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Friday, January 15, 2016

Political and Other Issues in the World

The people of Flint, Michigan are fighting back against lead poisoning. Flint is known for its workers to use the 1936-1937 occupation of the General Motors (GM) plan, which inspired the many sit downs that happened in America during the 1930’s and the 1940’s. They or the citizens of Flint demand action and justice. They knew that it was wrong for the Michigan state government (because that state authority wanted to use austerity measures to cut public services to fund big business interests) to force Flint to change its water supply from Lake Huron (which served the city for five decades) to the Flint River.  The contaminated water is found in the city’s homes, schools, businesses, and public buildings. According to the World Health Organization, kids exposed to high levels of lead are in risk of anemia and decreased bone plus muscle growth. Lead exposure to human beings can damage reproductive organs and the nervous system. It can be deadly for children too. That is why the Governor and others should be arrested.  One documentary called “Undrinkable: The Flint Water Emergency” shows the truth about the Flint water crisis in great detail. The documentary was made by local high school students at Davison Community School. Flint residents said that Sada Brandt mentioned that, “The only way that it's going to get fixed is if they fix the pipes at this point, because they've already corroded the pipes so badly."

Another bad situation is hat residents of Flint continue to pay for the poisoned water in high rates. Many residents are in hue debt because of it. Unemployment and poverty are serious problems in America and in the world. Today, the median annual household income in Flint is about $27,000--less than half the national average. Snyder’s austerity policies have weakened public infrastructure, gutted the power of union and community organizations, and grew corporate power. There are right to work legislation passed by Michigan's governor. State appointed managers violate the democratic rights of people in Michigan. Emergency managers exist in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Allen Bark, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, etc. 50 percent of Black Michiganders (who have a rich culture of resistance) live under emergency management compared to only 2 percent of the state’s white population. Many people of Flint have organized water bottle drives to collective hundreds of thousands of bottles from working class donors. Neighbors have helped each other with boiling water for washing and bathing. Protesters have existed in city call to demand change. They have chanted, "Save the children! Lead free!" An energetic crowd then marched through City Hall, yelling, "What do we want? Clean Water! When do we want it? Now!"  A multiracial crowd continue to protest in the city in other places too. People of all colors want accountable and clean water to return to Flint, Michigan. "Snyder has been trampling our democracy for years," said Nayyirah Shariff, an activist with the Flint Democracy Defense League in an interview on Democracy Now! "Really ever since he's been in office, and specifically since Flint has had an emergency manager in December 2011."

"Our City Council wanted to go back to [getting water from] Detroit," Shariff continued, "and our emergency manager, Jerry Ambrose, said it was inconceivable because it was going to cost too much money. And the culture of the emergency manager is money trumps everything. It's more important than people's lives." Flint native Michael Moore wants Snyder to be arrest for his role in the disaster. In August of 2014, Shariff have talked in a rally to fight water contamination and water consumers’ debt. She said the following words: “…We need to form solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are fighting the water war around the country...We need to bring up the people who are suffering in silence and say: Welcome to the movement, we are here for you, we will fight with you and for you to get rid of this emergency manager, get rid of Snyder and anybody who is a puppet for the corporate regime to privatize water…” Another activist Claire McClinton have talked about the great history of Flint and how Flint came to elect an African American mayor, how it passed open housing, and how the emergency manager represents the banks including the corporations. The emergency managers represent big business that want to increase corporate profits at the expense of human lives. This corruption is a bipartisan affair. Republican Snyder shut off the water supply of 150,000 household in Detroit. Democratic Governor of California Jerry Brown forced cities to reduce water consumption by 25 percent while safeguarding the water access of wasteful and dirty agribusinesses in the Central Valley. Even the current President facilitated an enormous boom in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas despite the documented poisonous effects of fracking on the country's precious, life-sustaining groundwater. So, the fight for environmental justice is real in our generation. People of Flint want corporate austerity to be gone and justice to exist for all.

Carlos Santana is a musical legend. He's a genius and regardless of a man's or a woman's ideological views, any person should be treated fairly. I don't agree with the White House on every issue, but I do realize that the far right has issued slander, disrespect, racism, and other vile rhetoric against the President, his beautiful wife, and his children. That is wrong. Much of the gist of Santana's words wants tolerance and respect for our neighbors regardless if they are immigrants or not. It is obvious that Donald Trump (who has spewed sexist, racist, and anti-Muslim remarks) and many of the Republican candidates not only lack consciousness, but they thrive on hatred, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and Islamophoia. These reactionary extremists lecture people on sexuality, on moral values, on terror, etc. Yet, many of them are adulterers, war mongers, and other people with lax integrity. Fundamentally, the whole of the human family deserves equality and justice. The whole of the human race should experience compassion, love, and dignity. Therefore, I am inspired to carry forward what progressive heroes stood for (like labor rights, the rights of women, an end to imperialism, racial justice, and a revolutionary change in our world society). That is what we desire. It is true that we can make a difference and it is worthwhile to make a difference too.

We know about Hollywood's M.O. For long decades, Hollywood has been whitewashed or readily ignored qualified black actors and black actresses. The only few times that they recognize black excellence in acting is when they have no other choice (because the black actor or black actress was so good) or when they want to promote the lie that they or Hollywood leaders are somehow progressive. The recent Sony emails being revealed in public clearly document that many Hollywood corporate executives are not progressive at all (and that these executives have issued racist words in private). The Oscars have celebrated mostly white people since its inception. Therefore, we need to promote more of our own black actors and black actresses by celebrating more of our own awards shows, growing our own black owned production companies, and never caring if they or the haters hate us. Haters will hate us regardless. That's their job. Yet, we believe in cherishing black talent, celebrating it, and respecting our own black selves. We should never kiss up to people who hate us. We should just continue to thrive and execute self determination, so our communities can thrive in a positive direction. Loving our Blackness has nothing to do with hating others (who are non-black). We, as black people, have been very welcoming of others. That's a fact. It is about caring for the enrichment of our people. This story is once again further proof on why Black Awards shows will always matter. When we praise our people's great accomplishments, then we bless ourselves.

By Timothy

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