Politics

#MLKNOW Brings Out Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, & More To Honor MLK | News One

2016 MLK Now

Blackout for Human Rights, Riverside Church

Click on the Link Below for the performances in the entirety.

Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement

On the week that would have marked the late leader’s 87th birthday, social justice groups Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and more with MLK Now at the legendary Riverside Church in Harlem, New York. Monday night’s event highlighted historic speeches by civil rights heroes like MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Sojourner Truth, and Shirley Chisholm, recited by Lin Miranda-Manuel, Andre Holland, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte.

Source: #MLKNOW Brings Out Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, & More To Honor MLK | News One

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Mommafucious: Final Thoughts for 2015, Part III

Kwanzaa 2014 Flyer

UMass photo

Final Thoughts for 2015, Part III: This is part three because I know that tomorrow, there will be more uncluttered ruminations.

Happy Kwanzaa, Everyone

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UJIMA -collective work and responsibility.

In 1985, Whitney Houston sang,

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

 

I woke up this morning hearing these lyrics, first penned by Linda Creed in 1977 in The Greatest Love of All. But it was Houston’s 1985 voice and image that added the emphasis of Black and mother; love and hearth. I smiled because my children are out there in the world making the most of what this world has to offer them. And then as I settled in with coffee and a mouse, there were other visions.

 

The first article was of 2,000 youths rioting in a mall and throughout the surrounding neighborhoods of St. Matthews in Louisville, Kentucky where responding officers were busy “keeping people safe” and had no time for arrests.  The teens were described as unruly. One interview with a police officer described the scene as a fight and the barrage of calls to authorities a misunderstanding. He claimed from the outskirts of the crowd, it sounded worse than the incident actually was. Had it not been for various other reports of the youths spilling out into the streets, neighboring brawls and civil unrest from other news stations, his statement would have charmed the public into the “kids being bad” narrative.

 

The second article, a Chicago, Illinois family dispute between a father and son ending in the 19-year-old son, Quintonio LeGrier and a 55-year-old neighbor Bettie Jones shot dead by responding law enforcement, closed the nation’s conversation. Everyone is now safe.

 

The eeriest of this was the “Top Stories” ticker tape streaming across the screen’s bottom while the reporter described the Chicago scene. Floods, terror threats, fires, and of course the 1000-2000 “unruly-youths.” Media matters. I rolled back to the late 20th century argument against indicating the race of offenders when they are non-White and media bias in reporting. We fought for equal reporting, but we as Blacks were not there as yet within our communities. We worried more about respectability politics than respect for our lives.

Black abolitionist and writers sought to humanize the African and African civilization to the rest of the world before and after Reconstruction. But humanity loves and hates, it is pristine and messy, it is clear and polluted, and it is raw. We cannot dismiss this in our fight for recognition in all that is human. To dismiss any part of our human selves is to create an inhuman and inhumane approach to each other. No other body denies or denigrates its broken limbs as we do. They sting and burn and seek attention. The kind of attention easily utilized by the Other as they deny, yet understand that it is a part of their whole. This is our worry. This is our politics.

WorthyLIFE

w-dervish.blogspot.com

 

We understand that “All Lives Matter,” yet until a child was torn from us in public, with no regard from the perpetrator or authorities, did some realize that Blacks lives were never a part of that “All.” So we proclaimed, “Black Lives Matter.” The world rumbled on all sides. A burning CVS said, “They are not worthy as yet. The media showed the photo of a burning CVS more than the body of our young lying on the streets as an omen; — more than it popularized the burning of Black Wall Street.

 

I am not a fan of R. Kelly, but I did respect him for walking out on the Huffington Post interview.  We choose our heroes, not by merit, but by our own demented biases. He refused to be beaten by his challenges and that is ok too. Bill Cosby has challenges that are multiplied by his present game of Dodge Ball. With Cosby, the African American community is divided by respectability politics and nostalgia on one end and rape culture on the other. Is this so for R. Kelly? Can we enjoy his music and still guard our children as parents are wont to do? I have never had a problem enjoying Woody Allen’s genius, but I definitely would not hire him as a babysitter.

 

So what is our solution? When do we get real? In the 1980’s, I saw a White man outside of the Wall St. Stock Exchange dressed in an expensive suit smoking crack at a phone kiosk. No one in my periphery snarled, sloped away, or even acknowledged him. We might determine it was because he was white, or wealthy, or manicured, any of the deference we do not grant the common man. I thought of privilege; of the friends and world that grants him a stumble and help him rise again. Dr. Bernard LaFayette communicated, if I may paraphrase, that it is not the one community that supports an idea that gives it power; it is the millions worldwide that support it making the difference in the power it wields. But I have also been told that each drop of water creates an ocean.

 

When do we find enough credibility in our community despite our broken homes, gang violence, drug addiction, economic marginalization, illiteracy, and sagging pants? Every nation of immigrants has faced the same challenges in America. The difference is they were human when they arrived. They banded together in their ghettos, not around their achievements, but around their challenges. They climbed mountains together knowing that some may fall and others, in doing so, may add dead weight. But they held the rope, pulled each other up and never let go.

 

“The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all”

Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson at TED2014 | TED Blog

Hobson wants to make clear, “I’m not here to complain. I’ve been treated well by people of all races more often than not. I have succeeded in my life more than my wildest expectations. I tell the uniform story because it happened. I tell the race stats because they are real.” And furthermore, those continuing problems threaten to rob future generations of their opportunities.


Source: Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson at TED2014 | TED Blog

Black Men Rally In D.C. For 20th Anniversary Of Million Man March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black men from around the nation are gathering on the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and call for policing reforms and changes in black communities.

The original march on Oct. 16, 1995, brought hundreds of thousands to Washington to pledge to improve their lives, their families and their communities. Women, whites and other minorities were not invited to the original march, but organizers say all are welcome Saturday and that they expect to get hundreds of thousands of participants.

Source: Black Men Rally In D.C. For 20th Anniversary Of Million Man March

America Feels The Bern: Bernie Sanders Now Front-Runner (video) | The Young Turks

Watching this video of the excited Cenk Uygur host this episode of The Young Turks gave me pause. Suppose he does win?  I first became interested in Bernie Sanders because he reminded me of the yearly love/hate relationship I had with a leather salesman on Delancey St., NYC. I would be there early in the morning the week before school started. The first customer got the best deals back then. The shop keeper would eye me curiously. It always took him at least 6 minutes (I began to time him) of me flipping through his racks of leather coats for him to take me seriously.

The shop was a scary, dim, and crowded den. Scraggly. Something like the Bernie Sanders who first appeared on my Facebook page. But it held all of the goodies, all of the right smells, and the right prices for my pocket. The shop keeper spoke ripe and sharp as he explained the grain and texture of leather. I have heard his lecture every year but listened intently. I stroked the softest fur-lined coat while he bantered, but it is the first price I am waiting to hear.

Source: America Feels The Bern: Bernie Sanders Now Front-Runner (video)

This is the relationship that I am experiencing with this Presidential candidate. He speaks in the excited, unrehearsed malevolence that makes you think, I want him in my corner during a fight. And yes America, we seem to be in a fight for our lives.

When our Black Lives Matter representatives corralled Bernie’s space during the TWiB conference, I held my breath waiting for that 6 minutes to end. Of course Bernie and the rest of the world were shocked. Respectability politics dictates that Black Lives Mattered only in quiet spaces. Bernie was shocked most of all because his liberal All Live Matter issues had not included race since the 1960’s Civil Rights Era. But adding to his laundry list was imperative and our ladies did their job.

Not long after, racial equality was tacked on to the disheveled hair and rumpled suit. During every speech, I listened for that call for justice like the shop owners footsteps creeping up behind me. His crowds are growing alongside those of the scandalous Donald Trump and stumbling Ben Carson. Now that the ignored, cajoled, and crazy Bernie Sanders has captured the Democratic heart, will he keep his promise? I wonder.

When I picture Bernie Sanders running against Trump or Carson in the 2016 election, there are circus acts performing in the background. I am on a flight to the Caribbean having already mailed in my ballot. My cellphone, tablet, laptop are all off. Everyone on the airplane sighs as we lift off. And just before the drink cart creaks by, the flight attendant taps the mic. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an announcement. Our new President is… Deez Nuts!”

Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson | Comment is free | The Guardian

DeRay McKesson, like most of our young protesters, has had to have a thick skin during the past year. He has been the subject of many attacks surely aimed at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and is now referred to by some journalist and agencies as a “professional protester.” Now, Yale University is giving this new civil rights activist and chronicler a platform to show that he is more than any of the disparaging symbols forced on our conscience.

Those that have not supported McKesson, nor championed his energy during the many protests against Black genocide held around the country, may have to rethink all of what they have heard and seen. What lies behind the mask?  
If not for Twitter and Instagram, Missouri officials would have convinced you, one year ago, that we simply did not exist. Or that we were the aggressors, rather than the victims. That we, and not they, were the violent ones.

But social media was our weapon against erasure. It is how many of us first became aware of the protests and how we learned where to go, or what to do when teargassed, or who to trust. We were able to both counter the narrative being spun by officials while connecting with each other in unprecedented ways. Many of us became friends digitally, first. And then we, the protestors, met in person.

Social media allowed us to become our own storytellers. With it, we seized the power of our truth.

Source: Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson | Comment is free | The Guardian

Slavery Reparations Could Cost Up to $14 Trillion, According to New Calculation|Newsweek

Slavery Reparations Could Cost Up to $14 Trillion, According to New Calculation

The Permanent Memorial to Honor the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in New York City, acknowledges a tragic chapter in the nation’s history. Some have argued that reparations for slavery would help heal long-festering racial strife. EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS

Robert Westley, a professor at Tulane University who wasn’t involved in the paper, says that this and other examples can be used to refute arguments that slavery reparations would necessarily be too difficult to figure out. The French spoliation claims and others “were made and demanded over many generations,” he says. “Somehow problems of proof were not insurmountable in those cases, and shouldn’t be in the case of the United States with slavery.”

via Slavery Reparations Could Cost Up to $14 Trillion, According to New Calculation.

Bryant Gumbel: ‘My Son Was Arrested for Walking While Black’ (Aug. 6, 2015) | Charlie Rose

Bryant Gumbel to Charlie Rose:

“It’s like, NO! Stop! Stop! This has nothing to do with the victims. This has everything to do with the culture of demeaning a person of color. And… and there is no justification for society where my son has a far greater chance of being stopped, held, killed than your son.”

Bryant Gumbel‘s statements in this video isolated the main point of the #BlackLivesMatter movement away from the detracting “blame the victim” or the personal claims of those in communities with a lesser chance of experiencing institutional brutalities en masse.

Social Media has been ravaged with videos, memes, and postings decrying #BlackLivesMatter with Black on Black crime scenarios. We would expect this backlash from the ignorant and racist poor counterculture. Sadly, however, some Black individuals, too ignorant of the separation in discourse, have also hijacked the same rhetoric, not realizing its self-deprecating and dangerous implications.

Whites killing Whites, Hispanics killing Hispanics, Blacks killing Blacks, Europeans killing Europeans, and Africans killing Africans need their own hashtags. They are not to be commingled into a conversation which is politically, visually, and academically set apart to be addressed. In other words, if you are so concerned about the amount of violence in your ethnicity, race, class, or gender, study it, write about it, encapsulate it to the point that when those outside of that intra-conversation attempt to open their mouths, their breaths are as starved as their brains for lack of oxygen.

Published on Aug 6, 2015

via Bryant Gumbel: ‘My Son Was Arrested for Walking While Black’ (Aug. 6, 2015) | Charlie Rose – YouTube.

Oath Keepers Under Attack For Going To Ferguson – Then Its President Dropped A Truth Bomb

Far from wanted to be seen as a threat, [Stewart] Rhodes [President of Oath Keepers] explained that his group traveled to Ferguson with weapons in tow as a lesson to those who have bought into the “false choice being presented to the American people that the only way to stop arson and looters is to trample on the First Amendment rights of the protesters or to have a hypermilitarized police state.”

via Oath Keepers Under Attack For Going To Ferguson – Then Its President Dropped A Truth Bomb.

Janelle Monae & Wondaland – Hell You Talmbout (Eephus Tour Philadelphia 8-12-15) – YouTube

This election year, if your local, state, and national candidates are silent about #BlackLivesMatter, – they are not your candidates. Print #BlackLivesMatter on your ballot.

via Janelle Monae & Wondaland – Hell You Talmbout (Eephus Tour Philadelphia 8-12-15) – YouTube.

Published on Aug 13, 2015

Janelle Monae and the entire Wondaland records family perform her socially conscious song “Hell You Talm Bout” live at the kickoff night of the Eephus Tour at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA