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Tag Archives: Martin Luther King

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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Bayard Rustin, Barack Obama, and Homophobia in the Black Community

Bayard Rustin, Barack Obama, and Homophobia in the Black Community

After President Obama’s announcement yesterday I’ve been thinking about the LGBT community, the black community and how they intersect in doing so I’m reminded of Bayard Rustin. As someone who started the Freedom Rides, was an early practitioner and Martin Luther King Jr.‘s teacher of non-violent resistance Bayard Rustin holds an enormous place in the history of black folk here in the United States. Rustin like many black folks was also gay. This didn’t stop him from helping to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference although it did lead to him being forced from it’s leadership in 1960. Repeatedly Rustin was ostracized for his sexuality among those of his race even while joining them in fighting for the equal rights and respect as a man that they’d deny him. It seems the advocates of inequality have chosen to replicate this choice on a national level among religious African Americans and LGBT people. In far too many cases religion has won out over ethics and have led us to choose to impose our beliefs on fellow citizens in violation of the rights that should be shared equally among every person. This is one of the reasons that I don’t subscribe to the belief that black people in America are in some way more noble, enlightened or fair than the rest of Americans we are people with biases and motives just the same as the rest. While our place in society and history are unique our hearts and minds operate according to the same principles that have reigned since time immemorial. Yesterday President Obama became the first American President to support same-sex marriage. While I highly doubt this will cost him any votes among African Americans as it has been suggested I’m hopeful it will push forward the conversation about Black LGBT folk and homophobia in our community.

cross-posted @ TheYBC

 

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Black History 24/7 #3: Hail to the King

No one could have predicted what would happen seconds later...

“And then I got to Memphis… I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life… But I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land… I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Often, when we think of Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember certain things. The “I Have a Dream” speech. The now classic quotation of judging one “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The now nationally recognized Martin Luther King, Jr., Day every year in January. We often forget – or perhaps, don’t want to be reminded of – another important day in the life of MLK: April 4, 1968.

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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Black History 24/7, Thank You

 

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Perspective

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We celebrate the man for the incredible strides he helped make for civil rights and the way he’s changed the world. One thing that is overlooked is perhaps the most important and vital trait the man had, perspective.

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Posted by on January 17, 2011 in Philosophy

 

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