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Category Archives: Government

Politics, Policy, Diplomacy, War, Heavy Stuff Man

Yesterday Rodney King Passed Away

Yesterday Rodney King passed away. A police brutality victim who was fortunate in that he was being taped when officers unloaded their frustrations on him. The acquittal of the officers who beat him led to the 1992 riot and created a ripple effect throughout our society. Unfortunately there continues to be all too many people who still suffer a fate similar to Rodney King at the hands of people who shouldn’t be police officers. A code of silence and a political culture that venerates police much more than the citizens they are meant to serve  have made police irreproachable even in cases of unjustifiable murder. This is just one aspect of an issue that includes lawmakers, judges, and for-profit prisons that leads to Americans having their liberties violated and trampled while creating a permanent underclass that costs the government more and more money each year while there is no estimate to the toll it takes on the people it affects.

x-posted @ TheYBC

 

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Race, Politics, and Cynicism

Race, Politics, and Cynicism

What can these people do to damage their credibility. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney suffers no backlash for embracing and fundraising with Donald Trump who openly questions whether the President is an American. Ron Paul published racist newsletters throughout the 90s and he’s also a politically viable Presidential candidate who must be listened to and taken seriously. Why is it open association with racism doesn’t disqualify people from running for the highest office in the land. What’s more troubling is the cynicism with which this is discussed. Race-baiting is just another tool in the American mailbox to be deployed and debated as if there are no real world consequences to American citizens or I guess Americans of any importance.

– C.S.

 

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Rep. Steve King & the Dehumanization of Others

Steve King and the Dehumanization of Others

Yesterday Congressman Steve King told constituents that the U.S. should only choose the best immigrants to accept into the nation the way one chooses “the pick of the litter”.

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Education, Government, Philosophy, Politics

 

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Vote Suppression in America


Viviette Applewhite and Voter ID

Here is why I have little patience for conspiracy theories without the weight of some proof behind them. People are working everyday to institute policies and ideas that disproportionately harm our community without any secrecy whatsoever. The efforts to discourage people who are likely to vote Democratic in elections from being able to vote at all. None of this is secret. They claim to be trying to protect against voter fraud but this doesn’t pass the laugh test among anyone with political savvy who is speaking earnestly. There has been a national push to restrict voting with voter id laws that count hunting licenses as valid but student id’s as invalid in addition to aggressively pushing college students off the rolls, taking away the right to vote from convicts, telling people they could be arrested if they show up from the polls, telling people the wrong date for elections, etc. none of these things are in any way secret. They’ve been bold in their actions to the point that awards have been given to people who can keep the most voters away from the booth. This has all been reported, editorialized, and absorbed by the public with no shock or outrage whatsoever. This sad fact speaks to the cynicism that has gripped the body politic that none of this was given a cursory attempt to be shielded from view. So no I don’t buy into conspiracies because today bold efforts to stop people from exercising their right to vote is taken nakedly without shame and no push back. While we’re out charging towards windmills our feet are being cut from us by an adversary who is too happy to shout while they do it.

cross-posted @ theybc

 

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Obama’s “Real” Father and Lazy Thinking

Real Father
http://anomaly.realgravity.com/flash/player.swf

Conspiracy Theories in America

This supercut comes from “Dreams from My Real Father” a movie being pushed that purports to tell the “real” story of Barack Obama and his background. It’s easy to point out the extreme stretches of logic it would take to believe that Obama’s real father is Frank Marshall whose parentage was covered up by his grandfather who was secretly in the CIA. Why his CIA pops could cover up his birth but not prevent his daughter from having a child with a communist is an obvious question but I digress. We could spend all day debunking the “logic” on display here. What people tend to have a tougher time with is seeing through similar jumps in logic about conspiracy theories that are beneficial to their worldview. The odds that there are secret meetings by the world’s most powerful people collude to keep everyone else down are similar to the odds that there are secret meetings between black and Jewish people to overthrow white people. Conspiracy theories provide an easy out for the question of why things are the way they are. Acting as a deus ex machina for the thousands of little decisions and interactions that seemingly govern our world.

– C.S.

x-posted @ TheYBC

 

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Fifteen Friday Fancies

“Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentlemen – you’re perfect!”

Today is obviously not Thursday. However, it is Friday and I’ve got fifteen fancies for the thREADERS. Let’s move…

Perhaps the biggest news of the week is President Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage (1). In the, what, 36 hours since the interview, I have seen so many vituperative remarks on Facebook and Twitter. People have just been spewing all sorts of ignorance, and it really is sad. On top of all of that, many of these people call themselves Christians. Now, I pride myself in not getting too political with my weekly columns. I’m not here to tell people how they should feel or hurl my beliefs and opinions on them. I value people’s opinions; I merely express mine here. With that said, it saddens me that this topic seems to bring the worst out of some people. Whether you agree with gay marriage or disagree with gay marriage, to me, the underlying issue is human rights. I have come a long way as far as my feelings toward this issue because of my desire to be open-minded and progressive. It’s not my place to stand in the way of people who want to be happy and have the rights afforded to their heterosexual counterparts. You can quote Bible verses and tell me what “thus said the Lord” all day, but I also believe in tolerance, acceptance, and love. Like I have said several times here in the past, we need to do a better job of taking care of each other. We’ll talk about this more Monday night on our radio show.

Graduation

It’s graduation (2) season. Around this time every year, I am reminded of this because of the flurry of graduations I find myself attending. Along with the congratulations and well-wishes, the rude reminder of the economic state (3) taps me on the shoulder. Every April/May/June, a new article or study comes out with depressing news for recent graduates. This year is no different. One in two college grads can’t find work. Ugh…when will my generation catch a break? Maybe we won’t. Perhaps, college is no longer the guaranteed answer. The education system churns out more graduates than the economic system can keep up with. The Thread has decided to team up with PootKat Radio to investigate this issue with a special radio show (4) Tuesday night. Is college still worth it?

Sports

Last week, I talked about the Brooklyn Nets’ new logo and what I thought of it. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post (5) wrote an editorial that suggested that the Nets be renamed the “New York N—–s (6).” What’s worse is that this man has been defending his racist remarks. He has said,

“I’m never comfortable using that word [ni—-r]. That’s the way I was raised. Shame on my parents,” a sarcastic Mushnick writes. “The ONE time I spelled it out – for accuracy – I was widely condemned as a racist. So either way, I’m a bigot. I know what’s in my heart and my head, the way I was raised, and the way I raised my kids. But you’ve painted me a racist. Good work, James. And good work, if you can get it.”

There’s more…

“Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—–s?”

This guy still has a job. Mushnick is stirring up a hornet’s nest, and I would advise him to stop. His logic is extremely flawed and has no place in any publication. To suggest something so absurd, demeaning, and disrespectful is disconcerting. To base such a reasoning on Jay-Z (7) is asinine. I’ve had countless discussions, read several books, and attended several forums concerning the N-word. However you feel about the word and its use, the fact is that it’s not going anywhere. The problem with Mushnick is that he assumes that Jay-Z is the figurehead of the black mass public. If he has a problem with Jay-Z lyrics, I think he should take that up with Jay-Z. He should not implant such a ridiculous notion like calling a basketball team a derogatory name.

In other news, the “geek chic” (8) has been displayed in full force these past few months. I found this article describing many NBA players’ adoption of the new style of looking professional, looking “dorktastic”, and challenging stereotypes. Players like Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James are now rocking glasses as accessories, skinny ties, vests, and shirt buttoned all the way up. I must say that it is a welcome site. I’ve even bought into the style. I honestly hope that stereotypes concerning black athletes are being rewritten.

Speaking of the NBA, these injuries (9) are beginning to pile up. We’ve seen several star players go down at an alarming rate this season/post-season. David Stern (10) contended that the number of injuries is no different this season than any other a few weeks ago, but he seems to be backing away from those sentiments now. I think we’re seeing the ramifications of a shortened season over a shortened amount of time with no training camp. I’m interested to see where things go from here and what kind of changes we see made.

In more disturbing NBA news, Chris “Birdman” Andersen (11) is under investigation by an internet child pornography unit. I realize that Anderson has had his issues with drugs and whatnot, but this is a completely different animal. I’ve watched enough To Catch a Predator episodes to know that this is serious if they’re searching his home and removing computer hardware. I don’t want to speculate too much, but this situation sounds disgustingly bad.

Music

Justin Bieber (12) is a part of Floyd Mayweather’s “Money Team.” Can we talk about this? I used to hate on Bieber all the time for being another singer for the teeniebops, but this young man is doing things. He’s part of Mayweather’s entourage, carrying his belts, and looking faded in the process. Then, I stumbled upon his new “Boyfriend” video. I talked about this song on Twitter a few weeks ago, and it is dope. Seriously, Justin Timberlake needs to return to music because Bieber is taking his style spot.

Chris Brown (13) and Rihanna (14) are at it again. I know, I know. I’m sick of them, too. Brown released a song that uses Kanye’s “Theraflu” beat, and he references his “old b—-.” Rihanna took exception to this and unfollowed him on Twitter. He returned the favor. Anyway, here’s the song if you care to listen.

Mother’s Day

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the mothers out there. This is your weekend, and I wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Here are my favorite “Mom” songs:

5. “Mother” by Pink Floyd
4. “Blueprint (Momma Loves Me” by Jay-Z
3. “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men
2. “Dear Mama” by Tupac
1. “Hey Mama” by Kanye West

-23

 

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How Race Interacts with Justice

How Race Interacts with Justice

Salon has an excellent interview with American law scholar Kenneth Mack on the way race and the law intersect and define each other. Here’s a quote on civil rights lawyers and their personal experience in the black community at the time.

“What did you learn about the relationship between race and the law by writing it?

By looking at the civil rights struggle through the lives of black civil rights lawyers we learn about the contested nature of racial identity, even in an era where segregation was supposed to make race into something fixed, not fluid.”

I think this speaks to how we think of race as an unchanging dynamic today even though it’s been in fluctuation since the concept was created. Also it works to disabuse people of the notion that there was an overwhelming consensus in the Civil Rights Era as it’s been properly defined when our heroes of yesteryear had many of the intra-community pressures and differences that people still hold today. The interview is great and I’d recommend folks to go read the whole thing.

The color-blind scales of justice?

x-posted @ theybc

– C.S.

 

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