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The Poetic Justice of Dennis Brutus

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Posted on Dec 29, 2009

By Amy Goodman

Dennis Brutus broke rocks next to Nelson Mandela when they were imprisoned together on notorious Robben Island. His crime, like Mandela’s, was fighting the injustice of racism, challenging South Africa’s apartheid regime. Brutus’ weapons were his words: soaring, searing, poetic. He was banned, he was censored, he was shot. But this poet’s commitment and activism, his advocacy on behalf of the poor, never flagged. Brutus died in his sleep early on Dec. 26 in Cape Town, at the age of 85, but he lived with his eyes wide open. His life encapsulated the 20th century, and even up until his final days, he inspired, guided and rallied people toward the fight for justice in the 21st century.

Oddly, for this elfin poet and intellectual, it was rugby that early on nagged him about the racial injustice of his homeland. Brutus recalled being sarcastically referred to by a white man as a “future Springbok.”

The Springboks were the national rugby team, and Brutus knew that nonwhites could never be on the team. “It stuck with me, until years later, when I began to challenge the whole barrier—questioning why blacks can’t be on the team.” This issue is depicted in Clint Eastwood’s new feature film, “Invictus.” President Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman, embraces the Springboks during the 1995 World Cup, admitting that until then blacks always knew whom to root for: any team playing against the Springboks.

In the late 1950s, Brutus was penning a sports column under the pseudonym “A. de Bruin”—meaning “A brown” in Afrikaans. Brutus wrote, “The column ... was ostensibly about sports results, but also about the politics of race and sports.” He was banned, an apartheid practice that imposed restrictions on movement, meeting, publishing and more. In 1963, while attempting to flee police custody, he was shot. He almost died on a Johannesburg street while waiting for an ambulance restricted to blacks.

Brutus spent 18 months in prison, in the same section of Robben Island as Nelson Mandela, where he wrote his first collection of poems, “Sirens, Knuckles, Boots.” His poem “Sharpeville” described the March 21, 1960, massacre in which South African police opened fire, killing 69 civilians, an event which radicalized him:

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Remember Sharpeville

  bullet-in-the-back day

  Because it epitomized oppression

  and the nature of society

  more clearly than anything else;

  it was the classic event

After prison, Brutus began life as a political refugee. He formed the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee to leverage sports into a high-profile, global anti-apartheid campaign. He succeeded in getting South Africa banned from the Olympic Games in 1970. Brutus moved to the United States, where he remained as a university professor and anti-apartheid leader, despite efforts by the Reagan administration to deny him continued status as a political refugee and deport him.

After the fall of apartheid and ascension to power of the African National Congress, Brutus remained true to his calling. He told me, “As water is privatized, as electricity is privatized, as people are evicted even from their shacks because they can’t afford to pay the rent of the shacks, the situation becomes worse. ... The South African government, under the ANC ... has chosen to adopt a corporate solution.”

He went on: “We come out of apartheid into global apartheid. We’re in a world now where, in fact, wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few; the mass of the people are still poor ... a society which is geared to protect the rich and the corporations and actually is hammering the poor, increasing their burden, this is the reverse of what we thought was going to happen under the ANC government.”

Many young activists know Dennis Brutus not for his anti-apartheid work but as a campaigner for global justice, ever present at mass mobilizations against the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund—and, most recently, although not present, giving inspiration to the protesters at the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen. He said, on his 85th birthday, days before the climate talks were to commence: “We are in serious difficulty all over the planet. We are going to say to the world: There’s too much of profit, too much of greed, too much of suffering by the poor. ... The people of the planet must be in action.”

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2009 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate


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By Makailah, November 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You mean I don’t have to pay for epexrt advice like this anymore?!

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By Michelle Wong, January 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi! thought you might be interested in a new documentary, Fair Play, which tells
the story of the anti-apartheid movement sports boycotts he played such a key
role in. Here’s a trailer:http://activevoice.net/haveyouheard_fairplay.html.

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By Branny Mthelebofu, January 9, 2010 at 12:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dennis was a good man, he reminded me of King Solomon, but he was a happy man.

He smiled every now and then about the terrible things knowing that he has to fight.


I thank all the people who were encouraged by his speech wherever he went to a congress around the world.

I hope the documentary we are making will make his spirit live forever.
Dennis the proffesor: Battle fighter, Producer

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By ofersince72, January 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I sure wouldn’t enter a debate about DEM NOW.
they are my lifeline,, in the the years of
using them as this,  only two dissagrements.
Thats a damn good average with a news service.
Thoses two would be.
Giving a “government expert, James Hanson” so much
credibility and the take on IRAN.
They are minor when compared to the stories they
have broke.
I would be drug through hell in support of AMY.!

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By DieDaily, January 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

lichen: Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, very good book. Maybe I need to do some more research. I had forgotten that those terrorists pretending rather thinly to be Austrian-school economists had their filthy fingers in S.A. What a sick bunch of crooks, Milton Friedman (another degenerate Nobel laureate) and his mercenaries are. And I did not know the ANC took a nationalized central bank and stupidly privatized it…but you are right, it seems they did, and that is very, very fishy and evil (mind you we did that in 1913!). Anyway, look like I’m going to have to do a bunch more reading on this; evidently I have underestimated how bad it is. Can you recommend me a link for a decent jumping off point for some futher study?

P.S. regarding your statement “or do you also excuse Obama and the democratic congress?”...???HELL NO???...no need to get that nasty (jk, lol).

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By mandinka, January 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

what planet are you folks on?? S Africa was a country that was self sufficient prior to apartheid and now they have joined the depths of squalor. Their GDP is where it was in the 90’s, so after 20 years they are virtually another Haiti

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By lichen, January 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Yes, actually, Diedaily, as I said, they could have taken the struggle further, and made less concessions; they had choices, and they made them badly (they are the ones who setup the situation in which their country became dependant on private capital; they made their central bank private, they decided to honor the dictatorship’s debt, and gave huge pensions to outgoing apartheid scum, they didn’t have to); look up an in-depth analysis such as the one in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and those made by young ANC activists at the time who were ready to battle out anything in the streets and who were needlessly betrayed.

I hold them just as responsible as I do the government that I live in (or do you also excuse Obama and the democratic congress?—isn’t Obama a fuzzy celebrity just like Mandela—maybe there will be a fun sports film made about him?) and yes, as I said, I speak with solidarity to the South African justice activists who are currently, and have been for years, working against the betrayal of the ANC.  I recognize injustice wherever and whenever it comes up, and I hold the rich and powerful responsible for their actions; not just the poor and uneducated.

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By DieDaily, January 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

lichen, what country are you from? Nobody has been foreclosed upon and evicted with guns in your country? I guess you must be Swiss, then? If not, if you are American, Canadian, or Western European, you have a LOT of work to do in your own backyard before you can judge the ANC whatsoever. Then again, I hope you realize that I expressly acknowledged that what you are saying IS happening in S.A. Read my comment again. I nowhere deny it. What I stated, and what I would like to know how you could have done better in Mandala’s shoes? With “the enemy”, as it were, controlling your police, military and media? With everything you describe already happening in black ghetto’s except ten times more, with the threat of every shred of capital fleeing your country? With the threat of another Zimbabwe catastrophe shaping up? Let’s here your grand strategy. What kind of Mandala would you make? Again, I repeat that I have not anywhere denied the problems you speak of; rather I have explained them. Can you not even see how much worse it could have been, and how much better it is for the blacks since the ANC took over? (Is it GOOD yet, no, but that’s not what I said…) You can diss them after two things: 1. no such problems in your country, 2. you have a specific set of things Mandala could have done BETTER. I think you are spot on in your diagnosis of what is wrong, yet I don’t think you have the fairest idea what Mandala was up against. That’s all I’ve said. What would you have done? You ignore the fact that revenge crimes on whites were on the verge of rampancy. What would that have helped? The lesser of two evils is not good, granted, it’s just less evil.

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By lichen, January 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

The rich and powerfull, especailly those among them who call themselves left parties that stand for egalitarian ideals, are responsible for their actions; because you liked some movie that celebrated the celebritarian image of Mandela excuses the fact that millions of people choke and starve to death while drinking water that contains sewage and industrial waste in South Africa?  No, it certainly doesn’t; they could have done a lot, including canceling the dictatorships foreign debts, but refused to, and that had consequences; but yes, the ANC government jails people for years for not wanting to be evicted from their homes, but the ANC themselves should be 100% excused.

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By lichen, January 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

No, the ANC could have done better; they had the chance in the negotiation process, and they had the entire world on their side.  They (the ANC leadership, including Mandela) are 100% responsible, with their jailbird psyche’s, for giving in completely, and for declaring themselves Thatcherists and arrresting, killing people for resisting eviction from their shacks. Defending and excusing those people (celebrity worship of Mandela aside) means you are not in solidarity with the millions of poor people currently agitating against the continued betrayal of their economic rights in South Africa.

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By DieDaily, January 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

This is a great article, Amy. Invictus was a pretty good film, focusing only incidentally and symbolically on rugby. It was fairly accurate historically. Mandala can indeed be criticized for selling out to the globalists and it is indeed fair to assert that S.A. passed from domestic RACE apartheid into global CLASS apartheid. However, it would not be fair or complete to leave these criticisms against Mandala’s “corporate sell-out” unqualified, and they definitely must be at least partially, if not entirely, excused.

Had Mandala flouted the globalists, foreign capital, and the still white-controlled military, police and media, there would have been nothing but anarchy, a deeper and more genocidal retrenchment of the racial apartheid AND the globalists would have sunk their hooks in far further, far faster. That’s just a fact!

Mandala got S.A. to stage one: a framework in which total collapse was avoided and racial civil war averted. That was a hell of an accomplishment by anyone’s standards and it was built on the wellspring of the spiritual force of forgiveness and reconciliation that is truly remarkable for a decades-imprisoned man who had had hundreds of friends and family killed by the whites whom he later forgave carte-blanche. That’s just amazing to me. Before we go and say “yeah, but he let the globalists and corporations take over and privatize everything” let me bring up what should epically obvious: SO DID WE! Mandala had a plethora of excuses driven by the cruelest of circumstances and necessities! WE DID NOT! But here we are, a supposedly free country, hopelessly in the pockets of our financiers and military, of globalism, of corporate fascism, of sovereignty- and equality-destroying internationalism. Swimming as we are, neck deep in a glass tank of corruption and state-sponsored terrorism, do we really have the slightest right to throw stones at Mandala for winding up in the same tank, still afloat, when we had every life-preserver at our disposal while he was chained to a sack of rocks and somehow made it through anyway?

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By lichen, January 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

Russian Paul,

Ahmadinejad ran a privatizing regime, waging a class war against poor people, who were also most oppressed by the regimes morality police that goes around harassing people on the streets; if you can pay, you go free, if not, you’ll be beaten in jail for having been seen holding hands with someone.  It was a stolen election, and further, obviously the hordes of people, from all classes, who have been demonstrating don’t agree with you (and since they live there and you don’t, I side with them), and they want a bigger overhaul perhaps then finding a different president. 

But yes, you’ve obviously read these views on a dozen different newsletters and websites by now, so I don’t see that DN! should be airing them and thereby trivializing the autocratic regime’s murder of peaceful protesters on the streets.

However, these regimes are run by rich, old people of both sexes, and they oppress males equally among else; it is primarily young male students who are being killed in the streets right now, so I don’t approve of activism that portends to only go on in and help all people except those males that are over 18.

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By TooLoose, January 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Russian Paul…You are right.  I am defensive.  And I will defend Amy and Democracy Now! to the death against spurious criticism, innuendo, personal attack and/or outright lies.
 
Nobody’s perfect, but just to give a little balance to the picture, check out DN!‘s (1/1/10) review of the last year, plus their website and you will hear/see the following people (partial list) as they have been given generous amounts of time to present their views in depth, plus intelligent questions to answer on the multiplicity of issues that concern us all.  Where else can you find this on national television?

Naomi Klein, Arundhati Roy, Alice Walker, Jeremy Skahill, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Cornel West, Michael Pollan, Mumia Abu Jamal, Jesse Jackson, Avi Lewis, Lynn Stewart, Michael Moore, Jane Hemsher, Pete Seeger, Michael Franti, Buffy St. Marie, Utah Phillips, Howard Dean, Tony Bell, Maxine Waters, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Jimmy Carter, The Yes Men! Whistle blowers, journalists, and investigators from all over the world, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, Environmental Activists and Leaders, ordinary people organizing in their communities, victims of torture and rendition, families of military suicides.  And the list goes on.

With regard to the Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, or any other country where there is a conflict between literally ancient tribal civilizations, which you might include as “working class,” and more modern men and women, who want things to change in favor of a safe life and equality for women and children, as well as economic fairness, I think a rational discussion of this evolutionary potential needs to take place that reflects that we are One World/One People, all interconnected.

I have no illusions about the United States Government as representative of World Power, the Worldwide ruling elite, Capitalism, and the forces of control over resources.  These must and, I believe, will be brought down at some point.  I suspect The Earth will have the final say.

But, in the meantime,  I also have deep pain in my heart about how women and children are treated in these countries where they are stuck in tribal, male-dominated, often murderous situations of constant fear and no escape.  I also believe that change should come from within, not imposed by invaders or do-gooders from other more “advanced” civilizations.

But education and the flow of information are keys to creating change and if that cannot be accomplished, either within the country, or from contact with the outside world, whether that be by twitter, internet, or news, then there is no hope for these women and children.

You may be right that 11 million votes cannot be a fraud (though I’m not sure I believe it couldn’t—just look at our country and all of the election fraud that has been exposed just over the last 8 years)...but that doesn’t make those 11 million people informed or wise in terms of what might be best for the future of ALL their people; more likely it reflects the level of mind-numbing control and threats by those men in power, tribal, religious, and governmental.

Should the world just stand by and watch helplessly, with increasing detachment, as more and more women lead these lives of fear, desperation, and the ever-present reality of murder for trivial
infractions against the fragile male egos holding power?

And you are also right about fermenting, which is another synonym for fomenting.  So, how shall we ferment/foment the world wide class struggle and bring down Capitalism and Elite Control of wealth and resources when they hold the all-powerful weapons of media control with its incessant fear-mongering, along with the usual—disappearance, incarceration, and/or death? 

Resist, inform, educate, agitate, support alternative media, and take to the streets non-violently, speaking truth to power?

Or????  What would you suggest?  I am seriously asking.

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By Russian Paul, January 1, 2010 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Hey Lichen - they did report that “conspiracy theory.” a year before the Iranian faux-revolution took place.
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/30/hersh_congress_agreed_to_bush_request

The last “debate” and all the others I’ve seen on Iran are pathetic and onesided,
all from the perspective of pro-western middle class Iranians. The best thing
that was said in the last show was that the majority working class population is
NOT protesting with the more upper middle class population. Unfortunately
this was not explained or followed through.

The truth is that although Ahmadinjad did cheat, he would’ve clearly won
anyway, 11 million votes could not all be fraud. He is a populist and the poor,
working class majority of Iran support him. I’m sure at this point plenty of
protesters are joining in for legitimate reasons and the government crackdown
only enflames it, but when this all started, most the protesters were holding up
English signs and Twittering about a stolen election that would have been lost
anyway. And the idea that this Mousavi is a reformer!!! what shit! He already
was the prime minister and is known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra
affair. What is key here is that he is pro-Western while Amahdinjad is more
isolationist. The proof that at the very least the CIA has fermented (to
agitate or intensify) some of the tension in Iran is reported by our own beloved
Goodman, so I don’t see how it can even be called a “conspiracy theory.”

As for funding of the show, I will admit, I am not so sure of the Soros
connection anymore, but getting money from the Ford Foundation is not
exactly kosher either! Isn’t it strange that she reported on CIA involvement in
supporting dissident groups years ago, but now that this new color revolution has actually begun,
it’s really not being discussed. Nor is the class war that is really
what’s happening in Iran - the working class vs the more pro-western upper class.
This is why I am criticizing the show, she is not reporting all aspects of this
story. When Democracy Now! and Fox news report a story the same way, I’m
sorry, I get skeptical! You don’t have to get so defensive! And obviously, no
disrespect to Dennis Brutus, he was a great man.

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By lichen, December 31, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad that some people actually are clued into the reality that Mandela and the ANC ended legal apartheid, but kept the economic apartheid in place.  However, it doesn’t matter who became president at the beginning; the betrayal wasn’t a presidential decree, it took place in the bargaining process, where the white elite that had ruled South Africa was handed permanent power over the country’s finances in exchange for (supposedly) not trashing the country on their way out.

I agree with the defense of Amy Goodman and the amazing Democracy Now! team.  They have a wide variety of people on—sometimes I don’t always agree with the guests, but I’m very, very glad that they don’t air conspiracy theory nonsense, especially on a subject like Iran when all the newsletters were pumping that out anyway.  Just reporting the facts—that the Iranian people are peacefully protesting for civil rights and are being shot in the streets, is just fine for me.

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By TooLoose, December 31, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ah, Russian Paul, you say you watch DN! daily.  Perhaps you missed it TODAY for the in-depth conversation between Maziar Bahari of Newsweek and Ervand Abrahamian, distinguished Professor at CUNY, about what’s happening in Iran.  And the other days when such conversations took place with others
on the Iran situation.  Check out the DN! website:
http://www.democracynow.org

Democracy Now! has brief news reporting at the beginning of each show and I, who truly do watch it everyday, sometimes twice, have noticed no paucity
of coverage in that segment on what is happening in
Iran.

The greatest contribution of DN! to our collective knowledge of speaking truth to power in the world is the in-depth portion of the program, where Amy and/or Juan or other DN! staffers have truly informative, respectful conversations, rather than the usual sound bites or vitriolic attacks of network news programs.  The show lasts an hour a day. There are endless stories that could be covered.  This is a complex, complicated world in the throes of open class warfare. They can’t cover everything that happens at that level of depth every single day. 

I applaud them for what they do and if I disagree or feel they should cover something more fully, I write to them.  I also support them with contributions at the level that is possible for a senior citizen (with over 40 years of political activism) on a fixed income.  I have chosen to trust them over many years and have yet to find them lacking in their dedication to and presentation of truthful education of their viewers. 

And, in case you haven’t noticed, Amy Goodman has dedicated her life to that endeavor, often working 24/7, not only doing the broadcast, but traveling extensively to meet and talk to people at college campuses, town halls, churches, wherever she can.  And sometimes to the detriment of her health.

What evidence can you provide that George Soros supports Amy Goodman personally?  Amy Goodman receives a modest salary, as part of a TEAM, and she acknowledges that team every single day one by one by name.  How many other news organizations do that? 

If Mr. Soros wishes to contribute in accordance with his own means to the Democracy Now! team’s efforts to bring truth to those who need and are open to it, good for him.  I would bet the farm that such contribution will not change anything or influence what stories this stellar collective produces.

Go ahead, burst my bubble, show proof…not of contribution, but of direct undue influence.

Once again, you, like so-called “fghtr” have attempted to slip in accusations that are not supported with proof, to “kill the messenger,” even
though you claim to be an avid viewer and supporter.

The “fghtr” admitted it was inappropriate to inject
his attack on Amy Goodman into a tribute to the brilliant, heroic South African poet, Dennis Brutus, but he did it anyway.  I will not allow that to go unchallenged.  You may think your alleged attack about “influence” was mitigated by your claim to be a viewer, but it was an unsupported-by-fact attack nevertheless.  It was not just holding Amy’s feet to the fire. 

What evidence do you have that it is the U.S. government (the word is) “fomenting” the unrest in Iran?  It is certainly possible, and I don’t doubt it, that the war-monger interests (of the world) have agent provocateurs here and there to commit violence at peaceful, non-violent demonstrations.
I experienced this in the 60s. 

According to the conversation today on DN! the legitimate coalition of anti-government forces in Iran have pledged to use only non-violent methods.  It was reported that it is the Iranian government who is sending in the provocateurs, not necessarily ours.  They are using every excuse they can to crack down and, as they are quoted on DN! today, “crush” those involved with this movement toward their own form of democracy, starting with fair and legitimate elections.

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By grumpynyker, December 31, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ll end 2009 by stating that Winnie Mandela should
have been the first black president of South Africa.  I
doubt she would have allowed the white
elites/corporations to swindle South Africa out of her
natural minerals like Nelson DID TO RIDE IN THE BACK OF
A MERCEDES BENZ.  And if the white/colored merchant
class didn’t like it, they could leave the country
after submitting to the most painfully invasive body
cavity searches designed then board the airplane NAKED
and BLEEDING.

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By Russian Paul, December 31, 2009 at 3:53 am Link to this comment

Tooloose - I agree with you somewhat, but just because Amy has proved herself
in the past doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t hold her feet to the fire. Her coverage
of the protests in Iran is really disturbing. The mere idea that these protests were
possibly fermented by the West has only been mentioned in passing once or
twice. She should have a real debate on this. Her being funded by Soros might
explain why she is whitewashing this new color revolution in Iran.

I watch the show daily, I am especially grateful for her recent coverage of the
Honduran coup, but I’m starting to notice there are certain things she will not
report.

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By David, December 31, 2009 at 1:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Amy, Nelson Mandela NEVER broke rocks on Robben Eiland. But it is “politcally correct” to depict his imprisonment there as such a horror. Please straighten your reporting: check your facts first! You could do that by enquiring of Mandela’s prison warder who became one of his best friends and in fact was seated next to him at the celebration of his release.

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By TooLoose, December 30, 2009 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the self-proclaimed Trthfghtr:  Amy Goodman is a hard-working, self-sacrificing, courageous journalist, whom many of us depend on daily for non-corporate news and in-depth interviews with the voices of reason and justice.  One of the few journalists to which we have access who speaks truth to power and has as guests on Democracy Now! others who do the same, but are not often covered in mainstream media, such as Dennis Brutus, another
great human being.

Her presence in Copenhagen for the full two weeks of the so-called Climate Change summit was the ONLY international full-time coverage of that event, and included in-depth interviews with the great progressive voices of our time, including a brilliant conversation with the President of Bolivia, indigenous activist and cultural hero Evo Morales.

Over the years, Amy, a multiple National and International award-winning journalist (including the prestigious Alternative Nobel Right Livelihood Prize) has presented in-depth interviews with the best and brightest of the world’s Progressives, from heads of state to core level grassroots activists.

You, Mr. Trthfghtr, are an ignorant speculator.  You do not KNOW the truth (and even less are you a fghtr for it) about the so-called underwear bomber’s mental state or his motives or any connection he may have had with the U.S. Corporate War Machine.  Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales of DN! are journalists who report NEWS on The War and Peace Report on Democracy Now!.  What did you expect them to do about this story, ignore it?

You accuse Amy Goodman of “playing into and cooperating with the government’s fraud” but you give absolutely no proof of fraud.  It may well be the case that those in power will exploit this incident, and make it into another war, but that
does not mean it was a fraud or contrived or anything else.  It was a planned (perhaps only by one, perhaps conspiratorial) terror incident that could have killed over 300 people and the response of those in power may well end up being just what you predict, more armed conflict.

But that does not in any way mean that Amy Goodman or Democracy Now! had any part in creating that response simply by reporting the news of the incident itself.  In fact, I predict that DN! will likely have erudite, rational people debate the issue in the future. depending on our government’s response or what happens in the national conversation.

Speaking of “shame, shame”—you deserve the lion’s share for denigrating, rather than supporting, one of the only consistently Left, consistently Progressive, fearlessly outspoken journalists in the country, if, in fact you are a progressive (which I doubt).  Amy Goodman has risked her life more than once to cover stories in places other journalists wouldn’t go.

As for you, Mr. Trthfghtr, you are the suspicious one here.  What proof do you have that Amy Goodman receives “government money?”  It is a typical right-wing tactic to go after the character of those they see as effective in speaking truth to power, often making up things and distorting facts. 

You have revealed yourself.

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By mandinka, December 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Great story the ANC has managed to take a thriving robust country that was the envy of Africa and turn it into just another dirt poor African country

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By Udo Strutynski, December 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I remember Dennis Brutus from my days teaching at Northwestern University.  While the Reagan administration was trying to get him deported to a fate of almost certain imprisonment, if not death,, the university stood idly by, offering neither moral nor legal support. One day, I happened to be standing next to him on campus, waiting for the traffic light to change.  “It’s despicable that your institution is not supporting you,” I said. He just smiled and said, “this, too, shall pass.”  Not long thereafter, we learned that Dennis Brutus had accepted a position at another university.  I can’t recall the name of the school, but I’m pretty confident Northwestern did not throw him a going-away party.

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By trthfghtr, December 30, 2009 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sorry to be interjecting this post in a memorial to the great Dennis Brutus.  However, Amy Goodman was really earning her government money today, with her leadoff story of the “underwear bomber.”

As always she follows the important government lies straight down the line. The progressives must fall in line also - that is her and the other leftgatekeepers’ job.

The “bombing attempt” by this mentally ill patsy could not possibly have destroyed the plane.  However it could indeed grease the war preparations for war in Yemen, further erode our constitution and further constrain the populace to lives of frightened sheep.  Amy Goodman is directly playing into and cooperating with the government’s fraud.  Shame, shame.

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