Archive | April 2008

How to save gas money: don’t be fat

I’m looking forward to discussing further why we choose to interact with the environment the way we do, but an article I came across yesterday got me thinking even more and more about the impact of our consumption habits specifically those that lead to obesity. Read More…

Advertising on The SuperSpade

Some of you may have noticed the ad that displayed on the left side of The SuperSpade over the past week. That ad was from, the first advertiser ever on The SuperSpade, and we thank them for looking to us to communicate their progressive message.

There may be other readers, companies, or organizations out there that want to display their progressive messages on The SuperSpade. If you are interested, send an email to me at to find out more. We will sell ad space on this site from time to time for causes and organizations that we support and that are relevant to our readers.

Thanks again to MoveOn and to all the readers of this site. Brandon, Steve, and I will continue to serve you to the best of our abilities.

One Love. One II.

Sean Bell

Like many of you, I am outraged that the three detectives were acquitted of killing Sean Bell. Sean was 23 the night he was set to be married the next day and though he was unarmed, the cops thought him dangerous enough to deserve being killed. And Sean wasn’t just killed, he was shot 50 times. It is crap like this that make me upset as to why Black people fear and distrust the police.

I know there will be rallies held in New York to protest this miscarriage of justice and if you are in the area, you should go. After the marches though, Bell’s story like Amadou Diallo and others will be filed in the Black consciousness as the continuing saga of injustice that has plagued Black folk since we were kidnapped from Africa. Surely this is worth Black folk being bitter right?

Bell was killed at a strip club and the undercover detectives were there to investigate if there was prostitution going on. Prostitution is wrong I get it. But quite frankly, how in the world do you investigate prostitution? I mean you tell me that these detectives couldn’t have set up a camera and watch the footage from the precinct? Aren’t there enough unsolved murders in the hood that could be a better use of these detectives’s time? And while I don’t have a J.D., how is it these detectives were not brought before a jury?

I try to imagine the hell I would raise if one of my people suffered a death like Sean Bell. The fact is that while I never knew Sean, he is my brother and your brother too. Our prayers go out to Bell’s family and friends as they and we try to sort out this injustice.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

American Idol shows why we need an Electoral College

I don’t usually write on stuff like this, but I was struck last night and got to thinking about whether talent is enough, or whether the right person always wins. And in the event that the wrong person is winning, is there a way to correct that?

I saw two of the most talented individuals participating in the vanguard of American cultural expression that is American Idol get sent to the elimination round yesterday, with one of them having to be sent home. If that show had an electoral college (the judges?), that probably would not have happened.

In today’s political season, we may see something similar play out. Read More…

Earth Day is about more than being nice to the environment

Today is Earth Day, and as I walked out of my work cafeteria this afternoon, I realized why so many “environmentalists” annoy me. It’s not because they’re bad people or because they I disagree with their ideas, but it’s because I really think that they go about promoting their cause in the wrong way. Many of them attempt to get people to change their ways out of some sort of guilty moral obligation. Straight up, this approach will not work in the medium or long term. Read More…

standing up for Black liberation theology

H/t to my folks at Jack and Jill Politics for featuring this video of Michael Pfleger, a Catholic Priest based out of Chicago. When I wrote earlier about Black silence on Jeremiah Wright, I wanted to hear someone break it down like this. Enjoy and please watch the whole video. Stay up fam,

Mass transit in Detroit and where you been BQW?

What’s up fam, I know folks are like dang, what happened to the Spade? By way of updates, Steve is a newlywed so he deserves time to enjoy his wife and Garlin is probably busy creating a new business venture. I for one am up to my neck in the Michigan Policy Summit and if you are in Michigan, you will definitely want to be a part of this annual gathering of progressives. Two dynamic keynotes in Amy Goodman and Jim Hightower along with policy focused discussions on health care, education, and environment and did I mention skills workshops for individuals and organizations ranging from social entrepreneurship to fundraising? Come out and show love May 10th and register now at

Below is an article I pulled from Crain’s in Detroit. If Detroit can turn the corner on transit, we will be on a good path. Enjoy the article and please pray for me. Stay up fam,

Mass-transit groups to meet

By Bill Shea Organizers of a $371 million project to build a light-rail line along Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to the State Fairgrounds were to begin meeting Monday with the backers of a privately funded plan with similar goals. Read More…

DuBois or Washington?

One of the most enduring debates in the Black Community is the philosophical divide Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois pitting the need for practical work and a liberal arts education against each other.

My former professor and now friend informed during vigorous debate once that they (Washington and DuBois) were both right in many respects and Black folks have been hoodwinked into thinking that things are “either, or” versus “both, and.” So for my people that have heard me make that argument, that is where it comes from but I digress.

My question to you is this, what would a hybrid vision of DuBois and Washington thought look like in 2008?

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

The Future of the Civil Rights Movement

Our good friend and true SuperSpade Jill Tubman from Jack and Jill Politics put up this awesome piece about the future of the Civil Rights Movement and how technology figures into the equation. I have posted the piece in its entirety and it is a must read.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Civil Rights Groups Wither – New Ones Taking Their Place

This Washington Post story Civil Rights Groups Seeing Gradual End of Their Era ends with this sentence though I’d like to start my response with it. It quotes E. Ethelbert Miller:


“What would happen if W.E.B. Du Bois or Marcus Garvey had a laptop?” Du Bois helped found the NAACP in 1909, and Garvey, a rival, started a back-to-Africa movement around the same time.


We are the answer to that question. In the vacuum of black leadership 40 years after Martin Luther King’s death, it’s his spiritual grandchildren that are carrying his mission forward now and not the civil rights groups he might have recognized. From the WaPo piece (emphasis mine):


In New York, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which helped shape the movement’s philosophy after adopting Mohandas K. Gandhi’s doctrine of nonviolent protest, is scarcely known outside Manhattan. CORE conceded that it now has about 10 percent of the 150,000 members it listed in the 1960s. Read More…

Garlin featured on Al Jazeera to discuss MLK legacy

What’s up fam,

Our very own Garlin was featured in an article in Al Jazeera (English edition) discussing Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy 40 years later. Garlin’s contribution is below but you can read the entire post here along with our friend Professor R L’Heureux Lewis, affectionately known as Dumi. Read More…


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