Monday, March 30, 2009

Stay Black!

I promise Riot or Revolution? 2 is coming soon. Very soon. But I've just published my first post for a group blog, dangerousNEGRO re-education, and I have to share it with you. My regular readers.

Stay Black!

cross-posted at dangerousNEGRO re-education

Hey, People. What up and what's going on wit'cha?

Me? Well . . . more about me in a later post. I do have my own blog, but if this is your first time reading me, I hope this post provides some insight into my thinking. I do like to spell things out. Especially if I have a larger point I'm trying to make. I'm all about discussion and collaboration. Whatever we do to advance our collective cause, we have to do together. I'm also still quite open-minded about learning new things and new ideas. Though, it doesn't take me long to sniff out a bad idea, and I will address it.

Now, this post is about economics, not culture. Staying black is about staying literally "in the black," as well as supporting black businesses. Now, the way I see it, this crisis we're in presents danger and opportunity - yes, I'm ripping off the Chinese. The danger, as I see it, is that we don't take advantage of this opportunity. See, I know that this crisis is having a disproportionate effect on our community. It's exacerbating our unemployment numbers and the already disturbingly wide wealth accumulation gap. So, I am aware of the mess we're in.

But. Some of the most profitable stock is as cheap as it's been in a while. If ever there were a time for the black community to marshall all our moneys together and buy the country, it's now! Then we could rule THE WORLD!! Bwahahahahaha!!

Okay. So that dream is a bit wild, but I like it. Don't get me wrong. There are more practical things we can do and more practical reasons to do it.

This economic crisis has pressed me to learn and study up on economics. So, think of this as sort of econ 50.5, half of 101. From what I can ascertain, what keeps communities and countries poor is when money stops flowing within the community. What's happened in our current crisis is that money isn't flowing normally. I mean, think about it. Imagine there's one bank in a 75 sq mile area, and everybody saves and borrows there. dN Bank. Now, you own a car dealership. The only one in the area. Having done well for yourself, you take out a mortgage from dN Bank. And someone else borrows money from dN Bank to start a construction business. AfriBuilding. You hire AfriBuilding to build your house.

Now, for the sake of this explanation, we're gonna give the money, $250K USD, a name - cabbage. All the money that's been deposited in the dN Bank - cabbage. The bank gives you "cabbage." You take "cabbage" to pay the owner. He puts "cabbage" in his account in dN Bank. He uses this account to pay his workers their "cabbage." The workers, say 10 of them, deposit "cabbage" in dN Bank. With some cash now, they all decide to buy a car. From you, of course. They all take auto loans from dN Bank. So, dN Bank gives them the same "cabbage" to buy cars. They pay you "cabbage." You put the cabbage back in dN bank.

So, the bank had the cabbage, loses the cabbage, gets the cabbage back, loses it again, gets it back again. And everytime the bank gets it back, it actually gets back a little bet more. Right? Interest. But at the end of the day, it's the same cabbage.

And so on and so forth. If you don't understand it, then, just except that for a community to stay prosperous, essentially, you have to have money flowing back and forth within the community. You have to have people buying and selling from each other. The thing is, though, it's all the same money. It's all the same "cabbage." And if there is a kink anywhere in the chain, the community loses money. If you decide to hire a construction company outside the area and thereby send the cabbage outside the area, then those 10 workers can't buy cars from you. Since they can't buy cars, you can't make your house payments. So, they lose out, you lose out, and dN Bank loses out.

Or, let's imagine even though they do buy cars, they don't buy the cars from you. You can't make your mortgage payments, and the system breaks down again. If AfriBusiness hires workers from outside the area, and these workers buy their cars from you, we do have the necessary flow of cabbage. But, the workers don't use dN Bank, so the bank loses SOME money it would've otherwise had. Not a big deal. It still makes a profit. But what about the 10 workers in the area who are now unemployed? No matter what you do for them, it's gonna have a negative impact on the overall community. Right? Now, giving them unemployment is better for the flow of cabbage than giving them nothing - they still have to eat. But they can't afford the things the would've otherwise had, and so forth and so on.

So. Have I confused you? I hope not. The whole point is that what's going on in poor communities is some chink in the money chain. Somewhere along the chain, the community loses money! But lets say someone outside the community spends in the community or invests in the community, the community as a whole gains money!

So my point for you, a dN reader? Stay black! Support black businesses. Hire black people. Invest in black business. And if you have the funds, just invest period! Bring new money into the community. Oh, I know this isn't new. This isn't your first time being told to stay black. It's just the first time I actually understand why it's so important that we do. I want to share with you why it's so important that you do. It's a big deal. And yes, I know the white man's ice is colder - and please understand, I actually believe that is potentially true. Water frozen at 12 degrees is colder than ice frozen at 28 degrees. It's not going to melt as fast. At the end of the day, it really isn't true that ice is just ice. But! If you never support the black man's ice, the white man's ice will always be colder! Cause you're not keeping the money in the community. Because you're not helping the black man out, he'll never be able to buy a better, colder freezer.

Get it? You have to buy black. Stay black. Even if you think the product is inferior, and it just might be. You need to buy black. Hire black. The money needs to stay in the community.

And you need to stay in the black in your own personal finances. Don't get me wrong. Studies show African Americans save at the same rate as everybody else. We're not the spendthrifts we're made out to be. But it doesn't matter. We are in such a bind collectively, that we need to do more. We literally can't afford any chinks in the chain. Do you realize that prior to black communities in places like Chicago and even Durham, NC being destroyed, that they all had thriving business districts? That discrimination and segregation forced us to buy from and sell to and hire each other? That we were doing pretty good, considering the discrimination and segregation! We need to get back to that! Not the discrimination and segregation, of course, but the buying from and selling to and hiring each other. If there're enough of us with enough money, we need to open our own banks. I'm pretty radical. I wouldn't have a bit of a problem with an entirely seperate black economy. Of course, that's something we can build to. But, I hope I've helped stir up something you probably already knew, already sensed: we have to stay black!

I have more to say, but I'll save that for a later post. Please give me feedback. I need to know what's important to you. I want to know what questions you have, what info you'd like to know. If there's something going on in the world that you don't understand, get at me. Or, if there's some myth about the black community that seems true but doesn't quite ring true, get at me. And I'll get back at you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Punta de Prueba de OKs del Juez de la Queja de la Tortura Contra los Funcionarios de Bush. Loosely Translated, "Bush Officials Getting Got!!"

Great news, people! Sorry I haven't written Riot or Revolution 2, I just haven't felt up to it. But, I do have this breaking news from CNN. And a prayer that the Obama administration will follow suit, or rather, sue. ~ No1KState

Judge OKs probe of torture complaint against Bush officials(the actual English translation)

Story Highlights:

  • Prosecutors will review Gitmo complaint to determine if crime committed.

  • Former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and five others accused.

  • Judge says case can be pursued in Spain because of Spanish detainees.

(CNN) -- A senior Spanish judge has ordered prosecutors to investigate whether key Bush aides should be charged with crimes over the Guantanamo Bay detention center, a lawyer said Sunday.

Investigating magistrate Baltasar Garzon has passed a 98-page complaint to prosecutors that accuses former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and five others of being the legal architects of system that allowed torture in violation of international law, human rights lawyer Gonzalo Boye told CNN.

Prosecutors will review the document to determine if a crime has been committed.

The prosecutor's office will make a decision within five days, said Boye, one of the report's authors. Garzon accepted the complaint under Spanish law because there were several Spaniards at Guantanamo who allegedly suffered torture.

The complaint was filed in March 2008 by Boye and the Association for the Rights of Prisoners.

It names Gonzales -- who was President George W. Bush's counsel when the Guantanamo Bay detention center was established -- and other top Bush administration officials John C. Yoo, Douglas J. Feith, William J. Hayes II, Jay S. Bybee and David S. Addington.

A former top aide to Colin Powell, who was secretary of state in the early days of the Bush administration's "war on terror," testified before Congress last summer that the six officials "colluded" to develop a legal rationale for allowing detainees to be subjected to harsh treatment.

Lawrence Wilkerson was Powell's chief of staff in President Bush's first term.

Yoo, the author of a memo which critics say authorized torture, also testified before Congress last year.

The former deputy assistant attorney general said that his role in the administration had simply been to provide legal advice.

"We were functioning as lawyers. We don't make policy. Policy choices in these matters were up to the National Security Council or the White House or the Department of Defense," he said.

Gonzales was Bush's legal counsel at the time and later became attorney general. Yoo and Bybee were at the Department of Justice, Haynes and Feith worked for the Department of Defense, and Addington was Vice President Dick Cheney's legal counsel.

Addington proved difficult to pin down when he testified under subpoena before a House of Representatives subcommittee June 26 with Yoo, who testified voluntarily but repeatedly refused to answer questions.

Addington, by then Cheney's chief of staff, delivered a flat "No" in answer to a question from New York Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler about whether Addington "contributed to the analysis or assisted in the drafting of the August 1, 2002, interrogation memo."

But when Nadler followed up with: "You had nothing to do with that," Addington again replied: "No. I didn't say I had nothing to do with it."

Addington never clarified what, if any, his role was.

Garzon, Spain's best-known investigating magistrate, issued the precedent-setting arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

The judge has investigated human rights abuses in former military governments in Chile and Argentina, Islamic terrorists operating in Spain, the armed Basque separatist group ETA, as well as major drug traffickers.

--CNN's Per Nyberg contributed to this report.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I actually should've posted this Monday. So, the title of this post is a comment on me as well as the story. Also, read with some critical thinking - this actually touches on the subject of Riot or Revolution. These particular sentences are quite telling: African Americans and other people of color were more than three times as likely as white borrowers to be steered to high-interest loans, even when they qualified for a prime loan. A Harvard University study showed that in Massachusetts, a high-income African American was more likely than a low-income white borrower to get a subprime loan. Such studies abound. So, please read with your critical thinking cap on. ~ No1KState

The Wealth Gap Gets Wider

By Meizhu Lui
Monday, March 23, 2009; A15

The chips are in.

Every three years, the Federal Reserve, in its Survey of Consumer Finances, takes a look at how U.S. households are doing and reports on our assets and liabilities. The euphoria of our gambling spree is over. In the harsh glare of morning, the hangover is tough. And the latest data are from 2007, so they don't even capture the worst of the decline.

The net worth of the average American family is less than it was in 2001. We borrowed more for that trip to Vegas than we brought home. Everyone knows this now.

But here's something being talked about much less: The gap between the wealth of white Americans and African Americans has grown. According to the Fed, for every dollar of wealth held by the typical white family, the African American family has only one dime. In 2004, it had 12 cents.

This is not just a gap. It's a deepening canyon.

The overhyped political term "post-racial society" becomes patently absurd when looking at these economic numbers. This week, experts on asset building in communities of color are meeting with members of Congress to talk about closing the wealth gap. While the government is rescuing failing financial institutions as a short-term measure, those at the two-day Color of Wealth Policy Summit will make the case that the nation's long-term economic future depends on the inclusion of all Americans in opportunities to build wealth.

Why such a big gap? The biggest predictor of the future economic status of a child is the net worth of the child's parents. Even modest inheritances or gifts within a parent's lifetime -- such as paying for college or providing the down payment on a home -- can give a child a lift up the economic ladder. And historically, white families have enjoyed more government support and tax-paid subsidies for their asset-building activities.

Let's look at the rules of the game in homeownership, for example.

During the Depression, the Home Owners' Loan Corp. was formed to rescue families whose homes were in foreclosure. Not a single loan went to a family of color. The black section of Detroit was simply excluded. After World War II, GIs received government-subsidized home mortgages, but there was no oversight to ensure that soldiers of color got their fair share. Of the 67,000 mortgages issued under the GI Bill in New York and northern New Jersey, 66,900 went to white veterans, as documented in Ira Katznelson's "When Affirmative Action Was White."

Recently, there have been sins of omission and commission. White families are five times as likely as families of color to have a bank account and access to responsible loan terms. Because of the lack of federally insured and regulated financial institutions on reservations and in inner cities, rural areas, barrios and Chinatowns, payday lenders and other shady financial dealers operating without government oversight have preyed on people of color, fueling the economic and foreclosure crises. African Americans and other people of color were more than three times as likely as white borrowers to be steered to high-interest loans, even when they qualified for a prime loan. A Harvard University study showed that in Massachusetts, a high-income African American was more likely than a low-income white borrower to get a subprime loan. Such studies abound.

Additionally, rules in our tax code have strengthened the hand of those who already have assets. You can get a tax deduction for the interest paid on home mortgages of up to $1 million -- a nice break for those who hardly need one. But if you own a home and make too little to itemize, the mortgage interest deduction doesn't help you at all.

So what can we do? We need a Financial Product Safety Commission to act against discriminatory lending policies and to stop the marketing of dangerous loans such as exploding adjustable-rate mortgages. We also should cap the mortgage interest deduction and make it refundable so low-income homeowners can benefit. Mandating that new schools and transportation and commercial projects that are supported by federal dollars be located only in areas with racially inclusive zoning policies would also do much to create and grow neighborhoods of opportunity.

Building wealth is essential to the American promise of opportunity for economic mobility and security regardless of the accident of one's birth. In the 21st-century global marketplace, the diversity of our population is an asset -- if we play our cards right.

The chips on the table reflect the fact that the game was fixed. It's time to start an honest game with a new deck. All of our futures depend on it.

Meizhu Lui is director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, Calif. The center is organizing the Color of Wealth 2009 Policy Summit, to be held in Washington today and tomorrow. This column was also published today on The Root.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Riot or Revolution? 1

This is sort of a primer for my next post. Plus, it'll save me the energy of trying to accomplish two things at once.

Here is Glenn Greenwald talking about Glen Beck:
Before presenting that to you, a few caveats are in order: There is nothing inherently wrong or illegitimate with citizens expressing extreme anger towards the Government and the ruling political class. There isn't even anything wrong or illegitimate with citizens organizing themselves into a movement that -- whether by design or effect -- is threatening to entrenched elites. If anything, we've had too little of that. In fact, it's only a complete lack of fear of a meek, passive and impotent citizenry on the part of political and financial rulers -- a certainty that there will be no consequences no matter what they do -- that could have given rise to the endless corruption, deceit, lawbreaking, destruction, and outright thievery of the last eight years. A political and financial elite that perceives itself as invulnerable from threat or consequence will inevitably vest itself with more power and more riches. That's what we've had and, largely, still have.

But this Rush-Limbaugh/Fox-News/nationalistic movement isn't driven by anything noble or principled or even really anything political. If it were, they would have been extra angry and threatening and rebellious during the Bush years instead of complicit and meek and supportive to the point of cult-like adoration. Instead, they're just basically Republican dead-enders (at least what remains of the regional/extremist GOP), grounded in tribal allegiances that are fueled by their cultural, ethnic and religious identities and by perceived threats to past prerogatives -- now spiced with legitimate economic anxiety and an African-American President who, they were continuously warned for the last two years, is a Marxist, Terrorist-sympathizing black nationalist radical who wants to re-distribute their hard-earned money to welfare queens and illegal immigrants (and is now doing exactly that).

That's the context for this Glenn Beck "War Games" show on Fox News this week -- one promoted, with some mild and obligatory caveats, by Michelle Malkin's Hot Air. In the segment below, he convened a panel that includes former CIA officer Michael Scheuer and Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Major Tim Strong. They discuss a coming "civil war" led by American "Bubba" militias -- Beck says he "believes we're on this road" -- and they contemplate whether the U.S. military would follow the President's orders to subdue civil unrest or would instead join with "the people" in defense of their Constitutional rights against the Government (they agree that the U.S. military would be with "the people"):

You can read the entire article, but I've copied what's relevant for the point I'll soon be making. As a head's up, just notice the Beck's sympathy with the imagined rebellion.

*Riot or Revolution? 2 was going to be my next post for sure. But this commentor on Jack and Jill Politics got me riled up about "personal responsibility." And since I don't do high-jacking other people's blogs, I may have to vent myself here. On my blog.

Hat Tip Jack and Jill Politics

I got it here.

They got it here.

New York is one vote away from sweeping reforms to its three-decade-old Rockefeller drug laws, which require mandatory minimums for people convicted of drug crimes in the state. The Draconian laws led the way for a national trend toward harsh drug laws in the 1970s and 1980s. The time has come to admit failure and change direction.

Earlier this month, the State Assembly passed a bill essentially repealing the Rockefeller laws, and Gov. David Patterson (above left), who was once arrested for protests the laws, has proposed a compromise bill to bring Senate Republicans into the fold. His deal, however, may not go far enough.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

David Shuster's Hypocrisy Watch - 3.19.09

This really does speak for itself. The double-speak of the Republican's makes me feel better about not even listening to "their" side of the story.

In the meantime, I do plan to blog about the idea of some armed revolt against the government. When, I don't know.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Andrew M. Manis: When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

Sorry I get you the actual link to the op-ed piece, but I give you what I found. Feel free to google for it. One line in this article really struck me:

How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non-whites?
I've thought something of the same myself. A while ago, it did occur to me that white men were experiencing a since of "injustice" to the extent that jobs they would ordinarily be given were given to minorities. But that's what has to happen to fix a broken system. Get over it. ~ No1KState

Andrew M. Manis: When Are WE Going to Get Over It?


Andrew M. Manis is associate professor of history at Macon State College in Georgia and wrote this for an editorial in the Macon Telegraph.

Andrew M. Manis: When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

For much of the last forty years, ever since America "fixed" its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, "When are African Americans finally going to get over it? Now I want to ask: "When are we White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color?

Recent reports that "Election Spurs Hundreds' of Race Threats, Crimes" should frighten and infuriate every one of us. Having grown up in "Bombingham," Alabama in the 1960s, I remember overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually, as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than "talk the talk."

Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk I remember from my boyhood.

We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did I read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassinations of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes. Call for their impeachment, perhaps. But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.

But elect a liberal who happens to be Black and we're back in the sixties again. At this point in our history, we should be proud that we've proven what conservatives are always saying -- that in America anything is possible, EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead we now hear that school children from Maine to California are talking about wanting to "assassinate Obama."

Fighting the urge to throw up, I can only ask, "How long?" How long before we white people realize we can't make our nation, much less the whole world, look like us? How long until we white people can - once and for all - get over this hell-conceived preoccupation with skin color? How long until we white people get over the demonic conviction that white skin makes us superior? How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non-whites?

How long before we get over our expectations that we should be at the head of the line merely because of our white skin? How long until we white people end our silence and call out our peers when they share the latest racist jokes in the privacy of our white-only conversations?

I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people will stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do?

How long before we starting "living out the true meaning" of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that "red and yellow, black and white" all are precious in God's sight?

Until this past November 4, I didn't believe this country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don't believe I'll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem. But here's my three-point plan: First, everyday that Barack Obama lives in the White House that Black Slaves Built, I'm going to pray that God (and the Secret Service) will protect him and his family from us white people.

Second, I'm going to report to the FBI any white person I overhear saying, in seriousness or in jest, anything of a threatening nature about President Obama. Third, I'm going to pray to live long enough to see America surprise the world once again, when white people can "in spirit and in truth" sing of our damnable color prejudice, "We HAVE overcome."


It takes a Village to protect our President !!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Freedom Writing, Am I?

I just finished watching the movie Freedom Writers. And by just finished, I mean it went off two minutes ago. I'm embarrassed to confess I actually had the book for about a month but never read it. And I'll tell you why. One reason is that given my situation, I try not to add anymore sadness to my environment. That's why I didn't read the book.

But as for why I'm just now watching the movie? I had already seen Dangerous Minds. I have seen some Meyrl Streep movie where she plays a violin teacher, is it? I've seen the Ron somebody movie.

So. Another movie where some pasty, suburban white teacher comes into a rowdy, poor, urban classroom and manages to teach these kids of color where everyone else had failed? My feelings were, simply, "Seen it."

And, I'm going to stick with that thought for a moment. My mom was a teacher. My aunt is a teacher. My great-grandfather help build a school for black children during neo-slavery, or rather, Jim Crow. I'm afraid teaching may be my truth. But that's for later.

My point is this. With the exception of Lean on Me, I haven't seen or heard of a movie where a black teacher, or any other teacher of color for that matter, comes in and changes the lives of his/her students. Even though as I've laid out, I know it happens everyday. And what about the movie of the black teacher, or any other teacher of color for that matter, who comes into a suburban, white class, honor students, disciplined, well behaved, and changes their lives? Has that not happened? Ever? When's that movie coming out?

Come to think about it. I've even seen the movie of the first little black girl who integrated some Southern school, and because none of the white parents wanted their child(ren) in class with her, she ended up in class alone. Being taught by a white teacher. For a year. One on one.

And even in that movie, the white teacher was the "star."

What is it with white people and their, or maybe your, need to be the "star" in every show. Amistad. A Time to Kill. Ghosts of Mississippi.

Mississippi Burning. I mean, damn. You people will rewrite history to make yourselves the hero(ine)(s), and then bitch and moan because the first black attorney general over 200 years after the "birth" of a nation that has always had black people in it called everyone a "nation of cowards." And you wonder why anyone would call you a coward? It's because you're too much of a punk to look yourself in the mirror and say . . .
"I'm prejudiced . . .

"The country I live in and cheer for was founded on the subjugation of another group of people . . .

"The country I live in and cheer for grew territorially by genocide and theft of another group of people . . .

"Today, I still benefit from discriminatory practices against my fellow citizens because I am white and they are not . . .
Until you can say that to yourself, or something like it, you are less than a coward. I mean, damn. Even a coward has the courage to admit he's afraid. (Oo! There goes my flair for writing! Love that line.)

So anyway, I just saw the movie Freedom Writers. And it struck me personally for a number of reasons. Not the least of which that this woman unexpectedly found her calling. Plus, what she and her class did encompass all of my best and worst qualities. Never settling for "not going to happen." Challenging and questioning the system. Writing.

And the funny thing about me and writing is that I haven't read a fiction novel since the first semester of my first year in college. So, literally not since 2000. But writing is what I do. It's one of the innumerable things I am. I wake up in the morning, put myself to sleep, usually keep myself up - writing.

Teaching and inspiring is something else I do. When you get me in front of a group of people to talk, it's magic. And the funny thing is, I can convince people of things I don't necessarily believe myself. Things I'm saying just to convince myself!

But, when it comes to issues I'm passionate about - history, education, social empowerment, justice, spiritual salvation - I can move people by the sheer force of my own passion. My own desire for what's right.

I mean. It's not like I close my eyes and really see myself with the courage of a Miep Gies or Ida B Wells or Ella Baker. I just know from my own experience, when push comes to shove, I. do. not. break. Oh, I'll let you win the battles I don't care about. And I do shy away from unnecessary confrontation. I mean. I'm not going to get into a big thing with my pastor about Original Sin when I know upfront I'm going to believe whatever I want to believe anyway regardless of what he says. And now that I think about it, perhaps my biggest problem with Original Sin is that I know in my spirit, there's just something about the need for "doctrine" that ain't quite up to snuff.

But I digress.

I am a woman who, as a child, did not shy away from challenging my parents when I thought they were wrong and I right. One who refused to cry even when being "spanked" with a belt (because my mother takes exception to my describing what occurred as "whooping"). One who would go to the well again, knowing what I could expect. So deep down, yeah. I'd be just the teacher on the forefront of challenging my department head, my principal, my school board. Everybody. Even in college, I told my history professor I thought one of the historians we were reading had mis-analyzed, if that's a word, a situation and gotten it wrong. She looked at me funny, the professor that is, looked at me funny and made one of those parental threats to call the historian. "I know her. I can call her." My response? "Good. Call'er."

But what really agitated me was that department head lady who refused to give Erin and the kids credit for anything. And that male teacher who said integration was a farce. Though, I disagree with the girl about speaking for the entire black community. Personally, I loved to speak from my experience and tell the truth, especially if it provoked some guilt. I'd be thrilled to be called on to give the "black perspective" if for no other reason than just to make sure my white classmates knew their lived experiences weren't shared Or even true. But I can be contrary like that. I don't know whether or not I would've chosen to go to a the Freedom Writer's class. If I knew upfront I was going to piss someone off, maybe.

But trust me. Just like our enslaved forebearers, we all still challenge the system in our own ways. Victoria's strategy no better or worse than my own.

Anyway. What I saw in that department head lady and that male teacher is the same thing I see and read and hear from so many white people today: the desperate fight to maintain the status quo.

Don't get it twitted (my creative lisensed "twisted," nothing to do with "twitter"). The majority of white Americans voted for John McCain. And as for the rest, those white Americans and other non-blacks who voted for Barack Obama, did they really have any other viable choice? So, from where I'm sitting . . . but I digress.

It's not just white people who fight to maintain the status quo. It's men. It's bankers. It's the wealthy. It's anyone who benefits from the status quo and if you are one of those people who benefit or are content with the status quo I ask you I implore you to ask yourself do you really benefit? Are you really content?

Don't be a coward.

Scott. He wasn't really content, but he wasn't willing to fight for what he wanted.

Me? It hasn't been a question of whether or not I'd fight. My struggle has been deciding just how to fight. I'm loathed to become a teacher for several reasons that don't need discussion here.

But I am a fighter.

I guess my question is, for you my reader, and even for me on those days when I become so tired, my question is - are you?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Republican's Plan to Delay

Update: I forgot to comment on the notion that the Democrats, haven been in charge of Congress the last 2 years of BushCo, are as responsible for the economic mess as Republicans, that Dems are the ones in charge of the first failed stimulus attempt and bank bail-out. So here's my comment: poppy cock! Bush vetoed good legislation. Because of his incessant veto threats and the filibuster threat from Senate Republicans, legislation most Dems would reject was passed. And the bank bail-out was an emergency action. Anyone who paid attention knows that.

Also, h/t to Prometheus6, who posted an article with this statement:

In my three decades as a Washington-based journalist, what I have witnessed is a Republican Party that has grown increasingly arrogant about its ability to twist reality into any shape of its choosing – and to get lots of gullible people to go along.

I know this video is old, but, I think Tom Delay represents the problem with the Republican party. Don't get me wrong, even if they fixed the things I found objectionable, I still would disagree on policy. But at least they'd be, oh I don't know, human.

Delay is awfully disrespectful towards Harold Ford. My first impulse is to say Delay is racist, but I think that Republicans are by and large disrespectful of anyone who disagrees. Not that I don't think Delay is racist. I do. He definitely disrespectful towards our new president.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I showed the upmost respect for the previous resident, but he deserved it. And isn't it Republicans who claimed disagreeing with the president was tantamount to treason?

Delay is also oblivious to reality. He thinks the problem is that we as a nation and as individuals have been living beyond our means. That's not the case. The problem was what happened in an unregulated sector of the market. I mean selling insured mortgages to investors? Come on. And this obliviousness leads them to offer more tax cuts as the solution. Even though at best, it should be apparent that tax cuts haven't worked. I mean, we are in this problem despite the previous tax cuts of the last administration.

Also, Delay's tossing David Brooks from the "conservative" crowd. On the basis of what? Because he disagreed with Bobby Jindal? Right now, one of the things that's going to do the Republicans in is the increasing exclusivity. Kicking people out of the group is fine if you're in high school. It's a bit problematic if you're an adult, and especially if you're one who believes you should run the government. . . That you say is the problem?

Then Delay wants to tout Jindal's Louisiana as having an examplarary economy. Let's concede that Jindal has revitalized Louisiana's economy. But look:

- Does my state need the money? The state budget deficit for next year is now projected to reach $2.1 billion. State universities are expecting to cut their budgets up to 30 percent.

- Does my state already get more money from the federal government than it sends to the federal government? Yes. Louisiana gets $1.78 for every dollar it pays in. Rank: 4
Delay thinks George W Bush was a successful president. So that should end any serious discussion of and with him.

The problem is we have hundreds of people in positions to influence the direction this country takes who think like him.

Another Republican problem? Arguing against straw-men. I don't remember Pres. Obama saying anything about a cap and trade. Maybe I'm wrong. But I just don't recall that part of the speech. And do you really think a cap and trade system is going to destroy the economy? I can give you two good reasons why it won't. One, somebody's gonna find away to make money off the situation, which would hopefully mean industrial carbon scrubbers. Or, factories using renewable sources of energy like the sun or wind. Either way, building and fixing the necessary parts could create a whole new sector of the economy. And I'm not saying Pres. Obama doesn't have any plans to have carbon regulated as a pollutant. I'm just saying I don't recall the "cap and trade" portion of his speech.

He also makes the argument, I think against Pres. Obama's health care plan, that government has never done anything efficiently. Well, I beg to differ. For one, the Depression-era project of collecting the memories of people who had been born slaves was genius! Historians still use the material. And also, have you driven on the interstate lately? Now, I'm not big on the fact that entire communities of people of color were destroyed (along with white communities, I'm told). And sure the roads may presently need repair, but we got an interstate highway system, right? And the what makes the argument laughable is that all the programs Republicans site as not working or being inefficient worked perfectly fine up till the Reagon-era of "downsizing" government. Bobby Jindal sited the chaos of the Katrina late rescue as evidence of governments undependabilily. But was the head of the government at the time Republican? And hadn't he and his administration kicked out qualified people and hired on the basis of loyalty or friendship? And that's reason why no one should trust Pres. Obama?

Now, to be sure, here's one reason I especially think Delay represents problems with the party - Bill Kristol knows the party has no ideas. He suggests that find anything they can to stall, er, delay Pres. Obama's agenda from passing Congress. Throw any seed of doubt they can find.

You know what else gets me about Republicans, Delay aside? They act like America's just beginning to see Pres. Obama for what he is, as though America voted not completely understanding what we were getting. Some actually believe that. But I kept daily tabs on the campaign. Everything Pres. Obama is doing, he campaigned on. Just because the Republicans weren't listening doesn't mean it wasn't happening.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis