Monday, November 24, 2014

Chidike Okeem - Do Mainstream Conservatives Support Police Brutality?

The conservative writer takes on what he sees as an indifferent attitude within mainstream conservatism when it comes to police brutality in urban and minority communities.

"One of the principal talking points that is enduringly trotted out by the mainstream conservative movement is that police brutality is not the primary cause of black problems in America. We hear this talking point dutifully repeated by right-wing mouthpieces whenever a story of police brutality against a black male hits the news cycle. However, this talking point is an utterly meaningless straw man that solely exists for conservatives to avoid holding disreputable police officers accountable for their wanton displays of violence against black American citizens. The notion that a negative action has to be theprimary cause of trouble in a community in order for it to be a serious issue worthy of being addressed is perfectly illogical.
Mainstream conservatives know that if they are forced to address police brutality as an issue, they are going to have to concede some points on stop-on-frisk, which artificially and dangerously elevates thenumber of encounters between black men and police officers—and undoubtedly heightens the likelihood of police brutality occurring. Curiously, mainstream conservatives who loquaciously preach about their devotion to small government also enthusiastically protect the big-government fraud that is stop-and-frisk—a policy that is as unconstitutional as it is inefficacious.
It is almost a vocation for many mainstream conservatives to pretend as though every instance ofracism-induced violence is a figment of the hyper-stimulated imaginations of black Americans. This is especially true whenever it is a police officer accused of violent wrongdoing. When one believes that racism does not exist (except when one can conveniently accuse liberals of it), it becomes a chore to ensure that every race-related case is proven to be another Tawana Brawley” playing out on the national stage. It is this kind of mindset that leads mainstream conservatives to respond with theinappropriately crass rejoinder, “Police brutality isn’t the primary problem blacks face!” when people are discussing the very real issue of police brutality and extrajudicial killing of black men in the streets of American cities."

Dr. Oliver McGee - World's Wealthiest Worth Two-Times U.S. Economy

As Darwinian stalwarts of social capital, the world's cohort of wealthiest individuals has increased substantially in 2014. Defined as persons possessing more than US$30 million in net assets, the world's population of ultra-high net-worth individuals has grown by 7%. These wealth owners control total assets of US$29.725 trillion in 2014. This is nearly twice the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States, the world’s largest economy.
Earliest interest in the Italian Domitii monopoly of brickyards, who rebuilt Nero's Rome after the Great Fire of A.D. 64, has always focused people's attention on societal wealth and influence through Shakespeare's dramatic frolicking of Elizabethean England with stories of King Lear's daughters and royal succession tribulations.
Today, a growing upward trend in the ultra-high wealth population inspires millions to strive for extraordinary excellence in career and lifestyles. Such virtues have become more culturally mainstream globally nowadays, mainly through business historical stalwarts as Japan's Kikkoman, Europe's Hermes and Rothschilds, and America's Carnegie, Morgan, DuPonts, Rockefellers and Fords, according to William T. O'Hara's Centuries of Success.
Record high numbers of ultra-high net-worth individuals of success has emerged in 2014, a 6% jump from 2013, according to the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2014, released on November 19. The Wealth-X/UBS findings identified 12,040 new ultra-high net-worth (UHNW) wealth owners in 2014 for a historical high of 211,275 such individuals. Forecasts show the global UHNW population will reach 250,000 individuals in the next five years.

Charter Schools: 5 Myths in 7 Minutes

Charter school opponents often rely on falsehoods to artificially tarnish the sector, exaggerate the prevalence of the few "bad apples" and limit the ability of parents to have more choices. Here are some of those myths, courtesy of charter school leaders in Philadelphia.


Thomas Sowell - De Blasio’s War on Achievement

New York City’s mayor is on a crusade to solve an educational problem that doesn’t exist.

New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves “progressive,” is gung-ho to solve social problems. In fact, he is currently on a crusade to solve an educational problem that doesn’t exist, even though there are plenty of other educational problems that definitely do exist.

The non-existent problem is the use of tests to determine who gets admitted to the city’s three most outstanding public high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech. These admissions tests have been used for generations, and the students in these schools have had spectacular achievements for generations.

Read complete article here

John H. McWhorter - Marion Barry Could Have Been a Great Mayor in Any Other American City

Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. was an American politician who served as the second elected Mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991, and again as the fourth Mayor from 1995 to 1999

By Sunday afternoon, ten thousand people had signed a petition on shaming TMZ for emblazoning the death of Marion Barry as “Crack Mayor Dead.” Fair: In terms of public figures, Barry was hardly unique in his substance abuse or philandering. Mayor Jimmy Walker was a near-alcoholic with a string of mistresses, all common knowledge. Nelson Rockefeller’s sex life was an open secret among many (he died in the company of a mistress). Yet neither man’s legacy has been judged on their randier aspects.

 And although Barry had his thuggish moments in his earlier days, like many of his, shall we say, comrades, Barry in that period was infused with a sincere Marxist intention—sincere as in adopting the middle name Shepilov, after a Soviet pamphleteer. Violence against the powers that be, including transparent race-baiting in political negotiations, was seen as a necessary step towards liberation. Only presentism can label this as sheer barbarism.

Read complete article here

Simon & Garfunkel - America

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Asian Americans give new face to county GOP

(Left to Right) Young Kim, Michelle Steel, Janet Nguyen and Ling-Ling Chang at a dinner gathering. Photo courtesy of Shawn Steel / Voice of OC

Five high-profile Asian women -- all Republicans -- dominated Orange County races Tuesday night, with three candidates elected to state office and two to the county Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Janet Nguyen, whose family fled Vietnam as refugees, won a seat in the State Senate.

Former Congressional aide Young Kim, a South Korean immigrant, and Diamond Bar councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang, a Taiwanese American, were both elected to the State Assembly. Korean-born Board of Equalization member Michelle Park Steel and Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett, a Japanese-American, also won seats on the Board of Supervisors. 

In Orange County and nationwide, party leaders are co-opting Democrats’ strategy of identity politics with hopes of changing perceptions of the GOP as anti-immigrant and unwelcoming to women and minority voters.

Read complete article here

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chidike Okeem - Black Conservatism and Illegal Immigration

From Change The Game:

While it is indisputably accurate for a conservative to believe in the rule of law and oppose illegal immigration, black conservatives must avoid being cajoled into becoming tools used to promote ethnic conflict between black Americans and Hispanic immigrants. Hispanic immigration, whether legal or illegal, should not be a key issue for black conservatives. The fact that some on the black right think it is wise to make black and Hispanic progress a zero-sum game is merely evidence of the addiction that many black conservatives have to mindlessly repeating the talking points of mainstream conservatism.

Read more »

The Racist Origins of Felon Disenfranchisement

Efforts to reform Alabama's law disenfranchising people convicted of felonies have failed in the past decade. CreditRob Carr/Associated Press

The New York Times:

The history of disenfranchisement was laid out in a fascinating 2003 study by Angela Behrens, Christopher Uggen and Jeff Manza. They found that state felony bans exploded in number during the late 1860s and 1870s, particularly in the wake of the Fifteenth Amendment, which ostensibly guaranteed black Americans the right to vote.

They also found that the larger the state’s black population, the more likely the state was to pass the most stringent laws that permanently denied people convicted of crimes the right to vote.

These bans were subsequently strengthened as the Jim Crow era began to take hold.

Read complete article here

Tamara Chabe: America’s first black Republican Congresswoman gets one thing. People flee communism never capitalism

British black conservative Tamara Chabe responds to a recent attack on Mia Love:

"Darron T. Smith wrote a disparaging article in the Huffington Post about Mia Love, who won in Utah and became the first black female Republican to be voted into Congress.

In his article entitled ‘She Looks Black, but Her Politics Are Red: What Mia Love's Victory Means for the Face of the GOP’, Smith, who is a black male professor, argues that Mia Love is out of touch with the realities of the struggles faced by black people in America; she benefits from ‘white privilege’; and her success is a dangerous development. He wrote the following:

"Black Americans are the only racial group that votes in a bloc and, arguably, the only group to vote their political interests. But Mia Love, viewing herself and others through the prism of individualism, strays from the political stances that would benefit the black community as a whole, which is why a political figure like her is so compelling.

"Mia and others like her are seemingly out of touch with the political realities of African Americans and what remains at stake for them."

Smith’s attacks against Mia are astonishing and outrageous. He seems to be suggesting that somehow, centre-right/socially conservative/libertarian ideas of limited government and personal responsibility are incompatible with being black, and that by furthering those ideals Mia is acting against the interests of blacks and furthering a white agenda."

Read more »

First Reads

School Choice Emerging as a Go-To Issue for African American Voters | The Chicago Defender

House Republicans have selected white men to chair all but one of their standing committees next year

Can 1,000 smartphones make a difference in the fight against Ebola? Or just make us feel better?

Grades, before test scores, hold secret to success - Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Tamara Chabe: America’s first black Republican Congresswoman gets one thing. People flee communism never capitalism

I'm a Liberal Democrat. I'm Voting for Rand Paul in 2016. Here Is Why. 

What if the FBI had succeeded in exposing Martin Luther King Jr.?

Boko Haram seizes Chibok, hometown of kidnapped schoolgirls

The new lexicon: Liberals latest dance craze - Grubering the American people | via

Did Russia launch a space weapon?

A messy desk encourages a creative mind, psych study finds

Montel Williams - Dear Ferguson‬

This article originally appeared on Montel William's Facebook page: 

Ferguson‬ as you await the Grand Jury's decision, I wanted to share some thoughts - this is one of those posts you actually need to read all the way through before reacting to, and react to it on the whole, not on one small part.

First, the indisputable truth is that ‪‎MikeBrown‬ 's death was tragic. In my view, the death of anyone that young at the hands of law enforcement, or otherwise as the result of a gun is tragic, and an all too familiar occurrence in Today's society.

Given that, I think we need to all take a step back - I think the level of frenzied hyperbole going around on social media and on Cable News is troubling - there is too much hype about yet-to-happen chaos - asking for trouble sometimes brings trouble.

That said, I'm not on this Grand Jury, I have not seen the full scope of the evidence, and I suspect the truly unfortunate leaks that have come out represent a small portion, and thus I don't have a position on whether an indictment should issue. I do think, as I have posted, that the Prosecutor has mishandled this from the beginning, and has, as a result, materially damaged the trustworthiness of the result, whatever it may be.

Now is a time to think about what happens next - whatever that Grand Jury decides, we should all be cognizant that the eyes of the world will be watching, including those around the world who would do us harm. I'm a firm believer in the value of the First Amendment, and I'm the first to encourage those so moved to engage in peaceful, lawful protest. I'm also the first to encourage the arrest of those who cross the line into mayhem.

John Doar, Republican Lawyer on Front Lines Against Segregation, Dies at 92

The New York Times:

John Doar, a country lawyer from northern Wisconsin who led the federal government’s on-the-ground efforts to dismantle segregation in the South, and who later headed the team that made the case for impeaching President Richard M. Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 92. The cause was congestive heart failure, his son Robert said.

 During the most volatile period of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, it was Mr. Doar, along with a federal marshal, who escorted James Meredith when he integrated the University of Mississippi in 1962. It was Mr. Doar who led the successful prosecution of the men who killed three young civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964. And it was Mr. Doar who defused a dramatic standoff between bottle-throwing civil rights protesters and police officers with their guns drawn in Jackson, Miss.

Read complete article here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Colion Noir - Going Full Auto

"This past weekend I got the opportunity to attend a machine gun shoot courtesy of the guys at 5 Toes Custom. To people like me, machine guns are tactical unicorns. Due to NFA laws that ban the transfer and sale of any machine gun produced after 1986, as well as the jaw-dropping, clearly prohibitive price of pre-1986 machine guns, fully automatic rifles are incredibly hard to come by. So, when you get a chance to shoot a machine gun, you drop everything you’re doing and run; there is nothing like the felt recoil from a gun shooting 700 to 900 rounds a minute. 

 Besides its scarceness, why is there nothing like shooting a fully automatic gun? When you think about it, is it really that exceptional? You pull a trigger and bullets come out really fast. That’s all there really is to it, right? Yet, when you a put a fully automatic gun in my hands and I fire it, I’m consumed by this irresistible urge to giggle like a toddler with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face." 

Questions About Rev. Al Sharpton’s Finances Accompany His Rise in Influence

President Obama and Mr. Sharpton, the founder and president of the National Action Network, at the organization's national convention in April.CreditPool photo by Julia Xanthos

From The New York Times:

Indeed, Mr. Sharpton’s influence and visibility have reached new heights this year, fueled by his close relationships with the mayor and the president.

Obscured in his ascent, however, has been his troubling financial past, which continues to shadow his present.

Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills. Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses. And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.

With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as “abusive,” or “potentially criminal” if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful.

Read complete article here

Jonathan Blanks - How Legal Cannabis Sales Help the Poor

Jonathan Blanks, a black Libertarian writer and researcher in Washington, D.C., argues in his latest piece for Rare Magazine that "without further action by the City, DC marijuana plans will not address the harms associated with criminalization". 

"The District of Columbia voted to legalize possession and non-commercial sharing of cannabis in last week's election. That's good, but the more important part of the law is the authorization of the DC City Council to vote to legalize (and regulate) the sale of marijuana if it so chooses.

This further action is necessary for the people in DC who suffer most from the effects of the drug war: poor minorities.

In my latest at Rare, I explain how marijuana for sale is better for the poor than marijuana for free."

Read complete article here

Ron Christie - Is Ferguson on the Brink of War?

From The Daily Beast:

First, the local CBS News affiliate reported a few days ago that a Ferguson resident noted the town “is getting prepared for war” if the grand jury doesn’t indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of the 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Never mind that the autopsy report that was recently released indicates wounds sustained by Brown are consistent with apparent statements by Wilson and six African-American eyewitnesses who claim the teen charged the officer and a scuffle for the gun ensued inside the patrol car. That these six eyewitnesses have remained anonymous for fear of their personal safety is revealing in and of itself.

 In the same news account, civil rights activists from the Don’t Shoot Coalition have asked local prosecutors to provide them with a 48-hour advance notification of the grand jury decision to “help prevent widespread violence if they have 48 hours to prepare for protests.” The Coalition is comprised of labor unions, anti-war activists, clergy, and so-called black empowerment groups.

Read complete article here

Tim Mak - The Republican Rainbow Coalition Is Real

No, seriously. The Republicans now have more top-flight minority candidates than the Democrats. How did this happen?

From The Daily Beast

Thinking inside the conservative movement is also changing, slowly, on the topic of race. Not long ago, the concept of diversity was viewed as anti-meritocratic—even harmful. It was associated with government heavy-handedness and viewed with disdain.

Now it’s viewed by a growing segment of conservatives as integral. “In the Republican Party, when you heard the word diversity a few years ago, it meant affirmative action, quotas. That to this day is something that is unacceptable to most conservatives,” said Steel, the California GOP national committeeman.

“Today, the meaning for Republicans has changed—[it means] an inclusion of people from different backgrounds.”

Read complete article here

Orlando Patterson - Integration: Progress and Resentment in America's Racial Crisis (1998)

Orlando Patterson is a Jamaican-born American historical and cultural sociologist known for his work regarding issues of race in the United States, as well as the sociology of development.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chelsi P. Henry - No, the Republican Wins Weren't a Loss for Blacks

From Ebony Magazine:

"Victory is still in the air after the Republican tidal wave of successes last Tuesday. There is no second-guessing that Republicans made historic gains, bolstering their majority in the House and taking back the Senate, signifying a new Republican era. From race to gender to region to age, we showcased our diversity in our candidates. I know it is long overdue. But it happened, nonetheless!

 More importantly, voters showed both political parties who's really in charge, the American people.

Read complete article here