Dealing with the dishonorable and the inconvenient (2)

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Dealing with the dishonorable and the inconvenient (2)

Editado: Jun 7, 5:38am

WARNING: This video contains details some readers may find distressing.
Former senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the (Canadian) Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
delivered this statement on the discovery at Kamloops residential school. *
9:58 ( )
- CBC Indigenous @CBCIndigenous | 3:00 PM · Jun 3, 2021

* Canadians should be prepared for more discoveries like Kamloops, Murray Sinclair says
'We must know what happened,' says former senator, chair of Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Benjamin Blum | Jun 01, 2021


Jun 7, 5:58am

Statue of Egerton Ryerson toppled after hundreds rally in downtown Toronto
Statue felled amid calls from profs, students to rename university, remove figure
CBC News | Jun 06, 2021

...Since (Kamloops discovery), there have been calls from Indigenous professors and students to change the university's name and remove Ryerson's statue from campus for his role in the creation of Canada's residential school system. ...Indigenous students at the university called on fellow students, faculty and alumni to stop using the name Ryerson in their email signatures, correspondence and on their resumes, urging them instead to call the school X University.

...In a statement posted to Twitter before the statue was felled, the university said: "We share in the grief and sorrow of our community at the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children near Kamloops, and acknowledge that further and ongoing reconciliation is of vital importance."

It also said a task force created to examine Ryerson's legacy and collect feedback from community members is committed to delivering a final report, including recommendations regarding the statue and name of the university, before the fall semester...


Ontario legislature moves Egerton Ryerson painting and bust after request by Opposition
Request made following radar discovery of Indigenous children's remains in Kamloops, B.C.
Shawn Jeffords | Jun 04, 2021

...(Edgerton) Ryerson (a Methodist Minister, educator and politician in the 1800s) was one of the architects of Canada's residential school system, which sought to convert and assimilate Indigenous children into Canadian culture and saw them suffer widespread physical and sexual abuse.

...the bust and portrait of Ryerson that were previously displayed outside (NDP leader Andrea) Horwath's office on the third floor of the building were moved Thursday. As of Friday, both had been placed into storage.

... and remove a statue of Egerton Ryerson from its campus.

Earlier this week, (Toronto's Ryerson) University's school of journalism said it would rename two of its publications (one, the Ryersonian) ahead of the new school year, dropping any reference to the man the school is named after...

Editado: Jun 7, 6:27am

Kingston was first capital of Canada before Queen Victoria chose Ottawa instead. There are numerous historical places associated with its first PM, Sir John A MacDonald, e.g., his home, law office (now a great little pub recently renamed), modest burial site, and a statue commanding the center of a downtown park. If I recall correctly, previous demands to remove that statue were met with the establishment of a working group to instead educate on racist and colonial policies of his time and instigation. Also an indigenous name is to be given to Third Crossing, an important bridge now under construction. I suspect that the statue will come under new scrutiny/attack (red paint at the least). Unlike Ryerson(?), MacDonald also has his supporters, from bused-in tourists who visit his former home and leave flowers on his modest grave to those of a more activist nature (

Kingston group grapples with role of Sir John A. in residential schools
Brigid Goulem | Jun 03, 2021

The Kingston-based History and Legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald Working Group...discussed the role of Macdonald in these schools, and recognized that while Macdonald was not the sole architect of these institutions, he played a crucial role in the design and maintenance of these schools. The discussion is in line with the responsibility of the group, which is to consider the history and legacy of Macdonald and to address the colonialism and systemic racism that persist as a result of his policies, with the aim of sharing this information at city landmarks.

Many group members expressed that the statues and tributes to Macdonald throughout the city offer an opportunity to educate the public on his racist and colonial policies with a focus on the horrors of residential schools.

Group member Laurel Claus Johnson stated that while the statue serves as an opportunity to educate, Macdonald should not be raised on a pedestal.

“This particular notion of the statue is an opportunity to educate, but take him down off his pedestal. This man should be standing on the ground, not elevated on a horse,” she said.

Other group members reiterated the need to educate the public on the consequences of Macdonald’s policies, with Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Chief R. Donald Maracle suggesting seeking outside guidance from Queen’s (U) chancellor and former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Sen. Murray Sinclair.

...Johnson echoed (Sinclair sentiment that Canadians should know the truth)... She shared her hope that the legacy of these children, who died before their time, will be to make known the horrors that were endured at residential schools across Canada.

“Two hundred and fifteen released spirits, now into our minds and our bodies, they are saying ‘no more secrets.’ They are telling us by their actions, by what’s needed,” she said.

Editado: Jun 8, 7:39am

>2 margd: Even Macdonald's supporters couldn't overlook Kamloops:

Sir John A. remembered despite having failed Indigenous Canadians
Michelle Dorey Forestell | June 7, 2021

...In his opening remarks, host Don Richardson,* secretary of KHS (Kingston historical Society), was careful to acknowledge, “The comments I make now were taped on June 2, but the remaining portions of the commemoration ceremony were taped on May 24, days before the horrific situations at Kamloops came to be known. The Kingston Historical Society agreed that it is absolutely critical that the following comments be made.”

He went on slowly and carefully pronouncing each word, “All-consuming grief, palpable sorrow, anger, horror, questions with no answers, anguish: these are not the words which I would normally use on behalf of the Kingston Historical Society in beginning today’s service of commemoration to Sir John A Macdonald. They are, however, rendered absolutely essential in light of the recent discovery of the burial site of 215 indigenous children found at a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

“We cannot begin to imagine the horror experienced by the families of so so many indigenous peoples. And it is a horror shared by all Canadians,” he said.

...Remarks on the commemoration of the death of Sir John A. Macdonald, by Hon. Hugh Segal, OC, OOnt, CD

“History tells us we pay tribute to a great and good politician. No politician, however compelling his achievements, is only great and good. There is always another side. History seeks to reflect accurately on historical events and time.

For all of Sir John A’s leadership, creativity, and determination to shape a country of four colonies — a country that has on balance been a force for good in the lives of millions — the frame of reference that drove his work was not one that recognized the sense of injustice and lack of obligation that Canadians now understand to be essential to the reconciliation and respectful partnership with First Nations. Sir John A. did nothing to stop the residential schools put in place before he was Prime Minister. That there was hunger and suffering on the part of indigenous people during his time is not something we should treat lightly.

The 19th Century was what it was: for all the vision, expansion, growth and progress associated with the Victorian era, that vision did not include any sense of fairness or justice for First Nations residents of Canada or even the United States, to say so clearly and forthrightly now is and will always be necessary. The fathers of confederation took root and succeeded in a 19th Century where humility and compassion and understanding of our Indigenous peoples were not part of the political culture. It would be wrong today to ignore that fact...

* The KHS president began his remarks with a land acknowledgment, a (universal?) practice in this corner of Ontario. They aren't perfunctory either, inclusive as they are. Elsewhere, do others acknowledge tribes/First Nations who first occupied the land, I wonder? I wonder how far back they go: I once accompanied an archeologist as she registered ancient sites of peoples whose cultures no longer exist.

Jun 8, 11:17am

Brittlestar @brittlestar | 11:06 AM · Jun 8, 2021:

1:09 ( )

Jun 9, 3:26am

The racist legacy many birds carry
The birding community faces a difficult debate about the names of species connected to enslavers, supremacists and grave robbers
Darryl Fears | June 3, 2021

...Even John James Audubon’s name is fraught in a nation embroiled in a racial reckoning. Long the most recognized figure in North American birding for his detailed drawings of the continent’s species, he was also an enslaver who mocked abolitionists working to free Black people. Some of his behavior is so shameful that the 116-year-old National Audubon Society — the country’s premier bird conservation group, with 500 local chapters — hasn’t ruled out changing its name. An oriole, warbler and shearwater all share it.

“I am deeply troubled by the racist actions of John James Audubon and recognize how painful that legacy is for Black, Indigenous and people of color who are part of our staff, volunteers, donors and members,” interim chief executive Elizabeth Gray said in a statement in May. “Although we have begun to address this part of our history, we have a lot more to unpack.”...

Editado: Jun 11, 8:04am

In case of interest,

Indigenous Canada is a 12-module course from the Faculty of Native Studies (U of Alberta) that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. Starts June 11. Audit for free on Coursera.

Fur Trade
Trick or Treaty
New Rules, New Game
“Killing the Indian in the Child”
A Modern Indian?
Red Power
Sovereign Lands
Indigenous Women
Indigenous in the City
Current Social Movements
‘Living’ Traditions – Expressions in Pop Culture and Art

Jun 17, 8:00am

Canada's first PM, Sir John A Macdonald himself asked for his modest headstone--bet HE wouldn't want statue in cemetery(?) Sure hope protests don't move with statue to Sir John A's grave: my great grandmother is buried nearby...

Macdonald statue to be moved to his Cataraqui Cemetery gravesite
Brigid Goulem | Jun 16, 2021

Kingston city council voted (8-5) Wednesday night to relocate the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, from City Park to his gravesite in Cataraqui Cemetery...

...While many councillors were open to the option to relocate the statue, the last-minute addition of the option left some with concerns. Councillors Richard Kiley and Peter Stroud expressed concerns over the vague nature of the suggestion to relocate the statue and the need for additional details to be determined before any movement can be made, while Coun. Jim Neill expressed his concern that the First Peoples Group and the Macdonald working group were not consulted on this option.

Mayor Bryan Paterson expressed his support for the relocation of the statue to Cataraqui Cemetery, though both he and municipal staff confirmed that the First Peoples Group, the working group and the Revolution of the Heart: Ceremonial Action were not consulted on the relocation of the statue to the cemetery...

Jun 17, 9:36am

Interesting perspective on why less violence against aboriginals in Canada than US--in west at least: with the fur trade, Canadian aboriginals had economic role, whereas in US they were seen as more of an obstacle to settlement. I knew that RCMP afforded protection, but the fur economy was underlying reason:

~"the fur trade would not have existed without the participation of first peoples if they're actually quite vital.
In this sense, and in contrast to other places, people had an economic role, they had a vital economic role and the Europeans understood that.

This is not a situation where it's good for long-term business to shoot your customers, or to shoot all your employees.
You just don't do those sorts of things. So this economic necessity created an economic space for aboriginal people
and for different people, it was different degrees of integration and participation.

And it was very different view than seeing native people as a nuisance or as a barrier to settlement.
So in the United States, where you don't have an enduring fur trade, what happens is violence is very prevalent.

There's a huge number of wars against Indians in the history of the United States.
And I would say that reflects the fact that there was little or no economic relationship.

So, any people in the states were simply a nuisance, a barrier, something to be disposed of.
Whereas in Canada because of an enduring fur trade, this was understood, and their economic importance was understood.
And this actually gave them a strong basis when they did approach the treaty talks."

- Frank Tough, Professor, U Alberta
Coursera: "Indigenous Canada"

Jun 20, 7:58am

(National Catholic Reporter, NCR) Editor’s note: It may seem like papal statements from 500 years ago are ancient history. But Native American activists and scholars insist that Catholicism's past continues to affect the present. Papal bulls from the 1400s condoned the conquest of the Americas and other lands inhabited by indigenous people. The papal documents led to an international norm called the Doctrine of Discovery, which dehumanized non-Christians and legitimized their suppression by nations around the world, including by the United States. Now Native Americans say the church helped commit genocide and refuses to come to terms with it...a six-part series on the legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery.

1. Intergenerational grief on Cheyenne River Indian Reservation
Vinnie Rotondaro | Aug 31, 2015

2. Boarding schools: A black hole of Native American history
Vinnie Rotondaro | Sep 1, 2015

3. Limited housing, poor economy plagues reservation
Vinnie Rotondaro | Sep 2, 2015

4. 'Reeling from the impact' of historical trauma
Vinnie Rotondaro | Sep 3, 2015

5. Disastrous doctrine had papal roots
Vinnie Rotondaro | Sep 4, 2015

6. Doctrine of Discovery: A scandal in plain sight
Vinnie Rotondaro | Sep 5, 2015

Editado: Jun 22, 3:47am

From Tudor courts to BLM, a new book brings London’s black history to life (Guardian)

The work highlights the plaques and art that celebrate a neglected side of the capital’s culture...

She’s 10ft tall, barefoot, with a simple wrap dress stretching across her breasts and belly. She holds aloft an infant, gazing into its eyes. This is Bronze Woman, a statue on a busy traffic junction in Stockwell, south London. Unveiled in 2008, it was then the first public statue of a black woman on permanent display in England...

English Heritage recognises Blyton and Kipling’s racism – but blue plaques to stay (Guardian)

Blue plaques left unchanged, but charity website details Blyton’s ‘old-fashioned xenophobia’ and Kipling’s ‘imperialist sentiments’...

Cotton plantations and non-consensual kisses: how Disney became embroiled in the culture wars (Guardian)

The company has been addressing its historical racism and sexism, adding disclaimers to films and altering theme park rides. But these moves have stirred contempt as well as approval...

Editado: Jun 22, 8:18am

>11 John5918: The most lively literature and movies for boys is full of cringeworthy images... I don't think my Asian adoptees thought less of themselves because of Disney's depiction of Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp ( ), but depiction of Native Americans "burnum at stake" in Peter Pan obviously made an impression on my oldest son ( ). Our first pow wow turned out to be more of an educational experience--for both of us--than I anticipated. As we were about to step inside, he asked:

"Will there be smoke? From the fires?"
"No. Open fires aren't allowed inside buildings."
"When they're burning people?"

Of course we paused to straighten out an obviously nervous little boy, and by the end of our visit he answered an invitation to join the dancers in Grand Entrance procession.

Editado: Jun 22, 9:56am

Two Catholic churches on Indigenous lands torched on National Indigenous Peoples Day
Sacred Heart Church on Penticton Indian Band land and the Saint Gregory’s Church on Osoyoos Indian Band land in Oliver were both destroyed by fires deemed suspicious.
Athena Bonneau | June 21, 2021

...( Penticton Indian Band) PIB Chief Greg Gabriel is not yet known what caused the fire, noting PIB is investigating. He says the band is working to salvage items from the rubble — including art by Clint George, a PIB member, and the church bell.

Gabriel said there is a lot of anger within the community stemming from the announcement in late May by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation regarding the discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

“If this fire was determined to be deliberate, our leadership certainly doesn’t condone those kinds of actions or behaviour,” Gabriel said. “I think there could have been better ways to deal with this church.”

The Sacred Heart Church has been closed since June 16 in response to a request from parishioners, who are members of PIB, according to Adam Eneas, a hereditary chief with the Okanagan Nation. He said he asked Bishop Gregory Bittman to close the church on behalf of a fellow parishioner “because of what’s going on with the residential schools.

“He was very open and accepting and wanting to learn about our problems, our history. We had a great meeting,” Eneas says. “He agreed that the church should remain closed until such time as they came to a better situation.”...

ETA: Not to be outdone, vandals paint the pedestal of Sir John A Macdonald statue (now removed). Just paint at least, and not blood. For now. :(

Site of former Sir John A. Macdonald statue tagged with white supremacist graffiti
John Lawless | June 22, 2021

On a more positive note, not far away from where PM's statue stood (1895-2021):

Indigenous Peoples Day ceremony unveils ‘Manidoo Ogitigan’ at Lake Ontario Park
Michelle Dorey Forestell | June 21, 2021

Jun 22, 9:15am

All whites living in North America are living on stolen Indigenous land.

If a white person is really sincere, and understands that they are benefitting from
genocide and theft ... then they will return to the continent of their ancestors, and leave
their stolen land to the rightful owners.

Of course, most whites are phoney. They pretend to sympathyze with indigenous people,
and condemn the crimes of others ... but they are very happy to continue enjoying the
stolen land and stolen property that their genocidal theiving ancestors took from the
indigenous people and passed on to them.

Jun 22, 3:26pm

Interesting perspective, taken with U Alberta course "Indigenous Canada", free via Coursera:

The Fight Over Canada’s Founding Prime Minister
Attacks on symbols of nationhood are not merely symbolic actions. They strike at the nationhood the symbol represents.
David Frum | June 2021

...The Canada that Macdonald assembled in 1867 stopped just a little north and west of Lake Superior. The terrain beyond that—what’s now northern Quebec and northern Ontario; almost all of what’s now the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, plus a goodish chunk of Nunavut—was acquired by Macdonald from the privately owned Hudson’s Bay Company subsequent to confederation. Macdonald hoped that he could push a railway through the Hudson’s Bay lands to reach the British settlements on the Pacific and thereby bring them into Canada too. In the process, he also assumed sovereignty over Plains Indian nations already on the verge of catastrophe for reasons that had nothing to do with Macdonald or Canada.

In the early 19th century, an estimated 30 million to 60 million buffalo roamed west of the Mississippi, from West Texas up into Canada. These herds supported Plains Indians populations, who ate their meat and hoisted shelters out of their hides. U.S. railway-building disrupted the habitats of the buffalo. American settlers hunted them almost to extinction. As Canadian authority reached the Great Plains after 1870, it encountered an Indigenous population facing ecological crisis. Crisis turned to starvation in the early 1880s.

In the House of Commons in April 1885, Macdonald offered this explanation of his actions in response to the disaster.

When the Indians are starving, they have been helped, but they have been reduced to one-half and one-quarter rations; but when they fall into a state of destitution we cannot allow them to die for want of food. It is true that Indians so long as they are fed will not work. I have reason to believe that the agents as a whole, and I am sure it is the same with the Commissioner, are doing all they can, by refusing food until the Indians are on the verge of starvation, to reduce the expense. The buffalo has disappeared during the past few years. Some few came over this year, and although their arrival relieved the Indians, it was rather sorry, looking to the future, that such was the case, as the Blackfeet, Bloods and Peigana who had settled on reserves at once returned to their nomadic habits and abandoned the settlements. It will occasionally happen that the agents will issue food too liberally … We hope that the Indians will now settle down, but Indians are Indians, and we must submit to frequent disappointments in the way of civilizing them.

In 2018, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation staged a debate over the question of whether Macdonald’s actions and inactions amounted to “genocide.” The accuser charged: “Forced starvation is the intentional deprivation of food necessary for survival. And we say it’s a crime against humanity for a government to carry out a policy of forced starvation against its own people.”

But the famine on the Plains in the 1880s was not set in motion by Macdonald or anyone else in Canadian government. The buffalo had genuinely gone, and not for a season or two, but forever. Something new had to be put in place, and again not for a season or two, but forever.

...Macdonald habitually referred to Indigenous people as “the original owners of the soil.” Macdonald’s defeated 1885 law to extend voting rights to female property owners would also have enfranchised many Native people. He attempted, also unsuccessfully, to recruit Indigenous people into what would become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. To advance his hopes of equal citizenship for Native people, Macdonald initiated a plan to teach them farming and industrial skills. A network of residential schools was established, operated by churches. The schools separated children from their families in hope of speeding the acculturation process. They operated in English and French, not Native languages. In Macdonald’s day, attendance was voluntary, but after 1920 it became compulsory.

These schools proved to be a disastrous failure...

Editado: Jun 27, 9:28am

The Met will return three African art objects to Nigeria (CNN)

Following recent moves by European museums to return African art treasures to Nigeria, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announced Wednesday that it is sending three objects back to the country...

Museum of the Home reopens to protests over statue of slave ship owner (Guardian)

The reopening of the Museum of the Home in London was met with protests on Saturday calling for the removal of a statue of slave ship owner Robert Geffrye following an intervention by the culture secretary to keep it in place. The museum, in Shoreditch, east London, wanted to take down the statue of the 17th-century trader and former lord mayor of London, who made part of his fortune from the slave trade, from the front of its building. But it decided not to after the charity’s trustees received a strongly worded letter from Oliver Dowden last summer, who has warned museums to “retain and explain” controversial statues. As doors to the Grade I-listed building, formerly called the Geffrye Museum, reopened on Saturday morning following a three-year renovation, it was met with calls from residents, activists and politicians, including the Labour MP Diane Abbott, that “Geffrye must fall”...

Jun 28, 6:40am

V&A insists it has ‘responsibility’ to tell truth about collections (Guardian)

The Victoria and Albert Museum has responded to government pressure to align with its stance on “contested heritage” by insisting that it has a responsibility to accurately explain the nature of its collections, including items it said were looted by British forces. The V&A was responding to a controversial letter from the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, in which he suggested that bodies could lose government funding if they fail to toe the line and warned against “actions motivated by activism or politics”.

The museum, based in London, one of many placed under a spotlight amid an often heated debate around calls for the decolonisation of museums, told Dowden: “Our view is that it is both impossible and ahistorical to seek to ‘decolonise’ a museum like the V&A given its foundational connection to the history of British imperialism. Instead, our responsibility is to ensure that we explain the nature of our collections, with historical rigour and accuracy, in a manner which speaks to modern, multicultural Britain and the global audience we serve in South Kensington and online”...

Editado: Jun 28, 2:51pm

Via an indigenous friend, a bit of graciousness from Tom Fraser on FB re whether to celebrate Canada Day (July 1):

So a friend of mine asked if we should celebrate Canada Day. I think I answered her. But this is just my opinion.

So, I’m gonna qualify this by saying I am Mohawk of the Six Nations.

Bow your head in sadness, not shame. You didn’t write the laws that made these places. You didn’t run the churches that made these decisions. Your (mine too) government did. Old dead prime ministers did. Old dead popes, priests preachers and nuns did.

The country we live in was founded in exploitation, murder, genocide and thievery. But EVERY country in the world is. You didn’t know about these children because the government didn’t want you to know. I’m a conservative minded person, but thank god for liberals.

Now you know about them. You know about us. You are beginning to understand what we have gone and are going through.

So stand up. Celebrate Canada Day if you want. But celebrate it because we have been found. Celebrate it because our children are being recovered. Celebrate it because you don’t want this country to repeat what they have done.

We have been hear since Mother Earth bore the first brothers and sisters. We will be here when Grandfather (Moon) puts Mother Earth to sleep. We have always been here. But now you finally see us.

Jun 28, 11:49pm

>18 margd:

Interesting comment. I happened to be in Spokane WA in the USA in October 1992 on the 500th anniversary of the invasion of north America by Christopher Columbus. I was doing my MA in Spirituality and our faculty had connections with some of the Native American nations in the area, and we were invited to attend their memorial of that fateful date which presaged a disaster for the indigenous peoples. For them the anniversary was not a celebration but a day of great sadness yet without bitterness, and we were impressed with the quiet dignity of their ceremonies and their desire for justice and reconciliation rather than revenge.

Jun 29, 12:20am

UN human rights chief calls for reparations over racism (BBC>

The United Nations Human Rights Council has urged global action including reparations to "make amends" for racism against people of African descent. Its new report also urges educational reform and apologies to address discrimination. The findings cite concerns in about 60 countries including the UK, Belgium, France, Canada, Brazil and Colombia...

377: The British colonial law that left an anti-LGBTQ legacy in Asia (BBC)

For much of the past two centuries, it was illegal to be gay in a vast swathe of the world - thanks to colonial Britain. Till today, colonial-era laws that ban homosexuality continue to exist in former British territories including parts of Africa and Oceania...

Currently, it is illegal to be gay in around 69 countries, nearly two-thirds of which were under some form of British control at one point of time. This is no coincidence, according to Enze Han and Joseph O'Mahoney, who wrote the book British Colonialism and the Criminalization of Homosexuality. Dr Han told the BBC that British rulers introduced such laws because of a "Victorian, Christian puritanical concept of sex". "They wanted to protect innocent British soldiers from the 'exotic, mystical Orient' - there was this very orientalised view of Asia and the Middle East that they were overly erotic." "They thought if there were no regulations, the soldiers would be easily led astray."

While there were several criminal codes used across British colonies around the world, in Asia one particular set of laws was used prominently - the Indian Penal Code (IPC) drawn up by British historian Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, which came into force in 1862. It contained section 377, which stated that "whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" would be punished with imprisonment or fines... The British went on to use the IPC as the basis for criminal law codes in many other territories they controlled. Till today, 377 continues to exist in various forms in several former colonies in Asia such as Pakistan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar and Sri Lanka...

Jun 30, 6:30am

The House Votes To Remove Confederate Statues In The U.S. Capitol
Barbara Sprunt | June 29, 2021

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to remove all Confederate statues from public display in the U.S. Capitol, along with replacing the bust of former Chief Justice of the United States Roger Taney, author of the 1857 Dred Scott decision that declared that people of African descent were not U.S. citizens.

The House passed the measure 285-120. All Democratic members supported the legislation; all 'no' votes came from Republican members...


BILL TITLE: Directing the Joint Committee on the Library to replace certain statues in the United States Capitol
June 29, 2021

Among the yeas: McCarthy, Scalise
Nays: Jordan, Stephanik
Not voting: almost all Rs, including Gohmert

Jun 30, 3:38pm

>18 margd: contd.

Mr. Fraser must have encountered some blowback(?). He added:

"***I feel it necessary to provide an edit to this post. Please read my subsequent comments, it clarifies much of what I have said.

This post was originally for a small group of friends. As such there is some omission and liberties taken.

I am not, nor have I ever professed to be, speaking for all indigenous of Canada. As I have said, there is some pain that is too great to conquer.

View this post as you want. Take from it what you will, but please don’t twist or manipulate my words. The post is quite literal and was not meant as a political or societal commentary. It meant for my friends to not feel a guilt they should not own.

Thank you to everyone that has shared this. Thank you for all of the wonderful, insightful and heartfelt comments ***

Editado: Jul 1, 1:51pm

A sad, sad Canada Day...

Pope Francis to meet with survivors of Canada's notorious Indigenous schools amid demands for apology
AP | June 30, 2021

...The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said Francis had invited the delegations to the Vatican and would meet separately with three groups — First Nations, Metis and Inuit — during their Dec. 17-20 visit. The pope will then preside over a final audience with all three groups Dec. 20, the conference said in a statement Tuesday.

... the trip was contingent on the pandemic and that the delegations would include survivors of the residential schools, Indigenous elders and youths, as well as Indigenous leaders and Canadian bishops.

In recent weeks, investigators using ground-penetrating radar have reported finding hundreds of unmarked graves at the sites of two residential schools for Indigenous children...more than 600 graves in one school, 215 bodies in another *— have revived calls...for the pope to make a formal apology.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

Nearly three-quarters of the 130 residential schools were run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, with others operated by the Presbyterian, Anglican and the United Church of Canada, which today is the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

The government formally apologized for the policy and abuses in 2008. In addition, the Presbyterian, Anglican and United churches have apologized for their roles in the abuse....

* 182 Bodies Found Near Third Canadian Residential School
Maggie Gile | 6/30/21

...The Lower Kootenay Band said in a news release it began using the technology last year to search a site near the city of Cranbrook that is close to the former St. Eugene's Mission School, which was operated by the Roman Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s. It said the search found the remains in unmarked graves, some about 3 feet (a meter) deep.

The release said it's believed the remains are those of people from the bands of the Ktunaxa nation, which includes the Lower Kootenay Band, aqam and other neighboring First Nation communities...

Opinion: The racist legacy of Canada’s residential schools is still reflected in current policies
Alicia Elliott | June 2, 2021

...The Canadian government was aware of alarming death rates at these schools dating all the back to 1907. Less than 25 years after residential schools became official Canadian policy, Peter Bryce released the Report on the Indian Schools of Manitoba and Northwest Territories, which revealed 24 percent of all Indigenous children at residential schools had died of tuberculosis. Bryce went so far as to call residential schools “a national crime.”

Nothing changed. The schools remained open and their conditions remained horrific. This shows the Canadian government knew exactly what they were doing to these children — and, in turn, to the families and communities they stole these children from. They simply didn’t care.

They still don’t. Continuing the legacy of Canadian negligence and Indigenous genocide, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has spent $3.2 million fighting the survivors of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in court since 2013. His government wouldn’t even hand over the records St. Anne’s survivors needed to apply for compensation under his government’s official assessment process until the Ontario Supreme Court forced them to in 2014.

This doesn’t even touch on the fact that, following in the footsteps of residential schools, social services in Canada have unfailingly targeted Indigenous children for removal from their homes since the infamous Sixties Scoop, which removed thousands of Indigenous children from their communities and placed them with White families in the 1960s. According to the 2016 census, the situation is even worse today. Indigenous children reportedly make up 52 percent of all children in foster care. Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group is one of the five acts listed as genocide in Article II of the Genocide Convention.

Poverty is cited as one of the main reasons Indigenous children get taken from their families. I myself grew up poor. As a kid, my father had to train us on what to say to social workers so they wouldn’t take us away. I wrote about all this in my book (A Mind Spread Out on the Ground ), and I’m grateful to anyone who has read mine — or any other Indigenous writer’s work. But reading won’t stop the avalanche that is colonialism, nor will art alone rectify its ongoing, deliberate effects.

Only action can do that.

In the background of this latest gruesome discovery is the fact that only nine of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action have been fully implemented...


I'm far from their best student, but am finding much to think about in U Alberta course "Indigenous Canada" available free on Coursera:

Actions to Support Indigenous People on Canada Day


Above: "Indigenous children reportedly make up 52 percent of all children in foster care" is shocking when one considers that 3-4% of Canadians identify as aboriginal. Communities must be falling apart! Still, as "aunt" to young man who is half-native, I hope that first priority continues to be welfare of individual children. Fix home communities and find culturally appropriate homes whenever possible, but not at the expense of the child. (Welfare authorities can be amazingly inventive in Canada in finding solutions in best interest of the child, which is why I am aunt in quotation marks. )

Delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.

(1-5 deals with child welfare.)

Jul 1, 11:47pm

Amsterdam mayor apologises for city’s past role in slave trade (Guardian)

The mayor of Amsterdam has apologised for former governors’ extensive involvement in the global slave trade, saying the moment had come for the city to confront its grim history... {Mayor} Halsema said history cast a shadow that reached into the present day. “The city officials and the ruling elite who, in their hunger for profit and power, participated in the trade in enslaved people, in doing so entrenched a system of oppression based on skin colour and race,” she said. “The past from which our city still draws its distinctive commercial spirit is therefore indivisible from the persistent racism that still festers”...

Jul 5, 7:39am

Slovenian street name row highlights tensions over former dictator (Guardian)

Thirty years after Slovenia achieved independence, a bitter dispute over a street that since 1979 has been named in honour of Marshal Josip Broz Tito has highlighted how the former leader of the federation of Yugoslavia continues to divide opinion in central Europe. A municipal decree changing the name of Tito Road, or Titova cesta, in Radenci, a town in north-east Slovenia, to Cesta osamosvojitve Slovenije, or Road of Slovenian Independence, has been debated in the country’s highest court. A referendum was even mooted as a solution in the face of opposition...

Jul 7, 12:04am

V&A exhibition will use 250 objects to highlight creativity of African fashion (Guardian)

An exhibition about African fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum will attempt to reframe the narrative about the continent, showcasing its independence and creativity following decades of false assumptions...

Editado: Jul 7, 7:13am

Mary Simon was ambassador to Denmark, has CBC background (like many a former Governor General). I'm surprised she doesn't have better command of French language, coming from Quebec. I know at least a couple of senior military and civil service people who were sent for up to a year of intense French instruction--one fellow was close to retirement.

Trudeau Appoints Canada’s First Indigenous Governor General
Dan Bilefsky | July 6, 2021

...Ms. Simon, an Inuk from Kuujjuaq, a village in northeastern Quebec, said on Tuesday that her appointment would help engender reconciliation...Indigenous leaders praised (Mary Simon) as a skilled diplomat who was well placed to champion Indigenous concerns and mediate between the country’s disparate groups.

“Mary is a diplomat, an advocate and a strong Inuk Woman,” Perry Bellegarde, the president of the Assembly of First Nations, a national organization representing Indigenous people, wrote on Twitter.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada said it was proud to have an Inuit in such a prominent representative role, but cautioned that Ms. Simon was “being asked to serve the senior role in what is still a colonial system of governance.”

It called for the Canadian government to re-examine who was leading Canadian ministries dealing with Indigenous issues and services.

While leaders across the political spectrum applauded her appointment as an important moment for Indigenous rights, Ms. Simon’s lack of fluent French, one of Canada’s official languages, was noted by some media in her native Quebec. She spoke on Tuesday in English and Inuktitut, reading a couple of sentences in French...

Not sure if this is still the case, but for a while the Akwesasne community, which lay on US and Canadian sides of the St. Lawrence R, had its own passport.

Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID
Long-awaited policy change follows Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendation
Christopher Reynolds | Jun 14, 2021

...In a judicial review being heard in Federal Court on Monday, the federal government is arguing against Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decisions regarding compensation for First Nations children in foster care and the expansion of Jordan's Principle to children who live off reserves.

Miller said Monday the ruling ordering Ottawa to pay $40,000 each to some 50,000 First Nations children separated from their families by a chronically underfunded child-welfare regime, and to each of their parents or grandparents, "doesn't respect basic principles of proportionality."

Every First Nations child who has suffered discrimination "at the hands of a broken child-welfare system" will be "fairly, justly and equitably compensated," he said.

Most of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action remain unfulfilled, though cabinet ministers pointed to a pair of bills that would incorporate Indigenous rights into the oath of citizenship and align Canada's laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Bill C-8 on the citizenship oath has passed the Senate and awaits royal assent, while the UNDRIP provisions of C-15 continue to work their way through the upper chamber.
1st commissioner of Indigenous languages announced

Mendicino also said his department continues to work on updating Canada's citizenship guide to emphasize "the role and stories of Indigenous peoples, including those parts that relate to residential schools." The revised document will be released "very shortly," he said...

Jul 7, 11:42am

>8 margd: contd.

Sir John A. Macdonald’s gravesite in Kingston, Ont., vandalized
Alexandra Mazur | July 6, 2021

Jul 11, 12:23am

‘Such a relief’: Charlottesville onlookers cheer the removal of Confederate statue (Guardian)

Hundreds gathered to see the monument to Robert E Lee, once a rallying point for white supremacists, hoisted off its pedestal...

Editado: Jul 12, 1:01am

New Cross fire tragedy should be taught in schools (Guardian)

The story of the New Cross fire should feature as part of the national curriculum, according to Steve McQueen and the makers of a documentary about the tragedy that happened 40 years ago and changed race relations in the UK for ever.

McQueen’s three-part documentary, Uprising, tells the story of the fire, and the Black People’s Day of Action and the Brixton riots that followed it in 1981, with the Oscar-winning director believing the restive period should be taught in schools.

“These are historical moments, not just for black British people, but for British people in general, because these events have been reverberating throughout the nation,” McQueen said...

Jul 18, 12:38am

‘Not in this town’: artwork about Britain’s ‘nuclear colonialism’ removed (Guardian)

An Australian artist has accused a group of Conservative councillors of using “bullying strategies” to silence and censor her work after an installation she created to highlight Britain’s “identity as a colonial nuclear state” was removed from a park in Essex. The councillors threatened to “take action against the work” if it was not removed, according to Metal, the arts organisation that commissioned and then removed the installation from Gunners Park in Southend...

Jul 18, 11:10am

Confederate statue removed from city hall in Louisiana after 99 years (Guardian)

Spectators cheered Saturday as a stone statue of a Confederate general was hoisted by a crane and removed from a pedestal where it stood for 99 years in front of a city hall in south Louisiana. The removal came a day after United Daughters of the Confederacy signed a settlement agreeing to move the statue of Gen Alfred Mouton or let the city do so...

Jul 18, 12:46pm

"Slovenian street name row highlights tensions over former dictator (Guardian)"

Fuck the Guardian and its pig-ignorant centre-right hankerings.

If Slovenians retained the name of the street honouring Tito all this time AFTER they left the federation--thirty years and counting of liberal democracy--then it stands to reason that they didn't see him as a nefarious "dictator", but as someone worthy of such a honour.

These so-called "tensions" are deliberately created because the rightwing creep Janez Janša is holding on to power by the skin of his teeth and like all of his sort from Trump to Orbán puts his hopes in a culture war.

Jul 18, 12:54pm

>18 margd:

Government doesn't run the churches in Canada and as far as I know never did, although it's certainly appropriate that the government should apologise and make amends for not protecting the people it supposedly represented. But has your perennially criminal church apologised for its vast abuses? Last I heard, crickets.

Editado: Jul 24, 6:13am

>34 LolaWalser: At least some governments in US and Canada still pay churches and church entities to educate and to deliver other services to people--healthcare, foster care, adoption, (ETA: education) etc.--without ensuring that all legal options are made available to women, children, gays, etc. So yeah, governments are complicit.

(I'll post book and author when I find it, but was shocked to learn that 42% of indigenous kids died of TB in one school, per an MD who reported to the Canadian Government in early 20th c. He wrote the book when Ottawa failed to act. Still, crickets.)

As I understand all but one church has apologized for treatment of indigenous kids in residential schools. I assume having invited indigenous reps from Canada to Vatican this fall, Pope Francis intends to apologize.

Jul 18, 11:42pm

>33 LolaWalser: If Slovenians retained the name of the street honouring Tito all this time AFTER they left the federation--thirty years and counting of liberal democracy--then it stands to reason that they didn't see him as a nefarious "dictator", but as someone worthy of such a honour.

Cf. >32 John5918:. In my experience, changing things like street names is way more about the body of people who liked that period in history as opposed to the body who want it erased from monuments than anything about the person in the street, who generally has better things to do with their life than spending time on street name changes. Bad names can stick for decades, because nobody cares about enough to push through the bureaucracy.

Jul 21, 8:46am

New website launches to support decolonial scholarship and efforts at Notre Dame (University of Notre Dame)

In May, Accomplice, a student-led website and multimedia hub launched in an effort to elevate decolonial scholarship, conversations, and activism related to the University of Notre Dame...

“We want to create a convening place for threads that are critical to the larger conversation not only of decolonizing Notre Dame, but also to living out decolonial methodologies... Not just asking what does this mean, but how do we actually do this work?”...

“In light of its professed values, the University should engage in a robust and necessarily critical reflection on the ways in which it fails to promote social justice and thereby contributes to injustice... This reflection should address both historical and current practices and should cover both the dynamics of the University and its relationship to the South Bend communities”...

Jul 22, 12:56am

Soldier statue reignites Spanish row over fascism (BBC)

There is unease in Spain over plans for a Madrid statue honouring soldiers who spearheaded Franco's fascist movement.

This week marks the centenary of what is often described as the most shocking defeat in the history of the Spanish military - the annihilation of a colonial force at the Battle of Annual, in what is now northern Morocco...

Jul 23, 5:51pm

Editado: Jul 23, 11:31pm

>36 prosfilaes:

Meaningless twaddle, as if handwaving empty generalities can make up for opinion about things you haven't got the slightest inkling about. Either you know the specifics of the case or you don't, and it's clear that you don't.

Slovenian public, in particular, has been polled again and again on the issue of placenames since the independence and while many have been changed, the ones that honoured Tito and Slovenian national heroes have often been kept with extremely high public approval (over 80% for keeping the names). There are streets and squares named after Tito in half a dozen Slovenian towns, not because people "forgot" to change them, but because they WANT to keep them. It's a political choice, not an accident.

And that's not all. Slovenia one might almost understand, they left the federation at the least cost, why not pretend they had been on the right side of history in WWII with a few nods to the socialist past. But, even the fascistoid regimes in Croatia and Bosnia not only didn't succeed (yet) in erasing Tito's name everywhere, there are more placenames in his honour in these two than in Slovenia. Now, I don't know what's going on in Bosnia, but as for Croatia, that's no coincidence, no passively arising situation.

But what would you know? You'd have to actually care about the history and politics of these countries and follow what's been going on.

In 2003, with the Holocaust-denier Tudjman's fascist regime in full power, a call-in poll of some 8000 people ranked Tito "the greatest Croatian".

In 2021, with the rightwing havoc still burning through the land, we're still remembering that:

I've no taste for hero worship. But I do know whose name, between any number of proud members of the enslaving, colonialist, imperialist, racist countries militating for the greater glory of capitalism, and the antifascist leader of the non-aligned across the world, is a "bad" name.

>35 margd:

Edit: we'll see.

Jul 23, 11:33pm

>40 LolaWalser: Meaningless twaddle, as if handwaving empty generalities

You're the one who said "thirty years and counting of liberal democracy".

But I do know whose name, between any number of proud members of the enslaving, colonialist, imperialist, racist countries militating for the greater glory of capitalism, and the antifascist leader of the non-aligned across the world, is a "bad" name.

Tito's not the worst asshole the world's ever seen. But of all these western nations you're bashing, their leaders have the distinction of having ruled over intact nations, nations that haven't had the worst genocide Europe has seen since WWII. The only one of those nations that's had a serious successionist movement is the UK, and that was handled peacefully. But instead of Tito creating a country that could stand together or break apart peacefully (like Czechoslovakia), he left a country that killed 100,000 and displaced four million in bloody civil war. As for racist countries, Serb v. Croat v. Bosniak violence doesn't count?

Jul 23, 11:49pm

>41 prosfilaes:

You're the one who said "thirty years and counting of liberal democracy".

In Slovenia. Nothing general about that, I was precisely responding to John's link about an event in Slovenia.

nations that haven't had the worst genocide Europe has seen since WWII...

Seriously, just fucking stop. Learn that your robo-responses are not necessary every time your Yankee rightwingery gets triggered by some mention of a non-capitalist system or random Communist. That post is so idiotic it's almost... pitiful.

I'm done with your 4channish assclownery. In the future, kindly avoid piggybacking on posts I address to other people.

Jul 24, 12:40am

>33 LolaWalser:

Thanks, Lola. I wasn't aware of all that detail and it certainly sheds more light on the issue. I suppose in many countries there are figures in their past who have a chequered record, good and bad, and who are still respected not just by a single small die-hard interest group (such as the Confederates or white supremacists in the USA, or the Tory party in the UK) but by a broad cross section of society. Winston Churchill could be described as a militaristic, imperialist, colonialist, racist and misogynist alcoholic, but I doubt whether the British public would ever want to see his statues removed from public view. His World War II achievements are generally viewed as outweighing or redeeming his less savoury characteristics. World War II still has a cherished place in the British national myth.

>41 prosfilaes: The only one of those nations that's had a serious successionist movement is the UK, and that was handled peacefully.

Not sure to which UK "secessionist movement" you are referring. If you mean Scottish and Welsh independence movements, yes, they have been handled peacefully. But Ireland's quest for independence in the early part of the 20th century, and Northern Ireland's Troubles for the last thirty-odd years of that century, were certainly not handled peacefully.

Jul 24, 12:53am

A turning point: New Zealand museums grapple with return of stolen Māori remains (Guardian)

New Zealand has long fought to have indigenous remains held overseas returned – now it’s reckoning with its own colonial legacy...

Jul 24, 4:15am

>42 LolaWalser: In the future, kindly avoid piggybacking on posts I address to other people.

If you want to talk to someone privately, message them, don't post on an open forum.

your Yankee rightwingery gets triggered by some mention of a non-capitalist system or random Communist

So you want to exclude 300 million people, including the majority of the people on LibraryThing?

In any case, it wasn't a non-capitalist system; it was a dictator. You praise the leader of the non-aligned; why? It's a bunch of nations acting in their own self-interest. It doesn't even seem to have the ethical bases that the US and Soviet Union at least espoused. Half the time, it was led by a dictator, and seem to have no impact on stopping wars among its members or doesn't seem to have cared about crimes against humanity inside its members. Being the leader of the non-aligned movement was no more or less praise-worthy than being the leader of the American Dairy Association.

Jul 24, 5:46am

>45 prosfilaes: the non-aligned

I think you're overly harsh on the non-aligned movement. Many small nations found themselves uncomfortably sandwiched between the two great superpowers, the USA and USSR, and were often the victims of the proxy wars which were part of the Cold War; the Cold War came to define world politics even for those who wanted no part in it. It's hardly surprising that they sought to bolster and support each other and to try to have a common voice against the two big bullies on the block; it was indeed "in their own self-interest". That they were less successful than one might have wished is due to a variety of factors, many beyond their control. There's a saying in Africa: when two elephants fight it's the grass which suffers (or is trampled). The non-aligned nations often found themselves being trampled by the two big elephants.

Editado: Jul 25, 7:27pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Jul 26, 5:54am

Sounds like fewer residential schools per capita in the US?

"...According to (AP) report, over 150 residential schools were run by US Catholic and Protestant churches during the 19th and 20th centuries...The majority of the schools, 84, were run by the Catholic Church, while 21 were run by Presbyterians, 15 by Quakers, and 12 by Methodists."...

Lost Lives, Lost Culture: The Forgotten History of Indigenous Boarding Schools
Thousands of Native American children attended U.S. boarding schools designed to “civilize the savage.” Many died. Many who lived are reclaiming their identity.
Rukmini Callimachi | July 19, 2021

...The discovery of the bodies in Canada led Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the first Native American to head the department that once ran the boarding schools in the United States — and herself the granddaughter of people forced to attend them — to announce that the government would search the grounds of former facilities to identify the remains of children.

...In 1775, the Continental Congress passed a bill appropriating $500 for the education of Native American youth. By the late 1800s, the number of students in boarding schools had risen from a handful to 24,000, and the amount appropriated had soared to $2.6 million.

...Carl Schurz, the secretary of the interior in the late 1800s, argued that it cost close to $1 million to kill a Native American in warfare, versus just $1,200 to give his child eight years of schooling, according to the account of the historian David Wallace Adams in “Education for Extinction.” “A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one,” Capt. Richard H. Pratt, the founder of one of the first boarding schools, wrote in 1892. “In a sense I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: That all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him and save the man.”...

Ago 1, 1:12am

Tulsa race massacre: 19 bodies reinterred as protesters demand criminal investigation (Guardian)

The bodies of 19 people exhumed from an Oklahoma cemetery during a search for victims of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre were reburied in a closed ceremony on Friday, despite objections from protesters outside the cemetery... As many as 300 people were killed in Tulsa in 1921 when a white mob destroyed a prosperous neighbourhood known as Black Wall Street. Others protesting Friday’s reburial called for a criminal investigation. “The found remains – a skull with a bullet hole – that seems like you’re just beginning to get somewhere" in investigating the deaths...

In Algeria, France’s 1960s nuclear tests still taint ties (France 24)

More than 60 years since France started its nuclear tests in Algeria, their legacy continues to poison relations between the North African nation and its former colonial ruler.
Advertising The issue has come to the fore again after President Emmanuel Macron said in French Polynesia on Tuesday that Paris owed "a debt" to the South Pacific territory over atomic tests there between 1966 and 1996. The damage the mega-blasts did to people and nature in the former colonies remains a source of deep resentment, seen as proof of discriminatory colonial attitudes and disregard for local lives...

Ago 2, 1:09am

Jacinda Ardern apologises for New Zealand ‘dawn raids’ on Pasifika people in 1970s (Guardian)

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has issued a formal apology for historic racist policing of Pacific people and offered scholarships to Pacific students. Hundreds of people packed Auckland town hall on Sunday to hear the apology for the “dawn raids” of the 1970s during which authorities hunted for visa overstayers. The practice took place under both of New Zealand’s major political parties, beginning with Labour prime minister Norman Kirk and continuing under the National’s Robert Muldoon. Studies have since shown Pacific peoples were no more likely to overstay their visas than migrants from the US and UK, but were much more likely to be prosecuted. The state-backed discrimination and subsequent deportations separated families and devastated communities...

Hundreds demand reparations for Windrush generation (Guardian)

Hundreds of people have gathered in south London to call for reparations and restored citizenship for the Windrush generation and their descendants... “This is not just about compensation. Reparation is about repairing harm, and there’s a lot of harm going on today. We are in a state of emergency. Our children are dying, we have been misled, we have been hoodwinked. Our people have been sold a lie about our life here in Britain. Now, after many of our foreparents have worked their butts off, they’re being deported... We are here today, honouring so-called Emancipation Day. But we’re also sending a key message to the British state and other European governments that we have not forgotten the injustices against our foreparents”...

Ago 2, 12:55pm

Dishonourable swine without compare:

U.S. issues new Cuba sanctions, Biden promises more to come

Seventy years of trying to crush Cuba wasn't enough, including through the starvation years of post-USSR collapse?


Ago 2, 1:16pm

>43 John5918:

Actually I meant to draw your attention to the fact that The Guardian isn't the leftist platform of yore (as I'm told it used to be) but nowadays regularly gives space to right wingers and the right wing perspective. I expect they find that financially rewarding?--or in any case necessary, in these post-knowledge, clickbait-happy days.

The shallow, uninformed views of Eastern European history (or any non-Anglo space) of course aren't particularly new, nor is the tendency to peddle Cold War propaganda in the guise of analysis. But as the generations succeed one another and an ever more general crash of education and standards becomes ever more evident, it distresses me no end that these vapid know-nothing formulas are on track to supplant the last trace of reality.

Ago 2, 2:31pm

Forgot to say...

>43 John5918:

Winston Churchill could be described as a militaristic, imperialist, colonialist, racist and misogynist alcoholic, but I doubt whether the British public would ever want to see his statues removed from public view

Your analogy would work far better with the Queen, if one wanted to understand the feeling around Tito. She is unelected, yet wildly popular, so much so that even some (or most) among the republican-inclined bridle at insulting her.

Tito was like that, Yugoslavia's Elizabeth. His personality, determination, activity brought his party success during and after the war. He was the person leading the greatest, most significant native body of resistance in Europe. Not only that, after the war he had the chutzpah to defy Stalin, alone in Eastern Europe and with no help or sympathy from the West. This is why even those like the anti-Communist wing of my family, pre-war liberals and social democrats, respected Tito.

And he got to be "the dictator" because he was special, not vice versa. Yugoslavia was a land of peasants with a peasant king. The king was remarkably, genuinely beloved.

"Comrade Tito was born here", says the sign. Not "the dictator". Again, it takes knowing the history of the place and these people to understand why this is so. Stupid, facile formulas that equate anything that calls itself a "democracy" with "freedom" and good etc. conveniently leave out the myriad examples of degraded trash, from Hitler to Trump, that was properly "elected".

Finally, in contrast to Churchill, not only was Tito NOT imperialist and racist, colonialist and militaristic, he was the figurehead of a movement explicitly ANTI-colonialist, -imperialist, -racist. I'd say Tito and his politics age far better than Churchill. The world today still needs exactly what Tito's Yugoslavia stood for--peace, disarmament, cooperation, socialism.

Ago 2, 11:45pm

>53 LolaWalser: Your analogy would work far better with the Queen, if one wanted to understand the feeling around Tito. She is unelected, yet wildly popular, so much so that even some (or most) among the republican-inclined bridle at insulting her.

Except that she's powerless. She's not a political leader; she's a figurehead.

after the war he had the chutzpah to defy Stalin, alone in Eastern Europe and with no help or sympathy from the West.

"However, in 1948 Tito broke decisively with Stalin on other issues, making Yugoslavia an independent communist state. Yugoslavia requested American aid. American leaders were internally divided, but finally agreed and began sending money on a small scale in 1949, and on a much larger scale in 1950–53."

Besides that little bit of factual error, the simple fact is that many people in Eastern Europe had the chutzpah to defy Stalin, and many of them died for it. One could mention the 1956 Hungarian Revolution; I was about to name check Imre Nagy, but it looks like there were many nameless heroes that gave their lives to free Hungary and are more worthy of remembering than a oligarch who tried to follow the changing winds.

"Comrade Tito was born here", says the sign. Not "the dictator".

Der Führer, not der Diktator. And I always take my advice from signs pointing out the historical significance of small villages, because they're always quite accurate and appropriately critical regarding their native sons.

Stupid, facile formulas that equate anything that calls itself a "democracy" with "freedom" and good etc.

I think that deserves a good old Bronx cheer. Criticizing "Stupid, facile formulas that equate anything that calls itself a ..." is a pretty clear sign you've built yourself a strawman.

Hitler wasn't elected to be leader of the country; he seized power. And the Weimar Republic is considered to be showing the signs of a rotten democracy, brought down by people like you, who thought it would be better to give power to their Comrade or Führer forever than have to continually compromise with their neighbor.

As for Trump, he and his are signs of deep rottenness in the US democracy. But one of the key points of a democracy is that a leader is temporary, but the nation is permanent. We kicked his ass out after four years. That's one of the features of a democracy; when the people have a problem with a leader, the people can toss them out, without an assassination or a coup.

he was the figurehead of a movement explicitly ANTI-colonialist, -imperialist, -racist

Explicitly in what ways? Because at the same time Tito was dictator, most of the English empire was dismantled. Actions speak louder than words, and actions taken personally, against one's self-interest mean a lot more than criticizing someone else for their actions.

(Apparently they're against interfering in internal affairs, but demand self-determination for Puerto Rico. The problem of Puerto Rico is the population is evenly enough split between status quo, independence and statehood that no result will win, unless, as has been done a couple times, the voting questions are manipulated to force a particular choice, in which case the vote has usually seen wide boycotting or lots of ballots left blank. If there's an honest, fair vote and it goes for independence or statehood, then pressure can be put on the US, not that it will help.

Likewise, disarmament, good, not letting Iran and North Korea get nuclear weapons, bad.)

The world today still needs exactly what Tito's Yugoslavia stood for--peace, disarmament, cooperation, socialism.

Sure. Oh, wait, it turns out we got Erich Honecker instead of Tito; let's impeach him or vote him out... oh, damn. That's sort of the classic reason we don't have dictators.

And great, Tito's Yugoslavia stood for this stuff. I'll put it on my list with Marcus Aurelius's Roman Empire to visit if I ever hit the area. Again, with nations instead of demigods, some of the Eastern European nations flew well--Eastern Germany, Baltic Republics, etc. Some had their problems, Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Romania, in no particular order. Yugoslavia failed ugly and bloody. I'm sorry if I can't wax romantic for Tito's Yugoslavia when it proved to be so bad for its people.

>51 LolaWalser: Do you know why the US still has so many sanctions on Cuba? Most Americans don't care. There's one group that does; I'll give you a hint; it starts with a C and rhymes with Cuban-Americans. Some might say if Cubans in exile insist that every step be taken to crush Castro's regime then that must mean that something is wrong with that government, but hey, everything is always the US's fault. Just like everything is about the educational system and not about people being disinclined to agree with people who call them swine and praise anyone who opposes them.

Ago 3, 12:20am

>54 prosfilaes:

I think your fairly uncritical acceptance of Cuban-Americans' political viewpoint is a bit simplistic. The voice of the diaspora from any country is of course a voice that needs to be heard, but they are often out of touch with the reality in their home country and are still fighting whatever battle caused them to leave it many decades ago. Someone started a thread on Pro and Con a few weeks ago based on the propaganda from a couple of white South African exiles in Thailand of all places; I've met similar ones in Australia and elsewhere, and I've also lived in South Africa and seen a much more nuanced situation there than is portrayed by these people. I've seen factions within the Sudanese, South Sudanese and Ugandan diaspora still fomenting political and ethnic division while people at home are trying to overcome those divisions. Irish-Americans continued to buy weapons for the IRA while people at home were trying to negotiate for peace. One person's "liberation struggle" is another person's "terrorism". By all means include the diaspora in the conversation, but also include the reality on the ground at home and a more general international consensus. Very few things are black and white - there's usually a large grey area.

Ago 3, 12:22am

>53 LolaWalser:

Thanks, Lola. Interesting nuances.

Ago 3, 8:44am

UN criticises UK for failure to redress colonial-era landgrab in Kenya (Guardian)

The British government has been criticised by the UN for a lack of resolution over colonial-era crimes committed in Kenya. Six UN special rapporteurs have written to the government expressing concern over its failure to provide “effective remedies and reparations” to the Kipsigis and Talai peoples. The Kipsigis and Talai clans of Kericho county, Kenya were brutally evicted by the British army between 1895 and 1963 to make way for lucrative tea plantations owned by white settlers. Having never received any form of redress for the human rights violations they suffered, they filed a complaint to the UN calling for an investigation in 2019. Lawyers say the UK pursued an intentional policy of violent displacement after realising the land in Kericho County was suited to growing tea, and argued the treatment of these Kenyans amounted to a gross violation of human rights...

US to return 17,000 looted ancient artefacts to Iraq (Guardian)

The United States is returning more than 17,000 ancient artefacts that were looted and smuggled out of Iraq after the 2003 US invasion, including a 3,500-year-old clay tablet that bears part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Iraq has said. Tens of thousands of antiquities disappeared from Iraq after the invasion that toppled its leader, Saddam Hussein...

Ago 3, 4:05pm

>55 John5918: There's considerable modern migration, with the most recent numbers I saw being 56,000 in FY2016. But at least some of the pressure is going to come from those who left Cuba in the 1960s and their children who may have never set foot in Cuba.

The point was that the US is supporting these restrictions because the citizens who care about how we treat Cuba support these restrictions, and those citizens are Cuban-Americans. Maybe there's a grey area where we can't just call them swine, and have to listen to what is often their personal experience in Cuba. Maybe it's not because US is a big imperialist nation, but because the Communist government has done a lot of people wrong, and whether or not it's just or rational, those Cubans are unhappy about restrictions being let up on Cuba while that government that hurt them is still in power.

>57 John5918: between 1895 and 1963

I.e. the period of time when all the Communist states took private property and executed dissidents and at some points anyone who looked like they might be a dissident. I know, it's a combination of "you can't get blood from a stone" and "it's very hard to get anything from a sovereign government, and your best hope is one that can be guilted into obeying rulings." Will India pay for its imperialist conquest of Hyderbad ( ) and subsequent atrocities? I doubt it. The US managed to apologize and financially recompensate victims of the Japanese Internment centers, but I think India is going to wait for everyone to be dead and treat it like the US does slavery: "I mean, it was real bad, but it happened a long time ago, so what can you do?" I'm pretty sure the people throwing stones at the US and the UK aren't going to care about anything a non-aligned nation did.

Ago 3, 11:32pm

>58 prosfilaes:

If the UK and USA have done wrong, if their own societies recognise that they have done wrong, then they have a responsibility to deal with that wrong regardless of what anyone else does.

Ago 5, 1:54am

Australia to spend $813M to address Indigenous disadvantage
Rod McGuirk | Aug 4, 2021

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s government on Thursday pledged 1.1 billion Australian dollars ($813 million) to address Indigenous disadvantage, including ( AU$378.6 million (US $279.7 million) compensation (by 2026) to thousands of mixed-race children who were taken from their families over decades.

The compensation of up to AU$75,000 ($55,400) in a lump sum plus up to $AU7,000 ($5,200) for expenses such as psychological counselling will only be available to mixed-race children who had been under direct federal government control in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Jervis Bay Territory.

...Most members of the Stolen Generations had been under state government control when they were separated from their Indigenous mothers under decades of assimilation policies that ended as recently as the 1970s.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison ...“This is a long-called-for step recognizing the bond between healing, dignity, and the health and well-being of members of the Stolen Generations, their families and their communities...To say formally not just that we’re deeply sorry for what happened, but that we will take responsibility for it”...

Ago 7, 12:10am

'We want trillions to heal our wounds' (BBC)

In between the blue water of the Atlantic Ocean and the luscious golden dunes of the Namibian coast are the grounds of a former German concentration camp. It was here at the start of the 20th Century where the Ovaherero and Nama people were subjected to sexual violence, forced labour and gruesome medical experiences. Many died of disease and exhaustion...

Mr Kaapehi explains what happened generations ago still has a profound impact on his livelihood. "Our wealth was taken, the farms, the cattle, everything, I was not supposed to suffer this as I'm talking," he says...

Historians have called what happened between 1904 and 1908, in what is now Namibia, the first genocide of the 20th Century. It is when German colonial forces displaced and killed thousands of Ovaherero and Nama people after an uprising against the colonial rulers. It is estimated that 60,000 Ovaherero, more than 80% of the ethnic group's total population in the region, and 10,000 Nama, 50% of its population, were killed in this period. In May, the German government for the first time formally recognised the colonial-era atrocities. It acknowledged the massacres as a genocide, pledging to pay a "gesture to recognise the immense suffering inflicted". But Germany did not label the gesture as reparations...

"The first genocide of the 20th century", and yet few people in the Global North have even heard of it.

Ago 7, 9:06am

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Ago 7, 1:48pm

>62 TheToadRevoltof84:

Except you've fallen in the Great Fallacy Pit of Right Wing Delusion.

The Democrats of the Civil War evolved during the 20th C. Civil Rights Movement to oppose all the vestiges of slavery and right the wrongs of discrimination and Jim Crow preserved in the South by Dixiecrats. Dixiecrats were the cult of white racists that still wore and hid beneath the Democratic Party's banner.

When the Democrts passed the Civil Rights laws in the late 60s, endowing Constitutional humanity on African Americans, it was a spit in the eye too far for the bigoted Dixiecrats who abandoned their cover and chose to live out in the open within the party they recognized as more aligned with their prejudices. The Republican Party. A Party that has not changed since the Dixiecrat immigration other than to become more cruel and rigid.

While it took the Democratic Party 100 years to evolve into the party of the people, it took the Republican Party only 8 years to devolve into the refuge of racists, beginning with Richard Nixon and the "Southern Strategy." Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts the two parties have continued their separate paths of diverging ideologies.

In the Republican Party's case, the Nation hopes it has run its course; the present day Party is simultaneously exploding (into assorted violent mobs) and imploding by eating its own and by abandoning political policy making and governance for the intellectually lazy life of personality worship, simply devolving into a cult. Republicans have chosen the path to barbarism and self-destruction. They turned their backs on the gifts of the 18th C. that informed the Age of our forefathers, Reason & Enlightenment; they have foresworn the gift of Rousseau's Social Contract, which underpins our democratic government and society; they have repudiated the tenet of "all men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights." Instead, they embrace the malign ideals of nationalism, of racial superiority belonging to whites, of privileges of rank and wealth superceding the rights to opportunity and access. They have kicked aside the concept of the common good in favor of adulation of tyranny embodied in one man. That is a combination whose sum is savagery.

On the other hand, the Democratic Party has embraced the change that time always brings. It recognized in the early history of the 20th C. how to make a real difference that improves people's lives as exemplified by Social Security, Civil Rights Act, Obama Care, Voting Rights Protection, by the passage of laws that protect individual rights of oppressed minorities, by forthright effective action to stop the unnecessary deaths from a pandemic, and by meaningful job creation legislation, direct economic stimulus to those in need, and proposals for infrastructure and fair taxation. All of which, from the time of FDR to the present have been resisted, opposed, voted against, undermined, and attacked with the intent to destroy by the Republicans. To no avail. Fortunately for this country, Democrats know how and are unafraid to govern effectively simply by honoring the democratic gifts of our forebears and always viewing the future as a thing to be made better instead of feared, remembering that their power comes from those who are down, not up; from the governed, not those who would govern; from the common, not the empowered; and from the least of these, not the greatest few.

What nature does, so must people. What people do, so must politics. That 'what' is evolve. It's the only direction that ensures survival.

Ago 7, 3:56pm

>62 TheToadRevoltof84: Have you read about generational wealth. Read up on it and see if you think it will mean one bit to pay reparations.

E.g. you're claiming that "I mean, it was real bad, but it happened a long time ago, so what can you do?"

Don't bother with the idiotic, the parties switched claim.

So the Republicans are the same people they've always been; thus "There is no success great enough to justify the employment of women in labor under conditions which will impair their natural functions." (Republican Party Platform of 1924) and they're against women in the workforce, as well as ("The Republican party ... favors the extension of the suffrage to women, but recognizes the right of each state to settle this question for itself.") (Republican Party Platform of 1916) universal female suffrage?

There can be no question that in 1964, the Republicans ran a candidate who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act against the Democratic LBJ who signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and that exactly six states voted for Goldwater, Arizona, and Louisiana through South Carolina, including Georgia which had never before voted for a Republican for president.

But again, facts only care about conservative feelings, right?

Editado: Ago 10, 12:07pm

This member has been suspended from the site.

Ago 10, 12:12pm

>65 TheToadRevoltof84:

Yeah, I know. Facts bite. Bites hurt. You're afraid of pain. That's why you can't handle the truth.

Ago 10, 8:03pm

>65 TheToadRevoltof84: You're on a fucking book website. No, I'm not going to spend 22 minutes of life watching a video I could read in 5. Especially not from Sources matter, and you don't even try.

The parties didn't switch. They changed, they evolved. But somehow states can switch in 8 years but parties are eternal, even though it's clear they're not.

Ago 10, 8:54pm

The Hypocrisy Is Mass x Acceleration in Us

After the Republican governor twin set, Abbot and Costello DeSantis, issued no mask mandates, businesses (cruise lines) and school boards (Broward Cty.+ 5-6 other districts in FL & second largest school district in TX + others) Texans and Floridians are defying their governors. FL's governor has threatened to cut off pay for superintendents in the rebellious counties. EPIC FAIL. Even more schools districts are mandating masks in defiance of their Republican governor.

Why? Take a look at the state of their states in COVID case numbers, hospitalizations, percent ICU beds available, and deaths.

Texas Gov Greg Abbott is begging for out-of-state health care workers. Meanwhile Odessa, TX hospitals request portable morgue.

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis is begging for out-of-state ventilators
. Meanwhile, Brevard Cty. hospital system has just placed a refrigerated trailer portable morgue on its property.

Sad. But ya get what ya vote for.

Ago 10, 9:37pm

#68–the problem is that some people who didn’t vote for DeSantis or Abbott will get it and die. Probably not as many but collateral damage sucks all around as a concept.

The other is there will be spread outside Florida and Texas and other states particularly in the south where the virus is running wild. The irresponsibility of these asshole right wing politicians matters. The anti-vaccine preachers and holier than thou pundits like Carlson should have their crosses shoved right up their asses.

Editado: Ago 10, 11:24pm

This member has been suspended from the site.

Editado: Ago 11, 2:37am

>70 TheToadRevoltof84: I gave you too much credit previously. The video is only 5 minutes long...?

I see, the 22m is the number of viewers. I see now it has a transcript.

Fact: Republicans actually became competitive in the South as early as 1928, when Republican Herbert Hoover won over 47 percent of the South's popular vote against Democrat Al Smith.

A picture is worth a thousand words: (go ahead, look at it, and click through the maps. They're not controversial; I first saw them twenty five years ago in a high-school level American history textbook.)

That is, in 1928, when Hoover won 40 out of 48 states, he still lost Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina (plus Massachusetts and Rhode Island). Winning an election by 15 points and still losing a state is not being competitive there.

In 1952, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower won the southern states of Tennessee, Florida and Virginia.

That is, Eisenhower won 39 out of 48 states, losing Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina and (cut and paste here) Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

And in 1956, he picked up Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, too.

And lost Missouri. So now he's up to 41 out of 48 states, with a 14 point lead over his opponent, and he's still losing Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. He won the country by 14 points, and lost by 33 points in Georgia and Mississippi, and came in third in South Carolina, being beat by T. Coleman Andrews of the States' Rights Party.

Richard Nixon, the man who is often credited with creating the Southern Strategy, lost the Deep South in 1968.

Wait, what happened to 1960 and 1964? We're not going to mention those years? We're not going to mention that Goldwater in 1964 won Arizona and (cut and paste) Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, and that Georgia had never, ever voted Republican before. We're just going to say that Nixon lost the Deep South in 1968 and not mention that it was to George Wallace, not the Democratic candidate? The guy who said

It is very appropriate that from this cradle of the Confederacy, this very heart of the great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us time and again down through history. Let us rise to the call for freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever. First Inaugural Speech as Governor of Alabama, (January 1963)

? The fact that they rejected Nixon for a man more openly racist might be interesting, if this was an honest discussion. says "Ironically, Nixon really did almost nothing to appeal to Southern racists in 1968, for an obvious, but frequently forgotten, reason: Alabama Governor George Wallace, who ran as a third-party candidate, had all their votes in his pocket and made blatant racial appeals the foundation of his campaign. Even as president, Nixon did very little, substantively, to appeal to the South. On the contrary, he moved rapidly to desegregate the schools and established affirmative action programs to aid black workers and businesses. It is now largely forgotten, but the reason Nixon made Spiro Agnew his running mate is because he had a reputation for being good on civil rights, having pushed for open housing laws as governor of Maryland. On balance, Nixon’s record on civil rights is pretty good, according to historians." How much Nixon played the Southern Strategy is debated but what's not debated is that Nixon lost the Deep South to Wallace, not Humphrey.

"If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so."

Look at those maps. Explain those maps. It is clearly bullshit to say that they waited until the late 1980s to do so. In 1956, Eisenhower (R) dominated the election, losing only in a few states mainly in the deep South, that mainly hadn't gone Republican since 1880 or 1884.W In 1960 those states went Kennedy or to Byrd, a third party. In 1964, those states are basically the only ones to go Republican. In 1968, the larger South went for Nixon, but Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia went for Wallace.

My understanding is that seniority rules in Congress at the time kept many Congressmen in their parties even when it would have seemed natural for them to move to other parties. I unfortunately can't find a cite at this time. expands on the issues. It's not that simple, but you posted a 600 word video lecture from PragerU because you wanted it to be simple.

Again, the Southern Strategy in the words of Lee Atwater, one of its creators:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

You'll note that when she says "Its values today are conservative ones: pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-small government." those things disproportionately hurt black people; white people are wealthier and can afford to travel for abortions, and are less likely to have economic reasons to have abortions. Black people are more likely to live in poor neighborhoods with gun problems then in gated neighborhoods, and are more likely to get shot for being a black man with a gun (or cell phone, or who might be going for a gun). Pro-small government has been a southern dog-whistle for a long time; cut welfare, cut any form of support, and again, it hurts the poor more than the rich.

But no, let's summarize it in a five minute video that doesn't approach any of these issues, just tells people like you want you want to hear. And let me guess, you're going to go back to "big picture", which lets you avoid any of the facts.

Ago 11, 6:51am

This member has been suspended from the site.

Ago 11, 10:28am

Member has been removed for creating an account after being removed from the site for violations of the TOS.

Ago 11, 10:37am

>73 timspalding:

Thanks, Tim. There were significant similarities in style and content to not only one but two previous members.

Ago 11, 11:49am

>73 timspalding:

Now who can I play with?

Seriously, sometime shortly after Reincarnation, I noted in a post of his that one of my phrases used against his former self was misused against a post of mine. From then on, I felt I knew who I was dealing with. So, what could I do but toy with him?

Congrats for discovering the deception! We can now return to our regular Reality Based Community.

Ago 11, 11:35pm

We're researching the issue. The member may have deleted themselves. But there are significant TOS violations on the other accounts. So if they come back, it will be after a suspension for previous offenses.

Ago 12, 3:05am

>75 Limelite: Don't feed the toad :-)

Editado: Ago 12, 7:33am

C’est la vie and au revoir to our little green attention seeking won’t be missed friend.

It would seem that some conservatives would like to attach themselves to Orwell and his 1984 novel. Mr. Toad being one I would suspect. Again though Orwell was an unrepentant and avowed democratic socialist and such right wingers who would do so are misconstruing his work perhaps deliberately and certainly barking up the wrong tree.

Ago 14, 9:27am

Britain’s imperial history deserves better than petty culture wars (Guardian)

Newcastle city council’s decision to add two plaques to its memorial to the Boer war of 1899-1902 has triggered a feverish reaction. One plaque will contextualise the colonial history of the war; the other will reflect the views of local residents. No sooner was the change announced than the right’s “whack-a-woke” culture warriors descended upon the city. But the council’s engagement with the legacy of the Boer war – and Britain’s blood-soaked role in it – should be welcomed by anyone who values serious and honest engagement with history...

Ago 15, 9:33am

500 years after Aztec rule, Mexico confronts a complicated anniversary (National Geographic)

Was the 1521 surrender of the great Indigenous empire to the Spanish crown a triumphant conquest, an existential tragedy—or even a genocide?...

Ago 15, 4:38pm

>80 John5918: I think for a lot of people at the time, it was the two elephants fighting, that it was the thumb of one empire exchanged for the thumb of another. As the article briefly touches upon, Cortes had a lot of local allies.

Ago 16, 12:18am

For rightwing culture warriors, to shed light on past conflict is to insult our history (Guardian)

The problem with dishonesty is that you have to remember your most recent falsehoods to at least try to keep your story straight. In their pantomime “war against woke”, the UK’s statue defenders are incapable of remembering what they said just 12 months ago.

Last summer, when the statue of Edward Colston was toppled, those who howled in protest claimed that they were not seeking to defend the reputation of a slave trader – a man complicit in the deaths of 19,000 Africans – but were merely opposed to the destructive way in which the statue had been removed. Toppling statues, or even removing them from public display peacefully, they lectured, entailed “erasing history”.

The answer, they and the government argued, was to leave statues and monuments in place but add contextual details that made visible aspects of the past about which statues had previously been mute. This strategy – “retain and explain” – could be best achieved by attaching plaques to the pedestals on which monuments stand.

Fast forward to 2021 and the same people seem to have forgotten that this was ever their position. With no statue toppled since Colston’s pavement dive, the statue-philes have been forced to make the most of slim pickings...

making changes to a city centre monument to 370 men from north-east regiments who died in the Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902. Topped with a statue of Nike, the winged Greek goddess of victory, the Boer war monument has plaques at its base that list the names of men from the region who died in South Africa 120 years ago. In a statement, the council explained that its aim is to “widen public interpretation of the South African war memorial” by installing “two information panels, one to interpret the statute and the other to shed light on its local connections in the city”. To those whose abilities of recall stretch all the way back to 2020, the council’s proposals sound very much like “retain and explain” and there is not much here to get excited about. No statues are to be removed, never mind toppled...

Yet in culture war Britain, even the non-story of Newcastle’s statue audit is enough to pull the hair-trigger of the anger-industrial complex... Yet with wearying predictability, the council’s proposal to provide additional historical information became national news and was caricatured as “cancelling history”...

Ago 16, 12:18am

>81 prosfilaes: Indeed. "Complicated", as the headline suggests.

Ago 20, 11:55pm

Britain’s Idyllic Country Houses Reveal a Darker History (New Yorker)

Great estates are among the country’s treasures. But their connections to slavery and colonialism are forcing visitors to reckon with myths they may not want to abandon...

Ago 21, 6:10am

Profits from enslaving Africans slopped misery onto North American shores, not just the Africans, but Scots and Irish cleared from the land by newly wealthy landowners.

In town of my birth, the Irish arrived in particularly sad shape:

And the desperate new arrivals weren't, in the long run, good news for the Indigenous people.

We are a weedy species...

Ago 27, 12:39am

Teachers in Scotland given guidance on decolonising the curriculum (Guardian)

Teachers in Scotland have been asked to heed anti-racism guidance which will give detailed examples for decolonising the curriculum, as well as a toolkit to address their own discomfort when discussing race. The Scottish government hopes the package of support material, released on Thursday, would “embed anti-racism and race equality into all aspects of school life” – and includes new guidance from Education Scotland on normalising diversity within the curriculum...

Sep 10, 10:35am

Dog collar or slave collar? A Dutch museum interrogates a brutal past (National Geographic)

Under pressure from former colonies and activists, a storied museum is digging deeper into its collections for a fuller narrative.

When a finely engraved 17th-century golden collar was donated to the Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands’ national museum in 1881, it was labeled as a dog collar. But a few years ago, when the museum reexamined its collections for its recent exhibition on the Dutch slave trade, curators realized the beautiful object had an ugly past. “If you take a good look at the paintings of that period and you look for those collars, you find them not on the necks of pets but on the necks of young African men,” says Valika Smeulders, head of Rijksmuseum’s history department and a curator of the Slavery exhibit, which can be explored online...