Forwarded from Chris Kromm

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Tue Dec 12 10:48:12 MST 2000


FACING SOUTH

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December 12, 2000  -  Issue #3

"Fantastic!"  -  "An important resource"  - "I really liked it!"
That's what readers are saying about FACING SOUTH, your source for
progressive Southern news and perspectives. FACING SOUTH is brought to you
by the Institute for Southern Studies, a non-profit research and education
center and publisher of Southern Exposure magazine. To join the Institute
and get a year's worth of Southern Exposure, use the order form below or go
to http://www.southernstudies.org

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IN THIS EDITION OF FACING SOUTH:

> INSTITUTE INDEX  -  To our health
> DATELINE: THE SOUTH  -  News around the region
> COLOR OF THE ELECTIONS, II  -  Race key to the Florida outcome
> ORGANIZING THE SOUTH  -  Black belt justice
> GET IN TOUCH  -  Contact Facing South; join the Institute

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INSTITUTE INDEX  -  To our health

> Number of U.S. citizens without health insurance, in millions: 43
> Percent without health insurance in the South: 20%
> Percent of uninsured in families that have at least one working adult: 80
> Percent of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. caused by medical problems: 50
> Percent of U.S. residents who think "people in this country do not get
the health and medical care they need": 75
> Amount of money spent on health care costs per person in the United
States, in dollars: 4,090
> Amount spent per person in Canada: 2,815
> Percent of U.S. health care costs spent on overhead: 25
> Percent of Canada's health care costs spent on overhead: 13
> Percent of Canadians who say they approve of their health care system: 87
> Percent in the U.S. who think "the federal government should guarantee
health insurance coverage for every American": 67

"Of all the forms of injustice, inequality in health care is the most
shocking and inhumane."
- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968)

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DATELINE: THE SOUTH  -  News around the region

> PUBLIC HOUSING: "TOXIC TRAPS"
With taxpayer dollars, nearly 1 million low-income families have been
placed in public housing neighborhoods with factories that pour toxic
pollution into the air. This special nation-wide investigation reveals how
and why this public health catastrophe happened. (Dallas Morning-News)
http://www.dallasnews.com/toxic/part1story1.html
*** For a searchable database of toxic pollution in your neighborhood, go to:
http://www.dallasnews.com/toxic/indexform.jsp

> MIAMI-DADE REVERSAL - DID MIAMI CUBANS PLAY A ROLE?
In Florida, the decision of the Miami-Dade canvassing board to stop ballot
recounts was a major blow to Al Gore's presidential hopes. Evidence is
mounting that far-right Cuban groups may have played a significant role.
(Pacific News Service)
http://www.workingforchange.com/news/article.cfm?ItemId=10157
http://www.tbwt.com/views/feat/feat5074.asp

> LEGAL ASSAULT PLANNED ON HOG INDUSTRY
Lawyers Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and "Civil Action" attorney Jan
Schlichtmann have announced their intention to deluge the North Carolina
hog industry with lawsuits, claiming it's the only way to stop pollution
from factory farms. (The Raleigh News & Observer)
http://archives10.newsbank.com/bin/gate.exe/RLEC?f=print&state=a3b4he.3.1
*** Robert F. Kennedy asks, "Is cheap meat worth the karmic costs of
industrial animal production?"
http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/imho/imho112000.stm

> THE POVERTY PARADOX
A report from South Carolina finds that the number of families needing
economic assistance grew in the 1990s -- but fewer were eligible for food
stamps and other programs due to welfare reforms. The hardest hit: the
working poor. (The State - Columbia, SC)
http://www.thestate.com/headlines/a1docs/web_poverty.htm

> BACK TO THE BACK OF THE BUS
In the New South city of Montgomery, Alabama, the decay of public
transportation has once again turned the bus into a crucial battleground
for justice. (The Nation)
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20001225&s=wypijewski

> LYNCHING EXHIBIT DRAWS SUPPORT
Atlanta's Emory University is holding hearings to decide whether to exhibit
"Without Sanctuary," a collection of postcards and other photographs that
document the barbaric practice of lynching and its treatment as a form of
family entertainment. The overwhelming message: show it. "I hope you take
the gloves off," says one. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/newsatlanta/lynch1208.html

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COLOR OF THE ELECTIONS [Part 2] -  Racial disenfranchisement was key to the
Florida (and national) outcome

In the last issue of FACING SOUTH, we pointed to the growing body of
evidence of systematic, deliberate attempts to squelch African American
voting in Florida. The media continues to focus on recounts, chads and the
Nader factor -- but it's clear that electoral racism played an equally
large role in deciding the outcome of the election.

> THE LYNCHING OF THE BLACK VOTE
Columnist Robert Kuttner surveys the evidence of the "Republicans'
systematic and extra-legal effort to reduce black voting." (Boston Globe)
http://www.commondreams.org/views/121000-101.htm

> DISENFRANCHISEMENT BY DATABASE
The more you look, the more disbarred and "disappeared" voters you find in
Florida -- mostly people of color and low-income whites. You'd almost think
it was deliberate. (The Observer -- UK)
http://www.observer.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,409137,00.html

> MEDIA UNDERREPORTED FLORIDA'S OBSTACLES TO "VOTING WHILE BLACK"
Despite widespread allegations of African-American disenfranchisement and
coverage by black journalists, the mainstream media ignored the story --
and many journalists still won't cover it. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
http://www.commondreams.org/views/121000-103.htm

> VOTING RIGHTS: THE ONGOING STRUGGLE
Of course, African-American disenfranchisement is nothing new -- we just
notice it now because of Florida's close election. Read this excellent
piece by Ron Nixon in 1999, detailing struggles throughout the 1990s in the
South. (The Nation)
http://past.thenation.com/cgi-bin/framizer.cgi?url=http://past.thenation.com

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ORGANIZING THE SOUTH  -  Black belt justice

The Black Workers for Justice are bringing almost 20 years of struggle for
African American

By Kim Diehl

Almost one year has passed since driving rain saturated and flooded the
rivers, homes, and lives of eastern North Carolina. Passing through the
lush green fields where enslaved Africans once toiled, one is reminded that
the South's blessing and curse has always been her land. When Hurricane
Floyd struck the Black Belt South, eastern North Carolina was already
contending with centuries of white supremacy, poverty, and an indignant
fear of worker unity.

Black Workers for Justice (BWFJ), a community- and workplace-based
organization in the southeastern United States, responded that summer of
1999 with a flood relief project that distributed supplies to hundreds of
black, Latino, and Native American families who were neglected by the
governmental programs.

BWFJ has a long history of taking on the difficult task of organizing
workers in the South, one that has often involved violent backlash, massive
worker displacement, and vicious red-baiting.

Over its 19-year existence, BWFJ has established a monthly newspaper named
Justice Speaks, workplace committees, workers' schools, a workers' center,
and North Carolina's first statewide public workers union. Most recently,
it formed the African American/Latino Alliance, together with the Farm
Labor Organizing Committee and others.

For full story, go to: http://www.arc.org/C_Lines/CLArchive/story3_4_03.html

Kim Diehl is on the editorial board for Southern Exposure magazine, and is
Co-Director of Southerners On New Ground in Durham, North Carolina.
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GET IN TOUCH WITH FACING SOUTH
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Louis Proyect
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