Thursday, January 1, 2015

Civil Rights Movement Rebirth in 2014-15

Today makes it 6 years since Oscar Grant was killed at the Fruitvale Bart Station. 
The Fannie Lou Hamer-Ella Baker model...There's been a rebirth of Civil Rights Movement in 2014-15, says Politico. Thousands of youth and community activists have been energized, politicized. I'm wondering why few political candidates (including progressives) are addressing issues it's raised?
This re-energized millennial movement, which will make itself felt all the more in 2015, differs from its half-century-old civil rights-era forebear in a number of important ways. One, it is driven far more by social media and hashtags than marches and open-air rallies. Indeed, if you wanted a megaphone for a movement spearheaded by young people of color, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than Twitter, whose users skew younger and browner than the general public.
Ella Baker
According to Politico,
...the young activists are inclined to the “Fannie Lou Hamer-Ella Baker model”—an approach that embraces the grass roots and in which agency is widely diffused. Indeed, many of the activists name-checked Baker, a lesser-known but enormously influential strategist of the civil rights era. She helped found Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference but became deeply skeptical of the cult of personality that she felt had formed around him. And she vocally disagreed with the notion that power in the movement should be concentrated among a few leaders, who tended to be men with bases of power that lay in the church. “My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders,” she said.
Don't miss this excellent summary of 2014 corporate-style school reform and charter hustling, posted by Jeff Bryant at Salon.
In 2014, charter schools, which had always been marketed for a legendary ability to deliver promising new innovations for education, became known primarily for their ability to concoct innovative new scams.
Forecasts about what 2015 will bring to the education landscape frequently foresee more charter schools as charter-friendly lawmakers continue to act witlessly to proliferate these schools. But make no mistake, the charter school scandals of 2014 forever altered the narrative about what these institutions really bring to the populace.
Rahm wants all the credit for this pitifully weak Chicago minimum-wage law. This, even though he undercut the effort by the Progressive Caucus to push for a $15/hr. minimum, like Seattle, Tacoma, and San Francisco have. Instead he responded to massive protests and demonstrations and tried to outflank the Caucus by settling for a $13 increase over 4 years. Hardly a livable wage.
Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's spokesman Monica Trevino says "raising the minimum wage was not a tough choice, as the mayor likes to say. It was an easy one that he should have made his first year in office."
"Mayor Emanuel took only two weeks to put out a TV commercial after the increase passed, and it should be clear to everyone that Mayor Emanuel only makes hard choices ... when they personally benefit him," Trevino added.


  1. If this is a new civil rights movement, what do they hope to accomplish? More divisions and hate which benefits the organizers but not the protesters? What issues have been raised? The well funded leadership seems to know how to organize and keep their youthful protégés in the dark. It can't be about policing because the DoJ reports that current methods have cut crime drastically and saved many black lives. It can't be slogans like "black lives matter" since they obviously don't matter with the abortion rate for blacks being the leading cause of death, and blacks murder more people than whites, and most of those they kill are also black. It isn't education, because college enrollments rates are doing very well for minorities, better than for whites. Obama has bombed at jobs, and not sure the "organizers" are the least bit interested anyway, because if people are working they have no time to swarm in the streets and interrupt restaurants and ceremonies honoring veterans. Now they might think about marriage rates since a child's chances of being raised in poverty are quite high without married parents, but I really don't think anyone can turn that around. More wealth transfer? We've got 126 programs at the federal level--more at the state and local. 50 years of a War on Poverty? Income gap? The wealthiest households in the U.S. are Asian, not white. Health? Hispanics have a longer life expectancy than either blacks or whites. More corporate shakedowns to benefit the grievance guys like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? How has that benefitted the black community? An army of Tweets .

  2. Norma,
    Thanks for your comments, but I think you've been spending too much time tuned in to Rush and O'Reilly. You echo their racist cliches and buzzwords so easily.

    Yes, there is a widening income gap. It's nothing to dismiss. The U.S. Has The Worst Income Inequality In The Developed World.

    Or hadn't you noticed? That's not good for any society (including those of us who are more fortunate). Being the wealthiest country in the world with the world's biggest prison population is a fundamental contradiction a recipe for disaster in the years ahead.

    And if your point is that poor (black) folks commit more crime (or at least do more time) of course you're right. Another great argument to eradicating (especially concentrated) poverty. That, not after-the-face policing and saturating the prisons, is the way towards society's salvation.

    I won't spend any more time taking on your backward racial views. You've got all the lingo down pat, ie. "grievance guys like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson", etc... It would be funny if not so sad. You refer to the movement for equity and equal opportunity simply as "wealth transfer." A complete misunderstanding of the last 200 years of history.

    Open your eyes and mind Norma. Keep reading SmallTalk and sharing your opinions.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.