1 in 100

•February 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

10% of Mexico’s population lives in the Untied States.

10% of the U.S. population will experience a seizure in his or her lifetime.

Immigrants make up just over 10% of the U.S. population.

In 10% of U.S. counties, people of color are the majority of the population.

Incarceration is at an all time high – over 10% of the adult U.S. population is locked up.

The NY Times reported on the Pew Center on the States’ latest report:

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

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latest postsecret

•February 28, 2008 • 2 Comments
it’s been a minute., but i just checked out the latest round of postcards over at postscret.  of note:
if you have a secret on a postcard you want featured, you should visit the website.

Urine in Your Stew: Fear Factor – Afrikaan Edition

•February 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This is a pretty disgusting – on a couple of levels -bit of news I received in my inbox. It seems a group of white boys (Afrikaans) thought it would be cute and subversive to stage a fake “Fear Factor” with the South African dorm staff as contestants. This included a contest of eating stew laced with urine!

I’ve seen this posted on another blog already tonight and one of the commenters thought the whole scene was just a funny prank and that the women just shouldn’t have eaten it. It’s mighty sick how bullies, racists, and other sickos think it’s lighthearted and funny to literally endanger someone’s life…not to mention that the end of the video actually confirms their white supremacist intentions. Read on…

Watch clips from the video on CNN

Whites tricked blacks into consuming urine, university says

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) — White students at a South African university tricked black residence hall workers into eating stew containing urine, prompting a march Wednesday in which five people were arrested, university officials said.

Students protest against a racist video on the campus of Free State University in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The white students made a video of the incident, which they staged in reaction to the university’s efforts to integrate its residences, according to a statement from the University of the Free State.
The protesters on Wednesday included black and white students who later marched to the residence where the video was made and demanded that it be shut down, witnesses said.
The video surfaced on Tuesday but was made in September, the university said.

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A Name to Call: Johnnie Carr

•February 27, 2008 • 3 Comments

Another fameless, yet tireless Civil Rights activist has passed away.

Those of us who learned about Johnnie Rebecca Carr through history books may remember her as “the woman who refused to give up her seat before Rosa Parks did it.” A lifelong friend of Ms. Parks’, Mrs. Carr organized carpools during the legendary Montgomery bus boycott. She later went on to head the Montgomery Improvement Association after MLK, a position she held until her recent death of a stroke at age 97.

Bless her spirit. May her family be comforted by her life and legacy.

NY Times Article

reflecting on black history month

•February 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Visit the Carter G. Woodson Institute

The Copper Sun recently sparked an interesting and lively discussion about Black History Month called “The Utility of Black History Month.” His original post included a quote from M-1 denigrating the month and ended questioning the importance and limitations of Black History Month.

In my response, I reflected on the limitations I perceive in the implementation of Black History Month. This is part of my comment:

it either becomes about romanticizing, mourning, or dreaming…but, what about really understanding our history and cultures and working to make a change? as a public school teacher, i’ve found that this separation results in whole generations not knowing anything about ‘black history’ other than notable civil rights figures…there’s no connection made of ‘blacks’ (american or others) to the sciences, literature, math, government, etc. clearly, the only meaningful, scientific, and/or civilized contributions to these disciplines have only come from caucasians and asians. it’s really like being beaten…or ignored…all year, then hugged all month and expected to go out and leap mountains. it’s actually kinda schizophrenic.

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Supreme Court to ACLU: “Fall Back”

•February 19, 2008 • 2 Comments

The Supreme Court refused to hear the American Civil Liberties Union’s challenge to the NSA’s warrantless wiretap program.  As anticipated, the Courts continued with their previous position that the ACLU’s suit had legs that wouldn’t walk because the plaintiffs (the ACLU, other lawyers, scholars, and reporters) could not prove that they had been wiretapped by the NSA. 

“It’s very disturbing that the president’s actions will go unremarked
upon by the court,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s national
security project. “In our view, it shouldn’t be left to executive
branch officials alone to determine the limits.”

The ACLU clearly points out that the situations is a catch-22.  On the one hand, the Court makes it plain that a person would need firm proof that they were being surveilled without a warrant, yet this very information protected from public knowledge because of the carte blanch powers relinquished to Bush through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  The activity is said to be part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, which no longer exists.

For some reason, it’s not easy to find articles covering this topic.  Here’s one.
Read the ACLU’s Press Release.

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A Name to Call: James Orange

•February 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Rev. James Orange and Obang Metho @ King family tombs

A long-time activist, whose name many of us have never heard before, has made his transition: James Orange. He was a field staffer Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1965, which was only the beginning of a lifetime of organizing, protesting, consciousness raising…and freedom singing to fight oppression and poverty. SCLC founder Joseph Lowery had this to say about Orange:

“Without James Orange, there would have been no movement across the deep South.”

and Andrew Young says:

“He was one of the first heroes. He is one of those people who never got the recognition, or the wealth or fame that he made possible for others.”

Coverage: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN