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Author Topic: Mechanisms of Prejudice: Hidden and Not Hidden  (Read 4846 times)

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AGelbert

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Surly1

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Pitch-perfect, AG.

Conservatives went running from Cliven Bundy like he had rabies, didn't they?

As Charlie Pierce often says, "It's not about race, because in America, NOTHING is ever about race."  :o

AGelbert

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Surly said,
Quote
Conservatives went running from Cliven Bundy like he had rabies, didn't they?

As Charlie Pierce often says, "It's not about race, because in America, NOTHING is ever about race."   :o

        


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AGelbert

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Before repairing the climate, we’ll have to repair the impacts of racism

By Brentin Mock


Protesters rallied in December to oppose the construction of a garbage incinerator in one of the most polluted parts of Baltimore.   :P >:(


Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 18-page cover story for The Atlantic making a case for reparations for African Americans is a must-read, even if you’re not into all that hopey, changey racial justice stuff. Even if you believe that the only thing we need to repair right now are the practices that are leading to surplus greenhouse gas emissions and resultant climate change, you need to read it — in fact, you are the ideal audience for it. Coates makes the case that after two-and-a-half centuries of slavery, and another century-plus of Jim Crow, segregation, and racial terror, African Americans deserve redress. Financial redress? Yes.


To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting America’s origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte.
Perhaps no statistic better illustrates the enduring legacy of our country’s shameful history of treating black people as sub-citizens, sub-Americans, and sub-humans than the wealth gap. Reparations would seek to close this chasm. But as surely as the creation of the wealth gap required the cooperation of every aspect of the society, bridging it will require the same.

If you wonder why more black people aren’t so quick to fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, it’s because we’re too busy fighting the school-to-prison pipeline — or in places like California, the pollution-to-school-to-prison pipeline. Not to mention all of the other racial ills making our lives hectic, before we can even think about something like climate. As Anthony Giancatarino of the Center for Social Inclusion recently wrote,to truly address climate change, we need to understand how our past and current policies have reinforced climate change and inequity and the implications for our work.”

Bold and italics are mine, to show this is not an either-or nor zero-sum equation. And it’s gonna take more than some green jobs programs to insert equity in the equation. For years, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan has been trying to pass House Resolution 40 to get Congress to just study the reparations issue so we can have a greater understanding of how U.S. policies have reinforced inequities. Writes Coates:


Perhaps after a serious discussion and debate—the kind that HR 40 proposes—we may find that the country can never fully repay African Americans. But we stand to discover much about ourselves in such a discussion—and that is perhaps what scares us. The idea of reparations is frightening not simply because we might lack the ability to pay. The idea of reparations threatens something much deeper—America’s heritage, history, and standing in the world.

I’d submit that what scares us in the reparations conversation is similar to what most scares us in the climate change conversation: Taking either subject seriously would mean considerable discomfort in our lives and radical changes in our behavior. I would also submit that what has led us to these points — alarming levels of inequality along with alarming levels of greenhouse gas emissions — are also virtually the same in nature: The urge to criminally devalue both people and nature in the quest to live as comfortably as possible.

To get to the bottom of these things, we’re going to have to pay for the women and men and land and air that have been devalued for far too long. There is no way around it.

Allow me to highlight a few passages from Coates’ article to illustrate what I mean:

1. “In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. ‘Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,’ the AP reported, as well as ‘oil fields in Mississippi’ and ‘a baseball spring training facility in Florida.’”  >:(

Here is the AP article Coates is referencing. The oil fields are a reference to Jasper County, Miss., where according to AP’s investigation, the Ku Klux Klan drove black farmers off of the land they owned in the 1930s and burned the courthouses where the land records were stored. The lumber and paper company Masonite later came in and claimed ownership of some 9,851 acres in that same area, even though at least 204 of those acres belong to black farmers, according to the land records that survived the fires. Since claiming that land, Masonite “has since yielded millions of dollars in natural gas, timber, and oil, according to state records.”

Not only that, Masonite’s deforestation for paper and wood products made its Mississippi operations the lumber commerce center of the nation, if not the world. It also helped Masonite destroy basically all of the healthy forests in Mississippi. Pretty much everyone in America — and our parents and grandparents — have bought or used Masonite paper products produced on land that was stolen from African Americans.

Talk about ‘there will be blood’: “ At least 850,000 barrels of oil have been pumped from this property, according to state records,” reported AP. But last year, a pipeline leak led to over 100 gallons of crude oil spilled into the county’s wetlands costing some $5 million to clean up. The black landowners driven out of Jasper by the Klan, I’m sure, reaped none of Masonite’s profits. Meanwhile, the African Americans who live in the area now will likely have to pay for the oil cleanup through their tax dollars.

2. “Scholars have long discussed methods by which America might make reparations to those on whose labor and exclusion the country was built. … Perhaps no number can fully capture the multi-century plunder of black people in America. Perhaps the number is so large that it can’t be imagined, let alone calculated and dispensed. But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as—if not more than—the specific answers that might be produced. An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane.”


Right, and let’s not forget that America knows how to do these formulas. We’ve not only done them for Japanese Americans and for Native Americans, but we’ve also done them for plants and animals. Case in point: The Natural Resource Damage Assessment, which is a process where, after a disaster like an oil spill, scientists study all of the non-human victims affected — trees, wetlands, waters, fish, fauna, coral reefs, beach sands — to place a financial value on each thing, the costs of the damage, and how much it would cost to restore them whole.  It happened after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and there is one happening right now for the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. When the total is tallied, a bill is given to the company that created the disaster and it is expected to pay up.

America has not developed a similar process for African Americans. This means right now a patch of wetlands is more entitled to reparations than a black human being is.

3. “The past two decades have witnessed a rollback of the progressive legislation of the 1960s.”

This can’t be emphasized enough. Whatever gains this country made to begin approximate compensation and reconciliation for past wrongs against African Americans, began getting dialed back almost immediately after they were passed. The Civil Rights Act? I just wrote about this in my last post. It used to be that African Americans could file lawsuits against companies under Title VI of that Act if it was found that companies were dumping waste and pollution on their neighborhoods discriminately. But that private right to sue was curtailed in 2001 and now people of color must rely on the EPA to make such findings   :(  >:(— their record for which has been wanting. Financial redress for toxic exposures is even less unlikely under current terms. Combine that with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act last year, the recent depleting of affirmative action policies, a near-knifing of fair housing protections, and energy apartheid in the former slave-holding states, and any argument that America is already paying its dues goes out the window.

Again, to reconcile all of this, it’s gonna require some discomfort. If that’s not something we can live with, then I don’t expect people will change much to deal with climate change adequately, either.

 

Brentin Mock is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist who writes regularly for Grist about environmental justice issues and the connections between environmental policy, race, and politics. Follow him on Twitter at @brentinmock.

http://grist.org/climate-...ir-the-impacts-of-racism/
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Breaking news: Brazilian Indian leader assaulted ten days before World Cup


Valmir Guarani was kidnapped, tied to a tree in a forest, blindfolded, and tortured.

© Sarah Shenker/Survival

A young Brazilian Indian leader was assaulted on Monday by four armed men, despite being under the care of a government protection program since he witnessed the murder of his father-in-law.
Valmir Guarani Kaiowá, of the Guarani tribe, was kidnapped, tied to a tree in a forest, blindfolded, and tortured. He managed to escape and said, ‘They tied me up and told me that I was going to die and that no one would ever find me. They put a bitter liquid in my mouth and told me to swallow it. Then, they fired several shots by my ears and I couldn’t hear any more…  >:( then they left in their car.’ Valmir’s late father-in-law, Nísio Gomes, was killed by masked gunmen in 2011, having led his community back to part of their ancestral land which had been stolen from the Indians and occupied by a cattle ranch.

In 2012, 18 men were arrested in connection with the murder, including the owner of a ‘private militia’ security firm which has since been closed down. Some of the men are believed to have been released.

Valmir is a key witness, and continues to push for the murder investigation to be completed and for the land to be returned to his tribe.

He told a Survival researcher last year, ‘Nísio told me to be strong and fight for our land. All we need is for it to be protected for us.’

In the run up to the FIFA World Cup, Survival is highlighting ‘The dark side of Brazil’.  :( Click here to find out more about the situation of Brazilian Indians and the government’s attacks on their rights to their land.

Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10267
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AGelbert

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How black land became white sand: The racial erosion of the U.S. coasts  >:(



In 1910, less than 50 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans owned over 15 million acres in the former slave-holding states. Much of that black-owned property was on the coasts, the geographic margins of the nation, which at the time were some of the most undesirable areas for living or leisure.

That was before the Army Corps of Engineers came along to convert those coastline areas into “flood protection” zones, and beaches. The Corps dumped over 7 million cubic yards of sand in Mississippi to create “the longest manmade beach in the world,” but not for all to enjoy. When the federal government brought the sand to the beach, and a highway system for city folk to access it, in came droves of white folks, who then effectively drove black landowners out of their homes.

What the lauded black scholar W. E. B. Dubois called “the color problem of summer,” the National Park Service called the “spectacular acceleration [of] private and commercial development” of America’s coasts. What DuBois was referencing, and what the Park Service was ignoring, was the violent pushing out of former black landowners into segregated, polluted nooks of the shoreline, if not off the land altogether.

Andrew Kahrl
Harvard University Press

Andrew Kahrl.

University of Virginia history professor Andrew Kahrl calls it “coastal capitalism” in his book The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South, released somewhat quietly in late 2012. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll note that I referenced the book a couple of times, including in my last post on how black people have been historically excluded from safe swimming spaces in the U.S.

Kahrl not only details the deleterious impacts of racial segregation in his book, but also how the white overthrow of black landholdings — from Maryland shores to Texas — was closely linked to the pursuit of reckless environmental policies in the name of profits. Many of the same properties stolen from African Americans are today threatened by climate-change-fueled sea-level rise and coastal erosion.

Writes Kahrl:


The shores that African Americans steadily lost over the course of the second half of the twentieth century …
demonstrate the inextricability of environmental and human exploitation — power over lands and power over persons — and force us to reassess the familiar story of America’s triumph over segregation, its achievement of civil rights, and its slow, painful but nevertheless inexorable progress toward a more just and equitable future.

I caught up with Kahrl by phone to further unpack his research around racial segregation, “coastal capitalism,” and how these might be reconciled under the wrath of climate change.

Q. The stories in your book are mostly about social “soft” sciences like race discrimination, but you write quite a bit about problems like coastal erosion and climate change. Did you anticipate exploring those harder sciences going in?

A. That wasn’t initially part of the story, but it became an essential feature of that history the more I worked on it. I ended up trying to rethink or at least expand the way we understand environmental racism. We often think of it strictly as cases of African Americans being disproportionately affected by the damage done to the environment, from the siting of polluting industries or what have you. But here we have cases where whites are doing damage to their own environment while in the process of carrying out racist policies.

African Americans are victims of being pushed off the land, and at the same time those same policies are destroying land itself, and sometimes those two worked hand-in-hand. Like in New Hanover County, N.C., where you had the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carrying out policies that are literally eroding the foundation of black coastal landowners, which then ensured that it would be very difficult to continue to sustain a livelihood there and results in their eventual displacement.

the land was ours

Q. And this continues today, right?

A. We have, over the last half-century, this steady process of restricting public access to beach areas in the Northeast. A lot of it is driven by fears of the civil rights movement spilling over into what had previously been white enclaves. You started to see this push towards restricting public access to beaches oftentimes out of an ostensibly race-neutral policy like resident-only policies or even by building physical barriers that restrict the public’s ability to access areas that had long been upper-class white coastal communities. Well, in the process of trying to armor themselves against the prospect of hordes of urban masses flocking to their shores, they were also destroying the very environment that they were seeking to protect.

Q. Maybe this is unfair, but given what climate change is poised to do to these coastal communities I couldn’t help but read a certain sense of karma in these stories.

A. It would be poetic justice if it only affected those persons carrying this [racism] out, but instead it affects all of us, because it’s our planet. It also affects us in other ways, like by shifting our priorities as a country, it’s shifting tax dollars toward the rebuilding of playgrounds for the rich, and just having a really corrosive effect on the body politic as a whole. It absolutely reveals the multifaceted damage that racism does to us as a society and to the planet.

Q. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent Atlantic article laying a case for reparations for African Americans is told through the lens of a working class black family from really humble beginnings. But your book centers a lot on stories of African Americans who actually had some measures of wealth and land ownership, only to have it stolen from them. Do you think your book bolsters the case for reparations for African Americans?

A. Well, I think we need to shift the focus from cash payments to people of color, which is the stereotypical argument of what reparations constitutes, and more toward structural reforms that will address and eliminate the sort of instruments of racism that have been carried out for generations and continue to operate and are really in many ways intrinsic to our system of  capitalism — and that’s a conversation that most Americans don’t want to have.

With regards to these characters (in the book), these are folks whose wealth was never realized. The one thing about the African American experience under Jim Crow, when talking about wealth and the inability to accumulate wealth, the landowners who I discuss, these are folks who emerged out of a century of Jim Crow with one asset, which was land. They never got a chance to realize that wealth. Those lands instead became a source of wealth for others.

The perfect example is Hilton Head, S.C. That land was once owned by African Americans, but is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars and the people who [previously] owned it never got a cent. It’s the same thing we’re seeing today in these gentrifying neighborhoods where the land is highly valuable, but the people who lived on it didn’t get a chance to enjoy the riches that came from it. Coates uses the word “kleptocracy” to describe this and it’s very powerful and very accurate in the sense that the state is operating in ways to facilitate the dispossession of African American assets.

Q. So given all of this, do you see a way for the nation to reconcile its debt to African Americans while also reconciling a sustainable future under climate change’s threats?

A.
It’s hard to imagine when you have states like North Carolina, which just passed a law that forbids coastal engineers and state agencies from even acknowledging the existence of climate change. But yeah, it’s a tricky issue of how do we begin to right these past wrongs in ways that are actually meaningful for people who actually suffered that damage and their descendents — the people who are living in trailer homes while the land that their parents owned has now been turned into golf courses and multimillion dollar mansions. There’s no real easy answer that doesn’t involve a transfer of assets and wealth in a way that does compensate those people who had their land stolen from them by legal means.

Going forward, if there is a realization that [the current] model of development in these areas is unsustainable, then one of the ways to address this is to look back to previous models of living here, when [African Americans] were much more in tune with living in volatile environments, and ones that are much more well adapted to living in an age of rising sea level.

So, for instance, I was out in the Sea Islands [off the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida] in April, and you drive through these areas like John’s Island, Wadlamaw and Kiawah Island, these are areas that used to have large numbers of independent, self-sufficient black farm families. Today, the African Americans are still living on these islands but in these Habitat for Humanity villages. They have no means for actually living off the land, they have no place in the island economy other than as low-wage service workers. Their very way of life was destroyed.

At the same time the islands themselves are being destroyed in ways that will really become apparent in the future. So what do we do for these people who are living in these trailer homes, where their ancestors were living as proud independent farming families? One way is to look at those older models of living — not that return to the Earth in any kind of nostalgic way — but begin to recognize how we can adopt a new model. So learning from the past and also compensating for past injustices, and finding a way that those two can be brought together.
 

Brentin Mock is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist who writes regularly for Grist about environmental justice issues and the connections between environmental policy, race, and politics. Follow him on Twitter at @brentinmock.

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Celebrations as last cattle rancher leaves Yanomami territory in Brazil

Yanomami shaman and spokesman Davi Kopenawa celebrates the removal of ranchers from his tribe's land © Mario Vilela/FUNAI


A joyous ceremony was held in a Yanomami community in northern Brazil on 31 May to mark the withdrawal of the last rancher to occupy the tribe’s land along the notorious ‘Northern Perimeter Highway’.

The celebrations held in the community of Ajarani were attended by Yanomami, public prosecutors, NGOs and representatives of the government’s indigenous affairs department, FUNAI.

In 2013, public prosecutors drew up an agreement with the last 12 ranchers who had occupied the south-eastern tip of Yanomami land for decades, even though the territory was officially recognized as belonging to the Yanomami in 1992.


The celebrations were held in the Yanomami community of Ajarani. © Mario Vilela/FUNAI

The Yanomami of Ajarani suffered a catastrophic loss of life when hundreds died from measles and other diseases brought in by construction workers building the highway in the early 1970s.

Carlo Zacquini, a Catholic missionary who has worked with the Yanomami since the 1960s treated those he could and recalled, “We knew that along the Ajarani River alone, there were 15 villages before the road. When the road was completed, not one of these 15 villages remained. The survivors then formed one new village along the road. It was really shocking and FUNAI was totally absent.”

Later the state government gave colonists plots on Yanomami land along the highway which also gave goldminers easy access to the Indians’ territory.

In 2007 Hutukara, the Yanomami association, wrote to the President of Brazil demanding action and stating that, “We, the Yanomami people, are very angry and worried about the borders of our land. The region of Ajarani is the point of entry for invaders, problems and diseases. They continue cutting down our forest to increase their lands and fatten their cattle, and they bring in illegal fishermen.”

According to João Catalano, coordinator of FUNAI’s ‘Yanomami Protection Front’, “The challenge now is to promote the self-sustainability of the community” in a region where much forest has been destroyed and degraded by cattle pasture.

Last month, Yanomami shaman and spokesman Davi Kopenawa made a unique visit to the USA and told the American people that, “We must fight together to save the Earth.”

Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10276
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Land at last for Indians evicted by fraudster


© H Roedel’s Facebook page
Convicted fraudster Heribert Roedel bought up ancestral Enxet territory in Paraguay – and then evicted the Indians.


Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes has today signed an historic bill for the expropriation of 14,400 hectares of land on behalf of a group of Enxet Indians of northern Paraguay.

The Enxet community of Sawhoyamaxa has been living in squalid conditions on the side of a highway for two decades after their land was bought by German conman Heribert Roedel, owner of cattle company Liebig.

Roedel made his fortune after conning members of the public in Germany, who believed they were investing in land purchases in Paraguay.

With the funds he defrauded from German investors, Roedel himself bought large areas of land in the Paraguayan Chaco, and evicted the Enxet Indians who had been living there since time immemorial.

The Enxet have been claiming title to their ancestral territory since 1991. At least 19 members of the community died while they waited. Survival International repeatedly lobbied the Paraguayan government for the Enxet to be allowed to return.

With the help of local organization Tierraviva, the Enxet took their case to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in 2001.

The Court found the Paraguayan government guilty of violating the Enxet’s right to their land in 2006, and ordered that 14,400 hectares of it be returned to the Sawhoyamaxa community within three years.

Eight years later, in June 2014, 150 Enxet Indians arrived in Paraguay’s capital Asunción to demand the government sign a bill that would legally enforce the Inter-American Court’s ruling.

Today their wait is over. 


Enxet leader Leonardo González told journalists, We have recovered our Mother Earth. Without her, we could not exist, we could not be free, we could not walk, we could not be happy.”

Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10283

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Hundreds of thousands of travelers urged to boycott Botswana



An advertising campaign to highlight the persecution of Botswana's Bushmen has reached hundreds of thousands of travelers.

© Survival International


A worldwide advertising campaign calling for a boycott of tourism to Botswana, launched by Survival International – the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights – has reached hundreds of thousands of travelers.

The ad has been published in international travel and lifestyle magazines including Wired, Escapism, Departures and Centurion magazines in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Japan, and the U.K.

The ad, titled “Discover…the hidden secrets of Botswana” exposes the Botswana government’s intention to drive the last hunting Bushmen off their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, while promoting the reserve as a tourist destination.

Botswana’s Tourism Organization uses images of hunting Bushmen in their efforts to attract tourists to the country, while the Bushmen are literally starved off their land by not being allowed to hunt for subsistence, and harassed, arrested and beaten by wildlife scouts if they do.

The ad reads, “The government use glossy and contrived images of Bushmen to attract tourists – but they are using violence, torture and intimidation to deport the Bushmen from their ancestral lands in the country’s largest game reserve… This could mean the end for the last hunting Bushmen in Africa.”

Botswana’s President Ian Khama sits on the board of U.S. organization Conservation International and has been widely praised for his conservation work.
But a diamond mine is operating in the Bushman’s reserve, and the government has issued permits for diamond and fracking exploration.
  >:(

The Botswana Tourism Organization uses images like this one of the Bushmen hunting, while in reality they are banned from hunting and arrested if they do.

© Botswana Tourism/www.botswanatourism.co.bw

Over 8,000 people have so far pledged not to visit Botswana until the Bushmen are allowed to live on their land in peace, including celebrities Gillian Anderson, Sir Quentin Blake, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Okonedo, and Mark Rylance.

Survival supporters have protested at travel fairs in New York, London, Berlin, Madrid, and Milan and several tourism companies have also joined the boycott.

Bushman Jumanda Gakelebone recently visited the U.K. to call on the support of Prince Charles. In a letter delivered to the Prince, the Bushmen said, “We have survived alongside the animals of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve since the beginning of time. We know how to look after them and we hunt them for our survival, not for entertainment like many tourists from your country do.”

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “The Botswana conservation industry promotes tours to supposedly protected zones. The Bushmen there are persecuted. Anyone thinking of going on safari should ask themselves whether they really want to play a part in the destruction of the last hunting Bushmen of Africa.”
  >:(

Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10280
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Peru’s largest mass grave reveals hundreds of murdered Asháninka Indians



Bones and Asháninka Indian robes have been uncovered in several mass graves in Peru.

© Luis Vilcaromero, Ministerio Público Perú/AP


The largest mass grave in Peru has been uncovered by a team of government investigators, in the ancestral land of Asháninka Indians in the jungle in central Peru.

The grave contains the remains of around 800 people, the majority believed to be Asháninka and Matsigenka Indians.

The Indians were decimated in a violent conflict between Maoist guerrillas known as ‘The Shining Path’, and counter-insurgency forces in the 1980s.

Around 70,000 people are estimated to have died or disappeared during the insurgency.
 Bodies from several other mass graves in Asháninka territory are currently being exhumed.

The Asháninka have survived centuries of intense conflict since their land was first invaded by the Spanish in the 16th century.

In 1742, the Indians successfully defeated the Spanish, in a revolt which closed off a large part of the Amazon for a century.

Today, their land is under threat from oil and gas projects, hydroelectric dams, drug trafficking and deforestation.

A few small groups of Shining Path rebels remain active, mostly confined to the Ene and Apurimac rivers (which form part of the Asháninka’s homeland).

Asháninka leader Ruth Buendía was this year presented with the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her work against the Pakitzapango Dam.

The dam was one of six hydroelectric projects planned under an energy agreement between Brazil and Peru, and would have forced thousands of Asháninka from their homes.

In 2011, Buendía and her organization CARE succeeded in getting the dam suspended through legal action.

See Survival’s picture gallery of the Asháninka tribe here.

Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10302
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"Violent attacks" caused uncontacted Indians to emerge


21 July 2014



Seven uncontacted Indians made contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border in June. Authorities have treated them after an outbreak of flu.

© FUNAI

Highly vulnerable uncontacted Indians who recently emerged in the Brazil-Peru border region have said that they were fleeing violent attacks in Peru.

FUNAI, Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department, has announced that the group of uncontacted Indians has returned once more to their forest home. Seven Indians made peaceful contact with a settled indigenous Ashaninka community near the Envira River in the western Acre state, Brazil, three weeks ago.

A government health team was dispatched and has treated seven Indians for flu. FUNAI has announced it will reopen a monitoring post on the Envira River which it closed in 2011 when it was overrun by drug traffickers.

The emerging news has been condemned as “extremely worrying” by Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, as epidemics of flu, to which uncontacted Indians lack immunity, have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

Brazilian experts believe that the Indians, who belong to the Panoan linguistic group, crossed over the border from Peru into Brazil due to pressures from illegal loggers and drug traffickers on their land.



Uncontacted Indians face pressures on their land due to illegal logging, drug trafficking and oil and gas exploration (picture taken in 2010).

© Gleison Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an Indian from Acre state, said, “This news proves that my uncontacted relatives are threatened by violence and infectious diseases. We already know what can happen if the authorities don’t take action to protect them, they will simply disappear. They need time and space to decide when they want to make contact and their choices must be respected. They are heroes!”

Uncontacted Indians in Peru suffer multiple threats to their survival as the government has carved up 70 percent of the Amazon rainforest for oil and gas exploration, including the lands of uncontacted tribes.

Plans to expand the notorious Camisea gas project, located in the heart of the Nahua-Nanti reserve for uncontacted Indians, recently received the government’s go-ahead, and Canadian-Colombian oil giant Pacific Rubiales is carrying out exploration on land inhabited by the Matsés tribe and their uncontacted neighbors.

Both projects will bring hundreds of oil and gas workers into the lands of uncontacted tribes, introducing the risk of deadly diseases and violent encounters, and scaring away the animals the Indians hunt for their survival.

Survival has launched an urgent petition to the Brazilian and Peruvian governments to protect the land of uncontacted Indians, and called on the authorities to honor their commitments of cross-border cooperation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “This news could hardly be more worrying – not only have these people confirmed they suffered violent attacks from outsiders in Peru, but they have apparently already caught flu. The nightmare scenario is that they return to their former villages carrying flu with them. It’s a real test of Brazil’s ability to protect these vulnerable groups. Unless a proper and sustained medical program is immediately put in place, the result could be a humanitarian catastrophe.”


http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10361
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AGelbert

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Brazil: Gunmen threaten to assassinate leading Amazon shaman

Yanomami shaman and spokesperson Davi Kopenawa, who has led the struggle for the protection of their land, has received a series of death threats by armed men.
© Fiona Watson/Survival

Davi Kopenawa, shaman and internationally renowned spokesman for the Yanomami tribe in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, has demanded urgent police protection following a series of death threats by armed thugs reportedly hired by goldminers operating illegally on Yanomami land.

In June 2014, armed men on motorbikes raided the Boa Vista office of Brazilian organization ISA, which works closely with the Yanomami, asking for Davi. The men threatened ISA’s staff with guns and stole computers and other equipment. After the assault, one of the men was arrested and reported that he had been hired by goldminers.

In May, Yanomami Association Hutukara – headed by Davi – received a message from goldminers that Davi would not be alive by the end of the year.

Davi said, “They want to kill me. I don’t do what the white people do, who go after someone to kill them. I don’t get in the way of their work. But they are getting in the way of our work and our fight. I’ll continue to fight and to work for my people. Because defending the Yanomami people and their land is my work.”
Since the attack, a climate of fear has surrounded the offices of Hutukara and ISA, as men on motorbikes intimidate the staff and repeatedly ask for Davi’s whereabouts.


Illegal goldminers    >:( operating on Yanomami land pollute the environment on which the Yanomami depend for their survival.    

© Colin Jones/Survival

In collaboration with Hutukara, Brazil’s government launched a major operation to evict hundreds of illegal miners and to destroy mining infrastructure in February 2014.

Davi, who has been called the “Dalai Lama of the Rainforest”, has been at the forefront of the struggle for the protection of Yanomami land for over 30 years. Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, supported the Yanomami’s successful fight for the demarcation of the Yanomami territory in Brazil, after an invasion of thousands of illegal goldminers in the 1980s decimated the tribe.

Davi has traveled abroad on many occasions to raise awareness of the urgent need to protect the Amazon rainforest from destruction. He has spoken at the United Nations and received the Global 500 award, among others, for his contribution to the battle of environmental preservation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “The rule of law means nothing on the Amazon frontier, which is as wild and violent as the American West used to be. Anyone standing in the way of this aggressive colonization risks being killed in cold blood. These are not empty threats – indigenous activists are frequently assassinated for resisting the destruction of their land. Davi Yanomami’s life is in danger. Those behind the threats and this latest attack must be brought to justice – the authorities need to act now to prevent the murder of another innocent man.”

Notes to editors:
- Brazilian NGO CIMI reported in July 2014 that over 600 indigenous people have been assassinated in Brazil over the last 11 years, and Global Witness reported that nearly half of all assassinations of environmental defenders in 36 countries recorded between 2002-2013 occurred in Brazil.

- Download Hutukara’s statement (pdf, 98KB, Portuguese)

- Contact Survival for pictures and video material of Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, who visited Survival’s San Francisco office in April 2014.

- Davi is scheduled to speak about his new book “The Falling Sky” at a Literary Festival in Brazil on Friday, and in London in September 2014. Please get in touch for interview requests in London.

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10367
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AGelbert

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See a Cocoa Bean Farmer Try His First Bite of Chocolate

by Kevin Mathews


Even if you resist the temptation to eat chocolate every day, it’s probably rare for you to go more than a week without consuming some of that sweet goodness, right? We take chocolate for granted as a common dessert in America, but it turns out that in other parts of the world, many aren’t even familiar with chocolate. Specifically, that includes the Ivory Coast, a West African country responsible for producing a full third of the world’s cocoa beans.

How is it that the people most responsible for chocolate haven’t tried chocolate before? Fascinated by this bizarre scenario, Selay Kouassi, an international journalist, visited cocoa bean farmers in the Ivory Coast to give them their first bite of chocolate. The video shows that touching moment:

https://www.youtube.com/w...p;feature=player_embedded

The first man Kouassi meets with, N’Da Alphonse, admits that he doesn’t know why people pay him for this crop in the first place. “Frankly, I do not know what one makes from cocoa beans. I’m just trying to earn a living with growing cocoa.” Upon discovering the sweet taste for the first time, he declares, “I did not know that cocoa was so yummy.” Considering that cocoa beans are bitter until blended with butter and sugar, Alphonse’s reaction is understandable.

Afterwards, Alphonse takes Kouassi to meet fellow farmers who are also unaware of what happens to the beans they harvest. One of the growers is under the mistaken impression that cocoa beans are primarily cultivated to make wine. “We complain because growing cocoa is hard work,” said one farmer upon trying chocolate for the first time. “Now we enjoy the result. What a privilege to taste it.”

Not having tasted chocolate is possibly the least of these exploited workers’ worries. The cocoa bean industry is flooded with claims of human trafficking and child slave labor.

In truth, there is a limited amount of chocolate available in parts of the Ivory Coast, but it retails for an unattainable $2.69. Considering that Alphonse makes just $9.40 per day and uses it to support 19 people, chocolate is a luxury that he could never realistically afford.

The video serves as a good reminder of the privileges American society has access to that people in other parts of the world can’t even comprehend – despite being a part of the labor force that creates these products. Can you imagine working day in and day out to produce something that you don’t even understand? ???  Americans typically at least have a sense of what the end goal is at their jobs, but these cocoa bean farmers aren’t even in a position to ask what people in other parts of the world do with their products.  >:(

Cocoa bean workers aren’t alone in being clueless toward the end result of their labor. CNN has a video of an anonymous teenage Foxconn employee who spends extended hours each day constructing screens for iPads but had never seen the finished product before. After trying it out, she said she liked the gadget and hoped she could afford one one day — something that wouldn’t be possible on her current sweatshop wages.  :(

Read more: http://www.care2.com/caus...colate.html#ixzz39TM5bAC5
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AGelbert

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'Stand Your Ground' Laws Linked to Rise in Homicides, Extreme Racial Bias: Study
Published on
Thursday, August 14, 2014
by Common Dreams
Task force co-chair: "][T]he more you look at them, the more problems you find."
by
Nadia Prupis, staff writer
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AGelbert

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The Imprisoning of MOSTLY minorities for NON-violent drug offenses for Corporate Profit (PIC- Prison Industrial Complex)

It was planned. It's not a "conspiracy'" theory. The plan was hatched in the Reagan Administration (although the ideology is as old as Jim Crow, this new plan had a neo-con fascist profit scam 'spin') to obtain some very specific objectives:

1) Provide a publicly funded profit stream (Prison Industrial Complex).

2) Keep minorities, especially blacks, from better job opportunities due to tainted 'history' (arrest and prison record) while claiming it's "their own fault" when it is the direct consequence of police frequent stops and harassment from preteen school age on.

3) Set up a channel from the Pentagon to the police disguised as "war on drugs" that we-the-people pay for to increasingly militarize and alienate the police from the public while using code speech to convince the white population it is just happening in 'bad' neighborhoods (the old "good German" trick!) until it is too late for the poor and middle class to avoid a police state that protects the rich and is FUNDED by the poor and middle class. SUCH A DEAL! 

Most average Americans do not want to go there but THIS WAS PLANNED!

White Americans' Support for Prison-Industrial Complex Grows With Knowledge That It's Harder on Blacks

Elizabeth Nolan Brown  Aug. 7, 2014 12:15 pm

One of the rallying cries of the criminal justice reform crowd, including us here at Reason, is that American policing policies disproportionately harm blacks and other minorities. These days even mainstream politicians like Rand Paul have been sounding this alarm—he recently told a Rotary Club crowd in Shelbyville, Kentucky, that "the war on drugs has had a disproportionate racial outcome." The ostensible purpose of pointing to these disparities is to showcase how unfair and subjective our law enforcement can be. But according to a new study published in Psychological Science, this may not be what the average white person takes away.

Being made aware of the racial composition of America's prisons actually bolsters white Americans' support for intrusive policing and harsh sentencing policies, according to Stanford University researchers Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt.

In one of their experiments, 62 white Californians watched a video showing mug shots of male prison inmates. Some saw a video in which only a quarter of the men were black; in another video, 45 percent were. Afterward, participants were given the opportunity to sign a real petition to amend California's severe three-strike sentencing statute, which currently mandates 25-years to life in prison upon a third felony offense with no exceptions.

The results: More than half of participants who saw the video with less black men signed the petition. But only 27 percent of those who saw the video with more black inmates signed.

In a second experiment, 164 white New Yorkers were given statistics about prison populations. Some heard about how blacks—who make up 12 percent of the U.S. population total—account for 40 percent of those in American prisons, with white Americans accounting for 32 percent. Others heard the New York City incarceration stats, where blacks make up 60 percent of those incarcerated and whites just under 12 percent.

Participants were then asked if they wanted to sign a petition to end  New York City's stop-and-frisk policy. About a third (33 percent) of participants who heard the national statistic were willing to sign the petition, while only 12 percent of those who heard the New York City stat would do so. The second group was more likely to say concern over crime made them hesitant to support ending stop-and-frisk policies.

"Many legal advocates and social activists seem to assume that bombarding the public with images, statistics, and other evidence of racial disparities will motivate people to join the cause and fight inequality," said Hetey. "But we found that, ironically, exposure to extreme racial disparities may make the public less, and not more, responsive to attempts to lessen the severity of policies that help maintain those disparities."

A good reminder to heed the work of British sociologist Stuart Hall and similar communication scholars: Never assume your audience will take away what you intend for them to take away. Between the producing ("encoding" in Hall-speak) and the receiving ("decoding") of a message, there's a lot of space for conscious or unconscious fears and prejudices to meander in.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown is a staff editor at Reason.com.


http://reason.com/blog/2014/08/07/othering-the-prison-population

White Americans are BEING SUCKERED into being the MILK COW by having their PREJUDICE AGAINST MINORITIES used against them by the corporatocracy! It's also what the astroturf Tea Party IS ALL ABOUT!


Quote
A significant influx of women prisoners were reported in the 1980s and 1990s. It is argued that this was due to three related factors: 1) The change in the role of the state due to neo-liberalization 2) The PIC is made up of an interweaving of penal institutions, profit-driven companies, and politicians 3) The war on drugs. These factors lead to the “super exploitation” of black men AND women. That is to say, black men and women provide the industry with a means to grow. The prison industrial complex is seen as mechanism of rehabilitation; however, it has also been viewed as a means of repression. Racism and poverty largely determines who is repressed. Placing these people behind bars (many of which are non-violent offenders) means that there will be more jobs available in certain regions and huge gains for private companies invested in the PIC. It seems that the role of race and gender within the PIC is intimately linked with an economically driven and politically charged system.

http://prezi.com/ohrpvkofqne7/prison-industrial-complex/


Here's the book that explains, with references, laws, rigged plea bargain (minorities=prison whites=optional prison and clean record tool for the D.A. - Federal versus State applied selectively to shaft minorities and/or help mostly whites),  regs and Congressional ducks lined up for this cruel gravy train that goosed the police militarization STEP by STEP.

Capitalist Punishment

Christian Parenti (Contributor); Rodney Neufeld (Editor); Alison Campbell (Editor); Andrew Coyle (Editor);Elizabeth Alexander (Author)

Quote

Over 100,000 people in the U.S. are incarcerated in prisons owned and operated by private corporations--a booming business. But how are the human rights of prisoners and prison employees affected when prisons are run for profit? This anthology of leading experts examines the historical, political and economic context of private prisons, and how privatization is connected to the war on drugs, the criminalization of poverty and 'tough on crime' politics. It offers a glimpse into the transnational spread of privatized incarceration, creating important links between neo-liberal policies locally and their effects globally.

Your local library has this book. Read it and any other writings from Elizabeth Alexander    . This lady lawyer crosses ALL the "T"s and dots ALL the "I"s. It was PLANNED as a TWO-FER - make MONEY from the white suckers by scaring the **** out of them that there is a 'war' on drugs and the blackies and brownies can be 'taken care of' by winken, blinken and nod police that's just helping keep the streets safe for white America (while they turn the USA into a police state for EVERYBODY that isn't in the elite).

And the 1% laugh all the way to the bank!   
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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