Archive | October 2007

Republicans like sick children (and so do actionless progressives)

Here are B’s thoughts on the S-CHIP. He is dead on as usual.

I am so mad that Bush and Republicans dug their heels in to block passage of the S-CHIP program. Seriously, if you don’t have the number of your Congressman/Senator on speed dial, don’t talk to me. We spend daytime minutes to talk about the most frivolous things so please take 2 minutes to contact your Representative, provided they voted against the program, and give them the business like your cell phone carrier just overcharged you $200.

This is not just about the S-CHIP program, it is about all the issues you care about but only talk about with people who already agree with you. Progressive bubbles and echo chambers are not helping so I have come up with a new rule. Don’t profess any progressive policy goal unless you do three things,

  1. Be on public record communicating this position amongst all of your relevant elected officials (local, county, state, federal)
  2. Challenge yourself to talk about this policy goal with someone you know would be against it.
  3. Tell other progressives about why we should support this policy goal.

The problem as I see it is that too many progressives never move past part 3.

Stay up fam,
Brandon Q.

Bush invokes WWIII

I apologize for being incognito fam. I think the government is trying to shut me down because I have been unable to login to The SuperSpade (for weeks now). Garlin and Steve, thank you for holding me down. In other news, “President Bush says world leaders risk bringing about World War Three if they do not do more to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.” Are we using WWIII now? This to me is scary because it reminds me of the “mushroom cloud” that Condoleezza Rice often invoked.

This fear mongering by Bush and Co. must be confronted with truth, integrity and reason. I have said before that I am worried that Bush has no intention of leaving office and it is talk like this that reminds me why I feel this way. Seriously, when was the last time you heard of a President enter the lame duck stage of his presidency with so much bravado?

Stay up fam,

Check me out at MichiganMessenger.com

The myth of the lazy Katrina survivor

Cross-posted on the Brave New Films blog.

Not-so-lazy Hurricane Katrina Survivor

A recent study based on a Washington Post/Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll concluded that the portrayal of Hurricane Katrina evacuees who did not leave New Orleans before the storm as lazy and reliant on government aid is inaccurate.

Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed were employed before the storm, with half of respondents holding full-time jobs. And 60 percent of evacuees polled were looking for jobs at the time of the survey.

"…lazy and reliant on government aid…" That's the same thing ignorant people think about poor Black folks in general, isn't it? I guess I should start believing in coincidences.

One Love. One II.

The Detroit Gathering

A group of concerned individuals and groups, including our very own Brandon Q., met last week to address issues facing inner-city Detroit: incarceration, the militarization of schools, etc. The Detroit Gathering as it is called, was inpsired by Harry Belafonte’s Gatherings for Justice. Belafonte met with the activists who would organize and participate in The Detroit Gathering this past June 2007.

On October 5th and 6th, participants in engaged in group dialogues and listened to performances and lectures all focused on a common goal: to transform social justice from an abstract ideal to a concrete, everyday reality in the city of Detroit.

The spirit of this meeting is in line with the purpose of this website. We want to translate the abstract into the concrete, the cloudy into the clear. There are issues that matter to each and every one of us, whether we realize it or not. This is changed by people coming together and sharing their experiences, their successes, their struggles, and their solutions. That was what the Detroit Gather was all about. That is what The SuperSpade is about as well.

One Love. One II.

Columbia’s Nooses: Why racism must be addressed at every opportunity

Cross-posted from Brave New Films Blog.

It is one thing when nooses and other symbols of hate are put in random places: on your car, in your own backyard. It's another thing when nooses are hung somewhere to send a not-so-subliminal message, as they in Jena, LA. However, it is an altogether different and much more scary & sinister animal when nooses are placed at the door of a specific individual.

What the hell is this world coming to? I know it's cool to be overtly racist these days, but wow. I'm know lawyer or constitutional scholar, but this looks like clear and present danger to me. When you lay a knife by someone's bedside while they sleep, you send a message that says "I can and will hurt you." When you get a noose hung on your door at your office, it sends the message that "I hate you and want to do something about it."

Read More…

HUD reduces rental assistance to Katrina survivors

Dr. Calvin Mackie responded on behalf of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) late last week regarding the announcement by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to begin reducing the level of rental assistance that will be provided to hurricane victims through the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP).

An excerpt:

While the Road Home is expected to deliver more than 90,000 grants to Louisiana homeowners by the end of the year and our programs to restore more than 30,000 rental units are in full swing, the bottom line is that not all of these units will be available before March, and we are still experiencing a severe housing shortage at every level.

When you have “severe housing shortages,” bad things happen: people get sick, crime increases, kids are left homeless and hungry. I thought Republicans were the party with the moral high ground; this sure doesn’t help promote families.

One Love. One II.

Bill Cosby is at it again

Cross-posted on the Brave New Films Blog.

Bill Cosby was on Meet the Press yesterday talking up his new book, Come On People, co-written with Dr. Alvin Poussaint. The show, surprisingly, spent the entire hour with the two men, jumping between issues addressed in the book. They talked about a fair amount, but the analysis given during this interview was as thin as the paper the text was printed on.

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The Weekly Dream: Fresh Eyes

“Hindsight is 20/20″

I have worn glasses all my life.  I have been nearsighted for as long as I remember.  I thought I was “fly” when I received my first pair of glasses, they made me look smart.  They were huge with fuschia marble frames.  When they got scratched on the playground, I still rocked them joints-even though I could not see a thing.  Looking back, I looked like a clown, but in the fifth grade I did not know any better.

Read More…

Interview with West Virginia Rape Torture Victim Megan Williams

Cross-posted on Brave New Films Blog.

The newspaper Final Call has an interview with Megan Williams, the Black woman that was tortured and raped by 6 caucasians in West Virginia recently.

Williams described the part of the torture like this:

They kicked me in the head with steel toed boots, they hit me in the head with several objects, I remember seeing a knife, and they tried to cut my foot off. They told me that is what they did to Kunta Kinte when they cut his foot off so he couldn’t run and that is what they were going to do to me.

My calendar says it's 2007, but this makes me seriously wonder.

One Love. One II.

Mychal Bell Re-incarcerated

Cross-posted from Brave New Films Blog.

(h/t to Too Sense)

Just when you thought things might die down a little bit here, Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6, the one who was cleared of adult charges and freed from jail following the rally in September, Bell has been sent back to jail.

While I think this is interestingly timed agree with Sharpton that [probably most of] the motivation behind this is likely in "revenge by this judge for the Jena Six movement," it does appear that at the end of the day his probation was indeed violated. That being the case, I can't get too mad; at least it's not an adult sentence. Now, why they tried to go for Bell's jugular instead of pursuing a more logical route is beyond most thinking, non-racist peoples' cognition.

I'm sick of consistent acts of justice being sprinkled with random acts of justice in this country. The promise of America is fairness, and fairness should be consistent. If it was, we wouldn't have ever had a Jena 6.

One Love. One II.

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