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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

Haiti: The white curse

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Haiti is a country that has been thrown away, as an eternal punishment of its dignity. There it lies, like scrap metal. It awaits the hands of its people.

Eduardo Galeano, New Internationalist

On the first day of this year, freedom in this world turned 200. But no-one noticed, or almost no-one. A few days later the country where this birth occurred, Haiti, found itself in the media spotlight. Not for the anniversary of universal freedom but because there had been a bloodbath that culminated in the ousting of President Aristide.

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Haiti was the first country to abolish slavery. However, almost all encyclopedias and textbooks attribute this honourable deed to England. It is true that one fine day the empire that had been the champion in the slave trade changed its mind. But abolition in Britain took place in 1807, three years after the Haitian Revolution, and it was so unconvincing that in 1832 Britain had to ban slavery again.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio Accused of Illegally Misspending $80 Million While Conducting Draconian Immigration Round-ups

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Arpaio's office used a shadow system, a separate set of payroll books to get around the law barring the use of taxpayer-supported jail funds for other purposes.

Valeria Fernandez, New America Media

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Photo Credit: publik15

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has found himself at the center of yet another controversy, but this time the issue is not illegal immigration. A county budget report made public Wednesday (October 6) accused his department of misspending as much as $80 million on immigration sweeps, public-corruption probes, and a range of other unauthorized activities and expenditures over the past five years.

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The Board of Supervisors responded by placing Arpaio’s office under new budget restrictions as Maricopa County Board attorney Tom Irvine called the improper expenditures the “biggest misspending of state funds in the history of Arizona.”

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Much of the analysis, by the Office of Management and Budget, centered on the misuse of a tax-based jail-detention fund that was approved by Arizona voters in 1998 for jail expansion, guards’ salaries, and related expenses. Instead, according to the report, Arpaio’s office diverted the funds for such activities as immigration sweeps and public-corruption investigations against the sheriff’s critics.

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Philadelphia Police Video Taped Beating Stirs Storm of Protest

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  • While the video does show that Sabur is resisting arrest, one can argue that any man being arrested unjustly has a moral right to demand his immediate freedom.
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  • I am not sure why standing on the corner is a crime or why an otherwise law-abiding citizen may now end up in prison when he was simply waiting for his food.
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New America Media

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A video showing Philadelphia police officers beating a man for nearly two minutes has taken the internet by storm. The incident is so shocking that the video has received thousands of views and has also sparked an internal investigation by Philadelphia police.

The incident occurred in West Philadelphia and is two and a half minutes long. The officers are accused of attacking 29-year-old Askia Sabur outside a takeout restaurant in the area on Friday. What is also interesting is that most of the officers appearing in the video are African American, reminding us that the power of the state is not just a white and black thing.

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Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act

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  • The DREAM Act was specifically cited in the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan<> to help the military "shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force."
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  • Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!
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  • US eyes more troops for Afghanistan
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The Progress Report, Think Progress

This week (Sep 12-18), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he will move a defense authorization bill next week that includes the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, along with a measure that begins the process of repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy. The DREAM Act is an immigration bill that would put undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. as children on a path to citizenship through completion of higher education or military service.

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While the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to include the DADT measure earlier this year, Reid has promised to attach the DREAM Act provisions to the defense measure and has scheduled a vote on proceeding to the bill for next week. Meanwhile, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) -- which, while consistently supportive of the DREAM Act, has long argued that it must be part of a comprehensive immigration bill -- announced its support. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who plans on introducing comprehensive legislation in October, stated on Wednesday that he backs a vote on the DREAM act without amendments "so we can know who stands with those students." That night, at the gala dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, President Obama promised to help win passage of the DREAM Act and assured Latinos that he was not walking away from immigration reform.

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Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act! Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI), in Change.org
Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented; however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.

US eyes more troops for Afghanistan, PressTV, in Citizens for Legitimate Government

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  • The mission comes in addition to the 30,000 extra troops sent by US President Barack Obama to bolster the unpopular war.
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  • "Hope-and-Change," A Hoax
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The 'Great Wall of America' and the Threat From Within

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  • The irony remains: The land of the free that the wall was built to protect — the literal "homeland," soil so infused with sacred legend it was deemed by the makers of the Constitution more important than blood in determining citizenship — is threatened from within. And the wall that is supposed to proscribe the beginning of America becomes the place where America ends.
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  • Great empires expand beyond their own borders. Empires in decline build walls.
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Richard Rodriguez, New America Media

Between cynicism and hypocrisy lies the 2,000-mile U.S.- Mexico border. America is raising a wall in the desert to separate Mexican drug exporters from American drug consumers, to separate Latin American peasants who will work for low wages from the Americans who would hire them.

The Great Wall of America, straddling less than half the length of the border, descends into canyons and across the desert floor. For the Mexican, it represents a high hurdle. For the American, it is an attempt to stop the Roadrunner's progress with an Acme Border Sealing Kit.

In some places the wall is made of tennis-court-style cyclone fencing or dark mesh of the sort used for barbeque grills in public parks. In other places the wall is a palisade of 20-foot-tall bars that make a cage of both sides. The most emphatic segments are constructed of graffiti-ready slabs of steel.

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