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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Government Oppression
Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:45 pm
COMMENTARY:Throughout Santa Fes history of cultural conflict, weve seen a lot of pain to go along with the beautiful diversity we have today. Weve seen Native people being oppressed and violently conquered. Weve seen Hispanic people marginalized and oppressed by a new Anglo-centric government. And we still to this day see inequality and poverty in those communities as a result of that historic oppression.
As we put it in our Council-adopted cultural roadmap,Culture Connects Santa Fe,Santa Feans live in a place where joy and pain co-exist, and yet, here beauty and creativity hold transformative power for the entire community.
In a few short weeks much of our community will gather for theannualFiestas de Santa Fe,an event that reflects that sentiment well. It also reminds us that we have theresponsibility to learnabout and learn from thecomplexhistories in our community, including that of the Fiestas and the Entrada itself.
In doing so we can still show pride in our respective cultures and reflect on the positive contributions that have been made over time.
As we move forward we must do everything possible to start highlighting history where Native/Hispanic cultural traditions have contributed to the richness of our community and are part of our heritage.
I dont think any government can lead or solve this alone. These conversations are difficult and require all of us to participate. In doing so will we can heal and grow stronger.
To that end,Iwill be moving forward to:
Continue leader-to-leader dialogue to seek the counsel of Pueblo leaders. Our Pueblo neighbors are sovereign governments with representatives whose voices must be heard.
Instruct the city manager to,within 30 days, deliver to the public and the governing body either a report or a timeline for a report that includes:
From there, I will ask the City Council to take action consistent with the findings of the managers report.
I believe we can be a leader in racial healing and transformation towards a more unified city, but it will take more than a mayor or city council. It will take our entire community coming together.
JavierGonzales, a Democrat, is Santa Fes mayor.Agree with his opinion? Disagree? We welcome your views. Learn about submitting your own commentaryhere.
Please, show respect and avoid name-calling. Keep in mind that you could be quoted in an article. Read our comments policy to learn more.
Posted: at 6:45 pm
And you thought your family had drama. In Foxs new sci-fi thriller The Gifted, a seemingly ordinary clan of four, the Struckers, find themselves caught up in the saga of persecuted mutants that began 17 years ago with the first X-Men film. And director Bryan Singer, whos helmed multiple X-Men blockbusters, is part of the team helping to bring the iconic heroes to TV.
Just dont call The Gifted an X-Men show, says executive producer Matt Nix (Burn Notice). The X-Men are gone, and nobody knows where they went, Nix explains of the series. Whats left behind are groups of mutants that are piecemeal, doing what they can to help [fellow mutants] on the wrong side of the law get to safety.
The Struckers fall in with these renegadesafter bullied teen son Andy (Percy Hynes White) develops destructive powers that go nuclear at a school dancethink Carrie with more rubble and less pig blood. The debacle forces him and gifted big sister Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind), who can move objects with her mind, to come out as mutants to parents Reed (Stephen Moyer) and Caitlin (Amy Acker).
To escape the governments virulently antimutant lawswhich would allow for agents to take Andy into custody after he used his powersthe family turns to the underground network of outlaw mutants for help. And yes, theres a twist: Reed just happens to prosecute mutants, as he works for a Texas district attorneys office.
One of the things I really responded to in the X-Men comics is that they really seemed to be about something, more than just fighting, says Nix, a longtime fan. The characters had relationships and humanity that went beyond hitting bad guys very hard, although, he adds with a laugh, they did enough hitting bad guys very hard to satisfy 10-year-old me.
Since their 1963 debut, the X-Mens struggle to gain acceptance has always served as an allegory for the plight of oppressed minorities. Nix says he was interested in how society today relates to groups people fear. In the show, its not like fear of mutants comes out of nowhere, he notes. At the same time, the questions we ask are, How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice for the sake of security? How far are we willing to go to trample on liberties to make the majority feel good?
Dont expect a simple black-and-white answer. The government agents who are trying to capture the Struckers wont be portrayed as mustache-twisting villains, says Nix. Reed in particular exists in a gray area, at least initially. [Working for the DA], he thinks hes doing the right thing, Moyer says. Hes taking [dangerous] mutants off the street. It isnt until he sees how badly some of them have been treatedand he kind of knew, hed just chosen not to see itthat he realizes he has to take his children and run. And Caitlin didnt exactly have her eyes open either. Caitlin knows mutants have problems, but it doesnt affect hershe doesnt do anything for or against it, Acker says. When she finds out her children have these abilities, and then comes to rely on others with abilities for her familys survival, her tune changes. There is this guilt of Maybe I should have been speaking up all along, Acker adds.
How will The Gifted intersect with the X-Men films? The series will take advantage of the concept of parallel timelines, introduced in the 2014 film Days of Future Pastand baked into the comics lore since the 1980s. Says Nix: That allows us to be in a different universe, but not separate in ways that other film franchises may be from their TV shows.
But The Gifted will still have much in common with its cinematic cousins. The series wont shy away from grand special effects and massive action sequences.Ive taken up parkour training since getting cast, says Lind. This show is an actors dream because one moment well be engaged in an intimate, emotional scene, and then a door breaks down and were thrown into major stunt work. Which is exactly what Nix aimed to create. We wanted to tell a story thats relatable. You dont need to love the X-Men to watch. Your way in can be this family.
The Gifted, Series Premiere, Monday, Oct. 2, 9/8c, Fox
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Posted: at 6:45 pm
In the wake of the vicious attack on peaceful protestors in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, it has become clear that a virulent strain of racist, anti-Semitic white supremacist thought has been quietly nurtured across the country.
This movement can be clearly traced to the end of the Civil War and linked to the traitors who fought that war against the United States, and who, almost immediately after their defeat, initiated a campaign of propaganda and re-writing of history which has brought us to this terrible day, over 150 years later.
Sadly, the argument that the preservation of Confederate iconography, statues, monuments and flags is an important part of remembering our history continues to be made by defenders of the white supremacist and Nazi movement in this country. This includes statements made by President Donald Trump, who equated removal of Confederate statues to taking down monuments of President George Washington. But these two are not, in fact, the same.
First, Washington and the Founding Fathers established the United States of America, the country in which we live. I feel that this should be obvious, but it appears to bear repeating: We put up monuments to these men because they started the country that we live in. By contrast, the leaders of the Confederacy were traitors who rebelled against this country, fought a horrible war over it and were soundly defeated. Putting up statues to honor them is like putting up statues of Adolf Hitler to honor World War II. Why should we do that?
And indeed, for many years after the Civil War, we did not. But as black Americans agitated for more rights and as Jim Crow segregation was being enshrined into law in the early part of the 20th century, the Confederate monuments went up at a great pace. This indeed puts the lie to the defenders of these statues. They were raised and dedicated as a visual reminder of Jim Crow and segregation, to ensure that every black American who walked under the shadow of those statues knew his or her place in that society.
It is not coincidence that Hitler himself pointed out the model of Southern segregation and Jim Crow laws as inspiration for his race-based discrimination and eventual genocide. Its in “Mein Kampf” if you want to check, as well as later Nazi propaganda aimed at normalizing their race-based laws discriminating against the Jews.
The next historic spike in construction of Confederate monuments, as well as naming schools after Confederate leaders, happened during the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. This is, again, not a coincidence. George Wallace, the racist governor of Alabama, raised the Confederate battle flag over the capital of his state after calling for segregation forever. So please do tell me how that flag is not a symbol of a racist ideology?
Of course, that last point should now be clear. The murderous Nazis who descended on Charlottesville carried that flag with them wherever they went. They wrapped themselves in Confederate symbols because the brutal, slave-owning regime of the South is their ideal, the future past that they aspire to. As Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens said in his 1863 Cornerstone Speech, Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.
There should be no room in our country for statues to these men. History is not made of statues. There are many ways to remember the history of the Confederacy: museums and books are just two great examples. But the monuments, statues, flags and names of the traitors who stood against these United States to preserve slavery do not deserve a place of honor in our society. It is well past time to remove them all.
Devon C. Stout is The Meadville Tribune’s director of audience development.
Posted: at 6:45 pm
To the editor:
I appreciate the ongoing discussion by Lee County Commission Frank Mann and Mr. Jame Muwakkil, Lee County NAACP president. However, the changes brought about were inadequate concerning the portrait of Robert E, Lee. The change is in no way revolutionary. In fact, it is not even evolutionary. This amounts to a switch from a fudge brownie to a brownie.
This is a time when we need real change. Changes that will bring changes in culture. Oppression, racism, violence will no longer be tolerated in America.
There is a time for war, a time for peace, but is there a place for peace? Will we allow for that time and place? We are certainly at a low point in America. I don’t think we could go much deeper if we think of what happened to politics and the election and the 2016 campaign. Most of the elements of justice, progress, hope and peace in America were neglected. Replace, bury those elements of division.
We embolden, teach and applaud the culture of hate, violence and oppression. Sadly, much of this is carried out through the institution of government. The elements, ornaments that facilitating these behaviors should not be displayed in or supported by government. Nor should they be allowed in places supported by taxes (including titles, for example Lee County).
We should no longer have segregated communities and segregated schools. We should no longer have educational inequalities. The culture of racism in Florida is nurtured by these practices we continue, and many are institutional practices.
Perhaps you and I will soon no longer have to face the embarrassment that occurs when your child sees a person of a different race in the checkout line and respond as if they are seeing a Martian. We know that this is a reflection of the environment we create and the lessons we give.
There can be no change, no peace until we stop teaching bad things.
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Posted: at 6:45 pm
Nosipho Mkhize also took to the stage during the Salute African Goddess event at Alliance Franaise de Durban
FOLLOWING their successful Salute African Goddess event at Alliance Franaise de Durban on Saturday, visionary young dancers Cue Ngema and Nosipho Mkhize, who assembled a stellar line up for the day, said they will be hosting another protest event before closing off the year in honor of the 16 Days of Activism against the abuse of women and children. According to the two, the purpose of Salute African Goddess is for Durban artists, to come together as a collective and salute women in Africa.
Women go through a lot every single year, but we have seen in recent months the magnitude of the abuse that women go through. So even though women have their freedom and their rights, some women are clearly not free from oppression. We want to salute those women who are still in a social and economic struggle. And parallel to that, the purpose of Salute African Goddess was to give a platform for undiscovered, unsigned artists to showcase their work. We brought together a variety of artists in visual, textile and performance art, all under one roof and on one stage to help us salute women, said Mkhize.
Despite a few hiccups during the event, the young dancers said the biggest lesson they learnt is that they can achieve anything they set their minds on.
As soon as we made the decision to do the event, everything else came together when we started putting in the work and knocking on peoples doors. We were unstoppable thats the amazing power of unity! Secondly, we learnt we were understaffed. With a team of only two people, we were not prepared for some of the demands of hosting a multimedia concert event. Next time, we need people who will handle media, PR and marketing, people on the day who will do ticket sales and somebody who will liaise with the artists and be the stage manager, said Ngema.
For me, as a woman in South Africa, womens month no longer means freedom from government oppression, but it means freedom from any oppression as a woman. Let it be financial, social, cultural or religious, women need to be free. If I am living my life the way that I wish as an African woman, then I am free to celebrate. But if I have sisters all over the continent who are enslaved, then I have reason to protest. Womens month is when we give full attention to that as a country, collectively, added Mkhize.
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International community failed to prevent Indian oppression against Kashmiris: FO – Geo News, Pakistan
Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:40 am
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said on Thursday that the international community has completely failed to prevent mass murders of Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian forces.
He added that the state of India desires to turn the Muslim-majority areas in Kashmir into a minority.
Speaking at his weekly press briefing, he said at least 15 Kashmiris were martyred by Indian forces in the ongoing week.
Responding to a question, Zakaria said that the United States of America is revisiting its policy on Afghanistan, further adding that the only solution for the Afghan crisis is holding ofdialogue between all the parties.
He said Pakistan appreciates the dialogue initiative between Hizb-e-Islami and the Afghan government.
“Dialogue should be held with all groups, including the Taliban,” said the spokesperson.
Zakaria reiterated that Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees for the last four decades and stressed that the country did not force any Afghan refugee to leave the country. “We want Afghan refugees to return back voluntarily with honour, he added.
He said that Pakistan has been taking action against all militant groups without any distinction.
The spokesperson said that India is using Afghan soil against Pakistan, adding that the country reserves the right to raise the issue with the US government.
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Posted: at 6:40 am
Catholic World News
August 10, 2017
The vice president of the Venezuelan bishops conference denounced the violence and voracious corruption of the regime of President Nicols Maduro and called for an eventual total change of government through general elections.
Thousands of detainees, in little more than three months, give us a hellish picture that would make any person or institution worried about the lives of citizens at stake, Bishop Jos Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas said in an interview with EWTN News.
On August 8, a UN human rights team painted a similar picture and denounced widespread and systematic use of excessive force and arbitrary detentions against demonstrators in Venezuela.
Bishop Azuaje said that every day we feel a greater repression of the government through different state agencies or feel the same because of fear of certain groups. It is forming anarchy in the national consciousness; that is to say, the government has lost its legitimacy and authority.
The prelate said that some Venezuelans were forced to participate in the recent vote for a constituent assembly to rewrite the nations constitution:
Many people were coerced and threatened There are stories of people who are Catholic, are part of our parishes and almost confess as if it was an unforgivable sin. They feel humiliated because their freedom was restricted, because they were threatened that they would lose their jobs or benefits received in government social programs.
The constituent assembly, packed with Maduro allies, has assumed all lawmaking power in Venezuela, in an attempt to end any role for the nations legislature, in which the opposition has a large majority.
Bishop Azuaje also characterized the fall 2016 Vatican-brokered dialogue between Maduro and the opposition as a feigned dialogue on the part of the government without any result.
Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue; but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination, said the prelate.
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Posted: at 6:40 am
Popular progressive rock band Pink Floyd’s co-founder and singer Roger Waters urged participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights in an interview with RT, part of which was published Thursday.
Waters’ call comes as another rock band Radiohead refused to participate in the BDS movement and gave a concert in Israel in July.
The BDS campaigners, including Waters, asked Radiohead to cancel its gig in Tel Aviv as a sign of protest against Israeli oppression of Palestinians in the wake of the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Waters said that performing in Israel means endorsing its government and its policies against Palestinians.
Radiohead rejected the call and its leading singer Thom Yorke defended holding the concert.
According to Yorke, playing somewhere does not necessarily mean endorsing the local government. He said that his band does not endorse President Donald Trump, yet still performs in the U.S.
Pink Floyd legend responded by saying that Israel’s case was different from the others.
“Thom Yorke is wrong about not endorsing the policies of the Israeli government by playing there. Spokespersons of that government have said how excited they are that this is the best thing that’s happened for their hasbara (the Hebrew word for “propaganda”), which is the explaining to the rest of the world what a wonderful and precious democracy Israel is,” Waters said.
Waters equaled performing in Israel to making a public statement about endorsing the Israeli government, “because that is what will be reported in Israel, and that is what gets reported around the world.”
Waters added that performing in the U.S. during Trump presidency is OK because American civil society has not called on the artists from the outside to not come, while Palestinian civil society came together and organized the BDS movement.
When asked about the lack of coverage the BDS receives, the Pink Floyd singer answered by saying that “it comes from above.”
“You can figure it out for yourself. It’s not rocket science,” Waters said.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is a Palestinian-led movement that lobbies for the boycott of Israel and its products over the occupation of Palestinian land. It says on its website that BDS was “inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement.”
Posted: August 8, 2017 at 4:39 am
Mr. Habineza, a former journalist, said in an interview on Saturday that the results were indeed not pleasing as we had expected.
The portents of defeat seemed clear at one of Mr. Habinezas last campaign rallies. Held on a roadside in the outskirts of Kigali, the capital, only 500 people showed up. Chickens darted around while half the crowd stood across the street, listening from a distance.
By contrast, at the presidents final campaign rally on Wednesday on a hilltop near Kigali, more than 200,000 people sang, danced and cheered while waving the party flag.
Kagame really changed the lives of the people, so we have to vote for him, said Chaste Uwihoreye, 39, a clinical psychologist who lost both parents in the 1994 genocide that left 800,000 Tutsis dead.
He credited Mr. Kagame, who led rebel forces to stop the massacre, with uniting and reconciling Rwandans while expanding the countrys economy.
Mr. Habineza acknowledged that some people in Rwanda fear criticizing the government. In 2010, his partys vice president was found beheaded weeks before the elections. Other opposition parties have faced violence and harassment.
Still, he said, No one will ever intimidate me.
More than 6.6 million Rwandans cast ballots for Mr. Kagame, according to the official tally. Just over 80,000 voted for the opposition. The government said turnout totaled 96 percent.
Mr. Kagames victory has raised concerns that Africas forever presidents club will gain a new member and embolden other leaders in the region who wish to cling to power. Such comparisons have been rejected by Mr. Kagames backers.
The postelection mood was somber for the new People Salvation Movement, which says that it has been systemically persecuted by Mr. Kagames loyalists. Fifteen of its members met inside a gated house, curtains drawn and doors shut, to discuss future strategy.
Diane Rwigara, 35, an accountant who leads the group and was once considered a strong contender against Mr. Kagame, said she was fighting against fear. People get mistreated by the government, by people of power, and they choose to keep quiet, she said.
Ms. Rwigara said she had submitted almost double the required signatures to qualify as a presidential candidate, but was rejected by the electoral commission in July. She said the influence of Mr. Kagames party over the commission meant it had no capacity to organize free and fair elections.
The consequences of her intention to challenge Mr. Kagame came quickly.
Fake nude photos of Ms. Rwigara circulated on the internet. The Rwandan tax agency demanded $6.6 million from her familys tobacco business for taxes, penalties, fees and interest. Her familys bank accounts have been frozen and businesses shuttered, surrounded by state security forces.
Its because I spoke out, she said. They dont just kill you physically. They kill you financially, too.
Plainclothes government security forces seized the co-founder of her movement on Dec. 26 after he had given an interview in a local newspaper, Ms. Rwigara said, and nobody knows where he is.
At a rural polling station about an hour outside Kigali, Charles Ndamage, who voted for Mr. Habineza, said his neighbors had threatened him for supporting an opposition candidate.
In the village, you can be treated as an enemy of the country, Mr. Ndamage said.
Ida Sawyer, the central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said that under Mr. Kagame, independent news media have been silenced and rights organizations are almost nonexistent after years of intimidation and interference.
Boniface Twagirimana, the vice president of the United Democratic Forces of Rwanda, said his party had been forced to operate illegally after the government rejected its repeated registration applications.
Mr. Twagirimana claims plainclothes intelligence operatives tried to kidnap and strangle him in Kigali more than two years ago.
We can even die. Every day we wait for those people who finish us anytime, he said.
In March 2016, a member of Mr. Twagirimanas party disappeared, according to Amnesty International, and last May, a party representatives body was found mutilated. The partys chairman is serving a 15-year prison sentence on charges of terrorism and threatening national security, after running for president in 2010.
The outcome of political repression in Rwanda, Mr. Twagirimana said, is that Mr. Kagame is competing against himself.
Mr. Gasamagera, the spokesman for Mr. Kagames party, rejected such criticism as unwarranted. He said Rwanda had a free and open environment for freedom of expression.
Nine of the 11 registered political parties in Rwanda endorsed Mr. Kagame in his presidential run. A 2015 constitutional referendum approved by 98 percent of voters allows Mr. Kagame to potentially remain in power until 2034.
At Rwandas electoral commission headquarters in downtown Kigali, the commissions executive secretary, Charles Munyaneza, said he had been very satisfied with the voting process.
A version of this article appears in print on August 7, 2017, on Page A10 of the New York edition with the headline: Landslide Win Seen as Sign Of Oppression in Rwanda.