Monday, November 30, 2009

From Footnote To Fame In Civil Rights History

Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times (left), The Montgomery Advertiser, via Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Claudette Colvin in a portrait taken in November (left) and as a child around 1953.

From Footnote To Fame In Civil Rights History
NY Times
November 26, 2009

On that supercharged day in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Ala., she rode her way into history books, credited with helping to ignite the civil rights movement.

But there was another woman, named Claudette Colvin, who refused to be treated like a substandard citizen on one of those Montgomery buses — and she did it nine months before Mrs. Parks. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his political debut fighting her arrest. Moreover, she was the star witness in the legal case that eventually forced bus desegregation.

Yet instead of being celebrated, Ms. Colvin has lived unheralded in the Bronx for decades, initially cast off by black leaders who feared she was not the right face for their battle, according to a new book that has plucked her from obscurity.

Last week Phillip Hoose won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The honor sent the little-selling title shooting up 500 spots on’s sales list and immediately thrust Ms. Colvin, 70, back into the cultural conversation.

“Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn’t the case at all,” Ms. Colvin said in an animated interview at a diner near her apartment in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. “Maybe by telling my story — something I was afraid to do for a long time — kids will have a better understanding about what the civil rights movement was about.”

Ms. Colvin made her stand on March 2, 1955, and Mrs. Parks made hers on Dec. 1 that same year. Somehow, as Mrs. Parks became one of Time Magazine’s 100 most important people of the 20th century, and streets and schools were named after her, Ms. Colvin managed to let go of any bitterness. After Ms. Colvin was arrested, Mrs. Parks, a seasoned N.A.A.C.P. official, sometimes let her spend the night at her apartment. Ms. Colvin remembers her as a reserved but kindly woman who fixed her snacks of peanut butter on Ritz crackers.

“My mother told me to be quiet about what I did,” Ms. Colvin recalled. “She told me: ‘Let Rosa be the one. White people aren’t going to bother Rosa — her skin is lighter than yours and they like her.’ ”

Ms. Colvin said she came to terms with her “raw feelings” a long time ago. “I know in my heart that she was the right person,” she said of Mrs. Parks.

Unlike Mrs. Parks, whose protest was carefully planned, Ms. Colvin was just a 15-year-old who couldn’t stomach the Jim Crow segregation laws one second longer.

Ms. Colvin was riding the bus home from school when the driver demanded that she give up her seat for a middle-age white woman, even though three other seats in the row were empty, one beside Ms. Colvin and two across the aisle.

“If she sat down in the same row as me, it meant I was as good as her,” Ms. Colvin said.

Two police officers, one of them kicking her, dragged her backward off the bus and handcuffed her, according to the book. On the way to the police station, they took turns trying to guess her bra size.

At the time, the arrest was big news. Black leaders, among them Dr. King, jumped at the opportunity to use her case to fight segregation laws in court. “Negro Girl Found Guilty of Segregation Violation” was the headline in The Alabama Journal. The article said that Ms. Colvin, “a bespectacled, studious looking high school student,” accepted the ruling “with the same cool aloofness she had maintained” during the hearing.

As chronicled by Mr. Hoose, more than 100 letters of support arrived for Ms. Colvin — sent in care of Mrs. Rosa Parks, secretary of the Montgomery branch of the N.A.A.C.P.

But Ms. Colvin was ultimately passed over.

“They worried they couldn’t win with her,” Mr. Hoose said in an interview from his home in Portland, Me. “Words like ‘mouthy,’ ‘emotional’ and ‘feisty’ were used to describe her.”

Mrs. Parks, on the other hand, was considered “stolid, calm, unflappable,” he said. The final straw: Ms. Colvin became pregnant by a married man.

A second Montgomery teenager, Mary Louise Smith, was also arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat — after Ms. Colvin’s arrest but before Ms. Parks’s — and she was also deemed an unsuitable symbol for the movement partly because of rumors that her father had an alcohol problem.

Although Ms. Colvin quickly left Montgomery, she returned during the peak of the bus boycott that Mrs. Parks had subsequently sparked, and testified in federal court in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that effectively ended bus segregation.

“It’s an important reminder that crucial change is often ignited by very plain, unremarkable people who then disappear,” said David J. Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Dr. King.

Even Mrs. Parks was forgotten for the better part of 20 years, only re-emerging as a world-famous figure in the early 1970s after magazine articles and attention in several children’s books.

Ms. Colvin, who relies on a cane to steady herself, retired in 2004 after 35 years as a nurse’s aide at a Manhattan nursing home. She contributed to her own obscurity: after settling in New York, she never talked about how her arrest helped prompt the famous bus boycott.

“She continued to heed her mother’s advice, and worried that drawing attention to herself would result in the loss of her job. “I wasn’t going to take that chance,” she said.

So she settled into living an average life. She never married. The son she had in Montgomery died at age 37; a second son is an accountant in Atlanta. She watches television — “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” is a favorite — and is a regular at the diner.

Ms. Colvin said she reads two newspapers every day to keep up on current events, chatting about recent Nobel Prize winners. She likes Chris Rock and Alicia Keys. Aretha Franklin could stand to lose a few pounds, but she wore a good hat to President Obama’s inauguration. Don’t get Ms. Colvin started on Sarah Palin.

She has fond memories of Dr. King. “He was just an average-looking fellow — it’s not like he was Kobe Bryant or anything,” she said, fluttering her eyelashes. “But when he opened his mouth he was like Charlton Heston playing Moses.”

Mr. Hoose said he stumbled across Ms. Colvin’s story while researching a previous book, “We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History.” Several sources told him to investigate what had almost become an urban myth: that a teenager had beaten Mrs. Parks to the punch in Montgomery.

He eventually tracked down Ms. Colvin, who has an unlisted telephone number. She refused to talk to Mr. Hoose for almost four years.

Mr. Hoose won over his reluctant subject over a long lunch at the diner. It was clear, he said, that she yearned to have her story told despite protests to the contrary. “It was easy to find the rebel girl inside of her,” he said.

One of her first questions: “Can you get it into schools?”

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Who Is Fred Hampton, Jr?

In Chicago during the early morning hours of December 4, 1969, a special police unit (organized by both the Chicago Police Department and the FBI) stormed the Monroe Street Apartment of Fred Hampton, Sr., Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. Hampton, Sr. lay asleep in bed next to his pregnant girlfriend, Akua Njeri (formerly Deborah Johnson). Though, Hampton, Sr., Njeri, and Defense Captain Mark Clark among others were sleeping at the time of the raid, gunshots quickly ripped through the house, and both Hampton, Sr. and Clark were killed. Mark Clark could only shoot off a single round in his defense before he was killed, and it would be the only shot the Panthers fired. Hampton, Sr. was shot point blank while still in his bed.

Three and a half weeks later, on December 29th, Njeri gave birth to Fred Hampton, Jr. Hampton, Jr. was immersed in the struggle even before his birth, and he did not let the murder of his father deter him. Nor did he fall back on his father's accomplishments. Instead, he became an active community organizer himself, making sure that his father's legacy did not die with the man. In 1990 he became President of the National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, an organization founded to defend the democratic rights of the African community. For this activism he too became a police target, and in 1992 he was incarcerated for two charges of aggravated arson. Hampton, Jr. spent almost 9 years behind bars before being released on September 14th, 2001. Both during his time locked up and after his release, Hampton, Jr. remained as active as ever. He is currently President and Chair of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (POCC). Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. is living testament to the reality that the struggle continues.


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Friday, November 27, 2009

Dance With Them That Brought Ya, In Re To: Meet The Teabaggers

Dance With Them That Brought Ya

In the midst of all the recent Health Care Town Hall Madness, one of Maryland’s two democratic Senators, Ben Cardin, held just such a meeting in Hagerstown Maryland. While these meetings were designed to provide taxpayers with information regarding the status of the Health Care debate, they have devolved into something that must make the recently arrested Harvard professor, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates shake his head and ask, “I was arrested for what”.

These Town Hall events have become scream fest as disgruntled gun toting, protest sign wielding attendees disrupt these meeting and deny their elected representatives a fair opportunity of informing their fellow citizens of what their government is considering. When judged by their rhetoric, these protesters seem to believe that they are paragons of Democracy and patriotism. When judged by their behavior however, a different story emerges. If professor Gates thinks the actions of these protesters, as oppose to whatever he said to a single police officer in his home, looks like disturbing the peace, he’d be correct. Common sense seems to suggest that any peace that exists in one’s own home is presumptively one’s own peace!

An objective look at Senator Cardin’s meeting revealed the same, frequently ugly visuals that were apparent in all the other snippets of these meetings that the media has televised. Many of these attendees morphed into angry protesters carrying pictures of Obama wearing a Hitler mustache and others accusing him of being a Nazi, a socialist, and a foreigner! As they had at all the previous Town Hall meetings, these protesters shouted down both Senator Cardin and those who sought to engage him in meaningful dialog. Whether it was Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana or Virginia, these protesters are almost always a very vocal minority of angry, disruptive, generally irrational and largely white citizens. It is that racial uniformity which, when coupled with a politician’s natural desire to be embraced by his or her constituents, makes the location of these events so politically curious.

This political curiosity is aroused, not by the suggestion that appearing before mostly, or even all white audiences is problematic, but because the most reliably Democratic voters are African Americans. So why don’t democratic Senators hold more of these events in the African American community? One has to ask, if politicians, who continued to see this type of disruption and sometimes outright hooliganism, occurring in the African American community, would they continue to attempt to conduct these important events in similar communities, or would they look for more receptive audiences?

In Senator Cardin’s case, most of the African Americans who supported him in the general election supported his opponent, Kwiesi Mfume, in the Democratic primary. Amongst the various reasons a voter would support Mr. Mfume’s candidacy, one important, yet largely ignored reason rest upon the fact that the United States Senate should have at least one African American within its ranks! When one considers the “special” treatment African Americans receive under this nation’s criminal laws (they consume approximately 14% of Americas illegal drugs, yet they account for 60 to 70% of those incarcerated for drug use) it seems pretty clear that (racially speaking) if you don't have a seat at the table, you’ll be on the menue!

This fact notwithstanding, democratic politicians (regardless of their race) know that they can depend on African Americans to support them at the polls. That being the case, it seems that Senator Cardin should have held these important constituent events at appropriate locations within the African American community. If Senator Cardin held his Town Hall event on the campus of Coppin State College, all Americans would still have been welcome to attend (as they were in Hagerstown) but it stands to reason that many of the disruptive, “Obama is Hitler” types would not have attended (many Republican voters vote for the party with no blacks in either house of Congress for that reason) and those citizens who wanted to learn and ask questions would have been permitted to do so.

If Democratic politicians want to continue to attract the overwhelming support of African Americans, they need to cater to this constituency in a way that reflects the support they receive on Election Day. Having defeated the candidate favored by most of Maryland’s African American voters, Senator Cardin nonetheless received the overwhelming support of the African American community. As a result, he should come back to their community (he campaigned there) and reward this loyal constituency by holding Town Hall events in their community. This change of venue would benefit the African American community, the Democratic process and would have created an interesting contrast as to how these events have been conducted in other communities.

Without the support of African Americans, Senator Cardin wouldn’t be in the United States Senate. The African American voters brought Senator Cardin to the dance, and he (and other) Democrats need to, as the saying goes, dance with them that brought ya!

Michael G. McFadden writes an opinion column for His column can be found at

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From The Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton

“An analysis of national, regional, and local news reports from 2008-2009 indicates a largely silent, nationwide epidemic of drastic measures and extreme acts for which the economy seems to have been a catalyst. News of such deeds linked to economic woes -- from armed robberies to pay the rent to financially-motivated suicides to familicides (murder/suicides in which both parents and their children die) in the face of financial ruin -- has filtered out of cities and towns in most U.S. states. Since only a fraction of these acts ever receive media coverage, what is being reported -- most of it in local newspapers -- is startling. And while it's impossible to know the myriad factors, including deeply personal ones, that contribute to people resorting to drastic measures, violent or otherwise, many press reports suggest that the global economic crisis has played no small part in a wide range of extreme acts.” Economic Crisis Is Getting Bloody Violent Deaths Are Now Following Evictions, Foreclosures and Job Losses By Nick Turse

The Fort Hood shooting made the national news and people are wondering how and why an Army psychiatrist could snap and do what he allegedly did. The whole country is on edge due to the economy. People are losing it literally. Working and middle class folks are losing their jobs, their incomes are shrinking, they are losing their homes, their retirement savings and a sense of security. They see the Wall Street money changers getting bailed out after knowingly and deliberately causing this financial crisis but no one helps the suffering poor folks. They hear about the widening income and wealth gaps between the rich and the rest of us and wonder where is the justice? When the US economy imploded last year people flocked to the polls in November seeking relief from eight years of Bu$h’s horrid Neo-Con economics, corruption, fear and warmongering.

During the 2008 election campaign, I was suspicious of candidate Obama and wondered if he wasn’t being set up to be the twenty-first century version of Herbert Hoover. Hoover was in office in 1929 when the Stock Market crashed and the Great Depression started. Wall Street insiders maliciously caused the crash and the Great Depression due to their rampant speculation, and manipulation of the stock market and the credit supply; yet Hoover has been vilified and forever linked to that time of deprivation and misery in US. history. Unfairly, Hoover was blamed for the Depression, that’s his legacy as far as the history books go. It looks like the same thing is happening to Obama.
After Obama was elected, his PR people characterized him as a Franklin Delano Roosevelt or an Abraham Lincoln; two men who took office inheriting national crises yet restored confidence in the system and saved the country. So far that has been all hype and no substance. Unfortunately for us, Obama has sided with the people who donated the most money to his election campaign: Wall Street, the hedge fund managers, the insurance companies, trial lawyers, defense contractors and big pharma. This becomes more obvious every day and the people see it more and more. If things don’t improve soon, I predict Obama will be even more reviled than George W. Bu$h and will probably be a one term office holder.

Obama won using the slogan, “Change You Can Believe In.” The people fell for it hoping he would halt the wars, restore the economy and stop the corruption. Instead he has moved full speed ahead executing the same agenda as his predecessor, money for wars and Wall Street at the expense of working folks. Obama’s policies are exacerbating a class war that was already raging in the US. Honest economists (as opposed to the prostitutes on Fox, CNBC and Bloomberg) see the situation worsening before it gets better saying it will not get better any time soon. As a result people are angry and fearful. Gun sales and transactions are at an all time high in the US and stores can’t keep enough ammunition on the selves. Over one hundred new militia have been formed since Obama took office in January.

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, let us pause, take a deep breath, relax and count our blessings. Yes times are tough and tight but there are blessings all around us. Have compassion for those less fortunate than you. If you have a roof over your head, be thankful; millions are homeless. If you have enough to eat, be thankful. If you have a job and can at least pay some if not all of your bills, be thankful. If you as the old folks used to say, “woke up this morning clothed in your right mind with a reasonable portion of health”, be thankful. If you can wake up, look up and get up, count your blessings. You can only think about one thing at a time. When you focus on your blessings you can’t focus on the economy or your life challenges. Focus on the good in your life.

The Thanksgiving holiday, like most things in this materialistic and hedonistic culture has been commodified and commercialized. This commercialization has placed undue emphasis on shopping, food, meals and consumption rather than introspection and mindfulness of the good in our lives. Stop and examine your life. You will have to admit there is good in your life despite the economy, politics or the size of your bank account. Take a moment to meditate on what it means to be thankful, then reflect on the many things in your life you have to be thankful for.

Think about the source of your blessings and how that source, no matter what you call it, offers greater potential for good than any man made economic system. Thinking on your blessings and their source alters your perspective on life and helps you see a new way of being in the world. Hopefully it will alter your values and motivation so you are not outer directed, caught up in material things and keeping up with the Joneses. No matter what your circumstances are or what you are doing, take time to reflect on all the good in your life and be thankful for it.


Deadly Skin Trade Preys On African Albinos...

Tony Karumba, AFP/Getty Images
Albino children take a break at a school for the blind in East Africa.

By Theunis Bates

LONDON (Nov. 23) -- East Africa's albinos have long suffered because of the color of their skin. Some are abandoned as babies by parents who regard their lack of pigment as a curse. Many more are subjected to taunts of "zeru" (Swahili for ghost) in school and on the street. But now Tanzania and Burundi's 8,000 albinos face a more horrible threat, fueled by a macabre combination of superstition and economics.

Over the past two years -- according to a new report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies -- at least 56 albinos in the two countries have been murdered, and their body parts used by witch doctors to make charms and potions. The last known killing took place on Oct. 21, when albino hunters attacked 10-year-old Gasper Elikana in northern Tanzania. A gang of men hacked the boy to death in front of his family and neighbors -- who were wounded trying to protect the child -- before fleeing with his severed leg.

In the face of such brutality, thousands of albinos have gone into hiding, including 300 children being sheltered by the Red Cross at police-protected schools. "This is a great source of shame for the region," says Isaac Mwaura, national coordinator for the Albinism Society in neighboring Kenya, and an albino himself. "These are people who lack melanin, who are vulnerable, who nature has not treated so kindly. To then attack them and deprive them of the right to live is simply barbaric."

What sparked this outburst of targeted violence is still unclear. Some have blamed local folklore, which says albinos are endowed with mystical powers. "People think that we don't die and many other things that aren't true," says Mwaura. "Albinos are seen as a cure, because they possess something out of the ordinary."

However, Andrei Engstrand-Neacsu, one of the authors of the Red Cross report, says traditional beliefs aren't solely to blame. He notes that the murders started in 2007, around the time of a mining and fishing boom in northern Tanzania, when many people launched new business ventures. Superstitious entrepreneurs desperate to succeed may have bought "good luck" albino trinkets from witch doctors. "This is mostly an economic activity carried out by criminals who have seized an opportunity," he says. "They have found people sufficiently stupid to believe that by using magic potions made of albino body parts they could become rich or more powerful."

What's certain is that buyers -- most of whom are believed to be Tanzanian -- are willing to pay a high price for these horrific charms. Police have reported albino limbs being sold by witch doctors for $200, while a full "albino kit" -- consisting of limbs, nose, tongue, ears and genitals – costs $75,000. That's an astronomical sum in a country where almost 60% of the population lives on less than $1 a day, and it has led many experts to conclude that the demand for these goods comes from the upper-echelons of Tanzanian society. "Poor people cannot afford to spend so much money on a little concoction from a witch doctor," says the Albinism Society's Mwaura. "The buyers must be wealthy. They are not even trying to strike it rich, they're trying to strike it richer."

Under pressure from campaigners at home and abroad, the Tanzanian government has started to crack down on the grim trade. In January, it revoked all traditional healers' operating licenses. (Many, however, flouted the ban and continued to trade.) In the spring, President Jakaya Kikwete ordered all adults to fill out a form and name anyone who they suspected of killing an albino. The courts have also been getting tough: So far this year, seven people have been handed the death penalty for taking part in albino murders.

Franck Alphonse, director of the Tanzania Albino Center (which cares for 79 albino children), though, argues that these recent cases have failed to unearth the true criminals who ordered the attacks. "The gangs who kill the albinos, who earn $250 for murdering an albino, have been sentenced to death," he says. "But the sentence doesn't touch those wealthy people who sent those criminals to murder the albino in the first place. The source of the crime is still there."

Despite these doubts, there's evidence that this hard-line approach is scaring off some albino hunters. The brutal killing of Gasper Elikana in October was the first reported murder in three months.

However, it's likely that the region's albinos will only feel truly safe when their black-skinned neighbors regard them as ordinary people and not supernatural beings. "What's needed is education," says Engstrand-Neacsu. "We need to make people understand what albinism really is. Ignorance is the origin of discrimination. And ignorance has ultimately led to these crimes."

Theunis Bates-
Theunis is a London-based journalist. He also writes for Time, Fast Company and Business Life.

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Job Losses Pose Danger For Obama And The Democrats

Job Losses Pose Danger For Obama And The Democrats

(For publication the week beginning November 23, 2009)

By Dr. Ron Daniels

There is a rebellion against Washington brewing across the land, and that’s bad news for President Obama and the Democrats. Unemployment is 10.2% and climbing. According to a recent poll, some 30% of American families are feeling the pain of the dramatic downturn in the economy, which has produced the highest level of joblessness in decades. Never mind that the devastating economic collapse was inherited by President Obama; what people care about is whether they see the government addressing their pain, whether any visible actions are being taken that give them hope that their job opportunities will improve in the near future. While growing joblessness is the issue uppermost in the minds of millions of Americans, what they are witnessing in Washington is a protracted and divisive struggle over health care reform. And, on Wall Street, people are flabbergasted to see the stock market rising, bank and investment company profits soaring and monstrous bonuses for employees of the very companies whose reckless behavior precipitated the economic crisis. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people continue to lose their homes as the depression in the mortgage industry continues.

It is not that health care reform is irrelevant. In a nation where nearly 50 million people do not have health care and the prices of premiums continue to skyrocket, health care reform unquestionably must be a major national priority. Indeed, President Obama is correct to argue that the long term well being of the economy depends on bending the cost curve for health care downward. The problem is that people are less concerned about health care reform when their families and communities are being ravaged by joblessness. In this regard, there appears to be a dangerous disconnect between the Obama administration and Main Street.

Unfortunately, the brewing rebellion is yet another consequence of the timidity of President Obama in dealing with the huge crisis he inherited from the Bush-Cheney administration. Some argue that he has his priorities backward because the economy does not appear to be at the top of the agenda. For those who hold that view, it may be useful to remember that health care reform was not the first issue President Obama targeted for action/resolution; it was the economy. The first months of his administration were devoted to rolling out a new economic stimulus package and bail out packages designed to rescue the ailing financial, auto and mortgage sectors of the economy. But as Paul Krugman has repeatedly pointed out, President Obama’s stimulus package was too small to achieve the kind of job generation required to ameliorate the pain around the country.

Now President Obama is in a terrible bind. An inadequate stimulus package is “stimulating” far too slowly to reverse the tide of joblessness spreading across the country at a time when he is compelled to push through some form of health care reform legislation. After months of investing major political capital in this effort, the failure to produce something, no matter how modest, would be disastrous. The Republicans, who are determined to see him fail, are getting traction by howling about the lack of results of the stimulus package, the growing deficit and expansion of government. Sensing a political opening with the 2010 mid-term elections approaching, they are opportunistically tapping into and fueling the rage boiling across the country over the issue of jobs.

The question is how will President Obama and the Democrats respond. The President is scheduled to convene a Jobs Summit in the very near future, and that is a step in the right direction. However, it is not likely that the anger across the country will be abated by mere summitry. If there was ever a time for President Obama to be bold and decisive, it’s now. He needs to unveil a substantial job generating stimulus package and dare Republicans and vacillating “Blue Dog” Democrats to oppose it. And, he needs to be bold enough to propose that public service employment/jobs be an integral component of the initiative.

There was a time when Democrats routinely advocated that the government be an “employer of last resort.” With the successful Republican assault on “big government” and “social programs” beginning with the Reagan era, the idea of public service jobs as a remedy for unemployment disappeared from the political discourse. Democrats were cowered into refusing to consider initiatives that the Republicans might label as liberal “tax and spend” government proposals. However, the current crisis offers President Obama and the Democrats a golden opportunity to resurrect the concept of a full employment economy with public service jobs being part of the formula. Whether it is in a blue state or red state, most sane Americans want a job, no matter who provides it, that will allow them to bring home some green. So, rather than cower and be timid, President Obama and the Democrats should seize the moment to deliver a desperately needed jobs initiative and educate the American public on the importance of government as an employer of last resort in times of crisis.

President Obama now faces a critical moment of truth in his young presidency. With a rebellion brewing across the country because of massive joblessness, he must act boldly or the Republicans will ride the wave of discontent to an astonishing victory in the 2010 elections. A party whose philosophy and policies provoked the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression and was repudiated by the voters in 2008 will likely regain control of the House and Senate, rendering the duration of President Obama’s tenure miserable. It is an ironic circumstance which can and must be prevented with bold leadership by President Obama and the Democrats.

(Dr. Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and Distinguished Lecturer at York College City University of New York. He is the host of An Hour with Professor Ron Daniels, Monday-Friday mornings on WWRL Radio 1600 AM in New York and Night Talk, Wednesday evenings on WBAI 99.5 FM, Pacifica, New York. His articles and essays also appear on the IBW website and He can be reached via email at

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11/28/2009*12P-3P CST*LCRMCOC: Reflections For The Year And Elections

Reflections For The Year And Elections

A hands-on community forum for understanding
the vast opportunities to become involve with the community.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Player’s Bar and Grill
Danny Thomas and Firestone (signs will be out)

12 P.M. – 3 P.M.

Join your fellow members in our annual LCRMCOC meeting where we will be setting guidelines for the upcoming elections for the following year and introducing different opportunities for those who want to actually work within the community.

I am looking forward to doing Fund Raising projects and establishing memberships so that we can identify ourselves.

We are looking forward to our State Legislatures to attend in support of our efforts to collaborate with the National Civil Rights Museum.

Deke Pope will do our reflections and Clark McMillan will be a guest speaker as he is commemorated for outstanding community service and shares his video Proof of Innocence. We will not be able to watch it but they will be available to purchase.

A sample of the by-laws for the organization will be passed out and suggestions regarding it will be accepted.

All guests will be recognized and loaded with information regarding what they represent and so on. Looking forward to seeing everyone and please invite others.

Delia Smith – Chair


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