History has arrived

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votebw4

I am headed to my poll location now to work.   Share your thoughts with me as history is being made.

After several hours at the polls, I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

The Grandmother of Barack Obama, Madelyn Dunham, has gone home to see the King.

This is a bittersweet moment for all of those, myself included, who prayed and asked the Lord to allow Mother Dunham to see her grandson elected President. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in God’s plan.

Barack’s tears touched me.

APTOPIX Obama 2008

They took me back to the death of my grandfather.

I don’t know what it is like to lose a grandmother and don’t want to know. My maternal grandmother is my heart. She is the matriarch of our family. My grandmother is sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. She is quiet dignity and unconditional love. She is collard greens and cornbread. She is my rock, my anchor, my role model. I cannot imagine life without her love, her prayers, or her presence.

Fifteen years ago, Grandma discovered that her husband of 35 years had slipped away quietly in his sleep after a long illness. She called the sheriff to pronounce the body and the funeral home. While waiting for momma and me to arrive, grandma had a massive heart attack. She was right in the middle of it as we arrived. She rocked back and forth on the foot of the bed as she prayed softly. We called her name and rubbed her back. Mama continued rocking back and forth and praying softly. She finally fell out as they lifted her onto the gurney and transported her to the hospital. It never dawned on me that she was having a heart attack. The whole thing felt like a bad dream that I couldn’t wake up from.

We waited helplessly for several hours with other family as they worked to stabilize her in intensive care. When they finally let us in to see her, she was hooked up to a respirator and there seemed to be tubes coming from everywhere. I lost it and quickly dissolved into tears. Grandma gestured for a pen and scribbled a note that read: God told me it is not my time. Stop crying.

That didn’t reassure me.

I spent the next five days on my face, fasting and praying. Nearly a week after being on the brink of death, Mama walked out of that hospital and buried her husband with the characteristic dignity and resolve she’s always displayed. She never had another heart related incident. God spoke to my grandmother clearly and told her it was not her time. There was nothing more to fear. God said it. He did it.

For those of you who believe that we cannot predict an Obama win because you are superstitious, there is nothing to fear because this is his time and nothing will change that. I look forward to April 27, 2009 when the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, writes to my grandmother and wishes her a happy 80th birthday.

Y’all be good and go vote. Do it for all the grandmothers who couldn’t be with us and whose sacrifices made this moment in history possible.

Fashion Disaster

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The controversy over Sarah Palin’s opulent, fashion forward makeover is indeed an interesting one because it speaks volumes about her and how unfit she is for assuming the role of Commander-In-Chief. The Republican National Committee spared no expense to ensure that the most inarticulate and ignorant Vice Presidential contender in modern history looked the part while she rigidly adhered to a demagogic and hypocritical script of racial appeals to stereotypical, white Joe Six-packs and hockey moms more accustomed to the cramped aisles of a plebian Wal-Mart than the rarified air of Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sistah Robin Givhan of the Washington Post has written:

As a country, we remain predisposed to assessing the attire of women with an eye toward meaning and revelation. Some say it is sexist to do so. They are wrong…Clothing can evoke authority, but at the most basic level it is an expression of control.

How does a woman get elected to be a state’s chief executive-a job that entails presiding over the management of billions of dollars and thousands of employees and not have an appropriate wardrobe befitting her station that quietly and and elegantly conveys that authority? She did it, I presume, by running on the vacuous tripe of personality and biography. It also means and the evidence proves that she is not really in control.

In almost every aspect, Ms. Palin is totally unqualified for the job she holds and doubly unqualified for a promotion to the Vice Presidency. If she pieced together her wardrobe and political resume together like she did her Bachelor’s degree-a little bit here and little bit there, it tells me that she is unfocused, shallow, and lacks the intellectual curiosity and depth necessary for wielding executive power.

Again, according to Sistah Givhan”

Attire is not the sole provence of women, but n comparison with men, it remains an area in which they have the greater number of choices, more flexibility, [and] the heavier burden.

Sarah Palin didn’t somebody aside and wisper a request for a makeover. Palin’s handlers knew damn well that she needed one and planned accordingly and spent extravagently. That by itself gives the lie to Republican claims that she is ready for primetime.

The wardrobe they selected for Palin is elegant, simple, understated and very fashion forward. It embraces femininity without conveying frivolity or sacrificing authority. However, it should be noted that Governor Palin didn’t select a stitch of it-her handlers did.

Sarah Palin is fond of calling Barack Obama a socialist while sporting $150,000 of other people’s money on her back. This is a fine example of the racist hypocrisy that African Americans find so repellenat and why we so soundly reject the Republican brand. Can you imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and the Obamas were at the receiving end of this type of subsidized extravagance? Lord, have mercy. Can’t you just hear the howls of wingnut indignation? Moreover, I seriously doubt whether we would be hearing Mika Brezinzki and Campbell Brown defending Michelle Obama.

If Palin’s handlers had been as serious about what they put in the Governor’s head to get her up to speed on national issues as they were what they put on her back, John McCain’s choice would be lauded as a touch of brilliance and perhaps he would still be inthe hunt for the Oval Office he has long coveted.

Sistah Givhan relates:

The public has already settled on the defining characteristics of a powerful man: He wears a dark suit that is well tailored. He pairs it with a crisp white shirt, and if he wishes to underscore his authority, he wears French cuffs…He tries to look dignified and serious.

Sarah Palin’s selection is akin to a fashion disaster or like pairing a garish tie with an expensive suit. The Alaska Governor is the personification of ostentatious fraudulence and her makeover shatters the image of dignified seriousness and gravitas McSame has tried to run on.

When Sarah’s fairy godfather loses the election and the ball is over, campaign flacks claim that the designer duds that McCain’s right-wing Cinderella acquired will be donated to charity. I don’t believe that-especially when we’ve heard talk about whether she would need to claim these clothes on her income tax, which implies that these clothes were meant to be kept after the campaign.

In other words, the campaign is spinning another line of B.S. that, coincidentally, aptly describes the McCain-Palin campaign thus far.

liddy dole’s fallen and can’t get up

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s relentless television assault on freshman Senator Elizabeth Dole,73, has laid the Plastic Magnolia low. Politically speaking, Liddy Dole has fallen and can’t get up. I can show you better than I can tell you.

The folksy old men are devastating, but the man on the street testimonials in Salisbury, her hometown, nail the coffin shut on her chances for re-election. Person after person and even the people on the street where she claims a residence have never seen her.I have a friendly wager with a co-worker that she’ll lose Jesse Helms’ seat. He vigorously disagrees, but with 400 paid Obama staffers on the ground in dozens of offices throughout the state mounting the most aggressive grassroots campaign in nearly 50 years, I have no doubt that she’ll lose.

State Legislator Kay Hagan, 55, a Greensboro Democrat, is running a top notch campaign with the assist of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ads running non-stop. She vows to send Bob and Liddy Dole back to Kansas because she believes that there is no place like home. During some years in her tenure, Liddy Dole has spent less than two weeks in North Carolina. Ranking 93rd in effectiveness and voting with President Bush 92% of the time, Mrs. Dole, just like her plastic surgeon, hasn’t delivered on what was promised. Her tenure has already been a bad joke and if she’s re-elected, nobody should be laughing.


Hate First

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Video Hat Tip: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Crooks and Liars

The mainstream media has been talking around this for weeks now, but Al Jazeera, the Middle Eastern news channel, lays it out plain and shows White voters spewing out the racist, sectarian, xenophobic, Anti-Obama talking points of the Republican Party.  The Republicans have been playing a ridiculous game of denial with the media and everyone else that calls them on their bullshit–thus, the histrionics by Republicans over John Lewis’ open letter calling out McSame and Failin’.  They know exactly what they’ve been doing because they’ve been doing it for over 40 years.  They have been masters at the non-denial denial and the art of deliberately stoking the racial resentments of their white constitutent base against the liberal enemies of the moment.  Southern Strategy, anyone?

Another exercise in futility

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These “Debates” and I use that term loosely, are colossal wastes of time.  Did you really learn anything? Did they really say anything of import?  What we really have here a two establishment politicians engaged in an obligatory battle in a long war that is all but over.  John McCain has lost the biggest prize in American politics to a Negro, an establishment Negro, but a Negro nonetheless.  He’s obviously having trouble coping with that.  Ignoring the humiliating finality of his impending defeat, he launches into the long telegraphed salvo of Ayers and ACORN.

AYERS

William Ayers, 63, the 60’s radical who blew some s*it up to stop the Vietnam War and in solidarity with his oppressed Negro brethren-harmed nobody,  and was allowed to re-enter society without doing any jail time and become a part of the Chicago establishment as a member of the faculty of the University of Illinois.

Victims of COINTELPRO, Ayers and his wife got off on a technicality when they were able to prove prosecutorial misconduct.   Ayers and Obama met up later when Barack was an adult and they served on two community boards. One board distributed grants given by Ambassador Walter Annenberg, a Reagan era Republican, to Chicago schools.   Ayers later contributed $250 bucks to one of Barack’s legislative campaigns.   That’s it.  There is nothing more.

Ayers is this year’s boogie man, a latter day Willie Horton in whiteface.  Never before has a white senior citizen been used to make a young black man seem dangerous.  It is absolutely ridiculous.  Running with the terrorist meme, they have managed to whip the white party’s adherents into a frenzy over this lame bit of deliberate, racist character assassination. 

Delegate Jeff Fredrick, the Chair of the Virginia GOP, a wingnut I have personally campaigned against, made the absurd assertion that both Obama and Osama Bin Laden had friends who had bombed the pentagon.  The lynch mobs that double for McCain-Palin campaign rallies have gotten carried away calling Obama an “Arab,” a “terrorist,” or my personal favorite, “Kill him.”    Frederick now claims to have been kidding and McCain made a big show of being offended by being called on the carpet by John Lewis for their calculated attempts to stir up white resentment against Obama.

ACORN

The ACORN allegations are straight outta of the Fox News playbook of red herrings recycled from 2004.  McCain’s attempt to link Obama to this group’s sometimes sloppy voter registration methods are both laughable and pathetic.  Lazy people’s attempts to pad their paychecks by submitting bogus voter registration forms do not constitute a conspiracy to commit voter fraud.  Voter fraud is when you deliberately purge 57,000 people from the voting rolls, 88% of whom are black,  for the “crime” of having names similar to those of convicted felons in state and out of state with no other identifying data.

For those of you who are slow, Republican, or both, I am referencing Florida in 2000.     Finally, voter fraud is when you deliberately screw up elections administration so that Democrats of color have to wait in the rain for 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours on Election Day to cast a ballot like they did in Ohio in 2004.

Nobody pushing the Acorn meme should be taken seriously-especially John McCain.  

This is all McCain had against Obama and its why he is losing.

Going through the motions

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The candidates are just going through the motions now because this thing is over and done.  I’ll tell you like the revival preacher told me at my home church in July.  “Obama’s gonna win.  You can shout now.”  The electoral college map as represented below is clear.    A landslide is brewing and nothing will likely mitigate the damage to the Republican Party.

Senators McCain and Obama are starting to engage fully now without laying too heavy a negative glove on each other.  The economy is front and center and it does nothing but help Obama.  The longer they discuss it, the more he strengthens his hand.    A half-hour in an we still are talking about the economy.  McCain isn’t doing anything to change the game.  His mild criticisms are neither pointed nor compelling.

Jefferson faces latina in run-off

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Scandal plagued Congressman William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, 61, secured a spot yesterday in November’s Democratic Run Off  by besting five serious black contenders and a lone Latina,  Helena Moreno, 30, a political newcomer and former newscaster.

Ms. Moreno, a Texas transplant and the daughter of Oil and Gas entrepreneur Felix Moreno, has been identified in the mainstream media and seems to be campaigning as the only “white” contender in the race despite having been born in Mexico and not stepping foot in this country until after her seventh birthday.  Technically, Ms. Moreno’s mother, an academic at Baylor University, a native born American, is white.

Most Mexicans identify themselves racially as Mestizo–an Indian and Anglo combo analogous to being Mulatto in the United States.  But Latin America is famous for having a reverse one drop rule: one drop of white blood makes you white in some contexts and countries.

The subtext of all southern politics is race, and the politics of New Orleans, a uniquely French influenced region and culture, is no different.

Louisiana is famous for having jungle primaries in which candidates of all parties compete against each other and the top two candidates regardless of party advance for the general election.  That has been changed for Congressional races. However, the Democratic Primary and Run Off are not closed to independents.    Independents in the New Orleans Metro area are usually not of color and vote disproportionately Republican.

The question in this race is whether African Americans will coalesce around the federally indicted Jefferson and send him back to Congress for a term he will never finish.  Jefferson’s December trial will most assuredly result in his conviction for bribery, kickbacks, and a host of other crimes I’ve long since forgotten and don’t care to research.

Given the division between blacks and whites in Metro New Orleans over Hurricane Katrina related recovery projects and the universal hostility of the majority-white city council and their Negro ventriloquists to working class African Americans need for affordable housing and their undisputed right to return home and reclaim the property and lives destroyed by white hostility and indifference, it is unlikely that reform minded African Americans will coalesce behind Moreno and her Republican Real-Estate Developer benefactors.

The Congressional Black Caucus chose to back Jefferson rather than bow to reality and back an acceptable horse–an act of political malpractice I still struggle to understand.  New Orleanians are the most misrepresented blackfolks in the nation and are in need of a savior.  Before New Orleans drown in a sea of Army Corps of Engineers incompetence, Dollar Bill was too preoccupied securing the relief of the richest 1% from Estate Taxes and engineering foreign graft and kickbacks for himself and his children to bother with procuring appropriations for the upkeep of the levies that keep the city dry.  I’m too tired to adequately express the totality of my contempt for Dollar Bill.  I’ll get to it later.

This race will be an interesting one for sure.

Judging Sarah

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Joe Biden’s ponderous Washington speak is nothing but a hinderance in reaching out to the American people.  There is nothing about the man that evokes change in the mind of the average American voter.  Bringing up dead fossils like Mike Mansfield and Jesse Helms just underscores that.   That being said, there is no doubt that Sarah Palin is out of her league as a Vice Presidential contender.   She continues to ramble her way through questions she clearly doesn’t know the answers to and no matter how charming and perky she comes across on television, her lack of depth is unmistakable.   I give her points for remembering most of her talking points, but she clearly coulda used more time to cram.

 

 

Bernie Sanders: progressive champion

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Yesterday’s Senate Debate on the Wall Street Bailout provided some stark contrasts.  On the one hand, you had progressive stalwarts like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold.  On the other hand, you had John McCain and Barack Obama.  No matter how you slice it, Barack Obama’s capitulation on the Wall Street Bailout was a betrayal of progressive values and a betrayal of the working class, which is disproportionately composed of people of color.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Socialist who caucuses with Senate Democrats, illuminated the class betrayal of Obama and the majority of his Democratic colleagues with a clarity that should have embarassed them all.

In our country today we have the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on Earth, with the top 1 percent earning more income than the bottom 50 percent, and the top 1 percent owning more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. We are living at a time when we have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthiest people in this country; when, among others, CEO’s of Wall Street firms receive unbelievable amounts in bonuses, including $39 billion in bonuses in the year 2007 alone for just the five major investment houses.

 We have seen the incredible greed of the financial service industry manifested in the hundreds of millions of dollars they have spent on campaign contributions and lobbyists in order to deregulate their industry so hedge funds and other unregulated financial institutions could flourish. We have seen them play with trillions and trillions of dollars in esoteric financial instruments in unregulated industries which no more than a handful of people even understand.

We have seen the financial services industry charge 30 percent interest rates on credit card loans and tack on outrageous late fees and other costs to unsuspecting customers. We have seen them engaged in despicable predatory lending practices, taking advantage of the vulnerable and the uneducated. We have seen them send out billions of deceptive solicitations to almost every mailbox in America.

I used to think that my home was the only one that was receiving them. It turns out that billions of other solicitations went out to probably every home in America. What they hoped to do was to gain new customers for credit card companies and then, through the very small print on the back of the solicitation, have the opportunity, have the ability to monkey around with interest rates so when people thought they were getting zero interest or 2 percent, it turns out that a few months later they were paying very high interest rates.

Most important, of course, we have seen the financial services industry lure people into mortgages they could not afford to pay, which is one of the basic reasons we are tonight in the midst of all of this. We have a bailout package today which says to the middle class that you are being asked to place at risk $700 billion, which is $2,200 for every man, woman, and child in this country. You are being asked to do that in order to undo the damage caused by this excessive Wall Street greed. In other words, the “Masters of the Universe,” those brilliant Wall Street insiders who have made more money than the average American can even dream of, have brought our financial system to the brink of collapse, and now, as the American and world financial systems teeter on the edge of a meltdown, these multimillionaires are demanding that the middle class, which has already suffered under Bush’s disastrous economic policies, pick up the pieces they broke.

That is wrong and that is something I will not support. The major point I want to make this evening is, if we are going to bail out Wall Street, it should be those people who have caused the problem, those people who have benefited from Bush’s tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, those people who have taken advantage of deregulation–those people are the people who should pick up the tab and not ordinary working people.

Obama’s support of the bailout didn’t come cheap.  With more than $9.8 millon rasised from the securities and investment industry, nobody can question that he is morally compromised himself by accepting $691,900 from Goldman Sachs, $448,600 from Citigroup,  $442,919 JP Morgan,  $404,750 from UBS, $370,500 from Lehman Bros, and $318,00 from Morgan Stanley.   These six investment houses and brokerages kicked in $2,676,739 to the Obama coffers alone. 

I like what I’ve read on Obama’s website about his proposals regarding predatory lending and his legislative record, but this Wall Street Bailout vote negates most of that in my mind and I am not at all happy about it.  Also missing is any real commitment to reimposing the Glass Steagall act reforms of the New Deal Era that separated investment banking from commercial banking and insurance and protected American consumers from monopoly and speculation. Votes like this underscore the necessity of campaign finance reform.  

Senator Sanders offered an amendment to the Wall Street Bailout that would have raised taxes on those making $500,000 or more to pay for the bailout and it failed on a voice vote.   I would have loved to have seen whether Obama’s lips moved yea or nay or whether they were on the floor at all.

Congressional Black Caucus: Selling us out

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If any of the following Congressional Negroes belongs to you, y’all might wanna drop them a line and let them know that you don’t appreciate their voting to bail out crooked bankers and the largely white investor class that lost their shirts speculating in mortgage backed securities. 

Rep. Maxine Waters D-CA
Rep. Laura Richardson D-CA
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson D-TX
Rep. Artur Davis D-AL
Rep. Sanford Bishop D-GA
Rep. Corrine Brown D-FL
Rep. Alcee Hastings D-FL
Rep. Kendrick Meek D-FL
Rep. James Clyburn D-SC
Rep. Mel Watt D-NC
Rep. Chaka Fattah D-PA
Rep. Danny Davis D-IL
Rep. Keith Ellison  D-MN
Rep. Gwen Moore D-WI
Rep. Yvette Clarke D-NY
Rep. Greg Meeks D-NY
Rep. Charlie Rangel D-NY
Rep. Edolphus Towns D-NY

Bankers consciously conspired to disproportionately saddle people of color (mainly Blacks and Latinos) with predatory loans and other dangerous loan products which ruined their lives and destroyed their credit.  They sold the loans on the open market to the investor class at a profit until their colored victims started defaulting on their adjustable rate mortgages when the loans reset.

The Bailout package which failed the other day left the issue of predatory lending unaddressed.   Naomi Klein, author of the Shock Doctrine, which explains the phenomenon of Disaster Capitalism, is a primer for political activists wishing to understand the predatory habits of the right-wing and their enablers in the Democratic Party.   Miss Klein, a Canadian National, writes about how the right has used the crisis surrounding disasters both natural and manmade to unleash free market schemes on an unsuspecting public worldwide.   The credit crisis is just the latest scheme and its being used to bailout the very same people who pushed for the deregulation of the banking industry and caused the problems that threaten global economic collapse.

Dennis Kucinich, as always, hit the nail on the head.  He said on the floor:

Why aren’t we helping homeowners directly with their debt burden?  Why aren’t we helping American homeowners faced with bankruptcy? Why aren’t we reducing debt for Main Street instead of Wall Street? Isn’t it time for fundamental change in our debt based monetary system, so we can free ourselves from the manipulation of the Federal Reserve and the Banks? Is this the United States Congress or the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs?  Wall Street is a place of Bears and Bulls.  It is not smart to force taxpayers to dance with Bears or follow to closely behind the Bulls.

None of the aforementioned Negroes is running for President and none needs the support of Wall Street to get re-elected.  What is most interesting about this list is the progressive names on it, along with those of the corporate whores, like Artur Davis and David Scott that have been identified by our friends at Black Agenda Report.   Yvette Clarke, Keith Ellison, Gwen Moore, Maxine Waters, and Mel Watt don’t belong on this list–their progressive voting records indicate that they know damn better.

I am particularly peeved by Sistah Waters and Brotha Watt.  As the senior African Americans serving on the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Watt chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Mrs. Waters chairs the Subcommittee on Housing & Community Opportunity.  They know full well how hard Banking institutions chafed under the Community Reinvestment Act that monitors how banks redline communites of color and deny them credit.  This predatory loan crisis has been an onging outrage and this bailout package does nothing to remedy the situation.

Unlike their chairman, the brilliant Barney Frank, neither Mrs. Waters or Mr. Watt is beholden to the financial services industry.   Barney Frank has taken in excess of $2,259 907 from the financial services, real estate, and insurance industries since 1989.   Moreover, Barney hasn’t had a competitive re-election bid in 26 years.   There isn’t any reason for their betrayal of the black community except for their alleigance to one woman: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.    I like Nancy. I admire Nancy, but this bailout bill is not what progressive Democrats sent the Democratic majority to Washington for.   For 18 of the 41 member Congressional Black Caucus to capitulate to this bailout betrayal gives new meaning to the epithet House Negro.

Bailout fails; GOP abandons Bush and McCain

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2008.05.15 - House Debate on Iraq Funding 6 by goppolicy.

Despite the House Republicans disingenuous efforts to pin the failure of the Bush Administration’s Wall Street bailout on Nancy Pelosi’s “partisan” speech castigating free market wingnuts for their anti-regulation philosophy, the blame lies squarely on their shoulders because Bush is their damn President.  Period.  

The House GOP is more concerned about saving themselves than they are about saving the country from economic collapse or salvaging Bush’s legacy or supporting John McCain.   They threw them both over the side and are preserving the option for themselves of blaming the impending economic catastrophe on Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.   

People must realize that there can be no bi-partisan cooperation with the Republican Party.  They are right-wing extremists determined to destroy this country before they hand it over to a black man.  To counteract that level of racist sabotage, Barack Obama needs the biggest Democratic majorities in twenty-five years to be able to enact his agenda. 

Hopefully the Democratic majority will be emboldened to fashion a bailout for Main Street instead of Wall Street.  I’m not hopeful.  

The Big Debate at Ole Miss

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Obama never answered the question about being for or against the Wall Street bailout.   It is a clear equivocation and it does not help him.

What say You?

Food for thought

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It never fails y’all.  Just when I am ready to embrace Barack Obama’s historic campaign emotionally, he does or says something I find abhorrent and inimical to the interests of the Black Community in particular and damaging to everyone else in general.  I am not a head in the sand or up my arse kinda guy.  If you’ve been reading me for awhile, you understand that I pay attention to details and demand substance.

Barack, the Safe Negro, has decided to buckdance for his supper again.  News came yesterday that he announced a willingness to keep Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, in some capacity in the next administration. This comes on the heels of an earlier announcement that Obama is considering asking Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to stay on as well.  Nothing about keeping Paulson and Gates is evocative of “Change We Can Believe in.”  Nothing.

Surrounded by a coterie of corporate vampires from the Clinton Administration, the same folk responsible for the deregulation that made this bailout necessary,Barack Obama seized the moment the other day to quiet the unease of capital markets in the throws of hysteria surrounding the near collapse of insurance conglomerate AIG and the failure of the federal government backed mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The resolution of this crisis threatens any progressive agenda for the next administration given the evaporation of one trillion dollars in stock market value and the massive size of a $700 billion bailout package.  It should be clear to even the most intellectually challenged progressive that Barack Obama doesn’t belong to us anymore, if he ever really did.

Bob Rubin, a corporate whore of stupendous magnitude, is the lead predator advising Obama along with Larry Summers, Laura D’Andrea Tyson, and Wal-Mart apologist Jason Furman.The symbolism and substance of an Obama victory is actively being destroyed behind the scenes by these people.

Naomi Klein is correct, it is time to get busy creating a progressive movement that will pressure and fight an Obama Administration’s inevitable capitulations to the corporate power structure.  If we don’t, we can forget about change.

Fathers and Sons

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I first saw this photograph when rikyrah used it on Jack and Jill Politics and it disoriented me and I didn’t understand why until today.   I could appreciate the beauty of this photograph without being able to connect with the emotions the photo evokes.  The look on this little boy’s face is angelic and blissful.   The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t remember my father holding me, embracing me, touching me, or loving me.

My parents divorced over 30 years ago.  To put it succinctly, they were estranged.  My parents were typical high school sweethearts and after graduation, they found themselves expecting a little bundle of unexpected joy.  Married to the sound of a shotgun, their union quickly disintegrated.  The breakup occurred one day after Daddy came home from work and Momma had no food prepared.  It became physical and Daddy told his pregnant bride that she was stupid and that he had fallen out of love with her in the span of their three week-old marriage.  He put her out of the apartment and told her never to come back.

Momma wandered the streets in tears for two days before she swallowed her pride and called her parents.

I have only two memories of my father during my childhood because I only saw him twice.   When I was four, Daddy asked Momma to take him back.  He took us to the state fair and it was the only time that I remember feeling whole, complete, total.   We had a great time and the single photograph of me at the fair was lost in a fire over twenty years ago, but I remember it because I feel the same as the boy in this photo.

My father is the most intelligent man I know and his physical presence makes an impression.   His commanding voice and magnetic gaze are intimidating.   Momma withstood it all, thanked him for a wonderful evening and asked for a divorce.

The last time I saw Daddy was in the grocery store.  I was all dressed up for Easter in a suit that Momma made.  I strutted my stuff.  I couldn’t have been more than five.  It was the last time my parents spoke until I was 19 and I briefly went to live with him.

My grandfather picked me up daily from school until I was old enough to hoof it on my own.   I saw him everyday.  He was there for me providing a gentle and quiet example.  He wasn’t demonstrative though and I don’t recall hugs and kisses being his thing.  I know he loved me and after his death I wore his clothes and used his Old Spice so that I wouldn’t forget his smell.

Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with love.  I grew up with unconditional love.  The Father blessed me with a wonderful Momma and grandparents who nurtured and cared for me.   But being surrounded by the children of the white middle class, I felt damaged and incomplete.   Some of that is a function of race and class and some is because of Daddy’s estrangement.  It occurs to me as I write this how much I needed my father’s love and how the absence of his love played into my self esteem and insecurities as a grown ass man.  I am so blessed to have Daddy in my life now.

Barack Obama never got the chance to reconnect with his Daddy the way that I did.  He understands what I’m feeling and he decided that his children would never know what this feels like.  This photo speaks to me because it shows a Black man unafraid to embrace himself and Black men in all of their complexity and love them. Despite the skepticism I am always expressing about Senator Obama, and will invariably express again, I will push it aside and vote for him.

To my brothas who have sons:

embrace them,

hold them,

make them feel safe in your arms and comfortable in your presence,

and love them unconditionally.

 

I love you, Daddy

Why I am pro-choice

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Mother n Child (late 1930s) by Omega418.

Several years ago, I was asked to do a project for a Women’s history class and interview a woman of a certain age in the family. I interviewed my great Aunt Alberta. My aunt was her mother’s namesake and she told me my great-grandmother’s story. According to the census of 1930, my great-grandmother was my grandfather’s second wife. Born in Mississippi in 1907 to a family of 15, she met and married my great-grandfather, a Baptist minister, sometime in the late twenties and to their union were born three children: Uncle Isiah in 1927, Lula, my grandmother in 1929, and my Aunt Alberta in 1930. About 1933 my great-grandmother Alberta became pregnant again.

The economic injustice of the Jim Crow south was intensified by the near total economic collapse brought on by the depression. Times were tough for blackfolks anyhow, but the misery of the depression made some of us long for the degradation of slavery because at least they could be assured of being fed. It was into this climate of desperation, penury and fear that my great-grandmother faced the prospect of having a fourth mouth to feed.

When a woman is intent on ending a pregnacy to preserve the family that she already has, there is nothing that she won’t do.  My great-grandmother searched high and low for an abortifacient that would work and settled on a method, which is lost in the mists of time, that took her life. Her death left a hole in the family that could never be filled. My great-grandfather re-married twice. The woman who raised my grandmother and her siblings was a cold, emotionally distant woman who expected her grown children still at home to pay room and board before each eventually married. My great-grandfather was a strict disciplinarian who had trouble understanding the difference between necessary discipline and child abuse.

Several years ago, my Auntie gave grandma an old black and white photo similar to the one here. My great-grandmother, who my grandma closely resembles, is holding an infant, my aunt, while her two toddlers stand to her sides. Grandma cried as she told us how much she missed her mother. Her loss is felt even now. Because of limited career choices available to their generation, my grandmother and her sister became nurses and I know that her mother’s death made grandma firmly and unalterably pro-choice. Out of respect for her and the memory of my great-grandmother, I am too.

It did my heart good to see that the National Organization for Women endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden today. They said in part, “Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, to strengthen access to contraception and reproductive health care, and prevent unwanted pregnancies. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade and will oppose any efforts to overturn it. …Sen. Obama opposed the nominations of George Bush’s extreme right-wing nominees to the Supreme Court, who have consistently ruled against women’s rights.”

“For more than a decade, Barack Obama has said “yes” to women’s rights, while John McCain has consistently said “no” – NO to pay equity, NO to contraceptive access and reproductive rights, NO to appointing Supreme Court judges who will uphold women’s rights and civil rights, NO to funding shelters and other anti-violence programs, and NO to supporting working moms and dads with policies that support work/life balance.”

Barack Obama is not perfect and is far too accomodating and corporate for my taste. However, he is the only candidate in the race who shares most of my values that is capable of winning. Anybody who claimed to be for Hillary Clinton that doesn’t support Barack Obama is lying when they claim to be feminists. Feminists support the rights of women–all women, to be free of patriarchy, racism, violence and economic discrimination. Supporting John McCain and his right-wing fembot is antithetical to the philosphy of feminism.

Hiding behind John McCain and Sarah Palin or Cynthia McKinney changes nothing. Sarah Palin is not a feminist, no matter what she claims, and she doesn’t support preserving the reproductive rights of women. Cynthia McKinney, on the other hand, is a good feminist, but she has absolutely no chance to win.

The choice for feminists is clear. Anybody who says anything different and insists on bludgeoning Barack Obama as the scapegoat for the slings and arrows of sexism is really more interested in preserving white supremacy than they are in defending Hillary Clinton from sexist patriarchy.

Colin Powell, undecided voter

Standard

Former Generalissimo and Secretary of State Colin Powell told a George Washington University audience that he is undecided in this year’s presidential contest and is still weighing his options.   The idea of a black president, according to Powell, would be, “electrifying…but at the same time [I have to] make a judgement here on which would be best for America.”

Powell’s statement lays bare the delicious contradiction implicit in departing from the Republican Party.  Caught between racial pride and a lifetime of devoted service as the white power structure’s militaristic enforcer and their prestigeous blackface foreign minstrel, he cannot support Barack Obama without calling into question everything he has been about for the last 35 years.

In the end, the imperial crusade he helped to launch in Iraq with erroneous intelligence and blatant falsehoods and the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Hati, will be his legacy.   He needs to own that failure.

Colin Powell Lied, 100,000 Died - Demonstration Toronto - Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 059 by photopia / HiMY SYeD.

Endorsing Barack Obama will not turn the page on his lifetime of betrayal.   If he decides to go with Obama, it won’t be a personal decison.  It will be a surreptitious effort of the imperial establishment to control Obama for Powell’s beloved plantation puppet masters.  Colin Powell is no longer one of us.  He is an enemy of the black community and if Barack Obama accepts his endorsement, he may become our enemy as well.