Thursday, August 31, 2017

What Most People Saw (David Bacon)

Just a quick note.  I'm not interested in hysteria.  I classify calls to impeach Donald Trump as hysteria.  You can write all the essays on that topic you want and I'm not going to be posting them here.  

You're offended he pardoned someone?  (Or that's your mock outrage today.)  Did money trade hands for the pardon?  No?  Then I don't see the point.  

A president can pardon whomever they want.  That's their power while in office.  

We almost wrote about this at THIRD -- Mike explained it here.

To Mike's summary, I would add two things.

1) The only pardon I've ever been upset about?  Richard Nixon (pardoned by Gerald Ford).  Since Ford became president because of Nixon resigning in disgrace it looked like quid pro quo.  It may not have been.  But that's how it looked and Nixon should have stood trial.  Instead, Gerald said Tricky Dick did not have to answer to the American people.

2) There are many people I would like to see pardoned.  I'm never going to argue for less pardons.  I will always be in favor of presidents granting more pardons and more clemency.  There are too many in prison right now who should be pardoned but won't be because pardoning them would be 'controversial.'  I don't buy that and I will not take part in trashing any pardon unless it was bought with cash or favors.

I want Mumia pardoned, to name but one person.

My left ass will sit down on the pardon issue.  I'm not ever going to go, "Oh, I can't believe this awful person got a pardon.'  Why?

Because if we would stop being so hysterical -- throughout the political spectrum -- over pardons then maybe when we have a Barack in office again, he'll do some actual pardons that are needed instead of spending eight years fretting over what some might see as 'controversial.'

So I never have time for those of you e-mailing your hysteria of 'Reasons to Impeach' or whatever that nonsense is.

I do have time for real stuff.  

David Bacon is real stuff.

Photojournalist David Bacon has had many exhibits and written many books, his latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.   He has an important new photo essay that we'll note the opening of.

Photographs by David Bacon

Relying on the photographs, reporting and video in the mainstream media can give you a false idea about the marches and demonstrations against white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers in San Francisco and Berkeley last weekend.  The newsroom adage says, "if it bleeds it leads."  But screaming headlines about violence, and stories and images focused on scuffles, were not a good reality check.  

Mainstream coverage was miles away from the reality most people experienced.  One racist quoted for each counterprotestor ignored the fact that there were at most a few dozen of one, and many thousands of the other.  More important, where were the reasons why people came out to demonstrate against racism and rightwing politics?  How did people organize their broad constituencies of faith and labor, communities of color, women and immigrants?

In the confrontations between a tiny number of white supremacists and a very small number of demonstrators, the photographers who chased them sometimes outnumbered those involved.  At those same moments, hundreds of Black, Latino, Asian and white church people were marching up Martin Luther King Jr. Way.  The two banners of the Democratic Socialists of America (one all the way from Santa Cruz) stretched across the four lanes of the avenue.  Where were the photographers? In San Francisco thousands marched up Market Street.  I saw fewer photographers there than at any march in recent memory.

Making the scufflers so visible makes everyone else invisible.  Sure, editors choose what to put on the page or website.  But as media workers we can also see what's real and what's not.

[. . .]

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte

September 5, Living Wage Coalition
6PM, 2940 16th Street, Room 301 San Francisco

September 12, UC Berkeley Labor Center
6PM, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley

September 13, Food to Farm Event
5:30PM, Guy West Plaza, Sacramento State University, Sacramento

September 15, Green Arcade Bookstore
7PM, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

September 20, Commonwealth Club
With Jose Padilla, Executive Director, California Rural Legal Assistance
6PM, 555 Post Street, San Francisco


In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
Photographs and text by David Bacon
University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte

302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
paperback, $34.95

order the book on the UC Press website:
use source code  16M4197  at checkout
receive a 30% discount

En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

Die Apfel-Pflücker aus dem Yakima-Tal
THE REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog

EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
Entrevista sobre la exhibicion con Alfonso Caraveo (Español)

Cat Brooks interview on KPFA about In the Fields of the North  - Advance the time to 33:15

"Los fotógrafos tomamos partido" - Entrevista por Melina Balcázar Moreno - Laberinto

Attack on Immigrants - video of presentation about immigration raids and migration

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

KPFA - Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert

Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)
Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

En Español:  

EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)


For more articles and images, see and