Friday, May 08, 2015

Inspiration on this Friday

The rebellion or uprising in Baltimore has inspired people all throughout the Earth. We know that the African American urban rebellions of the 1960’s also inspired people and changed the world. We know that racism, police brutality, and economic exploitation (which have harmed people of every color) contributed to the bad conditions in our communities. The black poor and the black working class suffer harassment, abuse, and even murder at the hands of crooked cops. Even politicians blame the victim for the actions of the oppressors by using overtly racial terms and racial stereotypes. The National Guard couldn’t even stop the legitimate grievances of the residents of Baltimore. We face many of the same problems that we faced over 50 years ago. Soon, there will be the 50th year anniversary of the great rebellion in Watts (in Los Angeles, California). During that time, the South civil rights movement was in a high point. Later, we see industrial jobs decline, and black wealth collapsing because of the recession, the housing bust, austerity, and the mass incarceration of African Americans. We have the worst amount of economic inequality since the 1930’s. We do have members of the black establishment (or the bourgeoisie) calling black youth thugs and even slandering the Black Lives Matter movement. That is wrong. We should condemn white supremacists and others who seek to scapegoat the black community. We should realize that we are fighting for human rights beyond just civil rights. Grassroots community organizing is a necessity if we are to be free as Brothers and Sisters. Jazmine Sullivan is an amazing singer. So, I knew before even listening to her voice that she will hit it out of the ball park. Once, I listened to Jazmine Sullivan, my perceptions are proven accurate. Jazmine did a great job. Also, Nina Simone was a very conscious Sister. I liked how the video showed images from Baltimore in 1968 and in 2015. Yes, black people have been in the forefront of revolutionary struggles in America. We definitely shape the times in enumerable ways.

#Baltimore Rising.

Bill Clinton is a slick politician. He is obsessed with statistics, information, and ideological debates. Therefore, he knew actually what he was doing. Bill Clinton is what he is, who is a centrist person. He allied with the DLC for years, which advanced neoliberal policies. For example, Bill Clinton advanced welfare reform which cut social services among the most poor in America.  There was bipartisan support for the reactionary Crime Bill. The three strikes provision of it ruined the lives of so many Brothers and Sisters. Also, Bill Clinton went along with NAFTA and eliminated Glass Stegall, which some scholars believed contributed to the harsh nature of the 2007 Great recession. The tough on crime rhetoric has been advanced during the 1960’s. Richard Nixon talked about it in a vicious way including Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton, when he was President, loved the death penalty. The Crime Bill of 1994 allowed the death penalty to be executed in 60 crimes. In 1996, Clinton’s Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act greatly curtailed death row prisoners’ habeas corpus appeals and established arbitrary time limits on death row appeals. More people are starting to see that being “tough” on crime doesn’t necessarily advance fairness in the criminal justice system. It is obvious that we need revolutionary changes. The tide is turning. More and more Americans are seeing how cruel and unfair plus racist the criminal injustice system is. Some people want felons to have voting rights after they paid their debts to society. The War on Drugs should end, the local police shouldn't be massively militarized, and we must combat mass incarceration (which has been called the New Jim Crow by Sister Michelle Alexander). Resources for counseling, rehabilitation, therapy, and other progressive actions are necessary if we want the prison industrial complex to be nonexistent. Hillary Clinton is very wise and slick to talk about of mass incarceration, etc. but her foreign policy is heavily reactionary. At the end of the day, we want justice for all.

Bernie Sanders recently announced his candidacy for President. Ironically, Hillary Clinton is welcoming this development when she is running for President too. He calls himself a socialist without shame. He is more to the left than many reactionaries like Rand Paul, Cruz, Jeb Bush, etc. Bernie Sanders is from Vermont. He has been outspoken about speaking out against economic inequality and disagreeing with the agenda of the Koch Brothers. Yet, even he has weaknesses. Already, people have compared Sanders’ campaign to Dennis Kucinich, because both men are right on numerous issues, but they want to work within the capitalist and pro-big business party system (and both men are wrong on many issues). Sanders is counting on liberal voters in order to propel his campaign forward. Bernie Sanders has called himself a hero of American workers. Bernie Sanders is in error to assume that he can lead revolutionary change by working in the apparatus of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is just as pro-one percent as the Republican Party is. He won’t run as a third party candidate if he loses the primary campaign. Hilary Clinton doesn’t view Bernie Sanders as a threat. Hillary could have a war chest worth more than one billion dollars. Wall Street and corporate America fund candidates among both parties. Bernie Sanders has not gone far enough on the issue of racist police brutality in America. Ironically, Hillary is posturing to Sanders’ left on this issue. Sanders talked about sympathy for the cops’ “difficult job” and only called for jobs and community policies. Yet, he ought to want the War on Drugs to end, to end mass incarceration, and condemn police brutality in strong terms. His foreign policy views are even to the right of many liberal Democrats. Sanders voted in favor of George W. Bush’s original Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution. The resolution gave the Bush administration the green light to execute the war on Afghanistan. He voted against the Bush invasion of Iraq, but he repeatedly supported funding resolutions for both U.S. occupations. He has supported Israel thoroughly while ignoring the escalations of the slaughters of Palestinians in Gaza, etc. He has ignored how black Israelis are regularly experiencing police brutality, classism, and racial discrimination. Sanders supports the basing of the new F-35 warplane at Burlington's airport, despite the fact that the fighter-bomber's ear-shattering noise made scores of working class housing unsafe for habitation. Bernie Sanders was once much more radical than he is today. It appears that if Hillary wins the Democratic primary then Bernie Sanders will support her unconditionally. Just because someone calls themselves a socialist doesn’t mean one is a true socialist. For example, Sarkozy is the French President and he calls himself a socialist. Yet, Sarkozy has supported imperial policies overseas (as he supported the US-NATO bombing of Libya, which caused Libya to experience an unfortunate civil war) and reactionary policies domestically in France. So, we need the development of independent third parties. We need to revolutionize our thinking and not be intimidated by the 2 capitalist parties. We should continue to fight for justice.

The comments from Jonathan Cheban are not surprising. His stupid and racist words are commonly expressed from people like him. Ghetto originally was a definition of a location not a state of mind. Many upright, courageous, intelligent, and honorable people live in the ghetto or in low income neighborhoods. I know many classmates, decades ago, from the ghetto who are real, loyal, and trustworthy. That is why when anyone uses the term “ghetto” in a prerogative way, it shows that they don’t have a clue about how everybody in the ghetto lives. Many use terms like ghetto and thug for coded language for another term. We all know what that term is. Some of the most revolutionary minded black people in American history came from the ghetto. For us as black people, life a’int has been no crystal stair. We struggle for our liberation and we are entitled to justice without exception. Cheban talks about bullying, but he is bullying two women in a hypocritical fashion (when he can easily use other language to describe his own ideas). Cheban may smile at his degrading words like a Cheshire cat (yes, I’m going old school with it. It is what it is), but truth and justice are superior to his reactionary rhetoric. At the end of day, we have to support our people and never support anyone who degrades us, exploits us economically, or mocks us in offensive ways. What is very important is not the drivel from Cheban. It is about how we can build in our communities, how can we can support black people in a higher level, and how can we can defeat police terrorism and other injustices. We want fascism to be defeated and we don’t want the 1% to dominate our political and economic systems. We don't want distractions or unfair hate. We want solutions. Certainly, life will never be totally perfect. We will express a diversity of emotions. Rejections, in many cases, are blessings in disguise. We should find things that make us happy and help others. One of the greatest things to do is to assist another human being out of sincere motivation. Rejection can readily be stepping stones, so we can experience something better during the future.

One little known event of the Vietnam War is about how Lyndon Johnson’s peace negotiations with Vietnam was ended because of the 1968 campaign efforts. Nixon wanted to prevent the peace talks in Vietnam, so he could be elected President and execute his own plans in dealing with the Vietnam War. Nixon was in a tight race with Hubert Humphrey, because Humphrey just before the election ended came out to support an end to the bombing of North Vietnam. Humphrey called for a ceasefire. So, Nixon via the operative Anna Chennault (who was an anti-Communist extremist) advised the Saigon government that the Nixon administration would offer them a better deal. That is why Saigon rejected the course of the peace process. Lyndon Johnson in private conversations called his action as treason and he was only prevented from saying this in public via his advisors (and LBJ wanted to promote continuity in American politics).  Also, President Johnson allowed the FBI to wiretap the activities of Chennault too. The Paris Peace talks failed and President Nguyen van Thieu supported Nixon. Walt Rostow has discussed about this story too. Robert Parry’s excellent book entitled, “America’s Stolen Narrative” documents the treasonous actions of Richard Nixon too. Tom Charles Huston was the national security aide assigned by President Richard Nixon to investigate what President Lyndon Johnson knew about why the Vietnam peace talks failed in 1968. He concluded that Nixon was behind a secret Republican plan to sabotage those negotiations whose collapse cleared for the continuation of the conflict. “Over the years as I’ve studied it, I’ve concluded that there was no doubt that Nixon was – would have been directly involved, that it’s not something that anybody would’ve undertaken on their own,” Huston said in an oral history done for the Nixon presidential library in 2008 and recently released in partially redacted form. So, the Vietnam War has many secrets that tons of people don’t know about.

By Timothy

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