Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's First 100 Days

Update: Great minds think alike! I wasn't the only one who thought it ironic that Gov. Perry (R-Texas) was turning to the federal government, that oppressive regime, for help. Check out this article from Mother Jones.

Sorry I haven't post in about 100 days. Let me just say chronic fatigue is no joy and leave it at that. Until I feel up to posting on a regular basis again, you can find me commenting at The Field Negro and Racism Review.

But I have been watching the news. I'm up-to-date with the craze around the first 100 days of Pres. Obama's administration, tea parties, and pig flu. Which leads me to ask . . . what would Texas do now if they had seceded? "Encroaching on states' rights." Please.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pirates of the Aden

update and h/t RobM commenter of JJP: The battle against piracy begins in Mogadishu

update and h/t Jack and Jill Politics: Here're some thoughts on Somali piracy via K'Naan, a Somali artist.

update: from Scahill's post, Johann Hari

crossposted here

That said, allow me to let off some "angry black" steam. Apparently, the insurance premiums of shipping companies is going up because of piracy. But after reading this in the Huffington Post, I don't feel sorry for the shipping companies.

Also, just take a moment to consider our last few interventions - we do not need to intervene in Somalia or declare "war" on pirates. We need to stop others from exploiting the Sea of Aden, which is helping the cause of and creating the need for pirates.

The Impact of Poverty Is Worse than You Thought

h/t Racism Review
Poverty, Stress, and Achievement: What Role Does Racism Play?
Posted by Claire Renzetti on Apr 12th, 2009

Two weeks ago, the results of an important study – “Childhood Poverty, Chronic Stress, and Adult Working Memory” – were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers, Gary W. Evans and Michelle A. Schamberg, examined the relationship between poverty and poor academic achievement, which they note has been studied extensively for many years ( photo credit: frerieke). What makes their research unique is that they measured the mediating effects that chronic stress, resulting from living in poverty during childhood, have on later achievement. They found that the chronic and intensive stressors caused by poverty leads to “working memory deficits” in young adulthood.

Because working memory is critical for language comprehension, reading, problem solving, and long-term retention of information learned, weakened working memory from poverty-induced stress may be central to explaining why young adults who lived in poverty as children have poorer educational outcomes than young adults who lived above the poverty line as children. The longer the child was poor, from birth to age 13, the weaker her or his working memory was as a young adult.

I read Evans and Schamberg’s study with great interest because of its important implications. Poor parents have long been exhorted to spend more time reading to their children and taking them to museums and other educational venues where admission may be free on certain days of the week, with the expectation that these activities, routinely provided by more affluent parents to their children, would improve poor children’s academic achievement.

However, while undoubtedly enriching, the Evans and Schamberg study indicates that these activities are not sufficient to compensate for the negative impact of the daily stressors inflicted by a life of economic deprivation.

Those stressors must be alleviated as well. As important as the findings are, though, the Evans and Schamberg study may not be generalizable to children of color. That’s because their sample was composed of 195 white male and female young adults. This surprises me given that, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, while 12.1% of white families live below the poverty line, 29.1% of black families and 24.3% of Hispanic families live in poverty. And the further impoverished a family is, the more likely they are to be black or Hispanic.

Certainly, poor black and Hispanic families experience the same kinds of stressors that poor white families experience: e.g., housing problems, the dangers posed by living in high-crime neighborhoods, stretching the limited income available to buy food and pay for other necessities. But poor families of color experience a stressor that poor white families do not experience: racism.

There is a substantial body of research that shows that racism is a chronic stressor throughout the life course for people of color, and that the stress caused by racism has serious negative effects on both psychological and physical health. For instance, Nancy Krieger and Stephen Sidney found that stress induced by racial discrimination has as much or more of an impact on blood pressure as smoking, lack of exercise, and a high-fat, high-sodium diet (“Racial Discrimination and Blood Pressure: The CARDIA Study of Young Black and White Adults,” American Journal of Public Health, 86(1996):1370-1378). Ruth Thompson-Miller and Joe Feagin found in their interviews with elderly blacks that memories of racist interactions with whites produced a number of negative physical and psychological reactions indicative of what they call “race-based traumatic stress,” the impact of which lasts a lifetime (“Continuing Injuries of Racism: Counseling in a Racist Context,” The Counseling Psychologist, 35(2007):106-115).

Importantly, Thompson-Miller and Feagin show that men and women of color experience race-based traumatic stress regardless of their social class. But when we consider the additional stressors of poverty and the fact that people of color are disproportionately represented among the poor, the need to examine racism as a stressor in research such as Evans and Schamberg’s seems essential.

Although they do not mention examining racial differences or the potential role of racism on working memory or other indicators of academic achievement in future studies, I hope Evans and Schamberg, as well as other scientists, will undertake this challenging but important research.

For an extensive review of research on the physical and especially psychological impacts of racism on people of color, see a special issue of The Counseling Psychologist. I’m grateful to Ruth Thompson-Miller at Texas A&M University for bringing this special issue to my attention.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter, Everyone!! Jesus Arose a Long Time Ago! Hallelujah!

Easter has always been a fun day for me. Growing up, it meant a new dress and having to remember a speech for the "recitation" part of Easter service. We'd get up early for Easter sunrise service, have breakfast at church, come home and try to catch a nap before attending an abbreviated regular church service.

As I grew up, I aged out of having to remember a speech to having to remember lines for a sort of play.

Easter is also one of the reasons I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Not that he had died for my sins - I had sinned just like everybody's sinned (Romans 3:23). I mean, I understood that was why he died and arose with all power in his hands - death is the consequence of sin, but Jesus's death and resurrection meant I would have to die and go to hell, but could live with God in heaven forever (Romans 6:23)! I really appreciated that God loved me so much that he'd die for me (Romans 5:8)!

But, honestly, I was more impressed that he could come back to life all by himself, no Papa Smurf or shots or anything! That, in my very young opinion, was just amazing! Why wouldn't I serve a God who loved me that much and could come back to life all by himself?!

Today is just a great day for Christians around the world. And, well, today could be a great day for you, too, if you were to believe in your heart that Christ has risen from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).

No Greater Love - GMWA National Mass Choir

Friday, April 10, 2009

Riot or Revolution? 4

Hey. I'm starting to think I'm on to something. First, I linked this op-ed by Charles M Blow in an update to RorR3, but might as well link it here to. It captures my point nicely.

And you know who else captures me point nicely? The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Watch and enjoy.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The No. 1 Show on HBO . . .

(Cross-posted, with links, at dangerousNegro. I'll put links in later.)

. . . and BBC One: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency! starring Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Lucian Msamati, and Desmond Dube, the man who is “very much like a woman.” (That’s a line from the show. It’s funny.) Okay, so I don’t know if it’s actually the #1 show on HBO. I don’t watch a lot of HBO original shows, or, maybe, actually, any HBO original shows. Just this one. But I like it! And that’s all that matters to me.

But I’m not the only one who does. Rick Porter of “From Inside the Box” likes it. Along with Latoya Peterson of Racialicious, Mary McNamara of the LA Times, Alan Sepinwall of the Newark-based Star Ledger, and finally, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly. I invite you to read their reviews. Mostly because I haven’t written one since college, but let me take a whack, huh? I promise, I’m not an amateur.

Now, initially, I thought some of the things I liked about the show would be negatives for others. After reading the reviews, I’m happy to say I’m wrong. The show is bright, light, and happy. It doesn’t have the darkness and grit that you’d expect from HBO. And, most surprisingly, it doesn’t have the sex you’d expect from a show about black women in Africa. Each episode debuts Sundays at 8p but recur throwout the week. It’s definitely something you can and should watch with kids, be they your own or some neighborhood kids or some kids from church or, maybe even, a foster child you’ve decided to love.

Anyway, while it’s another “detective” show, it doesn’t have the intensity or action most expect. Me? I don’t need the action. In fact, I kinda like that the show is what some might call slow. It’s not slow in the way that you’ve watch 10 minutes of a movie and nothing’s happened. But it has a gentle, baby-rocking sense to its timing and movement.

For the things I love about the show? Well, first of all, lets cheer the fact that there’s another primetime show starring black women! And these aren’t little skinny bitches, as Monique would say, but “proper, African women” (another line from the show). Well, Rose is little and skinny. But Jill Scott ain’t! Now, I’m not promoting obesity or over-eating and under-exercising, but most of us sistahs, even at our thinnest, are still thick. It’s nice to see that lauded in the media. It really is.

I also love the picture it promotes of Africa. Here’s something from Engl 042: the director is probably using an open lens to let a lot of light in, and the natural lighting adds to the beauty of the shot. After all, it is all shot in beautiful Botswana. Don’t get me wrong, apparently not everybody was happy with the more happy portrayal of Botswana. And there is something to be said about the fact that in Africa, “cheating husbands spread AIDS” (Though I would like to point out not everybody in Africa has AIDS. Don’t get me wrong. 29 million AIDS patients is an alarming number. But 664 million who don’t have AIDS is an honest number as well.). But who doesn’t know about the troubles in Africa. Who doesn’t know about the genocide, the hunger, the dying, etc and so on. I’m not trying to downplay it. In fact, because of my commitment to educate and inform, I’m finishing a book that will enlighten us as to some things we can do for Africa. So, I’m not trying to act like Africa doesn’t need our attention and help. It’s just nice to see another side that’s just as real and true of Africa. There are people who eat regularly, see a doctor and dentist regularly, and go about their lives like we do here. That’s important to know. Botswana is one of the more “luckier” countries. It’s not beset by civil war or anything like that. The wealth coming from the countries natural resources are used to benefit everyone. So the 4 D’s of Africa, death, disease, disaster, dispair, aren’t so awful in Botswana as say, the Congo. It’s good for us as a people, as well as other people in the US and around the world, to see something about Africa that we can be proud of.

So the show is light, and the scenes and shots can be gorgeous. But don’t sleep on the characters. BK is a gay hairdresser. Initially, there’s just been some cute moments like Rose’s character Grace’s “that man acts very much like a woman.” But in the 2nd episode, and since I’m not some big-time reviewer, I only see what you see, there was a touch of controversy. Jill Scott’s character left a husband whose abuse caused the death of their baby. And while I thought Grace wasn’t married, in the 2ndepisode, there was some man at her house. Yeah, it’s probably her husband, but in the pilot, someone comments that Grace can’t know about men since she’s never been married and Grace doesn’t argue, so. But anyway, the characters are complex. They have depth. Yes, the picture quality is Disney-like. But the character’s aren’t. Rose isn’t a princess in this show.

Another thing to love about the show is the music. I’m sorry to be going on so long, but I have to say something about the music. It’s great! There are some snippets of the traditional African song/harmony, which is pleasant to my ears. But there’s also some modern African funk/soul/R&B/jazz that sounds wonderful. It’s nice to hear the soundtrack of the motherland. It is.

And let me just stress the racial politics of the show. Again. How often do we see black women portrayed as the standard of beauty, much less fat/thick black women. Our children need to see that. And these women aren’t running around have sex. They’re not the hyper-sexual picture of black women that we usually see. Not the usual “sassy” black woman. Not the fat, mothering, “mammy” black woman. We need to see that.

The show is based on an African woman who lives in a town that’s the capital of a country that’s run and governed completely by people of color. We need that! Hey, I love Obama, but we need more. Right? This show is superb in regard to racial politics. It really is. I mean, really, take a break from wonderbread land, and get yourself some fresh fruit! Imagine! a show based in a world without anti-black racism. It’s like chicken soup for the black soul. I ain’t even lying!

I only have 2 minor problems with the show. One is that it’s on HBO. Not everyone has access to it. But hopefully, it can have the same impact on popular culture as Sex and the City. The other problem is that I always start talking with an accent when I watch it. It’s crazy!

Jokes aside, honestly, watch the show, Mma!

I Don't Believe This!

First off, I hope I'm not breaking any laws. This is copyrighted by the AP. But, if somebody says something, I'll just take it down.

Okay. Now. I'm really happy about this decision. I'm happy for the victims of apartheid. Now, hopefully somebody can catch a clue about the victims of slavery and neo-slavery (Jim Crow).

Well. Truth be told. I'm actually a little upset that a US judge can rule in favor of the victims of racism in another country, but more than 9 out of 10 white Americans would reject reparations for the descendants of slaves. That's not even counting what's owed to the descendants and living victims of neo-slavery (Jim Crow).

But. I am happy for the victims of apartheid in South Africa. ~ No1KState

NY judge rules in favor of 1970s apartheid victims
Published: 4/8/09, 9:05 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Apartheid victims who accused automakers and IBM of helping the government of South Africa engage in violent repression to enforce racial segregation in the 1970s and '80s can go to trial with their claims, a judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin rejected assertions by several countries that the lawsuits should not proceed because that might harm relations between the United States and South Africa.

The written decision was related to lawsuits filed about seven years ago on behalf of victims of apartheid. The lawsuits once targeted many more U.S. corporations, including oil companies and banking institutions, but the number of defendants was decreased after the lawsuits were tossed out by one judge and an appeals court that reinstated them said allegations needed more specifics.

After Scheindlin dismissed several more companies as defendants Wednesday, the plaintiffs were left to press their claims against IBM Corp., German automaker Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Rheinmetall Group AG, the Swiss parent of an armaments maker.

The plaintiffs, at least thousands of people seeking unspecified damages, allege the automakers supplied military vehicles that let securities forces suppress black South Africans. IBM is accused of providing equipment used to track dissidents.

The judge noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had referenced the apartheid cases in the footnote of an earlier decision when it wrote "federal courts should give serious weight to the executive branch's view of the case's impact on foreign policy" when the U.S. and a foreign government agree litigation could harm the domestic policies of a foreign nation.

But she said the footnote was only meant as guidance and the executive branch was not "owed deference on every topic."

The U.S. government had submitted a statement saying the lawsuits could become "an irritant in U.S.-South African relations" because they might interfere with South Africa's sovereign right to decide apartheid issues and might discourage investment in South Africa.

South African officials had said the efforts to compensate victims should be pursued within South Africa's political and legal processes.

Defense lawyers have said corporations shouldn't be penalized because they were encouraged to do business in South Africa during apartheid. Lawyers for the companies didn't immediately return telephone messages Wednesday.

Plaintiffs attorney Michael D. Hausfeld praised the ruling, saying it will allow his clients to begin obtaining evidence from the companies that will show what they did in relation to South Africa during apartheid.

"It's great," he said. "There's a treasure of documentation that would be disclosed for the first time ever."

Hausfeld said that besides South Africa and the United States, countries including Germany, Switzerland and England had opposed letting the litigation proceed.

He said it was significant that the judge concluded that opposition by governments was not enough to halt lawsuits brought for human rights reasons. Ruling otherwise, he said, "would have given governments a veto power over the bringing of legal claims."

Daimler is based in Stuttgart, Germany, while Ford is headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., and General Motors is based in Detroit. IBM is based in Armonk, N.Y.

Rheinmetall Group is a holding company headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is the parent company of Oerlikon Contraves AG, an armaments maker headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

U-N-C! Go, 'Heels, Go!!

It's no secret how Pres. Obama and I feel about my 'Heels! ~ No1KState

Tarheel Nation
No. 2 North Carolina 55, No. 8 Michigan St. 34

Associated Press

DETROIT -- There was a team of destiny out there, all right. It's the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the final chapter of their story was about as heartwarming as a demolition derby.

Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and North Carolina won a national championship a season or more in the making, stomping out Michigan State's inspirational run Monday night with a 89-72 blowout that wasn't even that close.

Hansbrough scored 18 points, Wayne Ellington had 19 and Ty Lawson led all scorers with 21 and also had a record seven steals by halftime -- and now they and Danny Green can all head to the NBA feeling good about their decision to return to school to bring Carolina's fifth championship back home.

All those upperclassmen, save Hansbrough, came back in part because their draft prospects didn't look so good. They also didn't want their college careers to end on last year's embarrassing loss to Kansas in the Final Four. That was a dud of a game in which they trailed 40-12 in the first half and Billy Packer was telling CBS viewers it was over.

This time, North Carolina led 36-13 around the time "Dancing With The Stars" was starting on another network. At least nobody knew how that one was going to end.

Michigan State (31-7) simply never got any momentum. From the start, it was clear there was no way Carolina was losing control of this one, no chance for the Spartans to serve up that definitive ray of sunshine and warm-and-fuzzy smile for a state that's been battered by the ailing economy.

The Tar Heels (34-4) were up 55-34 at halftime, breaking a 42-year-old title-game record for biggest lead at the break and setting the mark for most points at the half.

This collection of NBA talent was too, too much from wire to wire, from the start of the tournament, to the very end.

Carolina won every game by double digits, something that hasn't happened since Duke did it in 2001.

Lots of basketball fans saw this coming, including America's No. 1 Hoopster-in-Chief.

Yes, President Barack Obama picked the Tar Heels to take it all in his much-publicized bracket.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Riot or Revolution? 3

Update: Just a link to a NY Times op-ed by Charles M. Blow. It's a good read.

I was just gonna update RorR2, but this info does help explain the audience Glenn Beck is talking to - "the disaffected and aggrieved Americans of the Obama era . . .." And make no mistake about it, I think these "disaffected and aggrieved" people are a joke. You should really read the entire article. I think it strengthens my point.

And for fun, here's Stephen Colbert.
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Obituary: John Hope Franklin

I should've done something like this a long time ago. ~ No1KState

African-American whose scholarship fostered equality
By Jurek Martin

Published: April 3 2009 19:39 Last updated: April 3 2009 19:39

Most historians never experience the times about which they write. But John Hope Franklin, who died last week, not only defined the black experience in America in historical terms, above all in his classic book From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, but for much of his 94 years he lived it.

He was born, on January 2 1915, in the black shanty town of Rentiesville, Oklahoma, where his lawyer father, Buck, had moved after being denied the right to practise in his native Louisiana. When he was six he saw his father’s law office burned to the ground during the race riots in nearby Tulsa. At 11, he heard the great black intellectual, W.E.B. Du Bois, preach against discrimination. (They later became friends.)

He went to the all-black Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, as the University of Oklahoma would not admit him because of his race. He took his Harvard entrance exams at Vanderbilt University, also in Tennessee, in a classroom in which, a janitor told him, no black person had ever been allowed even to sit down.

Harvard masters and doctoral degrees under his belt, he found himself driving, with Aurelia, his new wife and Fisk sweetheart, across the Carolinas from Charleston to Raleigh on December 7 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. But he never knew about it until he reached his destination. The car had no radio and he could not be served at the whites-only filling stations and diners en route where he might have picked up the news.

He volunteered for wartime service as a historian or in a clerical capacity with the war department and the US navy, but was never hired. His brother, a school headmaster, did enlist but was assigned only menial kitchen duties and was subject to so much racial abuse by white soldiers that he committed suicide shortly after demobilisation. Franklin himself remembers being crammed into a segregated train in Philadelphia and observing four white men lounging alone one carriage away; they were German prisoners of war.

In the 1950s, his reputation already established by the publication of From Slavery to Freedom in 1947, he was appointed chair of the history department at Brooklyn College in New York, the first black person to achieve such status in the US. But he found he could not rent or buy a house close to work because of the colour of his skin. Much later, when he was 80 and had just emerged from the White House, he was hosting a dinner at the Cosmos Club, the exclusive Washington institution of which he had become the first black member 30 years earlier. A white woman who was leaving peremptorily handed him a ticket to get her coat from the check room.

It all amounted to a personal history not untypical of an African-American of his generation, especially one from the Jim Crow South, which could have made him a very angry young, or old, man. Indeed, the sense of injustice burned deeply in him, particularly on the subject of education, but, as a generally mild-mannered intellectual scholar, he rarely allowed himself to wear it on his sleeve.

However, he could deploy it in the cause of racial equality. Thurgood Marshall, the brilliant black lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, saw he needed Franklin’s expertise in preparing his arguments before the Supreme Court in the Brown vs Board of Education case on school segregation, decided in 1954. This hung on the definition of what constituted “separate but equal”, then broadly accepted in law. Franklin and his team provided both the history and the context to bolster Marshall’s case. As he recalled: “Using the findings of the historians, the lawyers argued that the history of segregation laws reveals that their main purpose was to organise the community upon the basis of a superior white and an inferior Negro caste.” The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favour of the NAACP and the whole edifice of laws upholding segregation began to crumble. Ten years later, Franklin was marching with Martin Luther King on Selma, Alabama.

But his enduring force was as an academic and author, not as a public advocate, though it surely could be argued that the end results were similar. From Slavery to Freedom, frequently updated over the years, altered the ways in which America examined its history by proving that African-Americans were not marginal members of society, as had been the prevalent academic view, but an integral part of the country’s development. They had fought in the revolution and the civil war and had provided the slave labour that sustained the South.

He gave rise to a range of studies into American racial and sexual minorities. He was the godfather of a new generation of black scholars, such as Henry Louis Gates and Cornel West.

The sheer quality of his work, sustained over many years, always found him a home in the best American universities, Howard, Chicago and Duke, as well as a year as a visiting professor at Cambridge, England. He was the first black president of the American Historical Association and the first black person to present a paper to the segregated Southern Historical Association. He received the ultimate American civil honour, the Medal of Freedom, from President Bill Clinton in 1995.

Perhaps his final satisfaction, exceeding even the orchids that he cultivated at his North Carolina home, was the election of Barack Obama last year. He remembered a game he would play with his schoolteacher mother, Mollie. “She used to say that if anyone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, tell them you want to be the first Negro president of the United States. And just the words were so far-fetched, so incredible, that we used to really have fun, just saying it.”

The incredible having been achieved, he died of congestive heart failure, Aurelia having died 10 years earlier. They are survived by their one son.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Brazil’s Leader Blames White People for Crisis

I didn't come up with the title. That's the title of the article. I just kept the title because it's the simple and at the same time, not what white Americans think.

Of course, I think it's hilarious!! But that's just me and my wicked sense of humor. ~ No1KState

Brazil’s leader blames white people for crisis
By Jonathan Wheatley in São Paulo and agencies

Published: March 27 2009 00:27 Last updated: March 27 2009 00:27

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday blamed the global economic crisis on “white people with blue eyes” and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people’s mistakes.

Speaking in Brasília at a joint press conference with Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, Mr Lula da Silva told reporters: “This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.”

He added: “I do not know any black or indigenous bankers so I can only say [it is wrong] that this part of mankind which is victimised more than any other should pay for the crisis.”

Mr Brown appeared to distance himself from Mr Lula da Silva’s remarks. “I’m not going to attribute blame to any individuals,” he said.

Mr Brown was visiting Brazil as part of a five-day tour of Europe, the US and South America in preparation for the G20 summit to take place in London next Thursday. He made a joint appeal with Mr Lula da Silva for the world’s biggest economies to provide $100bn to boost global trade.

“I’m going to ask the G20 summit next week to support a global expansion of trade finance to reverse a slide in world trade,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Lula da Silva also spoke out strongly against raising trade barriers in response to the global crisis. “I compare protectionism to a drug,” he said. “Why do people use drugs? Because they are in crisis and they think the drug will help them. But its effects pass quickly.”

The two leaders’ remarks demonstrate the desire each will have to secure the other’s support during the G20 meeting.

Brazil – which has long campaigned unsuccessfully to be given a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council – will argue for a bigger voice for Brazil and other emerging nations in multilateral organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Forum, a group of central banks and national supervisory authorities established in 1999.

Brazil is one of many nations calling for increased regulation of global financial markets and greater powers for multilateral regulators.

It will also call for a resumption and conclusion of the Doha round of talks at the World Trade Organisation.

In return for supporting such initiatives, Mr Brown will expect Brazil to endorse calls for fiscal stimulus in a bid to mitigate the impact of the global crisis, such as the proposed $100bn in trade finance.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Riot or Revolution? 2

Finally! right? First off, I'm sorry about the delay. And second off, this may not be as detailed as I would otherwise like. I'm being a bit busier than usual. Helping out with Lauren's kids the past couple of days. So, I'm a bit tired. And I promised Lauren I'd write her about the kids soon, the final of a 3 part series of my time with them recently. And I just started blogging with a group blog, dangerousNegro. So, a lot has been going on. Not a lot for a person of normal health, but a lot for me.

So, what was my point about riot or revolution? Well, conceptualization, I guess. I mean, we all know that racism involves "Othering." I just think that in this "nation of cowards," we don't really consider how it operates.

For instance, would Glenn Beck consider himself a racist? Probably not. Then again, neither would Geraldine Ferraro or Pat Buchanan. But look at what he's spreading. The idea that violence perpetrated at the government by whites is not just understandable but justifiable.

Now, of course he gives this as the "worst case scenario," and you should know I haven't watched the clip since before I posted it, but as I recall, his general thesis was that the present government isn't listening to the little guy. Of course, he means this present executive administration that just happens to be presided over by a black guy, but he somehow dates the "rebellion" past Pres. Barack Obama's time in office as to avoid that accusation. But come on. I'm not buying. You?

So anyway. We have this uprising by whom? If there's one constituency I know Glenn Beck can't claim to represent, racist or not and probably racist, is black folk and/or any folk of color. So who's rioting? Who's rioting against who's government? What is this government doing? Presumably, it's gone to the left, right? So, a progressive tax system, a social safety net, affirmative action, gay marriage, abortion on demand, etc and so on. So who's rioting and why?

Now. Glenn Beck says they're rioting because the government isn't listening to them. Which, for me, is a big hoot! I mean, really. After 2 centuries of unquestioned domination, women and people of color and the LGBT community finally start making a push and get the government to finally represent their interests, and white men wanna rebel? Really? It's nearly hilarious!

So, again. There's a violent uprising by who? because the government isn't listening to them.

Well. Where was Glenn Beck and his elk when thousands of people descended on Jena, LA because the government wasn't listening to them? I wonder what he thought about the 1992 LA riots. What were Glenn Beck's thoughts on the occurrences post-Katrina? Well, here's one:
But the second thought I had when I saw these people and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims.
Where's the sympathy then for a violent uprising towards a negligent government? Where was his army to back up and support the people then?

Don't get me wrong. The man is consistent in denying his racism. But here's my point and you can discuss anything you may have noticed that I left out - racism continues unabated in this country because so many white people in positions of power and influence, be they radio shock-jocks or US Congressmen, engage in Othering and refuse to allow someone to point it out to them. It's their natural reflex to see a black guy reach for his wallet, think "gun," and shoot 30, 40, 50 times without apology and even stopping to reload; but, apologize when they have to kill a white man who was shooting at them.

Racism remains rampant in this country and this Othering is why. If we're really going to get past racism, we can't keep letting white people enjoy the privilege of defining and describing what happens in the world. We have to stop sympathizing with white perpetrators and criminalizing black victims. It would also help if Glenn Beck wasn't given air time. And so long as that continues, I'll be here to riot about it!

Or, would that be a revolution?

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But Don't Jack My Genuis