May 27, 2016 | Posted by Ricky Riley
Studies done on Jewish holocaust survivors show trauma is passed down from generation to generation through DNA. Over hundreds of years of slavery, is it plausible Black people have that traumatic experience encoded in their DNA?
Dr. Joy DeGruy joined us to talk about this subject. Listen
You Might also like
By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
Has the Congressional Black Caucus Lost Its Conscience?
The activist group Color for Change charges that the CBC PAC serves corporations, not African Americans.
By David Dayen
March 2, 2016
Throughout primary season, Hillary Clinton has dominated with African Americans, winning higher percentages than Barack Obama garnered against her in 2008. This can lead to a too-pat assumption that the black community represents a monolithic voting bloc, with identical concerns and preferences. While it’s true that African Americans are empirically among the most loyal Democratic voters, the idea that there’s no daylight between millions of people makes no sense.
Organizations like Color of Change and the Black Lives Matter movement are targeting a fundamental question in the networked political era: Who gets to speak for a community.
One example of the fault lines within this large constituency presented a challenge this week to the black political leadership in Washington. Online progressive group Color of Change directly questioned the motives of the Congressional Black Caucus’s political action committee, or CBC PAC. The challenge was precipitated by a non-endorsement of high-profile black U.S. Senate candidate Donna Edwards, but it raised a much larger issue: Does the Congressional Black Caucus faithfully represent the best interests of the community at large, or instead of the corporate interests that fund it?
This campaign arm of the CBC, Color of Change charged, trades off the history and prestige of the caucus, but is dominated by corporate lobbyists. Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, calls the maneuver “civil-rights washing,” much like the “greenwashing” that corporations engage in to burnish their environmental image. “Corporations give money or create alliances with civil-rights communities to avoid being held accountable for their bad practices,” Robinson says.
The CBC brand is used for multiple entities. First, there’s the congressional caucus, which dates back to 1971 and now includes 46 members, 45 of whom are Democrats (Republican Mia Love of Utah is also a member). There’s the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, nominally a research institute with a separate leadership team, which features a scholarship program, a philanthropic fund, and various other initiatives. There’s the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, a “social purpose” organization engaged in voter education and leadership training. Finally, there’s the CBC PAC, launched in 1990 to increase the number of African Americans in Congress and foster black political participation.
These last three, all one step removed from the actual caucus, sadly often serve as a way to launder corporate contributions through the political system. Back in 2010, The New York Times explained that over a five-year period, the CBC Foundation had pulled in $53 million in corporate money from pharmaceutical, financial, telecommunications, and other interests. Little of that cash went to research or scholarships; the lion’s share went to glitzy conventions, golf and casino junkets, and paying off the foundation’s headquarters.
Despite the long history of the Congressional Black Caucus as an un-bought collection of socially conscious leaders, these extreme efforts to buy influence cannot help but have an impact. In recent years, CBC members have joined with Republicans to repeatedly undermine Dodd-Frank financial rules. Others have been accused of shilling for for-profit colleges. Still others formed the backbone of the fight against the (eventually passed) net-neutrality rules.
Color of Change focused on the CBC PAC because of the makeup of its 21-member board of directors, which decides political endorsements. Only eight of those directors are elected CBC members; the other 13 include two employees of the PAC and eleven corporate lobbyists. As Lee Fang laid out last month at The Intercept, these lobbyists represent dozens of firms, including student-loan servicer Navient, routinely accused of violating consumer-protection laws; Lorillard Tobacco, manufacturer of Newport cigarettes; dirty energy utilities Entergy and Energy Future Holdings; and Purdue Pharmaceuticals, maker of OxyContin and perhaps as responsible as any company for the opioid epidemic.
The PAC, which has raised $2.7 million since 2010, gets its funding from the biggest firms in America, like telecoms AT&T and Comcast, payday lender Cash America, mega-banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, minimum-wage foe the National Restaurant Association, and private-prison firm Corrections Corporation of America.
Many of these industries directly target black communities, whether through mass incarceration or the subprime lending crisis or opposing the Fight for $15. Even the white Democratic presidential candidates have disavowed private prison money; the fact that the CBC PAC cannot is disquieting. “These are corporations that we’re consistently campaigning against,” says Robinson. “They represent institutions that are not in the interest of black folks.”
While Bernie Sanders supporters criticized the CBC PAC for endorsing Hillary Clinton for President last month, the non-endorsement for Maryland’s open Senate seat is perhaps more egregious. Representative Edwards, a CBC member, is running to become only the second black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate. But the PAC refused to endorse her in the primary against Representative Chris Van Hollen, who is white.
Former Congressman Al Wynn, now a corporate lobbyist and a CBC PAC board member, led the charge against endorsing Edwards, according to Politico. This is incredibly problematic; Wynn lost his seat in a primary to Edwards in 2008. “It raises all the questions that people have about Washington, and why people don’t trust Washington,” Robinson says.
When the CBC PAC endorses political candidates, it gives the mistaken impression that the caucus members made the endorsement. Congressional Black Caucus members had to correct the record by disavowing the Clinton endorsement of their own PAC within hours of the announcement.
When CBC PAC held its endorsement announcement for Clinton, Robinson says, “Nowhere in the pictures did you see corporate lobbyists at the microphone.” To Color of Change, the CBC PAC allows corporate power to brandish the shield of institutions with high regard among black people, in ways that deceive the community. In the group’s petition to members of the CBC, Color of Change demands that the caucus change the composition of the PAC board and drop ties with industries that directly harm the black community.
When asked by BuzzFeed about the Color of Change action, CBC PAC executive director Benjamin Branch (himself a former telecom lobbyist) declined to comment.
Organizations like Color of Change and the Black Lives Matter movement, which sit outside the political power base and can criticize the gatekeepers, have always operated as a spur to hold leaders accountable. And they are targeting a fundamental question in the networked political era: Who gets to speak for a community?
It can be uncomfortable to criticize an organization that has persevered for decades as the “Conscience of the Congress.” But when the CBC tries to play an inside game and falls under the spell of big money, the credibility it’s worked so hard to sustain—and which corporations want desperately to tap into—can vanish.
Robinson says he’s received a lot of thanks—privately—from members of the African American political community in Washington for taking a stand. “Just because someone’s on the PAC and works as a lobbyist doesn’t mean they’re not a good person,” he says. “But it does mean they’re compromised. If we don’t raise this issue, then we lose our moral authority.”Post Views: 677
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C) the Host of REVIVE!!! 2/08/2017
TOPIC: BREAKING THE GENERATION GAP
Guest: Kevin Savage from the BET hit series “THE QUAD” & The lovely Hazel Dennis who will give us insight on how she is using her social work background to help her brand thrive “Fist Up Afro’s Out”
YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11AM-1PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8PM-10PM !!!
WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION !!!Post Views: 414
By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
JONESTOWN, Miss. (AP) — Otibehia Allen is a single mother who lives in a rented mobile home in the same isolated, poor community where she grew up among the cotton and soybean fields of the Mississippi Delta.
During a summer that feels like a sauna, the trailer’s air conditioner has conked out. Some nights, Allen and her five children find cooler accommodations with friends and relatives. Other nights, they sleep in the trailer with box fans circulating the stuffy air.
Allen works 30 hours a week as a data entry clerk and transportation dispatcher for a medical clinic, pulling in barely over minimum wage. She doesn’t own a car, and public transportation is not widely available. To get from home in Jonestown to work or even to go grocery shopping about 13 miles (21 kilometers) away in Clarksdale, Allen often pays people for a ride — sometimes $20 a pop.
“It’s not easy raising five children alone,” Allen said, fighting back tears. “No, you didn’t ask me to have them, true. So, I chose to. So that means I’m responsible for these people.”
Fifty years ago, Democratic Sens. Robert F. Kennedy of New York and Joe Clark of Pennsylvania toured the Delta and saw ramshackle houses and starving children.
Curtis Wilkie was a young reporter covering the senators’ tour for a Delta newspaper, the Clarksdale Press Register.
At one stop, Wilkie recalled, “There was a little infant in a dirty diaper crawling around on the floor and eating rice — grains of rice that were on the floor that were dirty. … Kennedy knelt by the child and didn’t say a word, was stroking the little child’s cheeks and his forehead.”
Wilkie said the trip had an enormous impact on Kennedy, whose eyes welled with tears at the sight of the child: “No question that once he got back to Washington, he became a more passionate advocate for rural people.”
Kennedy ran for president in 1968. Moments after winning the California primary, he was assassinated.
Mississippi’s second-term Republican governor, Phil Bryant, was born to a blue-collar family in the Delta in 1954. He frequently says he doesn’t want people to be dependent on government. Under his tenure, Mississippi’s been one of 19 states rejecting expansion of Medicaid, the federal and state health insurance program for the poor, under the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama.
Although opportunities have improved in the past 50 years, the Delta remains one of the most deprived regions In most Delta counties, it’s 30 to 40 percent.
Kennedy and Clark win the U.S. The national poverty rate is about 15 percent; it’s 22 percent for Mississippi.ere accompanied to the Delta in 1967 by Marian Wright, a young civil rights lawyer working in Mississippi. In 1973, after she married and added to her name, Marian Wright Edelman founded Children’s Defense Fund, a national group that advocates for social services for the poor.
Edelman recently returned to Mississippi to examine how poverty continues shaping lives of people like Allen, the 32-year-old single mother. Both Edelman and Allen said they worry the Trump administration will cut social services that help the poor.
Allen’s children, 9 to 14, are covered by Medicaid. She got a raise a few months ago — 40 cents an hour, just enough to make her lose her own Medicaid coverage. Her back and arms are in constant pain, but she won’t see a doctor.
“I don’t want to make a bill that I can’t pay,” Allen said.
Dr. Barbara Ricks, a 49-year-old pediatrician, grew up poor in the Delta. Her family received food stamps; she attended Head Start and paid for college with scholarships and jobs.
She has practiced medicine since 1999 in Greenville, one of the larger Delta cities — population 31,500.
Ricks said about 95 percent of her patients are on Medicaid, some from small, rural communities 40 or 50 miles away because there are few clinics closer to home. She said patients from financially stable households generally are in better health than those living in poverty, who often deal with stress, obesity and diabetes.
Concealing names to protect privacy, she said one of her patients is an 11-year-old boy with asthma who lives with his grandmother because his mom, single and unemployed, is overwhelmed raising his five younger siblings. He’s been hospitalized because his grandmother, who also cares for an adult relative, leaves him “minimally supervised” and misses regular asthma treatments, the doctor said.
Ricks said another patient is an infant whose mother is a 15-year-old student. Though the mother intends to go to college, she sometimes misses days or weeks of class to care for her baby.
“Poverty is a social problem, but it’s also a medical problem,” Ricks said. “These kids have so many things working against them. And, although poor outcomes are expected, we should not accept it.”Post Views: 359