Uniting a Divided Nation

Not too long ago, Dick and I joined our local Unitarian Universalist Church, Neighborhood Church in Pasadena. Shortly after we started attending, the church contacted us about a potluck dinner they were having for the congregation’s “people of color.” Being a newcomer to the church, I tried my best to be gracious as I inquired [...]

Blind to Racism. . .part I

Black Girl

Blind to Racism is a series that tells of incidents you won’t hear about in the media or history books. These are the types of incidents, frequently experienced by people of color, that inform them of the progress the country is or isn’t making on the racial divide.

Census Nonsense

Witnessing the Bush administration’s politicalization of the nation’s governmental agencies, it would be a surprise to learn that the United States Census Bureau (CB) had escaped the political correctness-du-jour, especially in light of it’s history.

Protestors Dog Pelosi on Her LA Book Tour at American Jewish University

Nancy Pelosi thanked her host, American Jewish University, proclaimed her support for Israel as a Jewish state, and then talked about the importance of women owning their power – this from the woman who upon assuming her role as Speaker of the House declared impeachment off the table, thus immediately surrendering her power to hold [...]

Can’t Stand Out to be Counted

Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau, now metaphorically, comes knocking on our doors. But when the census surveys arrive in 2010 in married households of same-sex couples in Massachusetts, we will be reclassified as either unmarried or as same-sex partners if it’s a childless household, and single-parent families if we have children.

Apology For Slavery: How Convenient, But What Does It Really Mean?

The U.S. House of Representatives issued an apology for slavery last week. Something some people have waited for some 10 lifetimes, something others thought would never happen, what was once a significant event that would lead to progress in Racial Americana went largely under-reported.

The Bradley Effect

Since Obama’s presidential aspirations are beginning to look like they have the possibility of becoming reality, we’re hearing a term in political parlance that we haven’t heard for quite some time. The term I’m referring to is the “Bradley Effect”. I first heard mention of this phenomenon sometime in January 2008 during the Democratic Presidential [...]

Barack Obama Supports “Equality for All”

Barack Obama has spoken out against Proposition 8, the proposed California constitutional amendment which takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry. In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Democratic Club in San Francisco, Barack said: “I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in [...]

“Black Is Back” in America

The Presidency aspirations of Barack Obama have caused a renewed discussion on race in America. The prospect of a black President has cast America in a different light throughout the world — as demonstrated by Obama’s highly successful trip to the Middle East and Europe last week.

Does Christian Fundamentalism Endanger Our Republic?

Credo quia absurdum. The sentence “The most important single element in the history of Western civilization was Christianity” opens the second chapter of Robert Hoyt’s classic textbook Europe in the Middle Ages.

None of Nunn

Sam Nunn

I’ve heard that former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn is on a list of potential Democratic Vice Presidential candidates. In fact, Barack took Sam along on a recent political sojourn to Indiana.

The First Black President

President Harding

by John MacMurray – For most Progressives, the idea that the Republican Party got out in front of us on a major social issue is both galling, and difficult to believe.

War on Drugs: What Won’t Work — Again

Smoking Liberty

by Hal Brands — On June 30, President Bush signed into law an initiative called Plan Merida, a $465-million program designed to help Mexico deal with the unchecked drug trafficking and violence that have recently turned much of the U.S.-Mexican border into a war zone.

New Book Details Potential Destruction of Legal Education for Minorities

The Gathering Peasants Revolt in American Legal Education

The Gathering Peasants Revolt In Legal Education was inspired by an unusual fact: For the first time, a large number of law deans, law professors, practicing lawyers, and associations of lawyers recently spoke out publicly against the law school accrediting arm of the American Bar Association. In speaking out, they have for the first time [...]

How Do You Spell Oppression?

carl matthes

Even today, my SpellCheck tells me to change “UGLA” to “ugly.” And, it used to be worse! Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s first acronym was “UGA,” Uptown Gay Alliance. (SpellCheck’s suggestion? “ugh.”) Well, what can you do? Lesbian activist Saundra Tignor brought the “L” word to the table in 1985, two years after Bobby Brown’s [...]

The New Yorker Lampooning of Barack Obama Insults Muslims

New Yorker cover

The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” is not so evident on last week’s New Yorker cover and its satirical lampooning of presidential hopeful Barack Obama which it shows robed in Muslim garb fist-bumping his Angela Davis afro-wearing, machine-gun toting wife Michelle.

The Defiant Gesture 40 Years Later

Olympics

On Friday, the Olympics unveiled the official posters of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games set to begin at the end of July. The artists did a beautiful job. The posters are available for all to see on the official Beijing Olympic website, posted right beneath the official Olympic slogan “One World One Dream.” [...]

What’s Up with the Democratic Congress?

by Jack A. Smith — During the month of June the Democratic-controlled Congress in the U.S. voted to fund the Iraq war deep into next year, to support a compromise version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that endangers civil liberties, and, in effect, eliminated the possibility of impeaching President George W. Bush.

Come On, Jesse: Don’t Hate The Playa, Hate The Game!

Lynching in America

Jesse Jackson, Sr.’s “live mike” comments about Barack Obama remind us that there’s always someone laying in the cut to divide and conquer Black America. For once, Black America seems to be all on the same page in Obama’s quest to become the nation’s (real) first black President.

Obama, Black Voters and the Myth of Reverse Racism

Senior Citizens

omehow I knew it would happen. In fact, I had even made a note to myself, indicating how long I thought it might take: twenty-four hours was my guesstimate, in case you’re interested. Turns out I was overly optimistic, because it only took about nine hours from the time that my latest essay hit cyberspace–a [...]

Why Service Workers Are On Strike at University of California Campuses and Medical Centers

State Senator Leland Yee

Over 8,500 service workers represented by AFSCME Local 3299 began striking at ten UC campuses and five medical centers yesterday. They have been negotiating for almost a year for a fair contract, but have remained deadlocked for months. An overwhelming 97.5 percent of the workers authorized a strike in May. These workers do everything from [...]

Dignity – A Unifying Value for the Democratic Party

Cutout dolls

Democrats acknowledge the need to clarify their core values. Crashing the Gate by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulistas Zuniga calls for a conceptual breakthrough, but the grassroots/netroots process it describes falls short of providing the unifying idea that Democrats seek.

Jesse and Joe

Jesse Helms

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill, last night, Alive as you and me. Says I “But Joe you’re ten years dead.” “I never died says he.” This old song popped into my head while I was reading a rightwing blogger’s paean to Jesse Helms. The blogger praised Helms as a “heroic warrior for conservative values.” [...]

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Does Obama’s Turn to the Right Leave Out Poor LGBTQ Americans?

Obama Family

The Senate’s most left leaning member, presidential hopeful Barack Obama, is now turning to the right. And the turn, he’s finding out, is not as easy as calculated.

Racism, Sexism and the Deceptive Social Science of the Far Right

black woman

hroughout the course of the Democratic presidential primaries, many have asked which is the bigger societal problem in the United States: racism or sexism? Although the question itself is absurd–the two are often interrelated, after all, and comparing systems of oppression is typically neither intellectually nor ethically very productive–there is little question that both remain [...]

How Obama Might Change the Politics of Race in Unexpected Ways

James Cobb

I share Congressman John Lewis’s belief that Barack Obama’s selection as the Democratic standard bearer is a powerful reason to believe we are “in the process of laying down the burden of race.”

Occassionally, We Get Feedback

Barack Obama

I love doing surveys and polls. We put questions out on the Web, people answer, we post their responses. It’s a pretty simple process. But this simple process yields a big payoff. It results in us hearing from you. For me, getting your reponse is what makes the survey process rewarding. Everyday, Dick and I [...]

Will A Black President Dispel the Need For Diversity?

Racism

The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States will be viewed by many as accomplishing racial diversity’s last frontier. The politics of diversity carries a heavy stigma, particularly in the post-affirmative action era.

Can Gun-Toting Solve Gay-Bashing?

Bullets Magazine

n a 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun for personal use. While the debate will continue to go on about whether the Second Amendment really means that American citizens only have the right to bear arms in connection with service in a well-regulated [...]

Uh-Obama: Racism, White Voters and the Myth of Color-Blindness

Tim Wise

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write, at least not as soon as I am now compelled to write it: It may well be the case that the United States is on its way to electing a person of color as President. Make no mistake, I realize the way that any number of factors, [...]

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