segunda-feira, 27 de abril de 2009

Youth and the Myth of Post-Racial Society
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: "With the election of Barack Obama, it has been argued that not only will the social state be renewed in the spirit and legacy of the New Deal, but that the punishing racial state and its vast complex of disciplinary institutions will, if not come to an end, at least be significantly reformed. From this perspective, Obama's presidency not only represents a post-racial victory, but also signals a new space of post-racial harmony. While 'post-racial' may mean less overt racism, the idea that we have moved into a post-racial period in American history is not merely premature - it is an act of willful denial and ignorance."

quarta-feira, 22 de abril de 2009

Scene from Obama's first official trip to Europe

Here's one interpretation: "Remember they are not supposed to shake hands, but the two brothers couldn't resist the historic moment. The black royal cop never imagined in his wildest dream that he would usher a black American president into the British corridors of power. Nice."

terça-feira, 21 de abril de 2009

A Black President Doesn't Mean Racism Is Gone in America 
Peter Phillips, Truthout: "Racial inequality remains problematic in the US. People of color continue to experience disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, police profiling, repressive incarceration and school segregation. According to a new civil rights report, 'Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge,' by Gary Orfield, schools in the US are currently 44 percent nonwhite, and minorities are rapidly emerging as the majority of public school students. Latinos and blacks are the two largest minority groups. However, black and Latino students attend schools more segregated today than during the civil rights era."

sexta-feira, 17 de abril de 2009

Obama Calls for Thaw in U.S. Relations With Cuba

Pool photo by Marianna Kambon/Summit of the Americas

Obama: "
¿Como estás?"

Published: April 18, 2009
President Obama’s overture to Cuba at a gathering of Western Hemisphere leaders in Trinidad capped a dizzying series of diplomatic developments this week.

Read all about it here

More: At summit, Obama offers partnership, humour

quinta-feira, 16 de abril de 2009

Obama: Latin America on equal footing with U.S.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday embarks on a trip to Latin America, where the leader of the world's lone superpower said he seeks to engage in talks with the region's leaders as equals.

President Obama declines to criticize any Latin American leaders before heading to the region for a summit.

President Obama declines to criticize any Latin American leaders before heading to the region for a summit.

"Times have changed," Obama told CNN en Español on Wednesday.

Referring to his planned meeting in Trinidad and Tobago with Brazil's president, he said, "My relationship with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is one of two leaders who both have big countries, that we are trying to solve problems and create opportunities for our people, and we should be partners.

"There's no senior partner or junior partner."

Obama and Lula da Silva are among the leaders scheduled to attend the Summit of the Americas this week.

Obama lauded Mexican President Felipe Calderon, with whom he will meet Thursday in Mexico City, as having done "an outstanding and heroic job in dealing with what is a big problem right now along the borders with the drug cartels."

Asked if the United States is partly to blame for the violence along the border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "There certainly is a relationship. You can't deny it."

In Mexico City on Thursday, she said, "What we're working to do is to work to stop the flow of guns and cash into Mexico that are helping fuel these cartels, but also we're working at the border to make sure that the spillover violence doesn't occur in our own cities and communities." Video Watch what Napolitano says about the U.S.-Mexico drug link »

Obama vowed Wednesday that the United States can be counted on to help.

"We are going to be dealing not only with drug interdiction coming north but also working on helping to curb the flow of cash and guns going south," he said.

The president also described himself as "a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform," saying he has met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus "to try to shape an agenda that can move through Congress."

Napolitano said the U.S. must ensure it is enforcing immigration laws on employers who "consistently go into that illegal labor market in order to exploit it."

E-verify, an electronic employment eligibility verification system, must be an integral part of immigration enforcement, she said.

Obama is to travel later in the week to the summit in Trinidad and Tobago for meetings with Latin American leaders.

He refused to criticize the leaders of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, who have taken measures to change their constitutions to extend their holds on power.

"I think it's important for the United States not to tell other countries how to structure their democratic practices and what should be contained in their constitutions," he said. "It's up to the people of those countries to make a decision about how they want to structure their affairs."

Obama offered no criticism when asked how he plans to interact with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce U.S. critic who once described President Bush as the "devil." "Look, he's the leader of his country, and he'll be one of many people that I will have an opportunity to meet," Obama said.

He said he believes the United States has a leadership role to play in the region, but he qualified that role this way: "We also recognize that other countries have important contributions and insights."

He added, "We want to listen and learn as well as talk, and that approach, I think, of mutual respect and finding common interests, is one that ultimately will serve everybody."

On Cuba, Obama -- who this week eased restrictions on travel and sending money to the island -- offered a prod and a carrot to Havana.

"What we're looking for is some signal that there are going to be changes in how Cuba operates that assures that political prisoners are released, that people can speak their minds freely, that they can travel, that they can write and attend church and do the things that people throughout the hemisphere can do and take for granted," he said.

"And if there is some sense of movement on those fronts in Cuba, then I think we can see a further thawing of relations and further changes."

Obama sought to distance his administration from his predecessor's, noting he plans to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where "some of the practices of 'enhanced interrogation' techniques, I think, ran counter to American values and American traditions."

He said his team has spoken with the Spanish government about a Spanish judge's call for an investigation into the role of Bush officials in the detention of five Spaniards at Guantanamo.

But he did not dwell on his Bush's legacy. "I'm a strong believer that it is important to look forward and not backward and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there," he said.
Though the U.S. image abroad may have suffered in recent years, Obama said, "There's a reason why there are consistently so many immigrants to our country from Latin America."

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