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Member since: Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:33 PM
Number of posts: 27,019

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Women never make it to the top of the page on DU.

Hell. We don't make it to the greatest page at DU.

How sad is that, we are 50 percent of the voters.

Dead or in Jail: The Burden of Being a Black Man in America

By Wilbert L. Cooper

Senior Editor

All photos by Awol Erizku

"The day you were born, there was a pine box and a prison cell built with your name on it."

I think that's why the last few years have been so terrifying for me as I've seen the names cycle through from Trayvon Martin to Kimani Gray to Victor White to Eric Garner to Michael Brown to Tamir Rice to Walter Scott to Freddie Gray to Samuel DuBose. I know that no matter how well I play the game, no matter how cognizant I am of the rules, it could happen to me. I think about it when I walk past the police station at the end of my block in Brooklyn. I ask myself: Is today going to be the day they are going to fuck with me? And if so, what will I do? Every time a new video shot on police cameras and bystander's cell phones emerges with yet another black life being smothered across the screen, I feel myself getting one step closer to a kind of nihilism about this country and my place in it.

I can relate to the blinding, hot rage I've seen swallow up so many other brothers of my generation, from the pain they foolishly inflict against one another because their arms can't reach the system to the pain they inflict upon themselves because they are trying to escape the realities of the everyday. It's in those fits of anger that I wonder, Were we always destined to live and die this way, like savages in the street or alone in cold cells? And if this is it, why did our parents have us at all? Why bring us into this world where our lives are short and wracked with pain?


But even if we manage to avoid the death-or-jail-cell quagmire my father warned me about, there's still the plantation in our minds to contend with. The terror we live under today may not be comparable to that of the 1860s, but the fear, the humiliation, and the emasculation remain in subversive and subtle forms, creeping in and crippling us from the inside. Of course, not every altercation between the police and black youth ends in death, but the indignities we endure every day take a different kind of toll. They chip away at our personhood, our humanity, and can very easily make us meek—or else a uniquely American breed of monster.

When I first began to tune into the slew of cryptic videos and horror stories that have been arriving by the boatful in the last few years, I wanted to weep. What I did instead is weep inside until my emotional well went dry. And then I started to feel nothing but a gnawing angst, searing through the sides of my belly.

It's that burning feeling that at one time made me certain I would never bring another black child into this world. For what? To be beaten, to be caged, to be taught to hate himself and everyone who shares the same skin as him? There was a time when I couldn't imagine subjecting anyone else to that curse, that burden.

Read More http://www.vice.com/read/dead-or-in-jail-the-burden-of-being-a-black-man-in-america-804?utm_source=vicetwitterus

It is a long read, so powerful. So much pain, fear and despair yet the last line gives me hope, that they will overcome.

I am weeping.

Photo of the Day: Fearless

I don't know about you, but I've shed a lot of tears over the last 10 days. Some have been tears of grief and some of joy. It's hard to miss that we're going through a great historical moment in this country.

And so I wanted to mark this occasion with a few important words that have been written about it.


Ten Days in June by David Remnick

What a series of days in American life, full of savage mayhem, uncommon forgiveness, resistance to forgiveness, furious debate, mourning, and, finally, justice and grace. As President Obama led thousands of mourners in Charleston, South Carolina, in “Amazing Grace,” I thought about late 2013 and early 2014. Obama’s Presidency was surely dwindling, if not finished. His mood was sombre, philosophical—which is good if you are a philosopher; if not, not.

Obama described himself to me then in terms of his limits—as “a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids, and that river is history.” More than a few columnists believed that Obama was now resigned to small victories, at best. But pause to think of what has happened, the scale of recent events.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court (despite an apocalyptic dissent about “pure applesauce” and “interpretive jiggery-pokery” by Justice Scalia) put an end to years of court cases and congressional attacks against the Affordable Care Act, which means that millions of Americans will no longer live in a state of perpetual anxiety about health costs.

On Friday, the Supreme Court (despite a curiously ill-informed dissent about Kalahari, Aztec, and Han mating rites by Chief Justice Roberts) legalized same-sex marriage nationally—a colossal (and joyous) landmark moment in the liberation of gay men and lesbians.

The theme, of course, is that we have been led both to and through these last 10 days by a great man...one who has been fearless.

Many great links here: http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/06/photo-of-day-fearless.html


That image tells the story.

This Is How America Will Remember Barack Obama

A Bond That Will Never Be Broken

George E. Condon Jr.: This Is How America Will Remember Barack Obama

Long after the last partisan battle has been fought over Obamacare, long after Barack Obama has settled into a comfortable post-presidency, and long after the last joke has been made about some Joe Biden verbal misstep, people will remember the moment when the always-in-control president struggled to control his emotions. They will remember the moment when president and vice president embraced in front of the altar and exchanged heartfelt kisses on the cheek. And they will remember how their hearts ached at this intimate glimpse of one family’s pain. In an age when so many political moments are scripted, this was real. In a country whose presidents and vice presidents have rarely been close, this was genuine closeness. In an administration that prides itself on being hip, this was decidedly old-fashioned love.

The funeral at St. Anthony’s was another highly personal moment for the president. White House aides have often tried to persuade reporters that this president and this vice president have a close bond. Just as often, reporters have voiced skepticism, aware of a two-century history of relationships ranging from open enmity to cool indifference between the men in the White House and their vice presidents. But more than six years into the presidency, it may be time to accept the claims as accurate. Even when Biden has misspoken or jumped the gun on positions, aides insist Obama harbored no anger at the vice president. “That’s just Joe being Joe,” they often say. “It’s part of who he is.” They always appreciated Biden’s loyalty and humanity. Saturday was a chance for the president to return that embrace. How he did it will be hard to forget.


That second picture, it looks like Joe is consoling Obama as he rests his head on Joe's shoulder.


BOG For two men we so admire. They have touched our hearts.

U.S. Police Have Shot Dead 385 People In Five Months: REPORT

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. police have shot and killed 385 people during the first five months of this year, a rate of more than two a day, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The death rate is more than twice that tallied by the federal government over the past decade, a count that officials concede is incomplete, the newspaper said.

The analysis is based on data the Post is compiling on every fatal shooting by police in 2015, as well as of every officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty.


Federal Bureau of Investigation records over the past decade show about 400 fatal police shootings a year, or an average of 1.1 deaths a day. Reporting of shootings by police agencies is voluntary.

But the Post's analysis indicates the daily death toll for 2015 is close to 2.6 as of Friday. At that pace, police will have shot and killed nearly 1,000 people by the end of the year, the paper said.

Read More http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/31/police-fatal-shootings-20_n_7477658.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices&utm_hp_ref=black-voices

The First Decoration Day

Article. By David W. Blight. 2011.
The people’s history of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day, originally published in the New York Times. Used here with permission of the artist Owen Freeman. (Click photo for artist’s website.)

Thousands of black Charlestonians, most former slaves, remained in the city and conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war. The largest of these events, and unknown until some extraordinary luck in my recent research, took place on May 1, 1865. During the final year of the war, the Confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some twenty-eight black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

Then, black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. The symbolic power of the low-country planter aristocracy’s horse track (where they had displayed their wealth, leisure, and influence) was not lost on the freedpeople. A New York Tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.”

At 9 a.m. on May 1, the procession stepped off led by three thousand black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body.” The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses. Then came black men marching in cadence, followed by contingents of Union infantry and other black and white citizens. As many as possible gathering in the cemetery enclosure; a childrens’ choir sang “We’ll Rally around the Flag,” the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and several spirituals before several black ministers read from scripture. No record survives of which biblical passages rung out in the warm spring air, but the spirit of Leviticus 25 was surely present at those burial rites: “for it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you… in the year of this jubilee he shall return every man unto his own possession.”


Over time several American towns, north and south, claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. But all of them commemorate cemetery decoration events from 1866. Pride of place as the first large scale ritual of Decoration Day, therefore, goes to African Americans in Charleston. By their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of flowers and marching feet on their former owners’ race course, they created for themselves, and for us, the Independence Day of the Second American Revolution.




This I do know.

I will not sit down and I will not shut up.

I have nieces and nephews also four great niece and nephews. I will do anything to make this a better place for them. The two of them are incredibly strong, talented and beautiful women. I would die for them if need be. Actually, when the eldest was two, she fell to the concrete floor, following my sister up from the laundry room. She had her doll in her arms, her name was" super baby". When I saw her with her leg strapped to a board, intravenous lines attached, unresponsive and bruised, I prayed. Yes, it is not something I do anymore, yet that day I did. I was twenty six. I prayed I go in her place, she was only two and I had already had twenty six years. She survived.

There is so much talk here that we need to focus on economic justice and push social justice behind us for now. I have been told this! I say to hell with that 'cause one without the other is meaningless. This cannot be trickle down for for social justice. Trickle down has never worked. You know that! Stop pushing it.

I will vote in every damn election, for my candidate or not if they lose. I will always vote for the Democratic candidate. Always. Never a write in.

Some believe I am a stupid Bogger, the most loathed group at DU, that is okay. I know I am not. Hell yes, I am going to enjoy the time remaining. He and his family have brought dignity and grace to our White House.

There have been times in my life where I learned your life can change on a dime. So, you know, I cannot and will not live my short life on earth in misery and despair. I have known it, not going to dwell in a dark place.

Yes, silly me. I have hope.

You must remember this. Never forget where we were.

Yup, I know. It is all Obama's fault. All of it. It always has been. If you listen to some , you would believe he crashed the economy on his own. He created NSA. He is worse than Bush. He is Republican lite. Dear Gawd. Some here elected him or so they say. Then you left him without back up.

I have to ask, what "Republican Lite" would support Gay marriage? Then support a woman's right to chose and her equal pay? Would they be supporting voting rights? Civil rights? Gun laws? Obamacare? You are lying to yourself and the rest of us by saying this. Shame on you!

It is always so much easier to place the blame elsewhere and never take any responsibility yourself.

Selective memories at times. He never once said Yes I Can. He said Yes WE Can. We, collectively, must stand up and be heard. Everyday we should be fighting tooth and nail for what we believe in.

I for one will not stop until I am 6 feet under.

If your only goal is to get to the top of the page, keep on bashing. It is a proven theory here. I have been told by someone that it works for them, sadly it does.

Thanks for this CTyankee~

I underestimated the amount of racial bigotry we still have in this country and admire him for being so strong.


Here, he was coming back from Sandy Hook. Tears.

Nope....we were never asking for the son of Gawd. We were asking for some sun. He gave us that.

POTUS just dropped the Mic for the ages.

POTUS speech at Selma was a love letter to America.
3:51 PM - 7 Mar 2015

View image on Twitter
Trymaine Lee ✔ @trymainelee

THIS photo of Obama and John Lewis in Selma yesterday. The long arc of 50 yrs ago bent toward his presidency. (WashP)
12:24 PM - 8 Mar 2015 Selma, AL, United States



Yup, yes...so many hate me here for supporting this President. I don't care. Best President in my lifetime. He has stepped up to the plate every damn day. He does it with humor and grace. Yes dignity so much dignity. He has been been vilified from day one and he lets that roll off his back. The right hates him, the left, some seem to think he is a POS. Sad that.

He has given us more peace and stability with other countries than we have seen in a very long time. Our standing has risen.

He gave us hope with healthcare. Is it perfect, no. We got the best we could at that time. No preexisting conditions, children stay on there parents plan until they are 26. So much, so much more.

He is the best President of my lifetime. Best. Ever!

edit to ad~

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