The Empire’s New Clothes

Sign up for Tomgram: As  TomDispatch  regular  Karen Greenberg, author of  Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump , makes clear today, it's one that seems capable of holding only pregnant women "responsible" for anything. (Certainly, the same shouldn't be true for presidents, especially  not The Donald !)   The Veneer of Accountability Is Wearing Thin in Twenty-First-Century America By Karen J. Greenberg Why has the United States already become so heavily invested in the Russia-Ukraine war? And why has it so regularly gotten involved, in some fashion, in so many other wars on this planet since it invaded Afghanistan in 2001?  Those with long memories might echo the conclusion reached m

Finally: The Guggenheim Museum Finally Drops the Sackler Name

  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, taken in 2020 (photo Hakim Bishara/Hyperallergic) The Guggenheim Museum in New York City has joined the growing list of institutions to drop the name of the disgraced Sackler family. Owners of the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, notorious for manufacturing and deceptively marketing the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, the Sacklers recently agreed to pay as much as $6 billion to settle lawsuits from communities devastated by the opioid epidemic in the United States. The latest settlement agreement also included a clause allowing museums and other entities that have received Sackler donations to strip the name from their halls, spaces, and endowed positions without penalty. KEEP READING

In the News #BigIsms #Reparations #CRT #SEGREGATION

  On race and schools, here’s what Americans agree and disagree on Matt Barnum, May 3, 2022, Chalkbeat American schools have suddenly found themselves at the center of several fierce cultural debates, particularly related to race and racism. The stakes are high — both politically and educationally. So what do American voters and parents actually think about these issues? It can be hard to get a good sense of that amid an avalanche of anecdotes, news stories, and viral videos. Chalkbeat examined over 20 polls since last year to find out. In some cases, what we found was surprising, while others confirmed conventional wisdom. And there were instances of both widespread agreement and sharp division. There are real divides in this country on how to teach about race and racism, particularly on whether to teach about racism as a present-day phenomenon. Parents are also divided about whether schools pay too much or too little attention to race and racism. continue   Ra

In the News #BigIsms | Slavery ‘Powerfully Shaped Harvard’ | Black Jet | Harriet Tubman Military Raids | Bubble's Taps | Montpelier Repairs

Landmark University Report Details How Slavery ‘Powerfully Shaped Harvard’ Cara J. Chang and Isabella B. Cho, April 26, 2022, Harvard Crimson Harvard University faculty, staff, and leaders enslaved more than 70 Black and Indigenous people over about 150 years, including some who lived on campus, according to a long-awaited University report released Tuesday that detailed and acknowledged the “integral” role slavery played in shaping the school. The report  found that the institution of slavery was essential to Harvard’s growth as an academic institution, serving as a key source of the University’s wealth across three centuries. Harvard had “extensive financial ties” to slavery through key donors who built their wealth off of slavery, the report said — including some who are memorialized across the University today. The report is Harvard’s most significant public acknowledgement of how it was supported and shaped by the institution of slavery. Its release comes mo

Treaty of Hartford | Connecticut Declares War Against the Pequot – Today in History: May 1

  Connecticut Archives Yale Collection:Yale Indian Papers Project Digital Collection:New England Indian Papers Series Funding Source:National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Original Repository:Connecticut State Library Local Record Number:1638.09.21.00 Citation:Treaty of Hartford (Copy), September 21, 1638, (1638.09.21.00), Grant-Costa, Paul, et. al., eds., Yale Indian Papers Project, Yale University, The figure of the Indians' fort or palizado in New England and the manner of the destroying it by Captayne Underhill and Captayne Mason from Nevves from America by John Underhill On May 1, 1637, Connecticut Colony declared war against the Pequot. This marked the first declared war in Connecticut between an indigenous people and English colonists. The conflict, though, had started well before the co

Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad

  Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad Center Street Gallery 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740 May 20, 2022 to November 20, 2022 in person •  register here Sailing to Freedom highlights little-known stories and describes the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad, including the impact of African Americans' paid and unpaid waterfront labor.  This exhibition is an extension of the 2021 publication of the same title, edited by Timothy Walker and released by UMass Press. It corresponds with an NEH Summer teacher’s institute “ Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad ,” running in July 2022. continue

Telling the Truth about All This: Reckoning with Slavery and Its Legacies at Harvard and Beyond

  Telling the Truth about All This: Reckoning with Slavery and Its Legacies at Harvard and Beyond Knafel Center, Harvard Radcliffe Institute Friday, April 29, 2022 • 9:15 am to 6:00 pm ET Hybrid event via zoom or at the Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA  register here Over the past two decades, universities around the world have begun to engage with their legacies related to slavery. Many have issued reports detailing some of their historical ties to slavery, the substantial financial benefits the institutions and their affiliates extracted from slave economies, and universities’ intellectual contributions to racist ideologies and practices. At the same time, this research has uncovered a long history of African American resistance, and we are just beginning to address the impact of legacies of slavery on Black students at these institutions into the 21st century.  

What Could Have Been

What Could Have Been: a short documentary film about the proposal for America’s first HBCU in New Haven, Connecticut, 1831  

In the News #BigIsms #Abolition

  For a Black Man Hired to Undo a Confederate Legacy, It Has Not Been Easy Matt Stevens, April 17, 2022, The New York Times RICHMOND, Va. — As Devon Henry and his construction team take down the last remnants of statues that long dotted this former capital of the Confederacy, they have developed a grim game. Random passers-by, some in vehicles, others on foot, often make known their disapproval of Mr. Henry’s work — so often, in fact, that Mr. Henry, who is Black, began to keep count of the many times he or a Black crew member were called an incendiary racial slur. The count is 72 and climbing, according to Mr. Henry, who has emerged as the go-to statue remover not only for this city, but for all of Virginia and other parts of the South. continue   Abolition Democracy’s Forgotten Founder D. G. Kelley, April 19, 2022, Boston Review Nearly every activist I encounter these days identifies as an abolitionist. To be sure, movements to abolish prisons and police have

In The News #BigIsms #HowSlaveryEnded #JackieRobinson #SELMA #DorisDerby

  A Reckoning With How Slavery Ended Eric Herschthal, April 15, 2022, The New Republic Eric Herschthal reviews Kris Manjapra’s book, Black Ghost of Empire. In 1955, C. Vann Woodward, the nation’s preeminent historian of the South, published a brief history of Southern segregation that Martin Luther King Jr. would call “the Bible of the civil rights movement.” The Strange Career of Jim Crow , as the book was titled, was intended to counter a common defense of segregation at the time—that it had “always been that way.” By showing that legal segregation emerged only in the 1890s, and only after attempts at interracial democracy during Reconstruction were overthrown, Woodward provided civil rights activists with a usable past: a short but rigorous history that could serve the cause of desegregation. Kris Manjapra’s brief and important new book, Black Ghost of Empire , fits squarely within the usable past genre. To make the case for reparations in its broadest sense—not

Indian Slavery

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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