Voices From the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba

9780745330402Few global conflicts illustrate the vindictive character of US power as dramatically as Washington’s ongoing war against the people of Cuba. The latest episode in this war was unveiled in an AP report detailing a USAID program designed to destabilize Cuban society. Using a social media website named ZunZuneo, the program’s stated objective was to “renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society,” by organizing “smart mobs” willing to overthrow the revolutionary government of Fidel and Raul Castro. This transformation would be made possible through the dissemination of propaganda aimed at discrediting the government. Apart from exposing the geopolitical goals of a purportedly “humanitarian” organization, this story has served as a fascinating case study into the historical amnesia that prevails in some of the most respected sectors of American intellectual culture. Responding to the mild, tactical criticisms made against ZunZuneo, the editorial board of the Washington Post published a statement praising the operation as necessary to undermine Raul Castro, a leader “who [insists] on a level of political control that has gone out of style everywhere except Havana and Pyongyang.” ZunZuneo was, according to the board, simply another strategy in “the Obama administration’s efforts to relieve the Cuban nightmare.”

Conspicuously absent from this statement, and others that mirror it in ideological commitment, is the long history of state-sponsored terrorism directed at Cuba traceable to power centers in Washington. Understanding this record of terror is crucial in developing a more honest and coherent picture of US-Cuba relations. Keith Bolender’s examination of this violent history and its devastating effects on the people of Cuba Voices From the Other Side stands out as a dramatic example of the moral and intellectual courage required to divorce ourselves from the myths propagated by outlets like the Washington Post. Far from a phenomenon unique to the 20th century or Cold War politics, US hostility towards Cuban independence can trace its origins back to the 19th century when the island was a colony of Spain. In 1832 Secretary of State John Quincy Adams wrote that “Cuba, forcibly disjoined from its own unnatural connection with Spain, and incapable of self-support, can gravitate only towards the North American Union.” This myth–that the Cuban people are “incapable of self-support”–is a defining feature of US policy towards Cuba that has been embraced by virtually every American President from Kennedy to Obama. It was this myth that allowed the US to fulfill Adam’s desire to subjugate Cuba to American power after the Spanish-American war (often falsely portrayed as the “liberation of Cuba”) and legitimize this annexation through a series of deceptive amendments and treaties, none of which granted Cubans any meaningful degree of independence. Take for example the Teller Amendment of 1898 which declared that the US did not impose its military might on Cuba to seize its territory or economically exploit its people. Instead the US intervened to “leave control of the island to its own people”, words that carry a predictability which should only elicit uncontrollable laughter, at least when they are not being uttered in the presence of more disciplined audiences as when President Obama recently justified Bush’s invasion of Iraq as a war that left this target of first world savagery to “its own people.”

Luis Posada Carriles, 82, walks with his lawyers after leaving the court in El Paso, Texas
Luis Posada

Doubtless, similar sentiments were articulated by President Eisenhower and Kennedy when they laid the groundwork for what Bolender accurately describes as the principal threat in Cuba’s multi-decade war on terror, a war on terror that radically differs from Bush’s “war on terror” in that it doesn’t entail the unleashing of horrific amounts of state-terror against civilians in other countries. While conventional narratives restrict examples of US force in Cuba to the Bay of Pigs failure, the historical record tells a far more gruesome story. Since the initiation of the US assault on the Cuban revolution in 1960 “the personal toll has been calculated at 3,478 dead and 2,099 injured.” Furthermore, “the [Cuban] government has documented approximately 800 terrorist acts inside Cuba since 1960”, the majority of them organized in Miami, often with the cooperation (if not direct participation) of the CIA. Alpha 66, Omega 7 and Commandos F4 are some of the more prominent terrorist organizations responsible for these atrocities. Tactics used to destabilize Cuban society ranged from the bombing of hotels, ammunition ships, civilian airliners, department stores, and movie theaters, machine gunning defenseless neighborhoods, the murder of literacy activists, chemical warfare, psychological warfare and even biological terrorism. Perhaps the most significant aspect of Bolender’s study is that it is not satisfied with mere statistics about these US-backed atrocities. Embedded in this defense of historical memory are several deeply touching and humanizing portraits of the victims of these attacks, how they have dealt with the loss of loved ones and endured in the face of overwhelming odds. Take for instance the story of Jorge De La Nuez and his mother Niuvis. On October 6, 1976 Jorge’s father was murdered on Cubana Airlines Flight 455 after a bombing orchestrated by Luis Posada Carilles, a terrorist who currently resides in Miami, sent Jorge Sr. and the 72 other passengers aboard plunging to their deaths in a ball of fire. Jorge Sr. was the head of a delegation of shrimp fisherman. On the day of his death he was planning to make a surprise visit to his wife as it was their wedding anniversary. Jorge Jr.’s childhood recollection of the moment he discovered his father was murdered is enough to make one tremble with rage:

“So I got home and went upstairs, at the top of the stairs I saw my mother, and she was crying. It was a shock, a hit, to see her crying. I thought ‘why would she be crying?’ My dad is home and she should be happy. When I got to her she grabbed me and gave me a hug, she hugged me hard. She gave me a kiss. She said ‘oh my son’ and I replied ‘what’s the matter mom?’ She said once again ‘oh my son, something terrible has happened.’ And I start screaming ‘What happened to my dad? Why are you crying? You have to be happy.’ My mother told me my dad was not coming back. I thought, well he is not coming home today, when is he coming home? But she said my dad had been in an accident. She said my father would not be coming home ever.”

This stomach-turning story and others like it lend Bolender’s study a unique quality that separates it from traditional academic work on US power which may satisfy all the demands of empirical research and analytical rigor but, for various reasons, fail make the suffering of the victims truly palpable. By doing this, Bolender sheds much-needed light on the severe moral costs attached to criminal policies and how we should position ourselves when evaluating the US role in these atrocities. For instance, Bolender’s description of how Dengue 2, a deadly mosquito borne disease, was introduced in Cuba as a form of biological terrorism finds meaning in a mother’s distress dealing with the loss of one child to the disease only to confront what at the time appeared to be the imminent death of her older child by the same plague. Ariel Alonso Perez, a leading authority on biological terrorism, states “there have been a minimum of 23 events of biological terrorism against Cuba,” a record that has resulted in “more than 100 dead children.” Although there isn’t 100% certainty that the CIA was responsible for this outbreak, strong reasons exist to suspect the agency was behind it, like the fact that “the United States conducted various research projects into biological warfare, including Dengue fever in 1959 at Fort Derrick in Maryland,” or that “Pentagon officials suggested a chemical and bacterial program to contaminate Cuba’s food supplies, and part of the sabotage criteria under Operation Mongoose was to induce failures in food crops.” In 1984 Eduardo Arocena, a Miami-based Cuban terrorist and member of Omega 7, confessed that he was sent on a mission to Cuba in 1980 to introduce “some germs” to the country.

While the imposition of terror through bombing and biological warfare stimulated disorder throughout Cuba, no other attack directly affected as many Cubans as the psychological terror behind what was called Operation Peter Pan. Under this covert operation, run by the CIA and the State Department with the decisive participation of Father Bryan O. Walsh, the Catholic Church in Miami and the Headmaster of Ruston Academy in Havana James Baker, thousands of I-20 student visa applications were illegally processed leading to what Bolender describes as “the exodus of more than 14,000 children from November 1960 to October 1962.” Underpinning this criminal operation was the mass circulation of black propaganda alleging that Fidel Castro and his comrades were plotting to “transfer parental authority to the state.” The foundational source of this psychological operation was a manufactured document called La Patria Potestad or the Act of Parental Authority. Unless Cuban parents sent their children out of the country, prominent members of the clergy argued, “they’d be subject to 15 years in jail, or simply made to disappear.” Also enlisted to take part in this propaganda coup was a radio program called Radio Swan. Radio Swan was created by the CIA in 1960 and was behind the first example of Peter Pan propaganda. In October of 1960 the following message was sent across the airwaves in Cuba:

“Cuban mothers don’t let your son be taken away from you. The new government law is to take your children away at five years old and give them back to you when he is 18 years. And by then he will already be a monster. Attention mothers, go to church, and follow instructions from the clergy.”

Bolender interviews the children, now adults, who were victimized by this psychological operation. Two of the victims are unambiguous in describing the operation as an act of psychological terrorism. Marina Ochoa, a Cuban native who lost her brother at the age of 10 to the operation, stated “there is the instillation of fear, the targets are civilian, there is a purpose to disrupt government functions, and the act is designed to achieve political aims. What else do we need to call it an act of terrorism?” Incidentally, we can ask the same question about the Obama administration’s “Cuban Twitter” program as it also meets this standard criteria only with a human cost that is , thankfully, much less devastating. As late as the 1980s, decades after the program was initiated, the US State Department rejected a request from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees “to help reunite Cuban children with their parents.” Other examples of US defiance of the international community include the refusal to lift the economic embargo against Cuba despite overwhelming opposition (in October 2013 the UN vote on the embargo was 188 to 2 with the US and Israel voting in favor of maintaining the blockade) and the imprisonment of the Cuban Five.

Cinco_heroes_cuban_five_2
The Cuban Five

In September of 2001 the Cuban Five–Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guererro and Fernando Gonzalez–were sentenced to four life sentences and 75 years for “conspiracy to commit espionage, being unregistered agents for a foreign power and holding false documents.” In a revealing precursor to the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers the Cuban Five were actually punished for infiltrating and blowing the whistle on Miami-based terrorist organizations. When the Cuban Ministry of the Interior provided a FBI delegation with “detailed accounts of actions and plans, recording of phone conversations, videos, samples of explosive substances and other information their agents had gathered from infiltration work in Miami,” the FBI responded by using the material to reveal the identities of the Cuban agents and arrest them. Much like the response to Chelsea Manning’s release of the Collateral Murder video, this incident is a glaring indication of just how low a priority preventing terrorism is to the power elite especially if that terrorism is directed towards official enemies. The real criminals under this imperial logic are those who expose this gangsterism. Despite the fact that the case of the Cuban Five holds the ignoble distinction of being “the only judicial proceeding in United States history condemned by the Work Group of Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights”–the Commission described the sentences as “not impartial” and “excessively severe”–when the case was presented to the Supreme Court in June of 2009 they “refused to hear the case.” Reflecting on the absurdity of the imprisonment of the Cuban Five, the wife of Rene Gonzalez, Olga Salanueva, noted “We had no choice but to prevent these [terrorist] acts by sending men for the sake of our country and family … We couldn’t invade Florida, like America did to Afghanistan.”

It’s worth mentioning that these crimes make up a mere fraction of the catalog of murder, torture, lies and exploitation featured in this incredibly penetrating and moving look at the world from the other side of the Godfather’s gun. Simply recommending or sharing a copy of this text with a friend or colleague constitutes a form of humanitarian intervention that regularly escapes some of the most educated members of privileged society who are more concerned with bringing the right weapon to a “flame war” than seriously examining the historical roots of popular discontent with US policies abroad. None of the lessons imparted in this book can be absorbed through articles which praise attacks on sovereignty as worthy or “applause” or a sign of the “imagination” and “ingenuity” needed to put Cubans in their place. Propaganda of this kind encourages thuggish behavior under the assumption that the Castros and their supporters are, in the words of Johnathan Mahler, “not gentle socialists.”  Works like Voices from the Other Side dares us, as citizens of the empire, to outgrow the sanitized, polite, and not coincidentally, psychologically comfortable discourse preoccupied with data retention and defending US “interests.” Bolender compels us to view the world through new eyes, through the lens of the Other. Those interested in waging this authentic war on terror will no doubt consider Bolender’s book, in many ways, unprecedented both in its attention to detail and moral maturity. For these reasons, Voices from the Other Side is a towering achievement in the highest tradition of dissident literature.

 Sources:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-us-plan-to-help-cubans-communicate-should-be-applauded/2014/04/06/28ba5794-bc2b-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/04/15/when-is-foreign-aid-meddling/democracy-aid-is-legitimate-but-risky
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-bg-editorial-cuba04-20140404,0,6443154.story
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/30/headlines/un_general_assembly_votes_overwhelmingly_against_us_embargo_of_cuba
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Failing to Insult Obama in Calling Him a Muslim

The topic:pictureXB: What we really should acknowledge is the fact that calling someone Islamic or a Muslim is not a legitimate insult. If Obama was really Islamic he would oppose economic inequality as the Prophet Muhammad did in his opposition to the Quraysh establishment in 6th and 7th century Arabia. He wouldn’t implement corporate-friendly policies to enrich the wealthy and shield them from legal accountability. It’s also an Islamic value to look after the welfare of orphans, which, for some reason, isn’t listed above.

We also should be careful not to conflate the views of dictators in majority Muslim countries with the views of the population. But suppose the populations in Muslim majority countries did oppose multiculturalism: I doubt we can seriously get away with saying “Islamic countries” are alone in this.

Under the “liberal” Obama administration the FBI is carrying out massive surveillance against Muslim communities while the NYPD designates mosques as “terrorist enterprises”. Obama is also on track to deport a record 2 million immigrants, more than any Republican in US history. Is this not opposing “multiculturalism”?

And what gives us the hubris to designate other countries as “very supportive of the death penalty” while the US government presides over an extremely racist criminal justice system that placed in the top 5 countries in the world in the usage of capital punishment in 2012 (US, Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are the top 5)? Is being “very supportive of the death penalty” also an “American value”?

We should disavow ourselves of this historically illiterate caricature of Islam and “Islamic law” where it is associated only with extreme hatred toward others. Historically, Islam has been very inclusive in its reverence for all of the prophets of the Abrahamic tradition. Islamic teachings are also consonant with some principles of gender equality. I highly recommend the work of Karen Armstrong to anyone who’s interested.

Sources:

http://www.alternet.org/…

https://www.aclu.org/…

http://www.ibtimes.com/…

DR: Whoa Xavier – Obama does not support some of the things you have listed here. He cannot arbitrarily change laws, Congress has to do that and the states have many rights of their own. As far as deportation – It has nothing to do with multiculturalism and everything to do with the law, which I might add, Obama and almost all the Dems are trying to change. Obama is not perfect, but consider the alternatives. You do not make repairs your house by first burning it down!

XB: @ DROn the immigration front, I think it is highly disingenuous to say Obama is “trying to change” the law. There’s an embedded assumption here namely that US presidents are engines behind social progress and not an active and informed public. All of the positive work in the domain of immigration reform is a tribute to grassroots activism that is outraged by the actions of the “deporter in chief,” as some call him. The DREAM movement is a good example of this. Also if one examines Obama’s statements on deportations they range from being supportive of the status quo (“I make no apologies for us enforcing the law as well as the work that we’ve done to strengthen border security.”) to a level of deceitfulness that is comical. For instance, Obama said he could not halt deportations because “it would violate federal law” and it would be “very difficult to defend legally.”

Note these statements are coming from an international warlord who very recently made a public announcement that he had the executive authority to bomb Syria without congressional approval, someone who defends NSA programs on the grounds that we can’t have “100% security and 100% privacy with zero inconvenience” , someone who publicly said Chelsea Manning “broke the law” while he was still in a pre-trial detention that UN torture chief Juan Mendez deemed “cruel and inhuman”, someone who delivers capital punishment to American citizens without trial (re: Anwar Awlaki, Samir Khan, Abdulrahman Awlaki, Jude Kenan Mohammad). In the case of Anwar Awlaki’s killing Obama is recorded to have said it was an “easy” decision.

Considering this vast criminal record–which violates both federal and international law– it’s very difficult not to laugh at the notion that he is somehow sensitive to the conventions of the legislative process or the rule of law. This argument about the restraints of law and congressional barriers only emerges when it’s politically expedient. It’s a method he uses to absolve himself of any responsibility, a method his most avid supporters have adopted. Another dramatic example is Obama’s policies vis-à-vis Guantanamo Bay where he made the same argument of Congressional intransigence he’s making for immigration. This argument so disgusted Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin that she was forced to stand up and shout him down in the middle of his speech.

On the topic of Obama defending the interests of the wealthy over those of the poor I think the evidence is overwhelming. Obama’s Department of Justice dropped the investigation of Goldman Sachs saying “the burden of proof to bring a criminal case [against Goldman Sachs] could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time.” The Obama DOJ also granted retroactive immunity to telecommunications corporations found to have engaged in warrantless wiretapping of Americans. At this very moment he’s negotiating in secret what some critics are calling “NAFTA on steroids” in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This transnational agreement will install an “investor-state system” whereby corporations will be empowered to sue governments in “extrajudicial tribunals” while skirting environmental, health, and safety regulations at the expense of the American public. Here Obama is also engaging in a unilateralism that he refuses to apply on the immigration front.

There are many other examples to cite which show that Obama is, as you put it, “not perfect”, a stunning understatement I should say. Similar understatements were made after the death of Richard Nixon. In genuinely democratic societies the question of whether or not the president is “perfect” is an irrelevance. What is relevant is if the president is responsive to the overwhelming tides of public opinion. In Obama’s case I think it’s not controversial to say he has been disproportionately unresponsive.

Sources:

http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/tag/deporter-in-chief/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

http://abcnews.go.com/…/

http://www.democracynow.org/…

http://www.theguardian.com/…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xec48sUutuA

JH: Well said, but I suppose they [Muslims] should support orphanages since they have no problem stoning women. Look, no matter how you slice it, Islam is not a peaceful religion so cut the pr. I am all for religious freedom, but lets call a spade a spade. The only thing I give them props for is that they are not hypocrites. No one can accused them of that, they are by the Quran unlike watered down Christians who are clueless regarding the Bible nor would they follow it to the letter if they did get a clue.

XB: @ JH: Your comment reveals a level of historical illiteracy that is quite disturbing. You write that “they” have “no problem stoning women.” Who are the “they” in this statement? Simply because someone claims they are doing something in the name of Islam does not mean it is an Islamic practice anymore than when an American leader says they are doing something in the name of “democracy.” This is so elementary it shouldn’t need stating. I suppose you uncritically accept the pseudo-religious pronunciations of those who use the veneer of Islam to justify heinous acts of violence–the Taliban, al Qaeda, al-Shabaab etc.–because you are aren’t motivated or inquisitive enough to do your own research.

Read Karen Armstrong’s Muhammad: A Prophet of Our Time, Islam: A Short History or the Qur’an. Also where in my comment did you see me describe Islam as a “peaceful religion”? I described Islam as being against economic inequality, the suffering of orphans, gender oppression and in favor of revering the Abrahamic prophets. You, not me, use the phrase “peaceful religion” in order to distort and belittle my argument or as you call it “pr”. If I simply stated Islam “is a peaceful religion”, without any further detail, there would be no serious need to examine my argument, its sociopolitical content or the historical context in which it is grounded. You may think in such reductionist terms. I do not.

It appears that you interpret any commentary about Islam that is not hostile as tantamount to calling it a “peaceful religion”. Incidentally, since you mentioned it, Islam does promote principles of peace and reconciliation and you would know this if you took the time to study Islamic history. This is not only demonstrated in certain Qur’anic passages–“the true servants of the Most Gracious are they who walk gently on the earth, and who, whenever the jahilun address them, reply ‘Peace’ (salam!)”–but also in 7th century military history.

Perhaps the most meaningful encounter between the Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh occurred in the year 628 when Muhammad made a peace treaty with the Quraysh at Hudabiyyah. The Quraysh were driven by an ideology called jahiliyyah which Armstrong described as “a state of mind that caused violence and terror in seventh-century Arabia.” Here Muhammad dealt a devastating blow to this ideology by employing the Islamic concept of hilm which means “forbearance, patience, mercy, and tranquility.” I should say Muhammad’s allies were outraged by this decision because they interpreted it as a surrender to the Quraysh power structure. For example, part of the agreement was that Muhammad had to return all of the converts to Islam to Mecca but the Quraysh would not have to return any defectors to Medina.

Despite this clearly one-sided resolution, Muhammad maintained that, as Armstrong states, “It was not violence and self-assertion, but the spirit of mercy, courtesy and tranquility that would cause the ummah to grow.” In the Qur’an this is described as God sending down “his peace of soul (sakinah) upon His Messenger and upon the believers.” Islam only sanctions the use of force in self-defense and aggression is forbidden or as the Qur’an states “permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged–and verily, God indeed has the power to succor them …” It was only after Muhammad died and the caliphs took over that wars of conquest were fought, wars with “no religious significance” (Armstrong’s phrase).

This crucial historical context is totally absent from your comment. The anonymous “they” who you refer to in your comment are not representative of the Islamic tradition anymore than Barack Obama and George W. Bush are representative of the democratic tradition or Pat Robertson is representative of the Christian tradition. None of this information is particularly obscure or hard to find. All it takes is a little independent thought and a willingness question authority.

Sources:

http://www.amazon.com/…/dp/0061155772/ref=sr_1_sc_1…

http://www.amazon.com/…/dp/081296618X/ref=sr_1_1…

If you wish to read my review on Muhammad: A Prophet of Our Time:

https://xavierobrien.wordpress.com/…/

The Next ‘Painful’ Cut: Unemployment, Race, & Social Apartheid

Citizens protesting against unemployment.

Judging from the deluge of propaganda coming out of mainstream channels and the matching endorsements  for wholesale oppression found in the daily papers, it’s nearly impossible not to think that the US government and their corporate masters are attempting to forcefully drag the world’s population into the twilight zone. Indeed, these entrepreneurial gangsters need no instruction, they know how crucial it is to obey that old neoclassical maxim: when accumulating profits you must share the risk. Unfortunately, the generosity of these CEO’s, investors, and hedge fund managers fail to extend beyond this point. For empirical proof just take a glance at your morning issue of the Wall Street Journal, a report from the Economic Policy Institute, or (if you dare) the thousands of unemployed Black and Brown people around the nation breaking their backs to survive. I’m sure you’d find these revelations to be quite disturbing. Although I should add, it’s an accurate indication of the “philanthropic” deeds of, using Obama’s logic, our “job-creators”.

But who are these mysterious “job-creators” showering the benighted masses of America with stagnating wages, reduced health benefits, employment insecurity, and de-unionization? What god (or goddess) donated 40% of their toxic assets to Europe, supplying European governments with a pretext to implement highly regressive austerity measures? Who will unveil the face of that robust demigod who thought it was a good idea to displace millions of farmers from India to Tanzania before the altar of “modernization”? Whatever the answers may be to these queries, the first line in a Wall Street Journal article titled Business Abroad Drives US Profits provides valuable insight into the real nature of this situation: “While the US economy is struggling, US corporations aren’t.”

And these corporations are not only well-off, they are drowning in profits. For example, General Electric has just recorded a 21% increase in earnings from 2010. This dramatic leap in profits sets their second quarter earnings at $3.8 million dollars. Furthermore, international industrial profits increased by a staggering 23% to 13.4 billion dollars. Figures of this kind are not only obscene but immoral when the disparity between the wealthy and the working class continues to break long-standing records. Take for instance President Obama’s so-called “budget proposal”–which in more honest circles would be called his “plan for public disposal”–that introduces a form of public spending (as a share of GDP) 33% below the 49 year average. This particular proposal for public spending, a mere 2.2% of GDP, doesn’t even rise to the level of the Reagan administration’s 3.4% spending level, confirming  long-held suspicions that the Democratic-Republican dichotomy is, at best, an artificial construction of the ruling class.

But while these statistics can become cumbersome, there’s another fact that has somehow escaped the purview of the corporate media, the US Congress, and the Obama administration as a whole. Tragically, the election of a Black president has done little, if anything, to lift people of color out of their assigned role in the American empire: the role of the invisible, superfluous people. Pushing aside the deplorable state of the prison system, the job climate in Black and Hispanic communities speaks to a resilient legacy of racism and prejudice that has possessed America since the first “colonists” landed on this “unpeopled” soil.

The Hispanic community protesting deportations.

Appearing on Democracy Now! on July 28th, Howard University’s Roderick Harrison commented that the current economic climate “takes us back to a period of two societies, separate and unequal.” In short, Mr. Harrison sensed the unmistakable markings of what the great English socialist and historian, E.P. Thompson called “social apartheid”. This observation was reiterated by Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center who reported that “in 2005, the wealth gap ratios [between Whites and Blacks] were roughly 10 to one. And they doubled to 20 to one. So they were already big, and they got even bigger.” And these hardships in the Black community are matched by the Obama administration’s decision to carry out a systematic campaign of discrimination against the Hispanic community. Since 2010 the Obama administration has presided  over the deportation of over one million Hispanics who have been kicked out of this country for the crime of trying to provide a decent life for themselves and their families.

All of these state and corporate crimes are unmentioned yet they deserve to be talked about in public spaces, in spaces where people can organize a push back against these kinds of injustice. Taking a glance at this burgeoning culture of social and economic imperialism, the “heated” debates about “debt ceilings” and “balanced” budgets should fail to elicit anything more than laughter from working people (if not a scornful sigh). I’ve noticed that every time President Obama wants to leg sweep the working class he laments over having to make, what he calls, “painful cuts”. Yes, the mass unemployment is painful. The declining wages? Painful. The lack of health benefits? Painful. The deportations? Painful. To live trapped in a state of perpetual invisibility? Painful. With all this abundance of pain I just hope that when the working people unite with their signs, fists, and voices and the police rush in it’s not too . . . well . . . painful.

References:
Linebaugh, By Kate. “Business Drives U.S. Profits – WSJ.com.” Business News & Financial News – The Wall Street Journal – Wsj.com. Web. 29 July 2011
Thompson, E. P., and Dorothy Thompson. The Essential E.P. Thompson. New York: New, 2001. Print.
“Major Budget Proposals Pit Public Investment against Vital Services.” Economic Policy Institute. Web. 29 July 2011. <http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/7300/&gt;.
Kamat, Anjali. “Wealth Gap Between Minorities and White Americans Doubles After Housing Crisis, Recession.” A Daily TV/radio News Program, Hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Airing on over 900 Stations, Pioneering the Largest Community Media Collaboration in the United States. Web. 29 July 2011. <http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/28/wealth_gap_between_minorities_and_white&gt;.