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across Black America is a confluence of old-line conservative Black preachers who

know they will cash in politically and monetarily if they deliver their congregations

to the boss-man's camp, and . . . secular Black minstrel-politicians.

 

 

When NOT to Vote Black (at least in Memphis)

By Glen Ford

 

The unfinished African American journey out of Jim Crow and its narrow political mindset has reached a critical juncture in Memphis, Tennessee. There, in the city's 60 percent Black Ninth Congressional District, a first-term white incumbent whose voting record would place him solidly in the political bosom of the Congressional Black Caucus, is challenged by a young Black female corporate operative—an acolyte of Harold Ford, Jr., the worst Black congressman in modern history.

Nikki Tinker is backed by the full flatulence and awesome gluttony of the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association, greasy-fingered clergymen who have descended into homophobia so foul and raw it must embarrass the White Christian Right whose behavior they mimic. These politician-pastors oppose federal Hate Crime legislation because it includes protections based on sexual orientation, while claiming moral and racial authority over the secular lives of Memphis Blacks.

It is a perfect storm of corruption: Nikki Tinker, a physically attractive but intellectually vapid lawyer for regional boss-man Northwest Airlink/Pinnacle Airlines - whose principal duty is to keep unions in check - backed by a gang of gay-baiting preachers who never saw a Republican Faith-Based Initiative check they wouldn't cash. If elected, Tinker can be expected to act as a surrogate for her sponsor, Harold Ford, Jr., the Bush-loving former representative of the district, unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate, and now nominal chairman of the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

The white boy in the race, Rep. Steve Cohen, previously a long-time state legislator who lost to young Harold "The Prince" Ford in 1996 but triumphed against a crowded field ten years later while Ford was courting statewide redneck voters, should by all principled political rights keep the seat. Since his swearing-in in January of this year, Cohen has voted his Black district's interests as diligently as 23 of the 40 voting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, earning an 80 percent grade (a "B") on the CBC Monitor's latest Report Card. Six Black congresspersons scored lower than Cohen, eleven higher. In contrast, the CBC Monitor named Harold Ford, Jr. "Lawn Jockey Emeritus" for consistently ranking at the bottom of every Black congressional class he attended since the watchdog group began tracking votes in September, 2005. In fact, Ford veered sharply to the right in his second term, in 1998, which means Cohen is the best - and "Blackest" - congressman the Ninth District has had in nearly a decade, and as progressive a representative as most Blacks on Capitol Hill.

However, literally nobody but the CBC Monitor keeps methodical track of such things, so Cohen must resort to behavior that some might consider, pandering. He has issued a document called "Steve Cohen's Position on the Covenant with Black America"; applied to join the Congressional Black Caucus but withdrew after noting the resulting discomfort among CBC members; and takes every opportunity to ceremonially show allegiance to the majority of his constituents. But most importantly, he votes correctly most of the time, and is careful to display a range of issues-positions on his web site, to prove it.

Challenger Nikki Tinker is encouraged to believe she can be elected simply by displaying her melanin. Tinker's campaign web site doesn't even bother to put forward a single substantive position, but is instead laden with meaningless "Nikki's Promise" items such as:

"I will place my satellite office in a community where people rely heavily upon public transportation (for example either the Hickory Hill community...

"I want to perform economic development in these areas.  I have met with business leaders and expressed my dedication to helping to improve opportunity in these areas...

"Our children...need to know that we support them and that we have become successful not through professional sports, through rap music, nor through illegal activity."

The emptiness of Tinker's campaign literature is not due to a lack of proficiency with words. She is, after all, a lawyer - a corporate vice-president for "labor relations" for a right-to-work-state routed airline - the in-house executive in charge of suppressing excessive union activity. Tinker is well-trained in that regard. Previously, she worked at the union-hostile firm Ford & Harrison, which was honored this year by Chambers USA, "America's Leading Lawyers for Business." Such are Tinker's credentials for representing the people of the 8th poorest city in the nation.

Therefore, Tinker says very little, issue-wise, leaving it to the roaring, retrograde Black reactionaries in the pulpits to insinuate that Cohen is too friendly with folks who are supposedly even more alien to Black Memphis than his white self - gays.

Memphis is home to probably the largest concentration of backward clergy in Black America, and proved it in August when Black Baptists declared:

"The Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association stands in total opposition to any legislation that will silence churches on the matter of sin and abomination. It is our belief that the New Hate Crime bill is a subtle attempt on the part of the Gay Community to further legitimize itself as an acceptable lifestyle. We find nothing in Biblical Scripture to support the same.

"We also recognize the difference between homosexuals and homosexuality; God loves the homosexual but hates homosexuality. We further believe that all citizens of these United States of America are equally protected under the 14th Amendment of our Constitution.

"The new Hate Crime Bill spelling out specific groups is immediately a red flag for suspicion - attaching it to the Defense Authorization Bill raises further concern. All citizens are protected under the present laws.

"We go on record that we detest the alignment of African-Americans with homosexuals and lesbians as being equal. There is absolutely nothing immoral about being African American." - Dr. Basil Brooks, President

Ugly words - and stupid, too, unless one understands that this federal issue is being used as a local club to bludgeon the not-gay Rep. Cohen, whom key members of the Baptist group seek to associate with tolerance for sin and "abomination." It does not matter that, as Cohen has accurately noted, the entire Congressional Black Caucus (and 30 Republicans) support the Hate Crimes bill.

What we have in Memphis and across Black America is a confluence of old-line conservative Black preachers who know they will cash in politically and monetarily if they deliver their congregations to the boss-man's camp, and an equally ancient corporate enemy that has learned in recent years the art of grooming secular Black minstrel-politicians. Harold Ford, Jr. was once their favorite performer, not just in Memphis, but nationally. Nikki Tinker is his designated successor.

It appears that this type of despicable political tag-team - well-dressed corporate-trained Negroes from the suites operating in tandem with vile, spittle-spewing preachers working their shows in the ghetto - is the current model for corporate takeover of Black electoral politics, especially in the South. However, Memphis, in this primary season, presents a particular, transcendent challenge to African Americans. A white incumbent has reversed ten years of abject betrayal of Blacks by the previous, Black representative. He is challenged by the very same deceitful forces, who would no doubt continue the sell-out legacy. Will Blacks in Memphis vote their fundamental interests, or be hoodwinked by sucker-solidarity with the skin color of the criminal that is preparing to rob them?

If the answer is the latter, then Black Memphis will have shown itself to be too deeply mired in the Jim Crow experience, too addicted to hollow "Black faces in high places" celebrations to defend itself in the modern world, or to be of use to any of the rest of us.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Source: Black Agenda Report

posted 5 December 2007

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#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

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

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

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

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

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#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

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#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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Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

By John Lewis

The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis have never been more relevant. Now, more than ever, this nation needs a strong and moral voice to guide an engaged population through visionary change. Congressman John Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is the author of his autobiography, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement, and is the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, including the Lincoln Medal; the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award (the only one of its kind ever awarded); the NAACP Spingarn Medal; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, among many others.

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.” 

His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered.

Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. Jamie Byng, Guardian

Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America

By Peter Edelman

If the nation’s gross national income—over $14 trillion—were divided evenly across the entire U.S. population, every household could call itself middle class. Yet the income-level disparity in this country is now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. In 2010 the average salary for CEOs on the S&P 500 was over $1 million—climbing to over $11 million when all forms of compensation are accounted for—while the current median household income for African Americans is just over $32,000. How can some be so rich, while others are so poor? In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle.

The structure of today’s economy has stultified wage growth for half of America’s workers—with even worse results at the bottom and for people of color—while bestowing billions on those at the top. So Rich, So Poor delves into what is happening to the people behind the statistics and takes a particular look at the continuing crisis of young people of color, whose possibility of a productive life too often is lost on their way to adulthood.DemocracyNow

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Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin

By John D'Emilio

Bayard Rustin is one of the most important figures in the history of the American civil rights movement. Before Martin Luther King, before Malcolm X, Bayard Rustin was working to bring the cause to the forefront of America's consciousness. A teacher to King, an international apostle of peace, and the organizer of the famous 1963 March on Washington, he brought Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence to America and helped launch the civil rights movement. Nonetheless, Rustin has been largely erased by history, in part because he was an African American homosexual. Acclaimed historian John D'Emilio tells the full and remarkable story of Rustin's intertwined lives: his pioneering and public person and his oblique and stigmatized private self.

It was in the tumultuous 1930s that Bayard Rustin came of age, getting his first lessons in politics through the Communist Party and the unrest of the Great Depression.

A Quaker and a radical pacifist, he went to prison for refusing to serve in World War II, only to suffer a sexual scandal. His mentor, the great pacifist A. J. Muste, wrote to him, "You were capable of making the 'mistake' of thinking that you could be the leader in a revolution...at the same time that you were a weakling in an extreme degree and engaged in practices for which there was no justification."

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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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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

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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 10 February 2012

 

 

 

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