Friday, October 18, 2013

When inferior is not surprising. . . and how we got here

(photo credit: Senate Democrats via photopin cc)

Once upon a time, before witnessing the shutdown and near default of these United States, our federal government was controlled by Democrats. But, as is often the case with life and particularly true in politics, all that seems too good to be true is, in fact, too good to be true. For though the White House and both houses of Congresses were technically ruled by team blue, one pesky little fact remained: the Senate filibuster.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CBC's petty politics and the need to "Press On"

Rep. Maxine Waters
(photo credit: Neon Tommy via photopin cc)
It seemed as though the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Maxine Waters, rushed to the nearest television camera she could find. What was so important? Apparently, Ms. Waters was concerned about the use of "curious" language.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

In jobs speech, President Obama puts the people first

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The contrasts could not have been clearer. A day after eight GOP presidential hopefuls took the stage in Wednesday's Republican debate, President Obama had his turn to address the American people. Long story short, the President delivered twice the leadership of his GOP rivals in half the time. And in doing so, perhaps the President reminded America of what sets him apart from most others in Washington. In a world of political calculations and gamesmanship, the President still puts the people first.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Daily Show dodge, racism is racism, not "opportunism"

When discussing birtherism, when can we call racism, racism? When is it ok?

Well, let's just ask The Daily Show. According to them, birtherism has more to do with scaring old people than painting a Black President as the perpetual "other" and denying him the place of his birth.

On Thursday, The Daily Show tackled the birther issue for the second night in a row. And when the topic of racism came into play, host Jon Stewart turned towards his trusty "Senior Black Correspondent," Larry Wilmore, to make sense of it all.

Wilmore's thesis: It's not racism, it's opportunism.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Someone tell Dr. West that Rev. Al was right

There's been a lot of back and forth over the latest spat between Dr. Cornel West and Rev. Al Sharpton over the weekend.

Long story short, Dr. West challenged Rev. Al to be more critical of the Obama Administration, and even said he worried Sharpton might be manipulated by the White House (well, isn't that a tad passive aggressive).

But, this isn't about President Obama. This isn't about the plight of Black America, or speaking truth to power. No, on a basic level, this is about territory. In other words, who ranks where in the pecking order of "black leadership."

For his part, Rev. Sharpton stated what should've been obvious to everyone in the room, namely the fact that all of these problems (and you can make a long list) that impact the black community existed long before President Obama got into office. But what wasn't said is even more important. Not only have these problems existed before President Obama got into office, but they'll continue to exist long after he's gone. President Obama is not the issue. However, even more than territory, the real issue is the failure of black leadership to capture the enthusiasm of the 2008 Presidential Election to cultivate a sustained movement.


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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Putting a face on poverty

"I would like everyone to understand that it's not just hitting the very poor poor, it hits everybody. Even someone that's out like me - that's working and trying hard to take care of their family - and I'm not talking about just any family. My kids are great kids, but it hits us hard, harder. So, I want them to see a face on how this economy is affecting us." - Joyce Washington, Single Mother

It's unfortunate that the "poor" makes for terrible politics in our national discourse. Politicians and the media frame the debate in a way that cuts poverty almost completely out of the picture. You have the wealthy, and then you have the "middle class."

Well, in actuality, you have the "middle class," the "working class," the "working poor" and the poor. We allow ourselves to ignore poverty because it's easy to pathologize. In our short-sightedness we point the finger at the poor and say, "It is your fault that you are in this predicament."


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