For a twenty four hour news cycle
After the killings black lives matter
The US is exposed for what it has always done
Hundreds of years of torture and slavery
Then white people go back to caring for kittens
and having Obama’s back.
Jinjirrie, December 2014
While US liberals and other chest-beating apologists for empire circle the wagons, wail and pontificate duplicitously about “blowback”, “context”, “fear after 9/11” and “torture tactics imported from Israel” when torture aimed at terrorising the innocent is what the settler colonial US has always done, more evidence from Udall indicates the empire is covering up the scale of its abominable torture practices.
As the top-down rhetoric shifts, the complicity of US administrations is downplayed – the CIA is being treated now as though it was an independent loose cannon, instead of overseen and applauded by US politicians, its torture practices long given the legal tick by the likes of Holder. Cheney would do it all over again. The impunity of the holey empire and its plutocrats must be sanctified. And so the criminal imperial juggernaut lumbers on, protecting its elite, sacrificing its knights. Shrouded by nationalist magical thinking, the empire’s white patriarchal capitalist culture of oppression remains intact.
Once again the bar for “permissible violence” by empire has been lifted, a triumphalist US public desensitized, and the likelihood of increased brutal oppression within the US of minorities and abroad against non-imperials more certain.
My email to the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, Phyllis Wise, objecting to the firing of Professor Steven Salaita and demanding his reinstatement is below. You can send one too.
I am shocked and dismayed that you would end the employment of the honourable Associate Professor of American Indian Studies, Steven Salaita, due to pressure from those who place the indefensible – the genocidal actions of settler colonial Israel toward Palestinians whom it occupies, oppresses and sieges in Gaza – before academic freedom and ethical educative values.
Would you have treated Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King similarly for their strenuous public advocacy for attainment of rights for the rightsless because racists objected to their appointments? It is not uncivil nor bigoted to challenge racism.
Should academics be gagged from expressing political analyses and opinions in public so that the tender sensibilities of racists, white supremacists and nationalists are not offended? Surely one of the roles of education is to civilise people through learning to shed their prejudices and ignorance. Further, no state or political ideology should be quarantined from critique. To punish people for critiquing the Israeli regime or any other state undermines the foundations of democracy.
What message are you sending to other academics who oppose injustice and oppression? Why side with and encourage today’s McCarthyite bullies and their witchhunt of dissenters?
Please act judiciously in the spirit of civilised values, academic freedom and democracy – restore your reputation by re-employing Steven Salaita.
I would be more worthy
if I am a wage earner
if I am male
if I am white
if I am not dis-abled
if I am least colonised
if I am from the mother country
if I am young and not too young
if I am seductively skinny
if I am gender normative
silent alliance and complicit silence
secret scythes to reproduce
and feed the dream
that steals from
all of us.
Jinjirrie, July 2013
How we love Amerikkka, land of bugs and drones,
Where obscenely rich old men perch upon their thrones,
Spying on the world to keep their loot secure,
Destruction is their legacy, they will not endure.
The US gave us Hollywood to keep us occupied,
Sharing in the dream, we’d sleep, complicit in the lies.
Jinjirrie, July 2013
settler heart identified
To paraphrase a dead French guy badly, the surveillance state has to change people/populations into the kind of group that basically remains silent. That is what is needed first in order to make the unthinkable possible and finally, normal.
This is why, when they come for some of us, they actually come for all of us.
I smell the fear on your vinyl briefcase
as across the table like Captain Cook
you pity the poor natives.
Your backdoor agenda and verbal pyrotechnology’s
a front for the urgency to move onto lunch,
the bottom line, where you will be free
of the irritation of our disagreement.
Snake on a ladder, you have all the answers
before the questions are put, and if I resist
and say ‘what about this?’ I’ll be hived off.
You want your lunch and I have a hunch
you’ll have your way no matter what I say,
top down, bottoms up.
I’m not here for a handout, just some of our taxes back.
You have your priorities sent down the line
(I’ll scratch your back if you stab mine),
keeping the upper hand for the mortgage’s sake,
your PS perks and old boy lurks building
a superstructure of barbies and kids on Sunday
with the Director and the man on the next rung,
top down, bottoms up,
drinking and laughing about idealists
who’d like to step over your head.
I wonder if you hear us at all,
while unseen in the community
quiet synergy turns the wheels eventually,