tunisia and AZ

01/17/2011 § Leave a comment

1) did u know that tunisia had a revolution this week?   mohammed bouazizi’s self immolation ignited national protests against mass unemployment and corruption in the 23 year rule of ben ali (recently highlighted by wikileaks).  ben ali flees the country, making this the first popular removal of an arab dictator in over 25.  not only have the tunisian people fought for and won the possibility of political transformation, they also demonstrate the power of a country’s native population to address their own political repression, without the so called intervention/invasion from western powers.  i dont want to oversimplify the situation and note that the subsequent struggle for power is volatile and shifting as we speak.  but yea.  wheres the mainstream media on this and wheres the US left consciousness on the implications of these events?

2) the arizona shooting is sad, scary and abhorrent- and i agree that palinesque discourse is a problem and they deserves a spanking.  but im also not totally feeling the democrats opportunism, attributing the whole thing to ‘cross hairs’ on a map without talking about broader cultures of violence, the availability of weapons in the US, and the lack mental health resources.  a secondary point.. if the shooter was brown, how would the discourse on this be different?  expect talk of a culture of terror amongst muslims or the threat of increased immigration, or some irrelevant nonsense that served dominant media narratives that fuel xenophobia and militarism without making us safer.

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