Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Votes are precious currency. We pay for democracy with each ballot, each inked finger, each raised hand. The right to self-government isn't free - it's purchased from citizens at a sometimes monumental price. And when those votes are stolen in any way, tyranny takes root. That appears to be what happened in Iran. And it's also what happened in this country at times in our history when huge swaths of our citizens were denied a voice in governance.
It was the days of Jim Crow and gerrymandering, when voting districts in the South were structured so that the black vote was watered down or, in the worst cases, eliminated altogether. A time when men in white sheets did their dirty deeds with ropes and crosses at midnight.
Eventually, we found a way to dismantle the hateful oligarchy of the racists. It was called the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and gave the federal government unprecedented power to oversee local elections to ensure that every citizen of the Deep South, especially those once counted as three-fifths of humanity, could cast their ballots.
It worked. And it deserves to be recognized as one of the pillars of evolving social justice, along with the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act and Brown v. Board of Education. But this doesn't mean that, 40-plus years after the fact, it can't be revisited to see if perhaps some of its provisions are dated and no longer relevant. Of course, don't tell that to the New York Times editorial board, the American Civil Liberties Union and many other groups for whom the mere notion that you could even think of revisiting the VRA is heretical.
And it's exactly why they trembled when the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Section 5 of the act, thinking that the conservative justices would be able to overturn four decades of progress with a stroke of their mean-spirited pens.
He came back with stories of little children using the "n-word" and "Yankee lawyers" dodging spit - and worse. He wrote in his diary that "It made me feel very ill to know that there were people in America who differed very little in my judgment from those who manned Auschwitz in 1944."
And that's why, 40 years ago, that law was a godsend. But as Chief Justice Roberts noted in his majority opinion, today "minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels." He also observed that when Congress renewed the act in 2006, it relied on data more than three decades old. Talk about back to the future.
You'd think we could sensibly judge for ourselves whether in 2009, with a black president sitting in the Oval Office after a serene and glitch-free election - and a black woman being one of the richest and most influential figures in the country - the Voting Rights Act could withstand a sensible critique - especially in utility-district voting in Texas.
YOU'D also think that, given what's happening in Iran, we could look at ourselves honestly and say, our votes, once threatened, are now safe. At the very least, if we want to maintain the fiction that black voters are still denied their full rights at the ballot box, we could also acknowledge that white voters who are intimidated by Black Panther thugs at Philadelphia polling places should get the same federal protection.
But when the Justice Department shelves the prosecution of those thugs, you have your answer. I guess the times are indeed a-changin' - in some unexpectedly interesting ways."
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I grew up with the guy, and I am sure that damn near all of you reading this did as well. He just seemed like one of those constants: Death, taxes, and Michael Jackson. But no more. That part of A-merry-can music history died today in a Bel-Air mansion at approximately 4:00 PM EST. That white glove and the red jacket will be in the Smithsonian one day. (If they are not already.) The guy was that much a part of A-merry-cana.
To us black folks this loss is especially hard, because no matter how hard he tried to change himself and run away from who he was, many of us still accepted him. He was the same little Michael from Gary, Indiana that he was four noses ago. Maybe it's because we understood that he grew up on the stage and under the eyes of a taskmaster like unforgiving father. Maybe it's because we understood that he never really had a childhood and for all his talents, he was somewhat of a pathetic figure. And then, of course, there were the alleged little boys. None of us can pretend that the ugly trial didn't take place. We all whispered about it long before the trial, and even after he was acquitted of those horrible charges, many of us still believed that the whispers were true. And still, in spite of all that, we accepted him. Oh we killed him for those and other indiscretions, and rightfully so, but at the end of the day, he was fam.
We forgave because he broke barriers. He was the first black artist to really get some shine on MTV. He turned white folks on to our music and the way we dance to it. (Who can forget Michael moon- walking into white A-merry-ca's living rooms and their hearts?) And he crossed over and got paid. (Yes, we celebrated the fact that he got paid. Because contrary to what plenty of you believe; black folks aren't all crabs in a barrel)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
'We have to give fake grades," said a teacher at Mastbaum High in Kensington. "The pressure is very real..."' The thing is, we're not asked to educate our kids. We're asked to pass them," the Gratz teacher said. At Olney West, a teacher said she had received warning calls after failing students.'I'll get a phone call saying, 'Are you sure he earned a 58? Are you sure it wasn't a 65?' the teacher said. 'To me, if a student has 80 absences, the question should be, 'Why did they pass? and not, What are you doing so they don't fail?' "
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
"America's racial problems are persistent and vexing, and since the 1960s, the nation has used a powerful weapon to fix them: the ideas developed during the civil rights movement. Courts and government agencies enforce legal prohibitions against discrimination; private businesses and universities fashion their own diversity policies based on civil-rights principles. Even private individuals think about race relations in civil-rights terms: we aspire to the ideal of "colorblindness," and condemn the evils of discrimination and bias.
For a long time this way of thinking made perfect sense. In the past, the biggest impediment to racial justice was overt discrimination, inspired by a widespread belief that blacks were inferior to whites. And in fighting this kind of outright prejudice, civil rights have been an astonishing success. Race discrimination in restaurants, theaters, and hotels was quickly and thoroughly eliminated by the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Discrimination in employment - while still a problem - has been dramatically reduced and is widely and roundly condemned. Public figures who make overtly bigoted statements typically suffer widespread contempt and often lose their jobs. As a result, each successive generation is less bigoted than the preceding one. Polls suggest that racial animus today is at an all-time low, and Barack Obama's election demonstrates that race is no longer the impediment it was in the recent past.
But in dealing with the worst racial problems we now face, the civil rights approach is no longer the right tool for the job. Today's most serious racial injustices aren't caused by
bias and bigotry; instead they stem from racial segregation and the many disadvantages that follow from living in isolated, economically depressed, and crime-ridden neighborhoods. These problems are a legacy of past racism, but not, by and large, the result of ongoing discrimination. Civil rights litigation and activism have hardly made a dent in these formidable obstacles. It's tempting to believe that we just need more of the same - that we've only been too timid in enforcing civil rights laws or too conservative in interpreting them. But the real problem is inherent in the civil rights approach itself: faced with racial inequities that are not caused by discrimination, civil rights law is impotent and civil rights activism too often a distraction from the real work we need to do.
To say discrimination is not the cause of our worst racial problem is not to deny that racism is still a serious problem. Even today, too many people distrust or belittle others based on casual stereotypes; racial tensions continue to trouble social interactions in schools and workplaces, and the racial hatred and contempt that underlay the Jim Crow system is far from gone. Civil rights are an important response to these problems"
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Give me liberty or give me someone else's death. I am just saying.
Finally, a couple of congratulations are in order: Congrats to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for winning his election in Iran. Mahmoud, I see you learned something from the man who declared your country a part of the "axis of evil. " Question; do they have a Florida in Iran? Just curious.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, said Rodriguez had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday on four counts of murder, four counts of homicide by motor vehicle, conspiracy, robbery, gun charges, and other offenses.
As relatives and neighbors struggled to cope with the sudden carnage that claimed four lives, they vented outrage that two young men with troubling criminal histories had been free in their midst. Both had outstanding bench warrants for their arrests.
Cradock, who lived with his mother a few blocks away in the 300 block of East Rockland Street, had eight prior arrests dating to age 12, five involving gun violations, according to police.Cradock's most recent arrest was April 2, 2006, a case that involved the armed robbery of a pack of beer from a pedestrian near Cradock's home in Feltonville. Cradock was adjudicated delinquent and began the first of several placements through Family Court in juvenile treatment facilities, most recently at Summit Academy, a residential facility and school north of Pittsburgh.
Cradock had been granted a home pass by Summit in April but failed to return. Summit contacted Family Court and a bench warrant was issued by Administrative Judge Kevin M. Dougherty on April 15.
Yesterday, court officials rejected claims by Vanessa Cradock, who raised both boys, in an interview Thursday with NBC10. Cradock said that when her son failed to return to Summit, she called his probation officer and asked that he be taken into custody. No one picked up her son, Cradock said."
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Most of you know that I am not religious, but I will be damned if this next story doesn't make me want to rethink my position on fate. Remember how the old heads used to say that "when it's your time it's just your time? Well, consider:
Seems a poor Italian woman who missed that doomed Air France flight by accident, just died in a car wreck in Austria. Talk about bad luck. That is some eerie stuff. The Grim Reaper was not going to be denied on this one, the killjoy must have really wanted this poor woman.
Speaking of Italy; sorry folks, but I am not feeling any sympathy for Amanda Knox. Her trial for killing her British roommate is in full effect, and she will be taking the stand tomorrow. Maybe it 's because, initially, it was just another case of the black guy did it, but my gut isn't stirring for Amanda. I know that her case has become somewhat of a cause celebre[sorry for the lack of accent marks] for some A-merry-can journalist, but the field isn't biting. It's just the same old same old from where I sit.
Speaking of old; you have all seen the video by now of one of those Texas storm troopers tasering a 72 year old woman. The scary thing about this story is how many people have come to the defense of this clown and said he used proper police procedures. Yep, I saw it on FOX. But there is no amount of proper police procedures in the world that would justify such actions from someone who is paid to protect us. Shoving a 72 year old lady to the ground because she refused to sign a parking ticket? I don't care how obnoxious she was, you DON'T TASER A 72 YEAR OLD WOMAN! PERIOD!
Texas, I can't wait for you to go.
Speaking of FOX News; it's amazing how the folks on the right are trying to spin this latest domestic terrorist killing here in A-merry-ca. "Political correctness caused him to kill"? Please! You people on the right are becoming seriously unhinged. But I guess guilt will do that to you.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
I have a new found respect for every parent in A-merry-ca. And if you are a single parent, you deserve a congressional medal of honor. My hands, neck and my feet are about to fall off of my body from carrying a four year old all over the Magic Kingdom. My ears are still ringing not only from the screams of these little aliens whose minds have been taken over by all things Disney,but from the chi ching of money passing hands to Walt's faithful servants.
"Are you having fun?" "Uncle Field this is the best fun I have ever had. Are we going to Toontown now? And are we going to see Nemo tomorrow?"
My flight leaves this planet of the children tomorrow at exactly 8:30AM. I cannot wait to get on it. Killadelphia, you never looked so good.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I have made the trip to Disney World before, but it was more like the adult version. This time, my movements, not to mention my pocket book, is at the mercy of a drooling four year old who wants all things Micky and Minnie. Yep a hundred large before I even get out of the airport tells me that this trip is going to set back field inc. just a bit.
But anyway, I didn't just want to talk about my trip tonight. What I wanted to talk about was the FAM (Fake ass Muslim) who shot up the recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. I have been getting a bunch of e-mails calling me coward and daring me to blog about this clown. What made people believe that I was afraid to call out this Negro, I don't know. But just to let you all know that the field isn't afraid to call a spade a spade, let me say a few things.
First, that Negro is a domestic terrorist, and he is no different than the white supremacist terrorist who I call on the carpet for taking the lives of fellow A-merry-cans because of their twisted beliefs. This Negro was upset because of how he thought the US Army was treating Muslims. Okay,that may or may not be a legitimate beef, but is that enough reason to go sniper on a US Army recruiting station? All you are doing Negro is giving the rest of us a bad name, and giving wingnuts and their apologizers a chance to say they do it too. We kill an abortion doctor, they kill a soldier. More ammo for the FOX propaganda machine.
Oh, and Abdulhakim, the next time you decide to commit an act of terror, it might be a good idea to skip the trip to Yemen. Just a thought.