Author Archives: Janice Jayes

The Age of Disconnect: US Policy and the War Beyond Gaza

The hypocrisy gap between US diplomatic pronouncements and US actions is no surprise to world audiences, but the disconnect on display since October 7 has put the nail in the coffin of the American Century. American officials have been invoking … Continue reading

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The $1,686,170 Slap: The Shamar Betts Case Continues

It is hard to understand the magnitude of the restitution fine imposed on Urbana resident Shamar Betts as anything other than the persecution of one young black man. Despite a recent stay on collection of the debt pending a response … Continue reading

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Frozen Conflicts, Flashmob Militants, and the End of the Gunpowder State

Syria, Libya, Yemen . . . and now Sudan. Sudan has the unhappy potential to become the next of the intractable conflicts that have unfolded over the past decade. These multisided struggles involving a cocktail of militaries, militias, and mercenaries … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa, Foreign Policy, International, International, Middle East, Section, Violence, War | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Frozen Conflicts, Flashmob Militants, and the End of the Gunpowder State

Silence and the Continuing Legacy of the US Invasion of Iraq

The twentieth anniversary of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq slid by with an encore performance of the arrogance that characterized the invasion itself. In 2003 that arrogance disregarded inconvenient international norms as easily as it disregarded the Iraqi victims … Continue reading

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Imperialism, International, International, Middle East, Remembering, Section, World-wide death and suffering | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Silence and the Continuing Legacy of the US Invasion of Iraq

Labor Abuse as Product Placement at the World Cup

The 2022 soccer World Cup began its takeover of global sports channels on November 20, transmitting endless images of cosmopolitan crowds enjoying the sparkling new stadiums of Qatar to audiences around the world. The country that hosts the World Cup … Continue reading

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Posted in International, International, labor, Labor/Economics, Middle East, Section, Sports | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Labor Abuse as Product Placement at the World Cup

In Guatemala, Ethnic Cleansing Moves from the Village to the Courtroom

If you want to see what ethnic cleansing looks like in the 21st century, take a trip to Guatemala. Don’t just stay at the charming eco-lodge by the lake under the volcanoes, however, because you might fly home with a … Continue reading

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The Great De-Centering: The World after Ukraine

The Ukraine war is a turning point in history, but not the one you might be expecting. It won’t revive the Cold War. It won’t determine the survival of the Liberal World Order (whatever that is). And most decidedly, it … Continue reading

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Posted in Foreign Policy, International, International, Middle East, Politics, Racism, Ukraine, War | Comments Off on The Great De-Centering: The World after Ukraine

Shamar Betts Case Moves to Federal Appeals Court

On April 8, the case of Urbana resident Shamar Betts moved to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Betts was arrested in June, 2020 in the midst of a national crackdown on protests against the murder … Continue reading

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The Border We Build Every Day: Guatemala in Champaign-Urbana

The border mechanisms that capture headlines—the roundups, the cages, and the deportations—deserve attention, but this human sorting isn’t confined to the moment or space of the frontier crossing. It is part of the food we buy, the clothes we wear, … Continue reading

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Debt Peonage in the 21st Century: The Shamar Betts Case Continues

On August 19, Shamar Betts was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison (minus 12 for time served) for authoring a Facebook post. The sentencing also made Betts personally responsible for repaying $1.5 million for damage committed by others at … Continue reading

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Scapegoating and the 2020 Marketplace Mall Riots

I watched the legal machinery eat further into the life of a young man this past month. On June 14, I joined others at the sentencing hearing for Shamar Betts at the federal courthouse in Urbana. Betts is accused of … Continue reading

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Going Dark in Afghanistan

In April President Biden announced he was “ending America’s longest war” by bringing US troops home from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. If only this war were that simple. Biden isn’t really ending the war in Afghanistan, of course: he … Continue reading

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Shamar Betts: Caught in a Legal Drama that Started Before He was Born

No one wants to be the poster child for a Supreme Court challenge. However, finding his case before the Supreme Court could not only help Urbana resident Shamar Betts resolve his own situation, but it could redraw the legal lines … Continue reading

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White Nationalism in our Own Front Yards

This past summer residents of West Champaign awoke to find their neighborhoods had been leafletted with an insulting anti-immigrant flyer bearing the imprint of the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA), a group designated as a white nationalist hate group … Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter in the Middle East

George Floyd’s murder horrified people of the Middle East just as it did many in the US and, just as in America, the outrage that followed exposed cultural fault lines, forced uncomfortable introspection, and was sometimes exploited for political purposes. … Continue reading

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Mateo’s Story: Connecting with the Twice-Marginalized

If you are a Q’anjob’al speaker in CU, you are probably familiar with the young face of Mateo Sebastian. In videos shared through social media he has helped the local community keep up with information on the virus, school closures, … Continue reading

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Visibility and Vulnerability in the Age of COVID-19

While diseases don’t discriminate, social responses to pandemics do. The disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on African Americans in Chicago, the Navajo in the Southwest and the incarcerated across the country highlights the way marginalization contributes to tragically different outcomes … Continue reading

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The Scramble for Libya: The New Normal in 21st Century War

In 2011, then-Vice President Joe Biden gloated to the press that US/NATO actions in Libya had modeled the new normal in warfare: an overpowering air and sea operation that accomplished the overthrow of an enemy government (Muammar Gaddafi’s) without sustaining … Continue reading

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Homewrecker: Trump, the Kurds, and the Grand Strategy We Have Been Waiting For

Donald Trump’s October decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria took his own advisors by surprise, not to mention the Kurdish military units that were U.S. partners in the war on ISIS during the past five years. Perhaps the only … Continue reading

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Opposition to the Proposed ICE Dwight Detention Center Continues.

Efforts to halt the construction of a 1200-bed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Dwight, Illinois continue at both the state and local level. The proposed facility would be built and operated by the Virginia-based, for-profit prison company … Continue reading

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