See books by Michael Gecan HERE.
Thousands of people fleeing situations of murder, rape and gang violence in Central America come to this country seeking asylum. They expect and ought to expect that they will receive a fair hearing. But they are greeted with gimmicks meant to circumvent the law in order to discourage them from pursuing their claims of asylum: people’s children are arbitrarily taken from them; people are told that they must wait in Mexico until their cases are heard; border patrol agents were even instructed by the president himself to lie to judges and say that they are unable to process more cases because they are overwhelmed (their supervisors instructed these same agents to ignore the president).
One might be tempted to say that the administration is administering a policy of terrorism to discourage people from seeking asylum. Terrorism is a political tool. Its aim is to achieve a political aim. It entails perpetrating indiscriminate acts of violence against civilians to create a level of terror that leads to capitulation.
By Frank C. Pierson, Jr., Editor and Publisher, www.democraticfaith.com
Kaz (my wife) and I visited Ambos Nogales - twin cities on the Mexican/US border - a couple weeks ago. We support a cross border tennis program for youngsters and wanted to experience its activities first hand. Of course we both had seen pictures of the towering slatted metal fence dressed out with concertina wire snaking through the Nogales twin cities but were still unprepared for the reality.
A tiny % of American citizens will ever share our first hand experience because the vast majority will never go there. Most, for now, will view the attempt at border militarization from a distance through a political lens. That’s too bad. First hand they might gain some insight into why US border policy is broken.
Let's end it so others don't feel like 'caged animals', former inmate says.
Story by IAF Organizer Nafeesah Goldsmith
In 2006, when I was 26 years old, I was placed in solitary confinement at New Jersey State Prison for 60 days.
I was locked in my cell for 23 hours a day, sometimes 24 hours, depending on the mood of the officers or if there was a lockdown at the prison. Our showers -- which we were supposed to receive every day -- were subject to the officers’ whims as well. Sometimes, I didn’t get a shower for days. More here.
"A nation of organisers: What David Brooks could learn from Saul Alinsky and John Wesley" By Luke Bretherton
David Brooks's article "A Nation of Weavers" points to social isolation as the root cause of the social crisis America faces and the personal suffering many endure. His constructive response is to reweave the social fabric from the ground up. Brooks is right on both counts, but important lessons must be learned from how previous generations addressed the same problem.
Brooks sees "hyperindividualism" and a fragilised social fabric as new phenomenon. They are not. They are a constitutive feature of the modern world that commentators have lamented since the eighteenth century. For example, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, shared Brooks's concerns.
As did socialists and conservative reformers through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some pointed to capitalism as the cause, with its demand that each puts their self-interest above that of the common good. Others to an emphasis on individual autonomy that sees throwing off social obligations as the basis of freedom and, in doing so, refuses the reality that each of us is constituted through our relations with others.
By Michael Gecan
A friend in a very blue part of the country recently sent me an email describing his experience with much younger progressives singing the praises of rising political stars Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
His very basic question — “What have they done?” — is met with stony silence and barely restrained frustration. The message in their silence is implicit: You’re too old to understand that matching words with deeds doesn’t matter, accomplishments don’t matter. What matters is who they are — young, hip, fresh, unencumbered – and how they talk.
Some thoughts on disco-era blackface
Brown v. Board of Education was Reconstruction, redux. As the freedom struggle (finally) got Brown enforced, a generation of Southern whites had the experience, for the first time in their lifetimes, of encountering black people in “their” institutions in a posture of social equality.
The shift in power for whites was destabilizing, threatening, unpleasant; even at the "open-minded" end of the white-opinion spectrum, it was "weird.”
It was also reminiscent.
De Blasio built a house of cards: How the city's affordable housing plan has failed to meet the challenge by rev david brawley and michael gecan/iaf
One of the oldest techniques that people in power use when faced with a profound and unresolved challenge, or an outright defeat, is to declare victory and exit.
Nixon did it at the end of Vietnam. George W. Bush did it in Iraq. And Mayor de Blasio — through his outgoing deputy mayor in charge of housing, Alicia Glen — did it last week in the midst of the ongoing homelessness and NYCHA debacles. Opinion piece in NY Daily News.