Thursday, August 31, 2017

Urban Youth Orchestra Is Sweet Music To Kansas City Community | TODAY

Black Agenda Report Articles (on Late August 2017) (I disagree with this link on how they claim that Bernie Bros. sexists were a myth. They were very real).

News about our Society

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

More News

Soul II Soul Singer Melissa Bell Dead At 53

Interesting Debate about BLM, Antifa, and other Issues.

Person #1: I don't believe Arpaio said something like that...unless it has been taken out of context and there was much more to the statement...I will keep my ears open for any word on that subject. We have a tendency in this news world to grab only sound bites that make things appear to be other than what they are. Agendas are rampant!

Me: The agendas of xenophobia, far right extremism, sexism, racism, and other evils are the agendas that we should oppose.

Person #1: As well as far left extremism, Antifa, nd BLM , when all lives matter...everyone has the right to free speech but no one has the right to violence, looting, burning

Me: I didn't recall BLM having a stated policy of violence, looting, or burning property (in their platform). I don't see it. Also, there is no moral equivalency between Neo-Nazi terrorists (including white supremacists) and Antifa (who opposes fascism). I don't agree with the burning or destruction of innocent property or unjustified violence, but the vast majority of protesters never did those actions. Any left wing extremist using unjust violence is wrong. Also, BLM is never a terrorist organization, but an activist group desiring an end to police brutality and racial injustice. Black Lives Matter is a new movement that is going through growing pains and it is a key part of the African American experience. The Trump agenda is repugnant and opposed by even many Republicans.

Person #2: BS. Antifa has assaulted people constantly. BLM has done the same. Google and you'll get lots on both. Violence and lawlessness has no business in a civil society.

Me: You can curse all you want. There is no stated platform of policies of BLM wanting violence or destruction of property and you can't cite any evidence of that. There is no moral equivalency between those who are white supremacists and Antifa period. There is no evidence that the majority of BLM or Antifa did violence in those areas. Most counter protesters were peaceful. I don't agree with unjust violence regardless who does it, but Antifa and BLM has stated their opposition to racism and white supremacy. Likewise, the white racists supremacists endorse racism. One white supremacist actually murdered one innocent woman and many of them chanted anti-Semitic, racist slogans. How did the Revolutionary War exist? You recall that the revolutionary war was created by outright looting, war, burning, and lawlessness against the British Empire (along with public acts of speeches and civil disobedience against established authority. Also, the British Empire committed many atrocities against Americans too). The Civil War ended by the actions of resistance and usage of justified violence (via arms) against Confederate traitors. You omit that. I don't believe in unjust violence and lawlessness against just laws. If a law is unjust, then people have the right to use peaceful civil disobedience (like old school civil rights people have done decades ago) to oppose that unjust law. I have the right to not be conservative on every single issue.

By Timothy

The Hurricane Harvey emergency.

Today is another day where many people are suffering. On August 29, 2017, Donald Trump visited Corpus Christi and other locations of Texas. Also, the storm reached landfall again in Louisiana on August 30, 2017. This tragic situation proves that trickled down economics or laissez faire capitalism doesn't work. We witness a historic emergency and the solution requires intervention from public and private resources. Many heroes are continuously giving food, water, shelter, and other supplies to the victims of Harvey. Many people have used boats, jet skis, canoes, and other types of transportation to rescue those stranded in the southeast Texas region. At least 2 reservoir dams in Texas overflowed. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William “Brock” Long proclaimed that the disaster was impossible to foresee or prepare for. How can I put this without using certain words. Long is totally wrong. Scientists and other scholars for years and years have talked about how a massive flood risk existing in Houston and neighboring locations. An investigative report published by The Texas Tribune and Pro Publica (from December of 2016) mentioned that late last year --- the County's 18-year flood manager aggressively dismissed those warnings for years and marginalized the scientists repeatedly offering them. Robert Bea, an emeritus civil engineering professor at UC Berkeley and expert on hurricane risks on the Gulf Coast, told the Los Angeles Times that the official claim that Houston’s flood control system could protect the population from a 100-year storm was a “100-year lie.” Many city planners knew specifically that certain areas of Houston were flood prone, but some of them still eliminated natural prairies (which mitigated much of the flooding) and built structures for the sake of profit. The victims of this tragedy have also been the victims of bad building policy from the oligarchy. The entire Texas National Guard has been deployed into the area as well. Including National Guard troops, there are about 3,000 total troops. The Coast Guard has made an estimated 4,000 rescues. 85% of Houston residents don't have flood insurance. That is why infrastructure development is necessary and it involved modernizing and strengthening anti-flood systems like flood gates. Many of the victims are poor and working class including some rich. They include young and old. They include people of many backgrounds. Many volunteers should always be acknowledged for saving thousands of lives. At least 30 people have passed away. The George R. Brown Convention Center is housing at least 10,000 people and many of the victims are traveling into Dallas for relief. The megachurch pastor Joel Osteen opened his church to those suffering (after controversy and criticism from sincere people wanting help. Joel claimed that his church was inaccessible at first. You have to make up your mind on whether you believe Osteen or not. My view is that flood or not, no church should hesitate in giving refuge to victims of a storm I don't agree with the Prosperity Gospel either because of many reasons). We congratulate heroes doing real life saving work and we are all in solidarity with Texas and other regions affected from Harvey.

This is not shocking to anyone. Maxine Waters gave an inspirational speech to black women about their worth and their right to achieve greatness period (in the Black Women Rock celebration). Stacey Dash admitted that she disagrees with Waters and now she blames an intern for citing a disrespectful comment. I have noticed that Dash didn't apologize for anything or even apologizing for allowing that comment to be on her Twitter feed. She is what she is. She is the one who doesn't believe in Black History Month or the existence of BET in falsely claiming that it promotes segregation. She supports a person (the resident of the White House) who is a known vulgar person, sexist, and racist extremist. She refuses to wake up. Maxine Waters for decades have opposed unjust wars, stood up for social justice, and has the right to speak her mind. Therefore, if Stacey Dash wants to disrespect many black people with her right wing extremism, then we have the right to disagree with her extremism.

Jim Brown made recent comments about Colin Kaepernick (who has done nothing wrong and actually gave money and created programs to promote community development and oppose police brutality. He exercised his free speech rights). A lot of this stuff is a generational gap. Many of the older generation agree with the same goal as Kaepernick while some of them disagree with many of the younger generation's tactics in order to get to the same goal (which is freedom, justice, and equality). Brown (who I believe has sincerity in his words) said the words that he said, because of many reasons. Back during the 1960's, he was an activist. He was with Muhammad Ali ironically in supporting his right to oppose the Vietnam War. Brown is from an older generation who doesn't agree with the protest aspect of civil rights movement. He believes in self-defense, which I do too. There is a time for nonviolence and there is a time for self-defense under extreme circumstances after all nonviolent resolutions are exhausted. Jim Brown believes in the the old school way of building black businesses and focusing on economics (which we call black capitalism) instead of politics in order for black people to get into freedom. Brown was in the conservative wing of the Black Power movement, which is why he supported Nixon in 1968.

Brown may disagree with some of Dr. King's actions, but Dr. King never begged for anything. He demanded the government to do what it was called to do and what it ought to do. Dr. King (who was more than a speech maker. He was a social activist) demanded change and fought for it. Sometimes, you have to be an activist to get what you want. So, Jim Brown's words are not shocking. I don't believe that he's a sellout or a race traitor, but I do disagree with his support of Donald Trump. He criticized John Lewis for opposing Trump. Trump is a notorious racist, sexist, and xenophobe. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dr. John Carlos, and Dr. Harry Edwards have publicly opposed the Trump regime. The truth is that both protests and other forms of social activism caused many civil rights, voting rights, and housing rights laws to exist in the first place. I also disagree with him in saying that an inoffensive kneel is somehow a desecration of a flag. Brown loves the anthem when that anthem was created by a racist slave owner (and the original lyrics of that anthem condoned slavery). I don't agree with Brown on other issues (and that's a different story). Therefore, while Jim Brown's views are disappointing, his statements are are not surprising. Jim Brown has worked in many communities to advance conflict resolution, job creation, and community development, so he has done a lot for our people. Likewise, this is a new generation and we will not sugarcoat the truth. You can both participate in an occupation and use activism at the same time. Hank Aaron has supported Kaepernick. So, while we should have ideological diversity in the black community, we have to call it as it is too (and keep it real).

One way to bridge the generational gap in our black community is to advocate for protests, the building of more black institutions & organizations (which are used to fight institutionalized racism and economic injustices like poverty. Also, they are used to build in our communities a strong infrastructure among urban and rural communities), the creation of more spaces where black people of diverse age demographics can share ideas (and speak their minds for collaboration), and a continued advocacy of social plus racial justice. We all agree (regardless of our views) in advancing strong educational institutions to give black children great understanding about STEM Fields plus technical skills (which is important and must be done). Black children must also be told the truth about their real history and culture in a pro-Black fashion. Education is the life blood of any society. So, we must promote strong education, strong preparation in handling issues in the world, and a vigor to create positive change. Forming plans and executing them is key in getting change too. Police brutality is a real issue that must be confronted and eradicated.

By Timothy

Monday, August 28, 2017

Chicago cop guilty of shooting two black teenagers


Bay Area resistance scares away the alt-reich

Capitalism and the Houston flood catastrophe

Trump pardons former Arizona Sheriff: A green light for anti-immigrant violence and repression

News in late August 2017

There is always a long history among the police and African Americans. Many of our people are police officers and many of our people continue to protest police brutality. We have mixed feelings about the police since many police officers then and now oppress black people while some of our people wear blue too. There is no question that some aspects of the state use the police as a means to contain and oppress black people. The police was used to harm innocent protesters in Selma in 1965. The police was used to arrest nonviolent civil rights protesters. Some police act as agents of the state to monitor progressive or revolutionary social movements for years and decades (even today). Therefore, we are not na├»ve about what is real. 9/11 was a new era. Immediately after 9/11, the police in many cases increased their surveillance of black, brown, South Asian, Arabic, and Muslim communities. The Patriot Act and other laws were controversial in that it dealt heavily with an increased circumventing of our civil liberties. Stop and frisk grew in urban communities nationwide, especially in New York City during the early years of the 21st century. One of the most tragic cases of police killing was the murder of Sean Bell by the NYPD on November 25, 2006. He was at the eve of his wedding and Sean Bell including his two friends (Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman) was shot 50 times by plainclothes officers. Sean Bell died and the officers involved were never convicted of any wrongdoing. During that time, the prison population skyrocketed in part because of the discriminatory sentencing practices (as documented by sociological studies). There was the aftermath of the Katrina disaster, and continued mistrust of the police by many African Americans. Kathryn Johnston was killed by the police on November 21, 2006. She was an elderly woman. In January 1, 2009, Oscar Grant was killed by a BART police officer. That officer only received a limited, token time in prison. In 2010, a seven year old girl named Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley-Jones was shot to death during a raid done by the Department’s Special Response Team. Rekia Boyd was killed in 2012 in Chicago by an off duty Chicago police detective. She was only 22 years old and the detective was never convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jordan Davis was killed by a vigilante in 2012. The person show did the murder is in prison now. Jordan Davis’ parents are friends with the family of Trayvon Martin to this very day. Renisha McBride was a 19 year old Sister who was shot and killed by Theodore Wafe (who was convicted on many charges). In 2012, Shelly Frey (who was unarmed) was killed by the police in Texas after she was suspected of shoplifting. Yet, Frey was not a direct threat to any officer. Kyam Livingston died in police custody on July 24, 2013. By 2014, many African Americans were shot or killed by police officers. They were Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Dontre Hamilton, and other people. Eric Garner sparked many protests in New York City.

2015 saw the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Baltimore is where many of my relatives live at and I have visited Baltimore period. Baltimore has the paradox of massive political power among black people (the majority of people who live in Baltimore are African Americans), but serious problems of economic inequality, poverty, and police brutality (as documented by the DOJ) exist. So, this is caused by classism (which in turned is created by capitalism) not just racism. In other words, many black people are in the upper middle class and some (not all) in that class lack a true concern of the interests of poor and working class black people in Baltimore. Anger was in Baltimore in 2015 and the rebellion occurred in the city. The rebellion happened when the police blocked many students from coming into their homes. Later, the rebellion transpired for days with buildings burnings and hurt expressed in many manifestations. To this very day, Baltimore is trying to heal and improve. Sandra Bland in 2015 died mysterious in a Texas jail cell. Authorities classified her death as suicide while her family disagrees. Also, the 2015 pool party incident in Texas when cops blatantly used overt excessive force against young girls and young boys (even pointing guns at non-threatening children). In 2016, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota were shot to death again by the police. Korryn Gaines was killed by the police on August 1, 2016. Listing all of these names are not coincidences. This represents a total epidemic of police killings of people of black African descent in America. In 2017, the names of Jordan Edwards, Edson Da Costa, Charleena Chavon Lyles, Rashan Charles, and Jaocques Clemmons represent more events where lives are lost tragically. The Say Her Name movement is about making society awareness of the epidemic of the abuse and murder of black women and girls. It also wants people to know that intersectionality is a reality. In order words, race, class, gender, etc. intersect in society. Solutions to this problem are diverse. The solution making process won’t be easy, but it must be promoted. There must be serious monitoring and training of officers. There should be the federal eradication of mandatory minimum sentencing. There should be strong enforcement against police brutality and allow more community control of law enforcement (as we should control them not them control us). There should be the outright demilitarization of the police. There should be a federal ban on racial profiling and broken windows in policing. There should be the end to for profit prisons. There should also be investments in community development and giving people more economic plus social opportunities to live out their own lives. I have no problem with cameras, but make sure that there is severe punishment for any cop who abuses cameras. There should be an attack on any form of bigotry and injustice done by us. We are in the right when we advocate for justice since Black Lives Matter.

One of the saddest moments of Black American history was the domestic terrorist attack against innocent black people in Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It occurred on the date of June 17, 2015. People in the church had a prayer service. One evil person murdered 9 people. The senior pastor and state Senator murdered was Clementa C. Pinckney. He was a social activist. The white supremacist murderer was Dylann Roof. The evil murders once again showed the world that confronting racism and hate never requires ascetism. It requires a true activism and a fight for justice. It happened during the time where the Confederate flag was on public grounds. After the murders, Nikki Haley (to her credit) allowed authorities to get rid of the Confederate flag from state’s grounds. Also, it is important to recognize the historical significance of the South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was a church created during the 19th century. Members of the church fought against slavery and was for abolitionism. It was one of the oldest black churches in America. Morris Brown was an early member of the church. Denmark Vesey was one of the church’s founders and he organized an attempted slavery rebellion in order to free our people form bondage. He was arrested (after a traitorous slave revealed plans to a slave owner). Vesey was murdered by hanging on July 2, 1822. The church was burnt down and rebuilt. It existed throughout Reconstruction and Jim Crow. Booker T. Washington also spoke at the Emanuel AME Church too. During the Jim Crow era, many black people worked in the church to advance civil rights. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Wyatt T. Walker of the SCLC (or the Southern Christian Leadership Conference) spoke at the church to encourage black people to register and vote. In Charleston, there was an epicenter of activism of civil rights activism. One example is that Septima Clark created Citizenship School in South Carolina to advance civil rights, voting rights, education, and human rights in general. Septima Clark was one of the greatest civil rights leaders in history. The Friendship Nine were black people who opposed segregation during the early 1960’s. Also, black women especially marched in Charleston in 1969 to promote economic rights of the striking hospital workers. The workers wanted fair wages and an end to racism plus sexism. Mary Ann Maultree and Coretta Scott King were activists involved in this movement for civil rights and labor rights.

The men and the women, who lost their lives by a murderer, represented outstanding character and excellence in their daily lives. Reverend Sharonada Singleton was a speech therapist at Goose Creek high school in Berkeley County, South Carolina. She helped people constantly and she was the head coach of the girls’ track team. She was a track athlete herself and she coached hurdles and sprints. She was a great person who shown love to her faculty and students. Cynthia Hurd was a regional manager of the St. Andrew’s library, which is part of the Charleston County library system. She always expressed love for God and she served her community. Tywanza Sanders recently graduated from Allen University’s business administration program. He was a barber and he always was committed to education. DePayne Middleton-Doctor was a director of the federal community development block grants. She was involved in installing septic tanks. Reverend Dr. Daniel L. Simmons was a retired pastor. Ethel Lance worked as a 70 year old sexton for over 30 years in the church. She always worked hard. Myra Thompson was the vicar of the Holy Trinity REC Church in Charleston. Susie Jackson was 87 years old.  All of these human beings have expressed joy, love, and service to the people. They were some of the most moral people of our generation. They are physically not here, but their spirits remain forever in Paradise. Immediately, rallies and fundraisers by the people of Charleston proves once again shown that the forces of love are always superior than the forces of hate. People held hands in prayer and people were inspired to advance solutions. Another hero who took down the Confederate flag on her own was Bree Newsome. She is a well-known progressive hero who was very intelligent. She graduated from Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Maryland in 2003. She took down the flag to oppose racism and oppression against black people whether it’s found in America or the Dominican Republic (by her own words). She is a strong black woman and she exposed the colonialist and evil white supremacist Cecil Rhodes too. She was arrested, but her efforts were part of a long struggle that ended in that flag finally coming down from public grounds in South Carolina. The Confederate flag coming down in South Carolina was a blessed day. The events of Charleston make known how far we have to go and how compassionate people can be to stand up against racism and bigotry. As black Americans, we still rise.

Black Activism is part of our history and culture. We have always stood up for freedom and justice. Our activism is not monolithic either. It is very diverse. There are black pro-green groups who advocate environmental justice and true solutions against pollution. One example of this is that Destiny Watford of Baltimore has made known of the pollution in Curtis Bay, which is a Baltimore neighborhood. That location has a coal disposal facility, a landfill, and other high pollution industrial facilities in close vicinity to a residential neighborhood. She is fighting back against pollution too. Stand UP BMore is a movement of grassroots people trying to promote community organizing and political power that is independent in Baltimore. One man named Joshua Harris in Baltimore has advocated legitimate solutions like participatory budgeting at the community level, land trusts to give community control over development and housing prices, green energy initiatives, and other proposals. There are groups like Assata’s Daughters, Mothers of the Movement, Say Her Name, Black Lives Matter, Hands up Coalition, and other organizations that desire an end to police brutality. the development of black liberation, and the eradication of institutionalized racism. Many of the grassroots activists of Ferguson have inspired a younger generation of people to not only confront police brutality, but to stand up against a racist anthem to defend the human rights of all black people. Johnetta Elize is one young civil rights activist who has involved in Ferguson protests and community activism. Younger human beings and older human beings are working together in seeking the same prize of justice today.

By Timothy

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Five Reasons Racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio Should Not Receive a Presidential Pardon

Althea Gibson

How About Erecting Monuments to the Heroes of Reconstruction? | The American Prospect

The Oldest African-American City In America Is Celebrating Its 130th Birthday | Okayplayer

Black Agenda Report Articles

More News,_2016_timeline

To White Folks Who Dance With Devils: ‘What Kind of Extremists Will You Be?’

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gorka resigns from White House: report

Trump Pardons Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Who Illegally Targeted Latinos

Public relations firms with ties to Flynn, Manafort, subpoenaed by Mueller

Friday News in late August 2017.

Political Independence means that we are black people who are aware that our allegiance isn’t to any political party. It is an allegiance to the black community and to black people internationally. We know about the imperfections of the Republicans and the Democrats. That is why we believe that our ideologies and our intellectual power are based on free thinking, human autonomy, and independence. Many white and black conservatives have promoted numerous political lies recently. One lie is that liberalism is responsible for poverty, police brutality, educational issues, and other problems in the black community. The truth is that the reforms from the New Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society caused some positive results. Poverty was cut in half from 1960 to 1970. There was the growth of black people in college and many occupations during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The problem was that the problems in the black community weren’t caused by liberalism, but by neoliberalism, capitalist exploitation, and reactionary policies executed by both Democratic and Republican politicians. During the 1970's, corporate elites used deregulation and massive cutbacks on social programs which caused an increase of income inequality and poverty in many communities of America. One example is that during the Reagan years, many Democratic mayors allowed austerity policies upon urban communities. These austerity policies have harmed many lives. Austerity deals with investment cutsand that is antithetical of progressive policies. Also, many Republicans harmed the black community with the War on Drugs, mandatory minimum sentences, and other massive social program cuts in many black communities. Supply side economics obviously doesn’t work. That form of economics has crippled many families and many people for years and decades. Supply side economics is not part of a liberal economic philosophy at all. Another lie is that far right wing people claim that black people must be Republicans in order to escape a “Democratic plantation.” That is false for many reasons. One is that to compare one’s political choice to a plantation (where people were raped, murdered, abused, and whipped) makes a mockery of slavery and the experiences of our black ancestors. Many Democratic politicians from Clinton to Obama have spoken to middle of the road concepts of discipline and respectability politics (of bootstrapping) in their speeches. Also, black people have the right to believe in what we want. We will not be intimidated to join a far right movement that seeks to strip rights instead of giving people their rightful human rights. Also, we have the right to reject imperialism and war mongering which many Republicans and many Democrats advance. So, we (as black people) should think for ourselves.

Jeff Sessions is the 84th Attorney General of America. He is a Trump supporter since the beginning of his campaign. He is from Alabama. By during the 1980’s, he failed to be nominated to a federal district court. The reason was that he was opposed by progressives and civil rights activists like from the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and People for the American Way. Back then, Sessions slandered the NAACP and the ACLU as un-American and Communist inspired (and they forced civil rights down the throats of people, which is ludicrous and racist). Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney, testified that Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Back then, Coretta Scott King, who was the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the nomination of Sessions. By 1986, he was not nominated. He became an Alabama Attorney General and an U.S. Senator. He was very conservative as a Senator. We know that he met and discussed information with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Before, he was the U.S. Attorney General, many people opposed him. NAACP President Cornell William Brooks was arrested at a January 2017 sit in after he protested the nomination. As Attorney General, Session has shown blatant extremism. He wants to review consent decrees (that expose police terrorism in communities nationwide). He has ordered federal prosecutors to seek the greatest criminal charges possible. Sessions endorses the War on Drugs. He opposes fights to end voting rights restrictions. He wants mandatory sentencing to exist. On July 19, 2017, Sessions signed an order reviving federally adopted civil asset forfeiture, which allows local law enforcement to bypass state limitations on seizing the property of those suspected but not charged of crimes. He opposes compassion shown to undocumented immigrants. He omits the epidemic of police terrorism. He supported the Trump travel ban. He wants to prosecute people who provide even medical marijuana. This is not unusual since he is one of the most reactionary politicians in America. He even opposed legislation (when he was a Senator in the U.S. Congress) banning the U.S. military from engaging in torture. The amendment passed. He is opposed to many environmental regulations. Sessions endorsed the Supreme Court decision to gut parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and he supports voter suppression Voter ID laws. Therefore, Jeff Sessions represents the extremism found also in the Trump regime.

The Resistance to opposing the Trump regime is diverse and large. Black people have headed the resistance since the beginning. The 2017 Women’s March existed in January 21-22, 2017. It was the single largest protest in American history. The leaders of this march were Tamika D. Mallory (who is a black woman. She recently opposed the backlash against the courageous actions of Kaepernick), Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland. About 500,000 marched in Washington, D.C. About 4.6 million people protested in America and up to 5 million people protested worldwide. The marchers were about opposing an administration whose agenda is the suppression of the human rights of people worldwide. Many of these marchers protested in favor of women’s rights, racial equality, immigrant rights, healthcare solutions, environmental justice, the freedom of religion, LGBTQ rights, workers’ rights, and an end to Islamophobia. They came out in the streets after the inauguration of Donald Trump. The Washington March was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Many people stood up in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Antarctica. Many people marched in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle. Tamika D. Mallory was one black woman who was a leader of the march. She made it clear that the concerns of black people have the right to be heard. The march wanted to promote social justice and human rights. She is a political organizer and former executive director of the National Action Network. Linda Sarsour is the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and Carmen Perez is an executive director of the political action group The Gathering for Justice. Bob Bland is a fashion designer who focuses on ethical manufacturing. The march wanted to build bridges and not walls. Many speakers were there in Washington, D.C. to give their views. In July 2017, the Women's March official twitter feed celebrated the birthday of Assata Shakur, an African-American revolutionary, who was falsely accused of murder and lives her life in Cuba. Also, many people have opposed the Trump regime in boycotts, protests, organizing, and other efforts after the Women’s March.

There were many African Americans in the Cabinet of the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. Eric Holder was the first black Attorney General in American history. The first black woman Attorney General was Loretta Lynch. Both human beings were superbly qualified and dealt with a diversity of issues from legal cases to issues of police brutality (including the criminal justice system). Jeff Johnson was the first black Secretary of Homeland Security in history. John King Jr. was the Secretary of Education. Anthony Foxx was the Secretary of Transportation. Valerie Jarrett was a key advisor in the Obama administration. She has been a long supporter of the Obama family and a businesswoman. She was Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Susan Rice was Obama’s National Security Advisor. Her expertise dealt with the complexities of foreign policy affairs. Deesha Dyer was the Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary.  Ashley Allison was the Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Ashley Etienne was the Special Assistant to President and Cabinet Communications Director.

Sometimes, you have to mention things that makes people feel uncomfortable. It hurts my heart to mention these facts since I do have respect both men, but you have to show the truth in season and out of season. I wanted to write about them earlier, but I delayed it since I thought about whether this was the right thing to do. Yet, I recall that it is right to show the truth regardless. Andrew Young made really wrong statements on his Meet on Press interview. He said that most of the issues now relate to poverty and accuses people of putting everything in a racial context. He made the shocking words of saying that he has difficulty blaming the Klan since they are mostly poor and they are "forgotten Americans." The person who used a car to kill an innocent woman and injured others was a white supremacist. He is wrong since most of the Klan types in that Charlottesville rally weren't poor. They were mostly middle class and upper class white people. Most Klan members are middle class and most white supremacists in America aren't poor. Many of them are professors, business owners, and bankers. We must deal with race and class not just class. White racists hate us (who are black) not because of progress per se. They hate us believe they believe in the lie of racism. Then, Andrew Young called black "militants" chicken. Frankly, that was a shot not only on BLM, but on our heroes like Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, etc. The truth is that black people, who used self defense, or spoke of militancy never were chicken. Many black people in Cambridge, Maryland, St. Augustine, Florida, and Louisiana used weapons to defend their communities (with guns) against racist terrorists back during the 1960's. The Deacons of Defense and Robert F. Williams used weapons in the South long before the Panthers. So, people who used nonviolence alone or self defense back then or today aren't chicken. They are heroes. Young seems to equate black people desiring liberation with "putting down white people" which is ludicrous. I don't have sympathy with Klan terrorists who abused and murdered black men, women, and children. Dr. King said that Andrew Young was more conservative than he was. George Foreman recently criticized Kevin Durant for not wanting to met with Trump and Kaepernick for refusal to stand up for the national anthem (created by a racist slave owner). I disagree with him. Also, Foreman called Trump a good President. Foreman is wrong since Trump has promoted militarism, defended a convicted felon (who abused the rights of people in Arizona. His name is Joe Arpaio), and defends Confederate statues on public lands. When I get very older in my 60's, I will never shed my core convictions. I will still maintain them.

By Timothy

Unsung Artists

No, Bill Clinton Was Not a Progressive President

Who’s Backing Away From Trump? Everyone. | The Resistance with Keith Olb...

Trump Is Still Making Excuses for Nazis | The Resistance with Keith Olbe...

Trump And Charlottesville: Too Little, Too Late | The Resistance with Ke...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Political News



Never Forget Ferguson.

It has been more than three years since the passing of the Brother Michael Brown in 2014. He passed away in Ferguson, Missouri, which is a suburb of the city of St. Louis. Afterwards, the rebellion existed in Ferguson, Missouri. Recently, the NAACP sent an advisory warning to Missouri because of Missouri's policies dealing with race. Missouri is a Midwestern state once controlled by the French (centuries ago) and it has experienced the Civil War, segregation, covenant policies (which harmed the housing rights of black people), urban renewal (or corporate people using building projects as an excuse to displace poor and black residents), and other evils. St. Louis has a long history of discrimination so much that some view it as a Southern city. Likewise, dedicated activists have fought for freedom in Ferguson, in St. Louis and throughout Missouri too. By the 1940's and the 1950’s, Ferguson was a mostly white “sundown town” (according to the writer James Loewen). White flight came and Ferguson became mostly African American by the 1980's. Racial profiling existed in Ferguson too. The Ferguson rebellion signified the largest rebellion in American history since the LA rebellion back in 1992. During the rebellion, innocent journalists and innocent protesters were arrested, civil liberties were violated, and courageous people stood up against the evils in the system. The events of Ferguson document how police brutality and economic inequality including racism are serious realities that we must deal with in order to make society liberated for all. The events of Ferguson inspired a whole new generation of young people to be active in social and political affairs. The Black Lives Matter movement and other movements for social change grew. Unfortunately, police killings of unarmed black people continued from Eric Garner to other people. The DOJ documented the corrupt actions of the Ferguson police department too. It is also important to address class oppression since society is heavily stratified based upon class. People not only need jobs. People deserve respect and equitable treatment under the law. Society must change (change deals with protests and developing our infrastructure including progressive programs in addressing our issues and helping our communities. At the end of the day, people not only need cameras, but living wages, universal health care, the elimination of discriminatory policies, strong educational services, and investments in community growth). What transpired in Ferguson back in 2014 outlined a new era of the black freedom movement and we are continuing to stand up for our rights as well.

In order to get the history of Ferguson right, we have to show the events chronologically. It all started with Michael Brown. On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown and a friend walked down the street. Michael Brown encountered Officer Darren Wilson. Later, Darren Wilson shoots and kills Michael Brown at 12:01 pm. on August 9, 2014. Michael Brown was unarmed and he was hit with 6 shots. It would be hours until a medical examiner comes to the scene. For hours, Michael Brown’s body was left in the street lifeless. Also, many protesters raised their hands up and said, “Don’t shoot us” to officers in the night of August 9. On August 10, 2014, the St. Louis County Police Joe Belmar said that Michael Brown assaulted the officer and tried to reach for the officer’s gun. This has been disputed by the supporters of Michael Brown. The Brown family get the retain attorney Benjamin Crump who once represented the family of Trayvon Martin. By night time, a candlelight vigil to respect Brown existed. Soon, the rebellion happened with a dozen businesses being vandalized and harmed. More than 30 people were arrested and 2 cops suffered injuries according to the police. By August 11, school was canceled in Jennings, which is near Ferguson, for safety reasons. Hundreds of people gathered outside of the Ferguson Police Department to desire justice. 7 people were arrested at 10 am. The FBI announced their own investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown. The parents of Michael Brown and the attorney of the family demand justice and want an end to violence by 4 pm. Community members and leader meet and pray at a meeting hosted by the NAACP.

By 8 pm, many people gather on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson and the police used tear gas against people. Militarized police existed. By August 12, 2014, more people are arrested. Protesters issued a list of demands involving the investigation of the killing of Michael Brown. Rev. Al Sharpton arrived in St. Louis to speak with the family of Michael Brown. Sharpton and the Brown family spoke on the Old Courthouse steps early Tuesday afternoon. An early autopsy is released by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office. President Barack Obama released a statement announcing that the Justice Department will review police tactics across the nation. Ironically, both the Republicans and the Democrats executed policies that advanced the mass incarceration state, militarized police, and other neoliberal policies. Governor Jay Nixon, the St. Louis Mayor, and other leaders talked about the Brown case. In a separate public meeting, Rev. Al Sharpton and the Brown family desire a peaceful fight for justice involving Michael Brown. Dorian Johnson came forward as an eyewitness to the Brown shooting. All eyewitnesses will give diverse accounts of what has happened and these accounts are debated to this very day. On August 13, 2014, many want a vigil to take place during the day. Many volunteers start to clean the city up. The Justice Department opened a federal civil rights investigation in dealing with the Ferguson shooting. By the night, the police continue to use tear gas to be used against protesters. The Al Jazeera America crew ran because of the tear gas. The police illegally detained 2 reporters (one from the Huffington Post and another from the Washington Post) at a Ferguson McDonald’s. Governor Jay Nixon decided to go into Ferguson. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French was also arrested on that day for “unlawful assembly.” At August 12, 2014, City Alderman Antonio French was released from jail without formal charges and posting bond. Governor Nixon visited north St. Louis County and Ferguson. President Obama called for calm and local police to be open and transparent in their investigation. The Governor made the Missouri Highway Patrol to control security in Ferguson. It is overseen by Captain Ron Johnson, who was born and raised near the community of Ferguson. Nationwide, silent vigils were held to honor the memory of Michael Brown. By the evening and nighttime, hundreds of citizens have marched along with state troopers. No violent clashes existed.

On August 15, 2014, Darren Wilson was revealed as the person who shot and killed Michael Brown. The family of Michael Brown defended their son. Rev. Jesse Jackson came into Ferguson to led prayer and nonviolent protest promotion. This was on Friday. By nighttime, more than 200 protesters came out. Tear gas is used. Rocks were thrown. On August 16, 2014, some stores close. Governor Nixon issued a state of emergency of Ferguson and a curfew is instituted. On August 17, 2014, more arrested came. Many activists opposed the unconstitutional “Five second rule” which allowed Ferguson cops to arrest protesters who stayed in one place for more than five seconds. People successfully ended that illegal policy by lawsuit. Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal criticized Governor Jay Nixon over his response to the events in Ferguson.  Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a separate federal autopsy for Brown at the request of his family. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner's autopsy concluded that Brown died of gunshot wounds, but other details have not been released. The rebellion continued. A private autopsy requested by Brown's family found that he was shot at least six times, including four times in the right arm and twice in the head, The New York Times reported. On August 18, 2014, Governor Nixon ordered the National Guard into Ferguson after the rebellion from last night. Michael Brown’s family hired a pathologist to perform its autopsy on Brown’s body. The curfew is lifted. President Barack Obama sent Attorney General Eric Holder to monitor Ferguson. Getty Images photographer Scott Olson was arrested Monday while reporting in Ferguson. He was later released. "I want to be able to do my job as a member of the media and not be arrested for just doing my job," Olson told Pancho Bernasconi, vice president of news at Getty Images. Sybrina Fulton wrote a heartbreaking letter to the family of Michael Brown. It was published in TIME magazine. The letter says that she wished that thing will be fine, but the truth is that she can only pray as their lives are changed forever. At night, the police use tear gas at protesters. On August 19, 2014, rebellions happened. Lesley McSpadden (or Michael Brown’s mother) spoke on the Today Show to mention the goal of finding justice for her son.  "When justice is prevailed, then maybe they'll regain their trust in the locals." Another 23 year old man with a knife was killed by the police. On August 20, 2014, protests continued. A grand jury started to see if Darren Wilson should be charged with the death of Michael Brown. Eric Holder goes into Ferguson for ongoing investigations into civil rights violations related to the shooting. He said that:  "I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man," he told community members.

On August 21, 2014, 150 protesters walked around Ferguson’s West Florissant Avenue. The Missouri National Guard started to leave Ferguson by this time. On August 22, 2014, tensions decline as Missouri State Patrol Captain Ron Johnson has said. Protesters go onto the roadway. By August 23, 2014, the day is quite as many reactionaries and pro-police zealots send money to Wilson. Fundraisers exist for the Brown family as well. The NAACP held a peaceful protest in Ferguson. Debates continue about militarized police and the events of Ferguson. On August 24, there is a private viewing of Brown’s body. Michael Brown Sr. wanted no protests on the day of his son’s funeral. He desires peace. On Sunday, he promotes the Peace Fest 2014 in Forest Park in St. Louis. This meeting was hosted by Trayvon Martin Foundation and Better Family Life. Brown’s parents along with the families of Martin and Grant were there too. African Americans in Missouri called for the resignation of Ferguson Mayor James Knowles. The funeral takes place on August 25, 2014 at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Darren Wilson testified before a grand jury on September 16. Later, there was the four day peaceful protest called Ferguson October. Many people investigate the death of another black teenage named Vonderrit Myers Jr. On October 13, 2014, police arrested clergy and activist academic Cornel West during Ferguson October. This is part of the Moral Monday movement too. On November 11, 2014, Governor Nixon prepared the National Guard in case another rebellion happens after the grand jury released its decision. On November 13, 2014, Michael Brown Jr. and Lesley McSpadden traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to testify before the United Nations Committee Against Torture. They were part of a human rights group created by the New York and Atlanta based U.S. Human Rights Network. Michael Brown Sr. called for peaceful gathering regardless of the outcome of the grand jury. On November 24, 2014, the grand jury decided to not indict Officer Darren Wilson for firing six shots at Michael Brown which killed him. Protests existed. A police car and stores were set on fire. Gunfire existed. The next day, documents are released about the grand jury decision. Protests continue in the snow and Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department on November 29, 2014. President Barack Obama on December 1, 2014 hosted a meeting about Ferguson. It included many civil rights, youth, community, and faith leader including police leaders in the Oval Office. The federal government wanted to spend $75 million on body cameras for law enforcement. On December 11, 2014, Oakland had protests after the grand jury refuses to indict the officers who killed Eric Garner. On December 13, 2014, a march on Washington, D.C. came about in calling for judicial reform, body cameras on cops, etc. to exist. The Justice for All march opposed police brutality and racial injustice. By December 19, 2014, St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch admitted that he believed multiple witnesses lied under oath while testifying before the grand jury that previously heard Brown’s case. One day after December 25, 2014, residents rebuilt a memorial of Michael Brown after a car destroyed the remembrance. By December 28, 2014, Ferguson Public Information Officer Timothy Zoll was placed on unpaid leave after reportedly making dismissive comments about a memorial for Brown.

On March 3, 2015, the Department of Justice released its accurate, 103 page report documenting the Ferguson Police Department using racial profiling, police brutality, and economic exploitation against the residents of Ferguson. Unreasonable use of force against African American suspects has been documented in this historic report.  In 88% of cases in which Ferguson police documented the use of force, for example, that force was used against African Americans. In essence, the report told the truth that there was a practice of disproportionate stops and arrest of black people without probable cause, there was unreasonable force used, there were racially biased handling of warrants by municipal courts, and there was the police using revenue from poor and black residents for exploitative purposes. On March 4, 2015, the DOJ refused to charge Wilson of civil rights violations. On March 9, 2015, Ferguson municipal judge Ronald Brockmeyer resigned. The DOJ reported exposed him as being involved in the scheme to get revenue for Ferguson by issuing unnecessary citations, especially to African Americans. The circuit court controls municipal court cases in Ferguson. By March 10, 2015, John Shaw (or city manager) resigned. He was mentioned in the DOJ report too as presiding over a corrupt court system aggressively fining black residents in order to get money. On March 11, Chief Jackson resigned effective March 19th. On March 12, 2 cops were shot in Ferguson. On April 7, 2015, voters in Ferguson elected two black city council members, transforming the political body's racial composition after months of protests over racial profiling and police brutality. The council has one sitting black member already. This is the first time that blacks have controlled half of the council, despite the fact that two-thirds of the city's 21,000 residents are black human beings. On April 23, 2015, Michael Brown's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, former police chief Thomas Jackson and former officer Darren Wilson. The suit challenges the explanation of the shooting presented by Wilson, who resigned from the force four months after the August confrontation. Police Chief Tom Jackson leaves his job and a black interim police chief existed on July 22, 2015. On August 8, 2015, the Ferguson community continued to fight for community development. One year later on August 9, 2015, a protest exists. Gunfire existed and armored vehicles came about in the streets. Also, it is important to cite the leaders involved in the Ferguson movement for change.  Ashley Yates and Tef Poe (who is a hip hop artist) was there in Ferguson from day one. The Universal African Peoples Organization, Show me 15, Youth Activists STL, Darren Seals, Peacekeepers, Disciples for Justice, Don’t Shoot Coalition, Dhoruba Shakur, Jobs with Justice, and other coalitions of activists used action in the areas also.   Brittany Packnett, Antoinette Carroll, Deray McKesson and Johnetta Elzie were involved in Ferguson protests. Religious clergy like Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, , and Rev. Renita Lamkin confronted injustice too in Ferguson.  The Black Lives Matter movement was there too from Patrisse Cullors, Tanya Bernard, Jamilah Lemiuex, Damon Turner, Anthony Johnson, and other people. Lawyers, labor rights activists, and scholars joined together in opposing police tyranny. The Organization for Black Struggle was on the ground with resources to help communities. Now, the truth is known and we will continue to fight for the liberation of our black people. Yes, Black Lives Matter.

By Timothy

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The Age of Obama

One thing about black people is that we are always in involved in historic events. The historic campaign and election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States of America represented a new era of our history. The end of the Bush administration was marred with economic recession, failures from the Iraq War, NSA warrantless wiretapping, the Katrina disaster aftermath, and other problems. Barack Obama spoke to the frustration of black people and others who desired a new way out of a situation caused by far right wing policies. Barack Obama’s gift was his usage of intellect, oratory, and charisma to advance story, consensus among different groups, and using structures plus detail to advance his ideas. He was elected with massive support among black people, other people of color, white progressives, the youth, women, college educated people, and other human beings. Some even promoted the myth that the election of a center-left politician Barack Obama would mean the establishment of a post racial era. Now, we see that to be a myth. Barack Obama would represent ironies and paradoxes. Barack Obama on many occasions would give middle of the road speeches on race and education (many of which that I don't agree with), yet reactionaries would still slander him as a racist and a person who was a socialist. Barack Obama would speak about personal responsibility and family parenting (which conservatives love to hear) involving schools, but that wasn’t good enough for those who viewed him as far left (which he wasn’t). Barack Obama would both execute legitimate policies (like the Lily-Leadbetter Act, the economic compensation to black farmers, the Iranian nuclear deal, normalizing relations among Cuba and America, many reforms in the criminal justice system, etc.) while also executing blatantly bad, neoliberal plus imperial policies (like the Wall Street bailout, the continuation of the NDAA, the massive prosecution of whistleblowers, and the massive drone strikes overseas). He in fact is the representation of the achievements of Black Americans in many areas and how far we have to go in achieving justice and human liberation. One cornerstone of the Obama legacy is his signing the Affordable Care Act, which was a national overhaul of the health care system (filled with legitimate policies and imperfections). In a sense, how many conservatives view Reagan, many liberals view the same for Obama. Barack Obama is the man who is the paradox of having massive genius intellectually, while we (as black Americans) saw increases of economic inequality, problems of infant mortality, decreases of black Americans wealth during the peak of the Great Recession (as a product of the recession and a fallible capitalist system), the growth of gentificiation (which has displaced the poor and harmed black community cohesiveness), and a continued epidemic of police terrorism against black people (especially against poor and working class black people). This is caused by a system which has existed long before Obama was elected, but he is responsible for some of these policies. This reality has been caused by a neoliberal capitalist system that can never solve the problems of poverty and economic exploitation period. Part of the Age of Obama was the inspirational words from First Lady Michelle Obama (she is a black woman with great intelligence, a clear advancement of health, and she told the truth that White House was built by slaves. Michelle Obama is easily the greatest First Lady in history).  The two extreme views (which has been promoted by some) of Obama being nearly perfect (and being immune from any critique as advanced by black bourgeois political figures especially) or Obama being evil incarnate (as advanced by white supremacists especially) must be rejected. We ought to fairly evaluate the Age of Obama as both filled with crisis and filled with a renewed fight among a new generation of social activists for social change. The unemployment rate declined by the end of the Age of Obama with millions of jobs being created. In terms of LGBT rights, he is the most pro-LGBT President in American history. The Age of Obama did saw the birth of the progressive Black Lives Matter Movement (which I will describe in more detail in the future) and the Occupy Wall Street movement. It saw both the tragedy in Ferguson including in Charleston and it saw more activism by heroes in opposing bigotry, police terrorism, and any injustice. Therefore, we have to look at the Age of Obama in comprehensive terms as a new era of Black America.

The campaign of Barack Obama grew after he announced his candidacy on February of 2007. It was a long campaign with social media being involved from Myspace, Facebook, and to the rest of the Internet. He fought against Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in the Democratic primary among other candidates. By the end of June 2007, Barack Obama out-raised then Senator Hillary Clinton for funds with a $31 million haul. Barack Obama’s campaign is based on “hope and change.” He advocated a withdrawal of American troops from the Iraqi territory (by the end of 2008). He was a previous opponent of the Iraq War. Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, and others ran for President too.  On September 18, 2007, Barack Obama advocated an $80 billion in tax cuts for the middle class while eliminating part of the Bush tax cuts on the super wealthy. Oprah Winfrey publicly supported Barack Obama on December 8, 2007. Massive crowds hear him speak and almost 30,000 people came to see Oprah and Obama in Columbia, South Carolina. The historic Democratic Iowa caucus had its results. Obama won the caucus on January 3, 2008. This sent shock waves all over the world. People celebrated. Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary. Obama won the South Carolina primary later. The South Carolina primary results caused Bill Clinton to compare Obama’s victories to Jesse Jackson’s campaigns in 1984 and 1988 (and Clinton said that Obama would be making him coffee back then according to the late Edward Kennedy). This caused rightful anger in the African American community. Barack Obama surged in popularity. First Lady Michelle Obama also spoke throughout the campaign. By February 27, 2008, Georgia Democratic Representative and civil rights hero John Lewis reversed his endorsement from Clinton to Obama. Small donations caused Obama to receive massive support. Axelrod was a great apolitical advisor to him too. There were controversies too. There was the Tony Rezko scandal. There was the March release of news clips of the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright (who was Obama’s pastor for 20 years) at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Ironically, Wright told the truth on many issues from exposing imperialism, disagreeing with social injustice, criticizing the overt war crimes of dropping bombs in Hirsohima (plus Nagasaki), and abhorring many evils against black people and Native Americans. Yet, it was taboo for anyone to say these comments in public, because courageous black preaching against imperialism has been demonized by the enemies of truth. Jeremiah Wright said “God d___ America.” Barack Obama gave his Philadelphia speech where he denounced Wright’s remarks while saying that black people’s legitimate grievance against racial injustice must be respected. His speech tried to appealed to people’s better natures and it was very conciliatory and moderate. His historic speech on race was called, “A More Perfect Union.” Barack Obama was a genius political figure during the 2008 campaign. Obama talked about some people clinging to guns, religion, and anti-immigrant sentiment. Hillary Clinton criticized this comment, but we know now that many people falsely scapegoat immigrants in explaining why neoliberal policies have caused jobs to be outsourced unfortunately. Debates about Ayers persisted, but he won the Democratic nomination for President among the Democratic Party. By June 3, 2008, Barack Obama is victorious to be a Democratic Presidential nominee. His Democratic National Convention speech in 2008 was in Denver. It was powerful and historic. He appealed to black people, working people, and other Americans. He called for energy independence, economic reforms, health care improvement, and other progressive positions. He wanted to end the Iraq War. The Republican candidate John McCain was his political opponent. He debated him in many debates. The Presidential campaign was fierce. Barack Obama equated McCain to the failed policy of the Bush administration. Barack Obama won the election in November of 2008. People cheered. Jesse Jackson cried. Oprah Winfrey celebrated. John McCain gave a very gracious concession speech. Barack Obama gave his victory speech in Grant Park of Chicago, Illinois with his wife and children. He was inaugurated on January 20, 2009 to a large crowd of people. Parades existed and hopes were high for the future of America.

During his first 100 days in office, President Barack Obama passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It promoted emergency assistance. The stimulus law gave 40 percent of the money to tax cuts and credits to individuals and businesses. It wasn’t a direct government jobs program modeled on the 1930’s era Works Progress Administration. The stimulus package stopped a massive plunge into a worse depression. The unemployment rate continued to increase for a while. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that promoted gender equality involving pay. He promoted an expanded S-CHIP or the State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. He appointed Sonia Sotomayor (who is the first Latina American on the Court) and Elan Kagan to the Supreme Court. On October 8, 2009, he signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. On October 30, 2009, Obama lifted the ban on travel to the United States by those infected with HIV, which was celebrated by Immigration Equality. He repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in December 22, 2010. On March 11, 2009, Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls, which forms part of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, having been established by Executive Order 13506 with a broad mandate to advise him on issues relating to the welfare of American women and girls. He continued to expanded military involvement in the Afghanistan war while withdrawing military forces from Iraq involving combat missions. President Barack Obama had discussions about Israel, Russia, and the Muslim world. He gave his historic speech promoting tolerance to the Muslim world in Cairo during his first term, but he executed drones strikes and other militarist policies in the Muslim world. So, political news was definitely part of his administration.

The Great Recession harmed the Black American community in such bad ways, that we have not fully recovered from it to this very day. In essence, the Great Recession was caused by many factors not just one. It involved a massive economic decline in many world markets from the late 2000's to the early 2010's. It was the worse global recession since the Great Recession according to the IMF. The causes of the Great Recession related directly to the financial crisis of 2007, and the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-2009 too. Under the economy definition of recession (which is about 2 or more consecutive quarters of GDP decline), it lasted from December of 2007 to June or July of 2009. Yet, the African American community suffered economic hurt to this very day. Subprime loan losses in 2007 expanded the economic crisis. Loses continued and Lehman Brothers fell on September 15, 2008. Neoliberal politicians passed bailouts in their minds to save the largest banks from total financial collapse. During the Great Recession, international trade, and commodity prices declined. Unemployment grew and many human beings foreclosed on their housing since they couldn’t afford to pay their mortgage payments. Household debt increased also. The housing bubble nearly tripled the prices of homes and other real-estate from 1999 to 2007. This huge increase was due in part to the uncontrolled credit given by the American banks that engaged in such practices, and which further increased demand in the housing sector. On December 30, 2008, the Case-Shiller home price index reported the largest price drop in its history. Increased foreclosure rates in 2006–2007 among U.S. homeowners led to a crisis in August 2008 for the subprime, collateralized debt obligation, mortgage, credit, hedge fund, and foreign bank markets. As early as October 2007, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury had called the bursting housing bubble "the most significant risk to our only economy.” Economic inequality further grew. The distribution of household incomes in the United States has become more unequal during the post-2008 economic recovery, a first for the U.S but in line with the trend over the last ten economic recoveries since 1949. Income inequality in the United States has grown from 2005 to 2012 in more than 2 out of 3 metropolitan areas. Median household wealth fell 35% in the US, from $106,591 to $68,839 between 2005 and 2011. The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission found that some of the causes were the failures of financial regulation (like the Federal Reserve’s failure to stop the spread of toxic mortgages. Back then, many aspects of the derivatives trading lacked transparency and basic regulatory controls), the financial firms acting too reckless and taking too much risk, excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that permitted this risky reality, and many policy makers failing to prepare for the crisis. Many conservatives blamed the crisis on the actions of Fannie & Freddie since they were involved government policy in dealing with much of American housing. Liberals, of course, disagree with that assumption. The capitalist system was filled with risky practices, excessive leverage, and instability that contributed to the recession. African American suffered greatly during this era.

The Economic Policy Institute mentioned that in 2010, black unemployment reached above 10 percent. There was the 2001 recession too (as a result of the dot com bubble). Many black workers suffered discrimination, loss of wealth, and massive economic troubles. Bailouts existed for big Wall Street corporations (when no major Wall Street banker have been convicted of financial malfeasance) while the leadership of both parties refused to bailout state and local governments during the Great Recession (and afterwards because many of them believe in the neoliberal philosophies of austerity and free market fundamentalism). During the Great Recession, Black household wealth fell to one-twentieth that of median white households. After debts were subtracted from assets, the median white household was worth a little over $113,000, while Black households could lay claim to only $5,600 in assets. Half of Black households were worse off than that, and about half of those had virtually no family worth at all. Studies have documented racial discrimination against black Americans involving many financial situations. Wall Street oligarchs and their allies received the majority of the economic benefits post-Great Recession. That’s the sad part. There has been economic growth since 2009, but that growth has been uneven. The US gained 1.058 million jobs in 2010, 2.083 million in 2011, 2.236 million in 2012, 2.331 million in 2013, and 3.116 in 2014. GDP grew roughly 2.5% in 2010, 1.6% in 2011, 2.3% in 2012, 2.2% in 2013, and 2.4% in 2014. May 2014 also marked the recovery of all jobs lost during the recession. Over 12.1 million jobs have been created since job losses stopped in February 2010 as of June 2015. However, these new jobs are not equal in pay to those medium-paying jobs lost: roughly 40% are high-paying jobs and 60% are low-paying jobs, further widening the income gap between poor and affluent Americans. Government attempts to reduce deficits via the sequester budget cuts will remain a drag on the economy for as long as the Budget Control Act of 2011 remains in place. I don’t agree with sequester, because of obvious reasons. Economics are complex, so every aspect of an economy can’t be blamed on any President completely. Goods and services spread in the economy while Wall Street banking interests have used hedge funds including derivatives to establish record profits. Only a revolutionary policy can be a real solution. In essence, Americans (and other people worldwide) were victims of an imperfect economic system while the financial oligarchs were heavily involved in exacerbating the Great Recession in the first place. One aspect of the Great Recession was that it has inspired many progressive activists to advance the goal of economic justice.

By Timothy