Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I grew up in Birmingham, Ala., in the 1950s and '60s. A third-grade classmate went to jail for marching. Another little girl at our school was killed when the Ku Klux Klan bombed Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
I've known people who were beaten by Bull Connor's cops in Birmingham and whipped by state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. And I don't think any of them shed blood for my right to vote just to see me cast my ballots based on skin color.
The 1965 Voting Rights Act was the result of a convincing argument that black people were just as capable of making an intelligent decision about political candidates as any white person.
More recently, though, a lie has found favor in America. It's the falsehood that African Americans vote as a monolith, without regard to the issues or positions of the candidates. It's a lie promoted by those who don't want to admit that their preferred candidate was wrong on the issues that matter most to most African American voters.
Black voters' interests are so common because their circumstances are so similar. Even those with better educations, higher incomes, and more expensive homes are not too far removed from family or friends living modestly. Poverty is itself a recent memory for many middle-income African Americans. Some feel they are only a paycheck or two from returning to that status.
Blacks don't get credit for carefully weighing candidates' positions on the issues, even though they have shown that they will vote for a white candidate over a black one whose views are not to their liking. "
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Phillip Seaton, 61, and his wife are seeking unspecified compensation from Dr. John M. Patterson and the medical practice that performed the circumcision for 'loss of service, love and affection.' The Seatons also are seeking unspecified punitive damages from Patterson and the medical practice, Commonwealth Urology.
A woman who answered the phone at Commonwealth Urology would not take a message for the doctor Thursday. But the Seaton's attorney said the doctor's post-surgical notes show the doctor thought he detected cancer and removed the penis. Attorney Kevin George said a later test did detect cancer.
'It was not an emergency,' George told The Associated Press on Thursday. 'It didn't have to happen that way.'Seaton was having the procedure on Oct. 19, 2007, to better treat inflammation. The lawsuit filed earlier this month in state court claims Patterson removed Seaton's penis without consulting either Phillip or Deborah Seaton, or giving them an opportunity to seek a second opinion."
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
But he took a life, destroyed a family, and damaged the psyche of a city. He paid with his life, so I guess some will say that justice was served. But was it? Is the sperm donor who created him paying for his sin? I doubt it, and we will just have to brace ourselves until the next monster comes along. Just keep those black suits and dresses close by.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
*Thanks English prof. AKA "gine". ;)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"Troy Davis, who was convicted of shooting a police officer to death in the parking lot of a Burger King in Savannah, Ga., is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.
There is some question as to his guilt (even the pope has weighed in on this case), but the odds of Mr. Davis escaping the death penalty are very slim. Putting someone to death whose guilt is uncertain is always perverted, but there’s an extra dose of perversion in this case. The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to make a decision on whether to hear a last-ditch appeal by Mr. Davis on Sept. 29. That’s six days after the state of Georgia plans to kill him.
Mr. Davis’s lawyers have tried desperately to have the execution postponed for those few days, but so far to no avail. Georgia is among the most cold-blooded of states when it comes to dispatching prisoners into eternity.
So the lawyers are now trying to get the Supreme Court to issue a stay, or decide before Tuesday on whether it will consider the appeal. No one anywhere would benefit from killing Mr. Davis on Tuesday, as opposed to waiting a week to see how the Supreme Court rules. So why the rush? The murder happened in 1989, and Mr. Davis has been on death row for 17 years. Six or seven more days will hardly matter.
Most of the time, the court declines to hear such cases.
If that’s the decision this time, Georgia can get on with the dirty business of taking a human life. If the court agrees to hear the appeal, it would have an opportunity to get a little closer to the truth of what actually happened on the terrible night of Aug. 19, 1989, when Officer Mark Allen MacPhail was murdered. He was shot as he went to the aid of a homeless man who was being pistol-whipped in the parking lot.
Nine witnesses testified against Mr. Davis at his trial in 1991, but seven of the nine have since changed their stories. One of the recanting witnesses, Dorothy Ferrell, said she was on parole when she testified and was afraid that she’d be sent back to prison if she didn’t agree to finger Mr. Davis. She said in an affidavit: 'I told the detective that Troy Davis was the shooter, even though the truth was that I didn’t know who shot the officer.' Another witness, Darrell Collins, a teenager at the time of the murder, said the police had ’scared’ him into falsely testifying by threatening to charge him as an accessory to the crime. He said they told him that he might never get out of prison. 'I didn’t want to go to jail because I didn’t do nothing wrong,' he said.
At least three witnesses who testified against Mr. Davis (and a number of others who were not part of the trial) have since said that a man named Sylvester 'Redd' Coles admitted that he was the one who had killed the officer. Mr. Coles, who was at the scene, and who, according to authorities, later ditched a gun of the same caliber as the murder weapon, is one of the two witnesses who have not recanted. The other is a man who initially told investigators that he could not identify the killer. Nearly two years later, at the trial, he testified that the killer was Mr. Davis.
So we have here a mess that is difficult, perhaps impossible, to sort through in a way that will yield reliable answers. (The jury also convicted Mr. Davis of a nonfatal shooting earlier that same evening on testimony that was even more dubious.) There was no physical evidence against Mr. Davis, and the murder weapon was never found. As for the witnesses, their testimony was obviously shaky in the extreme — not the sort of evidence you want to rely upon when putting someone to death.
In March, the State Supreme Court in Georgia, in a 4-to-3 decision, denied Mr. Davis’s request for a new trial. The chief justice, Leah Ward Sears, writing for the minority, said: 'In this case, nearly every witness who identified Davis as the shooter at trial has now disclaimed his or her ability to do so reliably.'
Amnesty International conducted an extensive examination of the case, documenting the many recantations, inconsistencies, contradictions and unanswered questions. Its report on the case drew widespread attention, both in the U.S. and overseas. William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I., has said that a closer look at the case is warranted. And Pope Benedict XVI has urged authorities in Georgia to re-sentence Mr. Davis to life in prison.
Rushing to execute Mr. Davis on Tuesday [Sept. 23, 2008] makes no sense at all.————–"
Well, thanks to the work of some good human beings, like the folks in the Afrospear (See FNOTD), I think justice might be served. The victims family, of course, is convinced that the right man is on death row. But what if they are wrong? “It should have happened today,”.. but justice will be served.” Yes it will, but you have to give it a chance. Like Mr. Herbert said: "what's the rush?"
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
“The Bubba vote is there, and it’s very real, and it is everywhere,... “There’s an awful lot of people in America, bless their heart, who simply are not emotionally prepared to vote for a black man."
*Charlotte, thanks for telling me about that broken link. It has been updated.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Anonymous opponents used "push polling" to suggest that McCain's Bangladeshi born daughter was his own, illegitimate black child. In push polling, a voter gets a call, ostensibly from a polling company, asking which candidate the voter supports. In this case, if the "pollster" determined that the person was a McCain supporter, he made statements designed to create doubt about the senator."
Ben Smith at Politico reports that other Jewish voters are getting these calls, too. Based on his reporting and a comment from TNR reader "amstern," it sounds like the calls are going out to Jews in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (which is where I live). "
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Honestly there is so much to post about today that I don't even know where to start. And now that the rethuglicans and their leader, George Bush, has pretty much made it necessary for us to put our increasingly worthless dollars under our houses, (a trillion dollars in three days!) you could say that I am speechless. The Dow lost over 400 more points today, the feds are talking about printing money, and we, the taxpayers, are now the proud owners of a huge insurance company, [ AIG] thanks to another government bailout. Talk about corporate welfare.
So anyway, with all this going on; why is it that all I can think about is Sarah? Yes Sarah. (And I did not hack into her e-mail account. You can't pin that one on the black man)I don't even know why I let you mofos let me stop talking about her in the first place. Maybe it's because I heard another story about her being a *racialist (*that's a field word), in yet another Alaska restaurant (see my sidebar), and maybe it's this whole "Troopergate" thing, but Sarah just won't go away. Well, honestly, I won't let her.
So anyhoo, my girl Jody sent me this nice little article from "Honorary Field Negro", Tim Wise, and I just had to share, because it's so true.
~By Tim Wise ~ "For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because 'every family has challenges,' even as black and Latino families with similar 'challenges' are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a 'fuckin' redneck,' like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll 'kick their fuckin' ass,' and talk about how you like to 'shoot shit' for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're 'untested.'
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words 'under God' in the pledge of allegiance because 'if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me,' and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the 'under God' part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was 'Alaska first,' and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community ogrganizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or > an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a 'second look.'
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.
White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a 'trick question,' while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a 'light' burden. And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole 'change' thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.
White privilege is, in short, the problem. "
Nope, Sarah getting the benefit of white privilege is.
BTW, thank you Mr. Morton for inventing the Blackberry, it is my favorite gadget and I could not live without it.....
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thousands of hostile messages flooded my e-mail after my Sept. 2 column that the Daily News called "We Need Obama, Not 4 More Years of George Bush."
Drudge cleverly headlined it: "Philadelphia columnist warns if McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race war."
I stand by the column - but after all of that backlash, I realize I was dead wrong. We don't have to wait until after the election for a race war. We're in one now.
I know that putting the words "race" and "war" together is like hurling an incendiary device. But I wasn't issuing a call to arms, it was a metaphorical prediction.
I hate violence, but I do see a growing wave of intolerance sweeping the nation. And most of the responses were hostile, like one from someone who identified himself as Dennis Van Pelt: "Obama runs like a porch monkey in Alabama during a KKK concert." But, not all white Southerners feel like Dennis. Russ Nelson wrote: "I am a white male who was proud to cast my vote for Barack Obama in the Alabama state primary. He inspires me!"
Nelson sounds more like the liberal whites I grew up with in West Mount Airy, a community that pioneered integration in Philadelphia and kept me wearing rose-colored glasses. I didn't personally experience racism until I was 40, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks...'
I move in diverse circles and was raised in an upper-middle-class family with parents who exposed us to a wide range of experiences. My family includes several races and religions and a range of political views.
But from what I've been seeing lately, including the reaction to my column, the racial, economic, cultural and religious divides are getting wider. Most of the 2,000 negative responses used language so foul my ears curled...."
Ms. Ali, I know a little about Mt. Airy; it is one of the most beautiful and diverse communities in A-merry-ca. But Ms. Ali, you ain't in Mt. Airy anymore, you are in A-merry-ca now, and there won't be any race war. The only wars that are being faught are being carried out by people like Drudge and the folks at FAKE NEWS. They are fighting against truth, and they are hoping that the rest of A-merry-cans will stay blind and never see it.
Monday, September 15, 2008
It has been years since groups such as the Montana Militia, the Posse Comitatus and the Sagebrush Rebels, and individuals such as Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski have made us wonder why so many "angry white men" populated our rural regions. Many of us have forgotten the threat once posed by domestic terrorists and instead have turned our attention to foreign terrorists. But we should never forget that in the late 20th century, ultra-Christian, antistatist and white-supremacist groups flourished in the states of the Pacific Northwest - called by many the "Great 'White Northwest' - the very region that Sarah Palin and her family call home.
Demographics most basically define this geographic region. In the six states that make up the Pacific Northwest - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska - only six counties are more than 5 percent African American. Not by coincidence, each of these counties is also near an important military installation with many African American men and women. Even so, barely more than 3,000 blacks lived in all of Idaho in 2000.
Although home to tens of thousands of native peoples, Alaska is not much different in terms of diversity from the other states of the region. African Americans live in areas near important military installations in Anchorage and Fairbanks and almost nowhere else. Wasilla, where Sarah Palin was mayor, makes the census' list of the top 10 Alaskan communities with the largest number of African Americans because they make up a full 1 percent of the population. Rough calculations suggest that 65 blacks lived in the town.
But the region also must be defined by its history of intolerance, resentment, antistatism and violence. Appearing in the region in the 1980s and 1990s were some of the most notorious "hate radicals" of our time: militia groups, survivalists, Identity Christians, secessionists, white supremacists and others.
Some simply hated the federal government, like Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge, Idaho, a survivalist whose wife and child died when their compound was fired upon by FBI agents attempting to arrest him on gun charges. "Whether we live or whether we die," Weaver said, 'we will not obey this lawless government.'
Other groups, like the Aryan Nation, with headquarters in Hayden Lake, Idaho, actively planned to rid the United States of African Americans, Jews, and other 'non-Aryan' peoples. A few carried out their plans, murdering Jewish radio host Alan Berg in Denver, the Goldmark family in Seattle, an African American state trooper in Arkansas, Fish and Wildlife officials and FBI agents in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana, and more than 160 federal employees and their children in Oklahoma City. "
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Values Voter Summit organizers cut off sales of Obama Waffles boxes on Saturday, saying they had not realized the boxes displayed "offensive material." The summit and the exhibit hall where the boxes were sold had been open since Thursday afternoon.
The box was meant as political satire, said Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss, two writers from Franklin, Tenn., who created the mix. They sold it for $10 a box from a rented booth at the summit sponsored by the lobbying arm of the Family Research Council...."
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Like most of you I remember exactly where I was that day, and what I was doing. I was at a child support conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and I was looking forward to playing hooky from the days events and playing a round of golf (yes this field Negro plays golf) with some colleagues. I don't know, maybe it's because of the events of that day, but weatherise, It was probably the most beautiful and perfect day that I can ever remember. And when those planes started hitting those buildings, right before our very eyes, live and in living color; everyone freaked the fuck out. I don't think too many of us can forget the images of the people jumping from buildings, the brave first responders, and the sheer panic and misery on the faces of those people who were right around ground zero.
I remember thinking: These sick mofos must really hate us. Some of the people around me couldn't even fathom it. "How can anyone hate us so much?" They asked. "Where did all this evil come from?" They pleaded to no one in particular. As I watched the events unfold from that Hotel lobby,, I felt like I knew. Unlike most of the people around me, I had traveled the world, I had lived and spent time outside of the United States, and I knew that a lot of people out there really really hated us. But I never knew this was how they would strike? I had to give it to them; it worked.
Now it couldn't have worked without real commitment and devotion. After all, you had to have been willing to sacrifice your life to complete the mission. And I guess the promise of seventy two virgins in paradise was enough to make these sick fanatics take the lives of over 3,000 of our fellow citizens.
And, of course, the moron we had as a leader, didn't help. The first problem with him of course, was that like the lunatics who shattered our peace, he was deeply religious and thought he was called by god to lead us. So instead of thinking it through and figuring out a way to go after the perpetrators who attacked us, he launched his own version of Jihad against the Arab world. Instead of trying to bring us closer together as a country, he became more partisan, and threw us farther a part. Instead of asking for a shared commitment to service, he told us to go shopping. And instead of trying to build good will with the rest of the world, he made them hate us even more.
So now, seven years later, the man who was responsible for committing this despicable act is still held up in a cave somewhere like Fred fucking Flinstone. And all our idiot of a leader can do is say that al-Qaeda is in retreat, and all the evil doers are on the run. Yeah right. I have a news flash for yo frat boy: al-Qaeda is stronger than ever (your war gave them a hell of a recruiting tool), and we are no closer to capturing the Arab with Santa Clauses beard and Wilt Chamberlain's height than we were seven years ago. And you are still using the fear that was created by those 19 hijackers to hijack the political process, and take away our civil liberties.
Now I am left wondering who did the most damage from that day? The 19 hijackers or the frat boy? My gut of course tells me it's the hijackers; all those poor families without their loved ones that they lost that day. But my head tells me that it's this administration and their minions. September 11, was a tragic day, but we have endured tragedies and dark times in our history before. It's how we come out of those times that determines what type if country this will ultimately be, and tells us who we are as a people.
911 was a deep cut to our nations psyche and to our way of life. But this administration did not try to heal it. Instead, they let the wounds fester, and they made it even worse. So now, as a result, we will forever be scarred. There were 19 hijackers on those planes that day, but there was one hijacker sitting in a school house in Florida that day too.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Permanent link to MTA daily media news, direct link to today's post
I am not a Republican, and I am not a racist. I will be voting for Cynthia McKinney for president. So don’t threaten me with your post-partisan, post-racial, manipulative, coercive hate mail.
It is official - Obama is the biggest ass**** to ever run for President (by John: south of Melrose Liberal Rapture)
Yes, he said it. Why don’t you give them the finger, Barack, as you did Hillary? You are one classy dude.
Your fellow Democrats (by vastleft at Corrente)I’ve never been more proud. This DU [Democratic Underground] thread, which currently has 31 recommendations (5 is the threshold to appear on the page of “greatest” posts of the day), celebrates the implication that Obama specifically had Palin in mind with his “lipstick on a pig” comment. Several other threads avidly deny that he meant it that way. It is a well-worn phrase, and I have no way of knowing whether he meant it to refer to Palin, but after her “lipstick/hockey mom/pitbull” comment it’s a poor choice of wording at very best. But, heck, it’s just words.So, how’s all that nastiness working out for you, Barack?..."