Holland is an extremely neat and well-ordered mud-puddle, situated at the confluence of the English, French, and German languages.
-- W.E.B. Du Bois
Most developing countries start with textiles, just as England did 200 years ago. But Cambodia's garment trade is incredibly dependent on special treatment from America, where it sells almost all its wares. Since the expiration of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2004, which imposed quotas on textiles in the developing world, countries like China and Vietnam have been subject to special, stopgap measures to dampen down the flood of textiles they can pour into Western markets. In exchange for enacting higher labor standards (and also for being really small and poor), Cambodia has been exempted from this treatment.
In theory, this is a bad thing; trade should go where the market dictates. In practice, it's hard to criticize something which is pulling a lot of very poor people into decent-paying jobs. And Cambodia's 14 million population can hardly be said to be doing serious damage to China, or even Vietnam.
During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some uncertainty about how to relate to these movements.
What ever your personal opinions and insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion. I say "whatever your insecurities are" because as well very well know, sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we are afraid we might be homosexual; and we want to hit the woman or shut her up because we are afraid that she might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start with.
We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and feelings for all oppressed people. We must not use the racist attitude that the White racists use against our people because they are Black and poor. Many times the poorest White person is the most racist because he is afraid that he might lose something, or discover something that he does not have. So you're some kind of threat to him. This kind of psychology is in operation when we view oppressed people and we are angry with them because of their particular kind of behavior, or their particular kind of deviation from the established norm.
Remember, we have not established a revolutionary value system; we are only in the process of establishing it. I do not remember our [*158] ever constituting any value that said a revolutionary must say offensive things towards homosexuals, or that a revolutionary should make sure that women do not speak out about their own particular kind of oppression. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite: we say that we recognize the women's right to be free. We have not said much about the homosexual at all, but we must relate to the homosexual movement because it is a real thing. And I know through reading, and through my life experience and observations, that homosexuals are not given freedom and liberty by anyone in society. They might be the most oppressed people in the society.
And what made them homosexuals? Perhaps it's a phenomenon that I don't understand entirely. Some people say that it is the decadence of capitalism. I don't know if that is the case; I rather doubt it. But whatever the case is, we know that homosexuality is a fact that exists, and we must understand it in its purest form: that is, a person should have the freedom to use his body in whatever way he wants.
That is not endorsing things in homosexuality that we wouldn't view as revolutionary. But there is nothing to say that a homosexual cannot also be a revolutionary. And maybe now I'm injecting some of my own prejudice by saying that "even a homosexual can be a revolutionary." Quite the contrary, maybe a homosexual could be the most revolutionary.
When we have revolutionary conferences, rallies, and demonstrations, there should be full participation of the gay liberation movement and the women's liberation movement. Some groups might be more revolutionary than others. We should not use the actions of a few to say that they are all reactionary or counterrevolutionary because they are not.
We should deal with the factions just as we deal with any other group or party that claims to be revolutionary. We should try to judge, somehow, whether they are operating in a sincere revolutionary fashion and from a really oppressed situation. (And we will grant that if they are women they are probably oppressed.) If they do things that are unrevolutionary or counterrevolutionary, then criticize that action. If we feel that the group in spirit means to be revolutionary in practice, but they make mistakes in interpretation of the revolutionary philosophy, or they do not understand the dialectics of the social forces in operation, we [*159] should criticize that and not criticize them because they are women trying to be free. And the same is true for homosexuals. We should never say a whole movement is dishonest when in fact they are trying to be honest. They are just making honest mistakes. Friends are allowed to make mistakes. The enemy is not allowed to make mistakes because his whole existence is a mistake, and we suffer from it. But the women's liberation front and gay liberation front are our friends, they are potential allies, and we need as many allies as possible.
We should be willing to discuss the insecurities that many people have about homosexuality. When I say "insecurities," I mean the fear that they are some kind of threat to our manhood. I can understand this fear. Because of the long conditioning process that builds insecurity in the American male, homosexuality might produce certain hang-ups in us. I have hang-ups myself about male homosexuality. But on the other hand, I have no hang-up about female homosexuality. And that is a phenomenon in itself. I think it is probably because male homosexuality is a threat to me and female homosexuality is not.
We should be careful about using those terms that might turn our friends off. The terms "faggot" and "punk" should be deleted from our vocabulary, and especially we should not attach names normally designed for homosexuals to men who are enemies of the people, such as Nixon or Mitchell. Homosexuals are not enemies of the people.
We should try to form a working coalition with the gay liberation and women's liberation groups. We must always handle social forces in the most appropriate manner.
There is some shame here, but I don't pity Romney. He could have tried to run as a political heir to George Romney on the basis of his record in Massachusetts, as a moderate technocrat. But he decided to try to remake himself as the Christian Right candidate, so it's really pretty fitting for him to be laid low by a real-deal preacher man like Huckabee or even a more plausible actor like Hollywood Fred.
A Burmese friend was astonished the other day when I told him that a Negro had just been appointed to a professorship in my university back home. We were discussing the "Negro problem" in America, and it turned out that a number of facts and viewpoints that I take for granted are surprising news in Burma. [Quoted in Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000), 47]
Several readers emphasize that many foreigners, even those with high levels of education, have no concept of American life. They don't know that most Americans are religious people. They don't know that most of us aren't wildly rich. They're skeptical of reports that many black people live here—or dismiss them as not "real Americans."
And so the most prominent suggestion on how to improve America's face in the world—a suggestion made by well over half of those who wrote me—is to send the world more American faces and to bring more of the world's faces into America.
In other words, these readers say, there should be a vast expansion in the Peace Corps, in Fulbright fellowships, and, above all, in student-exchange programs.
An American exchange student in Jordan writes of the foreigners he's met: "Once they see Americans—blacks, Jews, Asians, and 'real' Americans, as they call blonde-haired Caucasians—and hear their diverse opinions on issues from the War in Iraq to pop music, then people realize how much diversity there is in our country."
With this same idea in mind, an American in Sudan adds that we should put particular emphasis on sending ethnically diverse Americans abroad.
[I]f students and professors believe that African American and Latino students are less capable than white and Asian students, because the former were admitted under an affirmative action program and the latter on a "merit-based" system, this itself may be a significant source of discriminatory attitudes that impede minority students' learning. Even more disturbingly, if affirmative action programs cause minority students to believe themselves less capable than their classmates, the stereotype can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
presupposes that exposure to first-rate education is not good for you but bad. Going to a school with a favorable student-faculty ratio and studying under nationally acclaimed professors is good for whites, but not for blacks. This is truly paradoxical, and I am surprised bright people assert it. Rich people of all eras have been sending their sons and daughters not to the worst, but the best schools they could get them into, sometimes bending the rules to do so. There is little reason to believe that what is true for whites is not true for blacks, Mexicans, and other minorities. [Richard Delgado, Ten Arguments Against Affirmative Action -- How Valid?, 50 Ala. L. Rev. 135, 142 (1998)]
1. Georgia is in severe drought
2. Governor Perdue decides to pray for rain on Tuesday
3. Forecast called for rain Tuesday
4. Prayer service goes ahead as planned
5. Skies completely clear up immediately following prayer service
6. No rain
would change it to say that at least one parent must be a citizen of the United States. The only intent of foreign-born parents who give birth here (with few exceptions) is to ensure their child has U.S. citizenship. It’s their ticket in.
For example, in academia, we have the so-called “elite” journals: mostly controlled by white males or those who think like them. When I have submitted work relevant to the black community to these journals, that work is then rejected. At which point, I am criticized for not having my work published in the so-called “premiere journals”. That’s like me forcing Garth Brooks to perform in the Apollo Theatre in Harlem , and saying “From the crowd’s reaction, it’s clear that you’re a shitty singer”.
Many traditional liberals believe that keeping the public sphere free of religion is the only way to avoid taking sides in particular debates. Excluding religion does, of course, achieve neutrality among religions because no one of them is allow to participate in -- let alone dominate -- the public sphere. To the religious, however, exclusion certainly does not maintain neutrality between religion and secularism. By denying religion a public say, exclusion hands the field to secularism. Only secularists get to argue the full case for their claims. This type of civility may suppress conflict, then, but not neutrally. It does not respect all views equally or avoid taking a position on them. The secularists win. It is neutral only in the sense that it looks neutral to the majority because it corresponds with the majority's own view about how power ought to be allocated. This is civility's great strength. It allows the majority to think it isn't taking a position, especially since civility demands silence from those who disagree. It is civility's gentleness that allows the majority to overlook its brutal partiality. (11)