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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Power to Exercise #Racism in America

Once upon a time,  in a far away galaxy called Left in Alabama, I was trying to explain racism to their resident Righty,  Old Prosecutor.

I said then: I believe most of us can/will agree that racism is stupid and that it takes power to exercise racism.  Meaning, a person can have all the racial prejudice against a certain group of people in their hearts and minds they want to, but when they have the power/authority to act on those beliefs it's racism.

Exhibit A:  Washington GOP State Senator:  Colored People are more  likely to commit crimes. 
During a committee hearing last Thursday, Republicans in the Washington State Senate had a really hard time wrapping their heads around a proposal that would require the state to carry out racial impact statements on legislation when requested by lawmakers.
What's a racial impact statement? It's an assessment of whether something will affect all racial groups equally, or whether it will harm some groups more than others. (Like an environmental impact statement, except dealing with race.) For example, sentencing laws are much harsher on people dealing crack cocaine—more often people of color—than those dealing powder cocaine, even though the drugs are virtually identical. A racial impact statement on these laws would inform lawmakers of their disparate effects. (And, in an ideal world, would do this before the laws get voted upon.)
Exhibit BJudge Gets To Keep Job After Calling Black People Country N****rs
Judge Gerald Popeo will keep his job, even though he was heard openly using racist epithets against African American defendants. The Utica City, New York judge is accused of using the racial slur after a court session when he asked an African-American lawyer “do you know what New York City blacks call black people from upstate New York?”
The attorney just looked at him, apparently in shock that the judge would ask such an obviously problematic question. When the attorney had no response for the judge, Popeo answered: “country n*******.”
The judge thought his “joke”, apparently about a defendant, was hilarious. But the lawyer obviously did not.
For his part, Judge Popeo has vehemently denied making the racist “joke.”
But two separate lawyers claim to have heard this one-way exchange according to Syracuse.com.
Back in 2011, Popeo was caught referring to a prosecutor as a “cigar store Indian” …twice.
Exhibit CJustice Department Finds Pattern of Police Bias and Excessive Force in Ferguson
Police officers in Ferguson, Mo., have routinely violated the constitutional rights of the city’s black residents, the Justice Department has concluded in a scathing report that accuses the officers of using excessive force and making unjustified traffic stops for years.
Exhibit DHere is the racist Obama joke the Justice Department reportedly uncovered in it's Ferguson Investigation.
It seems the investigation also uncovered additional disturbing material that suggests a culture of racial bias among those who hold power in the city: according to the Associated Press, the report includes a 2008 message — which appears to be an attempt at humor — from a municipal email account that says President Obama wouldn't be in office long, because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."
There's more, but I think you get my drift.  Now can we have an open and honest dialogue about race in this country?
 

Blast from the Past: Alabama has it's first elected African American Congresswoman #NetanyahuSpeech

Terri Sewell: "It's an historic election because it's about you, not about me"


Yeah right.  In light of the fact the elected Congress Critter from Alabama's 7th Congressional district, and the only African American Democrat who attended  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address before a joint session of Congress I thought it appropriate to re post this blast from the past.

It's no secret I am not a supporter of Terri Sewell, not because she isn't nice, accomplished young lady from a good family, but because I don't believe she has the experience or the political skills to represent the interest of the voters of the 7th district. I'm going to be frank, and say the out of state money and the wall street connections worry me. I fear this is another case of affluent white folks deciding who should represent poor black folks.

My worst fear has come to past. Republicans, enabled by the media (again) and the neo liberals (again) bought and paid for the only African American seat in congress (again). I'm sure they are patting themselves on the back and high fiving their "victory" this morning, but this is wrong on so many levels. For one thing it proves it's not about the people, it's about the money, the power and the influence. It's proof the residents of the 7th district didn't get to decide who represents them in congress (again).
So much for waiting, watching , and HOPING , Congresswoman Terri Sewell makes us all proud as the first Alabama African American Congresswoman.

#SkipTheSpeech

Monday, March 2, 2015

Eye tried tell some of y'all Terri Sewell was Artur Davis in Designer Pumps, can you hear me now #Leftinbama? #Vindicated

Terri Sewell's non-designer shoe
H/T Left in Alabama


Yes, this is another Eye tried to tell some of y'all Alabama's lone democratic (and I use that term loosely) Congresswoman was Artur Davis in designer pumps post.

Remember when Congress Critter Davis was the lone member of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against the Affordable Health Care Act ?
Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, who is attempting to become that state’s first Black governor, was the lone Congressional Black Caucus member who voted against health care reform championed by President Barack Obama, sparking local and national criticism.
“He let us down,” state Rep. Mary Moore, a Birmingham Democrat, told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “You tell someone, ‘Vote for me, and I will look out for you,’ then they vote for his or her own agenda.”
She and about a dozen people gathered in front of Davis’ downtown Birmingham office around midnight Saturday.
“We prayed for a miracle. We prayed that God would change his heart because so many people in this country and in his district are hurting,” Moore said.
Davis says he couldn’t vote for the health care reform package because it’s too big.
If Sewell  thinks she's going to be governor some day, toadying up to the white folks (H/T RD), she might want to ask her predecessor how well that turned out for him.  But I digress.

BREAKING: ALABAMA'S 7TH US CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN, TERRI SEWELL, BREAKS WITH OTHER CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS MEMBERS, SAYS SHE WILL ATTEND ISRAELI PM BIBI NETANYAHU'S SPEECH. This action by Rep. Terri A. Sewell is an insult to President Barack Obama. (H/T ES)
“I don’t hold Netanyahu responsible,” Butterfield said. “I hold Speaker Boehner responsible, but I would hope that Mr. Netanyahu would not want to get involved. I personally think it is disrespectful.”
That was a word many members used: “It is very disrespectful to this president, and what concerns me more is that I think it’s a pattern that is starting to develop from this speaker that we’re getting more and more disrespectful of the office of the presidency,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.). “I think it’s silly and petty.”
So, Why has Terri Sewell chosen to join the other side? Her recent votes surely indicate that her positions are far different than what her own constituents would expect.
 Friday, February 13, 2015, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Selma) issued a written statement after the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015 was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. While supportive of the legislation’s intent, Congresswoman Sewell wants to see the legislation strengthened.
Sound familiar?
Last week, as President Barack Obama urged Congress to plow ahead even without support from Republicans, Davis said he was open to supporting a bill if certain major changes were made.
On Tuesday, he ruled that out.
"What's on the table now is a massive overhaul of the health care systems in this country," Davis said. "We can fix the problems without having to do a massive systems overhaul."
I pity the residents of the 7th district .
My worst fear has come to past. Republicans, enabled by the media (again) and the neo liberals (again) bought and paid for the only African American seat in congress (again). I'm sure they are patting themselves on the back and high fiving their "victory" this morning, but this is wrong on so many levels. For one thing it proves it's not about the people, it's about the money, the power and the influence. It's proof the residents of the 7th district didn't get to decide who represents them in congress (again).
I guess I can't blame Sewell for being afraid of losing her job..or worse...
Tea Party radio host Andrea Shea King argued recently that Democratic lawmakers — and specifically members of the Congressional Black Caucus — should be put to death by hanging if they boycotted Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday speech to Congress
“Obama doesn’t have to run for reelection again, a lot of these guys do,” King said in a clip of her radio show that was published by Right Wing Watch on Monday. “Listen, I would like to think that these guys could pay with their lives, hanging from a noose in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.”
Don't blame me, I supported Sheila Smoot.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Republicans say no fixes need be made in gutted Voting Rights Act", so let's go to #Selma for Photo Op with President Obama

H/T The Progressive Cynic

Let's recap:
In the summer of 2013, in a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requiring that several whole states and parts of several others "pre-clear" any changes in their voting laws.
Let's go back to  Bloody Sunday
On "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma.
The events of “Bloody Sunday,”  led Congress to enact the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA).
The voting rights bill was passed in the U.S. Senate by a 77-19 vote on May 26, 1965. After debating the bill for more than a month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 333-85 on July 9. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders present at the ceremony.
The act banned the use of literacy tests, provided for federal oversight of voter registration in areas where less than 50 percent of the nonwhite population had not registered to vote, and authorized the U.S. attorney general to investigate the use of poll taxes in state and local elections (in 1964, the 24th Amendment made poll taxes illegal in federal elections; poll taxes in state elections were banned in 1966 by the U.S. Supreme Court).
Fast forward to the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Rep. John Lewis said this year's 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march should reflect the dignity of the original event, which is why he arranged for President Obama to visit the day before local officials in Alabama hold their commemoration.
The result will be two marches in Selma — one on Saturday, March 7, with Obama, Lewis and a record number of congressional lawmakers, and one on Sunday, March 8, run by local leaders.
Local Alabama politicians have objected. They say the anniversary has always been held on a Sunday because March 7, 1965, when protesters marching for voting rights for blacks were clubbed and tear gassed by police, is known as Bloody Sunday.
Compromise Complete?
Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, one of the key proponents of the annual Selma events, said groups involved in planning the 50th anniversary of the historic day have agreed there would be one march this year and it would begin on the day it is traditionally held, Sunday.
Sanders said his initial concern was that there would be a march on Saturday or other competing marches.
"What I was trying to do was make sure the march on Sunday was sacred and that it is going on," said Sanders, who along with several other public officials raised the concerns in a State House news conference a month ago.
So what brings George W. Bush, and the GOP to #Selma after they've done everything they can do to keep minorities and women from voting?
Republicans have been working hard to drum up attendees for the Selma march. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. are not attending. Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL, said she is working to get more of the GOP to join her at the commemoration.
"My motivation is my love for the state and the importance and significance of this anniversary," Roby said in a recent interview. "I want as many of my colleagues (as possible) to be a part of that. The civil rights movement belongs to everybody. It's not a Republican or Democratic issue."

Mission Accomplished thanks to President Barack Obama and Representatives Terri Sewell and John Lewis.
Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell of Birmingham and GOP Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery, are co-hosting the pilgrimage and helped recruit members to attend. Leaders in the Senate include Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Tim Scott, R-S.C.
The organization's annual trip to Alabama is led by Alabama native and Democratic congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who was among those beaten during the 1965 march.
Lewis, in a recent interview, said he was happy to see greater interest from Republicans this year.
This bill will strike down restrictions to voting in all elections, federal, state and local, which have been used to deny Negroes the right to vote.

This bill will establish a simple, uniform standard which cannot be used, however ingenious the effort, to flout our Constitution. It will provide for citizens to be registered by officials of the United States Government, if the state officials refuse to register them. It will eliminate tedious, unnecessary lawsuits which delay the right to vote. Finally, this legislation will insure that properly registered individuals are not prohibited from voting. I will welcome the suggestions from all the members of Congress--I have no doubt - See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/1965-president-lyndon-baines-johnson-voting-rights-act#sthash.76dsg6Zy.dpuf
 What a difference three years makes in Sweet Home Alabama.
This bill will strike down restrictions to voting in all elections, federal, state and local, which have been used to deny Negroes the right to vote.

This bill will establish a simple, uniform standard which cannot be used, however ingenious the effort, to flout our Constitution. It will provide for citizens to be registered by officials of the United States Government, if the state officials refuse to register them. It will eliminate tedious, unnecessary lawsuits which delay the right to vote. Finally, this legislation will insure that properly registered individuals are not prohibited from voting. I will welcome the suggestions from all the members of Congress--I have no doubt that I will get some--on ways and means to strengthen this law and to make it effective. - See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/1965-president-lyndon-baines-johnson-voting-rights-act#sthash.76dsg6Zy.dpuf

The New Normal Same as the Old Normal


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Former pResident George W. Bush coming to #Selma to help repubicans hijack the anniversary of Bloody Sunday

 
 Bush and his wife, Laura, will join President Obama and a  bipartisan congressional delegation, in Selma, Alabama on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday so republicans can pretend they care about black people being denied the right the vote,  and, because republicans must think we are stuck on stupid in AmeriBama.


“The Roberts Court proved again that it will not be deterred by Supreme Court precedent, the realities on the ground in our nation; nor will it defer to Congress even when the legislative branch is granted clear authority by the Constitution to remedy our nation's long history of discrimination against racial and language minorities,” said J. Gerald Hebert of the Campaign Legal Center. “The Court today declared racism dead in this country despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.”

And then there is THIS 
Now, the actual effect of the recount is obviously something of a side issue when assessing the actions of the Court. Nobody knew the outcome of the recount, only that it threatened to make Al Gore president, and stopping it would guarantee Bush’s victory. That is the environment in which five Republican-appointed justices essentially invented a one-time-only ruling to stop the recount. And that’s the relevant history in which to understand the Court’s decision to make up its own new legal theories about the regulation of the health-care market now.
Separate but equal Bloody Sunday commemorations coming right up, enabled by President Obama.

It's the republican way!

"I would not hurt a fly but everyday I get out of my apartment, I know I am at risk of being killed by a racist because of my skin and the system will do everything to justify why I had to be killed."


In America race is an issue because it is an issue

If George Zimmerman had stayed in his car like he was instructed to do by the 911 dispatcher maybe Trayvon Martin would be celebrating his 20th birthday, and we wouldn't be observing the injustice of the century.  I said maybe because police could have killed Trayvon Martin  for being black in America.
By the way, although George Zimmerman is not incarcerated, he will never be free. For the rest of his rotten life, he will be known as the real thug who followed and killed an unarmed African American teenager based on a false and racist assumption. In fact, given George Zimmerman frequent acts of violence and run in with the law, it is only a matter of time before he kills or hurts someone else.
"Sadly, the blood will be on  jurors' hands.
 : a jury of six women, five of them white and none of them Black, found Zimmerman not guilty, sparking national outrage and protests. Seemingly unaware of the furor invoked by the decision, Juror B-37—who wished to remain anonymous but nonetheless conducted a public interview and signed (then canceled) a book deal—stated, “All of us thought race did not play a role.” This was the same juror who, during jury selection, referred to Trayvon Martin as a “boy of color” whose murder was “an unfortunate incident.”
Who can blame them for remaining anonymous?
The identities of potential jurors in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin, will be kept confidential, the presiding judge ruled Wednesday.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder charges, contending he acted in self-defense.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson also ruled that the potential jurors won’t be sequestered, and that during the selection process -- which is scheduled to get underway on Monday -- members of the jury pool will be referred to by numbers, not names.
"This is to be done in order to protect the prospective jurors from harassment and pressure from the public at large," Nelson wrote, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"The blood will be on the American criminal injustice system filthy hands." 
A verdict that could have provided accountability, vindication, and healing did not happen. But we are a nation of laws. The outcome would have to be accepted if the trial was fair. The community would have to just move on if Zimmerman’s acquittal was based on the evidence at trial.
But that was not the case. Because the same suspicions and unexamined biases that Zimmerman harbored in one way or another coursed through the significant players in that courtroom: the defense attorneys, prosecutors, judge, and jury.

Know Truth.  Know Justice.  No Truth.  No Justice.

And we dare not rise up and protest because Riots.

Three years ago, Trayvon Martin left home for the store and never returned. We will never forget. You are our reason for being.

 Rest in power sweet child.