“I respectfully remind you sir, that we have been the most patient of all people.”
-Letter from Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower of May 13, 1958
After he retired from Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson went on to champion the cause of civil rights from his position as a prominent executive of the Chock Full o’Nuts Corporation.
Robinson had grown increasingly impatient with what he regarded as President Eisenhower’s failure to act decisively in combating racism. In this letter dated May 13, 1958, he expresses his frustration and calls upon the President to finally guarantee Federal support of black civil rights.
it can be better
i’m disappointed in the president. i am really am. i’m disappointed in his politics and i’m disappointed in how he has used blackness in his presidency.
1. politics*: the president ran on a more progressive agenda than his presidency has demonstrated. more progressive than john mccain. not hard. more progressive than mitt romney. not hard. he pledged to do things like close guantanamo bay and make america a more equal place where people could more effectively express themselves and gain opportunity. These are basic political promises. i understand. he ran against the politics of fear that articulated american life in the 2000s. he didn’t do that. he’s continued many of the policies he spoke against and has been directly involved in limiting civil liberties. the most recent issue with the AP phone records is just dumb and demonstrate that the attorney general really needs to go. holder shouldn’t need to be forced out. his justice department has made mistakes. he’s openly criticized by former administration employees on everything from CISPA to drone program to guantanamo. those people know it ain’t working.
2. blackness: the president has used black as cool and not as element of his agenda to realize a more equitable, multi-racial society. the president spoke more about race during his campaign than he has in his presidency. charles ramsey said more meaningful things about race than i’ve heard in the last 5 years from the president. that’s disappointing. hanging out with jz or making the occasional jump shot on tv, talking about nba games or dissing kanye (although that was cool) does not demonstrate a move toward a more equitable america. just seems like hanging out with more people with privilege. i’m down with having a black president, but i don’t feel like that has done very much to improve the lives of black people. yes, black people can aspire to be president and look at a black first lady. i don’t want to take that away, but when i think back to the legacies of this administration, i won’t think of them as part of the tradition of black liberation. to clarify, i’m not doubting the president’s blackness. there isn’t time for that mess and i don’t want anyone to try and take this paragraph as an attempt to disparage his identity. As many people know, there are infinite ways to express ethnic and racial identity. simultaneously, the liberatory expressions in the black tradition would not align with the president. not sure that many would debate that idea. being the president basically guarantees that.
i hope these can change, though i’m holding out for such a change. just some thoughts.
*i also want to be clear that i do not believe that mitt romney or john mccain would have done better. i think the country would be in a much worse situation with vice presidents palin or ryan.
40-Year-Old American Bombs from the Laotian Secret War Still Cause Two Casualties a Week
Every day, Manixia Thor and her team of 20 women wake up knowing the jobs they have to go to could get them blown to smithereens. Unexploded American cluster bombs could detonate at any moment as they excavate dangerous areas of Laos with their metal detectors. Since the Laotian “Secret War” ended some 40 years ago, millions of these unexploded bombs lay dormant across the country, regularly maiming children and ruining or ending the lives of the thousands who accidentally set them off.
Due to Western involvement in foreign coup d’états, alleged third-party funding of rebel uprisings, and diplomatic meetings behind closed doors, history has seen many wars fought in a way that could be considered secret. Few secret wars, however, laid and continue to lay siege to a native population like the Secret War in Laos—an undeclared state of conflict so brutal that it gave Laos the official title of being history’s most bombed country.
For nine years, from 1964 to 1973, the US government dropped over two million tons of cluster bombs and other heavy artillery on Laos. They did all this to help the Royal Lao Government (RLG) combat the far-left communist rebel group Pathet Lao, whose members were trying to, and eventually succeeded in, overthrowing them and taking control of the country.
The Lincoln Motion Picture Company was the first movie production company organized by black film makers. The company was founded by actor Noble Johnson in May 1916 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Realization of the Negro’s Ambition was the first of six movies the company produced between 1916 and 1921. The films were intended to create positive images of black people and black life in America, countering the explicitly racist images of white films such as D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. The movies became part of a genre known as ‘race movies’ or ‘race films’, a genre that existed until around 1950.
Wayne Brady calls “bullshit” on Bill Maher.
I would be happy if anyone beat Maher’s ass in public, but especially so if it were Wayne Brady
and more context from the article:
Maher first explained his desire for Obama to be a “real black president” who “lifts up his shirt so they can see the gun in his pants” during a monologue in 2010. Subsequently, Maher referred to Obama as “your Wayne Brady,” a characterization that put into question the African-American credentials of both Obama and Brady.
“I’ve respected him as a comedian, and what he does on HBO is great,” Brady told Hill. “But when he starts to drag me in, to use me as the cultural linchpin of his not-black-enough argument, that’s bullshit.”