Smart people saying smart things (9.14)

Smart people saying smart things (9.14) September 14, 2015

Duncan Black, “On a Dime”

I don’t claim to know how to solve the world’s problems, but I suspect that we could spend a bit less on “humanitarian bombs” and a bit more on “taking in refugees” and probably at least help a few more people than we do. I understand the urge (sometimes somewhat noble, sometimes not) to go after the bastards in charge, but ultimately the point is, supposedly, to help the people. The US is a giant country. We can take in way more refugees than we do, and the moral case for doing so doesn’t even depend on the fact that we’ve helped to nudge them out of their homes.

Shaun King, “Everything that claims to be Christian”

Without fail, the people who harass me daily (I don’t mean genuine critiques) with the ugliest racist words and threats, all claim to be Christian. The people who openly hate Latino immigrants and even state that they’d like to shoot and kill them almost always claim to be Christians. The people who make life difficult, daily, and mock my LGBT friends, are almost always Christians. Those who are calling the Black Lives Matter movement a “terrorist organization” or a hate group … so called Christians.

Dr. Hawa Abdi, Vital Voices

Juan Cole, “Whether Jewish Refugees in ’30s or Syrians today, USA Falls Short of own Ideals”

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003, which led to the creation of roughly 4 million Iraqi refugees out of the then some 26 million Iraqis, or nearly 1/6th of the population. That would be like 50 million Americans displaced. The US took in only a few thousand Iraqi refugees after causing all that trouble. The US invasion radicalized Iraq’s Sunnis and drove them into the arms of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which morphed into Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) at camp Bucca and then took much of Syria, contributing to making 11 million of 22 million Syrians into displaced persons. 4 million have been forced abroad, to Jordan, Lebanon & Turkey, and now thousands are trying to get into Europe.

The US politicians who voted for the Iraq War say we can’t let in Iraqis or Syrians because they might have been radicalized.

Imani Gandy, “How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used to Shame Black Women”

It is true that Sanger was a proponent of eugenics, and pro-choice advocates do themselves no favors by attempting to whitewash this fact and paint Sanger as some infallible feminist hero. Sanger was passionate about contraception — perhaps to a fault — and her fervor about promoting her birth control agenda led her to align herself with eugenicists, along with racists and an assortment of people of questionable character.

But it is simply untrue that Margaret Sanger wanted to exterminate the Black race. This is a flat-out lie. Yet it is one that is repeated ad nauseum, both by anti-choice activists and the politicians who support them, most recently Ben Carson.

In propagating this lie, anti-choicers infantilize Black women and strip them of their agency: They portray Margaret Sanger’s birth control agenda as something that was done to Black women, rather than something in which Black women and much of the Black community as a whole enthusiastically participated.


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