Thursday, June 28, 2007

Photos: Marie DeBanville, Bruno Garcin-Gasser

Marianne Pearl is Black

The American media machine cannot digest Black life, and can only package its semblance of real life in white-face. Apparently, white people cannot stare "Others" in the face, and must tell stories that have their own made-up existence featured. - Black Agenda Report

How hard is it to understand? The woman in the photo and her mother are obviously people of African ancestry, yet Hollywood is having none of it. Marianne Pearl has been white washed, with her full permission. I for one don't care that she doesn't have the confidence or the consciousness to speak up for African people. She doesn't have the right to tell the rest of us that yet another removal from the pages of history is in any way permissible.

It is truly shameful that so many white people cannot bear to see a picture that doesn't have themselves at the center. Even the left succumb to the assumption that only whiteness is normative. David Corn dismisses the casting complaint out of hand.

The recent blog-driven fuss kicked up by the movie A Mighty Heart -- whether casting pale-skinned Angelina Jolie as darker-skinned Afro-Cuban-Dutch Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered journalist Danny Pearl, was an act of racist dimensions -- seems irrelevant when you consider an important piece of evidence: the movie itself.

The casting outrage is irrelevant? It certainly isn't to the people who are told to keep quiet when their very likeness is erased. In this case Pearl's nationality is the excuse for putting Angelina Jolie in blackface. Sorry, race is the issue, not being Cuban and Dutch and born in France. Pearl should not be portrayed by a white person for the simple reason that she is not white. How hard is that to understand?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Juneteenth

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
Major General Gordon Granger, June 19, 1865, Galveston, TX

If you benefitted from the free labor of enslaved people, and you found out they were free, would you say something or would you keep them in chains? Well, slave owners in Texas and other states said nothing. Surprising? Hell no!

In June of 1865, 4 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and 2 months after the confederacy was defeated, enslaved Texans found out they were no longer enslaved. It is a date well worth celebrating.

Happy Juneteenth!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mitt Romney and the Jerusalem Post

First the good news. The Jerusalem Post won't do anymore political ads for Rudy. The bad news is that Giuliani isn't alone. Mitt Romney got the same treatment from the right wing Israeli paper. Read here and scroll down to the comments section.

In their respective fund raising screeds Giuliani took Democrats to task for being insufficiently easy on terrorists. Romney said we don't need the U.N.

The silence continues. There have been no mentions of this ought to be scandal in the press and there has been silence from Democrats. Is there an Israeli lobby? They certainly think so. My guess is that they are right.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jerusalem Post Raises Money For Rudy Giuliani

You read that correctly. The right wing Jerusalem Post is sending out a fund raising email on behalf of Giuliani.

Hmmm. A foreign newspaper raises money on behalf of an American presidential candidate? Where is the outrage? Of course, none will be expressed. The Norman Finkelstein lesson has been learned. The tenure denial was akin to cutting off his head and sticking it on a pole.

Why is this email a big deal? Well, for starters, foreigners are not supposed to make contributions to American political campaigns. The fund raising letter doesn't bother to raise that point. Also, corporations are not supposed to make contributions to American political campaigns, even in kind donations like sending an email. The Democrats won't complain because they all feed from the same AIPAC trough. You will be able to hear a pin drop.

On the other hand, what does the Jerusalem post have to fear? Israeli "art students" end up at the FBI and DEA, Israeli "movers" celebrate as they take photographs of the burning twin towers and Congress said and did nothing.

So I take it all back. The Jerusalem Post should do whatever the hell it wants. They can get away with anything.

Sorry. I forgot myself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Norman Finkelstein Denied Tenure

The fix was in long ago but still I hoped. I meditated good positive vibrations and sent them in the direction of Chicago. It didn't matter. Alan Dershowitz put critics of Israel and its lobby on notice. You will never work in any town again.

Norman Finkelstein is, for now, an assistant professor in the political science department at DePaul University. He is the author of one of my favorite books, The Holocaust Industry. As anyone can tell from the title, his insistence on honest scholarship made many enemies. Dershowitz was just the most persistent. He threatened to label DePaul anti-Semitic. He threatened to label all Catholics anti-Semitic. He won.

Academic freedom was the big loser. Actually, if the ADL and Dershowitz are happy, then the entire nation loses.

DePaul president Dennis Holtschneider ought to be ashamed of himself. It would be interesting to know how many faculty are personally denied tenure by the president after the members of their department gave the green light. I will go out on a limb and say the Finkelstein case is unique in that regard.

God bless Finkelstein. If you want to send your regards email him at normangf at


Finkelstein was interviewed on Chicago Public Radio today. Listen up.