Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Looking Back at Huey Newton’s Thoughts on Gay Rights…In the Wake of Obama’s Endorsement

I am re-blogging this speech by Black Panther co-founder and leader Huey Newton. I read this speech on hiphopandpolitics.com. It definitely provides a more insightful perspective of the Panther movement, intelligence and level of tolerance. It defies the thuggish caricature image most people have of the Panthers -- they were vastly more than angry black men with guns shouting Black Power. Read on:

This was a speech given August 15 1970 by Huey Newton co-founder of the Black Panther Party..here he addresses the issue of Gay Rights… Its serious food for thought coming in the aftermath of President Obama endorsing Same-sex Message…

During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some
uncertainty about how to relate to these movements.
Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about
homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals
and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed
groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.
I say ” whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know,
sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the
mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in
the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we
want to hit the women or shut her up because we are afraid that she
might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start
We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and
feelings for all oppressed people. We must not use the racist attitude
that the White racists use against our people because they are Black
and poor. Many times the poorest White person is the most racist
because he is afraid that he might lose something, or discover
something that he does not have. So you’re some kind of a threat to
him. This kind of psychology is in operation when we view oppressed
people and we are angry with them because of their particular kind of
behavior, or their particular kind of deviation from the established
Remember, we have not established a revolutionary value system; we are
only in the process of establishing it. I do not remember our ever
constituting any value that said that a revolutionary must say
offensive things towards homosexuals, or that a revolutionary should
make sure that women do not speak out about their own particular kind
of oppression. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite: we say
that we recognize the women’s right to be free. We have not said much
about the homosexual at all, but we must relate to the homosexual
movement because it is a real thing. And I know through reading, and
through my life experience and observations that homosexuals are not
given freedom and liberty by anyone in the society. They might be the
most oppresed people in the society.
And what made them homosexual? Perhaps it’s a phenomenon that I don’t
understand entirely. Some people say that it is the decadence of
capitalism. I don’t know if that is the case; I rather doubt it. But
whatever the case is, we know that homosexuality is a fact that
exists, and we must understand it in its purest form: that is, a
person should have the freedom to use his body in whatever way he
That is not endorsing things in homosexuality that we wouldn’t view as
revolutionary. But there is nothing to say that a homosexual cannot
also be a revolutionary. And maybe I’m now injecting some of my
prejudice by saying that “even a homosexual can be a revolutionary.”
Quite the contrary, maybe a homosexual could be the most
When we have revolutionary conferences, rallies, and demonstrations,
there should be full participation of the gay liberation movement and
the women’s liberation movement. Some groups might be more
revolutionary than others. We should not use the actions of a few to
say that they are all reactionary or counterrevolutionary, because
they are not.
We should deal with the factions just as we deal with any other group
or party that claims to be revolutionary. We should try to judge,
somehow, whether they are operating in a sincere revolutionary fashion
and from a really oppressed situation. (And we will grant that if they
are women they are probably oppressed.) If they do things that are
unrevolutionary or counterrevolutionary, then criticize that action.
If we feel that the group in spirit means to be revolutionary in
practice, but they make mistakes in interpretation of the
revolutionary philosophy, or they do not understand the dialectics of
the social forces in operation, we should criticize that and not
criticize them because they are women trying to be free. And the same
is true for homosexuals. We should never say a whole movement is
dishonest when in fact they are trying to be honest. They are just
making honest mistakes. Friends are allowed to make mistakes. The
enemy is not allowed to make mistakes because his whole existence is a
mistake, and we suffer from it. But the women’s liberation front and
gay liberation front are our friends, they are our potential allies,
and we need as many allies as possible.
We should be willing to discuss the insecurities that many people have
about homosexuality. When I say “insecurities,” I mean the fear that
they are some kind of threat to our manhood. I can understand this
fear. Because of the long conditioning process which builds insecurity
in the American male, homosexuality might produce certain hang-ups in
us. I have hang-ups myself about male homosexuality. But on the other
hand, I have no hang-up about female homosexuality. And that is a
phenomenon in itself. I think it is probably because male
homosexuality is a threat to me and female homosexuality is not.
We should be careful about using those terms that might turn our
friends off. The terms “faggot” and “punk” should be deleted from our
vocabulary, and especially we should not attach names normally
designed for homosexuals to men who are enemies of the people, such as
Nixon or Mitchell. Homosexuals are not enemies of the people.
We should try to form a working coalition with the gay liberation and
women’s liberation groups. We must always handle social forces in the
most appropriate manner.

Monday, May 14, 2012

NBA flopping enforcement: by Greg Gee with bharv

During last Sunday's Eastern Conference semifinal opener between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, NBA Commissioner David Stern was asked, by sideline Reporter Lisa Salters, on what he thought about Pacers coach Frank Vogel calling out the Miami Heat for their tendency to flop.

The flop: 
The "flop" is, of course, a somewhat subjective issue. It really boils down to a player in the NBA absorbing a small or moderate amount of physical contact and then having a reaction that would suggest the physical contact is far more intense and had far more impact than it really did. All of this is done in an effort to draw a foul. source

Stern accused Vogel of just trying to manipulate the refs but went on to say:

Former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel: Reagan would reject Tea Party politics

Tea Party folks often invoke Ronald Wilson Reagan as their political god. The Gipper is their Messiah.

And in these troubled times -- they are very troubled about the Obamas occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue-- they want another Great White Hope.

Only trouble is...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Corey Booker: Black politics, reinvented

Cory Booker’s failed 2002 campaign for mayor of Newark heralded a new type of black politician. Booker was an outsider with Ivy-league credentials who was trying to unseat a veteran urban politician who had made a name for himself during the civil rights movement. 

Like other “new black politicians,” Booker’s appeal granted him entry to the political world and helped him circumvent long-standing black democratic machines. But what does this process, which has been repeated everywhere from Washington to Alabama, tell us about our country’s changing attitude towards race — and politics?
In her new book, “The New Black Politician,” Andra Gillespie follows the career of Cory Booker, from his start as a lawyer and community organizer through his successful run for mayor and his reelection, in order to illustrate what separates the new generation of black politicians from other black leaders before them. These new black politicians seek to create the same multicultural coalition that propelled Barack Obama to the presidency, but many lose their black support and fade from the political scene.
Salon spoke with Gillespie about racial electability, Cory Booker’s senate prospects, and what black politicians have in common with Will Smith and Tyler Perry. Read more