Category: Prime Politics Written by By Kirsten West Savali
In an explosive interview with "Democracy Now‘s" Amy Goodman, Dr. Cornel West labeled President Barack Obama a “global George Zimmerman” for his unethical — and expanding — drone war that is responsible for the murders of hundreds of innocent children, and for closely considering New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly — the architect of ‘Stop and Frisk‘ – for Secretary of Department of Homeland Security.
“I think we have to acknowledge that President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal — George Zimmerman is a criminal — but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman, because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense, so that there’s actually parallels here.
“So when he comes to talk about the killing of an innocent person, you say, “Well, wait a minute. What kind of moral authority are you bringing? You’ve got $2 million bounty on Sister Assata Shakur. She’s innocent, but you are pressing that intentionally. Will you press for the justice of Trayvon Martin in the same way you press for the prosecution of Brother Bradley Manning and Brother Edward Snowden?” So you begin to see the hypocrisy. Then he tells stories about racial profiling. They’re moving, sentimental stories, what Brother Kendall Thomas called racial moralism, very sentimental. But then, Ray Kelly, major candidate for Department of Homeland Security, he’s the poster child of racial profiling. You know, Brother Carl Dix and many of us went to jail under Ray Kelly. Why? Because he racially profiled millions of young black and brown brothers…”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 14:48
Category: Prime Politics Written by D.L. Chandler/Newsone
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is under scrutiny after the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) accused him of blocking the confirmation of two Black judges. Sen. Rubio's office claims that based on concerns from his fellow Republicans in the Senate, further review was necessary. However, Sen. Rubio gave a pleasant introduction to one of the candidates at a confirmation hearing last year.
Candidates Brian Davis for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District, who was introduced by Rubio at his confirmation hearing, and William L. Thomas, for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, are seemingly being stalled for dubious reasons.
According to the report from the Tampa Bay Times, Republican Senators are investigating comments made by Davis in the mid-1990s regarding racial matters. In June, a Rubio spokesperson said to the Florida Times-Union that "several Republican senators have expressed concern" over the nomination.
Iowa senator Charles Grassley has been the most vocal opponent to Davis, citing a 1994 speech from the judge-hopeful that Joycelyn Elders was forced to resign as U.S. surgeon general because she is African American. Davis later said in 1995 that Elders' successor was filibustered because he, too, was Black.
Grassley contends that Davis' statements make him unfit for "viewing the world through a lens that I think is inappropriate and unacceptable for a federal court judge," according to a response statement.
Grassley admitted that Davis' statement regarding Elders was part of a larger discussion on race, but is still zeroing in on the speech. As for Rubio's hesitation with Thomas, a gay man, he and other Republican senators have been mum.
On Wednesday, CBC members gathered to discuss the lack of judicial diversity and to challenge Rubio's moves regarding the confirmations.
In a statement, the CBC said, "Currently, 30 percent of judicial nominees pending confirmation in the Senate are African American. CBC Members will highlight African-American judicial nominees in Florida whose confirmations have been stalled due to negligence and obstruction by Sen. Marco Rubio."
Please visit the CBC's homepage and Facebook page to get the latest developments on this matter.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 09:53
Category: Prime Politics Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) has always been known as one of hip hop's most conscience rappers, always willing to use his rhythmic prose to challenge the status quote. Though his latest attempt at bringing public attention to the force feeding procedure carried out at Guantanamo Bay not only shakes you mentally; the sight of his attention-grabbing act is enough to turn your stomach.
The Guardian reports that the rapper reenacted the procedure during a four-minute film, which was made by human rights group, "Reprieve," and Bafta award-winning director, Asif Kapadia.
The video is quite uncomfortable to watch–especially the part when tubes are forced down the entertainer's nose and towards his stomach. Bey, 39 eventually begs to end the experiment after wailing up in tears and pain.
Of the 166 prisoners held at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, more than half of them have been participating in a hunger strike that has been going on for months, according to the Washington Post. While lawyers for the prisoners claim the procedure amounts to torture, the U.S. Justice Department says it keeps them from starving to death.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 07:24
Category: Prime Politics Written by Atlanta Daily World
President Barack Obama on Sunday released a statement Sunday morning on the death of Trayvon Martin and the jury's finding George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The full statement via WhiteHouse.gov is below.
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.
We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.
As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 July 2013 07:54
Category: Prime Politics Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Michigan Senate Democrats sought to force a vote today on HB 4714, legislation to expand Medicaid in Michigan, but their efforts were defeated by the Senate Republican Majority before they adjourned for two more weeks. In voicing their opposition to the inaction on Medicaid expansion and the adjournment until July 17th, Senate Democrats shared the stories of some of the nearly 500,000 low-income Michigan residents who would receive health care access under this bill.
"The Senate Republicans may have shown up today, but they clearly weren't here to actually work," said Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer. "It's discouraging that Republicans are putting the health and well-being of nearly half a million Michigan residents at risk to play political games, and once again, Governor Snyder was nowhere to be found as this was taking place."
At today's Senate session, Senate Democrats moved to discharge HB 4714 for immediate consideration. The motion was defeated by the Republican majority. Republicans then moved to adjourn for another two week vacation. Senate Democrats objected and spoke against the adjournment while hundreds of Medicaid supporters looked on, but those efforts were also defeated along party lines.
"As an author of the Affordable Care Act, I find the expansion of Medicaid in the state of Michigan to be of fundamental importance," said Congressman John Dingell, who was present at Senate session today in support of the legislation. "I fought for years to pass national health care in Congress, and to see the issue stalled in my home state for political reasons is thoroughly disappointing. There's no reason not to enact legislation that would immediately cover 320,000 Michigan residents who are near the poverty line and save Michigan over a billion dollars. I urge Republican Senators to do the job they were elected to do and get this life-saving legislation passed in the Michigan Senate."
Expanding Medicaid in Michigan would extend health care coverage to Michigan residents who are under 133% of the federal poverty level. In total, 320,000 Michiganders would be covered in the first year of the expansion, and an estimated 470,000 would be covered by 2021. Michigan's uninsured population will drop by approximately 46% if the expansion is enacted. It will also secure billions of dollars in federal funding for Michigan.
"The fact that I have to worry about money before my health is horrible," said Mari Martinez, a 37-year-old from Lansing, who attended session today and is one of the nearly half million uninsured Michigan adults who will benefit from the expansion of Medicaid. "It's a pretty terrible feeling to think that just because I don't have enough money, I can't get the health care I need. I encourage Senate Republicans to think for a moment about the individuals like me statewide whose lives would be changed forever, if they just took the time to vote on this issue."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 14:50
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