via Los Angelista who hit us up via Twitter

I began thinking how nice it was that everybody and their mama wanted to go to see Slumdog, a film essentially about the ripple effects of oppression in India. But I wondered if a story about African-American experiences, the real oppression that black people go through, the heartaches, tragedies and ultimate victories, would be just as popular. I wondered why more movies telling the reality of life for many black folks in this country, and how institutionalized injustice keeps a status quo in place right here in our own backyard, weren’t being made.

And, just when I’d pessimistically concluded that Hollywood, and the majority of this nation, was not truly interested in truthful, essentially American stories, the trailer for American Violet began playing.

Here’s the trailer:

Head over to Los Angelista for her full review including her report from the premiere and post-screening talk with the directors. This is an important film, and I’m betting if you dig JJP, you’ll want to see this.

Update: this post is from both Jill (who wrote most of it) and Jack (who got the MSNBC embed working properly :))

Janeane Garofalo just laid it out. Made it plain. I totally agree with her that what’s at the heart of these protests and name-calling is fear of a black president. IMO, all this ballyhooing calling Obama “fascist” and “socialist” and “communist” adds up to a bunch of ignorant, frightened white people (and that’s all there was at these poorly attended tea parties it was plain to see) who, en masse, see a big black man who happens to be president crossing the street near their collective cars and have decided to roll up their windows and lock their doors. And call the cops. Terms like socialism and collectivism equal nothing more than a ridiculous, sad and unjustified fear that: “A black man is president and he’s going to take away my money and social privilege and give it to niggers who don’t deserve it. Eeek!”

CNN reporter Susan Roesgen has taken some flack, but she’s my hero. She bravely exposed the hypocrisy, artifice, paradox and poor logic behind what the tea party protestors were saying. She never got an answer to “why do you think Obama is a fascist”? That’s because there is no answer. These people know it’s socially unacceptable to espouse racism openly and so all of this, ALL OF THIS, is an elaborate canard intended to allow expression of fear, ignorance and hatred safely.

It’s helpful to see white people begin to acknowledge this, too. That’s ultimately what will push back the surging tide of hatred because there are still some white people in America (ahem, tea partiers) who only believe other white people when it come to labeling racism. Janeane is so worth watching. Go on girl.

From WowOWow:

Comedienne Janeane Garofalo held nothing back while discussing the “tea parties” with Keith Olbermann last night. Though the parties’ organizers claim they’re protesting taxes, Garofalo insists they’re nothing but “tea-bagging rednecks” who are simply motivated by “hating a black man in the White House.” She went on to say that participants “will believe anything you tell them, as long as it’s not the truth.” The truth, she claims, “confuses them.”

Olbermann basically agreed.

Watch — Garofalo comes on at the three-minute mark:

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Look I know President Obama has got his hands full trying to clean up Bush’s foreign policy mess. But there is a full-on challenge to his authority a-foot from people who just can’t seem to accept a black man as their commander-in-chief. Georgia joins the Governor of Texas now in seriously promoting the concept of threatening to secede, disband or otherwise overthrow the government of the United States is treason in my opinion. It needs to be dealt with seriously and strongly in those terms. It’s not ok. I’ve highlighted the specific racially inflammatory language below: um “state’s rights”, “nullification”? Really, it’s so 1950s, honestly. It’s hard to believe that the GOP’s strategy is getting in bed with the white supremacist wing of its party.

From Jay Booker at the Atlanta JC via AmericaBlog:

In fact, Senate Resolution 632 did a lot more than merely threaten to end this country. It stated that under the Constitution, the only crimes the federal government could prosecute were treason, piracy and slavery.

“Therefore, all acts of Congress which assume to create, define or punish [other] crimes … are altogether void, and of no force,” the Georgia Senate declared. [...]

The resolution goes on to endorse the theory that states have the right to abridge constitutional freedoms of religion, press and speech. According to the resolution, it is up to the states to decide “how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged.”

The resolution even endorses “nullification,” the legal concept that states have the power to “nullify” or ignore federal laws that they believe exceed the powers granted under the Constitution. That concept has a particularly nasty legacy. It helped precipitate the Civil War, and in the 1950s and early ’60s it was cited by Southern states claiming the right to ignore Supreme Court rulings ordering the end of segregation.

Finally, the resolution states that if Congress, the president or federal courts take any action that exceeds their constitutional powers, the Constitution is rendered null and void and the United States of America is officially disbanded. As an example, the resolution specifically states that if the federal government enacts “prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition,” the country is disbanded.

In other words, if Congress votes to restore the ban on sale of assault rifles, the United States is deemed to no longer exist.

This, your Georgia state Senate voted 43-1 to endorse.

JJP is a co-host for this event and the Summit is SOLD OUT. You know how I know that this conference is red-hot? I have never had so many black people come out of the woodwork that I don’t even know trying to get me to hook a brother or sister up. People are playing the race card for tickets. It’s so hot, Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris are coming too!

It’s going to be an historic and seminal event here in the Bay Area. It’s too late to come to the Summit but it’s not too late to grab tickets to the party where you’ll rub shoulders with playas from the blog world, nonprofits, politicos and the best minds Silicon Valley has to offer. We’re running out of tickets to the celebration starting at 7pm PST so get in there while the getting is good. It’s gonna be off the hizzouse AND it’s tax-deductible. Come hang with the beautiful people…the celebration is modeled after the extremely successful and fun Inauguration gala we just did in DC.

I’m speaking this afternoon at the Summit prior to the party. Here’s the deets.

Creating Community Online
4:55 to 6 PM – Lounge

Starting a blog does not necessarily translate into an active online community. Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, Cheryl Contee of Jack and Jill Politics, Sarah Granger of MOMocrats, and Jason Rosenthal of will discuss best practices for those who seek to develop a self-sustaining online community.

Here’s more info about today’s event:

Friday, April 17, 2009
Bently Reserve, 301 Battery Street, San Francisco

SUMMIT: Noon to 6 p.m.
Technology played a pivotal role in the 2008 election and has forever changed the political landscape. New media is changing not only politics and democracy—but society and business, too.

Special guests including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and industry leaders from organizations like Jack & Jill Politics, Facebook, Daily Kos, CurrentTV, Media Matters for America, Digg and Ning will lead sessions on blogging, viral video, social networking and more.

CELEBRATION: 7 to 11 p.m.
Special guest: San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris
Live music by Eoin Harrington and DJ Dan Ancona
Open bar, hors d’oeuvres

Citizen Hope, Courage Campaign, Daily Kos, Democracy Action, Jack & Jill Politics, San Francisco magazine, and Mother Jones

Join Netroots Nation in celebrating the accomplishments of Netroots activists and Bay Area innovators who pioneered these groundbreaking online organizing techniques.

Celebrate activism, tech innovation—and 100 days of changiness—at a huge party featuring an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, special guest Kamala Harris and live music by Eoin Harrington. We’ll be dancing the night away, celebrating those San Francisco values.

The Bay Area New Media Summit + Celebration is a project of the Netroots Arts and Education Initiative (NAEI), Netroots Nation’s 501(c)3 partner organization.

$60 Celebration (The Summit is SOLD OUT, but we still have tickets available for the evening celebration.)
STUDENTS: We’ve got a special offer for you, get a ticket to the party for $20, RSVP with this special link.

Get tickets now by clicking here.

Afternoon Open Thread

17 Apr 2009

To S.M., A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works by Phillis Wheatley

O show the lab’ring bosom’s deep intent,
And thought in living characters to paint,
When first thy pencil did those beauties give,
And breathing figures learnt from thee to live,
How did those prospects give my soul delight,
A new creation rushing on my sight?
Still, wond’rous youth! each noble path pursue,
On deathless glories fix thine ardent view:
Still may the painter’s and the poet’s fire
To aid thy pencil, and thy verse conspire!
And may the charms of each seraphic theme
Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame!
High to the blissful wonders of the skies
Elate thy soul, and raise thy wishful eyes.
Thrice happy, when exalted to survey
That splendid city, crown’d with endless day,
Whose twice six gates on radiant hinges ring:
Celestial Salem blooms in endless spring.

Calm and serene thy moments glide along,
And may the muse inspire each future song!
Still, with the sweets of contemplation bless’d,
May peace with balmy wings your soul invest!
But when these shades of time are chas’d away,
And darkness ends in everlasting day,
On what seraphic pinions shall we move,
And view the landscapes in the realms above?
There shall thy tongue in heav’nly murmurs flow,
And there my muse with heav’nly transport glow:
No more to tell of Damon’s tender sighs,
Or rising radiance of Aurora’s eyes,
For nobler themes demand a nobler strain,
And purer language on th’ ethereal plain.
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night
Now seals the fair creation from my sight.

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Hardball video here if the embed is acting up

These Republican leaders really are quite unintelligent.

Rick Perry wants to throw around nonsense like “there’s no need at this time to dissolve the union but…” You know what? Leave! Reactionary, white supremacists have been yelling this line to minorities forever: “If you don’t like this country, leave.” Time to flip the script. I’m happy with the way things are going. We’re restoring sanity to our economy and energy systems. We’re restoring our standing abroad. We have a president fluent in the national language. I love this country. The rest of these idiots talk a great game about how this country is falling apart under Obama and how they won’t stay, but I say don’t talk about it, be about it.

So listen up Georgia, Oklahoma, South Dakota and especially Texas. All yall can pack up your drought-ridden, urban sprawling, pig shit farming, meth-addicted territories and leave. Enough talk. Do it! Oklahoma and South Dakota are especially laughable since they receive $1.36 and $1.53, respectively, from the federal government for every dollar they spend in federal taxes ( You are a drain on my treasury, you freeloading nitwits. 

So be out. We’ll close all our military bases, border patrols, farm subsidies, communications infrastructure, free travel arrangements, and currency. If you’re lucky, we’ll use your land as a dedicated penal colony. Oh, and Alaska, you can be out too. If global warming doesn’t get you, maybe the volcano will. 

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

The Benjamins grow a pair and walk off from these guys.

…are soon parted.  I was reading this article at Real Clear this morning, and the main thing I noticed is the number of African-American athletes who have made a boatload of money and lost it,  cited in the article.  Out of the ten athletes cited, SEVEN of them were African-American.

Here’s the list:

10. John Daly, golf pro

9.   Evander Holyfield, boxer

8.   Travis Henry, NFL player

7.   Jack Clark, former Major League Baseball Player

6.   Joe Louis, Champion Heavyweight Boxer

5.   Bjorn Borg, Pro Tennis Player

4.   O. J. Simpson, former NFL star, actor and would-be author

3.   Michael Vick, NFL star

2.   Latrell Spreewell, NBA player

1.   Mike Tyson, former champion boxer.

Read the article – it is not that someone swindled them from their money like Bernie Madoff did; although, to be fair, the article does cite that Vick had a woman who was banned from even working on the NYSE working for him and had two swindles totaling $300,000 on her record.

This lil’ tidbit should get you, as it did me:

We’re not what you’d call “car guys” here at RCS. So forgive us if we don’t see the allure in owning a luxury automobile, let alone multiple cars. But we get it — some people can’t get enough. And when those people have money, they begin to stockpile a long list of expensive toys. One such person is Jack Clark.

The four-time All-Star slugger had quite the fleet of automobiles (18 of them) when he filed for bankruptcy in 1992 while still a member of the Boston Red Sox.

One story says Clark was once on his way to the ballpark for a game when he passed a car lot. Clark saw something he liked and dropped in to buy two sports cars for $90,000 each before continuing on to the game. At the time he filed for bankruptcy, Clark still owed money on 17 of his 18 automobiles; he had debts of over $11.4 million and assets of nearly $4.8 million.

Or this one:

Earlier this month, Travis Henry agreed to a plea deal stemming from his arrest last year for drug trafficking multiple kilograms of cocaine. Sadly, the venture into crime might have been a necessity, despite signing a 5-year, $22.5 million contract with the Broncos in 2007.

One can point out the fact that Denver cut him just one-year into that deal (for which he received $6.7 million), but perhaps a bigger reason for his financial hardships was his family. Rather, his nine families (emphais mine). According to his lawyer, Henry “…doesn’t have any money…the guy has significant financial issues.”

The Prince of Procreation, who has nine kids with nine different mothers (all but one of the children were unplanned), is currently paying an estimated $170,000 in child support each year, and it’s left him broke.

Read the rest of this entry »

Some applaud the Obama Administration for striking the right balance. Others say immunity is not as broad as some think. Still, others say the President hasn’t gone far enough.

Keith Olbermann gave a special comment on the subject. Check it out:

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Here’s some more reaction:

Friday Open Thread

17 Apr 2009

The Richard Wright Commemorative Stamp.

Good Morning.

TGIF, and spend some of it with JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Now let’s imagine what happens to those who don’t look like this man. Where are the tea parties to stop this nonsense? Where is Glenn Beck on this violation of our rights as citizens. Nowhere of course.

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

Hat tip: our JJP readers.

From DailyKos

They Hate Him Because He Is “Black”
by Turkana [Subscribe]
Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:34:53 AM PDT

I deliberately use the word black rather than the words African American. The latter lacks the proper emotional value. It is cultural and geographical. The former is visceral. Bigotry is not subtle. It is primal. It is not about ideas. It is irrational.

He is smarter and more educated and more articulate than they. A self-made man, he represents everything they would claim to value. But he looks different, to them. They hate him because he looks different. They hate him because he is dark. In “Western” “Culture,” the very words black and dark have powerfully negative value. They often are used as synonyms for the sinister.

They hated President Clinton, and tried to destroy him. But one of their elected governors didn’t talk secession. They didn’t talk revolution. They didn’t attempt (and miserably fail) to launch nationwide protests against him. Bill Clinton was a lot of things. He was not black.

President Obama is no crazy liberal. He is increasing defense spending. Even Alan Greenspan is suggesting economic solutions more akin to “socialism.” Gun lovers have nothing to fear. On policy grounds, we crazy liberals have been criticizing him from day one. The radical right have been lambasting him. With the nation fighting two wars and an economic meltdown, they openly hope he fails. But they are not about policy. They are about hatred. And they hate Obama as they have never hated any president. It’s not complicated.

The Department of Homeland Security just warned:

Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.

“Extremist” is now a corporate media phenomenon. Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Ann Coulter? Bill O’Reilly? Faux News?

They hate him not because of policy or politics. They hate him because of who he is. Not like them. By the color of his skin. It’s time to stop pretending or excusing or evading the obvious. They hate him because he is black!

Update [2009-4-16 15:43:21 by Turkana]: From kos’s front page post: Georgia’s State Senate, by near unanimous vote, threatens to secede. I don’t recall that happening, under President Clinton, either…

More info here:

This is good news. I must admit, I get a little bothered with all this talk of increasing highway funding and technology to replace everyone’s car with a hybrid or electric. We don’t need everyone in America to replace their cars. We need fewer cars.

I’m a big fan of rail, having grown up in DC taking family trips by train across the entire US and into Mexico with my moms. What we need is even more radical rethinking about the place cars occupy in our society. This will require rethinking how our cities, towns and workplaces are organized, where and how we produce our food and how we produce and distribute our energy. What we really need is to treat solo drivers like smokers: No Quarter.

Second-hand cigarette smoke kills, and so does second-hand auto exhaust. I imagine a roadway system that prioritizes buses (clean, fast, pimped out coaches with wi-fi!), carpoolers and carsharers. Solo drivers can be crammed into the shoulder, shivering and hacking up the poison produced by a habit is killing all of us.

This financing for high speed rail is a solid commitment and good start, however. So I’m celebrating this moment.

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

“While I believe strongly in transparency and accountability, I also believe that in a dangerous world, the United States must sometimes carry out intelligence operations and protect information that is classified for purposes of national security. I have already fought for that principle in court and will do so again in the future. However, after consulting with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and others, I believe that exceptional circumstances surround these memos and require their release.”

Let the fun begin. HuffPo’s Sam Stein has posted the PDF files. Flip through em and let us know what you find. Sen Leahy sees the release of these documents as even more reason to support his proposed Commission Of Inquiry in to Bush era shenanigans.

No one should be above the law.

Posted via web from baratunde’s posterous

Afternoon Open Thread

16 Apr 2009

Thanks to GreenLadyHere

Emmett Till * by James A. Emanuel

I hear a whistling
Through the water.
Little Emmett
Won’t be still.
He keeps floating
Round the darkness,
Edging through
The silent chill.
Tell me, please,
That bedtime story
Of the fairy
River Boy
Who swims forever,
Deep in treasures,
Necklaced in
A coral toy.

* In 1955, Till, a fourteen-year-old from Chicago, for
allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi, was murdered
by white men who tied a gin mill fan around his neck and threw his
body into the Tallahatchie River.

Thursday Open Thread

16 Apr 2009

Bo Obama greets the media.
Nice Long Video at C-SPAN

Good Morning.

As you make it through your day, don’t forget JJP.

Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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