person:franklin d. roosevelt

  • Call immigrant detention centers what they really are: concentration camps

    If you were paying close attention last week, you might have spotted a pattern in the news. Peeking out from behind the breathless coverage of the Trump family’s tuxedoed trip to London was a spate of deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody: Johana Medina Léon, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker; an unnamed 33-year-old Salvadoran man; and a 40-year-old woman from Honduras.

    Photos from a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso showed people herded so tightly into cells that they had to stand on toilets to breathe. Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees. These followed another report that showed that thousands of detainees are being brutally held in isolation cells just for being transgender or mentally ill.

    Also last week, the Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors — which were likened to “summer camps” by a senior ICE official last year. And there was the revelation that months after being torn from their parents’ arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center outside Port Isabel, Texas. In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in federal custody.

    Preventing mass outrage at a system like this takes work. Certainly it helps that the news media covers these horrors intermittently rather than as snowballing proof of a racist, lawless administration. But most of all, authorities prevail when the places where people are being tortured and left to die stay hidden, misleadingly named and far from prying eyes.

    There’s a name for that kind of system. They’re called concentration camps. You might balk at my use of the term. That’s good — it’s something to be balked at.

    The goal of concentration camps has always been to be ignored. The German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was imprisoned by the Gestapo and interned in a French camp, wrote a few years afterward about the different levels of concentration camps. Extermination camps were the most extreme; others were just about getting “undesirable elements … out of the way.” All had one thing in common: “The human masses sealed off in them are treated as if they no longer existed, as if what happened to them were no longer of interest to anybody, as if they were already dead.”

    Euphemisms play a big role in that forgetting. The term “concentration camp” is itself a euphemism. It was invented by a Spanish official to paper over his relocation of millions of rural families into squalid garrison towns where they would starve during Cuba’s 1895 independence war. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II, he initially called them concentration camps. Americans ended up using more benign names, like “Manzanar Relocation Center.”

    Even the Nazis’ camps started out small, housing criminals, Communists and opponents of the regime. It took five years to begin the mass detention of Jews. It took eight, and the outbreak of a world war, for the first extermination camps to open. Even then, the Nazis had to keep lying to distract attention, claiming Jews were merely being resettled to remote work sites. That’s what the famous signs — Arbeit Macht Frei, or “Work Sets You Free” — were about.

    Subterfuge doesn’t always work. A year ago, Americans accidentally became aware that the Trump administration had adopted (and lied about) a policy of ripping families apart at the border. The flurry of attention was thanks to the viral conflation of two separate but related stories: the family-separation order and bureaucrats’ admission that they’d been unable to locate thousands of migrant children who’d been placed with sponsors after crossing the border alone.

    Trump shoved that easily down the memory hole. He dragged his heels a bit, then agreed to a new policy: throwing whole families into camps together. Political reporters posed irrelevant questions, like whether President Obama had been just as bad, and what it meant for the midterms. Then they moved on.

    It is important to note that Trump’s aides have built this system of racist terror on something that has existed for a long time. Several camps opened under Obama, and as president he deported millions of people.

    But Trump’s game is different. It certainly isn’t about negotiating immigration reform with Congress. Trump has made it clear that he wants to stifle all non-white immigration, period. His mass arrests, iceboxes and dog cages are part of an explicitly nationalist project to put the country under the control of the right kind of white people.

    As a Republican National Committee report noted in 2013: “The nation’s demographic changes add to the urgency of recognizing how precarious our position has become.” The Trump administration’s attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census was also just revealed to have been a plot to disadvantage political opponents and boost “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” all along.

    That’s why this isn’t just a crisis facing immigrants. When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn’t usually stop with the first group he detains.

    There are now at least 48,000 people detained in ICE facilities, which a former official told BuzzFeed News “could swell indefinitely.” Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended more than 144,000 people on the Southwest border last month. (The New York Times dutifully reported this as evidence of a “dramatic surge in border crossings,” rather than what it was: The administration using its own surge of arrests to justify the rest of its policies.)

    If we call them what they are — a growing system of American concentration camps — we will be more likely to give them the attention they deserve. We need to know their names: Port Isabel, Dilley, Adelanto, Hutto and on and on. With constant, unrelenting attention, it is possible we might alleviate the plight of the people inside, and stop the crisis from getting worse. Maybe people won’t be able to disappear so easily into the iceboxes. Maybe it will be harder for authorities to lie about children’s deaths.

    Maybe Trump’s concentration camps will be the first thing we think of when we see him scowling on TV.

    The only other option is to leave it up to those in power to decide what’s next. That’s a calculated risk. As Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night,” one of the most comprehensive books on the history of concentration camps, recently noted: “Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He’ll take them as far as he’s allowed to.”
    #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #camps #camps_de_concentration #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #USA #Etats-Unis

    • ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System

      On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

      At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.

      The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States.

      So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity.

      On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections.

      In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported.

      Conditions for detainees have not been improving. At the end of May, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general found nearly 900 migrants at a Texas shelter built for a capacity of 125 people. On June 11, a university professor spotted at least 100 men behind chain-link fences near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas. Those detainees reported sitting outside for weeks in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees. Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration lawyer, described going into one facility and finding “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches… Another young child had to be restrained by his mother because he kept running full-speed into metal lockers. He was covered in bruises.”

      If deciding what to do about the growing numbers of adults and children seeking refuge in the US relies on complex humanitarian policies and international laws, in which most Americans don’t take a deep interest, a simpler question also presents itself: What exactly are these camps that the Trump administration has opened, and where is this program of mass detention headed?

      Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity.

      Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features.

      Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before.

      Under Spanish rule in 1896, the governor-general of Cuba instituted camps in order to clear rebel-held regions during an uprising, despite his predecessor’s written refusal “as the representative of a civilized nation, to be the first to give the example of cruelty and intransigence” that such detention would represent. After women and children began dying in vast numbers behind barbed wire because there had been little planning for shelter and even less for food, US President William McKinley made his call to war before Congress. He spoke against the policy of reconcentración, calling it warfare by uncivilized means. “It was extermination,” McKinley said. “The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness and the grave.” Without full records, the Cuban death toll can only be estimated, but a consensus puts it in the neighborhood of 150,000, more than 10 percent of the island’s prewar population.

      Today, we remember the sinking of the USS Maine as the spark that ignited the Spanish-American War. But war correspondent George Kennan (cousin of the more famous diplomat) believed that “it was the suffering of the reconcentrados, more, perhaps, than any other one thing that brought about the intervention of the United States.” On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war. Two weeks later, US Marines landed at Fisherman’s Point on the windward side of the entrance to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. After a grim, week-long fight, the Marines took the hill. It became a naval base, and the United States has never left that patch of land.

      As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

      Meanwhile, in southern Africa in 1900, the British had opened their own camps during their battle with descendants of Dutch settlers in the second Boer War. British soldiers filled tent cities with Boer women and children, and the military authorities called them refugee camps. Future Prime Minister David Lloyd George took offense at that name, noting in Parliament: “There is no greater delusion in the mind of any man than to apply the term ‘refugee’ to these camps. They are not refugee camps. They are camps of concentration.” Contemporary observers compared them to the Cuban camps, and criticized their deliberate cruelty. The Bishop of Hereford wrote to The Times of London in 1901, asking: “Are we reduced to such a depth of impotence that our Government can do nothing to stop such a holocaust of child-life?”

      Maggoty meat rations and polluted water supplies joined outbreaks of contagious diseases amid crowded and unhealthy conditions in the Boer camps. More than 27,000 detainees are thought to have died there, nearly 80 percent of them children. The British had opened camps for black Africans as well, in which at least 14,000 detainees died—the real number is probably much higher. Aside from protests made by some missionaries, the deaths of indigenous black Africans did not inspire much public outrage. Much of the history of the suffering in these camps has been lost.

      These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.”

      Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. The Daily Mail denounced aliens left at liberty once they had registered with their local police department, demanding, “Does signing his name take the malice out of a man?” The Scottish Field was more direct, asking, “Do Germans have souls?” That these civilian detainees were no threat to Britain did not keep them from being demonized, shouted at, and spat upon as they were paraded past hostile crowds in cities like London.

      Though a small number of people were shot in riots in these camps, and hunger became a serious issue as the conflict dragged on, World War I internment would present a new, non-lethal face for the camps, normalizing detention. Even after the war, new camps sprang up from Spain to Hungary and Cuba, providing an improvised “solution” for everything from vagrancy to anxieties over the presence of Jewish foreigners.

      Some of these camps were clearly not safe for those interned. Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations.

      In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat.

      However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory.

      It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001.

      In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell.

      This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways.

      I visited Guantánamo twice in 2015, sitting in the courtroom for pretrial hearings and touring the medical facility, the library, and all the old abandoned detention sites, as well as newly built ones, open to the media—from the kennel-style cages of Camp X-Ray rotting to ruin in the damp heat to the modern jailhouse facilities of Camp 6. Seeing all this in person made clear to me how vast the architecture of detention had become, how entrenched it was, and how hard it would be to close.

      Without a significant government effort to reverse direction, conditions in every camp system tend to deteriorate over time. Governments rarely make that kind of effort on behalf of people they are willing to lock up without trial in the first place. And history shows that legislatures do not close camps against the will of an executive.

      Just a few years ago there might have been more potential for change spurred by the judicial branch of our democracy, but this Supreme Court is inclined toward deference to executive power, even, it appears, if that power is abused. It seems unlikely this Court will intervene to end the new border camp system; indeed, the justices are far more likely to institutionalize it by half-measures, as happened with Guantánamo. The Korematsu case, in which the Supreme Court upheld Japanese-American internment (a ruling only rescinded last year), relied on the suppression of evidence by the solicitor general. Americans today can have little confidence that this administration would behave any more scrupulously when defending its detention policy.

      What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

      Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades.

      When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away.

      The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently.

      President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical.

      The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly.

      Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.

      The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?

    • #Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez engage le bras de fer avec la politique migratoire de Donald Trump

      L’élue de New York a qualifié les camps de rétention pour migrants érigés à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis de « camps de concentration ».

  • Fascism in Chicago | WTTW Chicago

    September 6, 2018 - by Daniel Hautzinger - Last year, a pair of Chicago aldermen proposed renaming a Chicago street to honor the journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, and in July of this year the proposal was approved for a stretch of Congress Parkway. But Congress wasn’t the street originally considered for renaming; rather, it was Balbo Drive.

    7th Street became Balbo Drive in 1934, in recognition of Italo Balbo, a leading Italian Fascist under Benito Mussolini. There’s also Balbo Monument east of Soldier Field, a 2,000-year-old column donated by Mussolini to the city the same year. Why does Chicago have a street and monument honoring a Fascist?

    In 1933, Balbo led twenty-four seaplanes on a pioneering sixteen-day transatlantic journey from Rome to Chicago, flying over the Century of Progress World’s Fair before landing in Lake Michigan near Navy Pier. Balbo and the pilots were celebrated by Chicago’s high society over the next three days. Chief Blackhorn of the Sioux, who was participating in the World’s Fair, granted Balbo a headdress and christened him “Chief Flying Eagle;” Balbo gave the Chief a Fascist medallion in return. He and his pilots then continued on to New York City. Balbo was featured on the cover of Time magazine and had lunch with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The following year, Mussolini sent the column to Chicago to commemorate Balbo’s flight, and it was installed in front of the Fair’s Italian Pavilion. 40,000 people attended its unveiling, and a speech by Balbo was broadcast by radio from Italy. After the defeat of the Fascists in World War II and the revelation of their crimes, Italy’s ambassador to the United States suggested that marks of respect on the column to Balbo and the Fascist government be removed. Despite those changes, the monument still stands, and Balbo Drive retains its name despite the proposal to change it, being a point of pride for many Italian Americans in Chicago.

    The World’s Fair was also the site of a subtle protest against fascism in Europe, when a pageant dramatizing Jewish religious history took place in Soldier Field in July of 1933. According to the Chicago Daily News, the event drew 150,000 people of various faiths, and the “spiritual kinship” and “fine fellowship” between Christians and Jews there would “carry rebuke to those who oppress the Jew” in “Hitler’s Germany.”

    Two years later, Soldier Field saw a different kind of demonstration that does not seem to have been explicitly anti-Semitic but did feature the Nazi swastika. In 1936, a “German Day” rally included a march with both the American flag and a flag bearing the swastika. But the German American community in Chicago mostly laid low during World War II, careful to conceal their ethnicity and avoid experiencing some of the anti-German sentiment they had already experienced during World War I. However, in 1939 a rally in Merrimac Park supporting the German-American Bund, an organization sympathetic to Nazism and Hitler, attracted several thousand people.

    Decades later, a tiny flare-up of support for fascism in Chicagoland attracted outsized national attention. In 1977, a small neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America sought to hold a demonstration in the northern suburb of Skokie, which had a large population of Jewish people, including some 7,000 survivors of the Holocaust. The suburb originally planned on letting the demonstration happen and moving on, but was convinced by members of its Jewish community to prevent it. (In 1966, the head of the American Nazi Party came to Chicago to march against Martin Luther King, Jr. as Dr. King protested unfair housing practices in the city.)

    After passing ordinances that would prevent the demonstration, Skokie was challenged in court by the neo-Nazis, who were supported by the legal backing of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU did not support the views of the group, but rather sought to protect the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. David Goldberger, the ACLU lawyer who led the case, was Jewish.

    30,000 members of the ACLU resigned in protest, and financial support for the organization dropped precipitately. Yet the lawyers persevered, fearing that any denial of free speech was a slippery slope. Through various courts, injunctions, and proposed legislation, the neo-Nazis eventually won the case, which even made it to the Supreme Court.

    But the neo-Nazis never demonstrated in Skokie. Instead, they staged two marches in Chicago, one downtown and one in Marquette Park. Counter-protesters vastly outnumbered the ten or twenty neo-Nazis in both cases. The leader who spearheaded the marches and garnered the media’s attention during the Skokie case was later convicted for child molestation. (The hapless National Socialist Party of America is famously satirized in the 1980 film Blues Brothers.)

    In the wake of the Skokie case, Illinois became the first state to mandate Holocaust education in schools. And in 2009, Skokie became the site of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, an implicit rebuke to the attempted Nazi demonstrations of three decades prior.

    #USA #Chicago #fascisme

  • Sharder-The Storage Center For The New Gold, Data

    The Importance Of Gold Reserves: A Brief HistoryThe Storage Center For The New Gold: Thy Name Is SharderOver the course of history, different commodities have transformed economies and the ideals of commercialism and mercantilism. The California Gold Rush of the early 1850’s ushered in an economic zeitgeist of opportunism, in fact, over 300,000 people flocked to California from throughout the United States after John W.Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill to obtain a portion of this precious commodity. During the early 20th century an exponential increase of gold reserves occurred due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order in 1933 dictating that Americans must sell their coins for bank notes. The United States needed larger vaults to store the immense (...)

    #artificial-intelligence #bitcoin #ethereum #blockchain #cryptocurrency

  • WPA Federal Art Project | United States history |

    Où l’on voit que l’appareil de propagande américain n’avait rien à envier à l’appareil de propagande soviétique !

    Ce qui est drôle ici, c’est que, pour la grande exposition internationale de New York en 1939 : d’une part, les américains préparent tout une série de posters de propagande largement inspirés - pour la partie « infographie » - par la méthode des Isotypes d’Otto Neurath, et d’autre part, les soviétiques publient un atlas économique et sociale de l’URSS de la fin des années 1930 - qu’ils présenteront aussi lors de cette exposition - et ce sur la base de la même méthode des Isotypes conceptualisée par le même Otto Neurath ... :)

    #marrant de penser que ce philosophe humaniste (et plutôt socialiste) et généreux aient inspiré autant les États-Unis que l’Union soviétique.

    Philip Guston sketching a mural for the WPA Federal Art Project at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

    Philip Guston, 1939 Feb. 15/David Robbins, photographer. Federal Art Project, Photographic Division …❞

    WPA #Federal_Art_Project, first major attempt at government patronage of the visual arts in the United States and the most extensive and influential of the visual arts projects conceived during the Depression of the 1930s by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is often confused with the Department of the Treasury art programs (Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture, Public Works of Art Project, and Treasury Relief Art Project), but, unlike the Treasury’s endeavours the Works Progress (later Projects) Administration Federal Art Project (WPA/FAP) employed artists with a wide range of experience and styles, sponsored a more varied and experimental body of art, and had a far greater influence on subsequent American movements.

    #états-unis #urss #union-soviétique #neurath

  • Le Cercle démocratique : quand l’histoire nous parle d’aujourd’hui

    [Mail de C&F éditions ]


    Avant de vous parler des nouveautés de C&F éditions qui vous attendent cet automne, je voudrais revenir sur les évènements qui ont marqué l’été qui vient de s’écouler.

    Le monde a été surpris par la mobilisation fasciste de l’extrême droite américaine, notamment la démonstration de force de Charlottesville. Et plus encore par la réaction de Donald Trump qui s’est refusé à condamner les néo-nazis armés qui défilaient.

    Mais pourtant, un regard historique nous aurais aidé à penser que ce n’est pas la première fois que les nazis se rassemblent aux États Unis. Fred Turner, l’auteur du livre « Le cercle démocratique » nous le rappelle : en 1939, 22 000 citoyens américains se sont retrouvés au Madison Square Garden pour y proférer les messages de haine du nazisme.

    Retrouvez Fred Turner en vidéo sous-titrée :

    Mais à la différence de la période actuelle, le gouvernement de Franklin D. Roosevelt a su résister au fascisme. Il a été accompagné pour cela par des intellectuels et des artistes regroupés dans le "Comittee for national morale". C’est par l’histoire et les réflexions de ce comité que débute « Le cercle démocratique ».

    Toujours en vidéo sous-titrée :

    De leurs idées vont naître les premières conception du "multimédia" : encercler le spectateur dans un ensemble de documents et d’images afin de lui laisser le libre-arbitre... le choix de s’engager contre les nazis, et plus tard de considérer la planète comme le lieu de la « family of man », titre d’une des expositions les plus célèbres des années cinquante.

    Malheureusement, ce rêve de l’autonomie organisée par le multimédia, s’il a perduré aux débuts de l’internet (voir l’autre ouvrage de Fred Turner : « Aux sources de l’utopie numérique ») est aujourd’hui caduc. Le modèle devenu dominant est selon Fred Turner celui de "l’individualisme autoritaire". Nous en voyons les effets dans les mobilisations de l’extrême droite aux États Unis.

    Le regard historique nous aide à comprendre aujourd’hui. Les développements de Fred Turner sur la naissance du multimédia et sur les formes de mobilisation des artistes et des intellectuels sont à cet égard d’une grande utilité. Y compris dans l’analyse des détournements que leurs idées peuvent subir quand les propagandes d’état s’en emparent.

    Retrouvez « Le Cercle démocratique : Le design multimédia de la Seconde Guerre mondiale aux années psychédéliques » de Fred Turner

    (Sur cette page de présentation, des liens vers les nombreux articles et interviews sur ce livre et la situation du multimédia à l’ère "au delà de la vérité" que nous connaissons).

    Bonne lecture

    Hervé Le Crosnier

    #C&Féditions #Cercle_démocratique #Fred_Turner

    • The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, “ What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?

      He replied that if journalists had done their job, “ there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq ”.

      It was a shocking statement , and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question – Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.

    • C’est très ironique bien sur mais j’adore la tournure :

      #Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia – and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post.

      These organisations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT.

      And they love war.

      #journalism #truth_and_lies

  • T-RACES: Testbed for the Redlining Archives of California’s Exclusionary Spaces (Marciano, McKeon, Hou & Goldberg) - Design and Violence

    Redlining Archives of California’s Exclusionary Spaces

    From the curators: T-RACES is a data visualization design that makes the history and effects of redlining newly tangible. Its focus is an interactive map that offers new access to archival documents from the National Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC). The federally sponsored HOLC was founded in 1933 to facilitate affordable mortgages as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal response to the troubled economic climate in the aftermath of the Great Depression. The HOLC worked in tandem with local and national banks to assess real estate, basing the credit-worthiness of potential homeowners, in part, on their zip codes. The HOLC’s systematic discrimination against neighborhoods in which non-whites predominated was absolute–less than 2% of the $120 billion in real estate they financed between the 1930s and the 1968 passing of the Fair Housing Act was available to non-white families. Dialogue around this practice of redlining–termed so because of the red lines drawn on maps by banks and government institutions around areas where they practiced discriminatory lending practices–is not new. Scholars, activists, homeowners, and architects have highlighted this spatial and social violence for decades. The T-RACE team of researchers, a curator, and Web developers from the universities of Maryland and North Carolina at Chapel Hill have geotagged the HOLC archival documents. This gives scholars and the public alike stark new insight, at a very granular level, into the violence done to hopes and dreams of non-white homeowners through the practice of redlining. The repercussions still echo loudly today, as articulated powerfully in writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’s recent essay for The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations.”

    Enforced segregation by racial or ethnic origin and social status has a very old history. Not so long ago, slaves and servants occupied different spaces, oftentimes within the same household or estate. Violence was explicit and used to establish direct domination.

    The advent of an industrial society and liberal democracy in Europe and the U.S. no doubt brought improvements to the conditions of minorities and the powerless. However, new forms of discrimination found their way around the formal public discourse of freedom and equality. Restrictive covenants made it all but impossible for minorities and immigrants to buy homes in specific neighborhoods. Yet, as decentralized mechanisms requiring coordination of all owners, covenants tended to achieve their intended segregating effect mostly in new subdivisions.

    In the new American suburbs of the early 20th century, real estate developers could play an active role in establishing and coordinating “racial cartels.” However, it is hard to completely enforce segregation in an urbanized society of anonymous mobile citizens. Thus, the state came to the rescue of the established racialized notions of human nature that peoples of European origin fervently espoused prior to WWII. In the view of a “decent,” church-going, law-abiding white citizen, peoples of African descent were oftentimes seen as inferior, and immigrants often thought of as brutish, alcoholic, noisy, and quarrelsome.

    Of course, overt population resettlement policies could not be implemented by elected governments in a society that wanted to see itself as fully democratic. Enter institutionalized redlining.

    The housing mortgage is one of the greatest financial inventions, allowing non-wealthy families to access comfortable housing under a repayment schedule that suits their income levels. Mortgages have long been an instrumental facilitator of the “American Dream” of homeownership and comfortable living.

    The T-RACES maps show how such a dream was turned into a nightmare for many families of African and foreign-born descent in the 1930s and beyond. Neighborhoods occupied by immigrants and minorities, or transitional mixed-income neighborhoods, were deemed “high risk” for lenders by the Home Owners Loan Corporation. This made it very hard for minorities to access loans, but also all but impossible for the white middle class to move into these neighborhoods, due to lack of credit. The language used in the maps and associated archival documents is violently demeaning and dehumanizing, including sentences such as “undesirable racial concentration,” “undesirables,” and “subservient racial elements.” These were sad times for humanism: across the Atlantic, fascist parties and the Nazis were infusing European intellectual thought with their notions of racial and national superiority.

    In the U.S., redlining deeply affected housing markets. With poor access to credit, homeownership was harder in the neighborhoods designated as dangerous by the regulator. More importantly, this had a negative impact on housing prices in some of these neighborhoods: the lack of a stable source of financing made it very difficult for their neighbors to pay as much for housing. With declining housing prices, neighborhoods become imperiled. Often times, housing prices would go to a point below the replacement cost of the housing structures; no new development can be expected in neighborhoods where the price of a new home does not even cover its construction costs. Similarly, it does not make sense to invest large amounts of money in homes with very low market values: how can we expect a family to spend $15,000 on a roof on a house that may not be worth much more?

    Therefore discriminatory institutional decisions had negative moral, social, and economic impacts on immigrants and minorities, but also deleterious physical impacts on their neighborhoods.

    Acknowledging past wrongs and understanding the roots of current racial and economic segregation are very important to allow us to move forward. Another important lesson from these maps: the definition of violence should be construed by analyzing actual behavior—and perhaps intention—rather than by appealing to discrete, prescribed categories. Governments, markets, civil society, family structures, financial institutions, nongovernmental organizations, local communities, science, and the collection of current intellectual memes are all simply tools that can be used for alternate purposes. Social tools are only as good as their actual contemporary use.

    The financial system can be used for bad purposes, but so too can governments, as the case of HOLC regulations sorely illustrates. It is the job of us all (institutions, architects and designers, scholars, homeowners, and beyond) to practically select all the tools at our disposal and change them or use them adroitly–in a humanistic fashion–to improve housing, economic, and social conditions for everyone.

    Design and Violence

  • La Suisse votera-t-elle pour confier le monopole de la création monétaire à sa banque centrale ?

    L’idée de la « Monnaie pleine », développée au cours de la Grande Dépression des années 30 par des économistes de renom aux Etats-Unis et soutenue par l’ancien président américain Franklin D. Roosevelt, a en tous les cas obtenu la caution du Fonds monétaire international (FMI).

    Deux économistes du FMI, Jaromi Benes et Michael Kumhof, ont ainsi mesuré, sur la base de modèles modernes, les conséquences d’une telle réforme. Leurs conclusions, semblables à celles de leurs prédécesseurs des années 30 : en plus de l’élimination des risques systémiques du système bancaire, les cycles économiques seraient mieux contrôlables.

    Les dettes étatiques et privées diminueraient. Des gains de production seraient également générés grâce à l’abolition des distorsions, comme les risques liés aux taux d’intérêt notamment. De plus, l’inflation tomberait à zéro, toujours d’après les économistes du FMI.

    Selon les opposants, au contraire, le système « Monnaie pleine » serait hautement inflationniste. Le « think tank » libéral Avenir Suisse s’était ainsi exprimé en mars dernier contre un tel système, arguant qu’il apporterait « plus de risques que de bénéfice » et menacerait l’ordre financier de « dégâts irréversibles ».

  • l’histgeobox: 249. Doctor Clayton: «Pearl Harbor blues»

    Profondément isolationnistes depuis leur participation à la grande guerre, les Etats-Unis se gardent bien de s’immiscer dans les affaires européennes durant l’entre-deux-guerre. Aux yeux de beaucoup, la Société des nations ne sert à rien. La terrible crise économique qui frappe de plein fouet le pays au cours des années 1930 convainc d’ailleurs les New Dealers de l’entourage de Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) de sortir en priorité le pays de l’ornière économique dans laquelle il se trouve, sans être détournés de cette priorité par la montée des périls en Europe. L’armée américaine est d’ailleurs presque inexistante !
    La marge de manœuvre de FDR reste de toute façon très limitée puisque le Congrès adopte une série de lois de neutralité de 1935 à 1937, préconisant le recours à l’embargo sur les armes en cas de conflit.
    En octobre 1937, alors que la Japon vient d’attaquer la Chine, le président se risque timidement à proposer la mise en quarantaine de tout agresseur. Cette modeste suggestion suscite pourtant un immense tollé qui le convainc de se détourner autant que possible des affaires du vieux continent. La diplomatie américaine brille ainsi par sa discrétion lors des accords de Munich conclus entre le Royaume-Uni, la France, l’Italie fasciste et l’Allemagne nazie. Or, cet isolationnisme fragilise avant tout les régimes démocratiques menacés par la poussée des dictatures d’extrême droite (la République espagnole).
    Avec la montée des périls, Roosevelt obtient difficilement quelques crédits supplémentaires pour les forces armées.

  • Construction of Hoover Dam

    September 30, 2011 marked the 76th anniversary of the dedication of Hoover Dam. The dam straddles the border of Arizona and Nevada in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River and was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. Rising 726.4 feet from its foundation, Hoover Dam was constructed in five years, beginning in 1931 and completed in 1936. Take a look back at its construction and history.

  • Sortie de crise : les leçons de l’histoire - DéCHIFFRAGES - Blog

    Mais revenons à la crise de 1929 et à sa sortie. Lorsque Franklin D. Roosevelt arrive à la Maison Blanche, en février 1933, la crise est à son paroxysme. La politique de son prédécesseur, Herbert Hoover n’a fait que l’aggraver. Le PIB a diminué d’un quart depuis 1929. Un salarié sur quatre est au chômage. La mise en œuvre de la nouvelle politique prend quelques mois. Mais dès 1934, le PIB rebondit de 10,8% en volume, et la croissance atteint 13% en 1936, année nombre-dactifs-occupes-et-emplois-publics.1234363257.PNGoù le nombre d’actifs occupés retrouve son niveau d’avant krach. Le doublement des emplois publics n’y est évidemment pas pour rien.

    #politique #histoire #crise