Human Rights

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The past century has seen a revolution in the struggle for human rights, but the revolution remains unfinished. There is an ongoing need to share knowledge and transform it into action and meaningful change. This section of the Weave is devoted to raising awareness of some of the world's most pressing human rights issues.

Curiousities Primed for Scientistic Discourse

A piece entitled 'Primed for Controversy' appeared in the February 23rd New York Times. Written by a psychiatric scholar known for her critique of 'therapy culture' and forthcoming critical appraisal of the popular appeal of neuroscience, it discusses how one of one of psychology's most popular and captivating findings - the effects of 'priming' - has come to be widely disputed.

The Use of Mental and Physical Illness

These categories tell you something about the way in which sophisticated human beings think, but it is doubtful they tell you anything about the things themselves. -Wilfred Bion

The Other New Jim Crow? (UPDATED)

Ask anyone you know: when you hear the phrase “segregated buses,” what comes to mind?  Most people will respond by referring to the racist laws that prevailed in the southern United States during the infamous Jim Crow era that lasted (formally) until the mid-1960s.  While these laws affected many different aspects of people’s everyday lives, the racial segregation of public buses remains one of the best-known aspects of the Jim Crow era thanks to the efforts of courageous civil rights activists like Rosa Parks, who was recently honored with a statue at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.  Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Parks’ birth, the unveiling of the statue appeared to mark a recognition that the days of segregated buses are now firmly part of “history.” Or are they? 

Guest Blog: The Execution of Christopher Dorner

I am reprinting the following piece originally published today by Counterpunch, with permission, because it gets at some very important issues about structures of violence that resonate not only throughout the U.S., but also in Palestine (the normal topic of this blog).  One of the authors, George Ciccariello-Maher, is a St.

The Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma)

The Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma)


    "This [Rohingya persecution] is truly systemic. It's part of Myanmar's legal and social system to discriminate against the Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity … all the facets of life are affected by a system that codifies and makes lawful their persecution and discrimination."
Benjamin Zawacki, a Myanmar researcher for Amnesty International

Gaza Lesson #3: Gangnam Gaza Style!

For those who have been following the global cultural tsunami known as “Gangnam Style,” you’ll be interested to know that a group of Palestinians in Gaza have gotten into the act with a “Gangnam Gaza Style” video.  Published on YouTube just a few days ago, the video slyly offers a window into how Palestinians under occupation are forced to improvise (e.g. by riding donkeys when there are fuel shortages) and how they are able to create forms of black humor to help themselves get by.  Take a look:

The Uyghur People of East Turkistan

 

"I come from China but I am not Chinese. I am Uyghur. When I say Uyghur, people don't know, so they don't ask or say anything. When I say, I come from China, people ask questions. Then I say I am Uyghur. I am Muslim."

Breaking News! CNN Finds Israelis to Confirm the Obvious

I’m fond of quoting Gil Scott-Heron’s sarcastic observation that “America leads the world in shock!”  It’s a concise way of expressing how easily people in a position of privilege can bury their heads in the sand for years…decades…generations…and then suddenly realize the obvious – and then expect everyone else to congratulate them for discovering it.  So it’s no surprise to find CNN expressing shock – shock! – at the content of The Gatekeepers, the Oscar-nominated documentary that features the perspectives of six former heads of the Shin Bet (Israel’s "internal security service").  In a January 28 blog post, CNN’s Samuel Burke breathlessly tells us that the film contains “stunning revelations.” Money quote:

Against the backdrop of the currently frozen peace process, all six argue – to varying degrees – that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is bad for the state of Israel.

Gaza Lesson #2: Endless Deferral

As I continue to reflect on what can be learned from a close look at the discourse surrounding Israel’s November 2012 “Operation Pillar of Cloud” in Gaza, I want to leave the media discourse aside for a moment and report on something more local.  Back in December I participated in a UVA-style “Flash Seminar” at my university’s new Global Dialogue Center (a project co-sponsored by the Weave).  The topic was Gaza, and the conversation unintentionally revealed yet another way in which our ways of talking about Israel/Palestine often serve to obfuscate as much as they explain.  With that in mind:

Lesson #2: The dominant discourse on Israel/Palestine produces a tendency to defer endlessly any systematic attention to Palestinians themselves, as real human beings – their rights, their experiences, and the real conditions of their lives.