A week or so ago, my best friend, Kat, sent me a FB invite to the Minneapolis Trayvon Martin rally, and I immediately accepted – though it meant missing my tai chi class. I really didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t been to a protest in a long time – and we Minnesotans are all decorous and shit. I highly doubted things would get out of hand, but who knows when tensions are running as high as they are over the Trayvon Martin injustice?
Last night, I put on my hoodie and took pics of me looking suspicious in preparation for the rally. I headed for my best friend’s house to hitch a ride with her and her daughter, Kitten, who was attending her first rally/protest. Kitten’s eight, and I was worried about how the rally would be for her, but I think it’s important to get kids involved in social justice issues at a young age.
(Click for more rallying and protesting)
I’ve gotten out of the habit of tuning in to evening cable news shows, but I flipped on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night in time to catch him dressing down Rene Stutzman, a reporter for The Orlando Sentinel who covered the leak of George Zimmerman’s statement to police.
For more coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, here’s a link to all Angry Black Lady posts with that tag.
I was astonished as O’Donnell began to ream Stutzman, apparently quoting her story in the Sentinel.
O’DONNELL: Rene, I want to ask you about some lines in your story today that are presented as fact, and I don’t understand why they’re presented as fact. You say, “Zimmerman was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.” Now, others have said that he was on a community watch thing. You don’t say that Zimmerman says that. You don’t say that police told you that. You just report it as fact as if you know exactly what Zimmerman was doing. You don’t know that.
STUTZMAN: I think you’re misreading the story –
O’DONNELL: No, I’m reading –
STUTZMAN: — High in the story, it says –
O’DONNELL: — I’m going to quote you again. “Zimmerman was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.” You don’t attribute that to anyone, except your own knowledge.
Subsidizing hugely profitable companies is a good idea why again?
President Obama is leading the charge on ending taxpayer subsidies to the massively profitable oil companies. This week, the Senate voted in a procedural vote on Senate bill 2204, the Repeal Big Oil Subsidies Act, to do just that. The vote was a lopsided 92-4 but that’s not because Senate Republicans actually want to end these subsidies. It’s because, for some reason, they think this is a winning issue for them and that it will go down in flames in the end while making the Obama administration look bad in light of rising gas prices.
The Obama administration smartly disagrees. They want to have this national conversation. Why? Because rising gas prices are tracking corporate profits quite nicely as it turns out. In other words, the only ones taking a hit on the rising cost of oil are consumers, not the oil companies.
It’s a NOM bombshell: splitting the “blacks and gays” was the plan all along.
I got some push back last week when I laid out the case that African-Americans were unfairly being singled out for being anti-gay bigots and for being responsible for passing Prop 8. Turns out that the notion of trying to split African-Americans and black pastors and chuch-goers especially from the LBGT community is literally in playbook for the actual bigots at NOM.
Late yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights group, obtained “internal NOM documents” that were part of an ongoing investigation by the State of Maine into financial activities by the organization. NOM apparently fought hard to keep those documents sealed, and in reading portions of one of the documents (a 34-page document entitled “The National Strategy for Winning the Marriage Battle”) we understand why. Not only has this organization used ham-fisted approaches to attack the LGBT community, but there’s textual evidence that they aren’t afraid to use a ham-fisted approach to court black and Latino communities.
Desmond Tutu (image via Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation)
This keeps applying.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu
Black voters are not the problem here, folks.
“Blacks and Latinos killed same-sex marriage in California” is one of the nastiest lies out of 2008, and it’s been held against those groups by some in the left now for years. It’s still being held against blacks in particular when it comes to President Obama’s “refusal” to fully embrace same-sex marriage as a right. It’s one of the most egregious wedges being driven into the Obama coalition, and the mistruths surrounding that are still on display today, as National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar goes after the President’s “evolution” by saying “black voters won’t support him” is the reason he won’t come out for same-sex marriage. This black voter disagrees.
Public opinion on gay marriage is pretty straightforward. There’s a huge generational divide – with older voters solidly opposed, and younger voters solidly supportive. Over time, support for gay marriage should increase. And if Obama came out in support of gay marriage, he would probably excite and inspire many college-aged Democrats to show up at the polls and support him — not to mention winning back some socially-moderate independents who have been disenchanted with the president over the economy.
But college-aged voters are only part of the president’s coalition. The bigger element consists of African-American voters, who are solidly opposed to gay marriage. California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage passed in 2008 thanks to overwhelming black support; 70 percent backed it, according to exit polls. Recent gay marriage legislation in Maryland drew opposition from leading Democratic African-American legislators in the state. The same ministers organizing get-out-the-vote efforts in black churches for Obama are also railing against gay marriage.
You will pry my gun from my cold dead fingers
Earlier this month, I wrote about the MN If It Moves in a Way I Don’t Like, I’m Going to Riddle It with Bullets bill and how it pretty much would allow you to shoot anyone you want with the claim that you felt threatened and it was self-defense. Retreat? Why the fuck would I do that, muthafucker? ::Pew pew! Pew pew!:: You would think it was a showdown at high noon the way some of the GOP congresspeople were swaggering around, fondling the butt of their guns*.
“This is our town, and we don’t want no varmint scurrying around!” I think they imagine themselves as part of the old Wild West, shooting the baddies, and winning the heart of the fair maidens**. “Aw, shucks. T’weren’t nothing, Ma’am!” Tip of the hat, and SCENE. As I wrote at the time, it was a recipe for disaster, and I had hoped Governor Dayton (D) would veto it, but I wasn’t sure which way he’d go because guns are pretty big in MN.
(Click click click bang)
Ever since the internet discovered that it could be used For Good, people have railed against the phenomenon now known as “clicktivism.”
Clicking a link/signing an online petition is not nearly enough (goes the argument) — and worse than that, doing these things gives people a false sense of achievement. Having re-tweeted some punchy hashtag (the argument continues), people think they’ve “helped,” and move on to their reality-TV-watching, double-cheeseburger-eating lives, now freed of any sense that they might need to do anything truly useful.
Inevitably, any social campaign that goes viral leads to a great deal of such handwringing — as one headline recently put it: “Is ‘clicktivism’ destroying meaningful social activism?”
But the question is far from new: I recall the wrath of an old friend when I had the temerity to suggest many years ago that folks could help raise funds for hunger relief via The Hunger Site (where I still click, by the way, on a nearly daily basis, along with all the other clickable causes that GreaterGood Network now supports).
Here’s what I don’t understand about the question, though: What world do these people live in? Or, alternatively: What past are they remembering? Did they once live in a world peopled with passionate social activists burning with a sense of mission, ready to chuck it all, or at least the occasional evening, for the sake of repairing the world?
Matt Osborne aka @OsborneInk is on a hunger strike until this White House petition to get Rush Limbaugh off Armed Force Networks has 18,000 signatures.
Matt is about 400 signatures away from a cheeseburger. Please sign.
Here’s Matt on the subject: