Thursday, August 26, 2010

Michel Martin takes the floor and darn well keeps it (CNN Reliable Sources)

The first segment of this Reliable Sources, August 22 episode, has seen considerable play around the ol' blogosphere. (I will take credit or blame as you wish.) Michel Martin simply does not let host Howard Kurtz simplify or whitewash the New York mosque issue or the "Dr. Laura and the N-word" issue. She kicks serious butt all over the whole panel and takes no prisoners. And explains why the Dr. Laura thing has nothing to do with "debate" or the 1st Amendment better than most of us could. We need more of Michel, everywhere.

I'm still getting my fall classes going (students still come first, so there) and I hope this item, even if a repeat, has value for you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How many Senators does it take to avoid paying black farmers?

Once again, here's a timely update to the plight of the black farmers who STILL aren't paid, months after the February 2010 court settlement, thanks to inexcusable delays in the Senate. Hat tip to rikyrah at JJP for posting story & link where I would see it. Comments have been light (nonexistent) on this update over at JJP so I'm cross-posting here for possible penetration.

Black farmers ask why some get aid and they wait
By Jasmin Melvin
WASHINGTON | Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:45pm EDT

(Reuters) - Black farmers involved in a decades-old discrimination case are questioning why the Obama administration has promised to hasten aid for some large-scale farmers in the South while their case is held up in political wrangling.

The administration pledged last week to find $1.5 billion to help farmers hit by natural disasters after it appeared unlikely the Senate would promptly fund the package.

Black farmers reached a historic $1.25 billion civil rights settlement in February to compensate them for being left out of federal farm loan and assistance programs for years due to racism, but are still waiting for funding.

There have been seven failed attempts by the Senate, including one last week, to fund the settlement...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quote of the Week (Aug. 1-7, 2010)

Much as we are enamored of appropriating the "never forget" philosophy and applying it to the Dred Scott case & Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney (h/t to Wikipedia for providing more than the bare-bones quote):

It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in regard to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted; but the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

...for the early 21st Century we defer to this more abbreviated statement from Cnu, the author of the subrealism blog, ostensibly debating only gay rights but it's never that simple (if you think it is, let me help you onto this truck, watch your step):

Who are these people to demand any sort of rights I'm obliged to recognize?!?!?!?!?

Friday, August 6, 2010

That pesky 14th Amendment again

Between the black "Tea Party Express" folk selling us out at the National Press Club, the Proposition 8 discussion pretty much leaving out LGBT people of color, and a rise in racist stuff claiming not to be racist, I'm starting to feel like an "all other person" again.

So here is a post from rikyrah at Jack & Jill Politics that, while not exactly what I would say about current right-wing and so far all-white attacks on the 14th Amendment, it's close enough:

Remember, when you were in school and you had to pass the U.S. Constitution test to graduate 8th grade? You had to memorize the Amendments to the Constitution…and there were groups, the two most distinct being: 1st 10 – Bill of Rights, and then the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments, which you could shorten to SLAVERY (13), CITIZENSHIP(14), RIGHT TO VOTE(15).

So, I watch from the sidelines, as the folks on the right keep on bringing up REPEALING the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

AND the silence from our so-called ‘ leaders’.

WHY does the right care about this Amendment?

THEY SAY, it’s because the children of illegal aliens, born in this country, and are U.S. Citizens, is a perversion of the Amendment.

So, what exactly does the 14th Amendment say:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 1 is what deserves the focus.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

This means that the children of illegals born in this country ARE United States Citizens. They’re talking about this because the majority of the children that qualify -ARE NOT WHITE.

I simply don’t believe that they would care if the majority were from, say, Canada, Ireland, Scandinavia, and nothing will convince me otherwise...

Read the rest + comments at: Jack & Jill Politics

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quote of the Week (August 1-7, 2010)

The quotation below is from a letter by H. P. Lovecraft to Elizabeth Toldridge. It was used as an epigraph in A Specter Is Haunting Texas, which novel I wish I had read years ago as it does not hold up well aesthetically. It makes for tough slogging now, tougher certainly than Fritz Leiber ought to be, even though it portrays the state/empire of Texas exactly as I picture it, attitudes forever entrenched by Southern/cowboy testosterone and fear, unchanged even by atomic war.
One thing I'll say for labour (the British Labour Party); and that is, that it isn't as offensive as the corresponding mutatory force which now threatens culture in America. I refer to the force of business as a dominating motive in life, and a persistent absorber of the strongest creative energies of the American people. This intensive commercialism is a force more basically dangerous and anti-cultural than labour ever has been, and threatens to build up an arrogant fabric which it will be very hard to overthrow or modify with civilized ideas.
     --H. P. Lovecraft, 1929