¡Ay, Amarucita!

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Cuba’s role in ending apartheid (Democracy Now)

[T]he major black South African newspaper, The World, wrote in an editorial in February 1976, at a moment in which the South African troops were still in Angola, but the Cubans were pushing them back—they had evacuated central Angola. They were in southern Angola. The writing was on the wall. And this newspaper, The World, wrote, “Black Africa is riding the crest of a wave generated by the Cuban victory in Angola. Black Africa is tasting the heady wine of the possibility of achieving total liberation.” And Mandela wrote that he was in jail in 1975 when he learned about the arrival of the Cuban troops in Angola, and it was the first time then a country had come from another continent not to take something away, but to help Africans to achieve their freedom.

http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/2013/12/the-secret-history-of-how-cuba-helped-end-apartheid-in-south-africa-democracy-now.html

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Zizek on Mandela & Rand

In the market economy, relations between people can appear as relations of mutually recognised freedom and equality: domination is no longer directly enacted and visible as such. What is problematic is Rand’s underlying premise: that the only choice is between direct and indirect relations of domination and exploitation, with any alternative dismissed as utopian. However, one should nonetheless bear in mind the moment of truth in Rand’s otherwise ridiculously ideological claim: the great lesson of state socialism was effectively that a direct abolition of private property and market-regulated exchange, lacking concrete forms of social regulation of the process of production, necessarily resuscitates direct relations of servitude and domination. If we merely abolish the market (inclusive of market exploitation) without replacing it with a proper form of the communist organisation of production and exchange, domination returns with a vengeance, and with it direct exploitation.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/if-nelson-mandela-really-had-won

Brazil Child Sex Trade Explosion – World Cup

The Minas Gerais State Association of Prostitutes, which represents sex workers in one of Brazil’s largest states, is even offering free English lessons to prostitutes in the capital Belo Horizonte, another World Cup host city

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/dec/09/brazil-child-sex-trade-world-cup-2014-prostitution

yet we are surprised that the UEFA & associated football orgs have dirty hands regarding human rights for workers? Only if we are naive.

Negotiating existence: Jainism

Syādvāda is the theory of conditioned predication, which recommends the expression of anekānta by prefixing the epithet Syād to every phrase or expression.[27]Syādvāda is not only an extension of anekānta into ontology, but a separate system of logic capable of standing on its own. The Sanskrit etymological root of the term syād is “perhaps” or “maybe”, but in the context of syādvāda it means “in some ways” or “from some perspective”. As reality is complex, no single proposition can express its nature fully. The term “syāt” should therefore be prefixed to each proposition, giving it a conditional point of view and thus removing dogmatism from the statement.[28] Since it comprises seven different conditional and relative viewpoints or propositions, syādvāda is known as saptibhaṅgīnāya or the theory of seven conditioned predications. These seven propositions, also known as saptibhaṅgī, are:[29]

  1. syād-asti—in some ways, it is;
  2. syād-nāsti—in some ways, it is not;
  3. syād-asti-nāsti—in some ways, it is, and it is not;
  4. syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, and it is indescribable;
  5. syād-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is not, and it is indescribable;
  6. syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, it is not, and it is indescribable;
  7. syād-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is indescribable.

Each of these seven propositions examines the complex and multifaceted nature of reality from a relative point of view of time, space, substance and mode.[29] To ignore the complexity of reality is to commit the fallacy of dogmatism.[22]

UK government fails trafficking victims

The UK government is failing many victims of human trafficking by treating them as immigration cases rather than potential victims of a crime, often adopting a confrontational and sceptical stance that can exacerbate trauma, according to anti-trafficking groups.

The UK signed up four years ago to a European convention committing to fair treatment of trafficked people , but those who happened to come from the EU were overwhelmingly more likely to have officials agree they were victims as compared to those from elsewhere, according to a report from the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group, which comprises nine organisations including Anti-Slavery International and Amnesty.

The study, Hidden in Plain Sight, also analysed 40 rejection [of
trafficking claims] letters issued under the process, saying it found possible errors or reasons to doubt the decision in 36.

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/oct/31/trafficking-victims-immigration-campaigners

Questions for one’s parents

We see our parents ageing before our eyes, but we regard our grandparents as such oaks, their mortality not once entering our thoughts because they have always, to us, been old. By the time I began to realise the urgency of learning about him, he was gone. I never had the chance — or, to be perfectly honest, I had the chance but never took it — of asking him straight out about his life. I should have asked him about what drove him, what angered him or misled him, how he handled his inner conflicts, what lessons he had derived from the mistakes he had made.

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/the-mystery-of-my-grandfathers-vagabond-past/

see also:

Only what we manage to do
lasts, what love sculpts from us;
but what I count, my rubies, my
children, are those moments
wide open when I know clearly
who I am, who you are, what we
do, a marigold, an oakleaf, a meteor,
with all my senses hungry and filled
at once like a pitcher with light.
– Marge Piercy

Crunk: On Black Men Showing Up for Black Women at the Scene of the Crime

I sat on a panel with a white woman and a Black man. As a Black feminist, I never quite know how political discussions will go down with either of these groups. Still I’m a fierce lover of Black people and a fierce defender of women.

The brother shared his thoughts about the need to “liberate all Black people.” It sounded good. But since we were there to talk about allyship, I needed to know more about his gender analysis, even as I kept it real about how I’ve been feeling lately about how much brothers don’t show up for Black women, without us asking, and prodding, and vigilantly managing the entire process.

In a word, I was tired.

I shared that. Because surely, a conversation about how to be better allies to each other, is a safe space.

This brother was not having it. He did not plan to be challenged, did not plan to have to go deep, to interrogate his own shit. Freedom-talk should’ve been enough for me.

But I’m grown. And I know better. So I asked for more.

I got cut off, yelled at, screamed on. The moderator tried gently to intervene, to ask the brother to let me speak, to wait his turn. To model allyship. To listen. But to no avail. The brother kept on screaming about his commitment to women, about all he had “done for us,” about how I wasn’t going to erase his contributions.

Then he raised his over 6 foot tall, large brown body out of the chair, and deliberately slung a cup of water across my lap, leaving it to splash in my face, on the table, on my clothes, and on the gadgets I brought with me.

http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2013/10/25/on-black-men-showing-up-for-black-women-at-the-scene-of-the-crime/

skin tantrum

Greg Pembroke, 33, of Rochester, New York, was aware of such a picture-perfect moment as he and his two-year-old play-wrestled on the floor and was feeling smug. Then his son noticed his father’s wrinkly knuckles and started tugging at his skin, demanding: “Take it off!” Failure to do so prompted a full-volume mini-Hulk-style tantrum. Greg took a photo of this more honest moment and shared that with the world instead.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/25/my-child-is-crying-greg-pembroke

The key to the problem

Juárez Correa noticed the kids staring at him, but he wanted to make sure he understood the report. He took a moment to read it again, nodded, and turned to the kids.

“We have the results back from the ENLACE exam,” he said. “It’s just a test, and not a great one.”

A number of students had a sinking feeling. They must have blown it.

“But we have a student in this classroom who placed first in Mexico,” he said, breaking into a smile.

Paloma received the highest math score in the country, but the other students weren’t far behind. Ten got math scores that placed them in the 99.99th percentile. Three of them placed at the same high level in Spanish. The results attracted a quick burst of official and media attention in Mexico, most of which focused on Paloma. She was flown to Mexico City to appear on a popular TV show and received a variety of gifts, from a laptop to a bicycle.

Juárez Correa himself got almost no recognition, despite the fact that nearly half of his class had performed at a world- class level and that even the lowest performers had markedly improved.

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/all/

Internet Privilege

Evgeny Morozov: transparency … favors the well and well-off “because self-monitoring will only make things better for you. If you are none of those things, the personal prospectus could make your life much more difficult, with higher insurance premiums, fewer discounts, and limited employment prospects.”

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/nov/07/are-we-puppets-wired-world/