South African Comedian Trevor Noah, who is scheduled to take over for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central Sept 23rd…
South African Comedian Trevor Noah, who is scheduled to take over for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central Sept 23rd…
Utterly ignorant, or intentionally unaware of the history of America, a common conservative line is that black folks just need to “get in line” with that hard work and education to “fit in”…
Well…What exactly happened in the “Black Wall Street” of Tulsa Oklahoma in 1920?
The black soldiers who came home from WWI and WWII?
Rick C. Wade makes an interesting point here..
Ever since the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, I and a good many other African Americans have been searching deep within the well of our faith and struggling hard to do what the relatives of the nine slain churchgoers did so painfully, charitably and meaningfully—forgive accused killer Dylann Roof.
Roof’s racist manifesto, asserting, “I have no choice,” because of what he believed black people were doing to white people, is irrational, angers me to no end and tests the limits of my ability to find that forgiveness. But while some say this tragedy is “beyond forgiving,” I believe that I — and we —ultimately must.
I’m not there yet, though. To get there, I — and we — will have to remove what poet Paul Laurence Dunbar once described as our collective mask:
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes —
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
For black Americans, our mask is our unspoken anger, disguising our deep disappointment, and reining in our resentment over a still-evolving history of racial insult and injury — all in the name of coping and getting along with the larger white community. We’ve bottled up our anger and turned our pain inward in the form of self-hate and defeatism. In some cases, we’ve turned our anger on each other.
For too many white Americans, their mask is the willingness to overlook the racial disparities that still persist in our society, and the unwillingness to grapple with the obstacles facing black Americans: recoiling at the sight of #BlackLivesMatter protests, disregarding legislative attempts to curtail our vote and denying the structural racism and economic disenfranchisement that holds many African Americans back.
Mostly, it’s the failure to ask why, in 2015, there are still people like Roof among us who’ve been taught to believe that black people have done some sort of harm to white people — and the failure to acknowledge that while few white Americans think of themselves as complicit in an unequal system, there’s no satisfactory answer to President Obama’s charge, in his Charlestoneulogy, that “racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal.” Those are questions for white Americans to ponder, and search their souls for answers.
I’ve worn the mask my whole life and played by white America’s rules, hoping beyond hope that by doing so, black America could eventually whittle away the seeming indifference to the inequities we face. Today’s generation calls this my generation’s “respectability politics.” And what I’m coming to terms with now is that this approach hasn’t always worked when it comes to breaking down the racial obstacles we face. Despite the racial barriers I’ve had to overcome during my lifetime, I’ve kept my faith, attained a top-flight education, worked hard and succeeded. I’m a Harvard graduate, former government official and now a global businessman. I have a solid upper-middle class life.
As a former seminarian and member of the AME Zion church, the shootings at Mother Emanuel opened old emotional wounds I thought had healed. Beneath my mask there’s pain and anger deeply rooted in my childhood; growing up poor in rural South Carolina in the late ‘60s, first attending a segregated elementary school, then later going to an integrated middle school and longing for the same social and physical comforts of my white peers.
In middle school, I recall staying after class to work on a service project, and when my white teacher drove me home I had her drop me off in front of a white family’s house a mile away from mine, so she wouldn’t see my small house and poor neighborhood.
Even a simple visit to the doctor was traumatic. A “Coloreds” sign hung at the entrance to the black section of the office; the room was filthy and the chairs were worn. When I ventured to the nice, clean white section to play with another young boy, I was chastised by the receptionist and disciplined by my mother. The dentist’s office was worse — I never sat in the dental chair for care, because I was treated in the “Coloreds” waiting room.
When I ran for my high school’s student council in 1978, I had to run as “Vice President Black” while a white student ran for “Vice President White.”
I watched my father, a forklift operator who never finished school, struggle to maintain his dignity while suffering the daily humiliations of being black in the Deep South. Like many black men of his time, he drank to mask his pain.
These and other experiences make up my racial DNA, and while I and many others with similar experiences have achieved a measure of mainstream success, despite the price of wearing the mask, more of us were stymied. And even as the mask did damage to our very humanity, and we implicitly knew this, we’ve never allowed ourselves to take it off; and we’ve not held the kind of uncontained hate that we see with Roof.
In addition to forgiveness, then, the challenge is turning our faith into action around racial reconciliation. But reconciliation, as all Americans must now surely understand in the wake of the shootings, is a two-way street. White Americans can no longer enjoy the luxury of being unburdened by history while black Americans carry all its weight. Our history is shared; and so must be the burden…More…
Going to start this one with a picture…
These girls are twins…
So…In my view, if Rachel Dolezal wants to be black…I can see no reason to reject her assertion. I have cousins who look like the girl on the left, and right – and there are kids in the family who look like the ones in the top picture.
A civil rights activist who drew national attention for self-identifying as a black woman despite being the child of white parents, told magazine Vanity Fair she did not lie, but her critics are limited by their views of race: “I would say I’m black.”
Washington state activist Rachel Dolezal, 37, resigned in June as president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a leading civil rights organization, amid reports she was falsely claiming to be black.
Dolezal came under intense scrutiny when a white couple who identified themselves as her estranged biological parents told U.S. media she has Caucasian roots. She was raised in a home with adopted black siblings, attended historically black Howard University, and has produced art work and taught classes about black culture.
“It’s taken my entire life to negotiate how to identify, and I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of studying,” Dolezal told Vanity Fair in an interview published on Sunday.
“I could have a long conversation, an academic conversation about that. I don’t know. I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody,” Dolezal said, according to the magazine.
“If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms,” she said.
Her self-expression triggered a national debate over the bounds of racial identity and self-identification.
After she stepped down as local NAACP president, Eastern Washington University did not re-new her teaching contract, and the Spokane City Council ousted her from a municipal police oversight commission over conduct violations…
Slavery in America never really went entirely away. And while most of the news about slavery here, and the majority of cases involving human trafficking are in the sex trade – it is growing in other areas. Something on the order of 65-150,000 people are held in modern slavery in the US.
Traffickers have become so adept at exploiting their victims in broad daylight that you may have purchased an item from their menu of goods from the comfort of your own home.
“Knocking at Your Door,” a new report released by nonprofit Polaris, details how little oversight there is in the door-to-door sales industry, which makes it a ripe environment for traffickers to lure in vulnerable victims. Between 2008 and this year, 419 reports of possible human trafficking cases involving traveling sales crews were made to two organizations that support this specific demographic.
That’s more than any other industry except domestic work.
While advertisements typically indicate that workers must be at least 18 years old, children are hardly spared from this industry.
A decade ago, the Child Labor Coalition estimated that more than 50,000 children were forced to work for groups that sell magazines, the Atlantic reported earlier this year. But Reid Maki, CLC coordinator, believes that number hasn’t budged much since.
“It’s become this little world of people operating in the shadows, and they’ve become very good at working the system,” Maki told the news outlet. “There are so many areas of magazine crews operating just outside the law that seem unconnected, but they’re not. They keep one step ahead of the authorities.”
But those figures likely belie the full picture considering that victims are often too fearful to come forward and report their traffickers.
The traveling sales industry is particularly appealing to traffickers because the crews rarely stay in one place for long and itinerant sales workers are considered independent contractors. That means they’re exempt from federal and state minimum wage requirements, overtime and other employment protections, according to the report.
And when businesses are flagged for questionable practices, they can change their name and register in another state with ease.
The bulk of such cases involve magazines sales, specifically.
Of the 357 cases that were reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, 64 percent referenced magazine sales.
Many publishers aren’t even aware that such rings exist, and often don’t have the resources to monitor all of their selling agents.
The corrupt selling agents have developed a layered system that hooks vulnerable people and traps them with threats, force and manipulation…more…
If you watched the news during the Bushit Administration as conservatives got rid of “regulation” by allowing food producers to “self inspect” instead of being under the watchful eye of “Gub’ment Authority”, you would have caught the result of that in hundreds of thousands of Americans being sickened or killed by tainted food products including the emergency recall of millions of pounds of meat for salmonella poisoning. Yet another bad conservative idea resulting in the deaths of thousands of Americans each year.
Former Energy Department science chief Raymond Orbach (under Bush) said the bill’s cuts in funding for research “would effectively end America’s legendary status as the leader of the worldwide scientific community, putting the United States at a distinct disadvantage with other nations in the global marketplace.” … The House passed the Republican-backed cuts on February 19 in what was seen as a victory for Tea Party conservatives elected in November who advocate drastic reductions in government spending…Proposed cuts in health research also drew criticism — 5.2 percent in the budget of the National Institutes of Health for the next seven months, and 21 percent for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the same period.
Now it is time to pay the Piper for conservatwit stupidity, not only in the likely Ebola epidemic – but failing, once again to protect the country from a pathogen which would make a deadly bio-terrorist weapon. Nobody on the Hill has the courage to ask the question – What if ISIS or one of the radical terrorist groups used this as a weapon?
As the federal government frantically works to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and as it responds to a second diagnosis of the disease at home, one of the country’s top health officials says a vaccine likely would have already been discovered were it not for budget cuts.
Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe.
“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”
It’s not just the production of a vaccine that has been hampered by money shortfalls. Collins also said that some therapeutics to fight Ebola “were on a slower track than would’ve been ideal, or that would have happened if we had been on a stable research support trajectory.”
“We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference,” he said.
Speaking from NIH’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, the typically upbeat Collins was somber when discussing efforts to control the Ebola epidemic. His days are now spent almost exclusively on the disease. But even after months of painstaking work, a breakthrough doesn’t seem on the immediate horizon.
Money, or rather the lack of it, is a big part of the problem. NIH’s purchasing power is down 23 percent from what it was a decade ago, and its budget has remained almost static. In fiscal year 2004, the agency’s budget was $28.03 billion. In FY 2013, it was $29.31 billion — barely a change, even before adjusting for inflation. The situation is even more pronounced at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a subdivision of NIH, where the budget has fallen from $4.30 billion in FY 2004 to $4.25 billion in FY 2013. (Story continues here.)
Conservatives – especially their Lawn Jockey black conservative servants, like to talk about black folks and the inner city. It, like almost everything conservatives have to say is a lie – a flim flam game.Since I was hammering the Wall Street Journal’s professional Uncle Tom, Jason Riley a few posts ago – let’s use one of his buckdances for his WSJ Massa’s as an example –
Liberals in general, and the black left in particular, like the idea of talking about racial problems, but in practice they typically ignore the most relevant aspects of any such discussion. Any candid debate on race and criminality in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. African-Americans constitute about 13% of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses—including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes—is typically two to three times their representation in the population.
“High rates of black violence in the late twentieth century are a matter of historical fact, not bigoted imagination,” wrote the late Harvard Law professor William Stuntz in “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice.” “The trends reached their peak not in the land of Jim Crow but in the more civilized North, and not in the age of segregation but in the decades that saw the rise of civil rights for African Americans—and of African American control of city governments.”
The left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and “the system,” but blacks have long been part of running that system. Black crime and incarceration rates spiked in the 1970s and ’80s in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of the most violent cities in the U.S. today are run by blacks.
One more time for the Lawn Jockey set – the issue is POVERTY, not black folks, not white folks,not cities..The issue buckdancers is POVERTY.
There are lots of diversions in the Big White Ghetto, the vast moribund matrix of Wonder Bread–hued Appalachian towns and villages stretching from northern Mississippi to southern New York, a slowly dissipating nebula of poverty and misery with its heart in eastern Kentucky, the last redoubt of the Scots-Irish working class that picked up where African slave labor left off, mining and cropping and sawing the raw materials for a modern American economy that would soon run out of profitable uses for the class of people who 500 years ago would have been known, without any derogation, as peasants. Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death: Life expectancies are short — the typical man here dies well over a decade earlier than does a man in Fairfax County, Va. — and they are getting shorter, women’s life expectancy having declined by nearly 1.1 percent from 1987 to 2007.
If the people here weren’t 98.5 percent white, we’d call it a reservation.
Driving through these hills and hollows, you aren’t in the Appalachia of Elmore Leonard’s Justified or squatting with Lyndon Johnson on Tom Fletcher’s front porch in Martin County, a scene famously photographed by Walter Bennett of Time, the image that launched the so-called War on Poverty. The music isn’t “Shady Grove,” it’s Kanye West. There is still coal mining — which, at $25 an hour or more, provides one of the more desirable occupations outside of government work — but the jobs are moving west, and Harlan County, like many coal-country communities, has lost nearly half of its population over the past 30 years.
There is here a strain of fervid and sometimes apocalyptic Christianity, and visions of the Rapture must have a certain appeal for people who already have been left behind. Like its black urban counterparts, the Big White Ghetto suffers from a whole trainload of social problems, but the most significant among them may be adverse selection: Those who have the required work skills, the academic ability, or the simple desperate native enterprising grit to do so get the hell out as fast as they can, and they have been doing that for decades. As they go, businesses disappear, institutions fall into decline, social networks erode, and there is little or nothing left over for those who remain. It’s a classic economic death spiral: The quality of the available jobs is not enough to keep good workers, and the quality of the available workers is not enough to attract good jobs. These little towns located at remote wide spots in helical mountain roads are hard enough to get to if you have a good reason to be here. If you don’t have a good reason, you aren’t going to think of one.
Appalachian places have evocative and unsentimental names denoting deep roots: Little Barren River, Coal Pit Road. The name “Cumberland” blankets Appalachian geography — the Cumberland Mountains, the Cumberland River, several Cumberland counties — in tribute to the Duke of Cumberland, who along with the Ulster Scots ancestors of the Appalachian settlers crushed the Young Pretender at the Battle of Culloden. Even church names suggest ancient grievances: Separate Baptist, with the descriptor in all-capital letters. (“Come out from among them and be ye separate” — 2 Corinthians 6:17.) I pass a church called “Welfare Baptist,” which, unfortunately, describes much of the population for miles and miles around. Read the rest of this entry »