A Message to White America: "It's Time We Woke Up"
By Heather Gray
Producer "Just Peace"
WRFG-Atlanta 89.3 FM
I am of European descent and, while I prefer to be called European American,
given the American practice of classifying people by their race, I need to
state unequivocally that I am "white". And it is of this "whiteness", it's
repercussions and responsibilities that I write.
All of my adult life I have been a political activist. For more than 30 years
I have participated in virtually all the major movements for justice in this
country encompassing civil rights, anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-nuclear,
anti-corporate, anti-death penalty, on and on. Throughout this vast
experience invariably racism and class oppression raise their ugly heads. For
me, however, the most compelling and disturbing of these is racism and its
companion white supremacy. The brilliant and profound scholar W.E.B Dubois
warned us that the issue of race would define the 20th century which indeed
it has. And because America has been so lax in adequately addressing this
disease of racism and all it's augmented problems, race will likely define
the 21st century as well.
Racism in America is of epidemic proportions and whoever denies this must be
a fool or blind. It surrounds is in our economic strata, in our prison
system, in our schools, in our political infrastructures, in our foreign
policy, in our health system, in our housing, in our banking to name only a
few! It is not a problem only in white conservative circles where most
activists would expect it to be lodged, but in the so-called liberal and
progressive circles as well. All will attempt to state otherwise.
Conservatives might claim some of their best friends are Black. Liberals
might state that they are working for changes of some policies which will
"make life better for Blacks". Progressives in various organizations might
say that they are working under the leadership of Blacks so they must be
doing something right. None of this is ever enough and it is literally and
figuratively "white wash". It is true that historically there have always
been whites who have taken a stand against racism but the numbers have been
far too limited given the enormity of the problem. This has frustrated me to
the point that a few years ago I wrote a lengthy poem entitled "Being White
and Angry" in which I delineated what some have described as an epistle of
"white" ancestral and present day immoral, disgraceful and tragic exploits
from slavery to the Gulf War.
The dreadful realities of racism and white supremacy have always teetered on
the walls of decay because the foundation is built on lies and deception. No
one has gained from racism despite claims to the contrary. If anything, we as
whites have diminished our souls through racist practices and any economic
gains are tainted - I refer to such gains as blood money.
We as whites will rarely claim responsibility for our creation of racism and
white supremacy (they are ours after all) in spite of the fact that we demand
recognition for virtually all other inventions - when it suits us and when we
can benefit from it we'll claim it! It has been said that often the most
important things in life are not discussed or written about and whites are
definitely selective on not speaking out on the above issues. Could this
suggest the importance of the issue to whites? I think so because it requires
us to look deep into our souls and admit we are and always have been wrong
about our entrenched present and past racism. This is seemingly an impossible
task for most whites. Most of us have a shell that's almost impenetrable.
While everyone else rails against us whites for our racist attitudes and
policies we are largely and despicably silent on the issue. Why are we like
this? Do many of us who are white want to maintain the present racist system?
Yes, beyond doubt! While rarely are we now wearing sheets over our heads, we
are instead sitting in board rooms where we implement racist policies. But
in today's climate it is not appropriate to state without reserve that we are
racist. Instead everyone skirts around the issue. This false impression by
other whites drives me nuts. Are some of us nervous about reactions from
other whites if we take up the call against racism? For some, this is likely
true. Are we ignorant of racism? No, but nevertheless it seems the majority
of whites claim ignorance. Are we apathetic? Yes. Do some of us feel guilt?
Probably. Would we prefer to pass the buck? Always. Strangely, we prefer to
blame those who are the victims of our prevailing racism as if they were
architects of their own victimization and not us. The insanity and hypocrisy
of this is mind boggling.
Throughout the years, whenever I've attended panels or conferences on racism
organized by whites, invariably Blacks will be invited to participate. This
is important because we as whites always need to be educated about the
devastating impact of our actions and attitudes. But where, I've always
asked, are the masses of whites who need to take up the mantle with other
whites on this issue. Why are we, in vast numbers, not also on those panels
and in the streets demanding change. Indeed, it is this lack of attention to
racism on the part of whites with other whites that, in my opinion, has
always been the missing equation in addressing the morass of the tragic
effects of racism and white supremacy. The problem of racism rests with those
of us who are white - we are the racists, we are the architects of this
dreadful disease, we are the supremacists, and, guided by our Black sisters
and brothers, we need to begin being accountable, speaking out and taking
action. We need to plant the seed and let it grow deliberately and
exponentially....individual to individual, community to community, city to
city, nation to nation.
A few weeks ago while having dinner with a Black friend the discussion veered
toward an update of racism in America. Citing the diminishing of affirmative
action programs across the country and other telling signs, he said "I think
white America is getting tired of everything being blamed on racism." I said
"So what! White America needs to be badgered every minute of every day about
our racist attitudes and actions."In fact, I still rankle over the "angry
white male" contention in the early 90's stating that because of policies to
reverse the preeminent white access to virtually all privileges in this
country at the expense of everyone else, they felt they were being
discriminated against. The gall of white males expressing anger over anything
after hundreds of years of ancestral privilege astounds me...leaves me
breathless. To be perfectly frank, I remain an "angry white female"
expressing indignation at "angry white males" for this insult.
Upon reflection, I realized that my friend's comment was but an ancient
response from Blacks who try to appease whites to prevent repercussions - a
tragic defensive legacy of America's racist paternalistic society. Upon
further reflection, however, I realized that whites react similarly with
other whites. Invariably whites will attempt to make other whites feel
comfortable with their racism or will be deplorably apathetic. We as whites
need to stop this nonsense.
It is my hope that in the 21st century, America's white community will
finally come to its senses. Bill Clinton thankfully began this dialogue with
his Commission on Race. But this was just a start and we know not to expect
anything of integrity along this line from the Bush administration. But in
communities throughout the country we white Americans can take a stand now,
this very minute, and always should have been acting on or own and with other
whites and Blacks. We can first educate ourselves about racism and address
our own racist attitudes which should start with the basic premise that if
you are white and born in America you are a racist. Don't think otherwise
because it will not be true. We can learn from Blacks and other whites how to
get beyond our racist background, how to be watchful of our own actions and
attitudes and change them. Secondly, never let other whites get away with
their racist attitudes and actions. Stop them immediately. Don't excuse them
or attempt to make them feel comfortable. Thirdly, study the history of white
and Black resistance to racism and injustice. This is not something you will
learn in public schools, which would view white resistance, in particular,
as traitorous to the racist American system. After all, it is traitoress to
the system as well it should be. Fourthly, and most importantly, seek advice
from Blacks on what we as whites should do to adequately and aggressively
address racist problems in our communities, in the nation, in the world.
Don't ever think for one minute that we as whites have the answers because we
Finally, after centuries of "white" deceit, be mindful that pathetically we
as whites still want to control everything and usually think we know
everything. We need to recognize that we should never pursue any struggle
against racism or for justice alone - or any other struggle for that matter.
With whites leading the way we have experienced untold disasters for centur
ies. Forbid we should revisit such devastating consequences and pain.
Actually this is rather a non-issue. Our deceit and lies are now out there
for everyone to see, we could never get away with leading the way even if we
tried. Let's admit our ignorance and false vacuous, hopeless pride. It's time
we started to learn and do something worthwhile. We are centuries too late,
but now is as good a time as any to start!
Note: For 10 years Ms. Gray has produced this Atlanta radio program
addressing local, regional, national and international issues on racism and
justice. The opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect
those of Radio Free Geogia Foundation Incorporated, it's staff or
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NEWS from the North American Regional Office of the
International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers'
Colombian Miners' Leaders Murdered
Unions Demand Government Action to Halt Killings
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15-- The Colombian government must act now to halt
the continuing wave of assassinations directed against trade unionists.
That was the call today from the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) following a new upsurge of killings in Colombia.
The ICEM condemned the brutal murder this Monday of two mining union
activists employed at a coal mine in northern Colombia. The mine is owned
by the US-based multinational Drummond Co., Inc.
Valmore Locarno Rodríguez and Víctor Hugo Orcasita, President and Vice
President of the mine workers' local union at Loma mine, were pulled from a company-chartered bus while on their way to work. They were shot
execution-style by gunmen, some of them dressed in military uniforms. The
other miners on the bus were forced to witness the killings.
In a protest over the murders, the mine's 1,200 workers struck, halting all production. The miners are members of ICEM affiliate Sintracarbon, the
Colombian national mine workers' union.
"We utterly condemn these vile murders," said ICEM General Secretary Fred
Higgs today, "and we demand that the Colombian government bring the
perpetrators to justice without delay. These killings are just the latest
in a long series of assassinations directed against trade union activists
in Colombia. Last year alone, at least 129 Colombian trade unionists were
murdered. Unless and until the authorities make a real effort to
investigate these crimes, and bring them to an end, the suspicion must
remain that the gunmen are not acting alone."
Higgs also called for a full investigation into the recent death of Dario
Hoyos was murdered in unexplained circumstances in his home town of
Fusagasuga earlier this month. No further details have emerged about the
killing. Dario Hoyos used to be the Colombian coordinator for the Miners'
International Federation, a forerunner of the present ICEM. "This was a
tragic end to a life devoted to the defense of the Colombian workers,"
The murder of the Loma mine leaders has also drawn protests from miners in
the United States, where the Drummond company is headquartered. Last year,
Drummond decided to close most of its US coal mines and relocated
production to its mine in Colombia.
"We strongly condemn these assassinations of our trade union brothers,"
said Jerry Jones, Vice President of the ICEM-affiliated United Mine Workers of America, today. Jones serves as a Vice President of the ICEM and Chairman of the ICEM's North American Coordinating Committee.
"When Drummond chose to switch many of its operations to Colombia," Jones
pointed out, "it did so knowing that country's hostile political climate
and egregious human rights violations. The UMWA would hope that Monday's
assassinations might make Drummond rethink its decision. The UMWA's prayers and condolences go out to the families, friends and co-workers of Brothers Locarno and Orcasita, and we offer our full support and solidarity to the Colombian mine workers' union."
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USA: Disease scourge wreaking havoc on world farm trade
16 Mar 2001
By Greg McCune
CHICAGO, March 15 (Reuters) - Like a modern day pox on all their households, the scourge of animal disease is wreaking havoc on agricultural
trade and could have a long-term effect on the market and the farming industry, experts said.
First it was the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, from Britain to continental Europe. Then in a bizarre twist of
fate, foot-and-mouth disease was discovered in Britain in February, and this week in France. Adding to the hysteria, another major meat exporter,
Argentina, confirmed this week that it too had an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
Mad cow is a major threat because in its human form the brain-wasting disease has caused deaths in Europe. Foot-and-mouth rarely affects
humans but is devastating to livestock and spreads like wildfire on clothes, shoes or even in the wind.
These outbreaks have set off a chain reaction of trade sanctions circling the globe as countries free of the diseases desperately try to keep them
out. The U.S. Agriculture Department this week banned imports of meat from the European Union, which it estimates will affect $278 million in trade.
"It's hard to identify any real winners (from the situation)," said Ben Beneke, a senior analyst at World Perspectives, an agriculture analysis firm in
Washington, D.C. "The long-term effects could be weighing on the market for quite some time."
WILL WORLD TRADE BE THE LOSER?
No one knows if at the end of the chain, global agricultural trade will be the loser of the sanctions game. But already there are signs that the panic is
having some unintended consequences far beyond Europe.
- Canada banned imports of Brazilian beef on Feb. 2 because of mad cow concerns. The United States and Mexico, partners with Canada in the
North American Free Trade Agreement, followed suit. There was an outcry in Brazil, which argued it had never had a mad cow disease case.
Canada said Brazil was slow to document it was free of mad cow. The ban was finally ended on Feb. 23 but left a residue of hard feelings
between two of the world's biggest agricultural traders.
- Some North African and central European countries indicated this week they are restricting imports of grain from Britain and possibly other
European Union countries such as France because of foot-and-mouth fears. This prompted a furious reaction from beleaguered European farmers,
who fear the spread of trade sanctions to the world market in grains, which is even larger than trade in meat and livestock.
DECADES OF PRYING OPEN MARKETS
Since the Second World War successive rounds of global trade negotiations have gradually lowered some barriers to world agricultural trade.
Import tariffs were reduced and a start was made at lowering export subsidies that distorted competition.
Global exports of fresh, chilled and frozen meat doubled to 20.8 million tonnes over the decade through 1999, the latest year for which figures are
available, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said. Leading exporters such as the European Union, United States, Canada,
Australia, Argentina and Brazil expanded agri-processing industries to take advantage of the trend.
Commodity analysts said a major question is whether the impact of the disease outbreaks in Europe will quickly pass or have a long-term impact.
THE CASE OF TAIWAN
Some worrying hints of an answer might be found in the case of Taiwan, which suffered a devastating outbreak of foot-and-mouth in 1997. A
quarter of its 14 million pigs were slaughtered and a $1.55 billion-a-year pork export industry was killed. Taiwan still is not free of foot-and-mouth.
The outbreak led to trade diversion as the United States and Denmark stepped in to fill Taiwan's exports of pork to Japan. "But no one went without
a pork chop," said Paul Drazek, a Washington-based agricultural trade consultant.
While the European disease scourge may be a temporary boon to disease-free exporters, those gains might be fleeting.
European consumers may be spurning beef for pork or chicken. The world's leading purveyor of hamburgers, McDonald's Corp. said on
Wednesday its sales in Europe have suffered because of the disease scare.
Finally, as thousands of livestock are slaughtered and burned to stop the spread of the disease, fewer animals will consume less grain, and imports
of grain, oilseeds and their products might decline, Beneke said. Chicago futures prices for grains and soybeans have been hit this week due to
such fears. (Richard Cowan in Washington contributed to this report).
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.
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A Professional Lynching
March 16, 2001
by Dr. Ridgely A. Mu’min Muhammad
Dr. John Marshall received a letter from the Sumter Regional Hospital on February 12, 2001 announcing that all of his hospital privileges including admitting patients were revoked immediately. The letter in part reads: "The Medical Executive Committee of Sumter Regional Hospital voted to take this action at a committee meeting earlier today because of your willful disrespect of Hospital policies and because your conduct requires that immediate action be taken to reduce the substantial likelihood of immediate injury or damage to the health or safety of any patient, employee or others present in the Hospital." Signed Jerry W. Adams, Pres. Sumter Regional Hospital, Inc.
Since that fateful Monday, the community of Americus has rallied to his defense holding two mass meetings at local Black churches and getting 5,000 citizens to sign a petition demanding his reinstatement. The Sumter Chapter of the NAACP set up a meeting with the City Council of Americus, the Sumter County Commissioners and the Hospital Board on Thursday, March 15, 2001. The City Council and County Commissioners attended the meeting held at the City Council chambers in Americus, Ga. However, the Hospital Board did not attend. Instead they sent the Hospital lawyer to present a written statement.
Rev. Elijah Smith representing the Executive Board of Sumter NAACP read off a list of complaints with the hospital and four demands: 1. Dr. Marshall should be reinstated immediately by Monday, March 19, 2001, 2. Mr. Jerry Adams be required to resign from Sumter Regional Hospital effective immediately, 3. The hospital must work together with an authority that we will establish to insure that there will be no further discriminatory problems with the Hospital or staff, 4. The hospital shall not intimidate or retaliate against anyone who reports discriminatory conduct at the hospital. Rev. Smith further stated that if these demands are not met, then the Executive Committee of Ga. NAACP will recommend to the Black community that there be a full and complete boycott of Sumter Regional Hospital.
After Rev. Smith finished, Mr. Michael Fennessy, the hospital lawyer, read a statement that basically said that neither the Hospital Board nor the City or County elected officials had any authority over the decisions made by the "Medical Executive Committee" in how it disciplined one of their own. The "Medical Executive Committee" was a committee of Dr. Marshall’s "peers". Under the Georgia State law, "the proceedings and records of a review organization be held in confidence and shall not be subject to discovery or introduction as evidence in any civil action," Mr. Fennessy said.
Mr. Fennessy also stated that this peer review process was incapable of being influenced by racism, even though the committee consisted of five whites and two blacks. This "peer review" ad hoc committee was established solely for the evaluation of Dr. Marshall and all members were chosen by one man, the chief of staff who is white. Dr. Muhammad and Rev. Smith took Mr. Fennessy to task on his presumption that none of the members of the committee could possibly be influenced by racism.
Mr. Walter Butler, Georgia State President of the NAACP, then asked Mr. Fennessy, "does this mean that by law this Medical Executive Committee can not and will not give us any information on the specific charges brought on Dr. Marshall?" Mr. Fennessy answered in the affirmative.
Mr. John Col Voticus asked the mayor to address the issue of the elected officials roll in insuring that the Hospital Authority work effectively for the community. Mayor Russell Thomas answered by saying in respect to the Hospital Board "We don’t need to tell good people that we send out there what to do."
Rev. Smith summed up the situation by saying " In other words the county and city has had a baby born but they no longer have any control over it." Mr. Brown from the audience then stated that a decision will be made Monday night, "If they say walk down Forsyth St., Mayo St., and Oglethorpe with signs saying boycott that hospital, it’s going to be a shame on Americus. Americus is supposed to be a tourist town, then people coming into main street see that we have a doctor whose got 3,000 patients in this city, this county and the surrounding counties and we want to suspend a person like that?"
It seems that a "professional lynching" done in secret may require a public whopping done in this "model city" so close to the residence of former President Jimmy Carter. Another mass rally will be held at Allen Chapel Baptist Church in Americus on Monday, March 19, 2001 where the fate of the reputation of Americus, Ga. will be determined.
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USA: Mcdonald's moves to enforce mad cow standards
14 Mar 2001
CHICAGO, March 13 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp. , which has been struggling with fears of mad cow disease in Europe, said it will enforce compliance standards for its U.S. beef suppliers to ensure that the brain-wasting disease stays out of
its U.S. hamburger supply.
McDonald's, among the largest purchasers of beef worldwide, has given its suppliers an April 1 deadline for providing documentation that the cattle they buy meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for feed, a spokesman said on
The company, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Illinois, expects 100 percent compliance from its beef suppliers, said the spokesman, Walt Riker.
"We wanted to help build extra firewalls of safety around the food supply chain in the U.S.," Riker told Reuters. "We have a pretty big shopping cart, and when we come down the aisle people see it."
Since animals are believed to contract the disease by eating infected tissue from other animals, the U.S. livestock industry in 1996 voluntarily agreed not to give cattle any feed containing remains of cattle or other cud-chewing animals such as sheep and goats.
The following year the FDA officially banned the use of such feeds in the cattle industry, but the agency said in January that many companies that produce animal feed in the United States were not following the regulations aimed at keeping
mad cow disease from spreading to humans if it enters the United States.
Mad cow, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), was discovered in Britain in 1986. The first cases in Continental Europe were discovered late last year. The human form of the disease is believed to be contracted by eating beef from tainted animals. So far, no cases of BSE have been discovered in the United States.
McDonald's said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 7 percent, largely due to a downturn in European sales as consumers backed away from beef amid the mad cow scare.
In December, shortly after mad cow was discovered in Continental European countries such as Germany and France, McDonald's called a meeting of its suppliers and regulators in Washington to discuss more stringent measures.
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.
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March 2, 2001
Riding the Reparations Bandwagon:
A White Woman's Perspective
By Molly Secours <email@example.com>
I admit it. I, a middle aged white woman, have jumped on the
Reparations "band wagon". When I was asked several years ago
if I thought reparations for the enslavement of African
Americans were in order, I stammered and shuffled my feet
and said, "it depends". A safe response for a liberally
minded white woman who had absolutely no idea what I was
really being asked.. Like so many other whites (and people
of color) I thought reparations was only (and all) about
money. I thought reparations meant someone tossing out an
arbitrary number and someone else (the government) writing a
check and that was that.
This is exactly why most white people who hear and/or read
about the Reparations movement get nervous and defensive and
respond with one of several classic objections:
1) "I didn't have slaves, nor did my family benefit from
2) "Slavery hasn't existed for over 140 years, why do we
have to pay for something that happened then."
3) "Blacks have been getting preferential treatment for
years and frankly I'm tired of it."
4) "It is only going to divide us more."
There are of course dozens of other responses but these seem
to be four of the most popular and the most worthy of
addressing in such a brief article.
First of all Reparations is not a recent notion nor is it
something born out of the 60's civil rights movement.
Reparations advocates (both black and white) have been
around for over 100 years. Reparations is a verb and not a
noun. The movement is a process of exploring the damages
inflicted upon the descendants of those who were kidnapped
and held captive in the United States throughout a period of
several hundred years and dialoguing about potential
compensatory remedies. Also included in this exploration are
all the corporations and governmental organizations who
benefited from the slave industry and who are prosperous
today because of their practices.
No one would argue that receiving an inheritance from a
relative might affect what kind of future one might have.
African Americans have inherited the injustices inflicted
upon their ancestors and are living with them today in
various forms. For those who are not educated about our
American history, it is tempting to view the few civil
rights laws and affirmative action programs of the last 30
years as remedies for several hundred years of hatred,
mistreatment and oppression.
As Congressman John Conyers pointed out at the Race
Relations Institute Conference on Reparations in Nashville
in February, those who are promoting reparations on the
governmental level are (at this point) only requesting a
study of the damages. These damages are not limited to
money, and frankly, there is not a dollar figure large
enough that could provide healing and justice for all the
victims of the legacy of slavery. And, it is not even
concluded that money will be the end result of reparations.
So far the government has refused to support a study. This
does not mean studies are not being done, just that the
government refuses to acknowledge them.
It is telling that many Americans don't object to billions
of dollars being spent on strategic air missile defense
systems -- which don't even work or the money spent on the
studies which examine why they don't work. And yet, many
white Americans vehemently object to a study of Reparations
-- something that could specifically identify the injustices
heaped upon our African brothers and sisters which have had
lingering effects. A study of Reparations is a study of our
history and something that could help promote racial healing
and justice for blacks and whites alike.
In regards to one of the primary objections, my family
didn't have to own slaves in order for me to benefit from
slavery. As a white woman I have enjoyed first class
privileges my entire life and I do not come from an upper
middle-class family. In fact I have never forgotten the
shame of seeing my mother pay for groceries with food-stamps
when our family was destroyed. But regardless of my economic
status, I was (and am now) the recipient of numerous
invisible advantages every day. I never knew what those
advantages were or meant until I started working with those
who dealt with discrimination and oppression all of their
lives. As a white person, understanding the insidious nature
of racism was an effort to educate myself because it had no
bearing on my everyday life. I couldn't see it so it didn't
exist for me. I had to open my mind in order to see that
racial discrimination is a stain in the fabric or our
American culture. I'm not just referring to the obvious
kinds of racial injustices but all the subtleties that keep
people of color enslaved -- today.
As far as blacks receiving preferential treatment they most
certainly do. Blacks and other people of color are preferred
targets of the police and other law enforcement officials.
People of color are certainly recipients of preferential
treatment in our criminal justice system as is evidenced by
the fact that they receive longer sentences for the same
crimes committed by whites. It is certainly preferable to
many white owned financial institutions to deny home loans
to people of color in particular neighborhoods where whites
are the majority.
A cursory study of the criminal justice system will support
these allegations in black and white. When we look at the
figures of who is in prison and we realize that there were
few (if any) prisons in America during slavery we must ask
ourselves some honest questions. Why are American prisons
one of the fastest growing businesses in this country? Is it
possible that our prison system has replaced slavery on some
level? Are black men (and women) less threatening when they
are held captive in controlled environments? These are all
very complicated questions that are relevant to the issue of
reparations and in need of consideration.
I'm most fascinated when I hear someone suggest that
reparations will only serve to further divide the races and
therefore should be abandoned. I can think of nothing more
divisive than what has already been done to African
Americans in this country. Are white Americans honestly
convinced that race relations are so good now that we don't
want to jeopardize them?
Learning about and acknowledging anothers oppression does
not take anything away from me. If anything, I have
benefited enormously from re-visiting history and making
connections between the historical truths and contemporary
social ills. I've also learned a great deal from those who
have been brave enough to tell their stories. This is
another reason I believe so strongly in the Reparations
movement. The road to healing race relations is the process
of discovery and listening. When whites and blacks join
together to look truthfully at the past and jointly explore
what the damages were (and are) to those of African descent,
it is clear that money is not the only solution. Healing can
occur in many forms and no one -- so far that I know -- is
suggesting that money is the total solution.
After hearing some preliminary figures of how much the U.S.
government profited from taxing the slave trade (it's not
that far from George W's proposed tax cut ironically) I
personally believe that a check of some kind must be
written. But again, it is only part of the solution.
We whites need healing too. Otherwise we wouldn't get so
angry when we hear the words reparations or compensatory
remedies. It's not the words that cause such a violent
reaction in some, it is something much deeper that we must
address. Our own fear, hatred and anger has done a number on
us whites.. It has made us arrogant. And our arrogance is
just a by-product of our ignorance -- which fortunately can
be remedied if we can stop blaming the victims long enough
to seek the truth.
It is often our arrogance that prompts us to dismiss (out of
hand) the idea of reparations. We have been in the driver's
seat for so long that we can't abide the notion that someone
else might have another route worth exploring.. I say let's
scoot over to the passengers seat and ride the Reparations
band-wagon. No one knows where we will end up but we will at
least end up there together -- which is better than where we
are right now.
Ms. Secours is counselor, writer and racial dialog
facilitator and lives with her musician husband in
Copyright (c) 2001 Molly Secours. All Rights Reserved.
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[The article below, forwarded by Marty Price, was written
by Tim Wise, a Nashville-based writer and activist.]
March 6, 2001
SCHOOL SHOOTINGS AND WHITE DENIAL
by Tim Wise
I can think of no other way to say this, so here goes: white
people need to pull our heads out of our collective ass.
Two more white children are dead and thirteen are injured, and
another "nice" community is scratching its blonde head, utterly
perplexed at how a school shooting the likes of the one
yesterday in Santee, California could happen. After all, as the
Mayor of the town said in an interview with CNN: "We're a solid
town, a good town, with good kids, a good church-going town "an
All-American town." Yeah, well maybe that's the problem.
I said this after Columbine and no one listened so I'll say it
again: white people live in an utter state of self-delusion. We
think danger is black, brown and poor, and if we can just move
far enough away from "those people" in the cities we'll be safe.
If we can just find an "all-American" town, life will be better,
because "things like this just don't happen here."
Well bullshit on that. In case you hadn't noticed, "here" is
about the only place these kinds of things do happen. Oh sure,
there is plenty of violence in urban communities and schools.
But mass murder; wholesale slaughter; take-a-gun-and-see-how-
many-you can-kill kinda craziness seems made for those safe
places: the white suburbs or rural communities.
And yet once again, we hear the FBI insist there is no "profile"
of a school shooter. Come again? White boy after white boy after
white boy, with very few exceptions to that rule (and none in
the mass shooting category), decides to use their classmates for
target practice, and yet there is no profile? Imagine if all
these killers had been black: would we still hesitate to put a
racial face on the perpetrators? Doubtful.
Indeed, if any black child in America-especially in the mostly
white suburbs of Littleton, or Santee- were to openly discuss
their plans to murder fellow students, as happened both at
Columbine and now Santana High, you can bet your ass that
somebody would have turned them in, and the cops would have beat
a path to their doorstep. But when whites discuss their
murderous intentions, our stereotypes of what danger looks like
cause us to ignore it-they're just "talking" and won't really do
anything. How many kids have to die before we rethink that
nonsense? How many dazed and confused parents, Mayors and
Sheriffs do we have to listen to, describing how "normal" and
safe their community is, and how they just can't understand what
I'll tell you what went wrong and it's not TV, rap music, video
games or a lack of prayer in school. What went wrong is that
white Americans decided to ignore dysfunction and violence when
it only affected other communities, and thereby blinded
themselves to the inevitable creeping of chaos which never
remains isolated too long. What affects the urban "ghetto" today
will be coming to a Wall-Mart near you tomorrow, and unless you
address the emptiness, pain, isolation and lack of hope felt by
children of color and the poor, then don't be shocked when the
support systems aren't there for your kids either.
What went wrong is that we allowed ourselves to be lulled into a
false sense of security by media representations of crime and
violence that portray both as the province of those who are
anything but white like us. We ignore the warning signs, because
in our minds the warning signs don't live in our neighborhood,
but across town, in that place where we lock our car doors on
the rare occasion we have to drive there. That false sense of
security-the result of racist and classist stereotypes-then gets
people killed. And still we act amazed.
But listen up my fellow white Americans: your children are no
better, no nicer, no more moral, no more decent than anyone
else. Dysfunction is all around you, whether you choose to
recognize it or not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, and Department of
Health and Human Services, it is your children, and not those of
the urban ghetto, who are most likely to use drugs. That's
right: white high school students are seven times more likely
than blacks to have used cocaine; eight times more likely to
have smoked crack; ten times more likely to have used LSD and
seven times more likely to have used heroin. In fact, there are
more white high school students who have used crystal
methamphetamine (the most addictive drug on the streets) than
there are black students who smoke cigarettes.
What's more, white youth ages 12-17 are more likely to sell
drugs: 34% more likely, in fact than their black counterparts.
And it is white youth who are twice as likely to binge drink,
and nearly twice as likely as blacks to drive drunk. And white
males are twice as likely to bring a weapon to school as are
And yet I would bet a valued body part that there aren't 100
white people in Santee, California, or most any other "nice"
community who have ever heard a single one of the statistics
above. Even though they were collected by government agencies
using these folks' tax money for the purpose. Because the media
doesn't report on white dysfunction.
A few years ago, U.S. News ran a story entitled: "A Shocking
look at blacks and crime." Yet never have they or any other news
outlet discussed the "shocking" whiteness of these shoot-em-ups.
Indeed, every time media commentators discuss the similarities
in these crimes they mention that the shooters were boys, they
were loners, they got picked on, but never do they seem to
notice a certain highly visible melanin deficiency. Color-blind,
I guess. White-blind is more like it, as I figure these folks
would spot color mighty damn quick were some of it to stroll
into their community.
Santee's whiteness is so taken for granted by its residents that
the Mayor,in that CNN interview, thought nothing of saying on
the one hand that the town was 82 percent white, but on the
other hand that "this is America." Well that isn't America, and
it especially isn't California, where whites are only half of
the population. This is a town that is removed from America, and
yet its Mayor thinks they are the normal ones-so much so that
when asked about racial diversity, he replied that there weren't
many of different "ethni-tis-tities." Not a word. Not even
I'd like to think that after this one, people would wake up.
Take note. Rethink their stereotypes of who the dangerous ones
are. But deep down, I know better. The folks hitting the snooze
button on this none-too-subtle alarm are my own people, after
all, and I know their blindness like the back of my hand.
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CANADA: Government approach to GM crops slammed by first independent
12 Mar 2001
Source: just-food.com editorial team
Canadian government regulators have been slammed by an expert panel on the Future of Food Biotechnology, who says that GM crops should not have been grown in Canada. The criticism comes six years after the Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) gave the OK for GM crops to be grown and used as food ingredients without conducting scientific assessments for their safety.
Last year, the Royal Society of Canada formed the first independent scientific panel to assess the Canadian approach to GM crops, and its findings have now been attacked by Health Canada, which claimed that the panel did not fully understand the regulation of biotechnology.
Canada is the third largest grower of GM crops in the world, and the 14 scientists on the panel argue that the government is attempting to adopt a conflicting role of simultaneously regulating the biotech industry and promoting its science with huge investments, like the 1983 National Biotechnology Strategy (NBS) and
the fully funded Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee (CBAC).
One scientist Brian Ellis, of the University of British Columbia, commented: “The fact that these foods haven't hurt us may be due to careful scrutiny, but may also be plain luck.”
Another panel member and important biologist Mark Winston claims that the foremost problem with GM crops is not their safety but with the regulation of the industry and the secrecy that surrounds it. The lack of openness with regard to scientific questions is a “truly profound issue of democracy,” according to Winston.
Winston also points out that there are problems with the government’s assumption that GM crops are of “substantial equivalence” to non-GM counterparts. This means that testing is not as extensive or as unbiased as it could be. Federal-funding for independent testing is essential, according to Winston, who points out that the government must act quickly on the panel’s recommendations
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>From The Wilderness
January 24, 2001
House Bill Proposes Lifting Ban On Assassinations
Bush Administration Wasting No Time In Moving Toward War Footing
Armitage The Executioner
By Michael C. Ruppert <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Publisher/Editor
HR 19, Introduced by Republican Georgia Congressman Bob Barr
on January 3, 2001, the first day of the new 107th Congress,
would legislatively repeal sections of three Executive
Orders specifically prohibiting assassinations by the United
Entitled the "Terrorist Elimination Act of 2001", the bill,
submitted to the House International Relations Committee,
would specifically nullify sections of three previous
Executive Orders including one initiated by Ronald Reagan in
1981. It is interesting to note that acts of Congress are
not required to nullify previous Executive Orders (EOs)
which are, by definition, orders issued by the President and
Commander in Chief to all federal employees (including
military) under his authority. All that is necessary to
reverse one EO is another EO. This is exactly what President
George W. Bush did with respect to EOs issued by President
Clinton on the environment in the last days of his
Section 3 of HR 19 specifically states:
"The following provisions of Executive orders shall have no
further force or effect:
(1) Section 5(g) of Executive Order 11905.
(2) Section 2-305 of Executive Order 12306.
(3) Section 2.11 of Executive Order 12333." [By Ronald Reagan]
Section 5 (g) of Executive Order 11905, signed by Gerald
Ford on 2/18/76 specifically prohibited "political"
assassination. Section 2-305 of Executive Order 12036,
signed 1/24/78 by Jimmy Carter renewed the ban. Section 2.11
of Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan on 12/4/81
renewed the ban on assassinations, or conspiracy to commit
assassinations, as part of a broader package which gave
virtually complete control of the American National Security
apparatus to then Vice President George H.W. Bush.
The full text of HR 19 may be viewed at http://thomas.loc.gov.
Enter a search in the 107th Congress for 19 and it will take
you straight to the bill.
The bold move, unreported and ignored by any major media,
offers a chance for an early referendum on the new
administration's full-speed run at a more violent and
brutish foreign policy.
The current bill, introduced by staunch Bush supporter and
Clinton impeachment leader Barr, indicates that the Bush
administration is seeking to add legitimacy to the move by
implying that Congress and the American people support the
action. This can only mean that there is quite likely a list
of people the Bush Administration wants to start killing
fairly quickly. The appointment of career covert operative
and Annapolis graduate Richard Armitage as Deputy Secretary
of State under Colin Powell only underscores the clear
message that the Bush Administration is sending to the
Armitage, who was denied a 1989 appointment as Assistant
Secretary of State because of links to Iran-Contra and other
scandals, served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Security Affairs in the Reagan years. U.S.
Government stipulations in the Oliver North trial
specifically named Armitage as one of the DoD officials
responsible for illegal transfers of weapons to Iran and the
Contras. But Armitage's dirty past goes much deeper.
A Vietnam veteran and graduate of Annapolis, Armitage's
roots have been thoroughly intertwined with the likes of CIA
veteran Ted Shackley, Richard Secord, Heine Aderholt, Elliot
Abrams, Dewey Clarridge, Edwin Wilson and Tom Clines. All of
these men have been directly linked to CIA covert
operations, the drug trade, the abandonment of U.S.
prisoners of War after Vietnam and/or Iran-Contra. Armitage
has also been routinely discussed in FTW as a Bush-era
covert functionary who has been linked to covert operations,
drug smuggling and the expansion of organized crime
operations in Russia, Central Asia and the Far East.
In 1986 a private dispute between POW activist Ross Perot
and Armitage went public as photos of Armitage with a
topless Vietnamese nightclub owner Nguyet O'Rourke brought
allegations of gambling and prostitution very close to
Armitage's doorstep. The stories went public when TIME and
"The Boston Globe" wrote lengthy stories on the feud in 1986
and 1987. That scandal arose as a result of 1984
investigations by President Reagan's Commission on Organized
Crime in which the photo and documentation of gambling
charges and prostitution led directly to Armitage's close
association with O'Rourke. Then LAPD Assistant Chief Jesse
Brewer, a former Commanding Officer of this writer, served
on the Reagan Commission.
The 1992 best-seller "Kiss The Boys Goodbye" by former "60
MINUTES" producer Monika Jensen-Stevenson details Armitage's
role as Reagan point man on Vietnam POW-MIA issues and
describes why Armitage has earned the enmity of many POW
activists. However, in a 1995 interview with "The Washington
Post", Colin Powell referred to Armitage as his "white son."
This, notwithstanding the fact that the 6 foot, balding,
power-lifter, now 56, can still bench press 300 or more
pounds and reportedly "enjoys killing."
William Tyree, Special Forces Veteran who has provided much
reliable information and documentation to FTW in the past
said, "Armitage used to 'sit ambush' on the trails in Laos
and Cambodia. He liked it. Now when Powell, 'the dove,' sits
down at a table with Armitage 'the killer' beside him the
message will be that Armitage can reach across the table and
deal with the other party on the spot." That message will
not go unheard.
[For more on Armitage we recommend using the search engine
at www.copvcia.com and also at The Progressive Review,
There is reason to believe that a repeal of the
assassination ban would lead to an immediate series of
deaths. Remember, the Iran-Contra team is coming back to
power with a vengeance.
The completion of a February 11, 1982 memorandum between
Reagan Attorney General William French Smith and CIA
Director Bill Casey removed any requirement for CIA to
report drug trafficking by its agents, contractors and
proprietary employees. Immediately thereafter cocaine
consumption into the United States multiplied as imports
rose from approximately 80 tons in 1982 to 600 tons by 1989.
[A copy of that memorandum, published by the CIA in 1998, is
available in FTW's Extracts and Commentary on Volume II of
the CIA Inspector General's Report" originally published on
There are no choices and this is no longer a convenient
exercise of protected liberty. This is now a true struggle
against tyranny. Call your Congressman. Call your local
media. Call your neighbor. A loud enough uproar can stop
this criminal move in its tracks. Silence can only invite
Special thanks to Mike Whybark and Jim Galasyn of
Independent Media Centers for bringing this travesty
to my attention. Please visit their site at
Copyright (c) 2001 From The Wilderness Publications and
Michael C. Ruppert. This message may be copied and
reproduced in any "not-for-profit" mode so long as
proper sourcing appears.
Michael C. Ruppert
P.O. Box 6061-350
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
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UK: Foot and mouth crisis 'far from over'
9 Mar 2001
Source: just-food.com editorial team
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The government and farmers unions have agreed on the additional movement of animals on welfare grounds as the foot and mouth
crisis continues to grip the UK.
Restrictions on the movement of livestock during the foot and mouth crisis have been eased to allow pregnant animals currently left
out in the open to be brought back to farms to give birth and for cattle to be milked. Carcasses of culled animals will also be shipped
in sealed containers to rendering plants for burning rather than being left lying in fields.
The confirmed number of cases in the UK's foot-and-mouth outbreak now stands at 120. It had been hoped that the ban on
livestock movements would see the discovery of new cases tail off as the foot-and-mouth infection incubates in livestock for a
maximum of a fortnight, but Chief veterinary officer Jim Scudamore warned farmers on Thursday that the spread of the disease
was 'far from over'.
Scudamore said officials were still trying to trace the movements of sheep that passed through Longtown market in Cumbria,
especially farmers who bought sheep in deals outside the official market sales rings.
"We want people to come forward because our priority is to find the disease and trace sheep," he said.
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food official believe the disease seems to be spreading most rapidly among cattle that have
come into contact with sheep carrying the virus. The disease is hard to spot in sheep, which can become carriers of the bug after
recovery for up to nine weeks.
Restrictions were still in place on 144 farms pending ongoing investigations, while a total of 73,000 animals have now been culled
and 27,000 were awaiting slaughter on Friday.
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