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Gandhi in East Boston

How wonderful that an obscure, 83-year-old American disciple of Gandhi helped inspire and facilitate the Egyptian revolution. But the mainstream media don’t quite know what to make of Gene Sharp, the man whose theories of non-violence and practical training manuals have helped inspire and train pro-democracy activists from Albania to Zimbabwe. The New York Times sent reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg to track down Sharp at his very modest East Boston home that doubles as his Albert Einstein Institute. But in an otherwise informative page one profile, Stolberg (or her editors) composed this appalling paragraph, which could be used in journalism classes as an epic example of both missing the point and botching an attempt to cover one’s ass lest the reporter look like a radical sympathizer:
Some people suspect Mr. Sharp of being a closet peacenik and a lefty — in the 1950s, he wrote for a publication called “Peace News” and he once worked as personal secretary to A.J. Muste, a noted labor union activist and pacifist — but he insists that he outgrew his own earlier pacifism and describes himself as “trans-partisan.”
Jesus wept! Of course Gene Sharp is a pacifist. Non-violent, passive resistance has been the whole point of his life’s work. You might as well write that some people suspect Gandhi of being a pacifist. There is an American chain that links Sharp to Martin Luther King, to the Wobblies, to Susan B. Anthony, Fredrick Douglass, right back to Tom Paine and Thomas Jefferson. If the modern America that props up despots like Mubarak retains any credibility at all in a world suffering repression but trying to declare independence, it is due to this authentically American lineage. Read the original article at The American Prospect.
rawmilkrevolution Robert Kuttner is the author of A Presidency In Peril.

Don’t Blame Bernanke

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A Tale of Two Central Bankers

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The Fiscal Cliff and the Political Chasm

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An Eminently Bad Idea

You may have noticed news items that a company called Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP) is proposing to have strapped localities use the public power of eminent domain to deal with the problem of underwater mortgages. Officials of San Bernardino County, California, where one home in two is worth less than the value of the mortgage […] Read More..

Waiting for Lefty

The economy is plainly stuck in second gear. For the third month in a row, new job creation in June, at just 80,000, was barely enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising, and not nearly sufficient to accommodate new entrants to the labor market and unemployed people looking for work. Not only did the […] Read More..