In The News #bigisms

One of America’s Wealthiest States Might Pass Up an Opportunity to Tackle Housing Segregation
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas,  June 29, 2020, ProPublica with The Connecticut Mirror

On a recent Sunday, protesters marched through the center of Weston, a small, wealthy town in southwest Connecticut. They chanted “no justice, no peace” and raised handwritten signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Silence is Violence.”

Somewhere in the crowd, Brian Murray hoisted his own message.

“Fact check: Weston, CT. No Black teachers. No Black police officers. No Black board members. No Black town of Weston government office members.”

Murray, one of the town’s few Black residents, viewed the June 7 protest through a different lens than his white neighbors.

“It was a photo opportunity. That’s all,” said Murray, a limo driver and father of five who moved his family to the town eight years ago.



Storm clouds on the horizon for U.S. human trafficking rankings
Luis C.deBaca, 29 June 2020, Thomson Reuters Foundation News

The United States must take the Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report as a self-critical call to action, just as it expects of foreign counterparts

Each June, the United States releases the annual Trafficking in Persons Report (“TIP Report”), setting forth each country's response to forced labor and sex trafficking. Mandated by the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and reflecting the ethos of the United Nations Protocol of that same year, the 2020 TIP Report is a strong document that commemorates and builds on the legacy of the last two decades while not flinching from facts that demonstrate just how far we have to go in this centuries-old fight. 

The Report celebrates the work of anti-trafficking heroes from around the globe and highlights such important topics as trauma bonding, peacekeepers, athletic recruitment, and addiction.

Read over time, TIP Reports reflect each country’s development from initial awareness and legislation to implementation and improvement. They don’t just tell about successes, but expose stagnation and obstacles.

Assembled by a dedicated team under the challenges of COVID-19 lockdowns, this year’s Report, though it commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the modern anti-trafficking movement, should be read not as a triumphalist document but as a warning of storm clouds on the horizon.



When France extorted Haiti – the greatest heist in history
Marlene Daut, June 30, 2020, The Conversation

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, there have been calls for defunding police departments and demands for the removal of statues. The issue of reparations for slavery has also resurfaced.

Much of the reparations debate has revolved around whether the United States and the United Kingdom should finally compensate some of their citizens for the economic and social costs of slavery that still linger today.

But to me, there’s never been a more clear-cut case for reparations than that of Haiti.

I’m a specialist on colonialism and slavery, and what France did to the Haitian people after the Haitian Revolution is a particularly notorious examples of colonial theft. France instituted slavery on the island in the 17th century, but, in the late 18th century, the enslaved population rebelled and eventually declared independence. Yet, somehow, in the 19th century, the thinking went that the former enslavers of the Haitian people needed to be compensated, rather than the other way around.



Why Thomas Jefferson's Anti-Slavery Passage Was Removed from the Declaration of Independence
Yohuru Williams, June 29, 2020,

With its soaring rhetoric about all men being “created equal,” the Declaration of Independence gave powerful voice to the values behind the American Revolution. Critics, however, saw a glaring contradiction: Many of the colonists who sought freedom from British tyranny themselves bought and sold human beings. By underpinning America’s nascent economy with the brutal institution of chattel slavery, they deprived roughly one-fifth of the population of their own “inalienable” right to liberty.

What isn’t widely known, however, is that Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, in an early version of the Declaration, drafted a 168-word passage that condemned slavery as one of the many evils foisted upon the colonies by the British crown. The passage was cut from the final wording.

So while Jefferson is credited with infusing the Declaration with Enlightenment-derived ideals of freedom and equality, the nation’s founding document—its moral mission statement—would remain forever silent on the issue of slavery. That omission would create a legacy of exclusion for people of African descent that engendered centuries of struggle over basic human and civil rights.



Indian Slavery

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

Think about this

“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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