Tag Archives: Congressional Black Caucus

Living Yesterday – Today!

Let me first say to all who follow THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES that I am indeed honored that you read my words. I try to provided and add a prospective to reality whereby you may be empowered and maybe, just maybe, see the world through new eyes. If you knew me personally, you would know that I rarely ask for anything, maybe that is a fault, but I am a benevolent spirit and this is my way of giving.

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I WILL HOWEVER, TODAY, ASK EACH OF YOU FOR SOMETHING. PLEASE SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MURDER, ASK FOR JUSTICE, AND RAISE YOUR VOICES IN PROTEST OF THIS INJUSTICE!!!

I have lived long enough to have witnessed many vial and unspeakable things done under the auspices of RACISM. I remember the first time I saw the brutally beaten corpse of little Emmitt Till, which was done because of a way of life. I can recall crying that day and I cry today for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As I see it, these two horrible events are strangely similar and equally frightening.

It shows that we, as African Americans, are still a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality. Translated – no justice!

Of course, we don’t yet know every detail of the encounter between Martin and the monster who murdered this unarmed 17-year-old high school student. But, we know enough to conclude that this is an old familiar story with the same tenets rooted in RACISM. Emmitt’s murderer got away with it and so far so has this guy.

Now let me ask, how many guys named George are out there cruising the streets? How many guys with chips on their shoulders and itchy triggers fingers with loaded handguns? How many self-imagined guardians or more aptly put vigilantes who say the words “black male” with a sneer? You do know that was the Klan’s mantra!

Whether Zimmerman can or should be prosecuted, given Florida’s “stand your ground” law providing broad latitude to claim self-defense, is an important question. But, the more important question is: “we should stand up to repeal these deadly laws designed to give license to “Kill Black People”. This often happens because this bull’s-eye that black men wear throughout their lives, and in many cases, just caught on the wrong street at the wrong time.

Protect, teach your children, and may this child’s soul rest in peace. I have lost a child through tragedy and I know this pain. My heart and prays go out to the Martin family.

If you never took a stand for anything – now is the time. And that is my Thought Provoking Prospective…

http://johntwills.com


The Ghost of Jim Crow

 If you follow my blog, Thought Provoking Perspectives, and I hope you do, you know that I often write about issues concerning and pertaining to the African American Diaspora. I do so, hopefully, to empower those who either don’t know our history or have forgotten it. Therefore, in honor of Black History Month I will write a post each day on this topic that I hold dear. Let me say that I believe our history is American History and as I have said many times; “It is the Greatest Story Ever Told”.

In an earlier article someone made a comment and ask a question that, frankly, surprised me. The question was; “What do you mean when you say Jim Crow”? My first thought was, how can history so recent and one that I’ve witnessed, and know to be true, be removed from the consciousness of anyone living in America. I suppose it speaks to the indifference of what is learned today, or not, through the education system or that the system is designed to protect the system.

So in today’s post I will explain the term Jim Crow for those who don’t know! The term originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830’s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man as he sang and danced a routine in the caricature of a silly black person. By the 1850’s, this cruelly belittling blackface character, one of several stereotypical images of black inferiority in America’s popular culture, was a standard act in minstrel shows of the day.

The term became synonymous with the wicked concept of segregation directed specifically toward African Americans in the late nineteenth-century. It is not clear why this term was selected. However, what is clear is that by 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites while identifying them as subordinate people.
It was around this time that its inception entered the lexicon of racial bigotry after the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision Plessy verses Ferguson in 1896 resulting from a suit brought by the New Orleans Committee of Citizens. The notion was devised as many southern states tried to thwart the efforts and gains made during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

They, the Committee of Citizens, arranged for Homer Plessy’s arrest in order to challenge Louisiana’s segregation laws. Their argument was, “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred” referring to the confederacy. The Supreme Court agreed and a policy of segregation became the law of the land lasting more than sixty years as a result of that crucial decision.

As a result of reconstruction African Americans were able to make great progress in building their own institutions, passing civil rights laws, and electing officials to public office. In response to these achievements, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war against southern blacks and their white allies. In most places, whites carried out this war under the cover of secret organizations such as the KKK. Thousands of African Americans were killed, brutalized, and terrorized in these bloody years. I might add that anywhere south of Canada was “South” as this was the law of the land.

The federal government attempted to stop the bloodshed by sending in troops and holding investigations, but its efforts were far too limited and frankly were not intended to solve the problem. Therefore, black resistance to segregation was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter/landlords and merchant suppliers. In addition, white terror at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family – adults and children alike. This reality made it nearly impossible for blacks to stand up to Jim Crow laws because such actions might bring the wrath of the white mob on one’s parents, brothers, spouse, and children.

Few black families were economically well off enough to buck the local white power structure of banks, merchants, and landlords. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. To enforce the new legal order of segregation, southern whites often resorted to even more brutalizing acts of mob terror, including race riots and ritualized lynchings were regularly practiced to enforce this agenda.
Some historians saw this extremely brutal and near epidemic commitment to white supremacy as breaking with the South’s more laissez-faire and paternalistic past. Others view this “new order” as a more rigid continuation of the “cult of whiteness” at work in the South since the end of the Civil War. Both perspectives agree that the 1890’s ushered in a more formally racist South and one in which white supremacists used law and mob terror to define the life and popular culture of African American people as an inferior people.

I want you to remember that words have meaning and power. Therefore, as we witness the already in progress, presidential campaign that you think about what you have heard and hear from the States Rights folks from the right-wing so-called conservatives. Those vying to become president in 2014, as well as others seeking highly placed positions, understand this tried and true principle as they speak to the so-called real Americans and those who want to take back their country because history is known and has repeated itself!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com


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The Deficit and What It Means to Black America

The Congressional Black Caucus has put out an e-alert message to help explain to African Americans what the deficit means to Black America. Read that message below:

As our leadership in Washington, DC seeks common ground over the nation’s debt limit, there are some real consequences at stake for the black community. The debate on Capitol Hill is no longer philosophical, it’s real and the impact on African-Americans and the poor could be devastating. With significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid being discussed, our nation’s social safety net is being shred and the quality of life for many of our friends, family and neighbors will be severely impacted.

Cuts to Social Security benefits will increase hardships on already stressed seniors, while $250 billion in proposed Medicare cuts will force retirees to make decisions about their health care that might affect their well-being. The poor, disabled and elderly, already the most vulnerable segment of our population, stand to be further disadvantaged if states are allowed to trim their Medicaid rolls through cutbacks to current levels of eligibility.

At $14 trillion, there is no denying the nation’s deficit must be addressed. However, it is unconscionable that the most disadvantaged Americans are being asked to shoulder the burden. Sadly though, we find ourselves in this predicament because too many of us ignore or dismiss important policy debates until it reaches a crisis state. Worse, somehow we have forgotten how we got in this mess and are on the verge of repeating the mistakes that put us in this predicament.

Increasing tax cuts and the extension of those cuts, combined with spending on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have bankrupted our nation. The bill has now come due and those who have been hurt the most are being made scapegoats. Beyond raising the federal debt limit, we must raise the nation’s moral consciousness and restore fairness and balance to federal policymaking.

The bottom line – if we are not engaged in this debate, the responsibility for the nation’s deficit will fall upon the most vulnerable Americans.

Through our economic development initiatives, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation continues to advocate for job creation, small business development, home ownership, personal financial management and wealth generation – the keys to restoring our economy and securing America’s future. What can you do? Get involved, share your thoughts with your member of Congress and the White House and voice your opinion. When citizens are informed, engaged and active participants in moving the country in the right direction, our nation is that much stronger.

If you are interested in learning more about some of the issues addressed in this correspondence, follow CBCF’s CPAR (Center for Policy Analysis and Research) at the 41st Annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), September 21 – 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. To lead, to serve, to listen to premier voices addressing critical issues facing African Americans, join us in Washington. To find out more and to register, visit us on line at http://www.ALC11.org or to find out more about CBCF, visit http://www.cbcfinc.org.

The E-Alert is a bi-weekly communiqué from the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to inform, educate and call to action people who support the mission and vision of the CBCF. The CBCF, established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute created to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas.

This message was published in support of the Congressional Black Caucus’s mission to empower the community.
Thank you


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