Archive | September 2007

Jena 6 and a word on civility

For all the new folks that found the site and particularly interested in the Free the Jena 6 piece, I appreciate your presence. What I don’t appreciate is the sewage that I see in some of the comments. The subtitle for this site is Black Thought at the Highest Level which means that this is not a place for vulgarity, cheap one-liners, or otherwise uncivil dialogue.

If you cannot make your point without reason and tact, let me inform you that there are thousands of sites that appreciate such discourse. The SuperSpade is not one of them.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

Guest Contributor, Jameelah brings the fire…again

SuperSpade guest contributor Jameelah has blessed us again with another great piece of work; this time in the form of a poem. Let me add that art (in all its forms) are the true galvanizing force in advancing the causes we all keep dear to our heart. And if you are like me, then it is somewhat difficult for you to truly appreciate the ways in which movement politics and art must never be separated. The same way I get goose bumps when I hear Sam Cooke’s, “A Change is Gonna Come,” I had goose bumps when I read this poem and I was reminded that my source of energy must encompass more than the facts. Thanks Jameelah. Read More…

Punk Politics: Why no presidential hopefuls showed up at The Jena 6 rally

Barack Obama came out in support of The Jena 6; he was the first to do so publicly. Hillary Clinton made a statement praising Mychal Bell’s case being thrown out. John Edwards made a statement on the issue. So on the surface, it looks like the democratic presidential wannabes are on the record here.

Let me tell you why this not only insufficient, but it is another example of [democratic] politicians’ lack of backbone on the issues that matter in America.

Read More…

In search of justice for the New Orleans 200,000

A note from Dr. Calvin Mackie from the day before the Jena 6 rally.

One Love. One II.

Brothers and Sisters,

When you get to Jena please tell all those Black people that when they leave Jena, come to New Orleans in support of the injustice towards the New Orleans 200,000! Tell them that Charles Rangel (D) from NY still hasn’t visited New Orleans and that over 200,000 citizens, mostly Black, are still displaced to over 5500 cities in America. Where is our justice? Where is the outcry over a government who damaged and destroyed generations of Black fiscal, cultural and historical wealth via political and engineering neglect?

Okay, I have just awakened and realized that i dreamed that people, especially Black people, gave a damn about the greatest catastrophe in the history of the country. I guess racism and levees don’t mix, or we just can’t put it together. I guess we don’t see that civil rights is tied to equal protection, protection in the judicial system as well as in infrastructure. I’m awake now and I apologize for thinking and questioning, because I know a Black man is not suppose to do that.

Read More…

Until the Lions have their historians

I used to have a quote that I used in my signature that said, “Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.” Fortunately, the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have a historian through the International Tribunal on Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

The tribunal was formed to hear testimony by experts and survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After 30 hours of testimony, the preliminary findings are unfortunately not surprising.

Jill Soffiyah Elijah, the Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School and Chief Judge for the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, announced the Tribunal’s preliminary findings “It is our view that the U.S. government has committed crimes against humanity particularly in relation to its failure to maintain functional levees that should have protected the City of New Orleans from flooding; … it was the reckless disregard and, in some instances, negligence of the U.S. government, the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans that created the devastation we continue to see today.” Read More…

The Lawn Jockey Awards: Holding the Congressional Black Caucus accountable

Cross-posted from Brave New Films Blog.

The CBC Monitor and Black Agenda Report are putting together an event called Lawn Jockey Awards on 26 September 2007 in Washington DC. More details here.

These events that hold the government publicly accountable are not only [sadly] entertaining, but they are fundamental to the success & survival of representative democracy. This political age is too familiar with politicians who thumb their noses at the people they represent, caring only about a small, influential rich subset of their constituency.

The Congressional Black Caucus is just as guilty of this as any other subset of the legislature. However, given the general lack of attention afforded to Black issues in media and government, this adversely the Black folks the caucus represents even further.

I'd like to see "awards" like this given out for every caucus within the Congress. It's time to start getting politicians to put their votes where their rhetoric is. Too often these two do not align.

One Love. One II.

P.S. Can I vote for Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick?

Detroit Public Schools and the need for Restorative Justice

Cross posted from Michigan Messenger:

On August 31, 2007 Detroit Public Schools announced they would be setting up mini-police stations within certain high schools in their attempt to ebb crime in and around schools. 

Additionally, the Detroit News reports, “This year is historic because thousands of high school students are being forced to transfer to new schools because four high schools largely serving students from the city’s west side — Redford, Mackenzie, Murray-Wright and Detroit Northern — closed at the end of the last school year.”

When I was in high school, the extent to which school could feel like a precinct was the use of metal detectors. Between the violence stemming from guns and knives especially, the metal detectors were draconian, but I could see how others could see the logic. The police mini-stations are logical but they create an extremely stigmatizing environment for students. It is time for a wholesale revision of how justice is administered to people, school-age in particular. Read More…

Mychal Bell’s conviction has been overturned!

One of the Jena 6 is now free closer to free.

His conspiracy charge was already thrown out. Now, his case will be handled exclusively in juvenile court, which is where it should have been all along.

One Love. One II.

The Weekly Dream: Do Your Part

And [God] delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.”

-2 Peter 2:7-8

 Everyday, I face a decision: either stick my head in the sand like an ostrich or be aware of what is going on around me.  Why is this such a difficult decision.  If I bury my head in the sand (i.e. work, routine), then I am in control.  I am the King of My Comfort Zone.  In this realm, I am King Comfort.  And King Comfort is extremely selfish.  However, if I choose awareness, I choose to be challenged, and on some level, see things I do not like.  I choose to feel.  And sometimes, feeling is frustrating. 

The World’s Gone Mad…

Lately, this decision has become more immediate.  Personally, the injustice in the world seems especially intense.  From the Jena 6 to the Genarlow Wilson case, to the War, to the extremely poor race relations, to the woman who was tortured-our justice system has become a mockery.  We are more concerned about the death of some dogs than our brothers and sisters.  Our government has become mockery because it seems like it has silently and not so subtly declared war on its citizens. 

The question I have really been dealing with is whether things have gotten worse or are things just the same.  Throughout history, when law was born, so was injustice.  I used to thing that the days were getting darker, but I am beginning to believe that it is just a re-run of the same fight, good v. evil.  And each generation has had their own battle to fight to maintain and restore justice on the earth. 

Righteous Lot

In the book of Genesis, Abraham’s nephew Lot followed Abraham out of Mesopotamia.  When God had blessed them to where the land could not contain them, they parted ways.  Lot settled by the city of Sodom.  Sodom was extremely wicked, to the point where God could not find ten righteous people in the city.  Lot lived in the city, but he did not condone their lifestyle.  The new testament said that his soul was vexed.  Lot was so righteous that the inhabitants were sick of him.  So God decided to save Lot and his family and destroy the city (Genesis 19). 

How many of you have been vexed by the injustice that you have seen?  The next question is what have you done about it?  Or have you been too “busy”?  Busy is how most of the atrocities that take place occur.  In the Book of Ezekiel, God calls us “watchmen.”  What do watchmen do?  They are aware and they sound the alarm when something happens that should not be happening.  How have you been doing as a watchman? 

I am not saying that it is your job to try to whistleblow on every injustice in the world.  However, do not turn a blind eye to the suffering and injustice in the world, that way you know you are supposed to do something to make this world a better place.  We can always do more, but do something small, repeatedly over time, is better than not doing anything at all.  People are hurting, the world is hurting.  I have been challenged in my spirit to do a better job.  The least I can do is speak up. 

That is the entire mission of The Superspade and that is what we work for.  To not only be aware and speak up but to put our action, time and resources behind our beliefs.  We and our readers are people of conviction and action.  So, do not lose heart. I have not lost hope.  All this madness that surrounds us is a call to action and a call to battle.  We must fight until either peace is restored or the world comes to an end.  That is the mentality of a warrior, it is all our nothin’.  But it will not come easy. 

We must do our part.  And if we allow ourselves to get uncomfortable, God said we will be comforted.  But you cannot comfort someone who is already comfortable.  I just had to get that off my chest, because I am disgusted with what has been going on in this country and the world on all fronts.  So, sign a petition, educate yourself and those around you, work your governmental system, discuss the issues.  Just do something. 

For the Love of God, we are WATCHMEN.  And if you are already involved, push it to the limit and don’t give up.

Truth and Peace,

Steven M DeVougas

Barbara Lee shows why I love Black women

Because they often times have heart when no one else does.

What’s even more sad is that I know that none of the current presidential hopefuls would have the heart to do something like this.

One Love. One II.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 49 other followers