“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 05/27/2018 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) was Open Forum conversation with the listeners on this weeks hot topics, among them was the Congressional Black Caucus support of HR 5638 the “Protect and Serve Act of 2018. How can their support of police and a “Blue Lives Matter” bill, represent the wishes of their constituents, the Black community?
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By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
Here is a man of great intelligence and wit. A man with a beautiful smile and an equally intelligent and beautiful wife with two lovely children. He is studied with great gifts of oratory and persuasion that placed him in the most visible seat of power that the world has known, President of the United States of America. As the first person of color to win the presidency, he has endured a delicate dance of protecting the dominant institutions of the American empire while attempting to give continued hope that the arc of American life will bend toward justice, if we believe in them and trust that the outcomes are good even if they are not perfect.
This is a laborious job in most circumstances. The attempt to direct a country of 300 million people of various backgrounds that the narrative of American exceptionalism, unquestioned moral good, and the possibility of economic advance is open to all, but to do so when you have inherited a great recession and a bungled invasion seems to tilt the balance into the impossible. However, this was a challenge he willingly sought because of his belief that he could navigate us through with his abundant abilities.
Obama entered with a sense of post-racial hysteria fanned by both the corporate press and his own electoral team and administration. His task in the area of racial politics was to make us all believe we shared a common destiny from a history forged through different experiences but still with common values and goals. His technique was to avoid saying anything about black people. He could openly support policies for the other segments of the population, but for us he let his swag speak for him. This was policy enough; with of course the added boot-strap language the black community always gets. He seemed to believe for a time that his mere presence was a fulfilment of racial togetherness as oppose to being the right person at the right time to fill a position.
When racial issues began arising first on the campaign trail with his former pastor Rev. Wright and then after his election with the arrest of historian Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Obama began refining what has become his signature style of racial discourse. He attempted to explain the grievances that blacks and whites have with each other, including assessing the competing interest of being Black and being a police officer who controls black bodies. He used a balanced grievance approach. He attempted to guide us through our troubles by informing us what each group has been experiencing. In this way we could understand where the other side was coming from. He believed that his is extraordinary gifts of speech would serve us all in the impossible task he took on of explaining away history as opposed to examining it.
His most heroic attempts have been wistful sonnets about the American political will to address and overcome strife. He treats us all to post-modernist arguments that there is no right and there is no wrong, just perspectives. The juxtaposition Obama gives us is of two aggrieved groups who must find a middle way. The sweet sounds make us pause in our tracks, until anyone with even a cursory knowledge of American history notices that we are not two sides who are missing each other for lack of a mediator to help us understand. Mr. Obama is a wonderful painter of images, except the canvas is made of crushed bones and grinded flesh.
Mr. Obama did not create the world he inherited, as he has pointed out, but he does embrace its fabric and texture. He will not lift the veil to serve a larger purpose, but hopes only to use his charisma to keep the lid on and hopes that things begin to settle down. There is no deconstructing of the American identity, instead we must suspend truth for the continued unity of the empire.
Black people are asked to pretend that the police and the larger white male population is somehow an aggrieved group worthy of comparison to the Black experience in America. Obama attempts to sell us such feeble arguments that compares the historical loss of millions of lives, culture, language, and land to that of a slightly diminished white-male historical dominance. The enslavement, rape, lynching and mass incarceration of a people later herded into ghettoes, with no collective control over institutions that govern them is compared to lower middle class white-male economic stagnation. The current taking of Black lives with a “shoot first” mentality, that encourages purposeful and mistaken shootings by the police, will never be punished by judicial institutions because there is always a justification. He had a wallet or a candy bar that looked like a gun. She was assertive, he moved to fast, he moved to slow. Her eyes darted, he looked like he was dangerous, sometimes these things happen. The collective control of black bodies by state institutions through prison, schools, healthcare, workfare, child services and policing is somehow comparable to the angst of diminished white male demographics on the scales.
Obama who has not attended the funeral of any black person killed by the police, as that would send the wrong message to such militarized institutions will continue to make sure the agencies that have control over black bodies are given due respect, that proper remorse is paid. The structures of white supremacy and racism will always have an excuse that needs to be considered when black bodies fall, but no excuse will ever be allowed for the shooter of anyone who is wearing blue. Even though the recent shootings against the police were committed, not by activists and or community people but, by people trained by the US government. The same government that claims to deplore violence at home will take no responsibility for blow-back when it trains, teach and desensitize 18-year-olds to kill anyone they decide is an enemy to the US in foreign lands.
The oppressed understand however that Presidents and media institutions that speak of shared grief, that give us community forums seeking mutual understanding, that highlight hand-pick leaders with only staged arrest records, are no more than holders of the flame for continued outside control Black communities and people. New Sharpton’s for a new era.
The post-war, post-recession post-racial presidential warrior will not be able to deliver on ending inherited U.S. wars, on diverting resources to improve economic conditions in black (or white) communities or on improving the racial climate. That should not be taken as a failure but a mismanaged attempt to keep the status-quo functioning while selling us on lovely words of hope and change. Obama’s presidency was never supposed to be the end of war or economic inequity or racial conflict but a better managed system after the previous disaster of Bush.
The job was too big however because the lie of equal grievance was too big. The purposeful misguiding of people on the historical and current purpose of white supremacy being a malfunction of American history as oppose to the root of American history was way too big to manage. In the twilight of his presidency I am sure he can see the threads coming apart, leaving a talented man of great gifts, that could have been used in service to his community and the larger world as little more than a care-taker of a crumbling empire that a few beer summits and sentimental sweet words could not overcome.Post Views: 790
By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
It’s an affront or an opportunity, depending who you ask.
The oil interest lobbying organization American Petroleum Institute has launched a campaign targeting minority communities, including African-Americans, to promote offshore exploration and drilling for natural gas and oil. The pitch is it’s a job creator.
The effort is gauged to counter massive opposition to the offshore alternative that numbers in the millions of individuals and groups.
That opposition is largely people who are white — one of its acknowledged weak points.
But the institute’s Explore Offshore campaign has sparked some outrage.
“I’m not surprised in this political climate,” said Marquetta Goodwine, a Beaufort County resident who goes by Queen Quet. She has been dubbed chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
She is among the more prominent drilling opponents who are African-American. “Those things make me highly irate,” she said.
But the campaign has won some support.
“Quite frankly, what I was concerned about was there were a whole lot of white people (at a public meeting on the issue) and not a whole lot of black people,” said Stephen Gilchrist, chairman of the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce and the Explore Offshore effort in South Carolina.
“African-Americans are economically disenfranchised on the coast,” he said.
The campaign has been taken up by the African-American chamber as well as at least 68 other businesses, pro-business groups and anti-tax groups in the Southeast, from Virginia to Florida. In South Carolina, they include the Palmetto Promise Institute and S.C. Association of Taxpayers.
Industry analyst Offshore Technology reported the campaign specifically focuses on minority communities and that its support reflects the focus.
“These groups include a large representation from black, Hispanic and minority communities, which historically have shown less support for offshore oil and gas exploration than others — something the API is keen to change,” the report said.
How many jobs at stake?
The Explore effort has drawn controversy as drilling opponents brace for a long-expected Trump administration announcement of where federal leases will be offered. These leases will permit seismic blasting exploration for natural gas and oil offshore.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, an early supporter of Trump, has joined leaders of other Southeast Coast states lobbying the administration to be excluded from those leases.
Oil industry and conservation opponents have fought for more than six years over opening the Southeast coast to exploration. The Obama administration closed the waters in 2016. President Donald Trump restarted the process for the years 2019 to 2023.
The issue pits a concern for the environment and a billion-dollar tourism industry against potential revenue and jobs.
The millions opposed to the work on the East Coast include more than 120 municipalities, 1,200 elected officials and 41,000 businesses. Nearly every coastal government in South Carolina, hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents have publicly opposed the move.
With federal momentum now shifting toward the leasing, they have been trying to rally against an intensified public push by drilling proponents who advocate “offshore energy exploration and production that can increase jobs, investments, and reliable, safe, and affordable energy,” Explore Offshore says in part on its website.
The jobs issue has been a sticking point from the beginning of the controversy. Drilling proponents say the work could bring $3.8 billion to the state’s budget and $2 billion in industry and support industry development, creating as many as 34,000 jobs, including jobs that could pay more than $100,000 per year.
Opponents say that’s wildly inflated.
“Seismic testing won’t bring the first job to South Carolina,” said Frank Knapp, president of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce. The oil industry brings in its own crews from out-of-state, he said.
“The only way you can justify thousands of jobs is to industrialize a portion of the South Carolina coast” at the cost of tourism revenue, existing coastal industries such as fishing and the environment, he said.
Gilchrist acknowledges the numbers might be best-case and the threats could well be real. But he doesn’t think that should “stop the conversation” about what economic benefits the work might bring.
“I’m just as concerned as anyone else. I don’t see this as an either-or. It’s a both-win. Let’s see if we can do this and protect the coast,” Gilchrist said. “We can be proactive rather than reactive here, figure it out on the front end.”
‘Have to get educated’
The shortfall of vocal participation among people of color in the controversy remains a problem for both sides.
“We are always looking for ways to increase diversity within the coalition,” said Samantha Siegel, a Charleston-based senior organizer for the environmental group Oceana, which is among the leaders of the opposition coalition. “We think it is important that decision makers hear from a diverse group of citizens.”
The coalition includes a diverse array of community, political and business groups, she said.
“But I do think there is more work to be done in terms of educating more folks in the state and particularly the folks that live in vulnerable communities where an oil refinery could be built one day if we don’t stop it,” Siegel added.
Gilchrist doesn’t see the Explore effort as exploitative. Asked about that, he said the work could be a shot at economic opportunity and training for a community that needs it.
“The people I know are barely making it,” he said. “We’re talking about the plight of 40 percent of our state.”
Many in the the “target” audience might just be waiting to see.
“They have to bring me something to back up (job creation),” said Awendaw Mayor Miriam Green, a town in the rural, relatively lower-income stretch of northern Charleston County. She has not been contacted by Gilchrist or the Explore Offshore effort.
One reason why her phone has been quiet? She is anti-drilling.
“People really have to get educated to what’s going on in the world today,” she said. ”(Groups) will single you out for their purposes.”Post Views: 1,024
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 12/10/2017 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) guests will be YOU in Open Forum conversation with the listeners on this weeks hot topics, or whatever is on your mind. But first, stopping by for an update on the heels of the resignation of Congressman John Conyers will be Activist, Organizer, Legislative Commission Chair of NCOBRA, Kamm Howard. In 2017, from the need to develop a new mindset in our communities, to our political and economic empowerment, the solution to these problems must come from us. Let’s also talk about some solutions. You can join us and be part of the conversation on this and other related topics. Information, insights and dialogue from a Black Perspective.Post Views: 739