Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Let Us Choose, Part II

And from Color of Change, another petition to the superdelegates:

Dear Friend,

Voters in places like Atlanta, Brooklyn, St. Louis, and Inglewood have made clear their choice for president: Barack Obama. So why are some members of the Congressional Black Caucus threatening to use their power as "superdelegates" to undermine those votes and nominate Hillary Clinton?

Voters should decide elections--not politicians. And members of the Congressional Black Caucus should amplify the political voice of their constituents, not silence it. I've joined in demanding that the CBC to listen to the voters; let's tell them to vote with the people, not against us:

Voters in almost all the districts represented by the CBC have chosen Obama, helping him win more delegates than Clinton. But only some delegates vote based on the results of primaries. A fifth of the delegates that will vote at the convention -- and decide the nomination -- are "superdelegates" that can technically vote however they like, regardless of what the voters say. These super-delegates are members of Congress, senators, governors and Democratic party insiders. In a contest this close, they have the power to overturn the will of voters, and decide the outcome.

In 2000 and 2004, CBC members stood up to defend the rights of Black voters that had been disenfranchised. It would be a disgrace for its members to now undermine the votes of Black people in their districts. Rarely have Black voters across the country been so unified behind a particular candidate; if CBC members vote against their constituents, it will diminish the power of Black voters in a historic election that could result in our country's first Black president.

It will take courage and conviction for CBC members to break with back-room politics and stand up for democracy. But we must demand it. Please join us:


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stop and Frisk

With "some fact-based suspicion," the police can stop anybody, interrogate him, and search him. (Or her.)

But the police seem to have trouble distinguishing between suspicious appearance and conduct. The appearance route seems to result in mostly Black and Brown people getting stopped and frisked, because just having dark skin makes a person suspicious.

If you protest, you might get arrested. That's what happened to Leonardo Blair, a reporter who was stopped and frisked and then arrested and charged with "making unreasonable noise" and "disobeying a lawful order." The charges have since been dismissed.

Morons Against Obama

I'm not saying that being a moron is a requirement for joining those who are loudly anti-Obaman.

However. I found this racist mess via Davey D.'s Hip Hop Corner. I am late to the party, as the publisher has already issued an apology and has apparently cleaned the mess off the site. Davey D. helpfully had provided contact information (Phone: 631-324-2500 Rick Murphy, Editor
, and the publisher freely admits his remorse was prompted by the telephone calls and email messages he received:
(What's with the all caps, dude? And what is with all the misspellings? Raise the bar.)

Anyway, I am reprinting it below. Nothing shocks me anymore.

Why I Should Be Our Next President
By Yo Mama Bin Barack

My name is YoMama Bin Barack, and I want to be your next president so together we can begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.

My opponents say I live in a dream world. That may well be true, for I believe in the dream of Doctor Martin Luther King, the dream that all men are created equal.

His words resonate in my very being: "Some day, you too can be a black man who makes a difference in this country, and you too can be called 'Doctor' even though you are not a doctor of any kind." I believe that, and someday I hope people will call me Doctor YoMama. In fact, I hope someday people will call me President Doctor YoMama (but please don't call me Luther, I hate that name).

I was telling this very thing to my wife AliBama the other night while we were in bed, umm, praying. I said, "AliBama, I want to be your next president so together we can begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."

And she said, "YoMama, then why don't you cut out the president shit and get a real job and make some freakin' money?" But I explained I have plenty of money, because bleeding heart liberal Democrats from all across this vast country of ours have felt it in their hearts to send a contribution to my campaign so I can begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today and also because I need to buy my little daughter Bama Slamma a PlayStation so she will get off my back.

Why do I think I am the best candidate for the job? Look at my resume – it speaks for itself.

Educational background: Doctorate

Military background: I was the first black troop leader of the Boy Scouts Troop 43 in my home state of Illinois. Well, that's not quite true, because they didn't let black kids in the Boy Scouts, so I lied and said I was Hawaiian, which I kind of am, sort of. You see, part of my strategy of becoming our first black president is to deny I am black unless I am campaigning in Harlem. The truth is, I don't know many black people, but my advisors have drafted a strategy to reel in the black vote:

1) Call everyone "Brother." Blacks, I am told, do this, even if their real brothers are mostly in jail.

2) Talk Jive. Brothers want to hear jive. During my speech I told the crowd "We be, you know, sick of whitey supressin' and congestin' so, you know, we won't denigrate or sophisticate but emulate and populate, you know, the system is, like, broken, y'all!"

I have no idea what that means. The black folk loved it, though, so they all vowed to vote for me. The New York Times covered it, but they are so afraid of saying something racist they twisted my words around and reported:

"Yesterday in Harlem YoMama articulated his vision of a new America, an America with less congestion, a country free of drug use, a world without segregation or racism where citizens emulate the lives of great Americans like YoMama, John F. Kennedy and Doctor Martin Luther King."

So you see, there is my strategy. I get the black vote, I get the white vote, and then I go after the female vote by attacking that bitch Hillary for being the Nasty Witch from Hell.

Anyhow, girls think I'm cute. I'm kind of like Will Smith, except he's got those Dumbo ears and mine are normal. So, for the next six months, I am going to fly all over the country, and every place I speak I am going to tell the people:

"As Americans, we can take enormous pride in the fact that courage has been inspired by our own struggle for freedom, by the tradition of democratic law secured by our forefathers and enshrined in our Constitution. It is a tradition that says all men are created equal under the law and that no one is above it."

To be honest, I have no idea what that means. If you analyze it carefully, it really doesn't mean anything. But it sounds like something a president or a doctor would say. I can make that speech every day and no matter how many times I do the stupid newspapers will report it differently. They will make me sound like the smart, young, new voice of America, because most editors out there figure anything is better than having a cow like Hillary Clinton snorking around the White House making weasel deals again.

Ultimately, if she gets too close, one of my New York advisors has advised me to, "Bitch slap that ho." White women, I am told, like that. (Black women, on the other hand, do not. I tried that once on AliBama and she beat the living shit out of me.)

Of course, I also have to contend with John Edwards. My strategy is to ignore him until he actually manages to win a primary. Since he's, like, zero for 43 so far, that should be the end of him. You see, Mr. Edwards hasn't figured out that to win an election some people have to actually vote for you. (If he does make a run at me, I might consider bitch slapping him, as he is somewhat of a Pretty Boy if you get my jist.)

In closing, I humbly ask for your vote on Election Day, even if I did hang around the school yard and smoke pot when I was getting my Doctorate in Blackstuff. And, oh, by the way, I am in the process of finding out how I can also call myself "Reverend." I have a call in to Al Sharpton.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let Us Choose

I don't think my apprehension about the superdelegates can be attributed to paranoia. In my more cynical moments, I entertain the notion that the difference between Democrats and Republicans narrows by the minute. I do think Senator Clinton is closer to the Republican side than some of us would like. I also don't think it's any news that Democrats have been known to roll over on Black people.

Which is a long way of saying that I believe Obama is and will continue to be the people's choice. (The numbers bear me out.) Whether he will be the superdelegates' choice is up in the air. As of this moment, he is not. provides this petition imploring superdelegates to support the will of the people in nominating the Democratic presidential candidate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


What with all the overcrowding, and with our awareness of documented disparities in sentencing between black and white defendants, probation seems a suitable sentence than prison for a 66-year-old nonviolent offender convicted of tax evasion. Particularly when the defendant had a stroke only 3 years ago and was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2006.

LOS ANGELES -- Isley Brothers lead singer Ronald Isley has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for tax evasion.Isley was also ordered to pay $3.1 million in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Conte.

He was convicted last year of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return. During a hearing Friday, defense attorney Anthony Alexander argued that the 65-year-old singer [sic--the sources I've seen say he is 66] should receive probation instead of prison time because of complications from a stroke and a recent bout with kidney cancer. Isley is expected to be sent to a prison hospital facility.

Alexander also pleaded for leniency because Isley had been attempting to pay down his IRS debt.But U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson declined to sentence the R&B singer to less time than called for under federal guidelines."The term serial tax avoider has been used. I think that's appropriate," Pregerson said. Alexander argued during trial that "unfortunate circumstances," such as the deaths of two of Isley's accountants, made him unable to get records together and pay taxes during the years that led to the criminal charges.
This is justice?
In its ruling, the appellate court said the trial judge was correct in sentencing and "best balanced the need to sanction Mr. Isley's `pathological' tax evasion against the need to accommodate Mr. Isley's poor health."

Maybe the persecution of this Black man is not racially motivated. Maybe American judges hate us Geminis.