Tag Archives: misogyny

Puritanism’s Long Shadows

“Puritanism, in whatever expression, is a poisonous germ. On the surface everything may look strong and vigorous; yet the poison works its way persistently, until the entire fabric is doomed.” – Emma Goldman

With an apparent raging storm of accusations and allegations against powerful men in the US, social media has erupted into another cause célèbre. While many are optimistic that this will lead to a revolution of sorts, some are cautioning us to beware of the terrible turn things like this can take, especially within a society with deep inequities and a dark legacy of punitive legalism. This isn’t to suggest that sexism, misogyny and sexual violence are not persistent and colossal problems, nor that they shouldn’t be exposed and condemned. But to look at American cultural trends without acknowledging its puritan roots is not only dishonest; history has proven it to have tragic consequences.

While most of the recent sexual harassment, abuse and rape allegations against powerful men in the US are not directly rooted in the rigid mores of puritanism it should be noted that its insidious tendrils still extend into every facet of American life. And it isn’t only the Christian Right that steers these kinds of societal attitudes. This legacy strongly influences modern liberalism and how institutions and the powerful make decisions and interpret human failings, morality and social ills. They look at culture through puritanism’s punitive lens which is reflected in a variety of ways.

 

In regard to accusations or allegations, America’s history is littered with examples of frenzied crusades reminiscent of puritanism. This is not in any way to suggest that most of the people making accusations about improprieties, harassment or assault today are lying or merely wrong. And it is not intended to protect powerful, wealthy men with status and influence; but the opposite. This is a society whose brutal past casts long shadows. There are countless instances in US history which document the detrimental impacts of hysteria created by false or exaggerated accusations.

The most historically infamous were the Salem Witch Trials, which mostly targeted women and endure as the tragic legacy of the Puritans themselves. The “Red Scare” of the 1950s which aimed to purge the US of communists and their sympathizers is another. Thousands of people lost careers, relationships, faced financial ruin, and even lost their lives in some instances due to suicide, thanks to being labeled a subversive, a homosexual (which was socially taboo and largely illegal at the time) or a pervert (which could be twisted to mean just about anything). The debunked day school “satanic ritual abuse” scandal of the 1980s and 90s is a more recent example, but to me one of the most tragic incidents involved a 14 year old black boy in Mississippi.

 

In 1955 a false accusation of sexual assault led to the brutal murder of Emmett Till. He was a black boy in the Jim Crow south and his accuser was a white woman. He was accused of whistling at the woman, grabbing her hand, making sexual innuendos and shouting obscenities. The boy had a speech impediment, and he was undoubtedly schooled by his family on how to “behave” in the oppressively hostile environment of white America, so this woman’s accusations bore little resemblance to the lived reality of millions of people. But it was of no consequence. He was dragged from his bed by a mob of white men, tortured, mutilated, tied with barbed wire and thrown over a bridge. His tragically horrid fate was linked to hundreds of years of racist oppression. But it is worth noting that this was just a little over 60 years ago and his accuser is still alive.

The current maelstrom of sexual assault allegations in the highest echelons of US media and the political establishment in its current form is likely only to produce enduring, material benefits for the already wealthy, privileged and powerful.This is because without a mass movement from below which addresses structural injustices and inequities endemic to the American power structure, the elite will continue to dictate how such things will unfold. The spectacle, at this point, is a squabble among the powerful, wealthy upper classes. So unless that structure itself is ultimately overturned all other social justice causes will continue to be co-opted and tainted by its elitist brush.

 

This is especially so when most of the revelations being made are actually emanating from the elite classes themselves. To the powerful, sex and sexuality are little more than commodities to trade, and most of the accused among their ranks will not likely suffer in real world consequences, only in optics.  After all, they have plenty of money, influence and access to armies of lawyers who will ensure that their class is ultimately protected from the most damning aspects of the US legal system. It is the lower castes who will likely suffer disproportionately from any punitive or legalistic actions they may produce as a response.

Politicians operating under an already grossly unfair and corrupt US oligarchy that worships “free market capitalism” will never address the conditions that generally lead to abuse, crime or assault like imposed poverty, institutional racism, debt wage slavery or the dismantling of the social safety net, it will instead answer with the only thing it has at its disposal: more punitive and retributive laws which always disproportionately affect the poor, youth and the disenfranchised. Sex offender registries are an example of this. Designed to punish crimes of a serious sexual nature and protect the public from dangerous predators, they have all too often ruined the lives of people who pose no threat to society. Urinating in public, teenagers having sex with other teenagers, breast feeding in public, engaging in prostitution or being a prostitute, all these things have threatened ordinary people with the stigma of being on a registry for life. And once on, they are restricted in employment, education and housing, further impoverishing people who were already poor.

 

The good thing is that this apparent “reckoning” need not remain in its current form. It need not be an issue generated by the elite and privileged class who limit its scope and respond to it with repression rather than restorative justice. I know some, both women as well as men, who have become more interested in antiwar activism because of it, others who are becoming more involved in solidarity with those in the global south who suffer under our racist, capitalist fueled, sweatshop economy and military occupations. In ecological activist circles it is galvanizing many to make the needed connection between a culture of rape and the rape of the living planet. It most certainly seems to be helping many to find the courage to come out of shadows of torment and find community and a sense of personal justice and healing. And at the very least it appears to be igniting a long overdue discussion in the broader society about sexual harassment, abuse and assault, and may also be causing some to honestly face the insidious demons of patriarchal misogyny.

I applaud, celebrate and stand in solidarity with all of this especially if it continues toward the revolutionary paradigm shift we so desperately need. But even with all this I know there might be some who, after reading this essay, will somehow think I am being an apologist for powerful men or sexual predators. So I want to make it clear I understand where much of the anger is coming from. It is not only thanks to years of counseling people who survived different kinds of sexual assault, but because I am a survivor of an assault myself. I won’t go into the lurid details, but it took a long time to get through the panic and rage that ensued after a terrifying experience. I am only sharing this to let those reading this know I do not take such things lightly or hold survivors in contempt. Nor do I dismiss the courage it takes to come forward.

 

I understand that the current reckoning unfolding among the powerful elite has not yet turned into anything described above. And it is my sincere hope that women from all strata of society will benefit from the societal sea change that could come as a result. But I also know how purges and other movements based on accusation, inference or allegations can often lead an already deeply unequal society down an even more frightening path. I know that, whether or not it is acknowledged, puritanism still persists in American culture and society. I know how the poor and people of colour (especially women), and the LGBTQ community have historically suffered the worst ramifications from such turns. And however unpopular a stance it might be, being silent about these concerns is simply not an option.

 

Kenn Orphan  2017

Resistance in an Age of Absurdity

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

From an incessant flow of paranoid tweets to bizarre statements about massacres that never happened or secret cameras fitted in microwaves, Donald Trump’s regime has ushered the unhinged spectacle of reality show television right into the Oval Office with stunning success.  Were this absurdity to be contained within the confines of a political thriller it might be mildly entertaining.  But in the real world, a world in which real civilians are being blown to bits by smart bombs, real children are starving to death, real refugees are being turned back to face certain death, and where the real biosphere is perilously close to the edge of catastrophe, this derangement is utterly terrifying.

 

Trump is a master at manipulating the corporate media via the manufacture of controversy and melodrama.  Of course the irony is that the very same broadcasting behemoths he routinely demonizes provide his unhinged theatrics with non stop coverage which, in turn, has given them unprecedented ratings and profits.  But behind the spectacle lurks a far more insidious method to this madness.  In a mere three months the Trump regime has managed to replace the heads of institutions like the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, with individuals who wish to dismantle them.  He has codified racist xenophobia through executive orders which ban Muslims and persecute undocumented immigrants. And through his elevation of white supremacist Steven Bannon to astonishing power, he has animated the latent white nationalist movement.

The Trump regime has also demonstrated its eager willingness to expand the war machine of American Empire, pouring billions of dollars into an already bloated military industrial sector while gutting social and medical services.   In this short time Trump’s militarism has empowered the Pentagon and has claimed the lives of scores of men, women and children from Syria, to Yemen, to Iraq, and it is only just ramping up.   There is also little to cast doubt on the prospect of wars and military conflicts involving China, North Korea and Iran in the not too distant future given the administration’s unhinged saber rattling and provocation.

 

His appointment of former ExxonMobil executive, Rex Tillerson, to the State Department signifies a blatant display of the influence of the fossil fuel industry in regard to US foreign and domestic policy.  Tillerson presided over the company in the 1970s, a period in which the oil giant launched massive campaigns to deny its own research which confirmed human caused global warming.  Trump’s recent executive order related to climate change delivered a blow to reason.  It was meant to.  His absurdist view that it is a hoax manufactured by the Chinese is a hallmark of his risible ignorance and, remarkably, still has currency in many conspiratorially minded circles.  But in this Age of Absurdity facts and the truth itself have become the first victims.

As a resurgent fascism stands poised to sweep over the West we can expect increasing brutality against dissent; and it would be foolish to think the repercussions of this would remain localized.  We will be increasingly asked to choose between compliance with monstrous state repression or bold resistance. The protests which have sprung up against the onslaught of misogynistic and xenophobic polices have been encouraging to see, but there are already a slew of laws in the works designed to stifle direct action. And the Democratic Party establishment is not interested, nor is it equipped to offer up any kind of meaningful resistance since it has acquiesced to the demands and interests of Wall Street, corporations and the war industry long ago. Their role has been one of normalizing the ruthless exploits of global capitalism.  Indeed, the Clinton and Obama administrations championed the brutality of neoliberal capitalism and weakened civil liberties and gutted social safety nets for the poor while deporting millions of undocumented immigrants and bolstering the imperialistic war machine.  

 

If there is anyone to look to in these dark times for inspiration it would be the ongoing struggles of Black Lives Matter, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), and Standing Rock Sioux which largely began during the previous administration and are international in scope.  These movements have endured and weathered police and state intimidation, brutality, violence and arrest; and it is their fortitude and integrity which offers us all a living example of how bold we will need to be in the face of an ever more oppressive tyranny.  They were born of the historic struggles of indigenous peoples against colonialism, police brutality and environmental racism.  And with the perilous times that lie ahead solidarity with them is needed now more than ever before.

Thanks to the convergence of a climate ravaged world and a fragile biosphere that is teetering on collapse and extinction, the global despotism rising today will be unlike anything we have ever seen before.  The flames of nationalism and xenophobia will be fanned by fascists who will ride a rising and unfortunate tide of climate chaos.   They will use famine, austerity and social unrest and uncertainty to justify brutal authoritarianism, repression and state violence; and they will have no problem employing chicanery, scapegoating and dehumanization to achieve their end.  Indeed, their embrace of absurdity, or its pretense, is their strength.

 

In The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt said: “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”    The more fascists are permitted to make a mockery of justice, humanity and protection of the living earth, the more easy it will be for them to manipulate the deepest fears and prejudices of the public.  They will continue to launch mendacious smears against climate scientists, assault the poor and the most vulnerable, advance racism, expand war and militarism, disparage the press, and promote the inversion of reality to their favor even as the planet burns.   And if we continue to allow them to bend the arc of truth we will most assuredly see truth itself begin to die.   Our resistance to tyranny begins the day we refuse to allow this to happen on our watch.

 

Kenn Orphan 2017

Beware, the Misanthrope

There is, perhaps, no sadder or more dangerous a thing than when misanthropy overcomes the human heart.  It is a malady no less deadly than cancer, and when it is allowed to fester too long it claims the soul itself.  The body may follow but often not for many bitter sodden years.  It begins quite innocently with otherizing, but moves rapidly to full blown demonizing and dehumanization. Throughout the process it whittles away empathy for the suffering or plight of others and denudes a person of their capacity for solidarity with the oppressed.

Misanthropy is like a drug.  Seeing the world with all of its innumerable sufferings, the cruelty, personal failings, the destruction of the living earth by our species, and our dire, collective trajectory can create a deep anger toward our fellow human beings and a longing for separation from the pain. But instead of channeling that anger toward a greater love many succumb to the strong temptation to hatred of the other.  It enables an illusion of supremacy making it intoxicating, at least for a while.
Rohingya Refugees Source The GuardianThe ones who elevate it to an art form, or use it for entertainment, or employ it for success in politics or business or career, will often entice mobs or crowds of other misanthropes or the disaffected or alienated to follow them. Feeling quite empty themselves people are often drawn to the swoon of incendiary screeds, pitchforks and trials against a much needed scapegoat for everything that has gone wrong in the world.  It has the power to kill movements for justice, extinguish the desire for a more equitable or decent world, or even sweep entire societies into the maw of maniacal totalitarianism.

In truth, we all have misanthropic feelings or thoughts on any given day. We can and should look at what is happening and be realistic about our situation. We can and should criticize our actions and apathy. We can even come to accept, as I have, the possibility that the human species may not survive given our trajectory. But the hardcore misanthrope sees the suffering of the world and the failings of human beings and instead of choosing solidarity with them, they choose its opposite.

women-prisoners-at-auschwitz-1944-photo-source-the-holocaust-museum

In the dark days ahead humanity will likely see the rise of a myriad of misanthropes each vying for one last bit of attention. They will seize on the chaos of a biosphere in peril and the collapse of economies and empires. The despot and the tyrant will use this kind of hatred for their own ends; but far more insidious are the misanthropes within the masses; for they may decry hypocrisy and damn the powerful for their excesses, hubris or murderous legacy; but in an instant they will turn on their comrades, allies or followers.  To the hardcore misanthrope all disagreement or dissent from their worldview is cause for suspicion and scorn.  And this has the potential to turn to marginalization, banishment or even extermination.

Refugees waiting for hours to cross the border to Macedonia. Photo by Erik Marquardt.

Many of them will inflame emotions and suggest or encourage violence by innuendo or spreading scandals and falsehoods dressed up as truth.  And this has the tendency to pave the way for atrocities, pogroms and genocide.  Others will suck the oxygen out of dissent faster than any state crackdown could via invective, indifference or indignation at the struggles of ordinary people to make a difference in the world around them.  Some will tap into base passions and bigotries, others will dress up their contempt in pseudo-intellectualism, and will insert doubt, derision and ridicule into discourse in order to demoralize and dampen the spirit of resistance.  A few are looked at as leaders of a movement even while they crush the soul of it under their heel.  And much of this is done without them being even barely conscious of their motives or impact.   Make no mistake, though, the seasoned misanthrope garnishes a similar pleasure from inflicting misery or doling out abuse as the sadist.  All of them are menacing specters to our species and are to be pitied.

But beware.  If we countenance their cynicism for too long we will most assuredly court our own doom.

Kenn Orphan 2017

As The Curtain Falls

American Sniper.  Source: Warner Brothers     In the disintegrating days of any society, nationalism, political charade and vapid farce often become the dominant narrative of the elite. These serve as distractions from their malfeasance, and the malaise and dread that most people, whether conscious of it or not, are feeling at the deepest level of their psyche. They also reflect the mania that often grips the mind when disaster is looming. And unless we insulate ourselves within this rubric of duplicity, or are so busy with the tasks imposed on us by the act of living in a society with increasingly less agency, it is near impossible to ignore the ominous signs on the horizon. Reports about mass extinction, climate chaos and a rising militarized, totalitarian state are ubiquitous.

Climate Change  Illustration from NASAThe other night I went out to the movies. This is not a big deal for many, but for me it is. I stopped going to see most Hollywood productions a while ago when I found myself increasingly alienated from the violent messages I saw being aggressively communicated. Much of it is nothing new.

Hollywood has always glamorized and championed patriarchy, gratuitous vulgarity, mindless consumerism and a detachment from the natural world. And it, ironically, has patted itself on the back for being at the forefront of social change, when historically it has dutifully supported and promoted the most entrenched, dehumanizing and churlish forms of racism, homophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and antisemitism. In truth it is the best mouthpiece for the status quo power class and a bulwark for the reactionary establishment. While conveniently recasting itself as a civil rights pioneer when all the hard work has been done, Hollywood takes credit for something it had once vehemently opposed.

Gone With The Wind Still Source NY Times

The Birth of a Nation (1915) Directed by D.W. Griffith Shown: Walter Long (as Gus) surrounded by Ku Klux Klan members

Promo for the WWII movie Dragon SeedSitting there in the darkened theater, waiting for the film I chose to begin, I was barraged by a cacophony of violent jingoism in each preview of movies to come. The military was cast as the savior of the world, women were objectified in persistent, degrading stereotypes, and the “other” of foreign nations were dehumanized and vilified. Of course one can trace much of this back to WWII when the Japanese were portrayed as bloodthirsty, dim witted beasts.

Bodies of Hiroshima civilian victims.  The People's Historical Archive

The lynching of William Brown in Douglas County Nebraska, 1919This insidious racism soothed the American psyche into justifying the nuclear decimation of tens of thousands of civilians and assisted the acceptance of the forced internment of Japanese Americans into concentration camps. One can go back even further to 1915 to the infamous film “Birth of a Nation” which depicted Black men as rapists and a danger to the entire republic. What better way to vindicate the horrors of Jim Crow and decades of state sanctioned terror via lynching parties?  But over the last decade there has been a surge of hyper-masculine, chauvinistic nationalism depicted in film and media with technical flare.

Promotional Photo for the movie Exodus  Source 20th Century FoxSadly, in the midst of all of this, many in America, and to a lesser extent other Western nations, appear to be retreating into a form of infantilism, clinging to religious mythologies about “end times” and supernatural tampering with humanity, or nefarious government conspiracies around every corner. This is a common response to a sense of powerlessness. Ironically, these fantasies coincide with the very real prospect of collapse and even near term human extinction.  But those who are confounded by reason, overwhelmed by a merciless onslaught of disinformation, and battered by class oppression, will often attribute calamity to the divine’s wrath at innocuous human rights and social issues like marriage equality or women’s reproductive freedom.

Hollywood nourishes this confusion by inducing a national amnesia regarding what their country has done and what crimes it is capable of committing, both at home and abroad. It achieves this by producing a never ending stream of series or movies that retell and re-frame Biblical stories, or are about natural disasters (most of which are implausible), supernatural beings like zombies or vampires that compete for gloulish and macabre attention, or imagined threats from foreign “others” who represent everything we despise.
Still from World War Z  Source Digital SpyIn truth, the wealthy power class has always thrived on violence and the incitement of division. It has been and remains the currency that they use to hold on to power and maintain the barrier that insulates them from its consequences. It is the drug of choice for brutes and psychopaths; and when it is unbridled it deftly manages to hollow out the very core of human dignity. How else could the US military, which has a long, documented history of heinous human rights violations, convince young, disaffected youth to join their ranks to fight people abroad far more impoverished than they are?  How else can they cajole them to defend an empty concept of liberty that has been systematically hacked away from them at home?

Photograph by Stanley FormanUltimately, violence masks the alienation from society and estrangement from the natural world that so many of them feel. It is the doom of virtue and the supreme manifestation of despair. The plutocracy has become unbeatable through its use of it abroad; and it has deftly worked at militarizing the police at home. They have become masters at harnessing its seductive lure; and there is no armed resistance that can counter their forces. They eagerly manufacture new, re-branded enemies to divide and conquer the beset masses; and distract them from their powerlessness. But now we are teetering on the edge of global collapse and the charades are becoming a nightmarish, technologically advanced, spectacle. From desensitizing video games to movies extolling the glory of war; the machine of propaganda is at fever pitch.

Still from Video Game Call of Duty  Source CNN

United States Navy Promotional shots of Navy SEALs.As the US empire continues to expand its reach through its spread of military bases, and its constant antagonism of other world powers, like China in the South China Sea or Russia in the Ukraine, we can expect reactionary nationalism at home to be stoked further. It has even expanded the war on nature, as the US Navy prepares to conduct military exercises, the largest of their kind in history, in the pristine waters off Alaska and in the Arctic. And with the curtain falling on Western civilization through its own hubris, Hollywood will become even more manic and detached from reality than it is today. It is, after all, the global voice of corporate capitalism and it faithfully follows the dictates of Wall Street and the Pentagon. Sadly, it cannot do anything but limn the lies of empire, even as ecosystems fall around them and war and totalitarianism become permanent features of the 21st century. How long it will be able to cast its shadows on the wall of this cave, before it all comes down around them, is unclear.  But we do have a choice on whether to continue watching the spectacle, or turn away in time to salvage some of what is left of our humanity and this world.

Kenn Orphan 2015

The Dark Legacy of American Imperialism

Vigil for Jennifer Laude  photo credit Ted Aljibe AFP

On October 11, 2014, the body of Jennifer Laude was discovered in a hotel room in the Philippine port city of Olongapo. She had been beaten, strangled and drown in a tub. Laude was beloved by all who knew her. She was a 26 year old woman who supported her family and enjoyed life. But she was born into a reality beyond her control. She was Filipino and transgender; and her unfortunate fate was sealed when she met her killer, US Marine, Joseph Scott Pemberton. This could be just another tragic story of sexual assault, transphobia and murder, which is bad enough.  But this incident represents a long, bloodstained history of American military occupation and imperialism.

Following centuries of colonialism under Spain, Filipinos, who had fought long and hard for independence, found themselves to be yet another chess piece in the geopolitical game of the elites. Despite the illusion of a conflict, the US struck a deal with Spain only to introduce a new era of subjugation on the indigenous population. Armed struggle against US forces proved futile for the Filipino people. Although they did fight fiercely again for their independence, the Americans had far deadlier weaponry. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, were massacred in the first years of the 20th century by US troops. Waterboarding, commonly thought to be a relatively new torture technique for American forces, was used liberally on Filipinos. The cruelty inflicted upon them was breathtaking in its depravity. The book “In Our Image,” by journalist Stanley Karnow, detailed many of these atrocities including rapes, village burnings, indiscriminate killings and concentration camps.

Water boarding of Filippinos by American Marines Photo Stock FootageAmerican Moro Crater massacre Muslims Philippines  Photo stock footage
As was the case with all people of color, the dehumanization of Filipinos became embedded in American policy and practice. Anthropologist W. J. McGee called them “monkey-like” and exhibited them at the St. Louis Fair in 1904 much to the amusement of curious white Americans. Prominent periodicals like National Geographic referred to Filipinos as “uncivilized.” And these attitudes had a direct impact on their rights, both there and in the US where they were segregated, prevented from voting, having property, or working in most careers.

St Louis Worlds Fair Souvenir 1904

Anti Filipino sign  Source UCLA

Boston Sunday Globe clipping

Following WWII, and a brutal Japanese occupation, the United States picked up where it had left off. As with Native Americans, Filipinos were systematically stripped of their culture and language. And racism became the class designating factor, where those with more European features were favored with more benefits over everyone else. With the force of the military, American imperialism morphed into national security interests. American corporations sliced up the country for their own profit and employed a loyal band of well paid locals to enforce American interests within government. Vast swaths of land were handed over to US corporations, leaving indigenous Filipinos impoverished and disenfranchised in their own nation. And any dissent or resistance was met with swift violence.

USS Guardian at Tubbataha Reef   photo from AFP Western Command

The independence the Philippines eventually attained was an illusion. Sovereignty was supplanted by the “free market” with the result being gross income inequality and pollution left behind by the US military. Subic Bay, where the US Navy dumped raw sewage and chemicals like asbestos for decades and where thousands of Filipinos live, continues to cause disease, premature deaths and birth defects in the local population. And the US has yet to pay for the destruction of coral reefs at the UNESCO World Heritage site in Palawan by the USS Guardian. The Philippines became fertile ground for the ruthless economic policies of the global elite. It has seen a long list of presidents who bow to Washington and Wall Street.  And current President, Benigno Aquino, as well as a slew of other politicians on the dole, do their best not to disappoint in carrying out the duties of an obedient, client state.

A boy swims in polluted Manila Bay  Photo credit Cheryl Ravelo  Reuters

The tragic case of Jennifer Laude is emblematic of the savage legacy of military occupation and economic imperialism. Misogyny, heterosexism, and racism underpin its foundation and it permits such injustices by its very nature.  Her murderer will most likely go unpunished as other similar incidents have proven. American military personnel enjoy immunity in the Philippines, as they do in any other occupied territory. But her life will be honored; and her death will be remembered by people everywhere who struggle for a more just and equitable world and who long for an end to tyranny.

Jennifer Laude  Photo Source MNLCandlelight Vigil for Jennifer Laude in Manilla  Photo by Jose Del  Rappler
“…I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines . We have gone to conquer, not to redeem… And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the [American] eagle put its talons on any other land.”
— Mark Twain October 15, 1900 The New York Herald

Kenn Orphan  2015