Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ain't I a Woman

Err, uh, yes. I am.

Admittedly I infrequently tackle issues of importance to woman. I have my reasons for this, maybe I'll post on them later. But there are somethings concerning women's rights that just gets to me.

Let me put a few things out there (or, skip foward to * and read this):

1 - I hardly believe there's some "ambition gap" between the sexes. Income gap? Sure. Domestic responsibilities gap? You betcha! But "ambition gap?" Please. As the saying goes, "Every woman needs a wife." That includes me.

2 - I know "W" was supposed to stand for "Women for Bush," but right now, "W" pretty much stands for, "Why?" or perhaps even, "What?!" This recent administration has been bad for women. Court appointees. Reproductive rights. Equal pay. Healthcare. Family leave. War. Any issue of which women have some special concern has been given the enemy combatant treatment. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that McCain would be to women's rights what Bush has been to America's civil rights. Similarly, there's not doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will do as much if not more for women than he will for people of color.

3 - I used to be anti-abortion, even through Women Studies 050 - Intro to Women's Studies. I felt abortion was something women did after having been stupid. Then I took Black Women's History and learned about slavewomen's infanticide. Lord knows I would not have been mad had my slavemother killed me. And sometimes, it wasn't infanticed, but the shear dearth of resources that led to an infants death. Even though slaveholders didn't like their money being manipulated by the free-choice of property, they certainly couldn't prove that a baby died because his/her mother killed him/her. That made me think of society's impact on women's decision to have abortions.

Plus, there was the fact that I used to respond to the issue with this: Don't step in mud and expect me to clean it up. It finally dawned on my at some point that a woman's decision to have an abortion had nothing to do with me at all.

4 - Hillary Clinton is not champion or symbol of women's rights. Her campaign was basically about a woman's right to act like a man. And although that argument does have merit, it's just not an argument I find compelling enough to draw any passion. It's much like the actual fact that racial equality is more or less black people's rights to act white. Doesn't exactly do it for me.

That said.

*Now, the Bush administration is trying to pass off some cruddy reasoning as "conscience" for basically restricting a woman's access to contraceptives in an emergency situation, rape for example. Read up on it. A woman who's been raped has a right to contraceptives, and it's not for anyone to make the decision for her. Should she end up pregnant against her will, it amounts to being raped all over again.

What a Joke!

Update: I was just reminded of John McCain's "The American President Americans Have Been Waiting" for ad. Others think McCain's "Celeb" ad plays the race card. And also, since I'm a fan, here's Tim Wise on "the race card." And for the record, I agree with Wise's assessment.

A day after Democratic candidate Barack Obama warned that Republican rival John McCain would to tell voters "he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills," McCain's campaign on Thursday accused Obama of playing racial politics.

Obama "played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement. He called Obama's remarks "divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

Let me say after the last few attack ads from the McCain campaign, Rick Davis is embarrassing himself with this. Now, McCain has practically accused Obama of treason, has said Obama is too inexperienced, has compared him to celebrity airheads, has said Obama would raise taxes on electricity and wanted to import more foreign oil. McCain accused Obama of snubbing the troops and of being an "elitist," whatever that means. McCain challenged Obama to travel around the world, then complained when Obama did. McCain accuses Obama of being wrong on national security, then co-opts Obama's ideas.

So, if I were Rick Davis - and we can't be sure he or McCain, or who for the matter, speaks for the McCain campaign - I'd worry less about the particulars of what negative attacks McCain has made. The fact is, millions of Americans are worried about Obama's blackness and his name, and the Republican news outlet, Fox, is always bringing it up. McCain has flip-flopped over affirmative action, an issue certainly covered in concerns of race. And let's be clear, a lot of McCain criticisms, especially the lack of personal regard and the whole idea of teaching Obama, seem to be coming from a less than "color-blind" place.

The McCain campaign is also arguing that they're just responding tick-for-tack to accusations coming from Obama. Personally, I'd like to see what attacks Obama has made of McCain that are so shallow and untrue as what McCain has been saying about Obama. I'll not hold my breath.
So, quit joking Davis, and run a serious campaign.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Need a Laugh. How About You?

First, we have to address serious issues. Half Of U.S. Cases Of AIDS Are Among Black Americans. That's devastating. We're definitely gonna have to be more aggressive as a community addressing the issue with more compassion as well as being realistic about sexual activity and the responsibility to be safe and tested.

But go to Jack and Jill for that. I just want what one might call a break. So, here's some clips from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report.

LA blocks new fast-food outlets from poor areas

Way to go LA! Now, all it needs is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's signature.

LA blocks new fast-food outlets from poor areas
By CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press July 29, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) - City officials are putting South Los Angeles on a diet. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in an impoverished swath of the city with a proliferation of such eateries and above average rates of obesity.

The yearlong moratorium is intended to give the city time to attract restaurants that serve healthier food. The action, which the mayor must still sign into law, is believed to be the first of its kind by a major city to protect public health.

"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said.

Representatives of fast-food chains said they support the goal of better diets but believe they are being unfairly targeted. They say they already offer healthier food items on their menus.
"It's not where you eat, it's what you eat," said Andrew Pudzer, president and chief executive of CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl's Jr. "We were willing to work with the city on that, but they obviously weren't interested."

The California Restaurant Association and its members will consider a legal challenge to the ordinance, spokesman Andrew Casana said.

Thirty percent of adults in South Los Angeles area are obese, compared to 19.1 percent for the metropolitan area and 14.1 percent for the affluent Westside, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Research has shown that people will change eating habits when different foods are offered, but cost is a key factor in poor communities, said Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

"Cheap, unhealthy food and lack of access to healthy food is a recipe for obesity," Brownell said. "Diets improve when healthy food establishments enter these neighborhoods."

A report by the Community Health Councils found 73 percent of South Los Angeles restaurants were fast food, compared to 42 percent in West Los Angeles.

South Los Angeles resident Curtis English acknowledged that fast food is loaded with calories and cholesterol. But since he's unemployed and does not have a car, it serves as a cheap, convenient staple for him.

On Monday, he ate breakfast and lunch - a sausage burrito and double cheeseburger, respectively - at a McDonald's a few blocks from home for just $2.39.

"I don't think there's too many fast food places," he said. "People like it."

Others welcomed an opportunity to get different kinds of food into their neighborhood.

"They should open more healthy places," Dorothy Meighan said outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. "There's too much fried stuff."

Councilwoman Jan Perry said that view repeatedly surfaced at the five community meetings she held during the past two years. Residents are tired of fast food, and many don't have cars to drive to places with other choices, she said.

Los Angeles' ban comes at a time when governments of all levels are increasingly viewing menus as a matter of public health. On Friday, California became the first state in the nation to bar trans fats, which lower levels of good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol.

The moratorium, which can be extended up to a year, only affects standalone restaurants, not eateries located in malls or strip shopping centers. It defines fast-food restaurants as those that do not offer table service and provide a limited menu of pre-prepared or quickly heated food in disposable wrapping.

The definition exempts "fast-food casual" restaurants such as El Pollo Loco, Subway and Pastagina, which do not have drive-through windows or heat lamps and prepare fresh food to order.

The ordinance also makes it harder for existing fast-food restaurants to expand or remodel.
Rebeca Torres, a South Los Angeles mother of four, said she would welcome more dining choices, even if she had to pay a little more.

"They should have better things for children," she said. "This fast food really fattens them up."
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

About Blame Time!

Sorry I'm late with this. I've been busier than usual.

Though, I'm not the only one coming in a little late. And of course reparations are in order. Maybe the nation can't afford it, say that. But let's not act like reparations aren't order. Originally, racism was the reason reparations weren't paid. Only a handful of the tens of millions of slave received 40 acres and/or a mule. So, if racism's over and you're going to rectify the situation, reparations are in order.

House apologizes for slavery and Jim Crow
Resolution does not mention reparations; commits to rectifying 'misdeeds'

The Associated Press
updated 7:23 p.m. ET, Tues., July. 29, 2008

WASHINGTON - The House on Tuesday issued an unprecedented apology to black Americans for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow segregation laws.

"Today represents a milestone in our nation's efforts to remedy the ills of our past," said Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The resolution, passed by voice vote, was the work of Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, the only white lawmaker to represent a majority black district. Cohen faces a formidable black challenger in a primary face-off next week.

Congress has issued apologies before — to Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II and to native Hawaiians for the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893. In 2005, the Senate apologized for failing to pass anti-lynching laws.

Five states have issued apologies for slavery, but past proposals in Congress have stalled, partly over concerns that an apology would lead to demands for reparations — payment for damages.
No mention of reparationsThe Cohen resolution does not mention reparations. It does commit the House to rectifying "the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African-Americans under slavery and Jim Crow."

It says that Africans forced into slavery "were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage" and that black Americans today continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow laws that fostered discrimination and segregation.

The House "apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow."
"Slavery and Jim Crow are stains upon what is the greatest nation on the face of the earth," Cohen said. Part of forming a more perfect union, he said, "is such a resolution as we have before us today where we face up to our mistakes and apologize as anyone should apologize for things that were done in the past that were wrong."

White lawmaker reaches outCohen became the first white to represent the 60 percent black district in Memphis in more than three decades when he captured a 2006 primary in which a dozen black candidates split the vote. He has sought to reach out to his black constituents, and early in his term showed interest in joining the Congressional Black Caucus until learning that was against caucus rules.

Another of his first acts as a freshman congressman in early 2007 was to introduce the slavery apology resolution. His office said that the House resolution was brought to the floor only after learning that the Senate would be unable to join in a joint resolution.

More than a dozen of the 42 Congressional Black Caucus members in the House were original co-sponsors of the measure. The caucus has not endorsed either Cohen or his chief rival, attorney Nikki Tinker, in the Memphis primary, although Cohen is backed by several senior members, including Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. Tinker is the former campaign manager of Harold Ford, Jr., who held Cohen's seat until he stepped down in an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 2006.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MSN Privacy . Legal© 2008

A Cop Kills an Unarmed Woman Because He Heard Shots?!

Are you kidding me? Really? You hear shots so you shoot at the woman holding a baby? Are you kidding me?!

The jury to hear the case is all white. I hope more facts come out, but it's hard not to jump to conclusions. Cause the first paragraph and title says the cop heard shots. In the story, he saw movement and fired at the second floor of the house after dogs had been released from a bedroom on the first floor. You really need to read the story below.

And whatever you decide, let me remind you that this comes just two days after a white man went into a church, killing 2, wounding 6, over the church's liberal views, and he's still alive! This comes the week after CNN's Black in America special. I wasn't particularly impressed by the special, but Lord! When are we going to have a special on white people, their pathologies - including but not limited to cops killing innocent, unarmed black people with impunity - and privileges - including but not limited to the fact that no white man was to worry that others may see him as another Jim D. Adkisson - White in America?

E-spitting? Naw. I'm just plain old pissed.

Defense: Officer who killed bystander heard shots
By JOHN SEEWER, Associated Press Writer

LIMA, Ohio - A white police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black woman holding her 1-year-old son thought he was being fired upon by a drug dealer when he pulled the trigger, his attorney said Tuesday.

The death of 26-year-old Tarika Wilson set off protests and debate about race relations in this northwest Ohio city, where one in four residents is black.

Sgt. Joseph Chavalia heard gunshots that two fellow SWAT team officers fired at pit bulls released from a first-floor back bedroom by drug dealer Anthony Terry, defense attorney Bill Kluge said during opening arguments in Chavalia's trial.

The dogs were released as Chavalia headed upstairs. He saw movement and fired through stairway railings into a second-story bedroom where Wilson was with six children, said Prosecutor Jeffrey Strausbaugh.

Chavalia has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of negligent homicide and negligent assault. He faces up to eight months in jail if convicted of both counts. An all-white jury was selected Monday with a black woman and a white woman as alternates.

Wilson, Terry's girlfriend, was hit in the neck and chest, Strausbaugh said, and her son, Sincere Wilson, was hit in the shoulder and hand. One of the boy's fingers was later amputated.
Wilson's family has said she was an innocent bystander when officers burst in looking for Terry during the Jan. 4 raid.

Dozens of people accused the police department of being hostile and abusive toward minorities. Many were upset the officer was not charged with more than two misdemeanors.

Kluge blamed Terry for putting his girlfriend in the line of fire and described the scene as chaotic, with other officers also believing they were under fire.

"It's not like they had a couple minutes to come in and decide what to do," Kluge said. "These decisions are made in milliseconds."

Officers were told before the raid that children were likely inside the house, based on sightings of toys outside, Strausbaugh said.

Kluge said the SWAT team announced they were police with search warrants and repeatedly yelled warnings to get down.

"You could hear it down the block," he said.

Terry pleaded guilty in March to charges of drug trafficking.

Monday, July 28, 2008

McCain Tests The Waters Of Race As Campaign Issue

Grrrrrrrrr! I'm so angry, I could e-spit*!! In fact, yes, I'm e-spitting right now! Not just me, either. Field negro is e-spitting, too!

Read the article from Huffington Post. Basically, McCain's in favor of ending affirmative action programs.

I don't know which is worst: McCain stance, McCain's flip-flop, or Ward Connelly deceitful and hurtful campaign.

Again, let me repeat some facts.

1 - Affirmative action works.

2 - It helps white women more than people of color, male or female. And the husbands and children and communities of white women, the overwhelming majority of whom are also white, benefit from white women's being paid more than what they'd earn otherwise and being promoted more than what they would otherwise.

3 - Neither white students nor workers are displaced by affirmative action programs.

4 - It is illegal to hire a person of color or a woman unqualified for the job over a white person or a man.

5 - Discrimination still exists. Affirmative action is still necessary.

6 - Affirmative actions help ensure a meritocracy.

7 - Using "socioeconomic" affirmative action instead of race/gender based affirmative action only aggravates existing racial/gender disparities.

Here're some more facts: The backlash against affirmative actions began as soon as the programs were legislated. The backlash that exists today is as based on ignorance and whites' racial animosity as it was then. African Americans are not the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action; and, the idea that we are is only effective in opposing affirmative action because of the racism that remains today.

And since I'm not in the great of a mood about this, let me point out something else. White America is not in the position, not even objectively, to comment on the necessity of affirmative-action. I'm sure you all would like to pat yourselves on the back for being so "color-blind." At the turn of the 20th century, the South wanted a pat on the back for not returning Negroes back to wholesale slavery even though it openly ignored the civil rights of African Americans, flouting the Constitution, including habeus corpus.

And now that I think of it, what is it with white people and their premature self-congratulatory pats on the back?

*e-spitting is something I just came up with. I'm sure you get the idea.

Please, Help the Johnson Achieve Justice

This young woman was raped, murdered, and her body was burned...

...the Army called it suicide.
To help, please click here to go to

LaVena Johnson was a 19 year old private in the Army, serving in Iraq, when she was raped, murdered, and her body was burned--by someone from her own military base. Despite overwhelming physical evidence, the Army called her death a suicide and has closed the case.1

For three years, LaVena's parents have been fighting for answers. At almost every turn, they've been met with closed doors or lies. They've appealed to Congress, the one body that can hold the military accountable. But, as in other cases where female soldiers have been raped and murdered and the Army has called it suicide, Congress has failed to act.

Will you join Mr. and Mrs. Johnson in calling on Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, to mount a real investigation into LaVena Johnson's death and the Army's cover-up2? Will you ask your friends and family to do the same?

From the beginning, LaVena's death made no sense as a suicide. She was happy and had been talking with friends and family regularly3--nothing indicated she could be suicidal. And when the Johnsons received her body, they noticed signs that she had been beaten.4 That was when they started asking questions.

After two years of being denied answers and hearing explanations that made no sense, the Johnsons received a CD-ROM from someone on the inside. It contained pictures of the crime scene where LaVena died and an autopsy showing that she had suffered bruises, abrasions, a dislocated shoulder, broken teeth, and some type of sexual assault. Her body was partially burned; she had been doused in a flammable liquid, and someone had set her body on fire. A corrosive chemical had been poured in her genital area, perhaps to cover up evidence of rape.5

Still the Army sticks by their story. They refuse to explain the overwhelming physical evidence that LaVena was raped and murdered and continue to claim that she killed herself.

For many Black youth, and working class young people of every race, the military is seen as an option for securing a better future. LaVena came from a deeply supportive family, and while the military wasn't her only option, she was attracted by its promise to help her pay for a college education and the opportunity to travel around the world. She also thought that by joining she could continue her lifelong commitment to serving other people in need. She made a decision to serve in the military, with all its risks, and expected respect and dignity in return.

LaVena's death is part of a disturbing pattern of cases where female soldiers have been raped and killed, and where the military has hidden the truth and labeled the deaths suicides.6,7 In virtually all cases, Congress has been slow to investigate or hold the military accountable in any way. Unfortunately, most families simply don't have the resources, time, and psychological strength to push back.

We can help the Johnsons, and other families, by holding Congress accountable in the LaVena Johnson case and by demanding it investigate the pattern of cover-ups by the military.

Please take a moment to join those calling on Congressman Waxman to investigate the cover-up of LaVena Johnson's death:

Thanks and Peace,

-- James, Gabriel, Clarissa, Andre, Kai, and the rest of the team
July 28th, 2008


1. "The cover-up of a soldier's death?", March 6, 2007

2. "Is There an Army Cover Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?", April 28, 2008

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. "Suicide or Murder? Three Years After the Death of Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq, Her Parents Continue Their Call for a Congressional Investigation," Democracy Now!, June 23, 2008.

6. See reference 2.

7. "2 Years After Soldier's Death, Family's Battle Is With Army," New York Times, March 21, 2006.

Other References:

"Justice for Pfc. LaVena Johnson," DailyKos, June 30, 2008

"Rapists in the Ranks, Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Memo to (Mc)Cain: Obama Is NOT Abel

John McCain's camp is running a sleazy ad about the fact that Barack Obama had to cancel a visit to a military hospital when he was in Germany. I'm not going to show it here, but you can find this video of a Cain campaign ad and another tacky ad in this HuffPo link.

Here's the truth. Obama made plans to see the troops. But, his congressional staff returned to the US before the stops through Europe. A day before Obama was schedule to visit the military hospital, the Pentagon called to raise questions about politicization and whatever, so Obama cancelled the trip. Now, the Pentagon is saying they talked to the Obama campaign but didn't tell them they couldn't visit the military hospital.

But the Pentagon works for the same administration whose embassy in Germany forbade members of the foreign service to attend Obama's speech in Berlin. So, we know its higher ups aren't on the up and up, as it were.

To really get the feeling for how shady McCain is being, you gotta check out Huffington Post's converage. I'll give you a few quotes.

"When viewed alongside the 900 days that elapsed between visits to Iraq, and his symbolic vote against one round of funding for the war, the McCain camp now hopes the canceled visit in Germany provides a three-act structure to their dramatic imagining of a conflict between Obama and the troops.

Of course, in one particular aspect, McCain's playwrights have resorted to wholesale fiction in order to craft their narrative. However complicated the issue of Obama's canceled troop visit has become, no one -- not the campaign, and not the Pentagon -- has cited a prohibition on "bring[ing] cameras" along with Obama as a reason for the trip's scuttling.

In another distortion that could be viewed as funny were it no so manipulative, McCain's video editor selected footage of Obama sinking a three-point shot to represent time spent at the gym instead of with troops. Of course, that footage was taken in Kuwait, not Germany, at an event for ... troops."

They even quote Cain himself.

""How can we possibly find honor in using the fate of our servicemen to score political advantage in Washington? There is no pride to be had in such efforts. We are at war, a hard and challenging war, and we do no service for the best of us-those who fight and risk all on our behalf-by playing politics with their service."

In June, McCain apologized for using the image of Gen. David Petraeus in a political mailer, saying that politicization of the military would "not happen again" in his campaign.""

Just so you don't forget, HuffPo also has the two disreputable videos of Cain's.

Black Soldiers Get Apology for WWII Convictions

I will look into this to see if there's more information about what happened. - No1KState

Black soldiers get apology for WWII convictions

SEATTLE -- The Army formally apologized Saturday for the wrongful conviction of 28 black soldiers accused of rioting and lynching an Italian prisoner of war in Seattle more than six decades ago.

"We had not done right by these soldiers," Ronald James, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, said Saturday. "The Army is genuinely sorry. I am genuinely sorry."

Relatives of the soldiers joined elected officials, military officers and one of the defense lawyers to hear James give the apology before hundreds of people in a meadow near the old Fort Lawton parade grounds and chapel in Discovery Park.

In addition, the soldiers' convictions were set aside, their dishonorable discharges were changed to honorable discharges and they and their survivors were awarded back pay for their time in the brig.

All but two of the soldiers are dead. One, Samuel Snow of Leesburg, Fla., planned to attend the ceremony but wound up in the hospital instead because of a problem with his pacemaker.

The convictions were overturned in October at the prodding of Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, largely based on the book "On American Soil" published in 2005 by Jack Hamann, a CNN and PBS journalist, and his wife Leslie about the riot on the night of Aug. 14, 1944, and subsequent events at Fort Lawton.

Dozens were injured in the melee that started with a scuffle between an Italian prisoner of war and a black soldier from the segregated barracks near the POW housing. A POW, Guglielmo Olivotto, was found hanged at the bottom of a bluff the next day.

The Army prosecutor was Leon Jaworski, who went on to become special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s.

Forty-three black soldiers were charged with rioting and three also were charged with murder. Two defense lawyers were assigned to the case and given two weeks to prepare without ever being shown an Army investigation criticizing the way the riot was handled.

Hamann also wrote that at least two soldiers were threatened with lynching by Army detectives. When one witness said a "Booker T." was present at the riot but couldn't give any more detail, the Army charged two men by that name. Another was charged with rioting although white, black and Italian POW witnesses all said he tried to quell the disturbance.

In the ensuing trial 28 men were convicted.

One of those attending the ceremony Saturday, Arthur Prevost of Houston, said his father Willie, one of the convicted soldiers, never talked about what had happened.

"I think he was embarrassed," Prevost said. "I wished he had told us."

Snow's son, Ray Snow, told the gathering his father felt no animosity for the long-ago injustice.

"He was so honored" by the tribute, Ray Snow said. "We salute you for remembering a travesty that took place."


Information from: Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why Racism Is a Problem for White Folks

Here's the thing.

Racism keeps black people out of the economic mainstream. I know the new line for some white feminists is that sexism is the most pervasive form of oppression. That's just not true. Not simply because a battle of oppressions is never wise and the only ones who wins these battles are the oppressors. But because it overlooks reality.

Black men make less than white women. Black women make less than them both.

Now, politically, white males have been supporting conservatives since prior to the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the mid1960s. And while they try to deny their racism and sexism in voting for Republicans, that's basically the reason they're voting for "lower taxes" and "smaller government." They're voting against social programs and affirmative action because they don't want to spend their precious tax dollars on lazy "welfare queens" and they don't want men of color or women of any race competing equally in the labor market.

So what have lower taxes and smaller government done for white men? Well, they have prevented affirmative action and social programs from being as effective as they could be. Score one for John P Redneck. But lower taxes and smaller government have also kept the government from looking out for all but the wealthiest few. So take two points away from John P Redneck. His racism and sexism has put us all in danger.

Wondering why the government took so long to get a handle on the recent salmonella outbreak? Lower taxes and smaller government, Idiot.

John McCan't

Full disclosure, I first saw this video on But, I wanted it on my blog for easy referencing.

Michelle Obama Is Blogging!

I discovered the news at But, here she is. From now own, you can look for her at or in my sidebar.

Let's Talk
by Michelle Obama

Hi everybody,

I’m excited to be posting on BlogHer. Not only because blogging is something I’ve actually been able to beat my daughters to; but because it gives me the opportunity to tell you a little bit about them, my husband, myself, and our experiences traveling all over this great country.

Over the course of this campaign, I’ve been hosting roundtable discussions with working women all across America. I’m there to talk about my husband, of course – but more importantly, I’m there to listen. We talk about what it’s like to play multiple roles at once and what it’s like to feel stretched thin between the demands of a career and family.

And of course, we talk about our children. How they’re the first thing we think about when we wake up in the morning, and the last thing we think about when we go to bed at night. I know that no matter where I am – work, the campaign trail, wherever – my girls are always on my mind.

to finish reading, click here

Friday, July 25, 2008

What the . . . Er, Heaven?!

After enough time had passed for McCain to criticize Obama for not visiting the troops in Germany, the Pentagon admits to some "concern."

Chief Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed to Politico that Department of
Defense officials cautioned Barack Obama's campaign that his planned visit to wounded American troops in Germany could not be political in nature and that he would be barred from bringing along campaign staff and reporters. He also said that Cindy McCain recently requested to visit sailors aboard the U.S.N.S. Comfort and was denied.

And let's remember, Obama visited the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

McBush is coming across as sickeningly egregious. And to display my womanist sentiments, remember my complaining about Clinton's cackle? Well, McBush's chuckle/wheeze and that elderly-Joker-like smile is disgusting.

Here's McCain Getting It Wrong (Updated)

- and by the way McCain, we ain't friends!

Courtesy It gets really interested about 2 minutes in.

And lets all remember, the point of the surge was not just stabilization in and of itself. The point was to stabilize Baghdad so that the Iraqi government could make necessary political progress across religious and ethnic lines. That hasn't taken place to the degree that I would consider "successful." So, Katie Couric's being a little misleading there.

Also, the "surge" is not an overall strategy that included sending more troops. The "surge" was sending in more troops. They called it the "surge" to stop the media from calling it an escalation in troops. So, McCain being wrong and disingenuous.

Update: Read Bob Herbert's take.

This Is Our Moment

Here's a video of Barack Obama's Berlin speech in its entirety.

But, of course, I gotta preface it with some of that special MHCTG love!
  • McCain and McCain supporters, quit crying! Didn't you want Obama to get more "world" experience?
  • Other so-called patriots, the USA isn't that great. You get pissy when people complain about the country abroad. You get pissy when people complain here. Get over it.
  • McCain, you toured South America. You gave a speech in Canada. If you were really into waiting until you were president to speech to people in other countries, you wouldn't have given that speech in Canada. And Joe Watkins tried to explain why you're so incredulous - the difference was that Obama was overseas not just in another country. But we all know the truth - you're jealous. You can't get anybody to listen to you over here, much less anywhere else. -And oh. Sorry about the fact that two oil carriers ships collided and spilled oil in the Mississippi, thus ruining your plans to push more offshore drilling. (snicker, snicker) By the by, are you still in favor of offshore drilling today? (Hold strong, Democrats!)
  • Lastly, Mac. I'll give you some advice. STOP TALKING ABOUT THE SURGE. You're confusing yourself and anyone else who's listening. And I guess that's really what you're banking out, right? That no one's listening. Well, I can't hate. Seems like that plan is working.

Now, some of the more saber-rattling parts I didn't care for. But, it wasn't half bad.

And now, the man of the hour . . .

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AP IMPACT: After 60 years, black officers rare

Full disclosure, I spotted this on Big ups, P6, ptc, rik, ub, and quaker! Hollatchagirl!

But, seriously. Flabbergasted, I think, is the word I'm looking for. When I first saw P6's post, I didn't pay it that much attention. But now that I've read the article, this is sad. People are gonna have to stop deluding themselves about the equality, or lack thereof, of opportunity in this country, including, sadly, even the armed forces. Can brothas and sistas not catch a break in this country even when they're willing to catch a bullet? That's, er, not right.

AP IMPACT: After 60 years, black officers rare
By Lolita C. Baldor
Associated Press Writer / July 23, 2008

WASHINGTON—Blacks have made great strides in the military since it was integrated 60 years ago, but they still struggle to gain a foothold in the higher ranks, where less than 6 percent of U.S. general officers are African-American.

click here to read more

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gook: John McCain's Racism and Why It Matters

Okay. First of all, the word gook isn't as well known as nigger. I mean, it sounds like one of those words you don't say in public, like mukaka, but. And, I get the guy's point. But the difference he's raising doesn't come to the difference in America's concern; but, rather, what's popularly known. At any rate, you really need to check this out. The video's below.

I just wanna point this out as well. I didn't want to publish a link to McCain's campaign website, so the link takes you to Huffington Post instead. Apparently, America only cares about genocide when corporate interests like oil are at stake, WWII notwithstanding. We didn't get into that war for the Jewish people. And, as anyone can see, we're not in Darfar or Congo, either.

Now Comes the Attacks on Voting Rights

Getting into people's privacy wasn't enough for the Bush administration. Now, they're showing Congress up when it comes to voting rights. And, of course, minority, elderly, and poor voters are the ones who are prevented from voting. And that's how you get presidents like W.

Justice called uncooperative on voting rights
Conyers to Mukasey: There hasn't been enough cooperation with Congress

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Man! What the . . .

Yeah. I won't finish my thought, but you get my drift.

I never thought this nation treated its poor citizens all that great. Especially since everytime the economy goes bad, Republicans all wanna cut "entitlement" programs. But this is just stupid.

Probation Profiteers
In Georgia's outsourced justice system, a traffic ticket can land you deep in the hole.

Celia Perry
July 21 , 2008

Welcome to Americus, Georgia. Located 10 miles east of the peanut farm where Jimmy Carter was raised, the town has a charming city center with broad streets, a diner that still sells hot dogs for 95 cents, a Confederate flag that flies conspicuously on the outskirts of town, railroad tracks that divide white and black neighborhoods, chain gangs that labor along the roadways, and, on South Lee Street, right across from the courthouse, its very own private probation office. Middle Georgia Community Probation Services is one of 37 companies to whom local governments have outsourced the supervision of misdemeanor and traffic offenders. It's been billed as a way to save millions of dollars for Georgia and at least nine other states where private probation is used. But to its critics, the system looks more like a way to milk scarce dollars from the poorest of the poor.

Here's how it works: If you have enough money to pay your fine the day you go to court for, say, a speeding ticket, you can usually avoid probation. But those who can't scrape up a few hundred dollars—and nearly 28 percent of Americus residents live below the poverty line—must pay their fine, as well as at least $35 in monthly supervision fees to a private company, in weekly or biweekly installments over a period of three months to a year. By the time their term is over, they may have paid more than twice what the judge ordered.

In his courtroom, which doubles as the Americus City Council's chambers, Judge J. Michael Greene issues a rehearsed warning about these additional charges, though he doesn't point out that they go to a private company; instead, he compares them to "taxes we all pay at the grocery store." When I was there in April, he admonished the African American defendants before him, "Don't fuss at the court clerks. If you do, you are going to jail. They have no more power over it than the nice lady at the checkout counter."

Carla, a 25-year-old single mother who lives in public housing, has been on probation for more than three years. "I never see myself getting off of it," she told me. "I could get off of it this year if they let the fines stay what they is and don't increase them. But every week and every month, they go up."

Carla's current case is a traffic violation, issued after she rolled through two stop signs. Judge Greene placed her on probation and ordered her to pay a $200 fine plus Middle Georgia's supervision fees. In January, she prematurely gave birth to her second child. The staples from her cesarean ripped, and she was placed on bed rest. "I couldn't even take my baby to the doctor," she says. Carla called her probation officer every Tuesday trying to report. "After a while I received a letter saying I ain't reporting or calling or doing nothing I was supposed to do. And she issued a warrant." One letter she got from Middle Georgia read, "Probation is a priviledge [sic] not a right. Probation did not levy a fine—the courts did." She was, the letter said, $245 behind. Two months later, thanks to various penalties, that amount had shot up to $525, and her total remaining balance was $690, more than three times the original fine.

By the time I met Carla, her sister had helped her get a minimum-wage job at the local dollar store. But she'd stopped contacting Middle Georgia because she feared going to jail (and losing her kids) if she showed her face. Her friend Erica, who also has a warrant out because of probation fees, told me she worries every time she goes outside. "You be scared to walk to your mailbox, because that's what the law do—they ride around and try to find you. You're scared to look for a job. But unless you get a job you can't pay your fine. So either way, you're just stuck."

No one at Middle Georgia returned my calls, so I stopped by the company's Americus office; there, I watched a female probation officer instruct a toothless man about the additional fees he needed to pay for improperly storing scrap tires at his auto shop. "Y'all know this ain't right," he shouted. "You railroading me!" Eventually, another Middle Georgia employee noticed me. I told her I was a reporter. "We don't talk to reporters," she said coolly.

Middle Georgia, along with the rest of the state's private probation industry, owes much of its business to Bobby Whitworth, who was Georgia's commissioner of corrections until 1993, when a sex-abuse scandal involving female inmates forced him out. Gov. Zell Miller promptly reassigned him to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, which positioned him nicely for a side job consulting with a private probation company called Detention Management Services. Three years later, in December 2003, a jury found Whitworth guilty of public corruption for accepting $75,000 from the company to draft and lobby for legislation that dramatically expanded the role of private probation companies. Whitworth was sent to prison for six months, but the law remains on the books, and the private probation industry—led by Georgia's two most powerful Republican lobbyists—has lobbied to be given felony cases as well. That plan has run into opposition from law enforcement: One sheriff told lawmakers last year that among his peers, private probation was seen mostly "as a moneymaking fee-collection service." Another said there is generally "not a lot of emphasis on supervision as much as there is on collection."

Lawrence Holt, a thin, 24-year-old African American man, is a supervisor at a mattress factory in Americus. He's held the job for three years, but lives in the projects and, like every member of his family before him, hits the bottle hard. He's been on probation since November, because of an arrest for driving under the influence a few days after his brother died of diabetes. By April, he had paid his original $600 fine, but had $645 to go to cover Middle Georgia's fees. He told me he wouldn't mind paying if his probation officer would only help him get treatment. "I throw up blood," he said. "I just can't stop drinking because I got so many problems in my head. I have asked, 'Can y'all find somebody to help me with my alcohol problem?' 'Sir, we can't do that. We don't do that.'"

"These are not cold, hardened criminals," local naacp chapter president Matt Wright, a 57-year-old caterer, told me. "These are just people struggling, trying to make it. The probation officers know it's hard for a poor person to come up with that money. They trick 'em into getting back in the system. They go back before the judge and the judge fines them again, puts them on probation again. And the cycle repeats itself."

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Am a Big Tim Wise Fan

The man knows his stuff. His style can be edgy. He's good.

He kind of has the cadence of a black preacher, so it's a bit dissonant to hear Sunday morning coming from a white guy. He's good.

Pretty Sure This Isn't Montgomery, Alabama

Or, 1964.

And a hint for anyone seeking domestic work - don't live in the home with your employers. I'm sure it looks like phone on TV; but historically, it has only led to sexual assualt and harrassment and even rape, being "on-call" 24/7, losing a sense of control over one's destiny, etc, etc.

Shared Struggle Led Women to Political Action
Domestic Workers Spurred Montgomery Protections

By Katherine ShaverWashington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 21, 2008; A01

Most Sundays for the past six years, about 25 live-in nannies and housekeepers from across the Washington area have gathered in Silver Spring to share stories of mandatory six-day workweeks, 14-hour days and salaries that amount to as little as $1 an hour.

Calling themselves the Committee of Women Seeking Justice, they gather in a circle and commiserate in English, Spanish, Hindi and French. Among the topics: no sick days, little overtime pay, feeling "on call" at all hours and sleeping on basement floors. Several have shared stories of having been kept as modern-day slaves, organizers said, rarely allowed out of the house and never seeing a cent.

Some are so worried their bosses will find out about the meetings that organizers use code -- "Come to my nephew's christening" or "Come to my niece's birthday party" -- when calling their employers' homes.

Click here to read more.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Black. Female. Accomplished. Attacked.

I only disagree with the comment about the hip-hop industry. The stereotype of the sexually deviant black woman has been around for the last 4-5 centuries. The name Saartjie "Sarah" Baartman comes to mind - or at least it did after some googling.

Black. Female. Accomplished. Attacked.

By Sophia A. Nelson
Sunday, July 20, 2008; B01

There she is -- no, not Miss America, but the Angela-Davis-Afro-wearing, machine-gun-toting, angry, unpatriotic Michelle Obama, greeting her husband with a fist bump instead of a kiss on the cheek.

It was supposed to be satire, but the caricature of Barack Obama and his wife that appeared on the cover of the New Yorker last week rightly caused a major flap. And among black professional women like me and many of my sisters in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, who happened to be gathered last week in Washington for our 100th anniversary celebration, the mischaracterization of Michelle hit the rawest of nerves.

Welcome to our world.

We've watched with a mixture of pride and trepidation as the wife of the first serious African American presidential contender has weathered recent campaign travails -- being called unpatriotic for a single offhand remark, dubbed a black radical because of something she wrote more than 20 years ago and plastered with the crowning stereotype: "angry black woman." And then being forced to undergo a politically mandated "makeover" to soften her image and make her more palatable to mainstream America.

Sad to say, but what Obama has undergone, though it's on a national stage and on a much more prominent scale, is nothing new to professional African American women. We endure this type of labeling all the time. We're endlessly familiar with the problem Michelle Obama is confronting -- being looked at, as black women, through a different lens from our white counterparts, who are portrayed as kinder, gentler souls who somehow deserve to be loved and valued more than we do. So many of us are hoping that Michelle -- as an elegant and elusive combination of successful career woman, supportive wife and loving mother -- can change that.

"Ain't I a woman?" Sojourner Truth famously asked 157 years ago. Her ringing question, demanding why black women weren't accorded the same privileges as their white counterparts, still sums up the African American woman's dilemma today: How are we viewed as women, and where do we fit into American life?

"Thanks to the hip-hop industry," one prominent black female journalist recently said to me, all black women are "deemed 'sexually promiscuous video vixens' not worthy of consideration. If other black women speak up, we're considered angry black women who complain. This society can't even see a woman like Michelle Obama. All it sees is a black woman and attaches stereotypes."

Black women have been mischaracterized and stereotyped since the days of slavery and minstrel shows. In more recent times, they've been portrayed onscreen and in popular culture as either sexually available bed wenches in such shows as the 2000 docudrama "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal," ignorant and foolish servants such as Prissy from "Gone With the Wind" or ever-smiling housekeepers, workhorses who never complain and never tire, like the popular figure of Aunt Jemima.

Even in the 21st century, black women are still bombarded with media and Internet images that portray us as loud, aggressive, violent and often grossly obese and unattractive. Think of the movies "Norbit" or "Big Momma's House," or of the only two black female characters in "Enchanted," an overweight, aggressive traffic cop and an angry divorcée amid all the white princesses.

On the other hand, when was the last time you saw a smart, accomplished black professional woman portrayed on mainstream television or in the movies? If Claire Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" comes to mind, remember that she left the scene 16 years ago.

The reality is that in just a generation, many black women -- who were mostly domestics, schoolteachers or nurses in the post-slavery Jim Crow era -- have become astronauts, corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, engineers and PhDs. You name it, and black women have achieved it. The most popular woman on daytime television is Oprah Winfrey. Condoleezza Rice is secretary of state.

And yet my generation of African American women -- we're called, in fact, the Claire Huxtable generation -- hasn't managed to become successfully integrated into American popular culture. We're still looking for respect in the workplace, where, more than anything else, black women feel invisible. It's a term that comes up again and again. "In my profession, white men mentor young whites on how to succeed," a financial executive told me, but "they're either indifferent to or dogmatically document the mistakes black women make. Their indifference is the worst, because it means we're invisible."

As someone who recently left a large law firm to work in the corporate sector, I have to agree. I liked my firm, but I always felt that I had to sink or swim on my own. I didn't get the kind of mentoring that I saw white colleagues, male and female, getting all around me. The firm was actually one of the better ones when it came to diversity, and yet of 600 partners, only five were black women.

A 2007 American Bar Association report titled "Visible Invisibility" describes how black women in the legal profession face the "double burden" of being both black and female, meaning that they enjoy none of the advantages that black men gain from being male, or that white women gain from being white.

Invisibility isn't the only problem. I run an organization dedicated to supporting African American professional women and often run empowerment workshops at various conferences. At a recent such workshop, I asked the participants to list some words that would describe how they believe they're viewed in the workplace and the culture at large. These are the kinds of words that came back: "loud," "angry," "intimidating," "mean," "opinionated," "aggressive," "hard." All painful words. Yet asked to describe themselves, the same women offered gentler terms: "strong," "loving," "dependable," "compassionate."

Where does the disconnect come from? Possibly from the way black women have been forced into roles of strength for decades. "Black women are the original multitaskers of necessity," says one nonprofit executive. "We've perfected it because we've been doing it for so long. But people don't appreciate the skill it requires, and they don't recognize the toll it takes on us as human beings."

For all our success in the professional world, we have paid a significant price in our private and emotional lives. A life of preordained singleness (by chance, not by choice) is fast becoming the plight of alarming numbers of professional black women in America. The fact is that the more money and education a black woman has, the less likely she is to marry and have a family.
Consider these stunning statistics: As of 2007, according to the New York Times, 70 percent of professional black women were unmarried. Black women are five times more likely than white women to be single at age 40. In 2003, Newsweek reported that there are more black women than black men (24 percent to 17 percent) in the professional-managerial class. According to Department of Education statistics cited by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, black women earn 67 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded to blacks, as well as 71 percent of all master's degrees and 65 percent of all doctoral degrees.

With all the challenges facing professional black women today, we hope that Michelle Obama will defy the negative stereotypes about us. And that, now that a strong professional black woman is center stage, she'll bring to light what we already know: that an accomplished black woman can be a loyal and supportive wife and a good mother and still fulfill her own dreams. The fact that her husband clearly adores Michelle is both refreshing and reassuring to many of us who long to find a good man who will love and appreciate us.

Recently, a friend who's a married professional mother of three girls wrote to me: "I think one of the most interesting things about Michelle Obama is that what she and her husband are doing is pretty revolutionary these days -- and I don't mean running for president. For a black man and woman in the U.S. to be happily married, with children, and working as partners to build a life -- let alone a life of service to others -- all while rearing their children together is downright revolutionary."

It's how so many black professional women feel. And our hope is that if Michelle Obama becomes first lady, the revolution will come to us at last.
Sophia A. Nelson is a corporate attorney and president of iask, Inc., an organization for African American professional women.

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me

I keep myself informed. I read books, news articles, opinion pieces. Occasionally I check out George Mason University's History News Network. Sometimes there're good pieces. Other times, there's this: How Obama Might Change the Politics of Race in Unexpected Ways by James C. Cobb, history professor and author.

It's another one of those pieces that essentially argue, "with a black person in the Oval Office it might be more difficult than ever to blame these clouds on whites."

Of course, that's just plain ole false. As is the assertion that African Americans debated whether or not Obama is "black enough." It's as false as the "gospel according to a certain Mr. Cosby."

Here's the thing. There're probably millions of black voters who are upset with Obama's "personal responsibility" speeches that aren't intended for us at all. He mentioned his intention to continue focusing on personal responsibility in his speech at the NAACP's "Youth Night"; but in the speech, he talked more forcefully about structural and institutional racism that creates barriers for African Americans. Unfortunately, the MSM missed the part. Which, isn't surprising. Mainstream America often only hears what it wants.

The problem with Prof. Cobb's assessment is that it's the same assessment made after Counter Reconstruction. The argument that racism didn't hold former slaves and their descendants back, it was: their unfamiliarity with freedom; their inferior morality and intelligence. Sound familiar? Booker T Washington played Bill Cosby's roll then, arguing that black only had to concentrate on personal responsibility and economic education, and the future would be theirs. It was a lie then. It's a lie now. White America has been saying for over a century that racism isn't as bad as African Americans make it out to be. When are we finally gonna stop acting like that may be true. Since when did anyone trust those privileged by an unjust system to really call the system what it is? So why do we trust white America's assessment now?

If Obama success signaled a death nail for America's original sin, he wouldn't be roundly praised by white corporate media outlets for repeating to African Americans something we hear every Sunday as though he was saying something black folks just don't say to ourselves. If his success were anything for white America to hail, the dap his wife Michelle gave him wouldn't have made national news. He wouldn't have to beat back lies about his religion and true intentions. Michelle wouldn't face questions about her patriotism. Faux News wouldn't describe Michelle as Obama's "baby mama" then wonder why so many black women are "angry."

Let's just suffice it to say if racism wasn't an issue that Obama's facing during this election, much less something everyday African Americans face daily, he could be "black enough" without worrying about how many votes it would cost him. I'm going to write a post on this soon, but let me just say here that the politics of grievance will only be over when the grievance stops. It continues.

The truest thing Prof. Cobb says is, "If the Democrats manage to win in November, however, the full potential of their victory will be realized only if they can walk the fine line between celebrating a truly momentous achievement as an emotional springboard toward other such accomplishments and allowing that celebration to degenerate into an orgy of self-congratulation that has precisely the opposite effect."

But let's remember, the aim of the Civil Rights Movement and many black activists today isn't just to put black and brown faces in places of high position in the same ole Euro-centric, white privileged system. The goal was and is to radically change the system to end all kinds of injustice, race and gender as well as economic injustice.

Cause Lord I 'clare, the more things change, the more the stay the same.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nigga, Please!

Since word has gotten out that the Rev. Jesse Jackson not only verbalized his wish to emasculate Senator Barack Obama but also used the n-word, there's been a big to-do about who can and who can't use the n-word. I'm going to make my point about who can and can't use the word, and you should be able to follow.

First off, no, white people rarely if ever have a good reason to use the word. I don't care if you're singing along to your favorite rap artist. It's a no-no. If you wanna use it in the privacy of your own home and/or car, help yourself. No one can stop you. Otherwise, you cannot use the word. Period. Exclamation point.

And I hear you crying "Wah, wah! It's not fair, no1kstate! It's not fair that I can't use the word just because of the color of my skin." Wah, wah, wah! Take it to your founding fathers. The history behind the word makes it impossible for white people to use it in an "okay" manner. That's just the truth. Your cries of double standard are accurate but futile. Of course there's a double standard. African Americans aren't the ones who used the n-word to subjugate and dehumanize an entire race of people. So what if you don't like it?

But if that's still disagreeable to you, let me put it to you like this. I'm sure you have siblings and/or cousins you tease but will protect from being teased by anyone else? The same idea of a family dynamic is also at work.

Here's my other point, Rev. Jackson notwithstanding, black people don't go around all the time calling each other "nigga." Most African Americans probably don't even use the word. Those who do use it in private, just like I'm telling white people to use it if they must.

So what's the hoopla really about? I'll tell you. It's about the fact that white Americans are so privileged that the notion that they can't use a word, and especially because they're white, just doesn't sit well. In our homes and neighborhoods, a good number of African Americans do speak Ebonic, which some linguist suggest is a language apart from English. But we can't speak Ebonic in the public sphere, otherwise we'll be assumed not as smart as others. Even though Ebonic offers a superior way of using verbs to express precisely what a person is doing and when. Even though mainstream American routinely takes and steals from Ebonic those phrases and terms it likes and rejects the rest as inferior. Even though it seems to me that if you can't tell the difference between, "She (is) talking" and, "She be talking," the lack of intellect would seem to be on your part, not the speaker's.

And you're crying about a single word that most black folk don't use anyway?

So, who uses this n-word so pervasively? Well, it's the "low class" of our community who use the word most often. Our "low class" is equivalent to white America's "white trash" - the term cuts across economic groups. And even though they use the word publicly, this "public" space is usually all-black, which lends itself to a sense of privacy. Meaning a good number of "low class" blacks know not to use it in the presence of other ethnic groups. Mostly because these other ethnic groups will want to use it, too.

Yes, rappers use it. But they mostly use it to sell albums, 80% of which are purchased by white boys, or rather, young white males. (And I won't even get into why white teenage boys are drawn to rap.) They use it in the same way network TV uses violence and sex. Watching CSI: doesn't giving you license to kill. Listening to rap (as opposed to hip hop) doesn't give you license to use the n-word.

Morevoer the debate itself is based on a false premise: the notion that African Americans use the n-word on an hourly basis. Like I said, most black people don't use the word. Our "low class" members use the word. Our teenage children in certain economically depressed neighborhoods use the word. The community at large doesn't use the word. The notion that it's okay when a black person uses the word is mostly myth. Most black adults will chastise most black children for using the word. And with the exception of rappers, black folks don't use the word in earshot of white people.

So, this myth is based upon the actions of a relative few, and the "lowest" few at that. That's racist in and of itself. Do you know of any other group whose popularly known culture is defined by its adolescent males? And by "popular," I mean widely accepted as "truth"; not "popular" as it Justin Timberlake. With the possible exception of Latinos, every other group's popular culture is defined by its adult males. (Yes, that does highlight pervasive sexism as well as racism.) And not the worst of its adult males, but the best. I mean, do you know of anyone who's swearing never again to vote a white man for president because W Bush has been such a disaster? No. Millions won't vote for McCain because he supports many of Bush's policies, not because he's a white male and Bush has ruined it for all white men. What white man has been denied opportunity because of Rush Limbaugh or Bill Bennet or Pat Buchanan, one of which has a drug problem, all of which are demonstrably racist and well employed?

In essense, this argument boils down to a Buchanan type wanting to same "privileges" as the rappers he so decries. Ironic, isn't it?

So, no, random white person, you don't get to use the n-word. And rest assured, I don't, either.

The whole ordeal is Fox's shameful way of attacking and undermining Rev. Jackson's truthtelling, however an imperfect vessel he may be.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Obama Has Not Changed Positions!!

And I'm tired of hearing the allegation that he has. Watching a conservative guest host of "Hardball with Chris Matthews" took me to the top. Hearing some reference to Obama's perceived move to the middle on CNN has put me over the top.

So, lets look at Obama's record, or at least what I already knew about him, on the four major issues of the last couple of weeks.

FISA: Obama's hedged support of the House bill doesn't signal a move to the center. He talked about compromise during the entire primary. The bill solves one major problem by re-legitimizing the FISA court, and it only grants immunity in the case of private lawsuits against telecoms. There's nothing to prevent an Obama administration from taking it to the telecoms. I'm not happy with the bill. I want Obama to push to stop any immunity at all from being granted to telecoms. But if Obama votes for the bill as is, it doesn't signal a change on his part.

-As an aside, I do like the idea that his own supporters have started a group on his campaign's website to contest the senator's decision. And I always expected such pushback from the public to be necessary for an Obama administration to work out the way so many have hoped.

Gun control laws: Obama always read the 2nd amendment as granting individuals' rights while maintaining the individual's right wasn't absolute. His support for the recent Supreme Court decision doesn't surprise me and is not a "flip flop" from his previous positions. Moreover, neither he nor the Supreme Court suggested DC can't go back to the drawing board and come up with restrictions within Constitutional limits.

Expansion of the death penalty: He disagrees with the court on child rape not being a capital crime. So, what? One thing we know is that the person who is caught raping a child has probably and will probably rape more. Some of these children will became sexual predators as they grow up. something that might have happened to the rapist.

Now, some progressives criticize Obama because they see him as wanting to expand the death penalty. This is particularly discouraging for many because they know he knows the death penalty as it stands is problematic, with disparities based on race of the defendant, race of the victim, etc and so on. But here's the thing. Obama, unlike many progressives, was never against the death penalty wholesale. So this "expansion" doesn't appear unObama-like to me. And being a man with two young daughters, this could be his true feelings. I mean, who hasn't seen A Time to Kill and not wanted Samuel Jackson's character acquitted. Cause really, if the death penalty in cases of child rape are for those most egregious cases similar to what happened to that little girl in the movie/book, is the death penalty really not appropriate? Especially if racism and classism can be taken out of the issue.

Finally, NAFTA: Obama said both in Ohio and Texas that his problem with NAFTA had to do with environmental and labor standards and the fact that companies taking jobs overseas received tax breaks. He has always been a free-trader. So, how is his stance now any different than it was a few months ago? It's not.

And dare I say, the only reason the MSM has jumped on board the flip-flop train has more to do with the desire and ease of portraying a black man as having misrepresented himself, as having conned the people. As so many black folks are wont to do.

(This post may have mistakes. But I really wanted to let my feelings be known.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

From Onion News Network

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

No, it's not true. But don't you wish it were? And isn't it hilarious? In kinda of a sad, ironic way?

Former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms dies at 86

Former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms dies at 86

My prayers go out to his family. No matter what he represented to others, losing a father, husband, brother, uncle, grandpa is a hard thing to come to terms with.

Now, Jesse Helms sticks in my mind for playing the race card against Harvey Gantt in 1996? But I can't be all that mad at him. Not only did a brother help him out in the campaign, it worked. So, what can I say?

Update: I forgot to mention the barrier he has presented for the Lumbee nation to receive federal recognition.
Former NCC leader Sterling Cary says racism persists

From "Philip Jenks" <>
Date Tue, 1 Jul 2008 12:47:15 -0400

Former NCC President and civil rights leader says racism persists in U.S. and 'cannot be glossed over'

New York, July 1, 2008 - The Rev. Dr. Sterling Cary, a retired United
Church of Christ minister who was president of the National Council of
Churches (NCC) from 1972 to 1975, recently looked back on his years as
an ecumenical and civil rights leader, and ahead to the future of
ecumenism and American society.

He expressed a fear that the rhetoric of the current presidential
campaign may obscure the racism that continues in the United States. And
he called for a recommitment of the churches to their denominations and
their ecumenical involvements.

Cary was interviewed as a part of a historical Web series, Ecumenical
Moments (see,
commemorating the 100th anniversary of the NCC and the Federal Council
of Churches. The interview appears below.

New York, July 1, 2008 - W. Sterling Cary was no stranger to controversy when he was elected the first African American President of the National Council of Churches in 1972. He had been an active civil rights leader for years, and in 1966 he was a signatory of a statement on race published by the National Committee of Negro Churchmen in the New YorkTimes.

White church members tended to be frightened by the statement, which many regarded as radical and threatening. "In the American mind, 'black' and 'power' did not go together," Cary said recently in an interview with National Public Radio.

"We as church men recognized the need to become engaged in efforts to empower people," Cary told NPR. "We felt it important to say that the will of God was that people be engaged in this struggle against the powers and principalities that were oppressing them. Racial injustice is a legacy of the slave period and continues until this day." Looking back, the venerable United Church of Christ clergyman said the response to the statement was "polite" but did not lead to a movement to change society.

Contacted this summer at his home in the Chicago suburb of Flossmoor, Ill., Cary warned that 42 years later, racial problems persist in the United States. He expressed the fear that the potential nomination of an African American for president might obscure that fact. Citing the media uproar over statements by Barack Obama's pastor, Cary said, "People are quick to condemn Jeremiah Wright, but you have to recognize that the history he is talking about is still with us. My greatest concern about the current presidential campaign is that the rhetoric gives people the impression that they can ignore the past and celebrate the future, but there are a lot of serious problems that cannot be glossed over - and this is especially pronounced in terms of race."

Despite important advances in four decades, the statement Cary made when he was installed as NCC president in December 1972 would be true today: "Empowerment today is limited to the placement of certain individuals in executive positions. That isn't empowerment."

Cary, who turns 81 this year, looks back his three-year presidential term with clear-eyed realism.

"It was a tense period when I was president," he says today. "We had Vietnam, we had tensions over Gay, Lesbian and transgendered people." Arguments on the floor of the NCC Governing Board were intense and often angry.

But one of his satisfactions, Cary said, is that his presiding style seemed to encourage more civil debate. "There was a tendency for our discussions to turn into dissentions ... but we created a climate where we could give everyone a hearing - we created an arena in which we could express our differences. Everyone had a say."

Another challenge faced by Cary's generation of leaders, including Claire Randall, the NCC's first woman general secretary, was the tendency of church people to turn their backs on national church bodies and channel their financial support to local judicatories and congregations.

"There has always been a tension between the national and local parts of the body," he said. "We need to resell and promote the need for a national body. How do you emphasize the need for the total body rather than just a part of it?"

Cary noted the staff and program cutbacks in the NCC and its member communions that are caused by a diversion of contributions. "What frightens me most is that it's even more pronounced now, this emphasis on the local excluding national bodies. The UCC is certainly going through that stage. I'm not sure if you cut back so drastically that you can rebuild."

Cary, who was ordained a Baptist and served Presbyterian and UCC congregations, was executive of the UCC Metropolitan New York Conference when he was elected NCC president. He was later executive of the UCC Conference in Chicago, from which he retired.

Whenever he consents to media interviews these days, he is invariably introduced as one of the signers of "the black church manifesto." He also invariably explains that it was intended as a loving and reconciling document.

"The love that we know has been made known by Christ," he told the NPR interviewer. "Not to allow freedom is a sin against God."
NCC News Contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228,

A Special Brand of Patiotism

A Special Brand Of Patriotism with My Comments

By Eugene Robinson
Friday, July 4, 2008; A17

Anyone who took U.S. history in high school ought to know that one of the five men killed in the Boston Massacre, the atrocity that helped ignite the American Revolution, was a runaway slave named Crispus Attucks. The question the history books rarely consider is: Why?

Think about it for a moment. For well over a century, British colonists in North America had practiced a particularly cruel brand of slavery, a system of bondage intended not just to exploit the labor of Africans but to crush their spirit as well. Backs were whipped and broken, families systematically separated, traditions erased, ancient languages silenced. Yet a black man -- to many, nothing more than a piece of property -- chose to stand and die with the patriots of Boston.

Now think about the Buffalo Soldiers and the Tuskegee Airmen. Think about Dorie Miller, who, like so many black sailors in the segregated U.S. Navy of the 1940s, was relegated to kitchen duty -- until Pearl Harbor, when Miller rushed up to the deck of the sinking USS West Virginia, carried wounded sailors to safety and then raked Japanese planes with fire from a heavy machine gun until he ran out of ammunition.

Think about Colin Powell -- but also think about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a former Marine. And consider, as we celebrate Independence Day, how steadfast and complicated black patriotism has always been.

The subject is particularly relevant now that the first African American with a realistic chance of becoming president, Barack Obama, has felt compelled to give a lengthy speech explaining his own patriotism. It is not common, in my experience, for sitting U.S. senators to be questioned on their love of country -- to be grilled about a flag pin, for example, or critiqued on the posture they assume when the national anthem is played. For an American who attains such high office, patriotism is generally assumed.

It seems that some people don't want to give Obama the benefit of that assumption, however, and I have to wonder whether that's because he's black. And then I have to wonder why.

The fact that African American patriotism is never simple doesn't mean it's in any way halfhearted; to the contrary, complicated relationships tend to be the deepest and strongest. It's a historical fact that black soldiers and sailors who fought overseas in World War II came home to Southern cities where they had to ride in the back of the bus -- and that they were angry that the nation for which they had sacrificed would treat them this way. To some whites, I guess, it may seem logical to be suspicious of black patriotism -- to believe that anger must somehow temper love of country.

It doesn't, of course. It never has. Black Americans are just more intimately and acutely aware of some of our nation's flaws than many white Americans might be. This generalization is less true of my sons than of my parents, and I hope that someday it won't be true at all. I think one must add here, that for the most part, both white and African Americans are ignorant of the reality of present day racism. What Robinson says may be true, but it's not because the country has gotten astronomically better, or that white Americans are more aware, but that African Americans are less. But only in the past half-century has the United States begun to fully extend the rights of citizenship to African Americans -- and only in the past year has the idea that a black man might actually be elected president been more than a plot device for movies and television shows. We're someplace we've never been.

Michelle Obama was sharply attacked for saying that she felt proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Her phrasing may have been impolitic, but I know exactly what she meant. I knew what she meant, too. The last time I was really proud of my country, I was in elementary school. By middle school, I was starting to have doubts about the greatness of the US of A.

This isn't about whether or not Barack Obama wins. Just the fact that he might win is an incredible change for this country -- and recognizing the importance of that change is, to me, the very essence of patriotism.

What's unpatriotic is pretending that the past never happened. What's unpatriotic is failing to acknowledge that we've struggled with race for nearly 400 years. What's unpatriotic is relegating "black history" to the month of February when, really, it's American history, without which this nation could never be what it is today. Here is where I really, wholeheartedly agree with Robinson. Presently, I can't think of anything to add.

My father, Harold I. Robinson, served in the Army during World War II and has lived to witness this transformative moment of possibility. My father-in-law, the late Edward R. Collins, was a sailor who saw action in the South Pacific; he rests at Arlington National Cemetery. I have no patience with anyone who thinks that patriots don't have brown skin. For my part, one of my grandfathers fought in WWII, at least two of my uncles and my father were in Vietnam, a cousin had been in Afganistan. The fact that the country doesn't treat peoples of color any better than it does is part of the reason you want see me joining the military. My health notwithstanding.

July 4th for Black Folks

Frederick Douglass
"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro"

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great
men, too, great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen
to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point
from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable;
and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They
were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the
principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory....

...Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak
here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national
independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural
justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I,
therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and
to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting
from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be
truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my
burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation's sympathy
could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that
would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and
selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's
jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not
that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame
man leap as an hart."

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the
disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary!
Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The
blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.?The rich
inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your
fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and
healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours,
not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand
illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems,
were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me,
by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And
let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose
crimes, towering up to
heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in
irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and
woe-smitten people!

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered
Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they
that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us
required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing
the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right
hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the
roof of my mouth."

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail
of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered
more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do
not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my
right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my
mouth!" To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with
the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make
me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is
American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the
slave's point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman,
making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the
character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th
of July! Whether we
turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the
conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. false to
the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the
future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I
will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is
fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded
and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the
emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery ? the great
sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse"; I will use
the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that
any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a
slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, "It is just in this circumstance
that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on
the public mind. Would you argue more, an denounce less; would you persuade
more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed." But, I
submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the
anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the
people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a
man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders
themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They
acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are
seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man
(no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while
only two of the same
crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the
acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being?
The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern
statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and
penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to
any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to
argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of
the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the
reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then
will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is
it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using
all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building
ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we
are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries,
having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators
and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to
other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific,
feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking,
planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all,
confessing and worshipping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life
and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful
owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the
wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled
by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great
difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard
to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Amercans,
dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to
freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively.
To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your
understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not
know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their
liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to
their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash,
to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction,
to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to
starve them into obedience and submission to their mastcrs? Must I argue that a
system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will
not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did
not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy
in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such
a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had
I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, to-day, pour out a
fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern
rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle
shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The
feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be
roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the
nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed
and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals
to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to
which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your
boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity;
your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants,
brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery;
your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious
parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and
hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of
savages.There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and
bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and
despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every
abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the
everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting
barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....

...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this
day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country.
There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of
slavery. "The arm of the Lord is not shortened," and the doom of slavery is
certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing
encouragement from "the Declaration of Independence," the great principles it
contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by
the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation
to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the
surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without
interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of
hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work
with social impunity. Knowledge was
then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in
mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled
cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away
the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of
the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth.
Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide,
but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion.
Space is comparatively annihilated. -- Thoughts expressed on one side of the
Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The
Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the
Almighty, "Let there be Light," has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no
outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the
all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in
contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment.
'Ethiopia, shall, stretch. out her hand unto Ood." In the fervent aspirations of
William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o'er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th' oppress'd shall vilely bend the knee,
And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom's reign,
To man his plundered rights again

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant's presence cower;
But to all manhood's stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his Prison-house, to thrall
Go forth.

Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I'll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive --
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate'er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Volume II
Pre-Civil War Decade 1850-1860
Philip S. Foner
International Publishers Co., Inc., New York, 1950

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