Voter Suppression, the New Black

It’s kind of sad that we, as Americans, are basically forced to go outside of our traditional media outlets for alternative viewpoints. Something tells me you’d only find a story like this in American media AFTER an election, or in a MoveOn spam. Anyway, I think it’s interesting what people can get away with, legally, in the name of democracy. Same ole sh!t, though, basically.

I like the historical slant…

In the 1964 presidential elections, a young political operative named Bill guarded a largely African-American polling place in South Phoenix, Arizona like a bull mastiff.

Bill was a legal whiz who knew the ins and outs of voting law and insisted that every obscure provision be applied, no matter what. He even made those who spoke accented English interpret parts of the constitution to prove that they understood it. The lines were long, people fought, got tired or had to go to work, and many of them left without voting. It was a notorious episode long remembered in Phoenix political circles.

It turned out that it was part of a Republican Party strategy known as “Operation Eagle Eye”, and “Bill” was future Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. He was confronted with his intimidation tactics in his confirmation hearings years later, and characterised his behaviour as simple arbitration of polling place disputes. In doing so, he set a standard for GOP dishonesty and obfuscation surrounding voting rights that continues to this day. #read the rest at Al Jazeera

WTC on Mars

Tom Myrick, an engineer at Honeybee, figured out a way of machining the aluminum into cable shields for the rock abrasion tools. He hand-delivered the WTC material to the machine shop in Texas that was working on other components of the tools. When the shields were back in New York, he affixed an image of the American flag on each. The Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 10, 2003, with Opportunity’s launch following in July. Nobody on the rover team or at Honeybee spoke publicly about the source of the aluminum on the cable shields until later that year. #

9/11 Photo Retrospective

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since what is sure to be remembered as one of the biggest world events that our generation (20-30 somethings) will ever witness.  For a retrospective through pictures, check out The Atlantic.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives at a cost of trillions of dollars, and western military forces remain in both countries. A third war, the War on Terror, has driven changes in the U.S. that have pushed against the limits of what American society will accept in return for security — measures such as pre-emptive military strikes, indefinite detentions, waterboarding, wiretapping, and invasive airport security systems. As we remember those lost on September 11, 2001, and construction of the new skyscrapers in Manhattan nears completion, most U.S, troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of this year and Afghanistan by 2014. .::link

The Encyclodpedia of

Check out a thorough collection of articles about 9/11 via NYMAG‘s Encyclopedia of 9/11.

What Dinh didn’t anticipate was a profound shift in liberalism and, therefore, in the politics of the country. Even with a Democrat now in the White House, the liberalism that protects the right of the individual against the majority—the politics of civil rights and abortion and gay marriage—has diminished, in favor of one that aims to improve the lot of the median man. Obama’s liberalism is for the majority, not against it. This spirit, and the unlikely endurance of the Patriot Act, owes something to the central psychological events of the decade: the vitality and threat of new economic competitors, the social violence initiated by the authors of obscure financial instruments, but first and most of all September 11—each of which evoked a particular feeling, that we were all together, under attack. .::Patriot Act

Colorism?

I found an article over at Good which says that many studies suggest that darker colored women get harsher prison sentences than light-skinned ones.  While this is not a surprise- if you’ve ever turned on a television, that is- it does underscore a little-talked-about aspect of the black experience in America, namely colorism, one that dictates that the darker you are, the more associated you become with the negative stereotypes about black people.

I’ve quoted the short article (which links to several studies) underneath this post but you can also read the original here.

 

People talk a lot about the racism that poisons the criminal justice system, sending African-Americans to jail more often than white criminals, and with longer and harsher sentences. But what about “colorism”? If you don’t know, colorism is the sub-prejudice that finds people treating people of color differently based on how light or dark their skin is. Though it’s rarely talked about, colorism is a major cause for concern in courtrooms around the United States, according to a new study.

Called “The Impact of Light Skin on Prison Time for Black Female Offenders,” the study found a group of Villanova professors assessing the sentences of more than 12,000 black female defendants in North Carolina. Their findings were horrifying: Even after controlling for things like prior convictions, crime severity, and thinness, women with light skin received sentences that were 12 percent shorter on average than dark-skinned women. Lighter women also had their actual time served reduced by about 11 percent.

Colorism doesn’t just impact criminals, either. Another study, this one from the University of Georgia in 2006, found that skin tone was even more important than education when it came to employer satisfaction with black job applicants. The message this sends is that the closer you are to white, the better you are—both morally and professionally, evidently.

Thanks to Sarah for the link!

HUSSSSSEEEEEIIINNN

The following is an excerpt of an Op-Ed Reposted from Buzzflash. The views expressed herein do not represent those of MNP as a network.  PSYCH! My ninja, please!

WALTER BRASCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

The latest garbage spewing hate as it circles the Internet in a viral state of panic continues a three year smear against Barack Obama.

The attacks had begun with the extreme right wing spitting out Obama’s full name-Barack HUSSEIN Obama, as if somehow he wasn’t an American but connected to the Iraqi dictator who, despite the Bush Administration’s best efforts, had no connections to 9/11.

When the right-wingers and Tea Party Pack get tired of their “cutesy” attempts to link Obama to militant Muslims, they launch half-truths and lies to claim he wasn’t born in the United States. Like Jaws, Jason, or Freddy Krueger, “birther” propaganda keeps returning, even when independent state officials and analysts proved the claims false.

The issue simmered on Fox TV and talk radio until Donald Trump, the man with the planet-sized ego and the bacteria-sized brain, inserted his persona into the issue, while pontificating about becoming the next president. The media, exhausted from having to cover the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, turned their news columns over to the man who would be God-if only it paid better.

The Wing Nut Cotillion, with Trump getting the headlines, then demanded Obama produce a long-form birth certificate-which he did while leading a combined White House-CIA-Pentagon effort to find and destroy Osama bin Laden. The truth still hasn’t quieted the conspiracy nuts.

Not willing to accept truth and logic, the extreme right wing, grasping for anything they could find, have attacked the raid that killed bin Laden. Among their screeches are that bin Laden isn’t dead . . . that he was killed a week earlier or even years earlier . . . that Obama had hidden the death until there was a more political time to reveal it . . . that it was George W. Bush (who publicly said six months after 9/11 that he didn’t care about bin Laden) who deserves all the credit . . . and that while Navy SEALS should get credit, Obama is too weak to have overseen any part of the mission.

And now from the caves of ignorance and hatred comes a much-forwarded letter, which the anonymous author says “shouldn’t surprise anyone.” Written as fact, the letter informs us Barack Obama: “never held a ‘real’ job, never owned a business and as far as we know, never really attended Harvard or Columbia since those transcripts have never been released and no one remembers him from their time at either school.”

The email of hate further “enlightens” us that “Being a community activist only gives someone insite [sic] on how to assist the less fortunate and dregs of society on how to acquire government housing and government benefits without ever contributing one penny in taxes.”

That’s right. The Whackadoodles Wearing Tinfoil Caps crowd has escaped again… Read The Rest

McGill Students Elected to Parliament

Image source

Three current McGill students and one recent McGill graduate were elected members of parliament (MPs) in today’s federal election

The students, Charmaine Borg, Matthew Dubé, Mylène Freeman and Laurin Liu, were all NDP candidates in Quebec ridings. All four candidates defeated incumbent opponents from the Bloc Québécois.

.:mcgilldaily.com->