Archive for January 2013
Black and Brown Schools Already Over-Policed
“When we look at whose schools are policed and which students have to go through metal detectors, get pad-downs, get drug-searched on a routine basis, it’s our students of color and our communities of color across this country,” said Matthew Cregor, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The Newtown, Connecticut, massacre has led to renewed calls for an increased police presence in schools. However, what inner city students need are more social workers, psychologists and counselors, and teaching resources, said Cregor.
Savage School Inequalities Intensify
“Our schools are more segregated and less equal than they were in 1968, when Dr. King was taken from us,” said Jonathan Kozol, the educator, activist and author. “This kind of inequality is a theological abomination, a crime against the least of us,” said Kozol, author of the 1991 classic Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. He was interviewed on public radio’s Smiley & West show.
Obama “Co-Conspirator” in Austerity Schemes
“Austerity is, essentially, shifting of the burden of the economic depression from those who created it onto the working class and the poor,” said activist Eric Draitser, who has been organizing anti-austerity forums. “This is a concerted attack by financiers and the ruling class against the legacy of the New Deal.” President Obama is “a co-conspirator and collaborator with these austerity schemes.” Draitser is publisher of the web site StopImperialism.com.
MLK vs. Obama
Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have nothing in common, politically, according to Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “The only connection they would have in the real world be that Dr. King would be leading the demonstrations against the Obama regime, if he were alive,” said Yeshitela. Obama has “extended the war machine beyond anything in recent memory.”
Lynn Stewart’s Cancer Spreads
Human rights lawyer Lynn Stewart, serving ten years in a Fort Worth, Texas, prison for her zealous defense of an accused terrorist client, has suffered a relapse of cancer. “It has spread to her other lung and to parts of her back,” said Stewart’s husband, Ralph Poynter, speaking on the radio program Taking Aim. Prison regulations prevent Stewart from obtaining the care she needs. “We feel that it is a death sentence,” said Poynter.
Happy Birthday to Ramsey Clark and Dr. King, from Mumia
If MLK were alive, he would be 84 years old, a year younger than former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, whose birthday was recently celebrated at New York City’s historic Riverside Church, along with the 20th anniversary of the International Action Center. Dr. King “would be with the people, with the IAC, with Ramsey Clark, at Riverside,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal in a message recorded for the event.
What Would Dr. King Do?
Were he alive today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would “highlight Wall Street criminality,” “war crimes coming out of the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department” and “the social crimes of the New Jim Crow, the criminal justice system, which is itself criminal,” said Dr. Cornel West, of the Union Theological Seminary, in New York. “Martin would be very, very sad when he looked at the fraudulent character of Black leadership, the massive capitulation to the White House.”
The slain civil rights leader “would be in righteous opposition to the American regime of austerity and war, and to a president and his administration that is in the vanguard of it,” according to Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “King was, at the end of the day, a democratic revolutionary. He was calling for an uprising to the forces of injustice and war,” said Monteiro. In contrast, today’s “Black petit bourgeoisie are more interested in their own comfort than they are in social justice.”
Black Women’s Wage Gap
The wage gap between men and African American women is 70 cents on the dollar, according to a study of U.S. Census Bureau data by the National Partnership for Women and Families. Sarah Crawford, the group’s director of workplace fairness, said “nearly 40 percent of households headed by African American women are living in poverty, so this lost pay in particularly critical for those families. The difference in earnings amounts to more than $14,000 each year.”
Fictional Fiscal Crisis
“The conservatives, the Republicans, the business lobby, have been allowed to control the debate” over fiscal policy “because they’ve created the idea that we have this big deficit crisis,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. “And it really is a fiction.” Such false assumptions are why “programs like Medicare and Social Security are on the chopping block.”
Pace of Police Killings of Blacks Increases
Kali Akuno, one of the authors of last year’s Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report on extrajudicial killings of Blacks, said “we are already noticing that, by our count, there’s been ten Black men who’ve been killed by police in 2013, and that’s faster than the pace of 2012.” Akuno spoke earlier this month on a National Forum on Police Brutality and Institutional Racism, on Your World News, hosted by Solomon Comissiong and Peter Fowler.
Obama’s War Mongers
“Virtually everybody on the top echelon of the Obama foreign policy team, they all backed the Iraq War,” points out Sam Husseini, communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, tapped for Secretary of Defense, fits the bill. John Brennan, the White House intelligence advisor who got the president’s nod to head the CIA, meets every week with Obama “to decide who they are going to kill,” said Husseini. “He at one point claimed that there were no civilian deaths from the drone program, though we know there are civilian deaths.”
Both Parties Sabotaging Entitlement Programs
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid “have been set up to take the fall for the nation’s deficit,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, president of Washington-based Global Policy Solutions. President Obama “views it as his legacy to rein in entitlement programs while creating this grand bargain” with the Republicans. Those who expected a more progressive Obama in his second term are mistaken. “I think that the president did not make a Freudian slip in his first debate when he said that he and Mitt Romney actually agree on Social Security.”
EPA Chief Used Alias
Lisa Jackson was forced to resign as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency because she conducted some of her public duties under an alias, said famed whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, of the NO FEAR Coalition. Jackson was “extremely upset” with the Occupy Movement, which staged demonstrations against “her cowardly behavior” as guardian of the environment. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo believes Jackson used her alias to cloak her role in government spying on movement activists.
“We feel that 2013 has to be a year of rising resistance to stop-and-frisk in the streets and in the courtrooms,” said Carl Dix, a founder of Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “We’re not talking about mending an injustice; we’re talking about ending it.” The capitalist system is incapable of providing a “future for millions and millions of young people growing up in the urban areas of the country,” said Dix. “You can put Black faces in high places, but if it’s the same system that has oppressed and exploited you, it’s not going to change. Revolution is the solution.”
Big Brother Obama Hears All
President Obama has shown himself to be a more aggressive foe of civil liberties than George Bush. “Absolutely, we’ve seen this to be true from the FISA authorization, to the use of drones, and with the NDAA” preventive detention bill, said Samantha Peetros, spokesperson for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Just before New Years, Obama signed a five-year extension of legislation allowing warrantless phone and email surveillance.
Charters Crowding Out Public Schools in Philly
“I think that there is a growing movement among decision makers to shut the door on public education,” said W. Curtis Thomas, a Black state lawmaker from Philadelphia. The city has targeted 60 public schools for closing, while expanding charter schools by 5,000 seats. “The decision to move kids towards these charter schools is really an effort to resegregate a system that was never totally integrated, anyway,” said Rep. Thomas.