Monday, October 29, 2018

Voting while Black


The history of voter disenfranchisement demonstrates the government’s failure to uphold and exercise federal power. Congress never reduced Southern states' congressional representation in proportion to its disenfranchisement and the Supreme Court actively undermined its powers to protect voting rights by refusing to acknowledge discrimination even when it was obvious.

1870

During Reconstruction, former slaves were granted the right to vote by an Act of Congress. The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1870, stipulates:

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
In Mississippi, African Americans registered and flooded the polls, electing Blacks to many local offices and over a dozen Black men to the United States Congress, in what was called the Black and Tan Revolution. A likely outcome, since former slaves far outnumbered the white population.

In response, Whites promoted the idea that Blacks had ascended to office only through means of fraud and corruption and a new state constitution was written stating that:

“Negroes were denied the right to vote because as long as they had voted, corruption and fraud had characterized government in the state of Mississippi....To restore "purity" to the governance of the state of Mississippi, Blacks must no longer be allowed to vote."

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Lies Republicans Tell, over and over and over

Paul Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda said, 
"The most brilliant propagandist technique… must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over and over. “  
He exploited the lowest instincts of people – anger, fear, racism, xenophobia, and class envy. Aided by the effects of the Depression and with sober psychological calculation he led the masses wherever he wanted them to go.  And that’s exactly what Trump and the Republicans do today.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Calling out racism DOES NOT diminish its meaning


I keep reading it in comment sections and hearing it on talk shows…”calling so many acts racist makes the whole idea of racism lose its meaning.”  Presumably,  some whites have just become bored at the whole idea of being held accountable for the racially insensitive things they say and do.

It occurs to me that many people are confused about what even constitutes racism.  For example, absolute furor exists around the spectacle of football players taking a knee during the National Anthem and against Colin Kaepernick, the former football player who started the protest.

Some say it is about honoring the flag.  This is false fury.  

Monday, September 3, 2018

President Wrecking Ball


“You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” ~ Art of the Deal
Trump fancies himself a master dealmaker,  but so far, he has only dismantled deals made by others, while clinching none of his own.  He’s like a brood parasite.  Brood parasites are birds that lay their eggs in other birds’ nests sometimes destroying eggs already in those nests. So far, there is little Trump can claim as his own outside of lies and chaos.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Republicans haven’t been fiscally responsible since Eisenhower


According to recent polling, more people have confidence in Republicans to solve our economic problems than Democrats. I can’t imagine why. For while there might be other reasons for voting Republican, all economic reasons , every single one of them, favor voting for Democrats.

Republicans crow constantly about the need for a balanced budget, but the truth is it’s all talk. They have never voted for one. Even when one of their own, then Senator John Kasich introduced legislation, not a single republican voted for it.

Not since Eisenhower has a Republican balanced a budget. He balanced budgets in 1956, 1957 and 1960. Johnson balanced the budget in 1969 and Clinton did so in 1998 through 2001. In fact, during the last 40 years there have been six budget surpluses , and all six were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2013. But the debt continues to rise because the surpluses are not applied against the outstanding balance.
Nothing speaks more to Republican economic incompetence than the fact that Republicans held the presidency at the onset of the last NINE (9) economic downturns, including the two greatest economic collapses in our history.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

America’s mass incarceration addiction


This is the season for inmate protests. Prisoner strikes are underway throughout the nation and in Canada to call attention to prison conditions and the exploitation of prison labor.

The strikes began on August 21 to mark the date in 1971 when Black Panther organizer George Jackson was killed by guards at San Quentin State Prison and will continue through September 9, the date on which the Attica prison riot started in upstate New York.  The actions will include work stoppages, boycotts of companies that exploit prison labor, sit-ins, and hunger strikes.

Mass incarceration is weighing on our beleaguered state budgets and devastating our civic health. We are able to admit we have a problem, but old habits seem impossible to break.




Tuesday, August 21, 2018

When anti-immigrant rhetoric turned deadly

Between 1882 and 1968, nearly 5,000 vigilante murders that included shootings, hangings and other forms of mob “justice” were recorded in the United States. Most of their victims were African-American men. But on March 14, 1891 the target wasn’t Black people. 

Italians, considered “not quite white”, because of their dark skin, were often treated with the same contempt as Black people. The fate of Italian Americans was no different than that of Blacks targeted by lynch mobs. The most infamous lynching of Italians occurred in New Orleans.


In late 19th-century America, Italians were recruited to satisfy the demand for cheap labor. Sugar planters, in particular, who sought workers who were more compliant than former slaves, hired immigrant recruiters to bring Italians to southern Louisiana.

In the 1890s, thousands of Italians were arriving in New Orleans each year to fill the shortage of cheap labor created by the end of slavery. Many settled in the French Quarter, which by the early 20th century became known as “Little Sicily.”