Editorial Note

Editorial Note

When Socialism and Democracy participated in the 2nd US Social Forum (Detroit, 2010), we described our publication as “a research journal for activists.” As our Mission Statement also reminds us, we try to address many audiences, using a variety of means of expression.

As an activist intervention in the realm of contemporary radical theory, the article in this issue by our board-member Joseph Ramsey is one that prompted an unusually lively discussion among ourselves – one which we invite our readers to join as well.

The article by Kevin “Rashid” Johnson in our March issue – describing his prison experiences in Virginia and Oregon – has a noteworthy if disturbing sequel. As its author was about to file suit against the Oregon authorities, he was suddenly transported yet again, this time to one of the harshest prisons in Texas. He continues his work of exposing human rights violations in US prisons. We urge readers to consult his website (rashidmod.com) for updates.

Finally, we sadly report the death of our former poetry editor, D. H. Melhem. Work that she either wrote or solicited for us appears in issues nos. 47-50 and 53. As a tribute to her, we reprint in this issue two poems from her last book, Art and Politics / Politics and Art. We also include a vignette by Robert Roth which reflects something of her glow. Our book review editor George Snedeker, through whom she first became acquainted with S&D, writes: “Several years ago, Robert Roth suggested to me that Socialism and Democracy review D. H. Melhem’s two short novels, Stigma and The Cave. Victor Cohen wrote the review, which D. H. liked very much. We began an email conversation about literature, and she was kind enough to read the satirical novel I was writing. She liked the novel and encouraged me to continue working on it. I met D. H. face-to-face at a Brecht Forum party for Roth’s book, Health Proxy. She and I came up with the idea that S&D start publishing a poetry section. D. H. Melhem was a humanist and a very generous person. She gave me several of her books which I read with joy.”

All those of us who knew D. H. share these sentiments. (Visit www.dhmelhem.com.)

V.W.

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