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Ericka E. Schiche

I am a writer and editor who specializes in current events commentary and op-eds, hard news, news analysis, features, investigative reporting and arts criticism. My work has appeared in Salon, The Independent, Mediapart, Houston Press, Houston Chronicle, XLR8R and The New York Times (uncredited). Some of my writing has been translated into French. 

America is back to lynching: Baltimore, Freddie Gray and the noxious legacy of white supremacy

J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur’s serendipitous discovery of a macabre scene in his “Letters from an American Farmer” suggests the 18th century lynching of a black slave: A cage hanging from a tree contained a man whose body was covered with wounds, and his eyes had been gouged out of the sockets (perhaps by nearby birds). Crèvecœur was alone and horrified, in contrast to the spectacle of injustice American lynching culture would later become. Mark Twain focused on the insidious nature of Ameri

The secret history of terror in Europe: How our blindness to a century of mistakes is making everyone less safe

While embracing France, invoking the spirit of “Nous Sommes Tous Francais” (or “We are all French”), it’s also critically important to have deeper analytical discussions about unresolved issues pertaining to the inextricable bond between imperialist Europe and the Middle East. It’s time for the world to stop circumventing the unequivocal truth that much of what has happened in Europe with the rising terror threat level and the bloody massacres in Paris — labeled soft target attacks — is rooted

Paroles de Nuitdeboutistes sur la politique française

Nuit Debout s’est développée comme un mouvement de résistance structuré mais paradoxalement informel et basé sur la démocratie horizontale et la collectivité. Il est devenu au fil du temps un espace d’illumination, de débats, de discussions vives, de stratégies et de constructions de nouveaux paradigmes. D’après de nombreux experts et Nuitdeboutistes, Nuit Debout se voit comme une forme d’organisation alternative, transformatrice et distincte du système politique traditionnel. Différents points

Why America needs to reject the Charleston massacre’s dangerous narrative of forgiveness

Unfortunately, forgiveness, that element of moral sanctity which facilitates assuaging of grief, has morphed into a barrier obstructing the path to justice and accountability in the United States — a place weakened by the ubiquitousness and insidiousness of racism. Although it’s tough to direct a critical lens at the concept of forgiveness when the situation involves grieving family members tearfully addressing an expressionless, depraved killer who isn’t even asking for it, for posterity’s sak

The one moment that changed everything in the Confederate flag debate: “This flag comes down today!”

As Bree Newsome descended the 30-foot flagpole from which she had detached a Confederate battle flag near the South Carolina State House last month, she recited part of Psalm 27. She became a hero in that moment. Newsome took down the flag on June 27; it took the South Carolina House of Representatives 11 days thereafter to come up with a 94-20 vote to remove the flag from State House grounds. The issue has been tangled up in bureaucracy and trapped in what felt like a painfully slow process th

Essay about a Black woman who painted herself white

Humankind has reached a point of no return. We are all living in a satirical dystopian movie not unlike “They Live,” in which directives functioning as slogans — mere words printed on signs in black lettering against a white background, basically tell people how to live their lives: “No Thought,” “Obey,” “Consume,” “Buy,” “Conform,” “Stay Asleep,” “Watch TV,” “Work 8 Hours,” “Play 8 Hours,” and “Sleep 8 Hours.” Although it would seem like something that would be limited to a hermetically sealed

Islamophobie et racisme d'État

Ericka Schiche est une journaliste américaine qui travaille pour Salon.com, The Independent, The Houston Press et plusieurs autres médias. Elle contribue au site Occupy.com, pour lequel elle a écrit sur Banlieues Debout. Depuis le début avril 2016, Ericka suit l’actualité de Nuit Debout et veut contribuer au mouvement depuis les États-Unis. Après une une analyse sur l’engagement militant et politique des Nuitdeboutistes, elle nous parle aujourd’hui des combats menés par la commission de Nuit Deb

French Nuit Debout Movement Creates New Paradigm For Horizontal Democracy

Since its founding on March 31, Nuit Debout, a horizontal democracy-driven resistance movement active in 266 French cities has given participants opportunities to discuss and act on critical issues affecting people from widely different economic backgrounds. The movement, which also exists in 130 cities outside of France, functions on several levels. It reflects a living version of the Camusian "zero point" metaphor because participants, both individually and collectively, have a chance to thin

Banlieues Debout Movement Targets Police Brutality, Economic Hardship In Paris Suburbs

The banlieues, suburbs existing beyond the Périphérique on the outskirts of Paris, are part of a complex socioeconomic and cultural world which is seldom viewed outside the context of its issues and problems. It is a place only its working class residents truly know, and their stories often do not mirror the scenes in La Haine. With his 1960 black and white short film "L'Amour existe," referenced by Luc Sante in his book The Other Paris, Maurice Pialat introduced the banlieue not as the regress

Baton Rouge has proved that in the US, when a black man commits a crime, all black people are to blame

In America, a country plagued by systemic racism, the spectre of Jim Crow and the bloody legacy of chattel slavery, has reached boiling point. Cops are dying. Black people are dying. Entire communities are pushing, screaming and protesting in the streets. The recent tragedies in Dallas,Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana are only two of many spikes on the seismometer of race relations in the US. The too-good-to-be-true promise of President Obama’s post-racial America met its end during an obstruct

Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb and the Legend of Tom Moore's Farm

One of my favorite movies about the South is really more about Texas than the Deep "dirty" South, and definitely has the wrong title. It could even be considered provocative for its time, given its pervasive "Texas is Texas" philosophy. Jean Renoir's The Southerner, which premiered in 1945, is set in a riverside Texas community where living off the land and catching fish is a big deal. Austin native Zachary Scott, who often portrayed villains in noir films, stars as Sam Tucker, a family man who

Ornette Coleman Stayed Light-Years Ahead Until the Very End

Ornette Coleman was always light years ahead of everyone else in terms of his ability to function as a constantly evolving nonconformist who took risks and created new spaces where art and experiential reality meshed. The liner notes to his The Change of the Century album, released in 1960, reveal how Coleman sought to reach and then escape plateaus of structure, human voice-inspired tones and harmonies, time vs. atemporality, and truth within music, in a manner akin to the offshoot of abstract

Welcome to Your Nightmare: The Gaslamp Killer's Dystopian Soundscapes

The edgy dystopian soundscape of The Gaslamp Killer, the quintessentially West Coast producer and DJ known for dark psychedelic rock and hip-hop beats, seems like the coolest soundtrack possible to an incessant nightmare. Inherent moodiness, randomness and darkness create  the zone for a wild mix of Argento-style horror, unforgiving, hermetically sealed Jodorowsky desert surrealism, and midnight California trippiness. He's like a Navajo jacket-wearing, present-day Jewish member of the '60s Sourc

The Musical and Cinematic Origins of the Geto Boys

The Geto Boys are unequivocally one of the best and most famous musical groups to ever come out of Houston. The founders of the hip-hop subgenre known as horrorcore created macabre street anthems linked inextricably to the horror movie-influenced, "Helter Skelter"-style modus operandi of H-town's post-Scorsese version of Mean Streets. Their main thematic inspirations and references have included Brian DePalma's Scarface and the occasional horror-movie nemesis like Freddie Kruger, Friday the 13th

Melt-Banana Brings the Noise With An Army of Hedgehogs

Let's face it: If video killed the radio star, as the Buggles' 1979 anthem presciently forecast, Japanese noise pioneers Hijokaidan and Keiji Haino should have presided over the burial rites, with a Godzilla movie or Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses screened on a Jumbotron nearby. In a more just world, Hanatarash, Yamantaka Eye's edgy first group before he founded the much “safer” but still sublime Boredoms, wouldn't have been as obscure. And Merzbow, the most prolific of all Japanese

Bob Dylan's Texas Connections Run Deep

Bob Dylan's ribald, satirical ode to '60s sartorial fetishism, "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat," reveals a deep connection the visionary musician has had to Texas. The song, which appears on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde, was produced by Texas native Bob Johnston and faithfully replicates the tone, song structure and organic simplicity of Houston blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins' "Automobile Blues." Dylan's Web site features an endorsement of Les Blank's brilliant down-home documentary The Blues Acco

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