Insight News

Saturday
Nov 01st

Commentary

Celebrate the diva

A few weeks ago, hardly anyone had ever heard of Shirley Sherrod.  Now, across America hers' is a household name.  Americans not only know who Sherrod is, they already had an opinion about her based on what they've been told about her being a Black federal employee who used her position to discriminate against Whites. Race-baiters framed the issue as Black racist ranting, but the episode provided President Obama and Americans an opportunity to discuss whether race should still play a role in federal and state policy and politics.

In the end, will it just became a case of ‘a job lost, and a job regained’ or can more be done to discuss ways to eliminate the racial disparities that exist in the country?  Irony upon irony, the US Department of Agriculture from which Sherrod was fired for appearing to discriminate, has been the epitome of institutional racism for decades.  Because of America’s agricultural past there is a legacy of institutional racism at USDA.  When Tom Vilsack took over as Secretary, he’d vowed to rectify the USDA’s history of discrimination claims.  The Sherrod case now undergirds Vilsack’s case before the US Senate for funding of a $1.15 billion owed to thousands of African American farmers.  In the settlement Vilsack seeks, the USDA admits bias practices against Black farmers between 1983 and 1997. The case not only shows USDA’s decades-long unfair treatment of African Americans when deciding how to allocate farm loans and disaster payments, but intransigent in settling.
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What to do about racism?

Earlier this year, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People passed leadership to what they are calling “the next generation of civil and human rights activists”.    Forty-four year old Roslyn M. Brock is now Chairman of the venerable organization and 39 year-old Benjamin Todd Jealous is CEO.  So, many are wondering what was in their minds when they allowed a resolution during their conference in Kansas City, Mo. calling on Tea Party activists to "repudiate the racist element and activities" within the political movement.  Their reports alleged that the Tea Party has used racial epithets against President Barack Obama and verbally and physically abused African-American members of Congress.  The resolution’s actual language will remain secret until it is approved later this year by the national board.
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Clarity and the New Black Panther Party

In its coverage of the Philadelphia voter intimidation case, conservative media has unfortunately chosen sensationalism over clarity. There are layers to this case to be explored that might highlight the idealism of the right and expose the pessimism of the left.  Unfortunately, those layers of exploration are not as sexy as the continuous video loop depicting New Black Panther Party member King Samir Shabazz screaming about killing crackers.

The vast majority of black people respond to such rants this way:  “That brother is crazy!”  Indeed, to see the video of Samir suggesting that black liberation can be had only through the murder of white babies is to witness a man in the throes of mental illness.
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Letter to the editor

I am writing about the article in the June 28-July 4th edition entitled Bicycle Apartheid Nice Ride (if you can get it).

First of all the title Bicycle Apartheid is a very strong title/statement. Perhaps Insight News wanted to get readers’ attention. In the article you state that the bicycles are available in Downtown and Uptown. We know people of color live in those communities and have easier access to use the bikes in the Nice Ride Program.
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What about "buying Black"?

In The Souls of Black Folk W.E.B. DuBois’ vision was that by incorporating into White industry Negroes could build an economic foun¬dation by becoming skilled workers through industrial educa¬tion and from their ranks small capitalists could rise.

There is a movement of note to boost Black economic development.  The current interest group started when one suburban, professional couple took a stand to live off Black businesses for one year.  In early 2009, Maggie and John Anderson an upper-middle-class African-American couple, who live in Oak Park, Illinois, made a vow to only patronize Black-owned businesses.
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Letter to the editor: Transit for livable communities

We are writing in response to your June 25 article about the launch of the Nice Ride bicycle sharing program. Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities, administers the Minneapolis location of a federal non-motorized transportation pilot program to increase bicycling and walking and decrease driving. One of our strategic funding goals is to address cultural and economic gaps and improve access for underserved communities. We will continue to work with stakeholders and partners—including Nice Ride—to expand the network for bicycling, walking, and access to transit for a wide variety of users.
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Will Dudus sing?

Christopher “Dudus” Coke is a man worth watching.  Coke is a Kingston, Jamaica resident who caused a state of emergency and got the leader of the country’s ruling party to put his political career and reputation on the line to keep him out of American courts.  The arrest of Christopher Coke was an urban spectacle, and his trial has the potential to revel a lot about American and Jamaican officials’ drug trade dealings.  If Coke sings much may be told about Jamaican and American officials’ involvement in illegal activities from the Caribbean to North America to England.

The case is an example of the “strong arm” of the United States government and its practices in the drug trade.  The US justice department had the alleged leader of the notorious Shower Posse gang on a "world's most dangerous" list, while a former Jamaican national security minister describes him as “probably the country’s most powerful man”.  The role and record of “Dudus” is result of alliances between U.S. imperialism and the predominately-Black island’s governing bourgeoisie.  Coke gained his mythical status as a linkage between Jamaica’s working class elements and the political ruling class elite that comprises the: Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP).
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