Op-Eds

  • What’s hidden behind the walls of US prisons

    Opinions June 14, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Truthout (6/14): What’s Hidden Behind the Walls of US Prisons
    Prisons are built to be out of sight and are, thus, out of mind. Somehow, even though these institutions contain human beings, including children, and even though we are the ones who cough up the billion of dollars that it costs to run them, we are expected simply to trust that they are operated humanely and that they in fact make our society safer. Throughout American history unspeakable abuse of men and women has been allowed to happen behind prison walls because the public had no access.

     
  • How the BOP uses CMUs to silence prison writers

    Opinions June 13, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The CMU is a pretty bizarre concept because the BOP is controlling people for what they might say, think, or do in terms of communicating with the outside world. That seems to be pretty antithetical to the whole notion of free speech, but they’re getting away with it. Historically the notion of prison’s been to deprive people of their liberty by keeping them locked up psychically, rather then this whole thing that you can control people’s thoughts. It’s pretty novel and draconian, both in concept and in implementation.

     
  • The bankrupt way the White House tells ‘bad Muslims’ from ‘good Muslims’

    Opinions May 31, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Foreign Policy in Focus. The president recently returned from Saudi Arabia, where he gave his Muslim hosts a speech about the threats of “radical Islamist terrorism.” Because Trump steered slightly clear of his usual vitriol toward Muslims some folks in the media credited Trump for not saying anything “overtly” Islamophobic. They seem to have missed the fact that Trump’s language, while perhaps less direct than what he says to crowds of his supporters in the United States, was still drenched in the demonization of Muslims.

     
  • Attacks like Portland’s will keep happening unless we all fight white supremacy

    Opinions May 29, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Washington Post. We must acknowledge, condemn and combat white supremacy. The belief that white people are superior to other races is responsible for some of the greatest tragedies in modern history. Manifest destiny, the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, Jim Crow and even mass incarceration are inextricably rooted in white supremacy. This belief system proliferates in the United States, including in places such as Portland, where local community organizations such as the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon and Unite Oregon have fought tirelessly to combat it. The greatest threat facing our country comes from homegrown white supremacists, not Muslims or refugees. Yet we don’t treat it with the requisite level of urgency, because we dismiss these acts of violence as isolated incidents rather than manifestations of a deeper ideology rooted in hate.

     
  • White terrorists killed more Americans this week than refugees have in 40 years

    Opinions May 27, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Resistance Report. No refugees hailing from any of the countries included in Trump’s Muslim ban have ever killed any Americans. The last time any refugees killed any Americans was more than 40 years ago, when three Cuban refugees killed three Americans (Cuba is not included in the travel ban). While the numbers back up the claim that the real terror threat is not from refugees, the Trump administration has been eerily silent about the growing trend of hate crimes in the United States committed by white people against people of color, particularly in the name of Trump.

     
  • Trump nominates actual fascist David Clarke for Department of Homeland Security

    Opinions May 17, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: New York Magazine. Clarke’s mind is organized around a worship of the virtues of physical force, combined with a seething intolerance for democratic dissent. In his book, Clarke proposes that the Department of Homeland Security — the department that he has been nominated to serve — assume police-state powers to round up internal enemies. “I suggest that our commander in chief ought to utilize Article I, Section 9 and take all of these individuals that are suspected, these ones on the internet spewing jihadi rhetoric … to scoop them up, charge them with treason and, under habeas corpus, detain them indefinitely at Gitmo,” he writes.

     
  • The nervous immigrant’s guide to getting through customs

    Blogs May 15, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Vice. Federal courts are currently hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, which suspends all refugee admissions and all travel from six Muslim-majority countries. But whatever judges decide in that case, the administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric has created an atmosphere of fear for many immigrants and foreign workers. Customs can take as little as a few minutes, but it can also mean being detained for hours; it probably makes sense to make plans for unexpected delays. This article has advice from attorneys, immigration experts, and foreign workers for recommendations on getting though customs as smoothly as possibly and what border agents can and can’t do.

     
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev: Terrorist. Murderer. Federal informant?

    Editorials April 30, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Boston Magazine. The FBI informant program is still in widespread use—and Muslim informants make up a large part of it. During the height of Hoover’s Cointelpro operations in the 1960s and 1970s, for instance, the FBI had roughly 1,500 total informants. In the 1980s and 1990s the drug wars brought that number up to about 6,000. Then, after 9/11, the FBI recruited so many new informants—including accused criminals looking for leniency, liars looking for immigration favors, Muslims looking for revenge on the members of competing Islamic sects, and narcissistic egomaniacs who wanted to be revered as a Jason Bourn.e–type figure—that it had to hire an outside software company to help agents track their secret spies. Today, there are anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 snitches on the FBI’s payroll, and many of them inform on fellow Muslims in the United States and overseas.

     
  • The US charging Julian Assange could put press freedom on trial

    Opinions April 20, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Wired. If the US Department of Justice prosecutes Assange, as it reportedly may soon, he could become something else: the first journalist in modern history to be criminally charged by American courts for publishing classified information. WikiLeaks may not look like a traditional journalism outlet, but it shares the same ends—publishing true information from its sources. And that means legal action against Assange could threaten the freedom of the press as a whole.

     
  • What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence

    Opinions March 28, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Hadley Freeman in The Guardian. The problem isn’t Islam, or a perverted interpretation of Islam, but rather a perversion of frustrated masculinity. After all, 98% of mass killings are perpetrated by men, and many of the attackers discuss women in proprietorial terms. Roof, for instance, told his victims before killing them in the church: “You rape our women. You have to go.” And yet this is almost never discussed, because there is no political capital to be gained by suggesting warped masculinity might be more to blame than Muslims. If President Trump were to try to ban men accused of domestic violence from entering America instead of Muslims, he would lose some major figures in his own White House. And yet, Trump’s approach to terrorism is – like the right wing in this country – focused on the idea that Muslims specifically are dangerous. In fact, “Attacks by Muslims accounted for only one third of one percent of all murders in America last year.”