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21/06/14 Black News , Black Politics , featured , ybw #

What Do Movies “Thelma and Louise” and “The Butler” Have in Common?

What Do Movies “Thelma and Louise” and “The Butler” Have in Common?

THE BUTLER

by F. Palmer

As I keep seeing that this is the 23rd anniversary of that piece of sh*t movie ‘Thelma & Louise’, which was laughably construed as such a watershed moment for white women being portrayed as strong characters in a movie, let me make this clear to anyone who has any delusions of this being nothing but a nod to what will happen to you if you don’t bow down to structural white male domination:

Only in a patriarchal and misogynist world can the two female lead characters in a movie get treated like sh*t by men, almost get raped, be suckered into having their money taken by a young Lothario, go on the lam and then finally drive off a f*cking cliff in the end and it somehow be seen as a film that represents the “empowerment of women.”

The only message to construe from this is that “empowerment” towards the white male patriarchal society ultimately means DEATH for the white female, the same way that the only thing you can construe from a movie like ‘The Butler’ is that the best way for a black man to survive is to stay CONTINUOUSLY subservient, our PROPER place. I defy anyone who is being totally honest or has a brain in their head to come to any other conclusion.

F. Palmer’s blog posts are a new feature at BreakingBrown for painfully honest, bullsh*t free observations.

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19/06/14 Black News , Black Politics , ybw #

Dallas Lawmaker Tricks White Commission Into Approving Reparations for Blacks

Dallas Lawmaker Tricks White Commission Into Approving Reparations for Blacks
John Wiley Price, Photo Credit: Dallasnews.com

John Wiley Price, Photo Credit: Dallasnews.com

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates made the case for reparations and just like that, one Texas county approved reparations for blacks. The problem, however, is that even though Dallas County Commissioners Court approved reparations, commissioners weren’t even aware of what they’d done.

A “Juneteenth” resolution written by John Wiley Price, the only black commissioner, was approved unanimously by the commission, but as it turns out, no one knew what they were voting for except Price. According to Dallasnews.com, commissioners admitted that they hadn’t read the resolution prior to voting.

The “Juneteenth” resolution, recognizing the day Texas slaves learned of their freedom, was thought by commissioners to be just another toothless resolution. Obviously, no one read the final paragraph which declared that the suffering of blacks should be “satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations.”

To make it even more embarrassing, Price read aloud the resolution prior to the vote, which is customary. Still, Price’s proclamation was approved by voice vote.

Commissioners complained after the vote that they hadn’t been given a copy of the resolution and it wasn’t posted on the website.

Price says he doesn’t know why the other commissioners weren’t given a copy of the resolution, but he decided to write it after reading Coates’ article.

“We are the only people who haven’t been compensated,” he said.

The commission’s sole Republican, Mike Cantrell, was the only member of the commission to change his vote. Although other commissioners complained about the process, they didn’t change their votes.

“I am leaving my vote the way it is,” County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “This is the body’s expression of support for unity towards people, a recognition of Juneteenth.”

The vote is non-binding so no tax dollars will be used to pay for reparations.

 

 

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18/06/14 Black News , Black Politics , ybw #

Detroit’s Reduced “Hybrid” Pension Plans Could Become Model for Cash Strapped States

Detroit’s Reduced “Hybrid” Pension Plans Could Become Model for Cash Strapped States
Photo Credit: The Detroit Free Press

Photo Credit: The Detroit Free Press

Detroit’s pension crisis may be at the beginning of a resolution now that unions have approved a reduced plan. If  all goes well, this plan could serve as a model for cash strapped states that can no long afford pensions.

“The city and its labor partners have come up with what we think is the best option to strengthen employee pensions so we can continue to meet future obligations in a financially responsible and sustainable manner,” emergency manager Kevyn Orr said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press. “This new pension plan is the result of months of intense negotiation between the city, its unions and its retirees.”

The plan requires Detroit workers to contribute anywhere from four to eight percent of their base pay toward pensions, an amount that will be matched by the city.

From DealBook:

While both retired and active workers now participate in the same city pension system, the new plan is intended only for Detroit’s active workers, who will shift to it on July 1. Retirees will keep 73 percent to 100 percent of their current base pensions under the city’s proposal to exit bankruptcy.

Detroit’s tax base can no longer support the cost of pensions.

Still, Wall Street has not been held accountable for its role in eviscerating pension funds across the country. Worse yet, The Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi discussed in 2013 how Rhode Island’s “looming” pension crisis was used as an excuse to hand over control to Wall Street:

….Raimondo’s strategy for saving money involved handing more than $1 billion – 14 percent of the state fund – to hedge funds, including a trio of well-known New York-based funds: Dan Loeb’s Third Point Capital was given $66 million, Ken Garschina’s Mason Capital got $64 million and $70 million went to Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. The funds now stood collectively to be paid tens of millions in fees every single year by the already overburdened taxpayers of her ostensibly flat-broke state. Felicitously, Loeb, Garschina and Singer serve on the board of the Manhattan Institute, a prominent conservative think tank with a history of supporting benefit-slashing reforms. The institute named Raimondo its 2011 “Urban Innovator” of the year.

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18/06/14 Black News , Black Politics , ybw #

Largest Closure of Social Security Offices in Nation’s History Leaves Seniors Out in Cold

Largest Closure of Social Security Offices in Nation’s History Leaves Seniors Out in Cold

The Congressional Budget Office reports that even as the need for Social Security offices grow, budget cuts are social security 2resulting in closures of offices across the U.S.

The result has been that seniors in need of assistance are faced with frustrating waits for service.

The Associated Press reports:

Social Security has closed 64 field offices since 2010, the largest number of closures in a five-year period in the agency’s history, the bipartisan staff of the Senate Aging Committee said in its report. In addition, the agency has closed 533 temporary mobile offices that often serve remote areas.

Hours have been reduced in the 1,245 field offices that are still open, the report said.

“Seniors are not being served well when you arbitrarily close offices and reduce access to services,” Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chairman of the Aging Committee, told AP. “The closure process is neither fair nor transparent and needs to change.”

The closure of Social Security offices comes just as the number of applications for retirement and disability benefits sharply increases:

More than 47 million people receive Social Security retirement benefits, nearly a 20 percent increase from a decade ago. About 11 million people receive Social Security disability benefits, a 38 percent increase from a decade ago.

The Social Security administration says it is faced with “tough” choices and is encouraging people to take advantage of online resources.

But for Senator Susan Collins of Maine (R), that’s not good enough.

“Far too many seniors throughout our nation, particularly those living in rural areas, might not have access to a computer or the Internet. It is critical that SSA take into account these issues and the effect on the community before eliminating services,” she said.

 

 

 

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17/06/14 Black News , Black Politics , featured , ybw #

Unelected Street Preacher Al Sharpton Rebukes Rep. Charlie Rangel for Race Baiting

Unelected Street Preacher Al Sharpton Rebukes Rep. Charlie Rangel for Race Baiting

Sharpton and Rangel

by Yvette Carnell

Al Sharpton’s claim to fame has always been his ability to employ race as a weapon against white business owners and politicians, just to name a few. In a piece exclusively in the print issue of Counterpunch, I outlined Sharpton’s strategy for silencing black critics:

The strategy Sharpton used to fend off black critics was far different than the one he’d employed against mainstream white critics. Whenever Sharpton was challenged from within the black community, he routinely dismissed the criticism as coming from establishment black leaders who were threatened by his encroachment on what was once their territory. In 2000, when Sharpton was beating the drums for the Burger King boycott over disagreements the fast food conglomerate was having with black franchise owner La-Van Hawkins, Sharpton grew livid after he learned that Rev. Jesse Jackson had also met with the executives at the fast food chain. Sharpton described the ‘secret’ meeting between Jackson and Burger King CEO Colin Storm as a traitorous act intended to undermine him. The Village Voice quoted Sharpton as having said that Jackson’s actions “can only be interpreted as an attempt to divide the black community.” The irony here is that, regardless of what you think of Rev. Jackson or his politics, he marched alongside Dr. King and was with the civil rights icon when he was gunned down. Jackson has an authentic relationship to black movement politics in this country. But here was Sharpton, the self-anointed street preacher, attempting to take Jackson to task for undermining him.

Given that history, it’s no surprise that Sharpton had the unmitigated gall to scold Rep. Charlie Rangel for injecting race into his congressional election. Pot, meet kettle. As the New York Times pointed out, the political play by Sharpton resulted in negative headlines for Rangel, who is in the trenches of a political battle that may be his last.

Rangel is up against Adriano D. Espaillat, a state senator who almost took Rangel’s seat last time around, and Rev. Michael A. Walrond Jr, a Harlem preacher.

As the New York Times notes, this latest stunt by Sharpton is an attempt by the unelected street preacher to expand his power base in New York:

A loss by Mr. Rangel, who was elected in 1970, would put a bold punctuation mark on the end of an era in New York, and for the generation of African-American political leaders who came to power in the 1960s and ’70s. Mr. Rangel and Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, are the only two original members of the Black Caucus still in Congress. The other members of Harlem’s Gang of Four were the late Basil A. Paterson, Percy E. Sutton and former Mayor David N. Dinkins.

 

Al Sharpton had a few words about why he thinks Rangel is in trouble.

“Part of the problem is that they didn’t groom their replacements,” he said in an interview last week, according to the Times. “When you don’t groom your replacements, and you operate like you’re going to live forever, then people in the next generation, that you did not invest in, start taking steps themselves. That’s where I think a Michael Walrond and an Adriano Espaillat come from.”

True enough. One question, though: Who is Al Sharpton’s replacement and when does s/he start?

Sharpton also said that the Congressional Black Caucus can’t come to him for assistance because he doesn’t owe them anything.

“Whatever I have or don’t have, you did not help me build it,” he said, referring to CBC members who’ve sided with Rangel. “So what you can’t do is come to me and say I owe you. I built my reputation, influence, whatever you want to call it, because I fought civil rights issues and people responded. None of them put me in position. It’s just that simple.”

During the interview, Sharpton admitted that this is also partly sour grapes on his part, since Rangel did not endorse Sharpton’s doomed to fail presidential bid, explaining, “…you really can’t argue that with me, of why I owe an endorsement I never got. You just can’t make that argument.”

 

 

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