Thursday Links: Boots, Salaita, Kalamazoo, etc.

(1) Boots Riley talks communism on Fox:  See what happens when someone criticizes capitalism on an Ohio Fox affiliate.  The story at the Plain Dealer website is great; the comment section is hilarious. See also the original story at the Lakewood Citizen website.

(2) Holding Bankers Accountable, New York Times Room for DebateLisa Gilbert and Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen have a piece in this forum, as does Lynn Stout.

(3) NYT endorses Tim Wu for NYS lt. gov., a day after failing to endorse Wu’s running mate, Zephyr Teachout, for governor, which many commenters at the NYT website found strange. Better than no endorsement for either of them, I guess, and Cuomo’s pick for his running mate sounds like a piece of work.

(4) Phan Nguyen on the firing of Steven Salaita:  At Mondoweiss, an excellent twopart take-down of Cary Nelson, the U. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign English professor and former president of the AAUP, who has defended the university’s firing (which is what it is when you withdraw a job offer that has been accepted, and the candidate and his spouse have resigned their positions to move to the new job) of Steven Salaita, a Palestinian-American scholar for tweets critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza. It appears that there was a coordinated campaign of right-wing bloggers to target Salaita. I’m proud my philosopher friends Jason Stanley (of Yale) and Ralph Wedgwood (of USC) have written strong letters in support of Salaita and publicized his firing on Facebook. Here’s what Ralph said, with characteristic flair, on FB when the UIUC trustees upheld Salaita’s firing: “In view of the statements that have been released today by the administration of the University of Illinois, I’m perfectly happy to boycott their university until such time as either (a) they convince me that they have ceased to be the enemies of academic freedom, or (b) I draw my dying breath (whichever is sooner).”  Also check out political theorist Bonnie Honig’s letter to UIUC chancellor Phyllis Wise, posted at the website of political scientist Corey Robin, who has been publicizing the Salaita affair; and finally, see an analysis of the legal issues by Michael C. Dorf at’s Verdict site.

(5) With/Out-Borders Conference in Kalamazoo:  Hat-tip to HIllary Rettig, who sent this:

Kalamazoo Conference Features International Activists, Artists, and Scholars

Next month, we’re having an amazing activist/arts/scholarship conference right here in Kalamazoo! The With/Out-Borders conference will include timely events on racism and urban unrest, the Israel-BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement, the prison-industrial complex, youth immigration/undocumented youth, and much more. Here are some of the presenters:

  • Angela Y. Davis, Civil Rights Icon
  • Nikky Finney, National Book Award Winner
  • Willie Kgositsile, South African Poet Laureate
  • Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Performance Artist and MacArthur Fellow
  • Gloria Rolando, Filmmaker
  • Radmilla Cody, NAMMY winner and former Miss Navaho

It’s literally a unique opportunity to see international leaders in many activist fields all gathered in one place and talking intersections.

September 25-28 at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College
Please check out the full program here:

 That’s it for now.

–Chris Sturr

Wednesday Links

(1) Claudia Roth Pierpont, A Raised Voice: How Nina Simone turned the movement into music.  Great piece in the current New Yorker. Read while listening to “Mississippi Goddam” (above).

(2) Frederick Reese, In Greece Privatization Schemes, Who Benefits?  From Mint Press.

(3) Gerald Friedman, What Happened to the Recovery? Pts. I and II.  Our latest offering, Jerry Friedman’s “Economy in Numbers” column from our last two issues. Great information about the so-called recovery, all in one place. Cross-posted at our sister blog, Triple Crisis, here and here.

(4) Jason Stanley, When Protesting Israel Becomes Hating Jews, at the Boston Review blog. Personal and brave, from my old friend Jason.

(5)  Marjorie Cohn, US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes, Genocide & Crimes against Humanity, from Jurist.

(6) Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay, Commentary on the July 2014 BLS Jobs Report, from the Chicago Political Economy Group. Ron also sent this from the Chicago TribuneJobs coming back post-recession, but with much lower pay, study says.

(7) New York Prosecutors Charge Payday Loan Firms with Usery, from the New York Times Dealbook blog; hat-tip to TM.  And there’s this from John Oliver:

That’s it for this week.

–Chris Sturr