Chomsky & Chomsky: Apple & Tree

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

The old adage that the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree seems to be playing out with a vengeance in the family of legendary left-wing academic Noam Chomsky.

aviva chomsky

We’ve devoted considerable ink to the sage of MIT over the years and his affection for movements revolutionary and governments totalitarian. His daughter Aviva, an historian, is following in his footsteps at Salem State University.

“My recent work has been in three main areas:  the Cuban revolution, northern Colombia’s coal industry, and immigration and undocumentedness in the United States,” her university page proclaims.  “Thematically, I incorporate the issues of economic development, migration, labor, environment, and global inequality.”

“My book Linked Labor Histories looks at globalization as a long historical process with labor history at its center. It examines how employers have used regional inequalities to gain access to cheaper workers through immigration, plant relocation, and by using the threat of these two tactics to discipline their workers. I focus on several interrelated case studies in New England and Colombia, including the textile industry, the banana industry, and the coal industry, to argue that local labor histories are best understood in a global context. I recently published a brief, analytical college-level text on the Cuban Revolution, and two books on immigration: They Take Our Jobs!  And Twenty Other Myths about Immigration, and Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal. My current research projects include a global history of coal intertwined with a microhistory of northern Colombia, and a history of international solidarity in the Americas.”

In a column for The Daily Signal, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez remembered that when he debated Chomsky, ”she had declared that there is no repression in Cuba.” Even the Obama Administration, which has adopted a kinder, gentler approach to the Castro regime than its predecessors, won’t go that far.

“The national leadership that included members of the military maintained effective control over the security forces, which committed human rights abuses against civil rights activists and other citizens alike,” according to the U. S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. But does Aviva carry this myopia on human rights into the classroom? Her Rate My Professor.com ratings indicate that she does:

  • “I have no problem with political leftists. But this woman is so far left she’s off the edge of the map. WAY OFF. Her views are so idealistic and extreme that most of her insight is simply useless. And I hate how rigidly PC everyone has to be during class discussions, otherwise she’ll hate you. Steer clear of this one if you can!”
  • “Easy grader if you agree with her opinions, big on essay titles, class is discussion based with no tests” (That was one of her favorable ratings.)
  • And here’s another rave: “Chomsky really REALLY knows her stuff, but if you’re not devoted to Latino studies then take another course. She seems to only want her own views reflected in papers, so if you absolutely have to take one of her courses for a diversity requirement get ready to BS your way through papers. A nice lady, though.”
  • “If you can recite the **** that she preaches back on papers you’ll do fine.”
  • terry1956

    Salem State is I assume a hybrid tax payer/ student/parent/ employer/ alumni funded university.
    Except for GI benefits how can we eliminate the first part at least above the county level plus also eliminate federal and state subsidy of all types such as direct payments from land/ natural resource rents and royalties to even federal and state grants plus even eliminate federal and state loans or even federal and state guaranteed loans?
    Also is there an artificial federal and or state set up to entry in professional schools such as medical and law schools and how can we wipe that out?
    Is there an artificial federal and state prevention to getting a valid college degree through just test taking and thesis writing at a very low cost say less than 1,000 dollars, say for example a BS or BA or even a MBA or PHD?
    If the Chomskys had to depend on private markets or the Tiebout public market of a county( one of 3,000 plus) or municipality they very well might have less influence.

  • bbf

    Black Cubans Before Castro

    Black Cubans were denied the equality they fought and died for during the liberation war of 1895-98. Demobilized Black liberation fighters were excluded from important administrative appointments, denied access to government jobs, and became targets for discrimination and racism under the new regime. Although they attempted to fight for their rights through the existing political parties, they got nowhere. In 1908, they organized an association of Black voters called the Colored Independence Party.

    When an election “reform” law, enacted in 1910, prohibited the organization of political parties along racial lines, Black Cubans were forced to take up arms against the administration of Jose Miguel Gomez.

    The ensuing race war in 1912 resulted in thousands of Blacks being killed in pitched battles, race riots, and massacres. Known as the “Little War of 1912,” it led to a nationwide extermination campaign against Blacks that reached near-genocidal proportions. The Cuban Black community never fully recovered from its defeat in the race war of 1912.

    This laid the basis that enabled Cuban capitalists to establish an insidious pattern of job discrimination against Blacks that lasted right up to the 1959 revolution.

    One Cuban historian gives a graphic description of the conditions faced by Black working people in pre-revolutionary Cuba:

    “Blacks could not be tramway conductors, salesmen in department stores, . . . or employees of commercial and foreign (U.S.) enterprises. The found the doors closed to jobs as nurses, typesetters, hat makers, etc. Even in industries such as tobacco, the best paid jobs were closed to Blacks. For him, the only jobs – such as dockworkers – and the most menial positions such as bootblack, newspaper sales, . . . etc.”

    However, the Black population was able to make some modest gains as a result of the nationalist revolution of 1933. The law that at least 50 percent of all jobs in commercial, industrial, service, and foreign-owned enterprises had to go to Cuban citizens. Black Cubans used this new law to create some cracks in the systematically-erected barrier of institutionalized job discrimination.

    Repression of Blacks also extended itself to political representation. While Blacks and Mulattoes represented nearly 30 percent of the Cuban population in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, they occupied only 5 percent of the seats in the Cuban House of Representatives.

    “Jim Crow” racism, enforced through unwritten laws, restricted Blacks to specific beaches, parks, “walk-throughs,” neighborhoods and schools. They were disproportionately represented at the bottom of the economic scale, had a higher illiteracy rate, and a higher rate of unemployment.

    Blacks, Mulattoes and poor whites were effectively excluded from a decent education through underfunding of public schools and a proliferation of private schools that catered to the educational needs of the rich. In Havana, upper-class social clubs excluded Blacks as a matter of policy.

    Like their counterparts in the United States, Cuban capitalists denied the existence of racism and discrimination and conveniently avoided every bringing up the subject. They would hypocritically point to the platitudes of rights and equality in the Cuban constitution, and call attention to individual Blacks who occupied official government and military positions. Meanwhile, a brutally repressive police apparatus was always standing by to make sure that the victims of racism were never permitted to organize protests against institutionalized inequality.

    All this changed with the victory of the Cuban revolution in 1959.

    One of the first symbolic acts that indicated a new day was coming in Cuba occurred one the first day Fidel Castro’s army entered Havana – tanks crushed the fences that had been erected on Havana’s hotelfront beaches to designate where Blacks couldn’t go.