Questioning Affirmative Action

Racial justice advocates should consider, with a degree of candor that has not yet been evident, whether affirmative action–as it has been framed and defended during the past thirty years–has functioned more like a racial bribe than a tool of racial justice. One might wonder, what does affirmative action have to do with mass incarceration?…

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The Impact of Police Violence is Far Reaching and Long Lasting

Last week I, as many others, looked for every update that could be found about Erica Garner. Horrified at the possibility of police violence claiming yet another victim. Hopeful that she would pull through. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. At 27, a woman who had to watch her father get choked to death on TV…

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Book 3: The Coldest Winter Ever–Sister Souljah

I know that I’m super late, but if anybody happens to be later than me, this is a must read! I read this book like I (used to) binge TV series on Netflix, and it’s about 400 pages long. But it reads like you’re watching episodes of TV. It’s Power before Power existed, from a…

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Malcolm X

If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t pulled the knife out, much less healed the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.

–Malcolm X

Conscious Consumerism

Keep this in mind as you go about shopping the holiday sales:

How are you spending your money?

Don’t talk to me about high unemployment or institutional racism or housing discrimination. Don’t talk to me about some big corporate giant that is making its execs wealthy off the backs of poor, working people while you spend every dime you earn with those same companies.

Don’t want to hear a thing about it until we finally realize that the African-American community has within its purse, pocket and wallet the very means to address many of the problems that plague it…and then do something about it. If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. If you will not provide the missing piece of the puzzle, you are contributing to the jumbled mess. Either we will buy our freedom or pay for our own oppression, I say.

They want to talk about affirmative action. They want to talk about corporate greed. I want to talk about conscious consumerism.

They want to go on and on about discrimination in the work place or the fact that African Americans are unemployed at an appalling rate that pales in comparison to that of Whites. And I want to know when was the last time you purposely went to a Black-owned gas station or grocery store even if it meant going a little bit out of the way.

Here in New Orleans, 50 percent of all African-American men are unemployed. And upon hearing that dismal statistic, I shake. But then I remember that according to a reputable study, if African Americans would just double the money we spend amongst ourselves and spend just 12 cents of every dollar with Black-owned businesses, those businesses could in turn provide more jobs for Black folks—about 589,000 Black folks to be exact.

To be sure, I have perfected the art of taking any argument, any tirade and turning it into an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with anyone who will listen to me when I say that there is only frontier left for African-Americans as it relates to the quest for power and fairness in America. It is not at the ballot box or at rallies, but at cash registers.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Vote habitually. And when demonstration is in order, protest vehemently. But unless and until Black America corrals it’s nearly $1 trillion buying power and uses it to build, strengthen and sustain its communities, all the voting and protesting in the world will not get us out of the mess we are in.

Don’t complain about the rampant crime in your communities and others like it while you spend your money with businesses that do nothing for your neighborhood or your neighbors. Don’t complain about the horrid state of your environs when while you spend money every day with businesses whose owners get into their fancy cars and fine trucks to commute to and from gated hamlets and far-flung suburbs to set up shop on your block.

–Anitra D. Brown; editor of the New Orleans BlackBook, a directory of Black-owned businesses, Black entities and organizations in New Orleans, LA.

Black Woman Jailed for Sending Kids to Wrong (White) School District

I’m so disgusted. I understand where the legality fell through and that technically this falls under fraud. But this says something about our educational system. The woman just wanted her kids to go to a decent school, whereas many aren’t even finishing, and now you want to send her to jail, send the father to jail, tell the kids they have to go back to some shitty school district and not have the same educational opportunity, AND because the mom is charged with a felony, her dream of being a teacher will NEVER happen because of the laws in Ohio preventing felons from teaching. Absolutely disgusting!!!!!!!!

Instead of making her an example maybe they need to be looking at the educational disparities that would make someone go to those lengths—but then again, the powers that be will always deflect the reality by masking it in bullshit legalities (which are inherently created to maintain disparities) and never speak TRUTH. They don’t want every kid to have equal access to GOOD education, because then we might have more equal access to opportunities, and then white power and privilege may be taken down a notch (although not eliminated), and then—as is so popularly said as of recent—our “American values” (read: WHITE American values) would be threatened by some perceived socialism/communism (read: a society not based in institutional racism/-isms) and then were would we be?
Black Woman Jailed for Sending Kids to Wrong (White) School District

We’re Post-Racial??

I’m just so sick of hearing this term and hearing people totally CONVINCED that we are in a post-racial society ,and that every person of color who speaks of racism is just pulling the “race card,” and if they’re not as successful it’s because they didn’t work as hard, because we have ALL the opportunities that…

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the Voluntary MURDER of Oscar Grant

I’m sorry, I’m just DISGUSTED right now. The police officer gets sentenced to involuntary manslaughter for pulling out his gun and shooting a man lying face down on the ground point blank. Don’t tell me this foolishness of mistaken weapon identity. If you can’t tell the difference between the weight and shape of a taser gun…

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