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New Media We Recommend

June 20, 2012

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam, by John Feffer – This is the most recent book by the co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies, John Feffer. Crusade 2.0 provides invaluable analysis of US policy towards the Muslim world, both abroad and in the US. However, the author also gives readers a solid foundation on the history of the European Christian Crusades and the justifications for slaughtering Muslims during those crusades. Feffer says that the myths about this history are still used to justify policies towards Muslims, that they are violent and that they want to rule the world. Feffer then covers the period from the fall of the Ottoman Empire through the Cold War and the post-Soviet era. The book also spends some time looking at Europe’s growing Islamaphobia and how it moved from the margins to core aspects of state policy. This point is the most important of the book, in that it is not just the far right that promotes Islamaphobia, but liberals, both in government and in academia who justify a war on Islam.

Food Movements Unite!, edited by Eric Holt-Gimenez – With more and more attention given to eating local and organic, this volume of essays is an important contribution to the issues faced by organizations working with the current food movement. The authors of these 20 essays agree that the neoliberal and reformist approaches to food justice are not only inadequate, they perpetuate the current inequities in food access and lack of food justice. The book makes it clear that a more radical approach is necessary to both dismantle the current corporate food system and create a new democratic food system where humans and the land are not exploited. There are contributions from individuals and organizations around the world providing both a critique and best practices on the growing and distribution of food. The contributors also agree that the various entities – women’s groups, urban agriculturalists, small farmers, youth, farm workers and minority movements need to unite or at least find more common ground in responding to the current food crisis.

Free Land: A Hip Hop Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the Wild Wild West, (curriculum & DVD) by Ariel Luckey – How does one deal with racial privilege? This is a question that Ariel Luckey not only asks, but one he answers with passion and clarity, he answers that question by sharing with us his own journey in coming to terms with privilege and working for racial justice. Free Land is part performance art, part spoken word, part testimonial and part history lesson. Luckey uses Hip Hop as it was meant to be used, as a tool for speaking truth and for challenging business as usual politics. The DVD is informative and entertaining, but add to it the curriculum guide and you have both creative and constructive means to engage people into looking at how they benefit from racial privilege, how we need to learn from people’s history and enter into solidarity with communities of color that continue to be confronted by institutional racism. A great resource and a model of how we can do popular education.

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