Friday, August 27, 2010

For Ethanol, Now This?!

And I'm talking sugarcane not corn. For Brazil to lead the world in sugarcane ethanol production, much better for the environment than either corn ethanol or oil and gasoline, is one thing. They have sugarcane, we don't. They apparently don't have a strong oil and gasoline industry, we do. Even the little sugarcane industry we do have is blocking.

But for them to beat us out in terms of ensuring equality for all citizens regardless of race, that's just inexcusable.

For us. Kudos to them. This year will be Brazil's first census recognizing descendents of Kalunga quilombo, descendents of one of Brazil's very large communities founding during the 16th century by runaway slaves. Yes, they have Constitutional protections such as ownership of their ancestral lands. But it's hard to take advantage of protections and rights if the government doesn't know, or doesn't recognize, you exist.

Now look. I'm not saying they don't have severe and standing disparities and inequalities they need to work out. I'm not saying they don't have conservatives who'll water down potentially very, very good law. I'm not saying they have us beat in any measure of racial equality. African Americans have achieved a great deal in the short time that at least most legal barriers to black progress. What I am saying is that they clearly understand centuries of racism, legal and otherwise, won't be undone without government intervention - the same intervention and effort it took to create a society based on racism and inequality. That's huge and something it seems white Americans refuse to understand.

But anyway,

So big ups to Brazil. Wish you were here. Helping to improve our laws, too.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis