REMEMBER THE MAINE!
Regarding Alexander Cockburn’s March 5 “Beat the Devil” column on the New York Times and the war, titled “Sold to Mr. Gordon, Another Bridge!”: This is the centennial of yellow journalism. William Randolph Hearst involved us in war against the decaying Spanish (read Habsburg) Empire over the Maine–which we blew up–early in the last century. It sold newspapers! Now in the beginning death throes of this pulp fiction and its copycats, the Times is involving us in a war against… what is it this time? Al Qaeda? Evil? Terrorism?
And now the Iranians claim that bombs used by terrorists were US manufactured. Will Mr. Gordon find them as credible as he finds the Bush Administration? Keep up the good work, Mr. Cockburn.
DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY…
Saint Cloud, Minn.
Gary Younge, in his March 5 “White History 101,” gives a superb analysis, the best I’ve seen. I hope history teachers will carry this column into their classrooms to help students understand how history gets converted into ideology. My challenge for history teachers and students: Drop the passive voice in describing settlement, slavery and segregation. Name the white criminals who still run the country. Racism is not abstract; it is the daily activity of whites going about business as usual. I publicly thank Gary Younge.
Kudos to Gary Younge! One thought, though. As a Jew, I am proud of the moral stand that led Goodman and Schwerner to the South and take issue with Younge’s defining them as “white.” I have never thought of myself as white. “White” people generally don’t accept me and mine as 100 percent white, and I’m not sure I’m too sad about that. Goodman and Schwerner were certainly not considered white by the bigots who murdered them–how much shall we wager that some anti-Jewish slurs were thrown at them before they were slaughtered?
Rather than learning about James Blake, or Lester Maddox, it might be better if Americans discussed how our leaders distract us with nonissues like who sits where on the bus, or who can marry whom, or what happens to an embryo, instead of focusing on low wages, bad schools or nonexistent healthcare.