Friday, September 30, 2011
This no longer is the case, thanks namely to policies put in place and established by the same supposedly villainous Robert Mugabe. No longer does the African nation suffer with the highest rate of inflation in the world. Now just a few years’ latter goods are back on the shelves of local stores. Why, because of the government's decision to replace the Zimbabwe dollar with the South African rand and the US dollar.
The Zimbabwe's economy has produced economic growth for two successive years due to positive policies and strong commodity prices, and this according to the International Monetary Fund. Although this southern African country's economy was beaten down by hyperinflation (drops in value) which reached 500 billion percent in 2008 and grew 5.7 percent in 2009, now as it stands, Zimbabwe has a budget surplus and demonstrates additional signs of improvement. The economy of Zimbabwe grew close to 8 percent in 2010 is expected to grow near 10 percent this year.
The question for many remains how did this happen after being vilified by the United States and Europe just 5 years ago for not doing enough to improve the economy and the nation’s policy for land redistribution from Europeans to native Zimbabweans? How is this possible when once the rest of the world was saying that the people of Zimbabwe were not capable of self-government? First higher gold and platinum prices have boosted exports and government revenues in 2010. In addition, not being the victim of severe droughts as other African nations around the horn have resulted in conditions contributed that have led to increase in agricultural output. The policies of Mugabe targeted several areas including but not limited to reducing rigid labor market constraints, establishing security of land tenure, clarifying ownership requirements under the indigenization legislation, and addressing concerns about governance in the diamond sector. They also implemented other reforms including actions that have resulted in a more than 50 % increase of livestock folds across the country. Last but not least, there were the strict reforms imposed in the banking system.
Given all of the aforementioned, I often wonder why have these occurrences in Zimbabwe and imposed by President Mugabe received vapid coverage in mainstream western media and not openly discussed and acknowledged by President Obama? After all it was just last year when the nation‘s central bank introduced a $50 billion note (at the time enough to buy just two loaves of bread). It was implemented to avoid cash shortages because like our dollar, theirs was virtually worthless. The simple lesson for the President should be to learn from what we observe transpire in Zimbabwe, but he will not. Some economist have suggested that with the Federal Reserve Bank incessant use of quantitative easing (printing fiat money willy nily), that the U.S. economy will enter “hyperinflation” similar to what we saw in Zimbabwe. Why because no matter what, the artificiality of the US economy will be subjected to the reluctance of the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. We are already seeing large increases in everything from commodities to basic goods and with government debt growing so much, inflation has to start to accelerate at a dangerous rate.
From a policy approach it is obvious that Obama doesn’t comprehend, understand or believe the aforementioned as being a tenable outcome. Dr. Ron Paul does since he understands and states that “a thriving economy is not the but the result of a free people.” The actions of the President and a House that currently only serves to manage economic forces in an effort to mandate how business should be conducted, fail to egage the larger picture. Although not completely flawless, Dr. Paul’s economic principles rest on the idea that humans have the right to choose how to interact with one another. The clearest example concerns how we conduct foreign policy as nation and how these actions inherently impact our potential for economic growth negatively. For him, there is no reason to provide $3 billion to Israel annually while at the same time give their Arab neighbors and enemies and $12. Paul is the only current politician who has stated the reality of the US economy being considerably in worse shape than Europe.
First we owe Japan more than a trillion dollars, not to mention we are in worse shape than Japan, even after their natural disasters since they do have major exports to lean on and higher rates of savings available. The question should be why are US politicians from the President on down not addressing the citizens of this nation honestly about our economic conundrum? What are we doing to maintain our competitive edge in the world while all other nations are acting? Nothing, we fuss and bicker and Obama doesn’t show the will or ability to work on this from a serious purview and neither do Republicans. While Zimbabwe is going through with their plans for a gold-backed currency and China Becomes World’s Largest Gold Buyer, our economy is slowing down and we applaud an artificial stock bubble like it means we are back on track. Things that Paul openly supports.
As opposed to trying to solve our problems, our federal government only attempts to spends, borrow, and print money our-way out of debt so much that the dollar is null. Why, because our politicians figure the best way to grow (which isn’t growth) our economy is by printing new money to pay its debts, and borrows hundreds of billions abroad in the form of Treasury obligations that someday must be paid. All of this even when they know such is in contradiction to the laws of economics. From what has been said and written, it is pellucid that Dr. Paul understands this as well as Robert Mugabe. The query is does or can President Obama and can he learn from them both?
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Once the call of this nation was separate but equal, a statement that cannot be validated even by simple algebra. Unfortunately in today’s parlance, all indicators reveal the overt reality that as a nation, we are separate and unequal – a lucid fact visible in black and white. If this divide is not mended, there will be hell on the avenues across this great nation.
Although we excel in some things, as a people, African Americans comprise 13% of Americans but only 4% of U.S. physicians, 3.2% of Lawyers, and less than 1% of architects but 69% of NFL, 80% of NBA and 98% of all rappers. The infant mortality rate of African Americans is 13.4 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 5.5 and 5.7 for Hispanics and whites accordingly. Just 12 % of AA fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 % of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.
What is real is that we are our worse enemy and that the American oligarchical powers have used this to their advantage. A new report has just been released confirming that as Africa Americans we watch more TV than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. according to figures released on March 30, 2011. Moreover, Based on data collected in November 2010, African Americans used their TVs an average of 7 hours, 12 minutes each day — above the U.S. average of 5 hours, 11 minutes. Yet still, the disparities across the board are due to systemic practices of racism that elected leaders, regardless of race and political affiliation ignore as well.
Between 2003 and 2007, African American mothers had infant mortality rates at least twice as high as white mothers and AA children ages 17 and under were nearly 50 percent more likely to be without private or government health insurance than white children and that AA children ages 18 and under were three times more likely to live in single-parent households than white children. Nearly two-thirds of all AA children lived in a single–parent household and were twice as likely as white children to live in a household where no parent had full-time or year-round employment. Just one-third of AA children had a parent with a high school diploma, 24 % had a parent with at least some college experience, and less than 15 % had a parent who held a bachelor’s degree. These figures are not from the Ante-bellum south or during Jim Crow, but from the past few years and are just some of the reasons why one out of every three AA children lives in poverty compared with one out of every ten white children.
We are poor, jobless and in pain yet the nation’s first African American President and his political party ignore our desperate pleas as equally as the Republicans. Although Obama has proposed a job plan, it is difficult to see, unless targeted in urban areas and toward African American businesses, how this will aid in reducing the massive rate of unemployment we face.
For example, the dramatic difference with respect to access to capital. According to 2005 U.S. Census Bureau data, the median level of net worth among blacks is $6,200, eleven times lower than whites. Evidence shows that at startup, black entrepreneurs experience higher loan denial and tend to pay higher interest rates than white-owned businesses. Moreover, white-owned businesses have more than $80,000 of initial capital on average compared to black-owned businesses have less than $30,000 startup capital.
Regardless of the systemic constraints, we also must face the truth of aiding in our own demise and allowing these two nations within one to exist. From education to the correctional system this is observable. More than two-thirds of African American male dropouts are expected to serve time in state or federal prison. It would be idiotic to overlook the impact that arrests and incarceration have on African American families and communities. Since the 1990s, nearly one in three African-American men aged 20-29 were under criminal justice supervision, while more than two out of five had been incarcerated. Making African American males being incarcerated (4,618 per 100,000) 6 times more likely to be held in custody than white males: resulting in an estimated 1,559,200 children had a father in prison at midyear 2007; almost half (46%) were children of black fathers.Something is wrong with this America, the segment that has basically forgotten the sacrifices others made decades before them in order for them to be complacent, for they believe that they have theirs and that is all that matters.
But this is not reality. Today’s African American youth watch TV around 6 hours a day compared to 3 hours to whites and are exposed 6 hours more in total to all media when compared to white youth Even worse is that reading newspapers or books is basically none existence for African American youth, with whites and Asians reading way more each day, especially books, which if data is accurate, African American read on average 11 minutes a day and 33 minutes in total in terms of all print media.
If they do reach the point of completing High school and attending college, the nationwide graduation rate for African Americans is 42 %, most of which are females. As of five years ago, fewer than 8 % of young African American males graduated from college compared to 17% of white males in the same age group. What does this mean? It means that "The 4.5 million African American men ages 15 to 29 represent 14% of the U.S. male population of that age and
12% of all African Americans in the U.S. Their high rates of death, incarceration, and unemployment, and relatively low levels of college graduation rates raise concerns for African American families and the nation’s economy."
Yes America used to be a tale of two nations, black and white and separate but equal. Now this has returned however this time these two places are substantially unequal. Yes Obama wants us to get to marching, but he is missing the big social picture. People cannot march when sick and hungry. And they will not if the president is not open equally to hearing their pain. Instead they will be stealing copper from air conditioners and telephone poles, forming flash mobs and robbing stores and driving truck through beauty supply stores and stealing natural Indian hair.This is the new America and once people really get hungry, there will be hell to pay.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
For example, although Republican Representative Lamar Smith of Texas recently requested the office of the Attorney General to appoint an investigator to determine how the department of Energy doles out clean energy funding, in 2009 he wrote the Secretary of the DOE to approve loan guarantees from stimulus money for the Texas based Tessera Solar. Then there is Senator Mitch McConnell, who called the clean energy program a bust. McConnell, of Kentucky, has worked tirelessly to get income for clean-energy projects in Kentucky, including writing Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve $235 million in sovereign loans for a plant to build electric vehicles in Franklin in 2009.
In fact the more one looks the more hypocrisy that can be isolated. Another Republican, Sen.
David Vitter said that the Obama administration was "reckless" for subsidizing renewable-energy projects, but the Louisiana Republican wrote to the Energy Department at least seven times since 2009 for clean energy funding for projects that would benefit his home state. One of which for a company that makes activated carbon to reduce pollution at coal-fired power plants at a $245 million lick (loan guarantee). Specifically he wanted a loan approved for Red River Environmental Products of Coushatta, La. Vitter’s next door neighbor, Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who heads the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee and chairs a subcommittee investigating the Solyndra deal, also has backed clean energy jobs. Sterns wanted money for the Saft America plant (makes lithium-ion battery cells for military hybrid vehicles and solar and wind energy storage) in Jacksonville. For his efforts they received a $95.5 million grant from the Energy Department. He was also able to obtain $125 million for New Planet BioEnergy, a biofuel refinery plant.
True, the Solyndra loan had been fast-tracked by the Obama administration to get it approved in time for a scheduled visit to the California plant by Vice President Biden. But if McConnell and other in the GOP leadership are upset at the Obama administration for wasting more than half a billion dollars on the California company, then he has to come to grips with what they sees in the mirror. I am sure I could have mentioned a few more, like Rep. Darrell Issa’s own involvement in clean energy loans or GOP Representative Fred Upton of Michigan. Funny, if I can find this in the public domain, I wonder why Obama can’t or better yet, why doesn’t he call them out on their hypocrisy. The only thing I can think is that either he is scared of white republicans or he just doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to stand his ground. It shouldn’t be too hard to point out that what they hammer him on regarding Department of Energy loan guarantee for Solyndra, Inc.; they are doing the exact same thing. Strange how politics work.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
To complain simply is to express grief, pain or discontent. I take it is difficult for President Obama to accept, feel or believe that some people, in particular in the African American community have such feelings. That we have grief of no longer having health insurance or being able to buy for our kids things that we once took for granted. That we feel pain when we struggle to keep our homes or maintain balanced diets to place in front of our family for breakfast lunch and dinner. Or that we feel discontent when we see the government making massive bailout to millionaires who work on Wall Street but barely lift a finger to deal with our concern with the exception as he did recently, to order us to stop complaining and “shut up.” Because he was tiered of us voicing or grief, pain and discontent.
I wonder why this posture is taken. Funny, I didn’t hear such a tone or statement made toward Jewish Americans recently when thye COMPLAINED about President Obama’s statements regarding a return to the 1967 borders of Israel. Nor did I hear a similar statement addressed to the Gay and Lesbian community when they voiced outrage and discontent toward not having the rights of marriage or concerning don’t ask don’t tell in the military. Nor did I hear him make such statements regarding Latino and Hispanic immigrants when they voice their pain of having to leave their families if caught up in the web of draconian attacks on supposedly illegal immigration. Yet I do with respect to African Americans.
Strangely, it reminds me of the posture of the mulatto half-breed house slave in diametric opposition to the field slaves. They were the ones to say that all would be good, yet they stayed inside with the slave master while the field slave risked all to the elements, the scraps that served as food and trying to maintain dignity in a world that saw a hierarchy in status based on skin color.
I cannot say why Obama was so brazen to use these words to those who look more like him than Zionist and others of European descent, but I can speculate it has to do a little bit with fear – that he fears the wrath of his master more so than the wrath of his kindred.
The presentation to the CBC I fell was a discussion between house slaves, including the President and the elected representatives and all who have jobs, and insurance and are not having to fight each and every day to keep their homes. The President said what he did and to ask those with a history of protest and complaint against a government who has traditionally ignored and neglected them is out of place, for in the same voice he asks us to speak out and complain against the republicans on Capitol Hill. It was disturbing for theirs was a discussion between themselves and did nothing to address the pain that we on Main Street are feeling. I say this because if George WW, Bush addressed the same body and told black folks to stop complaining we would not be defending his rhetoric. It is just speculation but I do not think we would support such an assertion on his behalf and that we only do so because the President happens to look like us.
If I am asked, as a man, not to voice my complaints to the government or a president, then what I am being told is that my voice or opinion is not important, doesn’t matter and doesn’t count. Now there will those who disagree but I can respect their opinion. The question is if they can accept mine. For sadly, I do not know if they experience the pain and discontent that I do, being under employed, going from 6 figures annually for more than 15 years of my life to less than $30,000 annually.
I think it would be wise for the president to reconsider such a tone with his most vehement supporters. For I feel that he is faling into a trap set by his enemies of divid and conquor. The ame approach used by house slaves against the field slaves. What he may not be aware of is that he was not just addressing the people of staus in that roo alone, but all of us. The poor, the underclas and the forgotten.
Yes, the President showed his true colors during that address. Its ok to speak down to African American mothers who struggle to put food on the table, its ok to tell men encapsulated by the wrath of a criminal justice system they they should not speak out to the government or president about the misery they suffer, that it is not ok for the three of every five African Americans living in poverty to ask for change and express their pain and suffering. If you do, you will be told to accept your lot and to not complain. I just wonder if George Bush would have the same support in the African American community if he said the same thing to the same body. I think not.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
This past week Troy Davis was executed in the state of Georgia. The event was both preceded and followed with loquacious disdain and vehement sadness. Georgia as a state has a history of disparities in executions when the defendant is an African American and the victim is white. That withstanding, the outrage that has manifested may be a blessing in disguise with respect to trying to abolish the death penalty nationwide.
Amidst this discussion has come suggestions of how to show our disappointment against the injustice of this execution under the banner of legalized state murder. One is a request to boycott the state of Georgia by filmmaker Michael Moore. Moore has called for an economic boycott of the state of Georgia to protest Wednesday's execution of Troy Davis. And although I live in this state, I support and believe in this form of economic non-violent moratorium.
The reality as sad as it may be is that African Americans are too selfish to support a massive divestment movement. Sure in the 1980s we supported divestment against the racist state of South Africa, but that was not home and truthfully speaking, that generation was massively more socially conscience than the current generation. I cannot see the actors or producers of the hit BET series “The Game” ending their production for the large social principal of social injustice under the auspices of the mass incarceration and disparate executions of African Americans. I cannot envision that the recently held conference “For sisters only” would stop holding their annual event here because of a call of disinvestment due to the Troy Davis execution. I cannot imagine or could I see Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye West, or any other R&B/Hip Hop artist not attending the BET Hip Hop Awards which also are held in the state of Georgia yearly.
Maybe I am wrong but I doubt it, for the reason Troy Davis got attention anyway was because it was on television recently, and not by accident. The query remains where were these people since 1989 in the calling for justice for Davis or any other African American bum rushed by the US correctional system? Where were their calls for Mumia Abu Jamal? I tell you, likely calling for the release of TI, Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane.
I would like to wish a unified effort of divestment would be possible, but I cannot see no rapper saying he will not frequent a Georgia strip club and make it rain to the tune of at least $10,000. Face it, we do not care, won’t put our money where our mouth is and care more about ourselves than the community. After all, I got a Maibach and you do not. I frequent red carpets and V.I.P. and you don’t, for the way it really is, me comes before we.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
With the intense attention given to the inveighed execution of Troy Davis, it has become clear, in a lamentable yet derisory way, how hushed elected African American political officials (elected or appointed) have been on this subject. So reticent are this corpus and their associate vitiated apostasy to this issue that I feel they should be described as elected followers instead of elected leaders.
This obvious and intractable observation is applicable across the board. Now I do not expect President Obama to speak out against such, for his overall presentation is one that minimizes and even approaches race as an inchoate vagueness of language singularly that has no place in politics if one’s goal is simply re-election. Although I wish that he would have asserted himself into the debate, and I know when states’ rights issues of the past, saw Presidents send national guards to protect freedom riders for example, I know that the cowardice displayed in him is based on the fear of losing political capital.
With that said, I do however espouse a direct indictment against the policies evinced by the government at all levels with respect to the incarceration of African American men. As well, I also place the same egregious outcome at the inaction and silence of what we consider or elected political leadership, for they are a part of the aforementioned government.
Just using the example of Troy Davis, I have read nothing regarding their positions or antagonism against the proposed execution of Mr. Davis. I may be wrong and maybe they have, but I have not. I think I read somewhat more than the average person in particular regards to economics, politics, science and history. Nothing from Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice or Charles Rangel. Nothing from Harold Ford, Jr., Tim Scott, Allen West, Deval Patrick, Kamala Harris or Atlanta’s own Kasim Reed, not a whisper. Leaders if they are such should desire to make and produce more leaders as opposed to the penchant to collect followers just to support their individual political gain in the form of re-election.
It is as if once elected, regardless of party affiliation, they develop what Randall Kennedy termed “negrophobia.” Although history and practice dictates the impct of race on political and social outcomes, it is apperant that overtly, a discussion of such by African American political officials is apparently taboo. One can speculate about why such is the case, but such cannot be ignored. As voters we are chastised for not showing up in mass numbers at the polls but the same level of accountability for elected African American officals is abrogated, not for the collective but specific individual gain (a presidency, congressional seat or governorship.This in light of factual accords that even Helen Keller could see.
We know that Black males ages 30 to 34 had the highest custody incarceration rate of any race, age, or gender group at midyear 2007 and that in 2001, the chances of going to prison were highest among black males (32.2%). We know that Black children (7.0%) were nearly 9 times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children (0.8%) and that a large majority of African-American men – 55 percent in Chicago, for example are labeled felons for life or that roughly 70 percent of those on federal death row are minorities, mostly African Americans. We know that since 1990 in Georgia, Black Defendant / White Victim murders resulted in 253 executions and that the rate at which blacks are incarcerated compared to whites in Texas: 7 to 1. The icing on the cake from a political perspective is that 1.46 million Black men out of a total voting population of 10.4 million have lost their right to vote due to felony convictions. In summary meaning that 1 in every 20 black men over the age of 18 is in a state or federal prison, compared to one in every 180 whites.
The question remains if this is an intentional avoidance in an effort to appease the white power elite oligarchy that runs this nation? Such objective outcomes in the real sense marginalize the poor and minorities as evidenced by current incarceration, unemployment and poverty rates.It is possible that I am wrong to expect that elected African American politicians should fight vehemently against racial discriminatory outcomes and the policies that result in such.
Unfortunately for me it is the practices mandated by lay that produce such disparities, tend to be maintained by these people who feel we are obligated to select them to political office for our vote. I have asked the question, where have black folk been since 1989 regarding troy Davis? Asking to Free TI and Gucci mane but not him or Mumia Abu-Jamal. But I will continue to ask where are the African American politicians on the pandemic of incarceration plaguing our community. Or their views on the execution of Troy Davis? In conclusion, just as those more concerned with the release of hip hop artist from prison, these elected politicians too are followers, way more so than leaders.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Obama’s Actions Purport Issues of American Jewish Lobby More Important Than Those of African American
One of the most prescient events of the Obama administration just occurred recently. It was not his vitriolic debt ceiling debate with the Tea Party leaning congress nor was it his recent jobs proposal and his impending standoff with the same house body. It was the loss of the New York 9th district congressional seat vacated by Anthon Weiner. Many consider this a referendum for the democrats and more importantly the Obama’s administration policy and views on Israel.
Obama is losing support among Jewish voters due to perception of his insufficient support of Israel. Namely his pressure on Israel to halt further development of its West Bank settlements, something that Zionist and Jewish extremist are vehemently opposed to. They specifically reject the idea that the United States should ever pressure Israel over anything. Just because Obama did so was more than enough to confirm their belief he's anti-Israel. It all started when Obama called for a re-instatement of the 1967 borders and support for a future Palestinian state.
Although this is an underserved criticism, truth be told, there will never be a negotiated settlement as long as the current leadership exist in Israel and among US Jewish advocates, not to mention American has never been a neutral party to these negotiations. The US Jewish lobby will never allow the US government to champion freedom for the Palestinian people. Especially from supporters from New York, which has more Jewish residents than anywhere on earth next to Israel?
One thing is obvious, the response to the assertions that Obama’s lack of attention toward Israel by the American Zionist lobby, inclusive of fellow democrats like Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, obtained greater value and attention from the president than similar assertions made within the African American community. The American Jewish lobby is greeted with open arms when such idealism is fostered. But when African Americans even suggest the need for similar attention, it is down played based on the premise that ethnic, cultural and racial specific remedies are not needed as much as in time past.
How so one may query? After the New York loss, the White House appointed an "outreach" director to improve relations with the Jewish community. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other Jewish organizations have been getting all of Obama’s attention as of late, including the President giving a speech a few months ago at AIPAC’s annual policy conference. I cannot recall of such an effort and openness extended to the African American community addressing our concerns. He even spoke asking for the freedom of hikers held in Iran but no open word for Troy Davis.
Obama distances himself from affirmative action or programs designed to assist selected racial or minority groups yet seems to jump when certain aspects of his electorates’ cries foul. This even when he avoids any direct confrontation with issues of race that impact African Americans. Yes he uses his political capital openly to confront the needs and fears of Jews regarding Israel. Both, the concern for Israel and the disparate economic hardship of African Americans are long standing issues, but if an African American points out this lack of attention, he is considered selfish and less American but the American Jewish person doing the same is not.
We can speak of disproportionate levels of poverty and unemployment, and the impact that disparities in incarceration promulgate havoc, pain and suffering in our community, yet Obama policy tends to compartmentalize minority unemployment with solving the unemployment issues of all while forgetting that similar approaches in the past only make the rich richer, tend to make our economic conditions worse and supports merely the trickle down economic approach that Bush, Clinton and Reagan implemented and collectively African Americans argued against.
Especially with respect to mass incarceration, where I suspect the president will do little or ever mention this in the overarching discussion of what is best for America, let alone us African Americans who are the only ones stigmatized and gathering more and more decreased opportunity as a consequence of this injustice, socially and economically.
The position of the Obama administration implicates social and racial inequality as issues of an old world while conveniently ignoring that ethnic and cultural and gender specific remedies are necessary at times. He did such with regards to “don’t ask don’t tell” although he changed his belief while he was a senator that gays should be able to get married just as heterosexuals. He did this when he signed his equal pay for women executive order without a flip flop. Now he attends to the concerns specifically for Jewish Americans, while ignoring the specific concerns of African Americans.
Obama ignores racial politics and many of us give him a pass because he looks like us, when democratic progressives of the past attacked them head on. Seems they were more aware of the black and white reality – whites crated the black codes and enslaved us, not the other way around.
Politically, Obama is a throwback. He knows what he needs to win and serve those needs first. After all, many of his positions suggest that he understands he will get our vote regardless if he promotes our issues politically or not, because he knows we will vote for him because he is black (a reflection of our shallow preference for symbolism over substance). This is similar to the beliefs that produced the concept of separate but equal. Unfortunately such reflects a dysfunctional democracy, one that suppresses and disenfranchises some groups at the expense of others.
I know many in the Jewish lobby will call me an anti-Semite (I am not) and that many African Americans will call me a hatter. I call it objective. As Aldous Huxley once wrote, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” I know we give Israel tons of money and have for decades, I just wonder what could be done here in the US with that money, especially in deserving African American communities disproportionately immolated by poverty, incessant high unemployment and unbelievable rates of incarceration.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
In the past, I have written briefly about the Tea party but only to note the irrational nature of its body politic. I speculated that such a brief narrative was needed and nothing more. Honestly, as a man of African descent, I don’t desire to give them attention, since it appears it is all they want. But my confederates seems to be preoccupied with them as if they matter, when they really don’t, seeing it was our in action at the poll rather than their substance that got us stuck with this congress.
The way I see it, this is nothing new. Many of us have no knowledge of history, and barely recall Martin King Jr. let alone the Nativist or John Birch Society. The Tea party, if anything, is just another fringe extremist group coopting politics for they lack mirrors to look themselves in the eye. The John Birch Society was founded by Robert Welch in 1958. It was named after Captain John Birch, who during his military operations in China, was killed by Chinese communists on 25th August, 1945.
The goal of the organization from Welch’s perspective was to establish and operate a "secret, monolithic organization" that would "operate under completely authoritative control at all levels" mainly through its flagship publication American Opinion. However it was politics – a hatred for democrats and Harry S. Truman, and Eisenhower, who he believed were part of a communist conspiracy that fueled his efforts. Similar to today’s Tea Party, that project the fuel against the nation’s first African American President Barack Obama because they desire to project him as being a socialist.
In theory the John Birch society and the tea parties are the same. Maybe that’s why my late great Uncle, Louis Young, whenever some would make him mad he would call them a fringe, radical, Birch society communist.” Lesson being, that they were the real communist working against the American status quo. Welch would be a great Tea Party member, for if any one disagreed with him, all he had to do was call them a communist sympathizer. Just ask John Foster Dulles and Allan W. Dulles .
The John Birch society felt their way of life was under attack and like the Tea Party, they wanted to take America back to the way it was. Maybe this is why they were also vehemently opposed to the Civil Rights movement. The tea-party movement reminds me of people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality and simply Nativist in origin. They even had support from one of my favorite writers and essayist of the modern era, William F. Buckley. Now I did not agree with him political, but he was a wordsmith and smart, smart enough even to get the Republican Party to adopt Barry Goldwater as its presidential candidate.
But what scares me the most about the tea party is extremism, the kind that will not listen or have tolerance for the views and opinions of others. This even is a fear of mine with most African Americans for many of us will avoid civil discussion due to our ineptness of information in general and our inability to listen to any one whom may disagree with us, for if they do, we ignore reason and logic and are quick to interject “hater” as if it is a real rationale.
During the Kennedy administration, a FBI investigation was launched against the top dogs in the Birch Society. Hypocrisy in its purest form since Kennedy himself held similar beliefs, especially concerning integration, civil rights and voting rights for African Americans. After all he and his democratic party voted against all of the aforementioned. Hypocritical I say because in September 1961 the John Birch Society organized the protests against the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi.
The irony for me, and one reason I consider the present day Tea Party, more like the John Birch Society than any independent movement against taxation is because the people they purport to admire, namely Thomas Jefferson, albeit smart, was just as backwards in the universal understanding of the concepts of liberty and freedom.
Jefferson is the personification all of the Tea Party and their precursor movement the John Birch Society and I understand why. Here is a man who has is image imbued in the nation’s capital as the embodiment of liberty and freedom. Yes, he fought against the Stamp Act, which taxed everything from newspapers to dice and was passed by the British House of Commons in 1765 by a vote of 294 to 42. However, this is the same man who owned more than 600 slaves over his life time across multiple plantations but wrote “all men are created equal.” He even wrote and supported laws to stop the importation of slaves to the colonies, but only in refutation to the crown. Over his life he only freed two slaves and was a rapist of black women who even fathered children with them. When he died, he still did not free his slaves but rather left them to his family as part of his estate or sold them to pay off his debts.
Today’s Tea party is an extension of the America that cannot accept or belive a person of African descent is a true citizen - born on these shores or not. They would be more supporttive of any black many to be in the basement of the Whitehouse, like the wife of James K. Polk, who turned the basement of the Whitehouse into a quarters for slaves, than have a man of color sitting in the oval office. They are equal to the white supremacist, who manifested disdain for any black man who held or desired to hold a political office for their belief was that they were not entitled to such not being white. They would be more akin to the men who were murders, or whipped black men (like Andrew J. Flowers of Tennessee) for running against and beating a white man for political office. They would be like those who would tell Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American to serve in either house of congress, was blocked because white politicians, that he did not meet the constitutional requirements that a person be a citizen for at least nine years before serving as a senator. Their position being that blacks had only been free since the fourteenth amendment in 1868 and Revels was elected to serve in 1870 making him many years short of this standard (original birthers).
Yes the present day tea party admire Jefferson, more for his views, which included the beliefs that blacks were intellectually inferior, lazy and didn’t work hard and maintained run down appearances. They believe as he wrote in his Notes on the State of Virginia that blacks were not the equals of whites and that “deep root prejudices entertained by the whites… will probably never end but in the extermination of one or the other race.” Yes the Tea party is an extension of these execrated beliefs and all they do is in an effort to dehumanize others of non-European origin, in particulars African Americans, especially if male and President of the United States.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
What I remember starts when the then Governor of Arkansas was running for the Presidency in 1992, Clinton returned to Arkansas for the execution of Ricky Ray Rector. Reports note that Rector had severe brain-damaged such to the extent that on the night of his execution he saved his dessert to eat later in his prison cell. I considered this posturing on behalf of Clinton as an effort to show that he was tough on crime to voters. Rector was executed although the Arkansas Supreme Court said that Rector’s was a case that should be considered for executive clemency, Rector, a 40-year-old black man had been convicted of killing a black police officer. After shooting the cop, Rector shot himself in the head and damaged his brain.
Clinton continued to state his support for the death penalty after this period. In 1994 he pushed a crime bill through Congress that allowed prosecutors to seek the federal death penalty in 60 more crimes than they could prior, including murder of a law enforcement officer. He ignored critics who requested a nation-wide moratorium on federal executions. He made three-strikes-you’re-out the law of the land, so that criminals go to jail for life, with no chance of parole. More abhorrently was Clinton proposing and signing into law, a feature to limit appeals for persons on Death row – something Troy Davis knows well. Yes, the fate of Troy Davis is due to the Democratic Party and their hardline laws against crime, which when implemented, disparately impacts African Americans.
How is this the fault of Bill Clinton and the democrats one may ask? Well first, it was Clinton and the democrats who provided almost $8 billion in new funding to help states build new prison cells so violent offenders serve their full sentences. Then in 1996, after the Oklahoma City bombing, Clinton advocated, unsuccessfully legislation that a provision that would have curtailed the writ of habeas corpus -- the power of federal courts to second-guess state courts on whether or not a fair trial had been given. It would have allowed inmates only one federal death row appeal filed within one year of exhausting all state appeals.
In Clinton’s first six years as president, more than 300 people were executed compared to compared to 185 during the 12 years of the Republican presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush. In 1997 alone, the Clinton Administration executed 74 people (the most in a single year since 1956) and 68 in 1998. Senate Democrats voted 44 to 1 in support of Clinton’s 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill. In the House, 154 Democrats voted for the bill, and only 26 voted against. Supporters included former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun and Illinois Congressman (and former Black Panther) Bobby Rush.
Troy Davis, if executed will be directly attributable to the policies of the laws put in place by democrats and President Bill Clinton. Data has since then shown empirically that more than 70 percent of those on federal death row are minorities, mostly African Americans. Then there is the Columbia University study that noted two-thirds of death penalty cases appealed between 1973 and 1995 were lawed to the extent they had to be overturned.
Davis is set to be executed September 21 for the 1989 shooting death of a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. Although ample and is strong evidence supports his claim of innocence. Also are the facts that seven out of nine witnesses who gave evidence at his trial in 1991 have recanted or changed their testimony, no murder weapon was ever found, no DNA evidence or fingerprints connect Davis to the crime, and other witnesses have since said the murder was committed by another man, who was a witness who testified against him, interject serious and probably doubt.
If Davis is executed, we all can honestly say no justice was served and that a new standard of proving one’s innocence has replaced proving guilt. And all thanks to Democrats who wanted to prove they were tough on crime to beat Republicans. From the way I see it, it may as well be Bill Clinton giving Mr. Davis his lethal injection. Yes, the favorite child of African Americans and the beloved Democratic Party is just as responsible for his death, if it occurs than the courts and state of Georgia.
Friday, September 16, 2011
I find it awkwardly detached and unusual for this administration in particular, given a fitted and able discernment of the President’s address at the American University in Cairo. During that address he stated, “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
These were words stated by President Barack Obama during his address to the American University at Cairo some two minutes into his address. It took him some six more pages before he said, “it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
This threat to veto the vote may serve to destroy any attempt for a desire to serve two terms for the President and worse, increase future attacks against the US by radical fanatics. Obama’s cabal, under the auspices of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in concert with Tony Blair- special envoy to the region, and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, has manifested itself in a last ditched effort of brinkmanship to block the Palestinian Authority desire for a vote in the United Nations General Assembly to recognize an independent state of Palestine. The result will be a diplomatic and political disaster for the president, the democrats and any effort to win a second term at the executive level. Especially since by all accounts, the resolution will pass by a large margin, without support from the U.S., and a few other nations. Strange since it was it was Obama who, in his Sept. 23, 2010, to the General Assembly, originally raised the goal of admitting to the UN by September 2011.
Obama continues to say that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is one of his highest priorities, yet he has made less progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace than any administration since the early 1970s.
This sets a major problem in motion for Obama and his plans to seek re-election if the Jewish vote turns against him, especially given the recent special elections in New York’s 9th district in which a republican won for the first time since the turn of the century. The loss in Tuesday’s special election for the seat formerly held by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) may “send a message” to President Obama concerning his administration’s stance on Israel. This was not from a republican but rather Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). Not to mention that it was former mayor Ed Koch (D) called on voters to back the Republican businessmanin order to send a message to Obama about his Israel policy. Mayor Koch disagrees with Obama's view that Israel's pre-1967 borders should be the baseline for Middle East peace talks. Thus, the administration’s insistence on trying to persuade Israel to stop building settlements, without success in concert with the aforementioned equals an effrontery to the American Jewish community.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) has indicated his concern regarding the Palestinian Authority's (PA) bid for the United Nation’s (UN) to recognize their statehood. Barrasso wants the U.S to immediately stop funds it to the PA annually as well as the UN if statehood is recognized. Then there is Sen. Marco Rubio, republican from Florida says if the vote in the United Nations to create a Palestinian state is successful, it would set back the Middle East peace process and would only add to the regional turmoil and instability.Not only is the concern by republicans and the pro-Zionist lobby problematic, but similar concerns have been brought to fruition by Arab states. Saudi Arabia has expressed outrage for Palestinians by many members of Congress, a congress that in voice supports what has occurred in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia but against such in Palestine
Not only has the President been unsuccessful in his efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, now he seemingly has lost one of his major political allies. The concern is after dealing several defeating blows to terrorism through the deaths of major Al Qaeda leaders, he may be stoking the flames for more attacks from individuals who take his flip flop on the issue of Palestinian statehood as a reason to slash out against the United States again.
The veto in the UN may help save Obama a major voting constituency, however, the question remains, how will this be perceived in the Arab world and if winning an election by any means necessary is more important than ensuring our safety from future terroristic attacks in the future?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Since 2005, the wealth of African Americans — who now have the highest unemployment rate at 16.2 percent — dropped 53 percent from $12,124 to $5,677. The median wealth of white U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.
When President Bush took office, unemployment stood at a respectable 4.6 percent. Next, Bush put in place a tax policy that favored the rich and created a national debt that will probably have grown 70 percent by the time the current president leaves Washington. Now we have a swelling cascade of mortgage defaults; a record near-$850 billion trade deficit; oil prices that are higher than they have ever been; and a dollar so weak that for an American to buy a cup of coffee in London or Paris — or even the Yukon — becomes a venture in high finance.
Despite their political differences, both President Bush and Barack Obama have employed the same fiscal policy, since both were confronted with recessions. But unfortunately, their expansionary economic approach did more harm and impacted African Americans disproportionately. First, it increased the federal debt. Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposed a $1.07 trillion deficit, even though the recession was over and first budget in fiscal year 2010 ran the highest deficit ever — $1.6 trillion. Prior to Obama, Bush’s last budget, for fiscal year 2009, started out with a $500 billion deficit. However, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s TARP plan was added to it, not to mention the $500 billion deficit to fund the war on terror.
During the administration of George W. Bush, the U.S. economy started a downward trend. Consequently, those hurt the most were blacks, since the average black household lost over half its wealth between 2005 and 2009. Black homeownership hit an all-time high in 2004, with 50 percent of African Americans owning their homes, according to census data. Presently, the black homeownership rate is 45 percent, with around 8 percent of African Americans who bought homes from 2005-2008 losing them to foreclosure, compared with 4.5 percent of whites, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsible Lending.
For millions of African Americans, under Bush and Obama, the reality is that unemployment is still rising and job loss is pushing many back into poverty at historic levels.
In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median black net worth had fallen 83 percent to $2,170.Yes, many will point to Obama inheriting the Bush economic mess as a reason to defend the current president. But the truth is that he, in concert with Bush, contributed to the growing black unemployment rate and the reduction of the black middle class.