Archive for January, 2016

Replay Wednesday: Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

January 31, 2016

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Theresa Smith, Mary L. Sanders and Gabriel Black Elk will join us. Topics will include police violence against Native Americans, mentally ill individuals and people in crisis, and how gang injunctions lead to gentrification. 9:00 PM Eastern Time 8:00 PM Central 6:00 PM Pacific.  http://www.sometroradio.com/

Resources:

 

Justice for Paul Castaway:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native Americans most likely to be killed by police:

http://bluenationreview.com/native-americans-are-the-group-most-likely-to-be-killed-by-police/

Gabriel Black Elk Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/gabriel.blackelk.9

In Memory and Justice for Caesar Cruz:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/233927199985172/

Law Enforcement Accountability Network:

https://www.facebook.com/LEANETWORK/timeline

Scott & Spady : OC Gang Injunctions Are Overhyped:

http://voiceofoc.org/2015/12/scott-spady-oc-gang-injunctions-are-overhyped/

No to Orange County Gang Injunctions:

https://www.facebook.com/No-to-Orange-County-Gang-Injunctions-1434956740104926/?fref=ts

Community Party Meagan Hockaday Act:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/meagan-hockaday-act/

Community Party 2016 Legislative Package:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/

 

 

Safe Work Environment Act Report

January 29, 2016

This column appears in the January 28 – February 24 edition of the Hartford News…

Community Party Media

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 9:00 PM Eastern Time 8:00 PM Central 6:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show February 2. http://sometroradio.com/ Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

Meagan Hockaday Act

Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged. Coming in 2016: The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act will include enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation will implement a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. Public Health Committee co-chair Rep. Matt Ritter is collaborating with us on this bill. Stay tuned for updates. Meagan Matters! https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/ Check out CP’s 2016 legislative package at our No Sellout blog. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/

Police Misconduct in Hartford

The 2015 Hartford Police list of officers with sustained complaints contains 31 officers, an increase from 29 in 2014. The 2014 list, which includes officer Jill Kidik (Violation of Civil Rights, Excessive Force, Profane Language) is available at No Sellout.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/2014-hartford-police-department-list-of-officers-with-sustained-complaints/ Stay tuned for updates.

This week we’ll share a post on workplace bullying from the Undercover Lawyer website. http://hubpages.com/@undercoverlawyer The Safe Work Environment Act is a part of CP’s 2016 legislative package.

*****

Top 10 Telling Signals That The Boss is Bullying You

Workplace Bullying Is More Common Than Assumed

An employer may admit that it has one rogue supervisor, but most companies will not admit that bullying in the workplace is a widespread problem. This is why Zogby’s 2007 poll has not gotten the attention it deserves — because it proves that U.S. workplaces are deeply infected with the disease of bullying supervisors, but businesses fear the treatment more than the disease.

Zogby’s survey found that workplace bullies caused actual damage to the health of one third of Americans at work today. In other words, more than 54,000,000 employees have been severely bullied at work. To make the issue more personal, think of two friends: one of you has been abused so badly at work that he or she needed medical care.

Why does this continue?

It continues because it’s legal.

The U.S. Supreme Court has specifically said that courts will not get into the business of enforcing a “civility code” in the nation’s workplaces. With the law turning a blind eye toward civility and respect at work, bosses are free to push their employees to produce more and more by employing threats, humiliation, and fearmongering. It may be immoral, but none of it is illegal.

Some companies take a long term approach and reognize that rampant abuse of employees at their company will only increase the number of employee resignations, decrease the number of employee applications, and grow the use of sick time and workers’ compensation claims.

If you are reading this, however, chances are that you are not working at one of the precious few companies who does take the long view. Instead, you at least suspect that you are being taken advantage of at work.

More likely, you know in your heart that you are suffering through workplace abuse but you have been denying it; some people fear that taking action against a bully will be even more difficult to endure than the everyday abuse that’s been grinding them down.

Many Employers Ignore Bullying Problems

If you are one in either of these groups, take a look through this list of the Top 10 Telling Indicators That The Boss is Bullying You. After going over the list click on the survey at the end to report how many of the signs you’ve experienced in your own work life:

1.Your boss consistently blames you for the problems at work, while boasting to others that his or her own skills are responsible for the good outcomes
2.You’ve found that your boss scheduled key meetings knowing full well you had a conflict at that time
3.Your boss sabotages your success by claiming to be “too busy” to sign off on your work or give you needed feedback, making your work incomplete or late
4.You are kept out meetings your supervisor schedules, your work station is moved further away from your supervisor, or you are conspicuously left out of work lunches
5.You learn that your supervisor or someone in his or her peer group is gossiping about your work, or even your life
6.When upset or stressed your manager will bring up a mistake you made long ago (even years ago), as a way of shifting focus from the current problem to something that was your fault
7.At night and on the weekends you feel completely exhausted and have no energy for pursuits you used to enjoy
8. A co-worker is allowed by your boss to put you down, insult your work, and humiliate you with co-workers present, or, your boss does these things to you directly
9.You feel like every day your manager only gives you criticisms, but your performance reviews are always positive and you are know at work as a good worker
10.You long for each weekend, but you are full of anxiety and even become sick with dread the evening before the work week starts.

*****

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948 Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/ Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

Meagan Hockaday Act

January 24, 2016

Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged. Coming in 2016: The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act will include enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation would implement a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. Stay tuned for updates. Meagan Matters! https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/

Resources

Police in U.S. kill more people than all other developed nations COMBINED:

Cops Have Killed Every 8 Hours in 2015, Sending At Least Three People to Early Graves Per Day

Hamilton, Ontario Police COAST Program: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/hamilton-police-send-mental-health-pros-to-the-front-lines-with-cops-1.3024000

https://www.stjoes.ca/health-services/mental-health-addiction-services/mental-health-services/coast

UK Police use police back up, de-escalation, and public order shields to subdue a mentally ill man wielding a machete.

Investigative report on the police murder of Caroline Small, an unarmed woman who was experiencing a mental health crisis:

http://investigations.myajc.com/caroline-small-shooting/

Mentally Ill and Murdered by Police:

http://socialistworker.org/2012/12/11/mentally-ill-and-murdered-by-police

New Mexico Police Shoot at Minivan Full of Kids:

Community Party 2016 Legislative Package

January 24, 2016

Meagan Hockaday Act:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/meagan-hockaday-act/

Trayvon Martin Act:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/community-party-trayvon-martin-act-bill-language/

Sandra Bland Police Reform and Economic Justice Plan:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/sandra-bland-police-reform-economic-justice-plan-5/

Safe Work Environment Act:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/coming-in-2015-safe-work-environment-act/

Connecticut General Assembly 2016 Regular Session convenes February 3rd 2016 and adjourns May 4th 2016:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/

Community Party Media

January 24, 2016

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 9:00 PM Eastern Time 8:00 PM Central 6:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. http://sometroradio.com/

False Choice: The Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color

Trebol Press has published my first nonfiction book on politics. The Democrats and Republicans spar publicly, but the reality is that these two parties have more in common than they have differences. This duopoly is run on corporatist economic policies that benefit the ruling class, at the expense of the workers and the poor. Global hegemony is at the core of the foreign policies of the Dems and the GOP. False Choice is a diary of national and global issues, set against the backdrop of the Connecticut gubernatorial election between Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley that was rated as the most negative in the country in 2014. The book also features commentary on politics at Hartford City Hall, including analysis of the highly controversial baseball stadium deal orchestrated by former Mayor Pedro Segarra and former City Council President Shawn Wooden. Visit the Trebol Press website for ordering info. http://trebolpress.com Check out the False Choice Author Page on Facebook for commentary on the Democratic/Republican duopoly and coverage of third party politics. https://www.facebook.com/False-Choice-Author-Page-103530079741195/timeline/

Social Media

Facebook pages

Community Party Action: https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction/timeline

Stop Racial Profiling – Obey the Law!: https://www.facebook.com/PennAct/timeline

A Public Bank for Connecticut: https://www.facebook.com/PublicBankCT/timeline

Twitter

Follow us for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1

No Sellout

Visit our blog for news and commentary you won’t get from the corporate media. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Hartford News In My Opinion Weekly Column

The Hartford News is available at these locations. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/hartford-news-locations-2/ Visit No Sellout for the archive of Community Party Hartford News columns.

False Choice: The Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color

January 24, 2016

Trebol Press has published Community Party founder David Samuels’ first nonfiction book on politics. The Democrats and Republicans spar publicly, but the reality is that these two parties have more in common than they have differences. This duopoly is run on corporatist economic policies that benefit the ruling class, at the expense of the workers and the poor. Global hegemony is at the core of the foreign policies of the Dems and the GOP. False Choice is a diary of national and global issues, set against the backdrop of the Connecticut gubernatorial election between incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley that was rated as the most negative in the country in 2014. The book also features commentary on politics at Hartford City Hall, including analysis of the highly controversial baseball stadium deal orchestrated by former Mayor Pedro Segarra and former City Council President Shawn Wooden. Visit the Trebol Press website for ordering info. http://trebolpress.com Visit the False Choice Author Page on Facebook for news, commentary, and coverage of third party politics.
https://www.facebook.com/False-Choice-Author-Page-103530079741195/timeline

Former Cops: Urban Gun Violence Won’t Stop Until We End the War on Drugs

January 24, 2016

Check out The Real News Network website: http://therealnews.com/t2/

 

Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), is a 33-year police veteran who led multi-jurisdictional anti-narcotics task forces for the Maryland State Police and ran training for the Baltimore Police Department. After seeing several of his law enforcement friends killed in the line of fire while enforcing drug policies, Neill knew that he needed to work to change these laws that cause so much harm but do nothing to reduce drug use.

Michael A. Wood, Jr. is a retired Baltimore police officer and veteran of the USMC. He recently made the news for publicly speaking out against police brutality and has become a proponent of a new era of policing.

JAISAL NOOR, PRODUCER, TRNN: A seat next to the First Lady will remain empty during Tuesday’s State of the Union to honor shooting victims, as President Obama moves forward executive actions to address the nation’s epidemic of gun violence. He says the moves will tighten gun rules and expand background checks. He argued Congress succumbed to the influence of the powerful gun lobby rather than protect American lives through its inactions on gun laws.PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Number one, anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks, or be subject to criminal prosecutions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it over the internet, or at a gun show. It’s not where you do it, but what you do.Second Amendment rights are important. But there are other rights that we care about as well, and we have to be able to balance them. Because our right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina. And that was denied Jews in Kansas City. And that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill, and Sikhs in Oak Creek. They had rights, too.NOOR: Well, to discuss this and more are two former police officers who have firsthand experience with the toll gun violence has taken in our society. Michael Wood is a former Marine and retired sergeant with the Baltimore City Police Department, and Neill Franklin is a 33-year law enforcement veteran with the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department. Both belong to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which Neill serves as the executive director of. And on a side note, Neill will also be a prosecution witness in the trial of So Neill and Michael, thank you both for joining us. You know, most of the national outcry around gun violence is focused on high-profile mass shootings, and less on cities like Baltimore, which is significant. What impact–and let’s start with Michael. What impact do you think Obama’s executive actions will have on cities like Baltimore coming off the heels of a year of record shootings per capita, 344 homicides. More than 900 people were shot in 2015 in Baltimore City.MICHAEL WOOD: Well, we don’t really know, and that’s one of our longstanding problems, is that we haven’t addressed this issue. And we haven’t gotten to the heart of, of what actually does play into gun control in the actual results in the streets, because we’re not allowed to study anymore. We don’t get the actual information. And it’s going to be extremely interesting to see what happens, because in cities like Baltimore or Chicago, the guns come from outside of those areas where there’s less regulation, and then they flood the streets of the cities. So if we pass a regulation down in the surrounding areas, it should have an impact.NOOR: And Neill, I wanted to get your response, as well.NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah. Well, I agree with Michael. We really don’t know. We really haven’t done the work that needs to be done. We’re so concerned about the guns, but you know, just about–there are enough guns in this country right now for just about every citizen to have one. That’s how many we have already existing. And these guns do not, they don’t just decompose within, you know, a few months, or even a few years. Many of these guns are decades old. So as long as they’re maintained they’re going to be here.I have no problem with guns being tracked. That’s what we should do. The Second Amendment is extremely important for the citizens of this country. But tracking those guns, especially the sale of those guns, and having policies in place to restrict or prevent, or an attempt to prevent certain people, such as violent criminals and those with severe mental health issues, from possessing those guns, I think it’s a good idea. Something we should have been doing a long time ago. But at the end of the day what we’re going to have to do to reduce the shootings and the murders in a city like Baltimore, we have to address the issues of why people are shooting each other. That’s the reason.NOOR: And so, Michael, I wanted to get your take on that issue. If the guns used in shootings in Baltimore aren’t coming from Baltimore, if they are illegal, then what kind of impact will these background checks and other measures President Obama’s put forward have?WOOD: Well, the [inaud.] is that when they come from these areas outside that they won’t be as easy to transfer on that, you know, the gun show loophole. Where you can get these guns and they just float around. So if we can tie down where they’re actually going a little bit better, we should see less of those guns hitting the streets in Baltimore, at least over some time period. We’re not going to have [a reaction].NOOR: So, Neill, what would, do you think, effective gun policy look like in Baltimore?FRANKLIN: Well, I, again, I agree with tracking those guns. I agree with, when it comes to the sale of those guns, making sure that there’s certain protocol. But as we’ve seen in Maryland, even when responsible citizens go to buy guns, the process is, is so complex, and I think there’s more work than the state can handle. So there’s a certain amount of days in which that gun owner, I mean, gun shop, has to get back to the purchaser with a green light or a red light as to the sale being approved by the state. But in many cases the state cannot keep up with the amount of sales that are taking place and doing these background checks on the buyers.So the resources also have to be in place if we’re going to have such policies. You know, but again, you know, there–this is a complex issue, and these guns come from many different places, not just inappropriate sales. Not just being transferred from one state to another, and people going to other states where you can openly buy guns and then transporting them back. But many of these guns, as we’re finding out, are stolen from responsible owners. Well, I don’t know, maybe they’re not responsible if their guns are being stolen, if they’re not being properly secured within their homes in a safe or proper lock box.But they come from many different sources. And at the end of the day it’s going to be a very difficult thing to do, reducing the number of guns that are available to criminals who do not care about laws. You know, and anyway–and again, it’s about doing the work at the grassroots, family, community, neighborhood level. Digging down deep as to why people want to use guns to harm each other.NOOR: And I was looking at a piece in the Washington Post that said gun manufacturers have doubled their output since 2009. There’s more guns than people in the United States today. Michael, President Obama is also asking Congress for $500 million in mental healthcare. He’s going to–he’s asking the FBI to hire 230 more employees to process background checks. Is that really going to make a dent, you think?WOOD: We don’t really know whether it’s going to make a significant dent, enough that we’re going to see it. But we’re looking at these, kind of these little programs, and they all matter in the big picture. What we have to do is have multi-prong attacks on what our actual concerns are when it comes to gun control.I have two major issues. We have to say black lives matter because [pointed] out the disproportionate use of force by police officers on the street, mainly from unarmed people. But we’ve got to realize that this is not just happening in urban environments, or to the black community. It’s happening around the nation. We’re seeing it more and more because cops are afraid. What are they afraid of? They’re afraid that everyone has a gun. We have saturated our market and our population with so many guns that the police are running around, afraid that everyone has a gun. So they’re shooting people that don’t have guns, because they’re so afraid.So [when] kind of look at the angles for something like that not to occur. And the other big revelation for me was when we say that the answer to a bad guy with a gun [is] someone like me going out and killing them first, that is not a solution that’s tenable in an ethical society.NOOR: And Neill, I wanted to get your response to that. And also, you know, talk a little bit about history. Because arguments used to be settled with fists, then with knives. And now it seems like, especially in places like Baltimore, some of these smallest disputes are being settled with guns. What can we do about that? Maybe through more of a mental health approach, or more of a comprehensive approach, talking about poverty and jobs, as well.FRANKLIN: Yeah. Two very important areas here, and I think one of those was addressed by the president the other night. But let me begin it with, as you said, the shootings that we have in a city like Baltimore and how these disputes are now being settled. In the history of that, when you go back a few decades, and whether it’s Baltimore, Chicago, or many other cities, yes, growing up for me in Baltimore, going from East Baltimore to West Baltimore, having conflicts with people, a gun never came into the, into play. I had some fights in my childhood in Baltimore, you know, when I did–when I disagreed with someone. But a gun was never the issue.And I think a lot of this has to do, the change that we now see, has to do with the war on drugs, where guns have become tools of the trade for these open-air drug markets, and it’s gotten to this place that all of these young men, and some women, are carrying guns in Baltimore City because of their relationship to the drug trade and the gangs that they belong to. Now when they do have a dispute, a gun is in play. Or they believe that the other person has a gun, because they’re so prevalent. So I think that’s another reason why we see the overabundance of shootings today, as compared to yesterday.But I wanted to touch on something else real quick, regarding one of the things that the president mentioned, is many of these, these deaths at the hands of guns are suicides and accidental shootings by kids, as well, who get a hold of these guns. And we have to continue to work on technology involving these guns. I’ve been in policing for over three decades. Two–two decades ago, 25 years ago, we were talking about technology for law enforcement officers, meaning biorelated technology, meaning that, you know, I’m the only one who would be able to discharge my service weapon because of the technology involved. You know, it could be through biometrics, it could be to a particular ring that I might be wearing on my finger. There are a number of different ways that these guns can, handguns can be designed so that they can only be operated by the legal owner.And that’s something that we need to continue to pursue, and I don’t know why that hasn’t progressed further than what it has over the past few decades. So that’s something that we need to continue to look into. But again, we already have so many guns out there in play, it’s literally going to take decades to reduce the number of functioning handguns that we have within our society. So at the same time, again, we have to address the issues of mental health. We have to address those other reasons such as the drug trade as to why people are out there shooting each other in our urban environments and communities.And again, I agree with Michael, what he said about law enforcement. Because of this belief in the law enforcement community, our police officers are very quick to resort to deadly force using their firearms in dealing with an issue like the one we [similarly] had here in Maryland where there–I believe it was yesterday, two state troopers shot this woman in her home who, from what we initially see, it might have been suicide by cop. But she, she had a, a pellet gun or BB gun while she sat in her home.NOOR: Well, Neill Franklin and Michael Wood, I want to thank you both for joining us.FRANKLIN: Thanks for having me, [Jaisal].WOOD: Thank you.NOOR: Thank you for joining us at the Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


 

MLK and the Black Misleaders

January 23, 2016

Check out the Black Agenda Report website: http://blackagendareport.com/

Submitted by Bryan K. Bullock on Tue, 01/19/2016

“The heads of the nation’s leading organizations, the NAACP, National Action Network, Urban League and others, have sacrificed the needs of their constituencies in order to support President Obama.”

It is time once again to examine the ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But rather than examine the “state of the dream,” which focuses primarily on the so-called “I have a dream” speech, the focus should instead be focused on the issues that King himself said were the most pressing problems in American society. Martin Luther King identified three “evils” that he said had to be addressed and/or destroyed in order for America to live up to its ideals. Those evils, as he identified them, were extreme materialism, militarism and racism. Those three evils are as omnipresent in American society as they were during the years that King spoke about them. In many ways, they are more entrenched than ever. Also, in many ways, the assassination of King and the absence of an uncompromising successor, has opened the door to a brand of religious “leadership” in the African American community that does not see King’s evils as, well, evil.

By extreme materialism, King was referring to extreme capitalism. His invections against capitalism have fallen on deaf ears in far too many Black churches. His gospel of feeding the hungry and demanding that the government eradicate poverty, direct action activism has been replaced by prosperity gospel, where black Christians are encouraged to look at the bible as a manual on how to get rich or worse, how to make one’s pastor wealthy. The individualist nature of this type of message, the gospel of “get rich or die trying,” is in direct contradiction to the movement and community building gospel of King. A man who donated his Noble Peace Prize money to his organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and who died leaving his family almost penniless, is probably rolling over in his grave at the transformation of his message that Christians must confront the capitalist causes of poverty into the message that the cause of poverty is one’s personal inability to pray hard enough and tithe generously enough. The gospel of mega-churches and millionaire pastors who flaunt their wealth in the face of their parishioners flies directly in the face of King’s mission of serving the poor and confronting the powerful.

In the current black religious paradigm, extreme materialism is a virtue, not an evil.

“It is implausible that King would have held his tongue regarding the evils of imperialism and war, simply for the sake of supporting the nation’s first black president.”

King determined that militarism within the context of the U.S. assault on the people of Vietnam, but also as a corollary of his war on poverty. He infused anti-colonial ideas throughout many of his speeches. In his Nobel Peace Prize speech, he condemned apartheid in Azania, then known as South Africa. He was present and spoke at the inauguration of Kwame Nkrumah. In a speech delivered in 1956, King linked the Bandung Conference with the conditions in Montgomery, Alabama. He struggled with his own inner circle over the decision to criticize America’s war on Vietnam. In the end, he decided that he must speak out even though the Johnson administration had been very supportive of him and President Johnson had pushed through the Civil Rights of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This also is a line of demarcation between King and the current crop of alleged leaders. It is implausible that King would have held his tongue regarding the evils of imperialism and war, simply for the sake of supporting the nation’s first black president. Given that he risked his own legacy, alliances with other organizations and support from the government to take this principled stand, he surely would not have withheld his criticism to appease whoever occupied the White House. Lyndon Johnson signed two of the most important laws in the last century and still King remained true to his conscious and condemned his foreign policy.

Those who today claim the mantle of “leadership” are differential to power, acquiesce to it and in many ways, are an adjunct to it. They betray King’s legacy in their explicit and implicit support of U.S. imperialism and wars by condoning and making excuses for the current President’s rampant militarism in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Africa and the drone assassinations of Americans and of civilians in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The U.S.’s uncritical support of the occupation of Palestine by Israel and the massive, daily human rights abuses inherent in the occupation, would cause likely King to call for its end. Black religious leadership who think King’s message of “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” would not apply to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian people, mis-read King’s life and legacy. Although he likely would not have condoned the armed response of the early Palestinian Liberation Army and current day Hamas, rather than simply argue, “what would you do if someone was shooting rockets at your home” as President Obama stated, he would expanded that critique to question how one react if they lived under a decades long occupation that has produced hopelessness and death in the land of the Palestinian Jew, Jesus Christ.

“The gospel of mega-churches and millionaire pastors who flaunt their wealth in the face of their parishioners flies directly in the face of King’s mission of serving the poor and confronting the powerful.”

The courage to keep power at a distance and to never have an identification with or relationship to power was proof of King’s over-riding commitment to the people. The heads of the nation’s leading organizations, the NAACP, National Action Network, Urban League and others, have sacrificed the needs of their constituencies in order to support President Obama. Sharpton and others made a point to declare early in the presidency of President Obama, that they would not criticize him. Going beyond a refusal to criticize, they have attempted to silence critics by vociferously defending him no matter what he does or doesn’t do for their constituents. They are not the “creative dissenters” King called for. Nor are they the “fearless voices” that are needed in these times to “be the only sound stronger than the blasts of bombs and the clamor of war hysteria.” Instead, they are the enablers of war.  President Obama’s declaration that he believes in American exceptionalism to his core would surely have drawn a rebuke from King who would have called on him to end America’s reign as the “greatest purveyor of violence” on the earth. Few of established black clergy, whether its T.D. Jakes or the aforementioned Sharpton, have admonished President Obama regarding his plans to spend almost $8 billion dollars to modernize the U.S’s nuclear weapons. King, of course, had made it plain that, “The church cannot be silent while mankind faces the threat of nuclear annihilation. If the church is true to her mission, she must call for an end to the arms race.” Perhaps the black church is not true to its mission.

King’s other reason for opposing militarism was because of its great costs. Like Eisenhower before him, King knew that America’s vast military machine and imperial outreach, came at the expense of spending the public’s tax dollars at home for the aid of the poor. He was clear that, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Military spending under the Obama administration continues unabated. The military budget in the United States is $763.9 billion for fiscal year 2016. It makes military spending the second largest federal government expenditure after Social Security. It is a larger share of the budget that Medicare or Medicaid. The U.S. remains the world’s biggest exporter of major arms, accounting for 31% of global arms sales. President Obama has proposed a “grand bargain” which would have reduced spending for Social Security and signed budgets that did little to increase funding for social programs like the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal representation in civil cases for the poor. In fact, expenditures on social programs designed to lift Americans out of poverty have been cut consistently over the last decade. There hasn’t been a call for a Great Society program from black clergy, black civic organizations nor from the black President.

“King knew that America’s vast military machine and imperial outreach, came at the expense of spending the public’s tax dollars at home for the aid of the poor.”

King would have been consistent, as he was before his assassination, that the federal government end the occupation of foreign lands and use the peace dividend saved from occupation and war, to secure the financial welfare of the poor in America. It is doubtful that the new “threat” of international terrorism would have swayed King from this position. He likely would have seen the massive expenditures of taxpayer money on homeland security and military incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq as war “that seeks to turn the clock of history back and perpetuate white colonialism.” Which in turn, he knew, would continue to perpetuate poverty, racism and discrimination against the “others” in American society who do not benefit from white supremacy.

The evil of racism is just as omnipresent in America as it always has been. The televised murders and beatings of black men, women and children by the police are just the most stark examples of our vulnerability in this society. The lead poisoning of majority black Flint, Michigan, and the water “shortage” in majority black Detroit, illustrate that African descendant people are not valued in the states where they reside. The rampant crime that is allowed to exist in job starved black communities, the mass incarceration of black people, the framing of black people who are sent to jail for up to 20 years only to be exonerated in their old age, the military response to fed up African American youth and the sub-human characterizations of blacks in popular media, reveal to us clearly, that racism is just as deadly in America as it ever has been. The open disrespect of the country’s first black president and the calls to “take our country back” from large sectors of the white population, lays bare the cold reality of how blackness is despised, even if one is the black face of the empire.

The triple evils continue unabated due in large part to another set of triple evils. First, the assassination and imprisonment of people like Malcolm, Martin, Huey, Medgar, Mumia, Assata, Dhoruba, Bunche and far too many other freedom fighters to mention. The jailing and outright killing of these leaders paved the way for the state to impose its own brand of “leadership” on the black community, with disastrous consequences. The second evil is the expansion of the very same state apparatus responsible for the first evil, which has expanded its police, surveillance and military power while weakening the power of the people who cannot now effectively fight back against its increasing encroachment. And third, to a large extent, the “evil” of apathy and/or powerlessness that has descended on the African American community which results in acceptance of conditions that are, in fact, unacceptable. The third evil is itself by and large a result of the first evil.

There is in fact chaos in the community, but King gave us a firm example of what principled leadership should look like and who are the real enemies of our progress. We need only read his actual words and search for the King within us to be consistent and bold in our opposition to imperialism (no matter who the imperialist is), poverty and racism.

Attorney Bryan K. Bullock practices law in Merrillville, Indiana.

 

Trayvon Martin Act

January 22, 2016

No Community Party Hartford News column this week, due to a special education edition of the newspaper. This week we’ll share the video from the March 20, 2015 Connecticut General Assembly Judiciary Committee public hearing. http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=11330

Rep. Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, which included  CP’s Trayvon Martin Act traffic stop receipt amendment, was debated during the hearing. Committee member Rep. Bruce Morris revealed that he had been racially profiled days earlier, and urged the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association to support the receipt provision. Other urban lawmakers, including Sen. Gary Winfield, challenged the police during an at times heated exchange. Mary Sanders, who wrote the Trayvon Martin Act bill language, testified at the hearing.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/rep-bruce-morris-passionately-supports-h-b-5437-urban-lawmakers-hold-police-accountable/

The Trayvon Martin Act is a part of the Community Party’s 2016 legislative package. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/

 

 

Martin Luther King was a Revolutionary, not a ‘Dreamer’!

January 18, 2016

Dr. MLK Jr.: Struggling Not To Lose Him:

 

The Revolutionary MLK:

 

 

Dr. King planned to run as an independent candidate for President of the United States in 1968 on an anti-war platform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3PvsiH7XTM