always overreach, living as they do in an outsized world of
distortions. Thus, it was only a matter of time before Bush
pressed his Black appointees to perform beyond all bounds of
dignity, as occurred during the week of Dr. Martin Luther King's
birthday. Condoleezza Rice may still be of use to the White
House in matters of foreign policy, but her "civil rights"
value evaporated when she walked the affirmative action plank
for her true "family" - the Bushes, with whom she
has consorted for two decades. In that sense, the old girl is
used up, done, just another paid operative.
NAACP Image Awards for "Condi."
there is always the Black Republican circuit, a small and over-publicized
venue that we reviewed in our February 6 piece, "Send
in the Clowns: The GOP's two-ring Black 'outreach' Circus."
Pam Nelson enjoyed the commentary.
the Black Commentator is right on time. Your article, "Send
in the Clowns" proves that we get it and we won't be
My question is, how do we get together and fight these Republican
tyrants? I know it's a very broad question and there are many
answers but I believe we need to start from the ground level
in terms of educating African Americans about what their agenda
Times are very scary and dangerous for us right now. Although
we have made great strides, there are forces working against
us right now in order to strip us of our basic civil rights.
Bush, Condoleezza, and the rest of those buffoons on Capitol
Hill would love nothing better than to roll this country back
to the 1950's. By abolishing affirmative action, abortion
and birth control rights and education, limiting access to
higher education, imposing sub-standard basic education for
school aged children, bribing black ministers, and countless
other atrocities, they are eroding everything we have fought
for, all the while instituting a military state.
I certainly do not have all the answers but I do realize that
educating our masses is a key component, even if we have to
start by taking it back the old school way and holding town
meetings in the church basement. This education needs to include
our children, especially those who are eligible to vote. They
need to turn off the BET rap videos and get serious because
everything the Republicans are doing now will directly affect
them in the future.
We must stand, fight, be heard, and taken seriously. Ours
is not a lazy race. We are survivors. We deserve our chance
to better ourselves through education, building assets, gaining
market share, and building coalitions with individuals whom
we can work together in order to carry our agenda forward
from local city and state governments to Capitol Hill.
We need to understand that money means power in this country.
Republicans know and understand this; they always have since
the inception of their party. The White Man's Party is using
this to further divide and segment us from the rest of America.
can kill any act. Condoleezza Rice has played The
Devil's Handmaiden (January 23) several times too often
- her persona now linked forever to the guy with the twisted
Cassagnol, of Newark, New Jersey, tends to agree with us.
excellent website!! I am very pleased to have found you. Thank
you for an informative story on Condeleezza Rice " the
Devil's Handmaiden". I will pass your web address on
to friends and family. Thank-you for informing our people.
you for your hard and earnest work. It's important that we
bribery tops the Bush Black bamboozlement agenda, on the proven
assumption that one can always find a quorum of Right Rev. Dr.
Greedyguts lurking around the buffet.
writes that Bush has sold this bill of goods, before.
GW Bush is trying to dump the responsibility of government
to the needy onto churches. Churches failed in the past because
they cannot deliver the services needed for the homeless,
mentally ill, or those in crisis. It overwhelmed many of them.
Yes, many religious organizations do good for their community
and their community appreciates it. However, some churches
use this "tax dollar windfall" to enlarge their
buildings and spread their religious agenda. There is little
government oversight of this money. It is a big black pit
to throw tax dollars.
Bush's "Faith Based" program in Texas was full of
fraud, services to the needy not given as promised, etc. It
also stinks of political payback for votes. Bush gave Pat
Robertson $0.5 million. He previously gave millions to other
favored religious groups. This violates the Constitutional
concept of funding religion....
be wise and keep religion out of government. Otherwise, religion
will not survive as a choice...but a forced belief by the
largest group in power. There was a time when religions ruled
the world. It was called, the Dark Ages.
is on Greedygut patrol. She's putting the word out on the men
and women who trade their congregations' votes for contracts.
writer but I'm so happy to see that someone other than myself
is asking this question and feeling the way that I do. I just
had to let you know how grateful I am for your publication.
The sick and poor are suffering all because of the faith-base
BS. And I can assure you that I sent this article to many
churches and also to the Black Caucus. Boy you made my day.
to civilized humanity
laces his foreign policy with religion - for months now, his
sermon's been stuck on Apocalypse. As we wrote on January 30,
"The Bush men intend to show the world what Armageddon
looks like" by staging "The
Mother of All War Shows" in Iraq sometime in the next
few weeks. "In the aftermath of horror, the world will
become malleable, ready for reshaping in the not-yet-defined
comes from a fine family in Vancouver, Washington. She doesn't
deserve a President like Bush, and neither do we.
Dorothy Lavalle, forwarded this piece to me yesterday. I want
you to know I forwarded your piece on to the head of the NAACP
chapter in our region, and the fellow board member/president
of our new Peace and Social Justice Center, SW Washington.
Thank you for the wonderful pieces you guys have been publishing.
You may check our Vancouver for Peace coalition website at:
Sharpton, who says George Bush is "Hell
bent on war, no matter what," may become the odds on
favorite to win the first primary in the presidential race of
2004. A united local Democratic Party in Washington, DC is pushing
to hold the political season's first primary in the nation's
capital. The District of Columbia's legally ambiguous status
could allow it to leapfrog New Hampshire for the prized slot.
As Sean Tenner explained in his guest commentary, last week
the last shall be first..."), although New Hampshire's
constitution demands its primary take place before any other
state, DC is not a state.
executive director of the DC Democracy Fund. Should Washington
wind up first on the primary schedule, he wrote, presidential
candidates would be forced to make firm commitments on full
voting rights for the majority Black District.
600,000 residents of the District of Columbia are American
citizens who fight in wars (DC lost more casualties in the
Vietnam War than each of 10 states), pay Federal taxes and
perform all the other duties of American citizenship. Yet
we are denied the right to elect members of Congress to decide
the laws under which we must live and the ways in which our
tax dollars are spent....
sparked an email dialogue between Mr. Tenner and an interested
reader. Tenner was kind enough to share with us his exchange
with Marv Dampeer, who wrote:
read your article on Black Commentator and thought it was
rather informative. However, I do have a question regarding
the following paragraph in your article:
the Constitution initially gave jurisdiction over District
affairs to Congress, there is no constitutional stipulation
that District residents shall be denied the right to voting
representation in that body. But the root of today's problem
is this: for the better part of the last two centuries there
was an unspoken agreement in Congress that "authority"
over the District would be the purview of the violently racist
Southern segregationists who would chair its oversight committees.
And we all know that old habits die hard."
"Southern segregationists" having authority over
the District. Is this just rhetoric or is there anything documented
to support this statement? I am not very abreast on voting
issues of this sort, but I would like to know how can southern
officials have jurisdiction over the District. Please, understand
that I am not trying to be critical or critique your writing.
I'm just trying to get the facts. I look forward to your response.
his prowess as an historian, thusly:
see you saw the article. Unfortunately, its not just rhetoric.
I guess the point I was trying to make was that even though
the constitution doesn't say "white southern racists
will control the District's oversight committees in Congress"
- that is what happened and became tradition. DC was long
considered a 'southern' city/District, and as blacks came
in and began to creep close to a majority, white Congressmen
began to feel threatened and use their constitutional oversight
power to enact repressive laws over the city and deprive Washington
of both funds for social services and voting rights. For a
longer analysis of this you can see NBC reporter Tom Sherwood's
great book "dream city". A passage states, "In
1890, Alabama Senator John Tyler Morgan explained that Congress
was stripping the city of the right to vote 'in order to get
rid of this load of negro suffrage that was flooded in upon
it.' Morgan was the first in a line of southern segregationists
who controlled the city to the great detriment of the African
American population (p160)." Segregationists then controlled
the committees until the Nixon era - something at the root
of today's problems. Anyway, thanks for writing and hope this
answers your question.
rights would entitle DC to one congressperson and two Senators.
The jurisdiction is 60 percent Black.
it a loud 2003"
ability to instantly offer archived articles has empowered the
average reader, making researchers of us all. There is also
great satisfaction in knowing that one's digitized words have
a shelf life far longer than that of newsprint.
On a more
mundane level, it's a pleasure to wish Hiram T. Howe a Happy
New Year, in February.
Thurmond and Duke: Three Kings Bearing Gifts" (December
26) was enlightening to say the least; it was refreshing,
and articulated what I felt but could not put words to. The
GOP has moved the clock back on us, and we black folks are
standing around, frozen like a deer in the head lights of
an oncoming truck.
paragraph in the essay so perfectly stated what needed to
be said. We must do as the last paragraph says, "Resolve
to behave as full citizens in the New Year. Bush fears that
kind of African American. Make it a loud 2003. It is our civic
responsibility, our duty as human beings, and our only protection.
40 million is a big number, and we have always proven to be
stronger than our numbers. Never forget that." We have
to be bold, and tell it like it is, and we must have unity.
I wanted all of you at
to be encouraged that this work, this informative web site,
is positively affecting someone, and especially me.
26 issue also featured co-publisher Glen Ford's commentary,
Hop and the Hard Right - Media-made illusions of power,"
first published in ColorLines
magazine. The piece caught up with Roger and Mary Slattery-Quintanilla
two weeks ago, when they heard Ford read a portion of it on
National Public Radio's Tavis Smiley Show.
the first chance I have had to applaud the commentary, heard
on the Tavis Smiley Show over KERA-FM, Dallas, TX. As an educator,
a person of color (Latino), student of society and soon a
fifty-something, I appreciated the perspective given by Glen
Ford about the grip of the media on the mind of our youth.
I viewed earlier the PBS Front Line production, "Merchants
of Cool", which covered much of the same material. But
Mr. Ford's passion and analysis squared with many of my sentiments
and sensibilities about this sensationalist assault on the
future of yours, mine, and our communities.
Mary Slattery-Quintanilla want to make it plain that they are
from San Luis Valley, USA, although currently living in Dallas.
and the Black-White Paradigm
of California at San Diego associate professor Jorge Mariscal's
January 16 guest commentary started a conversation that just
won't quit. In his piece "A
Chicano Looks at the Trent Lott Affair," Mariscal pointed
out that Hispanic numbers have tripled and quadrupled in some
southern states during the past decade. "Despite the hoary
black/white paradigm that still determines all discussions about
race in the United States," he wrote, "demographic
changes tell us that Latinos will have much at stake in the
on-going economic and racial realignment of American society....
The discussion of race in the U.S. is still firmly grounded
in a narrow and antiquated black/white reality."
of us who are from the South might put it: What did he have
to go and say that for? A number of readers got the impression
that Mr. Mariscal was consigning the Black experience of racism
in the U.S. to the dustbin of history. Last week, Mariscal
clarified his meaning:
misunderstands my use of "antiquated" to describe
the Black/White paradigm. "Antiquated" doesn't mean
things aren't still real bad for most black folks. It does
mean that in the last Census Latinos surpassed blacks as the
largest "minority group" in the U.S. It also means
that racists like Trent Lott have to deal with lots of Mexicans
in their home state. This is precisely the point of remembering
the Brown/Black coalitions of the Viet Nam war period.
of Portland, Oregon, will have the last word on this matter.
Mariscal has indicated in his response to myself and Ms. Uwangue,
Latinos have surpassed blacks as the largest minority in the
U.S., as presented in the last Census. Also, Mr. Mariscal
has highlighted the Brown/Black coalitions of the Vietnam
War period, giving as an example "Los Siete de la Raza"
and the fact of the Panthers coming to their aid. I dispute
none of these facts: Even though I was young during this period,
I did reside in the Bay Area during that time period and do
remember many expressions of solidarity of both Black/Brown
bruthas and sistah activists that extended beyond mere words.
As I mentioned in my communication: While I do agree with
Mr. Mariscal that the discourse needs to be broader in regards
to racial issues, and the history of the black/latino/a coalitions
should be better understood amongst both peoples, by no means
have we achieved anywhere near a point in time where anyone
can state with the certitude of Mr. Mariscal that the issues
that continue to stay with us are in any way "antiquated''
simply due to the "facts on the ground" of latino/a
immigration numbers that are presented.
is where Mr. Mariscal and I disagree: He indicated that I
misunderstand his use of the word "antiquated" to
describe the persistence of the black/white paradigm that
exists in the body politic of America. Not to devolve what
I consider a necessary and overdue dialogue into one of mere
semantics, yet when I read the word antiquated in the Merriam-Webster
College Dictionary, I see these descriptions: 1. Obsolete
2. outmoded or discredited by reason of age: being out of
style or fashion.
we both agree that the new reality of los hermanas y hermanos
is one that people of all colors have to come to terms with,
and, as the publishers of this website have stated with clarity,
"There is no conversation more critical to Black America.
Immense ramifications come from swiftly changing demographics",
perhaps Mr. Mariscal could have used a different term than
I do value Mr. Mariscal's contribution as well as his analysis.
professor Mariscal wrote an excellent commentary in the February
7 issue of Counterpunch, one of our favorite addresses on the
web, titled "Bush
and the Return of Manifest Destiny: What Latinos Saw at the
State of the Union."
has taken upon himself to deliver the benediction to this column.
He performs this duty with equanimity and grace:
you for the fine website. Let us not lose site of the fact
that we are all one people, all brothers and sisters. It is
not the superficial differences that separate us. It is the
closed heart and the closed mind. As we gain wealth and stature,
no matter how little, it is always a challenge not to be abusive
to those who have less power than we do. Cultivate an open
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