Friday, March 30, 2007

Dismantling the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division

Bush’s long history of politicizing justice
It’s not only the U.S. attorneys who are threatened by partisan politics. Since Day One, the Bush administration has been quietly dismantling the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
By Alia Malek in Salon Magazine

Mar. 30, 2007 | The current U.S. attorneys scandal shows that the Bush administration was mistaken in its belief that it could politicize the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, with impunity. The attorney general’s chief of staff and the director of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys have both had to leave their jobs, and Congress has begun grilling DOJ leadership. But having decimated another entire sector of the DOJ in plain sight for six years with little consequence, is it any wonder the Bush White House figured nobody would miss a few prosecutors?

Since George Bush took office, his administration has been not so quietly dismantling the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s civil rights laws, and doing it for the same reason the eight federal prosecutors were fired: to use the enforcement power of the federal government for Republican gain. Instead of attending to the Civil Rights Division’s historic mission, addressing the legacy of slavery by enforcing anti-discrimination laws, the Bush administration has employed the division to advance the political agenda of a key GOP constituency, the Christian right and also, quite literally, to get Republicans elected. 

Posted by Nuttshell on 03/30 at 03:22 PM in Blogging
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Interview With Barrington Irving Who Will Fly Solo Around The World

By Xavier Murphy

I don’t know what publication this may be from but a family friend sent this to me.

This month we interview Barrington Irving the 22-year-old Jamaican-American,who is attempting to fly solo around the world on March 23, 2007.

Where in Jamaica are you from?

How long have you lived in Florida?
I’ve been living here in Florida since I was six.

How did you become interested in flying?
Captain Gary Robinson who is Jamaican approached me when I was 16 and asked me if I ever considered becoming a pilot. I wasn’t that interested at first because I was unaware of the career opportunities and didn’t see many blacks in the aviation field. Captain Robinson began to mentor me and took me to the airport to see the Boeing 777 he flew and after taking a tour I was hooked. I eventually turned down football scholarships to pursue a career in aviation even though I did not know how I would be able to afford flight lessons.

How did you be come involved with planning a flight around the world?
After earning my first pilot’s license I had the greatest feeling ever and I wanted other youths in the community to experience the way aviation touched my life. I did not want to wait until I was 40 because I’m not sure if I would make it pass the age of 21 or even 25 in my neighborhood. I told myself if I had one opportunity to make a significant impact, I would fly around the world to show kids that I did it and it didn’t matter where I came from. It wasn’t until a year later that I found out I would be setting world records of being the youngest as well as first of African descent to fly solo around the world.

Posted by Nuttshell on 03/27 at 09:45 AM in Blogging
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

I love the Slowsky’s

Posted by SPN on 03/25 at 09:30 PM in Funny Stuff
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Urge President Bush to save lives in Darfur by launching “Plan B” immediately.

A letter from Bill Frist

Join Me in Calling the White House

Dial 1-800-671-7887 to urge President Bush to save lives in Darfur by launching “Plan B” immediately.

Once you’ve hung up, click here to report your call back to the Save Darfur Coalition.

Each year I travel to Africa as a medical missionary. I’ve just returned from my latest trip, a deeply troubling visit to the Sudan.

Due to a series of increasingly violent attacks on foreign aid workers in Darfur over the past six months, international efforts to protect civilians and provide them with food, clean water, shelter, and medical care are in a state of crisis.

Countless men, women, and children are in real danger of falling prey to violence, starvation, or disease as a result of these attacks.

The U.S. must take the lead in working with the international community to end the violence. The lives of millions hang in the balance.

Please join me in calling the White House comment line today to urge President Bush to launch “Plan B,” his tough, three-tiered plan to push Sudan to end the genocide, before more lives are lost in Darfur.

It will only take two minutes of your time and could make a world of difference for millions of people in need. Just follow the steps below:

Posted by SPN on 03/21 at 03:27 PM in Racism / Prejudice
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Monday, March 12, 2007

Job Corps student in Shreveport, LA around 1981

There’s no way I could easily find his name.

Posted by SPN on 03/12 at 07:08 PM in PhotographyHigh School Memories
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Striped Shirt in Caddo Magnet High School

Maybe one day I’ll look through my yearbook and find his name.

Posted by SPN on 03/12 at 06:58 PM in PhotographyHigh School Memories
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Museum Office in Shreveport, LA

I caught her on the phone when she should’ve been watching over us bad kids.


Posted by SPN on 03/07 at 07:48 PM in PhotographyHigh School Memories
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My dog Max.

I called him “Max” because of Disney’s movie, ”The Black Hole”.  I think my brother gave me that dog.


Posted by SPN on 03/07 at 07:23 PM in PhotographyHigh School Memories
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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ignoring “black” . . . on mama’s account?

Debra J. Dickerson got quite a few blistering letters from readers.  Some were off the mark and some were rather insightful.  I’ve included one that I thought was rather good. —Nuttshell

As a black man raised in a predominantly white environment for the balance of my childhood, I can understand some of the issues, perceptions, and complexes that inevitably await Ms. Dickerson’s kids. What I don’t understand is how a woman who claims to have “lived” (her use of the past tense telling) blackness completely abdicates her DUTY AS A MOTHER to teach her children to cope with the burdens of race and enjoy the diverse fruits of their heritage.

Her account of her family history is the quintessential American story of the American Dream denied, deferred and ultimately, enjoyed to a certain degree. She is the great-granddaughter of slaves, she grew up knowing a living, breathing testament to America’s Shame. Her father was fought in World War II, fighting for freedoms he himself was denied. She herself experienced personally the sting of Jim Crow segregation. And yet, with the help of her loving “Mis’Sipi Mama,” she became a highly educated, nationally recognized author and columnist, married a white man, and had beautiful kids. Who would NOT want to teach her kids about such a triumphant story?

Posted by Nuttshell on 03/06 at 03:45 PM in Blogging
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Don’t be black on my account

A black mother’s gift to her biracial children.
By Debra J. Dickerson (Salon Magazine)

After reading this article and all the letters (134) in response, I am still trying to sort through my thoughts and feelings regarding this article.  As a parent of a bi-racial child, I wonder if I’m as twisted as Debra J. Dickerson.  I sense she has some unresolved identity issues.  Will her children suffer as a result. --Nuttshell

Mar. 05, 2007 | Out of the blue last week my son, who is 5, asked me if I’d ever been “burned.” I thought he was referring to the tattoos that I always tell him and his sister are boo-boos (how else to justify voluntary scarring when I won’t even let them use a butter knife?), so I repeated my usual lie and added that “Mommy would never play with fire.” I thought this was a safety discussion. He looked confused.

“Oh. I thought that was why you were brown.”

My biracial, white-looking baby is discovering race. Granted, both of my children think my nappy, unprocessed, Sideshow Bob hair looks that way simply to entertain them, and never understand why everyone asks if I’m their nanny. I can’t say I wasn’t on notice. But I’d envied them their racial innocence. Too bad them days are over. 

Posted by Nuttshell on 03/06 at 03:37 PM in Blogging
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