Archives for September 2009

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations


The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations

Rally/March November 7, 2009 Washington, D.C. / Malcolm X Park 10a-6pm

BlackisBlackWashington, D.C. – A newly-formed Black coalition has announced a Rally and March on the White House to take place November 7, 2009 beginning in Washington, D.C.’s historic Malcolm X Park. The Rally and March are to protest the expanding U.S. wars and other policy initiatives that unfairly African and other oppressed people around the world. Known as the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, the coalition formed on September 12, 2009 during a meeting in Washington, D.C. of more than fifteen activists from various Black organizations, institutions and communities.

The Black is Back Coalition aims to draw upon the support of many of the leading anti-imperialist organizations, journalists, organizers, artists and scholars of the African world. In this age of Obama, Rally and March on November 7, 2009 aims to bring back the tradition of resistance historically associated to with Black communities around the world. Comprised of seasoned veterans of Black political struggle, consisting of members of the African People’s Socialist Party, the NAACP, MOVE, the Green Party, Black Agenda Report and many other grassroots organizations and efforts, this coalition is perfectly situated to do just that.

As the Call to Action states, “Many well-meaning people in this country and around the world are afraid to take more progressive political positions for fear of being seen as anti-Black…We need to remind people of the absolute lack of ‘progress’ since new faces assumed leadership of this nation. Many of the leading concerns of Black people, Latinos and working people in this country remain insufficiently addressed. Black and Brown people continue to suffer the brunt of un/under-employment and predatory loan scandal crises. Military spending under Obama has increased as have the warfare this nation continues to export to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Venezuela and Colombia. Mass incarceration, police brutality and political imprisonment remain rampant and the most negatively impacted by the levee breech in post-Katrina New Orleans continue to be without homes, jobs or health care assistance. And to that point, these are precisely the communities who nationally will be the most negatively effected by yet another myth of health care ‘reform.'”

The political paralysis now being experienced by anti-war and other progressive movements suffer from thelack of a Black-led anti-imperial movement to off-set the traps set by Obama’s so-called “post-racial” politics that perpetuates the same oppressive militarist agenda well known during the Bush regime. Black Is Back is not simply a slogan for the African Diaspora but for all progressive struggles which have historically always benefited fromBlack-led movements. On November 7, 2009 beginning promptly at 10am, all are welcome to participate in Rally and March which will include many speakers and performers of the coalition to stand and demonstrate in political solidarity announcing the return to leadership of the world’s most reliably anti-war and pro-social justice communities. As the coalition says, “To free our people’s hopes and dreams from oblivion, we need a coalition dedicated to the proposition that Black is Back!”

Black is Back Steering Committee:

Omali Yeshitela, APSP – Chair
Ayesha Fleary, AADEP – Secretary
Yaa Asantewq Ohema, NCOBRA – Fundraiser
Jared Ball, Vox Union Media – Media Coordinator
Rosa Clemente, Green Party – Program Coordinator
Efia Nwangaza, Malcolm X Center Self Determination– Recruitment Coordinator
Chioma Oruh, ASI North America – Outreach Coordinator
Ousainou Mbenga – APSP – Logistics Coordinator
Rich Pierdrahita – APSP – Graphic Designer/Website Manager
Riley Hamilton – Uhuru Radio – Website Manager

Other Members of the Black is Back Coalition:

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party
Pam Africa, Free Mumia Campaign
Chimurenga Waller, InPDUM
Stic Man, Dead Prez
M-1, Dead Prez
Abdul Alim Musa, Masjed al-Islam
Omowale Kefing, Burning Spear Newspaper
Ona Zene Yeshitela, APSP
Curtis Gatewood NAACP in North Carolina
Luwezi Kinshasa, ASI
Raheal Rayza, University of Toronto Outreach Coordinator
Chakanda Gondwe, Toronto Community Outreach Coordinator
Norman Richmond, Toronto Community Organizer
Kali Akuno, MXGM
Sister Heart Olevette, DC Outreah Outreach Organizer
Remy Johnson, Syracuse University Outreach Coordinator
Priest Hemnetcher, Howard University Outreach Coordinator
Jamye Wooten, Kinectics of Tubman City (Baltimore)

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G20 Summit-Jasiri X Report Back-Pittsburgh Police State

Pittsburgh’s G-20 City on LOCKDOWN!

by Jasiri X


Jasiri X & Paradise Inside Homeland Security Protestor Cages

Jasiri X & Paradise Inside Homeland Security Protestor Cages

This is footage taken on September 22, 2009 the day before the G-20 Summit officially hit Pittsburgh. This video show the incredible extent the City of Pittsburgh went to lock down the city and prevent anyone especially protesters from coming into downtown. With metal fences surrounding it’s perimeter Pittsburgh has once again become the City of Steel. The Legendary Jimi Hendrix provides the theme music.








This video was taken Wednesday September 23rd the day before the G-20 summit began in Pittsburgh over a span of an hour. The police and military deployment numbers were compounded by the fact that there was so few “regular” people in downtown Pittsburgh due to the fear people had of protesters “tearing up” the city. The irony was that all around the city are signs that say, “Pittsburgh Welcomes the World” yet the intimidating presence of so many police had the exact opposite effect. When we came across the bridge into downtown, police immediately began to take our pictures, which is why I used a song I record called “Watch Em” featuring K-Link as the soundtrack. As I write this police are firing tear gas at a protesters marching without a permit. Crazy.

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“Use The Force Luke” – Storm Troopers Occupy Pittsburgh, PA


I am just arriving in Pittsburgh this Friday morning as folks are gearing up for this morning’s huge protest which starts around 12 noon.. Just spoke to my man Paradise Gray of X-Clan and One Hood.. who has been on the ground covering the haps like there’s no tomorrow.. He just alerted me to two disturbing things.. First, the police used some sort of ‘noise weapon’ on crowds yesterday. You can see it pictured on top of the tank in the photo below. It’s a loud irritating noise and makes people want to leave an area almost immediately.. We will gather more information on this later today..

The second disturbing thing is that police have been aggressively filming and making their presence known to Gray and other One Hood members. Paradise describes police officers he had never seen before walking near him and saying his name. One officer told him he’s been reading his blogs and reports.. Pittsburgh is definitely on lock down and a total police state. You could see that driving into the city… Follow the tweets and Facebook blogs as we will be updating all day..

-Davey D-

“Use The Force Luke” – Storm Troopers Occupy Pittsburgh, PA

By Paradise Gray

PittsburghMayor Luke Ravenstahlsaid that the level of security that we are seeing in the streets of Pittsburgh is normal for the G20 and these type of events, however I am from New York and have never seem a city locked down like Pittsburgh is locked down right now. The city is like a ghost town right now. Boarded up businesses and residents afraid to leave their homes for media driven fear of the protesters or intimidation from the massive display of military power by an occupying force that looks like a scene from “Clone Wars” in the Star Wars Universe. It’s ironic that with the amount of metal cages surrounding the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Downtown Pittsburgh our city can once again can make the claim of “Steel City”. Way to run “The Steel Curtain Defense” Pittsburgh!

I was at a March in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh today and I saw one of the largest gatherings of Police/troops that I have ever seen domestically, I saw nothing like what I saw today at the The United Nations, The Million Man March, The Millions More Movement, nor President Obama’s Inauguration. I haven’t seen anything like this in Post 911 New York. Sheer numbers of heavily armed officers in full riot gear, complex tactical crowd dispersal maneuvers, flash bangs, tear gas and cutting edge audio technology were used to totally smash the un-authorized protest.

Police also fired rubber bullets and teargas in Oakland area of Pittsburgh. Mostly at University Of Pittsburgh Students! According to Councilman Bill Peduto Cathedral of Learning surrounded, police giving dispersal orders, helicopters flying low w/ searchlight most of Fifth all Forbes Ave. closed.

Black Hawk and Chinook Helicopters, Gunboats, Armored Humvee’s, at least two Lenco Bears, Secret Command Posts, The Secret Service, The National Guard, Coast Guards, Swat Teams, State Troopers, National, City and County Police, Transit Cops, Security Guards and I swear that I heard the Darth Vador Music play when these guys marched by:

Talk about “Star Wars Defense” Systems!

I can’t wait to see the numbers of lost money by the downtown business’s that the city begged to stay open during the G20 summit only to see their customers “fenced off”.

$20 Million for G20 security, nothing for the “Woman’s Walk For Peace” on Oct. 3rd on the North Side.

More Photos:

G20 Summit 2009 Pittsburgh, PA Album 3 – Military Zone!…

Tags: 2009, G-20, G20, Obama, Pittsburgh, President, Secret, Service, center, convention

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Report Back from G20: Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign


PoorpeoplesrightsPoor and homeless members of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) from across the United States are participating this week in Protests during the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, including helping to organize a national Tent City, and participating in marches for jobs and health care and against the war. Following is an update sent by Reverand Bruce Wright, from The Refuge, a PPEHRC organization in St. Petersburg, Florida.
I am writing this letter from the G20 summit demonstrations on the site of the Tent City of the dedicated to the homeless, poor, and unemployed. We are here with a group of 10 from Florida. 7 of our group are homeless and unemployed. The rest are working poor. We arrived safely on Sunday, Sept. 20th.

We have been very busy since we arrived. We participated in a March for jobs on Sunday with more then 1200 in our march. Monday and Tuesday we participated in activities at our Tent City. On Tuesday, we participated in 2 marches on Tuesday. One march was for an end to Police Repression and harassment both at the G20 and also throughout our communities.

There were testimonies of Police harassment at this event describing being detained for no reason, raiding people’s campsites, invasive Police presence in neighborhoods (shinning lights in people’s homes at night, Police dogs barking, etc.), and in one case 45 Police in Riot gear attacking a community farm and destroying gardens that had vegetables that were used to feed the demonstraters. And, in one case a group was detained trying to come to our campsite with Bail Out People.

In addition, to this protest, Bail Out People and the PPEHRC organized a march and demonstration on Mellon Bank, one of the largest banks in Pennsylvania. It was known for predatory lending and foreclosures. We had several people from our group speak at this demonstration and the march on Sunday and participate in a press conference, including myself. Today, is going to be a full day of teach-ins, demos, and film showings.

We expect Police repression to intensify. There are 2000 National Guard troops here, as well as armoured vehicles and several blackhawk and Apache helicopters here. You can, at times, feel the tension. It seem crazy to have such overkill in a Militarized presence. It is being locked down like a Police state.

In closing, please expect more updates. For more information see or Poor and homeless families from PPEHRC from other parts of the U.S. will be joining us tomorrow.

Thank you, Rev. Bruce Wright

The Refuge, St. Petersburg, Florida
Poor People’s Economic HUman Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)


Discovery Channel’s ‘Gang Wars: Oakland’ Series Spreads All the Wrong Messages About Poverty and Minorities


Its been interesting watching the show and hearing the reaction to it.. Most people were kind of thrown because in ‘Tha Town’ we don’t usually talk about people in clicks with the word ‘gang’. Do they exist? Sure just as they do in all cities.. but this show tried to make it seem like Oakland was a mini LA…

Some people had a little bit of pride because so often Oakland is overlooked and underplayed, so any attention even if its one of notoriety is treated is embraced. If you aren’t gonna celebrate how ‘good’ Oakland can be.. then folks will celebrate how ‘bad’ and how ‘tough’ it can be… That’s not unique to Oakland or the ghetto, that’s an American thing. If you don’t believe me ask iconic artists like Toby Keith, our last president George Bush or just tune into any right wing talk show where you’ll find an abundance of blowhards who will tell you how we should torture people, be allowed to carry guns at presidential rallies and refer to anyone calling for peace un-American

Also absent in this series were the large number of people who work tirelessly to help change lives around. Way too many to name.. It ranges from the folks behind the Scraper Bike Movement to Silence the Violence to Nation of Islam to Leadership Excellence etc.. There’s no shortage.  This show made it seem like folks were just kicking back enjoying the mayhem..

Sadly many organizers will tell you point blank that oftentimes the police are the  biggest obstacles. Seemingly everyone has a tale to tell.. but should we be surprised?  Many of these Discovery Channel, National Geographic gang shows are really police shows.. These shows are set up in such a way that it allows police departments to have tangible tool to go negotiate higher contracts..and to justify more cops on the streets.

-Davey D-

Discovery Channel’s ‘Gang Wars: Oakland’ Series Spreads All the Wrong Messages About Poverty and Minorities

by Aimee Allison

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. — John F. Kennedy

Oakland-gang-warsThere’s a rising tide of Americans that is challenging the myths that media perpetuate about people of color, violence and our nation’s cities.

While challenges Glen Beck’s racially tinged character attacks and calls for the ouster of Lou Dobbs from CNN for profiling Latinos, these efforts are the tip of the iceberg in addressing racism in the media.

Take the controversial documentary that aired this week — Discovery Channel’s two-parter, Gang Wars: Oakland, which aired its final episode Monday night.

Yes, Oakland has a shameful homicide rate, like many other American cities. But by multiplying the number of gang members in the city and connecting the homicide rate with a cardboard stereotype, the myths themselves become dangerous and counterproductive.

The show offers unrealistic and simplistic explanations about why killings happen, who the people in the community are and what would make things better. It’s time for Oakland, and the rest of America, to dump the myths that have lead to ineffective approaches to safety — and that means calling out this show that feeds on our worst fears of the poor and of people of color.

Maybe the show’s producers formed their opinions about Oakland by playing the video game of the same name — but our tragedies are not entertainment. And, we all admit, there’s plenty of blame to go around for crime in our cities. We are all paying the price for letting go of the hand of young people.

But all the scorn in the world will not make Oakland, or even suburban areas, safer.

Discovery portrays Oakland from the narrow perspective of a gang task force making busts in the city’s economically disadvantaged east and west flatlands.

The grainy night shots, closeups of semiautomatic weapons, wailing sirens and shot after shot of black and brown tattooed bravado is horror-flick fun to some — but this is a harrowing reality for those of us in Oakland grappling with the persistent problem of violence.

Oaklandpolice-225And to make matters worse, the show claims there are 10,000 gang members in the city — a number refuted by acting Oakland Police Chief Harold Jordan. Since the show producers haven’t come up with where they got the inflated number, one can only guess that they lumped in people based on neighborhood or skin color.

Therein lies the essence of the problem.

If the show was your sole point of reference, you would get the impression that Oakland’s response to crime involves mostly white police kicking down doors, conducting dangerous high-speed chases and stopping AC Transit buses in mostly black Oakland.

Gang Wars: Oakland would have us believe the myth — as the voiceover in the show says — that law-abiding citizens have only one hope, which is more and tougher policing. The reality is far more complex — with the community itself taking a central role in creating peace.

“Young people are afraid, people want to protect themselves,” offers Olis Simmons, executive director of Oakland’s Youth Uprising. She adds, “the police can’t make the city safe without partnership with the community, and that cannot happen as long as the community feels it’s being infiltrated.”

Fear grows in darkness; if you think there’s a bogeyman around, turn on the light. — Dorothy Thompson

Here’s the biggest myth: That we can arrest our way out of our homicide rate. We can’t, and the Oakland Police Department agrees. Racial profiling and harassment won’t get us there — although the Oakland Police Department has cost the city millions in settlements for just those behaviors.

But here’s what we can do: We can hire our way out. We can school our way out. As a city, we believe that so deeply that we voted to pass Measure Y — to tax ourselves to the tune of $10 million a year to make policing more effective and to expand youth programs and community outreach. The community-outreach workers that make a small cameo in the Gang Wars: Oakland are the cornerstone of Oakland’s approach to making the streets safer.

And if you want reality — how about the fact that many Oakland guns have been traced k to a gun dealer in nearby San Leandro who couldn’t account for more than 2,000 guns in 2006, according to federal authorities. Let’s revive the national gun-control conversation, because stricter federal laws is the only way to impact easy availability of guns in Oakland.

Locally, the myths depicted in Gang Wars: Oakland carry real consequences. Forget about the visceral reactions from suburban coworkers or the couple you met on vacation when you tell them you live in Oakland.

The city’s own efforts to transform its neighborhoods are thwarted in the frenzy heightened by fearmongering shows. Racial profiling proliferates — when cooler heads and a balanced view on safety don’t prevail. Money is funneled away from youth and community programs. Businesses avoid opening in the city, and we lose valuable economic opportunities.

In Oakland, we are asking: Does this show reflect the true story of what’s happening in my city? If it does, what is my responsibility to make things better?

Here’s our reality from the streets of Oakland. Despite what you see on the Discovery Channel, Oakland’s young people, coming from under-resourced communities, have shown a remarkable capacity for success and leadership to transform their peers.

Nick James of Youth Together, an organization with programs in five Oakland public schools, discusses its successful work: “We teach young people how to mediate conflicts and help their peers heal from being exposed to violence and loss. Our youth are becoming change agents and are breaking the cycle.”

False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news. — Adrienne Rich

“The stereotypes won’t make us safer, but a focus on hopeful efforts to support young people does,” says Xiomara Castro, co-founder of the Urban Peace Movement, an Oakland youth violence-prevention program.

She suggests an alternate ending to the tale told in Gang Wars: “Young people who have experienced violence can turn their lives around. But thankfully Gang Wars isn’t the end of the story. Let’s try a real reality show, where we invite cameras to follow the young people who have transformed themselves.”

Aimee Allison is host/producer of KPFA‘s Morning Show in the San Francisco Bay Area and co-author of Army of None (Seven Stories Press, 2007). She will launch a new local media hub,, later this year. This article is dedicated to the memory of 17-year-old Oakland Tech Student Desiree Davis, who edited the school’s yearbook and was slain two weeks ago.

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An Interview w/ community activist, author Kevin Powell-Why activists should run for office


We caught up with community activist, author and former MTV Real World cast member and  Vibe magazine writer Kevin Powell who talked to us in depth his run for congressional office in his native Brooklyn. In our interview he stressed the importance of why community organizers and activists should run for office. He says its important that people who clearly understand and have the community’s best interest at heart position themselves to leverage resources needed by the community.

Powell shared with us some of the pitfalls he made during his first bid for office. He also gives some keen advice for those who are seeking office.We also talked about the role celebrity plays or doesn’t play when seeking office.

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7 Ways to Save Radio Now

7 Ways to Save Radio Now

By Jerry Del Colliano


Jerry_Colliano-225(Rested and ready for this week’s NAB Radio Show in Philly)

The new National Association of Broadcasters CEO is going to be introduced to his constituents this week at the NAB’s annual Radio Show in Philadelphia.

There is little time to waste righting the ship from the ravages of radio consolidation.

I know what you know about Gordon Smith, a former Republican senator from Oregon but if Bonneville’s Bruce Reese had an influence in this choice — after all, Reese headed the search committee — then I am willing to cut Smith some slack and wish him the best of luck.

At the same time, I’ve got some suggestions for Smith — a man whose roots are in radio — that his new agenda at the NAB should embrace.

There is no time for business as usual.

I know. I know.

Associations are all about maintaining the status quo and protecting the shortsighted members for whom the CEO works.

But if Gordon Smith chooses that road, there will be no NAB in the next ten years and if one remains, it will be one that has been rendered powerless.

So here are seven suggestions as to how the new NAB CEO can save the radio industry and with the NAB’s Radio Show this week, now couldn’t be a better time to have a public discussion on priorities.

1. Negotiate with the record labels to gain advantageous rates for any terrestrial radio station doing new media projects

My friends in the music industry are having radio for lunch. They are just better at lobbying, better than radio at rallying the cause for more royalties. The RIAA and MusicFirst Coalition have already offered to work on a compromise with the new NAB head.

Look, I will always believe that radio deserves a free pass when it comes to the performance tax exemption because it has given the labels a free ride in publicity from which to sell its products.

But … that is increasingly looking like a lost cause.

A growing segment of the public doesn’t back radio’s position. Even though the NAB has been able to hold a slim lead in arm twisting among Congressional representatives, it’s about even with members of Congress backing the performers demand for repeal of radio’s exemption.

If Gordon Smith decides to fight until the last person is standing on this issue, it will be like Custer’s Last Stand. Radio is going to lose the battle over more royalties, sad to say, so it’s time to negotiate for a sweet deal before the industry only gets to pay more tax. That is, if you agree with me that royalties are coming to a radio station near you, then get something back in return.


Low, long-term and very favorable rates for terrestrial broadcasters who want to start new content streams on the Internet — rates separate and apart from other interests. This is one of the places radio operators will have to go for their future and now is a good time to nail down low rates and favorable conditions that will give broadcasters an edge over other competitors in that space.

2. Build strength through small operators

Past NAB CEOs have kissed the butts of the “big boys” for too long.

Look around, the “big boy”s are going down. Radio may very well be redistributed to smaller operators who want to make a last ditch try at terrestrial radio and new media together as a business brand. What a great time for the NAB to embrace the needs and concerns of these small or medium operators who are going to have to mop up the mess Clear Channel, Citadel, Cumulus and some predecessors have left for them.

3. Encourage small ownership

The future of radio — if there is to be one — is in smaller companies doing local radio well — and whether they know it or not — also doing original content as webcasters, mobile content providers and social network engineers.

Gordon Smith should lobby his former associates in Congress in whatever way would be helpful to give a break to small and medium operators stepping in to save radio. This means tax breaks (I’m sounding like a Republican) and government oversight but not heavy regulation (I’m sounding like a Democrat).

Loans for locals looking to preserve local broadcasting in smaller markets.

4. Do not oppose some deregulation

I can just see this scenario coming — the first Smith press release from the NAB trying to fight deregulation.

Consolidation as it was implemented was wrong and didn’t work.

But if the NAB comes out in favor of the status quo (which is likely), it will not be cooperating with the inevitable which is that either radio stations wind up in the hands of smaller local groups with some responsible oversight or it won’t last the way it is configured now.

What we have now is unacceptable and if the NAB espouses that, the NAB will be unacceptable.

5. Fight against the so-called Fairness Doctrine

No Fairness Doctrine — not now, not ever.

It won’t be needed if the NAB fights for local operators because these stations will guarantee that enough local voices will he heard on every issue.

This is non-negotiable as as tenet of our industry’s valued and hard fought freedom of speech.

I expect Gordon Smith to lead this fight for as long as it takes and keep in mind that freedom of speech is always under attack — unfortunately.

6. Get podcasting royalties that are favorable as podcasting is the next radio

Look around, no boom boxes — just iPods and mobile devices. The next radio will be podcasting and right now podcasters can’t even play music without going broke in a confusing set of rules pertaining to music on podcasts.

If podcasting is to be a key element of radio’s future, now is the time to lead the fight for fair, low and long-term rates to kick start the industry.

7. Pitch a big tent to become the National Association of Broadcasters and Content Providers

There are 80 million new listeners coming of age in the next generation. It’s fair to say they are not big radio listeners — they are mobile phone users, iPod owners and social networking devotees. Radio is morphing into other things and this is as good a time as any to welcome in new media to create one strong association for like-minded media interests.

If you feel as I do that the appointment of Gordon Smith is a good time to reset the agenda for the interests of the real radio industry and not just more of the same for consolidators, then feel free to forward this piece to your friends and associates.

And make these and other priorities known to the new NAB — after all, it’s your trade group. Why not show them who the boss is?

For those of you who would prefer to get Jerry’s daily posts by email for free, please click here. IMPORTANT: Your subscription will not become “active” until you open an email from Feedburner immediately sent to your email inbox or spam filter.

Thanks for forwarding my pieces to your friends and linking to your websites and boards.

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Kanye: If Taylor Swift was Keyshia Cole


Kanye: If Taylor Swift was Keyshia Cole

by Paul Porter

Keyisha Cole

Keyisha Cole

Kanye West blew it big time on the VMA’s Sunday night. I am sure he never thought that his cognac induced state would put a bullseye around his neck. Yes, your actions were arrogant and in poor taste, but the reaction opens the wider door on race in America. How we react and report on blacks and whites in this country has been on display through a narrow lens. If Taylor Smith was Keyshia Cole the uproar, hate mail, death threats and media coverage would never seen the light of day.

Because in this country a black man can rise to stardom screaming lyrics of misogyny and hate on a women as long as that woman is black. If you did the same exact thing stealing Keyshia Cole’s moment only black folk would be talking about it. The larger worm has been unveiled with a slick delivery that often eases around the obvious issue..Van Jones is a green jobs communist. Joe Wilson raised a million dollars for yelling ‘You lie’ at the President. And Glenn Beck is a patriot. And when your black your a nig**.

Kanye West and “Nigger” reached the top of the charts on Twitter and his website is flooded with hate mail and death threats. Nobody wants to look at race for what it is. Race is boiling over and unfortunately only the haters are ready to talk about it.

Kanye was wrong, but the millions of folks that are spitting the “N” word have a much larger problem than Kayne’s arrogant ego. Next time you interrupt someone make sure it’s a black woman.

Paul Porter


2 Reviews of Michael Moore’s Film-Capitalism: A Love Story


Capitalism..We Need A Divorce!

by Jasiri X

JasiriX-OneHood-225Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story is like most love stories…sometimes uplifting, passionate, funny, truthful, but ultimately heartbreaking. Moore is a master at melding all of these emotions into what is, so far, easily the movie of the year. *Warning may contain spoilers*

When I heard Michael Moore was going to premiere Capitalism: A Love Story in Pittsburgh; I thought to myself, “wow I would love to go”. But, since I had zero information about how to obtain tickets, I went back to my normal routine aka work. One of the reasons why I love my brother Paradise Gray (The Arkitech of X-Clan for those that don’t know) is that he has this New York attitude that translates into, “if it’s important I should be there and I refuse to take no for an answer.”

 So we headed down to the David Lawrence Convention Center with no press passes or tickets and no idea if they would even let us in. As we approached the door Paradise said, “God got us. We will get in” and low and behold we saw our fellow One HOOD member, Mikhail Pappas, who is also an aid to State Senator James Ferlo! Mikhail took us directly into the event and showed us where they were giving out the tickets. Yep, God is Good.

After Michael Moore gave an impassioned press conference where he spoke about how he shed tears after he voted for President Obama, he proceeded to lead a health care reform march (which we really ended up leading) through downtown Pittsburgh and to the theater. We took our seats in the back and after introducing the movie Michael Moore came and sat in the row directly in front of us (very surreal).

The movie begins with security video of people robbing banks and leads right into a story of the banks robbing us. A small town family, the victim of predatory lending, having to move out of a farm that has been in their family for generations (a prevailing theme throughout the movie). There are so many WTH moments in Capitalism: A Love Story it’s hard to touch on them all, from airline pilots making so little they have to get food stamps to big companies like Walmart taking out insurance polices on their employees and collecting at the expense of the employee’s family. Moore even shows how prisons for profits resulted in two judges being jailed for receiving over 2 million dollars in kickbacks and thousands of juveniles improperly incarcerated right here in Pennsylvania!

Michael Moore may have made his best film to date with Capitalism: A Love Story

Michael Moore may have made his best film to date with Capitalism: A Love Story

Moore is at his best when breaking down current events in a historical context and it’s no different here when he begins to ask the question, “would Jesus be a capitalist?” Hilarity ensues when Moore puts Jesus in the role of these current so call “compassionate conservatives” who seem to think it’s “godly” to deny basic rights to the poor. It also crystallizes one of Moore’s main points in the movie, that Capitalism is inherently evil, which I agree with 100%. Moore is extremely convincing showing example after example of regular every day hard working Americans being raped at the hands of the rich, and some damning internal documents directly from Citigroup’s own reports.

This isn’t just a movie it’s a rallying cry to take action. Moore wants to make us mad! And you can’t help to be pissed off when watching how the big banks used fear, money and influence to push through the $700 billion dollar bailout. Where one of the only Congressman with the balls to stand up to Wall Street and President Bush was a Congresswoman from Ohio named Marcy Kaptur. Moore also wants to wake us up to the fact that we have the power to make change, which he brilliantly parallels with never before seen footage of FDR outlining a “Second Bill of Rights” and the improbable rise and election of Barack Obama. But, even then, Moore shows how President Obama’s biggest campaign contributor was the bank that received the most financial gain from the bail out….Goldman Sachs.

Michael Moore said that Capitalism: A Love Story was the end result of his 20 years of movie making from Rodger and Me to Bowling for Columbine to Fahrenheit 911 to Sicko. This is arguably his best work and comes at a time where progressives are in desperate need of a battle call and President Obama is fighting for his political life. If we don’t take Moore up on his offer and join him in making America what it ideally is supposed to be, we will continue to be the battered wife in this abusive relationship. Capitalism..we need a divorce!


Paradise Gray’s Review of Michael Moore’s Film

Capitalism: A Love Story” for the first time in front of a American audience at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh 9/14/2009.



Michael Moore

debuts his new movie ”

After 6:00 PM press conference at the AFL-CIO Convention at The David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Michael Moore led an enthusiastic crowd of union members on a march through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on the way to the Byham Theater.

Jasiri X and Paradise Gray took the opportunity to film Jasiri X’s new video “The Only Color That Matters Is Green” during the event.

The movie is off the hook! Must see, Michael Moore has outdone himself! Speaking truth to power, he uncovers the heart breaking stories of Americans who’s homes have been forclosed and the politicians/con-men on wall street and bankers who have created the mess.

The movie also features a long buried, never before seen speech by President FDR about the direction he wanted America to take after the World War 11 that should end the debate on whether President Obama’s Health Care plan is socialism.

See first hand what has happened in Washington that caused the crash on Wall Street, The Housing crisis, The loss of jobs and the economy crash. This movie will get you fired up and can’t take no more!

Well done Michael Moore

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Ignorance at the Tea Party, Fox News & the Dumming Down of Urban Radio


teaparty-Hitler-obamaSo everyone has been talking about Saturday’s Tea Party March on Washington and how it represents a sea change of sorts. Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn’t. Whether it was 1.2 million people or tens of thousands who showed up, it all has to be put in context.  First, we already know close to 46 million people voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin so close to half the country that voted has a different political outlook on things. We should not be suprised or intimidated by how vocal that opposition is. We have our own troops in large numbers.

Second, many of the rallies that McCain and Palin held were pretty similar to the Tea Party demonstration in the sense they played upon people’s fear of change and were staging grounds for then candidate Obama’s character to be viciously assassinated.  We heard Palin invoke everyone and everything from Obama being a Muslim, to him not being a real citizen of this country, to him being a guy who ran around with ‘terrorists’ like Bill Ayers and ‘racists’ like Jeremiah Wright. You name it,  it was said. Everything but the kitchen sink was tossed at Obama during these McCain/Palin rallies. Many of the outlandish and now disproven assertions uttered from the stage were underscored by corporate media outlets like Fox News.

Fox news Pundit Dr Marc Lamont Hill

Fox news Pundit Dr Marc Lamont Hill

Just to show you how deep this gets, people may want to refer to the interview we did last week with Fox News pundit Dr Marc Lamont Hill.

You can hear it here: Breakdown FM Interview w/ Fox News Pundit Dr Marc Lamont Hill .

In that interview Hill spoke frankly about the angst and concern raised by his colleague at Fox News, personality Sean Hannity, who was openly complaining that he had spent two years doing everything he could to derail Barack Obama only to have him win the presidency. Folks need to sit back and ponder on that for a minute. I’ll repeat – for two years Sean Hannity had a nationwide platform and carte blanche to go after Barack Obama.  He makes no bones about his mission to destroy and malign him and according to Hill, Hannity was upset and complaining to Karl Rove that all his shenanigans didn’t work.

I bring this up because we need to keep in mind, when looking at the Tea Parties, they are often depicted as a new emerging movement that just sprung up overnight in opposition to President Obama’s Healthcare plans and stimulus packages. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Tea Parties are merely a continuum of what took place during the 2008 Presidential campaign and what Fox News, by their own admission, had been working on for the past two years.

Third point, with a major 24 hour news network on a mission to derail President Obama now directing people to Tea Parties, should we not be surprised that thousands of people showed up? It would be shocking if they didn’t. After all, this is a radio station/ TV network event. The promotion and overall vibe leading up to the Tea Parties are similar to what we do and experience in commercial radio when we are promoting events like Summer Jam concerts. Our job is to hype it up like there’s no tomorrow.  There’s a technique and formula that has been researched, tried and tested that is used to make this happen. It ranges from having all those involved reciting the same 2 or 3 talking points (today we refer to this as Echoing) all the way down to making sure one is intimately involved and present in the lives of the audience being targeted. Lots of money, resources and time is spent figuring how to craft a message and who is likely to respond favorably when receiving it. Anybody who does media understands this and what I’m talking about is text book. However, the average listener or viewer is led to believe what they are presented is genuine. They’re being duped by a manufactured movement that adroitly plays upon their emotions. It is media marketing of the highest order.

In the case of these Fox News driven Tea Parties, they have been deliberately feeding people misinformation, exaggerations and playing upon stereotypes. That’s apparent in this video below. The ignorance of folks is astounding. Some of it I blame on people who refuse to change and are literally clinging to their guns and religion. That I get, change of this magnitude is hard for some to take.  But a lot of this falls back on the executives and personalities armed with information and psychological profiles on how emotionally amp up their audience. These media execs know that  many of the folks they are talking to have grown up to trust and believe a guy who they see on television wearing a suit and tie with a commanding booming voice and the words news anchor under his name. They trust that what they are hearing is truthful and that the person on their screen is one of them.

Rush Limbaugh w/ his multi-million dollar a year salary is far removed from the 'Average American'. If anything he is part of the rich elite class he supposedly rails against

Rush Limbaugh w/ his multi-million dollar a year salary is far removed from the 'Average American'. If anything he is part of the rich elite class he supposedly rails against

These so called news anchors start off duping their listeners when they use words like ‘we’ and ‘us’ when talking about the ‘average American’, ‘blue collar worker’  or ‘middle class‘. I often have to laugh because there is nothing average, blue collarish or middle class about a TV personality that is making well over a million dollars a year. Oftentimes it’s the deliverer of news and information who is looking at the fact that he or she will have to pay higher taxes or may no longer have all the options to hide and shield their money as in years past. It is those TV personalities who are expected to ante up a bit and pay their full share who are on TV shouting and screaming and suggesting that this country is not fair. News alert folks – Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter etc are not ‘average Americans’ they are rich people who make millions and part of the ‘elite’ they pretend to rail against. It is their personal interests they are trying to protect while using the ignorance of poor and working class people to do their dirty work. This is nothing new. It’s a tried and true method that harks back to the early days of this country when White aristocrat landowners pitted poor white indentured servants against the Black African slaves they work alongside of in the fields.

The 2009 Tea Parties are merely an updated version of what took place once upon a time with corporate media being the tool that has violated our trust and replaced trust with techniques and talking points designed to manipulate folks. Today is such that if a personality tells his trusting listeners shit on a stick is healthy for you there is a  substantial number of people who will believe it and seek out shit sticks. Here’s the video of people attending the Saturday, September 12th Tea Party.

Where’s the opposition to the Tea Parties?

This is the 64 thousand dollar question. Because we are so dependent upon media for news and information many of us have concluded that because we don’t see large numbers of people standing up to the ignorance shown in the video that people are in agreement or simply aren’t organizing. Anyone who is even modestly involved in politics knows this is not the case.  We have organizations like Color of Change who have been very effective  and are doing what they can, but they are missing a key ally – corporate media that is competitive with the one that sent people out to the tea parties. This is especially true of media that speaks to the 18-30 crowd in the urban landscape. If radio jocks and tv personalities that reach these urban audiences spent less time talking about beefs between rappers or trying to be the next TMZ, we could have just as many people out on the White House lawn as the opposition.

Urban radio talk show host is one the few who is allowed to regularly talk to the urban masses and help keep folks politically informed. Most urban jocks are all about gossip mongering and stoking beefs

Urban radio talk show host is one the few who is allowed to regularly talk to the urban masses and help keep folks politically informed. Most urban jocks are all about gossip mongering and stoking beefs

We saw this happen two years ago when tens of thousands came out for the March for the Jena 6 when radio personality Michael Baisden used the airwaves to get behind the cause. We saw this happen right after Katrina when urban radio turned its focus on relief efforts. We certainly saw this leading up to and during the Million Man March when urban media  played a key role in helping  get people out.  We saw millions of people take to the streets when Spanish language radio alerted its listeners and got everyone focused on  Immigration Rights resulting in the turning of the political tide.

The advantge that  Fox News has in doing these Tea Party rallies is that owner Rupert Murdoch is 100% behind the effort so all his air personalities are on point as they push the same agenda. With Spanish Language and urban radio such was not the case.  Shortly after the large Immigration rallies, corporate owners to those outlets issued memos and instructed their on air talent to stop announcing and hyping up these rallies. We haven’t seen them since.  It wasn’t like the issue died or people no longer cared, the mediums that drove people to the streets had been dismantled and the on air personalities had their hands tied.

The same  hand tieing happened with urban radio. Leading up to the election we had on air personalities on many of the music oriented outlets from around the country stop their daily offerings of gossip and meaningless banter and turn their focus to getting folks registered to vote and out to the polls for last year’s historic election. Many of those stations started calling themselves the Obama Station or Obama Jams and would play excerpts from his inspiring speeches in their jingles and station drops.  It was a beautiful thing to see our airwaves be used to politicize and energize people, but sadly once Obama got sworn in, like the Immigration Rights fervor, much of the political conversation died on the vine.

What became sadly apparent is that many of these urban outlets had lined themselves up behind Obama because he was a hot item and could lead to increased ratings. Once Obama got in office, radio personalities stopped their political chit chat and got back to the gossip mongering under the guise of ‘hot topic of the day’.  It didn’t matter that record numbers of  listeners registered and voted and were arguably politicized.  There was no meaningful follow up to keep those fires stoked. There was no Sunday morning urban political talk shows added to the line ups. There was no special political correspondents added to the mix. The intelligent discourse and people behind it were all but banished from the airwaves with disastrous end results. On many urban outlets you never had the on air jocks talk intelligently and in earnest about the stimulus package, healthcare bill and even the racist elements that have showed up to act a fool at the townhalls. It’s been a  return to the dumb down strategy of yesterday leaving many of us frustrated and voiceless in national dialogues.

So when incidents like Skip Gates getting arrested or more recently Van Jones resigning, aside from the talk shows who covered them, we had in many urban circles more people unaware of such incidents and more excited about Jay-Z releasing his Death to Autotune song than the issues at hand.

The biggest irony of all this is seeing how today’s corporate media has distorted and totally abused what was once shrewd strategy employed by veterans of the Civil Rights struggle. Dr. Martin Luther King talked about how local urban stations, then known as Black radio, were key pillars in the Civil Rights struggle. He argued that the music and commentary of socially aware and concerned radio jocks was an essential ingredient in getting people fired up, out on the streets and spurred into action armed with intelligent talking points and an understanding of the issues. Had it not been for urban media doing its part there would not have been large turnouts at many of those rallies. The ratings came from being a gathering place, a proverbial campfire of sorts for the community. One looks at the dedication that outlets like Fox News has in turning out their base even if they are being misled and duped into supporting things that will go against their economic interests and wonder how come we have not stepped it up and done right by our side by being the echo chamber for important issues impacting us… Below is a video of that highlights the Dr. King speech and the dumb down approach taken by urban radio in today’s crucial times.

Something to ponder

-Davey D-

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