Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Open Letter from CODEPINK'S Medea Benjamin

Dear Ben,

As Congress reconvenes today, CODEPINK is not wasting any time. We will be in the office of Speaker John Boenher with a simple message: The best way to cut the deficit is to end the wars and bring our war dollars home. Please call 202-224-3121 and email your rep with the same message NOW!

The number one issue on the minds of the American people and this new Congress is our ailing economy. Everywhere one hears calls-particularly from the Tea Party-for slashing government spending.

But where should that money come? Not from social security, Medicare and programs shielding people from the ravages of the economic crisis. The only logical sector to cut is the military budget.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-and the expanding attacks in Pakistan -- helped plunge us into this financial crisis and have not made us any safer at home. The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War COMBINED. The United States also spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined, plus we maintain troops at more than 800 bases around the world-often antagonizing the local people and making us targets for terrorist attacks.

We can't afford these wars. We can't afford the bases sprawled all over the world. We can't afford the bloated military budget. It's critical for you to send a message to your congressperson-ASAP. Call 202-224-3121 or email. Tell your rep that it's time to bring our war dollars home.

Thank you for helping bring peace, justice and sanity to 2011!
Janet, Jean, Joan, Jodie, Kristen, Lisa, Farida, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tighe

The Vick Discussion

As many bloggers do, I post my blog to many other web sites in order to maximize my audience. To date, my blog post on Tucker Carlson of FOX News calling for the execution of Mike Vick has sparked a heated discussion on multi fronts. I decided to present a few comments that appeared in Michael Baisden's Mingle City website.

Comment by Basketball Coach
I love dogs ... and I have no hatred towards Mike Vick. Unfortunately we still live in a society where "Blacks" are seen as less than dogs and it is shown by all the ill feelings toward Mike in the media and by animal activists. Dog fighting is common in America and yet it wasn't a major concern until a prominant Black athlete brought dog fighting to the limelight and yet other Black athletes who commit "real" crimes are no more frowned upon than a person stealing a cookie from the cookie jar. Nobody cares about Plaxico Burress or Adam Jones' issues with the law... Is it because they are less admired than Mike Vick ? or is it that its just them doing damage to their own ? I say "both" and Mike paid his dues. Whatever happened to the president of PETA when she left her dog in the car to suffocate ? ? ? ...Just something to think about FOX NEWS..

Comment by Ronald L. Salter
The news media will report on whatever is a hot topic. They can't report all of the news. I don't agree with Basketball Coache's assertion that black folks are seen as less than "dogs". The reality is that black folks treat each other worse than dogs, and then blame it on other people. There are more than eight thousand murders of black men by other other men yearly. So we need to tend to taking care of our own people.

Micheal Vick has redeemed himself. Who gives a hoot what Tucker Carlson thinks? He got kicked off of MSNBC for being such a fool. Why do black folks listen to anything that is said on Fox news anyway? They are a propaganda machine for the Republican party. Carlson relented on the statement and said that he is against capital punishment for anyone. But then again, it still doesn't matter what he says.

There are still people who dispise Sarah Palin and Cheney, as well as other hunters. When I saw Palin shoot that innocent deer. I cringed. Just like her. That animal has children. And they might have been near by watching their parent get slaughtered. It is unbelievable that they would show that on TV. It should be against the FCC rules.

Animal lovers are not racist. They consist of people from all races and they have protected animals against celebrities wearing mink coats etc. They have also protested other forms of aggression against the animal kingdom. So, lets not demean what they do, by calling them racist. They will also stand and take a bullet for a black person.

As for me, I see Micheal Vick as being a crazy young person who went too far. But there is a difference between animal cruelty and human abuse. Most laws are designed to protect humans.

Comment by Q
Ronald, we have to be vigilant in understanding how the press depict and distort our image to the world. The point in The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. Du Bois is that we possess two natures that are in conflict with each other -one American/white and one African/black. The self-hate and self-loathing that leads to self-inflected violence and self-worthlessness is taught by mainstream culture and internalized by us.

We have to challenge these attacks whenever they arrise, as well as, take personal responsibility for our actions. It's not one or the other in the battle of taking care of our own. I can not emphasize this enough, we can not allow the dehumanization of black folks to occur in any medium - and yes, even out our own mouths, journals, press. music, video, church, school etc.

My brother, I don't have to remind you, unchecked propaganda machines (think Germany and Rwanda) are dangerous. FOX NEWS can not be allowed to report or present slander, distortions, lies without no one to challenge them. Their poison infect the minds of millions and pollutes the atmosphere of race, class, ethnic discussion.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I have been struggling to identify personal and meaningful New Year's resolutions (not due to a lack of personal need) this year. My struggle has been in trying to honestly access my emotional, physical and spiritual status and develop a corresponding action plan.

Scratch all that, after reading Steve McSwain's article in the Huffington Post, the struggle ended.

I will practice meditation every day.

I will be one with all that is.

I will practice forgiveness, starting with myself.

I will be kind, even when the impulse is to be right.

I will judge or criticize no one, not even myself

I will practice presence.

I will be thankful for everything.