By SAM ROBERTS MARCH 29, 2016
Harriet Mills, a Fulbright scholar from New York who was imprisoned as an American spy in Communist China for more than four years and was widely believed to have been a victim of brainwashing, died on March 5 in Mitchelville, Md. She was 95.
The cause was complications of dementia, said her sister, Angie, her only immediate survivor.
When she was released in 1955, Ms. Mills described herself as an unpaid “espionage agent” for the United States and Britain, called Americans “warmongers” and said she believed that the United States had engaged in germ warfare during the Korean War.
Ms. Mills later wrote a magazine article saying the Chinese government was engaged in the “greatest campaign in human history to reshape the minds of men.”
Writing in The Atlantic Monthly in 1959, she said the “complex interplay of psychological and personal factors gives the technique its special character and power,” and concluded that “to be unprogressive in China is not simply a political verdict; it is social suicide as well.”
Archive for March, 2016
Posted in Democratic Party, Hillary 2016, Hillary Clinton, Hillary for America, Hillary for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Human Rights, misogyny, Republican Party, sexism, Uncategorized, Women in History, Women in the Media, Women Leaders, Women's History Month, tagged Bernie Sanders, Beyonce, Black Panther Party, Donald Trump, Formation, Hillary Clinton, Huffington Post, Kathleen Cleaver, Melissa Harris-Perry, MHP, MSNBC on March 28, 2016| 1 Comment »
This article is interesting for several reasons.
First: The odd pairing of Hillary Clinton and MHP in a header. No comment from Hillary Clinton has ever indicated that she is aware of MHP’s existence, her show, or of the many negative remarks from MHP about her over the years. But MHP has gone after HRC enough to have made me quit watching her now-defunct show long before its demise. More than three years ago this was the final straw for me.
February 4, 2013 by still4hill
When I posted this yesterday, Hillary Clinton’s Kitten Heels Not Necessarily A Shoo-In, it triggered a few emails from folks apparently not willing to post publicly in a comment thread all of which took the same tone. As if talking to a six-year-old afraid of the thunder, these presumably younger, less bitter and burnt voices assured Gen-Hillary, bitter, old Boomer me that no-no-no-no-no! If she runs in 2016, Hillary will not experience the same nasty treatment she received in 2008, not at all! Not with those high approval ratings! Bill’s wife will not be treated as appendage of his now that she has blazed her own path (as if she had not already done that in the Senate before her presidential campaign). It will be kinder, gentler campaign coverage. Yeah, right. And as if on cue, this. I will let the video* speak for itself.
“Rebecca, author of “big girls don’t cry.” she is the Hillary fan I like to bring to balance out the Hillary hate that will emerge from me if i am not careful.” – Melissa Harris Perry, MSNBC, 02-03-2013
*Vodpod videos no longer available.
Noooooooo, of course they won’t trash Hillary again. Of course not.
At the time I originally posted this, I did not know about this article. I have no idea how this flew below my radar in 2008.
MHP’s imaginary relationship with Hillary Clinton has always, oddly, been based on Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind despite Hillary Clinton having very few, if any, personality traits in common with Scarlett O’Hara and MHP continually casting herself inexplicably as some variety of anti-Mammy despite her contention that Mammy is the actual brain of the O’Hara clan. Choosing Rebecca Traister as her “pro-Hillary” foil on that broadcast was most befuddling, first because Traister was not especially pro-Hillary in her opus Big Girls Don’t Cry, and second because MHP had access to several truly pro-Hillary women among her own colleagues and connections at MSNBC at the time.
The second reason the Huffpo article is interesting is MHP’s claim that she lost editorial control over her show for wanting to discuss Beyonce’s Formation video.
The day after Super Bowl 2016, everybody was talking about Beyonce’s Formation in terms most amazing to me. As someone who spent time visiting the Black Panther HQ in New Haven somewhat regularly in 1970 and 1971, it would never have entered my head to draw any kind of parallel between what Beyonce and her ensemble performed and the men and women I knew in New Haven who provided a breakfast program for kids, day care services, and after-school tutoring for school kids in a colorfully painted basement room along with a laundry list of community services for neighbors behind the walls of a sandbagged, two story clapboard house. They did not wear black, leather, or cartridge belts. I never saw firearms or ammunition in that house, if there were any. So references to that performance as representing Black Panther women were, to me, uninformed and misleading. Apparently, though, that conflict with history was not the intended focus of MHP’s treatment of the video.
When I saw the movie Black Panther Woman around the middle of this month, I had planned to do a post about Kathleen Cleaver and put it on hold as other women organically came into the spotlight. In light of this HuffPo article, now is the time – I’ll seize it.
Many know of Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information of the BPP and author of Soul on Ice. His wife, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, is a woman we should meet, recognize, and give her due. She’s a very impressive person!
She was in charge of organizing a student conference at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. At the conference, Kathleen met the minister of information for the Black Panther Party, Eldridge Cleaver. She moved to San Francisco in November 1967 to join the Black Panther Party. Kathleen Neal and Eldridge Cleaver were married on December 27, 1967. Cleaver became the communications secretary and the first female member of the Party’s decision-making body. She also served as the spokesperson and press secretary. Notably, she organized the national campaign to free the Party’s minister of defense, Huey Newton, who was jailed. Kathleen Neal Cleaver was among a small group of women that were prominent in the Black Panther Party, which included Elaine Brown and Ericka Huggins. In 1968 (the same year her husband ran for president on the Peace and Freedom ticket) she ran for California‘s 18th state assembly district, also as a candidate of the Peace and Freedom party. Cleaver received 2,778 votes for 4.7% of the total vote, finishing third in a four-candidate race.
INTERVIEWER: In retrospect, what was the Civil Rights revolution all about?
CLEAVER: By the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed by the United States Congress, the process of legal change and elimination of official racism was legally completed, but it was not socially completed.
The government that was interested in encouraging the end of restrictions on voting and education on the basis of race didn’t do very much on the level of changing basic attitudes. So where you have a cessation of the implementation by law of racist practices, you really have never seen any major effort on the part of the government or the larger institutions to transform attitudes. And that is where we’ve failed.
INTERVIEWER: What was it that was appealing to you about the Black Panther Party?
CLEAVER: I encountered the Black Panther Party when I was in SNCC. I had gotten involved with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee at the same time that it articulated black power as its position. I was a student in New York, and I started working in the New York office. The Black Power Movement challenged all the preconceived notions of blacks not being able to determine their own destiny. It was essentially a very nationalistic self-determination position. And what appealed to me about the Black Panther Party was that it took that position of self-determination and articulated it in a local community structure, had a program, had a platform and an implementation through the statement of how blacks should exercise community control over education, housing, business, military service.
INTERVIEWER: Why did the Panthers-SNCC coalition fall apart?
And read even MORE >>>>
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
Published: June 17, 2000
Kathleen’s story is testament that we do not stay where we started out. But we stay with the struggle.
Kathleen is featured in the movie Black Panther Woman. It is a must see!
In the days of the New Haven trials, I drove around with my homemade “Free Ericka” sticker on my car window. The point was that Ericka Huggins was unarmed and thus could not have committed the crime of which she was accused.
What MHP was planning to do with Beyonce’s video appears unrelated to the BPP and what they represented and accomplished. That might have qualified as informative, relevant, and appropriate to news media. But MHP never was a true member of the fourth estate, and a cable news hour is not an elective course in political theory.
It should be noted that Eldridge Cleaver ultimately endorsed Ronald Reagan and joined the LDS Church. Kathleen is a graduate of Yale U and Yale Law and a longtime professor of law. “By any means necessary” turned out, very quickly, to be working within the system and never had anything to do with guns and ammo belts.
It is important to get the history right. It is also important to learn from history. Three years ago Millennials and Gen-xers emailed me condescendingly to assure me that there was no way Hillary Clinton would ever again be the target of biased, sexist media. Maybe they thought that the revolution was over. If those same Millennials now follow Bernie Sanders and his call to revolution, they misunderstand the nature of the American Revolution. It is never over. The American Revolution has continued for what will be 241 years next month.
It is one revolution that continues and progresses in extending equal rights to all. It is not a new thing invented in the lifetime of 20-year olds. The American Revolution is the establishment. It is the system. It is the way we have made progress given the right leadership – i.e.- leadership that understands how all aspects of inclusion and participation in our democracy intersect.
There are imposters and the entitled. It is important that we discern them correctly.
Edited to add: And now this from HuffPo today. Millennials and Gen-Xers needn’t bother to email me with any horse manure. Been through this before, as I said this first time. If you pull again what you did in Feb. 2013, I will publish the emails and your email addresses.
Posted in 2016 election, Democratic Party, Feminism, Hillary 2016, Hillary Clinton, Hillary for America, Hillary for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton, misogyny, Republican Party, sexism, Uncategorized, women and girls, women in government, Women in History, Women in the Media, Women Leaders, Women's History Month, Women's Issues, Women's rights, tagged Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, women in government, Women in History, Women's History Month, women's issues on March 24, 2016| 3 Comments »
Hillary Clinton made a major policy speech yesterday. She’s running for president of the United States. Every time she opens her mouth – and she has a pretty mouth that says smart things that some people sometimes dislike – somebody has something to say about how she sounds. Seems it is never “just right.”
This popped up in my newsfeed which pretty concisely packages the issue.
She’s been criticized for shouting before.
I don’t know. What does Hillary Clinton have to do to get it “just right?” To get anything just right? Personally, I was worried about how her poor voice would hold up, it had suffered such abuse these past weeks on the campaign trail. It held up fine, and for my money her tenor was fine. When Hillary gives policy speeches, she generally is calm and deliberate. I have watched many over the past eight years since I began keeping track of her secretary of state tenure. That is her policy speech style. I don’t even want to go into that. Paige Lavender did the topic justice. But what does Hillary have to do to get things “just right?” More to the point, why does she have to?
Everybody has something to say about what she wears, how she sounds, how she looks. Wear that yellow for the speech. No! Oh! Not that awful yellow! Be forceful! Oh no! Don’t yell. Smile more!
Why can’t Hillary just be Hillary? Why can’t the most qualified person ever to run in my life (Harry Truman began as a haberdasher – youngsters, just go google it – I’m too tired – he was the first to run in my life) have a fair chance to spell out her plans without everybody talking about her tone, facial expression, and whatever other third element hits the windshield of the armchair quarterbacks.
When Hillary and I were in college, Marshall McLuhan (go look him up – I am tired of spoonfeeding voting age people) said the “medium is the message.” He meant medium as print v. video. So video is the message today, even though I still like to get my hands on transcripts and lift the passages I think are important. Video – and audio – are the whole show.
I know I am biased. But WTF??????? What is so offensive about Hillary that Bernie’s foghorn and gesticulating, Ted’s cartoon voice, John’s bedtime story voice, and Trump’s bellowing (“Get ‘im out!”) fail to surpass in offensiveness, condescension, plain old annoyance?
Why is her wardrobe an issue? They all look like a suit rack at the cleaners. Why, when she puts forward the only sane. thought-out, and comprehensive plan to combat terrorism is anything other than her words and her plan an issue?
It really never entered my mind that we would have a woman president. I loved Shirley Chisholm. She sat them all down like she was the detention teacher in the halls of Congress. Pat Schroeder gave it her best, and Gerri Ferraro made me proud coming within a margin of being a heartbeat away. But this was never a goal.
It’s just that right now we have the best candidate I have ever seen. She happens to be a woman with a message, a set of plans, and a way of explaining things. She’s not hard to look at, not hard to listen to, and, when you bother to listen, not hard to understand – she explains well.
Why can’t Hillary get it just right? Or is it that the chairs keep getting moved around while the music blares?
Thank you Hillary Clinton for running for president when you didn’t have to. Thank you for your plans, your brilliance, and for always being right on target while looking pretty and being your spunky and empathetic self. Your Homegirls love you!
Posted in Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, Uncategorized, Women in History, Women Leaders, Women's History Month, tagged Hillary Clinton, Ireland, Mary McAleese, Mary Robinson, Women's History Month on March 16, 2016| Leave a Comment »
From December 1990 to September 1997, Mary Robinson was President of Ireland. She was succeeded by Mary McAleese who served from November 1997 to November 2011. An entire generation in Ireland grew up under women presidents. That is remarkable. Éirinn go Brách!
These bios are from Wikipedia,
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson (née Bourke; Irish: Máire Bean Mhic Róibín; born 21 May 1944 in Ballina, County Mayo) served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002.
Mary Patricia McAleese (/mækəˈliːs/; née Leneghan; Irish: Máire Pádraigín Mhic Ghiolla Íosa; born 27 June 1951) served as the eighth President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. She was the second female president and was first elected in 1997 succeeding Mary Robinson, making McAleese the world’s first woman to succeed another as president. She was re-elected unopposed for a second term in office in 2004. McAleese is the first President of Ireland to have come from either Northern Ireland or Ulster.
Other women presidents: This website is celebrating five women presidents in honor of Women’s History Month and this Wikipedia page has an exhaustive list of female heads of state: List of elected and appointed female heads of state.
As for the United States, well … we’re not there … yet, but Hillary Clinton had a good week. Mary Robinson was preceded in office by President Patrick Hillery. Maybe we will have the luck of the Irish! May the wind be ever at her back!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is turning 83 on March 15. To commemorate the big day, why not revisit some of her best quotes and words of wisdom?
Fans of the Notorious RBG will soon be able to read a wide range of her influential work — last week, Simon & Schuster announced that it is publishing a collection of Ginsburg’s writings and speeches, titled My Own Words.
The book, due for release in January, will cover her entire tenure on the high court, including her fight for gender equality, abortion access and voting rights.
We hope the Notorious RBG is celebrating her birthday in style!
In 1991, University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill enthralled the nation by testifying against United States Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. In mid-October, millions of Americans were riveted to their TVs late into the night to see Anita Hill and others give live testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Women were outraged and men were bemused as a very poised Professor Hill described a pattern of sexual harassment by Thomas, who was at the time, her boss and head of the Office of Civil Rights in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The outrage that women felt started with the experience that Anita Hill described, and continued with the disparaging treatment she received from Senate Judiciary Committee members on live TV, and with the reaction of men, both on the Judiciary Committee and across the nation, to Professor Hill’s testimony. Men tended to disbelieve her story, or alternatively, believe that she had condoned Thomas’ behavior when she neither filed any formal complaint nor quit working for him. Women, on the other hand, got it! Many, if not most women had either experienced sexual harassment first hand, or had known someone who had experienced such treatment. These women understood the dilemma of responding to sexual harassment, taking into consideration the effect on both personal life and career.
Olivia de Havilland was the most charming ingenue, as they were called in the 1930s. She debuted as Hermia in Max Reinhardt’s film A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was 1935, the heydey of the film studios, and the beginning of a long, and prolific career at Warner Brothers Studios.
Hattie McDaniel arrived in Hollywood in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929 and was never considered an ingenue. The daughter of former slaves, most often she played a maid, but she was a talented performer and composer.
The paths of these two women crossed when both were cast in coveted roles in Gone With The Wind.
OK, well actually Olivia’s role, Melanie, was not that coveted – being in the movie was – but most white actresses of note at the time wanted to play Scarlett (including Olivia’s sister, Joan Fontaine). Everyone who was anyone auditioned. Olivia never wanted to play anyone but Melanie, a sympathetic yet colorless character compared to Scarlett.
The role Hattie netted, that of Mammy, was coveted enough for none other than Eleanor Roosevelt to have sent a letter of recommendation to producer David. O. Selznick for a friend, but Hattie got the part. Mammy, beside Scarlett’s wild impulsive nature was the voice of reason.
Olivia’s skills transformed Melanie into a fierce mainstay for Scarlett in the movie despite Scarlett’s ambivalence at the surface. Scarlett’s other anchor was Mammy, her nurse from birth and her never silent conscience. Together they served as Scarlett’s support system.
Both received Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for their performances in the film. Hattie McDaniel won. She was the first Black actor to win an Academy Award.
Olivia made her own history later when she battled the studio system to throw off he shackles of studio contract restraints. California Labor Code Section 2855, is still known today as the De Havilland Law. She went on to win two Best Actress Oscars.
Hattie McDaniel died of breast cancer on October 26, 1952. Olivia de Havilland resides in Paris and will be 100 years old on July 1, 2016.
Helen Mirren, who should require no introduction, has said that women’s roles in movies will follow women’s roles in society. Hattie McDaniel has been the target of some undeserved criticism in the past for the roles she accepted to play. She was an actor trying to make a living and accepted the best that was there at the time.
Both of these women made big marks on the film industry which reflects and influences real life. Let’s honor them both for their contributions.
Posted in Women in History, Women Leaders, Women's History Month, tagged Birute Galdokas, chimpanzees, Dian Fossey, gorillas, Jane Goodall, Louis Leakey, orangutans, primates, trimates, Women's History Month on March 14, 2016| Leave a Comment »
Oh, man! Oh woman! I have been so busy with Hillary’s campaign that I have been neglecting Women’s History Month! Sorry! It’s been a long day, a late night, and I needed a movie. Gorillas in the Mist popped up! Surely Dian Fossey was a hero of women’s history, a friend of peaceful species, and worthy of our notice this month. You can be whatever you want to be. Even a friend of a wild gorilla. I think Fay Wray would have liked her.
January 16, 1932
December 26, 1985
Darwin College, University of Cambridge, Lowell High School, San Jose State University
Place of Birth
San Francisco, California
Place of Death
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
‘Gorillas in the Mist’
Death and Legacy
Dian Fossey was a zoologist best known for researching the endangered gorillas of the Rwandan mountain forest from the 1960s to the ’80s, and for her mysterious murder.“It was their individuality combined with the shyness of their behavior that remained the most captivating impression of this first encounter with the greatest of the great apes.”—Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey was born on January 16, 1932, in San Francisco, California. While working as an occupational therapist, Fossey became interested in primates during a trip to Africa in 1963. She studied the endangered gorillas of the Rwandan mountain forest for two decades before her unsolved murder occurred in 1985, at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Fossey told her story in the book Gorillas in the Mist (1983), which was later adapted for a film starring Sigourney Weaver.
Dian was one of three, known as the “trimates,” chosen by Dr. Louis Leakey, to study the habits and cultures of primates on two continents. Jane Goodall was selected to study chimpanzees. Birutė Galdikas was assigned the orangutans. Sadly Dian did not survive. She was murdered by poachers, but her work carries on via her foundation. Jane and Birutė carry on their important work via their foundations.
You can also find Birutė on Facebook >>>>