In the aftermath of Proposal 2, (Michigan voters recently voted to ban affirmative action programs in higher education admissions, public employment, and contracting) the universities were in the middle of an admissions cycle and opponents of affirmative action wanted the admissions standards to change immediately upon passage of the proposal. This was profoundly absurd and should show how you much good would be achieved if the energy used to keep Black kids out of college were used to improve public K-12 education..
Fortunately however, “U.S. District Judge David Lawson…said it would be too disruptive to do away with affirmative action immediately because they have already begun accepting students for next fall.” The judge went on to say that the schools have until July 1st to come up with new admissions policies for the next round of admissions. That’s great, but here’s the thing, too many people sat on the sidelines waiting for Proposal 2 to pass and then say “I told you so.”
Therefore, if you are in school right now or know people that are, this is a critical time in our history for students to help formulate policies that can do effective and meaningful outreach while surviving the legal rigor of a political climate affirmative action as a free pass for Black folks. So for all my people who were involved in this fight in Michigan and across the nation, the true ugliness of this fight is after affirmative action is banned. Now is the time to make sure mechanisms and programs are in place to make sure that universities can to the best of their ability still reach out to students that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
So now you have two choices, you can 1) talk about how screwed up this country is and refrain from getting involved or you can 2) stand up and fight for justice while pulling up kids behind you that need an example of success and hope. So whether it is tutoring, mentoring, or doing recreational programs, get in the game. The other side wants us to waste all of our efforts on the nuances of policy but our kids futures are in the balance. This fight isn’t really about race; it is about who can and who cannot get access to quality education. And Black people as a whole are on the outside looking in. So stop staring at your degree and provide the spark that kids need to believe in their potential and seize the power of education by the bullhorns!
The President announced plans today that he wants to increase the size of the army to fight the global war on terrorism. This is wrong on so many levels. For starters, the American military presence alone serves as a galvanizing mechanism for encouraging would be civilians into “insurgents.” It is tantamount to throwing gas on a fire and expecting the fire to be extinguished. Right now we have brave soldiers looking for IED’s (improvised explosive device) and having to question if a young man they gave candy to at 8am will not be shooting at them at 8pm.
What’s sad is that we all knew that for all of the recommendations by all of these blue-ribbon commissions, Bush was interested in only one; send in more troops. But let’s pay attention to the context because while the war is the big elephant in the room, we are cutting domestic programs, having China essentially hold us economically hostage, pushing for school re-segregation, and how could we forget our precious tax cuts?
We are at a turning point in our body politic. Most people will say in private that they don’t like where this war is taking America, but this is not enough. Wars can not be sustained without public support. So don’t sit up at home and wait on the activists to do your dirty work. Speak out and speak loud. YOU made the TIME magazine person of the year, so take your power and use your voice to let your government officials know that unless drastic things happen for the better, the consequences will be grave. We are on the precipice of seeing an America where the government is afraid of the people and the people are not afraid of the government. Seize this moment.
“God bless us all”
Question of the Week: What does Christmas mean to you, really?
How is everyone? I hope all is well. I missed being with you last week, but you know, duty calls. Final exams were an adventure, but thank the Lord, He saw me through all of them. As I write this, I am sitting at work in the midst of a “Country Christmas” as my boss has come up on the Christmas deal of the century as far as music is concerned. Everywhere around me, people are slowly starting to get into the Christmas spirit.
For example, during my adult life, my mother and my brothers have been quite lax when it came to Christmas decorations, often putting them up Christmas Eve. However, last night, my mother had me hanging reefs. Then , I go and see her this morning, and she is putting up a Christmas tree. When I asked her, why all of a sudden she was doing this, her kids are grown. She replied, “We are Christians, why shouldn’t we celebrate Christmas.”
This got me to thinking, “Where did Christmas go?” As I look around, Christmas does not look the way it did when I was a kid. I have not seen the Salvation Army bell ringers, not too many houses around have Christmas lights up, and although it is the season, it just does not feel like it. Since I do not have children, then I do not have the luxury of doing all that “Christmas stuff.” And I must admit, I do not know whether it is because I am just beginning to unwind from exams, but I have been feeling more Scrooge than Tiny Tim.
Thus, I am forced to redefine what Christmas now means. I could say all the cliché things, like it is a time for sharing, and giving, or when Christ was born. While these are all great facts, what does it really mean, to you and me? I want to try to avoid the lip service that marks this season and get to the heart and spirit of Christmas.
Instead of worrying about the food, the gifts, the rush, the traffic jams and the rampant consumerism that marks this holiday, I am trying to find the spirit of Christmas I knew when I was little. When you are little, you gave gifts with all your heart, whether it was that ornaments made at school or a picture and card drawn. Now, we give, but it is out of our abundance. Back then, we relied more on our creativity than on our wallet.
Why don’t we try something different? Let’s not only give of our wallets, but give of ourselves. Let’s tell our love ones how we really feel about them. Or instead of buying them something they really do not need, let us perform some job they need done. I think what is missing from the Christmas I knew was the heart and sincerity that really set it apart. Once we find that, I think we are closer to celebrating Christmas like Christians.
A Little Early…
I know Christmas is not until next week, but I felt like if I put this out there now, we can do something about it before the day actually arrived. Personally, I am grateful to all of the readers and supporters of the Superspade, and I mean that from the heart. Because of you, I am starting to feel more like Tiny Tim after all. Who knows? Perhaps I will write another Christmas post next week ;).
I know that things have been kind of quiet here, mainly due to quite a few things popping up for Brandon, Steve, and myself. I pray that this has given people a chance to take a look at some of our past writings.
To celebrate the holiday season and do something responsible with our money instead of running around the mall with money burning holes in our pockets itching to be given to proponents of ultra-consumer culture (I apologize for the rant), we have decided to start our own fundraising campaign. For every SuperSpade email subscriber that signs up between now and Christmas Day, we will donate $1 to charity. The selected charity is The Detroit Youth Foundation.
Please get as many people to sign up as possible, and sign up as a subscriber if you have not already done so. The more subscribers, the more we can contribute to the great work done by this organization.
There are currently 350 email subscribers, so there will be $1 added to this initial $350 for each new subscriber. I will update as the total increases.
Due to exams, there will be no Weekly Dream this week. However, next week everything will back to normal.
Truth and Peace,
Today, I am rolling out the first of many design changes on The SuperSpade.
Our goal here is to create a great online discussion and participation experience where we can debate issues and brainstorm solutions to problems. In order to make this experience the best that it can be, this site must grow.
Actually, the first change was the addition of categories. Today’s change is visual. It allows users to see previews of all of the sites that we link to for our news stories. All you have to do is move your mouse over a link, and you’ll see a popup with a picture of the site. Try these:
Try it and let us know what you think or if you have any problems with it. We’ll be adding more to make The SuperSpade a better place to read and participate.