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Rep. John Lewis Books Sell Out on Amazon

John Lewis books are selling out everywhere…

Rep. John Lewis’s books sell out following Donald Trump’s attacks

One side-effect of Rep. John Lewis’s heated and very public spat with President-elect Donald Trump: Ballooning interest in books written by the civil rights icon.

The Georgia Democrat’s “Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement” was sold out on Amazon and was the site’s No. 2 bestseller. Used copies of the hardcover edition were going for nearly $100.

Claiming the top spot on the list was another book by Lewis: “March,” a graphic-novel trilogy about the civil rights movement. The third installment won the National Book Award last year.

Amazon listed both books as “temporarily out of stock” on Sunday. Sales for both had ballooned more than 100,000 percent, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Disclosure: Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is also the owner of the The Washington Post.)

On Friday, Lewis said he didn’t see Trump as a legitimate president and wouldn’t be attending the inauguration for the first time in 30 years.

Image result for trump golden shower

 

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Texas Prison Bans Books By Langston Hughes… But Hitler and David Duke Are OK

Yeah…The Aryan Nations Criminal Gang is just fine…Because they are white.

A man holds a French (L), a Finnish (C) and a Danish (R) edition of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich (AFP Photo/Matthias Balk)

Texas prisons ban books by Shakespeare and Langston Hughes — but Hitler and David Duke are OK

When a prisoner is behind bars, he or she typically has access to a library of donated books to pass the time. There are stories about incarcerated people getting their GED or even taking college classes, others learned enough law to fight for appeals. Then some just read the classics available on the shelves. That is, unless you’re in jail in Texas.

According to the Houston Press, the type of books available are growing smaller and smaller each year. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has consistently been working to rid jails of specific titles for decades, but after banning Wolf Boys due to finding a single page to be offensive, they’re finally drawing public outrage.

The new Dan Slater book is about two Mexican-American teenagers in Texas. They get drawn into a life of crime by the drug cartels and a Mexican-born Texas detective is tasked with finding them. According to reviews, the tale is a little violent and the outlook isn’t great, but according to The Guardian, it serves as a “thoughtful look at American society and the war on drugs.”

Before the book was even published, it was banned due to two sentences that described the way someone smuggled illegal drugs.

“The system is so aggressive and arbitrary,” the author said. “If you asked me to name 100 sentences that might have gotten my book banned those would not have made the list.”

But Slater’s book isn’t the only strange choice. Books by Langston Hughes, Gore Vidal, Flannery O’Connor, Sinclair Lewis and Thomas More have all been banned.

The guidelines for Texas are so loose that realistically anyone could ban any book for any reason. They were supposed to be banned if there is any mention of how to make weapons, drugs or explosives and if there is anything in the book that would “incite a prison riot” or has “sexually explicit images.” By that same logic, The Bible depicts murder, rape, sex and one of it’s leading characters encourages breaking laws and revolts against the King.

Strangely enough, books The Color Purple, which won a Pulitzer Prize, has been banned. A book of Shakespeare’s Sonnets was banned because of a nude painting on the cover. Dante’s Inferno and Buzz Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights are also on the blocked list. A collection of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches was also banned for nudity, but a kinky sex book titled The Pleasure’s All Mine passed through. To make matters worse, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and David Duke’s My Awakening also get the Texas Corrections sign of approval. As does Che Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare, proving the book ban is not only arbitrary but ridiculous.

A 2011 investigation from the Texas Civil Rights Project found about 11,800 titles on the banned list. In just five years that’s grown to over 15,000.

While the issue is a national problem, Michelle Dillon, program coordinator of the Seattle-based non-profit Books to Prisoners, told The Guardian, “Texas is less rational than other states.”

To make matters worse, the decision of whether to ban is essentially left up to a mail clerk, who decides when books come in if they’ll be passed through to the inmate or not.

“There is no accountability,” Dillon says. She also noted there’s no consistency because one clerk will let a book go to the inmate while another will ban the same book because he or she is having a bad day or even because he or she has conservative values.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in Great American Rip-Off, The New Jim Crow

 

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From Prison to Poet

This is the uplifting story of one Reginald Dwayne Betts Jr., a stupid mistake, and a decision to move forward.

Yes, One Book Can Change Your Life, Even In Prison

A book of black poetry slides under a cell door in solitary confinement. And it changes everything.

Reginald Dwayne Betts Jr. goes by the name Dwayne. But for the majority of the nine years he spent in prison, he gave himself the name Shahid. It means “the witness” in Arabic.

At 16, Betts pled guilty to carjacking in Virginia and was in prison until he was 24. For many years, cultivating his identity — hard stuff for any teenager — was a mostly solitary endeavor. Books, and later poetry, became his teacher, his classroom and his peer.

“I read anything I could find. Poetry makes you reflect. Joseph Brodsky once wrote: ‘I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages.’ That shit says everything that I would ever want to say about mass incarceration,” he told The Huffington Post in an interview last week.

In the decade since his release from prison, Betts, now 34, has published an award-winningmemoir about coming of age in prison, written two books of poetry, received undergraduate and MFA degrees and is currently in his final year at Yale Law School.

His upcoming book of poetry, Bastards of the Reagan Era, will be released in October.

Learning has always been deeply important to Betts. He dreamed of playing point guard at Georgia Tech and becoming an engineer. He says numbers came easily to him and that as he grew, the two most important things to him were math and philosophy.

He started hanging out with a bad crew in his hometown of Suitland, Maryland and sneaking out of class at 16. At the time, he was taking a full load of challenging classes, including Physics, French 4 and AP U.S. History.

Everything changed on December 7, 1996. On a visit to the Springfield Mall in suburban Virginia about 20 miles from their hometown, Betts and a friend came across a man asleep in his car in the parking lot. They impulsively carjacked him and took off on what would prove to be one of the quickest roads to stalling one’s life as a teen.

At the time, carjacking in Virginia carried a maximum penalty of life in prison and the state had done away with parole. On December 8, one day after the carjacking, Betts stood before a judge and was charged with six felonies and nine years in prison.

The presiding judge had wise words for Betts, who recalled what he was told in a 2010 New Yorker article. The words are seared in his mind: “I don’t have any illusions that the penitentiary is going to help you, but you can get something out of it if you want to,” the judge said to the 16-year-old.

Due to lack of space for incoming juveniles, Betts was thrown into solitary confinement without a mattress, blanket or pillow. When he was pulled out 10 days later and moved to his cell block, Betts carried the only thing he had shown up with: a book by James Baldwin.

Betts poured himself into reading. He turned page after page of The Confessions of Nat Turner, Go Tell It on the Mountain and A Lesson Before Dying. He read George Orwell and every book by Charles Dickens. He inhaled classics like Of Mice and Men, The Grapes Of Wrath and The Jungle. He read the philosophy of Max Weber, Franz Fanon and C.L.R. James.…The Rest Here…

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Giant Negros

 

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Toni Morrison and Stephen Colbert on Her Books and Race

Toni is awesome! She deconstructs race as a social concept….

 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Dreams of D’Dingbat

The “Dumbing Down” of America hasn’t missed the dumbing down of conservatives. I have come to believe, based on evidence provided by articles by some of the conservative “lights” – that any University granting these guys degrees…

Should have their accreditation pulled.

Case in point is the rather lame arsed screed penned by Dinesh D’Souza in the WashPo earlier this week – “Why Barack Obama is an anti-colonialist”, which even by the admittedly low affirmative-action bar set by white conservatives for their conservative of-color Quasi-Illuminati sycophants…

Lowers the intellectual “Bar” to scraping the sub-pavement.

A too-kind reposte is offered by Bruce L.R. Smith in todays WashPo – “The Barack Obama Sr. I knew“, where Smith factually recounts his experiences with President Obama’s father, while they both were enrolled at Harvard.

I am going to take a bit different perspective – that of an American doing business overseas and having to explain Mr D’Souza’s isht to foreign government officials and elected senior Government members who face the issue from their countries perspective of dealing with the super powers. Colonialism is a dirty word.

The imprecation that President Obama is opposed to “colonialism” carries with it the opposing blade that those who oppose him – in this case Republicans…

Fully support Colonialism.

In the context of a looming election exuberantly promoted as a Republican landslide in the right wing media, a claim acquiesced to in at least some of the real Media – that means America will soon, again beome a Colonial Power, freely utilizing the resources and abusing the peoples of smaller nations as test tube subjects and slave labor.

Thanks D’Dingbat, for making like a hell of a lot more difficult for American companies overseas…

Including your favorites, which apparently include the sweat shops.

 

 
 

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