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Notes from Exile

The Spirit Of Chaney, Goodman And Schwerner
Posted by David Irby on Oct 16, 2005 - 6:58:00 PM

UNITED STATES—I have been on holiday for awhile and how the world has changed! 


Photo courtesy of Google Images
"George Bush doesn't care about black people!" New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina proved that. But he doesn't care about the American soldiers or innocent Iraqis who die in ever increasing numbers in his unjust, illegal, planless, clueless war either
or much of anyone else who isn't among his ultra-rich supporters.


And now more disasters!  Thousands die in Guatemala mudslides and tens of thousands in the Pakistani/Kashmiri earthquake. 


Much involved in the tragedies in New Orleans and Guatemala could have been prevented, had Bush and many administrations past (including Democratic ones who are never more than slightly better), paid attention to the needs of the peoples there and if U.S. policy in Latin America was not designed to impoverish its peoples for power and profit.


And the Guatemalans worst hit, are the same Mayan Indians who were subjected to genocide (with 70,000 lives lost) under the dictatorship of the Reagan-backed Fundamentalist Protestant, Efrain Rios Montt. Supporting Montt's "civil war," the CIA also funded extreme Fundamentalist "missionaries" in violation of the 1st Amendment.  And, down to this day, this has caused an ethnic/religious division in that poor country, similar to that in the northern part of Ireland.


But America is a newcomer in Kashmir, where the suffering is compounded by Britain's own historic policy of divide and conquer.  So we can only hope that Bush will repay Pakistan's support for his Afghanistan War with generous aid. And readers' donations will also help in all of these places.  In the meantime, Support Cindy Sheehan! 


While in London for another one anti-war protest, I remained fascinated with Bush's reshape of the Supreme Court.   And, since I'm still a California voter who is to the left of the Democrats on most issues, but also opposed to abortion and Roe v Wade, my perspective differs from many.


Dianne Feinstein makes me queasy for a number of reasons, but Barbara Boxer is "my hero" on most issues.  Both voted against John Roberts and will also certainly vote against Harriet Miers.  But despite (or perhaps because of) bizarre protests from the bizarre ultra-right, Miers will also be confirmed with ease and there isn't much that any of us can do about it.


But those who hope, (or fear) that Bush-appointed judges will radically roll back Roe v Wade are apt to be surprised.  Whether people like me like it or not, there is no consensus for that in America, nor will there be on the Court even after Miers is appointed. 


But people like me are more concerned about such, more probable, results as further curbings of the few freedoms that trade unions still have and anti-environmental rulings.


And probably the worst result of the Court that Bush is creating will be probable rollbacks of affirmative action and the other paltry "rights" that Blacks and Mexican Americans still have.  These things are a source of deep sorrow to me.

I oppose abortion for the same reason that I oppose the Iraq invasion.  Both involve the unjust killing of innocent human beings. 


But I also have long been deeply saddened by the way that its obsession with its selfish demand for "woman's right to choose" (to kill their unborn children!) has caused "White Liberal America" to draw back into itself after the brief "60's era of unity against racism as well as the Vietnam War; and to forget the real and continuing needs of those less fortunate; Blacks and Hispanics in the America, and people in the "Third World." 


Until "The Left gets it right" on such issues, it will continue to lack moral credibility and the Right wing will continue to triumph, with the most probable next president an only slightly watered-down version of Bush.


Those who want to avoid that must return to the spirit of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. 


You must get out of your affluent cocoons and into the places where real suffering is; in the Ghettos and Barrios and along the borders where people, who have long been deprived of their natural rights by the unjust Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty, huddle in fear of a new version of the Ku Klux Klan called "The Minutemen."  It is in these places that the real fight can be won.


(Photo: Victims proudly displayed by "Minutemen".)


Westwood native, David Irby is a writer and social justice activist, now based in beautiful Dingle, Ireland.  Contact him via .


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