Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Brief Interlude…

First of all, a belated Happy New Year!!!

In retrospect...

Just a few 2011 things that I started writing about, but - as has increasingly been the case with me - sat, as drafts:
  • It’s official. We’ve got bragging rights to our First, Black Murderer-in-Chief. No need to really go further into that except to say - Black folk, please stop conflating him with MLK!  That many of you see him as the realization of Dr. King’s dream is certainly your prerogative, but to me - it seems evidence of some deeply embedded PTSD (Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder).
  • Am I the only one that finds this man-made coral reef incredibly insensitive, and at the very least - skeevy?

(Here's the transcript if you care:  "Bodies" Make Up Fake Coral Reef)

I remember a former co-worker in the Keys covering the calamitous sinking of the landing ship, USS Spiegel Grove off Key Largo in 2003.  Now that made sense to me.  But this?  Not so much.

I’m all for saving the environment, but really Jason?  I suppose the fact that there’s hundreds of years of remains of REAL Black bodies in all that water as a result of the slave trade matters not to this Brit.  And why should it?  Let's not forget, "The Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa" (along with its later iterations) with its monopoly on the slave trade - certainly travelled the Carribean, tossing overboard and/or dropping off LIVE cargo all along the way).  As I said, I find the sinking of some of these warships much more palatable. But that’s just me.

Look, kudos to those who’ve dedicated themselves to the various “Occupy” movements across the country - but I’ll pass. Any movement calling itself “Occupy” anything, leaves a bad taste in my mouth – LIKE BLOOD. From my indigenous brothers and sisters here in America and abroad, to the Africans, from whom I’m descended – I think there’s been w-a-a-y more than enough damned “OCCUPYING” going on.  This piece last year confirms that, Occupy Oakland Faces a Troubled Police Dept. - and Historic Mayor:
While President Obama was telling the small crowd at a $7500-a-plate fundraiser in San Francisco that “Change is possible,” Pooda Miller was across the bay trying to get her plate back from the Oakland Police Department. “They came, pulled out rifles, shot us up with tear gas and took all our stuff,” said Miller, at an afternoon rally condemning the violent evacuation of more than 170 peaceful, unarmed Occupy Oaklanders by 500 heavily-armed members of the Oakland Police Department and other local departments yesterday morning.

With a long metal police fence separating Miller and other members of Occupy Oakland from their confiscated items—tents, water, food, clothes, medicine, plates—and now possessed by the police, Miller grabbed a big blue and white bullhorn that looked like it was almost half of her 4-foot, 5-inch frame...

...The sound of Miller’s ire shot across the protective masks of all of the officers standing at alert on the other side of the metal police fence, but her loudest, most acidic anger was saved for the baton-wielding officer who, like herself and other officers, was a young African-American woman.

“Who are you serving?” screamed Miller at the top of her high pitched voice, turned raspy from hours of denouncing. “You’re being used. You’re getting paid with our tax money to put down your own people! Why are you doing this to your own people?”
Miller’s questions about the role of race in the policing of Occupy Oakland points to what is and will continue to be the larger question in Oakland and other U.S. cities where former “minorities” are becoming majorities: What does it mean when those charged with defending elite interests against multi-racial and increasingly non-white activists are themselves multiracial and non-white? The ongoing protests, mayor recall, phone calls, emails and other pressure and pushback of Occupy Oakland are no longer aimed at cigar-smoking white men. They are aimed at a power structure in Oakland whose public face looks more like Miller and other non-white protesters.
Miller and others are calling for the recall of Jean Quan, who made history as Oakland’s first Asian-American mayor...and they are complaining about the use of excessive police violence authorized by Interim Chief Howard Jordan, an African American. Such conflicts between former minorities are becoming the norm in what more conservative commentators call the “post-racial” era ushered in by the election of Obama...
(I swear I heard my sister-elder, Audre Lorde whispering, "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" when I read the above paragraph!)
...Many like Miller and other Occupy Oaklanders are having second thoughts about what feels like the affirmative actioning of policing and state violence. Others, like Ofelia Cuevas of the University of California’s Center for New Racial Studies, see the workings of a not-so-21st-century pattern of policing and power.

“Having people of color policing people of color is not new,” said Cuevas. “This was part of policing history in California from the beginning. In the 1940s, while the federal government was interning Japanese Americans in camps, officials in Los Angeles were starting to recruit black police officers as a way to decrease police brutality.”

Cuevas noted that big city mayors like Quan or Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are, by electoral and structural necessity, required to act like any of their predecessors, who headed up police forces that attacked, surveilled and even killed those perceived as a threat to the establishment...
...“Being mayor is being pro-police. They perceive that it’s their job to crush what they consider threats to the status quo,” said Cuevas.

Regardless of who is Mayor or police chief, keeping the status quo is the last thing that Gaston Lau, a 21 year-old english major at University of California, Berkeley, sees as an option. “[Quan’s] support for this amount of police brutality here is ridiculous,” said Lau, who held a placard that said “Down, Down with Jean Quan.”
“The future power struggles are not just going to be about fights between one race and another,” said Lau. “They’re mostly going to be about class, which is a big part about what the whole Occupy movement is about.”

Lau is hopeful that the movement will inspire younger Asian Pacific Islanders to engage with the issues of the Occupy moment, but worries about the generational conflict such a political engagement entails. “Some older Chinese might see having one of our own as mayor as a source of pride, but we need to help them understand how Quan and police act against us.”

Despite the internal and external challenges posed by multicultural powers putting down multicultural movements, Lau is, like his Occupy Oakland peers, undeterred. Clashes between Occupiers and Oakland police continued into last night as protesters tried to reclaim the park and police met them with tear gas. The movement has vowed to continue attempting to return to the space. “Whether or not the mayor is Asian,” Lau said, “when she acts against the people, then we will respond as the people.” (all emphasis mine)
I'm definitely with Pooda, whose views perfectly reflect what Dr. King shared with Mr. Belafonte - five days before he was murdered.  See interview below (I don't do ads here if I can help it, so kindly ignore that shout-out at the end - I just couldn't find the original):

(and seems not much has changed Mr. Belafonte.)

As for Lau, I can only partially agree, because the idea that the new battle is about “class only" is, IMHO - a calculated distraction. Forget his nod to "generational conflict," we are EONS away from being post-racial, not only in America - but globally!

A married pair of top officials in a Maryland county is accused of tampering with evidence after FBI agents said they recorded the husband telling his wife to flush a $100,000 check from a real estate developer down the toilet and to stuff almost $80,000 in cash in her underwear...

..."To all the citizens of Prince George's County, you know me. I've served you long and I've served you well and most of you know me well. I cannot go into these allegations because my lawyers will kill me if I do. I'm innocent of these charges. I just can't wait for the facts to come out. When they come out, I am absolutely convinced that we will be vindicated." (emphasis mine)
Um, Jack? This doesn't sound like vindication to me:  Jack Johnson, former Prince George’s exec, sentenced to 7 years in corruption.  As my sister, Cinie used to say - Silly wabbit!

And finally this from The Daily Caller in what used-to-be the "Chocolate City:"

Still waiting on the Changeling I guess...{smdh}

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