California – People continued to point the finger at Latinos and African Americans for the win of prop 8 and the stories about homophobia in communities of color continue to dominate local papers and blogs. Meanwhile, Latino activists march for gay rights through East LA and Downtown as part of a Latin@ organized response to prop 8. The march was attended by multicultural activists wanting to show both an anti-racist and anti-homophobic stance. Pictures from the event show many neighbors reacting positively even if they did not participate in the march itself. see more than 76 amazing images from the march here
Haiti – a school collapse in Haiti killed more children than it would have elsewhere due to a lack of proper equipment. Haitians literally dug children out of the rubble with their barehands this past week desperately trying to free children from the school. An estimated 88-90 children died in the collapse while others held on to the hope they would finally be freed. Ongoing poverty in Haiti can be traced all the way back to the imperialist decision to charge the Haitian nation for daring to declare itself free in the colonial period but is often described or perceived as a sort of black pathology and inability to govern. read more here
US – more schools in New England are moving toward a 2 year high school model. Two different schools in New England now have 2 year tracks for high school in order “make high school more rigorous.” Students will be expected to take AP and IB like exams to show college readiness at the end of 2 years. For one such program, those who fail will have an unlimited amount of attempts to pass or the option to continue on with the regular 4 year program. The schools claim it is to bring rigorous instruction and education reform to the high school level and also because highschoolers can “compete intellectually in this region of the country.” What they are not focusing on discussing is how districts plan to save millions in teacher salaries, school building operation costs, etc. and how much money they are making in fees nor how these schools serve an almost exclusively if not exclusively racially homogenous population.
Washington DC – The Bushes meet the Obamas at the White House. Initial comments from pundits divide on party lines, including conservative praise of the Bush’s collegiality vs. liberal questions about Laura Bush’s possible shrug off of Michelle Obama’s embrace for a photo op outside White House. The quick meet and greet outside the White House contained its share of hits and misses on both sides. Pundits have an all day analytical field day to my extreme boredom. Watch it on youtube here.
Postville – Meat Packing Company files for bankruptcy citing the negative depiction of their company by the media and ICE as the reasons. Others point out that the company was only able to make record profits through illegal hiring practices and below market wages and other potentially exploitative labor practices that they cannot continue b/c immigrants are afraid to work there or have all been incarcerated by ICE.