Saturday, April 30, 2016

How Will the Left Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election?

On April 26 I spoke at a forum sponsored by Socialist Action. How will the left vote in the 2016 presidential election? People will make a variety of choices, but none of those should include the democratic party. More importantly, we need to talk about what it means to be on the left. The word is not synonymous with the democratic party.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Harriet Tubman, Prince and Me

Yesterday the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) asked me for a statement regarding the U.S. Treasury decision to share Harriet Tubman's likeness on the $20 bill with Andrew Jackson. He was the 7th president of the United States and a slave holder of 200 human beings. Jackson was the genocidaire of indigenous people in the southeast. Their stolen lands were then used to establish the plantation system which brought hell on earth to enslaved people. The slavocracy created a market for human beings that sent thousands of people from the north and upper south to the deep south. To this very day a majority of black Americans live in the southern states. Here are my first thoughts, a little too short and not yet thought out, but they sum up my feelings.

“I have serious mixed feelings about this supposed honor. Slavery existed precisely because of the almighty dollar. How are we honoring her by putting her face on money?
Tubman is deserving of great respect, veneration even. What she accomplished is unbelievable. She was a soldier and a revolutionary, a liberator. I no longer feel the need for acceptance from the larger society. Our heroes are ours and we can claim them without expectation or need that the U.S. government will give approval.”

After the statement was released I was asked for comment by media outlets such as KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was invited to speak by phone on the Mike Pintek show. I didn't know who he was or that KDKA is a CBS affiliate but I didn't want to pass up a chance to speak on this issue.

While I was waiting to go on the air I of course could hear what was being broadcast. The producer told me to hold on and I first heard a Donald Trump campaign commercial. Yes. For real.
It isn't the first time I inadvertently ended up on conservative radio. It is difficult because interviews require a feeling of connection with the other person. That is hard to do when you know they are the opposition, the enemy if you will.

Anyway I could also hear Pintek speaking. He said there were reports that Prince had died. I looked at my laptop and sure enough. Some media outlets reported that he died. 

So finally I was on the air and the New York Times, Associated Press and others all confirmed that Prince had passed away. Pintek said he didn't know Prince was 57. I was surprised too until I said to myself, "You're 56. Of course he is your age." So I tried to talk about his great talent and the shock I felt but when I made the call I had no idea I would be doing a Prince obituary. It was funny because they kept interrupting my interview to report on Prince. I was supposed to talk for 20 minutes but the interview was extended to about 40 minutes.

Pintek wasn't horrible. He felt that it was an honor to put Tubman on the $20 bill but I insisted that it was not. She escaped a system caused by profits and it is not fitting to "honor" her with the instrument of her suffering. Those of us who do truly honor her should feel no need for approval or legitimacy from the government that said she could be owned like any other piece of property.

Finally he asked about black history month and opined that the country need only teach American history and shouldn't set aside time for different groups. I said he had a point as long as American history is taught with all of the ugly truths intact and inclusion of everyone's story. I recommended that his listeners read Lies My Teacher Told Me and I warned against revisionism such as that which recently took place with the Advanced Placement history test. Now high school students will essentially be told that American is a great place with a great history and great people and maybe one or two things are bad but those are in the past and no one has cause for complaint. I paraphrase but that is pretty much it.

By the way, I had to do this on my day job lunch hour. I was in a storage room because I needed
privacy. No complaints though. I also have a good story to tell.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"The Quadrennial Duopoly Sham" and the Black Vote

I must thank Jared Ball and Bashi Rose of I Mix What I Like for this amazing video of my talk at the recent Black is Back Coalition conference. I already posted but this is pretty amazing. Thanks again Jared and Bashi.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Talk Nation Radio: Margaret Kimberley on Politics, Scams, and Activism

Talk Nation Radio: Margaret Kimberley on Politics, Scams, and Activism

A few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled, "Democrats and the SCOTUS Scam" for Black Agenda ReportDavid Swanson invited me to discuss it on his Talk Nation Radio show. We talked about the many ways in which we are scammed every four years and how the democrats keep progressives hypnotized into believing that this time, this year they really will fight the republicans. In reality we have a far right party and a center right party but I don't know if the democrats are even at the center anymore. Listen up.

Monday, April 11, 2016

BIBC-3 Margaret Kimberley: Sanders and Black Self Determination

Uhuru! That means freedom and it is the rallying cry of the Black is Back Coalition. The BIBC conference was held on April 9, 2016 in Harlem. The conference theme was The 2016 Election and Black Self-Determination. I spoke on the issue of the Bernie Sanders campaign and how it does nothing to promote self-determination for black people. Listen up.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

UNAC Day of Peace and Solidarity

On Sunday, March 13, 2016 I was joined by my comrades from UNAC, Peoples Organization for Progress, the Peace Poets, the International Action Center, People's Power Assemblies, Gabriela New York, Free Aafia Diddiqui and many others. We marched and rallied against war, imperialism, police murder,  neo-liberal attacks on working people and government entrapment.

Watch the two hours at your leisure but I start at about 28 minutes. Do listen to Larry Hamm, Imam Talib, Ray Laforest, Mauri Salakhan, Nat Agosto, Lynne Stewart, Debra Sweet, Raymond Nat Turner and many more.

Now Age Conversations: The Liberal-Left Divide with Margaret Kimberley

I had a great conversation with Craig Gordon of Now Age Press. We talked about the presidential election and how the left should respond.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Christopher Columbus of Brooklyn and 21st Century White Settlers

White Settlers of New York City

Sometimes people who don’t filter their thoughts do the world a great service. Such was the case in New York City last week when video of a fight over side walk space revealed the sinister nature of gentrification.

The video shows a white man arguing with a white couple after he claimed to be bumped by their baby’s stroller. In part of his tirade, the mystery man is heard to say, “The only reason white people are living here is because I settled this fucking neighborhood for you.”

Needless to say the man now dubbed “Christopher Columbus of Brooklyn” is not a person whose actions ought to be repeated. Notwithstanding the abject narcissism displayed by this person, he spoke a very serious truth. White people gentrifying Brooklyn or Harlem or Washington DC or Oakland or Chicago taker their role very seriously. They see themselves as conquerors and they act accordingly. When white people wanted to move back into the cities they had fled, they were called urban pioneers and homesteaders.

The use of these names is not at all accidental. White Americans still see themselves as pilgrims or pioneers stealing Indians land. The imagery is a powerful one even for people who did not play a direct part in that story. No matter. If they are white they are invited into the circle which they may find so intoxicating.

A settler community is violent and rapacious. They may live in New York or in an Israeli settlement stolen from Palestinian land. They may have arrived at Plymouth Rock or St. Augustine, Florida or Tasmania in Australia. The end result is always the same. Indigenous communities are wiped out and settlers get the spoils.

While the ill-mannered man in the Brooklyn video has been lambasted for bad behavior, the people who could stop him are silent. He is a villain and a figure of fun in social media, but the fracas has not inspired any serious discussions about the massive displacement taking place in New York.

Neither the New York City Council nor the democrats who control the state assembly chamber have come up with any meaningful legislative agenda to prevent the 21st century pilgrims from eradicating the native population. While luxury high rises proliferate and the number of protected apartments decline, the misleaders of New York do nothing.

The masses know that they are being chased out of town, but there is no one to help make their voices heard. Their concerns are diminished with foolish questions about whether people have the right to live where they like. Yes, everyone should have that right, but it ought to be extended to everyone, regardless of means. Harlemites and Brooklynites have a right to live in the neighborhoods they have occupied for decades. That right shouldn’t be dismissed because the newcomers have money and are present because red lining was reversed and big money has been poured into New York.

The only voice of reason in this sorry episode comes from a black person viewing the incident as he says, “Thank you white guy.” 

I’m sure he was being ironic.