Articles from Juan Cole

What Africa taught the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

In 1957 Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta went to Ghana in connection with its independence from Britain. The British had grabbed the fabled West African Gold Coast in the nineteenth century in order to profit from its gold and other resources (after having profited in the 18th century from slaving in the region). As late as the 1940s and 1950s British colonial troops treated the local population with brutality.

The Rise and Fall of America’s Middle Class

By Jim Hightower | ( | – –

The middle class was built by movements — and can be rebuilt by movements.

Ever since 1776, the “common yeoman” — America’s middle class — has been hailed as the virtuous heart and backbone of our nation.

How ironic, since it took 150 years before we actually created a broad middle class. Before the 1930s, most Americans were poor, or near poor.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed in talks with gov’t over demand he surrender Billions

Middle East Monitor | – –

Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained for over two months in an anti-corruption crackdown, is negotiating a possible settlement with authorities but so far has not agreed on terms, a senior Saudi official said.

Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion, is chairman and owner of international investment firm Kingdom Holding, and one of the country’s most prominent businessmen.

Impeachable Offense? Trump golfs while Hawaiians endure Nuclear Panic

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

A false alert was sent out by the state of Hawaii on Saturday to residents’ cell phones warning of an incoming North Korean nuclear strike, as Mary Papunfuss of Huffpost explains.

That is a remarkable falsehood and symptomatic of the hysteria in the age of Trump, a man who routinely talks about or hints at deploying nuclear bombs. So does the wacky government of North Korea. Neither should be taken so seriously.

Trumpist UK Thugs waving US Flags try to Apprehend London’s Muslim Mayor

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was about to begin a speech on gender equality to the leftist Fabian Society when he was interrupted by British Trumpist hooligans shouting that they intended to make a citizen’s arrest of the mayor. After a while, during which Khan leafed through some reading material, the police carted off the thugs.

Trump allegedly Paid $130,000 to Porn Star for Her Silence

TeleSur | – –

The deal was brokered by President Trump’s lawyer with the adult-film actress a month before the 2016 presidential elections.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney arranged a US$130,000 payment to a former porn star before the 2016 election to keep her from going public about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

‘Shithole countries’: Trump uses the rhetoric of dictators

By Henry Giroux | (The Conversation) | – –

George Orwell warns us in his dystopian novel 1984 that authoritarianism begins with language. In the novel, “newspeak” is language twisted to deceive, seduce and undermine the ability of people to think critically and freely.

Not falling for Phony Sympathy: Iranians on all sides oppose Trump’s policies

By Reese Erlich | ( | – –

During a recent reporting trip to Iran, I interviewed almost two dozen people at random in both rich and poor neighborhoods of Tehran. All the middle and upper-middle class people I spoke with said the government of President Hassan Rouhani had made economic progress, although not as much as they wanted. All the working-class Iranians said they had seen no economic improvements since Rouhani’s election in 2013.