Inequality, Anger, Riots, and the Top 1 Percent

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdVODFombco&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Aljazeera did a short documentary last week on their show titled Fault Lines. In this broadcast they discover that the top one percent of US Americans control 40 percent of the wealth. They posit that inequality is the worst it has been in almost a century and that the gap between the rich and the poor has been drastically exponential since the 1980’s. The documentary also covers how the political donations of the richest 1% are impacting the rest of the country. This broadcast is a must watch!

By the end of it you will surely be angry. But what is the next step to this anger? In London over the past 4 days more than 1000 people have been arrested due to riots. People are burning cars, setting buildings on fire, breaking store windows and looting. The killing of a black man by London police ignited this anger.

Eco Justice is Social Justice

Social justice and activism are embedded into my core. A world full of suffering, strife,and squalor are my motivation to provide the most marginalized communities with resources and support. Throughout my life I’ve used my innate ability to communicate as a tool to help close disparities and empower people who feel disillusioned by living on the periphery of mainstream society. This summer I had the opportunity to intern for Google.org on the clean energy advocacy team which exposed me to the many environmental injustices that have had deleterious effects on the Earth and her inhabitants. Moreover, being a part of team that shapes the message that guides the acts of reaching carbon neutrality, producing renewable energy, and offsetting hazardous emissions has shown me that the world is in dire need of “eco-justice”.

What You Should Be Watching Instead of the Throne

This aint a Jay Z, Kanye or “Watch the Throne” hate post. I’m listening to the album right now and it’s pretty good. But while we’re caught in the hype of 2 of Hip-Hop’s biggest stars coming together and all the #WTT tweets and reviews, it’s a lot more important stuff going on the world we need to be paying attention to, like:

Police Brutality
There have been a rash of police brutality cases in the last few weeks, many of which have unfortunately ended in the victims death. But since most of the victims are Black men there’s no media hysteria, congressional investigation or TV movie. A few days ago the epidemic reached London, where a 29 year old father named Mark Duggan was shot down by police in what they described as a gunfight. According to The Guardian, the initial ballistic test showed Mark didn’t fire the bullet that hit an officer, but that it was “police issue”. The evidence of injustice lead many in his community to take to the streets and demand justice for his murder. Good news is at least those cops in New Orleans where found guilty for the police murders in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Downgrade
After the initial shock of the USA losing it AAA+ credit rating, and the laying of blame right at the feet of the Tea Party and GOP, some real world issues have begun to emerge. First, the stock market fell as a result of the bad news. Now there is speculation that interest rates could rise and the dollar could fall meaning we would have higher bills and have to use more of our money to pay them. For a country already in a recession awaiting good news, sorry to disappoint, because now they’re talking about the possibility of a second recession. With fewer and fewer jobs available this is going from bad to worse. Oh and we might wanna find out what mystery investor made a $1 billion bet that the US would suffer a downgrade and now stands to profit 1000%.

The Weather
Yeah we know it’s been hot all over the United States especially on the East Coast, but did you know that in July we broke 9,000 Heat Records? That’s right 9,000! According to reports, “July’s blistering heat wave either tied or set daily records in every state in the country“. In Texas the drought is so bad Governor Rick Perry, who recently hosted a  controversial prayer event, prayed for rain. But  the drought has gotten so bad that at least one Texas town is preparing to recycle urine into drinking water.

The Recalls

Wisconsin (where I shot my video American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires) is ground zero for the increasing backlash to the Republicans slash and burn style of governing. Governor Scott Walker so badly misplayed his hand that six state Senate Republicans face recall elections on Tuesday. Even more telling is that Governor Walker and GOP budget poster boy Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan have been absent on the campaign stump. Walker has been labeled as “toxic” to the State Senator who blindly supported his dangerous policies. If the Democrats can sweep these Republicans out of office, we could see the beginning of a complete reversal of the GOP domination in the mid-term elections and the end of the Tea Party as we know it.

To be young, gifted, black and unemployed

To be young, gifted, black and unemployed

Vent Casey III, The Grio | August 7, 2011

Are the long-term unemployed locked out of the workforce? It seems that way.

As the debt ceiling and budget battle between Republicans in Congress and President Obama recedes, Democrats are attempting a tactical pivot to the jobs issue.

Many of us believe jobs should have been the principal legislative priority in the previous Congress, when Democrats held majority control of both houses, but instead focused on major initiatives like health care reform and bailing out American automakers.

The economy and jobs were the two most significant issues leading into last year’s midterm elections. As a result, Republicans gained control of the House, along with a record 680 state legislative seats — assuming control of 26 state legislatures. However, eight months after those legislators have taken their seats, the economy and job creation remains stagnant.

This does not bode well for the prospects of much of the jobless; people like me who have been out of the workforce for more than two years.

After watching Congress skirmish over every other policy point for the last two years, the fact that they are only now beginning to pivot to addressing jobs does not give me confidence that they will construct a solution, especially for the long-term unemployed.

We know the statistics by now: 14 million Americans are currently out of work; 6 million of those have been out of work for longer than six months, and 4.4 million for longer than a year.  (Read more)

 

 

 

Some Unsolicited Love Advice for Queen Latifah

(Since my last two blogs have been relatively serious, how about something light this Monday morning?)

Dear Queen Latifah,

Well, look at you! Just the other week I was considering the conditions under which you might come out, and now word on the street is you’re all up in the magazines talking about what kind of women you like:

Queen Latifah: …I just like ladies who have class. Period. And if it’s “T and A” you’re sellin’, that’s fine, as long as that’s what you’re selling. But you don’t have to show everything, you know? You can hold some back and just be yourself and let your personality shine and let your individuality show. To me, that’s sexier. A confident woman is a sexy woman, in my opinion. And I think guys find that to be the same way.

Jamie: Right.

Queen Latifah: You don’t have to show everything; you don’t have to put it all out there to attract a guy. Because what kind of guy are you gonna attract? What is he really looking for? If you wanna be a booty call, I guess you can throw it all out there. (laughs) But if you’re looking for a relationship with someone who respects you and respects things other than your body—your mind, your spirit, your personality, your smile—then you have to kind of exude that more so than just yo’ booty and yo’ titties.

Weekly News Round-Up: Aug 1st – August 7th, 2011

Aug 1st – 7th

 

White supremacist principal running Bronx school with majority black and Latino students
Corinne Lestch, Daily News Writer, 8/1/11

 

The Racist Scourge
Roger Cohen, The New York Times , 8/1/11

 

Choosing Between an HBCU And a PWI
Ja’el Gordon, Huffington Post, 8/3/11

 

Strategic Plan for CHS Aims to Close Achievement Gap, Maintain Excellence
Mary Mann, Maplewood Patch, 8/2/11

 

No more excuses for black crime
Walter Palmer, Philly News, 8/2/11

 

The Upsurge of Black Youths in the Greater Toronto Area
Percy Konadu Yiadom, Ghana News, 8/3/11

 

Benefit numbers up, youth unemployment up – answers needed
Staff Writer, Scoop Independent News, 8/5/11

 

Black ‘Youth mob’ attacks in Milwaukee brings summer fun to a halt…
Staff Writer, TBM News, 8/6/11

 

The Politics of Emancipation
Selwyn Ryan, TE Newspaper, 8/7/11

 

New Orleans public school achievement gap is narrowing
Andrew Vancore , The Times Picayune, 8/7/11

 

Why Do Black Students Perform Poorly on Standardized Tests?
Britt Middleton, BET, 8/7/11

 

Is Nicki Minaj In An Abusive Relationship?

These days, it seems like all Nicki Minaj does is win, win, win.

Pink Friday is still selling like hot cakes, “Super Bass” is currently the number 3 song on the Hot 100 chart, and (by most accounts) she nailed her supporting slot on Britney Spears’ massively successful Femme Fatale Tour. Even today, news broke that Nicki has signed on to provide vocals for a character in the upcoming animated flick “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” alongside Jennifer Lopez, Joy Behar and Young Money cohort Drake.

Nicki Minaj is the definition of a rising star right now. And that’s only made the persistent rumors regarding a violent, July 12th confrontation with (alleged) boyfriend Safaree all the more disturbing and distressing.

Nicki has denied repeatedly that any abuse occurred. But a 9-1-1 tape that leaked yesterday tells a very different story.