On this day 46 years ago, the anti-war and civil rights movements launched a masterful peace offensive that proved to be one of the most successful tactics in forcing the enactment of several pieces of civil rights legislation and an end to the Vietnam War. On April 16, 1967, peaceful protests were held across America, with New York City and San Francisco attracting the largest crowds. Though both movements had been traveling on parallel tracks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s fiery speech 11 days earlier condemning the war galvanized their quests for justice at home and abroad.
Dr. Algernon Austin, director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute, outlines how President Obama can correct entrenched, race-based economic disparity. Harold Washington’s election on April 12, 1983 as the first African American mayor of the City of Chicago remains a template for high-stakes Black power within the framework of coalition politics. Benjamin Crump, attorney representing Trayvon Martin’s family, responds to assertions by the parents of George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer, of pretrial preferential treatment.
In an all-out effort to score a win on gun control, President Obama and his handlers unleashed every weapon in his arsenal. When First Lady Michelle Obama went gunning for support in Chicago yesterday, breaking her own vow to steer clear of politics, it confirmed the Obama camp’s fear of yet another loss to emboldened Republicans.
But her appearance was far from triumphant. It was a sharp study in the politics of pragmatism and racial exploitation—black-on-black violence, Obama style.
Never mind that the last approved budget was done by George Bush in 2007 for the 2008 fiscal year, President Barack Obama today delivered his way-overdue, embargoed budget with his odd way of touting the deep, Solomon-like wisdom with which he deals with all things: It’s fair because it’s not going to please everybody. Meanwhile, the First Lady is heading back home to Chicago to talk about “youth violence” and why it must be stopped. Of course, it’s all out of concern for “urban” youth. Leid Stories tears into the connection between the two—Spoiler Alert: Black folks get used again!—and answers the question (even before it’s asked!): Are we April fools?
It’s an open forum today on Leid Stories. Bring your best thoughts, opinions and ideas about issues and events you deem important to the gathering place and share with others. But be prepared to defend yourself—intellectually, of course, and with great love and respect.
So now comes The Budget—the thing that will lay bare President Obama’s true political stripes. Republicans having frustrated movement on any of his hot-item “reform” issues—gun control, gender rights and immigration—Obama has been deprived of political victories that would have strengthened his hand in negotiations, if only as evidence that he and the Democrats aren’t losing ground. But there’s trouble, big trouble, brewing. He’s committed to swinging a heavy ax at the budget (which no doubt will anger his base); “compromising” with Republicans (which will cause friction within the party); and selling the idea that we’re all in this together, sharing the pain. Folks have already begun singing a different tune: “Hell to the Chief.”
It’s open forum on Leid Stories, when listeners offer their opinions and ideas about issues and events they think warrant closer attention. Bring it on, but be prepared to be challenged—with love and respect, of course!
How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Civil War
Forging an alliance with well-placed African American leaders and military tacticians who had been working secretly on their own as a national network to abolish slavery, Abraham Lincoln gained strategic advantage in his desperate efforts to quell rebellion by the Confederate states and create a nation.
Dr. Hari Jones, assistant director and curator of the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, D.C., and one of the foremost authorities on the role of African Americans in the Civil War, reveals the skillful quid-pro-quo negotiations between and among the shrewd parties that led to the Emancipation Proclamation and, ultimately, victory for the Union army.
In riveting detail, Dr. Jones brings to life this crucial but not widely known détente, which eventually led to constitutional measures that freed an estimated 4 million slaves.
"The People's Attorney," for decades a legal strategist and litigator of precedent-setting criminal and civil-rights cases in New York City and in the South, discusses major developments in the explosive and still-ongoing (since 1987) Tawana Brawley case, involving the alleged kidnapping and rape of the then-15-year-old African American girl by a group of white men that included an assistant district attorney in Dutchess County, New York; the formation of the Freedom Party that will run candidates for targeted local and congressional seats; the “betrayal” of Black communities by a compromised leadership; and a battle with the Federal Communications Commission over the refusal of local radio and television stations to provide legally mandated public-affairs programming relevant to the Black community.
It’s Open Forum on Leid Stories, and listeners discuss and debate whether identity politics is a valid strategy for empowerment; does it threaten the possibility of coalition building; and why many consider it a throwback that has no place in forward-thinking social and political movements.