Stop Paying for Iraq War
This week, President Bush submitted a supplemental budget request for an additional $100 billion to be spent this year on the war in Iraq. Congress will vote in the upcoming weeks on this request. If we allow Congress to grant this money to continue the war, then we cannot be surprised when it escalates and expands.
The 538th American soldier to die in Iraq, on Feb. 12, 2004, was my 19-year-old nephew from Portland. More than 2500 have followed him since. How many more young lives will be wasted? Yes, we were lied into this war, but after four years, any Congress person who votes to continue funding it is complicit.
Every American citizen needs to let (our legislators) know that we are watching. Call your senators, write your representatives and tell them you do not want any more American lives and dollars lost in Iraq. De-funding the war is not abandoning our troops — leaving them in Iraq IS!
Military Families Speak Out
'White Tide' Caused Assault
Jonathan Maus, bicycle activist, really put his foot in his mouth in regard to recent bike attacks in North and Northeast Portland. In the Portland Mercury (Bike Beat, Feb. 1), he said "...most cyclists are White and most groups of kids looking for crimes of opportunity are Black."
It's enlightening to turn his words around. How about the real crime of opportunity being gentrification? Whites come into what was historically a different ethnic neighborhood, bring their own culture, their fancy restaurants, health food stores, and art galleries, so as to be in their comfort zone — what Black folks call "the White Tide." It takes away another group's cultural significance, but then White folks get mad with a real attitude if things don't go their way (Maus states if the community approach doesn't work "I could quickly change my tone and call for immediate action from the city" (Portland Mercury, Feb. 1)
One of the bloggers on his site, PortlandBike.org, commented that there was "some resentment" in the black community about gentrification, but goes on to state that he "wonders" whether bicycles and race have anything to do about it.
Hello? Maus himself states he doesn't want to "make race the issue," and his limp conclusions are to "diversify" the biking community, and try to change the "view" of what bicycles represent to the Black community. Talk about ignorance and a patronizing attitude: hasn't he ever seen Black folks riding a bike?
It appears that, at the end of this gentrification process, there are some young folks doing the wrong thing for an understandable, if not right, reason.
Certain young people are enraged and retaliating. They see White privilege and arrogance to boot. "Cyclists" racing around as if they were in the Tour de France, bringing their attitude and culture and taking over what used to be their 'hood. What's the reaction from the newcomers? They sure do get upset when "the White Tide" isn't welcomed with open arms!
I'm not justifying violent actions. But folks need to look at the emotions beneath the violence — the anger and the rage. Maus says, "I can't really say anything about race because I'm White." (Cycling Advocate Pushes for Unity after Assault, The Skanner, Feb. 7) What a ludicrous statement — is he afraid to face his own White privilege and what it means in this situation?
Editor's Note: Maus' full comment in the Feb. 1 edition of the Portland Mercury read, "Let's be realistic – and it's important that my remarks aren't taken out of context – but there is a perception that most cyclists are White and most groups of kids looking for crimes of opportunity are Black."