You Mad Because the GOP Knocked You Out?

Davey-D-brown-frameElection 2014 The Aftermath: Well folks, the people have spoken with their choice of candidate or their willingness to sit it out and make a statement of how unhappy they are with the system or the electoral process. The agendas of those who are now in control of both houses has been made crystal clear for a number of years.. Hence look for them to carry it out full steam.

The privatization of schools, medicare, social security and the elimination of safety net programs are all on the menu. Look for them to go full steam ahead with pushing forth Keystone XL and TPP..(Trans Pacific Partnership aka NAFTA on steroids) Both of those projects, this current President strongly supports…
Look for them to dismantle any progress legislatively made around Climate Change. Look for non profits to come under close scrutiny and to be investigated by folks who are no heading up ethics and judicial committees who felt such orgs were thorns in the side. We all knew this going into last nights election when we made our choices..

Some will say that it doesn’t matter..Bending to the will of the rich and powerful is what all elected officials do. ‘They were gonna jack up common folks anyway’ is what some will claim.

Lil Jon VotingPerhaps.. But the bottom line is this.. The person you vote into office is done to give your MOVEMENT more time to build itself up with the goal of being an unavoidable, unbreakable factor…There was and should always be push back on those who are in power until you get everything you want and need sans being severely compromised.

In many parts of the country what will unfold is the strength or weaknesses in our movements. What will be made clear in the months to come is how and what ways do Movements need to define and redefine themselves..And by movement we are talking about a group of people who are able galvanize folks around an idea or vision and see it to fruition.

In terms of yesterday’s outcome, many will put analysis and all types of spin on the results. Was this the result of low voter turn out? In some places one might make that claim. Was it voter suppression? In some places you could definitely see how.. But to be honest, neither of these factors are excusable.

In places where there was low voter turn including here in Oakland, those who are the losing side of an issue or candidate will have to answer some hard questions honestly- Why didn’t neighbors, friends and family support your cause/ candidate??

Vote for the 1%The easy answer is to say it was all about the money? That’s too simplistic and really doesn’t address the issue at hand. Money is here to stay.. What will matter most is our ability to out think and out maneuver those with money. It’ll require creativity, thinking outside the box and a strong resistance to the seduction those in power will use to lure you to inescapable traps. It’ll require community building.

If there any solace, we have lots of examples where folks show up en masse without the aid of thousands of TV ads. We also have lots of examples where folks have been bombarded us with ads and mailers and it didn’t work.. Have folks forgotten when billionaire Meg Whitman got clobbered?? Have we forgotten how folks will spend the night on line to buy a new pair of Jordans, Iphones or concert tickets without all the TV and radio ads?

Folks standing in line for iphones

Folks standing in line for Iphones

We need to ask ourselves, why did our neighbors show up to buy the latest Iphone which cost them money and even put them in debt but didn’t show up for a particular candidate or issue? It may be a hard pill to swallow, but honest answers will inform our next moves.

Was enough investment made into motivating folks? Did we rely too much on personalities and pundits who claim to have a pulse of the people? Did those personalities and pundits deliver? If not why not?

We have to be honest in answering the question as to whether or not people were feeling or not feeling what was being offered? In looking at races all over the country it was clear in far too many cases the candidate was not connecting to the masses needed to propel them into office. It doesn’t mean they needed to be great speech maker or buy another ad, but it did mean finding key threads amongst various communities to connect and engage people. It meant building a solid team of folks who could enhance the message.

And to be brutally honest, we have to come to terms with the fact many of these candidates had no interests whatsoever in courting us. They had no interests whatsoever in inviting us to the party. Sad but true in many cases the disconnect was deliberate vs one being ignorant and not having good oversight.

What do I mean by this? In some political circles, its a strategy to hyperfocus on one or two particular groups sometimes dubbed likely or swing voters) and discard everyone else. This strategy works perfectly if its known that the folks who are discarded will cede ground, walk away in frustration and not enter into the electoral arena for any number of reasons. In short if we was to break this down to the metaphor of relationships, its the suitor courting someone, having his or her way and never courting them again until they want their way again.

This is important to note because emotions are used to excite people around particular issues. Even if the person is friendly, likeable or of the same race and gender, the goal of the movement is what needs to be fulfilled and if a candidate can’t or won’t do it, they are to be pressured or replaced.. Politics is not a game.

krsone1smile-225As KRS-One once famously said when referencing President Obama. ‘He is not your man. He’s not your homie.. He’s the President. he is ‘Power’ and you need to engage him as such.. That goes for any of these folks holding office.

We should also keep in mind both Dems and Repubs spent over 1.5 Billion each on this past election. Its not like in some of these battleground states folks were without resources. In places where there was low turnout, folks may want to ask, what did all that money actually do? Remember the low turnout applied to all parties and candidates involved. A worthwhile goal is how do we get numbers up?

The other excuse people like to use is that this was a midterm election and there was no Presidential ticket so people stayed home.. That is complete and utter BS.. That may have been the case in the past, but there is more than enough information and history for folks who know that could and should change.. If folks didn’t come out its not because it was a mid term.. It was because you didn’t do enough to excite and engage voters.. Period..

Scared to be seen with ObamaNot to mention there were many races were Democrats were handed their asses and opted not to stand alongside Obama during their campaigns. You see what good that did them? It didn’t work for Al Gore when he abandoned Clinton and it didn’t work for folks like Alison Grimes when she abandoned Obama in her bid for Senate in Kentucky. But again the real weakness here is the fact that respective candidates could not excite voters to show up in large numbers even with so much on the line.

We also have to take into account that there were many groups who were simply fed up and opted not to show up.. In Florida Black voters stayed home in Broward County around this governor’s race. This was on top of the polls being jacked up and opening late.. How many times is this type of BS gonna happen before the issue is eradicated once and for all?

For those who wish to detach themselves from voting recognize their right to not partake and build with those who are open.. Some folks feel the system is too far gone and have checked out..If your not convincing tea party folks to be liberals, why convince folks who say no to voting to vote.. What will change minds is your success. What will change minds is the strength and vibrancy of your movement.

Richmond Chevron Protests

Richmond , Cali Beat Chevron Backed Candidates

Did people see Black folks in Florida excited and ready to ride hard for candidates like Charlie Crist in Florida? What was he offering other then scary stories of ‘how bad things will be if he’s not elected’? The narrative has got to change.. Folks wanna ride hard for someone.. They don’t wanna always be acting on fright and running scared. I would suggest that folks take along hard look at Richmond California where Chevron poured millions of dollars into the campaigns of hand picked ‘leaders.. You know what happened? Richmond Whup they azz.. Read about here–>

We have to come to terms with the fact that other groups sat this one out or as the spin doctors call it ‘Underperformed’. For examples, Latinos in many places angered by mass deportations of family and friends checked out. Many women for a variety of reasons sat it out..Instead of pointing a finger and bemoaning what they should’ve done, its best to figure out why and how candidates resonated or didn’t resonate with them in various races.

With respect to voter suppression?? That’s been going on forever. In many of our lifetimes we can point to the 2000 election and see that attempts to suppress the vote never stopped. When it came down to it Black folks showed up and made things happen. Other groups not so much.. So for example, in places like Wisconsin and Texas we saw college students disenfranchised. That means many who organized around this didn’t see beyond their own circles and take into account the laws impacting us could very well impact others..

For a better understanding of voter suppression I would encourage folks to listen to this interview with folks from Ferguson about why they had low turn out historically.. Its disturbing, sobering and true–

Got democracyHere’s the bottom line.. Politics is a rough and tumble endeavor because its about power. Its about maintaining it or yielding it and exercising control over communities and resources. The mistake many make is engaging this arena around election time versus preparing all year round. Having strong political presence amongst friends and family is something that’s should be ongoing. Political education has got to be year round.. Its got to be built into the fabric of any vibrant movement. If the community is connected and educated on key issues and people seeking their vote, no amount of TV ads and dark money for mailers will sway them..It wont take a lot to get people to the polls, it’ll be one of the many activities folks partake in their quest to fulfill a goal..

With that being said, folks although disappointed with the results of last nights election, should clear their heads and know this that even in victory there are lots glaring weakness within those running things. How you capitalize off that is on you. The weakness exploited after 2008 and 2012 was many saw the election and re-election of Obama as the end goal and not a stepping stone and continuation of a movement that Can’t Stop and Should’ve Never Stopped.

Many made the mistake of thinking that because a politician compromised a movement pushing core values and seeking justice and freedom needed to compromise. Politicians compromise, Movements should not.

For example if the goal was single payer and the politicians compromised and gave us Obamacare.. The movement for Single Payer should’ve never ever stopped. Yes, you could enjoy Obamacare. Yes you could take advantage of it, but as long as it had flaws, the push for what was an ideal goal should’ve never stopped.

People-PowerNot that the GOP/ Tea Party should be the standard barer, there is a lesson to be learned from them.. They never stopped pushing for their goals even after there was compromise. One clear goal is to educate and strengthen community and make social justice and front and center issue. that should’ve never ever stopped no matter who was in office.. In two years Obama will be gone and what will be left is a Movement and a clear indication of its strengths and weaknesses.

What will also be left is a group of people who right now seem like massive like Goliath. If history shows.. Its just a matter of time before they over reach..My suggestion to all is get your stones ready.. And thank you Richmond, Cali for throwing the first of many stones…

Written by

Davey D

Obama’s Re-Elected: What is the Fate of the Latino Vote? Dems, GOP or Independent?

Pablo Paredes, Favianna Rodriguez and Javier Gonzalez spoke powerfully on our HKR Roundtable

We continue our Hard Knock Radio roundtable series; Asking the question ‘What next in the Aftermath of Barack Obama being Re-elected?

Our guest include Pablo Paredes of 67 Suenos , Favianna Rodriguez of Solespace and Javier Gonzalez of the Soundstrike.. Click the link below to listen to our HKR Interview

One of the most compelling stories focuses on the rush from both the GOP and Dems to lock down Latinos and make them a cornerstone and key voting block in their respective parties. To listen to Fox News pundits and GOP leaders, one would not know this was the same political party that championed harsh anti-immigration laws like SB 1070 in Arizona and HB 56 in Alabama.

One would not know this was the party that gave Arizona governor Jan Brewer a louder and longer standing ovation than the Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during the RNC in Tampa Bay.. One would not know this is the same GOP that has highlighted Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has long crusaded against Latino people.

During our HKR round table we spoke about a variety of topics including;

1-Why there is a sudden change of heart within the GOP to be more inclusive and friendly with Latinos? We talked about the need to have cheap labor and use Latinos as a voting bloc.

2-Whether or not political parties want Latinos only for their votes or are they willing to make room at the table to share and implement their ideas, policy positions and strategies? We talked about the importance of making sure importance issues aren’t put on the back burner..

3-How recent grassroots movements and fights have been hijacked by some mainstream Civil Rights orgs and opportunistic media pundits who have attempted to redefine a fight for social justice and make it about electing or re-electing a candidate.We talked about how during the historic immigration marches of 2006, many who never worked within the community were suddenly showing up with 100k grants talking about they were experts and representative from Latinos

4-We discussed the deeper meanings behind migration. Our guest gave a historic and cultural breakdown of migration, noting that it’s a behavior all human beings and most creatures do. You move from one place to another for survival, food, etc..

We talked about how flawed foreign policy including NAFTA and American backed regime change in Latin America as well as Climate Change/Global Warming. We also talked about how other issues outside of immigrations have impacted the Latino community, most notably foreclosures, where many have lost homes and land..

5-We talked about the harsh impact agribusinesses and companies like Monsanto have had on Latin American countries and Latino farmers who are here in the states.

6-We talked about important next steps to take and the important role art, culture and continued grassroots organizing will have in shaping and informing people’s political outlook in the years to come. We talked about how its important to be more than just a voting demographic..

All of our guests agreed that its all about people power! As Favianna noted; “We can’t just sit back and trust our elected officials right now, not when most are moving towards the center and away from the left”.

Reporting Live From Tampa the RNC Wrap Up: Clint Eastwood Steals the Show in a Bad Way

For those who don’t know, political conventions are elaborate, very scripted multi-million dollars productions designed to project a compelling message drawing you to the presidential candidate.. Here at the RNC in Tampa Bay, tons of resources were devoted to trying to make people forget about the ‘legitimate rape‘ comments made earlier this month by prominent Republicans like Todd Akins.

The RNC Convention was designed to make you forget that GOP candidates like Tom Smith of Pennsylvania were running around equating out-of-wedlock pregnancies to rape. The RNC convention was designed to make everyone forget that a youthful looking VP Presidential hopeful, Paul Ryan focused on defining ‘legitimate rape’ and would prohibit an abortion under any circumstance..

In spite the ‘diversity of speakers’ on stage at the RNC it was still pretty much a sea of whiteness

The RNC Convention was designed to make the overwhelmingly white, GOP seem vastly diverse. It seems like these guys found just about every person of color they could think of to take the stage and say a lil something about how they love Mitt Romney and how great republicans are. They found some conservative Black and Brown folks who are relatively unknown and have absolutely no pull in their respective community to act like they have the masses on lock..

When they ran out of Black and Brown speakers they made sure to get some multi-racial funk, jazz and gospel bands along with singer Bebe Winans to take up the rear and perform to a crowd that was over 95% white and in more than a few instances quite hostile to people of color.

The camera people were instructed to pan to people of color in the audience, with RNC handlers strategically moving Black and Brown bodies to camera ready locations throughout the building.  On top of that signs and hand-held fans that read Hispanics for Mitt were handed out to all-white delegates of Kansas. Global Grind Editor-in-Chief Michael Skolnik was the one who was tweeting live and first reported this, was in utter shock that the GOP was orchestrating this fake diversity.

The RNC was designed to get an ultra hard-right, xenophobic, evangelical base to warm up to Mitt Romney, who just a few months prior they considered a fake conservative whose religious background (Mormonism) was dooming him to hell. The call to action was to humanize Mitt, make him likeable and have him be the friendly face of a Leave it Beaver 1950s bygone era that the GOP is determined, to return to. When they say Take Back the Country.. it’s code for ‘do whatever it takes policy-wise and economic-wise to put ‘minorities’, gays and women back in their subservient place. It’s code for ‘get rid of all safety nets and let the poor fend for themselves‘.

Mitch McConnell

The over arching theme for the RNC was if you’re poor, jobless and deep in debt, its your fault for not working hard enough. In interview after interview we did with folks like; Herman Cain to Ann Coulter to Rick Santorum to Newt Gingrich to countless surrogates the party line was ‘poor people are poor because they wanna be poor’… I want folks to read that again and reflect on that for minute..

I had a chance to Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, when I asked him if he thought some of the GOP policies would hurt the economically disadvantage?  I asked him what would you say to someone in the hood who is struggling about getting on board with some of the GOP Policies.. McConnell, looked at me and did not answer. His handlers and secret service rushed him away even though we were standing face to face. This philosophy of blaming the poor for their plight is rooted in a prosperity religious bent many here at the RNC seem to hold. The thinking is, if you are somehow economically bad off, it’s because you don’t have enough faith in God..

The RNC had been very strategic in using culture and cultural icons to put a friendly face to their intolerance. They have two highly produced movies they put out.. One was put together by the late Andrew Breibert, a former FBI informant Brandon Darby and Citizens United where it bashes the Occupy Movement, and erroneously makes the case that Occupy was a big money backed organization designed to help Obama and the Democrats. The movie depicted members of Code Pink as key members of OWS, something that is so far off the mark, that eveb Stevie Wonder can see it..

A scene from Obama 2016

The other movie, Obama 2016, was put together by former Ronald Reagan staffer Dinesh D’Souza and Gerald Molen who produced Schindler’s List. Itwas designed to demonize President Obama and show the root of his supposed rage by tracing it back to Kenya. The film says Obama grew up to have a strong disliking for colonization and colonial powers. As a result, the film suggests that Obama hates America and basically wants to get revenge on white folks. It’s a very sophisticated, polished Willie Hortonizing type of flick.. The RNC also produced some high-polished videos on welfare which needs to be banished and education which needs to be privatized.

The RNC tried to glitz things up, by calling on, Dirty Harry actor Clint Eastwood.  Someone had the bright idea, that the best was to humanize stiff, robotic Mitt Romney was to have the legendary actor sell his good virtues to America. That was a big mistake.. Clint threw away the script, abandoned the GOP game plan they spent hours and countless dollars perfecting and basically did some off the cuff type crap which in the end is likely to cost Romney major points in what looks to be a close election..

Clint Eastwood blew up the spot in a bad way w/ a bizarre conversation w/ an invisible President Obama

Clint came to the stage with slurred incoherent speech and bizarre monologue directed at an empty chair that he said contained an invisible President Obama. The whole ordeal was painful and  had everyone wondering the soundness of Mitt Romney’s business acumen. What kind of business man spends millions crafting an image only to throw it away with the recklessness of having an out of touch Clint Eastwood ‘steal the show’? At the end of the night instead of talking about Romney speech,it was Clint Eastwood that was trending on social media platforms that was being talked about endlessly.

What took the cake was when Eastwood, midway threw his act, pretended to slit the throat of Barack Obama..The cameras panned away, some cheered because they really want the President dead and others looked shocked..

Clint Eastwood’s behavior overshadowed Mitt Romney’s strongest speaker and secret weapon Senator Marc Rubio who was gonna set the tone for the GOP moving forward and with his Cuban background, remind everyone within ear shot that the GOP loves Latinos in spite of crazy anti-Brown People laws like SB 1070 and the crowd showing great enthusiasm and giving rousing standing ovations for folks like Az Gov Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

During last nights proceedings there were several disruptions both from members of Code Pink as well as upset delegates repping for Ron Paul. The Paul delegates held up signs stating how the RNC had been hijacked and Democracy was stolen. With each disruption the crowd would stand, clap and chant loudly USA, USA USA..

At the end of the day Mitt Romney gave what many deemed a lackluster speech. Skolnic pointed out that during the first part of the speech only the delegates loyal to Mitt were cheering, everyone else was either bored or unimpressed. It was only when he started talking about ways the GOP planned to make money did they warm up, and then only slightly.

Many are speculating that this election is gonna hinge not so much on undecided middle of the road voters which has long been the tradition, but instead its going to hinge on who can get their base out. The GOP has peeped that there is not a lot of enthusiasm for President Obama among key demographics and they are playing to that big time.. House speaker John Boehner spoke to this the other day when he stated loudly that he is looking forward to Black and Brown voters not showing up to the polls. GOP leaders are quick to point out that Obama has lost the enthusiasm of young voters, Black voters and Brown voters who are still upset that this his administration hs deported more than one million people, which means over one million families were broken up.

The biggest irony is even though the GOP has blatant anti-immigrant sentiments, they are hawking Obama’s deportation record while Black conservatives and even quite a few whites are actually stating that Obama has no agenda for Black people. I cannot make this stuff up folks. Look for this rhetoric to be given big microphones over the next few weeks..  Such talking points may not sway voters per say to the GOP, but it may lead to many staying home in November.

Obama supporters like to point out that the president has 94% of the Black vote and 80% of the Brown vote etc.. All that may be true. The problem is percentages don’t reflect actual numbers.. Obama may have 94% of the Black vote of those who actually show up to vote. There is talk that over 90 million people may NOT show up to the polls in November. That’s what Boehner is banking on. The RNC folks seem confident that if lack of enthusiasm for Obama doesn’t keep folks at home then the 26 states employing voter suppression tactics and laws will.

The bottom line is the folks I came across at the RNC are really angry and unrestrained in expressing and acting upon that anger. They are angry about the economy, and their way of life slipping before them. That anger has been directed toward folks of color, women, unions and students. I would not underestimate that anger.. lots of money being spent on the Presidential election, even more money is being spent on the local elections.. The GOP is pushing to win all those small seats that folks wanna ignore..

written by Davey D

Barbara Lee Smashes on the GOP for HCR Repeal

Many of us on the left side of the political spectrum weren’t too happy with all the compromises made to get this Health care bill passed. We wanted single payer, or at least public option, instead we got something that delivers 50 million new customers to insurance companies. The GOP members who are bent on repealing HCR apparently feel that all of us should be on our own to deal with Healthcare… What are your thoughts? For those who don’t know the House just voted to repeal Healthcare Reform

Here’s what our Congresswoman had to say…

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) issued the following statement today condemning GOP efforts to repeal patients’ rights. The Republican-led House is expected to repeal the healthcare legislation today.

“Every minute we take on this bill to repeal the important freedoms provided by the health reform law is a critical minute we are not focusing on jobs,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  “What a sham and a shame. Our business should be focusing on getting our economy moving by directly creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

“Instead the Republican leadership wants to add $230 billion to the deficit and empower health insurance companies to take away patient’s rights to make their own health care decisions. By repealing health reform, Republicans will give insurance companies the power to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, deny young people up to the age of 26 the option to stay on their parent’s plans, and drop coverage for pregnant women and breast and prostate cancer patients

“Repeal will further squeeze our seniors by forcing them to pay more for their prescription drugs, and endanger the future solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund.

“Worst of all, the Republican plan to repeal the new law does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve health care for anybody in this country – whether to make health insurance more affordable, to provide greater coverage, to reduce costs, or to improve quality of services.

Literally their idea is to return to the same failed system that has left 50.6 million people, including 7.5 million children, without health insurance.

In the current economic environment – where more people are without coverage and jobs are scarce – making it more difficult for people to access health care or to keep their health coverage makes no sense. Instead we should strengthen and improve the current health care law, first by adding a public option to provide choice and competition and expanding Medicare for all.

“Our goal should be to realize a world where access to health care truly is a fundamental human right and not a privilege enjoyed by the wealthy few.

“Rather than continuing with this political charade, we must answer the President’s call to come together in a spirit of civility and through honest debate find solutions to the current economic crisis and put America back to work.”

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