NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY, COMPARATIVE GENOCIDE AND THE HOLOCAUST: HISTORIOGRAPHY, DEBATE AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS - viewcontent.cgi
This study explores the complex issues surrounding comparative genocide studies and how Native American history relates to this field. Historical contexts for Native American historiography, particularly the scholarship of Vine Deloria, Jr., are examined. In addition, the manifestation of some problematic trends in the field is detailed through the mordant debate between scholars of native America and the Jewish Holocaust. Arguments over Holocaust uniqueness and how the depopulation of Native America should be classified typifies how certain aspects of comparative genocide studies have a propensity for subjectively motivated and biased methodology. Finally, a case study using the historiography of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyennes and Araphahoes in southeastern Colorado by the Colorado Militia helps illustrate the difficulties in producing objective research on such morally-charged historical events. By examining
these issues, the historiography of Native American genocide studies are both chronicled and critiqued.
Why giving birth in the U.S. is surprisingly deadly
Why giving birth in the U.S. is surprisingly deadly
Black mothers are particularly at risk. Better basic care could help.
L’image que tu as mise (medium, 2000x4500, du moins en suivant le lien) est vraiment très peu lisible, dans ST, il faut recliquer).
J’essaie avec celle contenue dans l’article (mobile, 640x7500, ils ont de ces formats…) pour voir comment ça passe ici.
EDIT : en fait, c’est pareil, ça passe à peu près aussi mal :-(
“Eine sehr traurige Nachricht”: Condé Nast beendet den Betrieb von wired.de Ende 2018 – und Chef Kerler verlässt das Haus › Meedia
Who needs WIRED.DE ?!? Je n’ai même pas remarqué qu’ils avaient une édition allemande.
Wired.de beendet Ende 2018 den Redaktionsbetrieb. Dies gaben der Verlag Condé Nast und die Redaktion am Freitagmittag bekannt. In der Pressemitteilung wird eine neue unternehmerische Phase angeführt, in der sich das Medienhaus global vernetzen und künftig auf die „großen, globalen Luxus- & Lifestyle-Medien-Marken“ setzen wolle. Bereits im Januar hatte der Verlag die Print-Ausgabe von Wired eingestellt.
Cigarettes et bas nylon
Fin 1944, en Normandie, Jeannette, Marie-Thérèse et Mireille, trois jeunes Françaises mariées à des soldats américains, arrivent dans un « camp cigarettes ». Là, elles se voient offrir cigarettes et bas nylon avant de recevoir une formation pour devenir de bonnes épouses américaines. Dans ce cantonnement qui porte le nom d’un manufacturier de tabac américain, ces dernières se lient d’amitié...
Hondurans repatriated to hopelessness
Over 67,000 displaced Hondurans who tried to escape violence and poverty have been sent back from US and Mexico so far this year. Many become displaced again in Honduras as they cannot return to their homes.
Souvent dépeintes comme le terreau du populisme, les villes en déclin sont également des espaces d’#expérimentation d’alternatives au néolibéralisme. Dans ces villes, les politiques de développement renouvellent l’action publique en rompant avec le dogme de la croissance.
NYC passes minimum pay wage for Uber and Lyft drivers
New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today to establish a minimum wage for drivers working for companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via. The city is the first in the US to set a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. Going forward, the minimum pay will be set at $17.22 per hour after expenses, bringing it in line with the city’s $15 per hour minimum wage for typical employees, which will take effect at the end of the year. The additional $2.22 takes into account contract drivers’ payroll taxes and paid time off.
“Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “We are thankful to the Mayor, Commissioner Joshi and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, City Council Member Brad Lander and all of the city officials who listened to and stood up for drivers.”
Earlier this year, the Taxi and Limousine Commission released the results of a study it requested, which recommended the new pay floor. And in August, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill requiring the commission to set a base pay rate. The Independent Drivers Guild, which has been working towards a minimum pay rate for some time, estimates that contract drivers in the city are currently earning just $11.90 per hour after expenses.
Across the US, there’s been increased scrutiny on what companies like Uber and Lyft are actually paying their workers. In May, San Francisco subpoenaed the two companies for their pay records, and both companies have faced lawsuits over driver wages. Last year, NYC began requiring all ride-hailing services to offer an in-app tipping option.
The rules passed today aren’t sitting well with the companies affected by them, however. Lyft told Engadget that it’s concerned that calculating pay per ride rather than per week will incentivize short rides over long rides. Further, Lyft says the new out of town rates — which require companies to pay drivers more when they take passengers outside of the city and return without a passenger — will be hard to implement before the new regulations take effect in 30 days.
“Lyft believes all drivers should earn a livable wage and we are committed to helping drivers reach their goals,” the company told Engadget. “Unfortunately, the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan. These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”
Uber released a statement as well ahead of today’s vote. The company’s director of public affairs, Jason Post, said:
“Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC - whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber - are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit.
The TLC’s implementation of the City Council’s legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to immediately reduce congestion in Manhattan’s central business district.
The TLC’s rules does not take into account incentives or bonuses forcing companies to raise rates even higher. Companies use incentives and bonuses as part of driver earnings to ensure reliability citywide by providing a monetary incentive to drivers to complete trips in areas that need them the most (such as outside of Manhattan).
In addition, the rules miss an opportunity to immediately deal with congestion in Manhattan’s central business district. A recent TLC study authored by economists James Parrott and Michael Reich describes a formula that would financially punish companies who have low utilization rates. Instead, the TLC is choosing the adopt an industry-wide utilization rate that does not hold bases accountable for keeping cars full with paying passengers.”
Thousands of Wisconsinites turn out to protest outgoing Republicans’ plan to seize power after electoral defeat / Boing Boing
8 years after Scott Walker and his Koch-backed GOP used voter suppression and gerrymandering to steal control over Wisconsin, Wisconsites finally pried his crooked ass out of the governor’s chair, but Walker and Co want to blow up the state on their way out.
The lame-duck session of the Wisconsin legislature is about to pass a suite of undemocratic and illegal reforms to the state’s legislative and regulatory system that will allow them to steal a state supreme court seat (their nominee is a homophobic bigot who says that affirmative action is indistinguishable from slavery), gut the power of the attorney-general to reverse the state’s subversion of Obamacare and poisoning of Medicare, and even force the capital to allow firearms.
Last night, thousands of Wisconsinites protested outside the capital — after the GOP sponsors of the bill failed to turn up and testify in favor of it — in subzero weather.
Michigan is in the same boat, and there, too, anger is roiling in the streets and around the capital.
How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever | The Marshall Project
Hurricane Floyd struck eastern North Carolina in 1999, flooding her trailer home and destroying her children’s pageant trophies and baby pictures. No stranger to money-making scams, Adams was convicted of filing a fraudulent disaster-relief claim with FEMA for a property she did not own. She also passed dozens of worthless checks to get by.
Adams served two year-long prison stints for these “blue-collar white-collar crimes,” as she calls them. Halfway through her second sentence, with her children — three toddlers and a 14-year-old — temporarily under county supervision, Adams said she got a phone call from a family court attorney. Her parental rights, he informed her, were being irrevocably terminated.
Before going to prison, Adams had sometimes drifted from one boyfriend to another, leaving her kids with a babysitter, and she didn’t always have enough food in the house. But she was not charged with any kind of child abuse, neglect or endangerment. Still, at a hearing that took place 300 miles from the prison, which she couldn’t attend because officials wouldn’t transport her there, she lost her children. Adams’s oldest daughter went to live with her father, and her other three kids were put up for adoption. She was banned from seeing them again.
New York hospitals illegally billed rape survivors for their rape kits, then sent debt-collectors after them / Boing Boing
New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood has concluded that seven New York hospitals illegally billed rape survivors for their rape kits, at least 200 times, for sums ranging from $46 to $3,000, and then sent collections agents after survivors who could not pay.
New York law requires hospitals to bill the state’s Office of Victim Services for rape kits; in addition to ensuring that rape kits are available regardless of ability to pay, the rule clears an impediment to reporting rape: women who bill their insurance for rape kits may fear stigma from their employers or families.
The seven hospitals did not comply with the law, nor did they inform the survivors of their rights — another legal obligation.
Vers des algorithmes exemplaires ?
Comprendre ce qu’il se passe à l’intérieur des boîtes noires algorithmiques n’est pas si simple. Notamment, parce que les agencements de codes, de traitements, de classements, d’appariements se construisent souvent d’eux-mêmes, à partir de données que nous ne sommes pas conviés à regarder et de code que nous ne sommes (...)
Évaluations : comment sommes-nous passés de l’amélioration au #contrôle ?
À l’heure où chaque service en ligne nous demande sans cesse de l’évaluer, n’allons-nous pas basculer dans une fatigue de la rétroaction permanente ? C’est la question que pose la professeure d’anglais, spécialiste des humanités numériques, Megan Ward (@meganeward1) pour The Atlantic, auteure de Seeming Human, un livre qui s’intéresse à (...)
#métaliste sur le sort réservé aux #interprètes #afghans qui ont servi les #armées occidentales et à qui on a refusé l’entrée (en vue d’un dépôt de la demande d’asile) dans les pays pour lesquels ils ont travaillé...
Un archidiocèse américain en faillite après des plaintes pour pédophilie agences/br - 1 er Décembre 2018 - RTS
Confronté à de multiples plaintes pour des abus sexuels commis par ses prêtres ces dernières décennies, l’archidiocèse de Santa Fe, aux Etats-Unis, a annoncé qu’il allait se déclarer en faillite.
L’archidiocèse de Santa Fe, dans l’ouest des Etats-Unis, a déjà versé des millions de dollars à des victimes d’actes pédophiles.
L’archidiocèse va se placer sous la protection du « chapitre 11 », une disposition américaine généralement utilisée par les entreprises, qui permet à une organisation de continuer à fonctionner normalement à l’abri de ses créanciers.https://www.cathkathcatt.ch/f/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/10/Autriche-Cardinal-Christoph-Sch%C3%B6nborn-Photo-www.katholisch.at_.jpg
C’est l’archevêque de Santa Fe lui-même, John Wester, qui l’a annoncé jeudi lors d’une conférence de presse. « Nous n’avons tout simplement plus d’argent », a-t-il assuré. « Nous ne sommes pas riches. Si nous ne sommes plus là, nous ne pourrons plus aider personne », a-t-il plaidé.
L’archidiocèse a déjà versé des millions de dollars aux victimes d’actes pédophiles commis par ses prêtres et fait encore l’objet de 35 à 40 plaintes, avec autant de lourds dommages et intérêts à la clef.
Il s’agissait généralement d’accords confidentiels, destinés à éviter que les accusations de pédophilie contre le clergé n’apparaissent au grand jour.
TAXI DRIVER – Martin Scorsese (1976)
Travis voudrait se faire aimer de Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), assistante de campagne électorale, mais cette tentative se solde par un échec. Incapable de communiquer avec les autres, il se tournera finalement vers les armes. Solitaire, sans but, il erre à travers la ville. L’histoire de Travis évoque la scène du taxi jaune sortant du nuage de fumée, au début du film. Lui aussi sort du néant, puis est brièvement éclairé par les lumières nocturnes de la ville avant de disparaître à nouveau dans l’obscurité de la nuit.
Paul Schrader, qui s’était inspiré pour le personnage d’Iris d’une authentique prostituée, Iris Garth, s’est lui-même plu à expliquer l’histoire de Taxi Driver : « Vous avez un problème : la solitude urbaine. Vous avez une métaphore : le chauffeur de taxi. Bon, vous cherchez une intrigue. Qu’est-ce que vous faites ? Vous inventez une fille qu’il désire mais qu’il ne peut avoir et une fille qu’il peut avoir mais qu’il ne désire pas. Tout ça pour renforcer le mécanisme d’autodestruction. La façon dont il va réagir face à ces deux personnages va amplifier et clarifier son problème. Ensuite, vous donnez à chacune de ces deux femmes une sorte de figure de père : un homme politique et un maquereau. Et comme il ne peut pas se mesurer aux femmes, il va être obligé de se mesurer aux deux « pères ». Et voilà, vous avez votre histoire. »
Trump: Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia | The Times of Israel
US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that Israel would face major regional difficulties in the Middle East if it were not for the stabilizing presence of Saudi Arabia.
“Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump told reporters after a Thanksgiving Day telephone call with members of the military from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida.
Trump also floated the idea of removing U.S. troops from the Middle East, citing the lower price of oil as a reason to withdraw.
“Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel,” Trump said. “Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.”
Emmanuelle Wargon, secrétaire d’État auprès du ministre de la Transition écologique et solidaire, a affirmé que « plus de sécurité, oui ça veut dire plus de radars » et que le produit des amendes allait « intégralement au financement de la sécurité routière ». C’est faux, et c’est aller un peu vite.Continuer la lecture…
Winners Take All: Modern philanthropy means that giving some away is more important than how you got it / Boing Boing
All through Giridharadas’s book, he meets people high and low, rich and powerful or poor and scrappy, who understand that we’re at a breaking point. Donald Trump campaigned on the idea that elite do-goodism was just cover for perpetuation of the system (nevermind that he also planned on perpetuating the system), and he resonated with people. Ever since late nineties, when Reagan-era deregulation had pervaded deeply into the system and wages started to stagnate, organized labor started to crumble, and policies like the WTO were consummated to the benefit of capital and the cost of the world, its climate and its people, there’s been a mounting sense that we are on a collision course with disaster.
As inequality mounts, our weakened governments are unable to enact policies that upset plutocrats’ apple carts. American health care, education, infrastructure, and (of course) its climate are unravelling so fast we can actually see it happen. People are turning to far-right movements and falling prey to charlatans as they seek a way out, or at least an explanation.
Giridharadas’s book comes at a timely moment, when the problem is being named: winner-take-all capitalism, untethered by democratic controls, where how you make your money isn’t as important as how you give some of it back. Giridharadas identifies a moment when we have to stop talking about “lack of opportunity” and start talking about oppression and inequality. To stop talking merely about solutions and start asking ourselves about causes.
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World [Anand Giridharadas/Knopf]
Coming From Inside the House
The Left has raised questions about how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will conduct herself in office. By attending a protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office and coming out strong against Amazon in New York City, she’s off to a strong start.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - Wikipedia
Lyft Is Not Your Friend
Lyft is the latest brand trying to build market share by posing as a “progressive” corporation. But the fight can’t be good corporations against bad ones — it’s working people against capitalism.
In early 2017, liberals hit on a new strategy to resist the nascent Trump administration: #DeleteUber.
It started when New York City’s taxi drivers refused to service JFK airport to protest Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, and Uber was spotted leveraging the ensuing crisis for profit. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick came under fire for accepting an appointment to Trump’s economic advisory council. He announced his resignation from the council, but only weeks later a video leaked of Kalanick reprimanding a driver for his company.
Amid various ensuing scandals, Kalanick stepped down as CEO of Uber, but by then millions of consumers had turned on the brand in protest, deleting the Uber app from their phone and opting instead for the rideshare giant’s rival Lyft.
Lyft leaned in, eagerly branding itself as the progressive alternative to Uber by pledging a $1 million donation to the ACLU and trotting out celebrities to promote it as a company committed to “doing things for the right reasons.” Lyft, of course, operates on the same labor model as Uber — its drivers are not employees but independent contractors, and are therefore denied all the benefits and protections that workers receive under more ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, a new refrain rang out across liberaldom: “I don’t use Uber, I use Lyft.”
What socialists understand that liberals don’t is that brands are corporate enterprises, and corporate enterprises are fundamentally motivated by the pursuit of profit — even in their ostentatious acts of charity and wokeness.
Three surefire ways to maximize profit are: suppressing labor costs by paying workers as little as you can get away with, lobbying the state for deregulation and lower taxes, and opening new markets by finding new things to commodify and sell. Businesses will always pursue these avenues of profit maximization where they can. It’s not a matter of ethics but of market discipline: if they don’t, they run the risk of losing out to the competition and eventually capsizing.
Sometimes corporations do things for publicity that make it seem like their interests are not fundamentally misaligned with those of the working-class majority, who rely on decent wages and well-funded public services. But those efforts are meant to sustain public confidence in a given corporation’s brand, which is occasionally necessary for keeping up profits, as Uber’s losses in 2017 demonstrate. When corporate profits come into direct conflict with active measures to improve people’s wellbeing, corporations will always select the former. Case in point: Lyft just donated $100k to the campaign against a ballot measure that would create a tax fund to house the homeless in San Francisco, where the company is based.
Why did the progressive alternative to Uber do this? Well, because the company doesn’t want to pay higher taxes. Because high taxes imperil profits, and profits are the point. Another likely rationale is to build stronger bonds with pro-business advocacy groups in San Francisco, so that the company will have allies if the city decides to implement regulations against ride-sharing services, which is rumored to be a possibility.
Lyft has already mastered the art of suppressing labor costs and opening new markets. Next on the wish list, low taxes and deregulation. It’s pretty formulaic when you get down to it.
San Francisco is home to an estimated 7,500 homeless people. Proposition C would tap the large corporations that benefit from the city’s public infrastructure to double the city’s homelessness budget in an attempt to resolve the crisis. The corporations opposing Proposition C say that the move would imperil jobs. This is not an analysis, it’s a threat. What they’re saying is that if the city reaches too far into their pockets, they’ll take their business elsewhere, draining the region of jobs and revenue as punishment for government overreach. It’s a mobster’s insinuation: Nice economy, shame if something happened to it. Meanwhile thousands of people sleep in the streets, even though the money to shelter them is within the city’s borders.
Of course, in every struggle over taxes and industry regulation there may be a few canny corporate outliers looking to ingratiate their brand to the public by bucking the trend. In the case of Proposition C, it’s Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff has made a public display of support for the ballot measure. But before you rush to praise Benioff, consider that only two months ago he lauded Trump’s tax cuts for fueling “aggressive spending” and injecting life into the economy.
You could spend your life as an engaged consumer hopping from brand to brand, as liberals often do, pledging allegiance to this one and protesting that one to the beat of the new cycle drum. You could delete Lyft from your phone the same way you did with Uber, and find another rideshare app that you deem more ethical, until that one inevitably disappoints you too.
Or you could press pause, stop scrambling for some superior consumption choice to ease your conscience, and entertain the socialist notion that deep down all corporations are objectively the same. They all exist to maximize return on investment for the people who own them. They are all in competition with each other to plunder our commons most effectively, with the lowest overhead, which means compensating the least for employees’ work. And when the rubber meets the road, they will all prioritize private profits over the wellbeing of those who own no productive assets, which is the vast majority of the people on the planet. They will demonstrate these priorities on a case-by-case basis, and on a massive global scale so long as capitalism prevails.
“We’re woke,” said Lyft CEO John Zimmerman at the height of the Uber scandal. It was horseshit — it always is. And until liberals stop believing than any brand can be truly “woke,” or can offer a genuine alternative to the predatory behavior they observe in other “unwoke” brands, they’ll be unable to mount a meaningful resistance to anything.
Whether we want to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of Flint or to shelter the homeless of San Francisco, we have to draw clear battle lines that are up to the challenge. The fight can’t be good corporations against bad corporations. It has to be working people against capitalism.
#Seven_doors. Stories of immigration detention
“When they put me in detention, I remember walking through only one door at the detention center. I was in detention for three and a half years. When they let me out, I remember they walked me through SEVEN different DOORS, from my cell to the last door where they said, You are free. But how could I be free? I’m still not free.”
Chapitre sur la Malaisie :
Who writes history? The fight to commemorate a massacre by the Texas #rangers
In 1918, a state-sanctioned vigilante force killed 15 unarmed Mexicans in #Porvenir. When their descendants applied for a historical marker a century later, they learned that not everyone wants to remember one of Texas’ darkest days.
The name of the town was Porvenir, or “future.” In the early morning hours of January 28, 1918, 15 unarmed Mexicans and Mexican Americans were awakened by a state-sanctioned vigilante force of Texas Rangers, U.S. Army cavalry and local ranchers. The men and boys ranged in age from 16 to 72. They were taken from their homes, led to a bluff over the Rio Grande and shot from 3 feet away by a firing squad. The remaining residents of the isolated farm and ranch community fled across the river to Mexico, where they buried the dead in a mass grave. Days later, the cavalry returned to burn the abandoned village to the ground.
These, historians broadly agree, are the facts of what happened at Porvenir. But 100 years later, the meaning of those facts remains fiercely contested. In 2015, as the centennial of the massacre approached, a group of historians and Porvenir descendants applied for and was granted a Texas Historical Commission (THC) marker. After a three-year review process, the THC approved the final text in July. A rush order was sent to the foundry so that the marker would be ready in time for a Labor Day weekend dedication ceremony planned by descendants. Then, on August 3, Presidio County Historical Commission Chair Mona Blocker Garcia sent an email to the THC that upended everything. Though THC records show that the Presidio commission had been consulted throughout the marker approval process, Garcia claimed to be “shocked” that the text was approved. She further asserted, without basis, that “the militant Hispanics have turned this marker request into a political rally and want reparations from the federal government for a 100-year-old-plus tragic event.”
Four days later, Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton sent a follow-up letter. Without identifying specific errors in the marker text, he demanded that the dedication ceremony be canceled and the marker’s production halted until new language could be agreed upon. Ponton speculated, falsely, that the event was planned as a “major political rally” for Beto O’Rourke with the participation of La Raza Unida founding member José Ángel Gutiérrez, neither of whom was involved. Nonetheless, THC History Programs Director Charles Sadnick sent an email to agency staff the same day: “After getting some more context about where the marker sponsor may be coming from, we’re halting production on the marker.”
The American Historical Association quickly condemned the THC’s decision, as did the office of state Senator José Rodríguez, a Democrat whose district includes both Presidio County and El Paso, where the ceremony was to be held. Historians across the country also spoke out against the decision. Sarah Zenaida Gould, director of the Museo del Westside in San Antonio and cofounder of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, responded in an email to the agency that encapsulates the views of many of the historians I interviewed: “Halting the marker process to address this statement as though it were a valid concern instead of a dog whistle is insulting to all people of color who have personally or through family history experienced state violence.”
How did a last-gasp effort, characterized by factual errors and inflammatory language, manage to convince the state agency for historic preservation to reverse course on a marker three years in the making and sponsored by a young Latina historian with an Ivy League pedigree and Texas-Mexico border roots? An Observer investigation, involving dozens of interviews and hundreds of emails obtained through an open records request, reveals a county still struggling to move on from a racist and violent past, far-right amateur historians sowing disinformation and a state agency that acted against its own best judgment.
The Porvenir massacre controversy is about more than just the fate of a single marker destined for a lonely part of West Texas. It’s about who gets to tell history, and the continuing relevance of the border’s contested, violent and racist past to events today.
Several rooms in Benita Albarado’s home in Uvalde are almost overwhelmed by filing cabinets and stacks of clipboards, the ever-growing archive of her research into what happened at Porvenir. For most of her life, Benita, 74, knew nothing about the massacre. What she did know was that her father, Juan Flores, had terrible nightmares, and that in 1950 he checked himself in to a state mental hospital for symptoms that today would be recognized as PTSD. When she asked her mother what was wrong with him, she always received the same vague response: “You don’t understand what he’s been through.”
In 1998, Benita and her husband, Buddy, began tracing their family trees. Benita was perplexed that she couldn’t find any documentation about her grandfather, Longino Flores. Then she came across the archival papers of Harry Warren, a schoolteacher, lawyer and son-in-law of Tiburcio Jáquez, one of the men who was murdered. Warren had made a list of the victims, and Longino’s name was among them. Warren also described how one of his students from Porvenir had come to his house the next morning to tell him what happened, and then traveled with him to the massacre site to identify the bodies, many of which were so mutilated as to be virtually unrecognizable. Benita immediately saw the possible connection. Her father, 12 at the time, matched Warren’s description of the student.
Benita and Buddy drove from Uvalde to Odessa, where her father lived, with her photocopied papers. “Is that you?” she asked. He said yes. Then, for the first time in 80 years, he began to tell the story of how he was kidnapped with the men, but then sent home because of his age; he was told that the others were only going to be questioned. To Benita and Buddy’s amazement, he remembered the names of 12 of the men who had been murdered. They were the same as those in Harry Warren’s papers. He also remembered the names of the ranchers who had shown up at his door. Some of those, including the ancestors of prominent families still in Presidio County, had never been found in any document.
Talking about the massacre proved healing for Flores. His nightmares stopped. In 2000, at age 96, he decided that he wanted to return to Porvenir. Buddy drove them down an old mine road in a four-wheel-drive truck. Flores pointed out where his old neighbors used to live, even though the buildings were gone. He guided Buddy to the bluff where the men were killed — a different location than the one commonly believed by local ranchers to be the massacre site. His memory proved to be uncanny: At the bluff, the family discovered a pre-1918 military bullet casing, still lying on the Chihuahuan desert ground.
Benita and Buddy began advocating for a historical marker in 2000, soon after their trip to Porvenir. “A lot of people say that this was a lie,” Buddy told me. “But if you’ve got a historical marker, the state has to acknowledge what happened.” Their efforts were met by resistance from powerful ranching families, who held sway over the local historical commission. The Albarados had already given up when they met Monica Muñoz Martinez, a Yale graduate student from Uvalde, who interviewed them for her dissertation. In 2013, Martinez, by then an assistant professor at Brown University, co-founded Refusing to Forget, a group of historians aiming to create broader public awareness of border violence, including Porvenir and other extrajudicial killings of Mexicans by Texas Rangers during the same period. The most horrific of these was La Matanza, in which dozens of Mexicans and Mexican Americans were murdered in the Rio Grande Valley in 1915.
In 2006, the THC created the Undertold Markers program, which seemed tailor-made for Porvenir. According to its website, the program is designed to “address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or untold stories.” Unlike the agency’s other marker programs, anyone can apply for an undertold marker, not just county historical commissions. Martinez’s application for a Porvenir massacre marker was accepted in 2015.
Though the approval process for the Porvenir marker took longer than usual, by the summer of 2018 everything appeared to be falling into place. On June 1, Presidio County Historical Commission chair Garcia approved the final text. (Garcia told me that she thought she was approving a different text. Her confusion is difficult to understand, since the text was attached to the digital form she submitted approving it.) Martinez began coordinating with the THC and Arlinda Valencia, a descendant of one of the victims, to organize a dedication ceremony in El Paso.
“They weren’t just simple farmers. I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.”
In mid-June, Valencia invited other descendants to the event and posted it on Facebook. She began planning a program to include a priest’s benediction, a mariachi performance and brief remarks by Martinez, Senator Rodríguez and a representative from the THC. The event’s climax would be the unveiling of the plaque with the names of the 15 victims.
Then the backlash began.
“Why do you call it a massacre?” is the first thing Jim White III said over the phone when I told him I was researching the Porvenir massacre. White is the trustee of the Brite Ranch, the site of a cross-border raid by Mexicans on Christmas Day 1917, about a month before the Porvenir massacre. When I explained that the state-sanctioned extrajudicial execution of 15 men and boys met all the criteria I could think of for a massacre, he shot back, “It sounds like you already have your opinion.”
For generations, ranching families like the Brites have dominated the social, economic and political life of Presidio County. In a visit to the Marfa & Presidio County Museum, I was told that there were almost no Hispanic surnames in any of the exhibits, though 84 percent of the county is Hispanic. The Brite family name, however, was everywhere.
White and others in Presidio County subscribe to an alternative history of the Porvenir massacre, centering on the notion that the Porvenir residents were involved in the bloody Christmas Day raid.
“They weren’t just simple farmers,” White told me, referring to the victims. “I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.” Once he’d heard about the historical marker, he said, he’d talked to everyone he knew about it, including former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Mona Blocker Garcia.
I visited Garcia at her Marfa home, an 1886 adobe that’s the same age as the venerable Marfa County Courthouse down the street. Garcia, 82, is Anglo, and married to a former oil executive whose ancestry, she explained, is Spanish and French Basque. A Houston native, she retired in the 1990s to Marfa, where she befriended the Brite family and became involved in local history. She told me that she had shared a draft text of the marker with the Brites, and they had agreed that it was factually inaccurate.
Garcia cited a story a Brite descendant had told her about a young goat herder from Porvenir who purportedly witnessed the Christmas Day raid, told authorities about the perpetrators from his community and then disappeared without a trace into a witness protection program in Oklahoma. When I asked if there was any evidence that the boy actually existed, she acknowledged the story was “folklore.” Still, she said, “the story has lasted 100 years. Why would anybody make something like that up?”
The actual history is quite clear. In the days after the massacre, the Texas Rangers commander, Captain J.M. Fox, initially reported that Porvenir residents had fired on the Rangers. Later, he claimed that residents had participated in the Christmas Day raid. Subsequent investigations by the Mexican consulate, the U.S. Army and state Representative J.T. Canales concluded that the murdered men were unarmed and innocent, targeted solely because of their ethnicity by a vigilante force organized at the Brite Ranch. As a result, in June 1918, five Rangers were dismissed, Fox was forced to resign and Company B of the Texas Rangers was disbanded.
But justice remained elusive. In the coming years, Fox re-enlisted as captain of Company A, while three of the dismissed lawmen found new employment. One re-enlisted as a Ranger, a second became a U.S. customs inspector and the third was hired by the Brite Ranch. No one was ever prosecuted. As time passed, the historical records of the massacre, including Harry Warren’s papers, affidavits from widows and other relatives and witness testimony from the various investigations, were largely forgotten. In their place came texts like Walter Prescott Webb’s The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense, which played an outsize role in the creation of the heroic myth of the Texas Rangers. Relying entirely on interviews with the murderers themselves, Webb accepted at face value Fox’s discredited version of events. For more than 50 years, Webb’s account was considered the definitive one of the massacre — though, unsurprisingly, he didn’t use that word.
An Observer review of hundreds of emails shows that the state commission was aware of potential controversy over the marker from the very beginning. In an email from 2015, Executive Director Mark Wolfe gave John Nau, the chair of the THC’s executive committee, a heads-up that while the marker was supported by historical scholarship, “the [Presidio County Historical Commission] opposes the marker.” The emails also demonstrate that the agency viewed the claims of historical inaccuracies in the marker text made by Mona Blocker Garcia and the county commission as minor issues of wording.
On August 6, the day before the decision to halt the marker, Charles Sadnick, the history programs director, wrote Wolfe to say that the “bigger problem” was the ceremony, where he worried there might be disagreements among Presidio County residents, and which he described as “involving some politics which we don’t want a part of.”
What were the politics that the commission was worried about, and where were these concerns coming from? Garcia’s last-minute letter may have been a factor, but it wasn’t the only one. For the entire summer, Glenn Justice, a right-wing amateur historian who lives in a rural gated community an hour outside San Angelo, had been the driving force behind a whisper campaign to discredit Martinez and scuttle the dedication ceremony.
“There are radicals in the ‘brown power’ movement that only want the story told of Rangers and [the] Army and gringos killing innocent Mexicans,” Justice told me when we met in his garage, which doubles as the office for Rimrock Press, a publishing company whose catalog consists entirely of Justice’s own work. He was referring to Refusing to Forget and in particular Martinez, the marker’s sponsor.
Justice has been researching the Porvenir massacre for more than 30 years, starting when he first visited the Big Bend as a graduate student. He claims to be, and probably is, the first person since schoolteacher Harry Warren to call Porvenir a “massacre” in print, in a master’s thesis published by the University of Texas at El Paso in 1991. Unlike White and Garcia, Justice doesn’t question the innocence of the Porvenir victims. But he believes that additional “context” is necessary to understand the reasons for the massacre, which he views as an aberration, rather than a representatively violent part of a long history of racism. “There have never been any problems between the races to speak of [in Presidio County],” he told me.
In 2015, Justice teamed up with former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Sul Ross State University archaeologist David Keller on a privately funded excavation at the massacre site. He is working on a new book about the bullets and bullet casings they found — which he believes implicate the U.S. Army cavalry in the shooting — and also partnered with Patterson to produce a documentary. But they’d run out of money, and the film was taken over by noted Austin filmmaker Andrew Shapter, who pitched the project to PBS and Netflix. In the transition, Justice was demoted to the role of one of 12 consulting historians. Meanwhile, Martinez was given a prominent role on camera.
Justice was disgruntled when he learned that the dedication ceremony would take place in El Paso. He complained to organizer Arlinda Valencia and local historical commission members before contacting Ponton, the county attorney, and Amanda Shields, a descendant of massacre victim Manuel Moralez.
“I didn’t want to take my father to a mob scene,” Shields told me over the phone, by way of explaining her opposition to the dedication ceremony. She believed the rumor that O’Rourke and Gutiérrez would be involved.
In August, Shields called Valencia to demand details about the program for the ceremony. At the time, she expressed particular concern about a potential Q&A event with Martinez that would focus on parallels between border politics and violence in 1918 and today.
“This is not a political issue,” Shields told me. “It’s a historical issue. With everything that was going on, we didn’t want the ugliness of politics involved in it.” By “everything,” she explained, she was referring primarily to the issue of family separation. Benita and Buddy Albarado told me that Shields’ views represent a small minority of descendants.
Martinez said that the idea of ignoring the connections between past and present went against her reasons for fighting to get a marker in the first place. “I’m a historian,” she said. “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today. And that cannot be relegated to the past.”
After communicating with Justice and Shields, Ponton phoned THC Commissioner Gilbert “Pete” Peterson, who is a bank investment officer in Alpine. That call set in motion the sequence of events that would ultimately derail the marker. Peterson immediately emailed Wolfe, the state commission’s executive director, to say that the marker was becoming “a major political issue.” Initially, though, Wolfe defended the agency’s handling of the marker. “Frankly,” Wolfe wrote in his reply, “this might just be one where the [Presidio County Historical Commission] isn’t going to be happy, and that’s why these stories have been untold for so long.” Peterson wrote back to say that he had been in touch with members of the THC executive committee, which consists of 15 members appointed by either former Governor Rick Perry or Governor Greg Abbott, and that an email about the controversy had been forwarded to THC chair John Nau. Two days later, Peterson added, “This whole thing is a burning football that will be thrown to the media.”
At a meeting of the Presidio County Historical Commission on August 17, Peterson suggested that the executive board played a major role in the decision to pause production of the marker. “I stopped the marker after talking to Rod [Ponton],” Peterson said. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with the chairman and vice-chairman [of the THC]. What we have said, fairly emphatically, is that there will not be a dedication in El Paso.” Through a spokesperson, Wolfe said that the executive committee is routinely consulted and the decision was ultimately his.
The spokesperson said, “The big reason that the marker was delayed was to be certain about its accuracy. We want these markers to stand for generations and to be as accurate as possible.”
With no marker to unveil, Valencia still organized a small commemoration. Many descendants, including Benita and Buddy Albarado, chose not to attend. Still, the event was described by Jeff Davis, a THC representative in attendance, as “a near perfect event” whose tone was “somber and respectful but hopeful.”
Most of THC’s executive committee members are not historians. The chair, John Nau, is CEO of the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor and a major Republican party donor. His involvement in the Porvenir controversy was not limited to temporarily halting the marker. In August, he also instructed THC staff to ask the Presidio historical commission to submit applications for markers commemorating raids by Mexicans on white ranches during the Mexican Revolution, which Nau described as “a significant but largely forgotten incident in the state’s history.”
Garcia confirmed that she had been approached by THC staff. She added that the THC had suggested two specific topics: the Christmas Day raid and a subsequent raid at the Neville Ranch.
The idea of additional plaques to provide so-called context that could be interpreted as justifying the massacre — or at the very least setting up a false moral equivalence — appears to have mollified critics like White, Garcia and Justice. The work on a revised Porvenir massacre text proceeded quickly, with few points of contention, once it began in mid-September. The marker was sent to the foundry on September 18.
“It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today.”
In the end, the Porvenir descendants will get their marker — but it may come at a cost. Martinez called the idea of multiple markers “deeply unsettling” and not appropriate for the Undertold Marker program. “Events like the Brite Ranch raid and the Neville raid have been documented by historians for over a century,” she said. “These are not undertold histories. My concern with having a series of markers is that, again, it casts suspicion on the victims of these historical events. It creates the logic that these raids caused this massacre, that it was retribution for these men and boys participating.”
In early November, the THC unexpectedly announced a dedication ceremony for Friday, November 30. The date was one of just a few on which Martinez, who was still planning on organizing several public history events in conjunction with the unveiling, had told the agency months prior that she had a schedule conflict. In an email to Martinez, Sadnick said that it was the only date Nau could attend this year, and that it was impossible for agency officials to make “secure travel plans” once the legislative session began in January.
A handful of descendants, including Shields and the Albarados, still plan to attend. “This is about families having closure,” Shields told me. “Now, this can finally be put to rest.”
The Albarados are livid that the THC chose a date that, in their view, prioritized the convenience of state and county officials over the attendance of descendants — including their own daughters, who feared they wouldn’t be able to get off work. They also hope to organize a second, unofficial gathering at the marker site next year, with the participation of more descendants and the Refusing to Forget historians. “We want people to know the truth of what really happened [at Porvenir],” Buddy told me, “and to know who it was that got this historical marker put there.”
Others, like Arlinda Valencia, planned to stay home. “Over 100 years ago, our ancestors were massacred, and the reason they were massacred was because of lies that people were stating as facts,” she told me in El Paso. “They called them ‘bandits,’ when all they were doing was working and trying to make a living. And now, it’s happening again.”
US complicity in the Saudi-led genocide in Yemen spans Obama, Trump administrations
As a scholar of genocide and human rights, I believe the destruction brought about by these attacks combined with the blockade amounts to genocide.
Based on my research, to be published in an upcoming issue of Third World Quarterly, I believe the coalition would not be capable of committing this crime without the material and logistical support of both the Obama and Trump administrations.
(16) Dominique Pasquier : « Les usages avancés du Net restent élitistes » - Libération
Avec les smartphones, Internet est entré dans les usages quotidiens des familles modestes. Mais il s’agit avant tout d’une version simplifiée et servicielle.
Une de vos constatations, c’est qu’Internet s’est intégré à la vie quotidienne…
C’est ce qui m’a frappé quand j’ai commencé les entretiens : non seulement Internet est là, mais c’est comme s’il avait toujours été là ! C’est très frappant. Les femmes m’ont raconté : « Le matin, je me lève, je prends mon café et je lis mes notifications Facebook. » C’est déjà ritualisé alors que c’est très récent. Je pensais que ça continuait à être vécu comme quelque chose de compliqué. Mais en fait, c’est totalement fluide. L’adoption d’Internet est aussi allée très vite car, si elles se sont équipées tard, ces familles en avaient beaucoup entendu parler. Ce devait être un sentiment d’exclusion très fort, d’être en dehors de cet univers.
Ces familles accèdent-elles aussi à Internet avec un ordinateur ?
Non, ces familles ne se sont jamais vraiment approprié l’ordinateur. Les tablettes et téléphones, avec leur interface tactile, suppriment l’obstacle du clavier et de la souris. C’est ce qui a boosté l’équipement et la connexion.
L’Internet de ces familles est donc une version simplifiée, tactile et servicielle…
Oui, Internet a avant tout pour elles un usage utile, qui s’intègre parfaitement dans le quotidien. Ce que je retiens, c’est que les personnes que j’ai rencontrées ont pris ce qui était important pour elles. Mais ce qui a encore du mal à passer aujourd’hui, c’est la dématérialisation des services administratifs. Ce sont des personnes qui se promènent sur le Bon Coin avec une grande aisance, elles n’y ont aucun problème d’interface, et dès qu’elles se retrouvent sur le site de Pôle Emploi ou de la CAF, c’est l’horreur. Ce sont d’énormes problèmes d’ergonomie, et il y a une grosse responsabilité de la part des pouvoirs publics.
Vous avez aussi enquêté à partir de comptes Facebook…
J’ai récupéré ces accès grâce à une autre enquête, Algopol, qui avait aspiré, avec le consentement des gens bien sûr, le contenu de comptes depuis leur création. C’est un autre univers. Quand on rencontre les gens, il y a un certain rapport qui s’installe, les gens affirment ne pas se dévoiler sur Internet. J’ai sélectionné des comptes avec le même profil que les personnes que j’ai rencontrées : elles habitent à la campagne, elles ont entre 30 ans et 50 ans, employées des services à la personne ou ouvrières. Eh bien on voit que ça peut aller assez loin dans le dévoilement de l’intimité.
C’était un travail compliqué. Il n’y avait pas de méthode. J’ai passé presque un an à lire tous les jours pour essayer de comprendre quel statut il fallait donner à ce contenu. On comprend assez vite que les interactions en ligne sont des échanges qui restent dans l’entre-soi social. Avec quelques spécificités. Par exemple, on échange très peu sur son activité professionnelle, contrairement aux classes moyennes et supérieures.
Et on partage beaucoup de citations…
J’ai découvert cette pratique que j’ai trouvée fascinante : les envois de citations sur la vie, ces « panneaux » qui sont énormément partagés. Ça se finit toujours par « Poste-le sur ton mur si tu es d’accord ». On voit qu’il y a une morale qui circule à toute vitesse et qui contient toujours les mêmes messages : être authentique, être soi-même, aimer sa famille, ne pas trahir, ne pas faire attention aux apparences, etc. C’est-à-dire exactement l’inverse de ce qu’on raconte du monde politique, qui est faux, fourbe, voleur, etc.
Cette circulation de citations mais aussi de caricatures, c’est une manière de tester l’accord de son entourage. C’est une recherche de consensus avec un objectif de réassurance sur la morale commune. Et il faut condamner les gens contraires aux normes.