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Granholm and Senator Debbie Stabenow both rallied their supporters to vote for Clinton

on January 15. And no doubt some Democrats enthusiastically did. But Clinton’s suggestion

that she “won” a legitimate election in Michigan is ludicrous



 Our Sad State of Democracy 

Portrait of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

By Scott Kurashige 


Everyone who remotely follows Michigan politics has come to expect Jennifer Granholm to make calculating decisions consistent with the middle-of-the-road image she has consciously nurtured. So what possessed our governor to issue a passionate statement last week declaring that it was “reprehensible that anyone would seek to silence” Michigan voters? 
Could it be that she was finally abandoning her moderate, follow-the-crowd manner to become a fiery advocate of the people? Not likely. Granholm’s comments and positions with regards to the botched Michigan primary have been all too self-serving. It is an open secret that Granholm (who will be termed out in 2010 and has no other viable office-seeking options) would love nothing more than an appointment in a Clinton administration. She has endorsed Hillary and is doing everything she can to aid her campaign. 
 As we all know, Granholm and other state Democratic leaders pushed for a January primary against Democratic Party rules, thereby jeopardizing the state’s delegates. They stuck with this plan even when it was clear that they had played a risky game of chicken and lost. John Edwards and Barack Obama withdrew their names from the ballot, while Hillary Clinton famously declared “it’s clear this election they’re having isn’t going to count for anything.” 
Of course, Granholm and others bought into the hype that Clinton was the “inevitable” nominee and would have the competition wrapped up by February 5. Thus, by their reasoning, Michigan could still help to coronate Hillary by hosting a “beauty pageant” in January, and the only risk was foregoing an anti-climactic caucus scheduled too late in the primary season to count for anything. 
So our cash-strapped state went ahead with an expensive primary that was meaningless for Democrats and half-meaningful for Republicans. Unwilling to admit their blunder, Granholm and the state party leaders continued to insist they had taken a principled stand that would serve Michigan well. Even though the Democratic candidates refused to campaign in Michigan, the governor stoutly declared that the botched primary had somehow “changed the dialogue” because it had made the economy more central to the primary debates. 
Granholm and Senator Debbie Stabenow both rallied their supporters to vote for Clinton on January 15. And no doubt some Democrats enthusiastically did. But Clinton’s suggestion that she “won” a legitimate election in Michigan is ludicrous, and her demand (echoed by Granholm) that the DNC seat the delegates she “won” is a perversion of democracy. 
The facts speak for themselves. Fewer than 600,000 voted in the Michigan Democratic primary. (By comparison, John Kerry carried the state with nearly 2.5 million votes in the 2004 general election.) Thus, in this blue state, Republican voter turnout outpaced that of the Democrats by nearly 50 percent. Indeed, Clinton with her major foe being “uncommitted” got fewer votes than Mitt Romney, who squared off against multiple contenders. Since enthusiasm is much higher in Michigan on the Democratic side (as it is across the nation), the obvious reason why as many as one million Democrats stayed home is that they were told their primary didn’t count for anything. 
We desperately need a fair and democratic solution to this mess that we are now in. But it won’t be easy to resolve. What is clear is that Governor Granholm’s latest grandstanding won’t help the situation. If she really cared about Michigan voters being disenfranchised, she would have acted to stop this fiasco rather than egging it on. 
Instead, she has now joined forces with Florida’s Republican governor, who would love nothing more than to see the Democrats bruise each other and demoralize voters all the way through a brokered convention. Granholm is no more a neutral arbiter in 2008 than Florida secretary of state/Bush campaign co-chair, Kathleen Harris, was when she certified the results in 2000. 
The not-so-big news out of Michigan is that Jennifer Granholm has finally found something worth fighting for: Jennifer Granholm

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Scott Kurashige is the author of The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles (Princeton University Press). He is an Associate Professor of History, American Culture, and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan. 

Source: Michigan Citizen, Mar. 16-22, 2008 / posted 18 March 2008

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New Call for Letters for sequel to Go, Tell Michelle‏

By Peggy Brooks-Bertram and Barbara Seals Nevergold

Why White America Perhaps Fears Michelle More Than Barack

Excerpts from a “Jack & Jill politics” newsletter  

Responses to Post-Midterm Elections / Open Note to President Barack Obama (Jerry W. Ward, Jr.)

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#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


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#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 18 January 2012



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