I just saw the incident taking place in Washington, D.C., in which a demonstration between the white Make America Great Again (MAGA) representatives and a Native Elder singing a religious song took a horrendous turn. There were threats and insults by the young punk wearing the red MAGA hat while an Elder, who happens to be my long time AIM friend and comrade Nate Phillips, was singing a religious song. Now, I see the media and folks changing it around like it was the Native Elder’s fault. Let me explain to you what the song’s history is.
In the 20th century, few names, especially of Black people, ring louder than that of Martin Luther King. His life, his dedication to the civil rights movement and his martyrdom in April 1968 made him a global icon of social justice. Born in 1929, if he were not martyred, he would be enjoying his 90th year of life. But he was martyred and, too, he was considered an enemy of the state. Why?
On the front page of USA Today for Dec. 27, 2018, we saw a shocking headline: “Grave discovery unearths legacy of Black convict labor.” The unmarked graves of 95 “prison slaves” were found on a construction site in Sugar Land, Texas. These Black men, ages 14 to 70 years old, were our ancestors and the first victims of what we have come to know as prison slavery in Amerika! These contract convict laborers were subjected to this form of slavery because the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution still allows slavery. Only the name has been changed. Slavery is still alive!
Amani Sawari awarded a 2019 Roddenberry Fellowship to develop Right2Vote Campaign for Jailhouse Lawyers...
I’m thrilled to share that I will be joining 19 other activists and changemakers for the 2019 Roddenberry Fellowship! Jailhouse Lawyers Speak’s Right2Vote (R2V) Campaign is being recognized for the direct impact on civil rights in the United States. The Roddenberry Fellowship supports 20 activists, organizers, leaders and changemakers who are working to make the U.S. a more inclusive and equitable place to live. Fellows’ projects focus on one of four issues: Civil Rights, Immigration and Refugee Rights, LGBTQIA and Women’s Rights, Environmental Protection.
Whether you ask a parent, a teacher or even a college student like me, creating a better world for kids is the top priority. If that’s the case, then why aren’t Pro-Kid values reflected in California’s public policy? A recent study ranked California 36th out of 50 states in children’s wellbeing. Being pro-kid means more than just not being anti-kid, it means embracing the idea that children need to be supported across all sectors to live a safe, happy and healthy childhood. Yet in the state of California, the metrics for crucial indicators of child well-being are far lower than they should be, especially when broken down by race.
Trump’s racism by omission: Rude theatrics targeting Black reporters overshadows questions on voter suppression
April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and other journalists of color have not been favorites of President Donald Trump. From telling Ryan to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus when she asked if he planned to meet with Black members of Congress to calling her a loser, President Trump has displayed his contempt for Ryan. His rage, his diminishing of the credibility of these Black, award-winning journalists, and his stupidity in calling their questions “racist” minimized what was actually happening: Trump was committing racism by omission.
In these harsh times of conflicting state and federal laws regarding medical marijuana, which is currently legal in many states but still illegal under federal law, across the nation public housing and Section 8 tenants are facing discrimination, eviction and homelessness for medical marijuana use. The crazy federal marijuana laws need to be overturned and eliminated because of the harm being done to seniors and others who may or may not be residing in subsidized housing.
The Democrats are complete trash to me, after destroying Black communities and disenfranchising generations of Black men, women and youth; they now need their votes to survive. However, these same people have done nothing to stop the recidivism that feeds the private prison machine that they all profit from. They also have not worked to make the many Black communities whole again after they were destroyed via mass incarceration and the so-called war on drugs.
Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s remark to a colleague that “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row” puts the Magnolia State at center stage for Black voters in the 2018 mid-term elections. Mississippi had the highest number of lynchings in the United States between 1882 and 1968, according to NAACP records.
Rarely am I shocked when I learn public positions of the one percenters, for clearly I understand that they speak powerfully and often behind closed doors. However, when I learned that Charles Johnson, principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, sent $2,700 to Cindy Hyde-Smith, a candidate for Mississippi senator and an avowed segregationist, I was shocked and felt a sense of community betrayal.
Stacey Abrams launches Fair Fight Georgia while acknowledging Brian Kemp’s voter suppression campaign as...
After running an historic campaign to be governor of Georgia, former House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams addressed members of the media and her staff just before Georgia certified election results on Nov. 16. In her remarks, Abrams outlined the gross injustices Georgians faced when trying to cast their ballots during this election and launched Fair Fight Georgia. This new PAC will pursue accountability in Georgia’s elections and integrity in the process of maintaining our voting rolls.
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond is the projected winner of the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction election. More than a week after Election Day, Thurmond has overcome an 86,000-vote deficit on Election Day to win the election. "I want to thank the voters of California for electing me to serve the 6 million students of California. I intend to be a champion of public schools and a superintendent for all California students,” said Superintendent-elect Thurmond.
Online progressive activists with The Digital Left are announcing a campaign to draft and elect Representative Barbara Lee to be the next speaker of the House. Within 48 hours of polls closing in the midterm elections, the group, alongside The Humanist Report, has gathered more than 5,000 signatures on an online petition calling on Democratic members of the 117th Congress to elect Rep. Lee as speaker of the House.
The fifth of November marked the historic 50th anniversary of the election of the first African American woman to the U.S. Congress, Rep. Shirley Chisholm. This important milestone marks a watershed moment in American politics for Black women to emerge and take their rightful seats at the table of elected Democratic leadership. As the representative from the state of New York, Rep. Chisholm was a trailblazer, inspiring generations of women elected officials. Her career and those of many Black women in Congress are intrinsically connected. One of those women is California Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
In a time when the trumpets of fascism are blowing loud, those of us who have been on the frontlines need to stand strong – at the back. We can’t lead this fight. We need the energy, the insight, the fresh face and perspectives of the Amani Sawaris to step up. I know she carries an optimism and a vision that us OGs can’t touch. I hope everyone who has known and loved the SF Bay View over its 42-year history will lend their support to Amani and the revitalization of the paper.
In California and across the country, progressives are coming together to demand change. We need affordable housing for our communities. On Nov. 6, voters in California will be able to vote on Proposition 10, an amendment that will let local governments determine if housing in their area should be rent controlled based on the needs of those in their communities. Prop 10 is a key example of how we can make California and the rest of the United States affordable for all families. Vote Yes on 10!
It is difficult to use the title that this commentary bears, but upon reflection, it must be so, for the truth supports it. For the truth is, this nation was born in rape. The rape of indigenous women (so called “Indians”) was considered but a spoil of war. African women were ravished aboard slave ships, clad in rags and chains. Many women leaped into the dark, roiling sea, preferring death to how they were treated onboard by seamen.
Julian Assange could have turned his cyber-genius into a multi-billion dollar tech empire like Mark Zuckerburg’s, but instead he devoted himself to peace and justice by exposing the machinations of state, corporate and oligarchic power. For that he’s spent the last six years of his life as an asylee, in effect a political prisoner, inside Ecuador’s London Embassy. "The Julian Assange case is a key case for freedom of the press," and the Pacifica National Board voted to stand with Wikileaks and Assange.
The Kanye conflict over the slavery exception clause: Amending the amendment that ‘abolished’ slavery
Kanye West has never been afraid to speak out even if what he had to say wasn’t in line with popular opinion. Kanye saying slavery was “a choice” offended many people by degrading the lives of the millions of people who suffered for centuries as slaves. Recently, at the White House, Kanye sprinkled some gold gems in with the foolishness, especially his statement about the 13th Amendment, which did not abolish slavery, not in prison. I refuse to reject the help when entertainers like Kanye West join prisoners in advocating for prisoners’ rights.
One of the great advantages of Proposition 64 – the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized adult use of cannabis – was the idea that it could start to address the disproportionately negative impact of marijuana arrests among communities of color. Prop 64 not only promised to reduce or expunge certain past convictions, it also presented employment opportunities in the newly legalized cannabis industry as a gateway to the middle class for many underserved communities.