There’s More to Election 2016 than Donald Trump

Davey-D-brown-frameBy now most people whether they are into politics or at are at the very least, remotely aware of the circus Election 2016  has become. The presidential race is bananas. Soap operas can’t compete with all that’s unfolded. Donald Trump and all his over the top antics are in the news every hour, every minute and damn near every second.

His recent disparaging remarks against the family of a soldier who died in combat and happened to be Muslim has resulted in a vicious firestorm and huge backlash. Folks who are fearful and absolutely hate the brand of politics Donald Trump stands for have been gleeful that all that push back against him has moved his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton up 10 points in the polls. Many are gleeful that the Republican Party seems to falling apart at the seams as more and more prominent figures are distancing themselves from Trump.

Some Republicans are publicly stating they are pledging support for Hillary Clinton citing that they see Trump as unfit. Is that a good thing? Does that mean Hillary will even further abandon her base to cater to an appeal to new right wing arrivals? Will she be gentrifying the Democratic Party?

Gary Johnson is gaing ground among Republicans angry at Trump

Gary Johnson is gaining ground among Republicans angry at Trump

Still others are staying they will either sit this election out or throw their support behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who is on the ballot in all 50 states and is scheduled to be featured in a CNN backed Town hall.

With all this political turmoil going on at Trump’s expense, there have been a more than few who have done some premature celebrating. bad move. Don’t do it..

If there is one thing we should’ve learned over the years from 9-11 to Katrina to major storms and earthquakes, it is in times of chaos that dirt gets done. It’s in times of chaos that moves are made in relative silence by the most powerful among us. The political chaos caused by Donald Trump is no different. If anything it seems a bit manufactured. It keeps the corporate press focused on his antics vs investigating key issues and the merits of proposed policies

Karl Rove has quietly started a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific contests

Karl Rove has a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific contests

While we have been focusing on the Presidential election clown fest, we should be asking ourselves who are we NOT hearing anything from? For example, where is Karl Rove these days? Once touted as the brains behind President Bush and a master strategist for the GOP who has raised hundreds of millions, we should be asking why is seemingly so quiet? Did he pick up all his marbles and go home after Jeb Bush who he publicly backed was soundly defeated?

We should be asking ourselves what are the Koch Brothers up to? These are the guys who backed the Tea Party Movement, flipped lots of elections and have been key investors in ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) which have led to all sorts of regressive state side and voter suppression laws being passed.  Many people gave huge sighs of relief when it was made known the Koch Brothers would be sitting out the Presidential contest and not supporting Donald Trump. But did they totally disappear?

A recent article that appeared in Alter Net shows clearly their formidable ground game and Get Out the Vote apparatuses are set and will be in full effect come November. You can read that HERE.

There are  many who have been turned off by electoral politics who have famously asserted that it doesn’t matter who is in the White House. Many like to quote Malcolm X who noted Democrat or Republican are the same.  Thats probably true on a number of levels, but truth be told Malcolm wasn’t the only one who believed that.  Many others including the folks I mentioned Rove and Koch Brothers) understand that it doesn’t matter who sits in the oval office as long as you control the economics and politics of your community. That’s something Malcolm pushed us to do as well. How are we doing that in 2016?

Blue Lives matter bills are being proposed all over the country

Blue Lives matter bills are being proposed all over the country

So why are some of these powerful aforementioned forces and individuals so silent? Because while everyone is talking about Donald Trump, they have been steadily investing time, energy and laying out strategies to rule the day by winning stateside and local races. In short these folks haven’t disappeared they are literally out in these streets grinding. They’re allowing Trump to be the clown that everyone laughs at while they make sure hard-hitting, ruthless lawmakers are pushing and passing laws like the recent slew of Blue Lives Matter bills designed to give police even more power.

The latest was proposed in New York which would make police a protected class of citizens where hate crime status could be applied to any attacks on them. The person who proposed this is NY Assemblymen Ron Castorina who blames Black Lives Matter for the recent polkice shootings. How do we plan to counter those bills and what will we do to law makers proposing them?

smash the police state-001Powerful forces like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove  are looking into local races in key cities where they can flip school boards and further privatize education. They are looking at local city council races where they win contracts to control water, electricity and other entities and institutions that effect our day-to-day life.

These forces are looking to see who they can win key US Senate seats to continue controlling the senate as well as win key congressional seats to continue locking down the house. They are looking to see who will be district attorney and who will be sitting on benches as a judge?  The game for them is down ticket candidates and measures which has been a pretty effective for GOP over the past 6 years. The question we should all be asking how are we locking down the community on a local level?

Several City Council Seats are up for grabs in November

Several City Council Seats are up for grabs in November

In the city of Oakland there are 5 city council seats up for grab. What’s are thoughts on this? Did all those running for re-election do right by us on key issues? Were they on the right side for issues like Gentrification? Police accountability? etc..

In June, San Francisco saw a huge surge for progressive candidates. Does that momentum carry over in November? Who gets rewarded who gets booted? What’s our electoral strategy to leverage those contests and get whats needed in our community?

There are local elections ranging from Bart Board to state Assembly and Senate seat? What’s our relationship with the candidates running. Some of them are friends and steady do work in our communities are we supporting a Lateefah Simon or a Jane Kim over opponents who haven’t done right by us?

Are we talking to people like Nicole Lee of the Black Movement law Project about electable judges?

Are we talking to people like Nicole Lee of the Black Movement Law Project about electable judges?

With respect to judges. We saw a lot of attention being given to Judge Aaron Persky who gave a light sentence to a convicted rapist and former Stanford student Brock Turner. There is currently an attempt to recall this judge. But what do we know about other judges who are up for election  in November. Have we been speaking with folks from the National Lawyers Guild or the recently formed Black Movement Law Project or the NAACP Legal Defense to find out which judges are social justice minded vs corporate or prosecutorial minded?

Now is the time we should be sharing information with one another, making up voting guides and figuring out all the ways we can control our community from top to bottom, from dog catcher to mayor, from congressional rep to state and US senator. Leave no stone un-turned. Some will need to be political punished and ousted or recalled while others are rewarded with the clear understanding you will hold feet to the fire..

So again don’t be fooled by the silence of the Karl Roves and Koch Brothers types. They are plotting and scheming and plan to run the table in November, While we’re laughing at Trump, they intend to install people who hold ratchet views like Trump but can look and sound ‘respectable’. #staywoke #beprepared

Whose Gonna Take The Weight To Stop Donald Trump?

Davey-D-brown-frameIf you are observing the rhetoric and subsequent hateful action inspired and empowered by Donald Trump and you are calling for him to be stopped at all costs, then there should be some tangible things you are asking people to do and realistic directions you are pointing people toward.

How and why should anyone take you seriously when you say ‘We Must Stop Trump’, but you are not putting in consistent, and committed organizing work to make that happen? As Guru from Gang Starr once famously asked ‘Who’s Gonna Take The Weight’?

No matter how you cut it, it’s just plain ole laziness, lame excuse making and low hanging fruit grabbing to blame others for not sharing your political point of view then to actually put in the hard work and be about that political life you espouse and make things happen.

Donald Trump Speaking at RNC-029Yes, Donald Trump is a Klansman in a suit. Yes Trump will appoint conservative supreme court justices who make Clarence Thomas look liberal. Yes, Donald Trump will try and build a wall. Yes, Trump will push to put electronic monitoring devices on Muslims and declare anyone associated with Black Lives Matter a terrorist or a lethal enemy to police who should be curtailed.

Trump will do all these horrible things and yet in the face of this we have some who are sitting back and doing nothing while demanding everyone else put in work.  In the face of all this we folks who are demanding that people tow a particular political line while they themselves are not practicing what they preach. We have folks demanding that folks move a certain way while they are not making no moves at all.. What part of the game is this?

The other day I met a bunch of folks who are so committed to their political goal they are taking a semester off to go volunteer in swing states.. What are you doing to match that?

I interviewed a bunch of folks the other day who are working day and night to start a viable third party and working to get folks to run for office.. How are you matching that work?

protest Signs at RNC-005I talked to some folks who are hard at work researching key down ballot issues and making voting guides to pass out on college campuses.. What research are you doing? What voting guides are you creating?

To sit up here at this point in time with all that’s transpiring and demand that everyone drop everything and come together to Stop Trump while you yourself are not personally committing time and resources to that effort is akin to a someone stating we must do everything to stop lung cancer while they smoke 2 packs a day..

Either put up or shut up.. Be about that ‘Stop Trump Life’ and do like Rihanna and ‘Work, Work, Work, Work‘ or just admit you about the business of talking loud and saying nothing

Nuff said..

Will Hillary Say Her Name? Remembering Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

Davey-D-brown-frameWonder if Hillary Clinton during tonite’s historic acceptance speech for the presidency at the DNC (Democratic National Convention) will give props to the woman pictured above. My sense is she won’t even though she is aware of who this woman is… Some may call it ‘politics’. Others may call it an unwillingness to live up to the high standards of transparency and integrity set by this woman. For those who are unaware, the woman above is none other then Shirley Anita St Hill Chisholm.

Hillary Clinton will be celebrated tonight for ‘cracking a glass ceiling‘ and blazing a new path for women coming after her. But it was Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress who served her Brooklyn district for 7 terms who cracked ceilings, busted down doors and put in work that laid the ground work for the historic presidential run not only for Hillary Clinton but also for the historic runs of Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson when he ran in ’84 and ’88. We should pull no punches and make no mistake about that-Shirley was the one who did that initial heavy lifting back in 1972.

Shirley Chisolm posterDuring that time she was considered ‘the people’s candidate‘ and was greatly admired by the public. As a Congress woman Shirley Chisholm boldly advocated for some of the same things Hillary is touting now  including a safety net for children and single mothers. She fought to expand school lunches for kids. She fought for increased education access, immigration rights and she fought to extend benefits for domestic workers.

In spite of her accomplishments in Congress and her historic run, Chisolm was shunned, marginalized and ridiculed by many who held power in the political establishment and yes that included members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the time.  They shunned her in the elite circles while organizations who held up the grassroots like the Black Panthers endorsed her. As a candidate Chisolm was kept at arms length by some who hold influence who are in the room at the DNC tonight cheering for Hillary.

Many holding power didn’t like the fact that Chisolm was disrupting the script and turning the ‘set up’ on its ear. Many didn’t like the fact that she lived up to her slogan: ‘UnBought and UnBossed’. She kept it 100 and wouldn’t sell her soul…

For her efforts, Chisholm received numerous death threats and had 3 assassination attempts on her life during her run for President. That’s even more reason why she should be given public props. In the words of Beyonce ‘Say Her Name, Say Her Name..Say her name for reals and don’t allow her to be erased from history.

Parents please teach your kids about the sister who really set it off..

Forget ‘Hope & Change’, Trump is About ‘Fear & Blame’ (A Report Back from the RNC)

Davey-D-purple-frameStill trying to process everything I took in this past week during the RNC (Republican National Convention) in Cleveland. It was the ultimate  reality TV show starring Donald Trump. First thing I wanna do is clear up any misconceptions because I’m not sure how things were conveyed on TV. It should be noted the overwhelming majority of attendees to the tune of 97% of the delegates attending the RNC were white.

One might have gotten the impression the RNC was somewhat diverse due to the fact that party leaders found Black and Brown speakers to put on stage at prime time. Network TV cameras panned the faces of Black and Brown journalists or Black and Brown vendors and janitors who worked at Quicken Loan Center which added to the illusion of diversity. Don’t believe the hype. It was a sea of whiteness and I have the pictures from the floor of the convention to prove it.

Donald Trump speech Floor shots-247Second, with respect to the Trump campaign, the man is no dummy. Don’t be fooled. Donald Trump is a masterful,  pop culture and media manipulator who should not be underestimated. I repeat do not underestimate him..Key word… ‘masterful’.

While many of us have clowned him and gleefully denounced his appearances on Reality TV as something far beneath our intelligence, Trump saw clear openings and embraced it. He clearly understood there is a sizeable, passionate audience that is attracted to celebrity. He understood, that many in that audience love Reality TV. They thrive on bodacious, over-the-top, in-your-face, boombastic showmanship which helps them escape the hardships of dead end jobs and never ending poverty.


Donald Trump Speaks at RNC-061 While many of us watched Trump give his spiel and responded by pointing out his numerous hypocrisies, scandals, offensive rhetoric and blatant wrong doings, his audience CONNECTED and continues to CONNECT with him. They don’t HEAR him. They FEEL him. Again I repeat, for his supporters it’s not about Trump being right or wrong. It’s not about him being caught in a lie or distorting the truth-Its about the way he makes his audience feel. His audience FEELS him.

For those who say they can’t understand that way of thinking, I would ask them to go back to 2008 and recall the types of things that were being said about Obama when he ran for the white house. Many openly talked about how Obama made them beam with pride. Many talked about voting for him so our kids could see a Black man in the white house. Many talked about being unapologetically Black in their support of Obama.

Crowd shots at RNC-020That mindset is not much different from the mindset many hold today with Trump. Contradictions and political shortcomings be damned. Exaggerations and distortions of truth be damned. Many rationalized their support for Obama and rode with him, no matter what.

Well, in 2016, we are seeing unbridled support for Trump by people who feel he is giving them a sense of pride… It’s White Pride and folks are increasingly vocalizing, that they are unapologetic about it.


Donald-Trump-Fear-and-BlameWhen listening to Donald Trump we can see clearly that he’s borrowed from President Nixon with his ‘Law and Order’ rhetoric. What’s not so clear is seeing that Trump also borrowed from President Obama.

Trump is basically doing a ‘Hope and Change’ type campaign that specifically targets poor, anxious, angry, blue collar white folks who are feeling marginalized. For them, ‘Fear of a Black Planet’ is real. ‘Fear of a Brown Planet’ is Real. Trump is feeding ‘Hope and Change’ to this demographic under the guise of ‘Fear and Blame’.

There are 3 main clarion calls to Trump’s campaign. One is to ‘build a wall to keep out Mexicans. Two is to increase surveillance and ban of all Muslims who are depicted as ‘Radical Islamic Terrorists’. Third is to return to the good ole days of ‘law and order’ where criminal oriented Black folks are locked up and harshly punished. These are appealing to a disenchanted segment of the population.


Crowd shots at RNC-002As I watched and listened intently to his speech on the final night of the RNC, I saw it resonating with that large crowd hungry for change and in need of hope. I also knew that one of two things will happen if Trump gets into office. He will either do like Obama and quickly abandon and betray many of the poor, marginalized folks that drove his campaign. That could result in violent reaction considering he has courted and attracted lots of armed anti-government militia types who have been preparing and yearning for confrontation.

What is more likely to happen is Trump as President, will find a way to incorporate these angry constituents and spread the love by empowering them to go full throttle on marginalized, poor folks of color.

It’ll be 1676 all over again when after Bacon’s Rebellion where the concept of whiteness was created and poor white indentured servants were granted privilege and power over their African indentured counterparts.

The payoff for those desperate to escape economic destitute and oppression was to buy into the logic that they were better then Africans and as newly minted ‘whites’ who were a step closer to the elites who ran the show, they would patrol and keep the enslaved Africans in check.

Bacon's rebellionThese poor whites back then were able to unite and form solidarity with the planter class elites over fear of slave uprisings. It should be noted that in many places enslaved Africans outnumbered whites as a result the oppression and brutality was harsher. It’s a mindset that would be a driving force around Black oppression for generations to come.

Trump’s message is plain and simple. Vote for me and I will keep you safe by putting all these Black, Brown and Muslim people in their place.

When you see outlaw biker gangs hanging with police which I did while in Cleveland (‘Bikers for Trump’) and popular anti government figures like Alex Jones riding for Trump and talking about Blue Lives Matter, it underscores the notion of white solidarity and empowerment which is being fostered by Trump.

ProfTinaWright-225As my good friend Professor Tina Bell Wright pointed out in a recent conversation what we are also seeing is a racialized backlash to Obama in much the same way the rise of the KKK and Jim Crow were backlashes to the Reconstruction era.

Professor Wright also noted that we are seeing a backlash to globalization and globalism which is being upheld by Hillary Clinton and Neo-Liberal policies she champions. In the face of corporate tyranny, the nationalism Trump is selling sounds good for many. It sounds rebellious and anti-establishment. people are emphatic about his willingness to protect ‘Americans’.

The question we are all faced with is at the end of the day, who does Trump see as Americans? Even more importantly who under Trump do we see his understanding of Americanism’ with all its privileges and protections get extended to? Its a direct throwback to the way the concept of whiteness were extended to certain immigrants in past generations?


Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

I have long said Donald Trump is a new age Andrew Johnson. For those who are unfamiliar Johnson is the man who succeeded Lincoln after he was assassinated. He hated the elite and he hated the planter class establishment that ruled the South. He wanted them to crumble and kiss his butt. But he hated Africans even more and immediately went to work to dismantle Reconstruction, starting with the closing of the Freedman’s Bureau.

It’s with that understanding of history, I see Donald Trump and his proposed policies of containment, banning and surveillance. It’s with this understanding of history that none of us can afford to be apolitical at this time. It’s with this understanding of history that none of us can afford not to be connected or involved in organizing efforts to rebuff whats coming down the pipe…

All of us are going to step up. Black and Brown folks for now will be the obvious and immediate targets, but also everyone else from young millennials to women to LGBT etc are in line to catch this backlash.


Crowd shots at RNC-008Over the week, I saw thousands stand on the floor of the Quicken Loan Center cheer and chant in unison ‘Build a Wall’. At one point the frenzied cheering and jeering by an emboldened white crowd made it feel absolutely unsafe to be in the vicinity or outside in the adjacent courtyard.

Speaker after speaker blamed Brown folks for everything ranging from ruining our economy to stealing precious resources to setting off murderous crime sprees against ‘innocent’ American citizens. The hateful rhetoric was validated by the RNC including a Black or non Latino Brown speaker to parrot the anti-immigrant vitriol.

The ‘Build a Wall’ chants and tough talk against Latinos were accompanied by the equally vitriolic demonization of Muslims who were called ‘Radical Islamic Terrorists’… And while RNC speakers attempted at times to qualify their statements by noting that ’not all Muslims’ are terrorists’, what was being advocated was the wholesale surveillance and banning of Muslims along with a call for policies to be put in place to eradicate Muslim practices like Sharia Law which were grossly distorted.

Police at RNC 2016 cleveland-001Just as frightening as thousands chanting ‘Build a Wall’ was thousands chanting of ‘Blue Lives Matter’ and cheering wildly to the news that one another police officer connected to the killing of Freddie Gray was acquitted. The unapologetic upliftment and all out debasing of the Black Lives Matter movement was beyond disconcerting.

Everywhere you went you saw Blue Lives Matter buttons and t-shirts being sold like hotcakes ironically by Black vendors desperate to capitalize on sales who were lined up all up and down Euclid Avenue, one of the main streets in downtown Cleveland.

Police at RNC 2016 cleveland-003This was accompanied with the presence of several thousand police officers from all over the country including Florida, Massachusetts, Indiana, Montana to name a few, running and executing what amounted to be crowd control drills against demonstrators who were all forced to be confined in a park blocks away from the RNC called Public Square. 300 of those police were from California Highway Patrol.

It was not lost on me the irony of RNC attendees chanting ‘Blue Lives Matter’ in the same Quicken Loan arena where Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and other members of the World Champion Cavaliers who were openly revered from the stage of the RNC, showed support and helped increase visibility to Black Lives Matter and the police accountability movement when they famously wore ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts in response to NY Police choking Eric Garner to death in 2014.

It also wasn’t lost on me the irony of this week being one in which while ‘Blue Lives Matter’ was being loudly chanted in a sports arena, the WBA (Women’s Basketball League ) had threatened to fine several players for wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts. The WBA felt it was wrong to use a sporting platform to put forth a political position. The threats of fines had been rescinded after much public pressure and WBA players promising a media boycott.

It was here in Cleveland during the RNC we saw police unions flex and attempt to get Ohio’s open carry law suspended for a week once it was made known that Black protestors would show up with their guns especially after it was made known that white militias would be in Cleveland ‘exercising their second amendments rights.

Just to show you how deep things got, prior to us coming to Cleveland, our radio station got a visit from the FBI warning us of credible threats by armed white supremacist militias. There was no attempt to suspend the Open Carry law when that took place.


Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movements recently noted in an article, that progressives minded folks will have to fight a war on two fronts. One will be with the white supremacy being uplifted by Donald Trump, the other will be the corporate back Neo-Liberal and equally repressive policies of Hillary Clinton.

A Trump presidency is not something to romanticize about or even see as ‘business as usual’ especially for those who have not prepared in terms of establishing strong networks to help sustain you and your family economically.

Trump in office is not something to take lightly if you don’t have a strategy in place to deal with an anticipated rise violent racist attacks backed by and in many cases initiated by members serving in various police departments that have been infiltrated by white supremacist types.

Old Man with trump t-shirt RNC-001Many Trump supporters are experiencing economic hardships coupled with deep seated fears of being outnumbered and overwhelmed by a growing Black and Brown population. That anger under a Trump presidency will be directed at our communities with the full unapologetic backing of the state. How prepared are we for this?

Some will try to avoid this harsh backlash by seeking favor and cutting deals in an attempt to obtain what I will call overseer or buffer status. In short many will seek relief and protection by betraying their community and taking on the role of oppressor. How prepared are we for that?

For many, the goal is defeat at all costs Trump with Hillary being the viable option. We can debate the pros and cons of that at another time. But for those who see casting their lot with Hillary as a solution, I will say this, inaction, lackluster political engagement and uninformed political analysis will cost you dearly. Believe that..

Don’t believe out of touch TV pundits, 30 second sound bites or brought and paid for polls. One will have to do more than just pull a lever in 2016. In most elections 50% of the population stays home. One had best figure out how to get them to the polls…

If you are not volunteering your time, door knocking, phone banking and vigorously engaging, organizing family neighbors and friends not just in your own community but also in so-called battle ground states, then you will lose this election, Trump will be your President and you will have no one to blame but yourself.

While in Cleveland, I saw a sign in Cleveland that said: ‘Love Trump Hate’. During the RNC, Trump provided his supporters with lots of policies to be angry about and lots of people to emphatically hate. Hatred of the the ‘Non white American will be a powerful, motivating incentive that will turn out many come this November. Trump folks will be riding hard.. The question here if ‘Love Trumps Hate’ who are we loving and how deep is that love?

Some Thoughts on the DOJ Ferguson Report

Davey-D-brown-frameA couple of things to keep in mind about the DOJ’s Ferguson Report. First, all it does is confirm many of the things that independent media has long been reporting and what folks from Ferguson had long been articulating.. Sadly for more than a few folks, what was being asserted is now legitimate because the DOJ says so… I’ll let folks think on that for a minute..

Because folks may have dreads, not speak the king’s English or have a fancy degree or title next to their name, important truths were ignored.. and when I say ignored, I don’t mean folks didn’t hear what was spoken. What I mean is that what was spoken was not felt or taken seriously.

It’s interesting to look at folks timelines, read blogs or watch their twitter feeds to see them suddenly expressed concern about the systemic atrocities levied on folks by the Ferguson police…Perhaps now those who wagged their fingers and smugly said its a shame folks have not voted will understand a few things..

Ferguson Protests1-Police hunt for folks who have all these jay walking, traffic and other nuance warrants come time to go to the polls. In short warrants are not only great revenue generators for Ferguson and 41 corrupt cities/municipalities that surround them, they also serve as great voter suppression/intimidation tools..Police go hunting for folks in and around the polls during election time.. So no more finger wagging (looking at you Congressman Jim Clyburn )…

2-This system of ticketing and issuing obscene amounts of warrants that put almost every single resident of cities like Ferguson at risk.. (yes damn near everyone gets expensive tickets along with court fees), happened on the collective watch of Democrats..Contrary to popular believe this was not a Tea Party, far Right republican thing.. This happened under Democrats..It happened under the watch and blind eye turning of a whole lot of prominent folks.

Poor Black folks were chastised and told they need to save the day and save themselves by voting for folks who not once issued a report like the DOJ. These folks never took steps to end voter suppression and provide protection. They never held hearings to bring about relief for this outlandish practice of ticketing.. From Governor Jay Nixon on down to Congressman Lacy Clay on down to the DA Bob McColloch..This happened with their approval.. These are folks who we would see at DNC conventions..

A few years ago I went to huge Lacy Clay party at the 2008 DNC in Denver. It was hosted by Nelly and attended by DNC big wigs like Nancy Pelosi.. Folks stood on stage and said Clay was the man of the hour, yet all this madness happened on his watch.. Going against someone like him was met with scorn and ridicule.. How dare folks vote against a Black man running for office? How dare folks not support this staunch democrat? How dare folks turn their backs on the Governor, Congressman, Mayor and risk allow the Tea Party get into power.. How many folks heard this rhetoric? How many people spoke it??

How many people knew that Anthony Gray one of the lawyers for Michael Brown is also the police chief for nearby Pine Lawn where he oversees this horrific practice of ticketing poor Black folks and handing out high number of warrants?? You can peep that HERE and This was first reported 4 months ago…

Now that all this is out in the open, will we see a cleaning of house from those in leadership position within the DNC or will people be told to rush off to the polls and vote come April when the next elections occur?? Sadly we are more likely to see action taken because of racist emails about the President before we see changes on the horrors many Ferguson folks have experienced..

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 2.45.40 AMWhen it comes to politics we can no longer look at the overly simplistic Left/Right binary.. In 2015 if you lean left politically speaking we need to know those who are Progressive and Social Justice minded.. We need to know those who are Liberal-minded and feel like what’s systemic can be easily be reformed..We need to know they are there to protect the party and ride hard at all costs.. We need to know those who are corporate friendly and have been touched by big money and feel replicating the GOP love for Big Biz is the way to go.. White Supremacy (and yes they can be Black). They got a taste of power and wanna be in the spotlight and at the forefront even if it means selling their souls or throwing their own under the bus.. Peep the DOJ Report here

Jackson Rising: The Bold Agenda of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba for 2014

Chokwe Lumumba

Chokwe Lumumba

One of the most overlooked stories of 2013 was the election of Chokwe Lumumba is Jackson, Mississippi where he garnered over 75% of the vote. The former lawyer of the late 2pac Shakur and former political prisoner Asaata Shakur is considered in many circles to be the nation’s most progressive and radical mayor.

He was an integral part of the Republic of New Afrika which called for Black people to establish a nation within a nation, looking at 5 key southern states Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina as the base.

He was the founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement which has chapters all over the country and has been focused on a number of issues facing the Black community including the plight of political prisoners and police accountability among other things..

We sat down and spoke with Kali Akuno who does political outreach for the Lumumba administration to get an update as to how they have been doing in their 6 months in office and what bold plans and initiatives they intend to put forth in the upcoming new year..

Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno

For those who say we need change and we need to create a world where we ‘do the right thing‘ and take the proverbial bull by its horns and go to work’, then your attention and energy should be focused on Jackson, Mississippi. They are taking steps to do many of the things I’ve heard people say we should be doing in meeting after meeting, convention after convention and gathering after gathering.. Jackson is ground zero. If you are African-American, Jackson should really be watched considering the city 80% population, history and current day-to-day challenges.

In our conversation with Akuno, what stood out is the city laying critical ground work to be self-sustaining from top to bottom. They are changing the infrastructure of the city so that its green and ecologically efficient. They have aggressive entrepreneurial plans. They aren’t begging big corporations for jobs, they are creating them.. They have radical approaches toward social justice.. And they are putting forth an incredible conference in May called Jackson Rising..

Listen to the Hard Knock Radio interview below. You will be inspired..

Jackson Rising

Hip Hop History: Remembering the Historic 2001 Hip Hop Summit & Farrakhan’s Incredible Speech

2001 Hip Hop SummitAs we celebrate Hip Hop History Month and the 40th anniversary of the Universal Zulu Nation we wanted to take a look back and recall a historic event that has been written out of many Hip Hop history books.. It was the 2001 Hip Hop Summit in New York City. It was the first of its kind and came on the heels of  many in the Hip Hop generation being woken up in the aftermath of the 2000 election where the Presidency was stolen from Al Gore and given to George Bush via the Supreme Court.  That’s how many were feeling at that time and still feel to this day…

That sentiment was coupled with a heighten political awareness in New York,  tyrannical reign of Mayor Rudy Giuliani who had his police running around hemming people up if they stood more than 2 or 3 in group.. This was before Stop and Frisk. He had a street crimes unit that would have police walking around and arbitrarily stopping people , searching for weapons. This led to the shooting death of  Amadou Diallo in February of 1999 on Wheeler Avenue in the Bronx, the borough where Hip Hop was born. He was shot 41 times  by cops who ‘mistook his wallet’ for a gun. A year later those cops would be acquitted with the main urban station Hot 97, not even announcing it on the air..

All this and a slew of other incidents led to many within the Hip Hop generation pushing and demanding change. So in short, the time was right for the gathering that took place that day…Just about everyone in the Hip Hop/ Music industry was there. We are talking executives from MTV and BET.  Major record label heads were present.

A lot of Hip Hop journalists and writers were in there. All the major networks were there with their cameras and reports on hand..  Hip Hop pioneers and the biggest artists of the day from Dame Dash to Jermaine Dupri, Sean Puffy Combs, Master P, Wyclef  packed the place..Quite a few members of Congress including Cynthia McKinney was there to address the audience.

Minister Farrakhan addressed that body and gave what he described as the best speech of his life.. It was incredible and inspiring. It held artists feet to the fire and it held executives feet to the fire. It left everyone fired up. Quite a few came out of that gathering determined to make the necessary changes that were called for that day and they would go on to do bigger and better things. Others remained locked into a world of coonery and you have to wonder why since they were present and expressed appreciation for what took place that day..

Below is a recap of the speech and gathering written by Cedric Muhammad of Black Electorate a few days after the event.. I included some of the audio I gathered which I think you will find useful.. My only regret was not recording Minister Farrakhan’s speech.. I was under the impression that it would be immediately released.. Word was it was going to be released via Def jam.. That never happened and I never got the full story as to why.. What he said that day still applies to our current situation, if not more..

-Davey D-


Cedric Muhammad

Cedric Muhammad

On June 13th before a packed audience in the Mercury Ballroom of the New York Hilton Hotel, filled with some of the Hip Hop industry’s most prominent artists, producers and executives, Nation Of Islam Leader Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered the keynote address at the recent Hip Hop Summit organized by Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records. In a nearly 3-hour address, the Minister simultaneously defended, encouraged, criticized and praised Hip- Hop artists, challenging them to take responsibility for their position as leaders of the world’s youth.

The Minister, who entered the ballroom to a standing ovation, began his remarks by speaking directly to the artists who were primarily seated in the front rows of the audience. Looking directly at such artists as L.L. Cool J., Talib Kweli, Keith Murray, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Crazy Legs, Damian Dash, Sister Souljah, Ja Rule, Afrika Bambatta, Redman, Luther “Luke” Campbell, Wyclef Jean, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, Krazy Bone, D.J. Premier, Kurtis Blow, Eric B, U-God and many others, the Minister stated, “each of us is brought here with a purpose”.

2001 Hip Hop summit FarrakhanHe told the artists that part of their greatness rest in the fact that each of them, through the identification, development and cultivation of their talent had “discovered their reason for being”. Still directing his comments specifically to the artists in the audience, the Minister added, “Maybe you are not aware of it but you have been chosen to lead”.

On a dais with Queen Latifah, Chuck D., Haqq Islam, Jermaine Dupri, and others, Minister Farrakhan told the artists that because he was a spiritual leader he could inform them of “who you are and why you are called”, according to holy scripture, in both the Bible and Holy Quran. He began by quoting from the book of John, Chapter 1.

He quoted, in unison with some in the audience, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God”

The Minister then stated that in the historic evolution of culture and art, that the world has reached the point, through Hip-Hop, where the spoken word is dominating culture.

2001 Hip Hop Summit BamHe then began to provide his exegesis of those verses in John, explaining that “the word was god” and that god represents “force and power”. He remarked of the Hip-Hop community, “there is strength in this community but what it needs is guidance”.

The Minister then expressed that the Hip-Hop community and industry should be concerned with what stage of its evolution it had reached. He told the audience that they have to keep growing their art form. And he punctuated his point by stating that Hip-Hop, like reggae, calypso, gospel and rhythm and blues are all different today than when they began.

The Minister then began his defense of Hip-Hop artists who have come under fire for their lyrical content saying, “Society wants lyrics cleaned up but it (society) doesn’t want to clean itself up.” The Minister said that the most negative aspects of Hip Hop lyrics only reflect the mind and heart of community leadership and aspects of a gangster U.S. government. He added that Hip Hop lyrics were bringing out in public, the private aspects of people’s reality. He said, Gangster lyrics are only showing aspects of “a government that is gangster.” The Minister said that when rappers talk about killing people, they are no different than those in government who have assassinated leaders of other countries. He also said that when artists speak of drug abuse, they are speaking of a behavior, in the open, that has taken place even in the White House.

Hip Hop SummitWhat society wants to do with Hip Hop and young people is “break the mirror, rather than look in it and clean itself up.” The Minister concluded that part of his defense by stating: “If society cleaned itself up, rappers would have to talk about something else.”

The Minister then began part of his challenge to the Hip-Hop artists. He began by speaking of the female womb, telling the audience that the Holy Qur’an advises that we “reverence the womb that bore us”.

The Minister followed that beginning by saying that “the human brain is also a womb”.

He stated, “A man is what he eats, but what about the mind?” He answered his own question by saying, “Jesus said that “as a man thinketh, so he is”. He added that those who feed the mind shape the actions of others.

2001 Hip Hop summit The Minister said that the media was present at the summit because they knew that it was a world-shaking event. Because” all over the world the youth are being led by you”, he told the artists. He then asked , ” In Congress they want to pass a law to disturb your right to free speech. Why hasn’t the government stopped Hollywood? Why now pick on Eminem? Why now pick on you?”

The Minister then stated, “It’s not the lyrics, (they are concerned about). It is that you have taken away the children from their mothers and fathers.” And he added, that “every government has used young people to fight its wars”, making the point that Hip-Hop was actually interfering with the protocol of the world and the power of parents and government to control the masses of the world’s youth.

The Minister then spoke of how governments have always been interested in controlling the youth – desiring that they be able to be called upon to fight in wars. He then spoke of how in countries all over the world, in Africa and Europe, 10 and 11-year olds and teen agers were being taught how to make bombs and fight in war. But he added that all of the youth that are fighting and killing are unaware as to why they are doing such. He emphasized that the courage of young people was used to benefit others while they (the youth) were kept ignorant as to who and what purpose they were serving in fighting the war.

The Minister then added that the government was frightened because the U.S. was poised to go to war but has to deal with who controls the minds of the youth.

2001 Hip Hop summit back roomSensing that Hip-Hop has taken away the minds of the youth, the Minister argued that now some in government and society are asking the question, “How do we get our children back?”

The answer, the Minister explained, depended upon the destruction of Hip Hop beginning with its most prominent artists.

The Minister then articulated how much of the feuding and civil wars in Hip-Hop between prominent artists was orchestrated by the media and that the artists themselves, played right into the plan by making records that “dissed” other artists. But the Minister added that the conflict never remains between the two principals. Because Hip-Hop artists have fans and followers, their disagreements with each other result in groups of young people being opposed to one another.

And because of this fact the Minister challenged the artists “to accept responsibility that you have never accepted”, as leaders.

The Minister then spoke of the responsibility and consequences of words.

He said that America is a great country and unique in the world because “freedom of speech in the U.S. constitution is a guarantor” that wrong will be pointed out in society.

2001 Hip Hop SummitThe Minister then explained that part of the power in Hip-Hop is that the words are accompanied by music saying, “the beat in the song literally drives the word in.” The Minister then advised the artists that they should learn from his example.The Minister stated that he understands why artists feel they can not compromise the right to say whatever they feel but he cautioned that they should be aware of the consequences of their words.The Minister told the artists, that they should “learn the skill of words and how to use them in a way that gains universal respect…I have learned through years of pain that I can say things and say it in a way that doesn’t trigger a certain response”.

The Minister told the audience that Hip-Hop has brought Black and White together in a way that is frightening to some in power. He also spoke of Hip-Hop’s global implications, saying, “Rap has brought the children of the world to you: what will you do with your leadership?”

Minister Farrakhan told the artists that they were actually raising the world’s children – in the U.S., Iran, and China. And he stressed that because the church, mosque and school had failed, the children were in the street being raised by Hip-Hop and their peers.

The 68-year old Muslim leader said that Hip-Hop was actually in the middle of the transition of two worlds and that such a position required responsibility on the part of rappers. He said, “The freedom of speech is one thing but freedom is not license…carelessness is the right attitude to break from the old but not the right attitude to come into the new”

2001 Hip Hop summitBut the Minister, again, stressed that he was not there to rebuke young people and that he was following the example set by Jesus to “suffer the children…”

His comments were directed at some of the civil right sleaders who were present in the audience as well as those who were not present but who had dedicated a tremendous amount of energy to condemning Hip Hop.

The Minister said, “Children don’t need rebuke but to be shown the way to perfect what they are doing.”

The Minister then spoke of the account in the Bible and Holy Qur’an where the elders and magicians – the older leaders of the Children of Israel – actually helped Pharoah in his plan to spare the females of the Children of Israel while killing the male babies. He warned the older leaders that God did not bring but two “older” members of the Children of Israel into the promised land, with everyone else being twenty years old or younger.

2001 Hip Hop SummitThe Minister then returned his focus to the artists present, telling them that their fearlessness and courage is being used by the enemy to get them and their “followers” to kill one another.

He pointedly told the rappers that their association with weapons was counterproductive, and not the real source of their popularity. “Guns didn’t get you your power in China, Iran or Egypt, it was the word”, he said.

The Minister then turned his attention to the media and said that he knew that they were really there to see what he was going to do with his access to the Hip-Hop community. He commented that he knew that they were frightened by the relationship between he and the Hip-Hop community, recognizing its potential.

Speaking as if he were a reporter, he said, they want to know ” What is Farrakhan going to tell them?”

The Minister answered by saying that he had the following to tell the Hip Hop artists:

“I believe that you can change the reality of American life and racism – that you have the power to stop it.”

“I believe that 18-30 is the age group not registered to vote”

“I believe that wars can’t be prosecuted without the youth.”

2001 Hip Hop Summit He then asked the rappers, “Will you accept your responsibility as a leader of the youth?”

The Minister, still speaking to the artists said, “You have to digest a newspaper. Current events are what rap artists have to rap on. So here are some current events I want you to rap on…”

The Minister then turned the ballroom into a classroom and for the next 15 minutes verbally traveled the globe telling rappers what subjects he thinks they should focus on and weave into the creative works.

He began by advising them of the fulfillment of the vision of Nasser and Nkrumah through the OAU’s efforts to establish the “United States of Africa”.

He then spoke of how rap artists should speak on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians asking the audience, “What do you have to say about that? Are you ready to be a peacemaker?”

He then added, “Look at Black and Brown and how we are being pitted together (through the census and politics) and in prisons, we are against each other, being made to believe that we are enemies when we are natural allies. Can you rap about that?”

He then asked them, “What about DCFS snatching Black and Brown children sending them off away from their families… and where they end up going off to prison later?”

2001 Hip Hop Summit The Minister then asked the rappers of what they had to say about the drug trade being facilitated by a government that has satellites so powerful that they can see a grapefruit on the ground but can’t see whole convoys of drugs being brought into America and into the innercities.

He then asked them, “What do you have to say about the abuse of women?”

The Minister then told them that they should be aware of the fact that, “where there are no decent women, there are no decent men and women are the mothers of civilization”. He challenged them to influence society so that young boys and men will end up “admiring women instead of defiling them.”

Minister Farrakhan then went into a tactful but graphic elucidation of how the slang and cursing that many Hip-Hop artists have popularized is a reflection of the real condition of Black people, in its most negative sense.

The explanation he provided caused the entire audience to erupt in applause at various points.

2001 Hip Hop SummitHe began by saying that the curse word phrase with the initials “M.F.”, though depicting a filthy concept, accurately reflects the fact that many men have not fully grown up and have not accepted their responsibility. He said that is why men call women “ma” – a phrase that is very popular among rappers today. The result, at times, is that many men look to their girlfriends and wives as they looked to their mothers. And so women are forced to finish the raising of their boyfriends and husbands. The end result, the Minister said, for men, is that ” You are having sex with your other mother”. He told the women present that some men ” are looking for someone to finish the nurturing process”

The Minister then gently spoke of the hypocrisy of many who claim God at award shows and then join Satan in their musical creativity.

He then worked to prove his point by referring to Genesis Chapters 1 and 5 and Psalms 82 which clearly indicate that human beings are in the image and likeness of God and are, themselves, gods.

Minister Farrakhan then jumped back into Hip-Hip lingo, speaking of how rappers and youth greet one another with the phrase, “What’s up dog?” The Minister asked the question, “Why not what’s up god?” The Minister answered his own question, by saying, “Because a god will force you to respect god”. Several rappers, who are members of the 5% Nation of Islam and do in fact refer to one another as “god”, in the spirit of Psalms 82, literally jumped out of their seats when the Minister made that remark.

2001 Hip Hop SummitBut the largest applause were reserved for the Minister’s explanation of why artists use the word “bitch” in reference to women. The Minister said, “If ‘god’ has now become ‘dog’ then the woman has become a ‘bitch’. If you came from a ‘bitch’, then you are the son of a bitch”

The Minister followed that up by telling the rap artists that they don’t realize the devastating power of their words and that calling a woman a “bitch” denigrates their own mothers, grandmothers and aunts.

The Minister then skillfully used the 34th chapter of the book of Ezekiel to encourage the rappers, intellectuals and civil rights leaders present to consider themselves as shepherds and the consequences that they will face if they do not feed their flocks after they themselves have been fed by the flocks. The Minister said, that among other things, these verses were referring to people being fed the word of God. The Minister encouraged the artists, in particular, to use their words to grow the people up into the mind of God and into the fulfillment of their gifts.

The Minister then told the artists that they were obligated to do this and had in fact been fed and supported by their fans and followers. He told them that they have cars, private jets, jewelry and they have been able to move out of the projects where they grew up because the “little people gave it to you. You are their leaders…what are you going to do to show your appreciation?”

He then told them of the greatness of their power to transform human life. He spoke of his own experience with the most downtrodden of human beings, and the power of the word on human beings. He told the audience that his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, taught that light ravels from the sun to the earth at the rate of 186,000 miles per second and that it takes 500 seconds or 8 minutes and 20 seconds to strike the earth. He said blood travels from the heel of the human being to the head and back to the heel in 500 seconds. He said that the word of God is like light and when it enters into the heart of the human being, it causes a transformation. He said that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught him that within 500 seconds of delivering inspiration through words, just under ten minutes, the human being will begin to perk up.

2001 Hip Hop summitThe Minister related this teaching to his experience in speaking to prisoners on death row.

He gave an account of a recent trip that he took to a prison where he asked to speak to those who were scheduled to receive the death penalty. The Minister was taken to that section of the jail but was told that he would have to speak to them through the bars. The Minister refused and said that there was no way that he would speak to them through bars. He told the audience that he was warned not to enter this part of the prison and that his safety could not be guaranteed by the prison guards, if he went into that part of the jail and spoke to them after they had been let outside of their jail cells. The guard told Minister Farrakhan that if the Minister insisted on speaking to the death row inmates that he would come with him. The Minister told him that he did not need his protection. The audience laughed when the Minister relayed how the prison guard agreed to let the Minister go by himself and then told him that he would be nearby if the Minister needed him. Minister Farrakhan told the audience that he told the guard that that he wasn’t needed.

The Minister explained that he asked the men to get chairs and form a circle with him. They did. He said that there were 17 altogether – 14 Blacks, 2 Brown and 1 White death row inmate. The Minister said that within 10 minutes their countenance had totally changed, they were relaxed, smiling and that one of the inmates asked Minister Farrakhan if he could read him a poem that he had written. The Minister said that of course he welcomed such and the prisoner read his poem to Minister Farrakhan. The Minister said that the poem was one of the most beautiful he had heard.

After 10 minutes, the Minister said that he called the guard over to look at the group and asked him what did he see. Minster Farrakhan was making the point to the prison guard that buried deep in even these men was great beauty and warmth.

He then added that some of the most powerful and intelligent Black men are in prisons and some of the most powerful women on earth, right now, are prostitutes.

The Minister then, after recounting this story, stressed to the rappers that they have the power to transform human beings with their mouths. He told them that they are in the “word business” and that they have a loyalty and allegiance from their fans that is staggering. He said, “They dress like you, they walk like you, they talk like you, they even bling-bling like you.” Of course, the audience cracked up with laughter at the Minister’s reference to the obsession that some have with jewelry – the so-called “bling-bling” phenomenon.

The Minister then told the Hip-Hop artists, “I love you, but I am not satisfied. We can do better. I am here to encourage you to do better.” The Minister told them that he was not asking for” a radical change, but speak to the issues that enlighten”

He then challenged the rappers, again, to see if they could contribute, through their lyrics to a peaceful resolution to the race problem in America and the conflict in the Middle East. He told the audience that all conflict can be solved and he then spoke of the public disagreement between Russell Simmons and Conrad Muhammad. The Minister said that Conrad Muhammad loves his people and that he knows this because he (Conrad Muhammad) was a former student of his. But he stated that he did not think that it was appropriate that Mr. Muhammad had taken his disagreement with Russell Simmons before the media, which does not support either man or Hip Hop.

Minister Farrakhan then urged Russell Simmons and Conrad Muhammad to come together. He then added that he hoped that Conrad Muhammad, who he believed was not present, would get the tape of Minister Farrakhan’s address to the Hip Hop Summit.

Then, from the rear left corner of the audience came shouts of “He’s here!”

It turned out that although two days before on CNN’s Talk Back Live program, Conrad Muhammad had said that he was not invited and even told not to come to the summit; he in fact was in attendance for the Minister’s remarks.

The Minister was pleasantly surprised, acknowledged Conrad Muhammad’s presence and again, urged he and Russell Simmons to resolve their differences in private and then come out in unity before the media. Russell Simmons, from the stage, nodded his head in agreement, and Conrad Muhammad from the back of the ballroom, smiled, waved to Minister Farrakhan and nodded his head as well.

2001 Hip Hop summitThe Minister concluded his remarks by telling the artists, ” It is not enough to be a good rapper, your character has to be up under your rap”. He said that the real power of a human being was present in the power of character to generate trust and maintain it. The Minister said that people trust him and that some have entrusted him with many secrets and then turned on him, but that he has never divulged their secrets.

Minister Farrakhan then added that he hoped he would be able to visit Rev. Al Sharpton in prison and he added that what Rev. Sharpton did in protesting the Vieques bombing was so important in that it demonstrated unity between the Black and the Brown working together. He said that Rev. Sharpton should not be in jail for 90 days or even for 90 minutes.

The Minister then briefly touched on his efforts to help raise $1 billion dollars in an economic trust fund and he encouraged the artists to prepare for the day when they will not be making records. He encouraged them to save and invest their money and to not partake in excessive conspicuous consumption or “bling-blinging”.

After receiving a standing ovation, the Minister made some concluding remarks and after walking over to hug Queen Latifah, Minister Farrakhan encouraged unity among music executives like Kedar Massenberg, Russell Simmons, and Barry Hankerson, and also acknowledged the attendance of Sister Souljah, Stephanie Mills and Lennox Lewis.

Among those in attendance at the Minister’s keynote address were Hip-Hop opinion leader Davey D, writers Kevin Powell and Harry Allen, activists Viola Plummer and Ras Baraka, radio host Bob Law and Hip-Hop pioneers Kool Herc, Fab Five Freddy and D.J. Red Alert. Also present were Black intellectuals Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West as well as NAACP head Kweisi Mfume.


written by Cedric Muhammad

Friday, June 15, 2001


CynthiaMckinneyred-225Before Minister Farrakhan spoke there was a private gathering of artists and label executives.. During that gathering several members of congress addressed the body. Earl Hilliard, Benny Thompson and Cynthia McKinney.. Mckinney’s speech to the audience was passionate and penetrating.. She talked in detail about Cointel-Pro. For many in the room it was the first time they had ever heard about the FBI’s insidious program that impacted many of the freedom struggles.. McKinney talked about how Cointel-Pro was impacting artists today….



After Cynthia Mckinney a number of people spoke including Talib Kweli and Michael Eric Dyson who lit up the place.. We are including his address to the artists…

Just before Minister Farrakhan spoke in the big hall, Chuck D of Public Enemy spoke to the gathering of artists and executives.. In the room were executives from MTV as well Stephen Hill of BET.. Chuck went in on the role of media and the perception it leaves with folks around the world.. Many of the executives were left feeling very uncomfortable.. Here’s his blistering address…


Black History Month: Remembering Huey P Newton

Today February 17th 2011 is the birthday of Huey P Newton-co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense..Since its Black History month we figured it be good o give folks some insight on who Huey was and who the Panthers were.. Below are some clips that give some insight.. Here’s a bio on Huey…

image 1

Huey Newton, the youngest of seven children, was born in Monroe, on 17th February, 1942. His father, who named his son after the radical politcian, Huey P. Long, was an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP).

At Merritt College in Oakland, California, Newton met Bobby Seale and in 1966 they formed the Black Panther Party. Initially established to protect local communities from police brutality and racism, it eventually developed into a Marxist revolutionary group. The Black Panthers also ran medical clinics and provided free food to school children. Other important members included Stokely CarmichaelH. Rap BrownFred HamptonBobby Hutton andEldridge Cleaver.

The activities of the Black Panthers came to the attention of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Hoover described the Panthers as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and in November 1968 ordered the FBI to employ “hard-hitting counter-intelligence measures to cripple the Black Panthers”.

The Black Panthers had chapters in several major cities and had a membership of over 2,000. Harassed by the police, members became involved in several shoot-outs. This included an exchange of fire between Panthers and the police at Oakland on 28th October, 1967. Newton was wounded and while in hospital was charged with killing a police officer. The following year he was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

After being released from prison Newton renounced political violence. Over a six year period 24 Black Panthers had been killed in gun fights with the police. Another member, George Jackson, was killed while in San Quentin prison in August, 1971.

Newton now concentrated on socialist community programs including free breakfasts for children, free medical clinics and helping the homeless. The Panthers also became involved in conventional politics and in 1973 Bobby Seale ran for mayor of Oakland and came second out of nine candidates with 43,710 votes (40 per cent of votes cast).

Newton published his book, Revolutionary Suicide in 1973. The following year he was arrested and charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Released on bail, Newton fled to Cuba but in 1977 he returned to the United States and was freed after two hung juries.

Newton returned to his studies at the University of California and in 1980 he received a Ph.D. in social philosophy. His dissertation was entitled:War Against the Panthers: A Study in Repression in America. Huey Newton was shot dead on 22nd August, 1989, while walking along a street in Oakland.

courtesy of

Sarah Palin Offers Up Fake Ass Condolences and Apologies

Phony-ass Sarah Palin has blood on her hands

This is an example of what we call an Epic Failure… It’s Sarah Palin doing damage control for her image and political prospects disguised as an apology/ offer of condolences… It’s straight BS..even Stevie Wonder can see that.. Sadly Fox News and many who are part of the right-wing propaganda machine will run with this and try to make us forget that shooting victim Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford damn near begged Ms Palin to tone down her gun talk rhetoric. Palin refused.

They will try to make us forget that Palin has long exploited violent imagery as a way to convey a message that she is somehow rough, rugged and raw like the the pioneer frontiersman of her native home Alaska.We know better.

Sarah Palin is no different then the fake gangsta rapper who spins vicious tall tales of a lifestyle he never experienced.  Palin is the Bernie Madoff of political discourse..Phony to the fullest.

We want people to remember this and never forget that her reckless behavior caused 6 deaths and 14 to be injured. That’s her Scarlet letter.. Ms Palin needs to be reminded that true redemption comes when you cease to do wrong things, not issue a PR video. It comes when you condemn those in your camp who continue to practice the same hurtful behavior you once endorsed

Jeff Chang & Brian Komar:Culture Before Politics-Strong Advise for Progressives

Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang and Brian Komar of the Center For American Progress teamed up for this new piece in The American Prospect, “Culture Before Politics”, making the case that progressives need to build the infrastructure to support cultural strategy and cultural organizing.


Here’s an excerpt:

On Nov. 3, progressives awoke to find that they had returned to 2004. Despite important legislative victories, Democrats had been outflanked. Republicans had successfully sold themselves as the party of economic growth, the party of the angry out-of-work American, and, most dissonantly, the party of change. They owned the narrative and won big.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. In the dark days following George W. Bush’s re-election, frustrated progressives set out to build an enduring movement that would effectively advance and communicate their ideas, policies, and values. Funders and strategists created new institutions and scaled up existing ones, including think tanks, civic-engagement organizations, and media-watchdog groups. These institutions played a key role in the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress, the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, and the passage of parts of the Obama platform in 2009 and 2010.

Yet as progressives watched Democrats suffer the worst election loss since the Republican collapse of 1948, they seemed to be back where they started. Just as in 2004, many have blamed the losses on ineffective Democratic campaign messaging.

The problem, however, runs much deeper. Electoral and Beltway politics are episodic, short-term, and transactional. Movements, however, are long-term. “Public sentiment is everything,” Abraham Lincoln once said. “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.” In other words, movements must change hearts and minds in an enduring way. They must change the culture.

Culture is the space in our national consciousness filled by music, books, sports, movies, theater, visual arts, and media. It is the realm of ideas, images, and stories — the narrative in which we are immersed every day. It is where people make sense of the world, where ideas are introduced, values are inculcated, and emotions are attached to concrete change.

Cultural change is often the dress rehearsal for political change. Or put in another way, political change is the final manifestation of cultural shifts that have already occurred.

Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Major League Baseball debut preceded Brown v. Board of Education by seven years. Ellen DeGeneres’ coming-out on her TV sitcom preceded the first favorable court ruling on same-sex marriage by eight years. Until progressives make culture an integral and intentional part of their theory of change, they will not be able to compete effectively against conservatives…

Read the entire piece here.


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