Politics

Alabama NAACP to Protest Trump's Nomination of Jeff Sessions for United States Attorney General

Statewide Protests at Five Offices Across State Scheduled for January 3, 2017

Brooks-Sessions

MOBILE, AL—NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks will join with local Alabama chapters of the NAACP for a statewide protest of the nomination of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for U.S. Attorney General.

Alabamians Against Sessions for Attorney General will include five protests at the five Alabama offices of Sessions, located in Mobile, Huntsville, Dothan, Birmingham, and Montgomery.

“As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming Attorney General of the United States. Senator Sessions has callously ignored the reality of voter suppression but zealously prosecuted innocent civil rights leaders on trumped-up charges of voter fraud. As an opponent of the vote, he can't be trusted to be the chief law enforcement officer for voting rights,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.

President Brooks will be joined at a January 3 press conference and protest at Sessions' office in Mobile by Alabama State Conference President Benard Simelton and Mobile Branch President Lizetta McConnell.

“Despite 30 years of our nation moving forward on inclusion and against hate, Jeff Sessions has failed to change his ways,” said Alabama State Conference President Benard Simelton. “He’s been a threat to desegregation and the Voting Rights Act and remains a threat to all of our civil rights, including the right to live without the fear of police brutality."

The press conference featuring NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, Alabama State Conference President Benard Simelton and Mobile (AL) Branch President Lizetta McConnell, will take place in Mobile: on January 3, 2017 at 11 A.M. at the Office of Senator Jefferson Sessions, 41 West Interstate 65 Service North, Mobile, Al 36608

“Some of us in Alabama recall, Senator Sessions saying he liked the Klan,” said Mobile Branch President Lizetta McConnell. “He said it was a joke, but saying something like that while discussing a case where the Klan murdered a young black man says a lot about a person. We need someone who realizes that attorney general has to actually care about the people’s rights he’s protecting and not just doing it because it’s his job."

Local members of the NAACP will hold multiple Press Conferences around the state on January 3 at four of Sessions' district offices:

  • 200 Clinton Avenue West #802, Huntsville, Al 35801
  • Vance Federal Building, 1800 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, Al 35203
  • 100 West Troy Street #302, Dothan, Al 36303
  • 7550 Halcyon Summit Drive #150, Montgomery, Al 36117

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

 

 


Over 100 Black Women Participated in Historic Photo in Edward M. Kennedy Institute's Replica of the US Senate Chamber

“Visual protest” highlighted the anniversary of Barbara Jordan’s historic Democratic Convention keynote address; Photo took place after national week of racial tragedy and unrest

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BOSTON -- Despite the growing electoral and economic imprint of America’s 23 million Black women, they are still seriously underrepresented and underserved.

After a week of racial tragedy and unrest, Higher Heights and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley asked 100 Black women on Tuesday evening to “Take Your Seat” in the Edward M. Kennedy Institutes’ replica of the U.S. Senate chamber seeking to elevate Black women’s voices in the political process through a photo taken symbolically in a chamber that currently has ZERO Black women serving.

The epic and uplifting photograph shone a light at the end of a very dreary week. The photo also took place on the 40-year anniversary of Barbara Jordan historic 1976 Democratic Convention keynote. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, Jordan became the first African-American woman to deliver the televised landmark address before that audience. 

“I was overwhelmed by this event. Watching 100 women come through those Senate doors after a week where I felt disheartened was so inspiring for the possibilities that exist for Black women that lead to move this country forward,” said Glynda Carr, Co-founder of Higher Heights. “This chamber and the lack of Black women representation in the US Senate is the most blatant example of us being shut out of the process and our voices not being heard. We are 7 percent of the population, yet we are 3.4 percent of congress, and out the 100 major cities in our country, there are only four black women mayors. There is work to be done, and we all have a role to play.”

According to Higher Heights and Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s 2015 Status of Black Women in American Politics, Black women are 7.4% of the U.S. population yet make up only 3.4% of Congress.

Only two women of color have ever served in the US Senate: Carol Moseley Braun, an African-American Democrat from Illinois who was elected in 1992 and served until 1999, and Mazie Hirono, an Asian-American Democrat from Hawaii who was elected in 2012.

"This is a visual protest ...to affirm for ourselves and to the nation that Black women lead, Black women run, and Black women vote. Today we affirmed that Black women are leading, in this city, in this commonwealth, and I honor their contributions,” said Pressely. “The visual shot heard around the world today is merely a snapshot of our contributions, but a visual protest and demonstration nonetheless as we take over a space we have historically been underrepresented in.”

Attendees of the event included Diane Patrick, First Lady of Massachusetts, and Sarah- Ann Shaw, the first female African-American reporter to be televised in Boston, amongst others. 

Faith leader and Dorchester resident, Mariama White Hammond attended Tuesday’s event for encouragement and hope.
 
“Over the last week we have seen so many images of the ongoing issues of racism in our country. In the midst of so much strife and grief, I came to this event because my soul needed to be lifted by the image of 100 strong Black women claiming their leadership,” said Hammond. “It helped me to imagine the world that could be and to reinvigorate my commitment to working for justice. I took my seat because I know that I stand on the shoulders of amazing and courageous Black women. I took my seat to honor the legacy of my ancestors and in hopes that my life will allow another generation to rise to even higher heights.”
 
Pressley called Tuesday’s event, “the visual shot heard around the world”, that 
will draw awareness of the gap in Black women’s political leadership but also inspire and empower Black women to imagine the possibilities that exist.

“We gathered over 100 diverse women who are leading every day in their communities to take a seat for the countless Black women across the country that do not think they have a seat or voice at the table”, said Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Co-Founder of Higher Heights. “2016 is a movement building opportunity for Black women to truly harness our collective political power and leadership potential from the voting booth to elected office.”


 
Photo Credit: Eric Haynes

 

 

 


STATEMENT: CAP’s Carmel Martin on the Administration’s Executive Order Restoring Pell Grant Access to Incarcerated Students


Washington, D.C. — The Obama administration announced on Friday that the U.S. Department of Education will launch a pilot to test the effects of restoring access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students. This measure will give a limited number of individuals at selected correctional facilities a chance to obtain education and training to prepare for employment upon release. Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:


We applaud the Obama administration for taking this important step. Prison education and training is truly a win-win—boosting formerly incarcerated individuals’ employment rates upon release, substantially decreasing recidivism, and yielding tremendous cost savings in reduced incarceration. In fact, studies show that every dollar spent on prison education saves $4 to $5 in reduced incarceration costs during the next three years, when recidivism is most likely. Yet despite their cost effectiveness, prison education and training programs are far too scarce, in large part because Congress removed access to Pell Grants for inmates in 1994, putting prison education and training out of reach for inmates who want to increase their employability and chances of successful re-entry. The president’s action today will help ensure public safety and give a limited number of individuals in select correctional facilities the chance to obtain the education and training they need to forge a pathway to successful re-entry and to have a meaningful shot at a second chance.


In a recent report from the Center for American Progress, "One Strike and You’re Out,"Rebecca Vallas and Sharon Dietrich address how mass incarceration and criminal records serve as underappreciated drivers of poverty and inequality in America by presenting barriers to employment, housing, education and training, building good credit, and more. The report offers a roadmap of policy recommendations—including calling for testing the restoration of Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals—to ensure that Americans with criminal records have a fair shot at making a decent living, providing for their families, and joining the middle class.





Mitt Romney Doesn't Care About Poor People

The “Mitt Romney Is Not Concerned About the Very Poor” video has gone viral. It is reminiscent of the Kanye West inspired video mash-up — “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” by the Legendary KO.  

*PARENTAL ADVISORY - EXPLICIT LYRICS*

 

Surely someone is creating a remix spotlighting Mitt Romney. He has provided enough material to make a very informative and thought-provoking video. Remember his very cavalier $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during the December Republican debate; his statement that he likes being able to fire people; describing the more than $370,000 in income he earned for speeches as not that much money; characterizing people as envious if they questioned the economic disparity in the U.S.; and the fact that his 2010 income tax returns indicate he pays less than 15% in taxes while sheltering millions in offshore accounts

You already know the title of the new video mash-up — “Mitt Romney Doesn’t Care About Poor People.” Just make sure the video accurately reflects the demographics of the very poor in the United States. 

 

 


Troy Anthony Davis was executed. What next, America? [VIDEO]

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Howard University student arrested at protest at The White House

People around the world protested Georgia’s execution of Troy Anthony Davis for the August 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah. Messages and photos flooded Twitter’s timeline. Cable television news channels covered the story. Democracy Now! livestreamed  coverage via the internet. As police presence in riot gear was beefed up at Georgia Diagnostic Prison, the site of the execution, it was apparent Davis would be put to death this time. In spite of the protests and legal appeals, Davis was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 PM EST on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

 

The video footage of the arrest of Howard University students who were protesting at The White House were eerily reminiscent of the non-violent civil rights protests I remember as a child in the 1960’s. Has the execution, I prefer to refer to it as a crucifixion, of Troy Anthony Davis ignited a fire for a larger and louder chorus of voices demanding the end of the death penalty? It would seem so.

Troy Anthony Davis proclaimed his innocence to the end. The State of Georgia has blood on its hands. If you are a Georgia resident, even if you are not on The Supreme Court, the Georgia parole board, are one of the witnesses that recanted, or are the District Attorney of Chatham County, that would be you too.

 

 Video: RTAmerica

 


MSNBC's Black Agenda Show: Interesting and Awkward [VIDEO]

Msnbc the black agenda 

Unfortunately, I didn’t watch The Ed Show on A Stronger America: The Black Agenda that aired yesterday. I’m really sorry I missed it because clips from the show were very interesting and borderline explosive. They obviously showed the difference of opinion between the black panelists but let me just say that the entire show was awkward and telling of the lack of a black presence in mainstream media television news reporting.

I’m a fan of Ed Schultz so don’t twist my comments. I do think the show would have had a different feel had the host been a black person. In a few instances he basically served as a referee between Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Cornel West. (I must admit I've never seen Dr. West lose his cool before.) If you tell me about Rev. Al Sharpton somewhat co-hosting the show, I’ll say that adding his name to the show’s promos after they had already been running was MSNBC’s attempt at damage control for those folks who were paying attention.

Be that as it may, it seems the show was interesting and informative even if there were a few awkward moments. I hope to catch more clips of it or perhaps it will be rebroadcast. Do check them out and let me know what you think.  

 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Related Link: "A Stronger America: The Black Agenda"

 


Waka Flocka, Voting and Crimes Against Our Children [VIDEO]


First there was T-Pain, now Waka Flocka. This video is sad on so many levels. I don't know who Waka Flocka is or what Waka Flocka means but I do know that here is a young man, obviously a celebrity since he's being interviewed on 106 & Park, who cannot hold an intelligent conversation. He could have been nervous but that doesn't explain the vocabulary and grammar issues.

It's easy to make jokes about this interview and some of the comments about this incident on YouTube are brutal but it's so not funny. From family to community to the educational system to the record company he works for --- this is so wrong. It's child abuse...neglect...fraud and a number of other charges we should be ashamed of as adults.

Artists like Waka Flocka are emulated by other young people, pushed through or kicked out of our educational system and neglected by family and community. Like many young people, he has potential but for whatever reason, we didn't nurture him. It's not too late for Waka Flocka and many other young people in our communities, so what are we going to do?

In case you forgot...

Get out and vote on November 2, 2010!


Roland Martin Keeps it Real

Much has been said about the latest political gaffe involving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He's a racist and should resign….he's not a racist…double standard…blah…blah…blah. Regardless of your take on this situation, let's not allow a crucial issue to go unacknowledged by mainstream media and thus far it has.

Political commentator Roland Martin was very clear, bold and courageous when pointing the plethora of black faces in the media addressing the Harry Reid situation and the dearth of black presence on any other issues as if race is all black folks can talk about. Now I can't write what Brother Martin said verbatim. I can tell you it was concise, clear and on point. Let's hope the folks making decisions about the perspectives allowed on the air didn't miss that message.

America's racial issues can be diminished if more perspectives are shared with a greater, more diverse audience. People are a lot more alike than they are different. It's my experience that talking with folks who are different from me breaks down barriers. It also diminishes the power of the few to control the many and maybe that's why we're so disconnected in the first place.

Roland Martin, thank you for speaking the truth.

Power to the People.