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Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday News

Certainly, the statements from Kimberly Foster should cause more dialogue in our community. I don’t agree with everything that Kimberley Foster wrote (e.g. people have the right to march for Eric Garner since he was an unarmed man that was killed by brutish cops. The memory of Eric Garner should be respected including all of the memories of the Brothers & Sisters who have been the victims of police brutality), but I understand where she is coming from. I express sympathy for Kimberly Foster's suffering in her life. She certainly deserves dignity and respect. She wrote many facts that ought to be acknowledged too. She is right that society in general has minimized or ignored the suffering and plight of black women. She is totally accurate that black men should do more to oppose how police brutality and other forms of abuse have harmed black women. It is accurate to mention that black men should do more to defend the dignity of the Sisters. Also, the dignity and the lives of black men should be respected too. Society has greatly promoted false stereotypes about black men that ought to be repudiated. Regardless of our gender, we are all in the same planet and we have to create ways that can make society better. Some folks in the world choose to not care about black men and black women. I am not one of those people. Black people have every right to care for each other, to defend black men, and to defend black women. We need more dialogue, understanding, and proactive solutions as a means for us in the black community to grow. It is obvious that 60 years is too excessive of a punishment for Marissa Alexander. Laws have to be changed to deal with situations like these. Marissa Alexander has a restraining order against the male. The shot injured no one. The shooting event happened after an escalation of an argument which existed prior to the incident in question. Obviously, her intention was never meant to place the life of her child in danger. Marissa Alexander has no previous arrests or criminal record. Some people want Angela Corey to be removed from the case via a petition too. That is why I advocate that minimum sentences should be abolished, especially in such instances like these. Angela Corey was the one prosecutor who failed to convict George Zimmerman, but she wants to send the Sister Marissa for decades into prison. Laws have to change not only in Florida, but nationwide. Even Angela has admitted that Marissa probably was a victim of domestic violence. Plea deals are filled with risks. If someone is innocent, a person has the right to never take it. Some innocent people take it, because they can't afford the money to go through a trial or for other reasons. It is brave of her to refuse to take the plea deal though. Rico Gray has given contradictory testimonies throughout the whole ordeal. Angela is acting overzealous to go against this woman for some reason. There has been a lot of unfairness and double standards found in the judicial system and you have given a great example of it. I don't believe that she should experience 60 years for her action at all. She has been a lot of emotional pain and I believe that she should have probation. One problem is that minimum sentencing has resulted in harsh punishments against human beings. I feel for Marissa Alexander and her family. If Angela Corey is removed from the case, then I am not losing sleep over it.

Water is a human right. Just because something is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution doesn’t mean that it is not a human right. For example, the right to self-defense is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, but it is a human right. We can witness this crisis as complex. Detroit is in a situation that is an emergency. Deindustrialization, bad free trade capitalist deals, and other factors have harmed much of the people of Detroit. Also, I want to send my Kudos to the protesters and the activists fighting for a solution to the water problem. Their bravery, insights, and dedication to compassion will always be respected by me. The city emergency manager is following the dictates of corporate interests not all of the people. The Water Department is only creating a 15 day pause, which is no real moratorium. The emergency manager and others have stolen the wealth of Detroit residents’ pensions as a means for them to pay off the big banks (including Wall Street) basically. Reports and experts have documented that the shutoffs are a violation of international law. Water rates have increased by 119 percent within 10 years, so that is blatantly unfair. In fact, the water department has admitted that rising rates—which have shot up to almost 120 percent in the last decade—are chiefly due to the disappearance of federal funding to repair the antiquated water system and the high cost of debt servicing. Fifty cents of every dollar in revenue goes directly to the Wall Street banks and wealthy bondholders who have used the municipally owned water system as cash benefit. Detroit has seen massive foreclosures and a high unemployment rate. The agenda of privatizing the infrastructure of Detroit continues. It is true that record corporate subsidies sent to select corporations are highly done at the expense of the poor. There should be more of the people of Detroit to govern their city in a more democratic way without the autocratic power of the Emergency Manager. This policy of massive water shutoffs is part of neoliberalism (which is embraced by the leadership of both major parties in the 21st century). Hopefully, radical efforts can be made to solve this crisis. There has been the pensions stripped in Detroit, which contradict the rules form the Michigan constitution that protects the pensions of human beings. Pensions are contractual agreements that workers agree that the deferment of a portion of their salaries which will be returned upon them upon retirement in the form of monthly payments. They have existed via collective bargaining and bilateral agreement between workers and employers. Pensions are just compensation given to workers by their own merit and work. While the finance capitalists are spending millions of dollars to try to build a new stadium, the needs of the people lacking water are not met. That is a shame and a disgrace.

Rapaport is the type who is fake person. He tries to act like he is down (when he wasn't to begin with. He is a cultural exploiter), but when push comes to shove, his true feelings comes out. He can easily be a man and offer a rational argument on why he disagrees with Spike Lee's views on gentrification without vile rhetoric. Yet, he uses an ad hominem attack against Spike, which is very immature on his part. Also, many of Spike Lee's movies are great (not just the classic Malcolm X film, but Do the Right Thing, 4 Little Girls, etc. too). Studies, reports, and experts have documented the imperfections of gentrification. I have not seen a single syllable from Spike Lee saying that Brooklyn was only composed of black people. New York City is not only the most populous of US cities, with more than 8 million people living in five boroughs, it is also the most densely populated, with 26,403 people per square mile. It is important to note that we have to develop ways for the poor to have affordable housing (in combating economic inequality). Promoting affordable, decent housing is a legitimate cause to promote. This situation deals with class, poverty, and other social conditions in NYC. We have to understand the social conditions in our communities if we want problems solved in a comprehensive fashion. Rapaport ironically even admitted that gentrification has displaced numerous poor people. He needs to educated on white guilt and white privilege. Black people have every right to unite and defend their cultural integrity. Many white people are jealous that a black man is expressing an opinion that is different from the status quo.

Why are we as blacks asked this question all of the time? Historically, we have been very accepting of Palestinians, Jewish people, Hispanics, Asians, progressive white people, and the whole nine yards. We have always been a loving people. I want some people to ask other ethnic groups to be more accepting of us. That is an interesting question to ask them. In essence, we should maintain our black institutions as Malcolm X, Dr. King, and others have said. Maintaining our cultural heritage and our institutions has nothing to do with promoting prejudice or bigotry. It deals with us strengthening our powerbase and fighting back against oppression. WITH TRUE UNITY COMES GREAT STRENGTH. We still have serious problems that we must address. We still have issues of discrimination, racism, controversial voter ID laws, and economic oppression going on in our communities. I have no problem with treating my neighbor as myself (and respecting people from across backgrounds. I will not hate another human being because of a human being's background. All human beings are entitled to freedom, justice, and equality. I have no issue with working with others in battling against poverty, discrimination, environmental racism, police brutality, imperialism, etc.). What I don't agree with is allowing others to exploit my legacy or my culture as a means for them to advance an agenda which strips the cultural heritage of my people. I don't agree with others controlling black movements of social change. Black people have the right to control their own power, to express self-determination, and to advance their own interests. That is just part of commonsense.

Many Republicans were more progressive back then since there were the Rockefeller Republicans back in the 1950’s and in the 1960’s. The Tea Party Republicans and most Republicans today (who are to the right of the Rockefeller Republicans) don’t agree with all of the Rockefeller Republican agenda at all. The stimulus package (which includes major corporate tax cuts. A third of the package was used to pay for tax cuts, half of which are for big business) had similarities to the New Deal, but it was no real New Deal. It had no real public works programs. The President follows a neo-liberal agenda. Many leaders of the Democrats have supported the crime bill, NAFTA, ending welfare as we know it, the War on Drugs, and other reactionary policies that others can’t refute. The Simpson-Bowles plan is not progressive at all and people know it. It is a reactionary plan that deals with massive cuts in the social safety net including many tax cuts. It is more conservative than the alternatives to it. What is wrong with condemning corporate greed? Nothing. FDR condemned corporate greed and many of the actions of Wall Street by name, which is rarely done by Democrats today. The current administration deported more than two million illegal immigrants, which is more so than any other President in American history. The administration even recently deported many of the children from Central America. The current immigration policy embraced by both major parties are reactionary not progressive. I have not talked about national sovereignty, so that is a moot point. Most Americans support the minimum wage. I have mentioned that many Republicans reject a minimum wage not all. I know that many of them don’t want to keep raising it, but raising it fairly have caused many great benefits in multiple states. The social safety net for decades have decreased the poverty rate, prevented starvation, helped the elderly, and assisted millions of families. There should be the elimination of fraud, waste, and abuse in any program, but not the total destruction of the entire social safety net. Only a neo-fascist or an extremist want to ban all forms of a social safety net. A social safety net involve Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. not just welfare. Also, the social safety net has worked to help people in America and other nations globally. I never said that all Democrats were too the right of FDR on every issue. I do believe that the Democrats collectively have turned rightward since the 1970’s, which is very much accurate. Since the 1970’s, more Democrats have promoted policies of austerity, imperialism, the War on Drugs, corporate tax breaks, ending welfare as we know it, and other reactionary policies period. The DLC has been one group out of many that cause many Democrats to move rightward. Republicans have moved to the right on voting rights (as proven by the Supreme Court decisions, voter ID laws, etc.), environmental protection, on immigration, and on other issues than many decades ago (since the 1970’s). The growth of the Tea Party movement proves my point that the GOP is more right than in the 1970's.  Also, there are studies that prove that such voter ID laws will disenfranchise the poor, minorities, the elderly, etc. Also, these voter ID laws have restricted the times when people can vote, restrict voting locations, and do other actions that are blatantly immoral. Some courts have struck down some of these laws in various states. There have been real victims of these laws. The Moral Mondays crowd is right to stand up against such laws and to advocate economic justice.

By Timothy

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