As to the condescend
One reason why there is a Black History Month, we think, is to inspire unity among people, by lifting up the accomplishments of African descendants in our country. This is a noble effort, but we have to move beyond trying to elevate people to peer level and instead build solidarity with all.
"Solidarity requires that we rethink “privilege.” At present, white anti-racism demands intense examinations of and attempts to correct for privilege. To build solidarity, we must shift away from this practice and toward a demand for universal rights. As long as anti-racist white people remain fixated on privilege at the expense of all else, we remain divided from black people and relegated to the role of, at best, helpful allies. If we can shift to a universal-rights framework, we recast ourselves as all on the same team."
Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, points out some interesting information about Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court ruling to desegregate public schools. She says, "During Black History Month, I think it's useful to revisit what we think we know about black history. This excellent podcast episode (hosted by Malcolm Gladwell) challenges conventional wisdom about Brown v. Board of Education, revealing that the arguments made by the lawyers did... not actually reflect the views of the plaintiffs. It also points out some of the disastrous consequences of that Supreme Court decision for black students, most notably the systematic firing of black teachers -- thousands lost their jobs. Research shows that black students have significantly better test scores and academic outcomes -- and are more likely to be labeled gifted -- if they are taught by black teachers. Perhaps nothing did more to reduce the chances of black students having black teachers than Brown v. Board. This part of our racial history shouldn't be sanitized or romanticized as we reflect on those moments that we've been taught to view as victories."
This is a fascinating story of Black American anti-fascist mobilization in Ethiopia and Spain. Can't miss this!
The issues of water use and sustainability should be front and center for all Greens. Join us in boycotting Constellation Brand beers (http://www.cbrands.com/our-brands/beer).
There is no reason why we can't drink locally in this nerve center of craft brews. May we suggest employee-owned Left Hand Brewing Company of Longmont?
The Mexican government has been massively repressing local protestors as they fight to keep beer giant Corona from stealing the water from their land.
This is no time to be stigmatizing mental "illness," when really what we need is a national health care system to support therapy, as well as properly-funded schools with wraparound services.
This is an excellent and entertaining run-down of the impact of Black leftists on the labor movement and the odds they faced. Hollywood doesn't accurately portray the real look of the labor movement.
This is an important dialog within the Black community that you should know about, regarding AAVE ("Ebonics") and its legitimacy as a dialect. It's called code switching, and students of color do it all the time.
It needs to be pointed out that English is a mish-mash of Saxon, French and Latin. It also was a pidgin language. "Classy" is a capitalist concept, anyway.
Thanks for this heads up, Nancy York!
Best news today!!!
“A federal district judge on Wednesday concluded that part of last year’s voter-approved Amendment 71 — which makes it harder to change the state constitution via ballot initiative — violates the U.S. Constitution.”
Now changed - "Amendment 71, dubbed “Raise the Bar” by supporters, lifts the threshold for passage of constitutional amendments to 55 percent of the vote. And, to get on the ballot, measures now need signatures from 2 percent of registered voters in all 35 state Senate districts." Denver Post
However, Judge William J. Martinez’s order stops short of striking the amendment down but pledges to block a significant part of it from being enacted unless Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams can convince him otherwise by March 9th.
Cross your fingers...
When government clearly does not serve ALL the people, the people must do for themselves. Here's a list of the programs started by the Black Panther Party: http://web.stanford.edu/group/blackpanthers/programs.shtml
"The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face."
The Combahee River Collective statement was a groundbreaking document in the development of feminism and is an underpinning of our organizing strategy of intersectionality. It's a must-have for any leftist organizing toolbox.
Read more here: https://combaheerivercollective.weebly.com/
Robert Smalls: definitely a bad-ass moment in Black history!
"Expropriating" from our comrades at Denver Socialists - ISO, because the point of Black History Month is supposedly to deal with the racism that causes the need for focusing on Black contributions.
“Racism is not a by-product of capitalism. What comrades want to say when they say this is that, at least in the US, capitalism and racism go hand-in-hand. The one necessitates the other. The problem with thinking about this necessitation on the model of a thing and its by-product... is that a by-product has no function, does no work in the process of which it is a by-product. If I'm sawing a board because I'm building a house, then necessarily I'm going to make some sawdust. But in this scenario, the product of my labor is a house and the sawdust is a by-product. To call sawdust a by-product is to say that it is an incidental side effect whose production serves no purpose in house-building.
Racism is not the sawdust of American capital. It is the saw. It is a tool in the hand of the ruling class and, unlike a by-product, it has a definite function. Its function is to divide the working class. And we, for our part, we need to resist being so divided. And so we need to stop that tool from being used against us.
So understood, the politics of solidarity is not some hippie fantasy based on a naive idea that we can all just get along and there are no real racial divisions in this country. It's based not on a warm feeling, but on a sober analysis of our situation and on a shrewd calculation about what it would take to change it.”
From this important talk:
More on this theme of the disconnect in the feminist movement...the fact that some feminists were willing to prioritize "women's rights" over "civil rights" created enough of a rift that Black feminists had to speak out. As a state party, we embrace the use of "intersectionality" to organize and unify in solidarity with one another. We are grateful for the great Black woman thinkers that have blazed this trail for us all.