On Syria And Why Being Poor (Not Privileged) Prompts Me Not To Vote For Hilary

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If I could begin to express the level of despair I felt watching this video…I would… but I don’t think my heart could take it.

When you have connections…real connections, to all parts of the globe you die a little when you witness hurt blasted (or ignored) on TV…It’s impossible to watch people crying and distraught in the street after something like this when you know that could just as easily be your family or friends…but our world is cut off from theirs, isn’t it?

We are soft as an effect of our 1st world comforts and equally as hard as a result of the incessant onslaught of images like these… We think: “that’s so sad” and then promptly change to something uplifting to lighten the mood. It never crosses our mind that Rome fell. Things in our country are not perfect. We aren’t far behind.

Syria used to be a beautiful vacation spot,

plage

hama     ibnwalid.jpg

home to a major seed bank, beautiful historical ruins, and a crucial part of the fertile crescent a.k.a the cradle of all known civilization;

now it (like so many others before it) doesn’t hold a candle to a shadow of it’s former self.

My adopted Uncle was born and raised near the Doctors Without Boarders hospital that was bombed this week. He used to go back frequently to visit family. He was well to do. He had a few homes there.

Nowadays, my Uncle is no longer well to do. He’s a lot grayer all of his homes there are destroyed and he can’t go back anymore or it’s likely he won’t return. I remember when he’d complain about Assad occasionally but the economy was stable then so I don’t recall it being a daily thing.

“It started with the drought” he’d say… (global warming seems to be a reoccurring precursor to a lot of these issues but, I digress) once food prices increased so did overall tensions and the kettle began to boil…

Our mixing pot here is boiling, but we’re too busy calling the kettle black to notice we’re on the tipping point too.

This election is about more than defeating Trump or a woman satisfying her insatiable ego by becoming president. This is it. This is a defining moment for us, our fork in the road where our choices are immediate destruction(Ted Cruz/Trump), cruise control at 65 on our current pathway to destruction (Hilary), or Bernie… who just wants us to spend with our true interests in mind, tax with our true interests in mind, and view the world with an emphatic heart.

I can’t compromise, because I see my future in the eyes of refugees dying on the streets of their own city. I can’t in good faith vote for Hilary knowing her track record of violence and disdain for black and brown people. She has and will continue to propagate the type violence I just witnessed and I can’t be party to that. Being poor not privileged is what propels my decision not to support Hillary because my vote is my voice and I can’t allow any outside pressure to silence me.

Hubris doesn’t allow us to see just how badly our tight rope is fraying as we walk it. We continue our jeering and crusading, nose turned up to those already fallen.

But

as oceans rise, water get scares and dirty, education becomes a privilege as opposed to right, and inflation devalues our already maxed out 50 hour work week; we’ll eventually have to come to grips with the fact that chickens really do come home to roost. Our insensitivity and deeds done aboard won’t be readily forgotten by those who we’ve wronged in the name of “Democracy”.

I’ll leave you with only final thought…

Imagine if you will the frothy head of a beer, toppling over the rim  in excess with mad abandon as if the spout will never run dry, suppressing the bubbling brown body of the beverage which suffocates below the foam… Eventually the bartender cuts flow and either tips the glass or runs across it with a blade cutting the head off and settling the liquid. Who are you in this analogy, the liquid or the foam?

Lemonade: Rejoice or Simply Recede  

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I finally tasted #Lemonade and it wasn’t anything like it was portrayed to me. It was a full bodied thirst quenching tall glass of amniotic bliss… It was a rich visual embodiment of the call and response like conversations that women of the diaspora play out internally on a daily basis. It is sheer and utter blaspheme to paint Beyoncé as an “Angry Black Woman” seeking to publicly air a lovers spat…The images… so carefully crafted are delicate representations of our strength as black women… don’t you see?

It’s a celebration of life and vibrancy in face of dull toned turned backs… It’s a chin held high in face of misplaced applause… It’s the acknowledgment of the side eyes we’ve dished out to those whose very image we were trained to covet over our own… It’s an ode to the colored girl… and an antidote to the colorist. If you watched an hour of sunshine and chose to see rain… I can only deduce that it either wasn’t made for you or you were not ready to receive it. 

I was ready though…I been ready. I needed this more then I knew I did… a burst of brilliant blue-black ultra violet light. So many talented womenfolk pooled together in a single contiguous heart string… lined up in Formation… calling me with their eyes saluting me, emblazoned with the symbols of our pride.

I’m glad to be alive in these strange times…these fearful, exhausting, yet awe inspiring times. I finally tasted #Lemonade and all I could muster to say out loud was thank you … Thank you to the ancestors for laying the foundation for Formation by turning lemons into Lemonade under the watchful eyes of your little girls…because you never know who you are raising until they rise up.

 

An Open Letter: to the passive aggresive broads trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary…SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t working.

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Dear Kate Cronin-Furman, Mira Rapp-Hooper , and all the other woman trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary,

I believe your assertion that for some “late-breaking sexism often means later-onset identification with the principles of second-wave feminism”, however that experience is EXACTLY why I’m CHOOSING to vote for Bernie Sanders as opposed to Hillary Clinton; and I’d like the think pieces on why I’m naive or somehow less of a feminist than you are to stop.

I am an HBCU Dean’s List grad. I am a Black Single Mother of a 4-year-old daughter. I am a proud member of the LGBT community, and I have been eking out an existence working 10-12 hours days for $12 an hour in one of the most discriminatory industries (Hollywood) in the world. You assume that because I won’t blindly vote for Hillary I must be naive to the discrimination of the business world or the social structure of this country in general; this position is not only disparaging, but sexist, and ageist all bundled up nicely in a tight fist that I’m tired of being assaulted with.

I’m proud the woman before me have paved a pathway for us, but didn’t they do so in order for me to have the freedom to vote about the issues and the candidates’ political and social anatomy not their physical anatomy? Making young educated women out to be people pleasing and inexperienced shows a level of callus that is scary and truly disheartening. The woman of the baby boomer age were once idealist…what happened to that belly burning fire that was emboldened by opposition and in search of true progressive change? Why settle for just any woman when there is more at stake here than ovaries in the oval office? We have a Supreme Court justice nom on the line, we have oil pipelines from Canada pending, we have a trade deal that could dismantle what little democratic power we have left over corporations, and we have a privatized prison system that threatens to sue if we don’t continue to fuel them with free labor. I and thousands of other women graduated from college as the economy fell apart; we faced even more abysmal job prospects than we would have had we been met solely with the sexism already expected in the workplace.

I am not some starry-eyed child who doesn’t know what’s good for me. I am the product of my history, culture, and environment. I am the niece of two Uncles jailed by Clinton’s 94’ Crime Bill. I am a bi-sexual woman who is puzzled that the same woman who supported her husband in signing DOMA, the HIV travel ban, as well as overseeing the doubling of LGBT discharges from the military in his tenure, can act as if that never happened or claim to have magically “evolved” dismissing my and countless other peoples pain. Hillary didn’t fully support same sex marriage until 2013…yes…2013! She flew in the face of change and only joined our ranks as the prevailing winds of pew polling blew. She’s never stood true as a weather vane for equal human rights for all…only the humans who benefit her public image.

Bottom line: I don’t trust her. I don’t trust Hillary to do right by me or any of the issues I care about. If I were a man the very women who bash me would respect my right as an American to vote for the person, male or female whom I’m most ideologically aligned with. However, I am not a man…and these women… my sisters claim “there is a special place in Hell” for me and that I only support Bernie because his camp is where all the boys are. The legacy I want to leave my daughter isn’t one of forced affiliation or entitlement; it’s one of progressive ethics so I’ll stand tall in my opposition. If Bernie wins on a platform of revolutionary change I can take comfort in the fact that regardless of which side they played ALL women will benefit both directly and indirectly from that.

I do hope that a woman will inhabit the white house one day soon, but that isn’t my ONLY hope… I pray that by the time my child is of college age she won’t have to tackle the issues I have had to. I hope she won’t have to decide between living a life and paying back student loans. Yes, sexism is very real but so is the need to reduce income inequality, corporate welfare, and the cost of health care. I have aspirations for myself and my daughter that are bigger than the shadow cast by Hillary and when I look into my child’s eyes and my own in the mirror, I know there are better female candidates out there, but we as women need to recognize them… let’s not squander our “1st woman” card on a layup.

Please.

Most Certainly a Feminist,

Lauren J. Croom 

Poor Families Pay Double The State And Local Tax Rate As The Rich: Study

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Middle- and low-income Americans are facing far higher state and local taxes than the wealthy, according to a new report assessing tax data from all 50 states. In all, the analysis by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) finds that the poorest 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective state and local tax rate (10.9 percent) as the richest 1 percent of taxpayers (5.4 percent).

Read More….

CNN Withdraws Support of the National Association of Black Journalists For Reporting About CNN

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Posted by: Aprill Turner

MINNEAPOLIS (October 17, 2014) – Today at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Board of Directors Meeting, President Bob Butler announced that long-time supporter CNN has withdrawn support of NABJ for the 2015 Convention & Career Fair.

NABJ issued a statement last week, “NABJ Concerned About Atmosphere at CNN for African Americans“, in which NABJ expressed concern over the large number of African-American staff members leaving and being fired from the cable news network. Several African-Americans anchors have left the anchor desk or CNN altogether in the past few years.

Following the release CNN contacted NABJ President Bob Butler and informed him the association’s request for support was denied.

Since that time CNN announced a major layoff in which at least five senior managers were laid off. In the past year nearly a dozen African American managers have resigned, been laid off or were terminated.”

“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”

NABJ was established as an advocacy group in 1975 in Washington, D.C., and is now the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation. It provides career development, educational support and other services to its members worldwide.

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Press Release Made Available By The National Association of Black Journalists.

Hey White People: An Awkward Note to America by #Ferguson Kids

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By Urban Cusp

Six black kids from #Ferguson, MO bluntly and sarcastically educate white America about the racist reality in 2014. Recruited from the very block where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was gunned down by a white police officer, these kids ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old, use sometimes uncomfortable humor to show white people the continued racism their generation faces. Armed ONLY with statistics (hands up, don’t shoot) these articulate and adorable kids are not having it while much of white America would rather pretend racism is over.

Click here to see more!.

I’m black, my brother’s white … and he’s a cop who shot a black man on duty

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Zach-StaffordBy ZACH STAFFORD of TheGuardian.com  

My white brother loved black people more than I did when we were growing up. As a black interracial child of the south – one who lived in a (sic) homogenous white town – I struggled with my own blackness. I struggled even more with loving that blackness. But my brother, Mitch, didn’t. He loved me (sic) unapologetically. He loved me loudly.

He also loved screwing with other people’s expectations. Whenever we met new people or I joined a social situation he was in, Mitch would make sure I was standing right next to him for introductions and say, “This is Zach, my brother” – and then go silent with a smirk.

These new acquaintances would then scan back and forth with such intensity – black, white, white, black – that our faces became a kind of tennis court, with strangers waiting for someone to fault. Eventually someone would awkwardly laugh and say something like: “Oh, adoptedbrother,” immediately looking relieved to have figured it out. My brother would deny that and push the line further, “No, like, my brother. We have the same mom. We are blood.”

That would lead to someone questioning me intensely, and, each time, my white brother would stand next to me, proud: prouder than me of my own skin. And over the years, as he continued playing this game, I became prouder … with his help.

And then, years later and far away in Chicago, I got the phone call: my brother, now a cop, had shot an unarmed black man back in Tennessee.

Hearing about black men dying is never exactly a surprise. Every day, you see the news stories: On the news, black men die while getting Skittles. On the news, black men die in choke-holds. On the news, black men die for playing their music too loud. It seems black men die on the news more than they do almost anything else on the news, even with a black president in office. Every 28 hours, a black man is killed by a police officer in America.

I just never imagined that the police officer in that scenario would ever be my brother. Mitch was supposed to be different than all the rest. He was supposed to be different because of me.

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