Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hero Needed Please Apply

One of the massive issues facing the 99% is that they are as divided as the 1% but when money is involved as one can see by the Trump Dynasty/Fiefdom white men and some women will get behind the leader regardless.  And in this case there is a lot to disregard there.

When I went to Zuccotti now over 5 years ago I knew it was not long to last despite the powerful dialog and message it opened I saw no leadership, no clear organization and no willingness to do so and it ended with the park being cleaned out and it is now as if it was just a blip on the radar of history and instead we have some standing girl statue as a message of equality facing the bull and I mean as in the shit that Wall Street pulls to dupe and rape the American public.

This has been followed by right and left stand ups and downs that included the crazy right wing crap in Nevada and the Cliven Bundy standoff still pending trial.  Or that one in Oregon which is also going to trial.  What they were actually protesting is unclear but this is an equal opportunity bitch blog.   But hey angry white men with guns deserve attention.

We have had the amazing protests about Energy and none as significant as Standing Rock with the Sioux tribe taking most of the responsibility and credit, deservedly so,  for their action that actually accomplished something.  And it is not over.

And then we have perhaps the most significant movement that truly brought anger, tears and a realization that our criminal justice system is corrupt and inept and thoroughly biased and racist from the bottom to the top.  And for one moment there was a change and attention to an issue that needed to be addressed in both theory and action.  And that action is still in need as two words: Jeff Sessions.

However when it comes to the reality of how that change comes about is truly the quagmire.  We are supposed to vote, to find candidates that represent the people as in by and for and then we don't. As in don't find the candidate or don't vote and it ends there.  And back to the status quo.  And it appears we have double downed on it.

There was an amazing Women's March started however by a Facebook Post (not unlike the many others that began with a ##) and it was widely attended and applauded.  And then it was over.  Then just this last week the Il Douchebag in Chief signed away The Fair Play and Safe Workplace act, ironically or intentionally on Equal Pay day.  . He managed to find not one but two clearly idiotic Congresswomen to stand by and observe this sexist act unlike the one the week before where a bunch of white men signed away women's access to care and their ability to decide what is right for their own body.   The two women who were there - Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, (remember her dad?)  left, and Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina are applauding as Trump seems to think this is fine.  How is the complicit daughter Ivanka fairing on that one?  Does she know what complicit means yet?  And women of Wyoming and North Carolina you must be so proud.  Well here we have our own Mae Beavers who is just a doll when it comes to rights of women and members of the LGBQT community.   Funny and is she like Sessions where those issues not good but okay with the black people however.  Selective hatred is like selective memory perhaps.
 
The  issue I have is that there is no clear leadership.  We have the massive moment of hysteria on college campuses about Halloween costumes, sexist curriculum, and rape then it becomes an overwrought drama about the angry Milo dude and the racist lunatic speaking at Middlebury. And what gets lost is the actual point of the protest.  Anger and rage and protests are inherent in the DNA of America; however, that was also well organized, messaged and clear leadership established to find commonalities, resolve the differences and devise a clear strategy on how to resolve and accomplish the change they demand. 

I am not sure why we cannot find leaders other than few wish to be.  I suspect that is fear as our history in that department is an odd correlation to the same manner in which revolution was accomplished - guns and violence - two things also ingrained in our country's DNA.

Without leadership we will have the same old same old.  As we look to Ferguson this last week the ground zero for #BlackLivesMatter and we find exactly that.  If you live in the past you will always live in the past and I live in the present and hope for the future.  Pepsi anyone?




Ferguson Re-Elects White Mayor 2 Years After Mike Brown Incident

By JOHN ELIGON
THE NEW YORK TIMES
APRIL 5, 2017

FERGUSON, Mo. — When a national movement for racial justice flared here two and a half years ago, activists nationwide hoped to upend the political order. Ferguson was one of many predominantly black communities across the country that were under white control, and they strategized about ways to change that.

But those hopes for sweeping increases in black political leadership have not come to fruition, a point driven home in the mayoral election this week.

Although much of the activism today stems from the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, voters here — at least the few who turned out — re-elected James Knowles III, a white Republican who has been the object of much scorn among those who believe the city has discriminated against black people. About 67 percent of the city’s 21,000 residents are black, and 29 percent are white, according to the 2010 census.

Some activists are now assessing what is happening politically for black people and whether there needs to be a complete rethinking of how they engage with mainstream politics.

“With all that’s happened within the past two years nationally, I think I am concerned,” said Allen Frimpong, an activist based in New York. “I would expect that folks would, at the very least, move to the polls, and that’s not happening. There’s something that we need to look at, because something’s not working.”

Especially with the concerns he has heard over President Trump’s policies, Mr. Frimpong said, he thought people would have been thinking, “Let me do something in my local community.”

To be sure, the Black Lives Matter movement has made significant gains nationwide in areas ranging from policing to education. But the barriers that black and other marginalized communities face in engaging and succeeding in politics run deep, organizers and political observers said. Many black communities remain skeptical that any single candidate can erase what they see as generations of unfair treatment by political leaders.

When Ella Jones, 62, a City Council member who was seeking to become Ferguson’s first black mayor, went door-to-door to speak with residents, she said, many black people told her they did not think she could help change their fortunes. Some questioned whether she had accomplished anything in her two years on the City Council, she said.

“If you’ve been oppressed so long, it’s hard for you to break out to a new idea,” said Ms. Jones. “And when you’ve been governed by fear and people telling you that the city is going to decline because an African-American person is going to be in charge, then you tend to listen to the rhetoric and don’t open your mind to new possibilities.”

Some of Ms. Jones’s voters said they did not make their choice enthusiastically. The number of votes cast on Tuesday was slightly less than those cast during the City Council election two years earlier, when the city was brimming with international attention in its first campaign after Mr. Brown’s death.

“When you look at it, when the people had an opportunity to change what they said has been an oppressed system, they decided not to get out and change the system,” Ms. Jones said a day after the election. “You cannot complain about a system that you are unwilling to do the work to change.”

Voters in nearby St. Louis, also a center of activism after the Brown shooting, also elected a white mayor, who received support from the departing white incumbent over a slew of well-known black candidates.

“To me, Missouri as a whole is ground zero” in the fight for racial justice, said Stefanie Brown James, a political strategist. “For Ferguson and St. Louis to not elect black candidates, that frustrates and angers me.”

Ms. Brown James and many other political observers said they were disappointed at the inability of the black political establishment to coalesce around a single candidate in last month’s Democratic primary. Several well-known black politicians ran and split the vote, allowing Lyda Krewson, an alderwoman who is white and who got the endorsement of the current mayor, Francis Slay, to defeat her closest competitor, Tishaura Jones, but only by about 800 votes.

“That really, to me, is the onus on the black community to say, ‘We cannot continue to have the status quo if we want to make our communities better,’” Ms. Brown James said.

Mr. Knowles, 37, who won his third mayoral term in Ferguson by nearly 15 percentage points, chafed at the suggestion that his election represented the maintenance of a status quo that allowed for the mistreatment of black people. He pointed to several changes the city has made since Mr. Brown’s death.

The city has replaced its white police chief and city manager with black men. It reached an agreement with the Justice Department to overhaul its justice system. And three black people, including Ms. Jones, have won seats on the Council. There was only one before Mr. Brown’s killing.

Mr. Knowles credited activists with helping push the city to change. And he said they should look at the work he has done to make changes, not at his race, when evaluating him as mayor.

“If the measure is, ‘There’s still a white guy there,’ No. 1, that’s, I think, pretty un-American,” he said. “But No. 2, I think they don’t give themselves credit for what they deserve, which is we’ve made progress.”

Mr. Knowles said his victory showed that voters were not fixated on race. “At the end of the day, making history is great,” he said, but people really care about things like the budget, property values, road conditions and public safety.

Some people attributed Mr. Knowles’s re-election to the same forces they believe produced a Trump presidency.

“This is the white backlash to the protests,” said Emily Davis, a community organizer in Ferguson. “There was an uprising, and white people said: ‘We’re not going to give up our power. Don’t take this from us.’”

The election results, for some, underscored the need to “take a step back and reassess and redefine what actual political power is,” said Ashley Yates, a St. Louis-born activist who is now working on causes nationwide for Black Lives Matter. “For a lot of us, it’s not about building something that will gain us greater access to the political establishment that already exists. It’s not about just putting more black faces in systems that are built to oppress us already.”

But Rita Williams, 28, a black resident who voted for Mr. Knowles, said people should not harp on race in elections.

“It’s not enough,” Ms. Williams said. “Obama was a black president. I don’t feel like he did enough. I mean, it’s not about color for me. It’s about who’s in my best interest.”

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