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Category Archives: The Post-Racial Life

How the CBC Became Irrelevant

The Congressional Black Caucus is one of he most reliably Democrat organizations in politics. This has created a “go along to get along” mentality, which often fails to serve the black community has too often been the operational motif of the CBC. Part of that is due to a generational gap between the membership in the CBC and groups and organizations in the black community increasingly started and led by millennials, The other part of that dysfunction has to do with the Faustian bargain with conservative Republicans which essentially created “Black Zones”, principally concentrated in urban areas. A long term loosing proposition because of gentrification, and black flight to the suburban areas. Leaving the largest population of black folks in the US without representation, as black lawmakers respond to a steadily decreasing urban base, and urban issues.

On the flip side, the artificial gerrymandered whitening of the Districts surrounding urban areas provides ample fodder for white Republican candidates who cannot win in a district with above 20% minority population, and who are either diametrically opposed to the black/minority community, or see no political interest in serving it’s interests. Encouraging racial politics, and enabling a Republican majority in the House far beyond what any general vote totals would accord. The most egregious recent example of which is North Carolina.

The result of this is that the CBC ill serves those groups of black folks who either don’t live in the urban center, or whose educational, economic, and professional interests extend beyond asking for a welfare check. Ergo the very people driving black economic empowerment and inclusion into the social fabric of the nation. The very people who are the center of Color of Change and the BLM movements.

Another day, another Gala…

The Increasing Irrelevance of the Congressional Black Caucus

The group has failed to connect with young voters, which is not a good sign for its future.

On January 25, 1972, Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, announced her candidacy for president in a stump speech that sounded very much like those of today’s presidential candidates. Shetold the Brooklyn crowd, “I am not the candidate of any political bosses or fat cats or special interests. I stand here now without endorsements from many big name politicians or celebrities or any other kind of prop.” She also stood there without the support of the Congressional Black Caucus, which she helped found the previous year. The reason? Some of the CBC’s members thought Chisholm’s focus on gender and outreach to other groups subverted the caucus’s mission and explicit focus on race.

Four decades later, Representative Donna Edwards sought to become the first black senator from Maryland and only the second black woman ever elected to the body. Like Chisholm, she also did not enjoy the explicit support of the CBC. Edwards confronted CBC members, and they cited her “difficult nature” and failure to establish good relationships as reasons for not endorsing her. On Tuesday, Edwards lost her bid for the Senate seat in a close primary race that may have turned out differently if she’d received the endorsement from more members of the nation’s most powerful body of black legislators.

Among young African Americans, there is a growingsense that there are significant generational differences with the CBC and that the organization may have lost its conscience. Hillary Clinton has taken heat for the 1994 crime bill that led to the disproportionate incarceration of black people, but the bill was only assured passageonce the CBC withdrew its opposition. CBC members have clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters. And activists have criticized the CBC Political Action Committee, a separate but associated group, for the board’s ties to private prisons and big tobacco.

While some of these criticisms are valid, there is little question that the CBC is of immense value to African Americans and the nation at large. For decades, it’s been the organ through which the concerns of black Americans have entered the halls of Congress and the means by which policy victories have been delivered for disenfranchised minority communities. There is simply no doubting that the interests of black America remain central to the caucus’s aims. But there is also little doubt that the black electorate is changing, and the CBC will have to keep pace with this evolution if it wants to remain relevant to black Americans…

Protest is very much a part of the CBC’s character—many of today’s CBC members are contemporaries of the civil-rights movement. It would seem that today’s protest movements would be fertile ground for CBC goals. But many of today’s black activists are not as interested in what they see as respectability politics or dressing in their Sunday best for protests like their civil-rights-era predecessors. They are taking the stage whenever they choose and demanding that presidential candidates hear them. They are challenging leaders from previous generations, and some of those leaders don’t necessarily like it. In the black community, where eldership is revered, the boldness of today’s protesters has rubbed some CBC members the wrong way. Many black activists don’t care; they are less concerned with paying homage to elected officials and more interested in expedient policy outcomes…Read the Rest Here

 

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Woman Who Danced With Obamas…Can’t Get ID to Vote

Now I know things are effed up with the DC Government – but this is ridiculous…

Virginia McLaurin Danced With The Obamas, But She Can’t Get Photo ID

She’s been seen online 66 million times, but the D.C. government still won’t let her get a new license.

Plenty of people recognize Virginia McLaurin these days. The 107-year-old woman became an Internet sensation after the White House posted video of her joyfully dancing with the Obamas. The video has been viewed nearly 66 million times.

But that recognition isn’t enough for Washington, D.C.’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which won’t issue McLaurin a new photo ID.

In an interview with The Washington Post, McLaurin described how lost her photo ID years ago when her purse was stolen. She and her son recently met with a DMV official to try to replace it. But because of strict new federal guidelines, she needs to show her birth certificate to get a new ID. And in order to get her birth certificate from South Carolina, she needs to show photo ID.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get that face card,” McLaurin told The Washington Post. “I was birthed by a midwife and the birthday put in a Bible somewhere. I don’t know if they even had birth certificates back then.”

She has a temporary ID, but that won’t work if she wants to fly, for example.

McLaurin is, however, still able to vote. That’s because Washington, D.C., doesn’t require photo ID in order to cast a ballot. But in many other states, McLaurin wouldn’t be so fortunate.

Seventeen states have some sort of photo ID law in place for the 2016 elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In recent years, GOP politicians across the nation have pushed through a number of measures restricting access to the ballot box. These laws tend to disproportionately affect African-American, Latino, elderly and low-income voters — who also, not coincidentally, generally support Democrats.

“It’s sad to see my mother having to stand in lines, getting tired,” Felipe Cardoso, McLaurin’s son, said. “She can’t understand how her picture could be in all those newspapers and all over the Internet, how so many people could recognize her on the street and want to take selfies with her, and she can’t even get a photo ID.”

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Chicago Twins Accepted to 56 Colleges

Congrats to Shaprice Hunt and her twin brother Deprice Hunt who together have been accepted to a phenomenal 56 Colleges and offered scholarships in total worth $1.6 million.

Shaprice has been accepted into 35 colleges, two of which have offered her a full-ride scholarship while five schools have scouted her to play basketball.

Deprice, who is a youth activist in Chicago, has been accepted into 27 schools. He earned $300,000 in scholarships and received two full scholarship offers.

An Amazing set of twins!

Phenomenal Twins Get Into 56 Colleges, Earn $1.6 Million In Scholarships

Chicago twins Deprice and Shaprice Hunt have set an extremely high bar for other high school seniors. The twins were recently accepted into a combined 56 colleges and have earned about $1.6 million in scholarships.

Kemitashi Austin brought the Hunt siblings’ huge accomplishments to the forefront on Facebook when she shared a screenshot of a conversation between her and Shaprice.

Of the 56 schools, Shaprice has been accepted into 35 colleges, two of which have offered her a full-ride scholarship while five schools have scouted her to play basketball. She told The Huffington Post that she earned $1.3 million in scholarships. Shaprice wants to attend either Illinois State University or Eastern Illinois University and dual major in Education and Psychology.

Deprice, who is a youth activist in Chicago, has been accepted into 27 schools. He earned $300,000 in scholarships and received two full scholarship offers.

“My motivation was to make sure [my mom] didn’t have to come out of pocket,” Deprice told HuffPost, echoing his sister’s sentiments.

His top choice is HBCU Morehouse College, which he said is his dream school. He also told HuffPost that he wants to study Performing Arts and Political Science.

In addition to their acceptance letters and scholarships, the twins boast perfect attendance and a total of 48 awards throughout their high school years, according to Deprice’s Facebook.

The Hunt twins credit their family, teachers and guidance counselors for their successes. They told HuffPost that it’s easy, especially in Chicago, to let negative stereotypes about black youth get the best of someone. That’s why, with the help of Austin, Deprice reached out to local news outlets to tell their story with the hope of inspiring others.

“A lot of people say you can’t do it because of where you’re from,” Deprice said. “Don’t listen to them.”

The twins said they know financial issues, among other factors, hold a lot of teens back. But it’s important to be persistent, Shaprice told HuffPost.

“Never give up,” she said. “Picture your future. Not only to make yourself proud but make your family proud.”

Somebody at home was supporting these kids, through preparation of applications to paying the Application Fees. The article doesn’t say how many schools they applied to, or why they applied to so many, instead of targeting the group they really wanted to attend.

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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In Baltimore Ex-Felons Rock the Vote

Not sure there are enough ex-felons in the City of Baltimore to change the traditional political fault lines, but it at least is a beginning in restoring the rights to a group of folks who may be able to build the foundations of a new life after incarceration.

Tearing another piece of that New Jim Crow down so beloved by Republicans as a means to suppress voters of color.

In Baltimore, ex-felons cherish newfound right to vote

On the November night in 2008 when the nation elected its first black president, wild celebrations broke out in west Baltimore. But when Perry Hopkins jumped up from the steps of the Chinese takeout where he was sitting and tried to join the party, he was quickly put in his place.

“Somebody looked at me and said: You got a record, you can’t vote. You ain’t got nothing to do with this, you can’t claim this,” Hopkins recalled. “And it hurt.”

A wiry, intense 54-year-old, Hopkins has been barred from voting thanks to an extensive criminal history that he attributes to a past addiction problem. “I’ve done five years three times, and four years once, so I’ve got roughly 20 years on the installment plan,” he said. “I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.”

Of being disenfranchised, Hopkins said: “I felt like my hands were tied behind my back and I was being beaten.”

Now that feeling is gone. On Thursday, Hopkins cast his first votes ever in Maryland’s presidential and mayoral primaries. (He won’t say for whom he voted.) And as an organizer for Communities United, a local community group, he rounded up scores of his neighbors — many of them also former felons — and drove them in a van to the polls, too. “Hey, come vote!” Hopkins was shouting to anyone who would listen Thursday as he stood at a busy intersection, loading up another van with people.

In February, prodded by a grassroots campaign by Communities United and other voting rights and civil rights groups, Maryland restored voting rights to people with felony convictions as soon as they’re released from prison — re-enfranchising an estimated 40,000 predominantly African-American Marylanders. Previously, they’d had to wait until they had completed probation or parole. Democratic lawmakers overrode a veto by Maryland’s Republican governor to push the measure into law. Communities United says it’s registered about 1300 new voters since the law passed.

The move was perhaps the biggest victory yet for a nationwide movement to scrap or weaken felon disenfranchisement laws, which shut nearly 6 million Americans, disproportionately non-white, out of the political process.

Reginald Smith, who was in prison for 14 years after voting at an early voting site for the first time “in a long time.”

On Friday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffeannounced an executive order that re-enfranchises more than 200,000 felons, a move that could boost Democrats in the crucial swing state this November. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin last week signed a law that softens that state’s felon voting ban. And a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court, expected imminently, could dramatically reduce the number of crimes that lead to disenfranchisement there.

In Maryland, opponents of the change argued that it makes sense to require former felons to complete their full sentence — meaning probation or parole — before getting their rights back. But several of the newly re-enfranchised who Hopkins ferried to the polls Thursday said emphatically that the right to vote was itself a powerful spur toward reintegrating back into society.

“Not being able to vote was hindering me from actually being considered as a full citizen, and it was hindering my whole rehabilitation process,” said Reginald Smith, moments after voting for the first time in decades. “Because I was still being punished for something that I already served time for.”

“Being able to vote, it just makes me feel that much more positive about myself,” said Robert Mackin, 54, shortly before he cast the first ballot of his life. (Who did Mackin plan to vote for? “I sure know it ain’t gonna be no Trump.”)…Read the Rest Here…

 

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Letter From a White Guy

Amusing…Basically clarifying the situation of the “Desperation of Demographics”

A letter to my fellow white people

Chris Rock famously riffed on the proposition “I love black people, but I hate n–gas.” Chris Rock is one of the few people who can get away with saying this, since he is a.) black and b.) one of the funniest people alive. I am not 1/48th as funny as Chris Rock, but allow me to say that although I like white people, I’ve about had it with White People.

Don’t get me wrong — some of my best friends are white. In fact all of them are. I myself am a white person, and proud of my white person heritage. (Am I allowed to say that without sounding like a skinhead or klansman?) We are a vibrant people, with a rich cultural heritage in which there is much to celebrate. If you were paying attention during White History Month (March through January) you probably already know about many of our contributions — democracy, the Renaissance, the industrial revolution — and some of our people’s important heroes and role models: Socrates, Newton, Beethoven. I wear the traditional garb of my people, speak our distinctive dialect, and enjoy doing our customary dance, performed only at weddings — a flaccid, spasmodic flailing reminiscent of the inflatable tube-men erected to advertise used car lots.

But for all my pride in our many achievements, I do get sick of White People — a.k.a. Whitey.

You know the White People I’m talking about. They’re the ones who, every time an unarmed black person is gunned down by the cops, come forward to explain yet again that this regrettable incident would not have occurred if the victim had not broken the law, or if they’d simply complied with orders and been polite. These are the White People who, when they denounce “the violence in Baltimore,” are referring not to the breaking of a man’s back but the trashing of a 7-Eleven. The White People who warn that this latest wave of immigrants, is, at last, the one that will take everything from us, rape our women, kill us all, and destroy our civilization. I suspect this must be some sort of case of racial mass projection, since the only wave of immigrants in American history who have ever actually done this was the first one — the White People.

These are the White People who lack all capacity for imagination or empathy, who assume that what life is like for them is what it’s like for everyone else, or would be if they would just behave. They have a Sunday-school faith in an American Dream where everybody has an equal chance if they’re just willing to play by the rules and aren’t afraid of a little hard work. The police are there to protect them; society’s institutions exist to serve them. They see this country as a home and fortress, instead of as a prison, a place where they can only ever be on probation. They believe in law and order, in a level playing field. But “law and order” always serves the status quo, however unjust or cruel it is, and the playing field only looks level to those on the high ground.

“White privilege” is the p.c. slogan for these unacknowledged advantages and entitlement — the freedom to drive around without being pulled out of the car and beaten up, to walk to the store unmurdered, and, mostly, to never have to think about being white. It’s a little unreasonable to condemn White People for what’s basically human nature; pretty much everyone takes for granted whatever advantages they happen to have (being white, male, rich, thin, attractive, American, healthy, alive) and complains about their problems instead. It only starts to seem a little obnoxious when you point this out to White People and they get defensive and angry and adamantly deny having any such thing, insisting that they’ve got it just as hard as anyone else and some people are just whiners.

Let me be clear: I am not opposed to white privilege. In fact, I believe it should be extended to everyone, regardless of their color, ethnicity, or creed. Indeed, White People have been gradually, grudgingly expanding the definition of White People over the centuries: The Irish didn’t used to be white; neither did Italians, or Eastern Europeans, let alone the Jews. Perhaps it is time, at long last, to make everybody honorary White People. (Think how mad ISIS would be if we unilaterally declared them white.) Why shouldn’t we all be equally free to walk the streets without being harassed, beaten up, and jailed for makework offenses by the people we ostensibly pay to protect us? Everyone should experience the heady, illicit thrill of carrying small amounts of drugs around in their pockets, drinking a beer on their own front steps, and occasionally punching it up to 67 miles per hour. White privilege for all!

I try to be patient with White People. But by now, even the very slow ones have done the back-of-the-napkin calculations on the demographics, and they’ve realized that the numbers are not looking good for them. The White Man is taking this very hard. At least some of the paranoid delusions fixated on President Obama — that he is a closet Marxist, Islamic Manchurian Candidate, or late-blooming Antichrist — are symptomatic of a mass hysteria at seeing the darkening face of America embodied in our chief executive. The same syndrome is no small part of the support for would-be autocrat Donald Trump and his Speerian fantasy of a gargantuan bulwark against the invading brown horde.

This situation is, admittedly, not without its little pleasures — it is a delight to see the Republican Party, which has banked on pandering to the angry-bigoted-old-white-man vote for the last half century, now handcuffed to the dead weight of that aging, increasingly demented, and chronically apoplectic bloc. But let’s not get complacent; White People have, historically, proven dangerous, and you never know what they might do now that their numbers are dwindling and their long, cushy position on top is endangered.

White People, please: You embarrass us all. All these histrionics and tantrums, this aggrieved whining about reverse-discrimination, this shameless appropriation of the language of the oppressed — it’s undignified. It ill-becomes the people who calculated the circumference of the Earth, invented the printing press, and successfully exterminated or enslaved half the human race. Let’s let it go gracefully. We had our chance….Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Canada Party

Funny!

 

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Prince Dead – Prince Rogers Nelson 1958-2016

A shock. At 57 years of age, Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead at his home.

Prince, the legendary musician who brought us countless hits, such as “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” has died. He was 57.

The singer’s publicist confirmed the tragic news to The Huffington Post on Thursday.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” the rep said in a statement. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”

TMZ was the first to report the news.

Earlier this week, the performer was treated for the flu aft er his plane made an emergency landing.

A representative for Prince told TMZ that the singer was feeling under the weather during his shows last week and began to feel worse on the plane. After the emergency landing, he was treated at a hospital and released three hours later.

Born Prince Rogers Nelson (after the Prince Roger Trio) on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the multi-talented performer has been called “one of the most naturally gifted artists of all time,” by Rolling Stone.

Prince was first signed to a record deal with Warner Brother Records when he was just a teenager. In 1978, he released his debut album, “For You,” followed by “Dirty Mind” in 1980 and “Controversy in ‘81.

But it was his 1982 album, “1999,” that really thrust Prince into the spotlight. The album, which went platinum, featured the Top 10 singles “Little Red Corvette,” “Delirious,” and of course, “1999.”

In 1984, Prince starred in “Purple Rain,” a film for which he created the soundtrack and original score. The artist won an Academy Award for Best original Song Score and the film took home the award for Best Original Musical. “Purple Rain,” the album, which featured the songs “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” (as well as the title track), spent 24 weeks on the top of the chart and sold over 13 million copies.

The artist would go on to act in a number of other films, including “Under the Cherry Moon” (1986) and “Graffiti Bridge” (1990), and appear in a 2014 episode of “New Girl.”

By 1989, with the release of his 11th album, “Batman,” Prince had become one of the most successful pop artists in America. He gained success at a time when stars like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson were dominating the industry, yet thanks to his ability to constantly transform, he managed to carve out a unique spot for himself.

Prince went so far as to change his name to the unpronounceable symbol O(+> in 1993, which Rolling Stone dubbed one of “the boldest career moves in rock history.” The artist used the moniker until 2000. Fans and media alike were confused by the symbol, and often referred to the singer as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” The icon famously referenced his symbolic name with his guitar during his epic Super Bowl Performance years later in 2007. The performance is hands down one of the most memorable in Super Bowl history.

After a few years of staying out of the spotlight, Prince performed at the Grammys with Beyonce in February 2004. The two played a medley of hits, including his “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” along with Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” The following month, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Prince also released the Grammy Award-winning album “Musicology” in 2004, with the accompanying Musicology Live 2004ever tour, which grossed a whopping $87.4 million.

 

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