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Monday, January 11, 2016

Information on Early January 2016

December 1969 continued to be one of the most explosive years of the BPP when the government outright not only violated civil liberties, but used actions that targeted the Black Panther Party in brutal ways. In December 8th, 1969, the Los Angeles police launched a full scale attack on the Southern California Panthers in a predawn raid. In 2 separate locations, 400 officers arrested Party members and even children. These cops had no shame in their disgracefulness. During one shoot out, Roland Freeman’s body was riddled with bullets, but he survived. During the next day, the Los Angeles Local Union 535, Social Services Workers' Union, passed a resolution to protest the political murders of Panthers across the country and to demand the release of all political prisoners. The Bunchy Carter Free Health Clinic opened in LA in December 27. A shipment of BPP newspapers arrive in Winston-Salem North Carolina by December 30. From the beginning, the Black Panther Party dealt with the concepts of masculinity and femininity. There is the image of a black man (which many Black Panthers have shown) with a gun and the stereotypical image of manhood has been shown back then. Holding a gun doesn’t make a person a man or a woman. There is nothing wrong with holding a gun in a legitimate fashion, but life should be more than about a gun. The integrity, character, and the insights to help others are things found in real men and real women.  In 1968, the Black Panther Party newspaper stated in several articles that the role of female Panthers was to "stand behind black men" and be supportive. That was wrong. There was massive sexism in the Black Panthers, which was evil and immoral. Many women in the Oakland chapter and in other chapters experienced gender discrimination, sexual harassment, assault, etc. by many fellow Black Panther Party members. When Oakland Panthers arrived to bolster the New York City Panther chapter after twenty one New York leaders were incarcerated, they displayed such chauvinistic attitudes towards New York Panther women that they had to be fended off at gunpoint. Regina Davis (an administration of a Black Panther Liberation School) was a great Black Panther who was beaten so badly by male Panther members that her jaw was broken and she was sent to the hospital. Some Party leaders wrongly thought the fight for gender equality was a threat to men and a distraction from the struggle for racial equality. The truth is that there is no racial equality without gender equality and vice versa. By 1969, the Black Panther Party newspaper officially stated that men and women are equal and they instructed male Panthers to treat female Party members as equals. That same year, Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois chapter conducted a meeting condemning sexism. After 1969, the Party considered sexism counter-revolutionary. Many Black Panthers promoted a womanist ideology. Women Black Panther Party members were strong leaders, they stood up against sexism in the Party, and they fought the good fight for liberation and justice. Womanism is the view that gender equality can never come unless black women have racial justice. Womanism emphasis more on issues of race, gender, and class (not just on gender alone). Famous woman Black Panther Party women leaders are Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis, Erika Huggins, Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, and others. The Black Panther Party newspaper often showed women as active participants in the armed self-defense movement, picturing them with children and guns as protectors of the home, the family and the community. From 1968 to the end of its publication in 1982, the head editors of the Black Panther Party newspaper were all women. Many women headed many chapters of the Black Panther Party in Des Moines, New Haven, etc. In 1970, approximately 40% to 70% of Party members were women. This historical fact should remind that sexism has no place in any location on Earth. The heroic black Panthers who fought sexism and fought for justice deserve all of the respect in the world.


I do believe in universal health care. Universal health care means that every human being should have the right to have access to quality, affordable health care without exception. We don’t want a corporate based scheme. We want real universal health care in the world. There is a new Kaiser poll showing that 58 percent of the public are in favor of Medicare for All including 81 percent of Democrats. Universal Health care systems have worked worldwide.  Cuba has a universal healthcare system. In June 2015, Cuba became the first country in the world to receive validation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to successfully achieve the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Given the global scale of the HIV/Aids epidemic, where an estimated 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant each year, the potential global health impact is phenomenal if the world can learn from Cuba. The WHO said: “Eliminating transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible. Cuba’s success demonstrates that universal access and universal health coverage are feasible and indeed are the keys to success, even against challenges as daunting as HIV.” Cuba sent many doctors to help people in West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak. Cuba not only has a world class healthcare system. It has great biotechnology and medical research. According to the World Bank, the United States spends almost 20 times what Cuba spends per head per year ($8,553 to $431) on healthcare and yet Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the US and a similar life expectancy. If the US had the same infant mortality rates as Cuba, it would save thousands of US children’s lives each year. Cuba’s socialist policies involving medicine has worked. Cuba’s vaccine development continues to be among the best in the world. The Molecular Immunology Centre of Havana, a Cuban state-owned organization, is the creator of Cimavax and has also developed vaccines for meningitis B, hepatitis B and dengue fever. These drugs are free and universally available for patients in Cuba. This has happened despite the blockade of Cuba by Western forces and today more diplomatic relations are made between America and Cuba. France has a strong universal health care system. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "close to best overall health care" in the world. Also, the big lie promoted by reactionaries is that any form of universal health care is a monolithic plan. The truth is that universal health care can be implemented in multiple ways.  The common denominator for all such programs is some form of government action aimed at extending access to health care as widely as possible and setting minimum standards. Most implement universal health care through legislation, regulation and taxation. We know that the Affordable Care Act is mixture of good things and bad things in it. In fact, its components have been hatched from the Heritage Foundation back during the 1980’s. Similar plans have been advanced by GOP Presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996 and Massachusetts Republican Governor Mitt Romney shortly thereafter. The ACA bill was written by the health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. The ACA has no public option. That is why I do believe that the ACA should be improved upon (in a revolutionary sense) by making it a universal health care system.


We are here in over 75 years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union address that talked about his Four Freedoms. He spoke about wanting freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom from fear, and the freedom from want (or the 4 Freedoms). This speech happened in 1941 when he talked about the Four Freedoms. FDR and others used their forces to federal fascism in the battlefield. The Four Freedoms influenced the development of the US-UK Atlantic Charter, which was signed by Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland in August of 1941. 3 years later, in January 1944, FDR wanted to promote the Economic Bill of Rights. This was about the extension of the Bill of Rights. He wanted eight economic rights to be added to the Constitution via passage by Congress. This is why the Economic Bill of Rights has been called as Second Bill of Rights. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in January 11, 1944 that: “… In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all, regardless of station, race, or creed…” In the Economic Bill of Rights, FDR proposed the right to a job, the right of every farmer to have a decent wage, the right of every family to a home, the right to adequate medical care, and the right of people to have a good education. The Second Bill of Rights also promoted food, clothing, leisure, etc., freedom from unfair competition and monopolies, and Social Security. These principles are loved by us. These principles influenced the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In federal legislation, the key planks for the right to a useful and remunerative job included the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. After the war followed the Employment Act of 1946, which created an objective for the government to eliminate unemployment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited unjustified discrimination in the workplace and in access to public and private services. These remained some of the key elements of US labor law. Other laws from the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 to the other laws were influenced by the Second Bill of Rights proposal. Today, we have reactionaries who worship the free market and some of them want the social safety net to be eliminated. For example, Donald Trump doesn’t want a higher minimum wage, he is false to say that wages are too low, and he is an extremist. Carly Fiorina wants to abolish the federal minimum wage completely. The Republican candidates have proposals that favor the rich and their tax policies are regressive (in the sense that it would redistribute the wealth from working people and the poor to the upper 1%).  Therefore, we don’t need to worship both major parties. We should embrace political independence and stand up for the truth.


There are a huge amount of African immigrants who live in the Houston area. Many African immigrants in Houston have a high level of education. According to Stephen Klineberg, a sociology professor at Rice University, as of 2003, almost 35% of African immigrants have university degrees, and 28% of African immigrants have postgraduate degrees. In the Houston area, 28% of US-born Whites have university degrees, and 16% have postgraduate degrees. In 2012, the total trade between Houston and Africa was $19.7 billion. Houston is Africa's largest U.S. trade partner. Charles W. Corey of the U.S. Department of State said that it has been estimated that Greater Houston has the largest Nigerian expatriate population in the United States. As of 2014 an estimated 150,000 Nigerian Americans live in Houston. As of 2003 Houston has 23,000 Nigerian Americans. Many Nigerian Americans choose Houston over other American destinations due to its warmer climate and the ease of establishing businesses. Nigerian companies work I Houston all of the time. Nigerians in the Houston area have opened up Nigerian groceries, restaurants, and churches in Houston. Ethiopians live in Houston too. Mesfin Genanaw, a Houston Community College teacher who was one of the individuals who assisted with the building of the area Ethiopian Orthodox church, stated in a 2003 Houston Chronicle article that there are an estimated 5,000 Ethiopians in Greater Houston. Houston's Ethiopian Orthodox church is the Debre Selam Medhanealem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church (Amharic: ደብረ ሰላም መድኃኔዓለም የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን? Debre Selam MedhaneAlem YeItyopphya Ortodoks Tewahedo Bete Kristiyan; the name approximately means "Sanctuary of Peace and the Savior"). Prior to the construction of the church, those of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith worshiped at Coptic Orthodox churches. Genanaw, stated that in 1992 20 Ethiopian women who were attending a Coptic church planned the establishment of an Ethiopian church. Early Houston had German and British Americans. Tons of people of German descent live in Houston today. Many German immigrants came into Houston after the 1848 revolutions in the German states. German settlers settled in Spring Branch during the mid-1800’s. That community became part of Houston later on. The first recorded ethnic Greeks in Houston, listed in the Houston City Directory of 1889-1890, were George and Peter Poleminacos. Men who worked manual labor were Houston's first Greek residents, with their arrival in 1889. The first Greek woman to arrive was Kalliope Vlahos, and since her 1903 arrival Greek women and children began settling Houston. Many Greeks today are business owners today in Downtown Houston. Iranians and other Arabic people have great cultural and economic institutions in Houston too.


No words can describe my feelings about this action. I feel outrage at this reality of the epidemic of police terrorism in the world. The actual murderer is made free and our taxpayer dollars fund this male murderer for the rest of his life. This obvious double standard proves that the police institution is filled with corruption. A murderer killed an unarmed black man and there is no real accountability here. The family of Eric Garner deserves much more respect than this. Laws must be changed, so cops who murder our people won't have immunities. Also, the sergeant never put a finger on Garner. If she ought to be held accountable, then that male murderer must be charged. This decision was not made to promote democratic values. It was created by the authorities to promote the great allusion of "accountability." This is not justice. It is a slap in the face to black people and to freedom loving people in general. As others have mentioned here, she is the fall person or the sacrificial lamb. Black women have been scapegoats for a long time. That piece of work Pantaleo should never be respected. The NYPD has brutalized black people for so long. Bratton is one architect of the reactionary policing policies in NYC too. Enough is Enough.
RIP Eric Garner.


By Timothy

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