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.
more NAACP Image Awards for "Condi."
course, there is always the Black Republican circuit, a small and
over-publicized venue that we reviewed in our February 6 piece,
the Clowns: The GOP's two-ring Black 'outreach' Circus."
Pam Nelson enjoyed the commentary.
usual the Black Commentator is right on time. Your article, "Send
in the Clowns" proves that we get it and we won't be fooled.
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 truly is.
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
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
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 grin.
Cassagnol, of Newark, New Jersey, tends to agree with us.
an 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. Thank you for your
hard and earnest work. It's important that we stay informed.
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.
Stevens 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.
Williams is on Greedygut patrol. She's putting the word out on the
men and women who trade their congregations' votes for contracts.
no 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.
shock to civilized humanity
also 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 New Order."
Balassa comes from a fine family in Vancouver, Washington. She doesn't
deserve a President like Bush, and neither do we.
mother, 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: www.distanceeddesign.com/vanpeace.
Al 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 ("And
the last shall be first..."), although New Hampshire's
constitution demands its primary take place before any other state,
DC is not a state.
is 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.
nearly 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....
commentary 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:
just 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."
mention "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.
displayed his prowess as an historian, thusly:
to 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.
voting rights would entitle DC to one congressperson and two Senators.
The jurisdiction is 60 percent Black.
it a loud 2003"
Internet's 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.
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.
last 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
to be encouraged that this work, this informative web site, is
positively affecting someone, and especially me.
December 26 issue also featured co-publisher Glen Ford's commentary,
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.
is 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.
and 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
some 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:
Bogan 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.
Bogan, of Portland, Oregon, will have the last word on this matter.
Mr. 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.
this 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 'antiquated'.
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,
and the Return of Manifest Destiny: What Latinos Saw at the State
of the Union."
Trachy 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 heart.
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