Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Congressional Black Caucus and Fox News

I was happy to sign a letter to Democratic presidential candidates (Clinton, Obama, Edwards) who chose not to participate in a Fox News sponsored debate. It is a long, sad story, but some members of the Congressional Black Caucus are in favor of holding a presidential debate with Fox. Incredible, isn't it?

Color of Change has admirably led the charge on this issue. Here is the letter.

Dear Candidate,

Your decision last month not to attend the debate sponsored by Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus institute demonstrated truly principled leadership.

Now, a group of CBC members, led by Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), is asking you to reverse that decision. But the truth about Fox and its partnership with the CBC institute has not changed. A Fox-CBCI partnership will use the brand of the CBC—perhaps the most prominent and powerful Black political institution in America—to lend legitimacy to a propaganda network that regularly denigrates black people, black culture and black institutions. This partnership is bad for Black America, and it is a huge mistake.

Since before the debate partnership was announced publicly, Black bloggers, community newspapers, columnists, and radio hosts have expressed outrage that such a partnership would even be considered. Over 16,000 members of reached out to individual CBC members and the CBC institute in hopes that they would be responsive and accountable to the community they purport to represent. But the leadership of the CBC institute has continued to willfully ignore the voices of Black Americans, and amazingly, also dismissed voices of dissent from within the CBC itself (nearly a quarter of CBC members have expressed opposition to the debate, either publicly or privately). Now, more than ever, it’s obvious that the CBC’s leadership is painfully out of step with Black America.

It has been suggested that by skipping this debate, you are missing a valuable opportunity to speak on issues of concern to Black Americans. However, the CBC institute debate broadcast by CNN as well as Tavis Smiley’s debates on PBS provide similar opportunities to address these issues without sending the message that you are willing to validate a network that is consistently hostile to Black Americans and Black political interests.

You did the right thing by rejecting Fox. We applaud your leadership and will continue to support your decision.

Brandon Quante White, The SuperSpade
Garlin Dorell Gilchrist II, The SuperSpade
Jill Tubman, Jack and Jill Politics
Wayne Bennett, Field Negro
Bruce Dixon, Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Leutisha Stills, Sr. Correspondent & Chief Researcher, CBCMonitor
dnA, Too Sense
Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend
Chris Rabb,
Rikyrah, Mirror on America
Earl Dunovant, Prometheus 6
Margaret Kimberley, Freedom Rider
James Rucker,

We are still looking for signers, particularly bloggers. If you are interested, please email Gabriel at gabriel AT colorofchange DOT org.
Jerry Falwell and the Savage Christians

"Christians perpetrated the crusades, the inquisition, the slave trade and imperial adventures too numerous to mention. It may be comforting to pat ourselves on the back and consign those behaviors to past centuries. We are living in the 21st century after all. Who would use the name of the Christian God to justify mass killing? A majority of modern day American Christians, that's who."

Who made this brilliant statement? Yours truly in this week's Black Agenda Report. The words are harsh, but I can back it all up. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Christian Terror Plot

"Christian Terrorist Arrested at Falwell Funeral"

That should have been the headlines in today's newspapers. Mark D. Uhl is a Liberty University student. I'm guessing that means he is a Christian. He was also arrested with homemade bombs in his possession. He says he wanted to keep protesters from disrupting the funeral. It isn't clear who he thought was going to disrupt or how they would do it, but making bombs is an indication of violent intentions and a very sick mind.

The right wing are going nuts because of a poll that showed 8% of American Muslims approving of suicide bombing in some cases. So, a majority of Muslims are opposed to terrorism. They certainly aren't like Christians. A majority of them are in favor of torture and a majority of them are in favor of deliberately targeting civilians in warfare.

Thank God for Muslims. Hopefully they will keep those crazy Christians in check.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bush Plans Dictatorship

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
George W. Bush

Bush uttered those very unfunny words on December 18, 2000. On that day the president-elect went to capitol hill to meet with Congressional leaders and emerged from the meeting flipping them and the American people this rhetorical bird.

The president is making good on those words and there hasn't been a peep out of Congress or the press. In a document released on May 9, 2007 entitled "National Continuity Policy," Bush makes good on his sick fantasy. In case of “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function” Bush will control the entire U.S. government, not just the federal branch.

It isn't really surprising. Bush decides who is an enemy combatant, a person without legal rights, and who should be spied upon.

If ever there was a moment for conspiracy theories, this is it. Will there be a phony terror attack, or a declaration of war against Iran? We don't know what the trigger will be but it is time to be afraid.

Actually it is time for impeachment. Bush's unpopularity makes him particularly dangerous. So does the acquiescence of the media and the silence of the Democrats. State legislatures have the right to begin the impeachment process but they have been smacked down by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

We are screwed. The phrase may be inelegant, but it says it all. Maybe we will all end up in Guantanamo. Who knows? The National Continuity Policy contains "classified continuity annexes." WTF!? As I said, we are screwed.

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the tip.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Obama and Affirmative Action

". . . if we have done what needs to be done to ensure that kids who are qualified to go to college can afford it, that affirmative action becomes a diminishing tool for us to achieve racial equality in this society."
Barack Obama

Was I right or what? In this week's Black Agenda Report I asked if black Americans ought to want a black president. If the would be president in question is Barack Obama, the answer is a definite no.

In his over rated speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, Obama declared that "there is no black America." What nonsense. Identity politics haven't disappeared for anyone else in the country. It would be ludicrous for black people to think that anything about their situation has changed because St. Barack says so.

Unfortunately, black politicians only get support from white voters when they deemphasize their blackness. That inevitable means not standing up for other black people or for their interests.

George Stephanopoulos doesn't really care about the handful of black kids from double Ivy League households. He wants to get rid of affirmative action and he asked about Obama's kids as a convenient excuse. It just wouldn't do to 'fess up that George wants white guys to stay on top withouthaving to deal with pesky newcomers demanding a slice of the pie.

That is not surprising, but a black politicians have to give the answer that most whites want to hear. Bad news for us, for Obama and any other black presidential candidate.