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Was Tupac right? A look back at the midterm elections

voters

Photo: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

And although it seems heaven sent, we ain’t ready to see a black President”- Tupac Shakur, from Changes

Sharing the sentiments of most blue folks living in red states, the results of the recent midterm elections felt like a body blow to progressive ideals. This is true especially here in Georgia, a state that more than a few had predicted to go purple this year. In the days following the political blood bath, pundits, analysts, and political scientists have been quick to offer their explanations and synopses of what happened. After all the smoke cleared and every possible speculation had been made, two things became very clear about the midterm election: (1) Democrats were unable to turn out the Obama electorate and (2) Democrats shed white voters in huge numbers. The remaining question is “why?” Many experts cite the sputtering economy as the culprit. Others blame President Obama’s cool demeanor and his alleged lack of interest in truly engaging House and Senate Republicans. Very few are willing to even consider the role that the President’s race might have played in the results for fear of being labeled racist or being accused of playing the race card. So I’ll take one for the team and consider the possibility that Obama’s blackness has some influence in our politics and how we vote (or don’t vote).

Pac’s Prophetic Eye

The late nineties was a remarkable time to enter adulthood, especially for poor African-American youth. We survived the LA riots and the stark, racially divisive reaction to the infamous O.J. Simpson verdict. For the generation that came of age during the Crack Era, race still mattered. While many of us were inspired by our predecessors who made their mark during the Civil Rights Movement, we were equally dismayed by the sense of abandonment that many of us experienced as the result of the harsh judgment levied upon us by those same older warriors.

Enter Tupac Shakur, the voice of a restless and rambling generation. Like so many generational icons before him, Shakur poignantly and poetically captured the angst and frustration of his comrades. He did so in the song Changes, quoted at the beginning of this piece. Originally penned in 1992, the late rapper not only cautioned us about the implications of electing a Black president, he also railed against police brutality and systemic poverty. Reminiscent of the great Marvin Gaye, many years after his death, Tupac’s words are as relevant now as they were in 1992.

It Did Seem Heaven Sent

Fast forward to 2008. It was one of those rare events in a lifetime where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it happened. I was in Savannah, Georgia enjoying my own boss’s victory party when the polls in California finally closed. Then they called it. Amazingly, the United States had elected our first African-American president. It was a historic moment indeed.

Because I worked in politics, I wasn’t immediately swept into the euphoric belief that having a Black president signaled the end of all racism. But I must admit that it did feel good to be a part of history and to imagine, for a moment, that we were just inches away from realizing Dr. King’s dream. That honeymoon ended before it ever began. Straight away, Republican operatives sprang into action with their ultimate goal to make President Obama a one-term president. Of course, that plan didn’t work. The Obama electorate, generally made up of young people, single females, and minorities, turned out again in 2012 to re-elect Barack Obama. For many folks, this solidified the idea that minorities were truly electable to the highest office in the land. And all is well with the world…

“I voted for Barack Obama twice and still got tear gassed”

This was the response of a Ferguson, Missouri protester when he was asked to comment on the effectiveness of political action during a town hall meeting that was held nearly a month after the shooting death of Michael Brown. The protester was young and African-American and his sentiments were quite indicative of the frustrations of a good number of Obama voters.

The election of Obama was critically miscalculated by two specific theories. The first theory, often adopted by Obama supporters, states that some palpable improvement would be experienced in African-American and minority communities as a direct result of having an African-American president. The second theory states that the mere election (and re-election) of a Black president signifies the end of racism and the necessity for programs and laws designed to protect minorities from discrimination. The problem with the first theory is that it totally misunderstands the role and power of the president. No president prior to Obama (except for possibly Abraham Lincoln) or after him will ever have the power to change people’s lives overnight. It’s not how our democracy works. Your vote is always more effective the closer it is to home. So while your vote for Obama may not have kept you from getting tear gassed, your vote for your council member or police chief had more potential to make the difference. The second theory, often adopted by Obama opponents, is wilder than the first. It would have us believe that one election can overturn centuries of systematic discrimination and degradation. It’s more than just a stretch; it’s insane.

On November 4, 2014 these two theories collided with billions of campaign dollars, a slowly recovering economy, a fear-driven conservative base, and an uninspired liberal base. The result was a Republican takeover at nearly all levels of government. At some point, Barack Obama ceased being a politician and became a superhero in the eyes of many. He was expected to do the impossible. After six years in office, some have discovered what many of us knew all along—at the end of the day, the President (no matter who he or she may be) is just a mere mortal like the rest of us. This left a lot of people despondent and disappointed, so they just weren’t motivated to vote. Brother Shakur may have been on to something.

The post Was Tupac right? A look back at the midterm elections appeared first on Atlanta Free Speech.

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The Essential Android Security Features You Should Enable Right Now

Your phone is probably the most personal device you own. You carry it with you at all times, and it can access a large chunk of your most sensitive data. Here’s how to keep it secure using just the basic […]

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

The post The Essential Android Security Features You Should Enable Right Now appeared first on National Cyber Security.

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ATMs on the target of the hackers right now!

The ATM hack is getting more sophisticated in which the hackers are injecting some extremely obnoxious malware into the machine. The two Ukrainian men are arrested from the Macau and have the similar charges of stealing the $100,000 from the seven ATM machines. The device is a rigid green circuit board, which can be put into the card slot; the board is four to five times the length of the ATM card. Read More….

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

The post ATMs on the target of the hackers right now! appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

ATMs on the target of the hackers right now!

The ATM hack is getting more sophisticated in which the hackers are injecting some extremely obnoxious malware into the machine. The two Ukrainian men are arrested from the Macau and have the similar charges of stealing the $100,000 from the seven ATM machines. The device is a rigid green circuit board, which can be put into the card slot; the board is four to five times the length of the ATM card. Read More….

For more information go to http://www.NationalCyberSecurity.com, http://www. GregoryDEvans.com, http://www.LocatePC.net or http://AmIHackerProof.com

The post ATMs on the target of the hackers right now! appeared first on National Cyber Security.

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Mike Radcliffe: Right on Time Part 3 Section 1


Man’s rejection is God’s direction! When people neglect us God still connects us! In the last part of this impacting and inspirational series Mike shares wha…

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff – This Is Happening Right…

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff – This Is Happening Right Now [image via @GalouGentil] View full post on Your Anon News Read More….

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The right to choose: after death

personhood_rally

Supporters at a personhood rally (American Life League/Flickr)

At this moment in a Fort Worth hospital, Marlise Munoz’s body is hooked up to machines that are keeping her body alive. Her brain function, her ability to communicate, or hold her child, or kiss her husband—all of those are tragically and irreversibly lost as the result of a pulmonary embolism she suffered the week after Thanksgiving. Marlise had expressed to her husband Erick—both of them were paramedics—that she never wanted to be kept alive this way. So why, despite her own clear wishes and those of her husband and her parents, is she still on life support?

Because Marlise was fourteen weeks pregnant when she passed.

According to The New York Times, more than thirty states place restrictions on when a hospital can remove life support from a pregnant woman, and a dozen, including Texas, have laws on the books that require hospitals to keep a woman’s body alive if she’s pregnant. The hospital must override the doctor’s judgment that she will not recover, the family’s wishes and even the expressed will of the individual herself. In the most tragic way possible, Marlise’s case is forcing us to confront the reality that in far too many places, women are literally seen in the eyes of the law as vessels whose primary function is to produce more offspring. Sound dehumanizing? That’s exactly what it is.

While some have compared Marlise Munoz’s case to that of Terri Schiavo, the woman whose case ignited a national firestorm in 2005 when her husband and parents fought over whether to remove her life support, this case is quite different. Her husband and her parents agree that Marlise’s wishes should be honored. No one with standing wants politicians to interfere in what should be a private family matter.

The other clear difference in this case is that it wouldn’t exist if Munoz weren’t fourteen weeks pregnant when she was pronounced brain dead. Her pregnancy trumped her right to make end-of-life decisions for herself with her family and have them enforced. This ranking of rights by the state is chillingly familiar to women and families around the country who have faced similar—albeit not so stark—situations.

I’m reminded of the case of Bei Bei Shuai, who faces prosecution in Indiana for feticide after she attempted suicide in 2011 when she was pregnant. She survived the attempt, but her fetus died in the process. So the state has chosen to criminalize her pregnancy, declaring her a murderer for attempting to take her own life. Or Alicia Beltran, a pregnant Wisconsin woman who disclosed to her doctor that she had previously been addicted to pills. Although she proudly stated that she had been clean for a year, and confirmed it with a subsequent urine test, her doctor insisted that she go on anti-addiction medication. When she refused, she was arrested and taken to court, where she did not have a lawyer. However, one was appointed to represent her fetus.

Individually, the cases of Shuai, Beltran and Munoz are troubling. Together, they add up to a clear picture of how many politicians think it’s not only acceptable, but preferable, for women to lose rights once they become pregnant. And increasingly, state laws reflect that outdated paradigm.

Forcing women against their will to sit through medically unnecessary ultrasounds or state-mandated lectures full of misinformation in order to dissuade them from terminating an unintended pregnancy is common. And initiatives granting fertilized eggs constitutional rights will once again be on the ballot in Colorado, despite resounding defeats in prior elections. The way the state of Texas is treating Marlise Munoz is typical of the way the anti-choice movement treats women who become pregnant. Every restriction they push reinforces the idea that the state now has a substantial interest in preventing a woman from deciding what is best for herself and her family. Every obstacle, every ban, sends a powerful message to women that they are not in charge of their own bodies.

Lynn Paltrow at National Advocates for Pregnant Women has been tracking these laws for years and advocating for women to be full citizens in the eyes of the law. In 2010, she wrote a piece for The Huffington Post exposing the move towards “personhood” as part of this sinister agenda. She points out that recognizing the humanity of others has never before come at a cost to an entire class of people. When women were recognized as equal citizens under the Constitution, this did not come at a cost to men. She states that “efforts to legally disconnect fetuses and to grant them entirely independent constitutional status would not merely add a new group to the constitutional population: it would effectively denaturalize pregnant women, removing from them their status as constitutional persons.”

Marlise Munoz knew exactly what she wanted to happen to her if a tragedy like the one she suffered befell her, and she had the wisdom to share that information with those closest to her. All her family wants is to honor her wishes. We are fortunate enough to live in a country that values freedom and privacy—it is part of who we are as Americans. But a law that forces complete strangers to desecrate the dying wish of our loved ones shows us how far we have strayed from those very cherished values.

Ilyse Hogue, The Nation 

The post The right to choose: after death appeared first on Atlanta Free Speech.

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10 Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance

10 Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance: jenn2d2: (Excerpt from the full article by Danny O’Brien at the EFF.) Here’s ten steps you can take to make your own devices secure. This isn’t a complete list, and it won’t make you completely safe from spying. Read More….

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The time is right for state and local governments to tackle mobility

David Smith Top Priority Sector:  it_security Image Caption: Read More….

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Glasgow Council has denied us the right to march. But I WILL MARCH!!


BintheBedroomTax is a tenant led initiative that unites tenants, trade unions, housing associations, disabled people and other grassroots campaign to fight t…

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