August 26, 2013 at 8:45 am #95428
Videos from the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
As you begin a new week, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate.
Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.August 26, 2013 at 8:46 am #95429
Good Morning, EveryoneAugust 26, 2013 at 8:54 am #95430
On the road with the Dream Defenders
by Trymaine Lee, MSNBC | August 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM
It was a little before midnight on Thursday when the 12-person van packed with 15 people pulled onto the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. The bleary-eyed, huddled masses inside yelled for the driver to turn up the stereo as they pumped their fists and cheered.
After eight long hours on the road from Miami–with stops at a couple college campuses across the state–the core of the Dream Defenders, a group of mostly twenty-something activists, had made it that much closer to their final destination: Washington, DC.
They were greeted by a charter bus and about 50 other college students from all over Florida. The scene was part-family reunion, part-field trip. There were hugs and smiles and a kind of giddy excitement as the group loaded bags into the belly of the bus under the moonlight.
For the next 16 hours the group rumbled up I-95 and the eastern seaboard toward Washington and a date with history, pulling into the district late on Friday afternoon as a slew of rallies, receptions and commemorations for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington were set to begin.August 26, 2013 at 8:55 am #95431
Republicans Are Doing Their Best to Kill Dr. King’s Dream
Aug. 25th, 2013
It is counterintuitive to rational thought and a law of physics that anything remains static after 50 years of passing time. It is just as irrational that people living in the 21st century fail to evolve and a segment of the American population have not progressed beyond the 1950s. Fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his dream that one day Americans would judge other Americans by the character of their heart and not the color of their skin, and his dream’s fulfillment depended on the passage of time and a shift in people’s values. Fifty years later a large segment of the population has a dream to return America to conditions the Civil Rights movement sought to change, and Republicans are fulfilling their vision of second-class status for African Americans because a majority of the population elected an African American man as President.
Although racial animus never left a segment of the population, it appeared that as a whole Americans had indeed looked at African Americans as human beings worthy of the respect and dignity all citizens deserve, and Dr. King would have been pleased at the apparent progress this country made toward fulfilling his dream. However, due to Republicans propagating racial angst and suspicion toward Barack Obama within days of his election victory in 2008, any progress the nation made toward a semblance of racial equality went out the window. To be fair, only John McCain attempted to put Republican-driven suspicion of Barack Obama to rest during his campaign for the presidency when he told a hate-filled senior citizen that then-Senator Obama was a good American family man whom he disagreed with as far as politics. It was all Republican fear-mongering, suspicion, and denigration for the President from then on that drastically ratcheted up the minute President Obama was sworn in office, and it has only gotten worse since he won re-election to a second term.
To say Republicans, teabaggers, and conservative talking-heads have incited bigots to new heights of hatred borne of their racial animus is an understatement, and throughout it all Republicans have been loath to quell their supporters’ racist angst. In fact, throughout the Republican primaries last year and inherent in the presidential campaign of Willard Romney, blatant and dog whistle racism was part and parcel of the Republican strategy to denigrate the President that exploded after George Zimmerman was acquitted for stalking and murdering Trayvon Martin. It is true there were calls for a race war that marked a new low for the conservative movement over the past two years, but instead of rushing to calm racial hatred, Republicans gave their tacit approval with their silence and fear of conservatives instigating racial hatred for African Americans.August 26, 2013 at 8:56 am #95432
Young black men energized by 50th anniversary march
by Todd Johnson | August 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Chicago teenager Terrence Riley didn’t plan to attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington Saturday, but his grandmother insisted he come.
She’s pretty old and it meant a lot to her because she marched [back in 1963],” said Riley, 17. “She really wanted me to be a part of it and my [younger] brother, but we weren’t really exactly excited.”
Riley’s indifference to the event changed quickly, however. He admitted he was inspired by the “passion” of several speakers and the overall atmosphere.
Riley was among tens of thousands of people who gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
TheGrio.com asked several young African-American men to reflect on the day’s events and share how the anniversary is relevant to their lives in 2013. Responses ranged from stories of pride and appreciation to calls for more action and participation from young people in civil rights issues.
Engaging older generations for advice
Matt Williams is part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Wake Forest University. Williams said participating in the 50th anniversary events in DC was a way for him to show older generations his appreciation for their sacrifices.
“So much has happened since the [March on Washington] in 1963,” said Williams, who graduated from Wake Forest in 2009. “But there is so much more to do in terms of justice in America…creating a fair and equal playing field for everyone to sort of be their whole self and sort of get to the larger issues that are affecting us all.”August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am #95433
Ted Cruz Is Psychotic
Posted on August 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm by Mr. Brink
Oh, the face of defeat really does have a pretty mouth sometimes.
In an interview today on CNN‘s State Of The Union with slumlord/host Candy Crowley, Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX), Mr. Defund Obamacare Or Else Great Harm Will Come To You! told America that he intends to actually assist his misguided, healthcare-seeking constituents in signing up for the federal healthcare insurance exchange, set to begin open enrollment October 1st. So, by the state of Texas’s actions in publicly refusing expansion of Medicaid, as called for in the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that the government has no business in their healthcare business– It appears that Texas, in particular, is secretly leaving pies on Sheriff Bart’s windowsill to help manage their twisted, states’ rights affairs.
Fooling all of the people all of the time can become a grind, but this is the problem with only reading headlines. On paper, Ted Cruz sounds like he’s concerned and will do anything he can to help people, saying,
“I am honored to represent 26 million Texans,” he said, “and dealing with the government is inherently frustrating, it’s inherently confusing and one of the things our office takes very seriously is trying to help Americans deal with the government.”
Oh, sure. He’s a helper on paper, maybe in bipartisan headlines, maybe even a traitor in some parts, but if you go to the tape, all of that reliable GOP fake sincerity and concern trolling is bolstered by Ted Cruz’s visibly uncomfortable body language, bordering on polite hostility. And, with that polished sheen of Southern-transplant condescension enjoyed by millions of compassionate conservative sociopaths everywhere, Obamacare is saved!
If the word empathy has any life left in it, Ted Cruz is now pissing arsenic into it’s ocular cavity. They’ve basically turned the idea of empathy and compassion into a dog whistle, or selling point, for those who refuse to believe that the GOP is actually this psychoticAugust 26, 2013 at 9:03 am #95434
Martin Luther King Was A Liberal Progressive Who Favored Left Wing Causes & Don’t You Forget It
By Oliver Willis · August 23,2013
As we head towards the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, it is worth pausing for a second to solidly stake out the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of the left.
For years the right has sought to either de-politicize Rev. King or expunge his leftist sentiment from the public record. We are told time and again that King was somehow beyond ideology and that his quest for civil rights and justice didn’t deal in politics.
Rev. King was a liberal. A dyed in the wool liberal. He was on the left. He favored liberal solutions and liberal policies. He wasn’t a centrist, moderate, on the center-left or God forbid anywhere near the right. HE WAS A LIBERAL.
The first, and worst counterargument to King’s liberalism often relies on conservatives assuming that people are either stupid, ignorant or unwilling to challenge their perversion of history. They claim that since the most vehement of opposition to King was often rooted in the Democratic party, while he had support in the Republican party, as proof that he was on the right.
This is absurd because it pretends that both parties occupied the same positions on the left-right spectrum in 1963 that they do today. In fact, as anyone who has ever cracked open a history book understands, the Democrats had a contingent of southern racists while the Republicans had northeastern liberals.
It just happens that it was the movement led by Rev. King and others that helped to remake the two parties. Lyndon Johnson – a Democrat – signed the Civil Rights Act into law, and the racist Dixiecrats soon found themselves on the outside of the party. Similarly, the conservative takeover of the Republican Party – liberal Rockefeller lost the nomination in favor of Goldwater – moved that party to the right. Soon the Dixiecrats found a resting place in the GOP while liberals became a part of the Democratic Party.
But back to King.August 26, 2013 at 9:10 am #95435
‘We do not have the votes right now’
By Steve Benen
Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
Proponents of the Republican government-shutdown scheme generally express nothing but optimism — their support is growing, they say, and the effort continues apace.
There is, however, ample reason to believe the GOP is moving further away from actually executing the shutdown plan.
Late last week, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the #4 member of the House Republican leadership, dismissed the scheme, saying it’s “probably not realistic.” Around the same time, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) stressed his hatred for the Affordable Care Act, but nevertheless added that his party should invest its energies elsewhere.
Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), one of the key ringleaders of the shutdown scheme, conceded, “We do not have the votes right now.”
So, it’s over, right? Not quite yet.August 26, 2013 at 9:22 am #95436
A rare defeat for the religious right in Alabama
By Steve Benen
Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:19 AM EDT.
Dissent on culture-war issues is rarely tolerated within the Republican Party. A few months ago, for example, the chair of the Illinois Republican Party was forced to step down for having the audacity to say gay Americans should be able to allowed to get married.
In Alabama, where dissent among Republicans on social conservatism is even less common, a similar fight has brewed in recent weeks and was resolved over the weekend. The outcome was not altogether expected.
At the heart of the controversy is Alabama College Republicans Chairwoman Stephanie Petelos, who praised the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act on Facebook. Soon after, she told a local news outlet she supports marriage equality because “we’re governed by the constitution and not the Bible.”
The comments were not well received within the Alabama GOP. State Republican officials quickly began the process of writing new bylaws that would require all steering committee members to support the party’s positions as outlined in the national platform. Those who publicly disagree would be removed from their leadership posts.
On Saturday, in a surprising turn of events, efforts to punish Petelos fell short.August 26, 2013 at 9:26 am #95437
Ginsburg reflects on present, future
By Steve Benen
Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:37 AM EDT.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat down for a fascinating interview with the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, which is generally a departure from the norm. As Liptak noted, “Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews.”
But Ginsburg, an 80-year-old jurist confirmed to the high court two decades ago, had quite a bit to say about the justices’ recent work, Congress’ dysfunction, and the recent far-right trend that has made this “one of the most activist courts in history.”
Of particular interest to court watchers, though, are Ginsburg’s career plans. For many on the left, her retirement before the end of President Obama’s second term is critically important to the nation’s future, but for now, the justice seems intent on staying on the job.
On Friday, she said repeatedly that the identity of the president who would appoint her replacement did not figure in her retirement planning.
“There will be a president after this one, and I’m hopeful that that president will be a fine president,” she said.
Were Mr. Obama to name Justice Ginsburg’s successor, it would presumably be a one-for-one liberal swap that would not alter the court’s ideological balance. But if a Republican president is elected in 2016 and gets to name her successor, the court would be fundamentally reshaped.August 26, 2013 at 10:23 am #95441
How not to defend voter suppression in North Carolina
By Steve Benen
Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:10 AM EDT
Two weeks after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) approved the most sweeping voter-suppression law seen in the United States in a generation, the political world is taking note of the disaster in growing numbers. Last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned the state’s new voting restrictions, and yesterday, pundit Cokie Roberts said, “[W]hat’s going on about voting rights is downright evil.”
But don’t worry, the Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, a prominent leader of the religious right movement for decades, has a new defense. In a WorldNetDaily column, the right-wing activist offered an unexpected explanation of why some of North Carolina’s new restrictions are worthwhile.
The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”
The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaign.
Have you ever heard a political figure accidentally read stage direction, unaware that it’s not supposed to repeated out loud? This is what Schlafly’s published column reminds me of.
For North Carolina Republicans, the state’s new voter-suppression measures are ostensibly legitimate — GOP officials are simply worried about non-existent fraud. The response from Democrats and voting-rights advocates is multi-faceted, but emphasizes that some of these measures, including restrictions on early voting, have nothing whatsoever to do with fraud prevention and everything to do with a partisan agenda.
And then there’s Phyllis Schlafly, writing a piece for publication effectively saying Democrats are entirely right — North Carolina had to dramatically cut early voting because it’s not good for Republicans.August 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm #95450
Who has Obama’s back? Those who’ve been in the struggle all along
Today I’d like to point you all to a diary my friend Denise Oliver Velez wrote back in 2008 when the FISA bill was going through Congress. I don’t agree with everything she said (as the saying goes, if I did, one of us would be unnecessary) – but the message is clear.
I have never had privacy. My parents had no privacy. I grew up under the persecution of the McCarthy period, and watched family friends driven out of jobs, and some driven to suicide. I watched my father watch the backs of his friends, and I have learned how to be a trooper since the day I could walk…
The Constitution that has been bandied about here in hysterical FISA diaries of outrage in the last few days has very little meaning for me…The privacy that you are so willing to throw Obama under the bus for has no meaning for me. I’ve never had the luxury to have any…
The Constitution was a series of compromises, and black folks got the worst of them. Legislation is a series of compromises. This country is a series of compromises. The young are impatient. It makes them refreshing but it also makes them stupid. They will throw themselves at the barricades and commit revolutionary suicide in the name of purity…
And so they rant on…in diary after diary after diary…and I sit in wonder and wonder – where were you when we were dying? Where are you when were crying? Who among you challenged COINTELPRO? Who fought J Edgar Hoover? Who among you will go to jail for me? Will die for me, will call out the names of the dead killed by that piece of paper you now brandish like a sword to impale your former Hero? Oh how your Champion has fallen and will you banish him from your side of this game called politics? For I see now that for you it is but a game.
I don’t play games. Games are for children. I’m not in a tournament. Tournaments are for athletes and Knights of the Roundtable in fairy tales. I’m in a war – and this is just one battle, one skirmish in a war that has gone on since Christopher Columbus got lost on his way to despoil India. A war that I will not see the end of. A war that requires a patience that transcends death. A war that may determine if any human beings remain alive to carry on the struggle on this planet when I am turned to dust.
But I know my role in that war. I’m an aging foot soldier. I’m a protective grandmother, a woman, a black woman. I don’t forget, and I don’t forgive, but I do my duty and I stand as one among thousands. I say proudly, “Barack. Young man. I got your back.” I will fight all and any who have falsely claimed to be a part of this struggle, but turned tail at the sight of the first puff of smoke. I will denounce them as cowards.
The way I see it, women and people of color know that RIGHT NOW they are in the fight of their lives to maintain the forward movements people like Denise and her generation struggled to attain. And she’s not about to get distracted from that fight by the games the purists want to play. You go girl!!!!August 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm #95453
The right seizes on Christopher Lane’s killing
By Steve Benen
Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:02 AM EDT
Shooting deaths in the United States may be tragically common, but when three Oklahoma teenagers shot and killed Australian baseball player Christopher Lane 10 days ago, the circumstances were gut-wrenching. The suspected killers, ranging in age from 15 to 17, later said they murdered Lane because they were simply “bored and didn’t have anything to do.”
Since the terrible incident in the town of Duncan, however, U.S. conservatives have decided Lane’s death is a political opportunity. This is especially true of Fox News, whose White House correspondent, Ed Henry, had this exchange last Wednesday with White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest:
HENRY: Do you have any reaction to the Christopher Lane case?
EARNEST: I’m not familiar with it, actually.
HENRY: In Oklahoma, this 22-year-old Australian — 22 or 23, I’ve seen different reports — baseball player, came from Australia, was targeted apparently by three African American young men who — the Australian was out on a jog and these young men apparently told the police they were bored and they thought it would just be fun to kill him. Any reaction to that?
Note the specific wording of Henry’s question: “three African American young men.” In reality, one of the alleged shooters is black, one is white, and one is of mixed racial heritage. But for the Fox News correspondent, this became “three African American young men.”
The back-and-forth continued as you might expect it to — the White House spokesperson said it “sounds like a pretty tragic case” and add some related thoughts on the importance of reducing gun violence. Ed Henry, unsatisfied, wanted an explanation as to why President Obama commented on the Trayvon Martin case, but not this one.
And almost immediately, the rest of the conservative media began pushing the same line, almost as if it were coordinated. In the blink of an eye, the murder was the right’s new rallying cry to express a racial/political grievance — if the shooting of an unarmed black teenager was a national controversy, then the shooting of an unarmed white baseball player should be, too.
In one especially jarring instance, Drudge published a piece on this Friday carefully omitting the mugshot of the white assailant, showing only the other two suspected shooters. The racial subtext was so obvious, it was no longer a subtext at all.
It was part of a much larger push, which quickly started ignoring relevant details.August 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm #95454
Colin Powell Sang ‘Blurred Lines’ on a Stage
BY MAUREEN O’CONNOR
Along with Katie Holmes, Lenny Kravitz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jamie Foxx, and Pharrell, former secretary of state Colin Powell “jumped onstage” at the Fourth Annual Apollo in the Hamptons benefit this weekend. He “even sang a few lines of Robin Thicke’s summer hit ‘Blurred Lines,’” reports “Page Six.”
Now, we cannot say with certainty whether or not the following picture shows Colin Powell singing the lines, “But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature / Just let me liberate you / Hey, hey, heyAugust 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm #95458
A response over at BJ to a feminism celebration thread:
August 26, 2013 at 11:07 am
I’m sorry, let me attempt a different – but equally appropriate – response.
You’re not on my side. Don’t pretend that you are. We’re not allies, we’re not friends and not only will we never be, we never should be. You’re loyal to a vision of political progress that rests on the invisibility and marginalization of the interests and challenges of me and mine. Your success rests on my disadvantage. We may both vote Democratic, but never take that as a reason to propel the delusion that you’re actually interested in what’s best for me and mine instead of what’s best for a white-defined, white-beneficial, falsely universal “all.” Your loyalties were exposed the moment you thought a self-serving elision of collective white responsibility for racism was a reasonable topical tack.
In deemphasizing racism as a dynamic that warrants specific, proactive redress from the societally empowered, you’ve implicitly made the silent continuation and acceptance of racism and white supremacy a logical and morally defensible proposition if you’re white. That’s wonderful if that’s true for you. Unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone else. Condescendingly dismissing the trade-offs of prioritizing white supremacy innocuously presented as white, universal “interests” is exactly the kind of analysis that makes the broader and largely white progressive blogosphere moan about abstractions while maintaining a distant silence about the actively and directly disadvantaged.
Also, I’m not remotely interested in making your argument for you. You’ve constructed a world where whiteness and access to whiteness didn’t qualify as social currency, regardless of gender. You’ve crafted a reality where white women – who directed black servants, lived on plantations, attended lynchings and were directly responsible for some of them and financially benefited from having white fathers, white brothers and white husbands – held no personal power and no personal agency for its propagation. Your objections rest on fiction. And you want me to address them seriously? You want me to say that only black people should be in a supposed “no-win situation?”
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