“This is why money isn’t speech. Freedom of speech as a functional element in democratic life assumes that such freedom can be meaningfully deployed. But the unleashing of yet more money into politics allows a very limited class of people to drown out the money “speech” of everyone else—but especially those with a deep, overwhelmingly well documented history of being denied voice and presence in American political life.”—Thomas Levenson on applying the history of white supremacy in America to the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision. via theatlantic (via beyondxy)
The letters were handed out by a militant pro Russia group that has taken over government buildings and institutions in that city. It doesn't affect all of the Ukraine but it is still very real and very dangerous.
It is very real and very dangerous. It is also very delicate and complicated. So I find the short-sighted, uninformed, reactionary opinions of people who have just recently become interested in this problem irritating, unhelpful, uninformative, and inflammatory.
With regard to the letters, we do not know that they were handed out by a “militant pro Russia group that has taken over government buildings and institutions.” Here’s a quote from the wonderful Washington Post article I posted concerning this:
On Tuesday, the well-regarded Web site Novosti.dn.ua reported on the leaflets, writing that they were handed out by three unidentified men carrying the flag of the Russian Federation. The site also reported that there was speculation that the men were trying to provoke a conflict and then blame the conflict on pro-Russia separatists.
This would imply that anti-Russian Ukrainians were staging as Russians and/or pro-Russian Ukrainians to incite conflict. But!
According to the Times of Israel, [chairman of Donetsk’s temporary government Denis] Pushilin has denied involvement with the letter, though YNetNews reports that he has admitted that his men may have handed out the letter.
So we have no idea who handed this stuff out. With regard to how serious this instigation is:
Our reporters in Donetsk have spoken to members of the Jewish community, who say that while the letters do appear to have been handed out, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
No doubt the Jewish community is experiencing very real problems, but throwing out half-baked comparisons to the prelude of WWII and crying ‘Holocaust’ is at best an emotional exaggeration and at worst complete and utter misinformation.
Furthermore, there is simply a problem with xenophobia generally within Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Many other groups such as LGBTs, Roma, Crimean Tatars, and other ethnic minorities are discriminated against on a daily basis. The rhetoric permitted in the public sphere would frankly shock you. (Note: that link is Russian, not Ukrainian, and yes, the translation is accurate.)
Ultimately, we do not know nearly as much about this isolated incident as the internet and many news outlets would have us believe. This is probably just political maneuver meant to incite precisely this kind of outrage to fuel the flames of conflict. It is also a symptom of a much larger problem for all minorities within Ukraine, not just the Jewish community. Please, please do research before reacting strongly to something so blatantly incendiary.
“The violin is a pain in the ass. It makes my heart beat as well, cos you know, everyone who plays the violin, does to the standard I’m supposed to. Sherlock has learnt from the age of four and has bled over that instrument and I faking it, it feels horrible……playing a classical instrument is just such a heinous thing for me, it really really upsets me because the fingering is out, the bow is out, the position is not right, the timing’s not right and that’s what I have to do, I have to just mime it obviously. But there’s also just a bit of sound I make, you can’t hear it but I can hear it and it tortures me. There are those beautiful happy moments where I’m supposed to be serenading my best friend and his wife and it’s like, “Way to ruin that one Ben.” But the music they write for it, is gorgeous and it works and when you get it right, it really works.”—Benedict Cumberbatch on playing the violin for Sherlock, Oz Comic Con Experience Panel. (via miss-dramateen)
Obamacare. Who gives a flying crap about that? There are Jews in Ukraine being told to identify themselves, register themselves, or face consequences.
He barely made a mention of it and even said that he doesn’t hold out much hope they’ll comply with their “request” to back off. Request? You…
Or you could focus on the country you are president of and not police the world using American lives and dollars.
Or you could just remember that we are all human and we have a duty and responsibility to each other to prevent evil like the Holocuast from happening again.
Don’t be naive. You may think that be leaving others alone we’d be left alone.
When they’ve taken care of everyone else, they’ll come for us and nobody will be there to help us.
Calling people naive because they think we shouldn’t stick our nose in foreign affairs. Good idea let’s get approval from the UN to go invade a foreign land and kill a bunch of bad guys to preserve our safety -__- Sounds a little counterintuitive
I say it’s naive because this has happened before. We (most of the west) back in the WWII era thought the same thing when it first happened. Where did that leave us?
6 Million Jews dead, 6 Million homosexuals, gypsies, and other “Undesirables” dead. At least 12 Million people were killed, gassed, tortured, beaten, experimented on by Nazi forces in the WWII era.
This is about doing what is right.
And I’m sorry, if it means bloodying our nose up a bit, then that’s what it takes. That’s what I believe and I am not ashamed of it.
I detest war. But I do not believe in backing down when the right thing to do is fight for the protection of human lives.
I agree with you also, my grandma was a holocaust survivor and my grandpa was a German jew who escaped to the US to fight and die in Vietnam.
Saying that I know that as Americans we must step in. But also we live in a different era now. Information is very abundant, and I don’t think something like that would fly under the radar.
This is a very tedious time, with things in Iran on the tipping point, Russia on the verge of being overthrown we could very easily spark a War that we are not prepared for. Just as we can’t sit here and expect to be left alone we can’t walk around bumping shoulders not expecting a fight.
I agree. It could spark a War that no one wants or is prepared for (though I don’t think anyone is prepared for a war).
I do firmly believe that there is a time to fight and time to retreat. I’m on the side of fight….or at the very least, making it clear that’ll be a possibility if they don’t back down.
also, the obama administration has some of the best people on the ukraine issue, i absolutely guarantee it. and i’m pretty sure they’ve thought of all this shit. there’s this probably called escalation of nuclear war. along with a shitload of other repercussions for causing any sort of escalation. its complicated. it’s not about being ‘tough.’
also, Hitler is not Putin and this will NOT be a second Holocaust. calling everything a potential for the next world war or holocaust seriously erodes the significance of both tragedies.
Broaching the topic of “White Privilege” is not synonymous with “All white people are evil and, I hate them all.” Chill out.
Want to watch a white person rush away from a dinner party? Just bust out phrases like “institutionalized racism,” “white supremacy,” and the oldie but goodie “residual effects of slavery that are still with us today,” and watch a room of white people clear itself out, or, at least, have them stammer out the names of all the black people they are friends with, and then offer another unsolicited list off all the good they’ve done for people of color.
When I talk about systemic racism and historical racial inequalities as it ties into white privilege and modern-day racism, I think I must sound like this to white people: “Hey Whitey! I am going to kill you.” I know this is a lot to ask of white people, but could you please STOP FLIPPING OUT when the topic of white privilege comes up? I’m talking about being defensive, blabbing about how there is no such thing as race (just one human race, which is actually made up of different races), and how you are so gifted as a white person that you “don’t see race.” Ooh, that last one, ouch.
That’s why we need to have this conversation — because the inability to “see” racism and privilege is exactly what white privilege is. Talking about race is not a trap. It’s not a game of “Gotcha with your Klan Hood Down.” Talking about white privilege is not about asking white people to leave their race. Nor is it about declaring genocide on the white race. (Besides, looks like we’re already going to outnumber you by 2050, so you might as well sit back, relax and enjoy being Wong-splained.)
Talking about white privilege is not even about trying to make you feel like shit for being white. Surprising, I know. But the conversation on white privilege concerns you and yet is not about YOU. And when you make it about how you feel personally attacked, we really don’t progress further into talking about how we’re going to fix racism. Really.
If you are a white person who gets nervous when white privilege gets brought up, imagine having to navigating racism in every day life as a person of color who must live with it. Imagine systemically being locked out of better education or healthcare, job opportunities or the mainstream American narrative.
There are moments as an Asian American when I’ve been regarded as an “honorary white.” (There are also many other moments when I am reminded that I will always be a perpetual foreigner despite the fact that my family has been in the United States for three generations.) But rather than take whatever privilege I can and run with it, I’m interested in talking with people who benefit from white privilege -– how and if they can recognize it and use their positions of privilege to dismantle the systems that oppress other people.
Believe it or not, I’d love for the world to be more equitable for EVERYONE. And when I ask you to recognize your white privilege, it’s not because I’m trying to place blame. It’s about asking white people to consider the moments where they are able to “pass” in certain situations. Where they are afforded privileges that they never earned. It’s about finding ways to cede privilege, space, and comfort to allow others to live in a more equitable world.
So white people, the conversation about race can’t happen without you. We can’t get things better if we aren’t all talking. If racism were an easy problem to fix, we would have fixed it already. Ending racism starts with recognizing privilege, systemic control over society at large, and when you are dismissing issues of racism then you have the privilege of being oblivious to.
Don’t get me wrong there are people of color who proclaim to drink the tears of white people. There are anti-racism activists who will never organize with the most “down” of white people. I don’t want to drink your white tears, but I’d be lying if I said that I don’t enjoy watching you squirm a little.