Interpreting fascist imagery in music subcultures

January 11, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Politics 

An aesthetic fetish and an ideological fetish clearly function differently. Those keen on their social theory argue that, very often, they are different faces of the same coin; nevertheless, a fascination with what we commonly call “imagery” of a particular movement does not necessarily lead to an endorsement.

Transgressive art retains a place in our culture, and some of the world’s most contentious artists have revealed themselves to be staunch defenders of equality and universal human cooperation. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every critic to distinguish what is merely controversial from what is  harmful—an increasingly relevant task with the prevalence of fascist imagery in certain music subcultures. Read more

Holiday gathering brings together Latino community

January 4, 2011 by Axel Fuentes · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Food Justice, Immigration 

On December 5, 2010, the Latino community in Milan, Missouri gathered to celebrate the winter holidays.

Kids and adults alike were in eager anticipation as the holiday party signaled a break in their usual routines.  Working adults were able to relieve some of the stress of their often tough lives, many of who work 10-hour days at the local meat-packing plant.

Working together, student leaders from the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) of Truman State University, members of the Health Action Council (HAC), several church congregations, and other community organizations from Milan and Kirksville made this event possible. Read more

Cross-Post: The Indomitable Blackness of Teena Marie

January 2, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

Originally posted Dec 28 2010, on The Atlantic. By Ta-Nehisi Coates:

I’m sure some of the old-heads here, can come up with a corollary, but I’m having trouble thinking of a white artist whose relationship to black music mirrored Teena Marie’s. More specifically, I can’t think of a white artist who was more beloved by such a large swath of black people than Teena Marie. Here is how she put it:

Black people would always say, “I didn’t know you were White.” But people like good music. Back in the forties and fifties they made the race records where a group like The Temptations wouldn’t appear on the cover of the album. Mr. Gordy used the same concept with me for my first album. He said that is was so soulful that he wanted to give the music an opportunity to stand on its own merit. Instead of my face, they put a seascape, so by the time my second album came out people were like, Lady T is White? Omigod? Overall my race hasn’t been a problem. I’m a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your own soul.
Read more

Pro-gun group, Appleseed Project, attracts white nationalist fans

December 28, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

If you’re at all familiar with Second Amendment lobbyists and interest groups, you understand the general revolutionary panache in which the movement drapes itself: frequent appeals to the Constitution; incessant and undefined use of the word “liberty;” insistence on the lasting significance of arms in all societies.

The mystique of any pro-gun argument originates in this logic, tortuous rhetoric defending civil liberties and “rights” while remaining, on the whole, socially conservative. It’s a pretty complicated argument, and you’d need a crash course in this logic of tradition in order to fully understand it. Luckily, class is in session.

Enter the Appleseed Project. Operated by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, it’s described as a “501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills.” Read more

Cross-Post: New Report Exposes Media Love Affair with Right-Wingers

December 26, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

Originally published on by Joshua Holland.

Forget about fake moon landings and Obama’s birth certificate. The most enduring unfounded conspiracy theory in America is that our institutions of knowledge – the media, the academy and even science — are biased in favor of liberals.

The national media is based in large urban centers, so it should come as no surprise that conservatives would rarely see their views on strictly social issues well represented. But on matters of substance, we are talking about a corporate-owned media that pushes relentlessly for “free trade” deals, foreign wars and fiscal “austerity.”

Read more

‘Angel’ of hate infiltrates Illinois churches

December 24, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

Christmas is here. This is a time when churches are bustling and the kindness of patrons abounds. But in churches across Illinois a stranger is lurking, and extending a simple kindness to him has consequences.

A man named Andrew Angel is walking into places of worship and asking to have his picture taken with unsuspecting pastors and church leaders. Those pictures are inevitably ending up on a white supremacist website called ‘Divine International Church on the Web,’ owned and operated by Mr. Angel. A closer look at this website reveals that Andrew Angel follows the teachings of Christian Identity, a racist theology which teaches that salvation is solely for whites, that people of color are soulless, and that Jews are the spawns of Satan. Read more

Apple sells white power music on iTunes

December 8, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Immigration, Politics 

For those who have been following the recent controversies at Apple, it’s clear that hate has found a home in the company’s many platforms.

Apple recently launched an app for NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant group that is part of a network with ties to white nationalism. NumbersUSA’s executive director Roy Beck is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract Press, a white nationalist quarterly journal published by John Tanton. Both TSCP’s editor, Wayne Lutton, and Roy Beck have associated with Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist organization.

Apple also broadcasts The Political Cesspool, a radio show hosted by white supremacist James Edwards. Along with hailing Hitler and advocating his hatred for the Jews, Edwards voices his views on immigration, or more precisely ‘non-white immigration.’ In his own words: Read more

Improve working conditions for those who bring you your turkey

November 25, 2010 by Rev. David L. Ostendorf · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Food Justice 

Originally published by The Progressive Media Project on November 22, 2010.

Before you carve into your Thanksgiving turkey, please pause to reflect on the workers who brought the holiday feast to your table.

After twenty-one years of grueling, hard labor at the same Midwest turkey processing plant, one worker — let’s call him Alberto — is today earning $12.45 an hour.

He handles as many as thirty turkeys a minute as they speed along the processing line. Every shift, he makes some 20,000 cutting motions.

Alberto and thousands of other poultry workers — mostly immigrants, refugees and workers of color — feed the nation this Thanksgiving — and every day of the year.

Two-thirds of the meatpacking and poultry-processing workforce in the United States is Latino and black.

Thousands of Somalis who fled their war-torn African homeland help put forty-five million turkeys on Thanksgiving tables. Read more

A Thanksgiving with Gran

November 24, 2010 by Rebecca Poswolsky · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

For years, my family’s Thanksgiving tradition has been getting take out from New York’s 2nd Avenue Deli.   While many think of 2nd Avenue Deli as a place to get a pastrami sandwich or matzoh ball soup, to me it represents the best Thanksgiving can offer.  Picking out what kind of pickles and rugalach to order is not easy.  My family usually settles on an assortment of sour tomatoes and pickles, along with both chocolate and raisin rugalach.  Thanksgiving is the one day each year I give in to our annual ritual of making hard menu choices, and enjoying eating around my grandmother’s crowded one bedroom apartment in New York City.

Referred to everyone in my family as “Gran,” my grandmother lived in the same rent-controlled New York City apartment since my father was born.  My Gran’s apartment was timeless.  Unique chach-kees covered her walls.  A glass duck with a brass head sat on her low marble hors d’oeuvres table in the center of her living room.  There was a great deal of glass and marble in her apartment.  The uniqueness did not come from the rigid materials, but rather, from the combination of 1940s collectibles that only she would hold on to.  Wooden frames covered her walls.   One had a young Pinocchio looking boy with a red triangle top hat.  Her handmade red and white polka dot fabric lined the curtains and the living room furniture.  The kind of material that only she would have picked out. Read more

A vision for a new harvest

November 23, 2010 by Charlotte Williams · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Food Justice 

It’s that time of year again when people are busy planning and hosting seasonal celebrations that honor various cultural, religious and social traditions. Over the next six to eight weeks, gatherings will be held in homes, banquet halls, and houses of faith.  Although the meaning of these celebrations may vary, rest assured, there will be plenty of good food on hand including ham, vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy products of all kinds, and lots of turkeys.

While some families prepare to make their traditional holiday trek to enjoy time with family and friends, hundreds of thousands of low wage, immigrant food workers are sequestered in meatpacking, poultry processing and dairy plants, and laboring in fields in order to meet product demands for the celebrations set to commence this week.  Turkey workers, primarily Latino, African American, Somali, Burmese and representatives of other immigrant and refugee communities, who come to this country to support their families, will find this increased production particularly difficult. Their experiences mirror the majority of food industry laborers who work to bring food to our tables. Read more

Want to keep in touch with bigots? There’s an app for that

November 18, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Immigration, Politics 

Updated November 18, 2010 - 1:16 P.M.

NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant organization that is part of a network with ties to white nationalists, has announced this week that an iPad/iPhone app of the same name was launched on November 9, 2010. Amid Apple’s much anticipated announcement this week that the Beatles catalog is now available on iTunes, NumbersUSA’s app has been approved by Apple and put onto its database for free download.

A search for NumbersUSA on will give you, along with a podcast, this description:

“NumbersUSA is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy organization that favors an environmentally sustainable and economically just America. It opposes efforts to use federal immigration policies to force mass U.S. population growth and to depress wages of vulnerable workers.”

The truth is much more disturbing. NumbersUSA was founded by John Tanton, a white nationalist nicknamed The Puppeteer for creating the most powerful anti-immigrant movement in the U.S. Read more

Cross-Post: Racism & Abuse in Leading Religious Right Org

November 7, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Politics 

Originally published in Religion Dispatches Magazine by Sarah Posner. Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, is RD’s associate editor and covers politics for the site. Her work has appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, Salon, The Washington Spectator, the religion blogs at the Washington Post and the Guardian, and other publications.

Bryan Fischer

Just before this year’s Values Voter Summit, the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way called on Republican elected officials and candidates to condemn virulently anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements made by the American Family Association’s director of public policy, Bryan Fischer.

Fischer, who hosts a daily radio show on AFA’s radio network of 180 stations, has, among other things, claimed that inbreeding causes Muslims to be stupid and violent; called for the deportation of Muslims and for banning them from military service; claimed that gay sex is “domestic terrorism”; called gay adoption a “terrible, terrible, inexcusable, inhumane thing to do to children”; and claimed that Hitler and his stormtroopers were all gay.No one took PFAW up on its suggestion, and AFA’s founder and chairman emeritus Don Wildmon was feted at the Summit’s gala with the James C. Dobson Values & Leadership Award, which declared him “one of the most effective Christian leaders of our time.” At the award dinner, anti-gay marriage crusader Bishop Harry Jackson called him a “legend” and “the ultimate advocate for the kingdom of God”; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson called him a “wonderful man of God” who had a “great influence” on the culture; and Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson added, “I don’t think there’s been a more fearless defender of righteousness and truth than Don Wildmon.” Read more

Machete: The Most Unlikely Place for Immigrants Rights Lessons

October 16, 2010 by Guest Blogger · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture 

By Walidah Imarisha

Review of Machete, Directed by Eric Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez, 2010machete

I’ve watched a number of Robert Rodriguez’s films: From Dusk Til Dawn, Planet Terror, Sin City. While sometimes amused, I was often turned off by the cartoonish violence, the homage to 1970s filmmaking and the gratuitous breast shots. I certainly never expected to be writing this next sentence: With his newest film Machete, Robert Rodriguez has created the most brilliant political commentary I have seen in years. But here I am. And if you look deeper, you’ll see, wrapped up in the blood, boobs and kitsch, a subversive piece of radical art.

On the surface, it’s standard action fodder: A former cop (in this case Mexican federale) Machete Cortez (played by Danny Trejo) was betrayed by cops on the drug lord’s payroll. Stripped of his commission, Machete must flee Mexico but not before seeing his wife brutally murdered. He arrives in the U.S. undocumented, and becomes a day laborer. Read more

Morrissey Describes Chinese as a “Subspecies”

September 9, 2010 by Chris Bober · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Politics 

Morrissey is in the news again. In an interview with Simon Armitage of the Guardian Weekend magazine, the English pop-singer describes Chinese people as a “subspecies.” He made this comment in a discussion about the treatment of animals in Chinese circuses and zoos. According to Alexandra Topping of the Guardian Morrissey said,

“Did you see the thing on the news about their (the Chinese) treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”

Despite the fact that Morrissey has denied accusations of racism and has even donated to Love Music Hate Racism in the past its spokesmen has had enough. In the Guardian piece, Martin Smith said they will not take money from the singer again. Smith said: “It really is just crude racism. When you start using language like ‘subspecies’ you are entering into dark and murky water. I don’t think we would, or could, ask him to come back after that.” Read more

Amidst Hot Winds

September 2, 2010 by George Garza · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Immigration 

Our neighbors to the south are caught in a whirlwind of despair while drug lords continue to set the country ablaze with gunfire. The stories coming through the pipeline depict a nation overrun by vicious animals with political agendas. It strikes me odd that this chaos has all but erased the fact that a great chunk of Mexico was recently left in ruins in the wake of Hurricane Alex.

I find it further disturbing that much of America feels it in our best interest to cage the animals and let them sort it out on their own turf. The same cult would have us go knocking door-to-door throwing every “illegal looking” soul over the fence, right into the mouths of the starving jackals. Read more

‘Dreams in Arizona Have Been Swept Away’

August 31, 2010 by Guest Blogger · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Immigration 
The following article is one of a series of accounts from students who recently returned  from Arizona. They were part of a delegation that spent a week touring the state amid  the enactment of controversial law SB 1070. The Center for New Community, a national civil rights organization based in Chicago, sponsored the trip, which included nine students from Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Colorado.

By Taisha Hawkins

“ Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become action. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for IT becomes your destiny. ” -Unknown

students_welcometoazImagine if an imagination was all you needed: to begin, to finish, to follow through.
What if all your tomorrow consisted of was your development in thought from today?

That’s where dreams come from…
You think it in your head, you see it through your eyes, then show others through your action.
And just like that, history repeats itself.

Today is a good day to dream. If you don’t agree, try asking someone who can’t. Read more

Mockingbirds, Truth and Justice

August 29, 2010 by Joan Flanagan · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Politics 

My favorite novel is Harper Lee’s brilliant To Kill A Mockingbird, set in small town Alabama in the 1930’s.  The narrator recalls the events that happened when she, Jean Louise Finch (nicknamed Scout) was seven and her lawyer father Atticus defended a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl.  Columnist Carla Carlisle is the same age as I am, so we were both the age of Scout when the U. S. Supreme Court passed Brown v Board of Education.  Carla now lives in rural Suffolk County in East Anglia in England, but she grew up in rural Pike County on the southern end of Mississippi.  Here is how Carla Carlisle remembers racism and reform in the South:

tokillamockingbird“The festivities around the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird set me thinking about that glassy, hot world. I feel more proprietorial about that book than most because it’s set in the 1930s in a small Alabama town called Maycomb and I grew up in a small Mississippi town called McComb. A few things separated the 1930s from the 1950s. Most of the white men and some of the ‘colored’ men had fought in the Second World War, so they’d had their horizons stretched. Dirt roads were being paved and supermarket chains such as Piggly Wiggly and A&P were appearing on the sides of courthouse squares.

In 1954, when I was the same age as Scout, a case called Brown v Board of Education of Topeka appeared before the Supreme Court. Overnight, segregation in public schools was declared unequal and thus unconstitutional. Southern whites went crazy. A year later, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a bus, triggering a bus boycott by Negro riders. Read more

Misperceptions about President Obama’s Religion Fueled by Racism

August 23, 2010 by Amy Spicer · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture, Politics 

Despite President Obama clearly stating that he is a Christian, nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believes he is Muslim. The nonpartisan group Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted a poll (between July 21 and August 5) and found of those surveyed, 18% identified Obama as Muslim.

What’s disconcerting about this isn’t the growing, media-perpetuated confusion about the President’s faith, but the negative connotations  asserted in this poll. Of those 18% who believe Obama is Muslim nearly all disapprove of the job the President is doing. With the debate over the proposed mosque in lower Manhattan and the protests that went on over the weekend it’s clear the anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise. Muslims are being demonized and this perception of Obama as a Muslim is shroud both in racism and religious intolerance. The wide racial divide can clearly be seen with the number of whites whose perception of a Muslim Obama rose from 11% to 21% in just over a year, yet there was virtually no change in blacks’ views on the President’s religion or faith. Read more

US/Mexico Border Fence: Bad News from All Sides

August 20, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Ecopolitics, Immigration 

As part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the government started building a 700 mile fence along the 2000 mile southern border of the United States. Supposedly this will halt unauthorized immigration from the South.

The 640 miles of fence that have been built to date took four years, an average of $4.5 million per mile of taxpayer money, and have not proven an effective form of border security. On the contrary, this fence has caused more problems than it has solved.

For starters, immigration has not stopped. The only thing this fence has done is force the foot traffic through the more dangerous parts of the desert, causing a staggering number of deaths – 150 so far this year. In the Arizona desert alone, 59 bodies were recovered in July 2010, the highest number since July 2005. Read more

Harsh Anti-Immigrant Climate Destroys Native Communities

August 13, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Immigration 

We’ve all heard about SB1070 and the hardships it has brought on the Latino population in Arizona. Little is known however about the effects of this bill on other communities of color, especially the indigenous tribes of Arizona.

They are the descendants of people that occupied the region since before recorded history, before the volcanoes, before civilization as we know it.

Before any European immigrant, the Tohono O’odham tribes were living in the place now called Arizona. A fairly large chunk of tribal ground crosses south of the border into today’s Mexico. And that’s the crime they are now being punished for.

They didn’t ask for borders. Yet one was imposed upon them in 1853 when the United States decided that its border had to cut through O’odham tribal land. They certainly didn’t ask for a fence, but one was built on their land when, deep in its post 9/11 hallucination and seeing a terrorist in every immigrant, the Department of Homeland Security built a 640 mile fence on the southern border of the country. A 65 mile section of that fence runs through Tohono O’odham territory. Read more

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