Monthly Archives: April 2008


Wednesday, 30 April 2008
McKinneyTestifies The Sean Bell verdict reminds former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of the 1857 Dred Scott Decision, which declared that Blacks have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. In this case, three New York City cops failed to respect Bell’s right to life; he died in a fusillade of 50 shots that also wounded two of his friends. All were unarmed. “The prospects are that black and brown men and women will continue to be murdered by police officers who, fundamentally, seem scared of black people.” McKinney fought for legislation that would “deny federal funds and the use of federal equipment to any law enforcement unit found to have violated the civil rights of the people.”
“A cycle of protest without punishment.”
“[T]he legislation and histories of the time, and the language used in the Declaration of Independence, show, that neither the class of persons who had been imported as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were then acknowledged as a part of the people, nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument. . . . [A]ltogether unfit  to associate with the white race, either in social or political  relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
And with that, the United States Supreme Court ensured that the 20th Century would be defined, as W.E.B. DuBois wrote, by the color line.  So, while we might be outraged at the Sean Bell decision itself, it comes directly from the flawed jurisprudence that gave us the Dred Scott Decision in 1857, Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, Bakke in 1978, Croson in 1989, Adarand in 1995, Gratz in 2003, and all of the Ward Connerly-inspired attacks on the very same affirmative action hard won by students facing water hoses and dogs; men and women facing jail, lynch mobs, and death.

Interestingly, according to Attorney Roger Wareham of the December 12th Movement’s International Secretariat, the criminal justice system in this country “always finds a rationale for letting off cops who kill black and brown people.”  Indeed, police officers seem to know that they can kill certain people with impunity.

Just in New York City alone, Wareham rattles off the murders that have defined police-“communities of color” relations over two generations:

Clifford Glover, 1972
Louis Baez, 1978 shot (22 times)
Randolph Evans, 1979
Eleanor Bumpers, 1985 (a grandmother)
Amadou Diallo, 1999
Patrick Dorismond, 2003
Sean Bell, 2006

Sadly, New York City isn’t the only city, with this plague.  In 2001, the Dayton Daily News reported that Cincinnati topped the list of police killings of Blacks, having had 22 people shot, 13 fatally.  All black men.  Three unarmed.  Plus two additional deaths due to police use of chemical irritants.

The 2001 “Cincinnati Intifada” lasted for three nights after a white police officer murdered an unarmed black teenager.  Timothy Thomas was the fifteenth black male killed by Cincinnati police over a six-year period.  I traveled with Ron Daniels and others to Cincinnati to support the call by black residents, including Reverend Damon Lynch III and 36 other ministers, for a boycott of that city.  Still reeling from the effects of the boycott, Cincinnati made headlines again in 2003 when the world watched as one black and five white police officers repeatedly beat Nathaniel Jones with batons and then left him in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, only to be pronounced dead later at the hospital.

“The criminal justice system in this country always finds a rationale for letting off cops who kill black and brown people.”

The “Benton Harbor, Michigan Intifada of 2003″ lasted two nights after the murder of an unarmed black motorcyclist by white police officers.  Adding insult to injury, the residents of majority-black Benton Harbor are reeling under an attempted takeover of the last “undeveloped” beachfront property on Lake Michigan.  The residents are under attack by the Whirlpool Corporation, that wants to develop “Benton Shores” and move all of the residents completely out of the town.  The purported goal of the development is to turn Benton Harbor into one of the “hottest vacation destinations in the country,” to include a members-only indoor water park, and a Jack Nicklaus golf course.  According to Reverend Edward Pinkney, the valiant leader who is trying to save Benton Harbor for the people, Harbor Shores will result in a complete takeover of Benton Harbor, a city that is 96% Black.  Reverend Pinkney has been in jail since December 14, 2007 on trumped-up charges including violation of probation, for writing an article calling the chief judge racist.  Mrs. Pinkney called the Office of Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee to ask for justice for the residents of Benton Harbor and for her husband.  Shockingly, Chairman Conyers refused Mrs. Pinkney’s plea to get involved in this heroic struggle of a 96% Black community in his own state.  When I visited Benton Harbor, it was clear to me that Reverend Pinkney has the full support of the area’s residents, black and white, as they struggle to maintain the character of their community.  Reverend Pinkney is recognized by the people as true hero and occupies a jail cell because of it.
Finally, however, someone broke the silence and admitted it.  Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper wrote in his book, “Breaking Rank,” that white police officers are afraid of Black men.  He develops this theory in a chapter of the book entitled, “Why White Cops Kill Black Men.”  Finally:  a hint of truth coming from the other side.  In a June 16, 2005 interview with the Looking Glass News, Stamper says that he personally believes “that white cops are scared of black men.  The bigger or darker the man, the more frightened the white cop.  I can’t shake that; it’s a belief I will take to the grave.”

So while the corporate press would have us believe that reporting on what a former Vice Presidential nominee says about a Presidential candidate is a discussion of race, the prospects are that black and brown men and women will continue to be murdered by police officers who, fundamentally, seem scared of black people.  That fear apparently extends to the larger community because juries construct ways to let murderous police officers escape just punishment.

Roger Wareham, and the December 12th Movement International Secretariat raise, inside the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, the details of the type of police abuse in which a 92-year old grandmother, Kathryn Johnston, is murdered by police in Atlanta, Georgia and her family still has not seen justice or been made whole.  Or where a young black male, also in Atlanta, can be sitting in his mother’s car and is murdered because the police presume that the car is stolen.

The December 12th Movement has asked for United Nations Rapporteurs to come to the U.S. on fact-finding missions so that the U.S. can finally be listed as a major human rights abuser and a Rapporteur assigned to this country.  Already, the Special Rapporteur on Racism and Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance is coming to the U.S. from May 18 – June 6 and will be in New York City on May 21st and 22nd.  The December 12th Movement is scheduled to have a hearing for him at the Schomberg Center where the issue of police killings will be raised.  The Rapporteur is also scheduled to visit DC, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, and San Juan.

“The prospects are that black and brown men and women will continue to be murdered by police officers who, fundamentally, seem scared of black people.”
The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Summary and Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Phillip Alston, is conducting a Mission to the U.S. in June. 
The Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is also interested in reports of police abuse.  If a consistent and systemic pattern of abuse exists (which it clearly does in the United States), the United Nations General Assembly can pass a resolution which helps creates international public opinion and perhaps the political will to stop it.
Certainly, doing the same thing – a cycle of protest without punishment – will net the same results.  Something different must be done.  That’s why I authored legislation to deny federal funds and the use of federal equipment to any law enforcement unit found to have violated the civil rights of the people it is organized to protect and serve.  Imagine if we had the laws on the books and the apparatus of enforcement. Imagine if juries wouldn’t grant impunity to killer cops.

Some of you have written to me suggesting that we do something different:  perhaps a full-scale boycott.  Perhaps a full-scale, all-out political response – something many in this generation have never done before.

Bobby Kennedy always said, “Some men dream of things that are and say why.  I dream of things that never were and say why not.”

It is not impossible for us to have justice.   We don’t have to lose any more people to police abuse, brutality, or murder.  But, in order to change things, we’re going to have to do some things we’ve never done before in order to have some things we’ve never had before.

Are you willing to entertain that idea?  Today?  Right now?  If we demand more of our elected representatives, I’m convinced we will get it.  And it should be clear exactly what is needed if we don’t get what we demand.

Cynthia McKinney is a former Democratic congresswoman from Georgia and current candidate for the presidential slot on the Green Party ticket. She is also an organizer for the Reconcstruction Party. To read more of her writings, please visit

SOURCE: The Black Agenda Report:



“Finally, however, someone broke the silence and admitted it.  Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper wrote in his book, “Breaking Rank,” that white police officers are afraid of Black men.  He develops this theory in a chapter of the book entitled, “Why White Cops Kill Black Men.”  Finally:  a hint of truth coming from the other side.  In a June 16, 2005 interview with the Looking Glass News, Stamper says that he personally believes “that white cops are scared of black men.  The bigger or darker the man, the more frightened the white cop.  I can’t shake that; it’s a belief I will take to the grave.”

If anyone has the right to hold fear, it is black men, women and children, of the brutal trigger-happy murders that the police can inflict. Black men, especially, have more right to fear the police because of the many, many killings that have occurred when black men cross paths with police. The police will shoot to kill a black man, even when he is unarmed, because the police like many American citizens have been indoctrinated to hate and fear the black man, when in reality it should be the white man  (as well as the police) whom everyone in this country should fear, dread and loathe. The white man has destroyed millions of lives since he has been in this country, past and present. But, no one ever questions the white man’s right to control and annihilate this country with the white supremacy he has created and practically poisoned this country with.

Fear the black man.


The people of this country had better fear those who are really destroying this country:  the 10% of those in this country who hold much of this country’s wealth; those who have sold jobs overseas; those who have sold this country out to the highest bidder for the love of the almighty dollar.

That’s where your fear should be.

“The December 12th Movement has asked for United Nations Rapporteurs to come to the U.S. on fact-finding missions so that the U.S. can finally be listed as a major human rights abuser and a Rapporteur assigned to this country.  Already, the Special Rapporteur on Racism and Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance is coming to the U.S. from May 18 – June 6 and will be in New York City on May 21st and 22nd.  The December 12th Movement is scheduled to have a hearing for him at the Schomberg Center where the issue of police killings will be raised.  The Rapporteur is also scheduled to visit DC, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, and San Juan.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Summary and Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Phillip Alston, is conducting a Mission to the U.S. in June.  The Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is also interested in reports of police abuse.  If a consistent and systemic pattern of abuse exists (which it clearly does in the United States), the United Nations General Assembly can pass a resolution which helps creates international public opinion and perhaps the political will to stop it. ”

Finally, the United Nations is being brought into investigating the atrocities that America has committed against her black citizens. All the protest and cries of black people to the American courts have fallen on deaf ears and dead hearts. This country needs to be brought before the world for its crimes against black humanity. How can black citizens continue to believe that they can obtain justice when they continually go to the courts of their murderers? Courts that have been dealing out death to black men, women and children for over 450 years?

America has never cared for black life, that much is seen in her hypocritical so-called courts of law.

It remains to be seen if this United Nations interrogation of so-called American justice will yield any kind of effect that will result in any kind of semblance of justice for black citizens.

But, it is a start.

To continue to go to the courts that have condoned murder, rape, and theft of black people’s lives for over 450 years is something that needs to be stopped by black citizens.

This country has been hell-bent on destroying black Americans, and its criminal (in)justice sytem and gulag/concentration camp prison system shows very blatantly its total disregard for black human life.

The United States needs to be brought before the world for the blood it has shed from the genocide it has committed, and continues to commit, against its black citizens.


Filed under Uncategorized


Wednesday, 07 February 2007

Part  ThreeAfricaKidAmputee1905
by Milton Allimadi
White writers flooded Europe and the United States with poisonous screeds on the barbarity and soullessness of Africans, preparing public opinion for the rape of the continent’s resources. “Explorers” with little knowledge of the geography begged Africans for directions to their next “discovery,” then were knighted for bringing the African interior under the sway of “Christian civilization.” But Ethiopia’s King Menelik II burst the European bubble, humiliating the Italians in battle.


by Milton Allimadi
The Hearts of Darkness: How European Writers Created the Racist Image of Africa
Part Three
Mr. Allimadi is CEO and Publisher of The Black Star News, based in New York City. He has graciously given BAR permission to serialize his work. Part One appeared in the January 24 issue of BAR, Part Two in the January 31 issue.
A European Meets a ‘Savage’ Intellectual
Europeans wrote the stories that formed their own perception of Africans, without any contribution of the Africans they described. 
AfricaPrisonersZanzibar In one of the rarest instances, Samuel Baker – one of the most famous of these European trespassers – inadvertently allowed one of the Africans he encountered to speak for himself in Albert N’Yanza (1866). The result of their conversation is remarkable as we will shortly see. Since Baker’s book is still widely consulted as reference by many Western writers who travel to Africa, it is worth reviewing parts in some detail.
The Black man was born for the sole purpose of servitude – preferably under the supervision of whites, Baker insisted. “The negro has been, and still is, thoroughly misunderstood,” he explained. “However severely we may condemn the institution of slavery, the results of emancipation have proved that the negro does not appreciate the blessings of freedom, nor does he show the slightest feeling of gratitude to the hand that broke the rivets of his fetters.”
“‘The negro does not appreciate the blessings of freedom, nor does he show the slightest feeling of gratitude,’ Baker insisted.”
 Baker further observed: “His narrow mind cannot embrace the feeling of pure philanthropy that first prompted England to declare herself against slavery, and he only regards the anti-slavery movement as a proof of his own importance. In his limited horizon he is himself the important object, and as a consequence to his self-conceit, imagines that the whole world is at issue concerning the black man.”  Baker continued: “England, the great chief of the commercial world, possesses a power that enforces a grave responsibility. She has the force to civilize.  She is the natural colonizer of the world. In the short space of three centuries, America, sprung from her loins, has become a giant offspring, a new era in the history of the human race, a new birth whose future must be overwhelming.” England’s remaining task was to “wrest from utter savagedom those mighty tracts of the earth’s surface wasted from the creation of the world – a darkness to be enlightened by English colonization.”
Baker was the perfect agent and propagandist for European commercial conquest of Africa.  Only trade with the “civilized” world could rescue the barbarian continent. “The savage must learn to want; he must learn to be ambitious; and to covet more than the mere animal necessities of food and drink,” Baker explained. “This can only be taught by a communication with civilized beings: the sight of men well clothed will induce the naked savage to covet clothing, and will be the first steps towards commerce.  To obtain the supply, the savage must produce some articles in return as a medium of barter, some natural production of his country adapted to the trader’s wants.”
It followed from Baker’s reasoning that the white man’s burden was controlling the Black man, in order to civilize him. “The history of the negro has proved the correctness of this theory,” he wrote. “In no instance has he evinced other than a retrogression, when once freed from restraint.  Like a horse without harness, he runs wild, but, if harnessed, no animal is more useful.  Unfortunately, this is contrary to public opinion in England, where the vox populi assumes the right of dictation upon matters and men in which it has no experience.”
The decline of whole economies could be traced to the emancipation of Black people, Baker asserted: “In his state of slavery the negro was compelled to work, and, through his labour, every country prospered where he had been introduced.  He was suddenly freed; and from that moment he refused to work, and instead of being a useful member of society, he not only became a useless burden to the community, but a plotter and intriguer, imbued with a deadly hatred to the white man who had generously declared him free.” No mention by Baker of the essence of slavery – pillage, rapes, massacres, torture and uncompensated labor.
Baker was infuriated whenever he encountered Black men who did not accept the natural order of things and believed that they were equal to or superior to whites. He recalled how Kumrasi, king of the Bunyoro, disrespected him, after he had traveled through the Sudan into Uganda. Baker hoped Kumrasi would rush to see him and help him “discover” a mountain or lake.  “We received a message today that we were not to expect Kumrasi as great men were never in a hurry to pay visits,” Baker sneered, in Albert N’Yanza. “It is very trying to the patience to wait here until it pleases these almighty niggers to permit us to cross the river.”
“Baker was infuriated whenever he encountered Black men who did not accept the natural order of things.”
Eventually, Baker traveled further north and reached the Lutoko, who live in what’s now part of the Sudan. It was here that Baker had the remarkable conversation with Commoro, the Lutoko chief, whom he described as “the most clever and common-sense savage that I had seen in these countries.” 
The two men spoke about politics, religion, and philosophy, through an interpreter. Even though Baker recorded the conversation disparagingly, he unwittingly showed contemporary readers how his host was much more intelligent than Baker himself. The conversation at one point focused on Baker’s inquiry as to why the Lutoko exhumed the bodies of their dead:
Baker: “But why should you disturb the bones of those whom you have already buried, and expose them on the outskirts of the town?”
Commoro: “It was the custom of our forefathers, therefore we continue to observe it.”
Baker: “Have you no belief in a future existence after death? Is not some idea expressed in the act of exhuming the bones after the flesh is decayed?”
Commoro: “Existence after death! How can that be? Can a dead man get out of his grave unless we dig him out?”
Baker: “Do you think that man is like a beast, that dies and is ended?”
Commoro: “Certainly; an ox is stronger than a man; but he dies and his bones last longer; they are bigger.  A man’s bone breaks quickly – he is weak.”
Baker: “Is not a man superior in sense to an ox?  Has he not a mind to direct his actions?”
Commoro: “Some men are not so clever as an ox.  Men must sow corn to obtain food, but the ox and wild animals can procure it without sowing.”
Baker: “Do you know that there is a spirit within you more than the flesh? Do you not dream and wander in thought to distant places in your sleep?
Nevertheless, your body rests in one spot. How do you account for this?”
Commoro (laughing): “Well, how do you account for it? It is a thing I cannot understand; it occurs to me every night.”
Baker: “The mind is independent of the body; the actual body can be fettered, but the mind is uncontrollable; the body will die and will become dust, or be eaten by vultures but the spirit will exist forever.”
Commoro: “Where will the spirit live?”
Baker: “Where does fire live? Cannot you produce a fire by rubbing two sticks together, yet you see not the fire in the wood. Has not that fire that lies harmless and unseen in the sticks, the power to consume the whole country? Which is the stronger, the small stick that first produces the fire, or the fire itself? So is the spirit the element within the body, as the element of fire exists in the stick, the element being superior to the substance.”
“The white traveler unwittingly showed contemporary readers how his host was much more intelligent than Baker himself.”
Commoro: “Ha! Can you explain what we frequently see at night when lost in the wilderness? I have myself been lost, and wandering in the dark I have seen a distant fire; upon approaching, the fire has vanished, and I have been unable to trace the cause – nor could I find the spot.”
Baker: “Have you no idea of the existence of spirits superior to either man or beast? Have you no fear of evil except from bodily causes?”
Commoro: “I am afraid of elephants and other animals when in the jungle at night but of nothing else.”
Baker: “Then you believe in nothing; neither in a good nor evil spirit! And you believe that when you die it will be the end of body and spirit; that you are like other animals; and that there is no distinction between men and beast; both disappear, and end at death?”
Commoro: “Of course they do.”
Baker: “Do you see no difference in good and bad actions?”
Commoro: “Yes, there are good and bad in men and beasts.”
Baker: “Do you think that a good man and a bad man must share the same fate, and alike die, and end?”
Commoro: “Yes; what else can they do? How can they help dying? Good and bad all die.”
Baker: “Their bodies perish, but their spirits remain; the good in happiness, the bad in misery. If you have no belief in a future state, why should a man be good? Why should he not be bad, if he can prosper by wickedness?”
Commoro: “Most people are bad; if they are strong, they take from the weak. The good people are all weak; they are good because they are not strong enough to be bad.”
Baker began to get annoyed by Commoro’s resistance; he was oblivious to the clear fact that the “savage” was getting the better of him in the dialogue. He made one final attempt, which he referred to as “the beautiful metaphor of St. Paul as an example of a future state,” to lure the chief closer towards Christianity.  Baker dug a small hole in the ground and buried a grain of corn before continuing the conversation.
Baker: “That represents you when you die. That grain will decay, but from it will rise the plant that will produce a reappearance of the original form.”
Commoro: “Exactly so; that I understand. But the original grain does not rise again; it rots like the dead man, and is ended; the fruit produced is not the same grain that we buried, but the production of that grain: so it is with man – I die, and decay, and am ended; but my children grow up like the fruit of the grain. Some men have no children, and some grains perish without fruit; then all are ended.”
One can almost imagine Baker leaping to his feet in exasperation. Was Commoro implying that Baker himself, a European, was a heathen who would rot after his death?  “I was obliged to change the subject of conversation,” he wrote, in Albert N’Yanza, “In this wild naked savage there was not even a superstition upon which to found a religious feeling; there was a belief in matter; and to his understanding everything was material.”
At the same time, Baker was forced to concede that Comorro was no ordinary savage: “It was extraordinary to find such clearness of perception combined with such obtuseness to anything ideal.”
“Baker asked the chief to show him how to get to Luta N’zige, the great lake through which the river Nile flowed, so he could ‘discover’ it.”
One feels terribly cheated that Baker did not record any more of this insightful dialogue and instead chose to abruptly end the conversation with Commoro. Baker should have asked the chief about his attitude toward Europeans such as himself – it’s clear from the preceding dialogue that Commoro would have offered some interesting perspectives. “Giving up the religious argument as a failure, I resolved upon more practical inquiries,” Baker wrote, and described how he asked the chief to show him how to get to Luta N’zige, the great lake through which the river Nile flowed, so he could “discover” it.
“Suppose you reach the great lake, what will you do with it?” Commoro asked Baker, and we can almost see the wise chief mischievously scratching his chin. “What will be the good of it? If you find that the large river does flow from it, what then?”
Chief Commoro would have been puzzled and amused had someone informed him that the strange white man eventually reached the lake and that upon his return to England, renamed it Lake Albert in honor of Queen Victoria‘s husband; and, for his “unique” discovery in Africa, Baker was knighted by the Crown. Commoro would have been more shocked that, nearly a century later, long after Uganda’s formal independence in 1962 from Britain, there was a school still named Sir Samuel Baker Secondary School in Uganda
The Abyssinians Rout the Italian Empire
When Western writers were not preoccupied with analyzing the Africans’ intellectual and moral backwardness, they were reinforcing the myth of Europeans’ military genius relative to Africans.
Consider this assessment offered in an article published in The New York TimesAfricaMenelikBEST on July 25th 1879, after the military confrontation between a Zulu army and British forces. “Whether or not providence is on the side of the heaviest battalions there can be little doubt of the result of a contest between a civilized nation, with great military and naval power and inexhaustible resources,” proclaimed the Times, “and a primitive and barbarous tribe, however brave and unyielding.”
The Times’ editors were angered and taken aback by the Zulus’ temerity, for daring to defend themselves against the British forces intent on conquering them and occupying their land. “Sooner or later, the powerful nation was destined to bring the savage tribe into abject submission or demolish it utterly,” the Times article declared with finality. “The justice of the cause had nothing to do with this foregone conclusion.”
Eleven years later the Times was glorifying and justifying Italy’s brutal aggression against Ethiopia, which was then referred to by its ancient name, Abyssinia. The Italian ruler Francesco Crispi – a descendant of Machiavelli – had just defeated Menelik II, the Abyssinian monarch, in a major battle. “THE ITALIANS IN AFRICA,” exulted the Times in thick bold headlines, in an article dated February 2nd 1890.  “Results of Crispi’s Brilliant Policy,” proclaimed the sub-headline.
“‘The powerful nation was destined to bring the savage tribe into abject submission or demolish it utterly,’ the Times article declared with finality.”
 What led to the battle was Italian treachery. They had concluded the Treaty of Uccialli with Menelik in 1889, giving the monarch the “option” to use Italy as an intermediary in dealings with other European powers. However, the Italian version of the treaty – unlike the Amharic version that Menelik retained – actually made Ethiopia an Italian protectorate. The emperor immediately rejected the agreement when he discovered the deceit, leading to war.
The article was one of the most absurd melodramatic celebrations of European imperial assault on Africa, declaring that Italy had “achieved triumph upon triumph in Africa,” and that there was a surrender by “all the tribes,” and when the Italians occupied Adowa (or Adwa), the ancient capital, they were welcomed “by the natives as liberators.”  Since not a single “native” was quoted, we can easily dismiss this assertion as propaganda.
Europe now marvels and perhaps scarcely credits its own eyes. Italy in Adowa!,” the Times article continued, in its hyper-melodramatic tone, “Is it true or is it a dream. Nothing in the world has the power to drive the Italian troops from their central position.”
Still, the editors must have realized that even at the height of 19th Century European conquest and colonization of Africa, it was highly hypocritical of a leading newspaper in a “democratic” society to blatantly celebrate such unprovoked aggression, even if the victims were savages. So the Times article offered a rationale for the invasion. “We could not thus speak, however if the programme of Italy in Africa was one of pure conquest, because exploits exclusively military are in too great opposition to the sentiments of progress, of peace, of work, of companionship, that should form the pivot of modern life,” the article stated. “But instead, we may rejoice in and applaud this conquest of civilization and Christianity over barbarians and savages, over unbelief, over habits of ferocity, over brutal ignorance of every human law, religious, social and civil.”
“We may rejoice in and applaud this conquest of civilization and Christianity over barbarians and savages.”
 These assertions, invoking moralistic and divine justification for European imperialism were so nonsensical that the Times editors’ were compelled to temper it. So, at the very end, the article finally offered the true motive behind Italy’s aggression: “The water roads of Africa and the large commercial arteries in the hands of Italy signify that they are also in the hands of the civilized world, which can now introduce without fear the benefits of commerce, of exchange, of relations of any and every sort, and in short time produce the best profits from the immense natural wealth existing there.”
 This brief sentence easily summed up the essence of Europe’s entire interaction with Africa
The Ethiopians continued their resistance and were never fully subdued.  They smarted under the humiliating yoke of Italian domination for six years.  Then, suddenly, the Ethiopians struck back with brutal efficiency. This time around, the good newspaper was suddenly singing a mournful tune.
“ITALY’S TERRIBLE DEFEAT,” the Times lamented, describing the great battle of Adowa, in an article published on March 4th 1896.  The newspaper reported that 3,000 Italian soldiers were massacred by Ethiopian troops in the battlefields of Adowa. Additionally, 60 heavy guns were captured and all provisions for the Italian troops were completely destroyed. Italian casualties included generals of the Army, the paper reported. Out of a total original force of 10,596, those killed or missing numbered 4,133, while 2,000 were captured. In fact, Menelik called off his troops when the Italians fled in panic; otherwise the entire army would have been annihilated.
This defeat was so thorough and embarrassing that the Italian nation refused to accept it. Instead, the military commander, General Oreste Baratieri, was blamed for poor military strategy by the Italian government and newspapers.
Every possible excuse was entertained; the Italians could not credit the Ethiopians with military genius. The Ethiopians too suffered heavy losses; but it was their country and they were willing to make sacrifices to defend and liberate it.
Reinforcements from Italy were to be quickly rushed to Africa, the Times reported, and political conditions were so grave that the Pope canceled a major diplomatic banquet. The Italian government was completely destabilized by the defeat, the paper reported, and its survival was in jeopardy. “The present campaign against the Abyssinians threatens to become one of the most disastrous in which the Italian arms have ever taken part,” the Times concluded,  “and what the final outcome will be it would not be hard to predict.”
“The defeat shook the foundations of their moral convictions and their sense of racial supremacy.”
Italian citizens – indeed, all Europeans – were simply incapable of conceptualizing what had occurred, deep in “darkest” Africa, and they were traumatized. All the racist literature and myths they had been reared on had never even hinted at the possibility of such a defeat in Africa. The defeat shook the foundations of their moral convictions and their sense of racial supremacy to the core.
What compounded the traumatic embarrassment was the fact that during the early part of the invasion, Gen. Baratieri had scored several victories against Menelik’s army. Baratieri had become so emboldened that he returned to Rome and asked Parliament for more funds so that he could “annihilate” the Ethiopians. Italian journalists stoked national euphoria by endorsing the campaign in newspaper articles and even hailed Baratieri as the second coming of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of Italian unification in 1861. Gen. Baratieri, in turn, could not resist boasting that he would return with Emperor Menelik in a cage.
Yet, when commander Baratieri returned to Africa to conclude his victory, the savages refused to cooperate with his plans. They tamed the general and cut down his troops, with Menelik, 52, riding on horseback from one battle to the next, exhorting his troops and leading the rout. Later, in Italy, Baratieri was charged and court-martialed for “cowardice.” The Italians had been defeated before in combat; but never before by Black “savages.” The national psyche was unprepared; riots broke out in the streets of Rome, perhaps in fear that the savages would pursue the Italian troops all the way back to Italy. Eventually, the Italian government collapsed. The Ethiopians forced Italy to pay several million pounds as compensation before releasing the captives. With a few more generals like Menelik II, the history of Africa could have taken a dramatically different course.
© Milton G. Allimadi
 Next week, Part Four: The New York Times as Apartheid’s Apologists
The Hearts of Darkness: How European Writers Created the Racist image of Africa
Published by The Black Star Publishing Co.
P.O. Box 64, New York, N.Y., 10025
To order copies call (212) 481-7745
Or visit the author’s site:

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized





“If you want to be introduced to the demands and delights of basketball, I am sure this book will satisfy you. If you want a book to speak eloquently about finding and losing a great love, about proud parenthood and passionate competition, rush to get this book. Simply put, it is a wonderful book about the wonder of growing up African American, female, ambitious, and successful. I laughed and cried with this book and was pleased. You go girl!

Maya Angelou


“What a story! In a way that touches me very personally, I see in Coach Stringer a mother’s love—and I know that love is the kind of leadership that can change the world.”

Michael Jordan


“Thank goodness we have someone like Vivian Stringer, someone with the clarity and courage to stand up for what is right. With Standing Tall, she has answered the call again; when we most need a story to inspire us, she has given us this extraordinary book.”  

—Magic (Earvin) Johnson


“Vivian Stringer has a great mind and heart and she isn’t afraid to show it. She is a true champion and hero, in basketball and in life.”

Billie Jean King


 “The people who most inspired me in the civil rights movement—from Martin Luther King Jr. to Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte—were each protégés of the scholar, artist, athlete, and civil rights activist Paul Robeson and I have long believed that C. Vivian Stringer continues in the proud tradition of this inspiring leader. In Standing Tall, C. Vivian Stringer confirms beyond any doubt that she does indeed stand tall in the tradition of Robeson and King, and I am certain that readers will not simply be moved by her story, but that their lives will be touched and changed for the better for reading it.”

—Andrew Young


C. Vivian Stringer is a woman of amazing principle and strength. On or off the basketball court, and whether coping with the triumphs or the tragedies in life, she is always C. Vivian. I have always admired her genuineness and her unfailing optimism, and now readers can too. Standing Tall is a fascinating look into the life of this extraordinary woman.”

 —Pat Head Summitt


“In a time of darkness, C. Vivian Stringer stepped forward and led her team—and then the nation. Our country got to see what Coach Stringer’s players have seen for more than thirty years: a model of grace and strength for a generation of young women. She has been an inspiration and a role model for me in coaching and now Standing Tall gives us an uncommon glimpse of the woman behind the coach.”  

Tony Dungy


 “Love, honesty, respect, integrity: If you use these ingredients to build strong character—there you have C. Vivian Stringer’s story, and so beautifully written.”

Bill Cosby



2) Student Inventors Scholarships

3) Student Video Scholarships

4) Coca-Cola Two Year College Scholarships

5) Holocaust Remembrance Scholarships

6) Ayn Rand Essay Scholarships
http:/ /

7) Brand Essay Competition

8) Gates Millennlum Scholarships (major)

9) Xerox Scholarships for Students

10) Sports Scholarships and Internships

11) National Assoc. of Black Journalists Scholarships (NABJ)
< /FONT>

12) Saul T. Wilson Scholarships (Veterinary)

13) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund

14) FinAid: The Smart Students Guide to Financial Aid scholarships)

15) Presidential Freedom Scholarships

16) Microsoft Scholarship Program

17) WiredScholar Free Scholarship Search _searc

18) Hope Scholarships &Lifetime Credits

19) William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship for Minority Students

20) Multiple List of Minority Scholarships

21) Guaranteed Scholarships

22) BOEING scholarships (som e HBCU connects)

23) Easley National Scholarship Program

24) Maryland Artists Scholarships

26) Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Graduate Business Scholarship (for AA students in South Florida)

27) Historically Black College & University Scholarships

28) Actuarial Scholarships for Minority Students

29) International Students Scholarships &Aid Help

30) College Board Scholarship Search

31) Burger King Scholarship Program

32) Siemens Westinghouse Competition

33) GE and LuLac Scholarship Funds

34) CollegeNet ‘ s Scholarship Database

35) Union Sponsored Scholarships and Aid

36) Federal Scholarships &Aid Gateways 25 Scholarship Gateways from Black Excel

37) Scholarship &Financial Aid Help

38) Scholarship Links (Ed Finance Group)

39) FAFSA On The Web (Your Key Aid Form &Info)

40) Aid &Resources For Re-Entry Students

41) Scholarships and Fellowships tml

42) Scholarships for Study in Paralegal Studies

43) HBCU Packard Sit Abroad Scholarships (for study around the world)

44) Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities

45) INROADS internships

46) ACT-SO bEURoeOlympics of the Mind ‘A Scholarships

47) Black Alliance for Educational Options Scholarships

48) ScienceNet Scholarship Listing

49) Graduate Fellowships For Minorities Nationwide

‘ttp:// /info.html



1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


I do not want to let the month of April go by without posting on the now famous experiment that Jane Elliot did 40 years ago in the  small town of Riceville, Iowa, where she lived. When Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, Jane Elliot felt she had to do something to bring to light the ravages that white supremacy has wrought upon all Americans in this country.

In her now famous “Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes” experiment, she sought to make a difference in that little classroom of hers with  the elementary school children whom she sought to help realize that like them, black children had the same needs and desires that all other people had. She had quite a tremendous effect on her pupils, and she had just the same impact on the many adults she conducted racial understanding seminars with in the ensuing years.

Read Jane Elliot’s words, and understand that this country is still in need not only of more Ella Bakers, Dr. Kings, Fannie Lou Hamers, Grace Lee Boggs and Angelina Grimkes.

This country is still very much in need of more Jane Elliots as well.

This country is still unfinished in its race relations.


Producer William Peters, in this first chapter of his book A Class Divided: Then and Now (Yale University Press, 1987), relates the story behind Jane Elliott’s decision to teach a daring “blue-eyes/brown-eyes” lesson in discrimination to her class of third graders.

Copyright 1987 by William Peters. Reprinted here by permission of the author.

On any normal weekday morning, Jane Elliott looked forward to getting to her classroom at the Riceville, Iowa, Community Elementary School and to the teaching job she loved. Eager to pick up the threads of the previous day’s lessons, delighting in her third-graders’ sense of wonder at anything new, she saw each day as a kind of adventure in the company of children she enjoyed. Often she was reluctant, when the day was over, to see them leave. Not infrequently, they felt the same way. Once they had seriously proposed that the entire class spend the night at school.

But that Friday in April, 1968, was not a normal morning. The day before, Martin Luther King had been murdered in Memphis. For Jane, that had suddenly made a lot of things different. She had made a decision about what she would do in her class, a decision that now made her reluctant to leave the house for school.

Her husband, Darald, was perfectly capable of seeing that their four children were properly fed and dressed for school before he left for his own job. He did it often when she had a particular reason for getting to the school a little early. Yet today she fussed about the kitchen, urging one child to eat and another to change his shoes, sipping at a second cup of coffee — knowing that she was only stalling.

Finally, with a glance at her watch, she shrugged into a jacket and said good-by. Darald, who knew what she was planning, winked at her and then smiled encouragingly. She grimaced at him as she went out the door.

She had made her decision, and she would stick to it, though she dreaded what she felt sure lay ahead. For a while, at least, she would be making each of her twenty-eight students unhappy; for a time, all would dislike her and resent what she was putting them through. She had worked hard since September to establish a warm and trusting relationship with each of them, and she had been proud of their success as a class in becoming a happy, co-operative, productive group. What she was now going to do would strain those hard-won ties, perhaps even threaten them. It was hardly a pleasant prospect.

Still, driving her car through the quiet, early-morning streets, she refused to give in to her growing sense of apprehension. She had to do something if she was any kind of teacher at all. She refused to do something that was essentially meaningless. What she had thought of promised at least a chance of being an effective lesson. Nor was there time now to plan anything else. Whatever was to be done would have to be done today, while the shock of Dr. King’s brutal assassination still reverberated in the mind.

She had made her decision in horror and anger and shame the night before as she sat on the living-room floor ironing the stitched sheets of an Indian tepee and watching the television coverage of the aftermath of the murder. That decision had stood the test of the dawn’s colder appraisal, and she was not going to permit a faint heart to change it.

The things she had planned to teach inside the giant tepee would now have to wait, she decided, for all of them had paled beside the urgent message that had burst from her television set the night before. Now, the senselessness, the irrationality, the brutality of race hatred cried out to be explained, understood, committed irrevocably to memory in a lesson that would become a part of the life of each child she could reach with it.

That was what she had struggled half the night to devise; it was what she had finally thought of: a lesson that might accomplish just that. She knew that her children would ask about the murder, that they had undoubtedly watched what she had watched. They had already discussed Martin Luther King in class. Now they would have to discuss his violent death. But this time, they would do more than that. Much more.

Setting aside her doubts, she opened the door of Room 10, turned on the lights, and went to her desk. As she sat down, she saw before her the Sioux prayer she had planned to teach the children after they had erected the giant tepee: “Oh, Great Spirit, keep me from ever judging a man until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.” It was precisely the lesson she hoped to teach today, though not at all in the way she had contemplated. First, she thought unhappily, they are going to have to walk that mile.

It began, really, even before the bell rang. A boy came into the room bursting with the news. “They shot that King yesterday!” he said excitedly. “Why did they shoot that King?”

“We’ll talk about that,” Jane promised, and after the opening exercises, they did. When everyone had had a chance to tell what he knew, Jane asked them what they had heard and what they knew about Negroes. In the tiny town of Riceville, population 898, and the sparsely settled farming area surrounding it, there were no Negroes. In the school’s textbooks, like those in so many American schools, Negroes were neither mentioned nor pictured. Whatever her children said, then, Jane assumed would have come from parents, relatives, and friends, from what they had learned in school — in her own class and in the grades before — and from things they had seen and heard in a rare movie or on the radio or television.

Rather quickly, a pattern developed from their answers. Negroes weren’t as smart as white people. They weren’t as clean. They fought a lot. Sometimes they rioted. They weren’t as civilized. They smelled bad.

None of it was said in a vicious way. There was no venom, no fear, no hate, but rather a sort of disapproval, a sense of disdain. Some of the children quoted parents to back up points, though there was no real argument. It was as though their teacher had asked them to describe a vaguely unpleasant experience they had all shared. They told what they knew about Negroes calmly, reaching back in their memories for details, corroborating each other, expanding on each other’s points. Behind her expression of friendly interest, Jane was appalled.

She asked them to define the words “prejudice,” “discrimination,” “race,” “inferior.” That was not difficult; they had discussed these concepts before. Then they talked about some of the things Negroes in various parts of the United States were not permitted to do. Finally, Jane asked them if they could imagine how it would feel to be a black boy or girl.

“This they discussed at some length,” Jane Elliott says now, “and eventually, they decided that they could. Now, in spite of the things they had ‘known’ about Negroes, they became sympathetic. They felt sorry for black children; they didn’t think it was fair for them to be treated differently. And they had had enough of the subject. Dr. King’s death had been adequately disposed of. I could easily have stopped right there.

“Yet all I could think of as I saw this attitude of sympathetic indifference develop was the way I had myself reacted to racial discrimination all these many years: Sure, an incident can anger you. Sure, you feel sorry about the way blacks are being treated. Sure, something ought to be done about it. And now, what shall we talk about?”

But Jane Elliott’s identification with the children in her class went deeper. Raised, like them, on a farm near Riceville, growing up in the all-white, all-Christian community, she had herself lived in the midst of the kinds of prejudices they had expressed in their descriptions of Negroes. Though she had long since rejected those prejudices, there was still much that she could see of herself as a child in the children who sat now at their desks in front of her. She had once been there, too, and was now, at the age of thirty-five, looking back through all the years that had intervened. What she saw — even in her own strong, yet inactive, opposition to racism — was simply not enough.

“I felt desperately,” she says, “that there had to be a way to do more as a teacher than simply tell children that racial prejudice is irrational, that racial discrimination is wrong. We’ve all been told those things. We know them, at least in the sense that we mouth them at appropriate times. Yet we continue to discriminate, or to tolerate it in others, or to do nothing to stop it. What I had racked my brain to think of the night before was a way of letting my children find out for themselves, personally, deeply, what discrimination was really like, how it felt, what it could do to you. Now the time had come to try it.”

What happened next in Jane Elliott’s classroom was, as far as she knew, a product of her own mind. She had never heard of anyone else who had done it. She was not even sure it was a good idea. She knew only that she had to do something, and this was all she had thought of to try.

The idea went back to a half-angry, half-humorous remark she had made to a college roommate years before. Returning to school after a weekend in Riceville, she had told her roommate about an argument she had had with her father on the subject of race. Remembering as she talked about it how her father’s hazel eyes had blazed at her accusations of prejudice, she told her roommate, “If hazel eyes ever go out of style, my father’s going to be in trouble.”

She had no sooner said it than it struck both girls as an interesting observation. Skin color, eye color, hair color or texture: it made as much sense, they decided, to discriminate on the basis of one as another. The two of them talked far into the night about how it must feel to be a Negro in America.

Jane Elliott never forgot that discussion. Later, when she and Darald were married and he became the assistant manager of a supermarket in the Negro section of Waterloo, Iowa, she saw his Negro customers and employees as different from herself only in this: they knew, as she didn’t, how it felt to be the object of prejudice, hate, and fear. Everything else she learned about Negroes convinced her that they were basically no different than whites.

Then, with Darald suddenly transferred to another city, Jane had been faced with the problem of renting their house. A real estate agent and neighbors cautioned her not to rent to blacks. She paid little attention until a woman telephoned in response to an ad. “She asked if the house was for whites or colored,” Jane says, “and suddenly those warnings sprang into my mind. I hesitated a moment and then said that all of my neighbors were white. She said, ‘Oh, well, thank you anyway,’ and hung up, and I stood there with the telephone in my hand feeling as though I had defected to the enemy.

“For a long time after that, I felt like a snake. I knew what I should have done — I should have said the neighborhood was white but that she could come and look at the house if she were interested. But, of course, I hadn’t. I tried to analyze why I had evaded the issue, and I was forced to the conclusion that I had backed away from my principles out of fear of my neighbors’ opinions. If we had rented to a Negro family and later wanted to move back, we would have had to face their anger. I saw that when the chips were down, I had not been able to face that. And I hated myself for it.”

It was after that experience that Jane began to read about the racial crisis in America. One of the books she read was John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me, the story of a white man’s experiences in the South with his skin dyed a deep brown. Here was a man who had found out what it was like to be a Negro, and Jane suffered with him the thousand daily insults, the inconveniences, the fears, the wounds to pride that Southern Negroes experience in the course of simply going about the business of living.

Then, suddenly, on the night of the day that Martin Luther King was murdered, all of these memories and experiences had coalesced into an idea of how she might give her third-graders a sense of what prejudice and discrimination really meant.

Jane took a deep breath and plunged in. “I don’t think we really know what it would be like to be a black child, do you?” she asked her class. “I mean it would be hard to know, really, unless we actually experienced discrimination ourselves, wouldn’t it?” Without real interest, the class agreed. “Well, would you like to find out?”

The children’s puzzlement was plain on their faces until she spelled out what she meant. “Suppose we divided the class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed people,” she said. “Suppose that for the rest of today the blue-eyed people became the inferior group. Then, on Monday, we could reverse it so that the brown-eyed children were inferior. Wouldn’t that give us a better understanding of what discrimination means?”

Now there was enthusiasm in their response. To some, it may have meant escape from the ordinary routine of a school day. To others, it undoubtedly sounded like a game. “Would you like to try that?” Jane asked. There was an immediate chorus of assent.

Here is the result of how Jane Elliot’s pupils reacted to her experiment:

INTRODUCTIONOn the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott’s third graders from the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa, came to class confused and upset. They recently had made King their “Hero of the Month,” and they couldn’t understand why someone would kill him. So Elliott decided to teach her class a daring lesson in the meaning of discrimination. She wanted to show her pupils what discrimination feels like, and what it can do to people.Elliott divided her class by eye color — those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes. Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott. On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group.What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher. On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work. In contrast, the “superior” students — students who had been sweet and tolerant before the exercise — became mean-spirited and seemed to like discriminating against the “inferior” group.

“I watched what had been marvelous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating little third-graders in a space of fifteen minutes,” says Elliott. She says she realized then that she had “created a microcosm of society in a third-grade classroom.”

Elliott repeated the exercise with her new classes in the following year. The third time, in 1970, cameras were present. Fourteen years later, FRONTLINE’s “A Class Divided” chronicled a mini-reunion of that 1970 third-grade class. As young adults, Elliott’s former students watch themselves on film and talk about the impact Elliott’s lesson in bigotry has had on their lives and attitudes. It is Jane Elliott’s first chance to find out how much of her lesson her students had retained.”Nobody likes to be looked down upon. Nobody likes to be hated, teased or discriminated against,” says Verla, one of the former students.Another, Sandra, tells Elliott: “You hear these people talking about different people and how they’d like to have them out of the country. And sometimes I just wish I had that collar in my pocket. I could whip it out and put it on and say ‘Wear this, and put yourself in their place.’ I wish they would go through what I went through, you know.”In the last part of “A Class Divided,” FRONTLINE’s cameras follow Jane Elliott as she takes her exercise to employees of the Iowa prison system. During a daylong workshop in human relations she teaches the same lesson to the adults. Their reactions to the blue-eye, brown-eye exercise are similar to those of the children.

“After you do this exercise, when the debriefing starts, when the pain is over and they’re all back together, you find out how society could be if we really believed all this stuff that we preach, if we really acted that way, you could feel as good about one another as those kids feel about one another after this exercise is over. You create instant cousins,” says Elliott. “The kids said over and over, ‘We’re kind of like a family now.’ They found out how to hurt one another and they found out how it feels to be hurt in that way and they refuse to hurt one another in that way again.”



THE ANGRY EYE: Jane Elliot’s version of the children experiment, only this time using college students in the session.

THE EVENT: HOW RACIST ARE YOU?: Jane’s experiment, only this time with British subjects of Britain.

A Class Divided, Then and Now, Expanded Edition by William Peters (Paperback – Sep 10, 1987)
4.2 out of 5 stars (4)
A class Divided DVD by William Peters (DVD – 1986)
  • ASIN: B000O5Q94M



Filed under Uncategorized


This article was published last year during the Don Imus brouhaha over his “nappy-headed hos” comments. The author of this article, Salatheia Bryant, speaks to how black women are the most disrespected, degraded and devalued race of women in America. I would also add that because of white men’s hatred against black women, and the white man’s propensity  (as if he is God himself) to decide and decree what woman will be given humanity in his eyes, and what woman will not, that in the eyes of millions of white men, and men of other races as well, black women are not human; black women are not ladies, not demure, not soft, not feminine—-not WOMEN.

White men started the vicious lies against black women, lies that defame black women, lies that negate black women’s womanhood, lies that so many people are so willing to believe against black women.

Black women have fought for generations and centuries against the many venomous lies and myths created against them by white men, lies that so many men of other races are willing to believe against black women.

Here in its entirety is Ms. Bryant’s essay:






It may be a punchline for the likes of Don Imus, but as a black woman who has heard this kind of slur talk before, it’s just another cheap racist insult.

I already know that by calling Imus’s attempted comedic chatter racist I will incur the wrath of those who will defend his klannish remarks as mere entertainment. There will be those who will say, “Can’t you take a joke?”

My answer is no, not at my expense.

For far too long, black women have had to suck it up while others laughed it up when we’ve been characterized as loud, trash-talking, oversexed, hoochie-mamas.

Imus went there on his show.

His loose lips got him a pink slip from CBS as advertisers pulled out and pressure continued to mount against him following remarks he made on air to a national audience about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. He’s got no one to blame for his firing—not Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or rappers. He sank his own ship. By now you’ve heard that Imus referred to players on the Rutgers team as “nappy-headed hos.” The majority of players are young black women, whose hair appears well-styled, I may add.

I can’t give Imus a pass on this one. He sounds too much like the growing list of other white male chauvinists who have stepped in it recently—comedian Michael Richards, actor Mel Gibson and to a lesser degree presidential candidate Joseph Biden.

They are reminders that words can hurt just as much as sticks and stones and aid and abet harmful stereotypes that hold certain groups back.

As a black woman, I have been called out by name many times by many folks over the years who, like Imus, figure me an easy target. Why not?

Black women have been dehumanized by white men who have owned us, raped us, fathered illegitimate children by us and then denied the offspring.


I’ve been insulted by many white males who fancy themselves superior creations over those human models who come in the black female version.

They sit at the top of the importance pyramid with no concern of being dethroned. With all due respect to James Brown, more aptly, this is a white man’s world.

One of the most memorable indignities as a black woman came when I was just a few years older than some of the Rutgers basketball players.

As a young reporter at my first newspaper job, I was sent to interview a white man who had his car dealership yanked from him because of some hanky-panky with transactions. His dealings had landed him in big trouble. Several times over the course of covering the story he refused to talk with me. Finally, one day when I showed up at the dealership I was told he would consent to an interview. I was ready to hear his side of the story. But it didn’t go the way I’d planned.

He refused to shake my hand, questioned my college credentials, mocked my intelligence, and then said whatever he may have lost, he would always be a white man and I would still be a little black girl.

Upset, I complained about his behavior to the paper’s editor, also a white man, who told me to basically shake it off. This was the same editor who had once sent a letter to a city official demanding an apology on behalf of a white female reporter who had been rudely treated. Incidentally, she received both a public and written apology after the editor intervened. No one spoke up for me. The white businessman received a pass. The editor gave him a pass.

The car dealer’s comment cut. The editor’s refusal to defend my humanity cut deeper.

The incident came to mind when I heard about Imus.

His radio routine reminds us that despite out societal advances, it is humanity that still remains in the Stone Age when it comes to placing equal worth on different human beings.

How did we, black women, become the universal doormat for men (black men included) to wipe their disrespect on our womanhood?

Do ivory skin, thin lips and unkinky hair make a woman more likely to get respect? Does black skin automatically earn you the “nappy-headed ho” diss?

All humanity should be considered valuable. Period.

But in our society, the CEO with the corner office, expense account and seven-figure salary is exalted above the janitor who empties the trash at night to supplement the low-paying day job.

If young black girls in 2007 who get to wear a Rutgers University jersey, where the student body is majority white, or a young black woman starting her career in a field where she is underrepresented can’t get any respect for their achievements, then the high-school dropout single mother doesn’t stand a chance.

That’s why I’ll pass on giving Imus a pass.

(Salatheia Bryant is a reporter for the Houston Chronicle. This article was published in the Sunday edition paper, on April 15, 2007.)


As many people know, Imus is back on the airwaves.

So much for the “respect” that is shown towards black women.

Black women unlike all other racial groups of women in America, have seen the many nasty, hateful faces of men that are found in all races of men. Black women have seen and suffered it all from men of all races. Black women have had to endure much shit from many ethnic groups of men:

White shit.

Black shit.

Brown shit.

Red shit.

Yellow shit.


But, I question the so-called manhood of these so-called  people who call themselves men.

A real man does not degrade and insult a woman because of her race. A real man honors, loves, adores, cherishes and respects all women. Not certain specific groups of women.  All women. A real man treats all women as human beings. Not as less than human.

That is what a piece of filth that masquerades as a man would do.

Black women are the only race of women in America who can walk into a room with a group of white, red, yellow and brown women, and we would be the first to have our humanity, our womanhood, disregarded, kicked to the curb—-written off as non-human. That disrespect can come in many forms:  racist/sexist catcalls, blatant pejorative racial insults, hands upon our bodies without our permission, and the proverbial just-stepped-into-something look from many men that so many black women are familiar with.

I lay that blame at the feet of white men who started this sick filth against black women.

But, I also call out on the carpet the men who can be found in all races who join the “White Man’s Club” of hateful sexualized gendered racism.

Black men. Latino men. Asian men. Arab men. Native American men.

Black women have suffered at the hands of many of these men. (In addition to White men, MOC of other races, and Black men, so too, have White women dished out hells to Black women. It is not only the White man who has shit on Black women; White women have had a hand in racializing and brutalizing Black women during slavery, Reconstruction, and Jane Crow segregation. Their hands are no more cleaner than the White man’s as I refuse to give White women a pass on their racist atrocities the way so many tother people are willing to do.)

But, let a man of any race even try to treat a white, brown, red or yellow woman the way many men mistreat and hate on black women, then the men of these races would scream to high heaven about it. But nothing is said much in defense of black women.

Yes, white men started this abominable filth against black women. But, they are not alone in their wanton misogyny against black women.

White men have many allies in their racial/sexist assaults upon the womanhood of black women. MOC can take up the slack where the white man leaves off.

Don’t need a white man to call a black woman a black nigger bitch.

Not when men of various races can do it. Not when some men of your own race will do it.

The true test of a man’s acknowledging the worth and value of how this country treats its women is in how all men treat black women.

Black women are the true test of how far this country has come in its race relations.

Black women are the canary in the coalmine.

Until black women’s humanity and womanhood is acknowledged positively and with total regard for their value as fellow human beings, figure on women of other groups suffering eventually from the same hells that have befallen black women.

As Alex Manley, the black editor of the no longer in existence newspaper, Daily Record, said in 1898, of how white men mistreated black women and how that effect would have dire repercussions, the same holds true today as it did then in Mr. Manley’s prophetic words:


“You set yourselves down as a lot of carping hypocrites; in fact, you cry aloud for the virtue of your women, while you seek to destroy the morality of ours. Don’t think ever that your women will remain pure while you are debauching ours. You sow the seed—the harvest will come in good time.”  (4)

White men have sought to destroy black women with their web of lies and stereotypical myths. Some men of other races have willingly bought into the 450 year span of racist hate against black women.

But, just as the womanhood and humanity of black women can be mudslinged at, can be maligned, so too can the womanhood of other women who are not black. And so too can the manhood and humanity  of men can be doubted as well.

A real man has the balls to stand up against any type of disparaging hate that is thrown out against any woman, no matter her  race or color.

The color of  disrespect.

Black women never deserved that dishonor.

Black women are sick and tired of its legacy.


Filed under Uncategorized


New Law Makes Everyone White

April 23, 2008

By Craig Bates 

Which one is white? All of them!

(WASHINGTON D.C.) In a special session yesterday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the reclassification of just about everyone in the country to ‘white.’ Now, anyone with one drop of white blood is officially Caucasian.

“We welcome all our new white brothers,” said an ebullient Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), who has been white since birth.

Previously, under the ‘one drop’ rule, anyone with at least one black ancestor was considered African American. While many very light-skinned, curly-haired blacks like basketball legend Larry Bird and President George Bush have long passed themselves off as white anyway, Congress felt it was time to abolish the archaic rule completely.

The measure had an immediate effect. Weave sales in Jackson, Miss. plummeted 72 percent as former blacks realized that no matter what their hair looks like, it’s white. A whole fleet of businesses that anchor urban communities–check cashing places, barber shops, liquor stores and pawn shops–disappeared overnight. In their place sprang up Starbucks, Gap Kids, eco-friendly dry cleaners and Pottery Barn. Newly white illegal immigrants from Mexico also were welcomed into communities that previously scorned them.

“This ruling has really given me a new outlook on life,” said newly white Emanuel Johnson, as he tried on a fleece jacket and chinos at Old Navy. Then he laughed. “Listen to me, stringing words together like that. I sound so white!”

Throughout urban neighborhoods, people celebrated their whiteness with barbecues—but in their backyards rather than on the front lawn. Some newly white people even went so far as to serve Grey Poupon instead of French’s mustard with their hot dogs.

This is a great day for all of us,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, (D-Mich.), a newly white woman who formerly chaired the Congressional Black Caucus. The CBC, in fact, now only has two members: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, (D-Ohio), and Jesse Jackson Jr., (D-Ill).

No one is sure how far the repercussions will go. Affirmative action was scrapped in a session immediately after the historic vote, and newspapers have written stories about the dual crises of white-on-white crime and the overwhelming number of whites on welfare.

Nevertheless, white-from-birth Congressmen who introduced the measure are ecstatic. They were very concerned by the projection that whites would become the minority by 2050. The new law puts an end to that. In fact, since its passage, the white population has soared 40 percent, and will remain the overwhelming majority for the foreseeable future.

“Certainly as long as we keep getting these Spanish-speaking white immigrants from Mexico, we’ll be OK,” said Latham.

 Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News. It’s not real, but we hope it made you think.

© 2008 The Peoples News


Filed under Uncategorized


Doug Mills/The New York Times
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. spoke at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday



April 28, 2008 —  In a defiant appearance before the Washington media, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church and rejected those who have labeled him unpatriotic.


WASHINGTON _ In a defiant appearance before the Washington media, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church and rejected those who have labeled him unpatriotic.
“I served six years in the military,” Barack Obama‘s longtime pastor said. “Does that make me patriotic? How many years did (Vice President Dick) Cheney serve?”
Wright spoke at the National Press Club before the Washington media and a supportive audience of black church leaders beginning a two-day symposium.
He said the black church tradition is not bombastic or controversial, but different and misunderstood by the “dominant culture” in the United States.
He said his Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has a long history of liberating the oppressed by feeding the hungry, supporting recovery for the addicted and helping senior citizens in need. He said congregants have fought in the military, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“My goddaughter’s unit just arrived in Iraq this week while those who call me unpatriotic have used their positions of privilege to avoid military service while sending over 4,000 American boys and girls to die over a lie,” he said.
Wright said he hopes the controversy will have a positive outcome and spark an honest dialogue about race in America. Wright says black church traditions are still “invisible” to many Americans, as they have been throughout the country’s history.
He said he hopes “the most recent attack on the black church — it is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright — it’s an attack on the black church,” he said to applause, “just might mean that the reality of the African-American church will no longer be invisible.”
Videos clips of Wright’s sermons, circulated widely on television and the Internet, knocked Obama’s presidential campaign off-stride. The Illinois Democrat distanced himself from the comments of Wright, whom he has known for 20 years.
In a sermon days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Wright said “America’s chickens are coming home to roost” after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan and “supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans.”
Asked about some of the comments after the terrorist attacks, Wright challenged the reporter questioning him.
“Have you heard the whole sermon? No? The whole sermon?” he responded. When the reporter shook her head, he said, “That nullifies that question.”
He said criticism comes from people who only have heard sound bites playing repeatedly on television and have never listened to his entire sermons.
Wright said he’s told Obama that if he is elected in November and is inaugurated in January, “I’m coming after you.” He said that’s because his differences are not with the American people, but U.S. policies.
“Whether he gets elected or not, I’m still going to have to be answerable to God on November 5 and January 21,” Wright said.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Published: April 28, 2008
Among the millions of clips on the video-sharing Web site YouTube are 11 racially offensive Warner Brothers cartoons that have not been shown in an authorized release since 1968.
April 28, 2008    
Despite efforts to suppress them, racist cartoons from the 1940s have been circulating on the Web. Above, Bugs Bunny outwits a rabbit hunter.
Some of the cartoons were removed on April 16. A message saying the cartoons were no longer available because of a copyright claim by Warner appeared in their place. By evening the messages disappeared, and some of the cartoons were back. Representatives for YouTube and Warner would not confirm whether the companies had tried to remove the cartoons.
Ricardo Reyes, a YouTube spokesman, said YouTube relies on copyright holders to identify infringing content and on users to flag offensive content. If people do not complain, videos remain, he said. Mr. Reyes said that copyright violations are removed “very quickly” once identified, but the problem “is that ownership is often tough to determine.” He said many users “unknowingly post because they don’t know the law.”
A representative for Warner wrote in an e-mail message that “Warner Brothers has rights to the titles” in question and that “we vigorously protect all our copyrights. We do not make distinctions based on content.”
The cartoons, known as the “Censored 11,” have been unavailable to the public for 40 years. Postings no longer appear if YouTube is searched for “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs,” a parody of “Snow White” and the most famous of the cartoons. But a search for “Coal Black” does find the cartoon.
These cartoons were controversial when first released; the N.A.A.C.P. unsuccessfully protested “Coal Black” before it was shown in 1943. Richard McIntire, the director of communications for the N.A.A.C.P., wrote in an e-mail message that “the cartoons are despicable. We encourage the films’ owners to maintain them as they are — that is, locked away in their vaults.”
WMAV01, a YouTube user who posted some of the cartoons and preferred not to give his name, wrote in an e-mail message that “these cartoons were never officially ‘banned’ by any law” and added that the cartoons had “historical value.” WMAV01 said the cartoons were available on Web sites like, which is run by “The Opie and Anthony Show,” a talk radio program.
The cartoons are also available on bootleg DVDs from Web sites like, which sells a collection of 165 such cartoons. At least two of the shorts are available on unlicensed DVDs sold by third parties on Amazon.
Michael Barrier, author of four books on the history of animation and comics, said the cartoons should be “presented in an informed way for an intelligent, adult audience.” Mr. Barrier also said the Censored 11’s appearance on YouTube “shows that there is a demand, so the logical step would be to release them in a way that is profitable for you as a copyright holder.”
(Article courtesy of The New York Times )

POSSESSED; From a Time Before BlackBerries

…cartoonish black stereotypes made it racist, “Coonskin”…

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Massimo Sciacca for The New York Times
Kiwis grown in Italy are examined — and damaged fruit is discarded— before being shipped.
Published: April 26, 2008
Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground. Half of Europe’s peas are grown and packaged in Kenya.
April 26, 2008    

Massimo Sciacca for The New York Times

The Sanifrutta company in Italy ships kiwis from its plant in Costigliore Saluzzo, traveling by sea in refrigerated containers.

In the United States, FreshDirect proclaims kiwi season has expanded to “All year!” now that Italy has become the world’s leading supplier of New Zealand’s national fruit, taking over in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter.
Food has moved around the world since Europeans brought tea from China, but never at the speed or in the amounts it has over the last few years. Consumers in not only the richest nations but, increasingly, the developing world expect food whenever they crave it, with no concession to season or geography.
Increasingly efficient global transport networks make it practical to bring food before it spoils from distant places where labor costs are lower. And the penetration of mega-markets in nations from China to Mexico with supply and distribution chains that gird the globe — like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco — has accelerated the trend.
But the movable feast comes at a cost: pollution — especially carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas — from transporting the food.
Under longstanding trade agreements, fuel for international freight carried by sea and air is not taxed. Now, many economists, environmental advocates and politicians say it is time to make shippers and shoppers pay for the pollution, through taxes or other measures.
“We’re shifting goods around the world in a way that looks really bizarre,” said Paul Watkiss, an Oxford University economist who wrote a recent European Union report on food imports.
He noted that Britain, for example, imports — and exports — 15,000 tons of waffles a year, and similarly exchanges 20 tons of bottled water with Australia. More important, Mr. Watkiss said, “we are not paying the environmental cost of all that travel.”
Europe is poised to change that. This year the European Commission in Brussels announced that all freight-carrying flights into and out of the European Union would be included in the trading bloc’s emissions-trading program by 2012, meaning permits will have to be purchased for the pollution they generate.
The commission is negotiating with the global shipping organization, the International Maritime Organization, over various alternatives to reduce greenhouse gases. If there is no solution by year’s end, sea freight will also be included in Europe’s emissions-trading program, said Barbara Helferrich, a spokeswoman for the European Commission’s Environment Directorate. “We’re really ready to have everyone reduce — or pay in some way,” she said.
The European Union, the world’s leading food importer, has increased imports 20 percent in the last five years. The value of fresh fruit and vegetables imported by the United States, in second place, nearly doubled from 2000 to 2006.
Under a little-known international treaty called the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago in 1944 to help the fledgling airline industry, fuel for international travel and transport of goods, including food, is exempt from taxes, unlike trucks, cars and buses. There is also no tax on fuel used by ocean freighters.
Proponents say ending these breaks could help ensure that producers and consumers pay the environmental cost of increasingly well-traveled food.
The food and transport industries say the issue is more complicated. The debate has put some companies on the defensive, including Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket chain, known as a vocal promoter of green initiatives.
Some of those companies say that they are working to limit greenhouse gases produced by their businesses but that the question is how to do it. They oppose regulation and new taxes and, partly in an effort to head them off, are advocating consumer education instead.
Tesco, for instance, is introducing a labeling system that will let consumers assess a product’s carbon footprint.
Some foods that travel long distances may actually have an environmental advantage over local products, like flowers grown in the tropics instead of in energy-hungry European greenhouses.
“This may be as radical for environmental consuming as putting a calorie count on the side of packages to help people who want to lose weight,” a spokesman for Tesco, Trevor Datson, said.
Better transportation networks have sharply reduced the time required to ship food abroad.
For instance, improved roads in Africa have helped cut the time it takes for goods to go from farms on that continent to stores in Europe to 4 days, compared with 10 days not too many years ago.
And with far cheaper labor costs in African nations, Morocco and Egypt have displaced Spain in just a few seasons as important suppliers of tomatoes and salad greens to central Europe.
“If there’s an opportunity for cheaper production in terms of logistics or supply it will be taken,” said Ed Moorehouse, a consultant to the food industry in London, adding that some of these shifts also create valuable jobs in the developing world.


The Food Chain

A Movable Feast

Articles in this series are examining growing demands on, and changes in, the world’s production of food.

Previous Articles in the Series »


Making Ships Green, in Port and at Sea (April 26, 2008)

The economics are compelling. For example, Norwegian cod costs a manufacturer $1.36 a pound to process in Europe, but only 23 cents a pound in Asia.
The ability to transport food cheaply has given rise to new and booming businesses.
“In the past few years there have been new plantations all over the center of Italy,” said Antonio Baglioni, export manager of Apofruit, one of Italy’s largest kiwi exporters.
Kiwis from Sanifrutta, another Italian exporter, travel by sea in refrigerated containers: 18 days to the United States, 28 to South Africa and more than a month to reach New Zealand.
Some studies have calculated that as little as 3 percent of emissions from the food sector are caused by transportation. But Mr. Watkiss, the Oxford economist, said the percentage was growing rapidly. Moreover, imported foods generate more emissions than generally acknowledged because they require layers of packaging and, in the case of perishable food, refrigeration.
Britain, with its short growing season and powerful supermarket chains, imports 95 percent of its fruit and more than half of its vegetables. Food accounts for 25 percent of truck shipments in Britain, according to the British environmental agency, DEFRA.
Mr. Datson of Tesco acknowledged that there were environmental consequences to the increased distances food travels, but he said his company was merely responding to consumer appetites. “The offer and range has been growing because our customers want things like snap peas year round,” Mr. Datson said. “We don’t see our job as consumer choice editing.”
Global supermarket chains like Tesco and Carrefour, spreading throughout Eastern Europe and Asia, cater to a market for convenience foods, like washed lettuce and cut vegetables.
They also help expand the reach of global brands.
Pringles potato chips, for example, are now sold in more than 180 countries, though they are manufactured in only a handful of places, said Kay Puryear, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, which makes Pringles.
Proponents of taxing transportation fuel say it would end such distortions by changing the economic calculus.
“Food is traveling because transport has become so cheap in a world of globalization,” said Frederic Hague, head of Norway’s environmental group Bellona. “If it was just a matter of processing fish cheaper in China, I’d be happy with it traveling there. The problem is pollution.”
The European Union has led the world in proposals to incorporate environmental costs into the price consumers pay for food.
Switzerland, which does not belong to the E.U., already taxes trucks that cross its borders.
In addition to bringing airlines under its emission-trading program, Brussels is also considering a freight charge specifically tied to the environmental toll from food shipping to shift the current calculus that “transporting freight is cheaper than producing goods locally,” the commission said.
The problem is measuring the emissions. The fact that food travels farther does not necessarily mean more energy is used. Some studies have shown that shipping fresh apples, onions and lamb from New Zealand might produce lower emissions than producing the goods in Europe, where — for example — storing apples for months would require refrigeration.
But those studies were done in New Zealand, and the food travel debate is inevitably intertwined with economic interests.
Last month, Tony Burke, the Australian minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, said that carbon footprinting and labeling food miles — the distance food has traveled — was “nothing more than protectionism.”
Shippers have vigorously fought the idea of levying a transportation fuel tax, noting that if some countries repealed those provisions of the Chicago Convention, it would wreak havoc with global trade, creating an uneven patchwork of fuel taxes.
It would also give countries that kept the exemption a huge trade advantage.
Some European retailers hope voluntary green measures like Tesco’s labeling — set to begin later this year — will slow the momentum for new taxes and regulations.
The company will begin testing the labeling system, starting with products like orange juice and laundry detergent.
Customers may be surprised by what they discover.
Box Fresh Organics, a popular British brand, advertises that 85 percent of its vegetables come from the British Midlands. But in winter, in its standard basket, only the potatoes and carrots are from Britain. The grapes are South African, the fennel is from Spain and the squash is Italian.
Today’s retailers could not survive if they failed to offer such variety, Mr. Moorehouse, the British food consultant, said.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “we’ve educated our customers to expect cheap food, that they can go to the market to get whatever they want, whenever they want it. All year. 24/7.”
Daniele Pinto contributed reporting.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Eric Thayer for The New York Times
Leon Mitchell helping Diana Joseph fill out a voter registration form at the Government Center in Miami this month.
Published: April 28, 2008
MIAMI — The League of Women Voters in Florida and its 27 local groups have helped thousands of residents register to vote over the years.
April 28, 2008    

Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Clipboards to be used by workers canvassing for voter registration at the Acorn headquarters in Miami in mid-April.

But just over a week ago, the organization’s leaders said they would have to stop their current drive because the state’s top election official planned to enforce strict deadlines and fines of up to $1,000 for groups that lose voter registration forms or turn them in late.
“We’re an all-volunteer organization,” said Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti, president of the League of Women Voters in Florida, which plans to sue. “It’s a matter of being able to protect the leagues from liability.”
Eight years after the debacle of “hanging chads,” Florida once again seems to be courting electoral trouble. A handful of laws have been passed since the 2000 presidential recount, with state officials saying they bring order to a chaotic system.
“Some say we err on the side of caution,” said Joe Pickens, a Republican from Palatka who served on the Florida House’s Ethics and Elections Committee in 2005 and 2006. “I would say that’s the place we should be.”
But Election Day may end up looking oddly familiar. According to independent elections experts at Pew’s and other organizations, it is now harder to vote here than in nearly every other state in the nation. Some critics predict that tens of thousands of potential voters will be kept off the rolls — many of them poor, black or Hispanic.
In many ways, the battle over the laws reflects the larger national debate over how to overhaul the election system after the 2000 recount. Congress tried to institute a uniform guide for voter registration, but the compromise legislation left many details to the states, and partisanship arose in the void. Republicans typically demanded high standards of accuracy to eliminate voter fraud, while Democrats focused on making voting as easy as possible.
Many states decided that disputes would be worked out case by case, without written rules. But more ambitious states, including Florida, responded with new policies or laws. By 2006, for example, at least 11 states had “no match, no vote” provisions, rejecting potential voters whose Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers did not match state databases.
Civil rights groups challenged much of the new legislation in court, and they often won. But in Florida, many of the cases remain unresolved.
Three laws in particular are at issue, including a “no match, no vote” measure; the provision managing voter registration drives conducted by third parties, like the League of Women Voters; and a law that would keep a voter from correcting mistakes or omissions on a registration form in the final month before an election and would bar that person from having his or her vote counted.
Two recent federal rulings have gone in the state’s favor.
On March 25, a Federal District Court in Miami rejected a challenge to the provision on corrections and omissions.
An oversight can be as simple as failing to check what many Florida residents call the “crazy box.” It asks people to affirm: “I have not been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting or, if I have, my competency has been restored.”
So far, about 3 percent of voter registrations collected by the Florida chapter of Acorn, a national organizing group, have lacked the required checkmarks.
In the second decision, on April 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, sent a case challenging the “no match, no vote” law back to a Federal District Court, reversing an earlier injunction without ruling whether the law was unconstitutional.
Other states, meanwhile, have been moving in the opposite direction. Now, 33 states allow voters to amend forms after their registration deadlines. In 2006, a judge in Washington State struck down a “no match, no vote” law, and at least six other states have abandoned similar provisions.
Election lawyers say Florida’s Republican-controlled government has introduced more restrictions on the voting process than other states since 2000 and has fought harder to keep them.
Critics say state officials are subtly trying to block new voters, many of whom tend to vote for Democrats, from participating.
“It’s really about politicians trying to game the system,” said Michael Slater, deputy director of Project Vote, a voting rights organization based in Arkansas. “They’ve done that by adding all these bureaucratic obstacles to voting, and then when people can’t jump over them, they blame the voter.”

Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, a Republican, sidestepped specific questions about the state’s approach.
“We want to have as many people vote as want to vote that are legally registered to vote,” Mr. Crist said. He also offered to “do some campaigning to encourage people to register to vote.”
Some volunteers actually registering voters are not pleased. The Florida statute governing such groups is somewhat unusual. Besides Florida, only New Mexico assesses fines on them. The law is also a second try.
The first effort, in 2006, called for fines of up to $5,000 per form, but it was struck down in federal court after the League of Women Voters filed suit.
The state appealed but in the meantime passed an amended law, cutting the fines but keeping some original elements in place. A “standstill agreement” between the state and the plaintiffs kept the new law from being enforced, until Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning gave notice of his plans in court documents in late March. In a statement, his office said it was obligated to enforce the new law.
His office said it had not started assessing penalties. It has also acknowledged that the law is vague on whether the cap of $1,000 would apply to an entire organization, a chapter or individual volunteers.
Ms. Wheatley-Giliotti of the League of Women Voters said her group’s roughly 3,000 members could not risk paying the fines. The organization stopped helping voters register for the first time in 2006, before a federal judge struck down the original law that August.
Now, she said, the group must stop again because some local leagues have a budget of only $1,000.
Ms. Wheatley-Giliotti said: “I just believe it’s making it much more difficult for many sectors of the population to register. It’s groups like the League of Women Voters that take extra steps so that seniors, the poor, the underrepresented have an opportunity to register to vote conveniently.”
Christine Jordan Sexton contributed reporting from Tallahassee, Fla.
SOURCE:  The New York Times )

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized