A couple of days ago, I wrote a piece about the recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision to strike down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Section Five of the law mandated that the Federal Government would have to approve any change to Voter Laws in nine U.S. States that had a history of racial discrimination. Prior to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Individual states were free to institute laws and policies that would keep the right to vote solely in the hands of a privileged few. Be it Poll Taxes, Tests requiring citizens to write essays in regard to specific sections of their State Constitution, or outright violence-keeping the power to dictate the Political, Social, & Economic Policies of the State would have to be kept out of the hands of People of Color.
In the end, it's all about POWER. Then & Now. Many of the same conditions exist now. Many of the same tactics remain in use. Many of these same states attempted to put voter restriction laws on the books, while grassroots contemporaries drummed up hysteria & paranoia about alleged voter fraud running rampant among Blacks & Latinos. Many of these laws were blocked by the courts, prior to the 2012 elections; but predictably some of these same laws were re-instituted within 24 hours of the Supreme Courts decision to put the power of deciding voting laws back in the category of State's Rights. Texas, Mississippi & Alabama immediately announced that provisions, previously outlawed by the courts, to restrict access to the vote would indeed go into effect. That same day, the state of North Carolina pushed forward a bill that will limit early Voting & Same Day Registration.
Earlier today, The Supreme Court just struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The decision was justified partially of the grounds that more People of Color were registered to vote, in the most recent election cycle, than ever before.
Section Five of the Law provided Federal Oversight of State Regulations applied to citizens rights and access to vote in nine states with a history of discriminatory practices.
John Roberts said that "Times Have Changed."
Speaking on behalf of the 5-4 Conservative Majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, who has been working to have this law repealed since being being a young lawyer, cited higher Voter Registration Statistics & the number of Black Mayors in some of the areas that fall under this provision. This completely ignores the dozens of lawsuits that were filed, during the 2012 Elections, in regard to Voter Suppression Laws that were passed in multiple Republican-Led States such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, and others. Even after some of those laws were struck down, there were still a huge number of complaints in regard to issues that occurred at the polls. One must note that, without the protections set forth by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, would the numbers of registered Black, Latino & Asian Voters be so high? Black, Latino & Asian Mayors? Governors? Congressmen & Congresswomen?
This now opens the door for a Republican-Dominated Congress to develop new laws that will restrict access to the vote, for those who would Rarely Ever vote Republican anyway. In recent years Congress has passed multiple provisions that allowed the re-drawing of voting districts, that directly contribute to the majority rule enjoyed in today's House of Representatives & U.S. Senate. Many died for this right-both well known, and not so well known. Most notably, it was the assassination of Medgar Evers & then President John F. Kennedy's mobilization of the Alabama National Guard to force integration of The University of Alabama that directly led to the passing of this bill in the first place. We cannot afford to forget. We cannot afford to let this go down, without a FIGHT. But alas, many of our people have no idea about this setback-and are more concerned with Kanye & Kim's newborn baby or the next Jay Z album. Gotta Wake Up People. OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT.
Quincy Jones "Summer In The City" 1973
I know, I know, the weekend came & went waaaay too Fast. Got a Bad Case of The Monday Blues??? Well in today's economy, that job you don't feel like going to today isn't promised to be there tomorrow; so listen & let Quincy J. make everything Ok. Listen to the Music, Look into the Mirror, Smile, and Say that It's gonna Be a GREAT DAY.
J. Cole feat NAS - Let NAS Down *Remix*
So it's a rare occasion that an Old School Hip Head gets excited about one of today's artists; and J. Cole would be one off that extremely SHORT list (which includes Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Jay Electronica, Guilty Simpson, Black Milk, Joey Bada$$$ & Termanology among FEW others). But as for young Jermaine Cole, he might possibly be the most consistently good for this bunch (Action Bronson is still my favorite though). But staying on point, I'm sure everyone has now seen at least one story about how Nasir Jones saw fit to call young J. Cole and give him a little tough love, in regard to some his recent material not meeting his expectations. A less mature artist would have likely been offended; but in this particular case, it set the wheels in motion for what is likely to be one of the more popular songs of Summer 2013. Enjoy.
Alternate Link: https://soundcloud.com/j-cole/j-cole-let-nas-down-remix-feat
Franklin, Tn ParentS And The Republicans Seeking To Force Revisions To School Textbooks & Curriculum
In an ongoing story that's been reported by all of Nashville's local news outlets, and of course Fox News, a group of parents in Williamson County are pressuring the district to drop the textbook "The Cultural Landscape-An Introduction To Human Geography" from its curriculum. The group is alleging Anti-Semitism, over a passage in the book, that asks the following question: “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” Adding additional fuel to the fire, some have taken issue with the the textbook for identifying Hamas & Hezbollah as political parties. From there, all sorts of allegations of Anti-Semitism, comparisons to the propaganda used by the Nazis, and secret agendas to de-legitimize Israel's rights to The Holy Land have been flown out to anyone who would listen. Even more extreme allegations have been found on some blogs and conservative websites, as now the Tennessee Republican Party have joined in with efforts to alter the process from which school textbooks are selected and approved going forward.. http://dailyrollcall.com/2013/04/14/show-support-to-end-common-core/ http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130605/NEWS04/306050135/TN-book-commission-faces-scrutiny-after-lawmakers-say-textbooks-show-bias
As a parent, and generally open-minded person, I have a lot of trouble with a story like this.
1. Does disagreeing with another's social & political views mean that information about the opposing group be censored or told strictly from your point of view?
2. Hezbollah & Hamas are political groups, whom have each have recently won elections in their region's legislative branches.
3. Supposedly America is "different" from those "other" countries that don't have freedom of speech & where the government tells the people what they are suppossed to believe.
4. Responsible parents would simply take this as an opportunity to sit down, as a family, and discuss these types of topics. Teach your own child; or someone else will.
So TODAY, June 19th, The State Textbook Commission will be appearing in front of Tennessee lawmakers to discuss Republican leaders allegations that many of today's school textbooks are "biased" and offer a "slanted view of history, science and other subjects..."
For the record, Williamson County School Board representatives assert that the book is not biased; and that the book "gives equal weight to competing argument and does not take any position." School Superintendent Mike Looney went on to warn of the "slippery slope" that comes with banning books simply because of opposing views. "I think the critical question to answer is: Does the book create an opportunity for students to engage in deep dialogue about important issues in the world? And I think that it does that in the context of geography."
What Is Your Opinion??? Comments & Feedback Encouraged...