Category Archives: Colonialism and its Consequences

July 4, 2012, 9:58 am

I’m A Yankee Doodle Dandy: A Radical Fourth of July

What a marvelous notion it was, in 1776, that one did not have to rely on God, King or a news anchor to know in one’s heart that the existing political system was wrong.  That said, for a reading of the Declaration of Independence by some of my favorite reporters and news anchors, go here. (Hat tip to MOTheR: longtime readers of this blog will recognize that I am referring to Mother of the Radical.)

The Republican Party Platform Committee might want to pause over the section read by Nina Totenberg. In enumerating the colonists’ grievances against George III, the Founders (otherwise known as the earliest Band of Bloggers) note that:

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

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August 6, 2010, 12:23 am

Oh That Liberia! Or, Why Every Supermodel Needs A Liberal Arts Education

Diamonds are not always a girl’s best friend. At least, not when they are given to her by agents of a head of state who is supporting a criminal insurgency; when she has gone and lost them; and when an international criminal court wants to know what she was doing with uncut, contraband stones in the first place.

Life as an international supermodel is, of course, super-full of important commitments — beside which investigating rape, murder, slavery and impressing children as soldiers in a civil war surely pales. After reminding the judge that “it was a big inconvenience” for her to appear at the war crimes tribunal at the Hague, where a UN special court is trying former Liberian president Charles Taylor, supermodel Naomi Campbell admitted that she she had received a bag of “dirty pebbles” at 1:30 A.M. after having dinner with Taylor at South African President Nelson Mandela’s house …

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January 15, 2010, 3:26 pm

Colonialism and Its Consequences: A Few Thoughts After Listening To NPR Today

Why do even good news reports allow US government officials to talk unchallenged about the grossly underdeveloped economy in Haiti (which amplifies disasters like the recent earthquake because of substandard housing and thin state resources that snap when taxed) as if it has nothing to do with centuries of European and American colonialism? In this story Timothy Carney, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti from 1998-1999, speaks of the Duvalier regimes as emblematic of Haitian governments who “bled their people dry.” Well yes, but weren’t the Duvaliers and others virtually in the formal employ of Cold War-era United States foreign aid programs while they did that? And didn’t the United States think that an oligarchical regime that kept its people brutally policed was a good defense against Communism? And didn’t the United States keep Haiti in its thrall by foisting a crushing load of…

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