Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

How much longer?

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I’m not even sure why I am asking this question, except right now I’m tired. Saw this graphic on twitter yesterday and it made me think. Not about B’More, though the news and coverage and outrages, and finger-pointing triggered my thoughts.

“When You Strike a Woman you strike a rock”

Yes, I’m writing about Loretta Lynch-again.

And I’m gonna keep on writing about her, and signing petitions, and making phone calls to the Senate (The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121). Every day that passes we learn of new atrocities taking place against members of our community, and the god-damned vicious petty demagogues who sit on their larded behinds in seats paid for by our tax dollars refuse to fill one of the most important cabinet positions in this nation. They got no shame.  

    ‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’

   (you strike the women, you strike the rock)

Those are the words used by the Federation of South African women when they marched 20,000 strong in 1956 protesting pass laws. These words were echoed in the outcry of women in North Carolina recently…angry about the continued delay in confirming their sister North Carolinian to become Attorney General of the United States.  

Cotton better not come to Harlem

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We already know quite a bit about Senator Tom Cotton and his willingness to torpedo talks with Iran, spearheading the infamous 47 Senator letter. Since it behooves black folks to also examine candidates (and he is running for something) about where they stand on issues that directly affect us, figured I’d do a little digging into his opining on us.  

Took all of about 5 seconds with the google. Thank you Emma Rollins at Slate

Arkansas Senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton has earned some flack for his Harvard Crimson columns, in which he at turns compares a golf cup to battle, calls libertarians “sanctimonious,” brushes off feminism, and says affirmative action is “superficial” diversity. A new trawl through the archives shows Cotton wrote a review for the Harvard Salient, the university’s conservative political journal, of America in Black and White by Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom. The thesis of the book seems to be that Democrats refuse to accept how much better life is for black people today (read: in the late ’90s) than in the pre-war era.

Republicans pick a bale of Cotton

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In other words, they are packaging yet another future Presidential hopeful to add to the roster of crazy they’ve already ginned up. Yes, I’m talking about Senator Tom Cotton (R), the junior senator from Arkansas.

Not content with having him lead the pack of 47 Senators attempting to subvert the President and Commander in Chief over Iran negotiations, (denounced by editorial boards across the nation) he just finished doing the torture photo-op tour of Guantanamo.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is touring the United States’ Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba Friday along with some freshmen Republican senators, according to a report.

Joining him on the trip are Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma.

In case, in all the fury around Cotton leading the band of 47 Senators in their drumbeats towards war with Iran, you don’t remember his thoughts on Gitmo, Cotton wants it expanded-not shut.

Cotton has previously slammed President Barack Obama’s call for Guantanamo’s closure, saying last month that the United States “should be sending more terrorists there for further interrogation to keep this country safe.”

“As far as I’m concerned, every last one of them can rot in hell,” Cotton said of Guantanamo prisoners during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in February. “But as long as they don’t do that, they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.”

Let’s be Kristol-clear about Cotton.

He is not only pushing for war with Iran, but his voting record on a whole bundle of issues is anti-citizen.  

More cotton-mouthed b.s. below the fold

Go get em Joe! VP Biden responds to 47 Republicans who try to undermine Iran talks

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VP Joe Biden has spoken out forcefully against the 47 Republicans who took it upon themselves, with no constitutional authority to meddle and attempt to undermine the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Statement by the Vice President on the March 9th Letter From Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran

I served in the United States Senate for thirty-six years. I believe deeply in its traditions, in its value as an institution, and in its indispensable constitutional role in the conduct of our foreign policy. The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.

This letter, in the guise of a constitutional lesson, ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American President, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States. Honorable people can disagree over policy. But this is no way to make America safer or stronger.

I owe my soul to the Ferguson Court

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Inside the Ferguson court. Black people pay fees and fines. White people collect them.

After reading the Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the Ferguson police department, lyrics from an old song “Sixteen Tons” kept going through my head. “Another day older and deeper in debt….I owe my soul to the company store,” and someone needs to do an update with “I owe my soul to the Ferguson Court.”

That lyric references “debt bondage,”and though the original song was talking about coal miners, in my head I envisioned black sharecroppers, who after emancipation lived in debt and suffering under the yoke of white planters.

Browsing the news, I read “This Is What It’s Like To Go To Court In Ferguson, Missouri.”

In an email I noted:

Systemic racism is intersectional-so it covers policing, repression, economics, schooling, housing …

This is what I call urban sharecropping-black rural populations lived in debt to “the company store.” Black urban populations like those in Ferguson now live in debt to the township. Race is never overshadowed.  It is the driving force behind systems of subjugation and control. Missouri was a slave state. Might as well sing Dixie when you think of it.

The harvest in Ferguson is cash. The police are like the overseers and drivers on plantations of old, keeping black folks in line and paying…paying…paying. Sass back, get shot or bit by dog. Can’t pay-go to jail. The boss who profits…well you can figure that out.

Cross-posted from Denise Oliver Velez at Daily Kos

“Glory” is Glorious

I did not watch the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony.

I was disgruntled by the Academy diss, and certain media punditry about the film “Selma,” which I wrote about in “Black and female eye on the Oscars .”

No matter. Music carries a powerful message and “Glory” is simply glorious.

“Glory” is a song performed by American singer-songwriter John Legend and rapper Common. It was written by Legend, Common and Che Smith. The song was released on December 11, 2014 by Columbia Records as the theme song from the 2014 film Selma, which portrays the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. Common also co-starred as 1960s Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel in Selma.

Commercially, the song peaked at No. 92 on the US Billboard Hot 100. A music video for the song was directed by Paramount Pictures and was released on January 12, 2015. The song won the award for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards (2015) and the 72nd Golden Globe Awards (2015).

Young black folks sit down, and spark a movement

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This section of the lunch counter from the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth’s which is now preserved in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History has a living story to tell.

Many of you were not even born in 1960 when those seats were occupied by four very brave young black college students, Ezell Blair, Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, who risked their lives to demand their right to be served, and who sparked a massive wave of sit-ins and boycotts against racial segregation – led by other young people.

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Simply Langston

I was pleased to see that Google dedicated a “Google Doodle” kicking off Black History Month to Langston Hughes, born on Feb. 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, by animating his poem “I Dream a World.”

I dream a world where man

No other man will scorn,

Where love will bless the earth

And peace its paths adorn

I dream a world where all

Will know sweet freedom’s way,

Where greed no longer saps the soul

Nor avarice blights our day.

A world I dream where black or white,

Whatever race you be,

Will share the bounties of the earth

And every man is free,

Where wretchedness will hang its head

And joy, like a pearl,

Attends the needs of all mankind-

Of such I dream, my world!

My introduction to Langston Hughes wasn’t his poetry, at first. My mom would read his “Jesse B. Semple” stories to me, and as soon as I could read, I read them over and over, because they were “real” black people. When I got older, old enough to be hanging out in Harlem bars, I read them again. They still rang true.