Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What I Meant to Say Was...

This past weekend i sat in on a workshop at the Allied Media Conference about the technology funds recently awarded to various groups in Detroit and Philadelphia. One of the central coordinators asked my husband, Tdka, and i to discuss the importance of evaluation to accountability of the vision. Tdka went first, making the distinction between vision and daydreaming. A vision has a plan attached to it, a process to carry it out, and takes into consideration historical and current realities. Daydreaming, on the other hand, is merely a dream. In addition,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Responsibility of HBCU's to Justice

To what extent do HBCU's have a responsibility to be just in their investments, transactions and interactions? In a recent report released by the Oakland Institute, Spelman (a Black women's college in Atlanta, GA) was listed as one of several U.S. universities whose investments are being used to displace African people from their land...the little land still remaining in their hands.  See this brief report summary:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ending Poverty

There is a lot of talk about ending poverty...mobilizing the masses to struggle against and eliminate poverty.  And as i think about these conversations and related poverty-elimination efforts, i wonder how can one aspect of a unity (poverty/poor people) be eliminated and not its opposite (wealth/wealthy people)?  Poverty doesn't exist apart from wealth.  Poor people and poverty exists precisely because wealthy people and wealth exists. Perhaps the conversation should be about (and actions directed toward) ending both wealth and poverty; that is, eliminating the existing economic-based hierarchy that systemically and systematically values the lives of those with wealth over those without wealth.

Symposium on the War on Drugs, Day 1 (6/17/11)

Maureen Taylor, MWRO
Yesterday (June 17) and today, Michigan Welfare Rights is hosting a symposium commemorating the war on drugs. Last night's presentations, questions and comments covered the range of individual drug use (that is, what drives people to use drugs) and how people who use are treated by the criminal (in)justice system to the broader, systematic use of drugs by the ruling group in its attempts to defeat and control entire populations.  [Study, for example, the use of opium in China by European nations to break its back or crack/cocaine to destroy the black power movement].

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thoughts on Small Scale Farming

Over a year ago i had an interesting conversation with an elder comrade about the farming movement.  Specifically i wanted to know what he thought about the trend toward small-scale local agricultural production as a response to and, according to some, an answer to unemployment and economic hardship faced by ever increasing numbers of people in the United States....among other things.  The essence of his response was very brief and is summed up here:
Subjective responses to objective problems do not solve them. 
The objective situation people face in Detroit, for example, has very clear race and class components. Tens of thousands of black people are unemployed or underemployed; thousands lack running water, electricity and heat (during the winter); access to public services is declining and in some areas, nonexistent; the educational system is deteriorating and increasingly privatized; access to fresh and healthy food choices is very limited for most Detroiters without a car; and resources are systematically expropriated by non-black and mainly non-Detroit resident populations (an accelerating trend over the past 15-20 years).