November 20, 2005

A Message from the FEMA "Throw them out on the streets".

The FEMA has decided it is going to end paying for the Housing via hotel stays for the men, women and children who were evacuated from their homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Although this is classic government behavior the question still must be asked from where did they pull this date to stop helping the folks from New Orleans that are scattered all over the country, and why did they choose this date. From all that I have read and seen Dec.1st (the day chosen to end funding) holds no significance in respect to how FEMA expected things to progress for people removed from their homes, nor is it the day these men and women would be able to return to their homes. It appear that this date was chosen by bureaucrats for no apparent reason other than to have a deadline without taking into account the situation those who are using these funds are in.

As this announcement was being made, it was discovered that the FEMA is “awash” in money. Of the 62.3 Billion dollars allotted by congress towards helping the men and women affected by Katrina only 37.5 Billion of it has been used. This leaves close to 25 billion dollars available to the FEMA that can be used to continue helping those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Jessie Jackson in a statement regarding the actions of the FEMA stated that “It would be disgraceful to cut funding off (for) housing without a plan for people to go someplace”.

The FEMA in its defense stated the announcement to end paying for housing for the folk displaced after the Hurricane “only confirm a previously announced deadline,” and the deadline “will not apply to hurricane victims’ still living in the worst-hit states of Louisiana and Mississippi, because alternative housing is simply not available”. Some where between the actual Hurricane and the day of its announcement, the FEMA seems to have become confused about housing availability and the inability to pay for that housing. If the idea was to move people to places where adequate housing is available than the FEMA should move all those still living in the worst hit states to those places, however if the idea is to pay for the housing of those displaced from their own homes until they are able to move back or has found the means to pay for their own housing, than there is no way FEMA can make sense of paying for the housing of those who remain in the worst hit states while ending funding for those who left these states or where forcibly removed from these states.

Congress has now received a third supplemental bill requesting taking back 2.3 billion dollars. Time Magazine reports that Mayor Ray Nagin went before congress asking them to continue their support of the Rebuilding process in New Orleans by not taking back money allotted to the helping the people of New Orleans and rebuilding the city, only to be rebuffed with typical G.O.P rhetoric “We want to see them helping themselves before they ask us for help”. Only if this was their position in regards to Iraq. As the U.S. moves into its Holiday Season let us celebrate the throwing out on the streets the men and women displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

November 17, 2005

NAACP - The National Association for the Advancement of Construction Professionals?

There are some moves made by Black folk that calls into question their integrity mostly because the reason they offer for making such a move is probably going to be a lie and or a half truth. Such is not the case for the head of the NAACP down in Orange County Fl. Derrick Wallace the head of the local NAACP switched political parties on Tuesday November 15, 2005. Derrick Wallace is now a registered Republican. A few hours after switching parties Derrick is quoted as saying “"I've thought about this for two years,", "This is not a decision I made yesterday." I wonder why it took him two years to ponder over this decision.

As I stated earlier, Derrick unlike many people who make a decision they know will ruffle a few feathers was honest about why he made the switch, Derrick A Construction Company executive stated about his decision to switch Parties:

"It's purely a business decision. Ninety percent of those I do business with are Republicans," he said. "Opportunities that have come to my firm have been brought by Republicans."

There you have it, honesty, something rare amongst Black folk who have in the past made a decision like this for monetary reasons, be it for personal gain or for money being funneled to an organization or company they work for or run. However we should not be fooled or over impressed with Derrick Wallace honesty but we should pay close attention to why he made the decision he has. Derrick has essentially sold out in the literal sense of sold out, his allegiance has went to the highest bidder and those who pad his pocket. His removal from the head of the Local NAACP chapter should be swift and immediate for no other reason than he has demonstrated to us his loyalty lies with those who he do business with and not with the aim and mission of the NAACP. Derrick has every right to make the decision he has but he does not have the right to be the head of any NAACP or any office for that matter after admitting he make decisions based on the ideals, politial association and Political Party of those who pad his pockets.

Mr. Wallace in an attempt to steer clear of statements lke what I have written above stated:

“his business" line of thought also referred to the NAACP. Behind many of the power desks in this town sit Republicans. And he said he wants his organization to be part of that structure. Just as importantly, he said, he didn't want people to immediately brand -- or dismiss -- NAACP concerns as synonymous with those of liberal Democrats. "I want this branch to be respected,"

Does Mr. Wallace want the NAACP concerns to be synonymous with conservative Republicans, does he think that is respectable or is he again demonstrating to us that his move is strictly an attempt on his part to rub shoulders with those Republican that sit at those Power Desk. Switching parties is not simply a case of one seeking to be taken serious by not being labeled a liberal; to switch parties is to switch ideologies, beliefs, how one view public policy and social policy and philosophies. If Mr. Wallace wanted to be respected, which apparently he felt was not the case because he was a Liberal Democrat, what makes him believe that changing parties alone will get him the respect he desires. Mr. Wallace need to learn and learn fast that no one respects a Whore, albeit they may enjoy the company of that whore based on what they get in return for having the whore around and the whore of course does what whores do to get from their John what he desires.

Mr. Wallace is no longer qualified to lead any chapter of the NAACP, his integrity and loyalty is for sale and has been bought. As Tim Shea pointed out, the NAACP does not stand for the National Association for the Advancement of Construction Professionals, It is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and leading a chapter of the NAACP is not the job for a man who loyalty can be bought and sold.

November 15, 2005

"We used to sing that song when I was in school during the '50s"

"We used to sing that song when I was in school during the '50s”

These are the words of the deranged spokes person for the Berkley, Michigan School district wherein a predominantly white school planned to have a folk song program wherein the children performing will sing folk songs. Sounds innocent enough until it is realized one of the songs is not a folk song at all, in fact it is a song with historical reference to the plight of Black men and women in the south during the times in which we were enslaved in America. That song is “Pick a Bale of Cotton”. This song comes from the many songs that were once referred to and is cataloged in the Library of Congress as “Negro Work Songs”.

Gregory Montgomery the father of 11 year old China, who attends school in the Berkley School District, complained to school officials about the use of this song in its folk song program, when the school failed to act he pulled his daughter from the program that would have her sing a song about “Picking Cotton”

This is not the first time there has been controversy with this song and its use in the classroom or in a school. Back in 2003 Dana Williams while bathing her six year old son was taking aback by him singing this song; like any parent would she asked where he learned it and her son replied “we sing it in music class”. Dana Williams then asked her son, "Did your teacher tell you about who picked cotton or what that was like?" to which he replied Uh-uh. Ms. Williams later found out that this song and the movements were taught to the children during Black History month.

Ms Williams was dumbfounded and appalled that in 2003 a teacher would introduce a song rooted in our enslavement to children without providing some context to explain its history or significance. Mr. Montgomery found it mind boggling that in 2005 white folk, (my word not his, he used the word people) would not see how sensitive an issue our enslavement and picking cotton is. I am neither dumbfounded nor is my mind boggled by the use of this song, the lack of contextual understanding provided with this song nor am I a bit surprised that the response from white folk is one of “I don’t understand what the big issue is.:

Ms. Williams went on to contextualize the song for her son while Mr. Montgomery has been successful in having the song removed from his daughter’s schools program. But like you, I am sure in some school, in some city in this nation right now children are being taught and singing this song without any appreciation from where this song came or its use and purpose by our ancestors who used this song and songs like it to get through the day while enslaved to do work for racist and other wise lazy white folk that to this day continue to be one of the many sources of Americas Accumulated Capital.

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