Skip to main content

View Diary: No My Friend, Edward Snowden is NOT Harriet Tubman! (924 comments)

Comment Preferences

    •  And just because some clueless idiot (24+ / 0-)

      compared Snowden to Tubman does not mean the other 99% of his supporters who recognize and support his service to this nation also feel he compares to Tubman, nor with any other iconic civil rights hero who risked torture and death.

      (That said, Snowden did sacrifice a very comfortable living, and voluntarily placed himself at risk of decades of imprisonment - no small thing.)

      While I appreciate the opportunity presented by the diarist to reacquaint myself with the heroic Harriet Tubman, clearly the main purpose of this diary is to create a safe place for Snowden's kossack detractors to vent their spleens against the man who dares to hold up the President's national security policies to critical examination.

      Rupert Murdoch to Fortune Magazine, 4/10/14: "I could live with Hillary as President." I don't doubt that for a second.

      by WisePiper on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:44:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Source: Dixon says Snowden = Freedom Fighters, (25+ / 0-)

        and should be respected as they are.

        Found:  The source of the comparison between Snowden, Tubman, and Douglass -- who he considers as serving in the same fight, thus deserving of equal respect.

        Now it becomes clear why the diarist omitted the source that she is arguing against, and why those who have provided links purpoting to be links to the diary's source have provided them in German.

        Because the source is:

        Bruce A. Dixon[,] managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party.
        Dixon's "Black Agenda Radio commentary" on this subject, , titled "Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Harriet Tubman Didn't Turn Themselves In, Why Should Edward Snowden?" was first published on June 25, 2013 -- about 3 weeks after the first reporting based on the NSA documents was published.

        The transcript can be found here --

        http://blackagendareport.com/...

        Mr. Dixon's brief commentary begins with:

        Is NSA leaker Edward Snowden not a “respectable” dissident and whistleblower because he violated the law and refused to turn himself in? Is that a stupid question? Should Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and John Brown have turned themselves in?
        This introduction is followed by a few golden paragraphs prepared for a brief radio spot. Dixon first describes the diverse group of strange bedfellows, from the White House and Senate to the Tea Partiers and Fox News, who, in June 2013, all agreed that --
        . . . Edward Snowden is an ungrateful thief with an exaggerated sense of his own importance. The fact that Snowden is no heroic whistleblower, is proved they say, by his not going through legal channels, by his theft of government and proprietary secrets, by his wilfull violation of confidentiality oaths and federal laws, and most of all by Snowden's international flight, and his completely unreasonable refusal to turn himself in for possible life imprisonment and likely torture.
        Dixon goes on to display a remarkably thorough understanding of what the NSA disclosures had already revealed -- 'remarkable' because at that time most of us who were trying to follow developments were reading widely in several disciplines, our heads spinning and our eyes burning with effort of trying to study a wide and diverse array of subjects -- from computer technology to foreign policy -- in order comprehend the big picture.  Dixon grasped the core what our government was doing and presented it succinctly:
        Federal cops and/or intelligence officials bringing secret requests under secret interpretations of law to harvest, store and data mine literally every phone call, every credit card transaction, every email, instant message, tweet, web search and digital brain fart of 310 million Americans to a secret court whose dockets and rulings are also secret, which doesn't matter much because the secret court never tells the government no ---- is either not a problem at all, or at worst something we should discuss and address through legal channels.
        And ten months later, after volumes of additional information has been made public, Dixon's summary remains accurate.

        At this point, Dixon introduces the Freedom Fighters of an earlier era -- Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass (who Dixon describes as a "whistleblower"), and John Brown, reminding us briefly of the risks they took, the laws they broke, the and vituperation they endured as they fulfilled their roless in the fight to end slavery.

        Dixon continues, saying:

        The very idea of whistleblowers and dissidents needing to be “respectable” in the eyes of law and authority, and even turn themselves in[,] is clearly nonsense. . . . We should treat speculations on Snowden's motives, when they come from those being exposed, the same way we treat a slaveholder's opinion of Tubman, Douglass or Brown.
        Dixon completes his commentary with a beautifully-crafted parallel construction equating the value of these Freedom Fighters' efforts in their respective centuries:
        Every day that Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and John Brown walked the world as fugitives was a victory for real truth and freedom. Every day Edward Snowden remains free to speak and be heard is a hopeful day for all of us. He's no more obligated to turn himself in than the freedom fighters of sixteen decades ago.
        I will add two qualifiers to this comment:

        1. The diarist, who provide no source,  and those who provided useless links, may say that Dixon was not their source.  If so, I challenge to produce their sources, in line with site standards, so other readers can review their source(s) and thus understand the diary and the comments.  

        However, since Mr. Dixon's commentary was both broadcast and published so shortly after the NSA disclosures began, it seems reasonable to suppose that the comparison between Snowden, Tubman and the rest is his original work, and that all later use of this comparison is derived from Dixon's words, whether his work was acknowledged by later writers or not.  The diarist, imo should consider the possibility that she has committed plagarism  by using Mr. Dixon's comparison of  Snowden/Tuban (et.al) without acknowledgement , particularly since this diary was re-published here -- http://linkis.com/... , by 'Liberally Jan/Jan Burch' -- only an hour after it was published here.  Since this re-published work connects to both Twitter and Facebook, it could appear to some that the diarist is trying to pass Mr. Dixon's original work as her own, by publishing it here and sending it into the world to social media without attribution to Mr. Dixon.

        2.  I have quoted extensively from Mr. Dixon's short, cogent work, because his words are so succinct and powerful that I could not summarize or re-phrase it without doing violence to the integrity of work he produced. The time constraints of writing in Comments does not allow time to request and receive permission to publish.  To demonstrate good intent, I will use the Contact form on the Black Agenda Report page to send the links to this comment and to the diary to Mr. Dixon (with request for permission and a brief explanation of the circumstances) as soon as I post this comment.  If necessary, I will send Mr Dixon the complete text of this comment.  Since the diarist, and many commentors, appear to be using the  Snowden/Tubman (et.al) comparison -- Mr. Dixon's original work -- to argue against his position, without even offering him the courtesy of acknowledging his work with a link, I am hopeful he will see my comment as correcting the record.

        •  Email sent to Dixon, as described (9+ / 0-)

          in item #2 in my comment above.

        •  I gave the diarist the benefit of the doubt (23+ / 0-)

          that she'd seen a direct comparison between Snowden and Harriet Tubman within a Daily Kos comment thread and was incensed by that. It's certainly the impression she tried to leave.

          The perfidy of those among us who erect giant strawmen in service to the safeguarding of Obama's legacy clearly knows no bounds.

          Rupert Murdoch to Fortune Magazine, 4/10/14: "I could live with Hillary as President." I don't doubt that for a second.

          by WisePiper on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:26:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I finally saw link to AoT far, far below (23+ / 0-)

            your comment in the thread.  But what immediately struck me in the diary was that the diarist just started in on Ms Tubman without giving any source.  Then I saw person after person asking for the source, and the diarist (and others?) being snotty or coy about it.  

            It bugged me.  Why this consistent Snowden/Tubman theme, with no source?  So just after I read your comment, I goggled a combination of 'Snowden' + "Harriet Tubman".  Bingo:  Mr. Dixon's transcript was the second result on the first  page.  The first result was this diary, and a few lines down was the link connecting this site to social media.  (And the active Kossack who posted a link to Facebook was one of a few people who persistently and vehemently defended a former Kossack who was kicked off the site for outrageous plagarism against a published writer (who was also a Kossack.  The active Kossack, who earns her living by writing, was very loud about 'What's the big deal? Everybody does it?', so her active promotion of this diary brought that to mind and put 'plagiarism' front and center for me.)

            Much further down on this diary's thread, I found AoT's link, and read that sub-thread, so I finally had a context.

            Now I can well imagine AoT (or anyone) coming up with the comparison sui generis, and I can imagine someone hearing/reading Dixon's piece a year ago, or finding it referred to elsewhere since.  (And I'm sure we could ask AoT how it came into his mind.)

            However, I still feel sure that Mr. Dixon was the first to publish the Snowden/Tubman comparison, and his premise was that Snowden was the moral equal of Tubman, Douglass, and Brown.

            You write of the "perfidy of those among us who erect giant strawmen" when it's time for more slime-slinging at Snowden (among other ostensible reasons for gathering straw).  Here's a bit of perfidy that, for me, is a bridge too far.

            In this thread, coming to the defense/attack of somebody over something, a Kossack wrote:

            "There is no rule that people on Kos must always tell the truth . . .."

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            Hmmm.  And here I've spent all these years assuming that truth-telling was required.  Silly me.
            •  Thank your for bringing (17+ / 0-)

              To light Mr. Dixon's writings on this topic.

              Context is so important to understanding.

            •  Joan wasn't referencing BAR (9+ / 0-)

              and frankly - I find it interesting you would search the net to find a black site to dredge up to "refute" Joan's objections.

              But then you may or may not know much about BAR and Glen Ford - he goes back to days at BlackCommentator - then split with them.

              Glen Ford and BAR endorsed and promoted Cynthia McKinney for POTUS.  Cynthia McKinney of 911 CT - that the Jews and Bush were responsible. Standing with her as she stood with Ron Paul. Cynthia McKinney of the "Ron Paul" is not a racist.

              Wonder why some of us pay little attention to BAR?  

              "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

              by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 02:01:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, at the time... (7+ / 0-)

                It wasn't clear what comment served as the basis for this diary, because the diarist wouldn't say.

                People who were actually in the diary when it was first posted were trying to figure it out, and the comment above was an attempt to do that.

                But don't let the actual sequence of events get in the way of your being "interested" the rationale behind a time-specific comment.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                by DeadHead on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 02:51:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Joan wasn't referencing ANYTHING (5+ / 0-)

                even though linking/quoting/referencing a source as standard site practice, nor did she provide a link or identify a source after being repeatedly asked.

                Your statement, that I ---

                would search the net to find a black site to dredge up to "refute" Joan's objections.
                Contains three inaccurate components in your description of my actions:

                1. 'search the net' -- Technically true, but it implies that I worked hard looking.  Puzzled about the source of the theme (which diarist did not provide), I did one goggle for the combined terms 'Snowden' and "Harriet Tubman".  I looked only at the first page of the search results.  The first result on the first page was this diary; the second result was  the transcript of transcript Mr. Dixon's 6/25/13 radio commentary.  (The rest of the results on the first page were links to or summaries of Mr Dixon's work; I did not search further.)  Given that early date, Mr. Dixon seemed to me to be the original publisher of the Snowden/Tubman comparison (which included Freedom Fighters John Brown and "whistleblower" Frederick Douglass.)

                2.  'to find a black site' -- My goal was to find a source for the Tubman/Snowden comparison, if one existed, since the diarist had provided no source for her readers at all (until much later and much further down in the thread), even though the language of the diary shows that she was reacting to another source or sources.  The 'Color' or political position of the possible source did not enter my head, since a source is a source, and I was simply looking for the source that was implied by the diarists' language.  (Once again, I remind you that if the diarist had included a source, I would have read that and would not have thought of searching.)

                3.  '(a black site to) dredge up to "refute" Joan's objections -- 'Your word 'Dredge' implies that I worked hard and labored long through thick muck to locate a source (of a particular 'color') with the goal of 'refuting' the diarist.    Well, I've already dealt with the 'labor' aspect and the 'color' aspect of your comment.  The remaining aspect of your comment seems to have to do with my motivation -- for which you invent for me a goal of finding something that I could latch onto in order 'refute J's objections'.

                Without a source from the diarist to refer to, I had no clear picture of what the diarist was 'objecting' to in her source.  I was searching for the source of the S/T comparison, with the earliest source always being, for me, the best (for opinion pieces).  Mr. Dixon's appeared to be the earliest sources of the S/T comparison, so I reported on it.  If I had found an earlier source in a brief search (with no dredging; it was 2am and I was exhausted), I would have reported on that instead of, or along with, Mr Dixon's ('along with' in order to show that different 'camps' existed at the same time period).  I was not thinking of 'refuting' the diarist's personal opinion that she found positive comparisons between Snowden/Tubman distasteful to her.  (That is not the kind of position that can be 'refuted'.)  If the earliest source I found (or one of two equally-early ones) had held the same position as the diarist, I would have reported on that as I did on Mr. Dixon's piece.

                In sum:  I was looking for the earliest possible source for the Snowden/Tubman comparison so that readers, including myself, could have the context that the diarist did not provide.  I was 'looking for a source' not 'looking (with selection criteria based on race) for a sources that would (allow me to 'refute' the diarist).  I hope the distinction is clear to you.

                And you are completely correct in thinking: "But then you may or may not know much about BAR and Glen Ford".  about Black Media, its personalities and its history, or about the political inner circles, persuasions, camps, and factions within the Black political community.  I have absolutely now knowledge about this things.  But those political inner circles of who stands with whom have something like nothing to do with searching for the source of key concept in an unsourced diary, which is what I was about.

                And, when you stop and think about it, doesn't your (entirely correct) assumption that I am completely innocent and ignorant of these inner-circle politics war somewhat with your contention that I went 'dredging for black sources' of a particular type (in order 'refute')?  The concept of 'dredging for black sources of a particular  political 'flavor' ' kind of fall apart under your correct assumption that I have no clue about the players, the positions, or the rules of the game, wouldn't you agree?

                I get the impression that you are very used to looking at everything that happens through a political lens.  But there are some things in this world that are not politically-driven.  My 'agenda' in finding, and reporting on, the earliest published version of the Snowden/Tubman comparison was an agenda of the kind they call 'purely academic.'

                I hope this make my purposes clear.

                •  Your agenda was to accuse me of plagiarism. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, Yasuragi

                  I have yet to see an apology.
                  Your accusation was, at the very least, way off base.
                  Thanks to your "investigation," we now know that I would have been arguing against the misguided, idiotic, self-hating  Dixon, and not using his work to support mine.
                  But the fact is, I knew nothing of what the man wrote, I did not lift anything from his work, I did not claim anything of his to be mine, so where did you find plagiarism?
                  Your breathless reporting of the results of your "investigation" says a whole lot about your integrity.
                  That you'd waltz into a volatile situation and sprinkle gasoline so's to earn street cred, says something about you and it's not nice.
                  Since you accused me of plagiarism, I could accuse you of lying and I think objective observers would conclude that I have more of a case.

                  Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

                  by JoanMar on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:26:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  So you don't know what comment(s) (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead, CroneWit

                the diarist was referring to.  Interesting.

                Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

                by gooderservice on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:27:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  The author provided a link (8+ / 0-)

          to the comment here.

          It's possible that she was inspired by the BAR post, but I very seriously doubt that she omitted the link because she was trying to steal his work. A lot of Kossacks find the Black Agenda Report repugnant and would probably refuse to link to it out of principle.

          Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

          by psychodrew on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 05:54:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (114)
  • Community (52)
  • Memorial Day (27)
  • Culture (20)
  • Civil Rights (18)
  • Law (18)
  • Science (18)
  • Environment (17)
  • Rescued (17)
  • Labor (16)
  • Elections (15)
  • Marriage Equality (15)
  • Media (15)
  • Ireland (13)
  • Josh Duggar (13)
  • Economy (13)
  • Education (13)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (13)
  • Health Care (11)
  • Music (11)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site