Partners in the Struggle: Huey Newton’s Thoughts on Gay Rights…In the Wake of Obama’s Endorsement, from Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner-(The Blog)

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 with.

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 norm. Continue reading the full text at Davey D’s Hip Hop & Politics blog…

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” is reissued in paperback!

Here are some facts from Michelle Alexander’s monumental book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, recently reissued in paperback:

*There are more African Americans under correctional control today — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

*As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.

* A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery.  The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers.

*If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life.  (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80%.) These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste — permanently relegated, by law, to a second-class status.  They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, much as their grandparents and great-grandparents were during the Jim Crow era.

I had the honor of interviewing Michelle Alexander back in April of 2010, after she published her much lauded book, which explores the new caste system created by the War on Drugs and felony disenfranchisement laws in America. She thoroughly and thoughtfully explains and cites the ways in which politicians, funded by corporate lobbyists, have exploited and encouraged fear and backlash amongst low-income white Americans in the face of gains made during the Civil Rights era, thereby allowing a system that arrests, brands as felons, and then ushers young people of color into a parallel social universe. Once branded, they can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in many of the ways in which African Americans were discriminated against during the Jim Crow era.

I’d like to take this opportunity, with the re-issuance of her book in paperback, to remind everyone of her final message, one that hearkens back to the work that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing at the end of this life. She calls for an evolution from a Civil Rights Movement to a Human Rights Movement. She calls for a united agenda that has at its heart care, compassion, and concern for all people.

Take a listen to the interview that originally aired on KFPA’s Full Circle in April of 2010, and then go to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of her book. Read up, soak it in, and then start a conversation with your neighbor, your auntie, your coworker, your friend. This book might sadden you, surprise you, or blow the top off of your ideas around the state of race in America – and that’s ok. It’s time to start having those uncomfortable, challenging conversations with ourselves and each other.

If you’d like to learn more about folks working to improve the lives of those affected most directly by the system of mass incarceration, I encourage you to check out the following links:

Books Not Bars organizes the largest network of families of incarcerated youth and champions alternatives to California’s costly youth prison system. According to their website, California’s Division of Juvenile Justice “fails to make our communities safer or to help youth get their lives on track. With an 81 percent recidivism rate and a cost of over $200,000 per ward, per year, DJJ is one of the nation’s most expensive, least effective juvenile justice systems.”

All of Us Or None is a national organizing initiative of prisoners, former prisoners, and felons that combats the many forms of discrimination that they face as the result of felony convictions. They are currently working on a “Ban the Box” initiative that aims to eliminate the question about prior convictions on public employment applications. They are also focusing their efforts on developing and implementing strategies that result in greater participation from prisoners and formerly-incarcerated people in the democratic process. Their “Clean Slate” project provides trainings on the legal remedies available to people with conviction histories and disseminates information on resolution assistance to those who qualify for existing legal remedies. Finally, their yearly “Community Giveback” events deliver bikes, toys and gifts to children of incarcerated parents from formerly incarcerated people.

And if you love taking care of your body, as well as our communities, check out Beeline, an all natural line of raw honey and honey-infused body care products. Not only do they extract their honey from an all natural urban apiary in the heart of the North Lawndale community in Chicago, Beeline also provides important transitional job opportunities for area residents who struggle with barriers to employment, many of whom were formerly incarcerated and are forced to “check the box” that ends up disqualifying them for that crucial post-release employment opportunity.

Finally, check out this cool social enterprise in The South Bronx: Karma Builders. As their website says, “In the state of New York, almost 90% of all parole violators are unemployed at the time of violation. Men and women coming out of prison are extremely challenged entering the job market due to lack of skills, limited work history and employment discrimination. Their resulting unemployment is a crucial risk factor for re-incarceration and this becomes a vicious cycle. This creates tremendous suffering for these individuals, their families and burdens our society with devastating cost: NY State taxpayers spend $38,000 a year for each adult in prison and a total of over $ 2 Billion annually. Karma Builders is a social enterprise designed to break this vicious cycle of unemployment and re-incarceration. We hire, pay and train formerly incarcerated people to provide woodworking and assembly services for local sustainable companies. We have a holistic approach that cultivates a positive long-term shift in mental attitude, building confidence, dignity and the important skill set needed to find and retain gainful employment in today’s green job market.” Seriously, how can you not love that?! Big ups to Karma Builders and their graduates!!

Thanks for reading and listening. This is all about starting conversations, so if you have feedback, speak up!!


2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Occupy Oakland: A Fitting Name? « post by the Positive Peace Warrior Network…read on!!

Conflict within the Movement

 If you’re disturbed, in any way, by the events that occurred in Oakland last night, I encourage you to check out this post by the Positive Peace Warrior Network:

Occupy Oakland: A Fitting Name? « Positive Peace Warrior Network.

Here are some excerpts:

Police Brutality
Much of this movement has become an excuse to target our anger at the police.  We rail against police brutality every chance we get.

And anyone who knows anything about Oakland knows that police brutality is a serious issue here.  But if you’re that serious about the impacts of police brutality, why isn’t this movement hitting the streets and organizing in deep East Oakland and the streets of West Oakland?  Do you think that getting hit with a little bit of tear gas and being pushed around with a baton is the worst of what happens here?  Do you really see yourself as the “face” of police repression and think of yourself in the same light as a young man of color and how he might get treated by the police in the streets of deep east?  How much time do you spend talking about how you were tear-gassed, and how much time do you spend talking about the repression that happens every day in low-income communities?

Is this your vision of “peace?”

And if you care about police repression, what is your response to when Oscar Grant’s family continuously pleads with people not to engage in property destruction in his name?  Where is your respect for their wishes?  What outreach have you done to Andrew Moppin’s family?  Why are issues like the gang injunctions and Occupy San Quentin treated like a low-priority side project?

Where Do We Go From Here?

I don’t know.  But I do know two things:

1) This movement, the much broader umbrella that includes so many communities and individuals who do not support what happened yesterday, still has incredible potential to make change.  And I am still committed to that change.

2) I no longer want to have my name associated with the foolishness that went down yesterday.

The challenge is in reconciling the two.  I will not walk away from the potential of this moment in history, but I honestly am starting to feel like being associated with Occupy Oakland may be more of a liability at this point.

“Diversity of Tactics” cannot be a synonym for “diversity” of principles.  We cannot hide from our principles, and we can no longer have a movement with such “moral relativism,” as King called it.  The ends do not always justify our means.  In fact, we need to have means that are reflective of the ends that we seek.

Calling for nonviolence is not creating a division in the movement, it’s about creating unity within a common framework of social change.  And we need to find that unity.

I invite others to take a firm stand for nonviolence, to commit to principles that are in line with the vision you have of the society you want to see.  I invite others to join in an ongoing conversation, one that is sure to kick up in the coming weeks, about what a nonviolent movement committed to radical change might look like.  The Positive Peace Warriors Network will be hosting a series of trainings in Kingian Nonviolence over the coming months, and I invite you to attend and have this conversation with us.

Join us, and lets make sure that this thing keeps growing.  Stay tuned…..

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2011 Auld Lang Syne & a Fan’s Fab Five | State of the Re:Union

2011 Auld Lang Syne & a Fan’s Fab Five | State of the Re:Union

One of my favorite radio programs, State of the the Re:Union, shared my response to their call for listener feedback about the top 5 episodes of the 2011 season. You can check it out here: 2011 Auld Lang Syne & a Fan’s Fab Five | State of the Re:Union.

If you’ve never heard the show before, I implore you to do yourself a favor and take a listen! This is a show that travels around the country collecting the stories of folks who are taking it upon themselves to build the kinds of communities they want to live in. From D.C. to Detroit, Oakland to the Gulf Coast, from Des Moines to Appalachia, you’ll hear stories that surprise, challenge, and inspire you.

My top 5 are listed in the blog post, but I recommend all of their episodes! Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Justice for Oscar Grant!

Protest: Mehserle Will Walk the Streets Soon

Johannes Mehserle received two years for the murder of Oscar Grant.

On June 1st, he will go before Judge Perry and COULD WALK OUT FREE!

We don’t know the exact date, but we do know that in June, Mehserle will be back on the streets.

We need to be ready to show them that Oakland has NOT forgotten that justice was NOT served.

On the DAY OF HIS RELEASE: The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant will hold events at TWO PLACES:

3:00 PM: Gather at Oscar Grant Station (Fruitvale BART)
5:30 PM: Gather on 14th & Broadway

Stay tuned for more details!!!

Click here to download the flyer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Women bring you plenty of punk rock, power pop, rock n’roll, country, and rhythm & blues on KPFA!

Bikini KillHey folks, click here to listen to the latest Mashed Potatus on listener sponsored 94.1 KPFA Free Speech Radio!

On tonight’s show you’ll hear:

Keny Arkana – La Rage

Bikini Kill – Alien She; Blood One; Outta Me

Catie Curtis – Life Goes On

Bonnie Raitt – I Got Plenty

Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins – The Big Guns; Rise Up With Fists

White Mystery (Miss Alex White on guitar & lead vocals) – Power Glove

Miss Alex White & Chris Playboy – Stranger

The Ettes – I Get Mine

The Busy Signals – Got It All Wrong; Plastic Girl

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – You’re Too Possessive;  (I’m Gonna) Run Away

Siouxsie & the Banshees – Hong Kong Garden

Pretty Girls Make Graves – The Teeth Collector

The Pretenders – Thin Line

Blonde Redhead – Misery

PJ Harvey – Sheela Na Gig

Cat Power – Free

HOTTUB – M.A.N.B.I.T.C.H

Princess Superstar – My Machine; I Like It A Lot

Neko Case – Make Your Bed; Poor Ellen Smith; Loretta

Dixie Chicks – Long Time Gone; White Trash Wedding; Tortured, Tangled Hearts

Dolly Parton – I’m Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open; Steady As The Rain

Gretchen Wilson – Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin On Your Mind)

Lucinda Williams – Somebody Somewhere

Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, and Miranda Lambert – Coal Miner’s Daughter

Memphis Minnie – Good Girl Blues; Goin’ Back To Texas; I’m Talkin About You

Betty Padgett – My Eyes Adore You

I was dancin’ round the studio and singin’ along all night – I hope you’re doing the same wherever you are!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sirens! Speak Up!

New, on KPFA Free Speech Radio, 94.1 FMSirens! wants to know what YOU want to hear.  Female artists need a space to share their art, their ideas, their voices and every other Monday morning from 1-3 am, that’s what we’re providing. This is a space for all women to express ourselves, in whatever artistic, creative way we wish. Music, spoken word, prose, drama, jokes, whatever. I have records and books that I can share, but I want to open this up to other women in our community who don’t have access to these airwaves, so leave a comment here to suggest and offer any content that you’d like to hear on this show. The airwaves are OURS and you have every right to enjoy them and be on them, so get involved!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized