair who wore shiny clothes and a red cape. When he got on shore, he sank to his knees and cried. He kissed the earth. Then he got up and looked at the white sands, the turquoise sea, the green trees, the birds of many colours. And he looked at us, at our bodies.

He had a big picture of a black bird. Two men beside him each had a picture of…

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take a knee

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Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick in 2016. (Mike McCarn/AP)

“Take a knee” (2016- ), known as #TakeAKnee on Twitter, is where you kneel instead of stand during the “Star-Spangled Banner”, the US national anthem. It was started last year by Colin Kaepernick, an American football player, to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Since 2009 it has been common for players in the National Football League (NFL) to stand during the song.

Colin Kaepernick is now out the NFL: no owner of a team will hire him, despite his championship-level talent. But other players, like Michael Bennett, have started taking the knee. Most seem to be Black.

Several New England Patriots players take a knee, Sunday September 24th 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

On Sunday yesterday (September 24th 2017) taking a knee spread like wildfire at football games across the nation. At one game even the singer of the “Star-Spangled Banner”…

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Antifa

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Antifa (1932- ) is an anti-fascist movement made up of those on the far left who believe in violence. It was started in the 1930s by German communists to stop the rise of Hitler. In the 2010s it is now fighting the rise of Trump.

  • Headquarters: none.
  • Numbers: unknown.
  • Catchphrase: No platform for fascists.
  • Symbol: the double flag (red and black in the 2010s).
  • Clothing: black, with face partly covered (to hide who they are from the police).

So far in 2017 in the US:

  • January: punched alt-right Richard Spencer (pictured above).
  • February: broke glass and set fires to stop alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at Berkeley.
  • August: protected Cornel West and clergy at the Charlottesville riot.

They aim to stop fascism “by any means necessary”. And sometimes by means unnecessary, like using violence even at protests where the left…

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The eight stages of genocide

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paris_wwii_a Stage 2: Symbolization.

Now that we are in the Trump Era this post bears repeating, especially in the wake of the Charlottesville riot. The original has been edited to make it fit an F-pattern in an H.G. Wells style. I added a message from Superman in 1949 at the end.

The eight stages of genocide (1996) are the steps that every society goes through when it destroys a people not for military reasons but because of their race, religion, culture or national origins. Gregory Stanton, who had studied the genocide in Cambodia for the American State Department, noticed the very same steps unfolding in Rwanda in 1994 in the middle of Africa. The genocide in Darfur at the edge of the Sahara has since followed the same steps in the same order:

  1. Classification: the division into us and them. This is extremely common in human societies. While it is not a…

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Latasha Harlins

Abagond

Latasha Harlins (1975-1991) was an unarmed 15-year-old Black girl in South Los Angeles who was shot in the back of the head over a $1.79 bottle of orange juice. She was killed by Soon Ja Du, a Korean American shopkeeper. Du thought she was shoplifting. When police arrived they found Harlins dead – with $2.00 in her hand.

This is the “Latasha” and the “bottle of juice” in the songs of Tupac Shakur.

Empire Liquor, South Central Los Angeles, 1991. South Central was renamed South Los Angeles in 2003. Photo via scpr.org.

On Saturday March 16th 1991, less than two weeks after video came out of Los Angeles police beating up Rodney King, Harlins walked into Empire Liquor Market Deli to buy orange juice. She put the bottle in her backpack, placing it so that it was sticking out, and walked to the counter with two dollars in…

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Abby Martin

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Abby Martin on RT, 2014.

Abby Martin (1984- ), a US journalist – or newsmodel (depending on who you ask) – is best known for speaking out against Russia’s takeover of Crimea while on Russian television! RT, the television station she appeared on, to its credit did not fire her. She left a year later and now works for South America’s TeleSUR, where she does a show called “The Empire Files” (2015 – ).

She came of age in the wake of 9/11. In fact, she was a 9/11 Truther while at university (she no longer believes the US government was behind 9/11). Later she became an anti-war activist and a citizen journalist (also known as “not having a journalism degree”). It was while she was covering the protests of Occupy Oakland (her home town) that she came to the attention of RT, a sort of Russian BBC.

RT

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United Airlines Flight 3411

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United Airlines Flight 3411 in the US, from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, is now world infamous for violently removing a passenger, a 69-year-old man, David Dao, on Sunday April 9th 2017. United Airlines wanted to give his seat to an employee. Dao refused, saying he was a doctor who had patients to see the next morning. According to a witness, Dao felt United chose him because he was Chinese. United says he (and three others) were selected “at random.”

Slogan: Fly the Friendly Skies.

According to Chicago police (bolding mine):

“At approximately 6:00 p.m., A 69-year-old male Asian airline passenger became irate after he was asked to disembark from a flight that was oversold. The passenger in question began yelling to voice his displeasure at which point Aviation Police were summoned. Aviation Officers arrived on scene attempted to carry the individual off of the flight when he fell

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Books that have most influenced me as a blogger

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The books that have most influenced me as a blogger, here listed from oldest to newest (those with links have posts of their own):

Thucydides: History (written by -395) – write the truth as clearly as possible. The truth plainly stated is far more valuable than lies decorated. Writing should be a glass window onto the truth and yet, somehow, also an X-ray machine.

Winston Churchill: Second World War (1953) – in particular his account of the fall of France in 1940. I knew how it was going to end, of course, but the way he wrote it it still came as a shock. It seems he did that by avoiding any build-up or warning, but instead just laid down one grim fact after another.

Winston Churchill: History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1958) – in particular his account of the Spanish Armada. I used to be a…

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Angela Peoples

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(Photo: Kevin Banatte, afroCHuBBZ)

Angela Peoples (1986- ) is a US activist fighting for equal rights for Black and queer (LGBTQ) people, currently the co-director of GetEQUAL. She is best known for a picture of her holding a sign that says:

“Don’t forget: White Women Voted for Trump.”

– while sucking on a lollipop. Right behind her are three White women, one of them taking a picture of herself, the other two looking at their phones. They are at the women’s march in Washington, DC the day after Donald Trump became president. Her hat says, “Stop Killing Black People”.

In 2016, 53% of White women voted for Donald Trump while 94% of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton.

She says the march “definitely felt very white.”

What she would say to the White women behind her:

“I would say 53% of white women voted for him. Someone in your family voted…

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Watergate

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nixon-watergate-h Watergate Hotel office building in Washington, DC

Watergate (1972-1974) was a “third-rate burglary attempt” at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters that brought down US President Richard Nixon.

It was hardly the worst thing Nixon did – just ask Cambodia, Chile, Bangladesh, the Black Panthers or the Socialist Workers Party. But his victim in this case, the Democratic Party, had the power to strike back: they controlled Congress (56% of the Senate and 56% of the House).

watergate-burglars

The break-in: In the middle of the night on June 17th 1972 a security guard called police about a break-in at the Watergate Hotel office building. Police found five well-dressed middle-age men wearing gloves and holding cameras, walkie-talkies, electronic equipment and burglary tools.

woodward-and-bernstein

Woodward and Bernstein, two metro desk reporters at the Washington Post, were assigned to cover the story.

quote-no-one-is-entitled-to-the-truth-e-howard-hunt-60-38-42

quote-obviously-crime-pays-or-there-d-be-no-crime-g-gordon-liddy-247505

The burglars would not give their real names, but one had…

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