I have to say that the story that gripped me the most is one from The Latin Americanist that I've already blogged about here. That's the one about Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa telling the US that they can keep their military base in Ecuador if he can build one in Miami. Gotta love a guy that can not only reframe the whole "US Empire" thing, but also do it snarkalishously.
Kyle over at Citizen Orange reflects on the defeat of the Dream Act and the courageous young people who worked so hard on it.
Amidst all of the stories of justice denied, it was great to learn that the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Genarlow Wilson, a young man who had been convicted of receiving a consenting "blow job."
Speaking of justice denied, Nezua tells us about Abdul Muneem Patel, a 17 year old who was sentenced to jail for "one charge of possessing a document likely to be useful for terrorism."
Over at Resist Racism we get a wonderful lesson on racimese.
The women of Document the Silence are asking us all to wear red on October 31st in memory of the violence against women of color that most often goes unnoticed and unreported.
Finally, I want to recommend a diary written by Madman in the Marketplace from over a year ago as we approach Dia De Los Muertos. This is perhaps some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read on the internet.
Today, in the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos, let us look away from all of that. Today, lets celebrate instead those who've fought dark times before, survived dark times before, PREVAILED in times that were much like what we face now.
THIS Dia De Los Muertos, remember their struggles, but remember their COMMUNITY. Remember that unlike the right, unlike the worshippers of division and death, we can look back with joy and fondness at people who sang and danced and loved and communed DESPITE their struggles, despite the exploitation, the hatred, the discrimination and fear. They formed communities, they formed unions, they formed sewing circles and barn raisings and volunteer organizations. They rallied with their neighbors, mended fences, found common ground with NEW neighbors different from themselves. It's easy to remember the nativists, the klansmen, the misogynists and gay bashers and jingoists and bundists ... but also remember that there were ALWAYS good people opposing them, forging bonds, talking and working together to build a brighter, broader, more inclusive future. While there were slavers, there were abolitionists. When other men jeered and sniped, remember there were women who reminded others that a woman was every bit the equal of a man and should have a voice, and there were sons who listened to them.
Celebrate the artists, the writers, the musicians and performers who forged bonds between different groups of people, who showed us all that it's okay to be different, that different can be wonderful and exciting. Remember that every time that culture tried to expand our ties, broaden our conversations, help us see the world anew, the authoritarian minded tried to silence them, ban them, attack them, but over time the artists prevailed. From the churches and the juke joints, the beer halls and the smokey bars, from the salons to the corner table at the Algonquin, from coffee houses to underground clubs ... we can remember fondly those who found beauty and strength in the everyday and in the sublime and IN EACH OTHER. THIS Dia De Los Muertos, read their words, sing their songs, dance to their tunes, enjoy their paintings and sculptures and their videos. Remember that no matter how loudly, how violently, how insistently those afraid of openness and sharing and difference and change tried to stop it, the songs got sung, the rugs got cut, the words got read.
The fight, the struggle, the great human show continues, and throughout history given time and perserverance it has been the cultivators, not the extractors, who have brought beauty, peace and prosperity to the world. Over the next couple of days, remember them fondly, and let those memories inform your choices as we face the struggles ahead.