• Category Archives America
  • NAACP: A Man Was Lynched Yesterday, And The Day Before That, Too

    a man was lynched yesterday
    “A man was lynched yesterday.” (Photo: NAACP)

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Darkness.

    Light.

    Justice.

    Peace.

    Love.

    Five officers killed in Dallas.

    Five.

    One sniper. Acting alone. While many, many #BlackLivesMatter activists marched peacefully.

    Before that, however, the many lives lost in the African American community at the hands of law enforcement, which gave rise, finally, to #BlackLivesMatter.

    We do not condone violence against African Americans.

    We do not condone violence against police.

    The overwhelming majority of African Americans want peace.

    The overwhelming majority of police want peace.

    The overwhelming majority of people want peace.

    What sense can we make of the State of the Union? What is happening to us? Is this 1968 again?

    Activists stormed the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and were met with brutality by police. Why did they not storm the GOP convention that year?

    Because they knew the GOP would not listen anyhow.

    A mere 12 years later, Ronald Reagan bowed down to “states rights” in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where, in 1964, civil rights workers had been murdered.

    Ronald Reagan was calculating, the “great communicator,” remember?

    He knew what he was doing. He knew to whom he was speaking. The Southern Strategy was alive and strong with this one.

    The GOP has been stoking the fires of the Southern Strategy for decades. And the chickens have come home to roost. Talk about buyer’s remorse. Watch, as GOP leaders try, so desperately try, to distance themselves from Donald Trump. But many of these same leaders vowed, when President Barack Obama was elected, that they would not work with him at all.

    And they spent the better part of eight years fighting each and every thing President Obama proposed, said, didn’t say.

    Whatever.

    From the moment that then-Senator Barack Obama declared his intention to run for POTUS, the number of hate groups in the United States began to grow. In 2011, for the first time ever, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the number of hate groups in this country topped 1,000.

    Their number continues to grow.

    And, now, with membership in the KKK growing, America’s oldest, most infamous hate group, we watch in horror.

    For your consideration, from the NAACP:

    Activists created the NAACP more than a century ago to fight racialized violence.

    Then, we called it “lynching.” Today, we call it “police brutality,” but the effect is still the same — our lives are in danger. Endangered by some of the very people who are called to protect and serve us. We are all tense, angry, devastated, and grieving.

    We grieve for Alton Sterling. We grieve for Philando Castile. And we grieve with the rest of the country over the senseless loss of lives in Dallas, too — because the execution of police officers does not end the execution of black Americans, and it will not put us on the path to change.

    What will put us on the path to justice is the passage of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (LETIA) and the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). Radical reform of policing practices, policies, and laws at all levels must be made — immediately — because the current system is taking too many lives.

    We can take small solace in the fact that the outrage over this 21st century form of lynching is not isolated to the black community. Americans of all races and ethnicities are fighting to put an end to the epidemic of violence — gun violence in particular — in this country. Now is the time to come together as one in grief, in protest, and in pursuit of real, measurable change.

    As an organization, we are doing everything we can to ensure justice is served, but we can’t do it alone. Stand in solidarity with your fellow activists, hand in hand with your community. Contact your elected officials to demand life-saving reforms to a broken system.

    We can — and must — put an end to this together.

    Cornell William Brooks
    President and CEO

    And, we remind ourselves again:

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


  • America Opens Its Arms To Our Transgender Brothers And Sisters

    Did you ever think it would happen in this country?

    I have to admit that I’m not sure I’m there yet.

    As a gay man, I’m still becoming comfortable with the notion of transgender men and women. I’m still learning.

    Amazed, though, at how quickly America has embraced transgender men and women. In spite of the bathroom laws and the hysteria from the right.

    And the cool, compassionate, adult-in-the-room Barack Obama.

    Were you as amazed as I to see this?

    Incredible.

    We’ve come so far as a country the past 7+ years.

    As Barack Obama “evolved” on LGBTQ issues–and as some of us lost our patience entirely with him, given his remarkable history on such issues when he was in Springfield, Illinois–as he evolved, we evolved too.

    But he led. And continues to lead.

    America, hats off to you.

    Hats off to you, Mr. President.


  • Watch: Groups Applaud Delaware Gov. Markell for Personal Message on Recent Wave of Anti-transgender Legislation

    Today, in response to a wave of anti-transgender legislation in several states around the country, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) released a personal, detailed video message standing up for transgender equality and combatting the misinformation and scare tactics that proponents of these discriminatory bills use. Gov. Markell—who is the only sitting governor to have signed laws that enforce both sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations—is uniquely positioned to address the mean-spirited attempts that seek to undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, nondiscrimination laws and require discrimination against the transgender community.

    Equality Delaware, the Center for American Progress, and the National Center for Transgender Equality applaud Gov. Markell for his continued leadership on behalf of transgender people and their families. In response to Gov. Markell’s video message, those organizations released the following statements:

    Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware, said, “Gov. Markell has consistently stood on the side of fairness and equality and today is no different. Proponents of H.B. 2 rushed their bill through the North Carolina legislature in a matter of hours because they knew that when the public has the time to learn about trans people, they respond with affirmation and support. By speaking as a governor who has worked on trans issues, and as someone who cares about transgender people in his own life, Gov. Markell has helped insert into the national conversation the compassion and facts that are missing in the actions and statements made by opponents of equality.”

    Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, said, “As the LGBT community, and transgender people in particular, continue to face an unprecedented number of discriminatory state bills, it remains imperative for those of us living in states and communities with protections to stand up and speak out against hate or discrimination wherever it occurs. Gov. Markell’s video message may be one of the most personal and detailed trans-specific statements ever made by an elected official of his stature. We thank him for helping to educate the public on trans equality and urge other elected officials to follow suit and make clear to the transgender community that there are leaders around the country fighting for them.”

    Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, “It is so important for elected officials like Gov. Markell to vocally and consistently support transgender people and to do their part to educate the rest of the public on who transgender people are. Gov. Markell has always demonstrated solid leadership, including three years ago when he signed wide-ranging protections for all transgender Delawareans into law.”

    Source: http://www.americanprogress.org


  • Ted Nugent Tells Native American Protesters To ‘Go Back Where They Came From’

    Any conservatives following or supporting Ted Nugent must take pause.

    Really.

    From Newslo.com:

    After a group of Native Americans protested outside a concert by Ted Nugent, the late-1970s rocker verbally lashed out, calling them “stinkyass unclean dipshIt protestors” and calling for Native Americans to be “rounded up and shipped back to wherever they came from!”

    Really?

    The article goes on to say that a reporter pointed out that Native Americans occupied North America “10,000 years before whites.”

    Point that a bit higher: it’s actually 25,000-30,000 years, depending on scientific estimates.

    Nugent’s response? “Nugent shoved an AK-47 in his face, saying, ‘Shut up, unclean vermin!'” according to the report.

    Hey, GOP, he’s your guy. Not ours.


  • The Three False Premises of the Ryan Poverty Plan (TalkPoverty.org)

    Stephen Pimpare at TalkPoverty.org performs a critical analysis of Congressman Paul Ryan’s so-called “poverty plan.”

    You won’t want to miss it:

    So what’s so bad about Paul Ryan’s thinking about poverty?

    First, there’s nothing new in it. He offers block grants, cuts to programs, new work requirements, school vouchers, regulatory repeal, more money to faith-based initiatives, and privatizing social services, presenting us with little more than fresh marketing for tired ideas that — when tried in the past — made people’s lives worse, not better. Even the proposals that might seem promising are badly designed — like his way of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.  With the possible exception of his proposals to reduce some mandatory minimum sentences — which advocates of all stripes have been agitating for for decades — it’s old wine in old bottles.  Why should we treat it as newsworthy or innovative?

    There’s a deeper problem with Ryan’s approach beyond the details of his proposal.  The foundation itself is rotten: the project is built upon three fatal, false premises.

    Read the full analysis here at CommonDreams.org


  • Take Action: Sign Jeff Merkley’s Petition – Disclose the Big Money!

    From , Jeff Merkley U.S. Senate candidate from Oregon:

    Ever since the Supreme Court’s outrageous Citizens United decision, corporate spending on political campaigns has skyrocketed.

    But much of that spending never gets disclosed anywhere. We have no idea who is attempting to influence our elections.

    Republicans in Congress may have blocked action, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the power to do something about it. They can create a rule that requires corporations to disclose to their shareholders (and thus, to the public) whether and how much they are spending to influence voters.

    But so far, the SEC has opted to do nothing. That’s not OK.

    Sign our petition and tell the SEC it’s time to stand up and take action.

    If we’re going to fix our democracy, we have to make sure that voters know who is trying to pick winners and losers in our elections.

    Jeff Merkley

    Sign on!


  • On Conservatives and Safety Nets: Robert Reich

    Robert Reich on conservatives and safety nets:

    Conservatives don’t like safety nets because they allegedly make people lazy and careless. But what about safety nets for top executives who fail? Yahoo’s recent decision to pay its chief operating officer $96 million for 15 months of work before firing him is just the latest example of handsome rewards for failure in corporate suites.

    At least safety nets for the poor help those in need. Safety nets for corporate executives give them no reason to work hard because even when they fail they can vastly increase their wealth. One way to discourage these is to prevent corporations from deducting generous executive severance payments from their taxable incomes. What do you think?

    So, what do you think?


  • Man Framed by New York Detective to Get $6.4 Million

    Wow.

    Wow.

    And more wow.

    From the New York Times:

    A man who was framed by a rogue detective and served 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit will receive $6.4 million from the City of New York in a settlement that came before a civil rights lawsuit was even filed, lawyers involved in the case said on Thursday.

    A $150 million claim filed last year by the man, David Ranta, was settled by the city comptroller’s office without ever involving the city’s legal department – which the lawyers involved in the negotiations described as a “groundbreaking” decision that acknowledged the overwhelming evidence the city faced.

    More here.


  • Newark Archbishop John Myers Is America’s Bishop of Bling

    The previous winner of the “Bishop of Bling” awards was Germany’s now-disgraced Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg.

    America has own contender for this ungodly award.

    Meet Archbishop John Myers of New Jersey:

    Newark, N.J., Archbishop John Myers’ decision to expand his summer residence cum retirement home — already a model of luxury with five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, an elevator, a three-car garage and a large outdoor pool and valued at nearly $800,000 — is nothing short of an assault on the goodwill and trust of the people of God.

    The 3,000-square-foot addition, at a minimum cost of $500,000 (it is reported that furnishings, architectural costs and landscaping are not included in that figure), will bring the total area of the residence to 7,400 square feet and the total value to at least $1.3 million.

    More at the National Catholic Reporter