Will Obama walk picket line in Wisconsin?

>> Sunday, February 27, 2011

One of the most interesting phenomenons in the Obama Post-Racial Internet Age, when you flip-flop, it's documented.

In 2007, President Obama said, "If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain, when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll walk on that picket line, as President of the United States of America."

"When did American workers become the enemy?"

As Colorlines.com writes, "Thanks to the destruction of manufacturing jobs and unions, black and Latino workers in manual occupations have disproportionately suffered high rates of poverty and incarceration as many of their families disintegrate. The one toe-hold many black and minority workers (and especially women among them) still have in the economy is in unionized public employment. Now, the Republicans want to take that away."

Indeed, here in the Bay Area, when private employers refused to hire "Negroes," it was the public sector -- particularly the federal government -- that hired Blacks. Public sector employment has become one of the largest sources of social mobility for the stable working class, aka the "Black working class." So as my Black Family professor at Laney College, Dr. Mary Lewis said, "When [they] talking about downsizing, or shrinking government, you're talking about taking away employment of the Black Middle Class."

But it Wisconsin, home of "Cream City," it should become more evident that this is class warfare. Most of the people I've seen on TV protesting were white. So, in instances like union busting taking place across the country, it should become more obvious that social constructs like race are only distracting us from the reality of class warfare.

As rapper and activist Jasiri X asks, "Can Main Street get a bailout? Tell the President our checks weren't bailed out. Reporting from Wisconsin, Jasiri X notes American Workers and up against Multi-Billionaires and their media lapdogs.

Considering that it was a liberal, multi-ethnic, inter-generational -- dare I say the "D" word, diversity -- coalition that elected Obama, where does the President stand on Wisconsin and corporate stooge Gov. Scott Walker's proposal?

He called it "an assault on unions" but Obama hasn't made his way West to Wisconsin. Yet.

Will Obama walk the picket line in Wisconsin? Or will pick some more lines in the budget to boost the bucks of his Wall Street buddies?


Capitalism Created Black History Month

>> Thursday, February 17, 2011

Black History Month editions sneakers

Five years ago, I wrote "Black History is More Than 28 days." Prior to that, and since that time, I've participated in, reported on, and organized dozens of Black History Month events. Each year, coinciding with the Lunar New Year, I reflect on my life, my family, our community, our nation, and this world.

Every year, I am increasingly dismayed by the negative influence of capitalism on Black History Month.

In 2006, I wrote, "Black History Month has come far from its humble beginnings to become a time of cultural celebration, education and community service (as well as a magnet for token-corporate sponsorship opportunities)." Focusing on the later throwaway statement, while I don't remember specifically what corporate cultural sponsor I was referring to, corporations give big money out in February (a menial token after all the money Negroes gave them the months before).

So what corporations might give big money to support Black History Month? ... WalMart? Chevron? Wells Fargo? Comcast? Lehman Brothers? Enron? It seems like there's always some company--especially those with sketchy relationships with African people--ready to give money.

So, a company like Wells Fargo, which regularly tables at my former school, Laney College, will sponsor a Black History Month event or buy advertising in a Black newspaper. Meanwhile, two states sued Wells Fargo in 2010 for "steering black borrowers into expensive mortgages, only to later conduct many foreclosures that cost the cities property tax revenue" and led to over $180 BILLION to be drained from Black and Latino communities, according to the Black Agenda Report.

But besides this sort of counter-intuitive, false conscious patronage, as well as ignorant anti-Black statements or downright racist stereotypes, there is also another major bi-product of capitalism; competition.

"Black History Month has come far from its humble beginnings to become a time of cultural celebration, education and community service (as well as a magnet for token-corporate sponsorship opportunities).
Since Black History Month is celebrated in February (and not because the white man" gave us the shortest month of the year", these Negroes try to fit 5 million events in these four weeks, as if it is uncool, or counter-productive to be Black year round. With this small window of time and a plethora of events, conflict is frequent. "

"In order to promote my event, and get more money than you from my corporate sponsor, I can't collaborate with you," the actions of some people seem to say. Even within the Peralta Colleges system, it was amazingly difficult to get all four campuses to work together to create one calender, and often events across the district would conflict. And on a single campus, faculty aren't working together, or students are working amongst themselves and not with the faculty. I remember one year at College of Alameda, some faculty and staff avoided coming to Black History planning meetings, didn't come to any planned events. Later, they stated, "Since there was no Black History Month, we're going to plan a Black Arts Festival" and wanted money from the student government to fund it.

Operating under this Eurocentric-notion of competition, African people miss out on the opportunity to collaborate. Collaboration and networking is central to the African worldview, spiritual practices, and the techniques we've used to survive.

If Black History Month continues to be co-opted by the corporate machine and the mythical Black capitalism, Black people will be history. Permanently.

p.s. If Capitalism created Racism. And racism led to racial science and the Western education omitting African contributions to civilizations. The outrights lies of "his-story led to Negro History Week, which led to Black History Month. Therefore, Capitalism Created Black History Month.

p.s.s. The Capitalist influence of SEO led me to write that headline, in hopes for more page views.


Hate Valentine's, but love to love to love ya

>> Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bah humbug! Valentine's, smalentines! Only thing I like about February 14 is that it's my grandmother's birthday. (I know she don't read blogs, but Happy Birthday Grandma!)

"My Sweetie" by Bunny Mack

Romance, with no finance? No chance
I never cared much for this alleged holy-day. It was always a source of disappointment. Either I never had a Valentine, or I didn't (seem) have all the material things for a Valentine. "What's love got to do with it?"

I remember stealing some flowers and Scooby Doo Valentines cards in elementatry school. Meanwhile, I didn't get a card (at least, not from who I wanted one from), and vaguely recall being disappointed.

So, I suppose it was either poverty or the penitentiary chances I was taking as a pre-teen that has led me to hate on Valentine's since high school.

"It's a Hallmark holiday," I once heard someone say. And it is. According to a the National Retail Federation, the average U.S. consumer spends $116 on V-Day, with all U.S. consumers spending about $15.7 billion dollars.

It's not hard to imagine. Card, teddy bear, flowers, candy, dinner, movies, hotel, prophylactics, VD testing, collect calls and conjugal visits, and all those expenses.

"True love and intimacy should be celebrated everyday. It shouldn't take a commercial holiday to remind your significant other that you love and appreciate them."
Khari Toure
I was eating dinner with a friend (a rather cute friend too) at La Pinata a few nights ago when a woman approaches us with roses, "Flowers for your girlfriend?" :::shakes head::: It reminded me back in the day when I used to do the same thing. After all my clepto-celebrations, I decided to start a business. I was eight years old going from restaurant to restaurant on Webster St in Alameda selling flowers. And I was bold too!

"Flowers for your lady?" I'd ask. "No, I'm cool little man." My response, "What, your lady ain't good enough for some flowers?" or I'd say to her, "If you were with me, I'd have you sleeping on a bed of rose petals." Ok. I never said that last one, but one time, I pulled a smooth move. When the guy said no, I pulled out a single red rose and gave it to the woman he was with. It was inside some Italian restaurant in Frisco. I said, "This one's on me. I know a valuable lady when I see one." The man bought all my flowers for $100.

Like they say, "Romance with no finance has no chance." Even before I was ten, under the watchful eye of Senor Cupid, I understood this and used it to my financial advantage. Of course, there's no when capital is involved.

"Tired of Being Alone" and "Tired of the Fake sh-t"
I've been trying to figure out, why I feel how I feel about Valentine's. And Al Green's, "Tired of Being Alone" came on.

"The people with the most disdain for Valentine's day are usually lonely or hurting," writes my friend Charles Perkins. There may be some truth to this. For years I have railed against Valentine's Day (not withstanding when I was trying to profit myself). This has often been to the detriment of my relationships. I'm sure this has been a greater source of disappointment to the women who were interested in me. I suppose the disdain comes from the hurt of feeling alone and/or lonely. So when Charles writes, "Give everyone you see (that looks like they have good hygiene) a hug," I know I could use one. But it's more than that driving the disgust.

This holiday, like many others in the United Snakes, feels fake. And let's keep it real. How many women are being battered before, during and after Valentine's Day? How many sexually transmitted diseases are being spread on Valentine's? How many people do you know that fucked off they credit for a jump-off? I know, or have known, a few of each.

So, in a time period when women are objectified and marginalized, I find it difficult to (a) bang on babylon and this capitalist distraction, while (b) helping to validate women and their primacy in our species' survival. I want to validate the women in my life (and not just polyamorously), but have refused to do so at a dictated time in a dictated, commercial manner. In reality, days like Valentine's can be confusing as to how to really celebrate our better halves. Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery also requires breaking out of capitalist paradigms that define love financially.

"I'm looking for a real love"
Mary J. Blidge sang, "I'm looking for a real love. Someone to set my heart free." Same for me. I'm not looking for a love that will imprison me in unhappiness. Nor do I want to be a source of unhappiness for my mate. But I've found the pressure to celebrate Valentines can be a deal breaker.

Fortunately, I know better and have experienced a real love. And I know that a real love understands if you have to work, go to school, or take someone to the hospital on February 14. I'd "love to love to love ya", but I just ain't no "Funny Valetine" type.

As best as I know, I will celebrate our love every day. I'm not gone wait until February 14th to express our love either.

"True love and intimacy should be celebrated everyday. It shouldn't take a commercial holiday to remind your significant other that you love and appreciate them," writes poet Khari Toure.

If I see Cupid on the block, I'm taking his arrows and selling them at the Laney College Flea Market next weekend. I don't care what 112 says, Cupid be lying.

And as Khari writes, "Roses wilt, candy causes cavities and cards get lost over time but true love is eternal." Let's go beyond the simplistic signs of so-called love and seek a love that's everlasting.

Wale - My Sweetie:


About This Blog

Insight into my daily regimen. Obviously of a different specimen. Me, myself & I. So fly. Welcome to the Daily Regiment.

This blog is an outlet for me to write about my life experiences. While there will be consistent themes in my writing -- because I am what I project in written form -- the topics will vary from day to day, and post to post.

If you are interested in my formal news reporting, you can visit The Reginald James Report or The Black Hour.

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