Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday News in Late August of 2015

It is wrong for our taxpayer dollars to be used for the NYPD to harass innocent BLM activists who just want a real, revolutionary change in society. The murderer of Eric Garner is living his life and he is not even in prison for the rest of his life. Eric Garner's family is strong and they are right to mention that this is not justice. It is not justice to witness a phalanx of NYPD officers illegally violating the civil liberties of NYC residents. It is not justice to witness a murderer not being held accountable for choking to death an unarmed, black man (also the medical people in the scene of Eric Garner's murder are guilty of negligence too). Many black women have died as a product of murder and we know about the great Say Her Name campaign (which is bringing awareness on the great value of the lives of black women). We should be careful of sellout negroes who work as a means to infiltrate real movements of liberation. One sellout was William O'Neal, who worked with the FBI to infiltrate the Black Panthers of Chicago. The CPD, the FBI, etc. was involved in the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in December of 1969. Fred Hampton was ahead of his time by creating gang truces, setting up real programs that helped the community (like health care services and the famous children breakfast program), and opposing police brutality all before he was 25 years old. Another sellout was Gene Roberts. Gene Roberts was an agent and he was Malcolm X's bodyguard. Gene Roberts had links to the NYPD (from its BOSSI program). We know that the FBI and the CIA illegally monitored Malcolm X worldwide.

We still have a long way to go after 10 years of Katrina in New Orleans. There are massive injustices in New Orleans that must be addressed. After Katrina, many black people were displaced. There are fewer black politicians who can represent the aspirations of the people of the black community in New Orleans. There are 2,006 public housing units now available in New Orleans as compared to 12,270 before Katrina. There are 4,444 families on the waiting list for public housing. It is a fact that poor and working class Black New Orleanians face discrimination in the housing market. As reported by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, African American shoppers were either denied the opportunity to rent or received less than favorable treatment than white shoppers 44% of the time. We see a massive privatization of housing as well. There is the environmental justice issue in New Orleans. The Gulf Region including New Orleans has the issue of being exposed to toxic soil, air, and water. The BP disaster has enhanced this problem. Many of the FEMA trailers have been filled with toxic formaldehyde. Environmental racism has caused many high rates of asthma, cancer, and other health problems among many African Americans in the Gulf region. Louisiana has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the nation, with African Americans ranking 30% higher than the state average. In June 2015, the Louisiana legislature failed to pass a bill that would have prevented the construction of public schools for grades K-12 on contaminated waste lands. 2,000 truckloads of toxic waste and debris per day entered a landfill located in mostly African American east New Orleans. There is the issue of economic inequality in New Orleans as well. This has increased as a product of the massive displacement of New Orleanians after Katrina. The majority of job creation in New Orleans exists among low wage jobs in the service industry. There is 49 cents that Black women make for every dollar that White men make in Louisiana. 52 percent of black men in New Orleans are classified as unemployed.

There have been discussions for many years for African Americans and Africans to have an economic bond. There has been some economic collaboration, but not bonds in the next level so to speak. I do believe that in the long term that this bond can be established very strongly. First, any African American, who wants this to occur, must study the country that they want to invest in. They must take the time to research its history, its culture, its economics, its people, its languages, and its politics. In that sense, he or she is prepared to act not out of arrogance or selfishness, but that person is acting out of a sincere motivation to help others. Any investment in Africa must be used in conjunction to helping the people of Africa, especially its poor citizens. So, if an economic bond involving exchanging various commodities occurs between Africans and African-Americans, and then capital should be invested in building up infrastructure like schools, water supplies, medical equipment, progressive political causes, etc. Africans and African Americans should mutually respect each other’s cultures and humanity. There should be more forums on these issues since we’re all black. We are all of black African descent. If various ethnic groups have a maximum amount of money in their hands, then we as black people have every right to build up our economic, social, and political power in a pan-African fashion. Building up black institutions is always great. We are still fighting against police brutality. We will support groups, parents, organizations, and the Black Lives Matter activists who want laws to be changes and hold crooked police officers accountable. The BLM is highlighting the problem and promoting solutions to the issue of the murder of innocent, unarmed, black men, women, and children by the police and others. There is nothing wrong with black economic empowerment either. Our cities, our schools, our homes, and our communities need investments and further growth plus development. One piece of good news is that black women are the fastest growing group for starting new businesses. Grants and other forms of investments should be used to help enterprises. We have over a trillion of dollars in spending power. We can use that power to build more of our institutions, invest in more black businesses, franchises, farms, and industry. There is nothing wrong with being both a consumer and a producer. Also, we have to address poverty and advance workers’ rights. No worker should be exploited or mistreated. Capitalist exploitation is wrong and evil. The poor need empowerment, there should be the fight for full employment, living incomes ought to exist, and union rights must be strengthened. There should be living wages and economic justice.

Chicago is a city known of firsts. The first mayor of Chicago who was a woman was Jane Byrne. Throughout her life, she experienced triumphs and controversy. Her family loved her a lot. Her life was filled with a great amount of social activism and a great love for the city of Chicago. She was a Democrat, but ironically her mentor was Richard J. Daley. Jane Byrne was a volunteer for the John F. Kennedy campaign for President back in 1960. In 1968, Daley appointed her as head of Chicago’s consumer affairs department. She first campaigned as a reformer. Her campaign against the former mayor Michael Bilandic was brilliant.  Snowstorms in Chicago in January of 1979 caused people to see Bilandic as ineffective as a leader. Jesse Jackson endorsed Byrne in 1979. She defeated Bilandic in the Democratic mayoral primary. She connected with the voters. She focused on issues that people cared about during her 1978 campaign. She won the general election with 82 percent of the vote, which is the largest margin in any Chicago mayoral election in Chicago history. Byrne made history in other ways too. She hired the first African American and woman school superintendent Ruth B. Love. She was the first mayor to recognize the gay community. In March 1981, she moved into the crime-ridden Cabrini–Green Homes housing project for a 3-week period to bring attention and resources to its high crime rate. She banned handgun possession for guns unregistered or purchased after the enactment of an ordinance which instituted a two year re-registration program. She supported Senator Edward Kennedy for President in 1980, but Jimmy Carter won the Illinois Democratic Primary. When, she was in office, she worked with the City Council. She made alliances with the powers that be in commerce and industry, which have a huge influence in how politics happen in Chicago. She is known to have a strong personality and there is one big issue. Later in her first term, she alienated many African Americans and Hispanic Americans in Chicago. They felt that she didn’t do enough to address the socioeconomic problems of people of color in Chicago. Mayor Byrne was an ally of the Democratic machine. She knew political arithmetic, because she had to get strong support from the black community in order to be reelected in the city of Chicago. During her term, there were basic services, street lights worked, public transportation existed, and the city grew.

The problem was that there were huge budget shortfalls, a pensions problem, lagging revenues, schools were not performing strong enough, public housing was crumbling, and many public employee unions were dissatisfied. Teachers, firemen, and others went on strike during the early part of her administration. In Chicago, after the 1979 snowstorm, black people in Chicago were further exploited by the elites. Many L trains passed up the black community during the days when Bilandic was mayor. Many black people accused the Mayor Byrne of under representating black people in appointments, city jobs, and contracts. Marion Stamps or the Director of Chicago Housing Tenants Organization back then viewed Byrne moving into the housing project as patronizing and disrespectful. Sister Marion Stamps said that Charles Swibel (or the chairman of the housing department back then) didn’t provide massive services to public housing or talked to the residents of public housing (so public housing residents had little recourse in expressing their concerns). Some of her critics, according to the Chicago Times, called her or Jane Byrne out of her name. Her husband was Chicago journalist Jay McMullen. Jane Byrne later on wanted to go at it alone mostly. She had a contentious campaign with Harold Washington in the 1983 mayoral campaign, which further turned many black people off (from supporting Byrne). So, she made many accomplishments for Chicago. Chicago was a little better than before she was in office, but the deficits, the problems with public housing, etc. are some of her overt errors She had allies and political enemies. She was Mayor of Chicago from April 16, 1979 to April 29, 1983. In 1982, there was a massive voter registration drive in Chicago. Nancy Jefferson helped people to vote and spoke up about how public aid were cut back exist during that time. Mondale supported Richard Daley. Edward Kennedy supported Jane Byrne. Jesse Jackson supported Harold Washington in the early 1980’s. Byrne lost to Harold Washington in 1983 (during the Democratic mayoral primary). Sister Rosie Mars supported Harold Washington. Ironically, Jane Byrne would later support Harold Washington in the future by 1987. She lived in Chicago. She suffered a stroke, was placed in a hospice care, and she died in November 14, 2014 in Chicago. She was 81 years old. Her daughter is Katherine and her grandson is Willie.  Her funeral Mass was held at St. Vincent de Paul on Monday, November 17, 2014. She was buried at Interment Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, Illinois. In a dedication ceremony held on August 29, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn renamed the Circle Interchange in Chicago the Jane Byrne Interchange. In July 2014, the Chicago voted to rename the plaza surrounding the historic Chicago Water Tower on North Michigan Avenue the Jane M. Byrne Plaza in her honor. In essence, Jane Byrne’s mayoral legacy (which was mixed) represented a transitional period in the history of Chicago. She loved politics and we remember this history in order for us to be inspired to help our neighbors as ourselves. After Jane Byrne was Mayor, the people of Chicago would vote for Harold Washington to be the first black American to be mayor of Chicago. I will show a lot about the contributions of Harold Washington in Chicago in the near future too.

By Timothy

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