A Justice Site
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - Archives
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 6, 2005
Latest Update: April 6, 2005
It is James Thurber whom I quote when I mutter "my world and welcome to it," though I'm not sure he said it first. It's one of those quotes like "on the shoulders of giants," about which Robert K.. Merton, one of our classic sociologists, wrote an entire book playfully trying to trace the origin and development of that phrase. I adopted my world and welcome to it as my own when I pulled out an important disc I'd copied with a chapter of my writing, only to discover there was nothing on it. Nothing. Not even formatting. Erased, totally. OK, my world and welcome to it.
Armando Garcia suggested last semester that I should write a blog. And as the site changes in spite of every attempt I make to give it a fixed format we can all stick with, it has become increasingly clear that I can't comment on all current events and summarize enough of them to preserve as much theory and analysis as I'd like us to use on transform_dom. So maybe I could just keep you up to date this way, with a blog, and add theory and analysis as lectures when I feel the desperate need to. I did try it before, as you'll notice on the link just above. But I never really got it tied tightly into the format. I guess that's what retirement is for. So I'll try now.
Today, Michael Griffin jumped into a discussion comparing the music of the '60s and ''70s with rap and hip hop. My response to reading his comments was that that's almost like comparing the religion of the '60s and '70s to the religion of this new century. We spoke then of peace, love, and social justice, and offered each other flowers, though there were a fair number of cigarettes and drugs that went along with those flowers. Oh, and free love. It was free then in the sense that we had not yet learned of AIDS and medical science had brought syphillis under control (not always ethically, if we think back to those prisoners who were treated as guinea pigs).
Now's the time for those of you who have inherited hip hop and rap to bring us oldsters up to date on this newer music. Jacqueline started on this by telling us of her eighteen-year-old's involvement with Gospel rap. I hope she'll carry on with more on that.
In the New York Times today, I wanted to just share the whole thing with you. Front page: Tom DeLay's wife and daughter paid more than half a million dollars by DeLay's "political action and campaign committees"???? This isn't even greed anymore. It's like the whole world seems to have forgotten about the social justice issues Michael reminds us of from the '60s and'70s. Sure, there seem to be a "flurry of ethics charges," but somehow it all seems to have gotten out of hand. We're talking about a leader who is aligned with the Christian right, for goodness' sakes. Somebody explain it to me. I'm having trouble with it. (Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader By Philip Shenon. Backup
Alongside that page one column is a grpahic depiction of the destruction in Banda Aceh that has yet to be touched by the aid so selflessly sought to this day on my television set by former Presidents Bush and Clinton. They're still telling me how much my help is needed. And Banda Aceh is crying out "So where is that which was pledged." Social Justice, 2005 version. Don't misunderstand. We weren't much better, our generation wasn't, in getting aid to those we'd devastated in Vietnam. But in all these years, shouldn't we have gotten a little better at this? Where's Pat Robertson now, urging us to get the supplies and medicines and tools to them that they need to rebuild? And whose watching the wolves in the hen house who are saying the indigenous people may not come back, for their beach land is to be developed by their "governmental representatives." Peace be unto democracy in this world, hmm? (In Tsunami Area, Relief Is Very Slow in Coming By Seth Mydans. Backup.
Do you reckon it's a crime to collect all that money in all those pious voices, (lie ex-Presients), and then, somehow, the money never gets to the people it was intended for? Who would define the crime? Who would enforce it? (Quinney, "crime is socially defined.") Does this remind us of 9/11? Was that a crime, the money that didn't get to the people it was intended for? Why would it be a crime in Banda Aceh if it's not in New York? Do you suppose maybe that's just because we have upstanding citizens in New York that would have to be accountable for diverting the money that didn't get there, while in Banda Aceh, they're, well, they're different? Anyone recall our discussions of racism and genetic leansing and exploitation and colonialism? Thank God I live in a Christian country that would do no wrong.
I'm gonna add just one more piece: Kristof's The Pope and Hypocrisy in the New York Times on Wednesday, April 6, 2005. Backup. It's title just says in so many words what I tried to say in my previous paragraph. Maybe Kristof says it better: "If there is a lesson from the papacy of John Paul II, it is the power of moral force. The pope didn't command troops, but he deployed principles. And it's hypocritical of us to pretend to honor him by lowering our flags while simultaneously displaying an amoral indifference to genocide." How can we honor the Pope and Christianity and be complicit in genocide, all at the same time????