Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicago: Wild Onions to the Windy City

Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable (1745-1818) was the first person to permanently settle and irrigate Chicago, then a land called Eschikago or 'land of wild onions' by the semi-nomadic Potawatomi tribe.
Du Sable was born on the Island of Haiti. His father was a French Sea Captain and his mother an ex-slave. Du Sable was educated in France before settling in America with his Native American bride, Catherine. Du Sable went on to be a successful pioneer and entrepreneur establishing the first permanent trading post on the Chicago River in 1779. He was officially recognized in 1968 by the State of Illinois for having been the Founder of Chicago.
Republished in part from the Culture of Black Chicago.

Motor City Slowdown Protests Emergency Management: Does EM Even Work?

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A look at a survey by Marketing Resource Group-Inside Michigan Politics shows that "59 percent of likely Detroit voters either strongly oppose or somewhat oppose Gov. Rick Snyder's appointment of Emergency Financial Manager Kevin Orr, while 41 percent strongly or somewhat support it." Of course, surveying 600 residents in a pool of 5.2 million is hardly representative. But who did the survey and for what purpose is even more revealing: it's done by a political research group whose head, Tom Shields, speculated that "the results could mean more inner-city votes for Snyder if Orr succeeds in turning around Detroit's troubled finances."
Is there any irony in a governor who removed the right of voters to select their own leaders seeking the votes of the very people he disenfranchised?
Here's the actual survey question asked: "Last week, Governor Snyder appointed an Emergency Financial Manager to try to balance Detroit's books and bring the city out of a financial crisis. Emergency Managers have sweeping powers to overrule the mayor and city council, as well as unilaterally amend or cancel city employee union contracts. Detroit unions and city elected officials fear the State will privatize city public services, eliminate public sector jobs and usurp local authority. State officials say that an Emergency Manager is required because the city has implemented few reforms and is reluctant to take necessary steps to bring its finances under control. Do you support or oppose an Emergency Financial Manager for the city of Detroit? (IF FAVOR/OPPOSE ASK: Do you strongly (support/oppose) it or just somewhat (support/oppose) it?)"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Enjoy the McGill Brothers Classical Music Direct to You

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Chicagoan classical musician Anthony McGill speaking with Melissa Harris Perry on MSNBC's MHP: "I think our parents gave us a true sense of identity and we always connected with our identity. We know where we're from. They never taught us that we couldn't do anything or be anything that we wanted. Race mattered only to us as far as being good role models and being -- our parents raising us to be strong role models. But as far as playing classical music, something that we fell in love with. They wanted us to do what we wanted to do. It didn't matter if it was predominantly of a different race."

Suspicious Flipping Tweets

The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that the judge in the Trayvon Martin second degree murder case signed an order requiring the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to release biographical profiles of key witnesses in the case to George Zimmerman's defense attorneys. The case is scheduled to begin on June 10, 2013.

The material released, including some criminal background material, is expected to provide fodder to defense attorneys seeking to undermine the credibility of witnesses to the crime that left the 17 year old teen, armed with Skittles and ice tea, dead on the lawn from a handgun blast. The shooter, identified as George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, had been directed by a police dispatcher not to approach the hoodie-wearing teen. Zimmerman said he thought Trayvon looked "suspicious" walking in the drizzle, so, armed with his handgun, he followed Trayvon.

But we know all that.

In another bizarre twist, just days after the Florida judge ordered the release of the biographical material, George Zimmerman's brother, Robert, stirred up a Twitter firestorm yesterday by comparing the deceased Trayvon to an alleged killer based on the similarity that they were both photographed flipping the bird. Gasp!

Brother Robert went on to conclude that "society thinks 'blacks mightB risky.'" On the surface, Robert was referring to the Brunswick, GA killing of a 13 month old boy in his stroller.

But below that surface, Robert managed to conflate ideas supporting his own brother's defense. To begin the tweet, Robert displayed two young black men, side by side, each flipping off: on the left is the alleged baby killer; the other is Trayvon. While it's often true that a picture is worth a thousand words, Robert's 140 character tweet belied his ulterior motive: to reinforce the notion that Trayvon was the assailant and George was merely defending himself that misty night.

Apparently not content to cast dispersions by conflating the picture with the events, Robert went on to suggest that "what these2 black teens did 2 a woman&baby is the reason ppl think blacks mightB risky" reinforcing brother George's allegation that Trayvon was "suspicious" for wearing a hoodie in the rain. And, of course, casting race-based suspicions on all blacks.

After all, Robert leads us to believe that people think blacks mightB risky. That's right, isn't it?

Imagine A World Without Hate

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Your Life. It's Short. Wear Your Passion.

I had an interesting but short exchange earlier today with a reader who vehemently disagrees that President Obama is a good person, worthy of emulation as a role model. (You may remember that I previously wrote about how President Obama is a good role model for us all).

As I explained to that reader, there are things that President Obama says or does with which I don't personally agree. But, I cut slack on several fronts: he's quite a bit smarter and better educated than I am; he has access to information that I don't; he's shrewd enough to get where he is - twice!

President Obama is a community organizer that studied that specialty so well that he has made the entire nation a community to be organized. And you know what? I agree with that. Democracy is not a spectator sport. There are "3,141 counties and county equivalents in the 50 States and the District of Columbia." Do YOU know your representative at the local level?

Does supporting President Obama mean I am an "Obamabot?" Of course not. I'm not some mindless robot who endorses our President's every position. But, I do believe that he makes informed, calculated decisions. And I believe he is a good man, leading our nation against an internal governmental insurgency by Republicans supported by corporatist lobbyists.

Why do I believe that? "Because we are united in our differences."

President Obama worked his passion. What's yours? Are you working it?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What Successful People Do Differently

Earlier I wrote about how President Obama epitomizes one characteristic of the authentic spirit of Americanism: by striving and driving himself, he achieved great things personally and professionally. So, what things do successful people do differently?

At different times in our lives, and depending on different challenges we are facing, different tools may be most useful. Still, an overview of how successful people manage their challenges can be tools we can all use daily. This article explains the dozen things successful people do differently.

The Struggle: Achievements and Principles

I wanted to make this pic my cover photo over at Facebook, but the text on the left side wouldn't be visible beneath my personal photo (well, that's not really me, of course, as I'm not a canine, though some of my best friends are). But since that wouldn't work out, and since I'll be guest blogging over here awhile by Redeye's special request, I wanted the pic of our accomplished President Obama to be my debut post. I know you're going to miss Redeye's style (with which I know I can't compete!) but I hope you'll give me a chance - because Redeye did!
I've never understood some people's angst for our President, and I've had to conclude that sadly, the rumors of him being black are true. Well, to be more accurate, he is actually of mixed races: he's Oreo, black and white, so to call him black just because he looks black is inaccurate.
I had always hoped that it was far more than race that made him despised by some. He is accomplished, coming out of rather humble beginnings, and yet, through his own striving and perseverance and making and taking every opportunity, he beat the odds of being a poor, undereducated, incarcerated black boy. That is, after all, too often the cultural stereotype, isn't it?
President Obama is a role model not only for young black males, but for us all. I am so glad that he has the personal demeanor that he does, and I am so ashamed and outraged at the likes of Georgia's Tea Partyian Rep. Joe Wilson for his "You lie!" stunts during the State of the Union (for which he recieved a formal rebuke from the House of Representatives). Notably, Sarah Palin recently revived the lyin' line, even dusting off the birthers' conspiracy theory for good measure. Some folks say anything for attention, especially if they can dress it up with what they call fighting for "principles."
I was reminded of principles while watching Melissa Harris Perry's segment today on NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy, which set quotas for police officers as "productivity goals." Apparently the principle of the police officers' work ethic is supposed to be stronger than our American principles of the 4th and 14th constitutional amendments. Never mind that 88% of all NYPD stops end without an arrest, and actually promote crime by leaving "entire neighborhoods demoralized and suspicious of police."
So young men in New York are routinely subjected to constitutional violations, even as our President demonstrates that color is no bar to achievement. He achieved and is a superb role model for us all, especially for youthful black men who again have another distinguished black man as an example and as a leader. And yet, there are those who attack President Obama not for his living our American principles, but for their own perversion of them.
We still have a long way to go to fulfill Rev. Martin Luther King's dream of "a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Or, as Melissa Harris Perry's father signed her birthday cards, "The struggle continues. Love, Daddy."

No "Absence of Malice" in Bama instant replay

I wish Madison County Democratic chairman Clete Welti  had asked somebody ,as the young people say, before he walked into Radio Boy's  Attack Machine.  Somebody should have told him you don't take a knife to a gun fight, or, to just say NO when asked to be a guest on his show. 
Dale likes to say democrats and liberals are afraid to appear on his show, but it's not fear that keeps self respecting democrats away, it's the knowledge they are going to be treated with contempt and  malice.
Evidently Dale has his knickers in a knot because CleteWelti, also a volunteer columnist for, called him out in his introductory column.  So what does Dale do?  He invites Clete to be a guest on his radio show so he can ambush him, then calls him a liar and the feckless leader of a failed party (among other things) on his blog.   2 minutes for Clete, 36 minutes for Dale, all attack all the time, unfair and unbalanced. community editor Anthony Cook had this to say in defense of Dale's newest bullet in his resume;
  We live in a society where we can't discuss politics civilly with anyone who disagrees with us. Many of us can't even tolerate hearing an opinion that's different from our own. How pathetically weak we've become as a nation that has at its historical core the good sense to listen to and nurture ideas.
Truer words were never spoken, and if Mr. Cook wants to see an example of this type of discourse all he has to do is click on Dale's blog.  If you can't win the debate, resort to name calling, personal attacks, insults, lies, and moderate the comments.
Some readers expressed such intolerance in the comments section when Dale was announced as a new columnist with, some even declaring they'd cancel their subscriptions to The Times. That would be the equivalent of canceling your cable because one channel broadcasts a show you don't like. I'd only remind you that you don't have to click on any link with Dale's name next to it.
Thanks for the reminder.
 When I look at the political landscape in this country, it's become the norm to see highly intelligent people, supposedly the best among us, acting like spoiled children, who must have their way or else. And even worse, it's not just a matter of their political opponents having a different opinion on issues, but Republicans and Democrats demonize each other, convincing constituents that the reason an opponent disagrees is because he or she is evil and wants to destroy the country. And worst of all, political opponents literally don't respect each other. They don't do lunch, they don't have conversations. Oh, they talk – plenty – but no one listens.
And therein lies the problem

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quick Drive By~Edit

Stopping by for a quick run down on some of  the current events you won't see on TeeVee, read in the newspaper, or hear on the radio.~RedEye

Speaking of the media we have, do you think  newspapers would bury the story of a black sheriff wishing death on former President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney?  Heck no, they wouldn't.

Can we have a majority leader who is not skeered of the right wing Bully's?  It's time to give Harry Reid the Hook.

Paging the black political class!  The Vampires aren't coming...they are already here!

Hello this is Hank Sanders, Alabama state Senator, and I’m still mad as hell. I say hell no! I ain’t going back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days.   Psst!  Anderson Cooper and Left in Alabama...can you hear State Senator Hank Sanders now?

Memo to the GOP:    You may as well keep that $10 million dollars you plan to spend on minority outreach in your pockets.  Just because we are minorities doesn't mean we are stoopid.  We know the gop will never change.   Once a Pit Bull always a Pit Bull.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of O.I.L. (Operation Iraqi Liberation) when Bush and Dick  sent our troops to war based on DEAD WRONG INTELLIGENCE to look for WMD that was NOT there, without body armor, or an exit plan.

The Dixie Chicks were right (pun intended)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alabama Dems owe Black Alabama Dems an Apology

 Former Rep. Artur Davis (R-Ala.) addressed the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, touting the accomplishments of the Republican party."Never lose sight of the essential difference between the left and right in this country," Davis said.

The chair of the Madison County Democratic Party wants to know can a 12 step program can fix what ails Alabama,   I want to know can a 12 step program fix what ails the Alabama Democratic Party?

Step 1. Every Democrat who supported former Rep. Artur Davis over former former Rep. Earl Hillard (D Birmingham) needs apologize to voters who live in the 7th Congressional District.

Step 2.  Every Democrat who supported former Rep. Artur Davis over Ron Sparks needs to apologize to every African American, Democrat who tried to tell them Artur Davis was really a republican.

It's no secret Artur Davis ripped his drawers with me a long time ago, or, that I was bashed, banned and ostracized because I wouldn't go along to get along.   Will those of us who tried to tell them Artur Davis was not the second coming of President Barack Obama ever get an apology?

Time will tell the truth.

Stay tuned for steps 4-12.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Talking Points~Edit

Hello Readers!  I'm going through one of those times when my real life and my blog life collide.  Postings will be sparse until the stars in  my universe align again.   ~RedEye
This is the United States Senator representing Alabama  I wish we had instead of the United States Senator we have.

Retired Public Educator, former State Representative/Senator and former AEA State President Gerald Waldrop writes one of the best explanations in defense of public education and educators I've read so far.  Snipet:
Regression in public education, by rabid, right-wing Republican loonies, was put in motion when newly elected members of the Alabama Legislature were called into Special Session by out-going Governor Bob Riley shortly after the General Election of November 2, 2010.  On surface, the Session was called (with the approval of incoming Governor Robert Bentley) to enact "Ethics" Reform but the hidden agenda was to kill the reliable "Keeper of the Gate" for Public Education in Alabama, AEA.
This was done by repealing the Dues Check-Off Law of 1983, thus dramatically reducing the ability of the Alabama Education Association to protect and promote public education - its students and the employees who serve them.  Contrary to portrayals by the media, public education enemies and their political allies,  AEA was never Paul Hubbert and Joe Reed.  They were hired hands with good guns who represented their members well and thus public education.
It is rare, Pultzer Prize winner columnist Joey Kennedy and I disagree, disagree with  his criticism of State Rep. Mary Moore (D. Birmingham)  for "bringing a racial motivation" into the discussion regarding the the republican majority legislature's Alabama School Accountability Act (gag).  Commenter Car54 said it best:
Rep. Moore was responding in anger to the realities of this bill. Bottom line is that the bill takes tax money out of the public school system in Alabama (white kids, black kids, Hispanic and other minority kids) and puts the tax money into the private schools in Alabama that are nearly 100% white. "In my book that's a racist policy."
 Blast from the past re-post, A RedEye Rant about whining and complaining
 This is exactly why I didn't want an African American President, I knew if black folks dared complain we would be accused of wanting preferential treatment and be told to stop whining because America is post racial. *Snark*
Today's Must Read
An Apology to Jesse Jackson 
 As much as I hate to admit it, Jackson got it right when he accused Obama of “talking down to Black people.” Everyone, including myself, eviscerated him for making the comment and accused him of being jealous of Obama. How can we forget when Obama spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner a couple years ago and told Blacks to “stop complaining?” Obviously, Jackson saw something in Obama early that the rest of us missed. Now, we are paying the price for it, especially Blacks.
Read On!  Read Often!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

But what if it is hidden racism?

Fist Dap What Would Jack Do
Republicans have been fighting public school integration since before former Governor George C. Wallaces' infamous stand in the school house door.  They are still fighting to keep them there Negroes  and Hispanics out of their schools, today, tomorrow, and probably forever,  if  people of good will continue let them.
 In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist.
My post, The Truth about the ALGOP School Flex Bill, and nothing but the truth , generated the following response  from a member of  Pam's List serve  which I believe illustrates this point.  Emphasis mine with names redacted.
I have a problem with calling a school a failing school. When we say a school is failing, we are saying the teachers are failing, the Principal is failing, the parents are failing,  and the community is failing. If this is the case, any student transferring to a Successful school from a failing school will eventually result into a failing school. Let me say this, I transferred my son and daughter from Xxxxxx High school to  Xxxxxxxxxx High, not to avoid a failing school. The Principal and the teachers at Butler were great teachers. I met them at every PTA meeting.
I transferred my kids from Xxxxx High to remove my kids from the students attending Xxxxx High, not the staff. What was failing at Butler High was the parenting of a majority of the students. I attended school in the 1960's, through some of the worst times for blacks to get an education, but a majority of blacks back then were committed to get an education regardless of racism. 

It is my opinion that today, parenting is failing not only education in the United States, parents are failing their children. It is my opinion, and please don't get angry, that if all the students at a failing school were bussed to a non-failing school, and the students from the non-failing school were bussed to the failing school, leaving all staff at both schools in place, the failing schools would be reversed!

No teacher can educate a student! Teachers provide an educational environment for learning, and they provide the proper instruction. If the parents and students are not committed to an education, it will not happen! Regardless of the racist Republicans and their racist attitudes, if blacks, whites, poor blacks, and poor whites commit themselves to an education, it will happen!

Alabama will always have racist, Alabama will always have Republicans that wish the negro was still cooking in their kitchens and plowing their fields with no hope of wealth or education. What parents today have to do is, regardless of which school their children attend, commit themselves to their children's education, involve themselves in their children's educational endeavors, and commit their children to learn how to read, and write, and to learn arithmetic in grade school. They must commit their children to the joys of learning! 

If a child today can't read in the 8th grade it is not the teachers fault. Parents must stop looking for someone to blame. The blame starts at home. The blame starts at home. When the next PTA meeting occurs, go to one of those failing schools and count the parents attending. I have, and it is a sad sight! I feel sorry for the kids whose parents are failing them. Successful public schools are the result of involved parents. They use the same books, they have the same quality teachers and they are supervised under the same superintendent. In the 18 years my children attended school, never, ever, have I had to say a teacher was poorly educated! Not once!

The difference between my children and others was that there was study time in our home during the week, and With limited TV and play time. I removed my son from the basketball team at Huntsville High because he was too tired from practice to study. Today he is Xx. Xxxxxx (name redacted) with a PhD from Xxxxxx. 

Yes, racism exist, but lets not pull the race card as a trump card so quickly.

My solution: take any failing school and institute a program to get more parental involvement in the children's classwork and homework. Make it a law that some guardian is required at PTA meetings from 1st through 8th grade. Make it a law that if a child is not bringing in homework, a Child Development Agency is notified to visit the child's home.  Do this and watch this failing school turn into a oasis of education and learning!

Racism can only exist where there is fertile soil for it to grow and to flourish!  But even racism can't overcome the personal commitment to get an education!
No!  No!  No! Racism not only exists but is perpetuated because we would rather pretend it doesn't.
 Its long past time for us to redefine racism based not on the intent of the sender but on the experience of the receiver. As someone said during a blog conversation I participated in on this topic long ago...if I accidentally dropped an anvil on your toe, the fact that I didn't mean to doesn't make it hurt any less.
So where is the hidden racism in the response above?  Let's start with this;
I transferred my kids from Xxxxxx High to remove my kids from the students attending Xxxxxx High, not the staff. What was failing at Xxxxxx High was the parenting of a majority of the students.
What proof does the writer have to support this assertion other than  media enabled stereotypes that black parents are not actively involved in their child education?  Are they are dysfunctional  just because they are black?

 Hidden racism #2
It is my opinion that today, parenting is failing not only education in the United States, parents are failing their children. It is my opinion, and please don't get angry, that if all the students at a failing school were bussed to a non-failing school, and the students from the non-failing school were bussed to the failing school, leaving all staff at both schools in place, the failing schools would be reversed!
 It's easy to accuse and blame some anonymous parents than address the real reason Alabama schools are failing. I have a problem with blaming tax payers, because that's what parents are, for the failure of the school system just because they are  convenient scapegoats.   If the ALGOP really cared about students attending failing schools they would try and fix them instead of bankrupting them.

Hidden racism #3
If a child today can't read in the 8th grade it is not the teachers fault. Parents must stop looking for someone to blame. The blame starts at home. When the next PTA meeting occurs, go to one of those failing schools and count the parents attending. I have, and it is a sad sight! I feel sorry for the kids whose parents are failing them. Successful public schools are the result of involved parents. They use the same books, they have the same quality teachers and they are supervised under the same superintendent. In the 18 years my children attended school, never, ever, have I had to say a teacher was poorly educated! Not once!
 Oh, really?  So if a parent sends their child to school every day to learn how to read and their child can't read it's their fault because they don't go to PTA meeting?  I didn't now they trained parents how to teach  at PTA meetings.  I didn't know parents decided to replace text books with IPads and laptops at PTA meetings.  I didn't know parents hired and fired Superintendents/principals/ teachers/ support personnel or granted tenure.   Snark  If parents are going to teach their children everything at home what do we need schools for?  The teachers may not be poorly educated, but what if the parents are?  Should their child also be doomed to a life of ignorance and poverty?

Hidden racism #4

My solution: take any failing school and institute a program to get more parental involvement in the children's classwork and homework. Make it a law that some guardian is required at PTA meetings from 1st through 8th grade. Make it a law that if a child is not bringing in homework, a Child Development Agency is notified to visit the child's home.  Do this and watch this failing school turn into a oasis of education and learning!

The government can't require parents to attend PTA meetings, or home visits by Child Development Agencies because a child is not bringing in homework.  What if parents have to work or have other obligations?  If children aren't turning in their home work teachers should stop assigning it, or make them do it at school.  In my day we had study hall with trained teachers to assist us if necessary.  Students aren't failing classwork, they are failing homework.  Again, if they are going to do all the work at home why do we need schools.  How about the government requiring principals and teachers to make home visits?

Hidden racism #5
Alabama will always have racist, Alabama will always have Republicans that wish the negro was still cooking in their kitchens and plowing their fields with no hope of wealth or education.
 True, but when this point is made by non whites  we are accused of playing the "race card".
In the less critical sense, the phrase is commonly used in two contexts. In the first, and more common context, it alleges that someone has deliberately and falsely accused another person of being a racist in order to gain some sort of advantage.[1] An example of this use of the term occurred during the O. J. Simpson murder trial, when critics accused the defense of "playing the race card"[2] in presenting Mark Fuhrman's past (e.g., his recorded use of the word "nigger" in addition to his being accused of tampering with murder evidence in prior cases, as well as his use of the Fifth Amendment to avoid potential self-incrimination upon questioning) as a reason to draw his credibility as a witness into question.
In the second context, it refers to someone exploiting prejudice against another race for political or some other advantage. The use of the southern strategy by a political candidate is said by some to be a version of playing the race card, such as when former Senator Jesse Helms, during his 1990 North Carolina Senate campaign, ran an ad showing a black man taking a white man's job, intended as a criticism of the idea of racial quotas. The ad was interpreted by many people as trying to play to racist fears among white voters.
Contrary to popular belief, black parents realize the value of an education, and black children want to learn.   Silence helps the oppressor oppress the oppressed.
 The idea that racism lives in the heart of particularly evil individuals, as opposed to the heart of a democratic society, is reinforcing to anyone who might, from time to time, find their tongue sprinting ahead of their discretion.
"It's pretty obvious the Ala-repubs are trying to re-segregate the schools without calling it that."  The question is, are good people going continue to let then get away with it?
There are plenty of valid criticisms to make about last week's hijacking of the legislative process by Republicans to pass the Alabama Accountability Act. Wouldn't take much work, either. But leave it to Moore to get that simple task wrong, too.
Moore, after the Republicans passed the Accountability Act over Democratic and other objections, said this, as reported by's Kim Chandler: "Welcome to the new confederacy where a bunch of white men are now going to take over black schools."
Criticize Republican sleaziness or secrecy or deception or betrayal. But Moore's statement crosses the line, and it was intercepted by Alabama Republican Party senior vice-chairman George Williams, the highest ranking African-American in the state GOP.
"I am astonished at Rep. Moore for making such a racist statement about our leaders in Montgomery," Williams, from Bay Minette, said in a GOP press release. "I am an African-American, Vietnam War Vet, a leader in the Alabama Republican Party, and I support this legislation. Does that mean I am part of the 'new confederacy'?"
No Mister "highest ranking African-American in the state GOP" (who knew?), it means you are part of the problem.
 America lives under the interesting premise that a racist can't be black. That's like believing that a man can't hate his sibling, or that a woman can't advocate for a man to beat his wife (as Whoopi did to Oprah in "The Color Purple"). The truth is that racism is typically most effective when you put a black face on it, and Herman Cain has volunteered to become the cute little political puppet which allows white America to say the things that they are afraid to say.
 The journey is not about labeling the racism "out there." Its about being open to how it has been hard-wired into our own brains. We need not fear exposing it. The only way it is perpetuated is if we pretend its not there.

The hidden racism is eating away at the future of our country.  It's time to call it out and end it once and for all.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Funnies

Sometime you have to laugh to keep from crying.  Get your giggle on.~RedEye
Mike Hubbard

Fist Dap to countrycat at Left in Alabama  for this Laugh out Loud of the week.
WTH?  I know we tend to dismiss some members of the Alabama legislative super-majority as "weasels" (with apologies to the actual weasels among us), but what the heck are these guys wearing on their heads?  Speaker Mike Hubbard is preening about his involvement in the so-called "pro-life rally" today in Montgomery - so much so that we wouldn't be surprised to see him sporting a peacock tail.
But what's UP with the hats & capes?  It's like some kind of reverse skunk outfit.  And that can't possibly be Dan Aykroyd in the middle, but maybe a cousin....

Republican whine of the day.....we lost the 2012 presidential election because of "that one".  "We’re what needs to be fixed in the Republican party? Seriously?"  Oh. OK.

All I'm going to say is the The Talking TeeVee Pundit Heads must think we are insane.  Fist Dap Gorilla Pig via The Platzner Post

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Truth about the ALGOP School Flex Bill and nothing but the truth
National Center for Children in Poverty
Let's get one thing straight about the so called School Flex Bill the ALGOP rammed down the throats of Alabamians once and for all...THE ALGOP DID NOT PASS THIS BILL BECAUSE IT GIVES POOR CHILDREN A CHANCE TO LEAVE FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  You got that?

The ALGOP could care less about poor children having access to a quality public education.  If poor parents think republicans are going to allow poor children from failing schools to transfer into non failing schools, after all they've done to keep their failing donkey's OUT of them....I have a bridge in Selma for sell.

The purpose of this bill is to bankrupt the government school system by giving those who choose to send their students to private schools a tax credit.

I wonder if John Archibald is reading my blog?

It takes power to exercise racism

Justice Anton Scalia
"I don't think there is anything to be gained by any Senator to vote against continuation of this act. And I am fairly confident it will be reenacted in perpetuity unless—unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution... [T]his is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress....Even the name of it is wonderful: The Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?"
Think about this for a second, sitting United States Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia says both of the following statements are true.  If that's not scary I don't know what IS. 
 A major reason why U.S. constitutional law is difficult and American judges are powerful is that the Constitution is not a particularly precise document. The  Ninth Amendment provides that “[t]he enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” but it provides absolutely no guidance whatsoever on what those other rights could be. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from abridging the “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” and it prevents the loss of life, liberty or property “without due process of law.” What are the “privileges or immunities” protected by the Constitution? The Constitution doesn’t say! And the Supreme Court’s answer to this question is  rather ridiculous.
Today's Blast from the Past Must Read -please disregard the typo's in the original post, I am unable to make the corrections because I was banned from site~ RedEye

One  can express their belief the protection of the right to vote for black folks is  racial entitlement all they want, but if they have the power to act on that belief......

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And republicans claim to care about children...

Fist Dap jobsanger
To keep the rich and the corporations from paying a little more in taxes, the Republicans are willing to cut education funding, cut food stamp programs (which cover more than 20% of the children in this country), cut unemployment funds and stop job creation efforts, cut funds to clean our water and air, cut funds for border security, cut funds for health care, etc. (the list is endless of the items that will be cut for ordinary Americans).
But the rich and the corporations will still be able to avoid paying as big a percentage in taxes as most middle class Americans have to pay -- and that's all the Republicans really care about. And one more thing. There is a branch of the federal government that is immune from the cuts -- Congress. The same Congress that cuts funds for hurting Americans will still be getting their full salaries. They have no interest in sharing the suffering they expect from the rest of America.
Today's Must Read because you won't see it on TeeVee
How the Sequester crosses the color line 
(The Root) -- For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Voters have twice elected an African-American president, and Republicans have twice responded with obstinance -- by waging an intellectual civil war. Voter-suppression efforts were insufficient to deliver a Romney victory, but strategically gerrymandered districts guaranteed that Speaker John Boehner and his Republican-dominated House could continue to serve as the proverbial thorn in Obama's side.

 The status quo keep getting rich, the rest keep getting the shaft.

"And they want us to sing God Bless America?"  Oh, OK.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"NRA to African Americans: You'll need guns to protect yourself from the government"

This is a  a photo I snapped on March 4, 2007 of the late civil rights activist Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth being pushed in his wheelchair across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the annual reenactment of the voting rights march in Selma, Alabama by the future President of the United States of America Senator Barack Hussein Obama. Also pictured are former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and civil rights activist Al Sharpton.

When I first read this headline;   NRA to African Americans:  You'll need guns to protect yourself from the government, I scoffed, but as time, rhetoric, and events progressed I thought, if any group has reason to protect itself out of fear of the government it's African Americans.  Para quoting the late Fred Shuttlesworth, it looks like black folks have to fight for the right to breath again.

In an attempt to kill Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, attorneys from Shelby County, Alabama told the U.S. Supreme Court it was not 1965 anymore, and they were right (pun intended), it's 2013, and things didn't get better in Sweet Home Alabama with the election of the first African American President....they got worse. The Simple Minded Savior describes present day Alabama to a T.
 I was born and raised in this God forsaken state and it IS still stuck in the 50's and 60's. It's not a stereotype and why anyone would want to visit here is beyond me. Oh yeah, they can come visit and see what main attraction? The CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM...Some parts of the interstate still have a confederate flag flying high and proud so what's he talking about? And the fact that one of the State Legislators called Black people "ABORIGINES" on tape and it was part of a trial transcript makes no never mind. Yeah, you're right, Alabama has not one racial problem, it's a beacon of hope, a melting pot of sorts for the nation. This State, Alabama, should be held out as the example of how loving a state should be. *sarcasm* If Jesus came back right now and came to an Alabama suburb, he would be labeled a dead beat liberal hippie and crucified a second time.
  Sitting Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia thinks voting rights are a gift the government gave black people.  A gift black folks didn't earn and don't deserve. 
Today was the day that the Republican challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was argued before the Supreme Court. Arguments were fiery, but this particular quote from Justice Scalia was one worthy of Jim Crow. If ever there was a reason to preserve Section 5, Scalia articulated it. Via TPM:
Roberts and Kennedy led the questioning challenging the Voting Right Act. Justice Sonia Sotomayor led the questioning defending it.
Justice Antonin Scalia attributed the continued congressional reauthorization to a perpetual “racial entitlement” and suggested that it will be renewed into “perpetuity” because members of Congress would never let it lapse for fear for political repercussions.
“I don’t think there is anything to gain by any senator by voting against this Act,” Scalia said. “This is not the kind of question you can leave to Congress. They’re going to lose votes if they vote against the Voting Rights Act. Even the name is wonderful.”
Justice Scalia's words undermine the very core of our democracy.   And if that's not scary I don't know what is.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Snowy Saturday Reading List and Week in Review

I guess the media believes if they regurgitate republican talking points over and over again the American people will believe it's the truth instead of a media-driven narrative.  Here's the deal, in a nutshell, Republicans refuse to budge on tax breaks for the rich, President Obama refuses to cut Social Security and Medicare.  And that my friends is all you really need to know.

 Don't forget this is the same media who enabled Bush and Dick to take our troops to war based on DEAD WRONG INTELLIGENCE, and who told us the 2012 presidential election was going to be close.  As a matter of fact, what has the media been right (no pun) about lately? 

There is one thing I will agree with the Talking TeeVee Pundit Heads on, President Obama has no one to blame but himself for this sad, sorry, state of affairs.  Why he didn't believe republicans when they said they wanted him to fail I don't know.  Did he honestly believe the Sequester would be so awful republicans would compromise?  Everybody knows you can't compromise with a Suicide Bomber.  Their mission is to blow you up if they have to blow themselves up in the process...... so be it.

The Republican war on black voters, I mean entitlements, was in full force last week.  Everyone is expecting the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II Supreme Court to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 since it was the only thing that prevented Republicans from stealing the election...again.

Republican hubris mushroomed into Republican arrogance as Alabama republicans invited Alabamians to kiss it this week under the guise they helping poor children flee failing schools.
By using this twilight legerdemain to pass a complex, watershed piece of legislation, Republicans avoided any input from our state's educators, from our state's financial experts and, most important, from we the people.
What an open display of contempt for the public: No need to bother writing your state senator or representative about your thoughts on tax credits to raise money for private schools. They don't need to hear from the likes of you.
Republican legislators disappeared into a cloakroom and practically had their way with us while we didn't even know it.
If Republicans are having their way with us, shouldn't we at least enjoy it?  I mean, really?
“Republicans heralded it as a historic day for education and life-altering for children stuck in poorly performing schools. But tempers boiled over as Democrats called the maneuver “sleaziness” and a “bait and switch.”"
On the other side of the aisle:
Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham, as she was leaving the House chamber threw her hands over her head and shouted, “Welcome to the new confederacy where a bunch of white men are now going to take over black schools.”
Blast from the past re-post.
  I've noticed a renewed interest in WTF did Joe Reed to do you?, which gave me the opportunity to correct some typo's and update some links. The original content is unchanged. Looking back I have to wonder how Left in Alabama feels about Joe Reed now. Their candidate, Artur Davis ,was anti AEA and pro privatizing  public education in Alabama, and he was backed by the business community in and outside of the state.  That's a group with little love for entitlements, I mean,  social programs such as access to quality, affordable health care, equal access to a quality public education, a poor woman's right to choose to have a safe, legal abortion, access to birth control, LBGT rights, and the right to vote, and have that vote count.
 All roads lead to Selma mobilizing to Free Don Siegelman! H/T Sharron via Pam's List

We just found out some different procedures for tomorrow due to Secret Service for the Vice-President.
We will still be distributing shirts and signs, but we will not know for certain exactly where we can set up until we get there in the morning.
So just look for this banner of Gov. Siegelman and that is where we will be.
Some other things to note is EVERYONE will have to go through metal detectors.
The Bridge Crossing will still begin at 1:30. The march from Brown Chapel AME Church to the bridge will begin at 11:00am.
If we understood it correctly, Vice-President will speak at the bridge prior to the crossing at 1:30.
We'll figure it all out, but we will make sure we get these signs and t-shirts distributed to you before 1:30.
 Happy reading!

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Entitlement" Education comes to Sweet Home Alabama

 state board of education logo seal 1.jpg

Again, I have to hand it to Alabama republicans, they are a....cunning bunch with steel gonads.  The red, republican, dominated State Legislature, enabled by the media,  created a weapon of mass distraction introducing a so-called School Flexibility Bill, that was supposed to let school district seek waivers from some policies.
 The House and Senate education committees will take up today a fight over who will control the state's K-12 curriculum and whether Alabama should continue using national curriculum standards known as the common core.
So while the public debate was focused on Common Core, the red republican dominated Alabama legislators were scheming in the back room... then BAM!  Here come Shock and Awe!
MONTGOMERY, Alabama --Republicans in the Alabama Legislature added a sweeping income tax credit and school choice plan to a school flexibility bill in conference committee today.
The surprise move caused a shouting match in the Senate and accusations by Democrats that Republicans were not dealing in good faith on a bill that had been debated for weeks.
In order to....justify this surprise attack on public education Alabama republicans, bless their hearts, claim this bill will provide a viable alternative to families with children stuck in underperforming schools.  Yeah right.

So instead of finding out why the public schools are failing students and taxpayers (funding), and maybe correcting the problem (equity funding), the solution for the Alabama GOP is to abandon them, and take our tax dollars with them.
Families with students in a failing school could receive state income tax credits to offset the cost of transferring to a private or non-failing public school. The credit would be equal to 80 percent of the average annual state cost of attendance for a public K-12 student.
If the red, republican dominated legislators think there are enough private, or non-failing public schools in this state to accommodate all the students who would, if they could transfer, I have a bridge in Selma to sell them.  But that's the point, they know there aren't enough schools to accommodate all students, so they are making it easier for the entitled few to have access to a quality education at the expense of the entitlement crowd.
 There is a common belief among conservatives that welfare programs by their very nature lead to the kind of so-called breakdown of democracy that Scalia finds objectionable in the Voting Rights Act case. Indeed, the most famous articulation of this view was Mitt Romney’s 47 percent remark: “those that are dependent on government and those that think government’s job is to redistribute — I’m not going to get them.” In essence, Romney warned that as the government creates welfare programs, this transforms welfare recipients into a constituency for those programs. And eventually that constituency becomes so large that it is impossible for a lawmaker to repeal those programs, or for people who oppose those programs to get elected.

Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama, where the republican dominated state legislature cares more about what students read instead of if they can read.