Monday, October 31, 2005

Activism- Past, Presnt, and the Future?

Last week we lost the life of Rosa Parks, the legendary civil rights figure. People are writing a lot about Rosa and how her decision not to give up her seat. As we reflect on those who have led us to this point, me must also ask, where are we now, and where are we going?

Rosa Parks' body will be on display until Wednesday at the Charles H. Wright museum in Detroit.

In local campus news, last week's National Take Affirmative Action Day, certainly had action, though not all of it affirmative. While SSAA hosted a gag-in, BAMN staged a rally with Al Sharpton. The big problem apparently occured when there were some clashes intiated by the high and middle school students that BAMN imported.

Today's Daily has a number of stories on Affirmative Action relatd stuff. There is and editorial that compares the BAMN and SSAA event. *Ignore the fact that it states the SSAA rally piggy-backed on the BAMN rally. NTAAD is an initiave of USSA, a group that BAMN has no affiliation with, but SSAA has been affiliated with for years. Hey journalists don't always get it right.*

There is are a couple of responses to Alex Moffett's letter on why she was silent. Even Carl Cohen weighed in, ah gotta love him.

And finally what did the NAACP's five fingers say to BAMN's face? Answer= Click Here.

Looks like there is a rising tide of anti-BAMNism. This is not a new thing to folks who have been following BAMN or those involved in the Affirmative Action activism.

We will see where it all goes.

UPDATE: The Michigan Appeals court ordered the Board of Canvassers to certify the MCRI for the 2006 ballot. There is still the chance for legal challenges, but it really looks like this will be on the 2006 ballot.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Millions More Movement

View from the Mall
Originally uploaded by strawmanl.
I got on the bus and made my way to DC this weekend for the Millions More Movement. For those that missed it, this was the 10 year commemoration of the Million Man March. I attended the Million Man March when I was 16 and it was, arguably, one of the most powerful days of my life. My sister attended the Million Woman March, which I'm told was also powerful, despite the weather. Remarkably when I heard the prospect of the Millions More Movement, I was very hesitant to attend. I'll be honest, I didn't want to mess up the image that I held of MMM (1995). But at the 11th hour, I decided to get on the bus (a number of U of M Black orgs put their heads and funds together to sponsor a bus to DC- good job ya'll). After arriving to the mall at approximately 9am, I was a little skeptical that turn out was going to be strong. But as the day went on, the mall really filled out. I'm not saying it was as large as the MMM (1995) but there were certainly a large amount of people there! The speeches during the day were good, though not everyone did me proud (please see Jim Jones of the Diplomats). The crowd was in really good spirits and I ran into a bunch of old friends and associates who were on the mall listening. This MMM was designed to incorporate a range of voices from different backgrounds. Farrakhan and his co-conveners made an effort suggest the need for unity among folks of color in particular. I'm not sure that message got through to all the invited communities, judging from the overwhelmingly Black audience, but I think it's a beginning. Farrakhan delivered a pretty strong closing address, which for some reason, struck me as suprsingly nationalist (which I don't have beef with). I guess that's just because it appeared to me that as time wore on Farrakhan had been getting more middle of the road. All in all it was an amazingly positive experience and I'm glad I attended.

Travelling Man...

moving through places... just had to bring back the Mos Def real quick. So I've been on the road a little bit, so some of this will be Michigan related, and some of it will not be.

My friend recently sent me this picture, it's a shame that I have to share the same birthplace as that man!

Recently, I went on a nice roadtrip out to NY, but when I got to the mountains of Pennsylvania we were brought to a hault. Normally this happens when travelling back east in the winter due to snow, weather conditions,etc. but this time, there was a house in the road! There were apparently a few pre-fabricated houses that had big issues and slid off the road. Just thought this was weird, if you wanna see click here.

I didn't get a chance to mention how I liked David Betts' piece "Authentically American" in Wednesday's Daily, reminds me of the old Du Bois double consciousness. I have to admit at first I was scared, thought it was gonna end up being a "thank God I'm American and not there" stuff, but I think he did a good job of getting at the tensions of a global identity. If you haven't checked it, you should check the Souls of Black Folk, saying it's a classic is an understatement.

On the book tip, the baba of my rites of passage recently released his first fiction novel called They Tell Me of a Home. I'll start reading it soon, but you should check it. And if you're reading this, you may or may not know who my baba is, but he is a genius, which is not an overstatement.

Oh, last week looks like Black folks took to the polls, well at least go polled, in a major way. Looks like 2 percent of Black folks support old G.W. Bush. So maybe Kanye was right or it's the other way around ;)

I would comment on this opinion, but come on, is there really a need? We'll see how I feel later.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Suspect continued. Sharon/SCOR speaks. Katrina Relief? Miers who?

So last week when I posted David Betts' story on being, I missed a great letter by Riana Anderson, president of the NAACP- UM Chapter. She does a good job about raising the issue of reporting the event as student-centered, which it was not. Now of course, the question that then arises, what do you do about incidents between non-students and students? Do you crack down on non-students presence everywhere? I recently went to a local club (prior to the shooting) where they demanded my U of M id to enter, despite it being an open party.

On Tuesday, the Daily published a letter written by Sharon Lee, SCOR president,in conjunction with a number of APIA and graduate organizations on the U's reaction to the recent alleged hate crimes. It's a good read.

As the news of Katrina relief begins to slow from the media flourish, you'll soon be seeing/hearing the effects of Bush and company "loosening" the Affirmative Action policies on hiring.

So Bush also nominated Miers, which was out of the blue for me, but there are some theories going around.

Lastly, if you haven't checked it out, do check out They have good commentary and are featuring a set of guest commentators.