Inalienable civil rights might actually still be a concept, if Attorney General Holder has anything to do with it. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder I was not convinced.
If you aren’t familiar with the case, this major decision essentially gutted the Voting Rights Act, rendering section 5 unconstitutional. What this unfortunate decision ultimately did was disallow mandatory Department of Justice approval before states (with a history of discrimination) could alter their voting laws. Simply put, in several southern states, people of color and other marginal groups will now be confronted with overt voting discrimination similar to that seen in the mid 1900’s.
But the fight is not over yet, people. Justice, for once, might actually prevail. Just this morning the Obama administration announced “an aggressive end-run around” attempt to hopefully restore the essential section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Attorney General Holder will lead this honorable campaign, highlighting the need for state preclearance processes in states like Texas. Speaking at the National Urban League conference, Holder continued, stating “We cannot allow the slow unraveling of the process that so many, throughout history, have sacrificed so much so achieved!” And to that I say, Amen.
Here we go again.
Perhaps you’ll recall an incident a few months ago when Rick Santorum went on a tangent about how he didn’t want to “make black peoples lives better by giving them someone else’s money;” and then denied it, claiming he’d really said “blah people?”
Well Rick is at it again, this time possibly referring to our Commander in Chief as an “anti-war, government nigger.”
Let’s see how he explains this one:
Now that it is Women’s Her-story month I thought I would stoke the fires with a blog about something many black women would have a problem with, but something I need to write and have been thinking about for some time . . . our love for President Barack Obama. Perhaps, not love, but our longing for him. Yep, I am questioning our longing for him as black women. I tell you, it greatly saddens me to see black women swoon over Barack Obama and his family because it lets me know how desperate we are as black women for the illusion of the acceptable black family model and an acceptable black man.
And, yes, all ages of black women tend to swoon over him even seasoned (cough cough cough) 55 year-old black women shave countless decades off their lives and become 16 year-old navel gazing black girls referring to Obama, the President of the United States, as His Cuteness as if President Barack Obama, the leader of the known world, is some simple cast member of Grey’s Anatomy where the most attractive male cast members are seductively and playfully referred to as McDreamy, McSteamy, and, now, His Cuteness. I know many of you are saying, “It’s all fun and banter.” And, in response, I would say both yes and no. Don’t get me wrong, I relish the womanist talk downright juicy idioms and metaphors we use to talk about deliciously beautiful black men. I have been known to call a certain coco-looking black male actor, “The Stick.”
The Obama Administration is expected to give ten states “No Child Left Behind” waivers today, providing them with leeway to develop their own strategies.
According to NewsOne, those states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. New Mexico has yet to recieve a waiver, but is reportedly working with the Obama Administration to get one as well.
28 other states are expected to apply for waivers in the coming months.
President Obama announced a large-scale youth employment initiative today, unveiling commitments from a slew of major companies and business men to create 180,000 summer jobs for young people.
Dubbed, “Summer Jobs+,” the initiative will focus on serving low-income youth between the ages of 16-24.
Young people will be able to begin their search using an online jobs database within the next two months.
“‘America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job,’ President Barack Obama said in a statement released Thursday morning.
The first TV ads have been launched by the Obama campaign to generate support for the 2012 election. It is estimated that the cost of his re-election bid could be somewhere between $750 million and $1 billion dollars. That is a lot of money. Especially for a country that is in such a stressful economic situation. I’m sure the right-wing talk shows will be all over how Obama is using the much needed dollars of the American tax payer to support his TV ads and bus tours. I am also sure that they will not dare mention the budget of the military or get down to the real reason why this country is in such a financial crisis in the first place, the monetary policies of the Fed.
Last week, the Obama Administration released “The President’s Agenda and the African American Community,” a 44-page report highlighting Obama policies that, according to the White House, have benefited Black people.
The report is clearly aimed at critics that feel the administration has done little for the Black community.
A few years ago I had an internship at the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, where one of my chief duties was to spend hours looking through microfilm for newspaper clippings that dramatized the racial climate in Philadelphia throughout the years.
One article that stood out was a poll of Philadelphians that asked, “How would you describe the state of racial equality in America today?” The vast majority of whites (something like 60-70%) answered “Good.”
The year was 1968.
These people had no idea how dire the state of race relations was in America at the time because all they could compare it to was a not-so-distant past marred by lynching, sharecropping and segregation. But today we can see quite clearly that things were bad. Racism was alive and well.
And that’s why race is such a tricky issue in America. Racism grows classier and more refined every day, but it never goes away. How else can we explain the American people tolerating the unprecedented disrespect, racism, obstruction and outright legislative terrorism being perpetrated by the GOP?
For those that don’t know, in one of Marvel’s most famous comics, White Peter Parker has died and now an interracial male will be Spider-Man. Of course, popular talk about the new Spidey, Miles Morales (a combination of traditional Black and Latino names), yields more props to Obama. In order to do right by colored peoples’ voices there must be a distinction between governmental agendas and the liberating actions of the oppressed. The new Spider-Man series is not a government-issued reparation, but a takeover of meaning and race by racialized people.
In Peter Coy’s article the Kids Are Not Alright, he quotes that democracies are “much better at managing large numbers of highly educated people” than are nations with an official leader who has absolute authority (read: autocratic countries). Leaders of autocratic nations face the dilemma of needing an educated work force to grow their country’s economy, but with increased levels of education the possibility of political dissent grows. This point is most elaborated in the recent youth revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. A large part of what drove Egyptian and Tunisian youth to take action were the high unemployment rates. Across the globe youth in democracies also face high (or even higher) unemployment rates, yet, they aren’t toppling their respective governments. In democratic nations like Spain and the United States, where the youth in Spain and American minority youth’s unemployment rates are the equivalent or significantly higher than those rates seen in Egypt and Tunisia, why are the youth not carrying out mass political demonstrations?
On the last Friday of Women’s Her-story Month, I want to honor black women who are what I call “border-crossers.” Border crossing is centered in the margins and “what moves people” . . . the fluid transmissions and the mergers. It comes out of womanism and black feminism. It comes out the frustration with borders and boundaries. It comes out of the need to build sustained and people-centered movements.
The interesting thing about the GOP to me is they seem to have this attitude that if they don’t acknowledge it, then it’s simply not true. It’s a great strategy on the surface, but inevitably it always leaves them looking extremely insincere. At this years Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC they had a “Black” man Allen West, Republican Congressman from Florida, as the keynote speaker. To them it meant that conservatives aren’t racist, no matter how low their attacks on President Obama go (Communist, Illegal Alien, Muslim, N-Word), because one of their best friends, Allen West, gave the keynote.
This is the same tired argument that the Tea Party gives, that despite the racist rhetoric, signs, and t-shirts, the Tea Party isn’t racist because they have black members. Instead of actually having a real intelligent conversation about racism and white supremacy, the GOP strut out this years token black to show their “diversity“. And diversity to them means parroting all of the GOP talking points and leaving any independent thinking at the door. So Allen West’s speech was just like all the other “conservative” speeches you’ve ever heard.
What’s scarier than a racist that calls out “nigger” or “coon” viciously? The racist who’s night you save by being the “token blacky”. I pose two disappointments for the eager audience at a non-black party: no weed and no freestyle. Still I manage to be the life of the party, dougieing on every song, judging rap skills, and—check this out—having big lips. Although I get a lot more love at these parties, I can’t help but realize how socially destructive they are. What’s really under all this amusement is a non-black majority (usually White) taking delight in my abnormality.
When fear monger Glenn Beck attempted to hijack Dr. Martin Luther King’s seminal moment, the March on Washington, by holding his own rally 47 years later, I imagined how Dr. King would have felt if he were alive to witness it. Here were two of the most divisive public figures, Beck and Sarah Palin, invoking Dr. King after having built their careers off of trying to scare white American into believing that the newly elected Black President intends to destroy everything America stands for. Both have given rise to some of the most racist rhetoric and violent imagery while seemingly wanting America to go back to a time when women had no rights and Black people were slaves. It was then that I wrote a short verse from Dr. King’s prospective about how he would see an America so divided along racial and political lines. Little did I know that in channeling Dr. King, some lines would indeed turn out to be almost prophetic.