David Bacon – The Sadness of the Border Wall

TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA NORTE, MEXICO – 29MAY16 – On the Mexican side of the border wall between Mexico and the U.S. families greet other family members on the U.S. side. This takes place every Sunday at the Parque de Amistad, or Friendship Park, in Playas de Tijuana, the neighborhood of Tijuana where the wall runs into the Pacific Ocean. Catelina Cespedes, Carlos Alcaide and Teodolo Torres greet Florita Galvez, who is on the other side. The family came from Santa Monica Cohetzala in Puebla to meet at the wall.
Copyright David Bacon

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International Women’s Day – Photos and History

Photos by David Bacon

This year International Women’s Day has a deep meaning because of the desperate situation in which our country finds itself. Women in earlier eras confronted problems as great, and founded International Women’s Day as a way to fight for deep social change. Temma Kaplan, distinguished professor of history at Rutgers University, and a longtime teacher, scholar, and activist in pursuit of social justice, wrote a history of the day in 1985, “On the socialist origins of International Women’s Day” – Feminist Studies 11, No. 1 (1985), pp. 163-171. With thanks to her, following these photographs, taken on the University of California Berkeley campus and at Oakland City Hall on International Women’s Day, are selections from this important work.

To see the complete selection of photos: CLICK HERE

Students, faculty and active women and their men supporters celebrate International Women's Day at the University of California campus in Berkeley.
Women and their men supporters celebrate International Women's Day in front of Oakland City Hall.

Slim’s Perspective: Trump’s Calculated Deceptions

By Rev. Walter ‘Slim’ Coleman
Chicago, wrevcoleman@gmail.com
One of the “principles” of right wing racialist movements is the affirmation of deception as means to achieve power. This goes back to the Nazi’s and propagandist Goebbels: “Tell a big enough lie often enough and loud enough and you can get the public to accept it.” Neo-Nazi groups, as they merged with older groups like the Klan and developed the militias, brought this affirmation of deception into the right wing movement.

Because of this “principle”, Trump can now reverse his position on mass deportation and religious tests on both immigrants and long time residents with their approval. Indeed, Trump’s much publicized appointment of right winger Steve Bannon was made to assure the right wing that he was with them no matter what public positions he had to take in order to win election.

The racialist right has two main objectives: 1) to achieve more power and influence and “mainline status” for their own organizations, and 2) to maintain white political power and privileged economic status for white people in the face of an emerging majority of people of color.

Trump has won the support and established his political indebtedness to the organized white supremacist movement. That movement doesn’t care what he has to say to get elected.

A tactic that follows this “principle” of deception is to label the opposition with what the candidate or organization itself is doing. This is a traditional tactic of the right. Thus Trump calls Clinton a “bigot”. Trump’s explanation for this transposition is that “Clinton is a bigot because she views African Americans only as votes – and takes them for granted.”

Trump’s transposed attack on Clinton gives cover for his “law and order” position, attacking the black lives matter movement as “divisive and racist” and offering total and uncritical support for police, racial profiling and the system of mass incarceration.
During the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950’s racialist groups took on the hysteria 100% and participated in the McCarthy led movement to bring unsubstantiated charges against opponents and speak about them as if they were established facts. Trump has made this tactic his standard fare in his attacks on Clinton – stimulating calls to “lock her up”.

The history of the racialist right wing has always taken an “”America first” position, attacking the trilateral commission and the United Nations and multi-national corporations. As long as Trump maintains that he is “fighting the establishment” and fighting for “America First” it doesn’t matter what particular positions he takes to get elected.

Finally, the racialist movement always promotes a “strong leader” form of movement and government. This goes back to “the Fuehrer” concept and to the projection of Klan leaders like David Dukes as charismatic leaders. Trump’s appeal to the strong leader form of government, “Elect me and I will fix it” was yet another sign that Trump could be trusted.

Finally, the racialist right wing has try to insulate itself from the charge of racism – which they richly deserve – by calling any charge of racism as an example of racism – reverse racism. Thus Trump first attacked charges of racism as “political correctness” and then went on to call those charges “smear campaigns.” He lifts the burden of being labeled a racist off the backs of political moderate white people – and they appreciate him for doing that.

The appeal to the African American community on the issues of unemployment and violence crime is an echo of Nixon’s “law and order” and “Black Capitalism” and later “School choice” policies of the Republican right wing. Trump now describes himself as a “civil rights leader.” These so-called policies have never brought about improvements in the community – precisely because they are simply rhetorical cover for the maintenance of White power.

The rise of Donald Trump began with his attack on the first African American President – not for his policies but because he was not a “normal” white American. Trump then followed the right wing white power blue print on every strategic point.
We are there. A desperate right wing white power movement is trying to seize power in this nation. That is really the only issue left in this election.