Countries that Trump calls Shitholes are violent, poverty stricken countries because of over a century of US Policy

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

President Trump is creating a stir again over his recent comments about immigrants that are coming from “shithole” countries, like Haiti and countries in Africa. 

Numerous commentators are responding to the racist nature of such comments and for good reason. However, there is a completely different component here that most media sources are missing and that is the fact that many of the countries that Trump is referring to have refugees/immigrants coming to the US because of US imperialism and European colonialism.

Let’s start with a look at Haiti.

Haiti became independent in 1804, after a revolution led by Black people.The US hated this fact and has been punishing Haiti ever since. Abraham Lincoln proposed to send all the black slaves to Haiti as a White Supremacist solution and since the early 20th century the US has pretty much run the small Caribbean nation.

From 1914 to 1934, the US…

View original post 417 more words

Indiana Privatizes Education: Daniels, Pence, DeVos, Bush, and a Red-State Tea Party Tide


In his fine book, the One Percent Solution, economist Gordon Lafer describes Indiana—a state that became all-Red as its House of Representatives turned Republican in the 2010 Tea Party wave—as “one of the models of corporate-backed education reform.”

Lafer continues: “Between 2011 and 2015 legislators in the Hoosier state adopted new statutes restricting teachers’ right to collective bargaining, expanding both charter schools and vouchers, authorizing online education, lowering certification standards, requiring that teacher evaluations be based on student test scores, and replacing across-the-board pay increases with merit pay that is reserved for those with the highest test scores and often comes in the form of a onetime bonus rather than a permanent raise.” (p. 147)

Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, covers this political transformation of Indiana in a fascinating short piece that you may have missed during the holidays. Burris explores the history of…

View original post 850 more words

The Business Press in Grand Rapids, 2017 Newsmakers and the local Power Structure

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Reading the business press can be difficult at times, but for those who are engaged in grassroots organizing, it is important for us to monitor such news sources. It’s important because those who have economic and political power are often more candid with what they think in the business press than in the more mainstream commercial media.

In addition, the business press also is pretty up front about their bias, even allegiance, to those who wield tremendous economic and often political power. This was demonstrated recently in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, with their announcement of the 2017 Newsmakers of the Year awards event, scheduled for January 31st at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. 

The list of nominees reads like a who’s who of the Grand Rapids power structure, with mostly familiar names, to those who follow power dynamics in West Michigan.

There are 16 separate categories, with 3 nominations…

View original post 371 more words