Category Archives: Fire This Time

Vote Suppression for Breakfast: North Carolina

Trouble at home:

I didn’t sleep well last night. And then I woke up on election day in a battle zone.

This morning, Durham election officials “discovered” that their voting computers “failed.” So they’ll have to turn to searching through paper records for the voters lining up outside their doors. This will slow down voting and lengthen lines and wait times.

Live from NC It’s: Voter Suppression!

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You may know that fights over the suppression of black  & other minority votes in North Carolina have been ongoing, since the Supreme Court Shelby decision cut the heart out of the Voting Rights Act.

The federal courts have been striking down the Reactionary Republican state government’s vote suppression laws with some frequency this year.

But striking down the laws, and actually eliminating vote suppression are two different processes.  Continue reading Vote Suppression for Breakfast: North Carolina

Moral Monday & Retro Nonviolence Is Back (Again)

Moral Monday & Retro Nonviolence Is Back (Again)

There’s some recent activist experience here in North Carolina that I think relevant to current discussion about protests and tactics, among Quakers and othersMoral-Monday-bust-4-text

The Moral Monday protest campaign, aimed at the reactionary NC legislature and its stick-it-to-everybody-but-the-rich program, was by many measures, quite successful in its first season of actions, in the spring and summer of 2013.

Continue reading Moral Monday & Retro Nonviolence Is Back (Again)

Cut The Badass Baloney About Baltimore

Cut The Badass Baloney About Baltimore

As reliably as dawn over Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor, after last night’s rioting in Baltimore, here comes the puffing and posturing.

The kind that galls me the most is the “leftist” cheering for those who were burning and looting, both the celebration of such as “legitimate violence” (mainly from “militant” black commentators), and from the white cheerleaders the tired “I’m too PC to tell oppressed people to be nonviolent, and besides it’s only ‘property’ [BTW none of which happens to be mine]” meme. (And, duh, it was not only “property.”) You can sometimes even hear this from Quakers, who should know better.

It’s all BS. In fact there were plenty of nonviolent black people on the Baltimore streets last night, doing their level best to protect other people of color, and black-owned (or black servicing) shops and property.

They didn’t need any tut-tut exhortations from this old white fart about the superiority of nonviolence to do it. Furthermore, in doing so they made no excuses for the violent racist system that produces such episodes as surely as cop gunshots in the back killed Walter Scott in South Carolina, and something not-yet clear broke Freddie Gray’s back in a Baltimore cop car. Not one compromising excuse.

And still, several of them gave better speeches about nonviolence than any I could have memorized from Dr. King.

They did it, also, with their butts right there on the pavement.

Not just preachers either, tho I give top props to any clergyperson or public official who was out there walking the talk.

 Like for instance City Councilman Nick Mosby, who didn’t put up with the crap of a Fox News reporter who only wanted reinforcement for the racist frames and reflexes of the Fox audience. (If you doubt this, read the comments under the clip.)

Nick-Mosby-vs-Fox-News-04-27-2015
Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby has no patience with violence — and runs out of patience for Fox News stereotyping and race-baiting.

 But the most impressive declarations I heard about nonviolence coming out of Baltimore last night were from gang members, in fact from frequently feuding groups including the Crips, Bloods, and the Black Guerilla Family.

But they were made to a local TV reporter, and aren’t getting out except via social media. (Pass it on!)

A coalition of gang members gave a stunning interview to an enterprising local news reporter, one who was willing to listen. Watch it here, white people, {about six minutes} and prepare to have thy minds blown.

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Gang members: Violence and looting only serve those who are after us and hurt our neighborhoods.

 Dig it: “I understand what’s going on (the violence), but I don’t agree with it.” “It [the violence] just confirms what they [cops, rightwingers] say about us.”

What do I have to teach them about tactics and what Dr. King said fifty years ago?? They got the key message.

Oh, wait: there is one thing: Guys, pay no attention to online poseurs urging you to tear up your neighborhoods and hurt your brothers and sisters. Whether white or black, they are peddling nothing but trouble for you and yours. And for me too.

Oh — you already knew that? Of course. Don’t mind me.

[Shout out to Guli Fager, who is doing the right indy journalistic thing, digging out and posting the unseen reports and unheard voices beyond the “establishment” media’s echo chambers.]

We leave you now with this postcard from Langston Hughes, who said it all as well more than 50 years ago.

Harlem (aka “Baltimore”, etc)

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