Tuesday, August 01, 2006

El Hajj Malik el Shabazz (Malcolm X), Race & Politics

by: shanikka
May 21, 2006 at 17:14:36 America/Los_Angeles
("Given its length, I'm probably asking for a beating putting this on the front page. But believe it or not, it's only 1/2 as long as it was before spending all day today cutting it down. I know - I am too mouthy." –shanikka re - promoted by eugene)(This tome is also subtitled "Shanikka's Sort-Of Response to Armando's Call to Discuss Racism)."I want to talk about El Hajj Malik el Shabazz. Friday was his birthday. He would have been 81 years old, had he not died 41 years ago. I wrote some of what follows as a passing comment on My Left Wing on Friday. Someone said that it should really be made a diary. The result herein is an apt example of "be careful of what you ask for, because you may get it", given its length. But my apologies, as usual, for that fact. Chalk it up to this being only the 2nd diary I've written in a month. On the other hand, this is bad even for me - I've had to cut out in the interests of mercy on the reader, much of what I have written. So think of this, I guess, as the first part of a series. A series that, hopefully, will further a conversation about race, mainstream politics, and the role of African-Americans in each from a different perspective than has been discussed in most leftist political blogs before.Anyhow, let's start with what may some day be called "Part I."

The man who died El Hajj Malik al Shabazz on February 21, 1965, who was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, and who was best known to the world as Malcolm X, was a man greatly misunderstood both during his lifetime and beyond.

This is my favorite picture of him, and Dr. King - and probably the most representative of how I feel about all the things each man fought for and what their efforts meant to each other, and to Black people:

There's More…

Vote-based news…

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:

Source: angryblackbitch.blogspot.com


ABC News is reporting that Katherine Harris is now being given the cold shoulder by The Brothers Bush. Talk about abandoning someone in their time of need!

After all she did for them…well, it’s shameful (wink). That rancid heifer went to the wall, stood up against will of the people and the Constitution on their behalf! And they can’t even toss her a political lifeline.

Mmmhmmm…nasty.

Where is the love for this former Bush gal pal?

Is the Bush well dry…or did Katherine get played?

Fuck it…it couldn’t have happened to a more rancid stankified heifer…with the exception being Ann Coulter, of course.

This bitch imagines Katherine staring blankly at her reflection…much like Glenn Close at the end of Dangerous Liaisons…alone, horrifically botoxed and shunned by the delusional W is for Women crowd.

Fantabulous!




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New Orleans to host 2008 NBA All-Star game

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:

Well it looks like New Orleans is on a comeback. UPI reports New Orleans has been chosen as the host city of the 2008 NBA All-Star game, the league announced Monday.

NBA Commissioner David Stern, in a release, said the 57th All-Star game would be played Feb. 17, 2008, at New Orleans Arena, home of the New Orleans Hornets. It would be the first time the league has had its all-star festivities in New Orleans.The Hornets were forced by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina to play the bulk of its home games this season in Oklahoma City.The award of NBA All-Star 2008 is our vote of confidence in the progress that is being made in the reopening and rebuilding of New Orleans` tourism infrastructure,' Stern said. 'New Orleans will become the basketball capital of the world in February 2008, and demonstrate to a global audience that New Orleans is very much open for business.' The 2007 NBA All-Star game is set for Feb. 18, 2007 in Las Vegas.

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African-American Congressman Caught on Tape, Documents Say

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:

rep. william jefferson.jpg

Say it's not true.

Reports are that an African-American Democratic Congressman from New Orleans has been caught allegedly scamming a Virginia businesswoman. Rep. William Jefferson, under investigation for bribery, was videotaped accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded.

It is also reported by AP that FBI agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer, according to a court document released Sunday. If this story is true this Congressman has disgraced himself, family, his congressional district, and the Congressional Black Cacus.

FBI details Jefferson's dealings at New Orleans Times-Picayune - Mon, May 22, 2006» More News Stories


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Incumbent Mayor Ray Nagin re-elected!

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:

Incumbent Mayor Ray Nagin was re-elected. Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu gave the most dignified concession speech in modern day politics.


Washington Post
Nagin Wins Re-Election As Big Easy Mayor
ABC News -
20, 2006. Mayor Nagin is facing challenger Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu for re-election.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). By MICHELLE ROBERTS. NEW
Nagin Wins Re-Election As Big Easy Mayor Guardian Unlimited
Nagin narrowly wins re-election in New Orleans Globe and Mail
Nagin Wins Re-Election As Big Easy Mayor WRAL.com
all 805 related »
Nagin Wins Re-Election as Big Easy Mayor

Orleans on Saturday, May 20, 2006. Mayor Nagin is facing challenger Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu for re-election.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon).
Nagin Wins Re-Election

Mayor Ray Nagin has won his bid for re-election, defeating Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu in a runoff. With 93 percent of the
Nagin Wins Re-Election as New Orleans Mayor
WLTX.com, SC -
He promised to work with Nagin to "find higher common ground" and a way to rebuild New Orleans. Nagin will take office one day before

Nagin wins nail-biting New Orleans election
SI.com -
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) — New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin fought off a challenge from Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu to win re-election Saturday night.

www.cnn.com


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John Kerry Supports, Opposes Border Fence?

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:If the below story is true, I'm now beginning to understand why so many African-American's were not sure about John Kerry in the last Presidential election.

Source: newsmax.com

Sen. John Kerry joined most of his Democratic colleagues last week in voting to build a wall along 370 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border. But he now says that after the wall is built it should be taken down as soon as possible.

"I voted for it," Kerry acknowledged Friday while speaking to the New England Council breakfast.

But in quotes picked up by the Boston Herald, the Massachusetts Democrat added: "If I were making the long-term decision, I’d announce, you know, hopefully it’s a temporary measure, and we can take it down as soon as we have enough people" to guard the border.

Kerry said beefing up the number of border patrol agents "should be America’s goal, absolutely and positively." He noted that he'd introduced an amendment to the Senate border bill that would add 3,000 new officers.

"But in the temporary," he said, "we’ve got to have a comprehensive approach everywhere," adding that, "in the short term, I think [the wall] can serve us.

A Plan to save the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)

Source: blackcommentator.com

The accelerating slide into irrelevance of the Congressional Black Caucus can only be halted by a revolt of the progressive majority. Given the infestation of corporate-bought Members, the long term health of the CBC will, of course, depend on the political reawakening of the Black electorate, many of whom are represented by legislators that consistently vote against their interests. In the interim, we at the CBC Monitor offer a last-ditch proposal that will at least allow the progressive majority of the Caucus to express its collective political will – to demonstrate that most of the CBC remains true to its motto, “the conscience of the congress.”

For most of the first three decades of its existence, the Congressional Black Caucus functioned quite well on the basis of unanimity or near-unanimity. There was little difficulty in getting the Caucus as a body to endorse progressive legislation, including bills that were not strictly “civil rights” related. With a few exceptions, Members were as consistently progressive as the voters that elected them.

All that changed around the turn of the Millennium. Corporate America and its rightwing think tanks finally resigned themselves to the fact that Black Republicanism was an electoral dead end. Although white districts occasionally voted for Black Republicans, not a single Black GOPer had held a congressional seat from a majority Black district since 1935. It was clear that the only way to influence African American congressional politics was to subvert Black Democrats – with cash.

The result was an influx of new, corporate-oriented Members into the CBC – Artur Davis (AL), Denise Majette (GA), David Scott (GA) – and a dramatic rightwing swing on key issues among more senior members of the Caucus: Harold Ford (TN), Albert Wynn (MD), William Jefferson (LA), Sanford Bishop (GA), Gregory Meeks (NY).

The Collapse

By April, 2005, the CBC was in ruins. Ten of the 42 Members voted for the finance industry’s Bankruptcy bill, eight for the Republican’s Estate Tax abolition legislation, and eleven for the energy industry’s special interest bill. Although these Black defectors to the right wing represented only a quarter or less of the Caucus, their determination to stand with moneyed interests effectively neutered the CBC as a progressive force in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since there was no longer a progressive consensus, the Caucus could take no position on what we at CBC Monitor call “bright line” issues – the bread and butter, peace and war questions that shape the lives of all Americans, but which impact African Americans most intensely.

The collapse of the Caucus in 2005 prompted us to create the CBC Monitor, to alert the electorate to the subversive corporate forces that were mutilating national Black politics. Our bi-annual Report Card rates congresspersons on the “bright line” issues that matter most to the well-being of Black people – issues that CBC Chairman Mel Watt refuses to recognize as “Black issues” because to do so would collide with the voting behavior of the corporate-bought minority in the Caucus.

Mel Watt’s (NC) ascension to CBC Chairman made a bad situation worse. Acting more as the Black “Whip” for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi than as a facilitator of Black influence on Capitol Hill, Watt has relentlessly sought to quash all Black deviation from the party line. Since Democratic leadership is intent on saying and doing nothing that could draw media attention away from assorted Republican failures and corruption, Watt has played the role of “silencer” of the CBC. Most viciously, he has attempted to isolate and humiliate the CBC’s most outspoken member, Cynthia McKinney (GA). Worse than being Pelosi’s poodle, Watt acts like a pit bull – when the target is a Black woman.

In a final irony, Watt this month bent over deeply to satisfy Pelosi’s desire that extension of the Voting Rights Act not be seen as a “racial” issue. Watt agreed to scrub the names of about half of the Black Caucus from co-sponsorship of the VRA extension bill – while leaving his own name to stand in for the rest of the CBC. The Caucus, which we had thought could sink no lower than its April 2005 defections to the Right and cowardly failure to stand by its besieged sister, Cynthia McKinney, was now instructed to withdraw from a quintessentially and historically “Black” piece of legislation.

Not only must the CBC abstain from taking a position on “non-Black” issues, it is prohibited from assuming too high a profile on legislation that is undeniably “Black.” Poof! The CBC is made to disappear.

Sense of the Caucus

The hour is late, but the CBC can still rescue itself and Black people’s honor. We at CBC Monitor respectfully urge the progressive majority of the Caucus to institute a “sense of the caucus” process, to prevent the majority from being effectively silenced by the now-hopeless “unanimity” tradition or the whims of the Chair. The U.S. House and Senate regularly employ “sense of the congress” resolutions to express the political will of the majority. Like the congressional resolutions, the “sense of the caucus” votes would be non-binding, but a powerful statement of the prevailing opinion among Black federal lawmakers.

What is good enough for the House and Senate is good enough for the Congressional Black Caucus. We are certain that the progressive majority of the CBC is frustrated at being made to remain mute, as a body, by the corrupt leanings of a distinct minority of Members. Caucus “unanimity” has been transformed into a mechanism that silences the authentic voices of the Black body politic at the federal level, while conveying immunity to the minority of bought Members. This cannot stand, if the CBC is to retain any credibility in the Black community at-large.

The rules of the Caucus are for the Members to make. We at CBC Monitor are not so presumptuous as to prescribe a formula for “sense of the caucus” resolutions – whether a vote can be called for by one member or ten at Caucus meetings, or a resolution passed by a simple majority or, say, seventy percent. What is profoundly important is that the large majority of CBC Members be empowered to signal to African Americans and the larger society, where they stand on vital issues.

We are equally sure that “sense of the caucus” resolutions will have a salutary effect on those wavering Black congresspersons who, seeing the “derelicts” of the Caucus get away with voting their pocketbooks instead of their constituents’ interests, are tempted to go with the money flow. It is time to draw lines, and abandon the farce of a Black Caucus that is unanimous in – nothing. The people deserve to know where the majority of their legislators stand on the issues, and which Black lawmakers side with the money bags.

“Sense of the caucus” resolutions would also have surely prevented Mel Watt from continually imposing Nancy Pelosi’s will on the CBC. The Black Caucus does not need a “Whip” – it needs a voice. Only then will the slogan, “conscience of the congress” once again have meaning.

Leutisha Stills can be reached at leutishastills@hotmail.com. The CBC Monitor's website is cbcmonitor.voxunion.com.

Is Iran really considering a national uniform?

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:

According to a report in the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat, the law is supposed to replace what is termed "Western" dress from the streets of Iranian cities, and advance "Islamic" dress.

According to the new law, economic relief for local clothing designers will be granted so that they can "concentrate on clothing matching the national and Islamic identity of Iran."

It was also reported that Iranian authorities are expected to establish a joint committee that will include representatives from the Culture and Trade Ministry, the Culture Committee, parliament, and government television, in order to decide how the new clothes will look.

It was also reported that the Iranian Trade Ministry has been ordered to apply additional taxes on imported clothes so that Iranian banks are forced to agree to grant loans and financial benefits to local clothing makers.

Iranian men are today allowed to wear "Western" clothes, except a tie – which is forbidden according to the law. Women must follow far stricter laws, including a mandatory head covering, and a ban on clothes that expose the body.

The Iranian news network IRIB reported that the new law has yet to be presented in its final version and that the Legislative Council, the highest Iranian monitoring body, has yet to approve it.


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Senate Racism?

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says:

Well it looks like George W.Bush who has long opposed making English the country's national language, per, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, is going against his Republican lead U.S. Senate vote in an amendment to proposed legislation overhauling U.S. immigration law and directed the government to "preserve and enhance" the role of English.

The Washington Post and Reuters report the Republican Led U.S. Senate also adopted a softer amendment, calling English the "unifying language" of the United States. Senators take both versions into negotiations over a final bill with the House.

The move by the Republican led U.S. Senate to make English the official language of the United States is suspect.

As Dennis Baron a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wrote in his article, Do You Speak American this isn’t the first time that Americans have argued about whether English-only should be the law of the land. For the past two centuries, proponents of official-English have sounded two separate themes, one rational and patriotic, the other emotional and racist.

This African-American Political Pundit believes the United States Senate is not only motivated by patriotism and emotionalism, it is also motivated by racism.

As in the past, the U.S. Senate is clearly attacking minority languages and their speakers: such as Native Americans, Africans, Asians, the French, Germans, Jews, and importantly in the current immigration debate - Hispanics.




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