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Tag Archives: President Obama
This morning I decided to watch Fox and Friends, and they did not disappoint. They were interviewing some no name ex-DC cop. He was giving his take on the looting in St. Louis. I was actually waiting to see how could they possibly make a connection between the looting and the president, and the cop did it. He said that most of the people doing the looting and the rioting probably voted for the president and since there is big unemployment in the community they are frustrated, and that is in fact the president’s problem. Now part of his statement is true. The president did receive the majority of the black vote, but frustration does not turn you into a criminal. Frustation might breed apathy and maybe contempt, but it does not make good people commit criminal acts. The reality is the riots are not the fault of the White House. Everything is not President Obama’s fault, but for some folks everything is a reason to attack him, but if something good happens it happened in spite of him.
Hillary Clinton has not declared her candidacy for president, but she is the talk of the political world. She said when she and President Clinton left the White House they were “flat broke”. No one in their right mind really thought they were broke. She exaggerated in her zeal to appear that she was just like us “regular folks”. She is not. She is rich like most people who run for president. The key is to be comfortable with your wealth and stop the charade. Mitt Romney got crucified not because of his wealth, but because of his disdain for the 47%. He was out of touch with regular folks, and so is Clinton, but the difference is Clinton was once a member of the regular folk club, and maybe just maybe she might learn how to relate to them again.
We have a primary coming next week and over the past few weeks we have received numerous mailers extolling the virtues of a myriad of candidates. The question is do you ever read these things, and if so do they factor into your decision about a candidate? Share your thoughts.
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We believe in democracy. We believe in a free society that allows citizens to vote for their leaders. We believe in an orderly transition of power when someone is duly elected by the people, but does this kind of government work anywhere? We have seen so many dictators overthrown in recent years, but the countries in some cases seem worse than before the dictators were overthrown. So what do you think is democracy for everyone?
Christian Baker sentenced to re-education for refusing to bake cake for same sex couple…are his religious rights being violated?
Read the linked article and share your thoughts.
It is fine to disagree with the administration about the handling of Bowe Bergdahl but taking potshots at his father is seemingly a bridge too far. Yesterday Joe Scarborough crossed that bridge and said what he would have done if his son was in a similar situation. Churck Todd who is no fan of the administration challenged him. It is so easy for the media to sit in their comfy chairs and ponder all the “what ifs”, but it is truly another thing to be the parents of a son that has been missing for 5 years. At this point we don’t know all the facts of Bergdahl’s disappearance, and we also know it is impossible to say what we would do for our own child. Joe needs to take a step back from the plank.
More than 200 black men have signed on to a letter expressing concerns about My Brother’s Keeper, the initiative launched by President Obama and the philanthropic community earlier this year to address what the White House calls “opportunity gaps” facing young men and boys of color. The signers–among them actor and activist Danny Glover, scholar Robin D.G. Kelley and author Kiese Laymon–take issue with the $200 million effort’s exclusive focus on boys and men.
The entire letter is worth a read, but its argument is summed up in its final paragraph:
If the denunciation of male privilege, sexism and rape culture is not at the center of our quest for racial justice, then we have endorsed a position of benign neglect towards the challenges that girls and women face that undermine their well-being and the well-being of the community as a whole. As Black men we believe if the nation chooses to “save” only Black males from a house on fire, we will have walked away from a set of problems that we will be compelled to return to when we finally realize the raging fire has consumed the Black women and girls we left behind. I raised similar concerns after the president’s February announcement, so I’ll be closely watching this effort to encourage the initiative to adopt a stance that’s more inclusive to women and girls. This more holistic approach is crucial, according to the letter’s signers, in part because “our historic struggle for racial justice has always included men as well as women who have risked everything not just for themselves or for their own gender but for the prospects of the entire community.” Vassar College professor Luke Harris is a co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, a think tank that’s helping coordinate the effort and hosting the letter on its website. Harris is one of ten men who are recruiting and organizing signers. He told me this week that the overwhelming response to the letter has been gratitude. “There are a lot of people who feel that this is a threshold moment for us to have a conversation,” he said, and emphasized the similarities between the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Million Man March in 1995. Then, event organizers invited men to reclaim their families and communities. Women were asked to stay home.
“From our perspective, it’s a glaring example of the same phenomenon,” Harris said. “It’s a long-term rebranding of the racial justice discourse into a struggle by and for black male leadership, empowerment and responsibility.”
What this amounts to, according to Harris, is “the subsequent marginalization of the role of African-American women as actors in the racial justice movement and a decentering of their needs, which are every bit as important as the needs of their brothers.” The same message is amplified in an op-ed by Harris published this week. In it, he takes on the widespread perception that girls and women of color are somehow in an advantaged position vis-à-vis boys and men, writing:
We know, but do we care that Black girls are much more likely to be suspended than all other girls and most boys as well? We know, but do we care, that Black women have lower average incomes and possess significantly less wealth than both Black men and White women? We know, but do we care, that Black women are disproportionately burdened with childcare in situations of acute poverty? Harris also takes on the narrow definitions of family, the heteronormativity and the leap in logic at the heart of the initiative, writing, “The underlying message here is rooted in the idea that if we help the boys and men, then the situation of girls and women will inevitably get better. With better husbands and sons everything will just ‘click.'” It’s that apparent trickle-down approach to racial uplift that’s given me pause as I’ve watched the philanthropic community and now the White House adopt this emphasis on boys and men. After I asked how and whether girls and women fit into the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, some commenters countered that girls and women don’t need a place at this particular table because their needs were being addressed by the White House Council on Women and Girls, which was launched in 2009. But a statement the National Organization of Women released last week in support of the men’s letter shows why comparing the two efforts is apples and oranges: Women and girls of color are in a deep crisis that is too often overlooked. We do not fault the White House Council on Women and Girls for not producing an initiative of the breadth and scope of “My Brother’s Keeper,” as they were neither tasked nor–as importantly–funded to do so. [Emphasis mine.] The Council’s charge applies to “all” women and girls. But if the specific concerns of girls and young women of color are not investigated and addressed, it becomes all too easy to reinforce the unfortunate myth that girls of color have succeeded and are not in need of attention. There’s a reason it’s easy to forget that there even is a White House initiative for girls: Money makes the world go ’round, and that older initiative lacks the at least $200 million over five years that the philanthropic community has put in place for boys and men. That NOW even weighed in to offer this perspective and its support for the letter highlights the unexpected bedfellows aspect of the current debate, legal scholar and African American Political Forum co-founder Kimberlé Crenshaw told me. “This is really an unprecedented moment in feminist and anti-racist politics. I can’t remember a time in history when a group of black men, particularly as diverse as this–academics, laborers, entertainers–have actually made a statement calling on the community and society at large to directly focus on the plight facing African-American women. Another first is a feminist group basically applauding a black male group,” she said. “Each is acknowledging the extent to which race politics and gender politics hadn’t done a good job elevating some of the issues facing women of color.” Crenshaw called the closing of ranks by the letter’s signers and NOW a “mirror opposite” of the group represented at the president’s My Brother’s Keeper press conference in February. There, conservative Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg–whose commitment to a stop-and-frisk policy that targets young men of color is well-documented–offered their support. It’s the initiative’s focus on personal responsibility over institutional racism and the structures that disadvantage youth of color that allows people like O’Reilly and Bloomberg to feel comfortable getting on board. “That’s a political realignment,” Crenshaw said of the camps on either side of the debate. Harris, of the African American Policy Forum, said a webinar to further discuss the sign-on letter and next steps will be held Thursday, June 12. Details can be found on the think tank’s website as they become available.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dani McClain is a fellow at the Nation Institute. Her writing and reporting on gender, sexuality and reproductive health has been published in outlets including The Nation, The New York Times “Room for Debate,” Al Jazeera America, Colorlines and EBONY.com. She lives in Oakland, California. McClain reported on education and youth issues while on staff at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She has also worked as a strategist, online campaigner and communications staffer with organizations includingColorOfChange.org and Drug Policy Alliance.
Why is it that everything this administration does somehow seems to be a scandal in the making? One would think the release of a POW would give the nation a reason to celebrate, but NO not this time. Why didn’t the administration inform Congress prior to the release of Gitmo prisoners? Why was Susan Rice trotted out again to read talking points that are now viewed as suspect? There are so many questions that need to be answered. The POW’s hometown has cancelled their celebration because the police said they did not have enough manpower to deal with protesters. So where does this leave us? One family rejoices at the homecoming of their son, but a skeptical nation deserves to have their questions answered. Share your thoughts.