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Monday, February 27, 2006

Louis Farrakhan is back...

Rush Limbaugh played some clips of Louis Farrakhan's Black State of the Union speech. Every year you might see a program talking about the state of black American on C-Span. I didn't really follow this but this apparently occurred over the weekend. This forum was hosted by journalist Tavis Smiley. In any event the firey oratory of Louis Farrakhan (if you listen to Rush Limbaugh his name is Calypso Louie) could you believe everything he says.

Let me just preferace this by saying that I'm not a Louis Farrakhan supporter. I don't agree with everything he says and I sincerely doubt that he represents the point of view of a majority of blacks. I wish I had editing software to just give you what Minister Farrakhan has said. But having known Farrakhan through the news for a while his rhetoric is something I'd expect from time to time. I definitely would call it very hateful, but I'll let you make the call.

I will link to a Rush transcript and then you may listen to a soundbite for as long as it's available. I also want to add an earlier post about Minister Farrakhan regarding his comments which could point to the Democratic Party. So I will link to that too.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Alderman Ed Burke...

You may have heard his name in the news. He is an alderman of the 14th ward and also he is the chairman of the city council's finance committee. When city clerk Jim Laski was indicted for corruption his name came up because he had bodyguards just like Laski and some wondered why he even had them. He did have them for a time because of his role in the Council Wars during the administration of Mayor Harold Washington. Also he was involved in a custody battle over a black child he adopted which was mentioned in this latest "Meet the Alderman" column.

Alderman Burke represents a ward that is 80% Hispanic and ran unnopposed in the last election. He declares that he isn't leaving until he is kicked out. He once threated former 5th ward Alderman Leon Depres that he was going to punch him in his mouth while at the same time he was definitely a pain to Mayor Harold Washington.

Let me go to his adopted black boy this is what he says about him...
"He was Superman for Halloween and is doing just great in 4th grade," says Burke.
So I'm close out this post with the last portion of this column this in on the subject of corruption...

In his many years in the City Council he has seen any number of colleagues give in to temptation and wind up in jail.

"Wasn't it Lord Acton who said, 'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?' " he asks rhetorically. "Do we have to look any further than the scandals in the Catholic Church? Horrendous. Do we have to look any further than Enron or Arthur Andersen? There is corruption everywhere. Human nature is what it is. We are all prone to make mistakes."

Burke is a partner in the Klafter & Burke law firm and has, on numerous occasions, felt it necessary to invoke City Council Rule 14, which requires aldermen to abstain from voting on matters that might present a conflict of interest.

"The law business is good," he says. "I have been fortunate to have the best of both worlds. I have enjoyed the political side of it and also enjoyed my private legal practice. Yes, there have been temptations, [but] if you try to conduct yourself under the rules, in the long run you are better off. But sometimes those rules are changed in the middle of the game."

For example?

"I see some of that in the Ryan case. Frankly I don't see that what George Ryan did was a great deal different than what every other governor has done for the last 100 years."

Friday, February 24, 2006

One man TV network...

Courtesy of Brain-Terminal.com.

A good article from TCS Daily on the possibility that video may kill text-blogging. It may not be that serious but this is a good article on this. Hey imagine this. If you video-blog, this may lead to a big time gig in the future. Who knows.

So check this out, Brain-Terminal's Evan Coyne Maloney makes these comments...
Ten years ago, the expense associated with putting together even the most rudimentary online video would have put it out of reach for most people. Even if you had your own camera, you probably didn't have video editing software or a computer capable of running it. If you did have access to an editing suite, then you probably didn't have sufficient bandwidth to make the resulting video available online. And even with unlimited bandwidth, the people on the other end -- the potential viewers -- probably didn't have enough bandwidth to watch what you made. Today, however, none of those are limiting factors. You can buy a usable consumer-level DV camera for around $500. You can buy a "pro-sumer" DV camera for under $3000. You can even shoot in high-definition HDV for under $5000.

And near-ubiquitous bandwidth availability is also a factor. Although high-speed broadband has been available in most corporations for a few years, broadband is just beginning to penetrate the home market in large numbers. This means that we're really at the very beginning stages of mass viewing of online videos. We haven't hit the inflection point yet, but I suspect we'll see, within a few years, the same massive growth with online video that we saw with the web in the mid-1990s. Eventually, maybe 10 years from now, we'll have full-screen, full-motion on-demand high-definition video available directly to the home [via the Web]. That's the ideal video delivery platform, and if we're still a decade away, it means there's plenty of room to grow in this market.
Then there's Glen Reynolds from Instapundit which has podcasts now talking about whether video-blogs may overrun text blogs...

"No, I think they're different markets, just like TV didn't end radio. I like to listen to an audio podcast in the car; I can't watch a video podcast while driving. And you can skim a text-oriented blog and get all the information you want in short order, and you can't really do that with either type of podcast. Everybody is saying that text is faster, and that's true."
Also just look at Evan Coyne Maloney as an example. His first video at Brain-Terminal.com has gotten him some attention on radio shows and cable news. Even better this had lead him into making a full length documentary. Perhaps this is the same for you. One more parting quote from this article...

Sooner or later, a vblog will be picked up by a cable TV channel, along the same lines as Fox News offering a TV show to blogging predecessor Matt Drudge in the late 1990s. Radio talkers such as Don Imus and Howard Stern have shows on cable TV that are little more than video rebroadcasts or simulcasts of their radio shows; why can't cable channels do the same for vbloggers?

Which of course is a powerful incentive for videobloggers: just as numerous text-oriented bloggers have made the jump to op-eds and articles, a professional-appearing vblog could be a powerful "audition reel" for a very big-league gig. If Dan Rather could host a TV show for 25 years, why not you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Era of Big Government Just Might Be Over

Just imagine this. People realize that big government is not always the answer anymore. The observation made by the Rush Limbaugh program yesterday on that perscription drug benefit passed back in about 2003...
"Millions Not Joining Medicare Drug Plan. Despite Outreach, Poor Seniors Miss Out On Low-Cost Coverage -- A $400 million campaign by the Bush administration to enroll low-income seniors in prescription drug coverage that would cost them just a few dollars per prescription has signed up 1.4 million people, a fraction of the 8 million eligible for the new coverage. At this rate, by some calculations, the government is on track to spend about $250 for each person it enrolls, and even then it would have only 2 million poor senior citizens taking advantage of what is perhaps the most generous government benefit available today."
Oh and here's the next example from Rush about New Orleans and the efforts to rebuild that city after Hurrican Katrina...

"Public housing residents who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina are not welcome to return to the city unless they are willing to work, three members of the New Orleans City Council have said. At a meeting of the council's housing committee on Monday, City Council President Oliver Thomas said that for too long government programs and agencies have 'pampered' rather than improved lives." See, they know they can't build it back the way it was. They had allowed a welfare state to exist, its own self-contained welfare state and they know they can't do that.

"Consequently, former residents who don't want 'to roll up their sleeves' are better off staying away, he said. 'We don't need soap opera watchers right now,' Thomas said. 'We're going to target the people who are going to work. It's not that I'm fed up, but that at some point there has to be a whole new level of motivation, and people have got to stop blaming the government for something they ought to do.'" Oh, folks! Okay, so nobody wants the big Medicare deal, Katrina report says government screwed up, now city council members in New Orleans say to rebuild the city we've got to not have soap opera watchers, we have people that gotta stop blaming and depending on the government. So they are admitting that liberalism failed and liberalism fails.

"When he finished, (when Oliver Thomas finished) Councilwomen Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson and Renee Gill Pratt said they backed Thomas' position. Clarkson said preference in public housing should be given to occupants who verify an intention to work. The remarks were confined to permanent public housing and had no bearing on efforts to get thousands of displaced residents into trailers scattered about the city." Well, I know they are. These are impeachable statements if you're a Democrat. These are statements that will get you disinvited to the next Democratic National Convention. These are statements that will have Jesse Jackson questioning your right to be a leader of a black community. But that, I think, is just a sign of how desperate things are. They know they have to downsize the plantation, and they can't sustain it the way it was. Folks, not only is it good news, it's sensible news. If you're going to rebuild a city, would you put in a call for welfare recipients first? "Okay, we want to rebuild our city. In fact, we want to build a new city. We're going to select a site, there isn't a city there, and the first people we want are welfare recipients. First people we want are people that are going to live in public housing and watch soap operas all day." No. You would not do that.

Imagine that. It has been determined that government failed in the Hurrican Katrina disaster before and after. People don't want a prescription drug entitlement through the government. There are people out there who are not happy about this because this may challenge their beliefs in an active government. That is why I didn't touch the Rush quote about how the statements of New Orleans city council members might have made an "impeachable statement" in the eyes of Democrats.

LINKS
Millions Not Joining Medicare Drug Plan from Washington Post
Council member: No public housing for those who won't work from AKTC3

New Black Panther Follies...

Some of you may be familiar with the news from Demark about some offensive cartoon printed in a newspaper. As a result this has become the new controversy in Europe and has promoted the arson of embassies in the Middle East. The debate here is not only whether the cartoonists disrespected Islam but should this have been printed in the first place and should these cartoons have caused this destructive a response as it had in Syria.

Well here in America the New Black Panther Party found their way to the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC to have their protest. Michelle Malkin and Junkyard Blog took some video. They present their results.

Links
Danish Editor Explains Publishing Cartoons
Sharia Law at NPR

Both are from Brain-Terminal.com

Monday, February 20, 2006

Separate but Inequal...

I want to point to the Cook County GOP's latest black history month press release talking about the inequalities that exist today in the 21st century. The subject that was present was health care the difference between Stoger Hospital and Rush Presbyterian Hospital both next door to each other on Chicago's West Side. Check out this quote...

...One has only to take a day trip to John Stroger Hospital and its neighbor Rush Hospital to witness first hand how unequal these two separate facilities really are. While Rush services the predominantly white clientele in North Chicago, Stroger Hospital cares mostly for Chicago's black residents. Countless newspaper stories have chronicled how Democratic patronage has led to gross mismanagement at Stroger Hospital; patients stomped to death by security, babies dying in the waiting room, impossibly long pharmacy lines, and the discouragement patients face while waiting hours at the emergency room. A recent study found that 40% of emergency room patients wait six or more hours before being seen by an attending physician. Twenty percent of patients wait 12 hours or more for an available bed for overnight or follow up treatment. Complaints like these are seldom heard at Rush. These two facilities are clear examples of 'separate but unequal.' And while the reasons for the disparities are complex, the most obvious (and easily solved) is the odious patronage system that pervades Stroger Hospital. As long as Democratic County President John Stroger continues to use Stroger Hospital as a job factory for his political allies, reform is likely to be slow. The facts are clear, John Stroger gives county jobs not to the most qualified, but to the most politically loyal. This tendency of his to reward friends at the expense of his constituents is a key reason why African Americans struggle to receive timely health care.
This is something I like to see more of and there is an actual issue involving services at Stroger Hospital. This was a better issue to go on rather than the issue of abortion which may not have proven to be smart. Personally I'd rather be in power to be able to settle the issue of abortion than to campaign on it and lose.

This was actually a good article by the Cook County Republican Party. They should attack those issues that are very crucial like health care, economic, development, crime, and education. Perhaps abortion should have been the last issue to takle for black history month. I would wonder how much better a private hospital does in treating patient than a Cook County public hospital. That would be an issue worth investigating.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Meet the Alderman and another assorted article...

Meet these following Aldermen courtesy of the Chicago Tribune...

Margaret Laurino (39th Ward)
Manny Flores (1st Ward)
Thomas Tunney (44th Ward)

I wonder why these aldermen get the fancy websites where most other alderman may not even have one aside from their page on the City of Chicago's section for city government.

In any case here's another column from Mr. Russ Stewart talking about the current city council. And how under the regimes of both Mayor Richard J. Daley (1955-1976) and Richard M. Daley the current mayor that the city council has been reduced to nothing more than a rubber stamp council. Recently it has be noted by political analysts that Chicago's City Council is becoming more of a legislative one with the city council passing bans on cigarette smoking in public places (such as bars and restaurants) and one on wearing a headset instead of talking on the phone while driving a car in the city limits.

However according to this article Chicago's City Council remains "under Daley's thumbs". Well this was discussed a little in Mayor Richard J. Daley's autobiography, American Pharaoh : Mayor Richard J. Daley - His Battle for Chicago and the Nation. This is Stewart's explanation...

When Richard J. Daley won the mayoralty in 1955, he understood how to consolidate his power: First, control the hiring process. Then, control those hired. Then dispatch and concentrate those city job holders in certain wards to ensure the election of compliant aldermen. Then order those aldermen to support the mayor's budget, which controlled spending on all ward projects. Then use those dollars to control all the aldermen.
Oh yeah new found City Council independence. He talks about a flawed study by UIC political science professor Dick Simpson himself a former alderman...
He has released a seriously flawed study that heralds a "newly found" council independence. Citing resolutions on such nongermane matters as the Iraq War, slave reparations and the Patriot Act, the Simpson study mixes the symbolic votes with the substantive. "We're the Chicago City Council, not the Council on Foreign Relations," said Alderman Tom Allen (38th). "It is not our job to make foreign policy."
I can agree with Stewart on one thing though, there has not been a revolt by Chicago's City Council. In any case he has written plenty of columns on the how the city government of Chicago really works and this is a good column.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Affirmitive Action...

I haven't taken a position on affirmitive action on this blog. It is one of those pet issues of conservatives. They went so far as to engage in court action to appeal one form of affirmitive action that is in university admissions. For instance at the University of Michigan when you turn in your application it is said that you get a certain amount of points for your race. It doesn't matter if you're qualified to be a student at University of Michigan but race might be the one thing that might get you admitted of course that isn't the one thing that will keep you in school.

Well this is one of those issues I'm not very strong on because despite my rather conservative beliefs I agree with affirmitive action to some extend. Why not offer some type of avenue where say black businesses are able to compete for business or contracts? This of course is only provided that they are qualified to do the work they are contracted for. One could of course apply this to the issue of affirmitive action in hiring. It is OK as long as that individual seeking a particular job or position is qualified for it.

Now as for education, many people use this idea of legacy admissions. That you are admitted to college because your father or grandfather or whomever went to school there way back when. Also they may also just so happen to be (though not necessary for consideration) distinguished alumni.

I guess in this regard I can be nowhere in the camp of Justice Clarence Thomas. So if anything unless affirmitive action is absolutely a broken system then our public leaders shouldn't take stepts to eradicate it. If anything they should be allowed to continue to refine it so that it will benefit those who are involved.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lawmakers off target in ripping King funeral column

I've been hearing so much about the activities of black and Democratic leaders at Coretta Scott King's funeral last week. From what I have gather the people who spoke at her funeral took some shots at President Bush who was in attendance. When they took their shots at his policies especially with the war in Iraq, he was said to have smiled but was uncomfortable. He knew what he might be getting into of course if he had not attended well he wouldn't have won there either.

So apparently my favorite columnist Mary Mitchell had something to say about what happened at Mrs. King's funeral in Atlanta. I didn't see her column from February 9th until today. This immediately followed the services. Apparently she has a response for those naysayers who disagreed with what she said in this column. There was even a header in this earlier column, No respect for the president.

I mean wow she launched into those involved at the funeral. I'm not sure if even Bill Clinton was a target of her disappointment. Check this out...

As often occurs when Former President Bill Clinton shows up, black folks acted as if he had emancipated the slaves.

A huge cheer went up as he reached the open area near Mrs. King's casket, and the crowd gave him a thunderous standing ovation when he approached the dais to speak with his wife, the New York Times reported.

Although Clinton gave the most poignant remarks about Coretta, reminding mourners that she was a woman with hopes and dreams and disappointments, he couldn't resist setting his wife up for some adoration.

A master at manipulating black folks' emotions, Clinton began his remarks by saying, "I'm honored to be here with my president, and my former presidents.''

"Then he looked at Mrs. Clinton, his unspoken words seeming to suggest that he wanted to say future president too," the New York Times reported. The crowd began cheering.
Oh she even mentions the first lady's reaction to some of the jabs taken by such people as Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery...
A photographer captured Laura Bush's body language. As the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, launched into his tirade, the first lady squinted, pursed her lips and folded herself into the form of a disapproving mom.
Basically Ms. Mitchell closes out her earlier column with...
Have we lost our dignity? Have we abandoned our traditions?

Tuesday wasn't Dr. Martin Luther King's Day or anyone else's day. It was Coretta Scott King's Day. Her funeral was supposed to be a celebration of her life, not a sound bite or a photo op.

If politicians and civil rights leaders wanted to call Bush out, they should have called him at the White House.
This is what I get for not religiously reading the Sun-Times on line. So let's fast forward to today's column. Someone didn't like her remarks. A south side state representative Monique Davis, a Democrat writes a letter indicating her disagreement. Here are some excepts that were printed in today's column...

"Coretta Scott King's funeral was historically beautiful and a poignant attempt to capture in 6 hours a lifetime fight for civil rights. We the undersigned are outraged at the column of Mary Mitchell in the February 9, 2006 issue of the Chicago Sun-Times. We demand a retraction of the statement that this funeral and that Rosa Parks' funeral was a political spectacle."
...
"Not everyone is attempting to placate the feelings of white people especially when their behavior deserves exposure,"...

You know it's OK to disagree on these things, what's unfortunate is that it becomes a case of using race to attack a person's opinion on an event such as this. If you don't know Mary Mitchell is a black women most of her columns are about the black community, she says she's can't bring herself to vote Republican but what I constantly see in her columns is an independent perspective. She wrote a column about Bobby Rush's refusal to endorse Barack Obama when he
endorsed Blair Hull instead for US Senate. She wanted a black Senator and yet Bobby Rush wanted to nominate or help win the Democratic primary a white man. The column was entitled if I remember correctly, Do black folks know who their people are? Or at least that was the general idea.

So how can Ms. Davis decide that Ms. Mitchell doesn't have black people's interests at heart? How can she decide that Mitchell was "placating" white people? Isn't Mitchell as a columnist entitled to her own opinion on this issue? Perhaps using Mrs. King's funeral was the wrong time to as Ms. Davis puts it to expose a white person's behavior.

So then the column goes into the next subject the heading is, Down side of the donkey. She mentions the two black individuals running for office on the Republican side next year, Michael Steele and Lynn Swann. I've already mentioned those two, one is running for the US Senate and
the other is seeking a governorship in Pennsylvania. Mitchell may not be turning Republican but there seems to be a question of why blacks overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

These are some of Mitchell's comments...
He has been ridiculed for his views on education, for getting churches involved in delivering social services, and for suggesting that unwed parents get married.

Squeezed between the misguided Iraqi war and the misdirected response to Hurricane Katrina, Bush's popularity has plummeted with all Americans, let alone African-Americans. Frankly, Bush is easy to dislike. But the fact that black leaders have to wait for icons to die before they can confront him makes them look irrelevant.

Instead of making Bush come to the table, they're yapping at television cameras.

That's the down side of being stuck on the donkey.
Uh oh. I'm really liking this column. For their activities last week black leaders who wait for civil rights idea to die to speak up against the President makes them irrelevant. So maybe this tactic of turning a funeral into a rally really doesn't serve anyone's purposes. Indeed on the right many would compare what happened at Mrs. King's funeral to what happened at the service from Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. Yet there are still those who won't denounce what happened at Mrs. King's funeral...
Rep. Annazette R. Collins (D-Chicago), one of the legislators who signed Davis' letter, acknowledged that she was too busy to read my column about the funeral, but agreed with Davis that it was appropriate for politicians to seize the opportunity to speak out against Bush.

"As a civil rights leader, and as a politician, you would take the opportunity to address every concern from the first day the movement started until the present day. It's the same thing. Our struggle is still here," Collins said.
If this was me I wouldn't take away from the deceased. I'll talk about the issues, especially if they were prominent, that they cared about. Mrs. King is said to be the mother of the Civil Rights movement she was the backbone of a family who's man of those house was fighting a just cause. At the same time to point fingers at an honored guest at a funeral using issues that only the President can resolve isn't exactly the right thing to do.

So Mitchell says that many of us have forgotten black history...

Too many people now believe that the victory can be won by doing evil for evil. And we publicly uphold inappropriate behavior in the political, religious and entertainment arenas, then wonder why our children consider so many people we hold up as leaders to be nothing more than hypocrites.

More important, African-American leaders can't continue to testify against the Bush administration's disrespect of America's civil liberties with one hand and try to strangle every thought that runs contrary to their party line with the other.

Then she finally talks about comments made by the US Senate candidate and Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele oh and by the way check out the March issue of Essence magazine where these comments will appear...
"I've said African-Americans should consider all their choices. It's really about looking more broadly at how a community of people can get the best benefit out of a relationship that has been lopsided," he said.
Mary Mitchell closes out this column with her final parting words for today's column and it make a lot of sense...
As long as the relationship is lopsided, black leaders will be screaming at a locked door.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Whites joining black fraternities...

I have to admit that I admire black greek organizations. There were founded for the benefit of those blacks who were lucky enough to attain some form of higher education when it was difficult to do so. In fact most of these organizations were founded in the last century on such predominantly white campuses as Cornell University or Indiana University. Of course today one could question why such organizations could exists on the campuses of HBCUs. Some would consider these organizations dividing influences.

Well whatever the arguments are these organizations have had leaders within them. Some became politicians, athletes, entertainers, businessmen, etc. They also offer something that say white greek organizations do not. What is touted is a life time bond as a member of one of these Greek organizations. Also I also admire their traditions as well.

So then after I saw an Asian guy cross as Phi Beta Sigma last year I wanted to find out if other non-black were joining black fraternities and sororities. So through Find Articles I found this article from a December 2000 Ebony magazine article. Here's what Cassandra Black, National President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc., says about this phenomenon...

"It's happening more now because our organizations offer a couple of things that have turned out to be very desirable for non-African-Americans--perpetual membership and community service to name a few," she says. "We have a moral fabric that is more desirable to some people. Historically, White fraternities have reputations for drinking and other behaviors, and some people don't want to be associated with that."
Now of course what crops up here is that blacks may wind up losing another one of their traditions. It is noted that white may have had a hand in the support and the formation of the black greek lettered fraternities and sororities. Still the concern of losing another tradition is there...

Cassandra Black of National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. says though she doesn't condone unfair treatment, she understands the concern by some individual members. "There are people who feel that any time you allow White people to learn your secrets, they will take it over," she says. "Some people feel this may have been the last bastion of Black ownership."

Black and Alpha Lawrence C. Ross Jr., author of the Divine Nine: The History of African-American Fraternities and Sororities, agree, however, that fear of Whites taking over Black organizations is mostly unfounded. As early as 1947, Ross says, Black sororities and fraternities started admitting Whites in response to the changing times and increasing interest from White students. (Kappa Alpha Psi, he says, never had restrictive rule.) Still, there's been no rush for Whites to join Black organizations. "By the very nature of [racism] and our being African-American," he says, "we won't get a stampede of people wanting to join. It hasn't worked that way with Black churches or any of our other historic organizations."
Oh and imagine this a white man a member of Omega Psi Phi. This is an interesting image would you like to meet one...

...Dr. Jere Roberson, a 60-year-old professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, who pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 1977. Though he grew up in segregated Nashville and attended Auburn University in Alabama during the tenure of segregationist Governor George Wallace, he considers joining the Black fraternity one of most important moments of his life. He still remembers walking in line with his Omega brothers and holding a lamp as a pledge.

"They make me feel at home, comfortable and happy," says the director of the Ethnic Studies Department who founded a scholarship for young Black men. "That's what made me want to trade secrets with them. I have met some wonderful people. Plus, purple and gold looks really cool," he says, laughing.
Homecoming at Morehouse especially for recent graduates can be described easily as a family reunion of sorts. Perhaps that's what a fraternity or a sorority is, but I suppose only if the experience has been nothing but positive. I mean this was what some of these organizations were based on somewhat especially for those blacks who were fortunate enough attain some higher education.

Finally I want to make a quick note. On my other blog I posted a picture of a Que dog. I understand that to be a Que Dog indicates that you are completing the pledging process. If you are full fledged members you are referred to as an Omega Man. I just want to give them my respect because that wasn't my intent to cause any disrespect.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Black Populism...

I found this looking up for information on black conservatives on Wikipedia. Then I found Black Populism. I never heard of this movement until now. This was the last great political resistance of black Americans in the south until the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It lasted roughly a decade from 1886 to 1889. The wikipedia article lists what they were able to accomplish...

-Establishing farming exchanges
-Raising money for schools
-Publishing newspapers
-Lobbying for better legislation
-Mounting boycotts against agricultural trusts
-Carrying out strikes for better wages
-Protesting the convict-lease system and lynching
-Demanding Black jurors in cases involving black defendants
-Promoting local political reforms and federal supervision of elections
-Running independent and fusion campaigns

Here's a summary of why it failed...

By the late 1890s, under relentless attack – propaganda campaigns warning of a “second Reconstruction” and “Negro rule,” physical intimidation, violence, and targeted assassinations of leaders and foot soldiers – the movement was crushed. A key figure in the attack on Black Populism was White Populist leader Ben Tillman. Black Populism was destroyed, marking the end of organized political resistance to the return of White supremacy in the South in the late nineteenth century. Nevertheless, Black Populism stands as the largest independent political uprising in the South until the modern Civil Rights movement.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mary Mitchell talks about Bethany Hospital...

She discuses in her latest article the changes at Bethany Hospital in the Lawndale neighborhood. I had posted about this last month. Apparently there is more to say about this than what I saw on Crain's. She looks at the community response to the latest proposal by Advocate Health Care.
Of course given that the loss of the services that are being phased out by Advocate affect a poor community where most of the residents do not have any type of health insurance there are those who are making this a racial or class issue. It appears Mitchell may not think that community activists are not seeing the big picture here.

Don't think for a second that Advocate is racist Mitchell talks to Tony Mitchell, vice president of communication and government relations for Advocate Health Care he mentions the situation is a mostly black south suburb of Hazel Crest...

...But he's an African American who said he grew up in Markham. He has watched Advocate pour money into its facility in Hazel Crest and resents that some critics, particularly those aligned with the Service Employees International Union, are characterizing Advocate as a racist organization that is only investing in white areas.
Also noted that there are 16 other hospitals within a five mile radius of Bethany. Tony Mitchell has more to say about the closing of Bethany Hospital and the battle that ensues between Lawndale residents and Advocate...

"In three years, we have gone from this productive employer to a corporation that supports racial redlining," Mitchell said. "There's a full-fledged campaign to sully our reputation and to get management to surrender."
Mary Mitchell believes that community residents are being manipulated and she believes Bethany's current plan can save lives...
Because the underutilized hospital is located in a community that is plagued by complex medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney disease and respiratory conditions, Bethany's plan could save a lot of lives. The hospital also plans to fund community-based efforts to address health-care disparities.
Also consider this quote from Mary Mitchell...
Like most issues in Chicago, the debate over whether or not Bethany should become an acute-care facility is framed by race and class.

Although the controversy started out as a fight between the SEIU and Advocate's management, it has now become a battle between Lawndale residents and Bethany.
You know I have started to like the idea of placing clinics in underserved areas to help the disadvantaged. Hopefully they won't have to go to an emergency room and wait to get treated. That is assuming that a patient is being treated for something that doesn't required emergency attention. Why not a clinic to help in the treatment of severe long term health issues?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Stroger could be victim of Daley's meltdown...

OK well I had a couple of posts I wanted to share with you but I'm going to tighten them up a little. One is about a very rough, harsh issue. I want to let you know that up front because I may lose a few readers for what I am going to present. I try not to offend however I seek to be as honest and accurate as I can.

Today instead I want to talk about the Cook County Board President race. This column is courtesy of Russ Stewart and I like to read his analysis of the local races in the Chicagoland area although he seems to write a lot about the northwest side.

So he talks about Mr. Stroger and how Daley's current problems could affect Stroger as he seeks to stay in his current position. Daley may not be able to put out the workers that could ultimately help stroger. Stroger also could use Sen. Obama's endorsement but as I've ready earlier that is not likely to happen any time soon. The result according to Stewart is the Hired Truck investigation.

Here's another interesting question. Since Stroger's base is the black vote. He may need other black movers and shakers to help him out. He might need other black committeman or black political activists to help get out the vote for him. Let's not forget that Mr. Stroger is the Democrat committeeman in the 8th ward. The main question that Stewart asks is...
After all, if Stroger loses, would that not be the perfect scenario for 2007: that blacks have no seat at the power table, that whites control all the levers, and that it is time for a black politician to reclaim City Hall.
Also if Obama doesn't want to get into this county board president primary race Governor Blagojevich has taken the iniative of helping out Stroger. The governor however has not endorsed Stroger as of yet. In addition Stroger has the support of some union leaders as well. This is according to a Crain's Chicago Business article.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

America's first Black state governor...

His name was PBS Pinchback. It wasn't Douglas Wilder a Democrat elected governor of Virginia in 1990. He served as governor of Louisiana in the Reconstruction era (this period lasted about a decade after the Civil War). His term lasted from December 9, 1872 to January 13, 1873. A Republican Pinchback became governor his predecessor Governor Henry Clay Warmouth was impeached and removed from his governorship for political corruption.

Before becoming governor Mr. Pinchback was the only black officer in the Louisiana Native Guards during the Civil War. In 1868 he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate and after the death of the first black elected Lieutenant Governor of a US state, Oscar Dunn, he became Lt. Governor.

We may have a third if Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell is successful in his race for governor and indeed we may have a fourth if Lynn Swann wins in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Cook County GOP celebrates black history month...

I've been getting emails from the Cook County GOP with press releases on a specific topic for black history month. There was one topic I'm not sure how to tackle that got my attention about there latest initiative and that's on abortion. I thought it wasn't very smart on there part to go into this issue and I'll discuss why in a second.

But so far they hit on the main things that they do want to touch upon. Mainly the history of the Republicans Party and their role in helping to free the slaves and even their role in enacting civil rights legislation. Today they focus on black leadership and how independent leadership is basically discouraged at least in the city of Chicago, where if you enjoy the support of the predominant political machine you just might be able to continue to perpetuate long term control.

I've attempted to state on this blog my idea that there should be more blacks on the other side of the aisle instead a majorityof blacks elected to vote almost exclusively for one party. And at that the only thing blacks seems to get from that is empty promises. Unfortunately if you do elected to vote for a candidate of another party well someone has a problem with that and you might be consider anti-black or something along those lines. Well that's unfortunate and it really takes away from those real issues that affect the black community. This can only serve to help perpetuate those who can benefit from this extreme loyalty and getting a whole lot of nothing in return.

So let me get back to abortion. The Cook County GOP had a press release on abortion and I saw an account of this from Illinoize yesterday. Honestly I'm anti-abortion and it wouldn't bother me if the Supreme Court of the United State repealed Roe vs. Wade. On the other hand I think this is a losing issue for an organization that is already the minority in Cook County.

This may very well be the pet issues of the social conservatives and there is a way to use this issue but without scaring people away. I could say this is no different than those individual who feel so strongly about the abortion issue that they bomb abortion clinics. Conversly on the other side when it comes to the abortion issue they simply want to silence opposition and they do that by making this a woman's issue and throwing around the term of sexism.

Unfortunately I think the Republican party for too long hasn't had a decent strategy for attracting black voters. I truly believe there is a ready made constituency willing to vote that way. There is definitely a way to go about it and unfortunately you're not going to attract those who aren't inclined to vote Republican.

Oh yeah one more article to the discussion. This Newsmax article from Dick Morris talking about those black Americans who are running on the Republican ticket around the country. I mentioned a couple of them in an earlier post. Also add to that Lynn Swann running for governor of Pennsylvania. Morris' article closes out with this...
The Democratic Party has always treated the African-American vote like a golfer's handicap. A Democrat takes the black vote for granted and a Republican, until recently, takes its loss as a given. But the growth of black candidates among Republicans — a result of the declining power of racism in politics — may force both parties to change that calculation.

If the black vote becomes "in play" as the Hispanic vote has, there will be a whole new politics in this country of ours.
This is good news but as for the black vote being in play I have to see it.

Slating judges...

I was doing a google search on Republican Cook County judges and I found this article from the Chicago Sun-Times on a slating meeting for judges. When slating is discussed this brought to mind an episode from the biography of Mayor Richard J. Daley. We saw that Mayor Martin Kennelly of Chicago wasn't going to get the blessing of Chicago's Democratic establishment so the nod went instead to Mayor Daley.

So in this article the process of slating a judge. It doesn't exactly involve appropriate qualifications, but it does involve the work a particular judicial candidate has done helping to get out the vote. Of course it involves loyalty to the party especially in campiagns but also in curbing your ambitions.

I found a study on slating judges in Cook County. If the party chooses you as their pick, then your stock has just been raised. You are more likely whether you're a Democrat or a Republican to be elected than you would be if you weren't. I'm sure those of you who know how the system works is already familiar with this fact.

Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat slating helps you significantly in this study. You're more likely to be elected if your party slates you that you would if your party fails to slate you. You have to really work the crowd and not prove yourself to be too independent. It's unfortunate that this works that way but that is just reality.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Last year I did a post here about HBCUs. I really believe in the idea that we can have school perhaps at any level dedicated to eventually educate, train, and even mold future black leaders in any area of study. So a post on the blog at the North Lawdale Community News, they ask the simple question...
Do you think that black colleges are still important to the education of African-American youth?

Would you encourage your son or daughter to attend a black college or university?

What in your opinion is the role of the historically black college in African-American society today?
I wrote a response in the comments section addition to one from another HBCU alumni. I'm sure there are other people with a point of view on this. Especially those of you who are HBCU alumni. Chime in there or here if you'd like OK.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Black history month...

I forgot that this was black history month. Really everyday is black history month however but I want to do make a big deal about black history month on this blog. In addition to what I usually do here. In any case, I'll see what I can come up with for you.

Oh yeah over on this other blog I just subscribed to, Black Greek Network, had a post about the origins of black history month. In fact the title of this post is The real reason why Black History Month is in the shortest month of the year. It is a brief post but a good one.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

An anti-war protest on Tuesday...

I went with friend who is a journalist for Morehouse's The Maroon Tiger. He wanted to cover this event for the paper and I just so decided to go with him. I didn't go without taking a camera and I got some good images with it. I have casually followed the anti-war movement since the buildup to the war in Iraq and this protest turned out to be what I thought it would be vulgar, outspoken, and loud.

When I first got to Atlanta's Centennial park where this event was held there was an upside down flag there with F*ck Bush written on it. When it was time for President Bush's speech they decide to write lies and fascist on the screen by his face. There was even a little theater when we saw people dressed in costume as the President and Vice President with Cheney holding puppet strings attached to Bush. At various points there were either playing around with the globe or drinking out of a motor oil bottle or dancing on the constitution.

The only thing I clapped about at this protest was a young woman who was with her mother. Both spoke but the young lady said that while for a time she wasn't glad that she served, she did say that SHE was glad that she served. I applauded her for that. That was truly something that I was happy to hear. So many would probably would have turned on the country they served and there are those who wouldn't respect those who served.

The signs were what I expected to see. There were signs that suggested that President Bush was a Nazi. There was a sign that said Bush can kiss my tush and like it. There was another sign alluding to Alito with a hanger (do you know what that means?). There was even a sign from Code Pink.

Basically they had several speakers in addition to the mother and daughter. The had a union member from Chicago, a minister, an actual communist even spoke there. Then there were various people handing out leaflets and wanting donations in exchange for newspapers, signs, etc. Communists were handing out leftlets but also I recieved a leaflet from an anarchist. These protest attracts all comers whether they really want peace or not. I suppose all I had to do was ask.

One guy walked towards me before I left and started talking about the similarities of pre World War 2 Germany and today. He believes America is turning into Nazi Germany. Me being polite I said, "Watch Out." Seemingly agreeing with him and he said, "yeah". Not that I agree with him though. Though one can argue that I'm not of age I fail to see the similarities between the current campaign in Iraq and Vietnam. I also don't see the similarities between Nazi Germany and present day America. The worst that occurs during these times is that a person could lose their jobs for their political/activist activities.

Towards the end of the program President Bush's speech was finally on. They turned the banner around to become a projection screen on which we saw NBC's coverage of the State of the Union address. When Bush started to speak, they started writing on the screen one girl outright flipped off Bush's likeness on the screen and they proceeded to drown out the State of the Union address. The host of this assembly did say they weren't going to listen to him and they kept that promise. Besides at first they thought they couldn't hear him, then someone figured out how to turn up the volume.

Ultimately I got tired of the noise and I realized I had to use the bathroom so I went to my friend and told him that I had to find a bathroom and I went into a hotel across the street. When I came back I saw some security official and or police officers come. They weren't in droves however there was like almost 10 of them. They weren't in riot gear or anything thank goodness so the little assembly in the park hopefully wasn't a big threat.

My friend and I finally left centennial park to go back to campus. He got his story I got my pictures which may wind up in The Maroon Tiger in addition to some of my pictures. I'll keep you posted if and when I see the latest addition. He also took down a couple of statements as well. Often I tend to be too nice but I still try to be honest and besides I'm cool with him knowing what my stance might be.

Oh yeah there was also a protest by World Can't Wait in Chicago. Andrew's Notebook covered that event with a write up and some video. Check that out when you get a chance.



I may post more pictures. I'll keep you posted on that as well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Republicans and Blacks

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Perhaps Republicans need to forget about trying to convert blacks from the Democrats. It's not likely to happen anytime soon. The more poorer, blue collar, or even liberal amongst us are not likely to vote Republican anytime soon.

Indeed there are polls that suggest that blacks getting out of college are more open minded about their political affiliation than say their parents or grandparents were. In addition to that I do believe there is a ready constituency or there have always have been in the black community who might be willing to consider voting Republican. The only gripe I have against Republicans is that they lack a presence in the black community. Especially in Chicago the only office I've seen in a predominantly black ward in Chicago is one that I'm pretty sure no longer operates and that's on 71st and Stony Island just before you cross the Metra Electric tracks on 71st.

Unfortunately since Republicans are generally not winners in Chicago or to some extent in Cook County, they don't get as much attention. Of course you have to look hard to find Republicans from Cook County and Chicago. Some may even have had some success in elections against powerful local political figures.

Well in any event this article from Thomas Sowell confirms my idea. Think about this...
When Republicans from time to time try to reach out to blacks, they tend to do so ineptly, if not ridiculously. For reasons unknown, they seem to want to appeal to black voters in the same ways that Democrats appeal to black voters, by adopting a liberal stance.

Why would anyone who wants liberalism go for a Republican imitation when they can get the real thing from Democrats? Republicans do not have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the votes of liberal blacks.

Nor are they likely to win a majority of the black vote as a whole any time soon. But if Republicans can get just a fourth or a fifth of the black vote nationwide, that can shift the balance of power decisively in their favor.
This is a good column. They talk about Republican attempts to make inroads...

Back in 1997, when black Republican Congressman J.C. Watts denounced people like Jesse Jackson and then D.C. mayor Marion Barry as "race-hustling poverty pimps," House Speaker Newt Gingrich took it upon himself to apologize to Jesse Jackson.

*snip*

Another conservative black Republican who had the rug pulled out from under him was Michael Williams, when he was in charge of civil rights at the Department of Education. Mr. Williams ruled that setting aside scholarships exclusively for minority students was racial discrimination in violation of civil rights laws.

This courageous ruling was over-ruled in the first Bush administration, leaving Michael Williams with egg on his face.

The article talks a little bit about Ohio Ken Blackwell who's running in the Republican primary for governor. He talks about how the Republicans in Ohio try to be like Democrats. So I guess for this reason Sowell sees Blackwell ....

...a golden opportunity for Republicans, not only in that state but on the national political scene as well. Still, Mr. Blackwell would do well to watch his back.
Republicans and Blacks by Thomas Sowell from FrontPage Magazine

John Stroger's endorsement record in black and white

This year also features a race in Cook County for the County Board Presidency. John Stroger who is also the 8th Ward Democratic Committeeman is facing in his primary Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool. On the Republican side is another Cook County Commissioner, Tony Peraica.

I've seen this many times over the bloggosphere in Illinois that President Stroger has often failed to endorse a black candidate. He didn't endorse Mayor Harold Washington when he first ran for Chicago's mayoralty in 1983 (in he supported the current Mayor Richard M. Daley in the primary), he didn't endorse a black candidate in 1989 (this was almost a couple of years after Mayor Washington's death in 1987) he endorsed he winner of that election Mayor Daley, and he didn't even endorse the current Senator Barack Obama instead opting for Dan Hynes.

So I found his endorsement history from Eric Zorn's blog. Apparenly according to his post, Stroger is attempting to inject race into the picture while juxtaposing Stroger's own record of who he endorses. It doesn't appear to be a good record. Unfortunately I can't say that Stroger will be unseated even if this record was as clear as day. Stroger may be powerful himself but there are other interests that may help to keep him as Cook County Board President.

Oh yeah I've seen posts or columns or perhaps an article that suggests that Obama may become a boss of sorts. We all know why he's popular and probably has a lot of political capital. I think the reference come from the fact that he was involved inendorsing a candidate for state treasurer. I'll find that item if I can.

In any event in the case of Sen. Obama I suppose because Stroger failed to endorse Obama. Then according to items in Blogginois but mainly from Zorn's blog the junior Senator from Illinois is going to stay neutral in this election for County Board President. I wonder what this could mean and if Stroger might not be well served by that.

Check out my post on the 8th Ward Democratic Organization while you're here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Meet Alderman Rey Colon...

In the latest Meet the Aldermen column (may need to register to read) from the Tribune's Rick Kogan, we meet Ald. Colon who represents the 35th ward. It's mostly latino now but when Colon's family moved there it was still "Old World European". Basically he ran against the incumbent Ald. Vilma Colom when she turned down a request to build a basketball court.

He first ran in 1999 getting only 40% of the vote but beat the incumbent in 2003 61 to 39 percent. He claims himself as a challenged alderman because the community he represents is a changing community were so many people want to have their say. Also when he first got to the city council he had this image of a corrupt city council...


"I had this negative image that everybody in the City Council was corrupt, on the take. But that's just not the case," he (Ald. Colon) says. "That's one of the biggest surprises for me."
So then we see a personal history of his life. He made a change when his brother fell victim to a drive by shooting. He graduated from Schurz High School, studied broadcasting at Columbia College Chicago, then completed a program in community management at Roosevelt University.

Then we get into how the Alderman got into politics. He worked for the Boys and Girls Club and then he worked for the Chicago Park District. While at the Park District, he was engaged in the dispute over a basketball court...

"When the alderman [Vilma Colom] turned down the request to build the court, some of the people who had wanted it convinced me to run against her," he says.
Oh yeah he suffered for his political activity. He was let go from his Park District position and it appeared to him that it was payback for his run against Colom...


" 'Your services are no longer needed,' is the way they put it," he says.

This was the lesson learned from his 1999 campaign...


"I realized that I might have won had I prepared better, started earlier, known more and had more political experience," he says.


He then became an executive director at the YMCA and spearheaded the $7.5 million construction of the McCormick Tribune YMCA in his neighborhood. Then in 2003 he made a successful second run against Ald. Colom.

Concerns in his neighborhood has been crime, gang activity, as well as battles between affordable housing advocates, preservationists and developers. And here's one last thing from Ald. Colon who says he plans to run for re-election next year...


"In three years, property values here have gone up 100 percent," he says.
Links
35th Ward Alderman his Ald. Colon's official website
Ald. Colon's city council page.