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Reclaiming the “pro-life” label

I know that I myself am not “anti-life” nor do I know any Democrats who are. Thomas Friedman makes this the topic of his Sunday NY Times editorial.

“Pro-life” can mean only one thing: “respect for the sanctity of life.” And there is no way that respect for the sanctity of life can mean we are obligated to protect every fertilized egg in a woman’s body, no matter how that egg got fertilized, but we are not obligated to protect every living person from being shot with a concealed automatic weapon. I have no respect for someone who relies on voodoo science to declare that a woman’s body can distinguish a “legitimate” rape, but then declares — when 99 percent of all climate scientists conclude that climate change poses a danger to the sanctity of all life on the planet — that global warming is just a hoax.

The term “pro-life” should be a shorthand for respect for the sanctity of life. But I will not let that label apply to people for whom sanctity for life begins at conception and ends at birth. What about the rest of life? Continue reading

MAS teacher describes how TUSD banned The Tempest by Shakespeare from his classroom

It was January 11, 2011, not even a full twenty-four hours after the Tucson Unified School District had voted to dismantle our Mexican American Studies classes in wake of threats from state officials in Arizona to withhold millions of dollars in funding.

I was sitting in the conference room adjacent to the principal’s office with Dr. Abel Morado and Assistant Principal David Mandel and a few colleagues. It’s called the Badger Room. Fans of symbolism may get a kick out of that.

Our administrators were conducting a meeting about the restrictions to our curriculum due to the actions of the governing board.

At this point, the academic tragedy was still fresh and the conversation was more human than it eventually became as the meetings, threats and prohibitions would later be conveyed in a highly dictatorial and hierarchical manner.
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Russell Means 1980 cover story

THE ONLY POSSIBLE OPENING FOR a statement like this is that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of “legitimate thinking”: what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken. My culture, the Lakota culture, has an oral tradition, so I ordinarily reject writing. It is one of the white world’s ways of destroying the cultures of non-European peoples, the imposing of an abstraction over the spoken relationship of a people.

So what you read here is not what I’ve written. It’s what I’ve said and someone else has written down. I will allow this because it seems that the only way to communicate with the white world is through the dead, dry leaves of a book.

I don’t really care whether my words reach whites or not. They have already demonstrated through their history that they cannot hear, cannot see; they can only read of course, there are exceptions, but the exceptions only prove the rule. I’m more concerned with American Indian people, students and others, who have begun to be absorbed into the white world through universities and other institutions. But even then it’s a marginal sort of concern. Its very possible to grow into a red face with a white mind; and if thats a person’s individual choice, so be it, but I have no use for them.

This is part of the process of cultural genocide being waged by Europeans against American Indian peoples today. My concern is with those American Indians who choose to resist this genocide, but who may be confused as to how to proceed…

via “I Am Not a Leader”: Russell Means 1980 Mother Jones Cover Story | Mother Jones.