Archive | October 2007

The Weekly Dream…

I have a speaking engagement tomorrow at the Communities Learning to Invest and Mobilize for Business rally in Milwaukee.  I will be the Keynote speaker, so I am busy prepping and going over my notes.  However, I will be sure to post the text of the speech tomorrow for everyone to see.  So, if you are in desperate motivation NOW, either hit me up or hit the archives. ;). 

Truth and Peace,

Steven M DeVougas

Obama challenges the new AG on the Jena 6

Cross-posted from the Brave New Films Blog.

Courtesy of Too Sense.

Barack Obama is saving face since he didn't show up in Jena. He wrote this letter to AG nominee Michale Mukaskey. Here's an excerpt:

In recent months, our nation's attention has been focused on the racial strife in Jena, Louisiana, and the disparate treatment of six African American youths. As Attorney General, will you commit the investigative resources of the Civil Rights Division to ensuring the fair treatment and execution of the law in cases such as the Jena 6, as well as the recent acquittal by an all-white jury of eight prison guards accused of killing a young black male at a juvenile detention center in Florida?

I am happy that Obama is showing some character here. It is called the Department of Justice, so he is calling for Justice to be served to everyone everywhere. I want to see more, concrete Civil Rights-related statements like this from Obama.

One Love. One II.

Do “Black”-outs work?

Cross-posted at the Brave New Films Blog.

Money Fist

Activist and Radio Talk Show Host Warren Ballentine has called for a Black out on Friday, Nov. 2nd. This is in response to, among other things, the domestic torture of Megan Williams, and the Jena 6.

From the release:

Until we have federal legislation in place regarding these hate crimes, as African Americans we need to band together to show our “Economic Power” by refusing to spend ANY money that day from fast food restaurants to gas.

There are calls for these sorts of actions all the time, and they are usually motivated by positive intentions: solidarity, taking a stand, being deliberate with your economic power. We see them on all sorts of issues, from gas prices to impeachment. These are all good things, but I question their effectiveness. For one, this sort of action can only successful if it is extremely specific and if it is sustained.

Read More…

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

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.