Writer Zoé Samudzi examines the blindspots in the Western political imagination when it views Africa - as a continent flattened and dehumanized by our anti-Blackness, and a site of continued economic and military predation by imperialist Western governments - and calls for the left to examine its own internal and international racism problem if it is to find true solidarity with people across the world.
Zoe wrote the article Africa’s Place in the Radical Imagination for ROAR Magazine.
On this day in 1815 – (201 years ago) — some 65,000 troops lay dead, wounded, or missing in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo, in which French troops loyal to Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated by a multinational force that was led by the Duke of Wellington, and made up of soldiers from England, Ireland, Scotland, Prussia, Holland, Belgium, and other European countries. The defeat brought an end to Napoleon’s domination of Europe and his dreams of greater conquest. Napoleon was soon forced to abdicate as emperor of the French, and he was sent into exile for the rest of his life on the remote South Atlantic island of Saint Helena. On the field of battle, meanwhile, scavengers carrying pliers and buckets hurried to and fro among the decaying corpses to pull and collect the dead soldiers’ teeth — which they then sold to dentists, who used them to make dentures. The dentists did not conceal the origins of the teeth from their customers. On the contrary, some proudly advertised their dentures as being made from “Waterloo teeth.”
On this day in 1972 – (44 years ago) — British European Airways Flight 458, en route from London Heathrow to Brussels, went into a deep stall shortly after takeoff, and crashed near the town of Staines, England. All 118 passengers and crew aboard were killed. The accident occurred in the context of a threatened air pilot’s strike over pay, conditions, and the hazard of airline hijacking, which had become common in the early 1970s. Not all BEA pilots were in favor of the strike, but many co-pilots had already walked off the job, to be hurriedly replaced by recently hired rookies. An inquest later concluded that the crash of Flight 458 was due mainly to several oversights and bad decisions made by inexperienced crew members.
Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi
David wrote the recent Jacobin piece on Italian politics and the Five Star Movement, Losing Ground.
Todd will also cover round two of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban's widely mocked billboard campaign. Todd explained round one last year.
Yasmin's essay "Marry the State, Kill the People: Hillary Clinton and Carceral Feminism" appears in the Verso collection False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Andrés is author of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America from Houghton Mifflin.
Alexes is author of A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor from the Russell Sage Foundation.
As we learned last week, it involves you voting for Hillary Clinton if that helps your hostility at all.
Here is what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:
Losing Ground - David Broder [Jacobin]
False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton - Yasmin Nair [Verso Books]
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America - Andrés Reséndez [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt]
A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor - Alexes Harris [Russell Sage Foundation]
On this day in 1805 – (211 years ago) — the city of Detroit caught fire and almost completely burned to the ground. Detroit was just a territorial outpost then — an inland seaport, population about six hundred. Lacking any real fire department, the citizens formed a bucket brigade, passing pails of water hand-to-hand from the Detroit River to the burning wooden buildings. Of course, it was hopeless. And soon there was nothing left of the city but one stone building and a few brick chimneys. Amazingly, no one was killed.
On this day in 1837 – (179 years ago) — in Boston, long-simmering tensions between New England Yankees and recent Irish immigrants erupted in violence when a group of firefighters, emerging from a saloon after having put out a fire, ran into an Irish funeral procession on Broad Street in the city center. Trash talking and insults gave way to pushing and shoving, then kicking and punching, and finally an open riot. Estimates vary, but thousands of people were apparently involved, as rioters threw rocks and looters broke into nearby homes. The unrest eventually forced Mayor Samuel Eliot to call in ten military units to make arrests and bring an end to what is still, to this day, regarded as the worst riot in the history of Boston.
On this day in 1963 – (53 years ago) — not one but three rotten historical events occurred within a time span of twenty-four hours. In Saigon, Vietnam (known today as Ho Chi Minh City), in the presence of several international journalists, a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức calmly sat down in a busy intersection, had gasoline poured on himself, and set himself on fire as a protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government of President Ngo Dinh Diem, who favored the country’s Roman Catholic minority. Gruesome photographs of the monk burning to death shocked the world.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Governor George Wallace, recently elected on a campaign promise to keep the state’s schools racially segregated in defiance of federal law, staged a political media stunt by standing in the doorway of a University of Alabama building to prevent two black students from entering to register for classes. Wallace was forced to back down after National Guard troops, acting on orders from President John Kennedy, ordered him to step aside and let the students... read more
Lori is author of the new book Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad from Indiana University Press.
Alison wrote Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity, available now from Haymarket Books.
The Oakland Institute released the report The Unholy Alliance: Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture.
Earlier this week Greg posted the article How California is being stolen from Sanders right now.
Eva is author of the Monthly Review article Radical Leisure.
Is the Bernie the hostage or the ransom in this scenario?
Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad - Lori Leonard [Indiana University Press]
Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity - Alison Flowers [Haymarket Books]
How California is being stolen from Sanders right now - Greg Palast
Radical Leisure - Eva Swidler [Monthly Review]
On this day in 1913 – (103 years ago) — at the prestigious Epsom Derby horse race in Great Britain, a women’s suffrage activist named Emily Davison ran out onto the track just as the lead horses were coming around a bend. Spectators noticed that she was holding a long piece of cloth, believed to be a banner bearing the slogan “VOTES FOR WOMEN.” Davison stood quietly as several horses passed — and then stepped directly into the path of a horse owned by King George V. She raised her arms in an apparent attempt to disrupt the race and capture media attention for the cause of women’s suffrage. But the fast-moving horse hit Davison, knocking both her and the jockey to the ground. The horse and the jockey recovered, but Davison died four days later of a broken skull and internal injuries. Another fifteen years would pass before British women were allowed to vote.
On this day in 1974 – (42 years ago) — in Cleveland, a special event called “Ten Cent Beer Night” drew some twenty-five thousand fans to a baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers. An estimated sixty thousand cups of beer were sold, and by the sixth inning, with the Rangers leading 5–3, the drunken crowd was a security nightmare. Hot dogs, bottles, chairs, and firecrackers came raining out of the stands. Dozens of spectators, some of them naked, ran onto the field before being subdued. One woman tackled an umpire and tried to kiss him. A father and son entered the outfield and pulled down their pants to moon the crowd. But in the seventh inning, after Cleveland scored two runs to tie the game, the jovial, drunken mood turned ugly when two Cleveland fans threw a punch at a Rangers outfielder, and the outfielder punched back. It triggered an all-out riot as thousands of people poured onto the field — including players from both teams, armed with baseball bats. The bloody chaos went on for twenty minutes before umpires pulled the plug, and Cleveland was forced to forfeit the game.
On this day in 1989 – (27 years ago) — the Chinese political leadership decided it had finally had enough of the massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where for several weeks, thousands of students and other nonviolent protesters had been occupying the public space, demanding major government reforms and... read more