Editorial: Let’s Put an End to Plantation Politics-Taking Your Base for Granted is Not the Way to Win Elections

A week after last week’s mid-term elections and many people all over the country are still trying to take stock as to what went right, what went wrong and what it means for the future. If you’re on the left  side of the political spectrum one of the over-riding concern was why the large base of young, Black and Brown folks who voted in record numbers in ’08 didn’t show up in 2010.

Now if  you listen to high-priced political consultants or the news pundits who rarely do GOTV work, they’ll tell you the drop in numbers was because ‘people don’t vote in large numbers during mid-terms’ . When pressed and asked could it be that folks felt disconnected and were enormously dissatisfied, those same consultants and pundits will try to spin it and assert: ‘These young voters were lazy they should’ve gotten off their butts and voted’ ,’They were impatient and haven’t given the President and the Democrats times to accomplish their agenda’ orThey were naive and to think political discourse would not be messy, frustrating and ugly at times. Of course the tried and true assertion is that young voters were being unrealistic with their political expectations.

The constant communication via outlets frequented by Young Voters disappeared after the 08 election. The enthusiasm young voters had for Obama dried up and never transferred over to other democrats who also ignored young voters

We say wrong answers. How about it was lack of effective communication?  Young voters weren’t being reached out to in any meaningful way?  How about much of the leadership inside the Democratic Party took those young voters for granted?  To sum up what one of the elder poll workers stated at the precinct I worked last week, ‘these young people were used and discarded’. Nobody wants to admit to that, but it’s true. That’s a hard and sobering pill for many to swallow.

Many of the young voters who rallied enthusiastically around President Obama during his historic campaign found that after January 20 2009 when he made history and was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, he would be ghost. He would do very little outreach in the same manner that attracted folks to him in the first place.i.e. he stopped making regular appearances on urban outlets and frequented by young folks. Sadly the hosts and owners of those outlets did very little to highlight and sell the policies the Obama administration was pushing.

When this has been brought to the attention of Democratic pundits and even those close to the Obama administration, instead of taking this to heart and figuring out ways to better communicate, many have become defensive and dismissive. They would resort to rattling off stale talking points about how they passed a healthcare bill and reduced student loan burdens.

These same folks would continue and arrogantly make the case that it was up to those young voters to go seek the President elsewhere on other media outlets and that he was too busy to be showing up on ‘some radio show’. In other words it was time to ‘buck up‘ as Vice President Joe Biden infamously put it. If folks kept speaking to this issue, they were then labeled the ‘professional left’ as articulated by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs calling those who expressed concerns, the 'professional left' not only angered folks but it also added to the perception that the base was being ignored

Are all those folks who are part of the base who volunteered their time and energy and offered innovative ideas being too thin-skinned? Perhaps, but so what?  President Obama has shown sensitivity and accommodated all sorts of groups who have challenging outlooks. He certainly seems to have no problem trying to sooth over angry folks in the opposition. These ‘thin-skinned’ people are voters who put him into office and after being dissed were being asked to support others Democrats so he could further his agenda…an agenda that many within the ranks were increasingly feeling disconnected from.

Were young voters being unrealistic? Not really. Why would their mindset be unrealistic when many embarked on a political journey for the first time with a man who told them to think outside the box, have high expectations and the audacity of hope?

Why would they be unrealistic when they were working with a man who is now President, but started out as a community organizer,  came from a single parent home and had a ‘funny sounding’ name?  His young base was sold on the idea that they were and did make a tremendous difference. They were sold on the concept that they were an important part of this push to change. This was inspiring and helped many to step up and do impossible for themselves during the campaign.

Unfortunately, many novices never knew about governance. Folks were eagerly waiting and yearning still to be involved and continue on. As far as they were concerned Obama left them. In his place were handlers and surrogates who seemed more interested in dampening the hope within folks versus uplifting them. Maybe it was poor communication skills. Maybe it was misguided attempts to administer ‘tough love‘. Maybe it was a case of haterism. Far too many in these political circles are cynical and seemingly want everyone around them to feel the same. Whatever the case, the enthusiasm people had for President Obama had diminished.  This made it difficult to transfer support and energy to other Democrats running in the mid-terms.

Democratic pundits seemed impervious and dismissive to the popularity of urban radio hosts like LA based Big Boy. If this is the place frequented by large numbers of young, Black and Brown voters in your base why not talk directly to that audience above beyond election time?

What seemed to be missed by Obama and his handlers was the importance of having direct exchanges with his young base. We’re not talking the last-minute flurry where he suddenly showed up at the 11th hour on radio shows like Big Boys Neighborhood and TV shows like Jon Stewart‘s Daily Show. What was needed was on going communication especially when he was pushing important issues. They seemed to not appreciate and realize by doing so it allowed each to check in and be on the same page. While it was true his base could seek him elsewhere and many did,  what was missed was the opportunity for him to dial in and genuinely know where many of these new voters were at. He needed to know where they were coming from in the midst of them witnessing the ugliness of  Tea Party, Fox News,  24-7 demonization and onslaught.

He needed to know where they were at when they saw him constantly bending over backwards and going out of his way to break bread with people, pundits and communities that were not only hostile to him, but also to the people in his base and the ideals and aspirations they held. Who could forget the frustration many had after watching president Obama lash out to Cambridge police for hemming up his friend and well-known Harvard Professor Henry LouisSkip’ Gates. When President Obama said the police acted stupidly for arresting this elder in his own home, many in his base who could relate to hearing about police over stepping their bounds cheered. At last someone in high office was calling it like it was..is how many people felt. We gave each other high fives only to turn around and let out collective groans when President Obama immediately turned around capitulated, took back his remarks and apologized after police reacted angrily.

That incident exemplifies Obama’s constant backtracking on key issues and in the face of hostile political enemies. Him not directly communicating to his base exasperated the situation and perceptions.The end result was low voter turnout while the older base of his Tea party and GOP opposition doubled their turnout.

Political analyst and radio host Robert Muhammad described the constant overlooking and slights delivered to important segments of the Democratic base is a continuation of what he called Plantation Politics

We spoke with long time political analyst and talk show host Robert Muhammad (Connect the Dots KPFT-Houston ) who lambasted Democratic leadership especially gubernatorial hopeful Bill White in Texas where Muhammad is based. He pointed out that White opted to devote, time, money and resources to try for so-called Independent voters at the expense of the much larger Black and Brown communities. This was a typical pattern nationwide.

He explained, that White was so scared to be associated with the base that he even stayed away from President Obama who enjoys tremendous popularity in those communities. The end result was long time Governor Rick Perry stomping his way to victory for a 4th term and one of White’s Democratic rivals endorsing the republic governor.

Robert Muhammad called what took place a continuation of plantation politics where Black and Brown communities are taken for granted and ignored. Efforts to connect the dots so to speak were rebuffed by those who supposedly had the expertise and ‘knew better‘. Well the dismal results speak for themselves. You can peep our interview with Robert Muhammad on Hard Knock Radio… http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65170

Muhammad further elaborated that the vitriol and hostile reaction demonstrated during this past year harks back to the days of the Reconstruction when Black people had the most political power which set off all sorts of a rash of lynchings, killings and race riots all over the country and the eventual birth of Jim Crow laws.

What’s going in places like Texas is an emboldened far right coalition of law makers who are going all out to smash legislatively smash on marginalized communities. For example, there are lawmakers who are calling for the state to secede from the Medicaid. That seems to coincide with the new campaign to roll back Obama’s Healthcare Plan.

Texas lawmaker Debbie Riddle typifies the aggressive stances being taken by the far right. She's already introduced 6 bills designed to smash on Brown communities. She actually camped out at the state Capitol so she would be first on the floor.

Other law makers like Debbie Riddle, the crazy woman from Texas who sat up on national TV and told us to be wary of Brown people bearing Anchor and Terror Babies has camped out at the state capitol in Austin so she could submit 6 bills targeting Mexicans

Here’s what the state of Texas has in store for Brown communities as outlined by Texas Gop Vote

HB 16 – VOTER ID

Voters have been clamoring for voter ID for the past two sessions.  It was passed in the house in 2007 and in the senate until Lt. Governor Dewhurst gave Sen. Whitmire a “do over” on the vote and the Dems wheeled Sen. Gallegos into the senate floor on a gurney and let him cast the defeating vote.

In 2009 the opposite happened with the senate passing the bill and the Democrats pulling a procedural stunt to kill it in the house.

The overwhelming majority of Texas voters support voter ID.  Now it is time to pass it.

The new bill requires the voter to present a photo ID from an acceptable source, or two non-photo ID’s from an acceptable source.

Click Here for details on this bill.

HB 17 – Criminal Trespass

This bill makes the presence of an illegal alien in the state of Texas a separate offense, criminal trespass, which can be added to a charge for which a person is already being arrested.

In other words, this bill gives a police officer who is already arresting a person for some other offense (an offense for which they may arrest without a warrant) may, upon reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally, may inquire as to the suspects immigration status and if the officer can verify an illegal status with ICE, the person may be charged with the additional crime of illegal trespass.

Before and arrest can be made on this charge, the officer must verify their status with ICE.  This bill cannot be used as a reason for first contact with a suspect.

Click Here for details of this bill.

HB 18 – Eliminate Sanctuary Cities

HB 18 prohibits any city, county or other jurisdictional body from adopting a rule, order, ordinance or policy which says the entity will not fully enforce laws relating to immigrants or immigration.

The bill also cuts off state funds to any entity which adopts such a rule or policy.  It also provides the Attorney General with a process and capability to enforce this bill.

Click Here for details of this bill.

HB 19 – Driving Without a License

This bill provides penalties for a person who operates a vehicle in the State of Texas who does not have a driver’s license issue to them and provides for the impoundment of certain vehicles involved in an accident.  It raises the status of the crime to a class B misdemeanor if the driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident.

It also provides that the vehicle cannot be released from impoundment without proof of insurance.

Click Here for details of this bill.

HB 21 and HB 22 – Reporting on Illegal Aliens by State Agencies and Public Schools

These two bill are grouped together by me as they accomplish similar functions. These bill require state agencies and public schools who are providing services to illegal aliens to gather information and report this information to the state for the purpose of measuring the impact of illegal immigration as a cost to the state for providing the services described in the bills.

Click here for details on HB 21 and HB 22.

So where do we go from here? President Obama is going to have to clear the boards and re-introduce himself to his base. He’s going to have to establish solid relationships the same way he and every other politician does with other communities. He’s going to have to establish strong relationships with those who reach those communities  and be sure that folks are truly instep and not just talking a big game.

Lastly and most important President Obama will have to seriously listen to people in his base and not dismiss them. You never see him be dismissive of AIPAC or Wall Street, he shouldn’t be dismissive of those who may not have money, but people power.

President Obama will have to reflect the concerns of these communities in his rhetoric. While Health Care may have been a major accomplishment, it’s not the talking point folks are trying to hear. Tell folks how they can get a job or an apartment with messed up credit? Talk to the young base about the rash of police shootings from Oscar Grant in Oakland to Denroy Henry in New York and what can be done about them. Work with folks about how they can fend off student fee hikes. The possibilities are endless, but mark my words, if Obama and friends don’t improve on the communication tip, he will most definitely be a one term President.

Something to ponder

written by Davey D

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A Conversation w/ Dr Cornel West: Immigration Reform, Black & Brown Unity, President Obama & the Midterm Elections & Bishop Eddie Long

A Conversation w/ Cornel West pt1

It’s always enlightening to catch up with Princeton Professor and author Dr Cornel West . Many of us know him for his books ‘Race Matters‘, ‘Democracy Matters’ andKeeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America’ to name a few. He always has some keen insight to loan and he’s good at breaking down complex issue for us to understand. He also comes from a place of love and compassion. He truly wants to see us do better.

We caught up with him the other day and spoke to him about his recent projects. Currently him and long time friend and fellow author/ activist Tavis Smiley are doing a radio show they just launched called Smiley and West.He also finished up his autobiography. He’s also doing some work on an academic book about  Jay-Z

During our interview Dr West spoke to him about his recent trip to Arizona. There he met with leaders in the Chicano & Mexicano community who have been on the front lines fighting the Draconian Law racial profiling, anti-immigrant law SB 1070.

During our convo we spoke about the oppression facing Black & Brown communities and how some have tried to hijack the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. He noted that some have erroneously asserted the Civil Rights movement was only for Black people when in fact it was a movement for justice that included all oppressed people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyaBVv5Qf0o

A Conversation w/ Cornel West pt2

We continue our interview w/ Professor Cornel West who goes in on President Obama and his lack of policies toward poor people… Cornel talks about the public spat they had where Obama stepped to him and let him know he didn’t like what he said about him in a Playboy magazine interview..

According to Cornel, Obama was upset that he was being criticized for not being progressive. West felt Obama was out-of-order and wish the two could sit down and discuss the matter behind closed doors.

Cornel talks about the state of poverty in this country and why he’s been critical of Obama who he feels has been too cozy with corporate interests. He says he will not silence himself for Obama and that too many leaders bow down after getting a phone call from the White House.

Cornel also talks about the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King and challenges president Obama to be more King-like with his policies

We ask Cornel if folks should vote in the mid-term elections and whether or not Democrats have been too passive. He gives some keen insight as to how we should see the election and deal with groups like the Tea Party

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwWPf0bv0_0

A Conversation w/ Cornel West pt3

We continue our interview w/ Professor Cornel West.. Here Cornel goes in on the Black church and how its been severely compromised. He also talks about the controversy surrounding Bishop Eddie Long.. Here he explains the difference between Prophetic and liberation theologies and the current wave of Prosperity Gospel teachings. He talks to us about what we as Christians and members of a Black Church should ideally be doing during these times.

Professor West  also talks about the new album he’s been working on with funk legend Bootsy Collins.. He says he’s taking it to the next level..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKpQZUnSFF823qa

Below is a link to the full podcast where you can also hear the dope songs Cornel has on his last two albums “Sketches of My Culture”“Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations”. The songs feature everyone from KRS-One to Andre 3000 to M-1 of Dead Prez to name a few.

Here’s the link to the Full Interview…

Full Interview w/ Dr Cornel West

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Lessons from Arizona: Direct Action Organizing from 1999 to Now

Lessons from Arizona: Direct Action Organizing from 1999 to Now

by Jesse Strauss

Arizona’s legislature passed the highly contested Senate Bill 1070 last
April. The bill targets people who have crossed our southern border
without documentation in a variety of ways. One example is that Arizona
law enforcement officers, if following SB1070 as it was written, are
required to obtain citizenship/legal residency information of anyone they
come across who could have crossed the border without papers. Essentially,
this rule requires officers to profile the people they see in daily
interactions. As undocumented immigrants are deemed ‘illegal’ by Arizona’s
power structure, the consequences of daily activities like shopping,
taking kids to school or taking a stroll could result in the destruction
of a livelihood or a family by arrest and deportation.

The passing of SB1070 occurred near the end of the eight month period from
September 2009 through May 2010, when the bodies of 110 hopeful immigrants
were recovered on the US side of the Arizona-Mexico border, many of which
were completely unidentifiable by the time they were discovered. As a
supposed method to combat non-legal border crossings, support for SB1070
spread quickly along southern states. Within a few weeks of SB1070’s
approval, eleven other states readied themselves to create and implement
copycat laws. News pundits jumped on the story and comfortably took their
places in the hype of the “immigration debate” that appeals to most of
their viewers, which is characterized by an Us versus Them approach.

What was broadcast over mainstream airwaves was a narrative that erased
many complexities of immigration in favor of a simple and stereotypical
polarizing approach. In those “immigration debates” it was rare to hear
any mention of why people might be leaving their homes, their families,
and their lives as they know them in order to be in the US. Also lacking
was any clear definition of ‘immigration’ in a context of two countries
whose borders changed barely 150 years ago with the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo (which is why the question of who crossed the border and who the
border crossed should be brought up as a major part of the conversation).

Nationalizing a Local Movement

Soon after SB1070’s passing, people took to the streets all around the
country in protest (and in the case of some ‘Tea Party’ activists,
support). Leilani Clark is a community activist in Tucson, and a member of
a group now called the Capitol Nine. On April 20th, she and eight others
chained themselves to the state capitol building in Phoenix. In her words,
the group was “chained to this building just like our community is chained
to this legislation.” In that respect, Clark approached the action through
her responsibility as a community member. Action is all she could hope for
to create change in such a racially divisive legal reform, and the group
took action “as a massive call out to nonviolent civil disobedience, not
only in Arizona but all across the country.”

Soon after, fourteen young people in Los Angeles were arrested for
chaining themselves to an intersection in protest of SB1070. A few weeks
later, House Bill 2281 passed in Arizona, banning Ethnic Studies. A group
of fifteen Ethnic Studies students and alumni protested by occupying the
State Building in Tucson.

These are just a few examples of the nonviolent actions taken before
SB1070 was implemented on July 29th. What seems to fall through the cracks
too often in discussions of the actions, however, is their level of
coordination.

Movement Building Arizona Style

A few weeks ago, the Catalyst Project, a San Francisco organization
focused around building a movement against racism especially in white
communities, facilitated a report-back featuring activists who had been
organizing against SB1070 in Arizona prior to July 29th. One segment of
the report-back was an important analysis of the effectiveness of the
movement building process in Arizona. For context’s sake, the process was
contrasted with the organizing experience of the 1999 World Trade
Organization protests in Seattle.

Organizing against the WTO turned into massive street rebellions, where
activists clashed with police in virtually unprecedented ways, from
enormous levels of chemical agents being dispersed (tear gas, pepper
spray) to an incredible dedication by activists to continue fighting for
their cause of Global Justice. From the streets of Seattle to Quebec to
Miami and the beginnings of the World Social Forum process, the early
2000s seemed ready and ripe for a Global Justice revolution.

But Seattle’s organizing model was off. As described by the Catalyst
project, Seattle’s model followed a flawed logic that setting a date and
creating a public (and online) call to action with a specific list of
targets would itself engage a critical mass of activists to build the
movement for Global Justice. The point of those tactics were to be
anonymous, uncoordinated and spontaneous. In other words perhaps, this
could mean either that the approach was actually non-existant, or at best
did not allow for accountability from within the movement. For Seattle,
the magic was in the mystery of it all.

Eleven years later, the struggle for justice in Arizona created its own
model. While small groups like the Capitol Nine attracted media attention
and sent out a call to action around the country, community activists
around the country were working on coordinated campaigns. While the
headquarters of struggle found a base at Tona Tierra, a Phoenix community
organization for eco- racial- and indigenous- rights, it was hard to go
more than a few days in activist communities anywhere in the country
without seeing mention of SB1070 or the struggle against it. At the US
Social Forum for example, dozens of workshops and hundreds if not
thousands of people focused their energy on creating strategy for
immigration justice.

The Arizona model of organizing is articulated by direct action, but more
for the purpose of publicity than for creating change through action. In
Arizona, activists knocked on doors and facilitated community gatherings
to discuss the expected impact of SB1070 for months leading up to the
law’s implementation. Within the movement, there were known organizers and
leaders who were able to take critical steps and actions with small groups
as well as coordinate with other leaders and organizers who were
transparent about their roles and intentions. Whereas the WTO protests
focused on anonymity, Arizona organizing has allowed for accountability.

Additionally, there were many action plans with room for anyone to be
involved, no matter their level of commitment or amount of time they could
dedicate. This meant that while some folks were responsible for childcare
or finding food donations, others were writing press releases or
discussing tactics and effective actions. What is different from other
models is that people were able to participate in a variety of ways and
that space was created specifically for people to take action within the
legal framework as well as for those who were dedicated to taking action
outside of legal limitations.

What we saw in Arizona over the summer showed a new model of organizing,
wherein cooperation between people who are dedicated to different tactics
as well as space for accountability within the struggle takes center
stage. As opposed to Seattle’s magic being in the mystery, the Catalyst
Project described Arizona’s magic as in the coordination that allows for
resistance through action, both coordinated and organic. Perhaps the
organization that is embedded in the Arizona movement building strategy,
however, proves that the magic is nonexistent. Instead, coordination takes
priority, and all it needs is a niche within a movement of people ready to
take on collective action for collective liberation.

—————————-
Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Jesse Strauss is an independent
journalist. His articles have been featured on Truthout, Common Dreams,
CounterPunch, Consortium News, and other sources. Reach him at jstrauss
(at)
riseup.net.

Fear of a Brown Planet:Leading Republicans want to Eliminate Citizenship for Those Born in the US

DJEZUZDJONEZNEWZNET
INFORMING the HIP-HOP COMMUNITY

Republicans want review of birthright citizenship

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100803/ap_on_go_co/us_republicans_birthright_citizenship

By BEN EVANS, Associated Press Writer Ben Evans, Associated Press Writer – Tue Aug 3, 6:25 pm ET

John McCain

WASHINGTON– Leading Republicans are joining a push to reconsider the constitutional amendment that grants automatic citizenship to people born in the United States.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday he supports holding hearings on the 14th Amendment right, although he emphasized that Washington’s immigration focus should remain on border security.

His comments came as other Republicans in recent days have questioned or challenged birthright citizenship, embracing a cause that had largely been confined to the far right.

The senators include Arizona’s John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee; Arizona’s Jon Kyl, the Republicans’ second-ranking senator; Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a leading negotiator on immigration legislation.

“I’m not sure exactly what the drafters of the (14th) amendment had in mind, but I doubt it was that somebody could fly in from Brazil and have a child and fly back home with that child, and that child is forever an American citizen,” Sessions said.

Legal experts say repealing the citizenship right can be done only through constitutional amendment, which would require approval by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of Congress and by three-fourths of the states. Legislation to amend the right, introduced previously in the House, has stalled.

The proposals are sure to appeal to conservative voters as immigration so far is playing a central role in November’s elections. They also could carry risks by alienating Hispanic voters and alarming moderates who could view constitutional challenges as extreme. Hispanics have become the largest minority group in the United States, and many are highly driven by the illegal immigrant debate.

McConnell and McCain seemed to recognize the risk by offering guarded statements Tuesday.

McCain, who faces a challenge from the right in his re-election bid, said he supports reviewing citizenship rights. He emphasized, however, that amending the Constitution is a serious matter.

“I believe that the Constitution is a strong, complete and carefully crafted document that has successfully governed our nation for centuries and any proposal to amend the Constitution should receive extensive and thoughtful consideration,” he said.

At a news conference, McConnell refused to endorse Graham’s suggestion that citizenship rights be repealed for children of illegal immigrants. While refusing to take questions, he suggested instead that he would look narrowly into reports of businesses that help immigrants arrange to have babies in the United States in order to win their children U.S. citizenship.

The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868 in the aftermath of the Civil War, granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including recently freed slaves.

Defenders of the amendment say altering it would weaken a fundamental American value while doing little to deter illegal immigration. They also say it would create bureaucratic hardships for parents giving birth.

Quoting a newspaper columnist, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Republicans were “either taking leave of their senses or their principles” in advocating repeal.

An estimated 10.8 million illegal immigrants were living in the U.S. as of January 2009, according to the Homeland Security Department. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that as of 2008, there were 3.8 million illegal immigrants in this country whose children are U.S. citizens.

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Breakdown FM:Giving You The News from Arizona Dedicated to Arizona Mix

Click HERE to Listen to Podcast

Today we wanna remind everyone of the screwed up law that went into effect in Arizona. We’re talking SB1070 and regardless how you may feel about immigration, the purpose of this law is not to stop folks from coming in this country. Its designed to make lots of money for the private prisons which are publicly traded and further the political careers of the far right Neo-Nazi wing nuts who crafted it. People think that the law will somehow catch lots of undocumented folks hanging out in Arizona and no doubt there will be some that are caught.

However, the way the law will work is that police will look for the slightest infractions to pull you over and start jamming you up. At which point they’ll check to see not only if you are a US citizen, but will also check for everything else. This is on top of the slight infraction they stopped you for in the first place. It’s a page taken right off the policy used by former NY Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. His tactic was called the Broken Window theory. He felt if you attack the small problems the bigger ones will disappear.  In other words jam up people for minor infractions and it will make it too difficult to do something major. Most law enforcement folks say it doesnt work and it only leads to mass arrests because it becomes a numbers game.. hence the economic benefit to private prisons in Arizona. 

Lastly because the major criticim to SB 1070 is that it will leasd to racial profiling, in order not to appear bias, expect Arizona police to start jamming up everyone if for any reason just to prove the point that they are being even handed.  They may use the excuse that an American citizen is harboring undocumented folks. There’s no doubt that after attending the ACLU Roundtables on Government informants that the police will use the tactic of stopping US citizens on small infractions and in ezxchange for letting them go ask for the names of  suspected undocumented folks  which will allow them to make the case tbhat they had ‘reasonable suspicion’.  We dedicate todays show to those who are on the frontlines fighting SB 1070.

Click the link below to HEAR the show

http://www.alldayplay.fm/episodes/episode-26-give-you-news-arizona-part-1

01-Davey D- ‘Dedicated to Arizona Speech mix’

02-Olmeca-‘Piece of Me’

03-Click tha Super Latin ‘Get Live’ rmx

04-Ozamatli ‘Eva’

05-Antibalas ‘Battle of the Species’ (Al Sharpton rmx)

06-Kenna ‘Games You Can Win’

07-Labtekwon ‘Break It Down’

08-Dessa ‘Chacone’

09-Menahan Street Band ‘Tired of Fighting’

10-Deuce Eclipse ‘Mi Viejo’

11-Sharon & the Dap Kings ‘Stop Paying Taxes’

12-Word Burgular ‘The Route’

13-Brand New Heavies ‘I Don’t Know Why I Love You’

14-Brand New Heavies ‘We Can’t Stop’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s8jgZUgGpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJik5-GMF4M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PY56OqtL64&feature=related

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White Supremacists Are the Forces Behind Arizona’s New Apartheid-Like ‘Papers Please’ Law SB1070

We are just a day away from the implantation of SB1070 which many are calling Arizona’s Apartheid Law… Hundreds of thousands are descending on the state to protest.. while hundreds of racist minded individuals including Sheriff Joe Arpiao are perched to make full use of their police departments to start jamming up Brown skinned residents.. Below are a couple of videos that layout the key forces behind these anti-immigrant laws including the collusion of white supremacist forces and the bankrolling of these anti-immigrant movement via John Tantum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H0W97tLFHY

A short educational video revealing the forces behind the aniti-immigration movement in the United States.

Join the Center for New Community to make a stand for justice and equality in your community: www.newcomm.org

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvBwuAtetl4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s8jgZUgGpg

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Welcome to Apartheid, Arizona, USA

Welcome to Apartheid, Arizona, USA

By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

“If I am alien, where is my spaceship?”

This is how we feel right now in Tucson.

It’s a line in a poem from Cantos Al Sexto Sol (Wings Press, 2002). This is how we feel right now in Arizona. It is insane here.

First they have come for our bodies (to deport those of they can); now they come for  our souls.

No matter what they do, they will never have our spirits. The last part, I believe, is a line from Aztlan Underground.

With Arizona in the spotlight, most of the nation has focused on the draconian anti-immigrant law: SB 1070. But what has to be clear is that this is the culmination of a 518-year ongoing and relentless war. Nothing less. The mood here is not anti-immigrant. It is anti-Mexican. The racial profiling law has little to do with legalities; it is about the expressed targeting of  red-brown Indigenous peoples.

Law officers do not or will not target generic Hispanics or even Mexicans. Their profile is 100% Indigenous. That’s why American Indians in Arizona too understand precisely what this law is all about (Navajo Times, May 13); they are subject to this profile because the similarities are obvious: short, dark hair, dark eyes and red-brown skin. Spaniards or other Europeans are not at risk.

How do we know this? Look to the historic practices of the migra. Or let’s look at the practices of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They have been racial profiling for years, and now, the governor has authorized all law enforcement to be able to do the same, under the threat of lawsuits, etc. For years, those of us with red-brown skin have lived this reality anywhere along the U.S./Mexico border. Nowadays, this anti-Mexicanism, under the veneer of anti-illegal immigrant fervor, is nationwide.

That is about our bodies.  And I repeat, the targets are  Indigenous.

In past years, they’ve gone after our tongues. In Arizona, in the year 2000, it was proposition 203 – a measure that virtually gutted bilingual education, on the belief that it is better to be monolingual, than to be bilingual. To this day, the question remains: what does language have to do with legalities and illegalities? (And truthfully, on these matters, Arizona is simply following California’s footsteps from the 1990s).

The latest salvo is HB 2281; this one is about our souls.

This new law is an attempt by Superintendent Tom Horne to eliminate Ethnic Studies. Specifically, Horne has targeted Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program, arguing that what is taught there, is outside of Western Civilization and should not be taught in Arizona schools.

This law has nothing to do with “illegal immigration.” If anything, it closely resembles the practices of the early European friars who deemed Indigenous knowledge to be Godless and attempted to both demonize it and destroy it completely.  The burning of the books of our ancestors – Indigenous peoples of this continent – resides deep within our psyche. The philosophical foundation for Mexican American Studies in general is Maya-Nahuatl knowledge – derived from thousands of years of maize culture.  Anthropologists refer to it as Mesoamerican knowledge. One part of it is:  In Lak Ech – Tu eres mi otro yo – you are my other self (me).  It is an ethic that teaches us that we are all part of each other and connected to each other. It is a human rights ethos connected to social justice and love of humanity and of all things living and non-living.

This is what Horne wants to ban, what he wants to eliminate. Could book-burnings and an Inquisitorialauto-de-fe be next? Of course. This is what he wants. This is what he demands. He has singled out Rodolfo Acuña’s book, Occupied America and Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed as examples of books that preach hate, promote segregation, anti-Americanism and the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

After the law was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, metaphorically, an auto-de-fe was precisely what Horne came to conduct at TUSD the very next day. Hundreds upon hundreds of middle and high school students laid siege to the TUSD headquarters. When he failed to show his face, he then scheduled a press conference at the nearby state building a couple of miles away. The same students marched to the state building laying siege to that building. Eventually, 15 arrests were made (I was one of them).

Why are students willing to be arrested? Because the two books singled out are but the beginning. The new law – despite being in compliance per the TUSD legal counsel – authorizes the monitoring and censorship of books and curriculums to ensure they are in compliance with the law. Only non-educators could have come up with this one.

And so here we are again; welcome to apartheid arizona, u.s.a..

Rodriguez, a professor at the University of Arizona, can be reached at: XColumn@gmail.com

original article: http://web.me.com/columnoftheamericas/Site/ColumnoftheAmericas/ColumnoftheAmericas.html

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A Special Message to African-Americans about the ‘Illegal Alien Invasion’

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I’ve written pretty extensively about the various attempts to divide Black and Brown communities over the immigration issue. At the root of this are racists who hate both Black and Brown but will conveniently show up and suggest to either group why they should hate and distrust the other.

Blacks are often told that Browns are taking away jobs and that gangs on the west coast are attacking us indiscriminately. 

Browns are told Blacks are dangerous and will rob and kill them at any chance.  Many are told that they are harder worker and better assimilated then their Black counterparts.

Lastly many corporate backed individuals and entities will seek charismatic individuals and give them a platform to espouse backward and divisive views about either race.  These newly minted spokespeople are often depicted as sound leaders for the community..Divide and Conquer is the name of the game..

My man Carlos from DC  aka Carlos A. Quiroz has hit the issue of Black-Brown unity for a while..We first met during a Netroots Conference in Pittsburgh.. There we discussed the issue..and did a number of interviews.. 

Recently Carlos dropped a hard-hitting commentary.. He’s getting ready to drop it in Spanish..Here’s what he wrote:

This video is a response to questions and suggestions sent by readers of this blog and my Youtube subscribers. Please leave a comment if you want to add some ideas to this debate. I’m speaking based on my experience as an Indigenous man who have migrated to a Black-majority city.

We all need to know who is behind the Illegal Alien Invasion scare scam. We need to understand that we Brown and Black communities need to work together to solve our real problems, we must honor our common history of struggle for equality.

 Peep his blog and excellent writings.. Ponder his video message.. on the so called ‘Illegal Alien Invasion

http://carlosqc.blogspot.com/2010/05/message-to-blacks-against-illegal-alien.html 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRUz-xw_bjE&feature=player_embedded

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Check out 9500 Liberty-An Explosive Film About Immigration

My man Troy hip me to this film that I encourage folks to see whenever you get a chance. Its called  9500 Liberty and deals with the issue of immigration.. for more indfo on film and screenings check out.. http://www.9500liberty.com/index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjHUb9PqysI&feature=player_embedded

Here’s the synopsis

Prince William County, Virginia becomes ground zero in America’s explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopt a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have “probable cause” to suspect is an undocumented immigrant.

9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by a climate of fear and racial division, residents form a resistance using YouTube videos and virtual townhalls, setting up a real-life showdown in the seat of county government.

The devastating social and economic impact of the “Immigration Resolution” is felt in the lives of real people in homes and in local businesses. But the ferocious fight to adopt and then reverse this policy unfolds inside government chambers, on the streets, and on the Internet. 9500 Liberty provides a front row seat to all three battlegrounds.

Here are the main real life characters in the documentary

 

Greg Letiecq

Greg Letiecq is an influential and controversial blogger turned political activist. He is the President of Help Save Manassas and Save the Old Dominion, organizations he formed to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants living in Manassas, Prince William County, and Virginia.

Greg is also a member of the gun rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League, and the Prince William County Republican Committee. Of French Canadian descent, he grew up near Syracuse, NY, and majored in international relations at George Washington University. Before becoming an activist and a blogger, he worked as a programmer in the defense industry.

Corey A. Stewart

Republican Corey A. Stewart was elected as Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors on November 7, 2006 in a special election after Chairman Sean Connaughton was appointed as head of the U.S. Maritime Administration. Previously, Stewart had been elected as the Occoquan District Supervisor in 2003. Stewart began the sudden “crackdown” on illegal immigration in July 2007, and was reelected in November 2007 using “Fighting Illegal Immigration” as his campaign slogan.

During the height of his fame, Chairman Stewart hinted he may soon run for Congress in 2008 or for Lieutenant Governor in 2009, but he did not announce his candidacy for either race. He resides in Woodbridge with his wife Maria and two sons.

Col. Charlie T. Deane

Chief Charlie T. Deane of Prince William County is the longest serving police chief in the region. He has seen Prince William County transform from a farming community to one of the fastest growing, most diverse counties the country. He has grappled with the “DC sniper” case in 2002, and the uproar of immigration policy in 2007 and 2008. After pointing out the potential unintended consequences of the proposed “Probable Cause” standard for mandatory immigration status checks, he executed the policy faithfully until its repeal.

Chief Deane joined the Prince William County police department at its inception in 1970. He served 12 years as a criminal investigator and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Police Chief in 1985.

Chief Deane is a graduate of George Mason University with a masters degree in Public Administration. In addition, he has a bachelors degree in Administration of Justice from American University.

Gaudencio Fernandez

Gaudencio Fernandez is a home improvement contractor and father of three. He immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a teenager and became a citizen in the 1980’s. Gaudencio and his wife Delia have owned the property at 9500 Liberty Street in Manassas, VA since 2003.

They were renting the house to tenants in 2006 when it was destroyed in a fire. During the process of tearing down the home, Gaudencio decided to leave one wall standing and create Liberty Wall in order to protest Prince William County’s Immigration Resolution.

The first of his three banners began, “Prince William Co. Stop Your Racism to Hispanics!” The sign directly faced the center of town where thousands of passengers board the Virginia Railway Express and Amtrak.

Liberty Wall soon became a lightning rod for controversy. Supporters of the Immigration Resolution demanded that the sign be removed, but the City of Manassas refused to take action against the Fernandez family citing protected speech.

Alanna Almeda

Alanna Almeda worked as a programmer for the U.S. Department of Transportation until the birth of her youngest child. She has three daughters and a son with her husband of 18 years. She has lived in the Manassas area since the age of seven, and is a life-long Republican and an evangelical Christian.

Alanna was an outspoken critic of the Immigration Resolution. For months, she was frustrated in her efforts to counter Greg Letiecq’s influence on her county government, until she figured out the real battlefield was on the Internet and created the blog antibvbl.net.

Elena Schlossberg

Elena Schlossberg is a stay-at-home mom with two young children. She has been active in county politics advocating on local environmental issues. She was a fundraiser and supporter of Chairman Stewart until he began championing a “crackdown” on “illegal aliens” in the county.

Her April 1, 2008 speech before the Board of County Supervisors is seen as a turning point because it challenged the Board to stand up to the intimidation tactics employed by Chairman Stewart and Greg Letiecq. She then partnered with Alanna Almeda to create antibvbl.net and became the face of public resistance to the Probable Cause mandate.

Frank J. Principi

Frank J. Principi is a Democrat who was elected to his first term on the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors in November of 2007. He is married to a Peruvian American, Cecilia, and they have twin daughters.

During his first three months in office, Supervisor Principi worked closely with Republican Marty Nohe to build a consensus on the Board to repeal the Probable Cause mandate in order to avoid racial profiling law suits. They achieved this goal on April 29, 2008.

Frank earned his BA in American History and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Principi and his family attend Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

Martin E. Nohe

Martin Nohe represents the citizens of the Coles Magisterial District on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. He was elected to this position in November 2003, and was chosen by his colleagues on the Board to serve as the Vice Chairman for calendar year 2007.

Marty is the president of Appliance Connection, a Woodbridge-based, family-owned retail appliance store. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from George Mason University and is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

A Prince William County native, Marty and his wife Kristina live in Woodbridge with their four children and their dog. Marty and Kris actively volunteer for and support a number of organizations that further the cause of child safety and welfare, and are recipients of the 2006 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Angels in Adoption Award for their advocacy on behalf of children in foster care and efforts to encourage domestic adoption. The Nohes belong to Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City.

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This is Beyond Sports: A Conversation w/ Chuck D & Dave Zirin on the Fight in Arizona

http://edgeofsports.com/2010-05-11-531/index.html
“This is Beyond Sports” Chuck D on the fight in Arizona

By Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin & Chuck D

Chuck D. The Hard Rhymer. The man on the mic for the most politically
explosive hip-hop group in history, Public Enemy. With albums like “It
Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,” “Fear of a Black Planet,”
and anthems like “Fight the Power” and “Bring the Noise” along with
the breathtaking production of the Bomb Squad, PE created a standard
of politics and art. Perhaps their most controversial track was “By
the Time I Get to Arizona
” (1991) about seeking revenge against
Arizona political officials for refusing to recognize Dr. Martin
Luther King
’s birthday [Lyrics include: 'Cause my money's spent on The
goddamn rent/Neither party is mine not the Jackass or the elephant.
]
Today, in the wake of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration Senate Bill
1070
, “By the Time I Get to Arizona” has been remixed and revived by
DJ Spooky. Chuck D also recorded his own track several months before
the bill was passed called “Tear Down That Wall.”  I spoke to Chuck
about the music and the nexus between immigration politics and sports.

DZ: Why did you choose to record “Tear Down this Wall?”

Chuck D: I had done “Tear Down this Wall” four or five months ago
because I heard a professor who works with my wife here on the West
Coast speak in a speech about the multi-billion dollar dividing wall
between the U.S. and Mexico, so, therefore, I based “Tear Down that
Wall” on the policy of the United States border patrol in the states
of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. I just wanted to put a
twist of irony on it saying if Ronald Reagan back in 1988 had told Mr.
Gorbachev to tear down that wall separating the world from countries
of capitalism and communism, we have a billion dollar wall right here
in our hemisphere that exists that needs to have a bunch of questions
raised. Questions like: “What the Hell?” I wrote the song about five
months ago and I did it coincidently, with all that’s brewing in the
state of Arizona. Immigration laws and racial profiling is happening
right here and I think the border situation, not only with the U.S.
and Mexico but the U.S. and Canada, on both sides is just out of
control. It’s crazy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJKuJ_uVffU

DZ: You did “Tear Down This Wall,” we have the DJ Spooky remix of “By
the Time I Get to Arizona,” and with your wife,
Dr. Gaye Theresa
Johnson
, you wrote a syndicated column on SB 1070. What’s the response
been to you being so out front on this issue?

Chuck D: Well the response is the usual, but I make it a habit not to
look at any blogs, because I think the font of a computer gives as
much credence to ignorance as it does to somebody who makes sense. So
I try not to read those responses, because anybody can respond
quickly. Back when people had to write letters it took an effort,
especially if someone didn’t have decent penmanship and handwriting. I
try not to look at the responses. I try to do the right thing. I tell
you this much, there is a rap contingent, a hip-hop contingent from
Phoenix, who did a remake of “By the Time I Get to Arizona.” I think
that needs to be recognized because these are young people. The song
is about eight minutes long. There’s about 12 MCs on it, and they are
putting it down. They are talking about how ridiculous this law is.
They are speaking out against it and they are putting all the facts on
the table, and they need to be acknowledged and highlighted. There is
a stereotype about young people and young MCs [being apolitical]. They
break it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Web707z2oB0

DZ: It’s remarkable how the original “By the Time I Get to Arizona
has been resurrected from the early 90′s now that the struggle has
picked up. Did you hear former NBA player
Chris Webber before the
Suns/Spurs game say, “Its like PE said ‘By the Time I get to
Arizona.’”?

Chuck D: [laughs] My Dad told me about that, You know Chris Webber is
the man. I wasn’t tuned into TNT at that particular time.

DZ: He said more than that.  He said, “Public Enemy said it a long
time ago. ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona.’ I’m not surprised. They
didn’t even want there to be a
Martin Luther King Day when John McCain
was in [office.]. So if you follow history you know that this is part
of Arizona politics.’” So he brought it all together with Public Enemy
at the center of it.

Chuck D: Unfortunately when it comes to culture, the speed of
technology and news today makes things out of sight, out of mind.
While these situations [the MLK fight and the immigration fights] are
different, the politics of both things stay around like a stain….
Once again Arizona has put themselves into this mix. I don’t know what
the hell was on Gov. Jan Brewer’s mind or what contingent is behind
her, but, you know, to make a decision like this and to be told to
ignore the people who have been in this area on this earth the longest
period of time. It just kind of resonates with me as being crazy.

DZ: Do you support an athletic or artistic boycott of Arizona until
this gets settled?

Chuck D: Dave, you know I do.  Artists and musicians can say we’re
going to play Texas, El Paso, New Mexico, Albuquerque, and we gotta
play L.A. But we’ll skip Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson and the like. But
you know what this is really a challenge for: that’s Major League
Baseball. You’ve got nearly a third of the players that are Latino. If
they don’t stand up to this bill, they will actually be validating the
divide amongst Latinos [between documented and undocumented
immigrants].

At the same time they’ll also be lining themselves right
into the stereotype of what an athlete is if they don’t speak out: a
high priced slave that doesn’t say anything. And to me it’s beyond
just boycotting the All-Star game. What are those Latino players on
the Diamondbacks going to do? What are the players going to say who go
into Arizona to play against the Diamondbacks? What are they going to
say and what are they going to do? Major League Baseball has to step
up.

The NBA has very few players of Latino descent and [the Suns] are
saying something. But Major League Baseball, if they don’t say
anything, it’s crazy. The owners, the team, the league, and especially
the players, whether they come from the Dominican Republic, whether
they come from Venezuela, whether they come from Puerto Rico, they
better step up. If they don’t step up, the music industry, at least
from my area, we’re going to clown them.

For us to speak out against
this law, and basketball stepping up, and Major League Baseball not
stepping up at all?! Come on now, give me a break. And I know a lot of
the cats they live in the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico or
whatever, there’s like a trillion years difference between them and
their high salaries and the average people living in the streets. They
might build themselves a castle with a militia to protect them, but
this is the time to unite yourself with the people and at least live
in the legacy that [Major League Hall of Famer] Roberto Clemente set
of uniting people just to protect against the nonsense that the other
side can come up with. They need to know that it’s going to spread if
they don’t come up and say something about it.

DZ: Any final thoughts? Perhaps about Major League Baseball pulling
the All Star Game out of Phoenix
?

Chuck D: At the end of the day man, sports is really not that
important compared to people living their everyday lives. Say you have
a Major League player, and he happens to play for another team, or he
happens to play for the Diamondbacks and he gets pulled over because
people think he’s an illegal immigrant. Then all of a sudden that’s
when the “ish” finally hits the fan? Come on. This is beyond sports.
We want athletes to speak up because they have advantages. They have
everyday coverage. They’re covered by a person that has a mic and a
camera in their face, and this is the time to step up. Major League
Baseball pulling the All-Star game out of Arizona should be the least
of it.

[Dave Zirin is the author of the forthcoming “Bad Sports: How Owners
are Ruining the Games we Love
” (Scribner) Receive his column every
week by emailing dave@edgeofsports.com. Contact him at
edgeofsports@gmail.com.]