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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gary A. Decker of Kentucky Tasered To Death By Tuscon Police

UPDATE: More tasering, not confirmed if it is a tasering of a black man - will update.

As reported by the Examiner.com and blogger Villager, Officers were called to the 50-year-old's downtown Tucson hotel room early Thursday because staff heard loud banging and music coming from his room. Sgt. Mark Robinson says they used a pass key to get inside after he wouldn't open the door.

They found the room ransacked, furniture broken and a nude Decker holding a toilet seat he had ripped from the commode. They used a Taser but it had no apparent affect and they eventually wrestled him to the ground.

H/T to blogger, Villager from the blog, Electonic Village who is reporting ... it looks like the police killed another person with their non-lethal weapon. More HERE

Get this, Police Spokesman are saying the police investigation continues and asks that anyone who may have known Decker and have information about what led up to the incident to call the TPD homicide unit at 791-4487. More HERE


Cross Posted on the blog Tasered While Black

Reverse Discrimination in Dallas Police Department?

Let's call this another Post Racial Moment in America. Now that the Supreme Court is considering whether reverse discrimination is valid, many whites are ready to cry the new, "White Reverse Discrimination Card."

Take for example the new case reported by Tanaya Eiserer at The Dallas Morning News,
and her report on the president of the Dallas Black Police Association who has been named in a federal racial discrimination complaint filed by a detective who alleges that he wasn't chosen for a spot on a narcotics squad because he is white. The complaint was filed by narcotics Detective Tony Castleberg after he was passed over for a position on the squad of Sgt. Gerry Westry, the association's president. In an interview, Westry said he had no problem choosing whites but Castleberg wasn't picked by a diverse three-sergeant panel because "he was not the most qualified for the job." He also said Castleberg has been turned down for positions on squads headed by white sergeants. Phil Burleson Jr., Castleberg's attorney, said Castleberg was rated as "exceeds" in his three most recent evaluations, including one by Westry.

"It seems clear based on his evaluations, work and experience that he was much more qualified than the individuals taken," Burleson said. In September, Castleberg filed an unsuccessful grievance with the department after he was not selected for Westry's squad.

He later filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"Sgt. Westry has never, in his history as a narcotics unit supervisor, since 2005, chosen a Caucasian officer for his squad," Castleberg wrote in a letter to the department.

"Sgt. Westry's current squad, including the detectives chosen for this position, consists only of minority detectives."
Castleberg, who has been a narcotics detective for more than four years, wrote that the two minority detectives chosen for Westry's squad both had less experience than he did. He also has a clean disciplinary history. Department records show the racial breakdown of the detectives chosen for Westry's squads is four blacks, four Hispanics and one American Indian. One of the black detectives was chosen twice. No whites have been chosen for his squad, the records show. More HERE


Belt Buckle Gun Can Get You Killed!

   Police almost shot William Morales, who was wearing this gun-shaped buckle.

Yes, The Belt Buckle Gun can get you killed. It almost got one teenager shot. According to the Miami Herald and Monroe County Police, a 17-year-old learned the hard way that a belt with a gun-shaped buckle isn't the best accessory to wear when deputies are responding to a call.

Get this, according to Miami Hearld reporter Cammy Clark, a gun-shaped belt buckle that looked a little too much like the real thing nearly resulted in the shooting of a teenager when Monroe County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call about a possible kidnapping near Key West.

Three officers with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office answered the call and confronted student William Morales, 17, in a parking lot Tuesday on Stock Island.

Morales -- wearing a ''gangster-style'' white tank top and baggy pants, according to the Sheriff's Office -- initially put his hands up, then lowered them to put down his cellphone and keys.

He reached toward his waistband toward an object that looked like a shiny, black .25-caliber Beretta semi-automatic handgun.

''The hair stood up on my neck and I was squeezing the trigger when he went for the 'gun,' '' Detective Donnie Catala said Wednesday. ''I ordered him to put his hands up -- with a few cuss words -- or I would shoot. His hand was about six inches from the `gun' and I was within milliseconds of shooting.''

Morales told officers it was a belt buckle -- but then raised his hands again.

The officers tackled and handcuffed him. No shots were fired.

''We didn't know it wasn't a gun until we actually took the belt off,'' Catala said. More HERE

AAPP: The makers of these belt should be sued, and the people that wear the belts should be charged with stupidity.



Obama and Torture - 'Let's Forgive and Forget'

President Obama released four of the infamous "torture memos." They document the crimes against humanity made by George Bush and his administration. Unfortunately, President Obama is now saying he will not prosecute CIA agents who engaged in torture, get this, simply because George Bush's lawyers told them it was "legal."

I agree with Francis L. Holland who recently wrote on how Obama Should Pardon War Crimes Committed Under Bush Administration I could not say it better than Francis on this one - Great post Francis!

Photobucket

'Let's Forgive and Forget'

Jail Time for Wearing Your Pants Low? Attack on Black Boys/Men?

A big shout out and H/T new African American Female blogger Antoinette, who has posted on an important issue that just may place more young African American boys and men into prison for the clothes they wear. Note: Police have already begun the harassment of black males with baggy and saggy pants.

Here is a first guest blog post from blogger Antoinette of the blog Antoinette's Point of View.

Outlawing Baggy Pants

By Antoinette

Can the style of clothing now send young men to jail? According to one of the newer additions to the criminalized-for-no-good-reason list: baggy pants.

Two young men strut in Trenton, N.J., where a proposed law on sagging trousers could mean a stain on citizens' records. Such plans for bans are drawing attention nationwide.


I don't like the way how young men or older men wear their clothing hanging off of their behinds but to give these young men a fine and jail
sentences for their clothing is an outrage.

In a proposed bill in Kentucky you will be fined for a thousand dollars for wearing pants below the waist. In Missouri, the parents could spend 90 days in jail. This is an expression as all generations went through of their own style. I don't like their style as I am sure that my elders were not to happy with the styles of the 60's and 70's with the mini-skirts and tube tops and hot pants. But it did not merit a criminal charge against any of us who went through this expression of one's self.

Are we going to arrest the blue collar worker if we are able to see the crack of their behinds while they are working? If you have a plumber at you home and are able to his behind, is this a cause for alarm to call the police and have him arrested for breaking the law. Of course not. When the young and old females are walking down the street and you can see the cleavage from their breast and the low-rider jeans and thongs is this going to cause them to be arrested? Anything that shows any part of the body that is deemed unapproved for public vision is this going to be a cause for alarm and people are going to be fined and imprisoned for this? What about the beach, are we going to go back to the days where you were covered so that your body was not exposed at all.

Is this a law that is meant for everyone, or only for a certain group of young men and boys, or is it for our minority and poor youth, who use this style as their expression? Does this now give a reason for minorities to be harassed by law enforcement, for no cause, except for the clothing on their body.

Is this another way that the budget is going to be fixed, the government on a state and local level will fix their budgets by fining people who cannot afford to be fined and put into prison for not paying their fines are have to many offenses against them for their clothing and now have a criminal record for breaking a foolish law?

What is next are we going to wear uniforms in the streets to show what area we are from, what our stature in life is, what neighborhoods we live in to show if we belong in this area or not. Are we going to be robbed once again of our identify and our style of expression through our hair or make-up. Is this a signal to us to wake up and look at the concentration camps that are being set-up around the United States of things to come?

Where is the Black Caucus and Urban League and not to mention the NAACP, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, why are they not out fighting against this new injustice that is coming out against our people? And this is being done because there is some people that are offended regarding the way someone dresses.

How much legal slavery are we going to stand for? Is this going to fix the economy and put the American people back to work, is this going to stop the foreclosures in this country and not to mention is this going to stop the drugs from coming into our communities? Should we not be more concerned about fixing these things, then being concerned over how someone is dressing?

AAPP: Great post Antoinette!
Clearly there are more than racial undertones of baggy pants laws.There is already a few 'baggy pants' trials going on. I'm glad that people are challenging the baggy pants laws. As one writer said, Society, not a law, will end silly saggy pants trend. Clearly there is a saggy-pants double standard.

Read more from this up and coming black blogger HERE


Friday, April 17, 2009

15 Year old Detroit boy with asthma dies after being Tasered While Black

Francis Holland at the blog Electrocuted While Black is reporting on how a 15-year-old Detroit boy died after being Tasered by police.

The U.S. police's electrocution spree continues unabated, with a child shocked to death after driving with expired license plates, says the Washington Post.



The Associated Press
Friday, April 10, 2009; 6:06 PM

DETROIT -- A 15-year-old has died after he was Tasered by police following a traffic stop and short foot chase that began just north of Detroit.

Warren Deputy Police Commissioner Jere Green says the teen was Tasered Friday while struggling with officers inside an abandoned Detroit house. He later was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The house was about a half-mile from where Warren police stopped a vehicle for having an expired license plate. The teen was one of three people in the vehicle. The other two were taken into custody.

The death is under investigation. An autopsy is scheduled Saturday.


There is more about this story. As reported by Mitch Hotts, a staff writer with the Macomb Daily, The mother of the teenager who died last week after he was struck by a Taser said on Monday she is trying to find forgiveness in her heart for the Warren officers involved.

Cora Mitchell said her 16-year-old son, Robert Mitchell, was a special education student who probably panicked when police pulled over a car driven by his friend Friday and he jumped out of the car and ran.

"These police officers have just flipped the tables on not only me and my family, but their wives and children as well," she said while standing on the porch of her home in northeast Detroit as a steady stream of friends and relatives stopped by.



"I am a Christian" woman and in my heart I'm trying to find forgiveness for them because they're going to have to live with this for the rest of their lives — forever," she said.

Robert Mitchell was a front-seat passenger in a 1996 Dodge Stratus that was stopped by police Friday morning on Eight Mile, near Schoenherr, for an expired license plate.

When the driver pulled over, Mitchell bolted from the vehicle and ran across all four lanes of Eight Mile into Detroit. He was eventually confronted at a vacant house on Pelkey in Detroit where pursuing Warren officers fired a Taser at him once.

Mitchell fell to the ground and became unconscious. He was treated at the scene by emergency personnel and later died at Henry Ford Hospital, Warren Campus.

It's not known why Mitchell ran from the officers. He did not have a warrant out for his arrest and was not carrying any contraband, according to investigators.

"We spoke with the driver and he said Robert admitted he was going to exit and flee," said Detective Lt. Michael Torey of the Warren police. "The driver inquired why he was going to run and there was no response." Mother of Teen Boy Wants Answers

sky.com: Police Taser

As reported by sky.com the 15-year-old boy died in America after being Tasered by police trying to break up a fight. Over 300 people have died in US after being Tasered The teenager from Bay City, Michigan, was involved in an argument at an apartment in the city in the early hours of Sunday morning. After police arrived the boy allegedly tried to fight the officers before the Taser gun was used on him. Police immediately called for emergency medical help after the boy's violent reaction to being Tasered. He was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after. One officer involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave as a result of the boy's death. An Amnesty International report claims that more than 300 people have been killed after being Tasered since 2001 in the US. The report claims many of the deaths involved... [read full story]

UPDATE: The Michigan State Police will probe Taser death of boy, 15 - Examiner.com

Note, Afrospear bloggers, African American Political Pundit through the blog, Tasered While Black, Villager at Electronic Village, Francis Holland at the blog Electrocuted While Black, Sylvia at Problem Chylde, Pam Spaulding at Pam's House Blend, Kevin at Slant Truth, Brandon Q at SuperSpade, along with Jack and Jill Politics have been following the Tasering of black folks over the past few years. Afrospear members like The Black Snob and many others have been involved in a number of educational efforts, including A Day of Blogging For Justice - Blogging Against Extra-Judicial Electrocution (Tasers).


Cross posted on African American Political Pundit and Tasered While Black




Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rednecks, Rednecks With Guns, Conservatives and Violent Extremist

AAPP says: Well, well, no one needs to wonder any more if Post-Racialism Marching On in America?

Black bloggers and this Pundit who have been warning that the recession and the election of President Obama are "fueling resurgence" of right-wing extremist groups that are seeking new recruits, especially returning veterans.

redneck.jpg redneck image by PRINS_SESSE
Get this, the Department of Homeland Security is catching up with

Get this, as reporting by many news outlets, including USA Today, the intelligence assessment
suggests that veterans make attractive recruits because of "combat skills and experience" that could boost the "violent capabilities" of radical right groups. Further, it says that any possible new restrictions on gun ownership, combined with vets' trouble reintegrating into their communities during a bad economy, "could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks." More HERE

"The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement," the report states.


But DHS "has no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence," spokeswoman Sara Kuban told Fox News. The assessment was issued last week to law enforcement. A similar assessment on left-wing groups was issued earlier in the year.


AAPP says: Welcome to America!


The report has lit up the the right wing blogosphere. Right-wing bloggers are calling the report a "hit job on conservatives." Others, as reported by USA Today denounce it as "execrable" and "a blatant propaganda effort designed to characterize conservatives as racist, anti-American, dangerous extremists".

Asia McGowen, Killed by black male Internet Stalker

Warning Black woman in the U.S. and around the world have to be extremely cautious on how they use Face Book, My Space, YouTube and other social networks!

H/T to African American female bloggers From My Brown Eyed View, Whose Shoes Are These Anyway, and What About Our Daughters for following the horrific events concerning the death of Asia McGowen, a young black woman in Detroit murdered by a YouTube and Facebook stalker. The blog What About Our Daughters and Whose Shoes Are These Anyway have links to the You Tube Videos. More HERE



Get this, as reported by the Examiner.com, Video’s from the shooter were posted to the social web-site YouTube with the disturbing messages against woman, religion and also his intention of committing suicide, but Powell admitted to being scared to kill himself.

AAPP: As afrospear member and blogger RiPPa noted, " it's the intersection of maddness and reality."

The shooter was apparently linked to a on-line group called “ BMV.”

BMV~ BlackMenVent is well known on different social web-sites and represent men against women.

The group has a radio station and web-site and often promote video’s that show negative behavior of men against women.

The shooter from the recent apparent murder, suicide that took place at the Henry Ford College-Dearborn campus was a supporter of BMV. The college is located on the southwest border of Detroit. Officials from the Dearborn Police Department and Henry Ford Community College have held a news conference to detail what is known about Friday’s shooting.


Brighton says the original 911 call came in as some kind of an assault. He says that a second call came in as officers were responding to reports that shots had been fired in the Fine Arts Building. An entry team entered the south hallway, as they entered they heard another gunshot. Officers were able to enter one of the rooms, and discovered two deceased parties. The officer’s cleared the building.


Witnesses said that a man, known now as Anthony Powell shot and killed a female, Asia McGowan before taking his own life on the campus. The campus was locked down around 12:40 Friday afternoon when shots were heard. Police say that Powell used a shotgun in the shooting. School officials sent out an emergency notification to students and faculty soon after the first reports came in. It was received by text message, phone, and e-mail.


The Grant MacKenzie Fine Arts Building, with the exception of art studios, will be closed for the remainder of the semester. Classes regularly held in the building will be relocated to other classrooms on campus. Information concerning the new locations will be made available on the HFCC website and posted throughout campus beginning Monday. Classes currently scheduled in the art studios will remain in their current locations. Entrance to the art studios will be limited to the west entrance of the building. More HERE

AAPP: Black woman have to be extremely cautious on how they use Face Book, My Space, YouTube and other social networks. I wonder when organizations within the black community will address the every expanding abuse of black women within our own community?

The Huffington Post and BET are covering the loss of Asia McGowan

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blacks In The White House and other race matters

Big Shout Out to President and First Lady Barack Obama!

Finally the White House is allowing black kids inside!
No you don't have to be the son or daughter of the maid or cook to get into the White House anymore. Black folks are actually seeing inside the White House, The People's House, after building it hundreds of years ago.

Check out the story of Meggan Thompson and others who never imagined walking into the White House, let alone getting a hug from the first lady. Read full story from StarTribune.




FILE -- In this April 6, 2009 file photo, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, left, says hello to Antawan Taylor, Trevon York, and Yesnia Mejia, at Plummer Elementary School in Washington before delivering tickets to the District of Columbia for the 131st White House Easter Egg Roll. Two thousand tickets have been set aside for District of Columbia public schools. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

AAPP: It's 2009, and finally someone noticed that black children in core neighborhoods of Washington, DC needed to be included. Wow! About time!
Now we should not forget that there are still major problems in the D.C. schools.

There are charges from conservative and liberal news outlets that
DC kids are being sold out by Obama and the Democrats.

Some are wondering why the Obama Education Sec. killed Vouchers in DC.

OK, it was not my plan to sour a great story about black kids in Washington, DC, but I have to wonder, why the New Education
Secretary had to balance off his visit to the black school by visiting the segregated Washington, DC Night Club scene (just look at the crowd) in the video. I guess it proves that segregation in Washington, DC still happens, no matter if we have a black President or not.



Yet, The photo op's were Great! Right?



Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bernard Monroe, Al Sharpton, and Homer, Louisiana - Is Homer The Next Jena 6 ?

As most of you know, a 73-year-old black man was shot by police in Homer, La. He has now been buried.




Pictured above is Shaun Monroe who holds a program from the funeral of his father Bernard Monroe Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at his fathers house in Homer, La. For 73 years before his killing by a white police officer, Bernard Monroe's life in this little town was as quiet as they come. Rendered mute after losing his larynx to cancer, the black man's death is making far more noise than he ever did, and raising racial tensions between the black community and the police department. (AP Photo/ Judi Bottoni)


AAPP says: Listen to my exclusive interview and discussion with highly respected journalist Howard Witt, South West Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune. Howard Wit, broke the story of Jena 6 and the death of Bernard Monroe. Check out, African American Political Pundit's - Political Slugfest on Blog Talk Radio.com






Enter Rev. Al Sharpton who as reported by KSLA TV is putting a national spotlight on a deadly, police-involved shooting in Homer, Louisiana.

He arrived Friday to lead a march in protest to the shooting death of an elderly black resident, by a white officer.

Saturday, he delivered a piercing call for justice which resonated from the walls a local baptist church.

"I read in The Chicago Tribune that the police chief said when he sees four young blacks, they approach them and try to scare them off," Rev. Sharpton said like a commander before battle.

"If a black officer said that about whites in Homer, they would run him off the police force."

Reverend Al Sharpton rallied his troops inside The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

Guided by music, Reverend Sharpton joined the growing chorus of critics demanding justice after the fatal police shooting of 73 year old Bernard Monroe at the hands of a white police officer. "That could have been my father, that could have been your father."

In the front row sits Monroe's family."The police chief, the mayor, it just seems like nothing has been done," said Monroe's sister in law.

Investigators have yet to rule whether Monroe was armed at the time or not. More HERE


My next phone: It's the Samsung Mondi.


PC World and Tech.msn.com reports on how this phone is definitely the standout of the CTIA Wireless 2009 show, thanks to impressive specs such as a 4.3-inch LCD touch-screen, 4GB of onboard memory, a hardware QWERTY keyboard and (most important) support for WiMax. The Mondi runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and comes pre-loaded with Opera 9.5 and Route66 for turn-by-turn GPS. It will also be bundled with a mounting kit for car use.

The Mondi will feature Samsung's second-generation version of the TouchWiz overlay, which runs over Windows Mobile 6.1. TouchWiz gives users one-touch access to certain apps via movable and customizable widgets on the home screen of their phone (see this YouTube video from PhoneScoop for a look at TouchWiz in action). The next generation of TouchWiz will support not only native applications, but Internet applications as well. The Mondi will be available in the second quarter of 2009, but Samsung has yet to determine price and carrier. More HERE


Black Bloggers Hit Micheal Steele Hard!

It appears that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Micheal, (I'm done reaching out to Obama) Steele is not getting much love from black bloggers or the Chicago ‘Tea Party’ for that matter. Although the conservative black woman has a few good words for Micheal Steele, and he claims he wants more delegates 'of color' a majority of black bloggers and some main stream jouranlist have other thoughts about Steele.



As an example, DJ Black Adam's Blog says: Rush Limbaugh punked out Michael Steele, while blogger Skeptical Brotha, has an image on his blog saying Michael Steele a Fugitive Slave all of this, as blogger Yobachi, at Black Perspective. net says, Michael Steele Is Rush Limbaugh’s Bitch Ouch!



There is more folks.
Blogger, Native Son asks Michael Steele to "Man up please."
While this African American Political Pundit wonders if Micheal Steele has the balls or capacity to challenge the group he now represents.


The blogs
Over Analyze It, From My Brown Eyed View, Prometheus 6 and Mrs Grapevine are following this issue as well. Mrs. Grapevine, openly wonders, is it too soon to call Michael Steele an "Uncle Tom.

Pam's House Blend , Black Agenda Report, and African American Opinion - Social and Political Networking blog are also commenting on stupid things Micheal Steele has been saying, including his most recent recession thoughts.

AverageBro and the folks at Jack and Jill Politics are tracking all the antics.

10991

Image from blogger Skeptical Brotha, who calls Michael Steele a Fugitive Slave

Blogger, Carmen D at All About Race says, Dr. King, I miss you, while Villager at Electronic Village continues to track the blunders of Michael Steele.

Blogger Faye Anderson over at Anderson@Large keeps a close eye on Michael Steele, as does the blog Homeland Colors.

Good Job Afrospear! Thank you for keeping it real.




Ma Nishtaneh in the White House? Seder and Obama

Barack Obama hosted a Seder: Who was invited? - Well, Lynn SweetMah Nishtanah in the White House. She also has the Who's Who at the Obama seder. Brisket and kugel. OK I must admit, I grew up learning about Mah Nishtanah, as in my early years, I grew up in the Humboldt Avenue/Brookledge Neighborhood of Boston, (It was Jewish at the time). Our Jewish Neighbors would invite family members over for Seder. Yes, this brother has eaten matzah ball soup. Hmmm...

seder_hi-res.jpg

(White House photo) (See below for ID's)

Lyn Sweet writes; President Obama and his family hosted a seder at the White House on Thursday, the second night of Passover. Last year Passover fell during the Pennsylvania primary and Obama joined a makeshift seder Eric Lesser--now an assistant to David Axelrod--put together at a hotel in Harrisburg.

Some of the group at that seder were invited for the first Obama White House seder. The group used Maxwell House haggadahs--yes, named for the coffee maker-- a very basic haggadah but one that includes all the traditional elements.

Speaking of tradition....The menu included the traditional Passover fixings--matzah, charoset, brisket and chicken, along with a kugel. There were macaroons for dessert.


Who's who: From the President's left is Samantha Tubman (she came to the original one in Harrisburg and now works for Social Secretary Desiree Rogers).... Next to Tubman is Melissa Winter (deputy chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama) then First daughters Sasha, and Malia, then the First Lady.

Next to the First Lady is deputy White House counsel Susan Sher, and next to Susan Sher (out of view) are her sons Evan Moore and Michael Cohen, top White House advisor Valerie Jarrett and Obama pal and University of Chicago Medical Center honcho Eric Whitaker (who you can't see).

On the other side of the table, to the President's immediate right, is Susan Sher's husband Neil Cohen. Next to him is Laura Moser (Arun Chaudhary wife), then White House videographer Arun Chaudhary, Vice President Biden aide Herbie Ziskend (Chaudhary and Ziskend were at Harrisburg) Eric Lesser, Lesser's father, Martin Lesser, Deputy Director of Advance Lisa Kohnke, Mrs. Obama's personal aide, Dana Lewis, and Obama personal assistant Reggie Love.

AAPP says: Just in case you don't know. Seder is the most important event in the Passover celebration. Usually gathering the whole family and friends together, the Seder is steeped in long held traditions and customs. Leading up to the first night of Passover, the home is cleaned and cleared of all yeast foods, called hametz. All hametz is either eaten before Passover begins or "sold" to non-Jewish neighbors and friends.The rules surrounding Passover are strict and many, with only special foods, utensils, and dishware allowed. More HERE and HERE


King, Obama, Economic Stimulus, Poverty, and The Poor People's Campaign, Inc.

The Chicago Tribune has a must read article on how the economy meltdown presents obstacles to King's push for economic justice as Obama has taken office — The focus of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 wasn't what had been accomplished — but rather his view of what still needed to be done.

More than four decades later, King scholars say he would take the same approach at this historic moment — the
inauguration of the first black president at a time when the nation is facing its greatest
economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The crisis could widen the already large financial gaps between whites and blacks and make it more difficult to attain King's dream of
economic equaility in America.

"I believe that Dr. King would caution us not to rest on
the election of a black president and say our work here is done," said Kendra King, associate professor of politics at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. More HERE

AAPP: I had the opportunity to speak with Jerry Robinson, president of The Poor People’s Campaign and Floyd Davis, Vice President, of The Poor People’s Campaign, who have decided to take the Poor Peoples’ Campaign to another level. These two Chicago based grassroots activist saw the Poor people’s campaign lie dormant for over 40 years, and decided to re-establish the Poor Peoples Campaign, as a grassroots national organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Back in the Day

Larger view
Resurrection City, June 1968

There are still people around who can remember back in November and December of 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) met with leaders of the movement following the passage of civil rights legislation, concerned about the emergence of black power movement and the urban riots of the previous summer. SCLC decided to launch the Poor People’s Campaign, Inc., a movement to broadly address economic inequalities with nonviolent direct action. From 1965 and 1966, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King brought the brilliant organizing insights of the SCLC to the slums of Chicago to confront the evils of a number of slum lords. King moved his own family into a rundown housing unit in Chicago’s Lawndale community (renamed Slumdale at the time by its occupants), where they endured for a time the harrowing poverty, squalor, and overcrowding that other slum residents had endured for decades. I’m also reminded that Dr. King was able to inspire many grassroots people in Chicago interested in the Poor People’s Campaign, Inc.

Fast Forward

Since 2003, Jerry Robinson and Floyd Davis of Chicago, both long time residents and community activist in Chicago re-established the long dormant Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. Today, The Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. is working to help poor and low-income people of Chicago achieve economic prosperity and self sufficiency.

To achieve this goal, they have developed networks of community-based organizations that assist clients with comprehensive self sufficiency services. “These networks, says Jerry Robinson, help poor and low-income individuals enter the workforce.” Jerry Robinson says, “The bottom line is we connect our clients to income-enhancing benefits that help them move toward financial independence and self sufficiency.”

The Poor People’s Campaign 21st Century Style

Both Jerry Robinson, Floyd Davis, who are quintessential grass roots organizers, are not taking their efforts lightly. Floyd Davis says, “The Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. board of Directors has worked with a community development consultant out of Washington, DC to develop and approve a business model that includes a 5 year business plan.” Floyd Davis say, “We are taking grass root organizing to the next level, we will be using technology, including twitter, my-space, You-tube, and other social networking sites to organize and fund raise.”

Jerry Robinson said, “We understand that in order to succeed in our efforts to improve the plight of the poor in Chicago, we must work with Chicago’s local workforce system, the Chicago Workforce Board and a variety of local, state and national organizations.”

He also said The Poor People’s campaign will link to a variety of public, private, and non-profit agencies, and will collaborate with city and county agencies such as, the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services, the Chicago Jobs Council, Chicago Public Schools, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development.

Jerry Robinson and Floyd Davis say they are excited about the level of support they have received from Congressman Danny K. Davis, Congressman Bobby Rush, and the office of Mayor Richard M. Daley as they have developed and grown the Poor People's Campaign to a viable organization addressing the many need of poor People through the metro Chicago community.

Jerry Robinson said, “We plan to expand nationally to key partnership cities, including, Peoria, Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, East St. Louis, Illinois. and Los Angeles, California, in order to serve the poor people in those cities, with a clear goal of expanding nationally in major urban cities, to develop and implement projects and programs to create economic opportunity for people who are struggling to move out of poverty.”

Floyd Davis said, “We plan to work with city agencies to ensure that the new Green-collar economy and economic stimulus plan works for the poor as well.” Floyd went on to say, The Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. plans to provide meaningful employment opportunities – full-time jobs with living wages and benefits – to poor people in the targeted metro-Chicago area communities.” He went on to say, “Our plans are also to provide necessary supportive services to make employment possible, including life skills training, job training, quality accessible childcare, and transportation.”

Jerry Robinson said “the bottom line is poor people need jobs.” He went on to say, “The Poor Peoples Campaign will work with the city and county to recruit and train residents for construction jobs, as part of the Obama Economic Recovery Plan.” Our plan is to work with the Chicago Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and area labor unions to develop the best possible Economic Recovery implementation strategy that includes poor people.

UPDATE: Poor Peoples Campaign, Inc. has sent a Open Letter to The President of The United States on ways to address poverty in America.

The Poor People’s campaign, Inc. is located on the web at: www.poorpeoplescampaignppc.org


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