Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Bush Administration in All of Its Bullshit

Can you believe this shit?. Also, Body and Soul points out how Rep. Barney Frank further calls these people to task concerning their policies on aid for the victims of Bush/Hurricane Katrina.
Over the past few days, I have noticed a large flock of birds just noisiliy perching on the power company's electrical units outside. Ove thought it quite eerie, as if the birds were about to take back over man's (and gods) creation.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Oh Wow*

Today I had one of the greatest discussions with my students at Ivy Tech, on power, legitimacy, authority, and legality--and one which I don't know if I will EVER have with my students at Purdue. It was so profound and beautiful. Are the students of Ivy Tech less tied into hegemony than the one's at Purdue?

*Wow, as was told to me before, being the highest form of flattery.

The FBI Should Be Held Responsible

The FBI should be held accountable and be made to pay for the assassination of Filiberto Ojeda Rios that they carried out . Ojeda was a revolutionary leader of the Ejercito Popular Boricua Los macheteros, Popular army of the People -- also known as Cane Cutters. On September 23rd, 2005, FBI agents broke into the home of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, shot him in cold blod and allowed him to bleed to death. They should be made to pay for their actions. You can read about the assasination here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Honoring Fannie Lou Hamer with my 500th Post

Honoring Fannie Lou Hamer
(Via email from Beck Belcore of Community Labor United.)


October 6th was Fannie Lou Hamer's birthday. Fannie Lou was a black worker who emerged from the fields of Mississippi during the freedom struggles of the 1960s to head the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Fannie Lou Hamer represented the goals, hopes and demands of the grassroots (people of Mississippi and the black rural south). At the 1964 Democratic Party Convention her voice and ours were sacrificed by white (and some black) Democratic Party leaders to preserve an alliance with the Dixiecrats. The views, voices and interests of the working class and poor black majority were disrespected in this shameful event.

That painful and damaging history is vividly echoing in our ears. It is happening again. It must stop.

In the wake of one of the worst disasters, in the making long before Katrina's wind and water hit the Gulf Coast, poor and working class black people are once again being swept aside. We see and hear organizations, even in the black community, claiming to speak for us, claiming to represent us. They do not. Only we can represent ourselves.

This disrespect and disregard is also taking place in governmental bodies and organizations who are meeting, planning and implementing programs in our absence, without our input and oversight.

Out of this horror we have the chance to build a movement for social justice in this country. The genuine interest from concerned people from every walk of life and every corner of the nation shows us we are not alone.

If we are to meet this moment, build the movement we need, this situation cannot continue. The gains of the black freedom movement must be preserved. All that we have learned, (the ways we have grown since must be celebrated and built upon). We demand that the voices of those left behind after Katrina hit, the overwhelming majority of whom are the black working class and poor be at the center of every discussion about what lies ahead for Louisiana and other areas of the Gulf Coast.
I want to write a little bit about the history ofsocial work in this country. As my mother is a social worker I feel quite strognly about this profession and the work that they do. Social work has its origins in the late 1800s and early 20th Century with the onslaught of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe into Northern and East Coast urban areas.

The health, public welfare, educational, and environmental issues that arose from this boom in population--and the massive presence of immigrant populations within the United States created the need for basic skills, basic necessities, and basic training. Thus arose social work, carved out of the tradition of women helping women and children, and helping families--out of which arose a profession, made up largely of women, especially with the appearance of such women as Jane Addams with Hull House in Chicago, Margaret Sanger in New York with her advocacy of family planning and the use of contraceptives, and the tons of women and men who entered education (including many of my ancestors) as teachers, who as such were oftentime called upon to carry out these duties as well. Out of this tradition of concern for social welfare eventually came the state sponsored version which, in all of its good and bad aspects, has come to serve the people on a universally functional level.

I think it is also quite interesting to think about the legacy of these social movements moving into the official structure--after the initial efforts of a few dedicated activists. This is not only true for the establishment of social work as a profession, but also true for the implementation of social policies and programs that we think of as commonplace now. I am thinking of prison reform in the early 20th Century, the establishment of Free Breakfast and Free Lunch programs under Johnson after the Black Panther Party initiated the programs, and in a related manner-- the fact that social security did not become virtually a right until after poor people and workers pressured Roosevelt in the Thirties to make it so. THere is a legacy of activism and struggle. There is a legacy of compassion and concern. There is a legacy of enduring humanity that definitely needs to be nutured and maintained.
God Bless Oprah. God, help me to always keep things in perspective.
How DARE they beat this man. These people should be castrated.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I just finished watching the L Word for the first time and I must say I LOVE it! GO Jennifer Beals!
I think it is interesting that I used to play rpgs until this current war in Iraq started.
I think the whole busiess of coming out is somewhat bullshit. I have to agree with Cher on this point.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I think the right is playing when it comes to Harriet Myers. I think they want her, and they want her bad...and they are trying to run circles around the left.
I LOVE Candye Kane!

Some of the Greats

Billie Holiday's voice is pain....
Nina Simone's voice prophesies....
Aretha Franklin's voice testifies....
Ella Fitzgerald's voice commiserates and soothes....
Patti Labelle's voice is help for pain.....
Dinah Washington's voice is a cry out in the night....
Mahalia Jackson's voice bears witness before the lord....
My grandmother used to tell of this white man theat lived in their community that was just a bit off of his rocker. He used to flag down the train, waving his arm back and forth in big waves---and the man would stop the train--and he would say " You wanna buy a possum?" And that conductor would get so mad, " you mean to tell me that you stopped this train to see if I wanted to buy a possum?"!" The old man would shake his head, " Now now, don't get upsot (mind you his word, not mine) I haven't even catched him yet." Ha.
My Uncle Lawrence found out, when he was an older boy and would follow his father around, that John Archie used to keep the books for Billy Carter's father as Billy's father couldnt read or write.