Felicia Gustin has been with War Times since the beginning. She currently works at SpeakOut, a national organization working primarily with colleges, universities, and high schools and dedicated to the advancement of education, racial and social justice, leadership development and activism.
She is a long-time activist in international solidarity, peace, racial justice and labor movements. She was a journalist for 10 years in Cuba and is currently working on several projects - an historical memoir and a poetry collection, among others.
Imagine for a moment what the reaction would be if Johnny Depp played the African American sidekick of a white cowboy. In Black face. Folks would pretty much go ballistic, right? What if Depp’s grandmother told him that he had an African American ancestor somewhere back there? Would that make it okay? What if Depp said he wanted to reverse all the negative images of African Americans in cinema? Would that make it okay? What if the producers of the film donated proceeds from the premiere to the United Negro College Fund? What if there was an African American consultant working on the set?
What a day! The Supreme Courts guts the Voting Rights Act. The Senate is considering the Corker-Hoeven amendment which will require an additional 20,000 border patrol agents, increased drone surveillance, and 700 miles of new border fencing at an estimated cost of $48 billion over 10 years.
The FBI’s announcement that it was adding Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List and doubling the bounty for her to $2 million is cause for alarm for the peace and justice movement as a whole. Though Assata has been living in exile in Cuba since 1984, the ramifications of Washington’s recent move are far-reaching and dangerous. Here are some of my thoughts as to the whys in no particular order:
“We can be going about our lives - good and decent people. And this is the nature of terrorism. We don’t do anything to provoke them. They simply hate us for who we are and our way of life.” — Nicolle Wallace, political commentator speaking on the Katie Couric Show, April 17, 2013
When I heard about the bombing at the Boston marathon, I did not say to myself, "Oh please don't let the bomber be a white person or our community will suffer a backlash just like after the Oklahoma City bombing." Say what? If there was ever a glaring example of white privilege, this is it.
Indefinite detention without charges or trial. It goes against all our notions of legal rights and due process. Yet, our government is into its 12th year of operations at the Guantanamo Bay prison where 166 men are still being held, 86 of whom have been cleared for release but remain in detention, including 56 from Yemen. According to Al Jazeera, this spurred protests today outside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa to demand the prisoners' release.
Jody Sokolower was teaching 9th grade social studies on September 11, 2001. “Progressive teachers at my school and around the country were deeply involved in figuring out how to engage students in critical thinking and social justice issues raised by 9/11,” she pointed out.
“The same was true before the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq. We had meetings, we planned curriculum, we talked with students about going to demonstrations,” Sokolower said.
A conversation with anti-racist author Tim Wise
He staved off attempted coups, survived a kidnapping and attempted assasinations, and endured an intense barrage of U.S. propaganda against him. But today, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 58.