Showing posts from November, 2008

Urban Policy and Corporate Dominance

In his last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote: “Most people are totally unaware of the darkness of the cave in which the Negro is forced to live. A few individuals can break out, but the vast majority remains its prisoners. Our cities have constructed elaborate expressways and elevated skyways, and white Americans speed from suburb to inner city through vast pockets of black deprivation without ever getting a glimpse of the suffering and misery in their midst.” American urban ghettos are even more devastated today than they were 40 years ago when Dr. King wrote those words. What is the reason for this? By way of explanation, by the early 1970s, America’s central cities started to crumble under the weight of globalization and deindustrialization. Manufacturing jobs were being exported en masse . At the same time, there was no place for the masses of unskilled and semi-skilled laborers in the new technology sector that sprung up to repl

A Few BIG IDEAS: How President Obama Can Promote Social and Racial Justice

My fraternity brother, friend, and colleague, Dr. Lester Kenyatta Spence, put together this excellent list of BIG IDEAS for President-elect Obama and anyone else interested in promoting an agenda aimed at social and racial justice. 40 Big Ideas for Obama (and everyone else) October 17, 2008 By: The Good Doctor Category: afrofuturism A while back I noted the powerful black party discipline that attended Obama. Rather than take the opportunity to talk about ideas, about what we would actually want from an Obama presidency, we talked more about getting him over that electoral hump. To the point of cutting off dissent in some limited cases. What I’d like to do is begin a conversation about what comes next. And as a first step I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. Folks talk about the first 30 days of a presidency? I’m going to up the ante. My motto next year is “40 is the new 40.” So in that spirit I’m going to present 40 ideas for O

The Power and Potential of the Black Vote

The Barack Obama victory, without a doubt, is testimonial to the power of the black vote. According to exit polls, 95 percent of Blacks voted for the President-elect. Now, of course, black people alone did not (and could not have) make Barack Obama the next president of the United States of America. Nonetheless, the Black vote was a key in this election. A number of states saw record-breaking levels of registration and turn-out by Black people. In states such as Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, the Black vote gave the President-elect the votes he needed to secure his historic victory. Yet, more than 40 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the expansion of the criminal justice system - particularly the War on Drugs – continues to marginalize the political voice and limit the potential clout of the black community. Felon disenfranchisement laws have disproportionately impacted the ability of black people to fully realize the potential of the ballot b