Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest" #BlackLivesMatter #MikeBrown #WalterScott #TamireRice #JohnCrawford #RekiaBoyd #TrayvonMartin #WalterScott

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Trinity United Church of Christ (President Obama's former church) #BlackLivesMatter  protest, showing us what democracy,  and Christian Compassion look like in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

"We have nothing to lose but our chains".


A RedEye Repost: Yes, Governor Siegelman, not expanding medicare is killing people, but you already knew that

Charlene Dill didn't have to die

If  this headline  accompanied the photo above, what do you want to bet the media, and every republican in the state, would be calling for the former Alabama Governor's  impeachment, or worse

From the files of IOKIYAR (It's OK If You Are Republican)
Next time you see someone like Americans for Prosperity’s Jennifer Stefano shouting about the ridiculously generous benefits for Medicaid under Obamacare, you might want to picture Charlene Dill in your head. Charlene Dill was a 32-year-old woman who had three kids, was separated from her husband, and, with a combination of part-time jobs, was barely scraping by. She got booted off Medicaid because her princely $9000 a year was too much income — she couldn’t afford a divorce yet, so the program took her estranged husband’s income into account. And that was a problem, because Charlene Dill had a heart condition that could be managed with medication, which she couldn’t afford without Medicaid. And so on March 21, Charlene Dill died of heart failure while demonstrating a vacuum cleaner at a home in Kissimmee, Florida. She would have been covered by Medicaid if Florida had agreed to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act, but Florida’s legislature has so far blocked it, because Obamacare is bad, and handouts make people lazy.
Yes, Red States,  not expanding medicare is actually killing people, but you already knew that.
Alabama residents protested in front of the Capitol on Saturday to demand that Gov. Robert Bentley (R) expand the state’s Medicaid program. The move would provide health insurance coverage to 200,000 low-income residents who fall into a coverage gap in the Affordable Care Act.
More than 40 organizations under the umbrella group Save OurSelves: A Movement for Justice and Democracy, or SOS “presented 13,653 signatures to the Capitol doorstep in a coffin carried by six pallbearers,” the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Individuals told personal stories of waiting years to access coverage, with some eventually dying from lack of health care. A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers estimated that as many as 17,000 people will die directly as a result of their states refusing to expand Medicaid.
How many more people have to die?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Don't believe the hype, this is NOT ‪#‎schoolchoice‬. This is #sabotage, #racism, and #abuse."

The "Southern Strategy" never gets old h/t Field Negro 

Charter School operators continue to make billions by pushing harsh discipline practices that ‪punish black/brown/poor children, under the guise of providing them with a quality education.
 While the conference sponsors point to charters and vouchers as needed options for low-income families trapped in low-performing school systems, critics argue that public resources should be reserved for conventional public school systems. They say privately run charters infringe on democracy, as charter school boards are typically self-selected instead of elected.
School choice critics wanted to share their views with conference attendees but said the $400 registration fee was too costly. So they protested outside.
"We would prefer that funding would be kept in the public school system," organizer and parent Gina Womack said. Charters should be held more accountable, to ensure that children are fairly disciplined, she and others said. 
Charter schools are a big part of the problem.
State Rep. Phil Williams (r.) and his gop cronies are pushing for Charter Schools under the guise poor, black children can escape under performing public schools.  Bull Poo.  If Phil Williams and the gop really cared about the education of poor, black/brown  children they would address the funding inequities instead of whining about  the myth of throwing money at the problem, and trying to destroy the Alabama Education Association.
 Charter schools are just another way the conservatives try to backdoor privatize education.
 The premise is that they hope to be able to convince the district to allow them to operate multiple charter schools under the premise they can do things cheaper.  Do you really want your kid being educated by a for profit company basically doing the work of the lowest bidder? With all the private schools here in Alabama, bleeding parents dry for the simple fact they don't want their kids to have to go to school with brown or black kids, the state seems to be ripe for laws allowing charter schools.  Now parents will be able to have their "school choice" at a fraction of the cost private school would have required.
 Segregation today = Segregation forever.
 Let's get one thing straight right off the bat...if Charter Schools provided options for poor/black/brown children, it would NOT be a top priority for Alabama republicans.   Charter Schools are the  vehicle republicans drive on the road to privatized  public education.  Although Charter Schools are funded with tax dollars, Charter Schools don't have to accept ALL children, regardless of race, income, gender, disability, or athletic ability.They can pick and choose the cream of the crop and leave the rest behind. 
Mission Accomplished
Gov. Robert Bentley's new segregation policy director has worked under some controversial regimes in high-profile efforts to turn around failing schools.
Emily Schultz, 28, began her job as Bentley's segregation policy adviser in November, with a top priority of getting a law allowing segregated schools passed during the next legislative session.
Previously, the Birmingham native worked under Michelle Rhee, who became chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools after the mayor took control of the district and cost him his job.
Follow the money


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015, just like Memorial Day 2014. Same Stuff, Different Year

Medgar Evers survived WWII, only to be murdered fighting for democracy and human rights when he returned to the U.S.  Evers fought for voting rights and investigated/exposed the murders of African Americans such as Emmett Till, Clinton Melton, and many more. To honor his memory and sustain his legacy, teach about Megar Evers and the many other war veterans who were killed when they returned, most often for trying to vote.

Megar Evers' gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery.
The simple white marble headstones lined up in rows across Arlington National Cemetery are arranged without regard to rank, gender, branch of military or race. The cemetery however began in a time of slavery, through segregation and discrimination. Many of the men and women buried in Arlington National Cemetery broke through barriers and boundaries to become the first of their race to reach certain military accomplishments. - See more at:

Fast forward to #MemorialDay2015 Cleveland Police arrest African American protesters for protesting.
The protesters had largely been orderly as they marched around downtown and into several nearby neighborhoods after the acquittal of Police Officer Michael Brelo was announced this morning.
As police drove the protesters away from the East Fourth area, people cheered the officers from the Euclid Avenue sidewalks, many recording the action.
So this is the land of the free and the home of the brave....
 When you celebrate Memorial Day, raise a fist for John Sims. Thank him for speaking his mind and expressing his beliefs. The Confederate flag is a symbol of white supremacy and the years of suffering of black people, and that lingering hope of some that we will return to toiling in the cotton fields, and swinging from the poplar trees if we get too uppity. This is the N-word on a pole. If America had its own version of the Nazi swastika, this would be it.
Happy Memorial  Day.  It's like Deja Vu all over again.

I write this post in honor and in memory of my paternal grand father who fought overseas in World War 2  then returned to the Jim Crow south to teach at what was known then as the Veterans Continuation School (pre GI Bill), a federal program designed for veterans returning home from the war to continue their education. He and my paternal grandmother taught classes at night and received a stipend. One of the classes they taught was how to pass the Literacy test. My grandparents were exempt from paying the $2.00 poll tax and allowed to vote because they were teachers at the school. So you see, even though my paternal grandfather was a WW2 veteran he didn't have the full rights and privileges he'd risked life and limb fighting for overseas.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"School Choice and the Fear of 'Those People" #EducationPolitics

walking the line
Rigid, compliant behavior is the main focus of many charter schools in poor neighborhoods. Photo Credit: via Compfight cc 

Please read this provocative and informative essay written by Brett Dickerson about charter schools in light of the bill passed by our red, republican controlled, state legislature.

“School Choice” is more about the deep fear of “those people” than proponents will admit. 
“Those people?” They are The They – the ones who you fear will corrupt your children if they sit in the same class with them.
“Those people” are the ones who just can’t wear the same uniform or school colors as your son or daughter, because, well, if they do, they and your kid may start thinking that they are peers.
Can’t have that.
Para quoting an old saying, know who is driving the wagon before you hitch your horse up to it.