Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Run, n-----, run" Yells Missippi Justice Court Judge

MS Judge Bill Weisenberger
It’s sometimes necessary to check the date on an article, if for no other reason than to make sure a piece from years ago wasn’t accidentally re-published. This Clarion-Ledger piece from the weekend, for example, may sound like news from a bygone era, but it deals with accusations of alleged behavior from this month in Mississippi.
In an echo of Mississippi’s past, a Justice Court judge here is accused of striking a mentally challenged young man and yelling, “Run, n—–, run.”
The family has filed a complaint with police against Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white, alleging he struck their 20-year-old African-American son, Eric Rivers, on May 8 at the Canton Flea Market.
“This is 2014,” said former Canton Mayor William Truly, president of the Canton branch of the NAACP, “not 1960, where someone could slap a young man and call out, ‘Run, n—–, run.”
In the wake of recent racial controversies surrounding Cliven Bundy and Don Sterling, it’s been an ugly spring. But if the allegations involving Weisenberger are accurate, this is arguably the most disgusting incident of the bunch.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GOP “Ballot Security”: Efforts Weaken Voter Rights


Are you concerned about growing Republican efforts to suppress voter turn-out? After sweeping State government seats across the nation in the 2010 mid-term, voter suppression legislation is on the rise, including restrictive voter ID laws in 33 states and laws requiring people to show proof of citizenship before registering to vote. These new laws coupled with the recent Supreme Court decision that weakened the 1965 Voting Rights Act result in our election system taking a beating and seriously weakens your right to vote. What you need to realize is that this is not a new movie. Unfortunately, you are just coming in long after the movie has already started.

We recently celebrated President Johnson’s successful effort to extend the right to vote to all citizens with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But, conservative anti-voter fraud efforts were already in full swing. Republicans attributed President Kennedy’s narrow win in the 1960 presidential election to alleged voter fraud in Illinois and Texas. Before the 1964 presidential election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) launched Operation Eagle Eye, the nation’s first large scale anti-voter fraud campaign.  Volunteers were recruited to challenge voter’s eligibility at polling places and to intimidate them with cameras, 2 way radios and calls to GOP friendly sheriffs for assistance.

In 1981 the RNC instituted “caging”, a technique that sent hundreds of thousands of sample ballots to voters in African American and Latino neighborhoods. If ballots were returned as undeliverable, the information was used to strike many eligible voters from the rolls. Another effort in New Jersey, the RNC recruited squadrons of men, often off duty policemen, to descend on African American and Latino precincts wearing National Ballot Security Task Force armbands. The men carried walkie-talkies and in some cases guns. Signs were posted warning in large red letters that the areas were being patrolled. This was another effort to intimidate legitimate voters.
After the election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a federal law suit based on violations of the Voting Rights Act. The Case was settled in 1982 when the RNC signed a consent decree to end all “ballot security” programs targeting minority precincts.

Four years later in Los Angeles, the RNC was caught “caging” black voters in an effort to “keep the Black vote down”. After the DNC filed suit again, the court required the RNC to submit all plans for anti-voter fraud campaigns to the court for approval before implementation.

After Bush v Gore, political strategist increased their efforts, trying to alter rules and tinker with election administration to gain partisan advantage. The results helped George Bush defeat John Kerry in his bid for a second term in the White House. “Ballot security” programs have tipped the balance of some elections, giving Republican “razor-thin margins of victory” in recent years.

In 2008, the RNC appealed to the court to abolish or modify decades old consent decrees barring certain anti-voter fraud activities. The court declined to lift the ban on these programs designed to keep minority voters from casting their ballots. Now an organization called True the Vote wants to pick up where the RNC left off, by building a nationwide army to root out voter fraud—or, some would say, to suppress voter turnout through intimidation and legal maneuvers which strip voter eligibility.

Yes, the movie goes on and the stakes are high. Since Republicans can’t win your vote with policies you can embrace, they are hell bent on kicking minorities off the voter rolls. Watch and listen for “ballot security” measures designed to steal your vote. Keep an eye on your state legislation that might make voting more difficult or even impossible for some minority voters. Don’t be swayed by empty promises and attempts to sell you on fewer hours and reductions in the number of locations where you can vote. Prepare to fight for your right as a citizen to cast your vote.

Related articles:

The Ballot Cops, Mariah Blake, The Atlantic
Republicans Admit Voter-ID Laws are Aimed at Democratic Voters, Jamelle Bouie, The Daily Beast

How Voter Supression Works,  Dave Roos, How Stuff Works

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rebel Flag Outside the White House

Why can't some folks get over the fact that the President of the United States is a Black man? He's number 44 and was been elected by the majority of the American people to serve this country for two terms as it's leader, the most powerful man in the world. Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D. C. It is their home.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Scandal, Censure and Rebirth: The Fall of Dinesh D'Souza

Last year, conservative author and Obama critic Dinesh D'Souza resigned as President of King's College, an evangelical Christian Liberal Arts school, amid scandal. He was embroiled in controversey over his marital infidelity to his wife of 20 years when he sahred a hotel room with another woman while attending the Truth for a New Generation gathering.
D'Souza wasn't considered an asset to the college since he spent most of his time promoting his documentary and books. His high profille in the media as a critic of the Obama Administration wasn't perceived as beneficial to the college.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ted Cruz Plays Hardball on Defunding Obamacare

(Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Rafael Eduardo "Ted" Cruz, junior United States Senator from Texas, is the darling of the Tea Party Movement and is one of the leading Republicans proposing the defunding of Obamacare.

Although Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada of a Cuban father and Irish-Italian American mother and is a citizen of Canada, little is mentioned about this part of his background. No Birthier Movement on Ted Cruz...he punches all the right buttons for the right wing G. O. P. faithful. He's a gun rights supporter, stands against additional background checks at gun shows, and voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment insuring that the legislation never got the sixty votes needed for cloture.

Although he took his senate seat in 2013, Cruz intends to be heard and some suspect he has his eyes on the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. He challenged Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense Secretary, blocked Senate Budget negotiations because of concerns over a debt ceiling hike and fought with FL Senator Marco Rubio over a bi-partisian immigration bill. Each of these actions gained him legion of fans within the right wing of the G.O.P.

Senators Cruz and Rubio both support defunding Obamacare as a condition of moving forward to fund the government. He calls his opponents the "surrender caucus", calling them "scared" to wage a fight. Cruz relishes intro-party warfare, pushing for party purity and advocates pulling the Republican Party further to the right. If the government is shut down due to lack of funding, the G.O.P. establishment believes the party will take the lion's share of blame and that such a move would be disastrous for the Republican Party.

Many people believe that Cruz's positions are not about principles or party, but rather about boosting his own brand and a possible future presidential bid. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, along with party staple Karl Rove don't support Cruz's  position on defunding Obamacare. Mike Lee (R-UT) has the support of 12 other Senators against Cruz's "defund Obamacare push".

It'll be interesting to see how the struggle will play out and, if a government shutdown occurs based on G.O.P. strategies such as defunding Obamacare, if the American people will penalize Republicans at the polls.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Obama Bashing Coming from Filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza

A new “documentary” from filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza ,  co-director and writer of the "2016: Obama's America”,  is to be released  July Fourth 2014. The film is in its early stages now and should be completed by June 2014. You can expect the film to be anti-Obama, as with every other work D’Souza produces.
D'Souza, 52, a native of Mumbai, India, came to the United States as a foreign student. He earned a degree from Dartmouth, gaining notoriety for his conservative writings and is the author of several influential and best-selling books, including "Letters to a Young Conservative" and "What's So Great About America."

 “America,” D’Souza said, will extol American exceptionalism, celebrate American values, and counter the vision offered by President Barack Obama. The new film will focus on D’Souza’s case against the Obama agenda. He said it is not intended as a sequel to ‘2016.’
In "2016," D'Souza used arguments made in his bestselling 2010 book "The Roots of Obama's Rage" to argue that Obama had deep-seated anger against the country he leads, a feeling that he absorbed from his father, a Kenyan who resented British colonialism. These are continuing themes of the Tea Party and Conservative Right.

D'Souza says his new film takes the next step, by offering a debate between the competing visions of America's 1776 Founding Fathers and "Obama's America," which he traces to “the radical upheavals of 1968”.
"2016" pulled in $33.4 million, the second-highest-grossing political documentary in history. Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11", released in 2004, grossed more than $222 million.
Michael Moore
D'Souza says he hopes supporters and conservatives will come out in droves to help it surpass liberal Michael Moore's film as the nation's top documentary on record. I'm sure he won't mind putting more coins in his own pocket.

D'Souza jokes of Moore, his outspoken movie-making counterpart on the left: "We have to dethrone the fat guy. It's too embarrassing to be right behind him. I sometimes joke that he's a symbol of the federal government, overweight and out of control. We want to give him a run for his money."

D'Souza adds: "Since Hollywood isn't going to give us any Oscars, it would be extremely satisfying to beat him at the box office."

One thing you can say about D'Souza, he has hit upon a theme in his books and movies that allow the Tea Party and the conservative right wing to feed their hatred of President Obama while keeping D'Souza's pockets lined with coins. He tapped right into the financial side of "the American Dream", know little of what America is really about.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Road to Freedom: Truman Ends Segregation in the Armed Forces

During the years 1947-1954, America struggled to preserve freedom in a dangerous world. The fight abroad led to renewed demands by Black Americans back home.

In 1947, Civil Rights Activist A. Philip Randolph, along with colleague Grant Reynolds, renewed efforts to end discrimination in the armed services, forming the Committee Against  Jim Crow in Military Service and Training, later renamed the League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation. Randolph warned that “Discrimination and segregation in the Armed Forces is ...a grave threat... to the internal stability of our nation.”