Archive | June 23rd, 2015

NYT’s Orwellian View of Ukraine


By Robert Parry 

In George Orwell’s 1984, the leaders of Oceania presented “Two Minutes Hate” in which the image of an enemy was put on display and loyal Oceanianians expressed their rage, all the better to prepare them for the country’s endless wars and their own surrender of freedom. And, now, in America, you have The New York Times.

Surely the Times is a bit more subtle than the powers-that-be in Orwell’s Oceania, but the point is the same. The “paper of record” decides who our rotating foreign enemy is and depicts its leader as a demon corrupting whatever he touches. The rest of us aren’t supposed to think for ourselves. We’re just supposed to hate.

As the Times has degenerated from a relatively decent newspaper into a fount of neocon propaganda, its editors also have descended into the practice of simply inventing a narrative of events that serves an ideological purpose, its own version of “Two Minutes Hate.” Like the leaders of Orwell’s Oceania, the Times has become increasingly heavy-handed in its propaganda.

Excluding alternate explanations of events, even if supported by solid evidence, the Times arrogantly creates its own reality and tells us who to hate.

In assessing the Times’s downward spiral into this unethical journalism, one could look back on its false reporting regarding Iraq, Iran, Syria or other Middle East hotspots. But now the Times is putting the lives of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren at risk with its reckless reporting on the Ukraine crisis – by setting up an unnecessary confrontation between nuclear-armed powers, the United States and Russia.

At the center of the Times’ propaganda on Ukraine has been its uncritical – indeed its anti-journalistic – embrace of the Ukrainians coup-makers in late 2013 and early 2014 as they collaborated with neo-Nazi militias to violently overthrow elected President Viktor Yanukovych and hurl Ukraine into a bloody civil war.

Rather than display journalistic professionalism, the Times’ propagandists ignored the evidence of a coup – including an intercepted phone call in which U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt discussed how to “mid-wife” the regime change and handpick the new leaders.

The Times even ignored a national security expert, Statfor founder George Friedman, when he termed the ouster of Ukraine’s elected president “the most blatant coup in history.” The Times just waved a magic wand and pronounced that there was no coup – and anyone who thought so must reside inside “the Russian propaganda bubble.”[See’s NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

Perhaps even more egregiously, the Times has pretended that there were no neo-Nazi militias spearheading the Feb. 22, 2014 coup and then leading the bloody “anti-terrorist operation” against ethnic Russians in the south and east who resisted the coup. The Times explained all this bloodshed as simply “Russian aggression.”

It didn’t even matter when the U.S. House of Representatives – of all groups – unanimously acknowledged the neo-Nazi problem when it prohibited U.S. collaboration in military training of Ukrainian Nazis. The Times simply expunged the vote from its “official history” of the crisis. [See’s US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine.”]

Orwell’s Putin

Yet, for an Orwellian “Two Minute Hate” to work properly, you need to have a villain whose face you can put on display. And, in the case of Ukraine – at least after Yanukovych was driven from the scene – that villain has been Russian President Vladimir Putin, who embodies all evil in the intense hatred sold to the American public.

So, when Putin presents a narrative of the Ukraine crisis, which notes the history of the U.S.-driven expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders and the evidence of the U.S.-directed Ukrainian coup, the Times editors must dismiss it all as “mythology,” as they did in Monday’s editorial regarding Putin’s remarks to an international economic conference in St. Petersburg.

“President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not veering from the mythology he created to explain away the crisis over Ukraine,” the Times’editors wrote. “It is one that wholly blames the West for provoking a new Cold War and insists that international sanctions have not grievously wounded his country’s flagging economy.”

Without acknowledging any Western guilt in the coup that overthrew the elected Ukrainian government in 2014, the Times’ editors simply reveled in the harm that the Obama administration and the European Union have inflicted on Russia’s economy for its support of the previously elected government and its continued backers in eastern and southern Ukraine.

For nearly a year and a half, the New York Times and other major U.S. news organizations have simply refused to acknowledge the reality of what happened in Ukraine. In the Western fantasy, the elected Yanukovych government simply disappeared and was replaced by a U.S.-backed regime that then treated any resistance to its rule as “terrorism.” The new regime even dispatched neo-Nazi militias to kill ethnic Russians and other Ukrainians who resisted and thus were deemed “terrorists.”

The upside-down narrative of what happened in Ukraine has become the conventional wisdom in Official Washington and has been imposed on America’s European allies as well. According to The New York Times’ Orwellian storyline, anyone who notes the reality of a U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine is engaging in “fantasy” and must be some kind of Putin pawn.

To the Times’ editors, all the justice is on their side, even as Ukraine’s new regime has deployed neo-Nazi militias to kill eastern Ukrainians who resisted the anti-Yanukovych coup. To the Times’ editors, the only possible reason to object to Ukraine’s new order is that the Russians must be bribing European dissidents to resist the U.S. version of events. The Times wrote:

The Europeans are indeed divided over the extent to which Russia, with its huge oil and gas resources, should be isolated, but Mr. Putin’s aggression so far has ensured their unity when it counts. In addition to extending existing sanctions, the allies have prepared a new round of sanctions that could be imposed if Russian-backed separatists seized more territory in Ukraine. …

Although Mr. Putin insisted on Friday that Russia had found the ‘inner strength’ to weather sanctions and a drop in oil prices, investment has slowed, capital has fled the country and the economy has been sliding into recession. Even the business forum was not all that it seemed: The heads of many Western companies stayed away for a second year.

An Orwellian World

In the up-is-down world that has become the New York Times’ editorial page, the Western coup-making on Russia’s border with the implicit threat of U.S. and NATO nuclear weapons within easy range of Moscow is transformed into a case of Russian aggression. TheTimes’ editors wrote: “One of the most alarming aspects of the crisis has been Mr. Putin’s willingness to brandish nuclear weapons.”

Though it would appear objectively that the United States was engaged in serious mischief-making on Russia’s border, the Timeseditors flip it around to make Russian military maneuvers – inside Russia – a sign of aggression against the West.

Given Mr. Putin’s aggressive behavior, including pouring troops and weapons into Kaliningrad, a Russian city located between NATO members Lithuania and Poland, the allies have begun taking their own military steps. In recent months, NATO approved a rapid-reaction force in case an ally needs to be defended. It also pre-positioned some weapons in front-line countries, is rotating troops there and is conducting many more exercises. There are also plans to store battle tanks and other heavy weapons in several Baltic and Eastern European countries.

If he is not careful, Mr. Putin may end up facing exactly what he has railed against — a NATO more firmly parked on Russia’s borders — not because the alliance wanted to go in that direction, but because Russian behavior left it little choice. That is neither in Russia’s interest, nor the West’s.

There is something truly 1984-ish about reading that kind of propagandistic writing in The New York Times and other Western publications. But it has become the pattern, not the exception.

The Words of the ‘Demon’

Though the Times and the rest of the Western media insist on demonizing Putin, we still should hear the Russian president’s version of events, as simply a matter of journalistic fairness. Here is how Putin explained the situation to American TV talk show host Charlie Rose on June 19:

Why did we arrive at the crisis in Ukraine? I am convinced that after the so-called bipolar system ceased to exist, after the Soviet Union was gone from the political map of the world, some of our partners in the West, including and primarily the United States, of course, were in a state of euphoria of sorts. Instead of developing good neighborly relations and partnerships, they began to develop the new geopolitical space that they thought was unoccupied. This, for instance, is what caused the North Atlantic bloc, NATO, to go east, along with many other developments.

I have been thinking a lot about why this is happening and eventually came to the conclusion that some of our partners [Putin’s way of describing Americans] seem to have gotten the illusion that the world order that was created after World War II, with such a global center as the Soviet Union, does not exist anymore, that a vacuum of sorts has developed that needs to be filled quickly.

I think such an approach is a mistake. This is how we got Iraq, and we know that even today there are people in the United States who think that mistakes were made in Iraq. Many admit that there were mistakes in Iraq, and nevertheless they repeat it all in Libya. Now they got to Ukraine. We did not bring about the crisis in Ukraine. There was no need to support, as I have said many times, the anti-state, anti-constitutional takeover that eventually led to a sharp resistance on the territory of Ukraine, to a civil war in fact.

Where do we go from here?” Putin asked. “Today we primarily need to comply with all the agreements reached in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. … At the same time, I would like to draw your attention and the attention of all our partners to the fact that we cannot do it unilaterally. We keep hearing the same thing, repeated like a mantra – that Russia should influence the southeast of Ukraine. We are. However, it is impossible to resolve the problem through our influence on the southeast alone.

There has to be influence on the current official authorities in Kiev, which is something we cannot do. This is a road our Western partners have to take – those in Europe and America. Let us work together. … We believe that to resolve the situation we need to implement the Minsk agreements, as I said. The elements of a political settlement are key here. There are several. […]

The first one is constitutional reform, and the Minsk agreements say clearly: to provide autonomy or, as they say decentralization of power, let it be decentralization. This is quite clear, our European partners, France and Germany have spelled it out and we are quite satisfied with it, just as the representatives of Donbass [eastern Ukraine where ethnic Russians who had supported Yanukovych have declared independence] are. This is one component.

The second thing that has to be done – the law passed earlier on the special status of these territories – Luhansk and Donetsk, the unrecognized republics, should be enacted. It was passed, but still not acted upon. This requires a resolution of the Supreme Rada – the Ukrainian Parliament – which is also covered in the Minsk agreements. Our friends in Kiev have formally complied with this decision, but simultaneously with the passing by the Rada of the resolution to enact the law they amended the law itself … which practically renders the action null and void. This is a mere manipulation, and they have to move from manipulations to real action.

The third thing is a law on amnesty. It is impossible to have a political dialogue with people who are threatened with criminal persecution. And finally, they need to pass a law on municipal elections on these territories and to have the elections themselves. All this is spelled out in the Minsk agreements, this is something I would like to draw your attention to, and all this should be done with the agreement of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Unfortunately, we still see no direct dialogue, only some signs of it, but too much time has passed after the Minsk agreements were signed. I repeat, it is important now to have a direct dialogue between Luhansk, Donetsk and Kiev – this is missing.

Also missing is any objective and professional explanation of this crisis in the mainstream American press. Instead, The New York Times and other major U.S. news organizations have continued with their pattern of 1984-ish propaganda.

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Brazil nabs Zio-Nazi fugitive convicted of murdering Palestinian

Posted by; Sammi Ibrahem, Sr


Ending decade-long manhunt, Sao Paulo police arrest Yehoshua Elitzur, who fled Israel after found guilty of killing Sael al-Shatiya in 2004

ed note–all can be rest assured of 2 things surrounding this event–

A. Israeli intelligence knew the whereabouts of this convicted murderer, but chose for religious and public relations reasons not to bring him in, and 

B. If he is extradited to Israel to face ‘justice’ for his crime, nothing will happen, since–as a good Jew–he was merely following the protocols enumerated by his Judaic religion with regards to how Gentiles living in the ‘promised land’ are to be treated, to wit–

‘When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are to possess and casts out the many peoples living there, you shall then slaughter them all and utterly destroy them…You shall save nothing alive that breathes…You shall make no agreements with them nor show them any mercy. You shall destroy their altars, break down their images, cut down their groves and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people unto the LORD thy God and He has chosen you to be a special people above all others upon the face of the earth…’

Book of Deuteronomy


Times of Israel

After a decade-long manhunt, Brazilian police and Interpol on Thursday arrested an Israeli man convicted of killing a Palestinian taxi driver in 2004.

The convict was identified in a report Thursday by the Estado news agency as Y.E. — initials that match those of Yehoshua Elitzur, 44, who in 2005 disappeared from his home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, shortly before an Israeli district court sentenced him to 20 years in prison for manslaughter.

The Israeli man was taken into custody in Sao Paulo, local media reported, where he will face an extradition hearing and be held until Israel officially requests that Brazil hand him over.

In 2004, Elitzur, a resident of the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar, shot and killed Sael Jabara al-Shatiya from the Palestinian village of Salem on the side of Road 557 near the Elon Moreh settlement.

According to the indictment, Elitzur decided to stop al-Shatiya, who was driving towards him in a van. Armed with an M-16, Elitzur stood in the middle of the road and demanded al-Shatiya halt and get out of the car.

Poor road conditions prevented al-Shatiya from pulling over where Elitzur demanded, and he continued driving and began to pull over further down the road on the shoulder when Elitzur shot and killed him.

Elitzur claimed that he acted in self-defense, and that al-Shatiya was trying to run him off the road. Witnesses at the scene denied this claim.

He was initially accused of murder, but was convicted of manslaughter after prosecutors couldn’t prove he intended to kill al-Shatiya. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005, but fled the country before his plea hearing.

Elitzur, who was confined to house arrest during the trial and sentencing, escaped to Germany and then to Brazil, where he was hiding for over a decade.

Brazilian media reported that Elitzur entered the country using false identification.

Israeli intelligence and police representatives abroad assisted Interpol in their manhunt for Elitzur after putting out an international arrest warrant.

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BBC Explains Cuts in Yanukovych Interview on Crimea as Not ‘Newsworthy’


A spokesperson from the BBC explained to Sputnik why certain portions of its Yanukovych interview, such as dealing with his personal zoo were aired while those dealing with political issues such as Crimea were not.

The BBC spokesperson told Sputnik on Tuesday that it did not include ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s views on Crimea’s 2014 reunification with Russia because they were not considered “most newsworthy.”

The BBC instead featured remarks by Yanukovych on ostriches he maintained in his residence’s zoo in his first ever interview to the Western media since the coup which ousted him. Yanukovych stated in the interview that residents of Crimea decided to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in March 2014, because they were shocked by the violence of the coup that ousted the former Ukraine president.

“The Maidan scared Crimea and Donbass and the southeast of Ukraine with its right-wing radical outlook. That was the main issue which forced the population of Crimea to build up the units of self-defense and defend themselves. And the Supreme Council of the republic made a decision to hold a referendum,” Yanukovych said.

According to the BBC, the former president’s views on the reunification of one of his country’s regions with Russia was not newsworthy, compared to ostrich-related issues.

“The film which appeared on Newsnight was an edited version of a long interview which focused on Yanukovych’s most newsworthy remarks,” the spokesperson said.

Yanukovych noted in the interview that over 90 percent of Crimean residents voted in favor of becoming part of Russia. The BBC previously called the referendum’s results a “foregone conclusion” because of “pro-Russian forces firmly in control of Crimea politically and militarily,” rather than popular opinion.

“The results of the Crimea vote have been reported across the BBC since 2014,” the spokesperson said.

The ousted Ukrainian president’s full remarks were published on the BBC Russian Service website, generally unavailable to Western audiences because of the language barrier.

“BBC Russia colleagues were able to run longer extracts and chose to include the comments about the Crimea vote,” the spokesperson said.

The BBC also omitted the part of the interview dealing with the Donbass conflict, in which Yanukovych called Ukraine’s armed conflict in Donbass a genocide.

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In The West Bank, Facebook Posts Can Get You Arrested, Or Worse


The indictment against 24-year-old Palestinian Ayman Mahareeq says comments he posted on Facebook illegally insulted the West Bank police force and the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank.

Emily Harris/NPR

In the waiting room of a courthouse in the West Bank city of Ramallah last week, a clerk called defendants to pick up their files while loudspeaker announcements blared courtroom assignments.

A skinny young man in jeans and a blue T-shirt waited to hear his name. Ayman Mahareeq, who just turned 24, faced charges of insulting officials based on comments he’d posted on Facebook.

“One of my posts was about how Palestinian security forces act whenever Israeli forces enter the West Bank,” Mahareeq says. “They withdraw and hide.”

He characterizes the post — which he has since taken down — as harshly critical.

In another post, Mahareeq wrote: “May the rule of the Palestinian Authority collapse,” referring to the governing body with certain administrative powers over Palestinians in the West Bank.

Both caught the eye of the Palestinian police. Officers arrested him in a coffee shop last November. He was interrogated — and beaten, he says — and imprisoned for a month.

Conflicting Laws

One Palestinian law promises freedom of expression. But another bans people from insulting any official, from the head of state on down. The indictment against Mahareeq says he illegally insulted the Palestinian Authority and police force with his Facebook posts.

Mahareeq is clear: He does not support the Palestinian Authority, saying this body, created through the Oslo agreement with Israel more than two decades ago, does not represent the Palestinian people.

The original plan was for the Palestinian Authority to exist for just a few years as part of an interim arrangement while the Israelis and Palestinians negotiated a comprehensive peace agreement that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.

But with negotiations stalled, the Palestinian Authority has limped along since 1994 with limited powers in the West Bank, and even less authority in the Gaza Strip, which is now dominated by the Islamist group Hamas.

“The Palestinian Authority has signed agreements with Israel that humiliate Palestinians,” Mahareeq says. “And we don’t accept being insulted.”

Neither side likes insults. Even Mahareeq’s lawyer, Anas Barghouti, hired by a human rights organization, says there is no place for insults in civil society, even of leaders.

Barghouti says he is not a fan of Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, who is the Palestinian Authority president.

“If I say Abu Mazen is a donkey, that’s not a political view,” Barghouti says. “This is an insult to a human being.”

And, under Palestinian law, it’s a crime. But Barghouti argues that Mahareeq made no such insults. Besides, he says that’s not what’s going on here.

He thinks recent arrests for Facebook posts are all about politics.

“Political arrests go up and down according to two main factors,” Barghouti says. “One is the relationship with Israel. The other is the relationship with Hamas.”

Palestinian Authority officials deny they make political arrests.

The Palestinian Authority is largely run by the Fatah political party, which reached a formal reconciliation last year with its more militant and Islamist rival, Hamas. But in practice, the two groups remain very much at odds.

Compared to other places in the Middle East, there’s more room for political debate in the West Bank than in Gaza or in many Arab nations.

But Mahareeq is not the only Palestinian arrested for Facebook posts. Security agents arrested Mohammad Zaki, a university student, at his home last September. He says he spent five days in solitary confinement, with intervals for interrogation.

“On the first day, all the interrogations were about Facebook,” the IT student says. “The next day, the prosecutor charged me with insulting Palestinian officials. The third fourth and fifth days focused on political activities at the university.”

Hamas recently won a student government election at Birzeit University, a major West Bank campus. After that, students were questioned by both Palestinian and Israeli security forces.

Zaki says it’s all to scare students from voicing political opinions. And he has quit, at least on Facebook.

“Before I was first arrested, I thought that I can put my opinions on Facebook. That there was freedom of expression, freedom of exchange of ideas,” Zaki says. “But after what happened to me, I decided there is no freedom of thinking.”

Zaki says he got a one-year sentence for insulting authorities reduced to three months, which meant he could pay a $125 fine and go free.

But even after his case was over, he says Palestinian security officials interrogated him several more times. Last month, he says, he stopped using Facebook entirely because officials questioned him about chats and messages he thought were private.

Meanwhile, Ayman Mahareeq’s court date was postponed last week — for the fourth time. Like Zaki, he has also cut back on social media posts.

But he says he still shows up at protests against the Palestinian Authority — in person.

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Immigrants strike against conditions at detention center in Arizona

Immigrants strike against conditions at detention center in Arizona

Last Saturday over 200 immigrants began a hunger strike at Eloy Detention Center (read prison) in Phoenix, Arizona. The hunger strike was initiated to protest the suspicious circumstance surrounding the death of Jose de Jesus de Deniz-Sagahún.

Deniz-Sahagún was found dead in his cell on May 20. An official U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) statement says there was no sign of injury and ICE as of yet has not released any cause of death. Immigrants detained in the prison tell a very different story: Deniz-Sahagún was beaten, sprayed with mace, stripped and locked in solitary confinement before he died.

Eloy Detention Center is owned and operated by Corrections Corporations of America. The for-profit, private prison exploits and mistreats immigrants being detained there on a regular basis. Detainees work 8-hour shifts for $1. Medical care is inadequate. Prisoner abuse by guards is rampant.

The hunger strikers are calling for an independent investigation into Deniz-Sahagún’s death, improved conditions, access to legal resources and an end to detainee exploitation.

The striking detainees are being supported by Puente Human Rights Movement, an immigrant rights organization, that organized a demonstration and vigil outside the prison on Saturday. They then demonstrated at the ICE office in Phoenix on Monday. The Mexican Embassy has also pledged to “continue visiting this and other detention centers to verify that Mexican nationals are treated in a humane and respectful manner.”

Eloy administrators characteristically responded to the hunger strike by refusing to officially recognize the strike while locking the strikers
outside on Saturday for hours in over 100-degree heat and refusing them medical care.

The situation at Eloy is not an isolated one. The nefarious partnership between ICE and for-profit prison corporations characterizes an entire system that is known for its brutality and mistreatment of human beings. In early June, the ACLU blasted detention centers along the U.S.-Mexican border for keeping 1000s of people, many children, in horrible conditions. This last Monday UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also called out US detention centers for inhumane conditions—for a lack of healthcare and for violence and overcrowding. These aren’t particularly radical organizations at all that are openly recognizing the U.S. government’s clearly brutal and inhumane treatment of immigrants.

A sustainable solution to this brutality sounds radical but is actually quite straightforward—close down the detention centers, offer amnesty to immigrant workers and ensure for the care of the children sitting in the detention centers. Immigrant workers are not criminals. They are people forced to leave their countries in search of work and to escape violence. These conditions are the inheritance of 500 years of colonial exploitation compounded by a more recent neoliberal ravaging of local economies that favors multinational corporations over the needs of people and the environment.

The immigrants leading this strike and speaking out against the conditions at Eloy should receive all of our support and solidarity in this difficult struggle. We stand with them as they take on the Corrections Corporations of America and ICE.

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Tampa vigil for Charleston victims decries racist terrorism

By Bryan Ellis
Tampa vigil for Charleston victims decries racist terrorism

On June 20, seventy-five people came together in Lykes Gaslights Park in Tampa to hold a candlelight vigil for victims of the Charleston terrorist attack. People from all walks of life and faith groups as well as various organizations such as Bay Area Activists Coalition, Tampa Dream Defenders, Fight for 15, Council on American-Islamic Relations and ANSWER Coalition were present.

The vigil was an important chance for the community to share feelings and thoughts in a moment of incredible grief. With tears and anger, people commemorated the nine victims killed in the attack on Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and called for renewed struggle against the ever-present violence of racism in the United States.

Tampa community members also made sure to challenge the media spin around the massacre. Dylann Roof, they explained, was not just mentally ill. He was politically motivated by white supremacy and his actions were a conscious decision to spread terror among Black people. This fact is especially important in Tampa, as Laila Abdelaziz of CAIR explained, since central Florida has more active hate groups than almost anywhere else in the country.

Also at the vigil, Venus Jones, a local activist and performance poet, read a moving poem, “Was He Black?” from her book “Lyrics for Langston.” The poem, which touches on topics such as racism, terrorism and liberation, was a shining example of the political and historical awareness at Saturday’s vigil. With Jones’ permission, Liberation has published the poem below.


(Written on September 11, 2002)

A young man flew his plane into Tampa’s Bank of America.

Was he a terrorist? You ask, “Was he black?”

When a young man put pipe bombs in mailboxes,

Was he a terrorist? You ask, “Was he black?”

When a young man went on a journey

and joined Al Qaeda, spoke a new tongue,

Was he a terrorist? You ask, “Was he black?”

If I said, he was black, would you say, “I figured that?”

If I said, he was brown, would you say,

“He helped bring the twin towers down?”

But if I said, he was white, would you say,

“Hmm, that’s not right?”

“He must have been temporarily insane. Was he on medication?”

“He must have gotten on the wrong track.

Now how can we get that young man back?”

If he were brown or black, would you have said that?

Would his medication been an unknown, or insignificant fact?

Because the war on terrorism, didn’t start with Timothy McVeigh,

Nor did it begin on 9/11, a year ago today.

Some believe, it started

when Columbus stumbled on the red man and broke the pact.

Some say, it started when 110,000 Asians were detained,

during the very first, whites are the only patriots act.

Today over 5,000 Arabs rot in jail cells, guilty by skin color association.

Christianity is the only right faith, in this due process of elimination.

So sit quiet, pray, and have faith in the system, all ye of darker hue.

But please don’t hold your breath, because poetic justice is truly overdue.

When it comes to the war on blacks, I just want to go 39 years back.

That’s when North America, lost all of her taste and tact.

Sunday, September 15, 1963, I hope you’ll never forget.

A tender 11 and 14 died on 9/15, in the 16th Street Baptist.

On 9/15 the building was a progressive and freedom fighting church,

Where four little girls were found


She’s dressed in her Sunday best,

with blood, concrete and glass spilling from her swollen head.

This bombing was different! It’s the spirit of the civil rights fight,

they sought to kill. Even a racist southern belle suggested

that the murder of a female child was ill.

We lost more than one precious and rare pearl.

The rest of the world, mourned the stolen promise

of each bright, brown-skinned and freshly cut


But in the divided states, victims and terrorists lived side by side.

Criminals roamed in circles, with torches, in search of a sturdy tree.

And it’s a proven fact, that J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI and the Klan,

were all working together to some degree, to stop liberation.

To stop liberation!

To stop liberation!

To stop movement! …

To silence the wanna-be:

Voting, well-versed, brief case toting, financially and mentally free.

The penalty was extreme, only if you looked brown or black.

Unfortunately, I have to add a drop of pigmentation, see.

Final convictions may have never been made,

If it wasn’t for Spike Lee, digging up dirt from the grave.

The grieving families buried their own,

and cried alone in a separate community.

The nation didn’t unite against terror;

wave flags or sing songs in unity.

This poem is for:

Cynthia Wesley,

Carole Robertson,

Addie Mae Collins and

Denise McNair.

Some Americans have forgotten, about the day the children died,

with midnight eyes and bushy hair.

Like the 250 million lost in the middle passage,

The countless castrated and raped,

Injected with syphilis, dragged and beat,

The 600 black-owned businesses, bombed from the air,

in Tulsa, on black Wall Street,

The tortured, lynched,

The bred and sold,

Who slaved?

This kind of terrorism, has had a long existence in the home of the brave.

For over 400 years, terrorists led scavengers,

in a variety of systematic packs.

Thanks to Jim Crow’s policy, white sheets just took

what they lacked, like sneaky racing rats.

Today you may find a poor black cat, chasing his own skinny tail.

He’s in prison, probation, parole, or in jail.

There are some strays, that dash across the finish line without fail.

With arms stretched out to the sky,

Giving thanks for the way they got over,

like those black men in white movies who aren’t the first to die.

After a long jump, a million marches and a wall of ebony and ivory grins,

Did you know that in 1995,

not one but over 40 black churches burned Again?

Do the people always have to loot, or stoop

as low as the oppressor, to make amends?

Will all impoverished people of color,

catch up to that Euro dollar trend?

America could repay the descendents of her enslaved with:

Affordable healthcare,

A quality education,

Decent housing and at least

One profitable opportunity.

But until then, just try to pretend O.J. didn’t need

at least 40 acres and one loyal mule to win.

The liberty lady, who weighs these facts,

is actually a blind old bat.

She just learned to sniff, all along that money track.

Will you forget the numbers?

Will you forget how survivors of ethnic profiling and

economic terrorism chose to react?

And the next time they speak of that thug or terrorist,

will you ask, “Was he black?”

To order a copy of “Lyrics for Langston” click here.


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Dominican Republic: Behind the deportation of descendants of Haitians

By John McDevitt
Dominican Republic: Behind the deportation of descendants of Haitians

On June 14, the deadline expired for Dominicans of Haitian heritage to apply for resident permits after the 2014 law that revoked  citizenship from any person of Haitian ancestry born after 1929. Up to 300,000 people could be expelled from the Dominican Republic.

Many of the Haitian-descendent population have come to the Dominican Republic as laborers, often being so oppressed as workers that their children, over the decades, never received birth certificates from the country where they were born. However, the majority of the Haitian-descendant population are survivors of the 2010 earthquake that killed approximately a quarter of a million people in Haiti, impacting every family on the Haitian side of the island shared with the Dominican Republic.

This racism against Haitians includes not even informing the impacted population of the “legal status” change, that they are not citizens of the country where they were born, nor setting up governmental offices to process them to “gain” Dominican citizenship.

This impacts the “Haitians” from going to school, accessing medical care, and getting legal employment. This population speaks Spanish rather than Haitian Creole, as their families have lived in the Dominican Republic for generations. Many who are expected to be deported to Haiti have never been there.

The conditions of these Dominicans of Haitian descent can be described as nothing more than the social relationship during overt slavery—and international organizations have documented many accounts of actual slavery among this population now in the Dominican Republic. Such conditions can only mean super profits for the U.S.​ corporations that rule the country.

White supremacy driving force behind anti-Haitian campaign

The Dominican Republic was central to the unveiling of the ideology of “Blanqueamiento” or the construct that the white population in Latin American who benefited from slavery must “whiten” the population to move into an amenable relationship with the former colonizers during the post-colonial era. This ideology prevailed to the extent that many Dominicans today appear by certain standards to be of “mixed race” or “whiter” than Haitians who liberated their nation of Haiti in 1804, forming the first Black Republic birthed from the earlier mass slave revolts.

“Blanqueamiento” went as far as becoming the official policy in many Latin American countries, encouraging European immigration to “whiten” the overall population.

The construct of “foreignness” in the Dominican Republic is synonymous with “blackness,” not with “whiter” peoples who came to various Latin American countries like the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Brazil during the post-colonial period.

Of course, Dominicans did not develop this racist ideology alone but were encouraged by the U.S. racist ruling class, which saw all of Latin America as its backyard. The U.S. imperialists used the Monroe Doctrine to intervene in the Dominican Republic to reorganize the government to make debt payments favorable to the U.S. in 1904. The U.S. occupied the Dominican Republic again from 1916 to 1924, and, then again in 1965 to install a pro-U.S. government after Juan Bosch from the Dominican Revolutionary Party was elected president in 1962 defeating the puppet Trujillo.

Lynchings of Dominicans who look “black” were commonplace throughout this history, as conditions in the country reflected nearly the exact image of the conditions of African American people in the U.S. South. The U.S freedom fighter, Robert Williams, made this observation when as a Black U.S. soldier, he was part of an occupying army in a Black nation.

Today the Dominican government has an open door policy to U.S. imperialist interests.

Fighting back from the U.S. to Santo Domingo

“It don’t make sense. They act like we are animals—we’re not animals. It’s like here’s the boundary and that’s it,” said Marjorie St. Elien, a Haitian-American resident of Miami, Fla. “There’s a thing like this going on in the Bahamas, and there’s hate crimes going on all over like here (in the U.S.).”

St. Elien knows the racist history of the U.S. and the impact on Haitian-descendent people in the Dominican Republic.

In cities and towns across the U.S., the people are exposing this history of white supremacy through the popular articulation of mass action and rebellion. This movement in the U.S. must also take on the plight of Haitian-descendant people in the Dominican Republic to smash this ideology of murder, slavery and violence to win the true spirit of the Haitian revolution that began more than 200 years ago.


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Justice for Rodney Mitchell!

By Bryan Ellis

June 11, marked the third anniversary of Rodney Mitchell’s murder at the hands of Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Rodney’s family and friends held a vigil on Thursday and on Saturday rallied with ANSWER Coalition, Newtown Nation and other justice-seeking families in Fred Atkins Park, across from the site of his death.

The Rodney Mitchell case has become well-known in Sarasota and Manatee counties due to the clear nature of its police brutality as well as the determined campaign for justice led by Rodney’s mother, Natasha Clemons.

On the night of June 11, 2012, Mitchell and his 16-year-old cousin were driving on U.S. 301 near MLK Jr. Way when Sarasota Deputy Adam Shaw pulled over Mitchell for an alleged seat belt violation. When Shaw observed that Mitchell had his seat belt on, instead of letting him go, he began to aggressively question Mitchell. Another deputy, Sergeant Troy Sasse, also arrived on the scene, further escalating the illegal stop.

Even though Mitchell was unarmed and hadn’t violated any laws, both deputies drew their guns and pointed them at Mitchell and his cousin. After a brief exchange with Rodney, Troy and Sasse each fired two rounds into the Jeep Liberty. One bullet hit Mitchell’s left hand, which had been raised to show the cops he meant no trouble, and lodged into his left temple. The vehicle then careened across U.S. 301 and crashed into a Sunoco gas station.

Shaw and Sasse claimed that Mitchell attempted to hit them with the SUV. However, the testimony of Mitchell’s cousin and a second witness, as well as an independent crime scene investigation, contradicts the deputies’ story. Mitchell was not a threat.

The self-investigation by the Sheriff’s Department that followed left out key evidence, such as the testimony of the second witness. Based on this investigation, Earl Moreland, then District Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit, chose not to prosecute the deputies. Like local prosecutors around the country, Moreland had formed close relationships with local law enforcement after working with them for decades.

On the third anniversary of Rodney Mitchell’s death, it’s important to remember who he was as a person and what he did with his life. Liberationspoke with Mitchell’s mother, Natasha Clemons, about Mitchell’s dreams, his character and his accomplishments.

Rodney Mitchell was born March 21, 1989 in Sarasota, Florida and grew up in nearby Palmetto. Throughout his elementary, middle and high school years he was both intelligent and a gifted athlete, playing football and basketball. Mitchell’s mother nurtured a profound sense of duty, respect and discipline in the young man.

“His best qualities were, he was very, very, very obedient and respectful. He respected authority figures, he respected children. He just loved people. Rodney was the type of kid that I didn’t have any problems out of him. He did what I asked of him. He was never a troubled kid. Never disrespectful. Ever,” said Clemons.

“I was a single parent with two children, and I had to teach my children that we were a team,” said Clemons. “I had to work so I could support my children. So the older he got, the more he became responsible for family duties and for his sister, Brandy. Brandy ran track and field. She needed shoes and he would purchase the shoes for her, take her to practice and pick her up. He taught her how to drive. He was basically like a dad to Brandy. He was awesome.

“I taught him to always be respectful. You don’t do what others do to you, you do the total opposite. That means remain calm, be respectful and do as you’re told. I made sure I told him how important it was to make good grades in school, because your grades and your education are something nobody can take away from you. Also, the first and foremost aspect that I taught my children was to believe in God, because faith is going to take you a long way, as well. You should believe in God and trust God and allow God to direct your path, and everything else will fall into place. And that’s exactly what he did,” said Clemons.

Almost everyone who talks about Mitchell mentions his bright smile and warm personality. His kind-hearted, outgoing nature made people gravitate towards him.

“He was very lovable, very encouraging and inspiring. He would always have encouraging words. Whenever you would see Rodney, he was smiling. His smile
brightened up the entire world. His smile would make you forget about anything that happened that day or that entire year,” said Clemons. “He was very respectful to women, to authority figures. He wouldn’t do anything to cause any harm. He always wanted to help, help, help. That’s what he strived to do, to make others happy.”

Mitchell’s love for people and children showed through his work in the community. A special passion of his was caring for children and people with disabilities. He wanted to become a teacher and give back to his community, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Eastern New Mexico State University (ENMU).

“He just loved children, and worked at the Girls and Boys Club in Palmetto and Bradenton,” said Clemons. “He would become role models for these children. A lot of those children didn’t have father figures in their life so Rodney would become a mentor for the children. Because he knew how it felt not to have a father figure in his life, so he wanted to try to make it so that those children who he mentored felt that they had someone they could depend on and look up to.”

While at ENMU, Mitchell became a star cornerback, setting numerous records. He was the university’s first All-America pick in years, earning First Team Daktronics All-Super Region honors. Mitchell also received the Don Hansen’s Football Gazette All-Super Region Four First-Team Defense award, and made
the ENMU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Mitchell was able to accomplish all this while being an exceptional and proud father to his son, Channing Mitchell. After graduating in December 2010, Mitchell returned to Manatee County to raise Channing and pursue his teaching career.

“We were living in Bradenton across from the movie theater,” said Clemons. “He told me, ‘Mom, they’re building a school across the street and I’ll be applying there.’ And at the time, it was just trees. I was like, ‘How do you know?’ He was like, ‘Yes, it is. That’s what I’m going to do.’”

All that was cut short when Sarasota County deputies Adam Shaw and Troy Sasse murdered Mitchell in 2012.

Since then, Clemons has devoted her life to getting justice for her son. While struggling for justice in society, Clemons must also fight an internal battle to cope with her traumatic loss. Her faith allows her to keep going.

“I can’t begin to tell you how my life has changed. I mean, at times I have meltdowns. It’s not like I wake up in the morning and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to have one today, be ready!’ It just happens and it happens anywhere. I try to control them, but it depends on what’s going on. Anything that reminds me ofRodney––if football is happening, or a certain song or I see a young gentleman with dreadlocks. It’s like a PTSD effect,” said Clemons. “Yet I pray and ask God to strengthen me. You know Rodney is no longer here on earth but his spirit yet surrounds you.”

Clemons and others have established the Rodney Mitchell Foundation, whose objective is to get answers and ensure that justice is served. Clemons has also become a passionate advocate for others who have lost loved ones.

“My goal is spend each and every day of my life is to continue to help save other lives. And also to get these cops off of the streets,” said Clemons. “My number one goal is to get a law enforced that police cannot investigate themselves. Not only that: when they kill someone, they don’t need to be paid for that. They need to have someone else investigate and they can no longer work until that investigation is over. An outside agency. Because they all work together. It’s a cult—that’s exactly what it is. And I feel bad for them, because when God gets ahold of them, they’re all going down.”

The civil trial will be held in November in federal court in Tampa. ANSWER Coalition and others will remain in the streets from Sarasota to Tampa, demanding “Justice for Rodney Mitchell!”

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Seattle United Hood March says ‘Black lives matter’


Sheley Secrest of Seattle/King County NAACP carries one of the lead banners at the United Hood March.

Hundreds of marchers came out in Seattle on June 19, Juneteenth day, as part of the United Hood Movement. The event page stated: “United Gang Members (active/inactive/affiliated) of Seattle have came together, and decided that they will peacefully march in solidarity with our brothers, and sisters, and other black organizations across the nation. We are tired of waking up to black men, women, children dead because of violence in our community, or police brutality. ”

Beginning at the Seattle Police Headquarters on 5th Ave downtown, marchers took over the street for some initial speakers. Leading things off was Rev. Harriet Walden of Mothers for Police Accountabilty. She praised the organizers and called for building a culture of life.

Other opening speakers included Afam Ayika: “My heart is heavy because this year I have seen Black children get shot, Black women get killed, trans women get killed, I’ve seen a Latino man run for his life and be shot to death, and we ask ourselves, enough is enough, what are we going to do?” Directly addressing the police across the street, he called them out for their violence and cowardice, eliciting a strong response from people in the crowd.

Activist Nikita Oliver said:  “Today we gathered under the auspice of the United Hood March, the uniting of different hoods and in particular gang members to talk about what it means to be peaceful and building for our people. …What gets me is we are standing here in front of the Seattle Police headquarters, the longest lasting gang in the United States. A group that was created for the purpose of being a slave patrol. … It is a history that the police do not want to acknowledge, let alone unearth so we can truly be set free from it.”

Sheley Secrest of the Seattle/King County NAACP (pictured above holding yellow banner) said: “This is more than a moment, this is a movement. As we celebrate Juneteenth, we have to reflect on the lives of those who are here. What has taken place in the last 150 years, how do we honor our grandmothers and our grandfathers, those who struggled in resistance. …”

After the opening remarks, the march took off through the streets chanting: “Whose lives matter? Black lives matter!” Bystander response was strongly positive, with people at an outside dining area rising to applaud in solidarity. At Westlake, marchers formed a circle at 4th and Pine for an open mic. Many people joined in from the sidewalks. Continuing on to Myrtle Edwards Park, marchers gathered on a beautiful pebble beach in front of the Puget Sound, in view of the mountains, for closing speeches, prayer and poetry.

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Mumia on Charleston massacre



A young white man, barely at the age of his majority, walks into Charleston’s most storied Black church and, before he leaves, a new history is written.

Attending the Wednesday night Bible study, he sits for nearly an hour, but his mind isn’t on the life of Jesus nor his disciples. It’s on murder, mass murder. When the door shuts behind him, nine Black souls, elders mostly, had been slain, Bibles in hand.

The man, or boy more than man really, hadn’t come to learn about religion, for he had a belief, white supremacy, or the profound hatred of Black people.

White supremacy is the mother’s milk of Charleston, of South Carolina, of the South, of America. For surely as slavery funded and built America, the underlying principle was the devaluation, exploitation, and oppression of Black life. It’s the only thing that makes the church massacre in Charleston even remotely intelligible.

Nine Black people were sacrificed to the blind idol of white supremacy for the same reason that thousands of Black men and women were lynched on American elms and pines: as sacrifices to an idea, to perpetuate a system of economic injustice.

Dylan Roof, the 21 year old accused of this massacre, had no friends to speak of, no place to stay other than an associate’s couch, no job, and a tenuous relationship with his parents. Isolated, alienated, alone in the world, his sole remaining possession was his whiteness, the only thing that gave his existence meaning. That was the energy that fueled the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.

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