#ICANTBREATHE

We Know Why More Black Voters Aren’t Feeling the Bern? | Habari Gani, America!

The protest movement is the factor that may well determine which Democratic candidate wins the black vote. Economic equality is certainly a priority for black Americans, but the number-one issue on most black voters’ minds is police brutality — a subject that neither Sanders nor any other candidate has discussed extensively until protesters have forced their hand.

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Why Aren’t More Black Voters Feeling the Bern? The article is half right – the half that would reply, “All Lives Matter,” while railing against racial inequalities. It is the man standing in the watchtower overlooking a great plantation. A whistle blows, no one moves, and he assumes that those below are deaf. But they are not deaf. They are trapped between the whip on the left and the gun on the right.

Black Americans have been in this quandary, stuck between parties, ever since the first African American was allowed to vote in these United States. Currently, it is expected that most, if not all, African Americans will vote Democratic. Anyone outside of the 1% who votes Republican would be a fool according to some social media memes, but Ben Carson is not doing too shabby in the polls. And you know how we love dormant, almost near dead representation. So don’t think that those Black votes trailing off of the Democratic pot are going into limbo.

Why Doesn’t Bernie Feel Black Voters?

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One specific quote in Terrell Jermaine Starr’s article caught my eye.

Lauren Victoria, a political strategist, says the senator’s tone was flippant. “He’s got to understand that the Democratic Party will not win this election without black voters, period,” she said. “So, the Democratic nominee, whether it is Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else, has to acknowledge that black voters are important.

As I have commented many times, trying to frighten impoverished Black people with Republican rule, more poverty, consistent war expenditures, state-sanctioned murder, and mass incarceration will not motivate them to vote. This simply means to the already generationally impoverished and targeted, longer lines at the food pantry, the unemployment and social service offices, and for a bed at the shelters. Recriminations for not voting are even more barefaced considering after the election of either stripe (Republican or Democrat); the most impoverished see little difference in their lives. Most have been eliminated from employment statistics as unemployable or not actively seeking employment. A whole cast of votes disappears down the rabbit hole. Sanders is aware of this and the catch.

Bernie Sanders’ history with the Civil Rights Era and its aftermath – the Big Sleep, assures him that most Black people who vote will vote Democrat. He understands that the church-going Black working poor, state, and middle-class will vote their pastor’s conscience. They have learned to pray through workplace racial attacks, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, DWB (Driving While Black), and the fallout from the last elected candidate who graced their meeting grounds. Sanders must make the church rounds and photo ops three weeks before the election and those votes are in the bag. He was also depending on respectability politics to curtail any overt discussion of race.

Sanders did not expect a group of young Black Lives Matter protestors to hijack his platform at the 2015 Netroots Nation assembly. Starr writes:

During [Sanders] time on stage, activists repeatedly challenged him (they also challenged Martin O’Malley) to narrow his traditional message of economic and social justice to address police brutality. Sanders seemed befuddled and agitated; at one point, he asked Jose Antonio Vargas, the moderator, if he should leave. 

Why would Bernie ask if he should leave? Liberals and Democrats failed to understand three great changes since they last marched for civil rights; which is making all the difference at present. When shows like “90210” aired on television depicting young adults controlling their world and their parents, African American children also had televisions. Secondly, despite the complaint that African Americans own a miniscule amount of media space, our young journalist, pundits, authors, celebs, and populous have coopted space in all forms of communications. Black Twitter has earned its own LA Times beat reporter. Our young and willing old are fed and feed current events, opinions, histories, and mysteries with very little supervision or censorship. With access to information in a digitized world comes the third change – confidence and critical thinking. These are our young voters. They are watching people die on their cellphones. These are Black Lives Matter and they want answers.

Black Lives Matter has added Black accountability and Black issues to the main stage. The indifferent Hillary Clinton posture and Sanders tacking racial inequality on the tail end of his list will not be offset by hiring a team to Black-speak. From the grocer who sends the Black stock boy to the register when the fruit is rotten, the one Black manager layered between White supervisors and upper management in racially charged workplaces, to the Black car salesman who runs to his White colleague’s side – after a Black person is sold a lemon. We have seen it all -the warning stink-eyed “brother,” the patronizing hallelujah sister, and most deadly – the Black political head of Black affairs.

Source: Why Aren’t More Black Voters Feeling the Bern? | Alternet

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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

Black Americans Wearing African Clothing Is NOT Cultural Appropriation | Our Legaci

Source: Black Americans Wearing African Clothing Is NOT Cultural Appropriation | Our Legaci

Cultural appropriation is when a dominant culture takes, claims and establishes itself the creator of the cultural heritage and artifacts of a minority and or marginalized culture thereby erasing the history of the marginalized culture.

Here’s the Conservative Playbook for Tearing Down Black Lives Matter | Mother Jones

In the wake of last Friday’s murder of a Harris County, Texas, police deputy, Fox News pundits have bent over backward to find a way to connect the killing to the Black Lives Matter movement. A guest on the Fox talk show The Five on Monday called the movement a “criminal organization,” and several hosts, including Bill O’Reilly, described it as a “hate group.”

Harris County law enforcement officials have yet to determine a motive for the shooting, and suspect Shannon Miles had been found mentally incompetent to stand trial on a felony assault charge in 2012. But that hasn’t stopped Fox News from showing a recent clip of protesters at the Minnesota State Fair chanting, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” as pundits discussed the Texas killing, or from running inflammatory on-screen banners that read “Murder Movement” and “Black Lives Matter Taunts Cop Killings.”

Source: Here’s the Conservative Playbook for Tearing Down Black Lives Matter | Mother Jones

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.

On #BlackLivesMatter and Defending Bernie Sanders – YouTube

Jay Smooth puts the moment in sync once again.
My two cents on the disruption of the Bernie Sanders speech in Seattle last week, and the pushback it sparked from some Sanders supporters.

via On #BlackLivesMatter and Defending Bernie Sanders – YouTube.

Published on Aug 15, 2015
http://twitter.com/jsmooth995

Bernie Sander’s supporters are quite upset with the women of #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLifeMatter is not playing fair. Sander’s supporters have always been the catalyst for liberal and progressive change. But they have also been the gatekeepers monitoring Black dialogue leading to Black Progress.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement does recognize, yet storms the gates of the past Liberal parenting fortress.  These women mean business. They want a candidate that can articulate his intentions toward righting centuries of Black trauma. If this is Bernie, he had better speak up.

Three Girls Stood In A Line On National TV. What They Do? I Have CHILLS!| Little Things

“Get Lit” – Changing the World, One Word at a Time!

What these girls learned in school is not pretty, but well articulated.


These outspoken, brave girls are part of Get Lit, “the leading nonprofit presenter of literary performance, education, and teen poetry programs in Southern California,” according to their website.

The remarkable young girls were featured on the Queen Latifah Show to perform a slam poetry piece called “Somewhere in America,” and as you will see, their powerful words strike up many emotions in just a few seconds.

via Three Girls Stood In A Line On National TV. What They Do? I Have CHILLS!.

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