Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Bailout Mess

Bamboozled. Hoodwinked. The Corporate Raid of the Treasury...refer back to "Fall of Empire" and "Privatizing Profits, Socializing Losses" posts, but this video speaks to the point as well:

Naomi Klein, bestselling author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, appeared on Tavis Smiley's show on June 27, 2008.

Part two gives some hope to what can happen with the Obama administration and an engaged electorate.

Prop 8 Debate

I know this is a very difficult topic for many, especially in the African American community. People have religious convictions and that is difficult to debate. I have had a number of conversations with my classes about this, and it comes as no surprise that my classes in the (predominantly) Black community tend to be more passionately against same sex marriage. Most point to religion, but some also are offended by the "civil rights" argument and that some have tried to equate this to the struggle of African Americans. On both points, I can understand their feelings, but I've tried to offer the serious constitutional, moral, and civil liberties implications of such a discriminatory proposition.

As I've told my classes, while I can question people's moral and religious beliefs about homosexuality, the more important question is constitutional. What they supposedly like about the U.S. are the freedoms that come with the Bill of Rights. Do we want to be a democracy or theocracy?

While it may not be right to completely scapegoat the Black community for the passing of Prop 8 (given that we are a small percentage of the California electorate), it still needs to be acknowledged that there is a problem in the Black community and if we do not have honest and open dialogue about it, it will be to our detriment . The truth is AIDS is killing the Black community, and homophobia is the root. Our silence is the true disease.

As I've told my classes, if this was just a religious thing, our vote would have mirrored the Latino community, more evenly split. But that the black vote went 70-30 in favor of the ban on same sex marriage speaks to deeper issues that go beyond religious teachings (that I can and do vigorously dispute as a Christian myself). As one student asked when the debate got heated: "are we talking about only gay men?" VERY TELLING. Our community has issues re: masculinity, stemming from slavery that must be dealt with honestly and thoroughly or we will continue to undermine the future of our community.

Here are articles from Davey D's hip hop blog debating the issue from different perspectives.

No-on-8's white bias

Black Voters, White Bias & Cali’s Gay Marriage Proposition
The right to marry does nothing to address the problems faced by both black gays and black straights.

By Jasmyne A.

November 8, 2008

http://www. latimes. com/news/opinion/la-oe-cannick8-2008nov08,0,3295255. story

My 2 Cents on the Gay Marriage proposition

by Davey D

Grab the Raid! Another Homophobic Cockroach!: Trick Trick.

by Khalil Amani of Hoodgrownonline. com

Real Time With Bill Maher Nov 14 2008

Hate Crimes Rising...Saw this coming

If you've been reading this blog, you know I said a violent backlash to an Obama victory was more likely than if he lost...well, while I do like to be right (lol), I was hoping I was wrong this time. And for the most part, life went on as usual for the vast majority of Americans no different than the day before the election. But some very ugly things are happening under the radar.

AP article today about Obama related hate crimes:

Election spurs 'hundreds' of race threats, crimes

By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer Jesse Washington, Ap National Writer

Also, the anti-Latino climate is still toxic and will probably get worse because of the support the Latino community gave Obama, and the economic recession/depression we face.

This hate crime makes it clear that with history being made this election, racism is still a cancer in this society. The struggle continues...


White Mob Goes 'Beaner Hunting' and Kill Latino Man in NY


Bill Maher - Obama World

Another Tim Wise Article

The debate is raging about what Obama will be able to do and there's quite a bit of hating on him before he even gets to the White House. I've said from day one that this election was about much more than Obama, in the vein of Dead Prez' It's Bigger than Hip Hop.

Some of my colleagues have been having this same debate, and I agree with Tim Wise here. Many would rather be against than for something....and that's the problem.

Read article here:

Are Words (and History) Really That Hard to Understand?....
A Final Response to the More-Radical-Than-Thou Critique of Obama Supporters
By Tim Wise
November 11, 2008

RE: criticisms, I offer part of this"final" note i give to my classes:

I once heard Iyanla Vanzant say "Be against nothing...just be clear what you are for"... I think this really is a motto to live by...when we concentrate on what we are against (racism, sexism, white supremacy, capitalism, fascism, homophobia, etc.), we frame the struggle in terms of negatives and sooner or later can lose the true purpose of the struggle...LIFE...

"Life is your we can't give up the fight..get up stand up"...Bob Marley...

...If we frame the struggle in terms of life affirming principles - peace, justice, love, sustenance...our eyez remain on the prize... you want justice or do we want to end white supremacy? how you answer that question is key to victory.

Many enslaved Africans were able to keep a spirit that their slaveholders could neither understand nor possess due to iniquity (lack of righteousness). so who really is free and who really is in bondage? while I want justice for all oppressed people, my pity is saved for those that believe living a lie gets them anything. I have no worries because I know truth and righteousness bring freedom that no money or power can ever buy or demand and no shackles can ever keep in bondage.

We must fight...but fight FOR us, not AGAINST anyone or anything.

"Obama's Victory - Fear and Hope" - Wallerstein

This is an important essay by theorist Immanuel Wallerstein.

Commentary No. 245, Nov. 15, 2008
"Obama's Victory - Fear and Hope"

The whole of the United States and indeed the whole world was watching, and almost all of it was cheering, the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Although, during the electoral campaign, everyone tried to play down the centrality of the racial issue, on Nov. 4 it seemed that no one could talk of anything else. There are three central questions about what most commentators are calling this "historic event": How important is it? What explains the victory? What is likely to happen now?

Read full article here:

[Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein, distributed by Agence Global. For rights and permissions, including translations and posting to non-commercial sites, and contact:, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.336.286.6606. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically, or e-mail to others, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To contact author, write:

These commentaries, published twice monthly, are intended to be reflections on the contemporary world scene, as seen from the perspective not of the immediate headlines but of the long term.]

Letter to Obama from Alice Walker

This is a good read, and the last sentence says it all.

- We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Photo Credits: WireImage

From the

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

Continue reading article at:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Truth.

Talking to my classes this morning, I was glad to hear the excitement in their voices coupled with the realism of the situation. They honored the magnitude of the history just made. They understood they made it happen. Their expectations were realistic and no one expected any real change to come from top to bottom. They understood Obama will not change the world. I just hope they know, they can.

This article by Tim Wise is a MUST read. It is the truth.

Good, and Now Back to Work:
Avoiding Both Cynicism and Overconfidence in the Age of Obama
By Tim Wise
ber 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Historic. Today is for...

...those that paved the way (all previous generations), the many educators that have dedicated their lives to speaking truth to power and teaching generations that truth, and those that the struggle IS all about and for (the next generation)...

So thank you:

Fannie Lou Hamer...and all that lived and died fighting the struggles of slavery and jim crow for our humanity.

This historic day is dedicated to our ancestors...their struggles and their victories. A friend of mine wrote a very personal reflection that placed this day in this proper context..this day is not really about is about them. This is their day, and we owe them EVERYTHING.

African Americans understood this and exercised our right to vote in record numbers to honor our foremothers and forefathers that could never have imagined this day....but made it possible.

As a student turned teacher of African American studies, today and emotional day.

and thank you:

Teachers and Professors. The education you provide molded the new electorate and made this historic result possible - the "under 50" and educated voting blocs helped make this possible. Job well done, fellow educators.

and finally, thank you:

Generation Next. Your grassroots work paid off...You stepped up and proved you are now ready to lead...your time is now...The future is yours to make. It was never about was always about you.

I wish I had time to really reflect on this historic moment but I'm still glued to my TV and absorbing the magnitude of this moment...hopefully I'll be able to write a decent reflection by weekend.

...but for now, I am just relieved and enjoying the moment.

Rise up Hip Hop Nation! The torch is now yours. Let’s get free.


LOL..Had to go here....from Chris Rock's Head of State

So it's a wrap as far as I can tell, but my hubby is not ready to believe it. He's still nervous, just like he'd be if the Lakers were playing game 7 in a finals

He thinks California can still go for McCain and in a way, he's right to be nervous. CA is a red state...if not for LA and SF..

I love L.A. :-)

Head of State - West Coast on Election Day - California

Pennsylvania for Obama

Once Obama wins Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado...history will be made.

Are you ready for President Obama?


Your Vote Making the Difference

Hip Hop Nation....this article is for you...

Critical for an Obama win:

Blacks, youth among those new to polls this year (AP)

"An Obama Tsunami"

I am watching election results and this was reported on MSNBC: the black turnout in North Carolina = "an Obama Tsunami" (attributed to a Republican campaign strategist).

History in the present.

We understand.

Another Site for Map and Exit Polling

The Huffington Post is another good blog site to check regularly.

For election results, go to this link: - Follow the Electoral Map is a good site to check all day today.

What will the final map look like? Go to site for statistical model projections and interesting posts about campaign ground operations.

Black Diamonds and Pearls

This second post on this historic election day is dedicated to our youth and their future. I read this blog article and HAD to share it with all... it poignantly tells the story of what this election is really about...our children.

Please follow link to this important read:

Election Day....Finally!

I will post links and other commentaries of interest throughout the day....

**As a student turned teacher of African American studies, today

So the first post on this historic day is dedicated to our ancestors...their struggles and their victories. A friend of mine wrote a very personal reflection that placed this day in this proper context..this day is not really about is about them. This is their day, and we owe them EVERYTHING. I hope all exercised your right to vote in honor of our foremothers and forefathers that could never have imagined this day....but made it possible.

Read my friend's personal reflection on her blog: