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Something interesting I found on the IPS website today:

The United States and South Africa Share Great Challenges

July 14, 2010 · By Dedrick Muhammad and Christopher Towne
Originally published in The Huffington Post

Both the United States and South Africa, despite black leadership and multicultural societies, still labor under the legacy of segregation and inequality.

This year, the world was united in our excitement for the World Cup, and in praise of South Africa being the first host for the games in the continent of Africa. Thirty-two countries would compete and more than a million tourists came to South Africa during the month; visitors from Zimbabwe, the US, Malawi, Mexico, and all over the globe joined the Zulu, Xhosa, East Indians, Afrikaners, British, mixed-race “Coloureds,” and other infinitely diverse people that make up the hosting “Rainbow Nation.” But when the wave of euphoria subsides, South Africans will still be faced with a fractured society, a legacy of segregation and inequality established under Apartheid and persisting to this day.

The 2010 tournament has attracted more American viewers than any previous World Cup, and is certain to set records for the amount of viewers around the globe. The tournament has also instigated a record amount of Internet traffic, and has been called the biggest event in the history of the Web. Controversy surrounds the South African government’s use of funds to aid the FIFA games, and the removal of local merchants from the stadium areas in favor of official FIFA-licensed products. But the fact that the World Cup was held in Africa has become a symbol itself: of the continent’s progress since the days of colonialism. What may become the most-watched sporting event in history was held not in Europe or North America, but in Africa.

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Students at the University of Florida are working to help farmworkers battle for fair wages and basic human rights.

By Kristen Abdullah and Richard Blake
November 16, 2009

Migrant worker Jorge Rodriguez plays the “quijada,” in Immokalee, Fla. Farmworkers celebrated the recent decision by Taco Bell to accede to the demands of local tomato pickers, who led a four-year boycott against the restaurant chain, and pay a penny more for each pound of Florida tomatoes. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

As we made the four-hour journey south to tomato-town Immokalee, Fla., we ran through the itinerary for the long weekend to come and familiarized ourselves with the 40-plus pages of reading material that we were supposed to have completed three weeks before. The thick packet of literature included stories like “Immokalee family sentenced for slavery,” “Apartheid in America,” and “A more-complete definition of ‘sustainable.’” By the time we arrived in the desolate town, just after midnight, we felt confident in our school-child ability to recite the labor history of this town and felt briefed on the ultimate reason for our visit.

After becoming fed up with the impoverished condition that enslaved them, migrant workers started a grassroots organization called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in 1993. Consisting mostly of people from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti, these workers had already experienced both verbal and physical abuses since their arrival in the United States. Most of them could remember a time when, back in their own countries, they survived as subsistence farmers—selling crops and living off corn, squash, beans, and, most important, their own autonomy. They weren’t rich, but they were dignified.

But after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was established among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, these small-time farmers could not compete with subsidized crops from the States. Before, Mexico was a major wheat exporter. Now, Mexico only exports cheap labor.

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