1525 Chapters
Medium 9781626566743

16 Pimping, and Financing Osama bin Laden

Perkins, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From the start, Prince W. let me know that whenever he came to visit me in Boston, he expected to be entertained by a woman of his liking, and that he expected her to perform more functions than those of a simple escort. But he most definitely did not want a professional call girl, someone he or his family members might bump into on the street or at a cocktail party. My meetings with Prince W. were held in secret, which made it easier for me to comply with his wishes.

“Sally” lived in the Boston area. I knew the prince would be attracted to her blond hair and blue eyes. Her husband, a United Airlines pilot who traveled a great deal both on and off the job, made little attempt to hide his infidelities. It seemed to me that Sally had a cavalier attitude about her husband’s activities. She appreciated his salary, the plush Boston condo, and the benefits a pilot’s spouse enjoyed in those days. She agreed to meet Prince W. on one condition: she insisted that the future of their relationship depended entirely upon his behavior and attitude toward her.

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Medium 9781626568471

CHAPTER 12 How Do I Know What I Own?

Behar, Andrew Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Most people know the companies that they hold as direct equities. But very few know which company stocks are embedded in their retirement plans, 401(k), 403(b), mutual funds, ETFs, and other investing vehicles. This is why we built a free, open-to-the-public web tool specifically designed to compare fund holdings with any given list based on ESG criteria. The first version is called Fossil Free Funds.157 A gender diversity, gun, and prison version will be developed soon. These tools are described in detail in the next chapter.

The fundamental takeaway is that those who divest and those who engage have the same goal, and divestment and engagement strategies strengthen each other by using market forces to bring about change. As Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,158 Christiana Figueres said in a recent New Yorker article, “Where capital goes over the next fifteen years is going to decide whether we’re actually able to address climate change and what kind of a century we are going to have.159

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Medium 9781576756270

Chapter 6 The “Negative” Code

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have
an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.

— MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN

During a nightclub act, Michael Richards, the actor who played Kramer on the TV show Seinfeld, called a person heckling him the N-word.1 In apologizing the next day, Richards went on the air and defended himself by saying, “I am not a racist”2

No one believed him any more than they believed Richard Nixon when he said that he was “not a crook.” First, because what Richards said had been captured on video and was played endlessly on the Web and in the news, for most of us it sure looked and sounded (and felt) like at least some part of him was racist (as is true of virtually every human on the planet). In the public’s mind, Richards’s denial failed the ecology check.

As we have seen, however, people can get away with lying in the short run—as Bush did about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction—if they are competent communicators (or have the complicity of competent communicators in their party and the corporate media). As the old saying often attributed to Abraham Lincoln goes: “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

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Medium 9780253018557

Breaking the Chains of Stigma

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

For a decade, I have used photography to highlight human rights issues in Africa. Never before, though, have I come across a greater affront to human dignity than the treatment of people with mental disabilities in regions in crisis.

For people with mental disabilities in warzones, among displaced populations, and in regions wracked by corruption, life is dire. I didn’t know this before January 2011. While covering a story for a newspaper, I found a section of a prison in South Sudan where the inmates were naked and shackled to the floor: they had mental disabilities. They had committed no crime.

I had never thought about the long-term consequences of disasters. We cover wars, famines, natural disasters, and displacements of people on the continent. Once the peace treaty is signed, the emergency food relief delivered, or the flood waters have receeded, we leave. For the media, the story is finished. The suffering is not. Deep psychological scars remain, and when the dust settles, the facilities and staff to support the mentally disabled often no longer exist.

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Medium 9780253018571

Cento for Césaire

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Where Africa was a case of the unspoken, Europe was a case of that which is endlessly speaking—endlessly speaking us.

—STUART HALL

strength lines me up on the shadowless meridian

sweltering pile of chipped plates

hard night long pole night without stars

it is the hour for throwing a desiccated delta across my face

and why not go on excite me the first step of chaos

harsh tom-toms that maintain on high

my dwelling of water of wind of iodine of stars

dwelling made of an epidemic of drums

dwelling made of water glimpsed upon waking

dwelling made of animal skins and eyelids

the raw bellowing the caiman emits

at the outset of an earthquake

as your solstice shakes me strikes me devours me

there I am in my dwelling in your face

right where my mutilations are other limbs grow back

watching the world explode at the option of my silence

*all lines adapted from Aimé Césaire’s Solar Throat Slashed (Wesleyan: 2011).

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