Note from the editor.
What does all this have to do with the magazine in your hands? Like I said, there are many threads in here. And what connects them, I've realized, are two themes that have been useful for me in thinking through what to do in these times.
As I was about to give a talk recently on the secret incarceration of immigrants post-9/11, a colleague said to me, "It's all about exposure and accountability." That's what we need. Whether it's the increasing evidence of Bush's shoddy lies in making his case for an Iraq invasion, or the growing momentum of the anti-war movement, more people are questioning and calling to account the policies of their government. Those most vulnerable within the U.S.--immigrants of color who now live under an everyday threat of arrest, violence, and deportation in their homes, schools, and workplaces--have begun to rake a public stand despite the risks. "I condemn and hold the INS responsible for exceeding the bounds of human dignity and justice," declared Samer Hamouni at an important Seattle hearing recently. He arid others who are putting themselves on the line must nor be forced to stand alone.
Oddly enough, the "Politics and Bling Bling" section captures the final thread of the challenges in this issue. Instead of obsessing over individual egos and indulgences, or fighting amongst ourselves, Glen Ford, Todd Burroughs, and Tammy Johnson all argue that more important priorities are in order for U.S. communities of color. Behind the bling bling, real struggles are at stake. There are people in the gunsights, and people standing up together.