Saturday, March 25, 2017

I support Dana Schultz

Did you hear about this effort to police who can paint what?

Read David Walsh's WSWS piece and be appalled.

A woman named Dana Schultz painted a portrait of the slain Emmett Till.

The woman is White.

Her race has led Hannah Black -- a British Black woman -- to lead a protest asserting that Schultz's painting must be banned or destroyed.

Walsh writes:

There are no grounds whatsoever for the malicious and slanderous claim that Schutz is making use of “Black suffering” for “profit and fun.” (In fact, the artist has indicated that the painting will not be sold.) On the contrary, Schutz is clearly responding to and seeking to direct the attention of the public toward an appalling crime. Her effort is an entirely legitimate and admirable protest against racist violence, with obvious political connotations in the present circumstances of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim bigotry whipped up by the Trump administration.
Schutz has the right to paint about whatever subject she chooses. The murder of Till outraged millions and helped ignite the civil rights movement, which also involved the participation of large numbers of white youth. Taking only white artists into account here, the heinous crime inspired Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and, more recently, Emmy Lou Harris to write songs, and others, like Joan Baez, to sing them. Rod Serling based an episode of the television program, the U.S. Steel Hour, on the case. Critics suggest that the murder helped inspire Harper Lee to write To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1956, novelist William Faulkner condemned the killing in an essay, “On Fear.” Should all those works by “non-Black artists” now be expunged from the culture as illegitimate and, if possible, “destroyed”?
The open letter continues: “Although Schutz’s intention may be to present white shame, this shame is not correctly represented as a painting of a dead Black boy by a white artist—those non-Black artists who sincerely wish to highlight the shameful nature of white violence should first of all stop treating Black pain as raw material. The subject matter is not Schutz’s; white free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.”
Hannah Black and her co-signatories see the world entirely through the prism of race. This blinds them to the decisive social realities. They echo those extreme Zionists and similar tendencies who use a history of racial or religious oppression to justify their own reactionary communalism.
Schutz has no reason to feel “shame” for the murder of Till, who was a victim of Jim Crow racism, racism kept alive and incited by the American ruling elite for the purpose of dividing the working class and the poor. Behind the apartheid-like system in the South, and Till’s killing, stood the oppressive and brutal reality of American capitalism, the same system that oppresses the working population of every color and national background.

Hannah Black needs to shut the hell up.

I, an African-American woman, could make a stronger claim that as a British person, she doesn't know anything about the oppression Till experienced or the violence.

And I think that's reality, by the way.

But even though I firmly believe that, I would never go on to then argue that she can't paint what she wants or write about what she wants.

She's a deeply foolish person and her 'protest' is destructive.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, March 24, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, Moqtad al-Sadr stages a huge rally, AP misreports and much more.

Baghdad today?

: Thousands of people flood 's Tahrir Square, demonstration called by 's powerful cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr called for today's protest last Saturday:

Muqtada Al-Sadr has called for "million man march" on Friday in Tahrir Square central , Sadr will attend to give "important" speech.

His power to turn out a crowd remains -- visual evidence  of the power he continues to hold in Iraq.

He's never held elected office.

He's never been part of the Cabinet.

The power is internal based solely upon Moqtada himself.

There were times, during the first years of the war, when his power ebbed and flowed.

But the US government always played the wrong hand and would attack or insult him leading supporters to rally around him yet again.

As Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki couldn't command a crowd that size.

As former prime minister, Nouri's lucky to turn out 25 or so people when he visits their towns -- and some of those boo and throw things.

Who is the leader in Iraq?

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is one.

Moqtada al-Sadr is another.

Smoking a cigarette on top of one of bridges and thought about this.

Please note, Moqtada also has a huge amount of supporters in Basra as well.

Anadolu Agency reports:

In an address delivered to tens of thousands of supporters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, al-Sadr said he had received numerous death threats -- he did not say by whom -- due to his loud and frequent calls for government reform.
“Continue on the path of revolution and reform… even in the event of my death,” he asserted, while urging followers to keep their protests peaceful.
“If Iraq’s official election commission and electoral law remain as they are, we will be forced to boycott the polls,” he declared.
He writes about the protests that erupted in 2014 -- except they didn't.
Those protests erupted near the end of 2012, picked up steam in 2013 and were eventually stopped by Nouri al-Maliki.
Facts, he leaves out of his AP report.
But the his AP report also manages to mention changes -- undefined -- that Moqtada wants to a 'committee' (unnamed.)
The title of the body is the Independent High Electoral Commission.
Dropping back to February 4, 2017:

Hundreds of Iraqis did useful things yesterday including the hundred who rallied in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.  ALSUMARIA reports they rallied to call for reforms in the government (corruption) and reforms in the election law and the Independent High Electoral Commission.  ALSUMARIA reports hundred also protested in Karbala with the same demands.

To the February 8th snapshot:

Due to the protest, ALSUMARIA reports, the Election Commission has closed shop and gone home for the day to avoid "friction" with the protesters.

And ALSUMARIA is reporting that the protest has started with thousands turning out to demand changes in the electoral commission and in the voting law.

Sadrist respond to link the demonstrations on the anniversary of the Baath coup

ALL IRAQ NEWS carries the above photo in their report on today's protest in Baghdad.

Not only has Moqtada been protesting this for some time, UNAMI's also expressed concerns.

It's day 158 of The Mosul Slog -- and how's that working out?

|i regime digs mass grave for 200+ bodies killed by in Mosul. CNN will tell the world later they found an Yazidi mass grave

Their lives seem to have no worth.

Horrific Video from West of Mosul bombardment by US Coalition air crafts. 230 have died there in just 2 days.
~500 civilians (mostly displaced women and children) were massacred in less than 24-hours in and by the & its allies..

Dozens killed, buried in rubble after Mosul air raid - Iraqi officials, residents

Oh, silly, idiot Elise of CNN, it is a slog.

It always was.

It's also a tragedy.

"People in West are trapped in the situation of penury & panic." Our representative in Iraq explains the latest developments
Mosul situation deteriorating as fighting rages
Around 400,000 people thought to be trapped in the Old City lack food, clean water and fuel to keep themselves warm.

Yesterday, we noted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's comments explaining the US military would not be leaving Iraq even if the Islamic State was defeated.  Jordan Shilton covers it for WSWS:

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Washington’s intention to keep troops deployed more or less indefinitely in the territories now occupied by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in remarks delivered at the beginning of a two-day meeting of the US-organized anti-ISIS coalition in Washington.
“The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS,” he told an audience that included Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He gave no indication of when, if ever, US troops could be withdrawn from a war zone extending across Iraq and Syria, where there has been fighting of greater or lesser intensity throughout the 14 years since the US first invaded Iraq.

Tillerson also called for the establishment of “interim zones of stability” in Syria to which refugees from the US-instigated civil war that has raged throughout that country for the past six years could be forcibly returned. Areas will be deemed “safe” if they have been initially cleared of ISIS, an absurdly low standard given the deadly conflicts which continue to rage between different factions in the Syrian civil war.

At some point, we'll get around to Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford's comments this week that the US military will be in Iraq for "years to come."

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan -- updated:


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