There is a kind of desperation, a lack of hope and a resentment for the mining industry and the government. We have been warning for years of these potential uprisings. People are angry.John Capel of the Bench Marks Foundation, a mining research and advocacy group • Explaining why frustration in the South African mining industry bubbled over and eventually led to a violent encounter with police that killed 34 and injured 78. Many in the country — nearly two decades out from the end of apartheid — are shocked by the sudden violence, which stemmed from the slow pace of resolving ongoing inequality in the country. The scene reminded many of the violent crackdowns during the apartheid era.
» This isn’t good. The unemployment rate of Anacostia, a district in Southeast DC east of the river mostly populated by blacks? Nearly 20 percent. DC is merely just a flash point for a much-larger trend. All over the United States, blacks are twice as likely to be unemployed as whites. What’s worse is there’s no real explanation for it — other than the obvious one.
America is not broke. Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined. Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.Michael Moore • Check out Moore’s interview on GRITtv. (via ericmortensen and azspot)
Our Tumblr friend Newsflick has been doing some great coverage of the Egyptian protests. And in general. He seriously runs a great site that offers a great view of international events. It’s one of our favorite Tumblr blogs, and a truly unsung hero as far as news coverage goes. We got these numbers directly from him – we take no credit, other than that we’re laying them out a little bit more to fit our style. Anyway, here goes:
» A few more stats (from us): The country sports 17 percent food inflation, which was one of the factors noted in the recent Tunisia uprising. While the country’s GDP growth is respectable, it’s also a severe sign of the country’s inequality. Nearly 40 percent of people – out of a population of 80 million – are poor, and the country’s unemployment is 25 percent. And youth unemployment is incredibly high around the world, especially in Egypt. But even in developed countries, it’s shocking: 40 percent unemployment in Spain. 20 percent unemployment in France. How does this happen? How does our youth culture become so unemployable in these countries? This is a big problem which shows a lack of long-term thinking. (Note: Some numbers just updated)
Is this case The new “separate but equal”? The case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single mother who went out of her way to put her children in a better public school district that wasn’t crime-ridden, sparks a lot of emotions. The biggest, of course, is caused by the incredibly harsh punishment that Williams-Bolar received. The Akron, Ohio resident, a teacher’s assistant only a few credits shy of a teaching degree, can no longer teach in the state of Ohio because she’s a convicted felon. (They knew this when making the decision.) While she was released from jail yesterday, the court seemed to make her an example for something which doesn’t seem like it should be a crime. Some thoughts:
» One other thought: Race plays a huuuuuuuge factor in this story, obviously, and that is one point we don’t want to underplay. Blogger Kalimah Priforce has a great open letter up about the whole situation from a racial/civil disobedience angle. The whole thing is worth a read, but this is the point that really struck home for us: "At some point they determined that your girls didn’t belong in their schools and rather than meeting with you to determine a way for your children to stay with the same teachers and classmates they become accustomed to, they hunted you down and threw you into prison." Honestly, we could see this case going to the Supreme Court. source