Category Archives: Civil Liberties

The Sunday Show with Philip Maldari | KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley

Click logo for show

Kevin Alexander Gray joins Philip Maldari on Sunday July 3 @12 noon to 1:00pm (Eastern) 9:00 to 10:00am (Pacific) to talk about Independence Day

On July 2, 1776, the “anti-slavery clause” was removed from the Declaration of Independence at the insistence of Edward Rutledge, delegate from South Carolina. Rutledge threatened that South Carolina would fight for King George against her sister colonies. He asserted that he had “the ardent support of proslavery elements in North Carolina and Georgia as well as of certain northern merchants reluctant to condemn a shipping trade largely in their own bloodstained hands.” Fearful of postponing the American Revolution, opponents of slavery, who were in the clear majority, made a “compromise.” Thus, July 4, 1776, marks for African Americans not Independence Day but the moment when their ancestors’ enslavement became fixed by law as well as custom in the new nation.

If only anti-slavery foes had said “no compromise!” to South Carolina and rejected slavery and white privilege, the United States would have begun as a principled nation instead of a hypocritical one..,” Kevin Alexander Gray.

(From “Dispatches From South Carolina: Same as it ever was” | Published May 2, 2000.)

http://www.counterpunch.org/scflag.html

http://www.counterpunch.org/gray1221.html

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under American Culture, American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, Political Ideology, racism, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics, white supremacy

Call for 100 Signers: Letter to SC Governor Nikki Haley

As you may  know SC SB 20 is on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. We’re asking her to veto this legislation. Please reach out to community leaders, businesses, local organizations, etc. and ask them to add their name to this letter.  I will add names as you send them to me.  Since Governor Haley is expected to sign this bill ASAP, please send names/organizations by close of business Monday, June 27 so that we can get this letter to her quickly.

 Thank you all!

Amanda N. Jackson
Field Director
Church World Service
2062 N. Beltline Blvd
Columbia, SC 29204
cell: 803-394-4895
ajackson@churchworldservice.org
jacksona03@vzw.blackberry.net
twitter@CWSMsJackson Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Actions, American Progressive Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Immigrant Rights, Law Enforcement, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics, white supremacy

BOYCOTT CHAMPION SPORTS APPAREL!

First round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Proverbs 24:17-18 | “Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble, or else the LORD will see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from them.”

On May 1st, 2011, the announcement was made of the “official” death of Osama bin Laden. This provoked many responses, one being the lawn of the White House covered with 100’s of students chanting U.S.A., and waving flags.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Menendhall tweeted: “What kind of person celebrates death?” It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

After being heaped by scorn he tweeted: “This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder. I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics. During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the world celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.”

“I want people to understand that I am not in support of Bin Laden, or against the USA…my heart goes out to the troops who fight for our freedoms everyday, not being certain if they will have the opportunity to return home, and the families who watch their loved ones bravely go off to war.”

In a day or two he lost a major endorsement contract with the sports apparel company Champion.

Stand up for FREE SPEECH

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Actions, American Progressive Politics, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, FREE SPEECH, Protest, Sports, Uncategorized

Demand Obama Administration Respect UPR Process

   
CALL TO ACTION: Demand Obama Administration Respect UPR Process, Adopt UN UPR Recommendation to Release U.S. Political Prisoners!

 
Atlanta, GA, – The U.S. Human Rights Network Political Prisoner/State Repression Working Group (USHRN PP/SR Wkg Grp) demands the Obama Administration adopt the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations to release COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era political activists held in U.S. prisons, some more than 40 years.  
 
“The UPR shed global light on the United States’ dirty little open secret and propelled to the forefront the unfinished business of the modern U.S. Civil/Human Rights movement.   “We are working with activists across the country to put  America’s political prisoners on the global human rights priority list alongside other atrocities like the death penalty, racial discrimination, the absence of treaty ratification  and the lack of a national institution monitoring domestic human rights practices” Efia Nwangaza said. 

Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser to the United States Department of State dismissed the significance of  the recommendations made by the Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in generally and, specifically, the call for the release of long imprisoned political activists.  Harold Koh, put the more than 230 recommendations into “3 categories:
 
1) Some in line with US policies
 
2) Some political provocation not to be taken seriously
 
3) Some to be considered.
 
Koh promised “all recommendations will be considered and taken back to branches for consideration before March, 2011. Further Koh remarked, “A small set of comments do not make bona fide recommendations for the UPR. These statements, those styled as “recommendations,” are actually political criticisms of U.S. policies or polemical comments about judicial cases, based on unsubstantiated or false allegations, which refer to individual matters that are either ongoing or already completed under court proceedings conducted under due process of law.”
 
1. We call on President Obama to use his presidential powers to grant clemency and commute the sentences to time served and release all COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era political activists criminalized and held in federal custody.
 
2. We call on President Obama to direct U.S.  Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice to review the convictions of all COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era activists in federal or state custody to identify and address civil and human rights violations perpetrated.
 
3. We call on the Obama Administration to create a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the release and compensation of all COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era activists in federal or state custody.
 
Demand the Obama Administration Respect the UPR Process and Adopt UN UPR Recommendation to Release U.S. Political Prisoners (Recommendations  Numbers 92.153 and 92.154). Please call, fax, write, e-mail, the U.S. UPR Delegation and the Obama Administration to  Invite family, friends, neighbors, faith communities, social and professional organizations and elected and appointed officials to join this emergency campaign.
 
Contact information: 
Michael H. Posner, Asst. Secretary of State (Democracy, Human Rights and Labor) T: 202-647-2126/F:202-647-5283/E: PosnerMH@state.gov
 
Esther Brimmer, Asst. Secretary of State (T:202-647-4000/F: /E: )
 
Harold Koh, Legal Adviser to State Department (T:202-647-4000   /F:/E:)
 
Samuel Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Asst. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division) T:202-353-9065/F:202-3072572/E: samuel.bagenstos@usdoj.gov 
 
Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General (T: 202-514-2001/F:E:AskDOJ@usdoj.gov)
 
President Barack Obama (T:202-456-1414/ 202-456-1111     /F: 202-456-2461/E: )
 
The US Human Rights Network formed to promote US accountability to universal human rights standards by building linkages between organizations and individuals. We strive to build a human rights culture in the United States that puts those directly affected by such violations, with a special emphasis on grassroots organizations and social movements, in central leadership roles. The Network is further committed to uniting the US human rights movement with the broader social justice movements both in the U.S. and globally. See U.S. Human Rights Network Reports to the UPR Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council: http://www.ushrnetwork.org/upr_reports.
 
Contact ushrnpp@gmail.com and firestormpp@gmail.com to report the number of e-mails and letters mailed/faxed.  Many thanks.  FREE ALL U.S. POLITICAL PRISONERS, NOW!
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Actions, American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Friends & Comrades, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Obama Administration, Police Abuse|Brutality|Killings, Political Ideology, Protest, The Obama Administration, white supremacy, Work of Comrades

Martin Luther King Jr. | Where Do We Go From Here?

Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Atlanta, Georgia
16 August 1967

Now, in order to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?” which is our theme, we must first honestly recognize where we are now. When the Constitution was written, a strange formula to determine taxes and representation declared that the Negro was 60 percent of a person. Today another curious formula seems to declare he is 50 percent of a person. Of the good things in life, the Negro has approximately one half those of whites. Of the bad things of life, he has twice those of whites. Thus half of all Negroes live in substandard housing. And Negroes have half the income of whites. When we view the negative experiences of life, the Negro has a double share. There are twice as many unemployed. The rate of infant mortality among Negroes is double that of whites and there are twice as many Negroes dying in Vietnam as whites in proportion to their size in the population.

In other spheres, the figures are equally alarming. In elementary schools, Negroes lag one to three years behind whites, and their segregated schools receive substantially less money per student than the white schools. One twentieth as many Negroes as whites attend college. Of employed Negroes, 75 percent hold menial jobs.

This is where we are. Where do we go from here? First, we must massively assert our dignity and worth. We must stand up amidst a system that still oppresses us and develop an unassailable and majestic sense of values. We must no longer be ashamed of being black. The job of arousing manhood within a people that have been taught for so many centuries that they are nobody is not easy.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, Political Ideology

F.B.I. Searches Antiwar Activists’ Homes | Walter Lippmann

 
[CubaNews] October 05, 2010

Dear Friends –
 
Please read this note carefully, and, if you agree with the thrust of what it’s saying, copy and post it to any other lists where you can.
 
Thanks in advance.
 
The Grand Jury is being convened in Chicago tomorrow. All the help we can generate to protest this can only be helpful.
 
Last week, activists in many US cities joined in public protests against FBI raids targetting anti-war activists in several mid-western cities. I joined something like 100 people here at the Federal Building in downtown L.A. on Tuesday evening, along with a broad representation of left activists. Here’s a report from that demonstration:
 
http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs3105.html  This extremely important story has been largely, but not entirely blanked out of the national media. Amy Goodman covered it in an extensive way on DEMOCRACY NOW, and the left and alternative press has given good coverage, but the dominant corporate media has given it minimal play.
 
Though people who are active specifically around Cuba weren’t targeted THIS time, we must always keep in mind that Washington, which has sponsored or turned a blind eye to terrorist attacks against Cuba, has characterized Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism”. This has a wide array of consequences, not least of which is that anyone who wishes to bring about normalization of US relations with Cuba, and end to the US blockade, or takes a stand politically in favor of the Cuban Revolution could be targeted just as were the folks in the Mid-West. They have had their homes invaded, their property seized, and been called before the grand jury tomorrow in Chicago.
 
Fidel Castro has been writing about Colombia and about the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in recent years, and most recently just a few days ago.
 
Recall the recent Colombian government attack on a key FARC base, which resulted in the death of its military commander. President Obama publicly congratulated the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, for a job well done.
Thus the timing of these raids, at a time when protest against US foreign policy is urgently needed, underscores the importance of the right to protest here in the United States. Similarly, the removal of Piedad Cordoba from her Colombian Senate seat, BANNED FROM OFFICE FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS, though no criminal charges have been filed against her, should help everyone to understand the importance of democratic rights broadly. Her constituents have thus been denied political representation, just by decision of some official of the Colombian government.
 
 Fidel Castro: Piedad Cordoba and Her Fight for Peace
http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/reflexiones/2010/ing/c300910i.html
 
 
PRI’S “THE WORLD: Colombian senator “collaborated” with FARC
By The World ⋅ October 4, 2010

http://www.theworld.org/2010/10/04/colombian-senator-collaborated-with-farc/
 
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression, uniting diverse voices opposed to the raids and the threats to the civil liberties of all, has been formed and has called a range of actions demanding and end to the attacks. Several items will follow this one. All make essentially the same point: An injury to one is an injury to all. Stop the raids, end the repression, and file no charges. It’s not illegal to protests US foreign policy.  While the US government says it’s trying to bring democracy to the world, it’s actively working to thwart the expression of democratic rights here
in these United States of America.
 
When I called the White House, I spoke, after a very short wait, with a volunteer who said she would take my comment, but not my name, and see to it that the President receives notice of the expression of opinion. Let’s hope many call.
 
The Grand Jury convenes in Chicago tomorrow, so the more who call, the more can public opposition be made manifest. This could help press the government to draw back.

WALTER LIPPMANN
    Los Angeles, California
    Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
   
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/

    “Cuba – Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo”

Leave a comment

Filed under American Progressive Politics, anti-war, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Latin America and The Caribbean, Middle East, Obama Administration, Palestine | Israel, Peace, Protest, The Obama Administration, Work of Comrades

Shooting Cans | By Kevin Alexander Gray

The Racist Assault on the 14th Amendment

One of the many racist jokes I heard in the 70s during my time in the military starts with two white soldiers on the rifle range. One soldier asks the other how he learned to shoot so well. “I like shooting cans right off the fence,” the other soldier says, “Af-ri-cans, Por-to-ri-cans and Mex-i-cans.”

The joke came to mind when I heard Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina saying, “birthright citizenship is a mistake,” followed by his GOP cohorts’ claim that immigrants have “anchor babies” as a way to tie themselves to the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Graham says he’s considering introducing a bill to rescind Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which generally guarantees U.S. citizenship to those who are born within U.S. borders.

That is not all it does. The section reads:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Also called the “due process” clause or the “equal protection” clause, this part of the 14th Amendment is the very foundation of U.S. civil rights law. The new nullifiers who talk of getting rid of it thus signal the nature of their purpose and the intrinsic unity of those they hold in contempt, like so many cans on the fence.

“Anchor babies” makes for better headlines, and it’s diverting. “People come here to have babies,” says Graham. “They come here to drop a child. It’s called, ‘drop and leave.’ To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child’s automatically an American citizen. That shouldn’t be the case.”

“Drop a child.” It’s as if he were talking about animals.

Graham is not up for re-election, but his child-dropping potshot is designed to appease a right wing that is angry because he’s “too liberal,” he’s “no Jim DeMint,” saddled up with the Tea Party and the likes of Ollie North and Tom Tancredo. A Greenville County Republican committee even voted to bar Graham from future meetings and events, censuring him “for his cooperation and support of President Obama and the Democratic Party’s liberal agenda.”
Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Immigrant Rights, LGBT issues, South Carolina Politics, white supremacy