Friday, February 08, 2008

Disappointed in Berkeley

I can't believe Tom Bates is backing down from Berkeley's very cool, very radical anti-military recruitment stance that their City Council recently decided on. Even in Berkeley, let's be real, most of the military recruitment is targeted towards poor people, people of color, who have few other options to pursue to 'get ahead'. I admired Berkeley's stance on military recruitment (I believe they recently kicked out military recruiters from public high school campuses) and I'm disappointed that the Republican-sponsored blackmail of the city--'we'll cut your federal funding if you go through with this'--actually worked to intimidate the city and the mayor. Sounds like even radical Berkeley is no longer even symbolically leading the charge against our imperialist, war-mongering times. Fitting, given that Obama, the so-called 'progressive' Presidential candidate has recently turned pro-Zionist and pro-war by advocating for the invasion of Afghanistan.

Sigh. What's the world coming to? And really, can't groups like Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Foundation (one of the nonprofits in Berkeley that would lose its federal funding under the Republicans' attack) raise its own $250,000 without taxpayer money? As a fundraiser, I know this is possible, and I'm a little appalled at how quickly Berkeley balked at this one. Sad and disappointing indeed.

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