Monday, October 17, 2016

"Police Group Apologizes for Mistreatment of Minorities" - October 17, 2016

"The first step in this process is for law enforcement and the IACP to acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society's historical mistreatment of communities of color." -- Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and police chief for Welleseley, Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Many people, many bodies in "installation art" otherwise categorized as spectacle and performance art/photography - work of Spencer Tunick

"In July 1994, Spencer Tunick phoned all the people who had expressed
interest in posing nude individually for his public street photographs
and asked them to come together as a group. Of all the locations in
New York the artist could have chosen for this first group work, he
decided to pick the epicenter of world politics, the United Nations. A
total of 25 people showed up to pose on that remarkable early
morning, naked and brave in front of the General Assembly building.
This day launched Tunick’s Reaction Zone series.

The book Reaction Zone presents the definitive collection of Tunick’s
early New York City photographic assemblages of nude bodies. The
artworks included combine risk and urgency as Tunick uses
gestural splashes of flesh like an action painter uses paint.

In his introduction for Reaction Zone, Carlo McCormick relays the feel
of making work on the city streets and the pressure of creating
“human graffiti” under the radar of the authorities."

Registering volunteer participants:

Paddle8: Non-Violence Sculpture / Spencer Tunick - Spencer Tunick

photo-montage by Spencer Tunick

What Tunick plans for the upcoming Natl. Republican Convention:

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Jesse Williams BET Speech - June 26, 2016

Read His Speech in Full:

“This award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students, that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.
All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics:, the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize. Now this is also in particular for the black women, in particular, who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.
Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.
Now — I’ve got more, y’all. Yesterday would’ve been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday, so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012 than 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.
Now the thing is though, all of us in here getting money, that alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Now dedicating our lives to get money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body, when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done, there’s been no tax they haven’t levied against us, and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so… “free.”
Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But, you know what though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight, just a little side note: The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, all right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.
We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Claude McKay poem

If We Must Die

Related Poem Content Details

If we must die, let it not be like hogs 
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, 
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, 
Making their mock at our accursèd lot. 
If we must die, O let us nobly die, 
So that our precious blood may not be shed 
In vain; then even the monsters we defy 
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! 
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe! 
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, 
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow! 
What though before us lies the open grave? 
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, 
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Visibility/Voice:  a RUNNING START

RTTG:  with voice and visibility

running start - a racing start in which the contestants are already in full motion when they pass the starting linerunning start - a racing start in which the contestants are already in full motion when theypass the starting line
racing start - the start of a race

running start - a quick and auspicious beginning
start - the beginning of anything; "it was off to a good start"


They run to the guns with a MAGIC BULLET---a beautiful hand-blown or carved or stainglass bullet!

Monday, February 15, 2016

"Are you racist?" video by Marlon James

Tarrant Co. Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks

Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks
P.O. Box 16868
Fort Worth, Texas  76162
Roy Charles Brooks, NOBCO Chairman stands at the forefront of one of the fastest growing urban counties in the United States.  Located in the north central part of Texas, Tarrant County serves a population of approximately 1.8 million citizens.  Known for his strong leadership, ability to forge collaborations and influential voice not just in Tarrant County, but in the State and the Country, Roy fights for the rights of those he serves.
For over 30 years, Roy has represented his community, as a community volunteer, a city elected official, and now as County Commissioner.  He embraces the core values of integrity, innovation and growth.
Roy is committed to the health and welfare of the people.  Since entering office in 2004, he is continuously addressing the healthcare issues in his community.   He has worked diligently to provide Tarrant County constituents with numerous opportunities to sign up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act. In the last six years, he has taken on issues such as:  Healthcare for the Homeless, Infant Mortality, Obesity, Access of Care, Health Disparities, and Aids Education.  Roy is aggressively involved in the State and Federal levels of government to assist in developing programs that create and shape healthcare policy in this Nation’s counties.   Commissioner Brooks spearheaded many programs in Tarrant County including:  The Tarrant County Ex-Offender Re-Entry Program (TCRI), representing a community-inspired effort to address concerns regarding the successful re-entry and reintegration of ex-inmates returning to Tarrant County, Texas.  Nurse Family Partnership - an evidence-based nurse home visitation program for first-time mothers and their children, and a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Health Care for the Homeless - promoting well-being and improved quality of life among homeless persons in Tarrant County by assuring access to high-quality, comprehensive health care and support services to facilitate transition out of homelessness.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fathers Incorporated

"With more than 24 years of community development experience, Braswell is the Executive Director of Fathers incorporated (FI), a not-for-profit organization that serves as a leader in the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood and Mentoring.

Book title:  Daddy, There's a Noise Outside

Returning to his own book, Braswell said, “[And] while this book is critically important for black parents to have, it is just as important for all parents, no matter what your race, religion, creed or color is. It is critically important for all parents to have conversations with children about what’s happening in the world today so that they have a better understanding about what’s taking place [and] that, hopefully and prayerfully, they are better-equipped to come up with better solutions.”

Trinity High School (Euless, TX) - football team does the Maori ritual Haka dance

Introduced to the team by Tongan students (Pacific Islanders) in 2005 or so.

Illaiasi Ofa, producer of "Voice of Tonga" tv program.

"reassurance that we are part of this community...that they accept us as we are."  - Ofa,_Texas%29

Moses Vakalahi -  staff at Trinity HS
left a message on 2/15/2016

more info:  Many ex-players come back every June to give a free football camp for young Trojans (The Ikuna Camp directed by former Trinity HS All-American, Moses Vakalahi). ~ He is currently an assistant football coach.

By Coach Jason Dibble

In the spring of 2005 in the A325 computer lab, three Trinity football players surfed the web looking for stock tips, but they somehow wound up on a web site of a world famous New Zealand rugby team. At first, the boys were scolded for not checking out a stock market web site. Then one of them said, “Coach, check this out; you guys ought to do this. It would be awesome!”

The instructor agreed, and the idea was presented to some of the boys who danced with the Polynesian Club. The Tongan community was consulted, and the idea was brought to the head football coach. During the off-season, an instructional video was made. The team was taught the words, moves and the meaning of the original Haka which means “to ignite the breath.” 

On a rainy day before spring football, the Trojans met in the weight room to do the Haka for the first time as a team. From the very beginning, it was special.  Having never practiced as a group, the team became one moving in unison. 

The Trojans practiced all spring and into the fall of 2005.  The Haka was introduced to Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD at Pennington Field before the first game against DeSoto.  The first team to do the Haka went on to win the 5A Division I State Championship.

Trinity practices the Haka to “ignite the breath”, energize the body and inspire the spirit. It is a collective frenzy, a united front, and a feeling of unity-a feeling of one!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

NYT front page editorial - Dec 4, 2015

End the Gun Epidemic in America

​It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.

February 6, 2016

Radical Black History


5:00 p.m.
Dasan Ahanu and Tai Allen present The Originals, a live mix-tape that honors the progressive music and poetry of legends Gil Scott-Heron and Oscar Brown, Jr.


6:00 p.m.
Use our new ASK app to chat with experts in real time, get your questions answered, and explore the Museum in a completely personalized way. Must have an iPhone to participate.


6:00–9:00 p.m.
Explore the past, present, and future of black radicalism with the Museum of Impact through interactive activities. At 8 p.m. the #VeryBlack Project and #TeamMelanin host a celebration that honors our predecessors and inspires us to fight for the futures we want.


6:00 p.m.
The New Black Fest presents HANDS UP: 7 Testaments, a series of monologues by emerging black playwrights exploring their experiences with racial profiling and policing. Followed by a Q&A with the performers and playwrights.


6:00 p.m.
Participate in a workshop led by organizer, abolitionist, and freedom fighter Joshua Allen exploring the important intersection between organizing around Black Lives Matter and gender justice. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Storytelling as Organizing: How to Rescue the Left from its Crisis of Imagination by Adam Kader - January 2011

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Storytelling as Organizing: How to Rescue the Left from its Crisis of Imagination

By Adam Kader
January 10, 2011
In an editorial in In These Times'  November 2009 issue, reflecting on the right’s success at re-framing the healthcare reform debate in its favor, Kevin O’Donnell wrote, “When it comes to messaging, Republicans believe in science. Democrats don’t.” To their detriment, “Democrats cling to the idea, disproved by science and electoral experience, that if you present the facts, people will reason their way to the right conclusion.” Republicans, on the other hand, know to use “simple words, short sentences and a heavy dose of repetition.” 

Must one be this cynical in order to win a campaign or a policy battle? Is the way to beat conservatives on important issues to “race to the bottom,” debasing rhetoric, and treating the public as imbeciles? Fortunately, for those looking for a more generous understanding of public discourse, there’s Re:Imagining Change: How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World (PM Press, 2010), by Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning.

Reinsborough and Canning provide another way of looking at “the battle of the narrative.” Like O’Donnell, any experienced activist knows that framing the issue matters to any campaign's success. But rather than “dumbing down” progressive campaign messaging, Reinsborough and Canning argue for a story-based strategy that deconstructs dominant narratives and constructs new ones that challenge assumptions and move citizens to action. 
The authors encourage readers to re-imagine both how change can happen and what can be changed. They introduce a series of concepts “to win campaigns, build movements, and change the world” based on Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci’s notion of hegemony, which posits that powerful interests exert control through dominant culture so that the status-quo becomes “common sense.” If campaigns are to change the status-quo, the authors argue, they must be communicated in ways that fall outside the narrative categories created by the status quo. 

Just as a successful campaign can change the material conditions of society, Reinsborough and Canning argue, so can it change the way society thinks—it creates change on the level of meaning. In the same way that a direct action physically interrupts a target’s business-as-usual, a campaign has a deeper impact when it also interrupts the dominant narrative about the campaign issue. 

Consider Re:Imagining Change’s example of Greenpeace’s Save the Whales Campaign. When Greenpeace activists took action by literally placing themselves between whaling ships and the whales, it “showed it was the activists, not the whalers, who were the courageous people on small boats risking their lives—not to kill whales, but to save them. In this new narrative, whales were not big and evil; rather it was the giant whaling ships that were the dangerous monsters. The whales were the helpless victims and became sympathetic and worthy of protection...The story changed and the roles of hero, victim, and villain shifted.”

Successful campaigns utilize a “meme,” or a unit of “self-replicating cultural information such as slogans (Just Do It!), iconic images (Abu Ghraib torture), catch phrases (“wardrobe malfunction”) or symbols (the peace sign). Just as engines of dominant culture create memes, so can social change groups.

Re:Imagining Change's accessible language and hands-on exercises make it ideal for busy community and political organizers. My favorite feature of the book is the “Reflections” box included in each chapter. An example:
What are some assumptions in the dominant culture you think need to be changed?  Make a list.  You can carry this assumption list with you and keep a running tab of times when they show up, or when you surface new ones.  Choose one assumption to work with for the moment...Are there institutions where it lives?  Are there ways it is felt in popular culture?  Now think about actions you could take to challenge that assumption and change the story. Are there physical points of intervention that could expose this assumption?

The exercise pushed me to step back and consider a campaign that my organization, Arise Chicago, and other worker centers around the country are engaged in. The fight against the exploitation of low-wage earners is not new, but our “anti-wage theft campaign” is because of its use of the “wage theft” meme. Before, institutions like the Department of Labor and the mainstream media referred to the phenomena of worker exploitation as “non-payment of wages.” 

Several years ago, however, worker centers designed the “wage theft” meme.  This meme overthrows the dominant assumption that wages are the property of the boss, to be shared with workers.  Rather, in this new narrative, wages are the property of workers that have been stolen by the boss. 

The wage theft meme is deeply effective, because a common defense narrative spun by an employer caught for not paying his workers is that these are hard economic times; that in a difficult business climate everyone has to tighten their belts—that the boss is doing everything he can to keep things running. 

The public is sympathetic to this defense. The employer is understood as benevolent; he is the job provider, the one who can save our economy—the workers, protesting, are ungrateful! They should be thankful to be employed at all in this bad economy! The audience of this dominant narrative will identify with the employer, who is the one struggling to stay alive in this economy.  The workers are troublemakers, trying to take wages away from the employer, a property owner, just like you and me! 

But through the wage theft meme, workers, not employers, become the victims of the bad economic climate. The boss, not the workers, becomes the unreasonable one.  The self-respecting public will identify with the righteous worker who is trying to stand up for their right to recover their private property.  Using the wage theft meme, when my organization fights an employer who is not paying minimum wage, overtime wage, or wage at all, we also are fighting some of the assumptions embedded in the dominant narrative about labor. Accordingly, the media has begun to use the meme when they report on our campaigns and legislators have incorporated the phrase “wage theft” in the names of bills.

All of this is to say that Re:Imagining Change has inspired me to evaluate the choices we’re making in designing and communicating our organizing campaigns. Other progressive organizers should strive to do the same. The left is losing the battle over narrative, which means we often lose the larger war over legislation and fiscal policy. Think of common current rhetoric surrounding climate change legislation (“it kills jobs”), public sector jobs (“we have to cut back to decrease the deficit”), gender parity (“it will result in frivolous lawsuits”), etc. 

Indeed, Sally Kohn of Movement Vision Lab writes: “Over the past year, much of the left has jealously ogled the Tea Party and its apparently up-out-of-nowhere grassroots movement energy.” Kohn locates the origin of this energy in the proliferation of “an attractive story of power and vision—a story in which everyday activists can see themselves and engage.”

That the left needs to develop strong, compelling, narratives is clear. Re:Imagining Change is the resource that can show us exactly how to do so.

Adam Kader, the director of the Arise Chicago Worker Center, blogs for Labor Notes.

"In Protest, the Power of Place" by Michael Kimmelman

News Analysis
In Protest, the Power of Place

United Press International
OHIO, 1970 Tear gas against protesters at Kent State
Published: October 15, 2011
Michael Kimmelman is the architecture critic of The New York Times. 
NEW YORK, 1967 Central Park protest against the Vietnam War

THE ever expanding Occupy Wall Street movement, with encampments now not only in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington, London and other cities, proves among other things that no matter how instrumental new media have become in spreading protest these days, nothing replaces people taking to the streets.

Another reminder came late last week when the landlord of Zuccotti Park, where the demonstrators in New York City have settled, at the last minute withdrew a request for police assistance in cleaning up the park. This, at least temporarily, averted a confrontation in front of the global media over what protesters regarded as just a pretext to evict them.

We tend to underestimate the political power of physical places. Then Tahrir Square comes along. Now it’s Zuccotti Park, until four weeks ago an utterly obscure city-block-size downtown plaza with a few trees and concrete benches, around the corner from ground zero and two blocks north of Wall Street on Broadway. A few hundred people with ponchos and sleeping bags have put it on the map.
Kent State, Tiananmen Square, the Berlin Wall: we clearly use locales, edifices, architecture to house our memories and political energy. Politics troubles our consciences. But places haunt our imaginations.

So we check in on Facebook and Twitter, but make pilgrimages to Antietam, Auschwitz and to the Acropolis, to gaze at rubble from the days of Pericles and Aristotle.

I thought of Aristotle, of all people, while I watched the Zuccotti Park demonstrators hold one of their “general assemblies” the other day. In his “Politics,” Aristotle argued that the size of an ideal polis extended to the limits of a herald’s cry. He believed that the human voice was directly linked to civic order. A healthy citizenry in a proper city required face-to-face conversation.

It so happens that near the start of the protest, when the police banned megaphones at Zuccotti Park, they obliged demonstrators to come up with an alternative. “Mic checks” became the consensus method of circulating announcements, spread through the crowd by people repeating, phrase by phrase, what a speaker had said to others around them, compelling everyone, as it were, to speak in one voice. It’s like the old game of telephone, and it is painstakingly slow.

“But so is democracy,” as Jay Gaussoin, a 46-year-old unemployed actor and carpenter, put it to me. “We’re so distracted these days, people have forgotten how to focus. But the ‘mic check’ demands not just that we listen to other people’s opinions but that we really hear what they’re saying because we have to repeat their words exactly.

“It requires an architecture of consciousness,” was Mr. Gaussoin’s apt phrase.

Much as it can look at a glance like a refugee camp in the early morning, when the protesters are just emerging from their sleeping bags, Zuccotti Park has in fact become a miniature polis, a little city in the making. That it happens also to be a private park is one of the most revealing subtexts of the story. Formerly Liberty Park, the site was renamed in 2006 after John E. Zuccotti, chairman of Brookfield Office Properties, the park’s owner. A zoning variance granted to Brookfield years ago requires that the park, unlike a public, city-owned one, remain open day and night.

This peculiarity of zoning law has turned an unexpected spotlight on the bankruptcy of so much of what in the last couple of generations has passed for public space in America. Most of it is token gestures by developers in return for erecting bigger, taller buildings. Think of the atrium of the I.B.M. tower on Madison Avenue and countless other places like it: “public” spaces that are not really public at all but quasi-public, controlled by their landlords. Zuccotti in principle is subject to Brookfield’s rules prohibiting tarps, sleeping bags and the storage of personal property on the site. The whole situation illustrates just how far we have allowed the ancient civic ideal of public space to drift from an arena of public expression and public assembly (Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, say) to a commercial sop (the foyer of the Time Warner Center).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

OMM celebrates MLK, Jr., with special mass/service on January 17th. 9am.

St. Anne's Altar Society MLK Mass Celebration

The Annual MLK Mass sponsored by St. Anne's Altar Society will be celebrated at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church on Sunday, January 17th at the 9:00am Mass.  A reception will follow in the school's cafetera.  Please plan to attend.

Our Mother of Mercy