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Friday, July 03, 2015

History, Culture, and other News

It’s very clear that the U.S. elites want a strategy of global world hegemony in the world. The U.S. Department of Defense made public on Wednesday its 2015 National Military Strategy. This is a 24 page document that outlines the perspective of the Pentagon for future military operation. It has a chilling reading. “Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. They will have increasing implications to the US homeland.” So declares the foreword by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The report singles out four countries as potential targets for US military action: Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. Three of the four possess nuclear weapons, and Russia and China have the second- and third-largest stockpiles, trailing only the United States itself. The Pentagon has discussed about nuclear war threats for a while. One passage of the document says that: “…In the event of an attack, the US military will respond by inflicting damage of such magnitude as to compel the adversary to cease hostilities or render it incapable of further aggression. War against a major adversary would require the full mobilization of all instruments of national power …” We know that the U.S. is competing against Russia and China for world hegemony. The report begins by dividing the world’s nation-states into two categories: “Most states today—led by the United States, its allies, and partners—support the established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty and furthering human rights. Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests.” This categorization of countries is ludicrous. The policies of the West readily violate international law like the Geneva Convention, etc.  The U.S. wants to fight against the growth of China via the TPP treaty. The American ruling class is acutely aware that its power is declining relative to rival powers, particularly China, and that US military superiority is itself threatened by the decline in the world economic position of US capitalism and growth of internal social antagonisms, which make it more difficult to sustain overseas military interventions. The document declares, “We support China’s rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security,” and then proceeds to outline the US strategy to economically and militarily encircle the country. It states: “[W]e will press forward with the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, placing our most advanced capabilities and greater capacity in that vital theater. We will strengthen our alliances with Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. We also will deepen our security relationship with India and build upon our partnerships with New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.” The report sums up, “Today, the probability of US involvement in interstate war with a major power is assessed to be low but growing. Should one occur, however, the consequences would be immense.” The Pentagon’s agenda is rather clear. That is why we must promote the international working class, so the poor and all people can have social and economic justice.

Los Angeles is a place during the 1960’s where massive changes occurred. In 1960, the Los Angeles Lakers were formed in the NBA. They were once the Minneapolis Lakers. The Hollywood Walk of Fame opens with a star dedicated to Joanne Woodward embedded in the sidewalk. Also, LA was the city that hosted the National Convention of the Democratic Party. John F. Kennedy was nominated to run for the Presidency in LA. The early 1960’s saw massive brush fires too. The November 1961 fires began. Bel Air and Brentwood including the Santa Ynez fires destroyed 484 expensive homes and 21 other buildings. There was about 15,810 acres of brush being destroyed in the Bel Air, Brentwood, and Topanga Canyon neighborhoods. There was the fair housing conflict in LA too. Los Angeles had racist policies via restrictive covenants (not like de jure segregation, but it was wrong) in real estate. Even during WWII, 95 percent of Los Angeles housing was off-limits to black people and Asians. Minorities experienced discrimination in housing. Many minorities were forced to live in housing in East or South Los Angeles, Watts, and Compton during the 1960's. These racist real-estate practices severely restricted educational and economic opportunities. This is why civil rights activists fought back against oppression. Police brutality against black people and Latino people were an epidemic during the 1960’s. People complained about William Parker’s LAPD harsh tactics against people. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened in 1965. Today it is the largest art museum in the western United States, anchor of the Museum Corridor along Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile. Voters passed a referendum in November 1964 that gutted the state's fair housing laws, making it clear to Black workers that the supposedly liberal state was entrenching racial segregation, even as it was outlawed in the South. The following month, a U.S. Department of Commerce study, "Hard Core Unemployment and Poverty in Los Angeles," detailed the crisis of housing, the high incidence of disease and other issues. In March 1965, five continuous days of civil rights demonstrations outside the Federal Building pointed to an increase in Black activism in the city.The growth of racism, police brutality, and community problems caused the Watts Riots to develop from August 11-17, 1965. The Watts rebellion started after a police incident. The police harassment of a Black motorist was only the trigger. The Watts Rebellion happened after a 21 year old African American Marquette Frye was arrested because of failing a sobriety test. Rena Price was at the scene (at the intersection of Avalon Boulevard and 116th Street) and she is Frye’s mother. Ronald or Marquette’s brother was there too. Someone shoved Rena Price and Frye was struck. Rena Price jumped an officer, and another officer pulled out a shotgun. Backup police officers attempted to arrest Frye by using physical force to subdue him. An officer then struck Marquette’s head with his nightstick, and all three of the Fryes were arrested. After rumors spread that the police had roughed Frye up and kicked a pregnant woman, angry mobs formed. Tensions rose and the throwing of objects escalated into rebellion. Black community leaders tried to form an action plan to end tensions. Later, the Los Angeles police Chief Parker called for the California Army National Guard to come. The rebellion grew and by August 13, about 2,300 National Guardsmen joined the police. Burnt buildings, assaults, massive arrests, and wake up calls for many were events that happened during the Watts rebellion. 34 people died and 1,032 people were injured. About 3,925 people have been arrested. An estimated $40 million in damage existed and almost 1,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. We know that poverty, high unemployment, poor schools, and bad living conditions contributed to the cause of the rebellion. In 1963, California Legislature passed and Governor Pat Brown signed the Rumford Fair Housing Act which outlawed restrictive covenants and the refusal to rent or sell housing on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, or physical disability. Governor Pat Brown was a progressive governor as he promoted the California Aqueduct, and education. Yet, the reactionaries promoted Proposition 14, which would ban the Rumford Fair Housing Act. It must be known that the then Governor Ronald Reagan (who defeated Governor Edmund Brown. Reagan was inaugurated on January 2, 1967) supported Proposition 14, which outlines his extremism. The good news is that the California Supreme Court in 1966 and he U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 (in Reitman v. Mulkey) said that the Proposition 14 was unconstitutional in violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. The federal U.S. Fair Housing Act would be passed in 1968. The growth of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles is very important to know as well. African Americans have grown in political power during this time period. In 1966, Mervyn Dymally, a Los Angeles teacher and politician, became the first African American to serve in the California State Senate. He went on to be elected as Lieutenant Governor in 1974. Also in 1966, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, an attorney from Los Angeles, became the first African American woman in the California Legislature and in 1972 became the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress from the West Coast. She served in Congress from 1973 until the end of 1978. The Hispanic and the Chicano civil rights movement grew during the 1960’s in Los Angeles. They wanted human rights. In 1968, Latino high school students in Los Angeles stage city wide walkouts to protest unequal treatment by the school districts. Latino students were punished for just speaking Spanish on school property. Some were not allowed to use the bathroom during lunch and some experience police brutality including public ridicule. The walkouts later caused school reform and an increase of college enrollment among Latino youth. In June 5, 1968, Democratic Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel. So, the 1960’s had large revolutionary changes inside of the city of Los Angeles. In the very near future, I'm going to write a lot of information about Los Angeles (in terms of its history, its culture, and the whole nine yards).

Stories like these should motivate anyone. A strong family is always great. Jamal Abdullahi sacrificed a great deal for his family. He worked hard, he never gave up, and he is a strong father. His daughter is not only very intelligent, but she congratulated his father too which is very special. We have to remember that our accomplishments in life have been readily impacted by the assistance, the encouragement, and the inspiration from others. Sister Biiftu Duresso deserves all of the praise for her accomplishments. Also, her dream of creating a clinic in Ethiopia is an excellent goal to pursue. Being involved in the medial industry is one of the most important occupations that anyone can have. I send congratulations to Sister Biiftu Duresso. Gender oppression is found in Nigeria, America and throughout the world. Not only do progressive laws need to be established and discriminatory policies need to be eliminated. Society, as a whole, must change so any woman is treated as human beings. It is as simple as any person being treated as we would want to be treated (which is with dignity and with respect). When one Sister is oppressed, then we are all oppressed. Therefore, the diverse aspirations, hopes, and human creativity of women must be respected. Overt and covert sexism has no place in any society. We have to work at fighting for freedom. There will be bumps along the road towards justice, but we should never leave that road. The women talking about their experiences are brave and we all send our Kudos to them.

The Memphis Sanitation strike of 1968 was one of the greatest events in human history. This strike was led by black sanitation workers who were tired of human exploitation, economic oppression, and racism. Its history existed long before the 1960’s. During the 1930’s, black workers and others (in groups like the CIO or the Congress of Industrial Organizations) fought for equality and labor rights. Their efforts were stymied by the efforts of white racists and business reactionary forces who wanted no recognition of a public union. Also, black people throughout America (not just in Memphis) suffered racism and even murder by bigots. Many people who traveled into Memphis came from the Deep South like Mississippi. Memphis is known for resources based on the river, music, various industries, and other diverse displays of beautiful culture. Memphis back then was also known for the evil of Jim Crow apartheid. This strike was the last campaign of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The victory of the strike unfortunately came after his assassination in April 4, 1968. Yet, we remember his legacy and we will always remember the men and the women who stood up for workers’ rights. This movement wasn’t just made up black people. There were many white people who fought in favor of equality and justice for black people. During the strike, the stubborn reactionary Mayor Henry Loeb fought against the strike until the end. He was adamantly opposed to giving sanitation workers public union representation or recognition. There were so many names that were involved in this struggle for economic justice. Some of the major people involved in the strike are T.O. Jones, Ed Gillis, Bill Lucy, James Lawson, Cornelia Crenshaw, Jesse Epps,  Tarlese Matthews, Rev. P. L. Rowe, Jerry Wurf (AFSCME’s international President), P.J. Chiampa (or AFSMCE), and others. The young Invaders group (who were influenced by the Black Power movement. It had people like Charles Cabbage and Coby Smith) had ideological conflicts with more of the older civil rights groups (the older civil rights groups wants to use nonviolence as a method to resist oppression while the Invaders wanted to use also self-defense to fight back against tyranny basically), but by April 1968, the diverse factions of the strike movement would come together.

Most Supreme Court justices do want to eliminate any form of affirmative action (even class-based affirmative action). They want to do it to fulfill their ignorant narrative that racism is nearly gone (which is a lie) and that we need strictly individualist policies in governing educational issues. The truth is that racism and classism are found in employment and in the educational system of America (which has been documented by mainstream studies). There has been a study where some black people without a criminal record have a harder time to get employment than a white person with a criminal record. So, this problem is structural. Modern affirmative action has nothing to do with a quota system. It has to do with giving people of color an opportunity for education or employment. Race and class should be criteria (among many) for colleges to look at in deciding who that they want to have. As many have said, we need to focus on elementary and secondary aged kids being prepared. I have no problem with not only universal pre-K, but with also finding ways to reduce the financial burden for those who want to go into college. There must be investment in rebuilding our educational system and our communities. Richer areas have state of the art technology and massive resources while poorer communities struggle to get modern resources in order for students to learn. Another policy is to make institutionalized discrimination a punishable crime. The ironic thing is that the University of Texas uses race as one factor not as part of the whole factor. Yet, reactionaries want that policy to be gone, but they don’t target legacies, inheritances, and other form of affirmative action that benefits mostly wealthy white people. The powers that be want socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. The goal that we desire is for education to be universally available for all.

By Timothy

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