Flat Broke with Children

In Flat Broke with Children (Oxford University Press, 2003), welfare reform advocate and University of Southern California gender studies and sociology professor Dr. Sharon Hays claims that the “demonizing [of] welfare mothers,” in the United States, “implicitly allows us [Americans] to wash our hands of this population.” Flat Broke with Children

Hays uses both empirical and anecdotal evidence to illustrate a “mainstream” America that considers welfare mothers – 90 percent of the adult welfare population – to have different values, beliefs, and practices than its own. She paints an unjust system and argues that these mothers (especially those with no responsible significant others) do, in fact, “share the core values of most Americans.”

“The trouble,” she explains, “is that welfare reform was founded on the assumption that welfare mothers [are] personally responsible for undermining our nation’s moral principles.” Like other welfare reform advocates, Hays points to a flawed objective: “The policies and procedures instituted… have thus been aimed at ‘fixing’ these women.”
Continue reading “Flat Broke with Children”

Secretary of College Democrats Speaks Out

The 2010 midterm elections were anything but run-of-the-mill. From the primary season, it became apparent that an anti-incumbent atmosphere was settling in, and no one was safe, whether Democrat or Republican. What caused this anger to develop? Why is it that just two years after President Obama won the presidency by such a decisive margin, and with the Democrats gaining greater control of both the House and Senate, we are seeing a substantial reversal?

One explanation for this trend is that the Democrats took care of business out of order. President Obama and Congressional Democrats should have worked to strengthen the economy first, and left health care reform as a second-term job. Health care was, from the start, a very divisive issue that was bound to break down all hopes of bipartisanship. There are many instances of both Congressional Democrats and Republicans contributing to the disintegration of bipartisanship. Continue reading “Secretary of College Democrats Speaks Out”

Perspective Founder Profiles Gov. Christie for The Nation

The Rise of Chris Christie, Governor Wrecking Ball

This profile was first published at TheNation.com

From National Review, which ran an August cover story designating him the “Scourge of Trenton,” to conservative bloggers electrified by his boisterous YouTube clips, just about every relevant Republican constituency has found something to be taken with in Chris Christie. Policy analysts in Washington appear just as enthralled by his critique of public pensions as are the familiar talk-radio personalities. “Ladies and gentlemen, is it wrong to love another man?” Rush Limbaugh asked one afternoon. “Because I love Chris Christie.”

In a feat of strategic jujitsu, Christie has managed to tread a tenuous ideological line between Beltway Republicans and the Tea Party, endorsing Mike Castle over Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican senatorial primary. The calculation implied that although he clearly welcomes its support, Christie is not tethered to the Tea Party’s every whim; meanwhile, the Republican National Committee was happy to shuttle him around the country on behalf of various candidates this election cycle. Even among social conservatives, to whom Christie does not often pander, he has amassed impressive credentials: Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, lauded “the victory of a pro-life, pro-marriage GOP governor in New Jersey” last year after Christie vowed to veto a same-sex marriage bill. This ubiquitous adoration suggests that should rumored presidential aspirations materialize, he may be able to unite the party’s balkanized base. Continue reading “Perspective Founder Profiles Gov. Christie for The Nation”

'Pixel' Artist to Give Lecture

Last November, Willie Cole installed his divisive, sparkling “Pixels,” a public artwork comprising four huge, glittered spheres of different colors, on the grass between Loser Hall, the Music Building, and the Art & IMM Building at TCNJ.

The Pixel Project - The College of New Jersey (WillieCole.com)
The Pixel Project, The College of New Jersey WillieCole.com

The installation provoked responses both legion and varied. Some were taken aback by the Pixels, either irked to be uninvolved in the selection process or distracted by the contrast with Campus architecture. Some welcomed the piece as a bold artistic statement, but most were skeptical about its funding and confused about its message.

Cole addressed these concerns in January: according to the Signal, Cole affirmed, “This artwork has nothing to do with the money that pays for their education. It in fact is a gift to them…”

Regarding the Pixel concept, Cole said, “The pixel, as represented in this work, links art and interactive media… In sculpture, the sphere is emblematic of minimalism. In media the sphere — as an abstract representation of the pixel — is primary. It also represents the single dot of color in a pointillist painting, or the single particle that is the basic building ‘dot’ of all living things.”

From October 28 through December 8, Cole’s work is featured in IMM room 115. Most pieces comment on race and gender issues, and all of his work is political, thoughtful, and confrontational.

Today (Thursday, November 18), Willie Cole will be giving a lecture in the new Art & IMM building, room 115, at 11:30am. Afterword, we will talk to Cole about the political roots of his work, his assessment of current issues, and more. Check back here soon for the interview and photographs of some of his work.

Arabs, Zionism, and the Holocaust

In Zionist propaganda, Israel is presented as the safe haven of the Jewish people, who have long been persecuted throughout history. However, in reality, Israel is arguably the least safe place in the world for Jews, as Israel is in constant conflict

Gilbert Achcar
Photo by Anne Alexander

with her neighbors. Waging wars of imperialism against neighboring Arabic nations, Zionists in Israel have taken to using the Holocaust as justification for Israel’s aggression, culminating in the demonization of the Arab as the modern Nazi. In his talk at Rutgers University on November 10, Gilbert Achcar, author of The Arabs and the Holocaust, debunked myths of Arab support for Nazis and discussed the modern exploitation of the Holocaust by Israel.

It’s a universal fact that Germans perpetrated the Holocaust. Only the most delusional would contest this fact. The Holocaust, a terrible tragedy, expressed to many the immediate need to create a Jewish state to protect the Jewish people; hence Israel’s current existence. However, the chain of Zionist logic was missing a prominent link.

Why should Arabs, who had no hand in the Holocaust, bear Germany’s punishment? To answer this question, Zionists have maintained an assault on history, portraying Arabs as Nazi supporters and sympathizers. Continue reading “Arabs, Zionism, and the Holocaust”

Letter to the Editor

Dated 11/14/10

Regarding your quote from Christine O’Donnell on page 3, here is what the actual Constitution states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Notice it does not say “separation of church and state,” but rather that the state has no right to make a law regarding any religion, interfering with the free speech and practice of those in the religion – well it is pretty self-explanatory isn’t it, so I don’t know why I’m trying to spell it out for you.

In other words, Christine has every right to speak her beliefs, whether or not we agree with them. And it turns out she was right anyway, at least about this particular statement in the Constitution. Continue reading “Letter to the Editor”