Showing posts with label naked aggression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label naked aggression. Show all posts

Monday, August 24, 2020

Wrong name. Right problem.


Systemic Racism is not a good name for it. It’s not a formal system and there is no formal name. And yet it’s there, flowing through our culture like kerosene saturating a dry rag.

 It’s in the things we don’t think about. Pointless commentary, children’s rhymes, ethnic jokes, in the things we don’t realize we’ve said. Those things get inside our heads and it doesn’t occur to us to get them out.

 And in some cases, those things pollute entire organizations. Take the Kenosha, Wisconsin police for example. There is no excuse for the appalling crime committed on August 23 by its officers. And yet I don’t blame the police, at least not entirely.

Our culture is ailing and the disease has worsened in recent years. Many Americans are a paycheck or two away from being homeless. This is stressful for people, including police officers. That doesn’t excuse violent behavior, though it may help to explain it. There’s plenty we can do to change policing laws and weed out bad cops, but police thuggery is a symptom, not the root of America’s problem.

 Money is the problem. Too little is a problem. So is too much. Those with too much think of themselves as winners and of those with too little as losers. If the cops kill a few losers, it’s a small price to pay to maintain law and order.

 And what is “law and order”? It’s the maintenance of an unjust status quo. That’s what the president means when he uses those words in response to “Black lives matter” Those words don’t address justice. They address social control. During the 1890s, Tom Watson tried to unite poor blacks and whites politically. He said, “You are kept apart that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings. You are made to hate each other because upon that hatred is rested the keystone of the arch of financial despotism which enslaves you both. You are deceived and blinded that you may not see how this race antagonism perpetuates a monetary system which beggars both.” Let’s replace law and order with social justice before someone touches a match to a kerosene soaked rag.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020


We are men. We know pain,
Which we freely acknowledge,
Yet we don’t complain.

It isn’t the pain that aggrieves.
It’s the unfairness
that comes
From those who deceive us.

Hypocrites all, they try to fool us
With improvised news,
With which they would school us.

They haven’t an ethos they would defend
Unless it’s that destiny decrees they hold the hill,
Even if that means crushing those below.

Winners keep losers poor and in debt.
And as they drown push them deeper
until they sputter, “I can’t breathe.”

Winners need losers in order to win.
So brainwash some. Impoverish many.
Murder a few. But never admit.
You’re no better than they.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Israel 172, Hamas 0

In the latest round of fighting, Israel has scored 172 fatalities. Hamas has scored zip. It looks like Israel is winning. Hamas fires rockets. Israel shoots them down. Then they retaliate by bombing buildings.

Living space is at a premium in the Gaza Strip. The last thing the Palestinians need is fewer buildings. Yet Israel keeps knocking them down. Israel claims to defend itself in a humane manner. Hell, Israel even warns the Palestinians before they knock down their buildings.

But humane is not a word that fittingly describes life in the Gaza Strip. It's cramped, unemployment is high, travel is restricted, and goods are scarce. While the Palestinians are not blameless, neither are the Israelis. Knocking down buildings and killing innocent non-combatants is not helping things. Maybe it's time for Netanyahu to try something new—something constructive instead of destructive.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nowhere to Hide

Once again Israel and Palestine are going at each other, and as usual, the Palestinians are getting the worst of it. Benjamin Netanyahu says that the reason so many Palestinians get killed is because Hamas “hides behind civilians.” Consider the population to the Gaza Strip: There are 9,713 people per square mile living there. Compare that to the 809 people per square mile living in Israel, the 650 in the United Kingdom, the 365 in China, or the 84 in the United States.

Is it really fair to say that Hamas hides behind its civilians in an area so crowded that there’s nowhere else to hide? For years Israel has managed to portray itself as the plucky underdog fighting for survival while surrounded by enemies. There’s some truth in that, yet Israel has been far too aggressive, far too often, and now the story is beginning to wear a bit thin. Lately it looks more like a bully than an underdog.

Neither nation is entitled to claim righteousness, high-mindedness, or innocence. However, Israel is the stronger of the two nations, and as such, she should be the first to make concessions. If Israel doesn’t modify her belligerent stance, her naked aggression will be exposed, world opinion will change, and she’ll find herself with nowhere to hide.