Archive for Action
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on what Ferguson, MO is really about. Not race, but class.
This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor. Of course, to many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor is synonymous with being a criminal. Ironically, this misperception is true even among the poor.
The U.S. Census Report finds that 50 million Americans are poor. Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals. So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured by distracting them with emotional issues like immigration, abortion and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long.
Still. I’ve written about this in various ways lately. Everybody’s got their own agenda, their own political itch to scratch: race, sex, religion, money, freedom, country, class. But in the end, they’re all surrogates for one thing: Power. Who has it. Who doesn’t. The Haves. The Have Nots.
Despite all the camouflaging patriotic rhetoric about freedom and opportunity, for many power is a zero-sum game. More for you means less for them. And those in control won’t stand for that. Deep Throat said follow the money. But if you want to keep from getting screwed, don’t be distracted by the chaff thrown into the air to keep neighbors the elite consider lessers from becoming their equals. Follow the power.
Rise Above The Snake Line!
MOUNTAIN MORAL MONDAY RETURNS TO WNC!
Join folks from across the region and state for another energizing and inspiring Mountain Moral Monday – “Moral March to the Polls Rally” on August 4, from 5-6:30 pm at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville.
The Mountain People’s Assembly, a coalition of WNC organizations, and regional WNC NAACP Branches, will host the return of Mountain Moral Monday, a non-partisan program that will highlight the destructive policies enacted by the N.C. statehouse over the past year while strongly focusing on the voter empowerment campaign, “Moral March to the Polls.”
The event will feature Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP and other guest speakers, as well as musical entertainment. In addition, there will be opportunities for participants to get involved in voter registration, education and Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts during the current mid-term election cycle. ‘Moral Freedom Summer’ Organizers and volunteers will be available to help register voters.
To sign on as a supporter or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you there
Click image for more info.
Click image for more info.
Still recovering from an electrifying conference in Detroit. Wanted to post this.
Rev. William Barber from the Forward Together movement spoke for an hour on Thursday night and wowed the Netroots Nation audience. It was many people’s first exposure to Rev. Barber, and it was all anyone could talk about on Friday morning. And least one person said it was the best speech they had ever heard live.
Barber drew energy from the crowd. He talked at one point about how, to get out of the wilderness, you don’t go down into the valley. There are snakes down there! Instead, he said, you make for the ridge tops.
From his telling, there is a climatic effect, an elevation above which snakes don’t go. Our politics, Barber said, have got to “rise above the snake line.” By the next morning, you could buy Rise above the snake line buttons in the exhibit hall with the coiled Tea Party snake below the line on the lower half.
He seemed to be enjoying himself, and was much lighter on his feet by the end of this speech even bouncing a little bit.
Sitting here waiting for VP Biden to show up to speak. They’re scrolling some of the sponsors on the video screens, including AFSCME. Thought I’d re-run this. Just for fun.
Check back for the addresses listed below and here.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 Keynotes
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Keynote featuring Vice President Joe Biden
7:15 to 9 p.m. Opening keynote featuring Rev. Barber
Friday, July 18, 2014
10 to 10:45 a.m. Morning keynote featuring Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Your Buncombe County Democratic Party needs you. We’re getting organized to make some change in 2014 elections, and every registered Democrat is invited to be a part of it. After the jump please find the time and location of your precinct meeting. Not sure which precinct you’re in? Use this handy tool.
Roger Hickey of Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) sums up what makes this moral movement work:
Long years of organizing and networking had built trust among groups representing various parts of the North Carolina community. And attacks on “my group” coming at the same time as attacks on “your group” forged stronger bonds. An inclusivePeople’s Agenda was forged, supported by an impressive list of coalition partners – from faith groups to labor unions to LGBT rights organizations to women’s groups and environmentalists. Look at these two links, which can both be found athttp://www.hkonj.com/about. They are models for almost every state coalition in the nation.
Isaiah Poole, editor of OurFuture.org, CAF’s blog), quotes Chapel Hill-based education activist, Jeff Bryant:
“With the current dysfunction of government at the national level, these state movements will begin to get more attention as they become more of a visible new dynamic contrasting to the stalemate we see in Washington, D.C.,” Bryant said. “And the messaging around morality rather than values of economic efficiency and financialization that have been the heart of neoliberalism over the past two to three decades will strike many Americans as a better direction forward.”
Isaiah graciously allowed me the last word:
“I expect the movement to build,” Sullivan said. “Fifty years ago, it was ‘segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!’ until it wasn’t, until the weight of the world’s collective moral judgement broke it. Same with apartheid. Same with this tea-party nonsense.”
The News & Observer opines that the broad coalition of protesters that assembled in Raleigh on Saturday represents mainstream North Carolina, not that the Republican-led legislature acknowledges it, or cares:
To see the long ranks of protesters was to wonder how much longer North Carolina’s Republican leaders can dismiss them as a rabble, as outsiders, as “takers,” as agitators, and not see them for who they are: The People. Their issues include labor conditions, pay for public employees, environmental protections, voting rights, fair taxation, help for the unemployed, gay rights, abortion rights and civil rights.
But another of their issues is one they hold in common: They feel they are not being heard. And the deafness of the state’s political powers is deliberate. Legislative leaders and the governor can’t hear above the sound of the corporate money that steers their agenda. And even if they could, they wouldn’t listen. The people in the streets holding signs and chanting are not people they consider “the mainstream” or “real Americans.”
Led by NC NAACP president Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the Forward Together movement may be indigenous to North Carolina, but Saturday’s mass rally showed that its influence is expanding. Moral Monday protests are starting in Georgia and South Carolina. Over two dozen states sent marchers to Raleigh on Saturday — from neighboring southern states to New York, Florida and Missouri.
Not just a coalition of single-issue groups, this fusion movement recognizes that their varied interests are connected in their struggle against the “extremism” of North Carolina’s General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory. Forward Together set five demands for 2014:
• Secure pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that insure economic sustainability;
• Provide well-funded, quality public education for all;
• Stand up for the health of every North Carolinian by promoting health care access and environmental justice;
• Address inequalities in the criminal justice system;
• Protect and expand voting rights for people of color, women, immigrants, the elderly and students to safeguard fair democratic representation.
(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)