JOURNAL OF THE 24TH YEAR
Japan's Fukushima Disaster
The Shura Case
Death Row Inmates Exonerated
NUGGETS FROM THE NUT HOUSE
From Netanyahu to Mladic
Edward S. Herman
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
Veterans Support Manning
Double Dip Recession
Iara Lee's Culture of Resistance
Len Weinglass (1933-2011)
Michael Steven Smith
Checkmate In The Great Game
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Colonial Predator Legacy
Against Corporatocracy Rule
Bruce E. Levine
The Mideast & South Central Asia
Bin Laden and the Arab "Awakening"
From Poppies to Fentanyl Lollipops
The Lacandon Jungle and the Carbon Market
Displacing People for Profit
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
As an 18-year-old
I also distributed leaflets with that message before a meeting of a Stalinist-dominated maritime union. A six-foot sailor took one look at my leaflets and threw me into the gutter. We were right about Stalinism, but we were wrong in regarding World War II as an imperialist war, which, like World War I would end in widespread social revolution. I declared at the time, “The exploiters of the world are sitting on a powder keg.” Years later our views of the
Now, as a retired philosophy professor, I can no longer claim the title of “professional revolutionist.” But I can say that the habits of rational argument, first honed in those early years, remained with me, both in philosophy and in politics. For the next 50 years, I spent much of my time teaching, from first grade through graduate school. I taught many different courses, including philosophy of religion. I think that if God appears in my afterlife, I would inform him that I have refuted all the arguments for his existence.
In 1963 and 1966 I published articles strongly criticizing Hannah Arendt’s view that in the Holocaust almost all Jewish leaders cooperated with the Nazis in the murder of Jews “to an extraordinary degree.” Her claim, I said, was made in shocking disregard of available evidence. After reading one of the articles, Sidney Morgenbesser, the late
I opposed the Vietnam War and organized a teach-in at
En route to
At the Congress, a friend and I met with three Soviet philosophers in an amusement park just outside
I never criticized the feminist movement but I felt that women with real ability—like me, for example—had done pretty well and didn’t need them. I began to change when I discovered that, although there was nothing wrong with my teaching evaluations or publication record, the chairperson would prevent me from being promoted unless I took on almost half of the secretary’s departmental work. The ex-professional revolutionist knew how to fight back. The chairperson finally collapsed and I became an associate professor. I wondered whether other academic women had failed to obtain the advancement they deserved. I remembered Eleanor Kuykendall who, at one time, had been a part-time lecturer in my department. Although she had more philosophical ability than some of the men who were promoted to tenure track positions (with my support), she was never promoted to that rank.
I read studies showing widespread sex discrimination in universities. For example, in 1972 a team of sociologists, who had performed a carefully controlled study, concluded that “sex discrimination is rampant in academe.” Then I acted on what I read. In the early 1970s, universities were required by the government to take “affirmative action” to end sex discrimination by setting reasonable numerical goals for hiring women and minorities by departments that had clearly excluded them. In the next decade much of my political activity consisted of arguing for numerical goals. I spent three months organizing a New York Times advertisement with 3,000 signatures and lots of endorsements from academic VIPs—Nobel Laureates, distinguished professors, and the like. The upshot was that President Ford invited two professors—a male academic who opposed numerical goals and a female academic who supported them. Referring to a particular study, the female stated that women in that study “produced more.” President Ford asked “Produced more what?”
Ford concluded that the paperwork of universities had to be reduced, but the numerical goals would be kept because of all the support for them out there. But the conservative campaign against numerical goals using a misleading analogy with quotas (like those that had excluded Jews from professional schools) was successful. Definite numerical goals were eventually abandoned in favor of an indefinite concept: “diversity.”
One consequence of my campaign for affirmative action was the hostility I engendered from some academic men. Often when they lost out on a job, they blamed it on affirmative action (without relevant evidence). In some cases where they could take it out on me, they did so.
My activity on behalf of affirmative action was not limited to academic women. In 1991 I published a book Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action which turned out to be a great success (Cornell University Press). The book has been used in ethics, social philosophy, and black study classes.
I look back now when, as an 18-year-old professional revolutionist, I issued the revolutionary declaration that the exploiters of the world were sitting on a powder keg. I was wrong then. But why? Because the Communist International, which was supposed to be the agent of world revolution, had become the foreign agent of the
Note the World Social Forums involving hundreds of thousands of people declaring “a better world is possible”; the seismic knowledge that today’s children will have a lower living standard than their parents; the takeovers by workers of bankrupt businesses in Latin America; the widespread land invasions by impoverished agricultural workers around the world; a disastrous global financial crisis with high worldwide unemployment rates especially among young workers leading to protests in countries as varied as Latvia, Chile, Bulgaria, and Iceland; strikes in Great Britain; the riots in 2008 that plundered the streets of Greece, invoking solidarity actions throughout the world.
This last prompted a Christian Science Monitor journalist to write: “
Gertrude Ezorsky, professor of philosophy at
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.