Archive for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Category

Donald Trump signs Executive Order to continue the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines   Leave a comment

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…We knew this was coming. Thanks to insider info leaked to Shaun King back in November, we knew this was the day the Fossil Fuel Industry had been patiently waiting for. After all, President Donald Trump not only has a stake in both projects but he promised to do this.

Opponents to the DAPL are not backing down. Shaun King sent an email this afternoon requesting emergency aid of any kind for the protestors at Standing Rock with an ominous tone. Here it is in part:

“I want to ask you a principled question.

How far are you willing to go to stop the construction of this pipeline through sacred grounds?

Are you willing to donate? Are you willing to fund the fight? Are you willing to pull your funds out of the banks that are backing the pipeline? Are you willing to travel there and put your body on the line? Are you willing to do what it takes to stop this?

Because that’s what I’m asking of you.”

~ Civil Rights Activist and New York Daily News Editor Shaun King

…By the way, here is the full list of all of the banks who are funding the DAPL:

No automatic alt text available.

…If you are against the DAPL and you see your bank on this list, you need to do two things:

  1. Close your account with the banks and switch over to a local credit union.
  2. Tell the bank why you’re closing your account with them and urge them to stop funding DAPL.

I always used a local credit union so I’m set. I plan to share this info with some interested folks though.

This will be the first major battle for Injustice Boycott, a grassroots Civil Rights organization Shaun King launched last month. The showdown to come at Standing Rock will be the movement’s most important: This is the first time Mr. King is requesting manpower for the cause. Up to now, the movement worked from their keyboards to make change. That is what makes this a critical time.

I’ll be honest: I’m more worried about low turnout than what the resistence will do. Low turnout will severely hurt the movement’s credability. If Injustice Boycott can’t get at least 10,000 people to Standing Rock, they will not be taken seriously. I get the feeling Mr. King is worried about not getting enough people to commit to Standing Rock based on the tone of the email.

 

 

On this MLK Day, there is a renewed need for national protests and boycotts   Leave a comment

In other words: Do what MLK would actually do if he were alive today.

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A few months ago I recorded and put this video on You Tube:

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…By the way Selma is a good movie to watch today despite being snubbed for awards (which was expected). Anything that rubs someone the wrong way is always worthy of your time.

Moving on, the next two to four years will be very interesting for a variety of reasons. The last few years have seen the revival of a movement not seen on this scale since the 1960s and 1970s. I’m talking about the spirit of protest in the name of civil rights.

The anger in this country is real.

The incoming Trump Administration was voted on to “put a lid on the unrest”. Trump said throughout his campaign he will be  “A Law & Order president”. He will “Establish order” in the places where protests occur. The Law Enforcement Community is happy because they know it means they have a boost in funding to look forward to.  Weather you agree with the protests or not, you should be concerned by this. More so given this is one campaign promise the GOP has already be moving to keep.

If you truly want to honor the legacy and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, educate yourself on the issues of today first and foremost. Second, raise awareness of what matters to you. Dr. King once said “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” All you need to do is look at what I have been talking about for most of the last three years to know what has been on my mind alot lately. I have no problem calling the elected officials I support. I have no problem calling the elected officials I didn’t vote for. I have no problem letting policy makers know what matters to me and why.

Do I think Black Lives Matter is the face of the New Civil Rights Movement? Yes and No. Yes, it can be a force for change but No, it’s nowhere near where it could be. While I do support what the BLM Movement brought back to this country–calling on ALL Americans to raise their voices in protest in the streets–they lack clear leadership and focus. Until those two things are addressed, I will not be all in with BLM.

Do I think New York Daily News and Civil Rights activist Shaun King is a strong leader? Yes and No. Yes, he’s a good leader and has demonstrated he can force change but No, he’s not good enough. If he truly wants to come into his own as a Civil Rights Activist, he needs to drop the beef he has with Trump being president, cook it and eat it. This is my biggest problem with what he is trying to do. Not Injustice Boycott (which is already getting results) but his anti-Trump Facebook movement. He needs to focus on Injustice Boycott and let the chips fall where they may.

…There is a media blackout on this but I have been hearing through the grapevine both BLM and the NAACP have scheduled meetings with President Obama after he leaves office. It goes without saying President Obama will no longer be bound by obligation come Friday to restrain himself. Even so, unlike the previous two presidents he will probably need a security detail for at least the next 10 years because he was America’s first African American President. The media hasn’t touched on this but President Obama got more death threats in just first first term than last 6 presidents COMBINED. That should tell you how real the hate many have towards him is.

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President Obama is a symbol of what is possible but unlike Dr. King, others have picked up the torch to continue his work. See, unlike Dr. King–and please don’t read into this too much–killing soon to be former President Obama would be pointless: King’s death created a power vaccum within the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and the remnants of Dr. King’s friends moved to seize the political power and influence he commanded.

The 1970s to 2007 tell the story: The dream died when King died. The War on Drugs (1980s) and Bill Clinton’s Mass Incarceration Policy (1980s) were both a thinly veiled renewal of insitutionalized racism and war against African Americans. Mass Media (Mid 90s to late 2000s) did its job of keeping African Americans distracted with materialism and false realities. Those who pursued and became successful in Music (Specifically Rap/Hip-Hop), Acting and Sports were seen as “The only way for Blacks to be successful. And it worked. Two whole generations of Blacks were brainwashed into believing these areas were the only things they were good for.

Then Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States.

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That changed everything. The dream MLK once spoke of was once again in sight only this time, President Obama would live to see the results of his work. The last few years have seen a revival of the aspect of Dr. King’s kids don’t learn about in grade school: Using your voice to bring attention to injustice and demand change. America has always struggled with doing the right thing right away. I’ll speak more to this in regards to The African American Experience next month in a series of blog posts.

Getting back to the main topic, did you know colleges and universities across America are dropping African American Histories and other related courses even as electives? It’s not bad enough Black History is no longer formally taught in most public schools. I’d know having worked for the Boston School system. Keeping people ignorant makes it easier to control them, after all.

…That didn’t stop the rise of what I called The New Civil Rights Era a few years ago. A new generation of protesters and demonstrators stand ready to rise to the challenges of today. Just in time, too: Most of the leaders of the Old Era have passed on or are too old to carry on (except John Lewis, Bernie Sanders and probably Jimmy Carter). A generation ready, willing and able to hold our elected officials accountable is finally ready. It only took 50 years to get there.

I actually showed you mostly images of MLK in color for this reason: History books and posters used in schools depict Dr. King as “tanned” and with “European” facial features. Dr. King had very dark skin. Look at the below picture. Dr. King also has facial features only present in men of African descent: The wide nostrils and flat bridge of his nose are both traits you will only find in someone of African decent. Of course, there are some whites with these and other features. There’s actually a VERY simple reason but that’s a subject for next month.

I’ll close with this:

https://i1.wp.com/www.notable-quotes.com/k/martin_luther_king_jr_quote_2.jpg

Ask any grade schooler who Dr. King was and they will give you the generic “He was a black hero who fought against racism. He gave speeches and marched to get people to listen to what he had to say.” Dr. King was much more than that. First and foremost he wasn’t just “a black hero”. He was a true American Patriot. He did not ask for the burden he would bear but he readily accepted it with a grim determination. He did not “ask” for change but he demanded it. Not for himself but for those who would come after him.

Dr. King was no fool. He received death threats on a regular basis. He was arrested several times and survived an assassination attempt before his actual assassination in 1968. The night before he was killed, Dr. King gave this speech:


I want  to focus on what he says at 58 seconds: “Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.” Dr. King was alot of things. One thing he certainly wasn’t was a “friend” of the U.S. Government. The FBI tracked his every move, his phones were wiretapped and J Edgar Hoover labeled him “a trouble maker and an agitator”.

Sound familiar?

Just like back then, you have Americans literally telling other Americans not to exercise their 1st Amendment rights. “Stop making a fool of yourself and do something with your life.” “You’re wasting your time.” “That’s not the way to get what you want.” “You’re setting a bad example.” I could go on and on.

What I find most disturbing: Those who have the audacity to say “This is not what Dr. King was about.” Quite the opposite. Anyone who personally knew MLK would tell you he would be right there in the streets with the protesters or offering them words of encouragement. So don’t DARE let anyone tell you “Protesting is Un-American”. On the contrary, there is nothing more American than a well-organized resistence movement advocating for and demanding rights for ALL people.

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Shaun King comments on what I warned about over the summer   Leave a comment

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In a New York Daily News article he posted online two weeks ago, Shaun King notes how much Social Media influenced America during the course of the presidential campaign. The rest of the article focuses on other things but I consider the Social Media piece he opens with to be the far more important–and more interesting–topic to focus on.

Of course, I wrote a number of articles on Toxic Messages being spread via Social Media over the summer:

Like I’ve said over and over already, Folks post things online they usually wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face. Not unless they’re white and their target is not post-election. That is the reality in America for many. Even worse is Corporate Media falling over itself to be the government’s spokesperson. Since they’re owned by millionaires, they’re simply following a script. That includes bashing social media at every opportunity.

The internet truly is a double-edged sword: On the one hand, you have guys like Shaun King and Bernie Sanders using it as a powerful tool to bring attention to injustice and discrimination. On the othert hand, you have guys like Donald Trump and Alex Jones using it to spread head and reinforce conspiracy theories.

It is what it is.

On a related subject, Injustice Boycott is now live.

I took a look at the site earlier today. It’s also clearly a work in progress based on the wording. Much of what’s outlined in the opening post should have been shared in advance. The only part that should have been withheld was the first cities being targeted: New York, San Francisco and Standing Rock.

As of right now, I do not have enough information to confidently endorse Injustice Boycott yet. I would need to see ALL of the following before I endorsed the movement:

  • Sense of Organization: Something the movement has lacked since it was announced in September.
  • Employment Opportunities: Extremely important to me. You can’t run a movement without people.
  • Fundraising for Targets of Discrimination: Goes without saying.
  • Press Team: Self-Explanatory.
  • Legal Team: Arrests should be assumed for certain actions. A legal team would be extremely handy to have ready.

 

…I don’t think any of these things are unreasonable. Once Injustice Boycott has all of these things in place, they will get my support.

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Developing Story: Anti-Trump Protests in several U.S. Cities   Leave a comment

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This should come as no surprise. Neither the protests or the timing for them.

Amazing what a night does, yes? In the hours after Trump clinched the election overnight, protesters set trash fires in Oakland. This country is heading in a dark direction–a direction it chose and CLEARLY doesn’t want to accept the responsability for. As I said this morning, we are getting the president we DESERVE in Trump.

Both Sanders and Trump ran anti-Establishment campaigns. The Dems torpedoed Sanders from the beginning and basically told the country “You’re a fool if you don’t vote blue.” Unsurprisingly, the Dems misread all the obvious signs. Even worse, they followed Corporate Media’s lead and dismissed all signs pointing to Trump doing exactly what he did. The FBI basically trolling Trump supporters on Monday by saying they don’t reccommend pressing charges against Clinton was likely the last straw. That was what likely galvanized so many to vote for him in key swing states. I wouldn’t say it’s the main factor but it definitely was a factor.

The rank and file have every right to be worried. Trump winning was a strong message to them: Change is coming to Washington. To top it off, the Republicans will control all three branches of Government going into January 17 when Trump takes the oath of office. Nevermind the fact Trump has made priority 1 undoing everything the sitting president did over the last 8 years.

These are some uncertain times in America. The last time we were at this point was right after the 2000 election, Things went to hell in a basket fast after 9/11–during Bush 43’s first year of his first term in office. I’m expecting a similar incident to happen within Trump’s year in office. Something to give him reasonable cause to revoke 1st Amendment Freedoms. Speaking of, Trump’s proposed “Freedom of the 1st Amendment Act” will make racism and discrimination legal “on religious grounds”. In other words, employers will have a free pass to discriminate against anyone who is LGBTQ.
On that note, it is worth pointing out Trump is scheduled to stand trial in a sexual assault case on December 13. It’s certainly unprecedented. The possability of Trump being convicted–a long shot in my honest opinion–would mean Mike Pence becomes the 46h President for the rest of the term. I say it is a remote possability but one worth considering. Gerald Ford was the last VP to succeed a sitting president after Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal. If Trump ends up being convicted before or after being sworn in, we would have a situation where Pence would assume the Oval Office as the 46th President of the United States. A remote possability but certainly possible.

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The upside to Trump winning is the progressive movement set in motion by Bernie Sanders will endure.  In fact I expect it to blossom, thrive and possibly bear some fruit during the 2018 mid-terms. Those who would normally sit on the sidelines now have a reason to get involved in their area and speak out about the things that matter to them. They have to if they want to avoid 8 years of Trump.

Conservatives and racists probably see this as open season on everyone else but no so fast: The protests going on right now are a message to Trump and his supporters things aren’t going to be as clear-cut as they think. The people are showing the incoming administation they are not going to go away quietly. Trump WILL compromise if he wants to be a unifying force. He has no choice if he wants to have a decient presidency. Obama will tell him that tomorrow, among other things.

Speaking of, some people are talking about having their state cecede. The same talk was made in 2004 and 2012. I have seen nothing substatial beyond wishful thinking. Besides, it wouldn’t be that easy anyway. It would take a large amount of prepwork in advance for starters. The state would also be able to have a strong enough economy to independently support itself. No state has such infrastructure in place.

While I’m not allowing myself to pulled into the emotional crap so many people I know are and have been during the campaign, I do not see a Trump presidency as the end of America as we know it.

…I view it as an act of God.

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Calls for a Boycott of “The Birth of a Nation” for the second time in almost 200 years   Leave a comment

During the mid-1800s, it was because of the book The Birth of a Nation. This time, it’s the movie based on the book of the same name.

Here’s one of the trailers:

…Easily a must-watch for those who don’t know the story.

The movie hit theaters October 7. The movie, which takes alot of “creative liberties” from what I’ve heard tells the story of the imfamous Nat Turner Rebellion in 1831.

Ignoring all the obvious Hollywood crap–most notably Turner’s wife being raped, which is factually inaccurate–this movie, like Selma (2014) is both historically accurate and relevant to the goings-on of today. In fact, that’s exactly why there have been calls by biggots and racists for the movie to be boycotted. The timing–one month before the next presidential election of course, the Racial Tension in the U.S.–is the reason why. History repeats itself so how the next few years play out shouldn’t be that big of a surprise.

…Isn’t it always something how those who “don’t see what the problem is” are always the ones who want to maintain the status quo?

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The original Nat Turner was a slave who had been allowed to learn to read and write, which was considered a privilage for whites. Turner’s owners allowed him to become literate in the hopes of using him to keep slaves in line as a preacher. The more he searched the scriptures, the more Turner realized the wrongness of slavery in America. For his part in leading the rebellion, Turner was hanged.

What follows are some of his final words:

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For the time, it was rare for black slaves to be educated and if so, only for a specific job they were given. Slaves who worked alongside their masters and handled money or important documents were more likely to learn to read, write and count. Fieldhands were rarely allowed what whites considered forbidden knowledge, let alone breeders: Plantations kept a few slaves separate from the rest of the population just for breeding. Mostly with each other but sometimes with whites who had trouble having kids.

Anyway, back on topic. After the Turner Rebellion in 1831, there was a crackdown in Plantations all over the South. Slaveowners doubled down on keeping slaves from learning how to read or write. In fact, most of the South made it illegal for black slaves to be taught to read and write. 14 years after the Turner Rebellion, John Brown and his sons tried to incite a rebellion against slavery. That failed because the slaves they were counting on to join them were too scared to show up. The U.S. Army quickly put down the rebellion and Brown was hanged.

Of course, the efforts of both Turner and Brown ultimately weren’t for naught: The ratification of the 13th Amendment after the Civil War.

Fast forward to the 1960s: The Civil Rights Moveent. Fast forward again to 2014: Black Lives Matter forms. Just like during the 1800s and during the 1960s, there was stiff resistence to change. Just like both those eras, change WILL happen. It’s simply a matter of time. The REAL question is which side of history will you be on?

I don’t want to digress further than that so I’ll make a separate post on the subject sometime next week.

Why I have been and will continue to talk about Social Issues on this blog   Leave a comment

I want to begin by first making the following things crystal clear:

  1. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I avoid supporting ideologies based on just circumstantial evidence or data.
  2. I am neither a racist or a race baiter.
  3. I research all topics on social issues before I write a post about them.
  4. I am always very clear when stating my opinion and when I am stating facts.

This goes for both my blog posts and videos as well.

…In regards to the second one, it especially makes no sense at all since I have openly expressed an interest to many people of dating women who are not black or West Indian. Not opposed to dating a black or West Indian woman but I personally believe love is color blind. I also believe no one should care what the race of someone’s loved ones are especially when it doesn’t directly or indirectly effect them.

Anyway, I decided to post this not because someone said something to me or anything like that. I’m posting this now because I WANT people to understand something: I can’t keep silent on what is going on in America. I cannot and WILL NOT.

I’m going to use a restaurant as a metaphor to explain my point.

A customer walks into a well known restaurant that is known for its exceptional menu and first class service. The restaurant has the long-held reputation of putting the customer first above all else. This customer is someone who has done business with the restaurant over the year course of his life. The Great Recession did a number of the economy but the restaurant survived while many other independent businesseses fell by the wayside.

The restaurant is also known to have two core philosophies: Prepare food as efficiently as possible and do whatever’s necessary to stay open for business. The customer came at a time the restaurant is deciding on who the next owner may be. One is a former line Chef of the restaurant who has known the original owners for decades and many of the kitchen staff believe she’s the best person for the job. The other is a well known celebrity from the neighborhood who has his own vision.

The current owner has decided to let the two try out for the job and this month’s customers are unwhitting guinea pigs. There were other candidates but they were outbid by the two who remain. At the same time, there are rumors the owner had been talking to two other interested parties for the same position.

Each week, the customer returned to dine at the restaurant. At the end of the month, the owner joins the customer at his usual table to talk to them about his experience. Having known each other over the years, the owner tells the customer he can’t decide which candidate he should choose and has decided to ask them about your experience. There were a few things about each management style the customer liked but there were more things about both management styles that they didn’t like. As the owner looks at the customer with a hopeful expression, they tell him “I can’t decide. You’re asking me to pick the lesser of two evils.”

…Mind you, that’s just in regards to the presidential election. The way the media has such strong influence in our nation’s politics and has for decades, too many Americans don’t know who they are voting for. They know they’re voting for someone but they don’t know WHO. We are at a point in our nation’s history where those with power not only change the rules to their benefit but change the rules at the expense of everyone else. While I do agree those who are born in poverty should work to improve their own situation, they should not be punished for wanting to improve their situation.

This has been the case for many groups of people in America for centuries. Even worse, those in power as well as the media has been pulling out all the stops to not only “keep order” but suppress the truth.

…This is why I blog. I will continue to do so until I am no longer able to.

New York Daily News Journalist Shaun King calls for a Nationwide Economic Boycottt [UPDATE 9/24/2016]   Leave a comment

Update 9/24/2016:

Shaun King has launched a website last night titled Injustice Boycott. The nationwide Boycott is planned to BEGIN on December 5, 2016. As of this posting, 29, 723 people have signed on since the site went live last night. The website explains what the purpose of the Boycott is, when it will begin and about the last one: In 1955, Dr. Martn Luther King led a boycott that lasted 381 days to end bussing discrimination. It worked.

I believe so strongly in what he is trying to do, I’ve decided to reactivate my Facebook Account for 24 hours starting tonight so I can pass along news of the boycott.

My original article is below.

 

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In an article published by Shaun King earlier this afternoon, the journalist called for a nationwide economic boycott in response to the deaths of unarmed black men nationwide and racial injustice. He doesn’t offer specific steps on how it should look or how long but he does explain in detail why it should happen. See his article for specifics on that.

He also makes a very important point that anyone living in or near a major U.S. City should think about: All it will take is one incident for Dallas, St. Louis, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Tulsa, Baltimore, Ferguson and so on to happen in your neck of the woods. Just one. It’s literally been decades since the country been so polarized: The number of people outraged by the deaths worldwide are growing by the day while the racists and biggots dig their heels in deeper. The term is “Perfect Storm”.

Whoever the next president is…good luck. They’ll have their hands full trying (likely in vain) to keep the country from tearing itself apart. The time for sweet words is over. That was tried and met with inaction. Now is the time to turn words into action.

Of course, an Economic Boycott is an effective means of forcing change. We have the proven history to back it up. Now, Shaun King is asking for specific ideas on how exactly a Nationwide Economic Boycott should be organized and carried out. One advantage we have now that didn’t exist in the 50s and 60s is Social Media. Getting the word out will be extremely easy. Keeping that in mind, here is how I think it should be organized:

 

  1. Identify a group of people who would take point in planning and organizing in each community.
  2. Identify specific companies and entities to boycott in each community.
  3. Get athletes (NFL, NBA, etc.), actors, musicians/rappers, comedians, etc. to help raise awareness.
  4. Encourage Boycott participants to shop locally and encourage them to specifically shop and dine at minority-owned businesses as much as possible during the boycott.
  5. Boycott participants should be challenged to proudly carry an index card or something similar that explains in short that they are participating in a nationwide boycott and why.
  6. Encourage Boycott participants to stay out of trouble with law enforcement and local municipalities: Fines or Bail Money = Money for the system.
  7. Encourage Boycott participants to conduct themselves orderly and politely at all times.
  8. Boycott participants who engage in protests should retire from the streets before sundown.
  9. Boycott participants should document any trouble they may encounter with a picture, audio or video.
  10. Funding should be set aside to cover bail costs for any peaceful protesters who are arrested.

…To explain 7 and 8, they both have the media in mind. They’re only interested in covering chaos. This was made clear during last night’s violence in Charlotte. In this way, protesters gain the trust and support of local leaders and law enforcement in one shot. It also makes it much easier for law enforcement to identify folks who join up with peaceful protesters just to cause trouble. When the authorities know the protesters will be leaving the streets before dark, they don’t have to waste time trying to differentiate peaceful protesters from bad elements.

This also eliminates the need for an official curfew: With everyone knowing when protesters will be leaving their routes, it will make it easier for the streets to be secured by the authorities when they leave. Mind you, this does not include pre-planned times for night time vigils or indoor gathers. It only applies to protests and marches.

I say this well aware the reason protests have been happening after dark is so those who work during the day can participate. That will need to change to force broadcast media to forcus on the reason for the protests and not just looking for ratings boosts.

Anywho, I think this list is a good starting point.  If you’re reading this Shaun King, feel free to make use of it.

 

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