Friday, March 19, 2010

Radical Right Update

The radical right is seething at the moment as they try to run against the tides of an increasingly different political landscape. The anger seething amongst many on the right stems from an increasingly different racial makeup, the state of the economy (loss of jobs, bailout of bankers and elites), and the passing of many liberal policies that have been termed as “socialist” by many conservative pundits. According the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) the number of hate groups has ballooned with the number of hate groups rising by an estimated 54% between 2000 and 2008, as there has been an increasingly angry backlash against non-white immigrants. As highlighted by the video posted below, many of these people, hiding behind the veil of free speech, are spewing truly insulting remarks towards a wide group of people. In a truly deplorable attempt at comedy one of the klansman says that half the Mexicans coming over “live in mud huts” and that living in a van is like living in the Taj Mahal. Another man interviewed hinted that the gestation period of a Mexican is no more than three months, while also saying that he does not “need black people.” What use is this rhetoric in our national narrative? I do not believe that the maligning of a group of people was an imagined use for the first amendment.

The United States is truly a special country. No other country has been founded by a diverse group of immigrants and risen to prominence on the world stage—the most powerful country in the world to be exact. Many, however, it seems have forgotten the history of this country. If we are to be truly correct, we are all, no matter if you’re Irish, Mexican, Jewish, been here since before your great grandpappy could remember, immigrants. Over 61% of Americans polled believe that the United States is in decline. If this is true, we have no one but ourselves to blame. We focus on everything and anything that divides us, and can never come together in beneficial ways. I believe that the reason that progressive initiatives such as healthcare have failed is truly a racial question. It is much harder for people to help others that are different from themselves, be it a racial, religious, or socio-economic difference.

I’m sorry if this post seems like nothing more than me rambling, but really I’m tired of this shit. In 2010, are we really acting like this?

Souther Poverty Law Center: Raging on the Right

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gay Marriage Legal in U.S. Capital

Same-sex marriage was legalized in our nations capital to the displeasure of many. Washington, D.C. became the sixth place in our nation (the other being the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire) to legalize same-sex unions. Although the law was signed by D.C. mayor Adrian M. Fenty in December, it had to undergo congressional review, which ended Tuesday. With great anticipation dozens of same-sex couples waited outside the City Courthouse to receive their marriage license as many shed tears of joy at finally being recognized as a couple.

Although this is a time of celebration for many couples in Washington, I still find it rather upsetting that same-sex marriage is still an issue on our nation's agenda. The idea that the civil rights of a minority would still be openly trampled upon is ludicrous and disgraceful. The United States champions itself as a haven for the oppressed and the disenfranchised, and yet the voices of many go ignored. This is not an issue of personal opinion on homosexuality, but a question of civil rights. The government does not have the right to deny any civil benefits to anyone because of race, religion, gender, or sexual preference, and that's final.

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National Day of Action to Defend Education

On October 24th students, teachers, workers and community members in the California Statewide Mobilizing Conference called for a National Day of Action to Defend Education on March 4, 2010 to respond to the tuition hikes, budget cuts, school closings and other attacks on education. More information available here.

JOIN the National Day of Action to Defend Education

Rally on Thursday, March 4th 2010 at 4 PM

March from Governor Paterson's office (3rd Ave & 41st St) to MTA Headquarters (420 Lexington Ave)

Lucha stands in solidarity with the protesters opposing policies and budget cuts that weaken the already disquieting reality of our of our public education system. It has long been considered a fundamental human right to have free access to a quality education in the United States, and the decaying of public education in America and all over the world is an unjust infringement on that right. In an economic climate where governments have been actively cutting social programs,the education system is extremely vulnerable to losing indispensable resources. Action is necessary now.
A free and accessible education is a value that goes back towards the Declaration of Independence, which stated equality was a fundamental principle of the founding of this country. Unfortunately, those tenets of freedom and equality have been reduced to lip service in a country that seems more interested in war, profit, individualism, and greed. For these reasons the protests against budget cuts in education are just and necessary.
In states across America budget cuts have resulted in exorbitant tuition increases, decreased financial aid, and limited course availability in public universities, and to a lesser extent even private universities. K-12 education is arguably even more vulnerable, with teacher lay-offs that only increase class size and more budget cuts that result in fewer services for child care, library access, computer labs, student centers, public transportation for students, and much more. These protesters are speaking out while the media and politicians focus on "more important" matters, who consistently neglect impoverished communities.
Moreover, as students it is our duty to speak out against these attacks on our right to a decent education, and the refusal to speak out ultimately is little better than complicity. We cannot wait for the media and politicians to address education. These brave protesters are taking the lead. Lucha strongly supports these efforts, and we encourage other organizations to do the same.

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