February 28, 2006

Still working my way through this. Some of the delay is server problems, but some is also mine. Still, it will be done before the end of March. - T.

First they say that there is no problem [with political bias]. Then they say I'm a McCarthyite. Then they say I'm spreading false rumors. Everyone who is in public life and makes commentaries makes mistakes.
- David Horowitz


The most dangerous academics in the United States

With an initial link for some direct, first-person responses to the list, I present the controversy and direct quotes from these dangerous professors (or, rarely, from organisations they spearhead) utterly without my own commentary, because I assume that the reader has a mind and knows how to use it. While I focussed on the actual research and reason for singling these people out, there are rebuttals and counter-arguments out there as well, for those who are interested in exercising their Google-fu. I did not see the original list upon which the discussion and/or voting was based ... but for some reason I sense it just might have been in alphabetical order? (The most common beginning letter for surnames in the United States is "S".)

M. Shahid Alam (Northeastern University, Economics)
"Once Western Europe began to make the transition from a feudal-agrarian to a capitalist-industrial society, starting in the sixteenth century, the millennial balance of power among the world's major civilizations shifted inexorably in favor of Western Europe. A society that was shifting to a capitalist-industrial base, capable of cumulative growth, commanded greater social power than slow-growing societies still operating on feudal-agrarian foundations. Under the circumstances, it was unlikely that non-Western societies could simultaneously alter the foundations of their societies while also fending off attacks from Western states whose social power was expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Even as these feudal-agrarian societies sought to reorganize their economies and institutions, Western onslaughts against them deepened, and this made their reorganization increasingly difficult. It is scarcely surprising that the growing asymmetry between the two sides eventually led to the eclipse, decline, or subjugation of nearly all non-Western societies."

Sami al-Arian (formerly of University of South Florida, Computer Engineering; fired shortly after having been charged in 2003; currently still in jail after a December 2005 acquittal on half the charges and a hung jury [10-2 in favour of acquittal] on the remainder)
"After the Fox network interview, many other media outlets started their own onslaught and attacks on me because of anti-Israeli positions or statements I made many years ago. For instance, as I was active during the first Palestinian uprising (intifada) between 1987 and 1993, the words "death to Israel" were uttered in one of the rallies in 1988. The reference to this slogan spoken fourteen years ago was in the context of a speech, given in Arabic, about the brutal and continuing occupation of the Palestinians by Israel. It simply meant death to occupation, to oppression, to the Israeli apartheid system instituted against the Palestinians. It certainly did not mean death to any Jewish person, as it was being portrayed. In this I am reminded of the early American revolutionary patriots such as Patrick Henry, Joseph Warren, and the poet John Trumbull. They called for the 'burial of the British Empire,' and wished for the 'Empire's everlasting grave.' I'm sure that these early American patriots did not mean to bury the citizens of the British Empire, but rather to end the brutal British occupation of America. Patrick Henry's 'Give me liberty or give me death' speech during the American Revolution is probably one of the most admired speeches of all time. His words describing the American sentiments against the British then prophetically tell of the Palestinians' plight and their predicament today."UPDATE: (May 01/06) Sami al-Arian has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, the maximum under the law, for aiding the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.

Hamid Algar (University of California, Berkeley, Near Eastern Studies)
"We're told this isn't a war against Islam. But "World War IV" clearly focuses on Middle Eastern Muslim states. [James] Woolsey mentioned Syria and Iran and went on to talk about the Saudis and the Egyptian regime. But if he thinks that the removal of the Saudi regime would result in anything other than a recrudescence of hard-line, undiluted Wahhabism, he's living in a world of fantasy. Likewise, if the regime of Mubarak falls in Egypt, the strongest popular force again is one that espouses some kind of relationship between Islam and politics. One would find a virtual consensus on the subject throughout North Africa and the Middle East, with the possible exception of Turkey, that the state should in some sense be Islamic. Which doesn't mean an imitation of the Iranian constitution, which is in my view in some ways unwieldy and needing adaptation. It doesn't mean that the penal provisions of the Shari'a need immediate implementation. But it does mean that a total separation between the religious and the political is incompatible with Islamic culture and history and understanding."

Ali al-Mazrui (State University of New York [SUNY], Binghamton, Global Cultural Studies)
"Islam has been far less compromised by racism than Christianity has been, as the result of the leadership of Europe in the history of Christianity. Because Christianity became at its most successful under European hands, and as Europeans became racist the whole religion became compromised as a result. Whereas in Islam there are no such things as racially segregated mosques. On the contrary, from the very beginning, you had racially integrated places of prayer. So on the issue of racial egalitarianism, there is no doubt at all that Islam had better record than the Euro-Christianity. And this has been attractive to the many black people both in Africa and in Black America."

Lisa Anderson (Columbia University, Dean, School of International and Public Affairs)
"It may well prove that the liberties associated with academic freedom -- belief, expression, assembly -- will be more quickly eroded by disputes over who owns ideas than by who may express them. But wait, must not all researchers, wherever they are, meet the standards for research set in the academy? As Professor Shils told us, we are to use evidence to support our contention. But evidence, too, is actually something of a sore subject in some circles. In the absence of a 'prevailing tradition' we often resort to agreements of various kinds, bargains if you will, to establish whether we will accept something as evidence for a proposition. Peer review has played that role for decades, contributing to the increasingly sharp boundaries between disciplines as each develops its own esoteric communal standards of evidence. As Robert Reichauer has reminded us in discussing policy more generally, however, 'politically acceptable' doesn't necessarily mean effective, affordable, or otherwise viable.' Or, I might add, true.Gil Anidjar (Columbia University, Comparative Literature)
"The problem occurs at the moment one tries to identify where the difference, or even differences, lie and what their significance is. We know, in biology as in cultural studies and history, that when there is a claim made identifying where the difference between men and women, male and female, is, something is at stake that has little to do with that difference as such (as if there could be difference as such). Of course... much of this has to do with power, but it is not exhausted by the question of power. Even "before" political issues, if you will, the question is: what is at stake? What kind of investment is there in saying here is the difference, because there is difference, but who is to say that there is more difference between this man and this woman, than there is between this man and that man? On what basis will one claim that the differences between men are more significant -- or less significant -- than the differences between men and women? The same is true of religion and politics; there is difference between and within them, so who is to say that the difference between them is more significant than the difference within them? And who is to say, finally, that what occurs in insisting on this or that difference is not sheer obfuscation?"

Anatole Anton (San Francisco State University, Philosophy Department Chair)
"Economists since Adam Smith have proposed conceptions of public goods that are essentially bound up with a market society and the institutional underpinnings of such a society. This chapter argues for an alternative conception of public goods, one that does not presuppose either a market society or private property understood as entailing the right to exclude others. It proposes instead the notion of public goods as commonstock and suggests that the concept of commonstock provides a basis for the critical evaluation of the privatization, commodification, and increasingly exclusive control of nature, communicative space, the social order, the political order, and the economic order that is characteristic of our time."Bettina Aptheker (University of California, Santa Cruz, Women's Studies)
"There were women who in one way or another found themselves in situations of performing sexual favors for important movement leaders. That's a fact; that happened. It is also a fact that women activists were also more seriously abused, physically and sexually, both by the police, which is to be expected, and also by men within the movement, which is something that is no longer tolerable. It is impossible to conceive of making significant social change in this society and in this world at the same time that one has personal relationships which are merely a reflection of the social reality in which women are sexually or physically abused by men. It's not acceptable. And we cannot make any kind of permanent change if we do not take the issues of women's personal experiences and place them onto a political plane where we understand the nature and dimension of women's oppression."

Leighton Armitage (Foothill College, Political Science)
"And what are they doing with Palestinians, every day? They're killing them. They're walling them in, they're essentially doing the same thing that was done to them ... It's exactly what Hitler did to the Jews."

Stanley Aronowitz (City University of New York, Sociology)
"The point is not to debunk science or to "deconstruct" it in order to show it is merely a fiction. This may be the postmodern project, but it is not the project of science studies. The point is to show science as a social process, to bring it down to earth, to remove the halo from its head. Scientific truth cannot be absolute; otherwise we might agree with those who have proclaimed the "end" of science. If all knowledge, including natural science, is mediated by the social and cultural context within which it has developed, then its truths are inevitably relational to the means at hand for knowing. In fact, in much of micro-physics what is called observation is often the effects of machine technologies, a reading of effects. But the reading is theory-laden. Which means pure description based on observation is not possible. Scientists require other tools such as machines, mathematics, and infer what they see from what they believe. To say that the increasing dependence of science on socially and economically permeated technology, the culture milieux within which science is done or that the political agendas of the funders invalidates results would be foolish. What it means is that scientific knowledge is not immune from broad cultural or narrow political influences and its methods cannot function as a filter. Cultural change, as much as internal debate among scientists, contributes to science -- social and natural -- as an evolving activity; what the scientific communities believe to be the case today may be revised, even refuted tomorrow. And, reasonably, logically, this must include the most accepted propositions. If this is so, and science reflects on the social and cultural influences, on its visions, revisions and its practices, and perhaps more to the point, on its commitments, then there is hope for a liberatory science."Regina Austin (University of Pennsylvania, Law)
"All of my work is directed at showing the relevance of culture to the resolution of legal issues and I think I've done that in all of the things I've written and I think it's very, very important that we recognize that we are not all the same, that people have different ways of responding to material circumstances, that people live under different material circumstances, and that there is no way that one single approach can be superimposed upon a country as diverse as ours and that the expectation that there is only one way to do things is fascistic."

Bill Ayers (University of Illinois, Chicago, Education)
"Teaching, at its best, is an enterprise that helps human beings reach the full measure of their humanity. ... [A]t the center of the whole humanistic adventure are students and teachers in their endless variety: energetic and turbulent, struggling, stretching, reaching; coming together in classrooms and community centers, workplaces, houses of worship, parks, museums, and homes. They gather in the name of education, assemble in the hope of becoming better, smarter, stronger, and more capable of rethinking and reconstructing their worlds; they come together to claim themselves as subjects -- lively, awake, and on the move -- in the face of blockades and obstacles and objectification. In the cosmology of the Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire, this priceless ideal is an expression of every person's true vocation -- the task of humanization . Simple enough to say ... but bristling with tension and contradiction. For identifying humanization as a goal immediately suggests its opposite: dehumanization as both possibility and practice. Although education ignites initiative and courage, we know that some schooling is in fact the practice of obedience and conformity; if education stands in one instance for freedom and breaking through arbitrary and imposed barriers, we can point to other cases where it parades as a specific kind of repressive training, structured as steel bars and barbed wire. We are drawn inexorably into conflict. Think of the teacher who extends the hand of possibility. Whoever you are, wherever you've been, whatever you've done, this teacher invites transformation -- there is still something more. This is the humanistic concept of teaching, the voyage is under way, and we are pilgrims, not tourists. There is more to see and to hear. More to discover. More to repair and rebuild. More to create and construct. More to have and to do, more to be. The humanistic teacher's fundamental message, then, is this: you can change your life and you must; you can transform your world, if you will. The great work begins."


University of Kentucky
Ihsan Bagby
Rutgers University, Stony Brook
Amiri Baraka
University of California, Berkeley
Hatem Bazian
Truman State University
Marc Becker
Stanford University
Joel Beinin
New York University
Derrick Bell
University of Cincinnati
Marvin Berlowitz
University of Pennsylvania
Mary Frances Berry
Penn State University
Michael Berube
Northeastern University
Elizabeth M. Brumfiel

David Barash (University of Washington, Psychology)
"I'm out of town and out of email contact until Monday night. I'll attempt to respond to messages at that time. If you are a UW student wanting an add code for Psychology 200, spring quarter, please note that this decision will be made by the TAs, who are responsible for each discussion section. It will therefore be necessary for you to wait until the first meeting of the section you want to add; I can't give any guarantees as to whether you will get in. Sorry.
Dangerous David"

Laurie Brand (University of Southern California, International Relations)
"In reviewing the record of the academy and the government during the Cold war, one cannot but be struck by the similarities with today’s atmosphere. No longer is it the Cold War, but the war on terrorism. No longer is the enemy a nation state – the Soviet Union -- but rather a political tactic -- terrorism -- one whose practitioners are decentralized and dispersed. One is no longer fighting communists, the definition of which was expansive enough in the 1950s and 1960s to include third world nationalists, but rather terrorists, the definition of whom is also sufficiently and eerily elastic as to include virtually anyone willing to take up arms against US policies. A renewed desire for area knowledge has also come as a response to the attacks of 9/11 and their Afghanistan and Iraqi aftermath. The security state of the Cold War is far from in retreat; indeed, with the US at war, we find ourselves in a renewed state of emergency, subject to an Orwellianly named 'Patriot Act.' No longer are the preferred foci development or modernization in order to fight counterinsurgency, but rather studies of democratization, political Islam and terrorism to serve as the (often pseudo-) intellectual underpinning of the newest march to battle. For all of us who have or have thought of engaging in studies falling into such categories it is worth pondering who is in fact setting the agenda and framing the questions, and to what use our work may be put. Are there not other ways to approach the problems and challenges of this region we study? Inequality and exploitation and the myriad research questions they suggest have largely receded from the agenda. I say this not to castigate, but to bring the lessons of the academy’s experiences during the Cold War to bear on our current situation. The Cold War has ended, the respite was short, and we are now again, according to state discourse and practice, a country/an empire at war, with many of the same implications for which questions are given priority, how the terms of debate are set, and why certain voices are empowered while others are marginalized."
Dana Cloud (University of Texas, Austin)
(Find the "Pledge to the workers")

Rochester Institute of Technology
Thomas Castellano
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Noam Chomsky
University of Colorado, Boulder
Ward Churchill
Emory University
Kathleen Cleaver
Georgetown University
David Cole
University of Michigan
Juan Cole
Duke University
Miriam Cooke
Kent State University
Patrick Coy

Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University)
"It is impossible to understand not only modern Islam but any other religion in modernity outside the context of colonialism. This is simply because colonialism has been the single greatest source of power in modern history and has had a catalytic effect on every culture and every religion. ... What I argue has happened over the last 200 years is a systematic corrosion of the multiplicity of sights and visions of Islam as a religion and as a culture, narrowing it exclusively to a site of ideological resistance to colonialism."

University of California, Santa Cruz
Angela Davis
North Carolina University
Gregory Dawes
Northeastern University
Bernardine Dohrn
University of Northern Colorado
Robert Dunkley
University of Pennsylvania
Michael Eric Dyson

Nicholas De Genova (Columbia University)
"There is an impulse to jingoistic, patriotic hysteria during wartime that will seek to discredit the antiwar movement. And that is to be expected. Those of us in the antiwar movement need to confront the really concerted power, money, and resources that have been devoted to trying to narrow the range of possible speech. The real discussion of the substantive issues that I raised has yet to begin and is long overdue."

Marc Ellis (Baylor University)
"It's my point of view that everyone has a right to speak their story."
"Does the past, especially in Europe, of isolation and ghettoization, of pogroms and Holocaust, define the Jewish future? Or is this past really past, invoked now to warn against transgressions against any community, including but not limited to Jews?"
- On the Palestinian Right of Return: A Jewish Meditation on History, Rights and Return

Villanova University
Rick Eckstein
Stanford University
Paul Ehrlich
University of Dayton
Mark Ensalaco
Georgetown University
John Esposito

Larry Estrada (Western Washington University)
"In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny." (El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán)

Matthew Evangelista (Cornell University)
"If current U.S. practice comes to shape the norms and laws that govern warfare, as some argue it should, what would be the implications for the international system and for ordinary people? One concern is that certain U.S. practices create precedents that will rebound to everyone's disadvantage."

Gordon Fellman (Brandeis University)
"[U]ntil now most encounters have been organized so that the point of them is to overcome the other. This is true for the most part of relations between men and women, parents and children, whites and non-whites, leaders and publics, rich and poor, labor and management, athletic teams, business firms, advanced societies and developing societies, straight and gay, tall and short, well and ill, and so on. I call this assumption that one must strive to overcome or submit to being overcome, the basis of the adversary paradigm. It also applies to humans' relations to nature which, like people, has been constructed as an enemy to be overcome. The ultimate expression of the adversary tendency is murder, and that collectively is war."

Princeton University
Richard Falk
Texas A&M University
Joe Feagin
California State University, Fresno
Sasan Fayazmanesh http://www.counterpunch.org/sasan12132003.html
De Paul University
Norman Finkelstein
University of Oregon, Eugene
John Bellamy Foster
Rutgers University
H. Bruce Franklin
Montclair State University
Grover Furr

Temple University
Melissa Gilbert
Temple University
Lewis Gordon
University of Texas, Arlington
Jose Angel Gutierrez
Georgetown University

Eric Foner (Columbia University)
"I refuse to cede the definition of American patriotism to George W. Bush. I have a different definition of patriotism, which comes from Paul Robeson: The patriot is the person who is never satisfied with his country."

Todd Gitlin (Columbia University)
"Everybody on the left should go listen to Republicans and try to figure out what makes them tick. This is across-the-board advice. I would tell people, 'Good God, most people are not like you!' I'm reminded of people in 1972 in Manhattan who said, 'Jesus, but I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon.' Wake up! Parochialism is never a platform for understanding, and this is another form of parochialism. One can understand and not understand. This also requires understanding people who don't make sense: to understand, for example, how 50 percent of the population could be convinced that there was Iraqi involvement in 9/11. That's rationalist heresy."

Warren Haffar (Arcadia University)
"Often times [Americans] are for free trade when it's to our advantage."

Yvonne Haddad
Occidental College
Tom Hayden
Earlham College
Caroline Higgins
State University of New York, Buffalo
James Holstun
City University of New York
Bell Hooks
University of Colorado, Boulder
Alison Jaggar
Duke University
Frederic Jameson
City University of New York
Leonard Jeffries
University of Texas, Austin
Robert Jensen
California State University, Long Beach
Ron (Maulana) Karenga
http://www.dartreview.com/issues/1.15.01/kwanzaa.html

Peter Kirstein (Saint Xavier University)
"Of course what is the appropriate balance between freedom and equality? Communism subscribes to the notion that absolute freedom will emanate from a transformed human consicousness emphasising equality. That is beautiful, utopian and wonderful for America. I am not sure that I would trust humankind to establish equality and eliminate the death sentence of class stratification without some polity establishing limits to freedom. Yet as a concept, it is worthy ruminating about and incorporating into the public dialogue on how America can be transformed from its current violent, ruthless, aggressive posture into a more irenic nation that sees the value of economic-distributive justice."

University of California, Los Angeles
Vinay Lal
Holy Cross University
Jerry Lembcke
University of California, Irvine
Mark Le Vine
Georgetown University
Mari Matsuda
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Robert McChesney
De Paul University
Aminah Beverly McCloud
Metropolitan State College, Denver
Oneida Meranto

Manning Marable (Columbia University)
"There is a crucial difference between guilt and responsibility. White Americans alive today are not guilty of enslaving anyone. But they are the beneficiaries of racism, and as such they have the responsibility to bear the burden of what their government carried out on racialised minorities."

Joseph Massad (Columbia University)
"What is it about the nature of Zionism, its racism, and its colonial policies that continues to escape the understanding of many European intellectuals on the left? Why have the Palestinians received so little sympathy from prominent leftist intellectuals such as Jean- Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault or only contingent sympathy from others like Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu, Etienne Balibar, and Slavoj Zizek?"


Victor Navasky (Columbia University)
"The Bush Administration has labored mightily to suggest--without quite saying it--a link between Saddam and terrorists. Now comes Charles Lane and the Post to suggest--without quite saying it--a link between the old CPUSA and terrorists. In the old days, there was a word for this sort of thing, two actually: red-baiting. Now that the cold war is over, I'm not quite sure what to call it. Maybe 'bad journalism' will do."

University of California, Riverside
Armando Navarro
University of Colorado, Boulder
Emma Perez

Priya Parmar (Brooklyn College)
In lieu of a quote: Lyrical Minded: Enhancing Literacy Through Popular Culture And Spoken Word Poetry

Penn State University
Sam Richards

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Gayle Rubin

University of Denver
Dean Saitta

University of California, Berkeley
Orville Schell

Michael Schwartz (State University of New York, Stony Brook, Sociology)
"Certainly, an alien army entered Iraq, destroyed that country's sovereignty, and stoked nationalist resentments. But major media outlets in this country have lost track of the fact that what also entered Iraq was an American administration wedded at home and abroad to a fierce, unbending, and alien set of economic ideas. By focusing attention only on the lack of U.S. (and Iraqi) military power brought to bear in the early days after the fall of Baghdad, they ignore some of the deeper reasons why many Iraqis were willing to confront a formidable military machine with only small arms and their own wits. They ignore -- and cause the American public to ignore -- the fact that there was little resistance just after the fall of Baghdad and that it expanded as the economy declined and repression set in. They ignore the eternal verity that the willingness to fight and die is regularly animated by the conviction that otherwise things will only get worse."
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (State University of New York, Stony Brook, English)
Eve Sedgwick's Axioms (from Epistemology of the Closet, introduction):
"First, a definition ...
axiom: 1. a self-evident or universally recognized truth; maxim. 2. a principle that is accepted as true without proof; postulate. (American Heritage Dictionary)
And now, the seven axioms:
  1. People are different from each other.
  2. The study of sexuality is not coextensive with the study of gender; correspondingly, antihomophobic inquiry is not coextensive with feminist inquiry. But we can't know in advance how they will be different.
  3. There can't be an a priori decision about how far it will make sense to conceptualize lesbian and gay male identities together. Or separately.
  4. The immemorial, seemingly ritualized debates on nature versus nurture take place against a very unstable background of tacit assumptions and fantasies about both nature and nurture.
  5. The historical search for a Great Paradigm Shift may obscure the present conditions of sexual identity.
  6. The relation of gay studies to debates on the literary canon is, and had best be, tortuous.
  7. The paths of allo-identification are likely to be strange and recalcitrant. So are the paths of auto-identification."
Timothy Shortell (Brooklyn College, Sociology)
"Faith, like superstition, prevents moral action. Those who fail to understand how the world works—who, in place of an understanding of the interaction between self and milieu, see only the saved and the damned, demons and angels, miracles and curses—will be incapable of informed choice. They will be unable to take responsibility for their actions because they lack intellectual and emotional maturity."Harry Targ (Purdue University, Political Science)
"These are the best of times and the worst of times. We have built a worldwide peace movement of historic proportions. However, Iraq was bombed to destruction. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld neoconservative wing of the ruling class wants to bomb some more (maybe Iran, or Syria, or North Korea or even Cuba). Our task is to stop the next war. This will take grassroots organizing, building global solidarity, and mobilizing for peoples' power in the United Nations. This may be our last chance to build a peaceful and just world."Greg Thomas (Syracuse University, English)
"Just a day in the life of 'Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen Bitch 101' could've answered all the questions posed about the course last semester, including whether or not it would deal with the upcoming trial of Lil' Kim. Somewhere along the line, someone decided to simply re-title this course that developed out of my on-going research on race and sex in the context of empire, as if it were now a course on celebrity biography—not lyricism. Wasn't the course description from the ten-page syllabus on-line? Who is Eshu? How did this West African orisha or 'trickster-god' provide a profound framework for our hard-core work? What does it mean here that the 'fifth element' of Hip-Hop is knowledge, according the Universal Zulu Nation? We were so academically ill that a lazy, ignorant set of folk could ill-afford to find out. ... Will sexism or sexual conservatism be a 'Trojan Horse' for the government that would scapegoat her as an effective strategy for locking up Hip-Hop in general? We see recycled certain old stereotypes here about Black women and “lies,” especially Black women who do not conform to white racist codes of sexual repression, as if this conviction could possibly represent 'justice.' Despite all the reports of 50 Cent's ties to the NYPD, not to mention Eminem's Secret Service agent security guards, any Hip-Hop that lacks the vision to see through state lies is not the real thing; any Hip-Hop that is too afraid to resist state lies and Rap COINTELPRO is fake as hell. This case was not about 'perjury' at all, no more than the U.S. in Iraq is about 'liberation.' It's about whether or not we cooperate with state power, however illegitimate, and this includes its power to persecute us -- as usual. It is about the power of the government to criminalize and imprison us along lines of race, class and Hip-Hop affiliation, over here, when they don't send us to commit their own violence over there. And if 'lies' were actually 'immoral,' according to the U.S. state, its prison-industrial complex might not be large enough to house those who rule us. How do we communicate the political absurdity of this brilliant Black female artist facing hard time in the age of George 'Weapon of Mass Destruction' Bush, and all these corportate lies?"Suzanne Toton (University of Texas, Arlington, Theology and Religious Studies)
"Catholic colleges and universities, like non-religious academic institutions, are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and truth. However because Catholic colleges and universities take their inspiration from the Gospel,that pursuit has a different orientation. Its specific point of reference, direction and purpose is perhaps best captured by the phrase 'a preferential option for the poor.' This phrase, coined by the Latin American bishops at their 1979 conference in Puebla, Mexico and since then central to the vocabulary of the Catholic Social Tradition, simply means that we as individuals, collectives and institutions are called by the Gospel to identify with the poor and marginalized of society, stand in solidarity with them, and accompany them in the struggle for justice and peace. Thus, for Catholic colleges and universities the end purpose of teaching, research and service is the creation of a more compassionate, just and peaceful social order. If truth be told, this 'preferential option for the poor' is not very well integrated into the structure and fabric of our institutions."

Haunani-Kay Trask (University of Hawaii, Manoa, Director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies)
"We have over 7 million tourists a year now and we have a million and a quarter residents of which only 20 percent are Native Hawaiian. So that means there are 30 tourists for every Native. People who don't have a sense of what that means in terms of your everyday life really are spared one of the worst experiences because we are walking artifacts. As if tourist stores got up and walked around, that's what we are. Waikiki is the hotbed of cultural prostitution and there, the people are subjected and subjugated by stupid tourists who want you to dance and sing, so there is a kind of prostitution of your culture if you actually participate in it as a waiter, as dancer. Most Hawaiians in the tourist industry are either wait help, they are waiting on tables or they're dancers, the tourists come to see our culture. No one comes to Hawai'i to see American folk dance, they came here to see us, which means we have to perform and since jobs are at a premium, anyone who can dance winds up dancing for the tourists. The wages are very low, the jobs have very few perks in terms of medical care and leave of absence. So here's our situation economically and in the midst of all that we still have a sovereignty movement that's getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Our organization [Ka Lahui nation] in great part was formed as a response to militarization and touristfication of Hawai'i. We were formed in 1987, although the protest movement regarding lands had been going on for ten years. It took that long, say between 1975 and 1985 for people to realize that defensive, what I call defensive anti-eviction struggles were the last straw and that it would be easier if we would be offensive and take the lead and say, 'no, these were all the lands that were taken from the Hawaiian government in 1893 transferred illegally to the US and we want them back.' And this is the way in which we want them returned. We want to be a recognized nation on the same order as several American Indian tribes, we want to have definable territorial boundries, we want to be able to tax people on the land base. We want a democratic government. So we formulated a democratic government. ... We belong internationally to many organizations, one of which is the Unrepresented Nations of Peoples Organization funded by the Dalai Lama."Michael Vocino (University of Rhode Island, Library Science and Information Studies, Political Science)
"I don't suppose you are interested in hearing my side of the issue, much less publish it, but you might want to read this if you are interested in the "truth": MY NAME IS MICHAEL VOCINO AND I LIKE NATHANIEL NELSON (even though his political views are different from mine.) Nathaniel Nelson was a student of mine when he was in his junior year at the University of Rhode Island. Nathaniel was an articulate student who opposed at every turn my attempts to present a gay-positive perspective on one the most pressing political and social issues facing the nation and covered heavily in the national and local media, gay rights. Nathaniel was a joy to have in class because he was more than willing to oppose my perspectives on gay rights. When I teach, I don't punish students who disagree with me, as Nathaniel certainly did. What is important to me is that a student's arguments counter to my own as a professor are stated with clarity, intelligence, and conviction. Although Nathaniel opposed my positions, he did so articulately when stated, and with concise and precise clarity when written. It was for this reason that Nathaniel earned an "A" in my classroom. He was, though misguided and certainly wrong in his perspective on gay rights from my position as a gay man, one of my better students. I am sorry to read and hear again that Nathaniel sees our educational interaction as such a negative. I personally think his experiences in my classroom and his need to face opposing political viewpoints were a positive for him, and I certainly know that our conflicting opinions in my classroom and how they were expressed were certainly a positive for me and the other students in the class."Michael Warner (Rutgers University, English)
"At its best, gay pride is still an incomparable event. Suddenly the city works by a new set of rules. Look how many queer folks there are! You don't have to seek them through chat rooms, bars, or subtle glances. All you have to do is walk outside. There are all kinds of people. They don't share any kind of identity; they just live in a city that, for a single day, stops presuming the heterosexuality even of people who sleep with another sex. If they share anything, it is a history of disruption, of learning to live through shame, of having to overcome the resistance of the world in order to be here and to build this culture together. Not an identity, but a project for making a new world -- an unpredictable world, in which people differ and there's always something new to learn. Proud of what? Proud of that."

Dessima Williams (Brandeis University, Sociology)
"One of the simplest reasons to oppose war is that war hurts people."
"If we have a celebration of globalisation, we must also look at the underside of it. The beneficiaries of globalisation are predominantly white, educated males, while the victims are predominantly non-European, uneducated females."George Wolfe (Ball State University, Music; Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies)
"Responding to propaganda with a propagandised message of your own does not contribute to reasoned dialogue."Howard Zinn (Boston University, History)
"The notion of a 'War on Terrorism' makes no sense. You cannot make war on terrorism: it is an ideology that springs from many sources and one that can be located in many countries. The terrorism of September 11th was real, but the United States is using it as an excuse to first bomb Afghanistan, now Iraq, and to expand American power in the Middle East."

Comments: Post a Comment



<< Home