Friday, January 13, 2012

Democracy Now On The Eve of MLK Day

Interesting fellow. The first clip runs into the second, which, among other things, highlights the disenfranchisement that any person, black or white, experiences when convicted of a felony drug crime.

Included in this exclusion, is the denial of food stamps for felons. Given that fifty percent of young black males are in, or have been through the justice system, it doesn't take much imagination to visualize the social impact of that situation.

I wonder if white America will ever wake up to the fact that disproportionate targeting of African Americans, not only destroys the black community, but inevitably destroys their own. Society isn't us and them, society is all encompassing, it is a whole. A society that is fragmented, ceases to be a society, it becomes a jungle.

Given that tomorrow is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday, you may wish to listen to the man give his, A Time to Break Silence speech. You can find it here in seven chunks.

I don't listen to preacher men, but I had no problem listening to Dr King on that occasion. It's powerful stuff.

"Memory is the Active Agent of Collective Social Progress": Randall Robinson on His New Novel Makeda

"Makeda," the new novel by TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson, is set at the dawn of the civil rights era. The book follows a young man coming of age in segregated Richmond, Virginia, who discovers his roots in Africa through his blind grandmother. "Sometimes when we think of slavery, we calculate the economic consequence of it," Robinson says. "But we have not calculated the psychosocial consequence of it, unless we factor in the loss of memory, which was occasioned by a deliberate and systematic program imposed by those who controlled us." Transcript

On Eve of MLK Day, Michelle Alexander & Randall Robinson on the Mass Incarceration of Black America

On this eve of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we host a wide-ranging discussion with TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson and author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African Americans that has rolled back many achievements of the civil rights movement. Today there are more African Americans under correctional control, whether in prison or jail, on probation or on parole, than there were enslaved in 1850. And more African-American men are disenfranchised now because of felon disenfranchisement laws than in 1870. Alexander, whose book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" is newly released in paperback, argues that "[n]othing less than a major social movement has any hope of ending mass incarceration in America or inspiring a recommitment to [Martin Luther] King's dream... My view is that this has got to be a human rights movement. It’s got to be a movement for education, not incarceration; for jobs, not jails; a movement that acknowledges the basic humanity and dignity of all people, no matter who you are or what you have done." Transcript


su said...

Was reading up on oath bearers the other day and it posed as the good old America, you know when everyone was respected.

Well there was that time when they took the Indians land and gave them small pox contaminated blankets.

And then it was the time that blacks had no civil rights.
And then there was that time when everyone was equal -
that is except for the new slave prison trade.

America has never been a free country.

Himself said...

Bill Maher 9m30s ''It wasn't so good if you were black or Jewish.''

Well there was that time when they took the Indians land and gave them small pox contaminated blankets.

There is something scary in you quoting that. Somewhere in the last eighteen hours I have either watched or read words to that effect.

Only it was described as the American Red Indian, which is something you seldom come across these days.

I have only just fallen out of bed, so I'm not to bright yet. Perhaps it will come to me.

It may even have been in the first D.N. clip. I shall watch it again over a kikombe cha chai.

Himself said...

No it wasn't there, I have a feeling it may well have been one of the Mark McGowan clips, which one, I have no idea.

And you are quite right:

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe