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Gender: Male
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Member since: Thu Oct 6, 2011, 03:00 PM
Number of posts: 8,301

Journal Archives

"Real Religious Leaders Must Stand Up for Real Freedom"

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-al-sharpton/real-religious-leaders-mu_b_6971012.html

Freedom of religion -- the ability to practice our faith without fear of persecution -- is a basic right that we as Americans hold dearly. But what we also cherish -- and have fought tremendously to achieve -- is the equal protection of the right of all to eat, shop, walk, work and live where we choose without discrimination. So how is it that in 2015 the governing body of the state of Indiana has enacted legislation that leaves room for businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community under the guise of some sort of "religious liberty"? The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by Governor Mike Pence last week, is one of the most biased pieces of state legislation we've seen in our modern era. The fact that it is cloaked in the name of religious freedom is particularly offensive to me as a member of the clergy who has been engaged in ministry and social justice work my entire life. This is a pivotal moment when all religious leaders must stand in unity for real freedom for everyone.

I first began preaching when I was just a boy, at the age of 4. I was initially ordained in the Church of God and Christ, a fundamentalist Christian denomination, and was re-baptized in 1994 by Rev. Dr. William Jones, a progressive Baptist who was a friend of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 2003, when I came out publicly in support of marriage equality, many friends I preach for (I preach at about 80 churches a year) were upset, and some threatened to not invite me to deliver sermons. But I stood my ground, reminding them that since the age of 12, when I was appointed Youth Director of Operation Bread Basket by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Jones, I had been a civil rights activist. That is when I first saw my civil rights and ministerial obligations as one and the same.

My religious conviction compels me to fight for civil rights and social justice; I don't divide the two. Each and every one of us must speak out against this egregious Indiana law. We cannot fight for civil rights for some; we must fight for all in order to protect our great nation and preserve what makes us so unique. Didn't racists use religion to justify their belief in the inferiority of Blacks? Didn't misogynists misquote the Bible to justify gender inequality? The blatant use of religion has always been a tool of bigots. It is important, religiously, to stand up and dramatically denounce this Indiana law and say that it in fact does not represent religion. Rather, it legalizes bigotry and discrimination.

It's difficult to comprehend how such laws and antiquated actions can even be in existence in this day and age. Sadly, there are in fact 19 other states that have legislation similar to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But as a piece in The Atlantic highlights, Indiana's law is particularly troubling because it "makes a business's 'free exercise' right a defense against a private lawsuit by another person, rather than simply against actions brought by government." In other words, businesses can use this law to protect themselves against any discrimination or civil rights lawsuits brought against them.

"Rand Paul Changes His Tune On Defense Spending"

More: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2015/03/26/3639375/rand-paul-defense-spending/

In his first year in the Senate, Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a budget that called for a $164 billion cut to defense spending by 2016. “Military funding has often far outpaced not only our most likely enemies, but has often outpaced the entire world’s military spending combined,” he wrote at the time as he outlined his plan for a “draw-down and restructuring of the Department of Defense.”

Just four years later, as he prepares to mount a presidential campaign in early April, Paul is changing his tune. Late Wednesday, he introduced a budget amendment which would increase the defense budget by 16 percent, or $190 billion, over the next two years, TIME reported.

For years, Paul distinguished himself among Senate Republicans by actually advocating for a reduced military presence overseas and a downsized military budget. His image as a strident critic of the military industrial complex was further solidified in his nearly 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor in which he mounted a lengthy protest against the secrecy surrounding drone strikes and delayed the confirmation of CIA Director John Brennan.

Now, as he competes with other Republicans for the conservative base’s allegiance, Paul has shifted from a libertarian senator who wants to completely eliminate war spending to a likely presidential candidate who has rallied Republicans around the need to defend the country against ISIS and Islamic extremists.

#BlackCelebsBeLike Trending on Twitter

More: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%23BlackCelebsBeLike&src=typd

Blinking Router: #BlackCelebsBeLike See racism is over, blacks need to get over it we got a black president! *ignores Sony's racist emails"

Swizz Dizz: #BlackCelebsBeLike Only racist people see racism

Victor Steele: #BlackCelebsBeLike lemme blame blacks for racism real quick, even though blacks didn't invent it or keep it going. That's a good idea!

Renee: I remember when #BokoHaram took those girls. I tweeted black celebs 4 exposure almost 0 replied, busy w music, film n $$ #BlackCelebsBeLike

Margari Aziza: #BlackCelebsBeLike if I'm not offended, then the entire Black community is NOT ALLOWED to be offended.

Taylor: #BlackCelebsBeLike "Classism is the new racism. But buy my new Anton Jackson-inspired line of $300 rags and sweats!"

"Fox’s Ralph Peters Says Obama ‘Just Not Manly’"

More: http://www.newshounds.us/fox_s_ralph_peters_says_obama_just_not_manly_031815

Ralph Peters – the unhinged Obama hater whom Fox News loves – was on Hannity last night for another round of “blame Obama for (fill in the blank).”

This particular edition of hate mongering could have been called “Blame Obama for everything in Iraq and whitewash the role of the Bush administration's misbegotten invasion under false pretenses.”

Ironically, Peters – who has previously accused Obama of not liking America “very much” and not being “grateful to it,” who has called Obama “the reincarnation of Pontius Pilate,” who said Obama “believes you can negotiate with cancer tumors” and “chose the side of the terrorists” in Paris – now whined that Obama blames George W. Bush too much.

“If President Obama developed athlete’s foot, he would blame George W. Bush,” Peters accused. With a feint at balance, Peters acknowledged the Bush administration “made mistakes.” But if you ask me, that’s quite an understatement for invading a country and deposing its head of state under false pretenses. Even worse, Peters claimed, “The difference is the Bush administration did, however slowly, learn from their mistakes.”

"That awkward moment when I realized my white “liberal” friends were racists"

More: http://thegrio.com/2015/02/15/white-liberal-racists/

Has the sharing of prejudice evolved into a hip bonding ritual in 21st-century America? This writer shares his surprising experiences as a white male navigating through young white “liberal” circles — after all the black people have left the room.

“White power!” the smiling girl declared, her fist held high in a grotesque imitation of a Black Power salute. A tall, thin, stylish humanities major in a midriff-baring red T, she was a vegan, an environmentalist, an intellectual, and she was my friend.

The comical scene played out to its record-scratching, freeze-frame, “WTF?” climax around a picnic table populated by frat boys in the middle of the sunny UCLA campus. It seemed like the thousandth time a friend had suddenly unloaded a blatantly racist bombshell, although this was the wildest one yet.

As a Canadian working and studying in Los Angeles for ten years, I began to wonder why progressive young hipsters of various races were so eager to privately share their disturbing ideas about black people. The fact that these probing admissions came from a large number of my “coolest” friends, rather than the usual suspects, made it seem like a disturbing new cultural phenomenon.

"Jindal Blames Racial Inequality On Minorities Being Too Proud Of Their Heritages"

More: http://thinkprogress.org/media/2013/08/25/2523431/jindal-race-assimilate/

One day after thousands rallied at the March on Washington 50th anniversary demonstration, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) pitched the Republican civil rights vision…by criticizing minorities for not assimilating into American culture.

In a Politico op-ed Sunday, Jindal lamented that minorities place “undue emphasis” on heritage, and urged Americans to resist “the politically correct trend of changing the melting pot into a salad bowl” comprised of proudly ethnic identities.

Jindal insisted that, “while racism still rears its ugly head from time to time” since Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I have a dream” speech, the major race problem facing modern America is that minorities are too focused on their “separateness”:

Yet we still place far too much emphasis on our “separateness,” our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc. We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few.

Greta Van Susteren shreds GOP’s ‘horrific’ Iran letter: Republicans are ‘pen pals’ with the Ayatolla

More: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/fox-news-host-shreds-gops-horrific-iran-letter-republicans-are-pen-pals-with-the-ayatollah/

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren on Sunday blasted Republican senators for sending a “horrific” letter to Iran, and attempting an “end run” around the president.

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, told an ABC News panel that the 46 senators who joined Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) letter undermine President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran had made a “horrendous” mistake.

“If you read the text of the letter, it is the most condescending, infantile text assuming that the leaders of Iran — whatever you may think of them, and there’s a lot on the record to think terribly of them — that somehow, that they have no idea what the American system is all about,” Remnick explained. “It’s an absurd comical exercise.”

Susteren agreed: “I think that letter was horrific.”

"The Ugly, Racist, Deadly History of Sigma Alpha Epsilon"

More: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/inside_higher_ed/2015/03/behind_the_chant_discrimination_at_oklahoma_s_sae_chapter_goes_deeper_than.html

Two months before the Civil War began, Noble Leslie DeVotie was boarding a steamship when he slipped, fell into the waters of Mobile Bay, and drowned.

DeVotie was one of the founders of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the only national fraternity founded in the antebellum South. A chaplain at Alabama's Fort Morgan at the time of his death, he became the fraternity’s—and some argue, the country's—first Civil War casualty. Nearly 75 other SAE members would die before the war’s end, the vast majority of them fighting for the Confederate South. When the survivors returned home, many found their universities burned to the ground and the 15 chapters of the fraternity in ruins.

SAE spent the next three decades rebuilding its ranks, eventually establishing chapters at Northern colleges. But their presence there among the well-established Northern fraternities was an uneasy one, so two members wrote a defiant march in which, as SAE’s manual describes it, the fraternity “entered, met and held at bay its rivals in the North.” It was the first of many songs SAE would produce, earning it the nickname “the singing fraternity.”

There's nothing quaint about the nicknames SAE has these days—on many campuses people say the initials stand for “sexual assault expected” or “same assholes everywhere.” The fraternity is also known as the one in which members are most likely to die. And now it may be called the most racist.

"The latest unemployment numbers are great if you’re not black"

More: http://thegrio.com/2015/03/07/latest-unemployment-numbers-blacks-african-american/
50 years since the march from Selma to Montgomery, we are reminded that institutional racism, racial disparities in wages and wealth, and discrimination based on color are still a harsh reality of American life. And we have a long way to go.
The latest jobs figures released by the Labor Department for February were positive, even better than expected, with 295,000 workers added last month. The official unemployment rate — which is artificially low, failing to account for people who are not actively looking for a job, the underemployed, and all those college graduates flipping burgers – dropped to 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in January and the lowest since the middle of 2008. However, wages were sluggish, rising a mere 0.1 percent.

For blacks, the economic picture is quite different. While the unemployment rate for whites was 4.7 percent, it was 10.4 percent for blacks, 6.6 percent for Latinos, and 4.0 percent for Asians. Traditionally, in fact, for the past six decades, black unemployment has remained double that of whites. This racial gap tends to be higher in the Midwest and the South.

GOP Lawmakers Explain Why They Don’t Support Restoring Voting Rights Act

More: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2015/03/08/3631184/selma-gop-lawmakers-explain-dont-support-john-lewis-bill-restore-voting-rights-act/

SELMA, ALABAMA — Dozens of members of Congress, and many more Republicans than ever before, came to Selma this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the infamous attack on voting rights protesters known as Bloody Sunday.

Some lawmakers told ThinkProgress the event highlighted the urgency of passing a currently languishing bill that would restore the full powers of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Others showed little interest in doing so.

On his way to the commemoration ceremony, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said it’s been “powerful” to hear stories from Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who helped lead the Selma march 50 years ago and was severely beaten by police. But when ThinkProgress asked if he supports Lewis’ voting rights bill, he replied, “I haven’t looked at it. Is there a Senate version?”

A Senate version was introduced several weeks ago, and currently has zero Republican sponsors.
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