“If I shut my eyes, I can still feel the fire from those days. And if I open my eyes, I still see the fires all around me. I didn’t like the way the world was, and I believe that there need to be some changes about the way the world is.”

John Carlos won bronze in the 200m dash in the 1968 Olympics and, along with 

with Tommie Smith,

protested against racism with a raised fist during the medal ceremony. That iconic protest moment happened this week 49 years ago. The quote is from his 2011 memoir.

This is not simply a war language; this is an American language. In Sharif’s rendering, “Look” is at once a command to see and to grieve the people these words describe — and also a means of implicating the reader in the violence delivered upon those people.

A Poet Subverts the Defense Department’s Official Dictionary Natalie Diaz reviews Solmaz Sharif’s poetry collection Look for the New York Times.

Path to the White House

Buzzfeed has a pretty nifty guide to who wins how and when. The New York Times chart is a bit more complicated

I’ll leave these tabs open til.. Obama wins Ohio, I guess hope? That way I might actually get some sleep. 

Like 4 years ago, I can only recommend Talking Points Memo for thoughtful (liberal-leaning) coverage. 

My favorite podcast/ progressive political commentary show – This Week in Blackness Radio – will also be covering the election night, from 8 pm EST on. 

Mitt Romney may become our next president. Will he continue to espouse one-factor explanations for multicausal problems, and fail to understand history and the modern world? If so, he will preside over a declining nation squandering its advantages of location and history.

Mitt Romney’s Search for Simple Answers – NYTimes.com

Prof. Jared Diamond (UCLA) wrote a scathing op-ed on Mitt Romney, as a response to Romney’s misrepresentation and oversimplification of Diamond’s work on the interdependence of geography, history, culture, and the wealth of nations.


Once the cordon formed, the deputy sheriffs pointed their truncheons toward the crowd. It looked like the oldest of military maneuvers, a phalanx out of the Trojan War, but with billy clubs instead of spears. The students were wearing scarves for the first time that year, their cheeks rosy with the first bite of real cold after the long Californian Indian summer. The billy clubs were about the size of a boy’s Little League baseball bat. My wife was speaking to the young deputies about the importance of nonviolence and explaining why they should be at home reading to their children, when one of the deputies reached out, shoved my wife in the chest and knocked her down.

At Occupy Berkeley, Beat Poets Has New Meaning – NYTimes.com

I don’t like the “they even beat privileged poets” tone of the piece (because, you know, no non-violent person deserves to be beaten by the police,) but this recollection of the events at Occupy Berkeley by Robert Hass is very eloquent and insightful.

And hell, they even beat 70-year old poets!